Nucleic Acids Research

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hTERT promotes tumor angiogenesis by activating VEGF via interactions with the Sp1 transcription factor

ср, 2016-10-12 15:43

Angiogenesis is recognized as an important hallmark of cancer. Although telomerase is thought to be involved in tumor angiogenesis, the evidence and underlying mechanism remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate that human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) activates vascular epithelial growth factor (VEGF) gene expression through interactions with the VEGF promoter and the transcription factor Sp1. hTERT binds to Sp1 in vitro and in vivo and stimulates angiogenesis in a manner dependent on Sp1. Deletion of the mTert gene in the first generation of Tert null mice compromised tumor growth, with reduced VEGF expression. In addition, we show that hTERT expression levels are positively correlated with those of VEGF in human gastric tumor samples. Together, our results demonstrate that hTERT facilitates tumor angiogenesis by up-regulating VEGF expression through direct interactions with the VEGF gene and the Sp1 transcription factor. These results provide novel insights into hTERT function in tumor progression in addition to its role in telomere maintenance.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Overexpression of eIF5 or its protein mimic 5MP perturbs eIF2 function and induces ATF4 translation through delayed re-initiation

ср, 2016-10-12 15:43

ATF4 is a pro-oncogenic transcription factor whose translation is activated by eIF2 phosphorylation through delayed re-initiation involving two uORFs in the mRNA leader. However, in yeast, the effect of eIF2 phosphorylation can be mimicked by eIF5 overexpression, which turns eIF5 into translational inhibitor, thereby promoting translation of GCN4, the yeast ATF4 equivalent. Furthermore, regulatory protein termed eIF5-mimic protein (5MP) can bind eIF2 and inhibit general translation. Here, we show that 5MP1 overexpression in human cells leads to strong formation of 5MP1:eIF2 complex, nearly comparable to that of eIF5:eIF2 complex produced by eIF5 overexpression. Overexpression of eIF5, 5MP1 and 5MP2, the second human paralog, promotes ATF4 expression in certain types of human cells including fibrosarcoma. 5MP overexpression also induces ATF4 expression in Drosophila. The knockdown of 5MP1 in fibrosarcoma attenuates ATF4 expression and its tumor formation on nude mice. Since 5MP2 is overproduced in salivary mucoepidermoid carcinoma, we propose that overexpression of eIF5 and 5MP induces translation of ATF4 and potentially other genes with uORFs in their mRNA leaders through delayed re-initiation, thereby enhancing the survival of normal and cancer cells under stress conditions.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Identification of multi-loci hubs from 4C-seq demonstrates the functional importance of simultaneous interactions

ср, 2016-10-12 15:43

Use of low resolution single cell DNA FISH and population based high resolution chromosome conformation capture techniques have highlighted the importance of pairwise chromatin interactions in gene regulation. However, it is unlikely that associations involving regulatory elements act in isolation of other interacting partners that also influence their impact. Indeed, the influence of multi-loci interactions remains something of an enigma as beyond low-resolution DNA FISH we do not have the appropriate tools to analyze these. Here we present a method that uses standard 4C-seq data to identify multi-loci interactions from the same cell. We demonstrate the feasibility of our method using 4C-seq data sets that identify known pairwise and novel tri-loci interactions involving the Tcrb and Igk antigen receptor enhancers. We further show that the three Igk enhancers, MiE, 3'E and Ed, interact simultaneously in this super-enhancer cluster, which add to our previous findings showing that loss of one element decreases interactions between all three elements as well as reducing their transcriptional output. These findings underscore the functional importance of simultaneous interactions and provide new insight into the relationship between enhancer elements. Our method opens the door for studying multi-loci interactions and their impact on gene regulation in other biological settings.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Sam68 functions as a transcriptional coactivator of the p53 tumor suppressor

