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Lagrange, T, Kim TK, Orphanides G, Ebright YW, Ebright RH, Reinberg D.  1996.  High-resolution mapping of nucleoprotein complexes by site-specific protein-DNA photocrosslinking: organization of the human TBP-TFIIA-TFIIB-DNA quaternary complex.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 93(20):10620-5. Abstract
We have used a novel site-specific protein-DNA photocrosslinking procedure to define the positions of polypeptide chains relative to promoter DNA in binary, ternary, and quaternary complexes containing human TATA-binding protein, human or yeast transcription factor IIA (TFIIA), human transcription factor IIB (TFIIB), and promoter DNA. The results indicate that TFIIA and TFIIB make more extensive interactions with promoter DNA than previously anticipated. TATA-binding protein, TFIIA, and TFIIB surround promoter DNA for two turns of DNA helix and thus may form a "cylindrical clamp" effectively topologically linked to promoter DNA. Our results have implications for the energetics, DNA-sequence-specificity, and pathway of assembly of eukaryotic transcription complexes.
Lagrange, T, Kapanidis AN, Tang H, Reinberg D, Ebright RH.  1998.  New core promoter element in RNA polymerase II-dependent transcription: sequence-specific DNA binding by transcription factor IIB.. Genes & development. 12(1):34-44. Abstract
A sequence element located immediately upstream of the TATA element, and having the consensus sequence 5'-G/C-G/C-G/A-C-G-C-C-3', affects the ability of transcription factor IIB to enter transcription complexes and support transcription initiation. The sequence element is recognized directly by the transcription factor IIB. Recognition involves alpha-helices 4' and 5' of IIB, which comprise a helix-turn-helix DNA-binding motif. These observations establish that transcription initiation involves a fourth core promoter element, the IIB recognition element (BRE), in addition to the TATA element, the initiator element, and the downstream promoter element, and involves a second sequence-specific general transcription factor, IIB, in addition to transcription factor IID.
Lai, J, Messing J.  2002.  Increasing maize seed methionine by mRNA stability. The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology. 30:395-402. AbstractWebsite
The amino acid methionine is a common protein building block that is also important in other cellular processes. Plants, unlike animals, synthesize methionine de novo and are thus a dietary source of this nutrient. A new approach for using maize as a source of nutrient methionine is described. Maize seeds, a major component of animal feeds, have variable levels of protein-bound methionine. This variability is a result of post-transcriptional regulation of the Dzs10 gene, which encodes a seed-specific high-methionine storage protein. Here we eliminate methionine variability by identifying and replacing the cis-acting site for Dzs10 regulation using transgenic seeds. Interestingly, two different mechanisms affect mRNA accumulation, one dependent on and the other independent of the untranslated regions (UTRs) of Dzs10 RNA. Accumulation of chimeric Dzs10 mRNA was not reduced in hybrid crosses and was uncoupled from genomic imprinting by Dzr1, a regulator of Dzs10. Uniform high levels of Dzs10 protein were maintained over five backcross generations of the transgene. The increased level of methionine in these transgenic seeds allowed the formulation of a useful animal feed ration without the addition of synthetic methionine.
Lai, J, Li Y, Messing J, Dooner HK.  2005.  Gene movement by Helitron transposons contributes to the haplotype variability of maize. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.. 102:9068–9073. Abstract
Different maize inbred lines are polymorphic for the presence or absence of genic sequences at various allelic chromosomal locations. In the bz genomic region, located in 9S, sequences homologous to four different genes from rice and Arabidopsis are present in line McC but absent from line B73. It is shown here that this apparent intraspecific violation of genetic colinearity arises from the movement of genes or gene fragments by Helitrons, a recently discovered class of eukaryotic transposons. Two Helitrons, HelA and HelB, account for all of the genic differences distinguishing the two bz locus haplotypes. HelA is 5.9 kb long and contains sequences for three of the four genes found only in the McC bz genomic region. A nearly identical copy of HelA was isolated from a 5S chromosomal location in B73. Both the 9S and 5S sites appear to be polymorphic in maize, suggesting that these Helitrons have been active recently. Helitrons lack the strong predictive terminal features of other transposons, so the definition of their ends is greatly facilitated by the identification of their vacant sites in Helitron-minus lines. The ends of the 2.7-kb HelB Helitron were discerned from a comparison of the McC haplotype sequence with that of yet a third line, Mo17, because the HelB vacant site is deleted in B73. Maize Helitrons resemble rice Pack-MULEs in their ability to capture genes or gene fragments from several loci and move them around the genome, features that confer on them a potential role in gene evolution.
