ResearchPad - chromosomes https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Universally high transcript error rates in bacteria]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16349 Most cells contain molecules of DNA that carry instructions to make the proteins cells need to perform different tasks. When a cell requires a certain protein, the corresponding DNA sequence is first transcribed into molecules of ribonucleic acid (RNA) known as transcripts. These sequences of RNA are then read by the cell and translated into the desired protein sequence.

Errors in copying DNA before a cell divides, can lead to genetic mutations that affect the ability of the cell to carry out certain roles, influencing the overall ‘fitness’ of the cell. Similar to genetic mutations, errors that arise when forming RNA transcripts may also alter the tasks a cell performs. However, it is difficult to find out what kinds of errors cells have in their transcripts and how often these mistakes occur. This is because current methods for sequencing RNA are prone to technical inaccuracies that interfere with the ability to detect true transcript errors.

Now, Li and Lynch have adapted a method for high-throughput sequencing of RNA, which can accurately identify transcript errors in Escherichia coli and other species of bacteria. The experiments showed that errors in RNA molecules occurred more frequently than genetic mutations in the same sequence of DNA. Li and Lynch also found that the transcripts contained more nonsense errors – that is, mutations which prematurely stop transcripts from being translated, resulting in shorter proteins – at the end of the RNA molecule than at the beginning or middle. It is possible that transcripts with errors at the beginning or the middle are more efficiently eliminated than those at the end, suggesting that bacteria have a quality-control mechanism for removing transcripts with premature stop sequences.

These findings suggest that at any one-time cells carry thousands of transcripts with inaccuracies in their sequence, which likely impact the tasks cells perform. The next step will be to investigate how these different transcript errors affect the fitness of cells.

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<![CDATA[Live-cell single particle imaging reveals the role of RNA polymerase II in histone H2A.Z eviction]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16346 The H2A.Z histone variant, a genome-wide hallmark of permissive chromatin, is enriched near transcription start sites in all eukaryotes. H2A.Z is deposited by the SWR1 chromatin remodeler and evicted by unclear mechanisms. We tracked H2A.Z in living yeast at single-molecule resolution, and found that H2A.Z eviction is dependent on RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) and the Kin28/Cdk7 kinase, which phosphorylates Serine 5 of heptapeptide repeats on the carboxy-terminal domain of the largest Pol II subunit Rpb1. These findings link H2A.Z eviction to transcription initiation, promoter escape and early elongation activities of Pol II. Because passage of Pol II through +1 nucleosomes genome-wide would obligate H2A.Z turnover, we propose that global transcription at yeast promoters is responsible for eviction of H2A.Z. Such usage of yeast Pol II suggests a general mechanism coupling eukaryotic transcription to erasure of the H2A.Z epigenetic signal.

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<![CDATA[A new protocol for single-cell RNA-seq reveals stochastic gene expression during lag phase in budding yeast]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16344 Current methods for single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) of yeast cells do not match the throughput and relative simplicity of the state-of-the-art techniques that are available for mammalian cells. In this study, we report how 10x Genomics’ droplet-based single-cell RNA sequencing technology can be modified to allow analysis of yeast cells. The protocol, which is based on in-droplet spheroplasting of the cells, yields an order-of-magnitude higher throughput in comparison to existing methods. After extensive validation of the method, we demonstrate its use by studying the dynamics of the response of isogenic yeast populations to a shift in carbon source, revealing the heterogeneity and underlying molecular processes during this shift. The method we describe opens new avenues for studies focusing on yeast cells, as well as other cells with a degradable cell wall.

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<![CDATA[A tudor domain protein, SIMR-1, promotes siRNA production at piRNA-targeted mRNAs in <i>C. elegans</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16322 In the biological world, a process known as RNA interference helps cells to switch genes on and off and to defend themselves against harmful genetic material. This mechanism works by deactivating RNA sequences, the molecular templates cells can use to create proteins.

Overall, RNA interference relies on the cell creating small RNA molecules that can target and inhibit the harmful RNA sequences that need to be silenced. More precisely, in round worms such as Caenorhabditis elegans, RNA interference happens in two steps. First, primary small RNAs identify the target sequences, which are then combatted by newly synthetised, secondary small RNAs. A number of proteins are also involved in both steps of the process.

