Genome-wide 5-hydroxymethylome analysis of a rodent hepatocarcinogen model reveals that 5-hydroxymethylcytosine-dependent active DNA demethylation may be functionally important in the early stages of carcinogenesis.
See research article http://genomebiology.com/2012/13/10/R93
Expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) is under stringent regulation at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Disturbance at either level could cause dysregulation of miRNAs. Here we show that MLL fusion proteins negatively regulate production of miR-150, an miRNA widely repressed in acute leukemia, by blocking miR-150 precursors from being processed to mature miRNAs through MYC/LIN28 functional axis. Forced expression of miR-150 dramatically inhibited leukemic cell growth and delayed MLL-fusion-mediated leukemogenesis, likely through targeting FLT3 and MYB and thereby interfering with the HOXA9/MEIS1/FLT3/MYB signaling network, which in turn caused downregulation of MYC/LIN28. Collectively, we revealed a MLL-fusion/MYC/LIN28⊣miR-150⊣FLT3/MYB/HOXA9/MEIS1 signaling circuit underlying the pathogenesis of leukemia, where miR-150 functions as a pivotal gatekeeper and its repression is required for leukemogenesis.
miR-150; MLL-associated leukemia; MYC; LIN28; FLT3; MYB; HOXA9; MEIS1; microRNA maturation; signaling axis; leukemogenesis
In bacterial two-component regulatory systems (TCSs), dephosphorylation of phosphorylated response regulators is essential for resetting the activated systems to the pre-activation state. However, in the SaeRS TCS, a major virulence TCS of Staphylococcus aureus, the mechanism for dephosphorylation of the response regulator SaeR has not been identified. Here we report that two auxiliary proteins from the sae operon, SaeP and SaeQ, form a protein complex with the sensor kinase SaeS and activate the sensor kinase’s phosphatase activity. Efficient activation of the phosphatase activity required the presence of both SaeP and SaeQ. When SaeP and SaeQ were ectopically expressed, the expression of coagulase, a sae target with low affinity for phosphorylated SaeR, was greatly reduced, while the expression of alpha-hemolysin, a sae target with high affinity for phosphorylated SaeR, was not, demonstrating a differential effect of SaePQ on sae target gene expression. When expression of SaePQ was abolished, most sae target genes were induced at an elevated level. Since the expression of SaeP and SaeQ is induced by the SaeRS TCS, these results suggest that the SaeRS TCS returns to the pre-activation state by a negative feedback mechanism.
Bacteria; Membrane proteins; Lipoproteins; Negative-feedback; Phosphatase
DNA methylation is implicated in mammalian brain development and plasticity underlying learning and memory. We report the genome-wide composition, patterning, cell specificity, and dynamics of DNA methylation at single-base resolution in human and mouse frontal cortex throughout their lifespan. Widespread methylome reconfiguration occurs during fetal to young adult development, coincident with synaptogenesis. During this period, highly conserved non-CG methylation (mCH) accumulates in neurons, but not glia, to become the dominant form of methylation in the human neuronal genome. Moreover, we found an mCH signature that identifies genes escaping X-chromosome inactivation. Last, whole-genome single-base resolution 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (hmC) maps revealed that hmC marks fetal brain cell genomes at putative regulatory regions that are CG-demethylated and activated in the adult brain and that CG demethylation at these hmC-poised loci depends on Tet2 activity.
Host antibacterial responses include mechanisms that kill bacteria, but also those that protect or tolerize the host to potentially damaging antibacterial effects. We determined that Chitinase 3-like-1 (Chi3l1), a conserved prototypic chitinase-like protein, is induced by Streptococcus pneumoniae and plays central roles in promoting bacterial clearance and mediating host tolerance. S. pneumoniae-infected Chi3l1 null mice exhibit exaggerated lung injury, inflammation and hemorrhage, more frequent bacterial dissemination, decreased bacterial clearance, and enhanced mortality compared to controls. Chi3l1 augments macrophage bacterial killing by inhibiting caspase-1-dependent macrophage pyroptosis and augments host tolerance by controlling inflammasome activation, ATP accumulation, expression of ATP receptor P2×7R, and production of thymic stromal lymphopoietin and type 1, type 2, and type 17 cytokines. These data demonstrate that Chi3l1 is induced during infection, where it promotes bacterial clearance while simultaneously augmenting host tolerance, and that these roles likely contributed to the retention of Chi3l1 over species and evolutionary time.
