ResearchPad - genetic-screens https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The degradation-promoting roles of deubiquitinases Ubp6 and Ubp3 in cytosolic and ER protein quality control]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14498 The quality control of intracellular proteins is achieved by degrading misfolded proteins which cannot be refolded by molecular chaperones. In eukaryotes, such degradation is handled primarily by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. However, it remained unclear whether and how protein quality control deploys various deubiquitinases. To address this question, we screened deletions or mutation of the 20 deubiquitinase genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and discovered that almost half of the mutations slowed the removal of misfolded proteins whereas none of the remaining mutations accelerated this process significantly. Further characterization revealed that Ubp6 maintains the level of free ubiquitin to promote the elimination of misfolded cytosolic proteins, while Ubp3 supports the degradation of misfolded cytosolic and ER luminal proteins by different mechanisms.

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<![CDATA[A mutagenesis screen for essential plastid biogenesis genes in human malaria parasites]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d3cd5eed0c484c82311

Endosymbiosis has driven major molecular and cellular innovations. Plasmodium spp. parasites that cause malaria contain an essential, non-photosynthetic plastid—the apicoplast—which originated from a secondary (eukaryote–eukaryote) endosymbiosis. To discover organellar pathways with evolutionary and biomedical significance, we performed a mutagenesis screen for essential genes required for apicoplast biogenesis in Plasmodium falciparum. Apicoplast(−) mutants were isolated using a chemical rescue that permits conditional disruption of the apicoplast and a new fluorescent reporter for organelle loss. Five candidate genes were validated (out of 12 identified), including a triosephosphate isomerase (TIM)-barrel protein that likely derived from a core metabolic enzyme but evolved a new activity. Our results demonstrate, to our knowledge, the first forward genetic screen to assign essential cellular functions to unannotated P. falciparum genes. A putative TIM-barrel enzyme and other newly identified apicoplast biogenesis proteins open opportunities to discover new mechanisms of organelle biogenesis, molecular evolution underlying eukaryotic diversity, and drug targets against multiple parasitic diseases.

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<![CDATA[Discovery of gene regulatory elements through a new bioinformatics analysis of haploid genetic screens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fef9d5eed0c48413586a

The systematic identification of regulatory elements that control gene expression remains a challenge. Genetic screens that use untargeted mutagenesis have the potential to identify protein-coding genes, non-coding RNAs and regulatory elements, but their analysis has mainly focused on identifying the former two. To identify regulatory elements, we conducted a new bioinformatics analysis of insertional mutagenesis screens interrogating WNT signaling in haploid human cells. We searched for specific patterns of retroviral gene trap integrations (used as mutagens in haploid screens) in short genomic intervals overlapping with introns and regions upstream of genes. We uncovered atypical patterns of gene trap insertions that were not predicted to disrupt coding sequences, but caused changes in the expression of two key regulators of WNT signaling, suggesting the presence of cis-regulatory elements. Our methodology extends the scope of haploid genetic screens by enabling the identification of regulatory elements that control gene expression.

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<![CDATA[Mutation screening in non-syndromic hearing loss patients with cochlear implantation by massive parallel sequencing in Taiwan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79b005d5eed0c4841e3c60

Objectives

To explore the molecular epidemiology of rare deafness genes in Taiwanese sensorineural hearing impairment (SNHI) patients with cochlear implantation (CI) by performing massive parallel sequencing (MPS) and correlating genetic factors and CI outcomes.

Methods

We enrolled 41 Taiwanese non-syndromic deafness patients with CI that lacked known mutations in common deafness genes. All probands were screened by a targeted exon amplification method that used massively parallel sequencing to screen a customized panel that included 40 relatively rare non-syndromic deafness genes.

