Inhibitors of apoptosis (IAPs) play important roles in apoptosis and NF-κB activation. In this study, we cloned and characterized three IAPs (LvIAP1-3) from the Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeusvannamei. LvIAP1-3 proteins shared signature domains and exhibited significant similarities with other IAP family proteins. The tissue distributions of LvIAP1-3 were studied. The expression of LvIAP1-3 was induced in the muscle after white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) infection. LvIAP1 expression in the gill, hemocytes, hepatopancreas, and intestine was responsive to WSSV and Vibrioalginolyticus infections. LvIAP2 expression in the gill, hemocytes, and hepatopancreas was also responsive to WSSV infection. The expression of LvIAP3 in the gill, hemocytes, and intestine was reduced after V. alginolyticus infection. When overexpressed in Drosophila S2 cells, GFP labeled-LvIAP2 was distributed in the cytoplasm and appeared as speck-like aggregates in the nucleus. Both LvIAP1 and LvIAP3 were widely distributed throughout the cytoplasm and nucleus. The expression of LvIAP1, LvIAP2, and LvIAP3 was significantly knocked down by dsRNA-mediated gene silencing. In the gill of LvIAP1- or LvIAP3-silenced shrimp, the expression of WSSV VP28 was significantly higher than that of the dsGFP control group, suggesting that LvIAP1 and LvIAP3 may play protective roles in host defense against WSSV infection. Intriguingly, the LvIAP2-silenced shrimp all died within 48 hours after dsLvIAP2 injection. In the hemocytes of LvIAP2-silenced shrimps, the expression of antimicrobial peptide genes (AMPs), including Penaeidins, lysozyme, crustins, Vibriopenaeicidae-induced cysteine and proline-rich peptides (VICPs), was significantly downregulated, while the expression of anti-lipopolysaccharide factors (ALFs) was upregulated. Moreover, LvIAP2 activated the promoters of the NF-κB pathway-controlled AMPs, such as shrimp Penaeidins and Drosophila drosomycin and attacin A, in Drosophila S2 cells. Taken together, these results reveal that LvIAP1 and LvIAP3 might participate in the host defense against WSSV infection, and LvIAP2 might be involved in the regulation of shrimp AMPs.
The Aicda locus encodes the activation induced cytidine deaminase (AID) and is highly expressed in germinal center (GC) B cells to initiate somatic hypermutation (SHM) and class switch recombination (CSR) of immunoglobulin (Ig) genes. Besides these Ig specific activities in B cells, AID has been implicated in active DNA demethylation in non-B cell systems. We here determined a potential role of AID as an epigenetic eraser and transcriptional regulator in B cells. RNA-Seq on different B cell subsets revealed that Aicda−/− B cells are developmentally affected. However as shown by RNA-Seq, MethylCap-Seq, and SNP analysis these transcriptome alterations may not relate to AID, but alternatively to a CBA mouse strain derived region around the targeted Aicda locus. These unexpected confounding parameters provide alternative, AID-independent interpretations on genotype-phenotype correlations previously reported in numerous studies on AID using the Aicda−/− mouse strain.
The Aicda gene encodes Activation-Induced cytidine Deaminase (AID), an enzyme essential for remodeling antibody genes in mature B lymphocytes. AID is also responsible for DNA damage at oncogenes, leading to their mutation and cancer-associated chromosome translocation in lymphoma. We used fate mapping and AIDGFP reporter mice to determine if AID expression in the mouse extends beyond lymphocytes. We discovered that AIDcre tags a small fraction of non-lymphoid cells starting at 10.5 days post conception (dpc), and that AIDGFP+ cells are detectable at dpc 11.5 and 12.5. Embryonic cells are tagged by AIDcre in the submandibular region, where conditional deletion of the tumor suppressor PTEN causes squamous papillomas. AIDcre also tags non-lymphoid cells in the embryonic central nervous system. Finally, in the adult mouse brain, AIDcre marks a small fraction of diverse neurons and distinct neuronal populations, including pyramidal cells in cortical layer IV.
