Complex biological systems manifest a large variety of emergent phenomena among which prominent roles belong to self-organization and swarm intelligence. Generally, each level in a biological hierarchy possesses its own systemic properties and requires its own way of observation, conceptualization, and modeling. In this work, an attempt is made to outline general guiding principles in exploration of a wide range of seemingly dissimilar phenomena observed in large communities of individuals devoid of any personal intelligence and interacting with each other through simple stimulus-response rules. Mathematically, these guiding principles are well captured by the Global Consensus Theorem (GCT) equally applicable to neural networks and to Lotka-Volterra population dynamics. Universality of the mechanistic principles outlined by GCT allows for a unified approach to such diverse systems as biological networks, communities of social insects, robotic communities, microbial communities, communities of somatic cells, social networks and many other systems. Another cluster of universal laws governing the self-organization in large communities of locally interacting individuals is built around the principle of self-organized criticality (SOC). The GCT and SOC, separately or in combination, provide a conceptual basis for understanding the phenomena of self-organization occurring in large communities without involvement of a supervisory authority, without system-wide informational infrastructure, and without mapping of general plan of action onto cognitive/behavioral faculties of its individual members. Cancer onset and proliferation serves as an important example of application of these conceptual approaches. In this paper, the point of view is put forward that apparently irreconcilable contradictions between two opposing theories of carcinogenesis, that is, the Somatic Mutation Theory and the Tissue Organization Field Theory, may be resolved using the systemic approaches provided by GST and SOC.
nonlinear dynamics; global consensus theorem; swarm intelligence; self-organized criticality; Lotka-Volterra population dynamics; neural networks; biomolecular networks; carcinogenesis; darwinian evolution
The current approach to treatment in oncology is to replace the generally cytotoxic chemotherapies with pharmaceutical treatment which inactivates specific molecular targets associated with cancer development and progression. The goal is to limit cellular damage to pathways perceived to be directly responsible for the malignancy. Its underlying assumptions are twofold: (1) that individual pathways are the cause of malignancy; and (2) that the treatment objective should be destruction—either of the tumor or the dysfunctional pathway. However, the extent to which data actually support these assumptions has not been directly addressed. Accumulating evidence suggests that systemic dysfunction precedes the disruption of specific genetic/molecular pathways in most adult cancers and that targeted treatments such as kinase inhibitors may successfully treat one pathway while generating unintended changes to other, non-targeted pathways. This article discusses (1) the systemic basis of malignancy; (2) better profiling of pre-cancerous biomarkers associated with elevated risk so that preventive lifestyle modifications can be instituted early to revert high-risk epigenetic changes before tumors develop; (3) a treatment emphasis in early stage tumors that would target the restoration of systemic balance by strengthening the body’s innate defense mechanisms; and (4) establishing better quantitative models of systems to capture adequate complexity for predictability at all stages of tumor progression.
targeted therapy; complex systems; quantitative modeling; tumor microenvironment
Nitric oxide (NO) is highly reactive, produced in endothelial cells by endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) and has been implicated in sickle cell pathophysiology. We evaluated the distribution of functionally significant eNOS variants (the T786C variant in the promoter region, the Glu298Asp variant in exon 7, and the variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) in intron 4) in Africans, African Americans and Caucasians. The C-786 variant was more common in Caucasians than in Africans and African Americans. Consistent with other findings, the Asp-298 variant had the highest frequency in Caucasians followed by African Americans, but was completely absent in Africans. The very rare intron 4 allele, eNOS 4c, was found in some Africans and African Americans, but not in Caucasians. eNOS 4d allele was present in 2 Africans. These findings suggest a consistent and widespread genomic diversity in the distribution of eNOS variants in Africans, comparative to African Americans and Caucasians.
