Volume 17, Issue 2
June 1992, pages 95-192
pp 95-114 June 1992
Developmental biologists distinguish between mosaic embryos, in which the removal of a cell or group of cells results in a defective adult, andregulative embryos, in which the adult appears normal in spite of such removal. I suggest that the mosaic/regulative distinction is best viewed by contrastingwithin-cell signals(i.e., a cell can develop autonomously, perhaps on the basis of instructions derived from the mother) againstbetween-cell signals (i.e., development, and the origin of form and shape, is based on intercellular communication). This distinction is not rigid; the same embryo can make use of both within-cell and between-cell signals. During evolution, signalling between cells is likely to have become advantageous as organisms increased in size. However, the fact that an embryo displays regulative behaviour may be an automatic consequence of the way it develops rather than an evolved adaptation.
pp 115-127 June 1992
The aim of the present article is to derive and illustrate in a simple form some of the important concepts in developmental biology. The development of the cellular slime mouldDictyostelium discoideum is an ideal model system for this purpose. I will outline the development of this organism at its multicellular stages and review some relevant studies focusing on the control of cell differentiation and pattern formation while deriving some key concepts in the current thinking about the control of development.
pp 129-140 June 1992
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced aggregation of calf platelets and its modification by agents with specific properties were characterized employing a spectrophotometric assay. An Arrhenius activation energy of 20 ± 1 kcal/mol was found in the temperature range of 25‡-36‡C. Rate inhibition occurred on either side of this temperature range, and under anaerobic conditions. Exogenous Ca2+ ions were not required but Ca2+ ions, at 1 mM-concentration, optimally increased rates and extent of aggregation at suboptimal H2O2 concentrations but only extent of aggregation at optimal H2O2 concentrations. Ba2+, Sr2+, Cd2+, Mn2+ and Ni2+ ions (1 mM) and Zn2+, Pb2+ and Hg2+ ions (10 mM) were inhibitory. The cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor, indomethacin (10-30 mM) exerted only mild inhibition by a competitive mechanism. Another cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor, aspirin, functioned to increase aggregation. Ligands acting directly at the prostaglandin H2/thromboxane A, receptor (5Z. 9, 11, 13E, 15(S) 15-hydroxy 9(11) epoxy methano prosta 5, 13-dien-1-oic acid, pinane thromboxane A2, arachidonic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and N-ethylmaleimide) functioned as competitive inhibitors. Another platelet-activating sulphydryl reagent, thimerosal, also inhibited competitively while the protein kinase C inhibitor, sphingosine, and the protein kinase C modulator, Zn2+ ions, inhibited by different mechanisms. The results indicate direct action of H2O2 at the prostaglandin H2/thromboxane A2 receptor, possibly its sulphydryls, to activate the protein kinase C pathway, independently of cyclo-oxygenase products. The results underscored the power of the kinetic approach for investigating mechanisms of platelet activation.
pp 141-149 June 1992
Aggregation of calf platelets by platelet activating factor was characterized by a spectrophotometric method. The aggregation kinetics of both platelet-rich plasma and purified platelets showed concave up double-reciprocal plots and linear Hill plots withh > 1 (1.7 ± 02) consistent with positive cooperativity. Comparable values of maximum rates of aggregation(R) were obtained with platelet-rich plasma (0.25 ± 0.08) and purified platelets (0.28 ± 0.18) but the half-maximal saturation concentration (S0.5) differed greatly between platelet-rich plasma (6 ± 3 nM) and purified platelets (0.28 ± 0.18 nM). An Arrhenius activation energy of 21 ±2 kcal/mol was found for aggregation of purified platelets. Diltiazem was inhibitory with half-maximal inhibitory concentration (I0.5) of 4 M but the inhibition was not competitive. Diltiazem inhibited rates but not the extent of shape-change. The receptor-antagonist and sulphydryl reagent N-ethylmaleimide and the platelet antagonistic omega-3-fatty acid, 5,8,11,14,17-eicosa pentaenoic acid, inhibited both rates and extent of shape-change reactions and inhibited aggregation competitively (I0.5 ∼ 5 M). Eicosa pentaenoic acid at > 25 M could abolish shape-change reactions and at 50 M served as an activator of platelets and the activation was enhanced by aspirin (1 mM). Although N-ethylmaleimide at > 20 M could also induce platelet activation it failed to induce aggregation and aspirin had no effect on the shape-change reactions induced by it.