ср, 2016-10-12 15:43

Sam68 is a known sequence-specific RNA binding protein that regulates alternative splicing events during the cell cycle and apoptosis. Sam68 has also been shown to influence transcription, but the molecular mechanism remains undefined. Herein we identify Sam68 as a transcriptional coactivator of the p53 tumor suppressor in response to DNA damage. Using CRISPR/Cas9 generated isogenic HCT116 Sam68–/– cell lines wild type or deficient for p53, we show that Sam68 is required for the efficient transactivation of p53 target genes. Consistently, Sam68 depletion caused defects in DNA damage-induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis mediated by p53. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that Sam68 physically interacted with p53 in an RNA-dependent manner, and that this interaction was essential for the coactivator function of Sam68. Furthermore, we show that both Sam68 and p53 were recruited to promoters of p53-responsive genes, suggesting interdependence. Finally, Sam68 acted in concert with the p53 long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) target PR-lncRNA-1 for p53 recruitment, implicating a positive-feedback mechanism in which lncRNAs induced by the Sam68/p53 complex can enhance p53 transcriptional activity. These findings define a hitherto novel mechanism of action for Sam68 in governing p53 transcriptional activation, and represent the first report of Sam68 in the regulation of tumor suppressor activities.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

G-quadruplex recognition and remodeling by the FANCJ helicase

ср, 2016-10-12 15:43

Guanine rich nucleic acid sequences can form G-quadruplex (G4) structures that interfere with DNA replication, repair and RNA transcription. The human FANCJ helicase contributes to maintaining genomic integrity by promoting DNA replication through G4-forming DNA regions. Here, we combined single-molecule and ensemble biochemical analysis to show that FANCJ possesses a G4-specific recognition site. Through this interaction, FANCJ targets G4-containing DNA where its helicase and G4-binding activities enable repeated rounds of stepwise G4-unfolding and refolding. In contrast to other G4-remodeling enzymes, FANCJ partially stabilizes the G-quadruplex. This would preserve the substrate for the REV1 translesion DNA synthesis polymerase to incorporate cytosine across from a replication-stalling G-quadruplex. The residues responsible for G-quadruplex recognition also participate in interaction with MLH1 mismatch-repair protein, suggesting that the FANCJ activity supporting replication and its participation in DNA interstrand crosslink repair and/or heteroduplex rejection are mutually exclusive. Our findings not only describe the mechanism by which FANCJ recognizes G-quadruplexes and mediates their stepwise unfolding, but also explain how FANCJ chooses between supporting DNA repair versus promoting DNA replication through G-rich sequences.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

RecA stimulates AlkB-mediated direct repair of DNA adducts

ср, 2016-10-12 15:43

The Escherichia coli AlkB protein is a 2-oxoglutarate/Fe(II)-dependent demethylase that repairs alkylated single stranded and double stranded DNA. Immunoaffinity chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry identified RecA, a key factor in homologous recombination, as an AlkB-associated protein. The interaction between AlkB and RecA was validated by yeast two-hybrid assay; size-exclusion chromatography and standard pull down experiment and was shown to be direct and mediated by the N-terminal domain of RecA. RecA binding results AlkB–RecA heterodimer formation and RecA–AlkB repairs alkylated DNA with higher efficiency than AlkB alone.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

High-temperature single-molecule kinetic analysis of thermophilic archaeal MCM helicases

ср, 2016-10-12 15:43

The minichromosome maintenance (MCM) complex is the replicative helicase responsible for unwinding DNA during archaeal and eukaryal genome replication. To mimic long helicase events in the cell, a high-temperature single-molecule assay was designed to quantitatively measure long-range DNA unwinding of individual DNA helicases from the archaeons Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus (Mth) and Thermococcus sp. 9°N (9°N). Mth encodes a single MCM homolog while 9°N encodes three helicases. 9°N MCM3, the proposed replicative helicase, unwinds DNA at a faster rate compared to 9°N MCM2 and to Mth MCM. However, all three MCM proteins have similar processivities. The implications of these observations for DNA replication in archaea and the differences and similarities among helicases from different microorganisms are discussed. Development of the high-temperature single-molecule assay establishes a system to comprehensively study thermophilic replisomes and evolutionary links between archaeal, eukaryal, and bacterial replication systems.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Human CDK18 promotes replication stress signaling and genome stability

