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(1/2290) All 16 centromere DNAs from Saccharomyces cerevisiae show DNA curvature.

All 16 centromere DNA regions of Saccharomyces cerevisiae including 90 bp framing sequences on either side were cloned. These 300 bp long centromere regions were analysed by native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and found to display a reduced mobility indicative of DNA curvature. The degree of curvature is centromere dependent. The experimental data were confirmed by computer analysis of the 3-dimensional structure of the CEN DNAs. Altogether these data provide further evidence for a model for budding yeast centromeres in which CEN DNA structure could be important for the assembly, activity and/or regulation of the centromere protein-DNA complex.  (+info)

(2/2290) Localization and properties of a silencing element near the mat3-M mating-type cassette of Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

Transcription is repressed in a segment of Schizosaccharomyces pombe chromosome II that encompasses the mat2-P and mat3-M mating-type cassettes. Chromosomal deletion analysis revealed the presence of a repressor element within 500 bp of mat3-M. This element acted in synergy with the trans-acting factors Swi6, Clr1, Clr2, Clr3, and Clr4 and had several properties characteristic of silencers: it did not display promoter specificity, being able to silence not only the M mating-type genes but also the S. pombe ura4 and ade6 genes placed on the centromere-distal side of the mat3-M cassette; it could repress a gene when placed further than 2.6 kb from the promoter and it acted in both orientations, although with different efficiencies, the natural orientation repressing more stringently than the reverse. Following deletion of this element, two semistable states of expression of the mat3-M region were observed and these two states could interconvert. The deletion did not affect gene expression in the vicinity of the mat2-P cassette, 11 kb away from mat3-M. Conversely, deleting 1.5 kb on the centromere-proximal side of the mat2-P cassette, which was previously shown to partially derepress transcription around mat2-P, had no effect on gene expression near mat3-M. A double deletion removing the mat2-P and mat3-M repressor elements had the same effect as the single deletions on their respective cassettes when assayed in cells of the M mating type. These observations allow us to refine a model proposing that redundant pathways silence the mating type region of S. pombe.  (+info)

(3/2290) A new X linked neurodegenerative syndrome with mental retardation, blindness, convulsions, spasticity, mild hypomyelination, and early death maps to the pericentromeric region.

We report on a family with an X linked neurodegenerative disorder consisting of mental retardation, blindness, convulsions, spasticity, and early death. Neuropathological examination showed mild hypomyelination. By linkage analysis, the underlying genetic defect could be assigned to the pericentromeric region of the X chromosome with a maximum lod score of 3.30 at theta=0.0 for the DXS1204 locus with DXS337 and PGK1P1 as flanking markers.  (+info)

(4/2290) Short DNA fragments without sequence similarity are initiation sites for replication in the chromosome of the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica.

We have previously shown that both a centromere (CEN) and a replication origin are necessary for plasmid maintenance in the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica (). Because of this requirement, only a small number of centromere-proximal replication origins have been isolated from Yarrowia. We used a CEN-based plasmid to obtain noncentromeric origins, and several new fragments, some unique and some repetitive sequences, were isolated. Some of them were analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and correspond to actual sites of initiation (ORI) on the chromosome. We observed that a 125-bp fragment is sufficient for a functional ORI on plasmid, and that chromosomal origins moved to ectopic sites on the chromosome continue to act as initiation sites. These Yarrowia origins share an 8-bp motif, which is not essential for origin function on plasmids. The Yarrowia origins do not display any obvious common structural features, like bent DNA or DNA unwinding elements, generally present at or near eukaryotic replication origins. Y. lipolytica origins thus share features of those in the unicellular Saccharomyces cerevisiae and in multicellular eukaryotes: they are discrete and short genetic elements without sequence similarity.  (+info)

(5/2290) Analysis of the 10q23 chromosomal region and the PTEN gene in human sporadic breast carcinoma.

