ResearchPad - chromosome-biology https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Deletion of inositol polyphosphate 4-phosphatase type-II B affects spermatogenesis in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14722 Inositol polyphosphate-4-phosphatase type II (INPP4B) is a dual-specificity phosphatase that acts as a tumor suppressor in multiple cancers. INPP4B dephosphorylates phospholipids at the 4th position of the inositol ring and inhibits AKT and PKC signaling by hydrolyzing of PI(3,4)P2 and PI(4,5)P2, respectively. INPP4B protein phosphatase targets include phospho-tyrosines on Akt and phospho-serine and phospho-threonine on PTEN. INPP4B is highly expressed in testes, suggesting its role in testes development and physiology. The objective of this study was to determine whether Inpp4b deletion impacts testicular function in mice. In testis, Inpp4b expression was the highest in postmeiotic germ cells in both mice and men. The testes of Inpp4b knockout male mice were significantly smaller compared to the testes of wild-type (WT) males. Inpp4b-/- males produced fewer mature sperm cells compared to WT, and this difference increased with age and high fat diet (HFD). Reduction in early steroidogenic enzymes and luteinizing hormone (LH) receptor gene expression was detected, although androgen receptor (AR) protein level was similar in WT and Inpp4b-/- testes. Germ cell apoptosis was significantly increased in the knockout mice, while expression of meiotic marker γH2A.X was decreased. Our data demonstrate that INPP4B plays a role in maintenance of male germ cell differentiation and protects testis functions against deleterious effects of aging and high fat diet.

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<![CDATA[Revisiting promyelocytic leukemia protein targeting by human cytomegalovirus immediate-early protein 1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14655 Promyelocytic leukemia (PML) bodies are liquid droplet-like structures organized by the eponymous PML proteins in the nuclei of our cells. PML bodies have been implicated in the antiviral host cell response to infection. Consequently, viruses have evolved mechanisms that target the proteins composing PML bodies. Immediate-early protein 1 (IE1) is considered the principal antagonist of PML bodies produced by the human cytomegalovirus, one of eight human herpesviruses. Previous work suggested that the interaction between IE1 and PML and the consequent disruption of PML bodies serves a critical role in viral replication by counteracting the cellular antiviral response. However, this picture has emerged largely from studying mutant IE1 proteins known or predicted to be unstable. We systematically screened for stable IE1 variants and identified a mutant protein selectively defective for PML interaction. Unexpectedly, the IE1 mutant supported viral replication almost as efficiently as the wild-type protein. Moreover, lower instead of higher (as expected) levels of antiviral gene expression were observed with the mutant compared to the wild-type. These results suggest that disruption of PML bodies is linked to the induction rather than inhibition of antiviral gene expression. Our findings challenge current views regarding the role of PML bodies in viral infection.

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<![CDATA[Association test using Copy Number Profile Curves (CONCUR) enhances power in rare copy number variant analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14642 Copy number variants comprise a large proportion of variation in human genomes. Large rare CNVs, especially those disrupting genes or changing the dosages of genes, can carry relatively strong risks for neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Kernel-based association methods have been developed for the analysis of rare CNVs and shown to be a valuable tool. Kernel methods model the collective effect of rare CNVs using flexible kernel functions that capture the characteristics of CNVs and measure CNV similarity of individual pairs. Typically kernels are created by summarizing similarity within an artificially defined “CNV locus” and then collapsing across all loci. In this work, we propose a new kernel-based test, CONCUR, that is based on the CNV location information contained in standard processing of the variants and which obviates the need for arbitrarily defined CNV loci. CONCUR quantifies similarity between individual pairs as the common area under their copy number profile curves and is designed to detect CNV dosage, length and dosage-length interaction effects. In simulation studies and real data analysis, we demonstrate the ability of the CONCUR test to detect CNV effects under diverse CNV architectures with power and robustness over existing methods.