polymorphisms; ethnicity; endothelial nitric oxide synthase; haplotypes
Effects of high fat diet (HFD) on obesity and, subsequently, on diabetes are highly variable and modulated by genetics in both humans and rodents. In this report, we characterized the response of Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats, a spontaneous polygenic model for lean diabetes and healthy Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) controls, to high fat feeding from weaning to 20 weeks of age. Animals fed either normal diet or HFD were sacrificed at 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 weeks of age and a wide array of physiological measurements were made along with gene expression profiling using Affymetrix gene array chips. Mining of the microarray data identified differentially regulated genes (involved in inflammation, metabolism, transcription regulation, and signaling) in diabetic animals, as well as the response of both strains to HFD. Functional annotation suggested that HFD increased inflammatory differences between the two strains. Chronic inflammation driven by heightened innate immune response was identified to be present in GK animals regardless of diet. In addition, compensatory mechanisms by which WKY animals on HFD resisted the development of diabetes were identified, thus illustrating the complexity of diabetes disease progression.
diabetes; high fat diet; gene expression; microarray
L-selectin plays important roles in lymphocyte homing and leukocyte rolling. Mounting evidence shows that it is involved in many disease entities including diabetes, ischemia/reperfusion injuries, inflammatory diseases, and tumor metastasis. Regulation of L-selectin at protein level has been well characterized. However, the regulation of human L-selectin transcription remains largely unknown. To address transcriptional regulation of L-selectin, we cloned 1088 bp 5′ of the start codon ATG. Luciferase analysis of the serial 5′ deletion mutants located the core promoter region at −288/−1. A major transcription initiation site was mapped at −115 by 5′RACE. Transcription factors Sp1, Ets1, Mzf1, Klf2, and Irf1 bind to and transactivate the L-selectin promoter. Significantly, FOXO1 binds to a FOXO1 motif, CCCTTTGG, at −87/−80, and transactivates the L-selectin promoter in a dose-dependent manner. Over-expression of a constitutive-active FOXO1 increased the endogenous L-selectin expression in Jurkat cells. We conclude that FOXO1 regulates L-selectin expression through targeting its promoter.
L-selectin; transcriptional regulation; FOXO1; promoter
Physarum polycephalum is a unicellular eukaryote belonging to the amoebozoa group of organisms. The complex life cycle involves various cell types that differ in morphology, function, and biochemical composition. Sporulation, one step in the life cycle, is a stimulus-controlled differentiation response of macroscopic plasmodial cells that develop into fruiting bodies. Well-established Mendelian genetics and the occurrence of macroscopic cells with a naturally synchronous population of nuclei as source of homogeneous cell material for biochemical analyses make Physarum an attractive model organism for studying the regulatory control of cell differentiation. Here, we develop an approach using RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq), without needing to rely on a genome sequence as a reference, for studying the transcriptomic changes during stimulus-triggered commitment to sporulation in individual plasmodial cells. The approach is validated through the obtained expression patterns and annotations, and particularly the results from up- and downregulated genes, which correlate well with previous studies.
cell differentiation; single-cell methods; RNA-seq; Physarum polycephalum
High-throughput ‘omics’ data analysis via bioinformatics is one key component of the systems biology approach. The systems approach is particularly well-suited for the study of the interactions between nutrition and physiological state with tissue metabolism and functions during key life stages of organisms such as the transition from pregnancy to lactation in mammals, ie, the peripartal period. In modern dairy cows with an unprecedented genetic potential for milk synthesis, the nature of the physiologic and metabolic adaptations during the peripartal period is multifaceted and involves key tissues such as liver, adipose, and mammary. In order to understand such adaptation, we have reviewed several works performed in our and other labs. In addition, we have used a novel bioinformatics approach, Dynamic Impact Approach (DIA), in combination with partly previously published data to help interpret longitudinal biological adaptations of bovine liver, adipose, and mammary tissue to lactation using transcriptomics datasets. Use of DIA with transcriptomic data from those tissues during normal physiological adaptations and in animals fed different levels of energy prepartum allowed visualization and integration of most-impacted metabolic pathways around the time of parturition. The DIA is a suitable tool for applying the integrative systems biology approach. The ultimate goal is to visualize the complexity of the systems at study and uncover key molecular players involved in the tissue’s adaptations to physiological state or nutrition.
