Localization and characterization of curved DNA in the human erythropoietin receptor gene by experimental and theoretical approaches. (1/4715)

We report here the locations of curved DNA in the human erythropoietin receptor gene. A total of 13 DNA bend sites were mapped by circular permutation assays, appearing at an average interval of 651.2+/-214.6 (S.D.) in the 8-kb region. The bend centers in these 13 bend sites were confirmed by oligonucleotide-based assays where most of these centers had bend angles higher than that shown by (AAACCGGGCC) x (A)20 and lower than that shown by (AAACCGGGCC)2 x (A)10. DNA curvature mapping by TRIF software, which is based on the distribution of dinucleotides, primarily AA and TT, provided a highly accurate prediction for the locations of the bend sites. They showed approximately 20 degrees to 40 degrees of bend angles demonstrated by the oligonucleotide assays and by computer analysis.  (+info)

Pseudomonas aeruginosa killing of Caenorhabditis elegans used to identify P. aeruginosa virulence factors. (2/4715)

We reported recently that the human opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14 kills Caenorhabditis elegans and that many P. aeruginosa virulence factors (genes) required for maximum virulence in mouse pathogenicity are also required for maximum killing of C. elegans. Here we report that among eight P. aeruginosa PA14 TnphoA mutants isolated that exhibited reduced killing of C. elegans, at least five also exhibited reduced virulence in mice. Three of the TnphoA mutants corresponded to the known virulence-related genes lasR, gacA, and lemA. Three of the mutants corresponded to known genes (aefA from Escherichia coli, pstP from Azotobacter vinelandii, and mtrR from Neisseria gonorrhoeae) that had not been shown previously to play a role in pathogenesis, and two of the mutants contained TnphoA inserted into novel sequences. These data indicate that the killing of C. elegans by P. aeruginosa can be exploited to identify novel P. aeruginosa virulence factors important for mammalian pathogenesis.  (+info)

Control of corynebacteriophage reproduction by heteroimmune repression. (3/4715)

Corynebacteriophages beta and gamma are closely related but heteroimmune; hence, gamma reproduces in C7(beta). A series of gamma mutants, designated gamma-bin (beta-inhibited), has been isolated. They reproduce in only 2 to 14% of infected C7(beta) cells, and, as a result, plaque with an efficiency of 10(-4) to 10(-5) on this strain. The proportion of C7(beta) cells in which gamma-bin phage can replicate is increased to 30 to 80% when immunity is lifted by UV induction of C7(beta) or by heat induction of C7(beta-tsr3). The gamma-bin mutants carry out a normal vegetative or lysogenic cycle in strain C7 and thus do not appear to be defective in any essential phage function. Infection of C7(beta) by gamma-bin results in cell killing whether the infection is productive or nonproductive. The data support the hypothesis that inhibition of gamma-bin is due to the direct or indirect action of a beta prophage gene. The simplest hypothesis is that gamma-bin phages have sustained mutations in an operator site and that beta repressor now combines with the mutated operator to inhibit normal replication in a significant proportion of infected cells.  (+info)

A cold shock-induced cyanobacterial RNA helicase. (4/4715)

The ability to modify RNA secondary structure is crucial for numerous cellular processes. We have characterized two RNA helicase genes, crhB and crhC, which are differentially expressed in the cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. crhC transcription is limited specifically to cold shock conditions while crhB is expressed under a variety of conditions, including enhanced expression in the cold. This implies that both RNA helicases are involved in the cold acclimation process in cyanobacteria; however, they presumably perform different roles in this adaptation. Although both CrhB and CrhC belong to the DEAD box subfamily of RNA helicases, CrhC encodes a novel RNA helicase, as the highly conserved SAT motif is modified to FAT. This alteration may affect CrhC function and its association with specific RNA targets and/or accessory proteins, interactions required for cold acclimation. Primer extension and analysis of the 5' untranslated region of crhC revealed the transcriptional start site, as well as a number of putative cold shock-responsive elements. The potential role(s) performed by RNA helicases in the acclimation of cyanobacteria to cold shock is discussed.  (+info)

Regulation of autophosphorylation of Escherichia coli nitrogen regulator II by the PII signal transduction protein. (5/4715)

The nitrogen regulator II (NRII or NtrB)-NRI (NtrC) two-component signal transduction system regulates the transcription of nitrogen-regulated genes in Escherichia coli. The NRII protein has both kinase and phosphatase activities and catalyzes the phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of NRI, which activates transcription when phosphorylated. The phosphatase activity of NRII is activated by the PII signal transduction protein. We showed that PII was also an inhibitor of the kinase activity of NRII. The data were consistent with the hypothesis that the kinase and phosphatase activities of two-component system kinase/phosphatase proteins are coordinately and reciprocally regulated. The ability of PII to regulate NRII is allosterically controlled by the small-molecule effector 2-ketoglutarate, which binds to PII. We studied the effect of 2-ketoglutarate on the regulation of the kinase and phosphatase activities of NRII by PII, using a coupled enzyme system to measure the rate of cleavage of ATP by NRII. The data were consistent with the following hypothesis: when not complexed with 2-ketoglutarate, PII cannot bind to NRII and has no effect on its competing NRI kinase and phosphatase activities. Under these conditions, the kinase activity of NRII is dominant. At low 2-ketoglutarate concentrations, PII trimers complexed with a single molecule of 2-ketoglutarate interact with NRII to inhibit its kinase activity and activate its phosphatase activity. However, at high 2-ketoglutarate concentrations, PII binds additional ligand molecules and is rendered incapable of binding to NRII, thereby releasing inhibition of NRII's kinase activity and effectively inhibiting its phosphatase activity (by failing to stimulate it).  (+info)

