Publications

Journal Article
Heyduk, T, Lee JC, Ebright YW, Blatter EE, Zhou Y, Ebright RH.  1993.  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.
Dasgupta, J, Tyryshkin AM, Kozlov YN, Klimov VV, Dismukes CG.  2006.  Carbonate Complexation of Mn2+ in the Aqueous Phase:  Redox Behavior and Ligand Binding Modes by Electrochemistry and EPR Spectroscopy. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B. 110:5099-5111. AbstractWebsite
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Stallings, CL, Stephanou NC, Chu L, Hochschild A, Nickels BE, Glickman MS.  2009.  CarD is an essential regulator of rRNA transcription required for Mycobacterium tuberculosis persistence. Cell. 138:146-59. AbstractWebsite
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is arguably the world's most successful infectious agent because of its ability to control its own cell growth within the host. Bacterial growth rate is closely coupled to rRNA transcription, which in E. coli is regulated through DksA and (p)ppGpp. The mechanisms of rRNA transcriptional control in mycobacteria, which lack DksA, are undefined. Here we identify CarD as an essential mycobacterial protein that controls rRNA transcription. Loss of CarD is lethal for mycobacteria in culture and during infection of mice. CarD depletion leads to sensitivity to killing by oxidative stress, starvation, and DNA damage, accompanied by failure to reduce rRNA transcription. CarD can functionally replace DksA for stringent control of rRNA transcription, even though CarD associates with a different site on RNA polymerase. These findings highlight a distinct molecular mechanism for regulating rRNA transcription in mycobacteria that is critical for M. tuberculosis pathogenesis.
Park, W, Li J, Song R, Messing J, Chen X.  2002.  CARPEL FACTORY, a Dicer homolog, and HEN1, a novel protein, act in microRNA metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana. Current biology : CB. 12:1484-95. AbstractWebsite
BACKGROUND: In metazoans, microRNAs, or miRNAs, constitute a growing family of small regulatory RNAs that are usually 19-25 nucleotides in length. They are processed from longer precursor RNAs that fold into stem-loop structures by the ribonuclease Dicer and are thought to regulate gene expression by base pairing with RNAs of protein-coding genes. In Arabidopsis thaliana, mutations in CARPEL FACTORY (CAF), a Dicer homolog, and those in a novel gene, HEN1, result in similar, multifaceted developmental defects, suggesting a similar function of the two genes, possibly in miRNA metabolism.RESULTS: To investigate the potential functions of CAF and HEN1 in miRNA metabolism, we aimed to isolate miRNAs from Arabidopsis and examine their accumulation during plant development in wild-type plants and in hen1-1 and caf-1 mutant plants. We have isolated 11 miRNAs, some of which have potential homologs in tobacco, rice, and maize. The putative precursors of these miRNAs have the capacity to form stable stem-loop structures. The accumulation of these miRNAs appears to be spatially or temporally controlled in plant development, and their abundance is greatly reduced in caf-1 and hen1-1 mutants. HEN1 homologs are found in bacterial, fungal, and metazoan genomes.CONCLUSIONS: miRNAs are present in both plant and animal kingdoms. An evolutionarily conserved mechanism involving a protein, known as Dicer in animals and CAF in Arabidopsis, operates in miRNA metabolism. HEN1 is a new player in miRNA accumulation in Arabidopsis, and HEN1 homologs in metazoans may have a similar function. The developmental defects associated with caf-1 and hen1-1 mutations and the patterns of miRNA accumulation suggest that miRNAs play fundamental roles in plant development.
Hu, J, Bae Y-K, Knobel KM, Barr MM.  2006.  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.
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.