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<![CDATA[Corticosterone and testosterone treatment influence expression of gene pathways linked to meiotic segregation in preovulatory follicles of the domestic hen]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14547 Decades of work indicate that female birds can control their offspring sex ratios in response to environmental and social cues. In laying hens, hormones administered immediately prior to sex chromosome segregation can exert sex ratio skews, indicating that these hormones may act directly on the germinal disc to influence which sex chromosome is retained in the oocyte and which is discarded into an unfertilizable polar body. We aimed to uncover the gene pathways involved in this process by testing whether treatments with testosterone or corticosterone that were previously shown to influence sex ratios elicit changes in the expression of genes and/or gene pathways involved in the process of meiotic segregation. We injected laying hens with testosterone, corticosterone, or control oil 5h prior to ovulation and collected germinal discs from the F1 preovulatory follicle in each hen 1.5h after injection. We used RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) followed by DESeq2 and gene set enrichment analyses to identify genes and gene pathways that were differentially expressed between germinal discs of control and hormone-treated hens. Corticosterone treatment triggered downregulation of 13 individual genes, as well as enrichment of gene sets related to meiotic spindle organization and chromosome segregation, and additional gene sets that function in ion transport. Testosterone treatment triggered upregulation of one gene, and enrichment of one gene set that functions in nuclear chromosome segregation. This work indicates that corticosterone can be a potent regulator of meiotic processes and provides potential gene targets on which corticosterone and/or testosterone may act to influence offspring sex ratios in birds.

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<![CDATA[Host factors that promote retrotransposon integration are similar in distantly related eukaryotes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5ab4e87b463d7e0cbd0422e6

Retroviruses and Long Terminal Repeat (LTR)-retrotransposons have distinct patterns of integration sites. The oncogenic potential of retrovirus-based vectors used in gene therapy is dependent on the selection of integration sites associated with promoters. The LTR-retrotransposon Tf1 of Schizosaccharomyces pombe is studied as a model for oncogenic retroviruses because it integrates into the promoters of stress response genes. Although integrases (INs) encoded by retroviruses and LTR-retrotransposons are responsible for catalyzing the insertion of cDNA into the host genome, it is thought that distinct host factors are required for the efficiency and specificity of integration. We tested this hypothesis with a genome-wide screen of host factors that promote Tf1 integration. By combining an assay for transposition with a genetic assay that measures cDNA recombination we could identify factors that contribute differentially to integration. We utilized this assay to test a collection of 3,004 S. pombe strains with single gene deletions. Using these screens and immunoblot measures of Tf1 proteins, we identified a total of 61 genes that promote integration. The candidate integration factors participate in a range of processes including nuclear transport, transcription, mRNA processing, vesicle transport, chromatin structure and DNA repair. Two candidates, Rhp18 and the NineTeen complex were tested in two-hybrid assays and were found to interact with Tf1 IN. Surprisingly, a number of pathways we identified were found previously to promote integration of the LTR-retrotransposons Ty1 and Ty3 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, indicating the contribution of host factors to integration are common in distantly related organisms. The DNA repair factors are of particular interest because they may identify the pathways that repair the single stranded gaps flanking the sites of strand transfer following integration of LTR retroelements.

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<![CDATA[A DNA repair protein and histone methyltransferase interact to promote genome stability in the Caenorhabditis elegans germ line]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79a3e8d5eed0c4841d1c27

Histone modifications regulate gene expression and chromosomal events, yet how histone-modifying enzymes are targeted is poorly understood. Here we report that a conserved DNA repair protein, SMRC-1, associates with MET-2, the C. elegans histone methyltransferase responsible for H3K9me1 and me2 deposition. We used molecular, genetic, and biochemical methods to investigate the biological role of SMRC-1 and to explore its relationship with MET-2. SMRC-1, like its mammalian ortholog SMARCAL1, provides protection from DNA replication stress. SMRC-1 limits accumulation of DNA damage and promotes germline and embryonic viability. MET-2 and SMRC-1 localize to mitotic and meiotic germline nuclei, and SMRC-1 promotes an increase in MET-2 abundance in mitotic germline nuclei upon replication stress. In the absence of SMRC-1, germline H3K9me2 generally decreases after multiple generations at high culture temperature. Genetic data are consistent with MET-2 and SMRC-1 functioning together to limit replication stress in the germ line and in parallel to promote other germline processes. We hypothesize that loss of SMRC-1 activity causes chronic replication stress, in part because of insufficient recruitment of MET-2 to nuclei.

