Roles of the histone H2A-H2B dimers and the (H3-H4)(2) tetramer in nucleosome remodeling by the SWI-SNF complex..
The Journal of biological chemistry. 275(16):11545-52. Abstract
SWI-SNF is an ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complex required for expression of a number of yeast genes. Previous studies have suggested that SWI-SNF action may remove or rearrange the histone H2A-H2B dimers or induce a novel alteration in the histone octamer. Here, we have directly tested these and other models by quantifying the remodeling activity of SWI-SNF on arrays of (H3-H4)(2) tetramers, on nucleosomal arrays reconstituted with disulfide-linked histone H3, and on arrays reconstituted with histone H3 derivatives site-specifically modified at residue 110 with the fluorescent probe acetylethylenediamine-(1,5)-naphthol sulfonate. We find that SWI-SNF can remodel (H3-H4)(2) tetramers, although tetramers are poor substrates for SWI-SNF remodeling compared with nucleosomal arrays. SWI-SNF can also remodel nucleosomal arrays that harbor disulfide-linked (H3-H4)(2) tetramers, indicating that SWI-SNF action does not involve an obligatory disruption of the tetramer. Finally, we find that although the fluorescence emission intensity of acetylethylenediamine-(1,5)-naphthol sulfonate-modified histone H3 is sensitive to octamer structure, SWI-SNF action does not alter fluorescence emission intensity. These data suggest that perturbation of the histone octamer is not a requirement or a consequence of ATP-dependent nucleosome remodeling by SWI-SNF.
Roles for scalloped and vestigial in regulating cell affinity and interactions between the wing blade and the wing hinge.
Developmental biology. 228:287-303. Abstract
The scalloped and vestigial genes are both required for the formation of the Drosophila wing, and recent studies have indicated that they can function as a heterodimeric complex to regulate the expression of downstream target genes. We have analyzed the consequences of complete loss of scalloped function, ectopic expression of scalloped, and ectopic expression of vestigial on the development of the Drosophila wing imaginal disc. Clones of cells mutant for a strong allele of scalloped fail to proliferate within the wing pouch, but grow normally in the wing hinge and notum. Cells overexpressing scalloped fail to proliferate in both notal and wing-blade regions of the disc, and this overexpression induces apoptotic cell death. Clones of cells overexpressing vestigial grow smaller or larger than control clones, depending upon their distance from the dorsal-ventral compartment boundary. These studies highlight the importance of correct scalloped and vestigial expression levels to normal wing development. Our studies of vestigial-overexpressing clones also reveal two further aspects of wing development. First, in the hinge region vestigial exerts both a local inhibition and a long-range induction of wingless expression. These and other observations imply that vestigial-expressing cells in the wing blade organize the development of surrounding wing-hinge cells. Second, clones of cells overexpressing vestigial exhibit altered cell affinities. Our analysis of these clones, together with studies of scalloped mutant clones, implies that scalloped- and vestigial-dependent cell adhesion contributes to separation of the wing blade from the wing hinge and to a gradient of cell affinities along the dorsal-ventral axis of the wing.
The role of regulatory domain interactions in UNC-43 CaMKII localization and trafficking.
J Cell Sci. 118:3327-38. Abstract
Calcium and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) plays a fundamental role in the synaptic plasticity events that underlie learning and memory. Regulation of CaMKII kinase activity occurs through an autoinhibitory mechanism in which a regulatory domain of the kinase occupies the catalytic site and calcium/calmodulin activates the kinase by binding to and displacing this regulatory domain. A single putative ortholog of CaMKII, encoded by unc-43, is present in the Caenorhabditis elegans nervous system. Here we examined UNC-43 subcellular localization in the neurons of intact animals and show that UNC-43 is localized to clusters in ventral cord neurites, as well as to an unlocalized pool within these neurites. A mutation that mimics autophosphorylation within the regulatory domain results in an increase in the levels of UNC-43 in the unlocalized neurite pool. Multiple residues of CaMKII facilitate the interaction between the catalytic domain and the regulatory domain, thereby keeping the kinase inactive. Whereas most mutations in these residues result in an increased neurite pool of UNC-43, we have identified two residues that result in the opposite effect when mutated: a decreased neurite pool of UNC-43. The activity of UNC-2, a voltage-dependent calcium channel, is also required for UNC-43 to accumulate in the neurites, suggesting that neural activity regulates the localization of UNC-43. Our results suggest that the activation of UNC-43 by calcium/calmodulin displaces the autoinhibitory domain, thereby exposing key residues of the catalytic domain that allow for protein translocation to the neurites.
