(1/52004) A novel genetic screen for snRNP assembly factors in yeast identifies a conserved protein, Sad1p, also required for pre-mRNA splicing.

The assembly pathway of spliceosomal snRNPs in yeast is poorly understood. We devised a screen to identify mutations blocking the assembly of newly synthesized U4 snRNA into a functional snRNP. Fifteen mutant strains failing either to accumulate the newly synthesized U4 snRNA or to assemble a U4/U6 particle were identified and categorized into 13 complementation groups. Thirteen previously identified splicing-defective prp mutants were also assayed for U4 snRNP assembly defects. Mutations in the U4/U6 snRNP components Prp3p, Prp4p, and Prp24p led to disassembly of the U4/U6 snRNP particle and degradation of the U6 snRNA, while prp17-1 and prp19-1 strains accumulated free U4 and U6 snRNA. A detailed analysis of a newly identified mutant, the sad1-1 mutant, is presented. In addition to having the snRNP assembly defect, the sad1-1 mutant is severely impaired in splicing at the restrictive temperature: the RP29 pre-mRNA strongly accumulates and splicing-dependent production of beta-galactosidase from reporter constructs is abolished, while extracts prepared from sad1-1 strains fail to splice pre-mRNA substrates in vitro. The sad1-1 mutant is the only splicing-defective mutant analyzed whose mutation preferentially affects assembly of newly synthesized U4 snRNA into the U4/U6 particle. SAD1 encodes a novel protein of 52 kDa which is essential for cell viability. Sad1p localizes to the nucleus and is not stably associated with any of the U snRNAs. Sad1p contains a putative zinc finger and is phylogenetically highly conserved, with homologues identified in human, Caenorhabditis elegans, Arabidospis, and Drosophila.  (+info)

(2/52004) The nuclear receptor superfamily has undergone extensive proliferation and diversification in nematodes.

The nuclear receptor (NR) superfamily is the most abundant class of transcriptional regulators encoded in the Caenorhabditis elegans genome, with >200 predicted genes revealed by the screens and analysis of genomic sequence reported here. This is the largest number of NR genes yet described from a single species, although our analysis of available genomic sequence from the related nematode Caenorhabditis briggsae indicates that it also has a large number. Existing data demonstrate expression for 25% of the C. elegans NR sequences. Sequence conservation and statistical arguments suggest that the majority represent functional genes. An analysis of these genes based on the DNA-binding domain motif revealed that several NR classes conserved in both vertebrates and insects are also represented among the nematode genes, consistent with the existence of ancient NR classes shared among most, and perhaps all, metazoans. Most of the nematode NR sequences, however, are distinct from those currently known in other phyla, and reveal a previously unobserved diversity within the NR superfamily. In C. elegans, extensive proliferation and diversification of NR sequences have occurred on chromosome V, accounting for > 50% of the predicted NR genes.  (+info)

(3/52004) Isolation of zebrafish gdf7 and comparative genetic mapping of genes belonging to the growth/differentiation factor 5, 6, 7 subgroup of the TGF-beta superfamily.

The Growth/differentiation factor (Gdf) 5, 6, 7 genes form a closely related subgroup belonging to the TGF-beta superfamily. In zebrafish, there are three genes that belong to the Gdf5, 6, 7 subgroup that have been named radar, dynamo, and contact. The genes radar and dynamo both encode proteins most similar to mouse GDF6. The orthologous identity of these genes on the basis of amino acid similarities has not been clear. We have identified gdf7, a fourth zebrafish gene belonging to the Gdf5, 6, 7 subgroup. To assign correct orthologies and to investigate the evolutionary relationships of the human, mouse, and zebrafish Gdf5, 6, 7 subgroup, we have compared genetic map positions of the zebrafish and mammalian genes. We have mapped zebrafish gdf7 to linkage group (LG) 17, contact to LG9, GDF6 to human chromosome (Hsa) 8 and GDF7 to Hsa2p. The radar and dynamo genes have been localized previously to LG16 and LG19, respectively. A comparison of syntenies shared among human, mouse, and zebrafish genomes indicates that gdf7 is the ortholog of mammalian GDF7/Gdf7. LG16 shares syntenic relationships with mouse chromosome (Mmu) 4, including Gdf6. Portions of LG16 and LG19 appear to be duplicate chromosomes, thus suggesting that radar and dynamo are both orthologs of Gdf6. Finally, the mapping data is consistent with contact being the zebrafish ortholog of mammalian GDF5/Gdf5.  (+info)

(4/52004) Novel endotheliotropic herpesviruses fatal for Asian and African elephants.

