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Park, EC, Glodowski DR, Rongo C.  2009.  The ubiquitin ligase RPM-1 and the p38 MAPK PMK-3 regulate AMPA receptor trafficking. PLoS One. 4:e4284. AbstractWebsite
Ubiquitination occurs at synapses, yet its role remains unclear. Previous studies demonstrated that the RPM-1 ubiquitin ligase organizes presynaptic boutons at neuromuscular junctions in C. elegans motorneurons. Here we find that RPM-1 has a novel postsynaptic role in interneurons, where it regulates the trafficking of the AMPA-type glutamate receptor GLR-1 from synapses into endosomes. Mutations in rpm-1 cause the aberrant accumulation of GLR-1 in neurites. Moreover, rpm-1 mutations enhance the endosomal accumulation of GLR-1 observed in mutants for lin-10, a Mint2 ortholog that promotes GLR-1 recycling from Syntaxin-13 containing endosomes. As in motorneurons, RPM-1 negatively regulates the pmk-3/p38 MAPK pathway in interneurons by repressing the protein levels of the MAPKKK DLK-1. This regulation of PMK-3 signaling is critical for RPM-1 function with respect to GLR-1 trafficking, as pmk-3 mutations suppress both lin-10 and rpm-1 mutations. Positive or negative changes in endocytosis mimic the effects of rpm-1 or pmk-3 mutations, respectively, on GLR-1 trafficking. Specifically, RAB-5(GDP), an inactive mutant of RAB-5 that reduces endocytosis, mimics the effect of pmk-3 mutations when introduced into wild-type animals, and occludes the effect of pmk-3 mutations when introduced into pmk-3 mutants. By contrast, RAB-5(GTP), which increases endocytosis, suppresses the effect of pmk-3 mutations, mimics the effect of rpm-1 mutations, and occludes the effect of rpm-1 mutations. Our findings indicate a novel specialized role for RPM-1 and PMK-3/p38 MAPK in regulating the endosomal trafficking of AMPARs at central synapses.
Ramsey, KM, Osborne ML, Vvedenskaya IO, Su C, Nickels BE, Dove SL.  2015.  Ubiquitous promoter-localization of essential virulence regulators in Francisella tularensis.. PLoS Pathog. 11(4):e1004793.
Kramer, LB, Shim J, Previtera ML, Isack NR, Lee MC, Firestein BL, Rongo C.  2010.  UEV-1 is an ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme variant that regulates glutamate receptor trafficking in C. elegans neurons. PLoS One. 5:e14291. AbstractWebsite
The regulation of AMPA-type glutamate receptor (AMPAR) membrane trafficking is a key mechanism by which neurons regulate synaptic strength and plasticity. AMPAR trafficking is modulated through a combination of receptor phosphorylation, ubiquitination, endocytosis, and recycling, yet the factors that mediate these processes are just beginning to be uncovered. Here we identify the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme variant UEV-1 as a regulator of AMPAR trafficking in vivo. We identified mutations in uev-1 in a genetic screen for mutants with altered trafficking of the AMPAR subunit GLR-1 in C. elegans interneurons. Loss of uev-1 activity results in the accumulation of GLR-1 in elongated accretions in neuron cell bodies and along the ventral cord neurites. Mutants also have a corresponding behavioral defect--a decrease in spontaneous reversals in locomotion--consistent with diminished GLR-1 function. The localization of other synaptic proteins in uev-1-mutant interneurons appears normal, indicating that the GLR-1 trafficking defects are not due to gross deficiencies in synapse formation or overall protein trafficking. We provide evidence that GLR-1 accumulates at RAB-10-containing endosomes in uev-1 mutants, and that receptors arrive at these endosomes independent of clathrin-mediated endocytosis. UEV-1 homologs in other species bind to the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme Ubc13 to create K63-linked polyubiquitin chains on substrate proteins. We find that whereas UEV-1 can interact with C. elegans UBC-13, global levels of K63-linked ubiquitination throughout nematodes appear to be unaffected in uev-1 mutants, even though UEV-1 is broadly expressed in most tissues. Nevertheless, ubc-13 mutants are similar in phenotype to uev-1 mutants, suggesting that the two proteins do work together to regulate GLR-1 trafficking. Our results suggest that UEV-1 could regulate a small subset of K63-linked ubiquitination events in nematodes, at least one of which is critical in regulating GLR-1 trafficking.