Zhang, X, Zhou Y, Ebright YW, Ebright RH.  1992.  Catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) is not an "acidic activating region" transcription activator protein. Negatively charged amino acids of CAP that are solvent-accessible in the CAP-DNA complex play no role in transcription activation at lac.. The Journal of biological chemistry. 267(12):8136-9. Abstract
It has been suggested that the catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) uses an "acidic activating region" transcription activation mechanism and that Glu171 of CAP is the critical amino acid of the "acidic activating region" of CAP (Irwin, N., and Ptashne, M. (1987) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 84, 8315-8319). In this paper, we show, contrary to the previously published report, that substitution of Glu171 of CAP fails to result in a specific defect in transcription activation at the lac promoter. Furthermore, in this paper, we show that substitution of each other negatively charged amino acid of CAP that is solvent-accessible in the CAP-DNA complex fails to result in a specific defect in transcription activation at the lac promoter. We conclude that CAP does not use an acidic activating region transcription activation mechanism in transcription activation at the lac promoter.
Ebright, RH, Beckwith J.  1985.  The catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) is not required for indole-3-acetic acid to activate transcription of the araBAD operon of Escherichia coli K-12.. Molecular & general genetics : MGG. 201(1):51-5. Abstract
Kline et al. (1980) have reported that indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and four other indole derivatives are able to substitute for cAMP in activating expression of the ara regulon of E. coli. We have examined this phenomenon in detail, utilizing fusions between the structural gene for beta-galactosidase and the promoters for the araBAD, araE, and araFG operons. We confirm that IAA potently stimulates transcription from the araBAD promoter. The effect is highly specific to araBAD, as IAA has no, or only slight, effects on the araE and araFG operons. However, contrary to the results of Kline et al., we find that the action of IAA does not require CAP. Thus, IAA fully stimulates the transcription of araBAD in a strain which bears a complete deletion of the crp gene.
Sharwood, RE, von Caemmerer S, Maliga P, Whitney SM.  2008.  The catalytic properties of hybrid Rubisco comprising tobacco small and sunflower large subunits mirror the kinetically equivalent source Rubiscos and can support tobacco growth. Plant Physiol.. 146:83-96. AbstractWebsite
Plastomic replacement of the tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) Rubisco large subunit gene (rbcL) with that from sunflower (Helianthus annuus; rbcL(S)) produced tobacco(Rst) transformants that produced a hybrid Rubisco consisting of sunflower large and tobacco small subunits (L(s)S(t)). The tobacco(Rst) plants required CO(2) (0.5% v/v) supplementation to grow autotrophically from seed despite the substrate saturated carboxylation rate, K(m), for CO(2) and CO(2)/O(2) selectivity of the L(s)S(t) enzyme mirroring the kinetically equivalent tobacco and sunflower Rubiscos. Consequently, at the onset of exponential growth when the source strength and leaf L(s)S(t) content were sufficient, tobacco(Rst) plants grew to maturity without CO(2) supplementation. When grown under a high pCO(2), the tobacco(Rst) seedlings grew slower than tobacco and exhibited unique growth phenotypes: Juvenile plants formed clusters of 10 to 20 structurally simple oblanceolate leaves, developed multiple apical meristems, and the mature leaves displayed marginal curling and dimpling. Depending on developmental stage, the L(s)S(t) content in tobacco(Rst) leaves was 4- to 7-fold less than tobacco, and gas exchange coupled with chlorophyll fluorescence showed that at 2 mbar pCO(2) and growth illumination CO(2) assimilation in mature tobacco(Rst) leaves remained limited by Rubisco activity and its rate (approximately 11 micromol m(-2) s(-1)) was half that of tobacco controls. (35)S-methionine labeling showed the stability of assembled L(s)S(t) was similar to tobacco Rubisco and measurements of light transient CO(2) assimilation rates showed L(s)S(t) was adequately regulated by tobacco Rubisco activase. We conclude limitations to tobacco(Rst) growth primarily stem from reduced rbcL(S) mRNA levels and the translation and/or assembly of sunflower large with the tobacco small subunits that restricted L(s)S(t) synthesis.