bovine; dairy cow; bioinformatics; microarray; lactation; dynamic impact approach
Bacterial gene regulation involves transcription factors (TF) that bind to DNA
recognition sequences in operon promoters. These recognition sequences, many of
which are palindromic, are known as regulatory elements or transcription factor
binding sites (TFBS). Some TFs are global regulators that can modulate the
expression of hundreds of genes. In this study we examine global regulator
half-sites, where a half-site, which we shall call a binding motif (BM), is one
half of a palindromic TFBS. We explore the hypothesis that the number of BMs
plays an important role in transcriptional regulation, examining empirical data
from transcriptional profiling of the CRP and ArcA regulons. We compare the
power of BM counts and of full TFBS characteristics to predict induced
transcriptional activity. We find that CRP BM counts have a nonlinear effect on
CRP-dependent transcriptional activity and predict this activity better than
full TFBS quality or location.
transcriptional regulation; transcription factors; binding sites; binding motifs; Escherichia coli; Shewanella oneidensis; CRP; Cyclic-AMP receptor protein; ArcA
Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), such as butyrate, produced by gut microorganisms, play a critical role in energy metabolism and physiology of ruminants as well as in human health. In this study, the temporal effect of elevated butyrate concentrations on the transcriptome of the rumen epithelium was quantified via serial biopsy sampling using RNA-seq technology. The mean number of genes transcribed in the rumen epithelial transcriptome was 17,323.63 ± 277.20 (±SD; N = 24) while the core transcriptome consisted of 15,025 genes. Collectively, 80 genes were identified as being significantly impacted by butyrate infusion across all time points sampled. Maximal transcriptional effect of butyrate on the rumen epithelium was observed at the 72-h infusion when the abundance of 58 genes was altered. The initial reaction of the rumen epithelium to elevated exogenous butyrate may represent a stress response as Gene Ontology (GO) terms identified were predominantly related to responses to bacteria and biotic stimuli. An algorithm for the reconstruction of accurate cellular networks (ARACNE) inferred regulatory gene networks with 113,738 direct interactions in the butyrate-epithelium interactome using a combined cutoff of an error tolerance (ɛ = 0.10) and a stringent P-value threshold of mutual information (5.0 × 10−11). Several regulatory networks were controlled by transcription factors, such as CREBBP and TTF2, which were regulated by butyrate. Our findings provide insight into the regulation of butyrate transport and metabolism in the rumen epithelium, which will guide our future efforts in exploiting potential beneficial effect of butyrate in animal well-being and human health.
butyrate; epithelial; networks; RNA-seq; ruminant; transcriptome
The premature fusion of one cranial suture, also referred to as non-syndromic craniosynostosis, most commonly involves premature fusion of the sagittal, coronal, or metopic sutures, in that order. Population-based epidemiological studies have found that the birth prevalence of single-suture craniosynostosis is both suture- and sex-dependent.
Transcriptomic data from 199 individuals with isolated sagittal (n = 100), unilateral coronal (n = 50), and metopic (n = 49) synostosis were compared against a control population (n = 50) to identify transcripts accounting for the different sex-based frequencies observed in this disease.
Differential sex-based gene expression was classified as either gained (divergent) or lost (convergent) in affected individuals to identify transcripts related to disease predilection. Divergent expression was dependent on synostosis sub-type, and was extensive in metopic craniosynostosis specifically. Convergent microarray-based expression was independent of synostosis sub-type, with convergent expression of FBN2, IGF2BP3, PDE1C and TINAGL1 being the most robust across all synostosis sub-types.
