Open AccessReview
Replication Fork Protection Factors Controlling R-Loop Bypass and Suppression
Genes 2017, 8(1), 33; doi:10.3390/genes8010033 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Replication–transcription conflicts have been a well-studied source of genome instability for many years and have frequently been linked to defects in RNA processing. However, recent characterization of replication fork-associated proteins has revealed that defects in fork protection can directly or indirectly stabilize R-loop
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Replication–transcription conflicts have been a well-studied source of genome instability for many years and have frequently been linked to defects in RNA processing. However, recent characterization of replication fork-associated proteins has revealed that defects in fork protection can directly or indirectly stabilize R-loop structures in the genome and promote transcription–replication conflicts that lead to genome instability. Defects in essential DNA replication-associated activities like topoisomerase, or the minichromosome maintenance (MCM) helicase complex, as well as fork-associated protection factors like the Fanconi anemia pathway, both appear to mitigate transcription–replication conflicts. Here, we will highlight recent advances that support the concept that normal and robust replisome function itself is a key component of mitigating R-loop coupled genome instability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Applying Human ADAR1p110 and ADAR1p150 for Site-Directed RNA Editing—G/C Substitution Stabilizes GuideRNAs against Editing
Genes 2017, 8(1), 34; doi:10.3390/genes8010034 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Site-directed RNA editing is an approach to reprogram genetic information at the RNA level. We recently introduced a novel guideRNA that allows for the recruitment of human ADAR2 to manipulate genetic information. Here, we show that the current guideRNA design is already able
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Site-directed RNA editing is an approach to reprogram genetic information at the RNA level. We recently introduced a novel guideRNA that allows for the recruitment of human ADAR2 to manipulate genetic information. Here, we show that the current guideRNA design is already able to recruit another human deaminase, ADAR1, in both isoforms, p110 and p150. However, further optimization seems necessary as the current design is less efficient for ADAR1 isoforms. Furthermore, we describe hotspots at which the guideRNA itself is edited and show a way to circumvent this auto-editing without losing editing efficiency at the target. Both findings are important for the advancement of site-directed RNA editing as a tool in basic biology or as a platform for therapeutic editing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Integrative miRNA-Gene Expression Analysis Enables Refinement of Associated Biology and Prediction of Response to Cetuximab in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Cancer
Genes 2017, 8(1), 35; doi:10.3390/genes8010035 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This paper documents the process by which we, through gene and miRNA expression profiling of the same samples of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) and an integrative miRNA-mRNA expression analysis, were able to identify candidate biomarkers of progression-free survival (PFS) in
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This paper documents the process by which we, through gene and miRNA expression profiling of the same samples of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) and an integrative miRNA-mRNA expression analysis, were able to identify candidate biomarkers of progression-free survival (PFS) in patients treated with cetuximab-based approaches. Through sparse partial least square–discriminant analysis (sPLS-DA) and supervised analysis, 36 miRNAs were identified in two components that clearly separated long- and short-PFS patients. Gene set enrichment analysis identified a significant correlation between the miRNA first-component and EGFR signaling, keratinocyte differentiation, and p53. Another significant correlation was identified between the second component and RAS, NOTCH, immune/inflammatory response, epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), and angiogenesis pathways. Regularized canonical correlation analysis of sPLS-DA miRNA and gene data combined with the MAGIA2 web-tool highlighted 16 miRNAs and 84 genes that were interconnected in a total of 245 interactions. After feature selection by a smoothed t-statistic support vector machine, we identified three miRNAs and five genes in the miRNA-gene network whose expression result was the most relevant in predicting PFS (Area Under the Curve, AUC = 0.992). Overall, using a well-defined clinical setting and up-to-date bioinformatics tools, we are able to give the proof of principle that an integrative miRNA-mRNA expression could greatly contribute to the refinement of the biology behind a predictive model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of the Transcriptome and Gene Expression of Brain Tissue in Sevenband Grouper (Hyporthodus septemfasciatus) in Response to NNV Infection
Genes 2017, 8(1), 31; doi:10.3390/genes8010031 -
