Giardia lamblia is a protozoan parasite that is found worldwide and has both medical and veterinary importance. We applied the transcription start sequence (TSS-seq) and RNA sequence (RNA-seq) techniques to study the transcriptome of the assemblage A WB strain trophozoite. We identified 8000 transcription regions (TR) with significant transcription. Of these regions, 1881 TRs were more than 500 nucleotides upstream of an annotated ORF. Combining both techniques helped us to identify 24 ORFs that should be re-annotated and 60 new ORFs. From the 8000 TRs, we were able to identify an AT-rich consensus that includes the transcription initiation site. It is possible that transcription that was previously thought to be bidirectional is actually unidirectional.
We analyzed whole-exome sequencing data from 97 Japanese lung adenocarcinoma patients and identified several putative cancer-related genes and pathways. Particularly, we observed that cancer-related mutation patterns were significantly different between different ethnic groups. As previously reported, mutations in the EGFR gene were characteristic to Japanese, while those in the KRAS gene were more frequent in Caucasians. Furthermore, during the course of this analysis, we found that cancer-specific somatic mutations can be detected without sequencing normal tissue counterparts. 64% of the germline variants could be excluded using a total of 217 external Japanese exome datasets. We also show that a similar approach may be used for other three ethnic groups, although the discriminative power depends on the ethnic group. We demonstrate that the ATM gene and the PAPPA2 gene could be identified as cancer prognosis related genes. By bypassing the sequencing of normal tissue counterparts, this approach provides a useful means of not only reducing the time and cost of sequencing but also analyzing archive samples, for which normal tissue counterparts are not available.
The establishment of a complete genomic sequence of silkworm, the model species of Lepidoptera, laid a foundation for its functional genomics. A more complete annotation of the genome will benefit functional and comparative studies and accelerate extensive industrial applications for this insect. To realize these goals, we embarked upon a large-scale full-length cDNA collection from 21 full-length cDNA libraries derived from 14 tissues of the domesticated silkworm and performed full sequencing by primer walking for 11,104 full-length cDNAs. The large average intron size was 1904 bp, resulting from a high accumulation of transposons. Using gene models predicted by GLEAN and published mRNAs, we identified 16,823 gene loci on the silkworm genome assembly. Orthology analysis of 153 species, including 11 insects, revealed that among three Lepidoptera including Monarch and Heliconius butterflies, the 403 largest silkworm-specific genes were composed mainly of protective immunity, hormone-related, and characteristic structural proteins. Analysis of testis-/ovary-specific genes revealed distinctive features of sexual dimorphism, including depletion of ovary-specific genes on the Z chromosome in contrast to an enrichment of testis-specific genes. More than 40% of genes expressed in specific tissues mapped in tissue-specific chromosomal clusters. The newly obtained FL-cDNA sequences enabled us to annotate the genome of this lepidopteran model insect more accurately, enhancing genomic and functional studies of Lepidoptera and comparative analyses with other insect orders, and yielding new insights into the evolution and organization of lepidopteran-specific genes.
Bombyx mori; large-scale full-length cDNA collection; tissue-specific genes; sexual dimorphism; gene cluster; silkworm
Ralstonia eutropha H16 is well known to produce polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), which are potential bio-based biodegradable plastics, in an efficient manner as an energy storage material under unbalanced growth conditions. To obtain further knowledge of PHA biosynthesis, this study performed a quantitative transcriptome analysis based on deep sequencing of the complementary DNA generated from the RNA (RNA-seq) of R. eutropha H16.
Total RNAs were extracted from R. eutropha cells in growth, PHA production, and stationary phases on fructose. rRNAs in the preparation were removed by repeated treatments with magnetic beads specific to bacterial rRNAs, and then the 36 bp sequences were determined using an Illumina high-throughput sequencer. The RNA-seq results indicated the induction of gene expression for transcription, translation, cell division, peptidoglycan biosynthesis, pilus and flagella assembly, energy conservation, and fatty acid biosynthesis in the growth phase; and the repression trends of genes involved in central metabolisms in the PHA production phase. Interestingly, the transcription of genes for Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle and several genes for β-oxidation were significantly induced in the PHA production phase even when the cells were grown on fructose. Moreover, incorporation of 13C was observed in poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) synthesized by R. eutropha H16 from fructose in the presence of NaH13CO3, and further gene deletion analyses revealed that both of the two ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (Rubiscos) in CBB cycle were actually functional in CO2 fixation under the heterotrophic condition.
