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1.  Loss of the SRF co-factor, cysteine-rich protein 1, attenuates neointima formation in the mouse 
Objective
Cysteine-Rich Protein (CRP) 1 and 2 are cytoskeletal LIM-domain proteins thought to be critical for smooth muscle differentiation. Loss of murine CRP2 does not overtly affect smooth muscle differentiation or vascular function, but exacerbates neointima formation in response to vascular injury. Since CRP1 and CRP2 are co-expressed in the vasculature, we hypothesize that CRP1 and CRP2 act redundantly in smooth muscle differentiation.
Methods and Results
We generated Csrp1 (gene name for CRP1)-null mice by genetic ablation of the Csrp1 gene and found that mice lacking CRP1 are viable and fertile. Smooth muscle containing tissues from Csrp1-null mice are morphologically indistinguishable from wildtype and have normal contractile properties. Mice lacking both CRP1 and CRP2 are viable and fertile ruling out functional redundancy between these two highly related proteins as a cause for the lack of an overt phenotype in the Csrp1-null mice. Csrp1-null mice challenged by wire-induced arterial injury display reduced neointima formation, opposite to that seen in Csrp2-null mice, while Csrp1/Csrp2 double null mice produce a wildtype response.
Conclusions
Smooth muscle CRPs are not essential for normal smooth muscle differentiation during development, but may act antagonistically to modulate the smooth muscle response to pathophysiological stress.
doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.109.200741
PMCID: PMC2998921  PMID: 20056913
2.  Genotype—phenotype relationships involving hypertrophic cardiomyopathy-associated mutations in titin, muscle LIM protein, and telethonin ☆ 
Background
TTN-encoded titin, CSRP3-encoded muscle LIM protein, and TCAP-encoded telethonin are Z-disc proteins essential for the structural organization of the cardiac sarcomere and the cardiomyocyte’s stretch sensor. All three genes have been established as cardiomyopathy-associated genes for both dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Here, we sought to characterize the frequency, spectrum, and phenotype associated with HCM-associated mutations in these three genes in a large cohort of unrelated patients evaluated at a single tertiary outpatient center.
Methods
DNA was obtained from 389 patients with HCM (215 male, left ventricular wall thickness of 21.6 ± 6 mm) and analyzed for mutations involving all translated exons of CSRP3 and TCAP and targeted HCM-associated exons (2, 3, 4, and 14) of TTN using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), denaturing high performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC), and direct DNA sequencing. Clinical data were extracted from patient records and maintained independent of the genotype.
Results
Overall, 16 patients (4.1%) harbored a Z-disc mutation: 12 had a MLP mutation and 4 patients a TCAP mutation. No TTN mutations were detected. Seven patients were also found to have a concomitant myofilament mutation. Seven patients with a MLP-mutation were found to harbor the DCM-associated, functionally characterized W4R mutation. W4R-MLP was also noted in a single white control subject. Patients with MLP/TCAP-associated HCM clinically mimicked myofilament-HCM.
Conclusions
Approximately 4.1% of unrelated patients had HCM-associated MLP or TCAP mutations. MLP/TCAP-HCM phenotypically mirrors myofilament-HCM and is more severe than the subset of patients who still remain without a disease-causing mutation. The precise role of W4R-MLP in the pathogenesis of either DCM or HCM warrants further investigation.
doi:10.1016/j.ymgme.2005.10.008
PMCID: PMC2756511  PMID: 16352453
Genetics; Genes; Hypertrophy; Cardiomyopathy; Z-disc; Muscle LIM protein; Telethonin; TCAP; Titin
3.  Molecular cloning and characterization of an antigenic protein with a repeating region from Clonorchis sinensis 
In the course of immunoscreening of Clonorchis sinensis cDNA library, a cDNA CsRP12 containing a tandem repeat was isolated. The cDNA CsRP12 encodes two putative peptides of open reading frames (ORFs) 1 and 2 (CsRP12-1 and -2). The repetitive region is composed of 15 repeats of 10 amino acids. Of the two putative peptides, CsRP12-1 was proline-rich and found to have homologues in several organisms. Recombinant proteins of the putative peptides were bacterially produced and purified by an affinity chromatography. Recombinant CsRP12-1 protein was recognized by sera of clonorchiasis patients and experimental rabbits, but recombinant CsRP12-2 was not. One of the putative peptide, CsRP12-1, is designated CsPRA, proline-rich antigen of C. sinensis. Both the C-termini of CsRP12-1 and -2 were bacterially produced and analysed to show no antigenicity. Recombinant CsPRA protein showed high sensitivity and specificity. In experimental rabbits, IgG antibodies to CsPRA was produced between 4 and 8 weeks after the infection and decreased thereafter over one year. These results indicate that CsPRA is equivalent to a natural protein and a useful antigenic protein for serodiagnosis of human clonorchiasis.
doi:10.3347/kjp.2001.39.1.57
PMCID: PMC2721066  PMID: 11301591
Clonorchis sinensis; repetitive peptide; antigenic; proline-rich; CsPRA
4.  MLP (muscle LIM protein) as a stress sensor in the heart 
Pflugers Archiv  2011;462(1):135-142.
