(1/1578) C-myc overexpression and p53 loss cooperate to promote genomic instability.

p53 monitors genomic integrity at the G1 and G2/M cell cycle checkpoints. Cells lacking p53 may show gene amplification as well as the polyploidy or aneuploidy typical of many tumors. The pathways through which this develops, however, are not well defined. We demonstrate here that the combination of p53 inactivation and c-myc overexpression in diploid cells markedly accelerates the spontaneous development of tetraploidy. This is not seen with either N-myc or L-myc. Tetraploidy is accompanied by significantly higher levels of cyclin B and its associated cdc2 kinase activity. Mitotic spindle poisons accelerate the appearance of tetraploidy in cells either lacking functional p53 or overexpressing c-myc whereas the combination is additive. Restoration of p53 function in cells overexpressing c-myc causing rapid apoptosis, indicating that cells yet to become tetraploid have nonetheless suffered irreversible genomic and/or mitotic spindle damage. In the face of normal p53 function, such damage would either be repaired or trigger apoptotis. We propose that loss of p53 and overexpression of c-myc permits the emergence and survival of cells with increasingly severe damage and the eventual development of tetraploidy.  (+info)

(2/1578) The modulation of DNA content: proximate causes and ultimate consequences.

The forces responsible for modulating the large-scale features of the genome remain one of the most difficult issues confronting evolutionary biology. Although diversity in chromosomal architecture, nucleotide composition, and genome size has been well documented, there is little understanding of either the evolutionary origins or impact of much of this variation. The 80,000-fold divergence in genome sizes among eukaryotes represents perhaps the greatest challenge for genomic holists. Although some researchers continue to characterize much variation in genome size as a mere by-product of an intragenomic selfish DNA "free-for-all" there is increasing evidence for the primacy of selection in molding genome sizes via impacts on cell size and division rates. Moreover, processes inducing quantum or doubling series variation in gametic or somatic genome sizes are common. These abrupt shifts have broad effects on phenotypic attributes at both cellular and organismal levels and may play an important role in explaining episodes of rapid-or even saltational-character state evolution.  (+info)

(3/1578) Cell cycle arrest mediated by hepatitis delta antigen.

Hepatitis delta antigen (HDAg) is the only viral-encoded protein of the hepatitis delta virus (HDV). This protein has been extensively characterized with respect to its biochemical and functional properties. However, the molecular mechanism responsible for persistent HDV infection is not yet clear. Previously, we reported that overexpression of HDAg protects insect cells from baculovirus-induced cytolysis [Hwang, S.B. Park, K.-J. and Kim, Y.S. (1998) Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 244, 652-658]. Here we report that HDAg mediates cell cycle arrest when overexpressed in recombinant baculovirus-infected insect cells. Flow cytometry analysis has shown that HDAg expression in Spodoptera frugiperda cells causes an accumulation of substantial amounts of polyploid DNA in the absence of cell division. This phenomenon may be partly responsible for the persistent infection of chronic HDV patients.  (+info)

(4/1578) Partial hepatectomy-induced polyploidy attenuates hepatocyte replication and activates cell aging events.

In understanding mechanisms of liver repopulation with transplanted hepatocytes, we studied the consequences of hepatic polyploidization in the two-thirds partial hepatectomy model of liver regeneration. Liver repopulation studies using genetically marked rodent hepatocytes showed that the number of previously transplanted hepatocytes did not increase in the liver with subsequential partial hepatectomy. In contrast, recipients undergoing partial hepatectomy before cells were transplanted showed proliferation in transplanted hepatocytes, with kinetics of DNA synthesis differing in transplanted and host hepatocytes. Also, partial hepatectomy caused multiple changes in the rat liver, including accumulation of polyploid hepatocytes along with prolonged depletion of diploid hepatocytes, as well as increased senescence-associated beta-galactosidase and p21 expression. Remnant hepatocytes in the partially hepatectomized liver showed increased autofluorescence and cytoplasmic complexity on flow cytometry, which are associated with lipofuscin accumulation during cell aging, and underwent apoptosis more frequently. Moreover, hepatocytes from the partially hepatectomized liver showed attenuated proliferative capacity in cell culture. These findings were compatible with decreased proliferative potential of hepatocytes experiencing partial hepatectomy compared with hepatocytes from the unperturbed liver. Attenuation of proliferative capacity and other changes in hepatocytes experiencing partial hepatectomy offer novel perspectives concerning liver regeneration in the context of cell ploidy.  (+info)

(5/1578) Elimination and rearrangement of parental rDNA in the allotetraploid Nicotiana tabacum.

