Open AccessArticle
Cloning and Expression Analysis of MEP Pathway Enzyme-encoding Genes in Osmanthus fragrans
Genes 2016, 7(10), 78; doi:10.3390/genes7100078 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The 2-C-methyl-d-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) pathway is responsible for the biosynthesis of many crucial secondary metabolites, such as carotenoids, monoterpenes, plastoquinone, and tocopherols. In this study, we isolated and identified 10 MEP pathway genes in the important aromatic plant [...] Read more.
The 2-C-methyl-d-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) pathway is responsible for the biosynthesis of many crucial secondary metabolites, such as carotenoids, monoterpenes, plastoquinone, and tocopherols. In this study, we isolated and identified 10 MEP pathway genes in the important aromatic plant sweet osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans). Multiple sequence alignments revealed that 10 MEP pathway genes shared high identities with other reported proteins. The genes showed distinctive expression profiles in various tissues, or at different flower stages and diel time points. The qRT-PCR results demonstrated that these genes were highly expressed in inflorescences, which suggested a tissue-specific transcript pattern. Our results also showed that OfDXS1, OfDXS2, and OfHDR1 had a clear diurnal oscillation pattern. The isolation and expression analysis provides a strong foundation for further research on the MEP pathway involved in gene function and molecular evolution, and improves our understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying this pathway in plants. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Metabolic Genes within Cyanophage Genomes: Implications for Diversity and Evolution
Genes 2016, 7(10), 80; doi:10.3390/genes7100080 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Cyanophages, a group of viruses specifically infecting cyanobacteria, are genetically diverse and extensively abundant in water environments. As a result of selective pressure, cyanophages often acquire a range of metabolic genes from host genomes. The host-derived genes make a significant contribution to [...] Read more.
Cyanophages, a group of viruses specifically infecting cyanobacteria, are genetically diverse and extensively abundant in water environments. As a result of selective pressure, cyanophages often acquire a range of metabolic genes from host genomes. The host-derived genes make a significant contribution to the ecological success of cyanophages. In this review, we summarize the host-derived metabolic genes, as well as their origin and roles in cyanophage evolution and important host metabolic pathways, such as the light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis, the pentose phosphate pathway, nutrient acquisition and nucleotide biosynthesis. We also discuss the suitability of the host-derived metabolic genes as potential diagnostic markers for the detection of genetic diversity of cyanophages in natural environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Genome-Wide Identification, Characterization and Expression Profiling of ADF Family Genes in Solanum lycopersicum L.
Genes 2016, 7(10), 79; doi:10.3390/genes7100079 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The actin depolymerizing factor (ADF) proteins have growth, development, defense-related and growth regulatory functions in plants. The present study used genome-wide analysis to investigate ADF family genes in tomato. Eleven tomato ADF genes were identified and differential expression patterns were found in [...] Read more.
The actin depolymerizing factor (ADF) proteins have growth, development, defense-related and growth regulatory functions in plants. The present study used genome-wide analysis to investigate ADF family genes in tomato. Eleven tomato ADF genes were identified and differential expression patterns were found in different organs. SlADF6 was preferentially expressed in roots, suggesting its function in root development. SlADF1, SlADF3 and SlADF10 were predominately expressed in the flowers compared to the other organs and specifically in the stamen compared to other flower parts, indicating their potential roles in pollen development. The comparatively higher expression of SlADF3 and SlADF11 at early fruit developmental stages might implicate them in determining final fruit size. SlADF5 and SlADF8 had relatively higher levels of expression five days after the breaker stage of fruit development, suggesting their possible role in fruit ripening. Notably, six genes were induced by cold and heat, seven by drought, five by NaCl, and four each by abscisic acid (ABA), jasmonic acid (JA) and wounding treatments. The differential expression patterns of the SlADF genes under different types of stresses suggested their function in stress tolerance in tomato plants. Our results will be helpful for the functional characterization of ADF genes during organ and fruit development of tomato under different stresses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of the Autism-Associated Long Noncoding RNA MSNP1AS on Neuronal Architecture and Gene Expression in Human Neural Progenitor Cells
Genes 2016, 7(10), 76; doi:10.3390/genes7100076 -
Abstract
We previously identified the long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) MSNP1AS (moesin pseudogene 1, antisense) as a functional element revealed by genome wide significant association with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). MSNP1AS expression was increased in the postmortem cerebral cortex of individuals with ASD and [...] Read more.