Muscle LIM protein (MLP, also known as cysteine rich protein 3 (CSRP3, CRP3)) is a muscle-specific-expressed LIM-only protein. It consists of 194 amino-acids and has been described initially as a factor involved in myogenesis (Arber et al. Cell 79:221–231, 1994). MLP soon became an important model for experimental cardiology when it was first demonstrated that MLP deficiency leads to myocardial hypertrophy followed by a dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure phenotype (Arber et al. Cell 88:393–403, 1997). At this time, this was the first genetically altered animal model to develop this devastating disease. Interestingly, MLP was also found to be down-regulated in humans with heart failure (Zolk et al. Circulation 101:2674–2677, 2000) and MLP mutations are able to cause hypertrophic and dilated forms of cardiomyopathy in humans (Bos et al. Mol Genet Metab 88:78–85, 2006; Geier et al. Circulation 107:1390–1395, 2003; Hershberger et al. Clin Transl Sci 1:21–26, 2008; Knöll et al. Cell 111:943–955, 2002; Knöll et al. Circ Res 106:695–704, 2010; Mohapatra et al. Mol Genet Metab 80:207–215, 2003). Although considerable efforts have been undertaken to unravel the underlying molecular mechanisms—how MLP mutations, either in model organisms or in the human setting cause these diseases are still unclear. In contrast, only precise knowledge of the underlying molecular mechanisms will allow the development of novel and innovative therapeutic strategies to combat this otherwise lethal condition. The focus of this review will be on the function of MLP in cardiac mechanosensation and we shall point to possible future directions in MLP research.
doi:10.1007/s00424-011-0961-2
PMCID: PMC3114083  PMID: 21484537
Muscle stretch; Mechanoreceptor; Mechanosensitivity; Gene expression; Cardiac function; Cardiac muscle; Cardiac myocytes; Cardiac sarcomere; Cardiomyocyte; Cardiovascular control
5.  Genomic analysis of expressed sequence tags in American black bear Ursus americanus 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:201.
Background
Species of the bear family (Ursidae) are important organisms for research in molecular evolution, comparative physiology and conservation biology, but relatively little genetic sequence information is available for this group. Here we report the development and analyses of the first large scale Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) resource for the American black bear (Ursus americanus).
Results
Comprehensive analyses of molecular functions, alternative splicing, and tissue-specific expression of 38,757 black bear EST sequences were conducted using the dog genome as a reference. We identified 18 genes, involved in functions such as lipid catabolism, cell cycle, and vesicle-mediated transport, that are showing rapid evolution in the bear lineage Three genes, Phospholamban (PLN), cysteine glycine-rich protein 3 (CSRP3) and Troponin I type 3 (TNNI3), are related to heart contraction, and defects in these genes in humans lead to heart disease. Two genes, biphenyl hydrolase-like (BPHL) and CSRP3, contain positively selected sites in bear. Global analysis of evolution rates of hibernation-related genes in bear showed that they are largely conserved and slowly evolving genes, rather than novel and fast-evolving genes.
Conclusion
We provide a genomic resource for an important mammalian organism and our study sheds new light on the possible functions and evolution of bear genes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-201
PMCID: PMC2996962  PMID: 20338065
6.  Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy family with double-heterozygous mutations; does disease severity suggest doubleheterozygosity? 
Netherlands Heart Journal  2009;17(12):458-463.
Background. With the improvement in genetic testing over time, double-heterozygous mutations are more often found by coincidence in families with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Double heterozygosity can be a cause of the wellknown clinical diversity within HCM families.
Methods and results. We describe a family in which members carry either a single mutation or are double heterozygous for mutations in myosin heavy chain gene (MYH7) and cysteine and glycine-rich protein 3 (CSRP3). The described family emphasises the idea of a more severe clinical phenotype with double-heterozygous mutations. It also highlights the importance of cardiological screening where NT-proBNP may serve as an added diagnostic tool.
Conclusion. With a more severe inexplicable phenotype of HCM within a family, one should consider the possibility of double-heterozygous mutations. This implies that in such families, even when one disease-causing mutation is found, all the family members still have an implication for cardiological screening parallel to extended genetic screening. (Neth Heart J 2009;17:458-63.)
PMCID: PMC2804077  PMID: 20087448
cardiomyopathy; hypertrophic; proBNP; genetics; double-heterozygous mutations
7.  An Intronic CArG Box Regulates Cysteine-rich Protein 2 Expression in the Adult but not Developing Vasculature 
Objective
An absence of cysteine-rich protein 2 (CRP2) enhances vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration and increases neointima formation following arterial injury; therefore CRP2 plays an important role in the response to vascular injury. The goal of the present study was to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that preserve CRP2 expression in the adult vasculature and thus might serve to inhibit the response to injury.
