Post-translational histone modifications play key roles in gene regulation, development, and differentiation, but their dynamics in living organisms remain almost completely unknown. To address this problem, we developed a genetically encoded system for tracking histone modifications by generating fluorescent modification-specific intracellular antibodies (mintbodies) that can be expressed in vivo. To demonstrate, an H3 lysine 9 acetylation specific mintbody (H3K9ac-mintbody) was engineered and stably expressed in human cells. In good agreement with the localization of its target acetylation, H3K9ac-mintbody was enriched in euchromatin, and its kinetics measurably changed upon treatment with a histone deacetylase inhibitor. We also generated transgenic fruit fly and zebrafish stably expressing H3K9ac-mintbody for in vivo tracking. Dramatic changes in H3K9ac-mintbody localization during Drosophila embryogenesis could highlight enhanced acetylation at the start of zygotic transcription around mitotic cycle 7. Together, this work demonstrates the broad potential of mintbody and lays the foundation for epigenetic analysis in vivo.
Peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase NIMA-interacting 1 (Pin1) protein is known as a regulator which recognizes phosphorylated Ser/Thr-Pro motifs and increases the rate of cis and trans amide isomer interconversion, thereby altering the conformation of its substrates. We found that Pin1 knockdown using short hairpin RNA (shRNA) technology resulted in strong suppression of productive Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA replication. We further identified the EBV DNA polymerase catalytic subunit, BALF5, as a Pin1 substrate in glutathione S-transferase (GST) pulldown and immunoprecipitation assays. Lambda protein phosphatase treatment abolished the binding of BALF5 to Pin1, and mutation analysis of BALF5 revealed that replacement of the Thr178 residue by Ala (BALF5 T178A) disrupted the interaction with Pin1. To further test the effects of Pin1 in the context of virus infection, we constructed a BALF5-deficient recombinant virus. Exogenous supply of wild-type BALF5 in HEK293 cells with knockout recombinant EBV allowed efficient synthesis of viral genome DNA, but BALF5 T178A could not provide support as efficiently as wild-type BALF5. In conclusion, we found that EBV DNA polymerase BALF5 subunit interacts with Pin1 through BALF5 Thr178 in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. Pin1 might modulate EBV DNA polymerase conformation for efficient, productive viral DNA replication.
The expansion of repressive epigenetic marks has been implicated in heterochromatin formation during embryonic development, but the general applicability of this mechanism is unclear. Here we show that nuclear rearrangement of repressive histone marks H3K9me3 and H3K27me3 into nonoverlapping structural layers characterizes senescence-associated heterochromatic foci (SAHF) formation in human fibroblasts. However, the global landscape of these repressive marks remains unchanged upon SAHF formation, suggesting that in somatic cells, heterochromatin can be formed through the spatial repositioning of pre-existing repressively marked histones. This model is reinforced by the correlation of presenescent replication timing with both the subsequent layered structure of SAHFs and the global landscape of the repressive marks, allowing us to integrate microscopic and genomic information. Furthermore, modulation of SAHF structure does not affect the occupancy of these repressive marks, nor vice versa. These experiments reveal that high-order heterochromatin formation and epigenetic remodeling of the genome can be discrete events.
Transcripts of the choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) gene reveal a number of different splice variants including ChAT of a peripheral type (pChAT). Immunohistochemical staining of the brain using an antibody against pChAT clearly revealed peripheral cholinergic neurons, but failed to detect cholinergic neurons in the central nervous system. In rodents, pChAT-immunoreactivity has been detected in cholinergic parasympathetic postganglionic and enteric ganglion neurons. In addition, pChAT has been observed in non-cholinergic neurons such as peripheral sensory neurons in the trigeminal and dorsal root ganglia. The common type of ChAT (cChAT) has been investigated in many parts of the brain and the spinal cord of non-human primates, but little information is available about the localization of pChAT in primate species. Here, we report the detection of pChAT immunoreactivity in trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons and its co-localization with Substance P (SP) and/or calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in the cynomolgus monkey, Macaca fascicularis. Neurons positive for pChAT were observed in a rather uniform pattern in approximately half of the trigeminal neurons throughout the TG. Most pChAT-positive neurons had small or medium-sized cell bodies. Double-immunofluorescence staining showed that 85.1% of SP-positive cells and 74.0% of CGRP-positive cells exhibited pChAT immunoreactivity. Most pChAT-positive cells were part of a larger population of neurons that co-expressed SP and/or CGRP.
