Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are popular for identifying genetic variants which are associated with disease risk. Many approaches have been proposed to test multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a region simultaneously which considering disadvantages of methods in single locus association analysis. Kernel machine based SNP set analysis is more powerful than single locus analysis, which borrows information from SNPs correlated with causal or tag SNPs. Four types of kernel machine functions and principal component based approach (PCA) were also compared. However, given the loss of power caused by low minor allele frequencies (MAF), we conducted an extension work on PCA and used a new method called weighted PCA (wPCA). Comparative analysis was performed for weighted principal component analysis (wPCA), logistic kernel machine based test (LKM) and principal component analysis (PCA) based on SNP set in the case of different minor allele frequencies (MAF) and linkage disequilibrium (LD) structures. We also applied the three methods to analyze two SNP sets extracted from a real GWAS dataset of non-small cell lung cancer in Han Chinese population. Simulation results show that when the MAF of the causal SNP is low, weighted principal component and weighted IBS are more powerful than PCA and other kernel machine functions at different LD structures and different numbers of causal SNPs. Application of the three methods to a real GWAS dataset indicates that wPCA and wIBS have better performance than the linear kernel, IBS kernel and PCA.
Organisms frequently encounter a wide variety of proteotoxic stressors. The heat-shock response, an ancient cytoprotective mechanism, has evolved to augment organismal survival and longevity in the face of proteotoxic stress from without and within. These broadly recognized beneficial effects, ironically, contrast sharply with its emerging role as a culprit in the pathogenesis of cancers. Here, we present an overview of the normal biology of the heat-shock response and highlight its implications in oncogenic processes, including the proteotoxic stress phenotype of cancer; the function of this stress response in helping cancer survive and adapt to proteotoxic stress; and perturbation of proteome homeostasis in cancer as a potential therapeutic avenue.
Oncogenesis; Proteotoxic stress; Heat-shock response; HSF1
Background. We previously found that expression of SET gene was up-regulated in polycystic ovaries by using microarray. It suggested that SET may be an attractive candidate regulator involved in the pathophysiology of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). In this study, expression and cellular localization of SET protein were investigated in human polycystic and normal ovaries. Method. Ovarian tissues, six normal ovaries and six polycystic ovaries, were collected during transsexual operation and surgical treatment with the signed consent form. The cellular localization of SET protein was observed by immunohistochemistry. The expression levels of SET protein were analyzed by Western Blot. Result. SET protein was expressed predominantly in the theca cells and oocytes of human ovarian follicles in both PCOS ovarian tissues and normal ovarian tissues. The level of SET protein expression in polycystic ovaries was triple higher than that in normal ovaries (P < 0.05). Conclusion. SET was overexpressed in polycystic ovaries more than that in normal ovaries. Combined with its localization in theca cells, SET may participate in regulating ovarian androgen biosynthesis and the pathophysiology of hyperandrogenism in PCOS.
Susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI) is a new MRI technique which has been proved very useful in the diagnosis of brain diseases, but few study was performed on its value in prostatic diseases. The aim of the present study was to investigate the value of SWI in distinguishing prostate cancer from benign prostatic hyperplasia and detecting prostatic calcification.
23 patients with prostate cancer and 53 patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia proved by prostate biopsy were scanned on a 3.0T MR and a 16-row CT scanner. High-resolution SWI, conventional MRI and CT were performed on all patients. The MRI and CT findings, especially SWI, were analyzed and compared. The analyses revealed that 19 out of 23 patients with prostate cancer presented hemorrhage within tumor area on SWI. However, in 53 patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia, hemorrhage was detected only in 1 patient in prostate by SWI. When comparing SWI, conventional MRI and CT in detecting prostate cancer hemorrhage, out of the 19 patients with prostate cancer who had prostatic hemorrhage detected by SWI, the prostatic hemorrhage was detected in only 7 patients by using conventional MRI, and none was detected by CT. In addition, CT demonstrated calcifications in 22 patients which were all detected by SWI whereas only 3 were detected by conventional MRI. Compared to CT, SWI showed 100% in the diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive predictive value(PPV) and negative predictive value(NPV) in detecting calcifications in prostate but conventional MRI demonstrated 13.6% in sensitivity, 100% in specificity, 75% in accuracy, 100% in PPV and 74% in NPV.
