Formation of the Ca2+-activated photoprotein obelin from apo-obelin and mRNA inside human neutrophils.
ABSTRACT: 1. A method has been developed to incorporate the apoprotein of the Ca2+-activated photoprotein obelin, and mRNA purified from the hydroid Obelia, into the cytoplasm of intact human neutrophils. This was based on internal release from pH-sensitive immunoliposomes taken up initially by phagocytosis. 2. Addition of the prosthetic group of obelin, coelenterazine, to these cells containing apo-obelin or Obelia mRNA resulted in formation of active Ca2+-activated obelin. 3. The obelin formed within the neutrophils responded to the chemotactic peptide N-formylmethionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (1 microM) and to the membrane attack complex of complement (C5B6789n). 4. The formation of the apo-obelin from mRNA within neutrophils was inhibited by over 80% in the absence of added amino acids, and by over 90% by the protein-synthesis inhibitor puromycin (100 micrograms/ml). 5. The translation of Obelia mRNA inside cells provides a method for circumventing consumption of Ca2+-activated photoproteins during cell activation or injury, and for monitoring protein synthesis in living cells.
Project description:The crystal structures of calcium-loaded apo-aequorin and apo-obelin have been determined at resolutions 1.7A and 2.2 A, respectively. A calcium ion is observed in each of the three EF-hand loops that have the canonical calcium-binding sequence, and each is coordinated in the characteristic pentagonal bipyramidal configuration. The calcium-loaded apo-protein retain the same compact scaffold and overall fold as the unreacted photoproteins containing the bound substrate, 2-hyroperoxycoelenterazine, and also the same as the Ca2+-discharged obelin bound with product, coleneteramide. Nevertheless, there are easily discerned shifts in both helix and loop regions, and the shifts are not the same between the two proteins. It is suggested that these photoproteins to sense Ca2+ concentration transients and to produce their bioluminescence response on the millisecond timescale. A mechanism of intrastructural transmission of the calcium signal is proposed.
Project description:1. Sealed pigeon erythrocyte 'ghosts' were prepared containing ATP and the Ca2+-activated photoprotein obelin to investigate the relationship cyclic AMP formation and internal free Ca2+. 2. The 'ghosts' were characterized by (a) morphology (optical and electron microscopy), (b) composition (haemoglobin, K+, Na+, Mg2+, ATP, obelin), (c) permeability to Ca2+, assessed by obelin luminescence and (d) hormone sensitivity (the effect of beta-adrenergic agonists and antagonists on cyclic AMP formation). 3. The effect of osmolarity at haemolysis and ATP at resealing on these parameters was investigated. 4. Sealed 'ghosts', containing approx. 2% of original haemoglobin, 150mM-K+, 0.5MM-ATP, 10(3)--10(4) obelin luminescence counts/10(6) 'ghosts', which were relatively impermeable to Ca2+ and in which cyclic AMP formation was stimulated by beta-adrenergic agonists over a concentration range similar to that for intact cells, could be prepared after haemolysis in 6mM-NaCl3mM-MgCl2/50mM-Tes, pH7, and resealing for 30min at 37 degrees C in the presence of ATP and 150mM-KCl. 5. The initial rate of adrenaline-stimulated cyclic AMP formation in these 'ghosts' was 30--50% of that in intact cells and was inhibited by the addition of extracellular Ca2+. Addition of Ca2+ to the 'ghosts' resulted in a stimulation of obelin luminescence, indicating an increase in internal free Ca2+ under these conditions. 6. The ionophore A23187 increased the rate of obelin luminescence in the 'ghosts' and also inhibited the adrenaline-stimulated increase in cyclic AMP. 7. The effect of ionophore A23187 on obelin luminescence and on cyclic AMP formation in the 'ghosts' was markedly decreased by sealing EGTA inside the 'ghosts'. 8. It was concluded that cyclic AMP formation inside sealed pigeon erythrocyte 'ghosts' could be inhibited by more than 50% by free Ca2+ concentrations in the range 1--10 micrometer.