5-hydroxymethylcytosine; detection; method; sequencing
As an important step of the active demethylation of 5-methylcytosine (5mC), human thymine DNA glycosylase (hTDG) efficiently excises 5-carboxylcytosine (5caC) from double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). Here, we present synthesis of DNA oligos containing a 2′-deoxy-2′-fluoro-D-arabinofuranosyl-5-carboxylcytidine (F-5caC) modification that act as hTDG inhibitors. The glycosylase activity assay showed that F-5caC oligos were resistant to excision by the hTDG catalytic domain (hTDGcat, residues 111–308) and they could inhibit the excision of DNA oligos containing 5caC. The electrophoretic mobility shift assay confirmed that DNA oligos containing F-5caC could bind well with unmodified hTDGcat to form a stable complex, which makes it possible to obtain the crystal structure of the complex to reveal details on how hTDGcat recognizes the DNA substrate.
human thymine DNA glycosylase (hTDG); inhibitor; 2′-deoxy-2′-fluoro-D-arabinofuranosyl-5-carboxylcytidine; dsDNA
Bacillus cereus strains elaborate pili on their surface using a mechanism of sortase-mediated crosslinking of major and minor pilus components. Here we used a combination of electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy to visualize these structures. Pili occur as single, double or higher order assemblies of filaments formed from monomers of the major pilin, BcpA, capped by the minor pilin, BcpB. Previous studies demonstrated that within assembled pili, four domains of BcpA – CNA1, CNA2, XNA, and CNA3 – each acquire intramolecular lysine-asparagine isopeptide bonds formed via catalytic glutamic acid or aspartic acid residues. Here we showed that mutants unable to form the intramolecular isopeptide bonds in the CNA2 or CNA3 domains retain the ability to form pilus bundles. A mutant lacking the CNA1 isopeptide bond assembled deformed pilin subunits that failed to associate as bundles. X-ray crystallography revealed that the BcpA variant Asp312Ala, lacking an aspartyl catalyst, did not generate the isopeptide bond within the jelly-roll structure of XNA. The Asp312Ala mutant was also unable to form bundles and promoted the assembly of deformed pili. Thus, structural integrity of the CNA1 and XNA domains are determinants for the association of pili into higher order bundle structures and determine native pilus structure.
How oncogenic signalling coordinates glycolysis and anabolic biosynthesis in cancer cells remains unclear. We recently reported that the glycolytic enzyme phosphoglycerate mutase 1 (PGAM1) regulates anabolic biosynthesis by controlling intracellular levels of its substrate 3-phosphoglycerate (3-PG) and product 2-phosphoglycerate (2-PG). Here we report a novel mechanism in which Y26 phosphorylation enhances PGAM1 activation through release of inhibitory E19 that blocks the active site, stabilising cofactor 2,3-bisphosphoglycerate binding and H11 phosphorylation. We also report the crystal structure of H11-phosphorylated PGAM1 and find that phospho-H11 activates PGAM1 at least in part by promoting substrate 3-PG binding. Moreover, Y26-phosphorylation of PGAM1 is common in human cancer cells and contributes to regulation of 3-PG and 2-PG levels, promoting cancer cell proliferation and tumour growth. Since PGAM1 as a negative transcription target of TP53 is commonly upregulated in human cancers, these findings suggest that Y26 phosphorylation represents an additional acute mechanism underlying PGAM1 upregulation.
