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Current Genetics

Valentine Mosbach, Lucie Poggi, Guy-Franck Richard
Trinucleotide repeats are a particular class of microsatellites whose large expansions are responsible for at least two dozen human neurological and developmental disorders. Slippage of the two complementary DNA strands during replication, homologous recombination or DNA repair is generally accepted as a mechanism leading to repeat length changes, creating expansions and contractions of the repeat tract. The present review focuses on recent developments on double-strand break repair involving trinucleotide repeat tracts...
July 5, 2018: Current Genetics
Hiroaki Kato, Kosuke Okazaki, Takeshi Urano
Heat-shock protein 90 (Hsp90) was recently identified as a silencing factor required for RNA interference (RNAi)-dependent heterochromatin assembly in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. As Hsp90 is known to contribute to the formation of small RNA-containing effector complexes, it would be expected that Hsp90 is also involved in the RNAi pathway in fission yeast. However, upon investigation, we found it very difficult to determine how Hsp90 modulates RNAi-dependent heterochromatin assembly in the cell...
July 4, 2018: Current Genetics
Zheng Fan, Chang Xu, Xiaolei Pan, Yuanyuan Dong, Huan Ren, Yongxin Jin, Fang Bai, Zhihui Cheng, Shouguang Jin, Weihui Wu
The Pseudomonas aeruginosa RsaL is a negative regulator of the quorum sensing signal synthesis gene lasI. The expression of RsaL is directly activated by the LasI cognate regulator LasR. Thus, RsaL and LasI-LasR (LasI/R) form a regulatory loop. Further studies revealed that RsaL is a global regulator which controls the expression of numerous genes through quorum sensing system dependent and independent pathways. However, whether RsaL is involved in antibiotic tolerance remains elusive. In this study, we found that the mutation of rsaL increased bacterial tolerance to ciprofloxacin and carbenicillin...
June 27, 2018: Current Genetics
Zhe Wang, Xuepeng Sun, Josephine Wee, Xiaoxian Guo, Zhenglong Gu
RNA binding proteins (RBPs) can regulate the stability, localization, and translation of their target mRNAs. Among them, Puf3p is a well-known Pumilio family RBP whose biology has been intensively studied. Nevertheless, the impact of Puf3p on the translational regulation of its downstream genes still remains to be investigated at the genome-wide level. In this study, we combined ribosome profiling and RNA-Seq in budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) to investigate Puf3p's functions in translational regulation...
June 27, 2018: Current Genetics
Yuemin Pan, Rui Pan, Leyong Tan, Zhengguang Zhang, Min Guo
In fungi, O-mannosylation is one type of conserved protein modifications that add the carbohydrate residues to specific residues of target proteins by protein O-mannosyltransferases. Previously, three members of O-mannosyltransferases were identified in Magnaporthe oryzae, with MoPmt2 playing important roles in fungal growth and pathogenicity. However, the biological roles of the rest Pmt proteins remain unclear. In this study, to understand if O-mannosyltransferases are crucial for fungal pathogenicity of M...
June 26, 2018: Current Genetics
M Joan Curcio
Retrotransposons often spread rapidly through eukaryotic genomes until they are neutralized by host-mediated silencing mechanisms, reduced by recombination and mutation, and lost or transformed into benevolent entities. But the Ty1 retrotransposon appears to have been domesticated to guard the genome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
June 21, 2018: Current Genetics
Balveer Singh, Pei-Yun Jenny Wu
Progression through the cell cycle is driven by the activities of the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) family of enzymes, which establish an ordered passage through the cell cycle phases. CDK activity is crucial for the cellular transitions from G1 to S and G2 to M, which are highly controlled to promote the faithful duplication of the genetic material and the transmission of the genome into daughter cells, respectively. While oscillations in CDK activity are essential for cell division, how its specific dynamics may shape cellular processes remains an open question...
