We report the draft genome sequence of the purple photosynthetic bacterium Rhodovulum sulfidophilum. The photosynthesis gene cluster comprises two segments—a unique feature among photosynthesis gene clusters of purple bacteria. The genome information will be useful for further analysis of bacterial photosynthesis.
A diazotrophic, acidophilic, iron-oxidizing bacterium, Leptospirillum ferrooxidans, known to be difficult to cultivate, was isolated from a fresh volcanic ash deposit on the island of Miyake, Japan. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of a cultured strain, C2-3.
With the dramatic increase in microarray data, biclustering has become a promising tool for gene expression analysis. Biclustering has been proven to be superior over clustering in identifying multifunctional genes and searching for co-expressed genes under a few specific conditions; that is, a subgroup of all conditions. Biclustering based on a genetic algorithm (GA) has shown better performance than greedy algorithms, but the overlap state for biclusters must be treated more systematically.
We developed a new biclustering algorithm (binary-iterative genetic algorithm [BIGA]), based on an iterative GA, by introducing a novel, ternary-digit chromosome encoding function. BIGA searches for a set of biclusters by iterative binary divisions that allow the overlap state to be explicitly considered. In addition, the average of the Pearson’s correlation coefficient was employed to measure the relationship of genes within a bicluster, instead of the mean square residual, the popular classical index. As compared to the six existing algorithms, BIGA found highly correlated biclusters, with large gene coverage and reasonable gene overlap. The gene ontology (GO) enrichment showed that most of the biclusters are significant, with at least one GO term over represented.
BIGA is a powerful tool to analyze large amounts of gene expression data, and will facilitate the elucidation of the underlying functional mechanisms in living organisms.
biclustering; microarray data; genetic algorithm; Pearson’s correlation coefficient
Jasmonates are phytohormones derived from oxygenated fatty acids that regulate a broad range of plant defense and developmental processes. In Arabidopsis, hypocotyl elongation under various light conditions was suppressed by exogenously supplied methyl jasmonate (MeJA). Moreover, this suppression by MeJA was particularly effective under red light condition. Mutant analyses suggested that SCFCOI1-mediated proteolysis was involved in this function. However, MeJA action still remained in the coi1 mutant, and (+)-7-iso-JA-L-Ile, a well-known active form of jasmonate, had a weaker effect than MeJA under the red light condition, suggesting that unknown signaling pathway are present in MeJA-mediated inhibition of hypocotyl elongation. EMS mutant screening identified two MeJA-insensitive hypocotyl elongation mutants, jasmonate resistance long hypocotyl 1 (jal1) and jal36, which had mutations in the phytochrome B (PHYB) gene. These analyses suggested that inhibition of hypocotyl elongation by jasmonates is enhanced under red light in phyB dependent manner.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10265-012-0509-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Jasmonate; Hypocotyl elongation; phyB
In vertebrate somatosensory systems, each mode of touch-pressure, temperature or pain is sensed by sensory endings of different dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, which conducted to the specific cortical loci as nerve impulses. Therefore, direct electrical stimulation of the peripheral nerve endings causes an erroneous sensation to be conducted by the nerve. We have recently generated several transgenic lines of rat in which channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) transgene is driven by the Thy-1.2 promoter. In one of them, W-TChR2V4, some neurons were endowed with photosensitivity by the introduction of the ChR2 gene, coding an algal photoreceptor molecule. The DRG neurons expressing ChR2 were immunohistochemically identified using specific antibodies to the markers of mechanoreceptive or nociceptive neurons. Their peripheral nerve endings in the plantar skin as well as the central endings in the spinal cord were also examined. We identified that ChR2 is expressed in a certain population of large neurons in the DRG of W-TChR2V4. On the basis of their morphology and molecular markers, these neurons were classified as mechanoreceptive but not nociceptive. ChR2 was also distributed in their peripheral sensory nerve endings, some of which were closely associated with CK20-positive cells to form Merkel cell-neurite complexes or with S-100-positive cells to form structures like Meissner's corpuscles. These nerve endings are thus suggested to be involved in the sensing of touch. Each W-TChR2V4 rat showed a sensory-evoked behavior in response to blue LED flashes on the plantar skin. It is thus suggested that each rat acquired an unusual sensory modality of sensing blue light through the skin as touch-pressure. This light-evoked somatosensory perception should facilitate study of how the complex tactile sense emerges in the brain.