Role of glutamic acid-181 in DNA-sequence recognition by the catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) of Escherichia coli: altered DNA-sequence-recognition properties of [Val181]CAP and [Leu181]CAP..
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 84(17):6083-7. Abstract
It has been proposed that Glu-181 of the catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) makes direct contact with certain base pairs of the specific DNA site. We have purified wild-type CAP and two substituted CAP variants, [Val181]CAP and [Leu181]CAP, and have assessed the DNA-sequence-recognition properties in vitro with respect to positions 5, 6, 7, 8, and 16 of the DNA site. The data indicate that [Val181]CAP and [Leu181]CAP fail to discriminate between the consensus DNA base pair and the three non-consensus-DNA base pairs at 2-fold-related positions 7 and 16 of the DNA site. In contrast, [Val181]CAP and [Leu181]CAP retain the ability to discriminate between different base pairs at positions 5 and 8 of the DNA site. We conclude that Glu-181 of CAP makes a direct contact with 2-fold-related positions 7 and 16 of the DNA site, as proposed previously based on in vivo results. We propose that upon replacement of Glu-181 by valine or leucine, this contact is eliminated and is replaced by no other functional contact. We estimate that the contact by Glu-181 with each position contributes -0.7 kcal/mol to the total CAP-DNA binding free energy.
Role of conserved sequence elements 9L and 2 in self-splicing of the Tetrahymena ribosomal RNA precursor.
Cell. 45:167-76. Abstract
Oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis has been used to alter highly conserved sequences within the intervening sequence (IVS) of the Tetrahymena large ribosomal RNA precursor. Mutations within either sequence element 9L or element 2 eliminate splicing activity under standard in vitro splicing conditions. A double mutant with compensatory base changes in elements 9L and 2 has accurate splicing activity restored. Thus, the targeted nucleotides of elements 9L and 2 base-pair with one another in the IVS RNA, and pairing is important for self-splicing. Mutant splicing activities are restored by increased magnesium ion concentrations, supporting the conclusion that the role of the targeted bases in splicing is primarily structural. Based on the temperature dependence, we propose that a conformational switch involving pairing and unpairing of elements 9L and 2 is required for splicing.
The role of Barren Stalk1 in the Architecture of Maize.
Nature. 432:630-635. Abstract
The architecture of higher plants is established through the activity of lateral meristems–small groups of stem cells formed during vegetative and reproductive development. Lateral meristems generate branches and inflorescence structures, which define the overall form of a plant, and are largely responsible for the evolution of different plant architectures. Here, we report the isolation of the barren stalk1 gene, which encodes a non-canonical basic helix-loop-helix protein required for the initiation of all aerial lateral meristems in maize. barren stalk1 represents one of the earliest genes involved in the patterning of maize inflorescences, and, together with the teosinte branched1 gene, it regulates vegetative lateral meristem development. The architecture of maize has been a major target of selection for early agriculturalists and modern farmers, because it influences harvesting, breeding strategies and mechanization. By sampling nucleotide diversity in the barren stalk1 region, we show that two haplotypes entered the maize gene pool from its wild progenitor, teosinte, and that only one was incorporated throughout modern inbreds, suggesting that barren stalk1 was selected for agronomic purposes.
The role of auxin in shaping shoot architecture.
