Statistical analysis of array expression data as applied to the problem of tamoxifen resistance.
BACKGROUND: Although the emerging complementary DNA (cDNA) array technology holds great promise to discern complex patterns of gene expression, its novelty means that there are no well-established standards to guide analysis and interpretation of the data that it produces. We have used preliminary data generated with the CLONTECH Atlas human cDNA array to develop a practical approach to the statistical analysis of these data by studying changes in gene expression during the development of acquired tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer. METHODS: For hybridization to the array, we prepared RNA from MCF-7 human breast cell tumors, isolated from our athymic nude mouse xenograft model of acquired tamoxifen resistance during estrogen-stimulated, tamoxifen-sensitive, and tamoxifen-resistant growth. Principal components analysis was used to identify genes with altered expression. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Principal components analysis yielded three principal components that are interpreted as 1) the average level of gene expression, 2) the difference between estrogen-stimulated gene expression and the average of tamoxifen-sensitive and tamoxifen-resistant gene expression, and 3) the difference between tamoxifen-sensitive and tamoxifen-resistant gene expression. A bivariate (second and third principal components) 99% prediction region was used to identify outlier genes that exhibit altered expression. Two representative outlier genes, erk-2 and HSF-1 (heat shock transcription factor-1), were chosen for confirmatory study, and their predicted relative expression levels were confirmed in western blot analysis, suggesting that semiquantitative estimates are possible with array technology. IMPLICATIONS: Principal components analysis provides a useful and practical method to analyze gene expression data from a cDNA array. The method can identify broad patterns of expression alteration and, based on a small simulation study, will likely provide reasonable power to detect moderate-sized alterations in clinically relevant genes. (+info)
Identification of Mycobacterium kansasii by using a DNA probe (AccuProbe) and molecular techniques.
The newly formulated Mycobacterium kansasii AccuProbe was evaluated, and the results obtained with the new version were compared to the results obtained with the old version of this test by using 116 M. kansasii strains, 1 Mycobacterium gastri strain, and 19 strains of several mycobacterial species. The sensitivity of this new formulation was 97.4% and the specificity was 100%. Still, three M. kansasii strains were missed by this probe. To evaluate the variability within the species, genetic analyses of the hsp65 gene, the spacer sequence between the 16S and 23S rRNA genes, and the 16S rRNA gene of several M. kansasii AccuProbe-positive strains as well as all AccuProbe-negative strains were performed. Genetic analyses of the one M. gastri strain from the comparative assay and of two further M. gastri strains were included because of the identity of the 16S rRNA gene in M. gastri to that in M. kansasii. The data confirmed the genetic heterogeneity of M. kansasii. Furthermore, a subspecies with an unpublished hsp65 restriction pattern and spacer sequence was described. The genetic data indicate that all M. kansasii strains missed by the AccuProbe test belong to one subspecies, the newly described subspecies VI, as determined by the hsp65 restriction pattern and the spacer sequence. Since the M. kansasii strains that are missed are rare and all M. gastri strains are correctly negative, the new formulated AccuProbe provides a useful tool for the identification of M. kansasii. (+info)
Molecular probes for muscarinic receptors: functionalized congeners of selective muscarinic antagonists.
The muscarinic agonist oxotremorine and the tricyclic muscarinic antagonists pirenzepine and telenzepine have been derivatized using a functionalized congener approach for the purpose of synthesizing high affinity ligand probes that are suitable for conjugation with prosthetic groups, for receptor cross-linking, fluorescent and radioactive detection, etc. A novel fluorescent conjugate of TAC (telenzepine amine congener), an n-decylamino derivative of the m1-selective antagonist, with the fluorescent trisulfonated pyrene dye Cascade Blue may be useful for assaying the receptor as an alternative to radiotracers. In a rat m3 receptor mutant containing a single amino acid substitution in the sixth transmembrane domain (Asn507 to Ala) the parent telenzepine lost 636-fold in affinity, while TAC lost only 27-fold. Thus, the decylamino group of TAC stabilizes the bound state and thus enhances potency by acting as a distal anchor in the receptor binding site. We have built a computer-assisted molecular model of the transmembrane regions of muscarinic receptors based on homology with the G-protein coupled receptor rhodopsin, for which a low resolution structure is known. We have coordinated the antagonist pharmacophore (tricyclic and piperazine moieties) with residues of the third and seventh helices of the rat m3 receptor. Although the decylamino chain of TAC is likely to be highly flexible and may adopt many conformations, we located one possible site for a salt bridge formation with the positively charged -NH3+ group, i.e. Asp113 in helix II. (+info)
Silver/silver chloride electrodes for measurement of potential difference in human bronchi.