Methods and Results
We generated a series of transgenic mice harboring potential Csrp2 regulatory regions with a lacZ reporter. We determined that the 12-kb first intron was necessary for transgene activity in adult but not developing vasculature. Within the intron we identified a 6.3-kb region that contains two CArG boxes. SRF preferentially bound to CArG2 box in gel mobility shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays; additionally, SRF coactivator myocardin factors activated CRP2 expression via the CArG2 box. Mutational analysis revealed that CArG2 box was important in directing lacZ expression in VSMCs of adult vessels.
Conclusions
Although CRP2 expression during development is independent of CArG box regulatory sites, CRP2 expression in adult VSMCs requires CArG2 element within the first intron. Our results suggest that distinct mechanisms regulate CRP2 expression in VSMCs that are controlled by separate embryonic and adult regulatory modules.
doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.109.197251
PMCID: PMC2841712  PMID: 20075421
CRP2; VSMC; adult element; CArG box; intron
8.  Two muscle-specific LIM proteins in Drosophila 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1996;134(5):1179-1195.
The LIM domain defines a zinc-binding motif found in a growing number of eukaryotic proteins that regulate cell growth and differentiation during development. Members of the cysteine-rich protein (CRP) family of LIM proteins have been implicated in muscle differentiation in vertebrates. Here we report the identification and characterization of cDNA clones encoding two members of the CRP family in Drosophila, referred to as muscle LIM proteins (Mlp). Mlp60A encodes a protein with a single LIM domain linked to a glycine-rich region. Mlp84B encodes a protein with five tandem LIM-glycine modules. In the embryo, Mlp gene expression is spatially restricted to somatic, visceral, and pharyngeal muscles. Within the somatic musculature, Mlp84B transcripts are enriched at the terminal ends of muscle fibers, whereas Mlp60A transcripts are found throughout the muscle fibers. The distributions of the Mlp60A and Mlp84B proteins mirror their respective mRNA localizations, with Mlp84B enrichment occurring at sites of muscle attachment. Northern blot analysis revealed that Mlp gene expression is developmentally regulated, showing a biphasic pattern over the course of the Drosophila life cycle. Peaks of expression occur late in embryogenesis and during metamorphosis, when the musculature is differentiating. Drosophila Mlp60A and Mlp84B, like vertebrate members of the CRP family, have the ability to associate with the actin cytoskeleton when expressed in rat fibroblast cells. The temporal expression and spatial distribution of muscle LIM proteins in Drosophila are consistent with a role for Mlps in myogenesis, late in the differentiation pathway.
PMCID: PMC2120973  PMID: 8794860
9.  Myocyte remodelling in response to hypertrophic stimuli requires nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of muscle LIM protein 
CSRP3 or Muscle LIM protein (MLP) is a nucleocytoplasmic shuttling protein and a mechanosensor in cardiac myocytes. MLP regulation and function was studied in cultured neonatal rat myocytes treated with pharmacological or mechanical stimuli. Either verapamil or BDM decreased nuclear MLP while phenylephrine and cyclic strain increased it. These results suggest that myocyte contractility regulates MLP subcellular localization. When RNA polymerase II was inhibited with α-amanitin, nuclear MLP was reduced by 30%. However, when both RNA polymerase I & II were inhibited with actinomycin D, there was a 90% decrease in nuclear MLP suggesting that its nuclear translocation is regulated by both nuclear and nucleolar transcriptional activity. Using cell permeable synthetic peptides containing the putative nuclear localization signal (NLS) of MLP, nuclear import of the protein in cultured rat neonatal myocytes was inhibited. The NLS of MLP also localizes to the nucleolus. Inhibition of nuclear translocation prevented the increased protein accumulation in response to phenylephrine. Furthermore, cyclic strain of myocytes after prior NLS treatment to remove nuclear MLP resulted in disarrayed sarcomeres. Increased protein synthesis and brain natriuretic peptide expression were also prevented suggesting that MLP is required for remodeling of the myofilaments and gene expression. These findings suggest that nucleocytoplasmic shuttling MLP plays an important role in the regulation of the myocyte remodeling and hypertrophy and is required for adaptation to hypertrophic stimuli.
doi:10.1016/j.yjmcc.2009.04.006
PMCID: PMC2739242  PMID: 19376126
hypertrophy; sarcomere remodeling; nucleocytoplasmic shuttling; mechanosensing; mechanotransduction
10.  Muscle LIM Proteins Are Associated with Muscle Sarcomeres and Require dMEF2 for Their Expression during Drosophila Myogenesis 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1999;10(7):2329-2342.
