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Sample records for gene transfer tools

  1. AAV Vectors for Cardiac Gene Transfer: Experimental Tools and Clinical Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Pacak, Christina A; Byrne, Barry J

    2011-01-01

    Since the first demonstration of in vivo gene transfer into myocardium there have been a series of advancements that have driven the evolution of cardiac gene delivery from an experimental tool into a therapy currently at the threshold of becoming a viable clinical option. Innovative methods have been established to address practical challenges related to tissue-type specificity, choice of delivery vehicle, potency of the delivered material, and delivery route. Most importantly for therapeutic purposes, these strategies are being thoroughly tested to ensure safety of the delivery system and the delivered genetic material. This review focuses on the development of recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) as one of the most valuable cardiac gene transfer agents available today. Various forms of rAAV have been used to deliver “pre-event” cardiac protection and to temper the severity of hypertrophy, cardiac ischemia, or infarct size. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors have also been functional delivery tools for cardiac gene expression knockdown studies and successfully improving the cardiac aspects of several metabolic and neuromuscular diseases. Viral capsid manipulations along with the development of tissue-specific and regulated promoters have greatly increased the utility of rAAV-mediated gene transfer. Important clinical studies are currently underway to evaluate AAV-based cardiac gene delivery in humans. PMID:21792180

  2. Electro-gene-transfer as a new tool for cancer immunotherapy in animals.

    PubMed

    Impellizeri, J A; Ciliberto, G; Aurisicchio, L

    2014-12-01

    The concept of vaccines based on the direct inoculation of plasmid DNA gained initial proof-of-concept in small rodent species. Further development was hampered by the difficulty to confirm immunogenicity and efficacy in large animal species and, most importantly, in human clinical trials. These negative findings led to the search of complementary technologies which, in combination with intradermal or intramuscular plasmid DNA injection would result in more robust delivery, decreased interindividual variability, clear evidence of clinical efficacy and which would eventually lead to market approval of new vaccine products. The use of high-pressure, needleless devices as an enhancing tool for plasmid DNA delivery led to recent approval by USDA of Oncept™, a therapeutic cancer vaccine directed against tyrosinase for the therapy of melanoma in dogs. An alternative approach to improve plasmid DNA delivery is electro-gene-transfer (EGT). In this article, we briefly review the principles of DNA-EGT and the evidences for efficacy of a telomerase reverse transcriptase vaccine in a dog clinical trial, and provide perspectives for the use of this technology for broader applications in pet animals.

  3. Type IV secretion systems: tools of bacterial horizontal gene transfer and virulence.

    PubMed

    Juhas, Mario; Crook, Derrick W; Hood, Derek W

    2008-12-01

    Type IV secretion systems (T4SSs) are multisubunit cell-envelope-spanning structures, ancestrally related to bacterial conjugation machines, which transfer proteins and nucleoprotein complexes across membranes. T4SSs mediate horizontal gene transfer, thus contributing to genome plasticity and the evolution of pathogens through dissemination of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes. Moreover, T4SSs are also used for the delivery of bacterial effector proteins across the bacterial membrane and the plasmatic membrane of eukaryotic host cell, thus contributing directly to pathogenicity. T4SSs are usually encoded by multiple genes organized into a single functional unit. Based on a number of features, the organization of genetic determinants, shared homologies and evolutionary relationships, T4SSs have been divided into several groups. Type F and P (type IVA) T4SSs resembling the archetypal VirB/VirD4 system of Agrobacterium tumefaciens are considered to be the paradigm of type IV secretion, while type I (type IVB) T4SSs are found in intracellular bacterial pathogens, Legionella pneumophila and Coxiella burnetii. Several novel T4SSs have been identified recently and their functions await investigation. The most recently described GI type T4SSs play a key role in the horizontal transfer of a wide variety of genomic islands derived from a broad spectrum of bacterial strains. PMID:18549454

  4. Type IV secretion systems: tools of bacterial horizontal gene transfer and virulence.

    PubMed

    Juhas, Mario; Crook, Derrick W; Hood, Derek W

    2008-12-01

    Type IV secretion systems (T4SSs) are multisubunit cell-envelope-spanning structures, ancestrally related to bacterial conjugation machines, which transfer proteins and nucleoprotein complexes across membranes. T4SSs mediate horizontal gene transfer, thus contributing to genome plasticity and the evolution of pathogens through dissemination of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes. Moreover, T4SSs are also used for the delivery of bacterial effector proteins across the bacterial membrane and the plasmatic membrane of eukaryotic host cell, thus contributing directly to pathogenicity. T4SSs are usually encoded by multiple genes organized into a single functional unit. Based on a number of features, the organization of genetic determinants, shared homologies and evolutionary relationships, T4SSs have been divided into several groups. Type F and P (type IVA) T4SSs resembling the archetypal VirB/VirD4 system of Agrobacterium tumefaciens are considered to be the paradigm of type IV secretion, while type I (type IVB) T4SSs are found in intracellular bacterial pathogens, Legionella pneumophila and Coxiella burnetii. Several novel T4SSs have been identified recently and their functions await investigation. The most recently described GI type T4SSs play a key role in the horizontal transfer of a wide variety of genomic islands derived from a broad spectrum of bacterial strains.

  5. Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of Guignardia citricarpa: an efficient tool to gene transfer and random mutagenesis.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Maria Beatriz Calderan; Fávaro, Léia Cecília de Lima; Pallu, Ana Paula de Souza; Ferreira, Anderson; Sebastianes, Fernanda de Souza; Rodrigues, Maria Juliana Calderan; Spósito, Marcel Bellato; de Araújo, Welington Luiz; Pizzirani-Kleiner, Aline Aparecida

    2013-01-01

    Guignardia citricarpa is the causal agent of Citrus Black Spot (CBS), an important disease in Citriculture. Due to the expressive value of this activity worldwide, especially in Brazil, understanding more about the functioning of this fungus is of utmost relevance, making possible the elucidation of its infection mechanisms, and providing tools to control CBS. This work describes for the first time an efficient and successful methodology for genetic transformation of G. citricarpa mycelia, which generated transformants expressing the gene encoding for the gfp (green fluorescent protein) and also their interaction with citrus plant. Mycelia of G. citricarpa were transformed via Agrobacterium tumefaciens, which carried the plasmid pFAT-gfp, contains the genes for hygromycin resistance (hph) as well as gfp. The optimization of the agrotransformation protocol was performed testing different conditions (type of membrane; inductor agent concentration [acetosyringone - AS] and cocultivation time). Results demonstrated that the best condition occurred with the utilization of cellulose's ester membrane; 200 μM of AS and 96 h as cocultivation time. High mitotic stability (82 %) was displayed by transformants using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique to confirm the hph gene insertion. In addition, the presence of gfp was observed inside mycelia by epifluorescence optical microscopy. This technique easy visualization of the behaviour of the pathogen interacting with the plant for the first time, allowing future studies on the pathogenesis of this fungus. The establishment of a transformation method for G. citricarpa opens a range of possibilities and facilitates the study of insertional mutagenesis and genetic knockouts, in order to identify the most important genes involved in the pathogenesis mechanisms and plant-pathogen interaction.

  6. Optimizing NTS-polyplex as a tool for gene transfer to cultured dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Hernandez-Baltazar, Daniel; Martinez-Fong, Daniel; Trudeau, Louis-Eric

    2012-01-01

    The study of signal transduction in dopamine (DA)-containing neurons as well as the development of new therapeutic approaches for Parkinson's disease requires the selective expression of transgenes in such neurons. Here we describe optimization of the use of the NTS-polyplex, a gene carrier system taking advantage of neurotensin receptor internalization, to transfect mouse DA neurons in primary culture. The plasmids DsRed2 (4.7 kbp) and VGLUT2-Venus (11 kbp) were used to compare the ability of this carrier system to transfect plasmids of different sizes. We examined the impact of age of the neurons (1, 3, 5 and 8 days after seeding), of culture media used during the transfection (Neurobasal with B27 vs. conditioned medium) and of three molar ratios of plasmid DNA to carrier. While the NTS-polyplex successfully transfected both plasmids in a control N1E-115 cell line, only the pDsRed2 plasmid could be transfected in primary cultured DA neurons. We achieved 20% transfection efficiency of pDsRed2 in DA neurons, with 80% cell viability. The transfection was demonstrated pharmacologically to be dependent on activation of neurotensin receptors and to be selective for DA neurons. The presence of conditioned medium for transfection was found to be required to insure cell viability. Highest transfection efficiency was achieved in the most mature neurons. In contrast, transfection with the VGLUT2-Venus plasmid produced cell damage, most likely due to the high molar ratios required, as evidenced by a 15% cell viability of DA neurons at the three molar ratios tested (1:36, 1:39 and 1:42). We conclude that, when used at molar ratios lower than 1:33, the NTS-polyplex can selectively transfect mature cultured DA neurons with only low levels of toxicity. Our results provide evidence that the NTS-polyplex has good potential for targeted gene delivery in cultured DA neurons, an in vitro system of great use for the screening of new therapeutic approaches for Parkinson's disease.

  7. Inferring horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Ravenhall, Matt; Škunca, Nives; Lassalle, Florent; Dessimoz, Christophe

    2015-05-01

    Horizontal or Lateral Gene Transfer (HGT or LGT) is the transmission of portions of genomic DNA between organisms through a process decoupled from vertical inheritance. In the presence of HGT events, different fragments of the genome are the result of different evolutionary histories. This can therefore complicate the investigations of evolutionary relatedness of lineages and species. Also, as HGT can bring into genomes radically different genotypes from distant lineages, or even new genes bearing new functions, it is a major source of phenotypic innovation and a mechanism of niche adaptation. For example, of particular relevance to human health is the lateral transfer of antibiotic resistance and pathogenicity determinants, leading to the emergence of pathogenic lineages. Computational identification of HGT events relies upon the investigation of sequence composition or evolutionary history of genes. Sequence composition-based ("parametric") methods search for deviations from the genomic average, whereas evolutionary history-based ("phylogenetic") approaches identify genes whose evolutionary history significantly differs from that of the host species. The evaluation and benchmarking of HGT inference methods typically rely upon simulated genomes, for which the true history is known. On real data, different methods tend to infer different HGT events, and as a result it can be difficult to ascertain all but simple and clear-cut HGT events. PMID:26020646

  8. Inferring Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Lassalle, Florent; Dessimoz, Christophe

    2015-01-01

    Horizontal or Lateral Gene Transfer (HGT or LGT) is the transmission of portions of genomic DNA between organisms through a process decoupled from vertical inheritance. In the presence of HGT events, different fragments of the genome are the result of different evolutionary histories. This can therefore complicate the investigations of evolutionary relatedness of lineages and species. Also, as HGT can bring into genomes radically different genotypes from distant lineages, or even new genes bearing new functions, it is a major source of phenotypic innovation and a mechanism of niche adaptation. For example, of particular relevance to human health is the lateral transfer of antibiotic resistance and pathogenicity determinants, leading to the emergence of pathogenic lineages [1]. Computational identification of HGT events relies upon the investigation of sequence composition or evolutionary history of genes. Sequence composition-based ("parametric") methods search for deviations from the genomic average, whereas evolutionary history-based ("phylogenetic") approaches identify genes whose evolutionary history significantly differs from that of the host species. The evaluation and benchmarking of HGT inference methods typically rely upon simulated genomes, for which the true history is known. On real data, different methods tend to infer different HGT events, and as a result it can be difficult to ascertain all but simple and clear-cut HGT events. PMID:26020646

  9. Gene transfer: transduction.

    PubMed

    Frangipani, Emanuela

    2014-01-01

    Bacteriophages able to propagate on Pseudomonas strains are very common and can be easily isolated from natural environments or lysogenic strains. The development of transducing systems has allowed bacterial geneticists to perform chromosome analyses and mutation mapping. Moreover, these systems have also been proved to be a successful tool for molecular microbiologists to introduce a foreign gene or a mutation into the chromosome of a bacterial cell. This chapter provides a description of the phage methodology illustrated by Adams in 1959 and applicable to strain PAO1 derivatives. PMID:24818891

  10. Lessons learned from gene transfer approaches.

    PubMed

    Evans, C H; Ghivizzani, S C; Lechman, E R; Mi, Z; Jaffurs, D; Robbins, P D

    1999-01-01

    Recent technological advances allow the transfer of genes to the synovial lining of joints. As well as opening novel opportunities for therapy, these techniques provide valuable new tools for the study of synovitis and other aspects of the biology of joints in health and disease. This article reviews briefly the results of experiments in which selected genes have been transferred to the knee joints of healthy rabbits and rabbits with antigen-induced arthritis.

  11. Evolutionary genomics: transdomain gene transfers.

    PubMed

    Bordenstein, Seth R

    2007-11-01

    Biologists have until now conceded that bacterial gene transfer to multicellular animals is relatively uncommon in Nature. A new study showing promiscuous insertions of bacterial endosymbiont genes into invertebrate genomes ushers in a shift in this paradigm.

  12. Physical methods for gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Alsaggar, Mohammad; Liu, Dexi

    2015-01-01

    The key impediment to the successful application of gene therapy in clinics is not the paucity of therapeutic genes. It is rather the lack of nontoxic and efficient strategies to transfer therapeutic genes into target cells. Over the past few decades, considerable progress has been made in gene transfer technologies, and thus far, three different delivery systems have been developed with merits and demerits characterizing each system. Viral and chemical methods of gene transfer utilize specialized carrier to overcome membrane barrier and facilitate gene transfer into cells. Physical methods, on the other hand, utilize various forms of mechanical forces to enforce gene entry into cells. Starting in 1980s, physical methods have been introduced as alternatives to viral and chemical methods to overcome various extra- and intracellular barriers that limit the amount of DNA reaching the intended cells. Accumulating evidence suggests that it is quite feasible to directly translocate genes into cytoplasm or even nuclei of target cells by means of mechanical force, bypassing endocytosis, a common pathway for viral and nonviral vectors. Indeed, several methods have been developed, and the majority of them share the same underlying mechanism of gene transfer, i.e., physically created transient pores in cell membrane through which genes get into cells. Here, we provide an overview of the current status and future research directions in the field of physical methods of gene transfer.

  13. Lateral gene transfer in eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Andersson, J O

    2005-06-01

    Lateral gene transfer -- the transfer of genetic material between species -- has been acknowledged as a major mechanism in prokaryotic genome evolution for some time. Recently accumulating data indicate that the process also occurs in the evolution of eukaryotic genomes. However, there are large rate variations between groups of eukaryotes; animals and fungi seem to be largely unaffected, with a few exceptions, while lateral gene transfer frequently occurs in protists with phagotrophic lifestyles, possibly with rates comparable to prokaryotic organisms. Gene transfers often facilitate the acquisition of functions encoded in prokaryotic genomes by eukaryotic organisms, which may enable them to colonize new environments. Transfers between eukaryotes also occur, mainly into larger phagotrophic eukaryotes that ingest eukaryotic cells, but also between plant lineages. These findings have implications for eukaryotic genomic research in general, and studies of the origin and phylogeny of eukaryotes in particular.

  14. Gene Transfer into Cardiac Myocytes

    PubMed Central

    Lang, Sarah E.; Westfall, Margaret V.

    2016-01-01

    Traditional methods for DNA transfection are often inefficient and toxic for terminally differentiated cells, such as cardiac myocytes. Vector-based gene transfer is an efficient approach for introducing exogenous cDNA into these types of primary cell cultures. In this chapter, separate protocols for adult rat cardiac myocyte isolation and gene transfer with recombinant adenovirus are provided and are routinely utilized for studying the effects of sarcomeric proteins on myofilament function. PMID:25836585

  15. Horizontal gene transfer in choanoflagellates.

    PubMed

    Tucker, Richard P

    2013-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), also known as lateral gene transfer, results in the rapid acquisition of genes from another organism. HGT has long been known to be a driving force in speciation in prokaryotes, and there is evidence for HGT from symbiotic and infectious bacteria to metazoans, as well as from protists to bacteria. Recently, it has become clear that as many as a 1,000 genes in the genome of the choanoflagellate Monosiga brevicollis may have been acquired by HGT. Interestingly, these genes reportedly come from algae, bacteria, and other choanoflagellate prey. Some of these genes appear to have allowed an ancestral choanoflagellate to exploit nutrient-poor environments and were not passed on to metazoan descendents. However, some of these genes are also found in animal genomes, suggesting that HGT into a common ancestor of choanozoans and animals may have contributed to metazoan evolution.

  16. Panspermia and horizontal gene transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klyce, Brig

    2009-08-01

    Evidence that extremophiles are hardy and ubiquitous is helping to make panspermia a respectable theory. But even if life on Earth originally came from space, biologists assume that the subsequent evolution of life is still governed by the darwinian paradigm. In this review we show how panspermia could amend darwinism and point to a cosmic source for, not only extremophiles but, all of life. This version of panspermia can be called "strong panspermia." To support this theory we will discuss recent evidence pertaining to horizontal gene transfer, viruses, genes apparently older than the Earthly evolution of the features they encode, and primate-specific genes without identifiable precursors.

  17. Perinatal Gene Transfer to the Liver

    PubMed Central

    McKay, Tristan R; Rahim, Ahad A; Buckley, Suzanne M.K; Ward, Natalie J; Chan, Jerry K.Y; Howe, Steven J; Waddington, Simon N

    2011-01-01

    The liver acts as a host to many functions hence raising the possibility that any one may be compromised by a single gene defect. Inherited or de novo mutations in these genes may result in relatively mild diseases or be so devastating that death within the first weeks or months of life is inevitable. Some diseases can be managed using conventional medicines whereas others are, as yet, untreatable. In this review we consider the application of early intervention gene therapy in neonatal and fetal preclinical studies. We appraise the tools of this technology, including lentivirus, adenovirus and adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based vectors. We highlight the application of these for a range of diseases including hemophilia, urea cycle disorders such as ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency, organic acidemias, lysosomal storage diseases including mucopolysaccharidoses, glycogen storage diseases and bile metabolism. We conclude by assessing the advantages and disadvantages associated with fetal and neonatal liver gene transfer. PMID:21774770

  18. Ethics of Cancer Gene Transfer Clinical Research.

    PubMed

    Kimmelman, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Translation of cancer gene transfer confronts many familiar-and some distinctive-ethical challenges. In what follows, I survey three major ethical dimensions of cancer gene transfer development. Subheading 1 centers on the ethics of planning, designing, and reporting animal studies. Subheading 2 describes basic elements of human subjects protection as pertaining to cancer gene transfer. In Subheading 3, I describe how cancer gene transfer researchers have obligations to downstream consumers of the evidence they produce.

  19. Methods for Gene Transfer to the Central Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Kantor, Boris; Bailey, Rachel M.; Wimberly, Keon; Kalburgi, Sahana N.; Gray, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Gene transfer is an increasingly utilized approach for research and clinical applications involving the central nervous system (CNS). Vectors for gene transfer can be as simple as an unmodified plasmid, but more commonly involve complex modifications to viruses to make them suitable gene delivery vehicles. This chapter will explain how tools for CNS gene transfer have been derived from naturally occurring viruses. The current capabilities of plasmid, retroviral, adeno-associated virus, adenovirus, and herpes simplex virus vectors for CNS gene delivery will be described. These include both focal and global CNS gene transfer strategies, with short- or long-term gene expression. As is described in this chapter, an important aspect of any vector is the cis-acting regulatory elements incorporated into the vector genome that control when, where, and how the transgene is expressed. PMID:25311922

  20. Introductory Tools for Radiative Transfer Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feldman, D.; Kuai, L.; Natraj, V.; Yung, Y.

    2006-12-01

    Satellite data are currently so voluminous that, despite their unprecedented quality and potential for scientific application, only a small fraction is analyzed due to two factors: researchers' computational constraints and a relatively small number of researchers actively utilizing the data. Ultimately it is hoped that the terabytes of unanalyzed data being archived can receive scientific scrutiny but this will require a popularization of the methods associated with the analysis. Since a large portion of complexity is associated with the proper implementation of the radiative transfer model, it is reasonable and appropriate to make the model as accessible as possible to general audiences. Unfortunately, the algorithmic and conceptual details that are necessary for state-of-the-art analysis also tend to frustrate the accessibility for those new to remote sensing. Several efforts have been made to have web- based radiative transfer calculations, and these are useful for limited calculations, but analysis of more than a few spectra requires the utilization of home- or server-based computing resources. We present a system that is designed to allow for easier access to radiative transfer models with implementation on a home computing platform in the hopes that this system can be utilized in and expanded upon in advanced high school and introductory college settings. This learning-by-doing process is aided through the use of several powerful tools. The first is a wikipedia-style introduction to the salient features of radiative transfer that references the seminal works in the field and refers to more complicated calculations and algorithms sparingly5. The second feature is a technical forum, commonly referred to as a tiki-wiki, that addresses technical and conceptual questions through public postings, private messages, and a ranked searching routine. Together, these tools may be able to facilitate greater interest in the field of remote sensing.

  1. Gene transfer and expression in plants.

    PubMed

    Lorence, Argelia; Verpoorte, Robert

    2004-01-01

    Until recently, agriculture and plant breeding relied solely on the accumulated experience of generations of farmers and breeders that is, on sexual transfer of genes between plant species. However, recent developments in plant molecular biology and genomics now give us access to knowledge and understanding of plant genomes and the possibility of modifying them. This chapter presents an updated overview of the two most powerful technologies for transferring genetic material (DNA) into plants: Agrobacterium-mediated transformation and microparticle bombardment (biolistics). Some of the topics that are discussed in detail are the main variables controlling the transformation efficiency that can be achieved using each one of these approaches; the advantages and limitations of each methodology; transient versus stable transformation approaches; the potential of some in planta transformation systems; alternatives to developing transgenic plants without selection markers; the availability of diverse genetic tools generated as part of the genome sequencing of different plant species; transgene expression, gene silencing, and their association with regulatory elements; and prospects and ways to possibly overcome some transgene expression difficulties, in particular the use of matrix-attachment regions (MARs).

  2. Lateral Gene Transfer from the Dead

    PubMed Central

    Szöllősi, Gergely J.; Tannier, Eric; Lartillot, Nicolas; Daubin, Vincent

    2013-01-01

    In phylogenetic studies, the evolution of molecular sequences is assumed to have taken place along the phylogeny traced by the ancestors of extant species. In the presence of lateral gene transfer, however, this may not be the case, because the species lineage from which a gene was transferred may have gone extinct or not have been sampled. Because it is not feasible to specify or reconstruct the complete phylogeny of all species, we must describe the evolution of genes outside the represented phylogeny by modeling the speciation dynamics that gave rise to the complete phylogeny. We demonstrate that if the number of sampled species is small compared with the total number of existing species, the overwhelming majority of gene transfers involve speciation to and evolution along extinct or unsampled lineages. We show that the evolution of genes along extinct or unsampled lineages can to good approximation be treated as those of independently evolving lineages described by a few global parameters. Using this result, we derive an algorithm to calculate the probability of a gene tree and recover the maximum-likelihood reconciliation given the phylogeny of the sampled species. Examining 473 near-universal gene families from 36 cyanobacteria, we find that nearly a third of transfer events (28%) appear to have topological signatures of evolution along extinct species, but only approximately 6% of transfers trace their ancestry to before the common ancestor of the sampled cyanobacteria. [Gene tree reconciliation; lateral gene transfer; macroevolution; phylogeny.] PMID:23355531

  3. Gene transfer from genetically modified food.

    PubMed

    Gasson, M J

    2000-10-01

    The current debate about the safety of genetically modified food includes some important scientific issues where more scientific data would aid the robustness of safety evaluation. One example is the possibility of gene transfer, especially from genetically modified plant material.

  4. Gene transfer into mammalian somatic cells in vivo.

    PubMed

    Yang, N S

    1992-01-01

    Direct gene transfer into mammalian somatic tissues in vivo is a developing technology with potential application for human gene therapy. During the past 2 years, extensive progress and numerous breakthroughs have been made in this area of research. Genetically engineered retroviral vectors have been used successfully to infect live animals, effecting foreign gene expression in liver, blood vessels, and mammary tissues. Recombinant adenovirus and herpes simplex virus vectors have been utilized effectively for in vivo gene transfer into lung and brain tissues, respectively. Direct injection or particle bombardment of DNA has been demonstrated to provide a physical means for in situ gene transfer, while carrier-mediated DNA delivery techniques have been extended to target specific organs for gene expression. These technological developments in conjunction with the initiation of the NIH human gene therapy trials have marked a milestone in developing new medical treatments for various genetic diseases and cancer. Various in vivo gene transfer techniques should also provide new tools for basic research in molecular and developmental genetics.

  5. Gene Transfers Between Distantly Related Organisms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doolittle, Russell F.

    2003-01-01

    With the completion of numerous microbial genome sequences, reports of individual gene transfers between distantly related prokaryotes have become commonplace. On the other hand, transfers between prokaryotes and eukaryotes still excite the imagination. Many of these claims may be premature, but some are certainly valid. In this chapter, the kinds of supporting data needed to propose transfers between distantly related organisms and cite some interesting examples are considered.

  6. Signature Genes as a Phylogenomic Tool

    PubMed Central

    Snel, Berend; Ettema, Thijs J. G.; Huynen, Martijn A.

    2008-01-01

    Gene content has been shown to contain a strong phylogenetic signal, yet its usage for phylogenetic questions is hampered by horizontal gene transfer and parallel gene loss and until now required completely sequenced genomes. Here, we introduce an approach that allows the phylogenetic signal in gene content to be applied to any set of sequences, using signature genes for phylogenetic classification. The hundreds of publicly available genomes allow us to identify signature genes at various taxonomic depths, and we show how the presence of signature genes in an unspecified sample can be used to characterize its taxonomic composition. We identify 8,362 signature genes specific for 112 prokaryotic taxa. We show that these signature genes can be used to address phylogenetic questions on the basis of gene content in cases where classic gene content or sequence analyses provide an ambiguous answer, such as for Nanoarchaeum equitans, and even in cases where complete genomes are not available, such as for metagenomics data. Cross-validation experiments leaving out up to 30% of the species show that ∼92% of the signature genes correctly place the species in a related clade. Analyses of metagenomics data sets with the signature gene approach are in good agreement with the previously reported species distributions based on phylogenetic analysis of marker genes. Summarizing, signature genes can complement traditional sequence-based methods in addressing taxonomic questions. PMID:18492663

  7. Lateral gene transfer from the dead.

    PubMed

    Szöllosi, Gergely J; Tannier, Eric; Lartillot, Nicolas; Daubin, Vincent

    2013-05-01

    In phylogenetic studies, the evolution of molecular sequences is assumed to have taken place along the phylogeny traced by the ancestors of extant species. In the presence of lateral gene transfer, however, this may not be the case, because the species lineage from which a gene was transferred may have gone extinct or not have been sampled. Because it is not feasible to specify or reconstruct the complete phylogeny of all species, we must describe the evolution of genes outside the represented phylogeny by modeling the speciation dynamics that gave rise to the complete phylogeny. We demonstrate that if the number of sampled species is small compared with the total number of existing species, the overwhelming majority of gene transfers involve speciation to and evolution along extinct or unsampled lineages. We show that the evolution of genes along extinct or unsampled lineages can to good approximation be treated as those of independently evolving lineages described by a few global parameters. Using this result, we derive an algorithm to calculate the probability of a gene tree and recover the maximum-likelihood reconciliation given the phylogeny of the sampled species. Examining 473 near-universal gene families from 36 cyanobacteria, we find that nearly a third of transfer events (28%) appear to have topological signatures of evolution along extinct species, but only approximately 6% of transfers trace their ancestry to before the common ancestor of the sampled cyanobacteria.

