In vivo electroporation has been extensively used as an effective means of DNA transfer for analyzing gene function as well as gene regulation in developmental systems. In any of these two types of studies, the correct spatial and temporal expression of the electroporated transgene can only be accurately assessed by in situ hybridization.
While analyzing transgene expression in electroporated chicken embryos, we verified that transgene riboprobes cross-hybridized with the exogenous plasmid DNA when embryos were processed by conventional whole-mount in situ hybridization (WISH).
Here we describe a modification to the WISH protocol that is essential to prevent DNA cross-hybridization and to specifically detect transgene mRNA transcripts in electroporated embryos. Our optimized WISH procedure can be applied not only to electroporated chick embryos but also to other embryos or adult tissues that have been transfected with large amounts of reporter- or expression construct DNA.
A novel, unbiased amplification protocol has been developed that permits labeling of entire transcripts. Also, hybridization conditions, probe characteristics, and analysis algorithms were optimized for detection of exons, exon-intron edges, and exon junctions.
Microarrays offer a high-resolution means for monitoring pre-mRNA splicing on a genomic scale. We have developed a novel, unbiased amplification protocol that permits labeling of entire transcripts. Also, hybridization conditions, probe characteristics, and analysis algorithms were optimized for detection of exons, exon-intron edges, and exon junctions. These optimized protocols can be used to detect small variations and isoform mixtures, map the tissue specificity of known human alternative isoforms, and provide a robust, scalable platform for high-throughput discovery of alternative splicing.
RNA-RNA hybridization was performed to assess the extent of genetic relatedness among human rotaviruses isolated from children with gastroenteritis and from asymptomatic newborn infants. 32P-labeled single-stranded RNAs produced by in vitro transcription from viral cores of the different strains tested were used as probes in two different hybridization assays: undenatured genomic RNAs were resolved by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, denatured in situ, electrophoretically transferred to diazobenzyloxymethyl-paper (Northern blots), and then hybridized to the probes under two different conditions of stringency; and denatured genomic double-stranded RNAs were hybridized to the probes in solution and the hybrids which formed were identified by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. When analyzed by Northern blot hybridization at a low level of stringency, all genes from the strains tested cross-hybridized, providing evidence for some sequence homology in each of the corresponding genes. However, when hybridization stringency was increased, a difference in gene 4 sequence was detected between strains recovered from asymptomatic newborn infants ("nursery strains") and strains recovered from infants and young children with diarrhea. Although the nursery strains exhibited serotypic diversity (i.e., each of the four strains tested belonged to a different serotype), the fourth gene appeared to be highly conserved. Similarly, each of the virulent strains tested belonged to a different serotype; nonetheless, there was significant conservation of sequence among the fourth genes of three of these viruses. Significantly, the conserved fourth genes of the nursery strains were distinct from the fourth gene of each of the virulent viruses. These results were confirmed and extended during experiments in which the RNA-RNA hybridization was carried out in solution and the resulting hybrids were analyzed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Under these conditions, the fourth genes of the nursery strains were closely related to each other but not to the fourth genes of the virulent viruses. Full-length hybrids did not form between the fourth genes from the nursery strains and the corresponding genes from the strains recovered from symptomatic infants and young children.
We have developed a strategy for the detection, localization and sequence determination of point mutations in the mRNA coding for the alpha 1(I) and alpha 2(I) chains of type I collagen. Point mutations are detected by RNase A cleavage of mismatches in RNA/RNA hybrids. The mRNAs coding for the fibrillar collagens present special problems for hybrid analysis because of their large size and their GC-rich and repetitive sequences. We have generated a series of overlapping antisense riboprobes covering the entire pro alpha 1(I) and pro alpha 2(I) mRNAs. Uniformly labelled normal antisense riboprobes are hybridized with the total fibroblast RNA of patients with possible mutations in type I collagen. Mismatches in the resulting RNA/RNA hybrids are cleaved with RNase A and the labelled riboprobe cleavage products are examined electrophoretically. The sensitivity and specificity of the system were demonstrated by the detection and localization of a known point mutation in the codon for alpha 1(I) glycine 988 (1). DNA for sequencing the mutations localized by hybrid analysis may be obtained by either (1) generation of a fibroblast cDNA library and isolation of both alleles by plaque screening, or (2) a more rapid method using first strand cDNA synthesis from poly (A+)-mRNA, followed by PCR amplification of the mutation-containing region of the DNA/RNA hybrid. This strategy for detection and isolation has wide application not only for mutations causing connective tissue disorders, but also for mutations in other large and repetitive genes. We have used this strategy for the detection and sequencing of a point mutation in alpha 2(I) mRNA associated with a case of lethal osteogenesis imperfecta. The G----A point mutation in the codon for alpha 2(I) glycine residue 805 results in the substitution of an aspartic acid at this position and is consistent with the proband's collagen protein data.