Journal of Experimental Botany. 64(9):2593-2608. Abstract
The variety of plant architectures observed in nature is predominantly determined by vegetative and reproductive branching patterns, the positioning of lateral organs, and differential stem elongation. Branches, lateral organs, and stems are the final products of the activity of meristems, groups of stem cells whose function is genetically deter- mined and environmentally influenced. Several decades of studies in different plant species have shed light on the essential role of the hormone auxin in plant growth and development. Auxin influences stem elongation and regulates the formation, activity, and fate of meristems, and has therefore been recognized as a major hormone shaping plant architecture. Increasing our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that regulate auxin function is necessary to understand how different plant species integrate a genetically determined developmental programme, the establish- ment of a body plan, with constant inputs from the surrounding environment. This information will allow us to develop the molecular tools needed to modify plant architecture in several crop species and in rapidly changing environments.
RNA polymerase beta' subunit: a target of DNA binding-independent activation..
Science (New York, N.Y.). 275(5306):1655-7. Abstract
The bacteriophage N4 single-stranded DNA binding protein (N4SSB) activates transcription by the Escherichia coli final sigma70-RNA polymerase at N4 late promoters. Here it is shown that the single-stranded DNA binding activity of N4SSB is not required for transcriptional activation. N4SSB interacts with the carboxyl terminus of the RNA polymerase beta' subunit in a region that is highly conserved in the largest subunits of prokaryotic and eukaryotic RNA polymerases.
The RNA polymerase "switch region" is a target for inhibitors..
Cell. 135(2):295-307. Abstract
The alpha-pyrone antibiotic myxopyronin (Myx) inhibits bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP). Here, through a combination of genetic, biochemical, and structural approaches, we show that Myx interacts with the RNAP "switch region"--the hinge that mediates opening and closing of the RNAP active center cleft--to prevent interaction of RNAP with promoter DNA. We define the contacts between Myx and RNAP and the effects of Myx on RNAP conformation and propose that Myx functions by interfering with opening of the RNAP active-center cleft during transcription initiation. We further show that the structurally related alpha-pyrone antibiotic corallopyronin (Cor) and the structurally unrelated macrocyclic-lactone antibiotic ripostatin (Rip) function analogously to Myx. The RNAP switch region is distant from targets of previously characterized RNAP inhibitors, and, correspondingly, Myx, Cor, and Rip do not exhibit crossresistance with previously characterized RNAP inhibitors. The RNAP switch region is an attractive target for identification of new broad-spectrum antibacterial therapeutic agents.
RNA interference-mediated change in protein body morphology and seed opacity through loss of different zein proteins.
Plant Physiol. 153:337-47. Abstract
Opaque or nonvitreous phenotypes relate to the seed architecture of maize (Zea mays) and are linked to loci that control the accumulation and proper deposition of storage proteins, called zeins, into specialized organelles in the endosperm, called protein bodies. However, in the absence of null mutants of each type of zein (i.e. alpha, beta, gamma, and delta), the molecular contribution of these proteins to seed architecture remains unclear. Here, a double null mutant for the delta-zeins, the 22-kD alpha-zein, the beta-zein, and the gamma-zein RNA interference (RNAi; designated as z1CRNAi, betaRNAi, and gammaRNAi, respectively) and their combinations have been examined. While the delta-zein double null mutant had negligible effects on protein body formation, the betaRNAi and gammaRNAi alone only cause slight changes. Substantial loss of the 22-kD alpha-zeins by z1CRNAi resulted in protein body budding structures, indicating that a sufficient amount of the 22-kD zeins is necessary for maintenance of a normal protein body shape. Among different mutant combinations, only the combined betaRNAi and gammaRNAi resulted in drastic morphological changes, while other combinations did not. Overexpression of alpha-kafirins, the homologues of the maize 22-kD alpha-zeins in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), in the beta/gammaRNAi mutant failed to offset the morphological alterations, indicating that beta- and gamma-zeins have redundant and unique functions in the stabilization of protein bodies. Indeed, opacity of the beta/gammaRNAi mutant was caused by incomplete embedding of the starch granules rather than by reducing the vitreous zone.
RNA Interference in Caenorhabditis Elegans.