N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is a prevalent internal modification in mRNA and non- coding RNA affecting various cellular pathways. Here we report the discovery of two additional modifications, N6-hydroxymethyladenosine (hm6A) and N6- formyladenosine (f6A), in mammalian mRNA. We show that FeII- and α-ketoglutarate (α-KG)-dependent fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) protein oxidizes m6A to generates hm6A as an intermediate modification and f6A as a further oxidized product. hm6A and f6A have half-life times of ~3 h in aqueous solution under physiological relevant conditions, and are present in isolated mRNA from human cells as well as mouse tissues. These previously unknown modifications derived from the prevalent m6A in mRNA, formed through oxidative RNA demethylation, may dynamically modulate RNA-protein interactions to affect gene expression regulation.
Plutonium can enter the body through different routes and remains there for decades; however its specific biochemical interactions are poorly defined. We, for the first time, have studied plutonium-binding proteins using a metalloproteomic approach with rat PC12 cells. A combination of immobilized metal ion chromatography, 2D gel electrophoresis, and mass spectrometry were employed to analyze potential plutonium-binding proteins. Our results show that several proteins from PC12 cells show affinity towards Pu4+-NTA (plutonium bound to nitrilotriacetic acid). Proteins from seven different spots in the 2D gel were identified. In contrast to the previously known plutonium-binding proteins transferrin and ferritin, which bind ferric ions, most identified proteins in our experiment are known to bind calcium, magnesium, or divalent transition metal ions. The identified plutonium interacting proteins also have functional roles in downregulation of apoptosis and other pro-proliferative processes. MetaCore analysis based on this group of proteins produced a pathway with a statistically significant association with development of neoplastic diseases.
PC12 cells; 2-D gel electrophoresis; proteomics; plutonium-binding proteins; IMAC; anti-apoptotic; GO process
5-methylcytosine is an epigenetic mark that affects a broad range of biological functions in mammals. The chemically inert methyl group prevents direct labelling for subsequent affinity purification and detection. Therefore, most current approaches for the analysis of 5- methylcytosine still have limitations of being either density-biased, lacking in robustness and consistency, or incapable of analysing 5-methylcytosine specifically. Here we present an approach, TAmC-Seq, which selectively tags 5-methylcytosine with an azide functionality that can be further labelled with a biotin for affinity purification, detection and genome-wide mapping. Using this covalent labelling approach, we demonstrate high sensitivity and specificity for known methylated loci, as well as increased CpG dinucleotide coverage at lower sequencing depth as compared with antibody-based enrichment, providing an improved efficiency in the 5-methylcytosine enrichment and genome-wide profiling.
The study of 5-hydroxylmethylcytosines (5hmC) has been hampered by the lack of a method to map it at single-base resolution on a genome-wide scale. Affinity purification-based methods cannot precisely locate 5hmC nor accurately determine its relative abundance at each modified site. We here present a genome-wide approach, Tet-assisted Bisulfite Sequencing (TAB-Seq), for mapping 5hmC at base resolution and quantifying the relative abundance of 5hmC as well as 5mC when combined with traditional bisulfite sequencing. Application of this method to embryonic stem cells not only confirms widespread distribution of 5hmC in the mammalian genome, but also reveals sequence bias and strand asymmetry at 5hmC sites. We observe high levels of 5hmC and reciprocally low levels of 5mC near but not on transcription factor binding sites. Additionally, the relative abundance of 5hmC varies significantly among distinct functional sequence elements, suggesting different mechanisms for 5hmC deposition and maintenance.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) control gene expression by promoting degradation or repressing translation of target mRNAs. The components of the miRNA pathway are subject to diverse modifications that can modulate the abundance and function of miRNAs. Iron is essential for fundamental metabolic processes, and its homeostasis is tightly regulated. Here we identified iron chelators as a class of activator of the miRNA pathway that could promote the processing of miRNA precursors. We show that cytosolic iron could regulate the activity of the miRNA pathway through poly(C)-binding protein 2 (PCBP2). PCBP2 is associated with Dicer and promotes the processing of miRNA precursors. Cytosolic iron could modulate the association between PCBP2 and Dicer, as well as the multimerization of PCBP2 and its ability to bind to miRNA precursors, which can alter the processing of miRNA precursors. Our findings reveal a role of iron homeostasis in the regulation of miRNA biogenesis.