Abstract
Grouper is one of the favorite sea food resources in Southeast Asia. However, the outbreaks of the viral nervous necrosis (VNN) disease due to nervous necrosis virus (NNV) infection have caused mass mortality of grouper larvae. Many aqua-farms have suffered substantial financial loss
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Grouper is one of the favorite sea food resources in Southeast Asia. However, the outbreaks of the viral nervous necrosis (VNN) disease due to nervous necrosis virus (NNV) infection have caused mass mortality of grouper larvae. Many aqua-farms have suffered substantial financial loss due to the occurrence of VNN. To better understand the infection mechanism of NNV, we performed the transcriptome analysis of sevenband grouper brain tissue, the main target of NNV infection. After artificial NNV challenge, transcriptome of brain tissues of sevenband grouper was subjected to next generation sequencing (NGS) using an Illumina Hi-seq 2500 system. Both mRNAs from pooled samples of mock and NNV-infected sevenband grouper brains were sequenced. Clean reads of mock and NNV-infected samples were de novo assembled and obtained 104,348 unigenes. In addition, 628 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in response to NNV infection were identified. This result could provide critical information not only for the identification of genes involved in NNV infection, but for the understanding of the response of sevenband groupers to NNV infection. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Genes in 2016
Genes 2017, 8(1), 30; doi:10.3390/genes8010030 -
Abstract
The editors of Genes would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016. We greatly appreciate the contribution of expert reviewers, which is crucial to the journal’s editorial process. We aim to recognize reviewer contributions through
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The editors of Genes would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016. We greatly appreciate the contribution of expert reviewers, which is crucial to the journal’s editorial process. We aim to recognize reviewer contributions through several mechanisms, of which the annual publication of reviewer names is one. Reviewers receive a voucher entitling them to a discount on their next MDPI publication and can download a certificate of recognition directly from our submission system. Additionally, reviewers can sign up to the service Publons (https://publons.com) to receive recognition. Of course, in these initiatives we are careful not to compromise reviewer confidentiality. Many reviewers see their work as a voluntary and often unseen part of their role as researchers. We are grateful to the time reviewers donate to our journals and the contribution they make. If you are interested in becoming a reviewer for Genes, see the link at the bottom of the webpage http://www.mdpi.com/reviewers. Full article
Open AccessErratum
Erratum: Pan Y. et al. Cucumber Metallothionein-Like 2 (CsMTL2) Exhibits Metal-Binding Properties. Genes 2016, 7, 106
Genes 2017, 8(1), 29; doi:10.3390/genes8010029 -
Open AccessArticle
Transgenic Tobacco Expressing the TAT-Helicokinin I-CpTI Fusion Protein Show Increased Resistance and Toxicity to Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)
Genes 2017, 8(1), 28; doi:10.3390/genes8010028 -
Abstract
Insect kinins were shown to have diuretic activity, inhibit weight gain, and have antifeedant activity in insects. In order to study the potential of the TAT-fusion approach to deliver diuretic peptides per os to pest insects, the HezK I peptide from Helicoverpa zea
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Insect kinins were shown to have diuretic activity, inhibit weight gain, and have antifeedant activity in insects. In order to study the potential of the TAT-fusion approach to deliver diuretic peptides per os to pest insects, the HezK I peptide from Helicoverpa zea, as a representative of the kinin family, was selected. The fusion gene TAT-HezK I was designed and was used to transform tobacco plants. As a means to further improve the stability of TAT-HezK I, a fusion protein incorporating HezK I, transactivator of transcription (TAT), and the cowpea trypsin inhibitor (CpTI) was also designed. Finally, the toxicity of the different tobacco transgenic strains toward Helicoverpa armigera was compared. The results demonstrated that TAT-HezK I had high toxicity against insects via transgenic expression of the peptide in planta and intake through larval feeding. The toxicity of the fusion TAT-HezK I and CpTI was higher than the CpTI single gene in transgenic tobacco, and the fusion TAT-HezK I and CpTI further enhanced the stability and bioavailability of agents in oral administration. Our research helps in targeting new genes for improving herbivore tolerance in transgenic plant breeding. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of the Ovine Keratin-Associated Protein 22-1 (KAP22-1) Gene and Its Effect on Wool Traits
Genes 2017, 8(1), 27; doi:10.3390/genes8010027 -
Abstract
Keratin-associated proteins (KAPs) are structural components of wool and hair fibers. To date, eight high glycine/tyrosine KAP (HGT-KAP) families have been identified in humans, but only three have been identified in sheep. In this study, the putative ovine homolog of the human KAP22-1
