[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The homeobox gene CHX10 is required for retinal progenitor cell proliferation early in retinogenesis and subsequently for bipolar neuron differentiation. To clarify the molecular mechanisms employed by CHX10 we sought to identify its target genes. In a yeast one-hybrid assay Chx10 interacted with the Ret1 site of the photoreceptor-specific gene Rhodopsin. Gel shift assays using in vitro translated protein confirmed that CHX10 binds to Ret1, but not to the similar Rhodopsin sites Ret4 and BAT-1. Using retinal nuclear lysates, we observed interactions between Chx10 and additional photoreceptor-specific elements including the PCE-1 (Rod arrestin/S-antigen) and the Cone opsin locus control region (Red/green cone opsin). However, chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed that in vivo, Chx10 bound sites upstream of the Rod arrestin and Interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein genes but not Rhodopsin or Cone opsin. Thus, in a chromatin context, Chx10 associates with a specific subset of elements that it binds with comparable apparent affinity in vitro. Our data suggest that CHX10 may target these motifs to inhibit rod photoreceptor gene expression in bipolar cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CHX10 and VSX1 are homeodomain (HD) proteins essential for normal retinal development. CHX10 is required first for retinal progenitor cell proliferation and later for bipolar cell differentiation, whereas VSX1 is important in the terminal differentiation of a subset of bipolar cells. Elucidating the transcriptional activity of CHX10 and VSX1 is required to understand how these factors control retinal development. We show that CHX10 and Vsx1 can function as transcriptional repressors. When tethered to a promoter by a heterologous LexA DNA-binding domain or its HD, CHX10 repressed multiple classes of activators in different immortalized cell lines. CHX10 blocked TATA-containing and TATA-less promoters, repressed at a distance, and inhibited a complex enhancer positioned upstream or downstream of the reporter gene, whereas retinoblastoma protein (RB) inhibited the downstream enhancer only. Interestingly, CHX10 mildly potentiated a subset of activators in chick neuronal cultures. Thus, CHX10 is both a versatile repressor and a context-specific weak activator. The CHX10 HD and CVC domains were sufficient for DNA binding and repression. VSX1 contains closely related homeo and CVC domains and, like CHX10, also repressed transcription. A VSX1 HD mutation, R166W, that impairs DNA binding and causes keratoconus in humans, hindered repressor function. Therefore, CHX10 and VSX1 may control retinal bipolar cell specification or differentiation by repressing genes required for the development of other cell types.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Biomolecular Interaction Network Database (BIND) (http://bind.ca) archives biomolecular interaction, reaction, complex and pathway information. Our aim is to curate the details about molecular interactions that arise from published experimental research and to provide this information, as well as tools to enable data analysis, freely to researchers worldwide. BIND data are curated into a comprehensive machine-readable archive of computable information and provides users with methods to discover interactions and molecular mechanisms. BIND has worked to develop new methods for visualization that amplify the underlying annotation of genes and proteins to facilitate the study of molecular interaction networks. BIND has maintained an open database policy since its inception in 1999. Data growth has proceeded at a tremendous rate, approaching over 100 000 records. New services provided include a new BIND Query and Submission interface, a Standard Object Access Protocol service and the Small Molecule Interaction Database (http://smid.blueprint.org) that allows users to determine probable small molecule binding sites of new sequences and examine conserved binding residues.