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(1/5358) Transcription factor AP-2 activity is modulated by protein kinase A-mediated phosphorylation.

We recently reported that APOE promoter activity is stimulated by cAMP, this effect being mediated by factor AP-2 [Garcia et al. (1996) J. Neurosci. 16, 7550-7556]. Here, we study whether cAMP-induced phosphorylation modulates the activity of AP-2. Recombinant AP-2 was phosphorylated in vitro by protein kinase A (PKA) at Ser239. Mutation of Ser239 to Ala abolished in vitro phosphorylation of AP-2 by PKA, but not the DNA binding activity of AP-2. Cotransfection studies showed that PKA stimulated the effect of AP-2 on the APOE promoter, but not that of the S239A mutant. Therefore, cAMP may modulate AP-2 activity by PKA-induced phosphorylation of this factor.  (+info)

(2/5358) A novel method for determining linkage between DNA sequences: hybridization to paired probe arrays.

Cooperative hybridization has been used to establish physical linkage between two loci on a DNA strand. Linkage was detected by hybridization to a new type of high-density oligonucleotide array. Each synthesis location on the array contains a mixture of two different probe sequences. Each of the two probes can hybridize independently to a different target sequence, but if the two target sequences are physically linked there is a cooperative increase in hybridization yield. The ability to create and control non-linear effects raises a host of possibilities for applications of oligonucleotide array hybridization. The method has been used to assign linkage in 50:50 mixtures of DNA containing single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) separated by 17, 693, 1350 and 2038 bp and to reconstruct haplotypes. Other potential uses include increasing the specificity of hybridization in mutation detection and gene expression monitoring applications, determining SNP haplotypes, characterizing repetitive sequences, such as short tandem repeats, and aiding contig assembly in sequen-cing by hybridization.  (+info)

(3/5358) Localization and characterization of curved DNA in the human erythropoietin receptor gene by experimental and theoretical approaches.

We report here the locations of curved DNA in the human erythropoietin receptor gene. A total of 13 DNA bend sites were mapped by circular permutation assays, appearing at an average interval of 651.2+/-214.6 (S.D.) in the 8-kb region. The bend centers in these 13 bend sites were confirmed by oligonucleotide-based assays where most of these centers had bend angles higher than that shown by (AAACCGGGCC) x (A)20 and lower than that shown by (AAACCGGGCC)2 x (A)10. DNA curvature mapping by TRIF software, which is based on the distribution of dinucleotides, primarily AA and TT, provided a highly accurate prediction for the locations of the bend sites. They showed approximately 20 degrees to 40 degrees of bend angles demonstrated by the oligonucleotide assays and by computer analysis.  (+info)

(4/5358) Nitrate-dependent regulation of acetate biosynthesis and nitrate respiration by Clostridium thermoaceticum.

Nitrate has been shown to shunt the electron flow in Clostridium thermoaceticum from CO2 to nitrate, but it did not influence the levels of enzymes involved in the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway (J. M. Frostl, C. Seifritz, and H. L. Drake, J. Bacteriol. 178:4597-4603, 1996). Here we show that under some growth conditions, nitrate does in fact repress proteins involved in the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway. The CO oxidation activity in crude extracts of nitrate (30 mM)-supplemented cultures was fivefold less than that of nitrate-free cultures, while the H2 oxidation activity was six- to sevenfold lower. The decrease in CO oxidation activity paralleled a decrease in CO dehydrogenase (CODH) protein level, as confirmed by Western blot analysis. Protein levels of CODH in nitrate-supplemented cultures were 50% lower than those in nitrate-free cultures. Western blots analyses showed that nitrate also decreased the levels of the corrinoid iron-sulfur protein (60%) and methyltransferase (70%). Surprisingly, the decrease in activity and protein levels upon nitrate supplementation was observed only when cultures were continuously sparged. Northern blot analysis indicates that the regulation of the proteins involved in the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway by nitrate is at the transcriptional level. At least a 10-fold decrease in levels of cytochrome b was observed with nitrate supplementation whether the cultures were sparged or stoppered. We also detected nitrate-inducible nitrate reductase activity (2 to 39 nmol min-1 mg-1) in crude extracts of C. thermoaceticum. Our results indicate that nitrate coordinately represses genes encoding enzymes and electron transport proteins in the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway and activates transcription of nitrate respiratory proteins. CO2 also appears to induce expression of the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway genes and repress nitrate reductase activity.  (+info)

(5/5358) Morphological and compositional changes in a planktonic bacterial community in response to enhanced protozoan grazing.

