We have developed a new primer design strategy for PCR amplification of distantly related gene sequences based on consensus-degenerate hybrid oligonucleotide primers (CODEHOPs). An interactive program has been written to design CODEHOP PCR primers from conserved blocks of amino acids within multiply-aligned protein sequences. Each CODEHOP consists of a pool of related primers containing all possible nucleotide sequences encoding 3–4 highly conserved amino acids within a 3′ degenerate core. A longer 5′ non-degenerate clamp region contains the most probable nucleotide predicted for each flanking codon. CODEHOPs are used in PCR amplification to isolate distantly related sequences encoding the conserved amino acid sequence. The primer design software and the CODEHOP PCR strategy have been utilized for the identification and characterization of new gene orthologs and paralogs in different plant, animal and bacterial species. In addition, this approach has been successful in identifying new pathogen species. The CODEHOP designer (http://blocks.fhcrc.org/codehop.html) is linked to BlockMaker and the Multiple Alignment Processor within the Blocks Database World Wide Web (http://blocks.fhcrc.org).
Consensus-degenerate hybrid oligonucleotide primers (CODEHOPs) have proven to be a powerful tool for the identification of novel genes. CODEHOPs are designed from highly conserved regions of multiply-aligned protein sequences from members of a gene family and are used in PCR amplification to identify distantly-related genes. The CODEHOP approach has been used to identify novel pathogens by targeting amino acid motifs conserved in specific pathogen families. We initiated a program utilizing the CODEHOP approach to develop PCR-based assays targeting a variety of viral families that are pathogens in non-human primates. We have also developed and further improved a computer program and website to facilitate the design of CODEHOP PCR primers. Here, we detail the method for the development of pathogen-specific CODEHOP PCR assays using the papillomavirus family as a target. Papillomaviruses constitute a diverse virus family infecting a wide variety of mammalian species, including humans and non-human primates. We demonstrate that our pan-papillomavirus CODEHOP assay is broadly reactive with all major branches of the virus family and show its utility in identifying a novel non-human primate papillomavirus in cynomolgus macaques.
polymerase chain reaction; consensus; degenerate; oligonucleotide; primers; pathogens; virus; non-human primate; papillomavirus
Consensus-Degenerate Hybrid Oligonucleotide Primer (CODEHOP) PCR primers derived from amino acid sequence motifs which are highly conserved between members of a protein family have proven to be highly effective in the identification and characterization of distantly related family members. Here, the use of the CODEHOP strategy to identify novel viruses and obtain sequence information for phylogenetic characterization, gene structure determination and genome analysis is reviewed. While this review describes techniques for the identification of members of the herpesvirus family of DNA viruses, the same methodology and approach is applicable to other virus families.
The domestic cat (Felis catus) shows remarkable sensitivity to
the adverse effects of phenolic drugs, including acetaminophen and aspirin, as
well as structurally-related toxicants found in the diet and environment. This
idiosyncrasy results from pseudogenization of the gene encoding
UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 1A6, the major species-conserved phenol
detoxification enzyme. Here, we established the phylogenetic timing of
disruptive UGT1A6 mutations and explored the hypothesis that
gene inactivation in cats was enabled by minimal exposure to plant-derived
toxicants. Fixation of the UGT1A6 pseudogene was estimated to
have occurred between 35 and 11 million years ago with all extant Felidae having
dysfunctional UGT1A6. Out of 22 additional taxa sampled,
representative of most Carnivora families, only brown hyena (Parahyaena
brunnea) and northern elephant seal (Mirounga
angustirostris) showed inactivating UGT1A6
mutations. A comprehensive literature review of the natural diet of the sampled
taxa indicated that all species with defective UGT1A6 were
hypercarnivores (>70% dietary animal matter). Furthermore those
species with UGT1A6 defects showed evidence for reduced amino
acid constraint (increased dN/dS ratios approaching the neutral
selection value of 1.0) as compared with species with intact
UGT1A6. In contrast, there was no evidence for reduced
amino acid constraint for these same species within UGT1A1, the
gene encoding the enzyme responsible for detoxification of endogenously
generated bilirubin. Our results provide the first evidence suggesting that diet
may have played a permissive role in the devolution of a mammalian drug
metabolizing enzyme. Further work is needed to establish whether these
preliminary findings can be generalized to all Carnivora.
