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Sample records for putative o-methyltransferase accumulating

  1. Structure and Biophysical Characterization of the S-Adenosylmethionine-dependent O-Methyltransferase PaMTH1, a Putative Enzyme Accumulating during Senescence of Podospora anserina *

    PubMed Central

    Chatterjee, Deep; Kudlinzki, Denis; Linhard, Verena; Saxena, Krishna; Schieborr, Ulrich; Gande, Santosh L.; Wurm, Jan Philip; Wöhnert, Jens; Abele, Rupert; Rogov, Vladimir V.; Dötsch, Volker; Osiewacz, Heinz D.; Sreeramulu, Sridhar; Schwalbe, Harald

    2015-01-01

    Low levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) act as important signaling molecules, but in excess they can damage biomolecules. ROS regulation is therefore of key importance. Several polyphenols in general and flavonoids in particular have the potential to generate hydroxyl radicals, the most hazardous among all ROS. However, the generation of a hydroxyl radical and subsequent ROS formation can be prevented by methylation of the hydroxyl group of the flavonoids. O-Methylation is performed by O-methyltransferases, members of the S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM)-dependent O-methyltransferase superfamily involved in the secondary metabolism of many species across all kingdoms. In the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina, a well established aging model, the O-methyltransferase (PaMTH1) was reported to accumulate in total and mitochondrial protein extracts during aging. In vitro functional studies revealed flavonoids and in particular myricetin as its potential substrate. The molecular architecture of PaMTH1 and the mechanism of the methyl transfer reaction remain unknown. Here, we report the crystal structures of PaMTH1 apoenzyme, PaMTH1-SAM (co-factor), and PaMTH1-S-adenosyl homocysteine (by-product) co-complexes refined to 2.0, 1.9, and 1.9 Å, respectively. PaMTH1 forms a tight dimer through swapping of the N termini. Each monomer adopts the Rossmann fold typical for many SAM-binding methyltransferases. Structural comparisons between different O-methyltransferases reveal a strikingly similar co-factor binding pocket but differences in the substrate binding pocket, indicating specific molecular determinants required for substrate selection. Furthermore, using NMR, mass spectrometry, and site-directed active site mutagenesis, we show that PaMTH1 catalyzes the transfer of the methyl group from SAM to one hydroxyl group of the myricetin in a cation-dependent manner. PMID:25979334

  2. An mRNA putatively coding for an O-methyltransferase accumulates preferentially in maize roots and is located predominantly in the region of the endodermis.

    PubMed Central

    Held, B M; Wang, H; John, I; Wurtele, E S; Colbert, J T

    1993-01-01

    ZRP4, a 1.4-kb mRNA that preferentially accumulates in roots of young Zea mays L. plants, was identified by isolation of the corresponding cDNA clone. Genomic Southern analysis indicates that the zrp4 gene is represented once in the corn genome. The deduced ZRP4 polypeptide of 39,558 D is rich in leucine, serine, and alanine. Comparison of the deduced ZRP4 polypeptide sequence to polypeptide sequences of previously cloned plant and animal genes indicates that ZRP4 may be an O-methyltransferase. The ZRP4 mRNA preferentially accumulates in young roots and can be detected only at low levels in leaf, stem, and other shoot organs. ZRP4 mRNA accumulation is developmentally regulated within the root, with very low levels of accumulation in the meristematic region, higher levels in the regions of cell elongation, highest levels in the region of cell maturation, and low levels in the mature regions of the root. ZRP4 mRNA is predominantly located in the endodermis, with lower levels in the exodermis. An intriguing possibility is that the ZRP4 mRNA may code for an O-methyltransferase involved in suberin biosynthesis. PMID:8278520

  3. An O-methyltransferase modifies accumulation of methylated anthocyanins in seedlings of tomato.

    PubMed

    Gomez Roldan, Maria Victoria; Outchkourov, Nikolay; van Houwelingen, Adèle; Lammers, Michiel; Romero de la Fuente, Irene; Ziklo, Noa; Aharoni, Asaph; Hall, Robert D; Beekwilder, Jules

    2014-11-01

    Anthocyanins contribute to the appearance of fruit by conferring to them a red, blue or purple colour. In a food context, they have also been suggested to promote consumer health. In purple tomato tissues, such as hypocotyls, stems and purple fruits, various anthocyanins accumulate. These molecules have characteristic patterns of modification, including hydroxylations, methylations, glycosylations and acylations. The genetic basis for many of these modifications has not been fully elucidated, and nor has their role in the functioning of anthocyanins. In this paper, AnthOMT, an O-methyltransferase (OMT) mediating the methylation of anthocyanins, has been identified and functionally characterized using a combined metabolomics and transcriptomics approach. Gene candidates were selected from the draft tomato genome, and their expression was subsequently monitored in a tomato seedling system comprising three tissues and involving several time points. In addition, we also followed gene expression in wild-type red and purple transgenic tomato fruits expressing Rosea1 and Delila transcription factors. Of the 57 candidates identified, only a single OMT gene showed patterns strongly correlating with both accumulation of anthocyanins and expression of anthocyanin biosynthesis genes. This candidate (AnthOMT) was compared to a closely related caffeoyl CoA OMT by recombinant expression in Escherichia coli, and then tested for substrate specificity. AnthOMT showed a strong affinity for glycosylated anthocyanins, while other flavonoid glycosides and aglycones were much less preferred. Gene silencing experiments with AnthOMT resulted in reduced levels of the predominant methylated anthocyanins. This confirms the role of this enzyme in the diversification of tomato anthocyanins.

  4. Stress Responses in Alfalfa (XXI. Activation of Caffeic Acid 3-O-Methyltransferase and Caffeoyl Coenzyme A 3-O-Methyltransferase Genes Does Not Contribute to Changes in Metabolite Accumulation in Elicitor-Treated Cell-Suspension Cultures).

    PubMed Central

    Ni, W.; Sewalt, VJH.; Korth, K. L.; Blount, J. W.; Ballance, G. M.; Dixon, R. A.

    1996-01-01

    Transcription of genes encoding L-phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), the first enzyme of the phenylpropanoid pathway, and caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and caffeoyl CoA 3-O-methyltransferase (CCOMT), enzymes involved in the synthesis of lignin and wall-esterified phenolic compounds, was strongly activated in elicitor-treated cell-suspension cultures of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). However, consequent changes in the extractable activities of COMT and CCOMT were small to nonexistent compared with a 15- to 16-fold increase in PAL activity. Only low levels of COMT and CCOMT transcripts were reflected in the total and polysomal RNA fractions compared with PAL transcripts. Elicited cell cultures did not accumulate lignin or the products of COMT and CCOMT in the soluble and wall-esterified phenolic fractions. In one alfalfa cell line in which elicitation resulted in very high PAL activity and increased deposition of methoxyl groups in the insoluble wall fraction, there was still no change in COMT and CCOMT activities. Overall, these results indicate that the initial gene transcription events in elicited cells may be less selective than the subsequent metabolic changes, highlighting the importance of posttranscriptional events in the control of phenylpropanoid biosynthesis. PMID:12226420

  5. Methoxypyrazine Accumulation and O-Methyltransferase Gene Expression in Sauvignon blanc Grapes: The Role of Leaf Removal, Light Exposure, and Berry Development.

    PubMed

    Gregan, Scott M; Jordan, Brian

    2016-03-23

    Methoxypyrazines are present in the grapes of certain Vitis vinifera varieties including Sauvignon blanc and contribute herbaceous/green aromas to wine. Environmental factors such as light exposure and temperature can influence methoxypyrazine levels, and viticultural interventions such as canopy manipulation have the ability to reduce methoxypyrazine accumulation in grapes. We assessed methoxypyrazine levels and showed that leaf removal significantly reduces accumulation in Sauvignon blanc grapes. The main effect of reducing methoxypyrazines was preveraison, as postveraison treatments had no effect on concentrations at harvest. Methoxypyrazine concentrations in controls peaked preveraison and decreased through harvest. Dilution due to an increase in berry weight was found to be the major driver of decreasing concentrations, as methoxypyrazine levels on a per berry basis were found to increase through development in two of three seasons. In the one year of our study that showed contrasting results, analyses of weather data indicate that warmer than average temperatures appear to be the principal factor affecting the berries' ability to accumulate and retain methoxypyrazines. We also explored the expression of potential biosynthetic O-methyltransferase genes VvOMT1, VvOMT2, and VvOMT3; no significant differences were observed with respect to effect of leaf removal and light exposure.

  6. Downregulation of Caffeic Acid 3-O-Methyltransferase and Caffeoyl CoA 3-O-Methyltransferase in Transgenic Alfalfa

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Dianjing; Chen, Fang; Inoue, Kentaro; Blount, Jack W.; Dixon, Richard A.

    2001-01-01

    Transgenic alfalfa plants were generated harboring caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and caffeoyl CoA 3-O-methyltransferase (CCOMT) cDNA sequences under control of the bean phenylalanine ammonia-lyase PAL2 promoter. Strong downregulation of COMT resulted in decreased lignin content, a reduction in total guaiacyl (G) lignin units, a near total loss of syringyl (S) units in monomeric and dimeric lignin degradation products, and appearance of low levels of 5-hydroxy guaiacyl units and a novel dimer. No soluble monolignol precursors accumulated. In contrast, strong downregulation of CCOMT led to reduced lignin levels, a reduction in G units without reduction in S units, and increases in β-5 linked dimers of G units. Accumulation of soluble caffeic acid β-d-glucoside occurred only in CCOMT downregulated plants. The results suggest that CCOMT does not significantly contribute to the 3-O-methylation step in S lignin biosynthesis in alfalfa and that there is redundancy with respect to the 3-O-methylation reaction of G lignin biosynthesis. COMT is unlikely to catalyze the in vivo methylation of caffeic acid during lignin biosynthesis. PMID:11158530

  7. Molecular cloning, characterization and expression of the caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) ortholog from kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    We cloned the full-length of the gene putatively encoding caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) from kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) using degenerate primers and the RACE (rapid amplification of cDNA ends) method. Kenaf is an herbaceous and rapidly growing dicotyledonous plant with great potential ...

  8. Evolution of novel O-methyltransferases from the Vanilla planifolia caffeic acid O-methyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Li, Huaijun Michael; Rotter, David; Hartman, Thomas G; Pak, Fulya E; Havkin-Frenkel, Daphna; Belanger, Faith C

    2006-06-01

    The biosynthesis of many plant secondary compounds involves the methylation of one or more hydroxyl groups, catalyzed by O-methyltransferases (OMTs). Here, we report the characterization of two OMTs, Van OMT-2 and Van OMT-3, from the orchid Vanilla planifolia Andrews. These enzymes catalyze the methylation of a single outer hydroxyl group in substrates possessing a 1,2,3-trihydroxybenzene moiety, such as methyl gallate and myricetin. This is a substrate requirement not previously reported for any OMTs. Based on sequence analysis these enzymes are most similar to caffeic acid O-methyltransferases (COMTs), but they have negligible activity with typical COMT substrates. Seven of 12 conserved substrate-binding residues in COMTs are altered in Van OMT-2 and Van OMT-3. Phylogenetic analysis of the sequences suggests that Van OMT-2 and Van OMT-3 evolved from the V. planifolia COMT. These V. planifolia OMTs are new instances of COMT-like enzymes with novel substrate preferences.

  9. The Cercospora nicotianae gene encoding dual O-methyltransferase and FAD-dependent monooxygenase domains mediates cercosporin toxin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Dekkers, Katherine L; You, Bang-Jau; Gowda, Vivek S; Liao, Hui-Ling; Lee, Miin-Huey; Bau, Huey-Jiunn; Ueng, Peter P; Chung, Kuang-Ren

    2007-05-01

    Cercosporin, a photo-activated, non-host-selective phytotoxin produced by many species of the plant pathogenic fungus Cercospora, causes peroxidation of plant cell membranes by generating reactive oxygen species and is an important virulence determinant. Here we report a new gene, CTB3 that is involved in cercosporin biosynthesis in Cercospora nicotianae. CTB3 is adjacent to a previously identified CTB1 encoding a polyketide synthase which is also required for cercosporin production. CTB3 contains a putative O-methyltransferase domain in the N-terminus and a putative flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD)-dependent monooxygenase domain in the C-terminus. The N-terminal amino acid sequence also is similar to that of the transcription enhancer AFLS (formerly AFLJ) involved in aflatoxin biosynthesis. Expression of CTB3 was differentially regulated by light, medium, nitrogen and carbon sources and pH. Disruption of the N- or C-terminus of CTB3 yielded mutants that failed to accumulate the CTB3 transcript and cercosporin. The Deltactb3 disruptants produced a yellow pigment that is not toxic to tobacco suspension cells. Production of cercosporin in a Deltactb3 null mutant was fully restored when transformed with a functional CTB3 clone or when paired with a Deltactb1-null mutant (defective in polyketide synthase) by cross feeding of the biosynthetic intermediates. Pathogenicity assays using detached tobacco leaves revealed that the Deltactb3 disruptants drastically reduced lesion formation.

  10. Monolignol 4-O-methyltransferases and uses thereof

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Chang-Jun; Bhuiya, Mohammad-Wadud; Zhang, Kewei

    2014-11-18

    Modified (iso)eugenol 4-O-methyltransferase enzymes having novel capacity for methylation of monolignols and reduction of lignin polymerization in plant cell wall are disclosed. Sequences encoding the modified enzymes are disclosed.

  11. Cloning and expression analysis of an o-methyltransferase (OMT) gene from Chinese shrimp, Fenneropenaeus chinensis.

    PubMed

    Li, Dian-Xiang; Du, Xin-Jun; Zhao, Xiao-Fan; Wang, Jin-Xing

    2006-09-01

    O-methyltransferase (OMT) is ubiquitously present in diverse organisms and plays an important regulatory role in plant and animal growth, development, reproduction and defence and has also been implicated in human emotion and disease. A putative o-methyltransferase (OMT) gene has been cloned from the haemocytes of bacteria-infected Chinese shrimp (Fenneropenaeus chinensis) by suppression subtractive hybridisation (SSH) coupled with the SMART cDNA method. The isolated 944 bp full-length cDNA contains a single 666bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding a putative OMT protein of 221 amino acids. The predicted protein has a molecular weight of 24,572.06 Da and a pI of 5.27 as well as ten phosphorylation sites. Northern blot and in situ hybridisation analyses demonstrated that the OMT transcripts were constitutively expressed in tissue of shrimp challenged by bacterial infection and in unchallenged shrimp tissue. Constitutive OMT transcript was found in areas such as haemocytes, heart, hepatopancreas, stomach, gill, intestine and ovary. However, the OMT transcripts were upregulated in hepatopancreas and stomach in challenged shrimp.

  12. Engineering Monolignol 4-O-Methyltransferases to Modulate Lignin Biosynthesis

    SciTech Connect

    Bhuiya, M.W.; Liu, C.

    2010-01-01

    Lignin is a complex polymer derived from the oxidative coupling of three classical monolignols. Lignin precursors are methylated exclusively at the meta-positions (i.e. 3/5-OH) of their phenyl rings by native O-methyltransferases, and are precluded from substitution of the para-hydroxyl (4-OH) position. Ostensibly, the para-hydroxyls of phenolics are critically important for oxidative coupling of phenoxy radicals to form polymers. Therefore, creating a 4-O-methyltransferase to substitute the para-hydroxyl of monolignols might well interfere with the synthesis of lignin. The phylogeny of plant phenolic O-methyltransferases points to the existence of a batch of evolutionarily 'plastic' amino acid residues. Following one amino acid at a time path of directed evolution, and using the strategy of structure-based iterative site-saturation mutagenesis, we created a novel monolignol 4-O-methyltransferase from the enzyme responsible for methylating phenylpropenes. We show that two plastic residues in the active site of the parental enzyme are vital in dominating substrate discrimination. Mutations at either one of these separate the evolutionarily tightly linked properties of substrate specificity and regioselective methylation of native O-methyltransferase, thereby conferring the ability for para-methylation of the lignin monomeric precursors, primarily monolignols. Beneficial mutations at both sites have an additive effect. By further optimizing enzyme activity, we generated a triple mutant variant that may structurally constitute a novel phenolic substrate binding pocket, leading to its high binding affinity and catalytic efficiency on monolignols. The 4-O-methoxylation of monolignol efficiently impairs oxidative radical coupling in vitro, highlighting the potential for applying this novel enzyme in managing lignin polymerization in planta.

  13. Molecular characterization of O-methyltransferases involved in isoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis in Coptis japonica

    PubMed Central

    MORISHIGE, Takashi; TAMAKOSHI, Masanori; TAKEMURA, Tomoya; SATO, Fumihiko

    2010-01-01

    O-Methyltransferases, which catalyze the production of small molecules in plants, play a crucial role in determining biosynthetic pathways in secondary metabolism because of their strict substrate specificity. Using three O-methyltransferase (OMT) cDNAs that are involved in berberine biosynthesis, we investigated the structure that was essential for this substrate specificity and the possibility of creating a chimeric enzyme with novel substrate specificity. Since each OMT has a relatively well-conserved C-terminal putative S-adenosyl-L-methionine-binding domain, we first exchanged the N-terminal halves of different OMTs. Among the 6 combinations that we tested for creating chimeric OMTs, 5 constructs produced detectable amounts of recombinant proteins, and only one of these with an N-terminal half of 6-OMT and a C-terminal half of 4′-OMT (64′-OMT) showed methylation activity with isoquinoline alkaloids as a substrate. Further enzymological analysis of 64′-OMT reaction product indicated that 64′-OMT retained the regio-specificity of 6-OMT. Further examination of the N-terminal region of 64′-OMT showed that about 90 amino acid residues in the N-terminal half were critical for reaction specificity. The creation of OMTs with novel reactivity is discussed. PMID:20689233

  14. Structure and Mechanism of the Rebeccamycin Sugar 4'-O-Methyltransferase RebM

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, Shanteri; McCoy, Jason G.; Zhang, Changsheng; Bingman, Craig A.; Phillips, Jr., George N.; Thorson, Jon S.

    2008-12-12

    The 2.65-{angstrom} crystal structure of the rebeccamycin 4'-O-methyltransferase RebM in complex with S-adenosyl-l-homocysteine revealed RebM to adopt a typical S-adenosylmethionine-binding fold of small molecule O-methyltransferases (O-MTases) and display a weak dimerization domain unique to MTases. Using this structure as a basis, the RebM substrate binding model implicated a predominance of nonspecific hydrophobic interactions consistent with the reported ability of RebM to methylate a wide range of indolocarbazole surrogates. This model also illuminated the three putative RebM catalytic residues (His{sup 140/141} and Asp{sup 166}) subsequently found to be highly conserved among sequence-related natural product O-MTases from GC-rich bacteria. Interrogation of these residues via site-directed mutagenesis in RebM demonstrated His{sup 140} and Asp{sup 166} to be most important for catalysis. This study reveals RebM to be a member of the general acid/base-dependent O-MTases and, as the first crystal structure for a sugar O-MTase, may also present a template toward the future engineering of natural product MTases for combinatorial applications.

  15. Plant isoflavone and isoflavanone O-methyltransferase genes

    DOEpatents

    Broeckling, Bettina E.; Liu, Chang-Jun; Dixon, Richard A.

    2014-08-19

    The invention provides enzymes that encode O-methyltransferases (OMTs) from Medicago truncatula that allow modification to plant (iso)flavonoid biosynthetic pathways. In certain aspects of the invention, the genes encoding these enzymes are provided. The invention therefore allows the modification of plants for isoflavonoid content. Transgenic plants comprising such enzymes are also provided, as well as methods for improving disease resistance in plants. Methods for producing food and nutraceuticals, and the resulting compositions, are also provided.

  16. Characterization of Three O-Methyltransferases Involved in Noscapine Biosynthesis in Opium Poppy1[W

    PubMed Central

    Dang, Thu-Thuy T.; Facchini, Peter J.

    2012-01-01

    Noscapine is a benzylisoquinoline alkaloid produced in opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) and other members of the Papaveraceae. It has been used as a cough suppressant and more recently was shown to possess anticancer activity. However, the biosynthesis of noscapine in opium poppy has not been established. A proposed pathway leading from (S)-reticuline to noscapine includes (S)-scoulerine, (S)-canadine, and (S)-N-methylcanadine as intermediates. Stem cDNA libraries and latex extracts of eight opium poppy cultivars displaying different alkaloid profiles were subjected to massively parallel pyrosequencing and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, respectively. Comparative transcript and metabolite profiling revealed the occurrence of three cDNAs encoding O-methyltransferases designated as SOMT1, SOMT2, and SOMT3 that correlated with the accumulation of noscapine in the eight cultivars. SOMT transcripts were detected in all opium poppy organs but were most abundant in aerial organs, where noscapine primarily accumulates. SOMT2 and SOMT3 showed strict substrate specificity and regiospecificity as 9-O-methyltransferases targeting (S)-scoulerine. In contrast, SOMT1 was able to sequentially 9- and 2-O-methylate (S)-scoulerine, yielding (S)-tetrahydropalmatine. SOMT1 also sequentially 3′- and 7-O-methylated both (S)-norreticuline and (S)-reticuline with relatively high substrate affinity, yielding (S)-tetrahydropapaverine and (S)-laudanosine, respectively. The metabolic functions of SOMT1, SOMT2, and SOMT3 were investigated in planta using virus-induced gene silencing. Reduction of SOMT1 or SOMT2 transcript levels resulted in a significant decrease in noscapine accumulation. Reduced SOMT1 transcript levels also caused a decrease in papaverine accumulation, confirming the selective roles for these enzymes in the biosynthesis of both alkaloids in opium poppy. PMID:22535422

  17. Characterization of three O-methyltransferases involved in noscapine biosynthesis in opium poppy.

    PubMed

    Dang, Thu-Thuy T; Facchini, Peter J

    2012-06-01

    Noscapine is a benzylisoquinoline alkaloid produced in opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) and other members of the Papaveraceae. It has been used as a cough suppressant and more recently was shown to possess anticancer activity. However, the biosynthesis of noscapine in opium poppy has not been established. A proposed pathway leading from (S)-reticuline to noscapine includes (S)-scoulerine, (S)-canadine, and (S)-N-methylcanadine as intermediates. Stem cDNA libraries and latex extracts of eight opium poppy cultivars displaying different alkaloid profiles were subjected to massively parallel pyrosequencing and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, respectively. Comparative transcript and metabolite profiling revealed the occurrence of three cDNAs encoding O-methyltransferases designated as SOMT1, SOMT2, and SOMT3 that correlated with the accumulation of noscapine in the eight cultivars. SOMT transcripts were detected in all opium poppy organs but were most abundant in aerial organs, where noscapine primarily accumulates. SOMT2 and SOMT3 showed strict substrate specificity and regiospecificity as 9-O-methyltransferases targeting (S)-scoulerine. In contrast, SOMT1 was able to sequentially 9- and 2-O-methylate (S)-scoulerine, yielding (S)-tetrahydropalmatine. SOMT1 also sequentially 3'- and 7-O-methylated both (S)-norreticuline and (S)-reticuline with relatively high substrate affinity, yielding (S)-tetrahydropapaverine and (S)-laudanosine, respectively. The metabolic functions of SOMT1, SOMT2, and SOMT3 were investigated in planta using virus-induced gene silencing. Reduction of SOMT1 or SOMT2 transcript levels resulted in a significant decrease in noscapine accumulation. Reduced SOMT1 transcript levels also caused a decrease in papaverine accumulation, confirming the selective roles for these enzymes in the biosynthesis of both alkaloids in opium poppy.

  18. Water Deficits Affect Caffeate O-Methyltransferase, Lignification, and Related Enzymes in Maize Leaves. A Proteomic Investigation1[w

    PubMed Central

    Vincent, Delphine; Lapierre, Catherine; Pollet, Brigitte; Cornic, Gabriel; Negroni, Luc; Zivy, Michel

    2005-01-01

    Drought is a major abiotic stress affecting all levels of plant organization and, in particular, leaf elongation. Several experiments were designed to study the effect of water deficits on maize (Zea mays) leaves at the protein level by taking into account the reduction of leaf elongation. Proteomic analyses of growing maize leaves allowed us to show that two isoforms of caffeic acid/5-hydroxyferulic 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) accumulated mostly at 10 to 20 cm from the leaf point of insertion and that drought resulted in a shift of this region of maximal accumulation toward basal regions. We showed that this shift was due to the combined effect of reductions in growth and in total amounts of COMT. Several other enzymes involved in lignin and/or flavonoid synthesis (caffeoyl-CoA 3-O-methyltransferase, phenylalanine ammonia lyase, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, and several isoforms of S-adenosyl-l-methionine synthase and methionine synthase) were highly correlated with COMT, reinforcing the hypothesis that the zone of maximal accumulation corresponds to a zone of lignification. According to the accumulation profiles of the enzymes, lignification increases in leaves of control plants when their growth decreases before reaching their final size. Lignin levels analyzed by thioacidolysis confirmed that lignin is synthesized in the region where we observed the maximal accumulation of these enzymes. Consistent with the levels of these enzymes, we found that the lignin level was lower in leaves of plants subjected to water deficit than in those of well-watered plants. PMID:15728345

  19. Water deficits affect caffeate O-methyltransferase, lignification, and related enzymes in maize leaves. A proteomic investigation.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Delphine; Lapierre, Catherine; Pollet, Brigitte; Cornic, Gabriel; Negroni, Luc; Zivy, Michel

    2005-03-01

    Drought is a major abiotic stress affecting all levels of plant organization and, in particular, leaf elongation. Several experiments were designed to study the effect of water deficits on maize (Zea mays) leaves at the protein level by taking into account the reduction of leaf elongation. Proteomic analyses of growing maize leaves allowed us to show that two isoforms of caffeic acid/5-hydroxyferulic 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) accumulated mostly at 10 to 20 cm from the leaf point of insertion and that drought resulted in a shift of this region of maximal accumulation toward basal regions. We showed that this shift was due to the combined effect of reductions in growth and in total amounts of COMT. Several other enzymes involved in lignin and/or flavonoid synthesis (caffeoyl-CoA 3-O-methyltransferase, phenylalanine ammonia lyase, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, and several isoforms of S-adenosyl-l-methionine synthase and methionine synthase) were highly correlated with COMT, reinforcing the hypothesis that the zone of maximal accumulation corresponds to a zone of lignification. According to the accumulation profiles of the enzymes, lignification increases in leaves of control plants when their growth decreases before reaching their final size. Lignin levels analyzed by thioacidolysis confirmed that lignin is synthesized in the region where we observed the maximal accumulation of these enzymes. Consistent with the levels of these enzymes, we found that the lignin level was lower in leaves of plants subjected to water deficit than in those of well-watered plants.

  20. Structural characterization of the mitomycin 7-O-methyltransferase

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, Shanteri; Chang, Aram; Goff, Randal D.; Bingman, Craig A.; Grüschow, Sabine; Sherman, David H.; Phillips, Jr., George N.; Thorson, Jon S.

    2014-10-02

    Mitomycins are quinone-containing antibiotics, widely used as antitumor drugs in chemotherapy. Mitomycin-7-O-methyltransferase (MmcR), a key tailoring enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of mitomycin in Streptomyces lavendulae, catalyzes the 7-O-methylation of both C9{beta}- and C9{alpha}-configured 7-hydroxymitomycins. We have determined the crystal structures of the MmcR-S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) binary complex and MmcR-SAH-mitomycin A (MMA) ternary complex at resolutions of 1.9 and 2.3 {angstrom}, respectively. The study revealed MmcR to adopt a common S-adenosyl-L-methionine-dependent O-methyltransferase fold and the presence of a structurally conserved active site general acid-base pair is consistent with a proton-assisted methyltransfer common to most methyltransferases. Given the importance of C7 alkylation to modulate mitomycin redox potential, this study may also present a template toward the future engineering of catalysts to generate uniquely bioactive mitomycins.

  1. Functional characterization of a novel benzylisoquinoline O-methyltransferase suggests its involvement in papaverine biosynthesis in opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L).

    PubMed

    Pienkny, Silke; Brandt, Wolfgang; Schmidt, Jürgen; Kramell, Robert; Ziegler, Jörg

    2009-10-01

    The benzylisoquinoline alkaloids are a highly diverse group of about 2500 compounds which accumulate in a species-specific manner. Despite the numerous compounds which could be identified, the biosynthetic pathways and the participating enzymes or cDNAs could be characterized only for a few selected members, whereas the biosynthesis of the majority of the compounds is still largely unknown. In an attempt to characterize additional biosynthetic steps at the molecular level, integration of alkaloid and transcript profiling across Papaver species was performed. This analysis showed high expression of an expressed sequence tag (EST) of unknown function only in Papaver somniferum varieties. After full-length cloning of the open reading frame and sequence analysis, this EST could be classified as a member of the class II type O-methyltransferase protein family. It was related to O-methyltransferases from benzylisoquinoline biosynthesis, and the amino acid sequence showed 68% identical residues to norcoclaurine 6-O-methyltransferase. However, rather than methylating norcoclaurine, the recombinant protein methylated norreticuline at position seven with a K(m) of 44 mum using S-adenosyl-l-methionine as a cofactor. Of all substrates tested, only norreticuline was converted. Even minor changes in the benzylisoquinoline backbone were not tolerated by the enzyme. Accordingly, the enzyme was named norreticuline 7-O-methyltransferase (N7OMT). This enzyme represents a novel O-methyltransferase in benzylisoquinoline metabolism. Expression analysis showed slightly increased expression of N7OMT in P. somniferum varieties containing papaverine, suggesting its involvement in the partially unknown biosynthesis of this pharmaceutically important compound.

  2. Low catechol-O-methyltransferase activity in a Saami population.

    PubMed

    Klemetsdal, B; Straume, B; Giverhaug, T; Aarbakke, J

    1994-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) catalyzes the O-methylation of catechol hormones, neurotransmitters and certain drugs. It is subject to genetic polymorphism and ethnic differences. High red blood cell (RBC) COMT activity has been correlated with a poor response to levodopa treatment in Parkinson's disease. RBC COMT was determined in a Norwegian population (n = 213) of whom 115 were Saami (Laaps). The Saami had 16.5% lower RBC COMT activity compared to a non-Saami population sample from the northern part of Norway (n = 50), 13.9 vs. 16.4 units/ml RBC (U) (P = 0.04). This is the first report of any population with lower RBC COMT activity than a Caucasian population. A wide range of RBC COMT activities was found in the entire population examined (1.3-38.3 U).

  3. Daphnetin methylation by a novel O-methyltransferase is associated with cold acclimation and photosystem II excitation pressure in rye.

    PubMed

    NDong, Christian; Anzellotti, Dominique; Ibrahim, Ragai K; Huner, Norman P A; Sarhan, Fathey

    2003-02-28

    In plants, O-methylation of phenolic compounds plays an important role in such processes as lignin synthesis, flower pigmentation, chemical defense, and signaling. However, apart from phenylpropanoids and flavonoids, very few enzymes involved in coumarin biosynthesis have been identified. We report here the molecular and biochemical characterization of a gene encoding a novel O-methyltransferase that catalyzes the methylation of 7,8-dihydroxycoumarin, daphnetin. The recombinant protein displayed an exclusive methylation of position 8 of daphnetin. The identity of the methylated product was unambiguously identified as 7-hydroxy-8-methoxycoumarin by co-chromatography on cellulose TLC and coelution from high performance liquid chromatography, with authentic synthetic samples, as well as by UV, mass spectroscopy, (1)H NMR spectral analysis, and NOE correlation signals of the relevant protons. Northern blot analysis and enzyme activity assays revealed that the transcript and corresponding enzyme activity are up-regulated by both low temperature and photosystem II excitation pressure. Using various phenylpropanoid and flavonoid substrates, we demonstrate that cold acclimation of rye leaves increases O-methyltransferase activity not only for daphnetin but also for the lignin precursors, caffeic acid, and 5-hydroxyferulic acid. The significance of this novel enzyme and daphnetin O-methylation is discussed in relation to its putative role in modulating cold acclimation and photosystem II excitation pressure.

  4. Melatonin production in Escherichia coli by dual expression of serotonin N-acetyltransferase and caffeic acid O-methyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Byeon, Yeong; Back, Kyoungwhan

    2016-08-01

    Melatonin is a well-known bioactive molecule produced in animals and plants and a well-studied natural compound. Two enzymatic steps are required for the biosynthesis of melatonin from serotonin. First, serotonin N-acetyltransferase (SNAT) catalyzes serotonin to N-acetylserotonin (NAS) followed by the action of N-acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase (ASMT), resulting in the synthesis of O-methylated NAS, also known as melatonin. Attempts to document melatonin production in Escherichia coli have been unsuccessful to date due to either low enzyme activity or inactive ASMT expression. Here, we employed caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) instead of ASMT, as COMT is a multifunctional enzyme that has ASMT activity as well. Among several combinations of dual expression cassettes, recombinant E. coli that expressed sheep SNAT with rice COMT produced a high quantity of melatonin, which was measured in a culture medium (1.46 mg/L in response to 1 mM serotonin). This level was several orders of magnitude higher than that produced in transgenic rice and tomato overexpressing sheep SNAT and ASMT, respectively. This heterologous expression system can be widely employed to screen various putative SNAT or ASMT genes from animals and plants as well as to overproduce melatonin in various useful microorganisms.

  5. Preliminary characterization of (nucleoside-2′-O-)-methyltransferase crystals from Meaban and Yokose flaviviruses

    SciTech Connect

    Mastrangelo, Eloise; Bollati, Michela; Milani, Mario; Lamballeire, Xavier de; Brisbare, Nadege; Dalle, Karen; Lantez, Violaine; Egloff, Marie-Pierre; Coutard, Bruno; Canard, Bruno; Gould, Ernest; Forrester, Naomi; Bolognesi, Martino

    2006-08-01

    Two methyltransferases from flaviviruses (Meaban and Yokose viruses) have been overexpressed and crystallized. Diffraction data and characterization of the two crystal forms are presented, together with a preliminary molecular-replacement solution for both enzymes. Viral methyltranferases (MTase) are involved in the third step of the mRNA-capping process, transferring a methyl group from S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM) to the capped mRNA. MTases are classified into two groups: (guanine-N7)-methyltransferases (N7MTases), which add a methyl group onto the N7 atom of guanine, and (nucleoside-2′-O-)-methyltransferases (2′OMTases), which add a methyl group to a ribose hydroxyl. The MTases of two flaviviruses, Meaban and Yokose viruses, have been overexpressed, purified and crystallized in complex with SAM. Characterization of the crystals together with details of preliminary X-ray diffraction data collection (at 2.8 and 2.7 Å resolution, respectively) are reported here. The sequence homology relative to Dengue virus 2′OMTase and the structural conservation of specific residues in the putative active sites suggest that both enzymes belong to the 2′OMTase subgroup.

  6. Virtual screening and bioassay study of novel inhibitors for dengue virus mRNA cap (nucleoside-2'O)-methyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Luzhkov, Victor B; Selisko, Barbara; Nordqvist, Anneli; Peyrane, Frédéric; Decroly, Etienne; Alvarez, Karine; Karlen, Anders; Canard, Bruno; Qvist, Johan

    2007-12-15

    We report high-throughput structure-based virtual screening of putative Flavivirus 2'-O-methyltransferase inhibitors together with results from subsequent bioassay tests of selected compounds. Potential inhibitors for the S-adenosylmethionine binding site were explored using 2D similarity searching, pharmacophore filtering and docking. The inhibitory activities of 15 top-ranking compounds from the docking calculations were tested on a recombinant methyltransferase with the RNA substrate (7Me)GpppAC(5). Local and global docking simulations were combined to estimate the ligand selectivity for the target site. The results of the combined computational and experimental screening identified a novel inhibitor, with a previously unknown scaffold, that has an IC(50) value of 60 microM.

  7. Properties of S-adenosyl-L-methionine:macrocin O-methyltransferase in extracts of Streptomyces fradiae strains which produce normal or elevated levels of tylosin and in mutants blocked in specific O-methylations.

    PubMed Central

    Seno, E T; Baltz, R H

    1981-01-01

    An efficient assay for S-adenosyl-L-methionine:macrocin O-methyltransferase, the enzyme which carries out the terminal step in tylosin biosynthesis, is described. Macrocin O-methyltransferase requires Mg2+ and S-adenosyl-L-methionine for activity, has a temperature optimum of about 31 degrees C, and has a pH optimum of 7.5 to 8.2. Macrocin O-methyltransferase specifically converts macrocin to tylosin by O-methylation of the 3" ' position of macrocin. In vitro methylation studies with extracts from a tylosin-producing Streptomyces fradiae strain and from mutant strains blocked in 2" '- or 3" '-O-methylations indicated that: (i) the 2" '- and 3" '-O-methylations occur after 6-deoxy-D-allose is attached to the macrolide ring; (ii) the 2" '- and 3" '-O-methylations are carried out by separate enzymes; and (iii) the 2" '-O-methylation precedes the 3" '-O-methylation. Macrocin O-methyltransferase was inhibited by high levels of its substrate, macrocin, by its product, tylosin, and by other tylosin analogs which contained mycinose or demethyl analogs of mycinose. Macrocin O-methyltransferase was produced early in the tylosin fermentation cycle by S. fradiae and preceded the onset of rapid tylosin biosynthesis by about 24 h. The enzyme specific activity reached maximum at about 72 h and then slowly declined. A mutant strain of S. fradiae selected for increased tylosin production synthesized macrocin O-methyltransferase more rapidly and accumulated a higher enzyme specific activity than a wild-type strain. PMID:7305323

  8. Hypnotizability and Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) polymorphysms in Italians

    PubMed Central

    Presciuttini, Silvano; Gialluisi, Alessandro; Barbuti, Serena; Curcio, Michele; Scatena, Fabrizio; Carli, Giancarlo; Santarcangelo, Enrica L.

    2014-01-01

    Higher brain dopamine content depending on lower activity of Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) in subjects with high hypnotizability scores (highs) has been considered responsible for their attentional characteristics. However, the results of the previous genetic studies on association between hypnotizability and the COMT single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs4680 (Val158Met) were inconsistent. Here, we used a selective genotyping approach to re-evaluate the association between hypnotizability and COMT in the context of a two-SNP haplotype analysis, considering not only the Val158Met polymorphism, but also the closely located rs4818 SNP. An Italian sample of 53 highs, 49 low hypnotizable subjects (lows), and 57 controls, were genotyped for a segment of 805 bp of the COMT gene, including Val158Met and the closely located rs4818 SNP. Our selective genotyping approach had 97.1% power to detect the previously reported strongest association at the significance level of 5%. We found no evidence of association at the SNP, haplotype, and diplotype levels. Thus, our results challenge the dopamine-based theory of hypnosis and indirectly support recent neuropsychological and neurophysiological findings reporting the lack of any association between hypnotizability and focused attention abilities. PMID:24431998

  9. Mapping the conformational space accessible to catechol-O-methyltransferase

    PubMed Central

    Ehler, Andreas; Benz, Jörg; Schlatter, Daniel; Rudolph, Markus G.

    2014-01-01

    Methylation catalysed by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is the main pathway of catechol neurotransmitter deactivation in the prefrontal cortex. Low levels of this class of neurotransmitters are held to be causative of diseases such as schizophrenia, depression and Parkinson’s disease. Inhibition of COMT may increase neurotransmitter levels, thus offering a route for treatment. Structure-based drug design hitherto seems to be based on the closed enzyme conformation. Here, a set of apo, semi-holo, holo and Michaelis form crystal structures are described that define the conformational space available to COMT and that include likely intermediates along the catalytic pathway. Domain swaps and sizeable loop movements around the active site testify to the flexibility of this enzyme, rendering COMT a difficult drug target. The low affinity of the co-substrate S-adenosylmethionine and the large conformational changes involved during catalysis highlight significant energetic investment to achieve the closed conformation. Since each conformation of COMT is a bona fide target for inhibitors, other states than the closed conformation may be promising to address. Crystallographic data for an alternative avenue of COMT inhibition, i.e. locking of the apo state by an inhibitor, are presented. The set of COMT structures may prove to be useful for the development of novel classes of inhibitors. PMID:25084335

  10. Association between catechol-O-methyltransferase and phobic anxiety.

    PubMed

    McGrath, Monica; Kawachi, Ichiro; Ascherio, Alberto; Colditz, Graham A; Hunter, David J; De Vivo, Immaculata

    2004-09-01

    The authors assessed the association between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism and scores on the phobic anxiety scale of the Crown-Crisp Experimental Index. A total of 1,234 women completed the Crown-Crisp Experimental Index phobic anxiety scale and were genotyped for the COMT polymorphism. The authors used unconditional logistic regression to compute odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to evaluate the association between the COMT genotype and phobic anxiety. The mean scores for the three genotypes were statistically significantly different. Compared to the COMT Met/Met genotype, the age-adjusted odds ratio for scoring >/=6 compared to scoring 0 or 1 were 1.15 (95% CI=0.71-1.85) and 1.99 (95% CI=1.17-3.40) for the COMT Val/Met and COMT Val/Val genotypes, respectively; a significant gene dosage effect was observed. Our results suggest that the functional COMT polymorphism is associated with the development of phobic anxiety.

  11. Ischemia induces partial loss of surface membrane polarity and accumulation of putative calcium ionophores.

    PubMed Central

    Molitoris, B A; Wilson, P D; Schrier, R W; Simon, F R

    1985-01-01

    and cytochemically was located within ischemic BBM. We propose that ischemia impairs the ability of cells to maintain surface membrane polarity, and also results in the accumulation of putative calcium ionophores. Images PMID:3001141

  12. Catechol-O-methyltransferase val(158)met Polymorphism Interacts with Sex to Affect Face Recognition Ability.

    PubMed

    Lamb, Yvette N; McKay, Nicole S; Singh, Shrimal S; Waldie, Karen E; Kirk, Ian J

    2016-01-01

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) val158met polymorphism affects the breakdown of synaptic dopamine. Consequently, this polymorphism has been associated with a variety of neurophysiological and behavioral outcomes. Some of the effects have been found to be sex-specific and it appears estrogen may act to down-regulate the activity of the COMT enzyme. The dopaminergic system has been implicated in face recognition, a form of cognition for which a female advantage has typically been reported. This study aimed to investigate potential joint effects of sex and COMT genotype on face recognition. A sample of 142 university students was genotyped and assessed using the Faces I subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale - Third Edition (WMS-III). A significant two-way interaction between sex and COMT genotype on face recognition performance was found. Of the male participants, COMT val homozygotes and heterozygotes had significantly lower scores than met homozygotes. Scores did not differ between genotypes for female participants. While male val homozygotes had significantly lower scores than female val homozygotes, no sex differences were observed in the heterozygotes and met homozygotes. This study contributes to the accumulating literature documenting sex-specific effects of the COMT polymorphism by demonstrating a COMT-sex interaction for face recognition, and is consistent with a role for dopamine in face recognition.

  13. Molecular Cloning and Characterization of O-Methyltransferase from Mango Fruit (Mangifera indica cv. Alphonso).

    PubMed

    Chidley, Hemangi G; Oak, Pranjali S; Deshpande, Ashish B; Pujari, Keshav H; Giri, Ashok P; Gupta, Vidya S

    2016-05-01

    Flavour of ripe Alphonso mango is invariably dominated by the de novo appearance of lactones and furanones during ripening. Of these, furanones comprising furaneol (4-hydroxy-2,5-dimethyl-3(2H)-furanone) and mesifuran (2,5-dimethyl-4-methoxy-3(2H)-furanone) are of particular importance due to their sweet, fruity caramel-like flavour characters and low odour detection thresholds. We isolated a 1056 bp complete open reading frame of a cDNA encoding S-adenosyl-L-methionine-dependent O-methyltransferase from Alphonso mango. The recombinantly expressed enzyme, MiOMTS showed substrate specificity towards furaneol and protocatechuic aldehyde synthesizing mesifuran and vanillin, respectively, in an in vitro assay reaction. A semi-quantitative PCR analysis showed fruit-specific expression of MiOMTS transcripts. Quantitative real-time PCR displayed ripening-related expression pattern of MiOMTS in both pulp and skin of Alphonso mango. Also, early and significantly enhanced accumulation of its transcripts was detected in pulp and skin of ethylene-treated fruits. Ripening-related and fruit-specific expression profile of MiOMTS and substrate specificity towards furaneol is a suggestive of its involvement in the synthesis of mesifuran in Alphonso mango. Moreover, a significant trigger in the expression of MiOMTS transcripts in ethylene-treated fruits point towards the transcriptional regulation of mesifuran biosynthesis by ethylene.

  14. Enhanced detoxification and degradation of herbicide atrazine by a group of O-methyltransferases in rice.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yi Chen; Luo, Fang; Pu, Zhong Ji; Zhang, Shuang; Huang, Meng Tian; Yang, Hong

    2016-12-01

    Atrazine (ATR) as a toxic herbicide has become one of the seriously environmental contaminants worldwide due to its long-term intensive use in crop production. This study identified novel methyltransferases (MTs) involved in detoxification and degradation of ATR residues in rice plants. From a subset of MTs differentially expressed in ATR-exposed rice, forty-four O-methyltransferase genes were investigated. Total activities were significantly enhanced by ATR in rice tissues. To prove detoxifying capacity of the MTs in rice plants, two rice O-MTs (LOC_Os04g09604 and LOC_Os11g15040) were selected and transformed into yeast cells (Pichia pastoris X-33). The positive transformants accumulated less ATR and showed less toxicity. Using UPLC-TOF-MS/MS, ATR-degraded products in rice and yeast cells were characterized. A novel O-methylated-modified metabolite (atraton) and six other ATR-derivatives were detected. The topological interaction between LOC_Os04g09604 enzyme and its substrate was specially analyzed by homology modeling programs, which was well confirmed by the molecular docking analysis. The significance of the study is to provide a better understanding of mechanisms for the specific detoxification and degradation of ATR residues in rice growing in environmentally relevant ATR-contaminated soils and may hold a potential engineering perspective for generating ATR-resistant rice that helps to minimize ATR residues in crops. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Methylation mediated by an anthocyanin, O-methyltransferase, is involved in purple flower coloration in Paeonia

    PubMed Central

    Du, Hui; Wu, Jie; Ji, Kui-Xian; Zeng, Qing-Yin; Bhuiya, Mohammad-Wadud; Su, Shang; Shu, Qing-Yan; Ren, Hong-Xu; Liu, Zheng-An; Wang, Liang-Sheng

    2015-01-01

    Anthocyanins are major pigments in plants. Methylation plays a role in the diversity and stability of anthocyanins. However, the contribution of anthocyanin methylation to flower coloration is still unclear. We identified two homologous anthocyanin O-methyltransferase (AOMT) genes from purple-flowered (PsAOMT) and red-flowered (PtAOMT) Paeonia plants, and we performed functional analyses of the two genes in vitro and in vivo. The critical amino acids for AOMT catalytic activity were studied by site-directed mutagenesis. We showed that the recombinant proteins, PsAOMT and PtAOMT, had identical substrate preferences towards anthocyanins. The methylation activity of PsAOMT was 60 times higher than that of PtAOMT in vitro. Interestingly, this vast difference in catalytic activity appeared to result from a single amino acid residue substitution at position 87 (arginine to leucine). There were significant differences between the 35S::PsAOMT transgenic tobacco and control flowers in relation to their chromatic parameters, which further confirmed the function of PsAOMT in vivo. The expression levels of the two homologous AOMT genes were consistent with anthocyanin accumulation in petals. We conclude that AOMTs are responsible for the methylation of cyanidin glycosides in Paeonia plants and play an important role in purple coloration in Paeonia spp. PMID:26208646

  16. Catechol-O-methyltransferase val158met Polymorphism Interacts with Sex to Affect Face Recognition Ability

    PubMed Central

    Lamb, Yvette N.; McKay, Nicole S.; Singh, Shrimal S.; Waldie, Karen E.; Kirk, Ian J.

    2016-01-01

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) val158met polymorphism affects the breakdown of synaptic dopamine. Consequently, this polymorphism has been associated with a variety of neurophysiological and behavioral outcomes. Some of the effects have been found to be sex-specific and it appears estrogen may act to down-regulate the activity of the COMT enzyme. The dopaminergic system has been implicated in face recognition, a form of cognition for which a female advantage has typically been reported. This study aimed to investigate potential joint effects of sex and COMT genotype on face recognition. A sample of 142 university students was genotyped and assessed using the Faces I subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale – Third Edition (WMS-III). A significant two-way interaction between sex and COMT genotype on face recognition performance was found. Of the male participants, COMT val homozygotes and heterozygotes had significantly lower scores than met homozygotes. Scores did not differ between genotypes for female participants. While male val homozygotes had significantly lower scores than female val homozygotes, no sex differences were observed in the heterozygotes and met homozygotes. This study contributes to the accumulating literature documenting sex-specific effects of the COMT polymorphism by demonstrating a COMT-sex interaction for face recognition, and is consistent with a role for dopamine in face recognition. PMID:27445927

  17. Developmental Expression and Substrate Specificities of Alfalfa Caffeic Acid 3-O-Methyltransferase and Caffeoyl Coenzyme A 3-O-Methyltransferase in Relation to Lignification1

    PubMed Central

    Inoue, Kentaro; Sewalt, Vincent J.H.; Murray Ballance, G.; Ni, Weiting; Stürzer, Cornelia; Dixon, Richard A.

    1998-01-01

    The biosynthesis of monolignols can potentially occur via two parallel pathways involving free acids or their coenzyme A (CoA) esters. Caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and caffeoyl CoA 3-O-methyltransferase (CCOMT) catalyze functionally identical reactions in these two pathways, resulting in the formation of mono- or dimethoxylated lignin precursors. The activities of the two enzymes increase from the first to the sixth internode in stems of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), preceding the deposition of lignin. Alfalfa CCOMT is highly similar at the amino acid sequence level to the CCOMT from parsley, although it contains a six-amino acid insertion near the N terminus. Transcripts encoding both COMT and CCOMT are primarily localized to vascular tissue in alfalfa stems. Alfalfa CCOMT expressed in Escherichia coli catalyzes O-methylation of caffeoyl and 5-hydroxyferuloyl CoA, with preference for caffeoyl CoA. It has low activity against the free acids. COMT expressed in E. coli is active against both caffeic and 5-hydroxyferulic acids, with preference for the latter compound. Surprisingly, very little extractable O-methyltransferase activity versus 5-hydroxyferuloyl CoA is present in alfalfa stem internodes, in which relative O-methyltransferase activity against 5-hy-droxyferulic acid increases with increasing maturity, correlating with increased lignin methoxyl content. PMID:9662519

  18. Catechol-O-methyltransferase association with hemoglobin A1c

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Kathryn T.; Jablonski, Kathleen A.; Chen, Ling; Harden, Maegan; Tolkin, Benjamin R.; Kaptchuk, Ted J.; Bray, George A.; Ridker, Paul M.; Florez, Jose C.; Chasman, Daniel I.

    2016-01-01

    Aims Catecholamines have metabolic effects on blood pressure, insulin sensitivity and blood glucose. Genetic variation in catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), an enzyme that degrades catecholamines, is associated with cardiometabolic risk factors and incident cardiovascular disease (CVD). Here we examined COMT effects on glycemic function and type 2 diabetes. Methods We tested whether COMT polymorphisms were associated with baseline HbA1c in the Women’s Genome Health Study (WGHS), and Meta-Analyses of Glucose and Insulin-related traits Consortium (MAGIC), and with susceptibility to type 2 diabetes in WGHS, DIAbetes Genetics Replication And Meta-analysis consortium (DIAGRAM), and the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). Given evidence that COMT modifies some drug responses, we examined association with type 2 diabetes and randomized metformin and aspirin treatment. Results COMT rs4680 high-activity G-allele was associated with lower HbA1c in WGHS (β = −0.032% [0.012], p = 0.008) and borderline significant in MAGIC (β = −0.006% [0.003], p = 0.07). Combined COMT per val allele effects on type 2 diabetes were significant (OR = 0.98 [0.96–0.998], p = 0.03) in fixed-effects analyses across WGHS, DIAGRAM, and DPP. Similar results were obtained for 2 other COMT SNPs rs4818 and rs4633. In the DPP, the rs4680 val allele was borderline associated with lower diabetes incidence among participants randomized to metformin (HR = 0.81 [0.65–1.00], p = 0.05). Conclusions COMT rs4680 high-activity G-allele was associated with lower HbA1c and modest protection from type 2 diabetes. The directionality of COMT associations was concordant with those previously observed for cardiometabolic risk factors and CVD. PMID:27282867

  19. Catechol-O-methyltransferase, dopamine, and sleep-wake regulation.

    PubMed

    Dauvilliers, Yves; Tafti, Mehdi; Landolt, Hans Peter

    2015-08-01

    Sleep and sleep disorders are complex and highly variable phenotypes regulated by many genes and environment. The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is an interesting candidate, being one of the major mammalian enzymes involved in the catabolism of catecholamines. The activity of COMT enzyme is genetically polymorphic due to a guanine-to-adenine transition at codon 158, resulting in a valine (Val) to methionine (Met) substitution. Individuals homozygous for the Val allele show higher COMT activity, and lower dopaminergic signaling in prefrontal cortex (PFC) than subjects homozygous for the Met allele. Since COMT has a crucial role in metabolising dopamine, it was suggested that the common functional polymorphism in the COMT gene impacts on cognitive function related to PFC, sleep-wake regulation, and potentially on sleep pathologies. The COMT Val158Met polymorphism may predict inter-individual differences in brain electroencephalography (EEG) alpha oscillations and recovery processes resulting from partial sleep loss in healthy individuals. The Val158Met polymorphism also exerts a sexual dimorphism and has a strong effect on objective daytime sleepiness in patients with narcolepsy-cataplexy. Since the COMT enzyme inactivates catecholamines, it was hypothesized that the response to stimulant drugs differs between COMT genotypes. Modafinil maintained executive functioning performance and vigilant attention throughout sleep deprivation in subjects with Val/Val genotype, but less in those with Met/Met genotype. Also, homozygous Met/Met patients with narcolepsy responded to lower doses of modafinil compared to Val/Val carriers. We review here the critical role of the common functional COMT gene polymorphism, COMT enzyme activity, and the prefrontal dopamine levels in the regulation of sleep and wakefulness in normal subjects, in narcolepsy and other sleep-related disorders, and its impact on the response to psychostimulants. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All

  20. Catechol-O-methyltransferase gene polymorphism and vulvar pain in women with vulvodynia.

    PubMed

    Patanwala, Insiyyah Y; Lamvu, Georgine; Ledger, William J; Witzeman, Kathryn; Marvel, Richard; Rapkin, Andrea; Bongiovanni, Ann Marie; Feranec, Jessica; Witkin, Steven S

    2017-04-01

    The underlying causes of vulvar pain in women with vulvodynia remain poorly understood. Catechol-O-methyltransferase, an enzyme that metabolizes catecholamines, is a neuromodulator that is involved with perception and sensitivity to pain. The catechol-O-methyltransferase gene is polymorphic, and a single nucleotide polymorphism is associated with low activity and heightened pain sensitivity. The variant allele that encodes this polymorphism commonly is called the "L allele" because of its low enzyme activity as opposed to the normal H (high activity) allele. The methionine-containing catechol-O-methyltransferase protein coded by the L allele results in elevated catecholamine levels, reduced inactivation of the dopaminergic and adrenergic systems, and increased sensitivity to pain. This polymorphism not only may decrease the pain threshold in response to acute pain but also may facilitate the development of chronic pain. Therefore, the objective of our study was to assess whether a variation in the catechol-O-methyltransferase genotype is involved in increased pain sensitivity in women with vulvodynia. We conducted a prospective cohort study. Buccal swabs were collected from 167 white women with vulvodynia and 107 control subjects; the DNA was tested for a single nucleotide polymorphism at position 158 (rs4680) in the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene. Women with vulvodynia had a marginally increased, yet not significant, prevalence of the catechol-O-methyltransferase genotype that is associated with high activity of the coded protein: 32.9% in the women with vulvodynia, as opposed to 21.5% in the control subjects (odds ratio, 1.80; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-3.15). Subgrouping the cases based on pain frequency revealed that the elevated occurrence of this catechol-O-methyltransferase genotype was present in 40.6% of the subset of women who experienced pain only with sexual intercourse vs only 21.5% of control subjects (odds ratio, 2.50; 95% confidence interval

  1. Polymorphisms in O-methyltransferase genes are associated with stover cell wall digestibility in European maize (Zea mays L.).

    PubMed

    Brenner, Everton A; Zein, Imad; Chen, Yongsheng; Andersen, Jeppe R; Wenzel, Gerhard; Ouzunova, Milena; Eder, Joachim; Darnhofer, Birte; Frei, Uschi; Barrière, Yves; Lübberstedt, Thomas

    2010-02-12

    OMT (O-methyltransferase) genes are involved in lignin biosynthesis, which relates to stover cell wall digestibility. Reduced lignin content is an important determinant of both forage quality and ethanol conversion efficiency of maize stover. Variation in genomic sequences coding for COMT, CCoAOMT1, and CCoAOMT2 was analyzed in relation to stover cell wall digestibility for a panel of 40 European forage maize inbred lines, and re-analyzed for a panel of 34 lines from a published French study. Different methodologies for association analysis were performed and compared. Across association methodologies, a total number of 25, 12, 1, 6 COMT polymorphic sites were significantly associated with DNDF, OMD, NDF, and WSC, respectively. Association analysis for CCoAOMT1 and CCoAOMT2 identified substantially fewer polymorphic sites (3 and 2, respectively) associated with the investigated traits. Our re-analysis on the 34 lines from a published French dataset identified 14 polymorphic sites significantly associated with cell wall digestibility, two of them were consistent with our study. Promising polymorphisms putatively causally associated with variability of cell wall digestibility were inferred from the total number of significantly associated SNPs/Indels. Several polymorphic sites for three O-methyltransferase loci were associated with stover cell wall digestibility. All three tested genes seem to be involved in controlling DNDF, in particular COMT. Thus, considerable variation among Bm3 wildtype alleles can be exploited for improving cell-wall digestibility. Target sites for functional markers were identified enabling development of efficient marker-based selection strategies.

  2. Polymorphisms in O-methyltransferase genes are associated with stover cell wall digestibility in European maize (Zea mays L.)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background OMT (O-methyltransferase) genes are involved in lignin biosynthesis, which relates to stover cell wall digestibility. Reduced lignin content is an important determinant of both forage quality and ethanol conversion efficiency of maize stover. Results Variation in genomic sequences coding for COMT, CCoAOMT1, and CCoAOMT2 was analyzed in relation to stover cell wall digestibility for a panel of 40 European forage maize inbred lines, and re-analyzed for a panel of 34 lines from a published French study. Different methodologies for association analysis were performed and compared. Across association methodologies, a total number of 25, 12, 1, 6 COMT polymorphic sites were significantly associated with DNDF, OMD, NDF, and WSC, respectively. Association analysis for CCoAOMT1 and CCoAOMT2 identified substantially fewer polymorphic sites (3 and 2, respectively) associated with the investigated traits. Our re-analysis on the 34 lines from a published French dataset identified 14 polymorphic sites significantly associated with cell wall digestibility, two of them were consistent with our study. Promising polymorphisms putatively causally associated with variability of cell wall digestibility were inferred from the total number of significantly associated SNPs/Indels. Conclusions Several polymorphic sites for three O-methyltransferase loci were associated with stover cell wall digestibility. All three tested genes seem to be involved in controlling DNDF, in particular COMT. Thus, considerable variation among Bm3 wildtype alleles can be exploited for improving cell-wall digestibility. Target sites for functional markers were identified enabling development of efficient marker-based selection strategies. PMID:20152036

  3. Tonoplast Sugar Transporters (SbTSTs) putatively control sucrose accumulation in sweet sorghum stems.

    PubMed

    Bihmidine, Saadia; Julius, Benjamin T; Dweikat, Ismail; Braun, David M

    2016-01-01

    Carbohydrates are differentially partitioned in sweet versus grain sorghums. While the latter preferentially accumulate starch in the grain, the former primarily store large amounts of sucrose in the stem. Previous work determined that neither sucrose metabolizing enzymes nor changes in Sucrose transporter (SUT) gene expression accounted for the carbohydrate partitioning differences. Recently, 2 additional classes of sucrose transport proteins, Tonoplast Sugar Transporters (TSTs) and SWEETs, were identified; thus, we examined whether their expression tracked sucrose accumulation in sweet sorghum stems. We determined 2 TSTs were differentially expressed in sweet vs. grain sorghum stems, likely underlying the massive difference in sucrose accumulation. A model illustrating potential roles for different classes of sugar transport proteins in sorghum sugar partitioning is discussed.

  4. Tonoplast Sugar Transporters (SbTSTs) putatively control sucrose accumulation in sweet sorghum stems

    PubMed Central

    Bihmidine, Saadia; Julius, Benjamin T; Dweikat, Ismail; Braun, David M

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Carbohydrates are differentially partitioned in sweet versus grain sorghums. While the latter preferentially accumulate starch in the grain, the former primarily store large amounts of sucrose in the stem. Previous work determined that neither sucrose metabolizing enzymes nor changes in Sucrose transporter (SUT) gene expression accounted for the carbohydrate partitioning differences. Recently, 2 additional classes of sucrose transport proteins, Tonoplast Sugar Transporters (TSTs) and SWEETs, were identified; thus, we examined whether their expression tracked sucrose accumulation in sweet sorghum stems. We determined 2 TSTs were differentially expressed in sweet vs. grain sorghum stems, likely underlying the massive difference in sucrose accumulation. A model illustrating potential roles for different classes of sugar transport proteins in sorghum sugar partitioning is discussed. PMID:26619184

  5. Identification of putative silicon transporters in the low accumulators N. tabacum and S. lycopersicum

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Silicon (Si) has long been excluded from the list of essential elements based on a definition developed over 60 years ago. However, how can one deem an element “non-essential” if through millennia of adaptation a fundamental pathway of perception and accumulation leading to molecular changes within...

  6. A Continuous, Quantitative Fluorescent Assay for Plant Caffeic acid O-Methyltransferases

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Plant caffeic acid O-methyltransferases (COMTs) use s-adenosylmethionine (ado-met), as a methyl donor to transmethylate their preferred (phenolic) substrates in-vivo, and will generally utilize a range of phenolic compounds in-vitro. Collazo et al. (2005; Analytical Biochemistry 342: 86-92) have pu...

  7. Association of Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Polymorphism and Academic Achievement in a Chinese Cohort

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeh, Ting-Kuang; Chang, Chun-Yen; Hu, Chung-Yi; Yeh, Ting-Chi; Lin, Ming-Yeh

    2009-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a methylation enzyme that catalyzes the degradation pathway and inactivation of dopamine. It is accepted widely as being involved in the modulation of dopaminergic physiology and prefrontal cortex (PFC) function. The COMT Val158Met polymorphism is associated with variation in COMT activity. COMT 158Met allele…

  8. Functional characterization of cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase and caffeic acid O-methyltransferase in Brachypodium distachyon.

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Lignin is a significant recalcitrant in the conversion of plant biomass to bioethanol. Cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) and caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) catalyze key steps in the pathway of lignin monomer biosynthesis. Brown midrib mutants in Zea mays and Sorghum bicolor with impaired...

  9. Association of Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Polymorphism and Academic Achievement in a Chinese Cohort

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeh, Ting-Kuang; Chang, Chun-Yen; Hu, Chung-Yi; Yeh, Ting-Chi; Lin, Ming-Yeh

    2009-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a methylation enzyme that catalyzes the degradation pathway and inactivation of dopamine. It is accepted widely as being involved in the modulation of dopaminergic physiology and prefrontal cortex (PFC) function. The COMT Val158Met polymorphism is associated with variation in COMT activity. COMT 158Met allele…

  10. Catechol-O-methyltransferase: a method for autoradiographic visualization of isozymes in cellogel

    SciTech Connect

    Brahe, C.; Crosti, N.; Meera Khan, P.; Serra, A.

    1984-02-01

    An electrophoretic procedure for separating the molecular forms of catechol-O-methyltransferase in cellulose acetate gel is described; the zones of enzyme activity were revealed by autoradiography. The electrophoretic patterns of the enzyme in several tissues and cell lines derived from four different species are presented.

  11. No association between catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) genotype and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in Japanese children.

    PubMed

    Yatsuga, Chiho; Toyohisa, Daiki; Fujisawa, Takashi X; Nishitani, Shota; Shinohara, Kazuyuki; Matsuura, Naomi; Ikeda, Shinobu; Muramatsu, Masaaki; Hamada, Akinobu; Tomoda, Akemi

    2014-08-01

    This study ascertained the association between attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in Japanese children and a polymorphism of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), a dopamine-control gene. The secondary aim of the study was the evaluation of a putative association between methylphenidate (MPH) effect/adverse effects and the COMT genotype. To ascertain the distribution of the Val158Met variant of COMT, 50 children meeting ADHD inclusion criteria were compared with 32 healthy children. Clinical improvement and the occurrence of adverse effects were measured before and 3 months after MPH administration in children with ADHD, and analyzed for genotype association. Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Third Edition (WISC-III), age, MPH dose were included as co-variables. The occurrence of the COMT Val/Val genotype was significantly higher in children with ADHD (χ(2)(1)=7.13, p<0.01). However, there was no significant difference in the Val/Val genotype according to disorder, and WISC and ADHD rating scale scores, after correcting for the interaction between disorder and COMT genotype. Furthermore, no significant difference in MPH effect/adverse effects was observed in association with the COMT genotype in the ADHD group. These results showed a lack of association between the COMT Val/Val genotype and ADHD in Japan. Copyright © 2013 The Japanese Society of Child Neurology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Two O-methyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of methoxypyrazines: grape-derived aroma compounds important to wine flavour.

    PubMed

    Dunlevy, Jake D; Soole, Kathleen L; Perkins, Michael V; Dennis, Eric G; Keyzers, Robert A; Kalua, Curtis M; Boss, Paul K

    2010-09-01

    Methoxypyrazines (MPs) are volatile, grape-derived aroma compounds that contribute to the distinct herbaceous characters of some wines. Although the full pathway leading to MP production has not been elucidated, there is strong evidence that the final step involves the methylation of non-volatile hydroxypyrazine (HP) precursors. Two cDNA encoding O-methyltransferases (OMTs) that have homology to an enzyme previously purified and shown to catalyse the methylation of HPs were isolated from Cabernet Sauvignon. Recombinant protein from the cDNAs (VvOMT1 and VvOMT2) was produced in E. coli and activity assays demonstrated that both encode OMTs able to methylate HPs to produce MPs, however both showed greatest activity against the flavonol quercetin. VvOMT1 has higher catalytic activity against isobutyl hydroxypyrazine compared to isopropyl hydroxypyrazine, whereas the converse is true for VvOMT2. The timing of the expression of VvOMT1 in the skin and the flesh of developing Cabernet Sauvignon grape berries was associated with the period of MP accumulation in these tissues, while VvOMT2 expression was greatest in roots, which were found to contain high levels of MPs. The MP composition of these tissues also reflects the relative levels of expression of these genes and their substrate preference. The identification of genes responsible for MP production in grapevine will help in understanding the effect of different viticultural and environmental factors on MP accumulation.

  13. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of a catechol-O-methyltransferase/inhibitor complex

    SciTech Connect

    Rodrigues, M. L.; Bonifácio, M. J.; Soares-da-Silva, P.; Carrondo, M. A.; Archer, M.

    2005-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase has been co-crystallized with a novel inhibitor, which has potential therapeutic application in the Parkinson’s disease therapy. Inhibitors of the enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) are used as co-adjuvants in the therapy of Parkinson’s disease. A recombinant form of the soluble cytosolic COMT from rat has been co-crystallized with a new potent inhibitor, BIA 8-176 [(3,4-dihydroxy-2-nitrophenyl)phenylmethanone], by the vapour-diffusion method using PEG 6K as precipitant. Crystals diffract to 1.6 Å resolution on a synchrotron-radiation source and belong to the monoclinic space group P2{sub 1}, with unit-cell parameters a = 52.77, b = 79.63, c = 61.54 Å, β = 91.14°.

  14. Putative glycogen-accumulating organisms belonging to the Alphaproteobacteria identified through rRNA-based stable isotope probing.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Rikke Louise; Saunders, Aaron Marc; Blackall, Linda Louise

    2006-02-01

    Deterioration of enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) has been linked to the proliferation of glycogen-accumulating organisms (GAOs), but few organisms possessing the GAO metabolic phenotype have been identified. An unidentified GAO was highly enriched in a laboratory-scale bioreactor and attempts to identify this organism using conventional 16S rRNA gene cloning had failed. Therefore, rRNA-based stable isotope probing followed by full-cycle rRNA analysis was used to specifically identify the putative GAOs based on their characteristic metabolic phenotype. The study obtained sequences from a group of Alphaproteobacteria not previously shown to possess the GAO phenotype, but 90 % identical by 16S rRNA gene analysis to a phylogenetic clade containing cloned sequences from putative GAOs and the isolate Defluvicoccus vanus. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) probes (DF988 and DF1020) were designed to target the new group and post-FISH chemical staining demonstrated anaerobic-aerobic cycling of polyhydroxyalkanoates, as per the GAO phenotype. The successful use of probes DF988 and DF1020 required the use of unlabelled helper probes which increased probe signal intensity up to 6.6-fold, thus highlighting the utility of helper probes in FISH. The new group constituted 33 % of all Bacteria in the lab-scale bioreactor from which they were identified and were also abundant (51 and 55 % of Bacteria) in two other similar bioreactors in which phosphorus removal had deteriorated. Unlike the previously identified Defluvicoccus-related organisms, the group identified in this study were also found in two full-scale treatment plants performing EBPR, suggesting that this group may be industrially relevant.

  15. Independent Recruitment of an O-Methyltransferase for Syringyl Lignin Biosynthesis in Selaginella moellendorffii[W

    PubMed Central

    Weng, Jing-Ke; Akiyama, Takuya; Ralph, John; Chapple, Clint

    2011-01-01

    Syringyl lignin, an important component of the secondary cell wall, has traditionally been considered to be a hallmark of angiosperms because ferns and gymnosperms in general lack lignin of this type. Interestingly, syringyl lignin was also detected in Selaginella, a genus that represents an extant lineage of the most basal of the vascular plants, the lycophytes. In angiosperms, syringyl lignin biosynthesis requires the activity of ferulate 5-hydroxylase (F5H), a cytochrome P450-dependent monooxygenase, and caffeic acid/5-hydroxyferulic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT). Together, these two enzymes divert metabolic flux from the biosynthesis of guaiacyl lignin, a lignin type common to all vascular plants, toward syringyl lignin. Selaginella has independently evolved an alternative lignin biosynthetic pathway in which syringyl subunits are directly derived from the precursors of p-hydroxyphenyl lignin, through the action of a dual specificity phenylpropanoid meta-hydroxylase, Sm F5H. Here, we report the characterization of an O-methyltransferase from Selaginella moellendorffii, COMT, the coding sequence of which is clustered together with F5H at the adjacent genomic locus. COMT is a bifunctional phenylpropanoid O-methyltransferase that can methylate phenylpropanoid meta-hydroxyls at both the 3- and 5-position and function in concert with F5H in syringyl lignin biosynthesis in S. moellendorffii. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that Sm COMT, like F5H, evolved independently from its angiosperm counterparts. PMID:21742988

  16. Independent recruitment of an O-methyltransferase for syringyl lignin biosynthesis in Selaginella moellendorffii.

    PubMed

    Weng, Jing-Ke; Akiyama, Takuya; Ralph, John; Chapple, Clint

    2011-07-01

    Syringyl lignin, an important component of the secondary cell wall, has traditionally been considered to be a hallmark of angiosperms because ferns and gymnosperms in general lack lignin of this type. Interestingly, syringyl lignin was also detected in Selaginella, a genus that represents an extant lineage of the most basal of the vascular plants, the lycophytes. In angiosperms, syringyl lignin biosynthesis requires the activity of ferulate 5-hydroxylase (F5H), a cytochrome P450-dependent monooxygenase, and caffeic acid/5-hydroxyferulic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT). Together, these two enzymes divert metabolic flux from the biosynthesis of guaiacyl lignin, a lignin type common to all vascular plants, toward syringyl lignin. Selaginella has independently evolved an alternative lignin biosynthetic pathway in which syringyl subunits are directly derived from the precursors of p-hydroxyphenyl lignin, through the action of a dual specificity phenylpropanoid meta-hydroxylase, Sm F5H. Here, we report the characterization of an O-methyltransferase from Selaginella moellendorffii, COMT, the coding sequence of which is clustered together with F5H at the adjacent genomic locus. COMT is a bifunctional phenylpropanoid O-methyltransferase that can methylate phenylpropanoid meta-hydroxyls at both the 3- and 5-position and function in concert with F5H in syringyl lignin biosynthesis in S. moellendorffii. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that Sm COMT, like F5H, evolved independently from its angiosperm counterparts.

  17. In planta production of the highly potent resveratrol analogue pterostilbene via stilbene synthase and O-methyltransferase co-expression

    SciTech Connect

    Rimando A. M.; Liu C.; Pan, Z.; Polashock, J. J.; Dayan, F. E., Mizuno, C. S.; Snook, M. E.; Baerson, S. R.

    2012-04-01

    Resveratrol and related stilbenes are thought to play important roles in defence responses in several plant species and have also generated considerable interest as nutraceuticals owing to their diverse health-promoting properties. Pterostilbene, a 3,5-dimethylether derivative of resveratrol, possesses properties similar to its parent compound and, additionally, exhibits significantly higher fungicidal activity in vitro and superior pharmacokinetic properties in vivo. Recombinant enzyme studies carried out using a previously characterized O-methyltransferase sequence from Sorghum bicolor (SbOMT3) demonstrated its ability to catalyse the A ring-specific 3,5-bis-O-methylation of resveratrol, yielding pterostilbene. A binary vector was constructed for the constitutive co-expression of SbOMT3 with a stilbene synthase sequence from peanut (AhSTS3) and used for the generation of stably transformed tobacco and Arabidopsis plants, resulting in the accumulation of pterostilbene in both species. A reduced floral pigmentation phenotype observed in multiple tobacco transformants was further investigated by reversed-phase HPLC analysis, revealing substantial decreases in both dihydroquercetin-derived flavonoids and phenylpropanoid-conjugated polyamines in pterostilbene-producing SbOMT3/AhSTS3 events. These results demonstrate the potential utility of this strategy for the generation of pterostilbene-producing crops and also underscore the need for the development of additional approaches for minimizing concomitant reductions in key phenylpropanoid-derived metabolites.

  18. A Stress-Inducible Resveratrol O-Methyltransferase Involved in the Biosynthesis of Pterostilbene in Grapevine1

    PubMed Central

    Schmidlin, Laure; Poutaraud, Anne; Claudel, Patricia; Mestre, Pere; Prado, Emilce; Santos-Rosa, Maria; Wiedemann-Merdinoglu, Sabine; Karst, Francis; Merdinoglu, Didier; Hugueney, Philippe

    2008-01-01

    Stilbenes are considered the most important phytoalexin group in grapevine (Vitis vinifera) and they are known to contribute to the protection against various pathogens. The main stilbenes in grapevine are resveratrol and its derivatives and, among these, pterostilbene has recently attracted much attention due both to its antifungal and pharmacological properties. Indeed, pterostilbene is 5 to 10 times more fungitoxic than resveratrol in vitro and recent studies have shown that pterostilbene exhibits anticancer, hypolipidemic, and antidiabetic properties. A candidate gene approach was used to identify a grapevine resveratrol O-methyltransferase (ROMT) cDNA and the activity of the corresponding protein was characterized after expression in Escherichia coli. Transient coexpression of ROMT and grapevine stilbene synthase in tobacco (Nicotiana benthamiana) using the agroinfiltration technique resulted in the accumulation of pterostilbene in tobacco tissues. Taken together, these results showed that ROMT was able to catalyze the biosynthesis of pterostilbene from resveratrol both in vitro and in planta. ROMT gene expression in grapevine leaves was induced by different stresses, including downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola) infection, ultraviolet light, and AlCl3 treatment. PMID:18799660

  19. Molecular Cloning and Functional Characterization of a Novel Isoflavone 3′-O-methyltransferase from Pueraria lobata

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jia; Li, Changfu; Gou, Junbo; Zhang, Yansheng

    2016-01-01

    Pueraria lobata roots accumulate 3′-, 4′- and 7-O-methylated isoflavones and many of these methylated compounds exhibit various pharmacological activities. Either the 4′- or 7-O-methylation activity has been investigated at molecular levels in several legume species. However, the gene encoding the isoflavone 3′-O-methyltransferase (OMT) has not yet been isolated from any plant species. In this study, we reported the first cDNA encoding the isoflavone 3′-OMT from P. lobata (designated PlOMT4). Heterologous expressions in yeast and Escherichia coli cells showed that the gene product exhibits an enzyme activity to methylate the 3′-hydroxy group of the isoflavone substrate. The transcript abundance of PlOMT4 matches well with its enzymatic product in different organs of P. lobata and in the plant roots in response to methyl jasmonate elicitation. Integration of the biochemical with metabolic and transcript data supported the proposed function of PlOMT4. The identification of PlOMT4 would not only help to understand the isoflavonoid metabolism in P. lobata but also potentially provide an enzyme catalyst for methylating existing drug candidates to improve their hydrophobicity. PMID:27458460

  20. Structural Basis for Dual Functionality of Isoflavonoid O-Methyltransferases in the Evolution of Plant Defense Responses

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, C.; Deavours, B; Richard, S; Ferrer, J; Blount, J; Huhman, D; Dixon, R; Noel, J

    2006-01-01

    In leguminous plants such as pea (Pisum sativum), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), barrel medic (Medicago truncatula), and chickpea (Cicer arietinum), 4'-O-methylation of isoflavonoid natural products occurs early in the biosynthesis of defense chemicals known as phytoalexins. However, among these four species, only pea catalyzes 3-O-methylation that converts the pterocarpanoid isoflavonoid 6a-hydroxymaackiain to pisatin. In pea, pisatin is important for chemical resistance to the pathogenic fungus Nectria hematococca. While barrel medic does not biosynthesize 6a-hydroxymaackiain, when cell suspension cultures are fed 6a-hydroxymaackiain, they accumulate pisatin. In vitro, hydroxyisoflavanone 4'-O-methyltransferase (HI4'OMT) from barrel medic exhibits nearly identical steady state kinetic parameters for the 4'-O-methylation of the isoflavonoid intermediate 2,7,4'-trihydroxyisoflavanone and for the 3-O-methylation of the 6a-hydroxymaackiain isoflavonoid-derived pterocarpanoid intermediate found in pea. Protein x-ray crystal structures of HI4'OMT substrate complexes revealed identically bound conformations for the 2S,3R-stereoisomer of 2,7,4'-trihydroxyisoflavanone and the 6aR,11aR-stereoisomer of 6a-hydroxymaackiain. These results suggest how similar conformations intrinsic to seemingly distinct chemical substrates allowed leguminous plants to use homologous enzymes for two different biosynthetic reactions. The three-dimensional similarity of natural small molecules represents one explanation for how plants may rapidly recruit enzymes for new biosynthetic reactions in response to changing physiological and ecological pressures.

  1. Structural Basis for Dual Functionality of Isoflavonoid O-Methyltransferases in the Evolution of Plant Defense Responses

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, C.-J.; Deavours, B.E.; Richard, S.B.; Ferrer, J.-L.; Blount, J.W.; Huhman, D.; Dixon, R.A.; Noel, J.

    2007-07-10

    In leguminous plants such as pea (Pisum sativum), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), barrel medic (Medicago truncatula), and chickpea (Cicer arietinum), 4'-O-methylation of isoflavonoid natural products occurs early in the biosynthesis of defense chemicals known as phytoalexins. However, among these four species, only pea catalyzes 3-O-methylation that converts the pterocarpanoid isoflavonoid 6a-hydroxymaackiain to pisatin. In pea, pisatin is important for chemical resistance to the pathogenic fungus Nectria hematococca. While barrel medic does not biosynthesize 6a-hydroxymaackiain, when cell suspension cultures are fed 6a-hydroxymaackiain, they accumulate pisatin. In vitro, hydroxyisoflavanone 4'-O-methyltransferase (HI4'OMT) from barrel medic exhibits nearly identical steady state kinetic parameters for the 4'-O-methylation of the isoflavonoid intermediate 2,7,4'-trihydroxyisoflavanone and for the 3-O-methylation of the 6a-hydroxymaackiain isoflavonoid-derived pterocarpanoid intermediate found in pea. Protein x-ray crystal structures of HI4'OMT substrate complexes revealed identically bound conformations for the 2S,3R-stereoisomer of 2,7,4'-trihydroxyisoflavanone and the 6aR,11aR-stereoisomer of 6a-hydroxymaackiain. These results suggest how similar conformations intrinsic to seemingly distinct chemical substrates allowed leguminous plants to use homologous enzymes for two different biosynthetic reactions. The three-dimensional similarity of natural small molecules represents one explanation for how plants may rapidly recruit enzymes for new biosynthetic reactions in response to changing physiological and ecological pressures.

  2. Fewer fluctuations, higher maximum concentration and better motor response of levodopa with catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibition.

    PubMed

    Muhlack, Siegfried; Herrmann, Lennard; Salmen, Stephan; Müller, Thomas

    2014-11-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitor addition to levodopa/carbidopa formulations improves motor symptoms and reduces levodopa fluctuations in patients with Parkinson's disease. Objectives were to investigate the effects of entacapone and tolcapone on plasma behaviour of levodopa, its metabolite 3-O-methyldopa and on motor impairment. 22 patients orally received levodopa/carbidopa first, then levodopa/carbidopa/entacapone and finally levodopa/carbidopa plus tolcapone within a 4.5 h interval twice. Maximum concentration, time to maximum level and bioavailability of levodopa did not differ between all conditions each with 200 mg levodopa application as a whole. Catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibition caused less fluctuations and higher baseline levels of levodopa after the first intake and less 3-O-methyldopa appearance. The maximum levodopa concentrations were higher after the second levodopa intake, particularly with catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibition. The motor response to levodopa was better with catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibition than without, tolcapone was superior to entacapone. More continuous levodopa brain delivery and lower 3-O-methyldopa bioavailability caused a better motor response during catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibition.

