ResearchPad - nuclear-bodies https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Revisiting promyelocytic leukemia protein targeting by human cytomegalovirus immediate-early protein 1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14655 Promyelocytic leukemia (PML) bodies are liquid droplet-like structures organized by the eponymous PML proteins in the nuclei of our cells. PML bodies have been implicated in the antiviral host cell response to infection. Consequently, viruses have evolved mechanisms that target the proteins composing PML bodies. Immediate-early protein 1 (IE1) is considered the principal antagonist of PML bodies produced by the human cytomegalovirus, one of eight human herpesviruses. Previous work suggested that the interaction between IE1 and PML and the consequent disruption of PML bodies serves a critical role in viral replication by counteracting the cellular antiviral response. However, this picture has emerged largely from studying mutant IE1 proteins known or predicted to be unstable. We systematically screened for stable IE1 variants and identified a mutant protein selectively defective for PML interaction. Unexpectedly, the IE1 mutant supported viral replication almost as efficiently as the wild-type protein. Moreover, lower instead of higher (as expected) levels of antiviral gene expression were observed with the mutant compared to the wild-type. These results suggest that disruption of PML bodies is linked to the induction rather than inhibition of antiviral gene expression. Our findings challenge current views regarding the role of PML bodies in viral infection.

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

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

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<![CDATA[Transcriptional Activity of rRNA Genes in Barley Cells after Mutagenic Treatment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da09ab0ee8fa60b770cd

In the present study, the combination of the micronucleus test with analysis of the activity of the rRNA genes in mutagen-treated Hordeum vulgare (barley) by maleic hydrazide (MH) cells was performed. Simultaneously fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with 25S rDNA as probes and an analysis of the transcriptional activity of 35S rRNA genes with silver staining were performed. The results showed that transcriptional activity is always maintained in the micronuclei although they are eliminated during the next cell cycle. The analysis of the transcriptional activity was extended to barley nuclei. MH influenced the fusion of the nucleoli in barley nuclei. The silver staining enabled detection of the nuclear bodies which arose after MH treatment. The results confirmed the usefulness of cytogenetic techniques in the characterization of micronuclei. Similar analyses can be now extended to other abiotic stresses to study the response of plant cells to the environment.

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<![CDATA[Polyglutamine Expansion Accelerates the Dynamics of Ataxin-1 and Does Not Result in Aggregate Formation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db25ab0ee8fa60bd02ff

Background

Polyglutamine expansion disorders are caused by an expansion of the polyglutamine (polyQ) tract in the disease related protein, leading to severe neurodegeneration. All polyQ disorders are hallmarked by the presence of intracellular aggregates containing the expanded protein in affected neurons. The polyQ disorder SpinoCerebellar Ataxia 1 (SCA1) is caused by a polyQ-expansion in the ataxin-1 protein, which is thought to lead to nuclear aggregates.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Using advanced live cell fluorescence microscopy and a filter retardation assay we show that nuclear accumulations formed by polyQ-expanded ataxin-1 do not resemble aggregates of other polyQ-expanded proteins. Instead of being static, insoluble aggregates, nuclear accumulations formed by the polyQ-expanded ataxin-1 showed enhanced intracellular kinetics as compared to wild-type ataxin-1. During mitosis, ataxin-1 accumulations redistributed equally among daughter cells, in contrast to polyQ aggregates. Interestingly, polyQ expansion did not affect the nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling of ataxin-1 as proposed before.

Conclusions/Significance

These results indicate that polyQ expansion does not necessarily lead to aggregate formation, and that the enhanced kinetics may affect the nuclear function of ataxin-1. The unexpected findings for a polyQ-expanded protein and their consequences for ongoing SCA1 research are discussed.