Analysis of sex-based gene expression followed by validation by qRT-PCR identified that concurrent upregulation of FBN2 and IGF2BP3, and downregulation of TINAGL1 in craniosynostosis cases were all associated with increased RUNX2 expression and may represent a transcriptomic signature that can be used to characterize a subset of single-suture craniosynostosis cases.
craniosynostosis; gene expression; sex predilection; RUNX2
This paper includes a conceptual framework for cell cycle modeling into which the experimenter can map observed data and evaluate mechanisms of cell cycle control. The basic model exhibits qualitative stability, meaning that regardless of magnitudes of system parameters its instances are guaranteed to be stable in the sense that all feasible trajectories converge to a certain trajectory. Qualitative stability can also be described by the signs of real parts of eigenvalues of the system matrix. On the biological side, the resulting model can be tuned to approximate experimental data pertaining to human fibroblast cell lines treated with ionizing radiation, with or without disabled DNA damage checkpoints. Together these properties validate a fundamental, first order systems view of cell dynamics. Classification Codes: 15A68
cell cycle model; linear algebra model; checkpoint processing rate; response to radiation; qualitative stability of matrices
Bone responds with increased bone formation to mechanical loading, and the time course of bone formation after initiating mechanical loading is well characterized. However, the regulatory activities governing the loading-dependent changes in gene expression are not well understood. The goal of this study was to identify the time-dependent regulatory mechanisms that governed mechanical loading-induced gene expression in bone using a predictive bioinformatics algorithm. A standard model for bone loading in rodents was employed in which the right forelimb was loaded axially for three minutes per day, while the left forearm served as a non-loaded, contralateral control. Animals were subjected to loading sessions every day, with 24 hours between sessions. Ulnas were sampled at 11 time points, from 4 hours to 32 days after beginning loading. Using a predictive bioinformatics algorithm, we created a linear model of gene expression and identified 44 transcription factor binding motifs and 29 microRNA binding sites that were predicted to regulate gene expression across the time course. Known and novel transcription factor binding motifs were identified throughout the time course, as were several novel microRNA binding sites. These time-dependent regulatory mechanisms may be important in controlling the loading-induced bone formation process.
bone; exon array; mechanical loading; microRNA; regulation; transcription factor
Myc is a crucial regulator of growth and proliferation during animal development. Many signals and transcription factors lead to changes in the expression levels of Drosophila myc, yet no clear model exists to explain the complexity of its regulation at the level of transcription. In this study we used Drosophila genetic tools to track the dmyc cis-regulatory elements. Bioinformatics analyses identified conserved sequence blocks in the noncoding regions of the dmyc gene. Investigation of lacZ reporter activity driven by upstream, downstream, and intronic sequences of the dmyc gene in embryonic, larval imaginal discs, larval brain, and adult ovaries, revealed that it is likely to be transcribed from multiple transcription initiation units including a far upstream regulatory region, a TATA box containing proximal complex and a TATA-less downstream promoter element in conjunction with an initiator within the intron 2 region. Our data provide evidence for a modular organization of dmyc regulatory sequences; these modules will most likely be required to generate the tissue-specific patterns of dmyc transcripts. The far upstream region is active in late embryogenesis, while activity of other cis elements is evident during embryogenesis, in specific larval imaginal tissues and during oogenesis. These data provide a framework for further investigation of the transcriptional regulatory mechanisms of dmyc.
