[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adaptive evolution is generally assumed to progress through the accumulation of beneficial mutations. However, as deleterious mutations are common in natural populations, they generate a strong selection pressure to mitigate their detrimental effects through compensatory genetic changes. This process can potentially influence directions of adaptive evolution by enabling evolutionary routes that are otherwise inaccessible. Therefore, the extent to which compensatory mutations shape genomic evolution is of central importance. Here, we studied the capacity of the baker's yeast genome to compensate the complete loss of genes during evolution, and explored the long-term consequences of this process. We initiated laboratory evolutionary experiments with over 180 haploid baker's yeast genotypes, all of which initially displayed slow growth owing to the deletion of a single gene. Compensatory evolution following gene loss was rapid and pervasive: 68% of the genotypes reached near wild-type fitness through accumulation of adaptive mutations elsewhere in the genome. As compensatory mutations have associated fitness costs, genotypes with especially low fitnesses were more likely to be subjects of compensatory evolution. Genomic analysis revealed that as compensatory mutations were generally specific to the functional defect incurred, convergent evolution at the molecular level was extremely rare. Moreover, the majority of the gene expression changes due to gene deletion remained unrestored. Accordingly, compensatory evolution promoted genomic divergence of parallel evolving populations. However, these different evolutionary outcomes are not phenotypically equivalent, as they generated diverse growth phenotypes across environments. Taken together, these results indicate that gene loss initiates adaptive genomic changes that rapidly restores fitness, but this process has substantial pleiotropic effects on cellular physiology and evolvability upon environmental change. Our work also implies that gene content variation across species could be partly due to the action of compensatory evolution rather than the passive loss of genes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To understand regulatory systems, it would be useful to uniformly determine how different components contribute to the expression of all other genes. We therefore monitored mRNA expression genome-wide, for individual deletions of one-quarter of yeast genes, focusing on (putative) regulators. The resulting genetic perturbation signatures reflect many different properties. These include the architecture of protein complexes and pathways, identification of expression changes compatible with viability, and the varying responsiveness to genetic perturbation. The data are assembled into a genetic perturbation network that shows different connectivities for different classes of regulators. Four feed-forward loop (FFL) types are overrepresented, including incoherent type 2 FFLs that likely represent feedback. Systematic transcription factor classification shows a surprisingly high abundance of gene-specific repressors, suggesting that yeast chromatin is not as generally restrictive to transcription as is often assumed. The data set is useful for studying individual genes and for discovering properties of an entire regulatory system.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mediator, an evolutionary conserved large multisubunit protein complex with a central role in regulating RNA polymerase II-transcribed genes, serves as a molecular switchboard at the interface between DNA binding transcription factors and the general transcription machinery. Mediator subunits include the Cdk8 module, which has both positive and negative effects on activator-dependent transcription through the activity of the cyclin-dependent kinase Cdk8, and the tail module, which is required for positive and negative regulation of transcription, correct preinitiation complex formation in basal and activated transcription, and Mediator recruitment. Currently, the molecular mechanisms governing Mediator function remain largely undefined. Here we demonstrate an autoregulatory mechanism used by Mediator to repress transcription through the activity of distinct components of different modules. We show that the function of the tail module component Med3, which is required for transcription activation, is suppressed by the kinase activity of the Cdk8 module. Med3 interacts with, and is phosphorylated by, Cdk8; site-specific phosphorylation triggers interaction with and degradation by the Grr1 ubiquitin ligase, thereby preventing transcription activation. This active repression mechanism involving Grr1-dependent ubiquitination of Med3 offers a rationale for the substoichiometric levels of the tail module that are found in purified Mediator and the corresponding increase in tail components seen in cdk8 mutants.