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  • 1
    Keywords: PROTEIN ; TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR ; STRESS ; HETEROCHROMATIN FORMATION ; RNA-POLYMERASE-I ; FACTOR TIF-IA ; NoRC ; RDNA TRANSCRIPTION ; EPIGENETIC CONTROL ; DNA STABILITY
    Abstract: All organisms sense and respond to conditions that stress their homeostasis by downregulating the synthesis of rRNA and ribosome biogenesis, thus designating the nucleolus as the central hub in coordinating the cellular stress response. One of the most intriguing roles of the nucleolus, long regarded as a mere ribosome-producing factory, is its participation in monitoring cellular stress signals and transmitting them to the RNA polymerase I (Pol I) transcription machinery. As rRNA synthesis is a most energy-consuming process, switching off transcription of rRNA genes is an effective way of saving the energy required to maintain cellular homeostasis during acute stress. The Pol I transcription machinery is the key convergence point that collects and integrates a vast array of information from cellular signaling cascades to regulate ribosome production which, in turn, guides cell growth and proliferation. This review focuses on the mechanisms that link cell physiology to rDNA silencing, a prerequisite for nucleolar integrity and cell survival.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24022641
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  • 2
    Keywords: Mismatch repair, DNA repair, Genome instability
    Abstract: The genome of all organisms is constantly being challenged by endogenous and exogenous sources of DNA damage. Errors like base:base mismatches or small insertions and deletions, primarily introduced by DNA polymerases during DNA replication are repaired by an evolutionary conserved DNA mismatch repair (MMR) system. TheMMR system, together with the DNA replication machinery, promote repair by an excision and resynthesis mechanism during or after DNA replication, increasing replication fidelity by upto- three orders of magnitude. Consequently, inactivation of MMR genes results in elevated mutation rates that can lead to increased cancer susceptibility in humans. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of MMR with a focus on the differentMMR protein complexes, their function and structure. We also discuss how recent findings have provided new insights in the spatio-temporal regulation and mechanism of MMR.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25862369
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  • 3
    Keywords: BIOLOGY, CELL-NUCLEI, CELLS, CHINESE, CHROMATIN, chromosome, CHROMOSOME TERRITORIES, CHROMOSOMES, CO
    Abstract: The functional organization of chromatin in cell nuclei is a fundamental question in modern cell biology. Individual chromosomes occupy distinct chromosome territories in interphase nuclei. Nuclear bodies localize outside the territories and colocalize with ectopically expressed proteins in a nuclear subcompartment, the interchromosomal domain compartment. In order to investigate the structure of this compartment in mammalian cells with distinctly different karyotypes, we analyzed human HeLa cells (3n+=71 chromosomes) and cells of two closely related muntjac species, the Chinese muntjac (2n=46 chromosomes) and the Indian muntjac (2n=6/7 chromosomes). The distribution of ectopically expressed intermediate filament proteins (vimentin and cytokeratins) engineered to contain a nuclear localization sequence (NLS) and a nuclear particle forming protein (murine Mx1) fused to a yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) was compared. The proteins were predominantly localized in regions with poor DAPI staining independent of the cells' karyotype. In contrast to NLS-vimentin, the NLS-modified cytokeratins were also found close to the nuclear periphery. In Indian muntjac cells, NLS-vimentin colocalized with Mx1-YFP as well as the NLS-cytokeratins. Since the distribution of the ectopically expressed protein markers is similar in cells with distinctly different chromosome numbers, the property of the delineated, limited compartment might indeed depend on chromatin organization
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 15776261
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  • 4
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    Chromosoma 119 (1), 35-40 
    Keywords: PATHWAY ; DISEASE ; GENE ; PROTEIN ; RNA ; DNA ; MECHANISM ; mechanisms ; HEALTH ; Drosophila ; HOMOLOG ; FISSION YEAST ; METHYLATION ; Genetic ; TRNA(ASP) ; DNA METHYLTRANSFERASE EHMETH ; ENTAMOEBA-HISTOLYTICA ; NUCLEAR-MATRIX