The results revealed the phase-dependent transcriptomic changes and a CO2 fixation capability under heterotrophic conditions by PHA-producing R. eutropha.
RNA-seq; Ralstonia eutropha; Polyhydroxyalkanoates; CO2 fixation; Cavin-benson-bassham cycle; Rubisco
Functionally polarized CD4+ T helper (Th) cells such as Th1, Th2 and Th17 cells are central to the regulation of acquired immunity. However, the molecular mechanisms governing the maintenance of the polarized functions of Th cells remain unclear. GATA3, a master regulator of Th2 cell differentiation, initiates the expressions of Th2 cytokine genes and other Th2-specific genes. GATA3 also plays important roles in maintaining Th2 cell function and in continuous chromatin remodeling of Th2 cytokine gene loci. However, it is unclear whether continuous expression of GATA3 is required to maintain the expression of various other Th2-specific genes. In this report, genome-wide DNA gene expression profiling revealed that GATA3 expression is critical for the expression of a certain set of Th2-specific genes. We demonstrated that GATA3 dependency is reduced for some Th2-specific genes in fully developed Th2 cells compared to that observed in effector Th2 cells, whereas it is unchanged for other genes. Moreover, effects of a loss of GATA3 expression in Th2 cells on the expression of cytokine and cytokine receptor genes were examined in detail. A critical role of GATA3 in the regulation of Th2-specific gene expression is confirmed in in vivo generated antigen-specific memory Th2 cells. Therefore, GATA3 is required for the continuous expression of the majority of Th2-specific genes involved in maintaining the Th2 cell identity.
A 28-year-old woman visited our clinic with a chief complaint of epigastralgia. She had received successful Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) eradication therapy 5 years before. We repeated esophagogastroduodenoscopy, and a discolored depressed area with reddish spots and converging folds, 20 mm in size, was detected. No atrophic change including intestinal metaplasia or nodular gastritis was seen endoscopically. Two endoscopic biopsies revealed undifferentiated adenocarcinoma. No H. pylori was found, and the 13C-urea breath test was also negative. Abdominal computed tomography demonstrated no nodal involvement, distant metastasis or fluid collection. She underwent a laparoscopy-assisted distal gastrectomy. Histologically, the resected specimen revealed an early undifferentiated gastric cancer that had invaded deeply into the submucosal layer. Nodal involvement was histologically confirmed. No atrophic change or H. pylori infection was evident histologically. This is the youngest patient ever reported to have developed a node-positive early gastric cancer after eradication of H. pylori.
Early gastric cancer; Helicobacter pylori; Eradication therapy; Undifferentiated adenocarcinoma; Intestinal-type adenocarcinoma; Point of no return theory
Memory CD4+ T cells are central regulators of both humoral and cellular immune responses. T cell differentiation results in specific changes in chromatin structure and DNA methylation of cytokine genes. Although the methylation status of a limited number of gene loci in T cells has been examined, the genome-wide DNA methylation status of memory CD4+ T cells remains unexplored. To further elucidate the molecular signature of memory T cells, we conducted methylome and transcriptome analyses of memory CD4+ T cells generated using T cells from TCR-transgenic mice. The resulting genome-wide DNA methylation profile revealed 1144 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) across the murine genome during the process of T cell differentiation, 552 of which were associated with gene loci. Interestingly, the majority of these DMRs were located in introns. These DMRs included genes such as CXCR6, Tbox21, Chsy1, and Cish, which are associated with cytokine production, homing to bone marrow, and immune responses. Methylation changes in memory T cells exposed to specific Ag appeared to regulate enhancer activity rather than promoter activity of immunologically relevant genes. In addition, methylation profiles differed between memory T cell subsets, demonstrating a link between T cell methylation status and T cell differentiation. By comparing DMRs between naive and Ag-specific memory T cells, this study provides new insights into the functional status of memory T cells.
Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) is a dominantly inherited congenital malformation disorder caused by mutations in the cohesin-loading protein NIPBL1,2 for nearly 60% of individuals with classical CdLS3-5 and in the core cohesin components SMC1A (~5%) and SMC3 (<1%) for a smaller fraction of probands6,7. In humans, the multi-subunit complex cohesin is comprised of SMC1, SMC3, RAD21 and a STAG protein to form a ring structure proposed to encircle sister chromatids to mediate sister chromatid cohesion (SCC)8 as well as play key roles in gene regulation9. SMC3 is acetylated during S-phase to establish cohesiveness of chromatin-loaded cohesin10-13 and in yeast, HOS1, a class I histone deacetylase, deacetylates SMC3 during anaphase14-16. Here we report the identification of HDAC8 as the vertebrate SMC3 deacetylase as well as loss-of-function HDAC8 mutations in six CdLS probands. Loss of HDAC8 activity results in increased SMC3 acetylation (SMC3-ac) and inefficient dissolution of the “used” cohesin complex released from chromatin in both prophase and anaphase. While SMC3 with retained acetylation is loaded onto chromatin, ChIP-Seq analysis demonstrates decreased occupancy of cohesin localization sites that results in a consistent pattern of altered transcription seen in CdLS cell lines with either NIPBL or HDAC8 mutations.
A large fraction of protein-coding genes in metazoans undergo alternative pre-mRNA splicing in tissue- or cell-type-specific manners. Recent genome-wide approaches have identified many putative-binding sites for some of tissue-specific trans-acting splicing regulators. However, the mechanisms of splicing regulation in vivo remain largely unknown. To elucidate the modes of splicing regulation by the neuron-specific CELF family RNA-binding protein UNC-75 in Caenorhabditis elegans, we performed deep sequencing of poly(A)+ RNAs from the unc-75(+)- and unc-75-mutant worms and identified more than 20 cassette and mutually exclusive exons repressed or activated by UNC-75. Motif searches revealed that (G/U)UGUUGUG stretches are enriched in the upstream and downstream introns of the UNC-75-repressed and -activated exons, respectively. Recombinant UNC-75 protein specifically binds to RNA fragments carrying the (G/U)UGUUGUG stretches in vitro. Bi-chromatic fluorescence alternative splicing reporters revealed that the UNC-75-target exons are regulated in tissue-specific and (G/U)UGUUGUG element-dependent manners in vivo. The unc-75 mutation affected the splicing reporter expression specifically in the nervous system. These results indicate that UNC-75 regulates alternative splicing of its target exons in neuron-specific and position-dependent manners through the (G/U)UGUUGUG elements in C. elegans. This study thus reveals the repertoire of target events for the CELF family in the living organism.
The disease caused by the apicomplexan protozoan parasite Theileria parva, known as East Coast fever or Corridor disease, is one of the most serious cattle diseases in Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa. We performed whole-genome sequencing of nine T. parva strains, including one of the vaccine strains (Kiambu 5), field isolates from Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, or Rwanda, and two buffalo-derived strains. Comparison with the reference Muguga genome sequence revealed 34 814–121 545 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were more abundant in buffalo-derived strains. High-resolution phylogenetic trees were constructed with selected informative SNPs that allowed the investigation of possible complex recombination events among ancestors of the extant strains. We further analysed the dN/dS ratio (non-synonymous substitutions per non-synonymous site divided by synonymous substitutions per synonymous site) for 4011 coding genes to estimate potential selective pressure. Genes under possible positive selection were identified that may, in turn, assist in the identification of immunogenic proteins or vaccine candidates. This study elucidated the phylogeny of T. parva strains based on genome-wide SNPs analysis with prediction of possible past recombination events, providing insight into the migration, diversification, and evolution of this parasite species in the African continent.
