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1.  Membrane microdomain may be a platform for immune signaling 
Plant Signaling & Behavior  2012;7(4):454-456.
Arabidopsis RPS2 is a typical disease resistance (R) protein with nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeats (NB-LRR). Previously, we reported that RPS2 is physically associated with some Arabidopsis hypersensitive induced reaction (AtHIR) proteins, which are enriched in membrane microdomains. Biochemical and genetic analyses suggested that members of the AtHIR gene family have a function in RPS2-mediated immune signaling. Here, we provide evidence that the pattern recognition receptor (PRR) FLS2 is also physically associated with AtHIR2 in a N. benthamiana transient expression system. We thus speculate that PM microdomains provide a platform for both types of immune receptors, R proteins and PRRs, and that the activation of the receptors is facilitated by AtHIR proteins.
PMCID: PMC3419031  PMID: 22499178
ETI; PTI; FLS2; RPS2; AtHIR; membrane microdomain
2.  The Majority of the Type III Effector Inventory of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 Can Suppress Plant Immunity 
The Pseudomonas syringae type III protein secretion system (T3SS) and the type III effectors it injects into plant cells are required for plant pathogenicity and the ability to elicit a hypersensitive response (HR). The HR is a programmed cell death that is associated with effector-triggered immunity (ETI). A primary function of P. syringae type III effectors appears to be the suppression of ETI and pathogen-associated molecular pattern–triggered immunity (PTI), which is induced by conserved molecules on micro-organisms. We reported that seven type III effectors from P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000 were capable of suppressing an HR induced by P. fluorescens(pHIR11) and have now tested 35 DC3000 type III effectors in this assay, finding that the majority of them can suppress the HR induced by HopA1. One newly identified type III effector with particularly strong HR suppression activity was HopS2. We used the pHIR11 derivative pLN1965, which lacks hopA1, in related assays and found that a subset of the type III effectors that suppressed HopA1-induced ETI also suppressed an ETI response induced by AvrRpm1 in Arabidopsis thaliana. A. thaliana plants expressing either HopAO1 or HopF2, two type III effectors that suppressed the HopA1-induced HR, were reduced in the flagellin-induced PTI response as well as PTI induced by other PAMPs and allowed enhanced in planta growth of P. syringae. Collectively, our results suggest that the majority of DC3000 type III effectors can suppress plant immunity. Additionally, the construct pLN1965 will likely be a useful tool in determining whether other type III effectors or effectors from other types of pathogens can suppress either ETI, PTI, or both.
PMCID: PMC2778199  PMID: 19656042
3.  Molecular cloning of a Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae gene cluster that enables Pseudomonas fluorescens to elicit the hypersensitive response in tobacco plants. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1988;170(10):4748-4756.
A cosmid clone isolated from a genomic library of Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae 61 restored to all Tn5 mutants of this strain studied the ability to elicit the hypersensitive response (HR) in tobacco. Cosmid pHIR11 also enabled Escherichia coli TB1 to elicit an HR-like reaction when high levels of inoculum (10(9) cells per ml) were infiltrated into tobacco leaves. The cosmid, which contains a 31-kilobase DNA insert, was mobilized by triparental matings into Pseudomonas fluorescens 55 (a nonpathogen that normally causes no plant reactions), P. syringae pv. syringae 226 (a tomato pathogen that causes the HR in tobacco), and P. syringae pv. tabaci (a tobacco pathogen that causes the HR in tomato). The plant reaction phenotypes of all of the transconjugants were altered. P. fluorescens(pHIR11) caused the HR in tobacco and tomato leaves and stimulated an apparent proton influx in suspension-cultured tobacco cells that was indistinguishable from the proton influx caused by incompatible pathogenic pseudomonads. P. syringae pv. tabaci(pHIR11) and P. syringae pv. syringae 226(pHIR11) elicited the HR rather than disease symptoms on their respective hosts and were no longer pathogenic. pHIR11 was mutagenized with TnphoA (Tn5 IS50L::phoA). One randomly chosen mutant, pHIR11-18, no longer conferred the HR phenotype to P. fluorescens. The mutation was marker-exchanged into the genomes of P. syringae pv. syringae strains 61 and 226. The TnphoA insertions in the two pseudomonads abolished their ability to elicit any plant reactions in all plants tested. The results indicate that a relatively small portion of the P. syringae genome is sufficient for the elicitation of plant reactions.
PMCID: PMC211517  PMID: 3139635
4.  Phenotypic expression of the Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae 61 hrp/hrm gene cluster in Escherichia coli MC4100 requires a functional porin. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1992;174(6):1742-1749.