Origin and rearrangement of ribosomal DNA repeats in natural allotetraploid Nicotiana tabacum are described. Comparative sequence analysis of the intergenic spacer (IGS) regions of Nicotiana tomentosiformis (the paternal diploid progenitor) and Nicotiana sylvestris (the maternal diploid progenitor) showed species-specific molecular features. These markers allowed us to trace the molecular evolution of parental rDNA in the allopolyploid genome of N. tabacum; at least the majority of tobacco rDNA repeats originated from N. tomentosiformis, which endured reconstruction of subrepeated regions in the IGS. We infer that after hybridization of the parental diploid species, rDNA with a longer IGS, donated by N. tomentosiformis, dominated over the rDNA with a shorter IGS from N. sylvestris; the latter was then eliminated from the allopolyploid genome. Thus, repeated sequences in allopolyploid genomes are targets for molecular rearrangement, demonstrating the dynamic nature of allopolyploid genomes.  (+info)

(6/1578) Low levels of nucleotide diversity at homoeologous Adh loci in allotetraploid cotton (Gossypium L.).

Levels of genetic diversity within and among populations and species are shaped by both external (population-level) and internal (genomic and genic) evolutionary forces. To address the effect of internal pressures, we estimated nucleotide diversity for a pair of homoeologous Adh loci in an allotetraploid species, Gossypium hirsutum. These data represent the first such estimates for a pair of homoeologous nuclear loci in plants. Estimates of nucleotide diversity for AdhA in Gossypium are lower than those for any plant nuclear gene yet described. This low diversity appears to reflect primarily a history of repeated, severe genetic bottlenecks associated with both speciation and recent domestication, supplemented by an unusually slow nucleotide substitution rate and an autogamous breeding system. While not statistically supportable, the sum of the observations also suggest differential evolutionary dynamics at each of the homoeologous loci.  (+info)

(7/1578) Clinical details, cytogenic studies,and cellular physiology of a 69, XXX fetus, with comments on the biological effect of triploidy in man.

A triploid fetus, 69, XXX, aborted spontaneously at 26 weeks' gestation. It had multiple abnormalities including syndactyly of the hands and feet single palmar creases, hypoplasia of the adrenals and ovaries, hypertrophy of thigh muscles, and abnormalities of the brain. The placenta was large and showed hydatidiform degeneration. The pregnancy had been complicated by acute dyspnoea, pre-eclampsia, and postpartum haemorrhage. Detailed cytogenetic studies, using banding and fluorescence techniques, were performed on fetus and parents. Meiotic studies were made on the fetal ovaries. Muscle cell differentiation and electrophysiological relationships of cultured skin fibriblasts were examined in an attempt to study the way in which the extra haploid set of chromosomes exerts its effect on the phenotype. The antenatal diagnosis of late triploidy is discussed. The finding that 25 per cent of late triploids have spina bifida is further evidence that meningomyelocele has a genetic component and strongly suggests that this results from chromosomal imbalance or a regulatory gene disturbance.  (+info)

(8/1578) P53-dependent effects of RAS oncogene on chromosome stability and cell cycle checkpoints.

Mutations activating the function of ras proto-oncogenes are often observed in human tumors. Their oncogenic potential is mainly due to permanent stimulation of cellular proliferation and dramatic changes in morphogenic reactions of the cell. To learn more on the role of ras activation in cancerogenesis we studied its effects on chromosome stability and cell cycle checkpoints. Since the ability of ras oncogenes to cause cell transformation may be dependent on activity of the p53 tumor-suppressor the cells with different p53 state were analysed. Ectopic expression of N-ras(asp12) caused in p53-deficient MDAH041 cell line an augmentation in the number of chromosome breaks in mitogenic cells, significant increase in the frequency of metaphases showing chromosome endoreduplication and accumulation of polyploid cells. Similar effects were induced by different exogenous ras genes (N-ras(asp12), H-ras(leu12), N-ras proto-oncogene) in Rat1 and Rat2 cells which have a defect in p53-upstream pathways. In contrast, in REF52 and human LIM1215 cells showing ras-induced p53 up-regulation, ras expression caused only slight increase in the number of chromosome breaks and did not enhance the frequency of endoreduplication and polyploidy. Inactivation in these cells of p53 function by transduction of dominant-negative C-terminal p53 fragment (genetic suppressor element #22, GSE22) or mutant p53s significantly increased the frequency of both spontaneous and ras-induced karyotypic changes. In concordance with these observations we have found that expression of ras oncogene caused in p53-defective cells further mitigation of ethyl-metansulphonate-induced G1 and G2 cell cycle arrest, but did not abrogate G1 and G2 cell cycle checkpoints in cells with normal p53 function. These data indicate that along with stimulation of cell proliferation and morphological transformation ras activation can contribute to cancerogenesis by increasing genetic instability.  (+info)