The prokaryotic beta-recombinase catalyzes site-specific recombination in mammalian cells. (1/7812)

The development of new strategies for the in vivo modification of eukaryotic genomes has become an important objective of current research. Site-specific recombination has proven useful, as it allows controlled manipulation of murine, plant, and yeast genomes. Here we provide the first evidence that the prokaryotic site-specific recombinase (beta-recombinase), which catalyzes only intramolecular recombination, is active in eukaryotic environments. beta-Recombinase, encoded by the beta gene of the Gram-positive broad host range plasmid pSM19035, has been functionally expressed in eukaryotic cell lines, demonstrating high avidity for the nuclear compartment and forming a clear speckled pattern when assayed by indirect immunofluorescence. In simian COS-1 cells, transient beta-recombinase expression promoted deletion of a DNA fragment lying between two directly oriented specific recognition/crossing over sequences (six sites) located as an extrachromosomal DNA substrate. The same result was obtained in a recombination-dependent lacZ activation system tested in a cell line that stably expresses the beta-recombinase protein. In stable NIH/3T3 clones bearing different number of copies of the target sequences integrated at distinct chromosomal locations, transient beta-recombinase expression also promoted deletion of the intervening DNA, independently of the insertion position of the target sequences. The utility of this new recombination tool for the manipulation of eukaryotic genomes, used either alone or in combination with the other recombination systems currently in use, is discussed.  (+info)

Comparison of synonymous codon distribution patterns of bacteriophage and host genomes. (2/7812)

Synonymous codon usage patterns of bacteriophage and host genomes were compared. Two indexes, G + C base composition of a gene (fgc) and fraction of translationally optimal codons of the gene (fop), were used in the comparison. Synonymous codon usage data of all the coding sequences on a genome are represented as a cloud of points in the plane of fop vs. fgc. The Escherichia coli coding sequences appear to exhibit two phases, "rising" and "flat" phases. Genes that are essential for survival and are thought to be native are located in the flat phase, while foreign-type genes from prophages and transposons are found in the rising phase with a slope of nearly unity in the fgc vs. fop plot. Synonymous codon distribution patterns of genes from temperate phages P4, P2, N15 and lambda are similar to the pattern of E. coli rising phase genes. In contrast, genes from the virulent phage T7 or T4, for which a phage-encoded DNA polymerase is identified, fall in a linear curve with a slope of nearly zero in the fop vs. fgc plane. These results may suggest that the G + C contents for T7, T4 and E. coli flat phase genes are subject to the directional mutation pressure and are determined by the DNA polymerase used in the replication. There is significant variation in the fop values of the phage genes, suggesting an adjustment to gene expression level. Similar analyses of codon distribution patterns were carried out for Haemophilus influenzae, Bacillus subtilis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and their phages with complete genomic sequences available.  (+info)

Genomic complexity among strains of the facultative photoheterotrophic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides. (3/7812)

Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis following the use of rare cutting restriction endonucleases together with Southern hybridization, using markers distributed on chromosomes I and II of Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2.4.1, has been used to examine approximately 25 strains of R. sphaeroides in an effort to assess the occurrence of genome complexity in these strains. The results suggest that genome complexity is widespread and is accompanied by substantial genomic heterogeneity.  (+info)

Evolutionary relationships among diverse bacteriophages and prophages: all the world's a phage. (4/7812)

We report DNA and predicted protein sequence similarities, implying homology, among genes of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) bacteriophages and prophages spanning a broad phylogenetic range of host bacteria. The sequence matches reported here establish genetic connections, not always direct, among the lambdoid phages of Escherichia coli, phage phiC31 of Streptomyces, phages of Mycobacterium, a previously unrecognized cryptic prophage, phiflu, in the Haemophilus influenzae genome, and two small prophage-like elements, phiRv1 and phiRv2, in the genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The results imply that these phage genes, and very possibly all of the dsDNA tailed phages, share common ancestry. We propose a model for the genetic structure and dynamics of the global phage population in which all dsDNA phage genomes are mosaics with access, by horizontal exchange, to a large common genetic pool but in which access to the gene pool is not uniform for all phage.  (+info)

Identification of a ribonuclease H gene in both Mycoplasma genitalium and Mycoplasma pneumoniae by a new method for exhaustive identification of ORFs in the complete genome sequences. (5/7812)