Irvine, KD, Wieschaus E.  1994.  Cell intercalation during Drosophila germband extension and its regulation by pair-rule segmentation genes. Development (Cambridge, England). 120:827-41. AbstractWebsite
After the onset of gastrulation, the Drosophila germband undergoes a morphological change in which its length along the anterior-posterior axis increases over two-and-a-half fold while its width along the dorsal-ventral axis simultaneously narrows. The behavior of individual cells during germband extension was investigated by epi-illumination and time-lapse video microscopy of living embryos. Cells intercalate between their dorsal and ventral neighbors during extension, increasing the number of cells along the anterior-posterior axis while decreasing the number of cells along the dorsal-ventral axis. Mutations that reduce segmental subdivision of the embryo along the anterior-posterior axis decrease both germband extension and its associated cell intercalation. In contrast, cell intercalation and germband extension are still detected in embryos that lack dorsal-ventral polarity. Characterization of germband extension and cell intercalation in mutant embryos with altered segmentation gene expression indicates that these processes are regionally autonomous and are dependent upon the establishment of striped expression patterns for certain pair-rule genes. Based on these observations, we propose a model for germband extension in which cell intercalation results from the establishment of adhesive differences between stripes of cells by pair-rule genes.
Kim, J, Irvine KD, Carroll SB.  1995.  Cell recognition, signal induction, and symmetrical gene activation at the dorsal-ventral boundary of the developing Drosophila wing. Cell. 82:795-802. AbstractWebsite
Appendage formation in insects and vertebrates depends upon signals from both the anterior-posterior and dorsal-ventral (DV) axes. In Drosophila, wing formation is organized symmetrically around the DV boundary of the growing wing imaginal disc and requires interactions between dorsal and ventral cells. Compartmentalization of the wing disc, dorsal cell behavior, and the expression of two dorsally expressed putative signaling molecules, fringe (fng) and Serrate (Ser), are regulated by the apterous selector gene. Here, we demonstrate that fng and Ser have distinct roles in a novel cell recognition and signal induction process. fng serves as a boundary-determining molecule such that Ser is induced wherever cells expressing fng and cells not expressing fng are juxtaposed. Ser in turn triggers the expression of genes involved in wing growth and patterning on both sides of the DV boundary.
Gurdon, C, Svab Z, Feng Y, Kumar D, Maliga P.  2016.  Cell-to-cell movement of mitochondria in plants. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 113:3395-400. AbstractWebsite
We report cell-to-cell movement of mitochondria through a graft junction. Mitochondrial movement was discovered in an experiment designed to select for chloroplast transfer fromNicotiana sylvestrisintoNicotiana tabacumcells. The alloplasmicN. tabacumline we used carriesNicotiana undulatacytoplasmic genomes, and its flowers are male sterile due to the foreign mitochondrial genome. Thus, rare mitochondrial DNA transfer fromN. sylvestristoN. tabacumcould be recognized by restoration of fertile flower anatomy. Analyses of the mitochondrial genomes revealed extensive recombination, tentatively linking male sterility toorf293, a mitochondrial gene causing homeotic conversion of anthers into petals. Demonstrating cell-to-cell movement of mitochondria reconstructs the evolutionary process of horizontal mitochondrial DNA transfer and enables modification of the mitochondrial genome by DNA transmitted from a sexually incompatible species. Conversion of anthers into petals is a visual marker that can be useful for mitochondrial transformation.
Thyssen, G, Svab Z, Maliga P.  2012.  Cell-to-cell movement of plastids in plants. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.. 109:2439-43. AbstractWebsite
Our objective was to test whether or not plastids and mitochondria, the two DNA-containing organelles, move between cells in plants. As our experimental approach, we grafted two different species of tobacco, Nicotiana tabacum and Nicotiana sylvestris. Grafting triggers formation of new cell-to-cell contacts, creating an opportunity to detect cell-to-cell organelle movement between the genetically distinct plants. We initiated tissue culture from sliced graft junctions and selected for clonal lines in which gentamycin resistance encoded in the N. tabacum nucleus was combined with spectinomycin resistance encoded in N. sylvestris plastids. Here, we present evidence for cell-to-cell movement of the entire 161-kb plastid genome in these plants, most likely in intact plastids. We also found that the related mitochondria were absent, suggesting independent movement of the two DNA-containing organelles. Acquisition of plastids from neighboring cells provides a mechanism by which cells may be repopulated with functioning organelles. Our finding supports the universality of intercellular organelle trafficking and may enable development of future biotechnological applications.