Theileria parva; genome sequence; SNPs; recombination; dN/dS
Mastermind-like 1 (MAML1) is a transcriptional co-activator in the Notch signaling pathway. Recently, however, several reports revealed novel and unique roles for MAML1 that are independent of the Notch signaling pathway. We found that MAML1 enhances the transcriptional activity of runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2), a transcription factor essential for osteoblastic differentiation and chondrocyte proliferation and maturation. MAML1 significantly enhanced the Runx2-mediated transcription of the p6OSE2-Luc reporter, in which luciferase expression was controlled by six copies of the osteoblast specific element 2 (OSE2) from the Runx2-regulated osteocalcin gene promoter. Interestingly, a deletion mutant of MAML1 lacking the N-terminal Notch-binding domain also enhanced Runx2-mediated transcription. Moreover, inhibition of Notch signaling did not affect the action of MAML1 on Runx2, suggesting that the activation of Runx2 by MAML1 may be caused in a Notch-independent manner. Overexpression of MAML1 transiently enhanced the Runx2-mediated expression of alkaline phosphatase, an early marker of osteoblast differentiation, in the murine pluripotent mesenchymal cell line C3H10T1/2. MAML1−/− embryos at embryonic day 16.5 (E16.5) had shorter bone lengths than wild-type embryos. The area of primary spongiosa of the femoral diaphysis was narrowed. At E14.5, extended zone of collagen type II alpha 1 (Col2a1) and Sox9 expression, markers of chondrocyte differentiation, and decreased zone of collagen type X alpha 1 (Col10a1) expression, a marker of hypertrophic chondrocyte, were observed. These observations suggest that chondrocyte maturation was impaired in MAML1−/− mice. MAML1 enhances the transcriptional activity of Runx2 and plays a role in bone development.
To identify new molecules involved in bone and cartilage development and/or homeostasis, we utilized approximately 10,000 arrayed and addressable cDNA clones, which allowed systematic, efficient, and unbiased screening of cDNAs encoding factors that could activate critical bone differentiation activity via activation of Runx2, master regulator of bone development. We analyzed MAML1−/− mice to investigate the role of MAML1 in bone development. MAML1−/− embryos at embryonic day 14.5 and 16.5 had shorter bone lengths than wild-type embryos. The area of primary spongiosa of the femoral diaphysis was narrowed, indicated that chondrocyte maturation was impaired. This revealed that MAML1 plays an important role in proper bone development and may provide us with a new basis for identifying potential therapeutic targets for bone diseases.
PIWI-interacting RNA (piRNA) clusters act as anti-transposon/retrovirus centers. Integration of selfish jumping elements into piRNA clusters generates de novo piRNAs, which in turn exert trans-silencing activity against these elements in animal gonads. To date, neither genome-wide chromatin modification states of piRNA clusters nor a mode for piRNA precursor transcription have been well understood. Here, to understand the chromatin landscape of piRNA clusters and how piRNA precursors are generated, we analyzed the transcriptome, transcription start sites (TSSs) and the chromatin landscape of the BmN4 cell line, which harbors the germ-line piRNA pathway. Notably, our epigenomic map demonstrated the highly euchromatic nature of unique piRNA clusters. RNA polymerase II was enriched for TSSs that transcribe piRNA precursors. piRNA precursors possessed 5′-cap structures as well as 3′-poly A-tails. Collectively, we envision that the euchromatic, opened nature of unique piRNA clusters or piRNA cluster-associated TSSs allows piRNA clusters to capture new insertions efficiently.
We sequenced the genome of Theileria orientalis, a tick-borne apicomplexan protozoan parasite of cattle. The focus of this study was a comparative genome analysis of T. orientalis relative to other highly pathogenic Theileria species, T. parva and T. annulata. T. parva and T. annulata induce transformation of infected cells of lymphocyte or macrophage/monocyte lineages; in contrast, T. orientalis does not induce uncontrolled proliferation of infected leukocytes and multiplies predominantly within infected erythrocytes. While synteny across homologous chromosomes of the three Theileria species was found to be well conserved overall, subtelomeric structures were found to differ substantially, as T. orientalis lacks the large tandemly arrayed subtelomere-encoded variable secreted protein-encoding gene family. Moreover, expansion of particular gene families by gene duplication was found in the genomes of the two transforming Theileria species, most notably, the TashAT/TpHN and Tar/Tpr gene families. Gene families that are present only in T. parva and T. annulata and not in T. orientalis, Babesia bovis, or Plasmodium were also identified. Identification of differences between the genome sequences of Theileria species with different abilities to transform and immortalize bovine leukocytes will provide insight into proteins and mechanisms that have evolved to induce and regulate this process. The T. orientalis genome database is available at http://totdb.czc.hokudai.ac.jp/.
