Analysis of genomic integrity and p53-dependent G1 checkpoint in telomerase-induced extended-life-span human fibroblasts.
Life span determination in normal human cells may be regulated by nucleoprotein structures called telomeres, the physical ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomeres have been shown to be essential for chromosome stability and function and to shorten with each cell division in normal human cells in culture and with age in vivo. Reversal of telomere shortening by the forced expression of telomerase in normal cells has been shown to elongate telomeres and extend the replicative life span (H. Vaziri and S. Benchimol, Curr. Biol. 8:279-282, 1998; A. G. Bodnar et al., Science 279:349-352, 1998). Extension of the life span as a consequence of the functional inactivation of p53 is frequently associated with loss of genomic stability. Analysis of telomerase-induced extended-life-span fibroblast (TIELF) cells by G banding and spectral karyotyping indicated that forced extension of the life span by telomerase led to the transient formation of aberrant structures, which were subsequently resolved in higher passages. However, the p53-dependent G1 checkpoint was intact as assessed by functional activation of p53 protein in response to ionizing radiation and subsequent p53-mediated induction of p21(Waf1/Cip1/Sdi1). TIELF cells were not tumorigenic and had a normal DNA strand break rejoining activity and normal radiosensitivity in response to ionizing radiation. (+info)
An effective approach for analyzing "prefinished" genomic sequence data.
Ongoing efforts to sequence the human genome are already generating large amounts of data, with substantial increases anticipated over the next few years. In most cases, a shotgun sequencing strategy is being used, which rapidly yields most of the primary sequence in incompletely assembled sequence contigs ("prefinished" sequence) and more slowly produces the final, completely assembled sequence ("finished" sequence). Thus, in general, prefinished sequence is produced in excess of finished sequence, and this trend is certain to continue and even accelerate over the next few years. Even at a prefinished stage, genomic sequence represents a rich source of important biological information that is of great interest to many investigators. However, analyzing such data is a challenging and daunting task, both because of its sheer volume and because it can change on a day-by-day basis. To facilitate the discovery and characterization of genes and other important elements within prefinished sequence, we have developed an analytical strategy and system that uses readily available software tools in new combinations. Implementation of this strategy for the analysis of prefinished sequence data from human chromosome 7 has demonstrated that this is a convenient, inexpensive, and extensible solution to the problem of analyzing the large amounts of preliminary data being produced by large-scale sequencing efforts. Our approach is accessible to any investigator who wishes to assimilate additional information about particular sequence data en route to developing richer annotations of a finished sequence. (+info)
High polymorphism level of genomic sequences flanking insertion sites of human endogenous retroviral long terminal repeats.
The polymorphism at the multitude of loci adjacent to human endogenous retrovirus long terminal repeats (LTRs) was analyzed by a technique for whole genome differential display based on the PCR suppression effect that provides selective amplification and display of genomic sequences flanking interspersed repeated elements. This strategy is simple, target-specific, requires a small amount of DNA and provides reproducible and highly informative data. The average frequency of polymorphism observed in the vicinity of the LTR insertion sites was found to be about 12%. The high incidence of polymorphism within the LTR flanks together with the frequent location of LTRs near genes makes the LTR loci a useful source of polymorphic markers for gene mapping. (+info)
Search for retroviral related DNA polymorphisms using RAPD PCR in schizophrenia.
Random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) is widely used to detect polymorphisms in many organisms. Individual (or strain) specific amplified bands are generated with single or pairs of primers in PCR reactions and can serve as genetic markers. We have used this method to generate a large number of reproducible bands with single primers, random and retroviral related, on 92 human DNA samples. Theoretically, RAPD PCR presents a logical approach for assessing variability among individuals. We used ten retroviral related primers (12, 20 and 22 bp) and eight random primers (10 bp) to assess individual differences in the context of testing the retroviral hypothesis for schizophrenia. Three pairs of discordant monozygotic twins, four pairs of discordant full sibs and 53 schizophrenic individuals with 25 of their unrelated matched controls were analyzed. Ten of these primers resulted in a total of approx. 850 amplified bands (65-110 bands per primer). Almost all of these bands were identical among each individual analyzed. However, the results are inconclusive with respect to the retroviral hypothesis for schizophrenia. The general lack of RAPD polymorphism in this study may argue for mechanisms other than rearrangements such as inversions, associated with the evolution of the human genome. (+info)
Identification of a novel activation-inducible protein of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily and its ligand.
Among members of the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) superfamily, 4-1BB, CD27, and glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor receptor family-related gene (GITR) share a striking homology in the cytoplasmic domain. Here we report the identification of a new member, activation-inducible TNFR family member (AITR), which belongs to this subfamily, and its ligand. The receptor is expressed in lymph node and peripheral blood leukocytes, and its expression is up-regulated in human peripheral mononuclear cells mainly after stimulation with anti-CD3/CD28 monoclonal antibodies or phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate/ionomycin. AITR associates with TRAF1 (TNF receptor-associated factor 1), TRAF2, and TRAF3, and induces nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB activation via TRAF2. The ligand for AITR (AITRL) was found to be an undescribed member of the TNF family, which is expressed in endothelial cells. Thus, AITR and AITRL seem to be important for interactions between activated T lymphocytes and endothelial cells. (+info)
A previously undescribed intron and extensive 5' upstream sequence, but not Phox2a-mediated transactivation, are necessary for high level cell type-specific expression of the human norepinephrine transporter gene.
