The Saccharomyces cerevisiae ETH1 gene, an inducible homolog of exonuclease III that provides resistance to DNA-damaging agents and limits spontaneous mutagenesis.
The recently sequenced Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome was searched for a gene with homology to the gene encoding the major human AP endonuclease, a component of the highly conserved DNA base excision repair pathway. An open reading frame was found to encode a putative protein (34% identical to the Schizosaccharomyces pombe eth1(+) [open reading frame SPBC3D6.10] gene product) with a 347-residue segment homologous to the exonuclease III family of AP endonucleases. Synthesis of mRNA from ETH1 in wild-type cells was induced sixfold relative to that in untreated cells after exposure to the alkylating agent methyl methanesulfonate (MMS). To investigate the function of ETH1, deletions of the open reading frame were made in a wild-type strain and a strain deficient in the known yeast AP endonuclease encoded by APN1. eth1 strains were not more sensitive to killing by MMS, hydrogen peroxide, or phleomycin D1, whereas apn1 strains were approximately 3-fold more sensitive to MMS and approximately 10-fold more sensitive to hydrogen peroxide than was the wild type. Double-mutant strains (apn1 eth1) were approximately 15-fold more sensitive to MMS and approximately 2- to 3-fold more sensitive to hydrogen peroxide and phleomycin D1 than were apn1 strains. Elimination of ETH1 in apn1 strains also increased spontaneous mutation rates 9- or 31-fold compared to the wild type as determined by reversion to adenine or lysine prototrophy, respectively. Transformation of apn1 eth1 cells with an expression vector containing ETH1 reversed the hypersensitivity to MMS and limited the rate of spontaneous mutagenesis. Expression of ETH1 in a dut-1 xthA3 Escherichia coli strain demonstrated that the gene product functionally complements the missing AP endonuclease activity. Thus, in apn1 cells where the major AP endonuclease activity is missing, ETH1 offers an alternate capacity for repair of spontaneous or induced damage to DNA that is normally repaired by Apn1 protein. (+info)
hnRNP C and polypyrimidine tract-binding protein specifically interact with the pyrimidine-rich region within the 3'NTR of the HCV RNA genome.
Like other members of the Flaviviridae family, the 3' non-translated region (NTR) of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is believed to function in the initiation and regulation of viral RNA replication by interacting with components of the viral replicase complex. To inves-tigate the possibility that host components may also participate in this process, we used UV cross-linking assays to determine if any cellular proteins could bind specifically to the 3'NTR RNA. We demonstrate the specific interaction of two host proteins with the extensive pyrimidine-rich region within the HCV 3'NTR. One host protein migrates as a doublet with a molecular weight of 57 kDa and is immunoreactive with antisera specific for polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB), and the other protein (35 kDa) is recognized by a monoclonal antibody specific for heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein C (hnRNP C). These results suggest that recognition of the large pyrimidine-rich region by PTB and hnRNP C may play a role in the initiation and/or regulation of HCV RNA replication. (+info)
Comparison of synonymous codon distribution patterns of bacteriophage and host genomes.
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)
Complete genomic sequence of the lytic bacteriophage DT1 of Streptococcus thermophilus.
Streptococcus thermophilus lytic bacteriophage DT1, isolated from a mozzarella whey, was characterized at the microbiological and molecular levels. Phage DT1 had an isometric head of 60 nm and a noncontractile tail of 260 x 8 nm, two major structural proteins of 26 and 32 kDa, and a linear double-stranded DNA genome with cohesive ends at its extremities. The host range of phage DT1 was limited to 5 of the 21 S. thermophilus strains tested. Using S. thermophilus SMQ-301 as a host, phage DT1 had a burst size of 276 +/- 36 and a latent period of 25 min. The genome of phage DT1 contained 34,820 bp with a GC content of 39.1%. Forty-six open reading frames (ORFs) of more than 40 codons were found and putative functions were assigned to 20 ORFs, mostly in the late region of phage DT1. Comparative genomic analysis of DT1 with the completely sequenced S. thermophilus temperate phage O1205 revealed two large homologous regions interspersed by two heterologous segments. The homologous regions consisted of the early replication genes, the late morphogenesis genes, and the lysis cassette. The divergent segments contained the DNA packaging machinery, the major structural proteins, and remnants of a lysogeny module. (+info)
Interferon-induced human MxA GTPase blocks nuclear import of Thogoto virus nucleocapsids.