RNA interference is particularly important to preserve fertility, guarding sex cells against ‘rogue’ segments of genetic information that could be passed on to the next generation. In future sex cells, the proteins involved in RNA interference cluster together, forming a structure called a germ granule. Yet, little is known about the roles and identity of these proteins.

To fill this knowledge gap, Manage et al. focused on the second stage of the RNA interference pathway in the germ granules of C. elegans, examining the molecules that physically interact with a key protein. This work revealed a new protein called SIMR-1.

Looking into the role of SIMR-1 showed that the protein is required to amplify secondary small RNAs, but not to identify target sequences. However, it only promotes the creation of secondary small RNAs if a specific subtype of primary small RNAs have recognized the target RNAs for silencing.

Further experiments also showed that within the germ granule, SIMR-1 is present in a separate substructure different from any compartment previously identified. This suggests that each substep of the RNA interference process takes place at a different location in the granule.

In both C. elegans and humans, disruptions in the RNA interference pathway can lead to conditions such as cancer or infertility. Dissecting the roles of the proteins involved in this process in roundworms may help to better grasp how this process unfolds in mammals, and how it could be corrected in the case of disease.

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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[Bacterial phenotypic heterogeneity in DNA repair and mutagenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_9188 Genetically identical cells frequently exhibit striking heterogeneity in various phenotypic traits such as their morphology, growth rate, or gene expression. Such non-genetic diversity can help clonal bacterial populations overcome transient environmental challenges without compromising genome stability, while genetic change is required for long-term heritable adaptation. At the heart of the balance between genome stability and plasticity are the DNA repair pathways that shield DNA from lesions and reverse errors arising from the imperfect DNA replication machinery. In principle, phenotypic heterogeneity in the expression and activity of DNA repair pathways can modulate mutation rates in single cells and thus be a source of heritable genetic diversity, effectively reversing the genotype-to-phenotype dogma. Long-standing evidence for mutation rate heterogeneity comes from genetics experiments on cell populations, which are now complemented by direct measurements on individual living cells. These measurements are increasingly performed using fluorescence microscopy with a temporal and spatial resolution that enables localising, tracking, and counting proteins with single-molecule sensitivity. In this review, we discuss which molecular processes lead to phenotypic heterogeneity in DNA repair and consider the potential consequences on genome stability and dynamics in bacteria. We further inspect these concepts in the context of DNA damage and mutation induced by antibiotics.

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<![CDATA[Hfq CLASH uncovers sRNA-target interaction networks linked to nutrient availability adaptation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_6357 By shaping gene expression profiles, small RNAs (sRNAs) enable bacteria to efficiently adapt to changes in their environment. To better understand how Escherichia coli acclimatizes to nutrient availability, we performed UV cross-linking, ligation and sequencing of hybrids (CLASH) to uncover Hfq-associated RNA-RNA interactions at specific growth stages. We demonstrate that Hfq CLASH robustly captures bona fide RNA-RNA interactions. We identified hundreds of novel sRNA base-pairing interactions, including many sRNA-sRNA interactions and involving 3’UTR-derived sRNAs. We rediscovered known and identified novel sRNA seed sequences. The sRNA-mRNA interactions identified by CLASH have strong base-pairing potential and are highly enriched for complementary sequence motifs, even those supported by only a few reads. Yet, steady state levels of most mRNA targets were not significantly affected upon over-expression of the sRNA regulator. Our results reinforce the idea that the reproducibility of the interaction, not base-pairing potential, is a stronger predictor for a regulatory outcome.

