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(1/76734) Apontic binds the translational repressor Bruno and is implicated in regulation of oskar mRNA translation.

The product of the oskar gene directs posterior patterning in the Drosophila oocyte, where it must be deployed specifically at the posterior pole. Proper expression relies on the coordinated localization and translational control of the oskar mRNA. Translational repression prior to localization of the transcript is mediated, in part, by the Bruno protein, which binds to discrete sites in the 3' untranslated region of the oskar mRNA. To begin to understand how Bruno acts in translational repression, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen to identify Bruno-interacting proteins. One interactor, described here, is the product of the apontic gene. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments lend biochemical support to the idea that Bruno and Apontic proteins physically interact in Drosophila. Genetic experiments using mutants defective in apontic and bruno reveal a functional interaction between these genes. Given this interaction, Apontic is likely to act together with Bruno in translational repression of oskar mRNA. Interestingly, Apontic, like Bruno, is an RNA-binding protein and specifically binds certain regions of the oskar mRNA 3' untranslated region.  (+info)

(2/76734) The role of gene splicing, gene amplification and regulation in mosquito insecticide resistance.

The primary routes of insecticide resistance in all insects are alterations in the insecticide target sites or changes in the rate at which the insecticide is detoxified. Three enzyme systems, glutathione S-transferases, esterases and monooxygenases, are involved in the detoxification of the four major insecticide classes. These enzymes act by rapidly metabolizing the insecticide to non-toxic products, or by rapidly binding and very slowly turning over the insecticide (sequestration). In Culex mosquitoes, the most common organophosphate insecticide resistance mechanism is caused by co-amplification of two esterases. The amplified esterases are differentially regulated, with three times more Est beta 2(1) being produced than Est alpha 2(1). Cis-acting regulatory sequences associated with these esterases are under investigation. All the amplified esterases in different Culex species act through sequestration. The rates at which they bind with insecticides are more rapid than those for their non-amplified counterparts in the insecticide-susceptible insects. In contrast, esterase-based organophosphate resistance in Anopheles is invariably based on changes in substrate specificities and increased turnover rates of a small subset of insecticides. The up-regulation of both glutathione S-transferases and monooxygenases in resistant mosquitoes is due to the effects of a single major gene in each case. The products of these major genes up-regulate a broad range of enzymes. The diversity of glutathione S-transferases produced by Anopheles mosquitoes is increased by the splicing of different 5' ends of genes, with a single 3' end, within one class of this enzyme family. The trans-acting regulatory factors responsible for the up-regulation of both the monooxygenase and glutathione S-transferases still need to be identified, but the recent development of molecular tools for positional cloning in Anopheles gambiae now makes this possible.  (+info)

(3/76734) TIF1gamma, a novel member of the transcriptional intermediary factor 1 family.

We report the cloning and characterization of a novel member of the Transcriptional Intermediary Factor 1 (TIF1) gene family, human TIF1gamma. Similar to TIF1alpha and TIF1beta, the structure of TIF1beta is characterized by multiple domains: RING finger, B boxes, Coiled coil, PHD/TTC, and bromodomain. Although structurally related to TIF1alpha and TIF1beta, TIF1gamma presents several functional differences. In contrast to TIF1alpha, but like TIF1beta, TIF1 does not interact with nuclear receptors in yeast two-hybrid or GST pull-down assays and does not interfere with retinoic acid response in transfected mammalian cells. Whereas TIF1alpha and TIF1beta were previously found to interact with the KRAB silencing domain of KOX1 and with the HP1alpha, MODI (HP1beta) and MOD2 (HP1gamma) heterochromatinic proteins, suggesting that they may participate in a complex involved in heterochromatin-induced gene repression, TIF1gamma does not interact with either the KRAB domain of KOX1 or the HP1 proteins. Nevertheless, TIF1gamma, like TIF1alpha and TIF1beta, exhibits a strong silencing activity when tethered to a promoter. Since deletion of a novel motif unique to the three TIF1 proteins, called TIF1 signature sequence (TSS), abrogates transcriptional repression by TIF1gamma, this motif likely participates in TIF1 dependent repression.  (+info)

(4/76734) Telomerase reverse transcriptase gene is a direct target of c-Myc but is not functionally equivalent in cellular transformation.

The telomerase reverse transcriptase component (TERT) is not expressed in most primary somatic human cells and tissues, but is upregulated in the majority of immortalized cell lines and tumors. Here, we identify the c-Myc transcription factor as a direct mediator of telomerase activation in primary human fibroblasts through its ability to specifically induce TERT gene expression. Through the use of a hormone inducible form of c-Myc (c-Myc-ER), we demonstrate that Myc-induced activation of the hTERT promoter requires an evolutionarily conserved E-box and that c-Myc-ER-induced accumulation of hTERT mRNA takes place in the absence of de novo protein synthesis. These findings demonstrate that the TERT gene is a direct transcriptional target of c-Myc. Since telomerase activation frequently correlates with immortalization and telomerase functions to stabilize telomers in cycling cells, we tested whether Myc-induced activation of TERT gene expression represents an important mechanism through which c-Myc acts to immortalize cells. Employing the rat embryo fibroblast cooperation assay, we show that TERT is unable to substitute for c-Myc in the transformation of primary rodent fibroblasts, suggesting that the transforming activities of Myc extend beyond its ability to activate TERT gene expression and hence telomerase activity.  (+info)

(5/76734) Gene expression profiles in HTLV-I-immortalized T cells: deregulated expression of genes involved in apoptosis regulation.