Thyssen, G, Svab Z, Maliga P.  2012.  Cell-to-cell movement of plastids in plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 109:2439-43. AbstractWebsite
Our objective was to test whether or not plastids and mitochondria, the two DNA-containing organelles, move between cells in plants. As our experimental approach, we grafted two different species of tobacco, Nicotiana tabacum and Nicotiana sylvestris. Grafting triggers formation of new cell-to-cell contacts, creating an opportunity to detect cell-to-cell organelle movement between the genetically distinct plants. We initiated tissue culture from sliced graft junctions and selected for clonal lines in which gentamycin resistance encoded in the N. tabacum nucleus was combined with spectinomycin resistance encoded in N. sylvestris plastids. Here, we present evidence for cell-to-cell movement of the entire 161-kb plastid genome in these plants, most likely in intact plastids. We also found that the related mitochondria were absent, suggesting independent movement of the two DNA-containing organelles. Acquisition of plastids from neighboring cells provides a mechanism by which cells may be repopulated with functioning organelles. Our finding supports the universality of intercellular organelle trafficking and may enable development of future biotechnological applications.
Sun, S, Irvine KD.  2016.  Cellular Organization and Cytoskeletal Regulation of the Hippo Signaling Network.. Trends in cell biology. 26(9):694-704. Abstract
The Hippo signaling network integrates diverse upstream signals to control cell fate decisions and regulate organ growth. Recent studies have provided new insights into the cellular organization of Hippo signaling, its relationship to cell-cell junctions, and how the cytoskeleton modulates Hippo signaling. Cell-cell junctions serve as platforms for Hippo signaling by localizing scaffolding proteins that interact with core components of the pathway. Interactions of Hippo pathway components with cell-cell junctions and the cytoskeleton also suggest potential mechanisms for the regulation of the pathway by cell contact and cell polarity. As our understanding of the complexity of Hippo signaling increases, a future challenge will be to understand how the diverse inputs into the pathway are integrated and to define their respective contributions in vivo.
Goettel, W, Messing J.  2009.  Change of gene structure and function by non-homologous end-joining, homologous recombination, and transposition of DNA. PLoS Genet. 5:e1000516. AbstractWebsite
An important objective in genome research is to relate genome structure to gene function. Sequence comparisons among orthologous and paralogous genes and their allelic variants can reveal sequences of functional significance. Here, we describe a 379-kb region on chromosome 1 of maize that enables us to reconstruct chromosome breakage, transposition, non-homologous end-joining, and homologous recombination events. Such a high-density composition of various mechanisms in a small chromosomal interval exemplifies the evolution of gene regulation and allelic diversity in general. It also illustrates the evolutionary pace of changes in plants, where many of the above mechanisms are of somatic origin. In contrast to animals, somatic alterations can easily be transmitted through meiosis because the germline in plants is contiguous to somatic tissue, permitting the recovery of such chromosomal rearrangements. The analyzed region contains the P1-wr allele, a variant of the genetically well-defined p1 gene, which encodes a Myb-like transcriptional activator in maize. The P1-wr allele consists of eleven nearly perfect P1-wr 12-kb repeats that are arranged in a tandem head-to-tail array. Although a technical challenge to sequence such a structure by shotgun sequencing, we overcame this problem by subcloning each repeat and ordering them based on nucleotide variations. These polymorphisms were also critical for recombination and expression analysis in presence and absence of the trans-acting epigenetic factor Ufo1. Interestingly, chimeras of the p1 and p2 genes, p2/p1 and p1/p2, are framing the P1-wr cluster. Reconstruction of sequence amplification steps at the p locus showed the evolution from a single Myb-homolog to the multi-gene P1-wr cluster. It also demonstrates how non-homologous end-joining can create novel gene fusions. Comparisons to orthologous regions in sorghum and rice also indicate a greater instability of the maize genome, probably due to diploidization following allotetraploidization.