We describe a new primer design strategy for PCR amplification of unknown targets that are related to multiply-aligned protein sequences. Each primer consists of a short 3' degenerate core region and a longer 5' consensus clamp region. Only 3-4 highly conserved amino acid residues are necessary for design of the core, which is stabilized by the clamp during annealing to template molecules. During later rounds of amplification, the non-degenerate clamp permits stable annealing to product molecules. We demonstrate the practical utility of this hybrid primer method by detection of diverse reverse transcriptase-like genes in a human genome, and by detection of C5DNA methyltransferase homologs in various plant DNAs. In each case, amplified products were sufficiently pure to be cloned without gel fractionation. This COnsensus-DEgenerate Hybrid Oligonucleotide Primer (CODEHOP) strategy has been implemented as a computer program that is accessible over the World Wide Web (http://blocks.fhcrc.org/codehop.html) and is directly linked from the BlockMaker multiple sequence alignment site for hybrid primer prediction beginning with a set of related protein sequences.
Brassinosteroids (BRs) are signaling molecules that play essential roles in the spatial regulation of plant growth and development. In contrast to other plant hormones BRs act locally, close to the sites of their synthesis, and thus homeostatic mechanisms must operate at the cellular level to equilibrate BR concentrations. Whilst it is recognized that levels of bioactive BRs are likely adjusted by controlling the relative rates of biosynthesis and by catabolism, few factors, which participate in these regulatory events, have as yet been identified. Previously we have shown that the UDP-glycosyltransferase UGT73C5 of Arabidopsis thaliana catalyzes 23-O-glucosylation of BRs and that glucosylation renders BRs inactive. This study identifies the closest homologue of UGT73C5, UGT73C6, as an enzyme that is also able to glucosylate BRs in planta.
In a candidate gene approach, in which homologues of UGT73C5 were screened for their potential to induce BR deficiency when over-expressed in plants, UGT73C6 was identified as an enzyme that can glucosylate the BRs CS and BL at their 23-O-positions in planta. GUS reporter analysis indicates that UGT73C6 shows over-lapping, but also distinct expression patterns with UGT73C5 and YFP reporter data suggests that at the cellular level, both UGTs localize to the cytoplasm and to the nucleus. A liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry method for BR metabolite analysis was developed and applied to determine the kinetics of formation and the catabolic fate of BR-23-O-glucosides in wild type and UGT73C5 and UGT73C6 over-expression lines. This approach identified novel BR catabolites, which are considered to be BR-malonylglucosides, and provided first evidence indicating that glucosylation protects BRs from cellular removal. The physiological significance of BR glucosylation, and the possible role of UGT73C6 as a regulatory factor in this process are discussed in light of the results presented.
The present study generates essential knowledge and molecular and biochemical tools, that will allow for the verification of a potential physiological role of UGT73C6 in BR glucosylation and will facilitate the investigation of the functional significance of BR glucoside formation in plants.
arabidopsis; brassinosteroids; glycosylation; homeostasis; malonylation; steroids
A primer design strategy named CODEHOP (consensus-degenerate hybrid oligonucleotide primer) for amplification of distantly related sequences was used to detect the priming glycosyltransferase (GT) gene in strains of the Lactobacillus casei group. Each hybrid primer consisted of a short 3′ degenerate core based on four highly conserved amino acids and a longer 5′ consensus clamp region based on six sequences of the priming GT gene products from exopolysaccharide (EPS)-producing bacteria. The hybrid primers were used to detect the priming GT gene of 44 commercial isolates and reference strains of Lactobacillus rhamnosus, L. casei, Lactobacillus zeae, and Streptococcus thermophilus. The priming GT gene was detected in the genome of both non-EPS-producing (EPS−) and EPS-producing (EPS+) strains of L. rhamnosus. The sequences of the cloned PCR products were similar to those of the priming GT gene of various gram-negative and gram-positive EPS+ bacteria. Specific primers designed from the L. rhamnosus RW-9595M GT gene were used to sequence the end of the priming GT gene in selected EPS+ strains of L. rhamnosus. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Lactobacillus spp. form a distinctive group apart from other lactic acid bacteria for which GT genes have been characterized to date. Moreover, the sequences show a divergence existing among strains of L. rhamnosus with respect to the terminal region of the priming GT gene. Thus, the PCR approach with consensus-degenerate hybrid primers designed with CODEHOP is a practical approach for the detection of similar genes containing conserved motifs in different bacterial genomes.
