Mrj encodes a DnaJ-related co-chaperone that is essential for murine placental development.
We have identified a novel gene in a gene trap screen that encodes a protein related to the DnaJ co-chaperone in E. coli. The gene, named Mrj (mammalian relative of DnaJ) was expressed throughout development in both the embryo and placenta. Within the placenta, expression was particularly high in trophoblast giant cells but moderate levels were also observed in trophoblast cells of the chorion at embryonic day 8.5, and later in the labyrinth which arises from the attachment of the chorion to the allantois (a process called chorioallantoic fusion). Insertion of the ROSAbetageo gene trap vector into the Mrj gene created a null allele. Homozygous Mrj mutants died at mid-gestation due to a failure of chorioallantoic fusion at embryonic day 8.5, which precluded formation of the mature placenta. At embryonic day 8.5, the chorion in mutants was morphologically normal and expressed the cell adhesion molecule beta4 integrin that is known to be required for chorioallantoic fusion. However, expression of the chorionic trophoblast-specific transcription factor genes Err2 and Gcm1 was significantly reduced. The mutants showed no abnormal phenotypes in other trophoblast cell types or in the embryo proper. This study indicates a previously unsuspected role for chaperone proteins in placental development and represents the first genetic analysis of DnaJ-related protein function in higher eukaryotes. Based on a survey of EST databases representing different mouse tissues and embryonic stages, there are 40 or more DnaJ-related genes in mammals. In addition to Mrj, at least two of these genes are also expressed in the developing mouse placenta. The specificity of the developmental defect in Mrj mutants suggests that each of these genes may have unique tissue and cellular activities. (+info)
Identification of sonic hedgehog as a candidate gene responsible for the polydactylous mouse mutant Sasquatch.
The mouse mutants of the hemimelia-luxate group (lx, lu, lst, Dh, Xt, and the more recently identified Hx, Xpl and Rim4;     ) have in common preaxial polydactyly and longbone abnormalities. Associated with the duplication of digits are changes in the regulation of development of the anterior limb bud resulting in ectopic expression of signalling components such as Sonic hedgehog (Shh) and fibroblast growth factor-4 (Fgf4), but little is known about the molecular causes of this misregulation. We generated, by a transgene insertion event, a new member of this group of mutants, Sasquatch (Ssq), which disrupted aspects of both anteroposterior (AP) and dorsoventral (DV) patterning. The mutant displayed preaxial polydactyly in the hindlimbs of heterozygous embryos, and in both hindlimbs and forelimbs of homozygotes. The Shh, Fgf4, Fgf8, Hoxd12 and Hoxd13 genes were all ectopically expressed in the anterior region of affected limb buds. The insertion site was found to lie close to the Shh locus. Furthermore, expression from the transgene reporter has come under the control of a regulatory element that directs a pattern mirroring the endogenous expression pattern of Shh in limbs. In abnormal limbs, both Shh and the reporter were ectopically induced in the anterior region, whereas in normal limbs the reporter and Shh were restricted to the zone of polarising activity (ZPA). These data strongly suggest that Ssq is caused by direct interference with the cis regulation of the Shh gene. (+info)
Loss-of-function mutations in the rice homeobox gene OSH15 affect the architecture of internodes resulting in dwarf plants.
The rice homeobox gene OSH15 (Oryza sativa homeobox) is a member of the knotted1-type homeobox gene family. We report here on the identification and characterization of a loss-of-function mutation in OSH15 from a library of retrotransposon-tagged lines of rice. Based on the phenotype and map position, we have identified three independent deletion alleles of the locus among conventional morphological mutants. All of these recessive mutations, which are considered to be null alleles, exhibit defects in internode elongation. Introduction of a 14 kbp genomic DNA fragment that includes all exons, introns and 5'- and 3'- flanking sequences of OSH15 complemented the defects in internode elongation, confirming that they were caused by the loss-of-function of OSH15. Internodes of the mutants had abnormal-shaped epidermal and hypodermal cells and showed an unusual arrangement of small vascular bundles. These mutations demonstrate a role for OSH15 in the development of rice internodes. This is the first evidence that the knotted1-type homeobox genes have roles other than shoot apical meristem formation and/or maintenance in plant development. (+info)
Pyrin/marenostrin mutations in familial Mediterranean fever.
Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is an inherited inflammatory disease that is frequently complicated by reactive systemic (AA) amyloidosis. It is principally recognized in certain Mediterranean populations, and the diagnosis depends on clinical features. Four mutations strongly linked to FMF have lately been identified in a gene encoding a novel protein that has been named pyrin or marenostrin. We studied 27 consecutive patients of varied ethnic origin, including an English man, who had classical, probable or possible FMF. Pyrin/marenostrin genotypes were determined, and AA amyloidosis was sought using serum amyloid P component scintigraphy. Among the 23 patients with classical or probable FMF, 17 were homozygotes or compound heterozygotes for pyrin/marenostrin mutations, and in five, only single allele mutations were identified. Two new mutations, T6811 and delta M694, were discovered in addition to the four described previously. No mutations were identified in three of the four patients with possible FMF. Nine patients had AA amyloidosis, but this association was not restricted to any particular genotype. Most patients with FMF have mutations in both pyrin/marenostrin alleles, and genotyping at this locus is a valuable diagnostic test. Unidentified second mutations are likely to occur in FMF patients who have apparently solitary mutations, and therefore genotype results must be interpreted in conjunction with the clinical picture. (+info)
A new alkali-resistant hemoglobin alpha2J Oxford gammaF2 in a Sicilian baby girl with homozygous beta0 thalassemia.
A 10-mo-old baby girl with homozygous beta0 thalassemia and alphaJOxford, presenting the clinical picture of homozygous beta thalassemia is described. Hemoglobin electrophoresis showed three bands: the first two with the mobilities of hemoglobin Hb A2 (1%) and Hb F (69%), respectively, the third migrating a little faster than Hb A (30%). About 30% of her alpha chains were J Oxford which, bound to her gamma chains, produced a new alkali-resistant hemoglobin, alpha2 J Oxford gamma F2, which has not been described previously. Hemoglobin synthesis in vitro showed the absence of beta chain synthesis and an alpha/non-alpha ratio of 2. The patient's father was heterozygous for both the Hb J Oxford and beta0 thalassemia genes, the mother a carrier of beta0 thalassemia; four other relatives were carriers of Hb J Oxford, and one was a carrier of beta thalassemia. (+info)
Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist gene polymorphism and coronary artery disease.
BACKGROUND: Cytokine gene variations are contributory factors in inflammatory pathology. Allele frequencies of interleukin (IL)-1 cluster genes [IL-1A(-889), IL-1B(-511), IL-1B(+3953), IL-1RN Intron 2 VNTR] and tissue necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha gene [TNFA(-308)] were measured in healthy blood donors (healthy control subjects), patients with angiographically normal coronary arteries (patient control subjects), single-vessel coronary disease (SVD), and those with multivessel coronary disease (MVD). METHODS AND RESULTS: Five hundred fifty-six patients attending for coronary angiography in Sheffield were studied: 130 patient control subjects, 98 SVD, and 328 MVD. Significant associations were tested in an independent population (London) of 350: 57 SVD, 191 MVD, and 102 control subjects. IL-1RN*2 frequency in Sheffield patient control subjects was the same as in 827 healthy control subjects. IL-1RN*2 was significantly overrepresented in Sheffield SVD patients (34% vs 23% in patient control subjects); IL-1RN*2 homozygotes in the SVD population (chi2 carriage=8.490, 1 df, P=0.0036). This effect was present though not quite significant in the London population (P=0. 0603). A summary trend test of the IL-1RN SVD genotype data for Sheffield and London showed a significant association with *2 (P=0. 0024). No significant effect of genotype at IL-1RN was observed in the Sheffield or London MVD populations. Genotype distribution analysis comparing the SVD and MVD populations at IL-1RN showed a highly significant trend (P=0.0007) with the use of pooled data. No significant associations were seen for the other polymorphisms. CONCLUSIONS: IL-1RN*2 was significantly associated with SVD. A difference in genetic association between SVD and MVD was also apparent. (+info)
Effect of MTHFR 677C>T on plasma total homocysteine levels in renal graft recipients.