We previously identified the long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) MSNP1AS (moesin pseudogene 1, antisense) as a functional element revealed by genome wide significant association with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). MSNP1AS expression was increased in the postmortem cerebral cortex of individuals with ASD and particularly in individuals with the ASD-associated genetic markers on chromosome 5p14.1. Here, we mimicked the overexpression of MSNP1AS observed in postmortem ASD cerebral cortex in human neural progenitor cell lines to determine the impact on neurite complexity and gene expression. ReNcell CX and SK-N-SH were transfected with an overexpression vector containing full-length MSNP1AS. Neuronal complexity was determined by the number and length of neuronal processes. Gene expression was determined by strand-specific RNA sequencing. MSNP1AS overexpression decreased neurite number and neurite length in both human neural progenitor cell lines. RNA sequencing revealed changes in gene expression in proteins involved in two biological processes: protein synthesis and chromatin remodeling. These data indicate that overexpression of the ASD-associated lncRNA MSNP1AS alters the number and length of neuronal processes. The mechanisms by which MSNP1AS overexpression impacts neuronal differentiation may involve protein synthesis and chromatin structure. These same biological processes are also implicated by rare mutations associated with ASD, suggesting convergent mechanisms. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Modeling Fragile X Syndrome Using Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
Genes 2016, 7(10), 77; doi:10.3390/genes7100077 -
Abstract
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common heritable form of cognitive impairment. It results from a loss-of-function mutation by a CGG repeat expansion at the 5′ untranslated region of the X-linked fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. Expansion of the [...] Read more.
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common heritable form of cognitive impairment. It results from a loss-of-function mutation by a CGG repeat expansion at the 5′ untranslated region of the X-linked fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. Expansion of the CGG repeats beyond 200 copies results in protein deficiency by leading to aberrant methylation of the FMR1 promoter and the switch from active to repressive histone modifications. Additionally, the CGGs become increasingly unstable, resulting in high degree of variation in expansion size between and within tissues of affected individuals. It is still unclear how the FMR1 protein (FMRP) deficiency leads to disease pathology in neurons. Nor do we know the mechanisms by which the CGG expansion results in aberrant DNA methylation, or becomes unstable in somatic cells of patients, at least in part due to the lack of appropriate animal or cellular models. This review summarizes the current contribution of pluripotent stem cells, mutant human embryonic stem cells, and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells to disease modeling of FXS for basic and applied research, including the development of new therapeutic approaches. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Decreased Expression of KIFC1 in Human Testes with Globozoospermic Defects
Genes 2016, 7(10), 75; doi:10.3390/genes7100075 -
Abstract
Globozoospermia is a rare (prevalence of <0.1%) but severe male infertility condition. In our previous study, we found that robust KIFC1 immunostaining was detected in the human elongating/elongated spermatids during human acrosomogenesis. However, the relationship between the decreased expression of KIFC1 and [...] Read more.