We isolated the guinea pig preproenkephalin gene from a genomic library by hybridization to a rat cDNA probe. The entire nucleotide sequence of the gene was determined. Genomic Southern blot hybridization demonstrated that the gene exists in a single copy within the genome. On the basis of RNase protection transcript mapping and homology comparisons with known preproenkephalin sequences from other species and assuming a poly(A) tail length of 100 residues, we predicted an mRNA transcript of approximately 1,400 nucleotides encoded by three exons. Northern (RNA) blot analysis of total RNA from several brain regions showed high levels of preproenkephalin mRNA in the caudate putamen, nucleus accumbens, and hypothalamus, with detectable levels in the amygdala, ventral tegmental area, and central gray and also in the pituitary. Unexpectedly, in several brain regions, the mRNA appeared not only in the 1,400-nucleotide length but also in a shorter length of approximately 1,130 bases. Significant amounts of the shorter mRNA were found in the caudate putamen, nucleus accumbens, and amygdala. The longer, but not the shorter, transcripts from the caudate putamen were found to be polyadenylated, but the difference in size was not due solely to the presence of poly(A) tails. Northern gel analysis of total RNA from the caudate putamen with probes from each exon, together with RNase protection mapping of the 3' end of the mRNA demonstrated that the 1,400-base preproenkephalin mRNA transcripts are cleaved in a site-specific manner in some brain regions, yielding a 1,130-base transcript and a 165-base polyadenylated fragment derived from the terminal end of the 3' untranslated region of the mRNA. This cleavage may serve as a preliminary step in RNA degradation and provide a mechanism for control of preproenkephalin mRNA abundance through selective degradation.
We have characterized the expression of MYCL2, an intronless X-linked gene related to MYCL1. RNase protection analysis of a panel of human normal and tumor tissues has revealed that MYCL2 is expressed almost exclusively in human adult normal testis; much lower levels of transcript were detected in one human lung adenocarcinoma. No MYCL2 transcript was found in human testis RNA obtained from second trimester fetuses. This observation suggests a germ cell rather than somatic cell origin of the transcript and possible developmental regulation of MYCL2. Northern blot analysis of poly(A)+ RNA from adult human normal testis with an antisense riboprobe revealed a transcript of approximately 4.8-kb, which is in agreement with the size predicted from the MYCL2 nucleotide sequence. Antisense transcripts were found spanning regions of MYCL2 corresponding to all three exons of MYCL1. No sizable open reading frame was seen for the MYCL2 antisense transcripts suggesting that they may represent either regulatory sequences or an intron of a gene encoded by the complementary strand. RNase protection assays and the 5' RACE protocol (Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends) were used to address the localization of the transcription start site of the MYCL2 sense transcript and different putative promoters and transcription regulatory elements have been identified.
pSN22 is an 11-kb multicopy plasmid from Streptomyces nigrifaciens which is being studied in Streptomyces lividans. A segment of about 7 kb of pSN22 contains five genes involved in conjugation. Three of them, traA, traB, and traR, are essential for plasmid transfer and for the mobilization of chromosomal markers (fertility), while the remaining two genes, spdA and spdB, merely enhance the efficiency of plasmid transfer, resulting in the formation of larger pocks. In vitro promoter-probing experiments identified a 550-bp BglII-SmaI DNA fragment with promoter activity in both orientations; Northern (RNA blot) hybridization identified corresponding divergent transcripts of 1 and 5.2 kb for traR and the traA-traB-spdB operon, respectively. The traR gene product repressed its own transcription and also the transcription of the traA-traB-spdB operon. Plasmids containing a functional traB gene could not "survive" without traR being present in the same cell either in cis or in trans, presumably because unregulated expression of traB is lethal to the host. Plasmids with a functional traA gene but without traR had a low transformation efficiency and inhibited the growth of host cells.