ср, 2016-10-12 15:43

Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) coordinate cell cycle checkpoints with DNA repair mechanisms that together maintain genome stability. However, the myriad mechanisms that can give rise to genome instability are still to be fully elucidated. Here, we identify CDK18 (PCTAIRE 3) as a novel regulator of genome stability, and show that depletion of CDK18 causes an increase in endogenous DNA damage and chromosomal abnormalities. CDK18-depleted cells accumulate in early S-phase, exhibiting retarded replication fork kinetics and reduced ATR kinase signaling in response to replication stress. Mechanistically, CDK18 interacts with RAD9, RAD17 and TOPBP1, and CDK18-deficiency results in a decrease in both RAD17 and RAD9 chromatin retention in response to replication stress. Importantly, we demonstrate that these phenotypes are rescued by exogenous CDK18 in a kinase-dependent manner. Collectively, these data reveal a rate-limiting role for CDK18 in replication stress signalling and establish it as a novel regulator of genome integrity.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

DDK dependent regulation of TOP2A at centromeres revealed by a chemical genetics approach

ср, 2016-10-12 15:43

In eukaryotic cells the CDC7/DBF4 kinase, also known as DBF4-dependent kinase (DDK), is required for the firing of DNA replication origins. CDC7 is also involved in replication stress responses and its depletion sensitises cells to drugs that affect fork progression, including Topoisomerase 2 poisons. Although CDC7 is an important regulator of cell division, relatively few substrates and bona-fide CDC7 phosphorylation sites have been identified to date in human cells. In this study, we have generated an active recombinant CDC7/DBF4 kinase that can utilize bulky ATP analogues. By performing in vitro kinase assays using benzyl-thio-ATP, we have identified TOP2A as a primary CDC7 substrate in nuclear extracts, and serine 1213 and serine 1525 as in vitro phosphorylation sites. We show that CDC7/DBF4 and TOP2A interact in cells, that this interaction mainly occurs early in S-phase, and that it is compromised after treatment with CDC7 inhibitors. We further provide evidence that human DBF4 localises at centromeres, to which TOP2A is progressively recruited during S-phase. Importantly, we found that CDC7/DBF4 down-regulation, as well S1213A/S1525A TOP2A mutations can advance the timing of centromeric TOP2A recruitment in S-phase. Our results indicate that TOP2A is a novel DDK target and have important implications for centromere biology.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Multiple consecutive initiation of replication producing novel brush-like intermediates at the termini of linear viral dsDNA genomes with hairpin ends

ср, 2016-10-12 15:43

Linear dsDNA replicons with hairpin ends are found in the three domains of life, mainly associated with plasmids and viruses including the poxviruses, some phages and archaeal rudiviruses. However, their replication mechanism is not clearly understood. In this study, we find that the rudivirus SIRV2 undergoes multiple consecutive replication reinitiation events at the genomic termini. Using a strand-displacement replication strategy, the multiple reinitiation events from one parental template yield highly branched intermediates corresponding to about 30 genome units which generate exceptional ‘brush-like’ structures. Moreover, our data support the occurrence of an additional strand-coupled bidirectional replication from a circular dimeric intermediate. The multiple reinitiation process ensures rapid copying of the parental viral genome and will enable protein factors involved in viral genome replication to be specifically localised intracellularly, thereby helping the virus to avoid host defence mechanisms.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Network analysis of transcriptomics expands regulatory landscapes in Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002