Globozoospermia is a rare (prevalence of <0.1%) but severe male infertility condition. In our previous study, we found that robust KIFC1 immunostaining was detected in the human elongating/elongated spermatids during human acrosomogenesis. However, the relationship between the decreased expression of KIFC1 and human globozoospermia remains largely unknown. Testicular biopsies of 30 globozoospermia and 30 obstructive azoospermia patients who underwent infertility evaluation and treatment were utilized in this study. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Western blots, immunohistochemistry, an in vivo model, and intratesticular injection of small inhibitory RNA (siRNA) against the Kifc1 gene were employed, and sperm abnormalities were evaluated by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining and immunocytochemistry. We revealed that the testicular level of KIFC1 mRNA in globozoospermia was significantly reduced compared with that in obstructive azoospermia, and the KIFC1 protein was barely detectable in testicular specimens in 30% (9 of 30) of patients with globozoospermia. Furthermore, knockdown of the Kifc1 gene in mice increased the percentage of sperm with globozoospermic defects (26.5%). Decreased KIFC1 expression was mainly observed in the testes of patients with globozoospermia at the spermatid stage, which may be useful for counseling and management of such patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Transition and Transversion Mutations Are Biased towards GC in Transposons of Chilo suppressalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)
Genes 2016, 7(10), 72; doi:10.3390/genes7100072 -
Abstract
Transposons are often regulated by their hosts, and as a result, there are transposons with several mutations within their host organisms. To gain insight into the patterns of the variations, nucleotide substitutions and indels of transposons were analysed in Chilo suppressalis Walker. [...] Read more.
Transposons are often regulated by their hosts, and as a result, there are transposons with several mutations within their host organisms. To gain insight into the patterns of the variations, nucleotide substitutions and indels of transposons were analysed in Chilo suppressalis Walker. The CsuPLE1.1 is a member of the piggyBac-like element (PLE) family, which belongs to the DNA transposons, and the Csu-Ty3 is a member of the Ty3/gypsy family, which belongs to the RNA transposons. Copies of CsuPLE1.1 and Csu-Ty3 were cloned separately from different C. suppressalis individuals, and then multiple sequence alignments were performed. There were numerous single-base substitutions in CsuPLE1.1 and Csu-Ty3, but only a few insertion and deletion mutations. Similarly, in both transposons, the occurring frequencies of transitions were significantly higher than transversions (p ≤ 0.01). In the single-base substitutions, the most frequently occurring base changes were A→G and T→C in both types of transposons. Additionally, single-base substitution frequencies occurring at positions 1, 2 or 3 (pos1, pos2 or pos3) of a given codon in the element transposase were not significantly different. Both in CsuPLE1.1 and Csu-Ty3, the patterns of nucleotide substitution had the same characteristics and nucleotide mutations were biased toward GC. This research provides a perspective on the understanding of transposon mutation patterns. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Association of XPC Gene Polymorphisms with Colorectal Cancer Risk in a Southern Chinese Population: A Case-Control Study and Meta-Analysis
Genes 2016, 7(10), 73; doi:10.3390/genes7100073 -
Abstract
Xeroderma pigmentosum group C (XPC) is a key component of the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway. Dysfunctional XPC protein may impair NER-mediated DNA repair capacity and further lead to genomic instability and carcinogenesis. Two common nonsynonymous polymorphisms in the XPC gene, Lys939Gln [...] Read more.
Xeroderma pigmentosum group C (XPC) is a key component of the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway. Dysfunctional XPC protein may impair NER-mediated DNA repair capacity and further lead to genomic instability and carcinogenesis. Two common nonsynonymous polymorphisms in the XPC gene, Lys939Gln (rs2228001 A > C) and Ala499Val (rs2228000 C > T), have been investigated in various types of cancer. We genotyped these two polymorphisms in 1141 cases with histologically confirmed colorectal cancer (CRC) and 1173 healthy controls to explore their causative association with CRC susceptibility. Overall, no association was observed between these two variants and the risk of CRC. Our meta-analysis also confirmed a lack of overall association. Stratified analyses were performed by age, gender, smoking status, pack-year, drinking status, tumor sites, and Duke’s stages. We found that XPC Lys939Gln polymorphism was significantly associated with an increased CRC risk in subjects at 57 years of age or younger (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.37, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.004–1.86, p = 0.047) and non-drinkers (adjusted OR = 1.53, 95% CI = 1.10–2.12, p = 0.011). Our results indicated that XPC Lys939Gln may be a low-penetrance CRC susceptibility polymorphism. Our findings warrant further validation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Presence of a Prophage Determines Temperature-Dependent Capsule Production in Streptococcus pyogenes
Genes 2016, 7(10), 74; doi:10.3390/genes7100074 -
Abstract
A hyaluronic acid capsule is a major virulence factor in the pathogenesis of Streptococcus pyogenes. It acts as an anti-phagocytic agent and adhesin to keratinocytes. The expression of the capsule is primarily regulated at the transcriptional level by the two-component regulatory [...] Read more.
