The Drosophila kismet gene is related to chromatin-remodeling factors and is required for both segmentation and segment identity.
The Drosophila kismet gene was identified in a screen for dominant suppressors of Polycomb, a repressor of homeotic genes. Here we show that kismet mutations suppress the Polycomb mutant phenotype by blocking the ectopic transcription of homeotic genes. Loss of zygotic kismet function causes homeotic transformations similar to those associated with loss-of-function mutations in the homeotic genes Sex combs reduced and Abdominal-B. kismet is also required for proper larval body segmentation. Loss of maternal kismet function causes segmentation defects similar to those caused by mutations in the pair-rule gene even-skipped. The kismet gene encodes several large nuclear proteins that are ubiquitously expressed along the anterior-posterior axis. The Kismet proteins contain a domain conserved in the trithorax group protein Brahma and related chromatin-remodeling factors, providing further evidence that alterations in chromatin structure are required to maintain the spatially restricted patterns of homeotic gene transcription. (+info)
Stable remodeling of tailless nucleosomes by the human SWI-SNF complex.
The histone N-terminal tails have been shown previously to be important for chromatin assembly, remodeling, and stability. We have tested the ability of human SWI-SNF (hSWI-SNF) to remodel nucleosomes whose tails have been cleaved through a limited trypsin digestion. We show that hSWI-SNF is able to remodel tailless mononucleosomes and nucleosomal arrays, although hSWI-SNF remodeling of tailless nucleosomes is less effective than remodeling of nucleosomes with tails. Analogous to previous observations with tailed nucleosomal templates, we show both (i) that hSWI-SNF-remodeled trypsinized mononucleosomes and arrays are stable for 30 min in the remodeled conformation after removal of ATP and (ii) that the remodeled tailless mononucleosome can be isolated on a nondenaturing acrylamide gel as a novel species. Thus, nucleosome remodeling by hSWI-SNF can occur via interactions with a tailless nucleosome core. (+info)
Arginine methylation and binding of Hrp1p to the efficiency element for mRNA 3'-end formation.
Hrp1p is a heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae that is involved in the cleavage and polyadenylation of the 3'-end of mRNAs and mRNA export. In addition, Hrplp is one of several RNA-binding proteins that are posttranslationally modified by methylation at arginine residues. By using functional recombinant Hrp1p, we have identified RNA sequences with specific high affinity binding sites. These sites correspond to the efficiency element for mRNA 3'-end formation, UAUAUA. To examine the effect of methylation on specific RNA binding, purified recombinant arginine methyltransferase (Hmt1p) was used to methylate Hrp1p. Methylated Hrp1p binds with the same affinity to UAUAUA-containing RNAs as unmethylated Hrpl p indicating that methylation does not affect specific RNA binding. However, RNA itself inhibits the methylation of Hrp1p and this inhibition is enhanced by RNAs that specifically bind Hrpl p. Taken together, these data support a model in which protein methylation occurs prior to protein-RNA binding in the nucleus. (+info)
Reconstitution of the transcription factor TFIIH: assignment of functions for the three enzymatic subunits, XPB, XPD, and cdk7.
To understand the initiation of the transcription of protein-coding genes, we have dissected the role of the basal transcription/DNA repair factor TFIIH. Having succeeded in reconstituting a functionally active TFIIH from baculovirus recombinant polypeptides, we were able to analyze the role of XPB, XPD, and cdk7 subunits in the transcription reaction. Designing mutated recombinant subunits, we show that the XPB helicase is absolutely required for transcription to open the promoter around the start site whereas the XPD helicase, which is dispensable, stimulates transcription and allows the CAK complex to be anchored to TFIIH. In addition, we also show that cdk7 may phosphorylate the carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA pol II in the absence of promoter opening. (+info)
Plasmid replication initiator protein RepD increases the processivity of PcrA DNA helicase.
