(1/26780) Marker effects on reversion of T4rII mutants.

The frequencies of 2-aminopurine- and 5-bromouracil-induced A:T leads to G:C transitions were compared at nonsense sites throughout the rII region of bacteriophage T4. These frequencies are influenced both by adjacent base pairs within the nonsense codons and by extracodonic factors. Following 2AP treatment, they are high in amber (UAG) and lower in opal (UGA) codons than in allelic ochre (UAA) codons. In general, 5BU-induced transitions are more frequent in both amber and opal codons than in the allelic ochre codons. 2AP- and 5BU-induced transition frequencies in the first and third positions of opal codons are correlated with those in the corresponding positions of the allelic ochre codons. Similarly, the frequencies of 2AP-induced transition in the first and second positions of amber codons and their ochre alleles are correlated. However, there is little correlation between the frequencies of 5BU-induced transitions in the first and second positions of allelic amber and ochre codons.  (+info)

(2/26780) Four dimers of lambda repressor bound to two suitably spaced pairs of lambda operators form octamers and DNA loops over large distances.

Transcription factors that are bound specifically to DNA often interact with each other over thousands of base pairs [1] [2]. Large DNA loops resulting from such interactions have been observed in Escherichia coli with the transcription factors deoR [3] and NtrC [4], but such interactions are not, as yet, well understood. We propose that unique protein complexes, that are not present in solution, may form specifically on DNA. Their uniqueness would make it possible for them to interact tightly and specifically with each other. We used the repressor and operators of coliphage lambda to construct a model system in which to test our proposition. lambda repressor is a dimer at physiological concentrations, but forms tetramers and octamers at a hundredfold higher concentration. We predict that two lambda repressor dimers form a tetramer in vitro when bound to two lambda operators spaced 24 bp apart and that two such tetramers interact to form an octamer. We examined, in vitro, relaxed circular plasmid DNA in which such operator pairs were separated by 2,850 bp and 2,470 bp. Of these molecules, 29% formed loops as seen by electron microscopy (EM). The loop increased the tightness of binding of lambda repressor to lambda operator. Consequently, repression of the lambda PR promoter in vivo was increased fourfold by the presence of a second pair of lambda operators, separated by a distance of 3,600 bp.  (+info)

(3/26780) Human topoisomerase I promotes initiation of simian virus 40 DNA replication in vitro.

Addition of purified human topoisomerase I (topo I) to simian virus 40 T antigen-driven in vitro DNA replication reactions performed with topo I-deficient extracts results in a greater than 10-fold stimulation of completed molecules as well as a more than 3-fold enhancement of overall DNA replication. To further characterize this stimulation, we first demonstrate that bovine topo I but not Escherichia coli topo I can also enhance DNA replication. By using several human topo I mutants, we show that a catalytically active form of topo I is required. To delineate whether topo I influences the initiation or the elongation step of replication, we performed delayed pulse, pulse-chase, and delayed pulse-chase experiments. The results illustrate that topo I cannot promote the completion of partially replicated molecules but is needed from the beginning of the reaction to initiate replication. Competitive inhibition experiments with the topo I binding T antigen fragment 1-246T and a catalytically inactive topo I mutant suggest that part of topo I's stimulation of replication is mediated through a direct interaction with T antigen. Collectively, our data indicate that topo I enhances the synthesis of fully replicated DNA molecules by forming essential interactions with T antigen and stimulating initiation.  (+info)

(4/26780) Induction of AT-specific DNA-interstrand crosslinks by bizelesin in genomic and simian virus 40 DNA.

Bizelesin is a bifunctional AT-specific DNA alkylating drug. Our study characterized the ability of bizelesin to induce interstrand crosslinks, a potential lethal lesion. In genomic DNA of BSC-1 cells, bizelesin formed from approx. 0.3 to 6.03+/-0.85 interstrand crosslinks per 106 base pairs, at 5-100 nM drug concentration, respectively, comparable to the number of total adducts previously determined in the same system (J.M. Woynarowski, M.M. McHugh, L.S. Gawron, T.A. Beerman, Biochemistry 34 (1995) 13042-13050). Bizelesin did not induce DNA-protein crosslinks or strand breaks. A model defined target, intracellular simian virus 40 (SV40) DNA, was employed to map at the nucleotide level sites of bizelesin adducts, including potential interstrand crosslinks. Preferential adduct formation was observed at AT tracts which are abundant in the SV40 matrix associated region and the origin of replication. Many sites, including each occurrence of 5'-T(A/T)4A-3', co-mapped on both DNA strands suggesting interstrand crosslinks, although monoadducts were also formed. Bizelesin adducts in naked SV40 DNA were found at similar sites. The localization of bizelesin-induced crosslinks in AT-rich tracts of replication-related regions is consistent with the potent anti-replicative properties of bizelesin. Given the apparent lack of other types of lesions in genomic DNA, interstrand crosslinks localized in AT-rich tracts, and to some extent perhaps also monoadducts, are likely to be lethal effects of bizelesin.  (+info)

(5/26780) Hybrid capture II, a new sensitive test for human papillomavirus detection. Comparison with hybrid capture I and PCR results in cervical lesions.

