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Physical Activity Enjoyment, Perceived Barriers, and Beliefs Among Adolescents With and Without Intellectual Disabilities

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 10:20am

BACKGROUND: Youth with intellectual disabilities (ID) exhibit low levels of physical activity, but the underlying contributors to behavior are unclear. We compared physical activity enjoyment, perceived barriers, beliefs, and self-efficacy among adolescents with ID and typically developing (TD) adolescents.

METHODS: A questionnaire was administered to 38 adolescents with ID (mean age 16.8 years) and 60 TD adolescents (mean age 15.3 years). Of the original 33 questionnaire items, 23 met the test-retest reliability criteria and were included in the group comparisons.

RESULTS: Fewer adolescents with ID reported that they have someone to do physical activity with (64% vs. 93%, p < 0.001), and a greater proportion of adolescents with ID perceived that physical activities were too hard to learn (41% vs. 0%, p < 0.001). Fewer adolescents with ID believed that physical activity is good for their health (92% vs. 100%, p=0.05). More adolescents with ID reported a dislike of individual physical activities (p=0.02). A large proportion of adolescents with ID (84%) responded that they were good at doing physical activities, but the difference between groups was only of borderline significance. (95% of TD adolescents, p=0.06).

CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents shared many of the same perceptions about physical activity, but some important differences between groups were identified.

Barriers to Physical Activity in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: Relationship to Physical Activity and Screen Time

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 10:20am

BACKGROUND: Individual, social, and community barriers to physical activity (PA) experienced by children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) make PA participation more difficult and may contribute to increased screen time. METHODS: We compared the prevalence of parent-reported barriers to PA among 58 typically developing (TD) children and 53 children with an ASD, 3-11 years, and assessed the association between barriers and PA participation and screen time among children with ASD. RESULTS: Parents of children with ASD reported significantly more barriers than parents of TD children. Based on parent-report, 60% of children with ASD required too much supervision compared to no TD children (p<0.001). Parents of children with ASD were more likely to report that adults lack skills needed to include their child (58%), that their child has few friends (45%), and that other children exclude their child (23%). The number of parent-reported barriers to PA was inversely correlated with the hours spent in PA per year (r=-0.27, p=0.05) and positively related to total screen time (r=0.32, p < 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: These findings underscore the need for community-based PA programs designed to meet the special requirements of this population and policies that compel schools and other government-supported organizations for inclusion and/or targeted programming.

Relationship among Glutamine, gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, and Social Cognition in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 10:20am

OBJECTIVE: An imbalance of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been proposed. We compared glutamate (Glu), glutamine (Gln), and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) of 13 males with ASD and 14 typically developing (TD) males (ages 13-17), and correlated these levels with intelligence quotient (IQ) and measures of social cognition.

METHODS: Social cognition was evaluated by administration of the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) and the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET). We acquired proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) data from the bilateral ACC using the single voxel point resolved spectroscopy sequence (PRESS) to quantify Glu and Gln, and Mescher-Garwood point-resolved spectroscopy sequence (MEGA-PRESS) to quantify GABA levels referenced to creatine (Cr).

RESULTS: There were higher Gln levels (p=0.04), and lower GABA/Cre levels (p=0.09) in the ASD group than in the TD group. There was no difference in Glu levels between groups. Gln was negatively correlated with RMET score (rho=-0.62, p=0.001) and IQ (rho=-0.56, p=0.003), and positively correlated with SRS scores (rho=0.53, p=0.007). GABA/Cre levels were positively correlated with RMET score (rho=0.34, p=0.09) and IQ (rho=0.36, p=0.07), and negatively correlated with SRS score (rho=-0.34, p=0.09).

CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest an imbalance between glutamatergic neurotransmission and GABA-ergic neurotransmission in ASD. Higher Gln levels and lower GABA/Cre levels were associated with lower IQ and greater impairments in social cognition across groups.