Transfer of tumour antigen-specific receptors to T cells requires efficient delivery and integration of transgenes, and currently most clinical studies are using gamma retroviral or lentiviral systems. Whilst important proof-of-principle data has been generated for both chimeric antigen receptors and αβ T cell receptors, the current platforms are costly, time-consuming and relatively inflexible. Alternative, more cost-effective, Sleeping Beauty transposon-based plasmid systems could offer a pathway to accelerated clinical testing of a more diverse repertoire of recombinant high affinity T cell receptors. Nucleofection of hyperactive SB100X transposase-mediated stable transposition of an optimised murine-human chimeric T cell receptor specific for Wilm’s tumour antigen from a Sleeping Beauty transposon plasmid. Whilst transfer efficiency was lower than that mediated by lentiviral transduction, cells could be readily enriched and expanded, and mediated effective target cells lysis in vitro and in vivo. Integration sites of transposed TCR genes in primary T cells were almost randomly distributed, contrasting the predilection of lentiviral vectors for transcriptionally active sites. The results support exploitation of the Sleeping Beauty plasmid based system as a flexible and adaptable platform for accelerated, early-phase assessment of T cell receptor gene therapies.
The basal chordate Botryllus schlosseri undergoes a natural transplantation reaction governed by a single, highly polymorphic locus called the fuhc. Our initial characterization of this locus suggested it encoded a single gene alternatively spliced into two transcripts: a 555 amino acid–secreted form containing the first half of the gene, and a full-length, 1008 amino acid transmembrane form, with polymorphisms throughout the ectodomain determining outcome. We have now found that the locus encodes two highly polymorphic genes which are separated by a 227 bp intergenic region: first, the secreted form as previously described, and a second gene encoding a 531 amino acid membrane-bound gene containing three extracellular immunoglobulin domains. While northern blotting revealed only these two mRNAs, both PCR and mRNA-seq detect a single capped and polyadenylated transcript that encodes processed forms of both genes linked by the intergenic region, as well as other transcripts in which exons of the two genes are spliced together. These results might suggest that the two genes are expressed as an operon, during which both genes are co-transcribed and then trans-spliced into two separate messages. This type of transcriptional regulation has been described in tunicates previously; however, the membrane-bound gene does not encode a typical Splice Leader (SL) sequence at the 5′ terminus that usually accompanies trans-splicing. Thus, the presence of stable transcripts encoding both genes may suggest a novel mechanism of regulation, or conversely may be rare but stable transcripts in which the two mRNAs are linked due to a small amount of read-through by RNA polymerase. Both genes are highly polymorphic and co-expressed on tissues involved in histocompatibility. In addition, polymorphisms on both genes correlate with outcome, although we have found a case in which it appears that the secreted form may be major allorecognition determinant.
To get further insight into the factors involved in the maintenance of genome integrity we performed a screening of Saccharomyces cerevisiae deletion strains inducing hyperrecombination. We have identified trf4, a gene encoding a non-canonical polyA-polymerase involved in RNA surveillance, as a factor that prevents recombination between DNA repeats. We show that trf4Δ confers a transcription-associated recombination phenotype that is mediated by the nascent mRNA. In addition, trf4Δ also leads to an increase in the mutation frequency. Both genetic instability phenotypes can be suppressed by overexpression of RNase H and are exacerbated by overexpression of the human cytidine deaminase AID. These results suggest that in the absence of Trf4 R-loops accumulate co-transcriptionally increasing the recombination and mutation frequencies. Altogether our data indicate that Trf4 is necessary for both mRNA surveillance and maintenance of genome integrity, serving as a link between RNA and DNA metabolism in S. cerevisiae.
Why evolvability appears to have increased over evolutionary time is an important unresolved biological question. Unlike most candidate explanations, this paper proposes that increasing evolvability can result without any pressure to adapt. The insight is that if evolvability is heritable, then an unbiased drifting process across genotypes can still create a distribution of phenotypes biased towards evolvability, because evolvable organisms diffuse more quickly through the space of possible phenotypes. Furthermore, because phenotypic divergence often correlates with founding niches, niche founders may on average be more evolvable, which through population growth provides a genotypic bias towards evolvability. Interestingly, the combination of these two mechanisms can lead to increasing evolvability without any pressure to out-compete other organisms, as demonstrated through experiments with a series of simulated models. Thus rather than from pressure to adapt, evolvability may inevitably result from any drift through genotypic space combined with evolution's passive tendency to accumulate niches.
