In the present study, the induction of the phosphoinositide signal transduction pathway by 17 beta-oestradiol has been demonstrated in rat vaginal epithelial cells (VEC). We have shown an increase in the metabolism of phosphoinositol lipids by 3H-myoinositol incorporation as well as production of inositol phosphate in VEC in vivo and in vitro following oestradiol administration. Concomitant changes in intracellular calcium levels have also been observed under the influence of oestradiol. To rule out the effects of cytokines, parallel studies were performed using primary cultures of VEC. Oestradiol-induced calcium uptake was seen even in the presence of actinomycin D and cycloheximide which inhibit transcription and translation respectively. Calcium uptake was blocked by neomycin, an inhibitor of phosphoinositol lipid metabolism, and by the oestrogen receptor antagonist tamoxifen. Results suggest that oestradiol induces second messenger pathways in the VEC through specific receptors. Implications of these observations in cellular differentiation processes are discussed.
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A Gupta, S Chandrasekhar, R Pal, S Ahlawat, and O Singh
We have constructed a recombinant vaccinia virus to express the beta-subunit of human chorionic gonadotrophin (betahCG), a secretory glycoprotein that is used as an antigen for a contraceptive vaccine. The cDNA encoding the subunit was cloned under the control of a synthetic promoter that could be recognised by a vaccinia virus RNA polymerase to direct transcription. The peak expression level of betahCG directed by a late synthetic promoter (Psyn) was 11.5 microg/ml, a level that was at least sixfold higher than that directed by the p7.5 early/late promoter. The expressed protein was correctly processed post-translationally such that it attained a conformation with correctly folded discontinuous epitope(s) similar to that seen in native betahCG.