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Keratin-associated proteins (KAPs) are structural components of wool and hair fibers. To date, eight high glycine/tyrosine KAP (HGT-KAP) families have been identified in humans, but only three have been identified in sheep. In this study, the putative ovine homolog of the human KAP22-1 gene (KRTAP22-1) was amplified using primers designed based on a human KRTAP22-1 sequence. Polymerase chain reaction-single stranded conformational polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) was used to screen for variation in KRTAP22-1 in 390 Merino × Southdown-cross lambs and 75 New Zealand (NZ) Romney sheep. Three PCR-SSCP banding patterns were detected and DNA sequencing revealed that the banding patterns represented three different nucleotide sequences (A–C). Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified in these sequences. Variant B was most common with a frequency of 81.3% in NZ Romney sheep, while in the Merino × Southdown-cross lambs, A was more common with a frequency of 51.8%. The presence of B was found to be associated with increased wool yield and decreased mean fiber curvature (MFC). Sheep of genotype BB or AB had a higher wool yield than those of genotype AA. These results suggest that ovine KRTAP22-1 variation may be useful when developing breeding programs based on increasing wool yield, or decreasing wool curvature. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Origin DNA Melting—An Essential Process with Divergent Mechanisms
Genes 2017, 8(1), 26; doi:10.3390/genes8010026 -
Abstract
Origin DNA melting is an essential process in the various domains of life. The replication fork helicase unwinds DNA ahead of the replication fork, providing single-stranded DNA templates for the replicative polymerases. The replication fork helicase is a ring shaped-assembly that unwinds DNA
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Origin DNA melting is an essential process in the various domains of life. The replication fork helicase unwinds DNA ahead of the replication fork, providing single-stranded DNA templates for the replicative polymerases. The replication fork helicase is a ring shaped-assembly that unwinds DNA by a steric exclusion mechanism in most DNA replication systems. While one strand of DNA passes through the central channel of the helicase ring, the second DNA strand is excluded from the central channel. Thus, the origin, or initiation site for DNA replication, must melt during the initiation of DNA replication to allow for the helicase to surround a single-DNA strand. While this process is largely understood for bacteria and eukaryotic viruses, less is known about how origin DNA is melted at eukaryotic cellular origins. This review describes the current state of knowledge of how genomic DNA is melted at a replication origin in bacteria and eukaryotes. We propose that although the process of origin melting is essential for the various domains of life, the mechanism for origin melting may be quite different among the different DNA replication initiation systems. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Control of Initiation of DNA Replication in Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli
Genes 2017, 8(1), 22; doi:10.3390/genes8010022 -
Abstract
Initiation of DNA Replication is tightly regulated in all cells since imbalances in chromosomal copy number are deleterious and often lethal. In bacteria such as Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, at the point of cytokinesis, there must be two complete copies of
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Initiation of DNA Replication is tightly regulated in all cells since imbalances in chromosomal copy number are deleterious and often lethal. In bacteria such as Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, at the point of cytokinesis, there must be two complete copies of the chromosome to partition into the daughter cells following division at mid-cell during vegetative growth. Under conditions of rapid growth, when the time taken to replicate the chromosome exceeds the doubling time of the cells, there will be multiple initiations per cell cycle and daughter cells will inherit chromosomes that are already undergoing replication. In contrast, cells entering the sporulation pathway in B. subtilis can do so only during a short interval in the cell cycle when there are two, and only two, chromosomes per cell, one destined for the spore and one for the mother cell. Here, we briefly describe the overall process of DNA replication in bacteria before reviewing initiation of DNA replication in detail. The review covers DnaA-directed assembly of the replisome at oriC and the multitude of mechanisms of regulation of initiation, with a focus on the similarities and differences between E. coli and B. subtilis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
AAC as a Potential Target Gene to Control Verticillium dahliae
Genes 2017, 8(1), 25; doi:10.3390/genes8010025 -
Abstract
Verticillium dahliae invades the roots of host plants and causes vascular wilt, which seriously diminishes the yield of cotton and other important crops. The protein AAC (ADP, ATP carrier) is responsible for transferring ATP from the mitochondria into the cytoplasm. When V. dahliae
[...] Read more.