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<![CDATA[The SUVR4 Histone Lysine Methyltransferase Binds Ubiquitin and Converts H3K9me1 to H3K9me3 on Transposon Chromatin in Arabidopsis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa1ab0ee8fa60ba5d48

Chromatin structure and gene expression are regulated by posttranslational modifications (PTMs) on the N-terminal tails of histones. Mono-, di-, or trimethylation of lysine residues by histone lysine methyltransferases (HKMTases) can have activating or repressive functions depending on the position and context of the modified lysine. In Arabidopsis, trimethylation of lysine 9 on histone H3 (H3K9me3) is mainly associated with euchromatin and transcribed genes, although low levels of this mark are also detected at transposons and repeat sequences. Besides the evolutionarily conserved SET domain which is responsible for enzyme activity, most HKMTases also contain additional domains which enable them to respond to other PTMs or cellular signals. Here we show that the N-terminal WIYLD domain of the Arabidopsis SUVR4 HKMTase binds ubiquitin and that the SUVR4 product specificity shifts from di- to trimethylation in the presence of free ubiquitin, enabling conversion of H3K9me1 to H3K9me3 in vitro. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and immunocytological analysis showed that SUVR4 in vivo specifically converts H3K9me1 to H3K9me3 at transposons and pseudogenes and has a locus-specific repressive effect on the expression of such elements. Bisulfite sequencing indicates that this repression involves both DNA methylation–dependent and –independent mechanisms. Transcribed genes with high endogenous levels of H3K4me3, H3K9me3, and H2Bub1, but low H3K9me1, are generally unaffected by SUVR4 activity. Our results imply that SUVR4 is involved in the epigenetic defense mechanism by trimethylating H3K9 to suppress potentially harmful transposon activity.

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<![CDATA[Phosphorylated Nucleolin Interacts with Translationally Controlled Tumor Protein during Mitosis and with Oct4 during Interphase in ES Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da24ab0ee8fa60b7fdd0

Background

Reprogramming of somatic cells for derivation of either embryonic stem (ES) cells, by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), or ES-like cells, by induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell procedure, provides potential routes toward non-immunogenic cell replacement therapies. Nucleolar proteins serve as markers for activation of embryonic genes, whose expression is crucial for successful reprogramming. Although Nucleolin (Ncl) is one of the most abundant nucleolar proteins, its interaction partners in ES cells have remained unidentified.

Methodology

Here we explored novel Ncl-interacting proteins using in situ proximity ligation assay (PLA), colocalization and immunoprecipitation (IP) in ES cells.

Principal Findings

We found that phosphorylated Ncl (Ncl-P) interacted with translationally controlled tumor protein (Tpt1) in murine ES cells. The Ncl-P/Tpt1 complex peaked during mitosis and was reduced upon retinoic acid induced differentiation, signifying a role in cell proliferation. In addition, we showed that Ncl-P interacted with the transcription factor Oct4 during interphase in human as well as murine ES cells, indicating of a role in transcription. The Ncl-P/Oct4 complex peaked during early stages of spontaneous human ES cell differentiation and may thus be involved in the initial differentiation event(s) of mammalian development.

Conclusions

Here we described two novel protein-protein interactions in ES cells, which give us further insight into the complex network of interacting proteins in pluripotent cells.

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<![CDATA[Isolation of Cell Nuclei Using Inert Macromolecules to Mimic the Crowded Cytoplasm]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac6ab0ee8fa60bb25be

Cell nuclei are commonly isolated and studied in media which include millimolar concentrations of cations, which conserve the nuclear volume by screening the negative charges on chromatin and maintaining its compaction. However, two factors question if these ionic conditions correctly reproduce the environment of nuclei in vivo: the small-scale motion and conformation of chromatin in vivo are not reproduced in isolated nuclei, and experiments and theory suggest that small ions in the cytoplasm are not free in the soluble phase but are predominantly bound to macromolecules. We studied the possible role in maintaining the structure and functions of nuclei in vivo of a further but frequently overlooked property of the cytoplasm, the crowding or osmotic effects caused by diffusible macromolecules whose concentration, measured in several studies, is in the range of 130 mg/ml. Nuclei which conserved their volume in the cell and their ultrastructure seen by electron microscopy were released from K562 cells in media containing the inert polymer 70 kDa Ficoll (50% w/v) or 70 kDa dextran (35% w/v) to replace the diffusible cytoplasmic molecules which were dispersed on cell lysis with digitonin, with 100 µM K-Hepes buffer as the only source of ions. Immunofluorescence labelling and experiments using cells expressing GFP-fusion proteins showed that internal compartments (nucleoli, PML and coiled bodies, foci of RNA polymerase II) were conserved in these nuclei, and nascent RNA transcripts could be elongated. Our observations are consistent with the hypothesis that crowding by diffusible cytoplasmic macromolecules is a crucial but overlooked factor which supports the nucleus in vivo by equilibrating the opposing osmotic pressure cause by the high concentration of macromolecules in the nucleus, and suggest that crowded media provide more physiological conditions to study nuclear structure and functions. They may also help to resolve the long-standing paradox that the small-scale motion and irregular conformation of chromatin seen in vivo are not reproduced in nuclei isolated in conventional ionic media.