Liver failure from chronic hepatitis C is the leading indication for liver transplantation in the United States. However, the pathogenesis of liver injury resulting from chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is not well understood. To examine the relationship between HCV replication in liver tissue and hepatocellular injury, a strand-specific in situ hybridization procedure was developed. The sensitivity and specificity of digoxigenin-labeled riboprobes were optimized by analyzing Northern blots and cell lines expressing HCV RNAs. For the current study, both genomic (sense) and replicative-intermediate (antisense) HCV RNAs were detected and quantified in 8 of 8 liver tissue specimens from infected patients versus 0 of 11 liver tissue specimens from noninfected controls. The distribution pattern for HCV replicative-intermediate RNA in liver was different from that for HCV genomic RNA. HCV genomic RNA was variably distributed throughout infected livers and was located primarily in the cytoplasm of hepatocytes, with some signal in fibroblasts and/or macrophages in the surrounding fibroconnective tissue. However, HCV replicative-intermediate RNA showed a more focal pattern of distribution and was exclusively localized in the cytoplasm of hepatocytes. There was no significant relationship between the distribution pattern for HCV genomic RNA and any indices of hepatocellular injury. However, a highly significant correlation was observed between the percentage of cells staining positive for replicative-intermediate RNA and the degree of hepatic inflammatory activity (P, < 0.0001). Furthermore, the ratio of cells staining positive for HCV replicative-intermediate versus genomic RNA correlated with the histological severity of liver injury (P, 0.0065), supporting the hypothesis that active replication of HCV in liver tissue may be a significant determinant of hepatocellular injury.
RNA transfer (Northern) blot analysis was used to perform the physical characterization of the transcript expressed in murine sensory nerve ganglia latently infected with herpes simplex virus type 1. Most of this latency-associated transcript (LAT) was isolated in the poly(A)- fraction from ganglia. A smaller RNA species was also detected at less than 10% the abundance of the major one. LAT was not detected with probes from DNA outside the limits of the larger species. In situ hybridization data correlated well with Northern blot analysis; however, low levels of hybridization were seen with probes immediately outside the region of viral DNA giving positive Northern blot signals. S1 nuclease and primer extension mapping were used to locate the 5' end of the LAT 510 bases to the left of a KpnI site at 0.783 map units. The 3' end of the major latency-associated species was mapped to just within a 310-base-pair SmaI fragment located 660 to 970 base pairs to the right of the SalI site at 0.790 map units. These data were correlated with an analysis of the sequence of the DNA encoding this transcript and its possible function in the latent phase of infection.
Quantification of gene expression provides valuable information regarding the response of cells or tissue to stimuli and is often accomplished by monitoring the level of messenger RNA (mRNA) being transcribed for a particular protein. While numerous methods are commonly used to monitor gene expression, including northern blotting, real time polymerase chain reaction and RNase protection, each has its own drawbacks and limitations. Capillary electrophoresis with laser induced fluorescence (CE-LIF) can reduce protocol time, eliminate the need for radioactivity and provide superior sensitivity and dynamic range for quantification of RNA. In addition, CE-LIF can be used to directly determine the amount of an RNA species present, something which is difficult and not normally accomplished using current methods. Gene expression is detected using a fluorescently labeled riboprobe specific for a given RNA species. This direct approach was validated by analyzing levels of 28S RNA and also used to determine the amount of Discoidin Domain Receptor 2 mRNA in cardiac tissue.