Lai, J, Li Y, Messing J, Dooner HK.  2005.  Gene movement by Helitron transposons contributes to the haplotype variability of maize. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 102:9068-73. AbstractWebsite
Different maize inbred lines are polymorphic for the presence or absence of genic sequences at various allelic chromosomal locations. In the bz genomic region, located in 9S, sequences homologous to four different genes from rice and Arabidopsis are present in line McC but absent from line B73. It is shown here that this apparent intraspecific violation of genetic colinearity arises from the movement of genes or gene fragments by Helitrons, a recently discovered class of eukaryotic transposons. Two Helitrons, HelA and HelB, account for all of the genic differences distinguishing the two bz locus haplotypes. HelA is 5.9 kb long and contains sequences for three of the four genes found only in the McC bz genomic region. A nearly identical copy of HelA was isolated from a 5S chromosomal location in B73. Both the 9S and 5S sites appear to be polymorphic in maize, suggesting that these Helitrons have been active recently. Helitrons lack the strong predictive terminal features of other transposons, so the definition of their ends is greatly facilitated by the identification of their vacant sites in Helitron-minus lines. The ends of the 2.7-kb HelB Helitron were discerned from a comparison of the McC haplotype sequence with that of yet a third line, Mo17, because the HelB vacant site is deleted in B73. Maize Helitrons resemble rice Pack-MULEs in their ability to capture genes or gene fragments from several loci and move them around the genome, features that confer on them a potential role in gene evolution.
Lai, J, Ma J, Swigonova Z, Ramakrishna W, Linton E, Llaca V, Tanyolac B, Park YJ, Jeong OY, Bennetzen JL et al..  2004.  Gene loss and movement in the maize genome. Genome research. 14:1924-31. AbstractWebsite
Maize (Zea mays L. ssp. mays), one of the most important agricultural crops in the world, originated by hybridization of two closely related progenitors. To investigate the fate of its genes after tetraploidization, we analyzed the sequence of five duplicated regions from different chromosomal locations. We also compared corresponding regions from sorghum and rice, two important crops that have largely collinear maps with maize. The split of sorghum and maize progenitors was recently estimated to be 11.9 Mya, whereas rice diverged from the common ancestor of maize and sorghum approximately 50 Mya. A data set of roughly 4 Mb yielded 206 predicted genes from the three species, excluding any transposon-related genes, but including eight gene remnants. On average, 14% of the genes within the aligned regions are noncollinear between any two species. However, scoring each maize region separately, the set of noncollinear genes between all four regions jumps to 68%. This is largely because at least 50% of the duplicated genes from the two progenitors of maize have been lost over a very short period of time, possibly as short as 5 million years. Using the nearly completed rice sequence, we found noncollinear genes in other chromosomal positions, frequently in more than one. This demonstrates that many genes in these species have moved to new chromosomal locations in the last 50 million years or less, most as single gene events that did not dramatically alter gene structure.
Lai, J, Dey N, Kim CS, Bharti AK, Rudd S, Mayer KF, Larkins BA, Becraft P, Messing J.  2004.  Characterization of the maize endosperm transcriptome and its comparison to the rice genome. Genome research. 14:1932-7. AbstractWebsite
The cereal endosperm is a major organ of the seed and an important component of the world's food supply. To understand the development and physiology of the endosperm of cereal seeds, we focused on the identification of genes expressed at various times during maize endosperm development. We constructed several cDNA libraries to identify full-length clones and subjected them to a twofold enrichment. A total of 23,348 high-quality sequence-reads from 5'- and 3'-ends of cDNAs were generated and assembled into a unigene set representing 5326 genes with paired sequence-reads. Additional sequencing yielded a total of 3160 (59%) completely sequenced, full-length cDNAs. From 5326 unigenes, 4139 (78%) can be aligned with 5367 predicted rice genes and by taking only the "best hit" be mapped to 3108 positions on the rice genome. The 22% unigenes not present in rice indicate a rapid change of gene content between rice and maize in only 50 million years. Differences in rice and maize gene numbers also suggest that maize has lost a large number of duplicated genes following tetraploidization. The larger number of gene copies in rice suggests that as many as 30% of its genes arose from gene amplification, which would extrapolate to a significant proportion of the estimated 44,027 candidate genes of its entire genome. Functional classification of the maize endosperm unigene set indicated that more than a fourth of the novel functionally assignable genes found in this study are involved in carbohydrate metabolism, consistent with its role as a storage organ.
