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Gene network evolution

Jessica A Scarborough, John R Paul, Juliet V Spencer
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a widespread pathogen that is particularly skillful at evading immune detection and defense mechanisms, largely due to extensive co-evolution with its host. One aspect of this co-evolution involves the acquisition of virally encoded G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) with homology to the chemokine receptor family. GPCRs are the largest family of cell surface proteins, found in organisms from yeast to humans, and they regulate a variety of cellular processes including development, sensory perception, and immune cell trafficking...
March 14, 2017: Infection, Genetics and Evolution
Edward H Hellen, Evgeny Volkov
Genetic oscillators play important roles in cell life regulation. The regulatory efficiency usually depends strongly on the emergence of stable collective dynamic modes, which requires designing the interactions between genetic networks. We investigate the dynamics of two identical synthetic genetic repressilators coupled by an additional plasmid which implements quorum sensing (QS) in each network thereby supporting global coupling. In a basic genetic ring oscillator network in which three genes inhibit each other in unidirectional manner, QS stimulates the transcriptional activity of chosen genes providing for competition between inhibitory and stimulatory activities localized in those genes...
February 2017: Physical Review. E
Srihari Radhakrishnan, Robert Literman, Jennifer Neuwald, Andrew Severin, Nicole Valenzuela
Vertebrate sexual fate is decided primarily by the individual's genotype (GSD), by the environmental temperature during development (TSD), or both. Turtles exhibit TSD and GSD, making them ideal to study the evolution of sex determination. Here we analyze temperature-specific gonadal transcriptomes (RNA-sequencing validated by qPCR) of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta TSD) before and during the thermosensitive period, and at equivalent stages in soft-shell turtles (Apalone spinifera-GSD), to test whether TSD's and GSD's transcriptional circuitry is identical but deployed differently between mechanisms...
2017: PloS One
Raphaël B Di Roberto, Benjamin M Scott, Sergio G Peisajovich
The ability to sense and process cues about changing environments is fundamental to life. Cells have evolved elaborate signaling pathways in order to respond to both internal and external stimuli appropriately. These pathways combine protein receptors, signal transducers, and effector genes in highly connected networks. The numerous interactions found between signaling proteins are essential to maintain strict regulation and produce a suitable cellular response. As a result, a signaling protein's activity in isolation can differ greatly from its activity in a native context...
2017: Methods in Molecular Biology
Michaël Imbeault, Pierre-Yves Helleboid, Didier Trono
The human genome encodes some 350 Krüppel-associated box (KRAB) domain-containing zinc-finger proteins (KZFPs), the products of a rapidly evolving gene family that has been traced back to early tetrapods. The function of most KZFPs is unknown, but a few have been demonstrated to repress transposable elements in embryonic stem (ES) cells by recruiting the transcriptional regulator TRIM28 and associated mediators of histone H3 Lys9 trimethylation (H3K9me3)-dependent heterochromatin formation and DNA methylation...
March 8, 2017: Nature
Julia Schumacher, Hans Zischler, Holger Herlyn
We asked if essentiality for either fertility or viability differentially affects sequence evolution of human testis proteins. Based on murine knockout data, we classified a set of 965 proteins expressed in human seminiferous tubules into three categories: proteins essential for prepubertal survival ("lethality proteins"), associated with male sub- or infertility ("male sub-/infertility proteins"), and nonessential proteins. In our testis protein dataset, lethality genes evolved significantly slower than nonessential and male sub-/infertility genes, which is in line with other authors' findings...
March 8, 2017: Scientific Reports
Mengliang Shi, Xiaoqing Zhang, Guangsheng Pei, Lei Chen, Weiwen Zhang
Functions of transcriptional regulators (TRs) are still poorly understood in the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. To address the issue, we constructed knockout mutants for 32 putative TR-encoding genes of Synechocystis, and comparatively analyzed their phenotypes under autotrophic growth condition and metabolic profiles using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based metabolomics. The results showed that only four mutants of TR genes, sll1872 (lytR), slr0741 (phoU), slr0395 (ntcB), and slr1871 (pirR), showed differential growth patterns in BG11 medium when compared with the wild type; however, in spite of no growth difference observed for the remaining TR mutants, metabolomic profiling showed that they were different at the metabolite level, suggesting significant functional diversity of TRs in Synechocystis...
