ResearchPad - electrophoretic-blotting https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The intergenic small non-coding RNA <i>ittA</i> is required for optimal infectivity and tissue tropism in <i>Borrelia burgdorferi</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14635 Lyme disease is a tick-borne infection mediated by the spirochetal bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, that is responsible for greater than 300,000 infections in the United States per year. As such, additional knowledge regarding how this pathogen modulates its regulatory armamentarium is needed to understand how B. burgdorferi establishes and maintains infection. The identification and characterization of small, non-coding RNA molecules in living systems, designated as sRNAs, has recalibrated how we view post-transcriptional regulation. Recently, over 1,000 sRNAs were identified in B. burgdorferi. Despite the identification of these sRNAs, we do not understand how they affect infectivity or B. burgdorferi pathogenesis related outcomes. Here, we characterize the ittA B. burgdorferi sRNA and show that it is essential for optimal infection using murine experimental infection as our readout. We also track the effect of this sRNA on the transcriptional and proteomic profile as the first step in providing mechanistic insight into how this important sRNA mediates its regulatory effect.

]]>
<![CDATA[Identification and expression analysis of miRNAs and elucidation of their role in salt tolerance in rice varieties susceptible and tolerant to salinity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N52f944dc-26d8-4e67-9222-1bf646d955e0

Soil salinization is a serious problem for cultivation of rice, as among cereals rice is the most salt sensitive crop, and more than 40% of the total agricultural land amounting to approximately 80 million ha the world over is salt affected. Salinity affects a plant in a varieties of ways, including ion toxicity, osmotic stress and oxidative damage. Since miRNAs occupy the top place in biochemical events determining a trait, understanding their role in salt tolerance is highly desirable, which may allow introduction of the trait in the rice cultivars of choice through biotechnological interventions. High throughput sequencing of sRNAs in the root and shoot tissues of the seedlings of the control and NaCl treated Pokkali, a salt-tolerant rice variety, identified 75 conserved miRNAs and mapped 200 sRNAs to the rice genome as novel miRNAs. Expression of nine novel miRNAs and two conserved miRNAs were confirmed by Northern blotting. Several of both conserved and novel miRNAs that expressed differentially in root and/or shoot tissues targeted transcription factors like AP2/EREBP domain protein, ARF, NAC, MYB, NF-YA, HD-Zip III, TCP and SBP reported to be involved in salt tolerance or in abiotic stress tolerance in general. Most of the novel miRNAs expressed in the salt tolerant wild rice Oryza coarctata, suggesting conservation of miRNAs in taxonomically related species. One of the novel miRNAs, osa-miR12477, also targeted L-ascorbate oxidase (LAO), indicating build-up of oxidative stress in the plant upon salt treatment, which was confirmed by DAB staining. Thus, salt tolerance might involve miRNA-mediated regulation of 1) cellular abundance of the hormone signaling components like EREBP and ARF, 2) synthesis of abiotic stress related transcription factors, and 3) antioxidative component like LAO for mitigation of oxidative damage. The study clearly indicated importance of osa-miR12477 regulated expression of LAO in salt tolerance in the plant.

]]>
<![CDATA[Recruitment of Vps34 PI3K and enrichment of PI3P phosphoinositide in the viral replication compartment is crucial for replication of a positive-strand RNA virus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5f5d5eed0c484caa846

Tombusviruses depend on subversions of multiple host factors and retarget cellular pathways to support viral replication. In this work, we demonstrate that tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) and the closely-related carnation Italian ringspot virus (CIRV) recruit the cellular Vps34 phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) into the large viral replication compartment. The kinase function of Vps34 is critical for TBSV replication, suggesting that PI(3)P phosphoinositide is utilized by TBSV for building of the replication compartment. We also observed increased expression of Vps34 and the higher abundance of PI(3)P in the presence of the tombusviral replication proteins, which likely leads to more efficient tombusvirus replication. Accordingly, overexpression of PI(3)P phosphatase in yeast or plants inhibited TBSV replication on the peroxisomal membranes and CIRV replication on the mitochondrial membranes. Moreover, the purified PI(3)P phosphatase reduced TBSV replicase assembly in a cell-free system. Detection of PI(3)P with antibody or a bioprobe revealed the enrichment of PI(3)P in the replication compartment. Vps34 is directly recruited into the replication compartment through interaction with p33 replication protein. Gene deletion analysis in surrogate yeast host unraveled that TBSV replication requires the vesicle transport function of Vps34. In the absence of Vps34, TBSV cannot efficiently recruit the Rab5-positive early endosomes, which provide PE-rich membranes for membrane biogenesis of the TBSV replication compartment. We found that Vps34 and PI(3)P needed for the stability of the p33 replication protein, which is degraded by the 26S proteasome when PI(3)P abundance was decreased by an inhibitor of Vps34. In summary, Vps34 and PI(3)P are needed for providing the optimal microenvironment for the replication of the peroxisomal TBSV and the mitochondrial CIRV.