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<![CDATA[Induced aneuploidy in neural stem cells triggers a delayed stress response and impairs adult life span in flies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79a3e7d5eed0c4841d1c08

Studying aneuploidy during organism development has strong limitations because chronic mitotic perturbations used to generate aneuploidy usually result in lethality. We developed a genetic tool to induce aneuploidy in an acute and time-controlled manner during Drosophila development. This is achieved by reversible depletion of cohesin, a key molecule controlling mitotic fidelity. Larvae challenged with aneuploidy hatch into adults with severe motor defects shortening their life span. Neural stem cells, despite being aneuploid, display a delayed stress response and continue proliferating, resulting in the rapid appearance of chromosomal instability, a complex array of karyotypes, and cellular abnormalities. Notably, when other brain-cell lineages are forced to self-renew, aneuploidy-associated stress response is significantly delayed. Protecting only the developing brain from induced aneuploidy is sufficient to rescue motor defects and adult life span, suggesting that neural tissue is the most ill-equipped to deal with developmental aneuploidy.

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<![CDATA[Dynamics of leukocyte telomere length in pregnant women living with HIV, and HIV-negative pregnant women: A longitudinal observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897779d5eed0c4847d2db4

Background

HIV-mediated inflammation and immune activation can accelerate telomere attrition. In addition, antiretrovirals can inhibit telomerase, possibly shortening telomeres. We examined the longitudinal dynamics of leukocyte telomere length (LTL) during pregnancy in a unique cohort of women living with HIV (WLWH) treated with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), and HIV-negative control women.

Methods

Blood was collected at three visits during pregnancy, at 13–23, >23–30, and >30–40 weeks of gestation, and for WLWH only, at 6 weeks post-partum. LTL was measured by qPCR and both cross-sectional and longitudinal (MANOVA) models were used to examine possible predictors of LTL among participants who attended all three visits during pregnancy.

Results

Among WLWH (n = 64) and HIV-negative women (n = 41), within participant LTL were correlated throughout pregnancy (p<0.001). LTL was shorter among WLWH at first visit, but this difference waned by the second visit. WLWH who discontinued cART post-partum experienced a decrease in LTL. Longitudinally, LTL was similar in both groups and increased as gestation progressed, a change that was more pronounced among women under 35 years. Among WLWH, both smoking throughout pregnancy (p = 0.04) and receiving a ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor-based regimen (p = 0.03) were independently associated with shorter LTL.

Conclusions

LTL increases as pregnancy progresses; the reasons for this are unknown but may relate to changes in blood volume, hormones, and/or cell subset distribution. While our observations need confirmation in an independent cohort, our data suggest that although some cART regimens may influence LTL, being on cART appears overall protective and that stopping cART post-partum may negatively impact LTL. The effect of smoking on LTL is clearly negative, stressing the importance of smoking cessation.

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<![CDATA[Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis of pituitaries during the initiation of puberty in gilts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8accc9d5eed0c48498ffd8

It has been widely recognized that the early or delayed puberty appears to display harmful effects on adult health outcomes. During the timing of puberty, pituitaries responds to the hypothalamus and then introduce the following response of ovaries in hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. DNA methylation has been recently suggested to regulate the onset of puberty in female mammals. However, to date, the changes of DNA methylation in pituitaries have not been investigated during pubertal transition. In this study, using gilts as the pubertal model, the genome-scale DNA methylation of pituitaries was profiled and compared across Pre-, In- and Post-puberty by using the reduced representation bisulfite sequencing. We found that average methylation levels of each genomic feature in Post- were lower than Pre- and In-pubertal stage in CpG context, but they were higher in In- than that in Pre- and Post-pubertal stage in CpH (where H = A, T, or C) context. The methylation patterns of CpHs were more dynamic than that of CpGs at the location of high CpG content, low CpG content promoter genes, and differently genomic CGIs. Furthermore, the differently genomic CGIs were likely to show in a similar manner in CpG context but display in a stage-specific manner in the CpH context across the Pre-, In- and Post-pubertal stage. Among these pubertal stages, 5 kb upstream regions of the transcription start sites were protected from both CpG and CpH methylation changes. 12.65% of detected CpGs were identified as the differentially methylated CpGs, regarding 4301 genes which were involved in the fundamental functions of pituitaries. 0.35% of detected CpHs were identified as differentially methylated CpHs, regarding 3691 genes which were involved in the biological functions of releasing gonadotropin hormones. These observations and analyses would provide valuable insights into epigenetic mechanism of the initiation of puberty in pituitary level.