A hyaluronic acid capsule is a major virulence factor in the pathogenesis of Streptococcus pyogenes. It acts as an anti-phagocytic agent and adhesin to keratinocytes. The expression of the capsule is primarily regulated at the transcriptional level by the two-component regulatory system CovRS, in which CovR acts as a transcriptional repressor. The covRS genes are frequently mutated in many invasive strains, and a subset of the invasive CovRS mutants does not produce a detectable level of the capsule at 37 °C, but produces a significant amount of the capsule at sub-body temperatures. Here, we report that a prophage has a crucial role in this capsule thermoregulation. Passaging CovR-null strains showing capsule thermoregulation using a lab medium produced spontaneous mutants producing a significant amount of the capsule regardless of incubation temperature and this phenotypic change was caused by curing of a particular prophage. The lab strain HSC5 contains three prophages on the chromosome, and only ΦHSC5.3 was cured in all spontaneous mutants. This result indicates that the prophage ΦHSC5.3 plays a crucial role in capsule thermoregulation, most likely by repressing capsule production at 37 °C. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Making Sense of the Tangle: Insights into Chromatin Folding and Gene Regulation
Genes 2016, 7(10), 71; doi:10.3390/genes7100071 -
Abstract
Proximity ligation assays such as circularized chromosome conformation capture and high-throughput chromosome capture assays have shed light on the structural organization of the interphase genome. Functional topologically associating domains (TADs) that constitute the building blocks of genomic organization are disrupted and reconstructed [...] Read more.
Proximity ligation assays such as circularized chromosome conformation capture and high-throughput chromosome capture assays have shed light on the structural organization of the interphase genome. Functional topologically associating domains (TADs) that constitute the building blocks of genomic organization are disrupted and reconstructed during the cell cycle. Epigenetic memory, as well as the sequence of chromosomes, regulate TAD reconstitution. Sub-TAD domains that are invariant across cell types have been identified, and contacts between these domains, rather than looping, are speculated to drive chromatin folding. Replication domains are established simultaneously with TADs during the cell cycle and the two correlate well in terms of characteristic features, such as lamin association and histone modifications. CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) and cohesin cooperate across different cell types to regulate genes and genome organization. CTCF elements that demarcate TAD boundaries are commonly disrupted in cancer and promote oncogene activation. Chromatin looping facilitates interactions between distant promoters and enhancers, and the resulting enhanceosome complex promotes gene expression. Deciphering the chromatin tangle requires comprehensive integrative analyses of DNA- and protein-dependent factors that regulate genomic organization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Regulation of BLM Nucleolar Localization
Genes 2016, 7(9), 69; doi:10.3390/genes7090069 -
Abstract
Defects in coordinated ribosomal RNA (rRNA) transcription in the nucleolus cause cellular and organismal growth deficiencies. Bloom’s syndrome, an autosomal recessive human disorder caused by mutated recQ-like helicase BLM, presents with growth defects suggestive of underlying defects in rRNA transcription. Our previous [...] Read more.