This unit describes procedures for preparation of two phosphoramidite building blocks III and IV, both containing a TBDMS as 5-CH2OH-protecting group. Phosphoramidites III and IV allow efficient incorporation of 5-hmC into DNA and a “one-step” deprotection procedure to cleanly remove all the protecting groups. A “two-step” deprotection strategy is compatible with ultramild DNA synthesis, which enables the synthesis of 5hmC-containing DNA with additional modifications. Methods are also presented for their incorporation into oligonucleotides by solid-phase synthesis, subsequent deprotection, and HPLC analysis.
5-Hydroxymethylcytosine; DNA modification; oligodeoxyribonucleotide (ODN); phosphoramidite; solid-phase synthesis; genomic DNA; epigenetic; ultramild deprotection
Angiogenesis may play an important role in the renal repair process after injury. We investigated the association between plasma endostatin, an endothelial-specific antiangiogenic factor, and chronic kidney disease (CKD).
We compared plasma endostatin levels in 201 CKD patients and 201 controls. CKD was defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 or presence of albuminuria (≥30 mg/24 h).
After adjustment for established CKD risk factors, the median (interquartile range) of plasma endostatin was 276.7 ng/dl (199.3–357.5) in patients with CKD and 119.4 ng/dl (103.7–134.6) in controls without CKD (p < 0.0001 for group difference). log-transformed plasma endostatin was significantly and inversely correlated with eGFR (r = −0.83, p < 0.0001) and positively correlated with log-transformed urine albumin (r = 0.66, p < 0.0001) in the study participants. In addition, one standard deviation increase in log-transformed plasma endostatin (0.55 ng/dl) was associated with a decline in eGFR of −26.2 ml/min and an increase in urine albumin of 3.26 mg/ 24 h after adjusting for multiple covariables. Furthermore, the multivariable-adjusted odds ratio for CKD comparing the highest tertile (≥131.4 ng/dl) to the two lower tertiles of plasma endostatin was 21.6 (95% CI: 10.2–45.5; p < 0.0001).
These data indicate that elevated plasma endostatin is strongly and independently associated with CKD. Prospective cohort studies and clinical trials are warranted to further examine the causal relationship between endostatin and risk of CKD and to develop novel interventions targeting circulating endostatin aimed at reducing CKD risk.
Albuminuria; Antiangiogenic factor; Chronic kidney disease; Endostatin; Estimated glomerular filtration rate
Nucleotide variants, especially those related to epigenetic functions, provide critical regulatory information beyond simple genomic sequence, and they define cell status in higher organisms. 5-methylcytosine, which is found in DNA, was until recently the only nucleotide variant studied in terms of epigenetics in eukaryotes. However, 5-methylcytosine has turned out to be just one component of a dynamic DNA epigenetic regulatory network that also includes 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, 5-formylcytosine, and 5-carboxycytosine. Reversible methylation of N6-methyladenosine in RNA has also been demonstrated. The discovery of new nucleotide variants triggered an explosion of new information in the epigenetics field. This rapid research progress has benefited significantly from timely developments of new technologies that specifically recognize, enrich, and sequence nucleotide modifications, as evidenced by the wide application of the bisulfite sequencing of 5-methylcytosine and very recent modifications of bisulfite sequencing to revolve 5-hydroxymethylcytosine from 5-methylcytosine with base-resolution information.
While the roles of 5-methyl-cytosine and 5-hydroxymethyl-cytosine in epigenetic regulation of gene expression are well-established, the functional effects of 5-formyl-cytosine and 5-carboxyl-cytosine in the genome on transcription are not clear. Here we report the first systematic study of the effects of five different forms of cytosine in DNA on mammalian and yeast RNA polymerase II transcription, providing new insights into potential functional interplay between cytosine methylation status and transcription.