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<![CDATA[Influence of donor liver telomere and G-tail on clinical outcome after living donor liver transplantation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acccbd5eed0c484990005

It has been reported that donor age affects patient outcomes after liver transplantation, and that telomere length is associated with age. However, to our knowledge, the impact of donor age and donor liver telomere length in liver transplantation has not been well investigated. This study aimed to clarify the influence of the length of telomere and G-tail from donor livers on the outcomes of living donors and recipients after living donor liver transplantation. The length of telomere and G-tail derived from blood samples and liver tissues of 55 living donors, measured using the hybridization protection assay. The length of telomeres from blood samples was inversely correlated with ages, whereas G-tail length from blood samples and telomere and G-tail lengths from liver tissues were not correlated with ages. Age, telomere, and G-tail length from blood did not affect postoperative liver failure and early liver regeneration of donors. On the other hand, the longer the liver telomere, the poorer the liver regeneration tended to be, especially with significant difference in donor who underwent right hemihepatectomy. We found that the survival rate of recipients who received liver graft with longer telomeres was inferior to that of those who received liver graft with shorter ones. An elderly donor, longer liver telomere, and higher Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score were identified as independent risk factors for recipient survival after transplantation. In conclusion, telomere shortening in healthy liver does not correlate with age, whereas longer liver telomeres negatively influence donor liver regeneration and recipient survival after living donor liver transplantation. These results can direct future studies and investigations on telomere shortening in the clinical and experimental transplant setting.

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<![CDATA[PML nuclear body-residing proteins sequentially associate with HPV genome after infectious nuclear delivery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7d95e9d5eed0c484734f7e

Subnuclear promyelocytic leukemia (PML) nuclear bodies (NBs) are targeted by many DNA viruses after nuclear delivery. PML protein is essential for formation of PML NBs. Sp100 and Small Ubiquitin-Like Modifier (SUMO) are also permanently residing within PML NBs. Often, large DNA viruses disassemble and reorganize PML NBs to counteract their intrinsic antiviral activity and support establishment of infection. However, human papillomavirus (HPV) requires PML protein to retain incoming viral DNA in the nucleus for subsequent efficient transcription. In contrast, Sp100 was identified as a restriction factor for HPV. These findings suggested that PML NBs are important regulators of early stages of the HPV life cycle. Nuclear delivery of incoming HPV DNA requires mitosis. Viral particles are retained within membrane-bound transport vesicles throughout mitosis. The viral genome is released from transport vesicles by an unknown mechanism several hours after nuclear envelope reformation. The minor capsid protein L2 mediates intracellular transport by becoming transmembranous in the endocytic compartment. Herein, we tested our hypothesis that PML protein is recruited to incoming viral genome prior to egress from transport vesicles. High-resolution microscopy revealed that PML protein, SUMO-1, and Sp100 are recruited to incoming viral genomes, rather than viral genomes being targeted to preformed PML NBs. Differential immunofluorescent staining suggested that PML protein and SUMO-1 associated with transport vesicles containing viral particles prior to egress, implying that recruitment is likely mediated by L2 protein. In contrast, Sp100 recruitment to HPV-harboring PML NBs occurred after release of viral genomes from transport vesicles. The delayed recruitment of Sp100 is specific for HPV-associated PML NBs. These data suggest that the virus continuously resides within a protective environment until the transport vesicle breaks down in late G1 phase and imply that HPV might modulate PML NB assembly to achieve establishment of infection and the shift to viral maintenance.