  3. Synthesis and optimization of N-heterocyclic pyridinones as catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zhijian; Harrison, Scott T; Schubert, Jeffrey W; Sanders, John M; Polsky-Fisher, Stacey; Zhang, Nanyan Rena; McLoughlin, Debra; Gibson, Christopher R; Robinson, Ronald G; Sachs, Nancy A; Kandebo, Monika; Yao, Lihang; Smith, Sean M; Hutson, Pete H; Wolkenberg, Scott E; Barrow, James C

    2016-06-15

    A series of N-heterocyclic pyridinone catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors were synthesized. Physicochemical properties, including ligand lipophilic efficiency (LLE) and clogP, were used to guide compound design and attempt to improve inhibitor pharmacokinetics. Incorporation of heterocyclic central rings provided improvements in physicochemical parameters but did not significantly reduce in vitro or in vivo clearance. Nevertheless, compound 11 was identified as a potent inhibitor with sufficient in vivo exposure to significantly affect the dopamine metabolites homovanillic acid (HVA) and dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), and indicate central COMT inhibition.

  4. Regioselectivity of catechol O-methyltransferase confers enhancement of catalytic activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsao, Douglas; Liu, Shubin; Dokholyan, Nikolay V.

    2011-04-01

    Catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) metabolizes catechol moieties by methylating a single hydroxyl group at the meta- or para- hydroxyl position. Hydrophobic amino acids near the active site of COMT influence the regioselectivity of this reaction. Our sequence analysis highlights their importance by showing that these residues are highly conserved throughout evolution. Reaction barriers calculated in the gas phase reveal a lower barrier during methylation at the meta- position, suggesting that the observed meta-regioselectivity of COMT can be attributed to the substrate itself, and that COMT has evolved residues to orient the substrate in a manner that increases the rate of catalysis.

  5. Synthesis and Evaluation of Heterocyclic Catechol Mimics as Inhibitors of Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT)

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    3-Hydroxy-4-pyridinones and 5-hydroxy-4-pyrimidinones were identified as inhibitors of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) in a high-throughput screen. These heterocyclic catechol mimics exhibit potent inhibition of the enzyme and an improved toxicity profile versus the marketed nitrocatechol inhibitors tolcapone and entacapone. Optimization of the series was aided by X-ray cocrystal structures of the novel inhibitors in complex with COMT and cofactors SAM and Mg2+. The crystal structures suggest a mechanism of inhibition for these heterocyclic inhibitors distinct from previously disclosed COMT inhibitors. PMID:25815153

  6. The role of catechol-O-methyltransferase in catechol-enhanced erythroid differentiation of K562 cells

    SciTech Connect

    Suriguga,; Li, Xiao-Fei; Li, Yang; Yu, Chun-Hong; Li, Yi-Ran; Yi, Zong-Chun

    2013-12-15

    Catechol is widely used in pharmaceutical and chemical industries. Catechol is also one of phenolic metabolites of benzene in vivo. Our previous study showed that catechol improved erythroid differentiation potency of K562 cells, which was associated with decreased DNA methylation in erythroid specific genes. Catechol is a substrate for the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT)-mediated methylation. In the present study, the role of COMT in catechol-enhanced erythroid differentiation of K562 cells was investigated. Benzidine staining showed that exposure to catechol enhanced hemin-induced hemoglobin accumulation and induced mRNA expression of erythroid specific genes in K562 cells. Treatment with catechol caused a time- and concentration-dependent increase in guaiacol concentration in the medium of cultured K562 cells. When COMT expression was knocked down by COMT shRNA expression in K562 cells, the production of guaiacol significantly reduced, and the sensitivity of K562 cells to cytotoxicity of catechol significantly increased. Knockdown of COMT expression by COMT shRNA expression also eliminated catechol-enhanced erythroid differentiation of K562 cells. In addition, the pre-treatment with methyl donor S-adenosyl-L-methionine or its demethylated product S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine induced a significant increase in hemin-induced Hb synthesis in K562 cells and the mRNA expression of erythroid specific genes. These findings indicated that O-methylation catalyzed by COMT acted as detoxication of catechol and involved in catechol-enhanced erythroid differentiation of K562 cells, and the production of S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine partly explained catechol-enhanced erythroid differentiation. - Highlights: • Catechol enhanced hemin-induced hemoglobin accumulation. • COMT-catalyzed methylation acted as detoxication of catechol. • COMT involved in catechol-enhanced erythroid differentiation.

  7. Human catechol-O-methyltransferase: Cloning and expression of the membrane-associated form

    SciTech Connect

    Bertocci, B.; Miggiano, V.; Da Prada, M.; Dembic, Z.; Lahm, H.W.; Malherbe, P. )

    1991-02-15

    A cDNA clone for human catechol-O-methyltransferase was isolated from a human hepatoma cell line (Hep G2) cDNA library by hybridization screening with a porcine cDNA probe. The cDNA clone was sequenced and found to have an insert of 1226 nucleotides. The deduced primary structure of hCOMT is composed of 271 amino acid residues with the predicted molecular mass of 30 kDa. At its N terminus it has a hydrophobic segment of 21 amino acid residues that may be responsible for insertion of hCOMT into the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. The primary structure of hCOMT exhibits high homology to the porcine partial cDNA sequence (93%). The deduced amino acid sequence contains two tryptic peptide sequences (T-22, T-33) found in porcine liver catechol-O-methyltransferase (CEMT). The coding region of hCOMT cDNA was placed under the control of the cytomegalovirus promoter to transfect human kidney 293 cells. The recombinant hCOMT was shown by immunoblot analysis to be mainly associated with the membrane fraction. RNA blot analysis revealed one COMT mRNA transcript of 1.4 kilobases in Hep G2 poly(A){sup +} RNA.

  8. Gene transcript accumulation and in situ mRNA hybridization of two putative glutamate dehydrogenase genes in etiolated Glycine max seedlings.

    PubMed

    Dimou, M; Tsaniklidis, G; Aivalakis, G; Katinakis, P

    2015-01-01

    Glutamate dehydrogenase (EC 1.4.1.2) is a multimeric enzyme that catalyzes the reversible amination of α-ketoglutarate to form glutamate. We characterized cDNA clones of two Glycine max sequences, GmGDH1 and GmGDH2, that code for putative α- and β-subunits, respectively, of the NADH dependent enzyme. Temporal and spatial gene transcript accumulation studies using semiquantitative RT-PCR and in situ hybridization have shown an overlapping gene transcript accumulation pattern with differences in relative gene transcript accumulation in the organs examined. Detection of NADH-dependent glutamate dehydrogenase activity in situ using a histochemical method showed concordance with the spatial gene transcript accumulation patterns. Our findings suggest that although the two gene transcripts are co-localized in roots of etiolated soybean seedlings, the ratio of the two subunits of the active holoenzyme may vary among tissues.

  9. The role of catechol-O-methyltransferase in catechol-enhanced erythroid differentiation of K562 cells.

    PubMed

    Suriguga; Li, Xiao-Fei; Li, Yang; Yu, Chun-Hong; Li, Yi-Ran; Yi, Zong-Chun

    2013-12-15

    Catechol is widely used in pharmaceutical and chemical industries. Catechol is also one of phenolic metabolites of benzene in vivo. Our previous study showed that catechol improved erythroid differentiation potency of K562 cells, which was associated with decreased DNA methylation in erythroid specific genes. Catechol is a substrate for the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT)-mediated methylation. In the present study, the role of COMT in catechol-enhanced erythroid differentiation of K562 cells was investigated. Benzidine staining showed that exposure to catechol enhanced hemin-induced hemoglobin accumulation and induced mRNA expression of erythroid specific genes in K562 cells. Treatment with catechol caused a time- and concentration-dependent increase in guaiacol concentration in the medium of cultured K562 cells. When COMT expression was knocked down by COMT shRNA expression in K562 cells, the production of guaiacol significantly reduced, and the sensitivity of K562 cells to cytotoxicity of catechol significantly increased. Knockdown of COMT expression by COMT shRNA expression also eliminated catechol-enhanced erythroid differentiation of K562 cells. In addition, the pre-treatment with methyl donor S-adenosyl-L-methionine or its demethylated product S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine induced a significant increase in hemin-induced Hb synthesis in K562 cells and the mRNA expression of erythroid specific genes. These findings indicated that O-methylation catalyzed by COMT acted as detoxication of catechol and involved in catechol-enhanced erythroid differentiation of K562 cells, and the production of S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine partly explained catechol-enhanced erythroid differentiation.

  10. Affect-modulated startle: interactive influence of catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met genotype and childhood trauma.

    PubMed

    Klauke, Benedikt; Winter, Bernward; Gajewska, Agnes; Zwanzger, Peter; Reif, Andreas; Herrmann, Martin J; Dlugos, Andrea; Warrings, Bodo; Jacob, Christian; Mühlberger, Andreas; Arolt, Volker; Pauli, Paul; Deckert, Jürgen; Domschke, Katharina

    2012-01-01

    The etiology of emotion-related disorders such as anxiety or affective disorders is considered to be complex with an interaction of biological and environmental factors. Particular evidence has accumulated for alterations in the dopaminergic and noradrenergic system--partly conferred by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene variation--for the adenosinergic system as well as for early life trauma to constitute risk factors for those conditions. Applying a multi-level approach, in a sample of 95 healthy adults, we investigated effects of the functional COMT Val158Met polymorphism, caffeine as an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist (300 mg in a placebo-controlled intervention design) and childhood maltreatment (CTQ) as well as their interaction on the affect-modulated startle response as a neurobiologically founded defensive reflex potentially related to fear- and distress-related disorders. COMT val/val genotype significantly increased startle magnitude in response to unpleasant stimuli, while met/met homozygotes showed a blunted startle response to aversive pictures. Furthermore, significant gene-environment interaction of COMT Val158Met genotype with CTQ was discerned with more maltreatment being associated with higher startle potentiation in val/val subjects but not in met carriers. No main effect of or interaction effects with caffeine were observed. Results indicate a main as well as a GxE effect of the COMT Val158Met variant and childhood maltreatment on the affect-modulated startle reflex, supporting a complex pathogenetic model of the affect-modulated startle reflex as a basic neurobiological defensive reflex potentially related to anxiety and affective disorders.

  11. Convergent Mechanistic Features between the Structurally Diverse N- and O-Methyltransferases: Glycine N-Methyltransferase and Catechol O-Methyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianyu; Klinman, Judith P

    2016-07-27

    Although an enormous and still growing number of biologically diverse methyltransferases have been reported and identified, a comprehensive understanding of the enzymatic methyl transfer mechanism is still lacking. Glycine N-methyltransferase (GNMT), a member of the family that acts on small metabolites as the substrate, catalyzes methyl transfer from S-adenosyl-l-methionine (AdoMet) to glycine to form S-adenosyl-l-homocysteine and sarcosine. We report primary carbon ((12)C/(14)C) and secondary ((1)H3/(3)H3) kinetic isotope effects at the transferred methyl group, together with (1)H3/(3)H3 binding isotope effects for wild-type GNMT and a series of Tyr21 mutants. The data implicate a compaction effect in the methyl transfer step that is conferred by the protein structure. Furthermore, a remarkable similarity of properties is observed between GNMT and catechol O-methyltransferase, despite significant differences between these enzymes with regard to their active site structures and catalyzed reactions. We attribute these results to a catalytically relevant reduction in the methyl donor-acceptor distance that is dependent on a tyrosine side chain positioned behind the methyl-bearing sulfur of AdoMet.

  12. An assay for human erythrocyte catechol-O-methyltransferase activity using a catechol estrogen as the substrate.

    PubMed

    Bates, G W; Edman, C D; Porter, J C; Johnston, J M; MacDonald, P C

    1979-05-16

    A radiometric assay for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) activity in human erythrocytes is described that employs 2-hydroxy[3H]estrone, and non-radiolabeled S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) as the cosubstrates. The ease of separation of the product of the reaction, 2-methoxy[3H]estrone from 2-hydroxy[3H]estrone makes it possible to achieve low reaction blanks. The assay is very sensitive, and only 200 microliter of whole blood are used per determination. The assay is highly reproducible. The interassay variability (coefficient of variation) was 6.5% for 24 assays of COMT activity in red blood cells in blood obtained daily for 24 days from one person. In incubations conducted at 37 degrees C for 30 min, the catechol-O-methyltransferase activity was a linear function of enzyme concentration (equivalent to 11 to 180 microliter of packed red blood cells). Employing this assay, we evaluated the catalytic conversion of 2-hydroxyestrone to 2-methoxyestrone by catechol-O-methyltransferase from human red blood cells and found that the apparent Michaelis constant and the apparent maximal rate of reaction were 3 x 10(-7) M and 6.7 x 10(-9) mol . ml-1 erythrocytes . h-1, respectively. The catechol-O-methyltransferase activity measured in erythrocytes obtained from 100 healthy subjects (men and nonpregnant women) was 8.2 +/- 0.17 (mean +/- S.E.) nmol 2-methoxyestrone . ml-1 erythrocytes . h-1.

  13. Phylogenetic, molecular, and biochemical characterization of caffeic aicd O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene family in Brachypodium distachyon

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) is one of the important enzymes controlling lignin monomer production in plant cell wall synthesis. Analysis of the genome sequence of new grass model Brachypodium distachyon identified four COMT gene homologues, designated as BdCOMT1, BdCOMT2, BdCOMT3, and ...

  14. Structural characterization of CalO1: a putative orsellinic acid methyltransferase in the calicheamicin-biosynthetic pathway

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, Aram; Singh, Shanteri; Bingman, Craig A.; Thorson, Jon S.; Phillips, Jr, George N.

    2011-11-07

    The X-ray structure determination at 2.4 {angstrom} resolution of the putative orsellinic acid C3 O-methyltransferase (CalO1) involved in calicheamicin biosynthesis is reported. Comparison of CalO1 with a homology model of the functionally related calicheamicin orsellinic acid C2 O-methyltransferase (CalO6) implicates several residues that are likely to contribute to the regiospecificity of alkylation. Consistent with the proposed requirement of an acyl-carrier-protein-bound substrate, this structural study also reveals structural determinants within CalO1 that are anticipated to accommodate an association with an acyl carrier protein.

  15. Structure-based drug design of catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitors for CNS disorders

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Zhiguo; Liu, Hongming; Wu, Baojian

    2014-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is of great importance in pharmacology because it catalyzes the metabolism (methylation) of endogenous and xenobiotic catechols. Moreover, inhibition of COMT is the drug target in the management of central nervous system (CNS) disorders such as Parkinson's disease due to its role in regulation of the dopamine level in the brain. The X-ray crystal structures for COMT have been available since 1994. The active sites for cofactor and substrate/inhibitor binding are well resolved to an atomic level, providing valuable insights into the catalytic mechanisms as well as the role of magnesium ions in catalysis. Determination of how the substrates/inhibitors bind to the protein leads to a structure-based approach that has resulted in potent and selective inhibitors. This review focuses on the design of two types of inhibitors (nitrocatechol-type and bisubstrate inhibitors) for COMT using the protein structures. PMID:23713800

  16. Catechol O-methyltransferase pharmacogenomics and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor response

    PubMed Central

    Ji, Yuan; Biernacka, Joanna; Snyder, Karen; Drews, Maureen; Pelleymounter, Linda L.; Colby, Colin; Wang, Liewei; Mrazek, David A.; Weinshilboum, Richard M.

    2011-01-01

    We applied a systematic pharmacogenetic approach to investigate the role of genetic variation in the gene encoding catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) in individual variation in selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) response among depressed patients. Twenty-three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in COMT were genotyped using DNA from the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study (N=1914). One SNP, rs13306278, located in the distal promoter region of COMT, showed significant association with remission in White Non-Hispanic (WNH) subjects (P = 0.038). Electromobility shift assay for rs13306278 showed alternation in the ability of the variant sequence to bind nuclear proteins. A replication study was performed using samples from the Mayo Clinic PGRN Citalopram/Escitalopram Pharmacogenomic study (N=422) that demonstrated a similar trend for association. Our findings suggest that novel genetic markers in the COMT distal promoter may influence SSRI response phenotypes. PMID:20877297

  17. The catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) and cognitive function from childhood through adolescence

    PubMed Central

    Gaysina, Darya; Xu, Man K.; Barnett, Jennifer H.; Croudace, Tim J.; Wong, Andrew; Richards, Marcus; Jones, Peter B.

    2013-01-01

    Genetic variation in the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) can influence cognitive function, and this effect may depend on developmental stage. Using a large representative British birth cohort, we investigated the effect of COMT on cognitive function (verbal and non-verbal) at ages 8 and 15 years taking into account the possible modifying effect of pubertal stage. Five functional COMT polymorphisms, rs6269, rs4818, rs4680, rs737865 and rs165599 were analysed. Associations between COMT polymorphisms and cognition were tested using regression and latent variable structural equation modelling (SEM). Before correction for multiple testing, COMT rs737865 showed association with reading comprehension, verbal ability and global cognition at age 15 years in pubescent boys only. Although there was some evidence for age- and sex-specific effects of the COMT rs737865 none remained significant after correction for multiple testing. Further studies are necessary in order to make firmer conclusions. PMID:23178897

  18. Distribution of catechol-O-methyltransferase expression in human central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Hong, J; Shu-Leong, H; Tao, X; Lap-Ping, Y

    1998-08-24

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT, EC 2.1.1.6) is a ubiquitous enzyme crucial to catechol metabolism. Two isoforms exist in the human central nervous system (CNS) and they are encoded by two transcripts (1.3 and 1.5 kb) in most human tissues. Using two alpha-32P-labeled probes, we found only the 1.5 kb transcript in all 16 regions of the human CNS using commercially available Northern blots. Spinal cord had the highest and amygdala had the lowest levels of expression. The other CNS regions shared a similar level of expression. The distributions of COMT gene expression relative to whole brain between both probes were significantly correlated. Our study shows that the expression of the 1.5kb transcript is crucial for COMT activity in all regions of the human CNS.

  19. The catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) and cognitive function from childhood through adolescence.

    PubMed

    Gaysina, Darya; Xu, Man K; Barnett, Jennifer H; Croudace, Tim J; Wong, Andrew; Richards, Marcus; Jones, Peter B

    2013-02-01

    Genetic variation in the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) can influence cognitive function, and this effect may depend on developmental stage. Using a large representative British birth cohort, we investigated the effect of COMT on cognitive function (verbal and non-verbal) at ages 8 and 15 years taking into account the possible modifying effect of pubertal stage. Five functional COMT polymorphisms, rs6269, rs4818, rs4680, rs737865 and rs165599 were analysed. Associations between COMT polymorphisms and cognition were tested using regression and latent variable structural equation modelling (SEM). Before correction for multiple testing, COMT rs737865 showed association with reading comprehension, verbal ability and global cognition at age 15 years in pubescent boys only. Although there was some evidence for age- and sex-specific effects of the COMT rs737865 none remained significant after correction for multiple testing. Further studies are necessary in order to make firmer conclusions.

  20. [No association between catechol-O-methyltransferase val158met polymorphism and alexithymia].

    PubMed

    Hermes, Sandra; Hennig, Jürgen; Stingl, Markus; Leichsenring, Falk; Leweke, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Reduced concentrations of dopamine in prefrontal brain structures may play a role in alexithymia. Dopamine degradation in the orbitofrontal cortex is regulated by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), and a functional single nucleotide polymorphism of the COMT gene, Val158Met, has been related to psychiatric illness. This study examines the association between the COMT Val158Met gene polymorphism, and alexithymia. 120 healthy students and 120 patients with mental disorders were genotyped for the COMT Val158Met polymorphism. Additionally, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) was administered. COMT genotype did not show a significant correlation with the TAS-20 in either group. COMT Val158Met polymorphism alone does not seem to be a major factor in alexithymia in healthy students. This is true even if patients with mental disorders covering a broader range of alexithymia are included. Thus, other genes, possibly interacting with cultural, environmental, and developmental factors, may be implicated.

  1. Functional characterization of a plastidal cation-dependent O-methyltransferase from the liverwort Plagiochasma appendiculatum.

    PubMed

    Xu, Rui-Xue; Zhao, Yu; Gao, Shuai; Zhang, Yu-Ying; Li, Dan-Dan; Lou, Hong-Xiang; Cheng, Ai-Xia

    2015-10-01

    Caffeoyl CoA O-methyltransferases (CCoAOMTs), known to be involved in phenylpropanoid metabolism and lignin synthesis, have been characterized from several higher plant species, which also harbor CCoAOMT-like enzymes responsible for methylation of a variety of flavonoids, anthocyanins, coumarins and phenylpropanoids. Here, a gene encoding a CCoAOMT (PaOMT1) was isolated from a sequenced cDNA library of the liverwort species Plagiochasma appendiculatum, a species belonging to the Family Aytoniaceae. The full-length cDNA sequence of PaOMT1 contains 909 bp, and is predicted to encode a protein with 302 amino acids. The gene products were 40-50% identical to CCoAOMT sequences of other plants. Experiments based on recombinant PaOMT1 showed that the enzyme was able to methylate phenylpropanoids, flavonoids and coumarins, with a preference for the flavonoid quercetin (19). Although the substrate selectivity and biochemical feature of PaOMT1 is similar to CCoAOMT-like enzymes, the sequence alignment results indicated PaOMT1 is closer to true CCoAOMT enzymes. A phylogenetic analysis indicated that PaOMT1 is intermediate between true CCoAOMTs and CCoAOMT-like enzymes. The transient expression of a PaOMT1-GFP fusion in tobacco demonstrated that PaOMT1 is directed to the plastids. PaOMT1 may represent an ancestral form of higher plant true CCoAOMT and CCoAOMT-like enzymes. This is the first time an O-methyltransferase was characterized in liverworts.

  2. Association of catechol-O-methyltransferase genetic variants with outcome in patients undergoing surgical treatment for lumbar degenerative disc disease.

    PubMed

    Dai, Feng; Belfer, Inna; Schwartz, Carolyn E; Banco, Robert; Martha, Julia F; Tighioughart, Hocine; Tromanhauser, Scott G; Jenis, Louis G; Kim, David H

    2010-11-01

    Surgical treatment for lumbar degenerative disc disease (DDD) has been associated with highly variable results in terms of postoperative pain relief and functional improvement. Many experts believe that DDD should be considered a chronic pain disorder as opposed to a degenerative disease. Genetic variation of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene has been associated with variation in human pain sensitivity and response to analgesics in previous studies. To determine whether genetic variation of COMT is associated with clinical outcome after surgical treatment for DDD. Prospective genetic association study. Sixty-nine patients undergoing surgical treatment for lumbar DDD. Diagnosis was based on documentation of chronic disabling low back pain (LBP) present for a minimum of 6 months and unresponsive to supervised nonoperative treatment, including activity modification, medication, physical therapy, and/or injection therapy. Plain radiographs and magnetic resonance imaging revealed intervertebral disc desiccation, tears, and/or collapse without focal herniation, nerve root compression, stenosis, spondylolisthesis, spondylolysis, or alternative diagnoses. Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and visual analog score (VAS) for LBP. Surgical treatment included 65 instrumented fusions and four disc arthroplasty procedures. All patients completed preoperative and 1-year postoperative ODI questionnaires. DNA was extracted from a sample of venous blood, and genotype analysis was performed for five common COMT single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Potential genetic association between these COMT SNPs and the primary outcome variable, 1-year change in ODI, was investigated using both single-marker and haplotype association analyses. Association with VAS scores for LBP was analyzed as a secondary outcome variable. Single-marker analysis revealed that the COMT SNP rs4633 was significantly associated with greater improvement in ODI score 1 year after surgery (p=.03), with

  3. Coronavirus Nonstructural Protein 16 Is a Cap-0 Binding Enzyme Possessing (Nucleoside-2′O)-Methyltransferase Activity▿

    PubMed Central

    Decroly, Etienne; Imbert, Isabelle; Coutard, Bruno; Bouvet, Mickaël; Selisko, Barbara; Alvarez, Karine; Gorbalenya, Alexander E.; Snijder, Eric J.; Canard, Bruno

    2008-01-01

    The coronavirus family of positive-strand RNA viruses includes important pathogens of livestock, companion animals, and humans, including the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus that was responsible for a worldwide outbreak in 2003. The unusually complex coronavirus replicase/transcriptase is comprised of 15 or 16 virus-specific subunits that are autoproteolytically derived from two large polyproteins. In line with bioinformatics predictions, we now show that feline coronavirus (FCoV) nonstructural protein 16 (nsp16) possesses an S-adenosyl-l-methionine (AdoMet)-dependent RNA (nucleoside-2′O)-methyltransferase (2′O-MTase) activity that is capable of cap-1 formation. Purified recombinant FCoV nsp16 selectively binds to short capped RNAs. Remarkably, an N7-methyl guanosine cap (7MeGpppAC3-6) is a prerequisite for binding. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis demonstrated that nsp16 mediates methyl transfer from AdoMet to the 2′O position of the first transcribed nucleotide, thus converting 7MeGpppAC3-6 into 7MeGpppA2′OMeC3-6. The characterization of 11 nsp16 mutants supported the previous identification of residues K45, D129, K169, and E202 as the putative K-D-K-E catalytic tetrad of the enzyme. Furthermore, residues Y29 and F173 of FCoV nsp16, which may be the functional counterparts of aromatic residues involved in substrate recognition by the vaccinia virus MTase VP39, were found to be essential for both substrate binding and 2′O-MTase activity. Finally, the weak inhibition profile of different AdoMet analogues indicates that nsp16 has evolved an atypical AdoMet binding site. Our results suggest that coronavirus mRNA carries a cap-1, onto which 2′O methylation follows an order of events in which 2′O-methyl transfer must be preceded by guanine N7 methylation, with the latter step being performed by a yet-unknown N7-specific MTase. PMID:18417574

  4. Coronavirus nonstructural protein 16 is a cap-0 binding enzyme possessing (nucleoside-2'O)-methyltransferase activity.

    PubMed

    Decroly, Etienne; Imbert, Isabelle; Coutard, Bruno; Bouvet, Mickaël; Selisko, Barbara; Alvarez, Karine; Gorbalenya, Alexander E; Snijder, Eric J; Canard, Bruno

    2008-08-01

    The coronavirus family of positive-strand RNA viruses includes important pathogens of livestock, companion animals, and humans, including the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus that was responsible for a worldwide outbreak in 2003. The unusually complex coronavirus replicase/transcriptase is comprised of 15 or 16 virus-specific subunits that are autoproteolytically derived from two large polyproteins. In line with bioinformatics predictions, we now show that feline coronavirus (FCoV) nonstructural protein 16 (nsp16) possesses an S-adenosyl-L-methionine (AdoMet)-dependent RNA (nucleoside-2'O)-methyltransferase (2'O-MTase) activity that is capable of cap-1 formation. Purified recombinant FCoV nsp16 selectively binds to short capped RNAs. Remarkably, an N7-methyl guanosine cap ((7Me)GpppAC(3-6)) is a prerequisite for binding. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis demonstrated that nsp16 mediates methyl transfer from AdoMet to the 2'O position of the first transcribed nucleotide, thus converting (7Me)GpppAC(3-6) into (7Me)GpppA(2')(O)(Me)C(3-6). The characterization of 11 nsp16 mutants supported the previous identification of residues K45, D129, K169, and E202 as the putative K-D-K-E catalytic tetrad of the enzyme. Furthermore, residues Y29 and F173 of FCoV nsp16, which may be the functional counterparts of aromatic residues involved in substrate recognition by the vaccinia virus MTase VP39, were found to be essential for both substrate binding and 2'O-MTase activity. Finally, the weak inhibition profile of different AdoMet analogues indicates that nsp16 has evolved an atypical AdoMet binding site. Our results suggest that coronavirus mRNA carries a cap-1, onto which 2'O methylation follows an order of events in which 2'O-methyl transfer must be preceded by guanine N7 methylation, with the latter step being performed by a yet-unknown N7-specific MTase.

  5. Cloning and sequencing of a gene encoding carminomycin 4-O-methyltransferase from Streptomyces peucetius and its expression in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed Central

    Madduri, K; Torti, F; Colombo, A L; Hutchinson, C R

    1993-01-01

    Sequence analysis of a portion of the Streptomyces peucetius daunorubicin biosynthetic gene cluster revealed a complete open reading frame (dnrK) that showed DNA and protein sequence homology to several O-methyltransferases. Expression of dnrK in Streptomyces lividans and Escherichia coli was done to show that this gene codes for carminomycin 4-O-methyltransferase. The deduced carminomycin 4-O-methyltransferase protein shows a conserved nucleotide binding site for its S-adenosyl-L-methionine cofactor. Images PMID:8509343

  6. Down-regulation of the caffeic acid O-methyltransferase gene in switchgrass reveals a novel monolignol analog

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Down-regulation of the caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase EC 2.1.1.68 (COMT) gene in the lignin biosynthetic pathway of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) resulted in cell walls of transgenic plants releasing more constituent sugars after pretreatment by dilute acid and treatment with glycosyl hydrolases from an added enzyme preparation and from Clostridium thermocellum. Fermentation of both wild-type and transgenic switchgrass after milder hot water pretreatment with no water washing showed that only the transgenic switchgrass inhibited C. thermocellum. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GCMS)-based metabolomics were undertaken on cell wall aqueous extracts to determine the nature of the microbial inhibitors. Results GCMS confirmed the increased concentration of a number of phenolic acids and aldehydes that are known inhibitors of microbial fermentation. Metabolomic analyses of the transgenic biomass additionally revealed the presence of a novel monolignol-like metabolite, identified as trans-3, 4-dimethoxy-5-hydroxycinnamyl alcohol (iso-sinapyl alcohol) in both non-pretreated, as well as hot water pretreated samples. iso-Sinapyl alcohol and its glucoside were subsequently generated by organic synthesis and the identity of natural and synthetic materials were confirmed by mass spectrometric and NMR analyses. The additional novel presence of iso-sinapic acid, iso-sinapyl aldehyde, and iso-syringin suggest the increased activity of a para-methyltransferase, concomitant with the reduced COMT activity, a strict meta-methyltransferase. Quantum chemical calculations were used to predict the most likely homodimeric lignans generated from dehydration reactions, but these products were not evident in plant samples. Conclusions Down-regulation of COMT activity in switchgrass resulted in the accumulation of previously undetected metabolites resembling sinapyl alcohol and its related metabolites, but that are derived from para-methylation of 5-hydroxyconiferyl

  7. Sugarcane DIRIGENT and O-methyltransferase promoters confer stem-regulated gene expression in diverse monocots.

    PubMed

    Damaj, Mona B; Kumpatla, Siva P; Emani, Chandrakanth; Beremand, Phillip D; Reddy, Avutu S; Rathore, Keerti S; Buenrostro-Nava, Marco T; Curtis, Ian S; Thomas, Terry L; Mirkov, T Erik

    2010-05-01

    Transcription profiling analysis identified Saccharum hybrid DIRIGENT (SHDIR16) and Omicron-Methyltransferase (SHOMT), putative defense and fiber biosynthesis-related genes that are highly expressed in the stem of sugarcane, a major sucrose accumulator and biomass producer. Promoters (Pro) of these genes were isolated and fused to the beta-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene. Transient and stable transgene expression analyses showed that both Pro( DIR16 ):GUS and Pro( OMT ):GUS retain the expression characteristics of their respective endogenous genes in sugarcane and function in orthologous monocot species, including rice, maize and sorghum. Furthermore, both promoters conferred stem-regulated expression, which was further enhanced in the stem and induced in the leaf and root by salicylic acid, jasmonic acid and methyl jasmonate, key regulators of biotic and abiotic stresses. Pro( DIR16 ) and Pro( OMT ) will enable functional gene analysis in monocots, and will facilitate engineering monocots for improved carbon metabolism, enhanced stress tolerance and bioenergy production.

  8. Opicapone: a short lived and very long acting novel catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitor following multiple dose administration in healthy subjects

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, José Francisco; Almeida, Luis; Falcão, Amílcar; Palma, P Nuno; Loureiro, Ana I; Pinto, Roberto; Bonifácio, Maria João; Wright, Lyndon C; Nunes, Teresa; Soares-da-Silva, Patrício

    2013-01-01

    Aims The aim of this study was to assess the tolerability, pharmacokinetics and inhibitory effect on erythrocyte soluble catechol-O-methyltransferase (S-COMT) activity following repeated doses of opicapone. Methods This randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study enrolled healthy male subjects who received either once daily placebo or opicapone 5, 10, 20 or 30 mg for 8 days. Results Opicapone was well tolerated. Its systemic exposure increased in an approximately dose-proportional manner with an apparent terminal half-life of 1.0 to 1.4 h. Sulphation was the main metabolic pathway. Opicapone metabolites recovered in urine accounted for less than 3% of the amount of opicapone administered suggesting that bile is likely the main route of excretion. Maximum S-COMT inhibition (Emax) ranged from 69.9% to 98.0% following the last dose of opicapone. The opicapone-induced S-COMT inhibition showed a half-life in excess of 100 h, which was dose-independent and much longer than plasma drug exposure. Such a half-life translates into a putative underlying rate constant that is comparable with the estimated dissociation rate constant of the COMT–opicapone complex. Conclusion Despite its short elimination half-life, opicapone markedly and sustainably inhibited erythrocyte S-COMT activity making it suitable for a once daily regimen. PMID:23336248

  9. Discovery and characterization of new O-methyltransferase from the genome of the lignin-degrading fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium for enhanced lignin degradation.

    PubMed

    Thanh Mai Pham, Le; Kim, Yong Hwan

    2016-01-01

    Using bioinformatic homology search tools, this study utilized sequence phylogeny, gene organization and conserved motifs to identify members of the family of O-methyltransferases from lignin-degrading fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium. The heterologous expression and characterization of O-methyltransferases from P. chrysosporium were studied. The expressed protein utilized S-(5'-adenosyl)-L-methionine p-toluenesulfonate salt (SAM) and methylated various free-hydroxyl phenolic compounds at both meta and para site. In the same motif, O-methyltransferases were also identified in other white-rot fungi including Bjerkandera adusta, Ceriporiopsis (Gelatoporia) subvermispora B, and Trametes versicolor. As free-hydroxyl phenolic compounds have been known as inhibitors for lignin peroxidase, the presence of O-methyltransferases in white-rot fungi suggested their biological functions in accelerating lignin degradation in white-rot basidiomycetes by converting those inhibitory groups into non-toxic methylated phenolic ones.

  10. Design, synthesis and in vitro/in vivo evaluation of orally bioavailable prodrugs of a catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Rautio, Jarkko; Leppänen, Jukka; Lehtonen, Marko; Laine, Krista; Koskinen, Mikko; Pystynen, Jarmo; Savolainen, Jouko; Sairanen, Mikko

    2010-04-15

    Compound 1 is an investigational, nanomolar inhibitor of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) that suffers from poor oral bioavailability, most probably due to its low lipophilicity throughout most of the gastrointestinal tract and, to a lesser extent, its rapid systemic clearance. Several lipophilic esters were designed as prodrugs and synthesized in an attempt to optimize presystemic drug absorption. A modest twofold increase in 6-h exposure of 1 was observed with two prodrugs, compared to that of 1, after oral treatment in rats.

  11. Specialized (iso)eugenol-4-O-methyltransferases (s-IEMTs) and methods of making and using the same

    DOEpatents

    Liu, Chang-Jun; Cai, Yuanheng

    2017-01-31

    Specialized (iso)eugenol 4-O-methyltransferase (s-IEMT) enzymes having increased capacity for methylation of monolignols are disclosed. The s-IEMTs have unique activity favoring methylation of coniferyl alcohol versus sinapyl alcohol. Various s-IEMTs methylate ferulic acid. Means for producing the various s-IEMTs are provided. The s-IEMTs are useful for modification of lignin content and production of aromatic compounds.

  12. Molecular analysis of the dmpM gene encoding an O-demethyl puromycin O-methyltransferase from Streptomyces alboniger.

    PubMed

    Lacalle, R A; Ruiz, D; Jiménez, A

    1991-12-20

    The nucleotide (nt) sequence of a 1332-bp fragment of Streptomyces alboniger DNA containing the gene (dmpM), which encodes an O-demethyl puromycin O-methyltransferase (DMPM), has been determined. The dmpM gene contains a 1131-nt open reading frame which encodes a polypeptide of Mr 40,303; this is consistent with the 44 +/- 2.5- and 160-kDa sizes of the DMPM monomer and its native form, respectively. The ATG start codon of dmpM is 50 bp downstream from the coding sequence of the gene (pac), which determines a puromycin N-acetyltransferase. S1 mapping experiments indicate that pac and dmpM are transcribed on a single transcript, which ends at least 500 nt downstream from the dmpM stop codon. The deduced amino acid sequence of DMPM shows significant similarities to those of a hydroxyindole O-methyltransferase, which is involved in the biosynthesis of melatonin by bovine pineal glands [Ishida et al., J. Biol. Chem. 262 (1987) 2895-2899], a hydroxyneurosporene methyltransferase, which is involved in carotenoid biosynthesis in the purple nonsulfur bacterium, Rhodobacter capsulatus [Armstrong et al., Mol. Gen. Genet. 216 (1989) 254-268] and two O-methyltransferases of the tetracenomycin biosynthesis pathway from Streptomyces glaucescens.

  13. Catechol-O-methyltransferase promoter hypomethylation is associated with the risk of coronary heart disease.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Jinyan; Chen, Xiaoying; Wu, Nan; Shen, Caijie; Cui, Hanbin; Du, Weiping; Zhang, Zhaoxia; Feng, Mingjun; Liu, Junsong; Lin, Shaoyi; Zhang, Lulu; Wang, Jian; Chen, Xiaomin; Duan, Shiwei

    2016-11-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene variation is known to be associated with the risk of acute coronary events. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the contribution of COMT promoter methylation towards the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). COMT methylation was evaluated in 48 CHD cases and 48 well-matched non-CHD controls using bisulfite pyrosequencing technology. The results demonstrated that CHD cases had a significantly lower level of methylation at COMT CpG3 sites compared with the controls (33.77±5.71 vs. 36.42±5.00%; P=0.018). Further analysis, according to gender, showed that CpG3 methylation was associated with CHD in males (P=0.038) but not in females (P=0.253), suggesting that there is a gender disparity in the association between COMT methylation and CHD. In conclusion, it was determined that COMT CpG3 hypomethylation is associated with an increased risk of CHD in males.

  14. Cloning and expression of a novel catechol-O-methyltransferase in common marmosets.

    PubMed

    Uehara, Shotaro; Uno, Yasuhiro; Inoue, Takashi; Sasaki, Erika; Yamazaki, Hiroshi

    2017-02-04

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) catalyzes the O-methylation of endogenous catechol amines and estrogens and exogenous catechol-type of drugs. A Parkinson's disease model of common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) has been widely used in preclinical studies to evaluate inhibitory potential of new drug candidates on marmoset COMT. Despite COMT inhibitors could potentiate the pharmacological action of levodopa on Parkinson's disease in animal models, marmoset COMT cDNA has not yet been identified and characterized. In this study, a cDNA highly homologous to human COMT was cloned from marmoset livers. This cDNA encoded 268 amino acids containing a transmembrane region and critical amino acid residues for catalytic function. The amino acid sequences of marmoset COMT shared high sequence identity (90%) with human COMT. COMT mRNA was expressed in all five tissues tested, including brain, lung, liver, kidney and small intestine, and was more abundant in marmoset liver and kidney. Membrane-bound COMT was immunochemically detected in livers and kidneys, whereas soluble COMT was detected in livers, similar to humans. These results indicated that the molecular characteristics of marmoset COMT were generally similar to the human ortholog.

  15. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene modulates private self-consciousness and self-flexibility.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bei; Ru, Wenzhao; Yang, Xing; Yang, Lu; Fang, Pengpeng; Zhu, Xu; Shen, Guomin; Gao, Xiaocai; Gong, Pingyuan

    2016-08-01

    Dopamine levels in the brain influence human consciousness. Inspired by the role of Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) in inactivating dopamine in the brain, we investigated to what extent COMT could modulate individual's self-consciousness dispositions and self-consistency by genotyping the COMT Val158Met (rs4680) polymorphism and measuring self-consciousness and self-consistency and congruence in a college student population. The results indicated that COMT Val158Met polymorphism significantly modulated the private self-consciousness. The individuals with Val/Val genotype, corresponding to lower dopamine levels in the brain, were more likely to be aware of their feelings and beliefs. The results also indicated that this polymorphism modulated one's self-flexibility. The individuals with Val/Val genotype showed higher levels of stereotype in self-concept compared with those with Met/Met genotype. These findings suggest that COMT is a predictor of the individual differences in self-consciousness and self-flexibility.

  16. Genetic variation in catechol-O-methyltransferase modifies effects of clonidine treatment in chronic fatigue syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Kathryn T.; Kossowsky, Joe; Oberlander, Tim F.; Kaptchuk, Ted J.; Saul, J. Philip; Wyller, Vegard Bruun; Fagermoen, Even; Sulheim, Dag; Gjerstad, Johannes; Winger, Anette; Mukamal, Kenneth J.

    2016-01-01

    Clonidine, an α2-adrenergic receptor agonist, decreases circulating norepinephrine and epinephrine, attenuating sympathetic activity. Although catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) metabolizes catecholamines, main effectors of sympathetic function, COMT genetic variation effects on clonidine treatment are unknown. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is hypothesized to result in part from dysregulated sympathetic function. A candidate gene analysis of COMT rs4680 effects on clinical outcomes in the Norwegian Study of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Adolescents: Pathophysiology and Intervention Trial (NorCAPITAL), a randomized double-blinded clonidine versus placebo trial, was conducted (N=104). Patients homozygous for rs4680 high-activity allele randomized to clonidine took 2,500 fewer steps compared to placebo (pinteraction=0.04). There were no differences between clonidine and placebo amongst patients with COMT low-activity alleles. Similar gene-drug interactions were observed for sleep (pint=0.003) and quality of life (pint=0.018). Detrimental effects of clonidine in the subset of CFS patients homozygous for COMT high-activity allele warrant investigation of potential clonidine-COMT interaction effects in other conditions. PMID:27457818

  17. Analysis of Oxidative Stress Status, Catalase and Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Polymorphisms in Egyptian Vitiligo Patients

    PubMed Central

    Mehaney, Dina A.; Darwish, Hebatallah A.; Hegazy, Rehab A.; Nooh, Mohammed M.; Tawdy, Amira M.; Gawdat, Heba I.; El-Sawalhi, Maha M.

    2014-01-01

    Vitiligo is the most common depigmentation disorder of the skin. Oxidative stress is implicated as one of the probable events involved in vitiligo pathogenesis possibly contributing to melanocyte destruction. Evidence indicates that certain genes including those involved in oxidative stress and melanin synthesis are crucial for development of vitiligo. This study evaluates the oxidative stress status, the role of catalase (CAT) and catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) gene polymorphisms in the etiology of generalized vitiligo in Egyptians. Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels as well as CAT exon 9 T/C and COMT 158 G/A polymorphisms were determined in 89 patients and 90 age and sex-matched controls. Our results showed significantly lower TAC along with higher MDA levels in vitiligo patients compared with controls. Meanwhile, genotype and allele distributions of CAT and COMT polymorphisms in cases were not significantly different from those of controls. Moreover, we found no association between both polymorphisms and vitiligo susceptibility. In conclusion, the enhanced oxidative stress with the lack of association between CAT and COMT polymorphisms and susceptibility to vitiligo in our patients suggest that mutations in other genes related to the oxidative pathway might contribute to the etiology of generalized vitiligo in Egyptian population. PMID:24915010

  18. Catechol-O-methyltransferase, a new target for pancreatic cancer therapy

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Wenming; Wu, Qiao; Hong, Xiafei; Zhou, Li; Zhang, Jie; You, Lei; Wang, Wenze; Wu, Huanwen; Dai, Hongmei; Zhao, Yupei

    2015-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is an important molecule in different types of cancers. Its biological effect and therapeutic significance, however, rarely been investigated fully in pancreatic cancer. Immunohistologically, high COMT expression was significantly correlated with the longer overall survival of patients (P < 0.05), indicating its protective nature. The effects of COMT on cell growth, apoptosis, and invasion were evaluated using overexpression and silencing methods. In detail, we carried out experiments using one stably transduced and two transiently transfected pancreatic cancer cell lines in vitro, and one stably transduced cell line in vivo mice xenograft models. In vitro experiments showed that COMT inhibited cell proliferation, enhanced gemcitabine-induced apoptosis, and inhibited cell invasion in stably transduced and transiently transfected cell lines by regulating the PI3K/Akt pathway, p53, and E-cadherin. The COMT overexpressed and silenced cell lines showed significantly inhibited and enhanced growth capacities in in vivo xenograft models, respectively. In conclusion, COMT suppressed pancreatic cancer and its high expression predicted longer survival time. The interaction of COMT with the PI3K/Akt pathway makes it a potential target for therapy. PMID:25711924

  19. Catechol-O-methyltransferase promoter hypomethylation is associated with the risk of coronary heart disease

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Jinyan; Chen, Xiaoying; Wu, Nan; Shen, Caijie; Cui, Hanbin; Du, Weiping; Zhang, Zhaoxia; Feng, Mingjun; Liu, Junsong; Lin, Shaoyi; Zhang, Lulu; Wang, Jian; Chen, Xiaomin; Duan, Shiwei

    2016-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene variation is known to be associated with the risk of acute coronary events. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the contribution of COMT promoter methylation towards the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). COMT methylation was evaluated in 48 CHD cases and 48 well-matched non-CHD controls using bisulfite pyrosequencing technology. The results demonstrated that CHD cases had a significantly lower level of methylation at COMT CpG3 sites compared with the controls (33.77±5.71 vs. 36.42±5.00%; P=0.018). Further analysis, according to gender, showed that CpG3 methylation was associated with CHD in males (P=0.038) but not in females (P=0.253), suggesting that there is a gender disparity in the association between COMT methylation and CHD. In conclusion, it was determined that COMT CpG3 hypomethylation is associated with an increased risk of CHD in males. PMID:27882177

  20. Catechol-O-methyltransferase in complex with substituted 3'-deoxyribose bisubstrate inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Ellermann, Manuel; Lerner, Christian; Burgy, Guillaume; Ehler, Andreas; Bissantz, Caterina; Jakob-Roetne, Roland; Paulini, Ralph; Allemann, Oliver; Tissot, Heloïse; Grünstein, Dan; Stihle, Martine; Diederich, Francois; Rudolph, Markus G

    2012-03-01

    The biological activity of catechol neurotransmitters such as dopamine in the synapse is modulated by transporters and enzymes. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT; EC 2.1.1.6) inactivates neurotransmitters by catalyzing the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosylmethionine to catechols in the presence of Mg²⁺. This pathway also inactivates L-DOPA, the standard therapeutic for Parkinson's disease. Depletion of catechol neurotransmitters in the prefrontal cortex has been linked to schizophrenia. The inhibition of COMT therefore promises improvements in the treatment of these diseases. The concept of bisubstrate inhibitors for COMT has been described previously. Here, ribose-modified bisubstrate inhibitors were studied. Three high-resolution crystal structures of COMT in complex with novel ribose-modified bisubstrate inhibitors confirmed the predicted binding mode but displayed subtle alterations at the ribose-binding site. The high affinity of the inhibitors can be convincingly rationalized from the structures, which document the possibility of removing and/or replacing the ribose 3'-hydroxyl group and provide a framework for further inhibitor design.

  1. Role of Petal-Specific Orcinol O-Methyltransferases in the Evolution of Rose Scent1

    PubMed Central

    Scalliet, Gabriel; Lionnet, Claire; Le Bechec, Mickaël; Dutron, Laurence; Magnard, Jean-Louis; Baudino, Sylvie; Bergougnoux, Véronique; Jullien, Frédéric; Chambrier, Pierre; Vergne, Philippe; Dumas, Christian; Cock, J. Mark; Hugueney, Philippe

    2006-01-01

    Orcinol O-methyltransferase (OOMT) 1 and 2 catalyze the last two steps of the biosynthetic pathway leading to the phenolic methyl ether 3,5-dimethoxytoluene (DMT), the major scent compound of many rose (Rosa x hybrida) varieties. Modern roses are descended from both European and Chinese species, the latter being producers of phenolic methyl ethers but not the former. Here we investigated why phenolic methyl ether production occurs in some but not all rose varieties. In DMT-producing varieties, OOMTs were shown to be localized specifically in the petal, predominanty in the adaxial epidermal cells. In these cells, OOMTs become increasingly associated with membranes during petal development, suggesting that the scent biosynthesis pathway catalyzed by these enzymes may be directly linked to the cells' secretory machinery. OOMT gene sequences were detected in two non-DMT-producing rose species of European origin, but no mRNA transcripts were detected, and these varieties lacked both OOMT protein and enzyme activity. These data indicate that up-regulation of OOMT gene expression may have been a critical step in the evolution of scent production in roses. PMID:16361520

  2. Genetic influences on insight problem solving: the role of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene polymorphisms

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Weili; Shang, Siyuan; Su, Yanjie

    2015-01-01

    People may experience an “aha” moment, when suddenly realizing a solution of a puzzling problem. This experience is called insight problem solving. Several findings suggest that catecholamine-related genes may contribute to insight problem solving, among which the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is the most promising candidate. The current study examined 753 healthy individuals to determine the associations between 7 candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms on the COMT gene and insight problem-solving performance, while considering gender differences. The results showed that individuals carrying A allele of rs4680 or T allele of rs4633 scored significantly higher on insight problem-solving tasks, and the COMT gene rs5993883 combined with gender interacted with correct solutions of insight problems, specifically showing that this gene only influenced insight problem-solving performance in males. This study presents the first investigation of the genetic impact on insight problem solving and provides evidence that highlights the role that the COMT gene plays in insight problem solving. PMID:26528222

  3. Genetic influences on insight problem solving: the role of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene polymorphisms.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Weili; Shang, Siyuan; Su, Yanjie

    2015-01-01

    People may experience an "aha" moment, when suddenly realizing a solution of a puzzling problem. This experience is called insight problem solving. Several findings suggest that catecholamine-related genes may contribute to insight problem solving, among which the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is the most promising candidate. The current study examined 753 healthy individuals to determine the associations between 7 candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms on the COMT gene and insight problem-solving performance, while considering gender differences. The results showed that individuals carrying A allele of rs4680 or T allele of rs4633 scored significantly higher on insight problem-solving tasks, and the COMT gene rs5993883 combined with gender interacted with correct solutions of insight problems, specifically showing that this gene only influenced insight problem-solving performance in males. This study presents the first investigation of the genetic impact on insight problem solving and provides evidence that highlights the role that the COMT gene plays in insight problem solving.

  4. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Gene Polymorphisms in Specific Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Patients' Subgroups.

    PubMed

    Melo-Felippe, Fernanda Brito; de Salles Andrade, Juliana Braga; Giori, Isabele Gomes; Vieira-Fonseca, Tamiris; Fontenelle, Leonardo Franklin; Kohlrausch, Fabiana Barzotti

    2016-01-01

    Pharmacological data and animal models support the hypothesis that the dopaminergic (DA) system is implicated in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Therefore, this case-control study assessed whether genetics variations in catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) could influence susceptibility to OCD and OCD features in a Brazilian sample. A sample of 199 patients with OCD and 200 healthy individuals was genotyped for -287A > G (rs2075507) and Val158Met (rs4680) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) by TaqMan(®) or restriction mapping. We observed a statistically significant predominance of the Met low-activity allele in the male patient group as compared to the male healthy control group. The -287A > G polymorphism's genotypes and alleles were significantly overrepresented among male individuals with ordering and female subjects with washing symptoms. We also found female hoarders to exhibit a significant higher frequency of the low activity Met/Met genotype of Val158Met polymorphism compared to female patients who did not express this dimension. Our data suggest an influence of COMT polymorphisms on OCD and OCD patients' features, such as gender, and ordering, washing, and hoarding symptom dimensions. Further studies to confirm the clinical importance of COMT SNPs in OCD are warranted.

  5. Characterization and structure of DhpI, a phosphonate O-methyltransferase involved in dehydrophos biosynthesis

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Jin-Hee; Bae, Brian; Kuemin, Michael; Circello, Benjamin T.; Metcalf, William W.; Nair, Satish K.; van der Donk, Wilfred A.

    2012-03-15

    Phosphonate natural products possess a range of biological activities as a consequence of their ability to mimic phosphate esters or tetrahedral intermediates formed in enzymatic reactions involved in carboxyl group metabolism. The dianionic form of these compounds at pH 7 poses a drawback with respect to their ability to mimic carboxylates and tetrahedral intermediates. Microorganisms producing phosphonates have evolved two solutions to overcome this hurdle: biosynthesis of monoanionic phosphinates containing two P-C bonds or esterification of the phosphonate group. The latter solution was first discovered for the antibiotic dehydrophos that contains a methyl ester of a phosphonodehydroalanine group. We report here the expression, purification, substrate scope, and structure of the O-methyltransferase from the dehydrophos biosynthetic gene cluster. The enzyme utilizes S-adenosylmethionine to methylate a variety of phosphonates including 1-hydroxyethylphosphonate, 1,2-dihydroxyethylphosphonate, and acetyl-1-aminoethylphosphonate. Kinetic analysis showed that the best substrates are tripeptides containing as C-terminal residue a phosphonate analog of alanine suggesting the enzyme acts late in the biosynthesis of dehydrophos. These conclusions are corroborated by the X-ray structure that reveals an active site that can accommodate a tripeptide substrate. Furthermore, the structural studies demonstrate a conformational change brought about by substrate or product binding. Interestingly, the enzyme has low substrate specificity and was used to methylate the clinical antibiotic fosfomycin and the antimalaria clinical candidate fosmidomycin, showing its promise for applications in bioengineering.

  6. Cloning and expression of a novel catechol-O-methyltransferase in common marmosets

    PubMed Central

    UEHARA, Shotaro; UNO, Yasuhiro; INOUE, Takashi; SASAKI, Erika; YAMAZAKI, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) catalyzes the O-methylation of endogenous catechol amines and estrogens and exogenous catechol-type of drugs. A Parkinson’s disease model of common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) has been widely used in preclinical studies to evaluate inhibitory potential of new drug candidates on marmoset COMT. Despite COMT inhibitors could potentiate the pharmacological action of levodopa on Parkinson’s disease in animal models, marmoset COMT cDNA has not yet been identified and characterized. In this study, a cDNA highly homologous to human COMT was cloned from marmoset livers. This cDNA encoded 268 amino acids containing a transmembrane region and critical amino acid residues for catalytic function. The amino acid sequences of marmoset COMT shared high sequence identity (90%) with human COMT. COMT mRNA was expressed in all five tissues tested, including brain, lung, liver, kidney and small intestine, and was more abundant in marmoset liver and kidney. Membrane-bound COMT was immunochemically detected in livers and kidneys, whereas soluble COMT was detected in livers, similar to humans. These results indicated that the molecular characteristics of marmoset COMT were generally similar to the human ortholog. PMID:27890888

  7. Lignification in Transgenic Poplars with Extremely Reduced Caffeic Acid O-Methyltransferase Activity1

    PubMed Central

    Jouanin, Lise; Goujon, Thomas; de Nadaï, Véronique; Martin, Marie-Thérèse; Mila, Isabelle; Vallet, Christelle; Pollet, Brigitte; Yoshinaga, Arata; Chabbert, Brigitte; Petit-Conil, Michel; Lapierre, Catherine

    2000-01-01

    Transgenic poplars (Populus tremula × Populus alba) were obtained by introduction of a sense homologous transgene encoding caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) under the control either of the cauliflower mosaic virus double 35S promoter or of the eucalyptus cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase promoter. Although these constructs conferred a moderate overexpression of COMT in some lines, a transgenic line with the double 35S promoter was found where COMT activity in woody tissues was close to zero due to a gene-silencing phenomenon. For the first time in COMT down-regulated trees, this alteration substantially reduced lignin level in 6-month-old trees (17% decrease). Lignin structure was found to be strongly altered, with a two times higher content in condensed bonds, an almost complete lack of syringyl units, and the incorporation of 5-hydroxyguaiacyl units to the most remarkable extent reported so far. Consistent with the higher cellulose content and with the higher condensation degree of the lignin, the impact of the transformation on the kraft-pulping performances of the poplar trees positively affected the pulp yield (10% relative increase), but made lignins less amenable to industrial degradations. PMID:10938354

  8. Characterization of Non-Nitrocatechol Pan and Isoform Specific Catechol-O-methyltransferase Inhibitors and Substrates

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Reduced dopamine neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex has been implicated as causal for the negative symptoms and cognitive deficit associated with schizophrenia; thus, a compound which selectively enhances dopamine neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex may have therapeutic potential. Inhibition of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT, EC 2.1.1.6) offers a unique advantage, since this enzyme is the primary mechanism for the elimination of dopamine in cortical areas. Since membrane bound COMT (MB-COMT) is the predominant isoform in human brain, a high throughput screen (HTS) to identify novel MB-COMT specific inhibitors was completed. Subsequent optimization led to the identification of novel, non-nitrocatechol COMT inhibitors, some of which interact specifically with MB-COMT. Compounds were characterized for in vitro efficacy versus human and rat MB and soluble (S)-COMT. Select compounds were administered to male Wistar rats, and ex vivo COMT activity, compound levels in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and CSF dopamine metabolite levels were determined as measures of preclinical efficacy. Finally, novel non-nitrocatechol COMT inhibitors displayed less potent uncoupling of the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) compared to tolcapone as well as nonhepatotoxic entacapone, thus mitigating the risk of hepatotoxicity. PMID:22860182

  9. Genetic Contribution of Catechol-O-methyltransferase Polymorphism in Patients with Migraine without Aura

    PubMed Central

    Park, Jeong Wook; Kim, Joong Seok; Kim, Yeong In; Shin, Hae Eun

    2007-01-01

    Background Recent genetic association studies have investigated the possible genetic role of the dopaminergic system in migraine. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is an enzyme that plays a crucial role in the metabolism of dopamine and its genetic polymorphism is associated with three- to fourfold variation of enzymatic activity. Objectives The objective of this study was to elucidate the role of the COMT polymorphism in the genetic susceptibility to migraine and its phenotypic expression in patients with migraine without aura (MWOA). Methods Ninety-seven patients with MWOA and 94 healthy volunteers were included in the study. After amplifying COMT genes by the polymerase chain reaction, we assessed their genotype frequencies and allele distributions by based on restriction fragment length polymorphisms. We classified all MWOA patients into two groups according to their COMT genotype: with the L allele (N = 43), and without this allele (N = 54). Results The genotype frequency and allele distribution of the COMT polymorphism did not differ between MWOA patients and the control group. During migraine attacks, MWOA patients with the L allele showed a higher pain intensity of headache (P = 0.001) and a higher incidence of the accompanying nausea/vomiting (94% vs 75%; P = 0.026) compared with MWOA patients without the L allele. Conclusions Although the COMT polymorphism does not appear to be involved in predisposition to the development of MWOA, this genetic factor could be involved in the phenotypic expression of MWOA. PMID:19513339

  10. Down-regulation of lignin biosynthesis in transgenic Leucaena leucocephala harboring O-methyltransferase gene.

    PubMed

    Rastogi, Smita; Dwivedi, Upendra Nath

    2006-01-01

    In the present study, a 0.47 kb OMT gene construct from aspen, encoding for an enzyme O-methyltransferase (OMT, EC 2.1.1.6), in antisense orientation was used to down-regulate lignin biosynthesis in Leucaena leucocephala. The plants were transformed with Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain harboring the antisense gene, and the transformation was confirmed by PCR amplification of the npt II gene. The integration of a heterologous antisense OMT gene construct in transformed plants led to a maximum of 60% reduction in OMT activity relative to control. The evaluation of total lignin content by the Klason method revealed a maximum of 28% reduction. Histochemical analyses of stem sections depicted a reduction in lignin content and normal xylem development. The results also suggested a probable increase in aldehyde levels and a decrease in syringyl units. Lignin down-regulation was accompanied by an increase in methanol soluble phenolics to an extent that had no impact on wood discoloration, and the plants displayed a normal phenotype. Concomitantly, an increase of up to 9% in cellulose content was also observed. Upon alkali extraction, modified lignin was more extractable as evident from reduced Klason lignin in saponified residue and increased alkali soluble phenolics. The results together suggested that the extent of down-regulation of OMT activity achieved may lead to quality amelioration of Leucaena with respect to its applicability in pulp and paper manufacture as well as nutritive and easily digestible forage production.

  11. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) polymorphisms modulate working memory in individuals with schizophrenia and healthy controls.

    PubMed

    Matsuzaka, Camila T; Christofolini, Denise; Ota, Vanessa K; Gadelha, Ary; Berberian, Arthur A; Noto, Cristiano; Mazzotti, Diego R; Spindola, Leticia M; Moretti, Patricia N; Smith, Marilia A C; Melaragno, Maria I; Belangero, Sintia I; Bressan, Rodrigo A

    2017-03-02

    Cognitive impairment is a core feature of schizophrenia, related to dopaminergic dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). It is hypothesized that functional single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs4680 of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene could mediate the relationship between cognition and dopamine activity in the PFC. Other COMT SNPs could also play a role. We evaluated the role of three COMT SNPs (rs737865, rs165599, and rs4680) in schizophrenia and their impact on three working memory tasks. For genetic association analyses, 212 individuals with schizophrenia and 257 healthy controls (HCs) were selected. The Visual Working Memory (VWM) Task, Keep Track Task, and Letter Memory Task were administered to 133 schizophrenics and 93 HCs. We found a significant association of rs737865, with the GG genotype exerting a protective effect and the GA haplotype (rs4680/rs165599) exerting a risk effect for schizophrenia. COMT rs4680 AA carriers and rs737865 AA carriers scored lowest on the Keep Track Task. When the genotype*group interaction effect was evaluated, rs165599 exerted opposite effects for VWM and Keep Track task performance in patients and controls, with AA carriers scoring lowest on both tests among controls, but highest among patients. These data support the hypothesis that COMT polymorphisms may be associated with schizophrenia and modulate cognition in patients and controls.

  12. Is catechol-o-methyltransferase gene polymorphism a risk factor in the development of premenstrual syndrome?

    PubMed Central

    Deveci, Esma Ozturk; Selek, Salih; Camuzcuoglu, Aysun; Hilali, Nese Gul; Camuzcuoglu, Hakan; Erdal, Mehmet Emin; Vural, Mehmet

    2014-01-01

    Objective The objective of this study was to investigate whether there was a correlation between catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) gene polymorphism, which is believed to play a role in the etiology of psychotic disorders, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Methods Fifty-three women with regular menstrual cycles, aged between 18 and 46 years and diagnosed with PMS according to the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology criteria were included in this study as the study group, and 53 healthy women having no health problems were selected as the controls. Venous blood was collected from all patients included in the study and kept at -18℃ prior to analysis. Results There was no significant difference between the groups in terms of demographic features such as age, body mass index, number of pregnancies, parity, and number of children. No statistically significant difference was observed in terms of COMT gene polymorphism (p=0.61) between women in the PMS and the control groups. However, a significant difference was found between arthralgia, which is an indicator of PMS, and low-enzyme activity COMT gene (Met/Met) polymorphism (p=0.04). Conclusion These results suggested that there was no significant relationship between PMS and COMT gene polymorphism. Since we could not find a direct correlation between the COMT gene polymorphism and PMS, further studies including alternative neurotransmitter pathways are needed to find an effective treatment for this disease. PMID:25045629

  13. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase val158met Polymorphism Predicts Placebo Effect in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Kathryn T.; Lembo, Anthony J.; Kirsch, Irving; Ziogas, Dimitrios C.; Douaiher, Jeffrey; Jensen, Karin B.; Conboy, Lisa A.; Kelley, John M.; Kokkotou, Efi; Kaptchuk, Ted J.

    2012-01-01

    Identifying patients who are potential placebo responders has major implications for clinical practice and trial design. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), an important enzyme in dopamine catabolism plays a key role in processes associated with the placebo effect such as reward, pain, memory and learning. We hypothesized that the COMT functional val158met polymorphism, was a predictor of placebo effects and tested our hypothesis in a subset of 104 patients from a previously reported randomized controlled trial in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The three treatment arms from this study were: no-treatment (“waitlist”), placebo treatment alone (“limited”) and, placebo treatment “augmented” with a supportive patient-health care provider interaction. The primary outcome measure was change from baseline in IBS-Symptom Severity Scale (IBS-SSS) after three weeks of treatment. In a regression model, the number of methionine alleles in COMT val158met was linearly related to placebo response as measured by changes in IBS-SSS (p = .035). The strongest placebo response occurred in met/met homozygotes treated in the augmented placebo arm. A smaller met/met associated effect was observed with limited placebo treatment and there was no effect in the waitlist control. These data support our hypothesis that the COMT val158met polymorphism is a potential biomarker of placebo response. PMID:23110189

  14. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism Is Associated with Somatosensory Amplification and Nocebo Responses

    PubMed Central

    Benson, Sven; Engler, Harald; Engler, Andrea; Hinney, Anke; Rief, Winfried; Witzke, Oliver; Schedlowski, Manfred

    2014-01-01

    A large number of unwanted adverse events and symptoms reported by patients in clinical trials are not caused by the drug provided, since most of adverse events also occur in corresponding placebo groups. These nocebo effects also play a major role in drug discontinuation in clinical practice, negatively affecting treatment efficacy as well as patient adherence and compliance. Experimental and clinical data document a large interindividual variability in nocebo responses, however, data on psychological, biological or genetic predictors of nocebo responses are lacking. Thus, with an established paradigm of behaviorally conditioned immunosuppressive effects we analyzed possible genetic predictors for nocebo responses. We focused on the genetic polymorphisms in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene (Val158Met) and analyzed drug specific and general side effects before and after immunosuppressive medication and subsequent placebo intake in 62 healthy male subjects. Significantly more drug-specific as well as general side effects were reported from homozygous carriers of the Val158 variant during medication as well as placebo treatment compared to the other genotype groups. Val158/Val158 carriers also had significantly higher scores in the somatosensory amplification scale (SSAS) and the BMQ (beliefs about medicine questionnaire). Together these data demonstrate potential genetic and psychological variables predicting nocebo responses after drug and placebo intake, which might be utilized to minimize nocebo effects in clinical trials and medical practice. PMID:25222607

  15. The complex global pattern of genetic variation and linkage disequilibrium at catechol-O-methyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, N; Kidd, K K; Pakstis, A J; Speed, W C; Li, H; Tarnok, Z; Barta, C; Kajuna, S L B; Kidd, J R

    2010-02-01

    Genetic variation at the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene has been significantly associated with risk for various neuropsychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, panic disorder, bipolar disorders, anorexia nervosa and others. It has also been associated with nicotine dependence, sensitivity to pain and cognitive dysfunctions especially in schizophrenia. The non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in exon 4--Val108/158Met--is the most studied SNP at COMT and is the basis for most associations. It is not, however, the only variation in the gene; several haplotypes exist across the gene. Some studies indicate that the haplotypic combinations of alleles at the Val108/158Met SNP with those in the promoter region and in the 3'-untranslated region are responsible for the associations with disorders and not the non-synonymous SNP by itself. We have now studied DNA samples from 45 populations for 63 SNPs in a region of 172 kb across the region of 22q11.2 encompassing the COMT gene. We focused on 28 SNPs spanning the COMT-coding region and immediately flanking DNA, and found that the haplotypes are from diverse evolutionary lineages that could harbor as yet undetected variants with functional consequences. Future association studies should be based on SNPs that define the common haplotypes in the population(s) being studied.

  16. Analysis of the Association between Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met and Male Sexual Orientation.

    PubMed

    Yu, Wei; Tu, Dan; Hong, Fuchang; Wang, Jing; Liu, Xiaoli; Cai, Yumao; Xu, Ruiwei; Zhao, Guanglu; Wang, Feng; Pan, Hong; Wu, Shinan; Feng, Tiejian; Wang, Binbin

    2015-09-01

    Male sexual orientation is thought to have a genetic component. However, previous studies have failed to generate positive results from among candidate genes. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), located on chromosome 22, has six exons, spans 27 kb, and encodes a protein of 271 amino acids. COMT has an important role in regulating the embryonic levels of catecholamine neurotransmitters (such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine) and estrogens. COMT is also thought to be related to sexual orientation. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the COMT Val158Met variant and male sexual orientation. We performed association analysis of the COMT gene single nucleotide polymorphism, Val158Met, in 409 homosexual cases and 387 heterosexual control Chinese men. COMT polymorphism status was determined using a polymerase chain reaction-based assay. Polymerase chain reaction was performed to genotype the COMT Val158Met polymorphism. The frequency differences of the genotype and alleles distribution between the male homosexual and control groups. Significant differences, both in genotype and alleles, between male homosexual individuals and controls indicated a genetic component related to male homosexuality. The Val allele recessive model could be an interrelated genetic model of the cause of male homosexuality. The COMT Val158Met variant might be associated with male sexual orientation and a recessive model was suggested. © 2015 International Society for Sexual Medicine.

  17. Catechol-o-methyltransferase genotype and childhood trauma may interact to impact schizotypal personality traits.

    PubMed

    Savitz, Jonathan; van der Merwe, Lize; Newman, Timothy K; Stein, Dan J; Ramesar, Raj

    2010-05-01

    We attempt to identify gene by childhood abuse interactions which predispose to the development of schizotypal traits in a familial bipolar disorder (BD) sample. Self-report measures of schizotypal personality traits (Schizotypal Personality Scale) and childhood maltreatment (Childhood Trauma Questionnaire) were administered to 222 participants from 44 families with BD. Variants of catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) and four other dopamine pathway-related genes: DRD4, DRD2,MAOA, and SLC6A3, were typed. BD type I (BD I) subjects scored significantly higher than their unaffected relatives on the Schizotypal Personality Scale. The val allele of the Val158 Met polymorphism of the COMT gene was associated with increased schizotypal personality trait scores in individuals exposed to higher levels of self-reported childhood trauma (p < 0.05). There was no direct effect of the val158met polymorphism on schizotypal personality traits. Further, no passive correlation between COMT genotype and childhood trauma was found. We raise the possibility that genetically-driven variation in COMT may interact with childhood trauma to contribute to the risk of developing schizotypal personality traits.

  18. Isolation and characterization of the fragrant cyclamen O-methyltransferase involved in flower coloration.

    PubMed

    Akita, Yusuke; Kitamura, Satoshi; Hase, Yoshihiro; Narumi, Issay; Ishizaka, Hiroshi; Kondo, Emiko; Kameari, Naoko; Nakayama, Masayoshi; Tanikawa, Natsu; Morita, Yasumasa; Tanaka, Atsushi

    2011-12-01

    Anthocyanin O-methyltransferase (OMT) is one of the key enzymes for anthocyanin modification and flower pigmentation. We previously bred a novel red-purple-flowered fragrant cyclamen (KMrp) from the purple-flowered fragrant cyclamen 'Kaori-no-mai' (KM) by ion-beam irradiation. Since the major anthocyanins in KMrp and KM petals were delphinidin 3,5-diglucoside and malvidin 3,5-diglucoside, respectively, inactivation of a methylation step in the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway was indicated in KMrp. We isolated and compared OMT genes expressed in KM and KMrp petals. RT-PCR analysis revealed that CkmOMT2 was expressed in the petals of KM but not in KMrp. Three additional CkmOMTs with identical sequences were expressed in petals of both KM and KMrp. Genomic PCR analysis revealed that CkmOMT2 was not amplified from the KMrp genome, indicating that ion-beam irradiation caused a loss of the entire CkmOMT2 region in KMrp. In vitro enzyme assay demonstrated that CkmOMT2 catalyzes the 3' or 3',5' O-methylation of the B-ring of anthocyanin substrates. These results suggest that CkmOMT2 is functional for anthocyanin methylation, and defective expression of CkmOMT2 is responsible for changes in anthocyanin composition and flower coloration in KMrp.

  19. Phylogenetic, Molecular, and Biochemical Characterization of Caffeic Acid o-Methyltransferase Gene Family in Brachypodium distachyon

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xianting; Wu, Jiajie; Luo, Yangfan; Bragg, Jennifer; Anderson, Olin; Vogel, John; Gu, Yong Q.

    2013-01-01

    Caffeic acid o-methyltransferase (COMT) is one of the important enzymes controlling lignin monomer production in plant cell wall synthesis. Analysis of the genome sequence of the new grass model Brachypodium distachyon identified four COMT gene homologs, designated as BdCOMT1, BdCOMT2, BdCOMT3, and BdCOMT4. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that they belong to the COMT gene family, whereas syntenic analysis through comparisons with rice and sorghum revealed that BdCOMT4 on Chromosome 3 is the orthologous copy of the COMT genes well characterized in other grass species. The other three COMT genes are unique to Brachypodium since orthologous copies are not found in the collinear regions of rice and sorghum genomes. Expression studies indicated that all four Brachypodium COMT genes are transcribed but with distinct patterns of tissue specificity. Full-length cDNAs were cloned in frame into the pQE-T7 expression vector for the purification of recombinant Brachypodium COMT proteins. Biochemical characterization of enzyme activity and substrate specificity showed that BdCOMT4 has significant effect on a broad range of substrates with the highest preference for caffeic acid. The other three COMTs had low or no effect on these substrates, suggesting that a diversified evolution occurred on these duplicate genes that not only impacted their pattern of expression, but also altered their biochemical properties. PMID:23431288

  20. Catechol-O-methyltransferase val158met polymorphism predicts placebo effect in irritable bowel syndrome.

    PubMed

    Hall, Kathryn T; Lembo, Anthony J; Kirsch, Irving; Ziogas, Dimitrios C; Douaiher, Jeffrey; Jensen, Karin B; Conboy, Lisa A; Kelley, John M; Kokkotou, Efi; Kaptchuk, Ted J

    2012-01-01

    Identifying patients who are potential placebo responders has major implications for clinical practice and trial design. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), an important enzyme in dopamine catabolism plays a key role in processes associated with the placebo effect such as reward, pain, memory and learning. We hypothesized that the COMT functional val158met polymorphism, was a predictor of placebo effects and tested our hypothesis in a subset of 104 patients from a previously reported randomized controlled trial in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The three treatment arms from this study were: no-treatment ("waitlist"), placebo treatment alone ("limited") and, placebo treatment "augmented" with a supportive patient-health care provider interaction. The primary outcome measure was change from baseline in IBS-Symptom Severity Scale (IBS-SSS) after three weeks of treatment. In a regression model, the number of methionine alleles in COMT val158met was linearly related to placebo response as measured by changes in IBS-SSS (p = .035). The strongest placebo response occurred in met/met homozygotes treated in the augmented placebo arm. A smaller met/met associated effect was observed with limited placebo treatment and there was no effect in the waitlist control. These data support our hypothesis that the COMT val158met polymorphism is a potential biomarker of placebo response.

  1. Performance of hydrophobic interaction ligands for human membrane-bound catechol-O-methyltransferase purification.

    PubMed

    Santos, Fátima Milhano; Pedro, Augusto Quaresma; Soares, Rui Filipe; Martins, Rita; Bonifácio, Maria João; Queiroz, João António; Passarinha, Luís António

    2013-06-01

    Despite of membrane catechol-O-methyltransferase (MBCOMT, EC 2.1.1.6) physiological importance on catecholamines' O-methylation, no studies allowed their total isolation. Therefore, for the first time, we compare the performance of three hydrophobic adsorbents (butyl-, epoxy-, and octyl-Sepharose) in purification of recombinant human COMT (hMBCOMT) from crude Brevibacillus choshinensis cell lysates to develop a sustainable chromatographic process. Hydrophobic matrices were evaluated in terms of selectivity and hMBCOMT's binding and elution conditions. Results show that hMBCOMT's adsorption was promoted on octyl and butyl at ≤375 mM NaH2 PO4, while on epoxy higher concentrations (>850 mM) were required. Additionally, hMBCOMT's elution was promoted on epoxy, butyl, and octyl using respectively 0.1-0.5, 0.25-1, and 1% of Triton X-100. On butyl media, a stepwise strategy using 375 and 0 mM NaH2PO4, followed by three elution steps at 0.25, 0.7 and 1% Triton X-100, allowed selective hMBCOMT isolation. In conclusion, significant amounts of MBCOMT were purified with high selectivity on a single chromatography procedure, despite its elution occurs on multiple peaks. Although successful applications of hydrophobic interaction chromatography in purification of membrane proteins are uncommon, we proved that traditional hydrophobic matrices can open a promising unexplored field to fulfill specific requirements for kinetic and pharmacological trials.

  2. Genetic variation in catechol-O-methyltransferase modifies effects of clonidine treatment in chronic fatigue syndrome.

    PubMed

    Hall, K T; Kossowsky, J; Oberlander, T F; Kaptchuk, T J; Saul, J P; Wyller, V B; Fagermoen, E; Sulheim, D; Gjerstad, J; Winger, A; Mukamal, K J

    2016-10-01

    Clonidine, an α2-adrenergic receptor agonist, decreases circulating norepinephrine and epinephrine, attenuating sympathetic activity. Although catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) metabolizes catecholamines, main effectors of sympathetic function, COMT genetic variation effects on clonidine treatment are unknown. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is hypothesized to result in part from dysregulated sympathetic function. A candidate gene analysis of COMT rs4680 effects on clinical outcomes in the Norwegian Study of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Adolescents: Pathophysiology and Intervention Trial (NorCAPITAL), a randomized double-blinded clonidine versus placebo trial, was conducted (N=104). Patients homozygous for rs4680 high-activity allele randomized to clonidine took 2500 fewer steps compared with placebo (Pinteraction=0.04). There were no differences between clonidine and placebo among patients with COMT low-activity alleles. Similar gene-drug interactions were observed for sleep (Pinteraction=0.003) and quality of life (Pinteraction=0.018). Detrimental effects of clonidine in the subset of CFS patients homozygous for COMT high-activity allele warrant investigation of potential clonidine-COMT interaction effects in other conditions.

  3. Essential Role of Caffeoyl Coenzyme A O-Methyltransferase in Lignin Biosynthesis in Woody Poplar Plants

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Ruiqin; Morrison, W. Herbert; Himmelsbach, David S.; Poole, Farris L.; Ye, Zheng-Hua

    2000-01-01

    Caffeoyl coenzyme A O-methyltransferase (CCoAOMT) has recently been shown to participate in lignin biosynthesis in herbacious tobacco plants. Here, we demonstrate that CCoAOMT is essential in lignin biosynthesis in woody poplar (Populus tremula × Populus alba) plants. In poplar stems, CCoAOMT was found to be expressed in all lignifying cells including vessel elements and fibers as well as in xylem ray parenchyma cells. Repression of CCoAOMT expression by the antisense approach in transgenic poplar plants caused a significant decrease in total lignin content as detected by both Klason lignin assay and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. The reduction in lignin content was the result of a decrease in both guaiacyl and syringyl lignins as determined by in-source pyrolysis mass spectrometry. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy indicated that the reduction in lignin content resulted in a less condensed and less cross-linked lignin structure in wood. Repression of CCoAOMT expression also led to coloration of wood and an elevation of wall-bound p-hydroxybenzoic acid. Taken together, these results indicate that CCoAOMT plays a dominant role in the methylation of the 3-hydroxyl group of caffeoyl CoA, and the CCoAOMT-mediated methylation reaction is essential to channel substrates for 5-methoxylation of hydroxycinnamates. They also suggest that antisense repression of CCoAOMT is an efficient means for genetic engineering of trees with low lignin content. PMID:11027707

  4. Comparative study of putative 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase and abscisic acid accumulation in the responses of Sunki mandarin and Rangpur lime to water deficit.

    PubMed

    Neves, D M; Filho, M A Coelho; Bellete, B S; Silva, M F G F; Souza, D T; Dos S Soares Filho, W; Costa, M G C; Gesteira, A S

    2013-09-01

    Abscisic acid is a plant hormone that participates in essential plant physiological processes, especially during adaptation to many environmental stresses, such as water deficit. The relationship between ABA accumulation and the expression of putative carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase (CCD) genes was investigated in the pot-cultivated leaves and roots of the 'Rangpur' lime and 'Sunki Maravilha' mandarin plants. Transpiration, stomatal resistance and leaf growth were evaluated when these genotypes were subjected to continuous water deficit. Under water deficit conditions, the 'Rangpur' lime extracts used greater amounts of water when compared to the 'Sunki Maravilha' plants, which reached the greatest stomatal resistance 5 days before 'Rangpur' lime. When subjected to water deficit, the roots and leaves of 'Sunki Maravilha' showed a progressive increase in ABA accumulation; however, in 'Rangpur' lime, alternations between high and low ABA concentrations were observed. These results suggest a retroactive feeding regulation by ABA. In 'Rangpur' lime the NCED2, NCED3 and CCD4a genes were expressed at the highest levels in the roots, and NCED5 was highly expressed in the leaves; in 'Sunki Maravilha', the NCED2 and NCED5 genes were most highly expressed in the roots, and NCED2 was most highly expressed in the leaves. However, for both genotypes, the transcription of these genes only correlated with ABA accumulation during the most severe water deficit conditions. The 'Rangpur' lime behaved as a vigorous rootstock; the leaf growth remained unaltered even when water was scarce. However, 'Sunki Maravilha' adaptation was based on the equilibrium of the response between the root and the aerial tissues due to water restriction. The use of the Sunki mandarin in combination with a scion with similar characteristics as its own, which responds to water deficit stress by accumulating ABA in the leaves, may display good drought tolerance under field conditions.

