ABSTRACT: Members of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) family share sequence similarity and the 11-stranded beta-barrel fold. Fluorescence or bright coloration, observed in many members of this family, is enabled by the intrinsic properties of the polypeptide chain itself, without the requirement for cofactors. Amino acid sequence of fluorescent proteins can be altered by genetic engineering to produce variants with different spectral properties, suitable for direct visualization of molecular and cellular processes. Naturally occurring GFP-like proteins include fluorescent proteins from cnidarians of the Hydrozoa and Anthozoa classes, and from copepods of the Pontellidae family, as well as non-fluorescent proteins from Anthozoa. Recently, an mRNA encoding a fluorescent GFP-like protein AmphiGFP, related to GFP from Pontellidae, has been isolated from the lancelet Branchiostoma floridae, a cephalochordate (Deheyn et al., Biol Bull, 2007 213:95).
We report that the nearly-completely sequenced genome of Branchiostoma floridae encodes at least 12 GFP-like proteins. The evidence for expression of six of these genes can be found in the EST databases. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that a gene encoding a GFP-like protein was present in the common ancestor of Cnidaria and Bilateria. We synthesized and expressed two of the lancelet GFP-like proteins in mammalian cells and in bacteria. One protein, which we called LanFP1, exhibits bright green fluorescence in both systems. The other protein, LanFP2, is identical to AmphiGFP in amino acid sequence and is moderately fluorescent. Live imaging of the adult animals revealed bright green fluorescence at the anterior end and in the basal region of the oral cirri, as well as weaker green signals throughout the body of the animal. In addition, red fluorescence was observed in oral cirri, extending to the tips.
GFP-like proteins may have been present in the primitive Metazoa. Their evolutionary history includes losses in several metazoan lineages and expansion in cephalochordates that resulted in the largest repertoire of GFP-like proteins known thus far in a single organism. Lancelet expresses several of its GFP-like proteins, which appear to have distinct spectral properties and perhaps diverse functions.
This article was reviewed by Shamil Sunyaev, Mikhail Matz (nominated by I. King Jordan) and L. Aravind.
Biology Direct 02/2008; 3:28. · 4.02 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Affymetrix GeneChip typically contains multiple probe sets per gene, defined as sibling probe sets in this study. These probe sets may or may not behave similar across treatments. The most appropriate way of consolidating sibling probe sets suitable for analysis is an open problem. We propose the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) framework to decide which sibling probe sets can be consolidated.
The ANOVA model allows us to separate the sibling probe sets into two types: those behave similarly across treatments and those behave differently across treatments. We found that consolidation of sibling probe sets of the former type results in large increase in the number of differentially expressed genes under various statistical criteria. The approach to selecting sibling probe sets suitable for consolidating is implemented in R language and freely available from http://research.stowers-institute.org/hul/affy/.
Our ANOVA analysis of sibling probe sets provides a statistical framework for selecting sibling probe sets for consolidation. Consolidating sibling probe sets by pooling data from each greatly improves the estimates of a gene expression level and results in identification of more biologically relevant genes. Sibling probe sets that do not qualify for consolidation may represent annotation errors or other artifacts, or may correspond to differentially processed transcripts of the same gene that require further analysis.
BMC Genomics 02/2008; 9:188. · 4.07 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Cre is a site-specific recombinase from bacteriophage P1. It is a member of the tyrosine integrase family and catalyzes reciprocal recombination between specific 34-bp sites called loxP. To analyze the structure-function relationships of this enzyme, we performed large scale pentapeptide insertional mutagenesis to generate insertions of five amino acids at random positions in the protein. The high density of insertion mutations into Cre allowed us to identify an unexpected degree of functional tolerance to insertions into the 4-5 beta-hairpin and into the loop between helices J and K (both of which contact the DNA in the minor groove) and also into helix A. The phenotypes of the majority of inserts allowed us to confirm a variety of predictions made on the basis of sequence conservation, known three-dimensional structure, and proposed catalytic mechanism. In particular, most insertions into conserved regions or secondary structure elements inactivated Cre, and most insertions located in nonconserved, unstructured regions preserved Cre activity. Less expectedly, the non-conserved and poorly structured loops and linkers between helices A-B, E-F, and M-N did not tolerate insertions, thus identifying these as critical regions for recombinase activity. We purified and characterized in vitro several representatives of these "unexpected" Cre insertion mutants. The role of those regions in the recombination process is discussed.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2004; 279(35):37040-8. · 4.77 Impact Factor