]]>
<![CDATA[Cloning of the pks3 gene of Aurantiochytrium limacinum and functional study of the 3-ketoacyl-ACP reductase and dehydratase enzyme domains]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1966c8d5eed0c484b52dc5

Aurantiochytrium limacinum has received attention because of its abundance of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is synthesized through the polyketide synthase (PKS) pathway in A. limacinum. The related enzymes of the PKS pathway are mainly expressed by three gene clusters, called pks1, pks2 and pks3. In this study, the full-length pks3 gene was obtained by polymerase chain reaction amplification and Genome Walking technology. Based on a domain analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence of the pks3 gene, 3-ketoacyl-ACP reductase (KR) and dehydratase (DH) enzyme domains were identified. Herein, A. limacinum OUC168 was engineered by gene knock-in of KR and DH using the 18S rDNA sequence as the homologous recombination site. Total fatty acid contents and the degree of unsaturation of total fatty acids increased after the kr or dh gene was knocked in. The cloning and functional study of the pks3 gene of A. limacinum establishes a foundation for revealing the DHA synthetic pathway. Gene knock-in of the enzyme domain associated with PKS synthesis has the potential to provide effective recombinant strains with higher DHA content for industrial applications.

]]>
<![CDATA[Swi1Timeless Prevents Repeat Instability at Fission Yeast Telomeres]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da06ab0ee8fa60b75c33

Genomic instability associated with DNA replication stress is linked to cancer and genetic pathologies in humans. If not properly regulated, replication stress, such as fork stalling and collapse, can be induced at natural replication impediments present throughout the genome. The fork protection complex (FPC) is thought to play a critical role in stabilizing stalled replication forks at several known replication barriers including eukaryotic rDNA genes and the fission yeast mating-type locus. However, little is known about the role of the FPC at other natural impediments including telomeres. Telomeres are considered to be difficult to replicate due to the presence of repetitive GT-rich sequences and telomere-binding proteins. However, the regulatory mechanism that ensures telomere replication is not fully understood. Here, we report the role of the fission yeast Swi1Timeless, a subunit of the FPC, in telomere replication. Loss of Swi1 causes telomere shortening in a telomerase-independent manner. Our epistasis analyses suggest that heterochromatin and telomere-binding proteins are not major impediments for telomere replication in the absence of Swi1. Instead, repetitive DNA sequences impair telomere integrity in swi1Δ mutant cells, leading to the loss of repeat DNA. In the absence of Swi1, telomere shortening is accompanied with an increased recruitment of Rad52 recombinase and more frequent amplification of telomere/subtelomeres, reminiscent of tumor cells that utilize the alternative lengthening of telomeres pathway (ALT) to maintain telomeres. These results suggest that Swi1 ensures telomere replication by suppressing recombination and repeat instability at telomeres. Our studies may also be relevant in understanding the potential role of Swi1Timeless in regulation of telomere stability in cancer cells.

]]>
<![CDATA[Validation of a commercially available test that enables the quantification of the numbers of CGG trinucleotide repeat expansion in FMR1 gene]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc56e

In the present study, we evaluated a commercially available TP-PCR-based assay, the FastFraXTM FMR1 Sizing kit, as a test in quantifying the number of CGG repeats in the FMR1 gene. Based on testing with well characterized DNA samples from Coriell, the kit yielded size results within 3 repeats of those obtained by common consensus (n = 14), with the exception of one allele. Furthermore, based on data obtained using all Coriell samples with or without common consensus (n = 29), the Sizing kit was 97.5% in agreement with existing approaches. Additionally, the kit generated consistent size information in repeatability and reproducibility studies (CV 0.39% to 3.42%). Clinical performance was established with 198 archived clinical samples, yielding results of 100% sensitivity (95% CI, 91.03% to 100%) and 100% specificity (95% CI, 97.64% to 100%) in categorizing patient samples into the respective normal, intermediate, premutation and full mutation genotypes.

