(1/5773) Telomeric repeats on small polydisperse circular DNA (spcDNA) and genomic instability.

Small polydisperse circular DNA (spcDNA) is a heterogeneous population of extrachromosomal circular molecules present in a large variety of eukaryotic cells. Elevated amounts of total spcDNA are related to endogenous and induced genomic instability in rodent and human cells. We suggested spcDNA as a novel marker for genomic instability, and speculated that spcDNA might serve as a mutator. In this study, we examine the presence of telomeric sequences on spcDNA. We report for the first time the appearance of telomeric repeats in spcDNA molecules (tel-spcDNA) in rodent and human cells. Restriction enzyme analysis indicates that tel-spcDNA molecules harbor mostly, if not exclusively, telomeric repeats. In rodent cells, tel-spcDNA levels are higher in transformed than in normal cells and are enhanced by treatment with carcinogen. Tel-spcDNA is also detected in some human tumors and cell lines, but not in others. We suggest, that its levels in human cells may be primarily related to the amount of the chromosomal telomeric sequences. Tel-spcDNA may serve as a unique mutator, through specific mechanisms related to the telomeric repeats, which distinguish it from the total heterogeneous spcDNA population. It may affect telomere dynamics and genomic instability by clastogenic events, alterations of telomere size and sequestration of telomeric proteins.  (+info)

(2/5773) Polynucleotide probes that target a hypervariable region of 16S rRNA genes to identify bacterial isolates corresponding to bands of community fingerprints.

Temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TGGE) is well suited for fingerprinting bacterial communities by separating PCR-amplified fragments of 16S rRNA genes (16S ribosomal DNA [rDNA]). A strategy was developed and was generally applicable for linking 16S rDNA from community fingerprints to pure culture isolates from the same habitat. For this, digoxigenin-labeled polynucleotide probes were generated by PCR, using bands excised from TGGE community fingerprints as a template, and applied in hybridizations with dot blotted 16S rDNA amplified from bacterial isolates. Within 16S rDNA, the hypervariable V6 region, corresponding to positions 984 to 1047 (Escherichia coli 16S rDNA sequence), which is a subset of the region used for TGGE (positions 968 to 1401), best met the criteria of high phylogenetic variability, required for sufficient probe specificity, and closely flanking conserved priming sites for amplification. Removal of flanking conserved bases was necessary to enable the differentiation of closely related species. This was achieved by 5' exonuclease digestion, terminated by phosphorothioate bonds which were synthesized into the primers. The remaining complementary strand was removed by single-strand-specific digestion. Standard hybridization with truncated probes allowed differentiation of bacteria which differed by only two bases within the probe target site and 1.2% within the complete 16S rDNA. However, a truncated probe, derived from an excised TGGE band of a rhizosphere community, hybridized with three phylogenetically related isolates with identical V6 sequences. Only one of the isolates comigrated with the excised band in TGGE, which was shown to be due to identical sequences, demonstrating the utility of a combined TGGE and V6 probe approach.  (+info)

(3/5773) The role of interleukin 12 in the development of atherosclerosis in ApoE-deficient mice.

The cytokine profile of atherosclerotic aortas from apoE-deficient mice was assessed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. The results clearly showed that the expression of mRNA for IL-12p40 was evident in aortas from 3-month-old apoE-deficient mice. The mRNA for IL-10 was detected in aorta from these mice at the age of 6 months, indicating that expression of IL-12 is earlier than that of IL-10 in these animals. Concurrent with IL-12p40, the mRNA for the T-cell cytokine IFN-gamma, but not IL-4, was detected in aortas of mice at young and old ages. Both in situ hybridization and immunostaining further demonstrated the localization of IL-12 in macrophages of atherosclerotic lesions. Immunohistochemistry also demonstrated the expression of costimulatory molecules B7-1 and B7-2 in macrophages, suggesting that activation of T lymphocytes by macrophages may occur via surface antigens in lesions. When the immunoglobulin isotype of the antioxidized LDL antibodies in sera of apoE-deficient mice was determined, it revealed that both IgM and IgG were present. Furthermore, IgG2a is predominant and comprises approximately 50% of the antioxidized LDL IgG in sera from young mice (3 months), but decreased to lower levels (35%) in older mice (6 months). Daily administration of IL-12 led to an increase in serum levels of antioxidized LDL antibodies and accelerated atherosclerosis in young apoE-deficient mice compared with control mice injected with PBS alone. Taken together, these data suggest that IL-12 plays an active role in regulating the immune response during the early phase of atherosclerosis in apoE-deficient mice.  (+info)

(4/5773) Species identification and strain differentiation of dermatophyte fungi by analysis of ribosomal-DNA intergenic spacer regions.

Restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) identified in the ribosomal-DNA (rDNA) repeat were used for molecular strain differentiation of the dermatophyte fungus Trichophyton rubrum. The polymorphisms were detected by hybridization of EcoRI-digested T. rubrum genomic DNAs with a probe amplified from the small-subunit (18S) rDNA and adjacent internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions. The rDNA RFLPs mapped to the nontranscribed spacer (NTS) region of the rDNA repeat and appeared similar to those caused by short repetitive sequences in the intergenic spacers of other fungi. Fourteen individual RFLP patterns (DNA types A to N) were recognized among 50 random clinical isolates of T. rubrum. A majority of strains (19 of 50 [38%]) were characterized by one RFLP pattern (DNA type A), and four types (DNA types A to D) accounted for 78% (39 of 50) of all strains. The remaining types (DNA types E to N) were represented by one or two isolates only. A rapid and simple method was also developed for molecular species identification of dermatophyte fungi. The contiguous ITS and 5.8S rDNA regions were amplified from 17 common dermatophyte species by using the universal primers ITS 1 and ITS 4. Digestion of the amplified ITS products with the restriction endonuclease MvaI produced unique and easily identifiable fragment patterns for a majority of species. However, some closely related taxon pairs, such as T. rubrum-T. soudanense and T. quinkeanum-T. schoenlenii could not be distinguished. We conclude that RFLP analysis of the NTS and ITS intergenic regions of the rDNA repeat is a valuable technique both for molecular strain differentiation of T. rubrum and for species identification of common dermatophyte fungi.  (+info)

(5/5773) Identification of Mycobacterium kansasii by using a DNA probe (AccuProbe) and molecular techniques.

The newly formulated Mycobacterium kansasii AccuProbe was evaluated, and the results obtained with the new version were compared to the results obtained with the old version of this test by using 116 M. kansasii strains, 1 Mycobacterium gastri strain, and 19 strains of several mycobacterial species. The sensitivity of this new formulation was 97.4% and the specificity was 100%. Still, three M. kansasii strains were missed by this probe. To evaluate the variability within the species, genetic analyses of the hsp65 gene, the spacer sequence between the 16S and 23S rRNA genes, and the 16S rRNA gene of several M. kansasii AccuProbe-positive strains as well as all AccuProbe-negative strains were performed. Genetic analyses of the one M. gastri strain from the comparative assay and of two further M. gastri strains were included because of the identity of the 16S rRNA gene in M. gastri to that in M. kansasii. The data confirmed the genetic heterogeneity of M. kansasii. Furthermore, a subspecies with an unpublished hsp65 restriction pattern and spacer sequence was described. The genetic data indicate that all M. kansasii strains missed by the AccuProbe test belong to one subspecies, the newly described subspecies VI, as determined by the hsp65 restriction pattern and the spacer sequence. Since the M. kansasii strains that are missed are rare and all M. gastri strains are correctly negative, the new formulated AccuProbe provides a useful tool for the identification of M. kansasii.  (+info)

(6/5773) Development and characterization of complex DNA fingerprinting probes for the infectious yeast Candida dubliniensis.

Using a strategy to clone large genomic sequences containing repetitive elements from the infectious yeast Candida dubliniensis, the three unrelated sequences Cd1, Cd24, and Cd25, with respective molecular sizes of 15,500, 10,000, and 16,000 bp, were cloned and analyzed for their efficacy as DNA fingerprinting probes. Each generated a complex Southern blot hybridization pattern with endonuclease-digested genomic DNA. Cd1 generated an extremely variable pattern that contained all of the bands of the pattern generated by the repeat element RPS of Candida albicans. We demonstrated that Cd1 does not contain RPS but does contain a repeat element associated with RPS throughout the C. dubliniensis genome. The Cd1 pattern was the least stable over time both in vitro and in vivo and for that reason proved most effective in assessing microevolution. Cd24, which did not exhibit microevolution in vitro, was highly variable in vivo, suggesting in vivo-dependent microevolution. Cd25 was deemed the best probe for broad epidemiological studies, since it was the most stable over time, was the only truly C. dubliniensis-specific probe of the three, generated the most complex pattern, was distributed throughout all C. dubliniensis chromosomes, and separated a worldwide collection of 57 C. dubliniensis isolates into two distinct groups. The presence of a species-specific repetitive element in Cd25 adds weight to the already substantial evidence that C. dubliniensis represents a bona fide species.  (+info)

(7/5773) Molecular evidence for the existence of additional members of the order Chlamydiales.

Respiratory tract infections in man may be caused by several members of the genus Chlamydia and also by two Chlamydia-like strains, 'Simkania negevensis' (Z-agent) and 'Parachlamydia acanthamoebae' (Bng). To facilitate diagnostic procedures a PCR assay able to detect all known Chlamydiaceae sequences in one reaction was developed. For this purpose, primers were selected to amplify a fragment of the 16S rRNA gene. Characterization of the amplified fragments was done by hybridization with specific probes and by sequencing. PCR assays were carried out using DNA isolated from nose/throat specimens or from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with respiratory tract infections, and from vessel wall specimens of abdominal aneurysms. Six of the 42 nose/throat swab specimens analysed yielded strong bands and one yielded a faint band. Three of these bands were identified as Chlamydia pneumoniae and one as Chlamydia trachomatis by sequencing. Analysis of the three other bands yielded two different new sequences. DNA isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of one patient yielded a third new sequence. DNA isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of four healthy controls was negative. One of the abdominal aneurysm specimens also yielded a strong band. Sequencing revealed a fourth new sequence. All negative controls included during specimen processing and PCR analysis remained negative. The typical secondary structure of microbial 16S genes was present in all four new sequences indicating the validity of the sequence data. All four new sequences were distinct from other bacteria and clustered together with known Chlamydiaceae sequences. Phylogenetic analysis suggested a new lineage, separating the four new sequences, 'S. negevensis' and 'P. acanthamoebae' from the genus Chlamydia with the four known chlamydial species. In conclusion, this study provides evidence for the existence of several new members of the order Chlamydiales. Since the source of the Chlamydia-like strains has not been identified and serological and/or molecular cross-reactivities may be expected, results of identification of infecting recognized organisms should be interpreted cautiously.  (+info)

(8/5773) 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)