Development of protocols and media for culturing immune cells from marine invertebrates has not kept pace with advancements in mammalian immune cell culture, the latter having been driven by the need to understand the causes of and develop therapies for human and animal diseases. However, expansion of the aquaculture industry and the diseases that threaten these systems creates the need to develop cell and tissue culture methods for marine invertebrates. Such methods will enable us to better understand the causes of disease outbreaks and to develop means to avoid and remedy epidemics. We report a method for the short-term culture of phagocytes from the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, by modifying an approach previously used to culture cells from another sea urchin species. The viability of cultured phagocytes from the purple sea urchin decreases from 91.6% to 57% over six days and phagocyte morphology changes from single cells to aggregates leading to the formation of syncytia-like structures. This process is accelerated in the presence of lipopolysaccharide suggesting that phagocytes are capable of detecting this molecular pattern in culture conditions. Sea urchin immune response proteins, called Sp185/333, are expressed on the surface of a subset of phagocytes and have been associated with syncytia-like structures. We evaluated their expression in cultured phagocytes to determine their possible role in cell aggregation and in the formation of syncytia-like structures. Between 0 and 3 hr, syncytia-like structures were observed in cultures when only ∼10% of the cells were positive for Sp185/333 proteins. At 24 hr, ∼90% of the nuclei were Sp185/333-positive when all of the phagocytes had aggregated into syncytia-like structures. Consequently, we conclude that the Sp185/333 proteins do not have a major role in initiating the aggregation of cultured phagocytes, however the Sp185/333 proteins are associated with the clustered nuclei within the syncytia-like structures.
The transcriptional activation of the chicken lysozyme gene (cLys) by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in macrophages is dependent on transcription of a LPS-Inducible Non-Coding RNA (LINoCR) triggering eviction of the CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) from a negative regulatory element upstream of the lysozyme transcription start site. LINoCR is transcribed from a promoter originally characterized as a hormone response enhancer in the oviduct. Herein, we report the characterization of this cis-regulatory element (CRE). In activated macrophages, a 60 bp region bound by NF-κB, AP1 and C/EBPβ controls this CRE, which is strictly dependent on NF-κB binding for its activity in luciferase assays. Moreover, the serine/threonine kinase IKKα, known to be recruited by NF-κB to NF-κB-dependent genes is found at the CRE and within the transcribing regions of both cLys and LINoCR. Such repartition suggests a simultaneous promoter and enhancer activity of this CRE, initiating cLys transcriptional activation and driving CTCF eviction. This recruitment was transient despite persistence of both cLys transcription and NF-κB binding to the CRE. Finally, comparing cLys with other LPS-inducible genes indicates that IKKα detection within transcribing regions can be correlated with the presence of the elongating form of RNA polymerase II or concentrated in the 3′ end of the gene.
VH replacement occurs through RAG-mediated recombination between the cryptic recombination signal sequence (cRSS) near the 3′ end of a rearranged VH gene and the 23-bp RSS from an upstream unrearranged VH gene. Due to the location of the cRSS, VH replacement leaves a short stretch of nucleotides from the previously rearranged VH gene at the newly formed V-D junction, which can be used as a marker to identify VH replacement products. To determine the contribution of VH replacement products to mouse antibody repertoire, we developed a Java-based VH Replacement Footprint Analyzer (VHRFA) program and analyzed 17,179 mouse IgH gene sequences from the NCBI database to identify VH replacement products. The overall frequency of VH replacement products in these IgH genes is 5.29% based on the identification of pentameric VH replacement footprints at their V-D junctions. The identified VH replacement products are distributed similarly in IgH genes using most families of VH genes, although different families of VH genes are used differentially. The frequencies of VH replacement products are significantly elevated in IgH genes derived from several strains of autoimmune prone mice and in IgH genes encoding autoantibodies. Moreover, the identified VH replacement footprints in IgH genes from autoimmune prone mice or IgH genes encoding autoantibodies preferentially encode positively charged amino acids. These results revealed a significant contribution of VH replacement products to the diversification of antibody repertoire and potentially, to the generation of autoantibodies in mice.