Defects in coordinated ribosomal RNA (rRNA) transcription in the nucleolus cause cellular and organismal growth deficiencies. Bloom’s syndrome, an autosomal recessive human disorder caused by mutated recQ-like helicase BLM, presents with growth defects suggestive of underlying defects in rRNA transcription. Our previous studies showed that BLM facilitates rRNA transcription and interacts with RNA polymerase I and topoisomerase I (TOP1) in the nucleolus. The mechanisms regulating localization of BLM to the nucleolus are unknown. In this study, we identify the TOP1-interaction region of BLM by co-immunoprecipitation of in vitro transcribed and translated BLM segments and show that this region includes the highly conserved nuclear localization sequence (NLS) of BLM. Biochemical and nucleolar co-localization studies using site-specific mutants show that two serines within the NLS (S1342 and S1345) are critical for nucleolar localization of BLM but do not affect the functional interaction of BLM with TOP1. Mutagenesis of both serines to aspartic acid (phospho-mimetic), but not alanine (phospho-dead), results in approximately 80% reduction in nucleolar localization of BLM while retaining the biochemical functions and nuclear localization of BLM. Our studies suggest a role for this region in regulating nucleolar localization of BLM via modification of the two serines within the NLS. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Molecular Inconsistencies in a Fragile X Male with Early Onset Ataxia
Genes 2016, 7(9), 68; doi:10.3390/genes7090068 -
Abstract
Mosaicism for FMR1 premutation (PM: 55–199 CGG)/full mutation (FM: >200 CGG) alleles or the presence of unmethylated FM (UFM) have been associated with a less severe fragile X syndrome (FXS) phenotype and fragile X associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS)—a late onset neurodegenerative disorder. [...] Read more.
Mosaicism for FMR1 premutation (PM: 55–199 CGG)/full mutation (FM: >200 CGG) alleles or the presence of unmethylated FM (UFM) have been associated with a less severe fragile X syndrome (FXS) phenotype and fragile X associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS)—a late onset neurodegenerative disorder. We describe a 38 year old male carrying a 100% methylated FM detected with Southern blot (SB), which is consistent with complete silencing of FMR1 and a diagnosis of fragile X syndrome. However, his formal cognitive scores were not at the most severe end of the FXS phenotype and he displayed tremor and ataxic gait. With the association of UFM with FXTAS, we speculated that his ataxia might be related to an undetected proportion of UFM alleles. Such UFM alleles were confirmed by more sensitive PCR based methylation testing showing FM methylation between 60% and 70% in blood, buccal, and saliva samples and real-time PCR analysis showing incomplete silencing of FMR1. While he did not meet diagnostic criteria for FXTAS based on MRI findings, the underlying cause of his ataxia may be related to UFM alleles not detected by SB, and follow-up clinical and molecular assessment are justified if his symptoms worsen. Full article
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Open AccessReview
DNA Polymerase θ: A Unique Multifunctional End-Joining Machine
Genes 2016, 7(9), 67; doi:10.3390/genes7090067 -
Abstract
The gene encoding DNA polymerase θ (Polθ) was discovered over ten years ago as having a role in suppressing genome instability in mammalian cells. Studies have now clearly documented an essential function for this unique A-family polymerase in the double-strand break (DSB) [...] Read more.
The gene encoding DNA polymerase θ (Polθ) was discovered over ten years ago as having a role in suppressing genome instability in mammalian cells. Studies have now clearly documented an essential function for this unique A-family polymerase in the double-strand break (DSB) repair pathway alternative end-joining (alt-EJ), also known as microhomology-mediated end-joining (MMEJ), in metazoans. Biochemical and cellular studies show that Polθ exhibits a unique ability to perform alt-EJ and during this process the polymerase generates insertion mutations due to its robust terminal transferase activity which involves template-dependent and independent modes of DNA synthesis. Intriguingly, the POLQ gene also encodes for a conserved superfamily 2 Hel308-type ATP-dependent helicase domain which likely assists in alt-EJ and was reported to suppress homologous recombination (HR) via its anti-recombinase activity. Here, we review our current knowledge of Polθ-mediated end-joining, the specific activities of the polymerase and helicase domains, and put into perspective how this multifunctional enzyme promotes alt-EJ repair of DSBs formed during S and G2 cell cycle phases. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Ups and Downs: Mechanisms of Repeat Instability in the Fragile X-Related Disorders
Genes 2016, 7(9), 70; doi:10.3390/genes7090070 -
Abstract
The Fragile X-related disorders (FXDs) are a group of clinical conditions resulting from the expansion of a CGG/CCG-repeat tract in exon 1 of the Fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. While expansions of the repeat tract predominate, contractions are also seen [...] Read more.