  8. DETECTING EVOLUTIONARY TRANSFER OF GENES USING PhIGs(1).

    PubMed

    Boore, Jeffrey L

    2008-02-01

    Organisms have acquired plastids by convoluted paths that have provided multiple opportunities for gene transfer into a host nucleus from intracellular organisms, including the cyanobacterial ancestor of plastids, the proteobacterial ancestor of mitochondria, and both green and red algae whose engulfment has led to secondary acquisition of plastids. These gene movements are most accurately demonstrated by building phylogenetic trees that identify the evolutionary origin of each gene, and one effective tool for this is "PhIGs" (Phylogenetically Inferred Groups; http://PhIGs.org), a set of databases and computer tools with a Web interface for whole-genome evolutionary analysis. PhIGs takes as input gene sets of completely sequenced genomes, builds clusters of genes using a novel, graph-based approach, and reconstructs the evolutionary relationships among all gene families. The user can view and download the sequence alignments, compare intron-exon structures, and follow links to functional genomic databases. Currently, PhIGs contains 652,756 genes from 45 genomes grouped into 61,059 gene families. Graphical displays show the relative positions of these genes among genomes. PhIGs has been used to detect the evolutionary transfer of hundreds of genes from cyanobacteria and red algae into oömycete nuclear genomes, revealing that even though they have no plastids, their ancestors did, having secondarily acquired them from an intracellular red alga. A great number of genomes are soon to become available that are relevant to our broader understanding of the movement of genes among intracellular compartments after engulfing other organisms, and PhIGs will be an effective tool to interpret these gene movements.

  9. Horizontal gene transfer of stress resistance genes through plasmid transport.

    PubMed

    Shoeb, Erum; Badar, Uzma; Akhter, Jameela; Shams, Hina; Sultana, Maria; Ansari, Maqsood A

    2012-03-01

    The horizontal gene transfer of plasmid-determined stress tolerance was achieved under lab conditions. Bacterial isolates, Enterobacter cloacae (DGE50) and Escherichia coli (DGE57) were used throughout the study. Samples were collected from contaminated marine water and soil to isolate bacterial strains having tolerance against heavy metals and antimicrobial agents. We have demonstrated plasmid transfer, from Amp(+)Cu(+)Zn(-) strain (DGE50) to Amp(-)Cu(-)Zn(+) strain (DGE57), producing Amp(+)Cu(+)Zn(+) transconjugants (DGE(TC50→57)) and Amp(+)Cu(-)Zn(+) transformants (DGE(TF50→57)). DGE57 did not carry any plasmid, therefore, it can be speculated that zinc tolerance gene in DGE57 is located on chromosome. DGE50 was found to carry three plasmids, out of which two were transferred through conjugation into DGE57, and only one was transferred through transformation. Plasmid transferred through transformation was one out of the two transferred through conjugation. Through the results of transformation it was revealed that the genes of copper and ampicillin tolerance in DGE50 were located on separate plasmids, since only ampicillin tolerance genes were transferred through transformation as a result of one plasmid transfer. By showing transfer of plasmids under lab conditions and monitoring retention of respective phenotype via conjugation and transformation, it is very well demonstrated how multiple stress tolerant strains are generated in nature. PMID:22805823

  10. Specific Gene Repression by CRISPRi System Transferred through Bacterial Conjugation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    In microbial communities, bacterial populations are commonly controlled using indiscriminate, broad range antibiotics. There are few ways to target specific strains effectively without disrupting the entire microbiome and local environment. Here, we use conjugation, a natural DNA horizontal transfer process among bacterial species, to deliver an engineered CRISPR interference (CRISPRi) system for targeting specific genes in recipient Escherichia coli cells. We show that delivery of the CRISPRi system is successful and can specifically repress a reporter gene in recipient cells, thereby establishing a new tool for gene regulation across bacterial cells and potentially for bacterial population control. PMID:25409531

  11. Gene transfer mediated by alpha2-macroglobulin.

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, H; Huse, K; Birkenmeier, G; Otto, A; Scholz, G H

    1996-01-01

    alpha2-Macroglobulin covalently linked to poly(L)-lysine can be used as a vehicle for receptor-mediated gene transfer. This modified alpha2-macroglobulin maintains its ability to bind to the alpha2-macroglobulin receptor, and was shown to introduce a luciferase reporter gene plasmid into HepG2 human hepatoma cells in vitro. The alpha2-macroglobulin receptor is a very large and multifunctional cell surface receptor, whose rapid and efficient internalization rate makes it attractive for gene therapy, e.g. for hepatic gene targeting via injection into the portal vein. PMID:8871570

  12. Important aspects of placental-specific gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Kaufman, Melissa R; Albers, Renee E; Keoni, Chanel; Kulkarni-Datar, Kashmira; Natale, David R; Brown, Thomas L

    2014-10-15

    The placenta is a unique and highly complex organ that develops only during pregnancy and is essential for growth and survival of the developing fetus. The placenta provides the vital exchange of gases and wastes, the necessary nutrients for fetal development, acts as immune barrier that protects against maternal rejection, and produces numerous hormones and growth factors that promote fetal maturity to regulate pregnancy until parturition. Abnormal placental development is a major underlying cause of pregnancy-associated disorders that often result in preterm birth. Defects in placental stem cell propagation, growth, and differentiation are the major factors that affect embryonic and fetal well-being and dramatically increase the risk of pregnancy complications. Understanding the processes that regulate placentation is important in determining the underlying factors behind abnormal placental development. The ability to manipulate genes in a placenta-specific manner provides a unique tool to analyze development and eliminates potentially confounding results that can occur with traditional gene knockouts. Trophoblast stem cells and mouse embryos are not overly amenable to traditional gene transfer techniques. Most viral vectors, however, have a low infection rate and often lead to mosaic transgenesis. Although the traditional method of embryo transfer is intrauterine surgical implantation, the methodology reported here, combining lentiviral blastocyst infection and nonsurgical embryo transfer, leads to highly efficient and placental-specific gene transfer. Numerous advantages of our optimized procedures include increased investigator safety, a reduction in animal stress, rapid and noninvasive embryo transfer, and higher a rate of pregnancy and live birth.

  13. Viral Vectors for in Vivo Gene Transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thévenot, E.; Dufour, N.; Déglon, N.

    The transfer of DNA into the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell (gene transfer) is a central theme of modern biology. The transfer is said to be somatic when it refers to non-germline organs of a developed individual, and germline when it concerns gametes or the fertilised egg of an animal, with the aim of transmitting the relevant genetic modification to its descendents [1]. The efficient introduction of genetic material into a somatic or germline cell and the control of its expression over time have led to major advances in understanding how genes work in vivo, i.e., in living organisms (functional genomics), but also to the development of innovative therapeutic methods (gene therapy). The efficiency of gene transfer is conditioned by the vehicle used, called the vector. Desirable features for a vector are as follows: Easy to produce high titer stocks of the vector in a reproducible way. Absence of toxicity related to transduction (transfer of genetic material into the target cell, and its expression there) and no immune reaction of the organism against the vector and/or therapeutic protein. Stability in the expression of the relevant gene over time, and the possibility of regulation, e.g., to control expression of the therapeutic protein on the physiological level, or to end expression at the end of treatment. Transduction of quiescent cells should be as efficient as transduction of dividing cells. Vectors currently used fall into two categories: non-viral and viral vectors. In non-viral vectors, the DNA is complexed with polymers, lipids, or cationic detergents (described in Chap. 3). These vectors have a low risk of toxicity and immune reaction. However, they are less efficient in vivo than viral vectors when it comes to the number of cells transduced and long-term transgene expression. (Naked DNA transfer or electroporation is rather inefficient in the organism. This type of gene transfer will not be discussed here, and the interested reader is referred to the

  14. Tool transfers are a form of teaching among chimpanzees

    PubMed Central

    Musgrave, Stephanie; Morgan, David; Lonsdorf, Elizabeth; Mundry, Roger; Sanz, Crickette

    2016-01-01

    Teaching is a form of high-fidelity social learning that promotes human cumulative culture. Although recently documented in several nonhuman animals, teaching is rare among primates. In this study, we show that wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) in the Goualougo Triangle teach tool skills by providing learners with termite fishing probes. Tool donors experienced significant reductions in tool use and feeding, while tool recipients significantly increased their tool use and feeding after tool transfers. These transfers meet functional criteria for teaching: they occur in a learner’s presence, are costly to the teacher, and improve the learner’s performance. Donors also showed sophisticated cognitive strategies that effectively buffered them against potential costs. Teaching is predicted when less costly learning mechanisms are insufficient. Given that these chimpanzees manufacture sophisticated, brush-tipped fishing probes from specific raw materials, teaching in this population may relate to the complexity of these termite-gathering tasks. PMID:27725706

  15. Evolution of gene fusions: horizontal transfer versus independent events

    PubMed Central

    Yanai, Itai; Wolf, Yuri I; Koonin, Eugene V

    2002-01-01

    Background Gene fusions can be used as tools for functional prediction and also as evolutionary markers. Fused genes often show a scattered phyletic distribution, which suggests a role for processes other than vertical inheritance in their evolution. Results The evolutionary history of gene fusions was studied by phylogenetic analysis of the domains in the fused proteins and the orthologous domains that form stand-alone proteins. Clustering of fusion components from phylogenetically distant species was construed as evidence of dissemination of the fused genes by horizontal transfer. Of the 51 examined gene fusions that are represented in at least two of the three primary kingdoms (Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryota), 31 were most probably disseminated by cross-kingdom horizontal gene transfer, whereas 14 appeared to have evolved independently in different kingdoms and two were probably inherited from the common ancestor of modern life forms. On many occasions, the evolutionary scenario also involves one or more secondary fissions of the fusion gene. For approximately half of the fusions, stand-alone forms of the fusion components are encoded by juxtaposed genes, which are known or predicted to belong to the same operon in some of the prokaryotic genomes. This indicates that evolution of gene fusions often, if not always, involves an intermediate stage, during which the future fusion components exist as juxtaposed and co-regulated, but still distinct, genes within operons. Conclusion These findings suggest a major role for horizontal transfer of gene fusions in the evolution of protein-domain architectures, but also indicate that independent fusions of the same pair of domains in distant species is not uncommon, which suggests positive selection for the multidomain architectures. PMID:12049665

  16. Technology Transfer Challenges for High-Assurance Software Engineering Tools

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koga, Dennis (Technical Monitor); Penix, John; Markosian, Lawrence Z.

    2003-01-01

    In this paper, we describe our experience with the challenges thar we are currently facing in our effort to develop advanced software verification and validation tools. We categorize these challenges into several areas: cost benefits modeling, tool usability, customer application domain, and organizational issues. We provide examples of challenges in each area and identrfj, open research issues in areas which limit our ability to transfer high-assurance software engineering tools into practice.

  17. Adenoviral vector-mediated gene transfer for human gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Breyer, B; Jiang, W; Cheng, H; Zhou, L; Paul, R; Feng, T; He, T C

    2001-07-01

    Human gene therapy promises to change the practice of medicine by treating the causes of disease rather than the symptoms. Since the first clinical trial made its debut ten years ago, there are over 400 approved protocols in the United States alone, most of which have failed to show convincing data of clinical efficacy. This setback is largely due to the lack of efficient and adequate gene transfer vehicles. With the recent progress in elucidating the molecular mechanisms of human diseases and the imminent arrival of the post genomic era, there are increasing numbers of therapeutic genes or targets that are available for gene therapy. Therefore, the urgency and need for efficacious gene therapies are greater than ever. Clearly, the current fundamental obstacle is to develop delivery vectors that exhibit high efficacy and specificity of gene transfer. Recombinant adenoviruses have provided a versatile system for gene expression studies and therapeutic applications. Of late, there has been a remarkable increase in adenoviral vector-based clinical trials. Recent endeavors in the development of recombinant adenoviral vectors have focused on modification of virus tropism, accommodation of larger genes, increase in stability and control of transgene expression, and down-modulation of host immune responses. These modifications and continued improvements in adenoviral vectors will provide a great opportunity for human gene therapy to live up to its enormous potential in the second decade.

  18. TREX: a universal tool for the transfer and expression of biosynthetic pathways in bacteria.

    PubMed

    Loeschcke, Anita; Markert, Annette; Wilhelm, Susanne; Wirtz, Astrid; Rosenau, Frank; Jaeger, Karl-Erich; Drepper, Thomas

    2013-01-18

    Secondary metabolites represent a virtually inexhaustible source of natural molecules exhibiting a high potential as pharmaceuticals or chemical building blocks. To gain broad access to these compounds, sophisticated expression systems are needed that facilitate the transfer and expression of large chromosomal regions, whose genes encode complex metabolic pathways. Here, we report on the development of the novel system for the transfer and expression of biosynthetic pathways (TREX), which comprises all functional elements necessary for the delivery and concerted expression of clustered pathway genes in different bacteria. TREX employs (i) conjugation for DNA transfer, (ii) randomized transposition for its chromosomal insertion, and (iii) T7 RNA polymerase for unimpeded bidirectional gene expression. The applicability of the TREX system was demonstrated by establishing the biosynthetic pathways of two pigmented secondary metabolites, zeaxanthin and prodigiosin, in bacteria with different metabolic capacities. Thus, TREX represents a valuable tool for accessing natural products by allowing comparative expression studies with clustered genes. PMID:23656323

  19. Detection of Horizontal Gene Transfers from Phylogenetic Comparisons

    PubMed Central

    Pylro, Victor Satler; Vespoli, Luciano de Souza; Duarte, Gabriela Frois; Yotoko, Karla Suemy Clemente

    2012-01-01

    Bacterial phylogenies have become one of the most important challenges for microbial ecology. This field started in the mid-1970s with the aim of using the sequence of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (16S) tool to infer bacterial phylogenies. Phylogenetic hypotheses based on other sequences usually give conflicting topologies that reveal different evolutionary histories, which in some cases may be the result of horizontal gene transfer events. Currently, one of the major goals of molecular biology is to understand the role that horizontal gene transfer plays in species adaptation and evolution. In this work, we compared the phylogenetic tree based on 16S with the tree based on dszC, a gene involved in the cleavage of carbon-sulfur bonds. Bacteria of several genera perform this survival task when living in environments lacking free mineral sulfur. The biochemical pathway of the desulphurization process was extensively studied due to its economic importance, since this step is expensive and indispensable in fuel production. Our results clearly show that horizontal gene transfer events could be detected using common phylogenetic methods with gene sequences obtained from public sequence databases. PMID:22675653

  20. Lateral gene transfer in the subsurface

    SciTech Connect

    Barkay, Tamar; Sobecky, Patricia

    2007-08-27

    Lateral gene transfer (LGT) is an important adaptive mechanism among prokaryotic organisms. This mechanism is particularly important for the response of microorganisms to changing environmental conditions because it facilitates the transfer of a large number of genes and their rapid expression. Together the transferred genes promote rapid genetic and metabolic changes that may enhance survival to newly established and sometimes hostile environmental conditions. The goal of our project was to examine if and how LGT enhances microbial adaptation to toxic heavy metals in subsurface environments that had been contaminated by mixed wastes due to activities associated with the production of nuclear energy and weapons. This task has been accomplished by dividing the project to several sub-tasks. Thus, we: (1) Determined the level of resistance of subsurface bacterial isolates to several toxic metals, all identified as pollutants of concern in subsurface environments; (2) Designed, tested, and applied, a molecular approach that determined whether metal resistance genes had evolved by LGT among subsurface bacteria; and (3) Developed a DNA hybridization array for the identification of broad host range plasmids and of metal resistance plasmids. The results are briefly summarized below with references to published papers and manuscripts in preparation where details about our research can be found. Additional information may be found in copies of our published manuscripts and conference proceedings, and our yearly reports that were submitted through the RIMS system.

  1. Detecting Horizontal Gene Transfer between Closely Related Taxa.

    PubMed

    Adato, Orit; Ninyo, Noga; Gophna, Uri; Snir, Sagi

    2015-10-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), the transfer of genetic material between organisms, is crucial for genetic innovation and the evolution of genome architecture. Existing HGT detection algorithms rely on a strong phylogenetic signal distinguishing the transferred sequence from ancestral (vertically derived) genes in its recipient genome. Detecting HGT between closely related species or strains is challenging, as the phylogenetic signal is usually weak and the nucleotide composition is normally nearly identical. Nevertheless, there is a great importance in detecting HGT between congeneric species or strains, especially in clinical microbiology, where understanding the emergence of new virulent and drug-resistant strains is crucial, and often time-sensitive. We developed a novel, self-contained technique named Near HGT, based on the synteny index, to measure the divergence of a gene from its native genomic environment and used it to identify candidate HGT events between closely related strains. The method confirms candidate transferred genes based on the constant relative mutability (CRM). Using CRM, the algorithm assigns a confidence score based on "unusual" sequence divergence. A gene exhibiting exceptional deviations according to both synteny and mutability criteria, is considered a validated HGT product. We first employed the technique to a set of three E. coli strains and detected several highly probable horizontally acquired genes. We then compared the method to existing HGT detection tools using a larger strain data set. When combined with additional approaches our new algorithm provides richer picture and brings us closer to the goal of detecting all newly acquired genes in a particular strain. PMID:26439115

  2. Clinical Applications Involving CNS Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Kantor, Boris; McCown, Thomas; Leone, Paola; Gray, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) have traditionally been the most difficult to treat by traditional pharmacological methods, due mostly to the blood–brain barrier and the difficulties associated with repeated drug administration targeting the CNS. Viral vector gene transfer represents a way to permanently provide a therapeutic protein within the nervous system after a single administration, whether this be a gene replacement strategy for an inherited disorder or a disease-modifying protein for a disease such as Parkinson's. Gene therapy approaches for CNS disorders has evolved considerably over the last two decades. Although a breakthrough treatment has remained elusive, current strategies are now considerably safer and potentially much more effective. This chapter will explore the past, current, and future status of CNS gene therapy, focusing on clinical trials utilizing adeno-associated virus and lentiviral vectors. PMID:25311921

  3. Gene transfer between streptomycetes in soil.

    PubMed

    Wellington, E M; Cresswell, N; Herron, P R

    1992-06-15

    The growth and activity of Streptomyces violaceolatus and Streptomyces lividans was studied in soil under controlled conditions. The life cycle was followed under differing nutrient regimes and the fate of plasmid- and phage-borne genes determined by direct and indirect techniques. Methods were developed for the direct monitoring of plasmid DNA extracted from soil which allowed differentiation of the cellular location of plasmid DNA between mycelium and spores. In a dynamic, nutrient-fed soil microcosm, inoculants survived poorly, but a specific stage was defined by direct and indirect methods when the inoculants were most active and this correlated with the detection of gene transfer events. Plasmid transfer, phage infection and lysogeny only occurred to a significant extent within this stage at days 15-17 during a 60-day incubation. Estimates based on plasmid DNA recovery indicated that viable counts underestimated spore and mycelial propagules by a factor of greater than 100.

  4. Endosymbiotic gene transfer and transcriptional regulation of transferred genes in Paulinella chromatophora.

    PubMed

    Nowack, Eva C M; Vogel, Heiko; Groth, Marco; Grossman, Arthur R; Melkonian, Michael; Glöckner, Gernot

    2011-01-01

    Paulinella chromatophora is a cercozoan amoeba that contains "chromatophores," which are photosynthetic inclusions of cyanobacterial origin. The recent discovery that chromatophores evolved independently of plastids, underwent major genome reduction, and transferred at least two genes to the host nucleus has highlighted P. chromatophora as a model to infer early steps in the evolution of photosynthetic organelles. However, owing to the paucity of nuclear genome sequence data, the extent of endosymbiotic gene transfer (EGT) and host symbiont regulation are currently unknown. A combination of 454 and Illumina next generation sequencing enabled us to generate a comprehensive reference transcriptome data set for P. chromatophora on which we mapped short Illumina cDNA reads generated from cultures from the dark and light phases of a diel cycle. Combined with extensive phylogenetic analyses of the deduced protein sequences, these data revealed that 1) about 0.3-0.8% of the nuclear genes were obtained by EGT compared with 11-14% in the Plantae, 2) transferred genes show a distinct bias in that many encode small proteins involved in photosynthesis and photoacclimation, 3) host cells established control over expression of transferred genes, and 4) not only EGT, but to a minor extent also horizontal gene transfer from organisms that presumably served as food sources, helped to shape the nuclear genome of P. chromatophora. The identification of a significant number of transferred genes involved in photosynthesis and photoacclimation of thylakoid membranes as well as the observed transcriptional regulation of these genes strongly implies import of the encoded gene products into chromatophores, a feature previously thought to be restricted to canonical organelles. Thus, a possible mechanism by which P. chromatophora exerts control over the performance of its newly acquired photosynthetic organelle may involve controlling the expression of nuclear-encoded chromatophore

  5. RANGE: Gene Transfer of Reversibly Controlled Polycistronic Genes

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yiwei; Cao, Liji; Luo, Chonglin; Ditzel, Désirée AW; Peter, Jörg; Sprengel, Rolf

    2013-01-01

    We developed a single vector recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) expression system for spatial and reversible control of polycistronic gene expression. Our approach (i) integrates the advantages of the tetracycline (Tet)-controlled transcriptional silencer tTSKid and the self-cleaving 2A peptide bridge, (ii) combines essential regulatory components as an autoregulatory loop, (iii) simplifies the gene delivery scheme, and (iv) regulates multiple genes in a synchronized manner. Controlled by an upstream Tet-responsive element (TRE), both the ubiquitous chicken β-actin promoter (CAG) and the neuron-specific synapsin-1 promoter (Syn) could regulate expression of tTSKid together with two 2A-linked reporter genes. Transduction in vitro exhibited maximally 50-fold regulation by doxycycline (Dox). Determined by gene delivery method as well as promoter, highly specific tissues were transduced in vivo. Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) visualized reversible “ON/OFF” gene switches over repeated “Doxy-Cycling” in living mice. Thus, the reversible rAAV-mediated N-cistronic gene expression system, termed RANGE, may serve as a versatile tool to achieve reversible polycistronic gene regulation for the study of gene function as well as gene therapy. PMID:23571608

  6. Foamy virus vectors for gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    Trobridge, Grant D.

    2009-01-01

    Foamy virus (FV) vectors are efficient gene delivery vehicles that have shown great promise for gene therapy in preclinical animal models. FVs or spumaretroviruses are not endemic in humans, but are prevalent in nonhuman primates and in other mammals. They have evolved means for efficient horizontal transmission in their host species without pathology. FV vectors have several unique properties that make them well-suited for therapeutic gene transfer including a desirable safety profile, a broad tropism, a large transgene capacity, and the ability to persist in quiescent cells. They mediate efficient and stable gene transfer to hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in mouse models, and in the canine large animal model. Analysis of FV vector integration sites in vitro and in hematopoietic repopulating cells shows they have a unique integration profile, and suggests they may be safer than gammaretroviruses or lentiviral vectors. Here properties of FVs relevant to the safety and efficacy of FV vectors are discussed. The development of FV vector systems is described, and studies evaluating their potential in vitro, and in small and large animal models is reviewed. PMID:19743892

  7. Horizontal Gene Transfer, Dispersal and Haloarchaeal Speciation

    PubMed Central

    Papke, R. Thane; Corral, Paulina; Ram-Mohan, Nikhil; de la Haba, Rafael R.; Sánchez-Porro, Cristina; Makkay, Andrea; Ventosa, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    The Halobacteria are a well-studied archaeal class and numerous investigations are showing how their diversity is distributed amongst genomes and geographic locations. Evidence indicates that recombination between species continuously facilitates the arrival of new genes, and within species, it is frequent enough to spread acquired genes amongst all individuals in the population. To create permanent independent diversity and generate new species, barriers to recombination are probably required. The data support an interpretation that rates of evolution (e.g., horizontal gene transfer and mutation) are faster at creating geographically localized variation than dispersal and invasion are at homogenizing genetic differences between locations. Therefore, we suggest that recurrent episodes of dispersal followed by variable periods of endemism break the homogenizing forces of intrapopulation recombination and that this process might be the principal stimulus leading to divergence and speciation in Halobacteria. PMID:25997110

  8. Horizontal gene transfer, dispersal and haloarchaeal speciation.

    PubMed

    Papke, R Thane; Corral, Paulina; Ram-Mohan, Nikhil; Haba, Rafael R de la; Sánchez-Porro, Cristina; Makkay, Andrea; Ventosa, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    The Halobacteria are a well-studied archaeal class and numerous investigations are showing how their diversity is distributed amongst genomes and geographic locations. Evidence indicates that recombination between species continuously facilitates the arrival of new genes, and within species, it is frequent enough to spread acquired genes amongst all individuals in the population. To create permanent independent diversity and generate new species, barriers to recombination are probably required. The data support an interpretation that rates of evolution (e.g., horizontal gene transfer and mutation) are faster at creating geographically localized variation than dispersal and invasion are at homogenizing genetic differences between locations. Therefore, we suggest that recurrent episodes of dispersal followed by variable periods of endemism break the homogenizing forces of intrapopulation recombination and that this process might be the principal stimulus leading to divergence and speciation in Halobacteria. PMID:25997110

  9. Gene transfer in bacteria: speciation without species?

    PubMed

    Lawrence, Jeffrey G

    2002-06-01

    Although Bacteria and Archaea reproduce by binary fission, exchange of genes among lineages has shaped the diversity of their populations and the diversification of their lineages. Gene exchange can occur by two distinct routes, each differentially impacting the recipient genome. First, homologous recombination mediates the exchange of DNA between closely related individuals (those whose sequences are sufficient similarly to allow efficient integration). As a result, homologous recombination mediates the dispersal of advantageous alleles that may rise to high frequency among genetically related individuals via periodic selection events. Second, lateral gene transfer can introduce novel DNA into a genome from completely unrelated lineages via illegitimate recombination. Gene exchange by this route serves to distribute genes throughout distantly related clades and therefore may confer complex abilities--not otherwise found among closely related lineages--onto the recipient organisms. These two mechanisms of gene exchange play complementary roles in the diversification of microbial populations into independent, ecologically distinct lineages. Although the delineation of microbial "species" then becomes difficult--if not impossible--to achieve, a cogent process of speciation can be predicted.

  10. Indications for acquisition of reductive dehalogenase genes through horizontal gene transfer by Dehalococcoides ethenogenes strain 195.

    PubMed

    Regeard, Christophe; Maillard, Julien; Dufraigne, Christine; Deschavanne, Patrick; Holliger, Christof

    2005-06-01

    The genome of Dehalococcoides ethenogenes strain 195, an anaerobic dehalorespiring bacterium, contains 18 copies of putative reductive dehalogenase genes, including the well-characterized tceA gene, whose gene product functions as the key enzyme in the environmentally important dehalorespiration process. The genome of D. ethenogenes was analyzed using a bioinformatic tool based on the frequency of oligonucleotides. The results in the form of a genomic signature revealed several local disruptions of the host signature along the genome sequence. These fractures represent DNA segments of potentially foreign origin, so-called atypical regions, which may have been acquired by an ancestor through horizontal gene transfer. Most interestingly, 15 of the 18 reductive dehalogenase genes, including the tceA gene, were found to be located in these regions, strongly indicating the foreign nature of the dehalorespiration activity. The GC content and the presence of recombinase genes within some of these regions corroborate this hypothesis. A hierarchical classification of the atypical regions containing the reductive dehalogenase genes indicated that these regions were probably acquired by several gene transfer events. PMID:15932990

  11. Simple rapid method for gene transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Cockburn, A.F.; Meier, H.

    1990-01-30

    The object of the present invention is to provide methods for gene transfer that reduce or eliminate cellular pretreatment steps, e.g., the removal of cell wall by chemical or enzymatic methods, is rapid and can be practiced without the need of additional expensive equipment. Cells, embryos or tissues selected for genetic manipulation are suspended in an Eppendorf tube in an aliquot of the desired genetic material to be transferred to which the resulting mixture is added and is agitated by vortexing from about 30 to about 90 seconds. The cells, embryos or tissue are sedimented and the DNA supernatant removed. After sedimentation, the injected material is resuspended in or on a growth medium to assay for expression.

  12. Distributive Conjugal Transfer: New Insights into Horizontal Gene Transfer and Genetic Exchange in Mycobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Derbyshire, Keith M.; Gray, Todd A.