Plants, in general, appear to be able to detect the presence of incompatible Pseudomonas syringae strains by a hypothetical cell-cell recognition process to initiate inducible defense mechanisms that contribute to disease resistance. A 25-kb hrp/hrm gene cluster isolated from P. syringae pv. syringae 61(pHIR11) enables Escherichia coli to elicit a hypersensitive response (HR), a plant response generally considered to be a manifestation of recognition and resistance. To identify the nature of the HR-eliciting signal produced by E. coli cells carrying pHIR11, bacterial surface features were surveyed by immunological and biochemical procedures. No immunoreactive epitopes or outer membrane proteins were detected that were associated with expression of the P. syringae pv. syringae 61 hrp/hrm cluster in E. coli MC4100. Phenotypic expression of the P. syringae pv. syringae 61 hrp/hrm cluster in E. coli MC4100, however, was found to be dependent upon ompC and ompF, which control outer membrane permeability to hydrophilic solutes. The results suggest that deployment of the HR-eliciting signal occurs via outer membrane porins and imply that a low-molecular-weight, hydrophilic factor mediates signal exchange between the bacterium and the responding plant cell.
PMCID: PMC205774  PMID: 1312527
5.  Hir1p and Hir2p function as transcriptional corepressors to regulate histone gene transcription in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell cycle. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1997;17(2):545-552.
The HIR/HPC (histone regulation/histone periodic control) negative regulators play important roles in the transcription of six of the eight core histone genes during the Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell cycle. The phenotypes of hir1 and hir2 mutants suggested that the wild-type HIR1 and HIR2 genes encode transcriptional repressors that function in the absence of direct DNA binding. When Hir1p and Hir2p were artificially tethered to yeast promoters, each protein repressed transcription, suggesting that they represent a new class of transcriptional corepressors. The two proteins might function as a complex in vivo: Hir2p required both Hir1p and another Hir protein, Hir3p, to repress transcription when it was tethered to an HTA1-lacZ reporter gene, and Hir1p and Hir2p could be coimmunoprecipitated from yeast cell extracts. Tethered Hir1p also directed the periodic transcription of the HTA1 gene and repressed HTA1 transcription in response to two cell cycle regulatory signals. Thus, it represents the first example of a transcriptional corepressor with a direct role in cell cycle-regulated transcription.
PMCID: PMC231779  PMID: 9001207
6.  Characterization of HIR1 and HIR2, two genes required for regulation of histone gene transcription in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1993;13(1):28-38.
The products of the HIR1 and HIR2 genes have been defined genetically as repressors of histone gene transcription in S. cerevisiae. A mutation in either gene affects cell cycle regulation of three of the four histone gene loci; transcription of these loci occurs throughout the cell cycle and is no longer repressed in response to the inhibition of DNA replication. The same mutations also eliminate autogenous regulation of the HTA1-HTB1 locus by histones H2A and H2B. The HIR1 and HIR2 genes have been isolated, and their roles in the transcriptional regulation of the HTA1-HTB1 locus have been characterized. Neither gene encodes an essential protein, and null alleles derepress HTA1-HTB1 transcription. Both HIR genes are expressed constitutively under conditions that lead to repression or derepression of the HTA1 gene, and neither gene regulates the expression of the other. The sequence of the HIR1 gene predicts an 88-kDa protein with three repeats of a motif found in the G beta subunit of retinal transducin and in a yeast transcriptional repressor, Tup1. The sequence of the HIR2 gene predicts a protein of 98 kDa. Both gene products contain nuclear targeting signals, and the Hir2 protein is localized in the nucleus.
PMCID: PMC358881  PMID: 8417331
7.  Hepatic Irradiation Augments Engraftment Of Donor Cells Following Hepatocyte Transplantation 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2009;49(1):258-267.
Engraftment of donor hepatocytes is a critical step that determines the success of hepatocyte transplantation. Rapid and efficient integration of donor cells would enable prompt liver repopulation of these cells in response to selective proliferative stimuli offered by a preparative regimen. We have earlier demonstrated that hepatic irradiation (HIR) in combination with a variety of hepatotrophic growth signals, ie., partial hepatectomy and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) can be used as a preparative regimen for liver repopulation of transplanted hepatocytes. In this study, we investigated the effects of HIR on engraftment of transplanted DPPIV positive hepatocytes in congeneic DPPIV-deficient rats. HIR-induced apoptosis of hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells (SEC) within six hours of HIR, resulted in dehiscence of the SEC lining in 24hrs. Although there was no change of the number of Kupffer cells after HIR, colloidal carbon clearance decreased 24 hours post HIR, indicating a suppression of phagocytic function. DPPIV+ donor cells were transplanted 24h after HIR (0–50 Gy). There was a HIR dose-dependent increase in the donor hepatocyte mass engrafted in the liver parenchyma. The number of viable transplanted hepatocytes present in hepatic sinusoids or integrated in the parenchyma was greater in the HIR-treated group at 3 and 7dys after transplantation compared with the sham controls. Finally, we validated these rodent studies in cynomologous monkeys, demonstrating a single 10Gy dose of HIR was sufficient to enhance engraftment of donor porcine hepatocytes. This data indicates that transient disruption of the SEC barrier and inhibition of the phagocytic function of Kupffer cells by HIR enhances hepatocyte engraftment and the integrated donor cell mass. Thus, preparative HIR could be potentially useful to augment hepatocyte transplantation.
