(1/1067) Analysis of two cosmid clones from chromosome 4 of Drosophila melanogaster reveals two new genes amid an unusual arrangement of repeated sequences.

Chromosome 4 from Drosophila melanogaster has several unusual features that distinguish it from the other chromosomes. These include a diffuse appearance in salivary gland polytene chromosomes, an absence of recombination, and the variegated expression of P-element transgenes. As part of a larger project to understand these properties, we are assembling a physical map of this chromosome. Here we report the sequence of two cosmids representing approximately 5% of the polytenized region. Both cosmid clones contain numerous repeated DNA sequences, as identified by cross hybridization with labeled genomic DNA, BLAST searches, and dot matrix analysis, which are positioned between and within the transcribed sequences. The repetitive sequences include three copies of the mobile element Hoppel, one copy of the mobile element HB, and 18 DINE repeats. DINE is a novel, short repeated sequence dispersed throughout both cosmid sequences. One cosmid includes the previously described cubitus interruptus (ci) gene and two new genes: that a gene with a predicted amino acid sequence similar to ribosomal protein S3a which is consistent with the Minute(4)101 locus thought to be in the region, and a novel member of the protein family that includes plexin and met-hepatocyte growth factor receptor. The other cosmid contains only the two short 5'-most exons from the zinc-finger-homolog-2 (zfh-2) gene. This is the first extensive sequence analysis of noncoding DNA from chromosome 4. The distribution of the various repeats suggests its organization is similar to the beta-heterochromatic regions near the base of the major chromosome arms. Such a pattern may account for the diffuse banding of the polytene chromosome 4 and the variegation of many P-element transgenes on the chromosome.  (+info)

(2/1067) Nonmethylated transposable elements and methylated genes in a chordate genome.

The genome of the invertebrate chordate Ciona intestinalis was found to be a stable mosaic of methylated and nonmethylated domains. Multiple copies of an apparently active long terminal repeat retrotransposon and a long interspersed element are nonmethylated and a large fraction of abundant short interspersed elements are also methylation free. Genes, by contrast, are predominantly methylated. These data are incompatible with the genome defense model, which proposes that DNA methylation in animals is primarily targeted to endogenous transposable elements. Cytosine methylation in this urochordate may be preferentially directed to genes.  (+info)

(3/1067) 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)

(4/1067) Complete exon-intron organization of the mouse fibulin-1 gene and its comparison with the human fibulin-1 gene.

Fibulin-1 is a 90 kDa calcium-binding protein present in the extracellular matrix and in the blood. Two major variants, C and D, differ in their C-termini as well as the ability to bind the basement membrane protein nidogen. Here we characterized genomic clones encoding the mouse fibulin-1 gene, which contains 18 exons spanning at least 75 kb of DNA. The two variants are generated by alternative splicing of exons in the 3' end. By searching the database we identified most of the exons encoding the human fibulin-1 gene and showed that its exon-intron organization is similar to that of the mouse gene.  (+info)

(5/1067) Genetic variation of chlorella viruses: variable regions localized on the CVK2 genomic DNA.

A physical map of the Chlorella virus CVK2 genomic DNA has been constructed based on a cosmid contig covering the entire genomic region. By using Southern blot analysis with 22 gene probes, the gene arrangement along the genome was compared between CVK2 and PBCV-1, the prototypic member of Phycodnaviridae, whose genomic sequence is now available. The major rearrangements were (1) an insertion of a 20-kbp region around the left end of CVK2 DNA, (2) a duplication of the gene for major capsid protein in CVK2 DNA, (3) deletions/insertions of some open reading frames, and (4) divergence in the terminal inverted repeat sequences. Despite these changes, extensive colinearity was revealed between most of the genes along the CVK2 and PBCV-1 genomes. These data imply that the Chlorella virus genome has an overall high degree of genomic stability, encompassing specific islands of rearrangements.  (+info)

(6/1067) Comparative genomic analysis of the interferon/interleukin-10 receptor gene cluster.

Interferons and interleukin-10 are involved in key aspects of the host defence mechanisms. Human chromosome 21 harbors the interferon/interleukin-10 receptor gene cluster linked to the GART gene. This cluster includes both components of the interferon alpha/beta-receptor (IFNAR1 and IFNAR2) and the second components of the interferon gamma-receptor (IFNGR2) and of the IL-10 receptor (IL10R2). We report here the complete gene content of this GART-cytokine receptor gene cluster and the use of comparative genomic analysis to identify chicken IFNAR1, IFNAR2, and IL10R2. We show that the large-scale structure of this locus is conserved in human and chicken but not in the pufferfish Fugu rubripes. This establishes that the receptor components of these host defense mechanisms were fixed in an ancestor of the amniotes. The extraordinary diversification of the interferon ligand family during the evolution of birds and mammals has therefore occurred in the context of a fixed receptor structure.  (+info)

(7/1067) Molecular cloning and characterization of the human topoisomerase IIalpha and IIbeta genes: evidence for isoform evolution through gene duplication.

Human DNA topoisomerase II is essential for chromosome segregation and is the target for several clinically important anticancer agents. It is expressed as genetically distinct alpha and beta isoforms encoded by the TOP2alpha and TOP2beta genes that map to chromosomes 17q21-22 and 3p24, respectively. The genes display different patterns of cell cycle- and tissue-specific expression, with the alpha isoform markedly upregulated in proliferating cells. In addition to the fundamental role of TOP2alpha and TOP2beta genes in cell growth and development, altered expression and rearrangement of both genes are implicated in anticancer drug resistance. Here, we report the complete structure of the human topoisomerase IIalpha gene, which consists of 35 exons spanning 27.5 kb. Sequence data for the exon-intron boundaries were determined and examined in the context of topoisomerase IIalpha protein structure comprising three functional domains associated with energy transduction, DNA breakage-reunion activity and nuclear localization. The organization of the 3' half of human TOP2beta, including sequence specifying the C-terminal nuclear localization domain, was also elucidated. Of the 15 introns identified in this 20 kb region of TOP2beta, the first nine and the last intron align in identical positions and display the same phases as introns in TOP2alpha. Though their extreme 3' ends differ, the striking conservation suggests the two genes diverged recently in evolutionary terms consistent with a gene duplication event. Access to TOP2alpha and TOP2beta gene structures should aid studies of mutations and gene rearrangements associated with anticancer drug resistance.  (+info)

(8/1067) Control of fertilization-independent endosperm development by the MEDEA polycomb gene in Arabidopsis.

Higher plant reproduction is unique because two cells are fertilized in the haploid female gametophyte. Egg and sperm nuclei fuse to form the embryo. A second sperm nucleus fuses with the central cell nucleus that replicates to generate the endosperm, a tissue that supports embryo development. To understand mechanisms that initiate reproduction, we isolated a mutation in Arabidopsis, f644, that allows for replication of the central cell and subsequent endosperm development without fertilization. When mutant f644 egg and central cells are fertilized by wild-type sperm, embryo development is inhibited, and endosperm is overproduced. By using a map-based strategy, we cloned and sequenced the F644 gene and showed that it encodes a SET-domain polycomb protein. Subsequently, we found that F644 is identical to MEDEA (MEA), a gene whose maternal-derived allele is required for embryogenesis [Grossniklaus, U., Vielle-Calzada, J.-P., Hoeppner, M. A. & Gagliano, W. B. (1998) Science 280, 446-450]. Together, these results reveal functions for plant polycomb proteins in the suppression of central cell proliferation and endosperm development. We discuss models to explain how polycomb proteins function to suppress endosperm and promote embryo development.  (+info)