RNA; gene expression; capillary electrophoresis; fluorescence
Studies with molecular and immunological techniques identified and mapped the transcript encoding glycoprotein D (gD) of equine herpesvirus 1 KyA, as well as two continuous gD antigenic determinants. Three mRNA species of 5.5, 3.8, and 1.7 kb overlap the gD open reading frame and are transcribed from the DNA strand encoding gD. Northern (RNA) blot hybridization with both DNA clones and riboprobes, as well as S1 nuclease analyses, showed the 3.8-kb mRNA to encode gD and to be synthesized as a late (beta-gamma) transcript. The 3.8-kb gD mRNA initiates within the US segment 91 and 34 nucleotides downstream of the CCAAT and TATA elements, respectively, and encodes a potential polypeptide of 392 amino acids. The termination site of this transcript maps within the terminal repeat at a site also used by the 5.5-kb mRNA and the IR6-encoded 1.2-kb mRNA, such that these three transcripts form a 3'-coterminal nested set. The extended size (2,250 nucleotides) of the 3' untranslated region of the gD transcript and its termination within the terminal repeat may result from the deletion of 3,859 bp, which eliminates two consensus polyadenylation signals downstream of the gD open reading frame of EHV-1 KyA. Use of antisera to synthetic peptides of 19 amino acids (residues 4 to 22) and 20 amino acids (residues 267 to 285) in Western immunoblot analyses revealed that gD is present in EHV-1 virions as a 55-kDa polypeptide. In addition, these antisera detected the 55-kDa protein as well as 58- and 47-kDa polypeptides in infected-cell extracts at late times of infection. Residues 4 to 22 make up a continuous neutralizing epitope of gD, since incubation of equine herpesvirus 1 with the anti-19-mer serum prior to infection results in reduced numbers of plaques and reduced levels of virus-encoded thymidine kinase. Complement is not required for neutralization mediated by the anti-19-mer serum.
The time courses of poliovirus plus- and minus-strand RNA synthesis in infected HEp-2 cells were monitored separately, using a quantitative RNase assay. In parallel, viral RNA and proteins were located in situ by confocal microscopy within cells fixed by a protocol determined to retain their native size and shape. Plus- and minus-strand RNAs were visualized by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with strand-specific riboprobes. The probes were labelled with different fluorochromes to allow for the simultaneous detection of plus- and minus-strand RNA. The FISH experiments showed minus-strand RNA to be present in distinct, regularly sized, round structures throughout the viral replication cycle. Plus-strand RNA was found in the same structures and also in smaller clusters of vesicles. Association of viral RNA with membranes was demonstrated by combining FISH with immunofluorescence (IF) detection of the viral 2B- and 2C-containing P2 proteins, which are known to be markers for virus-induced membranes. At early times postinfection, the virus-induced membranous structures were distributed through most of the cytoplasm, whereas around peak RNA synthesis, both RNA-associated membranous structures migrated to the center of the cell. During this process, the plus- and minus-strand-containing larger structures stayed as recognizable entities, whereas the plus-strand-containing granules coalesced into a juxtanuclear area of membranous vesicles. An involvement of Golgi-derived membranes in the formation of virus-induced vesicles and RNA synthesis early in infection was investigated by IF with 2C- and Golgi-specific antibodies.
Actinomycete strain RB72T was isolated from woodland bluff soil in northern Alabama, USA, and shown to produce a broad spectrum bacteriocin. Based on morphological and chemotaxonomic characteristics, the strain was determined to belong to the genus Streptomyces. Phylogenetic analysis of the near-complete 16S rRNA gene sequence indicated that it differed from those of the described streptomycetes available in public databases. The distinctive white aerial hyphae and lack of sporulation suggest a deficiency in the whi pathway of the organism. A combination of substrate utilization patterns, morphological and chemotaxonomic characteristics and DNA–DNA hybridization results supported the affiliation of strain RB72T to the genus Streptomyces and enabled the genotypic and phenotypic differentiation of strain RB72T from closely related reference strains. Strain RB72T therefore represents a novel species of the genus Streptomyces, for which the name Streptomyces scopuliridis sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is RB72T ( = DSM 41917T = NRRL B-24574T).
