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(1/3137) Optical mapping of Plasmodium falciparum chromosome 2.

Detailed restriction maps of microbial genomes are a valuable resource in genome sequencing studies but are toilsome to construct by contig construction of maps derived from cloned DNA. Analysis of genomic DNA enables large stretches of the genome to be mapped and circumvents library construction and associated cloning artifacts. We used pulsed-field gel electrophoresis purified Plasmodium falciparum chromosome 2 DNA as the starting material for optical mapping, a system for making ordered restriction maps from ensembles of individual DNA molecules. DNA molecules were bound to derivatized glass surfaces, cleaved with NheI or BamHI, and imaged by digital fluorescence microscopy. Large pieces of the chromosome containing ordered DNA restriction fragments were mapped. Maps were assembled from 50 molecules producing an average contig depth of 15 molecules and high-resolution restriction maps covering the entire chromosome. Chromosome 2 was found to be 976 kb by optical mapping with NheI, and 946 kb with BamHI, which compares closely to the published size of 947 kb from large-scale sequencing. The maps were used to further verify assemblies from the plasmid library used for sequencing. Maps generated in silico from the sequence data were compared to the optical mapping data, and good correspondence was found. Such high-resolution restriction maps may become an indispensable resource for large-scale genome sequencing projects.  (+info)

(2/3137) A powerful DNA extraction method and PCR for detection of microsporidia in clinical stool specimens.

The diagnosis of intestinal microsporidiosis has traditionally depended on direct visualization of the parasite in stool specimens or intestinal biopsy samples by light and/or electron microscopy. Limited information about the specificity and sensitivity of PCR for the detection microsporidia in clinical stool specimens is available. To establish a sensitive and specific method for the detection of microsporidia in clinical samples, we studied clinical stool specimens of 104 randomly selected human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients with diarrhea to compare light microscopy and PCR. Fluorochrome Uvitex 2B staining was used for light microscopy. To raise the sensitivity of PCR, we used a powerful and fast DNA extraction method including stool sedimentation, glass bead disruption, and proteinase K and chitinase digestion. PCR was performed with primer pairs V1-PMP2, V1-EB450, and V1-SI500, and the nature of the PCR products was confirmed by Southern blot hybridization. Microsporidiosis was diagnosed by light microscopy in eight patients. Ten patients tested positive for microsporidiosis by PCR. Enterocytozoon bieneusi was found in seven cases, and Encephalitozoon intestinalis was found in four cases. In one case a double infection with E. bieneusi and E. intestinalis was diagnosed by PCR, whereas light microscopy showed only E. bieneusi infection. PCR testing of stool specimens is useful for diagnosis and species differentiation of intestinal microsporidiosis in HIV patients.  (+info)

(3/3137) Characterization of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii zygote-specific cDNAs that encode novel proteins containing ankyrin repeats and WW domains.

Genes that are expressed only in the young zygote are considered to be of great importance in the development of an isogamous green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Clones representing the Zys3 gene were isolated from a cDNA library prepared using zygotes at 10 min after fertilization. Sequencing of Zys3 cDNA clones resulted in the isolation of two related molecular species. One of them encoded a protein that contained two kinds of protein-to-protein interaction motifs known as ankyrin repeats and WW domains. The other clone lacked the ankyrin repeats but was otherwise identical. These mRNA species began to accumulate simultaneously in cells beginning 10 min after fertilization, and reached maximum levels at about 4 h, after which time levels decreased markedly. Genomic DNA gel-blot analysis indicated that Zys3 was a single-copy gene. The Zys3 proteins exhibited parallel expression to the Zys3 mRNAs at first, appearing 2 h after mating, and reached maximum levels at more than 6 h, but persisted to at least 1 d. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed their localization in the endoplasmic reticulum, which suggests a role in the morphological changes of the endoplasmic reticulum or in the synthesis and transport of proteins to the Golgi apparatus or related vesicles.  (+info)

(4/3137) Identification of Cryptosporidium felis in a cow by morphologic and molecular methods.

Apicomplexan Cryptosporidium parasites infect a wide range of vertebrate hosts. While some species are limited to a single host group, such as Cryptosporidium baileyi, which infects chickens, other species of this genus, such as C. parvum, infect a wide range of mammalian species from mice to humans. During an investigation of Cryptosporidium infection in cattle on a farm in northern Poland, we identified an infection caused by C. felis, in addition to known infections with C. muris and C. parvum. This new infection was identified based on the size of the oocysts (mean size, 4.3 +/- 0.4 micrometer; range, 3.5 to 5.0 micrometer), as well as by analysis of the molecular sequence of the variable region of the small-subunit rRNA. This finding demonstrates the complex host specificity and circulation in the environment of Cryptosporidium species.  (+info)

(5/3137) Molecular cloning and expression of a stress-responsive mitogen-activated protein kinase-related kinase from Tetrahymena cells.