It is known that wounding systemically activates the expression of various defense-related genes in plants. However, most studies of wound-induced systemic response are concerned with a leaf-to-leaf response. We have recently reported that the long distance signaling was also observed in the shoots of Arabidopsis seedling with wounded roots. We identified early and late root-to-shoot responsive (RtS) genes that were upregulated in the shoots of root-wounded seedlings at 30 min and 6 h post-injury, respectively. It is likely that the primary signals were rapidly transfered from injured roots to shoots, and then these signals were converted into chemical signals. In fact, increase of JA and OPDA content activated the expression of early and late RtS genes in shoots, respectively. In addition, we visualized wound-induced root-to-shoot response by using RtS pro-moter-luciferase (Luc) transgenic plants. Analysis of the AtERF13 promoter::Luc transgenic plants clearly shows that the wound-induced root-to-shoot signaling was rapidly activated via the vascular systems.
wounding; root-to-shoot; inter-organ communication; long distance signaling; oxylipin; microarray
The photosynthetic membranes of cyanobacteria and chloroplasts of higher plants have remarkably similar lipid compositions. In particular, thylakoid membranes of both cyanobacteria and chloroplasts are composed of galactolipids, of which monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) is the most abundant, although MGDG biosynthetic pathways are different in these organisms. Comprehensive phylogenetic analysis revealed that MGDG synthase (MGD) homologs of filamentous anoxygenic phototrophs Chloroflexi have a close relationship with MGDs of Viridiplantae (green algae and land plants). Furthermore, analyses for the sugar specificity and anomeric configuration of the sugar head groups revealed that one of the MGD homologs exhibited a true MGDG synthetic activity. We therefore presumed that higher plant MGDs are derived from this ancestral type of MGD genes, and genes involved in membrane biogenesis and photosystems have been already functionally associated at least at the time of Chloroflexi divergence. As MGD gene duplication is an important event during plastid evolution, we also estimated the divergence time of type A and B MGDs. Our analysis indicated that these genes diverged ∼323 million years ago, when Spermatophyta (seed plants) were appearing. Galactolipid synthesis is required to produce photosynthetic membranes; based on MGD gene sequences and activities, we have proposed a novel evolutionary model that has increased our understanding of photosynthesis evolution.
monogalactosyldiacylglycerol; MGDG synthase; galactolipid; Roseiflexus castenholzii; plastid evolution
Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 is the most popular cyanobacterial strain, serving as a standard in the research fields of photosynthesis, stress response, metabolism and so on. A glucose-tolerant (GT) derivative of this strain was used for genome sequencing at Kazusa DNA Research Institute in 1996, which established a hallmark in the study of cyanobacteria. However, apparent differences in sequences deviating from the database have been noticed among different strain stocks. For this reason, we analysed the genomic sequence of another GT strain (GT-S) by 454 and partial Sanger sequencing. We found 22 putative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in comparison to the published sequence of the Kazusa strain. However, Sanger sequencing of 36 direct PCR products of the Kazusa strains stored in small aliquots resulted in their identity with the GT-S sequence at 21 of the 22 sites, excluding the possibility of their being SNPs. In addition, we were able to combine five split open reading frames present in the database sequence, and to remove the C-terminus of an ORF. Aside from these, two of the Insertion Sequence elements were not present in the GT-S strain. We have thus become able to provide an accurate genomic sequence of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 for future studies on this important cyanobacterial strain.
Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803; genome re-sequencing; insertion sequence; single nucleotide polymorphism; CyanoClust
The Na+-dependent K+ uptake KtrABE system is essential for the adaptation of Synechocystis to salinity stress and high osmolality. While KtrB forms the K+-translocating pore, the role of the subunits KtrA and KtrE for Ktr function remains elusive. Here, we characterized the role of KtrA and KtrE in Ktr-mediated K+ uptake and in modulating Na+ dependency. Expression of KtrB alone in a K+ uptake-deficient Escherichia coli strain conferred low K+ uptake activity that was not stimulated by Na+. Coexpression of both KtrA and KtrE with KtrB increased the K+ transport activity in a Na+-dependent manner. KtrA and KtrE were found to be localized to the plasma membrane in Synechocystis. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to analyze the role of single charged residues in KtrB for Ktr function. Replacing negatively charged residues facing the extracellular space with residues of the opposite charge increased the apparent Km for K+ in all cases. However, none of the mutations eliminated the Na+ dependency of Ktr-mediated K+ transport. Mutations of residues on the cytoplasmic side had larger effects on K+ uptake activity than those of residues on the extracellular side. Further analysis revealed that replacement of R262, which is well conserved among Ktr/Trk/HKT transporters in the third extracellular loop, by Glu abolished transport activity. The atomic-scale homology model indicated that R262 might interact with E247 and D261. Based on these data, interaction of KtrA and KtrE with KtrB increased the K+ uptake rate and conferred Na+ dependency.
Stroke is a dynamic event in the brain involving heterogeneous cells. There is now compelling clinical evidence that prolonged, moderate cerebral hypothermia initiated within a few hours after severe ischemia can reduce subsequent neuronal death and improve behavioral recovery. The neuroprotective role of hypothermia is also well established in experimental animals. However, the mechanism of hypothermic neuroprotection remains unclear, although, presumably involves the ability of hypothermia to suppress a broad range of injurious factors. In this paper, we addressed this issue by utilizing comprehensive gene and protein expression analyses of ischemic rat brains. To predict precise target molecules, we took advantage of the therapeutic time window and duration of hypothermia necessary to exert neuroprotective effects. We proposed that hypothermia contributes to protect neuroinflammation, and identified candidate molecules such as MIP-3α and Hsp70 that warrant further investigation as targets for therapeutic drugs acting as “hypothermia-like neuroprotectants.”