    Abstract: Dnmt2 is a member of the animal DNA methyltransferase family of enzymes. While the role of other Dnmt proteins has been extensively characterized, comparably little is known about Dnmt2. This is surprising because Dnmt2 is the most widely conserved Dnmt protein, with homologues in protists, plants, fungi, and animals. In this review, we discuss the evidence supporting the seemingly contradictory roles of Dnmt2 in both DNA and RNA methylation. New studies are uncovering the enzymatic mechanisms that mediate these activities and also provide first insights into the biological functions of Dnmt2. Lastly, we also discuss observations that suggest a possible role for Dnmt2 in human health and disease, which further emphasizes the importance of defining Dnmt2-modulated cellular pathways in future studies
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 19730874
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  • 5
    Abstract: Vertebrate Tpr and its probable homologs in insects and yeast are heptad repeat-dominated nuclear proteins of M(r) 195,000 to M(r) 267,000 the functions of which are still largely unknown. Whereas two homologs exist in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, it has remained uncertain whether metazoans possess different paralogs or isoforms of Tpr that might explain controversial reports on the subcellular localization of this protein. To address these possibilities, we first determined the sequence and structure of the murine tpr gene, revealing a TATA box-less gene of approximately 57 kb and 52 exons. Southern hybridization of genomic DNA and radiation hybrid mapping showed that murine tpr exists as a single-copy gene on chromosome 1; RNA blotting analyses and EST (expressed sequence tag) database mining revealed that its expression results in only one major mRNA in embryonic and most adult tissues. Accordingly, novel antibodies against the N- and C-terminus of Tpr identified the full-length protein as the major translation product in different somatic cell types; reinvestigation of Tpr localization by confocal microscopy corroborated a predominant localization at the nuclear pore complexes in these cells. Antibody specificity and reliability of Tpr localization was demonstrated by post-transcriptional tpr gene silencing using siRNAs that eliminated the Tpr signal at the nuclear periphery but did not affect intranuclear staining of Tpr-unrelated proteins. Finally, we defined several sequence and structural features that characterize Tpr polypeptides in different species and used these as a guideline to search whole-genome sequence databases for putative paralogs of Tpr in higher eukaryotes. This approach resulted in identification of the Tpr orthologs in Arabidopsis thaliana and Caenorhabditis elegans, but also in the realization that no further paralogs of Tpr exist in several metazoan model organisms or in humans. In summary, these results reveal Tpr to be a unique protein localized at the nuclear periphery of the somatic cell in mammals.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 12424524
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  • 6
    Keywords: COMPLEX ; CHROMATIN ; MELANOGASTER ; DNA methylation ; LOCALIZATION ; HISTONE DEACETYLASE ; REPRESSION ; CPG-BINDING-PROTEINS ; METHYLTRANSFERASES
    Abstract: The Drosophila gene dMBD2/3 encodes a protein with significant homologies to the mammalian methyl-DNA binding proteins MBD2 and MBD3. These proteins are essential components of chromatin complexes involved in epigenetic gene regulation. Because the available in vitro data on dMBD2/3 are conflicting we have started an in vivo characterization of dMBD2/3. We detected expression of two isoforms specifically during embryonic development. Staining of whole embryos combined with high-resolution confocal microscopy revealed a highly regulated spatial distribution. During the syncytial blastoderm stage, dMBD2/3 formed speckles that localized to the cytoplasm. Shortly after, during the cellular blastoderm stage, the protein entered the nucleus and formed bright foci that associated with DNA. This rapid transition coincided with the activation of the embryonic genome. A similar observation was made during activation of the spermatocyte genome as dMBD2/3 formed distinct foci associated with the activated Y chromosome. Our results indicate that dMBD2/3 forms specialized nuclear compartments to keep certain genes epigenetically silenced during genome activation.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 12068919
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1432-0886
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract. The centromeres of a genome separate in a sequential, nonrandom manner that is apparently dependent upon the quantity and quality of pericentric heterochromatin. It is becoming increasingly clear that the biological properties of a centromere depend upon its physicochemical makeup, such as its tertiary structure, and not necessarily on its particular nucleotide sequence. To test this idea we altered the physical state of the AT-rich pericentric heterochromatin of mouse with Hoechst 33258 (bis-benzimidazole) and studied a biological parameter, viz., sequence of separation. We report that an alteration in the physical state of heterochromatin, i.e., decondensation, is accompanied by aberrations in the pattern of centromere separation. The most dramatic effect seems to be on chromosomes with large blocks of heterochromatin. Many chromosomes with large blocks of heterochromatin that, in untreated cells, separate late tend to separate early. Decondensation with Hoechst 33258 does not seem to alter the sequence of separation of inactive centromeres relative to that of active centromeres. These data indicate that alteration in the physical parameters of the pericentric heterochromatin might dispose the centromeres to errors. It is likely that this aberration results from early replication of the pericentric heterochromatin associated with active centromeres.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 8
