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(1/44874) Deletion of a region that is a candidate for the difference between the deletion forms of hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin and deltabeta-thalassemia affects beta- but not gamma-globin gene expression.

The analysis of a number of cases of beta-globin thalassemia and hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin (HPFH) due to large deletions in the beta-globin locus has led to the identification of several DNA elements that have been implicated in the switch from human fetal gamma- to adult beta-globin gene expression. We have tested this hypothesis for an element that covers the minimal distance between the thalassemia and HPFH deletions and is thought to be responsible for the difference between a deletion HPFH and deltabeta-thalassemia, located 5' of the delta-globin gene. This element has been deleted from a yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) containing the complete human beta-globin locus. Analysis of this modified YAC in transgenic mice shows that early embryonic expression is unaffected, but in the fetal liver it is subject to position effects. In addition, the efficiency of transcription of the beta-globin gene is decreased, but the developmental silencing of the gamma-globin genes is unaffected by the deletion. These results show that the deleted element is involved in the activation of the beta-globin gene perhaps through the loss of a structural function required for gene activation by long-range interactions.  (+info)

(2/44874) Requirement for transcription factor NFAT in interleukin-2 expression.

The nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) transcription factor is implicated in expression of the cytokine interleukin-2 (IL-2). Binding sites for NFAT are located in the IL-2 promoter. Furthermore, pharmacological studies demonstrate that the drug cyclosporin A inhibits both NFAT activation and IL-2 expression. However, targeted disruption of the NFAT1 and NFAT2 genes in mice does not cause decreased IL-2 secretion. The role of NFAT in IL-2 gene expression is therefore unclear. Here we report the construction of a dominant-negative NFAT mutant (dnNFAT) that selectively inhibits NFAT-mediated gene expression. The inhibitory effect of dnNFAT is mediated by suppression of activation-induced nuclear translocation of NFAT. Expression of dnNFAT in cultured T cells caused inhibition of IL-2 promoter activity and decreased expression of IL-2 protein. Similarly, expression of dnNFAT in transgenic mice also caused decreased IL-2 gene expression. These data demonstrate that NFAT is a critical component of the signaling pathway that regulates IL-2 expression.  (+info)

(3/44874) p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase can be involved in transforming growth factor beta superfamily signal transduction in Drosophila wing morphogenesis.

p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38) has been extensively studied as a stress-responsive kinase, but its role in development remains unknown. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has two p38 genes, D-p38a and D-p38b. To elucidate the developmental function of the Drosophila p38's, we used various genetic and pharmacological manipulations to interfere with their functions: expression of a dominant-negative form of D-p38b, expression of antisense D-p38b RNA, reduction of the D-p38 gene dosage, and treatment with the p38 inhibitor SB203580. Expression of a dominant-negative D-p38b in the wing imaginal disc caused a decapentaplegic (dpp)-like phenotype and enhanced the phenotype of a dpp mutant. Dpp is a secretory ligand belonging to the transforming growth factor beta superfamily which triggers various morphogenetic processes through interaction with the receptor Thick veins (Tkv). Inhibition of D-p38b function also caused the suppression of the wing phenotype induced by constitutively active Tkv (TkvCA). Mosaic analysis revealed that D-p38b regulates the Tkv-dependent transcription of the optomotor-blind (omb) gene in non-Dpp-producing cells, indicating that the site of D-p38b action is downstream of Tkv. Furthermore, forced expression of TkvCA induced an increase in the phosphorylated active form(s) of D-p38(s). These results demonstrate that p38, in addition to its role as a transducer of emergency stress signaling, may function to modulate Dpp signaling.  (+info)

(4/44874) Ganglioneuromas and renal anomalies are induced by activated RET(MEN2B) in transgenic mice.