Utilization of the Soft Agar Colony Formation Assay to Identify Inhibitors of Tumorigenicity in Breast Cancer Cells

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 1:01pm

Here, we document the use of the soft agar colony formation assay to test the effects of a peptidylarginine deiminase (PADI) enzyme inhibitor, BB-Cl-amidine, on breast cancer tumorigenicity in vitro.

Broad spectrum aminoglycoside phosphotransferase type III from Enterococcus: overexpression, purification, and substrate specificity

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:02pm

The aminoglycoside phosphotransferases (APHs) are responsible for the bacterial inactivation of many clinically useful aminoglycoside antibiotics. We report the characterization of an enterococcal enzyme, APH(3')-IIIa, which inactivates a broad spectrum of aminoglycosides by ATP-dependent O-phosphorylation. Overproduction of APH(3')-IIIa has permitted the isolation of 30-40 mg of pure protein/(L of cell culture). Purified APH(3')-IIIa is a mixture of monomer and dimer which is slowly converted to dimer only over time. Dimer could be dissociated into monomer by incubation with 2-mercaptoethanol, suggesting that dimerization is mediated by formation of disulfide bond(s). Both monomer and dimer show Km values in the low micromolar range for good substrates such as kanamycin and neomycin, and kcat values of 1-4 s-1. All aminoglycosides show substrate inhibition except amikacin and kanamycin B. Determination of minimum inhibitory concentrations indicates a positive correlation between antibiotic activity and kcat/Km, but not with Km or kcat. NMR analysis of phosphorylated kanamycin A has directly demonstrated regiospecific phosphoryl transfer to the 3'-hydroxyl of the 6-aminohexose ring of the antibiotic. Analysis of structure-activity relationships with a variety of aminoglycosides has revealed that the deoxystreptamine aminocyclitol ring plays a critical role in substrate binding. This information will form the basis for future design of inhibitors of APH(3')-IIIa.

Regiospecificity of aminoglycoside phosphotransferase from Enterococci and Staphylococci (APH(3')-IIIa)

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:02pm

The broad-spectrum aminoglycoside phosphotransferase, APH(3')-IIIa, confers resistance to several aminoglycoside antibiotics in opportunistic pathogens of the genera Staphylococcus and Enterococcus. The profile of the drug resistance phenotype suggested that the enzyme would transfer a phosphate group from ATP to the 3'-hydroxyl of aminoglycosides. In addition, resistance to the 3'-deoxyaminoglycoside antibiotic, lividomycin A, suggested possible transfer to the 5"-hydroxyl of the ribose [Trieu-Cuot, P., and Courvalin, P. (1983) Gene 23, 331-341]. Using purified overexpressed enzyme, we have prepared and purified the products of APH(3')-IIIa-dependent phosphorylation of several of aminoglycoside antibiotics. Mass spectral analysis revealed that 4,6-disubstituted aminocyclitol antibiotics such as amikacin and kanamycin are monophosphorylated, while 4,5-disubstituted aminoglycosides such as butirosin A, ribostamycin, and neomycin B are both mono- and diphosphorylated by APH(3')-IIIa. Using a series of one- and two-dimensional 1H, 13C, and 31P NMR experiments, we have unambiguously assigned the regiospecificity of phosphoryl transfer to several antibiotics. The 4,6-disubstituted aminocyclitol antibiotics are exclusively phosphorylated at the 3'-OH hydroxyl, and the 4,5-disubstituted aminocyclitol antibiotics can be phosphorylated at both the 3'- and 5"-hydroxyls. The first phosphorylation can occur on either the 3'- or 5"-hydroxyl group of neomycin B or butirosin A. Initial phosphotransfer to the 3'-position predominates for butirosin while the 5"-OH is favored for neomycin. These results open the potential for the rational design of aminoglycoside kinase inhibitors based on functionalization of either the 6-aminohexose or the pentose rings of aminoglycoside antibiotics.