Lang, Z, Wills DM, Lemmon ZH, Shannon LM, Bukowski R, Wu Y, Messing J, Doebley JF.  2014.  Defining the Role of prolamin-box binding factor1 Gene During Maize Domestication. J Hered. AbstractWebsite
The prolamin-box binding factor1 (pbf1) gene encodes a transcription factor that controls the expression of seed storage protein (zein) genes in maize. Prior studies show that pbf1 underwent selection during maize domestication although how it affected trait change during domestication is unknown. To assay how pbf1 affects phenotypic differences between maize and teosinte, we compared nearly isogenic lines (NILs) that differ for a maize versus teosinte allele of pbf1. Kernel weight for the teosinte NIL (162mg) is slightly but significantly greater than that for the maize NIL (156mg). RNAseq data for developing kernels show that the teosinte allele of pbf1 is expressed at about twice the level of the maize allele. However, RNA and protein assays showed no difference in zein profile between the two NILs. The lower expression for the maize pbf1 allele suggests that selection may have favored this change; however, how reduced pbf1 expression alters phenotype remains unknown. One possibility is that pbf1 regulates genes other than zeins and thereby is a domestication trait. The observed drop in seed weight associated with the maize allele of pbf1 is counterintuitive but could represent a negative pleiotropic effect of selection on some other aspect of kernel composition.
Larkins, BA, Wu Y, Song R, Messing J.  2017.  Maize seed storage proteins. Maize Kernel Development. :175-189.
Larson, R, Messing J.  1982.  Apple II software for M13 shotgun DNA sequencing. Nucleic acids research. 10:39-49. AbstractWebsite
A set of programs is presented for the reconstruction of a DNA sequence from data generated by the M13 shotgun sequencing technique. Once the sequence has been established and stored other programs are used for its analysis. The programs have been written for the Apple II microcomputer. A minimum investment is required for the hardware and the software is easily interchangeable between the growing number of interested researchers. Copies are available in ready to use form.
Lawson, CL, Swigon D, Murakami KS, Darst SA, Berman HM, Ebright RH.  2004.  Catabolite activator protein: DNA binding and transcription activation.. Current opinion in structural biology. 14(1):10-20. Abstract
Recently determined structures of the Escherichia coli catabolite activator protein (CAP) in complex with DNA, and in complex with the RNA polymerase alpha subunit C-terminal domain (alphaCTD) and DNA, have yielded insights into how CAP binds DNA and activates transcription. Comparison of multiple structures of CAP-DNA complexes has revealed the contributions of direct and indirect readout to DNA binding by CAP. The structure of the CAP-alphaCTD-DNA complex has provided the first structural description of interactions between a transcription activator and its functional target within the general transcription machinery. Using the structure of the CAP-alphaCTD-DNA complex, the structure of an RNA polymerase-DNA complex, and restraints from biophysical, biochemical and genetic experiments, it has been possible to construct detailed three-dimensional models of intact class I and class II transcription activation complexes.
Lee, N K, Kapanidis AN, Wang Y, Michalet X, Mukhopadhyay J, Ebright RH, Weiss S.  2005.  Accurate FRET measurements within single diffusing biomolecules using alternating-laser excitation.. Biophysical journal. 88(4):2939-53. Abstract
Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between a donor (D) and an acceptor (A) at the single-molecule level currently provides qualitative information about distance, and quantitative information about kinetics of distance changes. Here, we used the sorting ability of confocal microscopy equipped with alternating-laser excitation (ALEX) to measure accurate FRET efficiencies and distances from single molecules, using corrections that account for cross-talk terms that contaminate the FRET-induced signal, and for differences in the detection efficiency and quantum yield of the probes. ALEX yields accurate FRET independent of instrumental factors, such as excitation intensity or detector alignment. Using DNA fragments, we showed that ALEX-based distances agree well with predictions from a cylindrical model of DNA; ALEX-based distances fit better to theory than distances obtained at the ensemble level. Distance measurements within transcription complexes agreed well with ensemble-FRET measurements, and with structural models based on ensemble-FRET and x-ray crystallography. ALEX can benefit structural analysis of biomolecules, especially when such molecules are inaccessible to conventional structural methods due to heterogeneity or transient nature.
