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1.  Direct Visualization of the Highly Polymorphic RNU2 Locus in Proximity to the BRCA1 Gene 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76054.
Although the breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA1 is one of the most extensively characterized genetic loci, much less is known about its upstream variable number tandem repeat element, the RNU2 locus. RNU2 encodes the U2 small nuclear RNA, an essential splicing element, but this locus is missing from the human genome assembly due to the inherent difficulty in the assembly of repetitive sequences. To fill the gap between RNU2 and BRCA1, we have reconstructed the physical map of this region by re-examining genomic clone sequences of public databases, which allowed us to precisely localize the RNU2 array 124 kb telomeric to BRCA1. We measured by performing FISH analyses on combed DNA for the first time the exact number of repeats carried by each of the two alleles in 41 individuals and found a range of 6-82 copies and a level of heterozygosity of 98%. The precise localisation of the RNU2 locus in the genome reference assembly and the implementation of a new technical tool to study it will make the detailed exploration of this locus possible. This recently neglected macrosatellite could be valuable for evaluating the potential role of structural variations in disease due to its location next to a major cancer susceptibility gene.
PMCID: PMC3795722  PMID: 24146815
2.  Ribosomal protein mRNAs are translationally-regulated during human dendritic cells activation by LPS 
Immunome Research  2009;5:5.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are the sentinels of the mammalian immune system, characterized by a complex maturation process driven by pathogen detection. Although multiple studies have described the analysis of activated DCs by transcriptional profiling, recent findings indicate that mRNAs are also regulated at the translational level. A systematic analysis of the mRNAs being translationally regulated at various stages of DC activation was performed using translational profiling, which combines sucrose gradient fractionation of polysomal-bound mRNAs with DNA microarray analysis.
Total and polysomal-bound mRNA populations purified from immature, 4 h and 16 h LPS-stimulated human monocyte-derived DCs were analyzed on Affymetrix microarrays U133 2.0. A group of 375 transcripts was identified as translationally regulated during DC-activation. In addition to several biochemical pathways related to immunity, the most statistically relevant biological function identified among the translationally regulated mRNAs was protein biosynthesis itself. We singled-out a cluster of 11 large ribosome proteins mRNAs, which are disengaged from polysomes at late time of maturation, suggesting the existence of a negative feedback loop regulating translation in DCs and linking ribosomal proteins to immuno-modulatory function.
Our observations highlight the importance of translation regulation during the immune response, and may favor the identification of novel protein networks relevant for immunity. Our study also provides information on the potential absence of correlation between gene expression and protein production for specific mRNA molecules present in DCs.
PMCID: PMC2788525  PMID: 19943945
3.  Regulation of translation is required for dendritic cell function and survival during activation 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2007;179(7):1427-1439.
In response to inflammatory stimulation, dendritic cells (DCs) have a remarkable pattern of differentiation (maturation) that exhibits specific mechanisms to control antigen processing and presentation. Here, we show that in response to lipopolysaccharides, protein synthesis is rapidly enhanced in DCs. This enhancement occurs via a PI3K-dependent signaling pathway and is key for DC activation. In addition, we show that later on, in a manner similar to viral or apoptotic stress, DC activation leads to the phosphorylation and proteolysis of important translation initiation factors, thus inhibiting cap-dependent translation. This inhibition correlates with major changes in the origin of the peptides presented by MHC class I and the ability of mature DCs to prevent cell death. Our observations have important implications in linking translation regulation with DC function and survival during the immune response.
PMCID: PMC2373495  PMID: 18166652
4.  Multiple recent horizontal transfers of a large genomic region in cheese making fungi 
Nature Communications  2014;5:2876.
While the extent and impact of horizontal transfers in prokaryotes are widely acknowledged, their importance to the eukaryotic kingdom is unclear and thought by many to be anecdotal. Here we report multiple recent transfers of a huge genomic island between Penicillium spp. found in the food environment. Sequencing of the two leading filamentous fungi used in cheese making, P. roqueforti and P. camemberti, and comparison with the penicillin producer P. rubens reveals a 575 kb long genomic island in P. roqueforti—called Wallaby—present as identical fragments at non-homologous loci in P. camemberti and P. rubens. Wallaby is detected in Penicillium collections exclusively in strains from food environments. Wallaby encompasses about 250 predicted genes, some of which are probably involved in competition with microorganisms. The occurrence of multiple recent eukaryotic transfers in the food environment provides strong evidence for the importance of this understudied and probably underestimated phenomenon in eukaryotes.
Horizontal gene transfers are known to play an important role in prokaryote evolution but their impact and prevalence in eukaryotes is less clear. Here, the authors sequence the genomes of cheese making fungi P. roqueforti and P. camemberti, and provide evidence for recent horizontal transfers of a large genomic region.
PMCID: PMC3896755  PMID: 24407037

Results 1-4 (4)