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)
A genetic approach to visualization of multisynaptic neural pathways using plant lectin transgene.
The wiring patterns among various types of neurons via specific synaptic connections are the basis of functional logic employed by the brain for information processing. This study introduces a powerful method of analyzing the neuronal connectivity patterns by delivering a tracer selectively to specific types of neurons while simultaneously transsynaptically labeling their target neurons. We developed a novel genetic approach introducing cDNA for a plant lectin, wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), as a transgene under the control of specific promoter elements. Using this method, we demonstrate three examples of visualization of specific transsynaptic neural pathways: the mouse cerebellar efferent pathways, the mouse olfactory pathways, and the Drosophila visual pathways. This strategy should greatly facilitate studies on the anatomical and functional organization of the developing and mature nervous system. (+info)
Identification of a human HECT family protein with homology to the Drosophila tumor suppressor gene hyperplastic discs.
Use of the differential display technique to isolate progestin-regulated genes in T-47D human breast cancer cells led to identification of a novel gene, EDD. The cDNA sequence contains a 2799 amino acid open reading frame sharing 40% identity with the predicted 2894 amino acid product of the Drosophila melanogaster tumor suppressor gene hyperplastic discs, while the carboxy-terminal 889 amino acids show 96% identity to a rat 100 kDa HECT domain protein. EDD mRNA was progestin-induced in T-47D cells and was highly abundant in testes and expressed at moderately high levels in other tissues, suggesting a broad role for EDD. Anti-EDD antibodies immunoprecipitated an approximately 300 kDa protein from T-47D cell lysates. HECT family proteins function as E3 ubiquitin-protein ligases, targeting specific proteins for ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. EDD is likely to function as an E3 as in vitro translated protein bound ubiquitin reversibly through a conserved HECT domain cysteine residue. EDD was localized by FISH to chromosome 8q22, a locus disrupted in a variety of cancers. Given the homology between EDD and the hyperplastic discs protein, which is required for control of imaginal disc growth in Drosophila, EDD potentially has a role in regulation of cell proliferation or differentiation. (+info)
Direct selection for mutators in Escherichia coli.
We have constructed strains that allow a direct selection for mutators of Escherichia coli on a single plate medium. The plate selection is based on using two different markers whose reversion is enhanced by a given mutator. Plates containing limiting amounts of each respective nutrient allow the growth of ghost colonies or microcolonies that give rise to full-size colonies only if a reversion event occurs. Because two successive mutational events are required, mutator cells are favored to generate full-size colonies. Reversion of a third marker allows direct visualization of the mutator phenotype by the large number of blue papillae in the full-size colonies. We also describe plate selections involving three successive nutrient markers followed by a fourth papillation step. Different frameshift or base substitution mutations are used to select for mismatch-repair-defective strains (mutHLS and uvrD). We can detect and monitor mutator cells arising spontaneously, at frequencies lower than 10(-5) in the population. Also, we can measure a mutator cascade, in which one type of mutator (mutT) generates a second mutator (mutHLS) that then allows stepwise frameshift mutations. We discuss the relevance of mutators arising on a single medium as a result of cells overcoming successive growth barriers to the development and progression of cancerous tumors, some of which are mutator cell lines. (+info)
Karyotyping of human oocytes by chromosomal analysis of the second polar bodies.
This paper describes a method for obtaining metaphase chromosomes from human second polar bodies. The second polar body nucleus was injected into the cytoplasm of an enucleated oocyte, which is activated shortly after injection. When the polar body nucleus is transformed into a haploid pronucleus, treatment with okadaic acid was used to induce premature chromosome condensation. A total of 25 analysable chromosome plates were obtained from 38 polar bodies karyotyped using this technique. Whole chromosome painting was used to detect second polar bodies (and respectively, oocytes) with unbalanced translocations. In combination with the first polar body analysis, this technique may be useful in preimplantation genetic diagnosis for patients carrying maternal translocations. (+info)
Gene knockouts reveal separate functions for two cytoplasmic dyneins in Tetrahymena thermophila.