Results

Thirteen candidate variants in nine relatively rare deafness genes (MYO15A, TMC1, MYH14, MYO3A, ACTG1, COL11A2, DSPP, GRHL2, and WFS1) were identified in 24.4% (10/41) of the non-syndromic deafness probands with CI. According to the ACMG Standards and Guidelines, five variants in MYO15A and ACTG1 were classified as likely pathogenic variants. Two of three multi-generational pedigrees exhibiting deafness were analyzed for the segregation of the disorder with the possible disease-causing variants. Patients with variants detected in most of the identified variant-bearing genes showed relatively good CI outcomes.

Conclusions

We successfully identified candidate variants in partially deaf Taiwanese probands who lacked the known mutations in common deafness genes. Comparing the progress of hearing rehabilitation in CI patients with their apparent causative variants and the expression profiles of their altered genes allowed us to speculate on how alterations in specific gene sets may influence outcomes in hearing rehabilitation after CI.

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<![CDATA[<i>PLoS Biology</i> Issue Image | Vol. 17(1) January 2019]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca274d5eed0c48441e400

Identification and characterization of a mosquito-specific eggshell organizing factor in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

Mosquito-borne pathogens infect millions of people worldwide, and the rise in insecticide resistance is exacerbating this problem. A new generation of environmentally safe insecticides will be essential to control insecticide-resistant mosquitoes. One potential route to such novel insecticide targets is the identification of proteins specifically needed for mosquito reproduction. Using RNA interference to screen mosquito-specific genes in Aedes aegypti (the mosquito that transmits yellow fever), Isoe et al. identified the eggshell organizing factor 1 (EOF1) protein as playing an essential role in eggshell melanization and embryonic development. Nearly 100% of the eggs laid by EOF1-deficient females had a defective eggshell and were non-viable. Additional experiments revealed that EOF1 also plays an essential role in eggshell formation in Aedes albopictus, a carrier of Zika virus and dengue fever. The image shows a scanning electron micrograph of a small region (about 20 µm across) of the shell from a normal Aedes aegypti egg.

Image Credit: pbio.3000068

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<![CDATA[Optimizing community screening for tuberculosis: Spatial analysis of localized case finding from door-to-door screening for TB in an urban district of Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c22a0c3d5eed0c4849ec15b

Background

Tuberculosis (TB) is the deadliest infectious disease globally. Current case finding approaches may miss many people with TB or detect them too late.

Data and methods

This study was a retrospective, spatial analysis of routine TB surveillance and cadastral data in Go Vap district, Ho Chi Minh City. We geocoded TB notifications from 2011 to 2015 and calculated theoretical yields of simulated door-to-door screening in three concentric catchment areas (50m, 100m, 200m) and three notification window scenarios (one, two and four quarters) for each index case. We calculated average yields, compared them to published reference values and fit a GEE (Generalized Estimating Equation) linear regression model onto the data.

Results

The sample included 3,046 TB patients. Adjusted theoretical yields in 50m, 100m and 200m catchment areas were 0.32% (95%CI: 0.27,0.37), 0.21% (95%CI: 0.14,0.29) and 0.17% (95%CI: 0.09,0.25), respectively, in the baseline notification window scenario. Theoretical yields in the 50m-catchment area for all notification window scenarios were significantly higher than a reference yield from literature. Yield was positively associated with treatment failure index cases (beta = 0.12, p = 0.001) and short-term inter-province migrants (beta = 0.06, p = 0.022), while greater distance to the DTU (beta = -0.02, p<0.001) was associated with lower yield.

Conclusions

This study is an example of inter-departmental collaboration and application of repurposed cadastral data to progress towards the end TB objectives. The results from Go Vap showed that the use of spatial analysis may be able to identify areas where targeted active case finding in Vietnam can help improve TB case detection.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of endogenous reference genes in Bactrocera cucurbitae by qPCR under different conditions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c21515ed5eed0c4843f9e08

Bactrocera cucurbitae (melon flies) are prominent invasive pests in southern China. To screen for a stable reference gene in melon flies suitable for comparing tissue samples subjected to different conditions in four categories (temperature, insect stage, days of age and gender), the expression of 12 candidate reference genes under different treatment conditions was analyzed by real-time fluorescent quantitative PCR. The results obtained from a comprehensive analysis with geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper and RefFinder software showed that the most stable reference gene was RPL60, and the least stable reference gene was actin-5. We used a heat shock protein gene (HSP-90) to verify the results, and the conclusion was consistent. When the reference gene RPL60 was used as the reference gene, the relative expression of HSP-90 was essentially constant with the prolongation of treatment time. When actin-5 was used, HSP-90 expression changed markedly with treatment time. The results of this study can be used for further research on gene expression inBactrocera cucurbitae.

