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Current Genetics

Jan Gundlach, Fabian M Commichau, Jörg Stülke
Potassium and glutamate are the most abundant ions in every living cell. Whereas potassium plays a major role to keep the cellular turgor and to buffer the negative charges of the nucleic acids, the major function of glutamate is to serve as the universal amino group donor. In addition, both ions are involved in osmoprotection in bacterial cells. Here, we discuss how bacterial cells maintain the homeostasis of both ions and how adaptive evolution allows them to live even at extreme potassium limitation. Interestingly, positively charged amino acids are able to partially replace potassium, likely by buffering the negative charge of DNA...
August 20, 2017: Current Genetics
Shan Chi, Tao Liu, Xumin Wang, Ren Wang, Shanshan Wang, Guoliang Wang, Guangle Shan, Cui Liu
Although alginate and fucoidan are unique cellular components and have important biological significance in brown algae, and many possible involved genes are present in brown algal genomes, their functions and regulatory mechanisms have not been fully revealed. Both polysaccharides may play important roles in the evolution of multicellular brown algae, but specific and in-depth studies are still limited. In this study, a functional genomics analysis of alginate and fucoidan biosynthesis routes was conducted in Saccharina, and the key events in these pathways in brown algae were identified...
August 19, 2017: Current Genetics
Ryosuke Satoh, Kanako Hagihara, Reiko Sugiura
In eukaryotic cells, RNA binding proteins (RBPs) play critical roles in regulating almost every aspect of gene expression, often shuttling between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. They are also key determinants in cell fate via controlling the target mRNAs under the regulation of various signaling pathways in response to environmental stresses. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms that couple the location of mRNA and RBPs is a major challenge in the field of gene expression and signal responses. In fission yeast, a KH-type RBP Rnc1 negatively regulates MAPK signaling activation via mRNA stabilization of the dual-specificity MAPK phosphatase Pmp1, which dephosphorylates MAPK Pmk1...
August 10, 2017: Current Genetics
Laura Sánchez-Mir, Clàudia Salat-Canela, Esther Paulo, Mercè Carmona, José Ayté, Baldo Oliva, Elena Hidalgo
Stress-dependent activation of signaling cascades is often mediated by phosphorylation events, but the exact nature and role of these phosphorelays are frequently poorly understood. Here, we review which are the consequences of the stress-dependent phosphorylation of a transcription factor on gene activation. In fission yeast, the MAP kinase Sty1 is activated upon several environmental hazards and promotes cell adaptation and survival, greatly through activation of a gene program mediated by the transcription factor Atf1...
August 10, 2017: Current Genetics
Xiaofeng Su, Latifur Rehman, Huiming Guo, Xiaokang Li, Hongmei Cheng
Verticillium dahliae is the most overwhelming plant pathogen, causing Verticillium wilt in a number of economic crops. The molecular mechanism is still unclear and identification of the genes involved in the pathogenicity or virulence of this fungus would benefit to uncover such mechanism. STT3 is a catalytic subunit of the multi-subunit oligosaccharyl transferase (OST) and plays an essential role in glycoprotein modification. Here, we characterized STT3 gene (VDAG_03232.1) of V. dahliae to explore its regulatory role in the development and virulence by deletion and complementation of this gene, as well as its silence in transgenic plants...
August 10, 2017: Current Genetics
Yaniv Harari, Martin Kupiec
Telomere length homeostasis is essential for cell survival. In humans, telomeres shorten as a function of age. Short telomeres are known determinants of cell senescence and longevity. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae expresses telomerase and maintains a strict telomere length homeostasis during vegetative growth. We have previously reported that different environmental signals promote changes in telomere length in S. cerevisiae. In particular, exposure to ethanol induces an extensive telomere elongation response due to a reduction in RAP1 mRNA and protein levels...
August 5, 2017: Current Genetics
Christoforos Nikolaou
Recent advances in our understanding of the three-dimensional organization of the eukaryotic nucleus have rendered the spatial distribution of genes increasingly relevant. In a recent work (Tsochatzidou et al., Nucleic Acids Res 45:5818-5828, 2017), we proposed the existence of a functional compartmentalization of the yeast genome according to which, genes occupying the chromosomal regions at the nuclear periphery have distinct structural, functional and evolutionary characteristics compared to their centromeric-proximal counterparts...