More apparent prostate hemorrhages were detected on SWI than on conventional MRI or CT. SWI may provide valuable information for the differential diagnosis between prostate cancer and prostatic hyperplasia. Filtered phase images can identify prostatic calcifications as well as CT.
miR-146a is one of the first identified miRNAs expressed differentially in osteoarthritis (OA) cartilage. However, the role it plays in OA pathogenesis is not clear. The aim of this study is to identify a molecular target of miR-146a, thereby elucidating its function in chondrocytes during OA pathogenesis.
Primary chondrocytes from Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with IL-1β before the expression levels of miR-146a, Smad4 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were quantified by real-time PCR and/or western blotting. The effect of miR-146a on cellular response to transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 was quantified by a luciferase reporter harboring TGF-β1 responsive elements and by extracellular signal-regulated kinase assay. The effect of miR-146a on apoptosis was quantified by the TUNEL assay. OA pathogenesis was surgically induced with joint instability in rats, evaluated by histopathological analysis with safranin O staining, and the expression levels of miR-146a, Smad4, and VEGF were quantified using real-time PCR and/or immunohistochemistry.
IL-1β treatment of chondrocytes increased the expression levels of miR-146a and VEGF and decreased the levels of Smad4 in a time-dependent manner. miR-146a upregulated VEGF expression and downregulated Smad4 expression in chondrocytes, while a miR-146a inhibitor acted in a converse manner. Smad4, a common mediator of the TGF-β pathway, is identified as a direct target of miR-146a by harboring a miR-146a binding sequence in the 3'-UTR region of its mRNA. Mutation of the binding sequence significantly relieved the inhibition of the Smad4 reporter activity by miR-146a. Furthermore, miR-146a upregulation of VEGF is mediated by Smad4. Expression of miR-146a led to a reduction of cellular responsiveness to TGF-β and an increase of apoptosis rate in chondrocytes. In vivo, cartilage from surgically induced OA rats displayed higher levels of miR-146a and VEGF compared with the sham group. In contrast, Smad4 expression level was lower in the OA group than the sham group.
IL-1β responsive miR-146a is overexpressed in an experimentally induced OA model, accompanied by upregulation of VEGF and downregulation of Smad4 in vivo. miR-146a may contribute to OA pathogenesis by increasing VEGF levels and by impairing the TGF-β signaling pathway through targeted inhibition of Smad4 in cartilage.
Semiconductor nanowires (NWs) or nanobelts (NBs) have attracted more and more attention due to their potential application in novel optoelectronic devices. In this review, we present our recent work on novel NB photodetectors, where a three-terminal metal–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MESFET) device structure was exploited. In contrast to the common two-terminal NB (NW) photodetectors, the MESFET-based photodetector can make a balance among overall performance parameters, which is desired for practical device applications. We also present our recent work on graphene nanoribbon/semiconductor NW (SNW) heterojunction light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Herein, by taking advantage of both graphene and SNWs, we have fabricated, for the first time, the graphene-based nano-LEDs. This achievement opens a new avenue for developing graphene-based nano-electroluminescence devices. Moreover, the novel graphene/SNW hybrid devices can also find use in other applications, such as high-sensitivity sensor and transparent flexible devices in the future.
