The mouse globin pseudogene βh3 is descended from a premammalian δ-globin gene.
J Biol Chem. 259:12881-9. Abstract
The beta h3 pseudogene of the BALB/c mouse contains sequence defects which prevent transcription and translation to produce a beta-globin. Comparison with other globin gene sequences indicates that beta h3 arose by recombination between an adult beta-globin gene and some significantly diverged globin sequence. Analysis of noncoding sequences shows that the 3' end of mouse beta h3 and the human delta-globin gene are both descended from an ancestral gene, which we call proto-delta. The origin of proto-delta must predate the mammalian radiation. A member of the L1 family of interspersed repetitive elements is inserted into the 3' untranslated delta-homologous sequence in beta h3 from BALB/c. beta h3 is a widespread feature of the rodent beta-globin complex, which has been fixed in the genome for 35 million years. Independent inactivation events produced pseudogenes located between the adult and nonadult beta-globin genes in the rodent, primate, rabbit, and goat lineages. One model to explain the abundance and evolutionary persistence of pseudogenes postulates that the mammalian genome simply has no efficient mechanism for deleting nonessential sequences. Consequently, the genomes of higher eukaryotes have been growing, by the accumulation of duplications, with doubling times of 200 +/- 100 million years.
Cross regulation of decapentaplegic and Ultrabithorax transcription in the embryonic visceral mesoderm of Drosophila.
Development (Cambridge, England). 117:1211-22. Abstract
The Drosophila decapentaplegic gene (dpp) encodes a TGF-beta family member involved in signal transduction during embryonic midgut formation. The shortvein (shv) class of cis-regulatory dpp mutants disrupt expression in parasegments 4 and 7 (ps4 and ps7) of the embryonic visceral mesoderm (VM) surrounding the gut and cause abnormalities in gut morphogenesis. We demonstrate that cis-regulatory elements directing expression in ps4 and ps7 are separable and identify DNA fragments that generate ps4 and ps7 expression patterns using reporter gene constructs. dpp reporter gene expression in both ps4 and ps7 is autoregulated as it requires endogenous dpp+ activity. Reporter gene ps7 expression requires the wild-type action of Ultra-bithorax (Ubx), and abdominal-A. Furthermore, the expression of certain Ubx reporter genes is coincident with dpp in the VM. Both the mis-expression of Ubx reporter genes in the developing gastric caecae at ps4 and its normal expression in ps7 are dependent upon endogenous dpp+ activity. We conclude that dpp both responds to and regulates Ubx in ps7 of the visceral mesoderm and that Ubx autoregulation within this tissue may be indirect as it requires more components than have previously been thought.
Three-dimensional EM structure of an intact activator-dependent transcription initiation complex..
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 106(47):19830-5. Abstract
We present the experimentally determined 3D structure of an intact activator-dependent transcription initiation complex comprising the Escherichia coli catabolite activator protein (CAP), RNA polymerase holoenzyme (RNAP), and a DNA fragment containing positions -78 to +20 of a Class I CAP-dependent promoter with a CAP site at position -61.5 and a premelted transcription bubble. A 20-A electron microscopy reconstruction was obtained by iterative projection-based matching of single particles visualized in carbon-sandwich negative stain and was fitted using atomic coordinate sets for CAP, RNAP, and DNA. The structure defines the organization of a Class I CAP-RNAP-promoter complex and supports previously proposed interactions of CAP with RNAP alpha subunit C-terminal domain (alphaCTD), interactions of alphaCTD with sigma(70) region 4, interactions of CAP and RNAP with promoter DNA, and phased-DNA-bend-dependent partial wrapping of DNA around the complex. The structure also reveals the positions and shapes of species-specific domains within the RNAP beta', beta, and sigma(70) subunits.
Macrotransposition and other complex chromosomal restructuring in maize by closely linked transposons in direct orientation.