  5. An Engineered Monolignol 4-O-Methyltransferase Depresses Lignin Biosynthesis and Confers Novel Metabolic Capability in Arabidopsis[C][W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Kewei; Bhuiya, Mohammad-Wadud; Pazo, Jorge Rencoret; Miao, Yuchen; Kim, Hoon; Ralph, John; Liu, Chang-Jun

    2012-01-01

    Although the practice of protein engineering is industrially fruitful in creating biocatalysts and therapeutic proteins, applications of analogous techniques in the field of plant metabolic engineering are still in their infancy. Lignins are aromatic natural polymers derived from the oxidative polymerization of primarily three different hydroxycinnamyl alcohols, the monolignols. Polymerization of lignin starts with the oxidation of monolignols, followed by endwise cross-coupling of (radicals of) a monolignol and the growing oligomer/polymer. The para-hydroxyl of each monolignol is crucial for radical generation and subsequent coupling. Here, we describe the structure-function analysis and catalytic improvement of an artificial monolignol 4-O-methyltransferase created by iterative saturation mutagenesis and its use in modulating lignin and phenylpropanoid biosynthesis. We show that expressing the created enzyme in planta, thus etherifying the para-hydroxyls of lignin monomeric precursors, denies the derived monolignols any participation in the subsequent coupling process, substantially reducing lignification and, ultimately, lignin content. Concomitantly, the transgenic plants accumulated de novo synthesized 4-O-methylated soluble phenolics and wall-bound esters. The lower lignin levels of transgenic plants resulted in higher saccharification yields. Our study, through a structure-based protein engineering approach, offers a novel strategy for modulating phenylpropanoid/lignin biosynthesis to improve cell wall digestibility and diversify the repertories of biologically active compounds. PMID:22851762

  6. Abiotic stresses differentially affect the expression of O-methyltransferase genes related to methoxypyrazine biosynthesis in seeded and parthenocarpic fruits of Vitis vinifera (L.).

    PubMed

    Vallarino, José G; Gainza-Cortés, Felipe; Verdugo-Alegría, Claudio; González, Enrique; Moreno, Yerko M

    2014-07-01

    MPs (3-alkyl-2-methoxypyrazines) are grape-derived aroma compounds that are associated with detrimental herbaceous flavours in some wines. It is well known that several viticultural and environmental parameters can modulate MP concentrations in grapes, although comprehensive molecular studies have not been conducted in this field. Although the biosynthesis pathway of MPs has not been fully elucidated, four Vitis vinifera O-methyltransferase genes (VvOMT1-4) have been related to be involved in MP biosynthesis. We assessed whether different abiotic stresses induction have an impact on MP levels in grapes and wines from seeded and parthenocarpic fruits. Our results show that the timing of VvOMT3 expression is associated with the period of MPs accumulation in seeded fruits during both abiotic stresses, whereas no association was found in parthenocarpic fruits. These results are discussed in the context of how different viticultural practices can modulate VvOMT gene expression, which has a direct impact on MPs levels in wines. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Putative P1B-type ATPase from the bacterium Achromobacter xylosoxidans A8 alters Pb2+/Zn2+/Cd2+-resistance and accumulation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Suman, Jachym; Kotrba, Pavel; Macek, Tomas

    2014-05-01

    PbtA, a putative P(1B)-type ATPase from the Gram-negative soil bacterium Achromobacter xylosoxidans A8 responsible for Pb(2+)/Zn(2+)/Cd(2+)-resistance in Escherichia coli, was heterologously expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. When present in Zn(2+)- and Pb(2+)/Cd(2+)-hypersensitive S. cerevisiae strains CM137 and DTY168, respectively, PbtA was able to restore Zn(2+)- and Pb(2+)-resistant phenotype. At the same time, the increase of Pb, Zn, and Cd accumulation in yeast was observed. However, Cd(2+)-tolerance of the pbtA-bearing yeasts dramatically decreased. The PbtA-eGFP fusion protein was localized primarily in the tonoplast and also in the plasma membrane and the perinuclear region corresponding to the endoplasmic reticulum at later growth stages. This indicates that PbtA protein is successfully incorporated into membranes in yeasts. Since PbtA caused a substantial increase of Pb(2+)/Zn(2+)-resistance and accumulation in baker's yeast, we propose its further use for the genetic modification of suitable plant species in order to obtain an effective tool for the phytoremediation of sites polluted by toxic transition metals. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase and 3,4-(±)-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine Toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Herndon, Joseph M.; Cholanians, Aram B.; Lizarraga, Lucina E.; Lau, Serrine S.; Monks, Terrence J.

    2014-01-01

    Metabolism of 3,4-(±)-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is necessary to elicit its neurotoxic effects. Perturbations in phase I and phase II hepatic enzymes can alter the neurotoxic profile of systemically administered MDMA. In particular, catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) plays a critical role in determining the fraction of MDMA that is converted to potentially neurotoxic metabolites. Thus, cytochrome P450 mediated demethylenation of MDMA, or its N-demethylated metabolite, 3,4-(±)-methylenedioxyamphetamine, give rise to the catechols, N-methyl-α-methyldopamine and α-methyldopamine, respectively. Methylation of these catechols by COMT limits their oxidation and conjugation to glutathione, a process that ultimately gives rise to neurotoxic metabolites. We therefore determined the effects of modulating COMT, a critical enzyme involved in determining the fraction of MDMA that is converted to potentially neurotoxic metabolites, on MDMA-induced toxicity. Pharmacological inhibition of COMT in the rat potentiated MDMA-induced serotonin deficits and exacerbated the acute MDMA-induced hyperthermic response. Using a genetic mouse model of COMT deficiency, in which mice lack a functional COMT gene, such mice displayed greater reductions in dopamine concentrations relative to their wild-type (WT) counterparts. Neither WT nor COMT deficient mice were susceptible to MDMA-induced decreases in serotonin concentrations. Interestingly, mice devoid of COMT were far more susceptible to the acute hyperthermic effects of MDMA, exhibiting greater increases in body temperature that ultimately resulted in death. Our findings support the view that COMT plays a pivotal role in determining the toxic response to MDMA. PMID:24591155

  9. A Novel Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Variant Associated with Human Disc Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Gruber, Helen E.; Sha, Wei; Brouwer, Cory R.; Steuerwald, Nury; Hoelscher, Gretchen L.; Hanley, Edward N. Jr.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Disc degeneration and its associated low back pain are a major health care concern causing disability with a prominent role in this country's medical, social and economic structure. Low back pain is devastating and influences the quality of life for millions. Low back pain lifetime prevalence approximates 80% with an estimated direct cost burden of $86 billion per year. Back pain patients incur higher costs, greater health care utilization, and greater work loss than patients without back pain. Methods: Research was performed following approval of our Institutional Review Board. DNA was isolated, processed and amplified using routine techniques. Amplified DNA was hybridized to Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Arrays. Quality control and genotyping analysis were performed using Affymetrix Genotyping Console. The Birdseed v2 algorithm was used for genotyping analysis. 2589 SNPs were selected a priori to enter statistical analysis using lotistic regression in SAS. Results: Our objective was to search for novel single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with disc degeneration. Four SNPs were found to have a significant relationship to disc degeneration; three are novel. Rs165656, a new SNP found to be associated with disc degeneration, was in catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), a gene with well-recognized pain involvement, especially in female subjects (p=0.01). Analysis confirmed the previously association between COMT SNP rs4633 and disc degeneration. We also report two novel disc degeneration-related SNPs (rs2095019 and rs470859) located in intergenic regions upstream to thrombospondin 2. Conclusions: Findings contribute to the challenging field of disc degeneration and pain, and are important in light of the high clinical relevance of low back pain and the need for improved understanding of its fundamental basis. PMID:24904231

  10. Computational Investigation of the Interplay of Substrate Positioning and Reactivity in Catechol O-Methyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Patra, Niladri; Ioannidis, Efthymios I; Kulik, Heather J

    2016-01-01

    Catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a SAM- and Mg2+-dependent methyltransferase that regulates neurotransmitters through methylation. Simulations and experiments have identified divergent catecholamine substrate orientations in the COMT active site: molecular dynamics simulations have favored a monodentate coordination of catecholate substrates to the active site Mg2+, and crystal structures instead preserve bidentate coordination along with short (2.65 Å) methyl donor-acceptor distances. We carry out longer dynamics (up to 350 ns) to quantify interconversion between bidentate and monodentate binding poses. We provide a systematic determination of the relative free energy of the monodentate and bidentate structures in order to identify whether structural differences alter the nature of the methyl transfer mechanism and source of enzymatic rate enhancement. We demonstrate that the bidentate and monodentate binding modes are close in energy but separated by a 7 kcal/mol free energy barrier. Analysis of interactions in the two binding modes reveals that the driving force for monodentate catecholate orientations in classical molecular dynamics simulations is derived from stronger electrostatic stabilization afforded by alternate Mg2+ coordination with strongly charged active site carboxylates. Mixed semi-empirical-classical (SQM/MM) substrate C-O distances (2.7 Å) for the bidentate case are in excellent agreement with COMT X-ray crystal structures, as long as charge transfer between the substrates, Mg2+, and surrounding ligands is permitted. SQM/MM free energy barriers for methyl transfer from bidentate and monodentate catecholate configurations are comparable at around 21-22 kcal/mol, in good agreement with experiment (18-19 kcal/mol). Overall, the work suggests that both binding poses are viable for methyl transfer, and accurate descriptions of charge transfer and electrostatics are needed to provide balanced relative barriers when multiple binding poses are

  11. Computational Investigation of the Interplay of Substrate Positioning and Reactivity in Catechol O-Methyltransferase

    PubMed Central

    Patra, Niladri; Ioannidis, Efthymios I.

    2016-01-01

    Catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a SAM- and Mg2+-dependent methyltransferase that regulates neurotransmitters through methylation. Simulations and experiments have identified divergent catecholamine substrate orientations in the COMT active site: molecular dynamics simulations have favored a monodentate coordination of catecholate substrates to the active site Mg2+, and crystal structures instead preserve bidentate coordination along with short (2.65 Å) methyl donor-acceptor distances. We carry out longer dynamics (up to 350 ns) to quantify interconversion between bidentate and monodentate binding poses. We provide a systematic determination of the relative free energy of the monodentate and bidentate structures in order to identify whether structural differences alter the nature of the methyl transfer mechanism and source of enzymatic rate enhancement. We demonstrate that the bidentate and monodentate binding modes are close in energy but separated by a 7 kcal/mol free energy barrier. Analysis of interactions in the two binding modes reveals that the driving force for monodentate catecholate orientations in classical molecular dynamics simulations is derived from stronger electrostatic stabilization afforded by alternate Mg2+ coordination with strongly charged active site carboxylates. Mixed semi-empirical-classical (SQM/MM) substrate C-O distances (2.7 Å) for the bidentate case are in excellent agreement with COMT X-ray crystal structures, as long as charge transfer between the substrates, Mg2+, and surrounding ligands is permitted. SQM/MM free energy barriers for methyl transfer from bidentate and monodentate catecholate configurations are comparable at around 21–22 kcal/mol, in good agreement with experiment (18–19 kcal/mol). Overall, the work suggests that both binding poses are viable for methyl transfer, and accurate descriptions of charge transfer and electrostatics are needed to provide balanced relative barriers when multiple binding poses are

  12. Influence of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene polymorphisms in pain sensibility of Brazilian fibromialgia patients.

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Flávia Regina; Matsuda, Josie Budag; Mazucato, Mendelson; de Castro França, Suzelei; Zingaretti, Sônia Marli; da Silva, Lucienir Maria; Martinez-Rossi, Nilce Maria; Júnior, Milton Faria; Marins, Mozart; Fachin, Ana Lúcia

    2012-02-01

    Fibromyalgia syndrome (FS) is a rheumatic syndrome affecting to 2-3% of individuals of productive age, mainly women. Neuroendocrine and genetic factors may play a significant role in development of the disease which is characterized by diffuse chronic pain and presence of tender points. Several studies have suggested an association between FS, especially pain sensitivity, and polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene. The aim of the present study was to characterize the SNPs rs4680 and rs4818 of the COMT gene and assess its influence in pain sensitivity of patients with fibromyalgia screened by the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ). DNA was extracted from peripheral blood of 112 patients with fibromyalgia and 110 healthy individuals and was used as template in PCR for amplification of a 185-bp fragment of the COMT gene. The amplified fragment was sequenced for analyses of the SNPs rs4680 and rs4818. The frequency of mutant genotype AA of SNP rs6860 was 77.67% in patients with FS and 28.18% for the control group. For the SNP rs4818, the frequency of mutant genotype CC was 73.21 and 39.09% for patients with FS and controls, respectively. Moreover, the FIQ score was higher in patients with the homozygous mutant genotype for SNPs rs4680 (87.92 points) and rs4818 (86.14 points). These results suggest that SNPs rs4680 and rs4818 of the COMT gene may be associated with fibromyalgia and pain sensitivity in FS Brazilian patients.

  13. How Metal Substitution Affects the Enzymatic Activity of Catechol-O-Methyltransferase

    PubMed Central

    Sparta, Manuel; Alexandrova, Anastassia N.

    2012-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) degrades catecholamines, such as dopamine and epinephrine, by methylating them in the presence of a divalent metal cation (usually Mg(II)), and S-adenosyl-L-methionine. The enzymatic activity of COMT is known to be vitally dependent on the nature of the bound metal: replacement of Mg(II) with Ca(II) leads to a complete deactivation of COMT; Fe(II) is slightly less than potent Mg(II), and Fe(III) is again an inhibitor. Considering the fairly modest role that the metal plays in the catalyzed reaction, this dependence is puzzling, and to date remains an enigma. Using a quantum mechanical / molecular mechanical dynamics method for extensive sampling of protein structure, and first principle quantum mechanical calculations for the subsequent mechanistic study, we explicate the effect of metal substitution on the rate determining step in the catalytic cycle of COMT, the methyl transfer. In full accord with experimental data, Mg(II) bound to COMT is the most potent of the studied cations and it is closely followed by Fe(II), whereas Fe(III) is unable to promote catalysis. In the case of Ca(II), a repacking of the protein binding site is observed, leading to a significant increase in the activation barrier and higher energy of reaction. Importantly, the origin of the effect of metal substitution is different for different metals: for Fe(III) it is the electronic effect, whereas in the case of Ca(II) it is instead the effect of suboptimal protein structure. PMID:23056605

  14. Catechol-O-methyltransferase gene haplotypes in Mexican and Spanish patients with fibromyalgia

    PubMed Central

    Vargas-Alarcón, Gilberto; Fragoso, José-Manuel; Cruz-Robles, David; Vargas, Angélica; Vargas, Alfonso; Lao-Villadóniga, José-Ignacio; García-Fructuoso, Ferrán; Ramos-Kuri, Manuel; Hernández, Fernando; Springall, Rashidi; Bojalil, Rafael; Vallejo, Maite; Martínez-Lavín, Manuel

    2007-01-01

    Autonomic dysfunction is frequent in patients with fibromyalgia (FM). Heart rate variability analyses have demonstrated signs of ongoing sympathetic hyperactivity. Catecholamines are sympathetic neurotransmitters. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), an enzyme, is the major catecholamine-clearing pathway. There are several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the COMT gene associated with the different catecholamine-clearing abilities of the COMT enzyme. These SNPs are in linkage disequilibrium and segregate as 'haplotypes'. Healthy females with a particular COMT gene haplotype (ACCG) producing a defective enzyme are more sensitive to painful stimuli. The objective of our study was to define whether women with FM, from two different countries (Mexico and Spain), have the COMT gene haplotypes that have been previously associated with greater sensitivity to pain. All the individuals in the study were female. Fifty-seven Mexican patients and 78 Spanish patients were compared with their respective healthy control groups. All participants filled out the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ). Six COMT SNPs (rs2097903, rs6269, rs4633, rs4818, rs4680, and rs165599) were genotyped from peripheral blood DNA. In Spanish patients, there was a significant association between three SNPs (rs6269, rs4818, and rs4680) and the presence of FM when compared with healthy controls. Moreover, in Spanish patients with the 'high pain sensitivity' haplotype (ACCG), the disease, as assessed by the FIQ, was more severe. By contrast, Mexican patients displayed only a weak association between rs6269 and rs165599, and some FIQ subscales. In our group of Spanish patients, there was an association between FM and the COMT haplotype previously associated with high pain sensitivity. This association was not observed in Mexican patients. Studies with a larger sample size are needed in order to verify or amend these preliminary results. PMID:17961261

  15. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Deficiency Leads to Hypersensitivity of the Pressor Response Against Angiotensin II.

    PubMed

    Ueki, Norikazu; Kanasaki, Keizo; Kanasaki, Megumi; Takeda, Satoru; Koya, Daisuke

    2017-06-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) metabolizes 2-hydroxyestradiol into 2-methoxyestradiol (2-ME); COMT deficiency has shown to be associated with hypertension in men and preeclampsia, the disease associated with hypersensitivity of pressor response against angiotensin II (Ang II). Here, we found that COMT deficiency could explain the hypersensitivity of pressor response against Ang II in mice because of the lack of 2-ME-dependent suppression of angiotensin II receptor type 1 (AT1R). Male C57BL/6 mice were subjected to COMT inhibitor (COMTi: 25 mg/kg per day) or oil (control) for 4 weeks, with or without low-dose Ang II infusion (ANGII: 70 ng/kg per minute) for the last 3 weeks. The Ang II-infused mice were treated with 2-ME (10 ng/d) or vehicle for the last 1 week. We obtained the following experimental groups: control, ANGII, COMTi, COMTi+ANGII, and COMTi+ANGII+2-ME. We performed similar experiments using the in vivo administration of small interfering RNA of COMT instead of COMTi. Neither ANGII nor COMTi exhibited significant alterations in systolic blood pressure. Compared with ANGII or COMTi, COMTi+ANGII displayed significantly higher systolic blood pressure, albuminuria, and glomerular endotheliosis; 2-ME normalized such alterations. Similar phenotypes were observed in COMT small interfering RNA-treated mice. In the aorta of COMT-deficient mice, AT1R expression was increased; 2-ME suppressed AT1R expression. The 2-ME exhibited peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ agonistic activity in vitro and ex vivo plasma from pregnant female mice as well. In vitro, 2-ME suppressed both basal and Ang II-induced AT1R levels in a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ-dependent manner. The 2-ME is relevant to combat COMT deficiency-associated hypertensive disorders via suppression of AT1R by its peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ activity. © 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.

  16. Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met polymorphism influences prefrontal executive function in early Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Youwen; Feng, Shujun; Nie, Kun; Zhao, Xin; Gan, Rong; Wang, Limin; Zhao, Jiehao; Tang, Hongmei; Gao, Liang; Zhu, Ruiming; Wang, Lijuan; Zhang, Yuhu

    2016-10-15

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism has been proposed to be associated with increased risk of Parkinson's disease (PD) and have a specific impact on dopamine-mediated prefrontal executive function in an inverted-U curve manner. We explored the influence of this genetic polymorphism on prefrontal executive function in a well-established Chinese cohort of early PD patients with no current or past history of motor fluctuations or dyskinesias. Cognitive functions were assessed in 250 patients with early PD using Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Chinese Revision (WAIS-RC) and Wechsler Memory Scale-Chinese Revision (WMS-RC). These patients and 300 healthy controls were subsequently genotyped for the COMT gene Val158Met polymorphism. We employed analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and a stratified analysis to determine the associations between the COMT Val158Met genotype and cognitive functions. The COMT Val158Met allele frequency and genotype distributions showed no statistically significant differences between PD patients and controls. However, patients with met/met genotype performed significantly worse on WAIS-RC similarities, a measure of executive function, compared to individuals with val/val genotype. Subsequent ANCOVA analysis revealed that COMT genotype interacted with sex and daily levodopa equivalent dose (LED) to influence executive function. Further stratified analysis showed that the lower-activity COMT met/met genotype has a detrimental effect on executive function among women. Our results demonstrate that COMT Val158Met polymorphism is probably not associated with increased risk of PD, but has an effect on prefrontal executive function interacting with gender and dopaminergic medication. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  17. Cloning, Functional Characterization, and Catalytic Mechanism of a Bergaptol O-Methyltransferase from Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yucheng; Wang, Nana; Zeng, Zhixiong; Xu, Sheng; Huang, Chuanlong; Wang, Wei; Liu, Tingting; Luo, Jun; Kong, Lingyi

    2016-01-01

    Coumarins are main active components of Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn. Among them, methoxylated coumarin compound, such as bergapten, xanthotoxin, and isopimpinellin, has high officinal value and plays an important role in medicinal field. However, major issues associated with the biosynthesis mechanism of coumarins remain unsolved and no corresponding enzyme has been cloned from P. praeruptorum. In this study, a local BLASTN program was conducted to find the candidate genes from P. praeruptorum transcriptome database using the nucleotide sequence of Ammi majus bergaptol O-methyltransferase (AmBMT, GenBank accession No: AY443006) as a template. As a result, a 1335 bp full-length of cDNA sequence which contains an open reading frame of 1080 bp encoding a BMT polypeptide of 359 amino acids was obtained. The recombinant protein was functionally expressed in Escherichia coli and displayed an observed activity to bergaptol. In vitro experiments show that the protein has narrow substrate specificity for bergaptol. Expression profile indicated that the cloned gene had a higher expression level in roots and can be induced by methyl jasmonate (MeJA). Subcellular localization analysis showed that the BMT protein was located in cytoplasm in planta. Homology modeling and docking based site-directed mutagenesis have been employed to investigate the amino acid residues in BMT required for substrate binding and catalysis. Conservative amino acid substitutions at residue H264 affected BMT catalysis, whereas substitutions at residues F171, M175, D226, and L312 affected substrate binding. The systemic study summarized here will enlarge our knowledge on OMTs and provide useful information in investigating the coumarins biosynthesis mechanism in P. praeruptorum.

  18. Cloning, Functional Characterization, and Catalytic Mechanism of a Bergaptol O-Methyltransferase from Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yucheng; Wang, Nana; Zeng, Zhixiong; Xu, Sheng; Huang, Chuanlong; Wang, Wei; Liu, Tingting; Luo, Jun; Kong, Lingyi

    2016-01-01

    Coumarins are main active components of Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn. Among them, methoxylated coumarin compound, such as bergapten, xanthotoxin, and isopimpinellin, has high officinal value and plays an important role in medicinal field. However, major issues associated with the biosynthesis mechanism of coumarins remain unsolved and no corresponding enzyme has been cloned from P. praeruptorum. In this study, a local BLASTN program was conducted to find the candidate genes from P. praeruptorum transcriptome database using the nucleotide sequence of Ammi majus bergaptol O-methyltransferase (AmBMT, GenBank accession No: AY443006) as a template. As a result, a 1335 bp full-length of cDNA sequence which contains an open reading frame of 1080 bp encoding a BMT polypeptide of 359 amino acids was obtained. The recombinant protein was functionally expressed in Escherichia coli and displayed an observed activity to bergaptol. In vitro experiments show that the protein has narrow substrate specificity for bergaptol. Expression profile indicated that the cloned gene had a higher expression level in roots and can be induced by methyl jasmonate (MeJA). Subcellular localization analysis showed that the BMT protein was located in cytoplasm in planta. Homology modeling and docking based site-directed mutagenesis have been employed to investigate the amino acid residues in BMT required for substrate binding and catalysis. Conservative amino acid substitutions at residue H264 affected BMT catalysis, whereas substitutions at residues F171, M175, D226, and L312 affected substrate binding. The systemic study summarized here will enlarge our knowledge on OMTs and provide useful information in investigating the coumarins biosynthesis mechanism in P. praeruptorum. PMID:27252733

  19. Impact of physical exercise on catechol-O-methyltransferase activity in depressive patients: A preliminary communication.

    PubMed

    Carneiro, Lara S F; Fonseca, António Manuel; Serrão, Paula; Mota, Maria Paula; Vasconcelos-Raposo, José; Vieira-Coelho, Maria Augusta

    2016-03-15

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a catabolic enzyme involved in the degradation of bioactive molecules including the neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Higher COMT activity in depressive patients in comparison to non-depressed individuals has been reported. The effect of aerobic exercise on depressive patients has been studied and a number of researchers and clinicians believe it to be effective in the treatment of depression and to be involved in several molecular underlying mechanisms. However, the effect of physical exercise on this enzyme activity is unknown, and it remains to be elucidated if chronic exercise changes COMT activity. This randomized control trial evaluates the effects of chronic exercise on peripheral COMT (S-COMT) activity in women with depressive disorder. Fourteen women (aged: 51.4±10.5 years) diagnosed with depression (according to International Classification of Diseases-10) were randomized to one of two groups: pharmacotherapy plus physical exercise (n=7) or only pharmacotherapy (n=7). The aerobic exercise program was supervised, lasting between 45-50min/session, three times/week for 16 weeks. Erythrocyte soluble COMT were assessed prior to and after the exercise program. Exercise group when compared to a control group presented a significant decrease (p=0.02, r=-0.535) in S-COMT activity between baseline and post-intervention. These data are preliminary outcomes from a small sample and should be replicated. Chronic exercise therapy combined with pharmacotherapy leads to significant decrease in S-COMT activity. Our results provide evidence that exercise interferes with S-COMT activity, a molecular mechanism involved in depression. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  20. Genetic Polymorphisms of Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Modify the Neurobehavioral Effects of Mercury in Children

    PubMed Central

    Woods, James S.; Heyer, Nicholas J.; Russo, Joan E.; Martin, Michael D.; Pillai, Pradeep B.; Bammler, Theodor K.; Farin, Federico M.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is neurotoxic and children may be particularly susceptible to this effect. A current major challenge is identification of children who may be uniquely susceptible to Hg toxicity because of genetic disposition. This study examined the hypothesis that genetic variants of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) that are reported to alter neurobehavioral functions that are also affected by Hg in adults might modify the adverse neurobehavioral effects of Hg exposure in children. Five hundred and seven children, 8–12 yr of age at baseline, participated in a clinical trial to evaluate the neurobehavioral effects of Hg from dental amalgam tooth fillings. Subjects were evaluated at baseline and at seven subsequent annual intervals for neurobehavioral performance and urinary Hg levels. Following the clinical trial, genotyping assays were performed for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of COMT rs4680, rs4633, rs4818, and rs6269 on biological samples provided by 330 of the trial participants. Regression-modeling strategies were employed to evaluate associations between allelic status, Hg exposure, and neurobehavioral test outcomes. Similar analysis was performed using haplotypes of COMT SNPs. Among girls, few interactions for Hg exposure and COMT variants were found. In contrast, among boys, numerous gene–Hg interactions were observed between individual COMT SNPs, as well as with a common COMT haplotype affecting multiple domains of neurobehavioral function. These findings suggest increased susceptibility to the adverse neurobehavioral effects of Hg among children with common genetic variants of COMT, and may have important implications for strategies aimed at protecting children from the potential health risks associated with Hg exposure. PMID:24593143

  1. Catechol-O-methyltransferase genotype predicts pain severity in hospitalized burn patients

    PubMed Central

    Orrey, Danielle C.; Bortsov, Andrey V.; Hoskins, Janelle M.; Shupp, Jeffrey W.; Jones, Samuel W.; Cicuto, Bryan J.; Hwang, James; Jordan, Marion H.; Holmes, James H.; Haith, Linwood R.; Roane, Brandon M.; Diatchenko, Luda; Cairns, Bruce A.; McLean, Samuel A.

    2011-01-01

    Background Increasing evidence suggests that stress system activation after burn injury may contribute to burn-related pain. If this is the case, then genetic variations influencing the function of important stress system components, such as the enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), may predict pain severity after thermal burn injury. Methods We evaluated the association between COMT genotype and pain intensity in 57 individuals hospitalized after thermal burn injury. Consenting participants at four burn centers were genotyped and completed daily 0-10 numeric rating scale pain assessments on two consecutive days including evaluation of waking, least, and worst pain. The association between COMT genotype and individual pain outcomes was calculated using a linear mixed model adjusting for sociodemographic and burn injury characteristics. Results Overall pain (combination of least, worst, and waking pain scores) was significantly higher in patients with a COMT pain vulnerable genotype (6.3 (.4) vs. 5.4 (.4), p=.037). Individuals with a COMT pain vulnerable genotype also had significantly higher “least pain” scores (3.8 (.5) vs. 2.6 (.4), p=.017) and significantly higher pain on awakening (6.8 (.5) vs. 5.3 (.4), p=.004). Differences in worst pain according to genotype group were not significant. COMT pain vulnerable genotype was a stronger predictor of overall pain severity than burn size, burn depth, or time from admission to pain interview assessment. Conclusions These findings suggest that genetic factors influencing stress system function may have an important influence on pain severity after burn injury. Further studies of genetic predictors of pain after burn injury are needed. PMID:22210062

  2. Functional characterization of cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase and caffeic acid O-methyltransferase in Brachypodium distachyon

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Lignin is a significant barrier in the conversion of plant biomass to bioethanol. Cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) and caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) catalyze key steps in the pathway of lignin monomer biosynthesis. Brown midrib mutants in Zea mays and Sorghum bicolor with impaired CAD or COMT activity have attracted considerable agronomic interest for their altered lignin composition and improved digestibility. Here, we identified and functionally characterized candidate genes encoding CAD and COMT enzymes in the grass model species Brachypodium distachyon with the aim of improving crops for efficient biofuel production. Results We developed transgenic plants overexpressing artificial microRNA designed to silence BdCAD1 or BdCOMT4. Both transgenes caused altered flowering time and increased stem count and weight. Downregulation of BdCAD1 caused a leaf brown midrib phenotype, the first time this phenotype has been observed in a C3 plant. While acetyl bromide soluble lignin measurements were equivalent in BdCAD1 downregulated and control plants, histochemical staining and thioacidolysis indicated a decrease in lignin syringyl units and reduced syringyl/guaiacyl ratio in the transgenic plants. BdCOMT4 downregulated plants exhibited a reduction in total lignin content and decreased Maule staining of syringyl units in stem. Ethanol yield by microbial fermentation was enhanced in amiR-cad1-8 plants. Conclusion These results have elucidated two key genes in the lignin biosynthetic pathway in B. distachyon that, when perturbed, may result in greater stem biomass yield and bioconversion efficiency. PMID:23902793

  3. Differential regulation of catechol-O-methyltransferase expression in a mouse model of aggression

    PubMed Central

    Che, Shaoli; Hashim, Audrey; Zavadil, Jiri; Cancro, Robert; Lee, Sang H.; Petkova, Eva; Sershen, Henry W.; Volavka, Jan

    2011-01-01

    This study was designed to understand molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying aggressive behaviors in mice exposed to repeated interactions in their homecage with conspecifics. A resident–intruder procedure was employed whereby two males were allowed to interact for 10 min trials, and aggressive and/or submissive behaviors (e.g., degree of attacking, biting, chasing, grooming, rearing, or upright posture) were assessed. Following 10 days of behavioral trials, brains were removed and dissected into specific regions including the cerebellum, frontal cortex, hippocampus, midbrain, pons, and striatum. Gene expression analysis was performed using real-time quantitative polymerase-chain reaction (qPCR) for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). Compared to naive control mice, significant up regulation of COMT expression of residents was observed in the cerebellum, frontal cortex, hippocampus, midbrain, and striatum; in all of these brain regions the COMT expression of residents was also significantly higher than that of intruders. The intruders also had a significant down regulation (compared to naive control mice) within the hippocampus, indicating a selective decrease in COMT expression in the hippocampus of submissive subjects. Immunoblot analysis confirmed COMT up regulation in the midbrain and hippocampus of residents and down regulation in intruders. qPCR analysis of TH expression indicated significant up regulation in the midbrain of residents and concomitant down regulation in intruders. These findings implicate regionally- and behaviorally-specific regulation of COMT and TH expression in aggressive and submissive behaviors. Additional molecular and cellular characterization of COMT, TH, and other potential targets is warranted within this animal model of aggression. PMID:21512897

  4. Characterization and functional analysis of eugenol O-methyltransferase gene reveal metabolite shifts, chemotype specific differential expression and developmental regulation in Ocimum tenuiflorum L.

    PubMed

    Renu, Indu Kumari; Haque, Inamul; Kumar, Manish; Poddar, Raju; Bandopadhyay, Rajib; Rai, Amit; Mukhopadhyay, Kunal

    2014-03-01

    Eugenol-O-methyltransferase (EOMT) catalyzes the conversion of eugenol to methyleugenol in one of the final steps of phenylpropanoid pathway. There are no comprehensive reports on comparative EOMT gene expression and developmental stage specific accumulation of phenylpropenes in Ocimum tenuiflorum. Seven chemotypes, rich in eugenol and methyleugenol, were selected by assessment of volatile metabolites through multivariate data analysis. Isoeugenol accumulated in higher levels during juvenile stage (36.86 ng g(-1)), but reduced sharply during preflowering (8.04 ng g(-1)), flowering (2.29 ng g(-1)) and postflowering stages (0.17 ng g(-1)), whereas methyleugenol content gradually increased from juvenile (12.25 ng g(-1)) up to preflowering (16.35 ng g(-1)) and then decreased at flowering (7.13 ng g(-1)) and post flowering (5.95 ng g(-1)) from fresh tissue. Extreme variations of free intracellular and alkali hydrolysable cell wall released phenylpropanoid compounds were observed at different developmental stages. Analyses of EOMT genomic and cDNA sequences revealed a 843 bp open reading frame and the presence of a 90 bp intron. The translated proteins had eight catalytic domains, the major two being dimerisation superfamily and methyltransferase_2 superfamily. A validated 3D structure of EOMT protein was also determined. The chemotype Ot7 had a reduced reading frame that lacked both dimerisation domains and one of the two protein-kinase-phosphorylation sites; this was also reflected in reduced accumulation of methyleugenol compared to other chemotypes. EOMT transcripts showed enhanced expression in juvenile stage that increased further during preflowering but decreased at flowering and further at postflowering. The expression patterns may possibly be compared and correlated to the amounts of eugenol/isoeugenol and methyleugenol in different developmental stages of all chemotypes.

  5. Integrated proteomic analysis of major isoaspartyl-containing proteins in the urine of wild type and protein L-isoaspartate O-methyltransferase-deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Dai, Shujia; Ni, Wenqin; Patananan, Alexander N; Clarke, Steven G; Karger, Barry L; Zhou, Zhaohui Sunny

    2013-02-19

    The formation of isoaspartyl residues (isoAsp or isoD) via either aspartyl isomerization or asparaginyl deamidation alters protein structure and potentially biological function. This is a spontaneous and nonenzymatic process, ubiquitous both in vivo and in nonbiological systems, such as in protein pharmaceuticals. In almost all organisms, protein L-isoaspartate O-methyltransferase (PIMT, EC2.1.1.77) recognizes and initiates the conversion of isoAsp back to aspartic acid. Additionally, alternative proteolytic and excretion pathways to metabolize isoaspartyl-containing proteins have been proposed but not fully explored, largely due to the analytical challenges for detecting isoAsp. We report here the relative quantitation and site profiling of isoAsp in urinary proteins from wild type and PIMT-deficient mice, representing products from excretion pathways. First, using a biochemical approach, we found that the total isoaspartyl level of proteins in urine of PIMT-deficient male mice was elevated. Subsequently, the major isoaspartyl protein species in urine from these mice were identified as major urinary proteins (MUPs) by shotgun proteomics. To enhance the sensitivity of isoAsp detection, a targeted proteomic approach using electron transfer dissociation-selected reaction monitoring (ETD-SRM) was developed to investigate isoAsp sites in MUPs. A total of 38 putative isoAsp modification sites in MUPs were investigated, with five derived from the deamidation of asparagine that were confirmed to contribute to the elevated isoAsp levels. Our findings lend experimental evidence for the hypothesized excretion pathway for isoAsp proteins. Additionally, the developed method opens up the possibility to explore processing mechanisms of isoaspartyl proteins at the molecular level, such as the fate of protein pharmaceuticals in circulation.

  6. Genetic analysis of strawberry fruit aroma and identification of O-methyltransferase FaOMT as the locus controlling natural variation in mesifurane content.

    PubMed

    Zorrilla-Fontanesi, Yasmín; Rambla, José-Luis; Cabeza, Amalia; Medina, Juan J; Sánchez-Sevilla, José F; Valpuesta, Victoriano; Botella, Miguel A; Granell, Antonio; Amaya, Iraida

    2012-06-01

    Improvement of strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) fruit flavor is an important goal in breeding programs. To investigate genetic factors controlling this complex trait, a strawberry mapping population derived from genotype '1392', selected for its superior flavor, and '232' was profiled for volatile compounds over 4 years by headspace solid phase microextraction coupled to gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. More than 300 volatile compounds were detected, of which 87 were identified by comparison of mass spectrum and retention time to those of pure standards. Parental line '1392' displayed higher volatile levels than '232', and these and many other compounds with similar levels in both parents segregated in the progeny. Cluster analysis grouped the volatiles into distinct chemically related families and revealed a complex metabolic network underlying volatile production in strawberry fruit. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) detection was carried out over 3 years based on a double pseudo-testcross strategy. Seventy QTLs covering 48 different volatiles were detected, with several of them being stable over time and mapped as major QTLs. Loci controlling γ-decalactone and mesifurane content were mapped as qualitative traits. Using a candidate gene approach we have assigned genes that are likely responsible for several of the QTLs. As a proof of concept we show that one homoeolog of the O-methyltransferase gene (FaOMT) is the locus responsible for the natural variation of mesifurane content. Sequence analysis identified 30 bp in the promoter of this FaOMT homoeolog containing putative binding sites for basic/helix-loop-helix, MYB, and BZIP transcription factors. This polymorphism fully cosegregates with both the presence of mesifurane and the high expression of FaOMT during ripening.

  7. Catechol O-methyltransferase and monoamine oxidase A genotypes, and plasma catecholamine metabolites in bipolar and schizophrenic patients.

    PubMed

    Zumárraga, Mercedes; Dávila, Ricardo; Basterreche, Nieves; Arrue, Aurora; Goienetxea, Biotza; Zamalloa, María I; Erkoreka, Leire; Bustamante, Sonia; Inchausti, Lucía; González-Torres, Miguel A; Guimón, José

    2010-01-01

    Metabolites of dopamine and norepinephrine measured in the plasma have long been associated with symptomatic severity and response to treatment in schizophrenic, bipolar and other psychiatric patients. Plasma concentrations of catecholamine metabolites are genetically regulated. The genes encoding enzymes that are involved in the synthesis and degradation of these monoamines are candidate targets for this genetic regulation. We have studied the relationship between the Val158Met polymorphism in catechol O-methyltransferase gene, variable tandem repeat polymorphisms in the monoamine oxidase A gene promoter, and plasma concentrations of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and homovanillic acid in healthy control subjects as well as in untreated schizophrenic and bipolar patients. We found that the Val158Met substitution in catechol O-methyltransferase gene influences the plasma concentrations of homovanillic and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acids. Although higher concentrations of plasma homovanillic acid were found in the high-activity ValVal genotype, this mutation did not affect the plasma concentration of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol. 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid concentrations were higher in the low-activity MetMet genotype. Interestingly, plasma values 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol were greater in schizophrenic patients and in bipolar patients than in healthy controls. Our results are compatible with the previously reported effect of the Val158Met polymorphism on catechol O-methyltransferase enzymatic activity. Thus, our results suggest that this polymorphism, alone or associated with other polymorphisms, could have an important role in the genetic control of monoamine concentration and its metabolites.

  8. The blood-brain barrier-permeable catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitor dinitrocatechol suppresses experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

    PubMed

    Polak, Paul E; Lin, Shao Xia; Pelligrino, Dale; Feinstein, Douglas L

    2014-11-15

    Reduced levels of noradrenaline (NA) in CNS of multiple sclerosis patients could be due to metabolism by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). In mice immunized with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein peptide, the BBB-permeable COMT inhibitor dinitrocatechol (DNC) reduced clinical signs, while entacapone, a non-BBB-permeable inhibitor, had no effect. Spinal cord NA levels were slightly increased by DNC, and there was an inverse correlation between NA levels and average clinical signs. Spinal cord COMT mRNA levels were not increased during EAE, but were found increased in the frontal cortex of MS patients. These results suggest that COMT inhibitors could provide benefit to MS patients.

  9. Functional characterization of MpaG', the O-methyltransferase involved in the biosynthesis of mycophenolic acid.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Cao, Shaona; Qiu, Li; Qi, Fengxia; Li, Zhong; Yang, Ying; Huang, Shaohua; Bai, Fali; Liu, Changning; Wan, Xiaobo; Li, Shengying

    2015-03-02

    Mycophenolic acid (MPA, 1) is a clinically important immunosuppressant. In this report, a gene cluster mpa' responsible for the biosynthesis of 1 was identified from Penicillium brevicompactum NRRL 864. The S-adenosyl-L-methionine-dependent (SAM-dependent) O-methyltransferase encoded by the mpaG' gene was functionally and kinetically characterized in vitro. MpaG' catalyzes the methylation of demethylmycophenolic acid (DMMPA, 6) to form 1. It also showed significant substrate flexibility by methylating two structural derivatives of 6 prepared by organic synthesis. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Current understanding of the interplay between catechol-O-methyltransferase genetic variants, sleep, brain development and cognitive performance in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Tucci, Valter; Lassi, Glenda; Kas, Martien J

    2012-05-01

    Abnormal sleep is an endophenotype of schizophrenia. Here we provide an overview of the genetic mechanisms that link specific sleep physiological processes to schizophrenia-related cognitive defects. In particular, we will review the possible relationships between catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), sleep regulation and schizophrenia development. Recent studies validate the hypothesis that COMT mutations may trigger disturbances during adolescence that affect sleep and cortical development. Anomalies in cortical development during this critical developmental phase may increase the susceptibility for schizophrenia. In conclusion, in view of therapeutic efficacy, we can envisage indications for future investigations into the role of COMT for sleep regulation, cognitive performance and sleep-related cognitive deficits.

  11. Differential effect of catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met genotype on emotional recognition abilities in healthy men and women.

    PubMed

    Weiss, Elisabeth M; Stadelmann, Edith; Kohler, Christian G; Brensinger, Colleen M; Nolan, Karen A; Oberacher, Herbert; Parson, Walther; Pitterl, Florian; Niederstätter, Harald; Kemmler, Georg; Hinterhuber, Hartmann; Marksteiner, Josef

    2007-09-01

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism modulates executive functions and working memory and recent neuroimaging studies implicate an association with emotional processing. We examined the relationship between the COMT Val158Met polymorphism and facial emotion recognition and differentiation in 100 healthy individuals. Compared to Met homozygosity, Val homozygosity was associated with better and faster recognition of negative facial expressions such as anger and sad. Our study provides evidence for a possible influence of the COMT polymorphism on emotion recognition abilities in healthy subjects. Additional research is needed to further define the neurocognitive phenotypes associated with COMT polymorphisms.

  12. Biosynthesis of t-anethole in anise: characterization of t-anol/isoeugenol synthase and an O-methyltransferase specific for a C7-C8 propenyl side chain.

    PubMed

    Koeduka, Takao; Baiga, Thomas J; Noel, Joseph P; Pichersky, Eran

    2009-01-01

    The phenylpropene t-anethole imparts the characteristic sweet aroma of anise (Pimpinella anisum, family Apiaceae) seeds and leaves. Here we report that the aerial parts of the anise plant accumulate t-anethole as the plant matures, with the highest levels of t-anethole found in fruits. Although the anise plant is covered with trichomes, t-anethole accumulates inside the leaves and not in the trichomes or the epidermal cell layer. We have obtained anise cDNA encoding t-anol/isoeugenol synthase 1 (AIS1), an NADPH-dependent enzyme that can biosynthesize t-anol and isoeugenol (the latter not found in anise) from coumaryl acetate and coniferyl acetate, respectively. In addition, we have obtained a cDNA encoding S-[methyl-14C]adenosyl-l-methionine:t-anol/isoeugenol O-methyltransferase 1 (AIMT1), an enzyme that can convert t-anol or isoeugenol to t-anethole or methylisoeugenol, respectively, via methylation of the para-OH group. The genes encoding AIS1 and AIMT1 were expressed throughout the plant and their transcript levels were highest in developing fruits. The AIS1 protein is 59% identical to petunia (Petunia hybrida) isoeugenol synthase 1 and displays apparent Km values of 145 microm for coumaryl acetate and 230 microm for coniferyl acetate. AIMT1 prefers isoeugenol to t-anol by a factor of 2, with Km values of 19.3 microm for isoeugenol and 54.5 microm for S-[methyl-14C]adenosyl-l-methionine. The AIMT1 protein sequence is approximately 40% identical to basil (Ocimum basilicum) and Clarkia breweri phenylpropene O-methyltransferases, but unlike these enzymes, which do not show large discrimination between substrates with isomeric propenyl side chains, AIMT1 shows a 10-fold preference for t-anol over chavicol and for isoeugenol over eugenol.

  13. Biosynthesis of t-Anethole in Anise: Characterization of t-Anol/Isoeugenol Synthase and an O-Methyltransferase Specific for a C7-C8 Propenyl Side Chain1[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Koeduka, Takao; Baiga, Thomas J.; Noel, Joseph P.; Pichersky, Eran

    2009-01-01

    The phenylpropene t-anethole imparts the characteristic sweet aroma of anise (Pimpinella anisum, family Apiaceae) seeds and leaves. Here we report that the aerial parts of the anise plant accumulate t-anethole as the plant matures, with the highest levels of t-anethole found in fruits. Although the anise plant is covered with trichomes, t-anethole accumulates inside the leaves and not in the trichomes or the epidermal cell layer. We have obtained anise cDNA encoding t-anol/isoeugenol synthase 1 (AIS1), an NADPH-dependent enzyme that can biosynthesize t-anol and isoeugenol (the latter not found in anise) from coumaryl acetate and coniferyl acetate, respectively. In addition, we have obtained a cDNA encoding S-[methyl-14C]adenosyl-l-methionine:t-anol/isoeugenol O-methyltransferase 1 (AIMT1), an enzyme that can convert t-anol or isoeugenol to t-anethole or methylisoeugenol, respectively, via methylation of the para-OH group. The genes encoding AIS1 and AIMT1 were expressed throughout the plant and their transcript levels were highest in developing fruits. The AIS1 protein is 59% identical to petunia (Petunia hybrida) isoeugenol synthase 1 and displays apparent Km values of 145 μm for coumaryl acetate and 230 μm for coniferyl acetate. AIMT1 prefers isoeugenol to t-anol by a factor of 2, with Km values of 19.3 μm for isoeugenol and 54.5 μm for S-[methyl-14C]adenosyl-l-methionine. The AIMT1 protein sequence is approximately 40% identical to basil (Ocimum basilicum) and Clarkia breweri phenylpropene O-methyltransferases, but unlike these enzymes, which do not show large discrimination between substrates with isomeric propenyl side chains, AIMT1 shows a 10-fold preference for t-anol over chavicol and for isoeugenol over eugenol. PMID:18987218

  14. Cloning and Phylogenetic Analysis of Brassica napus L. Caffeic Acid O-Methyltransferase 1 Gene Family and Its Expression Pattern under Drought Stress

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Kun; Yuan, Jianglian; Huang, Jieheng; Du, Hai; Li, Jiana

    2016-01-01

    For many plants, regulating lignin content and composition to improve lodging resistance is a crucial issue. Caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a lignin monomer-specific enzyme that controls S subunit synthesis in plant vascular cell walls. Here, we identified 12 BnCOMT1 gene homologues, namely BnCOMT1-1 to BnCOMT1-12. Ten of 12 genes were composed of four highly conserved exons and three weakly conserved introns. The length of intron I, in particular, showed enormous diversification. Intron I of homologous BnCOMT1 genes showed high identity with counterpart genes in Brassica rapa and Brassica oleracea, and intron I from positional close genes in the same chromosome were relatively highly conserved. A phylogenetic analysis suggested that COMT genes experience considerable diversification and conservation in Brassicaceae species, and some COMT1 genes are unique in the Brassica genus. Our expression studies indicated that BnCOMT1 genes were differentially expressed in different tissues, with BnCOMT1-4, BnCOMT1-5, BnCOMT1-8, and BnCOMT1-10 exhibiting stem specificity. These four BnCOMT1 genes were expressed at all developmental periods (the bud, early flowering, late flowering and mature stages) and their expression level peaked in the early flowering stage in the stem. Drought stress augmented and accelerated lignin accumulation in high-lignin plants but delayed it in low-lignin plants. The expression levels of BnCOMT1s were generally reduced in water deficit condition. The desynchrony of the accumulation processes of total lignin and BnCOMT1s transcripts in most growth stages indicated that BnCOMT1s could be responsible for the synthesis of a specific subunit of lignin or that they participate in other pathways such as the melatonin biosynthesis pathway. PMID:27832102

  15. Polymorphisms in Catechol-O-methyltransferase Modify Treatment Effects of Aspirin on Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Kathryn T.; Nelson, Christopher P.; Davis, Roger B.; Buring, Julie E.; Kirsch, Irving; Mittleman, Murray A.; Loscalzo, Joseph; Samani, Nilesh J.; Ridker, Paul M; Kaptchuk, Ted J.; Chasman, Daniel I.

    2014-01-01

    Objective Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), a key enzyme in catecholamine metabolism, is implicated in cardiovascular, sympathetic, and endocrine pathways. This study aimed to confirm preliminary association of COMT genetic variation with incident cardiovascular disease (CVD). It further aimed to evaluate whether aspirin, a commonly used CVD prevention agent, modified the potential association of COMT with incident CVD. Approach and Results We examined COMT polymorphism rs4680 (MAF=0.47), encoding a non-synonymous methionine (met)-to-valine (val) substitution, in the Women's Genome Health Study (WGHS), a large population-based cohort of women with randomized allocation to aspirin or vitamin E compared with placebo and 10 years follow-up. Rs4680 effects were confirmed with COMT polymorphism rs4818 and also examined in CARDIoGRAM/C4D, consortia for genome-wide association studies of coronary artery disease. Among WGHS women allocated to placebo (135 events/N=5811), the rs4680 val allele was protective against incident CVD relative to the met, (HR[95%CI]=0.66[0.51-0.84], p=0.0007); an association also observed in CARDIoGRAM and C4D (combined p=2.4×10-5). In the WGHS, the rs4680 association was abolished by randomized allocation to aspirin, such that val/val women experienced higher CVD rates with aspirin allocation compared to placebo (HR[95%CI]=1.85[1.05-3.25], p=0.033) while met/met women experienced lower rates (HR[95%CI]=0.60[0.39-0.93], p=0.023). Allocation to vitamin E also conferred higher but non-significant CVD rates on val/val (HR[95%CI]=1.50 [0.83-2.70], p=0.180) compared with significantly lower rates on met/met (HR[95%CI]=0.53[0.34-0.84], p=0.006) women. Rs4818 results were similar. Conclusions Common COMT polymorphisms were associated with incident CVD, and this association was modified by randomized allocation to aspirin or vitamin E. Replication of these findings is required. PMID:25035343

  16. Crystal structures of human 108V and 108M catechol O-methyltransferase

    SciTech Connect

    Rutherford, K.; Le Trong, I.; Stenkamp, R.E.; Parson, W.W.

    2008-08-01

    Catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) plays important roles in the metabolism of catecholamine neurotransmitters and catechol estrogens. The development of COMT inhibitors for use in the treatment of Parkinson's disease has been aided by crystallographic structures of the rat enzyme. However, the human and rat proteins have significantly different substrate specificities. Additionally, human COMT contains a common valine-methionine polymorphism at position 108. The methionine protein is less stable than the valine polymorph, resulting in decreased enzyme activity and protein levels in vivo. Here we describe the crystal structures of the 108V and 108M variants of the soluble form of human COMT bound with S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and a substrate analog, 3,5-dinitrocatechol. The polymorphic residue 108 is located in the {alpha}5-{beta}3 loop, buried in a hydrophobic pocket {approx}16 {angstrom} from the SAM-binding site. The 108V and 108M structures are very similar overall [RMSD of C{sup {alpha}} atoms between two structures (C{sup {alpha}} RMSD) = 0.2 {angstrom}], and the active-site residues are superposable, in accord with the observation that SAM stabilizes 108M COMT. However, the methionine side chain is packed more tightly within the polymorphic site and, consequently, interacts more closely with residues A22 ({alpha}2) and R78 ({alpha}4) than does valine. These interactions of the larger methionine result in a 0.7-{angstrom} displacement in the backbone structure near residue 108, which propagates along {alpha}1 and {alpha}5 toward the SAM-binding site. Although the overall secondary structures of the human and rat proteins are very similar (C{sup {alpha}} RMSD = 0.4 {angstrom}), several nonconserved residues are present in the SAM-(I89M, I91M, C95Y) and catechol- (C173V, R201M, E202K) binding sites. The human protein also contains three additional solvent-exposed cysteine residues (C95, C173, C188) that may contribute to intermolecular disulfide bond

  17. An O-Methyltransferase Is Required for Infection of Tick Cells by Anaplasma phagocytophilum

    PubMed Central

    Oliva Chávez, Adela S.; Fairman, James W.; Felsheim, Roderick F.; Nelson, Curtis M.; Herron, Michael J.; Higgins, LeeAnn; Burkhardt, Nicole Y.; Oliver, Jonathan D.; Markowski, Todd W.; Kurtti, Timothy J.; Edwards, Thomas E.; Munderloh, Ulrike G.

    2015-01-01

    Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the causative agent of Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis (HGA), is an obligately intracellular α-proteobacterium that is transmitted by Ixodes spp ticks. However, the pathogen is not transovarially transmitted between tick generations and therefore needs to survive in both a mammalian host and the arthropod vector to complete its life cycle. To adapt to different environments, pathogens rely on differential gene expression as well as the modification of proteins and other molecules. Random transposon mutagenesis of A. phagocytophilum resulted in an insertion within the coding region of an o-methyltransferase (omt) family 3 gene. In wild-type bacteria, expression of omt was up-regulated during binding to tick cells (ISE6) at 2 hr post-inoculation, but nearly absent by 4 hr p.i. Gene disruption reduced bacterial binding to ISE6 cells, and the mutant bacteria that were able to enter the cells were arrested in their replication and development. Analyses of the proteomes of wild-type versus mutant bacteria during binding to ISE6 cells identified Major Surface Protein 4 (Msp4), but also hypothetical protein APH_0406, as the most differentially methylated. Importantly, two glutamic acid residues (the targets of the OMT) were methyl-modified in wild-type Msp4, whereas a single asparagine (not a target of the OMT) was methylated in APH_0406. In vitro methylation assays demonstrated that recombinant OMT specifically methylated Msp4. Towards a greater understanding of the overall structure and catalytic activity of the OMT, we solved the apo (PDB_ID:4OA8), the S-adenosine homocystein-bound (PDB_ID:4OA5), the SAH-Mn2+ bound (PDB_ID:4PCA), and SAM- Mn2+ bound (PDB_ID:4PCL) X-ray crystal structures of the enzyme. Here, we characterized a mutation in A. phagocytophilum that affected the ability of the bacteria to productively infect cells from its natural vector. Nevertheless, due to the lack of complementation, we cannot rule out secondary mutations

  18. An O-Methyltransferase Is Required for Infection of Tick Cells by Anaplasma phagocytophilum.

    PubMed

    Oliva Chávez, Adela S; Fairman, James W; Felsheim, Roderick F; Nelson, Curtis M; Herron, Michael J; Higgins, LeeAnn; Burkhardt, Nicole Y; Oliver, Jonathan D; Markowski, Todd W; Kurtti, Timothy J; Edwards, Thomas E; Munderloh, Ulrike G

    2015-01-01

    Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the causative agent of Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis (HGA), is an obligately intracellular α-proteobacterium that is transmitted by Ixodes spp ticks. However, the pathogen is not transovarially transmitted between tick generations and therefore needs to survive in both a mammalian host and the arthropod vector to complete its life cycle. To adapt to different environments, pathogens rely on differential gene expression as well as the modification of proteins and other molecules. Random transposon mutagenesis of A. phagocytophilum resulted in an insertion within the coding region of an o-methyltransferase (omt) family 3 gene. In wild-type bacteria, expression of omt was up-regulated during binding to tick cells (ISE6) at 2 hr post-inoculation, but nearly absent by 4 hr p.i. Gene disruption reduced bacterial binding to ISE6 cells, and the mutant bacteria that were able to enter the cells were arrested in their replication and development. Analyses of the proteomes of wild-type versus mutant bacteria during binding to ISE6 cells identified Major Surface Protein 4 (Msp4), but also hypothetical protein APH_0406, as the most differentially methylated. Importantly, two glutamic acid residues (the targets of the OMT) were methyl-modified in wild-type Msp4, whereas a single asparagine (not a target of the OMT) was methylated in APH_0406. In vitro methylation assays demonstrated that recombinant OMT specifically methylated Msp4. Towards a greater understanding of the overall structure and catalytic activity of the OMT, we solved the apo (PDB_ID:4OA8), the S-adenosine homocystein-bound (PDB_ID:4OA5), the SAH-Mn2+ bound (PDB_ID:4PCA), and SAM- Mn2+ bound (PDB_ID:4PCL) X-ray crystal structures of the enzyme. Here, we characterized a mutation in A. phagocytophilum that affected the ability of the bacteria to productively infect cells from its natural vector. Nevertheless, due to the lack of complementation, we cannot rule out secondary mutations.

  19. Accumulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fenwick, J. R.; Karigan, G. H. (Inventor)

    1977-01-01

    An accumulator particularly adapted for use in controlling the pressure of a stream of fluid in its liquid phase utilizing the fluid in its gaseous phase was designed. The accumulator is characterized by a shell defining a pressure chamber having an entry throat for a liquid and adapted to be connected in contiguous relation with a selected conduit having a stream of fluid flowing through the conduit in its liquid phase. A pressure and volume stabilization tube, including an array of pressure relief perforations is projected into the chamber with the perforations disposed adjacent to the entry throat for accommodating a discharge of the fluid in either gaseous or liquid phases, while a gas inlet and liquid to gas conversion system is provided, the chamber is connected with a source of the fluid for continuously pressuring the chamber for controlling the pressure of the stream of liquid.

  20. Mutation of a Gene Encoding a Putative Glycoprotease Leads to Reduced Salt Tolerance, Altered Pigmentation, and Cyanophycin Accumulation in the Cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. Strain PCC 6803

    PubMed Central

    Zuther, Ellen; Schubert, Hendrik; Hagemann, Martin

    1998-01-01

    The salt-sensitive mutant 549 of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 was genetically and physiologically characterized. The mutated site and corresponding wild-type site were cloned and partially sequenced. The genetic analysis revealed that during the mutation about 1.8 kb was deleted from the chromosome of mutant 549. This deletion affected four open reading frames: a gcp gene homolog, the psaFJ genes, and an unknown gene. After construction of mutants with single mutations, only the gcp mutant showed a reduction in salt tolerance comparable to that of the initial mutant, indicating that the deletion of this gene was responsible for the salt sensitivity and that the other genes were of minor importance. Besides the reduced salt tolerance, a remarkable change in pigmentation was observed that became more pronounced in salt-stressed cells. The phycobilipigment content decreased, and that of carotenoids increased. Investigations of changes in the ultrastructure revealed an increase in the amount of characteristic inclusion bodies containing the high-molecular-weight nitrogen storage polymer cyanophycin (polyaspartate and arginine). The salt-induced accumulation of cyanophycin was confirmed by chemical estimations. The putative glycoprotease encoded by the gcp gene might be responsible for the degradation of cyanophycin in Synechocystis. Mutation of this gene leads to nitrogen starvation of the cells, accompanied by characteristic changes in pigmentation, ultrastructure, and salt tolerance level. PMID:9537367

  1. Elucidation of the impact of P-glycoprotein and Breast Cancer Resistance Protein on the brain distribution of catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Bicker, Joana; Fortuna, Ana; Alves, Gilberto; Soares-da-Silva, Patricio; Falcao, Amilcar

    2017-09-15

    P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) are clinically important efflux transporters that act cooperatively at the blood-brain barrier, limiting the entry of several drugs into the CNS and affecting their pharmacokinetics, therapeutic efficacy and safety. In the present study, the interactions of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors (BIA 9-1059, BIA 9-1079, entacapone, nebicapone, opicapone and tolcapone) with P-gp and BCRP were investigated in order to determine the contribution of these transporters in their access to the brain. In vitro cellular accumulation and bidirectional transport assays were conducted in MDCK II, MDCK-MDR1 and MDCK-BCRP cells. In vivo pharmacokinetic studies were carried out for tolcapone and BIA 9-1079 in rats, with and without elacridar, a well-known P-gp and BCRP modulator. The results suggest that BIA 9-1079, nebicapone and tolcapone inhibit BCRP in a concentration-dependent manner. Moreover, with net flux ratios higher than 2 and decreased over 50 % in the presence of verapamil or Ko143, BIA 9-1079 was identified as P-gp substrate while BIA 9-1059, entacapone, opicapone and nebicapone revealed to be BCRP substrates. In vivo, brain exposure was limited for tolcapone and BIA 9-1079, although tolcapone crossed the blood-brain barrier in greater rate and extent than BIA 9-1079. The extent of brain distribution of both compounds was significantly increased in the presence of elacridar, attesting the involvement of efflux transporters. These findings provide relevant information and improve the understanding of the mechanisms that govern the access of these COMT inhibitors to the CNS. The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

  2. TALEN mediated targeted mutagenesis of the caffeic acid O-methyltransferase in highly polyploid sugarcane improves cell wall composition for production of bioethanol.

    PubMed

    Jung, Je Hyeong; Altpeter, Fredy

    2016-09-01

    Sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrids) is a prime crop for commercial biofuel production. Advanced conversion technology utilizes both, sucrose accumulating in sugarcane stems as well as cell wall bound sugars for commercial ethanol production. Reduction of lignin content significantly improves the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into ethanol. Conventional mutagenesis is not expected to confer reduction in lignin content in sugarcane due to its high polyploidy (x = 10-13) and functional redundancy among homo(eo)logs. Here we deploy transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) to induce mutations in a highly conserved region of the caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) of sugarcane. Capillary electrophoresis (CE) was validated by pyrosequencing as reliable and inexpensive high throughput method for identification and quantitative characterization of TALEN mediated mutations. Targeted COMT mutations were identified by CE in up to 74 % of the lines. In different events 8-99 % of the wild type COMT were converted to mutant COMT as revealed by pyrosequencing. Mutation frequencies among mutant lines were positively correlated to lignin reduction. Events with a mutation frequency of 99 % displayed a 29-32 % reduction of the lignin content compared to non-transgenic controls along with significantly reduced S subunit content and elevated hemicellulose content. CE analysis displayed similar peak patterns between primary COMT mutants and their vegetative progenies suggesting that TALEN mediated mutations were faithfully transmitted to vegetative progenies. This is the first report on genome editing in sugarcane. The findings demonstrate that targeted mutagenesis can improve cell wall characteristics for production of lignocellulosic ethanol in crops with highly complex genomes.

  3. Ontogenic aspects of liver and kidney catechol-O-methyltransferase sensitivity to tolcapone.

    PubMed Central

    Vieira-Coelho, M. A.; Soares-da-Silva, P.

    1996-01-01

    1. The present work describes the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) activities in the liver and kidney of developing and adult rats (aged 3, 6, 9, 18, 30 and 60 days; n = 5 per group) and evaluates the enzyme sensitivity to inhibition by tolcapone, a reversible COMT inhibitor. 2. COMT activity, evaluated by the ability to methylate adrenaline to metanephrine, was determined in liver and kidney homogenates prepared in 0.5 mM phosphate buffer (pH = 7.8) containing pargyline (0.1 mM), MgCl2 (0.1 mM), EGTA (1 mM) and S-adenosyl-L-methionine (0.1 mM). Vmax (in nmol mg-1 protein h-1) of liver COMT was found to decrease gradually with age, from 5.3 +/- 0.5 at the age of 3 days up to 2.9 +/- 0.2 at the age of 60 days; for the same age range, Km values (in microM; geometric means with 95% confidence limits) increased from 3.3 (1.0, 7.5) up to 13.1 (2.1, 24.1). At the age of 3 days, Vmax values for kidney COMT (2.6 +/- 0.1) were lower than those for the liver COMT. However, Vmax values for kidney COMT were found to increase up to 6.2 +/- 0.6 at the age of 18 days and then declined by 44% at the age of 30 and 60 days. In kidney, aging was also accompanied by an increase in Km values for COMT (from 2.7 [1.1, 4.3] up to 24.0 [11.7, 36.3]). 3. The sensitivity of liver and renal COMT activity to tolcapone was markedly dependent on the age, 3-days old rats being more sensitive to tolcapone than older animals. The IC50 values (in nM) for inhibition of liver COMT by tolcapone increased gradually with age, from 41 (26, 65) at the age of 3 days up to 720 (640, 800) at the age of 60 days. As was found in the liver, IC50 values (in nM) for inhibition of kidney COMT by tolcapone also increased with age, from 8 (6, 10) at the age of 3 days up to 177 (131, 240) at the age of 60 days. In all experimental groups, the IC50 values for inhibition of liver COMT by tolcapone was higher than those for kidney COMT. 4. In conclusion, these results suggest that aging is accompanied by a decrease in

  4. Entacapone: a catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitor for the adjunctive treatment of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Najib, J

    2001-06-01

    When levodopa therapy is used in Parkinson's disease, degradation of the drug in the peripheral nervous system is associated with dyskinesias and motor fluctuations. Much of this degradation is produced by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), an enzyme involved in the metabolism of catecholamines and catechol compounds. Inhibition of COMT activity prolongs the action of levodopa and reduces fluctuations in response. Entacapone is a selective inhibitor of COMT whose activity is primarily in the peripheral nervous system, with little effect in the central nervous system. This paper reviews the pharmacologic properties and clinical usefulness of entacapone in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Recent studies, abstracts, and reviews published in the English-language literature were identified through searches of MEDLINE (1966-September 2000), International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1970-September 2000), and PharmaProjects (September 2000 version), and from the Web sites of Parkinson's disease conferences held from 1996 to September 2000. Relevant human studies provided further information on the pharmacologic properties and clinical usefulness of entacapone. Entacapone is rapidly absorbed, with a time to maximum concentration of approximately 1 hour. Its plasma elimination half-life is 0.4 to 0.7 hour in the beta phase and 2.4 hours in the gamma phase, and it has 35% absolute bioavailability after oral administration, secondary to first-pass clearance. Entacapone is 98% protein bound; thus, it is not distributed widely in tissues and is almost completely metabolized before excretion (0.1%-0.2% of dose unchanged in urine). The drug inhibits erythrocyte-soluble COMT activity in a dose-dependent fashion (48% after a 400-mg dose, 82% after an 800-mg dose). The inhibitory effect is reversible, with recovery of soluble COMT activity within 4 to 8 hours. In levodopa-treated patients with Parkinson's disease who experience motor fluctuations, clinical trials have

  5. Downregulation of a putative plastid PDC E1α subunit impairs photosynthetic activity and triacylglycerol accumulation in nitrogen-starved photoautotrophic Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    PubMed

    Shtaida, Nastassia; Khozin-Goldberg, Inna; Solovchenko, Alexei; Chekanov, Konstantin; Didi-Cohen, Shoshana; Leu, Stefan; Cohen, Zvi; Boussiba, Sammy

    2014-12-01

    The chloroplast pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (cpPDC) catalyses the oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvate forming acetyl-CoA, an immediate primer for the initial reactions of de novo fatty acid (FA) synthesis. Little is known about the source of acetyl-CoA in the chloroplasts of photosynthetic microalgae, which are capable of producing high amounts of the storage lipid triacylglycerol (TAG) under conditions of nutrient stresses. We generated Chlamydomonas reinhardtii CC-1618 mutants with decreased expression of the PDC2_E1α gene, encoding the putative chloroplast pyruvate dehydrogenase subunit E1α, using artificial microRNA. A comparative study on the effects of PDC2_E1α silencing on FAs and TAG production in C. reinhardtii, grown photoautotrophically and mixotrophically, with and without a nitrogen source in the nutrient medium, was carried out. Reduced expression of PDC2 _E1α led to a severely hampered photoautotrophic growth phenotype with drastic impairment in TAG accumulation under nitrogen deprivation. In the presence of acetate, downregulation of PDC2_E1α exerted little to no effect on TAG production and photosynthetic activity. In contrast, under photoautotrophic conditions, especially in the absence of a nitrogen source, a dramatic decline in photosynthetic oxygen evolution and photosystem II quantum yield against a background of the apparent over-reduction of the photosynthetic electron chain was recorded. Our results suggest an essential role of cpPDC in the supply of carbon precursors for de novo FA synthesis in microalgae under conditions of photoautotrophy. A shortage of this supply is detrimental to the nitrogen-starvation-induced synthesis of storage TAG, an important carbon and energy sink in stressed Chlamydomonas cells, thereby impairing the acclimation ability of the microalga. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  6. Downregulation of a putative plastid PDC E1α subunit impairs photosynthetic activity and triacylglycerol accumulation in nitrogen-starved photoautotrophic Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

    PubMed Central

    Shtaida, Nastassia; Khozin-Goldberg, Inna; Solovchenko, Alexei; Chekanov, Konstantin; Didi-Cohen, Shoshana; Leu, Stefan; Cohen, Zvi; Boussiba, Sammy

    2014-01-01

    The chloroplast pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (cpPDC) catalyses the oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvate forming acetyl-CoA, an immediate primer for the initial reactions of de novo fatty acid (FA) synthesis. Little is known about the source of acetyl-CoA in the chloroplasts of photosynthetic microalgae, which are capable of producing high amounts of the storage lipid triacylglycerol (TAG) under conditions of nutrient stresses. We generated Chlamydomonas reinhardtii CC-1618 mutants with decreased expression of the PDC2_E1α gene, encoding the putative chloroplast pyruvate dehydrogenase subunit E1α, using artificial microRNA. A comparative study on the effects of PDC2_E1α silencing on FAs and TAG production in C. reinhardtii, grown photoautotrophically and mixotrophically, with and without a nitrogen source in the nutrient medium, was carried out. Reduced expression of PDC2 _E1α led to a severely hampered photoautotrophic growth phenotype with drastic impairment in TAG accumulation under nitrogen deprivation. In the presence of acetate, downregulation of PDC2_E1α exerted little to no effect on TAG production and photosynthetic activity. In contrast, under photoautotrophic conditions, especially in the absence of a nitrogen source, a dramatic decline in photosynthetic oxygen evolution and photosystem II quantum yield against a background of the apparent over-reduction of the photosynthetic electron chain was recorded. Our results suggest an essential role of cpPDC in the supply of carbon precursors for de novo FA synthesis in microalgae under conditions of photoautotrophy. A shortage of this supply is detrimental to the nitrogen-starvation-induced synthesis of storage TAG, an important carbon and energy sink in stressed Chlamydomonas cells, thereby impairing the acclimation ability of the microalga. PMID:25210079

  7. The Maize Viviparous8 Locus, Encoding a Putative ALTERED MERISTEM PROGRAM1-Like Peptidase, Regulates Abscisic Acid Accumulation and Coordinates Embryo and Endosperm Development1[W

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Masaharu; Latshaw, Susan; Sato, Yutaka; Settles, A. Mark; Koch, Karen E.; Hannah, L. Curtis; Kojima, Mikiko; Sakakibara, Hitoshi; McCarty, Donald R.

    2008-01-01

    We describe a mutant of Zea mays isolated from a W22 inbred transposon population, widow's peak mutant1 (wpk1), with an altered pattern of anthocyanin synthesis and aleurone cell differentiation in endosperm. In addition, a failure of the developing mutant embryo to form leaf initials is associated with decreased expression of a subset of meristem regulatory genes that includes Abphyl1 and Td1. We show that the viviparous8 (vp8) mutant has a similar pleiotropic phenotype in the W22 inbred background in contrast to the viviparous embryo phenotype exhibited in the standard genetic background, and we confirmed that wpk1 is allelic to vp8. Further genetic analysis revealed that the standard vp8 stock contains an unlinked, partially dominant suppressor of the vp8 mutation that is not present in W22. Consistent with the early-onset viviparous phenotype of vp8, expression of several embryonic regulators, including LEC1/B3 domain transcription factors, was reduced in the mutant embryo. Moreover, reduced abscisic acid (ABA) content of vp8/wpk1 embryos was correlated with altered regulation of ABA biosynthesis, as well as ABA catabolic pathways. The ABA biosynthetic gene Vp14 was down-regulated in the nonsuppressed background, whereas the ZmABA8′oxA1a ABA 8′-hydroxylase gene was strongly up-regulated in both genetic backgrounds. Molecular analysis revealed that Vp8 encodes a putative peptidase closely related to Arabidopsis thaliana ALTERED MERISTEM PROGRAM1. Because the Vp8 regulates meristem development as well as seed maturation processes, including ABA accumulation, we propose that VP8 is required for synthesis of an unidentified signal that integrates meristem and embryo formation in seeds. PMID:18203869

  8. The Maize Viviparous8 locus, encoding a putative ALTERED MERISTEM PROGRAM1-like peptidase, regulates abscisic acid accumulation and coordinates embryo and endosperm development.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Masaharu; Latshaw, Susan; Sato, Yutaka; Settles, A Mark; Koch, Karen E; Hannah, L Curtis; Kojima, Mikiko; Sakakibara, Hitoshi; McCarty, Donald R

    2008-03-01

    We describe a mutant of Zea mays isolated from a W22 inbred transposon population, widow's peak mutant1 (wpk1), with an altered pattern of anthocyanin synthesis and aleurone cell differentiation in endosperm. In addition, a failure of the developing mutant embryo to form leaf initials is associated with decreased expression of a subset of meristem regulatory genes that includes Abphyl1 and Td1. We show that the viviparous8 (vp8) mutant has a similar pleiotropic phenotype in the W22 inbred background in contrast to the viviparous embryo phenotype exhibited in the standard genetic background, and we confirmed that wpk1 is allelic to vp8. Further genetic analysis revealed that the standard vp8 stock contains an unlinked, partially dominant suppressor of the vp8 mutation that is not present in W22. Consistent with the early-onset viviparous phenotype of vp8, expression of several embryonic regulators, including LEC1/B3 domain transcription factors, was reduced in the mutant embryo. Moreover, reduced abscisic acid (ABA) content of vp8/wpk1 embryos was correlated with altered regulation of ABA biosynthesis, as well as ABA catabolic pathways. The ABA biosynthetic gene Vp14 was down-regulated in the nonsuppressed background, whereas the ZmABA8'oxA1a ABA 8'-hydroxylase gene was strongly up-regulated in both genetic backgrounds. Molecular analysis revealed that Vp8 encodes a putative peptidase closely related to Arabidopsis thaliana ALTERED MERISTEM PROGRAM1. Because the Vp8 regulates meristem development as well as seed maturation processes, including ABA accumulation, we propose that VP8 is required for synthesis of an unidentified signal that integrates meristem and embryo formation in seeds.

  9. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase "Val[superscript 158]Met" Genotype, Parenting Practices and Adolescent Alcohol Use: Testing the Differential Susceptibility Hypothesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Laucht, Manfred; Blomeyer, Dorothea; Buchmann, Arlette F.; Treutlein, Jens; Schmidt, Martin H.; Esser, Gunter; Jennen-Steinmetz, Christine; Rietschel, Marcella; Zimmermann, Ulrich S.; Banaschewski, Tobias

    2012-01-01

    Background: Recently, first evidence has been reported for a gene-parenting interaction (G x E) with regard to adolescent alcohol use. The present investigation set out to extend this research using the catechol-O-methyltransferase ("COMT") "Val[superscript 158]Met" polymorphism as a genetic susceptibility factor. Moreover, the current study…

  10. Determination of the structure and catalytic mechanism of Sorghum bicolor caffeic acid O-methyltransferase and the structural impact of three brown midrib12 mutations

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    With S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) acting as the methyl donor, caffeic acid O-methyltransferase from Sorghum bicolor (SbCOMT) methylates the 5-hydroxyl group of its preferred substrate, 5-hydroxyconiferaldehyde, to form sinapaldehyde. In order to determine the mechanism of SbCOMT and understand the red...

  11. Short peptides derived from the interaction domain of SARS coronavirus nonstructural protein nsp10 can suppress the 2'-O-methyltransferase activity of nsp10/nsp16 complex.

    PubMed

    Ke, Min; Chen, Yu; Wu, Andong; Sun, Ying; Su, Ceyang; Wu, Hao; Jin, Xu; Tao, Jiali; Wang, Yi; Ma, Xiao; Pan, Ji-An; Guo, Deyin

    2012-08-01

    Coronaviruses are the etiological agents of respiratory and enteric diseases in humans and livestock, exemplified by the life-threatening severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) caused by SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). However, effective means for combating coronaviruses are still lacking. The interaction between nonstructural protein (nsp) 10 and nsp16 has been demonstrated and the crystal structure of SARS-CoV nsp16/10 complex has been revealed. As nsp10 acts as an essential trigger to activate the 2'-O-methyltransferase activity of nsp16, short peptides derived from nsp10 may have inhibitory effect on viral 2'-O-methyltransferase activity. In this study, we revealed that the domain of aa 65-107 of nsp10 was sufficient for its interaction with nsp16 and the region of aa 42-120 in nsp10, which is larger than the interaction domain, was needed for stimulating the nsp16 2'-O-methyltransferase activity. We further showed that two short peptides derived from the interaction domain of nsp10 could inhibit the 2'-O-methyltransferase activity of SARS-CoV nsp16/10 complex, thus providing a novel strategy and proof-of-principle study for developing peptide inhibitors against SARS-CoV. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase "Val[superscript 158]Met" Genotype, Parenting Practices and Adolescent Alcohol Use: Testing the Differential Susceptibility Hypothesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Laucht, Manfred; Blomeyer, Dorothea; Buchmann, Arlette F.; Treutlein, Jens; Schmidt, Martin H.; Esser, Gunter; Jennen-Steinmetz, Christine; Rietschel, Marcella; Zimmermann, Ulrich S.; Banaschewski, Tobias

    2012-01-01

    Background: Recently, first evidence has been reported for a gene-parenting interaction (G x E) with regard to adolescent alcohol use. The present investigation set out to extend this research using the catechol-O-methyltransferase ("COMT") "Val[superscript 158]Met" polymorphism as a genetic susceptibility factor. Moreover, the current study…

  13. Oxytocin and catechol-O-methyltransferase receptor genotype predict the length of the first stage of labor.

    PubMed

    Terkawi, Abdullah S; Jackson, William M; Thiet, Mari-Paule; Hansoti, Shehnaz; Tabassum, Rabeena; Flood, Pamela

    2012-09-01

    We aimed to identify genetic factors that influence the rate of the first stage of labor. We prospectively enrolled 233 laboring nulliparous parturients. Demographic, clinical, and genetic data were collected. We evaluated the influence of population and individual variability using a nonlinear mixed effects model. Parturients who were homozygous for "G" at oxytocin receptor gene rs53576 transitioned to active labor later and thus had slower labor. Catechol-O-methyltransferase rs4633 genotype TT was associated with slower latent phase labor. Labor induction with prostaglandin was associated with faster labor, and request for meperidine was associated with slower labor. Birthweight was related inversely to the rate of the active phase. There are demographic, clinical, and genetic factors that influence an individual's rate of labor progress. This information could be used in automated form to improve the prediction of the length of the first stage of labor. Copyright © 2012 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Enhancing digestibility and ethanol yield of Populus wood via expression of an engineered monolignol 4-O-methyltransferase

    DOE PAGES

    Cai, Yuanheng; Zhang, Kewei; Kim, Hoon; ...

    2016-06-28

    Producing cellulosic biofuels and bio-based chemicals from woody biomass is impeded by the presence of lignin polymer in the plant cell wall. Manipulating the monolignol biosynthetic pathway offers a promising approach to improved processability, but often impairs plant growth and development. Here, we show that expressing an engineered 4-O-methyltransferase that chemically modifies the phenolic moiety of lignin monomeric precursors, thus preventing their incorporation into the lignin polymer, substantially alters hybrid aspens’ lignin content and structure. Woody biomass derived from the transgenic aspens shows a 62% increase in the release of simple sugars and up to a 49% increase in themore » yield of ethanol when the woody biomass is subjected to enzymatic digestion and yeast-mediated fermentation. Furthermore, the cell wall structural changes do not affect growth and biomass production of the trees. Our study provides a useful strategy for tailoring woody biomass for bio-based applications.« less

  15. Enhancing digestibility and ethanol yield of Populus wood via expression of an engineered monolignol 4-O-methyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Cai, Yuanheng; Zhang, Kewei; Kim, Hoon; Hou, Guichuan; Zhang, Xuebin; Yang, Huijun; Feng, Huan; Miller, Lisa; Ralph, John; Liu, Chang-Jun

    2016-06-28

    Producing cellulosic biofuels and bio-based chemicals from woody biomass is impeded by the presence of lignin polymer in the plant cell wall. Manipulating the monolignol biosynthetic pathway offers a promising approach to improved processability, but often impairs plant growth and development. Here, we show that expressing an engineered 4-O-methyltransferase that chemically modifies the phenolic moiety of lignin monomeric precursors, thus preventing their incorporation into the lignin polymer, substantially alters hybrid aspens' lignin content and structure. Woody biomass derived from the transgenic aspens shows a 62% increase in the release of simple sugars and up to a 49% increase in the yield of ethanol when the woody biomass is subjected to enzymatic digestion and yeast-mediated fermentation. Moreover, the cell wall structural changes do not affect growth and biomass production of the trees. Our study provides a useful strategy for tailoring woody biomass for bio-based applications.