2017: Frontiers in Microbiology
Ismail Sahin Gul, Paco Hulpiau, Yvan Saeys, Frans van Roy
Cadherin genes encode a superfamily of conserved transmembrane proteins that share an adhesive ectodomain composed of tandem cadherin repeats. More than 100 human cadherin superfamily members have been identified, which can be classified into three families: major cadherins, protocadherins and cadherin-related proteins. These superfamily members are involved in diverse fundamental cellular processes including cell-cell adhesion, morphogenesis, cell recognition and signaling. Epithelial cadherin (E-cadherin) is the founding cadherin family member...
March 4, 2017: Experimental Cell Research
Ravi Maddaly, Aishwarya Subramaniyan, Harini Balasubramanian
Cancers are complex conditions and involving several factors for oncogenesis and progression. Of the various factors influencing the physiology of cancers, cytokines are known to play significant roles as mediators of functions. Intricate cytokine networks have been identified in cancers and interest in cytokines associated with cancers has been gaining ground. Of late, some of these cytokines are even identified as potential targets for cancer therapy apart from a few others such as IL-6 being identified as markers for disease prognosis...
March 6, 2017: Journal of Cellular Biochemistry
Aleksandra A Chertkova, Joshua S Schiffman, Sergey V Nuzhdin, Konstantin N Kozlov, Maria G Samsonova, Vitaly V Gursky
BACKGROUND: Cis-regulatory sequences are often composed of many low-affinity transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs). Determining the evolutionary and functional importance of regulatory sequence composition is impeded without a detailed knowledge of the genotype-phenotype map. RESULTS: We simulate the evolution of regulatory sequences involved in Drosophila melanogaster embryo segmentation during early development. Natural selection evaluates gene expression dynamics produced by a computational model of the developmental network...
February 7, 2017: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Ellie Harrison, James J P Hall, Steve Paterson, Andrew J Spiers, Michael A Brockhurst
Bacteria engage in a complex network of ecological interactions, which includes mobile genetic elements (MGEs) such as phages and plasmids. These elements play a key role in microbial communities as vectors of horizontal gene transfer but can also be important sources of selection for their bacterial hosts. In natural communities bacteria are likely to encounter multiple MGEs simultaneously and conflicting selection among MGEs could alter the bacterial evolutionary response to each MGE. Here we test the effect of interactions with multiple MGEs on bacterial molecular evolution in the tripartite interaction between the bacterium, Pseudomonas fluorescens, the lytic bacteriophage SBW25φ2 and conjugative plasmid, pQBR103, using genome sequencing of experimentally evolved bacteria...
March 1, 2017: Molecular Ecology
Amit Ranjan Sahu, Sajad Ahmad Wani, M Saminathan, Kaushal Kishor Rajak, Aditya Prasad Sahoo, Aruna Pandey, Shikha Saxena, Sonam Kanchan, Ashok Kumar Tiwari, Bina Mishra, D Muthuchelvan, R P Singh, Yaspal Singh, Mumtaz Baig, Bishnu Prasad Mishra, Raj Kumar Singh, Ravi Kumar Gandham
Peste des petits ruminants is an important transboundary disease infecting small ruminants. Genome or gene sequence analysis enriches our knowledge about the evolution and transboundary nature of the causative agent of this disease, peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV). Although analysis using whole genome sequences of pathogens leads to more precise phylogenetic relationships, when compared to individual genes or partial sequences, there is still a need to identify specific genes/genomic regions that can provide evolutionary assessments consistent with those predicted with full-length genome sequences...
February 28, 2017: Archives of Virology
Anna-Malin Linde, D Magnus Eklund, Akane Kubota, Eric R A Pederson, Karl Holm, Niclas Gyllenstrand, Ryuichi Nishihama, Nils Cronberg, Tomoaki Muranaka, Tokitaka Oyama, Takayuki Kohchi, Ulf Lagercrantz
While angiosperm clocks can be described as an intricate network of interlocked transcriptional feedback loops, clocks of green algae have been modelled as a loop of only two genes. To investigate the transition from a simple clock in algae to a complex one in angiosperms, we performed an inventory of circadian clock genes in bryophytes and charophytes. Additionally, we performed functional characterization of putative core clock genes in the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha and the hornwort Anthoceros agrestis...
