Separation of shoot and floral identity in Arabidopsis. (1/28952)

The overall morphology of an Arabidopsis plant depends on the behaviour of its meristems. Meristems derived from the shoot apex can develop into either shoots or flowers. The distinction between these alternative fates requires separation between the function of floral meristem identity genes and the function of an antagonistic group of genes, which includes TERMINAL FLOWER 1. We show that the activities of these genes are restricted to separate domains of the shoot apex by different mechanisms. Meristem identity genes, such as LEAFY, APETALA 1 and CAULIFLOWER, prevent TERMINAL FLOWER 1 transcription in floral meristems on the apex periphery. TERMINAL FLOWER 1, in turn, can inhibit the activity of meristem identity genes at the centre of the shoot apex in two ways; first by delaying their upregulation, and second, by preventing the meristem from responding to LEAFY or APETALA 1. We suggest that the wild-type pattern of TERMINAL FLOWER 1 and floral meristem identity gene expression depends on the relative timing of their upregulation.  (+info)

A Drosophila doublesex-related gene, terra, is involved in somitogenesis in vertebrates. (2/28952)

The Drosophila doublesex (dsx) gene encodes a transcription factor that mediates sex determination. We describe the characterization of a novel zebrafish zinc-finger gene, terra, which contains a DNA binding domain similar to that of the Drosophila dsx gene. However, unlike dsx, terra is transiently expressed in the presomitic mesoderm and newly formed somites. Expression of terra in presomitic mesoderm is restricted to cells that lack expression of MyoD. In vivo, terra expression is reduced by hedgehog but enhanced by BMP signals. Overexpression of terra induces rapid apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that a tight regulation of terra expression is required during embryogenesis. Terra has both human and mouse homologs and is specifically expressed in mouse somites. Taken together, our findings suggest that terra is a highly conserved protein that plays specific roles in early somitogenesis of vertebrates.  (+info)

CAR-dependent and CAR-independent pathways of adenovirus vector-mediated gene transfer and expression in human fibroblasts. (3/28952)

Primary fibroblasts are not efficiently transduced by subgroup C adenovirus (Ad) vectors because they express low levels of the high-affinity Coxsackie virus and adenovirus receptor (CAR). In the present study, we have used primary human dermal fibroblasts as a model to explore strategies by which Ad vectors can be designed to enter cells deficient in CAR. Using an Ad vector expressing the human CAR cDNA (AdCAR) at high multiplicity of infection, primary fibroblasts were converted from being CAR deficient to CAR sufficient. Efficiency of subsequent gene transfer by standard Ad5-based vectors and Ad5-based vectors with alterations in penton and fiber was evaluated. Marked enhancement of binding and transgene expression by standard Ad5 vectors was achieved in CAR-sufficient fibroblasts. Expression by AdDeltaRGDbetagal, an Ad5-based vector lacking the arginine-glycine-aspartate (RGD) alphaV integrin recognition site from its penton base, was achieved in CAR-sufficient, but not CAR-deficient, cells. Fiber-altered Ad5-based vectors, including (a) AdF(pK7)betagal (bearing seven lysines on the end of fiber) (b) AdF(RGD)betagal (bearing a high-affinity RGD sequence on the end of fiber), and (c) AdF9sK betagal (bearing a short fiber and Ad9 knob), demonstrated enhanced gene transfer in CAR-deficient fibroblasts, with no further enhancement in CAR-sufficient fibroblasts. Together, these observations demonstrate that CAR deficiency on Ad targets can be circumvented either by supplying CAR or by modifying the Ad fiber to bind to other cell-surface receptors.  (+info)

Activation-dependent transcriptional regulation of the human Fas promoter requires NF-kappaB p50-p65 recruitment. (4/28952)

Fas (CD95) and Fas ligand (CD95L) are an interacting receptor-ligand pair required for immune homeostasis. Lymphocyte activation results in the upregulation of Fas expression and the acquisition of sensitivity to FasL-mediated apoptosis. Although Fas upregulation is central to the preservation of immunologic tolerance, little is known about the molecular machinery underlying this process. To investigate the events involved in activation-induced Fas upregulation, we have examined mRNA accumulation, fas promoter activity, and protein expression in the Jurkat T-cell line treated with phorbol myristate acetate and ionomycin (P/I), pharmacological mimics of T-cell receptor activation. Although resting Jurkat cells express Fas, Fas mRNA was induced approximately 10-fold in 2 h upon P/I stimulation. Using sequential deletion mutants of the human fas promoter in transient transfection assays, we identified a 47-bp sequence (positions -306 to -260 relative to the ATG) required for activation-driven fas upregulation. Sequence analysis revealed the presence of a previously unrecognized composite binding site for both the Sp1 and NF-kappaB transcription factors at positions -295 to -286. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and supershift analyses of this region documented constitutive binding of Sp1 in unactivated nuclear extracts and inducible binding of p50-p65 NF-kappaB heterodimers after P/I activation. Sp1 and NF-kappaB transcription factor binding was shown to be mutually exclusive by EMSA displacement studies with purified recombinant Sp1 and recombinant p50. The functional contribution of the kappaB-Sp1 composite site in P/I-inducible fas promoter activation was verified by using kappaB-Sp1 concatamers (-295 to -286) in a thymidine kinase promoter-driven reporter construct and native promoter constructs in Jurkat cells overexpressing IkappaB-alpha. Site-directed mutagenesis of the critical guanine nucleotides in the kappaB-Sp1 element documented the essential role of this site in activation-dependent fas promoter induction.  (+info)