  16. Enhancing digestibility and ethanol yield of Populus wood via expression of an engineered monolignol 4-O-methyltransferase

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Yuanheng; Zhang, Kewei; Kim, Hoon; Hou, Guichuan; Zhang, Xuebin; Yang, Huijun; Feng, Huan; Miller, Lisa; Ralph, John; Liu, Chang-Jun

    2016-01-01

    Producing cellulosic biofuels and bio-based chemicals from woody biomass is impeded by the presence of lignin polymer in the plant cell wall. Manipulating the monolignol biosynthetic pathway offers a promising approach to improved processability, but often impairs plant growth and development. Here, we show that expressing an engineered 4-O-methyltransferase that chemically modifies the phenolic moiety of lignin monomeric precursors, thus preventing their incorporation into the lignin polymer, substantially alters hybrid aspens' lignin content and structure. Woody biomass derived from the transgenic aspens shows a 62% increase in the release of simple sugars and up to a 49% increase in the yield of ethanol when the woody biomass is subjected to enzymatic digestion and yeast-mediated fermentation. Moreover, the cell wall structural changes do not affect growth and biomass production of the trees. Our study provides a useful strategy for tailoring woody biomass for bio-based applications. PMID:27349324

  17. Association Between the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism and Self-Perceived Social Acceptance in Adolescent Girls

    PubMed Central

    Dearing, Karen F.; Joormann, Jutta; Gotlib, Ian H.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Low perceived social acceptance is a significant risk factor for emotional difficulties in children. No studies, however, have examined genetic factors that may underlie individual differences in perceived social acceptance. In the present study we examined the relation between polymorphisms on the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met and serotonin transporter promoter (5-HTTLPR) genes and perceived social acceptance in 103 adolescent girls. Only the COMT polymorphism was related to perceived social acceptance: Val-allele carriers reported greater perceived social acceptance than did homozygous Met-allele carriers. In a subsample of these participants, homozygous Val-allele carriers reported greater maintenance of positive emotions during stress. This, in turn, predicted social acceptance, suggesting that COMT exerts its effects on social functioning through emotion regulation. These data are the first to show an association between COMT and social functioning in children. Future research might profitably examine emotion regulation as a mediator between COMT and social acceptance. PMID:19702491

  18. Molecular docking studies for the identification of novel melatoninergic inhibitors for acetylserotonin-O-methyltransferase using different docking routines

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background N-Acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase (ASMT) is an enzyme which by converting nor-melatonin to melatonin catalyzes the final reaction in melatonin biosynthesis in tryptophan metabolism pathway. High Expression of ASMT gene is evident in PPTs. The presence of abnormally high levels of ASMT in pineal gland could serve as an indication of the existence of pineal parenchymal tumors (PPTs) in the brain (J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 65: 675–684, 2006). Different levels of melatonin are used as a trait marker for prescribing the mood disorders e.g. Seasonal affective disorder, bipolar disorder, or major depressive disorder. In addition, melatonin levels can also be used to calculate the severity of a patient’s illness at a given point in time. Methods Seventy three melatoninergic inhibitors were docked with acetylserotonin-O-methyltransferase in order to identify the potent inhibitor against the enzyme. The chemical nature of the protein and ligands greatly influence the performance of docking routines. Keeping this fact in view, critical evaluation of the performance of four different commonly used docking routines: AutoDock/Vina, GOLD, FlexX and FRED were performed. An evaluation criterion was based on the binding affinities/docking scores and experimental bioactivities. Results and conclusion Results indicated that both hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions contributed significantly for its ligand binding and the compound selected as potent inhibitor is having minimum binding affinity, maximum GoldScore and minimum FlexX energy. The correlation value of r2 = 0. 66 may be useful in the selection of correct docked complexes based on the energy without having prior knowledge of the active site. This may lead to further understanding of structures, their reliability and Biomolecular activity especially in connection with bipolar disorders. PMID:24156411

  19. Phosphorylation is an on/off switch for 5-hydroxyconiferaldehyde O-methyltransferase activity in poplar monolignol biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jack P.; Chuang, Ling; Loziuk, Philip L.; Chen, Hao; Lin, Ying-Chung; Shi, Rui; Qu, Guan-Zheng; Muddiman, David C.; Sederoff, Ronald R.; Chiang, Vincent L.

    2015-01-01

    Although phosphorylation has long been known to be an important regulatory modification of proteins, no unequivocal evidence has been presented to show functional control by phosphorylation for the plant monolignol biosynthetic pathway. Here, we present the discovery of phosphorylation-mediated on/off regulation of enzyme activity for 5-hydroxyconiferaldehyde O-methyltransferase 2 (PtrAldOMT2), an enzyme central to monolignol biosynthesis for lignification in stem-differentiating xylem (SDX) of Populus trichocarpa. Phosphorylation turned off the PtrAldOMT2 activity, as demonstrated in vitro by using purified phosphorylated and unphosphorylated recombinant PtrAldOMT2. Protein extracts of P. trichocarpa SDX, which contains endogenous kinases, also phosphorylated recombinant PtrAldOMT2 and turned off the recombinant protein activity. Similarly, ATP/Mn2+-activated phosphorylation of SDX protein extracts reduced the endogenous SDX PtrAldOMT2 activity by ∼60%, and dephosphorylation fully restored the activity. Global shotgun proteomic analysis of phosphopeptide-enriched P. trichocarpa SDX protein fractions identified PtrAldOMT2 monophosphorylation at Ser123 or Ser125 in vivo. Phosphorylation-site mutagenesis verified the PtrAldOMT2 phosphorylation at Ser123 or Ser125 and confirmed the functional importance of these phosphorylation sites for O-methyltransferase activity. The PtrAldOMT2 Ser123 phosphorylation site is conserved across 93% of AldOMTs from 46 diverse plant species, and 98% of the AldOMTs have either Ser123 or Ser125. PtrAldOMT2 is a homodimeric cytosolic enzyme expressed more abundantly in syringyl lignin-rich fiber cells than in guaiacyl lignin-rich vessel cells. The reversible phosphorylation of PtrAldOMT2 is likely to have an important role in regulating syringyl monolignol biosynthesis of P. trichocarpa. PMID:26109572

  20. Cloning and functional characterization of the Arabidopsis N-acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase responsible for melatonin synthesis.

    PubMed

    Byeon, Yeong; Lee, Hye-Jung; Lee, Hyoung Yool; Back, Kyoungwhan

    2016-01-01

    The N-acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase (ASMT) gene encodes the enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of N-acetylserotonin to melatonin as the last step in melatonin biosynthesis. The first plant ASMT gene to be cloned was from rice. An orthologous gene encoding a protein with ASMT activity and only 39.7% amino acid sequence identity to the rice ASMT protein was recently isolated from apple (Malus zumi). The low homology of the apple ASMT sequence prompted us to screen the Arabidopsis genome for a homologous ASMT gene. The At4g35160 gene exhibited the highest sequence identity (31%) to the rice ASMT gene, followed by the At1g76790 gene with 29% sequence identity. We purified recombinant proteins expressed from the two Arabidopsis genes. The At4g35160 recombinant protein exhibited ASMT enzyme activity, but the At1g76790 recombinant protein did not; thus, we designated At4g35160 as an Arabidopsis thaliana ASMT (AtASMT) gene. The AtASMT protein catalyzed the conversion of N-acetylserotonin to melatonin and serotonin to 5-methoxytryptamine with Vmax values of 0.11 and 0.29 pkat/mg protein, respectively. However, AtASMT exhibited no caffeic acid O-methyltransferase activity, suggesting that its function was highly specific to melatonin synthesis. AtASMT transcripts were induced by cadmium treatment in Arabidopsis followed by increased melatonin synthesis. Similar to other ASMT proteins, AtASMT was localized in the cytoplasm and its ectopic overexpression in rice resulted in increased ASMT enzyme activity and melatonin production, indicating the involvement of AtASMT in melatonin synthesis.

  1. Functional expression of plant-derived O-methyltransferase, flavanone 3-hydroxylase, and flavonol synthase in Corynebacterium glutamicum for production of pterostilbene, kaempferol, and quercetin.

    PubMed

    Kallscheuer, Nicolai; Vogt, Michael; Bott, Michael; Marienhagen, Jan

    2017-09-20

    Plant polyphenols receive significant attention due to their anti-oxidative and health-promoting properties, and several microorganisms are currently engineered towards producing these valuable compounds. Previously, Corynebacterium glutamicum has been engineered for synthesizing polyphenol core structures such as the stilbene resveratrol and the (2S)-flavanone naringenin. Decoration of these compounds by O-methylation or hydroxylation would provide access to polyphenols of even higher commercial interest. In this study, introduction of a heterologous O-methyltransferase into a resveratrol-producing C. glutamicum strain allowed synthesis of 42mg/L (0.16mM) of the di-O-methylated pterostilbene from p-coumaric acid. A prerequisite for reaching this product titer was a fusion of O-methyltransferase with the maltose-binding protein of Escherichia coli lacking its signal peptide, thereby increasing the solubility of the O-methyltransferase. Furthermore, expression of heterologous dioxygenase genes in (2S)-flavanone-producing C. glutamicum strains enabled the production of flavanonols and flavonols starting from the phenylpropanoids p-coumaric acid and caffeic acid. For the flavonols kaempferol and quercetin, maximum product titers of 23mg/L (0.08mM) and 10mg/L (0.03mM) could be achieved, respectively. The obtained results demonstrate that C. glutamicum is a suitable host organism for the production of more complex plant polyphenols. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Immunocytochemical localization of hydroxyindole-o-methyltransferase (HIOMT) in the brain of Myoisophagos lacteus (Nemertea: Heteronemertea: Lineidae).

    PubMed

    Arnoult, F; Vernet, G

    2001-07-01

    In an attempt to identify the brain structures that synthesize melatonin and that probably mediate the photoperiodic response of the heteronemertean Myoisophagos lacteus, we utilized immunocytochemical techniques and employed immunoglobulins directed against hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT, EC 2.1.1.4). This enzyme catalyzes the last step of melatonin biosynthesis. In immunocytochemically treated head sections of Myoisophagos lacteus, antibodies labelled a few cells in the dorsal region of the dorsal cerebral ganglia. Previous studies have shown that melatonin is present both in the brain and eyes of this nemertean species and that melatonin is involved in control of the worm reproduction. Other studies have demonstrated the presence of photoreceptor-like cells in the same region of the worm brain that showed HIOMT immunostaining. Therefore, anatomical findings of the present study, coupled with results of previous works, provide strong evidence that this region of the worm brain houses a photoperiodic receptor involved in melatonin biosynthesis. J. Exp. Zool. 290:156-162, 2001. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  3. Development of an HTRF Assay for the Detection and Characterization of Inhibitors of Catechol-O-Methyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Kimos, Martha; Burton, Maggi; Urbain, David; Caudron, Didier; Martini, Murielle; Famelart, Michel; Gillard, Michel; Barrow, James; Wood, Martyn

    2016-06-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) plays an important role in the deactivation of catecholamine neurotransmitters and hormones. Inhibitors of COMT, such as tolcapone and entacapone, are used clinically in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Discovery of novel inhibitors has been hampered by a lack of suitable assays for high-throughput screening (HTS). Although assays using esculetin have been developed, these are affected by fluorescence, a common property of catechol-type compounds. We have therefore evaluated a new homogenous time-resolved fluorescence (HTRF)-based assay from CisBio (Codolet, France), which measures the production of S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine (SAH). The assay has been run in both HTS and medium-throughput screening (MTS) modes. The assay was established using membranes expressing human membrane-bound COMT and was optimized for protein and time to give an acceptable signal window, good potency for tolcapone, and a high degree of translation between data in fluorescence ratio and data in terms of [SAH] produced. pIC50 values for the hits from the HTS mode were determined in the MTS mode. The assay also proved suitable for kinetic studies such as Km,app determination.

  4. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Genotype Affects Age-Related Changes in Plasticity in Working Memory: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Riemer, Thomas G.; Schulte, Stefanie; Onken, Johanna; Heinz, Andreas; Rapp, Michael A.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives. Recent work suggests that a genetic variation associated with increased dopamine metabolism in the prefrontal cortex (catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met; COMT) amplifies age-related changes in working memory performance. Research on younger adults indicates that the influence of dopamine-related genetic polymorphisms on working memory performance increases when testing the cognitive limits through training. To date, this has not been studied in older adults. Method. Here we investigate the effect of COMT genotype on plasticity in working memory in a sample of 14 younger (aged 24–30 years) and 25 older (aged 60–75 years) healthy adults. Participants underwent adaptive training in the n-back working memory task over 12 sessions under increasing difficulty conditions. Results. Both younger and older adults exhibited sizeable behavioral plasticity through training (P < .001), which was larger in younger as compared to older adults (P < .001). Age-related differences were qualified by an interaction with COMT genotype (P < .001), and this interaction was due to decreased behavioral plasticity in older adults carrying the Val/Val genotype, while there was no effect of genotype in younger adults. Discussion. Our findings indicate that age-related changes in plasticity in working memory are critically affected by genetic variation in prefrontal dopamine metabolism. PMID:24772423

  5. No association between germline variation in catechol-O-methyltransferase and colorectal cancer survival in postmenopausal women

    PubMed Central

    Passarelli, Michael N.; Newcomb, Polly A.; Makar, Karen W.; Burnett-Hartman, Andrea N.; Phipps, Amanda I.; David, Sean P.; Hsu, Li; Harrison, Tabitha A.; Hutter, Carolyn M.; Duggan, David J.; White, Emily; Chan, Andrew T.; Peters, Ulrike

    2013-01-01

    Objective Sex-steroid hormones play a role in colorectal cancer (CRC) development, but little is known about their influence on tumor progression and metastasis. Because catechol-O-methyltransferase activity (COMT; 22q11.21) is an important component of estrogen-mediated carcinogenesis, we hypothesized that germline variation in COMT may be associated with CRC survival. Methods We identified 10 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that tagged variation across both isoforms of COMT in 2,458 women with CRC from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), Postmenopausal Hormones Supplementary Study to the Colon Cancer Family Registry (PMH-CCFR), VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) Study, and Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). All four studies participate in the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO). Results Over a median follow-up of 7 years across all studies, there were 799 deaths, including 566 from CRC. Accounting for multiple comparisons, no associations between the SNPs and CRC-specific or overall survival reached statistical significance, including the well-characterized Val108/158Met polymorphism (rs4680; hazard ratio per minor allele [HR], 1.04; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.92–1.17 for CRC-specific survival and 1.01; 0.90–1.14 for overall survival). Conclusions In this large study of women with CRC, we found no evidence that common inherited variation in COMT is associated with survival-time after diagnosis. PMID:23880798

  6. Association between cerebrospinal fluid dopamine concentrations and catechol-O-methyltransferase gene polymorphisms in forensic autopsy cases of methamphetamine abusers.

    PubMed

    Matsusue, Aya; Ishikawa, Takaki; Michiue, Tomomi; Waters, Brian; Hara, Kenji; Kashiwagi, Masayuki; Takayama, Mio; Ikematsu, Natsuki; Kubo, Shin-Ichi

    2017-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) is an illicit psychostimulant that stimulates the release of catecholamines from sympathetic nerve terminals and is widely abused worldwide. Since catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) metabolizes catecholamines and mediates adrenergic, noradrenergic, and dopaminergic signaling responses, we investigated the effects of the COMT polymorphisms rs4633 and rs4680 on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) catecholamine concentrations in autopsies of subjects who died of drug intoxication. 28 MA abusers and 22 fatal psychotropic drug intoxication cases were evaluated. No correlations were identified between rs4633 or rs4680 polymorphisms and CSF concentrations of adrenaline (Adr), noradrenaline (Nad), or dopamine (DA) in fatal psychotropic cases. However, among MA abusers, DA concentrations in the CSF were significantly higher in those with the T allele (CT and TT) of rs4633 than in CC genotype carriers (p=0.004). Moreover, among MA abusers, DA concentrations were significantly higher in those with the A allele (GA and AA) of rs4680 than in GG genotype carriers (p=0.017). In subsequent haplotype analyses of MA abusers, a strong correlation was identified between two COMT haplotypes and CSF DA concentrations (p=0.002). However, the CSF concentrations of Adr and Nad were not associated with COMT genotypes or haplotypes. The present results indicate that rs4633 and rs4680 polymorphisms influence CSF DA concentrations and MA toxicity in MA abusers.

  7. Race Moderates the Association of Catechol-O-methyltransferase Genotype and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Preschool Children

    PubMed Central

    Humphreys, Kathryn L.; Scheeringa, Michael S.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Objective: The present study sought to replicate previous findings of an association between the Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) val158met polymorphism with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and symptomatology in a novel age group, preschool children. Methods: COMT genotype was determined in a sample of 171 3–6-year-old trauma-exposed children. PTSD was assessed with a semistructured interview. Accounting for sex, trauma type, and age, genotype was examined in relation to categorical and continuous measures of PTSD both controlling for race and within the two largest racial categories (African American [AA] and European American [EA]). Results: Race significantly moderated the association between genotype and PTSD. Specifically, the genotype associated with increased PTSD symptoms in one racial group had the opposite association in the other racial group. For AA children the met/met genotype was associated with more PTSD symptoms. However, for EA children, val allele carriers had more PTSD symptoms. Whereas every AA child with the met/met genotype met criteria for PTSD, none of the EA children with the met/met genotype did. This genetic association with COMT genotype, in both races but in opposite directions, was most associated with increased arousal symptoms. Conclusions: These findings replicate previous findings in participants of African descent, highlight the moderating effect of race on the association between COMT genotype and PTSD, and provide direct evidence that consideration of population stratification within gene-by-environment studies is valuable to prevent false negative findings. PMID:25329975

  8. How Large Should the QM Region Be in QM/MM Calculations? The Case of Catechol O-Methyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Kulik, Heather J; Zhang, Jianyu; Klinman, Judith P; Martínez, Todd J

    2016-11-10

    Hybrid quantum mechanical-molecular mechanical (QM/MM) simulations are widely used in studies of enzymatic catalysis. Until recently, it has been cost prohibitive to determine the asymptotic limit of key energetic and structural properties with respect to increasingly large QM regions. Leveraging recent advances in electronic structure efficiency and accuracy, we investigate catalytic properties in catechol O-methyltransferase, a prototypical methyltransferase critical to human health. Using QM regions ranging in size from reactants-only (64 atoms) to nearly one-third of the entire protein (940 atoms), we show that properties such as the activation energy approach within chemical accuracy of the large-QM asymptotic limits rather slowly, requiring approximately 500-600 atoms if the QM residues are chosen simply by distance from the substrate. This slow approach to asymptotic limit is due to charge transfer from protein residues to the reacting substrates. Our large QM/MM calculations enable identification of charge separation for fragments in the transition state as a key component of enzymatic methyl transfer rate enhancement. We introduce charge shift analysis that reveals the minimum number of protein residues (approximately 11-16 residues or 200-300 atoms for COMT) needed for quantitative agreement with large-QM simulations. The identified residues are not those that would be typically selected using criteria such as chemical intuition or proximity. These results provide a recipe for a more careful determination of QM region sizes in future QM/MM studies of enzymes.

  9. Metabolic Disposition of Luteolin Is Mediated by the Interplay of UDP-Glucuronosyltransferases and Catechol-O-Methyltransferases in Rats.

    PubMed

    Wang, Liping; Chen, Qingwei; Zhu, Lijun; Li, Qiang; Zeng, Xuejun; Lu, Linlin; Hu, Ming; Wang, Xinchun; Liu, Zhongqiu

    2017-03-01

    Luteolin partially exerts its biologic effects via its metabolites catalyzed by UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs) and catechol-O-methyltransferases (COMTs). However, the interplay of UGTs and COMTs in mediating luteolin disposition has not been well clarified. In this study, we investigated the glucuronidation and methylation pathways of luteolin mediated by the interplay of UGTs and COMTs in vivo and in vitro. A total of nine luteolin metabolites was detected in rat plasma and bile by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, namely, three glucuronides, two methylated metabolites, and four methylated glucuronides. Luteolin-3'-glucuronide (Lut-3'-G) exhibited the highest systemic exposure among these metabolites. Kinetics studies in rat liver S9 fractions suggested two pathways, as follows: 1) Luteolin was glucuronidated to luteolin-7-glucuronide, luteolin-4'-glucuronide, and Lut-3'-G by UGTs, and then Lut-7-G was methylated to chrysoeriol-7-glucuronide and diosmetin-7-glucuronide by COMTs. 2) Alternatively, luteolin was methylated to chrysoeriol and diosmetin by COMTs, and then chrysoeriol and diosmetin were glucuronidated by UGTs to their respective glucuronides. The methylation rate of luteolin was significantly increased by the absence of glucuronidation, whereas the glucuronidation rate was increased by the absence of methylation, but to a lesser extent. In conclusion, two pathways mediated by the interplay of UGTs and COMTs are probably involved in the metabolic disposition of luteolin. The glucuronidation and methylation of luteolin compensate for each other, although glucuronidation is the predominant pathway.

  10. Association between the catechol-o-methyltransferase val158met polymorphism with susceptibility and severity of carpal tunnel syndrome.

    PubMed

    Erkol İnal, E; Eroğlu, P; Görükmez, O; Özemri Sağ, Ş; Yakut, T

    2015-12-01

    Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common entrapment neuropathy of the upper extremity. In this study, we aimed to clarify the relationships between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene Val158Met (rs4680) polymorphism and development, functional and clinical status of CTS. Ninety-five women with electro diagnostically confirmed CTS and 95 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. The functional and clinical status of the patients was measured by the Turkish version of the Boston Questionnaire and intensity of pain related to the past 2 weeks was evaluated on a visual analog scale (VAS). The Val158Met polymorphism was determined using the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP), method. We divided patients according to the genotypes of the Val158Met polymorphism as Val/Val, Val/Met and Met/Met. There were not any significant differences in terms of Val158Met polymorphisms between patients and healthy controls (p >0.05). We also did not find any relationships between the Val158Met polymorphism and CTS (p >0.05). In conclusion, although we did not find any relationships between CTS and the Val158Met polymorphism, we could not generalize this result to the general population. Future studies are warranted to conclude precise associations.

  11. How Large Should the QM Region Be in QM/MM Calculations? The Case of Catechol O-Methyltransferase

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Hybrid quantum mechanical–molecular mechanical (QM/MM) simulations are widely used in studies of enzymatic catalysis. Until recently, it has been cost prohibitive to determine the asymptotic limit of key energetic and structural properties with respect to increasingly large QM regions. Leveraging recent advances in electronic structure efficiency and accuracy, we investigate catalytic properties in catechol O-methyltransferase, a prototypical methyltransferase critical to human health. Using QM regions ranging in size from reactants-only (64 atoms) to nearly one-third of the entire protein (940 atoms), we show that properties such as the activation energy approach within chemical accuracy of the large-QM asymptotic limits rather slowly, requiring approximately 500–600 atoms if the QM residues are chosen simply by distance from the substrate. This slow approach to asymptotic limit is due to charge transfer from protein residues to the reacting substrates. Our large QM/MM calculations enable identification of charge separation for fragments in the transition state as a key component of enzymatic methyl transfer rate enhancement. We introduce charge shift analysis that reveals the minimum number of protein residues (approximately 11–16 residues or 200–300 atoms for COMT) needed for quantitative agreement with large-QM simulations. The identified residues are not those that would be typically selected using criteria such as chemical intuition or proximity. These results provide a recipe for a more careful determination of QM region sizes in future QM/MM studies of enzymes. PMID:27704827

  12. Catechol metabolites of the mycotoxin zearalenone are poor substrates but potent inhibitors of catechol-O-methyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Pfeiffer, Erika; Wefers, Daniel; Hildebrand, Andreas A; Fleck, Stefanie C; Metzler, Manfred

    2013-08-01

    The mycotoxin zearalenone (ZEN) elicits estrogenic effects and is biotransformed to two catechol metabolites, in analogy to the endogenous steroidal estrogen 17ß-estradiol (E2). Previous studies have shown that the catechol metabolites of ZEN have about the same potency to induce oxidative DNA damage as the catechol metabolites of E2, but are less efficiently converted to their methyl ethers by human hepatic catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). Here, we report that the two catechol metabolites of ZEN, i.e. 13-hydroxy-ZEN and 15-hydroxy-ZEN, are not only poor substrates of human COMT but are also able to strongly inhibit the O-methylation of 2-hydroxy-E2, the major catechol metabolite of E2. 15-Hydroxy-ZEN acts as a non-competitive inhibitor and is about ten times more potent than 13-hydroxy-ZEN, which is an uncompetitive inhibitor of COMT. The catechol metabolites of ZEN were also shown to inhibit the O-methylation of 2-hydroxy-E2 by hepatic COMT from mouse, rat, steer and piglet, although to a lesser extent than observed with human COMT. The powerful inhibitory effect of catechol metabolites of ZEN on COMT may have implications for the tumorigenic activity of E2, because catechol metabolites of E2 elicit genotoxic effects, and their impaired O-methylation may increase the tumorigenicity of steroidal estrogens.

  13. A novel prokaryotic expression system for biosynthesis of recombinant human membrane-bound catechol-O-methyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Pedro, A Q; Bonifácio, M J; Queiroz, J A; Maia, C J; Passarinha, L A

    2011-11-10

    Membrane proteins constitute 20-30% of all proteins encoded by the genome of various organisms. While large amounts of purified proteins are required for pharmaceutical and crystallization attempts, there is an unmet need for the development of novel heterologous membrane protein overexpression systems. Specifically, we tested the application of Brevibacillus choshinensis cells for the biosynthesis of human membrane bound catechol-O-methyltransferase (hMBCOMT). In terms of the upstream stage moderate to high expression was obtained for complex media formulation with a value near 45 nmol/h/mg for hMBCOMT specific activity achieved at 20 h culture with 37°C and 250 rpm. Subsequently, the efficiency for reconstitution of hMBCOMT is markedly null in the presence of ionic detergents, such as sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS). In general, for non-ionic and zwiterionic detergents, until a detergent critic micellar concentration (CMC) of 1.0 mM, hMBCOMT shows more biological activity at lower detergent concentrations while for detergent CMC higher than 1 mM, higher detergent concentrations seem to be ideal for hMBCOMT solubilization. Indeed, from the detergents tested, the non-ionic digitonin at 0.5% (w/v) appears to be the most suitable for hMBCOMT solubilization. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Engineering a monolignol 4-O-methyltransferase with high selectivity for the condensed lignin precursor coniferyl alcohol.

    PubMed

    Cai, Yuanheng; Bhuiya, Mohammad-Wadud; Shanklin, John; Liu, Chang-Jun

    2015-10-30

    Lignin, a rigid biopolymer in plant cell walls, is derived from the oxidative polymerization of three monolignols. The composition of monolignol monomers dictates the degree of lignin condensation, reactivity, and thus the degradability of plant cell walls. Guaiacyl lignin is regarded as the condensed structural unit. Polymerization of lignin is initiated through the deprotonation of the para-hydroxyl group of monolignols. Therefore, preferentially modifying the para-hydroxyl of a specific monolignol to deprive its dehydrogenation propensity would disturb the formation of particular lignin subunits. Here, we test the hypothesis that specific remodeling the active site of a monolignol 4-O-methyltransferase would create an enzyme that specifically methylates the condensed guaiacyl lignin precursor coniferyl alcohol. Combining crystal structural information with combinatorial active site saturation mutagenesis and starting with the engineered promiscuous enzyme, MOMT5 (T133L/E165I/F175I/F166W/H169F), we incrementally remodeled its substrate binding pocket by the addition of four substitutions, i.e. M26H, S30R, V33S, and T319M, yielding a mutant enzyme capable of discriminately etherifying the para-hydroxyl of coniferyl alcohol even in the presence of excess sinapyl alcohol. The engineered enzyme variant has a substantially reduced substrate binding pocket that imposes a clear steric hindrance thereby excluding bulkier lignin precursors. The resulting enzyme variant represents an excellent candidate for modulating lignin composition and/or structure in planta.

  15. Genetic contribution of catechol-O-methyltransferase polymorphism (Val158Met) in children with chronic tension-type headache.

    PubMed

    Fernández-de-las-Peñas, César; Ambite-Quesada, Silvia; Rivas-Martínez, Inés; Ortega-Santiago, Ricardo; de-la-Llave-Rincón, Ana Isabel; Fernández-Mayoralas, Daniel M; Pareja, Juan A

    2011-10-01

    Our aim was to investigate the relationship between Val158Met polymorphisms, headache, and pressure hypersensitivity in children with chronic tension-type headache (CTTH). A case-control study with blinded assessor was conducted. Seventy children with CTTH associated with pericranial tenderness and 70 healthy children participated. After amplifying Val158Met polymorphism by polymerase chain reactions, we assessed genotype frequencies and allele distributions. We classified children according to their Val158Met polymorphism: Val/Val, Val/Met, Met/Met. Pressure pain thresholds (PPT) were bilaterally assessed over the temporalis, upper trapezius, second metacarpal, and tibialis anterior muscles. The distribution of Val158Met genotypes was not significantly different (p = 0.335), between children with CTTH and healthy children, and between boys and girls (p = 0.872). Children with CTTH with the Met/Met genotype showed a longer headache history compared with those with Met/Val (p = 0.001) or Val/Val (p = 0.002) genotype. Children with CTTH with Met/Met genotype showed lower PPT over upper trapezius and temporalis muscles than children with CTTH with Met/Val or Val/Val genotype (p < 0.01). The Val158Met catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) polymorphism does not appear to be involved in predisposition to suffer from CTTH in children; nevertheless, this genetic factor may be involved in the phenotypic expression, as pressure hypersensitivity was greater in those CTTH children with the Met/Met genotype.

  16. Down-regulation of the Caffeic acid O-methyltransferase Gene in Switchgrass Reveals a Novel Monolignol Analog

    SciTech Connect

    Tschaplinski, Timothy J; Standaert, Robert F; Engle, Nancy L; Martin, Madhavi Z; Sangha, Amandeep K; Parks, Jerry M; Smith, Jeremy C; Samuel, Reichel; Pu, Yunqiao; Ragauskas, A J; Hamilton, Choo Yieng; Fu, Chunxiang; Wang, Zeng-Yu; Davison, Brian H; Dixon, Richard A; Mielenz, Jonathan R

    2012-01-01

    Down-regulation of the caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene in the lignin biosynthetic pathway of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) resulted in cell walls of transgenic plants releasing more constituent sugars after pretreatment by dilute acid and treatment with glycosyl hydrolases from an added enzyme preparation and from Clostridium thermocellum. Fermentation of both wild-type and transgenic switchgrass after milder hot water pretreatment with no water washing showed that only the transgenic switchgrass inhibited C. thermocellum. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-based metabolomics were undertaken on cell wall aqueous extracts to determine the nature of the microbial inhibitors, confirming the increased concentration of a number of phenolic acids and aldehydes that are known inhibitors of fermentation. Metabolomic analyses of the transgenic biomass additionally revealed the presence of a novel monolignol-like metabolite, identified as trans-3, 4-dimethoxy-5-hydroxycinnamyl alcohol (iso-sinapyl alcohol) in both non-pretreated, as well as hot water pretreated samples. Although there was no indication that iso-sinapyl alcohol was integrated into the cell wall, diversion of substrates from sinapyl alcohol to free iso-sinapyl alcohol, its glucoside, and associated upstream lignin pathway changes, including increased phenolic aldehydes and acids, are associated with more facile cell wall deconstruction, and to the observed inhibitory effect on microbial growth.

  17. Engineering a Monolignol 4-O-Methyltransferase with High Selectivity for the Condensed Lignin Precursor Coniferyl Alcohol*

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Yuanheng; Bhuiya, Mohammad-Wadud; Shanklin, John; Liu, Chang-Jun

    2015-01-01

    Lignin, a rigid biopolymer in plant cell walls, is derived from the oxidative polymerization of three monolignols. The composition of monolignol monomers dictates the degree of lignin condensation, reactivity, and thus the degradability of plant cell walls. Guaiacyl lignin is regarded as the condensed structural unit. Polymerization of lignin is initiated through the deprotonation of the para-hydroxyl group of monolignols. Therefore, preferentially modifying the para-hydroxyl of a specific monolignol to deprive its dehydrogenation propensity would disturb the formation of particular lignin subunits. Here, we test the hypothesis that specific remodeling the active site of a monolignol 4-O-methyltransferase would create an enzyme that specifically methylates the condensed guaiacyl lignin precursor coniferyl alcohol. Combining crystal structural information with combinatorial active site saturation mutagenesis and starting with the engineered promiscuous enzyme, MOMT5 (T133L/E165I/F175I/F166W/H169F), we incrementally remodeled its substrate binding pocket by the addition of four substitutions, i.e. M26H, S30R, V33S, and T319M, yielding a mutant enzyme capable of discriminately etherifying the para-hydroxyl of coniferyl alcohol even in the presence of excess sinapyl alcohol. The engineered enzyme variant has a substantially reduced substrate binding pocket that imposes a clear steric hindrance thereby excluding bulkier lignin precursors. The resulting enzyme variant represents an excellent candidate for modulating lignin composition and/or structure in planta. PMID:26378240

  18. Structure determination of the O-methyltransferase NovP using the 'free lunch algorithm' as implemented in SHELXE.

    PubMed

    Usón, Isabel; Stevenson, Clare E M; Lawson, David M; Sheldrick, George M

    2007-10-01

    NovP is an S-adenosyl-L-methionine-dependent O-methyltransferase from Streptomyces spheroides (subunit MW = 29 967 Da). Recombinant N-terminally His-tagged NovP crystallizes in space group P2, with approximate unit-cell parameters a = 51.81, b = 46.04, c = 61.22 A, beta = 105.0 degrees , giving a solvent content of 44% for a single copy of the His-tagged protomer per asymmetric unit. Native synchrotron data to a resolution of 1.35 A were combined with three other native data sets collected at lower resolution (both in-house and at the synchrotron) for the sake of completeness and better scaling. Data to 2.45 A resolution were subsequently recorded in-house from a single mercury derivative. Three partial mercury sites could be located with SHELXD, but the resulting phases had a mean error of about 81 degrees and in our hands did not yield an interpretable map using standard automated software. Nevertheless, the structure of NovP could be solved by first tracing a small part of the structure by hand and then extrapolating within and beyond the experimental resolution limit using the ;free lunch algorithm' in SHELXE. The resulting phases have a mean phase error of 17 degrees relative to a refined model.

  19. Association between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism and manual aiming control in healthy subjects.

    PubMed

    Lage, Guilherme M; Miranda, Débora M; Romano-Silva, Marco A; Campos, Simone B; Albuquerque, Maicon R; Corrêa, Humberto; Malloy-Diniz, Leandro F

    2014-01-01

    Prefrontal dopamine is catabolized by the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme. Current evidence suggests that the val/met single nucleotide polymorphism in the COMT gene can predict the efficiency of executive cognition in humans. Individuals carrying the val allele perform more poorly because less synaptic dopamine is available. We investigated the influence of the COMT polymorphism on motor performance in a task that requires different executive functions. We administered a manual aiming motor task that was performed under four different conditions of execution by 111 healthy participants. Participants were grouped according to genotype (met/met, met/val, val/val), and the motor performance among groups was compared. Overall, the results indicate that met/met carriers presented lower levels of peak velocity during the movement trajectory than the val carriers, but met/met carriers displayed higher accuracy than the val carriers. This study found a significant association between the COMT polymorphism and manual aiming control. Few studies have investigated the genetics of motor control, and these findings indicate that individual differences in motor control require further investigation using genetic studies.

  20. Catechol-O-methyltransferase polymorphisms do not play a significant role in pain perception in male Chinese Han population.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Xiaohui; Jiang, Yin; Ni, Yanjun; Fan, Min; Shen, Fang; Wang, Xuewei; Han, Jisheng; Cui, Cailian

    2012-03-01

    Polymorphisms in the human catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene have been widely studied for their role in pain and analgesia. In this study, sensitivity to potassium iontophoresis, visual analog scale measurements for fixed twofold pain threshold stimulation and pain threshold changes induced by transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) were assessed in a population of healthy Chinese males. These results were correlated with the alleles of six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) or diplotypes of common haplotypes designated as low pain sensitive, average pain sensitive, and high pain sensitive in the COMT gene of these subjects. Our results reveal that the alleles of each SNP are not significantly correlated with pain perception except for the rs4633 allele in the 2 Hz TEAS session (P < 0.05). In addition, the six diplotypes of COMT haplotypes, which cover 92.5% of the Chinese population, are also not correlated with pain perception. Moreover, there were no significant differences in pain threshold changes induced by 2 and 100 Hz TEAS among the diplotypes of each SNP or the various haplotypes. These results suggest that COMT activity do not play a significant role in pain perception and TEAS-induced analgesia in the Chinese Han male population.

  1. Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158met polymorphism interacts with early experience to predict executive functions in early childhood.

    PubMed

    Blair, Clancy; Sulik, Michael; Willoughby, Michael; Mills-Koonce, Roger; Petrill, Stephen; Bartlett, Christopher; Greenberg, Mark

    2015-11-01

    Numerous studies demonstrate that the Methionine variant of the catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met polymorphism, which confers less efficient catabolism of catecholamines, is associated with increased focal activation of prefrontal cortex (PFC) and higher levels of executive function abilities. By and large, however, studies of COMT Val158Met have been conducted with adult samples and do not account for the context in which development is occurring. Effects of early adversity on stress response physiology and the inverted U shape relating catecholamine levels to neural activity in PFC indicate the need to take into account early experience when considering relations between genes such as COMT and executive cognitive ability. Consistent with this neurobiology, we find in a prospective longitudinal sample of children and families (N = 1292) that COMT Val158Met interacts with early experience to predict executive function abilities in early childhood. Specifically, the Valine variant of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism, which confers more rather than less efficient catabolism of catecholamines is associated with higher executive function abilities at child ages 48 and 60 months and with faster growth of executive function for children experiencing early adversity, as indexed by cumulative risk factors in the home at child ages 7, 15, 24, and 36 months. Findings indicate the importance of the early environment for the relation between catecholamine genes and developmental outcomes and demonstrate that the genetic moderation of environmental risk is detectable in early childhood.

  2. Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158met Polymorphism Interacts With Early Experience to Predict Executive Functions in Early Childhood

    PubMed Central

    Blair, Clancy; Sulik, Michael; Willoughby, Michael; Mills-Koonce, Roger; Petrill, Stephen; Bartlett, Christopher; Greenberg, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Numerous studies demonstrate that the Methionine variant of the catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met polymorphism, which confers less efficient catabolism of catecholamines, is associated with increased focal activation of prefrontal cortex (PFC) and higher levels of executive function abilities. By and large, however, studies of COMT Val158Met have been conducted with adult samples and do not account for the context in which development is occurring. Effects of early adversity on stress response physiology and the inverted U shape relating catecholamine levels to neural activity in PFC indicate the need to take into account early experience when considering relations between genes such as COMT and executive cognitive ability. Consistent with this neurobiology, we find in a prospective longitudinal sample of children and families (N=1292) that COMT Val158Met interacts with early experience to predict executive function abilities in early childhood. Specifically, the Valine variant of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism, which confers more rather than less efficient catabolism of catecholamines is associated with higher executive function abilities at child ages 48 and 60 months and with faster growth of executive function for children experiencing early adversity, as indexed by cumulative risk factors in the home at child ages 7, 15, 24, and 36 months. Findings indicate the importance of the early environment for the relation between catecholamine genes and developmental outcomes and demonstrate that the genetic moderation of environmental risk is detectable in early childhood. PMID:26251232

  3. Relationship of catechol-O-methyltransferase to schizophrenia and its correlates: evidence for associations and complex interactions.

    PubMed

    Lewandowski, Kathryn E

    2007-01-01

    Converging lines of evidence suggest that the gene that codes for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) may play a role in the etiology, neurodevelopment, and expression of schizophrenia. Dopamine dysregulation has long been implicated in schizophrenia pathogenesis, and COMT appears to play a role in dopamine functioning, especially in prefrontal cortex. Additionally, the COMT gene maps to the commonly deleted region on chromosome 22q11 in 22q11 deletion syndrome (22q11DS), a disorder associated with a highly elevated risk for the development of psychosis. An amino acid polymorphism (Val158Met) in the COMT gene affects the activity level of COMT, which affects the levels of available catecholamines in the brain. Val158Met has been found to predict performance on dopamine-mediated prefrontal tasks in healthy adults and patients with schizophrenia. While association and linkage studies have failed to provide conclusive evidence of a strong link between COMT genotype and schizophrenia, evidence linking neural functioning and behavioral output has been somewhat more promising. The present work examines evidence for the role of COMT in schizophrenia pathogenesis, and associations between COMT and cognitive and behavioral correlates of schizophrenia and related disorders. Additionally, evidence for complex interactions involving COMT is examined, including the utility of haplotype analysis and evidence for gene-by-gene and gene-by-environment interactions.

  4. Association between the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met Polymorphism and Manual Aiming Control in Healthy Subjects

    PubMed Central

    Lage, Guilherme M.; Miranda, Débora M.; Romano-Silva, Marco A.; Campos, Simone B.; Albuquerque, Maicon R.; Corrêa, Humberto; Malloy-Diniz, Leandro F.

    2014-01-01

    Background Prefrontal dopamine is catabolized by the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme. Current evidence suggests that the val/met single nucleotide polymorphism in the COMT gene can predict the efficiency of executive cognition in humans. Individuals carrying the val allele perform more poorly because less synaptic dopamine is available. Methodology/Principal Findings We investigated the influence of the COMT polymorphism on motor performance in a task that requires different executive functions. We administered a manual aiming motor task that was performed under four different conditions of execution by 111 healthy participants. Participants were grouped according to genotype (met/met, met/val, val/val), and the motor performance among groups was compared. Overall, the results indicate that met/met carriers presented lower levels of peak velocity during the movement trajectory than the val carriers, but met/met carriers displayed higher accuracy than the val carriers. Conclusions/Significance This study found a significant association between the COMT polymorphism and manual aiming control. Few studies have investigated the genetics of motor control, and these findings indicate that individual differences in motor control require further investigation using genetic studies. PMID:24956262

  5. An RNA cap (nucleoside-2'-O-)-methyltransferase in the flavivirus RNA polymerase NS5: crystal structure and functional characterization.

    PubMed

    Egloff, Marie-Pierre; Benarroch, Delphine; Selisko, Barbara; Romette, Jean-Louis; Canard, Bruno

    2002-06-03

    Viruses represent an attractive system with which to study the molecular basis of mRNA capping and its relation to the RNA transcription machinery. The RNA-dependent RNA polymerase NS5 of flaviviruses presents a characteristic motif of S-adenosyl-L-methionine-dependent methyltransferases at its N-terminus, and polymerase motifs at its C-terminus. The crystal structure of an N-terminal fragment of Dengue virus type 2 NS5 is reported at 2.4 A resolution. We show that this NS5 domain includes a typical methyltransferase core and exhibits a (nucleoside-2'-O-)-methyltransferase activity on capped RNA. The structure of a ternary complex comprising S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine and a guanosine triphosphate (GTP) analogue shows that 54 amino acids N-terminal to the core provide a novel GTP-binding site that selects guanine using a previously unreported mechanism. Binding studies using GTP- and RNA cap-analogues, as well as the spatial arrangement of the methyltransferase active site relative to the GTP-binding site, suggest that the latter is a specific cap-binding site. As RNA capping is an essential viral function, these results provide a structural basis for the rational design of drugs against the emerging flaviviruses.

  6. The impact of the catechol-O-methyltransferase genotype on vascular function and blood pressure after acute green tea ingestion.

    PubMed

    Miller, Rosalind J; Jackson, Kim G; Dadd, Tony; Mayes, Andrew E; Brown, A Louise; Lovegrove, Julie A; Minihane, Anne M

    2012-06-01

    Evidence for the benefits of green tea catechins on vascular function is inconsistent, with genotype potentially contributing to the heterogeneity in response. Here, the impact of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) genotype on vascular function and blood pressure (BP) after green tea extract ingestion are reported. Fifty subjects (n = 25 of the proposed low-activity [AA] and of the high-activity [GG] COMT rs4680 genotype), completed a randomized, double-blind, crossover study. Peripheral arterial tonometry, digital volume pulse (DVP), and BP were assessed at baseline and 90 min after 1.06 g of green tea extract or placebo. A 5.5 h and subsequent 18.5 h urine collection was performed to assess green tea catechin excretion. A genotype × treatment interaction was observed for DVP reflection index (p = 0.014), with green tea extract in the AA COMT group attenuating the increase observed with placebo. A tendency for a greater increase in diastolic BP was evident at 90 min after the green tea extract compared to placebo (p = 0.07). A genotypic effect was observed for urinary methylated epigallocatechin during the first 5.5 h, with the GG COMT group demonstrating a greater concentration (p = 0.049). Differences in small vessel tone according to COMT genotype were evident after acute green tea extract. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  7. Methylation of catechins and procyanidins by rat and human catechol-O-methyltransferase: metabolite profiling and molecular modeling studies.

    PubMed

    Weinert, Christoph H; Wiese, Stefanie; Rawel, Harshadrai M; Esatbeyoglu, Tuba; Winterhalter, Peter; Homann, Thomas; Kulling, Sabine E

    2012-02-01

    Catechins and procyanidins are major polyphenols in plant-derived foods. Despite intensive studies in recent years, neither their biochemical nor their toxicological properties have been clarified sufficiently. This study aimed to compare the methylation of catechins and procyanidins by the enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) in vitro. We conducted incubations with rat liver cytosol and human placental cytosol including S-adenosyl-l-methionine. The set of substrates comprised the catechins (-)-epicatechin (EC) and (+)-catechin (CAT), the procyanidin dimers B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, and B7 as well as procyanidin trimer C1. After extraction, metabolites were analyzed by means of liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometry. EC and CAT were converted to two monomethylated metabolites each by human and rat COMT, with the 3'-O-methyl derivatives being consistently the main metabolites. Furthermore, the flavanyl units of procyanidins were methylated consecutively, leading to monomethylated and dimethylated dimeric metabolites as well as monomethylated, dimethylated, and trimethylated C1 metabolites. The methylation status of each flavanyl unit was determined by means of mass spectrometric quinone-methide fragmentation patterns. In addition, molecular modeling studies were performed with the aim to predict the preferred site of methylation and to verify the experimental data. In conclusion, our results indicate that the degree and position of methylation depend clearly on the three-dimensional structure of the entire substrate molecule.

  8. Interaction Between Val158Met Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Polymorphism and Social Cognitive Functioning in Schizophrenia: Pilot Study.

    PubMed

    Tylec, Aneta; Jeleniewicz, Witold; Mortimer, Ann; Bednarska-Makaruk, Małgorzata; Kucharska, Katarzyna

    2017-08-30

    The Val158Met catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) functional polymorphism may influence social cognitive functioning in patients with schizophrenia. Aspects of social cognition were evaluated with the Facial Expression Recognition Test, the Voice Emotion Recognition Test, and the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test. The Short Recognition Memory Test for Faces was used as a control measure. The Schedule for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms, Schedule for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms, and Beck Depression Inventory were used to rate of patient symptoms. There were 100 patients with the following genotypes: Val/Val (21), Met/Met (30), and Val/Met (49). The genotype distribution of polymorphism of Val158Met COMT did not differ between the patient and control groups. Schizophrenia carriers of the Val/Val genotype performed worse in social cognitive measures, in comparison with the other groups. No statistically significant correlations were recorded between age at schizophrenia onset and polymorphism of Val158Met COMT. There was an influence of genotype in the control group: the Met homozygotes performing better. Schizophrenia patients homozygous for the Val allele showed significant disadvantages over patients homozygous or heterozygous for the Met allele in social cognitive processes. The COMT genotype may not, however, contribute to the age of onset of schizophrenia. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/University College London.

  9. Interaction of catechol O-methyltransferase and serotonin transporter genes modulates effective connectivity in a facial emotion-processing circuitry.

    PubMed

    Surguladze, S A; Radua, J; El-Hage, W; Gohier, B; Sato, J R; Kronhaus, D M; Proitsi, P; Powell, J; Phillips, M L

    2012-01-17

    Imaging genetic studies showed exaggerated blood oxygenation level-dependent response in limbic structures in carriers of low activity alleles of serotonin transporter-linked promoter region (5-HTTLPR) as well as catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) genes. This was suggested to underlie the vulnerability to mood disorders. To better understand the mechanisms of vulnerability, it is important to investigate the genetic modulation of frontal-limbic connectivity that underlies emotional regulation and control. In this study, we have examined the interaction of 5-HTTLPR and COMT genetic markers on effective connectivity within neural circuitry for emotional facial expressions. A total of 91 healthy Caucasian adults underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments with a task presenting dynamic emotional facial expressions of fear, sadness, happiness and anger. The effective connectivity within the facial processing circuitry was assessed with Granger causality method. We have demonstrated that in fear processing condition, an interaction between 5-HTTLPR (S) and COMT (met) low activity alleles was associated with reduced reciprocal connectivity within the circuitry including bilateral fusiform/inferior occipital regions, right superior temporal gyrus/superior temporal sulcus, bilateral inferior/middle prefrontal cortex and right amygdala. We suggest that the epistatic effect of reduced effective connectivity may underlie an inefficient emotion regulation that places these individuals at greater risk for depressive disorders.

  10. Protein l-isoaspartyl-O-methyltransferase of Vibrio cholerae: interaction with cofactors and effect of osmolytes on unfolding.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Tanaya; Pal, Aritrika; Chakravarty, Devlina; Dey, Sucharita; Saha, Rudra P; Chakrabarti, Pinak

    2013-04-01

    Protein l-isoaspartyl-O-methyltransferase (PIMT) is an ubiquitous enzyme widely distributed in cells and plays a role in the repair of deamidated and isomerized proteins. In this study, we show that this enzyme is present in cytosolic extract of Vibrio cholerae, an enteric pathogenic Gram-negative bacterium and is enzymatically active. Additionally, we focus on the detailed biophysical characterization of the recombinant PIMT from V. cholerae to gain insight into its structure, stability and the cofactor binding. The equilibrium denaturation of PIMT has been studied using tryptophan fluorescence and CD spectroscopy. The far- and near-UV CD, as well as fluorescence experiments reveal the presence of a non-native intermediate in the folding pathway. Binding of the hydrophobic fluorescent probe, bis-ANS, to the intermediate occurs with high affinity because of the exposure of the hydrophobic clusters during the unfolding process. The existence of the probable intermediate has also been confirmed from limited tryptic digestion and DLS experiments. The protein shows higher binding affinity for AdoHcy, in comparison to AdoMet, and the binding increases the midpoint of thermal unfolding by 6 and 5 °C, respectively. Modeling and molecular dynamics simulations also support the higher stability of the protein in presence of AdoHcy.

  11. EST Analysis of Hop Glandular Trichomes Identifies an O-Methyltransferase That Catalyzes the Biosynthesis of Xanthohumol[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Nagel, Jana; Culley, Lana K.; Lu, Yuping; Liu, Enwu; Matthews, Paul D.; Stevens, Jan F.; Page, Jonathan E.

    2008-01-01

    The glandular trichomes (lupulin glands) of hop (Humulus lupulus) synthesize essential oils and terpenophenolic resins, including the bioactive prenylflavonoid xanthohumol. To dissect the biosynthetic processes occurring in lupulin glands, we sequenced 10,581 ESTs from four trichome-derived cDNA libraries. ESTs representing enzymes of terpenoid biosynthesis, including all of the steps of the methyl 4-erythritol phosphate pathway, were abundant in the EST data set, as were ESTs for the known type III polyketide synthases of bitter acid and xanthohumol biosynthesis. The xanthohumol biosynthetic pathway involves a key O-methylation step. Four S-adenosyl-l-methionine–dependent O-methyltransferases (OMTs) with similarity to known flavonoid-methylating enzymes were present in the EST data set. OMT1, which was the most highly expressed OMT based on EST abundance and RT-PCR analysis, performs the final reaction in xanthohumol biosynthesis by methylating desmethylxanthohumol to form xanthohumol. OMT2 accepted a broad range of substrates, including desmethylxanthohumol, but did not form xanthohumol. Mass spectrometry and proton nuclear magnetic resonance analysis showed it methylated xanthohumol to 4-O-methylxanthohumol, which is not known from hop. OMT3 was inactive with all substrates tested. The lupulin gland-specific EST data set expands the genomic resources for H. lupulus and provides further insight into the metabolic specialization of glandular trichomes. PMID:18223037

  12. Association between the catechol-o-methyltransferase val158met polymorphism with susceptibility and severity of carpal tunnel syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Eroğlu, P; Görükmez, O; Özemri Sağ, Ş; Yakut, T

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common entrapment neuropathy of the upper extremity. In this study, we aimed to clarify the relationships between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene Val158Met (rs4680) polymorphism and development, functional and clinical status of CTS. Ninety-five women with electro diagnostically confirmed CTS and 95 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. The functional and clinical status of the patients was measured by the Turkish version of the Boston Questionnaire and intensity of pain related to the past 2 weeks was evaluated on a visual analog scale (VAS). The Val158Met polymorphism was determined using the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP), method. We divided patients according to the genotypes of the Val158Met polymorphism as Val/Val, Val/Met and Met/Met. There were not any significant differences in terms of Val158Met polymorphisms between patients and healthy controls (p >0.05). We also did not find any relationships between the Val158Met polymorphism and CTS (p >0.05). In conclusion, although we did not find any relationships between CTS and the Val158Met polymorphism, we could not generalize this result to the general population. Future studies are warranted to conclude precise associations. PMID:27785396

  13. Expression of hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase enzyme in the human central nervous system and in pineal parenchymal cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Fukuda, Takahiro; Akiyama, Nobutake; Ikegami, Masahiro; Takahashi, Hitoshi; Sasaki, Atsushi; Oka, Hidehiro; Komori, Takashi; Tanaka, Yuko; Nakazato, Youichi; Akimoto, Jiro; Tanaka, Masahiko; Okada, Yoshikazu; Saito, Saburo

    2010-05-01

    Pineal parenchymal tumor (PPT) cells usually show immunoreactivity for synaptophysin, neuron-specific enolase, neurofilament protein, class III beta-tubulin, tau protein, PGP9.5, chromogranin, serotonin, retinal S-antigen, and rhodopsin, but these markers are not specific for PPTs. Melatonin is produced and secreted mainly bypineal parenchymal cells; hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT) catalyzes the final reaction in melatonin biosynthesis. We hypothesized that HIOMT could serve as a tumor marker of PPTs, and we investigated HIOMT localization and HIOMT expression in samples of normal human tissue and in PPTs, primitive neuroectodermal tumors, and medulloblastomas. In normal tissue, HIOMT was expressed in retinal cells, pineal parenchymal cells, neurons of the Edinger-Westphal nucleus, microglia, macrophages, thyroid follicular epithelium, principal and oxyphil cells of parathyroid gland, adrenal cortical cells, hepatic parenchymal cells, renal tubule epithelium, and enteroendocrine cells of stomach and duodenum. The HIOMT was also expressed in all 46 PPTs studied. The proportions of HIOMT-immunoreactive cells successively decreased in the following tumors: pineocytoma, pineal parenchymal tumor of intermediate differentiation, and pineoblastoma. A few HIOMT-immunoreactive cells were observed in one of 6 primitive neuroectodermal tumors and 23 of 42 medulloblastomas. These results indicate that HIOMT immunohistochemistry may be useful for the diagnosis of PPTs and be a prognostic factor in PPTs.

  14. Crystal structure of norcoclaurine-6-O-methyltransferase, a key rate-limiting step in the synthesis of benzylisoquinoline alkaloids.

    PubMed

    Robin, Adeline Y; Giustini, Cécile; Graindorge, Matthieu; Matringe, Michel; Dumas, Renaud

    2016-09-01

    Growing pharmaceutical interest in benzylisoquinoline alkaloids (BIA) coupled with their chemical complexity make metabolic engineering of microbes to create alternative platforms of production an increasingly attractive proposition. However, precise knowledge of rate-limiting enzymes and negative feedback inhibition by end-products of BIA metabolism is of paramount importance for this emerging field of synthetic biology. In this work we report the structural characterization of (S)-norcoclaurine-6-O-methyltransferase (6OMT), a key rate-limiting step enzyme involved in the synthesis of reticuline, the final intermediate to be shared between the different end-products of BIA metabolism, such as morphine, papaverine, berberine and sanguinarine. Four different crystal structures of the enzyme from Thalictrum flavum (Tf 6OMT) were solved: the apoenzyme, the complex with S-adenosyl-l-homocysteine (SAH), the complexe with SAH and the substrate and the complex with SAH and a feedback inhibitor, sanguinarine. The Tf 6OMT structural study provides a molecular understanding of its substrate specificity, active site structure and reaction mechanism. This study also clarifies the inhibition of Tf 6OMT by previously suggested feedback inhibitors. It reveals its high and time-dependent sensitivity toward sanguinarine.

  15. Association between catechol-O-methyltransferase gene polymorphism and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in Korean population.

    PubMed

    Song, En Young; Paik, Ki Chung; Kim, Hyun Woo; Lim, Myung Ho

    2009-04-01

    Recently, the relationship between allele frequency distribution and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been actively studied. In Korea, the relationship between the genetic type and alleles for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene has been studied in ADHD patients. ADHD was diagnosed in 60 patients according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Version IV (DSM-IV) diagnostic criteria and Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children--Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL), and they were selected for the study. For the control group, normal volunteers were chosen. Blood samples were taken from the 160 subjects. DNA was extracted from blood lymphocytes, and PCR was performed for COMT NlaIII VNTR polymorphism. For the case-control analyses, allele and genotype frequencies were compared using the chi(2) method. When the ADHD group and the normal control group were compared, significant difference was seen on the COMT genetic type, but was not seen on the allele distribution. As a result, it is viewed that there is no relationship between ADHD and the COMT gene, but final decision is indefinite.

  16. An Optimized Two-Photon Fluorescent Probe for Biological Sensing and Imaging of Catechol-O-Methyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ping; Xia, Yang-Liu; Zou, Li-Wei; Qian, Xing-Kai; Dou, Tong-Yi; Jin, Qiang; Li, Shi-Yang; Yu, Yang; Wang, Dan-Dan; Luo, Qun; Ge, Guang-Bo; Yang, Ling

    2017-08-10

    A practical two-photon fluorescent probe was developed for highly sensitive and selective sensing of the activities of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) in complex biological samples. To this end, a series of 3-substituted 7,8-dihydroxycoumarins were designed and synthesized. Among them, 3-BTD displayed the best combination of selectivity, sensitivity, reactivity, and fluorescence response following COMT-catalyzed 8-O-methylation. The newly developed two-photon fluorescent probe 3-BTD can be used for determining the activities of COMT in complex biological samples and bio-imaging of endogenous COMT in living cells and tissue slices with good cell permeability, low cytotoxicity, and high imaging resolution. All these findings suggest that 3-BTD holds great promise for developing therapeutic molecules that target COMT, as well as for exploring COMT-associated biological processes and its biological functions in living systems. Furthermore, the strategy also sheds new light on the development of fluorescent probes for other conjugative enzymes. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. EST analysis of hop glandular trichomes identifies an O-methyltransferase that catalyzes the biosynthesis of xanthohumol.

    PubMed

    Nagel, Jana; Culley, Lana K; Lu, Yuping; Liu, Enwu; Matthews, Paul D; Stevens, Jan F; Page, Jonathan E

    2008-01-01

    The glandular trichomes (lupulin glands) of hop (Humulus lupulus) synthesize essential oils and terpenophenolic resins, including the bioactive prenylflavonoid xanthohumol. To dissect the biosynthetic processes occurring in lupulin glands, we sequenced 10,581 ESTs from four trichome-derived cDNA libraries. ESTs representing enzymes of terpenoid biosynthesis, including all of the steps of the methyl 4-erythritol phosphate pathway, were abundant in the EST data set, as were ESTs for the known type III polyketide synthases of bitter acid and xanthohumol biosynthesis. The xanthohumol biosynthetic pathway involves a key O-methylation step. Four S-adenosyl-l-methionine-dependent O-methyltransferases (OMTs) with similarity to known flavonoid-methylating enzymes were present in the EST data set. OMT1, which was the most highly expressed OMT based on EST abundance and RT-PCR analysis, performs the final reaction in xanthohumol biosynthesis by methylating desmethylxanthohumol to form xanthohumol. OMT2 accepted a broad range of substrates, including desmethylxanthohumol, but did not form xanthohumol. Mass spectrometry and proton nuclear magnetic resonance analysis showed it methylated xanthohumol to 4-O-methylxanthohumol, which is not known from hop. OMT3 was inactive with all substrates tested. The lupulin gland-specific EST data set expands the genomic resources for H. lupulus and provides further insight into the metabolic specialization of glandular trichomes.

  18. Catechol-o-methyltransferase gene polymorphism modifies the effect of coffee intake on incidence of acute coronary events.

    PubMed

    Happonen, Pertti; Voutilainen, Sari; Tuomainen, Tomi-Pekka; Salonen, Jukka T

    2006-12-27

    The role of coffee intake as a risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD) has been debated for decades. We examined whether the relationship between coffee intake and incidence of CHD events is dependent on the metabolism of circulating catecholamines, as determined by functional polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene. In a cohort of 773 men who were 42 to 60 years old and free of symptomatic CHD at baseline in 1984-89, 78 participants experienced an acute coronary event during an average follow-up of 13 years. In logistic regression adjusting for age, smoking, family history of CHD, vitamin C deficiency, blood pressure, plasma cholesterol concentration, and diabetes, the odds ratio (90% confidence interval) comparing heavy coffee drinkers with the low activity COMT genotype with those with the high activity or heterozygotic genotypes was 3.2 (1.2-8.4). Urinary adrenaline excretion increased with increasing coffee intake, being over two-fold in heavy drinkers compared with nondrinkers (p = 0.008 for trend). Heavy coffee consumption increases the incidence of acute coronary events in men with low but not high COMT activity. Further studies are required to determine to which extent circulating catecholamines mediate the relationship between coffee intake and CHD.

  19. Perceived stress during pregnancy and the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) rs165599 polymorphism impacts on childhood IQ.

    PubMed

    Lamb, Yvette N; Thompson, John M D; Murphy, Rinki; Wall, Clare; Kirk, Ian J; Morgan, Angharad R; Ferguson, Lynnette R; Mitchell, Edwin A; Waldie, Karen E

    2014-09-01

    Maternal stress during pregnancy has been associated with a range of adverse outcomes in offspring and the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene has been linked to differential susceptibility to the consequences of antenatal stress. This study examined two functional polymorphisms of the COMT gene (rs4680 and rs165599) in relation to maternal perceived stress and childhood cognitive performance. Data from the longitudinal Auckland Birthweight Collaborative (ABC) study was used. Maternal perceived stress over the prior month was measured at birth, 3.5 and 7years. Full-Scale IQ (FSIQ) was measured at ages 7 and 11. At age 11, a total of 546 DNA samples were collected from the child participants. Data were subjected to a series of split-plot ANCOVAs with birthweight for gestational age and maternal school leaving age as covariates. There were direct effects of maternal stress during the last month of pregnancy on offspring FSIQ at ages 7 and 11years. A significant interaction revealed that children exposed to high maternal antenatal stress had significantly lower FSIQ scores at both 7 and 11years of age than those exposed to low stress, only when they were carriers of the rs165599 G allele. At each age, this difference was of approximately 5 IQ points. The G allele of the rs165599 polymorphism may confer genetic susceptibility to negative cognitive outcomes arising from exposure to antenatal stress. This finding highlights the need to consider gene-environment interactions when investigating the outcomes of antenatal stress exposure.

  20. Complex multilocus effects of catechol-O-methyltransferase haplotypes predict pain and pain interference 6 weeks after motor vehicle collision

    PubMed Central

    Bortsov, Andrey V.; Diatchenko, Luda; McLean, Samuel A.

    2013-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase, encoded by COMT gene, is the primary enzyme that metabolizes catecholamines. COMT haplotypes have been associated with vulnerability to persistent non-traumatic pain. In this prospective observational study, we investigated the influence of COMT on persistent pain and pain interference with life functions after motor vehicle collision (MVC) in 859 European American adults for whom overall pain (0–10 numeric rating scale) and pain interference (Brief Pain Inventory) were assessed at week 6 after MVC. Ten single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning the COMT gene were successfully genotyped, nine were present in three haploblocks: block 1 (rs2020917, rs737865, rs1544325), block 2 (rs4633, rs4818, rs4680, rs165774) and block 3 (rs174697, rs165599). After adjustment for multiple comparisons, haplotype TCG from block 1 predicted decreased pain interference (p =.004). The pain-protective effect of the low pain sensitivity (LPS, CGGG) haplotype from block 2 was only observed if at least one TCG haplotype was present in block 1 (haplotype × haplotype interaction p=.002 and <.0001 for pain and pain interference, respectively). Haplotype AG from block 3 was associated with pain and interference in males only (sex × haplotype interaction p=.005 and .0005, respectively). These results suggest that genetic variants in the distal promoter are important contributors to the development of persistent pain after MVC, directly and via the interaction with haplotypes in the coding region of the gene. PMID:23963787

  1. Catechol-O-methyltransferase is dispensable for vascular protection by estradiol in mouse models of atherosclerosis and neointima formation.

    PubMed

    Wilhelmson, Anna S; Bourghardt-Fagman, Johan; Gogos, Joseph A; Fogelstrand, Per; Tivesten, Asa

    2011-12-01

    Estradiol is converted to the biologically active metabolite 2-methoxyestradiol via the activity of the enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). Exogenous administration of both estradiol and 2-methoxyestradiol reduces experimental atherosclerosis and neointima formation, and COMT-dependent formation of 2-methoxyestradiol likely mediates the antimitogenic effect of estradiol on smooth muscle cells in vitro. This study evaluated whether 2-methoxyestradiol mediates the vasculoprotective actions of estradiol in vivo. Wild-type (WT) and COMT knockout (COMTKO) mice on an apolipoprotein E-deficient background were gonadectomized and treated with estradiol or placebo. Exogenous estradiol reduced atherosclerotic lesion formation in both females (WT, -78%; COMTKO, -82%) and males (WT, -48%; COMTKO, -53%) and was equally effective in both genotypes. We further evaluated how exogenous estradiol affected neointima formation after ligation of the carotid artery in ovariectomized female mice; estradiol reduced intimal hyperplasia to a similar extent in both WT (-80%) and COMTKO (-77%) mice. In ovarian-intact female COMTKO mice, atherosclerosis was decreased (-25%) compared with WT controls. In conclusion, the COMT enzyme is dispensable for vascular protection by exogenous estradiol in experimental atherosclerosis and neointima formation in vivo. Instead, COMT deficiency in virgin female mice with intact endogenous production of estradiol results in relative protection against atherosclerosis.

  2. A structure-activity relationship study of catechol- O-methyltransferase inhibitors combining molecular docking and 3D QSAR methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tervo, Anu J.; Nyrönen, Tommi H.; Rönkkö, Toni; Poso, Antti

    2003-12-01

    A panel of 92 catechol- O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors was used to examine the molecular interactions affecting their biological activity. COMT inhibitors are used as therapeutic agents in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, but there are limitations in the currently marketed compounds due to adverse side effects. This study combined molecular docking methods with three-dimensional structure-activity relationships (3D QSAR) to analyse possible interactions between COMT and its inhibitors, and to incite the design of new inhibitors. Comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA) and GRID/GOLPE models were made by using bioactive conformations from docking experiments, which yielded q2 values of 0.594 and 0.636, respectively. The docking results, the COMT X-ray structure, and the 3D QSAR models are in agreement with each other. The models suggest that an interaction between the inhibitor's catechol oxygens and the Mg2+ ion in the COMT active site is important. Both hydrogen bonding with Lys144, Asn170 and Glu199, and hydrophobic contacts with Trp38, Pro174 and Leu198 influence inhibitor binding. Docking suggests that a large R1 substituent of the catechol ring can form hydrophobic contacts with side chains of Val173, Leu198, Met201 and Val203 on the COMT surface. Our models propose that increasing steric volume of e.g. the diethylamine tail of entacapone is favourable for COMT inhibitory activity.

  3. Unusual pseudosubstrate specificity of a novel 3,5-dimethoxyphenol O-methyltransferase cloned from Ruta graveolens L.

    PubMed

    Burga, Laura; Wellmann, Frank; Lukacin, Richard; Witte, Simone; Schwab, Wilfried; Schröder, Joachim; Matern, Ulrich

    2005-08-01

    A cDNA was cloned from Ruta graveolens cells encoding a novel O-methyltransferase (OMT) with high similarity to orcinol or chavicol/eugenol OMTs, but containing a serine-rich N-terminus and a 13 amino acid insertion between motifs IV and V. Expression in Escherichia coli revealed S-adenosyl-l-methionine-dependent OMT activity with methoxylated phenols only with an apparent Km of 20.4 for the prime substrate 3,5-dimethoxyphenol. The enzyme forms a homodimer of 84 kDa, and the activity was insignificantly affected by 2.0 mM Ca2+ or Mg2+, whereas Fe2+, Co2+, Zn2+, Cu2+ or Hg2+ were inhibitory (78-100%). Dithiothreitol (DTT) suppressed the OMT activity. This effect was examined further, and, in the presence of Zn2+ as a potential thiol methyltransferase (TMT) cofactor, the recombinant OMT methylated DTT to DTT-monomethylthioether. Sets of kinetic OMT experiments with 3,5-dimethoxyphenol at various Zn2+/DTT concentrations revealed the competitive binding of DTT with an apparent Ki of 52.0 microM. Thus, the OMT exhibited TMT activity with almost equivalent affinity to the thiol pseudosubstrate which is structurally unrelated to methoxyphenols.

  4. Functional characterization of a Mg(2+)-dependent O-methyltransferase with coumarin as preferred substrate from the liverwort Plagiochasma appendiculatum.

    PubMed

    Xu, Rui-Xue; Gao, Shuai; Zhao, Yu; Lou, Hong-Xiang; Cheng, Ai-Xia

    2016-09-01

    Coumarins (1,2-benzopyrones), which originate via the phenylpropanoid pathway, are found ubiquitously in plants and make an essential contribution to the health of the plant. Some natural coumarins have been used as human therapeutics. However, the details of their biosynthesis are still largely unknown. Scopoletin is derived from either esculetin or feruloyl CoA according to the plant species involved. Here, a gene encoding a O-methyltransferase (PaOMT2) was isolated from the liverwort species Plagiochasma appendiculatum (Aytoniaceae) through transcriptome sequencing. The purified recombinant enzyme catalyzed the methylation of esculetin, generating scopoletin and isoscopoletin. Kinetic analysis shows that the construct from the second Met in PaOMT2 had a catalytic efficiency for esculetin (Kcat/Km) of about half that of the full length PaOMT2, while the Kms of two enzymes were similar. The catalytic capacities of the studied protein suggest that two routes to scopoletin might co-exist in liverworts in that the enzyme involved in the methylation process participates in both paths, but especially the route from esculetin. The transient expression of a PaOMT2-GFP fusion in tobacco demonstrated that PaOMT2 is directed to the cytoplasm.

  5. Gender-dependent association of the functional catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met genotype with sensation seeking personality trait.

    PubMed

    Lang, Undine E; Bajbouj, Malek; Bajbouj, Malck; Sander, Thomas; Gallinat, Juergen

    2007-09-01

    The gene encoding cathechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) contains a common functional missense polymorphism (Val158Met) that regulates dopamine in an allele-dependent manner. A pivotal role of dopamine neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex has been implicated in drug-seeking behavior and related personality traits, such as sensation seeking, with some evidence for a gender-specific association. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the COMT Val158Met polymorphism modulates the personality dimension, sensation seeking, in a gender-dependent manner. Study sample included 214 male (age 38.1+/-12.6 years) and 218 female (age 36.1+/-13.6 years) healthy volunteers, who were assessed with Zuckerman's sensation-seeking scale and genotyped for the Val158Met polymorphism (dbSNP:rs4680). Univariate analysis of variance showed that the sensation seeking score was significantly affected by a COMT genotype x gender interaction (F=5.330, df=2, p=0.005). The Val158Met polymorphism was associated with the sensation seeking personality trait in women only. The highest scores in the sensation-seeking scale and in three of the four subscales were observed in female subjects with the Val/Val genotype relative to women carrying the Met allele. Our results suggest that high COMT enzyme activity associated with the Val allele predisposes to high sensation seeking scores in female subjects and add to increasing evidence for a gender specific role of COMT in normal and dysfunctional behavior.

  6. Engineering a monolignol 4-O-methyltransferase with high selectivity for the condensed lignin precursor coniferyl alchohol

    DOE PAGES

    Cai, Yuanheng; Shanklin, John; Mohammad -Wadud Bhuiya; ...

    2015-09-16

    Lignin, a rigid biopolymer in plant cell walls, is derived from the oxidative polymerization of three monolignols. The composition of monolignol monomers dictates the degree of lignin condensation, reactivity, and thus the degradability of plant cell walls. Guaiacyl lignin is regarded as the condensed structural unit. Polymerization of lignin is initiated through the deprotonation of the para-hydroxyl group of monolignols. Therefore, preferentially modifying the para-hydroxyl of a specific monolignol to deprive its dehydrogenation propensity would disturb the formation of particular lignin subunits. Here, we test the hypothesis that specific remodeling the active site of a monolignol 4-O-methyltransferase would create anmore » enzyme that specifically methylates the condensed guaiacyl lignin precursor coniferyl alcohol. Combining crystal structural information with combinatorial active site saturation mutagenesis and starting with the engineered promiscuous enzyme, MOMT5 (T133L/E165I/F175I/F166W/H169F), we incrementally remodeled its substrate binding pocket by the addition of four substitutions, i.e. M26H, S30R, V33S, and T319M, yielding a mutant enzyme capable of discriminately etherifying the para-hydroxyl of coniferyl alcohol even in the presence of excess sinapyl alcohol. The engineered enzyme variant has a substantially reduced substrate binding pocket that imposes a clear steric hindrance thereby excluding bulkier lignin precursors. Lastly, the resulting enzyme variant represents an excellent candidate for modulating lignin composition and/or structure in planta.« less

  7. Association of catechol-O-methyltransferase gene polymorphisms with schizophrenia and negative symptoms in a Chinese population

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wen Jun; Kou, Chang Gui; Yu, Yaqin; Sun, Shilong; Zhang, Xuan; Kosten, Thomas R; Zhang, Xiang Yang

    2014-01-01

    The gene encoding Catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT), a dopamine catabolic enzyme, has been associated inconsistently with schizophrenia in spite of consistent evidence for dopaminergic dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of schizophrenia. Since one contribution to this inconsistency might be genetic heterogeneity, this study investigated whether the COMT gene was associated with the development and symptoms of schizophrenia in relatively genetically homogeneous Chinese schizophrenic patients. We analyzed two polymorphisms (rs740603 and rs4818) of the COMT gene in a case–control study of 604 Han Chinese (284 patients and 320 controls). The patients’ psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). We found no significant differences in the rs740603 and rs4818 genotype and allele distributions between the patient and control groups. Quantitative trait analysis by the UNPHASED program showed that the rs740603 and rs740603(G)-rs4818(G) haplotypes were associated with negative symptoms in the schizophrenic patients, particularly among female patients. Thus, the COMT gene polymorphisms may not contribute to the susceptibility to schizophrenia, but may contribute to the negative symptoms of schizophrenia among Han Chinese. PMID:22354729

  8. Sequencing around 5-Hydroxyconiferyl Alcohol-Derived Units in Caffeic Acid O-Methyltransferase-Deficient Poplar Lignins1[OA

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Fachuang; Marita, Jane M.; Lapierre, Catherine; Jouanin, Lise; Morreel, Kris; Boerjan, Wout; Ralph, John

    2010-01-01

    Caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a bifunctional enzyme that methylates the 5- and 3-hydroxyl positions on the aromatic ring of monolignol precursors, with a preference for 5-hydroxyconiferaldehyde, on the way to producing sinapyl alcohol. Lignins in COMT-deficient plants contain benzodioxane substructures due to the incorporation of 5-hydroxyconiferyl alcohol (5-OH-CA), as a monomer, into the lignin polymer. The derivatization followed by reductive cleavage method can be used to detect and determine benzodioxane structures because of their total survival under this degradation method. Moreover, partial sequencing information for 5-OH-CA incorporation into lignin can be derived from detection or isolation and structural analysis of the resulting benzodioxane products. Results from a modified derivatization followed by reductive cleavage analysis of COMT-deficient lignins provide evidence that 5-OH-CA cross couples (at its β-position) with syringyl and guaiacyl units (at their O-4-positions) in the growing lignin polymer and then either coniferyl or sinapyl alcohol, or another 5-hydroxyconiferyl monomer, adds to the resulting 5-hydroxyguaiacyl terminus, producing the benzodioxane. This new terminus may also become etherified by coupling with further monolignols, incorporating the 5-OH-CA integrally into the lignin structure. PMID:20427467

  9. Down-Regulation of Caffeic Acid O-Methyltransferase in Maize Revisited Using a Transgenic Approach1

    PubMed Central

    Piquemal, Joel; Chamayou, Simon; Nadaud, Isabelle; Beckert, Michel; Barrière, Yves; Mila, Isabelle; Lapierre, Catherine; Rigau, Joan; Puigdomenech, Pere; Jauneau, Alain; Digonnet, Catherine; Boudet, Alain-Michel; Goffner, Deborah; Pichon, Magalie

    2002-01-01

    Transgenic maize (Zea mays) plants were generated with a construct harboring a maize caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) cDNA in the antisense (AS) orientation under the control of the maize Adh1 (alcohol dehydrogenase) promoter. Adh1-driven β-glucuronidase expression was localized in vascular tissues and lignifying sclerenchyma, indicating its suitability in transgenic experiments aimed at modifying lignin content and composition. One line of AS plants, COMT-AS, displayed a significant reduction in COMT activity (15%–30% residual activity) and barely detectable amounts of COMT protein as determined by western-blot analysis. In this line, transgenes were shown to be stably integrated in the genome and transmitted to the progeny. Biochemical analysis of COMT-AS showed: (a) a strong decrease in Klason lignin content at the flowering stage, (b) a decrease in syringyl units, (c) a lower p-coumaric acid content, and (d) the occurrence of unusual 5-OH guaiacyl units. These results are reminiscent of some characteristics already observed for the maize bm3 (brown-midrib3) mutant, as well as for COMT down-regulated dicots. However, as compared with bm3, COMT down-regulation in the COMT-AS line is less severe in that it is restricted to sclerenchyma cells. To our knowledge, this is the first time that an AS strategy has been applied to modify lignin biosynthesis in a grass species. PMID:12481050

  10. Cell-Specific and Conditional Expression of Caffeoyl-Coenzyme A-3-O-Methyltransferase in Poplar1

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Cuiying; Meyermans, Hugo; Burggraeve, Bart; De Rycke, Riet M.; Inoue, Kentaro; De Vleesschauwer, Vera; Steenackers, Marijke; Van Montagu, Marc C.; Engler, Gilbert J.; Boerjan, Wout A.

    2000-01-01

    Caffeoyl coenzyme A-3-O-methyltransferase (CCoAOMT) plays an important role in lignin biosynthesis and is encoded by two genes in poplar (Populus trichocarpa). Here, we describe the expression pattern conferred by the two CCoAOMT promoters when fused to the gus-coding sequence in transgenic poplar (Populus tremula × Populus alba). Both genes were expressed similarly in xylem and differentially in phloem. In xylem, expression was preferentially observed in vessels and contact rays, whereas expression was barely detectable in storage rays and fibers, suggesting different routes to monolignol biosynthesis in the different xylem types. Furthermore, after wounding, fungal infection, and bending, the expression of both genes was induced concomitantly with de novo lignin deposition. Importantly, upon bending and leaning of the stem, the cell-specific expression pattern was lost, and both genes were expressed in all cell types of the xylem. CCoAOMT promoter activity correlated well with the presence of the CCoAOMT protein, as shown by immunolocalization. These expression data may explain, at least in part, the heterogeneity in lignin composition that is observed between cell types and upon different environmental conditions. PMID:10889235

  11. Identification of white campion (Silene latifolia) guaiacol O-methyltransferase involved in the biosynthesis of veratrole, a key volatile for pollinator attraction

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Silene latifolia and its pollinator, the noctuid moth Hadena bicruris, represent an open nursery pollination system wherein floral volatiles, especially veratrole (1, 2-dimethoxybenzene), lilac aldehydes, and phenylacetaldehyde are of key importance for floral signaling. Despite the important role of floral scent in ensuring reproductive success in S. latifolia, the molecular basis of scent biosynthesis in this species has not yet been investigated. Results We isolated two full-length cDNAs from S. latifolia that show similarity to rose orcinol O-methyltransferase. Biochemical analysis showed that both S. latifolia guaiacol O-methyltransferase1 (SlGOMT1) &S. latifolia guaiacol O-methyltransferase2 (SlGOMT2) encode proteins that catalyze the methylation of guaiacol to form veratrole. A large Km value difference between SlGOMT1 (~10 μM) and SlGOMT2 (~501 μM) resulted that SlGOMT1 is 31-fold more catalytically efficient than SlGOMT2. qRT-PCR expression analysis showed that the SlGOMT genes are specifically expressed in flowers and male S. latifolia flowers had 3- to 4-folds higher level of GOMT gene transcripts than female flower tissues. Two related cDNAs, S. dioica O-methyltransferase1 (SdOMT1) and S. dioica O-methyltransferase2 (SdOMT2), were also obtained from the sister species Silene dioica, but the proteins they encode did not methylate guaiacol, consistent with the lack of veratrole emission in the flowers of this species. Our evolutionary analysis uncovered that SlGOMT1 and SlGOMT2 genes evolved under positive selection, whereas SdOMT1 and SdOMT2 genes show no evidence for selection. Conclusions Altogether, we report the identification and functional characterization of the gene, SlGOMT1 that efficiently catalyzes veratrole formation, whereas another copy of this gene with only one amino acid difference, SlGOMT2 was found to be less efficient for veratrole synthesis in S. latifolia. PMID:22937972

  12. Identification of white campion (Silene latifolia) guaiacol O-methyltransferase involved in the biosynthesis of veratrole, a key volatile for pollinator attraction.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Alok K; Akhtar, Tariq A; Widmer, Alex; Pichersky, Eran; Schiestl, Florian P

    2012-08-31

    Silene latifolia and its pollinator, the noctuid moth Hadena bicruris, represent an open nursery pollination system wherein floral volatiles, especially veratrole (1, 2-dimethoxybenzene), lilac aldehydes, and phenylacetaldehyde are of key importance for floral signaling. Despite the important role of floral scent in ensuring reproductive success in S. latifolia, the molecular basis of scent biosynthesis in this species has not yet been investigated. We isolated two full-length cDNAs from S. latifolia that show similarity to rose orcinol O-methyltransferase. Biochemical analysis showed that both S. latifolia guaiacol O-methyltransferase1 (SlGOMT1) &S. latifolia guaiacol O-methyltransferase2 (SlGOMT2) encode proteins that catalyze the methylation of guaiacol to form veratrole. A large Km value difference between SlGOMT1 (~10 μM) and SlGOMT2 (~501 μM) resulted that SlGOMT1 is 31-fold more catalytically efficient than SlGOMT2. qRT-PCR expression analysis showed that the SlGOMT genes are specifically expressed in flowers and male S. latifolia flowers had 3- to 4-folds higher level of GOMT gene transcripts than female flower tissues. Two related cDNAs, S. dioica O-methyltransferase1 (SdOMT1) and S. dioica O-methyltransferase2 (SdOMT2), were also obtained from the sister species Silene dioica, but the proteins they encode did not methylate guaiacol, consistent with the lack of veratrole emission in the flowers of this species. Our evolutionary analysis uncovered that SlGOMT1 and SlGOMT2 genes evolved under positive selection, whereas SdOMT1 and SdOMT2 genes show no evidence for selection. Altogether, we report the identification and functional characterization of the gene, SlGOMT1 that efficiently catalyzes veratrole formation, whereas another copy of this gene with only one amino acid difference, SlGOMT2 was found to be less efficient for veratrole synthesis in S. latifolia.

