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1.  Sawyeria marylandensis (Heterolobosea) Has a Hydrogenosome with Novel Metabolic Properties ▿ † 
Eukaryotic Cell  2010;9(12):1913-1924.
Protists that live under low-oxygen conditions often lack conventional mitochondria and instead possess mitochondrion-related organelles (MROs) with distinct biochemical functions. Studies of mostly parasitic organisms have suggested that these organelles could be classified into two general types: hydrogenosomes and mitosomes. Hydrogenosomes, found in parabasalids, anaerobic chytrid fungi, and ciliates, metabolize pyruvate anaerobically to generate ATP, acetate, CO2, and hydrogen gas, employing enzymes not typically associated with mitochondria. Mitosomes that have been studied have no apparent role in energy metabolism. Recent investigations of free-living anaerobic protists have revealed a diversity of MROs with a wider array of metabolic properties that defy a simple functional classification. Here we describe an expressed sequence tag (EST) survey and ultrastructural investigation of the anaerobic heteroloboseid amoeba Sawyeria marylandensis aimed at understanding the properties of its MROs. This organism expresses typical anaerobic energy metabolic enzymes, such as pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase, [FeFe]-hydrogenase, and associated hydrogenase maturases with apparent organelle-targeting peptides, indicating that its MRO likely functions as a hydrogenosome. We also identified 38 genes encoding canonical mitochondrial proteins in S. marylandensis, many of which possess putative targeting peptides and are phylogenetically related to putative mitochondrial proteins of its heteroloboseid relative Naegleria gruberi. Several of these proteins, such as a branched-chain alpha keto acid dehydrogenase, likely function in pathways that have not been previously associated with the well-studied hydrogenosomes of parabasalids. Finally, morphological reconstructions based on transmission electron microscopy indicate that the S. marylandensis MROs form novel cup-like structures within the cells. Overall, these data suggest that Sawyeria marylandensis possesses a hydrogenosome of mitochondrial origin with a novel combination of biochemical and structural properties.
PMCID: PMC3008280  PMID: 21037180
2.  Snail1 transcriptional repressor binds to its own promoter and controls its expression 
Nucleic Acids Research  2006;34(7):2077-2084.
The product of Snail1 gene is a transcriptional repressor of E-cadherin expression and an inductor of the epithelial–mesenchymal transition in several epithelial tumour cell lines. Transcription of Snail1 is induced when epithelial cells are forced to acquire a mesenchymal phenotype. In this work we demonstrate that Snail1 protein limits its own expression: Snail1 binds to an E-box present in its promoter (at −146 with respect to the transcription start) and represses its activity. Therefore, mutation of the E-box increases Snail1 transcription in epithelial and mesenchymal cells. Evidence of binding of ectopic or endogenous Snail1 to its own promoter was obtained by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments. Studies performed expressing different forms of Snail1 under the control of its own promoter demonstrate that disruption of the regulatory loop increases the cellular levels of Snail protein. These results indicate that expression of Snail1 gene can be regulated by its product and evidence the existence of a fine-tuning feed-back mechanism of regulation of Snail1 transcription.
PMCID: PMC1440880  PMID: 16617148

Results 1-2 (2)