Northern blot analysis is a powerful research tool for discovery, validation and expression of genes, and is currently widely used to detect microRNA (miRNA) accumulation. However, the traditional Northern blot procedure, which is based on a support membrane, is overly elaborate and time-consuming, although it is unsurpassed in accuracy for determining the sizes and amounts of multiple small RNAs sharing high sequence identity. Here we present an alternative method derived from plant miRNAs, liquid Northern hybridization, using fluorescently labeled oligonucleotide probes and characterized by simple and specific miRNA determination and quantitation. The entire detection process is completed within a few hours, and multiple miRNAs can be simultaneously detected in a single experiment.
miRNA; liquid Northern hybridization; Oryza sativa; small RNA; oligonucleotide probes
Northern (RNA) blot analysis was used to determine the spatial and temporal distribution of bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) transcripts. Total RNA was isolated from Madin-Darby bovine kidney cells which had been infected with BHV-1.2b strain K22 or BHV-1.1 strain Jura in the presence or absence of metabolic inhibitors. Cloned restriction fragments representing the entire genome of strain K22 were labeled with 32P and hybridized to immobilized RNA. A total of 54 BHV-1 transcripts were found, ranging in size from 0.4 to larger than 8 kilobases (kb). The inverted repeat regions and an adjacent segment of the unique large part of the BHV-1 genome encoded three major immediate-early (IE) transcripts and one minor IE transcript enriched after cycloheximide treatment of infected cells. Late transcripts were identified by drastically reduced abundance after cytosine arabinoside (araC) treatment. Twelve late transcripts were encoded mainly by the unique long genome region, with a cluster of four transcripts located on HindIII fragment K (map units 0.677 to 0.733). The 21 transcripts unaffected by araC treatment were defined as early; they showed dispersed locations over the whole genome, with a cluster on the unique short sequence. The 17 remaining transcripts could not be classified unambiguously as early or late by these techniques. The IE transcript with a size of 4.2 kb exhibited homology with the single IE gene of pseudorabies virus, and the IE transcript with a size of 2.9 kb was encoded in part by the genome region known to be transcriptionally active during latency.
We have implemented an efficient, quantitative approach for the optimization of in situ hybridization using double-stranded recombinant DNA probes. The model system studied was actin mRNA expression in chicken embryonic muscle cultures. Actin and control (pBR322) probes were nick-translated with p32 labeled nucleotides, hybridized to cells grown on coverslips, and quantitated in a scintillation counter. Cellular RNA retention was monitored via the incorporation of H3-Uridine into RNA prior to cell fixation. Over a thousand samples were analyzed, and among the technical variables examined were the fixation protocol, proteolytic cell pretreatment, the time course of hybridization, saturation kinetics, hybridization efficiency, and effect of probe size on hybridization and network formation. Results have allowed us to develop a reproducible in situ hybridization methodology which is simpler and less destructive to cellular RNA and morphology than other protocols. Moreover, this technique is highly sensitive and efficient in detection of cellular RNAs. Lastly, the rapid quantitative approach used for this analysis is valuable in itself as a potential alternative to filter or solution hybridizations.
Recovery of mRNA from environmental samples for measurement of in situ metabolic activities is a significant challenge. A robust, simple, rapid, and effective method was developed for simultaneous recovery of both RNA and DNA from soils of diverse composition by adapting our previous grinding-based cell lysis method (Zhou et al., Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 62:316–322, 1996) for DNA extraction. One of the key differences is that the samples are ground in a denaturing solution at a temperature below 0°C to inactivate nuclease activity. Two different methods were evaluated for separating RNA from DNA. Among the methods examined for RNA purification, anion exchange resin gave the best results in terms of RNA integrity, yield, and purity. With the optimized protocol, intact RNA and high-molecular-weight DNA were simultaneously recovered from 19 soil and stream sediment samples of diverse composition. The RNA yield from these samples ranged from 1.4 to 56 μg g of soil−1 dry weight), whereas the DNA yield ranged from 23 to 435 μg g−1. In addition, studies with the same soil sample showed that the DNA yield was, on average, 40% higher than that in our previous procedure and 68% higher than that in a commercial bead milling method. For the majority of the samples, the DNA and RNA recovered were of sufficient purity for nuclease digestion, microarray hybridization, and PCR or reverse transcription-PCR amplification.