Plant Cell. 20:2019–2032. Abstract
Several observations indicate that compatible ends of separate, yet closely linked, transposable elements (TEs) can interact in alternative transposition reactions. First, pairs of TEs cause chromosome breaks with frequencies inversely related to the intertransposon distance. Second, some combinations of two TEs produce complex rearrangements that often include DNA adjacent to one or both elements. In pairs of TEs in direct orientation, alternative reactions involving the external ends of the two TEs should lead to the transposition of a macrotransposon consisting of both elements plus the intervening chromosomal segment. Such macrotransposons have been hypothesized previously based on deletions, but no macrotransposon insertions have been recovered. To detect macrotransposition, we have analyzed heritable chromosomal rearrangements produced by a chromosome-breaking pair of Ac and Ds elements situated 6.5 kb apart in direct orientation in a part of the maize (Zea mays) genome dispensable for viability. Here, we show that the postulated macrotransposon can excise and reinsert elsewhere in the genome. In addition, this transposon pair produces other complex rearrangements, including deletions, inversions, and reshuffling of the intertransposon segment. Thus, closely linked TE pairs, a common transposition outcome in some superfamilies, are adept at restructuring chromosomes and may have been instrumental in reshaping plant genomes.
STAM and Hrs Down-regulate Ciliary TRP Receptors.
Mol Biol Cell. 18:3277-3289. Abstract
Cilia are endowed with membrane receptors, channels, and signaling components whose localization and function must be tightly controlled. In primary cilia of mammalian kidney epithelia and sensory cilia of Caenorhabditis elegans neurons, polycystin-1 (PC1) and transient receptor polycystin-2 channel (TRPP2 or PC2), function together as a mechanosensory receptor-channel complex. Despite the importance of the polycystins in sensory transduction, the mechanisms that regulate polycystin activity and localization, or ciliary membrane receptors in general, remain poorly understood. We demonstrate that signal transduction adaptor molecule STAM-1A interacts with C. elegans LOV-1 (PC1), and that STAM functions with hepatocyte growth factor-regulated tyrosine kinase substrate (Hrs) on early endosomes to direct the LOV-1-PKD-2 complex for lysosomal degradation. In a stam-1 mutant, both LOV-1 and PKD-2 improperly accumulate at the ciliary base. Conversely, overexpression of STAM or Hrs promotes the removal of PKD-2 from cilia, culminating in sensory behavioral defects. These data reveal that the STAM-Hrs complex, which down-regulates ligand-activated growth factor receptors from the cell surface of yeast and mammalian cells, also regulates the localization and signaling of a ciliary PC1 receptor-TRPP2 complex.
Primary structure of a genomic zein sequence of maize.
The EMBO journal. 1:1337-42. Abstract
The nucleotide sequence of a genomic clone (termed Z4 ) of the zein multigene family was compared to the nucleotide sequence of related cDNA clones of zein mRNAs. A tandem duplication of a 96-bp sequence is found in the genomic clone that is not present in the related cDNA clones. When the duplication is disregarded, the nucleotide sequence homology between Z4 and its related cDNAs was approximately 97%. The nucleotide sequence is also compared to other isolated cDNAs. No introns in the coding region of the zein gene are detected. The first nucleotide of a putative TATA box, TATAAATA , was located 88 nucleotides upstream of the first nucleotide of the first ATG codon which initiated the open reading frame. The first nucleotide of a putative CCAAT box, CAAAAT , appeared 45 nucleotides upstream of the first nucleotide of the zein cDNA clones in the 3' non-coding region also appeared in the genomic sequence at the same locations. The amino acid composition of the polypeptide specified by the Z4 nucleotide sequence is similar to the known composition of zein proteins.
ATP-2 Interacts with the PLAT Domain of LOV-1 and is Involved in Caenorhabditis Elegans Polycystin Signaling.
Mol Biol Cell. 16:458-469. Abstract
Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model to study the molecular basis of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). ADPKD is caused by mutations in the polycystic kidney disease (PKD)1 or PKD2 gene, encoding polycystin (PC)-1 or PC-2, respectively. The C. elegans polycystins LOV-1 and PKD-2 are required for male mating behaviors and are localized to sensory cilia. The function of the evolutionarily conserved polycystin/lipoxygenase/alpha-toxin (PLAT) domain found in all PC-1 family members remains an enigma. Here, we report that ATP-2, the beta subunit of the ATP synthase, physically associates with the LOV-1 PLAT domain and that this interaction is evolutionarily conserved. In addition to the expected mitochondria localization, ATP-2 and other ATP synthase components colocalize with LOV-1 and PKD-2 in cilia. Disrupting the function of the ATP synthase or overexpression of atp-2 results in a male mating behavior defect. We further show that atp-2, lov-1, and pkd-2 act in the same molecular pathway. We propose that the ciliary localized ATP synthase may play a previously unsuspected role in polycystin signaling.
Casein Kinase II and Calcineurin Modulate TRPP Function and Ciliary Localization.
