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Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is a neurotrophic polypeptide, distantly related to transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), originally isolated by virtue of its ability to induce dopamine uptake and cell survival in cultures of embryonic ventral midbrain dopaminergic neurons, and more recently shown to be a potent neurotrophic factor(More)
GPCR135, publicly known as somatostatin- and angiotensin-like peptide receptor, is expressed in the central nervous system and its cognate ligand(s) has not been identified. We have found that both rat and porcine brain extracts stimulated 35S-labeled guanosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate) (GTPgammaS) incorporation in cells over-expressing GPCR135. Multiple(More)
The coding region of amphioxus alcohol dehydrogenase class 3 (ADH3) has been characterized from two species, Branchiostoma lanceolatum and Branchiostoma floridae. The species variants have residue differences at positions that result in only marginal functional distinctions. Activity measurements show a class 3 glutathione-dependent formaldehyde(More)
A truncated form of IGF-1 which lacks the aminoterminal tripeptide Gly-Pro-Glu (GPE) is found in human brain. It was proposed that GPE may result from neural specific processing and also have a function within the CNS. GPE was synthesized and shown to inhibit glutamate binding to the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. Whilst the carboxyterminal glutamate(More)
The signaling capabilities and biological functions of activin receptor-like kinase 7 (ALK7), a type I receptor serine/threonine kinase predominantly expressed in the nervous system, are unknown. We have constructed a cell line derived from the rat pheochromocytoma PC12 in which expression of a constitutively active mutant of ALK7 (T194D) is under the(More)
We identified antibacterial components in human T and natural killer (NK) cells by using freshly isolated lymphocytes enriched for T and NK cells as starting material. After growing these lymphocytes for 5 days in the presence of interleukin (IL)-2, we isolated and characterized several antibacterial peptides/proteins from the supernatant-alpha-defensins(More)
Short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases (SDRs) constitute a large family of NAD(P)(H)-dependent oxidoreductases, sharing sequence motifs and displaying similar mechanisms. SDR enzymes have critical roles in lipid, amino acid, carbohydrate, cofactor, hormone and xenobiotic metabolism as well as in redox sensor mechanisms. Sequence identities are low, and the(More)
Antibacterial peptides and proteins are an integral part of the epithelial defense barrier that provides immediate protection against bacterial invasion. In humans, alpha-defensins are mainly bactericidal effectors in circulating granulocytes, beta-defensin-1 is synthesized in epithelial cells, and LL-37 is produced in granulocytes but is also induced in(More)
Antimicrobial peptides and proteins are effector molecules in the protection of epithelial surfaces. We have evaluated the presence of antimicrobial peptides/proteins that can participate in human colonic defence against microbes. A peptide/protein extract of normal human colon mucosa was found to be active against Gram-positive bacteria, Gram-negative(More)
The alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) family has evolved into at least eight ADH classes during vertebrate evolution. We have characterized three prevertebrate forms of the parent enzyme of this family, including one from an urochordate (Ciona intestinalis) and two from cephalochordates (Branchiostoma floridae and Branchiostoma lanceolatum). An evolutionary(More)