]]>
<![CDATA[Temperature-mediated biosynthesis of the phytotoxin phaseolotoxin by Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola depends on the autoregulated expression of the phtABC genes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be022f

Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola produces phaseolotoxin in a temperature dependent manner, being optimally synthesized between 18°C and 20°C, while no detectable amounts are present above 28°C. The Pht cluster, involved in the biosynthesis of phaseolotoxin, contains 23 genes that are organized in five transcriptional units. The function of most of the genes from the Pht cluster is still unknown and little information about the regulatory circuitry leading to expression of these genes has been reported. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the participation of pht genes in the regulation of the operons coded into the Pht cluster. We conducted Northern blot, uidA fusions and reverse transcription-PCR assays of pht genes in several mutants unable to produce phaseolotoxin. This allowed us to determine that, in P. syringae pv. phaseolicola NPS3121, genes phtABC are essential to prevent their own expression at 28°C, a temperature at which no detectable amounts of the toxin are present. We obtained evidence that the phtABC genes also participate in the regulation of the phtD, phtM and phtL operons. According to our results, we propose that PhtABC and other Pht product activities could be involved in the synthesis of the sulfodiaminophosphinyl moiety of phaseolotoxin, which indirectly could be involved in the transcriptional regulation of the phtA operon.

]]>
<![CDATA[Changes in Expression of Aquaporin-4 and Aquaporin-9 in Optic Nerve after Crushing in Rats]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac1ab0ee8fa60bb0ead

The purpose of this study was to determine the temporal and spatial changes in the expression of AQP4 and AQP9 in the optic nerve after it is crushed. The left optic nerves of rats were either crushed (crushed group) or sham operated (sham group), and they were excised before, and at 1, 2, 4, 7, and 14 days later. Four optic nerves were pooled for each time point in both groups. The expression of AQP4 and AQP9 was determined by western blot analyses. Immunohistochemistry was used to determine the spatial expression of AQP4, AQP9, and GFAP in the optic nerve. Optic nerve edema was determined by measuring the water content in the optic nerve. The barrier function of the optic nerve vessels was determined by the extravasated Evans blue dye on days 7 and 14. The results showed that the expression of AQP4 was increased on day 1 but the level was significantly lower than that in the sham group on days 4 and 7 (P<0.05). In contrast, the expression of AQP9 gradually increased, and the level was significantly higher than that in the sham group on days 7 and 14 (P<0.05, Tukey-Kramer). The down-regulation of AQP4 was associated with crush-induced optic nerve edema, and the water content of the nerve was significantly increased by 4.3% in the crushed optic nerve from that of the untouched fellow nerve on day 7. The expression of AQP4 and GFAP was reduced at the crushed site where AQP4-negative and AQP9-positive astrocytes were present. The barrier function was impaired at the crushed site on days 7 and 14, restrictedly where AQP4-negative and AQP9-positive astrocytes were present. The presence of AQP9-positive astrocytes at the crushed site may counteract the metabolic damage but this change did not fully compensate for the barrier function defect.

]]>
<![CDATA[The Conserved Dcw Gene Cluster of R. sphaeroides Is Preceded by an Uncommonly Extended 5’ Leader Featuring the sRNA UpsM]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db26ab0ee8fa60bd05f0