June 20, 2018: Current Genetics
Antonio Marsella, Corinne Cassani, Erika Casari, Renata Tisi, Maria Pia Longhese
The evolutionarily conserved Mre11-Rad50-Xrs2 (MRX) complex cooperates with the Sae2 protein in initiating resection of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and in maintaining the DSB ends tethered to each other for their accurate repair. How these MRX-Sae2 functions contribute to DNA damage resistance is not understood. By taking advantage of mre11 alleles that suppress the hypersensitivity of sae2∆ cells to genotoxic agents, we have recently found that Mre11 can be divided in two structurally distinct domains that support resistance to genotoxic agents by mediating different processes...
June 19, 2018: Current Genetics
Carlos Castro, Dora-Luz Flores, David Cervantes-Vásquez, Eunice Vargas-Viveros, Everardo Gutiérrez-López, Franklin Muñoz-Muñoz
The objective of this paper is to develop a computational model of the fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe) cell cycle using agent-based modeling (ABM), to study the sequence of states of the proteins and time of the cell cycle phases, under the action of proteins that regulate its cell cycle. The model relies only on the conceptual model of the yeast cell cycle regulatory network, where each protein has been represented as an agent with a property called activity that represents its biological function and a stochastic Brownian movement...
June 18, 2018: Current Genetics
Melissa S Standley, Samuel Million-Weaver, David L Alexander, Shuai Hu, Manel Camps
ColE1-like plasmid vectors are widely used for expression of recombinant genes in E. coli. For these vectors, segregation of individual plasmids into daughter cells during cell division appears to be random, making them susceptible to loss over time when no mechanisms ensuring their maintenance are present. Here we use the plasmid pGFPuv in a recA relA strain as a sensitized model to study factors affecting plasmid stability in the context of recombinant gene expression. We find that in this model, plasmid stability can be restored by two types of genetic modifications to the plasmid origin of replication (ori) sequence: point mutations and a novel 269 nt duplication at the 5' end of the plasmid ori, which we named DAS (duplicated anti-sense) ori...
June 16, 2018: Current Genetics
Jeffrey N Carey, Mark Goulian
Phenotypic diversity helps populations persist in changing and often unpredictable environments. One diversity-generating strategy is for individuals to switch randomly between phenotypic states such that one subpopulation has high fitness in the present environment, and another subpopulation has high fitness in an environment that might be encountered in the future. This sort of biological bet hedging can be found in all domains of life. Here, we discuss a recently described example from the bacterium Escherichia coli...
June 12, 2018: Current Genetics
Li Chen, Qiang Tong, Chengqi Zhang, Kejian Ding
The zinc finger transcription factor Crz1 is an important downstream regulator of calcium-dependent signal transduction pathways in many organisms. The function of Crz1 in the wheat-head blight pathogen Fusarium graminearum remains unclear. In this study, we identified and functionally characterised FgCrz1A, a potential ortholog of yeast Crz1. The deletion mutant ΔFgCrz1A exhibited slower hyphal growth on basic medium, and conidia formation and sexual reproduction were completely blocked. ΔFgCrz1A also displayed increased sensitivity to metal cations Ca2+ , Mg2+ , Mn2+ and Li+ , but decreased sensitivity to Zn2+ ...
June 8, 2018: Current Genetics
Christophe Zimmer, Emmanuelle Fabre
Chromosome organization and chromatin mobility are central to DNA metabolism. In particular, it has been recently shown by several labs that double strand breaks (DSBs) in yeast induce a change in chromatin mobility at the site of the damage. Intriguingly, DSB also induces a global mobility of the genome, at others, potentially undamaged positions. How mobility is regulated and what are the functional outcomes of these global changes in chromatin dynamics are, however, not yet fully understood. We present the current state of knowledge in light of the recent literature and discuss some perspectives opened by these discoveries towards genome stability...