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<![CDATA[Rescue of collapsed replication forks is dependent on NSMCE2 to prevent mitotic DNA damage]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730a3d5eed0c484f37e1c

NSMCE2 is an E3 SUMO ligase and a subunit of the SMC5/6 complex that associates with the replication fork and protects against genomic instability. Here, we study the fate of collapsed replication forks generated by prolonged hydroxyurea treatment in human NSMCE2-deficient cells. Double strand breaks accumulate during rescue by converging forks in normal cells but not in NSMCE2-deficient cells. Un-rescued forks persist into mitosis, leading to increased mitotic DNA damage. Excess RAD51 accumulates and persists at collapsed forks in NSMCE2-deficient cells, possibly due to lack of BLM recruitment to stalled forks. Despite failure of BLM to accumulate at stalled forks, NSMCE2-deficient cells exhibit lower levels of hydroxyurea-induced sister chromatid exchange. In cells deficient in both NSMCE2 and BLM, hydroxyurea-induced double strand breaks and sister chromatid exchange resembled levels found in NSCME2-deficient cells. We conclude that the rescue of collapsed forks by converging forks is dependent on NSMCE2.

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<![CDATA[Leisure-time physical activity and DNA damage among Japanese workers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c706785d5eed0c4847c717f

Background

It remains unclear whether daily physical activity is associated with DNA damage. This cross-sectional study examined the association between leisure-time physical activity and urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG), a biomarker of oxidative DNA damage, or urinary 7-methylguanine (m7Gua), a biomarker of methylating DNA damage.

Methods

Participants included 501 workers (294 men and 207 women), aged 20–65 years, from municipal offices in Japan. Urinary 8-OH-dG and m7Gua were measured using column-switching HPLC. Physical activity was evaluated using a self-reported questionnaire. The associations between leisure-time physical activity and urinary DNA damage markers were assessed by multiple linear regression analysis, with stratification by occupational physical activity.

Results

After adjusting for covariates, leisure-time physical activity showed a suggestive inverse correlation with urinary 8-OH-dG levels (P for trend = 0.06), and a significant inverse association with urinary m7Gua levels (P for trend = 0.03). In analysis stratified by occupation, inverse correlations were observed in sedentary workers (walking < 30 min/day at work: P for trend = 0.06 and = 0.03 for urinary 8-OH-dG and m7Gua, respectively), but not in physically active workers (walking ≥ 30 min/day at work). In analysis for each intensity of leisure-time physical activity, light-intensity exercise was associated with lower levels of urinary 8-OH-dG (P for trend = 0.03), whereas moderate-to-high-intensity exercise was associated with lower levels of urinary m7Gua (P for trend = 0.02).

Conclusions

Our results suggest that high levels of leisure-time physical activity are associated with decreased levels of DNA damage in individuals with low physical activity at work.

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<![CDATA[Rectifying long-standing misconceptions about the ρ statistic for molecular dating]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac76d5eed0c484d08825

When divided by a given mutation rate, the ρ (rho) statistic provides a simple estimator of the age of a clade within a phylogenetic tree by averaging the number of mutations from each sample in the clade to its root. However, a long-standing critique of the use of ρ in genetic dating has been quite often cited. Here we show that the critique is unfounded. We demonstrate by a formal mathematical argument and illustrate with a simulation study that ρ estimates are unbiased and also that ρ and maximum likelihood estimates do not differ in any systematic fashion. We also demonstrate that the claim that the associated confidence intervals commonly estimate the uncertainty inappropriately is flawed since it relies on a means of calculating standard errors that is not used by any other researchers, whereas an established expression for the standard error is largely unproblematic. We conclude that ρ dating, alongside approaches such as maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference, remains a useful tool for genetic dating.