  13. Microdialysis with radiometric monitoring of L-[β-11C]DOPA to assess dopaminergic metabolism: effect of inhibitors of L-amino acid decarboxylase, monoamine oxidase, and catechol-O-methyltransferase on rat striatal dialysate.

    PubMed

    Okada, Maki; Nakao, Ryuji; Hosoi, Rie; Zhang, Ming-Rong; Fukumura, Toshimitsu; Suzuki, Kazutoshi; Inoue, Osamu

    2011-01-01

    The catecholamine, dopamine (DA), is synthesized from 3,4-dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine (L-DOPA) by aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC). Dopamine metabolism is regulated by monoamine oxidase (MAO) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). To measure dopaminergic metabolism, we used microdialysis with radiometric detection to monitor L-[β-(11)C]DOPA metabolites in the extracellular space of the rat striatum. We also evaluated the effects of AADC, MAO, and COMT inhibitors on metabolite profiles. The major early species measured after administration of L-[β-(11)C]DOPA were [(11)C]3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid ([(11)C]DOPAC) and [(11)C]homovanillic acid ([(11)C]HVA) in a 1:1 ratio, which shifted toward [(11)C]HVA with time. An AADC inhibitor increased the uptake of L-[β-(11)C]DOPA and L-3-O-methyl-[(11)C]DOPA and delayed the accumulation of [(11)C]DOPAC and [(11)C]HVA. The MAO and COMT inhibitors increased the production of [(11)C]3-methoxytyramine and [(11)C]DOPAC, respectively. These results reflect the L-DOPA metabolic pathway, suggesting that this method may be useful for assessing dopaminergic metabolism.

  14. Association study of a functional catechol-o-methyltransferase polymorphism and cognitive function in patients with dementia.

    PubMed

    Nedić, Gordana; Borovecki, Fran; Klepac, Natasa; Mubrin, Zdenko; Hajnsek, Sanja; Nikolac, Matea; Muck-Seler, Dorotea; Pivac, Nela

    2011-01-01

    A functional catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT Val158/108Met) polymorphism, a valine (Val) to methionine (Met) substitution, has been associated with cognitive processing in the normal brain, older age, mild cognitive impairment and in various dementias. COMT is involved in the breakdown of dopamine and other catecholamines, especially in the frontal cortex; hence the carriers of Met allele, with the lower enzymatic activity, are expected to perform better on particular neuro-cognitive tests. The study included 46 patients with dementia and 65 healthy older subjects. The neurological status was assessed, using the Mini Mental Status Examination (MMSE), and the batery of different neurological tests. In DNA samples COMT polymorphism was genotyped. Patients with dementia exhibited significant genotype-induced differences in scores for MMSE, Visual Association Test (VAT) duration of numbers test, VAT time of response to numbers test, VAT average response to numbers test and WPLCR/PPLR unanswered. Carriers of Met/Met genotype had significantly lower scores of MMSE, significantly longer time to respond to VAT duration of numbers test, VAT time of response to numbers test and VAT average response to numbers test, and significantly greater number of unanswered questions to WPLCR/PPLR when compared to Met/Val or Val/Val genotypes. Our preliminary data showed significantly impaired performance in several neuro-cognitive tests in carriers of Met/Met genotype in patients with dementia compared to either Met/Val or Val/Val genotype carriers. Although Met/Met genotype with more dopamine available in the frontal cortex should be associated with better neuro-cognitive test results than Met/Val or Val/Val genotype, our data on patients with dementia did not confirm this hypothesis. Further study on larger sample of patients is needed to clarify the role of COMT polymorphism in cognitive functions.

  15. Inhibition of human catechol-O-methyltransferase-mediated dopamine O-methylation by daphnetin and its Phase II metabolites.

    PubMed

    Liang, Si-Cheng; Ge, Guang-Bo; Xia, Yang-Liu; Pei-Pei, Dong; Ping, Wang; Qi, Xiao-Yi; Cai-Xia, Tu; Ling, Yang

    2016-07-20

    1. Finding and developing inhibitors of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) from natural products is highly recommended. Daphnetin, a naturally occurring catechol from the family thymelaeaceae, has a chemical structure similar to several potent COMT inhibitors reported previously. Here the potential of daphnetin and its Phase II metabolites as inhibitors of COMT was investigated with human liver cytosol (HLC). 2. Daphnetin and its methylated metabolite (8-O-methyldaphnetin) were found to inhibit COMT-mediated dopamine O-methylation in a dose-dependent manner. The IC50 values for daphnetin (0.51∼0.53 μM) and 8-O-methyldaphnetin (22.5∼24.3 μM) were little affected by changes in HLC concentrations. Further kinetic analysis showed the differences in inhibition type and parameters (Ki) between daphnetin (competitive, 0.37 μM) and 8-O-methyldaphnetin (noncompetitive, 25.7 μM). Other metabolites, including glucuronidated and sulfated species, showed negligible inhibition against COMT. By using in vitro-in vivo extrapolation (IV-IVE), a 24.3-fold increase in the exposure of the COMT substrates was predicted when they are co-administrated with daphnetin. 3. With high COMT-inhibiting activity, daphnetin could serve as a lead compound for the design and development of new COMT inhibitors. Also, much attention should be paid to the clinical impact of combination of daphnetin and herbal preparations containing daphnetin with the drugs primarily cleared by COMT.

  16. Catechol-O-methyltransferase val158met genotype determines effect of reboxetine on emotional memory in healthy male volunteers

    PubMed Central

    Gibbs, Ayana A.; Bautista, Carla E.; Mowlem, Florence D.; Naudts, Kris H.; Duka, Dora T.

    2014-01-01

    Background Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) metabolizes catecholamines in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). A common polymorphism in the COMT gene (COMT val158met) has pleiotropic effects on cognitive and emotional processing. The met allele has been associated with enhanced cognitive processing but impaired emotional processing relative to the val allele. Methods We genotyped healthy, white men in relation to the COMT val158met polymorphism. They were given a single 4 mg dose of the selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (NRI) reboxetine or placebo in a randomized, double-blind between-subjects model and then completed an emotional memory task 2 hours later. Results We included 75 men in the study; 41 received reboxetine and 34 received placebo. In the placebo group, met/met carriers did not demonstrate the usual memory advantage for emotional stimuli that was observed in val carriers. Reboxetine restored this emotional enhancement of memory in met/met carriers, but had no significant effect in val carriers. Limitations We studied only men, thus limiting the generalizability of our findings. We also relied on self-reported responses to screening questions to establish healthy volunteer status, and in spite of the double-blind design, participants were significantly better than chance at identifying their intervention allocation. Conclusion Emotional memory is impaired in healthy met homozygotes and selectively improved in this group by reboxetine. This has potential translational implications for the use of reboxetine, which is currently licensed as an antidepressant in several countries, and edivoxetine, a new selective NRI currently in development. PMID:24467942

  17. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism on the Relationship between White Matter Hyperintensity and Cognition in Healthy People

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Mu-En; Huang, Chu-Chung; Yang, Albert C.; Tu, Pei-Chi; Yeh, Heng-Liang; Hong, Chen-Jee; Liou, Ying-Jay; Chen, Jin-Fan; Chou, Kun-Hsien; Lin, Ching-Po; Tsai, Shih-Jen

    2014-01-01

    Background White matter lesions can be easily observed on T2-weighted MR images, and are termed white matter hyperintensities (WMH). Their presence may be correlated with cognitive impairment; however, the relationship between regional WMH volume and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism in healthy populations remains unclear. Methods We recruited 315 ethnic Chinese adults with a mean age of 54.9±21.8 years (range: 21–89 y) to examine the genetic effect of COMT on regional WMH and the manner in which they interact to affect cognitive function in a healthy adult population. Cognitive tests, structural MRI scans, and genotyping of COMT were conducted for each participant. Results Negative correlations between the Digit Span Forward (DSF) score and frontal WMH volumes (r = −.123, P = .032, uncorrected) were noted. For the genetic effect of COMT, no significant difference in cognitive performance was observed among 3 genotypic groups. However, differences in WMH volumes over the subcortical region (P = .016, uncorrected), whole brain (P = .047, uncorrected), and a trend over the frontal region (P = .050, uncorrected) were observed among 3 COMT genotypic groups. Met homozygotes and Met/Val heterozygotes exhibited larger WMH volumes in these brain regions than the Val homozygotes. Furthermore, a correlation between the DSF and regional WMH volume was observed only in Met homozygotes. The effect size (cohen’s f) revealed a small effect. Conclusions The results indicate that COMT might modulate WMH volumes and the effects of WMH on cognition. PMID:24551149

  18. Methylation of sulfhydryl groups: a new function for a family of small molecule plant O-methyltransferases.

    PubMed

    Coiner, Heather; Schröder, Gudrun; Wehinger, Elke; Liu, Chang-Jun; Noel, Joseph P; Schwab, Wilfried; Schröder, Joachim

    2006-04-01

    In plants, type I and II S-adenosyl-l-methionine-dependent O-methyltransferases (OMTs) catalyze most hydroxyl group methylations of small molecules. A homology-based RT-PCR strategy using Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar periwinkle) RNA previously identified six new type I plant OMT family members. We now describe the molecular and biochemical characterization of a seventh protein. It shares 56-58% identity with caffeic acid OMTs (COMTs), but it failed to methylate COMT substrates, and had no activity with flavonoids. However, the in vitro incubations revealed unusually high background levels without added substrates. A search for the responsible component revealed that the enzyme methylated dithiothreitol (DTT), the reducing agent added for enzyme stabilization. Unexpectedly, product analysis revealed that the methylation occurred on a sulfhydryl moiety, not on a hydroxyl group. Analysis of 34 compounds indicated a broad substrate range, with a preference for small hydrophobic molecules. Benzene thiol (Km 220 microm) and furfuryl thiol (Km 60 microm) were the best substrates (6-7-fold better than DTT). Small isosteric hydrophobic substrates with hydroxyl groups, like phenol and guaiacol, were also methylated, but the activities were at least 5-fold lower than with thiols. The enzyme was named C. roseus S-methyltransferase 1 (CrSMT1). Models based on the COMT crystal structure suggest that S-methylation is mechanistically identical to O-methylation. CrSMT1 so far is the only recognized example of an S-methyltransferase in this protein family. Its properties indicate that a few changes in key residues are sufficient to convert an OMT into a S-methyltransferase (SMT). Future functional investigations of plant methyltransferases should consider the possibility that the enzymes may direct methylation at sulfhydryl groups.

  19. Catechol-O-methyltransferase genotype modifies executive functioning and prefrontal functional connectivity in women with anorexia nervosa.

    PubMed

    Favaro, Angela; Clementi, Maurizio; Manara, Renzo; Bosello, Romina; Forzan, Monica; Bruson, Alice; Tenconi, Elena; Degortes, Daniela; Titton, Francesca; Di Salle, Francesco; Santonastaso, Paolo

    2013-07-01

    Anorexia nervosa is characterized by high levels of perseveration and inflexibility, which interfere with successful treatments. Dopamine (DA) signalling seems to play a key role in modulating the prefrontal cortex, since both DA deficiency and excess nega tively influence the efficiency of cognitive functions. The present study explores the effect of a functional polymorphism (Val158Met) in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene on the set-shifting abilities and prefrontal functional connectivity of patients with anorexia nervosa. All participants performed the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task, and a subsample underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. We included 166 patients with DSM-IV lifetime anorexia nervosa and 140 healthy women in our study. Both underweight and weight-recovered patients with anorexia nervosa showed high levels of perseveration, but only in the underweight group did the Val158Met polymorphism affect cognitive performance, showing the U-shaped curve characteristic of increased DA signalling in the prefrontal cortex. Underweight patients with anorexia nervosa who are Met homozygotes had significantly higher levels of perseveration and increased prefrontal functional connectivity than underweight patients in the other genotype groups, indicating abnormal regional cortical processing. Although our data show that grey matter reduction in starving patients with anorexia nervosa did not explain our findings, the cross-sectional design of the present study did not allow us to distinguish between the effects of starvation and those of low estrogen levels. Starvation affects DA release in the prefrontal cortex of patients with anorexia nervosa with different effects on executive functioning and prefrontal functional connectivity according to the COMT genotype. This observation has several therapeutic implications that need to be addressed by future studies.

  20. Structural Basis of Substrate Specificity and Regiochemistry in the MycF/TylF Family of Sugar O -Methyltransferases.

    DOE PAGES

    Bernard, Steffen M.; Akey, David L.; Tripathi, Ashootosh; ...

    2015-02-18

    Sugar moieties in natural products are frequently modified by O-methylation. In the biosynthesis of the macrolide antibiotic mycinamicin, methylation of a 6'-deoxyallose substituent occurs in a stepwise manner first at the 2'- and then the 3'-hydroxyl groups to produce the mycinose moiety in the final product. The timing and placement of the O-methylations impact final stage C-H functionalization reactions mediated by the P450 monooxygenase MycG. The structural basis of pathway ordering and substrate specificity is unknown. A series of crystal structures of MycF, the 3'-O-methyltransferase, including the free enzyme and complexes with S-adenosyl homocysteine (SAH), substrate, product, and unnatural substrates,more » show that SAM binding induces substantial ordering that creates the binding site for the natural substrate, and a bound metal ion positions the substrate for catalysis. A single amino acid substitution relaxed the 2'-methoxy specificity but retained regiospecificity. The engineered variant produced a new mycinamicin analog, demonstrating the utility of structural information to facilitate bioengineering approaches for the chemoenzymatic synthesis of complex small molecules containing modified sugars. Using the MycF substrate complex and the modeled substrate complex of a 4'-specific homolog, active site residues were identified that correlate with the 3'- or 4'- specificity of MycF family members and define the protein and substrate features that direct the regiochemistry of methyltransfer. Lastly, this classification scheme will be useful in the annotation of new secondary metabolite pathways that utilize this family of enzymes.« less

  1. Analysis of catechol-O-methyltransferase gene mutation and identification of new pathogenic gene for paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia.

    PubMed

    Gu, Chengzhi; Li, Jia; Zhu, Lianhai; Lu, Zhenhui; Huang, Huaiyu

    2016-03-01

    We aimed to analyze the mutation site and frequency of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, to explore the relationship between COMT genotype and phenotype, and to find new pathogenic genes for paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia (PKD). PKD patients who were treated from December 2011 to January 2014 were selected and subjected to genetic testing in the exon region of COMT. Two patients and one intrafamilial healthy control were subjected to exome sequencing using whole exome capture in combination with high-throughput sequencing to find candidate pathogenic gene sites. The results were verified by Sanger sequencing. A total of 11 familial PKD patients from 4 families and 9 sporadic patients without family history were included. Pathogenic c.634dupC(p.P220fsX7) mutation of COMT gene was found in 7 familial PKD patients and3 sporadic patients. Mutated COMT gene carriers suffered from PKD earlier (average age of onset: 11.61 ± 2.33 vs 16.21 ± 2.58, P = 0.001) with symmetric symptoms in most cases, while the mutation-negative group only showed unilateral symptoms (P = 0.001). The mutation-positive group also had more daily attacks (P = 0.038). Carbamazepine worked for all mutation-positive patients (10/10, 100%), but only for a part of mutation-negative patients (3/10, 30.0%). About 90000 single nucleotide polymorphisms and 2000 insertion-deletion polymorphisms were detected in each of the three samples. c.737C → T(p.T246 M) mutation of POC1B gene was a new pathogenic site for a selected family. COMT gene mutation, which was the pathogenesis of most familial PKD patients and a part of sporadic patients, predicted the response to carbamazepine. POC1B may be a novel pathogenic gene for PKD.

  2. Association of Catechol-O-methyltransferase polymorphism Val158Met and mammographic density: A meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Kallionpää, Roope A; Uusitalo, Elina; Peltonen, Juha

    2017-08-15

    The Val158Met polymorphism in catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme reduces the methylation of catechol estrogens, which may affect mammographic density. High mammographic density is a known risk factor of breast cancer. Our aim was to perform meta-analysis of the effect of COMT Val158Met polymorphism on mammographic density. Original studies reporting data on mammographic density, stratified by the presence of COMT Val158Met polymorphism, were identified and combined using genetic models Met/Val vs. Val/Val, Met/Met vs. Val/Val, Val/Met+Met/Met vs. Val/Val (dominant model) and Met/Met vs. Val/Met+Val/Val (recessive model). Subgroup analyses by breast cancer status, menopausal status and use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) were also performed. Eight studies were included in the meta-analysis. The overall effect in percent mammographic density was -1.41 (CI -2.86 to 0.05; P=0.06) in the recessive model. Exclusion of breast cancer patients increased the effect size to -1.93 (CI -3.49 to -0.37; P=0.02). The results suggested opposite effect of COMT Val158Met for postmenopausal users of HRT versus premenopausal women or postmenopausal non-users of HRT. COMT Val158Met polymorphism may be associated with mammographic density at least in healthy women. Menopausal status and HRT should be taken into account in future studies to avoid masking of the underlying effects. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. The effects of catechol O-methyltransferase genotype on brain activation elicited by affective stimuli and cognitive tasks.

    PubMed

    Heinz, Andreas; Smolka, Michael N

    2006-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) degrades the catecholamine neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. A functional polymorphism in the COMT gene (val158 met) accounts for a four-fold variation in enzyme activity. The low activity met158 allele has been associated with improved working memory, executive functioning, and attentional control, but also with a higher risk of anxiety-related behaviors. In spite of the strong effect of the COMT genotype on enzyme activity, its effects on behavior are moderate, accounting for only 4% of variance in task performance. Studies of individuals with intermediate phenotypes during activities such as task-dependent brain activation, may more sensitively detect gene effects on the brain. A series of studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) assessed the effects of the COMT val158 met genotype on central processing during working memory, attentional control, and emotional tasks. fMRI revealed a more focused response in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of met158 allele carriers during a working memory task. A comparable effect during the performance of an attentional control task in the cingulate cortex was also observed. These data indicate that met158 allele load is associated with improved processing efficiency in the PFC and cingulate, which might be due to lower prefrontal dopamine (DA) metabolism, higher DA concentrations, and an increased neuronal signal-to-noise ratio during information processing. During performance of an emotional task, reactivity to unpleasant visual stimuli was positively correlated with the number of met158 alleles in the amygdala, as well as in other limbic and paralimbic nodes. This increased limbic reactivity to unpleasant stimuli might be the underlying cause of the lower emotional resilience against negative mood states observed in individuals with a higher met158 allele load. Thus the met158 allele seems to be beneficial during the performance of working memory and

  4. How Large Should the QM Region Be in QM/MM Calculations? The Case of Catechol O -Methyltransferase

    DOE PAGES

    Kulik, Heather J.; Zhang, Jianyu; Klinman, Judith P.; ...

    2016-10-05

    Hybrid quantum mechanical–molecular mechanical (QM/MM) simulations are widely used in studies of enzymatic catalysis. Until recently, it has been cost prohibitive to determine the asymptotic limit of key energetic and structural properties with respect to increasingly large QM regions. Here, leveraging recent advances in electronic structure efficiency and accuracy, we investigate catalytic properties in catechol O-methyltransferase, a prototypical methyltransferase critical to human health. Using QM regions ranging in size from reactants-only (64 atoms) to nearly one-third of the entire protein (940 atoms), we show that properties such as the activation energy approach within chemical accuracy of the large-QM asymptotic limitsmore » rather slowly, requiring approximately 500–600 atoms if the QM residues are chosen simply by distance from the substrate. This slow approach to asymptotic limit is due to charge transfer from protein residues to the reacting substrates. Our large QM/MM calculations enable identification of charge separation for fragments in the transition state as a key component of enzymatic methyl transfer rate enhancement. We introduce charge shift analysis that reveals the minimum number of protein residues (approximately 11–16 residues or 200–300 atoms for COMT) needed for quantitative agreement with large-QM simulations. The identified residues are not those that would be typically selected using criteria such as chemical intuition or proximity. These results provide a recipe for a more careful determination of QM region sizes in future QM/MM studies of enzymes.« less

  5. Genetic variants in the catechol-o-methyltransferase gene are associated with impulsivity and executive function: relevance for major depression.

    PubMed

    Pap, Dorottya; Gonda, Xenia; Molnar, Eszter; Lazary, Judit; Benko, Anita; Downey, Darragh; Thomas, Emma; Chase, Diana; Toth, Zoltan G; Mekli, Krisztina; Platt, Hazel; Payton, Antony; Elliott, Rebecca; Anderson, Ian M; Deakin, J F William; Bagdy, Gyorgy; Juhasz, Gabriella

    2012-12-01

    The catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) gene has been extensively investigated in depression with somewhat contradictory results but the role of impulsivity, as a possible intermediate phenotype in this disorder, has not been considered yet. In our study, four tagging SNPs in the COMT gene (rs933271, rs740603, rs4680, rs4646316) were genotyped in two independent population cohorts: Manchester (n = 1267) and Budapest (n = 942). First, we investigated the association between COMT genotypes, impulsivity, neuroticism and depression using haplotype trend regression, and constructed a model using structural equation modeling to investigate the interaction between these factors. Secondly, we tested the effect of executive function on this model in a smaller interviewed sample (n = 207). Our results demonstrated that COMT haplotypes were significantly associated with impulsivity in the combined cohort, showing the same direction of effects in both populations. The COMT effect on depressive symptoms (in subjects without history of depression) and on executive function (interviewed sample) showed the opposite pattern to impulsivity. Structural equation models demonstrated that COMT and impulsivity acted, both together (through neuroticism) and independently, to increase the risk of depression. In addition, better executive function also operated as a risk factor for depression, possibly though reduced ability to flexibly disengage negative emotions. In conclusion, variations in the COMT gene exert complex effects on susceptibility to depression involving various intermediate phenotypes, such as impulsivity and executive function. These findings emphasise that modeling of disease pathways at phenotypic level are valuable for identifying genetic risk factors. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. The O-methyltransferase gene MdoOMT1 is required for biosynthesis of methylated phenylpropenes in ripe apple fruit.

    PubMed

    Yauk, Yar-Khing; Chagné, David; Tomes, Sumathi; Matich, Adam J; Wang, Mindy Y; Chen, Xiuyin; Maddumage, Ratnasiri; Hunt, Martin B; Rowan, Daryl D; Atkinson, Ross G

    2015-06-01

    Phenylpropenes, such as eugenol and trans-anethole, are important aromatic compounds that determine flavour and aroma in many herbs and spices. Some apple varieties produce fruit with a highly desirable spicy/aromatic flavour that has been attributed to the production of estragole, a methylated phenylpropene. To elucidate the molecular basis for estragole production and its contribution to ripe apple flavour and aroma we characterised a segregating population from a Royal Gala (RG, estragole producer) × Granny Smith (GS, non-producer) apple cross. Two quantitative trait loci (QTLs; accounting for 9.2 and 24.8% of the variation) on linkage group (LG) 1 and LG2 were identified that co-located with seven candidate genes for phenylpropene O-methyltransferases (MdoOMT1-7). Of these genes, only expression of MdoOMT1 on LG1 increased strongly with ethylene and could be correlated with increasing estragole production in ripening RG fruit. Transient over-expression in tobacco showed that MdoOMT1 utilised a range of phenylpropene substrates and catalysed the conversion of chavicol to estragole. Royal Gala carried two alleles (MdoOMT1a, MdoOMT1b) whilst GS appeared to be homozygous for MdoOMT1b. MdoOMT1a showed a higher affinity and catalytic efficiency towards chavicol than MdoOMT1b, which could account for the phenotypic variation at the LG1 QTL. Multiple transgenic RG lines with reduced MdoOMT1 expression produced lower levels of methylated phenylpropenes, including estragole and methyleugenol. Differences in fruit aroma could be perceived in these fruit, compared with controls, by sensory analysis. Together these results indicate that MdoOMT1 is required for the production of methylated phenylpropenes in apple and that phenylpropenes including estragole may contribute to ripe apple fruit aroma.

  7. Kinetic and inhibition studies on catechol-O-methyltransferase affinity labelling by N-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)maleimide.

    PubMed Central

    Piedrafita, F J; Fernandez-Alvarez, E; Nieto, O; Tipton, K F

    1992-01-01

    Initial velocity and product inhibition studies have been performed on soluble catechol-O-methyltransferase which has been partially purified from pig liver. The results are consistent with an ordered reaction mechanism, in which S-adenosyl-L-methionine (AdoMet) is the leading substrate. The enzyme is irreversibly inhibited by maleimide derivatives in a biphasic manner, which suggests a differential reaction with two thiol groups. N-(3,4-Dihydroxyphenyl)maleimide, which has a reactive moiety (maleimide ring) and an affinity moiety (catechol ring), acts as an affinity labelling compound on the more reactive SH group; AdoMet and Mg2+ protect against this modification. Total protection of this SH group results in a pseudo-first-order inhibition of the enzyme, with the apparent rate constant being proportional to the inhibitor concentration. All the other maleimide derivatives studied inhibited the enzyme by reacting with one of the two SH groups in a non-specific manner. The reaction of the other, more reactive, SH group was either specific (active-site-directed) or non-specific, depending on the substituent present in the affinity moiety and also on the length of an intermediate chain of methylene groups present between this moiety and the reactive maleimide ring. In the presence of both AdoMet and Mg2+, 3,5-dinitrocatechol, a reversible inhibitor of the enzyme which is competitive with respect to the catechol substrate, protects the enzyme from inactivation by any of the maleimide derivatives. The adducts of these maleimide derivatives formed with dithiothreitol inhibit the enzyme reversibly, showing inhibition patterns that are consistent with the mechanism deduced from the initial velocity and product inhibition studies. PMID:1417755

  8. Catechol O-Methyltransferase (COMT) VAL158MET Functional Polymorphism, Dental Mercury Exposure, and Self-Reported Symptoms and Mood

    PubMed Central

    Heyer, Nicholas J.; Echeverria, Diana; Martin, Michael D.; Farin, Federico M.; Woods, James S.

    2010-01-01

    Associations were evaluated between a functional single nucleotide polymorphism (Val158Met) in the gene encoding the catecholamine catabolic enzyme catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT), dental mercury exposure, and self-reported symptoms and mood among 183 male dentists and 213 female dental assistants. Self-reported symptoms, mood, and detailed work histories were obtained by computerized questionnaire. Spot urine samples were collected and analyzed for mercury concentrations to evaluate recent exposures, whereas a chronic mercury exposure index for all subjects was created from the work histories. COMT polymorphism status was determined using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay. Scores for current, recent, and chronic self-reported symptom groups and six self-reported mood factors were evaluated with respect to recent and chronic mercury exposure and COMT polymorphism status. Multiple regression analysis controlled for age, socioeconomic status, tobacco and alcohol use, self-reported health problems, and medications. Separate evaluations were conducted for dentists and dental assistants. No consistent patterns of association between either urinary mercury concentration or the chronic index of mercury exposure and any category of symptoms were observed. However, consistent and significant associations were found between increased symptoms and the COMT polymorphism involving the double allelic substitution (full mutation) compared to subjects with no substitutions. Associations with mood were limited to polymorphism status among female dental assistants, and were observed for four of six mood factors and overall mood score. These findings extend evidence of genetic factors potentially affecting human susceptibility to the toxic effects of mercury and other environmental chemicals. PMID:19296409

  9. Differential Genetic and Epigenetic Regulation of catechol-O-methyltransferase is Associated with Impaired Fear Inhibition in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Norrholm, Seth Davin; Jovanovic, Tanja; Smith, Alicia K.; Binder, Elisabeth; Klengel, Torsten; Conneely, Karen; Mercer, Kristina B.; Davis, Jennifer S.; Kerley, Kimberly; Winkler, Jennifer; Gillespie, Charles F.; Bradley, Bekh; Ressler, Kerry J.

    2013-01-01

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme is critical for the catabolic regulation of synaptic dopamine, resulting in altered cortical functioning. The COMT Val158Met polymorphism has been implicated in human mental illness, with Met/Met homozygotes associated with increased susceptibility to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Our primary objective was to examine the intermediate phenotype of fear inhibition in PTSD stratified by COMT genotype (Met/Met, Val/Met, and Val/Val) and differential gene regulation via methylation status at CpG sites in the COMT promoter region. More specifically, we examined the potential interaction of COMT genotype and PTSD diagnosis on fear-potentiated startle during fear conditioning and extinction and COMT DNA methylation levels (as determined using genomic DNA isolated from whole blood). Participants were recruited from medical and gynecological clinics of an urban hospital in Atlanta, GA, USA. We found that individuals with the Met/Met genotype demonstrated higher fear-potentiated startle to the CS− (safety signal) and during extinction of the CS+ (danger signal) compared to Val/Met and Val/Val genotypes. The PTSD+ Met/Met genotype group had the greatest impairment in fear inhibition to the CS− (p = 0.006), compared to Val carriers. In addition, the Met/Met genotype was associated with DNA methylation at four CpG sites, two of which were associated with impaired fear inhibition to the safety signal. These results suggest that multiple differential mechanisms for regulating COMT function – at the level of protein structure via the Val158Met genotype and at the level of gene regulation via differential methylation – are associated with impaired fear inhibition in PTSD. PMID:23596403

  10. Purification and Properties of an S-Adenosylmethionine: 2,4-Disubstituted Phenol O-Methyltransferase from Phanerochaete chrysosporium

    PubMed Central

    Coulter, Catherine; Kennedy, James T.; McRoberts, W. Colin; Harper, David B.

    1993-01-01

    An enzyme catalyzing the O-methylation of acetovanillone (3-methoxy-4-hydroxyacetophenone) by S-adeno-sylmethionine was isolated from Phanerochaete chrysosporium and purified 270-fold by ultrafiltration, anion-exchange chromatography, and gel filtration. The enzyme exhibited a pH optimum between 7 and 9 and was rapidly denatured at temperatures above 55°C. The Km values for acetovanillone and S-adenosylmethionine were 34 and 99 μM, respectively. S-Adenosylhomocysteine acted as a powerful competitive inhibitor of S-adenosylmethionine, with a Ki of 41 μM. The enzyme was also susceptible to inhibition by thiol reagents and low concentrations of heavy metal ions. Gel filtration and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis indicated that the enzyme was monomeric and had a molecular weight of approximately 53,000. Substrate specificity studies showed that 3-methoxy- and 3,5-dimethoxy-substituted 4-hydroxy-benzaldehydes, -benzoic acids, and -acetophenones were the preferred substrates for the enzyme. The corresponding 3,4-dihydroxy compounds were methylated relatively slowly, while the 3-hydroxy-4-methoxy compounds were almost inactive as substrates. Substituents in both the 2 and 4 positions relative to the hydroxyl group appeared to be essential for significant enzyme attack of a substrate. Provided that certain steric criteria were satisfied, the nature of the substituent was not critical. Hence, xenobiotic compounds such as 2,4-dichlorophenol and 2,4-dibromophenol were methylated almost as readily as acetovanillone. However, an extended side chain in the 4 position was not compatible with activity as a substrate, and neither homovanillic, caffeic, nor ferulic acid was methylated. The substrate range of the O-methyltransferase tends to imply a role in the catabolism or detoxification of lignin degradation products such as vanillic and syringic acids. PMID:16348886

  11. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) genotype moderates the effects of childhood trauma on cognition and symptoms in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Green, Melissa J; Chia, T-Yunn; Cairns, Murray J; Wu, Jingqin; Tooney, Paul A; Scott, Rodney J; Carr, Vaughan J

    2014-02-01

    The interaction of genetic and environmental factors may affect the course and development of psychotic disorders. We examined whether the effects of childhood trauma on cognition and symptoms in schizophrenia were moderated by the Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val(158)Met polymorphism, a common genetic variant known to affect cognition and prefrontal dopamine levels. Participants were 429 schizophrenia/schizoaffective cases from the Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank (ASRB). Cognitive performance was assessed using the Repeatable Battery for Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS), Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT), Letter Number Sequencing (LNS) test, and the Wechsler Test of Adult Reading (WTAR). Hierarchical regression was used to test the main effects and additive interaction effects of genotype and childhood trauma in the domains of physical abuse, emotional abuse, and emotional neglect, on cognition and symptom profiles of clinical cases. Consistent with previous findings, COMT Val homozygotes performed worse on cognitive measures in the absence of childhood adversity. In addition, a significant interaction between COMT genotype and physical abuse was associated with better executive function in Val homozygotes, relative to those of the same genotype with no history of abuse. Finally, the severity of positive symptoms was greater in Met carriers who had experienced physical abuse, and the severity of negative symptoms in Met carriers was greater in the presence of emotional neglect. These results suggest that the possible epigenetic modulation of the expression of the COMT Val(158)Met polymorphism and consequent effects on cognition and symptoms in schizophrenia, with worse outcomes associated with adverse childhood experiences in Met carriers. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The relationship between childhood abuse and dissociation. Is it influenced by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) activity?

    PubMed

    Savitz, Jonathan B; van der Merwe, Lize; Newman, Timothy K; Solms, Mark; Stein, Dan J; Ramesar, Rajkumar S

    2008-03-01

    Dissociation is a failure of perceptual, memorial and emotional integration that is associated with a variety of psychiatric disorders. Dissociative processes are usually attributed to the sequelae of childhood trauma although there are data to suggest that genetic influences are also important. Bipolar disorder (BD), a condition with a strong genetic basis, has also been associated with early psychological trauma. Since childhood trauma is a risk factor for both BD and dissociation, we tested for potential gene-childhood abuse interactions on dissociation in a pilot sample of BD probands and their affected and unaffected relatives (n=178). Dissociation was measured with the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES II) and childhood maltreatment with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). The BD and recurrent unipolar depression (MDE-R) groups showed higher levels of self-reported abuse and dissociation than their unaffected relatives. The low-activity Met allele of the Val66Met polymorphism of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene was associated with lower levels of self-reported dissociation. Further, the functional catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism interacted significantly with total CTQ abuse scores to impact perceived dissociation. The Val/Val genotype was associated with increasing levels of dissociation in participants exposed to higher levels of childhood trauma. The opposite was observed in people with Met/Met genotypes who displayed decreased dissociation with increasing self-reported childhood trauma. The current findings support the involvement of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism in mediating the relationship between trauma and psychopathology.

  13. Methylation of sulfhydryl groups: a new function for a family of small molecule plant O-methyltransferases

    PubMed Central

    Coiner, Heather; Schröder, Gudrun; Wehinger, Elke; Liu, Chang-Jun; Noel, Joseph P.; Schwab, Wilfried; Schröder, Joachim

    2010-01-01

    Summary In plants, type I and II S-adenosyl-L-methionine-dependent O-methyltransferases (OMTs) catalyze most hydroxyl group methylations of small molecules. A homology-based RT-PCR strategy using Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar periwinkle) RNA previously identified six new type I plant OMT family members. We now describe the molecular and biochemical characterization of a seventh protein. It shares 56–58% identity with caffeic acid OMTs (COMTs), but it failed to methylate COMT substrates, and had no activity with flavonoids. However, the in vitro incubations revealed unusually high background levels without added substrates. A search for the responsible component revealed that the enzyme methylated dithiothreitol (DTT), the reducing agent added for enzyme stabilization. Unexpectedly, product analysis revealed that the methylation occurred on a sulfhydryl moiety, not on a hydroxyl group. Analysis of 34 compounds indicated a broad substrate range, with a preference for small hydrophobic molecules. Benzene thiol (Km 220 μM) and furfuryl thiol (Km 60 μM) were the best substrates (6–7-fold better than DTT). Small isosteric hydrophobic substrates with hydroxyl groups, like phenol and guaiacol, were also methylated, but the activities were at least 5-fold lower than with thiols. The enzyme was named C. roseus S-methyltransferase 1 (CrSMT1). Models based on the COMT crystal structure suggest that S-methylation is mechanistically identical to O-methylation. CrSMT1 so far is the only recognized example of an S-methyltransferase in this protein family. Its properties indicate that a few changes in key residues are sufficient to convert an OMT into a S-methyltransferase (SMT). Future functional investigations of plant methyltransferases should consider the possibility that the enzymes may direct methylation at sulfhydryl groups. PMID:16623883

  14. Genetic Analysis of Strawberry Fruit Aroma and Identification of O-Methyltransferase FaOMT as the Locus Controlling Natural Variation in Mesifurane Content1[C][W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Zorrilla-Fontanesi, Yasmín; Rambla, José-Luis; Cabeza, Amalia; Medina, Juan J.; Sánchez-Sevilla, José F.; Valpuesta, Victoriano; Botella, Miguel A.; Granell, Antonio; Amaya, Iraida

    2012-01-01

    Improvement of strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) fruit flavor is an important goal in breeding programs. To investigate genetic factors controlling this complex trait, a strawberry mapping population derived from genotype ‘1392’, selected for its superior flavor, and ‘232’ was profiled for volatile compounds over 4 years by headspace solid phase microextraction coupled to gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. More than 300 volatile compounds were detected, of which 87 were identified by comparison of mass spectrum and retention time to those of pure standards. Parental line ‘1392’ displayed higher volatile levels than ‘232’, and these and many other compounds with similar levels in both parents segregated in the progeny. Cluster analysis grouped the volatiles into distinct chemically related families and revealed a complex metabolic network underlying volatile production in strawberry fruit. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) detection was carried out over 3 years based on a double pseudo-testcross strategy. Seventy QTLs covering 48 different volatiles were detected, with several of them being stable over time and mapped as major QTLs. Loci controlling γ-decalactone and mesifurane content were mapped as qualitative traits. Using a candidate gene approach we have assigned genes that are likely responsible for several of the QTLs. As a proof of concept we show that one homoeolog of the O-methyltransferase gene (FaOMT) is the locus responsible for the natural variation of mesifurane content. Sequence analysis identified 30 bp in the promoter of this FaOMT homoeolog containing putative binding sites for basic/helix-loop-helix, MYB, and BZIP transcription factors. This polymorphism fully cosegregates with both the presence of mesifurane and the high expression of FaOMT during ripening. PMID:22474217

  15. Catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibition with tolcapone reduces the "wearing off" phenomenon and levodopa requirements in fluctuating parkinsonian patients

    PubMed Central

    Baas, H; Beiske, A; Ghika, J; Jackson, M; Oertel, W; Poewe, W; Ransmayr, G

    1997-01-01

    BACKGROUND—More than 50% of patients with Parkinson's disease develop motor response fluctuations (the "wearing off" phenomenon) after more than five years of levodopa therapy. Inhibition of catechol-O-methyltransferase by tolcapone has been shown to increase levodopa bioavailability and plasma elimination half life, thereby prolonging the efficacy of levodopa.
OBJECTIVES—The primary objective was to evaluate the efficacy of tolcapone in reducing "wearing off" in levodopa treated, fluctuating parkinsonian patients. Secondary objectives included assessment of reduction in levodopa requirements, improvement in patients' clinical status, duration of improvements, and tolerability of tolcapone.
METHODS—In this multicentre, randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial, 58 patients received placebo, 60 received 100 mg tolcapone three times daily (tid), and 59 received 200 mg tolcapone tid, in addition to levodopa/benserazide.
RESULTS—After three months with 200 mg tolcapone tid, "off" time decreased by 26.2% of the baseline value, "on" time increased by 20.6% (P<0.01 v placebo), and the mean total daily levodopa dose decreased by 122 mg from the baseline dose of 676 mg (P<0.01). These responses were maintained up to nine months. With 100 mg tolcapone tid, "off" time decreased by 31.5% (P<0.05), "on" time increased by 21.3% (P<0.01), and the mean total daily levodopa dose decreased by 109 mg from the baseline dose of 668 mg (P<0.05). With 200 mg tolcapone tid, unified Parkinson's disease rating scale motor and total scores were significantly reduced, and quality of life (sickness impact profile) scores were significantly improved. Both dosages were well tolerated. Dyskinesia was the most often reported levodopa induced adverse event. Diarrhoea was the most often reported non-dopaminergic adverse event and the most frequent reason for withdrawal from the study: four patients in the 100mg tolcapone tid group and six in the 200 mg tid group withdrew

  16. Conscientiousness is modified by genetic variation in catechol-O-methyltransferase to reduce symptom complaints in IBS patients

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Kathryn T; Tolkin, Benjamin R; Chinn, Garrett M; Kirsch, Irving; Kelley, John M; Lembo, Anthony J; Kaptchuk, Ted J; Kokkotou, Efi; Davis, Roger B; Conboy, Lisa A

    2015-01-01

    Background Attention to and perception of physical sensations and somatic states can significantly influence reporting of complaints and symptoms in the context of clinical care and randomized trials. Although anxiety and high neuroticism are known to increase the frequency and severity of complaints, it is not known if other personality dimensions or genes associated with cognitive function or sympathetic tone can influence complaints. Genetic variation in catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is associated with anxiety, personality, pain, and response to placebo treatment. We hypothesized that the association of complaint reporting with personality might be modified by variation in the COMT val158met genotype. Methods We administered a standard 25-item complaint survey weekly over 3-weeks to a convenience sample of 187 irritable bowel syndrome patients enrolled in a placebo intervention trial and conducted a repeated measures analysis. Results We found that complaint severity rating, our primary outcome, was negatively associated with the personality measures of conscientiousness (β = −0.31 SE 0.11, P = 0.003) and agreeableness (β = −0.38 SE 0.12, P = 0.002) and was positively associated with neuroticism (β = 0.24 SE 0.09, P = 0.005) and anxiety (β = 0.48 SE 0.09, P < 0.0001). We also found a significant interaction effect of COMT met alleles (β = −32.5 SE 14.1, P = 0.021). in patients genotyped for COMT val158met (N  = 87) specifically COMT × conscientiousness (β = 0.73 SE 0.26, P = 0.0042) and COMT × anxiety (β = −0.42 SE 0.16, P = 0.0078) interaction effects. Conclusion These findings potentially broaden our understanding of the factors underlying clinical complaints to include the personality dimension of conscientiousness and its modification by COMT. PMID:25722948

  17. Attenuation and Restoration of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Mutant Lacking 2′-O-Methyltransferase Activity

    PubMed Central

    Menachery, Vineet D.; Yount, Boyd L.; Josset, Laurence; Gralinski, Lisa E.; Scobey, Trevor; Agnihothram, Sudhakar; Katze, Michael G.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT The sudden emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in 2002 and, more recently, Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV) underscores the importance of understanding critical aspects of CoV infection and pathogenesis. Despite significant insights into CoV cross-species transmission, replication, and virus-host interactions, successful therapeutic options for CoVs do not yet exist. Recent identification of SARS-CoV NSP16 as a viral 2′-O-methyltransferase (2′-O-MTase) led to the possibility of utilizing this pathway to both attenuate SARS-CoV infection and develop novel therapeutic treatment options. Mutations were introduced into SARS-CoV NSP16 within the conserved KDKE motif and effectively attenuated the resulting SARS-CoV mutant viruses both in vitro and in vivo. While viruses lacking 2′-O-MTase activity had enhanced sensitivity to type I interferon (IFN), they were not completely restored in their absence in vivo. However, the absence of either MDA5 or IFIT1, IFN-responsive genes that recognize unmethylated 2′-O RNA, resulted in restored replication and virulence of the dNSP16 mutant virus. Finally, using the mutant as a live-attenuated vaccine showed significant promise for possible therapeutic development against SARS-CoV. Together, the data underscore the necessity of 2′-O-MTase activity for SARS-CoV pathogenesis and identify host immune pathways that mediate this attenuation. In addition, we describe novel treatment avenues that exploit this pathway and could potentially be used against a diverse range of viral pathogens that utilize 2′-O-MTase activity to subvert the immune system. IMPORTANCE Preventing recognition by the host immune response represents a critical aspect necessary for successful viral infection. Several viruses, including SARS-CoV, utilize virally encoded 2′-O-MTases to camouflage and obscure their viral RNA from host cell sensing machinery, thus preventing recognition and

  18. Isolation and Characterization of O-methyltransferases Involved in the Biosynthesis of Glaucine in Glaucium flavum1

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Limei; Hagel, Jillian M.; Facchini, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Transcriptome resources for the medicinal plant Glaucium flavum were searched for orthologs showing identity with characterized O-methyltransferases (OMTs) involved in benzylisoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis. Seven recombinant proteins were functionally tested using the signature alkaloid substrates for six OMTs: norlaudanosoline 6-OMT, 6-O-methyllaudanosoline 4′-OMT, reticuline 7-OMT, norreticuline 7-OMT, scoulerine 9-OMT, and tetrahydrocolumbamine OMT. A notable alkaloid in yellow horned poppy (G. flavum [GFL]) is the aporphine alkaloid glaucine, which displays C8-C6′ coupling and four O-methyl groups at C6, C7, C3′, and C4′ as numbered on the 1-benzylisoquinoline scaffold. Three recombinant enzymes accepted 1-benzylisoquinolines with differential substrate and regiospecificity. GFLOMT2 displayed the highest amino acid sequence identity with norlaudanosoline 6-OMT, showed a preference for the 6-O-methylation of norlaudanosoline, and O-methylated the 3′ and 4′ hydroxyl groups of certain alkaloids. GFLOMT1 showed the highest sequence identity with 6-O-methyllaudanosoline 4′OMT and catalyzed the 6-O-methylation of norlaudanosoline, but more efficiently 4′-O-methylated the GFLOMT2 reaction product 6-O-methylnorlaudanosoline and its N-methylated derivative 6-O-methyllaudanosoline. GFLOMT1 also effectively 3′-O-methylated both reticuline and norreticuline. GFLOMT6 was most similar to scoulerine 9-OMT and efficiently catalyzed both 3′- and 7′-O-methylations of several 1-benzylisoquinolines, with a preference for N-methylated substrates. All active enzymes accepted scoulerine and tetrahydrocolumbamine. Exogenous norlaudanosoline was converted to tetra-O-methylated laudanosine using combinations of Escherichia coli producing (1) GFLOMT1, (2) either GFLOMT2 or GFLOMT6, and (3) coclaurine N-methyltransferase from Coptis japonica. Expression profiles of GFLOMT1, GFLOMT2, and GFLOMT6 in different plant organs were in agreement with the O

  19. Genome-wide characterization of the biggest grass, bamboo, based on 10,608 putative full-length cDNA sequences

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background With the availability of rice and sorghum genome sequences and ongoing efforts to sequence genomes of other cereal and energy crops, the grass family (Poaceae) has become a model system for comparative genomics and for better understanding gene and genome evolution that underlies phenotypic and ecological divergence of plants. While the genomic resources have accumulated rapidly for almost all major lineages of grasses, bamboo remains the only large subfamily of Poaceae with little genomic information available in databases, which seriously hampers our ability to take a full advantage of the wealth of grass genomic data for effective comparative studies. Results Here we report the cloning and sequencing of 10,608 putative full length cDNAs (FL-cDNAs) primarily from Moso bamboo, Phyllostachys heterocycla cv. pubescens, a large woody bamboo with the highest ecological and economic values of all bamboos. This represents the third largest FL-cDNA collection to date of all plant species, and provides the first insight into the gene and genome structures of bamboos. We developed a Moso bamboo genomic resource database that so far contained the sequences of 10,608 putative FL-cDNAs and nearly 38,000 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) generated in this study. Conclusion Analysis of FL-cDNA sequences show that bamboo diverged from its close relatives such as rice, wheat, and barley through an adaptive radiation. A comparative analysis of the lignin biosynthesis pathway between bamboo and rice suggested that genes encoding caffeoyl-CoA O-methyltransferase may serve as targets for genetic manipulation of lignin content to reduce pollutants generated from bamboo pulping. PMID:20565830

  20. Functional and Structural Characterization of a Cation-dependent O-Methyltransferase from the Cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. Strain PCC 6803*S⃞

    PubMed Central

    Kopycki, Jakub Grzegorz; Stubbs, Milton T.; Brandt, Wolfgang; Hagemann, Martin; Porzel, Andrea; Schmidt, Jürgen; Schliemann, Willibald; Zenk, Meinhart H.; Vogt, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    The coding sequence of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 slr0095 gene was cloned and functionally expressed in Escherichia coli. The corresponding enzyme was classified as a cation- and S-adenosyl-l-methionine-dependent O-methyltransferase (SynOMT), consistent with considerable amino acid sequence identities to eukaryotic O-methyltransferases (OMTs). The substrate specificity of SynOMT was similar with those of plant and mammalian CCoAOMT-like proteins accepting a variety of hydroxycinnamic acids and flavonoids as substrates. In contrast to the known mammalian and plant enzymes, which exclusively methylate the meta-hydroxyl position of aromatic di- and trihydroxy systems, Syn-OMT also methylates the para-position of hydroxycinnamic acids like 5-hydroxyferulic and 3,4,5-trihydroxycinnamic acid, resulting in the formation of novel compounds. The x-ray structure of SynOMT indicates that the active site allows for two alternative orientations of the hydroxylated substrates in comparison to the active sites of animal and plant enzymes, consistent with the observed preferred para-methylation and position promiscuity. Lys3 close to the N terminus of the recombinant protein appears to play a key role in the activity of the enzyme. The possible implications of these results with respect to modifications of precursors of polymers like lignin are discussed. PMID:18502765

  1. Structural and functional characterization of CalS11, a TDP-rhamnose 3′-O-methyltransferase involved in calicheamicin biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Shanteri; Chang, Aram; Helmich, Kate E.; Bingman, Craig A.; Wrobel, Russel L.; Beebe, Emily T.; Makino, Shin-Ichi; Aceti, David J.; Dyer, Kevin; Hura, Greg L.; Sunkara, Manjula; Morris, Andrew J.; Phillips, George N.; Thorson, Jon S.

    2013-01-01

    Sugar methyltransferases (MTs) are an important class of tailoring enzymes which catalyze the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosyl-L-methionine to sugar-based N-, C- and O- nucleophiles. While sugar N- and C-MTs involved in natural product biosynthesis have been found to act on sugar nucleotide substrates prior to a subsequent glycosyltransferase reaction, corresponding sugar O-methylation reactions studied thus far occur after the glycosyltransfer reaction. Herein we report the first in vitro characterization using 1H-13C-gHSQC with isotopically-labeled substrates and the X-ray structure determination at 1.55 Å resolution of the TDP-3′-O-rhamnose-methyltransferase CalS11 from Micromonospora echinospora. This study highlights a unique NMR-based methyltransferase assay, implicates CalS11 to be a metal and general acid/base-dependent O-methyltransferase and, as a first crystal structure for a TDP-hexose-O-methyltransferase, presents a new template for mechanistic studies and/or engineering. PMID:23662776

  2. Structural and functional characterization of CalS11, a TDP-rhamnose 3'-O-methyltransferase involved in calicheamicin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Singh, Shanteri; Chang, Aram; Helmich, Kate E; Bingman, Craig A; Wrobel, Russell L; Beebe, Emily T; Makino, Shin-Ichi; Aceti, David J; Dyer, Kevin; Hura, Greg L; Sunkara, Manjula; Morris, Andrew J; Phillips, George N; Thorson, Jon S

    2013-07-19

    Sugar methyltransferases (MTs) are an important class of tailoring enzymes that catalyze the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosyl-l-methionine to sugar-based N-, C- and O-nucleophiles. While sugar N- and C-MTs involved in natural product biosynthesis have been found to act on sugar nucleotide substrates prior to a subsequent glycosyltransferase reaction, corresponding sugar O-methylation reactions studied thus far occur after the glycosyltransfer reaction. Herein we report the first in vitro characterization using (1)H-(13)C-gHSQC with isotopically labeled substrates and the X-ray structure determination at 1.55 Å resolution of the TDP-3'-O-rhamnose-methyltransferase CalS11 from Micromonospora echinospora. This study highlights a unique NMR-based methyltransferase assay, implicates CalS11 to be a metal- and general acid/base-dependent O-methyltransferase, and as a first crystal structure for a TDP-hexose-O-methyltransferase, presents a new template for mechanistic studies and/or engineering.

  3. Cloning and Characterization of a Norbelladine 4′-O-Methyltransferase Involved in the Biosynthesis of the Alzheimer’s Drug Galanthamine in Narcissus sp. aff. pseudonarcissus

    PubMed Central

    Kilgore, Matthew B.; Augustin, Megan M.; Starks, Courtney M.; O’Neil-Johnson, Mark; May, Gregory D.; Crow, John A.; Kutchan, Toni M.

    2014-01-01

    Galanthamine is an Amaryllidaceae alkaloid used to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. This compound is primarily isolated from daffodil (Narcissus spp.), snowdrop (Galanthus spp.), and summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum). Despite its importance as a medicine, no genes involved in the biosynthetic pathway of galanthamine have been identified. This absence of genetic information on biosynthetic pathways is a limiting factor in the development of synthetic biology platforms for many important botanical medicines. The paucity of information is largely due to the limitations of traditional methods for finding biochemical pathway enzymes and genes in non-model organisms. A new bioinformatic approach using several recent technological improvements was applied to search for genes in the proposed galanthamine biosynthetic pathway, first targeting methyltransferases due to strong signature amino acid sequences in the proteins. Using Illumina sequencing, a de novo transcriptome assembly was constructed for daffodil. BLAST was used to identify sequences that contain signatures for plant O-methyltransferases in this transcriptome. The program HAYSTACK was then used to identify methyltransferases that fit a model for galanthamine biosynthesis in leaf, bulb and inflorescence tissues. One candidate gene for the methylation of norbelladine to 4′-O-methylnorbelladine in the proposed galanthamine biosynthetic pathway was identified. This methyltransferase cDNA was expressed in E. coli and the protein purified by affinity chromatography. The resulting protein was found to be a norbelladine 4′-O-methyltransferase (NpN4OMT) of the proposed galanthamine biosynthetic pathway. PMID:25061748

  4. Cloning and characterization of a norbelladine 4'-O-methyltransferase involved in the biosynthesis of the Alzheimer's drug galanthamine in Narcissus sp. aff. pseudonarcissus.

    PubMed

    Kilgore, Matthew B; Augustin, Megan M; Starks, Courtney M; O'Neil-Johnson, Mark; May, Gregory D; Crow, John A; Kutchan, Toni M

    2014-01-01

    Galanthamine is an Amaryllidaceae alkaloid used to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. This compound is primarily isolated from daffodil (Narcissus spp.), snowdrop (Galanthus spp.), and summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum). Despite its importance as a medicine, no genes involved in the biosynthetic pathway of galanthamine have been identified. This absence of genetic information on biosynthetic pathways is a limiting factor in the development of synthetic biology platforms for many important botanical medicines. The paucity of information is largely due to the limitations of traditional methods for finding biochemical pathway enzymes and genes in non-model organisms. A new bioinformatic approach using several recent technological improvements was applied to search for genes in the proposed galanthamine biosynthetic pathway, first targeting methyltransferases due to strong signature amino acid sequences in the proteins. Using Illumina sequencing, a de novo transcriptome assembly was constructed for daffodil. BLAST was used to identify sequences that contain signatures for plant O-methyltransferases in this transcriptome. The program HAYSTACK was then used to identify methyltransferases that fit a model for galanthamine biosynthesis in leaf, bulb and inflorescence tissues. One candidate gene for the methylation of norbelladine to 4'-O-methylnorbelladine in the proposed galanthamine biosynthetic pathway was identified. This methyltransferase cDNA was expressed in E. coli and the protein purified by affinity chromatography. The resulting protein was found to be a norbelladine 4'-O-methyltransferase (NpN4OMT) of the proposed galanthamine biosynthetic pathway.

  5. Interactions among catechol-O-methyltransferase genotype, parenting, and sex predict children’s internalizing symptoms and inhibitory control: Evidence for differential susceptibility

    PubMed Central

    SULIK, MICHAEL J.; EISENBERG, NANCY; SPINRAD, TRACY L.; LEMERY-CHALFANT, KATHRYN; SWANN, GREGORY; SILVA, KASSONDRA M.; REISER, MARK; STOVER, DARYN A.; VERRELLI, BRIAN C.

    2015-01-01

    We used sex, observed parenting quality at 18 months, and three variants of the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (Val158Met [rs4680], intron1 [rs737865], and 3′-untranslated region [rs165599]) to predict mothers’ reports of inhibitory and attentional control (assessed at 42, 54, 72, and 84 months) and internalizing symptoms (assessed at 24, 30, 42, 48, and 54 months) in a sample of 146 children (79 male). Although the pattern for all three variants was very similar, Val158Met explained more variance in both outcomes than did intron1, the 3′-untranslated region, or a haplotype that combined all three catechol-O-methyltransferase variants. In separate models, there were significant three-way interactions among each of the variants, parenting, and sex, predicting the intercepts of inhibitory control and internalizing symptoms. Results suggested that Val158Met indexes plasticity, although this effect was moderated by sex. Parenting was positively associated with inhibitory control for methionine–methionine boys and for valine–valine/valine–methionine girls, and was negatively associated with internalizing symptoms for methionine–methionine boys. Using the “regions of significance” technique, genetic differences in inhibitory control were found for children exposed to high-quality parenting, whereas genetic differences in internalizing were found for children exposed to low-quality parenting. These findings provide evidence in support of testing for differential susceptibility across multiple outcomes. PMID:25159270

  6. A Set of Regioselective O-Methyltransferases Gives Rise to the Complex Pattern of Methoxylated Flavones in Sweet Basil1[C][W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Berim, Anna; Hyatt, David C.; Gang, David R.

    2012-01-01

    Polymethoxylated flavonoids occur in a number of plant families, including the Lamiaceae. To date, the metabolic pathways giving rise to the diversity of these compounds have not been studied. Analysis of our expressed sequence tag database for four sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) lines afforded identification of candidate flavonoid O-methyltransferase genes. Recombinant proteins displayed distinct substrate preferences and product specificities that can account for all detected 7-/6-/4′-methylated, 8-unsubstituted flavones. Their biochemical specialization revealed only certain metabolic routes to be highly favorable and therefore likely in vivo. Flavonoid O-methyltransferases catalyzing 4′- and 6-O-methylations shared high identity (approximately 90%), indicating that subtle sequence changes led to functional differentiation. Structure homology modeling suggested the involvement of several amino acid residues in defining the proteins’ stringent regioselectivities. The roles of these individual residues were confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis, revealing two discrete mechanisms as a basis for the switch between 6- and 4′-O-methylation of two different substrates. These findings delineate major pathways in a large segment of the flavone metabolic network and provide a foundation for its further elucidation. PMID:22923679

  7. Functional Analyses of Caffeic Acid O-Methyltransferase and Cinnamoyl-CoA-Reductase Genes from Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne)[W

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Yi; Rochfort, Simone; Liu, Zhiqian; Ran, Yidong; Griffith, Megan; Badenhorst, Pieter; Louie, Gordon V.; Bowman, Marianne E.; Smith, Kevin F.; Noel, Joseph P.; Mouradov, Aidyn; Spangenberg, German

    2010-01-01

    Cinnamoyl CoA-reductase (CCR) and caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) catalyze key steps in the biosynthesis of monolignols, which serve as building blocks in the formation of plant lignin. We identified candidate genes encoding these two enzymes in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and show that the spatio-temporal expression patterns of these genes in planta correlate well with the developmental profile of lignin deposition. Downregulation of CCR1 and caffeic acid O-methyltransferase 1 (OMT1) using an RNA interference–mediated silencing strategy caused dramatic changes in lignin level and composition in transgenic perennial ryegrass plants grown under both glasshouse and field conditions. In CCR1-deficient perennial ryegrass plants, metabolic profiling indicates the redirection of intermediates both within and beyond the core phenylpropanoid pathway. The combined results strongly support a key role for the OMT1 gene product in the biosynthesis of both syringyl- and guaiacyl-lignin subunits in perennial ryegrass. Both field-grown OMT1-deficient and CCR1-deficient perennial ryegrass plants showed enhanced digestibility without obvious detrimental effects on either plant fitness or biomass production. This highlights the potential of metabolic engineering not only to enhance the forage quality of grasses but also to produce optimal feedstock plants for biofuel production. PMID:20952635

  8. Genetic polymorphisms of estrogen receptor alpha and catechol-O-methyltransferase genes in Turkish patients with familial prostate carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Pazarbasi, Ayfer; Yilmaz, M. Bertan; Alptekin, Davut; Luleyap, Umit; Tansug, Zuhtu; Ozpak, Lutfiye; Izmirli, Muzeyyen; Onatoglu-Arikan, Dilge; Kocaturk-Sel, Sabriye; Erkoc, Mehmet Ali; Turgut, Ozgur; Bereketoglu, Ceyhun; Tunc, Erdal; Akbal, Eylul

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Estrogen is one of the most crucial hormones participating in the proliferation and carcinogenesis of the prostate glands. Genetic polymorphisms in the estrogen metabolism pathway might be involved in the risk of prostate carcinoma development. We evaluated the association between genetic polymorphisms in estrogen receptor alpha (ESR1) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) genes and the risk of developing familial prostate carcinoma. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this study, 34 cases with prostate carcinoma whose first-degree relatives had prostate carcinoma and 30 healthy age-matched male controls were enrolled. The genotypes of ESR1 and COMT genes were analyzed employing polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method. 34 cases with prostate carcinoma, whose first degree relatives had prostate carcinoma and 14 age-matched male controls were enrolled to analyze the genotype of these two genes. RESULTS: Among control patients, the ESR1 PvuII genotypes of C/C, C/T and T/T were observed in 37%, 26% and 37%, respectively, whereas the C/C, C/T and T/T genotypes were observed in 18%, 41% and 41% of case patients, respectively. Among controls, the ESR1 PvuII allele frequencies of C and T were equally observed, whereas the C and T allele frequencies were observed in 38% and 62% of patients, respectively. Among ESR1 PvuII genotypes there were not any significant difference in terms of genotype (P = 0.199) and allele (P = 0.181) frequencies. Among controls, the ESR1 XbaI genotypes of G/G, G/A and A/A were observed in 33%, 37% and 33%, respectively, whereas the G/G, G/A and A/A genotypes were observed in 12%, 47% and 41% of patients, respectively. Among controls, the ESR1 XbaI allele frequencies of A and G were observed equally, respectively, whereas the A and G frequencies were observed in 65% and 35% of patients, respectively. Among ESR1 Χ baI, there was not any significant difference in terms of genotype (P = 0.111) and allele (P = 0

  9. The Flexible Mind Is Associated with the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Val[superscript 158]Met Polymorphism: Evidence for a Role of Dopamine in the Control of Task-Switching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colzato, Lorenza S.; Waszak, Florian; Nieuwenhuis, Sander; Posthuma, Danielle; Hommel, Bernhard

    2010-01-01

    Genetic variability related to the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene Val[superscript 128]Met polymorphism) has received increasing attention as a possible modulator of cognitive control functions. Recent evidence suggests that the Val[superscript 128]Met genotype may differentially affect cognitive stability and flexibility, in such a way…

  10. The Flexible Mind Is Associated with the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Val[superscript 158]Met Polymorphism: Evidence for a Role of Dopamine in the Control of Task-Switching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colzato, Lorenza S.; Waszak, Florian; Nieuwenhuis, Sander; Posthuma, Danielle; Hommel, Bernhard

    2010-01-01

    Genetic variability related to the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene Val[superscript 128]Met polymorphism) has received increasing attention as a possible modulator of cognitive control functions. Recent evidence suggests that the Val[superscript 128]Met genotype may differentially affect cognitive stability and flexibility, in such a way…

  11. Association of the Catechol O-Methyltransferase Val158-Met Polymorphism and Reduced Interference Control in Korean Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Park, Subin; Park, Jong-Eun; Yoo, Hee Jeong; Kim, Jae-Won; Cheong, Jae Hoon; Han, Doug Hyun; Kim, Yeni

    2015-01-01

    Objective We tested for association of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158-Met (rs4680) polymorphism with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using family-based test in Korean trios. Methods A total of 181 subjects with ADHD along with both of their biological parents were recruited from University Hospitals in Korea. We performed a transmission disequilibrium test (TDT) on 181 trios. Results In the TDT, we found the over-transmission of the Val allele in children with ADHD (χ2=4.21, p=0.040). Conclusion These results suggest that the COMT Val158-Met polymorphism is associated with ADHD among the Korean population. However, this study must be replicated in larger populations. PMID:26508970

  12. Enhancing digestibility and ethanol yield of Populus wood via expression of an engineered monolignol 4-O-methyltransferase

    SciTech Connect

    Cai, Yuanheng; Zhang, Kewei; Kim, Hoon; Hou, Guichuan; Zhang, Xuebin; Yang, Huijun; Feng, Huan; Miller, Lisa; Ralph, John; Liu, Chang -Jun

    2016-06-28

    Producing cellulosic biofuels and bio-based chemicals from woody biomass is impeded by the presence of lignin polymer in the plant cell wall. Manipulating the monolignol biosynthetic pathway offers a promising approach to improved processability, but often impairs plant growth and development. Here, we show that expressing an engineered 4-O-methyltransferase that chemically modifies the phenolic moiety of lignin monomeric precursors, thus preventing their incorporation into the lignin polymer, substantially alters hybrid aspens’ lignin content and structure. Woody biomass derived from the transgenic aspens shows a 62% increase in the release of simple sugars and up to a 49% increase in the yield of ethanol when the woody biomass is subjected to enzymatic digestion and yeast-mediated fermentation. Furthermore, the cell wall structural changes do not affect growth and biomass production of the trees. Our study provides a useful strategy for tailoring woody biomass for bio-based applications.

  13. The Role of the Catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) Gene Val158Met in Aggressive Behavior, A Review of Genetic Studies

    PubMed Central

    Qayyum, Arqam; Zai, Clement C.; Hirata, Yuko; Tiwari, Arun K.; Cheema, Sheraz; Nowrouzi, Behdin; Beitchman, Joseph H.; Kennedy, James L.

    2015-01-01

    Aggressive behaviors have become a major public health problem, and early-onset aggression can lead to outcomes such as substance abuse, antisocial personality disorder among other issues. In recent years, there has been an increase in research in the molecular and genetic underpinnings of aggressive behavior, and one of the candidate genes codes for the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). COMT is involved in catabolizing catecholamines such as dopamine. These neurotransmitters appear to be involved in regulating mood which can contribute to aggression. The most common gene variant studied in the COMT gene is the Valine (Val) to Methionine (Met) substitution at codon 158. We will be reviewing the current literature on this gene variant in aggressive behavior. PMID:26630958

  14. Radiometric assay for phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase and catechol O-methyltransferase in a single tissue sample: application to rat hypothalamic nuclei, pineal gland, and heart

    SciTech Connect

    Culman, J.; Torda, T.; Weise, V.K.

    1987-08-01

    A simple and highly sensitive method for simultaneous assay of phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT) and catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) is described. These enzymes are determined in a single tissue homogenate using S-(methyl-/sup 3/H) adenosyl-L-methionine as methyl donor and sequentially incubating with the substrates phenylethanolamine and epinephrine. The radioactive products of the enzymatic reactions, N-methylphenylethanolamine and metanephrine, are extracted and then separated by thin-layer chromatography. The identity of the reaction products has been established chromatographically and the conditions for both enzymatic reactions in the assay procedure have been defined. Measurement of PNMT activity in the rat pineal gland or in minute fragments of other tissues (e.g., brain nuclei) has not been possible using previously described methods. Activities of PNMT and COMT in the rat pineal gland, various hypothalamic nuclei, and the auricular and ventricular myocardia are herein reported.

  15. The putative gymnosperm plant defensin polypeptide (SPI1) accumulates after seed germination, is not readily released, and the SPI1 levels are reduced in Pythium dimorphum-infected spruce roots.

    PubMed

    Fossdal, Carl Gunnar; Nagy, Nina Elisabeth; Sharma, Praveen; Lönneborg, Anders

    2003-05-01

    The putative plant defensin SPI1 cDNA from the conifer Norway spruce (Picea abies) is the only known plant defensin-like sequence from a gymnosperm. The predicted translational product SPI1 was not detected in the embryo or other parts of the seed by means of antibodies, but it accumulated in the root cortex after germination. In roots of seedlings infected with the root pathogenic oomycete Pythium dimorphum and the blue stain fungus Ceratocystis polonica, variable levels of SPI1 was detected during the first day as a response to the infection, however a significant increase was seen as an initial response to the root-rot fungus Heterobasidion annosum. After the first day of infection, the amount of SPI1 polypeptide was dramatically reduced in response to either of the pathogens, but not in response to the ectomycorrhizal fungus Laccaria bicolor. During the same time of infection, extensive damage to cortical root cells resulted from the infecting pathogens, but not from the mycorrhiza. These results indicate that pathogens may reduce the level of SPI1 by suppressing its expression, but may also reduce the SPI1 level by invading and disrupting the root cortical cells or by a combination of these mechanisms.

  16. The Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism Contributes to the Risk of Breast Cancer in the Chinese Population: An Updated Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Guo-Xing; Cao, Yu-Wen; Li, Wen-Qin; Li, Yu-Cong; Li, Feng

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme plays a central role in estrogen-induced carcinogenesis. Emerging evidence from association studies has revealed that the functional Val158Met polymorphism (rs4680 G>A) of the Catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) has been implicated in susceptibility to breast cancer in the Chinese population, while results of individual published studies remain inconclusive and inconsistent. To assess this association in the Chinese population, a meta-analysis was performed. Methods Eligible studies were searched on MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Library, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, and the Chinese Biomedicine Database. Odds ratios (ORs) with their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were pooled to assess the association between COMT polymorphisms and the risk of breast cancer using RevMan 5.2 and Stata 12.0 software. Results The meta-analysis included 14 eligible studies, with a total of 4,626 breast cancer cases and 5,637 controls. Overall, the COMT Val158Met polymorphism (rs4680 G>A) was significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in several genetic models (A/A vs. G/G: OR, 1.59, 95% CI, 1.12-2.27; A/A vs. G/A+G/G: OR, 1.62, 95% CI, 1.14-2.29; A vs. G: OR, 1.15, 95% CI, 1.00-1.32), and a subgroup analysis according to menopausal status showed that this association was especially evident among premenopausal Chinese women (A/A vs. G/G: OR, 1.87, 95% CI, 0.99-3.54; A/A vs. G/A+G/G: OR, 1.94, 95% CI, 1.03-3.63). Conclusion The results of this meta-analysis indicated that COMT Val158Met variants contribute to breast cancer susceptibility in the Chinese population, particularly among premenopausal women. PMID:25013436

  17. Changes in Cell Wall Polymers and Degradability in Maize Mutants Lacking 3'- and 5'-O-Methyltransferases Involved in Lignin Biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Fornalé, Silvia; Rencoret, Jorge; García-Calvo, Laura; Encina, Antonio; Rigau, Joan; Gutiérrez, Ana; Del Río, José Carlos; Caparros-Ruiz, David

    2017-02-01

    Caffeoyl coenzyme A 3-O-methyltransferase (CCoAOMT) and caffeic acid-O-methyltransferase (COMT) are key enzymes in the biosynthesis of coniferyl and sinapyl alcohols, the precursors of guaiacyl (G) and syringyl (S) lignin subunits. The function of these enzymes was characterized in single and double mutant maize plants. In this work, we determined that the comt (brown-midrib 3) mutant plants display a reduction of the flavonolignin unit derived from tricin (a dimethylated flavone), demonstrating that COMT is a key enzyme involved in the synthesis of this compound. In contrast, the ccoaomt1 mutants display a wild-type amount of tricin, suggesting that CCoAOMT1 is not essential for the synthesis of this compound. Based on our data, we suggest that CCoAOMT1 is involved in lignin biosynthesis at least in midribs. The phenotype of ccoaomt1 mutant plants displays no alterations, and their lignin content and composition remain unchanged. On the other hand, the ccoaomt1 comt mutant displays phenotypic and lignin alterations similar to those already described for the comt mutant. Although stems from the three mutants display a similar increase of hemicelluloses, the effect on cell wall degradability varies, the cell walls of ccoaomt1 being the most degradable. This suggests that the positive effect of lignin reduction on cell wall degradability of comt and ccoaomt1 comt mutants is counteracted by changes occurring in lignin composition, such as the decreased S/G ratio. In addition, the role of the flavonolignin unit derived from tricin in cell wall degradability is also discussed.

  18. Systematic analysis of O-methyltransferase gene family and identification of potential members involved in the formation of O-methylated flavonoids in Citrus.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaogang; Luo, Yan; Wu, Hongkun; Xi, Wanpeng; Yu, Jie; Zhang, Qiuyun; Zhou, Zhiqin

    2016-01-10

    The O-methylation of various secondary metabolites is mainly catalyzed by S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM)-dependent O-methyltransferase (OMT) proteins that are encoded by the O-methyltransferase gene family. Citrus fruits are a rich source of O-methylated flavonoids that have a broad spectrum of biological activities, including anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, and antiatherogenic properties. However, little is known about this gene family and its members that are involved in the O-methylation of flavonoids and their regulation in Citrus. In this study, 58 OMT genes were identified from the entire Citrus sinensis genome and compared with those from 3 other representative dicot plants. A comprehensive analysis was performed, including functional/substrate predictions, identification of chromosomal locations, phylogenetic relationships, gene structures, and conserved motifs. Distribution mapping revealed that the 58 OMT genes were unevenly distributed on the 9 citrus chromosomes. Phylogenetic analysis of 164 OMT proteins from C.sinensis, Arabidopsis thaliana, Populus trichocarpa, and Vitis vinifera showed that these proteins were categorized into group I (COMT subfamily) and group II (CCoAOMT subfamily), which were further divided into 10 and 2 subgroups, respectively. Finally, digital gene expression and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analyses revealed that citrus OMT genes had distinct temporal and spatial expression patterns in different tissues and developmental stages. Interestingly, 18 and 11 of the 27 genes predicted to be involved in O-methylation of flavonoids had higher expression in the peel and pulp during fruit development, respectively. The citrus OMT gene family identified in this study might help in the selection of appropriate candidate genes and facilitate functional studies in Citrus.

  19. Floral scent production in Clarkia breweri (Onagraceae). II. Localization and developmental modulation of the enzyme S-adenosyl-L-methionine:(iso)eugenol O-methyltransferase and phenylpropanoid emission.

    PubMed Central

    Wang, J; Dudareva, N; Bhakta, S; Raguso, R A; Pichersky, E

    1997-01-01

    We have previously shown (R.A. Raguso, E. Pichersky [1995] Plant Syst Evol 194: 55-67) that the strong, sweet fragrance of Clarkia breweri (Onagraceae), an annual plant native to California, consists of 8 to 12 volatile compounds, including 4 phenylpropanoids. Although some C. breweri plants emit all 4 phenylpropanoids (eugenol, isoeugenol, methyleugenol, and isomethyleugenol), other C. breweri plants do not emit the latter 2 compounds. Here we report that petal tissue was responsible for the bulk of the phenylpropanoid emission. The activity of S-adenosyl-L-methionine: (iso)eugenol O-methyltransferase (IEMT), a novel enzyme that catalyzes the methylation of the para-4'-hydroxyl of both eugenol and (iso)eugenol to methyleugenol and isomethyleugenol, respectively, was also highest in petal tissue. IEMT activity was absent from floral tissues of plants not emitting (iso)methyleugenol. A C. breweri cDNA clone encoding IEMT was isolated, and its sequence was shown to have 70% identity to S-adenosyl-L-methionine:caffeic acid O-methyltransferase. The protein encoded by this cDNA can use eugenol and isoeugenol as substrates, but not caffeic acid. Steady-state IEMT mRNA levels were positively correlated with levels of IEMT activity in the tissues, and no IEMT mRNA was observed in flowers that do not emit (iso)methyleugenol. Overall, the data show that the floral emission of (iso)methyleugenol is controlled at the site of emission, that a positive correlation exists between volatile emission and IEMT activity, and that control of the level of IEMT activity is exerted at a pretranslational step. PMID:9159948

  20. Chloroplast overexpression of rice caffeic acid O-methyltransferase increases melatonin production in chloroplasts via the 5-methoxytryptamine pathway in transgenic rice plants.

    PubMed

    Choi, Geun-Hee; Lee, Hyoung Yool; Back, Kyoungwhan

    2017-08-01

    Recent analyses of the enzymatic features of various melatonin biosynthetic genes from bacteria, animals, and plants have led to the hypothesis that melatonin could be synthesized via the 5-methoxytryptamine (5-MT) pathway. 5-MT is known to be synthesized in vitro from serotonin by the enzymatic action of O-methyltransferases, including N-acetylserotonin methyltransferase (ASMT) and caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT), leading to melatonin synthesis by the subsequent enzymatic reaction with serotonin N-acetyltransferase (SNAT). Here, we show that 5-MT was produced and served as a precursor for melatonin synthesis in plants. When rice seedlings were challenged with senescence treatment, 5-MT levels and melatonin production were increased in transgenic rice seedlings overexpressing the rice COMT in chloroplasts, while no such increases were observed in wild-type or transgenic seedlings overexpressing the rice COMT in the cytosol, suggesting a 5-MT transport limitation from the cytosol to chloroplasts. In contrast, cadmium treatment led to results different from those in senescence. The enhanced melatonin production was not observed in the chloroplast COMT lines relative over the cytosol COMT lines although 5-MT levels were equally induced in all genotypes upon cadmium treatment. The transgenic seedlings with enhanced melatonin in their chloroplasts exhibited improved seedling growth vs the wild type under continuous light conditions. This is the first report describing enhanced melatonin production in chloroplasts via the 5-MT pathway with the ectopic overexpression of COMT in chloroplasts in plants. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Identification and characterization of a catechol-o-methyltransferase cDNA in the catfish Heteropneustes fossilis: Tissue, sex and seasonal variations, and effects of gonadotropin and 2-hydroxyestradiol-17β on mRNA expression.

    PubMed

    Chaube, R; Rawat, A; Inbaraj, R M; Bobe, J; Guiguen, Y; Fostier, A; Joy, K P

    2016-12-08

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is involved in the methylation and inactivation of endogenous and xenobiotic catechol compounds, and serves as a common biochemical link in the catecholamine and catecholestrogen metabolism. Studies on cloning, sequencing and function characterization comt gene in lower vertebrates like fish are fewer. In the present study, a full-length comt cDNA of 1442bp with an open-reading frame (ORF) of 792bp, and start codon (ATG) at nucleotide 162 and stop codon (TAG) at nucleotide 953 was isolated and characterized in the stinging catfish Heteropneustes fossilis (accession No. KT597925). The ORF codes for a protein of 263 amino acid residues, which is also validated by the catfish transcriptome data analysis. The catfish Comt shared conserved putative structural regions important for S-adenosyl methionine (AdoMet)- and catechol-binding, transmembrane regions, two glycosylation sites (N-65 and N-91) at the N-terminus and two phosphorylation sites (Ser-235 and Thr-240) at the C-terminus. The gene was expressed in all tissues examined and the expression showed significant sex dimorphic distribution with high levels in females. The transcript was abundant in the liver, brain and gonads and low in muscles. The transcripts showed significant seasonal variations in the brain and ovary, increased progressively to the peak levels in spawning phase and then declined. The brain and ovarian comt mRNA levels showed periovulatory changes after in vivo and in vitro human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) treatments with high fold increases at 16 and 24h in the brain and at 16h in the ovary. The catecholestrogen 2-hydroxyE2 up regulated ovarian comt expression in vitro with the highest fold increase at 16h. The mRNA and protein was localized in the follicular layer of the vitellogenic follicles and in the cytoplasm of primary follicles. The data were discussed in relation to catecholamine and catecholestrogen-mediated functions in the brain and ovary of the

  2. Determination of the structure and catalytic mechanism of sorghum bicolor caffeoyl-CoA O-methyltransferase

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Although cold acclimation is a key process in plants from temperate climates, the mechanisms sensing low temperature remain obscure. Here, we show that the accumulation of the organic acid fumaric acid, mediated by the cytosolic fumarase FUM2, is essential for cold acclimation of metabolism in the c...

  3. Pederin-type pathways of uncultivated bacterial symbionts: analysis of o-methyltransferases and generation of a biosynthetic hybrid.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Katrin; Engeser, Marianne; Blunt, John W; Munro, Murray H G; Piel, Jörn

    2009-03-04

    The complex polyketide pederin is a potent antitumor agent isolated from Paederus spp. rove beetles. We have previously isolated a set of genes from a bacterial endosymbiont that are good candidates for pederin biosynthesis. To biochemically study this pathway, we expressed three methyltransferases from the putative pederin pathway and used the partially unmethylated analogue mycalamide A from the marine sponge Mycale hentscheli as test substrate. Analysis by high-resolution MS/MS and NMR revealed that PedO regiospecifically methylates the marine compound to generate the nonnatural hybrid compound 18-O-methylmycalamide A with increased cytotoxicity. To our knowledge, this is the first biochemical evidence that invertebrates can obtain defensive complex polyketides from bacterial symbionts.

  4. Function Analysis of Caffeoyl-CoA O-Methyltransferase for Biosynthesis of Lignin and Phenolic Acid in Salvia miltiorrhiza.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhengjun; Ge, Qian; Chen, Chen; Jin, Xinxin; Cao, Xiaoyan; Wang, Zhezhi

    2017-02-01

    In this study, we cloned a full-length cDNA and the genomic DNA sequence of SmCCoAOMT (GenBank ID JQ007585) from Salvia miltiorrhiza. The 744-bp open-reading frame encodes a protein of 247 amino acids that shares 95 % similarity with one in Vitis vinifera. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis revealed that SmCCoAOMT is most highly expressed in the stems and can be induced by methyl jasmonate (MeJA) and XC-1 treatment. To evaluate its function in vivo, we generated RNA interference transgenic plants through Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated gene transfer. Compared with untransformed control plants, the transgenics had significantly less lignin and the expression of lignin-biosynthetic genes SmCCR and SmCOMT was depressed. In 90-day-old roots from plants of transgenic line M5, accumulations of rosmarinic acid and salvianolic acid B (Sal B) were greatly reduced by 0.89- and 0.69-fold, respectively. This low-Sal B phenotype was stable in the roots, with the level of accumulation being approximately 43.58 mg g(-1) dry weight, which was 52 % of the amount measured in the untransformed control. Our results suggest that SmCCoAOMT is involved in lignin biosynthesis and affects the accumulation of phenolic acids. This study also provides potential guidance for using lignin-related genes to genetically engineer Salvia miltiorrhiza.

