Mapping of the homothallic genes, HM alpha and HMa, in Saccharomyces yeasts.
Two of the three homothallic genes, HM alpha and HMa, showed direct linkage to the mating-type locus at approximately 73 and 98 strans (57 and 65 centimorgans [cM], respectively, whereas, the other, HO, showed no linkage to 25 standard markers distributed over 17 chromosomes including the mating-type locus. To determine whether the HM alpha and HMa loci located on the left or right side of the mating-type locus, equations for three factor analysis of three linked genes were derived. Tetrad data were collected and were compared with expected values by chi 2 statistics. Calculations indicated that the HM alpha gene is probably located on the right arm at 95 strans (65 cM) from the centromere and the HMa locus at approximately 90 strans (64 cM) on the left arm of chromosome III. (+info)
Sulfhydryl compounds in melanocytes of yellow (Ay/a), nonagouti (a/a), and agouti (A/A) mice.
CLEFFMANN (1953, 1963a,b) has reported that yellow but not black melanocytes of agouti (A/A) rabbits contained reducing sulfhydryl compounds. We have attempted to repeat CLEFFMANN's observations in mouse melanocytes of the lethal yellow (Ay/a), nonagouti (a/a) and agouti (A/A) genotypes. Our results contradict those of CLEFFMANN and reveal that yellow and black melanocytes, regardless of genotype, possess equivalent amounts of histochemically detectable sulfhydryl compounds. These results do not support the hypothesis that agouti-locus genes act by controlling the sulfhydryl metabolism of pigment cells. (+info)
Regulation of body length and male tail ray pattern formation of Caenorhabditis elegans by a member of TGF-beta family.
We have identified a new member of the TGF-beta superfamily, CET-1, from Caenorhabditis elegans, which is expressed in the ventral nerve cord and other neurons. cet-1 null mutants have shortened bodies and male tail abnormal phenotype resembling sma mutants, suggesting cet-1, sma-2, sma-3 and sma-4 share a common pathway. Overexpression experiments demonstrated that cet-1 function requires wild-type sma genes. Interestingly, CET-1 appears to affect body length in a dose-dependent manner. Heterozygotes for cet-1 displayed body lengths ranging between null mutant and wild type, and overexpression of CET-1 in wild-type worms elongated body length close to lon mutants. In male sensory ray patterning, lack of cet-1 function results in ray fusions. Epistasis analysis revealed that mab-21 lies downstream and is negatively regulated by the cet-1/sma pathway in the male tail. Our results show that cet-1 controls diverse biological processes during C. elegans development probably through different target genes. (+info)
Identification of sonic hedgehog as a candidate gene responsible for the polydactylous mouse mutant Sasquatch.
The mouse mutants of the hemimelia-luxate group (lx, lu, lst, Dh, Xt, and the more recently identified Hx, Xpl and Rim4;     ) have in common preaxial polydactyly and longbone abnormalities. Associated with the duplication of digits are changes in the regulation of development of the anterior limb bud resulting in ectopic expression of signalling components such as Sonic hedgehog (Shh) and fibroblast growth factor-4 (Fgf4), but little is known about the molecular causes of this misregulation. We generated, by a transgene insertion event, a new member of this group of mutants, Sasquatch (Ssq), which disrupted aspects of both anteroposterior (AP) and dorsoventral (DV) patterning. The mutant displayed preaxial polydactyly in the hindlimbs of heterozygous embryos, and in both hindlimbs and forelimbs of homozygotes. The Shh, Fgf4, Fgf8, Hoxd12 and Hoxd13 genes were all ectopically expressed in the anterior region of affected limb buds. The insertion site was found to lie close to the Shh locus. Furthermore, expression from the transgene reporter has come under the control of a regulatory element that directs a pattern mirroring the endogenous expression pattern of Shh in limbs. In abnormal limbs, both Shh and the reporter were ectopically induced in the anterior region, whereas in normal limbs the reporter and Shh were restricted to the zone of polarising activity (ZPA). These data strongly suggest that Ssq is caused by direct interference with the cis regulation of the Shh gene. (+info)
Hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation for the treatment of severe combined immunodeficiency.