The synaptic action of norepinephrine is terminated by NaCl-dependent uptake into presynaptic noradrenergic nerve endings, mediated by the norepinephrine transporter (NET). NET is expressed only in neuronal tissues that synthesize and secrete norepinephrine and in most cases is co-expressed with the norepinephrine-synthetic enzyme dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH). To understand the molecular mechanisms regulating human NET (hNET) gene expression, we isolated and characterized an hNET genomic clone encompassing approximately 9. 5 kilobase pairs of the 5' upstream promoter region. Here we demonstrate that the hNET gene contains an as-yet-unidentified intron of 476 base pairs within the 5'-untranslated region. Furthermore, both primer extension and 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends analyses identified multiple transcription start sites from mRNAs expressed only in NET-expressing cell lines. The start sites clustered in two subdomains, each preceded by a TATA-like sequence motif. As expected for mature mRNAs, transcripts from most of these sites each contained an additional G residue at the 5' position. Together, the data strongly support the authenticity of these sites as the transcriptional start sites of hNET. We assembled hNET-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter constructs containing different lengths of hNET 5' sequence in the presence or the absence of the first intron. Transient transfection assays indicated that the combination of the 5' upstream sequence and the first intron supported the highest level of noradrenergic cell-specific transcription. Forced expression of the paired-like homeodomain transcription factor Phox2a did not affect hNET promoter activity in NET-negative cell lines, in marked contrast to its effect on a DBH-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter construct. Together with our previous studies suggesting a critical role of Phox2a for noradrenergic-specific expression of the DBH gene, these data support a model in which distinct, or partially distinct, molecular mechanisms regulate cell-specific expression of the NET and DBH genes. (+info)
The ancestry of a sample of sequences subject to recombination.
In this article we discuss the ancestry of sequences sampled from the coalescent with recombination with constant population size 2N. We have studied a number of variables based on simulations of sample histories, and some analytical results are derived. Consider the leftmost nucleotide in the sequences. We show that the number of nucleotides sharing a most recent common ancestor (MRCA) with the leftmost nucleotide is approximately log(1 + 4N Lr)/4Nr when two sequences are compared, where L denotes sequence length in nucleotides, and r the recombination rate between any two neighboring nucleotides per generation. For larger samples, the number of nucleotides sharing MRCA with the leftmost nucleotide decreases and becomes almost independent of 4N Lr. Further, we show that a segment of the sequences sharing a MRCA consists in mean of 3/8Nr nucleotides, when two sequences are compared, and that this decreases toward 1/4Nr nucleotides when the whole population is sampled. A measure of the correlation between the genealogies of two nucleotides on two sequences is introduced. We show analytically that even when the nucleotides are separated by a large genetic distance, but share MRCA, the genealogies will show only little correlation. This is surprising, because the time until the two nucleotides shared MRCA is reciprocal to the genetic distance. Using simulations, the mean time until all positions in the sample have found a MRCA increases logarithmically with increasing sequence length and is considerably lower than a theoretically predicted upper bound. On the basis of simulations, it turns out that important properties of the coalescent with recombinations of the whole population are reflected in the properties of a sample of low size. (+info)
Structural characterization of the gene for human histidine-rich glycoprotein, reinvestigation of the 5'-terminal region of cDNA and a search for the liver specific promoter in the gene.
Genomic DNA libraries were screened for the human histidine-rich glycoprotein (HRG) gene and a sequence of 15,499 nucleotides was determined. The gene is composed of 7 exons and 6 introns, and all the exon-intron boundaries match the consensus GT/AG sequence for donor and acceptor splice sites. Each of cystatin-like domains I and II of HRG is encoded by three exons, exons I to III and exons IV to VI, respectively, like those of other members of the cystatin superfamily. The entire C-terminal half of the molecule is encoded by the largest exon, VII. The first 103 nucleotides of the cDNA sequence reported for human HRG [Koide, T., Foster, D., Yoshitake, S. , and Davie, E.W. (1986) Biochemistry 25, 2220-2225] could not be found in the determined gene sequence. A homology search of this sequence against a database showed the complete matching to a part of the yeast mitochondrial DNA encoding 21S ribosomal RNA. Rapid amplification of cDNA 5' ends (5'-RACE) analysis revealed that the cDNA has multiple 5'-ends and that a possible starting point is nucleotide 104 of the reported cDNA sequence. These results suggest that the first 103 nucleotides of the cDNA sequence reported for human HRG originated from yeast mitochondrial DNA and were incidentally incorporated into the HRG cDNA in the process of the construction of a cDNA library. Various fragments obtained on restriction endonuclease digestion of the 5'-noncoding region of the HRG gene were ligated to the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) gene and then transfected into HepG2 and 293 cells to analyze the promoter activity. The sequence between -262 and -21 from the putative translation initiation site supported the expression of CAT in HepG2 cells but not in 293 cells, suggesting that this segment promotes the liver-specific transcription of the human HRG gene. (+info)