Identification of RNase T as a high-copy suppressor of the UV sensitivity associated with single-strand DNA exonuclease deficiency in Escherichia coli.
There are three known single-strand DNA-specific exonucleases in Escherichia coli: RecJ, exonuclease I (ExoI), and exonuclease VII (ExoVII). E. coli that are deficient in all three exonucleases are abnormally sensitive to UV irradiation, most likely because of their inability to repair lesions that block replication. We have performed an iterative screen to uncover genes capable of ameliorating the UV repair defect of xonA (ExoI-) xseA (ExoVII-) recJ triple mutants. In this screen, exonuclease-deficient cells were transformed with a high-copy E. coli genomic library and then irradiated; plasmids harvested from surviving cells were used to seed subsequent rounds of transformation and selection. After several rounds of selection, multiple plasmids containing the rnt gene, which encodes RNase T, were found. An rnt plasmid increased the UV resistance of a xonA xseA recJ mutant and uvrA and uvrC mutants; however, it did not alter the survival of xseA recJ or recA mutants. RNase T also has amino acid sequence similarity to other 3' DNA exonucleases, including ExoI. These results suggest that RNase T may possess a 3' DNase activity capable of substituting for ExoI in the recombinational repair of UV-induced lesions. (+info)
Hmo1p, a high mobility group 1/2 homolog, genetically and physically interacts with the yeast FKBP12 prolyl isomerase.
The immunosuppressive drugs FK506 and rapamycin bind to the cellular protein FKBP12, and the resulting FKBP12-drug complexes inhibit signal transduction. FKBP12 is a ubiquitous, highly conserved, abundant enzyme that catalyzes a rate-limiting step in protein folding: peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerization. However, FKBP12 is dispensible for viability in both yeast and mice, and therefore does not play an essential role in protein folding. The functions of FKBP12 may involve interactions with a number of partner proteins, and a few proteins that interact with FKBP12 in the absence of FK506 or rapamycin have been identified, including the ryanodine receptor, aspartokinase, and the type II TGF-beta receptor; however, none of these are conserved from yeast to humans. To identify other targets and functions of FKBP12, we have screened for mutations that are synthetically lethal with an FKBP12 mutation in yeast. We find that mutations in HMO1, which encodes a high mobility group 1/2 homolog, are synthetically lethal with mutations in the yeast FPR1 gene encoding FKBP12. Deltahmo1 and Deltafpr1 mutants share two phenotypes: an increased rate of plasmid loss and slow growth. In addition, Hmo1p and FKBP12 physically interact in FKBP12 affinity chromatography experiments, and two-hybrid experiments suggest that FKBP12 regulates Hmo1p-Hmo1p or Hmo1p-DNA interactions. Because HMG1/2 proteins are conserved from yeast to humans, our findings suggest that FKBP12-HMG1/2 interactions could represent the first conserved function of FKBP12 other than mediating FK506 and rapamycin actions. (+info)
RAD53 regulates DBF4 independently of checkpoint function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
The Cdc7p and Dbf4p proteins form an active kinase complex in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that is essential for the initiation of DNA replication. A genetic screen for mutations that are lethal in combination with cdc7-1 led to the isolation of seven lsd (lethal with seven defect) complementation groups. The lsd7 complementation group contained two temperature-sensitive dbf4 alleles. The lsd1 complementation group contained a new allele of RAD53, which was designated rad53-31. RAD53 encodes an essential protein kinase that is required for the activation of DNA damage and DNA replication checkpoint pathways, and that is implicated as a positive regulator of S phase. Unlike other RAD53 alleles, we demonstrate that the rad53-31 allele retains an intact checkpoint function. Thus, the checkpoint function and the DNA replication function of RAD53 can be functionally separated. The activation of DNA replication through RAD53 most likely occurs through DBF4. Two-hybrid analysis indicates that the Rad53p protein binds to Dbf4p. Furthermore, the steady-state level of DBF4 message and Dbf4p protein is reduced in several rad53 mutant strains, indicating that RAD53 positively regulates DBF4. These results suggest that two different functions of the cell cycle, initiation of DNA replication and the checkpoint function, can be coordinately regulated through the common intermediate RAD53. (+info)
Transposition of the autonomous Fot1 element in the filamentous fungus Fusarium oxysporum.
Autonomous mobility of different copies of the Fot1 element was determined for several strains of the fungal plant pathogen Fusarium oxysporum to develop a transposon tagging system. Two Fot1 copies inserted into the third intron of the nitrate reductase structural gene (niaD) were separately introduced into two genetic backgrounds devoid of endogenous Fot1 elements. Mobility of these copies was observed through a phenotypic assay for excision based on the restoration of nitrate reductase activity. Inactivation of the Fot1 transposase open reading frame (frameshift, deletion, or disruption) prevented excision in strains free of Fot1 elements. Molecular analysis of the Nia+ revertant strains showed that the Fot1 element reintegrated frequently into new genomic sites after excision and that it can transpose from the introduced niaD gene into a different chromosome. Sequence analysis of several Fot1 excision sites revealed the so-called footprint left by this transposable element. Three reinserted Fot1 elements were cloned and the DNA sequences flanking the transposon were determined using inverse polymerase chain reaction. In all cases, the transposon was inserted into a TA dinucleotide and created the characteristic TA target site duplication. The availability of autonomous Fot1 copies will now permit the development of an efficient two-component transposon tagging system comprising a trans-activator element supplying transposase and a cis-responsive marked element. (+info)
Conversion of lacZ enhancer trap lines to GAL4 lines using targeted transposition in Drosophila melanogaster.