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<![CDATA[Identification of appropriate reference genes for RT-qPCR analysis in Juglans regia L.]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c22a0b5d5eed0c4849ebd6a

Reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) is a popular adopted technique to detect gene expression, and the selection of appropriate reference genes is crucial for data normalization. In the present study, seven candidate reference genes were screened to evaluate their expression stability in various flower buds, leaf buds, tissues and cultivars of the English walnut (Juglans regia L.) based on four algorithms (geNorm, Normfinder, Bestkeeper and RefFinder). The results demonstrated that TUA, EF1 and TUB were appropriate reference genes for flower buds at different stages of female flower buds differentiation; TUB and 18S rRNA were best for leaf buds at different stages of female flower buds differentiation; TUB and TUA were suitable for different cultivars; and ACT2, 18S rRNA and GAPDH were useful for different tissues. Moreover, the expression of ACT was not stable among different flower buds, leaf buds and cultivars. The stability of reference genes were confirmed through the analysis of the expression of SPL18 gene. These results will contribute to a reliable normalization of gene expression in J. regia.

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<![CDATA[New mutations found by Next-Generation Sequencing screening of Spanish patients with Nemaline Myopathy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117b73d5eed0c484699464

Nemaline Myopathy (NM) is a rare genetic disorder that encompasses a large spectrum of myopathies characterized by hypotonia and generalized muscle weakness. To date, mutations in thirteen different genes have been associated with NM. The most frequently responsible genes are NEB (50% of cases) and ACTA1 (15–25% of cases). In this report all known NM related genes were screened by Next Generation Sequencing in five Spanish patients in order to genetically confirm the clinical and histological diagnosis of NM. Four mutations in NEB (c.17779_17780delTA, c.11086A>C, c.21076C>T and c.2310+5G>A) and one mutation in ACTA1 (c.871A>T) were found in four patients. Three of the four mutations in NEB were novel. A cDNA sequencing assay of the novel variants c.17779_17780delTA, c.11086A>C and c.2310+5G>A revealed that the intronic variant c.2310+5G>A affected the splicing process. Mutations reported here could help clinicians and geneticists in NM diagnosis.

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<![CDATA[Muscle-Specific Splicing Factors ASD-2 and SUP-12 Cooperatively Switch Alternative Pre-mRNA Processing Patterns of the ADF/Cofilin Gene in Caenorhabditis elegans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f9ab0ee8fa60b7172a

Pre–mRNAs are often processed in complex patterns in tissue-specific manners to produce a variety of protein isoforms from single genes. However, mechanisms orchestrating the processing of the entire transcript are not well understood. Muscle-specific alternative pre–mRNA processing of the unc-60 gene in Caenorhabditis elegans, encoding two tissue-specific isoforms of ADF/cofilin with distinct biochemical properties in regulating actin organization, provides an excellent in vivo model of complex and tissue-specific pre–mRNA processing; it consists of a single first exon and two separate series of downstream exons. Here we visualize the complex muscle-specific processing pattern of the unc-60 pre–mRNA with asymmetric fluorescence reporter minigenes. By disrupting juxtaposed CUAAC repeats and UGUGUG stretch in intron 1A, we demonstrate that these elements are required for retaining intron 1A, as well as for switching the processing patterns of the entire pre–mRNA from non-muscle-type to muscle-type. Mutations in genes encoding muscle-specific RNA–binding proteins ASD-2 and SUP-12 turned the colour of the unc-60 reporter worms. ASD-2 and SUP-12 proteins specifically and cooperatively bind to CUAAC repeats and UGUGUG stretch in intron 1A, respectively, to form a ternary complex in vitro. Immunohistochemical staining and RT–PCR analyses demonstrate that ASD-2 and SUP-12 are also required for switching the processing patterns of the endogenous unc-60 pre-mRNA from UNC-60A to UNC-60B in muscles. Furthermore, systematic analyses of partially spliced RNAs reveal the actual orders of intron removal for distinct mRNA isoforms. Taken together, our results demonstrate that muscle-specific splicing factors ASD-2 and SUP-12 cooperatively promote muscle-specific processing of the unc-60 gene, and provide insight into the mechanisms of complex pre-mRNA processing; combinatorial regulation of a single splice site by two tissue-specific splicing regulators determines the binary fate of the entire transcript.