The Fragile X-related disorders (FXDs) are a group of clinical conditions resulting from the expansion of a CGG/CCG-repeat tract in exon 1 of the Fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. While expansions of the repeat tract predominate, contractions are also seen with the net result being that individuals can show extensive repeat length heterogeneity in different tissues. The mechanisms responsible for expansion and contraction are still not well understood. This review will discuss what is known about these processes and current evidence that supports a model in which expansion arises from the interaction of components of the base excision repair, mismatch repair and transcription coupled repair pathways. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Eight Mutations of Three Genes (EDA, EDAR, and WNT10A) Identified in Seven Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia Patients
Genes 2016, 7(9), 65; doi:10.3390/genes7090065 -
Abstract
Hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (HED) is characterized by abnormal development of the teeth, hair, and sweat glands. Ectodysplasin A (EDA), Ectodysplasin A receptor (EDAR), and EDAR-associated death domain (EDARADD) are candidate genes for HED, but the relationship [...] Read more.
Hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (HED) is characterized by abnormal development of the teeth, hair, and sweat glands. Ectodysplasin A (EDA), Ectodysplasin A receptor (EDAR), and EDAR-associated death domain (EDARADD) are candidate genes for HED, but the relationship between WNT10A and HED has not yet been validated. In this study, we included patients who presented at least two of the three ectodermal dysplasia features. The four genes were analyzed in seven HED patients by PCR and Sanger sequencing. Five EDA and one EDAR heterozygous mutations were identified in families 1–6. Two WNT10A heterozygous mutations were identified in family 7 as a compound heterozygote. c.662G>A (p.Gly221Asp) in EDA and c.354T>G (p.Tyr118*) in WNT10A are novel mutations. Bioinformatics analyses results confirmed the pathogenicity of the two novel mutations. In family 7, we also identified two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were predicted to affect the splicing of EDAR. Analysis of the patient’s total RNA revealed normal splicing of EDAR. This ascertained that the compound heterozygous WNT10A mutations are the genetic defects that led to the onset of HED. Our data revealed the genetic basis of seven HED patients and expended the mutational spectrum. Interestingly, we confirmed WNT10A as a candidate gene of HED and we propose WNT10A to be tested in EDA-negative HED patients. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Role of ATRX in the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) Phenotype
Genes 2016, 7(9), 66; doi:10.3390/genes7090066 -
Abstract
Telomeres are responsible for protecting chromosome ends in order to prevent the loss of coding DNA. Their maintenance is required for achieving immortality by neoplastic cells and can occur by upregulation of the telomerase enzyme or through a homologous recombination-associated process, the [...] Read more.
Telomeres are responsible for protecting chromosome ends in order to prevent the loss of coding DNA. Their maintenance is required for achieving immortality by neoplastic cells and can occur by upregulation of the telomerase enzyme or through a homologous recombination-associated process, the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). The precise mechanisms that govern the activation of ALT or telomerase in tumor cells are not fully understood, although cellular origin may favor one of the other mechanisms that have been found thus far in mutual exclusivity. Specific mutational events influence ALT activation and maintenance: a unifying frequent feature of tumors that acquire this phenotype are the recurrent mutations of the Alpha Thalassemia/Mental Retardation Syndrome X-Linked (ATRX) or Death-Domain Associated Protein (DAXX) genes. This review summarizes the established criteria about this phenotype: its prevalence, theoretical molecular mechanisms and relation with ATRX, DAXX and other proteins (directly or indirectly interacting and resulting in the ALT phenotype). Full article
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Open AccessReview
Reappearance from Obscurity: Mammalian Rad52 in Homologous Recombination
Genes 2016, 7(9), 63; doi:10.3390/genes7090063 -
Abstract
Homologous recombination (HR) plays an important role in maintaining genomic integrity. It is responsible for repair of the most harmful DNA lesions, DNA double-strand breaks and inter-strand DNA cross-links. HR function is also essential for proper segregation of homologous chromosomes in meiosis, [...] Read more.