A genetic hierarchy of interactions, involving myogenic regulatory factors of the MyoD and myocyte enhancer-binding 2 (MEF2) families, serves to elaborate and maintain the differentiated muscle phenotype through transcriptional regulation of muscle-specific target genes. Much work suggests that members of the cysteine-rich protein (CRP) family of LIM domain proteins also play a role in muscle differentiation; however, the specific functions of CRPs in this process remain undefined. Previously, we characterized two members of the Drosophila CRP family, the muscle LIM proteins Mlp60A and Mlp84B, which show restricted expression in differentiating muscle lineages. To extend our analysis of Drosophila Mlps, we characterized the expression of Mlps in mutant backgrounds that disrupt specific aspects of muscle development. We show a genetic requirement for the transcription factor dMEF2 in regulating Mlp expression and an ability of dMEF2 to bind, in vitro, to consensus MEF2 sites derived from those present in Mlp genomic sequences. These data suggest that the Mlp genes may be direct targets of dMEF2 within the genetic hierarchy controlling muscle differentiation. Mutations that disrupt myoblast fusion fail to affect Mlp expression. In later stages of myogenic differentiation, which are dedicated primarily to assembly of the contractile apparatus, we analyzed the subcellular distribution of Mlp84B in detail. Immunofluorescent studies revealed the localization of Mlp84B to muscle attachment sites and the periphery of Z-bands of striated muscle. Analysis of mutations that affect expression of integrins and α-actinin, key components of these structures, also failed to perturb Mlp84B distribution. In conclusion, we have used molecular epistasis analysis to position Mlp function downstream of events involving mesoderm specification and patterning and concomitant with terminal muscle differentiation. Furthermore, our results are consistent with a structural role for Mlps as components of muscle cytoarchitecture.
PMCID: PMC25449  PMID: 10397768
11.  Cysteine-rich protein 1 (CRP1) regulates actin filament bundling 
BMC Cell Biology  2005;6:45.
Background
Cysteine-rich protein 1 (CRP1) is a LIM domain containing protein localized to the nucleus and the actin cytoskeleton. CRP1 has been demonstrated to bind the actin-bundling protein α-actinin and proposed to modulate the actin cytoskeleton; however, specific regulatory mechanisms have not been identified.
Results
CRP1 expression increased actin bundling in rat embryonic fibroblasts. Although CRP1 did not affect the bundling activity of α-actinin, CRP1 was found to stabilize the interaction of α-actinin with actin bundles and to directly bundle actin microfilaments. Using confocal and photobleaching fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) microscopy, we demonstrate that there are two populations of CRP1 localized along actin stress fibers, one associated through interaction with α-actinin and one that appears to bind the actin filaments directly. Consistent with a role in regulating actin filament cross-linking, CRP1 also localized to the membrane ruffles of spreading and PDGF treated fibroblasts.
Conclusion
CRP1 regulates actin filament bundling by directly cross-linking actin filaments and stabilizing the interaction of α-actinin with actin filament bundles.
doi:10.1186/1471-2121-6-45
PMCID: PMC1318456  PMID: 16336664
12.  LIM Proteins 
Plant Signaling & Behavior  2007;2(2):99-100.
The eukaryotic LIM domain defines a double zinc-finger like structure that functions as a protein-protein interaction module. Whereas in animals the LIM domain is found in numerous proteins of diverse functions, plants possess only a limited number of LIM domain-containing proteins (LIMs). It is noteworthy that most of plant LIMs belong to a same family that is structurally related to the animal Cysteine-Rich Proteins (CRPs). In the September issue of The Plant Cell, we have provided evidence that the tobacco WLIM1 is able to bind actin filaments in a direct manner, to stabilize them and to trigger actin bundling both in vitro and in vivo. These data, together with recent reports on animal CRPs, strongly suggest that these proteins represent a novel class of actin cytoskeleton regulators. In this addendum, we give a brief history of the research that has been conducted on plant LIMs in our lab. Additionally, we show that the GFP-fused tobacco WLIM1 protein is able to properly localize when ectopically expressed in monkey Vero cells, indicating that, despite a relatively low degree of identity/similarity, animal CRPs and plant LIMs display a very similar actin binding activity.
PMCID: PMC2633906  PMID: 19704806
actin-binding proteins; actin cytoskeleton; actin bundling; cysteine-rich proteins; LIM proteins
13.  Biochemical and molecular characterization of the chicken cysteine-rich protein, a developmentally regulated LIM-domain protein that is associated with the actin cytoskeleton 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1994;124(1):117-127.
LIM domains are present in a number of proteins including transcription factors, a proto-oncogene product, and the adhesion plaque protein zyxin. The LIM domain exhibits a characteristic arrangement of cysteine and histidine residues and represents a novel zinc binding sequence (Michelsen et al., 1993). Previously, we reported the identification of a 23-kD protein that interacts with zyxin in vitro (Sadler et al., 1992). In this report, we describe the purification and characterization of this 23-kD zyxin-binding protein from avian smooth muscle. Isolation of a cDNA encoding the 23-kD protein has revealed that it consists of 192 amino acids and exhibits two copies of the LIM motif. The 23-kD protein is 91% identical to the human cysteine-rich protein (hCRP); therefore we refer to it as the chicken cysteine-rich protein (cCRP). Examination of a number of chick embryonic tissues by Western immunoblot analysis reveals that cCRP exhibits tissue-specific expression. cCRP is most prominent in tissues that are enriched in smooth muscle cells, such as gizzard, stomach, and intestine. In primary cell cultures derived from embryonic gizzard, differentiated smooth muscle cells exhibit the most striking staining with anti-cCRP antibodies. We have performed quantitative Western immunoblot analysis of cCRP, zyxin, and alpha-actinin levels during embryogenesis. By this approach, we have demonstrated that the expression of cCRP is developmentally regulated.