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<![CDATA[A Genome-Scale RNA&#8211;Interference Screen Identifies RRAS Signaling as a Pathologic Feature of Huntington's Disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da53ab0ee8fa60b8e6b5

A genome-scale RNAi screen was performed in a mammalian cell-based assay to identify modifiers of mutant huntingtin toxicity. Ontology analysis of suppressor data identified processes previously implicated in Huntington's disease, including proteolysis, glutamate excitotoxicity, and mitochondrial dysfunction. In addition to established mechanisms, the screen identified multiple components of the RRAS signaling pathway as loss-of-function suppressors of mutant huntingtin toxicity in human and mouse cell models. Loss-of-function in orthologous RRAS pathway members also suppressed motor dysfunction in a Drosophila model of Huntington's disease. Abnormal activation of RRAS and a down-stream effector, RAF1, was observed in cellular models and a mouse model of Huntington's disease. We also observe co-localization of RRAS and mutant huntingtin in cells and in mouse striatum, suggesting that activation of R-Ras may occur through protein interaction. These data indicate that mutant huntingtin exerts a pathogenic effect on this pathway that can be corrected at multiple intervention points including RRAS, FNTA/B, PIN1, and PLK1. Consistent with these results, chemical inhibition of farnesyltransferase can also suppress mutant huntingtin toxicity. These data suggest that pharmacological inhibition of RRAS signaling may confer therapeutic benefit in Huntington's disease.

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<![CDATA[Regulation of Feto-Maternal Barrier by Matriptase- and PAR-2-Mediated Signaling Is Required for Placental Morphogenesis and Mouse Embryonic Survival]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da53ab0ee8fa60b8e578

The development of eutherian mammalian embryos is critically dependent on the selective bi-directional transport of molecules across the placenta. Here, we uncover two independent and partially redundant protease signaling pathways that include the membrane-anchored serine proteases, matriptase and prostasin, and the G protein-coupled receptor PAR-2 that mediate the establishment of a functional feto-maternal barrier. Mice with a combined matriptase and PAR-2 deficiency do not survive to term and the survival of matriptase-deficient mice heterozygous for PAR-2 is severely diminished. Embryos with the combined loss of PAR-2 and matriptase or PAR-2 and the matriptase partner protease, prostasin, uniformly die on or before embryonic day 14.5. Despite the extensive co-localization of matriptase, prostasin, and PAR-2 in embryonic epithelia, the overall macroscopic and histological analysis of the double-deficient embryos did not reveal any obvious developmental abnormalities. In agreement with this, the conditional deletion of matriptase from the embryo proper did not affect the prenatal development or survival of PAR-2-deficient mice, indicating that the critical redundant functions of matriptase/prostasin and PAR-2 are limited to extraembryonic tissues. Indeed, placentas of the double-deficient animals showed decreased vascularization, and the ability of placental epithelium to establish a functional feto-maternal barrier was severely diminished. Interestingly, molecular analysis suggested that the barrier defect was associated with a selective deficiency in the expression of the tight junction protein, claudin-1. Our results reveal unexpected complementary roles of matriptase-prostasin- and PAR-2-dependent proteolytic signaling in the establishment of placental epithelial barrier function and overall embryonic survival.