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<![CDATA[Cell-Autonomous and Non-cell-autonomous Function of Hox Genes Specify Segmental Neuroblast Identity in the Gnathal Region of the Embryonic CNS in Drosophila]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da30ab0ee8fa60b84508

During central nervous system (CNS) development neural stem cells (Neuroblasts, NBs) have to acquire an identity appropriate to their location. In thoracic and abdominal segments of Drosophila, the expression pattern of Bithorax-Complex Hox genes is known to specify the segmental identity of NBs prior to their delamination from the neuroectoderm. Compared to the thoracic, ground state segmental units in the head region are derived to different degrees, and the precise mechanism of segmental specification of NBs in this region is still unclear. We identified and characterized a set of serially homologous NB-lineages in the gnathal segments and used one of them (NB6-4 lineage) as a model to investigate the mechanism conferring segment-specific identities to gnathal NBs. We show that NB6-4 is primarily determined by the cell-autonomous function of the Hox gene Deformed (Dfd). Interestingly, however, it also requires a non-cell-autonomous function of labial and Antennapedia that are expressed in adjacent anterior or posterior compartments. We identify the secreted molecule Amalgam (Ama) as a downstream target of the Antennapedia-Complex Hox genes labial, Dfd, Sex combs reduced and Antennapedia. In conjunction with its receptor Neurotactin (Nrt) and the effector kinase Abelson tyrosine kinase (Abl), Ama is necessary in parallel to the cell-autonomous Dfd pathway for the correct specification of the maxillary identity of NB6-4. Both pathways repress CyclinE (CycE) and loss of function of either of these pathways leads to a partial transformation (40%), whereas simultaneous mutation of both pathways leads to a complete transformation (100%) of NB6-4 segmental identity. Finally, we provide genetic evidences, that the Ama-Nrt-Abl-pathway regulates CycE expression by altering the function of the Hippo effector Yorkie in embryonic NBs. The disclosure of a non-cell-autonomous influence of Hox genes on neural stem cells provides new insight into the process of segmental patterning in the developing CNS.

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<![CDATA[A Chemokine Targets the Nucleus: Cxcl12-Gamma Isoform Localizes to the Nucleolus in Adult Mouse Heart]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da14ab0ee8fa60b7aa05

Chemokines are extracellular mediators of complex regulatory circuits involved principally in cell-to-cell communication. Most studies to date of the essential chemokine Cxcl12 (Sdf-1) have focused on the ubiquitously expressed secreted isoforms α and β. Here we show that, unlike these isoforms and all other known chemokines, the alternatively transcribed γ isoform is an intracellular protein that localizes to the nucleolus in differentiated mouse Cardiac tissue. Our results demonstrate that nucleolar transportation is encoded by a nucleolar-localization signal in the unique carboxy-terminal region of Sdf-1γ, and is competent both in vivo and in vitro. The molecular mechanism underlying these unusual chemokine properties involves cardiac-specific transcription of an mRNA containing a unique short-leader sequence lacking the signal peptide and translation from a non-canonical CUG codon. Our results provide an example of genome economy even for essential and highly conserved genes such as Cxcl12, and suggest that chemokines can exert tissue specific functions unrelated to cell-to-cell communication.