Mechanism of aminoglycoside 3'-phosphotransferase type IIIa: His188 is not a phosphate-accepting residue

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:02pm

BACKGROUND: The enzyme aminoglycoside 3'-phosphotransferase Type IIIa (APH(3')-IIIa), confers resistance to many aminoglycoside antibiotics by regiospecific phosphorylation of their hydroxyl groups. The chemical mechanism of phosphoryl transfer is unknown. Based on sequence homology, it has been suggested that a conserved His residue, His188, could be phosphorylated by ATP, and this phospho-His would transfer the phosphate to the incoming aminoglycoside. We have used chemical modification, site-directed mutagenesis and positional isotope exchange methods to probe the mechanism of phosphoryl transfer by APH(3')-IIIa.

RESULTS: Chemical modification by diethylpyrocarbonate implicated His in aminoglycoside phosphorylation by APH(3')-IIIa. We prepared His to Ala mutants of all four His residues in APH(3')-IIIa and found minimal effects of the mutations on the steady-state phosphorylation of several aminoglycosides. One of these mutants, His188Ala, was largely insoluble when compared to the wild-type enzyme. Positional isotope exchange experiments using gamma-[18O]-ATP did not support a double-displacement mechanism.

CONCLUSIONS: His residues are not required for aminoglycoside phosphorylation by APH(3')-IIIa. The conserved His 188 is thus not a phosphate accepting residue but does seem to be important for proper enzyme folding. Positional isotope exchange experiments are consistent with direct attack of the aminoglycoside hydroxyl group on the gamma-phosphate of ATP.

Structure of an enzyme required for aminoglycoside antibiotic resistance reveals homology to eukaryotic protein kinases

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:02pm

Bacterial resistance to aminoglycoside antibiotics is almost exclusively accomplished through either phosphorylation, adenylylation, or acetylation of the antibacterial agent. The aminoglycoside kinase, APH(3')-IIIa, catalyzes the phosphorylation of a broad spectrum of aminoglycoside antibiotics. The crystal structure of this enzyme complexed with ADP was determined at 2.2 A. resolution. The three-dimensional fold of APH(3')-IIIa reveals a striking similarity to eukaryotic protein kinases despite a virtually complete lack of sequence homology. Nearly half of the APH(3')-IIIa sequence adopts a conformation identical to that seen in these kinases. Substantial differences are found in the location and conformation of residues presumably responsible for second-substrate specificity. These results indicate that APH(3') enzymes and eukaryotic-type protein kinases share a common ancestor.

Spectinomycin kinase from Legionella pneumophila. Characterization of substrate specificity and identification of catalytically important residues

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:02pm

The bacterium Legionella pneumophila is the responsible agent for Legionnaires' disease and has recently been shown to harbor a gene encoding a kinase that confers resistance to the aminoglycoside antibiotic spectinomycin (Suter, T. M., Viswanathan, V. K., and Cianciotto, N. P. (1997) Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 41, 1385-1388). We report the overproduction, purification, and characterization of this spectinomycin kinase from an expressing system in Escherichia coli. The purified protein shows stringent substrate specificity for spectinomycin with Km = 21.5 microM and kcat = 24.2 s-1 and does not bind other aminoglycosides including kanamycin, amikacin, neomycin, butirosin, streptomycin, or apramycin. Purification of spectinomycin phosphate followed by characterization by mass spectrometry and 1H, 13C, and 31P NMR established the site of phosphorylation to be at the hydroxyl group at position 9. Thus this enzyme is designated APH(9)-Ia (where APH is aminoglycoside kinase). The enzyme was inactivated by the electrophilic ATP analogue 5'-[p-(fluorosulfonyl)benzoyl]adenosine, consistent with a nucleophilic residue such as Lys lining the nucleotide binding pocket. Site-directed mutagenesis of Lys-52 and Asp-212 to Ala confirmed that these residues were important for catalysis, with Lys-52 playing a potential role in ATP binding and Asp-212 in phosphoryl transfer. Thio and solvent isotope effect experiments in the presence of either Mg2+ or Mn2+ were consistent with a kinetic mechanism in which phosphate transfer does not contribute significantly to the rate-limiting step. These results establish that APH(9)-Ia is a highly specific antibiotic resistance kinase and provides the requisite mechanistic information for future structural studies.

