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(1/813) Telomeric repeats on small polydisperse circular DNA (spcDNA) and genomic instability.

Small polydisperse circular DNA (spcDNA) is a heterogeneous population of extrachromosomal circular molecules present in a large variety of eukaryotic cells. Elevated amounts of total spcDNA are related to endogenous and induced genomic instability in rodent and human cells. We suggested spcDNA as a novel marker for genomic instability, and speculated that spcDNA might serve as a mutator. In this study, we examine the presence of telomeric sequences on spcDNA. We report for the first time the appearance of telomeric repeats in spcDNA molecules (tel-spcDNA) in rodent and human cells. Restriction enzyme analysis indicates that tel-spcDNA molecules harbor mostly, if not exclusively, telomeric repeats. In rodent cells, tel-spcDNA levels are higher in transformed than in normal cells and are enhanced by treatment with carcinogen. Tel-spcDNA is also detected in some human tumors and cell lines, but not in others. We suggest, that its levels in human cells may be primarily related to the amount of the chromosomal telomeric sequences. Tel-spcDNA may serve as a unique mutator, through specific mechanisms related to the telomeric repeats, which distinguish it from the total heterogeneous spcDNA population. It may affect telomere dynamics and genomic instability by clastogenic events, alterations of telomere size and sequestration of telomeric proteins.  (+info)

(2/813) Control of corynebacteriophage reproduction by heteroimmune repression.

Corynebacteriophages beta and gamma are closely related but heteroimmune; hence, gamma reproduces in C7(beta). A series of gamma mutants, designated gamma-bin (beta-inhibited), has been isolated. They reproduce in only 2 to 14% of infected C7(beta) cells, and, as a result, plaque with an efficiency of 10(-4) to 10(-5) on this strain. The proportion of C7(beta) cells in which gamma-bin phage can replicate is increased to 30 to 80% when immunity is lifted by UV induction of C7(beta) or by heat induction of C7(beta-tsr3). The gamma-bin mutants carry out a normal vegetative or lysogenic cycle in strain C7 and thus do not appear to be defective in any essential phage function. Infection of C7(beta) by gamma-bin results in cell killing whether the infection is productive or nonproductive. The data support the hypothesis that inhibition of gamma-bin is due to the direct or indirect action of a beta prophage gene. The simplest hypothesis is that gamma-bin phages have sustained mutations in an operator site and that beta repressor now combines with the mutated operator to inhibit normal replication in a significant proportion of infected cells.  (+info)

(3/813) Mismatch repair and differential sensitivity of mouse and human cells to methylating agents.

The long-patch mismatch repair pathway contributes to the cytotoxic effect of methylating agents and loss of this pathway confers tolerance to DNA methylation damage. Two methylation-tolerant mouse cell lines were identified and were shown to be defective in the MSH2 protein by in vitro mismatch repair assay. A normal copy of the human MSH2 gene, introduced by transfer of human chromosome 2, reversed the methylation tolerance. These mismatch repair defective mouse cells together with a fibroblast cell line derived from an MSH2-/- mouse, were all as resistant to N-methyl-N-nitrosourea as repair-defective human cells. Although long-patch mismatch repair-defective human cells were 50- to 100-fold more resistant to methylating agents than repair-proficient cells, loss of the same pathway from mouse cells conferred only a 3-fold increase. This discrepancy was accounted for by the intrinsic N-methyl-N-nitrosourea resistance of normal or transformed mouse cells compared with human cells. The >20-fold differential resistance between mouse and human cells could not be explained by the levels of either DNA methylation damage or the repair enzyme O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase. The resistance of mouse cells to N-methyl-N-nitrosourea was selective and no cross-resistance to unrelated DNA damaging agents was observed. Pathways of apoptosis were apparently intact and functional after exposure to either N-methyl-N-nitrosourea or ultraviolet light. Extracts of mouse cells were found to perform 2-fold less long-patch mismatch repair. The reduced level of mismatch repair may contribute to their lack of sensitivity to DNA methylation damage.  (+info)

(4/813) Attenuation by all-trans-retinoic acid of sodium chloride-enhanced gastric carcinogenesis induced by N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine in Wistar rats.

The effect of prolonged administration of all-trans-retinoic acid (RA) on sodium chloride-enhanced gastric carcinogenesis induced by N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine, and the labelling and apoptotic indices and immunoreactivity of transforming growth factor (TGF) alpha in the gastric cancers was investigated in Wistar rats. After 25 weeks of carcinogen treatment, the rats were given chow pellets containing 10% sodium chloride and subcutaneous injections of RA at doses of 0.75 or 1.5 mg kg(-1) body weight every other day. In week 52, oral supplementation with sodium chloride significantly increased the incidence of gastric cancers compared with the untreated controls. Long-term administration of RA at both doses significantly reduced the incidence of gastric cancers, which was enhanced by oral administration of sodium chloride. RA at both doses significantly decreased the labelling index and TGF-alpha immunoreactivity of gastric cancers, which were enhanced by administration of sodium chloride, and significantly increased the apoptotic index of cancers, which was lowered by administration of sodium chloride. These findings suggest that RA attenuates gastric carcinogenesis, enhanced by sodium chloride, by increasing apoptosis, decreasing DNA synthesis, and reducing TGF-alpha expression in gastric cancers.  (+info)

(5/813) Msh2 status modulates both apoptosis and mutation frequency in the murine small intestine.

