(1/11650) In vivo expression of the nucleolar group I intron-encoded I-dirI homing endonuclease involves the removal of a spliceosomal intron.

The Didymium iridis DiSSU1 intron is located in the nuclear SSU rDNA and has an unusual twin-ribozyme organization. One of the ribozymes (DiGIR2) catalyses intron excision and exon ligation. The other ribozyme (DiGIR1), which along with the endonuclease-encoding I-DirI open reading frame (ORF) is inserted in DiGIR2, carries out hydrolysis at internal processing sites (IPS1 and IPS2) located at its 3' end. Examination of the in vivo expression of DiSSU1 shows that after excision, DiSSU1 is matured further into the I-DirI mRNA by internal DiGIR1-catalysed cleavage upstream of the ORF 5' end, as well as truncation and polyadenylation downstream of the ORF 3' end. A spliceosomal intron, the first to be reported within a group I intron and the rDNA, is removed before the I-DirI mRNA associates with the polysomes. Taken together, our results imply that DiSSU1 uses a unique combination of intron-supplied ribozyme activity and adaptation to the general RNA polymerase II pathway of mRNA expression to allow a protein to be produced from the RNA polymerase I-transcribed rDNA.  (+info)

(2/11650) A premature termination codon interferes with the nuclear function of an exon splicing enhancer in an open reading frame-dependent manner.

Premature translation termination codon (PTC)-mediated effects on nuclear RNA processing have been shown to be associated with a number of human genetic diseases; however, how these PTCs mediate such effects in the nucleus is unclear. A PTC at nucleotide (nt) 2018 that lies adjacent to the 5' element of a bipartite exon splicing enhancer within the NS2-specific exon of minute virus of mice P4 promoter-generated pre-mRNA caused a decrease in the accumulated levels of P4-generated R2 mRNA relative to P4-generated R1 mRNA, although the total accumulated levels of P4 product remained the same. This effect was seen in nuclear RNA and was independent of RNA stability. The 5' and 3' elements of the bipartite NS2-specific exon enhancer are redundant in function, and when the 2018 PTC was combined with a deletion of the 3' enhancer element, the exon was skipped in the majority of the viral P4-generated product. Such exon skipping in response to a PTC, but not a missense mutation at nt 2018, could be suppressed by frame shift mutations in either exon of NS2 which reopened the NS2 open reading frame, as well as by improvement of the upstream intron 3' splice site. These results suggest that a PTC can interfere with the function of an exon splicing enhancer in an open reading frame-dependent manner and that the PTC is recognized in the nucleus.  (+info)

(3/11650) Comparative sequence analysis of human minisatellites showing meiotic repeat instability.

The highly variable human minisatellites MS32 (D1S8), MS31A (D7S21), and CEB1 (D2S90) all show recombination-based repeat instability restricted to the germline. Mutation usually results in polar interallelic conversion or occasionally in crossovers, which, at MS32 at least, extend into DNA flanking the repeat array, defining a localized recombination hotspot and suggesting that cis-acting elements in flanking DNA can influence repeat instability. Therefore, comparative sequence analysis was performed to search for common flanking elements associated with these unstable loci. All three minisatellites are located in GC-rich DNA abundant in dispersed and tandem repetitive elements. There were no significant sequence similarities between different loci upstream of the unstable end of the repeat array. Only one of the three loci showed clear evidence for putative coding sequences near the minisatellite. No consistent patterns of thermal stability or DNA secondary structure were shared by DNA flanking these loci. This work extends previous data on the genomic environment of minisatellites. In addition, this work suggests that recombinational activity is not controlled by primary or secondary characteristics of the DNA sequence flanking the repeat array and is not obviously associated with gene promoters as seen in yeast.  (+info)

(4/11650) Kinetoplast DNA minicircles of Leishmania donovani express a protein product.

We describe an unprecedented finding of an open reading frame present in the variable region in one of the minicircle sequence classes of a human pathogenic strain of Leishmania donovani (MHOM/IN/90/RMRI 68) which is transcribed and translated. The encoded protein showed homologies to known transport proteins.  (+info)

(5/11650) Identification of a cytolethal distending toxin gene locus and features of a virulence-associated region in Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans.