Methods Enzymol. 392:36-55. Abstract
RNA interference (RNAi) was first discovered in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (Fire et al., 1998; Guo and Kemphues, 1995). The completion of the C. elegans genome in 1998 coupled with the advent of RNAi techniques to knock down gene function ushered in a new age in the field of functional genomics. There are four methods for double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) delivery in C. elegans: (1) injection of dsRNA into any region of the animal (Fire et al., 1998), (2) feeding with bacteria producing dsRNA (Timmons et al., 2001), (3) soaking in dsRNA (Tabara et al., 1998), and (4) in vivo production of dsRNA from transgenic promoters (Tavernarakis et al., 2000). In this chapter, we discuss the molecular genetic mechanisms, techniques, and applications of RNAi in C. elegans.
RNA Interference Can Rebalance the Nitrogen Sink of Maize Seeds without Losing Hard Endosperm.
PLoS One. 7:e32850. Abstract
BACKGROUND: One of the goals of plant breeding is to create crops to provide better nutrition for humans and livestock. Insufficient intake of protein is one of the most severe factors affecting the growth and development of children in developing countries. More than a century ago, in 1896, Hopkins initiated the well-known Illinois long-term selection for maize seed protein concentration, yielding four protein strains. By continuously accumulating QTLs, Illinois High Protein (IHP) reached a protein level 2.5-fold higher than normal maize, with the most increased fraction being the zein protein, which was shown to contain no lysine soon after the long-term selection program initiated. Therefore, IHP is of little value for feeding humans and monogastric animals. Although high-lysine lines of non-vitreous mutants were based on reduced zeins, the kernel soft texture precluded their practical use. Kernel hardness in opaque 2 (o2) could be restored in quality protein maize (QPM) with quantitative trait loci called o2 modifiers (Mo2s), but those did not increase total protein levels. METHODS: The most predominant zeins are the 22- and 19-kDa alpha-zeins. To achieve a combination of desired traits, we used RNA interference (RNAi) against both alpha-zeins in IHP and evaluated the silencing effect by SDS-PAGE. Total protein, amino acid composition and kernel texture were analyzed. CONCLUSIONS: The alpha-zeins were dramatically reduced, but the high total seed protein level remained unchanged by complementary increase of non-zein proteins. Moreover, the residual zein levels still allowed for a vitreous hard seed. Such dramatic rebalancing of the nitrogen sink could have a major impact in world food supply.
Rifamycins do not function by allosteric modulation of binding of Mg2+ to the RNA polymerase active center..
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 105(39):14820-5. Abstract
Rifamycin antibacterial agents inhibit bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP) by binding to a site adjacent to the RNAP active center and preventing synthesis of RNA products >2-3 nt in length. Recently, Artsimovitch et al. [(2005) Cell 122:351-363] proposed that rifamycins function by allosteric modulation of binding of Mg(2+) to the RNAP active center and presented three lines of biochemical evidence consistent with this proposal. Here, we show that rifamycins do not affect the affinity of binding of Mg(2+) to the RNAP active center, and we reassess the three lines of biochemical evidence, obtaining results not supportive of the proposal. We conclude that rifamycins do not function by allosteric modulation of binding of Mg(2+) to the RNAP active center.
The Rice Annotation Project Database (RAP-DB): 2008 update.
Nucleic Acids Res. 36:D1028-33. Abstract
The Rice Annotation Project Database (RAP-DB) was created to provide the genome sequence assembly of the International Rice Genome Sequencing Project (IRGSP), manually curated annotation of the sequence, and other genomics information that could be useful for comprehensive understanding of the rice biology. Since the last publication of the RAP-DB, the IRGSP genome has been revised and reassembled. In addition, a large number of rice-expressed sequence tags have been released, and functional genomics resources have been produced worldwide. Thus, we have thoroughly updated our genome annotation by manual curation of all the functional descriptions of rice genes. The latest version of the RAP-DB contains a variety of annotation data as follows: clone positions, structures and functions of 31 439 genes validated by cDNAs, RNA genes detected by massively parallel signature sequencing (MPSS) technology and sequence similarity, flanking sequences of mutant lines, transposable elements, etc. Other annotation data such as Gnomon can be displayed along with those of RAP for comparison. We have also developed a new keyword search system to allow the user to access useful information. The RAP-DB is available at: http://rapdb.dna.affrc.go.jp/ and http://rapdb.lab.nig.ac.jp/.
