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(1/1809) Mapping of the homothallic genes, HM alpha and HMa, in Saccharomyces yeasts.

Two of the three homothallic genes, HM alpha and HMa, showed direct linkage to the mating-type locus at approximately 73 and 98 strans (57 and 65 centimorgans [cM], respectively, whereas, the other, HO, showed no linkage to 25 standard markers distributed over 17 chromosomes including the mating-type locus. To determine whether the HM alpha and HMa loci located on the left or right side of the mating-type locus, equations for three factor analysis of three linked genes were derived. Tetrad data were collected and were compared with expected values by chi 2 statistics. Calculations indicated that the HM alpha gene is probably located on the right arm at 95 strans (65 cM) from the centromere and the HMa locus at approximately 90 strans (64 cM) on the left arm of chromosome III.  (+info)

(2/1809) 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)

(3/1809) The 3'-->5' exonucleases of DNA polymerases delta and epsilon and the 5'-->3' exonuclease Exo1 have major roles in postreplication mutation avoidance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Replication fidelity is controlled by DNA polymerase proofreading and postreplication mismatch repair. We have genetically characterized the roles of the 5'-->3' Exo1 and the 3'-->5' DNA polymerase exonucleases in mismatch repair in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae by using various genetic backgrounds and highly sensitive mutation detection systems that are based on long and short homonucleotide runs. Genetic interactions were examined among DNA polymerase epsilon (pol2-4) and delta (pol3-01) mutants defective in 3'-->5' proofreading exonuclease, mutants defective in the 5'-->3' exonuclease Exo1, and mismatch repair mutants (msh2, msh3, or msh6). These three exonucleases play an important role in mutation avoidance. Surprisingly, the mutation rate in an exo1 pol3-01 mutant was comparable to that in an msh2 pol3-01 mutant, suggesting that they participate directly in postreplication mismatch repair as well as in other DNA metabolic processes.  (+info)

(4/1809) Perturbation of mammalian cell division. III. The topography and kinetics of extrusion subdivision.

If mitotic-arrested, cold-stored HeLa cells are incubated at 37 degrees C a proportion of the population divides by an aberrant process which we have called subdivision by extrusion. This process has been studied by time-lapse photography and shown to differ from normal cleavage in several respects. The cell surface becomes more generally mobile and, instead of producing the precisely localized furrowing activity of cytokinesis, gives rise to multiple surface protrusions. These protrusions enlarge at the expense of the parent cell and develop into a cluster of small daughter cells (mini segregants). The surface structure of the cell, as seen by scanning electron microscopy, also changes; the microvilli characteristic of interphase, metaphase and cleaving HeLa cells are lost during extrusion and the cell surface becomes smooth. Extrusion activity is much more variable than division by cleavage in terms of both topography and kinetics, and in general takes longer to complete. Some cells in the cold-treated populations divide by mixtures of cleavage and extrusion or by cleavage alone. The relative numbers of cells dividing in different ways vary with the conditions of pretreatment and incubation of the mitotic cells. The greater the perturbation (e.g. longer cold storage), the greater the proportion of extruding rather than cleaving cells. Human diploid cells can also be induced to subdivide by extrusion. Possible mechanisms underlying the different types of division activity are discussed.  (+info)

(5/1809) TNF-alpha increases ceramide without inducing apoptosis in alveolar type II epithelial cells.

Ceramide is a bioactive lipid mediator that has been observed to induce apoptosis in vitro. The purpose of this study was to determine whether endogenous ceramide, generated in response to in vivo administration of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), increases apoptosis in primary rat alveolar type II epithelial cells. Intratracheal instillation of TNF-alpha (5 microgram) produced a decrease in sphingomyelin and activation of a neutral sphingomyelinase. These changes were associated with a significant increase in lung ceramide content. TNF-alpha concomitantly activated the p42/44 extracellular signal-related kinases and induced nuclear factor-kappaB activation in the lung. Hypodiploid nuclei studies revealed that intratracheal TNF-alpha did not increase type II cell apoptosis compared with that in control cells after isolation. A novel observation from separate in vitro studies demonstrated that type II cells undergo a gradual increase in apoptosis after time in culture, a process that was accelerated by exposure of cells to ultraviolet light. However, culture of cells with a cell-permeable ceramide, TNF-alpha, or a related ligand, anti-CD95, did not increase apoptosis above the control level. The results suggest that ceramide resulting from TNF-alpha activation of sphingomyelin hydrolysis might activate the mitogen-activated protein kinase and nuclear factor-kappaB pathways without increasing programmed cell death in type II cells.  (+info)

(6/1809) 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)

(7/1809) Mutator phenotypes conferred by MLH1 overexpression and by heterozygosity for mlh1 mutations.

Loss of DNA mismatch repair due to mutation or diminished expression of the MLH1 gene is associated with genome instability and cancer. In this study, we used a yeast model system to examine three circumstances relevant to modulation of MLH1 function. First, overexpression of wild-type MLH1 was found to cause a strong elevation of mutation rates at three different loci, similar to the mutator effect of MLH1 gene inactivation. Second, haploid yeast strains with any of six mlh1 missense mutations that mimic germ line mutations found in human cancer patients displayed a strong mutator phenotype consistent with loss of mismatch repair function. Five of these mutations affect amino acids that are homologous to residues suggested by recent crystal structure and biochemical analysis of Escherichia coli MutL to participate in ATP binding and hydrolysis. Finally, using a highly sensitive reporter gene, we detected a mutator phenotype of diploid yeast strains that are heterozygous for mlh1 mutations. Evidence suggesting that this mutator effect results not from reduced mismatch repair in the MLH1/mlh1 cells but rather from loss of the wild-type MLH1 allele in a fraction of cells is presented. Exposure to bleomycin or to UV irradiation strongly enhanced mutagenesis in the heterozygous strain but had little effect on the mutation rate in the wild-type strain. This damage-induced hypermutability may be relevant to cancer in humans with germ line mutations in only one MLH1 allele.  (+info)

(8/1809) 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)