Cell division and cell wall synthesis mechanisms are similarly conserved among bacteria. Consequently some bacterial species have comparable sets of genes organized in the dcw (division and cell wall) gene cluster. Dcw genes, their regulation and their relative order within the cluster are outstandingly conserved among rod shaped and gram negative bacteria to ensure an efficient coordination of growth and division. A well studied representative is the dcw gene cluster of E. coli. The first promoter of the gene cluster (mraZ1p) gives rise to polycistronic transcripts containing a 38 nt long 5’ UTR followed by the first gene mraZ. Despite reported conservation we present evidence for a much longer 5’ UTR in the gram negative and rod shaped bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides and in the family of Rhodobacteraceae. This extended 268 nt long 5’ UTR comprises a Rho independent terminator, which in case of termination gives rise to a non-coding RNA (UpsM). This sRNA is conditionally cleaved by RNase E under stress conditions in an Hfq- and very likely target mRNA-dependent manner, implying its function in trans. These results raise the question for the regulatory function of this extended 5’ UTR. It might represent the rarely described case of a trans acting sRNA derived from a riboswitch with exclusive presence in the family of Rhodobacteraceae.

]]>
<![CDATA[Presence of C1-Inhibitor Polymers in a Subset of Patients Suffering from Hereditary Angioedema]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0bab0ee8fa60bca191

Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a potentially life-threatening disease caused by mutations in the gene encoding the serine protease inhibitor (serpin) C1 inhibitor (C1-inh). The mutations cause decreased functional plasma levels of C1-inh, which triggers unpredictable recurrent edema attacks. Subjects suffering from HAE have been classified in type I patients with decreased functional and antigenic levels of C1-inh, and type II patients with decreased functional but normal antigenic C1-inh levels. However, a few reports have demonstrated that some mutations cause C1-inh polymerization in vitro, and it is speculated that C1-inh polymers may exist in patient plasma, challenging the current classification of HAE patients. To investigate the presence of C1-inh polymers in patient plasma samples, we developed an immunological method, where monoclonal antibodies produced against polymerized C1-inh were applied in native PAGE western blotting. Using this approach we analyzed genuine plasma samples from 31 Danish HAE families, and found that plasma samples from three genotypically distinct HAE type I families (classified upon C1-inh plasma concentrations) contained C1-inh polymers. Identical C1-inh polymerization phenotypes were observed in four affected family members from one of these families. Genotyping of the families revealed that the polymerogenic mutations of two families were located in proximity to the reactive center loop insertion site in C1-inh (p.Ile271Thr and p.Ser258_Pro260del),and one mutation affected helix C (p.Thr167Asn). In conclusion, we demonstrate that C1-inh polymers are present in the plasma of a subgroup of HAE type I patients.

]]>
<![CDATA[Small Open Reading Frames, Non-Coding RNAs and Repetitive Elements in Bradyrhizobium japonicum USDA 110]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da19ab0ee8fa60b7c306

Small open reading frames (sORFs) and genes for non-coding RNAs are poorly investigated components of most genomes. Our analysis of 1391 ORFs recently annotated in the soybean symbiont Bradyrhizobium japonicum USDA 110 revealed that 78% of them contain less than 80 codons. Twenty-one of these sORFs are conserved in or outside Alphaproteobacteria and most of them are similar to genes found in transposable elements, in line with their broad distribution. Stabilizing selection was demonstrated for sORFs with proteomic evidence and bll1319_ISGA which is conserved at the nucleotide level in 16 alphaproteobacterial species, 79 species from other taxa and 49 other Proteobacteria. Further we used Northern blot hybridization to validate ten small RNAs (BjsR1 to BjsR10) belonging to new RNA families. We found that BjsR1 and BjsR3 have homologs outside the genus Bradyrhizobium, and BjsR5, BjsR6, BjsR7, and BjsR10 have up to four imperfect copies in Bradyrhizobium genomes. BjsR8, BjsR9, and BjsR10 are present exclusively in nodules, while the other sRNAs are also expressed in liquid cultures. We also found that the level of BjsR4 decreases after exposure to tellurite and iron, and this down-regulation contributes to survival under high iron conditions. Analysis of additional small RNAs overlapping with 3’-UTRs revealed two new repetitive elements named Br-REP1 and Br-REP2. These REP elements may play roles in the genomic plasticity and gene regulation and could be useful for strain identification by PCR-fingerprinting. Furthermore, we studied two potential toxin genes in the symbiotic island and confirmed toxicity of the yhaV homolog bll1687 but not of the newly annotated higB homolog blr0229_ISGA in E. coli. Finally, we revealed transcription interference resulting in an antisense RNA complementary to blr1853, a gene induced in symbiosis. The presented results expand our knowledge on sORFs, non-coding RNAs and repetitive elements in B. japonicum and related bacteria.

