Plants maintain extensive growth flexibility under different environmental conditions, allowing them to continuously and rapidly adapt to alterations in their environment. A large portion of many plant genomes consists of transposable elements (TEs) that create new genetic variations within plant species. Different types of mutations may be created by TEs in plants. Many TEs can avoid the host's defense mechanisms and survive alterations in transposition activity, internal sequence and target site. Thus, plant genomes are expected to utilize a variety of mechanisms to tolerate TEs that are near or within genes. TEs affect the expression of not only nearby genes but also unlinked inserted genes. TEs can create new promoters, leading to novel expression patterns or alternative coding regions to generate alternate transcripts in plant species. TEs can also provide novel cis-acting regulatory elements that act as enhancers or inserts within original enhancers that are required for transcription. Thus, the regulation of plant gene expression is strongly managed by the insertion of TEs into nearby genes. TEs can also lead to chromatin modifications and thereby affect gene expression in plants. TEs are able to generate new genes and modify existing gene structures by duplicating, mobilizing and recombining gene fragments. They can also facilitate cellular functions by sharing their transposase-coding regions. Hence, TE insertions can not only act as simple mutagens but can also alter the elementary functions of the plant genome. Here, we review recent discoveries concerning the contribution of TEs to gene expression in plant genomes and discuss the different mechanisms by which TEs can affect plant gene expression and reduce host defense mechanisms.
The mango (Mangifer indica L.) is an important species of the family Anacardiaceae and is one of the most important crops cultivated commercially in many parts of the world. Hence, a better understanding of the phylogeny in this species is crucial as it is the basis knowledge of improving its genetic resources which is beneficial for breeding programs. Phylogenetic relationships among 13 mango cultivars from Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan were carried out by comparing DNA sequence data sets derived from the Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) region pfnuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA). Analysis using parsimony method showed that the cultivars were classified into three major groups. The first group composed almost Malaysian cultivars although with low bootstrap value, the second group consisted of mainly Taiwan cultivars and the last group included mostly Indonesia one. The results indicated that some cultivars have a close relationships with each other even it is originated from different countries. With regards to the relationship among these cultivars, this gives better insight for generating new cultivar.
The function of choline kinase (CK) and ethanolamine kinase (EK) is to catalyse the phosphorylation of choline and ethanolamine, respectively, in order to yield phosphocholine (PCho) and phosphoethanolamine (PEtn). A high expression level of PCho, due to elevated CK activity, has previously been associated with malignant transformation. In the present study, a quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed to determine the mRNA expression profiles of ck and ek mRNA variants in MCF7 breast, HCT116 colon and HepG2 liver cancer cells. The ck and ek mRNA expression profiles showed that total ckα was expressed most abundantly in the HepG2 cells. The HCT116 cells exhibited the highest ckβ and ek1 mRNA expression levels, whereas the highest ek2α mRNA expression levels were detected in the MCF7 cells. The ckβ variant had higher mRNA expression levels, as compared with total ckα, in both the MCF7 and HCT116 cells. Relatively low ek1 mRNA expression levels were detected, as compared with ek2α in the MCF7 cells; however, this was not observed in the HCT116 and HepG2 cells. Notably, the mRNA expression levels of ckα2 were markedly low, as compared with ckα1, in all three cancer cell lines. The effects of epigenetic modification on ck and ek mRNA expression, by treatment of the cells with the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA), were also investigated. The results of the present study showed that the mRNA expression levels of ckα, ckβ and ek2α were affected by TSA. An increase >8-fold was observed in ek2α mRNA expression upon treatment with TSA, in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. In conclusion, the levels of ck and ek transcript variants in the three cancer cell lines were varied. The effects of TSA treatment on the mRNA expression levels of ck and ek imply that ck and ek mRNA expression may be regulated by epigenetic modification.