  5. Association of catechol-O-methyltransferase Val(108/158) Met genetic polymorphism with schizophrenia, P50 sensory gating, and negative symptoms in a Chinese population.

    PubMed

    Mao, Qiao; Tan, Yun-Long; Luo, Xing-Guang; Tian, Li; Wang, Zhi-Ren; Tan, Shu-Ping; Chen, Song; Yang, Gui-Gang; An, Hui-Mei; Yang, Fu-De; Zhang, Xiang-Yang

    2016-08-30

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), an enzyme involved in the degradation and inactivation of the neurotransmitter dopamine, is associated with the sensory gating phenomenon, protecting the cerebral cortex from information overload. The COMT Val(108/158)Met polymorphism is essential for prefrontal cortex processing capacity and efficiency. The current study was designed to investigate the role of COMT Val(108/158)Met polymorphism in development, sensory gating deficit, and symptoms of schizophrenia in Han Chinese population. P50 gating was determined in 139 schizophrenic patients and 165 healthy controls. Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) was used to assess the clinical symptomatology in 370 schizophrenic subjects. COMT Val(108/158)Met polymorphism was genotyped by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). No significant differences in COMT allele and genotype distributions were observed between schizophrenic patients and control groups. Although P50 deficits were present in patients, there was no evidence for an association between COMT Val(108/158)Met polymorphism and the P50 biomarker. Moreover, PANSS negative subscore was significantly higher in Val allele carriers than in Met/Met individuals. The present findings suggest that COMT Val(108/158)Met polymorphism may not contribute to the risk of schizophrenia and to the P50 deficits, but may contribute to the negative symptoms of schizophrenia among Han Chinese.

  6. Association between the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met Polymorphism and Alexithymia in Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Koh, Min Jung; Kang, Jee In; Namkoong, Kee; Lee, Su Young

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Alexithymia, defined as a deficit in the ability to recognize and describe one's own feelings, may be related to the development and maintenance of obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism and alexithymia in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Materials and Methods We recruited 244 patients with OCD (169 males, 75 females). Alexithymia was assessed using the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), and genotyping of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism was evaluated. Results Patients with the COMT Val/Val genotype had significantly higher total and "difficulty identifying feelings" (DIF) subdimension scores than those with the Val/Met or Met/Met genotypes. Patients with the COMT Val/Val genotype had significantly higher "difficulty describing feelings" (DDF) subdimension scores than those with the COMT Val/Met genotype. However, there were no differences in the scores for the "externally oriented thinking" (EOT) subdimension among the three genotypes. Conclusion These results indicate that the high-activity Val allele of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism is associated with increased alexithymic traits in patients with OCD. The present finding suggests that alexithymia is an endophenotype of OCD that is mediated by the COMT Val158Met polymorphism. PMID:26996573

  7. Age-Dependent Effects of Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Gene Val158Met Polymorphism on Language Function in Developing Children.

    PubMed

    Sugiura, Lisa; Toyota, Tomoko; Matsuba-Kurita, Hiroko; Iwayama, Yoshimi; Mazuka, Reiko; Yoshikawa, Takeo; Hagiwara, Hiroko

    2016-11-30

    The genetic basis controlling language development remains elusive. Previous studies of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val(158)Met genotype and cognition have focused on prefrontally guided executive functions involving dopamine. However, COMT may further influence posterior cortical regions implicated in language perception. We investigated whether COMT influences language ability and cortical language processing involving the posterior language regions in 246 children aged 6-10 years. We assessed language ability using a language test and cortical responses recorded during language processing using a word repetition task and functional near-infrared spectroscopy. The COMT genotype had significant effects on language performance and processing. Importantly, Met carriers outperformed Val homozygotes in language ability during the early elementary school years (6-8 years), whereas Val homozygotes exhibited significant language development during the later elementary school years. Both genotype groups exhibited equal language performance at approximately 10 years of age. Val homozygotes exhibited significantly less cortical activation compared with Met carriers during word processing, particularly at older ages. These findings regarding dopamine transmission efficacy may be explained by a hypothetical inverted U-shaped curve. Our findings indicate that the effects of the COMT genotype on language ability and cortical language processing may change in a narrow age window of 6-10 years.

  8. Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val(108/158)Met polymorphism affects fronto-limbic connectivity during emotional processing in bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Vai, B; Riberto, M; Poletti, S; Bollettini, I; Lorenzi, C; Colombo, C; Benedetti, F

    2016-12-30

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inactivates catecholamines, Val/Val genotype was associated to an increased amygdala (Amy) response to negative stimuli and can influence the symptoms severity and the outcome of bipolar disorder, probably mediated by the COMT polymorphism (rs4680) interaction between cortical and subcortical dopaminergic neurotransmission. The aim of this study is to explore how rs4680 and implicit emotional processing of negative emotional stimuli could interact in affecting the Amy connectivity in bipolar depression. Forty-five BD patients (34 Met carriers vs. 11 Val/Val) underwent fMRI scanning during implicit processing of fearful and angry faces. We explore the effect of rs4680 on the strength of functional connectivity from the amygdalae to whole brain. Val/Val and Met carriers significantly differed for the connectivity between Amy and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and supramarginal gyrus. Val/Val patients showed a significant positive connectivity for all of these areas, where Met carriers presented a significant negative one for the connection between DLPFC and Amy. Our findings reveal a COMT genotype-dependent difference in corticolimbic connectivity during affective regulation, possibly identifying a neurobiological underpinning of clinical and prognostic outcome of BD. Specifically, a worse antidepressant recovery and clinical outcome previously detected in Val/Val patients could be associated to a specific increased sensitivity to negative emotional stimuli.

  9. Effect of 3 Single-Dose Regimens of Opicapone on Levodopa Pharmacokinetics, Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Activity and Motor Response in Patients With Parkinson Disease.

    PubMed

    Rocha, José-Francisco; Ferreira, Joaquim J; Falcão, Amílcar; Santos, Ana; Pinto, Roberto; Nunes, Teresa; Almeida, Luis; Soares-da-Silva, Patrício

    2016-05-01

    This study determined the effects of single doses of opicapone (OPC), a novel third-generation catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor, on levodopa and 3-O-methyl-levodopa (3-OMD) pharmacokinetics (PK), COMT activity and motor fluctuations in patients with Parkinson disease (PD). Subjects received, in a double-blind manner, 25, 50, and 100 mg OPC or placebo (PLC) in 4 separate treatment periods. The washout period between doses was at least 10 days. During each period, the OPC/PLC capsules were to be coadministered with the morning dose of 100/25 mg levodopa/carbidopa (LC) or levodopa/benserazide (LB) on day 3. In relation to PLC, levodopa exposure increased 3.7%, 16.4%, and 34.8% following 25, 50, or 100 mg OPC, respectively. Maximum S-COMT inhibition (Emax ) ranged from 67.8% (25 mg OPC) to 100% (100 mg OPC). Peak and extent of S-COMT inhibition were dose-dependent. Maximum decrease in the plasma 3-OMD was observed following administration of 100 mg OPC. Opicapone administered concomitantly with standard-release 100/25 mg LC or LB improved motor performance. Treatments were generally well tolerated and safe. It was concluded that OPC is a new COMT inhibitor that significantly decreased COMT activity and increased systemic exposure to levodopa in PD patients with motor fluctuations.

  10. The catechol-o-methyltransferase Val158Met polymorphism modulates the intrinsic functional network centrality of the parahippocampal cortex in healthy subjects

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaolong; Li, Jin; Qin, Wen; Yu, Chunshui; Liu, Bing; Jiang, Tianzi

    2015-01-01

    The influence of catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met on brain activation and functional connectivity has been widely reported. However, voxel-wise effects of this genotype on resting-state brain networks remain unclear. Here, we used resting-state fMRI and eigenvector centrality to examine the effects of COMT Val158Met genotypes on the connection patterns of the brain network and working memory (WM) in healthy, young Val/Val and Met carrier subjects. There were significant differences in the performance level on the 2-back WM task between the different COMT genotypes: Val/Val individuals exhibited a higher correct rate compared to the Met carriers. A two-sample t test was used to examine the differences in the eigenvector centrality maps, using age and gender as covariates of no interest, between the Val/Val and Met carriers. We found that the Val/Val individuals exhibited significantly higher eigenvector centrality compared to the Met carriers in the left parahippocampal cortex. Furthermore, a significantly positive correlation between the mean eigenvector centrality of the significant cluster and the correct rate of the 2-back WM task was observed. By using a voxel-wise data-driven method, our findings may provide plausible implications regarding individual differences in the genetic contribution of COMT Val158Met to the brain network and cognition. PMID:26054510

  11. Association of the functional polymorphism in the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene with schizophrenia in the three ethnic groups of the Malaysian population.

    PubMed

    Wan, Ching-Lee; Zainal, Nor Zuraida; Lian, Lay-Hoong; Mohamed, Zahurin

    2011-08-30

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is a candidate gene for schizophrenia as its encoded enzyme is involved in the metabolic inactivation of dopamine and noradrenaline. Several molecular genetic studies thus far have demonstrated that the COMT functional polymorphism of Val158Met is susceptible with schizophrenia. Hence, the present study aims to determine this genetic association of this SNP in the three major ethnic groups of the Malaysian population. A total of 317 patients (79 Malays, 154 Chinese and 84 Indians) meeting DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia and 417 healthy subjects (160 Malays, 164 Chinese and 93 Indians) were recruited. A PCR-RFLP method was used to determine the genotypes and alleles present. We found a significant association of genotypes within the total pooled samples, as well as in the female subgroup, with a higher frequency of heterozygotes in schizophrenia subjects. However, there were no significant differences in allele and genotype frequency between the schizophrenic patients and normal controls in all three ethnic groups. Our current findings suggest that the Val158Met polymorphism has a weak association with schizophrenia in the Malaysian population and does not play a major role in conferring susceptibility to the schizophrenia in any of the three major local ethnicities.

  12. Structure related effects of flavonoid aglycones on cell cycle progression of HepG2 cells: Metabolic activation of fisetin and quercetin by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT).

    PubMed

    Poór, Miklós; Zrínyi, Zita; Kőszegi, Tamás

    2016-10-01

    Dietary flavonoids are abundant in the Plant Kingdom and they are extensively studied because of their manifold pharmacological activities. Recent studies highlighted that cell cycle arrest plays a key role in their antiproliferative effect in different tumor cells. However, structure-activity relationship of flavonoids is poorly characterized. In our study the influence of 18 flavonoid aglycones (as well as two metabolites) on cell cycle distribution was investigated. Since flavonoids are extensively metabolized by liver cells, HepG2 tumor cell line was applied, considering the potential metabolic activation/inactivation of flavonoids. Our major observations are the followings: (1) Among the tested compounds diosmetin, fisetin, apigenin, lutelin, and quercetin provoked spectacular extent of G2/M phase cell cycle arrest. (2) Inhibition of catechol-O-methyltransferase enzyme by entacapone decreased the antiproliferative effects of fisetin and quercetin. (3) Geraldol and isorhamnetin (3'-O-methylated metabolites of fisetin and quercetin, respectively) demonstrated significantly higher antiproliferative effect on HepG2 cells compared to the parent compounds. Based on these results, O-methylated flavonoid metabolites or their chemically modified derivatives may be suitable candidates of tumor therapy in the future.

  13. Association of codon 108/158 catechol-O-methyltransferase gene polymorphism with the psychiatric manifestations of velo-cardio-facial syndrome

    SciTech Connect

    Lachman, H.M.; Papolos, D.F.; Veit, S.

    1996-09-20

    Velo-cardio-facial-syndrome (VCFS) is a common congenital disorder associated with typical facial appearance, cleft palate, cardiac defects, and learning disabilities. The majority of patients have an interstitial deletion on chromosome 22q11. In addition to physical abnormalities, a variety of psychiatric illnesses have been reported in patients with VCFS, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The psychiatric manifestations of VCFS could be due to haploinsufficiency of a gene(s) within 22q11. One candidate that has been mapped to this region is catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). We recently identified a polymorphism in the COMT gene that leads to a valine{r_arrow}methionine substitution at amino acid 158 of the membrane-bound form of the enzyme. Homozygosity for COMT158{sup met} leads to a 3- to 4-fold reduction in enzymatic activity, compared with homozygotes for COMT158{sup met}. We now report that in a population of patients with VCFS, there is an apparent association between the low-activity allele, COMT158{sup met}, and the development of bipolar spectrum disorder, and in particular, a rapid-cycling form. 33 refs., 3 tabs.

  14. CbCTB2, an O-methyltransferase is essential for biosynthesis of the phytotoxin cercosporin and infection of sugar beet by Cercospora beticola

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Cercospora leaf spot disease, caused by the fungus Cercospora beticola, is the most destructive foliar disease of sugar beets (Beta vulgaris) worldwide. Cercosporin, a light-inducible toxin, is essential for necrosis of the leaf tissue and development of the typical leaf spots on sugar beet leaves. Results In this study we show that the O-methyltransferase gene CTB2 is essential for cercosporin production and pathogenicity in two C. beticola isolates. We established a transformation system for C. beticola protoplasts, disrupted CTB2, and transformed the Δctb2 strains as well as a wild type strain with the DsRed reporter gene. The Δctb2 strains had lost their pigmentation and toxin measurements demonstrated that the Δctb2 strains were defective in cercosporin production. Infection of sugar beets with the wild type and Δctb2 DsRed strains showed that the deletion strain was severely impaired in plant infection. Histological analysis revealed that the CTB2-deficient isolate cannot enter the leaf tissue through stomata like the wild type. Conclusions Taken together, these observations indicate that cercosporin has a dual function in sugar beet infection: in addition to the well-known role in tissue necrosis, the toxin is required for the early phase of sugar beet infection. PMID:23517289

  15. No association between catechol-o-methyltransferase Val108/158Met polymorphism and schizophrenia or its clinical symptomatology in a Mexican population.

    PubMed

    Tovilla-Zárate, Carlos; Medellín, Beatriz Camarena; Fresán, Ana; López-Narváez, Lilia; Castro, Thelma Beatriz Gonzalez; Juárez Rojop, Isela; Ramírez-Bello, Julián; Genis, Alma; Nicolini, Humberto

    2013-02-01

    The gene coding for catecol-o-methyltransferase (COMT), participant in the metabolism of catecholamines, has long been implicated as a candidate gene for schizophrenia. We determined the relation of the COMT Val108/158Met polymorphism with schizophrenia or its symptomatology (negative, disorganized and psychotic dimension). We conducted a case-control study comprising 186 patients with schizophrenia and 247 controls. The diagnosis of schizophrenia was established using the DSM-IV criteria for this illness. The clinical symptomatology was assessed through the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms and the Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms. No significant differences were found in the distribution of alleles (χ2 = 0.01, df = 1, p = 0.90) or genotypes (χ2 = 1.66, df = 2, p = 0.43) between schizophrenic patients and the control group. Multivariate analysis showed that the COMT Val108/158Met polymorphism has no influence in the clinical symptomatology of schizophrenia. Our results showed no association between COMT Val108/158Met and schizophrenia or evidence for an association between COMT and the clinical symptomatology of this illness. This suggests that the COMT gene may not contribute to the risk for schizophrenia among the Mexican population.

  16. Allelic and genotype frequencies of catechol-O-methyltransferase (Val158Met) and CYP2D6*10 (Pro34Ser) single nucleotide polymorphisms in the Philippines

    PubMed Central

    Baclig, Michael O; Predicala, Rey Z; Mapua, Cynthia A; Lozano-Kühne, Jingky P; Daroy, Maria Luisa G; Natividad, Filipinas F; Javier, Francis O

    2012-01-01

    A hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the allelic and genotype frequencies in the genes encoding for catechol-O-methyltransferase and CYP2D6*10 among healthy volunteers and patients clinically diagnosed with cancer pain. PCR-RFLP was used to identify COMT and CYP2D6*10 genotypes. Allelic frequencies among healthy volunteer Filipinos were 0.83 and 0.17 for the COMT Val and COMT Met alleles, respectively. Calculated frequencies in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) were 73% for COMT Val/Val, 26% for COMT Val/Met, and 1% for COMT Met/Met genotype. For CYP2D6*10, allelic frequencies in HWE among volunteers were 0.46 for the C allele and 0.54 for the T allele. Twenty percent were identified as homozygous for the wild-type C/C genotype, 56% were identified as heterozygous for the C/T genotype, and 24% were identified as homozygous for the T/T variant genotype. No significant differences in COMT and CYP2D6*10 allele frequencies between cancer patients and healthy volunteers were noted. Our data demonstrated that the allele frequencies of COMT and CYP2D6*10 in the Filipino healthy volunteers were similar with other Asians but markedly different from Caucasian populations. PMID:22724048

  17. Allelic and genotype frequencies of catechol-O-methyltransferase (Val158Met) and CYP2D6*10 (Pro34Ser) single nucleotide polymorphisms in the Philippines.

    PubMed

    Baclig, Michael O; Predicala, Rey Z; Mapua, Cynthia A; Lozano-Kühne, Jingky P; Daroy, Maria Luisa G; Natividad, Filipinas F; Javier, Francis O

    2012-01-01

    A hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the allelic and genotype frequencies in the genes encoding for catechol-O-methyltransferase and CYP2D6*10 among healthy volunteers and patients clinically diagnosed with cancer pain. PCR-RFLP was used to identify COMT and CYP2D6*10 genotypes. Allelic frequencies among healthy volunteer Filipinos were 0.83 and 0.17 for the COMT Val and COMT Met alleles, respectively. Calculated frequencies in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) were 73% for COMT Val/Val, 26% for COMT Val/Met, and 1% for COMT Met/Met genotype. For CYP2D6*10, allelic frequencies in HWE among volunteers were 0.46 for the C allele and 0.54 for the T allele. Twenty percent were identified as homozygous for the wild-type C/C genotype, 56% were identified as heterozygous for the C/T genotype, and 24% were identified as homozygous for the T/T variant genotype. No significant differences in COMT and CYP2D6*10 allele frequencies between cancer patients and healthy volunteers were noted. Our data demonstrated that the allele frequencies of COMT and CYP2D6*10 in the Filipino healthy volunteers were similar with other Asians but markedly different from Caucasian populations.

  18. Levodopa-related cysteinyl-glycine and cysteine reduction with and without catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibition in Parkinson's disease patients.

    PubMed

    Müller, Thomas; Muhlack, Siegfried

    2014-06-01

    Oxidative stress is influenced by the thiol homeostasis, which regulates the redox milieu via glutathione. Components of glutathione metabolism are cysteine and cysteinyl-glycine. Both substrates decay following levodopa application or dopamine-related oxidative stress. Objective was to investigate the impact of an acute levodopa application with and without catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitor on cysteine- and cysteinyl-glycine plasma levels. On two investigation days, 13 patients with Parkinson's disease took one retarded release 200-mg levodopa/50 mg carbidopa-containing tablet or one 150-mg levodopa/50-mg carbidopa/200-mg entacapone formulation under standardized conditions. Levodopa, 3-O-methyldopa, cysteine and cysteinyl-glycine were measured at baseline, 80 and 140 min following levodopa administration. Cysteine and cysteinyl-glycine similarly decreased, levodopa was nearly equal during both conditions. Entacapone lowered 3-O-methyldopa. Cysteine decay may be due to an elevated glutathione generation, which consumes cysteine. Cysteinyl-glycine decrease results from the alternative glutathione transformation to its oxidized form glutathione dissulfide after free radical scavenging.

  19. Purification and properties of a new S-adenosyl-L-methionine:flavonoid 4'-O-methyltransferase from carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L.).

    PubMed

    Curir, Paolo; Lanzotti, Virginia; Dolci, Marcello; Dolci, Paola; Pasini, Carlo; Tollin, Gordon

    2003-08-01

    A new enzyme, S-adenosyl-l-methionine:flavonoid 4'-O-methyltransferase (EC 2.1.1.-) (F 4'-OMT), has been purified 1 399-fold from the tissues of carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L). The enzyme, with a molecular mass of 43-45 kDa and a pI of 4.15, specifically methylates the hydroxy substituent in 4'-position of the flavones, flavanones and isoflavones in the presence of S-adenosyl-l-methionine. A high affinity for the flavone kaempferol was observed (Km = 1.7 micro m; Vmax = 95.2 micro mol.min-1.mg-1), while other 4'-hydroxylated flavonoids proved likewise to be suitable substrates. Enzyme activity had no apparent Mg++ requirement but was inhibited by SH-group reagents. The optimum pH value for F 4'-OMT activity was found to be around neutrality. Kinetic analysis of the enzyme bi-substrate reaction indicates a Ping-Pong mechanism and excludes the formation of a ternary complex. The F 4'-OMT activity was increased, in both in vitro and in vivo carnation tissues, by the inoculation with Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. dianthi. The enzyme did not display activity towards hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives, some of which are involved, as methylated monolignols, in lignin biosynthesis; the role of this enzyme could be therefore mainly defensive, rather than structural, although its precise function still needs to be ascertained.

  20. Association between the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Val¹⁵⁸Met Polymorphism and Alexithymia in Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

    PubMed

    Koh, Min Jung; Kang, Jee In; Namkoong, Kee; Lee, Su Young; Kim, Se Joo

    2016-05-01

    Alexithymia, defined as a deficit in the ability to recognize and describe one's own feelings, may be related to the development and maintenance of obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val¹⁵⁸Met polymorphism and alexithymia in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We recruited 244 patients with OCD (169 males, 75 females). Alexithymia was assessed using the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), and genotyping of the COMT Val¹⁵⁸Met polymorphism was evaluated. Patients with the COMT Val/Val genotype had significantly higher total and "difficulty identifying feelings" (DIF) subdimension scores than those with the Val/Met or Met/Met genotypes. Patients with the COMT Val/Val genotype had significantly higher "difficulty describing feelings" (DDF) subdimension scores than those with the COMT Val/Met genotype. However, there were no differences in the scores for the "externally oriented thinking" (EOT) subdimension among the three genotypes. These results indicate that the high-activity Val allele of the COMT Val¹⁵⁸Met polymorphism is associated with increased alexithymic traits in patients with OCD. The present finding suggests that alexithymia is an endophenotype of OCD that is mediated by the COMT Val¹⁵⁸Met polymorphism.

  1. Investigating the genetic basis of theory of mind (ToM): the role of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene polymorphisms.

    PubMed

    Xia, Haiwei; Wu, Nan; Su, Yanjie

    2012-01-01

    The ability to deduce other persons' mental states and emotions which has been termed 'theory of mind (ToM)' is highly heritable. First molecular genetic studies focused on some dopamine-related genes, while the genetic basis underlying different components of ToM (affective ToM and cognitive ToM) remain unknown. The current study tested 7 candidate polymorphisms (rs4680, rs4633, rs2020917, rs2239393, rs737865, rs174699 and rs59938883) on the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene. We investigated how these polymorphisms relate to different components of ToM. 101 adults participated in our study; all were genetically unrelated, non-clinical and healthy Chinese subjects. Different ToM tasks were applied to detect their theory of mind ability. The results showed that the COMT gene rs2020917 and rs737865 SNPs were associated with cognitive ToM performance, while the COMT gene rs5993883 SNP was related to affective ToM, in which a significant gender-genotype interaction was found (p = 0.039). Our results highlighted the contribution of DA-related COMT gene on ToM performance. Moreover, we found out that the different SNP at the same gene relates to the discriminative aspect of ToM. Our research provides some preliminary evidence to the genetic basis of theory of mind which still awaits further studies.

  2. Melatonin Synthesis: Acetylserotonin O-Methyltransferase (ASMT) Is Strongly Expressed in a Subpopulation of Pinealocytes in the Male Rat Pineal Gland.

    PubMed

    Rath, Martin F; Coon, Steven L; Amaral, Fernanda G; Weller, Joan L; Møller, Morten; Klein, David C

    2016-05-01

    The rat pineal gland has been extensively used in studies of melatonin synthesis. However, the cellular localization of melatonin synthesis in this species has not been investigated. Here we focus on the localization of melatonin synthesis using immunohistochemical methods to detect the last enzyme in melatonin synthesis, acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase (ASMT), and in situ hybridization techniques to study transcripts encoding ASMT and two other enzymes in melatonin synthesis, tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH)-1 and aralkylamine N-acetyltransferase. In sections of the rat pineal gland, marked cell-to-cell differences were found in ASMT immunostaining intensity and in the abundance of Tph1, Aanat, and Asmt transcripts. ASMT immunoreactivity was localized to the cytoplasm in pinealocytes in the parenchyma of the superficial pineal gland, and immunopositive pinealocytes were also detected in the pineal stalk and in the deep pineal gland. ASMT was found to inconsistently colocalize with S-antigen, a widely used pinealocyte marker; this colocalization was seen in cells throughout the pineal complex and also in displaced pinealocyte-like cells of the medial habenular nucleus. Inconsistent colocalization between ASMT and TPH protein was also detected in the pineal gland. ASMT protein was not detected in extraepithalamic parts of the central nervous system or in peripheral tissues. The findings in this report are of special interest because they provide reason to suspect that melatonin synthesis varies significantly among individual pinealocytes.

  3. Crystal structure and functional analysis of the SARS-coronavirus RNA cap 2'-O-methyltransferase nsp10/nsp16 complex.

    PubMed

    Decroly, Etienne; Debarnot, Claire; Ferron, François; Bouvet, Mickael; Coutard, Bruno; Imbert, Isabelle; Gluais, Laure; Papageorgiou, Nicolas; Sharff, Andrew; Bricogne, Gérard; Ortiz-Lombardia, Miguel; Lescar, Julien; Canard, Bruno

    2011-05-01

    Cellular and viral S-adenosylmethionine-dependent methyltransferases are involved in many regulated processes such as metabolism, detoxification, signal transduction, chromatin remodeling, nucleic acid processing, and mRNA capping. The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus nsp16 protein is a S-adenosylmethionine-dependent (nucleoside-2'-O)-methyltransferase only active in the presence of its activating partner nsp10. We report the nsp10/nsp16 complex structure at 2.0 Å resolution, which shows nsp10 bound to nsp16 through a ∼930 Ų surface area in nsp10. Functional assays identify key residues involved in nsp10/nsp16 association, and in RNA binding or catalysis, the latter likely through a SN2-like mechanism. We present two other crystal structures, the inhibitor Sinefungin bound in the S-adenosylmethionine binding pocket and the tighter complex nsp10(Y96F)/nsp16, providing the first structural insight into the regulation of RNA capping enzymes in +RNA viruses.

  4. Molecular mapping of the RNA Cap 2'-O-methyltransferase activation interface between severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus nsp10 and nsp16.

    PubMed

    Lugari, Adrien; Betzi, Stephane; Decroly, Etienne; Bonnaud, Emmanuel; Hermant, Aurélie; Guillemot, Jean-Claude; Debarnot, Claire; Borg, Jean-Paul; Bouvet, Mickaël; Canard, Bruno; Morelli, Xavier; Lécine, Patrick

    2010-10-22

    Several protein-protein interactions within the SARS-CoV proteome have been identified, one of them being between non-structural proteins nsp10 and nsp16. In this work, we have mapped key residues on the nsp10 surface involved in this interaction. Alanine-scanning mutagenesis, bioinformatics, and molecular modeling were used to identify several "hot spots," such as Val(42), Met(44), Ala(71), Lys(93), Gly(94), and Tyr(96), forming a continuous protein-protein surface of about 830 Å(2), bearing very conserved amino acids among coronaviruses. Because nsp16 carries RNA cap 2'-O-methyltransferase (2'O-MTase) activity only in the presence of its interacting partner nsp10 (Bouvet, M., Debarnot, C., Imbert, I., Selisko, B., Snijder, E. J., Canard, B., and Decroly, E. (2010) PLoS Pathog. 6, e1000863), functional consequences of mutations on this surface were evaluated biochemically. Most changes that disrupted the nsp10-nsp16 interaction without structural perturbations were shown to abrogate stimulation of nsp16 RNA cap 2'O-MTase activity. More strikingly, the Y96A mutation abrogates stimulation of nsp16 2'O-MTase activity, whereas Y96F overstimulates it. Thus, the nsp10-nsp16 interface may represent an attractive target for antivirals against human and animal pathogenic coronaviruses.

  5. Molecular Mapping of the RNA Cap 2′-O-Methyltransferase Activation Interface between Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus nsp10 and nsp16*

    PubMed Central

    Lugari, Adrien; Betzi, Stephane; Decroly, Etienne; Bonnaud, Emmanuel; Hermant, Aurélie; Guillemot, Jean-Claude; Debarnot, Claire; Borg, Jean-Paul; Bouvet, Mickaël; Canard, Bruno; Morelli, Xavier; Lécine, Patrick

    2010-01-01

    Several protein-protein interactions within the SARS-CoV proteome have been identified, one of them being between non-structural proteins nsp10 and nsp16. In this work, we have mapped key residues on the nsp10 surface involved in this interaction. Alanine-scanning mutagenesis, bioinformatics, and molecular modeling were used to identify several “hot spots,” such as Val42, Met44, Ala71, Lys93, Gly94, and Tyr96, forming a continuous protein-protein surface of about 830 Å2, bearing very conserved amino acids among coronaviruses. Because nsp16 carries RNA cap 2′-O-methyltransferase (2′O-MTase) activity only in the presence of its interacting partner nsp10 (Bouvet, M., Debarnot, C., Imbert, I., Selisko, B., Snijder, E. J., Canard, B., and Decroly, E. (2010) PLoS Pathog. 6, e1000863), functional consequences of mutations on this surface were evaluated biochemically. Most changes that disrupted the nsp10-nsp16 interaction without structural perturbations were shown to abrogate stimulation of nsp16 RNA cap 2′O-MTase activity. More strikingly, the Y96A mutation abrogates stimulation of nsp16 2′O-MTase activity, whereas Y96F overstimulates it. Thus, the nsp10-nsp16 interface may represent an attractive target for antivirals against human and animal pathogenic coronaviruses. PMID:20699222

  6. Crystal Structure and Functional Analysis of the SARS-Coronavirus RNA Cap 2′-O-Methyltransferase nsp10/nsp16 Complex

    PubMed Central

    Decroly, Etienne; Debarnot, Claire; Ferron, François; Bouvet, Mickael; Coutard, Bruno; Imbert, Isabelle; Gluais, Laure; Papageorgiou, Nicolas; Sharff, Andrew; Bricogne, Gérard; Ortiz-Lombardia, Miguel; Lescar, Julien; Canard, Bruno

    2011-01-01

    Cellular and viral S-adenosylmethionine-dependent methyltransferases are involved in many regulated processes such as metabolism, detoxification, signal transduction, chromatin remodeling, nucleic acid processing, and mRNA capping. The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus nsp16 protein is a S-adenosylmethionine-dependent (nucleoside-2′-O)-methyltransferase only active in the presence of its activating partner nsp10. We report the nsp10/nsp16 complex structure at 2.0 Å resolution, which shows nsp10 bound to nsp16 through a ∼930 Å2 surface area in nsp10. Functional assays identify key residues involved in nsp10/nsp16 association, and in RNA binding or catalysis, the latter likely through a SN2-like mechanism. We present two other crystal structures, the inhibitor Sinefungin bound in the S-adenosylmethionine binding pocket and the tighter complex nsp10(Y96F)/nsp16, providing the first structural insight into the regulation of RNA capping enzymes in (+)RNA viruses. PMID:21637813

  7. Molecular basis of substrate promiscuity for the SAM-dependent O-methyltransferase NcsB1, involved in the biosynthesis of the enediyne antitumor antibiotic neocarzinostatin.

    PubMed

    Cooke, Heather A; Guenther, Elizabeth L; Luo, Yinggang; Shen, Ben; Bruner, Steven D

    2009-10-13

    The small molecule component of chromoprotein enediyne antitumor antibiotics is biosynthesized through a convergent route, incorporating amino acid, polyketide, and carbohydrate building blocks around a central enediyne hydrocarbon core. The naphthoic acid moiety of the enediyne neocarzinostatin plays key roles in the biological activity of the natural product by interacting with both the carrier protein and duplex DNA at the site of action. We have previously described the in vitro characterization of an S-adenosylmethionine-dependent O-methyltransferase (NcsB1) in the neocarzinostatin biosynthetic pathway [Luo, Y., Lin, S., Zhang, J., Cooke, H. A., Bruner, S. D., and Shen, B. (2008) J. Biol. Chem. 283, 14694-14702]. Here we provide a structural basis for NcsB1 activity, illustrating that the enzyme shares an overall architecture with a large family of S-adenosylmethionine-dependent proteins. In addition, NcsB1 represents the first enzyme to be structurally characterized in the biosynthetic pathway of neocarzinostatin. By cocrystallizing the enzyme with various combinations of the cofactor and substrate analogues, details of the active site structure have been established. Changes in subdomain orientation were observed via comparison of structures in the presence and absence of substrate, suggesting that reorientation of the enzyme is involved in binding of the substrate. In addition, residues important for substrate discrimination were predicted and probed through site-directed mutagenesis and in vitro biochemical characterization.

  8. Association between catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val/Met genotype and smoking cessation treatment with nicotine: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Choi, Hye Duck; Shin, Wan Gyoon

    2015-11-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is one of the major degradative pathways of dopamine and COMT Val/Met polymorphisms are associated with the enzyme activity, which is related to dopamine involvement in the nicotine addiction process. However, the reported results of several genetic studies are not consistent. We reviewed the smoking cessation outcomes among previously reported studies by comparing COMT polymorphism. A total of five studies were assessed in the present meta-analysis and the Met/Met, Val/Met or Val/Val genotype were compared with respect to smoking cessation outcomes. As the results, any significant association between COMT polymorphism and smoking cessation were not observed. In the subgroup analysis for evaluating the association between COMT polymorphism and smoking cessation therapy, three studies were assessed by comparing two groups (Met/Met vs Val/Met plus Val/Val). A significant association between COMT polymorphism and smoking cessation was observed (odds ratio: 1.871 and 95% CI: 1.382-2.534). The COMT polymorphisms are associated with the outcomes following smoking cessation treatment with nicotine.

  9. The enzymatic activities of brain catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and methionine sulphoxide reductase are correlated in a COMT Val/Met allele-dependent fashion.

    PubMed

    Moskovitz, Jackob; Walss-Bass, Consuelo; Cruz, Dianne A; Thompson, Peter M; Hairston, Jenaqua; Bortolato, Marco

    2015-12-01

    The enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) plays a primary role in the metabolism of catecholamine neurotransmitters and is implicated in the modulation of cognitive and emotional responses. The best characterized single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of the COMT gene consists of a valine (Val)-to-methionine (Met) substitution at codon 108/158. The Met-containing variant confers a marked reduction in COMT catalytic activity. We recently showed that the activity of recombinant COMT is positively regulated by the enzyme Met sulphoxide reductase (MSR), which counters the oxidation of Met residues of proteins. The current study was designed to assess whether brain COMT activity may be correlated to MSR in an allele-dependent fashion. COMT and MSR activities were measured from post-mortem samples of prefrontal cortices, striata and cerebella of 32 subjects by using catechol and dabsyl-Met sulphoxide as substrates, respectively. Allelic discrimination of COMT Val(108/185) Met SNP was performed using the Taqman 5'nuclease assay. Our studies revealed that, in homozygous carriers of Met, but not Val alleles, the activity of COMT and MSR was significantly correlated throughout all tested brain regions. These results suggest that the reduced enzymatic activity of Met-containing COMT may be secondary to Met sulphoxidation and point to MSR as a key molecular determinant for the modulation of COMT activity. © 2015 British Neuropathological Society.

  10. Mutation in Brachypodium caffeic acid O-methyltransferase 6 alters stem and grain lignins and improves straw saccharification without deteriorating grain quality

    PubMed Central

    Ho-Yue-Kuang, Séverine; Alvarado, Camille; Antelme, Sébastien; Bouchet, Brigitte; Cézard, Laurent; Le Bris, Philippe; Legée, Frédéric; Maia-Grondard, Alessandra; Yoshinaga, Arata; Saulnier, Luc; Guillon, Fabienne; Sibout, Richard; Lapierre, Catherine; Chateigner-Boutin, Anne-Laure

    2016-01-01

    Cereal crop by-products are a promising source of renewable raw material for the production of biofuel from lignocellulose. However, their enzymatic conversion to fermentable sugars is detrimentally affected by lignins. Here the characterization of the Brachypodium Bd5139 mutant provided with a single nucleotide mutation in the caffeic acid O-methyltransferase BdCOMT6 gene is reported. This BdCOMT6-deficient mutant displayed a moderately altered lignification in mature stems. The lignin-related BdCOMT6 gene was also found to be expressed in grains, and the alterations of Bd5139 grain lignins were found to mirror nicely those evidenced in stem lignins. The Bd5139 grains displayed similar size and composition to the control. Complementation experiments carried out by introducing the mutated gene into the AtCOMT1-deficient Arabidopsis mutant demonstrated that the mutated BdCOMT6 protein was still functional. Such a moderate down-regulation of lignin-related COMT enzyme reduced the straw recalcitrance to saccharification, without compromising the vegetative or reproductive development of the plant. PMID:26433202

  11. Acid detergent lignin, lodging resistance index, and expression of the caffeic acid O-methyltransferase gene in brown midrib-12 sudangrass.

    PubMed

    Li, Yuan; Liu, Guibo; Li, Jun; You, Yongliang; Zhao, Haiming; Liang, Huan; Mao, Peisheng

    2015-09-01

    Understanding the relationship between acid detergent lignin (ADL) and lodging resistance index (LRI) is essential for breeding new varieties of brown midrib (bmr) sudangrass (Sorghum sudanense (Piper) Stapf.). In this study, bmr-12 near isogenic lines and their wild-types obtained by back cross breeding were used to compare relevant forage yield and quality traits, and to analyze expression of the caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene using quantitative real time-PCR. The research showed that the mean ADL content of bmr-12 mutants (20.94 g kg(-1)) was significantly (P < 0.05) lower than measured in N-12 lines (43.45 g kg(-1)), whereas the LRI of bmr-12 mutants (0.29) was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than in N-12 lines (0.22). There was no significant correlation between the two indexes in bmr-12 materials (r = -0.44, P > 0.05). Sequence comparison of the COMT gene revealed two point mutations present in bmr-12 but not in the wild-type, the second mutation changed amino acid 129 of the protein from Gln (CAG) to a stop codon (UAG). The relative expression level of COMT gene was significantly reduced, which likely led to the decreased ADL content observed in the bmr-12 mutant.

  12. Cloning of Arabidopsis serotonin N-acetyltransferase and its role with caffeic acid O-methyltransferase in the biosynthesis of melatonin in vitro despite their different subcellular localizations.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyoung Yool; Byeon, Yeong; Lee, Kyungjin; Lee, Hye-Jung; Back, Kyoungwhan

    2014-11-01

    Serotonin N-acetyltransferase (SNAT) is the penultimate enzyme in melatonin biosynthesis. We cloned SNAT from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtSNAT) and functionally characterized this enzyme for the first time from dicotyledonous plants. Similar to rice SNAT, AtSNAT was found to localize to chloroplasts with peak enzyme activity at 45 °C (Km , 309 μm; Vmax , 1400 pmol/min/mg protein). AtSNAT also catalyzed 5-methoxytryptamine (5-MT) into melatonin with high catalytic activity (Km , 51 μm; Vmax , 5300 pmol/min/mg protein). In contrast, Arabidopsis caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (AtCOMT) localized to the cytoplasm. Interestingly, AtCOMT can methylate serotonin into 5-MT with low catalytic activity (Km , 3.396 mm; Vmax , 528 pmol/min/mg protein). These data suggest that serotonin can be converted into either N-acetylserotonin by SNAT or into 5-MT by COMT, after which it is metabolized into melatonin by COMT or SNAT, respectively. To support this hypothesis, serotonin was incubated in the presence of both AtSNAT and AtCOMT enzymes. In addition to melatonin production, the production of major intermediates depended on incubation temperatures; N-acetylserotonin was predominantly produced at high temperatures (45 °C), while low temperatures (37 °C) favored the production of 5-MT. Our results provide biochemical evidence for the presence of a serotonin O-methylation pathway in plant melatonin biosynthesis.

  13. Structure-Function Analyses of a Caffeic Acid O-Methyltransferase from Perennial Ryegrass Reveal the Molecular Basis for Substrate Preference[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Louie, Gordon V.; Bowman, Marianne E.; Tu, Yi; Mouradov, Aidyn; Spangenberg, German; Noel, Joseph P.

    2010-01-01

    Lignin forms from the polymerization of phenylpropanoid-derived building blocks (the monolignols), whose modification through hydroxylation and O-methylation modulates the chemical and physical properties of the lignin polymer. The enzyme caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) is central to lignin biosynthesis. It is often targeted in attempts to engineer the lignin composition of transgenic plants for improved forage digestibility, pulping efficiency, or utility in biofuel production. Despite intensive investigation, the structural determinants of the regiospecificity and substrate selectivity of COMT remain poorly defined. Reported here are x-ray crystallographic structures of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) COMT (Lp OMT1) in open conformational state, apo- and holoenzyme forms and, most significantly, in a closed conformational state complexed with the products S-adenosyl-l-homocysteine and sinapaldehyde. The product-bound complex reveals the post-methyl-transfer organization of COMT’s catalytic groups with reactant molecules and the fully formed phenolic-ligand binding site. The core scaffold of the phenolic ligand forges a hydrogen-bonding network involving the 4-hydroxy group that anchors the aromatic ring and thereby permits only metahydroxyl groups to be positioned for transmethylation. While distal from the site of transmethylation, the propanoid tail substituent governs the kinetic preference of ryegrass COMT for aldehydes over alcohols and acids due to a single hydrogen bond donor for the C9 oxygenated moiety dictating the preference for an aldehyde. PMID:21177481

  14. Polymorphisms in catechol-O-methyltransferase and cytochrome p450 subfamily 19 genes predispose towards Madurella mycetomatis-induced mycetoma susceptibility.

    PubMed

    van de Sande, Wendy W J; Fahal, Ahmed; Tavakol, Mehri; van Belkum, Alex

    2010-11-01

    Mycetoma caused by Madurella mycetomatis is a devastating and neglected disease which primarily affects males. Since this predominance cannot be easily explained by behaviour differences between men and women, other factors, including sex hormones, could be the cause. To monitor for possible deficiencies in hormone synthesis among mycetoma patients, we investigated the types and allele frequencies of the genes encoding for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), cytochrome p450 subfamily 1 (CYP1B1), cytochrome p450 subfamily 17 (CYP17), cytochrome p450 subfamily 19 (CYP19) and hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 3B (HSD3B). Significant differences in allele distribution were demonstrated for CYP19 (P=0.004) and COMT (P=0.005), as well as gender dimorphism for both CYP19 and COMT polymorphisms. The COMT polymorphism was associated with lesion size. The genotypes obtained for COMT and CYP19 were connected with higher 17β-estradiol production, which was confirmed by significantly elevated serum levels of 17β-estradiol in male patients. In contrast, lowered levels of dehydroepiandrosteron (DHEA) were found in mycetoma patients. The in vitro growth of M. mycetomatis was not influenced by 17β-estradiol, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone. The differences in hormone levels we noted between mycetoma patients and healthy controls did not directly affect the fungus itself. Indirect effects on the patients' hormone regulated immune states are the more likely explanations for mycetoma susceptibility.

  15. Sympathetic nervous function and the effect of the catechol-O-methyltransferase Val(158)Met polymorphism in patients with panic disorder.

    PubMed

    Kang, Eun-Ho; Song, Yoon-Jae; Kim, Kyung-Jeong; Shim, Hyun-Bo; Park, Joo-Eon; Yu, Bum-Hee

    2010-06-01

    Sympathetic nervous function abnormalities have long been suggested to be a possible etiology of panic disorder (PD). Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) affects sympathetic activities, and the COMT Val(158)Met polymorphism has been suggested to be related to PD. The authors examined the relationship between sympathetic nervous function and the COMT Val(158)Met polymorphism in PD patients. Fifty-eight patients [Val/Val (51.7%) and Met allele carriers (48.3%)] and 58 age-matched normal control subjects [Val/Val (56.9%) and Met allele carriers (43.1%)] were compared in terms of finger skin temperature, which is known to be a useful marker of sympathetic nervous function. A significant COMT Val(158)Met polymorphismxdiagnosis interaction was found. Specifically, the met allele was found to be associated with a lower skin temperature in PD patients. These results suggest that the COMT Met allele is related to the higher sympathetic nervous function observed in PD. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Molecular Basis of Substrate Promiscuity for the SAM-Dependent O-Methyltransferase NcsB1, Involved in the Biosynthesis of the Enediyne Antitumor Antibiotic Neocarzinostatin

    SciTech Connect

    Cooke, H.; Guenther, E; Luo, Y; Shen, B; Bruner, S

    2009-01-01

    The small molecule component of chromoprotein enediyne antitumor antibiotics is biosynthesized through a convergent route, incorporating amino acid, polyketide, and carbohydrate building blocks around a central enediyne hydrocarbon core. The naphthoic acid moiety of the enediyne neocarzinostatin plays key roles in the biological activity of the natural product by interacting with both the carrier protein and duplex DNA at the site of action. We have previously described the in vitro characterization of an S-adenosylmethionine-dependent O-methyltransferase (NcsB1) in the neocarzinostatin biosynthetic pathway [Luo, Y., Lin, S., Zhang, J., Cooke, H. A., Bruner, S. D., and Shen, B. (2008) J. Biol. Chem. 283, 14694-14702]. Here we provide a structural basis for NcsB1 activity, illustrating that the enzyme shares an overall architecture with a large family of S-adenosylmethionine-dependent proteins. In addition, NcsB1 represents the first enzyme to be structurally characterized in the biosynthetic pathway of neocarzinostatin. By cocrystallizing the enzyme with various combinations of the cofactor and substrate analogues, details of the active site structure have been established. Changes in subdomain orientation were observed via comparison of structures in the presence and absence of substrate, suggesting that reorientation of the enzyme is involved in binding of the substrate. In addition, residues important for substrate discrimination were predicted and probed through site-directed mutagenesis and in vitro biochemical characterization.

  17. Catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibition alters pain and anxiety-related volitional behaviors through activation of β-adrenergic receptors in the rat.

    PubMed

    Kline, R H; Exposto, F G; O'Buckley, S C; Westlund, K N; Nackley, A G

    2015-04-02

    Reduced catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) activity resulting from genetic variation or pharmacological depletion results in enhanced pain perception in humans and nociceptive behaviors in animals. Using phasic mechanical and thermal reflex tests (e.g. von Frey, Hargreaves), recent studies show that acute COMT-dependent pain in rats is mediated by β-adrenergic receptors (βARs). In order to more closely mimic the characteristics of human chronic pain conditions associated with prolonged reductions in COMT, the present study sought to determine volitional pain-related and anxiety-like behavioral responses following sustained as well as acute COMT inhibition using an operant 10-45°C thermal place preference task and a light/dark preference test. In addition, we sought to evaluate the effects of sustained COMT inhibition on generalized body pain by measuring tactile sensory thresholds of the abdominal region. Results demonstrated that acute and sustained administration of the COMT inhibitor OR486 increased pain behavior in response to thermal heat. Further, sustained administration of OR486 increased anxiety behavior in response to bright light, as well as abdominal mechanosensation. Finally, all pain-related behaviors were blocked by the non-selective βAR antagonist propranolol. Collectively, these findings provide the first evidence that stimulation of βARs following acute or chronic COMT inhibition drives cognitive-affective behaviors associated with heightened pain that affects multiple body sites. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Genetic Polymorphism of 1019C/G (rs6295) Promoter of Serotonin 1A Receptor and Catechol-O-Methyltransferase in Panic Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Ishiguro, Shin; Aoki, Akiko; Ueda, Mikito; Hayashi, Yuki; Akiyama, Kazufumi; Kato, Kazuko; Shimoda, Kazutaka

    2017-01-01

    Objective Family and twin studies have suggested genetic liability for panic disorder (PD) and therefore we sought to determine the role of noradrenergic and serotonergic candidate genes for susceptibility for PD in a Japanese population. Methods In this age- and gender-matched case-control study involving 119 PD patients and 119 healthy controls, we examined the genotype distributions and allele frequencies of the serotonin transporter gene linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR), −1019C/G (rs6295) promoter polymorphism of the serotonin receptor 1A (5-HT1A), and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene polymorphism (rs4680) and their association with PD. Results No significant differences were evident in the allele frequencies or genotype distributions of the COMT (rs4680), 5-HTTLPR polymorphisms or the −1019C/G (rs6295) promoter polymorphism of 5-HT1A between PD patients and controls. Although there were no significant associations of these polymorphisms with in subgroups of PD patients differentiated by gender or in subgroup comorbid with agoraphobia (AP), significant difference was observed in genotype distributions of the −1019C/G (rs6295) promoter polymorphism of 5-HT1A between PD patients without AP and controls (p=0.047). Conclusion In this association study, the 1019C/G (rs6295) promoter polymorphism of the 5-HT1A receptor G/G genotype was associated with PD without AP in a Japanese population. PMID:28096880

  19. Association of aggressive behavior in Korean male schizophrenic patients with polymorphisms in the serotonin transporter promoter and catecholamine-O-methyltransferase genes.

    PubMed

    Han, Doug Hyun; Park, Doo Byung; Na, Chul; Kee, Baik Seok; Lee, Young Sik

    2004-11-30

    The incidence of aggressive behavior in patients with schizophrenia is higher than in the general population. Among particular gene polymorphisms posited to be involved in psychiatric disorders, the catecholamine-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and serotonin transporter (5-HTTPR) genes have been the focus of recent research on aggression. In this study, we hypothesized that both the COMT and the 5-HTTPR genotypes may be dependent on and related to aggression in Korean patients with schizophrenia. The subjects were 168 unrelated male schizophrenic patients diagnosed according to DSM-IV. Among two psychiatric hospital staff and medical university students, 158 unrelated male subjects with no lifetime history of psychiatric disorders were recruited to establish the COMT and 5-HTTPR genotype distribution in the general population. All episodes of aggression from the last discharge to readmission were rated. The Total Overt Aggression Scale (OAS) score (sum of the scores of all episodes of aggression), highest OAS score (highest individual episode score, 0-16), OAS category, and OAS category score (mean score within each category) were recorded. There were statistically significant effects of COMT genotype on the mean OAS 4 (physical aggression against other people) score and the highest OAS score. The most predictive was the OAS 4 score. There was a statistically significant effect of 5-HTTPR genotype on mean total score. Thus, the COMT gene is associated with the severity of aggression and with physical aggression against other people, whereas the 5-HTTPR gene is associated with the summary score of all episodes of aggression.

  20. Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met polymorphism associates with individual differences in sleep physiologic responses to chronic sleep loss.

    PubMed

    Goel, Namni; Banks, Siobhan; Lin, Ling; Mignot, Emmanuel; Dinges, David F

    2011-01-01

    The COMT Val158Met polymorphism modulates cortical dopaminergic catabolism, and predicts individual differences in prefrontal executive functioning in healthy adults and schizophrenic patients, and associates with EEG differences during sleep loss. We assessed whether the COMT Val158Met polymorphism was a novel marker in healthy adults of differential vulnerability to chronic partial sleep deprivation (PSD), a condition distinct from total sleep loss and one experienced by millions on a daily and persistent basis. 20 Met/Met, 64 Val/Met, and 45 Val/Val subjects participated in a protocol of two baseline 10h time in bed (TIB) nights followed by five consecutive 4 h TIB nights. Met/Met subjects showed differentially steeper declines in non-REM EEG slow-wave energy (SWE)-the putative homeostatic marker of sleep drive-during PSD, despite comparable baseline SWE declines. Val/Val subjects showed differentially smaller increases in slow-wave sleep and smaller reductions in stage 2 sleep during PSD, and had more stage 1 sleep across nights and a shorter baseline REM sleep latency. The genotypes, however, did not differ in performance across various executive function and cognitive tasks and showed comparable increases in subjective and physiological sleepiness in response to chronic sleep loss. Met/Met genotypic and Met allelic frequencies were higher in whites than African Americans. The COMT Val158Met polymorphism may be a genetic biomarker for predicting individual differences in sleep physiology-but not in cognitive and executive functioning-resulting from sleep loss in a healthy, racially-diverse adult population of men and women. Beyond healthy sleepers, our results may also provide insight for predicting sleep loss responses in patients with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders, since these groups repeatedly experience chronically-curtailed sleep and demonstrate COMT-related treatment responses and risk factors for symptom exacerbation. © 2011 Goel et al.

  1. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism Associates with Individual Differences in Sleep Physiologic Responses to Chronic Sleep Loss

    PubMed Central

    Goel, Namni; Banks, Siobhan; Lin, Ling; Mignot, Emmanuel; Dinges, David F.

    2011-01-01

    Background The COMT Val158Met polymorphism modulates cortical dopaminergic catabolism, and predicts individual differences in prefrontal executive functioning in healthy adults and schizophrenic patients, and associates with EEG differences during sleep loss. We assessed whether the COMT Val158Met polymorphism was a novel marker in healthy adults of differential vulnerability to chronic partial sleep deprivation (PSD), a condition distinct from total sleep loss and one experienced by millions on a daily and persistent basis. Methodology/Principal Findings 20 Met/Met, 64 Val/Met, and 45 Val/Val subjects participated in a protocol of two baseline 10h time in bed (TIB) nights followed by five consecutive 4 h TIB nights. Met/Met subjects showed differentially steeper declines in non-REM EEG slow-wave energy (SWE)—the putative homeostatic marker of sleep drive—during PSD, despite comparable baseline SWE declines. Val/Val subjects showed differentially smaller increases in slow-wave sleep and smaller reductions in stage 2 sleep during PSD, and had more stage 1 sleep across nights and a shorter baseline REM sleep latency. The genotypes, however, did not differ in performance across various executive function and cognitive tasks and showed comparable increases in subjective and physiological sleepiness in response to chronic sleep loss. Met/Met genotypic and Met allelic frequencies were higher in whites than African Americans. Conclusions/Significance The COMT Val158Met polymorphism may be a genetic biomarker for predicting individual differences in sleep physiology—but not in cognitive and executive functioning—resulting from sleep loss in a healthy, racially-diverse adult population of men and women. Beyond healthy sleepers, our results may also provide insight for predicting sleep loss responses in patients with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders, since these groups repeatedly experience chronically-curtailed sleep and demonstrate COMT

  2. Interactions between genetic polymorphism of cytochrome P450-1B1, sulfotransferase 1A1, catechol-o-methyltransferase and tobacco exposure in breast cancer risk.

    PubMed

    Saintot, Monique; Malaveille, Christian; Hautefeuille, Agnès; Gerber, Mariette

    2003-11-20

    Genetic polymorphisms of enzymes involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics and estrogens might play a role in breast carcinogenesis related to environmental exposures. In a case-only study on 282 women with breast cancer, we studied the interaction effects (ORi) between smoking habits and the gene polymorphisms of Cytochrome P450 1B1 (Val432Leu CYP1B1), Phenol-sulfotransferase 1A1 (Arg213His SULT1A1) and Catechol-O-methyltransferase (Val158Met COMT). The smokers carrying the Val CYP1B1 allele associated with a high hydroxylation activity had a higher risk of breast cancer than never smokers with the Leu/Leu genotype (ORi=2.32, 95%CI: 1.00-5.38). Also, the smokers carrying the His SULT1A1 allele associated with a low sulfation activity had a 2-fold excess risk compared to never smokers carrying Arg/Arg SULT1A1 common genotype (ORi= 2.55, 95%CI: 1.21-5.36). The His SULT1A1 allele increased the risk only in premenopausal patients. The Met COMT allele with a lower methylation activity than Val COMT did not modify the risk among smokers. The excess risk due to joint effect could result from a higher exposure to activated tobacco-compounds for women homo/heterozygous for the Val CYP1B1 allele. Also, a lower sulfation of the tobacco carcinogens among women with His SULT1A1 could increase exposure to genotoxic compounds. Alternatively, the Val CYP1B1 or His SULT1A1 allele with modified ability to metabolize estrogens could increase the level of genotoxic catechol estrogen (i.e., 4-hydroxy-estradiol) among smokers. Our study showed that gene polymorphisms of CYP1B1 and SULT1A1 induce an individual susceptibility to breast cancer among current smokers.

  3. Catechol-O-methyltransferase gene variants may associate with negative symptom response and plasma concentrations of prolactin in schizophrenia after amisulpride treatment.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chun-Yen; Yeh, Yi-Wei; Kuo, Shin-Chang; Ho, Pei-Shen; Liang, Chih-Sung; Yen, Che-Hung; Lu, Ru-Band; Huang, San-Yuan

    2016-03-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme is involved in the pathogenesis of psychotic symptoms and may be associated with a therapeutic response to antipsychotic drugs. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between COMT variants, plasma prolactin level, and the therapeutic effectiveness of amisulpride treatment in patients with schizophrenia. A 12-week naturalistic study of amisulpride treatment was carried out in 185 Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia. The patients were screened for 14 single-nucleotide polymorphisms of the COMT gene. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) was used to assess the improvement of psychopathological symptoms from the baseline to the end point in each subject. For better presentation of time-course changes in response status, a mixed model for repeated-measures (MMRM) analysis of symptom improvement during the 12-week treatment period was conducted. The change in plasma prolactin level after amisulpride treatment was also examined (n=51). No significant differences in the genotype frequencies of the COMT variants investigated were observed between responders and non-responders. Moreover, an MMRM analysis of psychopathological symptom improvement during the 12-week treatment course showed that it depended significantly on COMT variants (rs4680, rs4633, and rs6267), particularly regarding changes in negative symptoms. The increase in plasma prolactin levels observed was influenced by the COMT rs4680 variant and was positively correlated with a reduction in PANSS negative scores. Our results suggest that variation of the COMT gene is associated with treatment response regarding negative symptoms and prolactin changes after amisulpride treatment in patients with schizophrenia.

  4. Effect of Catechol-O-methyltransferase-gene (COMT) Variants on Experimental and Acute Postoperative Pain in 1,000 Women undergoing Surgery for Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Kambur, Oleg; Kaunisto, Mari A.; Tikkanen, Emmi; Leal, Suzanne M.; Ripatti, Samuli; Kalso, Eija A.

    2016-01-01

    Background Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) metabolizes catecholamines in different tissues. Polymorphisms in COMT gene can attenuate COMT activity and increase sensitivity to pain. Human studies exploring the effect of COMT polymorphisms on pain sensitivity have mostly included small, heterogeneous samples and have ignored several important single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This study examines the effect of COMT polymorphisms on experimental and postoperative pain phenotypes in a large ethnically homogeneous female patient cohort. Methods Intensity of cold (+2–4°C) and heat (+48°C) pain and tolerance to cold pain were assessed in 1,000 patients scheduled for breast cancer surgery. Acute postoperative pain and oxycodone requirements were recorded. Twenty-two COMT SNPs were genotyped and their association with six pain phenotypes analyzed with linear regression. Results There was no association between any of the tested pain phenotypes and SNP rs4680. The strongest association signals were seen between rs165774 and heat pain intensity as well as rs887200 and cold pain intensity. In both cases, minor allele carriers reported less pain. Neither of these results remained significant after strict multiple testing corrections. When analyzed further, the effect of rs887200 was, however, shown to be significant and consistent throughout the cold pressure test. No evidence of association between the SNPs and postoperative oxycodone consumption was found. Conclusions SNPs rs887200 and rs165774 located in the untranslated regions of the gene had the strongest effects on pain sensitivity. Their effect on pain is described here for the first time. These results should be confirmed in further studies and the potential functional mechanisms of the variants studied. PMID:24343288

  5. Genotype status of the dopamine-related catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene corresponds with desirability of “unhealthy” foods

    PubMed Central

    Wallace, Deanna L.; Aarts, Esther; Uquillas, Federico d’Oleire; Dang, Linh C.; Greer, Stephanie M.; Jagust, William J.; D’Esposito, Mark

    2015-01-01

    The role of dopamine is extensively documented in weight regulation and food intake in both animal models and humans. Yet the role of dopamine has not been well studied in individual differences for food desirability. Genotype status of the dopamine-related catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene has been shown to influence dopamine levels, with greater COMT enzymatic activity in val/val individuals corresponding to greater degradation of dopamine. Decreased dopamine has been associated with poorer cognitive control and diminished goal-directed behavior in various behavioral paradigms. Additionally, dopaminergic-rich regions such as the frontal cortex and dorsal striatum have been shown to be important for supporting food-related decision-making. However, the role of dopamine, as assessed by COMT genotype status, in food desirability has not been fully explored. Therefore, we utilized an individual’s COMT genotype status (n=61) and investigated food desirability based on self-rated “healthy” and “unhealthy” food perceptions. Here we found val/val individuals (n=19) have greater desirability for self-rated “unhealthy” food items, but not self-rated “healthy” food items, as compared to val/met (n=24) and met/met (n=18) individuals (p<0.005). Utilizing an objective health measure for the food items, we also found val/val and val/met individuals have greater desirability for objectively defined “unhealthy” food items, as compared to met/met individuals (p<0.01). This work further substantiates a role of dopamine in food-related behaviors and more specifically in relationship to food desirability for “unhealthy” food items. PMID:25963102

  6. Determination of the Structure and Catalytic Mechanism of Sorghum bicolor Caffeic Acid O-Methyltransferase and the Structural Impact of Three brown midrib12 Mutations1[W

    PubMed Central

    Green, Abigail R.; Lewis, Kevin M.; Barr, John T.; Jones, Jeffrey P.; Lu, Fachuang; Ralph, John; Vermerris, Wilfred; Sattler, Scott E.; Kang, ChulHee

    2014-01-01

    Using S-adenosyl-methionine as the methyl donor, caffeic acid O-methyltransferase from sorghum (Sorghum bicolor; SbCOMT) methylates the 5-hydroxyl group of its preferred substrate, 5-hydroxyconiferaldehyde. In order to determine the mechanism of SbCOMT and understand the observed reduction in the lignin syringyl-to-guaiacyl ratio of three brown midrib12 mutants that carry COMT gene missense mutations, we determined the apo-form and S-adenosyl-methionine binary complex SbCOMT crystal structures and established the ternary complex structure with 5-hydroxyconiferaldehyde by molecular modeling. These structures revealed many features shared with monocot ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and dicot alfalfa (Medicago sativa) COMTs. SbCOMT steady-state kinetic and calorimetric data suggest a random bi-bi mechanism. Based on our structural, kinetic, and thermodynamic results, we propose that the observed reactivity hierarchy among 4,5-dihydroxy-3-methoxycinnamyl (and 3,4-dihydroxycinnamyl) aldehyde, alcohol, and acid substrates arises from the ability of the aldehyde to stabilize the anionic intermediate that results from deprotonation of the 5-hydroxyl group by histidine-267. Additionally, despite the presence of other phenylpropanoid substrates in vivo, sinapaldehyde is the preferential product, as demonstrated by its low Km for 5-hydroxyconiferaldehyde. Unlike its acid and alcohol substrates, the aldehydes exhibit product inhibition, and we propose that this is due to nonproductive binding of the S-cis-form of the aldehydes inhibiting productive binding of the S-trans-form. The S-cis-aldehydes most likely act only as inhibitors, because the high rotational energy barrier around the 2-propenyl bond prevents S-trans-conversion, unlike alcohol substrates, whose low 2-propenyl bond rotational energy barrier enables rapid S-cis/S-trans-interconversion. PMID:24948836

  7. Inhibition of human catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT)-mediated O-methylation of catechol estrogens by major polyphenolic components present in coffee.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Bao Ting; Wang, Pan; Nagai, Mime; Wen, Yujing; Bai, Hyoung-Woo

    2009-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated the inhibitory effect of three catechol-containing coffee polyphenols, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), on the O-methylation of 2- and 4-hydroxyestradiol (2-OH-E(2) and 4-OH-E(2), respectively) catalyzed by the cytosolic catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) isolated from human liver and placenta. When human liver COMT was used as the enzyme, chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid each inhibited the O-methylation of 2-OH-E(2) in a concentration-dependent manner, with IC(50) values of 1.3-1.4 and 6.3-12.5 microM, respectively, and they also inhibited the O-methylation of 4-OH-E(2), with IC(50) values of 0.7-0.8 and 1.3-3.1 microM, respectively. Similar inhibition pattern was seen with human placental COMT preparation. CAPE had a comparable effect as caffeic acid for inhibiting the O-methylation of 2-OH-E(2), but it exerted a weaker inhibition of the O-methylation of 4-OH-E(2). Enzyme kinetic analyses showed that chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid inhibited the human liver and placental COMT-mediated O-methylation of catechol estrogens with a mixed mechanism of inhibition (competitive plus noncompetitive). Computational molecular modeling analysis showed that chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid can bind to human soluble COMT at the active site in a similar manner as the catechol estrogen substrates. Moreover, the binding energy values of these two coffee polyphenols are lower than that of catechol estrogens, which means that coffee polyphenols have higher binding affinity for the enzyme than the natural substrates. This computational finding agreed perfectly with our biochemical data.

  8. Conjugation of catechols by recombinant human sulfotransferases, UDP-glucuronosyltransferases, and soluble catechol O-methyltransferase: structure-conjugation relationships and predictive models.

    PubMed

    Taskinen, Jyrki; Ethell, Brian T; Pihlavisto, Pia; Hood, Alan M; Burchell, Brian; Coughtrie, Michael W H

    2003-09-01

    Conjugation of a structurally diverse set of 53 catechol compounds was studied in vitro using six recombinant human sulfotransferases (SULTs), five UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGT) and the soluble form of catechol O-methyltransferase (S-COMT) as catalyst. The catechol set comprised endogenous compounds, such as catecholamines and catecholestrogens, drugs, natural plant constituents, and other catechols with diverse substituent properties and substitution patterns. Most of the catechols studied were substrates of S-COMT and four SULT isoforms (1A1, 1A2, 1A3, and 1B1), but the rates of conjugation varied considerably, depending on the substrate structure and the enzyme form. SULT1E1 sulfated fewer catechols. Only low activities were observed for SULT1C2. UGT1A9 glucuronidated catechols representing various structural classes, and almost half of the studied compounds were glucuronidated at a high rate. The other UGT enzymes (1A1, 1A6, 2B7, and 2B15) showed narrower substrate specificity for catechols, but each glucuronidated some catechols at a high rate. Dependence of specificity and rate of conjugation on the molecular structure of the substrate was characterized by structure-activity relationship analysis and quantitative structure-activity relationship modeling. Twelve structural descriptors were used to characterize lipophilicity/polar interaction properties, steric properties, and electronic effects of the substituents modifying the catechol structure. PLS models explaining more than 80% and predicting more than 70% of the variance in conjugation activity were derived for the representative enzyme forms SULT1A3, UGT1A9, and S-COMT. Several structural factors governing the conjugation of catechol hormones, metabolites, and drugs were identified. The results have significant implications for predicting the metabolic fate of catechols.

  9. Effect of catechol-O-methyltransferase polymorphism on response to propranolol therapy in chronic musculoskeletal pain: A randomized, double–blind, placebo-controlled, crossover pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Tchivileva, Inna E.; Lim, Pei Feng; Smith, Shad B.; Slade, Gary D.; Diatchenko, Luda; McLean, Samuel A.; Maixner, William

    2010-01-01

    Introduction Three common haplotypes in the gene encoding catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) have been associated with pain modulation and the risk of developing chronic musculoskeletal pain, namely temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Haplotypes coding for higher enzymatic activity were correlated with lower pain perception. Rodent studies showed that COMT inhibition increases pain sensitivity via β2/3-adrenergic receptors. We hypothesized that the non-selective β-adrenergic antagonist propranolol will reduce clinical and experimental pain in TMD patients in a manner dependent on the subjects’ COMT diplotype. Methods 40 female Caucasian participants meeting the Research Diagnostic Criteria for TMD were genotyped for COMT polymorphisms and completed a randomized, double–blind, placebo-controlled, two-period crossover pilot study. Each period consisted of a baseline assessment week followed by an intervention week (propranolol or placebo). Changes in clinical pain ratings, psychological status, and responses to heat and pressure stimuli between baseline and intervention weeks were compared across periods. Results The number of patients reporting a reduction in pain intensity rating was greater during propranolol treatment (p=0.014) compared with placebo. Propranolol significantly reduced a composite pain index (p=0.02) but did not decrease other clinical and experimental pain ratings. When stratified by the COMT high activity haplotype, a beneficial effect of propranolol on pain perception was noted in subjects not carrying this haplotype, a diminished benefit was observed in the heterozygotes, and no benefit was noted in the homozygotes. Conclusion COMT haplotypes may serve as genetic predictors of propranolol treatment outcome, identifying a subgroup of TMD patients who will benefit from propranolol therapy. PMID:20216107

  10. Protective Role of Maternal P.VAL158MET Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Polymorphism against Early-Onset Preeclampsia and its Complications

    PubMed Central

    Mirković, Ljiljana; Ignjatović, Svetlana; Tomašević, Dragana; Lukić, Jelena; Topalov, Drina; Soldatović, Ivan; Majkić-Singh, Nada

    2016-01-01

    Summary Background Up until now there have been contradictory data about the association between p.Val158Met catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) polymorphism and risk of preeclampsia (PE). The goal of this study was to assess the potential correlation between p.Val158Met COMT polymorphism and risk of early-onset PE, risk of a severe form of early-onset PE, as well as risk of small-for-gestational-age (SGA) complicating PE. Methods The study included 47 early-onset PE patients and 47 control cases. Forty-seven early-onset PE patients were grouped by disease severity (33 patients with a severe form and 14 patients without severe features) and secondly by size for gestational age (12 patients with appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA) and 35 patients with SGA size). p.Val158Met polymorphism was genotyped by PCR-RFLP analysis. Results Allele analysis showed significant difference in COMT allele distribution between early-onset PE and control group as well as early-onset PE SGA and controls (p=0.04057 and p=0.0411 respectively). A statistically significant distribution difference between the severe form and form without severe features of early-onset PE patients was not observed (p>0.05). The highest difference observed was in the allele recessive model where COMT MetMet genotype was associated with decreased risk of early-onset PE (OR=0.281; 95%CI = 0.092–0.7836) and PE complications including severe early-onset PE (OR= 0.304; 95%CI=0.086–0.944) and SGA early-onset PE (OR=0.284; 95%CI=0.081–0.874). Conclusions COMT may be used as a candidate gene for early-onset PE and its severe form and SGA complications. PMID:28356882

  11. Catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibition protects against 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) toxicity in primary mesencephalic cultures: new insights into levodopa toxicity.

    PubMed

    Blessing, Heike; Bareiss, Markus; Zettlmeisl, Heinz; Schwarz, Johannes; Storch, Alexander

    2003-01-01

    Inhibition of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) has protective effects on levodopa (L-DOPA), but not D-DOPA toxicity towards dopamine (DA) neurons in rat primary mesencephalic cultures [Mol. Pharmacol. 57 (2000) 589]. Here, we extend our recent studies to elucidate the mechanisms of these protective effects. Thus, we investigated the effects of all main L-DOPA/DA metabolites on survival of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive (THir) neurons in primary rat mesencephalic cultures. 3-O-Methyldopa, homovanillic acid, dihydroxyphenyl acetate and 3-methoxytyramine had no effects at concentrations up to 300 micro M after 24h, whereas DA was more toxic than L-DOPA with toxicity at concentrations of >or=1 micro M. The coenzyme of COMT, S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM), and its demethylated product S-adenosylhomocystein caused no relevant alteration of THir neuron survival or L-DOPA toxicity. In contrast, inhibition of SAM synthesis by selenomethionine showed time- and dose-dependent increase of THir neuron survival, but did not affect L-DOPA toxicity. L-DOPA-induced lipid peroxidation in mesencephalic cultures was not modified by the COMT inhibitor Ro 41-0960 (1 micro M). Increased contamination of the cultures with glial cells attenuated L- and D-DOPA toxicity, but caused significant enhancement of protection by COMT inhibitors against L-DOPA toxicity only. Investigations of L-DOPA uptake in rat striatal cultures using HPLC revealed a significant reduction of extracellular L-DOPA concentrations by Ro 41-0960. Our data confirm that L-DOPA toxicity towards DA neurons is mediated by an autooxidative process, which is attenuated by glial cells. In addition, we demonstrate a second mechanism of L-DOPA toxicity in vitro mediated by a COMT- and glia-dependent pathway, which is blocked by COMT inhibitors, most likely due to enhanced glial uptake of L-DOPA.

  12. Biopsychosocial Influence on Exercise-induced Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness at the Shoulder: Pain Catastrophizing and Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Diplotype Predict Pain Ratings

    PubMed Central

    George, Steven Z.; Dover, Geoffrey C.; Wallace, Margaret R.; Sack, Brandon K.; Herbstman, Deborah M.; Aydog, Ece; Fillingim, Roger B.

    2009-01-01

    Objective The experience of pain is believed to be influenced by psychologic and genetic factors. A previous study suggested pain catastrophizing and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) genotype influenced clinical pain ratings for patients seeking operative treatment of shoulder pain. This study investigated whether these same psychologic and genetic factors predicted responses to induced shoulder pain. Methods Participants (n=63) completed self-report questionnaires and had COMT genotype determined before performing a standardized fatigue protocol to induce delayed onset muscle soreness. Then, shoulder pain ratings, self-report of upper-extremity disability ratings, and muscle torque production were reassessed 24, 48, and 72 hours later. Results This cohort consisted of 35 women and 28 men, with a mean age of 20.9 years (SD=1.7). The frequency of COMT diplotypes was 42 with “high COMT enzyme activity” (low pain sensitivity group) and 21 with “low COMT enzyme activity” (average pain sensitivity/high pain sensitivity group). A hierarchical regression model indicated that an interaction between pain catastrophizing and COMT diplotype was the strongest unique predictor of 72-hour pain ratings. The same interaction was not predictive of self-report of disability or muscle torque production at 72 hours. The pain catastrophizing × COMT diplotype interaction indicated that participants with high pain catastrophizing and low COMT enzyme activity (average pain sensitivity/high pain sensitivity group) were more likely (relative risk=3.5, P=0.025) to have elevated pain intensity ratings (40/100 or higher). Discussion These findings from an experimental model converge with those from a surgical cohort and provide additional evidence that the presence of elevated pain catastrophizing and COMT diplotype indicative of low COMT enzyme activity have the potential to increase the risk of developing chronic pain syndromes. PMID:18936597

  13. Crystal structure and activity of protein L-isoaspartyl-O-methyltransferase from Vibrio cholerae, and the effect of AdoHcy binding.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Tanaya; Mukherjee, Debadrita; Banerjee, Mousumi; Chatterjee, Barun K; Chakrabarti, Pinak

    2015-10-01

    The repair enzyme Protein L-isoaspartyl-O-methyltransferase (PIMT) is widely distributed in various organisms. PIMT catalyzes S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) dependent methylation of abnormal L-isoaspartyl residues, formed by the deamidation of asparagines and isomerization of aspartates. We report the crystal structure of PIMT of Vibrio cholerae (VcPIMT), the aetiological agent for cholera, complexed with the demethylated cofactor S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine (AdoHcy) to 2.05 Å resolution. A stretch of residues (39-58), lining the substrate-binding site, is disordered. Urea-induced unfolding free energy for apo and VcPIMT-AdoHcy complex reveals greater stability for the cofactor-bound protein. The kinetic parameters for the methyltransferase activity of the recombinant VcPIMT was determined using a continuous spectrophotometric color-based assay using the peptide substrate [VYP(L-isoD)HA]. The enzyme exhibited activity higher than the Escherichia coli enzyme and closer to those from thermophilic bacteria and the mammalian source. The association constant for substrate binding is 2.29 × 10(6) M(-1), quite similar to that for AdoHcy. The crystal structure and the model of the peptide-bound structure indicate that the majority of the interactions used for cofactor/substrate binding are provided by the main-chain atoms. Evolutionary relationships derived based on a phylogenetic tree constructed using the PIMT sequences are in conformity with the crystal structures of nine AdoHcy-bound PIMTs.

  14. The BioC O-Methyltransferase Catalyzes Methyl Esterification of Malonyl-Acyl Carrier Protein, an Essential Step in Biotin Synthesis*

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Steven; Cronan, John E.

    2012-01-01

    Recent work implicated the Escherichia coli BioC protein as the initiator of the synthetic pathway that forms the pimeloyl moiety of biotin (Lin, S., Hanson, R. E., and Cronan, J. E. (2010) Nat. Chem. Biol. 6, 682–688). BioC was believed to be an O-methyltransferase that methylated the free carboxyl of either malonyl-CoA or malonyl-acyl carrier protein based on the ability of O-methylated (but not unmethylated) precursors to bypass the BioC requirement for biotin synthesis both in vivo and in vitro. However, only indirect proof of the hypothesized enzymatic activity was obtained because the activities of the available BioC preparations were too low for direct enzymatic assay. Because E. coli BioC protein was extremely recalcitrant to purification in an active form, BioC homologues of other bacteria were tested. We report that the native form of Bacillus cereus ATCC10987 BioC functionally replaced E. coli BioC in vivo, and the protein could be expressed in soluble form and purified to homogeneity. In disagreement with prior scenarios that favored malonyl-CoA as the methyl acceptor, malonyl-acyl carrier protein was a far better acceptor of methyl groups from S-adenosyl-l-methionine than was malonyl-CoA. BioC was specific for the malonyl moiety and was inhibited by S-adenosyl-l-homocysteine and sinefungin. High level expression of B. cereus BioC in E. coli blocked cell growth and fatty acid synthesis. PMID:22965231

  15. How to consistently link extraversion and intelligence to the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene: on defining and measuring psychological phenotypes in neurogenetic research.

    PubMed

    Wacker, Jan; Mueller, Erik M; Hennig, Jürgen; Stemmler, Gerhard

    2012-02-01

    The evidence for associations between genetic polymorphisms and complex behavioral/psychological phenotypes (traits) has thus far been weak and inconsistent. Using the well-studied Val158Met polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene as an example, we demonstrate that using theoretical models to guide phenotype definition and measuring the phenotypes of interest with a high degree of specificity reveals strong gene-behavior associations that are consistent with prior work and that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Only after statistically controlling for irrelevant portions of phenotype variance did we observe strong (Cohen's d = 0.33-0.70) and significant associations between COMT Val158Met and both cognitive and affective traits in a healthy male sample (N = 201) in Study 1: Carriers of the Met allele scored higher in fluid intelligence (reasoning) but lower in both crystallized intelligence (general knowledge) and the agency facet of extraversion. In Study 2, we conceptually replicated the association of COMT Val158Met with the agency facet of extraversion after partialing irrelevant phenotype variance in a female sample (N = 565). Finally, through reanalysis of a large published data set we showed that Met allele carriers also scored higher in indicators of fluid intelligence after partialing verbal fluency. Because the Met allele codes for a less efficient variant of the enzyme COMT, resulting in higher levels of extrasynaptic prefrontal dopamine, these observations provide further support for a role for dopamine in both intelligence and extraversion. More importantly, the present findings have important implications for the definition of psychological phenotypes in neurogenetic research.

  16. Active site mapping and substrate specificity of bacterial Hen1, a manganese-dependent 3' terminal RNA ribose 2'O-methyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Jain, Ruchi; Shuman, Stewart

    2011-03-01

    The RNA methyltransferase Hen1 and the RNA end-healing/sealing enzyme Pnkp comprise an RNA repair system encoded by an operon-like cassette present in bacteria from eight different phyla. Clostridium thermocellum Hen1 (CthHen1) is a manganese-dependent RNA ribose 2'O-methyltransferase that marks the 3' terminal nucleoside of broken RNAs and protects repair junctions from iterative damage by transesterifying endonucleases. Here we used the crystal structure of the homologous plant Hen1 to guide a mutational analysis of CthHen1, the results of which provide new insights to RNA end recognition and catalysis. We illuminated structure-activity relations at eight essential constituents of the active site implicated in binding the 3' dinucleotide of the RNA methyl acceptor (Arg273, Arg414), the manganese cofactor (Glu366, Glu369, His370, His418), and the AdoMet methyl donor (Asp291, Asp316). We investigated the effects of varying the terminal nucleobase, RNA size, RNA content, and RNA secondary structure on methyl acceptor activity. Key findings are as follows. CthHen1 displayed a fourfold preference for guanosine as the terminal nucleoside. RNA size had little impact in the range of 12-24 nucleotides, but activity declined sharply with a 9-mer. CthHen1 was adept at methylating a polynucleotide composed of 23 deoxyribonucleotides and one 3' terminal ribonucleotide, signifying that it has no strict RNA specificity beyond the 3' nucleoside. CthHen1 methylated RNA ends in the context of duplex secondary structures. These properties distinguish bacterial Hen1 from plant and metazoan homologs.

  17. Genetic variation in the beta2-adrenergic receptor but not catecholamine-O-methyltransferase predisposes to chronic pain: results from the 1958 British Birth Cohort Study.

    PubMed

    Hocking, Lynne J; Smith, Blair H; Jones, Gareth T; Reid, David M; Strachan, David P; Macfarlane, Gary J

    2010-04-01

    More than 1 in 10 adults in the general population experience chronic widespread body pain (CWP), which lies at one end of a continuous spectrum of pain ranging in both severity and duration. Neuroendocrine factors can modify the effect of known psychological and psychosocial risk factors for progression along the spectrum of pain and development of CWP, and genetic variants that affect neuroendocrine and neural processing potentially affect susceptibility to chronic pain development. We have examined variants across genes encoding the beta2-adrenergic receptor (ADRB2) and catecholamine-O-methyltransferase (COMT) - key neuroendocrine signalling factors - in a large population-based sample to determine whether these may be involved in pain progression and CWP development. A nested association study was conducted using individuals from the 1958 British Birth Cohort Study who had been assessed for pain status. Genotypes were available for nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across ADRB2 and 11 SNPs across COMT. ADRB2 SNPs rs12654778 and rs1042713 were associated either with CWP alone (p=0.02 for both) or with position along pain spectrum (pain status; p=0.04). Common functional ADRB2 haplotype combinations were also associated with pain status (p(model)=0.002) and, further, with both extent and duration of pain (p(model)=0.003 and p(model)=0.002, respectively). There were no associations of either CWP or pain status with COMT genotypes or haplotypes. These results are the first to suggest that functional ADRB2 variants are involved in regulating pain status at a population level. A role for COMT in chronic pain development was not identified, though could not be excluded.