PMCID: PMC2119904  PMID: 8294495
14.  CRP1, a LIM Domain Protein Implicated in Muscle Differentiation, Interacts with α-Actinin  
The Journal of Cell Biology  1997;139(1):157-168.
Members of the cysteine-rich protein (CRP) family are LIM domain proteins that have been implicated in muscle differentiation. One strategy for defining the mechanism by which CRPs potentiate myogenesis is to characterize the repertoire of CRP binding partners. In order to identify proteins that interact with CRP1, a prominent protein in fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells, we subjected an avian smooth muscle extract to affinity chromatography on a CRP1 column. A 100-kD protein bound to the CRP1 column and could be eluted with a high salt buffer; Western immunoblot analysis confirmed that the 100-kD protein is α-actinin. We have shown that the CRP1–α-actinin interaction is direct, specific, and saturable in both solution and solid-phase binding assays. The Kd for the CRP1–α-actinin interaction is 1.8 ± 0.3 μM. The results of the in vitro protein binding studies are supported by double-label indirect immunofluorescence experiments that demonstrate a colocalization of CRP1 and α-actinin along the actin stress fibers of CEF and smooth muscle cells. Moreover, we have shown that α-actinin coimmunoprecipitates with CRP1 from a detergent extract of smooth muscle cells. By in vitro domain mapping studies, we have determined that CRP1 associates with the 27-kD actin–binding domain of α-actinin. In reciprocal mapping studies, we showed that α-actinin interacts with CRP1-LIM1, a deletion fragment that contains the NH2-terminal 107 amino acids (aa) of CRP1. To determine whether the α-actinin binding domain of CRP1 would localize to the actin cytoskeleton in living cells, expression constructs encoding epitope-tagged full-length CRP1, CRP1-LIM1(aa 1-107), or CRP1-LIM2 (aa 108-192) were microinjected into cells. By indirect immunofluorescence, we have determined that full-length CRP1 and CRP1-LIM1 localize along the actin stress fibers whereas CRP1-LIM2 fails to associate with the cytoskeleton. Collectively these data demonstrate that the NH2-terminal part of CRP1 that contains the α-actinin–binding site is sufficient to localize CRP1 to the actin cytoskeleton. The association of CRP1 with α-actinin may be critical for its role in muscle differentiation.
PMCID: PMC2139825  PMID: 9314536
15.  RESCUE-ESE identifies candidate exonic splicing enhancers in vertebrate exons 
Nucleic Acids Research  2004;32(Web Server issue):W187-W190.
A typical gene contains two levels of information: a sequence that encodes a particular protein and a host of other signals that are necessary for the correct expression of the transcript. While much attention has been focused on the effects of sequence variation on the amino acid sequence, variations that disrupt gene processing signals can dramatically impact gene function. A variation that disrupts an exonic splicing enhancer (ESE), for example, could cause exon skipping which would result in the exclusion of an entire exon from the mRNA transcript. RESCUE-ESE, a computational approach used in conjunction with experimental validation, previously identified 238 candidate ESE hexamers in human genes. The RESCUE-ESE method has recently been implemented in three additional species: mouse, zebrafish and pufferfish. Here we describe an online ESE analysis tool (http://genes.mit.edu/burgelab/rescue-ese/) that annotates RESCUE-ESE hexamers in vertebrate exons and can be used to predict splicing phenotypes by identifying sequence changes that disrupt or alter predicted ESEs.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkh393
PMCID: PMC441531  PMID: 15215377
16.  Sequence analysis and lipid modification of the cysteine-rich envelope proteins of Chlamydia psittaci 6BC. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1991;173(12):3821-3830.
The envelopes of elementary bodies of Chlamydia spp. consist largely of disulfide-cross-linked major outer membrane protein (MOMP) and two cysteine-rich proteins (CRPs). The MOMP gene of Chlamydia psittaci 6BC has been sequenced previously, and the genes encoding the small and large CRPs from this strain were cloned and sequenced in this study. The CRP genes were found to be tandemly arranged on the chlamydial chromosome but could be independently expressed in Escherichia coli. The deduced 87-amino-acid sequence of the small-CRP gene (envA) contains 15 cysteine residues, a potential signal peptide, and a potential signal peptidase II-lipid modification site. Hydropathy plot and conformation analysis of the small-CRP amino acid sequence indicated that the protein was unlikely to be associated with a membrane. However, the small CRP was specifically labeled in host cells incubated with [3H]palmitic acid and may therefore be associated with a membrane through a covalently attached lipid portion of the molecule. The deduced 557-amino-acid sequence of the large-CRP gene (envB) contains 37 cysteine residues and a single putative signal peptidase I cleavage site. In one recombinant clone the large CRP appeared to be posttranslationally cleaved at two sites, forming a doublet in a manner similar to the large-CRP doublet made in native C. psittaci 6BC. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences of the CRPs from chlamydial strains indicated that the small CRP is moderately conserved, with 54% identity between C. psittaci 6BC and Chlamydia trachomatis, and the large CRP is highly conserved, with 71% identity between C. psittaci and C. trachomatis and 85% identity between C. psittaci 6BC and Chlamydia pneumoniae. The positions of the cysteine residues in both CRPs are highly conserved in Chlamydia spp. From the number of cysteine residues in the MOMP and the CRPs and the relative incorporation of [35S]cysteine into these proteins, it was calculated that the molar ratio of C. psittaci 6BC elementary body envelope proteins is about one large-CRP molecule to two small-CRP molecules to five MOMP molecules.