acetylcholine; choline acetyltransferase; immunohistochemistry; sensory ganglion; trigeminal nerve
CENP-B is a widely conserved centromeric satellite DNA-binding protein, which specifically binds to a 17-bp DNA sequence known as the CENP-B box. CENP-B functions positively in the de novo assembly of centromeric nucleosomes, containing the centromere-specific histone H3 variant, CENP-A. At the same time, CENP-B also prevents undesired assembly of the CENP-A nucleosome through heterochromatin formation on satellite DNA integrated into ectopic sites. Therefore, improper CENP-B binding to chromosomes could be harmful. However, no CENP-B eviction mechanism has yet been reported. In the present study, we found that human Nap1, an acidic histone chaperone, inhibited the non-specific binding of CENP-B to nucleosomes and apparently stimulated CENP-B binding to its cognate CENP-B box DNA in nucleosomes. In human cells, the CENP-B eviction activity of Nap1 was confirmed in model experiments, in which the CENP-B binding to a human artificial chromosome or an ectopic chromosome locus bearing CENP-B boxes was significantly decreased when Nap1 was tethered near the CENP-B box sequence. In contrast, another acidic histone chaperone, sNASP, did not promote CENP-B eviction in vitro and in vivo and did not stimulate specific CENP-B binding to CENP-A nucleosomes in vitro. We therefore propose a novel mechanism of CENP-B regulation by Nap1.
UL21 of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is an accessory gene that encodes a component of the tegument. Homologs of this protein have been identified in the alpha, beta, and gamma herpesvirus subfamilies, although their functions are unclear. To clarify the functions of UL21, we generated a UL21-null HSV-1 mutant. Growth analysis showed that the synthesis of infectious UL21-null HSV-1 in glial cells was delayed and that the overall yield was low. The plaque sizes of the UL21-null mutant were smaller than those of wild-type HSV-1. We identified several candidate UL21-interacting proteins, including intermediate filaments, by yeast two-hybrid screening. The distribution of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), which is the main component of intermediate filaments, was altered in UL21-null mutant-infected glial cells compared to wild-type virus-infected cells. These results will help clarify the function of UL21 and broaden our understanding of the life cycle of HSV.
HSV-1; UL21; intermediate filaments; glial cells; GFAP
DNA cytosine methylation (5mC) is indispensable for a number of cellular processes, including retrotransposon silencing, genomic imprinting, and X chromosome inactivation in mammalian development. Recent studies have focused on 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), a new epigenetic mark or intermediate in the DNA demethylation pathway. However, 5hmC itself has no role in pluripotency maintenance in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) lacking Dnmt1, 3a, and 3b. Here, we demonstrated that 5hmC accumulated on euchromatic chromosomal bands that were marked with di- and tri-methylated histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me2/3) in mouse ESCs. By contrast, heterochromatin enriched with H3K9me3, including mouse chromosomal G-bands, pericentric repeats, human satellite 2 and 3, and inactive X chromosomes, was not enriched with 5hmC. Therefore, enzymes that hydroxylate the methyl group of 5mC belonging to the Tet family might be excluded from inactive chromatin, which may restrict 5mC to 5hmC conversion in euchromatin to prevent nonselective de novo DNA methylation.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10577-012-9317-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
DNA methylation; Embryonic stem cells; Tet enzymes; 5-Hydroxymethylation
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) stimulates peripheral nerve regeneration. However, the origin of BNDF and its precise effect on nerve repair have not been clarified. In this study, we examined the role of BDNF from bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs) in post-injury nerve repair. Control and heterozygote BDNF knockout mice (BDNF+/−) received a left sciatic nerve crush using a cerebral blood clip. Especially, for the evaluation of BDNF from BMDCs, studies with bone marrow transplantation (BMT) were performed before the injury. We evaluated nerve function using a rotarod test, sciatic function index (SFI), and motor nerve conduction velocity (MNCV) simultaneously with histological nerve analyses by immunohistochemistry before and after the nerve injury until 8 weeks. BDNF production was examined by immunohistochemistry and mRNA analyses. After the nerve crush, the controls showed severe nerve dysfunction evaluated at 1 week. However, nerve function was gradually restored and reached normal levels by 8 weeks. By immunohistochemistry, BDNF expression was very faint before injury, but was dramatically increased after injury at 1 week in the distal segment from the crush site. BDNF expression was mainly co-localized with CD45 in BMDCs, which was further confirmed by the appearance of GFP-positive cells in the BMT study. Variant analysis of BDNF mRNA also confirmed this finding. BDNF+/− mice showed a loss of function with delayed histological recovery and BDNF+/+→BDNF+/− BMT mice showed complete recovery both functionally and histologically. These results suggested that the attenuated recovery of the BDNF+/− mice was rescued by the transplantation of BMCs and that BDNF from BMDCs has an essential role in nerve repair.