Schottky junction; Graphene; Nanowires; Nanobelts; Optoelectronics
Cordyceps taii, an edible medicinal mushroom native to south China, is recognized as an unparalleled resource of healthy foods and drug discovery. In the present study, the antioxidant pharmacological properties of C. taii were systematically investigated. In vitro assays revealed the scavenging activities of the aqueous extract and polysaccharides of C. taii against various free radicals, that is, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical, hydroxyl radical, and superoxide anion radical. The EC50 values for superoxide anion-free radical ranged from 2.04 mg/mL to 2.49 mg/mL, which was at least 2.6-fold stronger than that of antioxidant thiourea. The polysaccharides also significantly enhanced the antioxidant enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase) and markedly decreased the malondialdehyde production of lipid peroxidation in a D-galactose-induced aging mouse model. Interestingly, the immune function of the administration group was significantly boosted compared with the D-galactose-induced aging model group. Therefore, the C. taii polysaccharides possessed potent antioxidant activity closely associated with immune function enhancement and free radical scavenging. These findings suggest that the polysaccharides are a promising source of natural antioxidants and antiaging drugs. Consequently, a preliminary chemical investigation was performed using gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy and revealed that the polysaccharides studied were mainly composed of glucose, mannose, and galactose. Fourier-transform infrared spectra also showed characteristic polysaccharide absorption bands.
Granger causality (GC) is one of the most popular measures to reveal causality influence of time series and has been widely applied in economics and neuroscience. Especially, its counterpart in frequency domain, spectral GC, as well as other Granger-like causality measures have recently been applied to study causal interactions between brain areas in different frequency ranges during cognitive and perceptual tasks. In this paper, we show that: 1) GC in time domain cannot correctly determine how strongly one time series influences the other when there is directional causality between two time series, and 2) spectral GC and other Granger-like causality measures have inherent shortcomings and/or limitations because of the use of the transfer function (or its inverse matrix) and partial information of the linear regression model. On the other hand, we propose two novel causality measures (in time and frequency domains) for the linear regression model, called new causality and new spectral causality, respectively, which are more reasonable and understandable than GC or Granger-like measures. Especially, from one simple example, we point out that, in time domain, both new causality and GC adopt the concept of proportion, but they are defined on two different equations where one equation (for GC) is only part of the other (for new causality), thus the new causality is a natural extension of GC and has a sound conceptual/theoretical basis, and GC is not the desired causal influence at all. By several examples, we confirm that new causality measures have distinct advantages over GC or Granger-like measures. Finally, we conduct event-related potential causality analysis for a subject with intracranial depth electrodes undergoing evaluation for epilepsy surgery, and show that, in the frequency domain, all measures reveal significant directional event-related causality, but the result from new spectral causality is consistent with event-related time–frequency power spectrum activity. The spectral GC as well as other Granger-like measures are shown to generate misleading results. The proposed new causality measures may have wide potential applications in economics and neuroscience.
Event-related potential; Granger or Granger-like causality; linear regression model; new causality; power spectrum
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is characterized by sustained elevation of pulmonary vascular resistance resulting from endothelial and smooth muscle cell dysfunction and collagen deposition in pulmonary vascular walls. In this study, we investigated the role of the adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR) in the development of PAH by determining the effect of genetic inactivation of A2ARs on pulmonary vascular remodeling in mice.
Methods and Results
We characterized hemodynamic, histological and ultrastructural changes in pulmonary vascular remodeling in A2AR knockout (KO) mice compared with their wild-type (WT) littermates after exposure to normoxia and hypoxic conditions. After exposure to normoxia, compared to WT mice, A2AR KO mice displayed: (1) increased right ventricular systolic pressures and an elevated ratio of the right ventricle over left ventricle plus septum (Fulton index), (2) increased wall area and thickness as well as enhanced smooth muscle actin immunoreactivity in pulmonary resistance vessels, (3) increased proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive cells in pulmonary resistance vessels and (4) increased smooth muscle cells hypertrophy and collagen deposition in the adventitia of pulmonary arteriole walls as revealed by electron microscope. By contrast, histological analysis revealed no features of hypertensive nephropathy in A2AR KO mice and there was no significant difference in systemic blood pressure, and left ventricular masses among the 3 genotypes. Furthermore, following chronic exposure to hypoxia, A2AR KO mice exhibited exacerbated elevation in right ventricular systolic pressure, hypertrophy of pulmonary resistance vessels and increased cell proliferation in pulmonary resistance vessels, compared to WT littermates. Thus, genetic inactivation of A2ARs selectively produced PAH and associated increased smooth muscle proliferation and collagen deposition.