Cancer-like growth of leukocytes infected with malignant Theileria parasites is a unique cellular event, as it involves the transformation and immortalization of one eukaryotic cell by another. In this study, we sequenced the whole genome of a nontransforming Theileria species, Theileria orientalis, and compared it to the published sequences representative of two malignant, transforming species, T. parva and T. annulata. The genome-wide comparison of these parasite species highlights significant genetic diversity that may be associated with evolution of the mechanism(s) deployed by an intracellular eukaryotic parasite to transform its host cell.
Intestinal malrotation is an incomplete rotation of the intestine. Failure to rotate leads to abnormalities in intestinal positioning and attachment that leave obstructing bands across the duodenum and a narrow pedicle for the midgut loop, thus making it susceptible to volvulus. One of the important differential diagnoses for malrotation is an allergy to cow’s milk. Several studies have described infants with surgical gastrointestinal diseases and cow’s milk allergy. However, to our knowledge, no study has reported infants with intestinal malrotation who have been symptomatic before surgery was performed and have been examined by allergen-specific lymphocyte stimulation test and food challenge tests with long-term follow-up.
The patient was a Japanese male born at 39 weeks of gestation. He was breast-fed and received commercial cow’s milk supplementation starting the day of birth and was admitted to our hospital at 6 days of age due to bilious vomiting. Plain abdominal radiography showed a paucity of gas in the distal bowel. Because we demonstrated malpositioning of the intestine by barium enema, we repositioned the bowel in a normal position by laparotomy. The patient was re-started on only breast milk 2 days post surgery because we suspected the presence of a cow’s milk allergy, and the results of an allergen-specific lymphocyte stimulation test showed a marked increase in lymphocyte response to kappa-casein. At 5 months of age, the patient was subjected to a cow’s milk challenge test. After the patient began feeding on cow’s milk, he had no symptoms and his laboratory investigations showed no abnormality. In addition, because the patient showed good weight gain and no symptoms with increased cow’s milk intake after discharge, we concluded that the present case was not the result of a cow’s milk allergy. At 1 year, the patient showed favorable growth and development, and serum allergy investigations revealed no reaction to cow’s milk.
When physicians encounter infants with surgical gastrointestinal disease, including intestinal malrotation, they should consider cow’s milk allergy as a differential diagnosis or complication and should utilize food challenge tests for a definitive diagnosis.
Allergen-specific lymphocyte stimulation test; Cow’s milk allergy; Food challenge test; Infant; Intestinal malrotation
We present findings on the nucleosomal arrangement in the genome of the basidiomycete Mixia osmundae, focusing on nucleosomal linker DNA regions. We have assembled the genomic sequences of M. osmundae, annotated genes and transcription start sites (TSSs) on the genome, and created a detailed nucleosome map based on sequencing mono- and dinucleosomal DNA fragments. The nucleosomal DNA length distribution of M. osmundae is similar to that of the filamentous ascomycete Aspergillus fumigatus, but differs from that of ascomycetous yeasts, strongly suggesting that nucleosome positioning has evolved primarily through neutral drift in fungal species. We found clear association between dinucleotide frequencies and linker DNA regions mapped as the midpoints of dinucleosomes. We also describe a unique pattern found in the nucleosome-depleted region upstream of the TSS observed in the dinucleosome map and the precursor status of dinucleosomes prior to the digestion into mononucleosomes by comparing the mono- and dinucleosome maps. We demonstrate that observation of dinucleosomes as well as of mononucleosomes is valuable in investigating nucleosomal organization of the genome.