  18. Immediate reward bias in humans: fronto-parietal networks and a role for the catechol-O-methyltransferase 158(Val/Val) genotype.

    PubMed

    Boettiger, Charlotte A; Mitchell, Jennifer M; Tavares, Venessa C; Robertson, Margaret; Joslyn, Geoff; D'Esposito, Mark; Fields, Howard L

    2007-12-26

    The tendency to choose lesser immediate benefits over greater long-term benefits characterizes alcoholism and other addictive disorders. However, despite its medical and socioeconomic importance, little is known about its neurobiological mechanisms. Brain regions that are activated when deciding between immediate or delayed rewards have been identified (McClure et al., 2004, 2007), as have areas in which responses to reward stimuli predict a paper-and-pencil measure of temporal discounting (Hariri et al., 2006). These studies assume "hot" and "cool" response selection systems, with the hot system proposed to generate impulsive choices in the presence of a proximate reward. However, to date, brain regions in which the magnitude of activity during decision making reliably predicts intertemporal choice behavior have not been identified. Here we address this question in sober alcoholics and non-substance-abusing control subjects and show that immediate reward bias directly scales with the magnitude of functional magnetic resonance imaging bold oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal during decision making at sites within the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), dorsal prefrontal cortex (dPFC), and rostral parahippocampal gyrus regions. Conversely, the tendency of an individual to wait for a larger, delayed reward correlates directly with BOLD signal in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex. In addition, genotype at the Val158Met polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene predicts both impulsive choice behavior and activity levels in the dPFC and PPC during decision making. These genotype effects remained significant after controlling for alcohol abuse history. These results shed new light on the neurobiological underpinnings of temporal discounting behavior and identify novel behavioral and neural consequences of genetic variation in dopamine metabolism.

  19. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Genotypes and Parenting Influence on Long-Term Executive Functioning After Moderate to Severe Early Childhood Traumatic Brain Injury: An Exploratory Study.

    PubMed

    Kurowski, Brad G; Treble-Barna, Amery; Zang, Huaiyu; Zhang, Nanhua; Martin, Lisa J; Yeates, Keith Owen; Taylor, H Gerry; Wade, Shari L

    2017-01-05

    To examine catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) rs4680 genotypes as moderators of the effects of parenting style on postinjury changes in parent behavior ratings of executive dysfunction following moderate to severe early childhood traumatic brain injury. Research was conducted in an outpatient setting. Participants included children admitted to hospital with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (n = 55) or orthopedic injuries (n = 70) between ages 3 and 7 years. Prospective cohort followed over 7 years postinjury. Parenting Practices Questionnaire and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning obtained at baseline, 6, 12, and 18 months, and 3.5 and 6.8 years postinjury. DNA was collected from saliva samples, purified using the Oragene (DNA Genotek, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) OG-500 self-collection tubes, and analyzed using TaqMan (Applied Biosystems, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, Massachusetts) assay protocols to identify the COMT rs4680 polymorphism. Linear mixed models revealed a significant genotype × parenting style × time interaction (F = 5.72, P = .02), which suggested that the adverse effects of authoritarian parenting on postinjury development of executive functioning were buffered by the presence of the COMT AA genotype (lower enzyme activity, higher dopamine levels). There were no significant associations of executive functioning with the interaction between genotype and authoritative or permissive parenting ratings. The lower activity COMT rs4680 genotype may buffer the negative effect of authoritarian parenting on long-term executive functioning following injury in early childhood. The findings provide preliminary evidence for associations of parenting style with executive dysfunction in children and for a complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors as contributors to decreases in these problems after traumatic injuries in children. Further investigation is warranted to understand the interplay among genetic and

  20. Meta-analysis reveals a lack of association between a common catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) polymorphism val158met and fibromyalgia

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lei; Zhu, Junwei; Chen, Yong; Zhao, Jianning

    2014-01-01

    This study is to evaluate the association between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene val158met polymorphism and FM risk. We performed a meta-analysis of 8 case-control studies that included 589 FM cases and 527 case-free controls. We assessed the strength of the association, using odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Overall, this meta-analysis showed that the COMT gene val158met polymorphism was not associated with FM risk in all genetic models, i.e., allele (met vs. val: OR=1.46, 95% CI=0.80-2.66, P heterpgeneity<0.001), homozygous (met/met vs. val/val: OR=1.72, 95% CI=0.61-4.87, P heterpgeneity<0.001), heterozygous (val/met vs. val/val: OR=1.25, 95% CI=0.82-1.92, P heterpgeneity=0.050), recessive (met/met vs. val/val+val/met: OR=1.52, 95% CI=0.60-3.86, P heterpgeneity<0.001) and dominant model (met/met+val/met vs. val/val: OR=1.52, 95% CI=0.80-2.90, P heterpgeneity<0.001). Similarly, there were no significant associations in the subgroup analyses by ethnicity and HWE. No publication bias was found in the present study. This meta-analysis suggests that the COMT gene val158met polymorphism is not associated with FM risk. Further large and well-designed studies are needed to confirm this association. PMID:25674213

  1. A new approach on the purification of recombinant human soluble catechol-O-methyltransferase from an Escherichia coli extract using hydrophobic interaction chromatography.

    PubMed

    Passarinha, L A; Bonifácio, M J; Soares-da-Silva, P; Queiroz, J A

    2008-01-11

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a significant target in protein engineering due to its role not only in normal brain function but also to its possible involvement in some human disorders. In this work, a new approach was employed for the purification of recombinant human soluble COMT (hSCOMT) using hydrophobic interaction chromatography, as the main isolation method, from an Escherichia coli culture broth. A simplified overall process flow is proposed. Indeed, with an optimized heterologous expression system for recombinant hSCOMT production, such as E. coli, it was possible to produce and recover the active monomeric enzyme directly from the cell crude culture broth either by a freeze/thaw or ultrasonication lysis step. The recombinant enzyme present in the bacterial soluble fraction, exhibited similar affinity for epinephrine (K(m) 276 [215; 337] microM) and the methyl donor (S-adenosyl-L-methionine, SAMe) (K(m) 36 [30; 41]microM) as human SCOMT. After the precipitation step by 55% of ammonium sulphate, a HIC step on the butyl-sepharose resin was found to be highly effective in selectively eluting a range of contaminating key proteins present in the concentrate soluble extract. Consequently, the partially purified eluate from HIC could then be loaded and polished by gel filtration in order to increase the process efficiency. The final product appeared as a single band in sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The procedure resulted in a global 10.9-fold purification with a specific activity of 5500 nmol/h/mg of protein. The widespread applicability of the process, here described, to different COMT sources could make this protocol highly useful for all studies requiring purified and active COMT proteins.

  2. YibK is the 2'-O-methyltransferase TrmL that modifies the wobble nucleotide in Escherichia coli tRNA(Leu) isoacceptors.

    PubMed

    Benítez-Páez, Alfonso; Villarroya, Magda; Douthwaite, Stephen; Gabaldón, Toni; Armengod, M-Eugenia

    2010-11-01

    Transfer RNAs are the most densely modified nucleic acid molecules in living cells. In Escherichia coli, more than 30 nucleoside modifications have been characterized, ranging from methylations and pseudouridylations to more complex additions that require multiple enzymatic steps. Most of the modifying enzymes have been identified, although a few notable exceptions include the 2'-O-methyltransferase(s) that methylate the ribose at the nucleotide 34 wobble position in the two leucyl isoacceptors tRNA(Leu)(CmAA) and tRNA(Leu)(cmnm5UmAA). Here, we have used a comparative genomics approach to uncover candidate E. coli genes for the missing enzyme(s). Transfer RNAs from null mutants for candidate genes were analyzed by mass spectrometry and revealed that inactivation of yibK leads to loss of 2'-O-methylation at position 34 in both tRNA(Leu)(CmAA) and tRNA(Leu)(cmnm5UmAA). Loss of YibK methylation reduces the efficiency of codon-wobble base interaction, as demonstrated in an amber suppressor supP system. Inactivation of yibK had no detectable effect on steady-state growth rate, although a distinct disadvantage was noted in multiple-round, mixed-population growth experiments, suggesting that the ability to recover from the stationary phase was impaired. Methylation is restored in vivo by complementing with a recombinant copy of yibK. Despite being one of the smallest characterized α/β knot proteins, YibK independently catalyzes the methyl transfer from S-adenosyl-L-methionine to the 2'-OH of the wobble nucleotide; YibK recognition of this target requires a pyridine at position 34 and N⁶-(isopentenyl)-2-methylthioadenosine at position 37. YibK is one of the last remaining E. coli tRNA modification enzymes to be identified and is now renamed TrmL.

  3. Enantioselectivity in the methylation of the catecholic phase I metabolites of methylenedioxy designer drugs and their capability to inhibit catechol-O-methyltransferase-catalyzed dopamine 3-methylation.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Markus R; Maurer, Hans H

    2009-06-01

    The designer drugs R,S-3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy), R,S-3,4-methylenedioxy-ethylamphetamine (MDEA, Eve), and R,S-N-methyl-benzodioxolyl-butanamine (MBDB, Eden) are chiral compounds, and their in vitro and in vivo metabolism is enantioselective with a preference for the S-enantiomer caused in part by P450-mediated demethylenation. As the elimination of the catecholamine metabolites could also be enantioselective, the aim of the present study was to investigate the O-methylation to the corresponding methoxy derivatives catalyzed by the soluble or membrane-bound form of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). As all three compounds showed substrate inhibition effects during the incubation, their inhibition potential was quantified using the methylation of dopamine as a marker reaction. For investigation of the catechol-O-methylation catalyzed by the soluble form of the COMT (sCOMT), incubations with human liver cytosol (HLC) were performed. Human liver microsomes (HLM) were used for investigation of the membrane-bound form. For inhibition studies, 3-hydroxytyramine (dopamine) was incubated in HLC. The respective catechols were added at various concentrations to check whether they influence the methylation of 3-hydroxytyramine. Our data showed that the S-enantiomers of all studied catecholamines were preferably O-methylated by both types of COMT. Comparing the resulting kinetics of the HLC and HLM assays, the affinity for all substrates was 10-fold higher for the membrane-bound COMT, whereas the turnover rate was 10-fold higher for the soluble COMT. Uncompetitive inhibition of dopamine methylation could be observed for all tested catechols. In conclusion, elimination of the catecholamine metabolites of MDMA, MDEA, and MBDB was shown to be enantioselective and might therefore contribute to the different pharmacokinetic properties observed for both enantiomers. Furthermore, the catecholic metabolites were identified to be uncompetitive inhibitors

  4. The impact of the catechol-O-methyltransferase genotype on the acute responsiveness of vascular reactivity to a green tea extract.

    PubMed

    Miller, Rosalind J; Jackson, Kim G; Dadd, Tony; Mayes, Andrew E; Brown, A Louise; Minihane, Anne M

    2011-04-01

    The beneficial effects of green tea catechins, such as the proposed improvement in endothelial function, may be influenced by phase II metabolism during and after absorption. The methylation enzyme, catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), has a missense mutation rs4680 (G to A), proposed to result in a 40 % reduction in enzyme activity. In the present pilot study, twenty subjects (ten of each homozygous COMT genotype) were recruited. Green tea extract capsules (836 mg green tea catechins) were given in a fasted state, and a high-carbohydrate breakfast was given after 60 min. Blood samples and vascular function measurements were taken at regular intervals. The change in digital volume pulse stiffness index (SI) from baseline was shown to be different between genotype groups at 120 and 240 min, with a lower SI in the GG individuals (P ≤ 0·044). The change in blood pressure from baseline also differed between genotype groups, with a greater increase in systolic (P = 0·023) and diastolic (P = 0·034) blood pressure at 120 min in the GG group. The GG [corrected] group was shown to have a greater increase in insulin concentrations at 120 min (P = 0·019) and 180 min (P = 0·008) compared with baseline, despite similar glucose profiles. No genotypic differences were found in vascular reactivity measured using laser Doppler iontophoresis, total nitrite, lipids, plasma total antioxidant capacity or inflammatory markers after ingestion of the green tea extract. In conclusion, SI and insulin response to the glucose load differed between the COMT genotype groups, and this may be suggestive of a green tea extract and genotype interaction.

  5. Enzymatic, expression and structural divergences among carboxyl O-methyltransferases after gene duplication and speciation in Nicotiana.

    PubMed

    Hippauf, Frank; Michalsky, Elke; Huang, Ruiqi; Preissner, Robert; Barkman, Todd J; Piechulla, Birgit

    2010-02-01

    Methyl salicylate and methyl benzoate have important roles in a variety of processes including pollinator attraction and plant defence. These compounds are synthesized by salicylic acid, benzoic acid and benzoic acid/salicylic acid carboxyl methyltransferases (SAMT, BAMT and BSMT) which are members of the SABATH gene family. Both SAMT and BSMT were isolated from Nicotiana suaveolens, Nicotiana alata, and Nicotiana sylvestris allowing us to discern levels of enzyme divergence resulting from gene duplication in addition to species divergence. Phylogenetic analyses showed that Nicotiana SAMTs and BSMTs evolved in separate clades and the latter can be differentiated into the BSMT1 and the newly established BSMT2 branch. Although SAMT and BSMT orthologs showed minimal change coincident with species divergences, substantial evolutionary change of enzyme activity and expression patterns occurred following gene duplication. After duplication, the BSMT enzymes evolved higher preference for benzoic acid (BA) than salicylic acid (SA) whereas SAMTs maintained ancestral enzymatic preference for SA over BA. Expression patterns are largely complementary in that BSMT transcripts primarily accumulate in flowers, leaves and stems whereas SAMT is expressed mostly in roots. A novel enzyme, nicotinic acid carboxyl methyltransferase (NAMT), which displays a high degree of activity with nicotinic acid was discovered to have evolved in N. gossei from an ancestral BSMT. Furthermore a SAM-dependent synthesis of methyl anthranilate via BSMT2 is reported and contrasts with alternative biosynthetic routes previously proposed. While BSMT in flowers is clearly involved in methyl benzoate synthesis to attract pollinators, its function in other organs and tissues remains obscure.

  6. Gonadectomy and hormone replacement exert region- and enzyme isoform-specific effects on monoamine oxidase and catechol-O-methyltransferase activity in prefrontal cortex and neostriatum of adult male rats.

    PubMed

    Meyers, B; D'Agostino, A; Walker, J; Kritzer, M F

    2010-02-03

    Sex differences and gonadal hormone influences are well known for diverse aspects of forebrain amine and indolamine neurotransmitter systems, the cognitive and affective functions they govern and their malfunction in mental illness. This study explored whether hormone regulation/dysregulation of these systems could be related to gonadal steroid effects on catechol-O-methyltransferase and monoamine oxidase which are principal enzymatic controllers of forebrain dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine levels. Driven by male over female differences in cortical enzyme activities, by male-specific associations between monoamine oxidase and catechol-O-methyltransferase gene polymorphisms and cognitive and dysfunction in disease and by male-specific consequences of gene knockouts in mice, the question of hormone sensitivity was addressed here using a male rat model where prefrontal dopamine levels and related behaviors are also known to be affected. Specifically, quantitative O-methylation and oxidative deamination assays were used to compare the activities of catechol-O-methyltransferase's soluble and membrane-bound isoforms and of monoamine oxidase's A and B isoforms in the pregenual medial prefrontal cortex and dorsal striatum of male rats that were sham operated, gonadectomized or gonadectomized and supplemented with testosterone propionate or with estradiol for 28 days. These studies revealed significant effects of hormone replacement but not gonadectomy on the soluble but not the membrane-bound isorfom of catechol-O-methyltransferase in both striatum and cortex. A significant, cortex-specific testosterone-but not estradiol-attenuated effect (increase) of gonadectomy on monoamine oxidase's A but not B isoform was also observed. Although none of these actions suggest potential roles in the regulation/dysregulation of prefrontal dopamine, the suppressive effects of testosterone on cortical monoamine oxidase-A that were observed could have bearing on the increased

  7. Functional Analysis of Genetic Variation in Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT): Effects on mRNA, Protein, and Enzyme Activity in Postmortem Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jingshan; Lipska, Barbara K.; Halim, Nader; Ma, Quang D.; Matsumoto, Mitsuyuki; Melhem, Samer; Kolachana, Bhaskar S.; Hyde, Thomas M.; Herman, Mary M.; Apud, Jose; Egan, Michael F.; Kleinman, Joel E.; Weinberger, Daniel R.

    2004-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a key enzyme in the elimination of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex of the human brain. Genetic variation in the COMT gene (MIM 116790) has been associated with altered prefrontal cortex function and higher risk for schizophrenia, but the specific alleles and their functional implications have been controversial. We analyzed the effects of several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within COMT on mRNA expression levels (using reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis), protein levels (using Western blot analysis), and enzyme activity (using catechol methylation) in a large sample (n = 108) of postmortem human prefrontal cortex tissue, which predominantly expresses the -membrane-bound isoform. A common coding SNP, Val158Met (rs4680), significantly affected protein abundance and enzyme activity but not mRNA expression levels, suggesting that differences in protein integrity account for the difference in enzyme activity between alleles. A SNP in intron 1 (rs737865) and a SNP in the 3′ flanking region (rs165599)—both of which have been reported to contribute to allelic expression differences and to be associated with schizophrenia as part of a haplotype with Val—had no effect on mRNA expression levels, protein immunoreactivity, or enzyme activity. In lymphocytes from 47 subjects, we confirmed a similar effect on enzyme activity in samples with the Val/Met genotype but no effect in samples with the intron 1 or 3′ SNPs. Separate analyses revealed that the subject's sex, as well as the presence of a SNP in the P2 promoter region (rs2097603), had small effects on COMT enzyme activity. Using site-directed mutagenesis of mouse COMT cDNA, followed by in vitro translation, we found that the conversion of Leu at the homologous position into Met or Val progressively and significantly diminished enzyme activity. Thus, although we cannot exclude a more complex genetic basis for functional effects of COMT, Val is a

  8. Differential Effects of the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Genotype on the Cognitive Function of Schizophrenia Patients and Healthy Japanese Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Tsuchimine, Shoko; Yasui-Furukori, Norio; Kaneda, Ayako; Kaneko, Sunao

    2013-01-01

    Background The functional polymorphism Val158Met in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene has been associated with differences in prefrontal cognitive functions in patients with schizophrenia and healthy individuals. Several studies have indicated that the Met allele is associated with better performance on measures of cognitive function. We investigated whether the COMT Val158Met genotype was associated with cognitive function in 149 healthy controls and 118 patients with schizophrenia. Methods Cognitive function, including verbal memory, working memory, motor speed, attention, executive function and verbal fluency, was assessed by the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS-J). We employed a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and a multiple regression analysis to determine the associations between the COMT Val158Met genotype and the BACS-J measurements. Results The one-way ANOVA revealed a significant difference in the scores on the Tower of London, a measure of executive function, between the different Val158Met genotypes in the healthy controls (p = 0.023), and a post-hoc analysis showed significant differences between the scores on the Tower of London in the val/val genotype group (18.6 ± 2.4) compared to the other two groups (17.6 ± 2.7 for val/met and 17.1 ± 3.2 for met/met; p = 0.027 and p = 0.024, respectively). Multiple regression analyses revealed that executive function was significantly correlated with the Val158Met genotype (p = 0.003). However, no evidence was found for an effect of the COMT on any cognitive domains of the BACS-J in the patients with schizophrenia. Conclusion These data support the hypothesis that the COMT Val158Met genotype maintains an optimal level of dopamine activity. Further studies should be performed that include a larger sample size and include patients on and off medication, as these patients would help to confirm our findings. PMID:24282499

  9. A Novel Sensitive Method to Measure Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Activity Unravels the Presence of This Activity in Extracellular Vesicles Released by Rat Hepatocytes.

    PubMed

    Casal, Enriqueta; Palomo, Laura; Cabrera, Diana; Falcon-Perez, Juan M

    2016-01-01

    There is a clear need for drug treatments to be selected according to the characteristics of an individual patient, in order to improve efficacy and reduce the number and severity of adverse drug reactions. One of the main enzymes to take into account in pharmacogenomics is catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT), which catalyzes the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosylmethionine to catechols and catecholamines, like the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Although, most of this enzyme is associated to intracellular vesicles, recently it has also been detected in extracellular vesicles secreted by hepatocytes and in serum circulating vesicles. COMT has implications in many neurological and psychiatric disorders like Parkinson's disease, chronic fatigue, pain response, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorders. Remarkably, genetic variations of COMT affect its activity and are associated to various human disorders from psychiatric diseases to estrogen-induced cancers. Consequently, the establishment of new methods to evaluate COMT activity is an important aspect to investigate the biology of this drug-metabolizing enzyme. Herein, we have developed a sensitive and selective method to determine COMT activity. We first optimized the activity in rat liver incubated with two different substrates; norepinephrine and dopamine. The enzymatically formed products (normetanephrine and 3-methoxytyramine, respectively) were extracted by solid-phase extraction using weak cation exchange cartridges, chromatographically separated, and detected and quantified using a mass spectrometer. The range of quantitation for both products was from 0.005 to 25 μg/mL. This methodology offers acceptable recovery for both enzymatic products (≥75%) and good accuracy and precision (≤15%). The lower limit of quantifications were 0.01 and 0.005 μM for 3-methoxytyramine and normetanephrine, respectively. Importantly, this sensitive assay was able to detect the presence of

  10. Dopamine D3 Receptor Ser9Gly and Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphisms and Acute Pain in Sickle Cell Disease

    PubMed Central

    Jhun, Ellie; He, Ying; Yao, Yingwei; Molokie, Robert E.; Wilkie, Diana J.; Wang, Zaijie Jim

    2014-01-01

    Background Pain in sickle cell disease (SCD) is characterized by episodes of acute pain, primarily responsible for acute health care utilization, and persistent chronic pain. Pain severity and frequency vary significantly among SCD patients. In this study, we investigated the possible contribution of monoamine gene polymorphisms to pain variation. Methods Adult subjects with SCD completed PAINReportIt®, a computerized McGill Pain Questionnaire, from which we calculated the Composite Pain Index. Utilization data were obtained from the medical record and biweekly telephone calls for 12 months. Utilization is defined as admissions to the emergency department and/or the acute care center resulting from a sickle cell pain crisis. We performed genotyping for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met (rs4680) and dopamine D3 receptor(DRD3) Ser9Gly (rs6280) polymorphisms, which were analyzed for associations with pain phenotypes. Results Binary logistic models revealed that DRD3 Ser9Gly heterozygote patients were more likely not to have an acute pain crisis (odds ratio [OR] [95% confidence interval (CI)], 4.37 [1.39, 22.89]; p=0.020), which remained so when demographic variables were considered (OR [95% CI], 4.53 [1.41, 28.58]; p=0.016). COMT Val158Met Met allele showed lower probability for zero utilization (OR [95% CI], 0.32 [0.12, 0.83]; p=0.020) than the Val allele. In the negative binomial regression analysis, subjects with COMT Met/Met genotype had utilization incident rate ratio [95% CI] of 2.20 [1.21, 3.99] over those with Val/Val (p=0.010). Conclusions These exploratory findings suggest that DRD3 Ser9Gly and COMT Val158Met may contribute to pain heterogeneity in SCD, as suggested by the different rates of acute pain crisis. Specifically, SCD patients with the DRD3 homozygote genotypes, COMT 158 Met allele or Met/Met genotype are more likely to have acute care utilization, an indicator of acute pain. These results, however, will need to be further examined in

  11. Detoxication of structurally diverse polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) o-quinones by human recombinant catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) via O-methylation of PAH catechols.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li; Jin, Yi; Chen, Mo; Huang, Meng; Harvey, Ronald G; Blair, Ian A; Penning, Trevor M

    2011-07-22

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are environmental and tobacco carcinogens. Metabolic activation of intermediate PAH trans-dihydrodiols by aldo-keto reductases (AKRs) leads to the formation of electrophilic and redox-active o-quinones. We investigated whether O-methylation by human recombinant soluble catechol-O-methyltransferase (S-COMT) is a feasible detoxication step for a panel of structurally diverse PAH-catechols produced during the redox-cycling process. Classes of PAH non-K-region o-quinones (bay region, methylated bay region, and fjord region o-quinones) produced by AKRs were employed in the studies. PAH o-quinones were reduced to the corresponding catechols by dithiothreitol under anaerobic conditions and then further O-methylated by human S-COMT in the presence of S-[³H]adenosyl-l-methionine as a methyl group donor. The formation of the O-methylated catechols was detected by HPLC-UV coupled with in-line radiometric detection, and unlabeled products were also characterized by LC-MS/MS. Human S-COMT was able to catalyze O-methylation of all of the PAH-catechols and generated two isomeric metabolites in different proportions. LC-MS/MS showed that each isomer was a mono-O-methylated metabolite. ¹H NMR was used to assign the predominant positional isomer of benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-catechol as the O-8-monomethylated catechol. The catalytic efficiency (k(cat)/K(m)) varied among different classes of PAH-catechols by 500-fold. The ability of S-COMT to produce two isomeric products from PAH-catechols was rationalized using the crystal structure of the enzyme. We provide evidence that O-8-monomethylated benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-catechol is formed in three different human lung cell lines. It is concluded that human S-COMT may play a critical role in the detoxication of PAH o-quinones generated by AKRs.

  12. Green Tea Extract and Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Genotype Modify Fasting Serum Insulin and Plasma Adiponectin Concentrations in a Randomized Controlled Trial of Overweight and Obese Postmenopausal Women.

    PubMed

    Dostal, Allison M; Samavat, Hamed; Espejo, Luis; Arikawa, Andrea Y; Stendell-Hollis, Nicole R; Kurzer, Mindy S

    2016-01-01

    Green tea consumption has been associated with favorable changes in body weight and obesity-related hormones, although it is not known whether these changes result from green tea polyphenols or caffeine. We examined the impact of decaffeinated green tea extract (GTE) containing 843 mg of (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate on anthropometric variables, obesity-associated hormones, and glucose homeostasis. The Minnesota Green Tea Trial was a 12-mo randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 937 healthy postmenopausal women assigned to either decaffeinated GTE (1315 mg total catechins/d) or a placebo, stratified by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) genotype. This study was conducted in a subset of 237 overweight and obese participants [body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m(2)]. No changes in energy intake, body weight, BMI, or waist circumference (WC) were observed over 12 mo in women taking GTE (n = 117) or placebo (n = 120). No differences were seen in circulating leptin, ghrelin, adiponectin, or glucose concentrations at month 12. Participants randomly assigned to GTE with baseline insulin ≥10 μIU/mL (n = 23) had a decrease in fasting serum insulin from baseline to month 12 (-1.43 ± 0.59 μIU/mL), whereas those randomly assigned to placebo with baseline insulin ≥10 μIU/mL (n = 19) had an increase in insulin over 12 mo (0.55 ± 0.64 μIU/mL, P < 0.01). Participants with the homozygous high-activity (G/G) form of COMT had significantly lower adiponectin (5.97 ± 0.50 compared with 7.58 ± 0.53 μg/mL, P = 0.03) and greater insulin concentrations (7.63 ± 0.53 compared with 6.18 ± 0.36 μIU/mL, P = 0.02) at month 12 compared with those with the low-activity (A/A) genotype, regardless of treatment group. Decaffeinated GTE was not associated with reductions in body weight, BMI, or WC and did not alter energy intake or mean hormone concentrations in healthy postmenopausal women over 12 mo. GTE decreased fasting insulin concentrations in those with

  13. Genetic variation in catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and obesity in the prostate, lung, colorectal, and ovarian (PLCO) cancer screening trial.

    PubMed

    Wang, Sophia S; Morton, Lindsay M; Bergen, Andrew W; Lan, Elizabeth Z; Chatterjee, Nilanjan; Kvale, Paul; Hayes, Richard B; Chanock, Stephen J; Caporaso, Neil E

    2007-08-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is an important modulator in the catabolism of extraneural dopamine, which plays an important role in drug reward mechanisms. It is hypothesized that genetic variations in the COMT gene, which can result in a three to fourfold difference in COMT enzyme activity, may be associated with several reward-motivated behaviors. The aim of our study was to examine the relationship between COMT polymorphisms with smoking, obesity and alcohol. Three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in COMT were genotyped in 2,371 participants selected randomly from the screening arm of the PLCO Cancer Screening Trial after stratifying by sex, age, and smoking status. Smoking, obesity, and alcohol consumption were assessed by questionnaire. SNP and haplotype associations were estimated using odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) derived from conditional logistic regression models, adjusted for race/ethnicity. The COMT Ex4-76C > G (Leu136Leu) polymorphism was statistically significantly associated with individuals who had >30% increases in BMI from ages 20 to 50 years, compared to those with 0-5% increase in BMI (0-5%) over the same age period: (CC is referent; OR(CG )= 1.42, OR(GG )= 1.46, P (trend )= 0.06). By sex, the increased risk was further pronounced among females (OR(CG )= 1.50, OR(GG )= 2.10, P (trend )= 0.03). Consistent with our analyses of single polymorphisms, individuals whose BMI increased >30% from ages 20 to 50 years were more likely than individuals with 0-5% increases in BMI to possess COMT haplotypes [COMT Ex3-104C > T-COMT Ex4-76 C > G-COMT Ex4-12 A > G] that included the variant allele for COMT Ex4-76 C > G: C-G-G (T-C-A is referent: OR(C-G-G )= 1.33, 95% CI 1.01-1.77) and C-G-A (OR(C-G-A )= 1.79, 95% CI 0.72-4.49). We observed no association between any of the COMT polymorphisms with smoking behavior or alcohol intake. The COMT Ex4-76C > G (Leu136Leu) polymorphism appears to play a role in large increases in BMI

  14. Catechol metabolites of zeranol and 17β-estradiol: a comparative in vitro study on the induction of oxidative DNA damage and methylation by catechol-O-methyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Fleck, Stefanie C; Hildebrand, Andreas A; Pfeiffer, Erika; Metzler, Manfred

    2012-04-05

    α-Zearalanol (α-ZAL, zeranol) is a highly estrogenic macrocyclic β-resorcylic acid lactone, which is used as a growth promotor for cattle in various countries. We have recently reported that α-ZAL and its major metabolite zearalanone (ZAN) are hydroxylated at the aromatic ring by microsomes from human liver in vitro, thereby forming two catechol metabolites each. Thus, the oxidative metabolism of α-ZAL and ZAN resembles that of the endogenous steroidal estrogens 17β-estradiol (E2) and estrone (E1), which also give rise to two catechols each. As these catechol metabolites are believed to mediate the carcinogenicity of E2 and E1 by causing oxidative DNA damage and DNA adducts, their methylation by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is an important inactivation pathway. Here we report that hepatic microsomes from five species generate catechol metabolites of α-ZAL and ZAN, the highest amounts being formed by human liver microsomes, followed by rat, mouse, steer and swine. The microsomal extracts and the individual catechols of α-ZAL, ZAN, E2 and E1 were found to induce oxidative DNA damage, as measured by the formation of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine in a cell-free system. The ranking of pro-oxidant activity was 15-HO-ZAN>15-HO-α-ZAL≈4-HO-E2/E1≈2-HO-E2/E1>13-HO-ZAN>13-HO-α-ZAL. With respect to the rate of methylation by human hepatic COMT, the ranking was 2-HO-E2/E1>4-HO-E2/E1>15-HO-α-ZAL/ZAN>13-HO-α-ZAL/ZAN. Thus, some catechol metabolites of α-ZAL and ZAN are better pro-oxidants and poorer substrates of COMT than the catechols of E2 and E1. These findings warrant further investigations into the genotoxic potential of α-ZAL, which may constitute another biological activity in addition to its well-known estrogenicity.

  15. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism and Clinical Response to Antipsychotic Treatment in Schizophrenia and Schizo-Affective Disorder Patients: a Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Eric; Zai, Clement C.; Lisoway, Amanda; Maciukiewicz, Malgorzata; Felsky, Daniel; Tiwari, Arun K.; Bishop, Jeffrey R.; Ikeda, Masashi; Molero, Patricio; Ortuno, Felipe; Porcelli, Stefano; Samochowiec, Jerzy; Mierzejewski, Pawel; Gao, Shugui; Crespo-Facorro, Benedicto; Pelayo-Terán, José M; Kaur, Harpreet; Kukreti, Ritushree; Meltzer, Herbert Y.; Lieberman, Jeffrey A.; Potkin, Steven G.; Müller, Daniel J.

    2016-01-01

    Background: The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme plays a crucial role in dopamine degradation, and the COMT Val158Met polymorphism (rs4680) is associated with significant differences in enzymatic activity and consequently dopamine concentrations in the prefrontal cortex. Multiple studies have analyzed the COMT Val158Met variant in relation to antipsychotic response. Here, we conducted a meta-analysis examining the relationship between COMT Val158Met and antipsychotic response. Methods: Searches using PubMed, Web of Science, and PsycInfo databases (03/01/2015) yielded 23 studies investigating COMT Val158Met variation and antipsychotic response in schizophrenia and schizo-affective disorder. Responders/nonresponders were defined using each study’s original criteria. If no binary response definition was used, authors were asked to define response according to at least 30% Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale score reduction (or equivalent in other scales). Analysis was conducted under a fixed-effects model. Results: Ten studies met inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis. Five additional antipsychotic-treated samples were analyzed for Val158Met and response and included in the meta-analysis (ntotal=1416). Met/Met individuals were significantly more likely to respond than Val-carriers (P=.039, ORMet/Met=1.37, 95% CI: 1.02–1.85). Met/Met patients also experienced significantly greater improvement in positive symptoms relative to Val-carriers (P=.030, SMD=0.24, 95% CI: 0.024–0.46). Posthoc analyses on patients treated with atypical antipsychotics (n=1207) showed that Met/Met patients were significantly more likely to respond relative to Val-carriers (P=.0098, ORMet/Met=1.54, 95% CI: 1.11–2.14), while no difference was observed for typical-antipsychotic-treated patients (n=155) (P=.65). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the COMT Val158Met polymorphism is associated with response to antipsychotics in schizophrenia and schizo-affective disorder

  16. Assessment of Cellular Estrogenic Activity Based on Estrogen Receptor-Mediated Reduction of Soluble-Form Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Expression in an ELISA-Based System

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Philip Wing-Lok; Tse, Zero Ho-Man; Liu, Hui-Fang; Lu, Song; Ho, Jessica Wing-Man; Kung, Michelle Hiu-Wai; Ramsden, David Boyer; Ho, Shu-Leong

    2013-01-01

    Xenoestrogens are either natural or synthetic compounds that mimic the effects of endogenous estrogen. These compounds, such as bisphenol-A (BPA), and phthalates, are commonly found in plastic wares. Exposure to these compounds poses major risk to human health because of the potential to cause endocrine disruption. There is huge demand for a wide range of chemicals to be assessed for such potential for the sake of public health. Classical in vivo assays for endocrine disruption are comprehensive but time-consuming and require sacrifice of experimental animals. Simple preliminary in vitro screening assays can reduce the time and expense involved. We previously demonstrated that catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is transcriptionally regulated by estrogen via estrogen receptor (ER). Therefore, detecting corresponding changes of COMT expression in estrogen-responsive cells may be a useful method to estimate estrogenic effects of various compounds. We developed a novel cell-based ELISA to evaluate cellular response to estrogenicity by reduction of soluble-COMT expression in ER-positive MCF-7 cells exposed to estrogenic compounds. In contrast to various existing methods that only detect bioactivity, this method elucidates direct physiological effect in a living cell in response to a compound. We validated our assay using three well-characterized estrogenic plasticizers - BPA, benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), and di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP). Cells were exposed to either these plasticizers or 17β-estradiol (E2) in estrogen-depleted medium with or without an ER-antagonist, ICI 182,780, and COMT expression assayed. Exposure to each of these plasticizers (10-9-10-7M) dose-dependently reduced COMT expression (p<0.05), which was blocked by ICI 182,780. Reduction of COMT expression was readily detectable in cells exposed to picomolar level of E2, comparable to other in vitro assays of similar sensitivity. To satisfy the demand for in vitro assays targeting different cellular

  17. Assessment of cellular estrogenic activity based on estrogen receptor-mediated reduction of soluble-form catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) expression in an ELISA-based system.

    PubMed

    Ho, Philip Wing-Lok; Tse, Zero Ho-Man; Liu, Hui-Fang; Lu, Song; Ho, Jessica Wing-Man; Kung, Michelle Hiu-Wai; Ramsden, David Boyer; Ho, Shu-Leong

    2013-01-01

    Xenoestrogens are either natural or synthetic compounds that mimic the effects of endogenous estrogen. These compounds, such as bisphenol-A (BPA), and phthalates, are commonly found in plastic wares. Exposure to these compounds poses major risk to human health because of the potential to cause endocrine disruption. There is huge demand for a wide range of chemicals to be assessed for such potential for the sake of public health. Classical in vivo assays for endocrine disruption are comprehensive but time-consuming and require sacrifice of experimental animals. Simple preliminary in vitro screening assays can reduce the time and expense involved. We previously demonstrated that catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is transcriptionally regulated by estrogen via estrogen receptor (ER). Therefore, detecting corresponding changes of COMT expression in estrogen-responsive cells may be a useful method to estimate estrogenic effects of various compounds. We developed a novel cell-based ELISA to evaluate cellular response to estrogenicity by reduction of soluble-COMT expression in ER-positive MCF-7 cells exposed to estrogenic compounds. In contrast to various existing methods that only detect bioactivity, this method elucidates direct physiological effect in a living cell in response to a compound. We validated our assay using three well-characterized estrogenic plasticizers - BPA, benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), and di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP). Cells were exposed to either these plasticizers or 17β-estradiol (E2) in estrogen-depleted medium with or without an ER-antagonist, ICI 182,780, and COMT expression assayed. Exposure to each of these plasticizers (10(-9)-10(-7)M) dose-dependently reduced COMT expression (p<0.05), which was blocked by ICI 182,780. Reduction of COMT expression was readily detectable in cells exposed to picomolar level of E2, comparable to other in vitro assays of similar sensitivity. To satisfy the demand for in vitro assays targeting different cellular

  18. Significant association of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) haplotypes with nicotine dependence in male and female smokers of two ethnic populations.

    PubMed

    Beuten, Joke; Payne, Thomas J; Ma, Jennie Z; Li, Ming D

    2006-03-01

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene plays a prominent role in dopaminergic circuits central to drug reward. Allelic variants within the COMT gene are therefore potential candidates for examining interindividual differences in vulnerability to nicotine dependence (ND). We analyzed five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including the Val/Met variant (rs4680), which results in a three- to four-fold difference in enzyme activity within COMT, for association with the three ND measures, SQ, HSI, and FTND, in 602 nuclear families of African-American (AA) or European-American (EA) origin. The Val/Met variant showed a significant association with the three ND measures in the pooled and EA samples and with FTND in the AA sample. Haplotype analysis revealed a major protective A-G-T haplotype (frequency 23.6%) for rs740603-rs4680-rs174699 in the AA sample (minimum Z=-3.35; P=0.0005 for FTND), a major protective T-G-T haplotype (frequency 15.2%; minimum Z=-2.92; P=0.003 for FTND) in the EA sample, and a high-risk C-A-T haplotype (frequency 16.9%; minimum Z=3.16; P=0.002 for SQ) in the AA sample for rs933271-rs4680-rs174699. Furthermore, we found that the significant haplotypes within COMT were gender-specific and the significantly associated A-G-T is protective in AA females only, whereas T-G-T is protective in EA males only. Moreover, we found a major high-risk T-A-T haplotype (frequency 56.7%) that showed significant association with the three ND measures in EA males. Further examination of two protective haplotypes, A-G-T in AAs and T-G-T in EAs, indicated that the low COMT enzyme activity Met allele is protective to become nicotine dependent. In summary, our results provide evidence for a role of COMT in the susceptibility to ND and further confirm that its effect is ethnic and gender specific.

  19. A Novel Sensitive Method to Measure Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Activity Unravels the Presence of This Activity in Extracellular Vesicles Released by Rat Hepatocytes

    PubMed Central

    Casal, Enriqueta; Palomo, Laura; Cabrera, Diana; Falcon-Perez, Juan M.

    2016-01-01

    There is a clear need for drug treatments to be selected according to the characteristics of an individual patient, in order to improve efficacy and reduce the number and severity of adverse drug reactions. One of the main enzymes to take into account in pharmacogenomics is catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT), which catalyzes the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosylmethionine to catechols and catecholamines, like the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Although, most of this enzyme is associated to intracellular vesicles, recently it has also been detected in extracellular vesicles secreted by hepatocytes and in serum circulating vesicles. COMT has implications in many neurological and psychiatric disorders like Parkinson's disease, chronic fatigue, pain response, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorders. Remarkably, genetic variations of COMT affect its activity and are associated to various human disorders from psychiatric diseases to estrogen-induced cancers. Consequently, the establishment of new methods to evaluate COMT activity is an important aspect to investigate the biology of this drug-metabolizing enzyme. Herein, we have developed a sensitive and selective method to determine COMT activity. We first optimized the activity in rat liver incubated with two different substrates; norepinephrine and dopamine. The enzymatically formed products (normetanephrine and 3-methoxytyramine, respectively) were extracted by solid-phase extraction using weak cation exchange cartridges, chromatographically separated, and detected and quantified using a mass spectrometer. The range of quantitation for both products was from 0.005 to 25 μg/mL. This methodology offers acceptable recovery for both enzymatic products (≥75%) and good accuracy and precision (≤15%). The lower limit of quantifications were 0.01 and 0.005 μM for 3-methoxytyramine and normetanephrine, respectively. Importantly, this sensitive assay was able to detect the presence of

  20. Binding of the Methyl Donor S-Adenosyl-l-Methionine to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2′-O-Methyltransferase nsp16 Promotes Recruitment of the Allosteric Activator nsp10

    PubMed Central

    Aouadi, Wahiba; Blanjoie, Alexandre; Vasseur, Jean-Jacques; Debart, Françoise; Canard, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) nonstructural protein 16 (nsp16) is an S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM)-dependent 2′-O-methyltransferase (2′-O-MTase) that is thought to methylate the ribose 2′-OH of the first transcribed nucleotide (N1) of viral RNA cap structures. This 2′-O-MTase activity is regulated by nsp10. The 2′-O methylation prevents virus detection by cell innate immunity mechanisms and viral translation inhibition by the interferon-stimulated IFIT-1 protein. To unravel the regulation of nsp10/nsp16 2′-O-MTase activity, we used purified MERS-CoV nsp16 and nsp10. First, we showed that nsp16 recruited N7-methylated capped RNA and SAM. The SAM binding promotes the assembly of the enzymatically active nsp10/nsp16 complex that converted 7mGpppG (cap-0) into 7mGpppG2′Om (cap-1) RNA by 2′-OH methylation of N1 in a SAM-dependent manner. The subsequent release of SAH speeds up nsp10/nsp16 dissociation that stimulates the reaction turnover. Alanine mutagenesis and RNA binding assays allowed the identification of the nsp16 residues involved in RNA recognition forming the RNA binding groove (K46, K170, E203, D133, R38, Y47, and Y181) and the cap-0 binding site (Y30, Y132, and H174). Finally, we found that nsp10/nsp16 2′-O-MTase activity is sensitive to known MTase inhibitors, such as sinefungin and cap analogues. This characterization of the MERS-CoV 2′-O-MTase is a preliminary step toward the development of molecules to inhibit cap 2′-O methylation and to restore the host antiviral response. IMPORTANCE MERS-CoV codes for a cap 2′-O-methyltransferase that converts cap-0 into cap-1 structure in order to prevent virus detection by cell innate immunity mechanisms. We report the biochemical properties of MERS-CoV 2′O-methyltransferase, which is stimulated by nsp10 acting as an allosteric activator of the nsp16 2′-O-methyltransferase possibly through enhanced RNA binding affinity. In addition, we show that SAM

  1. Binding of the Methyl Donor S-Adenosyl-l-Methionine to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2'-O-Methyltransferase nsp16 Promotes Recruitment of the Allosteric Activator nsp10.

    PubMed

    Aouadi, Wahiba; Blanjoie, Alexandre; Vasseur, Jean-Jacques; Debart, Françoise; Canard, Bruno; Decroly, Etienne

    2017-03-01

    The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) nonstructural protein 16 (nsp16) is an S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM)-dependent 2'-O-methyltransferase (2'-O-MTase) that is thought to methylate the ribose 2'-OH of the first transcribed nucleotide (N1) of viral RNA cap structures. This 2'-O-MTase activity is regulated by nsp10. The 2'-O methylation prevents virus detection by cell innate immunity mechanisms and viral translation inhibition by the interferon-stimulated IFIT-1 protein. To unravel the regulation of nsp10/nsp16 2'-O-MTase activity, we used purified MERS-CoV nsp16 and nsp10. First, we showed that nsp16 recruited N7-methylated capped RNA and SAM. The SAM binding promotes the assembly of the enzymatically active nsp10/nsp16 complex that converted (7m)GpppG (cap-0) into (7m)GpppG2'Om (cap-1) RNA by 2'-OH methylation of N1 in a SAM-dependent manner. The subsequent release of SAH speeds up nsp10/nsp16 dissociation that stimulates the reaction turnover. Alanine mutagenesis and RNA binding assays allowed the identification of the nsp16 residues involved in RNA recognition forming the RNA binding groove (K46, K170, E203, D133, R38, Y47, and Y181) and the cap-0 binding site (Y30, Y132, and H174). Finally, we found that nsp10/nsp16 2'-O-MTase activity is sensitive to known MTase inhibitors, such as sinefungin and cap analogues. This characterization of the MERS-CoV 2'-O-MTase is a preliminary step toward the development of molecules to inhibit cap 2'-O methylation and to restore the host antiviral response. IMPORTANCE MERS-CoV codes for a cap 2'-O-methyltransferase that converts cap-0 into cap-1 structure in order to prevent virus detection by cell innate immunity mechanisms. We report the biochemical properties of MERS-CoV 2'O-methyltransferase, which is stimulated by nsp10 acting as an allosteric activator of the nsp16 2'-O-methyltransferase possibly through enhanced RNA binding affinity. In addition, we show that SAM promotes the formation of the

  2. Insect-Induced Conifer Defense. White Pine Weevil and Methyl Jasmonate Induce Traumatic Resinosis, de Novo Formed Volatile Emissions, and Accumulation of Terpenoid Synthase and Putative Octadecanoid Pathway Transcripts in Sitka Spruce1[w

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Barbara; Madilao, Lufiani L.; Ralph, Steven; Bohlmann, Jörg

    2005-01-01

    Stem-boring insects and methyl jasmonate (MeJA) are thought to induce similar complex chemical and anatomical defenses in conifers. To compare insect- and MeJA-induced terpenoid responses, we analyzed traumatic oleoresin mixtures, emissions of terpenoid volatiles, and expression of terpenoid synthase (TPS) genes in Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) following attack by white pine weevils (Pissodes strobi) or application of MeJA. Both insects and MeJA caused traumatic resin accumulation in stems, with more accumulation induced by the weevils. Weevil-induced terpenoid emission profiles were also more complex than emissions induced by MeJA. Weevil feeding caused a rapid release of a blend of monoterpene olefins, presumably by passive evaporation of resin compounds from stem feeding sites. These compounds were not found in MeJA-induced emissions. Both weevils and MeJA caused delayed, diurnal emissions of (−)-linalool, indicating induced de novo biosynthesis of this compound. TPS transcripts strongly increased in stems upon insect attack or MeJA treatment. Time courses and intensity of induced TPS transcripts were different for monoterpene synthases, sesquiterpene synthases, and diterpene synthases. Increased levels of weevil- and MeJA-induced TPS transcripts accompanied major changes in terpenoid accumulation in stems. Induced TPS expression profiles in needles were less complex than those in stems and matched induced de novo emissions of (−)-linalool. Overall, weevils and MeJA induced similar, but not identical, terpenoid defense responses in Sitka spruce. Findings of insect- and MeJA-induced accumulation of allene oxide synthase-like and allene oxide cyclase-like transcripts are discussed in the context of traumatic resinosis and induced volatile emissions in this gymnosperm system. PMID:15618433

  3. The flexible mind is associated with the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism: evidence for a role of dopamine in the control of task-switching.

    PubMed

    Colzato, Lorenza S; Waszak, Florian; Nieuwenhuis, Sander; Posthuma, Danielle; Hommel, Bernhard

    2010-07-01

    Genetic variability related to the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene (Val158Met polymorphism) has received increasing attention as a possible modulator of cognitive control functions. Recent evidence suggests that the Val158Met genotype may differentially affect cognitive stability and flexibility, in such a way that Val/Val homozygous individuals (who possess low prefrontal dopamine levels) may show more pronounced cognitive flexibility than Met/-carriers (who possess high prefrontal dopamine levels). To test this, healthy humans (n=87), genotyped for the Val158Met polymorphism at the COMT gene, performed a task-switching paradigm, which provides a relatively diagnostic index of cognitive flexibility. As predicted, Met/-carriers showed larger switching costs (i.e., less cognitive flexibility), F(1,85)=4.28, p<0.05, than Val/Val homozygous individuals. Our findings support the idea that low prefrontal dopamine levels promote cognitive flexibility. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Accumulate repeat accumulate codes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abbasfar, Aliazam; Divsalar, Dariush; Yao, Kung

    2004-01-01

    In this paper we propose an innovative channel coding scheme called 'Accumulate Repeat Accumulate codes' (ARA). This class of codes can be viewed as serial turbo-like codes, or as a subclass of Low Density Parity Check (LDPC) codes, thus belief propagation can be used for iterative decoding of ARA codes on a graph. The structure of encoder for this class can be viewed as precoded Repeat Accumulate (RA) code or as precoded Irregular Repeat Accumulate (IRA) code, where simply an accumulator is chosen as a precoder. Thus ARA codes have simple, and very fast encoder structure when they representing LDPC codes. Based on density evolution for LDPC codes through some examples for ARA codes, we show that for maximum variable node degree 5 a minimum bit SNR as low as 0.08 dB from channel capacity for rate 1/2 can be achieved as the block size goes to infinity. Thus based on fixed low maximum variable node degree, its threshold outperforms not only the RA and IRA codes but also the best known LDPC codes with the dame maximum node degree. Furthermore by puncturing the accumulators any desired high rate codes close to code rate 1 can be obtained with thresholds that stay close to the channel capacity thresholds uniformly. Iterative decoding simulation results are provided. The ARA codes also have projected graph or protograph representation that allows for high speed decoder implementation.

  5. Superoxide serves as a putative signal molecule for plant cell division: overexpression of CaRLK1 promotes the plant cell cycle via accumulation of O2(-) and decrease in H2 O2.

    PubMed

    Lee, Dong Ju; Choi, Hyun Jun; Moon, Mid-Eum; Chi, Youn-Tae; Ji, Kon-Young; Choi, Doil

    2017-02-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) exert both positive and negative effects on plant growth and development and therefore receive a great deal of attention in current research. A hot pepper, Capsicum annuum receptor-like kinase 1 (CaRLK1) was ectopically expressed in Nicotiana tabacum BY-2 cell and Nicotiana benthamiana plants. This ectopic expression of CaRLK1 enhanced cell division and proliferation in both heterologous systems. Apparently, CaRLK1 is involved in controlling the cell cycle, possibly by inducing expressions of cyclin B1, cyclin D3, cyclin-dependent protein kinase 3, condensin complex subunit 2 and anaphase-promoting complex subunit 11 genes. CaRLK1 overexpression also increased transcript accumulation of NADPH oxidase genes, generation of O2(-) and catalase (CAT) activity/protein levels. In parallel, it decreased cellular H2 O2 levels and cell size. Treatment with Tiron or diphenyleneiodonium (DPI) both decreased the cell division rate and O2(-) concentrations, but increased cellular H2 O2 levels. Tobacco BY-2 cells overexpressing CaRLK1 were more sensitive to amino-1,2,4-triazole (3-AT), a CAT inhibitor, than control cells, suggesting that the increased H2 O2 levels may not function as a signal for cell division and proliferation. Overexpression of CaRLK1 stimulated progression of the cell cycle from G0 /G1 phase into the S phase. It is concluded that the CaRLK1 protein plays a pivotal role in controlling the level of O2(-) as signaling molecule which promotes cell division, concomitant with a reduction in H2 O2 by the induction of CAT activity/protein.

  6. De novo transcriptome sequencing in Pueraria lobata to identify putative genes involved in isoflavones biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin; Li, Shutao; Li, Jia; Li, Changfu; Zhang, Yansheng

    2015-05-01

    Using Illumina sequencing technology, we have generated the large-scale transcriptome sequencing data and indentified many putative genes involved in isoflavones biosynthesis in Pueraria lobata. Pueraria lobata, a member of the Leguminosae family, is a traditional Chinese herb which has been used since ancient times. P. lobata root has extensive clinical usages, because it contains a rich source of isoflavones, including daidzin and puerarin. However, the knowledge of isoflavone metabolism and the characterization of corresponding genes in such a pathway remain largely unknown. In this study, de novo transcriptome of P. lobata root and leaf was sequenced using the Solexa sequencing platform. Over 140 million high-quality reads were assembled into 163,625 unigenes, of which about 43.1% were aligned to the Nr protein database. Using the RPKM (reads per kilo bases per million reads) method, 3,148 unigenes were found to be upregulated, and 2,011 genes were downregulated in the leaf as compared to those in the root. Towards a further understanding of these differentially expressed genes, Gene ontology enrichment and metabolic pathway enrichment analyses were performed. Based on these results, 47 novel structural genes were identified in the biosynthesis of isoflavones. Also, 22 putative UDP glycosyltransferases and 45 O-methyltransferases unigenes were identified as the candidates most likely to be involved in the tailoring processes of isoflavonoid downstream pathway. Moreover, MYB transcription factors were analyzed, and 133 of them were found to have higher expression levels in the roots than in the leaves. In conclusion, the de novo transcriptome investigation of these unique transcripts provided an invaluable resource for the global discovery of functional genes related to isoflavones biosynthesis in P. lobata.

  7. Polymethylated Myricetin in Trichomes of the Wild Tomato Species Solanum habrochaites and Characterization of Trichome-Specific 3′/5′- and 7/4′-Myricetin O-Methyltransferases1[C][W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Adam; Li, Chao; Shi, Feng; Jones, A. Daniel; Pichersky, Eran

    2011-01-01

    Flavonoids are a class of metabolites found in many plant species. They have been reported to serve several physiological roles, such as in defense against herbivores and pathogens and in protection against harmful ultraviolet radiation. They also serve as precursors of pigment compounds found in flowers, leaves, and seeds. Highly methylated, nonglycosylated derivatives of the flavonoid myricetin flavonoid, have been previously reported from a variety of plants, but O-methyltransferases responsible for their synthesis have not yet been identified. Here, we show that secreting glandular trichomes (designated types 1 and 4) and storage glandular trichomes (type 6) on the leaf surface of wild tomato (Solanum habrochaites accession LA1777) plants contain 3,7,3′-trimethyl myricetin, 3,7,3′,5′-tetramethyl myricetin, and 3,7,3′,4′,5′-pentamethyl myricetin, with gland types 1 and 4 containing severalfold more of these compounds than type 6 glands and with the tetramethylated compound predominating in all three gland types. We have also identified transcripts of two genes expressed in the glandular trichomes and showed that they encode enzymes capable of methylating myricetin at the 3′ and 5′ and the 7 and 4′ positions, respectively. Both genes are preferentially expressed in secreting glandular trichome types 1 and 4 and to a lesser degree in storage trichome type 6, and the levels of the proteins they encode are correspondingly higher in types 1 and 4 glands compared with type 6 glands. PMID:21343428

  8. Genetic moderation of the effects of cannabis: catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) affects the impact of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on working memory performance but not on the occurrence of psychotic experiences.

    PubMed

    Tunbridge, Elizabeth M; Dunn, Graham; Murray, Robin M; Evans, Nicole; Lister, Rachel; Stumpenhorst, Katharina; Harrison, Paul J; Morrison, Paul D; Freeman, Daniel

    2015-11-01

    Cannabis use can induce cognitive impairments and psychotic experiences. A functional polymorphism in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene (Val(158)Met) appears to influence the immediate cognitive and psychotic effects of cannabis, or ∆(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), its primary psychoactive ingredient. This study investigated the moderation of the impact of experimentally administered THC by COMT. Cognitive performance and psychotic experiences were studied in participants without a psychiatric diagnosis, using a between-subjects design (THC vs. placebo). The effect of COMT Val(158)Met genotype on the cognitive and psychotic effects of THC, administered intravenously in a double-blind, placebo-controlled manner to 78 participants who were vulnerable to paranoia, was examined. The results showed interactive effects of genotype and drug group (THC or placebo) on working memory, assayed using the Digit Span Backwards task. Specifically, THC impaired performance in COMT Val/Val, but not Met, carriers. In contrast, the effect of THC on psychotic experiences, measured using the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE) positive dimension, was unaffected by COMT genotype. This study is the largest to date examining the impact of COMT genotype on response to experimentally administered THC, and the first using a purely non-clinical cohort. The data suggest that COMT genotype moderates the cognitive, but not the psychotic, effects of acutely administered THC.

  9. Monoamine Oxidase A (MAOA) and Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Gene Polymorphisms Interact with Maternal Parenting in Association with Adolescent Reactive Aggression but not Proactive Aggression: Evidence of Differential Susceptibility.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wenxin; Cao, Cong; Wang, Meiping; Ji, Linqin; Cao, Yanmiao

    2016-04-01

    To date, whether and how gene-environment (G × E) interactions operate differently across distinct subtypes of aggression remains untested. More recently, in contrast with the diathesis-stress hypothesis, an alternative hypothesis of differential susceptibility proposes that individuals could be differentially susceptible to environments depending on their genotypes in a "for better and for worse" manner. The current study examined interactions between monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) T941G and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphisms with maternal parenting on two types of aggression: reactive and proactive. Moreover, whether these potential G × E interactions would be consistent with the diathesis-stress versus the differential susceptibility hypothesis was tested. Within the sample of 1399 Chinese Han adolescents (47.2 % girls, M age = 12.32 years, SD = 0.50), MAOA and COMT genes both interacted with positive parenting in their associations with reactive but not proactive aggression. Adolescents with T alleles/TT homozygotes of MAOA gene or Met alleles of COMT gene exhibited more reactive aggression when exposed to low positive parenting, but less reactive aggression when exposed to high positive parenting. These findings provide the first evidence for distinct G × E interaction effects on reactive versus proactive aggression and lend further support for the differential susceptibility hypothesis.

  10. Executive function performance and change in aging is predicted by apolipoprotein E, intensified by catechol-O-methyltransferase and brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and moderated by age and lifestyle.

    PubMed

    Sapkota, Shraddha; Bäckman, Lars; Dixon, Roger A

    2017-01-03

    Recent studies have reported several genetic, health, and aging interaction effects in predicting cognitive performance and change. We used an accelerated longitudinal design to examine interactions among genetic, lifestyle, and aging for executive function (EF) in non-demented older adults (n = 634; age range = 53-95 years). The polymorphisms were apolipoprotein E (APOE), catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). We tested (1) independent and additive effects of APOE, COMT, and BDNF and (2) APOE effect modification for COMT + BDNF, on EF performance and 9-year change as separated by age and lifestyle activities. First, APOE ε4+ carriers had poorer EF performance and steeper 9-year decline. Second, APOE ε4+ carriers with (1) BDNF Met/Met genotype and (2) increasing allelic risk in the COMT + BDNF risk panel had poorer EF performance; these effects were moderated by lifestyle activities (composite of everyday social, physical, and cognitive activities). Examining APOE effect modification for COMT + BDNF risk panel effects with other moderating factors may help identify complex neurobiological and genetic underpinnings of polygenic phenotypes such as EF in aging.

  11. Voxelwise eigenvector centrality mapping of the human functional connectome reveals an influence of the catechol-O-methyltransferase val158met polymorphism on the default mode and somatomotor network.

    PubMed

    Markett, Sebastian; Montag, Christian; Heeren, Behrend; Saryiska, Rayna; Lachmann, Bernd; Weber, Bernd; Reuter, Martin

    2016-06-01

    Functional connections between brain regions constitute the substrate of the human functional connectome, whose topography has been discussed as an endophenotype for psychiatric disorders. Genetic influences on the entire connectome, however, have been rarely investigated so far. We tested for connectome-wide influences of the val158met (rs4860) polymorphism on the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene by applying formal network analysis and eigenvector centrality mapping on the voxel level to resting-state functional magnetic imaging data. This approach finds brain regions that are central in the network by aggregating local and global connectivity patterns, most importantly without the requirement to select regions or networks of interest. The COMT variant linked to high enzyme activity increased network centrality in distributed brain areas that are known to constitute the brain's default mode network. Further results also indicated a COMT influence on areas implicated in the somatomotor network. These findings are in line with the polymorphism's alleged role in cognitive processing and its role in psychotic disorders. The study is the first to demonstrate the influence of a functional and behaviorally relevant genetic variant on connectome-wide functional connectivity and is an important step toward establishing the functional connectome as an endophenotype for psychiatric and behavioral phenotypes.

  12. Segregation and linkage studies of plasma dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH), erythrocyte catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), and platelet monoamine oxidase (MAO): possible linkage between the ABO locus and a gene controlling DBH activity.

    PubMed Central

    Goldin, L R; Gershon, E S; Lake, C R; Murphy, D L; McGinniss, M; Sparkes, R S

    1982-01-01

    Measurements of dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH), catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), and monoamine oxidase (MAO) along with 27 polymorphic marker phenotypes were available for 162 patients with major affective disorders and 1,125 of their relatives. Levels of enzymes were previously found not to be associated with illness. Pedigree analysis methods for quantitative traits are used to test single-gene hypotheses for segregation of DBH in 32 families with 411 individuals. COMT in 30 families with 351 individuals, and MAO in 50 families with 309 individuals. The familial distribution of both DBH and COMT are consistent with two codominant alleles at the same locus that account for 56% and 59% of the total variance, respectively. MAO activity cannot be shown to be segregating as a single major gene, but a purely nongenetic hypothesis is also rejected. A possible linkage of a locus for DBH to the ABO locus is indicated by a maximum lod score of 1.82 at 0% and 10% recombination fractions for males and females, respectively. A lod score of 0.61 at 0% recombination for a similar analysis in a single large pedigree was reported by Elston et al., making the combined lod score for the two studies equal to 2.32 at 0% recombination. PMID:6951409

  13. Dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2), dopamine transporter solute carrier family C6, member 4 (SLC6A3), and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) genes as moderators of the relation between maternal history of maltreatment and infant emotion regulation.

    PubMed

    Villani, Vanessa; Ludmer, Jaclyn; Gonzalez, Andrea; Levitan, Robert; Kennedy, James; Masellis, Mario; Basile, Vincenzo S; Wekerle, Christine; Atkinson, Leslie

    2017-08-14

    Although infants less than 18 months old are capable of engaging in self-regulatory behavior (e.g., avoidance, withdrawal, and orienting to other aspects of their environment), the use of self-regulatory strategies at this age (as opposed to relying on caregivers) is associated with elevated behavioral and physiological distress. This study investigated infant dopamine-related genotypes (dopamine receptor D2 [DRD2], dopamine transporter solute carrier family C6, member 4 [SLC6A3], and catechol-O-methyltransferase [COMT]) as they interact with maternal self-reported history of maltreatment to predict observed infant independent emotion regulation behavior. A community sample (N = 193) of mother-infant dyads participated in a toy frustration challenge at infant age 15 months, and infant emotion regulation behavior was coded. Buccal cells were collected for genotyping. Maternal maltreatment history significantly interacted with infant SLC6A3 and COMT genotypes, such that infants with more 10-repeat and valine alleles of SLC6A3 and COMT, respectively, relative to infants with fewer or no 10-repeat and valine alleles, utilized more independent (i.e., maladaptive) regulatory behavior if mother reported a more extensive maltreatment history, as opposed to less. The findings indicate that child genetic factors moderate the intergenerational impact of maternal maltreatment history. The results are discussed in terms of potential mechanism of Gene × Environment interaction.

  14. (1)H, (15)N, (13)C backbone resonance assignments of human soluble catechol O-methyltransferase in complex with S-adenosyl-L-methionine and 3,5-dinitrocatechol.

    PubMed

    Czarnota, Sylwia; Baxter, Nicola J; Cliff, Matthew J; Waltho, Jonathan P; Scrutton, Nigel S; Hay, Sam

    2017-04-01

    Catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) is an enzyme that plays a major role in catechol neurotransmitter deactivation. Inhibition of COMT can increase neurotransmitter levels, which provides a means of treatment for Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia and depression. COMT exists as two isozymes: a soluble cytoplasmic form (S-COMT), expressed in the liver and kidneys and a membrane-bound form (MB-COMT), found mostly in the brain. Here we report the backbone (1)H, (15)N and (13)C chemical shift assignments of S-COMT in complex with S-adenosyl-L-methionine, 3,5-dinitrocatechol and Mg(2+). Assignments were obtained by heteronuclear multidimensional NMR spectroscopy. In total, 97 % of all backbone resonances were assigned in the complex, with 205 out of a possible 215 residues assigned in the (1)H-(15)N TROSY spectrum. Prediction of solution secondary structure from a chemical shift analysis using the TALOS+ webserver is in good agreement with published X-ray crystal structures.

  15. Accumulate-Repeat-Accumulate-Accumulate-Codes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Divsalar, Dariush; Dolinar, Sam; Thorpe, Jeremy

    2004-01-01

    Inspired by recently proposed Accumulate-Repeat-Accumulate (ARA) codes [15], in this paper we propose a channel coding scheme called Accumulate-Repeat-Accumulate-Accumulate (ARAA) codes. These codes can be seen as serial turbo-like codes or as a subclass of Low Density Parity Check (LDPC) codes, and they have a projected graph or protograph representation; this allows for a high-speed iterative decoder implementation using belief propagation. An ARAA code can be viewed as a precoded Repeat-and-Accumulate (RA) code with puncturing in concatenation with another accumulator, where simply an accumulator is chosen as the precoder; thus ARAA codes have a very fast encoder structure. Using density evolution on their associated protographs, we find examples of rate-lJ2 ARAA codes with maximum variable node degree 4 for which a minimum bit-SNR as low as 0.21 dB from the channel capacity limit can be achieved as the block size goes to infinity. Such a low threshold cannot be achieved by RA or Irregular RA (IRA) or unstructured irregular LDPC codes with the same constraint on the maximum variable node degree. Furthermore by puncturing the accumulators we can construct families of higher rate ARAA codes with thresholds that stay close to their respective channel capacity thresholds uniformly. Iterative decoding simulation results show comparable performance with the best-known LDPC codes but with very low error floor even at moderate block sizes.

  16. Cloning and expressing a highly functional and substrate specific farnesoic acid o-methyltransferase from the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama)

    PubMed Central

    Van Ekert, Evelien; Shatters, Robert G.; Rougé, Pierre; Powell, Charles A.; Smagghe, Guy; Borovsky, Dov

    2015-01-01

    The Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, transmits a phloem-limited bacterium, Candidatus ‘Liberibacter’ asiaticus that causes citrus greening disease. Because juvenile hormone (JH) plays an important role in adult and nymphal development, we studied the final steps in JH biosynthesis in D. citri. A putative JH acid methyltransferase ortholog gene (jmtD) and its cognate cDNA were identified by searching D. citri genome database. Expression analysis shows expression in all life stages. In adults, it is expressed in the head-thorax, (containing the corpora allata), and the abdomen (containing ovaries and male accessory glands). A 3D protein model identified the catalytic groove with catalytically active amino acids and the S-adenosyl methionine (SAM)-binding loop. The cDNA was expressed in Escherichia coli cells and the purified enzyme showed high preference for farnesoic acid (FA) and homoFA (kcat of 0.752 × 10−3 and 0.217 × 10−3 s−1, respectively) as compared to JH acid I (JHA I) (cis/trans/cis; 2Z, 6E, 10cis), JHA III (2E, 6E, 10cis), and JHA I (trans/cis/cis; 2E, 2Z, 10cis) (kcat of 0.081 × 10−3, 0.013 × 10−3, and 0.003 × 10−3 s−1, respectively). This suggests that this ortholog is a DcFA-o-methyl transferase gene (fmtD), not a jmtD, and that JH biosynthesis in D. citri proceeds from FA to JH III through methyl farnesoate (MF). DcFA-o-MT does not require Ca2+, Mg2+ or Zn2+, however, Zn2+ (1 mM) completely inhibits the enzyme probably by binding H115 at the active groove. This represents the first purified FA-o-MT from Hemiptera with preferred biological activity for FA and not JHA. PMID:25893162

  17. Deficiency of a protein-repair enzyme results in the accumulation of altered proteins, retardation of growth, and fatal seizures in mice.

    PubMed

    Kim, E; Lowenson, J D; MacLaren, D C; Clarke, S; Young, S G

    1997-06-10

    L-Asparaginyl and L-aspartyl residues in proteins are subject to spontaneous degradation reactions that generate isomerized and racemized aspartyl derivatives. Proteins containing L-isoaspartyl and D-aspartyl residues can have altered structures and diminished biological activity. These residues are recognized by a highly conserved cytosolic enzyme, the protein L-isoaspartate(D-aspartate) O-methyltransferase (EC 2.1.1.77). The enzymatic methyl esterification of these abnormal residues in vitro can lead to their conversion (i.e., repair) to normal L-aspartyl residues and should therefore prevent the accumulation of potentially dysfunctional proteins in vivo as cells and tissues age. Particularly high levels of the repair methyltransferase are present in the brain, although enyzme activity is present in all vertebrate tissues. To define the physiological relevance of this protein-repair pathway and to determine whether deficient protein repair would cause central nervous system dysfunction, we used gene targeting in mouse embryonic stem cells to generate protein L-isoaspartate(D-aspartate) O-methyltransferase-deficient mice. Analyses of tissues from methyltransferase knockout mice revealed a striking accumulation of protein substrates for this enzyme in the cytosolic fraction of brain, heart, liver, and erythrocytes. The knockout mice showed significant growth retardation and succumbed to fatal seizures at an average of 42 days after birth. These results suggest that the ability of mice to repair L-isoaspartyl- and D-aspartyl-containing proteins is essential for normal growth and for normal central nervous system function.

  18. Accumulate-Repeat-Accumulate-Accumulate Codes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Divsalar, Dariush; Dolinar, Samuel; Thorpe, Jeremy

    2007-01-01

    Accumulate-repeat-accumulate-accumulate (ARAA) codes have been proposed, inspired by the recently proposed accumulate-repeat-accumulate (ARA) codes. These are error-correcting codes suitable for use in a variety of wireless data-communication systems that include noisy channels. ARAA codes can be regarded as serial turbolike codes or as a subclass of low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes, and, like ARA codes they have projected graph or protograph representations; these characteristics make it possible to design high-speed iterative decoders that utilize belief-propagation algorithms. The objective in proposing ARAA codes as a subclass of ARA codes was to enhance the error-floor performance of ARA codes while maintaining simple encoding structures and low maximum variable node degree.

  19. Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met genotype and the clinical responses to duloxetine treatment or plasma levels of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol and homovanillic acid in Japanese patients with major depressive disorder

    PubMed Central

    Atake, Kiyokazu; Yoshimura, Reiji; Hori, Hikaru; Katsuki, Asuka; Nakamura, Jun

    2015-01-01

    Purpose This study investigated the relationships among the plasma levels of catecholamine metabolites, the clinical response to duloxetine treatment, and Val158Met polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene. Subjects and methods Sixty-four patients and 30 healthy control subjects were recruited. Major depressive episodes were diagnosed using the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision criteria. The severity of depression was evaluated using the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD17). Patients whose HAMD17 scores were 15 or greater were enrolled in the study. Blood sampling and clinical evaluation were performed at week 0 and week 8. The levels of plasma catecholamine metabolites were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. Genotyping was performed using direct sequencing. Results Thirty of 45 patients (67%) responded to duloxetine treatment during the 8 weeks of treatment. The baseline plasma levels of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG), but not homovanillic acid (HVA), were lower in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who had the Val/Val genotype than in patients who were Met-carriers. Patients with MDD and the Val/Val genotype, but not Met carriers, had increased plasma levels of MHPG after 8 weeks of duloxetine treatment. The baseline plasma MHPG levels in healthy control subjects with the Val/Val genotype were significantly higher than those in patients with MDD. Among the subjects in the MDD group with the Val/Val genotype, the plasma MHPG levels increased to the same degree as in the healthy control subjects with the Val/Val genotype after 8 weeks of duloxetine treatment. Conclusion The relationship among the COMT Val158Met polymorphism, plasma levels of catecholamine metabolites, and responses to duloxetine is complex. Nevertheless, our results suggest that patients with MDD and the

  20. The Role of a Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met Genetic Polymorphism in Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review and Updated Meta-analysis on 32,816 Subjects.

    PubMed

    González-Castro, Thelma Beatriz; Hernández-Díaz, Yazmin; Juárez-Rojop, Isela Esther; López-Narváez, María Lilia; Tovilla-Zárate, Carlos Alfonso; Fresan, Ana

    2016-06-01

    An association between a catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val156Met (rs4680) polymorphism and schizophrenia has been reported in the literature, although no conclusive outcomes have been attained. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of the COMT Val108/158Met polymorphism with schizophrenia in a systematic review and meta-analysis. We performed a keyword search on PubMed and EBSCO databases. All English language case-control studies published up to April 2015 were selected. A total of 67 studies were selected for inclusion. The genotype distribution of subjects with schizophrenia was compared with healthy control subjects, using allelic, additive, dominant and recessive models. The pooled results from the meta-analysis (15,565 cases and 17,251 healthy subjects) after the elimination of heterogeneity showed an association between COMT Val108/158Met and schizophrenia [recessive model: OR 1.08 CI 95 % (1.01-1.15)]. We conducted subgroup analyses according to ethnicity. An association was observed in our Caucasian population in the additive model [OR 1.21 CI 95 % (1.06-1.37)] and in the recessive model [OR 1.21 CI 95 % (1.11-1.32)], but not in the allelic or dominant models. However, when we analysed our Asian population after the elimination of heterogeneity, no evidence of a significant association was found in any of the genetic models. Our analyses indicate that there is an association between COMT Val108/158Met and schizophrenia in the general population. Furthermore, in Caucasian populations, this risk could be increased.

  1. Cognitive ability, intraindividual variability, and common genetic variants of catechol-O-methyltransferase and brain-derived neurotrophic factor: a longitudinal study in a population-based sample of older adults.

    PubMed

    Das, Debjani; Tan, Xiaoyun; Bielak, Allison A M; Cherbuin, Nicolas; Easteal, Simon; Anstey, Kaarin J

    2014-06-01

    Genetic differences play a significant role in generating individual differences in cognitive abilities. Studies have linked common polymorphisms (valine to methionine substitution; VAL/MET) in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to cognitive differences between individuals. However, not all studies support these associations and hence, the impact of these polymorphisms on cognition is unclear. Here, we investigated the effect of COMT VAL158MET and BDNF VAL66MET polymorphisms and their interaction on cognitive performance measured longitudinally over 8 years in a population-based sample of older adults (60-64 years at baseline; n = 400). We used multilevel models to examine differences between individuals with different genotypes in performance on psychometric tests while controlling for age, sex, and education. We observed significant main and interaction effects of COMT and BDNF genotypes on reaction time (RT) and intraindividual variability in RT (IIV-RT). Subjects with at least one copy of the COMT*MET allele (which is associated with higher prefrontal dopamine) had significantly faster RT (both simple and choice RT) and less IIV-RT in both tasks than those without the COMT*MET allele when they also carried one or more BDNF*MET alleles (which is associated with lower activity-dependent BDNF secretion). However, RT and IIV-RT did not differ significantly between the COMT genotypes in the absence of the BDNF*MET allele. These polymorphisms had no significant effect on within person change in RT or IIV-RT. Our findings indicate that the interaction between common variants of COMT and BDNF explain individual differences in RT and IIV-RT but do not explain age-related decline in these abilities.

  2. Entacapone, a catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitor, improves the motor activity and dopamine content of basal ganglia in a rat model of Parkinson's disease induced by Japanese encephalitis virus.

    PubMed

    Hamaue, Naoya; Ogata, Akihiko; Terado, Mutsuko; Tsuchida, Shirou; Yabe, Ichiro; Sasaki, Hidenao; Hirafuji, Masahiko; Togashi, Hiroko; Aoki, Takashi

    2010-01-14

    Levodopa is the main medication used for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. However, dyskinesia and wearing-off appear after the administration of high-dose levodopa for a long period. To combat the dyskinesia and wearing-off, levodopa is used together with a dopamine (DA) receptor agonist, and the amount of levodopa is decreased. We have reported the monoamine oxidase (MAO)-B inhibitor selegiline to be effective for treating motor dysfunction in Parkinson's disease model rats. We analyzed the improvement in motor functions and catecholamine contents in various brain regions induced by a combination of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor entacapone and a levodopa/dopadecarboxylase inhibitor (DDCI) in Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) induced Parkinson's disease model rats. Entacapone (10 mg/kg) was administered via a single oral administration with levodopa/DDCI (10 mg/kg). The motor functions of the JEV model rats were significantly worsened, compared with those of the healthy control rats. The motor functions in the Parkinson's disease model rats were significantly recovered to the same levels as the healthy control rats by the combined administration of entacapone and levodopa/DDCI. A significant improvement in motor function was not demonstrated in the case of the administration of levodopa/DDCI alone. The striatal DA concentrations in the model rat brains were significantly increased by using levodopa/DDCI together with entacapone. Motor function was recovered by raising the striatum DA density in the model rats. Thus, COMT inhibitors are useful for decreasing the amount of levodopa administered to Parkinson's disease patients.

  3. Association of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Catechol-O-Methyltransferase and Serine-Threonine Protein Kinase Genes in the Pakistani Schizophrenic Population: A Study with Special Emphasis on Cannabis and Smokeless Tobacco.

    PubMed

    Nawaz, Rukhsana; Siddiqui, Sonia

    2015-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a neuropsychiatric disorder in which abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex lead to impaired synthesis of dopamine. It is associated with hallucination, psychosis and hearing impairments. Many susceptible genes have been identified in schizophrenia such as catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and serine/threonine kinase (AKT1). Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in these genes have not been identified in Pakistan. Therefore, we investigated the allelic and genotypic frequencies in COMT and AKT1 genes in the Pakistani population. Polymerase chain reactionrestriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and DNA sequencing were used to identify SNPs in the genes. The present study shows that COMT Val and COMT Met allelic frequencies for the controls were p=0.52, q=0.48 and for the schizophrenic cases they were p=0.34, q=0.66 respectively. The distribution of polymorphism in COMT Val158Met genotype by Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) was P=0.61 for controls and P=0.005 for cases. The data reveal that SNP rs1130214 T allele mutation was found neither in patients nor in controls in the 5' untranslated region (UTR). This proves that no association of AKT1 and positive association of COMT with schizophrenia exist in the population of Pakistan. Moreover, a study based on a single family showed COMT Met allele inheritance in schizophrenic offspring. This suggested that COMT allele alteration influences susceptibility to at least some forms of psychosis in the Pakistani population. Interestingly, according to our socio-economical survey, COMT genotype has no association with cannabis but it is strongly associated with tobacco. The Pakistani population with Val158Met SNP showed more susceptibility towards developing schizophrenia. This study highlights the genetic differences between Pakistani and other Caucasian populations.

  4. Characterization and expression of caffeoyl-coenzyme A 3-O-methyltransferase proposed for the induced resistance response of Vitis vinifera L.

    PubMed Central

    Busam, G; Junghanns, K T; Kneusel, R E; Kassemeyer, H H; Matern, U

    1997-01-01

    Cell-suspension cultures of Vitis vinifera L. cv Pinot Noir accumulated resveratrol upon fungal elicitation, and the activity of S-adenosyl-L-methionine:trans-caffeoyl-coenzyme A 3-O-methyl-transferase (CCoAOMT), yielding feruloyl-CoA, increased to a transient maximum at 12 to 15 h. CCoAOMT cDNA was cloned from the elicited cells and was shown to encode a polypeptide highly homologous to CCoAOMTs from cells of Petroselinum species or Zinnia species. The expression of the cDNA in Escherichia coli revealed that grapevine CCoAOMT methylates both caffeoyl- and 5-hydroxyferuloyl-coenzyme A and is probably involved in phenolic esterification and lignification. Commercial plant activators induce the disease-resistance response of test plants and are considered to mimic the action of salicylic acid. Among these chemicals, 2,6-dichloroisonicotinic acid and benzo(1,2,3)-thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methyl ester provoke systemic acquired resistance (SAR) and were also shown to induce the expression of class III chitinase in grapevine. The SAR response is classified by an unchanged phenotype of tissues, but the mechanistic basis is unknown. Treatment of the cultured V. vinifera cells with either fungal elicitor or low concentrations of salicylic acid and 2,6-dichloroisonicotinic acid, respectively, raised the CCoAOMT or stilbene synthase transcript abundance, suggesting that grapevine is capable of the SAR response, whereas benzo(1,2,3)-thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid S-methyl ester was ineffective. The data imply for the first time (to our knowledge) that the expression of phenyl-propanoid genes in grapevine is induced by SAR activators without phenotypic consequences and suggest a role for CCoAOMT and stilbene synthase in the disease-resistance response leading beyond the level of pathogenesis-related proteins as markers of the SAR. PMID:9390437

  5. Green Tea Extract and Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Genotype Modify Fasting Serum Insulin and Plasma Adiponectin Concentrations in a Randomized Controlled Trial of Overweight and Obese Postmenopausal Women1234

    PubMed Central

    Dostal, Allison M; Samavat, Hamed; Espejo, Luis; Arikawa, Andrea Y; Stendell-Hollis, Nicole R; Kurzer, Mindy S

    2016-01-01

    Background: Green tea consumption has been associated with favorable changes in body weight and obesity-related hormones, although it is not known whether these changes result from green tea polyphenols or caffeine. Objective: We examined the impact of decaffeinated green tea extract (GTE) containing 843 mg of (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate on anthropometric variables, obesity-associated hormones, and glucose homeostasis. Methods: The Minnesota Green Tea Trial was a 12-mo randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 937 healthy postmenopausal women assigned to either decaffeinated GTE (1315 mg total catechins/d) or a placebo, stratified by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) genotype. This study was conducted in a subset of 237 overweight and obese participants [body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m2]. Results: No changes in energy intake, body weight, BMI, or waist circumference (WC) were observed over 12 mo in women taking GTE (n = 117) or placebo (n = 120). No differences were seen in circulating leptin, ghrelin, adiponectin, or glucose concentrations at month 12. Participants randomly assigned to GTE with baseline insulin ≥10 μIU/mL (n = 23) had a decrease in fasting serum insulin from baseline to month 12 (−1.43 ± 0.59 μIU/mL), whereas those randomly assigned to placebo with baseline insulin ≥10 μIU/mL (n = 19) had an increase in insulin over 12 mo (0.55 ± 0.64 μIU/mL, P < 0.01). Participants with the homozygous high-activity (G/G) form of COMT had significantly lower adiponectin (5.97 ± 0.50 compared with 7.58 ± 0.53 μg/mL, P = 0.03) and greater insulin concentrations (7.63 ± 0.53 compared with 6.18 ± 0.36 μIU/mL, P = 0.02) at month 12 compared with those with the low-activity (A/A) genotype, regardless of treatment group. Conclusions: Decaffeinated GTE was not associated with reductions in body weight, BMI, or WC and did not alter energy intake or mean hormone concentrations in healthy postmenopausal women over 12 mo. GTE

  6. Prediction of binding modes between protein L-isoaspartyl (D-aspartyl) O-methyltransferase and peptide substrates including isomerized aspartic acid residues using in silico analytic methods for the substrate screening.