Wu, Y, Messing J.  2017.  Understanding and improving protein traits in maize seeds. Achieving Sustainable Maize Cultivation. :115-128.
Bruggmann, R, Bharti AK, Gundlach H, Lai J, Young S, Pontaroli AC, Wei F, Haberer G, Fuks G, Du C et al..  2006.  Uneven chromosome contraction and expansion in the maize genome. Genome research. 16:1241-51. AbstractWebsite
Maize (Zea mays or corn), both a major food source and an important cytogenetic model, evolved from a tetraploid that arose about 4.8 million years ago (Mya). As a result, maize has extensive duplicated regions within its genome. We have sequenced the two copies of one such region, generating 7.8 Mb of sequence spanning 17.4 cM of the short arm of chromosome 1 and 6.6 Mb (25.6 cM) from the long arm of chromosome 9. Rice, which did not undergo a similar whole genome duplication event, has only one orthologous region (4.9 Mb) on the short arm of chromosome 3, and can be used as reference for the maize homoeologous regions. Alignment of the three regions allowed identification of syntenic blocks, and indicated that the maize regions have undergone differential contraction in genic and intergenic regions and expansion by the insertion of retrotransposable elements. Approximately 9% of the predicted genes in each duplicated region are completely missing in the rice genome, and almost 20% have moved to other genomic locations. Predicted genes within these regions tend to be larger in maize than in rice, primarily because of the presence of predicted genes in maize with larger introns. Interestingly, the general gene methylation patterns in the maize homoeologous regions do not appear to have changed with contraction or expansion of their chromosomes. In addition, no differences in methylation of single genes and tandemly repeated gene copies have been detected. These results, therefore, provide new insights into the diploidization of polyploid species.
Shim, J, Umemura T, Nothstein E, Rongo C.  2004.  The unfolded protein response regulates glutamate receptor export from the endoplasmic reticulum. Mol Biol Cell. 15:4818-28. AbstractWebsite
Alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA)-type glutamate receptors mediate the majority of excitatory signaling in the CNS, and the functional properties and subcellular fate of these receptors depend on receptor subunit composition. Subunit assembly is thought to occur in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), although we are just beginning to understand the underlying mechanism. Here we examine the trafficking of Caenorhabditis elegans glutamate receptors through the ER. Our data indicate that neurons require signaling by the unfolded protein response (UPR) to move GLR-1, GLR-2, and GLR-5 subunits out of the ER and through the secretory pathway. In contrast, other neuronal transmembrane proteins do not require UPR signaling for ER exit. The requirement for the UPR pathway is cell type and age dependent: impairment for receptor trafficking increases as animals age and does not occur in all neurons. Expression of XBP-1, a component of the UPR pathway, is elevated in neurons during development. Our results suggest that UPR signaling is a critical step in neural function that is needed for glutamate receptor assembly and secretion.
Messing, J.  2001.  The universal primers and the shotgun DNA sequencing method. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, NJ). 167:13-31.Website
Cellai, S, Mangiarotti L, Vannini N, Naryshkin N, Kortkhonjia E, Ebright RH, Rivetti C.  2007.  Upstream promoter sequences and alphaCTD mediate stable DNA wrapping within the RNA polymerase-promoter open complex.. EMBO reports. 8(3):271-8. Abstract
We show that the extent of stable DNA wrapping by Escherichia coli RNA polymerase (RNAP) in the RNAP-promoter open complex depends on the sequence of the promoter and, in particular, on the sequence of the upstream region of the promoter. We further show that the extent of stable DNA wrapping depends on the presence of the RNAP alpha-subunit carboxy-terminal domain and on the presence and length of the RNAP alpha-subunit interdomain linker. Our results indicate that the extensive stable DNA wrapping observed previously in the RNAP-promoter open complex at the lambda P(R) promoter is not a general feature of RNAP-promoter open complexes.
