ResearchPad - dna https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[TIM, a targeted insertional mutagenesis method utilizing CRISPR/Cas9 in <i>Chlamydomonas reinhardtii</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13864 Generation and subsequent analysis of mutants is critical to understanding the functions of genes and proteins. Here we describe TIM, an efficient, cost-effective, CRISPR-based targeted insertional mutagenesis method for the model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. TIM utilizes delivery into the cell of a Cas9-guide RNA (gRNA) ribonucleoprotein (RNP) together with exogenous double-stranded (donor) DNA. The donor DNA contains gene-specific homology arms and an integral antibiotic-resistance gene that inserts at the double-stranded break generated by Cas9. After optimizing multiple parameters of this method, we were able to generate mutants for six out of six different genes in two different cell-walled strains with mutation efficiencies ranging from 40% to 95%. Furthermore, these high efficiencies allowed simultaneous targeting of two separate genes in a single experiment. TIM is flexible with regard to many parameters and can be carried out using either electroporation or the glass-bead method for delivery of the RNP and donor DNA. TIM achieves a far higher mutation rate than any previously reported for CRISPR-based methods in C. reinhardtii and promises to be effective for many, if not all, non-essential nuclear genes.

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<![CDATA[Virus detections among patients with severe acute respiratory illness, Northern Vietnam]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13805 Severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) is a major cause of death and morbidity in low- and middle-income countries, however, the etiologic agents are often undetermined due to the lack of molecular diagnostics in hospitals and clinics. To examine evidence for select viral infections among patients with SARI in northern Vietnam, we studied 348 nasopharyngeal samples from military and civilian patients admitted to 4 hospitals in the greater Hanoi area from 2017–2019. Initial screening for human respiratory viral pathogens was performed in Hanoi, Vietnam at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) or the Military Institute of Preventative Medicine (MIPM), and an aliquot was shipped to Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore for validation. Patient demographics were recorded and used to epidemiologically describe the infections. Among military and civilian cases of SARI, 184 (52.9%) tested positive for one or more respiratory viruses. Influenza A virus was the most prevalent virus detected (64.7%), followed by influenza B virus (29.3%), enterovirus (3.8%), adenovirus (1.1%), and coronavirus (1.1%). Risk factor analyses demonstrated an increased risk of influenza A virus detection among military hospital patients (adjusted OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.2–3.2), and an increased risk of influenza B virus detection among patients enrolled in year 2017 (adjusted OR, 7.9; 95% CI, 2.7–22.9). As influenza A and B viruses were commonly associated with SARI and are treatable, SARI patients entering these hospitals would benefit if the hospitals were able to adapt onsite molecular diagnostics.

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<![CDATA[Murine gammaherpesvirus infection is skewed toward Igλ+ B cells expressing a specific heavy chain V-segment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13826 Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 is a rodent pathogen that is closely related to the human gammaherpesviruses Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated virus. All know gammaherpesviruses are associated with the development of lymphomas, as well as other cancers, in a small subset of infected individuals–particularly those with underlying defects in their immune system (i.e., transplant recipients and HIV infected patients). Because there are very limited small animal models for the human gammaherpesviruses, studies on murine gammaherepsviruses 68 can provide important insights into critical aspects of gammaherpesvirus infections and the association of these viruses with disease development. Another feature of all gammaherpesviruses is their ability to establish a chronic infection of their host–where the virus is maintained for the lifetime of the infected individual. The major target cell harboring chronic gammaherepsvirus infection are B lymphocytes–the cells in the immune system that produce antibodies in response to infections. Here we provide a detailed characterization of the populations of B lymphocytes that become infected by murine gammaherpesvirus 68. This has led to the identification of a specific population of B lymphocytes that is preferentially infected by the virus. This supports a model in which murine gammaherpesvirus infection of B lymphocytes is not random. However, it remains unclear why the virus targets this specific population of B cells for infection.