Glucosidation plays a major role in the inactivation and excretion of a great variety of both endogenous and exogenous compounds. A class of UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGTs) is involved in this process. Insect UGTs play important roles in several processes, including detoxication of substrates such as plant allelochemicals, cuticle formation, pigmentation, and olfaction. Identification and characterization of Bombyx mori UGT genes could provide valuable basic information for this important family and explain the detoxication mechanism and other processes in insects.
Taking advantage of the newly assembled genome sequence, we performed a genome-wide analysis of the candidate UGT family in the silkworm, B. mori. Based on UGT signature and their similarity to UGT homologs from other organisms, we identified 42 putative silkworm UGT genes. Most of them are clustered on the silkworm chromosomes, with two major clusters on chromosomes 7 and 28, respectively. The phylogenetic analysis of these identified 42 UGT protein sequences revealed five major groups. A comparison of the silkworm UGTs with homologs from other sequenced insect genomes indicated that some UGTs are silkworm-specific genes. The expression patterns of these candidate genes were investigated with known expressed sequence tags (ESTs), microarray data, and RT-PCR method. In total, 36 genes were expressed in tissues examined and showed different patterns of expression profile, indicating that these UGT genes might have different functions.
B. mori possesses a largest insect UGT gene family characterized to date, including 42 genes. Phylogenetic analysis, genomic organization and expression profiles provide an overview for the silkworm UGTs and facilitate their functional studies in future.
PCR amplification using COnsensus DEgenerate Hybrid Oligonucleotide Primers (CODEHOPs) has proven to be highly effective for identifying unknown pathogens and characterizing novel genes. We describe iCODEHOP; a new interactive web application that simplifies the process of designing and selecting CODEHOPs from multiply-aligned protein sequences. iCODEHOP intelligently guides the user through the degenerate primer design process including uploading sequences, creating a multiple alignment, deriving CODEHOPs and calculating their annealing temperatures. The user can quickly scan over an entire set of degenerate primers designed by the program to assess their relative quality and select individual primers for further analysis. The program displays phylogenetic information for input sequences and allows the user to easily design new primers from selected sequence sub-clades. It also allows the user to bias primer design to favor specific clades or sequences using sequence weights. iCODEHOP is freely available to all interested researchers at https://icodehop.cphi.washington.edu/i-codehop-context/Welcome.
Transcription factors of the basic leucine zipper (bZIP) family control important processes in all eukaryotes. In plants, bZIPs are regulators of many central developmental and physiological processes including photomorphogenesis, leaf and seed formation, energy homeostasis, and abiotic and biotic stress responses. Here we performed a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of bZIP genes from algae, mosses, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms.
We identified 13 groups of bZIP homologues in angiosperms, three more than known before, that represent 34 Possible Groups of Orthologues (PoGOs). The 34 PoGOs may correspond to the complete set of ancestral angiosperm bZIP genes that participated in the diversification of flowering plants. Homologous genes dedicated to seed-related processes and ABA-mediated stress responses originated in the common ancestor of seed plants, and three groups of homologues emerged in the angiosperm lineage, of which one group plays a role in optimizing the use of energy.
Our data suggest that the ancestor of green plants possessed four bZIP genes functionally involved in oxidative stress and unfolded protein responses that are bZIP-mediated processes in all eukaryotes, but also in light-dependent regulations. The four founder genes amplified and diverged significantly, generating traits that benefited the colonization of new environments.
UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (Ugts) are a supergene family of phase II drug-metabolizing enzymes that catalyze the conjugation of numerous hydrophobic small molecules with the UDP-glucuronic acid, converting them into hydrophilic molecules. Here, we report the identification and cloning of the complete zebrafish Ugt gene repertoire. We found that the zebrafish genome contains 45 Ugt genes that can be divided into three families: Ugt1, Ugt2, and Ugt5. Both Ugt1 and Ugt2 have two unlinked clusters: a and b. The Ugt1a, Ugt1b, Ugt2a, and Ugt2b clusters each contain variable and constant regions, similar to that of the protocadherin (Pcdh), immunoglobulin (Ig), and T-cell receptor (Tcr) clusters. Cloning the full-length coding sequences confirmed that each of the variable exons is separately spliced to the set of constant exons within each zebrafish Ugt cluster. Comparative analyses showed that both a and b clusters of the zebrafish Ugt1 and Ugt2 genes have orthologs in other teleosts, suggesting that they may be resulted from the “fish-specific” whole-genome duplication event. The Ugt5 genes are a novel family of Ugt genes that exist in teleosts and amphibians. Their entire open reading frames are encoded by single large exons. The zebrafish Ugt1, Ugt2, and Ugt5 genes can generate additional transcript diversity through alternative splicing. Based on phylogenetic analyses, we propose that the ancestral tetrapod and teleost Ugt1 clusters contained multiple Ugt1 paralogs. After speciation, these ancestral Ugt1 clusters underwent lineage-specific gene loss and duplication. The ancestral vertebrate Ugt2 cluster also underwent lineage-specific duplication. The intronless Ugt5 open reading frames may be derived from retrotransposition followed by gene duplication. They have been expanded dramatically in teleosts and have become the most abundant Ugt family in these lineages. These findings have interesting implications regarding the molecular evolution of genes with diversified variable exons in vertebrates.