BACKGROUND: An easy and reliable method to measure potential difference (PD) in the lower airways would be of interest in the field of cystic fibrosis. We have developed silver/silver chloride (Ag/AgCl) electrodes to measure PD in the lower airways. METHODS: To validate this technique the nasal PD measured with Ag/AgCl electrodes and with conventional perfused electrodes was compared in 16 patients. The range of PD measured with Ag/AgCl electrodes in the lower airways during fibreoptic bronchoscopy was determined in 14 adult patients and in nine the reproducibility of this technique was examined. RESULTS: Nasal PD values measured with Ag/AgCl and perfused electrodes were highly correlated (r = 0.985, p < 0.0001) and the limits of agreement (mean +/- 2SD of the difference) between the two methods were -1.91 mV and 1.53 mV. In the lower airways a progressive and slight decrease in PD values with decreasing airway diameter was observed in most patients. The mean (2SD) of the differences between the two tracheal measurements was 0.21 (1.73) mV. CONCLUSIONS: The use of Ag/AgCl electrodes gives a reliable and reproducible measurement of PD in the lower airways in humans. (+info)
Identification of protease and rpoN-associated genes of uropathogenic Proteus mirabilis by negative selection in a mouse model of ascending urinary tract infection.
Proteus mirabilis, a motile gram-negative bacterium, is a principal cause of urinary tract infections in patients with functional or anatomical abnormalities of the urinary tract or those with urinary catheters in place. Thus far, virulence factors including urease, flagella, haemolysin, various fimbriae, IgA protease and a deaminase have been characterized based on the phenotypic traits conferred by these proteins. In this study, an attempt was made to identify new virulence genes of P. mirabilis that may not have identifiable phenotypes using the recently described technique of signature-tagged mutagenesis. A pool of chromosomal transposon mutants was made through conjugation and kanamycin/tetracycline selection; random insertion was confirmed by Southern blotting of chromosomal DNA isolated from 16 mutants using the aphA gene as a probe. From the total pool, 2.3% (9/397) auxotrophic mutants and 3.5% (14/397) swarming mutants were identified by screening on minimal salts agar and Luria agar plates, respectively. Thirty per cent of the mutants, found to have either no tag or an unamplifiable tag, were removed from the input pool. Then 10(7) c.f.u. from a 96-mutant pool (approximately 10(5) c.f.u. of each mutant) were used as an input pool to transurethrally inoculate seven CBA mice. After 2 d infection, bacteria were recovered from the bladders and kidneys and yielded about 10(5) c.f.u. as an output pool. Dot blot analysis showed that two of the 96 mutants, designated B2 and B5, could not be hybridized by signature tags amplified from the bladder output pool. Interrupted genes from these two mutants were cloned and sequenced. The interrupted gene in B2 predicts a polypeptide of 37.3 kDa that shares amino acid similarity with a putative protease or collagenase precursor. The gene in B5 predicts a polypeptide of 32.6 kDa that is very similar to that encoded by ORF284 of the rpoN operon controlling expression of nitrogen-regulated genes from several bacterial species. The virulence of the two mutants was tested further by co-challenging CBA mice with each mutant and the parental strain. After 1 week of infection, the B2 and B5 mutants were recovered in numbers 100-fold and 1000-fold less than the parental strain, respectively. Using an in vitro assay, it was shown that the B2 mutant had significantly less (P = 0.0001) extracellular protease activity than the wild-type strain. These findings demonstrate that signature-tagged mutagenesis is a viable approach to identify bacterial genes associated with the ability to infect the urinary tract. (+info)
Cellular delivery of peptide nucleic acids and inhibition of human telomerase.