Extracellular adenosine acting at A2ARs represents an important regulatory mechanism to control the development of PAH and pulmonary vascular remodeling.
Adenosine A2A receptor; Collagen hyperplasia; Pulmonary arterial hypertension; Pulmonary vascular remodeling; Smooth muscle hypertrophy
Hypoxia exposure initiates low serum testosterone levels that could be attributed to downregulated androgen biosynthesizing genes such as StAR (steroidogenic acute regulatory protein) and 3-beta-HSD (3-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase) in the testis. It was hypothesized that these abnormalities in the testis by hypoxia are associated with oxidative stress and an increase in chaperones of endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress) and ER stress could be modulated by a reduction in calcium influx. Therefore, we verify that if an application of CPU86017-RS (simplified as RS, a derivative to berberine) could alleviate the ER stress and depressed gene expressions of StAR and 3-beta-HSD, and low plasma testosterone in hypoxic rats, these were compared with those of nifedipine.
Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into control, hypoxia for 28 days, and hypoxia treated (mg/kg, p.o.) during the last 14 days with nifedipine (Nif, 10) and three doses of RS (20, 40, 80), and normal rats treated with RS isomer (80). Serum testosterone (T) and luteinizing hormone (LH) were measured. The testicular expressions of biomarkers including StAR, 3-beta-HSD, immunoglobulin heavy chain binding protein (Bip), double-strand RNA-activated protein kinase-like ER kinase (PERK) and pro-apoptotic transcription factor C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) were measured.
In hypoxic rats, serum testosterone levels decreased and mRNA and protein expressions of the testosterone biosynthesis related genes, StAR and 3-beta-HSD were downregulated. These changes were linked to an increase in oxidants and upregulated ER stress chaperones: Bip, PERK, CHOP and distorted histological structure of the seminiferous tubules in the testis. These abnormalities were attenuated significantly by CPU86017-RS and nifedipine.
Downregulated StAR and 3-beta-HSD significantly contribute to low testosterone in hypoxic rats and is associated with ER stress which mediates testis damage caused by oxygen deprivation. CPU86017-RS is potential in ameliorating hypoxia-induced testicular injuries, possibly by its calcium antagonist effects on the testis.
ER stress; testosterone; hypoxia; StAR; 3-beta-HSD; CHOP; PERK; Bip; testes; CPU86017
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common diseases in school-age children. To date, the diagnosis of ADHD is mainly subjective and studies of objective diagnostic method are of great importance. Although many efforts have been made recently to investigate the use of structural and functional brain images for the diagnosis purpose, few of them are related to ADHD. In this paper, we introduce an automatic classification framework based on brain imaging features of ADHD patients and present in detail the feature extraction, feature selection, and classifier training methods. The effects of using different features are compared against each other. In addition, we integrate multimodal image features using multi-kernel learning (MKL). The performance of our framework has been validated in the ADHD-200 Global Competition, which is a world-wide classification contest on the ADHD-200 datasets. In this competition, our classification framework using features of resting-state functional connectivity (FC) was ranked the 6th out of 21 participants under the competition scoring policy and performed the best in terms of sensitivity and J-statistic.
attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder; ADHD-200 competition; resting-state functional connectivity; support vector machine; multi-kernel learning
Insulin-producing cell clusters (IPCCs) have recently been generated in vitro from adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ASCs) to circumvent islet shortage. However, it is unknown how long they can survive upon transplantation, whether they are eventually rejected by recipients, and how their long-term survival can be induced to permanently cure type 1 diabetes. IPCC graft survival is critical for their clinical application and this issue must be systematically addressed prior to their in-depth clinical trials.
Here we found that IPCC grafts that differentiated from murine ASCs in vitro, unlike their freshly isolated islet counterparts, did not survive long-term in syngeneic mice, suggesting that ASC-derived IPCCs have intrinsic survival disadvantage over freshly isolated islets. Indeed, β cells retrieved from IPCC syngrafts underwent faster apoptosis than their islet counterparts. However, blocking both Fas and TNF receptor death pathways inhibited their apoptosis and restored their long-term survival in syngeneic recipients. Furthermore, blocking CD40-CD154 costimulation and Fas/TNF signaling induced long-term IPCC allograft survival in overwhelming majority of recipients. Importantly, Fas-deficient IPCC allografts exhibited certain immune privilege and enjoyed long-term survival in diabetic NOD mice in the presence of CD28/CD40 joint blockade while their islet counterparts failed to do so.