A highly fatal hemorrhagic disease has been identified in 10 young Asian and African elephants at North American zoos. In the affected animals there was ultrastructural evidence for herpesvirus-like particles in endothelial cells of the heart, liver, and tongue. Consensus primer polymerase chain reaction combined with sequencing yielded molecular evidence that confirmed the presence of two novel but related herpesviruses associated with the disease, one in Asian elephants and another in African elephants. Otherwise healthy African elephants with external herpetic lesions yielded herpesvirus sequences identical to that found in Asian elephants with endothelial disease. This finding suggests that the Asian elephant deaths were caused by cross-species infection with a herpesvirus that is naturally latent in, but normally not lethal to, African elephants. A reciprocal relationship may exist for the African elephant disease.  (+info)

(5/52004) Evolutionary relationships of pathogenic clones of Vibrio cholerae by sequence analysis of four housekeeping genes.

Studies of the Vibrio cholerae population, using molecular typing techniques, have shown the existence of several pathogenic clones, mainly sixth-pandemic, seventh-pandemic, and U.S. Gulf Coast clones. However, the relationship of the pathogenic clones to environmental V. cholerae isolates remains unclear. A previous study to determine the phylogeny of V. cholerae by sequencing the asd (aspartate semialdehyde dehydrogenase) gene of V. cholerae showed that the sixth-pandemic, seventh-pandemic, and U.S. Gulf Coast clones had very different asd sequences which fell into separate lineages in the V. cholerae population. As gene trees drawn from a single gene may not reflect the true topology of the population, we sequenced the mdh (malate dehydrogenase) and hlyA (hemolysin A) genes from representatives of environmental and clinical isolates of V. cholerae and found that the mdh and hlyA sequences from the three pathogenic clones were identical, except for the previously reported 11-bp deletion in hlyA in the sixth-pandemic clone. Identical sequences were obtained, despite average nucleotide differences in the mdh and hlyA genes of 1.52 and 3.25%, respectively, among all the isolates, suggesting that the three pathogenic clones are closely related. To extend these observations, segments of the recA and dnaE genes were sequenced from a selection of the pathogenic isolates, where the sequences were either identical or substantially different between the clones. The results show that the three pathogenic clones are very closely related and that there has been a high level of recombination in their evolution.  (+info)

(6/52004) Three receptor genes for plasminogen related growth factors in the genome of the puffer fish Fugu rubripes.

Plasminogen related growth factors (PRGFs) and their receptors play major roles in embryogenesis, tissue regeneration and neoplasia. In order to investigate the complexity and evolution of the PRGF receptor family we have cloned and sequenced three receptors for PRGFs in the teleost fish Fugu rubripes, a model vertebrate with a compact genome. One of the receptor genes isolated encodes the orthologue of mammalian MET, whilst the other two may represent Fugu rubripes orthologues of RON and SEA. This is the first time three PRGF receptors have been identified in a single species.  (+info)

(7/52004) Cloning, molecular analysis and differential cell localisation of the p36 RACK analogue antigen from the parasite protozoon Crithidia fasciculata.

The family of the RACK molecules (receptors for activated C kinases) are present in all the species studied so far. In the genus Leishmania, these molecules also induce a strong immune reaction against the infection. We have cloned and characterised the gene that encodes the RACK analogue from the parasite trypanosomatid Crithidia fasciculata (CACK). The molecule seems to be encoded by two genes. The sequence analysis of the cloned open reading frame indicates the existence of a high degree of conservation not only with other members of the Trypanosomatidae but also with mammalians. The study of the protein kinase C phosphorylation sites shows the presence of three of them, shared with the mammalian species, additional to those present in the other protozoa suggesting a certain phylogenetic distance between the protozoon Crithidia fasciculata and the rest of the Trypanosomatidae. The CACK-encoded polypeptide shows an additional sequence of four amino acids at the carboxy-terminal end, which produces a different folding of the fragment with the presence of an alpha-helix instead of the beta-sheet usual in all the other species studied. A similar result is elicited at the amino-terminal end by the change of three amino acid residues. The immunolocalisation experiments show that the CACK displays a pattern with a distribution mainly at the plasma membrane, different from that of the related Leishmania species used as control, that displays a distribution close to the nucleus. Altogether, the data suggest that the existence of the structural differences found may have functional consequences.  (+info)

(8/52004) Rhodanobacter lindaniclasticus gen. nov., sp. nov., a lindane-degrading bacterium.

Lindane-degrading activity under aerobic conditions has been observed in two bacterial strains: UT26, phenotypically identified as Sphingomonas paucimobilis, and a new single unidentified isolate named RP5557T. The rrs (16S rDNA) sequences for both strains and the phenotypic characteristics for the unidentified isolate RP5557T were determined. RP5557T does not have high identity (less than 90% in all cases) with any sequence in the GenBank or RDP databases. A phylogenetic analysis based on rrs sequences indicated that RP5557T belongs to the gamma-Proteobacteria in a coherent phylum that includes the genera Xanthomonas and Xylella (100% bootstrap), whereas UT26 is clearly separate from the Xanthomonas cluster. Based on the phylogenetic analyses and on the phenotypic characteristics, a new genus, Rhodanobacter, containing a single species, Rhodanobacter lindaniclasticus, is proposed for strain RP5557T (= LMG 18385T), which becomes the type strain.  (+info)