Downregulation of metallothionein-IIA expression occurs at immortalization. (5/28952)

Metallothioneins (MTs) may modulate a variety of cellular processes by regulating the activity of zinc-binding proteins. These proteins have been implicated in cell growth regulation, and their expression is abnormal in some tumors. In particular, MT-IIA is expressed 27-fold less in human colorectal tumors and tumor cell lines compared with normal tissue (Zhang et al., 1997). Here we demonstrate that MT-IIA downregulation occurs when human cells become immortal, a key event in tumorigenesis. After immortalization MT-IIA expression remains inducible but the basal activity of the MT-IIA promoter is decreased. MT-IIA downregulation at immortalization is one of the most common immortalization-related changes identified to date, suggesting that MT-IIA has a role in this process.  (+info)

Establishment of an inducible expression system of chimeric MLL-LTG9 protein and inhibition of Hox a7, Hox b7 and Hox c9 expression by MLL-LTG9 in 32Dcl3 cells. (6/28952)

The MLL (HRX/ALL-1 gene is frequently disrupted in infantile leukemias and therapy-related leukemias and fused to various translocation partner genes. We previously showed that chimeric MLL proteins localize in the nuclei in a fashion similar to that of MLL protein even if the partner gene encodes a cytoplasmic protein and indicated the importance of the N-terminal portion of MLL common to various MLL translocations. This time we established an inducible expression system for chimeric MLL-LTG9 and truncated N-terminal MLL proteins (MLL-Zf(-)) in 32Dcl3 cells. By utilizing this system, we were able to show inhibition of Hox a7, Hox b7 and Hox c9 genes' expression by induced MLL-LTG9 and MLL-Zf(-). Up-regulation of Hox a7, Hox b7 and Hox c9 was observed when 32Dcl3 cells were cultured with granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) in place of interleukin 3 and induction of MLL-LTG9 and MLL-Zf(-) was shown to suppress this upregulation. At the same time, expression of two mammalian Polycomb group genes, M33 and mel-18, which both reportedly affect Hox genes' expression, was not inhibited by MLL-LTG9 and MLL-Zf(-) induction. These results indicate that MLL has an important effect on the expression of at least some Hox genes in hematopoietic cells and suggest that inhibition of the proper expression of Hox genes by chimeric MLL proteins may dysregulate hematopoietic cell differentiation and proliferation, which then can lead to leukemogenesis.  (+info)

Thymic selection by a single MHC/peptide ligand: autoreactive T cells are low-affinity cells. (7/28952)

In H2-M- mice, the presence of a single peptide, CLIP, bound to MHC class II molecules generates a diverse repertoire of CD4+ cells. In these mice, typical self-peptides are not bound to class II molecules, with the result that a very high proportion of H2-M- CD4+ cells are responsive to the various peptides displayed on normal MHC-compatible APC. We show here, however, that such "self" reactivity is controlled by low-affinity CD4+ cells. These cells give spectacularly high proliferative responses but are virtually unreactive in certain other assays, e.g., skin graft rejection; responses to MHC alloantigens, by contrast, are intense in all assays. Possible explanations for why thymic selection directed to a single peptide curtails self specificity without affecting alloreactivity are discussed.  (+info)

Intracellular sodium modulates the expression of angiotensin II subtype 2 receptor in PC12W cells. (8/28952)

Although the angiotensin II subtype 2 receptor (AT2-R) is expressed abundantly in the adrenal medulla, its physiological significance has not yet been determined. To obtain fundamental knowledge of the regulation of AT2-R expression in the adrenal medulla, we investigated the effects of modulating several ion channels on AT2-R expression in PC12W cells. Experiments were performed after 24 hours of serum depletion under subconfluent conditions. After 48 hours of treatment with various agonists or antagonists, the receptor density and mRNA level of AT2-Rs were quantified by 125I-[Sar1, Ile8]angiotensin II binding and Northern blot analysis. Ouabain (10 to 100 nmol/L) and insulin (10 to 100 nmol/L) dose-dependently increased receptor density and mRNA level. Analysis of the binding characteristics revealed that the ouabain-dependent increase in AT2-R levels was due to an increase in binding capacity without a change in the Kd value. These increases were blocked by lowering the Na+ concentration in the medium. A low concentration of the sodium ionophore monensin (10 nmol/L), the K+-channel blocker quinidine (10 micromol/L), and the ATP-sensitive K+-channel blockers tolbutamide (100 micromol/L) and glybenclamide (10 micromol/L) also significantly increased receptor density, but the ATP-sensitive K+-channel agonist cromakalim (100 micromol/L) decreased receptor density significantly (P<0.01). Nifedipine (10 micromol/L) decreased basal receptor density and completely blocked the increase in receptor density caused by these agents. The increase in receptor density caused by an increase in intracellular Na+ was accompanied by an increase in mRNA level, whereas the ATP-sensitive K+-channel blockers did not change mRNA level. Nifedipine slightly decreased mRNA level. These results suggest that AT2-R expression is sensitively regulated by intracellular cation levels. The change in intracellular Na+ level transcriptionally regulates AT2-R expression, whereas the K+-channel blocker-dependent upregulation appears to be at least in part posttranslational.  (+info)