dmyc; cis-regulatory module; enhancer; promoter; downstream promoter element; Drosophila
To further investigate the potential role of α-tocopherol in maintaining immuno-homeostasis in bovine cells (Madin-Darby bovine kidney epithelial cell line), we undertook in vitro experiments using recombinant TNF-α as an immuno-stimulant to simulate inflammation response in cells with or without α-tocopherol pre-treatment. Using microarray global-profiling and IPA (Ingenuity Pathways Analysis, Ingenuity® Systems, http://www.ingenuity.com) data analysis on TNF-α-induced gene perturbation in those cells, we focused on determining whether α-tocopherol treatment of normal bovine cells in a standard cell culture condition can modify cell’s immune response induced by TNF-α challenge. When three datasets were filtered and compared using IPA, there were a total of 1750 genes in all three datasets for comparison, 97 genes were common in all three sets; 615 genes were common in at least two datasets; there were 261 genes unique in TNF-α challenge, 399 genes were unique in α-tocopherol treatment, and 378 genes were unique in the α-tocopherol plus TNF-α treatment. TNF-α challenge induced significant change in gene expression. Many of those genes induced by TNF-α are related to the cells immune and inflammatory responses. The results of IPA data analysis showed that α-tocopherol-pretreatment of cells modulated cell’s response to TNF-α challenge. In most of the canonical pathways, α-tocopherol pretreatment showed the antagonistic effect against the TNF-α-induced pro-inflammatory responses. We concluded that α-tocopherol pre-treatment has a significant antagonistic effect that modulates the cell’s response to the TNF-α challenge by altering the gene expression activities of some important signaling molecules.
alpha-tocopherol; bovine; inflammatory response; transcription; tumor necrosis factor
Robustness has been long recognized to be a distinctive property of living entities. While a reasonably wide consensus has been achieved regarding the conceptual meaning of robustness, the biomolecular mechanisms underlying this systemic property are still open to many unresolved questions. The goal of this paper is to provide an overview of existing approaches to characterization of robustness in mathematically sound terms. The concept of robustness is discussed in various contexts including network vulnerability, nonlinear dynamic stability, and self-organization. The second goal is to discuss the implications of biological robustness for individual-target therapeutics and possible strategies for outsmarting drug resistance arising from it. Special attention is paid to the concept of swarm intelligence, a well studied mechanism of self-organization in natural, societal and artificial systems. It is hypothesized that swarm intelligence is the key to understanding the emergent property of chemoresistance.
biological robustness; swarm intelligence; biological networks; chemoresistance; cancer therapeutics; dynamic stability; adaptivity
Revealing the gene regulatory systems among DNA and proteins in living cells is one of the central aims of systems biology. In this study, I used Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) in combination with stepwise factor analysis to infer the protein-DNA interactions for gene expression control from only gene expression profiles, in the absence of protein information. I applied my approach to infer the causalities within the well-studied serial transcriptional regulation composed of GAL-related genes in yeast. This allowed me to reveal the hierarchy of serial transcriptional regulation, including previously unclear protein-DNA interactions. The validity of the constructed model was demonstrated by comparing the results with previous reports describing the regulation of the transcription factors. Furthermore, the model revealed combinatory regulation by Gal4p and Gal80p. In this study, the target genes were divided into three types: those regulated by one factor and those controlled by a combination of two factors.
Structural equation modeling; transcriptional regulation; gene regulatory network; expression profile
The draft nuclear genome sequence of the snail-transmitted, dimorphic, parasitic, platyhelminth Schistosoma mansoni revealed eight genes encoding proteins that contain the Universal Stress Protein (USP) domain. Schistosoma mansoni is a causative agent of human schistosomiasis, a severe and debilitating Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) of poverty, which is endemic in at least 76 countries. The availability of the genome sequences of Schistosoma species presents opportunities for bioinformatics and genomics analyses of associated gene families that could be targets for understanding schistosomiasis ecology, intervention, prevention and control. Proteins with the USP domain are known to provide bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists and plants with the ability to respond to diverse environmental stresses. In this research investigation, the functional annotations of the USP genes and predicted nucleotide and protein sequences were initially verified. Subsequently, sequence clusters and distinctive features of the sequences were determined. A total of twelve ligand binding sites were predicted based on alignment to the ATP-binding universal stress protein from Methanocaldococcus jannaschii. In addition, six USP sequences showed the presence of ATP-binding motif residues indicating that they may be regulated by ATP. Public domain gene expression data and RT-PCR assays confirmed that all the S. mansoni USP genes were transcribed in at least one of the developmental life cycle stages of the helminth. Six of these genes were up-regulated in the miracidium, a free-swimming stage that is critical for transmission to the snail intermediate host. It is possible that during the intra-snail stages, S. mansoni gene transcripts for universal stress proteins are low abundant and are induced to perform specialized functions triggered by environmental stressors such as oxidative stress due to hydrogen peroxide that is present in the snail hemocytes. This report serves to catalyze the formation of a network of researchers to understand the function and regulation of the universal stress proteins encoded in genomes of schistosomes and their snail intermediate hosts.