Interferon-induced human MxA protein belongs to the dynamin superfamily of large GTPases. It exhibits antiviral activity against a variety of RNA viruses, including Thogoto virus, an influenza virus-like orthomyxovirus transmitted by ticks. Here, we report that MxA blocks the transport of Thogoto virus nucleocapsids into the nucleus, thereby preventing transcription of the viral genome. This interaction can be abolished by a mAb that neutralizes the antiviral activity of MxA. Our results reveal an antiviral mechanism whereby an interferon-induced protein traps the incoming virus and interferes with proper transport of the viral genome to its ultimate target compartment within the infected cell. (+info)
Evolutionary relationships among diverse bacteriophages and prophages: all the world's a phage.
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)
Expression of alfalfa mosaic virus coat protein in tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) deficient in the production of its native coat protein supports long-distance movement of a chimeric TMV.
Alfalfa mosaic virus (AlMV) coat protein is involved in systemic infection of host plants, and a specific mutation in this gene prevents the virus from moving into the upper uninoculated leaves. The coat protein also is required for different viral functions during early and late infection. To study the role of the coat protein in long-distance movement of AlMV independent of other vital functions during virus infection, we cloned the gene encoding the coat protein of AlMV into a tobacco mosaic virus (TMV)-based vector Av. This vector is deficient in long-distance movement and is limited to locally inoculated leaves because of the lack of native TMV coat protein. Expression of AlMV coat protein, directed by the subgenomic promoter of TMV coat protein in Av, supported systemic infection with the chimeric virus in Nicotiana benthamiana, Nicotiana tabacum MD609, and Spinacia oleracea. The host range of TMV was extended to include spinach as a permissive host. Here we report the alteration of a host range by incorporating genetic determinants from another virus. (+info)
Sequence heterogeneity within three different regions of the hepatitis G virus genome.
Two sets of primers derived from the 5'-terminal region and the NS5 region of the hepatitis G virus (HGV) genome were used to amplify PCR fragments from serum specimens obtained from different parts of the world. All PCR fragments from the 5'-terminal region (5'-PCR, n = 56) and from the NS5 region (NS5-PCR, n = 85) were sequenced and compared to corresponding published HGV sequences. The range of nucleotide sequence similarity varied from 74 and 78% to 100% for 5'-PCR and NS5-PCR fragments, respectively. Additionally, five overlapping PCR fragments comprising an approximately 2.0-kb structural region of the HGV genome were sequenced from each of five sera obtained from three United States residents. These sequences were compared to 20 published sequences comprising the same region of the HGV genome. Nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences obtained from different individuals were homologous from 82.9 to 93. 6% and from 90.4 to 99.0%, respectively. Sequences obtained from follow-up specimens were almost identical. Comparative analysis of deduced amino acid sequences of the HGV structural proteins and hepatitis C virus (HCV) structural proteins combined with an analysis of predicted secondary structures and hydrophobic profiles allowed prediction of processing sites within the HGV structural proteins. A phylogenetic sequence analysis performed on the 2.0-kb structural region supports the existence of three previously identified HGV genetic groups. However, phylogenetic analysis performed on only small DNA fragments yielded inconsistent genetic grouping and failed to confirm the existence of genetic groups. Thus, in contrast to HCV where almost any region can be used for genotyping, only large or carefully selected genome fragments can be used to identify consistent HGV genetic groups. (+info)