Project description:The crystal structure of the photoprotein obelin (22.2 kDa) from Obelia longissima has been determined and refined to 1.7 A resolution. Contrary to the prediction of a peroxide, the noncovalently bound substrate, coelenterazine, has only a single oxygen atom bound at the C2-position. The protein-coelenterazine 2-oxy complex observed in the crystals is photo-active because, in the presence of calcium ion, bioluminescence emission within the crystal is observed. This structure represents only the second de novo protein structure determined using the anomalous scattering signal of the sulfur substructure in the crystal. The method used here is theoretically different from that used for crambin in 1981 (4.72 kDa) and represents a significant advancement in protein crystal structure determination.
Project description:Ca2+-regulated photoproteins responsible for bioluminescence of a variety of marine organisms are single-chain globular proteins within the inner cavity of which the oxygenated coelenterazine, 2-hydroperoxycoelenterazine, is tightly bound. Alongside with native coelenterazine, photoproteins can also use its synthetic analogues as substrates to produce flash-type bioluminescence. However, information on the effect of modifications of various groups of coelenterazine and amino acid environment of the protein active site on the bioluminescent properties of the corresponding semi-synthetic photoproteins is fragmentary and often controversial. In this paper, we investigated the specific bioluminescence activity, light emission spectra, stopped-flow kinetics and sensitivity to calcium of the semi-synthetic aequorins and obelins activated by novel coelenterazine analogues and the recently reported coelenterazine derivatives. Several semi-synthetic photoproteins activated by the studied coelenterazine analogues displayed sufficient bioluminescence activities accompanied by various changes in the spectral and kinetic properties as well as in calcium sensitivity. The poor activity of certain semi-synthetic photoproteins might be attributed to instability of some coelenterazine analogues in solution and low efficiency of 2-hydroperoxy adduct formation. In most cases, semi-synthetic obelins and aequorins displayed different properties upon being activated by the same coelenterazine analogue. The results indicated that the OH-group at the C-6 phenyl ring of coelenterazine is important for the photoprotein bioluminescence and that the hydrogen-bond network around the substituent in position 6 of the imidazopyrazinone core could be the reason of different bioluminescence activities of aequorin and obelin with certain coelenterazine analogues.
Project description:The crystal structure at 1.93-A resolution is determined for the Ca2+-discharged obelin containing three bound calcium ions as well as the product of the bioluminescence reaction, coelenteramide. This finding extends the series of available spatial structures of the ligand-dependent conformations of the protein to four, the obelin itself, and those after the bioluminescence reaction with or without bound Ca2+ and/or coelenteramide. Among these structures, global conformational changes are small, typical of the class of "calcium signal modulators" within the EF-hand protein superfamily. Nevertheless, in the active site there are significant repositions of two residues. The His-175 imidazole ring flips becoming almost perpendicular to the original orientation corroborating the crucial importance of this residue for triggering bioluminescence. Tyr-138 hydrogen bonded to the coelenterazine N1-atom in unreacted obelin is moved away from the binding cavity after reaction. However, this Tyr is displaced by a water molecule from within the cavity, which now forms a hydrogen bond to the same atom, the amide N of coelenteramide. From this observation, a reaction scheme is proposed that would result in the neutral coelenteramide as the primary excited state product in photoprotein bioluminescence. From such a higher energy state it is now energetically feasible to account for the shorter wavelength bioluminescence spectra obtained from some photoprotein mutants or to populate the lower energy state of the phenolate anion to yield the blue bioluminescence ordinarily observed from native photoproteins.