Rfm1, a Novel Tethering Factor Required to Recruit the Hst1 Histone Deacetylase for Repression of Middle Sporulation Genes.
Mol Cell Biol. 23:2009-2016. Abstract
Transcriptional repression is often correlated with the alteration of chromatin structure through modifications of the nucleosomes in the promoter region, such as by deacetylation of the N-terminal histone tails. This is presumed to make the promoter region inaccessible to other regulatory factors and the general transcription machinery. To accomplish this, histone deacetylases are recruited to specific promoters via DNA-binding proteins and tethering factors. We have previously reported the requirement for the NAD(+)-dependent histone deacetylase Hst1 and the DNA-binding protein Sum1 for vegetative repression of many middle sporulation genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here we report the identification of a novel tethering factor, Rfm1, that is required for Hst1-mediated repression. Rfm1 interacts with both Sum1 and Hst1 and is required for the Sum1-Hst1 interaction. DNA microarray and Northern blot analyses showed that Rfm1 is required for repression of the same subset of Sum1-repressed genes that require Hst1. These results suggest that Rfm1 is a specificity factor that targets the Hst1 deacetylase to a subset of Sum1-regulated genes.
Retrotranspositions in orthologous regions of closely related grass species.
BMC evolutionary biology. 6:62. Abstract
BACKGROUND: Retrotransposons are commonly occurring eukaryotic transposable elements (TEs). Among these, long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons are the most abundant TEs and can comprise 50-90% of the genome in higher plants. By comparing the orthologous chromosomal regions of closely related species, the effects of TEs on the evolution of plant genomes can be studied in detail. RESULTS: Here, we compared the composition and organization of TEs within five orthologous chromosomal regions among three grass species: maize, sorghum, and rice. We identified a total of 132 full or fragmented LTR retrotransposons in these regions. As a percentage of the total cumulative sequence in each species, LTR retrotransposons occupy 45.1% of the maize, 21.1% of the rice, and 3.7% of the sorghum regions. The most common elements in the maize retrotransposon-rich regions are the copia-like retrotransposons with 39% and the gypsy-like retrotransposons with 37%. Using the contiguous sequence of the orthologous regions, we detected 108 retrotransposons with intact target duplication sites and both LTR termini. Here, we show that 74% of these elements inserted into their host genome less than 1 million years ago and that many retroelements expanded in size by the insertion of other sequences. These inserts were predominantly other retroelements, however, several of them were also fragmented genes. Unforeseen was the finding of intact genes embedded within LTR retrotransposons. CONCLUSION: Although the abundance of retroelements between maize and rice is consistent with their different genome sizes of 2,364 and 389 Mb respectively, the content of retrotransposons in sorghum (790 Mb) is surprisingly low. In all three species, retrotransposition is a very recent activity relative to their speciation. While it was known that genes re-insert into non-orthologous positions of plant genomes, they appear to re-insert also within retrotransposons, potentially providing an important role for retrotransposons in the evolution of gene function.
Retention of transcription initiation factor sigma70 in transcription elongation: single-molecule analysis..
Molecular cell. 20(3):347-56. Abstract
We report a single-molecule assay that defines, simultaneously, the translocational position of a protein complex relative to DNA and the subunit stoichiometry of the complex. We applied the assay to define translocational positions and sigma70 contents of bacterial transcription elongation complexes in vitro. The results confirm ensemble results indicating that a large fraction, approximately 70%-90%, of early elongation complexes retain sigma70 and that a determinant for sigma70 recognition in the initial transcribed region increases sigma70 retention in early elongation complexes. The results establish that a significant fraction, approximately 50%-60%, of mature elongation complexes retain sigma70 and that a determinant for sigma70 recognition in the initial transcribed region does not appreciably affect sigma70 retention in mature elongation complexes. The results further establish that, in mature elongation complexes that retain sigma70, the half-life of sigma70 retention is long relative to the time-scale of elongation, suggesting that some complexes may retain sigma70 throughout elongation.