The Caenorhabditis elegans dosage compensation complex (DCC) equalizes X-chromosome gene dosage between XO males and XX hermaphrodites by two-fold repression of X-linked gene expression in hermaphrodites. The DCC localizes to the X chromosomes in hermaphrodites but not in males, and some subunits form a complex homologous to condensin. The mechanism by which the DCC downregulates gene expression remains unclear. Here we show that the DCC controls the methylation state of lysine 20 of histone H4, leading to higher H4K20me1 and lower H4K20me3 levels on the X chromosomes of XX hermaphrodites relative to autosomes. We identify the PR-SET7 ortholog SET-1 and the Suv4-20 ortholog SET-4 as the major histone methyltransferases for monomethylation and di/trimethylation of H4K20, respectively, and provide evidence that X-chromosome enrichment of H4K20me1 involves inhibition of SET-4 activity on the X. RNAi knockdown of set-1 results in synthetic lethality with dosage compensation mutants and upregulation of X-linked gene expression, supporting a model whereby H4K20me1 functions with the condensin-like C. elegans DCC to repress transcription of X-linked genes. H4K20me1 is important for mitotic chromosome condensation in mammals, suggesting that increased H4K20me1 on the X may restrict access of the transcription machinery to X-linked genes via chromatin compaction.
In many animals, males have one X chromosome and females have two. However, the same amount of gene expression from X chromosomes is needed in the two sexes. The process of dosage compensation (DC) globally regulates X-chromosome gene expression to make it equal between the sexes, and it occurs in different ways in different animals. In mammals, one X chromosome in females is randomly inactivated, leaving one active X chromosome. In contrast, in the nematode worm C. elegans, the two X chromosomes in hermaphrodites are repressed two-fold to match gene expression to the single X chromosome in males. Previous work in C. elegans identified proteins required for DC that bind to the X chromosome, but their mode of action is not known. Here we show that DC proteins lead to higher levels of histone H4 lysine 20 monomethylation (H4K20me1) on hermaphrodite X chromosomes and that H4K20me1 functions in repressing X-chromosome gene expression. This shows that histone modification is an important aspect of the mechanism of dosage compensation. Together with previous work linking H4K20me1 to chromatin structure regulation, our results suggest that dosage compensation might lower gene expression on hermaphrodite X chromosomes by compacting them.
Transcription regulation in pluripotent embryonic stem (ES) cells is a complex process that involves multitude of regulatory layers, one of which is post-translational modification of histones. Acetylation of specific lysine residues of histones plays a key role in regulating gene expression.