PMCID: PMC3416044  PMID: 19003915
Hepatocyte transplantation; Hepatic irradiation; Hepatocyte engraftment
8.  Role of Insulin Receptor and Balance in Insulin Receptor Isoforms A and B in Regulation of Apoptosis in Simian Virus 40-immortalized Neonatal Hepatocytes 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2008;19(3):1185-1198.
We have investigated the unique role of the insulin receptor (IR) and the balance of its isoforms A and B in the regulation of apoptosis in simian virus 40 (SV40)-immortalized neonatal hepatocytes. Immortalized hepatocytes lacking (HIR KO) or expressing the entire IR (HIR LoxP), and cells expressing either IRA (HIR RecA) or IRB (HIR RecB) have been generated. IR deficiency in hepatocytes increases sensitivity to the withdrawal of growth factors, because these cells display an increase in reactive oxygen species, a decrease in Bcl-xL, a rapid accumulation of nuclear Foxo1, and up-regulation of Bim. These events resulted in acceleration of caspase-3 activation, DNA laddering, and cell death. The single expression of either IRA or IRB produced a stronger apoptotic phenotype. In these cells, protein complexes containing IRA or IRB and Fas/Fas-associating protein with death domain activated caspase-8, and, ultimately, caspase-3. In hepatocytes expressing IRA, Bid cleavage and cytochrome C release were increased whereas direct activation of caspase-3 by caspase-8 and a more rapid apoptotic process occurred in hepatocytes expressing IRB. Conversely, coexpression of IRA and IRB in IR-deficient hepatocytes rescued from apoptosis. Our results suggest that balance alteration of IRA and IRB may serve as a ligand-independent apoptotic trigger in hepatocytes, which may regulate liver development.
PMCID: PMC2262979  PMID: 18172021
9.  Nucleosome Assembly Factors CAF-1 and HIR Modulate Epigenetic Switching Frequencies in an H3K56 Acetylation-Associated Manner in Candida albicans 
Eukaryotic Cell  2013;12(4):591-603.
CAF-1 and HIR are highly conserved histone chaperone protein complexes that function in the assembly of nucleosomes onto chromatin. CAF-1 is characterized as having replication-coupled nucleosome activity, whereas the HIR complex can assemble nucleosomes independent of replication. Histone H3K56 acetylation, controlled by the acetyltransferase Rtt109 and deacetylase Hst3, also plays a significant role in nucleosome assembly. In this study, we generated a set of deletion mutants to genetically characterize pathway-specific and overlapping functions of CAF-1 and HIR in C. albicans. Their roles in epigenetic maintenance of cell type were examined by using the white-opaque switching system in C. albicans. We show that CAF-1 and HIR play conserved roles in UV radiation recovery, repression of histone gene expression, correct chromosome segregation, and stress responses. Unique to C. albicans, the cac2Δ/Δ mutant shows increased sensitivity to the Hst3 inhibitor nicotinamide, while the rtt109Δ/Δ cac2Δ/Δ and hir1Δ/Δ cac2Δ/Δ mutants are resistant to nicotinamide. CAF-1 plays a major role in maintaining cell types, as the cac2Δ/Δ mutant exhibited increased switching frequencies in both directions and switched at a high frequency to opaque in response to nicotinamide. Like the rtt109Δ/Δ mutant, the hir1Δ/Δ cac2Δ/Δ double mutant is defective in maintaining the opaque cell fate and blocks nicotinamide-induced opaque formation, and the defects are suppressed by ectopic expression of the master white-opaque regulator Wor1. Our data suggest an overlapping function of CAF-1 and HIR in epigenetic regulation of cell fate determination in an H3K56 acetylation-associated manner.
PMCID: PMC3623449  PMID: 23417560
10.  Cloning and Heterologous Production of Hiracin JM79, a Sec-Dependent Bacteriocin Produced by Enterococcus hirae DCH5, in Lactic Acid Bacteria and Pichia pastoris▿  
Hiracin JM79 (HirJM79), a Sec-dependent bacteriocin produced by Enterococcus hirae DCH5, was cloned and produced in Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus sakei, Enterococcus faecium, Enterococcus faecalis, and Pichia pastoris. For heterologous production of HirJM79 in lactic acid bacteria (LAB), the HirJM79 structural gene (hirJM79), with or without the HirJM79 immunity gene (hiriJM79), was cloned into the plasmid pMG36c under the control of the constitutive promoter P32 and into the plasmid pNZ8048 under the control of the inducible PNisA promoter. For the production of HirJM79 in P. pastoris, the gene encoding the mature HirJM79 protein was cloned into the pPICZαA expression vector. The recombinant plasmids permitted the production of biologically active HirJM79 in the supernatants of L. lactis IL1403, L. lactis NZ9000, L. sakei Lb790, E. faecalis JH2-2, and P. pastoris X-33, the coproduction of HirJM79 and nisin A in L. lactis DPC5598, and the coproduction of HirJM79 and enterocin P in E. faecium L50/14-2. All recombinant LAB produced larger quantities of HirJM79 than E. hirae DCH5, although the antimicrobial activities of most transformants were lower than that predicted from their production of HirJM79. The synthesis, processing, and secretion of HirJM79 proceed efficiently in recombinant LAB strains and P. pastoris.