BACKGROUND: Hyperhomocysteinemia is an established, independent risk factor for vascular disease morbidity and mortality. The 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene polymorphism C677T has been shown to result in increased total homocysteine concentrations on the basis of low folate levels caused by a decreased enzyme activity. The effect of this polymorphism on total homocysteine and folate plasma levels in renal transplant patients is unknown. METHODS: We screened 636 kidney graft recipients for the presence of the MTHFR C677T gene polymorphism. The major determinants of total homocysteine and folate plasma concentrations of 63 patients, who were identified to be homozygous for this gene polymorphism compared with heterozygotes (N = 63), and patients with wild-type alleles (N = 63), who were matched for sex, age, glomerular filtration rate (GFR), and body mass index, were identified by analysis of covariance. The variables included sex, age, GFR, body mass index, time since transplantation, folate and vitamin B12 levels, the use of azathioprine, and the MTHFR genotype. To investigate the impact of the kidney donor MTHFR genotype on total homocysteine and folate plasma concentrations, a similar model was applied in 111 kidney graft recipients with stable graft function, in whom the kidney donor C677T MTHFR gene polymorphism was determined. RESULTS: The allele frequency of the C677T polymorphism in the MTHFR gene was 0.313 in the whole study population [wild-type (CC), 301; heterozygous (CT), 272; and homozygous mutant (TT), 63 patients, respectively] and showed no difference in the patient subgroups with various renal diseases. The MTHFR C677T gene polymorphism significantly influenced total homocysteine and folate plasma concentrations in renal transplant recipients (P = 0.0009 and P = 0.0002, respectively). Furthermore, a significant influence of the GFR (P = 0.0001), folate levels (P = 0.0001), age (P = 0.0001), body mass index (P = 0.0001), gender (P = 0.0005), and vitamin B12 levels (P = 0.004) on total homocysteine concentrations was observed. The donor MTHFR gene polymorphism had no influence on total homocysteine and folate levels. Geometric mean total homocysteine levels in patients homozygous for the mutant MTHFR allele were 18.6 micromol/liter compared with 14.6 micromol/liter and 14.9 micromol/liter in patients heterozygous for the MTHFR gene polymorphism and those with wild-type alleles (P < 0.05 for TT vs. CT and CC). Geometric mean folate levels were lower in CT and TT patients (11.2 and 10.2 nmol/liter) compared with CC patients (13.6 nmol/liter, P < 0.05 vs. CT and TT). CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that homozygosity for the C677T polymorphism in the MTHFR gene significantly increases total homocysteine concentrations and lowers folate levels in kidney graft recipients, even in patients with excellent renal function (GFR more than median). These findings have important implications for risk evaluation and vitamin intervention therapy in these patients who carry an increased risk for the development of cardiovascular disease. (+info)
Prospective evaluation of the thrombotic risk in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia carrying the MTHFR TT 677 genotype, the prothrombin G20210A variant, and further prothrombotic risk factors.
The reported incidence of thromboembolism in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treated with L-asparaginase, vincristine, and prednisone varies from 2.4% to 11.5%. The present study was designed to prospectively evaluate the role of the TT677 methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) genotype, the prothrombin G20210A mutation, the factor V G1691A mutation, deficiencies of protein C, protein S, antithrombin, and increased lipoprotein (a) concentrations in leukemic children treated according to the ALL-Berlin-Frankfurt-Muenster (BFM) 90/95 study protocols with respect to the onset of vascular events. Three hundred and one consecutive leukemic children were enrolled in this study. Fifty-five of these 301 subjects investigated had one established single prothrombotic risk factor: 20 children showed the TT677 MTHFR genotype; 5 showed the heterozygous prothrombin G20210A variant; 11 were carriers of the factor V G1691A mutation (heterozygous, n = 10; homozygous, n = 1); 4 showed familial protein C, 4 protein S, and 2 antithrombin type I deficiency; 9 patients were suffering from familially increased lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)] concentrations (>30 mg/dL). In addition, combined prothrombotic defects were found in a further 10 patients: the FV mutation was combined with the prothrombin G20210A variant (n = 1), increased Lp(a) (n = 3), protein C deficiency (n = 1), and homozygosity for the C677T MTHFR gene mutation (n = 1). Lp(a) was combined with protein C deficiency (n = 2) and the MTHFR TT 677 genotype (n = 2). Two hundred eighty-nine of the 301 patients were available for thrombosis-free survival analysis. In 32 (11%) of these 289 patients venous thromboembolism occurred. The overall thrombosis-free survival in patients with at least one prothrombotic defect was significantly reduced compared with patients without a prothrombotic defect within the hemostatic system (P <.0001). In addition, a clear-cut positive correlation (P <.0001) was found between thrombosis and the use of central lines. However, because the prothrombotic defects diagnosed in the total childhood population studied were all found within the prevalences reported for healthy Caucasian individuals, the interaction between prothrombotic risk factors, ALL treatment, and further environmental factors is likely to cause thrombotic manifestations. (+info)