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2014; 111(7):2500-5. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA) is a bone marrow failure syndrome linked to mutations in ribosomal protein (RP) genes that result in the impaired proliferation of hematopoietic progenitor cells. The etiology of DBA is not completely understood, however the ribosomal nature of the genes involved has led to speculation that these mutations may alter the landscape of mRNA translation. Here, we performed comparative microarray analysis of polysomal mRNA transcripts isolated from lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from DBA patients carrying various haploinsufficient mutations in either RPS19 or RPL11. Different spectrums of changes were observed depending on the mutant gene, with large differences found in RPS19 cells and very few in RPL11 cells. However, we find that the small number of altered transcripts in RPL11 overlap for the most part with those altered in RPS19 cells. We show specifically that levels of branched-chain aminotransferase-1 (BCAT1) transcripts are significantly decreased on the polysomes of both RPS19 and RPL11 cells, that translation of BCAT1 protein is especially impaired in cells with small RP gene mutations, and provide evidence that this effect may be due in part to the unusually long 5'UTR of the BCAT1 transcript. The BCAT1 enzyme carries out the final step in the biosynthesis and the first step of degradation of the branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Interestingly, several animal models of DBA have reported that leucine ameliorates the anemia phenotypes generated by RPS19 loss. Our study suggests that RP mutations affect the synthesis of specific proteins involved in regulating amino acid levels that are important for maintaining the normal proliferative capacity of hematopoietic cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chromatin structure in transcribed regions poses a barrier for intragenic transcription. In a comprehensive study of the yeast chromatin remodelers and the Mot1p-NC2 regulators of TATA-binding protein (TBP), we detected synthetic genetic interactions indicative of suppression of intragenic transcription. Conditional depletion of Mot1p or NC2 in absence of the ISW1 remodeler, but not in the absence of other chromatin remodelers, activated the cryptic FLO8 promoter. Likewise, conditional depletion of Mot1p or NC2 in deletion backgrounds of the H3K36 methyltransferase Set2p or the Asf1p-Rtt106p histone H3-H4 chaperones, important factors involved in maintaining a repressive chromatin environment, resulted in increased intragenic FLO8 transcripts. Activity of the cryptic FLO8 promoter is associated with reduced H3 levels, increased TBP binding and tri-methylation of H3K4 and is independent of Spt-Ada-Gcn5-acetyltransferase function. These data reveal cooperation of negative regulation of TBP with specific chromatin regulators to inhibit intragenic transcription.
Nucleic Acids Research 01/2014; · 8.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human embryos frequently harbor large-scale complex chromosomal errors that impede normal development. Affected embryos may fail to implant although many first breach the endometrial epithelium and embed in the decidualizing stroma before being rejected via mechanisms that are poorly understood. Here we show that developmentally impaired human embryos elicit an endoplasmic stress response in human decidual cells. A stress response was also evident upon in vivo exposure of mouse uteri to culture medium conditioned by low-quality human embryos. By contrast, signals emanating from developmentally competent embryos activated a focused gene network enriched in metabolic enzymes and implantation factors. We further show that trypsin, a serine protease released by pre-implantation embryos, elicits Ca(2+) signaling in endometrial epithelial cells. Competent human embryos triggered short-lived oscillatory Ca(2+) fluxes whereas low-quality embryos caused a heightened and prolonged Ca(2+) response. Thus, distinct positive and negative mechanisms contribute to active selection of human embryos at implantation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The detoxification of ammonia occurs mainly through conversion of ammonia to urea in the liver via the urea cycle and glutamine synthesis. Congenital portosystemic shunts (CPSS) in dogs cause hyperammonemia eventually leading to hepatic encephalopathy. In this study, the gene expression of urea cycle enzymes (carbamoylphosphate synthetase (CPS1), ornithine carbamoyltransferase (OTC), argininosuccinate synthetase (ASS1), argininosuccinate lyase (ASL), and arginase (ARG1)), N-acetylglutamate synthase (NAGS), Glutamate dehydrogenase (GLUD1), and glutamate-ammonia ligase (GLUL) was evaluated in dogs with CPSS before and after surgical closure of the shunt. Additionally, immunohistochemistry was performed on urea cycle enzymes and GLUL on liver samples of healthy dogs and dogs with CPSS to investigate a possible zonal distribution of these enzymes within the liver lobule and to investigate possible differences in distribution in dogs with CPSS compared to healthy dogs. Furthermore, the effect of increasing ammonia concentrations on the expression of the urea cycle enzymes was investigated in primary hepatocytes in vitro. Gene-expression of CPS1, OTC, ASL, GLUD1 and NAGS was down regulated in dogs with CPSS and did not normalize after surgical closure of the shunt. In all dogs GLUL distribution was localized pericentrally. CPS1, OTC and ASS1 were localized periportally in healthy dogs, whereas in CPSS dogs, these enzymes lacked a clear zonal distribution. In primary hepatocytes higher ammonia concentrations induced mRNA levels of CPS1. We hypothesize that the reduction in expression of urea cycle enzymes, NAGS and GLUD1 as well as the alterations in zonal distribution in dogs with CPSS may be caused by a developmental arrest of these enzymes during the embryonic or early postnatal phase.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(6):e100077. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Circadian rhythms are responsive to external and internal cues, light and metabolism being among the most important. In mammals, the light signal is sensed by the retina and transmitted to the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) master clock , where it is integrated into the molecular oscillator via regulation of clock gene transcription. The SCN synchronizes peripheral oscillators, an effect that can be overruled by incoming metabolic signals . As a consequence, peripheral oscillators can be uncoupled from the master clock when light and metabolic signals are not in phase. The signaling pathways responsible for coupling metabolic cues to the molecular clock are being rapidly uncovered [3-5]. Here we show that insulin-phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Forkhead box class O3 (FOXO3) signaling is required for circadian rhythmicity in the liver via regulation of Clock. Knockdown of FoxO3 dampens circadian amplitude, an effect that is rescued by overexpression of Clock. Subsequently, we show binding of FOXO3 to two Daf-binding elements (DBEs) located in the Clock promoter area, implicating Clock as a transcriptional target of FOXO3. Transcriptional oscillation of both core clock and output genes in the liver of FOXO3-deficient mice is affected, indicating a disrupted hepatic circadian rhythmicity. Finally, we show that insulin, a major regulator of FOXO activity [6-9], regulates Clock levels in a PI3K- and FOXO3-dependent manner. Our data point to a key role of the insulin-FOXO3-Clock signaling pathway in the modulation of circadian rhythms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Messenger RNA (mRNA) synthesis and export are tightly linked, but the molecular mechanisms of this coupling are largely unknown. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the conserved TREX complex couples transcription to mRNA export and mediates mRNP formation. Here, we show that TREX is recruited to the transcription machinery by direct interaction of its subcomplex THO with the serine 2-serine 5 (S2/S5) diphosphorylated CTD of RNA polymerase II. S2 and/or tyrosine 1 (Y1) phosphorylation of the CTD is required for TREX occupancy in vivo, establishing a second interaction platform necessary for TREX recruitment in addition to RNA. Genome-wide analyses show that the occupancy of THO and the TREX components Sub2 and Yra1 increases from the 5' to the 3' end of the gene in accordance with the CTD S2 phosphorylation pattern. Importantly, in a mutant strain, in which TREX is recruited to genes but does not increase towards the 3' end, the expression of long transcripts is specifically impaired. Thus, we show for the first time that a 5'-3' increase of a protein complex is essential for correct expression of the genome. In summary, we provide insight into how the phospho-code of the CTD directs mRNP formation and export through TREX recruitment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transcriptional coregulators, including the acetyltransferase Tip60, have a key role in complex cellular processes such as differentiation. Whereas post-translational modifications have emerged as an important mechanism to regulate transcriptional coregulator activity, the identification of the corresponding demodifying enzymes has remained