P2X purinoceptor 7 (P2X7R), an ATP-gated ion channel, plays an important role during the innate immune response in mammals. However, relatively little is known about the role of P2X7R in the fish immune system. Here, we cloned a cDNA sequence encoding ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis) P2X7R (aP2X7R). The predicted protein was composed of 574 amino acid residues with a P2X family signature, two transmembrane domains, and a long C-terminal. aP2X7R transcripts were mainly distributed in ayu immune tissues and significantly increased in all tested tissues and in macrophages after Listonella anguillarum infection. The aP2X7R protein was upregulated significantly in macrophages upon bacterial challenge. An antibody against the ectodomain of aP2X7R (aEPAb) and an antagonist (oATP) were used to block aP2X7R. aP2X7R siRNA was also used to knockdown the receptor expression in ayu macrophages. Cell death induced by ATP was significantly inhibited in ayu macrophages after aEPAb, oATP, or siRNA treatment. Moreover, aP2X7R ablation also resulted in suppression of phagocytic activity and ATP-induced bacterial killing in ayu macrophages. Our results indicated that aP2X7R was upregulated after infection and mediated cell death, phagocytosis, and bacterial killing of ayu macrophages.
Although IARC clarifies radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) as possible human carcinogen, the debate on its health impact continues due to the inconsistent results. Genotoxic effect has been considered as a golden standard to determine if an environmental factor is a carcinogen, but the currently available data for RF-EMF remain controversial. As an environmental stimulus, the effect of RF-EMF on cellular DNA may be subtle. Therefore, more sensitive method and systematic research strategy are warranted to evaluate its genotoxicity.
To determine whether RF-EMF does induce DNA damage and if the effect is cell-type dependent by adopting a more sensitive method γH2AX foci formation; and to investigate the biological consequences if RF-EMF does increase γH2AX foci formation.
Six different types of cells were intermittently exposed to GSM 1800 MHz RF-EMF at a specific absorption rate of 3.0 W/kg for 1 h or 24 h, then subjected to immunostaining with anti-γH2AX antibody. The biological consequences in γH2AX-elevated cell type were further explored with comet and TUNEL assays, flow cytometry, and cell growth assay.
Exposure to RF-EMF for 24 h significantly induced γH2AX foci formation in Chinese hamster lung cells and Human skin fibroblasts (HSFs), but not the other cells. However, RF-EMF-elevated γH2AX foci formation in HSF cells did not result in detectable DNA fragmentation, sustainable cell cycle arrest, cell proliferation or viability change. RF-EMF exposure slightly but not significantly increased the cellular ROS level.
RF-EMF induces DNA damage in a cell type-dependent manner, but the elevated γH2AX foci formation in HSF cells does not result in significant cellular dysfunctions.
Intestinal mucin 2 (MUC2) encodes a heavily glycosylated, gel-forming mucin, which creates an important protective mucosal layer along the gastrointestinal tract in humans and other species. This first line of defense guards against attacks from microorganisms and is integral to the innate immune system. As a first step towards characterizing the innate immune response of MUC2 in different species, we report the cloning of a full-length, 11,359 bp chicken MUC2 cDNA, and describe the genomic organization and functional annotation of this complex, 74.5 kb locus. MUC2 contains 64 exons and demonstrates distinct spatiotemporal expression profiles throughout development in the gastrointestinal tract; expression increases with gestational age and from anterior to posterior along the gut. The chicken protein has a similar domain organization as the human orthologue, with a signal peptide and several von Willebrand domains in the N-terminus and the characteristic cystine knot at the C-terminus. The PTS domain of the chicken MUC2 protein spans ∼1600 amino acids and is interspersed with four CysD motifs. However, the PTS domain in the chicken diverges significantly from the human orthologue; although the chicken domain is shorter, the repetitive unit is 69 amino acids in length, which is three times longer than the human. The amino acid composition shows very little similarity to the human motif, which potentially contributes to differences in the innate immune response between species, as glycosylation across this rapidly evolving domain provides much of the musical barrier. Future studies of the function of MUC2 in the innate immune response system in chicken could provide an important model organism to increase our understanding of the biological significance of MUC2 in host defense and highlight the potential of the chicken for creating new immune-based therapies.