Epigenetics; DNA methylation; Pol II pausing; transcription elongation; transcriptional fidelity
Host genotype and gender are among the factors that influence the composition of gut microbiota. We studied the population structure of gut microbiota in two lines of chickens maintained under the same husbandry and dietary regimes. The lines, which originated from a common founder population, had undergone 54 generations of selection for high (HW) or low (LW) 56-day body weight, and now differ by more than 10-fold in body weight at selection age. Of 190 microbiome species, 68 were affected by genotype (line), gender, and genotype by gender interactions. Fifteen of the 68 species belong to Lactobacillus. Species affected by genotype, gender, and the genotype by gender interaction, were 29, 48, and 12, respectively. Species affected by gender were 30 and 17 in the HW and LW lines, respectively. Thus, under a common diet and husbandry host quantitative genotype and gender influenced gut microbiota composite.
DNA methylation serves as an important epigenetic mark in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. In eukaryotes, the most common epigenetic mark is 5-methylcytosine, whereas prokaryotes can have 6-methyladenine, 4-methylcytosine, or 5-methylcytosine. Single-molecule, real-time sequencing is capable of directly detecting all three types of modified bases. However, the kinetic signature of 5-methylcytosine is subtle, which presents a challenge for detection. We investigated whether conversion of 5-methylcytosine to 5-carboxylcytosine using the enzyme Tet1 would enhance the kinetic signature, thereby improving detection.
We characterized the kinetic signatures of various cytosine modifications, demonstrating that 5-carboxylcytosine has a larger impact on the local polymerase rate than 5-methylcytosine. Using Tet1-mediated conversion, we show improved detection of 5-methylcytosine using in vitro methylated templates and apply the method to the characterization of 5-methylcytosine sites in the genomes of Escherichia coli MG1655 and Bacillus halodurans C-125.
We have developed a method for the enhancement of directly detecting 5-methylcytosine during single-molecule, real-time sequencing. Using Tet1 to convert 5-methylcytosine to 5-carboxylcytosine improves the detection rate of this important epigenetic marker, thereby complementing the set of readily detectable microbial base modifications, and enhancing the ability to interrogate eukaryotic epigenetic markers.
Carboxylcytosine; DNA sequencing; epigenomics; methylation; methylcytosine; SMRT sequencing; Tet protein
Oxygen sensing and redox signaling significantly affect bacterial physiology and host-pathogen interaction. Here we show that a Staphylococcus aureus two-component system, AirSR (anaerobic iron-sulfur cluster-containing redox sensor regulator, formerly YhcSR), responds to oxidation signals (O2, H2O2, NO, etc) by using a redox-active [2Fe-2S] cluster in the sensor kinase AirS. Mutagenesis studies demonstrate that the [2Fe-2S] cluster is essential for the kinase activity of AirS. We have also discovered that a homolog of IscS (SA1450) in S. aureus is active as a cysteine desulfurase, which enables the in vitro reconstitution of the [2Fe-2S] cluster in AirS. Phosphorylation assays show that the oxidized AirS with a [2Fe-2S]2+ cluster is the fully active form of the kinase but not the apo-AirS nor the reduced AirS possessing a [2Fe-2S]+ cluster. Over-oxidation by prolonged exposure to O2 or contact with H2O2 or NO led to inactivation of AirS. Transcriptome analysis revealed that mutation of airR impacts the expression of ~355 genes under anaerobic conditions. Moreover, the mutant strain displayed increased resistance toward H2O2, vancomycin, norfloxacin, and ciprofloxacin under anaerobic conditions. Together, our results show that S. aureus AirSR is a redox-dependent global regulatory system that plays important roles in gene regulation using a redox active Fe-S cluster under O2-limited conditions.
ALKBH2 is a direct DNA repair dioxygenase guarding mammalian genome against N1-methyladenine, N3-methylcytosine, and 1,N6-ethenoadenine damage. A prerequisite for repair is to identify these lesions in the genome. Here we present crystal structures of ALKBH2 bound to different duplex DNAs. Together with computational and biochemical analyses, our results suggest that DNA interrogation by ALKBH2 displays two novel features: i) ALKBH2 probes base-pair stability and detects base pairs with reduced stability; ii) ALKBH2 does not have nor need a “damage-checking site”, which is critical for preventing spurious base-cleavage for several glycosylases. The demethylation mechanism of ALKBH2 insures that only cognate lesions are oxidized and reversed to normal bases, and that a flipped, non-substrate base remains intact in the active site. Overall, the combination of duplex interrogation and oxidation chemistry allows ALKBH2 to detect and process diverse lesions efficiently and correctly.