Lee, B-ha, Johnston R, Yang Y, Gallavotti A, Kojima M, Travençolo BAN, da Costa LF, Sakakibara H, Jackson D.  2009.  Studies of Aberrant Phyllotaxy1 Mutants of Maize Indicate Complex Interactions Between Auxin and Cytokinin Signaling in the Shoot Apical Meristem. Plant Physiol. 150:205-216. Abstract
One of the most fascinating aspects of plant morphology is the regular geometric arrangement of leaves and flowers, called phyllotaxy. The shoot apical meristem (SAM) determines these patterns, which vary depending on species and developmental stage. Auxin acts as an instructive signal in leaf initiation, and its transport has been implicated in phyllotaxy regulation in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Altered phyllotactic patterns are observed in a maize (Zea mays) mutant, aberrant phyllotaxy1 (abph1, also known as abphyl1), and ABPH1 encodes a cytokinin-inducible type A response regulator, suggesting that cytokinin signals are also involved in the mechanism by which phyllotactic patterns are established. Therefore, we investigated the interaction between auxin and cytokinin signaling in phyllotaxy. Treatment of maize shoots with a polar auxin transport inhibitor, 1-naphthylphthalamic acid, strongly reduced ABPH1 expression, suggesting that auxin or its polar transport is required for ABPH1 expression. Immunolocalization of the PINFORMED1 (PIN1) polar auxin transporter revealed that PIN1 expression marks leaf primordia in maize, similarly to Arabidopsis. Interestingly, maize PIN1 expression at the incipient leaf primordium was greatly reduced in abph1 mutants. Consistently, auxin levels were reduced in abph1, and the maize PIN1 homolog was induced not only by auxin but also by cytokinin treatments. Our results indicate distinct roles for ABPH1 as a negative regulator of SAM size and a positive regulator of PIN1 expression. These studies highlight a complex interaction between auxin and cytokinin signaling in the specification of phyllotactic patterns and suggest an alternative model for the generation of altered phyllotactic patterns in abph1 mutants. We propose that reduced auxin levels and PIN1 expression in abph1 mutant SAMs delay leaf initiation, contributing to the enlarged SAM and altered phyllotaxy of these mutants.
Lei, L, Xu A, Panin VM, Irvine KD.  2003.  An O-fucose site in the ligand binding domain inhibits Notch activation. Development (Cambridge, England). 130:6411-21. AbstractWebsite
Two glycosyltransferases that transfer sugars to EGF domains, OFUT1 and Fringe, regulate Notch signaling. However, sites of O-fucosylation on Notch that influence Notch activation have not been previously identified. Moreover, the influences of OFUT1 and Fringe on Notch activation can be positive or negative, depending on their levels of expression and on whether Delta or Serrate is signaling to Notch. Here, we describe the consequences of eliminating individual, highly conserved sites of O-fucose attachment to Notch. Our results indicate that glycosylation of an EGF domain proposed to be essential for ligand binding, EGF12, is crucial to the inhibition of Serrate-to-Notch signaling by Fringe. Expression of an EGF12 mutant of Notch (N-EGF12f) allows Notch activation by Serrate even in the presence of Fringe. By contrast, elimination of three other highly conserved sites of O-fucosylation does not have detectable effects. Binding assays with a soluble Notch extracellular domain fusion protein and ligand-expressing cells indicate that the NEGF12f mutation can influence Notch activation by preventing Fringe from blocking Notch-Serrate binding. The N-EGF12f mutant can substitute for endogenous Notch during embryonic neurogenesis, but not at the dorsoventral boundary of the wing. Thus, inhibition of Notch-Serrate binding by O-fucosylation of EGF12 might be needed in certain contexts to allow efficient Notch signaling.