Long-term survival of ASC-derived IPCC syngeneic grafts requires blocking Fas and TNF death pathways, whereas blocking both death pathways and CD28/CD40 costimulation is needed for long-term IPCC allograft survival in diabetic NOD mice. Our studies have important clinical implications for treating type 1 diabetes via ASC-derived IPCC transplantation.
Sequence changes in coding region and regulatory region of the gene itself (cis) determine most of gene expression divergence between closely related species. But gene expression divergence between yeast species is not correlated with evolution of primary nucleotide sequence. This indicates that other factors in cis direct gene expression divergence. Here, we studied the contribution of DNA three-dimensional structural evolution as cis to gene expression divergence. We found that the evolution of DNA structure in coding regions and gene expression divergence are correlated in yeast. Similar result was also observed between Drosophila species. DNA structure is associated with the binding of chromatin remodelers and histone modifiers to DNA sequences in coding regions, which influence RNA polymerase II occupancy that controls gene expression level. We also found that genes with similar DNA structures are involved in the same biological process and function. These results reveal the previously unappreciated roles of DNA structure as cis-effects in gene expression.
The unique phenotype of each organism is partly determined by gene expression. Changes in gene expression are an important source of phenotypic variation, and can be caused by changes in regulatory and coding sequences of the gene itself (cis) and changes in regulatory factors (trans). The contribution of cis regulation to gene expression divergence between closely related species is much greater than that of trans regulation. However, evolution of primary nucleotide sequences is not correlated with gene expression divergence in yeast, suggesting that other factors in cis drive gene expression divergence. Here, we found that evolution of DNA structure in coding regions is coupled to gene expression divergence in yeast. We also found that DNA structure is associated with specific gene characteristics. Genes with similar DNA structures are involved in the same biological process and function. These results demonstrate the important roles of DNA structure in directing gene expression.
Eukaryotic chromosomes are not randomly distributed in the interphase nucleus, but instead occupy distinct territories. Nonetheless, the genome-wide relationships of gene regulation to gene nuclear location remain poorly understood in yeast. In the three-dimensional view of gene regulation, we found that a considerable number of transcription factors (TFs) regulate genes that are colocalized in the nucleus. Colocalized TF target genes are more strongly coregulated compared with the other TF target genes. Target genes of chromatin regulators are also colocalized. These results demonstrate that colocalization of coregulated genes is a common process, and three-dimensional gene positioning is an important part of gene regulation. Our findings will have implications in understanding nuclear architecture and function.
Neighboring gene pairs in the genome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae have a tendency to be expressed at the same time. The distribution of histone modifications along chromatin fibers is suggested to be an important mechanism responsible for such coexpression. However, the extent of the contribution of histone modifications to the coexpression of neighboring genes is unclear.
We investigated the similarity of histone modification between neighboring genes using autocorrelation analysis and composite profiles. Our analysis showed that neighboring genes had similar levels or changes of histone modifications, especially those transcribed in the same direction. The similarities, however, were restricted to 1 or 2 neighboring genes. Moreover, the expression of a gene was significantly correlated with histone modification of its neighboring gene(s), but this was limited to only 1 or 2 neighbors. Using a hidden Markov model (HMM), we found more than 2000 chromatin domains with similar acetylation changes as the cultures changed and a considerable number of these domains covered 2-4 genes. Gene pairs within domains exhibited a higher level of coexpression than random pairs and shared similar functions.
The results of this study suggest that similar histone modifications occur within only a small local chromatin region in yeast. The modifications generally have an effect on coexpression with only 1 or 2 neighboring genes. Some blocking mechanism(s) might strictly restrain the distribution of histone modifications in yeast.