Homologous recombination (HR) plays an important role in maintaining genomic integrity. It is responsible for repair of the most harmful DNA lesions, DNA double-strand breaks and inter-strand DNA cross-links. HR function is also essential for proper segregation of homologous chromosomes in meiosis, maintenance of telomeres, and resolving stalled replication forks. Defects in HR often lead to genetic diseases and cancer. Rad52 is one of the key HR proteins, which is evolutionarily conserved from yeast to humans. In yeast, Rad52 is important for most HR events; Rad52 mutations disrupt repair of DNA double-strand breaks and targeted DNA integration. Surprisingly, in mammals, Rad52 knockouts showed no significant DNA repair or recombination phenotype. However, recent work demonstrated that mutations in human RAD52 are synthetically lethal with mutations in several other HR proteins including BRCA1 and BRCA2. These new findings indicate an important backup role for Rad52, which complements the main HR mechanism in mammals. In this review, we focus on the Rad52 activities and functions in HR and the possibility of using human RAD52 as therapeutic target in BRCA1 and BRCA2-deficient familial breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Telomerase Regulation from Beginning to the End
Genes 2016, 7(9), 64; doi:10.3390/genes7090064 -
Abstract
The vast body of literature regarding human telomere maintenance is a true testament to the importance of understanding telomere regulation in both normal and diseased states. In this review, our goal was simple: tell the telomerase story from the biogenesis of its [...] Read more.
The vast body of literature regarding human telomere maintenance is a true testament to the importance of understanding telomere regulation in both normal and diseased states. In this review, our goal was simple: tell the telomerase story from the biogenesis of its parts to its maturity as a complex and function at its site of action, emphasizing new developments and how they contribute to the foundational knowledge of telomerase and telomere biology. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mechanisms and Physiological Roles of the CBL-CIPK Networking System in Arabidopsis thaliana
Genes 2016, 7(9), 62; doi:10.3390/genes7090062 -
Abstract
Calcineurin B-like protein (CBL)-CBL-interacting protein kinase (CIPK) network is one of the vital regulatory mechanisms which decode calcium signals triggered by environmental stresses. Although the complicated regulation mechanisms and some novel functions of CBL-CIPK signaling network in plants need to be further [...] Read more.
Calcineurin B-like protein (CBL)-CBL-interacting protein kinase (CIPK) network is one of the vital regulatory mechanisms which decode calcium signals triggered by environmental stresses. Although the complicated regulation mechanisms and some novel functions of CBL-CIPK signaling network in plants need to be further elucidated, numerous advances have been made in its roles involved in the abiotic stresses. This review chiefly introduces the progresses about protein interaction, classification and expression pattern of different CBLs and CIPKs in Arabidopsis thaliana, summarizes the physiological roles of CBL-CIPK pathway while pointing out some new research ideas in the future, and finally presents some unique perspectives for the further study. The review might provide new insights into the functional characterization of CBL-CIPK pathway in Arabidopsis, and contribute to a deeper understanding of CBL-CIPK network in other plants or stresses. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Telomerase Activation in Hematological Malignancies
Genes 2016, 7(9), 61; doi:10.3390/genes7090061 -
Abstract
Telomerase expression and telomere maintenance are critical for cell proliferation and survival, and they play important roles in development and cancer, including hematological malignancies. Transcriptional regulation of the rate-limiting subunit of human telomerase reverse transcriptase gen (hTERT) is a complex process, [...] Read more.
Telomerase expression and telomere maintenance are critical for cell proliferation and survival, and they play important roles in development and cancer, including hematological malignancies. Transcriptional regulation of the rate-limiting subunit of human telomerase reverse transcriptase gen (hTERT) is a complex process, and unveiling the mechanisms behind its reactivation is an important step for the development of diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Here, we review the main mechanisms of telomerase activation and the associated hematologic malignancies. Full article