BACKGROUND: Human telomerase has an essential RNA component and is an ideal target for developing rules correlating oligonucleotide chemistry with disruption of biological function. Similarly, peptide nucleic acids (PNAs), DNA analogs that bind complementary sequences with high affinity, are outstanding candidates for inducing phenotypic changes through hybridization. RESULTS: We identify PNAs directed to nontemplate regions of the telomerase RNA that can overcome RNA secondary structure and inhibit telomerase by intercepting the RNA component prior to holoenzyme assembly. Relative potencies of inhibition delineate putative structural domains. We describe a novel protocol for introducing PNAs into eukaryotic cells and report efficient inhibition of cellular telomerase by PNAs. CONCLUSIONS: PNAs directed to nontemplate regions are a new class of telomerase inhibitor and may contribute to the development of novel antiproliferative agents. The dependence of inhibition by nontemplate-directed PNAs on target sequence suggests that PNAs have great potential for mapping nucleic acid structure and predictably regulating biological processes. Our simple method for introducing PNAs into cells will not only be useful for probing the complex biology surrounding telomere length maintenance but can be broadly applied for controlling gene expression and functional genomics. (+info)
General properties and phylogenetic utilities of nuclear ribosomal DNA and mitochondrial DNA commonly used in molecular systematics.
To choose one or more appropriate molecular markers or gene regions for resolving a particular systematic question among the organisms at a certain categorical level is still a very difficult process. The primary goal of this review, therefore, is to provide a theoretical information in choosing one or more molecular markers or gene regions by illustrating general properties and phylogenetic utilities of nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) that have been most commonly used for phylogenetic researches. The highly conserved molecular markers and/or gene regions are useful for investigating phylogenetic relationships at higher categorical levels (deep branches of evolutionary history). On the other hand, the hypervariable molecular markers and/or gene regions are useful for elucidating phylogenetic relationships at lower categorical levels (recently diverged branches). In summary, different selective forces have led to the evolution of various molecular markers or gene regions with varying degrees of sequence conservation. Thus, appropriate molecular markers or gene regions should be chosen with even greater caution to deduce true phylogenetic relationships over a broad taxonomic spectrum. (+info)
Calculation of the relative geometry of tRNAs in the ribosome from directed hydroxyl-radical probing data.
The many interactions of tRNA with the ribosome are fundamental to protein synthesis. During the peptidyl transferase reaction, the acceptor ends of the aminoacyl and peptidyl tRNAs must be in close proximity to allow peptide bond formation, and their respective anticodons must base pair simultaneously with adjacent trinucleotide codons on the mRNA. The two tRNAs in this state can be arranged in two nonequivalent general configurations called the R and S orientations, many versions of which have been proposed for the geometry of tRNAs in the ribosome. Here, we report the combined use of computational analysis and tethered hydroxyl-radical probing to constrain their arrangement. We used Fe(II) tethered to the 5' end of anticodon stem-loop analogs (ASLs) of tRNA and to the 5' end of deacylated tRNA(Phe) to generate hydroxyl radicals that probe proximal positions in the backbone of adjacent tRNAs in the 70S ribosome. We inferred probe-target distances from the resulting RNA strand cleavage intensities and used these to calculate the mutual arrangement of A-site and P-site tRNAs in the ribosome, using three different structure estimation algorithms. The two tRNAs are constrained to the S configuration with an angle of about 45 degrees between the respective planes of the molecules. The terminal phosphates of 3'CCA are separated by 23 A when using the tRNA crystal conformations, and the anticodon arms of the two tRNAs are sufficiently close to interact with adjacent codons in mRNA. (+info)