Eukaryotic genomes are packaged into chromatin by histone proteins whose chemical modification can profoundly influence gene expression. The histone modifications often act in combinations, which exert different effects on gene expression. Although a number of experimental techniques and data analysis methods have been developed to study histone modifications, it is still very difficult to identify the relationships among histone modifications on a genome-wide scale.
We proposed a method to identify the combinatorial effects of histone modifications by association rule mining. The method first identified Functional Modification Transactions (FMTs) and then employed association rule mining algorithm and statistics methods to identify histone modification patterns. We applied the proposed methodology to Pokholok et al’s data with eight sets of histone modifications and Kurdistani et al’s data with eleven histone acetylation sites. Our method succeeds in revealing two different global views of histone modification landscapes on two datasets and identifying a number of modification patterns some of which are supported by previous studies.
We concentrate on combinatorial effects of histone modifications which significantly affect gene expression. Our method succeeds in identifying known interactions among histone modifications and uncovering many previously unknown patterns. After in-depth analysis of possible mechanism by which histone modification patterns can alter transcriptional states, we infer three possible modification pattern reading mechanism (‘redundant’, ‘trivial’, ‘dominative’). Our results demonstrate several histone modification patterns which show significant correspondence between yeast and human cells.
histone code; association rule; yeast
Vascular dilatation is critically impaired in many diseases and is encountered by an upregulated endothelin receptor A (ETA) in the vasculature in association with a decline in nitric oxide bioavailability. Diabetic vasculopathy is characterized as a compromised vascular dilatation, implicated in many diabetic complications. It appears to be activated ETA and NADPH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) oxidase in the vasculature. Glucose-lowering agents do not always blunt these changes, as these changes may be progressive leading to the end stage of renal disease. The vascular insults by hypertension, hyperglycemia and aging may share the changes with diabetic vascular beds. Endothelin receptor antagonist CPU0213 and ingredients from plant origins such as CPU86017, p-benzyl-tetra-hydro-berberine are effective in attenuating vascular abnormality by normalizing changes of biomarkers in the vascular wall. The early sign of subclinical atherosclerosis presented as an intima media thickness in the carotid may indicate endothelium dysfunction. The reduced ABI (ankle brachial index) has been taken to predict patients at risk for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events, and an increased risk of mortality from all causes and cardiovascular disease. An application of agents which suppress the activated ET-NADPH oxidase in the vascular wall is beneficial to attenuate vascular abnormalities. It is worth testing the activity of these agents further for the potential in relieving abnormal vascular activity, reducing the risk of morbidity and mortality in patients at risk.
diabetes; hypercholesterolemia; ETA; peripheral artery disease; vascular dilatation
Previous studies have shown that a targeted deletion of Ovol1 (previously known as movo1), encoding a member of the Ovo family of zinc-finger transcription factors, leads to germ cell degeneration and defective sperm production in adult mice. To explore the cellular and molecular mechanism of Ovol1 function, we have examined the mutant testis phenotype during the first wave of spermatogenesis in juvenile mice. Consistent with the detection of Ovol1 transcripts in pachytene spermatocytes of the meiotic prophase, Ovol1-deficient germ cells were defective in progressing through the pachytene stage. The pachytene arrest was accompanied by an inefficient exit from proliferation, increased apoptosis and an abnormal nuclear localization of the G2-M cell cycle regulator cyclin B1, but was not associated with apparent chromosomal or recombination defects. Transcriptional profiling and northern blot analysis revealed reduced expression of pachytene markers in the mutant, providing molecular evidence that pachytene differentiation was defective. In addition, the expression of Id2 (inhibitor of differentiation 2), a known regulator of spermatogenesis, was upregulated in Ovol1-deficient pachytene spermatocytes and repressed by Ovol1 in reporter assays. Taken together, our studies demonstrate a role for Ovol1 in regulating pachytene progression of male germ cells, and identify Id2 as a Ovol1 target.