    ISSN: 1432-0886
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract. Polo-like kinases (Plks) have been implicated in various aspects of M-phase progression in organisms ranging from yeast to man. In vertebrates, Plks participate in centrosome maturation and spindle assembly, as well as the activation of the Cdk1/cyclin B complex. Moreover, Plks are required for the destruction of mitotic cyclins, indicating that they play an important role in the regulation of the ubiquitin-dependent proteolytic degradation machinery that controls exit from M-phase. Here, we have fused Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) to the N-terminus of human Plk1, and expressed this chimeric construct in human cells. We found that GFP-Plk1 associates with centrosomes, the equatorial spindle midzone and the postmitotic bridge of dividing cells, confirming and extending previous results obtained with conventional immunofluorescence microscopy. In addition, however, we observed fluorescence emanating from the midbody between dividing cells, and from discrete dots associated with mitotic chromosomes. This latter staining pattern being reminiscent of centromeres, we performed double-labeling experiments with antibodies against the centromeric marker CENP-B, and reexamined the subcellular localization of endogenous Plk1 using different fixation procedures. Our data clearly show that both GFP-tagged Plk1 and endogenous Plk1 associate with the kinetochore/centromere region of human mitotic chromosomes. This novel localization of Plk1 suggests that substrates and/or regulators of Plks may be found among kinetochore-associated proteins with important functions in chromosome segregation and/or spindle checkpoint mechanisms.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 9
    ISSN: 1432-0886
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract. We have examined the dynamics of the localisation of the polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) during maturation of the mouse oocyte. Levels of Plk1 protein increase following germinal vesicle breakdown, at which time the enzyme begins to accumulate at discrete positions on the condensing chromosomes and, subsequently, at the poles of the meiotic spindle, which moves towards the cortex of the egg. Interestingly, at metaphase in both meiotic divisions, Plk1 shows a punctate localisation along the broad spindle poles. Moreover, the punctate distribution of Plk1 on the meiotic chromosomes appears at early anaphase to correspond to the centromeric regions. The protein relocates to the spindle midzone during late anaphase and then associates with the midbody at telophase. We have confirmed the specific pattern of immuno-localisation seen in fixed preparations by observing the distribution of Plk1 tagged with green fluorescent protein in living oocytes. We discuss the localisation of the enzyme in light of the structure of the spindle poles, which are known to lack centrioles, and the highly asymmetric nature of the meiotic divisions.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 10
    ISSN: 1432-0886
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract.  We describe genetic interactions between mutations in mgr, asp, and polo, genes required for the correct behaviour of the spindle poles in Drosophila. The phenotype of a polo 1 mgr double mutant is more similar to mgr than polo 1 , but the frequency of circular monopolar figures (CMFs) seen with either mutant alone is additive, suggesting that the two gene products are required for independent functions in the formation of bipolar spindles. The asp E3 mgr double mutant arrests much earlier in development than either mutant alone, indicative of a strong block to cell proliferation. We discuss whether the lack of microtubular structures in these cells reflects an extended mitotic arrest, or if it is a more direct consequence of the double mutant combination. A polo 1 asp E3 double mutant shows a dramatic synergistic increase in mitotic frequency. The loss of CMFs normally associated with the polo 1 phenotype suggests that the Asp microtubule-associated protein is required to maintain the structure of spindle poles. We speculate that Asp protein might be a substrate for the serine-threonine protein kinase encoded by polo.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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