Here we have investigated the genome-wide occurrence of two histone marks, acetylation of histone H3K9 and K14 (H3K9ac and H3K14ac), in mouse embryonic stem (mES) cells. Genome-wide H3K9ac and H3K14ac show very high correlation between each other as well as with other histone marks (such as H3K4me3) suggesting a coordinated regulation of active histone marks. Moreover, the levels of H3K9ac and H3K14ac directly correlate with the CpG content of the promoters attesting the importance of sequences underlying the specifically modified nucleosomes. Our data provide evidence that H3K9ac and H3K14ac are also present over the previously described bivalent promoters, along with H3K4me3 and H3K27me3. Furthermore, like H3K27ac, H3K9ac and H3K14ac can also differentiate active enhancers from inactive ones. Although, H3K9ac and H3K14ac, a hallmark of gene activation exhibit remarkable correlation over active and bivalent promoters as well as distal regulatory elements, a subset of inactive promoters is selectively enriched for H3K14ac.
Our study suggests that chromatin modifications, such as H3K9ac and H3K14ac, are part of the active promoter state, are present over bivalent promoters and active enhancers and that the extent of H3K9 and H3K14 acetylation could be driven by cis regulatory elements such as CpG content at promoters. Our study also suggests that a subset of inactive promoters is selectively and specifically enriched for H3K14ac. This observation suggests that histone acetyl transferases (HATs) prime inactive genes by H3K14ac for stimuli dependent activation. In conclusion our study demonstrates a wider role for H3K9ac and H3K14ac in gene regulation than originally thought.
ChIP-seq; Histone acetylation; CpG islands; Embryonic stem cells; Gene regulation; Genome-wide mapping; Bivalent promoters, Epigenetics
In this study, microglial migration and phagocytosis were examined in mouse organotypic hippocampal slice cultures, which were treated with N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) to selectively injure neuronal cells. Microglial cells were visualized by the expression of enhanced green fluorescent protein. Daily observation revealed microglial accumulation in the pyramidal cell layer, which peaked 5 to 6 days after NMDA treatment. Time-lapse imaging showed that microglia migrated to the pyramidal cell layer from adjacent and/or remote areas. There was no difference in the number of proliferating microglia between control and NMDA-treated slices in both the pyramidal cell layer and stratum radiatum, suggesting that microglial accumulation in the injured areas is mainly due to microglial migration, not to proliferation. Time-lapse imaging also showed that the injured neurons, which were visualized by propidium iodide (PI), disappeared just after being surrounded by microglia. Daily observation revealed that the intensity of PI fluorescence gradually attenuated, and this attenuation was suppressed by pretreatment with clodronate, a microglia toxin. These findings suggest that accumulating microglia phagocytosed injured neurons, and that PI fluorescence could be a useful indicator for microglial phagocytosis. Using this advantage to examine microglial phagocytosis in living slice cultures, we investigated the involvements of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases in microglial accumulation and phagocytosis. p38 MAP kinase inhibitor SB203580, but not MAP kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase inhibitor PD98059 or c-Jun N-terminal kinase inhibitor SP600125, suppressed the attenuation of PI fluorescence. On the other hand, microglial accumulation in the injured areas was not inhibited by any of these inhibitors. These data suggest that p38 MAP kinase plays an important role in microglial phagocytosis of injured neurons.
Tankyrase 1 is a poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) which localizes to multiple subcellular sites, including telomeres and mitotic centrosomes. Poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation of the nuclear mitotic apparatus (NuMA) protein by tankyrase 1 during mitosis is essential for sister telomere resolution and mitotic spindle pole formation. In interphase cells, tankyrase 1 resides in the cytoplasm, and its role therein is not well understood. In this study, we found that herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection induced extensive modification of tankyrase 1 but not tankyrase 2. This modification was dependent on extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activity triggered by HSV infection. Following HSV-1 infection, tankyrase 1 was recruited to the nucleus. In the early phase of infection, tankyrase 1 colocalized with ICP0 and thereafter localized within the HSV replication compartment, which was blocked in cells infected with the HSV-1 ICP0-null mutant R7910. In the absence of infection, ICP0 interacted with tankyrase 1 and efficiently promoted its nuclear localization. HSV did not replicate efficiently in cells depleted of both tankyrases 1 and 2. Moreover, XAV939, an inhibitor of tankyrase PARP activity, decreased viral titers to 2 to 5% of control values. We concluded that HSV targets tankyrase 1 in an ICP0- and ERK-dependent manner to facilitate its replication.
Interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs), which express c-Kit receptor tyrosine kinase (KIT), play an important role in gastrointestinal motility. Loss of ICCs likely contributes to diabetic gastrointestinal motility disorder, however, the mechanism of attrition remains unknown. Here, we test the hypothesis that the bone marrow-derived progenitors are an important source of intestinal ICCs and that decreased homing of these progenitors in diabetes contributes to ICC diminution.
Wild type mice were X-ray irradiated, transplanted with bone marrow (BMT) from green fluorescence protein (GFP)-transgenic (TG)-mice and subsequently made diabetic by streptozotocin (STZ) injection. Intestinal homing of GFP-positive bone marrow-derived cells was examined 2 or 5 months after STZ treatment.
In the BMT-mice, we found many GFP-positive bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs) in most parts of the intestinal area, the number of BMDCs was significantly decreased in diabetic mice compared with nondiabetic controls. As a representative area, we further examined the myenteric plexus of the proximal small intestine, and found that the cell numbers of ICCs marked by c-Kit-positive immunoreactivity were decreased by more than 40% in diabetic versus nondiabetic mice. Furthermore, numbers of c-Kit+/GFP+ and c-Kit+/GFP− cells were similar in nondiabetic mice, and decreased by 45.8% and 42.0%, respectively, in diabetic mice.
These results suggest that the decreased homing from the bone marrow is a major cause of ICC loss in the intestine in diabetes mellitus.
diabetes mellitus; diabetic complications; diabetic enteropathy; ICCs
Pulmonary cachexia is common in advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), culminating in exercise intolerance and a poor prognosis. Ghrelin is a novel growth hormone (GH)-releasing peptide with GH-independent effects. The efficacy and safety of adding ghrelin to pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) in cachectic COPD patients were investigated.
In a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 33 cachectic COPD patients were randomly assigned PR with intravenous ghrelin (2 µg/kg) or placebo twice daily for 3 weeks in hospital. The primary outcomes were changes in 6-min walk distance (6-MWD) and the St. George Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) score. Secondary outcomes included changes in the Medical Research Council (MRC) scale, and respiratory muscle strength. At pre-treatment, serum GH levels were increased from baseline levels by a single dose of ghrelin (mean change, +46.5 ng/ml; between-group p<0.0001), the effect of which continued during the 3-week treatment. In the ghrelin group, the mean change from pre-treatment in 6-MWD was improved at Week 3 (+40 m, within-group p = 0.033) and was maintained at Week 7 (+47 m, within-group p = 0.017), although the difference between ghrelin and placebo was not significant. At Week 7, the mean changes in SGRQ symptoms (between-group p = 0.026), in MRC (between-group p = 0.030), and in maximal expiratory pressure (MEP; between-group p = 0.015) were better in the ghrelin group than in the placebo group. Additionally, repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated significant time course effects of ghrelin versus placebo in SGRQ symptoms (p = 0.049) and MEP (p = 0.021). Ghrelin treatment was well tolerated.
In cachectic COPD patients, with the safety profile, ghrelin administration provided improvements in symptoms and respiratory strength, despite the lack of a significant between-group difference in 6-MWD.
UMIN Clinical Trial Registry C000000061
Genital herpes is an intractable disease caused mainly by herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 2 (HSV-2), and is a major concern in public health. A previous infection with HSV type 1 (HSV-1) enhances protection against primary HSV-2 infection to some extent. In this study, we evaluated the ability of HF10, a naturally occurring replication-competent HSV-1 mutant, to protect against genital infection in mice caused by HSV-2. Subcutaneous inoculation of HF10-immunized mice against lethal infection by HSV-2, and attenuated the development of genital ulcer diseases. Immunization with HF10 inhibited HSV-2 replication in the mouse vagina, reduced local inflammation, controlled emergence of neurological dysfunctions of HSV-2 infection, and increased survival. In HF10-immunized mice, we observed rapid and increased production of interferon-γ in the vagina in response to HSV-2 infection, and numerous CD4+ and a few CD8+ T cells localized to the infective focus. CD4+ T cells invaded the mucosal subepithelial lamina propria. Thus, the protective effect of HF10 was related to induction of cellular immunity, mediated primarily by Th1 CD4+ cells. These data indicate that the live attenuated HSV-1 mutant strain HF10 is a promising candidate antigen for a vaccine against genital herpes caused by HSV-2.
genital herpes; live attenuated vaccine; HSV-1; HSV-2
Establishment of Human Artificial Chromosomes (HACs) depends on an interplay of H3 lysine 9 modifications at centromeres, providing insights into the pathways that control incorporation of the kinetochore-specificing histone H3 variant CENP-A.