    PubMed

    Oda, Akifumi; Noji, Ikuhiko; Fukuyoshi, Shuichi; Takahashi, Ohgi

    2015-12-10

    Because the aspartic acid (Asp) residues in proteins are occasionally isomerized in the human body, not only l-α-Asp but also l-β-Asp, D-α-Asp and D-β-Asp are found in human proteins. In these isomerized aspartic acids, the proportion of D-β-Asp is the largest and the proportions of l-β-Asp and D-α-Asp found in human proteins are comparatively small. To explain the proportions of aspartic acid isomers, the possibility of an enzyme able to repair l-β-Asp and D-α-Asp is frequently considered. The protein L-isoaspartyl (D-aspartyl) O-methyltransferase (PIMT) is considered one of the possible repair enzymes for l-β-Asp and D-α-Asp. Human PIMT is an enzyme that recognizes both l-β-Asp and D-α-Asp, and catalyzes the methylation of their side chains. In this study, the binding modes between PIMT and peptide substrates containing l-β-Asp or D-α-Asp residues were investigated using computational protein-ligand docking and molecular dynamics simulations. The results indicate that carboxyl groups of both l-β-Asp and D-α-Asp were recognized in similar modes by PIMT and that the C-terminal regions of substrate peptides were located in similar positions on PIMT for both the l-β-Asp and D-α-Asp peptides. In contrast, for peptides containing l-α-Asp or D-β-Asp residues, which are not substrates of PIMT, the computationally constructed binding modes between PIMT and peptides greatly differed from those between PIMT and substrates. In the nonsubstrate peptides, not inter- but intra-molecular hydrogen bonds were observed, and the conformations of peptides were more rigid than those of substrates. Thus, the in silico analytical methods were able to distinguish substrates from nonsubstrates and the computational methods are expected to complement experimental analytical methods.

  7. Use of catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibition to minimize L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine-induced dyskinesia in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-lesioned macaque.

    PubMed

    Huot, Philippe; Johnston, Tom H; Snoeren, Tessa; Koprich, James B; Hill, Michael P; Fox, Susan H; Brotchie, Jonathan M

    2013-03-01

    L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA)-induced dyskinesia is a complication of dopaminergic treatment in Parkinson's disease. Lowering the L-DOPA dose reduces dyskinesia but also reduces the antiparkinsonian benefit. A therapy that could enhance the antiparkinsonian action of low-dose L-DOPA (LDl) without exacerbating dyskinesia would thus be of considerable therapeutic benefit. This study assessed whether catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibition, as an add-on to LDl, might be a means to achieve this goal. Cynomolgus macaques were administered 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine. Dyskinesia was established by chronic treatment with L-DOPA. Two doses of L-DOPA were identified - high-dose L-DOPA (LDh), which provided good antiparkinsonian benefit but was compromised by disabling dyskinesia, and LDl, which was sub-threshold for providing significant antiparkinsonian benefit, without dyskinesia. LDh and LDl were administered in acute challenges in combination with vehicle and, for LDl, with the COMT inhibitor entacapone (5, 15 and 45 mg/kg). The duration of antiparkinsonian benefit (ON-time), parkinsonism and dyskinesia were determined. The ON-time after LDh was ∼170 min and the ON-time after LDl alone (∼98 min) was not significantly different to vehicle (∼37 min). In combination with LDl, entacapone significantly increased the ON-time (5, 15 and 45 mg/kg being ∼123, ∼148 and ∼180 min, respectively). The ON-time after LDl/entacapone 45 mg/kg was not different to that after LDh. However, whereas the percentage ON-time that was compromised by disabling dyskinesia was ∼56% with LDh, it was only ∼31% with LDl/entacapone 45 mg/kg. In addition to the well-recognized action of COMT inhibition to reduce wearing-OFF, the data presented suggest that COMT inhibition in combination with low doses of L-DOPA has potential as a strategy to alleviate dyskinesia.

  8. Expression of cell wall related genes in basal and ear internodes of silking brown-midrib-3, caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) down-regulated, and normal maize plants

    PubMed Central

    Guillaumie, Sabine; Goffner, Deborah; Barbier, Odile; Martinant, Jean-Pierre; Pichon, Magalie; Barrière, Yves

    2008-01-01

    Background Silage maize is a major forage and energy resource for cattle feeding, and several studies have shown that lignin content and structure are the determining factors in forage maize feeding value. In maize, four natural brown-midrib mutants have modified lignin content, lignin structure and cell wall digestibility. The greatest lignin reduction and the highest cell wall digestibility were observed in the brown-midrib-3 (bm3) mutant, which is disrupted in the caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene. Results Expression of cell wall related genes was investigated in basal and ear internodes of normal, COMT antisens (AS225), and bm3 maize plants of the INRA F2 line. A cell wall macro-array was developed with 651 gene specific tags of genes specifically involved in cell wall biogenesis. When comparing basal (older lignifying) and ear (younger lignifying) internodes of the normal line, all genes known to be involved in constitutive monolignol biosynthesis had a higher expression in younger ear internodes. The expression of the COMT gene was heavily reduced, especially in the younger lignifying tissues of the ear internode. Despite the fact that AS225 transgene expression was driven only in sclerenchyma tissues, COMT expression was also heavily reduced in AS225 ear and basal internodes. COMT disruption or down-regulation led to differential expressions of a few lignin pathway genes, which were all over-expressed, except for a phenylalanine ammonia-lyase gene. More unexpectedly, several transcription factor genes, cell signaling genes, transport and detoxification genes, genes involved in cell wall carbohydrate metabolism and genes encoding cell wall proteins, were differentially expressed, and mostly over-expressed, in COMT-deficient plants. Conclusion Differential gene expressions in COMT-deficient plants highlighted a probable disturbance in cell wall assembly. In addition, the gene expressions suggested modified chronology of the different events leading

  9. Mass spectrometric analysis of human soluble catechol O-methyltransferase expressed in Escherichia coli. Identification of a product of ribosomal frameshifting and of reactive cysteines involved in S-adenosyl-L-methionine binding.

    PubMed

    Vilbois, F; Caspers, P; da Prada, M; Lang, G; Karrer, C; Lahm, H W; Cesura, A M

    1994-06-01

    Technological advances in the field of mass spectrometry (MS) are providing powerful analytical means for the investigation of proteins and peptides. In the present work we have used pneumatically assisted electrospray (ion-spray) MS for the biochemical characterization of recombinant human catechol O-methyltransferase (rhCOMT). hCOMT could be expressed in Escherichia coli in large quantities but in two forms of different size, both enzymically active. Electrospray MS analysis showed that the smaller rhCOMT protein had a molecular mass of 24352 +/- 2 Da, corresponding to the calculated value for native hCOMT (without the initiating methionine), whereas that mass of the larger protein was of 25775 +/- 4 Da. To investigate the molecular differences between the two proteins, they were digested with trypsin and the peptides produced analysed by electrospray MS. Neither protein apparently contained disulfide bridges and the observed molecular masses of the tryptic peptides corresponded to the calculated values. It was possible to determine, however, that the larger protein contained an extended C-terminus with the correct sequence GPGSEAGP plus an additional stretch, EDLR. This C-terminal extension resulted from ribosomal frameshift at the codon of the last proline (CCC, rare codon in prokaryotes). In fact, rightward frameshifting would produce a hCOMT form with an additional stretch of 11 amino acid (EDLRSHHHHHH) and the calculated molecular mass of this protein (25773.5 Da) is in good agreement with our experimental result. The differential reactivity of the cysteine residues of the correct rhCOMT enzyme, in the presence and in the absence of S-adenosyl-L-methionine (AdoMet) and MgCl2, was also studied. 5-Iodoacetamido fluorescein (5-IAF) was used as thiol-modifying reagent. Under the conditions used, 5-IAF rapidly inactivated rhCOMT but the presence of AdoMet and MgCl2 partially protected it from inactivation. The 5-IAF-labeled tryptic peptides were separated by HPLC

  10. The putative effects of green tea on body fat: an evaluation of the evidence and a review of the potential mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Thavanesan, Navamayooran

    2011-11-01

    The increase in the prevalence of obesity in recent years has prompted research into alternative methods of modulating body weight and body fat. The last decade has reflected this with a surge in studies investigating the potential of green tea as a natural agent of weight loss, with a view to confirming and elucidating the mechanisms underlying its effect on the body. Currently, it is widely believed that the polyphenolic components present in green tea have an anti-obesogenic effect on fat homeostasis, by increasing thermogenesis or reducing fat absorption among other ways. The data published to date, however, are inconsistent, with numerous putative modes of action suggested therein. While several unimodal mechanisms have been postulated, a more plausible explanation of the observed results might involve a multimodal approach. Such a mechanism is suggested here, involving simultaneous inhibition of the enzymes catechol-O-methyltransferase, acetyl-CoA carboxylase, fatty acid synthase and impeding absorption of fat via the gut. An evaluation of the available evidence supports a role of green tea in weight loss; however the extent of the effects obtained is still subject to debate, and requires more objective quantification in future research.

  11. Accumulate Repeat Accumulate Coded Modulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abbasfar, Aliazam; Divsalar, Dariush; Yao, Kung

    2004-01-01

    In this paper we propose an innovative coded modulation scheme called 'Accumulate Repeat Accumulate Coded Modulation' (ARA coded modulation). This class of codes can be viewed as serial turbo-like codes, or as a subclass of Low Density Parity Check (LDPC) codes that are combined with high level modulation. Thus at the decoder belief propagation can be used for iterative decoding of ARA coded modulation on a graph, provided a demapper transforms the received in-phase and quadrature samples to reliability of the bits.

  12. Putative porin of Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lupinus) bacteroids induced by glyphosate.

    PubMed

    de María, Nuria; Guevara, Angeles; Serra, M Teresa; García-Luque, Isabel; González-Sama, Alfonso; García de Lacoba, Mario; de Felipe, M Rosario; Fernández-Pascual, Mercedes

    2007-08-01

    Application of glyphosate (N-[phosphonomethyl] glycine) to Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lupinus)-nodulated lupin plants caused modifications in the protein pattern of bacteroids. The most significant change was the presence of a 44-kDa polypeptide in bacteroids from plants treated with the higher doses of glyphosate employed (5 and 10 mM). The polypeptide has been characterized by the amino acid sequencing of its N terminus and the isolation and nucleic acid sequencing of its encoding gene. It is putatively encoded by a single gene, and the protein has been identified as a putative porin. Protein modeling revealed the existence of several domains sharing similarity to different porins, such as a transmembrane beta-barrel. The protein has been designated BLpp, for Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lupinus) putative porin, and would be the first porin described in Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lupinus). In addition, a putative conserved domain of porins has been identified which consists of 87 amino acids, located in the BLpp sequence 30 amino acids downstream of the N-terminal region. In bacteroids, mRNA of the BLpp gene shows a basal constitutive expression that increases under glyphosate treatment, and the expression of the gene is seemingly regulated at the transcriptional level. By contrast, in free-living bacteria glyphosate treatment leads to an inhibition of BLpp mRNA accumulation, indicating a different effect of glyphosate on BLpp gene expression in bacteroids and free-living bacteria. The possible role of BLpp in a metabolite interchange between Bradyrhizobium and lupin is discussed.

  13. The role of phloem sieve elements and laticifers in the biosynthesis and accumulation of alkaloids in opium poppy.

    PubMed

    Samanani, Nailish; Alcantara, Joenel; Bourgault, Richard; Zulak, Katherine G; Facchini, Peter J

    2006-08-01

    The benzylisoquinoline alkaloids of opium poppy, including the narcotic analgesics morphine and codeine, accumulate in the multinucleate cytoplasm of specialized laticifers that accompany vascular tissues throughout the plant. In mature opium poppy plants, immunofluorescence labeling using specific antibodies showed that four alkaloid biosynthetic enzymes, (S)-norcoclaurine 6-O-methyltransferase (6OMT), (S)-coclaurine N-methyltransferase (CNMT), (S)-3'-hydroxy-N-methylcoclaurine-4'-O-methyltransferase (4'OMT) and salutaridinol-7-O-acetyltransferase (SAT) were restricted to sieve elements of the phloem adjacent or proximal to laticifers. The identity of sieve elements was confirmed by (i) the specific immunogold labeling of the characteristic cytoplasm of this cell type, (ii) the co-localization of a sieve element-specific H(+)-ATPase with all biosynthetic enzymes and (iii) the strict association of sieve plates with immunofluorescent cells. The localization of laticifers was demonstrated antibodies specific to major latex protein (MLP), which is characteristic of this cell type. In situ hybridization using antisense RNA probes for 6OMT, CNMT, 4'OMT and SAT showed that the corresponding gene transcripts were found in the companion cell paired with each sieve element. Seven benzylisoquinoline alkaloid biosynthetic enzymes, (S)-N-methylcoclaurine 3'-hydroxylase (CYP80B1), berberine bridge enzyme, codeinone reductase, 6OMT, CNMT, 4'OMT and SAT were localized by immunofluorescence labeling to the sieve elements in the root and hypocotyl of opium poppy seedlings. The abundance of these enzymes increased rapidly between 1 and 3 days after seed germination. The localization of seven biosynthetic enzymes to the sieve elements provides strong support for the unique, cell type-specific biosynthesis of benzylisoquinoline alkaloids in the opium poppy.

  14. Heat accumulator

    SciTech Connect

    Bracht, A.

    1981-09-29

    A heat accumulator comprises a thermally-insulated reservoir full of paraffin wax mixture or other flowable or meltable heat storage mass, heat-exchangers immersed in the mass, a heat-trap connected to one of the heat-exchangers, and a heat user connected to the other heat-exchanger. Pumps circulate fluids through the heat-trap and the heat-using means and the respective heat-exchangers, and a stirrer agitates and circulates the mass, and the pumps and the stirrer and electric motors driving these devices are all immersed in the mass.

  15. Do damaged proteins accumulate in Caenorhabditis elegans L-isoaspartate methyltransferase (pcm-1) deletion mutants?

    PubMed

    Niewmierzycka, A; Clarke, S

    1999-04-15

    The protein l-isoaspartate (d-aspartate) O-methyltransferase (E.C. 2. 1.1.77) can initiate the conversion of isomerized and racemized aspartyl residues to their normal l-aspartyl forms and has therefore been hypothesized to function as a repair enzyme, responsible for helping to limit the accumulation of damaged proteins in aging organisms. In this study, the effect of a disruption in the pcm-1 gene encoding the l-isoaspartyl methyltransferase was investigated in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. It was found that damaged proteins recognized by this enzyme accumulated to significant levels during long-term incubation of both pcm-1+ and pcm-1- nematodes in a specialized larval stage called the dauer. The l-isoaspartyl methyltransferase-deficient mutants accumulated about twice the level of damaged proteins as the control nematodes during dauer aging. The mutants also accumulated higher levels of damage when both strains were incubated at 30 degrees C for up to 3 days. However, when nonviable nematodes were removed in a Percoll separation, similar levels of damage were measured between the two strains following both dauer aging and 30 degrees C incubation. Both strains were able to effectively eliminate damaged proteins recognized by the methyltransferase after recovery from dauer. Characterization of the methyl-accepting polypeptide substrates which accumulate in aged dauers revealed that although substrates of all molecular weights are present, the majority of substrates are peptides not precipitated by acetone. These results suggest that protein degradation, rather than repair, may be the major mechanism by which C. elegans eliminates damaged proteins containing l-isoaspartyl residues. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  16. Rice PROTEIN l-ISOASPARTYL METHYLTRANSFERASE isoforms differentially accumulate during seed maturation to restrict deleterious isoAsp and reactive oxygen species accumulation and are implicated in seed vigor and longevity.

    PubMed

    Petla, Bhanu Prakash; Kamble, Nitin Uttam; Kumar, Meenu; Verma, Pooja; Ghosh, Shraboni; Singh, Ajeet; Rao, Venkateswara; Salvi, Prafull; Kaur, Harmeet; Saxena, Saurabh Chandra; Majee, Manoj

    2016-07-01

    PROTEIN l-ISOASPARTYL O-METHYLTRANSFERASE (PIMT) is a protein-repairing enzyme involved in seed vigor and longevity. However, the regulation of PIMT isoforms during seed development and the mechanism of PIMT-mediated improvement of seed vigor and longevity are largely unknown. In this study in rice (Oryza sativa), we demonstrate the dynamics and correlation of isoaspartyl (isoAsp)-repairing demands and PIMT activity, and their implications, during seed development, germination and aging, through biochemical, molecular and genetic studies. Molecular and biochemical analyses revealed that rice possesses various biochemically active and inactive PIMT isoforms. Transcript and western blot analyses clearly showed the seed development stage and tissue-specific accumulation of active isoforms. Immunolocalization studies revealed distinct isoform expression in embryo and aleurone layers. Further analyses of transgenic lines for each OsPIMT isoform revealed a clear role in the restriction of deleterious isoAsp and age-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation to improve seed vigor and longevity. Collectively, our data suggest that a PIMT-mediated, protein repair mechanism is initiated during seed development in rice, with each isoform playing a distinct, yet coordinated, role. Our results also raise the intriguing possibility that PIMT repairs antioxidative enzymes and proteins which restrict ROS accumulation, lipid peroxidation, etc. in seed, particularly during aging, thus contributing to seed vigor and longevity. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  17. Putative Porin of Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lupinus) Bacteroids Induced by Glyphosate▿

    PubMed Central

    de María, Nuria; Guevara, Ángeles; Serra, M. Teresa; García-Luque, Isabel; González-Sama, Alfonso; de Lacoba, Mario García; de Felipe, M. Rosario; Fernández-Pascual, Mercedes

    2007-01-01

    Application of glyphosate (N-[phosphonomethyl] glycine) to Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lupinus)-nodulated lupin plants caused modifications in the protein pattern of bacteroids. The most significant change was the presence of a 44-kDa polypeptide in bacteroids from plants treated with the higher doses of glyphosate employed (5 and 10 mM). The polypeptide has been characterized by the amino acid sequencing of its N terminus and the isolation and nucleic acid sequencing of its encoding gene. It is putatively encoded by a single gene, and the protein has been identified as a putative porin. Protein modeling revealed the existence of several domains sharing similarity to different porins, such as a transmembrane beta-barrel. The protein has been designated BLpp, for Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lupinus) putative porin, and would be the first porin described in Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lupinus). In addition, a putative conserved domain of porins has been identified which consists of 87 amino acids, located in the BLpp sequence 30 amino acids downstream of the N-terminal region. In bacteroids, mRNA of the BLpp gene shows a basal constitutive expression that increases under glyphosate treatment, and the expression of the gene is seemingly regulated at the transcriptional level. By contrast, in free-living bacteria glyphosate treatment leads to an inhibition of BLpp mRNA accumulation, indicating a different effect of glyphosate on BLpp gene expression in bacteroids and free-living bacteria. The possible role of BLpp in a metabolite interchange between Bradyrhizobium and lupin is discussed. PMID:17557843

  18. Protein repair L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase in plants. Phylogenetic distribution and the accumulation of substrate proteins in aged barley seeds.

    PubMed Central

    Mudgett, M B; Lowenson, J D; Clarke, S

    1997-01-01

    Protein L-isoaspartate (D-aspartate) O-methyltransferases (MTs; EC 2.1.1.77) can initiate the conversion of detrimental L-isoaspartyl residues in spontaneously damaged proteins to normal L-aspartyl residues. We detected this enzyme in 45 species from 23 families representing most of the divisions of the plant kingdom. MT activity is often localized in seeds, suggesting that it has a role in their maturation, quiescence, and germination. The relationship among MT activity, the accumulation of abnormal protein L-isoaspartyl residues, and seed viability was explored in barley (Hordeum vulgare cultivar Himalaya) seeds, which contain high levels of MT. Natural aging of barley seeds for 17 years resulted in a significant reduction in MT activity and in seed viability, coupled with increased levels of "unrepaired" L-isoaspartyl residues. In seeds heated to accelerate aging, we found no reduction of MT activity, but we did observe decreased seed viability and the accumulation of isoaspartyl residues. Among populations of accelerated aged seed, those possessing the highest levels of L-isoaspartyl-containing proteins had the lowest germination percentages. These results suggest that the MT present in seeds cannot efficiently repair all spontaneously damaged proteins containing altered aspartyl residues, and their accumulation during aging may contribute to the loss of seed viability. PMID:9414558

  19. The Putative Son's Attractiveness Alters the Perceived Attractiveness of the Putative Father.

    PubMed

    Prokop, Pavol

    2015-08-01

    A body of literature has investigated female mate choice in the pre-mating context (pre-mating sexual selection). Humans, however, are long-living mammals forming pair-bonds which sequentially produce offspring. Post-mating evaluations of a partner's attractiveness may thus significantly influence the reproductive success of men and women. I tested herein the theory that the attractiveness of putative sons provides extra information about the genetic quality of fathers, thereby influencing fathers' attractiveness across three studies. As predicted, facially attractive boys were more frequently attributed to attractive putative fathers and vice versa (Study 1). Furthermore, priming with an attractive putative son increased the attractiveness of the putative father with the reverse being true for unattractive putative sons. When putative fathers were presented as stepfathers, the effect of the boy's attractiveness on the stepfather's attractiveness was lower and less consistent (Study 2). This suggests that the presence of an attractive boy has the strongest effect on the perceived attractiveness of putative fathers rather than on non-fathers. The generalized effect of priming with beautiful non-human objects also exists, but its effect is much weaker compared with the effects of putative biological sons (Study 3). Overall, this study highlighted the importance of post-mating sexual selection in humans and suggests that the heritable attractive traits of men are also evaluated by females after mating and/or may be used by females in mate poaching.

  20. Toddlers' Duration of Attention toward Putative Threat

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kiel, Elizabeth J.; Buss, Kristin A.

    2011-01-01

    Although individual differences in reactions to novelty in the toddler years have been consistently linked to risk of developing anxious behavior, toddlers' attention toward a novel, putatively threatening stimulus while in the presence of other enjoyable activities has rarely been examined as a precursor to such risk. The current study examined…

  1. Toddlers' Duration of Attention toward Putative Threat

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kiel, Elizabeth J.; Buss, Kristin A.

    2011-01-01

    Although individual differences in reactions to novelty in the toddler years have been consistently linked to risk of developing anxious behavior, toddlers' attention toward a novel, putatively threatening stimulus while in the presence of other enjoyable activities has rarely been examined as a precursor to such risk. The current study examined…

  2. Biochemical characterization of the (nucleoside-2'O)-methyltransferase activity of dengue virus protein NS5 using purified capped RNA oligonucleotides (7Me)GpppAC(n) and GpppAC(n).

    PubMed

    Selisko, Barbara; Peyrane, Frédéric F; Canard, Bruno; Alvarez, Karine; Decroly, Etienne

    2010-01-01

    The flavivirus RNA genome contains a conserved cap-1 structure, (7Me)GpppA(2'OMe)G, at the 5' end. Two mRNA cap methyltransferase (MTase) activities involved in the formation of the cap, the (guanine-N7)- and the (nucleoside-2'O)-MTases (2'O-MTase), reside in a single domain of non-structural protein NS5 (NS5MTase). This study reports on the biochemical characterization of the 2'O-MTase activity of NS5MTase of dengue virus (NS5MTase(DV)) using purified, short, capped RNA substrates ((7Me)GpppAC(n) or GpppAC(n)). NS5MTase(DV) methylated both types of substrate exclusively at the 2'O position. The efficiency of 2'O-methylation did not depend on the methylation of the N7 position. Using (7Me)GpppAC(n) and GpppAC(n) substrates of increasing chain lengths, it was found that both NS5MTase(DV) 2'O activity and substrate binding increased before reaching a plateau at n=5. Thus, the cap and 6 nt might define the interface providing efficient binding of enzyme and substrate. K(m) values for (7Me)GpppAC(5) and the co-substrate S-adenosyl-L-methionine (AdoMet) were determined (0.39 and 3.26 microM, respectively). As reported for other AdoMet-dependent RNA and DNA MTases, the 2'O-MTase activity of NS5MTase(DV) showed a low turnover of 3.25x10(-4) s(-1). Finally, an inhibition assay was set up and tested on GTP and AdoMet analogues as putative inhibitors of NS5MTase(DV), which confirmed efficient inhibition by the reaction product S-adenosyl-homocysteine (IC(50) 0.34 microM) and sinefungin (IC(50) 0.63 microM), demonstrating that the assay is sufficiently sensitive to conduct inhibitor screening and characterization assays.

  3. Putative archaeal viruses from the mesopelagic ocean.

    PubMed

    Vik, Dean R; Roux, Simon; Brum, Jennifer R; Bolduc, Ben; Emerson, Joanne B; Padilla, Cory C; Stewart, Frank J; Sullivan, Matthew B

    2017-01-01

    Oceanic viruses that infect bacteria, or phages, are known to modulate host diversity, metabolisms, and biogeochemical cycling, while the viruses that infect marine Archaea remain understudied despite the critical ecosystem roles played by their hosts. Here we introduce "MArVD", for Metagenomic Archaeal Virus Detector, an annotation tool designed to identify putative archaeal virus contigs in metagenomic datasets. MArVD is made publicly available through the online iVirus analytical platform. Benchmarking analysis of MArVD showed it to be >99% accurate and 100% sensitive in identifying the 127 known archaeal viruses among the 12,499 viruses in the VirSorter curated dataset. Application of MArVD to 10 viral metagenomes from two depth profiles in the Eastern Tropical North Pacific (ETNP) oxygen minimum zone revealed 43 new putative archaeal virus genomes and large genome fragments ranging in size from 10 to 31 kb. Network-based classifications, which were consistent with marker gene phylogenies where available, suggested that these putative archaeal virus contigs represented six novel candidate genera. Ecological analyses, via fragment recruitment and ordination, revealed that the diversity and relative abundances of these putative archaeal viruses were correlated with oxygen concentration and temperature along two OMZ-spanning depth profiles, presumably due to structuring of the host Archaea community. Peak viral diversity and abundances were found in surface waters, where Thermoplasmata 16S rRNA genes are prevalent, suggesting these archaea as hosts in the surface habitats. Together these findings provide a baseline for identifying archaeal viruses in sequence datasets, and an initial picture of the ecology of such viruses in non-extreme environments.

  4. Putative archaeal viruses from the mesopelagic ocean

    PubMed Central

    Roux, Simon; Brum, Jennifer R.; Bolduc, Ben; Emerson, Joanne B.; Padilla, Cory C.; Stewart, Frank J.; Sullivan, Matthew B.

    2017-01-01

    Oceanic viruses that infect bacteria, or phages, are known to modulate host diversity, metabolisms, and biogeochemical cycling, while the viruses that infect marine Archaea remain understudied despite the critical ecosystem roles played by their hosts. Here we introduce “MArVD”, for Metagenomic Archaeal Virus Detector, an annotation tool designed to identify putative archaeal virus contigs in metagenomic datasets. MArVD is made publicly available through the online iVirus analytical platform. Benchmarking analysis of MArVD showed it to be >99% accurate and 100% sensitive in identifying the 127 known archaeal viruses among the 12,499 viruses in the VirSorter curated dataset. Application of MArVD to 10 viral metagenomes from two depth profiles in the Eastern Tropical North Pacific (ETNP) oxygen minimum zone revealed 43 new putative archaeal virus genomes and large genome fragments ranging in size from 10 to 31 kb. Network-based classifications, which were consistent with marker gene phylogenies where available, suggested that these putative archaeal virus contigs represented six novel candidate genera. Ecological analyses, via fragment recruitment and ordination, revealed that the diversity and relative abundances of these putative archaeal viruses were correlated with oxygen concentration and temperature along two OMZ-spanning depth profiles, presumably due to structuring of the host Archaea community. Peak viral diversity and abundances were found in surface waters, where Thermoplasmata 16S rRNA genes are prevalent, suggesting these archaea as hosts in the surface habitats. Together these findings provide a baseline for identifying archaeal viruses in sequence datasets, and an initial picture of the ecology of such viruses in non-extreme environments. PMID:28630803

  5. Generalized Combinatoric Accumulator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yum, Dae Hyun; Seo, Jae Woo; Lee, Pil Joong

    The accumulator was introduced as a decentralized alternative to digital signatures. While most of accumulators are based on number theoretic assumptions and require time-consuming modulo exponentiations, Nyberg's combinatoric accumulator dose not depend on any computational assumption and requires only bit operations and hash function evaluations. In this article, we present a generalization of Nyberg's combinatoric accumulator, which allows a lower false positive rate with the same output length. Our generalization also shows that the Bloom filter can be used as a cryptographic accumulator and moreover excels the Nyberg's accumulator.

  6. Virus-induced silencing of Comt, pAmt and Kas genes results in a reduction of capsaicinoid accumulation in chili pepper fruits.

    PubMed

    del Rosario Abraham-Juárez, Ma; del Carmen Rocha-Granados, Ma; López, Mercedes G; Rivera-Bustamante, Rafael Francisco; Ochoa-Alejo, Neftalí

    2008-02-01

    Capsaicinoids are responsible for the pungent taste of chili pepper fruits of Capsicum species. Capsaicinoids are biosynthesized through both the phenylpropanoid and the branched-fatty acids pathways. Fragments of Comt (encoding a caffeic acid O-methyltransferase), pAmt (a putative aminotransferase), and Kas (a beta-keto-acyl-[acyl-carrier-protein] synthase) genes, that are differentially expressed in placenta tissue of pungent chili pepper, were individually inserted into a Pepper huasteco yellow veins virus (PHYVV)-derived vector to determine, by virus-induced gene silencing, irrespective of whether these genes are involved in the biosynthesis of capsaicinoids. Reduction of the respective mRNA levels as well as the presence of related siRNAs confirmed the silencing of these three genes. Morphological alterations were evident in plants inoculated with PHYVV::Comt and PHYVV::Kas constructs; however, plants inoculated with PHYVV::pAmt showed no evident alterations. On the other hand, fruit setting was normal in all cases. Biochemical analysis of placenta tissues showed that, indeed, independent silencing of all three genes led to a dramatic reduction in capsaicinoid content in the fruits demonstrating the participation of these genes in capsaicinoid biosynthesis. Using this approach it was possible to generate non-pungent chili peppers at high efficiency.

  7. Systematic silencing of benzylisoquinoline alkaloid biosynthetic genes reveals the major route to papaverine in opium poppy.

    PubMed

    Desgagné-Penix, Isabel; Facchini, Peter J

    2012-10-01

    Papaverine, a major benzylisoquinoline alkaloid in opium poppy (Papaver somniferum), is used as a vasodilator and antispasmodic. Conversion of the initial intermediate (S)-norcoclaurine to papaverine involves 3'-hydroxylation, four O-methylations and dehydrogenation. However, our understanding of papaverine biosynthesis remains controversial more than a century after an initial scheme was proposed. In vitro assays and in vivo labeling studies have been insufficient to establish the sequence of conversions, the potential role of the intermediate (S)-reticuline, and the enzymes involved. We used virus-induced gene silencing in opium poppy to individually suppress the expression of six genes with putative roles in papaverine biosynthesis. Suppression of the gene encoding coclaurine N-methyltransferase dramatically increased papaverine levels at the expense of N-methylated alkaloids, indicating that the main biosynthetic route to papaverine proceeds via N-desmethylated compounds rather than through (S)-reticuline. Suppression of genes encoding (S)-3'-hydroxy-N-methylcoclaurine 4-O-methyltransferase and norreticuline 7-O-methyltransferase, which accept certain N-desmethylated alkaloids, reduced papaverine content. In contrast, suppression of genes encoding N-methylcoclaurine 3'-hydroxylase or reticuline 7-O-methyltransferase, which are specific for N-methylated alkaloids, did not affect papaverine levels. Suppression of norcoclaurine 6-O-methyltransferase transcript levels significantly suppressed total alkaloid accumulation, implicating (S)-coclaurine as a key branch-point intermediate. The differential detection of N-desmethylated compounds in response to suppression of specific genes highlights the primary route to papaverine.

  8. Ten Putative Contributors to the Obesity Epidemic

    PubMed Central

    McAllister, Emily J.; Dhurandhar, Nikhil V.; Keith, Scott W.; Aronne, Louis J.; Barger, Jamie; Baskin, Monica; Benca, Ruth M.; Biggio, Joseph; Boggiano, Mary M.; Eisenmann, Joe C.; Elobeid, Mai; Fontaine, Kevin R.; Gluckman, Peter; Hanlon, Erin C.; Katzmarzyk, Peter; Pietrobelli, Angelo; Redden, David T.; Ruden, Douglas M.; Wang, Chenxi; Waterland, Robert A.; Wright, Suzanne M.; Allison, David B.

    2010-01-01

    The obesity epidemic is a global issue and shows no signs of abating, while the cause of this epidemic remains unclear. Marketing practices of energy-dense foods and institutionally-driven declines in physical activity are the alleged perpetrators for the epidemic, despite a lack of solid evidence to demonstrate their causal role. While both may contribute to obesity, we call attention to their unquestioned dominance in program funding and public efforts to reduce obesity, and propose several alternative putative contributors that would benefit from equal consideration and attention. Evidence for microorganisms, epigenetics, increasing maternal age, greater fecundity among people with higher adiposity, assortative mating, sleep debt, endocrine disruptors, pharmaceutical iatrogenesis, reduction in variability of ambient temperatures, and intrauterine and intergenerational effects, as contributing factors to the obesity epidemic are reviewed herein. While the evidence is strong for some contributors such as pharmaceutical-induced weight gain, it is still emerging for other reviewed factors. Considering the role of such putative etiological factors of obesity may lead to comprehensive, cause specific, and effective strategies for prevention and treatment of this global epidemic. PMID:19960394

  9. Derivation and evaluation of putative adverse outcome ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibition is of concern in fish because COX inhibitors (e.g., ibuprofen) are ubiquitous in aquatic systems/fish tissues, and can disrupt synthesis of prostaglandins that modulate a variety of essential biological functions including reproduction. High content (transcriptomic) empirical data and publicly available high throughput toxicity data (actor.epa.gov) were utilized to develop putative adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) for molecular initiating event (MIE) of COX inhibition. Effects of a waterborne, 96h exposure to indomethacin (IN; 100 µg/L), ibuprofen (IB; 200 µg/L) and celecoxib (CX; 20 µg/L) on liver metabolome and ovarian gene expression (using oligonucleotide microarrays) in sexually mature fathead minnows (n=8) were examined. Metabolomic profiles of IN, IB and CX were not significantly different from control or one another. Exposure to IB and CX resulted in differential expression of comparable numbers of genes (IB = 433, CX= 545). In contrast, 2558 genes were differentially expressed in IN-treated fish. Functional analyses (canonical pathway and gene set enrichment) indicated extensive effects of IN on prostaglandin synthesis pathway, oocyte meiosis and several other processes consistent with physiological roles of prostaglandins. Transcriptomic data was congruent with apical endpoint data - IN reduced plasma prostaglandin F2 alpha concentrations, and ovarian COX activity, whereas IB and CX did not. Putative AOPs pathways for

  10. The "putative" role of transcription factors from HlWRKY family in the regulation of the final steps of prenylflavonid and bitter acids biosynthesis in hop (Humulus lupulus L.).

    PubMed

    Matoušek, Jaroslav; Kocábek, Tomáš; Patzak, Josef; Bříza, Jindřich; Siglová, Kristýna; Mishra, Ajay Kumar; Duraisamy, Ganesh Selvaraj; Týcová, Anna; Ono, Eiichiro; Krofta, Karel

    2016-10-01

    Lupulin glands localized in female hop (Humulus lupulus L.) cones are valuable source of bitter acids, essential oils and polyphenols. These compounds are used in brewing industry and are important for biomedical applications. In this study we describe the potential effect of transcription factors from WRKY family in the activation of the final steps of lupulin biosynthesis. In particular, lupulin gland-specific transcription factor HlWRKY1 that shows significant similarity to AtWRKY75, has ability to activate the set of promoters driving key genes of xanthohumol and bitter acids biosynthesis such as chalcone synthase H1, valerophenone synthase, prenyltransferase 1, 1L and 2 and O-methyltransferase-1. When combined with co-factor HlWDR1 and silencing suppressor p19, HlWRKY1 is able to enhance transient expression of gus gene driven by Omt1 and Chs_H1 promoters to significant level as compared to 35S promoter of CaMV in Nicotiana. benthamiana. Transformation of hop with dual Agrobacterium vector bearing HlWRKY1/HlWDR1 led to ectopic overexpression of these transgenes and further activation of lupulin-specific genes expression in hop leaves. It was further showed that (1) HlWRKY1 is endowed with promoter autoactivation; (2) It is regulated by post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) mechanism; (3) It is stimulated by kinase co-expression. Since HlWRKY1 promotes expression of lupulin-specific HlMyb3 gene therefore it can constitute a significant component in hop lupulin regulation network. Putative involvement of HlWRKY1 in the regulation of lupulin biosynthesis may suggest the original physiological function of lupulin components in hop as flower and seed protective compounds.

  11. A Fluorescent Assay for Plant Caffeic Acid O-methyltransferases

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    We have developed a facile, sensitive and continuous assay to measure the activities of plant COMTs using s-adenosyl homocysteine hydrolase as a coupling enzyme and and adeonsine a thiol-specific fluor, Thioglo1, as the detecting reagent. This assay was validated using recombinant sorghum COMT (BMR-...

  12. Antarctic accumulation seasonality.

    PubMed

    Sime, Louise C; Wolff, Eric W

    2011-11-09

    The resemblance of the orbitally filtered isotope signal from the past 340 kyr in Antarctic ice cores to Northern Hemisphere summer insolation intensity has been used to suggest that the northern hemisphere may drive orbital-scale global climate changes. A recent Letter by Laepple et al. suggests that, contrary to this interpretation, this semblance may instead be explained by weighting the orbitally controlled Antarctic seasonal insolation cycle with a static (present-day) estimate of the seasonal cycle of accumulation. We suggest, however, that both time variability in accumulation seasonality and alternative stable seasonality can markedly alter the weighted insolation signal. This indicates that, if the last 340 kyr of Antarctic accumulation has not always looked like the estimate of precipitation and accumulation seasonality made by Laepple et al., this particular accumulation weighting explanation of the Antarctic orbital-scale isotopic signal might not be robust.

  13. The Progress and Prospects of Putative Biomarkers for Liver Cancer Stem Cells in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ting

    2016-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is organized by liver cancer stem cells (LCSCs), which are a subset of cells with “stem-like” characteristics. Identification of the LCSCs is a fundamental and important problem in HCC research. LCSCs have been investigated by various stem cell biomarkers. There is still lack of consensus regarding the existence of a “global” marker for LCSCs in HCC. In this review article, we summarize the progress and prospects of putative biomarkers for LCSCs in the past decades, which is essential to develop future therapies targeting CSCs and to predict prognosis and curative effect of these therapies. PMID:27610139

  14. The Biogeography of Putative Microbial Antibiotic Production

    PubMed Central

    Bryant, Jessica A.; Charkoudian, Louise K.; Docherty, Kathryn M.; Jones, Evan; Kembel, Steven W.; Green, Jessica L.; Bohannan, Brendan J. M.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding patterns in the distribution and abundance of functional traits across a landscape is of fundamental importance to ecology. Mapping these distributions is particularly challenging for species-rich groups with sparse trait measurement coverage, such as flowering plants, insects, and microorganisms. Here, we use likelihood-based character reconstruction to infer and analyze the spatial distribution of unmeasured traits. We apply this framework to a microbial dataset comprised of 11,732 ketosynthase alpha gene sequences extracted from 144 soil samples from three continents to document the spatial distribution of putative microbial polyketide antibiotic production. Antibiotic production is a key competitive strategy for soil microbial survival and performance. Additionally, novel antibiotic discovery is highly relevant to human health, making natural antibiotic production by soil microorganisms a major target for bioprospecting. Our comparison of trait-based biogeographical patterns to patterns based on taxonomy and phylogeny is relevant to our basic understanding of microbial biogeography as well as the pressing need for new antibiotics. PMID:26102275

  15. PUTATIVE ADVERSE OUTCOME PATHWAY FOR INHIBITON ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The adverse outcome pathway (AOP) provides a framework for organizing knowledge to define links between a molecular initiating event (MIE) and an adverse outcome (AO) occurring at a higher level of biological organization, such as the individual or population. The AOP framework proceeds from a general (e.g., not chemical specific) molecular mode of action, designated as a MIE, through stepwise changes in biological status, defined as key events (KEs), to a final AO that can be used in risk assessment. Because aromatase-inhibiting pharmaceuticals are widely used to treat breast cancer patients, we explored the unintended consequences that might occur in fish exposed to these chemicals through wastewater discharge into the aquatic environment. Unlike mammals, fish have two isoforms of aromatase, one that predominates in the ovary (cyp19a1a) and a second (cyp19a1b) that prevails in the brain. Aromatase activity in fish brain can be 100 to 1000 times that in mammals and is associated with reproduction. We have developed a putative AOP for inhibition of brain aromatase in fish leading to reproductive dysfunction based on review of relevant literature and reproductive experiments with the marine fish cunner (Tautogolabrus adspersus) exposed to aromatase-inhibiting pharmaceuticals in the laboratory. The first KE in this AOP is a decrease in brain aromatase activity due to exposure to an aromatase inhibitor. KEs then progress through subsequent steps including decreas

  16. Biogenic Origin for Earth's Oldest Putative Microfossils

    SciTech Connect

    De Gregorio, B.; Sharp, T; Flynn, G; Wirick, S; Hervig, R

    2009-01-01

    Carbonaceous microbe-like features preserved within a local chert unit of the 3.5 Ga old Apex Basalt in Western Australia may represent some of the oldest evidence of life on Earth. However, the biogenicity of these putative microfossils has been called into question, primarily because the sample collection locality is a black, carbon-rich, brecciated chert dike representing an Archean submarine hydrothermal spring, suggesting a formation via an abiotic organic synthesis mechanism. Here we describe the macromolecular hydrocarbon structure, carbon bonding, functional group chemistry, and biotic element abundance of carbonaceous matter associated with these filamentous features. These characteristics are similar to those of biogenic kerogen from the ca. 1.9 Ga old Gunflint Formation. Although an abiotic origin cannot be entirely ruled out, it is unlikely that known abiotic synthesis mechanisms could recreate both the structural and compositional complexity of this ancient carbonaceous matter. Thus, we find that a biogenic origin for this material is more likely, implying that the Apex microbe-like features represent authentic biogenic organic matter.

  17. The Biogeography of Putative Microbial Antibiotic Production.

    PubMed

    Morlon, Hélène; O'Connor, Timothy K; Bryant, Jessica A; Charkoudian, Louise K; Docherty, Kathryn M; Jones, Evan; Kembel, Steven W; Green, Jessica L; Bohannan, Brendan J M

    2015-01-01

    Understanding patterns in the distribution and abundance of functional traits across a landscape is of fundamental importance to ecology. Mapping these distributions is particularly challenging for species-rich groups with sparse trait measurement coverage, such as flowering plants, insects, and microorganisms. Here, we use likelihood-based character reconstruction to infer and analyze the spatial distribution of unmeasured traits. We apply this framework to a microbial dataset comprised of 11,732 ketosynthase alpha gene sequences extracted from 144 soil samples from three continents to document the spatial distribution of putative microbial polyketide antibiotic production. Antibiotic production is a key competitive strategy for soil microbial survival and performance. Additionally, novel antibiotic discovery is highly relevant to human health, making natural antibiotic production by soil microorganisms a major target for bioprospecting. Our comparison of trait-based biogeographical patterns to patterns based on taxonomy and phylogeny is relevant to our basic understanding of microbial biogeography as well as the pressing need for new antibiotics.

  18. Mechanosensory neurons, cutaneous mechanoreceptors, and putative mechanoproteins.

    PubMed

    Del Valle, M E; Cobo, T; Cobo, J L; Vega, J A

    2012-08-01

    The mammalian skin has developed sensory structures (mechanoreceptors) that are responsible for different modalities of mechanosensitivity like touch, vibration, and pressure sensation. These specialized sensory organs are anatomically and functionally connected to a special subset of sensory neurons called mechanosensory neurons, which electrophysiologically correspond with Aβ fibers. Although mechanosensory neurons and cutaneous mechanoreceptors are rather well known, the biology of the sense of touch still remains poorly understood. Basically, the process of mechanosensitivity requires the conversion of a mechanical stimulus into an electrical signal through the activation of ion channels that gate in response to mechanical stimuli. These ion channels belong primarily to the family of the degenerin/epithelium sodium channels, especially the subfamily acid-sensing ion channels, and to the family of transient receptor potential channels. This review compiles the current knowledge on the occurrence of putative mechanoproteins in mechanosensory neurons and mechanoreceptors, as well as the involvement of these proteins on the biology of touch. Furthermore, we include a section about what the knock-out mice for mechanoproteins are teaching us. Finally, the possibilities for mechanotransduction in mechanoreceptors, and the common involvement of the ion channels, extracellular membrane, and cytoskeleton, are revisited.

  19. PUTATIVE ADVERSE OUTCOME PATHWAY FOR INHIBITON ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The adverse outcome pathway (AOP) provides a framework for organizing knowledge to define links between a molecular initiating event (MIE) and an adverse outcome (AO) occurring at a higher level of biological organization, such as the individual or population. The AOP framework proceeds from a general (e.g., not chemical specific) molecular mode of action, designated as a MIE, through stepwise changes in biological status, defined as key events (KEs), to a final AO that can be used in risk assessment. Because aromatase-inhibiting pharmaceuticals are widely used to treat breast cancer patients, we explored the unintended consequences that might occur in fish exposed to these chemicals through wastewater discharge into the aquatic environment. Unlike mammals, fish have two isoforms of aromatase, one that predominates in the ovary (cyp19a1a) and a second (cyp19a1b) that prevails in the brain. Aromatase activity in fish brain can be 100 to 1000 times that in mammals and is associated with reproduction. We have developed a putative AOP for inhibition of brain aromatase in fish leading to reproductive dysfunction based on review of relevant literature and reproductive experiments with the marine fish cunner (Tautogolabrus adspersus) exposed to aromatase-inhibiting pharmaceuticals in the laboratory. The first KE in this AOP is a decrease in brain aromatase activity due to exposure to an aromatase inhibitor. KEs then progress through subsequent steps including decreas

  20. Putative Bronchopulmonary Flagellated Protozoa in Immunosuppressed Patients

    PubMed Central

    Kilimcioglu, Ali Ahmet; Havlucu, Yavuz; Çelik, Pınar; Özbilgin, Ahmet

    2014-01-01

    Flagellated protozoa that cause bronchopulmonary symptoms in humans are commonly neglected. These protozoal forms which were presumed to be “flagellated protozoa” have been previously identified in immunosuppressed patients in a number of studies, but have not been certainly classified so far. Since no human cases of bronchopulmonary flagellated protozoa were reported from Turkey, we aimed to investigate these putative protozoa in immunosuppressed patients who are particularly at risk of infectious diseases. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples of 110 immunosuppressed adult patients who were admitted to the Department of Chest Diseases, Hafsa Sultan Hospital of Celal Bayar University, Manisa, Turkey, were examined in terms of parasites by light microscopy. Flagellated protozoal forms were detected in nine (8.2%) of 110 cases. Metronidazole (500 mg b.i.d. for 30 days) was given to all positive cases and a second bronchoscopy was performed at the end of the treatment, which revealed no parasites. In conclusion, immunosuppressed patients with bronchopulmonary symptoms should attentively be examined with regard to flagellated protozoa which can easily be misidentified as epithelial cells. PMID:24804259

  1. Putative bronchopulmonary flagellated protozoa in immunosuppressed patients.

    PubMed

    Kilimcioglu, Ali Ahmet; Havlucu, Yavuz; Girginkardesler, Nogay; Celik, Pınar; Yereli, Kor; Özbilgin, Ahmet

    2014-01-01

    Flagellated protozoa that cause bronchopulmonary symptoms in humans are commonly neglected. These protozoal forms which were presumed to be "flagellated protozoa" have been previously identified in immunosuppressed patients in a number of studies, but have not been certainly classified so far. Since no human cases of bronchopulmonary flagellated protozoa were reported from Turkey, we aimed to investigate these putative protozoa in immunosuppressed patients who are particularly at risk of infectious diseases. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples of 110 immunosuppressed adult patients who were admitted to the Department of Chest Diseases, Hafsa Sultan Hospital of Celal Bayar University, Manisa, Turkey, were examined in terms of parasites by light microscopy. Flagellated protozoal forms were detected in nine (8.2%) of 110 cases. Metronidazole (500 mg b.i.d. for 30 days) was given to all positive cases and a second bronchoscopy was performed at the end of the treatment, which revealed no parasites. In conclusion, immunosuppressed patients with bronchopulmonary symptoms should attentively be examined with regard to flagellated protozoa which can easily be misidentified as epithelial cells.

  2. Silicon fertilization of potato: expression of putative transporters and tuber skin quality.

    PubMed

    Vulavala, Vijaya K R; Elbaum, Rivka; Yermiyahu, Uri; Fogelman, Edna; Kumar, Akhilesh; Ginzberg, Idit

    2016-01-01

    A silicon transporter homolog was upregulated by Si fertilization and drought in potato roots and leaves. High Si in tuber skin resulted in anatomical and compositional changes suggesting delayed skin maturation. Silicon (Si) fertilization has beneficial effects on plant resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Potatoes, low Si accumulators, are susceptible to yield loss due to suboptimal growth conditions; thus Si fertilization may contribute to crop improvement. The effect of Si fertilization on transcript levels of putative transporters, Si uptake and tuber quality was studied in potatoes grown in a glasshouse and fertilized with sodium silicate, under normal and drought-stress conditions. Anatomical studies and Raman spectroscopic analyses of tuber skin were conducted. A putative transporter, StLsi1, with conserved amino acid domains for Si transport, was isolated. The StLsi1 transcript was detected in roots and leaves and its level increased twofold following Si fertilization, and about fivefold in leaves upon Si × drought interaction. Nevertheless, increased Si accumulation was detected only in tuber peel of Si-fertilized plants--probably due to passive movement of Si from the soil solution--where it modified skin cell morphology and cell-wall composition. Compared to controls, skin cell area was greater, suberin biosynthetic genes were upregulated and skin cell walls were enriched with oxidized aromatic moieties suggesting enhanced lignification and suberization. The accumulating data suggest delayed tuber skin maturation following Si fertilization. Despite StLsi1 upregulation, low accumulation of Si in roots and leaves may result from low transport activity. Study of Si metabolism in potato, a major staple food, would contribute to the improvement of other low Si crops to ensure food security under changing climate.

  3. Proteomic Characterization of Differential Abundant Proteins Accumulated between Lower and Upper Epidermises of Fleshy Scales in Onion (Allium cepa L.) Bulbs.

    PubMed

    Wu, Si; Ning, Fen; Wu, Xiaolin; Wang, Wei

    2016-01-01

    The onion (Allium cepa L.) is widely planted worldwide as a valuable vegetable crop. The scales of an onion bulb are a modified type of leaf. The one-layer-cell epidermis of onion scales is commonly used as a model experimental material in botany and molecular biology. The lower epidermis (LE) and upper epidermis (UE) of onion scales display obvious differences in microscopic structure, cell differentiation and pigment synthesis; however, associated proteomic differences are unclear. LE and UE can be easily sampled as single-layer-cell tissues for comparative proteomic analysis. In this study, a proteomic approach based on 2-DE and mass spectrometry (MS) was applied to compare LE and UE of fleshy scales from yellow and red onions. We identified 47 differential abundant protein spots (representing 31 unique proteins) between LE and UE in red and yellow onions. These proteins are mainly involved in pigment synthesis, stress response, and cell division. Particularly, the differentially accumulated chalcone-flavanone isomerase and flavone O-methyltransferase 1-like in LE may result in the differences in the onion scale color between red and yellow onions. Moreover, stress-related proteins abundantly accumulated in both LE and UE. In addition, the differential accumulation of UDP-arabinopyranose mutase 1-like protein and β-1,3-glucanase in the LE may be related to the different cell sizes between LE and UE of the two types of onion. The data derived from this study provides new insight into the differences in differentiation and developmental processes between onion epidermises. This study may also make a contribution to onion breeding, such as improving resistances and changing colors.

  4. Proteomic Characterization of Differential Abundant Proteins Accumulated between Lower and Upper Epidermises of Fleshy Scales in Onion (Allium cepa L.) Bulbs

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiaolin

    2016-01-01

    The onion (Allium cepa L.) is widely planted worldwide as a valuable vegetable crop. The scales of an onion bulb are a modified type of leaf. The one-layer-cell epidermis of onion scales is commonly used as a model experimental material in botany and molecular biology. The lower epidermis (LE) and upper epidermis (UE) of onion scales display obvious differences in microscopic structure, cell differentiation and pigment synthesis; however, associated proteomic differences are unclear. LE and UE can be easily sampled as single-layer-cell tissues for comparative proteomic analysis. In this study, a proteomic approach based on 2-DE and mass spectrometry (MS) was applied to compare LE and UE of fleshy scales from yellow and red onions. We identified 47 differential abundant protein spots (representing 31 unique proteins) between LE and UE in red and yellow onions. These proteins are mainly involved in pigment synthesis, stress response, and cell division. Particularly, the differentially accumulated chalcone-flavanone isomerase and flavone O-methyltransferase 1-like in LE may result in the differences in the onion scale color between red and yellow onions. Moreover, stress-related proteins abundantly accumulated in both LE and UE. In addition, the differential accumulation of UDP-arabinopyranose mutase 1-like protein and β-1,3-glucanase in the LE may be related to the different cell sizes between LE and UE of the two types of onion. The data derived from this study provides new insight into the differences in differentiation and developmental processes between onion epidermises. This study may also make a contribution to onion breeding, such as improving resistances and changing colors. PMID:28036352

  5. Neurodegeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation

    MedlinePlus

    ... are here Home » Disorders » All Disorders Neurodegeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation Information Page Neurodegeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation Information Page What research is being ...

  6. Chimpanzee accumulative stone throwing.

    PubMed

    Kühl, Hjalmar S; Kalan, Ammie K; Arandjelovic, Mimi; Aubert, Floris; D'Auvergne, Lucy; Goedmakers, Annemarie; Jones, Sorrel; Kehoe, Laura; Regnaut, Sebastien; Tickle, Alexander; Ton, Els; van Schijndel, Joost; Abwe, Ekwoge E; Angedakin, Samuel; Agbor, Anthony; Ayimisin, Emmanuel Ayuk; Bailey, Emma; Bessone, Mattia; Bonnet, Matthieu; Brazolla, Gregory; Buh, Valentine Ebua; Chancellor, Rebecca; Cipoletta, Chloe; Cohen, Heather; Corogenes, Katherine; Coupland, Charlotte; Curran, Bryan; Deschner, Tobias; Dierks, Karsten; Dieguez, Paula; Dilambaka, Emmanuel; Diotoh, Orume; Dowd, Dervla; Dunn, Andrew; Eshuis, Henk; Fernandez, Rumen; Ginath, Yisa; Hart, John; Hedwig, Daniela; Ter Heegde, Martijn; Hicks, Thurston Cleveland; Imong, Inaoyom; Jeffery, Kathryn J; Junker, Jessica; Kadam, Parag; Kambi, Mohamed; Kienast, Ivonne; Kujirakwinja, Deo; Langergraber, Kevin; Lapeyre, Vincent; Lapuente, Juan; Lee, Kevin; Leinert, Vera; Meier, Amelia; Maretti, Giovanna; Marrocoli, Sergio; Mbi, Tanyi Julius; Mihindou, Vianet; Moebius, Yasmin; Morgan, David; Morgan, Bethan; Mulindahabi, Felix; Murai, Mizuki; Niyigabae, Protais; Normand, Emma; Ntare, Nicolas; Ormsby, Lucy Jayne; Piel, Alex; Pruetz, Jill; Rundus, Aaron; Sanz, Crickette; Sommer, Volker; Stewart, Fiona; Tagg, Nikki; Vanleeuwe, Hilde; Vergnes, Virginie; Willie, Jacob; Wittig, Roman M; Zuberbuehler, Klaus; Boesch, Christophe

    2016-02-29

    The study of the archaeological remains of fossil hominins must rely on reconstructions to elucidate the behaviour that may have resulted in particular stone tools and their accumulation. Comparatively, stone tool use among living primates has illuminated behaviours that are also amenable to archaeological examination, permitting direct observations of the behaviour leading to artefacts and their assemblages to be incorporated. Here, we describe newly discovered stone tool-use behaviour and stone accumulation sites in wild chimpanzees reminiscent of human cairns. In addition to data from 17 mid- to long-term chimpanzee research sites, we sampled a further 34 Pan troglodytes communities. We found four populations in West Africa where chimpanzees habitually bang and throw rocks against trees, or toss them into tree cavities, resulting in conspicuous stone accumulations at these sites. This represents the first record of repeated observations of individual chimpanzees exhibiting stone tool use for a purpose other than extractive foraging at what appear to be targeted trees. The ritualized behavioural display and collection of artefacts at particular locations observed in chimpanzee accumulative stone throwing may have implications for the inferences that can be drawn from archaeological stone assemblages and the origins of ritual sites.

  7. Chimpanzee accumulative stone throwing

    PubMed Central

    Kühl, Hjalmar S.; Kalan, Ammie K.; Arandjelovic, Mimi; Aubert, Floris; D’Auvergne, Lucy; Goedmakers, Annemarie; Jones, Sorrel; Kehoe, Laura; Regnaut, Sebastien; Tickle, Alexander; Ton, Els; van Schijndel, Joost; Abwe, Ekwoge E.; Angedakin, Samuel; Agbor, Anthony; Ayimisin, Emmanuel Ayuk; Bailey, Emma; Bessone, Mattia; Bonnet, Matthieu; Brazolla, Gregory; Buh, Valentine Ebua; Chancellor, Rebecca; Cipoletta, Chloe; Cohen, Heather; Corogenes, Katherine; Coupland, Charlotte; Curran, Bryan; Deschner, Tobias; Dierks, Karsten; Dieguez, Paula; Dilambaka, Emmanuel; Diotoh, Orume; Dowd, Dervla; Dunn, Andrew; Eshuis, Henk; Fernandez, Rumen; Ginath, Yisa; Hart, John; Hedwig, Daniela; Ter Heegde, Martijn; Hicks, Thurston Cleveland; Imong, Inaoyom; Jeffery, Kathryn J.; Junker, Jessica; Kadam, Parag; Kambi, Mohamed; Kienast, Ivonne; Kujirakwinja, Deo; Langergraber, Kevin; Lapeyre, Vincent; Lapuente, Juan; Lee, Kevin; Leinert, Vera; Meier, Amelia; Maretti, Giovanna; Marrocoli, Sergio; Mbi, Tanyi Julius; Mihindou, Vianet; Moebius, Yasmin; Morgan, David; Morgan, Bethan; Mulindahabi, Felix; Murai, Mizuki; Niyigabae, Protais; Normand, Emma; Ntare, Nicolas; Ormsby, Lucy Jayne; Piel, Alex; Pruetz, Jill; Rundus, Aaron; Sanz, Crickette; Sommer, Volker; Stewart, Fiona; Tagg, Nikki; Vanleeuwe, Hilde; Vergnes, Virginie; Willie, Jacob; Wittig, Roman M.; Zuberbuehler, Klaus; Boesch, Christophe

    2016-01-01

    The study of the archaeological remains of fossil hominins must rely on reconstructions to elucidate the behaviour that may have resulted in particular stone tools and their accumulation. Comparatively, stone tool use among living primates has illuminated behaviours that are also amenable to archaeological examination, permitting direct observations of the behaviour leading to artefacts and their assemblages to be incorporated. Here, we describe newly discovered stone tool-use behaviour and stone accumulation sites in wild chimpanzees reminiscent of human cairns. In addition to data from 17 mid- to long-term chimpanzee research sites, we sampled a further 34 Pan troglodytes communities. We found four populations in West Africa where chimpanzees habitually bang and throw rocks against trees, or toss them into tree cavities, resulting in conspicuous stone accumulations at these sites. This represents the first record of repeated observations of individual chimpanzees exhibiting stone tool use for a purpose other than extractive foraging at what appear to be targeted trees. The ritualized behavioural display and collection of artefacts at particular locations observed in chimpanzee accumulative stone throwing may have implications for the inferences that can be drawn from archaeological stone assemblages and the origins of ritual sites. PMID:26923684

  8. Accumulation of the planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wetherill, G. W.

    1987-01-01

    In modeling the accumulation of planetesimals into planets, it is appropriate to distinguish between two stages: an early stage, during which approximately 10 km diameter planetesimals accumulate locally to form bodies approximate 10 to the 25th g in mass; and a later stage in which the approximately 10 to the 25th g planetesimals accumulate into the final planets. In the terrestrial planet region, an initial planetesimal swarm corresponding to the critical mass of dust layer gravitational instabilities is considered. In order to better understand the accumulation history of Mercury-sized bodies, 19 Monte-Carlo simulations of terrestrial planet growth were calculated. A Monte Carlo technique was used to investigate the orbital evolution of asteroidal collision debris produced interior to 2.6 AU. It was found that there are two regions primarily responsible for production of Earth-crossing meteoritic material and Apollo objects. The same techniques were extended to include the origin of Earth-approaching asteroidal bodies. It is found that these same two resonant mechanisms predict a steady-state number of Apollo-Amor about 1/2 that estimated based on astronomical observations.

  9. Choline metabolism in glycinebetaine accumulating and non-accumulating near-isogenic lines of Zea mays and Sorghum bicolor.

    PubMed

    Peel, Gregory J; Mickelbart, Michael V; Rhodes, David

    2010-03-01

    Glycinebetaine (GB) is a compatible solute that is accumulated by some plant species, especially under conditions leading to tissue osmotic stress. Genetic modification for accumulation of GB in an attempt to produce more stress tolerant plants has been a focus for several groups in recent years. However, attempts to increase tissue GB concentrations have been unsuccessful, with many transgenic lines accumulating far lower concentrations than naturally-occurring GB accumulators. A better understanding of the metabolic regulation of GB synthesis is necessary for successful molecular breeding and biotechnology. We utilized previously developed near-isogenic lines for GB accumulation to characterize the biochemical basis for GB deficiency in maize and sorghum. Salinity resulted in increased accumulation of choline in both accumulating and non-accumulating lines. When grown in the presence of NaCl, GB-non-accumulating lines had increased concentrations of choline and phosphocholine, but not GB. Decreased GB synthesis can be explained from the increased concentrations of phosphocholine in planta and the strong inhibition of N-phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase by phosphocholine observed in vitro. The lack of GB accumulation in GB-/- homozygous NILs was not due to the lack of the putative choline monooxygenase (the enzyme responsible for choline oxidation to betaine aldehyde) gene or protein that we describe. The previously identified bet1 locus does not appear to be choline monooxygenase. However, the lack of GB synthesis does affect the synthesis and turnover of choline moieties in GB non-accumulating lines, which may lead to alterations in overall 1-carbon metabolism in plants. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Ceres' darkest secret and its putative exosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schorghofer, N.; Mazarico, E.; Platz, T.; Schroeder, S.; Byrne, S.; Carsenty, U.; Combe, J. P.; Ermakov, A.; McFadden, L. A.; Prettyman, T. H.; Preusker, F.; Raymond, C. A.; Russell, C. T.

    2016-12-01

    Craters near Ceres' rotational poles can be shadowed year-round and trap volatiles. The persistently shadowed regions (PSRs) have been mapped in the northern hemisphere in two ways: by illumination modeling based on the topography and by stacking of images acquired near summer solstice. Scattered light reveals bright crater floor deposits (BCFDs) in a few PSRs. The lack of BCFDs in most PSRs can in part be explained by changes in Ceres' obliquity (axis tilt). At least one BCFD is illuminated and spectroscopically identified as H2O ice; this deposit is exceptionally bright and unusual morphologically. The BCFDs are likely water ice, either delivered through the exosphere or exposed ground ice. The remarkably shallow depths at which water ice is encountered on Ceres, on a global scale, imply that only a small amount of H2O was supplied to its water exosphere from this endogenic source. Ice that accumulated in the PSRs is hence easily dominated by other sources. The lack of optically thick ice deposits in most PSRs provides an upper bound on the exogenic delivery of water to Ceres, estimated as <109 kg since the most recent obliquity maximum 14 kyr ago. Water molecules are only barely gravitationally bound to Ceres at thermal speeds, but heavier species can be long-lived in the exosphere due to the low photo-destruction rates. Nevertheless, there is no observational evidence of other exospheric species yet. These results are based on observations by the FC (Framing Camera), VIR (Visible and Infrared Spectrometer), GRaND (Gamma-Ray and Neutron Spectrometer), and Gravity Science investigation of the Dawn spacecraft, which continues to advance our understanding not only of Ceres but of processes relevant to other Solar System bodies as well.

  11. Control of helium accumulation

    SciTech Connect

    Varadarajan, V.; Miley, G.H.

    1990-01-01

    The fishbone like oscillations in ignited tokamaks are addressed in an exploratory manner. The effects of the strong m = 1 oscillations and the weak high-frequency oscillations are examined in order to explore the feasibility of utilizing these oscillations for alpha accumulation control. The prospects of achieving small scale continuous alpha removal from the plasma center by mild fishbone-like oscillations are examined.

  12. Selenium accumulation by plants

    PubMed Central

    White, Philip J.

    2016-01-01

    Background Selenium (Se) is an essential mineral element for animals and humans, which they acquire largely from plants. The Se concentration in edible plants is determined by the Se phytoavailability in soils. Selenium is not an essential element for plants, but excessive Se can be toxic. Thus, soil Se phytoavailability determines the ecology of plants. Most plants cannot grow on seleniferous soils. Most plants that grow on seleniferous soils accumulate <100 mg Se kg–1 dry matter and cannot tolerate greater tissue Se concentrations. However, some plant species have evolved tolerance to Se, and commonly accumulate tissue Se concentrations >100 mg Se kg–1 dry matter. These plants are considered to be Se accumulators. Some species can even accumulate Se concentrations of 1000–15 000 mg Se kg–1 dry matter and are called Se hyperaccumulators. Scope This article provides an overview of Se uptake, translocation and metabolism in plants and highlights the possible genetic basis of differences in these between and within plant species. The review focuses initially on adaptations allowing plants to tolerate large Se concentrations in their tissues and the evolutionary origin of species that hyperaccumulate Se. It then describes the variation in tissue Se concentrations between and within angiosperm species and identifies genes encoding enzymes limiting the rates of incorporation of Se into organic compounds and chromosomal loci that might enable the development of crops with greater Se concentrations in their edible portions. Finally, it discusses transgenic approaches enabling plants to tolerate greater Se concentrations in the rhizosphere and in their tissues. Conclusions The trait of Se hyperaccumulation has evolved several times in separate angiosperm clades. The ability to tolerate large tissue Se concentrations is primarily related to the ability to divert Se away from the accumulation of selenocysteine and selenomethionine, which might be incorporated

  13. Selenium accumulation by plants.

    PubMed

    White, Philip J

    2016-02-01

    Selenium (Se) is an essential mineral element for animals and humans, which they acquire largely from plants. The Se concentration in edible plants is determined by the Se phytoavailability in soils. Selenium is not an essential element for plants, but excessive Se can be toxic. Thus, soil Se phytoavailability determines the ecology of plants. Most plants cannot grow on seleniferous soils. Most plants that grow on seleniferous soils accumulate <100 mg Se kg(-1) dry matter and cannot tolerate greater tissue Se concentrations. However, some plant species have evolved tolerance to Se, and commonly accumulate tissue Se concentrations >100 mg Se kg(-1) dry matter. These plants are considered to be Se accumulators. Some species can even accumulate Se concentrations of 1000-15 000 mg Se kg(-1 )dry matter and are called Se hyperaccumulators. This article provides an overview of Se uptake, translocation and metabolism in plants and highlights the possible genetic basis of differences in these between and within plant species. The review focuses initially on adaptations allowing plants to tolerate large Se concentrations in their tissues and the evolutionary origin of species that hyperaccumulate Se. It then describes the variation in tissue Se concentrations between and within angiosperm species and identifies genes encoding enzymes limiting the rates of incorporation of Se into organic compounds and chromosomal loci that might enable the development of crops with greater Se concentrations in their edible portions. Finally, it discusses transgenic approaches enabling plants to tolerate greater Se concentrations in the rhizosphere and in their tissues. The trait of Se hyperaccumulation has evolved several times in separate angiosperm clades. The ability to tolerate large tissue Se concentrations is primarily related to the ability to divert Se away from the accumulation of selenocysteine and selenomethionine, which might be incorporated into non-functional proteins

  14. Dust Accumulation on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    Since landing on Mars a year ago, NASA's pair of six-wheeled geologists have been constantly exposed to martian winds and dust. As a result, the Spirit rover has gradually experienced a slight decline in power as a thin layer of dust has accumulated on the solar panels, blocking some of the sunlight that is converted to electricity. In this enlarged image of a postage-stamp-size (3-centimeter-square, 1.2-inch-square) portion of one of Spirit's solar panels, a fine layer of martian dust coats electrical connections and metal surfaces. Individual silt grains or clumps of dust are visible where sediment has accumulated in crevices between solar cells and circuits. The upper right half of the image shows the edge of one of the rover's solar cells. The lower left half shows electrical wires bonded with silicon adhesive to the underlying composite surface; the circular abrasions are the result of sanding by hand on Earth. The braided wire is connected to a thermocouple used to measure temperature based on electrical resistance. Spirit took this image with its microscopic imager on martian day, or sol, 350 (Dec. 26, 2004).

  15. Heat exchanger-accumulator

    DOEpatents

    Ecker, Amir L.

    1980-01-01

    What is disclosed is a heat exchanger-accumulator for vaporizing a refrigerant or the like, characterized by an upright pressure vessel having a top, bottom and side walls; an inlet conduit eccentrically and sealingly penetrating through the top; a tubular overflow chamber disposed within the vessel and sealingly connected with the bottom so as to define an annular outer volumetric chamber for receiving refrigerant; a heat transfer coil disposed in the outer volumetric chamber for vaporizing the liquid refrigerant that accumulates there; the heat transfer coil defining a passageway for circulating an externally supplied heat exchange fluid; transferring heat efficiently from the fluid; and freely allowing vaporized refrigerant to escape upwardly from the liquid refrigerant; and a refrigerant discharge conduit penetrating sealingly through the top and traversing substantially the length of the pressurized vessel downwardly and upwardly such that its inlet is near the top of the pressurized vessel so as to provide a means for transporting refrigerant vapor from the vessel. The refrigerant discharge conduit has metering orifices, or passageways, penetrating laterally through its walls near the bottom, communicating respectively interiorly and exteriorly of the overflow chamber for controllably carrying small amounts of liquid refrigerant and oil to the effluent stream of refrigerant gas.

  16. A putative hybrid swarm within Oonopsis foliosa (Asteraceae: Astereae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hughes, J.F.; Brown, G.K.

    2004-01-01

    Oo??nopsis foliosa var. foliosa and var. monocephala are endemic to short-grass steppe of southeastern Colorado and until recently were considered geographically disjunct. The only known qualitative feature separating these 2 varieties is floral head type; var. foliosa has radiate heads, whereas var. monocephala heads are discoid. Sympatry between these varieties is restricted to a small area in which a range of parental types and intermediate head morphologies is observed. We used distribution mapping, morphometric analyses, chromosome cytology, and pollen stainability to characterize the sympatric zone. Morphometrics confirms that the only discrete difference between var. foliosa and var. monocephala is radiate versus discoid heads, respectively. The outer florets of putative hybrid individuals ranged from conspicuously elongated yet radially symmetric disc-floret corollas, to elongated radially asymmetric bilabiate- or deeply cleft corollas, to stunted ray florets with appendages remnant of corolla lobes. Chromosome cytology of pollen mother cells from both putative parental varieties and a series of intermediate morphological types collected at the sympatric zone reveal evidence of translocation heterozygosity. Pollen stainability shows no significant differences in viability between the parental varieties and putative hybrids. The restricted distribution of putative hybrids to a narrow zone of sympatry between the parental types and the presence of meiotic chromosome-pairing anomalies in these intermediate plants are consistent with a hybrid origin. The high stainability of putative-hybrid pollen adds to a growing body of evidence that hybrids are not universally unfit.

  17. Involvement of ethylene in the accumulation of esculeoside A during fruit ripening of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum).

    PubMed

    Iijima, Yoko; Fujiwara, Yukio; Tokita, Takeaki; Ikeda, Tsuyoshi; Nohara, Toshihiro; Aoki, Koh; Shibata, Daisuke

    2009-04-22

    The composition of glycoalkaloids in tomato fruit changes with ripening. However, it has not been clarified whether the accumulation of glycoalkaloids is controlled by the ripening-inducing phytohormone, ethylene. Here, we report the effect of ethylene on the accumulation of tomato fruit glycoalkaloids. We investigated the effect of exogenously applied ethylene. In response to ethylene treatment, the content of alpha-tomatine decreased, whereas the content of esculeoside A increased. Next, we analyzed the fruits of ripening mutants, rin, nor, and Nr. In fruits of these mutant lines, the level of accumulation of esculeoside A decreased, whereas alpha-tomatine accumulated to higher levels than in wild-type fruit. These results demonstrated that the esculeoside A accumulation was associated with production and perception of ethylene. Additionally, the accumulation profiles of the intermediate metabolites of esculeoside A biosynthesis in ripening mutant fruits suggest that a glycosylation step in the putative pathway from alpha-tomatine to esculeoside A depends on ethylene.

  18. Overabundance of Putative Cancer Stem Cells in Human Skin Keratinocyte Cells Malignantly Transformed by Arsenic

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yang; Tokar, Erik J.; Waalkes, Michael P.

    2012-01-01

    Arsenic is a human skin carcinogen. Cancer is probably a disease driven by stem cells (SCs), and SCs are likely a key target during arsenic oncogenesis. In utero arsenic exposure predisposes mice to skin cancers that overproduce cancer SCs (CSCs) and have distorted CSC signaling and population dynamics. Therefore, we hypothesized CSC accumulation may occur during arsenic-induced malignant transformation in vitro of human skin keratinocytes. Thus, the HaCaT cell line, malignantly transformed by arsenite (100nM, 30 weeks; termed As-TM cells) in prior work, was further studied for the quantity and nature of SCs after this transformation. SCs were isolated from passage-matched control and As-TM cells by a magnetic bead system that enriches for CD34-positive cells. There were 2.5 times more SCs isolated from As-TM cells than control. Holoclone production from As-TM putative CSCs was 2.5-fold higher by 1 week and 3.5-fold higher by 2 weeks than control SCs. Potential malignant phenotype was assessed in isolated SC/CSCs. Transcript level of SC/CSC markers were elevated in both isolated As-TM CSCs and control SCs compared with parental cells, but compared with control SCs, As-TM putative CSCs had elevated CD34, K5, K14, K15, and K19 transcripts and dramatically stronger staining for p63, Rac1, K5, Notch1, and K19. As-TM putative CSCs also showed markedly elevated MMP-9 secretion and colony formation, indicators of cancer phenotype, even compared with total population of As-TM cells. Thus, malignant phenotype is particularly pronounced in CSCs after arsenic-induced transformation of human skin cells and occurs concurrently with a potential overproduction of these cells. PMID:22011395

  19. Two putative-aquaporin genes are differentially expressed during arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis in Lotus japonicus

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Arbuscular mycorrhizas (AM) are widespread symbioses that provide great advantages to the plant, improving its nutritional status and allowing the fungus to complete its life cycle. Nevertheless, molecular mechanisms that lead to the development of AM symbiosis are not yet fully deciphered. Here, we have focused on two putative aquaporin genes, LjNIP1 and LjXIP1, which resulted to be upregulated in a transcriptomic analysis performed on mycorrhizal roots of Lotus japonicus. Results A phylogenetic analysis has shown that the two putative aquaporins belong to different functional families: NIPs and XIPs. Transcriptomic experiments have shown the independence of their expression from their nutritional status but also a close correlation with mycorrhizal and rhizobial interaction. Further transcript quantification has revealed a good correlation between the expression of one of them, LjNIP1, and LjPT4, the phosphate transporter which is considered a marker gene for mycorrhizal functionality. By using laser microdissection, we have demonstrated that one of the two genes, LjNIP1, is expressed exclusively in arbuscule-containing cells. LjNIP1, in agreement with its putative role as an aquaporin, is capable of transferring water when expressed in yeast protoplasts. Confocal analysis have demonstrated that eGFP-LjNIP1, under its endogenous promoter, accumulates in the inner membrane system of arbusculated cells. Conclusions Overall, the results have shown different functionality and expression specificity of two mycorrhiza-inducible aquaporins in L. japonicus. One of them, LjNIP1 can be considered a novel molecular marker of mycorrhizal status at different developmental stages of the arbuscule. At the same time, LjXIP1 results to be the first XIP family aquaporin to be transcriptionally regulated during symbiosis. PMID:23046713

  20. Solids Accumulation Scouting Studies

    SciTech Connect

    Duignan, M. R.; Steeper, T. J.; Steimke, J. L.

    2012-09-26

    The objective of Solids Accumulation activities was to perform scaled testing to understand the behavior of remaining solids in a Double Shell Tank (DST), specifically AW-105, at Hanford during multiple fill, mix, and transfer operations. It is important to know if fissionable materials can concentrate when waste is transferred from staging tanks prior to feeding waste treatment plants. Specifically, there is a concern that large, dense particles containing plutonium could accumulate in poorly mixed regions of a blend tank heel for tanks that employ mixing jet pumps. At the request of the DOE Hanford Tank Operations Contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions, the Engineering Development Laboratory of the Savannah River National Laboratory performed a scouting study in a 1/22-scale model of a waste staging tank to investigate this concern and to develop measurement techniques that could be applied in a more extensive study at a larger scale. Simulated waste tank solids: Gibbsite, Zirconia, Sand, and Stainless Steel, with stainless steel particles representing the heavier particles, e.g., plutonium, and supernatant were charged to the test tank and rotating liquid jets were used to mix most of the solids while the simulant was pumped out. Subsequently, the volume and shape of the mounds of residual solids and the spatial concentration profiles for the surrogate for heavier particles were measured. Several techniques were developed and equipment designed to accomplish the measurements needed and they included: 1. Magnetic particle separator to remove simulant stainless steel solids. A device was designed and built to capture these solids, which represent the heavier solids during a waste transfer from a staging tank. 2. Photographic equipment to determine the volume of the solids mounds. The mounds were photographed as they were exposed at different tank waste levels to develop a composite of topographical areas. 3. Laser rangefinders to determine the volume of

  1. WEALTH INEQUALITY AND ACCUMULATION.

    PubMed

    Killewald, Alexandra; Pfeffer, Fabian T; Schachner, Jared N

    2017-07-01

    Research on wealth inequality and accumulation and the data upon which it relies have expanded substantially in the twenty-first century. While the field has experienced rapid growth, conceptual and methodological challenges remain. We begin by discussing two major unresolved methodological concerns facing wealth research: how to address challenges to causal inference posed by wealth's cumulative nature and how to operationalize net worth, given its highly skewed nature. To underscore the need for continued empirical attention to net worth, we review trends in wealth levels and inequality and evaluate wealth's distinctiveness as an indicator of social stratification. Next, we provide an overview of data sources available for wealth research. We then review recent empirical evidence on the effects of wealth on other social outcomes, as well as research on the determinants of wealth. We close with a list of promising avenues for future research on wealth, its causes, and its consequences.

  2. Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Identifies Putative Genes Involved in the Biosynthesis of Xanthanolides in Xanthium strumarium L.

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yuanjun; Gou, Junbo; Chen, Fangfang; Li, Changfu; Zhang, Yansheng

    2016-01-01

    Xanthium strumarium L. is a traditional Chinese herb belonging to the Asteraceae family. The major bioactive components of this plant are sesquiterpene lactones (STLs), which include the xanthanolides. To date, the biogenesis of xanthanolides, especially their downstream pathway, remains largely unknown. In X. strumarium, xanthanolides primarily accumulate in its glandular trichomes. To identify putative gene candidates involved in the biosynthesis of xanthanolides, three X. strumarium transcriptomes, which were derived from the young leaves of two different cultivars and th