expressed sequence tags; gene regulation; gene function; protein domains; Schistosoma; serial analysis of gene expression; sequence analysis; universal stress proteins
To identify in vivo new cardiac binding sites of serum response factor (SRF) in genes and to study the response of these genes to mild over-expression of SRF, we employed a cardiac-specific, transgenic mouse model, with mild over-expression of SRF (Mild-O SRF Tg).
Microarray experiments were performed on hearts of Mild-O-SRF Tg at 6 months of age. We identified 207 genes that are important for cardiac function that were differentially expressed in vivo. Among them the promoter region of 192 genes had SRF binding motifs, the classic CArG or CArG-like (CArG-L) elements. Fifty-one of the 56 genes with classic SRF binding sites had not been previously reported. These SRF-modulated genes were grouped into 12 categories based on their function. It was observed that genes associated with cardiac energy metabolism shifted toward that of carbohydrate metabolism and away from that of fatty acid metabolism. The expression of genes that are involved in transcription and ion regulation were decreased, but expression of cytoskeletal genes was significantly increased. Using public databases of mouse models of hemodynamic stress (GEO database), we also found that similar altered expression of the SRF-modulated genes occurred in these hearts with cardiac ischemia or aortic constriction as well.
Conclusion and significance:
SRF-modulated genes are actively regulated under various physiological and pathological conditions. We have discovered that a large number of cardiac genes have classic SRF binding sites and were significantly modulated in the Mild-O-SRF Tg mouse hearts. Hence, the mild elevation of SRF protein in the heart that is observed during typical adult aging may have a major impact on many SRF-modulated genes, thereby affecting cardiac structure and performance. The results from our study could help to enhance our understanding of SRF regulation of cellular processes in the aged heart.
SRF modulated genes; SRF binding sites; mouse heart; mild-SRF over-expression; gene expression; striated muscle
In this paper, a new model of self-organized criticality is introduced. This model, called the gene expression paradigm, is motivated by the problem of gene expression initiation in the newly-born daughter cells after mitosis. The model is fundamentally different in dynamics and properties from the well known sand-pile paradigm. Simulation experiments demonstrate that a critical total number of proteins exists below which transcription is impossible. Above this critical threshold, the system enters the regime of self-sustained oscillations with standard deviations and periods proportional to the genes’ complexities with probability one. The borderline between these two regimes is very sharp. Importantly, such a self-organization emerges without any deterministic feedback loops or external supervision, and is a result of completely random redistribution of proteins between inactive genes. Given the size of the genome, the domain of self-organized oscillatory motion is also limited by the genes’ maximal complexities. Below the critical complexity, all the regimes of self-organized oscillations are self-similar and largely independent of the genes’ complexities. Above the level of critical complexity, the whole-genome transcription is impossible. Again, the borderline between the domains of oscillations and quiescence is very sharp. The gene expression paradigm is an example of cellular automata with the domain of application potentially far beyond its biological context. The model seems to be simple enough for staging an experiment for verification of its remarkable properties.
