Evolutionarily conserved sequences on human chromosome 21.
Comparison of human sequences with the DNA of other mammals is an excellent means of identifying functional elements in the human genome. Here we describe the utility of high-density oligonucleotide arrays as a rapid approach for comparing human sequences with the DNA of multiple species whose sequences are not presently available. High-density arrays representing approximately 22.5 Mb of nonrepetitive human chromosome 21 sequence were synthesized and then hybridized with mouse and dog DNA to identify sequences conserved between humans and mice (human-mouse elements) and between humans and dogs (human-dog elements). Our data show that sequence comparison of multiple species provides a powerful empiric method for identifying actively conserved elements in the human genome. A large fraction of these evolutionarily conserved elements are present in regions on chromosome 21 that do not encode known genes. (+info)
Identification of a conserved erythroid specific domain of histone acetylation across the alpha-globin gene cluster.
We have analyzed the pattern of core histone acetylation across 250 kb of the telomeric region of the short arm of human chromosome 16. This gene-dense region, which includes the alpha-globin genes and their regulatory elements embedded within widely expressed genes, shows marked differences in histone acetylation between erythroid and non-erythroid cells. In non-erythroid cells, there was a uniform 2- to 3-fold enrichment of acetylated histones, compared with heterochromatin, across the entire region. In erythroid cells, an approximately 100-kb segment of chromatin encompassing the alpha genes and their remote major regulatory element was highly enriched in histone H4 acetylated at Lys-5. Other lysines in the N-terminal tail of histone H4 showed intermediate and variable levels of enrichment. Similar broad segments of erythroid-specific histone acetylation were found in the corresponding syntenic regions containing the mouse and chicken alpha-globin gene clusters. The borders of these regions of acetylation are located in similar positions in all three species, and a sharply defined 3' boundary coincides with the previously identified breakpoint in conserved synteny between these species. We have therefore demonstrated that an erythroid-specific domain of acetylation has been conserved across several species, encompassing not only the alpha-globin genes but also a neighboring widely expressed gene. These results contrast with those at other clusters and demonstrate that not all genes are organized into discrete regulatory domains. (+info)
The gene orders on human chromosome 15 and chicken chromosome 10 reveal multiple inter- and intrachromosomal rearrangements.
Comparative mapping between the human and chicken genomes has revealed a striking conservation of synteny between the genomes of these two species, but the results have been based on low-resolution comparative maps. To address this conserved synteny in much more detail, a high-resolution human-chicken comparative map was constructed from human chromosome 15. Mapping, sequencing, and ordering of specific chicken bacterial artificial chromosomes has improved the comparative map of chromosome 15 (Hsa15) and the homologous regions in chicken with almost 100 new genes and/or expressed sequence tags. A comparison of Hsa15 with chicken identified seven conserved chromosomal segments between the two species. In chicken, these were on chromosome 1 (Gga1; two segments), Gga5 (two segments), and Gga10 (three segments). Although four conserved segments were also observed between Hsa15 and mouse, only one of the underlying rearrangement breakpoints was located at the same position as in chicken, indicating that the rearrangements generating the other three breakpoints occurred after the divergence of the rodent and the primate lineages. A high-resolution comparison of Gga10 with Hsa15 identified 19 conserved blocks, indicating the presence of at least 16 intrachromosomal rearrangement breakpoints in the bird lineage after the separation of birds and mammals. These results improve our knowledge of the evolution and dynamics of the vertebrate genomes and will aid in the clarification of the mechanisms that underlie the differentiation between the vertebrate species. (+info)
SOX7 transcription factor: sequence, chromosomal localisation, expression, transactivation and interference with Wnt signalling.
The Sox gene family consists of several genes related by encoding a 79 amino acid DNA-binding domain known as the HMG box. This box shares strong sequence similarity to that of the testis determining protein SRY. SOX proteins are transcription factors having critical roles in the regulation of diverse developmental processes in the animal kingdom. We have characterised the human SOX7 gene and compared it to its mouse orthologue. Chromosomal mapping analyses localised mouse Sox7 on band D of mouse chromosome 14, and assigned human SOX7 in a region of shared synteny on human chromosome 8 (8p22). A detailed expression analysis was performed in both species. Sox7 mRNA was detected during embryonic development in many tissues, most abundantly in brain, heart, lung, kidney, prostate, colon and spleen, suggesting a role in their respective differentiation and development. In addition, mouse Sox7 expression was shown to parallel mouse Sox18 mRNA localisation in diverse situations. Our studies also demonstrate the presence of a functional transactivation domain in SOX7 protein C-terminus, as well as the ability of SOX7 protein to significantly reduce Wnt/beta-catenin-stimulated transcription. In view of these and other findings, we suggest different modes of action for SOX7 inside the cell including repression of Wnt signalling. (+info)
Non-syndromic progressive hearing loss DFNA38 is caused by heterozygous missense mutation in the Wolfram syndrome gene WFS1.