Exhaustive identification of open reading frames in complete genome sequences is a difficult task. It is possible that important genes are missed. In our efforts to reanalyze the intergenic regions of Mycoplasma genitalium and Mycoplasma pneumoniae, we have newly identified a number of new open reading frames (ORFs) in both M. genitalium and M. pneumoniae. The most significant identification was that of a ribonuclease H enzyme in both species which until now has not been identified or assumed absent and interpreted as such. In this paper we discuss the biological importance of RNase H and its evolutionary implication. We also stress the usefulness of our method for identifying new ORFs by reanalyzing intergenic regions of existing ORFs in complete genome sequences.  (+info)

The use of gene clusters to infer functional coupling. (6/7812)

Previously, we presented evidence that it is possible to predict functional coupling between genes based on conservation of gene clusters between genomes. With the rapid increase in the availability of prokaryotic sequence data, it has become possible to verify and apply the technique. In this paper, we extend our characterization of the parameters that determine the utility of the approach, and we generalize the approach in a way that supports detection of common classes of functionally coupled genes (e.g., transport and signal transduction clusters). Now that the analysis includes over 30 complete or nearly complete genomes, it has become clear that this approach will play a significant role in supporting efforts to assign functionality to the remaining uncharacterized genes in sequenced genomes.  (+info)

The tricarboxylic acid cycle of Helicobacter pylori. (7/7812)

The composition and properties of the tricarboxylic acid cycle of the microaerophilic human pathogen Helicobacter pylori were investigated in situ and in cell extracts using [1H]- and [13C]-NMR spectroscopy and spectrophotometry. NMR spectroscopy assays enabled highly specific measurements of some enzyme activities, previously not possible using spectrophotometry, in in situ studies with H. pylori, thus providing the first accurate picture of the complete tricarboxylic acid cycle of the bacterium. The presence, cellular location and kinetic parameters of citrate synthase, aconitase, isocitrate dehydrogenase, alpha-ketoglutarate oxidase, fumarate reductase, fumarase, malate dehydrogenase, and malate synthase activities in H. pylori are described. The absence of other enzyme activities of the cycle, including alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, succinyl-CoA synthetase, and succinate dehydrogenase also are shown. The H. pylori tricarboxylic acid cycle appears to be a noncyclic, branched pathway, characteristic of anaerobic metabolism, directed towards the production of succinate in the reductive dicarboxylic acid branch and alpha-ketoglutarate in the oxidative tricarboxylic acid branch. Both branches were metabolically linked by the presence of alpha-ketoglutarate oxidase activity. Under the growth conditions employed, H. pylori did not possess an operational glyoxylate bypass, owing to the absence of isocitrate lyase activity; nor a gamma-aminobutyrate shunt, owing to the absence of both gamma-aminobutyrate transaminase and succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase activities. The catalytic and regulatory properties of the H. pylori tricarboxylic acid cycle enzymes are discussed by comparing their amino acid sequences with those of other, more extensively studied enzymes.  (+info)

Functional insights from structural predictions: analysis of the Escherichia coli genome. (8/7812)

Fold assignments for proteins from the Escherichia coli genome are carried out using BASIC, a profile-profile alignment algorithm, recently tested on fold recognition benchmarks and on the Mycoplasma genitalium genome and PSI BLAST, the newest generation of the de facto standard in homology search algorithms. The fold assignments are followed by automated modeling and the resulting three-dimensional models are analyzed for possible function prediction. Close to 30% of the proteins encoded in the E. coli genome can be recognized as homologous to a protein family with known structure. Most of these homologies (23% of the entire genome) can be recognized both by PSI BLAST and BASIC algorithms, but the latter recognizes an additional 260 homologies. Previous estimates suggested that only 10-15% of E. coli proteins can be characterized this way. This dramatic increase in the number of recognized homologies between E. coli proteins and structurally characterized protein families is partly due to the rapid increase of the database of known protein structures, but mostly it is due to the significant improvement in prediction algorithms. Knowing protein structure adds a new dimension to our understanding of its function and the predictions presented here can be used to predict function for uncharacterized proteins. Several examples, analyzed in more detail in this paper, include the DPS protein protecting DNA from oxidative damage (predicted to be homologous to ferritin with iron ion acting as a reducing agent) and the ahpC/tsa family of proteins, which provides resistance to various oxidating agents (predicted to be homologous to glutathione peroxidase).  (+info)