The kinetochore is responsible for accurate chromosome segregation. However, the mechanism by which kinetochores assemble and are maintained remains unclear. Here we report that de novo CENP-A assembly and kinetochore formation on human centromeric alphoid DNA arrays is regulated by a histone H3K9 acetyl/methyl balance. Tethering of histone acetyltransferases (HATs) to alphoid DNA arrays breaks a cell type-specific barrier for de novo stable CENP-A assembly and induces assembly of other kinetochore proteins at the ectopic alphoid site. Similar results are obtained following tethering of CENP-A deposition factors hMis18α or HJURP. HAT tethering bypasses the need for hMis18α, but HJURP is still required for de novo kinetochore assembly. In contrast, H3K9 methylation following tethering of H3K9 tri-methylase (Suv39h1) to the array prevents de novo CENP-A assembly and kinetochore formation. CENP-A arrays assembled de novo by this mechanism can form human artificial chromosomes (HACs) that are propagated indefinitely in human cells.
CENP-A; centromeres; chromosomes; epigenetic regulation; heterochromatin
The TRK-fused gene (TFG in human, Tfg in rat) was originally identified in human papillary thyroid cancer as a chimeric form of the NTRK1 gene. It has been reported that the gene product (TFG) plays a role in regulating phosphotyrosine-specific phosphatase-1 activity. However, no information regarding the localization of Tfg in rat tissues is available. In this study, we investigated the expression of Tfg mRNA in normal rat tissues using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). We also produced an antibody against Tfg gene products and examined the localization of TFG in the rat brain and retina. The RT-PCR experiments demonstrated that two types of Tfg mRNA were expressed in rat tissues: the conventional form of Tfg (cTfg) and a novel variant form, retinal Tfg (rTfg). RT-PCR analyses demonstrated that cTfg was ubiquitously expressed in rat tissues, while rTfg was predominantly expressed in the brain and retina. Western blot analysis demonstrated two bands with molecular weights of about 30 kDa and 50 kDa in the rat brain. Immunohistochemistry indicated that TFG proteins were predominantly expressed by neurons in the brain. In the rat retina, intense TFG-immunoreactivity was detected in the layer of rods and cones and the outer plexiform layer.
TFG; retina; brain; alternative splicing; oncogene
Technologies for vitally labeling cells with fluorescent dyes have advanced remarkably. However, to excite fluorescent dyes currently requires powerful illumination, which can cause phototoxic damage to the cells and increases the cost of microscopy. We have developed a filter system to excite fluorescent dyes using a conventional transmission microscope equipped with a halogen lamp. This method allows us to observe previously invisible cell organelles, such as the metaphase spindle of oocytes, without causing phototoxicity. Cells remain healthy even after intensive manipulation under fluorescence observation, such as during bovine, porcine and mouse somatic cell cloning using nuclear transfer. This method does not require expensive epifluorescence equipment and so could help to reduce the science gap between developed and developing countries.
Polycomb repressor complexes (PRCs) are important chromatin modifiers fundamentally implicated in pluripotency and cancer. Polycomb silencing in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) can be accompanied by active chromatin and primed RNA polymerase II (RNAPII), but the relationship between PRCs and RNAPII remains unclear genome-wide. We mapped PRC repression markers and four RNAPII states in ESCs using ChIP-seq, and found that PRC targets exhibit a range of RNAPII variants. First, developmental PRC targets are bound by unproductive RNAPII (S5p+S7p−S2p−) genome-wide. Sequential ChIP, Ring1B depletion, and genome-wide correlations show that PRCs and RNAPII-S5p physically bind to the same chromatin and functionally synergize. Second, we identify a cohort of genes marked by PRC and elongating RNAPII (S5p+S7p+S2p+); they produce mRNA and protein, and their expression increases upon PRC1 knockdown. We show that this group of PRC targets switches between active and PRC-repressed states within the ESC population, and that many have roles in metabolism.