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<![CDATA[Epigenome-wide analysis of sperm cells identifies IL22 as a possible germ line risk locus for psoriatic arthritis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac57d5eed0c484d085ff

Psoriasis and its associated inflammatory arthritis, psoriatic arthritis (PsA), have a clear heritable component, but a large proportion of the heritable risk remains unexplained by gene sequence variation. This study aimed to determine if epigenetic factors contribute to the missing heritability in psoriatic disease. DNA methylation profiling was performed on sperm cells from 23 probands with psoriasis without PsA (PsC), 13 PsA probands, and 18 unaffected controls. Differentially methylated CpGs and regions (DMRs) were identified and validated by pyrosequencing. Underlying AluY and copy number variation (CNV) in the HCG26 and IL22 genes, respectively, were assessed by genotyping. Array, subject’s age, age of psoriasis onset, psoriasis severity, and medication usage were found to influence methylation at many genes and were included as covariates in the analysis. Between PsC probands vs. controls, 169 DMRs were found; 754 DMRs were found between PsA probands vs. controls, and 86 between PsA and PsC probands (adjusted p<0.05). Differences in methylation across DMRs were generally subtle (<10%) but correlated well with pyrosequencing. Biological inference prioritized notable DMRs associated with skin disease (SIGLEC14, JAM3, PCOLCE, RXRB), skin and/or joint disease (MBP, OSBPL5, SNORD115, HCG26), and joint disease (IL22, ELF5, PPP2R2D, PTPRN2, HCG26). Hypermethylation of the DMR within the first exon of arthritis-associated IL22 showed significant correlation (rho = 0.34, 95% CI 0.06–0.57, p = 0.01) between paired sperm and blood samples, independent of a CNV within the same region. Further studies are needed to rule out underlying genetic causes and determine if these represent heritable, constitutional epimutations, or are the result of exposure of germ cells to endogenous or exogenous environmental factors.

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<![CDATA[Gamma radiation induces locus specific changes to histone modification enrichment in zebrafish and Atlantic salmon]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9d7d5eed0c48452a2d3

Ionizing radiation is a recognized genotoxic agent, however, little is known about the role of the functional form of DNA in these processes. Post translational modifications on histone proteins control the organization of chromatin and hence control transcriptional responses that ultimately affect the phenotype. The purpose of this study was to investigate effects on chromatin caused by ionizing radiation in fish. Direct exposure of zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos to gamma radiation (10.9 mGy/h for 3h) induced hyper-enrichment of H3K4me3 at the genes hnf4a, gmnn and vegfab. A similar relative hyper-enrichment was seen at the hnf4a loci of irradiated Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) embryos (30 mGy/h for 10 days). At the selected genes in ovaries of adult zebrafish irradiated during gametogenesis (8.7 and 53 mGy/h for 27 days), a reduced enrichment of H3K4me3 was observed, which was correlated with reduced levels of histone H3 was observed. F1 embryos of the exposed parents showed hyper-methylation of H3K4me3, H3K9me3 and H3K27me3 on the same three loci, while these differences were almost negligible in F2 embryos. Our results from three selected loci suggest that ionizing radiation can affect chromatin structure and organization, and that these changes can be detected in F1 offspring, but not in subsequent generations.

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<![CDATA[Dual functions for the ssDNA-binding protein RPA in meiotic recombination]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e915d5eed0c48496f7c4

Meiotic recombination permits exchange of genetic material between homologous chromosomes. The replication protein A (RPA) complex, the predominant ssDNA-binding complex, is required for nearly all aspects of DNA metabolism, but its role in mammalian meiotic recombination remains unknown due to the embryonic lethality of RPA mutant mice. RPA is a heterotrimer of RPA1, RPA2, and RPA3. We find that loss of RPA1, the largest subunit, leads to disappearance of RPA2 and RPA3, resulting in the absence of the RPA complex. Using an inducible germline-specific inactivation strategy, we find that loss of RPA completely abrogates loading of RAD51/DMC1 recombinases to programmed meiotic DNA double strand breaks, thus blocking strand invasion required for chromosome pairing and synapsis. Surprisingly, loading of MEIOB, SPATA22, and ATR to DNA double strand breaks is RPA-independent and does not promote RAD51/DMC1 recruitment in the absence of RPA. Finally, inactivation of RPA reduces crossover formation. Our results demonstrate that RPA plays two distinct roles in meiotic recombination: an essential role in recombinase recruitment at early stages and an important role in promoting crossover formation at later stages.