Aminoglycoside phosphotransferases: proteins, structure, and mechanism

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:02pm

Aminoglycoside antibiotics constitute an important class of clinically useful drugs which are imperiled by the emergence of resistant organisms. Aminoglycoside resistance in the clinics is primarily due to the presence of modifying enzymes which N-acetylate, O-adenylate or O-phosphorylate the antibiotics. The latter family of enzymes are termed the aminoglycoside phosphotransferases or kinases and are the subject of this review. There are seven classes of aminoglycoside phosphotransferases (APH(3'), APH(2''), APH(3'off'), APH(6), APH(9), APH(4), APH(7'')) and many isozymes in each class, and although there is very little overall general sequence homology among these enzymes, certain signature residues and sequences are common. The recent determination of the three-dimensional structure of the broad spectrum aminoglycoside kinase APH(3')-IIIa complexed with the product ADP, in addition to mechanistic and mutagenic studies on this and related enzymes, has added a great deal to our understanding of this class of antibiotic resistance enzyme. In particular, the revelation of structural and mechanistic similarities between APHs and Ser/Thr and Tyr kinases has set the stage for future inhibition studies which could prove important in reversing aminoglycoside resistance.

Aminoglycoside antibiotic phosphotransferases are also serine protein kinases

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:02pm

BACKGROUND: Bacterial resistance to aminoglycoside antibiotics occurs primarily through the expression of modifying enzymes that covalently alter the drugs by O-phosphorylation, O-adenylation or N-acetylation. Aminoglycoside phosphotransferases (APHs) catalyze the ATP-dependent phosphorylation of these antibiotics. Two particular enzymes in this class, APH(3')-IIIa and AAC(6')-APH(2"), are produced in gram-positive cocci and have been shown to phosphorylate aminoglycosides on their 3' and 2" hydroxyl groups, respectively. The three-dimensional structure of APH (3')-IIIa is strikingly similar to those of eukaryotic protein kinases (EPKs), and the observation, reported previously, that APH(3')-IIIa and AAC(6')-APH(2") are effectively inhibited by EPK inhibitors suggested the possibility that these aminoglycoside kinases might phosphorylate EPK substrates.

RESULTS: Our data demonstrate unequivocally that APHs can phosphorylate several EPK substrates and that this phosphorylation occurs exclusively on serine residues. Phosphorylation of Ser/Thr protein kinase substrates by APHs was considerably slower than phosphorylation of aminoglycosides under identical assay conditions, which is consistent with the primary biological roles of the enzymes.

CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate a functional relationship between aminoglycoside and protein kinases, expanding on our previous observations of similarities in protein structure, enzyme mechanism and sensitivity to inhibitors, and suggest an evolutionary link between APHs and EPKs.

The COOH terminus of aminoglycoside phosphotransferase (3')-IIIa is critical for antibiotic recognition and resistance

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:02pm

The aminoglycoside phosphotransferases (APHs) are widely distributed among pathogenic bacteria and are employed to covalently modify, and thereby detoxify, the clinically relevant aminoglycoside antibiotics. The crystal structure for one of these aminoglycoside kinases, APH(3')-IIIa, has been determined in complex with ADP and analysis of the electrostatic surface potential indicates that there is a large anionic depression present adjacent to the terminal phosphate group of the nucleotide. This region also includes a conserved COOH-terminal alpha-helix that contains the COOH-terminal residue Phe(264). We report here mutagenesis and computer modeling studies aimed at examining the mode of aminoglycoside binding to APH(3')-IIIa. Specifically, seven site mutants were studied, five from the COOH-terminal helix (Asp(261), Glu(262), and Phe(264)), and two additional residues that line the wall of the anionic depression (Tyr(55) and Arg(211)). Using a molecular modeling approach, six ternary complexes of APH(3')-IIIa.ATP with the antibiotics, kanamycin, amikacin, butirosin, and ribostamycin were independently constructed and these agree well with the mutagenesis data. The results obtained show that the COOH-terminal carboxylate of Phe(264) is critical for proper function of the enzyme. Furthermore, these studies demonstrate that there exists multiple binding modes for the aminoglycosides, which provides a molecular basis for the broad substrate- and regiospecificity observed for this enzyme.