Images
PMCID: PMC208014  PMID: 2050637
17.  Biogenesis of mitochondria: DNA sequence analysis of mit- mutations in the mitochondrial oli1 gene coding for mitochondrial ATPase subunit 9 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1985;13(4):1327-1339.
The nucleotide sequence of the yeast mitochondrial olil gene has been obtained in a series of mit- mutants with mutations in this gene, which codes for subunit 9 of of the mitochondrial ATPase complex. Subunit 9 is the proteolipid, 76 amino acids in length, necessary for the proton translocation function of the membrane Fo-sector. These mutants were classified on the basis of their rescue by a petite strain shown here to retain the entire wild-type olil gene. The mutation in one mit- strain removes a positively charged residue (Arg39----Met) which is likely to be located in a segment of subunit 9 that protrudes from the inner mitochondrial membrane. In a second mit- mutant, a negatively charged residue replaces a conserved glycine residue (Gly18----Asp) in a glycine-rich segment of the protein that is most likely embedded within the membrane. Other mit- mutations result in frameshifts with predicted products 7, 65 and 68 amino acid residues long. In each mit- mutant, there is the loss of one or more of the amino acid residues that are highly conserved among diverse species. The location and nature of specific changes pinpoint amino acid residues in subunit 9 essential to the activity of the mitochondrial ATPase complex.
PMCID: PMC341075  PMID: 2860638
18.  Genetic Localization and Molecular Characterization of Two Key Genes (mitAB) Required for Biosynthesis of the Antitumor Antibiotic Mitomycin C 
Journal of Bacteriology  1999;181(7):2199-2208.
Mitomycin C (MC) is an antitumor antibiotic derived biosynthetically from 3-amino-5-hydroxybenzoic acid (AHBA), d-glucosamine, and carbamoyl phosphate. A gene (mitA) involved in synthesis of AHBA has been identified and found to be linked to the MC resistance locus, mrd, in Streptomyces lavendulae. Nucleotide sequence analysis showed that mitA encodes a 388-amino-acid protein that has 71% identity (80% similarity) with the rifamycin AHBA synthase from Amycolatopsis mediterranei, as well as with two additional AHBA synthases from related ansamycin antibiotic-producing microorganisms. Gene disruption and site-directed mutagenesis of the S. lavendulae chromosomal copy of mitA completely blocked the production of MC. The function of mitA was confirmed by complementation of an S. lavendulae strain containing a K191A mutation in MitA with AHBA. A second gene (mitB) encoding a 272-amino-acid protein (related to a group of glycosyltransferases) was identified immediately downstream of mitA that upon disruption resulted in abrogation of MC synthesis. This work has localized a cluster of key genes that mediate assembly of the unique mitosane class of natural products.
PMCID: PMC93634  PMID: 10094699
19.  2mit, an Intronic Gene of Drosophila melanogaster timeless2, Is Involved in Behavioral Plasticity 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e76351.
Background
Intronic genes represent ~6% of the total gene complement in Drosophila melanogaster and ~85% of them encode for proteins. We recently characterized the D. melanogaster timeless2 (tim2) gene, showing its active involvement in chromosomal stability and light synchronization of the adult circadian clock. The protein coding gene named 2mit maps on the 11th tim2 intron in the opposite transcriptional orientation.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Here we report the molecular and functional characterization of 2mit. The 2mit gene is expressed throughout Drosophila development, localizing mainly in the nervous system during embryogenesis and mostly in the mushroom bodies and ellipsoid body of the central complex in the adult brain. In silico analyses revealed that 2mit encodes a putative leucine-Rich Repeat transmembrane receptor with intrinsically disordered regions, harboring several fully conserved functional interaction motifs in the cytosolic side. Using insertional mutations, tissue-specific over-expression, and down-regulation approaches, it was found that 2mit is implicated in adult short-term memory, assessed by a courtship conditioning assay. In D. melanogaster, tim2 and 2mit do not seem to be functionally related. Bioinformatic analyses identified 2MIT orthologs in 21 Drosophilidae, 4 Lepidoptera and in Apis mellifera. In addition, the tim2-2mit host-nested gene organization was shown to be present in A. mellifera and maintained among Drosophila species. Within the Drosophilidae 2mit-hosting tim2 intron, in silico approaches detected a neuronal specific transcriptional binding site which might have contributed to preserve the specific host-nested gene association across Drosophila species.