Ebright, RH.  1985.  Use of "loss-of-contact" substitutions to identify residues involved in an amino acid-base pair contact: effect of substitution of Gln18 of lac repressor by Gly, Ser, and Leu.. Journal of biomolecular structure & dynamics. 3(2):281-97. Abstract
A procedure to identify which base pair of lac operator (lacO) a suspected contacting amino acid of Lac repressor (LacR) interacts with is presented. The procedure is to eliminate the ability of the amino acid under study to contact DNA, and then to determine at which base pair--if any--specificity is eliminated. To implement this procedure, four sets of Escherichia coli K-12 strains have been constructed. These strains permit: (i) the substitution of a selected amino acid of LacR by, respectively, Gly, Ser, Leu, or Gln, and (ii) the analysis of the specificity of the resulting substituted LacR with respect to base pairs 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 of lacO. This procedure has been applied to Gln18 of LacR. The preliminary data indicate that LacR (Gln18----Gly) is unable to distinguish between the O+ base pair G:C and the Oc base pair T:A at position 7 of lacO (KDOc/KDO+ = 0.93). In contrast, LacR(Gln18----Gly) discriminates O+ from Oc by a factor of 13 to 23 at each other position. The same qualitative pattern of results was obtained with LacR(Gln18----Ser) and LacR (Gln18----Leu). Therefore, I propose that Gln18 contacts base pair 7 of lacO. This proposal is consistent with the contact predicted in Ebright, R. in Protein Structure, Folding, and Design. D. Oxender ed., Alan R. Liss, New York (1985), in press.
Pougach, K, Severinov K.  2012.  Use of semi-quantitative Northern blot analysis to determine relative quantities of bacterial CRISPR transcripts. Methods in Molecular Biology on Bacterial Regulatory RNA . :73-86.
Cowperthwaite, M, Park W, Xu Z, Yan X, Maurais SC, Dooner HK.  2002.  Use of the transposon Ac as a gene-searching engine in the maize genome. Plant Cell. 14:713–726. AbstractWebsite
1300 independent Ac transposants. The majority of transposed Ac elements are linked to either the bz or the wx donor loci on chromosome 9. A few of the insertions produce obvious visible phenotypes, but most of them do not, suggesting that these populations will be more useful for reverse genetics than for forward transposon mutagenesis. An inverse polymerase chain reaction method was adapted for the isolation of DNA adjacent to the transposed Ac elements (tac sites). Most Ac insertions were into unique DNA. By sequencing tac sites and comparing the sequences to existing databases, insertions were identified in a number of putative maize genes. The expression of most of these genes was confirmed by RNA gel blot analysis. We report here the isolation and characterization of the first 46 tac sites from the two insertion libraries.
Devi, PG, Campbell EA, Darst SA, Nickels BE.  2010.  Utilization of variably spaced promoter-like elements by the bacterial RNA polymerase holoenzyme during early elongation. Mol Microbiol. 75:607-22. AbstractWebsite
The bacterial RNA polymeras holoenzyme consists of a catalytic core enzyme in complex with a sigma factor that is required for promoter-specific transcription initiation. During initiation, members of the sigma(70) family of sigma factors contact two conserved promoter elements, the -10 and -35 elements, which are separated by approximately 17 base pairs (bp). sigma(70) family members contain four flexibly linked domains. Two of these domains, sigma(2) and sigma(4), contain determinants for interactions with the promoter -10 and -35 elements respectively. sigma(2) and sigma(4) also contain core-binding determinants. When bound to core the inter-domain distance between sigma(2) and sigma(4) matches the distance between promoter elements separated by approximately 17 bp. Prior work indicates that during early elongation the nascent RNA-assisted displacement of sigma(4) from core can enable the holoenzyme to adopt a configuration in which sigma(2) and sigma(4) are bound to 'promoter-like' DNA elements separated by a single base pair. Here we demonstrate that holoenzyme can also adopt configurations in which sigma(2) and sigma(4) are bound to 'promoter-like' DNA elements separated by 0, 2 or 3 bp. Thus, our findings suggest that displacement of sigma(4) from core enables the RNA polymerase holoenzyme to adopt a broad range of 'elongation-specific' configurations.