The prokaryotic signalling molecules (p)ppGpp, also called “magic spots”, regulate a wide variety of physiological activities in bacteria, including transcription, translation, and replication as well as some enzymatic activities such as those of some GTP-binding proteins, which are necessary for bacterial cells to adapt their physiology to different environmental stimuli. This response is called the stringent response. Recently, (p)ppGpp molecules and (p)ppGpp synthetase homologues, designated RSHs, have been identified in plants. At least some of the RSHs are targeted to chloroplasts. A knockdown mutation in one of the RSHs results in unusual flower development in Arabidopsis, suggesting that the plastid stringent response has important roles in the physiology of higher plants. Possible (p)ppGpp target proteins are investigated.
chloroplasts; cytokinin; ppGpp; RelA; SpoT; stringent response
ATTED-II (http://atted.jp) is a database of gene coexpression in Arabidopsis that can be used to design a wide variety of experiments, including the prioritization of genes for functional identification or for studies of regulatory relationships. Here, we report updates of ATTED-II that focus especially on functionalities for constructing gene networks with regard to the following points: (i) introducing a new measure of gene coexpression to retrieve functionally related genes more accurately, (ii) implementing clickable maps for all gene networks for step-by-step navigation, (iii) applying Google Maps API to create a single map for a large network, (iv) including information about protein–protein interactions, (v) identifying conserved patterns of coexpression and (vi) showing and connecting KEGG pathway information to identify functional modules. With these enhanced functions for gene network representation, ATTED-II can help researchers to clarify the functional and regulatory networks of genes in Arabidopsis.
A database of coexpressed gene sets can provide valuable information for a wide variety of experimental designs, such as targeting of genes for functional identification, gene regulation and/or protein–protein interactions. Coexpressed gene databases derived from publicly available GeneChip data are widely used in Arabidopsis research, but platforms that examine coexpression for higher mammals are rather limited. Therefore, we have constructed a new database, COXPRESdb (coexpressed gene database) (http://coxpresdb.hgc.jp), for coexpressed gene lists and networks in human and mouse. Coexpression data could be calculated for 19 777 and 21 036 genes in human and mouse, respectively, by using the GeneChip data in NCBI GEO. COXPRESdb enables analysis of the four types of coexpression networks: (i) highly coexpressed genes for every gene, (ii) genes with the same GO annotation, (iii) genes expressed in the same tissue and (iv) user-defined gene sets. When the networks became too big for the static picture on the web in GO networks or in tissue networks, we used Google Maps API to visualize them interactively. COXPRESdb also provides a view to compare the human and mouse coexpression patterns to estimate the conservation between the two species.
Publicly available database of co-expressed gene sets would be a valuable tool for a wide variety of experimental designs, including targeting of genes for functional identification or for regulatory investigation. Here, we report the construction of an Arabidopsis thaliana trans-factor and cis-element prediction database (ATTED-II) that provides co-regulated gene relationships based on co-expressed genes deduced from microarray data and the predicted cis elements. ATTED-II () includes the following features: (i) lists and networks of co-expressed genes calculated from 58 publicly available experimental series, which are composed of 1388 GeneChip data in A.thaliana; (ii) prediction of cis-regulatory elements in the 200 bp region upstream of the transcription start site to predict co-regulated genes amongst the co-expressed genes; and (iii) visual representation of expression patterns for individual genes. ATTED-II can thus help researchers to clarify the function and regulation of particular genes and gene networks.
Cytotoxic necrotizing factor types 1 and 2 (CNF1 and -2) produced
by pathogenic Escherichia coli strains have 90% conserved
residues over 1,014-amino-acid sequences. Both CNFs are able to provoke
a remarkable increase in F-actin structures in cultured cells and
covalently modify the RhoA small GTPases. In this study, we
demonstrated that CNF2 reduced RhoA GTPase activity in the presence and
absence of P122RhoGAP. Subsequently, peptide mapping and
amino acid sequencing of CNF2-modified FLAG-RhoA produced in E.
coli revealed that CNF2 deamidates Q63 of RhoA-like CNF1. In
vitro incubation of the C-terminal domain of CNF2 with FLAG-RhoA
resulted also in deamidation of the FLAG-RhoA, suggesting that this
region contains the enzymatic domain of CNF2. An oligopeptide antibody
(anti-E63) which specifically recognized the altered G-3 domain of the
Rho family reacted with glutathione S-transferase
(GST)-RhoA and GST-Rac1 but not with GST-Cdc42 when coexpressed with
CNF2. In addition, CNF2 selectively induced accumulation of GTP form of
FLAG-RhoA and FLAG-Rac1 but not of FLAG-Cdc42 in Cos-7 cells. Taken
together, these results indicate that CNF2 preferentially deamidates
RhoA Q63 and Rac1 Q61 and constitutively activates these small GTPases
in cultured cells. In contrast, anti-E63 reacted with GST-RhoA and
GST-Cdc42 but not with GST-Rac1 when coexpressed with CNF1. These
results indicate that CNF2 and CNF1 share the same catalytic activity
but have distinct substrate specificities, which may reflect their
differences in toxic activity in vivo.