The nuclear receptor superfamily has undergone extensive proliferation and diversification in nematodes. (1/2949)

The nuclear receptor (NR) superfamily is the most abundant class of transcriptional regulators encoded in the Caenorhabditis elegans genome, with >200 predicted genes revealed by the screens and analysis of genomic sequence reported here. This is the largest number of NR genes yet described from a single species, although our analysis of available genomic sequence from the related nematode Caenorhabditis briggsae indicates that it also has a large number. Existing data demonstrate expression for 25% of the C. elegans NR sequences. Sequence conservation and statistical arguments suggest that the majority represent functional genes. An analysis of these genes based on the DNA-binding domain motif revealed that several NR classes conserved in both vertebrates and insects are also represented among the nematode genes, consistent with the existence of ancient NR classes shared among most, and perhaps all, metazoans. Most of the nematode NR sequences, however, are distinct from those currently known in other phyla, and reveal a previously unobserved diversity within the NR superfamily. In C. elegans, extensive proliferation and diversification of NR sequences have occurred on chromosome V, accounting for > 50% of the predicted NR genes.  (+info)

Phytochrome D acts in the shade-avoidance syndrome in Arabidopsis by controlling elongation growth and flowering time. (2/2949)

Shade avoidance in higher plants is regulated by the action of multiple phytochrome (phy) species that detect changes in the red/far-red ratio (R/FR) of incident light and initiate a redirection of growth and an acceleration of flowering. The phyB mutant of Arabidopsis is constitutively elongated and early flowering and displays attenuated responses to both reduced R/FR and end-of-day far-red light, conditions that induce strong shade-avoidance reactions in wild-type plants. This indicates that phyB plays an important role in the control of shade avoidance. In Arabidopsis phyB and phyD are the products of a recently duplicated gene and share approximately 80% identity. We investigated the role played by phyD in shade avoidance by analyzing the responses of phyD-deficient mutants. Compared with the monogenic phyB mutant, the phyB-phyD double mutant flowers early and has a smaller leaf area, phenotypes that are characteristic of shade avoidance. Furthermore, compared with the monogenic phyB mutant, the phyB-phyD double mutant shows a more attenuated response to a reduced R/FR for these responses. Compared with the phyA-phyB double mutant, the phyA-phyB-phyD triple mutant has elongated petioles and displays an enhanced elongation of internodes in response to end-of-day far-red light. These characteristics indicate that phyD acts in the shade-avoidance syndrome by controlling flowering time and leaf area and that phyC and/or phyE also play a role.  (+info)

Inheritance of nuclear DNA markers in gynogenetic haploid pink salmon. (3/2949)

We describe the inheritance of 460 PCR-based loci in the polyploid-derived pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) genome using gynogenetic haploid embryos. We detected a length polymorphism in a growth hormone gene (GH-2) intron that is caused by an 81 bp insertion homologous to the 3' end of the salmonid short interspersed repetitive element (SINE) SmaI. Such insertion polymorphisms within species bring into question the use of SINEs as phylogenetic markers. We confirmed that a microsatellite locus encodes a PCR-null allele that is responsible for an apparent deficit of heterozygotes in a population sample from Prince William Sound. Another set of microsatellite primers amplified alleles of the same molecular weight from both loci of a duplicated pair. In our analysis of several PCR-based multilocus techniques, we failed to detect evidence of comigrating fragments produced by duplicated loci. Segregation analysis of PCR-based markers using gynogenetic haploid embryos ensures that the interpretation of molecular variation is not complicated by heterozygosity, diploidy, or gene duplication. We urge investigators to test the inheritance of polymorphisms in salmonids prior to using them to measure genetic variation.  (+info)

Truncated RanGAP encoded by the Segregation Distorter locus of Drosophila. (4/2949)

Segregation Distorter (SD) in Drosophila melanogaster is a naturally occurring meiotic drive system in which the SD chromosome is transmitted from SD/SD+ males in vast excess over its homolog owing to the induced dysfunction of SD+-bearing spermatids. The Sd locus is the key distorting gene responsible for this phenotype. A genomic fragment from the Sd region conferred full distorting activity when introduced into the appropriate genetic background by germline transformation. The only functional product encoded by this fragment is a truncated version of the RanGAP nuclear transport protein. These results demonstrate that this mutant RanGAP is the functional Sd product.  (+info)

Genetic and biochemical characterization of phosphofructokinase from the opportunistic pathogenic yeast Candida albicans. (5/2949)