Family, twin, adoption studies show osteoarthritis (OA) has a substantial genetic component. Several studies have shown an association between OA and Growth Differentiation Factor 5 (GDF5), some others have not. Thus, the status of the OA-GDF5 association is uncertain. This meta-analysis was applied to case-control studies of the association between OA and GDF5 to assess the joint evidence for the association, the influence of individual studies, and evidence for publication bias. Relevant studies were identified from the following electronic databases: MEDLINE and current contents before Feb. 2012.
For the case-control studies, the authors found 1) support for the association between OA and GDF5. The rs143383 polymorphism was significantly associated with OA [fixed: OR and 95%CI: 1.193 (1.139-1.249), p<0.001; random: OR and 95%CI: 1.204 (1.135-1.276), p<0.001], 2) no evidence that this association was accounted for by any one study, and 3) no evidence for publication bias. Although the effect size of the association between OA and GDF5 is small, there is suggestive evidence for an association. Further studies are needed to clarify what variant of GDF5 (or some nearby gene) accounts for this association.
GDF5; Osteoarthritis; polymorphism; meta-analysis.
One of the recent advances in the epigenetic field is the demonstration that the Tet family of proteins are capable of catalyzing conversion of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) of DNA to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC). Interestingly, recent studies have shown that 5hmC can be further oxidized by Tet proteins to generate 5-formylcytosine (5fC) and 5-carboxylcytosine (5caC), which can be removed by thymine DNA glycosylase (TDG). To determine whether Tet-catalyzed conversion of 5mC to 5fC and 5caC occurs in vivo in zygotes, we generated antibodies specific for 5fC and 5caC. By immunostaining, we demonstrate that loss of 5mC in the paternal pronucleus is concurrent with the appearance of 5fC and 5caC, similar to that of 5hmC. Importantly, instead of being quickly removed through an enzyme-catalyzed process, both 5fC and 5caC exhibit replication-dependent dilution during mouse preimplantation development. These results not only demonstrate the conversion of 5mC to 5fC and 5caC in zygotes, but also indicate that both 5fC and 5caC are relatively stable and may be functional during preimplantation development. Together with previous studies, our study suggests that Tet-catalyzed conversion of 5mC to 5hmC/5fC/5caC followed by replication-dependent dilution accounts for paternal DNA demethylation during preimplantation development.
5fC; 5caC; preimplantation; demethylation
The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa has at least three quorum-sensing (QS) systems, including the acyl-homoserine lactone (acyl-HSL)-mediated las and rhl systems, as well as the 2-alkyl-4(1H)-quinolone (AHQ) signal-based system. A group of key regulators of these QS systems have been identified, such as qteE, vqsM, vqsR, and vfr. However, the underlying regulatory mechanisms of these QS systems are not yet fully understood. Here, using electrophoretic mobility shift assays, we demonstrated that VqsR indirectly regulates acyl-HSL systems but specifically binds to the qscR promoter region, which indicates that VqsR influences QS-controlled pathways through QscR. Through a dye-based DNase I footprint assay, we showed that VqsR interacts with an inverted repeat (IR) motif (TCGCCN8GGCGA, where N is any nucleotide) in the promoter region of qscR. A genome-wide search identified 50 other promoter regions carrying the same putative IR motif. The recombinant VqsR protein exists as a homodimer in solution. In addition, using a qscR-lux reporter assay and Northern blot hybridization, we found that the transcription level of qscR increased 4-fold in the vqsR deletion strain compared to the wild-type PAO1 strain, indicating vqsR as a negative regulator of qscR. Taken together, these findings provide new insights into the complex regulation network of QS systems in P. aeruginosa.