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<![CDATA[Controlling gene activation by enhancers through a drug-inducible topological insulator]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N2bbf1e8f-ab02-4251-b534-23ad351c1342 While regulation of gene-enhancer interaction is intensively studied, its application remains limited. Here, we reconstituted arrays of CTCF-binding sites and devised a synthetic topological insulator with tetO for chromatin-engineering (STITCH). By coupling STITCH with tetR linked to the KRAB domain to induce heterochromatin and disable the insulation, we developed a drug-inducible system to control gene activation by enhancers. In human induced pluripotent stem cells, STITCH inserted between MYC and the enhancer down-regulated MYC. Progressive mutagenesis of STITCH led to a preferential escalation of the gene-enhancer interaction, corroborating the strong insulation ability of STITCH. STITCH also altered epigenetic states around MYC. Time-course analysis by drug induction uncovered deposition and removal of H3K27me3 repressive marks follows and reflects, but does not precede and determine, the expression change. Finally, STITCH inserted near NEUROG2 impaired the gene activation in differentiating neural progenitor cells. Thus, STITCH should be broadly useful for functional genetic studies.

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<![CDATA[Identification of PCNA-interacting protein motifs in human DNA polymerase δ]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne353dbc7-b305-4e18-a14d-47ac10bb9e2f DNA polymerase δ (Polδ) is a highly processive essential replicative DNA polymerase. In humans, the Polδ holoenzyme consists of p125, p50, p68 and p12 subunits and recently, we showed that the p12 subunit exists as a dimer. Extensive biochemical studies suggest that all the subunits of Polδ interact with the processivity factor proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) to carry out a pivotal role in genomic DNA replication. While PCNA-interacting protein motif (PIP) motifs in p68, p50 and p12 have been mapped, same in p125, the catalytic subunit of the holoenzyme, remains elusive. Therefore, in the present study by using multiple approaches we have conclusively mapped a non-canonical PIP motif from residues 999VGGLLAFA1008 in p125, which binds to the inter-domain-connecting loop (IDCL) of PCNA with high affinity. Collectively, including previous studies, we conclude that similar to Saccharomyces cerevisiae Polδ, each of the human Polδ subunits possesses motif to interact with PCNA and significantly contributes toward the processive nature of this replicative DNA polymerase.

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<![CDATA[A novel frameshift mutation in ubiquitin-specific protease 26 gene in a patient with severe oligozoospermia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb7f3bc7a-4fae-4517-82c5-0276b01224f8 Ubiquitin-specific protease 26 (USP26) encodes a predicted protein containing his- and cys- domains that are conserved among deubiquitinating enzymes. USP26 is specifically expressed in testis tissue and is a potential infertility gene. In the present study, we performed genetic testing related to spermatogenesis impairment in a patient with idiopathic severe oligozoospermia to identify the cause. The patient underwent clinical examination and reproductive hormone testing. Genes associated with male infertility, including USP26, were assessed by targeted exome sequencing. A novel frameshift mutation, c.2195delT (p.Phe732Serfs*14), was identified in USP26. This frameshift mutation was located in residue 732 of USP26 gene, leading to loss of the conserved deubiquitinating enzyme His-domain and producing a truncated protein of 744 amino acids. Bioinformatics analysis revealed this mutation to be pathogenic. A novel framshift mutation c.2195delT (p.Phe732Serfs*14) in USP26 gene was reported to be associated with male infertility in a Chinese patient with severe oligozoospermia.

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<![CDATA[Cooperative interactions facilitate stimulation of Rad51 by the Swi5-Sfr1 auxiliary factor complex]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nbfc8d5d1-da72-4c2a-9797-ce3b29738b07

Although Rad51 is the key protein in homologous recombination (HR), a major DNA double-strand break repair pathway, several auxiliary factors interact with Rad51 to promote productive HR. We present an interdisciplinary characterization of the interaction between Rad51 and Swi5-Sfr1, a conserved auxiliary factor. Two distinct sites within the intrinsically disordered N-terminus of Sfr1 (Sfr1N) were found to cooperatively bind Rad51. Deletion of this domain impaired Rad51 stimulation in vitro and rendered cells sensitive to DNA damage. By contrast, amino acid-substitution mutants, which had comparable biochemical defects, could promote DNA repair, suggesting that Sfr1N has another role in addition to Rad51 binding. Unexpectedly, the DNA repair observed in these mutants was dependent on Rad55-Rad57, another auxiliary factor complex hitherto thought to function independently of Swi5-Sfr1. When combined with the finding that they form a higher-order complex, our results imply that Swi5-Sfr1 and Rad55-Rad57 can collaboratively stimulate Rad51 in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