    2014-01-01

    The last decade has seen an explosion in the application of genomic tools across all biological disciplines. This is also true for mycobacteria, where whole genome sequences are now available for pathogens and non-pathogens alike. Genomes within the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex (MTBC) bear the hallmarks of horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Conjugation is the form of HGT with the highest potential capacity and evolutionary influence. Donor and recipient strains of Mycobacterium smegmatis actively conjugate upon co-culturing in biofilms and on solid media. Whole genome sequencing of the transconjugant progeny demonstrated the incredible scale and range of genomic variation that conjugation generates. Transconjugant genomes are complex mosaics of the parental strains. Some transconjugant genomes are up to one-quarter donor-derived, distributed over 30 segments. Transferred segments range from ~50 bp to ~225,000 bp in length, and are exchanged with their recipient orthologs all around the genome. This unpredictable genome-wide infusion of DNA sequences is called Distributive Conjugal Transfer (DCT), to distinguish it from traditional oriT-based conjugation. The mosaicism generated in a single transfer event resembles that seen from meiotic recombination in sexually reproducing organisms, and contrasts with traditional models of HGT. This similarity allowed the application of a GWAS-like approach to map the donor genes that confer a donor mating identity phenotype. The mating identity genes map to the esx1 locus, expanding the central role of ESX-1 function in conjugation. The potential for DCT to instantaneously blend genomes will affect how we view mycobacterial evolution, and provide new tools for the facile manipulation of mycobacterial genomes. PMID:25505644

  13. Gene therapy: Biological pacemaker created by gene transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miake, Junichiro; Marbán, Eduardo; Nuss, H. Bradley

    2002-09-01

    The pacemaker cells of the heart initiate the heartbeat, sustain the circulation, and dictate the rate and rhythm of cardiac contraction. Circulatory collapse ensues when these specialized cells are damaged by disease, a situation that currently necessitates the implantation of an electronic pacemaker. Here we report the use of viral gene transfer to convert quiescent heart-muscle cells into pacemaker cells, and the successful generation of spontaneous, rhythmic electrical activity in the ventricle in vivo. Our results indicate that genetically engineered pacemakers could be developed as a possible alternative to implantable electronic devices.

  14. Gene duplication and transfer events in plant mitochondria genome

    SciTech Connect

    Xiong Aisheng Peng Rihe; Zhuang Jing; Gao Feng; Zhu Bo; Fu Xiaoyan; Xue Yong; Jin Xiaofen; Tian Yongsheng; Zhao Wei; Yao Quanhong

    2008-11-07

    Gene or genome duplication events increase the amount of genetic material available to increase the genomic, and thereby phenotypic, complexity of organisms during evolution. Gene duplication and transfer events have been important to molecular evolution in all three domains of life, and may be the first step in the emergence of new gene functions. Gene transfer events have been proposed as another accelerator of evolution. The duplicated gene or genome, mainly nuclear, has been the subject of several recent reviews. In addition to the nuclear genome, organisms have organelle genomes, including mitochondrial genome. In this review, we briefly summarize gene duplication and transfer events in the plant mitochondrial genome.

  15. Horizontal gene transfer: A critical view

    PubMed Central

    Kurland, C. G.; Canback, B.; Berg, Otto G.

    2003-01-01

    It has been suggested that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the “essence of phylogeny.” In contrast, much data suggest that this is an exaggeration resulting in part from a reliance on inadequate methods to identify HGT events. In addition, the assumption that HGT is a ubiquitous influence throughout evolution is questionable. Instead, rampant global HGT is likely to have been relevant only to primitive genomes. In modern organisms we suggest that both the range and frequencies of HGT are constrained most often by selective barriers. As a consequence those HGT events that do occur most often have little influence on genome phylogeny. Although HGT does occur with important evolutionary consequences, classical Darwinian lineages seem to be the dominant mode of evolution for modern organisms. PMID:12902542

  16. Optical gene transfer by femtosecond laser pulses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konig, Karsten; Riemann, Iris; Tirlapur, Uday K.

    2003-07-01

    Targeted transfection of cells is an important technique for gene therapy and related biomedical applications. We delineate how high-intensity (1012 W/cm2) near-infrared (NIR) 80 MHz nanojoule femtosecond laser pulses can create highly localised membrane perforations within a minute focal volume, enabling non-invasive direct transfection of mammalian cells with DNA. We suspended Chinese hamster ovarian (CHO), rat kangaroo kidney epithelial (PtK2) and rat fibroblast cells in 0.5 ml culture medium in a sterile miniaturized cell chamber (JenLab GmbH, Jena, Germany) containing 0.2 μg plasmid DNA vector pEGFP-N1 (4.7 kb), which codes for green fluorescent protein (GFP). The NIR laser beam was introduced into a femtosecond laser scanning microscope (JenLab GmbH, Jena, Germany; focussed on the edge of the cell membrane of a target cell for 16 ms. The integration and expression efficiency of EGFP were assessed in situ by two-photon fluorescence-lifetime imaging using time-correlated single photon counting. The unique capability to transfer foreign DNA safely and efficiently into specific cell types (including stem cells), circumventing mechanical, electrical or chemical means, will have many applications, such as targeted gene therapy and DNA vaccination.

  17. Lentiviral Vector Gene Transfer to Porcine Airways

    PubMed Central

    Sinn, Patrick L; Cooney, Ashley L; Oakland, Mayumi; Dylla, Douglas E; Wallen, Tanner J; Pezzulo, Alejandro A; Chang, Eugene H; McCray, Paul B

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we investigated lentiviral vector development and transduction efficiencies in well-differentiated primary cultures of pig airway epithelia (PAE) and wild-type pigs in vivo. We noted gene transfer efficiencies similar to that observed for human airway epithelia (HAE). Interestingly, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)-based vectors transduced immortalized pig cells as well as pig primary cells more efficiently than HIV-1–based vectors. PAE express TRIM5α, a well-characterized species-specific lentiviral restriction factor. We contrasted the restrictive properties of porcine TRIM5α against FIV- and HIV-based vectors using gain and loss of function approaches. We observed no effect on HIV-1 or FIV conferred transgene expression in response to porcine TRIM5α overexpression or knockdown. To evaluate the ability of GP64-FIV to transduce porcine airways in vivo, we delivered vector expressing mCherry to the tracheal lobe of the lung and the ethmoid sinus of 4-week-old pigs. One week later, epithelial cells expressing mCherry were readily detected. Our findings indicate that pseudotyped FIV vectors confer similar tropisms in porcine epithelia as observed in human HAE and provide further support for the selection of GP64 as an appropriate envelope pseudotype for future preclinical gene therapy studies in the porcine model of cystic fibrosis (CF). PMID:23187455

  18. Plant transformation via pollen tube-mediated gene transfer

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genetic transformation using foreign genes and the subsequent development of transgenic plants has been employed to develop enhanced elite germplasm. Although some skepticism exits regarding pollen tube-mediated gene transfer (PTT), reports demonstrating improved transformation efficiency with PTT ...

  19. Gene Transfer & Hybridization Studies in Hyperthermophilic Species

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, Karen E.

    2005-10-14

    A. ABSTRACT The importance of lateral gene transfer (LGT) in the evolution of microbial species has become increasingly evident with each completed microbial genome sequence. Most significantly, the genome of Thermotoga maritima MSB8, a hyperthermophilic bacterium isolated by Karl Stetter and workers from Vulcano Italy in 1986, and sequenced at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in Rockville Maryland in 1999, revealed extensive LGT between % . this bacterium and members of the archaeal domain (in particular Archaeoglobus fulgidus, and Pyracoccus frcriosus species). Based on whole genome comparisons, it was estimated that 24% of the genetic information in this organism was acquired by genetic exchange with archaeal species, Independent analyses including periodicity analysis of the T. maritimu genomic DNA sequence, phylogenetic reconstruction based on genes that appear archaeal-like, and codon and amino acid usage, have provided additional evidence for LGT between T. maritima and the archaea. More recently, DiRuggiero and workers have identified a very recent LGT event between two genera of hyperthermophilic archaea, where a nearly identical DNA fragment of 16 kb in length flanked by insertion sequence (IS) elements, exists. Undoubtedly, additional examples of LGT will be identified as more microbial genomes are completed. For the present moment however, the genome sequence of T. maritima and other hyperthermophiles including P. furiosus, Pyrococcus horikoshii, Pyrococcus abyssi, A. fulgidus, and Aquifex aeolicus, have significantly increased out awareness of evolution being a web of life rather than a tree of life, as suggested by single gene phylogenies. In this proposal, we will aim to determine the extent of LGT across the hyperthemophiles, employing iY maritima as the model organism. A variety of biochemical techniques and phylogenetic reconstructions will allow for a detailed and thorough characterization of the extent of LGT in this species. The

  20. Gene transfer strategies in animal transgenesis.

    PubMed

    Montoliu, Lluís

    2002-01-01

    Position effects in animal transgenesis have prevented the reproducible success and limited the initial expectations of this technique in many biotechnological projects. Historically, several strategies have been devised to overcome such position effects, including the progressive addition of regulatory elements belonging to the same or to a heterologous expression domain. An expression domain is thought to contain all regulatory elements that are needed to specifically control the expression of a given gene in time and space. The lack of profound knowledge on the chromatin structure of expression domains of biotechnological interest, such as mammary gland-specific genes, explains why most standard expression vectors have failed to drive high-level, position-independent, and copy-number-dependent expression of transgenes in a reproducible manner. In contrast, the application of artificial chromosome-type constructs to animal transgenesis usually ensures optimal expression levels. YACs, BACs, and PACs have become crucial tools in animal transgenesis, allowing the inclusion of distant key regulatory sequences, previously unknown, that are characteristic for each expression domain. These elements contribute to insulating the artificial chromosome-type constructs from chromosomal position effects and are fundamental in order to guarantee the correct expression of transgenes.

  1. Simultaneous identification of duplications and lateral gene transfers.

    PubMed

    Tofigh, Ali; Hallett, Michael; Lagergren, Jens

    2011-01-01

    The incongruency between a gene tree and a corresponding species tree can be attributed to evolutionary events such as gene duplication and gene loss. This paper describes a combinatorial model where so-called DTL-scenarios are used to explain the differences between a gene tree and a corresponding species tree taking into account gene duplications, gene losses, and lateral gene transfers (also known as horizontal gene transfers). The reasonable biological constraint that a lateral gene transfer may only occur between contemporary species leads to the notion of acyclic DTL-scenarios. Parsimony methods are introduced by defining appropriate optimization problems. We show that finding most parsimonious acyclic DTL-scenarios is NP-hard. However, by dropping the condition of acyclicity, the problem becomes tractable, and we provide a dynamic programming algorithm as well as a fixed-parameter tractable algorithm for finding most parsimonious DTL-scenarios.

  2. Problems associated with gene transfer and opportunities for microgravity environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tennessen, Daniel J.

    1997-01-01

    The method of crop improvement by gene transfer is becoming increasingly routine with transgenic foods and ornamental crops now being marketed to consumers. However, biological processes of plants, and the physical barriers of current protocols continue to limit the application of gene transfer in many commercial crops. The goal of this paper is to outline the current limitations of gene transfer and to hypothesize possible opportunities for use of microgravity to overcome such limitations. The limitations detailed in this paper include host-range specificity of Agrobacterium mediated transformation, probability of gene insertion, position effects of the inserted genes, gene copy number, stability of foreign gene expression in host plants, and regeneration of recalcitrant plant species. Microgravity offers an opportunity for gene transfer where cell growth kinetics, DNA synthesis, and genetic recombination rates can be altered. Such biological conditions may enhance the ability for recombination of reporter genes and other genes of interest to agriculture. Proposed studies would be useful for understanding instability of foreign gene expression and may lead to stable transformed plants. Other aspects of gene transfer in microgravity are discussed.

  3. Problems associated with gene transfer and opportunities for microgravity environments

    SciTech Connect

    Tennessen, D.J.

    1997-01-01

    The method of crop improvement by gene transfer is becoming increasingly routine with transgenic foods and ornamental crops now being marketed to consumers. However, biological processes of plants, and the physical barriers of current protocols continue to limit the application of gene transfer in many commercial crops. The goal of this paper is to outline the current limitations of gene transfer and to hypothesize possible opportunities for use of microgravity to overcome such limitations. The limitations detailed in this paper include host-range specificity of {ital Agrobacterium} mediated transformation, probability of gene insertion, position effects of the inserted genes, gene copy number, stability of foreign gene expression in host plants, and regeneration of recalcitrant plant species. Microgravity offers an opportunity for gene transfer where cell growth kinetics, DNA synthesis, and genetic recombination rates can be altered. Such biological conditions may enhance the ability for recombination of reporter genes and other genes of interest to agriculture. Proposed studies would be useful for understanding instability of foreign gene expression and may lead to stable transformed plants. Other aspects of gene transfer in microgravity are discussed. {copyright} {ital 1997 American Institute of Physics.}

  4. Immortalized neural progenitor cells for CNS gene transfer and repair.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Serrano, A; Björklund, A

    1997-11-01

    Immortalized multipotent neural stem and progenitor cells have emerged as a highly convenient source of tissue for genetic manipulation and ex vivo gene transfer to the CNS. Recent studies show that these cells, which can be maintained and genetically transduced as cell lines in culture, can survive, integrate and differentiate into both neurons and glia after transplantation to the intact or damaged brain. Progenitors engineered to secrete trophic factors, or to produce neurotransmitter-related or metabolic enzymes can be made to repopulate diseased or injured brain areas, thus providing a new potential therapeutic tool for the blockade of neurodegenerative processes and reversal of behavioural deficits in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases. With further technical improvements, the use of immortalized neural progenitors may bring us closer to the challenging goal of targeted and effective CNS repair.

  5. Gene transfer for congestive heart failure: update 2013.

    PubMed

    Tang, Tong; Hammond, H Kirk

    2013-04-01

    Congestive heart failure is a major cause of morbidity and mortality with increasing social and economic costs. There have been no new high impact therapeutic agents for this devastating disease for more than a decade. However, many pivotal regulators of cardiac function have been identified using cardiac-directed transgene expression and gene deletion in preclinical studies. Some of these increase function of the failing heart. Altering the expression of these pivotal regulators using gene transfer is now either being tested in clinical gene transfer trials, or soon will be. In this review, we summarize recent progress in cardiac gene transfer for clinical congestive heart failure.

  6. WLCG Transfers Dashboard: a Unified Monitoring Tool for Heterogeneous Data Transfers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreeva, J.; Beche, A.; Belov, S.; Kadochnikov, I.; Saiz, P.; Tuckett, D.

    2014-06-01

    The Worldwide LHC Computing Grid provides resources for the four main virtual organizations. Along with data processing, data distribution is the key computing activity on the WLCG infrastructure. The scale of this activity is very large, the ATLAS virtual organization (VO) alone generates and distributes more than 40 PB of data in 100 million files per year. Another challenge is the heterogeneity of data transfer technologies. Currently there are two main alternatives for data transfers on the WLCG: File Transfer Service and XRootD protocol. Each LHC VO has its own monitoring system which is limited to the scope of that particular VO. There is a need for a global system which would provide a complete cross-VO and cross-technology picture of all WLCG data transfers. We present a unified monitoring tool - WLCG Transfers Dashboard - where all the VOs and technologies coexist and are monitored together. The scale of the activity and the heterogeneity of the system raise a number of technical challenges. Each technology comes with its own monitoring specificities and some of the VOs use several of these technologies. This paper describes the implementation of the system with particular focus on the design principles applied to ensure the necessary scalability and performance, and to easily integrate any new technology providing additional functionality which might be specific to that technology.

  7. Ultrasound -Assisted Gene Transfer to Adipose Tissue-Derived Stem/Progenitor Cells (ASCs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyamoto, Yoshitaka; Ueno, Hitomi; Hokari, Rei; Yuan, Wenji; Kuno, Shuichi; Kakimoto, Takashi; Enosawa, Shin; Negishi, Yoichi; Yoshinaka, Kiyoshi; Matsumoto, Yoichiro; Chiba, Toshio; Hayashi, Shuji

    2011-09-01

    In recent years, multilineage adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ASCs) have become increasingly attractive as a promising source for cell transplantation and regenerative medicine. Particular interest has been expressed in the potential to make tissue stem cells, such as ASCs and marrow stromal cells (MSCs), differentiate by gene transfection. Gene transfection using highly efficient viral vectors such as adeno- and sendai viruses have been developed for this purpose. Sonoporation, or ultrasound (US)-assisted gene transfer, is an alternative gene manipulation technique which employs the creation of a jet stream by ultrasonic microbubble cavitation. Sonoporation using non-viral vectors is expected to be a much safer, although less efficient, tool for prospective clinical gene therapy. In this report, we assessed the efficacy of the sonoporation technique for gene transfer to ASCs. We isolated and cultured adipocyets from mouse adipose tissue. ASCs that have the potential to differentiate with transformation into adipocytes or osteoblasts were obtained. Using the US-assisted system, plasmid DNA containing beta-galactosidase (beta-Gal) and green fluorescent protein (GFP) genes were transferred to the ASCs. For this purpose, a Sonopore 4000 (NEPAGENE Co.) and a Sonazoid (Daiichi Sankyo Co.) instrument were used in combination. ASCs were subjected to US (3.1 MHz, 50% duty cycle, burst rate 2.0 Hz, intensity 1.2 W/cm2, exposure time 30 sec). We observed that the gene was more efficiently transferred with increased concentrations of plasmid DNA (5-150 μg/mL). However, further optimization of the US parameters is required, as the gene transfer efficiency was still relatively low. In conclusion, we herein demonstrate that a gene can be transferred to ASCs using our US-assisted system. In regenerative medicine, this system might resolve the current issues surrounding the use of viral vectors for gene transfer.

  8. A recently transferred cluster of bacterial genes in Trichomonas vaginalis - lateral gene transfer and the fate of acquired genes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Lateral Gene Transfer (LGT) has recently gained recognition as an important contributor to some eukaryote proteomes, but the mechanisms of acquisition and fixation in eukaryotic genomes are still uncertain. A previously defined norm for LGTs in microbial eukaryotes states that the majority are genes involved in metabolism, the LGTs are typically localized one by one, surrounded by vertically inherited genes on the chromosome, and phylogenetics shows that a broad collection of bacterial lineages have contributed to the transferome. Results A unique 34 kbp long fragment with 27 clustered genes (TvLF) of prokaryote origin was identified in the sequenced genome of the protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. Using a PCR based approach we confirmed the presence of the orthologous fragment in four additional T. vaginalis strains. Detailed sequence analyses unambiguously suggest that TvLF is the result of one single, recent LGT event. The proposed donor is a close relative to the firmicute bacterium Peptoniphilus harei. High nucleotide sequence similarity between T. vaginalis strains, as well as to P. harei, and the absence of homologs in other Trichomonas species, suggests that the transfer event took place after the radiation of the genus Trichomonas. Some genes have undergone pseudogenization and degradation, indicating that they may not be retained in the future. Functional annotations reveal that genes involved in informational processes are particularly prone to degradation. Conclusions We conclude that, although the majority of eukaryote LGTs are single gene occurrences, they may be acquired in clusters of several genes that are subsequently cleansed of evolutionarily less advantageous genes. PMID:24898731

  9. Widespread horizontal transfer of mitochondrial genes in flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Bergthorsson, Ulfar; Adams, Keith L; Thomason, Brendan; Palmer, Jeffrey D

    2003-07-10

    Horizontal gene transfer--the exchange of genes across mating barriers--is recognized as a major force in bacterial evolution. However, in eukaryotes it is prevalent only in certain phagotrophic protists and limited largely to the ancient acquisition of bacterial genes. Although the human genome was initially reported to contain over 100 genes acquired during vertebrate evolution from bacteria, this claim was immediately and repeatedly rebutted. Moreover, horizontal transfer is unknown within the evolution of animals, plants and fungi except in the special context of mobile genetic elements. Here we show, however, that standard mitochondrial genes, encoding ribosomal and respiratory proteins, are subject to evolutionarily frequent horizontal transfer between distantly related flowering plants. These transfers have created a variety of genomic outcomes, including gene duplication, recapture of genes lost through transfer to the nucleus, and chimaeric, half-monocot, half-dicot genes. These results imply the existence of mechanisms for the delivery of DNA between unrelated plants, indicate that horizontal transfer is also a force in plant nuclear genomes, and are discussed in the contexts of plant molecular phylogeny and genetically modified plants.

  10. Direct transfer of IL-12 gene into growing Renca tumors.

    PubMed

    Budryk, M; Wilczyńska, U; Szary, J; Szala, S

    2000-01-01

    We investigated the feasibility of transferring naked plasmid DNA containing a therapeutic gene (IL-12) into mice harboring growing Renca tumors. We found that naked DNA transferred into growing Renca and B16(F10) tumors gives higher expression level of reporter gene than complexes of DNA with DDAB/DOPE or DC-Chol/DOPE. Transfer of naked DNA carrying the IL-12 gene into growing Renca tumors causes a distinct therapeutic effect that depends on the time span between inoculation of mice with cancer cells and the beginning of the therapy. Therapy started on day 3 resulted in total cure (100%) of mice. PMID:11051203

  11. LATERAL GENE TRANSFER AND THE HISTORY OF BACTERIAL GENOMES

    SciTech Connect

    Howard Ochman

    2006-02-22

    The aims of this research were to elucidate the role and extent of lateral transfer in the differentiation of bacterial strains and species, and to assess the impact of gene transfer on the evolution of bacterial genomes. The ultimate goal of the project is to examine the dynamics of a core set of protein-coding genes (i.e., those that are distributed universally among Bacteria) by developing conserved primers that would allow their amplification and sequencing in any bacterial taxa. In addition, we adopted a bioinformatic approach to elucidate the extent of lateral gene transfer in sequenced genome.

  12. Intracellular gene transfer: Reduced hydrophobicity facilitates gene transfer for subunit 2 of cytochrome c oxidase

    PubMed Central

    Daley, Daniel O.; Clifton, Rachel; Whelan, James

    2002-01-01

    Subunit 2 of cytochrome c oxidase (Cox2) in legumes offers a rare opportunity to investigate factors necessary for successful gene transfer of a hydrophobic protein that is usually mitochondrial-encoded. We found that changes in local hydrophobicity were necessary to allow import of this nuclear-encoded protein into mitochondria. All legume species containing both a mitochondrial and nuclear encoded Cox2 displayed a similar pattern, with a large decrease in hydrophobicity evident in the first transmembrane region of the nuclear encoded protein compared with the organelle-encoded protein. Mitochondrial-encoded Cox2 could not be imported into mitochondria under the direction of the mitochondrial targeting sequence that readily supports the import of nuclear encoded Cox2. Removal of the first transmembrane region promotes import ability of the mitochondrial-encoded Cox2. Changing just two amino acids in the first transmembrane region of mitochondrial-encoded Cox2 to the corresponding amino acids in the nuclear encoded Cox2 also promotes import ability, whereas changing the same two amino acids in the nuclear encoded Cox2 to what they are in the mitochondrial-encoded copy prevents import. Therefore, changes in amino acids in the mature protein were necessary and sufficient for gene transfer to allow import under the direction of an appropriate signal to achieve the functional topology of Cox2. PMID:12142462

  13. Lag-specific transfer entropy as a tool to assess cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory information transfer.

    PubMed

    Faes, Luca; Marinazzo, Daniele; Montalto, Alessandro; Nollo, Giandomenico

    2014-10-01

    In the study of interacting physiological systems, model-free tools for time series analysis are fundamental to provide a proper description of how the coupling among systems arises from the multiple involved regulatory mechanisms. This study presents an approach which evaluates direction, magnitude, and exact timing of the information transfer between two time series belonging to a multivariate dataset. The approach performs a decomposition of the well-known transfer entropy (TE) which achieves 1) identifying, according to a lag-specific information-theoretic formulation of the concept of Granger causality, the set of time lags associated with significant information transfer, and 2) assigning to these delays an amount of information transfer such that the total contribution yields the aggregate TE. The approach is first validated on realizations of simulated linear and nonlinear multivariate processes interacting at different time lags and with different strength, reporting a high accuracy in the detection of imposed delays, and showing that the estimated lag-specific TE follows the imposed coupling strength. The subsequent application to heart period, systolic arterial pressure and respiration variability series measured from healthy subjects during a tilt test protocol illustrated how the proposed approach quantifies the modifications in the involvement and latency of important mechanisms of short-term physiological regulation, like the baroreflex and the respiratory sinus arrhythmia, induced by the orthostatic stress.

  14. An early history of gene transfer and therapy.

    PubMed

    Wolff, J A; Lederberg, J

    1994-04-01

    The term "gene therapy" was coined to distinguish it from the Orwellian connotations of "human genetic engineering," which, in turn, was derived from the term "genetic engineering." Genetic engineering was first used at the Sixth International Congress of Genetics held in 1932 and was taken to mean "the application of genetic principles to animal and plant breeding." Once the basics of molecular genetics and gene transfer in bacteria were established in the 1960s, gene transfer into animals and humans using either viral vectors and/or genetically modified cultured cells became inevitable. Despite the early exposition of the concept of gene therapy, progress awaited the advent of recombinant DNA technology. The lack of trustworthy techniques did not stop many researchers from attempting to transfer genes into cells in culture, animals, and humans. Viral genomes were used for the development of the first relatively efficient methods for gene transfer into mammalian cells in culture. In the late 1970s, early transfection techniques were combined with selection systems for cultured cells and recombinant DNA technology. With the development of retroviral vectors in the early 1980s, the possibility of efficient gene transfer into mammalian cells for the purpose of gene therapy became widely accepted.

  15. Gene transfer in inner ear cells: a challenging race.

    PubMed

    Sacheli, R; Delacroix, L; Vandenackerveken, P; Nguyen, L; Malgrange, B

    2013-03-01

    Recent advances in human genomics led to the identification of numerous defective genes causing deafness, which represent novel putative therapeutic targets. Future gene-based treatment of deafness resulting from genetic or acquired sensorineural hearing loss may include strategies ranging from gene therapy to antisense delivery. For successful development of gene therapies, a minimal requirement involves the engineering of appropriate gene carrier systems. Transfer of exogenous genetic material into the mammalian inner ear using viral or non-viral vectors has been characterized over the last decade. The nature of inner ear cells targeted, as well as the transgene expression level and duration, are highly dependent on the vector type, the route of administration and the strength of the promoter driving expression. This review summarizes and discusses recent advances in inner ear gene-transfer technologies aimed at examining gene function or identifying new treatment for inner ear disorders.

  16. Adenoviral-vector-mediated gene transfer to dendritic cells.

    PubMed

    Song, W; Crystal, R G

    2001-01-01

    Dendritic cells (DC) are the most potent antigen presenting cells capable of initiating T-cell-dependent immune responses (1-5). This biologic potential can be harnessed to elicit effective antigen-specific immune responses by transferring the relevant antigens to the DC. Once the DC have been mobilized and purified, the relevant antigens can be transferred to the DC as intact proteins, or as peptides representing specific epitopes, or with gene transfer using sequences of DNA or RNA coding for the pertinent antigen(s) (6-15). Theoretically, genetically modifying DC with genes coding for specific antigens has potential advantages over pulsing the DC with peptides repeating the antigen or antigen fragment. First, the genetically modified DC may present previously unknown epitopes in association with different MHC molecules. Second, gene transfer to DC ensures that the gene product is endogenously processed, leading to the generation of MHC class I-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL), the effector arm of cell-mediated immune responses. Finally, in addition to genes coding for the antigen(s), genetic modification of the DC can induce genes coding for mediators relevant to generation of the immune response to the antigen(s), further boosting host responses to the antigens presented by the modified DC. Different gene transfer approaches have been explored to genetically modify DC, including retroviral vectors (16-18), recombinant vaccinia virus vectors (19), and recombinant adenovirus (Ad) vectors (19-23). The focus of this chapter is on using recombinant Ad vectors to transfer genes to murine DC. We have used a similar strategy to transfer genes to human DC (24). As an example of the power of this technology, we will describe the use of Ad-vector-modified DC to suppress the growth of tumor cells modified to express a specific antigen.