A genetic locus for a cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) was identified in a polymorphic region of the chromosome of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, a predominant oral pathogen. The locus was comprised of three open reading frames (ORFs) that had significant amino acid sequence similarity and more than 90% sequence identity to the cdtABC genes of some pathogenic Escherichia coli strains and Haemophilus ducreyi, respectively. Sonic extracts from recombinant E. coli, containing the A. actinomycetemcomitans ORFs, caused the distension and killing of Chinese hamster ovary cells characteristic of a CDT. Monoclonal antibodies made reactive with the CdtA, CdtB, and CdtC proteins of H. ducreyi recognized the corresponding gene products from the recombinant strain. CDT-like activities were no longer expressed by the recombinant strain when an OmegaKan-2 interposon was inserted into the cdtA and cdtB genes. Expression of the CDT-like activities in A. actinomycetemcomitans was strain specific. Naturally occurring expression-negative strains had large deletions within the region of the cdt locus. The cdtABC genes were flanked by an ORF (virulence plasmid protein), a partial ORF (integrase), and DNA sequences (bacteriophage integration site) characteristic of virulence-associated regions. These results provide evidence for a functional CDT in a human oral pathogen.  (+info)

(6/11650) Complete nucleotide sequence of the 27-kilobase virulence related locus (vrl) of Dichelobacter nodosus: evidence for extrachromosomal origin.

The vrl locus is preferentially associated with virulent isolates of the ovine footrot pathogen, Dichelobacter nodosus. The complete nucleotide sequence of this 27.1-kb region has now been determined. The data reveal that the locus has a G+C content much higher than the rest of the D. nodosus chromosome and contains 22 open reading frames (ORFs) encoding products including a putative adenine-specific methylase, two potential DEAH ATP-dependent helicases, and two products with sequence similarity to a bacteriophage resistance system. These ORFs are all in the same orientation, and most are either overlapping or separated by only a few nucleotides, suggesting that they comprise an operon and are translationally coupled. Expression vector studies have led to the identification of proteins that correspond to many of these ORFs. These data, in combination with evidence of insertion of vrl into the 3' end of an ssrA gene, are consistent with the hypothesis that the vrl locus was derived from the insertion of a bacteriophage or plasmid into the D. nodosus genome.  (+info)

(7/11650) Characterization of Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis lbpB, lbpA, and lactoferrin receptor orf3 isogenic mutants.

Pathogenic members of the family Neisseriaceae produce specific receptors to acquire iron from their host's lactoferrin and transferrin. Recently, putative Moraxella catarrhalis lactoferrin receptor genes and a third open reading frame (lbpB, lbpA, and orf3) were cloned and sequenced. We describe the preliminary characterization of isogenic mutants deficient in LbpB, LbpA, or Orf3 protein.  (+info)

(8/11650) Cloning, molecular analysis and differential cell localisation of the p36 RACK analogue antigen from the parasite protozoon Crithidia fasciculata.

The family of the RACK molecules (receptors for activated C kinases) are present in all the species studied so far. In the genus Leishmania, these molecules also induce a strong immune reaction against the infection. We have cloned and characterised the gene that encodes the RACK analogue from the parasite trypanosomatid Crithidia fasciculata (CACK). The molecule seems to be encoded by two genes. The sequence analysis of the cloned open reading frame indicates the existence of a high degree of conservation not only with other members of the Trypanosomatidae but also with mammalians. The study of the protein kinase C phosphorylation sites shows the presence of three of them, shared with the mammalian species, additional to those present in the other protozoa suggesting a certain phylogenetic distance between the protozoon Crithidia fasciculata and the rest of the Trypanosomatidae. The CACK-encoded polypeptide shows an additional sequence of four amino acids at the carboxy-terminal end, which produces a different folding of the fragment with the presence of an alpha-helix instead of the beta-sheet usual in all the other species studied. A similar result is elicited at the amino-terminal end by the change of three amino acid residues. The immunolocalisation experiments show that the CACK displays a pattern with a distribution mainly at the plasma membrane, different from that of the related Leishmania species used as control, that displays a distribution close to the nucleus. Altogether, the data suggest that the existence of the structural differences found may have functional consequences.  (+info)