Previous studies have suggested that procollagen types I and III are the major collagenous gene products of cultured human skin fibroblasts. In this study the expression of 10 different genes, encoding the subunit polypeptides for collagen types I-VI, by human skin fibroblasts in culture was analyzed by molecular hybridizations. Northern transfer analysis demonstrated the presence of specific mRNA transcripts for collagen types I, III, IV, V, and VI, but not for type II collagen. Quantitation of the abundance of these mRNAs by slot blot hybridizations revealed that type I, III, and VI procollagens were the major collagenous gene products of skin fibroblasts in culture. The mRNAs for type IV and V collagens represented only a small percentage of the total collagenous mRNA transcripts. Further analysis by in situ hybridization demonstrated that the majority of the cultured cells coexpressed the genes for type I, III, and VI procollagen pro-alpha chains. Further in situ hybridization analyses revealed the expression of type VI collagen genes in normal human skin. These data demonstrate that human skin fibroblast cultures can be used to study the transcriptional regulation of at least nine genetically distinct procollagen genes. The data further suggest that type VI collagen, in addition to types I and III, may be a major collagenous component of human skin.
A method is described for generating an external spiked human RNA control to enhance the reliability of assessment of gene expression in tumour extracts. Spiking with an external standard RNA controls for all subsequent steps of analysis on a lane by lane basis and allows for uniform comparison of the gene of interest as a fraction of total RNA, particularly when multiple samples are not available. The antisense probe that is being used to detect endogenous gene expression is also used as an external control. A sense riboprobe is made from the same vector. Because of the flanking RNA polymerase sites incorporated in both probes, hybridization with the sense riboprobe at a much lower concentration than the antisense probe generates a larger product that can be readily separated from the endogenous protected fragment. This method is generally applicable to any riboprobe that has a T3 and T7 RNA polymerase site and allows any externally added riboprobe use for assessing endogenous gene expression to be used as the external spike control.
Using a combination of in situ hybridization and Northern (RNA) blot analysis, we investigated herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) transcriptional activity in an ocular rabbit model of HSV-1 latency. Radioactively labeled cloned fragments, representing virtually the entire HSV-1 genome, were individually hybridized to RNA in sections of trigeminal ganglia taken from rabbits during the latent phase of infection with HSV-1 (McKrae). Our results suggest that two discrete latency-related RNAs (LR-RNAs) may be present. The LR-RNAs were localized mainly in the nuclei of neurons. The more abundant LR-RNA was detected in approximately 3% of all neurons examined and was designated major LR-RNA. The other LR-RNA, designated minor LR-RNA, was detected in approximately 0.3% of neurons from latently infected rabbits. The genes for the LR-RNAs mapped in the vicinity of the immediate-early gene ICP0 (also designated IE110). The gene for the major LR-RNA partially overlapped the left (3') end of the ICP0 gene. In situ hybridization with single-stranded RNA probes showed that this LR-RNA was of complementary sense to that of ICP0 mRNA. Northern blot analysis gave an approximate size for this LR-RNA of 1.8 to 2.2 kilobases. The minor LR-RNA mapped to or near the right (5') end of the ICP0 gene. The detection of LR-RNAs suggests the possibility that these RNAs or their products may play significant roles in the initiation and/or maintenance of HSV-1 latency.
Early and late transcripts were mapped on the Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus genome by Northern blotting and hybridization with the cloned viral EcoRI fragments. At least 11 early and about 90 late RNAs were compared with over 32 polypeptides synthesized by in vitro translation of hybrid-selected RNA. The latter method, of course, had its limitations also and did not guarantee that all viral RNAs could be detected in this way. A comparison of cytoplasmic and total cellular RNAs showed no clear-cut differences in their size distributions. We found that there were more RNA classes than corresponding proteins encoded by them and mapped by in vitro translation. By using the Berk-Sharp method and analyses of DNA-RNA hybrids by one-dimensional or two-dimensional neutral and alkaline gel electrophoreses, we were unable to adduce evidence for RNA splicing in this viral system. Minor splices, particularly at sites close to the termini of RNA molecules, could not be excluded.