Since the development of the enhancer trap technique, many large libraries of nuclear localized lacZ P-element stocks have been generated. These lines can lend themselves to the molecular and biological characterization of new genes. However they are not as useful for the study of development of cellular morphologies. With the advent of the GAL4 expression system, enhancer traps have a far greater potential for utility in biological studies. Yet generation of GAL4 lines by standard random mobilization has been reported to have a low efficiency. To avoid this problem we have employed targeted transposition to generate glial-specific GAL4 lines for the study of glial cellular development. Targeted transposition is the precise exchange of one P element for another. We report the successful and complete replacement of two glial enhancer trap P[lacZ, ry+] elements with the P[GAL4, w+] element. The frequencies of transposition to the target loci were 1.3% and 0.4%. We have thus found it more efficient to generate GAL4 lines from preexisting P-element lines than to obtain tissue-specific expression of GAL4 by random P-element mobilization. It is likely that similar screens can be performed to convert many other P-element lines to the GAL4 system. (+info)
Sexual dimorphism in white campion: complex control of carpel number is revealed by y chromosome deletions.
Sexual dimorphism in the dioecious plant white campion (Silene latifolia = Melandrium album) is under the control of two main regions on the Y chromosome. One such region, encoding the gynoecium-suppressing function (GSF), is responsible for the arrest of carpel initiation in male flowers. To generate chromosomal deletions, we used pollen irradiation in male plants to produce hermaphroditic mutants (bsx mutants) in which carpel development was restored. The mutants resulted from alterations in at least two GSF chromosomal regions, one autosomal and one located on the distal half of the (p)-arm of the Y chromosome. The two mutations affected carpel development independently, each mutation showing incomplete penetrance and variegation, albeit at significantly different levels. During successive meiotic generations, a progressive increase in penetrance and a reduction in variegation levels were observed and quantified at the level of the Y-linked GSF (GSF-Y). Possible mechanisms are proposed to explain the behavior of the bsx mutations: epigenetic regulation or/and second-site mutation of modifier genes. In addition, studies on the inheritance of the hermaphroditic trait showed that, unlike wild-type Y chromosomes, deleted Y chromosomes can be transmitted through both the male and the female lines. Altogether, these findings bring experimental support, on the one hand, to the existence on the Y chromosome of genic meiotic drive function(s) and, on the other hand, to models that consider that dioecy evolved through multiple mutation events. As such, the GSF is actually a system containing more than one locus and whose primary component is located on the Y chromosome. (+info)
Sexual dimorphism in white campion: deletion on the Y chromosome results in a floral asexual phenotype.
White campion is a dioecious plant with heteromorphic X and Y sex chromosomes. In male plants, a filamentous structure replaces the pistil, while in female plants the stamens degenerate early in flower development. Asexual (asx) mutants, cumulating the two developmental defects that characterize the sexual dimorphism in this species, were produced by gamma ray irradiation of pollen and screening in the M1 generation. The mutants harbor a novel type of mutation affecting an early function in sporogenous/parietal cell differentiation within the anther. The function is called stamen-promoting function (SPF). The mutants are shown to result from interstitial deletions on the Y chromosome. We present evidence that such deletions tentatively cover the central domain on the (p)-arm of the Y chromosome (Y2 region). By comparing stamen development in wild-type female and asx mutant flowers we show that they share the same block in anther development, which results in the production of vestigial anthers. The data suggest that the SPF, a key function(s) controlling the sporogenous/parietal specialization in premeiotic anthers, is genuinely missing in females (XX constitution). We argue that this is the earliest function in the male program that is Y-linked and is likely responsible for "male dimorphism" (sexual dimorphism in the third floral whorl) in white campion. More generally, the reported results improve our knowledge of the structural and functional organization of the Y chromosome and favor the view that sex determination in this species results primarily from a trigger signal on the Y chromosome (Y1 region) that suppresses female development. The default state is therefore the ancestral hermaphroditic state. (+info)
Polymorphisms in PTEN in breast cancer families.
Germline mutations in PTEN are the underlying genetic defect in Cowden disease, which is associated with a lifetime risk of 25-50% of developing breast cancer. To investigate the role of PTEN in inherited breast cancer in the absence of manifestations of Cowden disease, we screened 177 unrelated subjects with breast cancer who also had a family history of breast cancer in at least one relative. We found no disease associated PTEN mutations in this cohort, supporting previous studies suggesting that PTEN mutations do not contribute to inherited susceptibility to breast cancer without associated manifestations of Cowden disease. We did identify an association between a common polymorphism in intron 4 and lower mean age of diagnosis of breast cancer. While preliminary, these findings suggest that further study is warranted to determine whether this allelic variant of PTEN could function as a low penetrance breast cancer susceptibility allele. (+info)