  17. Quantitative analysis of recombination between YFP and CFP genes of FRET biosensors introduced by lentiviral or retroviral gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Komatsubara, Akira T; Matsuda, Michiyuki; Aoki, Kazuhiro

    2015-01-01

    Biosensors based on the principle of Förster (or fluorescence) resonance energy transfer (FRET) have been developed to visualize spatio-temporal dynamics of signalling molecules in living cells. Many of them adopt a backbone of intramolecular FRET biosensor with a cyan fluorescent protein (CFP) and yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) as donor and acceptor, respectively. However, there remains the difficulty of establishing cells stably expressing FRET biosensors with a YFP and CFP pair by lentiviral or retroviral gene transfer, due to the high incidence of recombination between YFP and CFP genes. To address this, we examined the effects of codon-diversification of YFP on the recombination of FRET biosensors introduced by lentivirus or retrovirus. The YFP gene that was fully codon-optimized to E.coli evaded the recombination in lentiviral or retroviral gene transfer, but the partially codon-diversified YFP did not. Further, the length of spacer between YFP and CFP genes clearly affected recombination efficiency, suggesting that the intramolecular template switching occurred in the reverse-transcription process. The simple mathematical model reproduced the experimental data sufficiently, yielding a recombination rate of 0.002-0.005 per base. Together, these results show that the codon-diversified YFP is a useful tool for expressing FRET biosensors by lentiviral or retroviral gene transfer. PMID:26290434

  18. Rates of Lateral Gene Transfer in Prokaryotes: High but Why?

    PubMed

    Vos, Michiel; Hesselman, Matthijn C; te Beek, Tim A; van Passel, Mark W J; Eyre-Walker, Adam

    2015-10-01

    Lateral gene transfer is of fundamental importance to the evolution of prokaryote genomes and has important practical consequences, as evidenced by the rapid dissemination of antibiotic resistance and virulence determinants. Relatively little effort has so far been devoted to explicitly quantifying the rate at which accessory genes are taken up and lost, but it is possible that the combined rate of lateral gene transfer and gene loss is higher than that of point mutation. What evolutionary forces underlie the rate of lateral gene transfer are not well understood. We here use theory developed to explain the evolution of mutation rates to address this question and explore its consequences for the study of prokaryote evolution.

  19. Novel gene expression tools for rice biotechnology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biotechnology is an effective and important method of improving both quality and agronomic traits in rice. We are developing novel molecular tools for genetic engineering, with a focus on developing novel transgene expression control elements (i.e. promoters) for rice. A suite of monocot grass promo...

  20. XGet: a highly scalable and efficient file transfer tool for clusters

    SciTech Connect

    Greenberg, Hugh; Ionkov, Latchesar; Minnich, Ronald

    2008-01-01

    As clusters rapidly grow in size, transferring files between nodes can no longer be solved by the traditional transfer utilities due to their inherent lack of scalability. In this paper, we describe a new file transfer utility called XGet, which was designed to address the scalability problem of standard tools. We compared XGet against four transfer tools: Bittorrent, Rsync, TFTP, and Udpcast and our results show that XGet's performance is superior to the these utilities in many cases.

  1. Particle-mediated gene transfer into murine livers using a newly developed gene gun.

    PubMed

    Kuriyama, S; Mitoro, A; Tsujinoue, H; Nakatani, T; Yoshiji, H; Tsujimoto, T; Yamazaki, M; Fukui, H

    2000-07-01

    Although particle-mediated gene transfer using gene gun technology has been applied for gene transfer into epidermis, applications of this technology to visceral tissues have not been well investigated. Although all helium gas-driven gene gun instruments have used macrocarriers to discharge DNA-coated microprojectiles so far, we used a newly developed gene gun instrument, in which a hammering bullet is used to discharge microprojectiles. With the gene gun, gold particles coated with lacZ expression plasmid were discharged to murine livers. LacZ expression was induced much more profoundly in the liver by particle-mediated gene transfer than by simple plasmid injection and electroporation-mediated gene transfer. LacZ expression was broadly and randomly distributed throughout the bombarded livers, indicating that particle-mediated gene transfer can induce transgene expression even at relatively distant areas from the surface of the bombarded tissue. Furthermore, although transgene expression was at its peak on day 2 after the bombardment, it was still detectable even on day 28. These results indicate that particle-mediated gene transfer with a newly developed gene gun may provide a new approach to gene therapy for human diseases.

  2. Global Analysis of Horizontal Gene Transfer in Fusarium verticillioides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The co-occurrence of microbes within plants and other specialized niches may facilitate horizontal gene transfer (HGT) affecting host-pathogen interactions. We recently identified fungal-to-fungal HGTs involving metabolic gene clusters. For a global analysis of HGTs in the maize pathogen Fusarium ve...

  3. GenePRIMP: A software quality control tool

    ScienceCinema

    Amrita Pati

    2016-07-12

    Amrita Pati of the DOE Joint Genome Institute's Genome Biology group describes the software tool GenePRIMP and how it fits into the quality control pipeline for microbial genomics. Further details regarding GenePRIMP appear in a paper published online May 2, 2010 in Nature Methods.

  4. GenePRIMP: A software quality control tool

    SciTech Connect

    Amrita Pati

    2010-05-05

    Amrita Pati of the DOE Joint Genome Institute's Genome Biology group describes the software tool GenePRIMP and how it fits into the quality control pipeline for microbial genomics. Further details regarding GenePRIMP appear in a paper published online May 2, 2010 in Nature Methods.

  5. Gene therapy in dentistry: tool of genetic engineering. Revisited.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Khushboo; Singh, Saurabh; Garg, Kavita Nitish

    2015-03-01

    Advances in biotechnology have brought gene therapy to the forefront of medical research. The concept of transferring genes to tissues for clinical applications has been discussed nearly half a century, but the ability to manipulate genetic material via recombinant DNA technology has brought this goal to reality. The feasibility of gene transfer was first demonstrated using tumour viruses. This led to development of viral and nonviral methods for the genetic modification of somatic cells. Applications of gene therapy to dental and oral problems illustrate the potential impact of this technology on dentistry. Preclinical trial results regarding the same have been very promising. In this review we will discuss methods, vectors involved, clinical implication in dentistry and scientific issues associated with gene therapy.

  6. Evolution of and horizontal gene transfer in the Endornavirus genus.

    PubMed

    Song, Dami; Cho, Won Kyong; Park, Sang-Ho; Jo, Yeonhwa; Kim, Kook-Hyung

    2013-01-01

    The transfer of genetic information between unrelated species is referred to as horizontal gene transfer. Previous studies have demonstrated that both retroviral and non-retroviral sequences have been integrated into eukaryotic genomes. Recently, we identified many non-retroviral sequences in plant genomes. In this study, we investigated the evolutionary origin and gene transfer of domains present in endornaviruses which are double-stranded RNA viruses. Using the available sequences for endornaviruses, we found that Bell pepper endornavirus-like sequences homologous to the glycosyltransferase 28 domain are present in plants, fungi, and bacteria. The phylogenetic analysis revealed the glycosyltransferase 28 domain of Bell pepper endornavirus may have originated from bacteria. In addition, two domains of Oryza sativa endornavirus, a glycosyltransferase sugar-binding domain and a capsular polysaccharide synthesis protein, also exhibited high similarity to those of bacteria. We found evidence that at least four independent horizontal gene transfer events for the glycosyltransferase 28 domain have occurred among plants, fungi, and bacteria. The glycosyltransferase sugar-binding domains of two proteobacteria may have been horizontally transferred to the genome of Thalassiosira pseudonana. Our study is the first to show that three glycome-related viral genes in the genus Endornavirus have been acquired from marine bacteria by horizontal gene transfer.

  7. Evolution of and horizontal gene transfer in the Endornavirus genus.

    PubMed

    Song, Dami; Cho, Won Kyong; Park, Sang-Ho; Jo, Yeonhwa; Kim, Kook-Hyung

    2013-01-01

    The transfer of genetic information between unrelated species is referred to as horizontal gene transfer. Previous studies have demonstrated that both retroviral and non-retroviral sequences have been integrated into eukaryotic genomes. Recently, we identified many non-retroviral sequences in plant genomes. In this study, we investigated the evolutionary origin and gene transfer of domains present in endornaviruses which are double-stranded RNA viruses. Using the available sequences for endornaviruses, we found that Bell pepper endornavirus-like sequences homologous to the glycosyltransferase 28 domain are present in plants, fungi, and bacteria. The phylogenetic analysis revealed the glycosyltransferase 28 domain of Bell pepper endornavirus may have originated from bacteria. In addition, two domains of Oryza sativa endornavirus, a glycosyltransferase sugar-binding domain and a capsular polysaccharide synthesis protein, also exhibited high similarity to those of bacteria. We found evidence that at least four independent horizontal gene transfer events for the glycosyltransferase 28 domain have occurred among plants, fungi, and bacteria. The glycosyltransferase sugar-binding domains of two proteobacteria may have been horizontally transferred to the genome of Thalassiosira pseudonana. Our study is the first to show that three glycome-related viral genes in the genus Endornavirus have been acquired from marine bacteria by horizontal gene transfer. PMID:23667703

  8. Integrative data-mining tools to link gene and function.

    PubMed

    El Yacoubi, Basma; de Crécy-Lagard, Valérie

    2014-01-01

    Information derived from genomic and post-genomic data can be efficiently used to link gene and function. Several web-based platforms have been developed to mine these types of data by integrating different tools. This method paper is designed to allow the user to navigate these platforms in order to make functional predictions. The main focus is on phylogenetic distribution and physical clustering tools, but other tools such as pathway reconstruction, gene fusions, and analysis of high-throughput experimental data are also surveyed.

  9. ENDOSYMBIOTIC AND HORIZONTAL GENE TRANSFER IN CHROMALVEOLATES(1).

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Debashish; Nosenko, Tetyana

    2008-02-01

    Chromalveolates include photosynthetic and nonphotosynthetic (some plastid-lacking) algae and protists that define a vast swath of eukaryotic diversity. These taxa are masters of gene acquisition through serial endosymbiosis (endosymbiotic gene transfer, EGT) and horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Understanding the contribution of these sources to nuclear genomes is key to elucidating chromalveolate evolution and to identifying suitable phylogenetic markers to place this lineage in the tree of life. Here we briefly review recent findings in our lab with regard to EGT and HGT in chromalveolates.

  10. Vector-mediated antibody gene transfer for infectious diseases.

    PubMed

    Schnepp, Bruce C; Johnson, Philip R

    2015-01-01

    This chapter discusses the emerging field of vector-mediated antibody gene transfer as an alternative vaccine for infectious disease, with a specific focus on HIV. However, this methodology need not be confined to HIV-1; the general strategy of vector-mediated antibody gene transfer can be applied to other difficult vaccine targets like hepatitis C virus, malaria, respiratory syncytial virus, and tuberculosis. This approach is an improvement over classical passive immunization strategies that administer antibody proteins to the host to provide protection from infection. With vector-mediated gene transfer, the antibody gene is delivered to the host, via a recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vector; this in turn results in long-term endogenous antibody expression from the injected muscle that confers protective immunity. Vector-mediated antibody gene transfer can rapidly move existing, potent broadly cross-neutralizing HIV-1-specific antibodies into the clinic. The gene transfer products demonstrate a potency and breadth identical to the original product. This strategy eliminates the need for immunogen design and interaction with the adaptive immune system to generate protection, a strategy that so far has shown limited promise.

  11. Lateral Transfer of Genes and Gene Fragments in Staphylococcus Extends beyond Mobile Elements ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Cheong Xin; Beiko, Robert G.; Ragan, Mark A.

    2011-01-01

    The widespread presence of antibiotic resistance and virulence among Staphylococcus isolates has been attributed in part to lateral genetic transfer (LGT), but little is known about the broader extent of LGT within this genus. Here we report the first systematic study of the modularity of genetic transfer among 13 Staphylococcus genomes covering four distinct named species. Using a topology-based phylogenetic approach, we found, among 1,354 sets of homologous genes examined, strong evidence of LGT in 368 (27.1%) gene sets, and weaker evidence in another 259 (19.1%). Within-gene and whole-gene transfer contribute almost equally to the topological discordance of these gene sets against a reference phylogeny. Comparing genetic transfer in single-copy and in multicopy gene sets, we observed a higher frequency of LGT in the latter, and a substantial functional bias in cases of whole-gene transfer (little such bias was observed in cases of fragmentary genetic transfer). We found evidence that lateral transfer, particularly of entire genes, impacts not only functions related to antibiotic, drug, and heavy-metal resistance, as well as membrane transport, but also core informational and metabolic functions not associated with mobile elements. Although patterns of sequence similarity support the cohesion of recognized species, LGT within S. aureus appears frequently to disrupt clonal complexes. Our results demonstrate that LGT and gene duplication play important parts in functional innovation in staphylococcal genomes. PMID:21622749

  12. Duplication is more common among laterally transferred genes than among indigenous genes

    PubMed Central

    Hooper, Sean D; Berg, Otto G

    2003-01-01

    Background Recent developments in the understanding of paralogous evolution have prompted a focus not only on obviously advantageous genes, but also on genes that can be considered to have a weak or sporadic impact on the survival of the organism. Here we examine the duplicative behavior of a category of genes that can be considered to be mostly transient in the genome, namely laterally transferred genes. Using both a compositional method and a gene-tree approach, we identify a number of proposed laterally transferred genes and study their nucleotide composition and frequency of duplication. Results It is found that duplications are significantly overrepresented among potential laterally transferred genes compared to the indigenous ones. Furthermore, the GC3 distribution of potential laterally transferred genes was found to be largely uniform in some genomes, suggesting an import from a broad range of donors. Conclusions The results are discussed not in a context of strongly optimized established genes, but rather of genes with weak or ancillary functions. The importance of duplication may therefore depend on the variability and availability of weak genes for which novel functions may be discovered. Therefore, lateral transfer may accelerate the evolutionary process of duplication by bringing foreign genes that have mainly weak or no function into the genome. PMID:12914657

  13. Horizontal functional gene transfer from bacteria to fishes

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Bao-Fa; Li, Tong; Xiao, Jin-Hua; Jia, Ling-Yi; Liu, Li; Zhang, Peng; Murphy, Robert W.; He, Shun-Min; Huang, Da-Wei

    2015-01-01

    Invertebrates can acquire functional genes via horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from bacteria but fishes are not known to do so. We provide the first reliable evidence of one HGT event from marine bacteria to fishes. The HGT appears to have occurred after emergence of the teleosts. The transferred gene is expressed and regulated developmentally. Its successful integration and expression may change the genetic and metabolic repertoire of fishes. In addition, this gene contains conserved domains and similar tertiary structures in fishes and their putative donor bacteria. Thus, it may function similarly in both groups. Evolutionary analyses indicate that it evolved under purifying selection, further indicating its conserved function. We document the first likely case of HGT of functional gene from prokaryote to fishes. This discovery certifies that HGT can influence vertebrate evolution. PMID:26691285

  14. Transferred interbacterial antagonism genes augment eukaryotic innate immune function.

    PubMed

    Chou, Seemay; Daugherty, Matthew D; Peterson, S Brook; Biboy, Jacob; Yang, Youyun; Jutras, Brandon L; Fritz-Laylin, Lillian K; Ferrin, Michael A; Harding, Brittany N; Jacobs-Wagner, Christine; Yang, X Frank; Vollmer, Waldemar; Malik, Harmit S; Mougous, Joseph D

    2015-02-01

    Horizontal gene transfer allows organisms to rapidly acquire adaptive traits. Although documented instances of horizontal gene transfer from bacteria to eukaryotes remain rare, bacteria represent a rich source of new functions potentially available for co-option. One benefit that genes of bacterial origin could provide to eukaryotes is the capacity to produce antibacterials, which have evolved in prokaryotes as the result of eons of interbacterial competition. The type VI secretion amidase effector (Tae) proteins are potent bacteriocidal enzymes that degrade the cell wall when delivered into competing bacterial cells by the type VI secretion system. Here we show that tae genes have been transferred to eukaryotes on at least six occasions, and that the resulting domesticated amidase effector (dae) genes have been preserved for hundreds of millions of years through purifying selection. We show that the dae genes acquired eukaryotic secretion signals, are expressed within recipient organisms, and encode active antibacterial toxins that possess substrate specificity matching extant Tae proteins of the same lineage. Finally, we show that a dae gene in the deer tick Ixodes scapularis limits proliferation of Borrelia burgdorferi, the aetiologic agent of Lyme disease. Our work demonstrates that a family of horizontally acquired toxins honed to mediate interbacterial antagonism confers previously undescribed antibacterial capacity to eukaryotes. We speculate that the selective pressure imposed by competition between bacteria has produced a reservoir of genes encoding diverse antimicrobial functions that are tailored for co-option by eukaryotic innate immune systems. PMID:25470067

  15. Computational Tools and Algorithms for Designing Customized Synthetic Genes

    PubMed Central

    Gould, Nathan; Hendy, Oliver; Papamichail, Dimitris

    2014-01-01

    Advances in DNA synthesis have enabled the construction of artificial genes, gene circuits, and genomes of bacterial scale. Freedom in de novo design of synthetic constructs provides significant power in studying the impact of mutations in sequence features, and verifying hypotheses on the functional information that is encoded in nucleic and amino acids. To aid this goal, a large number of software tools of variable sophistication have been implemented, enabling the design of synthetic genes for sequence optimization based on rationally defined properties. The first generation of tools dealt predominantly with singular objectives such as codon usage optimization and unique restriction site incorporation. Recent years have seen the emergence of sequence design tools that aim to evolve sequences toward combinations of objectives. The design of optimal protein-coding sequences adhering to multiple objectives is computationally hard, and most tools rely on heuristics to sample the vast sequence design space. In this review, we study some of the algorithmic issues behind gene optimization and the approaches that different tools have adopted to redesign genes and optimize desired coding features. We utilize test cases to demonstrate the efficiency of each approach, as well as identify their strengths and limitations. PMID:25340050

  16. Shock wave induced sonoporation and gene transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Douglas L.

    2003-10-01

    During shockwave (SW) treatment, cavitation activity can be applied for cell killing. A bonus is that some surviving cells appear to be briefly permeabilized, or sonoporated, allowing them to take up large molecules including DNA. In vitro research has indicated that as the number of SW increased, survival declined exponentially but the number of sonoporated cells increased to better than 50% of survivors for 1000 SW. In vivo tests have demonstrated SW-induced tumor ablation could indeed be accompanied by the transfection of marker plasmids into mouse B16 melanoma tumors in vivo. With intratumor injection of plasmid DNA and air bubbles, significant results were obtained for only 400 SW. In a trial of cancer therapy, the effects of 500 SW combined with interleukin-12 immuno-gene therapy was observed on the progression of two mouse tumors, B16 melanoma and RENCA renal carcinoma. The combination of SW and IL-12 plasmid injection provided a statistically significant inhibition of tumor growth relative to SW alone for both tumor models, demonstrating feasibility for this treatment method. In the future, the development of intravenous gene delivery and improved transfection, together with image-guided ultrasound treatment, should lead to the clinical application of ultrasound enhanced gene therapy. [Work supported by NIH Grant No. EB002782.

  17. From Green to Red: Horizontal Gene Transfer of the Phycoerythrin Gene Cluster between Planktothrix Strains

    PubMed Central

    Sogge, Hanne; Rounge, Trine Ballestad; Nederbragt, Alexander J.; Lagesen, Karin; Glöckner, Gernot; Hayes, Paul K.; Rohrlack, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer is common in cyanobacteria, and transfer of large gene clusters may lead to acquisition of new functions and conceivably niche adaption. In the present study, we demonstrate that horizontal gene transfer between closely related Planktothrix strains can explain the production of the same oligopeptide isoforms by strains of different colors. Comparison of the genomes of eight Planktothrix strains revealed that strains producing the same oligopeptide isoforms are closely related, regardless of color. We have investigated genes involved in the synthesis of the photosynthetic pigments phycocyanin and phycoerythrin, which are responsible for green and red appearance, respectively. Sequence comparisons suggest the transfer of a functional phycoerythrin gene cluster generating a red phenotype in a strain that is otherwise more closely related to green strains. Our data show that the insertion of a DNA fragment containing the 19.7-kb phycoerythrin gene cluster has been facilitated by homologous recombination, also replacing a region of the phycocyanin operon. These findings demonstrate that large DNA fragments spanning entire functional gene clusters can be effectively transferred between closely related cyanobacterial strains and result in a changed phenotype. Further, the results shed new light on the discussion of the role of horizontal gene transfer in the sporadic distribution of large gene clusters in cyanobacteria, as well as the appearance of red and green strains. PMID:23995927

  18. [Gene doping: gene transfer and possible molecular detection].

    PubMed

    Argüelles, Carlos Francisco; Hernández-Zamora, Edgar

    2007-01-01

    The use of illegal substances in sports to enhance athletic performance during competition has caused international sports organizations such as the COI and WADA to take anti doping measures. A new doping method know as gene doping is defined as "the non-therapeutic use of genes, genetic elements and/or cells that have the capacity to enhance athletic performance". However, gene doping in sports is not easily identified and can cause serious consequences. Molecular biology techniques are needed in order to distinguish the difference between a "normal" and an "altered" genome. Further, we need to develop new analytic methods and biological molecular techniques in anti-doping laboratories, and design programs that avoid the non therapeutic use of genes.

  19. Recent events dominate interdomain lateral gene transfers between prokaryotes and eukaryotes and, with the exception of endosymbiotic gene transfers, few ancient transfer events persist.

    PubMed

    Katz, Laura A

    2015-09-26

    While there is compelling evidence for the impact of endosymbiotic gene transfer (EGT; transfer from either mitochondrion or chloroplast to the nucleus) on genome evolution in eukaryotes, the role of interdomain transfer from bacteria and/or archaea (i.e. prokaryotes) is less clear. Lateral gene transfers (LGTs) have been argued to be potential sources of phylogenetic information, particularly for reconstructing deep nodes that are difficult to recover with traditional phylogenetic methods. We sought to identify interdomain LGTs by using a phylogenomic pipeline that generated 13 465 single gene trees and included up to 487 eukaryotes, 303 bacteria and 118 archaea. Our goals include searching for LGTs that unite major eukaryotic clades, and describing the relative contributions of LGT and EGT across the eukaryotic tree of life. Given the difficulties in interpreting single gene trees that aim to capture the approximately 1.8 billion years of eukaryotic evolution, we focus on presence-absence data to identify interdomain transfer events. Specifically, we identify 1138 genes found only in prokaryotes and representatives of three or fewer major clades of eukaryotes (e.g. Amoebozoa, Archaeplastida, Excavata, Opisthokonta, SAR and orphan lineages). The majority of these genes have phylogenetic patterns that are consistent with recent interdomain LGTs and, with the notable exception of EGTs involving photosynthetic eukaryotes, we detect few ancient interdomain LGTs. These analyses suggest that LGTs have probably occurred throughout the history of eukaryotes, but that ancient events are not maintained unless they are associated with endosymbiotic gene transfer among photosynthetic lineages.

  20. Recent events dominate interdomain lateral gene transfers between prokaryotes and eukaryotes and, with the exception of endosymbiotic gene transfers, few ancient transfer events persist

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Laura A.

    2015-01-01

    While there is compelling evidence for the impact of endosymbiotic gene transfer (EGT; transfer from either mitochondrion or chloroplast to the nucleus) on genome evolution in eukaryotes, the role of interdomain transfer from bacteria and/or archaea (i.e. prokaryotes) is less clear. Lateral gene transfers (LGTs) have been argued to be potential sources of phylogenetic information, particularly for reconstructing deep nodes that are difficult to recover with traditional phylogenetic methods. We sought to identify interdomain LGTs by using a phylogenomic pipeline that generated 13 465 single gene trees and included up to 487 eukaryotes, 303 bacteria and 118 archaea. Our goals include searching for LGTs that unite major eukaryotic clades, and describing the relative contributions of LGT and EGT across the eukaryotic tree of life. Given the difficulties in interpreting single gene trees that aim to capture the approximately 1.8 billion years of eukaryotic evolution, we focus on presence–absence data to identify interdomain transfer events. Specifically, we identify 1138 genes found only in prokaryotes and representatives of three or fewer major clades of eukaryotes (e.g. Amoebozoa, Archaeplastida, Excavata, Opisthokonta, SAR and orphan lineages). The majority of these genes have phylogenetic patterns that are consistent with recent interdomain LGTs and, with the notable exception of EGTs involving photosynthetic eukaryotes, we detect few ancient interdomain LGTs. These analyses suggest that LGTs have probably occurred throughout the history of eukaryotes, but that ancient events are not maintained unless they are associated with endosymbiotic gene transfer among photosynthetic lineages. PMID:26323756

  1. Gene Therapy: The Potential Applicability of Gene Transfer Technology to the Human Germline

    PubMed Central

    2004-01-01

    The theoretical possibility of applying gene transfer methodologies to the human germline is explored. Transgenic methods for genetically manipulating embryos may in principle be applied to humans. In particular, microinjection of retroviral vector appears to hold the greatest promise, with transgenic primates already obtained from this approach. Sperm-mediated gene transfer offers potentially the easiest route to the human germline, however the requisite methodology is presently underdeveloped. Nuclear transfer (cloning) offers an alternative approach to germline genetic modification, however there are major health concerns associated with current nuclear transfer methods. It is concluded that human germline gene therapy remains for all practical purposes a future possibility that must await significant and important advances in gene transfer technology. PMID:15912200

  2. A Gene in the Process of Endosymbiotic Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Jiroutová, Kateřina; Kořený, Luděk; Bowler, Chris; Oborník, Miroslav

    2010-01-01

    Background The endosymbiotic birth of organelles is accompanied by massive transfer of endosymbiont genes to the eukaryotic host nucleus. In the centric diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana the Psb28 protein is encoded in the plastid genome while a second version is nuclear-encoded and possesses a bipartite N-terminal presequence necessary to target the protein into the diatom complex plastid. Thus it can represent a gene captured during endosymbiotic gene transfer. Methodology/Principal Findings To specify the origin of nuclear- and plastid-encoded Psb28 in T. pseudonana we have performed extensive phylogenetic analyses of both mentioned genes. We have also experimentally tested the intracellular location of the nuclear-encoded Psb28 protein (nuPsb28) through transformation of the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum with the gene in question fused to EYFP. Conclusions/Significance We show here that both versions of the psb28 gene in T. pseudonana are transcribed. We also provide experimental evidence for successful targeting of the nuPsb28 fused with EYFP to the diatom complex plastid. Extensive phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that nucleotide composition of the analyzed genes deeply influences the tree topology and that appropriate methods designed to deal with a compositional bias of the sequences and the long branch attraction artefact (LBA) need to be used to overcome this obstacle. We propose that nuclear psb28 in T. pseudonana is a duplicate of a plastid localized version, and that it has been transferred from its endosymbiont. PMID:20949086

  3. Bacteriophage-associated gene transfer in pneumococcus: transduction or pseudotransduction?

    PubMed Central

    Porter, R D; Shoemaker, N B; Rampe, G; Guild, W R

    1979-01-01

    Lysates of pneumococcal phage PG24 transferred genes from one host to another in a process with many of the properties of generalized transduction, in that the host genes were packaged in DNase-resistant particles that closely resembled infectious phage in physical properties, adsorbed to the recipient cells like phage, and were inhibited by antisera to the phage and by trypsin. However, phage processes did not complete the transfer of host DNA as they did phage DNA. Instead, gene transfer required development of competence and entry of the host DNA by the endonuclease-dependent pathway used for transforming and transfecting DNA. This process often occurred on the assay plate hours after adsorption of the particles to the cells, and the transfer was DNase sensitive if challenged at this time. Phenotypic expression was therefore also delayed. The product of entry was like that in transformation, a single strand of DNA that integrates by formation of a hex-sensitive donor-recipient heteroduplex. Whether this gene transfer process is unique to this system or is only the first one described is not clear. The term "pseudotransduction" may be useful in calling attention to its unexpected features. The DNA of PG24 phage has anomalous physical properties reflecting unusual bases. Images PMID:33154

  4. The interconnection between biofilm formation and horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Madsen, Jonas Stenløkke; Burmølle, Mette; Hansen, Lars Hestbjerg; Sørensen, Søren Johannes

    2012-07-01

    Recent research has revealed that horizontal gene transfer and biofilm formation are connected processes. Although published research investigating this interconnectedness is still limited, we will review this subject in order to highlight the potential of these observations because of their believed importance in the understanding of the adaptation and subsequent evolution of social traits in bacteria. Here, we discuss current evidence for such interconnectedness centred on plasmids. Horizontal transfer rates are typically higher in biofilm communities compared with those in planktonic states. Biofilms, furthermore, promote plasmid stability and may enhance the host range of mobile genetic elements that are transferred horizontally. Plasmids, on the other hand, are very well suited to promote the evolution of social traits such as biofilm formation. This, essentially, transpires because plasmids are independent replicons that enhance their own success by promoting inter-bacterial interactions. They typically also carry genes that heighten their hosts' direct fitness. Furthermore, current research shows that the so-called mafia traits encoded on mobile genetic elements can enforce bacteria to maintain stable social interactions. It also indicates that horizontal gene transfer ultimately enhances the relatedness of bacteria carrying the mobile genetic elements of the same origin. The perspective of this review extends to an overall interconnectedness between horizontal gene transfer, mobile genetic elements and social evolution of bacteria.