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<![CDATA[Strand break-induced replication fork collapse leads to C-circles, C-overhangs and telomeric recombination]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e913d5eed0c48496f7a0

Telomerase-independent ALT (alternative lengthening of telomeres) cells are characterized by high frequency of telomeric homologous recombination (HR), C-rich extrachromosomal circles (C-circles) and C-rich terminal 5' overhangs (C-overhangs). However, underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Here, we show that both C-circle and C-overhang form when replication fork collapse is induced by strand break at telomeres. We find that endogenous DNA break predominantly occur on C-rich strand of telomeres in ALT cells, resulting in high frequency of replication fork collapse. While collapsed forks could be rescued by replication fork regression leading to telomeric homologous recombination, those unresolved are converted to C-circles and C-overhang at lagging and leading synthesized strand, respectively. Meanwhile, multiple hallmarks of ALT are provoked, suggesting that strand break-induced replication stress underlies ALT. These findings provide a molecular basis underlying telomeric HR and biogenesis of C-circle and C-overhang, thus implicating the specific mechanism to resolve strand break-induced replication defect at telomeres in ALT cells.

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<![CDATA[Transcription-driven chromatin repression of Intragenic transcription start sites]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df308d5eed0c484580b95

Progression of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) transcription relies on the appropriately positioned activities of elongation factors. The resulting profile of factors and chromatin signatures along transcription units provides a “positional information system” for transcribing RNAPII. Here, we investigate a chromatin-based mechanism that suppresses intragenic initiation of RNAPII transcription. We demonstrate that RNAPII transcription across gene promoters represses their function in plants. This repression is characterized by reduced promoter-specific molecular signatures and increased molecular signatures associated with RNAPII elongation. The conserved FACT histone chaperone complex is required for this repression mechanism. Genome-wide Transcription Start Site (TSS) mapping reveals thousands of discrete intragenic TSS positions in fact mutants, including downstream promoters that initiate alternative transcript isoforms. We find that histone H3 lysine 4 mono-methylation (H3K4me1), an Arabidopsis RNAPII elongation signature, is enriched at FACT-repressed intragenic TSSs. Our analyses suggest that FACT is required to repress intragenic TSSs at positions that are in part characterized by elevated H3K4me1 levels. In sum, conserved and plant-specific chromatin features correlate with the co-transcriptional repression of intragenic TSSs. Our insights into TSS repression by RNAPII transcription promise to inform the regulation of alternative transcript isoforms and the characterization of gene regulation through the act of pervasive transcription across eukaryotic genomes.

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<![CDATA[Transvection-like interchromosomal interaction is not observed at the transcriptional level when tested in the Rosa26 locus in mouse]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1494d5eed0c48467a353

Long-range associations between enhancers and their target gene promoters have been shown to play critical roles in executing genome function. Recent variations of chromosome capture technology have revealed a comprehensive view of intra- and interchromosomal contacts between specific genomic sites. The locus control region of the β-globin genes (β-LCR) is a super-enhancer that is capable of activating all of the β-like globin genes within the locus in cis through physical interaction by forming DNA loops. CTCF helps to mediate loop formation between LCR-HS5 and 3’HS1 in the human β-globin locus, in this way thought to contribute to the formation of a “chromatin hub”. The β-globin locus is also in close physical proximity to other erythrocyte-specific genes located long distances away on the same chromosome. In this case, erythrocyte-specific genes gather together at a shared “transcription factory” for co-transcription. Theoretically, enhancers could also activate target gene promoters at the identical loci, yet on different chromosomes in trans, a phenomenon originally described as transvection in Drosophilla. Although close physical proximity has been reported for the β-LCR and the β-like globin genes when integrated at the mouse homologous loci in trans, their structural and functional interactions were found to be rare, possibly because of a lack of suitable regulatory elements that might facilitate such trans interactions. Therefore, we re-evaluated presumptive transvection-like enhancer-promoter communication by introducing CTCF binding sites and erythrocyte-specific transcription units into both LCR-enhancer and β-promoter alleles, each inserted into the mouse ROSA26 locus on separate chromosomes. Following cross-mating of mice to place the two mutant loci at the identical chromosomal position and into active chromation in trans, their transcriptional output was evaluated. The results demonstrate that there was no significant functional association between the LCR and the β-globin gene in trans even in this idealized experimental context.

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