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Articles by B Hou
Total Records ( 3 ) for B Hou
  B Hou , F Li , X Yang and G. Hong

In Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae, NodD, as a member of the LysR-type transcriptional regulators (LTTRs), exerts auto-regulation and activates transcription of other nod genes in the presence of naringenin. LTTRs were typically composed of N-terminal DNA-binding domain and C-terminal regulatory domain. In this study, by systematic insertion mutation, a region of 12 amino acids in length of NodD was identified as functional domain. Insertion mutants in this region appeared to acquire the ability of constitutively activating nodA gene and retained their auto-regulation properties. This identified region was shown to be a hinge of NodD as revealed through the model built using Swiss-PDB Viewer software. It is the first time to report that as a member of LysR family, NodD has been shown to contain a short intramolecular domain that influences its performance.

  B Hou , F Li , X Yang and G. Hong

In Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae, NodD, a member of the LysR-type transcriptional regulators, while auto-regulating, activates transcription of other nod genes in the presence of naringenin. A hinge region of NodD was previously identified in our laboratory as a functional region independent of its N-terminal DNA-binding and C-terminal regulatory domain. Further study was carried out to see the possible effect of the length variation in the hinge region on NodD's properties. To our surprise, as many as seven classes of phenotypes were observed. Class I is deficient of activating nodA transcription and abolishes auto-regulation; class II is able to activate nodA transcription independently of naringenin and abolishes auto-regulation; class III retains auto-regulating but partial activating ability; class IV is able to activate transcription independently of naringenin and retains auto-regulation; in class V, nodA is transcribed constitutively but the transcription level is drastically down-regulated in the presence of naringenin; in class VI, nodA is transcribed constitutively with higher induction ratio; in class VII, nodA is transcribed constitutively with lower induction ratio. To learn more about the possible mechanism, circular permutation assays were done, which showed that the length variation of the hinge of NodD caused by mutation led to the change in bend angles of nod promoter. This finding should help to get an insight into how transcriptional regulation is mediated by NodD at the molecular level as well as to understand the regulatory system of this important family.

  J Naylor , J Li , C. J Milligan , F Zeng , P Sukumar , B Hou , A Sedo , N Yuldasheva , Y Majeed , D Beri , S Jiang , V. A. L Seymour , L McKeown , B Kumar , C Harteneck , D O'Regan , S. B Wheatcroft , M. T Kearney , C Jones , K. E Porter and D. J. Beech

Rationale: Transient receptor potential melastatin (TRPM)3 is a calcium-permeable ion channel activated by the neurosteroid pregnenolone sulfate and positively coupled to insulin secretion in β cells. Although vascular TRPM3 mRNA has been reported, there is no knowledge of TRPM3 protein or its regulation and function in the cardiovascular system.

Objective: To determine the relevance and regulation of TRPM3 in vascular biology.

Methods and Results: TRPM3 expression was detected at mRNA and protein levels in contractile and proliferating vascular smooth muscle cells. Calcium entry evoked by pregnenolone sulfate or sphingosine was suppressed by TRPM3 blocking antibody or knock-down of TRPM3 by RNA interference. Low-level constitutive TRPM3 activity was also detected. In proliferating cells, channel activity was coupled negatively to interleukin-6 secretion via a calcium-dependent mechanism. In freshly isolated aorta, TRPM3 positively modulated contractile responses independently of L-type calcium channels. Concentrations of pregnenolone sulfate required to evoke responses were higher than the known plasma concentrations of the steroids, leading to a screen for other stimulators. β-Cyclodextrin was one of few stimulators of TRPM3, revealing the channels to be partially suppressed by endogenous cholesterol, the precursor of pregnenolone. Elevation of cholesterol further suppressed channel activity and loading with cholesterol to generate foam cells precluded observation of TRPM3 activity.

Conclusions: The data suggest functional relevance of TRPM3 in contractile and proliferating phenotypes of vascular smooth muscle cells, significance of constitutive channel activity, regulation by cholesterol, and potential value of pregnenolone sulfate in therapeutic vascular modulation.

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