Mol Biol Cell. 17:2200-2211. Abstract
Cilia serve as sensory devices in a diversity of organisms and their defects contribute to many human diseases. In primary cilia of kidney cells, the transient receptor potential polycystin (TRPP) channels polycystin-1 (PC-1) and polycystin-2 (PC-2) act as a mechanosensitive channel, with defects resulting in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. In sensory cilia of Caenorhabditis elegans male-specific neurons, the TRPPs LOV-1 and PKD-2 are required for mating behavior. The mechanisms regulating TRPP ciliary localization and function are largely unknown. We identified the regulatory subunit of the serine-threonine casein kinase II (CK2) as a binding partner of LOV-1 and human PC-1. CK2 and the calcineurin phosphatase TAX-6 modulate male mating behavior and PKD-2 ciliary localization. The phospho-defective mutant PKD-2(S534A) localizes to cilia, whereas a phospho-mimetic PKD-2(S534D) mutant is largely absent from cilia. Calcineurin is required for PKD-2 ciliary localization, but is not essential for ciliary gene expression, ciliogenesis, or localization of cilium structural components. This unanticipated function of calcineurin may be important for regulating ciliary protein localization. A dynamic phosphorylation-dephosphorylation cycle may represent a mechanism for modulating TRPP activity, cellular sensation, and ciliary protein localization.
Genetic analysis of opaque2 modifier loci in quality protein maize.
Theor Appl Genet. 117:157-70. Abstract
Quality protein maize (QPM) was created by selecting genetic modifiers that convert the starchy endosperm of an opaque2 (o2) mutant to a hard, vitreous phenotype. Genetic analysis has shown that there are multiple, unlinked o2 modifiers (Opm), but their identity and mode of action are unknown. Using two independently developed QPM lines, we mapped several major Opm QTLs to chromosomes 1, 7 and 9. A microarray hybridization performed with RNA obtained from true breeding o2 progeny with vitreous and opaque kernel phenotypes identified a small group of differentially expressed genes, some of which map at or near the Opm QTLs. Several of the genes are associated with ethylene and ABA signaling and suggest a potential linkage of o2 endosperm modification with programmed cell death.
Structures of RNA polymerase-antibiotic complexes..
Current opinion in structural biology. 19(6):715-23. Abstract
Inhibition of bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP) is an established strategy for antituberculosis therapy and broad-spectrum antibacterial therapy. Crystal structures of RNAP-inhibitor complexes are available for four classes of antibiotics: rifamycins, sorangicin, streptolydigin, and myxopyronin. The structures define three different targets, and three different mechanisms, for inhibition of bacterial RNAP: (1) rifamycins and sorangicin bind near the RNAP active center and block extension of RNA products; (2) streptolydigin interacts with a target that overlaps the RNAP active center and inhibits conformational cycling of the RNAP active center; and (3) myxopyronin interacts with a target remote from the RNAP active center and functions by interfering with opening of the RNAP active-center cleft to permit entry and unwinding of DNA and/or by interfering with interactions between RNAP and the DNA template strand. The structures enable construction of homology models of pathogen RNAP-antibiotic complexes, enable in silico screening for new antibacterial agents, and enable rational design of improved antibacterial agents.
Determinants of RNA polymerase alpha subunit for interaction with beta, beta', and sigma subunits: hydroxyl-radical protein footprinting..
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 93(19):10162-6. Abstract
Escherichia coli RNA polymerase (RNAP) alpha subunit serves as the initiator for RNAP assembly, which proceeds according to the pathway 2 alpha-->alpha 2-->alpha 2 beta-->alpha 2 beta beta'-->alpha 2 beta beta' sigma. In this work, we have used hydroxyl-radical protein footprinting to define determinants of alpha for interaction with beta, beta', and sigma. Our results indicate that amino acids 30-75 of alpha are protected from hydroxyl-radical-mediated proteolysis upon interaction with beta (i.e., in alpha 2 beta, alpha 2 beta beta', and alpha 2 beta beta' sigma), and amino acids 175-210 of alpha are protected from hydroxyl-radical-mediated proteolysis upon interaction with beta' (i.e., in alpha 2 beta beta' and alpha 2 beta beta' sigma). The protected regions are conserved in the alpha homologs of prokaryotic, eukaryotic, archaeal, and chloroplast RNAPs and contain sites of substitutions that affect RNAP assembly. We conclude that the protected regions define determinants of alpha for direct functional interaction with beta and beta'. The observed maximal magnitude of protection upon interaction with beta and the observed maximal magnitude of protection upon interaction with beta' both correspond to the expected value for complete protection of one of the two alpha protomers of RNAP (i.e., 50% protection). We propose that only one of the two alpha protomers of RNAP interacts with beta and that only one of the two alpha protomers of RNAP interacts with beta'.