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B (MEN2B) is an autosomal dominant syndrome characterized by the development of medullary thyroid carcinoma, pheochromocytomas, musculoskeletal anomalies and mucosal ganglioneuromas. MEN2B is caused by a specific mutation (Met918-->Thr) in the RET receptor tyrosine kinase. Different mutations of RET lead to other conditions including MEN2A, familial medullary thyroid carcinoma and intestinal aganglionosis (Hirschsprung disease). Transgenic mice were created using the dopamine beta-hydroxylase promoter to direct expression of RET(MEN2B) in the developing sympathetic and enteric nervous systems and the adrenal medulla. DbetaH-RET(MEN2B) transgenic mice developed benign neuroglial tumors, histologically identical to human ganglioneuromas, in their sympathetic nervous systems and adrenal glands. The enteric nervous system was not affected. The neoplasms in DbetaH-RET(MEN2B) mice were similar to benign neuroglial tumors induced in transgenic mice by activated Ras expression under control of the same promoter. Levels of phosphorylated MAP kinase were not increased in the RET(MEN2B)-induced neurolglial proliferations, suggesting that alternative pathways may play a role in the pathogenesis of these lesions. Transgenic mice with the highest levels of DbetaH-RET(MEN2B) expression, unexpectedly developed renal malformations analogous to those reported with loss of function mutations in the Ret gene.  (+info)

(5/44874) The five amino acid-deleted isoform of hepatocyte growth factor promotes carcinogenesis in transgenic mice.

Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a polypeptide with mitogenic, motogenic, and morphogenic effects on different cell types including hepatocytes. HGF is expressed as two biologically active isotypes resulting from alternative RNA splicing. The roles of each HGF isoform in development, liver regeneration and tumorigenesis have not yet been well characterized. We report the generation and analysis of transgenic mice overexpressing the five amino acid-deleted variant of HGF (dHGF) in the liver by virtue of an albumin expression vector. These ALB-dHGF transgenic mice develop normally, have an enhanced rate of liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy, and exhibit a threefold higher incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) beyond 17 months of age. Moreover, overexpression of dHGF dramatically accelerates diethyl-nitrosamine induced HCC tumorigenesis. These tumors arise faster, are significantly larger, more numerous and more invasive than those appearing in non-transgenic littermates. Approximately 90% of female dHGF-transgenic mice had multiple macroscopic HCCs 40 weeks after injection of DEN; whereas the non-transgenic counterparts had only microscopic nodules. Liver tumors and cultured tumor cell lines from dHGF transgenics showed high levels of HGF and c-Met mRNA and protein. Together, these results reveal that in vivo dHGF plays an active role in liver regeneration and HCC tumorigenesis.  (+info)

(6/44874) A concise promoter region of the heart fatty acid-binding protein gene dictates tissue-appropriate expression.

The heart fatty acid-binding protein (HFABP) is a member of a family of binding proteins with distinct tissue distributions and diverse roles in fatty acid metabolism, trafficking, and signaling. Other members of this family have been shown to possess concise promoter regions that direct appropriate tissue-specific expression. The basis for the specific expression of the HFABP has not been previously evaluated, and the mechanisms governing expression of metabolic genes in the heart are not completely understood. We used transient and permanent transfections in ventricular myocytes, skeletal myocytes, and nonmyocytic cells to map regulatory elements in the HFABP promoter, and audited results in transgenic mice. Appropriate tissue-specific expression in cell culture and in transgenic mice was dictated by 1.2 kb of the 5'-flanking sequence of FABP3, the HFABP gene. Comparison of orthologous murine and human genomic sequences demonstrated multiple regions of near-identity within this promoter region, including a CArG-like element close to the TATA box. Binding and transactivation studies demonstrated that this element can function as an atypical myocyte enhancer-binding factor 2 site. Interactions with adjacent sites are likely to be necessary for fully appropriate, tissue-specific, developmental and metabolic regulation.  (+info)

(7/44874) Reversal of hyperlipidaemia in apolipoprotein C1 transgenic mice by adenovirus-mediated gene delivery of the low-density-lipoprotein receptor, but not by the very-low-density-lipoprotein receptor.