We examined a panel of sporadic breast carcinomas for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in a 10-cM interval on chromosome 10 known to encompass the PTEN gene. We detected allele loss in 27 of 70 breast tumour DNAs. Fifteen of these showed loss limited to a subregion of the area studied. The most commonly deleted region was flanked by D10S215 and D10S541 and encompasses the PTEN locus. We used a combination of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and single-strand conformation polymorphism analyses to investigate the presence of PTEN mutations in tumours with LOH in this region. We did not detect mutations of PTEN in any of these tumours. Our data show that, in sporadic breast carcinoma, loss of heterozygosity of the PTEN locus is frequent, but mutation of PTEN is not. These results are consistent with loss of another unidentified tumour suppressor in this region in sporadic breast carcinoma.  (+info)

(6/2290) Specific destruction of kinetochore protein CENP-C and disruption of cell division by herpes simplex virus immediate-early protein Vmw110.

Examination of cells at the early stages of herpes simplex virus type 1 infection revealed that the viral immediate-early protein Vmw110 (also known as ICP0) formed discrete punctate accumulations associated with centromeres in both mitotic and interphase cells. The RING finger domain of Vmw110 (but not the C-terminal region) was essential for its localization at centromeres, thus distinguishing the Vmw110 sequences required for centromere association from those required for its localization at other discrete nuclear structures known as ND10, promyelocytic leukaemia (PML) bodies or PODs. We have shown recently that Vmw110 can induce the proteasome-dependent loss of several cellular proteins, including a number of probable SUMO-1-conjugated isoforms of PML, and this results in the disruption of ND10. In this study, we found some striking similarities between the interactions of Vmw110 with ND10 and centromeres. Specifically, centromeric protein CENP-C was lost from centromeres during virus infection in a Vmw110- and proteasome-dependent manner, causing substantial ultrastructural changes in the kinetochore. In consequence, dividing cells either became stalled in mitosis or underwent an unusual cytokinesis resulting in daughter cells with many micronuclei. These results emphasize the importance of CENP-C for mitotic progression and suggest that Vmw110 may be interfering with biochemical mechanisms which are relevant to both centromeres and ND10.  (+info)

(7/2290) Dynamic repositioning of genes in the nucleus of lymphocytes preparing for cell division.

We show that several transcriptionally inactive genes localize to centromeric heterochromatin in the nucleus of cycling but not quiescent (noncycling) primary B lymphocytes. In quiescent cells, centromeric repositioning of inactive loci was induced after mitogenic stimulation. A dynamic repositioning of selected genes was also observed in developing T cells. Rag and TdT loci were shown to relocate to centromeric domains following heritable gene silencing in primary CD4+8+ thymocytes, but not in a phenotypically similar cell line in which silencing occurred but was not heritable. Collectively, these data indicate that the spatial organization of genes in cycling and noncycling lymphocytes is different and that locus repositioning may be a feature of heritable gene silencing.  (+info)

(8/2290) Probing the Saccharomyces cerevisiae centromeric DNA (CEN DNA)-binding factor 3 (CBF3) kinetochore complex by using atomic force microscopy.

Yeast centromeric DNA (CEN DNA) binding factor 3 (CBF3) is a multisubunit protein complex that binds to the essential CDEIII element in CEN DNA. The four CBF3 proteins are required for accurate chromosome segregation and are considered to be core components of the yeast kinetochore. We have examined the structure of the CBF3-CEN DNA complex by atomic force microscopy. Assembly of CBF3-CEN DNA complexes was performed by combining purified CBF3 proteins with a DNA fragment that includes the CEN region from yeast chromosome III. Atomic force microscopy images showed DNA molecules with attached globular bodies. The contour length of the DNA containing the complex is approximately 9% shorter than the DNA alone, suggesting some winding of DNA within the complex. The measured location of the single binding site indicates that the complex is located asymmetrically to the right of CDEIII extending away from CDEI and CDEII, which is consistent with previous data. The CEN DNA is bent approximately 55 degrees at the site of complex formation. A significant fraction of the complexes are linked in pairs, showing three to four DNA arms, with molecular volumes approximately three times the mean volumes of two-armed complexes. These multi-armed complexes indicate that CBF3 can bind two DNA molecules together in vitro and, thus, may be involved in holding together chromatid pairs during mitosis.  (+info)