Ovol1 (movo1); Id2 (Idb2); Spermatogenesis; Germ cell differentiation; Meiosis; Pachytene; Meiotic prophase; Drosophila ovo/svb
The ovo gene family consists of evolutionarily conserved genes including those cloned from Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, mouse, and human. Here we report the isolation and characterization of mouse Ovol2 (also known as movol2 or movo2) and provide evidence supporting the existence of multiple Ovol2 transcripts. These transcripts are produced by alternative promoter usage and alternative splicing and encode long and short OVOL2 protein isoforms, whose sequences differ from those previously reported. Mouse and human OVOL2 genes are expressed in overlapping tissues including testis, where Ovol2 expression is developmentally regulated and correlates with the meiotic/post-meiotic stages of spermatogenesis. Mouse Ovol2 maps to chromosome 2 in a region containing blind-sterile (bs), a spontaneous mutation that causes spermatogenic defects and germ cell loss. No mutation has been detected in the coding region of Ovol2 from bs mice, but Ovol2 transcription was dramatically reduced in testes from these mice, suggesting that Ovol2 is expressed in male germ cells.
Ovol2; movo2; Ovol1; movo1; Drosophila ovo/svb; testis; blind-sterile (bs); spermatogenesis
Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens are important for alloimmune responses as well as immune tolerance. Previous studies have shown that presentation of donor MHC antigens by donor-specific transfusion prior to or upon transplantation promotes transplant tolerance induced by other agents. However, it is unclear whether presentation of donor MHC antigens by DNA vaccination induces long-term allograft survival.
We investigated whether presentation of MHC class-II and/or class-I donor antigens by DNA vaccination suppresses alloimmune responses and promotes long-term allograft acceptance. We initially found that presentation of both MHC donor antigens by DNA vaccination itself prior to transplantation fails to significantly prolong islet allograft survival in otherwise untreated mice. However, islet allograft survival was significantly prolonged when MHC class-II DNA vaccination was accompanied with IL-2 administration (MHCII + IL-2) while MHC class-I DNA vaccination was followed by IL-2 and subsequent neutralizing anti-IL-2 treatments (MHCI + IL-2/anti-IL-2). Especially, this protocol promoted long-term allograft survival in the majority of recipients (57%) when combined with low doses of rapamycin post-transplantation. Importantly, MHCII + IL-2 induced FoxP3+ Treg cells in both spleens and grafts and suppressed graft-infiltrating CD4+ cell proliferation, whereas MHCI + IL-2/anti-IL-2 mainly inhibited graft-infiltrating CD8+ cell proliferation and donor-specific CTL activity. The combined protocol plus rapamycin treatment further reduced both CD4+ and CD8+ T cell proliferation as well as donor-specific CTL activity but spared FoxP3+ Treg cells. Depleting CD25+ Treg cells or adoptive transfer of pre-sensitized CD8+ T cells abolished this long-term allograft survival.
Manipulating IL-2 availability during presentation of MHC class-II and class-I donor antigens by DNA vaccination pre-transplantation induces Treg cells, suppresses alloimmune responses and promotes long-term allograft survival.
Recently, a number of high-resolution genome-wide maps of nucleosome locations in S. cerevisiae have been derived experimentally. However, nucleosome positions are determined in vivo by the combined effects of numerous factors. Consequently, nucleosomes are not simple static units, which may explain the discrepancies in reported nucleosome positions as measured by different experiments. In order to more accurately depict the genome-wide nucleosome distribution, we integrated multiple nucleosomal positioning datasets using a multi-angle analysis strategy.
To evaluate the contribution of chromatin structure to transcription, we used the vast amount of available nucleosome analyzed data. Analysis of this data allowed for the comprehensive identification of the connections between promoter nucleosome positioning patterns and various transcription-dependent properties. Further, we characterised the function of nucleosome destabilisation in the context of transcription regulation. Our results indicate that genes with similar nucleosome occupancy patterns share general transcription attributes. We identified the local regulatory correlation (LRC) regions for two distinct types of nucleosomes and we assessed their regulatory properties. We also estimated the nucleosome reproducibility and measurement accuracy for high-confidence transcripts. We found that by maintaining a distance of ~13 bp between the upstream border of the +1 nucleosome and the transcription start sites (TSSs), the stable +1 nucleosome may form a barrier against the accessibility of the TSS and shape an optimum chromatin conformation for gene regulation. An in-depth analysis of nucleosome positioning in normally growing and heat shock cells suggested that the extent and patterns of nucleosome sliding are associated with gene activation.