Response of RNA polymerase to ppGpp: requirement for the omega subunit and relief of this requirement by DksA..
Genes & development. 19(19):2378-87. Abstract
Previous studies have come to conflicting conclusions about the requirement for the omega subunit of RNA polymerase in bacterial transcription regulation. We demonstrate here that purified RNAP lacking omega does not respond in vitro to the effector of the stringent response, ppGpp. DksA, a transcription factor that works in concert with ppGpp to regulate rRNA expression in vivo and in vitro, fully rescues the ppGpp-unresponsiveness of RNAP lacking omega, likely explaining why strains lacking omega display a stringent response in vivo. These results demonstrate that omega plays a role in RNAP function (in addition to its previously reported role in RNAP assembly) and highlight the importance of inclusion of omega in RNAP purification protocols. Furthermore, these results suggest that either one or both of two short segments in the beta' subunit that physically link omega to the ppGpp-binding region of the enzyme may play crucial roles in ppGpp and DksA function.
Rescue of a dominant mutant with RNA interference.
Genetics. 186:1493-6. Abstract
Maize Mucronate1 is a dominant floury mutant based on a misfolded 16-kDa gamma-zein protein. To prove its function, we applied RNA interference (RNAi) as a dominant suppressor of the mutant seed phenotype. A gamma-zein RNAi transgene was able to rescue the mutation and restore normal seed phenotype. RNA interference prevents gene expression. In most cases, this is used to study gene function by creating a new phenotype. Here, we use it for the opposite purpose. We use it to reverse the creation of a mutant phenotype by restoring the normal phenotype. In the case of the maize Mucronate1 (Mc1) phenotype, interaction of a misfolded protein with other proteins is believed to be the basis for the Mc1 phenotype. If no misfolded protein is present, we can reverse the mutant to the normal phenotype. One can envision using this approach to study complex traits and in gene therapy.
Requirement for two copies of RNA polymerase alpha subunit C-terminal domain for synergistic transcription activation at complex bacterial promoters..
Genes & development. 16(19):2557-65. Abstract
Transcription activation by the Escherichia coli cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP) at different promoters has been studied using RNA polymerase holoenzyme derivatives containing two full-length alpha subunits, or containing one full-length alpha subunit and one truncated alpha subunit lacking the alpha C-terminal domain (alpha CTD). At a promoter having a single DNA site for CRP, activation requires only one full-length alpha subunit. Likewise, at a promoter having a single DNA site for CRP and one adjacent UP-element subsite (high-affinity DNA site for alpha CTD), activation requires only one full-length alpha subunit. In contrast, at promoters having two DNA sites for CRP, or one DNA site for CRP and two UP-element subsites, activation requires two full-length alpha subunits. We conclude that a single copy of alpha CTD is sufficient to interact with one CRP molecule and one adjacent UP-element subsite, but two copies of alpha CTD are required to interact with two CRP molecules or with one CRP molecule and two UP-element subsites.
Requirement for a core 1 galactosyltransferase in the Drosophila nervous system.
Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 237:3703-14. Abstract
Mucin type O-glycosylation is a widespread modification of eukaryotic proteins, but its functional requirements remain incompletely understood. It is initiated by the attachment of N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) to Ser or Thr residues, and then elongated by additional sugars. We have examined requirements for mucin-type glycosylation in Drosophila by characterizing the expression and phenotypes of core 1 galactosyltransferases (core 1 GalTs), which elongate O-GalNAc by adding galactose in a beta1,3 linkage. Drosophila encode several putative core 1 GalTs, each expressed in distinct patterns. CG9520 (C1GalTA) is expressed in the amnioserosa and central nervous system. A null mutation in C1GalTA is lethal, and mutant animals exhibit a striking morphogenetic defect in which the ventral nerve cord is greatly elongated and the brain hemispheres are misshapen. Lectin staining and blotting experiments confirmed that C1GalTA contributes to the synthesis of Gal-beta1,3-GalNAc in vivo. Our results identify a role for mucin-type O-glycosylation during neural development in Drosophila.