]]>
<![CDATA[MicroRNA-21 Increases Proliferation and Cisplatin Sensitivity of Osteosarcoma-Derived Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e2ab0ee8fa60b6a081

Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone tumor and poor prognosis for osteosarcoma patients is mainly due to chemotherapy resistance. MicroRNAs are important to maintain pathophysiological mechanisms of cancer and influence cell sensitivity to chemotherapy. In this study, we tested the functions of microRNA-21 for malignant features as well as for drug resistance of osteosarcoma. We used Northern blot to measure microRNA-21 levels in osteosarcoma-derived cell lines. MicroRNA-21 activity was modulated by either expressing a sponge to decrease its activity in an osteosarcoma-derived cell line expressing high levels of microRNA-21 or by introducing pri-microRNA-21 in a cell line with low endogenous levels. Cell migration was determined in a scratch assay and cell proliferation was measured by performing growth curve analysis. Sensitivity of the cells towards chemotherapeutics was investigated by performing cell viability assays and calculating the IC50 values. While cell migration was unaffected by modulated microRNA-21 levels, microRNA-21 inhibition slowed proliferation and exogenously expressed microRNA-21 promoted this process. Modulated microRNA-21 activity failed to effect sensitivity of osteosarcoma-derived cell lines to doxorubicin or methotrexate. Contrarily, reduction of microRNA-21 activity resulted in enhanced resistance towards cisplatin while ectopic expression of microRNA-21 showed the opposite effect. Increased microRNA-21 levels repressed the expression of Sprouty2 and ectopic expression of Sprouty2 was able to largely rescue the observed effects of microRNA-21 in osteosarcoma. In summary, our data indicate that in osteosarcoma microRNA-21 expression is an important component for regulation of cell proliferation and for determining sensitivity to cisplatin.

]]>
<![CDATA[A Parallel G Quadruplex-Binding Protein Regulates the Boundaries of DNA Elimination Events of Tetrahymena thermophila]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da71ab0ee8fa60b94eab

Guanine (G)-rich DNA readily forms four-stranded quadruplexes in vitro, but evidence for their participation in genome regulation is limited. We have identified a quadruplex-binding protein, Lia3, that controls the boundaries of germline-limited, internal eliminated sequences (IESs) of Tetrahymena thermophila. Differentiation of this ciliate’s somatic genome requires excision of thousands of IESs, targeted for removal by small-RNA-directed heterochromatin formation. In cells lacking LIA3 (ΔLIA3), the excision of IESs bounded by specific G-rich polypurine tracts was impaired and imprecise, whereas the removal of IESs without such controlling sequences was unaffected. We found that oligonucleotides containing these polypurine tracts formed parallel G-quadruplex structures that are specifically bound by Lia3. The discovery that Lia3 binds G-quadruplex DNA and controls the accuracy of DNA elimination at loci with specific G-tracts uncovers an unrecognized potential of quadruplex structures to regulate chromosome organization.

]]>
<![CDATA[Transgenic Sugarcane with a cry1Ac Gene Exhibited Better Phenotypic Traits and Enhanced Resistance against Sugarcane Borer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da73ab0ee8fa60b95cc8

We developed sugarcane plants with improved resistance to the sugarcane borer, Diatraea saccharalis (F). An expression vector pGcry1Ac0229, harboring the cry1Ac gene and the selectable marker gene, bar, was constructed. This construct was introduced into the sugarcane cultivar FN15 by particle bombardment. Transformed plantlets were identified after selection with Phosphinothricin (PPT) and Basta. Plantlets were then screened by PCR based on the presence of cry1Ac and 14 cry1Ac positive plantlets were identified. Real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) revealed that the copy number of cry1Ac gene in the transgenic lines varied from 1 to 148. ELISA analysis showed that Cry1Ac protein levels in 7 transgenic lines ranged from 0.85 μg/FWg to 70.92 μg/FWg in leaves and 0.04 μg/FWg to 7.22 μg/FWg in stems, and negatively correlated to the rate of insect damage that ranged from 36.67% to 13.33%, respectively. Agronomic traits of six transgenic sugarcane lines with medium copy numbers were similar to the non-transgenic parental line. However, phenotype was poor in lines with high or low copy numbers. Compared to the non-transgenic control plants, all transgenic lines with medium copy numbers had relatively equal or lower sucrose yield and significantly improved sugarcane borer resistance, which lowered susceptibility to damage by insects. This suggests that the transgenic sugarcane lines harboring medium copy numbers of the cry1Ac gene may have significantly higher resistance to sugarcane borer but the sugarcane yield in these lines is similar to the non-transgenic control thus making them superior to the control lines.

