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(1/3912) Hidden genetic variability within electromorphs in finite populations.

The amount of hidden genetic variability within electromorphs in finite populations is studied by using the infinite site model and stepwise mutation model simultaneously. A formula is developed for the bivariate probability generating function for the number of codon differences and the number of electromorph state differences between two randomly chosen cistrons. Using this formula, the distribution as well as the mean and variance of the number of codon differences between two identical or nonidentical electromorphs are studied. The distribution of the number of codon differences between two randomly chosen identical electromorphs is similar to the geometric distribution but more leptokurtic. Studies are also made on the number of codon differences between two electromorphs chosen at random one from each of two populations which have been separated for an arbitrary number of generations. It is shown that the amount of hidden genetic variability is very large if the product of effective population size and mutation rate is large.  (+info)

(2/3912) Application of temperature-gradient gel electrophoresis in taxonomy of coryneform bacteria.

Strains belonging to the Gram-positive coryneform soil bacteria were screened genotypically by temperature-gradient gel electrophoresis (TGGE). This method allows the sequence-specific separation of amplified fragments of 16S rRNA genes. A total of 115 reference strains representing the majority of the species of the genera Aeromicrobium, Agromyces, Arthrobacter, Aureobacterium, Cellulomonas, Curtobacterium, Nocardioides and Terrabacter were characterized. Depending on the genus investigated, the resolution limit of the technique appeared to be at the species or genus level or intermediate between the two. Aberrant TGGE profiles of strains within particular taxa revealed genomic heterogeneity and generic misclassification of nine strains studied. Beyond that, indications of 16S rRNA gene heterogeneity were found within the genomes of three Curtobacterium strains. The misclassifications revealed by TGGE were confirmed using whole-cell fatty acid methyl ester analysis and subsequent comparison with a database. TGGE has been demonstrated to be a useful tool in bacterial taxonomy.  (+info)

(3/3912) Evidence for suppressed activity of the transcription factor NFAT1 at its proximal binding element P0 in the IL-4 promoter associated with enhanced IL-4 gene transcription in T cells of atopic patients.

Allergen-specific T cells in atopic patients are polarized IL-4-producing Th2 cells, promoting IgE synthesis by B cells. The molecular basis for increased IL-4 gene expression in atopy is not fully understood. IL-4 gene regulation in general involves the nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) family of transcription factors, of which NFAT1 and NFAT2 are most prominent in peripheral T cells. Recently, a unique inhibitory role of NFAT1 in IL-4 gene control was shown in the mouse. In a series of electrophoretic mobility shift assays with protein extracts of highly polarized Th2 clones from atopics and Th1 clones from controls we compared DNA-binding activities at the two NFAT-binding elements P0 and P1 of the crucial proximal human IL-4 promoter. At the most proximal P0 site, NFAT-containing complexes devoid of NFAT2 were readily inducible in the Th1 clones, but hardly or not in the Th2 clones. In contrast, both in Th1 and Th2 clones NFAT-containing complexes were strongly inducible at the P1 site, consisting of NFAT2 and a P0-compatible NFAT activity, without apparent differences between Th1 and Th2 clones. Like in Th2 clones, suppressed NFAT-P0 complex formation was observed also at the polyclonal level in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of three of five severe atopic dermatitis patients with strongly elevated serum IgE levels, but not in control PBMC. These findings suggest that high-level IL-4 production in atopic Th2 cells is associated with selective reduction of suppressive NFAT1 activity at the IL-4 P0 element and that some patients with this multifactorial disease may have a putative systemic disorder at this level.  (+info)

(4/3912) Hepatocyte nuclear factor-4 regulates intestinal expression of the guanylin/heat-stable toxin receptor.

We have investigated the regulation of gene transcription in the intestine using the guanylyl cyclase C (GCC) gene as a model. GCC is expressed in crypts and villi in the small intestine and in crypts and surface epithelium of the colon. DNase I footprint, electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA), transient transfection assays, and mutagenesis experiments demonstrated that GCC transcription is regulated by a critical hepatocyte nuclear factor-4 (HNF-4) binding site between bp -46 and -29 and that bp -38 to -36 were essential for binding. Binding of HNF-4 to the GCC promoter was confirmed by competition EMSA and by supershift EMSA. In Caco-2 and T84 cells, which express both GCC and HNF-4, the activity of GCC promoter and/or luciferase reporter plasmids containing 128 or 1973 bp of 5'-flanking sequence was dependent on the HNF-4 binding site in the proximal promoter. In COLO-DM cells, which express neither GCC nor HNF-4, cotransfection of GCC promoter/luciferase reporter plasmids with an HNF-4 expression vector resulted in 23-fold stimulation of the GCC promoter. Mutation of the HNF-4 binding site abolished this transactivation. Transfection of COLO-DM cells with the HNF-4 expression vector stimulated transcription of the endogenous GCC gene as well. These results indicate that HNF-4 is a key regulator of GCC expression in the intestine.  (+info)

(5/3912) Nuclear factor-kappa B activity in T cells from patients with rheumatic diseases: a preliminary report.