Human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I) is the etiologic agent of adult T-cell leukemia, an acute and often fatal T-cell malignancy. A key step in HTLV-I-induced leukemigenesis is induction of abnormal T-cell growth and survival. Unlike antigen-stimulated T cells, which cease proliferation after a finite number of cell division, HTLV-I-infected T cells proliferate indefinitely (immortalized), thus facilitating occurrence of secondary genetic changes leading to malignant transformation. To explore the molecular basis of HTLV-I-induced abnormal T-cell survival, we compared the gene expression profiles of normal and HTLV-I-immortalized T cells using 'gene array'. These studies revealed a strikingly altered expression pattern of a large number of genes along with HTLV-I-mediated T-cell immortalization. Interestingly, many of these deregulated genes are involved in the control of programmed cell death or apoptosis. These findings indicate that disruption of the cellular apoptosis-regulatory network may play a role in the HTLV-I-mediated oncogenesis.  (+info)

(6/76734) Socs1 binds to multiple signalling proteins and suppresses steel factor-dependent proliferation.

We have identified Socs1 as a downstream component of the Kit receptor tyrosine kinase signalling pathway. We show that the expression of Socs1 mRNA is rapidly increased in primary bone marrow-derived mast cells following exposure to Steel factor, and Socs1 inducibly binds to the Kit receptor tyrosine kinase via its Src homology 2 (SH2) domain. Previous studies have shown that Socs1 suppresses cytokine-mediated differentiation in M1 cells inhibiting Janus family kinases. In contrast, constitutive expression of Socs1 suppresses the mitogenic potential of Kit while maintaining Steel factor-dependent cell survival signals. Unlike Janus kinases, Socs1 does not inhibit the catalytic activity of the Kit tyrosine kinase. In order to define the mechanism by which Socs1-mediated suppression of Kit-dependent mitogenesis occurs, we demonstrate that Socs1 binds to the signalling proteins Grb-2 and the Rho-family guanine nucleotide exchange factors Vav. We show that Grb2 binds Socs1 via its SH3 domains to putative diproline determinants located in the N-terminus of Socs1, and Socs1 binds to the N-terminal regulatory region of Vav. These data suggest that Socs1 is an inducible switch which modulates proliferative signals in favour of cell survival signals and functions as an adaptor protein in receptor tyrosine kinase signalling pathways.  (+info)

(7/76734) Anopheles gambiae Ag-STAT, a new insect member of the STAT family, is activated in response to bacterial infection.

A new insect member of the STAT family of transcription factors (Ag-STAT) has been cloned from the human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. The domain involved in DNA interaction and the SH2 domain are well conserved. Ag-STAT is most similar to Drosophila D-STAT and to vertebrate STATs 5 and 6, constituting a proposed ancient class A of the STAT family. The mRNA is expressed at all developmental stages, and the protein is present in hemocytes, pericardial cells, midgut, skeletal muscle and fat body cells. There is no evidence of transcriptional activation following bacterial challenge. However, bacterial challenge results in nuclear translocation of Ag-STAT protein in fat body cells and induction of DNA-binding activity that recognizes a STAT target site. In vitro treatment with pervanadate (vanadate and H2O2) translocates Ag-STAT to the nucleus in midgut epithelial cells. This is the first evidence of direct participation of the STAT pathway in immune responses in insects.  (+info)

(8/76734) Id helix-loop-helix proteins inhibit nucleoprotein complex formation by the TCF ETS-domain transcription factors.

The Id subfamily of helix-loop-helix (HLH) proteins plays a fundamental role in the regulation of cellular proliferation and differentiation. Id proteins are thought to inhibit differentiation mainly through interaction with other HLH proteins and by blocking their DNA-binding activity. Members of the ternary complex factor (TCF) subfamily of ETS-domain proteins have key functions in regulating immediate-early gene expression in response to mitogenic stimulation. TCFs form DNA-bound complexes with the serum response factor (SRF) and are direct targets of MAP kinase (MAPK) signal transduction cascades. In this study we demonstrate functional interactions between Id proteins and TCFs. Ids bind to the ETS DNA-binding domain and disrupt the formation of DNA-bound complexes between TCFs and SRF on the c-fos serum response element (SRE). Inhibition occurs by disrupting protein-DNA interactions with the TCF component of this complex. In vivo, the Id proteins cause down-regulation of the transcriptional activity mediated by the TCFs and thereby block MAPK signalling to SREs. Therefore, our results demonstrate a novel facet of Id function in the coordination of mitogenic signalling and cell cycle entry.  (+info)