(1/2123) Telomere loss in somatic cells of Drosophila causes cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.

Checkpoint mechanisms that respond to DNA damage in the mitotic cell cycle are necessary to maintain the fidelity of chromosome transmission. These mechanisms must be able to distinguish the normal telomeres of linear chromosomes from double-strand break damage. However, on several occasions, Drosophila chromosomes that lack their normal telomeric DNA have been recovered, raising the issue of whether Drosophila is able to distinguish telomeric termini from nontelomeric breaks. We used site-specific recombination on a dispensable chromosome to induce the formation of a dicentric chromosome and an acentric, telomere-bearing, chromosome fragment in somatic cells of Drosophila melanogaster. The acentric fragment is lost when cells divide and the dicentric breaks, transmitting a chromosome that has lost a telomere to each daughter cell. In the eye imaginal disc, cells with a newly broken chromosome initially experience mitotic arrest and then undergo apoptosis when cells are induced to divide as the eye differentiates. Therefore, Drosophila cells can detect and respond to a single broken chromosome. It follows that transmissible chromosomes lacking normal telomeric DNA nonetheless must possess functional telomeres. We conclude that Drosophila telomeres can be established and maintained by a mechanism that does not rely on the terminal DNA sequence.  (+info)

(2/2123) Progression from colorectal adenoma to carcinoma is associated with non-random chromosomal gains as detected by comparative genomic hybridisation.

AIMS: Chromosomal gains and losses were surveyed by comparative genomic hybridisation (CGH) in a series of colorectal adenomas and carcinomas, in search of high risk genomic changes involved in colorectal carcinogenesis. METHODS: Nine colorectal adenomas and 14 carcinomas were analysed by CGH, and DNA ploidy was assessed with both flow and image cytometry. RESULTS: In the nine adenomas analysed, an average of 6.6 (range 1 to 11) chromosomal aberrations were identified. In the 14 carcinomas an average of 11.9 (range 5 to 17) events were found per tumour. In the adenomas the number of gains and losses was in balance (3.6 v 3.0) while in carcinomas gains occurred more often than losses (8.2 v 3.7). Frequent gains involved 13q, 7p, 8q, and 20q, whereas losses most often occurred at 18q, 4q, and 8p. Gains of 13q, 8q, and 20q, and loss of 18q occurred more often in carcinomas than in adenomas (p = 0.005, p = 0.05, p = 0.05, and p = 0.02, respectively). Aneuploid tumours showed more gains than losses (mean 9.3 v 4.9, p = 0.02), in contrast to diploid tumours where gains and losses were nearly balanced (mean 3.1 v 4.1, p = 0.5). CONCLUSIONS: The most striking difference between chromosomal aberrations in colorectal adenomas and carcinomas, as detected by CGH, is an increased number of chromosomal gains that show a nonrandom distribution. Gains of 13q and also of 20q and 8q seem especially to be involved in the progression of adenomas to carcinomas, possibly owing to low level overexpression of oncogenes at these loci.  (+info)

(3/2123) Malignant transformation of p53-deficient astrocytes is modulated by environmental cues in vitro.

The early incidence of p53 mutation in astrocytomas suggests that it plays an important role in astrocyte transformation. Astrocytes isolated from homozygous p53 knockout mice grow rapidly, lack contact inhibition, and are immortal. Here we tested whether the loss of p53 is sufficient for progression to tumorigenicity of astrocytes. We grew primary astrocytes under three conditions for over 120 population doublings and assessed their antigenic phenotype, chromosome number, and expression of glioma-associated genes as well as their ability to form colonies in soft agarose and tumors s.c. and intracranially in nude mice. Under two conditions (10% FCS and 0.5% FCS plus 20 ng/ml EGF), cells acquired the ability to form colonies in soft agarose and tumors in nude mice, and this was accompanied by the expression of genes, including epidermal growth factor receptor, platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha and beta, protein kinase Cdelta, and vascular endothelial growth factor, which are known to be aberrantly regulated in human astrocytomas. Under the third condition (0.5% FCS plus 10 ng/ml basic fibroblast growth factor), astrocytes gained the ability to form colonies in soft agarose and had abnormal chromosome numbers similar to cells in the first two conditions but did not form tumors in nude mice or overexpress glioma-associated genes. These data provide experimental evidence for the idea that the malignant progression initiated by the loss of p53 may be subject to modulation by extracellular environmental influences.  (+info)

(4/2123) Preimplantation diagnosis by fluorescence in situ hybridization using 13-, 16-, 18-, 21-, 22-, X-, and Y-chromosome probes.