BACKGROUND: Since 1968 it has been known that bone marrow transplantation can ameliorate severe combined immunodeficiency, but data on the long-term efficacy of this treatment are limited. We prospectively studied immunologic function in 89 consecutive infants with severe combined immunodeficiency who received hematopoietic stem-cell transplants at Duke University Medical Center between May 1982 and September 1998. METHODS: Serum immunoglobulin levels and lymphocyte phenotypes and function were assessed and genetic analyses performed according to standard methods. Bone marrow was depleted of T cells by agglutination with soybean lectin and by sheep-erythrocyte rosetting before transplantation. RESULTS: Seventy-seven of the infants received T-cell-depleted, HLA-haploidentical parental marrow, and 12 received HLA-identical marrow from a related donor; 3 of the recipients of haploidentical marrow also received placental-blood transplants from unrelated donors. Except for two patients who received placental blood, none of the recipients received chemotherapy before transplantation or prophylaxis against graft-versus-host disease. Of the 89 infants, 72 (81 percent) were still alive 3 months to 16.5 years after transplantation, including all of the 12 who received HLA-identical marrow, 60 of the 77 (78 percent) who were given haploidentical marrow, and 2 of the 3 (67 percent) who received both haploidentical marrow and placental blood. T-cell function became normal within two weeks after transplantation in the patients who received unfractionated HLA-identical marrow but usually not until three to four months after transplantation in those who received T-cell-depleted marrow. At the time of the most recent evaluation, all but 4 of the 72 survivors had normal T-cell function, and all the T cells in their blood were of donor origin. B-cell function remained abnormal in many of the recipients of haploidentical marrow. In 26 children (5 recipients of HLA-identical marrow and 21 recipients of haploidentical marrow) between 2 percent and 100 percent of B cells were of donor origin. Forty-five of the 72 children were receiving intravenous immune globulin. CONCLUSIONS: Transplantation of marrow from a related donor is a life-saving and life-sustaining treatment for patients with any type of severe combined immunodeficiency, even when there is no HLA-identical donor. (+info)
Phenotypic analysis of human glioma cells expressing the MMAC1 tumor suppressor phosphatase.
MMAC1, also known as PTEN or TEP-1, was recently identified as a gene commonly mutated in a variety of human neoplasias. Sequence analysis revealed that MMAC1 harbored sequences similar to those found in several protein phosphatases. Subsequent studies demonstrated that MMAC1 possessed in vitro enzymatic activity similar to that exhibited by dual specificity phosphatases. To characterize the potential cellular functions of MMAC1, we expressed wild-type and several mutant variants of MMAC1 in the human glioma cell line, U373, that lacks endogenous expression. While expression of wild-type MMAC1 in these cells significantly reduced their growth rate and saturation density, expression of enzymatically inactive MMAC1 significantly enhanced growth in soft agar. Our observations indicate that while wild-type MMAC1 exhibits activities compatible with its proposed role as a tumor suppressor, cellular expression of MMAC1 containing mutations in the catalytic domain may yield protein products that enhance transformation characteristics. (+info)
The role of RBF in the introduction of G1 regulation during Drosophila embryogenesis.
The first appearance of G1 during Drosophila embryogenesis, at cell cycle 17, is accompanied by the down-regulation of E2F-dependent transcription. Mutant alleles of rbf were generated and analyzed to determine the role of RBF in this process. Embryos lacking both maternal and zygotic RBF products show constitutive expression of PCNA and RNR2, two E2F-regulated genes, indicating that RBF is required for their transcriptional repression. Despite the ubiquitous expression of E2F target genes, most epidermal cells enter G1 normally. Rather than pausing in G1 until the appropriate time for cell cycle progression, many of these cells enter an ectopic S-phase. These results indicate that the repression of E2F target genes by RBF is necessary for the maintenance but not the initiation of a G1 phase. The phenotype of RBF-deficient embryos suggests that rbf has a function that is complementary to the roles of dacapo and fizzy-related in the introduction of G1 during Drosophila embryogenesis. (+info)
JunB is essential for mammalian placentation.
Lack of JunB, an immediate early gene product and member of the AP-1 transcription factor family causes embryonic lethality between E8.5 and E10.0. Although mutant embryos are severely retarded in growth and development, cellular proliferation is apparently not impaired. Retardation and embryonic death are caused by the inability of JunB-deficient embryos to establish proper vascular interactions with the maternal circulation due to multiple defects in extra-embryonic tissues. The onset of the phenotypic defects correlates well with high expression of junB in wild-type extra-embryonic tissues. In trophoblasts, the lack of JunB causes a deregulation of proliferin, matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) gene expression, resulting in a defective neovascularization of the decidua. As a result of downregulation of the VEGF-receptor 1 (flt-1), blood vessels in the yolk sac mesoderm appeared dilated. Mutant embryos which escape these initial defects finally die from a non-vascularized placental labyrinth. Injection of junB-/- embryonic stem (ES) cells into tetraploid wild-type blastocysts resulted in a partial rescue, in which the ES cell-derived fetuses were no longer growth retarded and displayed a normal placental labyrinth. Therefore, JunB appears to be involved in multiple signaling pathways regulating genes involved in the establishment of a proper feto-maternal circulatory system. (+info)