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<![CDATA[Screening of MITF and SOX10 Regulatory Regions in Waardenburg Syndrome Type 2]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d6ab0ee8fa60b6601f

Waardenburg syndrome (WS) is a rare auditory-pigmentary disorder that exhibits varying combinations of sensorineural hearing loss and pigmentation defects. Four subtypes are clinically defined based on the presence or absence of additional symptoms. WS type 2 (WS2) can result from mutations within the MITF or SOX10 genes; however, 70% of WS2 cases remain unexplained at the molecular level, suggesting that other genes might be involved and/or that mutations within the known genes escaped previous screenings. The recent identification of a deletion encompassing three of the SOX10 regulatory elements in a patient presenting with another WS subtype, WS4, defined by its association with Hirschsprung disease, led us to search for deletions and point mutations within the MITF and SOX10 regulatory elements in 28 yet unexplained WS2 cases. Two nucleotide variations were identified: one in close proximity to the MITF distal enhancer (MDE) and one within the U1 SOX10 enhancer. Functional analyses argued against a pathogenic effect of these variations, suggesting that mutations within regulatory elements of WS genes are not a major cause of this neurocristopathy.

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<![CDATA[Phenotype Prediction Using Regularized Regression on Genetic Data in the DREAM5 Systems Genetics B Challenge]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da2cab0ee8fa60b82fae

A major goal of large-scale genomics projects is to enable the use of data from high-throughput experimental methods to predict complex phenotypes such as disease susceptibility. The DREAM5 Systems Genetics B Challenge solicited algorithms to predict soybean plant resistance to the pathogen Phytophthora sojae from training sets including phenotype, genotype, and gene expression data. The challenge test set was divided into three subcategories, one requiring prediction based on only genotype data, another on only gene expression data, and the third on both genotype and gene expression data. Here we present our approach, primarily using regularized regression, which received the best-performer award for subchallenge B2 (gene expression only). We found that despite the availability of 941 genotype markers and 28,395 gene expression features, optimal models determined by cross-validation experiments typically used fewer than ten predictors, underscoring the importance of strong regularization in noisy datasets with far more features than samples. We also present substantial analysis of the training and test setup of the challenge, identifying high variance in performance on the gold standard test sets.

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<![CDATA[Human Genome-Wide RNAi Screen for Host Factors That Modulate Intracellular Salmonella Growth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db12ab0ee8fa60bcc71f

Salmonella enterica is a bacterial pathogen of humans that can proliferate within epithelial cells as well as professional phagocytes of the immune system. While much has been learned about the microbial genes that influence the infectious process through decades of intensive research, relatively little is known about the host factors that affect infection. We performed a genome-wide siRNA screen to identify host genes that Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. typhimurium) utilizes to facilitate growth within human epithelial cells. In this screen, with siRNAs targeting every predicted gene in the human genome, we identified 252 new human-host-susceptibility factors (HSFs) for S. typhimurium. We also identified 39 genes whose silencing results in increased intracellular growth of S. typhimurium. The HSFs identified are regulated most centrally by NFκB and associate with each other through an extremely dense network of interactions that center around a group of kinases. Most genes identified were not previously appreciated as playing roles in the intracellular lifecycle of S. enterica. Numerous HSFs identified with interesting characteristics that could play plausible roles in mediating intracellular microbial growth are discussed. Importantly, this study reveals significant overlap between the host network that supports S. typhimurium growth within human epithelial cells and the one that promotes the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis within human macrophages. In addition to providing much new information about the molecular mechanisms underlying S. enterica-host cell interplay, all 252 HSFs identified are candidates for new anti-microbial targets for controlling S. enterica infections, and some may provide broad-spectrum anti-microbial activity.