Deficiency in genes involved in DNA mismatch repair increases susceptibility to cancer, particularly of the colorectal epithelium. Using Msh2 null mice, we demonstrate that this genetic defect renders normal intestinal epithelial cells susceptible to mutation in vivo at the Dlb-1 locus. Compared with wild-type mice, Msh2-deficient animals had higher basal levels of mutation and were more sensitive to the mutagenic effects of temozolomide. Experiments using Msh2-deficient cells in vitro suggest that an element of this effect is attributable to increased clonogenicity. Indeed, we show that Msh2 plays a role in the in vivo initiation of apoptosis after treatment with temozolomide, N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine, and cisplatin. This was not influenced by the in vivo depletion of O6-alkylguanine-DNA-alkyltransferase after administration of O6-benzylguanine. By analyzing mice mutant for both Msh2 and p53, we found that the Msh2-dependent apoptotic response was primarily mediated through a p53-dependent pathway. Msh2 also was required to signal delayed p53-independent death. Taken together, these studies characterize an in vivo Msh2-dependent apoptotic response to methylating agents and raise the possibility that Msh2 deficiency may predispose to malignancy not only through failed repair of mismatch DNA lesions but also through the failure to engage apoptosis.  (+info)

(6/813) A mutant of Mycobacterium smegmatis defective in the biosynthesis of mycolic acids accumulates meromycolates.

Mycolic acids are a major constituent of the mycobacterial cell wall, and they form an effective permeability barrier to protect mycobacteria from antimicrobial agents. Although the chemical structures of mycolic acids are well established, little is known on their biosynthesis. We have isolated a mycolate-deficient mutant strain of Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2-155 by chemical mutagenesis followed by screening for increased sensitivity to novobiocin. This mutant also was hypersensitive to other hydrophobic compounds such as crystal violet, rifampicin, and erythromycin. Entry of hydrophobic probes into mutant cells occurred much more rapidly than that into the wild-type cells. HPLC and TLC analysis of fatty acid composition after saponification showed that the mutant failed to synthesize full-length mycolic acids. Instead, it accumulated a series of long-chain fatty acids, which were not detected in the wild-type strain. Analysis by 1H NMR, electrospray and electron impact mass spectroscopy, and permanganate cleavage of double bonds showed that these compounds corresponded to the incomplete meromycolate chain of mycolic acids, except for the presence of a beta-hydroxyl group. This direct identification of meromycolates as precursors of mycolic acids provides a strong support for the previously proposed pathway for mycolic acid biosynthesis involving the separate synthesis of meromycolate chain and the alpha-branch of mycolic acids, followed by the joining of these two branches.  (+info)

(7/813) Genetic evidence for the role of GDP-mannose in plant ascorbic acid (vitamin C) biosynthesis.

Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid; AsA) acts as a potent antioxidant and cellular reductant in plants and animals. AsA has long been known to have many critical physiological roles in plants, yet its biosynthesis is only currently being defined. A pathway for AsA biosynthesis that features GDP-mannose and L-galactose has recently been proposed for plants. We have isolated a collection of AsA-deficient mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana that are valuable tools for testing of an AsA biosynthetic pathway. The best-characterized of these mutants (vtc1) contains approximately 25% of wild-type AsA and is defective in AsA biosynthesis. By using a combination of biochemical, molecular, and genetic techniques, we have demonstrated that the VTC1 locus encodes a GDP-mannose pyrophosphorylase (mannose-1-P guanyltransferase). This enzyme provides GDP-mannose, which is used for cell wall carbohydrate biosynthesis and protein glycosylation as well as for AsA biosynthesis. In addition to genetically defining the first locus involved in AsA biosynthesis, this work highlights the power of using traditional mutagenesis techniques coupled with the Arabidopsis Genome Initiative to rapidly clone physiologically important genes.  (+info)

(8/813) Identification and characterisation of the Drosophila melanogaster O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase cDNA.

The protein O 6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase(alkyltransferase) is involved in the repair of O 6-alkylguanine and O 4-alkylthymine in DNA and plays an important role in most organisms in attenuating the cytotoxic and mutagenic effects of certain classes of alkylating agents. A genomic clone encompassing the Drosophila melanogaster alkyltransferase gene ( DmAGT ) was identified on the basis of sequence homology with corresponding genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and man. The DmAGT gene is located at position 84A on the third chromosome. The nucleotide sequence of DmAGT cDNA revealed an open reading frame encoding 194 amino acids. The MNNG-hypersensitive phenotype of alkyltransferase-deficient bacteria was rescued by expression of the DmAGT cDNA. Furthermore, alkyltransferase activity was identified in crude extracts of Escherichia coli harbouring DmAGT cDNA and this activity was inhibited by preincubation of the extract with an oligonucleotide containing a single O6-methylguanine lesion. Similar to E.coli Ogt and yeast alkyltransferase but in contrast to the human alkyltransferase, the Drosophila alkyltransferase is resistant to inactivation by O 6-benzylguanine. In an E.coli lac Z reversion assay, expression of DmAGT efficiently suppressed MNNG-induced G:C-->A:T as well as A:T-->G:C transition mutations in vivo. These results demonstrate the presence of an alkyltransferase specific for the repair of O 6-methylguanine and O 4-methylthymine in Drosophila.  (+info)