basidiomycetes; evolution; fungi; Mixia osmundae; nucleosome; transcription
In the silkworm, Bombyx mori, femaleness is strongly controlled by the female-specific W chromosome. Originally, it was presumed that the W chromosome encodes female-determining gene(s), accordingly called Fem. However, to date, neither Fem nor any protein-coding gene has been identified from the W chromosome. Instead, the W chromosome is occupied with numerous transposon-related sequences. Interestingly, the silkworm W chromosome is a source of female-enriched PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs). piRNAs are small RNAs of 23-30 nucleotides in length, which are required for controlling transposon activity in animal gonads. A recent study has identified a novel mutant silkworm line called KG, whose mutation in the W chromosome causes severe female masculinization. However, the molecular nature of KG line has not been well characterized yet.
Here we molecularly characterize the KG line. Genomic PCR analyses using currently available W chromosome-specific PCR markers indicated that no large deletion existed in the KG W chromosome. Genetic analyses demonstrated that sib-crosses within the KG line suppressed masculinization. Masculinization reactivated when crossing KG females with wild type males. Importantly, the KG ovaries exhibited a significantly abnormal transcriptome. First, the KG ovaries misexpressed testis-specific genes. Second, a set of female-enriched piRNAs was downregulated in the KG ovaries. Third, several transposons were overexpressed in the KG ovaries.
Collectively, the mutation in the KG W chromosome causes broadly altered expression of testis-specific genes, piRNAs, and transposons. To our knowledge, this is the first study that describes a W chromosome mutant with such an intriguing phenotype.
Eimeria tenella is an apicomplexan parasite that causes coccidiosis in the domestic fowl. Infection with this parasite is diagnosed frequently in intensively reared poultry and its control is usually accorded a high priority, especially in chickens raised for meat. Prophylactic chemotherapy has been the primary method used for the control of coccidiosis. However, drug efficacy can be compromised by drug-resistant parasites and the lack of new drugs highlights demands for alternative control strategies including vaccination. In the long term, sustainable control of coccidiosis will most likely be achieved through integrated drug and vaccination programmes. Characterisation of the E. tenella transcriptome may provide a better understanding of the biology of the parasite and aid in the development of a more effective control for coccidiosis.
More than 15,000 partial sequences were generated from the 5' and 3' ends of clones randomly selected from an E. tenella second generation merozoite full-length cDNA library. Clustering of these sequences produced 1,529 unique transcripts (UTs). Based on the transcript assembly and subsequently primer walking, 433 full-length cDNA sequences were successfully generated. These sequences varied in length, ranging from 441 bp to 3,083 bp, with an average size of 1,647 bp. Simple sequence repeat (SSR) analysis identified CAG as the most abundant trinucleotide motif, while codon usage analysis revealed that the ten most infrequently used codons in E. tenella are UAU, UGU, GUA, CAU, AUA, CGA, UUA, CUA, CGU and AGU. Subsequent analysis of the E. tenella complete coding sequences identified 25 putative secretory and 60 putative surface proteins, all of which are now rational candidates for development as recombinant vaccines or drug targets in the effort to control avian coccidiosis.
This paper describes the generation and characterisation of full-length cDNA sequences from E. tenella second generation merozoites and provides new insights into the E. tenella transcriptome. The data generated will be useful for the development and validation of diagnostic and control strategies for coccidiosis and will be of value in annotation of the E. tenella genome sequence.