]]>
<![CDATA[Association of BLM and BRCA1 during Telomere Maintenance in ALT Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0aab0ee8fa60b77624

Fifteen percent of tumors utilize recombination-based alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) to maintain telomeres. The mechanisms underlying ALT are unclear but involve several proteins involved in homologous recombination including the BLM helicase, mutated in Bloom's syndrome, and the BRCA1 tumor suppressor. Cells deficient in either BLM or BRCA1 have phenotypes consistent with telomere dysfunction. Although BLM associates with numerous DNA damage repair proteins including BRCA1 during DNA repair, the functional consequences of BLM-BRCA1 association in telomere maintenance are not completely understood. Our earlier work showed the involvement of BRCA1 in different mechanisms of ALT, and telomere shortening upon loss of BLM in ALT cells. In order to delineate their roles in telomere maintenance, we studied their association in telomere metabolism in cells using ALT. This work shows that BLM and BRCA1 co-localize with RAD50 at telomeres during S- and G2-phases of the cell cycle in immortalized human cells using ALT but not in cells using telomerase to maintain telomeres. Co-immunoprecipitation of BRCA1 and BLM is enhanced in ALT cells at G2. Furthermore, BRCA1 and BLM interact with RAD50 predominantly in S- and G2-phases, respectively. Biochemical assays demonstrate that full-length BRCA1 increases the unwinding rate of BLM three-fold in assays using a DNA substrate that models a forked structure composed of telomeric repeats. Our results suggest that BRCA1 participates in ALT through its interactions with RAD50 and BLM.

]]>
<![CDATA[GAIP Interacting Protein C-Terminus Regulates Autophagy and Exosome Biogenesis of Pancreatic Cancer through Metabolic Pathways]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da14ab0ee8fa60b7a7ff

GAIP interacting protein C terminus (GIPC) is known to play an important role in a variety of physiological and disease states. In the present study, we have identified a novel role for GIPC as a master regulator of autophagy and the exocytotic pathways in cancer. We show that depletion of GIPC-induced autophagy in pancreatic cancer cells, as evident from the upregulation of the autophagy marker LC3II. We further report that GIPC regulates cellular trafficking pathways by modulating the secretion, biogenesis, and molecular composition of exosomes. We also identified the involvement of GIPC on metabolic stress pathways regulating autophagy and microvesicular shedding, and observed that GIPC status determines the loading of cellular cargo in the exosome. Furthermore, we have shown the overexpression of the drug resistance gene ABCG2 in exosomes from GIPC-depleted pancreatic cancer cells. We also demonstrated that depletion of GIPC from cancer cells sensitized them to gemcitabine treatment, an avenue that can be explored as a potential therapeutic strategy to overcome drug resistance in cancer.

]]>
<![CDATA[Information Limited Oligonucleotide Amplification Assay for Affinity-Based, Parallel Detection Studies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da59ab0ee8fa60b8f8e3

Molecular communication systems encounter similar constraints as telecommunications. In either case, channel crosstalk at the receiver end will result in information loss that statistical analysis cannot compensate. This is because in any communication channel there is a physical limit to the amount of information that can be transmitted. We present a novel and simple modified end amplification (MEA) technique to generate reduced and defined amounts of specific information in form of short fragments from an oligonucleotide source that also contains unrelated and redundant information. Our method can be a valuable tool to investigate information overflow and channel capacity in biomolecular recognition systems.

