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Current Genetics

Amy Tresenrider, Elçin Ünal
Cellular differentiation depends on temporally controlled waves of gene activation and inactivation that ultimately transform one cell type into another. It is well established that transcription factor cascades coordinate the timely activation of gene expression clusters during development. In comparison, much less is understood about how gene repression events are coordinated with the transcription factor-driven waves of gene activation and how this repression is achieved at a mechanistic level. Using budding yeast as a model, we recently discovered a new gene regulatory event, whereby a central meiotic transcription factor induces the expression of an mRNA isoform to repress gene expression through an integrated transcriptional and translational mechanism...
December 7, 2017: Current Genetics
Hogyu David Seo, Chang Seob Kwon, Daeyoup Lee
Accumulating evidence shows that non-proteolytic functions of the proteasome are as crucial as its well-known proteolytic function in regulating cellular activities. In our recent work, we showed that the 19S proteasome mediates the heterochromatin spreading of centromeric heterochromatin in non-proteolytic manner. However, the involvement of the proteasome in other heterochromatin regions remained largely unknown. In the present study, we investigated the non-proteolytic role of the 19S proteasome in subtelomere and facultative heterochromatin regions...
December 6, 2017: Current Genetics
Janina Kluge, Ulrich Kück
The filamentous fungus Acremonium chrysogenum is the primordial producer of the β-lactam antibiotic cephalosporin C. This antibiotic is of major biotechnological and medical relevance because of its antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Antibiotic production during the lag phase of fermentation is often accompanied by a typical morphological feature of A. chrysogenum, the fragmentation of the mycelium into arthrospores. Here, we sought to identify factors that regulate the hyphal septation process and present the first comparative functional characterization of the type I integral plasma membrane protein Axl2 (axial budding pattern protein 2), a central component of the bud site selection system (BSSS) and Mst1 (mammalian Sterile20-like kinase), a septation initiation network (SIN)-associated germinal center kinase (GCK)...
December 5, 2017: Current Genetics
Michael Leshets, Dharanidharan Ramamurthy, Michael Lisby, Norbert Lehming, Ophry Pines
One of the most severe forms of DNA damage is the double-strand break (DSB). Failure to properly repair the damage can cause mutation, gross chromosomal rearrangements and lead to the development of cancer. In eukaryotes, homologous recombination (HR) and non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) are the main DSB repair pathways. Fumarase is a mitochondrial enzyme which functions in the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Intriguingly, the enzyme can be readily detected in the cytosolic compartment of all organisms examined, and we have shown that cytosolic fumarase participates in the DNA damage response towards DSBs...
December 4, 2017: Current Genetics
Srayan Ghosh, Poonam Kanwar, Gopaljee Jha
Sheath blight disease is one of the predominant diseases of rice and it is caused by the necrotrophic fungal pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. The mechanistic insight about its widespread success as a broad host range pathogen is limited. In this study, we endeavor to identify pathogenicity determinants of R. solani during infection process in rice. Through RNAseq analysis, we identified a total of 65 and 232 R. solani (strain BRS1) genes to be commonly upregulated in three different rice genotypes (PB1, Tetep, and TP309) at establishment and necrotrophic phase, respectively...
December 1, 2017: Current Genetics
Ewa Szwajczak, Iwona J Fijalkowska, Catherine Suski
Precisely controlled mechanisms have been evolved to rescue impeded DNA replication resulting from encountered obstacles and involve a set of low-fidelity translesion synthesis (TLS) DNA polymerases. Studies in recent years have brought new insights into those TLS polymerases, especially concerning the structure and subunit composition of DNA polymerase zeta (Pol ζ). Pol ζ is predominantly involved in induced mutagenesis as well as the bypass of noncanonical DNA structures, and it is proficient in extending from terminal mismatched nucleotides incorporated by major replicative DNA polymerases...
November 30, 2017: Current Genetics
Sam Meyer, Sylvie Reverchon, William Nasser, Georgi Muskhelishvili
Early studies of transcriptional regulation focused on individual gene promoters defined specific transcription factors as central agents of genetic control. However, recent genome-wide data propelled a different view by linking spatially organized gene expression patterns to chromosomal dynamics. Therefore, the major problem in contemporary molecular genetics concerned with transcriptional gene regulation is to establish a unifying model that reconciles these two views. This problem, situated at the interface of polymer physics and network theory, requires development of an integrative methodology...