In many organisms, there are multiple isoforms of cytoplasmic dynein heavy chains, and division of labor among the isoforms would provide a mechanism to regulate dynein function. The targeted disruption of somatic genes in Tetrahymena thermophila presents the opportunity to determine the contributions of individual dynein isoforms in a single cell that expresses multiple dynein heavy chain genes. Substantial portions of two Tetrahymena cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain genes were cloned, and their motor domains were sequenced. Tetrahymena DYH1 encodes the ubiquitous cytoplasmic dynein Dyh1, and DYH2 encodes a second cytoplasmic dynein isoform, Dyh2. The disruption of DYH1, but not DYH2, resulted in cells with two detectable defects: 1) phagocytic activity was inhibited, and 2) the cells failed to distribute their chromosomes correctly during micronuclear mitosis. In contrast, the disruption of DYH2 resulted in a loss of regulation of cell size and cell shape and in the apparent inability of the cells to repair their cortical cytoskeletons. We conclude that the two dyneins perform separate tasks in Tetrahymena. (+info)
Rapid hypothesis testing with Candida albicans through gene disruption with short homology regions.
Disruption of newly identified genes in the pathogen Candida albicans is a vital step in determination of gene function. Several gene disruption methods described previously employ long regions of homology flanking a selectable marker. Here, we describe disruption of C. albicans genes with PCR products that have 50 to 60 bp of homology to a genomic sequence on each end of a selectable marker. We used the method to disrupt two known genes, ARG5 and ADE2, and two sequences newly identified through the Candida genome project, HRM101 and ENX3. HRM101 and ENX3 are homologous to genes in the conserved RIM101 (previously called RIM1) and PacC pathways of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Aspergillus nidulans. We show that three independent hrm101/hrm101 mutants and two independent enx3/enx3 mutants are defective in filamentation on Spider medium. These observations argue that HRM101 and ENX3 sequences are indeed portions of genes and that the respective gene products have related functions. (+info)
Oxidative stress can activate the epidermal platelet-activating factor receptor.
Platelet-activating factor (1-alkyl-2-acetyl-glycero-phosphocholine) is a lipid mediator that has been implicated in keratinocyte function and cutaneous inflammation. Keratinocytes both synthesize platelet-activating factor and express functional platelet-activating factor receptors linked to calcium mobilization. Oxidative stress to various cells including keratinocytes can also result in the mobilization of intracellular Ca2+, a known stimulus for platelet-activating factor biosynthesis. The ability of the epidermal platelet-activating factor receptors to modulate oxidant-induced signaling was investigated using a unique model system created by retroviral-mediated transduction of the platelet-activating factor receptor-negative epithelial cell line KB with the platelet-activating factor receptor. Treatment of KB cells with the lipid pro-oxidant tert-butyl hydroperoxide induced transient increases in intracellular Ca2+ in a concentration-dependent fashion. Expression of the platelet-activating factor receptor in KB cells lowered the threshold for tert-butyl hydroperoxide-induced Ca2+ flux by an order of magnitude (10 microM in control KB versus 1 microM in KB cells expressing the platelet-activating factor receptors) and increased the peak change in intracellular Ca2+ concentration in response to this lipid hydroperoxide. This augmentation of tert-butyl hydroperoxide-induced Ca2+ mobilization was inhibited by pretreatment with the two competitive platelet-activating factor receptor antagonists CV-6209 and WEB 2086, as well as by the antioxidants vitamin E and 1,1,3,3-tetramethyl-2-thiourea. KB cells synthesized platelet-activating factor and the platelet-activating factor receptor agonist 1-palmitoyl-2-acetyl-glycero-phosphocholine in response to tert-butyl hydroperoxide treatment, suggesting the augmentation of oxidative stress-induced signaling seen in platelet-activating factor receptor-expressing cells was due in part to endogenous platelet-activating factor biosynthesis. These studies suggest involvement of the epidermal platelet-activating factor receptors in oxidant-mediated signaling. (+info)