► A unique RNAPII variant (S5p+S7p−S2p−) binds PRC targets genome-wide in ESCs ► RNAPII-S5p and PRC coincide in time and localization, and show proportional abundance ► Novel, active PRC-target genes identified in ESCs include metabolic genes ► Active PRC targets switch between on/off (active/PRC) states in the ESC population
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) may cause a variety of virus-associated diseases, but no antiviral agents have yet been developed against this virus. Animal models are thus indispensable for the pathological analysis of EBV-related infections and the elucidation of therapeutic methods. To establish a model system for the study of EBV infection, we tested the ability of B95–8 virus and recombinant EBV expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) to replicate in human lymphoid tissue. Human tonsil tissues that had been surgically removed during routine tonsillectomy were sectioned into small blocks and placed on top of collagen sponge gels in culture medium at the air-interface, then a cell-free viral suspension was directly applied to the top of each tissue block. Increasing levels of EBV DNA in culture medium were observed after 12–15 days through 24 days post-infection in tissue models infected with B95–8 and EGFP-EBV. Expression levels of eight EBV-associated genes in cells collected from culture medium were increased during culture. EBV-encoded small RNA-positive cells were detected in the interfollicular areas in paraffin-embedded sections. Flow cytometric analyses revealed that most EGFP+ cells were CD3− CD56− CD19+ HLA-DR+, and represented both naïve (immunoglobulin D+) and memory (CD27+) B cells. Moreover, EBV replication in this model was suppressed by acyclovir treatment in a dose-dependent manner. These data suggest that this model has potential for use in the pathological analysis of local tissues at the time of primary infection, as well as for screening novel antiviral agents.
A hallmark of mitosis is the appearance of high levels of histone phosphorylation, yet the roles of these modifications remain largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that histone H3 phosphorylated at threonine 3 is directly recognized by an evolutionarily conserved binding pocket in the BIR domain of Survivin, a member of the chromosomal passenger complex (CPC). This binding mediates recruitment of the CPC to chromosomes and resulting activation of its kinase subunit Aurora B. Consistently, modulation of the kinase activity of Haspin, which phosphorylates H3T3, leads to defects in the Aurora B-dependent processes of spindle assembly and inhibition of nuclear reformation. These findings establish a direct cellular role for mitotic histone H3T3 phosphorylation, which is read and translated by the CPC to ensure accurate cell division.
It is well known that bone fracture healing is delayed in diabetes mellitus, but the mechanism remains to be elucidated. Since several studies have demonstrated that diabetes causes abnormalities in bone marrow-derived cells, we used the streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mouse model after bone marrow transfer from green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic mice, and examined fracture healing. Compared with non-diabetic mice, diabetic mice at 3 weeks after fracture showed a decrease in mineralized callus, with the remainder consisting of cartilage. Bone formation parameters and mineralization rate were not altered in the STZ mice, but bone resorption parameters were significantly decreased. Therefore, the delayed bone formation in the STZ mice may have resulted from an impairment of cartilage resorption. Interestingly, we found that 80 % of the osteoclasts in the callus were derived from bone marrow and the sizes of the osteoclasts as well as the resorption pits formed were significantly smaller in the diabetic mice. Moreover, transcript analysis using RNA isolated by laser capture microdissection (LCM) showed that the expression of DC-STAMP, a putative pivotal gene for osteoclast fusion, was decreased in osteoclasts from diabetic mice. Since the sustainability of osteoclast function depends on the controlled renewal of multinuclear osteoclasts, impaired osteoclast function in diabetes may contribute to decreased cartilage resorption and delayed endochondral ossification.
cell fusion; diabetes mellitus; fracture healing; green fluorescent protein; osteoclasts
Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) has a complicated life-cycle, and its genome encodes many components that can modify the cellular environment to facilitate efficient viral replication. The protein UL14 is likely involved in viral maturation and egress (Cunningham C. et al), and it facilitates the nuclear translocation of viral capsids and the tegument protein VP16 during the immediate-early phase of infection (Yamauchi Y. et al, 2008). UL14 of herpes simplex virus type 2 exhibits multiple functions (Yamauchi Y. et al, 2001, 2002, 2003).