Lenzi, P, Scotti N, Alagna F, Tornesello ML, Pompa A, Vitale A, De Stradis A, Monti L, Grillo S, Buonaguro FM et al..  2008.  Translational fusion of chloroplast-expressed human papillomavirus type 16 L1 capsid protein enhances antigen accumulation in transplastomic tobacco. Transgenic Research. 17:1091-102. AbstractWebsite
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the causal agent of cervical cancer, one of the most common causes of death for women. The major capsid L1 protein self-assembles in Virus Like Particles (VLPs), which are highly immunogenic and suitable for vaccine production. In this study, a plastid transformation approach was assessed in order to produce a plant-based HPV-16 L1 vaccine. Transplastomic plants were obtained after transformation with vectors carrying a chimeric gene encoding the L1 protein either as the native viral (L1(v) gene) or a synthetic sequence optimized for expression in plant plastids (L1(pt) gene) under control of plastid expression signals. The L1 mRNA was detected in plastids and the L1 antigen accumulated up to 1.5% total leaf proteins only when vectors included the 5'-UTR and a short N-terminal coding segment (Downstream Box) of a plastid gene. The half-life of the engineered L1 protein, determined by pulse-chase experiments, is at least 8 h. Formation of immunogenic VLPs in chloroplasts was confirmed by capture ELISA assay using antibodies recognizing conformational epitopes and by electron microscopy.
Li, T, Jin Y, Vershon AK, Wolberger C.  1998.  Crystal Structure of the MATa1/MATalpha2 Homeodomain Heterodimer in Complex with DNa Containing an A-tract. Nucleic Acids Res. 26:5707-5718. Abstract
The crystal structure of the heterodimer formed by the DNA binding domains of the yeast mating type transcription factors, MATa1 and MATalpha2, bound to a 21 bp DNA fragment has been determined at 2.5 A resolution. The DNA fragment in the present study differs at four central base pairs from the DNA sequence used in the previously studied ternary complex. These base pair changes give rise to a (dA5).(dT5) tract without changing the overall base composition of the DNA. The resulting A-tract occurs near the center of the overall 60 degrees bend in the DNA. Comparison of the two structures shows that the structural details of the DNA bend are maintained despite the DNA sequence changes. Analysis of the A5-tract DNA subfragment shows that it contains a bend toward the minor groove centered at one end of the A-tract. The observed bend is larger than that observed in the crystal structures of A-tracts embedded in uncomplexed DNA, which are straight and have been presumed to be quite rigid. Variation of the central DNA base sequence reverses the two AT base pairs contacted in the minor groove by Arg7 of the alpha2 N-terminal arm without significantly altering the DNA binding affinity of the a1/alpha2 heterodimer. The Arg7 side chain accommodates the sequence change by forming alternate H bond interactions, in agreement with the proposal that minor groove base pair recognition is insensitive to base pair reversal. Furthermore, the minor groove spine of hydration, which stabilizes the narrowed minor groove caused by DNA bending, is conserved in both structures. We also find that many of the water-mediated hydrogen bonds between the a1 and alpha2 homeodomains and the DNA are highly conserved, indicating an important role for water in stabilization of the a1/alpha2-DNA complex.
Li, Y, Padgett RW.  2012.  bantam is required for optic lobe development and glial cell proliferation. PLoS One. 7(3) AbstractWebsite
microRNAs (miRNAs) are small, conserved, non-coding RNAs that contribute to the control of many different cellular processes, including cell fate specification and growth control. Drosophila bantam, a conserved miRNA, is involved in several functions, such as stimulating proliferation and inhibiting apoptosis in the wing disc. Here, we reported the detailed expression pattern of bantam in the developing optic lobe, and demonstrated a new, essential role in promoting proliferation of mitotic cells in the optic lobe, including stem cells and differentiated glial cells. Changes in bantam levels autonomously affected glial cell number and distribution, and non-autonomously affected photoreceptor neuron axon projection patterns. Furthermore, we showed that bantam promotes the proliferation of mitotically active glial cells and affects their distribution, largely through down regulation of the T-box transcription factor, optomotor-blind (omb, Flybase, bifid). Expression of omb can rescue the bantam phenotype, and restore the normal glial cell number and proper glial cell positioning in most Drosophila brains. These results suggest that bantam is critical for maintaining the stem cell pools in the outer proliferation center and glial precursor cell regions of the optic lobe, and that its expression in glial cells is crucial for their proliferation and distribution.
Li, Y., Dooner HK.  2009.  Excision of Helitron transposons in maize. Genetics. 182:399–402. Abstract
Helitrons are novel transposons discovered by bioinformatic analysis of eukaryotic genome sequences. They are believed to move by rolling circle (RC) replication because their predicted transposases are homologous to those of bacterial RC transposons. We report here evidence of somatic Helitron excision in maize, an unexpected finding suggesting that Helitrons can exhibit an excisive mode of transposition.