PMCID: PMC2293139  PMID: 18310424
11.  DCD – a novel plant specific domain in proteins involved in development and programmed cell death 
BMC Bioinformatics  2005;6:169.
Recognition of microbial pathogens by plants triggers the hypersensitive reaction, a common form of programmed cell death in plants. These dying cells generate signals that activate the plant immune system and alarm the neighboring cells as well as the whole plant to activate defense responses to limit the spread of the pathogen. The molecular mechanisms behind the hypersensitive reaction are largely unknown except for the recognition process of pathogens. We delineate the NRP-gene in soybean, which is specifically induced during this programmed cell death and contains a novel protein domain, which is commonly found in different plant proteins.
The sequence analysis of the protein, encoded by the NRP-gene from soybean, led to the identification of a novel domain, which we named DCD, because it is found in plant proteins involved in development and cell death. The domain is shared by several proteins in the Arabidopsis and the rice genomes, which otherwise show a different protein architecture. Biological studies indicate a role of these proteins in phytohormone response, embryo development and programmed cell by pathogens or ozone.
It is tempting to speculate, that the DCD domain mediates signaling in plant development and programmed cell death and could thus be used to identify interacting proteins to gain further molecular insights into these processes.
PMCID: PMC1182354  PMID: 16008837
12.  Pseudomonas syringae Lytic Transglycosylases Coregulated with the Type III Secretion System Contribute to the Translocation of Effector Proteins into Plant Cells▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2007;189(22):8277-8289.
Pseudomonas syringae translocates virulence effector proteins into plant cells via a type III secretion system (T3SS) encoded by hrp (for hypersensitive response and pathogenicity) genes. Three genes coregulated with the Hrp T3SS system in P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000 have predicted lytic transglycosylase domains: PSPTO1378 (here designated hrpH), PSPTO2678 (hopP1), and PSPTO852 (hopAJ1). hrpH is located between hrpR and avrE1 in the Hrp pathogenicity island and is carried in the functional cluster of P. syringae pv. syringae 61 hrp genes cloned in cosmid pHIR11. Strong expression of DC3000 hrpH in Escherichia coli inhibits bacterial growth unless the predicted catalytic glutamate at position 148 is mutated. Translocation tests involving C-terminal fusions with a Cya (Bordetella pertussis adenylate cyclase) reporter indicate that HrpH and HopP1, but not HopAJ1, are T3SS substrates. Pseudomonas fluorescens carrying a pHIR11 derivative lacking hrpH is poorly able to translocate effector HopA1, and this deficiency can be restored by HopP1 and HopAJ1, but not by HrpH(E148A) or HrpH1-241. DC3000 mutants lacking hrpH or hrpH, hopP1, and hopAJ1 combined are variously reduced in effector translocation, elicitation of the hypersensitive response, and virulence. However, the mutants are not reduced in secretion of T3SS substrates in culture. When produced in wild-type DC3000, the HrpH(E148A) and HrpH1-241 variants have a dominant-negative effect on the ability of DC3000 to elicit the hypersensitive response in nonhost tobacco and to grow and cause disease in host tomato. The three Hrp-associated lytic transglycosylases in DC3000 appear to have overlapping functions in contributing to T3SS functions during infection.
PMCID: PMC2168667  PMID: 17827286
13.  Human CABIN1 Is a Functional Member of the Human HIRA/UBN1/ASF1a Histone H3.3 Chaperone Complex▿ 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2011;31(19):4107-4118.
The mammalian HIRA/UBN1/ASF1a complex is a histone chaperone complex that is conserved from yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) to humans. This complex preferentially deposits the histone variant H3.3 into chromatin in a DNA replication-independent manner and is implicated in diverse chromatin regulatory events from gene activation to heterochromatinization. In yeast, the orthologous complex consists of three Hir proteins (Hir1p, Hir2p, and Hir3p), Hpc2p, and Asf1p. Yeast Hir3p has weak homology to CABIN1, a fourth member of the human complex, suggesting that Hir3p and CABIN1 may be orthologs. Here we show that HIRA and CABIN1 interact at ectopic and endogenous levels of expression in cells, and we isolate the quaternary HIRA/UBN1/CABIN1/ASF1a (HUCA) complex, assembled from recombinant proteins. Mutational analyses support the view that HIRA acts as a scaffold to bring together UBN1, ASF1a, and CABIN1 into a quaternary complex. We show that, like HIRA, UBN1, and ASF1a, CABIN1 is involved in heterochromatinization of the genome of senescent human cells. Moreover, in proliferating cells, HIRA and CABIN1 regulate overlapping sets of genes, and these genes are enriched in the histone variant H3.3. In sum, these data demonstrate that CABIN1 is a functional member of the human HUCA complex and so is the likely ortholog of yeast Hir3p.