ср, 2016-10-12 15:43

Cyanobacterial regulation of gene expression must contend with a genome organization that lacks apparent functional context, as the majority of cellular processes and metabolic pathways are encoded by genes found at disparate locations across the genome and relatively few transcription factors exist. In this study, global transcript abundance data from the model cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 grown under 42 different conditions was analyzed using Context-Likelihood of Relatedness (CLR). The resulting network, organized into 11 modules, provided insight into transcriptional network topology as well as grouping genes by function and linking their response to specific environmental variables. When used in conjunction with genome sequences, the network allowed identification and expansion of novel potential targets of both DNA binding proteins and sRNA regulators. These results offer a new perspective into the multi-level regulation that governs cellular adaptations of the fast-growing physiologically robust cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 to changing environmental variables. It also provides a methodological high-throughput approach to studying multi-scale regulatory mechanisms that operate in cyanobacteria. Finally, it provides valuable context for integrating systems-level data to enhance gene grouping based on annotated function, especially in organisms where traditional context analyses cannot be implemented due to lack of operon-based functional organization.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Tma108, a putative M1 aminopeptidase, is a specific nascent chain-associated protein in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

ср, 2016-10-12 15:43

The discovery of novel specific ribosome-associated factors challenges the assumption that translation relies on standardized molecular machinery. In this work, we demonstrate that Tma108, an uncharacterized translation machinery-associated factor in yeast, defines a subpopulation of cellular ribosomes specifically involved in the translation of less than 200 mRNAs encoding proteins with ATP or Zinc binding domains. Using ribonucleoparticle dissociation experiments we established that Tma108 directly interacts with the nascent protein chain. Additionally, we have shown that translation of the first 35 amino acids of Asn1, one of the Tma108 targets, is necessary and sufficient to recruit Tma108, suggesting that it is loaded early during translation. Comparative genomic analyses, molecular modeling and directed mutagenesis point to Tma108 as an original M1 metallopeptidase, which uses its putative catalytic peptide-binding pocket to bind the N-terminus of its targets. The involvement of Tma108 in co-translational regulation is attested by a drastic change in the subcellular localization of ATP2 mRNA upon Tma108 inactivation. Tma108 is a unique example of a nascent chain-associated factor with high selectivity and its study illustrates the existence of other specific translation-associated factors besides RNA binding proteins.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Tumor suppressor protein DAB2IP participates in chromosomal stability maintenance through activating spindle assembly checkpoint and stabilizing kinetochore-microtubule attachments

ср, 2016-10-12 15:43

Defects in kinetochore-microtubule (KT-MT) attachment and the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) during cell division are strongly associated with chromosomal instability (CIN). CIN has been linked to carcinogenesis, metastasis, poor prognosis and resistance to cancer therapy. We previously reported that the DAB2IP is a tumor suppressor, and that loss of DAB2IP is often detected in advanced prostate cancer (PCa) and is indicative of poor prognosis. Here, we report that the loss of DAB2IP results in impaired KT-MT attachment, compromised SAC and aberrant chromosomal segregation. We discovered that DAB2IP directly interacts with Plk1 and its loss inhibits Plk1 kinase activity, thereby impairing Plk1-mediated BubR1 phosphorylation. Loss of DAB2IP decreases the localization of BubR1 at the kinetochore during mitosis progression. In addition, the reconstitution of DAB2IP enhances the sensitivity of PCa cells to microtubule stabilizing drugs (paclitaxel, docetaxel) and Plk1 inhibitor (BI2536). Our findings demonstrate a novel function of DAB2IP in the maintenance of KT-MT structure and SAC regulation during mitosis which is essential for chromosomal stability.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

SOX9 is targeted for proteasomal degradation by the E3 ligase FBW7 in response to DNA damage