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<![CDATA[Screening of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) Mutations and Investigating Its Mutational Mechanism in Chinese Patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da2eab0ee8fa60b8384d

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a common X-linked recessive disease of muscle degeneration and death. In order to provide accurate and reliable genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis, we screened DMD mutations in a cohort of 119 Chinese patients using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) and denaturing high performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) followed by Sanger sequencing. In these unrelated DMD patients, we identified 11 patients with DMD small mutations (9.2%) and 81 patients with DMD deletions/duplications (del/dup) (68.1%), of which 64 (79.0%) were deletions, 16 (19.8%) were duplications, and one (1.2%) was both deletion and duplication. Furthermore, we analyzed the frequency of DMD breakpoint in the 64 deletion cases by calculating exon-deletion events of certain exon interval that revealed a novel mutation hotspot boundary. To explore why DMD rearrangement breakpoints were predisposed to specific regions (hotspot), we precisely characterized junction sequences of breakpoints at the nucleotide level in 21 patients with exon deleted/duplicated in DMD with a high-resolution SNP microarray assay. There were no exactly recurrent breakpoints and there was also no significant difference between single-exon del/dup and multiple-exon del/dup cases. The data from the current study provided a comprehensive strategy to detect DMD mutations for clinical practice, and identified two deletion hotspots at exon 43–55 and exon 10–23 by calculating exon-deletion events of certain exon interval. Furthermore, this is the first study to characterize DMD breakpoint at the nucleotide level in a Chinese population. Our observations provide better understanding of the mechanism for DMD gene rearrangements.

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<![CDATA[Translation Reinitiation Relies on the Interaction between eIF3a/TIF32 and Progressively Folded cis-Acting mRNA Elements Preceding Short uORFs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da59ab0ee8fa60b8f941

Reinitiation is a gene-specific translational control mechanism characterized by the ability of some short upstream uORFs to retain post-termination 40S subunits on mRNA. Its efficiency depends on surrounding cis-acting sequences, uORF elongation rates, various initiation factors, and the intercistronic distance. To unravel effects of cis-acting sequences, we investigated previously unconsidered structural properties of one such a cis-enhancer in the mRNA leader of GCN4 using yeast genetics and biochemistry. This leader contains four uORFs but only uORF1, flanked by two transferrable 5′ and 3′ cis-acting sequences, and allows efficient reinitiation. Recently we showed that the 5′ cis-acting sequences stimulate reinitiation by interacting with the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the eIF3a/TIF32 subunit of the initiation factor eIF3 to stabilize post-termination 40S subunits on uORF1 to resume scanning downstream. Here we identify four discernible reinitiation-promoting elements (RPEs) within the 5′ sequences making up the 5′ enhancer. Genetic epistasis experiments revealed that two of these RPEs operate in the eIF3a/TIF32-dependent manner. Likewise, two separate regions in the eIF3a/TIF32-NTD were identified that stimulate reinitiation in concert with the 5′ enhancer. Computational modeling supported by experimental data suggests that, in order to act, the 5′ enhancer must progressively fold into a specific secondary structure while the ribosome scans through it prior uORF1 translation. Finally, we demonstrate that the 5′ enhancer's stimulatory activity is strictly dependent on and thus follows the 3′ enhancer's activity. These findings allow us to propose for the first time a model of events required for efficient post-termination resumption of scanning. Strikingly, structurally similar RPE was predicted and identified also in the 5′ leader of reinitiation-permissive uORF of yeast YAP1. The fact that it likewise operates in the eIF3a/TIF32-dependent manner strongly suggests that at least in yeasts the underlying mechanism of reinitiation on short uORFs is conserved.