Our results, which combine different types of data, suggest that cross-platform information, including discrepancy and consistency, reflects the mechanisms of nucleosome packaging in vivo more faithfully than individual studies. Furthermore, nucleosomes can be divided into two classes according to their stable and dynamic characteristics. We found that two different nucleosome-positioning characteristics may significantly impact transcription programs. Besides, some positioned-nucleosomes are involved in the transition from stable state to dynamic state in response to abrupt environmental changes.
The nucleosome is the fundamental unit of eukaryotic genomes. Experimental evidence suggests that the genomic DNA sequence and a variety of protein factors contribute to nucleosome positioning in vivo. However, how nucleosome positioning is determined locally is still largely unknown.
We found that transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs) with particular nucleosomal contexts show a preference to reside on specific chromosomes. We identified four typical gene classes associated with distinct regulatory modes of nucleosome positioning, and further showed that they are distinguished by transcriptional regulation patterns. The first mode involves the cooperativity between chromatin remodeling and stable transcription factor (TF)-DNA binding that is linked to high intrinsic DNA binding affinities, evicting nucleosomes from favorable DNA sequences. The second is the DNA-encoded low nucleosome occupancy that is associated with high gene activity. The third is through chromatin remodeling and histone acetylation, sliding nucleosomes along DNA. This mode is linked to more cryptic sites for TF binding. The last consists of the nucleosome-enriched organization driven by other factors that overrides nucleosome sequence preferences. In addition, we showed that high polymerase II (Pol II) occupancy is associated with high nucleosome occupancy around the transcription start site (TSS).
We identified four different regulatory modes of nucleosome positioning and gave insights into mechanisms that specify promoter nucleosome location. We suggest two distinct modes of recruitment of Pol II, which are selectively employed by different genes.
Most genes are not affected when any transcription factor (TF) is knocked out, indicating that they have robust transcriptional regulatory program. Yet the mechanism underlying robust transcriptional regulatory program is less clear.
Here, we studied the cause and effect of robust transcriptional regulatory program. We found that cooperative TFs in the robust transcriptional regulatory program regulate their common target genes in an activity-redundant fashion, and they are able to compensate for each other's loss. As a result, their target genes are insensitive to their single perturbation. We next revealed that the degree of robustness of transcriptional regulatory program influences gene expression variability. Genes with fragile (unrobust) transcriptional regulatory program under normal growth condition could be readily reprogrammed to significantly modulate gene expression upon changing conditions. They also have high evolutionary rates of gene expression. We further showed that the fragile transcriptional regulatory program is a major source of expression variability.
We showed that activity-redundant TFs guarantee the robustness of transcriptional regulatory programs, and the fragility of transcriptional regulatory program plays a major role in gene expression variability. These findings reveal the mechanisms underlying robust transcription and expression variability.
ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling and the covalent modification of histones play central roles in determining chromatin structure and function. Although several specific interactions between these two activities have been elaborated, the global landscape remains to be elucidated.
In this paper, we have developed a computational method to generate the first genome-wide landscape of interactions between ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling and the covalent modification of histones in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Our method succeeds in identifying known interactions and uncovers many previously unknown interactions between these two activities. Analysis of the genome-wide picture revealed that transcription-related modifications tend to interact with more chromatin remodelers. Our results also demonstrate that most chromatin remodeling-modification interactions act via interactions of remodelers with both histone-modifying enzymes and histone residues. We also found that the co-occurrence of both modification and remodeling has significantly different influences on multiple gene features (e.g. nucleosome occupancy) compared with the presence of either one.
We gave the first genome-wide picture of ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling-histone modification interactions. We also revealed how these two activities work together to regulate chromatin structure and function. Our results suggest that distinct strategies for regulating chromatin activity are selectively employed by genes with different properties.