Project description:1. The Ca(2+)-activated luminescent protein obelin was extracted from the hydroid Obelia geniculata. 2. After the addition of a large excess of calcium (greater than 5mm) a peak in the rate of luminescence occurred within 100ms, followed by an exponential decay (k=2.8s(-1)). The obelin activity (light emitted) was measured by the peak height or by the total number of counts recorded on a scalar in the first 10s after addition of Ca(2+). 3. After an overnight extraction in 40mm-EDTA-200mm-Tris-HCl, pH7.0, 7.2x10(11) counts were obtained from 186g of wet hydroids. 4. The stability of the crude extracts was dependent on pH, being optimal at pH7.0. 5. Obelin could be purified threefold with a yield of 69% by selecting the protein precipitated between 60%- and 100%-saturated (NH(4))(2)SO(4). The precipitate could be stored for at least 6 months as a suspension in 40mm-EDTA+saturated (NH(4))(2)SO(4), pH7.0, frozen at -70 degrees C with a recovery of 95-100%. 6. Luminescence was also stimulated by Sr(2+). However, obelin appeared to have a lower affinity for Sr(2+) than for Ca(2+). Mg(2+) inhibited Ca(2+)-activated luminescence. 7. Obelin could be used to assay as little as 50pmol of Ca(2+) in a final volume of 1ml. 8. At pH7.0 in Ca(2+)-EGTA [ethanedioxybis(ethylamine)tetra-acetate] buffers the rate of obelin luminescence was proportional to the square of the free Ca(2+) concentration in the presence and absence of 1 and 10mm-Mg(2+). Over the range 0.1-10mum-Ca(2+) less than 0.03% of the obelin was consumed/s. 9. In order to use obelin to study free ionized Ca(2+) concentrations similar to those found inside cells in the presence of 10mm-Mg(2+) a minimum of 10(8) counts were required. A total of 10(12) counts can be readily extracted from about 200g of wet hydroids. Thus a sufficient quantity of an aequorin-like calcium-activated luminescent protein should now be available to workers in the United Kingdom in order to carry out physiological experiments.
Project description:1. The uptake of liposomes containing the photoprotein obelin by rat isolated adipocytes was investigated with the aim of producing liposome-cell fusion, enabling obelin to be introduced into the cytoplasm of intact cells. 2. Incubation of liposomes containing obelin with rat isolated adipocytes resulted in a time-dependent uptake of entrapped obelin by the adipocytes. The uptake by adipocytes (at 2h) of liposomes prepared from phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylcholine+phosphatidylserine (molar ratio 4:1) and phosphatidylcholine+N-octadecylamine (molar ratio 4:1) was approx. 6, 10 and 10% of original entrapped obelin per g dry wt. of adipocytes respectively. 3. During incubation with adipocytes some of the liposomes became permeable to Ca(2+) ions, resulting in stimulation of obelin luminescence from within the liposomes. This increase in permeability to Ca(2+) seemed to be the result of the interaction of liposomes with the cell membrane. 4. Approx. 50% of liposome uptake could be inhibited by cytochalasin B (500mum). This was consistent with this uptake being the result of endocytosis. The remaining uptake was probably the result of adhesion of liposomes to the cell membrane. 5. In an attempt to detect the presence of cytoplasmic obelin, after incubation of adipocytes with liposomes, a method of causing a rapid rise in cell-membrane permeability to Ca(2+) was developed in which an anti-cell anti-body-complement reaction occurred at the cell membrane. There was no detectable transfer of active obelin into the cell cytoplasm. 6. After incubation of liposomes with adipocytes in the absence of bovine serum albumin, obelin luminescence from a small proportion of liposomes increased (approx. 1.5%) in response to anti-(5'-nucleotidase) antibody plus complement. 7. It was concluded that under the conditions of these experiments, (a) no detectable transfer (<0.1%) of liposome-entrapped obelin to the adipocyte cytoplasm had occurred, (b) an increase in liposome permeability to Ca(2+) occurred during incubation with adipocytes, (c) at least 50% of liposome uptake by adipocytes was the result of endocytosis, presumably into secondary lysosomes, and the remaining uptake was apparently the result of loose attachment of liposomes to the cell surface, and (d) in the absence of bovine serum albumin, a portion of at least one surface antigen, the ectoenzyme 5'-nucleotidase, was transferred from the adipocyte membrane to the liposome membrane.