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<![CDATA[Scedar: A scalable Python package for single-cell RNA-seq exploratory data analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13837 In single-cell RNA-seq (scRNA-seq) experiments, the number of individual cells has increased exponentially, and the sequencing depth of each cell has decreased significantly. As a result, analyzing scRNA-seq data requires extensive considerations of program efficiency and method selection. In order to reduce the complexity of scRNA-seq data analysis, we present scedar, a scalable Python package for scRNA-seq exploratory data analysis. The package provides a convenient and reliable interface for performing visualization, imputation of gene dropouts, detection of rare transcriptomic profiles, and clustering on large-scale scRNA-seq datasets. The analytical methods are efficient, and they also do not assume that the data follow certain statistical distributions. The package is extensible and modular, which would facilitate the further development of functionalities for future requirements with the open-source development community. The scedar package is distributed under the terms of the MIT license at https://pypi.org/project/scedar.

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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[Active Notch signaling is required for arm regeneration in a brittle star]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7845 Cell signaling pathways play key roles in coordinating cellular events in development. The Notch signaling pathway is highly conserved across all multicellular animals and is known to coordinate a multitude of diverse cellular events, including proliferation, differentiation, fate specification, and cell death. Specific functions of the pathway are, however, highly context-dependent and are not well characterized in post-traumatic regeneration. Here, we use a small-molecule inhibitor of the pathway (DAPT) to demonstrate that Notch signaling is required for proper arm regeneration in the brittle star Ophioderma brevispina, a highly regenerative member of the phylum Echinodermata. We also employ a transcriptome-wide gene expression analysis (RNA-seq) to characterize the downstream genes controlled by the Notch pathway in the brittle star regeneration. We demonstrate that arm regeneration involves an extensive cross-talk between the Notch pathway and other cell signaling pathways. In the regrowing arm, Notch regulates the composition of the extracellular matrix, cell migration, proliferation, and apoptosis, as well as components of the innate immune response. We also show for the first time that Notch signaling regulates the activity of several transposable elements. Our data also suggests that one of the possible mechanisms through which Notch sustains its activity in the regenerating tissues is via suppression of Neuralized1.

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<![CDATA[ArdC, a ssDNA-binding protein with a metalloprotease domain, overpasses the recipient <i>hsdRMS</i> restriction system broadening conjugation host range]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7739 Horizontal gene transfer is the main mechanism by which bacteria acquire and disseminate new traits, such as antibiotic resistance genes, that allow adaptation and evolution. Here we identified a gene, ardC, that enables a plasmid to increase its conjugative host range, and thus positively contributes to plasmid fitness. The crystal structure of the antirestriction protein ArdC revealed a fold different from other antirestriction proteins. Our results have wide implications for understanding how a gene enlarges the environments a plasmid can colonize and point to new targets to harness the bacterial DNA uptake control.

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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[OmniChange: The Sequence Independent Method for Simultaneous Site-Saturation of Five Codons]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa7ab0ee8fa60ba7f19

Focused mutant library generation methods have been developed to improve mainly “localizable” enzyme properties such as activity and selectivity. Current multi-site saturation methods are restricted by the gene sequence, require subsequent PCR steps and/or additional enzymatic modifications. Here we report, a multiple site saturation mutagenesis method, OmniChange, which simultaneously and efficiently saturates five independent codons. As proof of principle, five chemically cleaved DNA fragments, each carrying one NNK-degenerated codon, were generated and assembled to full gene length in a one-pot-reaction without additional PCR-amplification or use of restriction enzymes or ligases. Sequencing revealed the presence of up to 27 different codons at individual positions, corresponding to 84.4% of the theoretical diversity offered by NNK-degeneration. OmniChange is absolutely sequence independent, does not require a minimal distance between mutated codons and can be accomplished within a day.