PMCID: PMC3187368  PMID: 21807893
14.  The Schizosaccharomyces pombe HIRA-Like Protein Hip1 Is Required for the Periodic Expression of Histone Genes and Contributes to the Function of Complex Centromeres 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2004;24(10):4309-4320.
HIRA-like (Hir) proteins are evolutionarily conserved and are implicated in the assembly of repressive chromatin. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Hir proteins contribute to the function of centromeres. However, S. cerevisiae has point centromeres that are structurally different from the complex centromeres of metazoans. In contrast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe has complex centromeres whose domain structure is conserved with that of human centromeres. Therefore, we examined the functions of the fission yeast Hir proteins Slm9 and the previously uncharacterised protein Hip1. Deletion of hip1+ resulted in phenotypes that were similar to those described previously for slm9Δ cells: a cell cycle delay, synthetic lethality with cdc25-22, and poor recovery from nitrogen starvation. However, while it has previously been shown that Slm9 is not required for the periodic expression of histone H2A, we found that loss of Hip1 led to derepression of core histone genes expression outside of S phase. Importantly, we found that deletion of either hip1+ or slm9+ resulted in increased rates of chromosome loss, increased sensitivity to spindle damage, and reduced transcriptional silencing in the outer centromeric repeats. Thus, S. pombe Hir proteins contribute to pericentromeric heterochromatin, and our data thus suggest that Hir proteins may be required for the function of metazoan centromeres.
PMCID: PMC400474  PMID: 15121850
15.  The Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae 61 hrpH product, an envelope protein required for elicitation of the hypersensitive response in plants. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1992;174(21):6878-6885.
Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae 61 contains a 25-kb cluster of hrp genes that are required for elicitation of the hypersensitive response (HR) in tobacco. TnphoA mutagenesis of cosmid pHIR11, which contains the hrp cluster, revealed two genes encoding exported or inner-membrane-spanning proteins (H.-C. Huang, S. W. Hutcheson, and A. Collmer, Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 4:469-476, 1991). The gene in complementation group X, designated hrpH, was subcloned on a 3.1-kb SalI fragment into pCPP30, a broad-host-range, mobilizable vector. The subclone restored the ability of hrpH mutant P. syringae pv. syringae 61-2089 to elicit the HR in tobacco. DNA sequence analysis of the 3.1-kb SalI fragment revealed a single open reading frame encoding an 81,956-Da preprotein with a typical amino-terminal signal peptide and no likely inner-membrane-spanning hydrophobic regions. hrpH was expressed in the presence of [35S]methionine by using the T7 RNA polymerase-promoter system and vector pT7-3 in Escherichia coli and was shown to encode a protein with an apparent molecular weight of 83,000 on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels. The HrpH protein in E. coli was located in the membrane fraction and was absent from the periplasm and cytoplasm. The HrpH protein possessed similarity with several outer membrane proteins that are known to be involved in protein or phage secretion, including the Klebsiella oxytoca PulD protein, the Yersinia enterocolitica YscC protein, and the pIV protein of filamentous coliphages. All of these proteins possess a possible secretion motif, GG(X)12VP(L/F)LXXIPXIGXL(F/L), near the carboxyl terminus, and they lack a carboxyl-terminal phenylalanine, in contrast to other outer membrane proteins with no known secretion function. These results suggest that the P. syringae pv. syringae HrpH protein is involved in the secretion of a proteinaceous HR elicitor.
PMCID: PMC207366  PMID: 1400238
16.  Chromatin assembly factor I and Hir proteins contribute to building functional kinetochores in S. cerevisiae 
Genes & development  2002;16(1):85-100.
Budding yeast centromeres are comprised of ~125-bp DNA sequences that direct formation of the kinetochore, a specialized chromatin structure that mediates spindle attachment to chromosomes. We report here a novel role for the histone deposition complex chromatin assembly factor I (CAF-I) in building centromeric chromatin. The contribution of CAF-I to kinetochore function overlaps that of the Hir proteins, which have also been implicated in nucleosome formation and heterochromatic gene silencing. cacΔ hirΔ double mutant cells lacking both CAF-I and Hir proteins are delayed in anaphase entry in a spindle assembly checkpoint-dependent manner. Further, cacΔ and hirΔ deletions together cause increased rates of chromosome missegregation, genetic synergies with mutations in kinetochore protein genes, and alterations in centromeric chromatin structure. Finally, CAF-I subunits and Hir1 are enriched at centromeres, indicating that these proteins make a direct contribution to centromeric chromatin structures.