There is now an overwhelming body of evidence that implicates bats in the dissemination of a long list of emerging and re-emerging viral agents, often causing illnesses or death in both animals and humans. Despite this, there is a paucity of information regarding the immunological mechanisms by which bats coexist with highly pathogenic viruses. Immunoglobulins are major components of the adaptive immune system. Early studies found bats may have quantitatively lower antibody responses to model antigens compared to conventional laboratory animals. To further understand the antibody response of bats, the present study purified and characterised the major immunoglobulin classes from healthy black flying foxes, Pteropus alecto. We employed a novel strategy, where IgG was initially purified and used to generate anti-Fab specific antibodies. Immobilised anti-Fab specific antibodies were then used to capture other immunoglobulins from IgG depleted serum. While high quantities of IgM were successfully isolated from serum, IgA was not. Only trace quantities of IgA were detected in the serum by mass spectrometry. Immobilised ligands specific to IgA (Jacalin, Peptide M and staphylococcal superantigen-like protein) also failed to capture P. alecto IgA from serum. IgM was the second most abundant serum antibody after IgG. A survey of mucosal secretions found IgG was the dominant antibody class rather than IgA. Our study demonstrates healthy P. alecto bats have markedly less serum IgA than expected. Higher quantities of IgG in mucosal secretions may be compensation for this low abundance or lack of IgA. Knowledge and reagents developed within this study can be used in the future to examine class-specific antibody response within this important viral host.
Diversity of T cell receptor (TCR) genes is primarily generated by nucleotide insertions upon rearrangement from their germ line-encoded V, D and J segments. Nucleotide insertions at V-D and D-J junctions are random, but some small subsets of these insertions are exceptional, in that one to three base pairs inversely repeat the sequence of the germline DNA. These short complementary palindromic sequences are called P nucleotides. We apply the ImmunoSeq deep-sequencing assay to the third complementarity determining region (CDR3) of the β chain of T cell receptors, and use the resulting data to study P nucleotides in the repertoire of naïve and memory CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. We estimate P nucleotide distributions in a cross section of healthy adults and different T cell subtypes. We show that P nucleotide frequency in all T cell subtypes ranges from 1% to 2%, and that the distribution is highly biased with respect to the coding end of the gene segment. Classification of observed palindromic sequences into P nucleotides using a maximum conditional probability model shows that single base P nucleotides are very rare in VDJ recombination; P nucleotides are primarily two bases long. To explore the role of P nucleotides in thymic selection, we compare P nucleotides in productive and non-productive sequences of CD8+ naïve T cells. The naïve CD8+ T cell clones with P nucleotides are more highly expanded.
A method has been developed for the rapid generation of high-affinity humanized antibodies from immunized animals without the need to make conventional hybridomas. Rearranged IgH D(J) regions were amplified from the spleen and lymph tissue of mice immunized with the human complement protein C5, fused with a limited repertoire of human germline heavy chain V-genes to form intact humanized heavy chains, and paired with a human light chain library. Completed heavy and light chains were assembled for mammalian cell surface display and transfected into HEK 293 cells co-expressing activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID). Numerous clones were isolated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting, and affinity maturation, initiated by AID, resulted in the rapid evolution of high affinity, functional antibodies. This approach enables the efficient sampling of an immune repertoire and the direct selection and maturation of high-affinity, humanized IgGs.
Myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) is a universal and essential signaling protein in Toll-like receptor/interleukin-1 receptor-induced activation of nuclear factor-kappa B. In this study, two MyD88 protein variants (LvMyD88 and LvMyD88-1) were identified in Litopenaeus vannamei. The LvMyD88 cDNA is 1,848 bp in length and contains an open reading frame (ORF) of 1,428 bp, whereas the LvMyD88-1 cDNA is 1,719 bp in length and has an ORF of 1,299 bp. Both variants encode proteins with death and Toll/interleukin-1 receptor domains and share 91% sequence identity. In healthy L. vannamei, the LvMyD88 genes were highly expressed in hemocytes but at a low level in the hepatopancreas. The LvMyD88s expression was induced in hemocytes after challenge with lipopolysaccharide, CpG-ODN2006, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Staphyloccocus aureus, and white spot syndrome virus, but not by poly I∶C. Overexpression of LvMyD88 and LvMyD88-1 in Drosophila Schneider 2 cells led to activation of antimicrobial peptide genes and wsv069 (ie1), wsv303, and wsv371. These results suggested that LvMyD88 may play a role in antibacterial and antiviral response in L. vannamei. To our knowledge, this is the first report on MyD88 in shrimp and a variant of MyD88 gene in invertebrates.