  5. Antibacterial gene transfer across the tree of life

    PubMed Central

    Metcalf, Jason A; Funkhouser-Jones, Lisa J; Brileya, Kristen; Reysenbach, Anna-Louise; Bordenstein, Seth R

    2014-01-01

    Though horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is widespread, genes and taxa experience biased rates of transferability. Curiously, independent transmission of homologous DNA to archaea, bacteria, eukaryotes, and viruses is extremely rare and often defies ecological and functional explanations. Here, we demonstrate that a bacterial lysozyme family integrated independently in all domains of life across diverse environments, generating the only glycosyl hydrolase 25 muramidases in plants and archaea. During coculture of a hydrothermal vent archaeon with a bacterial competitor, muramidase transcription is upregulated. Moreover, recombinant lysozyme exhibits broad-spectrum antibacterial action in a dose-dependent manner. Similar to bacterial transfer of antibiotic resistance genes, transfer of a potent antibacterial gene across the universal tree seemingly bestows a niche-transcending adaptation that trumps the barriers against parallel HGT to all domains. The discoveries also comprise the first characterization of an antibacterial gene in archaea and support the pursuit of antibiotics in this underexplored group. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04266.001 PMID:25422936

  6. Functionalized organic nanotubes as tubular nonviral gene transfer vector.

    PubMed

    Ding, Wuxiao; Wada, Momoyo; Kameta, Naohiro; Minamikawa, Hiroyuki; Shimizu, Toshimi; Masuda, Mitsutoshi

    2011-11-30

    Tubular nanomaterials are expected to represent a novel nonviral gene transfer vectors due to the unique morphology and potential biological functionalities. Here we rationally constructed functionalized organic nanotubes (ONTs) for gene delivery through the co-assembly of bipolar glycolipid, arginine-lipid and PEG-lipid. The arginine- and PEG-functionalized ONTs efficiently formed complexes with plasmid DNA without aggregation, and protect DNA from enzymatic degradation; while the arginine-functionalized ONTs aggregated with DNA as large bundles. Long ONTs exceeding 1μm in length was rarely taken up into the cells, while those with a length of 400-800nm could effectively deliver plasmid DNA into cells and induce high transgene expression of green fluorescense protein. This study demonstrated the usefulness of functionalized ONT in gene delivery, and the functionalized ONT represents a novel type of tubular nonviral gene transfer vector.

  7. Gene transfer techniques in whole embryo cultured post-implantation mouse embryos.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Daisuke; Trainor, Paul A

    2014-01-01

    Gene transfer techniques such as electroporation and lipofection are powerful systems for investigating gene function. In this chapter we focus on the methods and applications of gene transfer into specific cells and tissues of post-implantation mouse embryos.

  8. Horizontal gene transfer in the human gastrointestinal tract: potential spread of antibiotic resistance genes

    PubMed Central

    Huddleston, Jennifer R

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial infections are becoming increasingly difficult to treat due to widespread antibiotic resistance among pathogens. This review aims to give an overview of the major horizontal transfer mechanisms and their evolution and then demonstrate the human lower gastrointestinal tract as an environment in which horizontal gene transfer of resistance determinants occurs. Finally, implications for antibiotic usage and the development of resistant infections and persistence of antibiotic resistance genes in populations as a result of horizontal gene transfer in the large intestine will be discussed. PMID:25018641

  9. Replacing and Additive Horizontal Gene Transfer in Streptococcus

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Sang Chul; Rasmussen, Matthew D.; Hubisz, Melissa J.; Gronau, Ilan; Stanhope, Michael J.; Siepel, Adam

    2012-01-01

    The prominent role of Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT) in the evolution of bacteria is now well documented, but few studies have differentiated between evolutionary events that predominantly cause genes in one lineage to be replaced by homologs from another lineage (“replacing HGT”) and events that result in the addition of substantial new genomic material (“additive HGT”). Here in, we make use of the distinct phylogenetic signatures of replacing and additive HGTs in a genome-wide study of the important human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes (SPY) and its close relatives S. dysgalactiae subspecies equisimilis (SDE) and S. dysgalactiae subspecies dysgalactiae (SDD). Using recently developed statistical models and computational methods, we find evidence for abundant gene flow of both kinds within each of the SPY and SDE clades and of reduced levels of exchange between SPY and SDD. In addition, our analysis strongly supports a pronounced asymmetry in SPY–SDE gene flow, favoring the SPY-to-SDE direction. This finding is of particular interest in light of the recent increase in virulence of pathogenic SDE. We find much stronger evidence for SPY–SDE gene flow among replacing than among additive transfers, suggesting a primary influence from homologous recombination between co-occurring SPY and SDE cells in human hosts. Putative virulence genes are correlated with transfer events, but this correlation is found to be driven by additive, not replacing, HGTs. The genes affected by additive HGTs are enriched for functions having to do with transposition, recombination, and DNA integration, consistent with previous findings, whereas replacing HGTs seen to influence a more diverse set of genes. Additive transfers are also found to be associated with evidence of positive selection. These findings shed new light on the manner in which HGT has shaped pathogenic bacterial genomes. PMID:22617954

  10. Horizontal gene transfer in eukaryotes: the weak-link model.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jinling

    2013-10-01

    The significance of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in eukaryotic evolution remains controversial. Although many eukaryotic genes are of bacterial origin, they are often interpreted as being derived from mitochondria or plastids. Because of their fixed gene pool and gene loss, however, mitochondria and plastids alone cannot adequately explain the presence of all, or even the majority, of bacterial genes in eukaryotes. Available data indicate that no insurmountable barrier to HGT exists, even in complex multicellular eukaryotes. In addition, the discovery of both recent and ancient HGT events in all major eukaryotic groups suggests that HGT has been a regular occurrence throughout the history of eukaryotic evolution. A model of HGT is proposed that suggests both unicellular and early developmental stages as likely entry points for foreign genes into multicellular eukaryotes.

  11. Estimating the Frequency of Horizontal Gene Transfer Using Phylogenetic Models of Gene Gain and Loss.

    PubMed

    Zamani-Dahaj, Seyed Alireza; Okasha, Mohamed; Kosakowski, Jakub; Higgs, Paul G

    2016-07-01

    We analyze patterns of gene presence and absence in a maximum likelihood framework with rate parameters for gene gain and loss. Standard methods allow independent gains and losses in different parts of a tree. While losses of the same gene are likely to be frequent, multiple gains need to be considered carefully. A gene gain could occur by horizontal transfer or by origin of a gene within the lineage being studied. If a gene is gained more than once, then at least one of these gains must be a horizontal transfer. A key parameter is the ratio of gain to loss rates, a/v We consider the limiting case known as the infinitely many genes model, where a/v tends to zero and a gene cannot be gained more than once. The infinitely many genes model is used as a null model in comparison to models that allow multiple gains. Using genome data from cyanobacteria and archaea, it is found that the likelihood is significantly improved by allowing for multiple gains, but the average a/v is very small. The fraction of genes whose presence/absence pattern is best explained by multiple gains is only 15% in the cyanobacteria and 20% and 39% in two data sets of archaea. The distribution of rates of gene loss is very broad, which explains why many genes follow a treelike pattern of vertical inheritance, despite the presence of a significant minority of genes that undergo horizontal transfer.

  12. Gene Transfer in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Shuttle Phasmids to Enlightenment.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, William R

    2014-04-01

    Infectious diseases have plagued humankind throughout history and have posed serious public health problems. Yet vaccines have eradicated smallpox and antibiotics have drastically decreased the mortality rate of many infectious agents. These remarkable successes in the control of infections came from knowing the causative agents of the diseases, followed by serendipitous discoveries of attenuated viruses and antibiotics. The discovery of DNA as genetic material and the understanding of how this information translates into specific phenotypes have changed the paradigm for developing new vaccines, drugs, and diagnostic tests. Knowledge of the mechanisms of immunity and mechanisms of action of drugs has led to new vaccines and new antimicrobial agents. The key to the acquisition of the knowledge of these mechanisms has been identifying the elemental causes (i.e., genes and their products) that mediate immunity and drug resistance. The identification of these genes is made possible by being able to transfer the genes or mutated forms of the genes into causative agents or surrogate hosts. Such an approach was limited in Mycobacterium tuberculosis by the difficulty of transferring genes or alleles into M. tuberculosis or a suitable surrogate mycobacterial host. The construction of shuttle phasmids-chimeric molecules that replicate in Escherichia coli as plasmids and in mycobacteria as mycobacteriophages-was instrumental in developing gene transfer systems for M. tuberculosis. This review will discuss M. tuberculosis genetic systems and their impact on tuberculosis research.

  13. Gene Transfer in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Shuttle Phasmids to Enlightenment

    PubMed Central

    JACOBS, WILLIAM R.

    2016-01-01

    Infectious diseases have plagued humankind throughout history and have posed serious public health problems. Yet vaccines have eradicated smallpox and antibiotics have drastically decreased the mortality rate of many infectious agents. These remarkable successes in the control of infections came from knowing the causative agents of the diseases, followed by serendipitous discoveries of attenuated viruses and antibiotics. The discovery of DNA as genetic material and the understanding of how this information translates into specific phenotypes have changed the paradigm for developing new vaccines, drugs, and diagnostic tests. Knowledge of the mechanisms of immunity and mechanisms of action of drugs has led to new vaccines and new antimicrobial agents. The key to the acquisition of the knowledge of these mechanisms has been identifying the elemental causes (i.e., genes and their products) that mediate immunity and drug resistance. The identification of these genes is made possible by being able to transfer the genes or mutated forms of the genes into causative agents or surrogate hosts. Such an approach was limited in Mycobacterium tuberculosis by the difficulty of transferring genes or alleles into M. tuberculosis or a suitable surrogate mycobacterial host. The construction of shuttle phasmids—chimeric molecules that replicate in Escherichia coli as plasmids and in mycobacteria as mycobacteriophages—was instrumental in developing gene transfer systems for M. tuberculosis. This review will discuss M. tuberculosis genetic systems and their impact on tuberculosis research. “I had to know my enemy in order to prevail against him.”Nelson Mandela PMID:26105819

  14. Connexin Gene Transfer Preserves Conduction Velocity and Prevents Atrial Fibrillation

    PubMed Central

    Igarashi, Tomonori; Finet, J. Emanuel; Takeuchi, Ayano; Fujino, Yoshihisa; Strom, Maria; Greener, Ian D.; Rosenbaum, David S.; Donahue, J. Kevin

    2011-01-01

    Background Several lines of evidence have suggested that maintenance of atrial fibrillation (AF) depends on reentrant mechanisms. Maintenance of reentry necessitates a sufficiently short refractory period and/or delayed conduction, and AF has been associated with both alterations. Fibrosis, cellular dysfunction and gap junction protein alterations occur in AF and cause conduction delay. We performed this study to test the hypothesis that gap junction protein overexpression would improve conduction and prevent AF. Methods and Results Thirty Yorkshire swine were randomized into 2 groups (sinus rhythm (SR) and AF), and within each group into 3 subgroups: sham-operated control, gene therapy with adenovirus expressing connexin (Cx) 40 and Cx43 (n=5 per subgroup). All animals had epicardial gene painting; the AF group had burst atrial pacing. All animals underwent terminal study 7 days after gene transfer. SR animals had strong transgene expression but no atrial conduction changes. In AF animals, controls had reduced and lateralized Cx43 expression, and Cx43 gene transfer restored expression and cellular location to SR control levels. In the AF group, both Cx40 and Cx43 gene transfer improved conduction and reduced AF relative to controls. Conclusions Connexin gene therapy preserved atrial conduction and prevented AF. PMID:22158756

  15. Bacterial Genes in the Aphid Genome: Absence of Functional Gene Transfer from Buchnera to Its Host

    PubMed Central

    Nikoh, Naruo; McCutcheon, John P.; Kudo, Toshiaki; Miyagishima, Shin-ya; Moran, Nancy A.; Nakabachi, Atsushi

    2010-01-01

    Genome reduction is typical of obligate symbionts. In cellular organelles, this reduction partly reflects transfer of ancestral bacterial genes to the host genome, but little is known about gene transfer in other obligate symbioses. Aphids harbor anciently acquired obligate mutualists, Buchnera aphidicola (Gammaproteobacteria), which have highly reduced genomes (420–650 kb), raising the possibility of gene transfer from ancestral Buchnera to the aphid genome. In addition, aphids often harbor other bacteria that also are potential sources of transferred genes. Previous limited sampling of genes expressed in bacteriocytes, the specialized cells that harbor Buchnera, revealed that aphids acquired at least two genes from bacteria. The newly sequenced genome of the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, presents the first opportunity for a complete inventory of genes transferred from bacteria to the host genome in the context of an ancient obligate symbiosis. Computational screening of the entire A. pisum genome, followed by phylogenetic and experimental analyses, provided strong support for the transfer of 12 genes or gene fragments from bacteria to the aphid genome: three LD–carboxypeptidases (LdcA1, LdcA2,ψLdcA), five rare lipoprotein As (RlpA1-5), N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase (AmiD), 1,4-beta-N-acetylmuramidase (bLys), DNA polymerase III alpha chain (ψDnaE), and ATP synthase delta chain (ψAtpH). Buchnera was the apparent source of two highly truncated pseudogenes (ψDnaE and ψAtpH). Most other transferred genes were closely related to genes from relatives of Wolbachia (Alphaproteobacteria). At least eight of the transferred genes (LdcA1, AmiD, RlpA1-5, bLys) appear to be functional, and expression of seven (LdcA1, AmiD, RlpA1-5) are highly upregulated in bacteriocytes. The LdcAs and RlpAs appear to have been duplicated after transfer. Our results excluded the hypothesis that genome reduction in Buchnera has been accompanied by gene transfer to the host

  16. Antibiotics and gene transfer in swine gut bacteria

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The mammalian gastrointestinal (GI) tract hosts a diverse collection bacteria, most of which are beneficial for host health. This bacterial community also supports a community of viruses that infect bacteria (called bacteriophages or phages). Phages transfer genes between bacteria, and phage-media...

  17. Physical methods for gene transfer: improving the kinetics of gene delivery into cells.

    PubMed

    Mehier-Humbert, Sophie; Guy, Richard H

    2005-04-01

    One factor critical to successful gene therapy is the development of efficient delivery systems. Although advances in gene transfer technology, including viral and non-viral vectors, have been made, an ideal vector system has not yet been constructed. This review describes the basic principles behind various physical methods for gene transfer and assesses the advantages and performance of such approaches, compared to other transfection systems. In particular, the kinetics and efficiency of gene delivery, the toxicity, in vivo feasibility, and targeting ability of different physical methodologies are discussed and evaluated.

  18. Controlled plasmid gene transfer to murine renal carcinoma by hexadecylphosphocholine.

    PubMed

    Settelen, Nathalie; Roch, Olivier; Bock, David; Rooke, Ronald; Braun, Serge; Meyer, Olivier

    2004-01-01

    We report here that the anticancer drug hexadecylphosphocholine (HPC) can control plasmid DNA-mediated gene transfer to renal carcinoma following intratumoral administration. Significant improvement of gene expression levels could be achieved depending on HPC dose administered. Optimal concentration of HPC co-injected with plasmid DNA was found to be 0.2% (w/v) showing up to a 10-fold increase in reporter gene expression levels when compared to DNA administered alone. In vivo gene transfer activity of HPC was not affected by the nature of the diluent used, i.e. glucose-based or saline-based isotonic solutions. Although in vitro transfection activity of HPC formulations could not be evidenced, a liposome leakage assay revealed that HPC could significantly destabilize stable lipid membranes suggesting that a possible membrane permeation enhancer activity of HPC combined to the physical stress induced by the intratumor injection may facilitate plasmid DNA entry inside the cells resulting in increased gene expression. HPC/plasmid formulations represent new and attractive non-viral gene delivery systems with potential in cancer gene therapy and vaccination. PMID:14684287

  19. Tools and Principles for Microbial Gene Circuit Engineering.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Robert W; Buck, Martin; Wang, Baojun

    2016-02-27

    Synthetic biologists aim to construct novel genetic circuits with useful applications through rational design and forward engineering. Given the complexity of signal processing that occurs in natural biological systems, engineered microbes have the potential to perform a wide range of desirable tasks that require sophisticated computation and control. Realising this goal will require accurate predictive design of complex synthetic gene circuits and accompanying large sets of quality modular and orthogonal genetic parts. Here we present a current overview of the versatile components and tools available for engineering gene circuits in microbes, including recently developed RNA-based tools that possess large dynamic ranges and can be easily programmed. We introduce design principles that enable robust and scalable circuit performance such as insulating a gene circuit against unwanted interactions with its context, and we describe efficient strategies for rapidly identifying and correcting causes of failure and fine-tuning circuit characteristics.

  20. Rescuing the Failing Heart by Targeted Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Kawase, Yoshiaki; Ladage, Dennis; Hajjar, Roger J.

    2011-01-01

    Congestive heart failure is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the US. While progress in conventional treatments is making steady and incremental gains to reduce heart failure mortality, there is a critical need to explore new therapeutic approaches. Gene therapy was initially applied in the clinical setting for inherited monogenic disorders. It is now apparent that gene therapy has broader potential that also includes acquired polygenic diseases, such as congestive heart failure. Recent advances in understanding of the molecular basis of myocardial dysfunction, together with the evolution of increasingly efficient gene transfer technology, has placed heart failure within reach of gene-based therapy. Furthermore, the recent successful and safe completion of a phase 2 trial targeting the sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase pump (SERCA2a) along with the start of more recent phase 1 trials usher a new era for gene therapy for the treatment of heart failure. PMID:21371634

  1. Endosymbiotic gene transfer from prokaryotic pangenomes: Inherited chimerism in eukaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Ku, Chuan; Nelson-Sathi, Shijulal; Roettger, Mayo; Garg, Sriram; Hazkani-Covo, Einat; Martin, William F.

    2015-01-01

    Endosymbiotic theory in eukaryotic-cell evolution rests upon a foundation of three cornerstone partners—the plastid (a cyanobacterium), the mitochondrion (a proteobacterium), and its host (an archaeon)—and carries a corollary that, over time, the majority of genes once present in the organelle genomes were relinquished to the chromosomes of the host (endosymbiotic gene transfer). However, notwithstanding eukaryote-specific gene inventions, single-gene phylogenies have never traced eukaryotic genes to three single prokaryotic sources, an issue that hinges crucially upon factors influencing phylogenetic inference. In the age of genomes, single-gene trees, once used to test the predictions of endosymbiotic theory, now spawn new theories that stand to eventually replace endosymbiotic theory with descriptive, gene tree-based variants featuring supernumerary symbionts: prokaryotic partners distinct from the cornerstone trio and whose existence is inferred solely from single-gene trees. We reason that the endosymbiotic ancestors of mitochondria and chloroplasts brought into the eukaryotic—and plant and algal—lineage a genome-sized sample of genes from the proteobacterial and cyanobacterial pangenomes of their respective day and that, even if molecular phylogeny were artifact-free, sampling prokaryotic pangenomes through endosymbiotic gene transfer would lead to inherited chimerism. Recombination in prokaryotes (transduction, conjugation, transformation) differs from recombination in eukaryotes (sex). Prokaryotic recombination leads to pangenomes, and eukaryotic recombination leads to vertical inheritance. Viewed from the perspective of endosymbiotic theory, the critical transition at the eukaryote origin that allowed escape from Muller’s ratchet—the origin of eukaryotic recombination, or sex—might have required surprisingly little evolutionary innovation. PMID:25733873

  2. Endosymbiotic gene transfer from prokaryotic pangenomes: Inherited chimerism in eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Ku, Chuan; Nelson-Sathi, Shijulal; Roettger, Mayo; Garg, Sriram; Hazkani-Covo, Einat; Martin, William F

    2015-08-18

    Endosymbiotic theory in eukaryotic-cell evolution rests upon a foundation of three cornerstone partners--the plastid (a cyanobacterium), the mitochondrion (a proteobacterium), and its host (an archaeon)--and carries a corollary that, over time, the majority of genes once present in the organelle genomes were relinquished to the chromosomes of the host (endosymbiotic gene transfer). However, notwithstanding eukaryote-specific gene inventions, single-gene phylogenies have never traced eukaryotic genes to three single prokaryotic sources, an issue that hinges crucially upon factors influencing phylogenetic inference. In the age of genomes, single-gene trees, once used to test the predictions of endosymbiotic theory, now spawn new theories that stand to eventually replace endosymbiotic theory with descriptive, gene tree-based variants featuring supernumerary symbionts: prokaryotic partners distinct from the cornerstone trio and whose existence is inferred solely from single-gene trees. We reason that the endosymbiotic ancestors of mitochondria and chloroplasts brought into the eukaryotic--and plant and algal--lineage a genome-sized sample of genes from the proteobacterial and cyanobacterial pangenomes of their respective day and that, even if molecular phylogeny were artifact-free, sampling prokaryotic pangenomes through endosymbiotic gene transfer would lead to inherited chimerism. Recombination in prokaryotes (transduction, conjugation, transformation) differs from recombination in eukaryotes (sex). Prokaryotic recombination leads to pangenomes, and eukaryotic recombination leads to vertical inheritance. Viewed from the perspective of endosymbiotic theory, the critical transition at the eukaryote origin that allowed escape from Muller's ratchet--the origin of eukaryotic recombination, or sex--might have required surprisingly little evolutionary innovation.

  3. Endosymbiotic gene transfer from prokaryotic pangenomes: Inherited chimerism in eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Ku, Chuan; Nelson-Sathi, Shijulal; Roettger, Mayo; Garg, Sriram; Hazkani-Covo, Einat; Martin, William F

    2015-08-18

    Endosymbiotic theory in eukaryotic-cell evolution rests upon a foundation of three cornerstone partners--the plastid (a cyanobacterium), the mitochondrion (a proteobacterium), and its host (an archaeon)--and carries a corollary that, over time, the majority of genes once present in the organelle genomes were relinquished to the chromosomes of the host (endosymbiotic gene transfer). However, notwithstanding eukaryote-specific gene inventions, single-gene phylogenies have never traced eukaryotic genes to three single prokaryotic sources, an issue that hinges crucially upon factors influencing phylogenetic inference. In the age of genomes, single-gene trees, once used to test the predictions of endosymbiotic theory, now spawn new theories that stand to eventually replace endosymbiotic theory with descriptive, gene tree-based variants featuring supernumerary symbionts: prokaryotic partners distinct from the cornerstone trio and whose existence is inferred solely from single-gene trees. We reason that the endosymbiotic ancestors of mitochondria and chloroplasts brought into the eukaryotic--and plant and algal--lineage a genome-sized sample of genes from the proteobacterial and cyanobacterial pangenomes of their respective day and that, even if molecular phylogeny were artifact-free, sampling prokaryotic pangenomes through endosymbiotic gene transfer would lead to inherited chimerism. Recombination in prokaryotes (transduction, conjugation, transformation) differs from recombination in eukaryotes (sex). Prokaryotic recombination leads to pangenomes, and eukaryotic recombination leads to vertical inheritance. Viewed from the perspective of endosymbiotic theory, the critical transition at the eukaryote origin that allowed escape from Muller's ratchet--the origin of eukaryotic recombination, or sex--might have required surprisingly little evolutionary innovation. PMID:25733873

  4. Immunotherapy of Malignancy by in vivo Gene Transfer into Tumors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plautz, Gregory E.; Yang, Zhi-Yong; Wu, Bei-Yue; Gao, Xiang; Huang, Leaf; Nabel, Gary J.

    1993-05-01

    The immune system confers protection against a variety of pathogens and contributes to the surveillance and destruction of neoplastic cells. Several cell types participate in the recognition and lysis of tumors, and appropriate immune stimulation provides therapeutic effects in malignancy. Foreign major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins also serve as a potent stimulus to the immune system. In this report, a foreign MHC gene was introduced directly into malignant tumors in vivo in an effort to stimulate tumor rejection. In contrast to previous attempts to induce tumor immunity by cell-mediated gene transfer, the recombinant gene was introduced directly into tumors in vivo. Expression of the murine class I H-2K^s gene within the CT26 mouse colon adenocarcinoma (H-2K^d) or the MCA 106 fibrosarcoma (H-2K^b) induced a cytotoxic T-cell response to H-2K^s and, more importantly, to other antigens present on unmodified tumor cells. This immune response attenuated tumor growth and caused complete tumor regression in many cases. Direct gene transfer in vivo can therefore induce cell-mediated immunity against specific gene products, which provides an immunotherapeutic effect for malignancy, and potentially can be applied to the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases in man.

  5. Modulation of adenovirus-mediated gene transfer by nitric oxide.

    PubMed

    Haddad, I Y; Sorscher, E J; Garver, R I; Hong, J; Tzeng, E; Matalon, S

    1997-05-01

    We assessed the role of .NO in recombinant adenovirus-mediated gene transfer both in vitro and in vivo. NIH3T3 fibroblasts, stably transfected with the human inducible nitric oxide synthase, but lacking tetrahydrobiopterin (NIH3T3/iNOS [inducibile nitric oxide synthase]), were infected with replication-deficient adenovirus (E1-deleted), containing either the luciferase or the Lac Z reporter genes (AdCMV-Luc and AdCMV-Lac Z; 1-10 plaque forming units [pfu]/cell). Incubation of infected cells with sepiapterin (50 microM), a precursor of tetrahydrobiopterin, progressively increased nitrate/nitrite levels in the medium and decreased both luciferase and beta-galactosidase protein expression to approximately 60% of their corresponding control values, 24 h later. NIH3T3/iNOS cells had normal ATP (adenosine 5'-triphosphate) levels and did not release LDH(lactic dehydrogenase) into the medium. Pretreatment of these cells with N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA; 1 mM), an inhibitor of iNOS, prevented the sepiapterin-mediated induction of .NO and restored gene transfer to baseline values. Incubation of NIH3T3/iNOS with 8-bromo-cGMP (400 microM) in the absence of sepiapterin, or exposure of AdCMV-Luc to large concentrations of .NO, did not alter the efficacy of gene transfer. .NO produced by NIH3T3/iNOS cells also suppressed beta-galactosidase expression in NIH3T3 cocultured cells stably transfected with beta-galactosidase gene, suggesting .NO inhibited gene expression at either the transriptional or posttranscriptional levels. To investigate the effects of inhaled .NO on gene transfer in vivo, CD1 mice received an intratracheal instillation of AdCMV-Luc (4 x 10(9) pfu in 80 microl of saline) and exposed to .NO (25 ppm in room air) for 72 h. At that time, no significant degree of lung inflammation was detected by histological examination. However, lung luciferase activity decreased by 53% as compared with air breathing controls (P < 0.05; n > or = 8). We concluded that

  6. Human gene transfer: Characterization of human tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes as vehicles for retroviral-mediated gene transfer in man

    SciTech Connect

    Kasid, A.; Morecki, S.; Aebersold, P.; Cornetta, K.; Culver, K.; Freeman, S.; Director, E.; Lotze, M.T.; Blaese, R.M.; Anderson, W.F.; Rosenberg, S.A. )

    1990-01-01

    Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are cells generated from tumor suspensions cultured in interleukin 2 that can mediate cancer regression when adoptively transferred into mice or humans. Since TILs proliferate rapidly in vitro, recirculate, and preferentially localize at the tumor site in vivo, they provide an attractive model for delivery of exogenous genetic material into man. To determine whether efficient gene transfer into TILs is feasible. The authors transduced human TILs with the bacterial gene for neomycin-resistance (Neo{sup R}) using the retroviral vector N2. The transduced TIL populations were stable and polyclonal with respect to the intact Neo{sup R} gene integration and expressed high levels of neomycin phosphotransferase activity. The Neo{sup R} gene insertion did not alter the in vitro growth pattern and interleukin 2 dependence of the transduced TILs. Analyses of T-cell receptor gene rearrangement for {beta}- and {gamma}-chain genes revealed the oligoclonal nature of the TIL populations with no major change in the DNA rearrangement patterns or the levels of mRNA expression of the {beta} and {gamma} chains following transduction and selection of TILs in the neomycin analog G418. Human TILs expressed mRNA for tumor necrosis factors ({alpha} and {beta}) and interleukin 2 receptor P55. This pattern of cytokine-mRNA expression was not significantly altered following the transduction of TILs. The studies demonstrate the feasibility of TILs as suitable cellular vehicles for the introduction of therapeutic genes into patients receiving autologous TILs.

