Genk Center for Biosafety

Tromsø, Norway

Genk Center for Biosafety

Tromsø, Norway
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Kostenko S.,University of Tromsø | Khan M.T.H.,University of Tromsø | Khan M.T.H.,Genk Center for Biosafety | Sylte I.,University of Tromsø | Moens U.,University of Tromsø
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences | Year: 2011

The mitogen-activated protein kinase-activated protein kinase MK5 is ubiquitously expressed in vertebrates and is implicated in cell proliferation, cytoskeletal remodeling, and anxiety behavior. This makes MK5 an attractive drug target. We tested several diterpenoid alkaloids for their ability to suppress MK5 kinase activity. We identified noroxoaconitine as an ATP competitor that inhibited the catalytic activity of MK5 in vitro (IC 50 = 37.5 μM; K i = 0.675 μM) and prevented PKA-induced nuclear export of MK5, a process that depends on kinase active MK5. MK5 is closely related to MK2 and MK3, and noroxoaconitine inhibited MK3- and MK5- but not MK2-mediated phosphorylation of the common substrate Hsp27. Molecular docking of noroxoaconitine into the ATP binding sites indicated that noroxoaconitine binds more strongly to MK5 than to MK3. Noroxoaconitine and derivatives may help in elucidating the precise biological functions of MK5 and may prove to have therapeutic values. © 2010 The Author(s).


Cooper T.F.,University of Houston | Paixao T.,University of Houston | Heinemann J.A.,University of Canterbury | Heinemann J.A.,Genk Center for Biosafety
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2010

Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are commonly found on bacterial plasmids. The antitoxin inhibits toxin activity unless the system is lost from the cell. Then the shorter lived antitoxin degrades and the cell becomes susceptible to the toxin. Selection for plasmid-encoded TA systems was initially thought to result from their reducing the number of plasmid-free cells arising during growth in monoculture. However, modelling and experiments have shown that this mechanism can only explain the success of plasmid TA systems under a restricted set of conditions. Previously, we have proposed and tested an alternative model explaining the success of plasmid TA systems as a consequence of competition occurring between plasmids during co-infection of bacterial hosts. Here, we test a further prediction of this model, that competition between plasmids will lead to the biased accumulation of TA systems on plasmids relative to chromosomes. Transposon-encoded TA systems were added to populations of plasmid-containing cells, such that TA systems could insert into either plasmids or chromosomes. These populations were enriched for transposon-containing cells and then incubated in environments that did, or did not, allow effective within-host plasmid competition to occur. Changes in the ratio of plasmid-to chromosome-encoded TA systems were monitored. In agreement with our model, we found that plasmid-encoded TA systems had a competitive advantage, but only when host cells were sensitive to the effect of TA systems. This result demonstrates that within-host competition between plasmids can select for TA systems. © 2010 The Royal Society.

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