CAP interacts with RNA polymerase in solution in the absence of promoter DNA..
Nature. 364(6437):548-9. Abstract
Protein-protein interactions between transcription activator proteins and RNA polymerase or basal transcription factors have been suggested to be important for transcription activation. Interactions between catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) and RNA polymerase have been proposed based on face-of-helix-dependent transcription activation by CAP and based on face-of-helix-dependent cooperative binding of CAP and RNA polymerase to promoter DNA. Mutants of CAP specifically defective in transcription activation have been isolated (mutants defective in transcription activation, but not defective in DNA binding and DNA bending). All such mutants contain amino-acid substitutions within a surface loop consisting of amino acids 152 to 166 of CAP. Here we use the thermodynamically rigorous technique of fluorescence polarization to show that CAP interacts with RNA polymerase in solution in the absence of promoter DNA (KD,app = 2.8 x 10(-7) M), whereas [Ala158]CAP, a mutant of CAP specifically defective in transcription activation, does not.
A versatile primer for DNA sequencing in the M13mp2 cloning system.
Gene. 10:69-73. Abstract
A primer for DNA sequencing by the chain-termination method in the M13mp2 cloning system was constructed and amplified. The primer was isolated as an EcoRI/AluI restriction fragment. After conversion of the AluI end into an EcoRI end the fragment was cloned in pBR325 from which it can be recovered by cleavage with EcoRI. The primer hybridizes to the single-stranded DNA of the mature M13mp2 phage next to the site of insertion thereby directing DNA synthesis along the inserted DNA.
Highly clustered zein gene sequences reveal evolutionary history of the multigene family.
Genomics. 10:719-32. Abstract
We have determined the nucleotide sequences of zein cDNA clones ZG14, ZG15, and ZG35. The three clones have 95 to 98% homology to the previously published sequence of clone A20, and 84% homology to sequences of the zein subfamily A30. Comparison of all sequences of the A30 and A20 subfamilies highlights the following features: the 5' nontranslated regions are 68 and 57 nucleotides in length for the A20- and A30-like mRNAs, respectively, and contain at least three repeats of the consensus sequence ACGAACAAta/gG; the majority of these genes are highly clustered as judged from pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of high molecular weight maize DNA. Furthermore, we discuss a model for the evolution of the multigene family which stresses the special importance of unequal crossingover and gene conversion in this system.
Haplotype structure strongly affects recombination in a maize genetic interval polymorphic for Helitron and retrotransposon insertions.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.. 106:8410–8416. Abstract
We have asked here how the remarkable variation in maize haplotype structure affects recombination. We compared recombination across a genetic interval of 9S in 2 highly dissimilar heterozygotes that shared 1 parent. The genetic interval in the common haplotype is approximately 100 kb long and contains 6 genes interspersed with gene-fragment-bearing Helitrons and retrotransposons that, together, comprise 70% of its length. In one heterozygote, most intergenic insertions are homozygous, although polymorphic, enabling us to determine whether any recombination junctions fall within them. In the other, most intergenic insertions are hemizygous and, thus, incapable of homologous recombination. Our analysis of the frequency and distribution of recombination in the interval revealed that: (i) Most junctions were circumscribed to the gene space, where they showed a highly nonuniform distribution. In both heterozygotes, more than half of the junctions fell in the stc1 gene, making it a clear recombination hotspot in the region. However, the genetic size of stc1 was 2-fold lower when flanked by a hemizygous 25-kb retrotransposon cluster. (ii) No junctions fell in the hypro1 gene in either heterozygote, making it a genic recombination coldspot. (iii) No recombination occurred within the gene fragments borne on Helitrons nor within retrotransposons, so neither insertion class contributes to the interval's genetic length. (iv) Unexpectedly, several junctions fell in an intergenic region not shared by all 3 haplotypes. (v) In general, the ability of a sequence to recombine correlated inversely with its methylation status. Our results show that haplotypic structural variability strongly affects the frequency and distribution of recombination events in maize.