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<![CDATA[A Split-Ubiquitin Two-Hybrid Screen for Proteins Physically Interacting with the Yeast Amino Acid Transceptor Gap1 and Ammonium Transceptor Mep2]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa0ab0ee8fa60ba5777

Several nutrient permeases have been identified in yeast, which combine a transport and receptor function, and are called transceptors. The Gap1 general amino acid permease and the Mep2 ammonium permease mediate rapid activation by amino acids and by ammonium, respectively, of the protein kinase A (PKA) pathway in nitrogen-starved cells. Their mode of action is not well understood. Both proteins are subject to complex controls governing their intracellular trafficking. Using a split-ubiquitin yeast two-hybrid screen with Gap1 or Mep2 as bait, we identified proteins putatively interacting with Gap1 and/or Mep2. They are involved in glycosylation, the secretory pathway, sphingolipid biosynthesis, cell wall biosynthesis and other processes. For several candidate interactors, determination of transport and signaling capacity, as well as localization of Gap1 or Mep2 in the corresponding deletion strains, confirmed a functional interaction with Gap1 and/or Mep2. Also common interacting proteins were identified. Transport and signaling were differentially affected in specific deletion strains, clearly separating the two functions of the transceptors and confirming that signaling does not require transport. We identified two new proteins, Bsc6 and Yir014w, that affect trafficking or downregulation of Gap1. Deletion of EGD2, YNL024c or SPC2 inactivates Gap1 transport and signaling, while its plasma membrane level appears normal.. Vma4 is required for Mep2 expression, while Gup1 appears to be required for proper distribution of Mep2 over the plasma membrane. Some of the interactions were confirmed by GST pull-down assay, using the C-terminal tail of Gap1 or Mep2 expressed in E.coli. Our results reveal the effectiveness of split-ubiquitin two-hybrid screening for identification of proteins functionally interacting with membrane proteins. They provide several candidate proteins involved in the transport and signaling function or in the complex trafficking control of the Gap1 and Mep2 transceptors.

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<![CDATA[Detection of Retroviral Super-Infection from Non-Invasive Samples]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db06ab0ee8fa60bc8772

While much attention has been focused on the molecular epidemiology of retroviruses in wild primate populations, the correlated question of the frequency and nature of super-infection events, i.e., the simultaneous infection of the same individual host with several strains of the same virus, has remained largely neglected. In particular, methods possibly allowing the investigation of super-infection from samples collected non-invasively (such as faeces) have never been properly compared. Here, we fill in this gap by assessing the costs and benefits of end-point dilution PCR (EPD-PCR) and multiple bulk-PCR cloning, as applied to a case study focusing on simian foamy virus super-infection in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). We show that, although considered to be the gold standard, EPD-PCR can lead to massive consumption of biological material when only low copy numbers of the target are expected. This constitutes a serious drawback in a field in which rarity of biological material is a fundamental constraint. In addition, we demonstrate that EPD-PCR results (single/multiple infection; founder strains) can be well predicted from multiple bulk-PCR clone experiments, by applying simple statistical and network analyses to sequence alignments. We therefore recommend the implementation of the latter method when the focus is put on retroviral super-infection and only low retroviral loads are encountered.

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<![CDATA[Extracellular DNA Release by Undomesticated Bacillus subtilis Is Regulated by Early Competence]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daeeab0ee8fa60bc0670

Extracellular DNA (eDNA) release is a widespread capacity described in many microorganisms. We identified and characterized lysis-independent eDNA production in an undomesticated strain of Bacillus subtilis. DNA fragments are released during a short time in late-exponential phase. The released eDNA corresponds to whole genome DNA, and does not harbour mutations suggesting that is not the result of error prone DNA synthesis. The absence of eDNA was linked to a spread colony morphology, which allowed a visual screening of a transposon library to search for genes involved in its production. Transposon insertions in genes related to quorum sensing and competence (oppA, oppF and comXP) and to DNA metabolism (mfd and topA) were impaired in eDNA release. Mutants in early competence genes such as comA and srfAA were also defective in eDNA while in contrast mutations in late competence genes as those for the DNA uptake machinery had no effect. A subpopulation of cells containing more DNA is present in the eDNA producing strains but absent from the eDNA defective strain. Finally, competent B. subtilis cells can be transformed by eDNA suggesting it could be used in horizontal gene transfer and providing a rationale for the molecular link between eDNA release and early-competence in B. subtilis that we report.

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