PMCID: PMC155315  PMID: 11782447
Centromere; kinetochore; histone; yeast; checkpoint; chromatin
17.  Hir Proteins Are Required for Position-Dependent Gene Silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae in the Absence of Chromatin Assembly Factor I 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1998;18(8):4793-4806.
Chromatin assembly factor I (CAF-I) is a three-subunit histone-binding complex conserved from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to humans. Yeast cells lacking CAF-I (cacΔ mutants) have defects in heterochromatic gene silencing. In this study, we showed that deletion of HIR genes, which regulate histone gene expression, synergistically reduced gene silencing at telomeres and at the HM loci in cacΔ mutants, although hirΔ mutants had no silencing defects when CAF-I was intact. Therefore, Hir proteins are required for an alternative silencing pathway that becomes important in the absence of CAF-I. Because Hir proteins regulate expression of histone genes, we tested the effects of histone gene deletion and overexpression on telomeric silencing and found that alterations in histone H3 and H4 levels or in core histone stoichiometry reduced silencing in cacΔ mutants but not in wild-type cells. We therefore propose that Hir proteins contribute to silencing indirectly via regulation of histone synthesis. However, deletion of combinations of CAC and HIR genes also affected the growth rate and in some cases caused partial temperature sensitivity, suggesting that global aspects of chromosome function may be affected by the loss of members of both gene families.
PMCID: PMC109065  PMID: 9671489
18.  The Saccharomyces cerevisiae Histone Chaperone Rtt106 Mediates the Cell Cycle Recruitment of SWI/SNF and RSC to the HIR-Dependent Histone Genes 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e21113.
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, three out of the four histone gene pairs (HTA1-HTB1, HHT1-HHF1, and HHT2-HHF2) are regulated by the HIR co-repressor complex. The histone chaperone Rtt106 has recently been shown to be present at these histone gene loci throughout the cell cycle in a HIR- and Asf1-dependent manner and involved in their transcriptional repression. The SWI/SNF and RSC chromatin remodeling complexes are both recruited to the HIR-dependent histone genes; SWI/SNF is required for their activation in S phase, whereas RSC is implicated in their repression outside of S phase. Even though their presence at the histone genes is dependent on the HIR complex, their specific recruitment has not been well characterized. In this study we focused on characterizing the role played by the histone chaperone Rtt106 in the cell cycle-dependent recruitment of SWI/SNF and RSC complexes to the histone genes.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Using GST pull-down and co-immunoprecipitation assays, we showed that Rtt106 physically interacts with both the SWI/SNF and RSC complexes in vitro and in vivo. We then investigated the function of this interaction with respect to the recruitment of these complexes to HIR-dependent histone genes. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation assays (ChIP), we found that Rtt106 is important for the recruitment of both SWI/SNF and RSC complexes to the HIR-dependent histone genes. Furthermore, using synchronized cell cultures, we showed by ChIP assays that the Rtt106-dependent SWI/SNF recruitment to these histone gene loci is cell cycle regulated and restricted to late G1 phase just before the peak of histone gene expression in S phase.
Overall, these data strongly suggest that the interaction between the histone chaperone Rtt106 and both the SWI/SNF and RSC chromatin remodeling complexes is important for the cell cycle regulated recruitment of these two complexes to the HIR-dependent histone genes.
PMCID: PMC3115976  PMID: 21698254
19.  The RNase Activity of Rice Probenazole-Induced Protein1 (PBZ1) Plays a Key Role in Cell Death in Plants 
Molecules and Cells  2011;31(1):25-31.
Cell death is an important process of plant responses to development and biotic/abiotic stresses. In rice plants, PBZ1, a PR10 family protein, has been shown to accumulate in tissues undergoing cell death. However, the function of PBZ1 in cell death remains yet to be demonstrated. Here, we report that exogenous recombinant PBZ1 protein induces cell death in rice suspension-cultured cells (SCCs) and also in leaves of Nicotiana tabacum in a dosedependent manner. This finding was confirmed in vivo in transgenic Arabidopsis lines harboring the PBZ1 gene under the control of a dexamethasone (DEX)-inducible promoter. The DEX-treated leaves of transgenic Arabidopsis induced expression of PBZ1 at transcript and protein levels and showed cell death morphology. TUNEL analysis detected DNA fragmentation, a hallmark of programmed cell death, in rice SCCs treated with the PBZ1 protein. Recombinant PBZ1 protein also exhibited RNase activity and exhibited internalization inside BY-2 cells. Taken together, PBZ1 induces cell death not only in rice, but also in tobacco and Arabidopsis via its RNase activity inside the cell. PBZ1 could be used as a marker to understand the mechanism by which PBZ1 confers the cell death morphology in rice and other model plants.