Okajima, T, Xu A, Lei L, Irvine KD.  2005.  Chaperone activity of protein O-fucosyltransferase 1 promotes notch receptor folding. Science. 307:1599-603. AbstractWebsite
Notch proteins are receptors for a conserved signaling pathway that affects numerous cell fate decisions. We found that in Drosophila, Protein O-fucosyltransferase 1 (OFUT1), an enzyme that glycosylates epidermal growth factor-like domains of Notch, also has a distinct Notch chaperone activity. OFUT1 is an endoplasmic reticulum protein, and its localization was essential for function in vivo. OFUT1 could bind to Notch, was required for the trafficking of wild-type Notch out of the endoplasmic reticulum, and could partially rescue defects in secretion and ligand binding associated with Notch point mutations. This ability of OFUT1 to facilitate folding of Notch did not require its fucosyltransferase activity. Thus, a glycosyltransferase can bind its substrate in the endoplasmic reticulum to facilitate normal folding.
Mao, Y, Mulvaney J, Zakaria S, Yu T, Morgan K M, Allen S, Basson AM, Francis-West P, Irvine KD.  2011.  Characterization of a Dchs1 mutant mouse reveals requirements for Dchs1-Fat4 signaling during mammalian development. Development (Cambridge, England). 138:947-57. AbstractWebsite
The Drosophila Dachsous and Fat proteins function as ligand and receptor, respectively, for an intercellular signaling pathway that regulates Hippo signaling and planar cell polarity. Although gene-targeted mutations in two mammalian Fat genes have been described, whether mammals have a Fat signaling pathway equivalent to that in Drosophila, and what its biological functions might be, have remained unclear. Here, we describe a gene-targeted mutation in a murine Dachsous homolog, Dchs1. Analysis of the phenotypes of Dchs1 mutant mice and comparisons with Fat4 mutant mice identify requirements for these genes in multiple organs, including the ear, kidney, skeleton, intestine, heart and lung. Dchs1 and Fat4 single mutants and Dchs1 Fat4 double mutants have similar phenotypes throughout the body. In some cases, these phenotypes suggest that Dchs1-Fat4 signaling influences planar cell polarity. In addition to the appearance of cysts in newborn kidneys, we also identify and characterize a requirement for Dchs1 and Fat4 in growth, branching and cell survival during early kidney development. Dchs1 and Fat4 are predominantly expressed in mesenchymal cells in multiple organs, and mutation of either gene increases protein staining for the other. Our analysis implies that Dchs1 and Fat4 function as a ligand-receptor pair during murine development, and identifies novel requirements for Dchs1-Fat4 signaling in multiple organs.
McNeely, K, Xu Y, Ananyev GM, Bennette N, Bryant DA, Dismukes CG.  2011.  Characterization of a nifJ Mutant of Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 Lacking Pyruvate:Ferredoxin Oxidoreductase. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.. :AEM.02792-10. AbstractWebsite
The nifJ gene codes for pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase, which reduces ferredoxin during fermentative catabolism of pyruvate to acetyl-CoA. A nifJ knock-out mutant was constructed that lacks one of two pathways for the oxidation of pyruvate in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002. Remarkably, the photoautotrophic growth rate of this mutant increased by 20% relative to wild type (WT) under light-dark cycling. This is attributed to an increase in the quantum yield of PSII charge separation as measured by photosynthetic electron turnover efficiency using fast repetition rate fluorometry (Fv/Fm). During autofermentation the excretion of acetate and lactate products by nifJ mutant cells decreased 2-fold and 1.2-fold, respectively. Although nifJ cells displayed higher in vitro hydrogenase activity than WT, H2 production in vivo was 1.3-fold lower than WT. Inhibition of acetate-CoA ligase and pyruvate dehydrogenase complex by glycerol eliminated acetate production, with resulting loss of reductant and a 3-fold decrease in H2 production by nifJ cells compared to WT. Continuous electrochemical detection of dissolved H2 revealed two temporally resolved phases of H2 production during autofermentation, a minor first phase and a major second phase. The first phase was attributed to reduction of ferredoxin because it decreased 2-fold in nifJ cells. The second phase was attributed to glycolytic NADH production and decreased 20% in nifJ cells. Measurement of the intracellular NADH/NAD+ ratio revealed that the reductant generated by PFOR contributing to the first phase of H2 production was not in equilibrium with bulk NADH/NAD+, while the second phase corresponded to the equilibrium NADH-mediated process.