We have used the two PFK genes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae encoding the alpha and beta-subunit of the enzyme phosphofructokinase (Pfk) as heterologous probes to isolate fragments of the respective genes from the dimorphic pathogenic fungus Candida albicans. The complete coding sequences were obtained by combining sequences of chromosomal fragments and fragments obtained by inverse polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The CaPFK1 and CaPFK2 comprise open reading frames of 2961 bp and 2838 bp, respectively, encoding Pfk subunits with deduced molecular masses of 109 kDa and 104 kDa. The genes presumably evolved by a duplication event from a prokaryotic type ancestor, followed by another duplication. Heterologous expression in S. cerevisiae revealed that each gene alone was able to complement the glucose-negative phenotype of a pfk1 pfk2 double mutant. In vitro Pfk activity in S. cerevisiae was not only obtained after coexpression of both genes, but also in conjunction with the respective complementary subunits from S. cerevisiae. This indicates the formation of functional hetero-oligomers consisting of C. albicans and S. cerevisiae Pfk subunits. In C. albicans, specific Pfk activity was shown to decrease twofold upon induction of hyphal growth. CaPfk cross-reacts with a polyclonal antiserum raised against ScPfk and displays similar allosteric properties, i.e. inhibition by ATP and activation by AMP and fructose 2,6-bisphosphate.  (+info)

Comparisons of genomic structures and chromosomal locations of the mouse aldose reductase and aldose reductase-like genes. (6/2949)

Aldose reductase (AR), best known as the first enzyme in the polyol pathway of sugar metabolism, has been implicated in a wide variety of physiological functions and in the etiology of diabetic complications. We have determined the structures and chromosomal locations of the mouse AR gene (Aldor1) and of two genes highly homologous to Aldor1: the fibroblast growth factor regulated protein gene (Fgfrp) and the androgen regulated vas deferens protein gene (Avdp). The number of introns and their locations in the mouse Aldor1 gene are identical to those of rat and human AR genes and also to those of Fgfrp and Avdp. Mouse Aldor1 gene was found to be located near the Cald1 (Caldesmon) and Ptn (Pleiotropin) loci at the proximal end of chromosome 6. The closely related genes Fgfrp and Avdp were also mapped in this region of the chromosome, suggesting that these three genes may have arisen by a gene duplication event.  (+info)

Evidence for an ancient chromosomal duplication in Arabidopsis thaliana by sequencing and analyzing a 400-kb contig at the APETALA2 locus on chromosome 4. (7/2949)

As part of the European Scientists Sequencing Arabidopsis program, a contiguous region (396607 bp) located on chromosome 4 around the APETALA2 gene was sequenced. Analysis of the sequence and comparison to public databases predicts 103 genes in this area, which represents a gene density of one gene per 3.85 kb. Almost half of the genes show no significant homology to known database entries. In addition, the first 45 kb of the contig, which covers 11 genes, is similar to a region on chromosome 2, as far as coding sequences are concerned. This observation indicates that ancient duplications of large pieces of DNA have occurred in Arabidopsis.  (+info)

Molecular cloning and characterization of the human topoisomerase IIalpha and IIbeta genes: evidence for isoform evolution through gene duplication. (8/2949)

Human DNA topoisomerase II is essential for chromosome segregation and is the target for several clinically important anticancer agents. It is expressed as genetically distinct alpha and beta isoforms encoded by the TOP2alpha and TOP2beta genes that map to chromosomes 17q21-22 and 3p24, respectively. The genes display different patterns of cell cycle- and tissue-specific expression, with the alpha isoform markedly upregulated in proliferating cells. In addition to the fundamental role of TOP2alpha and TOP2beta genes in cell growth and development, altered expression and rearrangement of both genes are implicated in anticancer drug resistance. Here, we report the complete structure of the human topoisomerase IIalpha gene, which consists of 35 exons spanning 27.5 kb. Sequence data for the exon-intron boundaries were determined and examined in the context of topoisomerase IIalpha protein structure comprising three functional domains associated with energy transduction, DNA breakage-reunion activity and nuclear localization. The organization of the 3' half of human TOP2beta, including sequence specifying the C-terminal nuclear localization domain, was also elucidated. Of the 15 introns identified in this 20 kb region of TOP2beta, the first nine and the last intron align in identical positions and display the same phases as introns in TOP2alpha. Though their extreme 3' ends differ, the striking conservation suggests the two genes diverged recently in evolutionary terms consistent with a gene duplication event. Access to TOP2alpha and TOP2beta gene structures should aid studies of mutations and gene rearrangements associated with anticancer drug resistance.  (+info)