Project description:1. Obelin, the Ca(2+)-activated luminescent protein from the hydroid Obelia geniculata, was sealed inside pigeon erythrocyte ;ghosts' in order to investigate effects on their permeability of different methods of preparation and of the bivalent cation ionophore A23187. 2. Changes in free Ca(2+) within the ;ghosts' were studied by following the rate of luminescence of obelin. The possibility that the obelin might have been released from the ;ghosts' during an experiment was investigated by studying the release of inulin and pyruvate kinase from the ;ghosts'. Less than 10% of the inulin or pyruvate kinase sealed within the ;ghosts' was released under any of the experimental conditions. 3. Triton X-100 (0.1-10%, v/v) made the ;ghosts' highly permeable to Ca(2+). In the presence of 1mm-Ca(2+) and Triton, 95-100% of the obelin was utilized within 10-20s. 4. A time-course of resealing ;ghosts' at 37 degrees C showed that over a period of 90min, the ;ghosts' became gradually less permeable to Ca(2+). ;Ghosts' which remained at 0 degrees C retained only a small concentration of obelin and ATP, and were highly permeable to Ca(2+). 5. Erythrocyte ;ghosts' resealed for 30min at 20 degrees C rather than 37 degrees C were more permeable to Ca(2+), as shown by the fact that 92% of the obelin in the ;ghosts' was utilized during the first 60s after the addition of 1mm-Ca(2+), as opposed to 44% for ;ghosts' resealed at 37 degrees C. 6. Haemolysis at pH6.0 rather than 7.0 resulted in ;ghosts' which were highly permeable to Ca(2+) after resealing for 60min at 37 degrees C. Of the obelin in the ;ghosts', produced by haemolysis at pH6.0, 90% was utilized in the first 60s after the addition of 1mm-Ca(2+) compared with 23% for ;ghosts' produced at pH7.0. 7. The bivalent cation ionophore A23187 increased the permeability of the ;ghosts' to Ca(2+). Maximum effects of the ionophore (16mug/ml) were obtained by preincubating the ;ghosts' with the ionophore A23187 (16mug/ml) in the presence of a low concentration of Mg(2+) and in the absence of Ca(2+).
Project description:Thirty-seven coelenterazine analogues were synthesized and incorporated into apo-aequorin, yielding 30 semi-synthetic aequorins that have the capacity to emit a significant amount of light in the presence of Ca2+. The properties of resultant photoproteins were investigated. The most prominent feature of those photoproteins was the wide range in their sensitivities to Ca2+ concentration. The relative intensity of Ca2+-triggered luminescence of the photoproteins ranged from 0.01 to 190 when compared with natural aequorin (relative intensity 1.0) at pCa 6 for the cases where the relative intensity is less than 1 and at pCa 7 for the cases where the relative intensity is higher than 1. Eight of the semi-synthetic aequorins belonged to the class of e-aequorin. With two of those photoproteins, the degree of dependence of the luminescence intensity ratio I400/I465 on pCa was greater than that with e-aequorin, suggesting that these two photoproteins are possibly superior to e-aequorin in measuring Ca2+ concentration by the ratio method.
Project description:The photoprotein aequorin isolated from the jellyfish Aequorea emits blue light in the presence of Ca2+ by an intramolecular process that involves chemical transformation of the coelenterazine moiety into coelenteramide and CO2. Because of its high sensitivity to Ca2+, aequorin has widely been used as a Ca2+ indicator in various biological systems. We have replaced the coelenterazine moiety in the protein with several synthetic coelenterazine analogues, providing semi-synthetic Ca2+-sensitive photoproteins. One of the semi-synthetic photoproteins, derived from coelenterazine analogue (II) (with an extra ethano group), showed highly promising properties for the measurement of Ca2+, namely (1) the rise time of luminescence in response to Ca2+ was shortened by approx. 4-fold compared with native aequorin and (2) the luminescence spectrum showed two peaks at 405 nm and 465 nm and the ratio of their peak heights was dependent on Ca2+ concentration in the range of pCa 5-7, thus allowing the determination of [Ca2+] directly from the ratio of two peak intensities. Coelenterazine analogue (I) (with a hydroxy group replaced by an amino group) was also incorporated into apo-aequorin, yielding a Ca2+-sensitive photoprotein, which indicates that an electrostatic interaction between the phenolate group in the coelenterazine moiety and some cationic centre in apo-aequorin is not important in native aequorin, contrary to a previous suggestion.