Genome-wide dynamic changes in DNA methylation are indispensable for germline development and genomic imprinting in mammals. Here, we report single-base resolution DNA methylome and transcriptome maps of mouse germ cells, generated using whole-genome shotgun bisulfite sequencing and cDNA sequencing (mRNA-seq). Oocyte genomes showed a significant positive correlation between mRNA transcript levels and methylation of the transcribed region. Sperm genomes had nearly complete coverage of methylation, except in the CpG-rich regions, and showed a significant negative correlation between gene expression and promoter methylation. Thus, these methylome maps revealed that oocytes and sperms are widely different in the extent and distribution of DNA methylation. Furthermore, a comparison of oocyte and sperm methylomes identified more than 1,600 CpG islands differentially methylated in oocytes and sperm (germline differentially methylated regions, gDMRs), in addition to the known imprinting control regions (ICRs). About half of these differentially methylated DNA sequences appear to be at least partially resistant to the global DNA demethylation that occurs during preimplantation development. In the absence of Dnmt3L, neither methylation of most oocyte-methylated gDMRs nor intragenic methylation was observed. There was also genome-wide hypomethylation, and partial methylation at particular retrotransposons, while maintaining global gene expression, in oocytes. Along with the identification of the many Dnmt3L-dependent gDMRs at intragenic regions, the present results suggest that oocyte methylation can be divided into 2 types: Dnmt3L-dependent methylation, which is required for maternal methylation imprinting, and Dnmt3L-independent methylation, which might be essential for endogenous retroviral DNA silencing. The present data provide entirely new perspectives on the evaluation of epigenetic markers in germline cells.
In mammals, germ-cell–specific methylation patterns and genomic imprints are established throughout large-scale de novo DNA methylation in oogenesis and spermatogenesis. These steps are required for normal germline differentiation and embryonic development; however, current DNA methylation analyses only provide us a partial picture of germ cell methylome. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to generate comprehensive maps of DNA methylomes and transcriptomes at single base resolution for mouse germ cells. These methylome maps revealed genome-wide opposing DNA methylation patterns and differential correlation between methylation and gene expression levels in oocyte and sperm genomes. In addition, our results indicate the presence of 2 types of methylation patterns in the oocytes: (i) methylation across the transcribed regions, which might be required for the establishment of maternal methylation imprints and normal embryogenesis, and (ii) retroviral methylation, which might be essential for silencing of retrotransposons and normal oogenesis. We believe that an extension of this work would lead to a better understanding of the epigenetic reprogramming in germline cells and of the role for gene regulations.
Sod1 is an important antioxidant enzyme that becomes activated by its chaperone, Ccs1. The localization of Ccs1 to mitochondria is controlled by the oxidoreductase Mia40. The formation of a disulfide bond between Cys-27 and Cys-64 in Ccs1 is critical for import and stability but not for Ccs1 activity in the maturation of Sod1.
Superoxide dismutase 1 (Sod1) is an important antioxidative enzyme that converts superoxide anions to hydrogen peroxide and water. Active Sod1 is a homodimer containing one zinc ion, one copper ion, and one disulfide bond per subunit. Maturation of Sod1 depends on its copper chaperone (Ccs1). Sod1 and Ccs1 are dually localized proteins that reside in the cytosol and in the intermembrane space of mitochondria. The import of Ccs1 into mitochondria depends on the mitochondrial disulfide relay system. However, the exact mechanism of this import process has been unclear. In this study we detail the import and folding pathway of Ccs1 and characterize its interaction with the oxidoreductase of the mitochondrial disulfide relay Mia40. We identify cysteines at positions 27 and 64 in domain I of Ccs1 as critical for mitochondrial import and interaction with Mia40. On interaction with Mia40, these cysteines form a structural disulfide bond that stabilizes the overall fold of domain I. Although the cysteines are essential for the accumulation of functional Ccs1 in mitochondria, they are dispensable for the enzymatic activity of cytosolic Ccs1. We propose a model in which the Mia40-mediated oxidative folding of domain I controls the cellular distribution of Ccs1 and, consequently, active Sod1.