Plant cells contain a diverse repertoire of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) that coordinate a network of post-transcriptional regulation. RBPs govern diverse developmental processes by modulating the gene expression of specific transcripts. Recent gene annotation and RNA sequencing clearly showed that heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP)-like proteins which form a family of RBPs, are also expressed in higher plants and serve specific plant functions. In addition to their involvement in post-transcriptional regulation from mRNA capping to translation, they are also involved in telomere regulation, gene silencing and regulation in chloroplast. Here, we review the involvement of plant hnRNP-like proteins in post-transcription regulation of RNA processes and their functional roles in control of plant developmental processes especially plant-specific functions including flowering, chloroplastic-specific mRNA regulation, long-distance phloem transportation and plant responses to environmental stresses.
The ability to cope with infection by a parasite is one of the major challenges for any host species and is a major driver of evolution. Parasite pressure differs between habitats. It is thought to be higher in tropical regions compared to temporal ones. We infected Drosophila melanogaster from two tropical (Malaysia and Zimbabwe) and two temperate populations (the Netherlands and North Carolina) with the generalist entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana to examine if adaptation to local parasite pressures led to differences in resistance. Contrary to previous findings we observed increased survival in temperate populations. This, however, is not due to increased resistance to infection per se, but rather the consequence of a higher general vigor of the temperate populations. We also assessed transcriptional response to infection within these flies eight and 24 hours after infection. Only few genes were induced at the earlier time point, most of which are involved in detoxification. In contrast, we identified more than 4,000 genes that changed their expression state after 24 hours. This response was generally conserved over all populations with only few genes being uniquely regulated in the temperate populations. We furthermore found that the American population was transcriptionally highly diverged from all other populations concerning basal levels of gene expression. This was particularly true for stress and immune response genes, which might be the genetic basis for their elevated vigor.
Immuno-modulatory effects of infant gut bacteria were tested on poly(I:C) stimulated HT-29 intestinal epithelial cells. Blautia producta, Bacteroides vulgatus, Bacteroides fragilis and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron decreased transcription of poly(I:C)-induced inflammatory genes. Modulation of basal level and poly(I:C)-induced IL-8 secretion varied between bacterial species, and between heat treated and non-heat treated bacterial cells.
Cassia angustifolia Vahl. plant is used for many therapeutic purposes, for example, in people with constipation, skin diseases, including helminthic and parasitic infections. In our study, we demonstrated an amoebicidal activity of C. angustifolia extract against Acanthamoeba triangularis trophozoite at a micromolar level. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images displayed morphological changes in the Acanthamoeba trophozoite, which included the formation of pores in cell membrane and the membrane rupture. In addition to the amoebicidal activity, effects of the extract on surviving trophozoites were observed, which included cyst formation and vacuolization by a microscope and transcriptional expression of Acanthamoeba autophagy in response to the stress by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Our data showed that the surviving trophozoites were not transformed into cysts and the trophozoite number with enlarged vacuole was not significantly different from that of untreated control. Molecular analysis data demonstrated that the mRNA expression of AcATG genes was slightly changed. Interestingly, AcATG16 decreased significantly at 12 h post treatment, which may indicate a transcriptional regulation by the extract or a balance of intracellular signalling pathways in response to the stress, whereas AcATG3 and AcATG8b remained unchanged. Altogether, these data reveal the anti-Acanthamoeba activity of C. angustifolia extract and the autophagic response in the surviving trophozoites under the plant extract pressure, along with data on the formation of cysts. These represent a promising plant for future drug development. However, further isolation and purification of an active compound and cytotoxicity against human cells are needed, including a study on the autophagic response at the protein level.
Although analysis of toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems can be instructive, to date, there is no information on the prevalence and identity of TA systems based on a large panel of Acinetobacter baumannii clinical isolates. The aim of the current study was to screen for functional TA systems among clinical isolates of A. baumannii and to identify the systems' locations. For this purpose, we screened 85 A. baumannii isolates collected from different clinical sources for the presence of the mazEF, relBE and higBA TA genes. The results revealed that the genes coding for the mazEF TA system were commonly present in all clinical isolates of A. baumannii. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that transcripts were produced in the clinical isolates. Our findings showed that TA genes are prevalent, harboured by chromosomes and transcribed within A. baumannii. Hence, activation of the toxin proteins in the mazEF TA system should be investigated further as an effective antibacterial strategy against this bacterium.