elusive. Here we show that the expression of the Tip60 protein, which is essential for adipocyte differentiation, is regulated through polyubiquitination on multiple residues. USP7, a dominant deubiquitinating enzyme in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and mouse adipose tissue, deubiquitinates Tip60 both in intact cells and in vitro and increases Tip60 protein levels. Furthermore, inhibition of USP7 expression and activity decreases adipogenesis. Transcriptome analysis reveals several cell cycle genes to be co-regulated by both Tip60 and USP7. Knockdown of either factor results in impaired mitotic clonal expansion, an early step in adipogenesis. These results reveal deubiquitination of a transcriptional coregulator to be a key mechanism in the regulation of early adipogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The kidney plays a key role in the maintenance of the magnesium (Mg(2+)) homeostasis. Specifically, the distal convoluted tubule (DCT) is instrumental in fine-tuning of the renal Mg(2+) handling. In recent years hereditary Mg(2+) transport disorders have helped to identify important players in DCT Mg(2+) homeostasis. Nevertheless, several proteins involved in DCT-mediated Mg(2+) reabsorption remains to be discovered and a full expression profile of this complex nephron segment may facilitate the discovery of new Mg(2+)-related genes. Here, we report the Mg(2+)-sensitive expression of the DCT transcriptome. To this end, transgenic mice expressing eGFP under a DCT-specific parvalbumin promoter were subjected to Mg(2+)-deficient or Mg(2+)-enriched diets. Subsequently, the Complex Object Parametric Analyzer and Sorter (COPAS) allowed for the first time isolation of eGFP-positive DCT cells. RNA extracts thereof were analyzed by DNA microarrays comparing high vs. low Mg(2+) to identify Mg(2+) regulatory genes. Based on statistical significance and a fold-change of at least two, 46 genes showed differential expression. Several known magnesiotropic genes, such as Trpm6 and Parvalbumin, were upregulated under low dietary Mg(2+). Moreover, new genes were identified that are potentially involved in renal Mg(2+) handling. To confirm that the selected candidate genes were regulated by dietary Mg(2+) availability, the expression levels of Slc41a3, Pcbd1, Tbc1d4 and Umod were determined by RT-PCR analysis. Indeed, all four genes show significant upregulation in the DCT of mice fed the Mg(2+)-deficient diet. By elucidating the Mg(2+)-sensitive DCT transcriptome new candidate genes in renal Mg(2+) handling have been identified.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accurate chromosome segregation requires that sister kinetochores biorient and attach to microtubules from opposite poles. Kinetochore biorientation relies on the underlying centromeric chromatin, which provides a platform to assemble the kinetochore and to recruit the regulatory factors that ensure the high fidelity of this process. To identify the centromeric chromatin determinants that contribute to chromosome segregation, we performed two complementary unbiased genetic screens using a library of budding yeast mutants in every residue of histone H3 and H4. In one screen, we identified mutants that lead to increased loss of a non-essential chromosome. In the second screen, we isolated mutants whose viability depends on a key regulator of biorientation, the Aurora B protein kinase. Nine mutants were common to both screens and exhibited kinetochore biorientation defects. Four of the mutants map near the unstructured nucleosome entry site and their genetic interaction with reduced IPL1 can be suppressed by increasing the dosage of SGO1, a key regulator of biorientation. In addition, the composition of purified kinetochores was altered in six of the mutants. Together, this work identifies previously unknown histone residues involved in chromosome segregation and lays the foundation for future studies on the role of the underlying chromatin structure in chromosome segregation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:Little is known about the factors that drive metastasis formation in colorectal cancer (CRC). Here, we set out to identify genes and proteins in patients with colorectal liver metastases that correlate with early disease recurrence. Such factors may predict a propensity for metastasis in earlier stages of CRC.Methods:Gene expression profiling and proteomics were used to identify differentially expressed genes/proteins in resected liver metastases that recurred within 6 months following liver surgery vs those that did not recur for >24 months. Expression of the identified genes/proteins in stage II (n=243) and III (n=176) tumours was analysed by immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays. Correlation of protein levels