To better understand the function(s) of UL14, we generated VP16-GFP-incorporated UL14-mutant viruses with either single (K51M) or triple (R60A, R64A, E68D) amino acid substitutions in the heat shock protein (HSP)-like sequence of UL14. We observed the morphology of cells infected with UL14-null virus and amino acid-substituted UL14-mutant viruses at different time points after infection.
UL14(3P)-VP16GFP and UL14D-VP16GFP (UL14-null) viruses caused similar defects with respect to growth kinetics, compartmentalization of tegument proteins, and cellular morphology in the late phase. Both the UL14D-VP16GFP and UL14(3P)-VP16GFP viruses led to the formation of an aggresome that incorporated some tegument proteins but did not include nuclear-egressed viral capsids.
Our findings suggest that a cluster of charged residues within the HSP-like sequence of UL14 is important for the molecular chaperone-like functions of UL14, and this activity is required for the acquisition of functionality of VP16 and UL46. In addition, UL14 likely contributes to maintaining cellular homeostasis following infection, including cytoskeletal organization. However, direct interactions between UL14 and VP16, UL46, or other cellular or viral proteins remain unclear.
Herpes simplex virus; UL14; VP16; molecular chaperone; heat shock proteins; aggresome
Due to a new reconstitution system of zonula occludens (zTJ) by expressing specific claudin species, this study found that each of claudin-7, -14, and -19 could singly reconstitute zTJ, but with distinct characteristics in morphology. The molecular dynamics is one important factor for this reconstitution, as revealed by FRAP analysis.
Tight-junction strands, which are organized into the beltlike cell–cell adhesive structure called the zonula occludens (TJ), create the paracellular permselective barrier in epithelial cells. The TJ is constructed on the basis of the zonula adherens (AJ) by polymerized claudins in a process mediated by ZO-1/2, but whether the 24 individual claudin family members play different roles at the TJ is unclear. Here we established a cell system for examining the polymerization of individual claudins in the presence of ZO-1/2 using an epithelial-like cell line, SF7, which lacked endogenous TJs and expressed no claudin but claudin-12 in immunofluorescence and real-time PCR assays. In stable SF7-derived lines, exogenous claudin-7, -14, or -19, but no other claudins, individually reconstituted TJs, each with a distinct TJ-strand pattern, as revealed by freeze-fracture analyses. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) analyses of the claudin dynamics in these and other epithelial cells suggested that slow FRAP-recovery dynamics of claudins play a critical role in regulating their polymerization around AJs, which are loosely coupled with ZO-1/2, to form TJs. Furthermore, the distinct claudin stabilities in different cell types may help to understand how TJs regulate paracellular permeability by altering the paracellular flux and the paracellular ion permeability.
Herpes simplex viruses (HSVs) rapidly shut off macromolecular synthesis in host cells. In contrast, global microarray analyses have shown that HSV infection markedly up-regulates a number of host cell genes that may play important roles in HSV-host cell interactions. To understand the regulatory mechanisms involved, we initiated studies focusing on the zinc finger transcription factor insulinoma-associated 1 (INSM1), a host cell protein markedly up-regulated by HSV infection.
INSM1 gene expression in HSV-1-infected normal human epidermal keratinocytes increased at least 400-fold 9 h after infection; INSM1 promoter activity was also markedly stimulated. Expression and subcellular localization of the immediate early HSV protein ICP0 was affected by INSM1 expression, and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays revealed binding of INSM1 to the ICP0 promoter. Moreover, the role of INSM1 in HSV-1 infection was further clarified by inhibition of HSV-1 replication by INSM1-specific siRNA.
The results suggest that INSM1 up-regulation plays a positive role in HSV-1 replication, probably by binding to the ICP0 promoter.