OBJECTIVE: The NF-kappa B/Rel family of transcription factors regulates the expression of many genes involved in the immune or inflammatory response at the transcriptional level. The aim of this study was to determine whether distinctive patterns of NF-kappa B activation are seen in different forms of joint disease. METHODS: The DNA binding activity of these nucleoproteins was examined in purified synovial and peripheral T cells from patients with various chronic rheumatic diseases (12: four with rheumatoid arthritis; five with spondyloarthropathies; and three with osteoarthritis). RESULTS: Electrophoretic mobility shift assays disclosed two specific complexes bound to a NF-kappa B specific 32P-labelled oligonucleotide in nucleoproteins extracted from purified T cells isolated from synovial fluid and peripheral blood of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The complexes consisted of p50/p50 homodimers and p50/p65 heterodimers. Increased NF-kappa B binding to DNA in synovial T cells was observed relative to peripheral T cells. In non-rheumatoid arthritis, binding of NF-kappa B in synovial T cells was exclusively mediated by p50/p50 homodimers. CONCLUSION: Overall, the results suggest that NF-kappa B may play a central part in the activation of infiltrating T cells in chronic rheumatoid arthritis. The activation of this nuclear factor is qualitatively different in rheumatoid synovial T cells to that in other forms of non-rheumatoid arthritis (for example, osteoarthritis, spondyloarthropathies).  (+info)

(6/3912) "The FSGS factor:" enrichment and in vivo effect of activity from focal segmental glomerulosclerosis plasma.

A circulating causative factor has been postulated in focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). It has been shown that serum or plasma from some FSGS increases glomerular albumin permeability (Palb) in vitro. Palb greater than 0.5 (i.e., FS activity) is associated with recurrence after transplantation. Specimens from 15 FSGS patients were studied to document the presence of a permeability factor, to isolate this factor, to characterize its biochemical properties, and to show its effect in vivo. Total lipids were extracted by chloroform/methanol (2: 1); FS activity was absent from total lipid extract. Chylomicrons and lipoproteins were removed from the plasma with dextran sulfate, followed by sequential precipitation of proteins at 50 and 70% ammonium sulfate saturation. FS activity was retained in the 70% ammonium sulfate supernatant and exhibited a 100-fold purification. FS activity was lost after heating at 100 degrees C for 10 min or after protease digestion. Under nondenaturing conditions, electrophoresis of the FSGS 70% supernatant showed a prominent low molecular weight band that was not evident in the 70% supernatant from normal plasma. Dialysis and centrifugation-based membrane ultrafiltration of the FSGS factor indicated a molecular size between 30 and 50 kD. Injection of the 70% FSGS supernatant into rats caused a threefold increase in urine protein in collections from 6 to 24 h after injection. No increase in proteinuria occurred in rats injected with 70% supernatant from normal individuals. It is concluded that the FSGS factor is a low molecular weight protein with the potential to increase Palb in vitro and to cause proteinuria in vivo.  (+info)

(7/3912) Isolation of DNA fragments associated with methylated CpG islands in human adenocarcinomas of the lung using a methylated DNA binding column and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis.

We have constructed a library of DNA fragments heavily methylated in human adenocarcinomas of the lung to permit the comprehensive isolation of methylated CpG islands in cancer. Heavily methylated genomic DNA fragments from tumors of nine male patients were enriched using a methylated DNA binding column and used for construction of the library. From this library, DNA fragments having properties of CpG islands were isolated on the basis of their reduced rate of strand dissociation during denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Approximately 1,000 clones, corresponding to 0.3% of the library were analyzed, and nine DNA fragments were identified as being associated with CpG islands that were methylated in tumor DNA. One CpG island was methylated specifically in tumor DNA, whereas the remaining eight CpG islands were methylated both in normal and tumor DNA derived from the same patients. Our results suggest that the number of CpG islands methylated specifically in tumors is not large. The library, which contains DNA fragments from methylated CpG islands comprehensively, is expected to be valuable when elucidating epigenetic processes involved in carcinogenesis.  (+info)

(8/3912) An electrophoretic study of the reversible binding of phosphate to ovalbumin.

An electrophoretic method is described for the measurement of relatively weak interaction of ions with proteins, and illustrated with the ovalbumin-phosphate system in 0.1I buffers, pH6.1. Results indicate that under these conditions the interaction of a single dibasic phosphate ion with ovalbumin is described by an association constant of approx. 250M-1.  (+info)