Identification and cloning of an Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora bacteriocin regulator gene by insertional mutagenesis. (6/4715)

Avirulent Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora CGE234-M403 produces two types of bacteriocin. For the purpose of cloning the bacteriocin genes of strain CGE234M403, a spontaneous rifampin-resistant mutant of this strain, M-rif-11-2, was isolated. By Tn5 insertional mutagenesis using M-rif-11-2, a mutant, TM01A01, which produces the high-molecular-weight bacteriocin but not the low-molecular-weight bacteriocin was obtained. By thermal asymmetric interlaced PCR, the DNA sequence from the Tn5 insertion site and the DNA sequence of a contiguous 1,280-bp region were determined. One complete open reading frame (ORF), designated ORF2, was identified within the sequenced fragment. The 3' end of another ORF, ORF1, was located upstream of ORF2. A noncoding region and a putative promoter were located between ORF1 and ORF2. Downstream from ORF2, the 5' end of another ORF (ORF3) was found. Deduction from the nucleotide sequence indicated that ORF2 encodes a protein of 99 amino acids, which showed high homology with Yersinia enterocolitica Yrp, a regulator of enterotoxin (Y-ST) production; Escherichia coli host factor 1, required for Qbeta-replicase; and Azorhizobium caulinodans NrfA, required for the expression of nifA. ORF2 was designated brg, bacteriocin regulator gene. A fragment containing ORF2 and its promoter was amplified and cloned into pBR322 and pHSG415r, and the recombinant plasmids, pBYL1 and pHYL1, were transferred into E. coli DH5. Plasmid pBYL1 was reisolated and transferred into the insertion mutant TM01A01. Transformants carrying the plasmid, which was reisolated and designated pBYL1, re-produced the low-molecular-weight bacteriocin.  (+info)

Transcriptional repression of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene, mediated by CCAAT displacement protein/cut homolog, is associated with histone deacetylation. (7/4715)

Human cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene (CFTR) transcription is tightly regulated by nucleotide sequences upstream of the initiator sequences. Our studies of human CFTR transcription focus on identifying transcription factors bound to an inverted CCAAT consensus or "Y-box element." The human homeodomain CCAAT displacement protein/cut homolog (CDP/cut) can bind to the Y-box element through a cut repeat and homeobox. Analysis of stably transfected cell lines with wild-type and mutant human CFTR-directed reporter genes demonstrates that human histone acetyltransferase GCN5 and transcription factor ATF-1 can potentiate CFTR transcription through the Y-box element. We have found 1) that human CDP/cut acts as a repressor of CFTR transcription through the Y-box element by competing for the sites of transactivators hGCN5 and ATF-1; 2) that the ability of CDP/cut to repress activities of hGCN5 and ATF-1 activity is contingent on the amount of CDP/cut expression; 3) that histone acetylation may have a role in the regulation of gene transcription by altering the accessibility of the CFTR Y-box for sequence-specific transcription factors; 4) that trichostatin A, an inhibitor of histone deacetylase activity, activates transcription of CFTR through the Y-box element; 5) that the inhibition of histone deacetylase activity leads to an alteration of local chromatin structure requiring an intact Y-box sequence in CFTR; 6) that immunocomplexes of CDP/cut possess an associated histone deacetylase activity; 7) that the carboxyl region of CDP/cut, responsible for the transcriptional repressor function, interacts with the histone deacetylase, HDAC1. We propose that CFTR transcription may be regulated through interactions with factors directing the modification of chromatin and requires the conservation of the inverted CCAAT (Y-box) element of the CFTR promoter.  (+info)

Genetic regulation of tissue-specific expression of amylase structural genes in Drosophila melanogaster. (8/4715)

Laboratory strains of Drosophila melanogaster were screened for spatial variations in adult midgut alpha-amylase (1,4-alpha-D-glucan glucanohydrolase, EC expression. No strain-specific differences were found anteriorly, but three patterns of activity were discerned in the posterior midgut: A, activity throughout most of the region; B, activity in the anterior part of the region; and C, little or no activity. Alleles of a control gene, map, are responsible for this tissue-specific regulation of activity; e.g., mapA homozygotes produce the A pattern and mapC homozygotes the C pattern. The map locus was placed at 2--80 +/- on the genetic map of chromosome 2R, about two crossover units distal to the Amy structural gene region for alpha-amylase. Electrophoretic studies showed that mapA is trans acting in mapA/mapC flies, allowing expression of amylase isozymes coded for by genes on the opposite chromosome. The map gene behaves as a temporal gene that is clearly separable from the tightly linked, duplicated Amy structural genes.  (+info)