We analyzed changes in bacterioplankton morphology and composition during enhanced protozoan grazing by image analysis and fluorescent in situ hybridization with group-specific rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes. Enclosure experiments were conducted in a small, fishless freshwater pond which was dominated by the cladoceran Daphnia magna. The removal of metazooplankton enhanced protozoan grazing pressure and triggered a microbial succession from fast-growing small bacteria to larger grazing-resistant morphotypes. These were mainly different types of filamentous bacteria which correlated in biomass with the population development of heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNF). Small bacterial rods and cocci, which showed increased proportion after removal of Daphnia and doubling times of 6 to 11 h, belonged nearly exclusively to the beta subdivision of the class Proteobacteria and the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium cluster. The majority of this newly produced bacterial biomass was rapidly consumed by HNF. In contrast, the proportion of bacteria belonging to the gamma and alpha subdivisions of the Proteobacteria increased throughout the experiment. The alpha subdivision consisted mainly of rods that were 3 to 6 microm in length, which probably exceeded the size range of bacteria edible by protozoa. Initially, these organisms accounted for less than 1% of total bacteria, but after 72 h they became the predominant group of the bacterial assemblage. Other types of grazing-resistant, filamentous bacteria were also found within the beta subdivision of Proteobacteria and the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium cluster. We conclude that the predation regimen is a major structuring force for the bacterial community composition in this system. Protozoan grazing resulted in shifts of the morphological as well as the taxonomic composition of the bacterial assemblage. Grazing-resistant filamentous bacteria can develop within different phylogenetic groups of bacteria, and formerly underepresented taxa might become a dominant group when protozoan predation is the major selective pressure.  (+info)

(6/5358) Identification of a novel group of bacteria in sludge from a deteriorated biological phosphorus removal reactor.

The microbial diversity of a deteriorated biological phosphorus removal reactor was investigated by methods not requiring direct cultivation. The reactor was fed with media containing acetate and high levels of phosphate (P/C weight ratio, 8:100) but failed to completely remove phosphate in the effluent and showed very limited biological phosphorus removal activity. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of PCR-amplified 16S ribosomal DNA was used to investigate the bacterial diversity. Up to 11 DGGE bands representing at least 11 different sequence types were observed; DNA from the 6 most dominant of these bands was further isolated and sequenced. Comparative phylogenetic analysis of the partial 16S rRNA sequences suggested that one sequence type was affiliated with the alpha subclass of the Proteobacteria, one was associated with the Legionella group of the gamma subclass of the Proteobacteria, and the remaining four formed a novel group of the gamma subclass of the Proteobacteria with no close relationship to any previously described species. The novel group represented approximately 75% of the PCR-amplified DNA, based on the DGGE band intensities. Two oligonucleotide rRNA probes for this novel group were designed and used in a whole-cell hybridization analysis to investigate the abundance of this novel group in situ. The bacteria were coccoid and 3 to 4 microm in diameter and represented approximately 35% of the total population, suggesting a relatively close agreement with the results obtained by the PCR-based DGGE method. Further, based on electron microscopy and standard staining microscopic analysis, this novel group was able to accumulate granule inclusions, possibly consisting of polyhydroxyalkanoate, inside the cells.  (+info)

(7/5358) In situ identification of cyanobacteria with horseradish peroxidase-labeled, rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes.

Individual cyanobacterial cells are normally identified in environmental samples only on the basis of their pigmentation and morphology. However, these criteria are often insufficient for the differentiation of species. Here, a whole-cell hybridization technique is presented that uses horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-labeled, rRNA-targeted oligonucleotides for in situ identification of cyanobacteria. This indirect method, in which the probe-conferred enzyme has to be visualized in an additional step, was necessary since fluorescently monolabeled oligonucleotides were insufficient to overstain the autofluorescence of the target cells. Initially, a nonfluorescent detection assay was developed and successfully applied to cyanobacterial mats. Later, it was demonstrated that tyramide signal amplification (TSA) resulted in fluorescent signals far above the level of autofluorescence. Furthermore, TSA-based detection of HRP was more sensitive than that based on nonfluorescent substrates. Critical points of the assay, such as cell fixation and permeabilization, specificity, and sensitivity, were systematically investigated by using four oligonucleotides newly designed to target groups of cyanobacteria.  (+info)

(8/5358) Combination of fluorescent in situ hybridization and microautoradiography-a new tool for structure-function analyses in microbial ecology.

A new microscopic method for simultaneously determining in situ the identities, activities, and specific substrate uptake profiles of individual bacterial cells within complex microbial communities was developed by combining fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) performed with rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes and microautoradiography. This method was evaluated by using defined artificial mixtures of Escherichia coli and Herpetosiphon aurantiacus under aerobic incubation conditions with added [3H]glucose. Subsequently, we were able to demonstrate the potential of this method by visualizing the uptake of organic and inorganic radiolabeled substrates ([14C]acetate, [14C]butyrate, [14C]bicarbonate, and 33Pi) in probe-defined populations from complex activated sludge microbial communities by using aerobic incubation conditions and anaerobic incubation conditions (with and without nitrate). For both defined cell mixtures and activated sludge, the method proved to be useful for simultaneous identification and analysis of the uptake of labeled substrates under the different experimental conditions used. Optimal results were obtained when fluorescently labeled oligonucleotides were applied prior to the microautoradiographic developing procedure. For single-cell resolution of FISH and microautoradiographic signals within activated sludge flocs, cryosectioned sample material was examined with a confocal laser scanning microscope. The combination of in situ rRNA hybridization techniques, cryosectioning, microautoradiography, and confocal laser scanning microscopy provides a unique opportunity for obtaining cultivation-independent insights into the structure and function of bacterial communities.  (+info)