  7. Wolbachia genome integrated in an insect chromosome: Evolution and fate of laterally transferred endosymbiont genes

    PubMed Central

    Nikoh, Naruo; Tanaka, Kohjiro; Shibata, Fukashi; Kondo, Natsuko; Hizume, Masahiro; Shimada, Masakazu; Fukatsu, Takema

    2008-01-01

    Recent accumulation of microbial genome data has demonstrated that lateral gene transfers constitute an important and universal evolutionary process in prokaryotes, while those in multicellular eukaryotes are still regarded as unusual, except for endosymbiotic gene transfers from mitochondria and plastids. Here we thoroughly investigated the bacterial genes derived from a Wolbachia endosymbiont on the nuclear genome of the beetle Callosobruchus chinensis. Exhaustive PCR detection and Southern blot analysis suggested that ∼30% of Wolbachia genes, in terms of the gene repertoire of wMel, are present on the insect nuclear genome. Fluorescent in situ hybridization located the transferred genes on the proximal region of the basal short arm of the X chromosome. Molecular evolutionary and other lines of evidence indicated that the transferred genes are probably derived from a single lateral transfer event. The transferred genes were, for the length examined, structurally disrupted, freed from functional constraints, and transcriptionally inactive. Hence, most, if not all, of the transferred genes have been pseudogenized. Notwithstanding this, the transferred genes were ubiquitously detected from Japanese and Taiwanese populations of C. chinensis, while the number of the transferred genes detected differed between the populations. The transferred genes were not detected from congenic beetle species, indicating that the transfer event occurred after speciation of C. chinensis, which was estimated to be one or several million years ago. These features of the laterally transferred endosymbiont genes are compared with the evolutionary patterns of mitochondrial and plastid genome fragments acquired by nuclear genomes through recent endosymbiotic gene transfers. PMID:18073380

  8. Identifying Mendelian disease genes with the Variant Effect Scoring Tool

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Whole exome sequencing studies identify hundreds to thousands of rare protein coding variants of ambiguous significance for human health. Computational tools are needed to accelerate the identification of specific variants and genes that contribute to human disease. Results We have developed the Variant Effect Scoring Tool (VEST), a supervised machine learning-based classifier, to prioritize rare missense variants with likely involvement in human disease. The VEST classifier training set comprised ~ 45,000 disease mutations from the latest Human Gene Mutation Database release and another ~45,000 high frequency (allele frequency >1%) putatively neutral missense variants from the Exome Sequencing Project. VEST outperforms some of the most popular methods for prioritizing missense variants in carefully designed holdout benchmarking experiments (VEST ROC AUC = 0.91, PolyPhen2 ROC AUC = 0.86, SIFT4.0 ROC AUC = 0.84). VEST estimates variant score p-values against a null distribution of VEST scores for neutral variants not included in the VEST training set. These p-values can be aggregated at the gene level across multiple disease exomes to rank genes for probable disease involvement. We tested the ability of an aggregate VEST gene score to identify candidate Mendelian disease genes, based on whole-exome sequencing of a small number of disease cases. We used whole-exome data for two Mendelian disorders for which the causal gene is known. Considering only genes that contained variants in all cases, the VEST gene score ranked dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) number 2 of 2253 genes in four cases of Miller syndrome, and myosin-3 (MYH3) number 2 of 2313 genes in three cases of Freeman Sheldon syndrome. Conclusions Our results demonstrate the potential power gain of aggregating bioinformatics variant scores into gene-level scores and the general utility of bioinformatics in assisting the search for disease genes in large-scale exome sequencing studies. VEST is

  9. Gene transfer into neural cells in vitro using adenoviral vectors.

    PubMed

    Southgate, T D; Kingston, P A; Castro, M G

    2001-05-01

    Adenoviruses (Ads) have become a very attractive and versatile vector system for delivering genes into brain cells in vitro and in vivo. One of the main attractions of Ads is that they can mediate gene transfer into post-mitotic cells, i.e. neurons. Ads are easy to grow and manipulate, stable, and their biology is very well understood. This unit is designed to help newcomers into the field, to design, prepare and grow replication-defective recombinant adenovirus vectors with the aim of transferring genes into neurons and glial cells in primary culture. It provides step-by-step methods describing the preparation of brain cell cultures, their infection using recombinant adenovirus vectors and also the assessment of transgene expression using a variety of techniques including fluorescence immunocytochemistry and fluorescence activated cell-sorting (FACS) analysis. The methods described will be useful to scientists wishing to enter the adenovirus field to construct adenovirus vectors to be used for gene transfer into neural cells.

  10. Manufacturing process applications team (MATEAM). [technology transfer in the areas of machine tools and robots

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    The transfer of NASA technology to the industrial sector is reported. Presentations to the machine tool and robot industries and direct technology transfers of the Adams Manipulator arm, a-c motor control, and the bolt tension monitor are discussed. A listing of proposed RTOP programs with strong potential is included. A detailed description of the rotor technology available to industry is given.

  11. Control of gene transfer on a DNA-fibronectin-apatite composite layer by the incorporation of carbonate and fluoride ions.

    PubMed

    Yazaki, Yushin; Oyane, Ayako; Sogo, Yu; Ito, Atsuo; Yamazaki, Atsushi; Tsurushima, Hideo

    2011-07-01

    Gene transfer techniques are useful tools for controlling cell behavior, such as proliferation and differentiation. We have recently developed an efficient area-specific gene transfer system using a DNA-fibronectin-apatite composite layer (DF-Ap layer). In this system, partial dissolution of the composite layer is likely to be a crucial step for gene transfer. In the present study, layer solubility was adjusted by incorporating various contents of carbonate or fluoride ions into the DF-Ap layer via ionic substitution for the apatite crystals. Carbonate ion incorporation increased the solubility of the DF-Ap layer, thereby increasing the efficiency of gene transfer on the layer. In contrast, the incorporation of fluoride ions decreased the solubility of the DF-Ap layer, thereby decreasing the efficiency and delaying the timing of gene transfer on the layer dose-dependently. The present gene transfer system with controllable efficiency and timing would be useful in tissue engineering applications because cell differentiation can be induced effectively by regulating appropriate gene expression with suitable timing.

  12. Gene transfer to subdermal tissues via a new gene gun design.

    PubMed

    Dileo, John; Miller, Theodore E; Chesnoy, Sophie; Huang, Leaf

    2003-01-01

    Although particle-mediated gene transfer technology (gene gun) has been applied for gene transfer to external tissues, the application of this technology to other tissues has met with limited success. Here we report the development of a new design of a gene gun that uses helium discharge to propel DNA-coated gold beads that are suspended in liquid. Higher discharge pressures allow for the delivery of DNA to deeper tissues. Using the new gene gun to deliver a luciferase expression plasmid resulted in higher levels of gene expression in the skin than observed with conventional guns, as well as in subdermal tissues, including subcutaneous tumors. Even when using as little as 125 ng of DNA, gene expression in skin and muscle reached its peak level at 24 hr postbombardment and remained for at least 1 week. The use of a LacZ expression plasmid showed that gene expression was distributed throughout the skin with no observable pathology. The new gene gun was used to deliver a model tumor rejection antigen (a modified human papilloma virus [HPV] E7 gene) to mice. All of the treated animals developed protective immunity against HPV-positive tumors. These results demonstrate that our new design can be used in standard gene gun applications and extends the reach of gene gun technology to tissues that were previously unavailable.

  13. Nano-Sized Sunflower Polycations As Effective Gene Transfer Vehicles.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Yilong; Wei, Hua; Tan, James-Kevin Y; Peeler, David J; Maris, Don O; Sellers, Drew L; Horner, Philip J; Pun, Suzie H

    2016-05-01

    The architecture of polycations plays an important role in both gene transfection efficiency and cytotoxicity. In this work, a new polymer, sunflower poly(2-dimethyl amino)ethyl methacrylate) (pDMAEMA), is prepared by atom transfer radical polymerization and employed as nucleic acid carriers compared to linear pDMAEMA homopolymer and comb pDMAEMA. The sunflower pDMAEMAs show higher IC50 , greater buffering capacity, and stronger binding capacity toward plasmid DNA than their linear and comb counterparts. In vitro transfection studies demonstrate that sunflower pDMAEMAs exhibit high transfection efficiency as well as relatively low cytotoxicity in complete growth medium. In vivo gene delivery by intraventricular injection to the brain shows that sunflower polymer delivers plasmid DNA more effectively than comb polymer. This study provides a new insight into the relationship between polymeric architecture and gene delivery capability, and as well as a useful means to design potent vectors for successful gene delivery. PMID:27061622

  14. Parallel Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction: A tool for the large scale analysis of gene-gene interactions

    PubMed Central

    Bush, William S.; Dudek, Scott M.; Ritchie, Marylyn D.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Parallel multifactor dimensionality reduction is a tool for large scale analysis of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions. The MDR algorithm was redesigned to allow an unlimited number of study subjects, total variables, and variable states, and to remove restrictions on the order of interactions being analyzed. In addition, the algorithm is markedly more efficient, with an approximately 150-fold decrease in runtime for equivalent analyses. To facilitate the processing of large datasets, the algorithm was made parallel. PMID:16809395

  15. Electroporation-mediated gene transfer directly to the swine heart.

    PubMed

    Hargrave, B; Downey, H; Strange, R; Murray, L; Cinnamond, C; Lundberg, C; Israel, A; Chen, Y-J; Marshall, W; Heller, R

    2013-02-01

    In vivo gene transfer to the ischemic heart via electroporation holds promise as a potential therapeutic approach for the treatment of heart disease. In the current study, we investigated the use of in vivo electroporation for gene transfer using three different penetrating electrodes and one non-penetrating electrode. The hearts of adult male swine were exposed through a sternotomy. Eight electric pulses synchronized to the rising phase of the R wave of the electrocardiogram were administered at varying pulse widths and field strengths following an injection of either a plasmid encoding luciferase or one encoding green fluorescent protein. Four sites on the anterior wall of the left ventricle were treated. Animals were killed 48 h after injection and electroporation and gene expression was determined. Results were compared with sites in the heart that received plasmid injection but no electric pulses or were not treated. Gene expression was higher in all electroporated sites when compared with injection only sites demonstrating the robustness of this approach. Our results provide evidence that in vivo electroporation can be a safe and effective non-viral method for delivering genes to the heart, in vivo.

  16. Endosymbiotic gene transfer in tertiary plastid-containing dinoflagellates.

    PubMed

    Burki, Fabien; Imanian, Behzad; Hehenberger, Elisabeth; Hirakawa, Yoshihisa; Maruyama, Shinichiro; Keeling, Patrick J

    2014-02-01

    Plastid establishment involves the transfer of endosymbiotic genes to the host nucleus, a process known as endosymbiotic gene transfer (EGT). Large amounts of EGT have been shown in several photosynthetic lineages but also in present-day plastid-lacking organisms, supporting the notion that endosymbiotic genes leave a substantial genetic footprint in the host nucleus. Yet the extent of this genetic relocation remains debated, largely because the long period that has passed since most plastids originated has erased many of the clues to how this process unfolded. Among the dinoflagellates, however, the ancestral peridinin-containing plastid has been replaced by tertiary plastids on several more recent occasions, giving us a less ancient window to examine plastid origins. In this study, we evaluated the endosymbiotic contribution to the host genome in two dinoflagellate lineages with tertiary plastids. We generated the first nuclear transcriptome data sets for the "dinotoms," which harbor diatom-derived plastids, and analyzed these data in combination with the available transcriptomes for kareniaceans, which harbor haptophyte-derived plastids. We found low level of detectable EGT in both dinoflagellate lineages, with only 9 genes and 90 genes of possible tertiary endosymbiotic origin in dinotoms and kareniaceans, respectively, suggesting that tertiary endosymbioses did not heavily impact the host dinoflagellate genomes.

  17. Characterization of an Ancient Lepidopteran Lateral Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Wheeler, David; Redding, Amanda J.; Werren, John H.

    2013-01-01

    Bacteria to eukaryote lateral gene transfers (LGT) are an important potential source of material for the evolution of novel genetic traits. The explosion in the number of newly sequenced genomes provides opportunities to identify and characterize examples of these lateral gene transfer events, and to assess their role in the evolution of new genes. In this paper, we describe an ancient lepidopteran LGT of a glycosyl hydrolase family 31 gene (GH31) from an Enterococcus bacteria. PCR amplification between the LGT and a flanking insect gene confirmed that the GH31 was integrated into the Bombyx mori genome and was not a result of an assembly error. Database searches in combination with degenerate PCR on a panel of 7 lepidopteran families confirmed that the GH31 LGT event occurred deep within the Order approximately 65–145 million years ago. The most basal species in which the LGT was found is Plutella xylostella (superfamily: Yponomeutoidea). Array data from Bombyx mori shows that GH31 is expressed, and low dN/dS ratios indicates the LGT coding sequence is under strong stabilizing selection. These findings provide further support for the proposition that bacterial LGTs are relatively common in insects and likely to be an underappreciated source of adaptive genetic material. PMID:23533610

  18. How Toddlers Acquire and Transfer Tool Knowledge: Developmental Changes and the Role of Executive Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pauen, Sabina; Bechtel-Kuehne, Sabrina

    2016-01-01

    This report investigates tool learning and its relations to executive functions (EFs) in toddlers. In Study 1 (N = 93), 18-, 20-, 22-, and 24-month-old children learned equally well to choose a correct tool from observation, whereas performance based on feedback improved with age. Knowledge transfer showed significant progress after 22 months of…

  19. Nuclear transfer: a new tool for reproductive biotechnology in cattle.

    PubMed

    Heyman, Yvan

    2005-01-01

    Recent evolutions of somatic cloning by nuclear transfer are reported, especially in the bovine species where potential applications are underway for biomedicine in association with transgenesis, or for agriculture by improving livestock. The overall efficiency of this biotechnology remains low in terms of viable offspring, but significant progress has been achieved on the different steps of the technique. However, the in vivo development of bovine blastocysts derived from somatic nuclear transfer is characterised by some important features that lead to the "cloning syndrome". Important losses occur during the peri-implantation period and further late foetal loss is observed in association with the Large Offspring Syndrome. About 60-70% of the cloned calves born survive normally to the adult stage and present an apparently normal physiology. Recent data already available on bovine somatic clones of both sexes indicate that they have a zootechnical performance similar to non cloned animals and they are able to reproduce normally without the pathologies associated to cloning thus confirming that the deviations observed in clones are of epigenetic origin and not transmitted to the progeny.

  20. Gene transfer from a parasitic flowering plant to a fern

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Charles C; Anderson, William R; Wurdack, Kenneth J

    2005-01-01

    The rattlesnake fern (Botrychium virginianum (L.) Sw.) is obligately mycotrophic and widely distributed across the northern hemisphere. Three mitochondrial gene regions place this species with other ferns in Ophioglossaceae, while two regions place it as a member of the largely parasitic angiosperm order Santalales (sandalwoods and mistletoes). These discordant phylogenetic placements suggest that part of the genome in B. virginianum was acquired by horizontal gene transfer (HGT), perhaps from root-parasitic Loranthaceae. These transgenes are restricted to B. virginianum and occur across the range of the species. Molecular and life-history traits indicate that the transfer preceded the global expansion of B. virginianum, and that the latter may have happened very rapidly. This is the first report of HGT from an angiosperm to a fern, through either direct parasitism or the mediation of interconnecting fungal symbionts. PMID:16191635

  1. Adenovirus serotype 5 hexon mediates liver gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Waddington, Simon N; McVey, John H; Bhella, David; Parker, Alan L; Barker, Kristeen; Atoda, Hideko; Pink, Rebecca; Buckley, Suzanne M K; Greig, Jenny A; Denby, Laura; Custers, Jerome; Morita, Takashi; Francischetti, Ivo M B; Monteiro, Robson Q; Barouch, Dan H; van Rooijen, Nico; Napoli, Claudio; Havenga, Menzo J E; Nicklin, Stuart A; Baker, Andrew H

    2008-02-01

    Adenoviruses are used extensively as gene transfer agents, both experimentally and clinically. However, targeting of liver cells by adenoviruses compromises their potential efficacy. In cell culture, the adenovirus serotype 5 fiber protein engages the coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR) to bind cells. Paradoxically, following intravascular delivery, CAR is not used for liver transduction, implicating alternate pathways. Recently, we demonstrated that coagulation factor (F)X directly binds adenovirus leading to liver infection. Here, we show that FX binds to the Ad5 hexon, not fiber, via an interaction between the FX Gla domain and hypervariable regions of the hexon surface. Binding occurs in multiple human adenovirus serotypes. Liver infection by the FX-Ad5 complex is mediated through a heparin-binding exosite in the FX serine protease domain. This study reveals an unanticipated function for hexon in mediating liver gene transfer in vivo. PMID:18267072

  2. Future directions in alcoholism research. Genomics and gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Brooks, P J; Lipsky, R H

    2000-01-01

    Alcohol affects the process by which genes direct the synthesis of proteins (i.e., expression). Therefore, patterns of gene expression in the presence of alcohol can help scientists identify the specific molecular sites of alcohol's actions within the brain. New technologies can detect and quantify changes in the expression of thousands of genes simultaneously by scanning microscopic gene arrays applied to glass or silicon chips an inch or so square. However, genes whose activity is altered in the presence of alcohol may either be contributing to alcoholism development or may be reacting to alcohol's presence. This question can be researched by observing the effects of manipulating the level of specific gene products. One way to accomplish this end is by means of viruses that have been engineered to express a specific gene in infected cells. This technique has been applied successfully in studying addictive behaviors. It is suggested that patterns of gene expression may become a diagnostic tool, with different disease states being characterized by distinct expression profiles.

  3. Detection of homologous horizontal gene transfer in SNP data

    2012-07-23

    We study the detection of mutations, sequencing errors, and homologous horizontal gene transfers (HGT) in a set of closely related microbial genomes. We base the model on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP's) and break the genomes into blocks to handle the rearrangement problem. Then we apply a synamic programming algorithm to model whether changes within each block are likely a result of mutations, sequencing errors, or HGT.

  4. Horizontal gene transfer is a significant driver of gene innovation in dinoflagellates.

    PubMed

    Wisecaver, Jennifer H; Brosnahan, Michael L; Hackett, Jeremiah D

    2013-01-01

    The dinoflagellates are an evolutionarily and ecologically important group of microbial eukaryotes. Previous work suggests that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is an important source of gene innovation in these organisms. However, dinoflagellate genomes are notoriously large and complex, making genomic investigation of this phenomenon impractical with currently available sequencing technology. Fortunately, de novo transcriptome sequencing and assembly provides an alternative approach for investigating HGT. We sequenced the transcriptome of the dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense Group IV to investigate how HGT has contributed to gene innovation in this group. Our comprehensive A. tamarense Group IV gene set was compared with those of 16 other eukaryotic genomes. Ancestral gene content reconstruction of ortholog groups shows that A. tamarense Group IV has the largest number of gene families gained (314-1,563 depending on inference method) relative to all other organisms in the analysis (0-782). Phylogenomic analysis indicates that genes horizontally acquired from bacteria are a significant proportion of this gene influx, as are genes transferred from other eukaryotes either through HGT or endosymbiosis. The dinoflagellates also display curious cases of gene loss associated with mitochondrial metabolism including the entire Complex I of oxidative phosphorylation. Some of these missing genes have been functionally replaced by bacterial and eukaryotic xenologs. The transcriptome of A. tamarense Group IV lends strong support to a growing body of evidence that dinoflagellate genomes are extraordinarily impacted by HGT.

  5. Risks from GMOs due to horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Keese, Paul

    2008-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the stable transfer of genetic material from one organism to another without reproduction or human intervention. Transfer occurs by the passage of donor genetic material across cellular boundaries, followed by heritable incorporation to the genome of the recipient organism. In addition to conjugation, transformation and transduction, other diverse mechanisms of DNA and RNA uptake occur in nature. The genome of almost every organism reveals the footprint of many ancient HGT events. Most commonly, HGT involves the transmission of genes on viruses or mobile genetic elements. HGT first became an issue of public concern in the 1970s through the natural spread of antibiotic resistance genes amongst pathogenic bacteria, and more recently with commercial production of genetically modified (GM) crops. However, the frequency of HGT from plants to other eukaryotes or prokaryotes is extremely low. The frequency of HGT to viruses is potentially greater, but is restricted by stringent selection pressures. In most cases the occurrence of HGT from GM crops to other organisms is expected to be lower than background rates. Therefore, HGT from GM plants poses negligible risks to human health or the environment.

  6. Dynamic monitoring of horizontal gene transfer in soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, H. Y.; Masiello, C. A.; Silberg, J. J.; Bennett, G. N.

    2015-12-01

    Soil microbial gene expression underlies microbial behaviors (phenotypes) central to many aspects of C, N, and H2O cycling. However, continuous monitoring of microbial gene expression in soils is challenging because genetically-encoded reporter proteins widely used in the lab are difficult to deploy in soil matrices: for example, green fluorescent protein cannot be easily visualized in soils, even in the lab. To address this problem we have developed a reporter protein that releases small volatile gases. Here, we applied this gas reporter in a proof-of-concept soil experiment, monitoring horizontal gene transfer, a microbial activity that alters microbial genotypes and phenotypes. Horizontal gene transfer is central to bacterial evolution and adaptation and is relevant to problems such as the spread of antibiotic resistance, increasing metal tolerance in superfund sites, and bioremediation capability of bacterial consortia. This process is likely to be impacted by a number of matrix properties not well-represented in the petri dish, such as microscale variations in water, nutrients, and O2, making petri-dish experiments a poor proxy for environmental processes. We built a conjugation system using synthetic biology to demonstrate the use of gas-reporting biosensors in safe, lab-based biogeochemistry experiments, and here we report the use of these sensors to monitor horizontal gene transfer in soils. Our system is based on the F-plasmid conjugation in Escherichia coli. We have found that the gas signal reports on the number of cells that acquire F-plasmids (transconjugants) in a loamy Alfisol collected from Kellogg Biological Station. We will report how a gas signal generated by transconjugants varies with the number of F-plasmid donor and acceptor cells seeded in a soil, soil moisture, and soil O2 levels.

  7. Using variability in gene expression as a tool for studying gene regulation.

    PubMed

    Padovan-Merhar, Olivia; Raj, Arjun

    2013-01-01

    With the advent of quantitative tools for measuring gene expression in single cells, researchers have made the discovery that in many contexts, messenger RNA and protein levels can vary widely from cell to cell, often because of inherently stochastic events associated with gene expression. The study of this cellular individuality has become a field of study in its own right, characterized by a blend of technological development, theoretical analysis, and, more recently, applications to biological phenomena. In this review, we focus on the use of the variability inherent to gene expression as a tool to understand gene regulation. We discuss the use of variability as a natural systems-level perturbation, its use in quantitatively characterizing the biological processes underlying transcription, and its application to the discovery of new gene regulatory interactions. We believe that use of variability can provide new biological insights into different aspects of transcriptional control and can provide a powerful complementary approach to that of existing techniques.

  8. Gene therapy inhibiting neointimal vascular lesion: in vivo transfer of endothelial cell nitric oxide synthase gene.

    PubMed Central

    von der Leyen, H E; Gibbons, G H; Morishita, R; Lewis, N P; Zhang, L; Nakajima, M; Kaneda, Y; Cooke, J P; Dzau, V J

    1995-01-01

    It is postulated that vascular disease involves a disturbance in the homeostatic balance of factors regulating vascular tone and structure. Recent developments in gene transfer techniques have emerged as an exciting therapeutic option to treat vascular disease. Several studies have established the feasibility of direct in vivo gene transfer into the vasculature by using reporter genes such as beta-galactosidase or luciferase. To date no study has documented therapeutic effects with in vivo gene transfer of a cDNA encoding a functional enzyme. This study tests the hypothesis that endothelium-derived nitric oxide is an endogenous inhibitor of vascular lesion formation. After denudation by balloon injury of the endothelium of rat carotid arteries, we restored endothelial cell nitric oxide synthase (ec-NOS) expression in the vessel wall by using the highly efficient Sendai virus/liposome in vivo gene transfer technique. ec-NOS gene transfection not only restored NO production to levels seen in normal untreated vessels but also increased vascular reactivity of the injured vessels. Neointima formation at day 14 after balloon injury was inhibited by 70%. These findings provide direct evidence that NO is an endogenous inhibitor of vascular lesion formation in vivo (by inhibiting smooth muscle cell proliferation and migration) and suggest the possibility of ec-NOS transfection as a potential therapeutic approach to treat neointimal hyperplasia. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 5 PMID:7532305

  9. Gene Therapy Inhibiting Neointimal Vascular Lesion: In vivo Transfer of Endothelial Cell Nitric Oxide Synthase Gene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von der Leyen, Heiko E.; Gibbons, Gary H.; Morishita, Ryuichi; Lewis, Neil P.; Zhang, Lunan; Nakajima, Masatoshi; Kaneda, Yasufumi; Cooke, John P.; Dzau, Victor J.

    1995-02-01

    It is postulated that vascular disease involves a disturbance in the homeostatic balance of factors regulating vascular tone and structure. Recent developments in gene transfer techniques have emerged as an exciting therapeutic option to treat vascular disease. Several studies have established the feasibility of direct in vivo gene transfer into the vasculature by using reporter genes such as β-galactosidase or luciferase. To date no study has documented therapeutic effects with in vivo gene transfer of a cDNA encoding a functional enzyme. This study tests the hypothesis that endothelium-derived nitric oxide is an endogenous inhibitor of vascular lesion formation. After denudation by balloon injury of the endothelium of rat carotid arteries, we restored endothelial cell nitric oxide synthase (ec-NOS) expression in the vessel wall by using the highly efficient Sendai virus/liposome in vivo gene transfer technique. ec-NOS gene transfection not only restored NO production to levels seen in normal untreated vessels but also increased vascular reactivity of the injured vessel. Neointima formation at day 14 after balloon injury was inhibited by 70%. These findings provide direct evidence that NO is an endogenous inhibitor of vascular lesion formation in vivo (by inhibiting smooth muscle cell proliferation and migration) and suggest the possibility of ec-NOS transfection as a potential therapeutic approach to treat neointimal hyperplasia.

  10. The Data Transfer Kit: A geometric rendezvous-based tool for multiphysics data transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Slattery, S. R.; Wilson, P. P. H.; Pawlowski, R. P.