The replication initiator protein RepD encoded by the Staphylococcus chloramphenicol resistance plasmid pC221 stimulates the helicase activity of the Bacillus stearothermophilus PcrA DNA helicase in vitro. This stimulatory effect seems to be specific for PcrA and differs from the stimulatory effect of the Escherichia coli ribosomal protein L3. Whereas L3 stimulates the PcrA helicase activity by promoting co-operative PcrA binding onto its DNA substrate, RepD stimulates the PcrA helicase activity by increasing the processivity of the enzyme and enables PcrA to displace DNA from a nicked substrate. The implication of these results is that PcrA is the helicase recruited into the replisome by RepD during rolling circle replication of plasmids of the pT181 family. (+info)
Evolution of the RECQ family of helicases: A drosophila homolog, Dmblm, is similar to the human bloom syndrome gene.
Several eukaryotic homologs of the Escherichia coli RecQ DNA helicase have been found. These include the human BLM gene, whose mutation results in Bloom syndrome, and the human WRN gene, whose mutation leads to Werner syndrome resembling premature aging. We cloned a Drosophila melanogaster homolog of the RECQ helicase family, Dmblm (Drosophila melanogaster Bloom), which encodes a putative 1487-amino-acid protein. Phylogenetic and dot plot analyses for the RECQ family, including 10 eukaryotic and 3 prokaryotic genes, indicate Dmblm is most closely related to the Homo sapiens BLM gene, suggesting functional similarity. Also, we found that Dmblm cDNA partially rescued the sensitivity to methyl methanesulfonate of Saccharomyces cerevisiae sgs1 mutant, demonstrating the presence of a functional similarity between Dmblm and SGS1. Our analyses identify four possible subfamilies in the RECQ family: (1) the BLM subgroup (H. sapiens Bloom, D. melanogaster Dmblm, and Caenorhabditis elegans T04A11.6); (2) the yeast RECQ subgroup (S. cerevisiae SGS1 and Schizosaccharomyces pombe rqh1/rad12); (3) the RECQL/Q1 subgroup (H. sapiens RECQL/Q1 and C. elegans K02F3.1); and (4) the WRN subgroup (H. sapiens Werner and C. elegans F18C5.2). This result may indicate that metazoans hold at least three RECQ genes, each of which may have a different function, and that multiple RECQ genes diverged with the generation of multicellular organisms. We propose that invertebrates such as nematodes and insects are useful as model systems of human genetic diseases. (+info)
Molecular shape and ATP binding activity of rat p50, a putative mammalian homologue of RuvB DNA helicase.
Based on partial amino acid sequences of p50 purified from a high-salt buffer extract of a rat liver nuclear matrix fraction, p50 cDNA was cloned and sequenced, and its amino acid sequence was predicted. The sequence contained helicase motifs, and showed homology with RuvB DNA helicase of Thermus thermophilus and an open reading frame for an unknown 50.5 k protein of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. p50 was expressed as a GST-fusion protein and antiserum against the protein was generated. p50 was localized to the nuclear matrix by cell fractionation and immunoblotting. p50 bound to ATP-Sepharose beads. Ultracentrifugation and gel filtration analyses showed that p50 in rat liver and Xenopus egg mitotic extracts exists as large complexes corresponding to 697 k and 447 k, respectively. A 50 k protein reactive with p50 antibodies was detected not only in rat liver nuclei, but also in a Xenopus egg cytoplasm fraction and a S. cerevisiae extract. This suggests that this putative DNA helicase is present in a wide variety of species ranging from yeast to mammals. (+info)
Yeast and human genes that affect the Escherichia coli SOS response.
The sequencing of the human genome has led to the identification of many genes whose functions remain to be determined. Because of conservation of genetic function, microbial systems have often been used for identification and characterization of human genes. We have investigated the use of the Escherichia coli SOS induction assay as a screen for yeast and human genes that might play a role in DNA metabolism and/or in genome stability. The SOS system has previously been used to analyze bacterial and viral genes that directly modify DNA. An initial screen of meiotically expressed yeast genes revealed several genes associated with chromosome metabolism (e.g., RAD51 and HHT1 as well as others). The SOS induction assay was then extended to the isolation of human genes. Several known human genes involved in DNA metabolism, such as the Ku70 end-binding protein and DNA ligase IV, were identified, as well as a large number of previously unknown genes. Thus, the SOS assay can be used to identify and characterize human genes, many of which may participate in chromosome metabolism. (+info)