Transcription of the human cytomegalovirus genome (strain AD 169) was investigated at the immediate-early (IE) time after infection, by using cycloheximide to suppress virus-specific protein synthesis. In total cell RNA, four predominant IE transcripts were found which were encoded by one contiguous region of the long unique segment between map units 0.06 and 0.16 in prototype arrangement of human cytomegalovirus AD 169 DNA. Analysis by Northern blot hybridizations demonstrated that the transcripts possessed a size of 1.9, 2.2, 2.3, and 5.0 kilobases, respectively. Coding sequences and directions of transcriptions were mapped by Northern blots and hybridizations with oligodeoxythymidylic acid-primed and randomly primed cDNA. The 1.9-, 2.2-, and 2.3-kilobase RNAs were found in the polyadenylated fraction of IE RNA exclusively; in contrast, a part of the 5.0-kilobase RNA appeared polyadenylated, although the majority of the same transcript was found in the nonpolyadenylated pool. Also, different from the other IE genes, the DNA coding for the 5.0-kilobase IE RNA was transcribed in high quantities during the late phase of virus replication, suggesting an exemption from the temporal regulation of herpesvirus transcription.
The Fluorescence in situ Hybridization (FISH) method allows one to detect nucleic acids in the native cellular environment. Here we provide a protocol for using FISH to quantify the number of mRNAs in single yeast cells. Cells can be grown in any condition of interest and then fixed and made permeable. Subsequently, multiple single-stranded deoxyoligonucleotides conjugated to fluorescent dyes are used to label and visualize mRNAs. Diffraction-limited fluorescence from single mRNA molecules is quantified using a spot-detection algorithm to identify and count the number of mRNAs per cell. While the more standard quantification methods of northern blots, RT-PCR and gene expression microarrays provide information on average mRNAs in the bulk population, FISH facilitates both the counting and localization of these mRNAs in single cells at single-molecule resolution.
Genetics; Issue 76; Molecular Biology; Cellular Biology; Microbiology; Biochemistry; Genomics; Life Sciences (General); FISH; single cells; mRNA; transcripts; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; yeast cells; single-molecule; yeast
Increased amounts of mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) proviral transcripts were found in RNA dot blots from MMTV-negative, C3H/Sm mouse mammary tumors which arose spontaneously or were induced by hormonal or chemical carcinogens or both. Other dot blots probed with a long terminal repeat (LTR) probe showed that LTR (MMTV)-containing transcripts were disproportionately represented in these tumor RNAs. Different segments of the MMTV genome were used in sequential hybridizations to Northern blots to determine relative sequence content and size of MMTV transcripts in transformed mammary tissues, as compared with those in lactating mammary glands. Increased amounts of 4.4-kilobase env and 8.1-kilobase genomic MMTV transcripts were detected with an env probe in many of the tumor RNAs examined. Hybridization of the same Northern blots containing tumor RNAs with an LTR probe revealed a 2.2-kilobase transcript which was prominent in RNAs from chemically-induced, hormonally-induced, and spontaneous mammary tumors relative to those from lactating mammary glands. The LTR-containing transcript did not possess significant homology to either env or gag-pol probes. This distinctive, transformation-enhanced, 2.2-kilobase transcript may contain mouse cellular sequences in addition to LTR sequences or it may represent the message for a nonstructural viral protein encoded within the LTR open reading frame of one or more of the four C3H/Sm MMTV proviral genes.
A number of human cytokeratins are expressed during the development of stratified epithelia from one-layered polar epithelia and continue to be expressed in several adult epithelial tissues. For studies of the regulation of the synthesis of stratification-related cytokeratins in internal tissues, we have prepared cDNA and genomic clones encoding cytokeratin 4, as a representative of the basic (type II) cytokeratin subfamily and cytokeratin 15, as representative of the acidic (type I) subfamily, and determined their nucleotide sequences. The specific expression of mRNAs encoding these two polypeptides in certain stratified tissues and cultured cell lines is demonstrated by Northern blot hybridization. Hybridization in situ with antisense riboprobes and/or synthetic oligonucleotides shows the presence of cytokeratin 15 mRNA in all layers of esophagus, whereas cytokeratin 4 mRNA tends to be suprabasally enriched, although to degrees varying in different regions. We conclude that the expression of the genes encoding these stratification-related cytokeratins starts already in the basal cell layer and does not depend on vertical differentiation and detachment from the basal lamina. Our results also show that simple epithelial and stratification-related cytokeratins can be coexpressed in basal cell layers of certain stratified epithelia such as esophagus. Implications of these findings for epithelial differentiation and the formation of squamous cell carcinomas are discussed.