Acetyl salicylic acid (ASA) is metabolized by UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A6 (UGT1A6), cytochrome P4502C9 (CYP2C9), and N-acetyl transferase 2 (NAT2). Variations in the activities of these enzymes may modulate adverse ASA-related symptoms such as urticaria. We examined whether polymorphisms in the UGT1A6, CYP2C9, and NAT2 genes are related to ASA-intolerant urticaria (AIU). The genotypes of 148 subjects with AIU (AIU group) and 260 normal healthy control subjects (NC group) were analyzed with respect to the following single nucleotide polymorphisms: CYP2C9 -1188T>C and CYP2C9*3A1075C; UGT1A6 T181A A>G and UGT1A6 R184S A>C; and NAT2 9796A>T, NAT2 197G>A, NAT2 286G>A, NAT2 9601A>G, and NAT2 9306A>G. There were significant differences in the allele frequencies for the CYP2C9 polymorphisms between the two groups. The frequency of the minor allele CYP2C9 -1188T>C was significantly higher in the AIU group than in the NC group (P=0.005). The frequency of the variant genotype CC was higher in the AIU group compared with the controls in both the co-dominant (P=0.007) and recessive models (P=0.012). The frequency of haplotype 2 [CA] was also significantly higher in the AIU group in both the co-dominant (P=0.006) and dominant models (P=0.012). There was no significant difference in genotype frequencies for any of the UGT1A6 or NAT2 polymorphisms between the two groups. Clinical parameters did not differ according to genotype. These results suggest that the C allele of CYP2C9 -1188T>C may be associated with AIU.
Aspirin; Cytochrome P4502C9; Metabolizing enzyme; Urticaria
the use of specific but partially degenerate primers for nucleic acid hybridisations and PCRs amplification of known or unknown gene families was first reported well over a decade ago and the technique has been used widely since then.
here we report a novel and successful selection strategy for the design of hybrid partially degenerate primers for use with RT-PCR and RACE-PCR for the identification of unknown gene families. The technique (named PaBaLiS) has proven very effective as it allowed us to identify and clone a large group of mRNAs encoding neurotoxin-like polypeptide pools from the venom of Agelena orientalis species of spider. Our approach differs radically from the generally accepted CODEHOP principle first reported in 1998. Most importantly, our method has proven very efficient by performing better than an independently generated high throughput EST cloning programme. Our method yielded nearly 130 non-identical sequences from Agelena orientalis, whilst the EST cloning technique yielded only 48 non-identical sequences from 2100 clones obtained from the same Agelena material. In addition to the primer design approach reported here, which is almost universally applicable to any PCR cloning application, our results also indicate that venom of Agelena orientalis spider contains a much larger family of related toxin-like sequences than previously thought.
with upwards of 100,000 species of spider thought to exist, and a propensity for producing diverse peptide pools, many more peptides of pharmacological importance await discovery. We envisage that some of these peptides and their recombinant derivatives will provide a new range of tools for neuroscience research and could also facilitate the development of a new generation of analgesic drugs and insecticides.