PMCID: PMC3906867  PMID: 21110127
dexamethasone; PBZ1; PR-10 protein family; programmed cell death; RNase activity; TUNEL
20.  Insulin-Activated Protein Kinase Cβ Bypasses Ras and Stimulates Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Activity and Cell Proliferation in Muscle Cells 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2000;20(17):6323-6333.
In L6 muscle cells expressing wild-type human insulin receptors (L6hIR), insulin induced protein kinase Cα (PKCα) and β activities. The expression of kinase-deficient IR mutants abolished insulin stimulation of these PKC isoforms, indicating that receptor kinase is necessary for PKC activation by insulin. In L6hIR cells, inhibition of insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1) expression caused a 90% decrease in insulin-induced PKCα and -β activation and blocked insulin stimulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and DNA synthesis. Blocking PKCβ with either antisense oligonucleotide or the specific inhibitor LY379196 decreased the effects of insulin on MAPK activity and DNA synthesis by >80% but did not affect epidermal growth factor (EGF)- and serum-stimulated mitogenesis. In contrast, blocking c-Ras with lovastatin or the use of the L61,S186 dominant negative Ras mutant inhibited insulin-stimulated MAPK activity and DNA synthesis by only about 30% but completely blocked the effect of EGF. PKCβ block did not affect Ras activity but almost completely inhibited insulin-induced Raf kinase activation and coprecipitation with PKCβ. Finally, blocking PKCα expression by antisense oligonucleotide constitutively increased MAPK activity and DNA synthesis, with little effect on their insulin sensitivity. We make the following conclusions. (i) The tyrosine kinase activity of the IR is necessary for insulin activation of PKCα and -β. (ii) IRS-1 phosphorylation is necessary for insulin activation of these PKCs in the L6 cells. (iii) In these cells, PKCβ plays a unique Ras-independent role in mediating insulin but not EGF or other growth factor mitogenic signals.
PMCID: PMC86107  PMID: 10938109
21.  A Case of Occupational Rhinitis Caused by Rice Powder in the Grain Industry 
Rice is the major staple food in a large part of the world, especially in Asia. Hypersensitivity reactions to rice are rare. Moreover, cases of occupational allergies induced by inhalation of rice powder are uncommon. We report a 31-year-old male with work-related rhinitis and conjunctivitis symptoms caused by occupational exposure to rice powder in the grain industry. He showed positive responses to rice extracts on a skin prick test, and a high level of serum specific IgE to rice was detected by ELISA. Occupational rhinitis was confirmed by a nasal provocation test with rice extracts. An IgE ELISA inhibition test showed cross-creativity between rice and various grass pollen extracts. These findings suggest that the inhalation of rice powder can induce IgE-mediated occupational rhino-conjunctivitis, which may be derived from cross-reactivity to major grass pollens.
PMCID: PMC2846738  PMID: 20358029
Occupational rhinitis; rice; grass pollen; cross-reactivity; immediate hypersensitivity
22.  Light-Regulated Nuclear Import and Degradation of Arabidopsis Phytochrome-A N-Terminal Fragments 
Plant and Cell Physiology  2010;52(2):361-372.
The photoreceptor phytochrome-A (phyA) regulates germination and seedling establishment by mediating very low fluence (VLFR) and far-red high irradiance (FR-HIR) responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. In darkness, phyA homodimers exist in the biologically inactive Pr form and are localized in the cytoplasm. Light induces formation of the biologically active Pfr form and subsequent rapid nuclear import. PhyA Pfr, in contrast to the Pr form, is labile and has a half-life of ∼30 min. We produced transgenic plants in a phyA-201 null background that express the PHYA–yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) or the PHYA686–YFP–dimerization domain (DD) and PHYA686–YFP–DD–nuclear localization signal (NLS) or PHYA686–YFP–DD–nuclear exclusion signal (NES) fusion proteins. The PHYA686–YFP fusion proteins contained the N-terminal domain of phyA (686 amino acid residues), a short DD and the YFP. Here we report that (i) PHYA686–YFP–DD fusion protein is imported into the nucleus in a light-dependent fashion; (ii) neither of the PHYA686 fusion proteins is functional in FR-HIR and nuclear VLFR; and (iii) the phyA-dependent, blue light-induced inhibition of hypocotyl growth is mediated by the PHYA686–YFP–DD–NES but not by the PHYA686–YFP–DD–NLS and PHYA686–YFP–DD fusion proteins. We demonstrate that (i) light induces degradation of all PHYA N-terminal-containing fusion proteins and (ii) these N-terminal domain-containing fusion proteins including the constitutively nuclear PHYA686–YFP–DD–NLS and predominantly cytoplasmic PHYA686–YFP–DD–NES degrade at comparable rates but markedly more slowly than PHYA–YFP, whereas (iii) light-induced degradation of the native phyA is faster compared with PHYA–YFP.