with stage-specific outcome was assessed by uni- and multivariable analyses.Results:Both gene expression profiling and proteomics identified Maspin to be differentially expressed in colorectal liver metastases with early (<6 months) and prolonged (>24 months) time to recurrence. Immunohistochemical analysis of Maspin expression on tumour sections revealed that it was an independent predictor of time to recurrence (log-rank P=0.004) and CRC-specific survival (P=0.000) in stage III CRC. High Maspin expression was also correlated with mucinous differentiation. In stage II CRC patients, high Maspin expression did not correlate with survival but was correlated with a right-sided tumour location.Conclusion:High Maspin expression correlates with poor outcome in CRC after spread to the local lymph nodes. Therefore, Maspin may have a stage-specific function possibly related to tumour cell dissemination and/or metastatic outgrowth.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 3 September 2013; doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.489 www.bjcancer.com.
British Journal of Cancer 09/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Foxp3 is crucial for both the development and function of regulatory T (Treg) cells; however, the posttranslational mechanisms regulating Foxp3 transcriptional output remain poorly defined. Here, we demonstrate that T cell factor 1 (TCF1) and Foxp3 associates in Treg cells and that active Wnt signaling disrupts Foxp3 transcriptional activity. A global chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing comparison in Treg cells revealed considerable overlap between Foxp3 and Wnt target genes. The activation of Wnt signaling reduced Treg-mediated suppression both in vitro and in vivo, whereas disruption of Wnt signaling in Treg cells enhanced their suppressive capacity. The activation of effector T cells increased Wnt3a production, and Wnt3a levels were found to be greatly increased in mononuclear cells isolated from synovial fluid versus peripheral blood of arthritis patients. We propose a model in which Wnt produced under inflammatory conditions represses Treg cell function, allowing a productive immune response, but, if uncontrolled, could lead to the development of autoimmunity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) lies at the core of dynamic control of gene expression. Using 53 RNAPII point mutants, we generated a point mutant epistatic miniarray profile (pE-MAP) comprising ∼60,000 quantitative genetic interactions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This analysis enabled functional assignment of RNAPII subdomains and uncovered connections between individual regions and other protein complexes. Using splicing microarrays and mutants that alter elongation rates in vitro, we found an inverse relationship between RNAPII speed and in vivo splicing efficiency. Furthermore, the pE-MAP classified fast and slow mutants that favor upstream and downstream start site selection, respectively. The striking coordination of polymerization rate with transcription initiation and splicing suggests that transcription rate is tuned to regulate multiple gene expression steps. The pE-MAP approach provides a powerful strategy to understand other multifunctional machines at amino acid resolution.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The C-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) is composed of heptapeptide repeats, which play a key regulatory role in gene expression. Using genetic interaction, chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by microarrays (ChIP-on-chip) and mRNA expression analysis, we found that truncating the CTD resulted in distinct changes to cellular function. Truncating the CTD altered RNAPII occupancy, leading to not only decreases, but also increases in mRNA levels. The latter were largely mediated by promoter elements and in part were linked to the transcription factor Rpn4. The mediator subunit Cdk8 was enriched at promoters of these genes, and its removal not only restored normal mRNA and RNAPII occupancy levels, but also reduced the abnormally high cellular amounts of Rpn4. This suggested a positive role of Cdk8 in relationship to RNAPII, which contrasted with the observed negative role at the activated INO1 gene. Here, loss of CDK8 suppressed the reduced mRNA expression and RNAPII occupancy levels of CTD truncation mutants.