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<![CDATA[Nonredundant Requirement for Multiple Histone Modifications for the Early Anaphase Release of the Mitotic Exit Regulator Cdc14 from Nucleolar Chromatin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad2ab0ee8fa60bb688b

In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the conserved phosphatase Cdc14 is required for the exit from mitosis. It is anchored on nucleolar chromatin by the Cfi1/Net1 protein until early anaphase, at which time it is released into the nucleoplasm. Two poorly understood, redundant pathways promote Cdc14 release, the FEAR (Cdc fourteen early release) network and the MEN (mitotic exit network). Through the analysis of genetic interactions, we report here a novel requirement for the ubiquitination of histone H2B by the Bre1 ubiquitin ligase in the cell cycle–dependent release of Cdc14 from nucleolar chromatin when the MEN is inactivated. This function for H2B ubiquitination is mediated by its activation of histone H3 methylation on lysines 4 and 79 (meH3K4 and meH3K79) but, surprisingly, is not dependent on the histone deacetylase (HDAC) Sir2, which associates with Cdc14 on nucleolar chromatin as part of the RENT complex. We also observed a defect in Cdc14 release in cells lacking H3 lysine 36 methylation (meH3K36) and in cells lacking an HDAC recruited by this modification. These histone modifications represent previously unappreciated factors required for the accessibility to and/or action on nucleolar chromatin of FEAR network components. The nonredundant role for these modifications in this context contrasts with the notion of a highly combinatorial code by which histone marks act to control biological processes.

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<![CDATA[Analysis of K-Ras Nuclear Expression in Fibroblasts and Mesangial Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db45ab0ee8fa60bd85c4

Background

Ras GTPases are considered cytoplasmic proteins that must be localized to cell membranes for activation, and there are few evidences of the presence of any Ras isoform in nuclei of eukaryotic cells.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Using conventional antibodies and inmunocytochemistry, differential centrifugation and western blot, we have observed the putative presence of K-Ras isoform in the nuclei of fibroblasts and mesangial cells. In order to avoid cross-reactions with other Ras isoforms, and using antibodies against K-Ras (R-3400, H3845-M01, sc-30) or pan-Ras (05-516, OP40) in cells that only expressed the K-Ras isoform (fibroblasts obtained from H-ras−/−,N-ras−/− mice) we also detected some nuclear positive expression. To further probe the identity of nuclear K-Ras, we have generated K-Ras knockout (K-ras−/−) embrionary fibroblasts by mating of K-ras+/− heterozygote mice. Using specific antibodies, only H- and N-Ras isoforms were observed in the cytoplasm of K-ras−/− fibroblasts. However, both K-Ras4A and K-Ras4B positive signals were detected by immunocytochemistry and Western blot with two commercial antibodies (sc-522 and sc-521 against each isoforms, respectively) in both cytoplasm and nuclei from K-ras−/− fibroblasts.

Conclusions/Significance

We show that the presence of K-Ras4B in fibroblast nuclei, already described by other authors, is probably due to a cross-reaction of the antibody with an undetermined nucleolar protein. Although this study also shows the possible nuclear expression of K-Ras isoform in fibroblasts or in mesangial cells, it also reveals the importance of being cautious in these studies about distribution of protein isoforms due to some important limitations imposed by the unspecificity of the antibodies or contaminations in cellular preparations.

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<![CDATA[Cardiac Glycosides Activate the Tumor Suppressor and Viral Restriction Factor Promyelocytic Leukemia Protein (PML)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab7ab0ee8fa60bad26a

Cardiac glycosides (CGs), inhibitors of Na+/K+-ATPase (NKA), used clinically to treat heart failure, have garnered recent attention as potential anti-cancer and anti-viral agents. A high-throughput phenotypic screen designed to identify modulators of promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) nuclear body (NB) formation revealed the CG gitoxigenin as a potent activator of PML. We demonstrate that multiple structurally distinct CGs activate the formation of PML NBs and induce PML protein SUMOylation in an NKA-dependent fashion. CG effects on PML occur at the post-transcriptional level, mechanistically distinct from previously described PML activators and are mediated through signaling events downstream of NKA. Curiously, genomic deletion of PML in human cancer cells failed to abrogate the cytotoxic effects of CGs and other apoptotic stimuli such as ceramide and arsenic trioxide that were previously shown to function through PML in mice. These findings suggest that alternative pathways can compensate for PML loss to mediate apoptosis in response to CGs and other apoptotic stimuli.