November 28, 2017: Current Genetics
Ivan Matic
Genotoxic agents damage DNA, block DNA replication and provoke cell death. However, there is growing evidence that an important part of their cytotoxicity results from metabolic disturbances induced by treatment. This review article describes how increased production of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced by different genotoxic agents contribute to death of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. ROS are byproducts of normal cellular functioning. Because ROS are damaging cellular macromolecules, they are constantly eliminated by protective antioxidant mechanisms...
November 27, 2017: Current Genetics
Latifur Rehman, Xiaofeng Su, Xiaokang Li, Xiliang Qi, Huiming Guo, Hongmei Cheng
Ferric reductases are integral membrane proteins involved in the reduction of environmental ferric iron into the biologically available ferrous iron. In the most overwhelming phytopathogenic fungus, Verticillium dahliae, these ferric reductase are not studied in details. In this study we explored the role of FreB gene (VDAG_06616) in the ferric reduction and virulence of V. dahliae by generating the knockout mutants (ΔFreB) and complementary strains (ΔFreB-C) using protoplast transformation. When cultured on media supplemented with FeSO4, FeCl3 and no iron, ΔFreB exhibited significantly reduced growth and spore production especially on media with no iron...
November 25, 2017: Current Genetics
Xiaodong Jia, Xi Zhang, Yingsong Hu, Mandong Hu, Shuguang Tian, Xuelin Han, Yansong Sun, Li Han
Aspergillus fumigatus is a major fungal pathogen that is responsible for approximately 90% of human aspergillosis. Cofilin is an actin depolymerizing factor that plays crucial roles in multiple cellular functions in many organisms. However, the functions of cofilin in A. fumigatus are still unknown. In this study, we constructed an A. fumigatus strain overexpressing cofilin (cofilin OE). The cofilin OE strain displayed a slightly different growth phenotype, significantly increased resistance against H2O2 and diamide, and increased activation of the high osmolarity glycerol pathway compared to the wild-type strain (WT)...
November 23, 2017: Current Genetics
Amrita Dubey, Richa Priyadarshini
Bacterial cell division is a complex process brought about by the coordinated action of multiple proteins. Separation of daughter cells during the final stages of division involves cleavage of new cell wall laid down at the division septum. In E. coli, this process is governed by the action of N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidases AmiA/B/C, which are regulated by their LytM activators EnvC and NlpD. While much is known about the regulation of septum cleavage in E. coli, the mechanism of daughter cell separation is not clear in Caulobacter crescentus, a dimorphic crescent-shaped bacterium...
November 22, 2017: Current Genetics
Akio Toh-E, Misako Ohkusu, Kiminori Shimizu, Naruhiko Ishiwada, Akira Watanabe, Katsuhiko Kamei
We elucidated a unique feature of sulfur metabolism in Cryptococcus neoformans. C. neoformans produces cysteine solely by the O-acetylserine pathway that consists of serine-O-acetyl transferase and cysteine synthase. We designated the gene encoding the former enzyme CYS2 (locus tag CNE02740) and the latter enzyme CYS1 (locus tag CNL05880). The cys1Δmutant strain was found to be avirulent in a murine infection model. Methionine practically does not support growth of the cys1Δ strain, and cysteine does not serve as a methionine source, indicating that the transsulfuration pathway does not contribute to sulfur amino acid synthesis in C...
November 20, 2017: Current Genetics
Christopher R Evans, Jiqiang Ling
Physiological heterogeneity among single cells with identical genetic information has been observed in a large number of bacterial phenotypes, including growth, stress responses, cell size, and antibiotic tolerance. Despite the widespread observation of this phenomenon in bacterial populations, not much is known about the molecular mechanisms behind phenotypic heterogeneity. Currently, our understanding is primarily limited to transcriptional profile of single cells using fluorescence reporters. Although the development of these tools has been extremely informative, it cannot fully explain the heterogeneity seen in populations...