Crystal structures of homoserine dehydrogenase suggest a novel catalytic mechanism for oxidoreductases

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:02pm

The structure of the antifungal drug target homoserine dehydrogenase (HSD) was determined from Saccharomyces cerevisiae in apo and holo forms, and as a ternary complex with bound products, by X-ray diffraction. The three forms show that the enzyme is a dimer, with each monomer composed of three regions, the nucleotide-binding region, the dimerization region and the catalytic region. The dimerization and catalytic regions have novel folds, whereas the fold of the nucleotide-binding region is a variation on the Rossmann fold. The novel folds impose a novel composition and arrangement of active site residues when compared to all other currently known oxidoreductases. This observation, in conjunction with site-directed mutagenesis of active site residues and steady-state kinetic measurements, suggest that HSD exhibits a new variation on dehydrogenase chemistry.

Molecular mechanism of aminoglycoside antibiotic kinase APH(3')-IIIa: roles of conserved active site residues

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:02pm

The aminoglycoside antibiotic kinases (APHs) constitute a clinically important group of antibiotic resistance enzymes. APHs share structural and functional homology with Ser/Thr and Tyr kinases, yet only five amino acids are invariant between the two groups of enzymes and these residues are all located within the nucleotide binding regions of the proteins. We have performed site-directed mutagenesis on all five conserved residues in the aminoglycoside kinase APH(3')-IIIa: Lys(44) and Glu(60) involved in ATP capture, a putative active site base required for deprotonating the incoming aminoglycoside hydroxyl group Asp(190), and the Mg(2+) ligands Asn(195) and Glu(208), which coordinate two Mg(2+) ions, Mg1 and Mg2. Previous structural and mutagenesis evidence have demonstrated that Lys(44) interacts directly with the phosphate groups of ATP; mutagenesis of invariant Glu(60), which forms a salt bridge with the epsilon-amino group of Lys(44), demonstrated that this residue does not play a critical role in ATP recognition or catalysis. Results of mutagenesis of Asp(190) were consistent with a role in proper positioning of the aminoglycoside hydroxyl during phosphoryl transfer but not as a general base. The Mg1 and Mg2 ligand Asp(208) was found to be absolutely required for enzyme activity and the Mg2 ligand Asn(195) is important for Mg.ATP recognition. The mutagenesis results together with solvent isotope, solvent viscosity, and divalent cation requirements are consistent with a dissociative mechanism of phosphoryl transfer where initial substrate deprotonation is not essential for phosphate transfer and where Mg2 and Asp(208) likely play a critical role in stabilization of a metaphosphate-like transition state. These results lay the foundation for the synthesis of transition state mimics that could reverse aminoglycoside antibiotic resistance in vivo.

Transcriptional coactivator protein p300. Kinetic characterization of its histone acetyltransferase activity

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:02pm

The p300/cAMP response element-binding protein-binding protein (CBP) family members include human p300 and cAMP response element-binding protein-binding protein, which are both important transcriptional coactivators and histone acetyltransferases. Although the role of these enzymes in transcriptional regulation has been extensively documented, the molecular mechanisms of p300 and CBP histone acetyltransferase catalysis are poorly understood. Herein, we describe the first detailed kinetic characterization of p300 using full-length purified recombinant enzyme. These studies have employed peptide substrates to systematically examine the substrate specificity requirements and the kinetic mechanism of this enzyme. The importance of nearby positively charged residues in lysine targeting was demonstrated. The strict structural requirement of the lysine side chain was shown. The catalytic mechanism of p300 was shown to follow a ping-pong kinetic pathway and viscosity experiments revealed that product release and/or a conformational change were likely rate-limiting in catalysis. Detailed analysis of the p300 selective inhibitor Lys-CoA showed that it exhibited slow, tight-binding kinetics.