Li, Y., Segal, G., Wang, Q., Dooner HK.  2013.  Gene tagging with engineered Ds elements in maize. Methods in Molecular Biology: Plant Transposable Elements. :83-99.
Li, Y, Harris L, Dooner HK.  2013.  TED, an autonomous and rare maize transposon of the mutator superfamily with a high gametophytic excision frequency.. The Plant cell. 25(9):3251-65. Abstract
Mutator (Mu) elements, one of the most diverse superfamilies of DNA transposons, are found in all eukaryotic kingdoms, but are particularly numerous in plants. Most of the present knowledge on the transposition behavior of this superfamily comes from studies of the maize (Zea mays) Mu elements, whose transposition is mediated by the autonomous Mutator-Don Robertson (MuDR) element. Here, we describe the maize element TED (for Transposon Ellen Dempsey), an autonomous cousin that differs significantly from MuDR. Element excision and reinsertion appear to require both proteins encoded by MuDR, but only the single protein encoded by TED. Germinal excisions, rare with MuDR, are common with TED, but arise in one of the mitotic divisions of the gametophyte, rather than at meiosis. Instead, transposition-deficient elements arise at meiosis, suggesting that the double-strand breaks produced by element excision are repaired differently in mitosis and meiosis. Unlike MuDR, TED is a very low-copy transposon whose number and activity do not undergo dramatic changes upon inbreeding or outcrossing. Like MuDR, TED transposes mostly to unlinked sites and can form circular transposition products. Sequences closer to TED than to MuDR were detected only in the grasses, suggesting a rather recent evolutionary split from a common ancestor.
Li, Y., Dooner HK.  2012.  Helitron Proliferation and Gene-Fragment Capture. Topics in Current Genetics, 24: Plant Transposable Elements- Impact on Genome Structure and Function. :193-227.
Li, Y, Lei L, Irvine KD, Baker NE, Li L.  2003.  Notch activity in neural cells triggered by a mutant allele with altered glycosylation. Development (Cambridge, England). 130:2829-40. AbstractWebsite
The receptor protein Notch is inactive in neural precursor cells despite neighboring cells expressing ligands. We investigated specification of the R8 neural photoreceptor cells that initiate differentiation of each Drosophila ommatidium. The ligand Delta was required in R8 cells themselves, consistent with a lateral inhibitor function for Delta. By contrast, Delta expressed in cells adjacent to R8 could not activate Notch in R8 cells. The split mutation of Notch was found to activate signaling in R8 precursor cells, blocking differentiation and leading to altered development and neural cell death. split did not affect other, inductive functions of Notch. The Ile578-->Thr578 substitution responsible for the split mutation introduced a new site for O-fucosylation on EGF repeat 14 of the Notch extracellular domain. The O-fucose monosaccharide did not require extension by Fringe to confer the phenotype. Our results suggest functional differences between Notch in neural and non-neural cells. R8 precursor cells are protected from lateral inhibition by Delta. The protection is affected by modifications of a particular EGF repeat in the Notch extracellular domain. These results suggest that the pattern of neurogenesis is determined by blocking Notch signaling, as well as by activating Notch signaling.
Liao, JC, Messing J.  2012.  Energy biotechnology. Current opinion in biotechnology. 23(3):287-9.Website
Lin, Y-R, Reddy BVVG, Irvine KD.  2008.  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. AbstractWebsite
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.
Lin, W, Mandal S, Degen D, Liu Y, Ebright YW, Li S, Feng Y, Zhang Y, Mandal S, Jiang Y et al..  2017.  Structural basis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis transcription and transcription inhibition.. Molecular Cell. 166:169-179. Abstract
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is the causative agent of tuberculosis, which kills 1.8 million annually. Mtb RNA polymerase (RNAP) is the target of the first-line antituberculosis drug rifampin (Rif). We report crystal structures of Mtb RNAP, alone and in complex with Rif, at 3.8-4.4 Å resolution. The results identify an Mtb-specific structural module of Mtb RNAP and establish that Rif functions by a steric-occlusion mechanism that prevents extension of RNA. We also report non-Rif-related compounds-Nα-aroyl-N-aryl-phenylalaninamides (AAPs)-that potently and selectively inhibit Mtb RNAP and Mtb growth, and we report crystal structures of Mtb RNAP in complex with AAPs. AAPs bind to a different site on Mtb RNAP than Rif, exhibit no cross-resistance with Rif, function additively when co-administered with Rif, and suppress resistance emergence when co-administered with Rif.