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mesodiencephalic dopaminergic (mdDA) neurons control locomotion and emotion and are affected in multiple psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD). The homeodomain transcription factor Pitx3 is pivotal in mdDA neuron development and loss of Pitx3 results in programming deficits in a rostrolateral subpopulation of mdDA neurons destined to form the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc), reminiscent of the specific cell loss observed in PD. We show here that in adult mice in which the gene encoding a second homeoprotein, engrailed 1 (En1), has been deleted, dramatic loss of mdDA neurons and striatal innervation defects were observed, partially reminiscent of defects observed in Pitx3(-/-) mice. We then continue to reveal developmental crosstalk between En1 and Pitx3 through genome-wide expression analysis. During development, both En1 and Pitx3 are required to induce expression of mdDA genes in the rostrolateral subset destined to form the SNc. By contrast, Pitx3 and En1 reciprocally regulate a separate gene cluster, which includes Cck, demarcating a caudal mdDA subset in wild-type embryos. Whereas En1 is crucial for induction of this caudal phenotype, Pitx3 antagonizes it rostrolaterally. The combinatorial action of En1 and Pitx3 is potentially realized through at least three levels of molecular interaction: (1) influencing each other's expression level, (2) releasing histone deacetylase-mediated repression of Nurr1 target genes and (3) modulating En1 activity through Pitx3-driven activation of En1 modulatory proteins. These findings show how two crucial mediators of mdDA neuronal development, En1 and Pitx3, interact in dopaminergic subset specification, the importance of which is exemplified by the specific vulnerability of the SNc found in PD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic interactions reveal the functional relationships between pairs of genes. In this study, we describe a method for the systematic generation and quantitation of triple mutants, termed triple-mutant analysis (TMA). We have used this approach to interrogate partially redundant pairs of genes in S. cerevisiae, including ASF1 and CAC1, two histone chaperones. After subjecting asf1Δ cac1Δ to TMA, we found that the Swi/Snf Rdh54 protein compensates for the absence of Asf1 and Cac1. Rdh54 more strongly associates with the chromatin apparatus and the pericentromeric region in the double mutant. Moreover, Asf1 is responsible for the synthetic lethality observed in cac1Δ strains lacking the HIRA-like proteins. A similar TMA was carried out after deleting both CLB5 and CLB6, cyclins that regulate DNA replication, revealing a strong functional connection to chromosome segregation. This approach can reveal functional redundancies that cannot be uncovered through traditional double-mutant analyses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transcription and mRNA export are linked processes. However, the molecular mechanisms of this coordination are not clear. Sus1 (hENY2) participates in this coordination as part of two protein complexes: SAGA, a transcriptional co-activator; TREX-2, which functions in mRNA biogenesis and export. Here, we investigate the coordinated action of SAGA and TREX-2 required for gene expression. We demonstrate that TREX-2 subunit Sem1 also participates in transcription activation. Like Sus1, Sem1 is required for the induction of ARG1 and GAL1, these being SAGA-regulated genes. Chromatin immunoprecipitations show that proper recruitment of certain SAGA subunits to the GAL1 promoter depends on Sem1. Notably, both in vivo and in vitro analyses reveal that Sem1 influences SAGA-dependent histone H2B deubiquitylation. Most of these phenotypes are also found to depend on another TREX-2 subunit, Thp1. These results unveil a new role for Sem1 in the activation of the SAGA-dependent gene GAL1 and influencing H2B deubiquitylation. Our work provides insights into a novel functional relationship between Sem1 and the SAGA complex.
Nucleic Acids Research 04/2013; · 8.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The functional organization of eukaryotic genomes correlates with specific patterns of histone methylations. Regulatory regions in genomes such as enhancers and promoters differ in their extent of methylation of histone H3 at lysine-4 (H3K4), but it is largely unknown how the different methylation states are specified and controlled. Here, we show that the Kdm5c/Jarid1c/SMCX member of the Kdm5 family of H3K4 demethylases can be recruited to both enhancer and promoter elements in mouse embryonic stem cells and in neuronal progenitor cells. Knockdown of Kdm5c deregulates transcription via local increases in H3K4me3. Our data indicate that by restricting H3K4me3 modification at core promoters, Kdm5c dampens transcription, but at enhancers Kdm5c stimulates their activity. Remarkably, an impaired enhancer function activates the intrinsic promoter activity of Kdm5c-bound distal elements. Our results demonstrate that the Kdm5c demethylase plays a crucial and dynamic role in the functional discrimination between enhancers and core promoters.