Cell wall apposition (CWA) formation is one of the first lines of defence used by plants to halt invading fungi such as powdery mildew. Lignin is a complex polymer of hydroxylated and methoxylated phenylpropane units (monolignols) and lignification renders the cell wall more resistant to pathogen attack. The role of monolignol biosynthesis in CWA-mediated defence against powdery mildew penetration into cereals is demonstrated here using RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated gene silencing and enzyme-specific inhibitors. Thirteen cDNAs representing eight genes involved in monolignol biosynthesis were cloned from an expression sequence tag (EST) library derived from the epidermis of diploid wheat (Triticum monococcum) infected with Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici (Bgt). Differential expression patterns were found for these genes in susceptible and resistant plants after infection. Transcripts of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (CAOMT), ferulic acid hydroxylase (FAH), caffeoyl-CoA O-methyltransferase (CCoAMT), and cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) were accumulated, particularly in the epidermis. RNAi-mediated transient gene silencing in the epidermis led to a higher penetration efficiency of Bgt than in the controls. Gene silencing also compromised penetration resistance to varying degrees with different genes against an inappropriate pathogen, B. graminis f. sp. hordei (Bgh). Co-silencing led to greater penetration of Bgt or Bgh than when the genes were silenced separately. Fluorescence emission spectra analyses revealed that gene silencing hampered host autofluorescence response at fungal contact sites. These results illustrate that monolignol biosynthesis is critically important for host defence against both appropriate and inappropriate pathogen invasion in wheat.
Cell autofluorescence; cell wall apposition; cereal; methylated monolignol
Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYP) play an important role in the defense against inhaled toxicants, and expression of CYP enzymes may differ among various lung cells and tissue compartments.
We studied the effects of tobacco smoke in volunteers and investigated gene expression of 19 CYPs and 3 flavin-containing monooxygenases, as well as isoforms of gluthathione S-transferases (GST) and uridine diphosphate glucuronosyltransferases (UGT) and the microsomal epoxide hydrolase (EPHX1) in bronchoalveolar lavage cells and bronchial biopsies derived from smokers (n = 8) and nonsmokers (n = 10). We also investigated gene expression of nuclear transcription factors known to be involved in the regulation of xenobiotic metabolism enzymes.
Gene expression of CYP1A1, CYP1B1, CYP2S1, GSTP1, and EPHX1 was induced in bronchoalveolar lavage cells of smokers, whereas expression of CYP2B6/7, CYP3A5, and UGT2A1 was repressed. In bronchial biopsies of smokers, CYP1A1, CYP1B1, CYP2C9, GSTP1, and GSTA2 were induced, but CYP2J2 and EPHX1 were repressed. Induction of CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 transcript abundance resulted in increased activity of the coded enzyme. Finally, expression of the liver X receptor and the glucocorticoid receptor was significantly up-regulated in bronchoalveolar lavage cells of smokers.
We found gene expression of pulmonary xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes and certain key transcription factors to be regulated in bronchoalveolar lavage cells and bronchial biopsies of smokers. The observed changes demonstrate tissue specificity in xenobiotic metabolism, with likely implications for the metabolic activation of procarcinogens to ultimate carcinogens of tobacco smoke.
cytochrome P450 monooxygenases; metabolism; smoking; transcription factors; xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes
Furanocoumarins are molecules with proven therapeutic properties and are produced in only a small number of medicinal plant species such as Ruta graveolens. In vivo, these molecules play a protective role against phytophageous insect attack. Furanocoumarins are members of the phenylpropanoids family, and their biosynthetic pathway is initiated from p-coumaroyl coA. The enzymes belonging to the CYP98A cytochrome P450 family have been widely described as being aromatic meta-hydroxylases of various substrates, such as p-coumaroyl ester derivatives, and are involved in the synthesis of coumarins such as scopoletin. In furanocoumarin-producing plants, these enzymes catalyze the step directly downstream of the junction with the furanocoumarin biosynthetic pathway and might indirectly impact their synthesis.
In this work, we describe the cloning and functional characterization of the first CYP98A encoding gene isolated from R. graveolens. Using Nicotiana benthamiana as a heterologous expression system, we have demonstrated that this enzyme adds a 3-OH to p-coumaroyl ester derivatives but is more efficient to convert p-coumaroyl quinate into chlorogenic acid than to metabolize p-coumaroyl shikimate. Plants exposed to UV-B stress showed an enhanced expression level of the corresponding gene. The R. graveolens cyp98a22 open reading frame and the orthologous Arabidopsis thaliana cyp98a3 open reading frame were overexpressed in stable transgenic Ruta plants. Both plant series were analyzed for their production of scopoletin and furanocoumarin. A detailed analysis indicates that both genes enhance the production of furanocoumarins but that CYP98A22, unlike CYP98A3, doesn’t affect the synthesis of scopoletin.