    2013-07-01

    The Data Transfer Kit (DTK) is a software library designed to provide parallel data transfer services for arbitrary physics components based on the concept of geometric rendezvous. The rendezvous algorithm provides a means to geometrically correlate two geometric domains that may be arbitrarily decomposed in a parallel simulation. By repartitioning both domains such that they have the same geometric domain on each parallel process, efficient and load balanced search operations and data transfer can be performed at a desirable algorithmic time complexity with low communication overhead relative to other types of mapping algorithms. With the increased development efforts in multiphysics simulation and other multiple mesh and geometry problems, generating parallel topology maps for transferring fields and other data between geometric domains is a common operation. The algorithms used to generate parallel topology maps based on the concept of geometric rendezvous as implemented in DTK are described with an example using a conjugate heat transfer calculation and thermal coupling with a neutronics code. In addition, we provide the results of initial scaling studies performed on the Jaguar Cray XK6 system at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for a worse-case-scenario problem in terms of algorithmic complexity that shows good scaling on 0(1 x 104) cores for topology map generation and excellent scaling on 0(1 x 105) cores for the data transfer operation with meshes of O(1 x 109) elements. (authors)

  11. Horizontal Gene Transfer Contributes to the Evolution of Arthropod Herbivory

    PubMed Central

    Wybouw, Nicky; Pauchet, Yannick; Heckel, David G.; Van Leeuwen, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Within animals, evolutionary transition toward herbivory is severely limited by the hostile characteristics of plants. Arthropods have nonetheless counteracted many nutritional and defensive barriers imposed by plants and are currently considered as the most successful animal herbivores in terrestrial ecosystems. We gather a body of evidence showing that genomes of various plant feeding insects and mites possess genes whose presence can only be explained by horizontal gene transfer (HGT). HGT is the asexual transmission of genetic information between reproductively isolated species. Although HGT is known to have great adaptive significance in prokaryotes, its impact on eukaryotic evolution remains obscure. Here, we show that laterally transferred genes into arthropods underpin many adaptations to phytophagy, including efficient assimilation and detoxification of plant produced metabolites. Horizontally acquired genes and the traits they encode often functionally diversify within arthropod recipients, enabling the colonization of more host plant species and organs. We demonstrate that HGT can drive metazoan evolution by uncovering its prominent role in the adaptations of arthropods to exploit plants. PMID:27307274

  12. Investigating rate-limiting barriers to nanoscale nonviral gene transfer with nanobiophotonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Hunter H.

    Nucleic acids are a novel class of therapeutics poised to address many unmet clinical needs. Safe and efficient delivery remains a significant challenge that has delayed the realization of the full therapeutic potential of nucleic acids. Nanoscale nonviral vectors offer an attractive alternative to viral vectors as natural and synthetic polymers or polypeptides may be rationally designed to meet the unique demands of individual applications. A mechanistic understanding of cellular barriers is necessary to develop guidelines for designing custom gene carriers which are expected to greatly impact this delivery challenge. The work herein focused on the relationships among nanocomplex stability, intracellular trafficking and unpacking kinetics, and DNA degradation. Ultrasensitive nanosensors based on QD-FRET were developed to characterize the biophysical properties of nanocomplexes and study these rate-limiting steps. Quantitative image analysis enabled the distributions of the subpopulation of condensed or released DNA to be determined within the major cellular compartments encountered during gene transfer. The steady state stability and unpacking kinetics within these compartments were found to impact transgene expression, elucidating multiple design strategies to achieve efficient gene transfer. To address enzymatic barriers, a novel two-step QD-FRET nanosensor was developed to analyze unpacking and DNA degradation simultaneously, which has not been accomplished previously. Bioresponsive strategies such as disulfide crosslinking and thermosensitivity were evaluated by QD-FRET and quantitative compartmental analysis as case studies to determine appropriate design specifications for thiolated polymers and thermoresponsive polypeptides. Relevant nanobiophotonic tools were developed as a platform to study major rate-limiting barriers to nanomedicine and demonstrated the feasibility of using mechanistic information gained from these tools to guide the rational design of

  13. HGTree: database of horizontally transferred genes determined by tree reconciliation

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Hyeonsoo; Sung, Samsun; Kwon, Taehyung; Seo, Minseok; Caetano-Anollés, Kelsey; Choi, Sang Ho; Cho, Seoae; Nasir, Arshan; Kim, Heebal

    2016-01-01

    The HGTree database provides putative genome-wide horizontal gene transfer (HGT) information for 2472 completely sequenced prokaryotic genomes. This task is accomplished by reconstructing approximate maximum likelihood phylogenetic trees for each orthologous gene and corresponding 16S rRNA reference species sets and then reconciling the two trees under parsimony framework. The tree reconciliation method is generally considered to be a reliable way to detect HGT events but its practical use has remained limited because the method is computationally intensive and conceptually challenging. In this regard, HGTree (http://hgtree.snu.ac.kr) represents a useful addition to the biological community and enables quick and easy retrieval of information for HGT-acquired genes to better understand microbial taxonomy and evolution. The database is freely available and can be easily scaled and updated to keep pace with the rapid rise in genomic information. PMID:26578597

  14. In vitro study for laser gene transfer in BHK-21 fibroblast cell line

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdel Aziz, M.; Salem, D. S.; Salama, M. S.; Badr, Y.

    2009-02-01

    Modifications to our previously introduced system for laser microbeam cell surgery were carried out in the present work to match animal cells. These modifications included: 1- Using other laser system that used before, Excimer laser with 193 and 308 nm wavelengths. The used laser here, is He-Cd with low power and 441.5 nm wavelength in the visible region. 2- Instead of using pulsed laser, we used here CW He-Cd chopped by electrical chopper, which is synchronized with the mechanical motion of the mobile stage with step 40 microns, according to cell dimensions to avoid puncturing the same cell twice. The advantages of the modified here laser setup for gene transfer is: it is less damaging to the sensitive animal cell which has thin cell membrane. The present work aimed to: 1- Design a modified laser microbeam cell surgery, applicable to animal cells, such as fibroblast cells 2- To examine the efficiency of such system. 3- To assure gene transfer and its expression in the used cells. 4- To evaluate the ultra damages produced from using the laser beam as a modality for gene transfer. On the other wards, to introduce: safe, efficient and less damaging modality for gene transfer in animal cells. To achieve these goals, we applied the introduced here home-made laser setup with its synchronized parameters to introduce pBK-CMV phagemid, containing LacZ and neomycin resistance (neor )genes into BHK-21 fibroblast cell line. The results of the present work showed that: 1- Our modified laser microbeam cell surgery setup proved to be useful and efficient tool for gene transfer into fibroblast cells. 2- The presence and expression of LacZ gene was achieved using histochemical LacZ assay. 3- Selection of G418 antibiotic sensitivity assay confirmed the presence and expression towards stability of neor gene with time. 4- Presence of LacZ and neor genes in the genomic DNA of transfected fibroblast cells was indicated using PCR analysis. 5- Transmission electron microscopy indicated

  15. Facilitating knowledge transfer: decision support tools in environment and health.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hai-Ying; Bartonova, Alena; Neofytou, Panagiotis; Yang, Aileen; Kobernus, Michael J; Negrenti, Emanuele; Housiadas, Christos

    2012-01-01

    The HENVINET Health and Environment Network aimed to enhance the use of scientific knowledge in environmental health for policy making. One of the goals was to identify and evaluate Decision Support Tools (DST) in current use. Special attention was paid to four "priority" health issues: asthma and allergies, cancer, neurodevelopment disorders, and endocrine disruptors.We identified a variety of tools that are used for decision making at various levels and by various stakeholders. We developed a common framework for information acquisition about DSTs, translated this to a database structure and collected the information in an online Metadata Base (MDB).The primary product is an open access web-based MDB currently filled with 67 DSTs, accessible through the HENVINET networking portal http://www.henvinet.eu and http://henvinet.nilu.no. Quality assurance and control of the entries and evaluation of requirements to use the DSTs were also a focus of the work. The HENVINET DST MDB is an open product that enables the public to get basic information about the DSTs, and to search the DSTs using pre-designed attributes or free text. Registered users are able to 1) review and comment on existing DSTs; 2) evaluate each DST's functionalities, and 3) add new DSTs, or change the entry for their own DSTs. Assessment of the available 67 DSTs showed: 1) more than 25% of the DSTs address only one pollution source; 2) 25% of the DSTs address only one environmental stressor; 3) almost 50% of the DSTs are only applied to one disease; 4) 41% of the DSTs can only be applied to one decision making area; 5) 60% of the DSTs' results are used only by national authority and/or municipality/urban level administration; 6) almost half of the DSTs are used only by environmental professionals and researchers. This indicates that there is a need to develop DSTs covering an increasing number of pollution sources, environmental stressors and health end points, and considering links to other 'Driving

  16. Bacterial gene transfer by natural genetic transformation in the environment.

    PubMed Central

    Lorenz, M G; Wackernagel, W

    1994-01-01

    Natural genetic transformation is the active uptake of free DNA by bacterial cells and the heritable incorporation of its genetic information. Since the famous discovery of transformation in Streptococcus pneumoniae by Griffith in 1928 and the demonstration of DNA as the transforming principle by Avery and coworkers in 1944, cellular processes involved in transformation have been studied extensively by in vitro experimentation with a few transformable species. Only more recently has it been considered that transformation may be a powerful mechanism of horizontal gene transfer in natural bacterial populations. In this review the current understanding of the biology of transformation is summarized to provide the platform on which aspects of bacterial transformation in water, soil, and sediments and the habitat of pathogens are discussed. Direct and indirect evidence for gene transfer routes by transformation within species and between different species will be presented, along with data suggesting that plasmids as well as chromosomal DNA are subject to genetic exchange via transformation. Experiments exploring the prerequisites for transformation in the environment, including the production and persistence of free DNA and factors important for the uptake of DNA by cells, will be compiled, as well as possible natural barriers to transformation. The efficiency of gene transfer by transformation in bacterial habitats is possibly genetically adjusted to submaximal levels. The fact that natural transformation has been detected among bacteria from all trophic and taxonomic groups including archaebacteria suggests that transformability evolved early in phylogeny. Probable functions of DNA uptake other than gene acquisition will be discussed. The body of information presently available suggests that transformation has a great impact on bacterial population dynamics as well as on bacterial evolution and speciation. PMID:7968924

  17. Synthetic RNAs for Gene Regulation: Design Principles and Computational Tools

    PubMed Central

    Laganà, Alessandro; Shasha, Dennis; Croce, Carlo Maria

    2014-01-01

    The use of synthetic non-coding RNAs for post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression has not only become a standard laboratory tool for gene functional studies but it has also opened up new perspectives in the design of new and potentially promising therapeutic strategies. Bioinformatics has provided researchers with a variety of tools for the design, the analysis, and the evaluation of RNAi agents such as small-interfering RNA (siRNA), short-hairpin RNA (shRNA), artificial microRNA (a-miR), and microRNA sponges. More recently, a new system for genome engineering based on the bacterial CRISPR-Cas9 system (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), was shown to have the potential to also regulate gene expression at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional level in a more specific way. In this mini review, we present RNAi and CRISPRi design principles and discuss the advantages and limitations of the current design approaches. PMID:25566532

  18. Shock wave permeabilization as a new gene transfer method.

    PubMed

    Lauer, U; Bürgelt, E; Squire, Z; Messmer, K; Hofschneider, P H; Gregor, M; Delius, M

    1997-07-01

    Uptake of naked functional DNA into mammalian cells can be achieved by a number of physical methods. However, for most of these techniques possibilities for therapeutic in vivo applications--especially to solid organs--are often limited. In this report, we describe shock wave permeabilization as a new physical gene transfer method, which can be easily applied, provides great flexibility in the size and sequence of the DNA molecules to be delivered, and which should exhibit an advantageous security profile in vivo. Upon exposure to lithotripter-generated shock waves eukaryotic cells display a temporary increase in membrane permeability. This effect was shown to be caused by cavitation resulting in the transient generation of cell pores which allows the direct transfer of naked plasmid DNA. Shockwave transfection of a variety of cell lines was demonstrated. Since shock waves can be well focused within particular body regions, future applications of extracorporally generated shock waves to tissues simultaneously perfused with DNA solutions might open up the possibility of achieving a regionally enhanced in vivo gene transfer.

  19. Phylogenomics of T4 cyanophages: lateral gene transfer in the 'core' and origins of host genes.

    PubMed

    Ignacio-Espinoza, J Cesar; Sullivan, Matthew B

    2012-08-01

    The last two decades have revealed that phages (viruses that infect bacteria) are abundant and play fundamental roles in the Earth System, with the T4-like myoviruses (herein T4-like phages) emerging as a dominant 'signal' in wild populations. Here we examine 27 T4-like phage genomes, with a focus on 17 that infect ocean picocyanobacteria (cyanophages), to evaluate lateral gene transfer (LGT) in this group. First, we establish a reference tree by evaluating concatenated core gene supertrees and whole genome gene content trees. Next, we evaluate what fraction of these 'core genes' shared by all 17 cyanophages appear prone to LGT. Most (47 out of 57 core genes) were vertically transferred as inferred from tree tests and genomic synteny. Of those 10 core genes that failed the tree tests, the bulk (8 of 10) remain syntenic in the genomes with only a few (3 of the 10) having identifiable signatures of mobile elements. Notably, only one of these 10 is shared not only by the 17 cyanophages, but also by all 27 T4-like phages (thymidylate synthase); its evolutionary history suggests cyanophages may be the origin of these genes to Prochlorococcus. Next, we examined intragenic recombination among the core genes and found that it did occur, even among these core genes, but that the rate was significantly higher between closely related phages, perhaps reducing any detectable LGT signal and leading to taxon cohesion. Finally, among 18 auxiliary metabolic genes (AMGs, a.k.a. 'host' genes), we found that half originated from their immediate hosts, in some cases multiple times (e.g. psbA, psbD, pstS), while the remaining have less clear evolutionary origins ranging from cyanobacteria (4 genes) or microbes (5 genes), with particular diversity among viral TalC and Hsp20 sequences. Together, these findings highlight the patterns and limits of vertical evolution, as well as the ecological and evolutionary roles of LGT in shaping T4-like phage genomes.

  20. Gene therapy: the role of cytoskeleton in gene transfer studies based on biology and mathematics.

    PubMed

    Notarangelo, Maria G; Natalini, Roberto; Signori, Emanuela

    2014-01-01

    Gene therapy is a promising approach for treating a wide range of human pathologies such as genetic disorders as well as diseases acquired over time. Viral and non-viral vectors are used to convey sequences of genes that can be expressed for therapeutic purposes. Plasmid DNA is receiving considerable attention for intramuscular gene transfer due to its safety, simplicity and low cost of production. Nevertheless, strategies to improve DNA uptake into the nucleus of cells for its expression are required. Cytoskeleton plays an important role in the intracellular trafficking. The mechanism regulating this process must be elucidated. Here, we propose a new methodological approach based on the coupling of biology assays and predictive mathematical models, in order to clarify the mechanism of the DNA uptake and its expression into the cells. Once these processes are better clarified, we will be able to propose more efficient therapeutic gene transfer protocols for the treatment of human patients.

  1. Interdomain lateral gene transfer of an essential ferrochelatase gene in human parasitic nematodes.

    PubMed

    Wu, Bo; Novelli, Jacopo; Jiang, Daojun; Dailey, Harry A; Landmann, Frédéric; Ford, Louise; Taylor, Mark J; Carlow, Clotilde K S; Kumar, Sanjay; Foster, Jeremy M; Slatko, Barton E

    2013-05-01

    Lateral gene transfer events between bacteria and animals highlight an avenue for evolutionary genomic loss/gain of function. Herein, we report functional lateral gene transfer in animal parasitic nematodes. Members of the Nematoda are heme auxotrophs, lacking the ability to synthesize heme; however, the human filarial parasite Brugia malayi has acquired a bacterial gene encoding ferrochelatase (BmFeCH), the terminal step in heme biosynthesis. BmFeCH, encoded by a 9-exon gene, is a mitochondrial-targeted, functional ferrochelatase based on enzyme assays, complementation, and inhibitor studies. Homologs have been identified in several filariae and a nonfilarial nematode. RNAi and ex vivo inhibitor experiments indicate that BmFeCH is essential for viability, validating it as a potential target for filariasis control.

  2. Interdomain lateral gene transfer of an essential ferrochelatase gene in human parasitic nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Bo; Novelli, Jacopo; Jiang, Daojun; Dailey, Harry A.; Landmann, Frédéric; Ford, Louise; Taylor, Mark J.; Carlow, Clotilde K. S.; Kumar, Sanjay; Foster, Jeremy M.; Slatko, Barton E.

    2013-01-01

    Lateral gene transfer events between bacteria and animals highlight an avenue for evolutionary genomic loss/gain of function. Herein, we report functional lateral gene transfer in animal parasitic nematodes. Members of the Nematoda are heme auxotrophs, lacking the ability to synthesize heme; however, the human filarial parasite Brugia malayi has acquired a bacterial gene encoding ferrochelatase (BmFeCH), the terminal step in heme biosynthesis. BmFeCH, encoded by a 9-exon gene, is a mitochondrial-targeted, functional ferrochelatase based on enzyme assays, complementation, and inhibitor studies. Homologs have been identified in several filariae and a nonfilarial nematode. RNAi and ex vivo inhibitor experiments indicate that BmFeCH is essential for viability, validating it as a potential target for filariasis control. PMID:23610429

  3. Adaptive Horizontal Gene Transfers between Multiple Cheese-Associated Fungi.

    PubMed

    Ropars, Jeanne; Rodríguez de la Vega, Ricardo C; López-Villavicencio, Manuela; Gouzy, Jérôme; Sallet, Erika; Dumas, Émilie; Lacoste, Sandrine; Debuchy, Robert; Dupont, Joëlle; Branca, Antoine; Giraud, Tatiana

    2015-10-01

    Domestication is an excellent model for studies of adaptation because it involves recent and strong selection on a few, identified traits [1-5]. Few studies have focused on the domestication of fungi, with notable exceptions [6-11], despite their importance to bioindustry [12] and to a general understanding of adaptation in eukaryotes [5]. Penicillium fungi are ubiquitous molds among which two distantly related species have been independently selected for cheese making-P. roqueforti for blue cheeses like Roquefort and P. camemberti for soft cheeses like Camembert. The selected traits include morphology, aromatic profile, lipolytic and proteolytic activities, and ability to grow at low temperatures, in a matrix containing bacterial and fungal competitors [13-15]. By comparing the genomes of ten Penicillium species, we show that adaptation to cheese was associated with multiple recent horizontal transfers of large genomic regions carrying crucial metabolic genes. We identified seven horizontally transferred regions (HTRs) spanning more than 10 kb each, flanked by specific transposable elements, and displaying nearly 100% identity between distant Penicillium species. Two HTRs carried genes with functions involved in the utilization of cheese nutrients or competition and were found nearly identical in multiple strains and species of cheese-associated Penicillium fungi, indicating recent selective sweeps; they were experimentally associated with faster growth and greater competitiveness on cheese and contained genes highly expressed in the early stage of cheese maturation. These findings have industrial and food safety implications and improve our understanding of the processes of adaptation to rapid environmental changes.

  4. Gene transfer by adenovirus in smooth muscle cells.

    PubMed

    Yu, M F; Ewaskiewicz, J I; Adda, S; Bailey, K; Harris, V; Sosnoski, D; Tomasic, M; Wilson, J; Kotlikoff, M I

    1996-08-01

    We report adenovirus-mediated gene transfer into airway smooth muscle cells in cultured cells and organ-cultured tracheal segments. Incubation of cultured rat tracheal myocytes with virus (5 x 10(8) pfu/ml) for 6 h resulted in beta-galactosidase expression in 94.8 +/- 2.5% of cells (n = 4). Following incubation of thin (less than 200 microns diameter) equine trachealis muscle segments with virus in organ culture (5 x 10(8)-5 x 10(10) pfu/ml) the average expression of the Lac Z gene was approximately 19 +/- 10% (n = 9). Expression was markedly improved, however, in segments from neonatal rats (13-21 days). In two experiments in which the mucosa and serosa were removed, nearly all cells expressed beta-galactosidase, whereas in a third experiment in which the tissue was not dissected, about 40% of cells were stained. Viral infection had no effect on tension development of strips following organ culture. In vitro gene transfer may provide a useful method to alter protein expression and examine the effect of this alteration on excitation/contraction coupling in smooth muscle.

  5. Gene transfer into mammalian cells by jet injection.

    PubMed

    Furth, P A; Shamay, A; Hennighausen, L

    1995-04-01

    Jet injection of DNA in solution is a technique that can be used to transfer DNA into tissues of living animals, where the introduced genes are expressed. The muscle, fat, skin, and mammary tissue of mice, and the fat, skin, and mammary tissue of sheep can be transfected with DNA. A jet injector, such as the Ped-o-jet (Stirn Industries, Dayton, NJ), is used to form a jet from 100 to 300 microliters of a DNA solution. This jet has sufficient force to travel into and through tissues of adult and juvenile animals. The introduced DNA is found in cells surrounding the path of the jet. When jet injection is performed through the surface of intact skin, underlying muscle, mammary, and fat, cells up to 2 cm distant from the point of injection are transfected with DNA. In this study, we demonstrate that the efficiency of DNA transfer is dependent upon the force of injection. Jet injection is an alternative to needle injection, lipofection, and particle bombardment for the introduction of "naked" DNA into the tissues of animals. This technique has potential for the introduction of genes into living organisms for genetic vaccination and gene therapy. PMID:7590772

  6. Gene transfer with subsequent removal of the selection gene from the host genome.

    PubMed Central

    Dale, E C; Ow, D W

    1991-01-01

    A general method of gene transfer that does not leave behind a selectable marker in the host genome is described. A luciferase gene was introduced into the tobacco genome by using the hygromycin phosphotransferase gene (hpt) as a linked selectable marker. Flanked by recombination sites from the bacteriophage P1 Cre/lox recombination system, the hpt gene was subsequently excised from the plant genome by the Cre recombinase. The Cre-catalyzed excision event in the plant genome was precise and conservative--i.e., without loss or alteration of nucleotides in the recombinant site. After removal of the Cre-encoding locus by genetic segregation, plants were obtained that had incorporated only the desired transgene. Gene transfer without the incorporation of antibiotic-resistance markers in the host genome should ease public concerns over the field release of transgenic organisms expressing such traits. Moreover, it would obviate the need for different selectable markers in subsequent rounds of gene transfer into the same host. Images PMID:1660141

  7. AAV-Mediated Gene Transfer to Dorsal Root Ganglion.

    PubMed

    Yu, Hongwei; Fischer, Gregory; Hogan, Quinn H

    2016-01-01

    Transferring genetic molecules into the peripheral sensory nervous system to manipulate nociceptive pathophysiology is a powerful approach for experimental modulation of sensory signaling and potentially for translation into therapy for chronic pain. This can be efficiently achieved by the use of recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) in conjunction with nociceptor-specific regulatory transgene cassettes. Among different routes of delivery, direct injection into the dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) offers the most efficient AAV-mediated gene transfer selectively into the peripheral sensory nervous system. Here, we briefly discuss the advantages and applications of intraganglionic microinjection, and then provide a detailed approach for DRG injection, including a list of the necessary materials and description of a method for performing DRG microinjection experiments. We also discuss our experience with several adeno-associated virus (AAV) options for in vivo transgene expression in DRG neurons.

  8. In vivo Cytokine Gene Transfer by Gene Gun Reduces Tumor Growth in Mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Wenn H.; Burkholder, Joseph K.; Sun, Jian; Culp, Jerilyn; Turner, Joel; Lu, Xing G.; Pugh, Thomas D.; Ershler, William B.; Yang, Ning-Sun

    1995-03-01

    Implantation of tumor cells modified by in vitro cytokine gene transfer has been shown by many investigators to result in potent in vivo antitumor activities in mice. Here we describe an approach to tumor immunotherapy utilizing direct transfection of cytokine genes into tumorbearing animals by particle-mediated gene transfer. In vivo transfection of the human interleukin 6 gene into the tumor site reduced methylcholanthrene-induced fibrosarcoma growth, and a combination of murine tumor necrosis factor α and interferon γ genes inhibited growth of a renal carcinoma tumor model (Renca). In addition, treatment with murine interleukin 2 and interferon γ genes prolonged the survival of Renca tumor-bearing mice and resulted in tumor eradication in 25% of the test animals. Transgene expression was demonstrated in treated tissues by ELISA and immunohistochemical analysis. Significant serum levels of interleukin 6 and interferon γ were detected, demonstrating effective secretion of transgenic proteins from treated skin into the bloodstream. This in vivo cytokine gene therapy approach provides a system for evaluating the antitumor properties of various cytokines in different tumor models and has potential utility for human cancer gene therapy.

  9. Interaction between Conjugative and Retrotransposable Elements in Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Novikova, Olga; Smith, Dorie; Hahn, Ingrid; Beauregard, Arthur; Belfort, Marlene

    2014-01-01

    Mobile genetic elements either encode their own mobilization machineries or hijack them from other mobile elements. Multiple classes of mobile elements often coexist within genomes and it is unclear whether they have the capacity to functionally interact and even collaborate. We investigate the possibility that molecular machineries of disparate mobile elements may functionally interact, using the example of a retrotransposon, in the form of a mobile group II intron, found on a conjugative plasmid pRS01 in Lactococcus lactis. This intron resides within the pRS01 ltrB gene encoding relaxase, the enzyme required for nicking the transfer origin (oriT) for conjugal transmission of the plasmid into a recipient cell. Here, we show that relaxase stimulates both the frequency and diversity of retrotransposition events using a retromobility indicator gene (RIG), and by developing a high-throughput genomic retrotransposition detection system called RIG-Seq. We demonstrate that LtrB relaxase not only nicks ssDNA of its cognate oriT in a sequence- and strand-specific manner, but also possesses weak off-target activity. Together, the data support a model in which the two different mobile elements, one using an RNA-based mechanism, the other using DNA-based transfer, do functionally interact. Intron splicing facilitates relaxase expression required for conjugation, whereas relaxase introduces spurious nicks in recipient DNA that stimulate both the frequency of intron mobility and the density of events. We hypothesize that this functional interaction between the mobile elements would promote horizontal conjugal gene transfer while stimulating intron dissemination in the donor and recipient cells. PMID:25474706

  10. BABELOMICS: a suite of web tools for functional annotation and analysis of groups of genes in high-throughput experiments.

    PubMed

    Al-Shahrour, Fátima; Minguez, Pablo; Vaquerizas, Juan M; Conde, Lucía; Dopazo, Joaquín

    2005-07-01

    We present Babelomics, a complete suite of web tools for the functional analysis of groups of genes in high-throughput experiments, which includes the use of information on Gene Ontology terms, interpro motifs, KEGG pathways, Swiss-Prot keywords, analysis of predicted transcription factor binding sites, chromosomal positions and presence in tissues with determined histological characteristics, through five integrated modules: FatiGO (fast assignment and transference of information), FatiWise, transcription factor association test, GenomeGO and tissues mining tool, respectively. Additionally, another module, FatiScan, provides a new procedure that integrates biological information in combination with experimental results in order to find groups of genes with modest but coordinate significant differential behaviour. FatiScan is highly sensitive and is capable of finding significant asymmetries in the distribution of genes of common function across a list of ordered genes even if these asymmetries were not extreme. The strong multiple-testing nature of the contrasts made by the tools is taken into account. All the tools are integrated in the gene expression analysis package GEPAS. Babelomics is the natural evolution of our tool FatiGO (which analysed almost 22,000 experiments during the last year) to include more sources on information and new modes of using it. Babelomics can be found at http://www.babelomics.org.

  11. Gene Transfer and Molecular Cloning of the Human NGF Receptor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chao, Moses V.; Bothwell, Mark A.; Ross, Alonzo H.; Koprowski, Hilary; Lanahan, Anthony A.; Buck, C. Randall; Sehgal, Amita

    1986-04-01

    Nerve growth factor (NGF) and its receptor are important in the development of cells derived from the neural crest. Mouse L cell transformants have been generated that stably express the human NGF receptor gene transfer with total human DNA. Affinity cross-linking, metabolic labeling and immunoprecipitation, and equilibrium binding with 125I-labeled NGF revealed that this NGF receptor had the same size and binding characteristics as the receptor from human melanoma cells and rat PC12 cells. The sequences encoding the NGF receptor were molecularly cloned using the human Alu repetitive sequence as a probe. A cosmid clone that contained the human NGF receptor gene allowed efficient transfection and expression of the receptor.