August 5, 2017: Current Genetics
Vladimir V Botchkarev, James E Haber
Polo-like kinases are essential cell cycle regulators that are conserved from yeast to humans. Unlike higher eukaryotes, who express multiple Polo-like kinase family members that perform many important functions, budding yeast express only a single Polo-like kinase, Cdc5, which is the homolog of mammalian cell cycle master regulator Polo-like kinase 1. Cdc5 is a fascinating multifaceted protein that is programmed to target its many substrates in a timely, sequential manner to ensure proper cell cycle progression...
August 2, 2017: Current Genetics
Adi Hendler, Edgar M Medina, Nicolas E Buchler, Robertus A M de Bruin, Amir Aharoni
The G1-to-S cell cycle transition is promoted by the periodic expression of a large set of genes. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae G1/S gene expression is regulated by two transcription factor (TF) complexes, the MBF and SBF, which bind to specific DNA sequences, the MCB and SCB, respectively. Despite extensive research little is known regarding the evolution of the G1/S transcription regulation including the co-evolution of the DNA binding domains with their respective DNA binding sequences. We have recently examined the co-evolution of the G1/S TF specificity through the systematic generation and examination of chimeric Mbp1/Swi4 TFs containing different orthologue DNA binding domains in S...
July 25, 2017: Current Genetics
Godefroid Charbon, Leise Riber, Anders Løbner-Olesen
In Escherichia coli, like all organisms, DNA replication is coordinated with cell cycle progression to ensure duplication of the genome prior to cell division. Chromosome replication is initiated from the replication origin, oriC, by the DnaA protein associated with ATP. Initiations take place once per cell cycle and in synchrony at all cellular origins. DnaA also binds ADP with similar affinity as ATP and in wild-type cells the majority of DnaA molecules are ADP bound. In cells where the DnaA(ATP)/DnaA(ADP) ratio increases or in cells where DnaA(ATP) has increased access to oriC, premature initiations take place, often referred to as overinitiation...
June 29, 2017: Current Genetics
Brian Cox, Mick Tuite
The AAA+ disaggregase Hsp104 is essential for the maintenance and inheritance of nearly all known prions of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Uniquely for [PSI (+)], the prion form of the Sup35 protein, there seem to be two activities, involving differing co-chaperones, by which Hsp104 affects the inheritance of [PSI (+)], the prion form of the Sup35 protein. Each pathway is also involved in protection against ageing, one through disaggregation of damaged proteins and the other through their retention in the mother cell during budding...
June 26, 2017: Current Genetics
Ruth Martín, Sandra Lopez-Aviles
The control of cell fate, growth and proliferation in response to nitrogen availability is a tightly controlled process, with the two TOR complexes (TORC1 and TORC2) and their effectors playing a central role. PP2A-B55(Pab1) has recently been shown to be a key element in this response in fission yeast, where it regulates cell cycle progression and sexual differentiation. Importantly, a recent study from our group has shown that PP2A-B55(Pab1) acts as a mediator between the activities of the two TOR signaling modules, enabling a crosstalk that is required to engage in the differentiation program...
June 22, 2017: Current Genetics
Ireneusz Litwin, Robert Wysocki
Cohesin is a conserved, ring-shaped protein complex that encircles sister chromatids and ensures correct chromosome segregation during mitosis and meiosis. It also plays a crucial role in the regulation of gene expression, DNA condensation, and DNA repair through both non-homologous end joining and homologous recombination. Cohesins are spatiotemporally regulated by the Scc2-Scc4 complex which facilitates cohesin loading onto chromatin at specific chromosomal sites. Over the last few years, much attention has been paid to cohesin and cohesin loader as it became clear that even minor disruptions of these complexes may lead to developmental disorders and cancers...
June 19, 2017: Current Genetics
Amparo Pascual-Ahuir, Sara Manzanares-Estreder, Alba Timón-Gómez, Markus Proft
Here, we review and update the recent advances in the metabolic control during the adaptive response of budding yeast to hyperosmotic and salt stress, which is one of the best understood signaling events at the molecular level. This environmental stress can be easily applied and hence has been exploited in the past to generate an impressively detailed and comprehensive model of cellular adaptation. It is clear now that this stress modulates a great number of different physiological functions of the cell, which altogether contribute to cellular survival and adaptation...