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<![CDATA[Dysregulation of Ribosome Biogenesis and Translational Capacity Is Associated with Tumor Progression of Human Breast Cancer Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab7ab0ee8fa60bad209

Protein synthesis is a fundamental cell process and ribosomes - particularly through the ribosomal RNA that display ribozyme activity - are the main effectors of this process. Ribosome biogenesis is a very complex process involving transcriptional as

well as many post-transcriptional steps to produce functional ribosomes. It is now well demonstrated that ribosome production is enhanced in cancer cells and that ribosome biogenesis plays a crucial role in tumor progression. However, at present there is an important lack of data to determine whether the entire process of ribosome biogenesis and ribosome assembly is modified during tumor progression and what could be the potential impact on the dysregulation of translational control that is observed in cancer cells. In breast cancer cells displaying enhanced aggressivity, both in vitro and in vivo, we have analyzed the major steps of ribosome biogenesis and the translational capacity of the resulting ribosome. We show that increased tumorigenicity was associated with modifications of nucleolar morphology and profound quantitative and qualitative alterations in ribosomal biogenesis and function. Specifically cells with enhanced tumor aggressivity displayed increased synthesis of 45S pre-rRNA, with activation of an alternative preRNA synthetic pathway containing a 43S precursor and enhanced post-transcriptional methylation of specifc sites located in the 28S rRNA. While the global translational activity was not modified, IRES-initiated translation, notably that of p53 mRNA, was less efficient and the control of translational fidelity was importantly reduced in cells with increased aggressivity. These results suggest that acquisition of enhanced tumor aggressivity can be associated with profound qualitative alterations in ribosomal control, leading to reduced quality control of translation in cancer cells

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<![CDATA[Virus-Induced Chaperone-Enriched (VICE) Domains Function as Nuclear Protein Quality Control Centers during HSV-1 Infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da90ab0ee8fa60b9fc5a

Virus-Induced Chaperone-Enriched (VICE) domains form adjacent to nuclear viral replication compartments (RC) during the early stages of HSV-1 infection. Between 2 and 3 hours post infection at a MOI of 10, host protein quality control machinery such as molecular chaperones (e.g. Hsc70), the 20S proteasome and ubiquitin are reorganized from a diffuse nuclear distribution pattern to sequestration in VICE domains. The observation that VICE domains contain putative misfolded proteins suggests that they may be similar to nuclear inclusion bodies that form under conditions in which the protein quality control machinery is overwhelmed by the presence of misfolded proteins. The detection of Hsc70 in VICE domains, but not in nuclear inclusion bodies, indicates that Hsc70 is specifically reorganized by HSV-1 infection. We hypothesize that HSV-1 infection induces the formation of nuclear protein quality control centers to remodel or degrade aberrant nuclear proteins that would otherwise interfere with productive infection. Detection of proteolytic activity in VICE domains suggests that substrates may be degraded by the 20S proteasome in VICE domains. FRAP analysis reveals that GFP-Hsc70 is dynamically associated with VICE domains, suggesting a role for Hsc70 in scanning the infected nucleus for misfolded proteins. During 42°C heat shock, Hsc70 is redistributed from VICE domains into RC perhaps to remodel viral replication and regulatory proteins that have become insoluble in these compartments. The experiments presented in this paper suggest that VICE domains are nuclear protein quality control centers that are modified by HSV-1 to promote productive infection.