February 28, 2017: New Phytologist
Xinyi Wang, Denghui Liu, Dajian He, Shengbo Suo, Xian Xia, Xiechao He, Jing-Dong Han, Ping Zheng
Pre-implantation embryogenesis encompasses several critical events including genome reprogramming, zygotic genome activation (ZGA), and cell fate commitment, most of which remain mechanistically unclear in primates. In addition, primates display a high rate of embryo wastage without any clear molecular basis. Understanding the factors involved in genome reprogramming and ZGA will help the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells with high efficiency. Moreover, explaining the molecular basis responsible for embryo wastage in primates will greatly expand our knowledge of species evolution...
February 21, 2017: Genome Research
Fei Fei, Shao-Yang Sun, Yu-Xiao Yao, Xu Wang
Obesity has become a severe public health problem across the world, and seriously affects the health and life quality of human beings. Here we generated lepr and mc4r mutant zebrafish via the CRISPR/Cas9 technique, and performed morphological and functional characterizations of those mutants. We observed that there was no significant phenotypic difference between homozygous mutants and wild-type controls before 2.5 months post-fertilization (mpf). However, the adult lepr(-/-) and mc4r(-/-) individuals displayed increased food intake, heavier weight, and higher body fat percentage, the characteristics of obesity phenotypes...
February 25, 2017: Sheng Li Xue Bao: [Acta Physiologica Sinica]
Ruoshi Yuan, Xiaomei Zhu, Gaowei Wang, Site Li, Ping Ao
Cancer is a complex disease: its pathology cannot be properly understood in terms of independent players-genes, proteins, molecular pathways, or their simple combinations. This is similar to many-body physics of a condensed phase that many important properties are not determined by a single atom or molecule. The rapidly accumulating large 'omics' data also require a new mechanistic and global underpinning to organize for rationalizing cancer complexity. A unifying and quantitative theory was proposed by some of the present authors that cancer is a robust state formed by the endogenous molecular-cellular network, which is evolutionarily built for the developmental processes and physiological functions...
April 2017: Reports on Progress in Physics
Marcin J Skwark, Nicholas J Croucher, Santeri Puranen, Claire Chewapreecha, Maiju Pesonen, Ying Ying Xu, Paul Turner, Simon R Harris, Stephen B Beres, James M Musser, Julian Parkhill, Stephen D Bentley, Erik Aurell, Jukka Corander
Recent advances in the scale and diversity of population genomic datasets for bacteria now provide the potential for genome-wide patterns of co-evolution to be studied at the resolution of individual bases. Here we describe a new statistical method, genomeDCA, which uses recent advances in computational structural biology to identify the polymorphic loci under the strongest co-evolutionary pressures. We apply genomeDCA to two large population data sets representing the major human pathogens Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) and Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus)...
February 2017: PLoS Genetics
S Bedhomme, D Perez Pantoja, I G Bravo
Plasmids are nucleic acid molecules that can drive their own replication in a living cell. They can be transmitted horizontally and can thrive in the host cell to high copy numbers. Plasmid replication and gene expression consume cellular resources and cells carrying plasmids incur fitness costs. But many plasmids carry genes that can be beneficial under certain conditions, allowing the cell to endure in the presence of antibiotics, toxins, competitors or parasites. Horizontal transfer of plasmid-encoded genes can thus instantaneously confer differential adaptation to local or transient selection conditions...
February 16, 2017: Molecular Ecology
B R Ginn
Identifying the physical basis of heterosis (or "hybrid vigor") has remained elusive despite over a hundred years of research on the subject. The three main theories of heterosis are dominance theory, overdominance theory, and epistasis theory. Kacser and Burns (1981) identified the molecular basis of dominance, which has greatly enhanced our understanding of its importance to heterosis. This paper aims to explain how overdominance, and some features of epistasis, can similarly emerge from the molecular dynamics of proteins...
February 6, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Gregory A Cary, Veronica F Hinman
The highly recognizable animals within the phylum Echinodermata encompass an enormous disparity of adult and larval body plans. The extensive knowledge of sea urchin development has culminated in the description of the exquisitely detailed gene regulatory network (GRN) that governs the specification of various embryonic territories. This information provides a unique opportunity for comparative studies in other echinoderm taxa to understand the evolution and developmental mechanisms underlying body plan change...
February 6, 2017: Developmental Biology
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