The overexpression of CYP98A22 positively impacts the concentration of furanocoumarins in R. graveolens. This gene is therefore a valuable tool to engineer plants with improved therapeutical values that might also be more resistant to phytophageous insects.
The cytochrome P450 1 (CYP1) family has expanded with the addition of the CYP1B and CYP1C subfamilies. We recently identified a new CYP1 subfamily in zebrafish, CYP1D, with a single gene, CYP1D1. Here we examined sequences found in other fish genomes, i.e., stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) and medaka (Oryzias latipes), for similarities among fish CYP1D1 genes. The full-length deduced amino acid sequences for CPY1D1 in these two species averaged about 43% identity to the CYP1As, but nearly 50% when sequence alignment ambiguities were masked. CYP1D1 has seven exons, similar in size and position to the exons in CYP1D1 and CYP1A in zebrafish. However, the intronic distances were substantially smaller in the medaka and stickleback. There also were differing numbers of xenobiotic response elements in the CYP1D1 of the various species. Whether the stickleback or medaka genes are inducible by aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) agonists is yet to be determined.
Fish; isozymes; microsomal oxidases; CYP1A; bioinformatics; ortholog
Primers4clades is an easy-to-use web server that implements a fully automatic PCR primer design pipeline for cross-species amplification of novel sequences from metagenomic DNA, or from uncharacterized organisms, belonging to user-specified phylogenetic clades or taxa. The server takes a set of non-aligned protein coding genes, with or without introns, aligns them and computes a neighbor-joining tree, which is displayed on screen for easy selection of species or sequence clusters to design lineage-specific PCR primers. Primers4clades implements an extended CODEHOP primer design strategy based on both DNA and protein multiple sequence alignments. It evaluates several thermodynamic properties of the oligonucleotide pairs, and computes the phylogenetic information content of the predicted amplicon sets from Shimodaira–Hasegawa-like branch support values of maximum likelihood phylogenies. A non-redundant set of primer formulations is returned, ranked according to their thermodynamic properties. An amplicon distribution map provides a convenient overview of the coverage of the target locus. Altogether these features greatly help the user in making an informed choice between alternative primer pair formulations. Primers4clades is available at two mirror sites: http://maya.ccg.unam.mx/primers4clades/and
http://floresta.eead.csic.es/primers4clades/. Three demo data sets and a comprehensive documentation/tutorial page are provided for easy testing of the server's capabilities and interface.
Plant stilbenes are a small group of phenylpropanoids, which have been detected in at least 72 unrelated plant species and accumulate in response to biotic and abiotic stresses such as infection, wounding, UV-C exposure and treatment with chemicals. Stilbenes are formed via the phenylalanine/polymalonate-route, the last step of which is catalyzed by the enzyme stilbene synthase (STS), a type III polyketide synthase (PKS). Stilbene synthases are closely related to chalcone synthases (CHS), the key enzymes of the flavonoid pathway, as illustrated by the fact that both enzymes share the same substrates. To date, STSs have been cloned from peanut, pine, sorghum and grapevine, the only stilbene-producing fruiting-plant for which the entire genome has been sequenced. Apart from sorghum, STS genes appear to exist as a family of closely related genes in these other plant species.
In this study a complete characterization of the STS multigenic family in grapevine has been performed, commencing with the identification, annotation and phylogenetic analysis of all members and integration of this information with a comprehensive set of gene expression analyses including healthy tissues at differential developmental stages and in leaves exposed to both biotic (downy mildew infection) and abiotic (wounding and UV-C exposure) stresses. At least thirty-three full length sequences encoding VvSTS genes were identified, which, based on predicted amino acid sequences, cluster in 3 principal groups designated A, B and C. The majority of VvSTS genes cluster in groups B and C and are located on chr16 whereas the few gene family members in group A are found on chr10. Microarray and mRNA-seq expression analyses revealed different patterns of transcript accumulation between the different groups of VvSTS family members and between VvSTSs and VvCHSs. Indeed, under certain conditions the transcriptional response of VvSTS and VvCHS genes appears to be diametrically opposed suggesting that flow of carbon between these two competing metabolic pathways is tightly regulated at the transcriptional level.
This study represents an overview of the expression pattern of each member of the STS gene family in grapevine under both constitutive and stress-induced conditions. The results strongly indicate the existence of a transcriptional subfunctionalization amongst VvSTSs and provide the foundation for further functional investigations about the role and evolution of this large gene family. Moreover, it represents the first study to clearly show the differential regulation of VvCHS and VvSTS genes, suggesting the involvement of transcription factors (TFs) in both the activation and repression of these genes.