To identify genes responsive to cold stress, we employed the differential display mRNA analysis technique to isolate a novel gene from Tetrahymena thermophila which encodes a protein kinase of 430 amino acids. A homolog of this kinase with 90% amino acid sequence identity was also found in T. pyriformis. Both kinases contain 11 subdomains typical of protein kinases. Sequence analysis revealed that the predicted amino acid sequences resemble those of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), especially p38 and stress-activated protein kinase which are known to be involved in various stress responses. However, it should be noted that the tyrosine residue in the normally conserved MAPK phosphorylation site (Thr-X-Tyr) is replaced by histidine (Thr226-Gly-His228) in this MAPK-related kinase (MRK). The recombinant MRK expressed in Escherichia coli phosphorylated myelin basic protein (MBP) and became autophosphorylated. However, the mutated recombinant protein in which Thr226 was replaced by Ala lost the ability to phosphorylate MBP, suggesting that Thr226 residue is essential for kinase activity. The MRK mRNA transcript in T. thermophila increased markedly upon temperature downshift from 35 to 15 degrees C (0.8 degrees C/min). Interestingly, osmotic shock either by sorbitol (100-200 mM) or NaCl (25-100 mM) also induced mRNA expression of the MRK in T. pyriformis. In addition, the activity of the kinase as determined by an immune complex kinase assay using MBP as a substrate was also induced by osmotic stress. This is the first demonstration of a MAPK-related kinase in the unicellular eukaryotic protozoan Tetrahymena that is induced by physical stresses such as cold temperature and osmolarity. The present results suggest that this MRK may function in the stress-signaling pathway in Tetrahymena cells.  (+info)

(6/3137) Identification of protein kinase B (PKB) as a phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate binding protein in Dictyostelium discoideum.

We have searched for phosphatidylinositol (PI)-3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3) binding proteins in Dictyostelium discoideum using beads bearing a PIP3 analogue, PIP3-APB. One of the binding proteins with a molecular mass of 55 kDa was purified and its amino acid sequence was partially analyzed. Database searches showed that the analyzed sequence was identical to that of protein kinase B (PKB) of D. discoideum. The specific activity of D. discoideum PKB, when expressed together with constitutively active PI-3 kinase in mammalian cells, was elevated by about three-fold, suggesting that PKB could also act downstream of PI-3 kinase in Dictyostelium cells.  (+info)

(7/3137) Molecular techniques for detection, species differentiation, and phylogenetic analysis of microsporidia.

Microsporidia are obligate intracellular protozoan parasites that infect a broad range of vertebrates and invertebrates. These parasites are now recognized as one of the most common pathogens in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients. For most patients with infectious diseases, microbiological isolation and identification techniques offer the most rapid and specific determination of the etiologic agent. This is not a suitable procedure for microsporidia, which are obligate intracellular parasites requiring cell culture systems for growth. Therefore, the diagnosis of microsporidiosis currently depends on morphological demonstration of the organisms themselves. Although the diagnosis of microsporidiosis and identification of microsporidia by light microscopy have greatly improved during the last few years, species differentiation by these techniques is usually impossible and transmission electron microscopy may be necessary. Immunfluorescent-staining techniques have been developed for species differentiation of microsporidia, but the antibodies used in these procedures are available only at research laboratories at present. During the last 10 years, the detection of infectious disease agents has begun to include the use of nucleic acid-based technologies. Diagnosis of infection caused by parasitic organisms is the last field of clinical microbiology to incorporate these techniques and molecular techniques (e.g., PCR and hybridization assays) have recently been developed for the detection, species differentiation, and phylogenetic analysis of microsporidia. In this paper we review human microsporidial infections and describe and discuss these newly developed molecular techniques.  (+info)

(8/3137) Phosphorylation of histone H3 is required for proper chromosome condensation and segregation.

Phosphorylation of histone H3 at serine 10 occurs during mitosis in diverse eukaryotes and correlates closely with mitotic and meiotic chromosome condensation. To better understand the function of H3 phosphorylation in vivo, we created strains of Tetrahymena in which a mutant H3 gene (S10A) was the only gene encoding the major H3 protein. Although both micronuclei and macronuclei contain H3 in typical nucleosomal structures, defects in nuclear divisions were restricted to mitotically dividing micronuclei; macronuclei, which are amitotic, showed no defects. Strains lacking phosphorylated H3 showed abnormal chromosome segregation, resulting in extensive chromosome loss during mitosis. During meiosis, micronuclei underwent abnormal chromosome condensation and failed to faithfully transmit chromosomes. These results demonstrate that H3 serine 10 phosphorylation is causally linked to chromosome condensation and segregation in vivo and is required for proper chromosome dynamics.  (+info)