Secondary immunoglobulin (Ig) gene diversification relies on activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) to create U:G mismatches that are subsequently fixed by mutagenic repair pathways. AID activity is focused to Ig loci by cis-regulatory DNA sequences named targeting elements. Here we show that in contrast to prevailing thought in the field, the targeting elements in the chicken IGL locus are distinct from classical transcriptional enhancers. These mutational enhancer elements (MEEs) are required over and above transcription to recruit AID-mediated mutagenesis to Ig loci. We identified a small 222 bp fragment in the chicken IGL locus that enhances mutagenesis without boosting transcription, and this sequence represents a key component of a MEE. Lastly, MEEs are evolutionarily conserved amongst birds, both in sequence and function, and contain several highly conserved sequence modules that are likely involved in recruiting trans-acting targeting factors. We propose that MEEs represent a novel class of cis-regulatory elements whose function is to control genomic integrity.
For decades, it has remained unknown whether artiodactyls, such as cattle, pigs, and sheep, express immunoglobulin D (IgD), although the δ gene was identified in these species nearly 10 years ago. By developing a mouse anti-bovine IgD heavy chain monoclonal antibody (13C2), we show that secreted bovine IgD was present mainly as a monomer in serum and was heavily glycosylated by N-linked saccharides. Nonetheless, IgD was detectable in some but not all of the Holstein cattle examined. Membrane-bound IgD was detected in the spleen by western blotting. Flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that IgD-positive B cells constituted a much lower percentage of B cells in the bovine spleen (∼6.8% of total B cells), jejunal Peyer's patches (∼0.8%), and peripheral blood leukocytes (∼1.2%) than in humans and mice. Furthermore, IgD-positive B cells were almost undetectable in bovine bone marrow and ileal Peyer's patches. We also demonstrated that the bovine δ gene can be expressed via class switch recombination. Accordingly, bovine δ germline transcription, which involves an Iδ exon and is highly homologous to Iμ, was confirmed. However, we could not identify an Iδ promoter, despite bovine Eμ demonstrating both enhancer and promoter activity. This study has answered a long-standing question in cattle B cell biology and significantly contributes to our understanding of B cell development in this species.
The recombination-activating genes (RAG-1 and RAG-2) encode a V(D)J recombinase responsible for rearrangements of antigen-receptor genes during T and B cell development, and RAG expression is known to correlate strictly with the process of rearrangement. In contrast to RAG-1, the expression of RAG-2 was not previously detected during any other stage of lymphopoiesis or in any other normal tissue. Here we report that the CpG island-associated promoter of the NWC gene (the third evolutionarily conserved gene in the RAG locus), which is located in the second intron of RAG-2, has bidirectional activity and is responsible for the detectable transcription of RAG-2 in some non-lymphoid tissues. We also identify evolutionarily conserved promoter fragments responsible for this bidirectional activity, and show that it is activated by transcription factor ZFP143. The possible implications of our findings are briefly discussed.
Biallelic mutations in MCPH1 cause primary microcephaly (MCPH) with the cellular phenotype of defective chromosome condensation. MCPH1 encodes a multifunctional protein that notably is involved in brain development, regulation of chromosome condensation, and DNA damage response. In the present studies, we detected that MCPH1 encodes several distinct transcripts, including two major forms: full-length MCPH1 (MCPH1-FL) and a second transcript lacking the six 3′ exons (MCPH1Δe9–14). Both variants show comparable tissue-specific expression patterns, demonstrate nuclear localization that is mediated independently via separate NLS motifs, and are more abundant in certain fetal than adult organs. In addition, the expression of either isoform complements the chromosome condensation defect found in genetically MCPH1-deficient or MCPH1 siRNA-depleted cells, demonstrating a redundancy of both MCPH1 isoforms for the regulation of chromosome condensation. Strikingly however, both transcripts are regulated antagonistically during cell-cycle progression and there are functional differences between the isoforms with regard to the DNA damage response; MCPH1-FL localizes to phosphorylated H2AX repair foci following ionizing irradiation, while MCPH1Δe9–14 was evenly distributed in the nucleus. In summary, our results demonstrate here that MCPH1 encodes different isoforms that are differentially regulated at the transcript level and have different functions at the protein level.