November 20, 2017: Current Genetics
Robert A Sclafani, Jay R Hesselberth
Although Cdc7 protein kinase is important for regulating DNA replication in all eukaryotes and is a target for cancer therapy, it has never been localized in cells. Recently, a novel molecular genomic method used by our laboratory to localize Cdc7 to regions of chromosomes. Originally, mutations in the CDC7 gene were found in the classic cdc mutant collection of Hartwell et al. (Genetics 74:267-286, 1973). The CDC7 gene was found to encode a protein kinase called DDK that has been studied for many years, establishing its precise role in the initiation of DNA replication at origins...
November 13, 2017: Current Genetics
Saima Wani, Neelam Maharshi, Deepash Kothiwal, Lakshmi Mahendrawada, Raju Kalaivani, Shikha Laloraya
Genomic stability is maintained by the concerted actions of numerous protein complexes that participate in chromosomal duplication, repair, and segregation. The Smc5/6 complex is an essential multi-subunit complex crucial for repair of DNA double-strand breaks. Two of its subunits, Nse1 and Nse3, are homologous to the RING-MAGE complexes recently described in human cells. We investigated the contribution of the budding yeast Nse1 RING-domain by isolating a mutant nse1-103 bearing substitutions in conserved Zinc-coordinating residues of the RING-domain that is hypersensitive to genotoxic stress and temperature...
November 8, 2017: Current Genetics
André Maicher, Martin Kupiec
Telomeres, the nucleoprotein complexes at the end of eukaryotic chromosomes, protect them from degradation and ensure the replicative capacity of cells. In most human tumors and in budding yeast, telomere length is maintained by the activity of telomerase, an enzyme that adds dNTPs according to an internal RNA template. The dNTPs are generated with the help of the ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) complex. We have recently generated strains lacking the large subunit of RNR, Rnr1, which were kept viable by the expression of RNR complexes containing the Rnr1 homolog, Rnr3...
November 8, 2017: Current Genetics
Stela Virgilio, Maria Célia Bertolini
Microorganisms have the ability to adapt and respond to different environmental conditions, whether they are stressful or not. Although the detection and/or responding mechanisms are often unknown, a large number of proteins may participate in signal transduction pathways involved in environmental stimulus to induce physiological and cellular events. Here, we examine the important role in cell homeostasis that extracellular pH plays in different fungi, and summarize the recent data reported in distinct organisms, by comparing them to the well-characterized mechanisms firstly described in Aspergillus and yeast...
November 8, 2017: Current Genetics
Amparo Galán, Encar García-Oliver, Carme Nuño-Cabanes, Linda Rubinstein, Martin Kupiec, Susana Rodríguez-Navarro
Sus1 is a conserved protein involved in histone H2B de-ubiquitination and mRNA export from the nucleus in eukaryotes. Previous studies implicated Sus1 partners in genome integrity including telomere homeostasis. However, the implication of Sus1 in telomere maintenance remains largely unknown. In this study, we found that yeast Sus1 interacts physically and genetically with factors involved in telomere maintenance and its absence leads to elongated telomeres. Deletion of several of Sus1's partners also leads to longer telomeres...
November 7, 2017: Current Genetics
Eike Schwindt, Katrin Paeschke
The preservation of genome stability is fundamental for every cell. Genomic integrity is constantly challenged. Among those challenges are also non-canonical nucleic acid structures. In recent years, scientists became aware of the impact of G-quadruplex (G4) structures on genome stability. It has been shown that folded G4-DNA structures cause changes in the cell, such as transcriptional up/down-regulation, replication stalling, or enhanced genome instability. Multiple helicases have been identified to regulate G4 structures and by this preserve genome stability...
November 2, 2017: Current Genetics
Marcel Noßmann, Jana Pieper, Falk Hillmann, Axel A Brakhage, Thomas Munder
The tRNA population reflects the codon bias of the organism and affects the translation of heterologous target mRNA molecules. In this study, Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains with modified levels of rare tRNA were engineered, that allowed efficient generation of recombinant proteins with unfavorable codon usage. We established a novel synthetic tRNA expression cassette and verified functional nonsense suppressor tRNA(GlnS)CUA generation in a stop codon read-through assay with a modified β-galactosidase reporter gene...
November 2, 2017: Current Genetics
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