The photosynthetic cyanobacterium, Synechocystis sp. strain 6803, is a potential platform for the production of various chemicals and biofuels. In this study, direct photosynthetic production of a biopolymer, polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), in genetically engineered Synechocystis sp. achieved as high as 14 wt%. This is the highest production reported in Synechocystis sp. under photoautotrophic cultivation conditions without the addition of a carbon source. The addition of acetate increased PHA accumulation to 41 wt%, and this value is comparable to the highest production obtained with cyanobacteria. Transcriptome analysis by RNA-seq coupled with real-time PCR was performed to understand the global changes in transcript levels of cells subjected to conditions suitable for photoautotrophic PHA biosynthesis. There was lower expression of most PHA synthesis-related genes in recombinant Synechocystis sp. with higher PHA accumulation suggesting that the concentration of these enzymes is not the limiting factor to achieving high PHA accumulation. In order to cope with the higher PHA production, cells may utilize enhanced photosynthesis to drive the product formation. Results from this study suggest that the total flux of carbon is the possible driving force for the biosynthesis of PHA and the polymerizing enzyme, PHA synthase, is not the only critical factor affecting PHA-synthesis. Knowledge of the regulation or control points of the biopolymer production pathways will facilitate the further use of cyanobacteria for biotechnological applications.
Histone acetylation plays an important role in regulation of transcription in eukaryotic cells by promoting a more relaxed chromatin structure necessary for transcriptional activation. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) remove acetyl groups and suppress gene expression. HDAC inhibitors (HDACIs) are a group of small molecules that promote gene transcription by chromatin remodeling and have been extensively studied as potential drugs for treating of spinal muscular atrophy. Various drugs in this class have been studied with regard to their efficacy in increasing the expression of survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein. In this review, we discuss the current literature on this topic and summarize the findings of the main studies in this field.
Non-lethal heat shock boosts bacterial and viral disease tolerance in shrimp, possibly due to increases in endogenous heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) and/or immune proteins. To further understand the mechanisms protecting shrimp against infection, Hsp70 and the mRNAs encoding the immune-related proteins prophenoloxidase (proPO), peroxinectin, penaeidin, crustin and hemocyanin were studied in post-larvae of the white-leg shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei, following a non-lethal heat shock. As indicated by RT-qPCR, a 30 min abrupt heat shock increased Hsp70 mRNA in comparison to non-heated animals. Immunoprobing of western blots and quantification by ELISA revealed that Hsp70 production after heat shock was correlated with enhanced Hsp70 mRNA. proPO and hemocyanin mRNA levels were augmented, whereas peroxinectin and crustin mRNA levels were unchanged following non-lethal heat shock. Penaeidin mRNA was decreased by all heat shock treatments. Thirty min abrupt heat shock failed to improve survival of post-larvae in a standardized challenge test with Vibrio harveyi, indicating that under the conditions of this study, L. vannamei tolerance to Vibrio infection was influenced neither by Hsp70 accumulation nor the changes in the immune-related proteins, observations dissimilar to other shrimp species examined.
Chronic bacterial infections occur as a result of the infecting pathogen's ability to live within a biofilm, hence escaping the detrimental effects of antibiotics and the immune defense system. Burkholderia pseudomallei, a gram-negative facultative pathogen, is distinctive in its ability to survive within phagocytic and non-phagocytic cells, to persist in vivo for many years and subsequently leading to relapse as well as the development of chronic disease. The capacity to persist has been attributed to the pathogen's ability to form biofilm. However, the underlying biology of B. pseudomallei biofilm development remains unresolved.
Paenibacillus durus strain ATCC 35681T is a Gram-positive diazotroph that displayed capability of fixing nitrogen even in the presence of nitrate or ammonium. However, the nitrogen fixation activity was detected only at day 1 of growth when cultured in liquid nitrogen-enriched medium. The transcripts of all the nifH homologues were present throughout the 9-day study. When grown in nitrogen-depleted medium, nitrogenase activities occurred from day 1 until day 6 and the nifH transcripts were also present during the course of the study albeit at different levels. In both studies, the absence of nitrogen fixation activity regardless of the presence of the nifH transcripts raised the possibility of a post-transcriptional or post-translational regulation of the system. A putative SigA box sequence was found upstream of the transcription start site of nifB1, the first gene in the major nitrogen fixation cluster. The upstream region of nifB2 showed a promoter recognizable by SigE, a sigma factor normally involved in sporulation.
Positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb), which comprises cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9) kinase and cyclin T subunits, is an essential kinase complex in human cells. Phosphorylation of the negative elongation factors by P-TEFb is required for productive elongation of transcription of protein-coding genes by RNA polymerase II (pol II). In addition, P-TEFb-mediated phosphorylation of the carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) of the largest subunit of pol II mediates the recruitment of transcription and RNA processing factors during the transcription cycle. CDK9 also phosphorylates p53, a tumor suppressor that plays a central role in cellular responses to a range of stress factors. Many viral factors affect transcription by recruiting or modulating the activity of CDK9. In this review, we will focus on how the function of CDK9 is regulated by viral gene products. The central role of CDK9 in viral life cycles suggests that drugs targeting the interaction between viral products and P-TEFb could be effective anti-viral agents.
Enterococcus faecium is an opportunistic pathogen with a remarkable ability to acquire resistance toward multiple antibiotics, including those of last-resort drugs such as vancomycin and daptomycin. The occurrence of vancomycin-resistant E. faecium is on the rise and there is a need to understand the virulence of this organism. One of the factors that contributes to the virulence is the ability to form biofilms. Since bacteria in biofilm state are more resistant to antibiotics and host immune response, understanding the molecular mechanism of biofilm development is important to control biofilm-related diseases. The aim of this study was to determine the global gene expression profiles of an E. faecium strain, VREr5, during the early event of sessile growth compared with its planktonic phase through RNA-sequencing approach. The results clearly illustrated distinct expression profiles of the planktonic and biofilm cells. A total of 177 genes were overexpressed in the biofilm cells. Most of them encode for proteins involved in adherence, such as the ebpABCfm locus. Genes associated with plasmid replication, gene exchange, and protein synthesis were also upregulated during the early event of biofilm development. Furthermore, the transcriptome analysis also identified genes such as fsrB, luxS, and spx that might suppress biofilm formation in VREr5. The putative biofilm-related bee locus was found to be downregulated. These new findings could provide caveats for future studies on the regulation and maintenance of biofilm and development of biomarkers for biofilm-related diseases.
The Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg cells of classical Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) are characterised by the aberrant activation of multiple signalling pathways. Here we show that a subset of HL displays altered expression of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptors (S1PR)s. S1P activates phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI3-K) in these cells that is mediated by the increased expression of S1PR1 and the decreased expression of S1PR2. We also showed that genes regulated by the PI3-K signalling pathway in HL cell lines significantly overlap with the transcriptional programme of primary HRS cells. Genes upregulated by the PI3-K pathway included the basic leucine zipper transcription factor, ATF-like 3 (BATF3), which is normally associated with the development of dendritic cells. Immunohistochemistry confirmed that BATF3 was expressed in HRS cells of most HL cases. In contrast, in normal lymphoid tissues, BATF3 expression was confined to a small fraction of CD30-positive immunoblasts. Knockdown of BATF3 in HL cell lines revealed that BATF3 contributed to the transcriptional programme of primary HRS cells, including the upregulation of S1PR1. Our data suggest that disruption of this potentially oncogenic feedforward S1P signalling loop could provide novel therapeutic opportunities for patients with HL.
The small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) is implicated in various cellular activities, including transcriptional regulation. We previously showed that the yeast activator Gcn4 becomes sumoylated during activation, facilitating its eventual promoter eviction and transcriptional shut off. Here we show that the corepressor Tup1 is sumoylated, at two specific lysines, under various stress conditions. Mutation of these sites has no effect on Tup1 recruitment or RNAP II promoter occupancy immediately following induction. However, Tup1 levels subsequently decrease, while RNAP II and transcription increase in Tup1 mutant cells. Consistent with this, a Tup1 mutant displaying increased sumoylation led to reduced transcription. We also show that coordinated sumoylation of Gcn4 and Tup1 enhances Gcn4 promoter eviction and that multiple Tup1-interacting proteins become sumoylated after stress. Together, our studies provide evidence that coordinated sumoylation of Gcn4, Tup1 and likely other factors dampens activated transcription by stabilizing Tup1 binding and stimulating Gcn4 and RNAP II removal.