Fingerman, IM, Sutphen K, Montano SP, Georgiadis MM, Vershon AK.  2004.  Characterization of Critical Interactions Between Ndt80 and MSe DNa Defining a Novel Family of Ig-fold Transcription Factors. Nucleic Acids Res. 32:2947-2956. Abstract
The Ndt80 protein of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the founding member of a new sub-family of proteins in the Ig-fold superfamily of transcription factors. The crystal structure of Ndt80 bound to DNA shows that it makes contacts through several loops on one side of the protein that connect beta-strands which form the beta-sandwich fold common to proteins in this superfamily. However, the DNA-binding domain of Ndt80 is considerably larger than many other members of the Ig-fold superfamily and it appears to make a larger number of contacts with the DNA than these proteins. To determine the contribution of each of these contacts and to examine if the mechanism of Ndt80 DNA binding was similar to other members of the Ig-fold superfamily, amino acid substitutions were introduced at each residue that contacts the DNA and assayed for their effect on Ndt80 activity. Many of the mutations caused significant decreases in DNA-binding affinity and transcriptional activation. Several of these are in residues that are not found in other sub-families of Ig-fold proteins. These additional contacts are likely responsible for Ndt80's ability to bind DNA as a monomer while most other members require additional domains or cofactors to recognize their sites.
Niu, W, Zhou Y, Dong Q, Ebright YW, Ebright RH.  1994.  Characterization of the activating region of Escherichia coli catabolite gene activator protein (CAP). I. Saturation and alanine-scanning mutagenesis.. Journal of molecular biology. 243(4):595-602. Abstract
It has been proposed that the surface loop consisting of amino acid residues 152 to 166 of the catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) of Escherichia coli makes direct protein-protein contact with RNA polymerase at the lac promoter. In this work, we have used targeted saturation mutagenesis of codons 152 to 166 of the gene encoding CAP, followed by a screen, to isolate more than 200 independent mutants of CAP defective in transcription activation but not defective in DNA binding. All isolated single-substitution mutants map to just eight amino acid residues; 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 162, 163 and 164. We propose that these residues define the full extent of the epitope on CAP for the proposed CAP-RNA polymerase interaction. In addition, we have constructed alanine substitutions at each position from residue 152 to 166 of CAP, and we have analyzed the effects on transcription activation at the lac promoter and on DNA binding. Alanine substitution of Thr158 results in an approximately eightfold specific defect in transcription activation. In contrast, alanine substitution of no other residue tested results in a more than twofold specific defect in transcription activation. We conclude that, for Thr158, side-chain atoms beyond C beta are essential for transcription activation at the lac promoter, and we propose that Thr158 OH7 gamma makes direct contact with RNA polymerase in the ternary complex of lac promoter, CAP and RNA polymerase. We conclude further that for no residue other than Thr158 are side-chain atoms beyond C beta essential for transcription activation at the lac promoter.
Zhou, Y, Merkel TJ, Ebright RH.  1994.  Characterization of the activating region of Escherichia coli catabolite gene activator protein (CAP). II. Role at Class I and class II CAP-dependent promoters.. Journal of molecular biology. 243(4):603-10. Abstract
CAP-dependent promoters can be divided into classes based on the position of the DNA site for CAP. In class I CAP-dependent promoters, the DNA site for CAP is located upstream of the DNA site for polymerase; the DNA site for CAP can be located at various distances from the transcription start point, provided that the DNS site for CAP and the DNA site for RNA polymerase are on the same face of the DNA helix. In class II CAP-dependent promoters, the DNA site for CAP overlaps the DNA site for RNA polymerase, replacing the -35 determinants for binding of RNA polymerase. In previous work, we have shown that a surface loop consisting of amino acid residues 152 to 166 of CAP is essential for transcription activation at the best-characterized class I CAP-dependent promoter, the lac promoter, and we proposed that this surface loop makes direct protein-protein contact with RNA polymerase in the ternary complex of lac promoter, CAP, and RNA polymerase. Here, we show that the surface loop consisting of amino acid residues 152 to 166 is essential for transcription activation at other class I CAP-dependent promoters and at a class II CAP-dependent promoter. We show further that the effects of alanine substitutions of residues 152 to 166 are qualitatively identical at the lac promoter and other class I CAP-dependent promoters, but are different at a class II CAP-dependent promoter. We propose that the surface loop consisting of residues 152 to 166 makes identical molecular interactions in transcription activation at all class I CAP-dependent promoters, irrespective of distance between the DNA site for CAP and the transcription start point, but makes a different set of molecular interactions in transcription activation at class II CAP-dependent promoters.