Engineered Improvements in DNA-binding Function of the MATa1 Homeodomain Reveal Structural Changes Involved in Combinatorial Control.
J Mol Biol. 316:247-256. Abstract
We have engineered enhanced DNA-binding function into the a1 homeodomain by making changes in a loop distant from the DNA-binding surface. Comparison of the free and bound a1 structures suggested a mechanism linking van der Waals stacking changes in this loop to the ordering of a final turn in the DNA-binding helix of a1. Inspection of the protein sequence revealed striking differences in amino acid identity at positions 24 and 25 compared to related homeodomain proteins. These positions lie in the loop connecting helix-1 and helix-2, which is involved in heterodimerization with the alpha 2 protein. A series of single and double amino acid substitutions (a1-Q24R, a1-S25Y, a1-S25F and a1-Q24R/S25Y) were engineered, expressed and purified for biochemical and biophysical study. Calorimetric measurements and HSQC NMR spectra confirm that the engineered variants are folded and are equally or more stable than the wild-type a1 homeodomain. NMR analysis of a1-Q24R/S25Y demonstrates that the DNA recognition helix (helix-3) is extended by at least one turn as a result of the changes in the loop connecting helix-1 and helix-2. As shown by EMSA, the engineered variants bind DNA with enhanced affinity (16-fold) in the absence of the alpha 2 cofactor and the variant alpha 2/a1 heterodimers bind cognate DNA with specificity and affinity reflective of the enhanced a1 binding affinity. Importantly, in vivo assays demonstrate that the a1-Q24R/S25Y protein binds with fivefold greater affinity than wild-type a1 and is able to partially suppress defects in repression by alpha 2 mutants. As a result of these studies, we show how subtle differences in residues at a surface distant from the functional site code for a conformational switch that allows the a1 homeodomain to become active in DNA binding in association with its cofactor alpha 2.
Orientation of OmpR monomers within an OmpR:DNA complex determined by DNA affinity cleaving..
Journal of molecular biology. 285(2):555-66. Abstract
Escherichia coli OmpR is a transcription factor that regulates the differential expression of the porin genes ompF and ompC. Phosphorylated OmpR binds as a dimer to a 20-bp region of DNA consisting of two tandemly arranged 10-bp half-sites. Expression of the ompF gene is achieved by the hierarchical occupation of three adjacent 20-bp binding sites, designated F1, F2, and F3 and a distally located site, F4. Despite genetic, biochemical, and structural studies, specific details of the interaction between phosphorylated OmpR and the DNA remain unknown. We have linked the DNA cleaving moiety o-phenanthroline-copper to eight different sites within the DNA binding domain of OmpR in order to determine the orientation of the two OmpR monomers in the OmpR:F1 complex. Five of the resulting conjugates exhibited DNA cleaving activity, and four of these yielded patterns that could be used to construct a model of the OmpR:F1 complex. We propose that OmpR binds asymmetrically to the F1 site as a tandemly arranged dimer with each monomer having its recognition helix in the major groove. The N-terminal end of the recognition helix is promoter-proximal and flanked by "wings" W1 and W2 positioned proximally and distally, respectively, to the transcription start site of ompF. We further propose that the C-terminal end of the recognition helix makes the most extensive contacts with DNA and predict bases within the F1 site that are sufficiently close to be contacted by the recognition helix.
Analysis of the Meiotic role of the Mitochondrial Ribosomal Proteins Mrps17 and Mrpl37 in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae.
Yeast. 21:1241-1252. Abstract
Sporulation in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a complex and tightly regulated pathway that involves the induction of a large number of genes. We have identified MRPS17 in a cDNA library enriched for sporulation-specific genes. Homology searches show that the first one-third of Mrps17 has strong sequence similarity to bacterial S17 proteins, suggesting that Mrps17 is a potential mitochondrial ribosomal protein. This is further supported by the fact that mrps17Delta cells are respiratory-deficient and that a Mrps17-GFP fusion localizes to the mitochondria. We have confirmed by Northern blot analysis that both MRPS17 and MRPL37 are strongly induced during the middle stages of sporulation and that this induction is dependent on the presence of a middle sporulation element (MSE) in the promoters of these genes. Interestingly, we found that Mrps17 and Mrpl37, but not other mitochondrial ribosomal proteins, accumulate during the middle stages of sporulation. These results suggest that Mrps17 and Mrpl37 may have additional meiosis-specific roles.