Verticillium dahliae invades the roots of host plants and causes vascular wilt, which seriously diminishes the yield of cotton and other important crops. The protein AAC (ADP, ATP carrier) is responsible for transferring ATP from the mitochondria into the cytoplasm. When V. dahliae protoplasts were transformed with short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) targeting the VdAAC gene, fungal growth and sporulation were significantly inhibited. To further confirm a role for VdAAC in fungal development, we generated knockout mutants (ΔVdACC). Compared with wild-type V. dahliae (Vd wt), ΔVdAAC was impaired in germination and virulence; these impairments were rescued in the complementary strains (ΔVdAAC-C). Moreover, when an RNAi construct of VdAAC under the control of the 35S promoter was used to transform Nicotiana benthamiana, the expression of VdAAC was downregulated in the transgenic seedlings, and they had elevated resistance against V. dahliae. The results of this study suggest that VdAAC contributes to fungal development, virulence and is a promising candidate gene to control V. dahliae. In addition, RNAi is a highly efficient way to silence fungal genes and provides a novel strategy to improve disease resistance in plants. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Translesion Synthesis: Insights into the Selection and Switching of DNA Polymerases
Genes 2017, 8(1), 24; doi:10.3390/genes8010024 -
Abstract
DNA replication is constantly challenged by DNA lesions, noncanonical DNA structures and difficult-to-replicate DNA sequences. Two major strategies to rescue a stalled replication fork and to ensure continuous DNA synthesis are: (1) template switching and recombination-dependent DNA synthesis; and (2) translesion synthesis (TLS)
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DNA replication is constantly challenged by DNA lesions, noncanonical DNA structures and difficult-to-replicate DNA sequences. Two major strategies to rescue a stalled replication fork and to ensure continuous DNA synthesis are: (1) template switching and recombination-dependent DNA synthesis; and (2) translesion synthesis (TLS) using specialized DNA polymerases to perform nucleotide incorporation opposite DNA lesions. The former pathway is mainly error-free, and the latter is error-prone and a major source of mutagenesis. An accepted model of translesion synthesis involves DNA polymerase switching steps between a replicative DNA polymerase and one or more TLS DNA polymerases. The mechanisms that govern the selection and exchange of specialized DNA polymerases for a given DNA lesion are not well understood. In this review, recent studies concerning the mechanisms of selection and switching of DNA polymerases in eukaryotic systems are summarized. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Targeting MicroRNAs in Cancer Gene Therapy
Genes 2017, 8(1), 21; doi:10.3390/genes8010021 -
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a kind of conserved small non-coding RNAs that participate in regulating gene expression by targeting multiple molecules. Early studies have shown that the expression of miRNAs changes significantly in different tumor tissues and cancer cell lines. It is well acknowledged
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a kind of conserved small non-coding RNAs that participate in regulating gene expression by targeting multiple molecules. Early studies have shown that the expression of miRNAs changes significantly in different tumor tissues and cancer cell lines. It is well acknowledged that such variation is involved in almost all biological processes, including cell proliferation, mobility, survival and differentiation. Increasing experimental data indicate that miRNA dysregulation is a biomarker of several pathological conditions including cancer, and that miRNA can exert a causal role, as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes, in different steps of the tumorigenic process. Anticancer therapies based on miRNAs are currently being developed with a goal to improve outcomes of cancer treatment. In our present study, we review the function of miRNAs in tumorigenesis and development, and discuss the latest clinical applications and strategies of therapy targeting miRNAs in cancer. Full article
Open AccessReview
PrimPol—Prime Time to Reprime
Genes 2017, 8(1), 20; doi:10.3390/genes8010020 -
Abstract
The complex molecular machines responsible for genome replication encounter many obstacles during their progression along DNA. Tolerance of these obstructions is critical for efficient and timely genome duplication. In recent years, primase-polymerase (PrimPol) has emerged as a new player involved in maintaining eukaryotic
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The complex molecular machines responsible for genome replication encounter many obstacles during their progression along DNA. Tolerance of these obstructions is critical for efficient and timely genome duplication. In recent years, primase-polymerase (PrimPol) has emerged as a new player involved in maintaining eukaryotic replication fork progression. This versatile replicative enzyme, a member of the archaeo-eukaryotic primase (AEP) superfamily, has the capacity to perform a range of template-dependent and independent synthesis activities. Here, we discuss the emerging roles of PrimPol as a leading strand repriming enzyme and describe the mechanisms responsible for recruiting and regulating the enzyme during this process. This review provides an overview and update of the current PrimPol literature, as well as highlighting unanswered questions and potential future avenues of investigation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Type 2 Diabetes Susceptibility in the Greek-Cypriot Population: Replication of Associations with TCF7L2, FTO, HHEX, SLC30A8 and IGF2BP2 Polymorphisms
