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)
The Lewontin and Krakauer test on quantitative characters.
It is shown that LEWONTIN and KRAKAUER's test could also be applied to quantitative characters that do not show important dominance and epistatic genetic variances. The design of experiments for this purpose and the error of the estimation of F are discussed. (+info)
Expression of the naturally occurring truncated trkB neurotrophin receptor induces outgrowth of filopodia and processes in neuroblastoma cells.
We have investigated the effects of the truncated trkB receptor isoform T1 (trkB.T1) by transient transfection into mouse N2a neuroblastoma cells. We observed that expression of trkB.T1 leads to a striking change in cell morphology characterized by outgrowth of filopodia and processes. A similar morphological response was also observed in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells and NIH3T3 fibroblasts transfected with trkB.T1. N2a cells lack endogenous expression of trkB isoforms, but express barely detectable amounts of its ligands, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-4 (NT-4). The morphological change was ligand-independent, since addition of exogenous BDNF or NT-4 or blockade of endogenous trkB ligands did not influence this response. Filopodia and process outgrowth was significantly suppressed when full-length trkB.TK+ was cotransfected together with trkB.T1 and this inhibitory effect was blocked by tyrosine kinase inhibitor K252a. Transfection of trkB.T1 deletion mutants showed that the morphological response is dependent on the extracellular, but not the intracellular domain of the receptor. Our results suggest a novel ligand-independent role for truncated trkB in the regulation of cellular morphology. (+info)
Over-representation of a germline RET sequence variant in patients with sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma and somatic RET codon 918 mutation.
The aetiology of sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma is unknown. About 50% harbour a somatic mutation at codon 918 of RET (M918T). To investigate whether other RET sequence variants may be associated with or predispose to the development of sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma, we analysed genomic DNA from the germline and corresponding tumour from 50 patients to identify RET sequence variants. In one patient, tumour DNA showed a novel somatic 12 bp in-frame deletion in exon 15. More interestingly, we found that the rare polymorphism at codon 836 (c.2439C > T; S836S) occurred at a significantly higher frequency than that in control individuals without sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma (Fisher's exact test, P = 0.03). Further, among the nine evaluable cases with germline c.2439C/T, eight also had the somatic M918T mutation in MTC DNA which was more frequent than in patients with the more common c.2439C/C (89% vs 40%, respectively; Fisher's exact test, P = 0.01). These findings suggest that the rare sequence variant at codon 836 may somehow play a role in the genesis of sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma. (+info)
The nuclear receptor superfamily has undergone extensive proliferation and diversification in nematodes.
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)
Hemoglobin Providence. A human hemoglobin variant occurring in two forms in vivo.
Hemoglobin Providence Asn and Hemoglobin Providence Asp are two abnormal hemoglobins which apparently arise from a single genetic change that substitutes asparagine for lysine at position 82 (EF6) in the beta chain of human hemoglobin. The second form appears to be thr result of a partial in vivo deamidation of the asparagine situated at position beta 82. Cellulose acetate and citrate agar electrophoresis of hemolysates from patients with this abnormality shows three bands. Globin chain electrophoresis at acid and alkaline pH shows three beta chains. These three chains correspond to the normal beta A chain and two abnormal beta chains. Sequence analysis indicates that the two abnormal chains differ from beta A at only position beta 82. In the two abnormal chains, the residue which is normally lysine is substituted either by asparagine or by aspartic acid. These substitutions are notable because beta 82 lysine is one of the residues involved in 2,3-diphosphoglycerate binding. Additionally, beta 82 lysine is typically invariant in hemoglobin beta chain sequences. Sequence data on the two forms of Hemoglobin Providence are given in this paper. The functional properties of these two forms are described in the next paper. (+info)
Isolation and characterization of two mouse L cell lines resistant to the toxic lectin ricin.
Two variant mouse L cell lines (termed CL 3 and CL 6) have been selected for resistant to ricin, a galactose-binding lectin with potent cytotoxic activity. The resistant lines exhibit a 50 to 70% decrease in ricin binding and a 300- to 500-fold increase in resistance to the toxic effects of ricin. Crude membrane preparations of CL 3 cells have increased sialic acid content (200% of control), while the galactose, mannose, and hexosamine content is within normal limits. Both the glycoproteins and glycolipids of CL 3 cells have increased sialic acid, with the GM3:lactosylceramide ratios for parent L and CL 3 cells being 0.29 and 1.5, respectively. In contrast, the membranes of CL 6 cells have a decrease in sialic acid, galactose, and hexosamine content with mannose being normal. Both cell lines have specific alterations in glycosyltransferase activities which can account for the observed membrane sugar changes. CL 3 cells have increased CMP-sialic acid:glycoprotein sialyltransferase and GM3 synthetase activities, while CL 6 cells have decrease UDP-GlcNAc:glycoproteinN-acetylglucosaminyltransferase and DPU-galactose:glycoprotein galactosyltransferase activities. The increased sialic acid content of CL 3 cells serves to mask ricin binding sites, since neuraminidase treatment of this cell line restores ricin binding to essentially normal levels. However, the fact that neuraminidase-treated CL 3 cells are still 45-fold resistant to ricin indicates that either a special class of productive ricin binding sites is not being exposed or that the cell line has a second mechanism for ricin resistance. (+info)
Constitutional genetic variation at the human aromatase gene (Cyp19) and breast cancer risk.
The activity of the aromatase enzyme, which converts androgens into oestrogens and has a major role in regulating oestrogen levels in the breast, is thought to be a contributing factor in the development of breast cancer. We undertook this study to assess the role of constitutional genetic variation in the human aromatase gene (Cyp19) in the development of this disease. Our genotyping of 348 cases with breast cancer and 145 controls (all Caucasian women) for a published tetranucleotide repeat polymorphism at intron 4 of the Cyp19 gene revealed the presence of six common and two rare alleles. Contingency table analysis revealed a significant difference in allelic distribution between cases and controls (chi2 5df = 13.52, P = 0.019). The allele measuring 171 bp was over-represented in cases; of 14 individuals homozygous for this allele, 13 were cases. These individuals had a higher incidence of cancer in family members and an earlier age at diagnosis than other cases. In sequencing Cyp19's coding exons and regulatory regions, we discovered a perfect association between a silent polymorphism (G-->A at Val80) and the high-risk genotype. Our conclusion is that constitutional genetic variation at the Cyp19 locus is associated with the risk of developing breast cancer, with the 171-bp allele serving as the high-risk allele. (+info)