Stilbene synthase; Chalcone synthase; Abiotic stress; Downy mildew; Grapevine
Polyphenol oxidases (PPOs) are copper-binding enzymes of the plant secondary metabolism that oxidize polyphenols to quinones. Although PPOs are nearly ubiquitous in seed plants, knowledge on their evolution and function in other plant groups is missing. This study reports on the PPO gene family in the moss Physcomitrella patens (Hedw.) B.S.G. asan example for an early divergent plant. The P. patens PPO multigene family comprises 13 paralogues. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that plant PPOs evolved with the colonization of land and that PPO duplications within the monophyletic P. patens paralogue clade occurred after the separation of the moss and seed plant lineages. PPO functionality was demonstrated for recombinant PPO6. P. patens was analysed for phenolic compounds and six substances were detected intracellularly by LC-MS analysis: 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, p-cumaric acid, protocatechuic acid, salicylic acid, caffeic acid, and an ester of caffeic acid. Targeted PPO1 knockout (d|ppo1) plants were generated and plants lacking PPO1 exhibited only ~30% of the wild-type PPO activity in the culture medium, thus suggesting extracellular localization of PPO1, which is in contrast to the mostly plastidic PPO localization in seed plants. Further, d|ppo1 lines formed significantly more gametophores with a reduced areal plant size, which could be related to an increase of endogenously produced cytokinins and indicates an impact of PPO1 on plant development. d|ppo1 plants were less tolerant towards applied 4-methylcatechol compared to the wild type, which suggests a role of extracellular PPO1 in establishing appropriate conditions by the removal of inhibitory extracellular phenolic compounds.
Cytokinins; gene family; gene replacement; knockout; phylogeny; Physcomitrella patens; polyphenol oxidase; PPO
Pentalenic acid (1) has been isolated from many Streptomyces species as a co-metabolite of with the sesquiterpenoid antibiotic pentalenolactone and related natural products. We have previously reported the identification of a 13.4-kb gene cluster in the genome of Streptomyces avermitilis implicated in the biosynthesis of the pentalenolactone family of metabolites consisting of 13 ORFs. Detailed molecular genetic and biochemical studies have revealed that at least 7 genes are involved in the biosynthesis of the newly discovered metabolites, neopentalenoketolactone, but no gene specifically dedicated to the formation of pentalenic acid (1) was evident in the same gene cluster. The wild type strain of S. avermitilis as well as its derivatives mainly produce pentalenic acid (1) together with neopentalenoketolactone (9). Disruption of the sav7469 gene encoding a cytochrome P450 (CYP105D7), members of which class are associated with the hydroxylation of many structurally different compounds, abolished production of pentalenic acid (1). The sav7469-deletion mutant derived from SUKA11 carrying pKU462::ptl-clusterΔptlH accumulated 1-deoxypentalenic acid (5), but not pentalenic acid (1). Reintroduction of an extra-copy of the sav7469 gene to SUKA11 Δsav7469 carrying pKU462::ptl-clusterΔptlH restored the production of pentalenic acid (1). Recombinant CYP105D7 prepared from Escherichia coli catalyzed the oxidative conversion of 1-deoxypentalenic acid (5) to pentalenic acid (1) in the presence of the electron-transport partners, ferredoxin and ferredoxin reductase, both in vivo and in vitro. These results unambiguously demonstrate that CYP105D7 is responsible for the conversion of 1-deoxypentalenic acid (5) to pentalenic acid (1), a shunt product in the biosynthesis of the pentalenolactone family of metabolites.
Sesquiterpene; Biosynthesis; Streptomyces avermitilis; pentalenolactone; cytochrome P450
Down-regulation of detoxification genes, notably cytochrome P450 (CYPs), in primary hepatocyte cultures is a long-standing and major concern. We evaluated the influence of medium flow in this model. Hepatocytes isolated from 12 different liver donors were cultured either in a multichamber modular bioreactor (MCmB, flow rate 250–500 μL/min) or under standard/static conditions, and the expression of 32 genes, enzyme activities and biological parameters were measured 7–21 days later. mRNA expression of genes involved in xenobiotic/drug metabolism and transport, including CYP1A1, 1A2, 2B6, 2C9, 3A4 (and activities for some of them), UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 1A1, UGT2B4, UGT2B7, glutathione S-transferase (GSTα), and multidrug resistance protein 1 (MDR1) and MRP2, were specifically up-regulated by medium flow as compared with static controls in all cultures tested. In 2-week-old cultures, expression of detoxification genes reached levels close to or higher than those measured in freshly isolated hepatocytes. In contrast, CYP2D6 and most of other tested genes were not affected by medium flow. We conclude that medium flow specifically interferes with, and up-regulates, the activity of xenosensors and/or the expression of detoxification genes in primary human hepatocytes. Down-regulation of detoxification genes in conventional (static) cultures is therefore partly a consequence of the absence of medium circulation.