Genes 2017, 8(1), 16; doi:10.3390/genes8010016 -
Abstract
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has been the subject of numerous genetic studies in recent years which revealed associations of the disease with a large number of susceptibility loci. We hereby initiate the evaluation of T2D susceptibility loci in the Greek-Cypriot population by performing
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Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has been the subject of numerous genetic studies in recent years which revealed associations of the disease with a large number of susceptibility loci. We hereby initiate the evaluation of T2D susceptibility loci in the Greek-Cypriot population by performing a replication case-control study. One thousand and eighteen individuals (528 T2D patients, 490 controls) were genotyped at 21 T2D susceptibility loci, using the allelic discrimination method. Statistically significant associations of T2D with five of the tested single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (TCF7L2 rs7901695, FTO rs8050136, HHEX rs5015480, SLC30A8 rs13266634 and IGF2BP2 rs4402960) were observed in this study population. Furthermore, 14 of the tested SNPs had odds ratios (ORs) in the same direction as the previously published studies, suggesting that these variants can potentially be used in the Greek-Cypriot population for predictive testing of T2D. In conclusion, our findings expand the genetic assessment of T2D susceptibility loci and reconfirm five of the worldwide established loci in a distinct, relatively small, newly investigated population. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Contribution of the RgfD Quorum Sensing Peptide to rgf Regulation and Host Cell Association in Group B Streptococcus
Genes 2017, 8(1), 23; doi:10.3390/genes8010023 -
Abstract
Streptococcus agalactiae (group B Streptococcus; GBS) is a common inhabitant of the genitourinary and/or gastrointestinal tract in up to 40% of healthy adults; however, this opportunistic pathogen is able to breach restrictive host barriers to cause disease and persist in harsh and
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Streptococcus agalactiae (group B Streptococcus; GBS) is a common inhabitant of the genitourinary and/or gastrointestinal tract in up to 40% of healthy adults; however, this opportunistic pathogen is able to breach restrictive host barriers to cause disease and persist in harsh and changing conditions. This study sought to identify a role for quorum sensing, a form of cell to cell communication, in the regulation of the fibrinogen-binding (rgfBDAC) two-component system and the ability to associate with decidualized endometrial cells in vitro. To do this, we created a deletion in rgfD, which encodes the putative autoinducing peptide, in a GBS strain belonging to multilocus sequence type (ST)-17 and made comparisons to the wild type. Sequence variation in the rgf operon was detected in 40 clinical strains and a non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism was detected in rgfD in all of the ST-17 genomes that resulted in a truncation. Using qPCR, expression of rgf operon genes was significantly decreased in the ST-17 ΔrgfD mutant during exponential growth with the biggest difference (3.3-fold) occurring at higher cell densities. Association with decidualized endometrial cells was decreased 1.3-fold in the mutant relative to the wild type and rgfC expression was reduced 22-fold in ΔrgfD following exposure to the endometrial cells. Collectively, these data suggest that this putative quorum sensing molecule is important for attachment to human tissues and demonstrate a role for RgfD in GBS pathogenesis through regulation of rgfC. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Maintenance of Genome Integrity: How Mammalian Cells Orchestrate Genome Duplication by Coordinating Replicative and Specialized DNA Polymerases
Genes 2017, 8(1), 19; doi:10.3390/genes8010019 -
Abstract
Precise duplication of the human genome is challenging due to both its size and sequence complexity. DNA polymerase errors made during replication, repair or recombination are central to creating mutations that drive cancer and aging. Here, we address the regulation of human DNA
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Precise duplication of the human genome is challenging due to both its size and sequence complexity. DNA polymerase errors made during replication, repair or recombination are central to creating mutations that drive cancer and aging. Here, we address the regulation of human DNA polymerases, specifically how human cells orchestrate DNA polymerases in the face of stress to complete replication and maintain genome stability. DNA polymerases of the B-family are uniquely adept at accurate genome replication, but there are numerous situations in which one or more additional DNA polymerases are required to complete genome replication. Polymerases of the Y-family have been extensively studied in the bypass of DNA lesions; however, recent research has revealed that these polymerases play important roles in normal human physiology. Replication stress is widely cited as contributing to genome instability, and is caused by conditions leading to slowed or stalled DNA replication. Common Fragile Sites epitomize “difficult to replicate” genome regions that are particularly vulnerable to replication stress, and are associated with DNA breakage and structural variation. In this review, we summarize the roles of both the replicative and Y-family polymerases in human cells, and focus on how these activities are regulated during normal and perturbed genome replication. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Error-Free Bypass of 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2′-deoxyguanosineby DNA Polymerase of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Phage PaP1