June 19, 2017: Current Genetics
Karla Viridiana Castro-Cerritos, Adolfo Lopez-Torres, Armando Obregón-Herrera, Katarzyna Wrobel, Kazimierz Wrobel, Mario Pedraza-Reyes
The non-appropriate conditions faced by nutritionally stressed bacteria propitiate error-prone repair events underlying stationary-phase- or stress-associated mutagenesis (SPM). The genetic and molecular mechanisms involved in SPM have been deeply studied but the biochemical aspects of this process have so far been less explored. Previous evidence showed that under conditions of nutritional stress, non-dividing cells of strain B. subtilis YB955 overexpressing ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) exhibited a strong propensity to generate true reversions in the hisC952 (amber), metB5 (ochre) and leuC425 (missense) mutant alleles...
June 17, 2017: Current Genetics
Syed Meraj Azhar Rizvi, Hemant Kumar Prajapati, Santanu Kumar Ghosh
Since its discovery in the early 70s, the 2 micron plasmid of Saccharomyces cerevisiae continues to intrigue researchers with its high protein-coding capacity and a selfish nature yet high stability, earning it the title of a 'miniaturized selfish genetic element'. It codes for four proteins (Rep1, Rep2, Raf1, and Flp) vital for its own survival and recruits several host factors (RSC2, Cohesin, Cse4, Kip1, Bik1, Bim1, and microtubules) for its faithful segregation during cell division. The plasmid maintains a high-copy number with the help of Flp-mediated recombination...
June 8, 2017: Current Genetics
Swati Bijlani, Anubhav S Nahar, K Ganesan
Tetracycline-regulated expression of genes is often used for functional analysis of Candida albicans genes. However, the widely used Tet-On system has certain limitations such as prolonged lag time (up to 8 h) for induction and non-uniform expression among the cells. We speculated that poor expression of tetracycline-controlled transactivator (Tet-transactivator) from CaADH1 promoter could be responsible for this, and thus compared the effect of expressing this protein under the control of CaADH1, CaTDH3 and CaRP10 promoters on the expression of GFP from the TET promoter...
June 8, 2017: Current Genetics
Ameya A Mashruwala, Jeffrey M Boyd
Comprehending biology at the molecular and systems levels is predicated upon understanding the functions of proteins. Proteins are typically composed of one or more functional moieties termed domains. Members of Bacteria, Eukarya, and Archaea utilize proteins containing a domain of unknown function (DUF) 59. Proteins requiring iron-sulfur (FeS) clusters containing cofactors are necessary for nearly all organisms making the assembly of functional FeS proteins essential. Recently, studies in eukaryotic and bacterial organisms have shown that proteins containing a DUF59, or those composed solely of DUF59, function in FeS protein maturation and/or intracellular Fe homeostasis...
June 6, 2017: Current Genetics
Luz Adriana Vega-Cabrera, Christopher D Wood, Liliana Pardo-López
In this mini-review, we present a perspective on the recent findings relating Spo0M structure and function that will stimulate and guide further studies in the characterization of this interesting protein. Cell division and sporulation constitute two of the best studied processes in the model organism Bacillus subtilis; however, there are many missing pieces in the giant regulatory puzzle that governs the independent and shared networks between them. Spo0M is a little studied protein that has been related to both, cell division and sporulation, but its biochemical function and its direct interactions have not been yet defined...
June 2, 2017: Current Genetics
Christopher T Prevost, Nicole Peris, Christina Seger, Deanna R Pedeville, Kathryn Wershing, Elaine A Sia, Rey A L Sia
Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that fuse and divide. These changes alter the number and distribution of mitochondrial structures throughout the cell in response to developmental and metabolic cues. We have demonstrated that mitochondrial fission is essential to the maintenance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) under changing metabolic conditions in wild-type Saccharomyces cerevisiae. While increased loss of mtDNA integrity has been demonstrated for dnm1-∆ fission mutants after growth in a non-fermentable carbon source, we demonstrate that growth of yeast in different carbon sources affects the frequency of mtDNA loss, even when the carbon sources are fermentable...
June 1, 2017: Current Genetics
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