ср, 2016-10-12 15:43

SOX9 encodes a transcription factor that governs cell fate specification throughout development and tissue homeostasis. Elevated SOX9 is implicated in the genesis and progression of human tumors by increasing cell proliferation and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. We found that in response to UV irradiation or genotoxic chemotherapeutics, SOX9 is actively degraded in various cancer types and in normal epithelial cells, through a pathway independent of p53, ATM, ATR and DNA-PK. SOX9 is phosphorylated by GSK3β, facilitating the binding of SOX9 to the F-box protein FBW7α, an E3 ligase that functions in the DNA damage response pathway. The binding of FBW7α to the SOX9 K2 domain at T236-T240 targets SOX9 for subsequent ubiquitination and proteasomal destruction. Exogenous overexpression of SOX9 after genotoxic stress increases cell survival. Our findings reveal a novel regulatory mechanism for SOX9 stability and uncover a unique function of SOX9 in the cellular response to DNA damage. This new mechanism underlying a FBW7-SOX9 axis in cancer could have implications in therapy resistance.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Engineering of synthetic, stress-responsive yeast promoters

чт, 2016-09-29 11:06

Advances in synthetic biology and our understanding of the rules of promoter architecture have led to the development of diverse synthetic constitutive and inducible promoters in eukaryotes and prokaryotes. However, the design of promoters inducible by specific endogenous or environmental conditions is still rarely undertaken. In this study, we engineered and characterized a set of strong, synthetic promoters for budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae that are inducible under acidic conditions (pH ≤ 3). Using available expression and transcription factor binding data, literature on transcriptional regulation, and known rules of promoter architecture we improved the low-pH performance of the YGP1 promoter by modifying transcription factor binding sites in its upstream activation sequence. The engineering strategy outlined for the YGP1 promoter was subsequently applied to create a response to low pH in the unrelated CCW14 promoter. We applied our best promoter variants to low-pH fermentations, enabling ten-fold increased production of lactic acid compared to titres obtained with the commonly used, native TEF1 promoter. Our findings outline and validate a general strategy to iteratively design and engineer synthetic yeast promoters inducible to environmental conditions or stresses of interest.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Prior knowledge transfer across transcriptional data sets and technologies using compositional statistics yields new mislabelled ovarian cell line

чт, 2016-09-29 11:06

Here, we describe gene expression compositional assignment (GECA), a powerful, yet simple method based on compositional statistics that can validate the transfer of prior knowledge, such as gene lists, into independent data sets, platforms and technologies. Transcriptional profiling has been used to derive gene lists that stratify patients into prognostic molecular subgroups and assess biomarker performance in the pre-clinical setting. Archived public data sets are an invaluable resource for subsequent in silico validation, though their use can lead to data integration issues. We show that GECA can be used without the need for normalising expression levels between data sets and can outperform rank-based correlation methods. To validate GECA, we demonstrate its success in the cross-platform transfer of gene lists in different domains including: bladder cancer staging, tumour site of origin and mislabelled cell lines. We also show its effectiveness in transferring an epithelial ovarian cancer prognostic gene signature across technologies, from a microarray to a next-generation sequencing setting. In a final case study, we predict the tumour site of origin and histopathology of epithelial ovarian cancer cell lines. In particular, we identify and validate the commonly-used cell line OVCAR-5 as non-ovarian, being gastrointestinal in origin. GECA is available as an open-source R package.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Combination probes with intercalating anchors and proximal fluorophores for DNA and RNA detection