Conclusions/Significance
Taken together, these results indicate that 2mit, a gene mainly expressed in the nervous system, has a role in the behavioral plasticity of the adult Drosophila. The presence of a putative 2mit regulatory enhancer within the 2mit-hosting tim2 intron could be considered an evolutionary constraint potentially involved in maintaining the tim2-2mit host-nested chromosomal architecture during the evolution of Drosophila species.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076351
PMCID: PMC3786989  PMID: 24098788
20.  Canine candidate genes for dilated cardiomyopathy: annotation of and polymorphic markers for 14 genes 
Background
Dilated cardiomyopathy is a myocardial disease occurring in humans and domestic animals and is characterized by dilatation of the left ventricle, reduced systolic function and increased sphericity of the left ventricle. Dilated cardiomyopathy has been observed in several, mostly large and giant, dog breeds, such as the Dobermann and the Great Dane. A number of genes have been identified, which are associated with dilated cardiomyopathy in the human, mouse and hamster. These genes mainly encode structural proteins of the cardiac myocyte.
Results
We present the annotation of, and marker development for, 14 of these genes of the dog genome, i.e. α-cardiac actin, caveolin 1, cysteine-rich protein 3, desmin, lamin A/C, LIM-domain binding factor 3, myosin heavy polypeptide 7, phospholamban, sarcoglycan δ, titin cap, α-tropomyosin, troponin I, troponin T and vinculin. A total of 33 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms were identified for these canine genes and 11 polymorphic microsatellite repeats were developed.
Conclusion
The presented polymorphisms provide a tool to investigate the role of the corresponding genes in canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy by linkage analysis or association studies.
doi:10.1186/1746-6148-3-28
PMCID: PMC2194671  PMID: 17949487
21.  An integrated molecular cytogenetic map of Cucumis sativus L. chromosome 2 
BMC Genetics  2011;12:18.
Background
Integration of molecular, genetic and cytological maps is still a challenge for most plant species. Recent progress in molecular and cytogenetic studies created a basis for developing integrated maps in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.).
Results
In this study, eleven fosmid clones and three plasmids containing 45S rDNA, the centromeric satellite repeat Type III and the pericentriomeric repeat CsRP1 sequences respectively were hybridized to cucumber metaphase chromosomes to assign their cytological location on chromosome 2. Moreover, an integrated molecular cytogenetic map of cucumber chromosomes 2 was constructed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) mapping of 11 fosmid clones together with the cucumber centromere-specific Type III sequence on meiotic pachytene chromosomes. The cytogenetic map was fully integrated with genetic linkage map since each fosmid clone was anchored by a genetically mapped simple sequence repeat marker (SSR). The relationship between the genetic and physical distances along chromosome was analyzed.
Conclusions
Recombination was not evenly distributed along the physical length of chromosome 2. Suppression of recombination was found in centromeric and pericentromeric regions. Our results also indicated that the molecular markers composing the linkage map for chromosome 2 provided excellent coverage of the chromosome.
doi:10.1186/1471-2156-12-18
PMCID: PMC3039625  PMID: 21272311
22.  Molecular dissection of a LIM domain. 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1997;8(2):219-230.
LIM domains are novel sequence elements that are found in more than 60 gene products, many of which function as key regulators of developmental pathways. The LIM domain, characterized by the cysteine-rich consensus CX2CX16-23HX2CX2CX2CX16-21 CX2-3(C/H/ D), is a specific mental-binding structure that consists of two distinct zinc-binding subdomains. We and others have recently demonstrated that the LIM domain mediates protein-protein interactions. However, the sequences that define the protein-binding specificity of the LIM domain had not yet been identified. Because structural studies have revealed that the C-terminal zinc-binding module of a LIM domain displays a tertiary fold compatible with nucleic acid binding, it was of interest to determine whether the specific protein-binding activity of a LIM domain could be ascribed to one of its two zinc-binding subdomains. To address this question, we have analyzed the protein-binding capacity of a model LIM peptide, called zLIM1, that is derived from the cytoskeletal protein zyxin. These studies demonstrate that the protein-binding function of zLIM1 can be mapped to sequences contained within its N-terminal zinc-binding module. The C-terminal zinc-binding module of zLIM1 may thus remain accessible to additional interactive partners. Our results raise the possibility that the two structural subdomains of a LIM domain are capable of performing distinct biochemical functions.
Images
PMCID: PMC276075  PMID: 9190203
23.  Common susceptibility variants examined for association with dilated cardiomyopathy 
Annals of human genetics  2010;74(2):110-116.
Background
Rare mutations in more than 20 genes have been suggested to cause dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), but explain only a small percentage of cases, mainly in familial forms. We hypothesized that more common variants may also play a role in increasing genetic susceptibility to DCM, similar to that observed in other common complex disorders.