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<![CDATA[HSPA6 augments garlic extract-induced inhibition of proliferation, migration, and invasion of bladder cancer EJ cells; Implication for cell cycle dysregulation, signaling pathway alteration, and transcription factor-associated MMP-9 regulation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb9fe

Although recent studies have demonstrated the anti-tumor effects of garlic extract (GE), the exact molecular mechanism is still unclear. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanism associated with the inhibitory action of GE against bladder cancer EJ cell responses. Treatment with GE significantly inhibited proliferation of EJ cells dose-dependently through G2/M-phase cell cycle arrest. This G2/M-phase cell cycle arrest by GE was due to the activation of ATM and CHK2, which appears to inhibit phosphorylation of Cdc25C (Ser216) and Cdc2 (Thr14/Tyr15), this in turn was accompanied by down-regulation of cyclin B1 and up-regulation of p21WAF1. Furthermore, GE treatment was also found to induce phosphorylation of MAPK (ERK1/2, p38MAPK, and JNK) and AKT. In addition, GE impeded the migration and invasion of EJ cells via inhibition of MMP-9 expression followed by decreased binding activities of AP-1, Sp-1, and NF-κB motifs. Based on microarray datasets, we selected Heat shock protein A6 (HSPA6) as the most up-regulated gene responsible for the inhibitory effects of GE. Interestingly, overexpression of HSPA6 gene resulted in an augmentation effect with GE inhibiting proliferation, migration, and invasion of EJ cells. The augmentation effect of HSPA6 was verified by enhancing the induction of G2/M-phase-mediated ATM-CHK2-Cdc25C-p21WAF1-Cdc2 cascade, phosphorylation of MAPK and AKT signaling, and suppression of transcription factor-associated MMP-9 regulation in response to GE in EJ cells. Overall, our novel results indicate that HSPA6 reinforces the GE-mediated inhibitory effects of proliferation, migration, and invasion of EJ cells and may provide a new approach for therapeutic treatment of malignancies.

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<![CDATA[Paleogenetic study on the 17th century Korean mummy with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5aafccf3463d7e7f05234537

While atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) is known to be common among modern people exposed to various risk factors, recent paleopathological studies have shown that it affected ancient populations much more frequently than expected. In 2010, we investigated a 17th century Korean female mummy with presumptive ASCVD signs. Although the resulting report was a rare and invaluable conjecture on the disease status of an ancient East Asian population, the diagnosis had been based only on anatomical and radiological techniques, and so could not confirm the existence of ASCVD in the mummy. In the present study, we thus performed a paleogenetic analysis to supplement the previous conventional diagnosis of ASCVD. In aDNA extracted from the same Korean mummy, we identified the risk alleles of seven different SNPs (rs5351, rs10757274, rs2383206, rs2383207, rs10757278, rs4380028 and rs1333049) that had already been revealed to be the major risk loci of ASCVD in East Asian populations. The reliability of this study could be enhanced by cross-validation using two different analyses: Sanger and SNaPshot techniques. We were able to establish that the 17th century Korean female had a strong genetic predisposition to increased risk of ASCVD. The current paleogenetic diagnosis, the first of its kind outside Europe, re-confirms its utility as an adjunct modality for confirmatory diagnosis of ancient ASCVD.

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<![CDATA[Quantitative real-time PCR as a promising tool for the detection and quantification of leaf-associated fungal species – A proof-of-concept using Alatospora pulchella]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc5cf

Traditional methods to identify aquatic hyphomycetes rely on the morphology of released conidia, which can lead to misidentifications or underestimates of species richness due to convergent morphological evolution and the presence of non-sporulating mycelia. Molecular methods allow fungal identification irrespective of the presence of conidia or their morphology. As a proof-of-concept, we established a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay to accurately quantify the amount of DNA as a proxy for the biomass of an aquatic hyphomycete species (Alatospora pulchella). Our study showed discrimination even among genetically closely-related species, with a high sensitivity and a reliable quantification down to 9.9 fg DNA (3 PCR forming units; LoD) and 155.0 fg DNA (47 PCR forming units; LoQ), respectively. The assay’s specificity was validated for environmental samples that harboured diverse microbial communities and likely contained PCR-inhibiting substances. This makes qPCR a promising tool to gain deeper insights into the ecological roles of aquatic hyphomycetes and other microorganisms.