AIM: To test a new assay for the detection of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA, hybrid capture II (HC II), compared with the previous commercialized hybrid capture I (HC I) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results on cervical scrapes from fresh cone excision biopsy samples. METHODS: The three methods were used on cervical scrapes from 42 fresh cone excision biopsy samples. There were nine metaplastic and inflammatory lesions, five low grade lesions, and 28 high grade lesions. PCR was performed using the general primers GP5+/GP6+. The viral load of high risk HPV DNA was estimated by the ratio of relative light units to positive control values in the samples. RESULTS: The sensitivity of HC I for the detection of high grade lesions was 71.4%, while it was 92.8% for HC II and 96.4% for the PCR. Considering only the absence of detectable cervical in situ neoplasia, the specificity was 88.9% for HC I, 66.7% for HC II, and 66.7% for PCR. With HC II, for a ratio of cervical sample to normal control of > 200, the sensitivity for the detection of high grade lesion was only 34.6% with a specificity of 66.7%. CONCLUSIONS: HPV detection with the HC II assay is more sensitive than the previous HC I and represents a more convenient and easier test than PCR for routine use. Nevertheless the viral load estimated with this test cannot be a reliable predictive indicator of high grade lesions.  (+info)

(6/26780) Human papillomavirus DNA in adenosquamous carcinoma of the lung.

AIM: To investigate the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA in adenosquamous carcinoma of the lung--which is relatively common in Okinawa but not in mainland Japan--and examine its histological features. METHODS: Of 207 cases where primary lung cancers were surgically removed between January 1995 and June 1997 in Okinawa, 23 were adenosquamous carcinoma. HPV was detected by non-isotopic in situ hybridisation (NISH) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification with primers specific for E6 and E7 regions of the HPV genome. PCR products were analysed by Southern blotting. Immunohistochemical determination of high molecular weight cytokeratin (HMC) and involucrin was also carried out. RESULTS: 18 cases were positive for HPV DNA by PCR and NISH. HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18 were found. Seven cases were dual positive for different types of HPV. Using NISH, HPV was also found in the squamous cell components and in neighbouring enlarged adenocarcinoma cells. The HMC and involucrin were demonstrated immunohistochemically in the same areas. CONCLUSIONS: HPV DNA was found in a high proportion (78.3%) of adenosquamous carcinomas in Okinawa, a region where HPV has previously been shown to be prevalent in squamous cell carcinoma of the lung. The adenocarcinoma cells adjacent to the squamous cell carcinoma component were enlarged and positive for HPV, HMC, and involucrin. This is thought to indicate the transition from adenocarcinoma to squamous cell carcinoma.  (+info)

(7/26780) A review of statistical methods for estimating the risk of vertical human immunodeficiency virus transmission.

BACKGROUND: Estimation of the risk of vertical transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been complicated by the lack of a reliable diagnostic test for paediatric HIV infection. METHODS: A literature search was conducted to identify all statistical methods that have been used to estimate HIV vertical transmission risk. Although the focus of this article is the analysis of birth cohort studies, ad hoc studies are also reviewed. CONCLUSIONS: The standard method for estimating HIV vertical transmission risk is biased and inefficient. Various alternative analytical approaches have been proposed but all involve simplifying assumptions and some are difficult to implement. However, early diagnosis/exclusion of infection is now possible because of improvements in polymerase chain reaction technology and complex estimation methods should no longer be required. The best way to analyse studies conducted in breastfeeding populations is still unclear and deserves attention in view of the many intervention studies being planned or conducted in developing countries.  (+info)

(8/26780) Novel endotheliotropic herpesviruses fatal for Asian and African elephants.

A highly fatal hemorrhagic disease has been identified in 10 young Asian and African elephants at North American zoos. In the affected animals there was ultrastructural evidence for herpesvirus-like particles in endothelial cells of the heart, liver, and tongue. Consensus primer polymerase chain reaction combined with sequencing yielded molecular evidence that confirmed the presence of two novel but related herpesviruses associated with the disease, one in Asian elephants and another in African elephants. Otherwise healthy African elephants with external herpetic lesions yielded herpesvirus sequences identical to that found in Asian elephants with endothelial disease. This finding suggests that the Asian elephant deaths were caused by cross-species infection with a herpesvirus that is naturally latent in, but normally not lethal to, African elephants. A reciprocal relationship may exist for the African elephant disease.  (+info)