We identified 531 and 616 putative HIF-1α target sites by ChIP-Seq in the cancerous cell line DLD-1 and the non-cancerous cell line TIG-3, respectively. We also examined the positions and expression levels of transcriptional start sites (TSSs) in these cell lines using our TSS-Seq method. We observed that 121 and 48 genes in DLD-1 and TIG-3 cells, respectively, had HIF-1α binding sites in proximal regions of the previously reported TSSs that were up-regulated at the transcriptional level. In addition, 193 and 123 of the HIF-1α target sites, respectively, were located in proximal regions of previously uncharacterized TSSs, namely, TSSs of putative alternative promoters of protein-coding genes or promoters of putative non-protein-coding transcripts. The hypoxic response of DLD-1 cells was more significant than that of TIG-3 cells with respect to both the number of target sites and the degree of induced changes in transcript expression. The Nucleosome-Seq and ChIP-Seq analyses of histone modifications revealed that the chromatin formed an open structure in regions surrounding the HIF-1α binding sites, but this event occurred prior to the actual binding of HIF-1α. Different cellular histories may be encoded by chromatin structures and determine the activation of specific genes in response to hypoxic shock.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11568-011-9150-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
HIF-1 alpha; Hypoxia; ChIP-Seq; Transcriptome
CpG islands are observed in mammals and other vertebrates, generally escape DNA methylation, and tend to occur in the promoters of widely expressed genes. Another class of promoter has lower G+C and CpG contents, and is thought to be involved in the spatiotemporal regulation of gene expression. Non-vertebrate deuterostomes are reported to have a single class of promoter with high-frequency CpG dinucleotides, suggesting that this is the original type of promoter. However, the limited annotation of these genes has impeded the large-scale analysis of their promoters.
To determine the origins of the two classes of vertebrate promoters, we chose Ciona intestinalis, an invertebrate that is evolutionarily close to the vertebrates, and identified its transcription start sites genome-wide using a next-generation sequencer. We indeed observed a high CpG content around the transcription start sites, but their levels in the promoters and background sequences differed much less than in mammals. The CpG-rich stretches were also fairly restricted, so they appeared more similar to mammalian CpG-poor promoters.
From these data, we infer that CpG islands are not sufficiently ancient to be found in invertebrates. They probably appeared early in vertebrate evolution via some active mechanism and have since been maintained as part of vertebrate promoters.
To support transcriptional regulation studies, we have constructed DBTSS (DataBase of Transcriptional Start Sites), which contains exact positions of transcriptional start sites (TSSs), determined with our own technique named TSS-seq, in the genomes of various species. In its latest version, DBTSS covers the data of the majority of human adult and embryonic tissues: it now contains 418 million TSS tag sequences from 28 tissues/cell cultures. Moreover, we integrated a series of our own transcriptomic data, such as the RNA-seq data of subcellular-fractionated RNAs as well as the ChIP-seq data of histone modifications and the binding of RNA polymerase II/several transcription factors in cultured cell lines into our original TSS information. We also included several external epigenomic data, such as the chromatin map of the ENCODE project. We further associated our TSS information with public or original single-nucleotide variation (SNV) data, in order to identify SNVs in the regulatory regions. These data can be browsed in our new viewer, which supports versatile search conditions of users. We believe that our new DBTSS will be an invaluable resource for interpreting the differential uses of TSSs and for identifying human genetic variations that are associated with disordered transcriptional regulation. DBTSS can be accessed at http://dbtss.hgc.jp.
Using ChIP Seq, we identified 556 and 467 putative STAT6 target sites in the Burkitt's lymphoma cell line Ramos and in the normal lung epithelial cell line BEAS2B, respectively. We also examined the positions and expression of transcriptional start sites (TSSs) in these cells using our TSS Seq method. We observed that 44 and 132 genes in Ramos and BEAS2B, respectively, had STAT6 binding sites in proximal regions of their previously reported TSSs that were up-regulated at the transcriptional level. In addition, 406 and 109 of the STAT6 target sites in Ramos and BEAS2B, respectively, were located in proximal regions of previously uncharacterized TSSs. The target genes identified in Ramos and BEAS2B cells in this study and in Th2 cells in previous studies rarely overlapped and differed in their identity. Interestingly, ChIP Seq analyses of histone modifications and RNA polymerase II revealed that chromatin formed an active structure in regions surrounding the STAT6 binding sites; this event also frequently occurred in different cell types, although neither STAT6 binding nor TSS induction was observed. The rough landscape of STAT6-responsive sites was found to be shaped by chromatin structure, but distinct cellular responses were mainly mediated by distinct sets of transcription factors.
TSS Seq; ChIP Seq; IL-4; STAT6