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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[The tetraspanin CD9 facilitates MERS-coronavirus entry by scaffolding host cell receptors and proteases]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/598bdfb5fa495b7488185485

Infection by enveloped coronaviruses (CoVs) initiates with viral spike (S) proteins binding to cellular receptors, and is followed by proteolytic cleavage of receptor-bound S proteins, which prompts S protein-mediated virus-cell membrane fusion. Infection therefore requires close proximity of receptors and proteases. We considered whether tetraspanins, scaffolding proteins known to facilitate CoV infections, hold receptors and proteases together on cell membranes. Using knockout cell lines, we found that the tetraspanin CD9, but not the tetraspanin CD81, formed cell-surface complexes of dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4), the MERS-CoV receptor, and the type II transmembrane serine protease (TTSP) member TMPRSS2, a CoV-activating protease. This CD9-facilitated condensation of receptors and proteases allowed MERS-CoV pseudoviruses to enter cells rapidly and efficiently. Without CD9, MERS-CoV viruses were not activated by TTSPs, and they trafficked into endosomes to be cleaved much later and less efficiently by cathepsins. Thus, we identified DPP4:CD9:TTSP as the protein complexes necessary for early, efficient MERS-CoV entry. To evaluate the importance of these complexes in an in vivo CoV infection model, we used recombinant Adenovirus 5 (rAd5) vectors to express human DPP4 in mouse lungs, thereby sensitizing the animals to MERS-CoV infection. When the rAd5-hDPP4 vectors co-expressed small RNAs silencing Cd9 or Tmprss2, the animals were significantly less susceptible, indicating that CD9 and TMPRSS2 facilitated robust in vivo MERS-CoV infection of mouse lungs. Furthermore, the S proteins of virulent mouse-adapted MERS-CoVs acquired a CD9-dependent cell entry character, suggesting that CD9 is a selective agent in the evolution of CoV virulence.

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<![CDATA[Constitutive hydrogen inhalation prevents vascular remodeling via reduction of oxidative stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne1330967-900e-43ee-b1f2-140543b0d511

Molecular hydrogen is thought to have an inhibitory effect on oxidative stress, thereby attenuating the onset and progression of various diseases including cardiovascular disease; however, few reports have assessed the preventive effect of constitutive inhalation of hydrogen gas on of vascular remodeling. Here, we investigated the effect of constitutive inhalation of hydrogen gas on vascular neointima formation using a cuff-induced vascular injury mouse model. After constitutive inhalation of compressed hydrogen gas (O2 21%, N2 77.7%, hydrogen 1.3%) or compressed air only (O2 21%, N2 79%) by C57BL/6 mice for 2 weeks from 8 weeks of age in a closed chamber, inflammatory cuff injury was induced by polyethylene cuff placement around the femoral artery under anesthesia, and hydrogen gas administration was continued until sampling of the femoral artery. Neointima formation, accompanied by an increase in cell proliferation, was significantly attenuated in the hydrogen group compared with the control group. NADPH oxidase NOX1 downregulation in response to cuff injury was shown in the hydrogen group, but the expression levels of NADPH oxidase subunits, p40phox and p47phox, did not differ significantly between the hydrogen and control groups. Although the increase in superoxide anion production did not significantly differ between the hydrogen and control groups, DNA damage was decreased as a result of reduction of reactive oxygen species such as hydroxyl radical (⋅OH) and peroxynitrite (ONOO-) in the hydrogen group. These results demonstrate that constitutive inhalation of hydrogen gas attenuates vascular remodeling partly via reduction of oxidative stress, suggesting that constitutive inhalation of hydrogen gas at a safe concentration in the living environment could be an effective strategy for prevention of vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis.