June 8, 2018: Current Genetics
Heejeong Lee, Dong Gun Lee
Arenicin-1, a 21-mer antimicrobial peptide exerts significant broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity with membrane-active mechanisms. However, owing to multiple mechanisms of cell death, the antibacterial mechanism of arenicin-1 requires detailed analysis. In the present study, arenicin-1-treated bacteria underwent an apoptosis-like response, which was mechanistically and morphologically similar to eukaryotic apoptosis. Changes in the physiological status of arenicin-1-treated bacterial cells involved accumulation of reactive oxygen species, imbalance of intracellular calcium gradients, disruption of membrane potential, bacterial caspase-like protein activation, and DNA damage...
June 7, 2018: Current Genetics
Amanda Bentley-DeSousa, Michael Downey
Polyphosphorylation is a newly described non-enzymatic post-translational modification wherein long chains of inorganic phosphates are attached to lysine residues. The first targets of polyphosphorylation identified were S. cerevisiae proteins Nsr1 and Top1. Building on this theme, we recently exploited functional genomics tools in yeast to identify 15 new targets, including a conserved network of nucleolar proteins implicated in ribosome biogenesis. We also described the polyphosphorylation of six human proteins, suggesting that this unique post-translational modification could be conserved throughout eukaryotes...
June 7, 2018: Current Genetics
Gregory L Elison, Murat Acar
The ability to predict phenotype from genotype has been an elusive goal for the biological sciences for several decades. Progress decoding genotype-phenotype relationships has been hampered by the challenge of introducing precise genetic changes to specific genomic locations. Here we provide a comparative review of the major techniques that have been historically used to make genetic changes in cells as well as the development of the CRISPR technology which enabled the ability to make marker-free disruptions in endogenous genomic locations...
June 5, 2018: Current Genetics
Feng Zhang, Longpo Geng, Luhua Huang, Jili Deng, Opemipo Esther Fasoyin, Guangshan Yao, Shihua Wang
Peroxisomes are important organelles that have diverse metabolic functions and participate in the pathogenicity of fungal pathogens. Previous studies indicate that most functions of peroxisomes are dependent on peroxisomal matrix proteins, which are delivered from the cytoplasm into peroxisomes by peroxisomal protein importers. In this study, the roles of peroxisomal protein importer AflPex5 were investigated in Aspergillus flavus with the application of gene disruption. AflPex5 deletion mutants failed to localize the fluorescently fused peroxisomal targeting signal 1 (PTS1) proteins to peroxisomes...
June 5, 2018: Current Genetics
A Bruce Cahoon, Ali A Qureshi
The mitochondrial genome of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii encodes eight protein coding genes transcribed on two polycistronic primary transcripts. The mRNAs are endonucleolytically cleaved from these transcripts directly upstream of their AUG start codons, creating leaderless mRNAs with 3' untranslated regions (UTR) comprised of most or all of their downstream intergenic regions. In this report, we provide evidence that these processed linear mRNAs are circularized, which places the 3' UTR upstream of the 5' start codon, creating a leader sequence ex post facto...
June 1, 2018: Current Genetics
Sabine Kind, Janine Hinsch, Josef Vrabka, Michaela Hradilová, Mária Majeská-Čudejková, Paul Tudzynski, Petr Galuszka
Pathogen-derived cytokinins (CKs) have been recognized as important virulence factor in several host-pathogen interactions and it was demonstrated multiple times that phytopathogenic fungi form CKs via the tRNA degradation pathway. In contrast to previous studies, the focus of this study is on the second step of CK formation and CK degradation to improve our understanding of the biosynthesis in fungi on the one hand, and to understand CK contribution to the infection process of Claviceps purpurea on the other hand...
May 30, 2018: Current Genetics
Yuan Xue, Murat Acar
Cells have evolved to dynamically respond to different types of environmental and physiological stress conditions. The information about a previous stress stimulus experience by a mother cell can be passed to its descendants, allowing them to better adapt to and survive in new environments. In recent years, live-cell imaging combined with cell-lineage tracking approaches has elucidated many important principles that guide stress inheritance at the single-cell and population level. In this review, we summarize different strategies that cells can employ to pass the 'memory' of previous stress responses to their descendants...
May 30, 2018: Current Genetics
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