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<![CDATA[Function and Assembly of a Chromatin-Associated RNase P that Is Required for Efficient Transcription by RNA Polymerase I]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db05ab0ee8fa60bc7f14

Background

Human RNase P has been initially described as a tRNA processing enzyme, consisting of H1 RNA and at least ten distinct protein subunits. Recent findings, however, indicate that this catalytic ribonucleoprotein is also required for transcription of small noncoding RNA genes by RNA polymerase III (Pol III). Notably, subunits of human RNase P are localized in the nucleolus, thus raising the possibility that this ribonucleoprotein complex is implicated in transcription of rRNA genes by Pol I.

Methodology/Principal Findings

By using biochemical and reverse genetic means we show here that human RNase P is required for efficient transcription of rDNA by Pol I. Thus, inactivation of RNase P by targeting its protein subunits for destruction by RNA interference or its H1 RNA moiety for specific cleavage causes marked reduction in transcription of rDNA by Pol I. However, RNase P restores Pol I transcription in a defined reconstitution system. Nuclear run on assays reveal that inactivation of RNase P reduces the level of nascent transcription by Pol I, and more considerably that of Pol III. Moreover, RNase P copurifies and associates with components of Pol I and its transcription factors and binds to chromatin of the promoter and coding region of rDNA. Strikingly, RNase P detaches from transcriptionally inactive rDNA in mitosis and reassociates with it at G1 phase through a dynamic and stepwise assembly process that is correlated with renewal of transcription.

Conclusions/Significance

Our findings reveal that RNase P activates transcription of rDNA by Pol I through a novel assembly process and that this catalytic ribonucleoprotein determines the transcription output of Pol I and Pol III, two functionally coordinated transcription machineries.

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<![CDATA[Reconstitution of Mdm2-Dependent Post-Translational Modifications of p53 in Yeast]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da01ab0ee8fa60b74333

p53 mediates cell cycle arrest or apoptosis in response to DNA damage. Its activity is subject to a tight regulation involving a multitude of post-translational modifications. The plethora of functional protein interactions of p53 at present precludes a clear understanding of regulatory principles in the p53 signaling network. To circumvent this complexity, we studied here the minimal requirements for functionally relevant p53 post-translational modifications by expressing human p53 together with its best characterized modifier Mdm2 in budding yeast. We find that expression of the human p53-Mdm2 module in yeast is sufficient to faithfully recapitulate key aspects of p53 regulation in higher eukaryotes, such as Mdm2-dependent targeting of p53 for degradation, sumoylation at lysine 386 and further regulation of this process by p14ARF. Interestingly, sumoylation is necessary for the recruitment of p53-Mdm2 complexes to yeast nuclear bodies morphologically akin to human PML bodies. These results suggest a novel role for Mdm2 as well as for p53 sumoylation in the recruitment of p53 to nuclear bodies. The reductionist yeast model that was established and validated in this study will now allow to incrementally study simplified parts of the intricate p53 network, thus helping elucidate the core mechanisms of p53 regulation as well as test novel strategies to counteract p53 malfunctions.

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<![CDATA[Initial Genomics of the Human Nucleolus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da64ab0ee8fa60b918cb

We report for the first time the genomics of a nuclear compartment of the eukaryotic cell. 454 sequencing and microarray analysis revealed the pattern of nucleolus-associated chromatin domains (NADs) in the linear human genome and identified different gene families and certain satellite repeats as the major building blocks of NADs, which constitute about 4% of the genome. Bioinformatic evaluation showed that NAD–localized genes take part in specific biological processes, like the response to other organisms, odor perception, and tissue development. 3D FISH and immunofluorescence experiments illustrated the spatial distribution of NAD–specific chromatin within interphase nuclei and its alteration upon transcriptional changes. Altogether, our findings describe the nature of DNA sequences associated with the human nucleolus and provide insights into the function of the nucleolus in genome organization and establishment of nuclear architecture.