pp 151-165 June 1992
Monoclonal antibodies raised against chicken egg white riboflavin carrier protein were classified into seven categories each recognizing a distinct epitope. Of these, six were directed against conformation dependent epitopes and one to a sequential epitope. The roles of lysine residues and the post-translationally attached phosphate and oligosaccharide moieties in the antigenicity of riboflavin carrier protein recognized by the monoclonal antibodies were investigated. The binding region of three monoclonal antibodies could be located within the 87–219 amino acid sequence of the protein and one antibody among these recognized a sequence of 182–204 amino acid residues. All the monoclonal antibodies were able to recognize riboflavin carrier proteins present in the sera of pregnant rats, cows and humans indicating that the epitopes to which they are directed are conserved through evolution from chicken to the human.
pp 167-172 June 1992
The nonheterocystous filamentous CyanobacteriumPlectonema boryanum strain UTEX 594 contains at least two plasmids. A small 145 kb plasmid was cloned in pBR322. It has no homology with the bigger resident plasmid or with chromosomal DNA. A small fraction of the plasmid is present in the form of multimers or concatemers. Copy number and hybridization patterns of the plasmid were similar under dinitrogen-fixing and non-fixing conditions. Restriction site mapping of the plasmid was done to enable its use in the development of cyanobacterial cloning vectors. It is among the smallest natural plasmids reported from bacteria.
pp 173-177 June 1992
Modification of low density lipoprotein by nonenzymic glycosylation resulted in decreased receptor-mediated lipoprotein catabolism. Guggulsterone treatment caused significant increase in binding of [125I] low density lipoprotein as well as [125I] glycosylated low density lipoprotein. Scatchard plot analysis of the binding activity revealed that under the influence of guggulsterone, the liver membrane contains increased amounts of a functional lipoprotein receptor that binds more low density lipoprotein particles.
pp 179-182 June 1992
In order to refine the measure of karyotype asymmetry a new chromosomal parameter of dispersion index is proposed that has the potential to decipher even the minor karyotypic variations, thus permitting further evolutionary gradations to the karyotype asymmetry classes of Stebbins. The higher the dispersion index, the more specialized would be the karyotype. The dispersion index takes into account the variance lor gradual change in chromosome size within a complementvis-a-vis variance for the position of centromere in a karyotypic totality. The dispersion index is calculated as the proportionate measure of centromeric gradient to the coefficient of variation for chromosome length; wherin centromeric gradient = length of median short arm — length of median chromosome. Thus, the three most important karyotypic criteriaviz., differences in: absolute chromosome size, position of centromere and relative chromosome size, are all covered in the proposed parameter.
The effectiveness of dispersion index has been tested on a plant taxa,Papaver L., where karyomorphological details, nuclear DNA content, and morphotaxonomic parameters have been amply elucidated from an evolutionary stand point. It is hoped that dispersion index would find immense utility in delimiting species interrelationships particularly in the closely related taxa, when applied in conjunction with other systematic parameters.
pp 183-192 June 1992
Light, besides initiating primary photochemical processes, alters the redox state of soluble components in chloroplast. The present review attempts to cover the mechanism of reductive photoactivation of enzymes of photosynthetic carbon reduction cycle using key enzymes as examples. The reduced soluble components — ferredoxin, thioredoxin and NADPH, in turn, cause the reduction of disulphides to dithiols of chloroplastic enzymes. NADP-malate dehydrogenase is subject to activation by light through changes in NADPH/NADP. The key enzyme of C4 photosynthesis-PEP carboxylase, though cytosolic, has been shown to be activated by disulphide/sulphhydryl interconversion by reductants generated in light through chloroplast electron transport flow. PyruvatePi dikinase activity is controlled by the adenylate energy charge. It remains unclear how light controls the activation of cytosolic enzymes.