чт, 2016-09-29 11:06

A new class of modified oligonucleotides (combination probes) has been designed and synthesised for use in genetic analysis and RNA detection. Their chemical structure combines an intercalating anchor with a reporter fluorophore on the same thymine nucleobase. The intercalator (thiazole orange or benzothiazole orange) provides an anchor, which upon hybridisation of the probe to its target becomes fluorescent and simultaneously stabilizes the duplex. The anchor is able to communicate via FRET to a proximal reporter dye (e.g. ROX, HEX, ATTO647N, FAM) whose fluorescence signal can be monitored on a range of analytical devices. Direct excitation of the reporter dye provides an alternative signalling mechanism. In both signalling modes, fluorescence in the unhybridised probe is switched off by collisional quenching between adjacent intercalator and reporter dyes. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in DNA and RNA targets are identified by differences in the duplex melting temperature, and the use of short hybridization probes, made possible by the stabilisation provided by the intercalator, enhances mismatch discrimination. Unlike other fluorogenic probe systems, placing the fluorophore and quencher on the same nucleobase facilitates the design of short probes containing multiple modifications. The ability to detect both DNA and RNA sequences suggests applications in cellular imaging and diagnostics.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Next-generation RNA-based fluorescent biosensors enable anaerobic detection of cyclic di-GMP

чт, 2016-09-29 11:06

Bacteria occupy a diverse set of environmental niches with differing oxygen availability. Anaerobic environments such as mammalian digestive tracts and industrial reactors harbor an abundance of both obligate and facultative anaerobes, many of which play significant roles in human health and biomanufacturing. Studying bacterial function under partial or fully anaerobic conditions, however, is challenging given the paucity of suitable live-cell imaging tools. Here, we introduce a series of RNA-based fluorescent biosensors that respond selectively to cyclic di-GMP, an intracellular bacterial second messenger that controls cellular motility and biofilm formation. We demonstrate the utility of these biosensors in vivo under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions, and we show that biosensor expression does not interfere with the native motility phenotype. Together, our results attest to the effectiveness and versatility of RNA-based fluorescent biosensors, priming further development and application of these and other analogous sensors to study host–microbial and microbial–microbial interactions through small molecule signals.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Identifying gene regulatory network rewiring using latent differential graphical models

чт, 2016-09-29 11:06

Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) are highly dynamic among different tissue types. Identifying tissue-specific gene regulation is critically important to understand gene function in a particular cellular context. Graphical models have been used to estimate GRN from gene expression data to distinguish direct interactions from indirect associations. However, most existing methods estimate GRN for a specific cell/tissue type or in a tissue-naive way, or do not specifically focus on network rewiring between different tissues. Here, we describe a new method called Latent Differential Graphical Model (LDGM). The motivation of our method is to estimate the differential network between two tissue types directly without inferring the network for individual tissues, which has the advantage of utilizing much smaller sample size to achieve reliable differential network estimation. Our simulation results demonstrated that LDGM consistently outperforms other Gaussian graphical model based methods. We further evaluated LDGM by applying to the brain and blood gene expression data from the GTEx consortium. We also applied LDGM to identify network rewiring between cancer subtypes using the TCGA breast cancer samples. Our results suggest that LDGM is an effective method to infer differential network using high-throughput gene expression data to identify GRN dynamics among different cellular conditions.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals

Conformation-dependent restraints for polynucleotides: I. Clustering of the geometry of the phosphodiester group

чт, 2016-09-29 11:06

The refinement of macromolecular structures is usually aided by prior stereochemical knowledge in the form of geometrical restraints. Such restraints are also used for the flexible sugar-phosphate backbones of nucleic acids. However, recent highly accurate structural studies of DNA suggest that the phosphate bond angles may have inadequate description in the existing stereochemical dictionaries. In this paper, we analyze the bonding deformations of the phosphodiester groups in the Cambridge Structural Database, cluster the studied fragments into six conformation-related categories and propose a revised set of restraints for the O-P-O bond angles and distances. The proposed restraints have been positively validated against data from the Nucleic Acid Database and an ultrahigh-resolution Z-DNA structure in the Protein Data Bank. Additionally, the manual classification of PO4 geometry is compared with geometrical clusters automatically discovered by machine learning methods. The machine learning cluster analysis provides useful insights and a practical example for general applications of clustering algorithms for automatic discovery of hidden patterns of molecular geometry. Finally, we describe the implementation and application of a public-domain web server for automatic generation of the proposed restraints.

Категории: Bioinformatics, Biology, Journals