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.
Lin, C., Shen, B., Xu, Z., Kollner, T. G., Degenhardt, J., Dooner HK.  2008.  Characterization of the monoterpene synthase gene tps26, the ortholog of a gene induced by insect herbivory in maize. Plant Physiol.. 146:940–951. Abstract
Plants damaged by insects can synthesize and release volatile chemicals that attract natural enemies of the herbivore. The maize (Zea mays subsp. mays) terpene synthase gene stc1 is part of that indirect defense response, being induced in seedling blades in response to herbivory by beet army worm. Many genes in maize are duplicated because of a past whole-genome duplication event, and several of these orthologs display different expression patterns. We report here the isolation and characterization of tps26 and confirm by homology and synteny criteria that it is the ortholog of stc1. Prior genetic analysis revealed that the stc1 function is not duplicated, raising the interesting question of how the two orthologs have become differentiated in their expression. tps26 encodes a 633-amino acid protein that is highly conserved with STC1. Like stc1, tps26 is induced by wounding, but in the roots and leaf sheath, instead of the blade, and not in response to beet army worm feeding. tps26 maps near a quantitative trait locus for Southwestern corn borer resistance, making it a plausible candidate gene for that quantitative trait locus. However, while possessing highly polymorphic tps26 alleles, the resistant and susceptible parents of the mapping population do not differ in levels of tps26 expression. Moreover, tps26 is not induced specifically by Southwestern corn borer feeding. Therefore, although they share a wounding response, the stc1 and tps26 maize orthologs differ in their tissue specificity and their induction by insect herbivores. The N termini of STC1 and TPS26 are predicted to encode plastid transit peptides; fusion proteins of green fluorescent protein to either N terminus localized to the plastid, confirming that prediction. The mature proteins, but not the respective complete proteins, were active and synthesized a blend of monoterpenes, indicating that they are monoterpene synthases. A gene closely related to stc1/tps26 is found in the sorghum (Sorghum spp.) genome at a location that is not orthologous with stc1. The possible origin of stc1-like genes is discussed.
Calvino, M., Bruggmann R, Messing J.  2011.  Characterization of the small RNA component of the transcriptome from grain and sweet sorghum stems. BMC Genomics. 12:356. AbstractWebsite
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Sorghum belongs to the tribe of the Andropogoneae that includes potential biofuel crops like switchgrass, Miscanthus and successful biofuel crops like corn and sugarcane. However, from a genomics point of view sorghum has compared to these other species a simpler genome because it lacks the additional rounds of whole genome duplication events. Therefore, it has become possible to generate a high-quality genome sequence. Furthermore, cultivars exists that rival sugarcane in levels of stem sugar so that a genetic approach can be used to investigate which genes are differentially expressed to achieve high levels of stem sugar. RESULTS: Here, we characterized the small RNA component of the transcriptome from grain and sweet sorghum stems, and from F2 plants derived from their cross that segregated for sugar content and flowering time. We found that variation in miR172 and miR395 expression correlated with flowering time whereas variation in miR169 expression correlated with sugar content in stems. Interestingly, genotypic differences in the ratio of miR395 to miR395* were identified, with miR395* species expressed as abundantly as miR395 in sweet sorghum but not in grain sorghum. Finally, we provided experimental evidence for previously annotated miRNAs detecting the expression of 25 miRNA families from the 27 known and discovered 9 new miRNAs candidates in the sorghum genome. CONCLUSIONS: Sequencing the small RNA component of sorghum stem tissue provides us with experimental evidence for previously predicted microRNAs in the sorghum genome and microRNAs with a potential role in stem sugar accumulation and flowering time.