PURPOSE: Our purpose was to select the proper chromosomes for preimplantation diagnosis based on aneuploidy distribution in abortuses and to carry out a feasibility study of preimplantation diagnosis for embryos using multiple-probe fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) on the selected chromosomes of biopsied blastomeres. METHODS: After determining the frequency distribution of aneuploidy found in abortuses, seven chromosomes were selected for FISH probes. Blastomeres were obtained from 33 abnormal or excess embryos. The chromosome complements of both the biopsied blastomeres and the remaining sibling blastomeres in each embryo were determined by FISH and compared to evaluate their preimplantation diagnostic potential. RESULTS: Chromosomes (16, 22, X, Y) and (13, 18, 21) were selected on the basis of the high aneuploid prevalence in abortuses for the former group and the presence of trisomy in the newborn for the latter. Thirty-six (72%) of 50 blastomeres gave signals to permit a diagnosis. Diagnoses made from biopsied blastomeres were consistent with the diagnoses made from the remaining sibling blastomeres in 18 embryos. In only 2 of 20 cases did the biopsied blastomere diagnosis and the embryo diagnosis not match. CONCLUSIONS: If FISH of biopsied blastomere was successful, a preimplantation diagnosis could be made with 10% error. When a combination of chromosome-13, -16, -18, -21, -22, -X, and -Y probes was used, up to 65% of the embryos destined to be aborted could be detected.  (+info)

(5/2123) Micronuclei formation and aneuploidy induced by Vpr, an accessory gene of human immunodeficiency virus type 1.

Vpr, an accessory gene of HIV-1, induces cell cycle abnormality with accumulation at G2/M phase and increased ploidy. Since abnormality of mitotic checkpoint control provides a molecular basis of genomic instability, we studied the effects of Vpr on genetic integrity using a stable clone, named MIT-23, in which Vpr expression is controlled by the tetracycline-responsive promoter. Treatment of MIT-23 cells with doxycycline (DOX) induced Vpr expression with a giant multinuclear cell formation. Increased micronuclei (MIN) formation was also detected in these cells. Abolishment of Vpr expression by DOX removal induced numerous asynchronous cytokinesis in the multinuclear cells with leaving MIN in cytoplasm, suggesting that the transient Vpr expression could cause genetic unbalance. Consistent with this expectation, MIT-23 cells, originally pseudodiploid cells, became aneuploid after repeated expression of Vpr. Experiments using deletion mutants of Vpr revealed that the domain inducing MIN formation as well as multinucleation was located in the carboxy-terminal region of Vpr protein. These results suggest that Vpr induces genomic instability, implicating the possible role in the development of AIDS-related malignancies.  (+info)

(6/2123) Chromosome abnormalities in human embryos.

The presence of numerical chromosome abnormalities in human embryos was studied using fluorescence in-situ hybridization with four or more chromosome-specific probes. When most cells of an embryo are analysed, this technique allows differentiation to be made between aneuploidy, mosaicism, haploidy and polyploidy. Abnormal types of fertilization, such as unipronucleated, tripronucleated zygotes and zygotes with uneven pronuclei, were studied using this technique. We have found a strong correlation between some types of dysmorphism with chromosomal abnormalities. In addition, the more impaired the development of an embryo, the more chromosomal abnormalities were detected in those embryos. Maternal age and other factors were linked to an increase in chromosome abnormalities (hormonal regimes, temperature changes), but not to intracytoplasmic sperm injection.  (+info)

(7/2123) The organization of genetic diversity in the parthenogenetic lizard Cnemidophorus tesselatus.

The parthogenetic lizard species Cnemidophorus tesselatus is composed of diploid populations formed by hybridization of the bisexual species C. tigris and C. septemvittatus, and of triploid populations derived from a cross between diploid tesselatus and a third bisexual species, C. sexlineatus. An analysis of allozymic variation in proteins encoded by 21 loci revealed that, primarily because of hybrid origin, individual heterozygosity in tesselatus is much higher (0.560 in diploids and 0.714 in triploids) than in the parental bisexual species (mean, 0.059). All triploid individuals apparently represent a single clone, but 12 diploid clones were identified on the basis of genotypic diversity occurring at six loci. From one to four clones were recorded in each population sampled. Three possible sources of clonal diversity in the diploid parthenogens were identified: mutation at three loci has produced three clones, each confined to a single locality; genotypic diversity at two loci apparently caused by multiple hybridization of the bisexual species accounts for four clones; and the remaining five clones apparently have arisen through recombination at three loci. The relatively limited clonal diversity of tesselatus suggests a recent origin. The evolutionary potential of tesselatus and of parthenogenetic forms in general may be less severely limited than has generally been supposed.  (+info)

(8/2123) Transchromosomal mouse embryonic stem cell lines and chimeric mice that contain freely segregating segments of human chromosome 21.

At least 8% of all human conceptions have major chromosome abnormalities and the frequency of chromosomal syndromes in newborns is >0.5%. Despite these disorders making a large contribution to human morbidity and mortality, we have little understanding of their aetiology and little molecular data on the importance of gene dosage to mammalian cells. Trisomy 21, which results in Down syndrome (DS), is the most frequent aneuploidy in humans (1 in 600 live births, up to 1 in 150 pregnancies world-wide) and is the most common known genetic cause of mental retardation. To investigate the molecular genetics of DS, we report here the creation of mice that carry different human chromosome 21 (Hsa21) fragments as a freely segregating extra chromosome. To produce these 'transchromosomal' animals, we placed a selectable marker into Hsa21 and transferred the chromosome from a human somatic cell line into mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells using irradiation microcell-mediated chromosome transfer (XMMCT). 'Transchromosomal' ES cells containing different Hsa21 regions ranging in size from approximately 50 to approximately 0.2 Mb have been used to create chimeric mice. These mice maintain Hsa21 sequences and express Hsa21 genes in multiple tissues. This novel use of the XMMCT protocol is applicable to investigations requiring the transfer of large chromosomal regions into ES or other cells and, in particular, the modelling of DS and other human aneuploidy syndromes.  (+info)