We have shown previously that human apolipoprotein (apo)C1 transgenic mice exhibit hyperlipidaemia, due primarily to an impaired clearance of very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particles from the circulation. In the absence of at least the low-density-lipoprotein receptor (LDLR), it was shown that APOC1 overexpression in transgenic mice inhibited the hepatic uptake of VLDL via the LDLR-related protein. In the present study, we have now examined the effect of apoC1 on the binding of lipoproteins to both the VLDL receptor (VLDLR) and the LDLR. The binding specificity of the VLDLR and LDLR for apoC1-enriched lipoprotein particles was examined in vivo through adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of the VLDLR and the LDLR [giving rise to adenovirus-containing (Ad)-VLDLR and Ad-LDLR respectively] in APOC1 transgenic mice, LDLR-deficient (LDLR-/-) mice and wild-type mice. Remarkably, Ad-VLDLR treatment did not reduce hyperlipidaemia in transgenic mice overexpressing human APOC1, irrespective of both the level of transgenic expression and the presence of the LDLR, whereas Ad-VLDLR treatment did reverse hyperlipidaemia in LDLR-/- and wild-type mice. On the other hand, Ad-LDLR treatment strongly decreased plasma lipid levels in these APOC1 transgenic mice. These results suggest that apoC1 inhibits the clearance of lipoprotein particles via the VLDLR, but not via the LDLR. This hypothesis is corroborated by in vitro binding studies. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells expressing the VLDLR (CHO-VLDLR) or LDLR (CHO-LDLR) bound less APOC1 transgenic VLDL than wild-type VLDL. Intriguingly, however, enrichment with apoE enhanced dose-dependently the binding of wild-type VLDL to CHO-VLDLR cells (up to 5-fold), whereas apoE did not enhance the binding of APOC1 transgenic VLDL to these cells. In contrast, for binding to CHO-LDLR cells, both wild-type and APOC1 transgenic VLDL were stimulated upon enrichment with apoE. From these studies, we conclude that apoC1 specifically inhibits the apoE-mediated binding of triacylglycerol-rich lipoprotein particles to the VLDLR, whereas apoC1-enriched lipoproteins can still bind to the LDLR. The variability in specificity of these lipoprotein receptors for apoC1-containing lipoprotein particles provides further evidence for a regulatory role of apoC1 in the delivery of lipoprotein constituents to different tissues on which these receptors are located.  (+info)

(8/44874) Overexpression of spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase under the control of mouse metallothionein I promoter in transgenic mice: evidence for a striking post-transcriptional regulation of transgene expression by a polyamine analogue.

We recently generated a transgenic mouse line overexpressing spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase (SSAT) gene under its own promoter. The tissue polyamine pools of these animals were profoundly affected and the mice were hairless from early age. We have now generated another transgenic-mouse line overexpressing the SSAT gene under the control of a heavy-metal-inducible mouse metallothionein I (MT) promoter. Even in the absence of heavy metals, changes in the tissue polyamine pools indicated that a marked activation of polyamine catabolism had occurred in the transgenic animals. As with the SSAT transgenic mice generated previously, the mice of the new line (MT-SSAT) suffered permanent hair loss, but this occurred considerably later than in the previous SSAT transgenic animals. Liver was the most affected tissue in the MT-SSAT transgenic animals, revealed by putrescine overaccumulation, significant decrease in spermidine concentration and >90% reduction in the spermine pool. Even though hepatic SSAT mRNA accumulated to massive levels in non-induced transgenic animals, SSAT activity was only moderately elevated. Administration of ZnSO4 further elevated the level of hepatic SSAT message and induced enzyme activity, but not more than 2- to 3-fold. Treatment of the transgenic animals with the polyamine analogue N1,N11-diethylnorspermine (DENSPM) resulted in an immense induction, more than 40000-fold, of enzyme activity in the liver of transgenic animals, and minor changes in the SSAT mRNA level. Liver spermidine and spermine pools were virtually depleted within 1-2 days in response to the treatment with the analogue. The treatment also resulted in a marked mortality (up to 60%) among the transgenic animals which showed ultrastructural changes in the liver, most notably mitochondrial swelling, one of the earliest signs of cell injury. These results indicated that, even without its own promoter, SSAT is powerfully induced by the polyamine analogue through a mechanism that appears to involve a direct translational and/or heterogenous nuclear RNA processing control. It is likewise significant that overexpression of SSAT renders the animals extremely sensitive to polyamine analogues.  (+info)