Methods and Results
To test this hypothesis, we performed case-control analyses on all DNA polymorphic variation identified in a resequencing study of six candidate DCM genes (CSRP3, LDB3, MYH7, SCN5A, TCAP, and TNNT2) conducted in 289 unrelated white probands with DCM of unknown cause and 188 unrelated white controls. In univariate analyses, we identified associated common variants at LDB3 site 10779, LDB3 site 57877, MYH7 sites 16384 and 17404, and TCAP sites 140 and 1735. Multivariate analyses to examine the joint effects of multiple gene variants confirmed univariate results for MYH7 and TCAP and identified a block of 9 variants in MYH7 that was strongly associated with DCM.
Conclusions
Common variants in genes known to be causative of DCM may play a role in genetic susceptibility to DCM. Our results suggest that examination of common genetic variants may be warranted in future studies of DCM and other Mendelian-like disorders.
doi:10.1111/j.1469-1809.2010.00566.x
PMCID: PMC2866200  PMID: 20201937
dilated cardiomyopathy; genetics; multivariate analyses; resequencing
24.  The role of sarcomere gene mutations in patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy 
European Journal of Human Genetics  2009;17(10):1241-1249.
We investigated a Danish cohort of 31 unrelated patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDC), to assess the role that mutations in sarcomere protein genes play in IDC. Patients were genetically screened by capillary electrophoresis single strand conformation polymorphism and subsequently by bidirectional DNA sequencing of conformers in the coding regions of MYH7, MYBPC3, TPM1, ACTC, MYL2, MYL3, TNNT2, CSRP3 and TNNI3. Eight probands carried disease-associated genetic variants (26%). In MYH7, three novel mutations were found; in MYBPC3, one novel variant and two known mutations were found; and in TNNT2, a known mutation was found. One proband was double heterozygous. We find evidence of phenotypic plasticity: three mutations described earlier as HCM causing were found in four cases of IDC, with no history of a hypertrophic phase. Furthermore, one pedigree presented with several cases of classic DCM as well as one case with left ventricular non-compaction. Disease-causing sarcomere gene mutations were found in about one-quarter of IDC patients, and seem to play an important role in the causation of the disease. The genetics is as complex as seen in HCM. Thus, our data suggest that a genetic work-up should include screening of the most prominent sarcomere genes even in the absence of a family history of the disease.
doi:10.1038/ejhg.2009.34
PMCID: PMC2986634  PMID: 19293840
cardiomyopathies; dilated; heart failure; sarcomere gene mutations; DNA mutational analysis
25.  Divergent signaling pathways cooperatively regulate TGFβ induction of cysteine-rich protein 2 in vascular smooth muscle cells 
Background
Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) of the arterial wall play a critical role in the development of occlusive vascular diseases. Cysteine-rich protein 2 (CRP2) is a VSMC-expressed LIM-only protein, which functionally limits VSMC migration and protects against pathological vascular remodeling. The multifunctional cytokine TGFβ has been implicated to play a role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis through numerous downstream signaling pathways. We showed previously that TGFβ upregulates CRP2 expression; however, the detailed signaling mechanisms remain unclear.
Results
TGFβ treatment of VSMCs activated both Smad2/3 and ATF2 phosphorylation. Individually knocking down Smad2/3 or ATF2 pathways with siRNA impaired the TGFβ induction of CRP2, indicating that both contribute to CRP2 expression. Inhibiting TβRI kinase activity by SB431542 or TβRI knockdown abolished Smad2/3 phosphorylation but did not alter ATF2 phosphorylation, indicating while Smad2/3 phosphorylation was TβRI-dependent ATF2 phosphorylation was independent of TβRI. Inhibiting Src kinase activity by SU6656 suppressed TGFβ-induced RhoA and ATF2 activation but not Smad2 phosphorylation. Blocking ROCK activity, the major downstream target of RhoA, abolished ATF2 phosphorylation and CRP2 induction but not Smad2 phosphorylation. Furthermore, JNK inhibition with SP600125 reduced TGFβ-induced ATF2 (but not Smad2) phosphorylation and CRP2 protein expression while ROCK inhibition blocked JNK activation. These results indicate that downstream of TβRII, Src family kinase-RhoA-ROCK-JNK signaling pathway mediates TβRI-independent ATF2 activation. Promoter analysis revealed that the TGFβ induction of CRP2 was mediated through the CRE and SBE promoter elements that were located in close proximity.
Conclusions
Our results demonstrate that two signaling pathways downstream of TGFβ converge on the CRE and SBE sites of the Csrp2 promoter to cooperatively control CRP2 induction in VSMCs, which represents a previously unrecognized mechanism of VSMC gene induction by TGFβ.
doi:10.1186/1478-811X-12-22
PMCID: PMC3973006  PMID: 24674138
Cysteine-rich protein 2; Vascular smooth muscle cells; TGFβ; ATF2; Smad2/3

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