Genes 2017, 8(1), 18; doi:10.3390/genes8010018 -
Abstract
As one of the most common forms of oxidative DNA damage, 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-oxoG) generally leads to G:C to T:A mutagenesis. To study DNA replication encountering 8-oxoG by the sole DNA polymerase (Gp90) of Pseudomonasaeruginosa phage PaP1, we performed steady-state and pre-steady-state kinetic
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As one of the most common forms of oxidative DNA damage, 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-oxoG) generally leads to G:C to T:A mutagenesis. To study DNA replication encountering 8-oxoG by the sole DNA polymerase (Gp90) of Pseudomonasaeruginosa phage PaP1, we performed steady-state and pre-steady-state kinetic analyses of nucleotide incorporation opposite 8-oxoG by Gp90 D234A that lacks exonuclease activities on ssDNA and dsDNA substrates. Gp90 D234A could bypass 8-oxoG in an error-free manner, preferentially incorporate dCTP opposite 8-oxoG, and yield similar misincorporation frequency to unmodified G. Gp90 D234A could extend beyond C:8-oxoG or A:8-oxoG base pairs with the same efficiency. dCTP incorporation opposite G and dCTP or dATP incorporation opposite 8-oxoG showed fast burst phases. The burst of incorporation efficiency (kpol/Kd,dNTP) is decreased as dCTP:G > dCTP:8-oxoG > dATP:8-oxoG. The presence of 8-oxoG in DNA does not affect its binding to Gp90 D234A in a binary complex but it does affect it in a ternary complex with dNTP and Mg2+, and dATP misincorporation opposite 8-oxoG further weakens the binding of Gp90 D234A to DNA. This study reveals Gp90 D234A can bypass 8-oxoG in an error-free manner, providing further understanding in DNA replication encountering oxidation lesion for P.aeruginosa phage PaP1. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Quorum Sensing Regulation of Competence and Bacteriocins in Streptococcus pneumoniae and mutans
Genes 2017, 8(1), 15; doi:10.3390/genes8010015 -
Abstract
The human pathogens Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus mutans have both evolved complex quorum sensing (QS) systems that regulate the production of bacteriocins and the entry into the competent state, a requirement for natural transformation. Natural transformation provides bacteria with a mechanism to repair
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The human pathogens Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus mutans have both evolved complex quorum sensing (QS) systems that regulate the production of bacteriocins and the entry into the competent state, a requirement for natural transformation. Natural transformation provides bacteria with a mechanism to repair damaged genes or as a source of new advantageous traits. In S. pneumoniae, the competence pathway is controlled by the two-component signal transduction pathway ComCDE, which directly regulates SigX, the alternative sigma factor required for the initiation into competence. Over the past two decades, effectors of cellular killing (i.e., fratricides) have been recognized as important targets of the pneumococcal competence QS pathway. Recently, direct interactions between the ComCDE and the paralogous BlpRH pathway, regulating bacteriocin production, were identified, further strengthening the interconnections between these two QS systems. Interestingly, a similar theme is being revealed in S. mutans, the primary etiological agent of dental caries. This review compares the relationship between the bacteriocin and the competence QS pathways in both S. pneumoniae and S. mutans, and hopes to provide clues to regulatory pathways across the genus Streptococcus as a potential tool to efficiently investigate putative competence pathways in nontransformable streptococci. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Effects of Replication and Transcription on DNA Structure-Related Genetic Instability
Genes 2017, 8(1), 17; doi:10.3390/genes8010017 -
Abstract
Many repetitive sequences in the human genome can adopt conformations that differ from the canonical B-DNA double helix (i.e., non-B DNA), and can impact important biological processes such as DNA replication, transcription, recombination, telomere maintenance, viral integration, transposome activation, DNA damage and repair.
[...] Read more.
Many repetitive sequences in the human genome can adopt conformations that differ from the canonical B-DNA double helix (i.e., non-B DNA), and can impact important biological processes such as DNA replication, transcription, recombination, telomere maintenance, viral integration, transposome activation, DNA damage and repair. Thus, non-B DNA-forming sequences have been implicated in genetic instability and disease development. In this article, we discuss the interactions of non-B DNA with the replication and/or transcription machinery, particularly in disease states (e.g., tumors) that can lead to an abnormal cellular environment, and how such interactions may alter DNA replication and transcription, leading to potential conflicts at non-B DNA regions, and eventually result in genetic stability and human disease. Full article
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