Mechanism of aminoglycoside antibiotic kinase APH(3')-IIIa: role of the nucleotide positioning loop

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:02pm

The aminoglycoside antibiotic resistance kinases (APHs) and the Ser/Thr/Tyr protein kinases share structural and functional homology but very little primary sequence conservation ( < 5%). A region of structural, but not amino acid sequence, homology is the nucleotide positioning loop (NPL) that closes down on the enzyme active site upon binding of ATP. This loop region has been implicated in facilitating phosphoryl transfer in protein kinases; however, there is no primary sequence conservation between APHs and protein kinases in the NPL. There is an invariant Ser residue in all APH NPL regions, however. This residue in APH(3')-IIIa (Ser27), an enzyme widespread in aminoglycoside-resistant Enterococci, Streptococci, and Staphylococci, directly interacts with the beta-phosphate of ATP through the Ser hydroxymethyl group and the amide hydrogen in the 3D structure of the enzyme. Mutagenesis of this residue to Ala and Pro supported a role for the Ser amide hydrogen in nucleotide capture and phosphoryl transfer. A molecular model of the proposed dissociative transition state, which is consistent with all of the available mechanistic data, suggested a role for the amide of the adjacent Met26 in phosphoryl transfer. Mutagenesis studies confirmed the importance of the amide hydrogen and suggest a mechanism where Ser27 anchors the ATP beta-phosphate facilitating bond breakage with the gamma-phosphate during formation of the metaphosphate-like transition, which is stabilized by interaction with the amide hydrogen of Met26. The APH NPL therefore acts as a lever, promoting phosphoryl transfer to the aminoglycoside substrate, with the biological outcome of clinically relevant antibiotic resistance.

Synthesis and analysis of potential prodrugs of coenzyme A analogues for the inhibition of the histone acetyltransferase p300

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:02pm

Lys-CoA (1) is a selective inhibitor of p300 histone acetyltransferase (HAT) but shows poor pharmacokinetic properties because of its multiply charged phosphates. In an effort to overcome this limitation, truncated derivatives of 1 were designed, synthesized and tested as p300HAT inhibitors as well as substrates for the CoA biosynthetic bifunctional enzyme phosphopantetheine adenylyltransferase-dephospho-CoA kinase (PPAT/DPCK). Lys-pantetheine (3) and Lys-phosphopantetheine (2) showed no detectable p300HAT inhibition whereas 3'-dephospho-Lys-CoA (5) was a modest p300 inhibitor with IC(50) of 1.6 microM (compared to IC(50) of approximately 50 nM for 1 blocking p300). Compound 2 was shown to be an efficient substrate for PPAT whereas 5 was a very poor DPCK substrate. Further analysis with 3'-dephospho-Me-SCoA (7) indicated that DPCK shows relatively narrow capacity to accept substrates with sulfur substitution. While these results suggest that truncated derivatives of 1 will be of limited value as lead agents for p300 blockade in vivo, they augur well for prodrug versions of CoA analogues that do not require 3'-phosphate substitution for efficient binding to their targets, such as the GCN-5 related N-acetyltransferases.

Regulation of the p300 HAT domain via a novel activation loop

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:02pm

The transcriptional coactivator p300 is a histone acetyltransferase (HAT) whose function is critical for regulating gene expression in mammalian cells. However, the molecular events that regulate p300 HAT activity are poorly understood. We evaluated autoacetylation of the p300 HAT protein domain to determine its function. Using expressed protein ligation, the p300 HAT protein domain was generated in hypoacetylated form and found to have reduced catalytic activity. This basal catalytic rate was stimulated by autoacetylation of several key lysine sites within an apparent activation loop motif. This post-translational modification and catalytic regulation of p300 HAT activity is conceptually analogous to the activation of most protein kinases by autophosphorylation. We therefore propose that this autoregulatory loop could influence the impact of p300 on a wide variety of signaling and transcriptional events.