The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) have been implicated in regulating the immune response. We determined the relative changes in the transcriptional expression of PPAR isoforms (α, γ1 and γ2) and cytokines involved in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes (T1D) in the immune cells of 5 weeks, 10 weeks and diabetic male non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice compared to those of female NOD mice from our previous studies, "normalized" against their respective non-obese diabetic resistant (NOR) mice controls. Overall PPARα was significantly more elevated in the macrophages of female NOD mice of all age groups whereas PPARγ, particularly the PPARγ2 isoform was more depressed in the macrophages and CD4(+) lymphocytes of female NOD mice compared to their male counterparts. The pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-1 and TNFα, as well as the Th1 cytokines, IL-2 and IFNγ were more elevated in female NOD mice whereas the Th2 cytokine, IL-4, was more depressed in these mice compared to their male counterparts. These findings suggest that the preponderance of T1D in female NOD mice may be influenced by the more pronounced changes in the expression of PPAR isoforms and pathogenic cytokines compared to those in male NOD mice.
The normally high concentration of zinc in normal prostate gland is significantly reduced in malignant prostate tissues, but its precise role in prostate tumorigenesis remains unclear. The present study investigates the growth and transcriptional responses of LNCaP prostate cancer cells to prolonged high Zn2+ treatment. Restoration of high intracellular Zn2+ to LNCaP cells significantly reduced the cell proliferation rate by 42.2+/-7.4% at the exponential growth phase and the efficiency of colony formation on soft agar by 87.2+/-2.5% at week 5 post-treatment. At least 161 LNCaP cell genes responded to the high intracellular Zn2+, including approximately 10.6% genes that negatively regulate cell growth and approximately 16.1% genes that promote cancer cell proliferation. Inhibition of cell growth was transient as normal proliferation rate and colony formation efficiency were restored later even in the continuous presence of high intracellular Zn2+. RT-qPCR showed constitutively higher expression levels of FBL, CD164 and STEAP1 in LNCaP cells. FBL and CD164 were responsive to the treatment with Zn2+ in PNT2 prostate normal cells and were further overexpressed in the prolonged Zn2+-treated LNCaP cells. These observations suggest that in general high Zn2+ has suppressive effects on prostate cancer cell growth but continuous exposure to an environment of high Zn2+ can lead to the overexpression of cancer promoting genes such as FBL and CD164. This could be the antagonistic mechanism used to overcome the initial cell growth inhibitory effects of high Zn2+. These findings support a potential detrimental role of Zn2+ in prostate cancer.
Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a major mediator of the acute phase response (APR) that regulates the transcription of acute phase proteins (APPs) in the liver. During APR, the plasma levels of negative APPs including retinol binding protein 4 (RBP4) are reduced. Activation of the IL-6 receptor and subsequent signaling pathways leads to the activation of transcription factors, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP), which then modulate APP gene expression. The transcriptional regulation of RBP4 by IL-6 is not fully understood. Therefore, this study aimed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of PPARα and C/EBP isoforms in mediating IL-6 regulation of RBP4 gene expression. IL-6 was shown to reduce the transcriptional activity of RBP4, and functional dissection of the RBP4 promoter further identified the cis-acting regulatory elements that are responsible in mediating the inhibitory effect of IL-6. The binding sites for PPARα and C/EBP present in the RBP4 promoter were predicted at -1079 bp to -1057 bp and -1460 bp to -1439 bp, respectively. The binding of PPARα and C/EBPs to their respective cis-acting elements may lead to antagonistic interactions that modulate the IL-6 regulation of RBP4 promoter activity. Therefore, this study proposed a new mechanism of interaction involving PPARα and different C/EBP isoforms. This interaction is necessary for the regulation of RBP4 gene expression in response to external stimuli, particularly IL-6, during physiological changes.