Dominantly inherited progressive hearing loss DFNA38 is caused by heterozygosity for a novel mutation in WFS1, the gene for recessively inherited Wolfram syndrome. Wolfram syndrome is defined by juvenile diabetes mellitus and optic atrophy and may include progressive hearing loss and other neurological symptoms. Heterozygotes for other Wolfram syndrome mutations generally have normal hearing. Dominant deafness defined by DFNA38 is more severe than deafness of Wolfram syndrome patients and lacks any syndromic features. In a six-generation kindred from Newfoundland, Canada, WFS1 Ala716Thr (2146 G-->A) was shared by all deaf members of the family and was specific to deaf individuals. The causal relationship between this missense mutation and deafness was supported by two observations based on haplotype and mutation analysis of the kindred. First, a relative homozygous for the mutation was diagnosed at age 3 years with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, the central feature of Wolfram syndrome. Second, two relatives with normal hearing had an identical haplotype to that defining DFNA38, with the exception of the base pair at position 2146. Other rare variants of WFS1 co-inherited with deafness in the family could be excluded as disease-causing mutations on the basis of this hearing-associated haplotype. The possibility that 'mild' mutations in WFS1 might be a cause of non-syndromic deafness in the general population should be explored. (+info)
Primary gene structure and expression studies of rodent paracellin-1.
The novel member of the claudin multigene family, paracellin-1/claudin-16, encoded by the gene PCLN1, is a renal tight junction protein that is involved in the paracellular transport of magnesium and calcium in the thick ascending limb of Henle's loop. Mutations in human PCLN1 are associated with familial hypomagnesemia with hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis, an autosomal recessive disease that is characterized by severe renal magnesium and calcium loss. The complete coding sequences of mouse and rat Pcln1 and the murine genomic structure are here presented. Full-length cDNAs are 939 and 1514 bp in length in mouse and rat, respectively, encoding a putative open-reading frame of 235 amino acids in both species with 99% identity. Exon-intron analysis of the human and mouse genes revealed a 100% homology of coding exon lengths and splice-site loci. By radiation hybrid mapping, the murine Pcln1 gene was assigned directly to marker D16Mit133 on mouse chromosome 16 (syntenic to a locus on human chromosome 3q27, which harbors the human PCLN1 gene). Mouse multiple-tissue Northern blot showed Pcln1 expression exclusively in the kidney. The expression profile along the nephron was analyzed by reverse transcriptase-PCR on microdissected nephron segments and immunohistochemistry of rat kidney. Paracellin-1 expression was restricted to distal tubular segments including the thick ascending limb of Henle's loop, the distal tubule, and the collecting duct. The identification and characterization of the rodent Pcln1 genes provide the basis for further studies of paracellin-1 function in suitable animal models. (+info)
Genome sequence of the plant pathogen and biotechnology agent Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58.
Agrobacterium tumefaciens is a plant pathogen capable of transferring a defined segment of DNA to a host plant, generating a gall tumor. Replacing the transferred tumor-inducing genes with exogenous DNA allows the introduction of any desired gene into the plant. Thus, A. tumefaciens has been critical for the development of modern plant genetics and agricultural biotechnology. Here we describe the genome of A. tumefaciens strain C58, which has an unusual structure consisting of one circular and one linear chromosome. We discuss genome architecture and evolution and additional genes potentially involved in virulence and metabolic parasitism of host plants. (+info)
Investigation of Prx1 protein expression provides evidence for conservation of cardiac-specific posttranscriptional regulation in vertebrates.
Gene targeting experiments have defined that the homeobox gene Prx1 is essential for normal craniofacial, limb, and vascular development. Although its RNA expression pattern is well established, Prx1 protein expression in the developing embryo has not been examined. A novel Prx1 antibody was produced to define the normal Prx1 protein expression pattern in the developing mouse embryo. In craniofacial and limb mesenchyme, Prx1 protein expression is consistent with previously published data on RNA localization. However, a remarkable discrepancy was found in cardiac tissue. Prx1 protein is undetectable in the murine embryonic and adult heart, despite the presence of Prx1 transcripts. These data demonstrate that Prx1 expression is posttranscriptionally regulated. This discrepancy between the presence of Prx1 transcript and the absence of detectable protein was also observed in embryonic chick heart, suggesting conservation of the regulatory mechanism in vertebrates. This observation provides a new explanation of why the Prx null mice lack cardiac malformations. (+info)