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<![CDATA[Variants encoding a restricted carboxy-terminal domain of SLC12A2 cause hereditary hearing loss in humans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd1837fa5-7737-42fc-aa07-ce2092d99c03

Hereditary hearing loss is challenging to diagnose because of the heterogeneity of the causative genes. Further, some genes involved in hereditary hearing loss have yet to be identified. Using whole-exome analysis of three families with congenital, severe-to-profound hearing loss, we identified a missense variant of SLC12A2 in five affected members of one family showing a dominant inheritance mode, along with de novo splice-site and missense variants of SLC12A2 in two sporadic cases, as promising candidates associated with hearing loss. Furthermore, we detected another de novo missense variant of SLC12A2 in a sporadic case. SLC12A2 encodes Na+, K+, 2Cl cotransporter (NKCC) 1 and plays critical roles in the homeostasis of K+-enriched endolymph. Slc12a2-deficient mice have congenital, profound deafness; however, no human variant of SLC12A2 has been reported as associated with hearing loss. All identified SLC12A2 variants mapped to exon 21 or its 3’-splice site. In vitro analysis indicated that the splice-site variant generates an exon 21-skipped SLC12A2 mRNA transcript expressed at much lower levels than the exon 21-included transcript in the cochlea, suggesting a tissue-specific role for the exon 21-encoded region in the carboy-terminal domain. In vitro functional analysis demonstrated that Cl influx was significantly decreased in all SLC12A2 variants studied. Immunohistochemistry revealed that SLC12A2 is located on the plasma membrane of several types of cells in the cochlea, including the strial marginal cells, which are critical for endolymph homeostasis. Overall, this study suggests that variants affecting exon 21 of the SLC12A2 transcript are responsible for hereditary hearing loss in humans.

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<![CDATA[Age-related transcriptional modules and TF-miRNA-mRNA interactions in neonatal and infant human thymus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne5173bb6-5611-4e9c-b8d8-f6fe9062bcd6

The human thymus suffers a transient neonatal involution, recovers and then starts a process of decline between the 1st and 2nd years of life. Age-related morphological changes in thymus were extensively investigated, but the genomic mechanisms underlying this process remain largely unknown. Through Weighted Gene Co-expression Network Analysis (WGCNA) and TF-miRNA-mRNA integrative analysis we studied the transcriptome of neonate and infant thymic tissues grouped by age: 0–30 days (A); 31days-6 months (B); 7–12 months (C); 13–18 months (D); 19-31months (E). Age-related transcriptional modules, hubs and high gene significance (HGS) genes were identified, as well as TF-miRNA-hub/HGS co-expression correlations. Three transcriptional modules were correlated with A and/or E groups. Hubs were mostly related to cellular/metabolic processes; few were differentially expressed (DE) or related to T-cell development. Inversely, HGS genes in groups A and E were mostly DE. In A (neonate) one third of the hyper-expressed HGS genes were related to T-cell development, against one-twentieth in E, what may correlate with the early neonatal depletion and recovery of thymic T-cell populations. This genomic mechanism is tightly regulated by TF-miRNA-hub/HGS interactions that differentially govern cellular and molecular processes involved in the functioning of the neonate thymus and in the beginning of thymic decline.

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<![CDATA[Podocyte RNA sequencing reveals Wnt- and ECM-associated genes as central in FSGS]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nff231b2e-f2d8-47eb-acf2-c510faf35a1a

Loss of podocyte differentiation can cause nephrotic-range proteinuria and Focal and Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). As specific therapy is still lacking, FSGS frequently progresses to end-stage renal disease. The exact molecular mechanisms of FSGS and gene expression changes in podocytes are complex and widely unknown as marker changes have mostly been assessed on the glomerular level. To gain a better insight, we isolated podocytes of miR-193a overexpressing mice, which suffer from FSGS due to suppression of the podocyte master regulator Wt1. We characterised the podocytic gene expression changes by RNAseq and identified many novel candidate genes not linked to FSGS so far. This included strong upregulation of the receptor tyrosine kinase EphA6 and a massive dysregulation of circadian genes including the loss of the transcriptional activator Arntl. By comparison with podocyte-specific changes in other FSGS models we found a shared dysregulation of genes associated with the Wnt signaling cascade, while classical podocyte-specific genes appeared widely unaltered. An overlap with gene expression screens from human FSGS patients revealed a strong enrichment in genes associated with extra-cellular matrix (ECM) and metabolism. Our data suggest that FSGS progression might frequently depend on pathways that are often overlooked when considering podocyte homeostasis.

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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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