]]>
<![CDATA[Assessing Tn5 and Sleeping Beauty for transpositional transgenesis by cytoplasmic injection into bovine and ovine zygotes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbe71

Transgenic domestic animals represent an alternative to bioreactors for large-scale production of biopharmaceuticals and could also provide more accurate biomedical models than rodents. However, their generation remains inefficient. Recently, DNA transposons allowed improved transgenesis efficiencies in mice and pigs. In this work, Tn5 and Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon systems were evaluated for transgenesis by simple cytoplasmic injection in livestock zygotes. In the case of Tn5, the transposome complex of transposon nucleic acid and Tn5 protein was injected. In the case of SB, the supercoiled plasmids encoding a transposon and the SB transposase were co-injected. In vitro produced bovine zygotes were used to establish the cytoplasmic injection conditions. The in vitro cultured blastocysts were evaluated for reporter gene expression and genotyped. Subsequently, both transposon systems were injected in seasonally available ovine zygotes, employing transposons carrying the recombinant human factor IX driven by the beta-lactoglobulin promoter. The Tn5 approach did not result in transgenic lambs. In contrast, the Sleeping Beauty injection resulted in 2 lambs (29%) carrying the transgene. Both animals exhibited cellular mosaicism of the transgene. The extraembryonic tissues (placenta or umbilical cord) of three additional animals were also transgenic. These results show that transpositional transgenesis by cytoplasmic injection of SB transposon components can be applied for the production of transgenic lambs of pharmaceutical interest.

]]>
<![CDATA[Analysis of AgoshRNA maturation and loading into Ago2]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5aafc65c463d7e7d7e2e874d

The RNA interference (RNAi) pathway was recently expanded by the discovery of multiple alternative pathways for processing of natural microRNA (miRNA) and man-made short hairpin RNA (shRNA) molecules. One non-canonical pathway bypasses Dicer cleavage and requires instead processing by Argonaute2 (Ago2), which also executes the subsequent silencing step. We named these molecules AgoshRNA, which generate only a single active RNA strand and thus avoid off-target effects that can be induced by the passenger strand of a regular shRNA. Previously, we characterized AgoshRNA processing by deep sequencing and demonstrated that—after Ago2 cleavage—AgoshRNAs acquire a short 3’ tail of 1–3 A-nucleotides and are subsequently trimmed, likely by the poly(A)-specific ribonuclease (PARN). As a result, the mature single-stranded AgoshRNA may dock more stably into Ago2. Here we set out to analyze the activity of different synthetic AgoshRNA processing intermediates. Ago2 was found to bind preferentially to partially single-stranded AgoshRNA in vitro. In contrast, only the double-stranded AgoshRNA precursor associated with Ago2 in cells, correlating with efficient intracellular processing and reporter knockdown activity. These results suggest the presence of a cellular co-factor involved in AgoshRNA loading into Ago2 in vivo. We also demonstrate specific AgoshRNA loading in Ago2, but not Ago1/3/4, thus further reducing unwanted side effects.

]]>
<![CDATA[Complex Breakpoints and Template Switching Associated with Non-canonical Termination of Homologous Recombination in Mammalian Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad8ab0ee8fa60bb8d05

A proportion of homologous recombination (HR) events in mammalian cells resolve by “long tract” gene conversion, reflecting copying of several kilobases from the donor sister chromatid prior to termination. Cells lacking the major hereditary breast/ovarian cancer predisposition genes, BRCA1 or BRCA2, or certain other HR-defective cells, reveal a bias in favor of long tract gene conversion, suggesting that this aberrant HR outcome might be connected with genomic instability. If termination of gene conversion occurs in regions lacking homology with the second end of the break, the normal mechanism of HR termination by annealing (i.e., homologous pairing) is not available and termination must occur by as yet poorly defined non-canonical mechanisms. Here we use a previously described HR reporter to analyze mechanisms of non-canonical termination of long tract gene conversion in mammalian cells. We find that non-canonical HR termination can occur in the absence of the classical non-homologous end joining gene XRCC4. We observe obligatory use of microhomology (MH)-mediated end joining and/or nucleotide addition during rejoining with the second end of the break. Notably, non-canonical HR termination is associated with complex breakpoints. We identify roles for homology-mediated template switching and, potentially, MH-mediated template switching/microhomology-mediated break-induced replication, in the formation of complex breakpoints at sites of non-canonical HR termination. This work identifies non-canonical HR termination as a potential contributor to genomic instability and to the formation of complex breakpoints in cancer.

]]>