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<![CDATA[The Pattern of R2 Retrotransposon Activity in Natural Populations of Drosophila simulans Reflects the Dynamic Nature of the rDNA Locus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da78ab0ee8fa60b974e2

The pattern and frequency of insertions that enable transposable elements to remain active in a population are poorly understood. The retrotransposable element R2 exclusively inserts into the 28S rRNA genes where it establishes long-term, stable relationships with its animal hosts. Previous studies with laboratory stocks of Drosophila simulans have suggested that control over R2 retrotransposition resides within the rDNA loci. In this report, we sampled 180 rDNA loci of animals collected from two natural populations of D. simulans. The two populations were found to have similar patterns of R2 activity. About half of the rDNA loci supported no or very low levels of R2 transcripts with no evidence of R2 retrotransposition. The remaining half of the rDNA loci had levels of R2 transcripts that varied in a continuous manner over almost a 100-fold range and did support new retrotransposition events. Structural analysis of the rDNA loci in 18 lines that spanned the range of R2 transcript levels in these populations revealed that R2 number and rDNA locus size varied 2-fold; however, R2 activity was not readily correlated with either of these parameters. Instead R2 activity was best correlated with the distribution of elements within the rDNA locus. Loci with no activity had larger contiguous blocks of rDNA units free of R2-insertions. These data suggest a model in which frequent recombination within the rDNA locus continually redistributes R2-inserted units resulting in changing levels of R2 activity within individual loci and persistent R2 activity within the population.

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<![CDATA[rRNA Maturation in Yeast Cells Depleted of Large Ribosomal Subunit Proteins]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d7ab0ee8fa60b66622

The structural constituents of the large eukaryotic ribosomal subunit are 3 ribosomal RNAs, namely the 25S, 5.8S and 5S rRNA and about 46 ribosomal proteins (r-proteins). They assemble and mature in a highly dynamic process that involves more than 150 proteins and 70 small RNAs. Ribosome biogenesis starts in the nucleolus, continues in the nucleoplasm and is completed after nucleo-cytoplasmic translocation of the subunits in the cytoplasm. In this work we created 26 yeast strains, each of which conditionally expresses one of the large ribosomal subunit (LSU) proteins. In vivo depletion of the analysed LSU r-proteins was lethal and led to destabilisation and degradation of the LSU and/or its precursors. Detailed steady state and metabolic pulse labelling analyses of rRNA precursors in these mutant strains showed that LSU r-proteins can be grouped according to their requirement for efficient progression of different steps of large ribosomal subunit maturation. Comparative analyses of the observed phenotypes and the nature of r-protein – rRNA interactions as predicted by current atomic LSU structure models led us to discuss working hypotheses on i) how individual r-proteins control the productive processing of the major 5′ end of 5.8S rRNA precursors by exonucleases Rat1p and Xrn1p, and ii) the nature of structural characteristics of nascent LSUs that are required for cytoplasmic accumulation of nascent subunits but are nonessential for most of the nuclear LSU pre-rRNA processing events.

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<![CDATA[Gadd45a Is an RNA Binding Protein and Is Localized in Nuclear Speckles]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da4eab0ee8fa60b8d4a1

Background

The Gadd45 proteins play important roles in growth control, maintenance of genomic stability, DNA repair, and apoptosis. Recently, Gadd45 proteins have also been implicated in epigenetic gene regulation by promoting active DNA demethylation. Gadd45 proteins have sequence homology with the L7Ae/L30e/S12e RNA binding superfamily of ribosomal proteins, which raises the question if they may interact directly with nucleic acids.

Principal Findings

Here we show that Gadd45a binds RNA but not single- or double stranded DNA or methylated DNA in vitro. Sucrose density gradient centrifugation experiments demonstrate that Gadd45a is present in high molecular weight particles, which are RNase sensitive. Gadd45a displays RNase-sensitive colocalization in nuclear speckles with the RNA helicase p68 and the RNA binding protein SC35. A K45A point mutation defective in RNA binding was still active in DNA demethylation. This suggests that RNA binding is not absolutely essential for demethylation of an artificial substrate. A point mutation at G39 impared RNA binding, nuclear speckle localization and DNA demethylation, emphasizing its relevance for Gadd45a function.

Significance

The results implicate RNA in Gadd45a function and suggest that Gadd45a is associated with a ribonucleoprotein particle.

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