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<![CDATA[A bacteriophage mimic of the bacterial nucleoid-associated protein Fis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nbf1f42c6-6725-44f1-b51e-cbf4b7adea60

We report the identification and characterization of a bacteriophage λ-encoded protein, NinH. Sequence homology suggests similarity between NinH and Fis, a bacterial nucleoid-associated protein (NAP) involved in numerous DNA topology manipulations, including chromosome condensation, transcriptional regulation and phage site-specific recombination. We find that NinH functions as a homodimer and is able to bind and bend double-stranded DNA in vitro. Furthermore, NinH shows a preference for a 15 bp signature sequence related to the degenerate consensus favored by Fis. Structural studies reinforced the proposed similarity to Fis and supported the identification of residues involved in DNA binding which were demonstrated experimentally. Overexpression of NinH proved toxic and this correlated with its capacity to associate with DNA. NinH is the first example of a phage-encoded Fis-like NAP that likely influences phage excision-integration reactions or bacterial gene expression.

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<![CDATA[Extracellular DNA in blood products and its potential effects on transfusion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N2c43a6d9-b325-4827-8d79-69a6ffb5c163

Abstract

Blood transfusions are sometimes necessary after a high loss of blood due to injury or surgery. Some people need regular transfusions due to medical conditions such as haemophilia or cancer. Studies have suggested that extracellular DNA including mitochondrial DNA present in the extracellular milieu of transfused blood products has biological actions that are capable of activating the innate immune systems and potentially contribute to some adverse reactions in transfusion. From the present work, it becomes increasingly clear that extracellular DNA encompassed mitochondrial DNA is far from being biologically inert in blood products. It has been demonstrated to be present in eligible blood products and thus can be transfused to blood recipients. Although the presence of extracellular DNA in human plasma was initially detected in 1948, some aspects have not been fully elucidated. In this review, we summarize the potential origins, clearance mechanisms, relevant structures, and potential role of extracellular DNA in the innate immune responses and its relationship with individual adverse reactions in transfusion.

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<![CDATA[Stop codon context influences genome-wide stimulation of termination codon readthrough by aminoglycosides]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd4d9dc37-38a0-4d2f-beaa-88139ecf1e32

Stop codon readthrough (SCR) occurs when the ribosome miscodes at a stop codon. Such readthrough events can be therapeutically desirable when a premature termination codon (PTC) is found in a critical gene. To study SCR in vivo in a genome-wide manner, we treated mammalian cells with aminoglycosides and performed ribosome profiling. We find that in addition to stimulating readthrough of PTCs, aminoglycosides stimulate readthrough of normal termination codons (NTCs) genome-wide. Stop codon identity, the nucleotide following the stop codon, and the surrounding mRNA sequence context all influence the likelihood of SCR. In comparison to NTCs, downstream stop codons in 3′UTRs are recognized less efficiently by ribosomes, suggesting that targeting of critical stop codons for readthrough may be achievable without general disruption of translation termination. Finally, we find that G418-induced miscoding alters gene expression with substantial effects on translation of histone genes, selenoprotein genes, and S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase (AMD1).

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<![CDATA[Finding sense in the context]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N950796ad-a816-4ab6-a8d0-a9d44ecfe049

Ribosomal profiling has shed new light on how ribosomes can ignore stop codons in messenger RNA.

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<![CDATA[Losing Dnmt3a dependent methylation in inhibitory neurons impairs neural function by a mechanism impacting Rett syndrome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nba239759-6617-4cf9-a29c-0a5b7fa9fa31

Methylated cytosine is an effector of epigenetic gene regulation. In the brain, Dnmt3a is the sole ‘writer’ of atypical non-CpG methylation (mCH), and MeCP2 is the only known ‘reader’ for mCH. We asked if MeCP2 is the sole reader for Dnmt3a dependent methylation by comparing mice lacking either protein in GABAergic inhibitory neurons. Loss of either protein causes overlapping and distinct features from the behavioral to molecular level. Loss of Dnmt3a causes global loss of mCH and a subset of mCG sites resulting in more widespread transcriptional alterations and severe neurological dysfunction than MeCP2 loss. These data suggest that MeCP2 is responsible for reading only part of the Dnmt3a dependent methylation in the brain. Importantly, the impact of MeCP2 on genes differentially expressed in both models shows a strong dependence on mCH, but not Dnmt3a dependent mCG, consistent with mCH playing a central role in the pathogenesis of Rett Syndrome.