self-organized criticality; transcription initiation; genetic regulatory systems; stochastic oscillations
The dynamic chromatin activities of Mi-2/Nucleosome Remodeling and Histone deacetylation (Mi-2/NuRD) complexes in mammals are at the basis of current research on stemness, longevity/ageing, and cancer (4-2-1/SLAC), and have been widely studied over the past decade in mammals and the elegant model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans. Interestingly, a common emergent theme from these studies is that of distinct coregulator-recruited Mi-2/NuRD complexes largely orchestrating the 4-2-1/SLAC within a unique paradigm by maintaining genome stability via DNA repair and controlling three types of transcriptional programs in concert in a number of cellular, tissue, and organism contexts. Thus, the core Mi-2/NuRD complex plays a central role in 4-2-1/SLAC. The plasticity and robustness of 4-2-1/SLAC can be interpreted as modulation of specific coregulator(s) within cell-specific, tissue-specific, stage-specific, or organism-specific niches during stress induction, ie, a functional module and its networking, thereby conferring differential responses to different environmental cues. According to “Occam’s razor”, a simple theory is preferable to a complex one, so this simplified notion might be useful for exploring 4-2-1/SLAC with a holistic view. This thought could also be valuable in forming strategies for future research, and could open up avenues for cancer prevention and antiageing strategies.
stemness; longevity; ageing; cancer; 4-2-1/SLAC; Mi-2/NuRD; mammals; Caenorhabditis elegans
The protein phosphatase-2A (PP-2A), one of the major phosphatases in eukaryotes, is a heterotrimer, consisting of a scaffold A subunit, a catalytic C subunit and a regulatory B subunit. Previous studies have shown that besides regulating specific PP-2A activity, various B subunits encoded by more than 16 different genes, may have other functions. To explore the possible roles of the regulatory subunits of PP-2A in vertebrate development, we have cloned the PR55/B family regulatory subunits: β and δ, analyzed their tissue specific and developmental expression patterns in Goldfish ( Carassius auratus). Our results revealed that the full-length cDNA for PR55/Bβ consists of 1940 bp with an open reading frame of 1332 nucleotides coding for a deduced protein of 443 amino acids. The full length PR55/Bδ cDNA is 2163 bp containing an open reading frame of 1347 nucleotides encoding a deduced protein of 448 amino acids. The two isoforms of PR55/B display high levels of sequence identity with their counterparts in other species. The PR55/Bβ mRNA and protein are detected in brain and heart. In contrast, the PR55/Bδ is expressed in all 9 tissues examined at both mRNA and protein levels. During development of goldfish, the mRNAs for PR55/Bβ and PR55/Bδ show distinct patterns. At the protein level, PR55/Bδ is expressed at all developmental stages examined, suggesting its important role in regulating goldfish development. Expression of the PR55/Bδ anti-sense RNA leads to significant downregulation of PR55/Bδ proteins and caused severe abnormality in goldfish trunk and eye development. Together, our results suggested that PR55/Bδ plays an important role in governing normal trunk and eye formation during goldfish development.
protein phosphatase; PP-2A; PR55/Bβ/δ; eye; lens; gene expression; developmental regulation; phosphorylation
ChIP-chip data, which shows binding of transcription factors (TFs) to promoter regions in vivo, are widely used by biologists to identify the regulatory targets of TFs. However, the binding of a TF to a gene does not necessarily imply regulation. Thus, it is important to develop computational methods which can extract a TF’s regulatory targets from its binding targets. We developed a method, called REgulatory Targets Extraction Algorithm (RETEA), which uses partial correlation analysis on gene expression data to extract a TF’s regulatory targets from its binding targets inferred from ChIP-chip data. We applied RETEA to yeast cell cycle microarray data and identified the plausible regulatory targets of eleven known cell cycle TFs. We validated our predictions by checking the enrichments for cell cycle-regulated genes, common cellular processes and common molecular functions. Finally, we showed that RETEA performs better than three published methods (MA-Network, TRIA and Garten et al’s method).