Bioreactor; Detoxification; Human hepatocyte; Shear stress; Xenosensors
Rice, maize, sorghum, wheat, barley and the other major crop grasses from the family Poaceae (Gramineae) are mankind's most important source of calories and contribute tens of billions of dollars annually to the world economy (FAO 1999, ; USDA 1997, ). Continued improvement of Poaceae crops is necessary in order to continue to feed an ever-growing world population. However, of the major crop grasses, only rice (Oryza sativa), with a compact genome of ∼400 Mbp, has been sequenced and annotated. The Gramene database () takes advantage of the known genetic colinearity (synteny) between rice and the major crop plant genomes to provide maize, sorghum, millet, wheat, oat and barley researchers with the benefits of an annotated genome years before their own species are sequenced. Gramene is a one stop portal for finding curated literature, genetic and genomic datasets related to maps, markers, genes, genomes and quantitative trait loci. The addition of several new tools to Gramene has greatly facilitated the potential for comparative analysis among the grasses and contributes to our understanding of the anatomy, development, environmental responses and the factors influencing agronomic performance of cereal crops. Since the last publication on Gramene database by D. H. Ware, P. Jaiswal, J. Ni, I. V. Yap, X. Pan, K. Y. Clark, L. Teytelman, S. C. Schmidt, W. Zhao, K. Chang et al. [(2002), Plant Physiol., 130, 1606–1613], the database has undergone extensive changes that are described in this publication.
During evolution, plants have developed mechanisms to cope with and adapt to different types of stress, including microbial infection. Once the stress is sensed, signaling pathways are activated, leading to the induced expression of genes with different roles in defense. Mosses (Bryophytes) are non-vascular plants that diverged from flowering plants more than 450 million years ago, allowing comparative studies of the evolution of defense-related genes and defensive metabolites produced after microbial infection. The ancestral position among land plants, the sequenced genome and the feasibility of generating targeted knock-out mutants by homologous recombination has made the moss Physcomitrella patens an attractive model to perform functional studies of plant genes involved in stress responses. This paper reviews the current knowledge of inducible defense mechanisms in P. patens and compares them to those activated in flowering plants after pathogen assault, including the reinforcement of the cell wall, ROS production, programmed cell death, activation of defense genes and synthesis of secondary metabolites and defense hormones. The knowledge generated in P. patens together with comparative studies in flowering plants will help to identify key components in plant defense responses and to design novel strategies to enhance resistance to biotic stress.
Physcomitrella patens; flowering plants; defense mechanisms; ROS; cell wall; programmed cell death; defense genes; defense hormones
Understanding the fate and effects of organic chemicals in animals requires knowledge of cytochrome P450 (CYP) genes, which thus far are poorly known in bivalve mollusks. We searched for CYP sequences in EST databases for Mytilus and Crassostrea species, lophotrochozoan representatives of the protostomes. From ESTs averaging ca. 924 bp, we identified 58 CYP genes in Mytilus californianus and 39 CYP genes in Crassostrea gigas. The sequences fell in all known animal CYP clans, and collectively they clustered in phylogenetic analysis with vertebrate CYP families 1, 2, 3, 4, 17, 20, 26 and 27. As in deuterostomes, a majority of the sequences fell in Clan 2. The CYP sequences found thus far in bivalves suggest a diversity consistent with that found in many other animal species. The present description of mollusk genes provides the overall framework for classification of any additional bivalve sequences. The sequences identified also will be useful in obtaining full-length sequences and in designing primers for analysis of expression of mussel and oyster CYP genes, or for recombinant protein expression to identify potential substrates for the bivalve CYP proteins, and understand their roles in xenobiotic detoxification and physiology of bivalves.
P450; CYP; Mytilus californianus; Crassostrea gigas; bivalve; pollution; biomarker