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<![CDATA[Immobilized DNA aptamers used as potent attractors for vascular endothelial cell: in vitro study of female rat]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N22bf139b-96b7-4760-8738-29be5d4e06b2

Abstract

Vascular endothelial cells are essential to vascular function and maintenance. Dysfunction of these cells can lead to the development of cardiovascular disease or contribute to tumorigenesis. As such, the therapeutic modulation and monitoring of vascular endothelial cells are of significant clinical interest, and several endothelial-specific ligands have been developed for drug delivery and the monitoring of endothelial function. However, the application of these ligands has been limited by their high cost and tendency to induce immune responses, highlighting a need for alternate methods of targeting vascular endothelial cells. In the present study, we explore the therapeutic potential of DNA aptamers. Using cell-SELEX technology, we identified two aptamers with specific binding affinity for vascular endothelial cells and propose that these molecules show potential for use as new ligands for drug and biomarker research concerning vascular endothelial cells.

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<![CDATA[Cdc7 activates replication checkpoint by phosphorylating the Chk1-binding domain of Claspin in human cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N70fe9b6a-0774-42da-87db-cc50e4bf8ef1

Replication checkpoint is essential for maintaining genome integrity in response to various replication stresses as well as during the normal growth. The evolutionally conserved ATR-Claspin-Chk1 pathway is induced during replication checkpoint activation. Cdc7 kinase, required for initiation of DNA replication at replication origins, has been implicated in checkpoint activation but how it is involved in this pathway has not been known. Here, we show that Cdc7 is required for Claspin-Chk1 interaction in human cancer cells by phosphorylating CKBD (Chk1-binding-domain) of Claspin. The residual Chk1 activation in Cdc7-depleted cells is lost upon further depletion of casein kinase1 (CK1γ1), previously reported to phosphorylate CKBD. Thus, Cdc7, in conjunction with CK1γ1, facilitates the interaction between Claspin and Chk1 through phosphorylating CKBD. We also show that, whereas Cdc7 is predominantly responsible for CKBD phosphorylation in cancer cells, CK1γ1 plays a major role in non-cancer cells, providing rationale for targeting Cdc7 for cancer cell-specific cell killing.

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<![CDATA[Interplay of mRNA capping and transcription machineries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N18a036eb-6971-4a72-8ad3-b564ca06e6ed

Abstract

Early stages of transcription from eukaryotic promoters include two principal events: the capping of newly synthesized mRNA and the transition of RNA polymerase II from the preinitiation complex to the productive elongation state. The capping checkpoint model implies that these events are tightly coupled, which is necessary for ensuring the proper capping of newly synthesized mRNA. Recent findings also show that the capping machinery has a wider effect on transcription and the entire gene expression process. The molecular basis of these phenomena is discussed.

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<![CDATA[TRF1 averts chromatin remodelling, recombination and replication dependent-break induced replication at mouse telomeres]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N740ed838-f073-4679-bddc-320f03f30b53

Telomeres are a significant challenge to DNA replication and are prone to replication stress and telomere fragility. The shelterin component TRF1 facilitates telomere replication but the molecular mechanism remains uncertain. By interrogating the proteomic composition of telomeres, we show that mouse telomeres lacking TRF1 undergo protein composition reorganisation associated with the recruitment of DNA damage response and chromatin remodellers. Surprisingly, mTRF1 suppresses the accumulation of promyelocytic leukemia (PML) protein, BRCA1 and the SMC5/6 complex at telomeres, which is associated with increased Homologous Recombination (HR) and TERRA transcription. We uncovered a previously unappreciated role for mTRF1 in the suppression of telomere recombination, dependent on SMC5 and also POLD3 dependent Break Induced Replication at telomeres. We propose that TRF1 facilitates S-phase telomeric DNA synthesis to prevent illegitimate mitotic DNA recombination and chromatin rearrangement.

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