Regulated expression of miRNAs influences development in a wide variety of contexts. We report here that miR290-5p (100049710) and miR292-5p (100049711) are induced at the pre-B stage of murine B cell development and that they influence assembly of the Igκ light chain gene (243469) by contributing to the activation of germline Igκ transcription (κGT). We found that upon forced over-expression of miR290-5p/292-5p in Abelson Murine Leukemia Virus (AMuLV) transformed pro-B cells, two known activators of κGT, E2A (21423) and NF-κB (19697), show increased chromosomal binding to the kappa intronic enhancer. Conversely, knockdown of miR290-5p/292-5p in AMuLV pro-B cells blunts drug-induced activation of κGT. Furthermore, miR290-5p/292-5p knockdown also diminishes κGT activation, but not Rag1/2 (19373, 19374) expression, in an IL-7 dependent primary pro-B cell culture system. In addition, we identified a deficiency in κGT induction in miR290 cluster knockout mice. We hypothesize that increased expression of miR290-5p and miR292-5p contributes to the induction of κGT at the pre-B stage of B cell development through increased binding of NF-κB and E2A to kappa locus regulatory sequences.
Activation induced deaminase (AID) deaminates cytosine to uracil, which is required for a functional humoral immune system. Previous work demonstrated, that AID also deaminates 5-methylcytosine (5 mC). Recently, a novel vertebrate modification (5-hydroxymethylcytosine - 5 hmC) has been implicated in functioning in epigenetic reprogramming, yet no molecular pathway explaining the removal of 5 hmC has been identified. AID has been suggested to deaminate 5 hmC, with the 5 hmU product being repaired by base excision repair pathways back to cytosine. Here we demonstrate that AID’s enzymatic activity is inversely proportional to the electron cloud size of C5-cytosine - H > F > methyl >> hydroxymethyl. This makes AID an unlikely candidate to be part of 5 hmC removal.
In science, the guinea pig is known as one of the gold standards for modeling human disease. It is especially important as a molecular and cellular biology model for studying the human immune system, as its immunological genes are more similar to human genes than are those of mice. The utility of the guinea pig as a model organism can be further enhanced by further characterization of the genes encoding components of the immune system. Here, we report the genomic organization of the guinea pig immunoglobulin (Ig) heavy and light chain genes. The guinea pig IgH locus is located in genomic scaffolds 54 and 75, and spans approximately 6,480 kb. 507 VH segments (94 potentially functional genes and 413 pseudogenes), 41 DH segments, six JH segments, four constant region genes (μ, γ, ε, and α), and one reverse δ remnant fragment were identified within the two scaffolds. Many VH pseudogenes were found within the guinea pig, and likely constituted a potential donor pool for gene conversion during evolution. The Igκ locus mapped to a 4,029 kb region of scaffold 37 and 24 is composed of 349 Vκ (111 potentially functional genes and 238 pseudogenes), three Jκ and one Cκ genes. The Igλ locus spans 1,642 kb in scaffold 4 and consists of 142 Vλ (58 potentially functional genes and 84 pseudogenes) and 11 Jλ -Cλ clusters. Phylogenetic analysis suggested the guinea pig’s large germline VH gene segments appear to form limited gene families. Therefore, this species may generate antibody diversity via a gene conversion-like mechanism associated with its pseudogene reserves.
Integrating non-viral vectors based on transposable elements are widely used for genetically engineering mammalian cells in functional genomics and therapeutic gene transfer. For the Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposase system it was demonstrated that convergent transcription driven by the SB transposase inverted repeats (IRs) in eukaryotic cells occurs after somatic integration. This could lead to formation of double-stranded RNAs potentially presenting targets for the RNA interference (RNAi) machinery and subsequently resulting into silencing of the transgene. Therefore, we aimed at investigating transgene expression upon transposition under RNA interference knockdown conditions.
To establish RNAi knockdown cell lines we took advantage of the P19 protein, which is derived from the tomato bushy stunt virus. P19 binds and inhibits 21 nucleotides long, small-interfering RNAs and was shown to sufficiently suppress RNAi. We found that transgene expression upon SB mediated transposition was enhanced, resulting into a 3.2-fold increased amount of colony forming units (CFU) after transposition. In contrast, if the transgene cassette is insulated from the influence of chromosomal position effects by the chicken-derived cHS4 insulating sequences or when applying the Forg Prince transposon system, that displays only negligible transcriptional activity, similar numbers of CFUs were obtained.
In summary, we provide evidence for the first time that after somatic integration transposon derived transgene expression is regulated by the endogenous RNAi machinery. In the future this finding will help to further improve the molecular design of the SB transposase vector system.