ChIP-chip data; transcription factors; binding targets; regulatory targets
Using global expression profiling and pathway analysis on α-tocopherol-induced gene perturbation in bovine cells, this study has generated comprehensive information on the physiological functions of α-tocopherol. The data confirmed α-tocopherol is a potent regulator of gene expression and α-tocopherol possesses novel transcriptional activities that affect essential biological processes. The genes identified fall within a broad range of functional categories and provide the molecular basis for its distinctive effects. Enrichment analyses of gene regulatory networks indicate α-tocopherol alter the canonical pathway of lipid metabolism and transcription factors SREBP1 and SREBP2, (Sterol regulatory element binding proteins), which mediate the regulatory functions of lipid metabolism. Transcription factors HNF4-α (Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4), c-Myc, SP1 (Sp1 transcription factor), ESR1 (estrogen receptor 1, nuclear), and androgen receptor, along with several others, were centered as the hubs of transcription regulation networks. The data also provided direct evidence that α-tocopherol is involved in maintaining immuno-homeostasis through targeting the C3 (Complement Component 3) gene.
α-tocopherol; bovine cells; ESR1; gene regulation; lipid metabolism
In previous studies we found expression of the protein colligin 2 (heat shock protein 47 (HSP47), SERPINH1) in glioma neovasculature while not in normal brain tissue. Generally, the regulation of heat shock gene expression in eukaryotes is mediated by heat shock factors (HSF). In mammals, three heat shock transcription factors, HSF-1, -2, and -4, have been isolated. Here we investigated the relation between the expression of colligin 2 and these heat shock factors at the mRNA level using real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) in different grades of astrocytic tumorigenesis, viz., low-grade glioma and glioblastoma. Endometrium samples, representing physiological angiogenesis, were included as controls. Since colligin 2 is a chaperon for collagens, the gene expression of collagen I (COL1A1) was also investigated. The blood vessel density of the samples was monitored by expression of the endothelial marker CD31 (PECAM1). Because NG2-immunopositive pericytic cells are involved in glioma neovascularization, the expression of NG2 (CSPG4) was also measured.
We demonstrate overexpression of HSF2 in both stages of glial tumorigenesis (reaching significance only in low-grade glioma) and also minor elevated levels of HSF1 as compared to normal brain. There were no differences in expression of HSF4 between low-grade glioma and normal brain while HSF4 was downregulated in glioblastoma. In the endometrium samples, none of the HSFs were upregulated. In the low-grade gliomas SERPINH appeared to be slightly overexpressed with a parallel 4-fold upregulation of COL1A1, while in glioblastoma there was over 5-fold overexpression of SERPINH1 and more than 150-fold overexpression of COL1A1. In both the lowgrade gliomas and the glioblastomas overexpression of CSPG4 was found and overexpression of PECAM1 was only found in the latter. Our data suggest that the upregulated expression of colligin 2 in glioma is accompanied by upregulation of COL1A1, CSPG4, HSF2 and to a lesser extent, HSF1. Further studies will unravel the association of these factors with colligin 2 expression, possibly leading to keys for therapeutic intervention.
colligin 2; heat shock factor 2; glioblastoma blood vessels
In contrast to rodents, adipose tissue serves as the major site of lipogenesis and storage reservoir for excess dietary energy in cattle. Research in rodents shows that adding corn oil (57% C18:2 n-6) to the diet alters lipogenesis enhancing deposition of omega-6 fatty acids. This study examines changes in lipogenic gene expression of subcutaneous adipose tissue from eighteen steers fed increasing levels of dietary corn oil [0 (NONE), 0.31 kg/d (MED) and 0.62 kg/d (HI)] using two platforms, qPCR and microarray. The results show that MED level of oil supplementation up-regulates gene expression of key lipogenic enzymes but that as oil supplementation reaches HI level mRNA encoding lipogenic enzymes responsible for de novo synthesis and desaturation are down-regulated. Changes in specific lipogenic mRNA levels are correlated with changes in tissue fatty acid composition where de novo and desatured fatty acids were reduced with the highest level of oil supplementation.
bovine; omega-6 fatty acids; gene expression; microarray; qPCR