PMCID: PMC3037077  PMID: 21169346
High irradiation response; Light-induced degradation; Nuclear import; Phytochrome-A; Signaling; Very low fluence response
23.  Separation-of-function mutation in HPC2, a member of the HIR complex in S. cerevisiae, results in derepression of the histone genes but does not confer cryptic TATA phenotypes 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2011;1809(10):557-566.
The HIR complex, which is comprised of the four proteins Hir1, Hir2, Hir3 and Hpc2, was first characterized as a repressor of three of the four histone gene loci in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Using a bioinformatical approach, previous studies have identified a region of Hpc2 that is conserved in Schizosaccharomyces pombe and humans. Using a similar approach, we identified two additional domains, CDI and CDII, of the Hpc2 protein that are conserved amongst yeast species related to S. cerevisiae. We showed that the N terminal CDI domain (spanning amino acids 63–79) is dispensable for HIR complex assembly, but plays an essential role in the repression of the histone genes by recruiting the HIR complex to the HIR-dependent histone gene loci. The second conserved domain, CDII (spanning amino acids 452–480), is required for the stability of the Hpc2 protein itself as well as for the assembly of the HIR complex. In addition, we report a novel separation-of-function mutation within CDI of Hpc2, which causes derepression of the histone genes but does not confer other reported hir/hpc-phenotypes (such as Spt phenotypes, heterochromatin silencing defects and repression of cryptic promoters). This is the first direct demonstration that a separation-of-function mutation exists within the HIR complex.
PMCID: PMC3186883  PMID: 21782987
histone gene; HIR complex; HPC2; transcription; chromatin; yeast
24.  Senegenin Attenuates Hepatic Ischemia-Reperfusion Induced Cognitive Dysfunction by Increasing Hippocampal NR2B Expression in Rats 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e45575.
The root of Polygala tenuifolia, a traditional Chinese medicine, has been used to improve memory and intelligence, while the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of senegenin, an component of Polygala tenuifolia root extracts, on cognitive dysfunction induced by hepatic ischemia-reperfusion.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Initially, we constructed a rat model of hepatic ischemia-reperfusion (HIR) and found that the memory retention ability of rats in the step-down and Y maze test was impaired after HIR, paralleled by a decrease of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor NR2B subunit mRNA and protein expressions in hippocampus. Furthermore, we found that administration of senegenin by gavage attenuated HIR-induced cognitive impairment in a dose and time dependent manner, and its mechanisms might partly due to the increasing expression of NR2B in rat hippocampus.
Cognitive dysfunction induced by HIR is associated with reduction of NR2B expression. Senegenin plays a neuroprotective role in HIR via increasing NR2B expression in rat hippocampus. These findings suggest that senegenin might be a potential agent for prevention and treatment of postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) or other neurodegenerative diseases.
PMCID: PMC3448627  PMID: 23029109
25.  Role of OsHSP90 and IREN, Ca2+ dependent nuclease, in plant hypersensitive cell death induced by transcription factor OsNAC4 
Plant Signaling & Behavior  2009;4(8):740-742.
The hypersensitive response (HR) is a form of programmed cell death (PCD) commonly associated with the immune response in plants. HR cell death is often characterized by DNA fragmentation, loss of plasma membrane integrity, protein degradation and typical morphological changes such as plasma membrane shrinkage and nuclear condensation. Initiation of HR cell death requires de novo protein synthesis, suggesting that HR cell death induction involves a transcriptional network regulated by a key factor. We recently identified the OsNAC4 gene, which encodes a plant-specific transcription factor that exhibited rapid but transient transcriptional activation during the early stages of HR cell death. Overexpression of OsNAC4 in rice plants induced cell death accompanied by all characteristics of HR cell death: DNA fragmentation, loss of plasma membrane integrity, and protein degradation. In OsNAC4 RNAi knock-down lines exposed to an avirulent bacterial strain, the cellular response was characterized by a marked decrease in HR cell death compared to wild-type rice cells. Gene expression profiling, which compared rice cells and OsNAC4 knock-down transformants using a rice cDNA microarray, demonstrated that OsNAC4 controls the transcription of at least 139 genes including OsHSP90, involved in loss of plasma membrane integrity, and IREN, which encodes novel plant nuclease involved in cleavage of nuclear DNA. Here we report that although OsNAC4 overexpression caused rapid protein degradation during HR cell death, neither IREN nor OsHSP90 were involved. Thus, three important processes that accompany HR cell death are regulated by independent signaling pathways that are collectively induced by OsNAC4.
PMCID: PMC2801386  PMID: 19820348
programmed cell death; plant immune responses; hypersensitive cell death; cultured rice cells; transcriptional network

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