  12. Passive immunization against HIV/AIDS by antibody gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Yang, Lili; Wang, Pin

    2014-01-27

    Despite tremendous efforts over the course of many years, the quest for an effective HIV vaccine by the classical method of active immunization remains largely elusive. However, two recent studies in mice and macaques have now demonstrated a new strategy designated as Vectored ImmunoProphylaxis (VIP), which involves passive immunization by viral vector-mediated delivery of genes encoding broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) for in vivo expression. Robust protection against virus infection was observed in preclinical settings when animals were given VIP to express monoclonal neutralizing antibodies. This unorthodox approach raises new promise for combating the ongoing global HIV pandemic. In this article, we survey the status of antibody gene transfer, review the revolutionary progress on isolation of extremely bnAbs, detail VIP experiments against HIV and its related virus conduced in humanized mice and macaque monkeys, and discuss the pros and cons of VIP and its opportunities and challenges towards clinical applications to control HIV/AIDS endemics.

  13. DNA transfer by examination tools--a risk for forensic casework?

    PubMed

    Szkuta, Bianca; Harvey, Michelle L; Ballantyne, Kaye N; van Oorschot, Roland A H

    2015-05-01

    The introduction of profiling systems with increased sensitivity has led to a concurrent increase in the risk of detecting contaminating DNA in forensic casework. To evaluate the contamination risk of tools used during exhibit examination we have assessed the occurrence and level of DNA transferred between mock casework exhibits, comprised of cotton or glass substrates, and high-risk vectors (scissors, forceps, and gloves). The subsequent impact of such transfer in the profiling of a target sample was also investigated. Dried blood or touch DNA, deposited on the primary substrate, was transferred via the vector to the secondary substrate, which was either DNA-free or contained a target sample (dried blood or touch DNA). Pairwise combinations of both heavy and light contact were applied by each vector in order to simulate various levels of contamination. The transfer of dried blood to DNA-free cotton was observed for all vectors and transfer scenarios, with transfer substantially lower when glass was the substrate. Overall touch DNA transferred less efficiently, with significantly lower transfer rates than blood when transferred to DNA-free cotton; the greatest transfer of touch DNA occurred between cotton and glass substrates. In the presence of a target sample, the detectability of transferred DNA decreased due to the presence of background DNA. Transfer had no impact on the detectability of the target profile, however, in casework scenarios where the suspect profiles are not known, profile interpretation becomes complicated by the addition of contaminating alleles and the probative value of the evidence may be affected. The results of this study reiterate the need for examiners to adhere to stringent laboratory cleaning protocols, particularly in the interest of contamination minimisation, and to reduce the handling of items to prevent intra-item transfer.

  14. Laterally Transferred Gene Recruited as a Venom in Parasitoid Wasps.

    PubMed

    Martinson, Ellen O; Martinson, Vincent G; Edwards, Rachel; Mrinalini; Werren, John H

    2016-04-01

    Parasitoid wasps use venom to manipulate the immunity and metabolism of their host insects in a variety of ways to provide resources for their offspring. Yet, how genes are recruited and evolve to perform venom functions remain open questions. A recently recognized source of eukaryotic genome innovation is lateral gene transfer (LGT). Glycoside hydrolase family 19 (GH19) chitinases are widespread in bacteria, microsporidia, and plants where they are used in nutrient acquisition or defense, but have previously not been known in metazoans. In this study, a GH19 chitinase LGT is described from the unicellular microsporidia/Rozella clade into parasitoid wasps of the superfamily Chalcidoidea, where it has become recruited as a venom protein. The GH19 chitinase is present in 15 species of chalcidoid wasps representing four families, and phylogenetic analysis indicates that it was laterally transferred near or before the origin of Chalcidoidea (∼95 Ma). The GH19 chitinase gene is highly expressed in the venom gland of at least seven species, indicating a role in the complex host manipulations performed by parasitoid wasp venom. RNAi knockdown in the model parasitoid Nasonia vitripennis reveals that-following envenomation-the GH19 chitinase induces fly hosts to upregulate genes involved in an immune response to fungi. A second, independent LGT of GH19 chitinase from microsporidia into mosquitoes was also found, also supported by phylogenetic reconstructions. Besides these two LGT events, GH19 chitinase is not found in any other sequenced animal genome, or in any fungi outside the microsporidia/Rozella clade.

  15. Sequence Diversities of Serine-Aspartate Repeat Genes among Staphylococcus aureus Isolates from Different Hosts Presumably by Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Huping; Lu, Hong; Zhao, Xin

    2011-01-01

    Background Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is recognized as one of the major forces for bacterial genome evolution. Many clinically important bacteria may acquire virulence factors and antibiotic resistance through HGT. The comparative genomic analysis has become an important tool for identifying HGT in emerging pathogens. In this study, the Serine-Aspartate Repeat (Sdr) family has been compared among different sources of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) to discover sequence diversities within their genomes. Methodology/Principal Findings Four sdr genes were analyzed for 21 different S. aureus strains and 218 mastitis-associated S. aureus isolates from Canada. Comparative genomic analyses revealed that S. aureus strains from bovine mastitis (RF122 and mastitis isolates in this study), ovine mastitis (ED133), pig (ST398), chicken (ED98), and human methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) (TCH130, MRSA252, Mu3, Mu50, N315, 04-02981, JH1 and JH9) were highly associated with one another, presumably due to HGT. In addition, several types of insertion and deletion were found in sdr genes of many isolates. A new insertion sequence was found in mastitis isolates, which was presumably responsible for the HGT of sdrC gene among different strains. Moreover, the sdr genes could be used to type S. aureus. Regional difference of sdr genes distribution was also indicated among the tested S. aureus isolates. Finally, certain associations were found between sdr genes and subclinical or clinical mastitis isolates. Conclusions Certain sdr gene sequences were shared in S. aureus strains and isolates from different species presumably due to HGT. Our results also suggest that the distributional assay of virulence factors should detect the full sequences or full functional regions of these factors. The traditional assay using short conserved regions may not be accurate or credible. These findings have important implications with regard to animal husbandry practices that may inadvertently

  16. CXCR4 gene transfer prevents pressure overload induced heart failure

    PubMed Central

    LaRocca, Thomas J.; Jeong, Dongtak; Kohlbrenner, Erik; Lee, Ahyoung; Chen, JiQiu; Hajjar, Roger J.; Tarzami, Sima T.

    2012-01-01

    Stem cell and gene therapies are being pursued as strategies for repairing damaged cardiac tissue following myocardial infarction in an attempt to prevent heart failure. The chemokine receptor-4 (CXCR4) and its ligand, CXCL12, play a critical role in stem cell recruitment post-acute myocardial infarction. Whereas progenitor cell migration via the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis is well characterized, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of CXCR4 mediated modulation of cardiac hypertrophy and failure. We used gene therapy to test the effects of CXCR4 gene delivery on adverse ventricular remodeling due to pressure overload. We assessed the effect of cardiac overexpression of CXCR4 during trans-aortic constriction (TAC) using a cardiotropic adeno-associated viral vector (AAV9) carrying the CXCR4 gene. Cardiac overexpression of CXCR4 in mice with pressure overload prevented ventricular remodeling, preserved capillary density and maintained function as determined by echocardiography and in vivo hemodynamics. In isolated adult rat cardiac myocytes, CXCL12 treatment prevented isoproterenol induced hypertrophy and interrupted the calcineurin/NFAT pathway. Finally, a complex involving the L-type calcium channel, β2-adenoreceptor, and CXCR4 (Cav1.2/β2AR/CXCR4) was identified in healthy cardiac myocytes and was shown to dissociate as a consequence of heart failure. CXCR4 administered to the heart via gene transfer prevents pressure overload induced heart failure. The identification of CXCR4 participation in a Cav1.2-β2AR regulatory complex provides further insight into the mechanism by which CXCR4 modulates calcium homeostasis and chronic pressure overload responses in the cardiac myocyte. Together these results suggest AAV9.CXCR4 gene therapy is a potential therapeutic approach for congestive heart failure. PMID:22668785

  17. Site-Specific Gene Expression in Vivo by Direct Gene Transfer into the Arterial Wall

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nabel, Elizabeth G.; Plautz, Gregory; Nabel, Gary J.

    1990-09-01

    A recombinant β-galactosidase gene has been expressed in a specific arterial segment in vivo by direct infection with a murine amphotropic retroviral vector or by DNA transfection with the use of liposomes. Several cell types in the vessel wall were transduced, including endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells. After retroviral infection, a recombinant reporter gene was expressed for at least 5 months, and no helper virus was detected. Recombinant gene expression achieved by direct retroviral infection or liposome-mediated DNA transfection was limited to the site of infection and was absent from liver, lung, kidney, and spleen. These results demonstrate that site-specific gene expression can be achieved by direct gene transfer in vivo and could be applied to the treatment of such human diseases as atherosclerosis or cancer.

  18. Eukaryotic origin of a metabolic pathway in virus by horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Wu, Dong-Dong; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2011-11-01

    Horizontal gene transfer, the movement of genetic materials across the normal mating barriers between organisms occurs frequently and contributes significantly to the evolution of both eukaryotic and prokaryotic genomes. However, few concurrent transfers of functionally related genes implemented in a pathway from eukaryotes to prokaryotes are observed. Here, we did phylogenetic analyses to support that the genes, i.e. dihydrofolate reductase, glycine hydroxymethyltransferase, and thymidylate synthase involved in thymidylate metabolism, in Hz-1 virus were obtained from insect genome recently by independent horizontal gene transfers. In addition, five other related genes in nucleotide metabolism show evidences of horizontal gene transfers. These genes demonstrate similar expression pattern, and they may have formatted a functionally related pathway (e.g. thymidylate synthesis, and DNA replication) in Hz-1 virus. In conclusion, we provide an example of horizontal gene transfer of functionally related genes in a pathway to prokaryote from eukaryote.

  19. Synthetic Fatty Acids Prevent Plasmid-Mediated Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Getino, María; Sanabria-Ríos, David J.; Fernández-López, Raúl; Campos-Gómez, Javier; Sánchez-López, José M.; Fernández, Antonio; Carballeira, Néstor M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacterial conjugation constitutes a major horizontal gene transfer mechanism for the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes among human pathogens. Antibiotic resistance spread could be halted or diminished by molecules that interfere with the conjugation process. In this work, synthetic 2-alkynoic fatty acids were identified as a novel class of conjugation inhibitors. Their chemical properties were investigated by using the prototype 2-hexadecynoic acid and its derivatives. Essential features of effective inhibitors were the carboxylic group, an optimal long aliphatic chain of 16 carbon atoms, and one unsaturation. Chemical modification of these groups led to inactive or less-active derivatives. Conjugation inhibitors were found to act on the donor cell, affecting a wide number of pathogenic bacterial hosts, including Escherichia, Salmonella, Pseudomonas, and Acinetobacter spp. Conjugation inhibitors were active in inhibiting transfer of IncF, IncW, and IncH plasmids, moderately active against IncI, IncL/M, and IncX plasmids, and inactive against IncP and IncN plasmids. Importantly, the use of 2-hexadecynoic acid avoided the spread of a derepressed IncF plasmid into a recipient population, demonstrating the feasibility of abolishing the dissemination of antimicrobial resistances by blocking bacterial conjugation. PMID:26330514

  20. Gene transfer into mammalian cells by particle bombardment.

    PubMed

    Heiser, W C

    1994-03-01

    Using COS-7 and Chinese hamster ovary cells as model systems, I have examined the efficiency of gene transfer into mammalian cells by particle bombardment. The most important parameters affecting transformation efficiency are the size of the particles, the target distance, and the extent of chamber vacuum. The size of the cell culture plate also affects transformation efficiency. Factors which have little effect on transformation efficiency are the helium pressure, the gap distance, and the macrocarrier travel distance. Compared to several other gene transfer techniques, particle bombardment has the advantage of requiring a low amount of DNA and a low number of cells for successful expression, measured as either transient or stable. I also describe transformation of several murine cell lines which have not been successfully transformed, or have been transformed at only low levels using other methods. These cell lines include preadipocytes (BMS-2), macrophages (J774), and transformed pre-B cells (38B9 and 70Z/3). Compared to transformation by electroporation, lipofection, and diethylaminoethyl dextran, particle bombardment was found to give 50- to 240-fold higher levels of transient expression as measured by luciferase activity in cell extracts. PMID:8203746

  1. Horizontal gene transfer and mobile genetic elements in marine systems.

    PubMed

    Sobecky, Patricia A; Hazen, Tracy H

    2009-01-01

    The pool of mobile genetic elements (MGE) in microbial communities consists of viruses, plasmids, and associated elements (insertion sequences, transposons, and integrons) that are either self-transmissible or use mobile plasmids and viruses as vehicles for their dissemination. This mobilome facilitates the horizontal transfer of genes that promote the evolution and adaptation of microbial communities. Efforts to characterize MGEs from microbial populations resident in a variety of ecological habitats have revealed a surprisingly novel and seemingly untapped biodiversity. To better understand the impact of horizontal gene transfer (HGT), as well as the agents that promote HGT in marine ecosystems and to determine whether or not environmental parameters can effect the composition and structure of the mobilome in marine microbial communities, information on the distribution, diversity, and ecological traits of the marine mobilome is presented. In this chapter we discuss recent insights gained from different methodological approaches used to characterize the biodiversity and ecology of MGE in marine environments and their contributions to HGT. In addition, we present case studies that highlight specific HGT examples in coastal, open-ocean, and deep-sea marine ecosystems.

  2. Exploring the space of gene/species reconciliations with transfers.

    PubMed

    Chan, Yao-Ban; Ranwez, Vincent; Scornavacca, Céline

    2015-11-01

    Reconciliations between gene and species trees have important applications in the study of genome evolution (e.g. sequence orthology prediction or quantification of transfer events). While numerous methods have been proposed to infer them, little has been done to study the underlying reconciliation space. In this paper, we characterise the reconciliation space for two evolutionary models: the [Formula: see text] (duplication, loss and transfer) model and a variant of it-the no-[Formula: see text] model-which does not allow [Formula: see text] events (a transfer immediately followed by a loss). We provide formulae to compute the size of the corresponding spaces and define a set of transformation operators sufficient to explore the entire reconciliation space. We also define a distance between two reconciliations as the minimal number of operations needed to transform one into the other and prove that this distance is easily computable in the no-[Formula: see text] model. Computing this distance in the [Formula: see text] model is more difficult and it is an open question whether it is NP-hard or not. This work constitutes an important step toward reconciliation space characterisation and reconciliation comparison, needed to better assess the performance of reconciliation inference methods through simulations.

  3. Genome-wide experimental determination of barriers to horizontal gene transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Rubin, Edward; Sorek, Rotem; Zhu, Yiwen; Creevey, Christopher J.; Francino, M. Pilar; Bork, Peer; Rubin, Edward M.

    2007-09-24

    Horizontal gene transfer, in which genetic material is transferred from the genome of one organism to another, has been investigated in microbial species mainly through computational sequence analyses. To address the lack of experimental data, we studied the attempted movement of 246,045 genes from 79 prokaryotic genomes into E. coli and identified genes that consistently fail to transfer. We studied the mechanisms underlying transfer inhibition by placing coding regions from different species under the control of inducible promoters. Their toxicity to the host inhibited transfer regardless of the species of origin and our data suggest that increased gene dosage and associated increased expression is a predominant cause for transfer failure. While these experimental studies examined transfer solely into E. coli, a computational analysis of gene transfer rates across available bacterial and archaeal genomes indicates that the barriers observed in our study are general across the tree of life.

  4. Design, development, and fabrication of extravehicular activity tools for support of the transfer orbit stage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Albritton, L. M.; Redmon, J. W.; Tyler, T. R.

    1993-01-01

    Seven extravehicular activity (EVA) tools and a tool carrier have been designed and developed by MSFC in order to provide a two fault tolerant system for the transfer orbit stage (TOS) shuttle mission. The TOS is an upper stage booster for delivering payloads to orbits higher than the shuttle can achieve. Payloads are required not to endanger the shuttle even after two failures have occurred. The Airborne Support Equipment (ASE), used in restraining and deploying TOS, does not meet this criteria. The seven EVA tools designed will provide the required redundancy with no impact to the TOS hardware.

  5. The GATO gene annotation tool for research laboratories.

    PubMed

    Fujita, A; Massirer, K B; Durham, A M; Ferreira, C E; Sogayar, M C

    2005-11-01

    Large-scale genome projects have generated a rapidly increasing number of DNA sequences. Therefore, development of computational methods to rapidly analyze these sequences is essential for progress in genomic research. Here we present an automatic annotation system for preliminary analysis of DNA sequences. The gene annotation tool (GATO) is a Bioinformatics pipeline designed to facilitate routine functional annotation and easy access to annotated genes. It was designed in view of the frequent need of genomic researchers to access data pertaining to a common set of genes. In the GATO system, annotation is generated by querying some of the Web-accessible resources and the information is stored in a local database, which keeps a record of all previous annotation results. GATO may be accessed from everywhere through the internet or may be run locally if a large number of sequences are going to be annotated. It is implemented in PHP and Perl and may be run on any suitable Web server. Usually, installation and application of annotation systems require experience and are time consuming, but GATO is simple and practical, allowing anyone with basic skills in informatics to access it without any special training. GATO can be downloaded at [http://mariwork.iq.usp.br/gato/]. Minimum computer free space required is 2 MB. PMID:16258624

  6. Adaptive Horizontal Gene Transfers between Multiple Cheese-Associated Fungi

    PubMed Central

    Ropars, Jeanne; Rodríguez de la Vega, Ricardo C.; López-Villavicencio, Manuela; Gouzy, Jérôme; Sallet, Erika; Dumas, Émilie; Lacoste, Sandrine; Debuchy, Robert; Dupont, Joëlle; Branca, Antoine; Giraud, Tatiana

    2015-01-01

    Summary Domestication is an excellent model for studies of adaptation because it involves recent and strong selection on a few, identified traits [1–5]. Few studies have focused on the domestication of fungi, with notable exceptions [6–11], despite their importance to bioindustry [12] and to a general understanding of adaptation in eukaryotes [5]. Penicillium fungi are ubiquitous molds among which two distantly related species have been independently selected for cheese making—P. roqueforti for blue cheeses like Roquefort and P. camemberti for soft cheeses like Camembert. The selected traits include morphology, aromatic profile, lipolytic and proteolytic activities, and ability to grow at low temperatures, in a matrix containing bacterial and fungal competitors [13–15]. By comparing the genomes of ten Penicillium species, we show that adaptation to cheese was associated with multiple recent horizontal transfers of large genomic regions carrying crucial metabolic genes. We identified seven horizontally transferred regions (HTRs) spanning more than 10 kb each, flanked by specific transposable elements, and displaying nearly 100% identity between distant Penicillium species. Two HTRs carried genes with functions involved in the utilization of cheese nutrients or competition and were found nearly identical in multiple strains and species of cheese-associated Penicillium fungi, indicating recent selective sweeps; they were experimentally associated with faster growth and greater competitiveness on cheese and contained genes highly expressed in the early stage of cheese maturation. These findings have industrial and food safety implications and improve our understanding of the processes of adaptation to rapid environmental changes. PMID:26412136

  7. Amoebozoa possess lineage-specific globin gene repertoires gained by individual horizontal gene transfers.

    PubMed

    Dröge, Jasmin; Buczek, Dorota; Suzuki, Yutaka; Makałowski, Wojciech

    2014-01-01

    The Amoebozoa represent a clade of unicellular amoeboid organisms that display a wide variety of lifestyles, including free-living and parasitic species. For example, the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum has the ability to aggregate into a multicellular fruiting body upon starvation, while the pathogenic amoeba Entamoeba histolytica is a parasite of humans. Globins are small heme proteins that are present in almost all extant organisms. Although several genomes of amoebozoan species have been sequenced, little is known about the phyletic distribution of globin genes within this phylum. Only two flavohemoglobins (FHbs) of D. discoideum have been reported and characterized previously while the genomes of Entamoeba species are apparently devoid of globin genes. We investigated eleven amoebozoan species for the presence of globin genes by genomic and phylogenetic in silico analyses. Additional FHb genes were identified in the genomes of four social amoebas and the true slime mold Physarum polycephalum. Moreover, a single-domain globin (SDFgb) of Hartmannella vermiformis, as well as two truncated hemoglobins (trHbs) of Acanthamoeba castellanii were identified. Phylogenetic evidence suggests that these globin genes were independently acquired via horizontal gene transfer from some ancestral bacteria. Furthermore, the phylogenetic tree of amoebozoan FHbs indicates that they do not share a common ancestry and that a transfer of FHbs from bacteria to amoeba occurred multiple times. PMID:25013378

  8. GeneMatcher: a matching tool for connecting investigators with an interest in the same gene.

    PubMed

    Sobreira, Nara; Schiettecatte, François; Valle, David; Hamosh, Ada

    2015-10-01

    Here, we describe an overview and update on GeneMatcher (http://www.genematcher.org), a freely accessible Web-based tool developed as part of the Baylor-Hopkins Center for Mendelian Genomics. We created GeneMatcher with the goal of identifying additional individuals with rare phenotypes who had variants in the same candidate disease gene. We also wanted to facilitate connections to basic scientists working on orthologous genes in model systems with the goal of connecting their work to human Mendelian phenotypes. Meeting these goals will enhance the identification of novel Mendelian genes. Launched in September, 2013, GeneMatcher now has 2,178 candidate genes from 486 submitters spread across 38 countries entered in the database (June 1, 2015). GeneMatcher is also part of the Matchmaker Exchange (http://matchmakerexchange.org/) with an Application Programing Interface enabling submitters to query other databases of genetic variants and phenotypes without having to create accounts and data entries in multiple systems. PMID:26220891

  9. Ultrasound Gene Transfer into Fibroblast Cells using Microbubbles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Yoji; Hirayama, Kota; Yoshinaka, Kiyoshi; Tei, Yuichi; Takagi, Shu; Matsumoto, Yoichiro

    2009-04-01

    Ultrasound is widely applied in the medical field and offers the strong advantages of non-invasiveness and high-selectivity. Gene transfer using ultrasound, which is called sonoporation, is one application. Ultrasound has the potential to deliver therapeutic materials such as genes, drugs or proteins into cells. Microbubbles are known to be able to improve delivery efficiency. This is attributed to therapeutic materials passing through the cell membrane after permeability is increased by destruction or oscillation of microbubbles. The present study tried to deliver the GFP plasmids into fibroblast cells. Cells were cultured in 6-well culture plates and exposed to ultrasound (frequency, 2.1 MHz; wave pattern, duty cycle 10%; intensity, 0-26 W/cm2; time, 0-200 s) transmitted through medium containing microbubbles (Levovist® (void fraction, 8×10-5) or Sonazoid® (void fraction, 0-24×10-4)) and GFP plasmids at a concentration of 15 μg/mL. Density of microbubbles after ultrasound irradiation was measured. When ultrasound intensity was increased with Levovist® 8×10-4, transfection efficiency increased, cell viability decreased and microbubbles disappeared. With Sonazoid®, transfection efficiency and cell viability were basically unchanged and microbubbles decreased, but did not disappear. Transfection efficiency also improved with increased ultrasound irradiation time or microbubble density. Microbubble destruction appeared to have the main effect on gene transfection under Levovist® and microbubble oscillation had the main effect under Sonazoid®.

  10. Gene transfer and disruption strategies to elucidate hepatic lipoprotein receptor functions.

    PubMed

    Herz, J; Willnow, T E

    1995-12-01

    Recent technological advances have enabled us to manipulate specific genes in laboratory animals in a specific predetermined manner. This has opened new areas of research on physiological processes not previously accessible to such precise experimental manipulation. Over-expression of genes by traditional transgenic techniques has recently been complemented by methods that allow the efficient transfer of exogenous genes into various somatic tissues of adult animals. The development of homologous recombination technology in embryonic stem cells (ESC) and the application of this technology to specifically disrupt a given gene of interest in the germline of a mouse has been particularly useful to determine the physiologically relevant processes in which these genes participate in vivo. Rather than introducing random mutations into the genome by chemical mutagenesis or by retroviral insertion, techniques that have been employed in the past, gene targeting not only allows us to disrupt any cloned gene, but also to specifically introduce single nucleotide changes into its genomic sequence. The past few years have witnessed an explosion of research reports in all areas of biological research that have employed these ground-breaking tools of modern genetics to study the physiological roles of a plethora of different genes in neurobiology immunology, endocrinology, development, etc. Our laboratory has also extensively used these new approaches to study the function of several genes that are involved in the metabolism of lipoproteins on the systemic as well as on the cellular level. In this article, we will review the various approaches we have used to define the roles of the low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor, the LDL receptor-related protein (LRP) and the receptor-associated protein (RAP) in hepatic lipoprotein metabolism.

  11. Evolutionary analyses of the small subunit of glutamate synthase: gene order conservation, gene fusions, and prokaryote-to-eukaryote lateral gene transfers.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Jan O; Roger, Andrew J

    2002-04-01

    Lateral gene transfer has been identified as an important mode of genome evolution within prokaryotes. Except for the special case of gene transfer from organelle genomes to the eukaryotic nucleus, only a few cases of lateral gene transfer involving eukaryotes have been described. Here we present phylogenetic and gene order analyses on the small subunit of glutamate synthase (encoded by gltD) and its homologues, including the large subunit of sulfide dehydrogenase (encoded by sudA). The scattered distribution of the sudA and sudB gene pair and the phylogenetic analysis strongly suggest that lateral gene transfer was involved in the propagation of the genes in the three domains of life. One of these transfers most likely occurred between a prokaryote and an ancestor of diplomonad protists. Furthermore, phylogenetic analyses indicate that the gene for the small subunit of glutamate synthase was transferred from a low-GC gram-positive bacterium to a common ancestor of animals, fungi, and plants. Interestingly, in both examples, the eukaryotes encode a single gene that corresponds to a conserved operon structure in prokaryotes. Our analyses, together with several recent publications, show that lateral gene transfers from prokaryotes to unicellular eukaryotes occur with appreciable frequency. In the case of the genes for sulfide dehydrogenase, the transfer affected only a limited group of eukaryotes--the diplomonads--while the transfer of the glutamate synthase gene probably happened earlier in evolution and affected a wider range of eukaryotes.

  12. Retroviral-mediated IL-2 gene transfer into murine neuroblastoma.

    PubMed

    Cho, H S; Song, J Y; Park, C Y; Lyu, C J; Kim, B S; Kim, K Y

    2000-02-01

    We used retroviral-mediated gene transfer of the human interleukin (IL)-2 gene into murine neuroblastoma cells to investigate whether locally-secreted IL-2 is able to influence the generation of anti-tumor immune responses. Supernatant obtained from cultures of approximately 1 x 10(6) IL-2 gene-transduced, G-418 selected neuro-2a cells was assayed for human IL-2 production by ELISA kit. First, to estimate whether the local secretion of IL-2 from the genetically-modified tumor cells would affect their tumorigenicity in vivo, IL-2-secreting neuro-2a cells were s.c. injected into A/J mice and tumor growth was measured weekly. And to estimate whether IL-2 transfected neuroblastoma cells protect mice from tumor development after wild-type tumor cell challenge, IL-2-secreting neuro-2a cells were s.c. injected into A/J mice. Seven days after IL-2 gene-transfected neuroblastoma cell injection, unmodified neuro-2a cells were s.c. injected into the contralateral site of A/J mice and tumor growth was measured weekly. Finally, to estimate IL-2 effect on pre-established large tumor burdens, IL-2-secreting neuro-2a cells were s.c. injected into A/J mice with established tumor and its growth was measured weekly. The IL-2 gene-transduced neuro-2a clones secreted 120.25-177.3 IU of IL-2 per ml per 10(6) cells during 24 hr. None of the mice injected with IL-2-secreting neuro-2a cells developed tumors within 6 weeks, while all of the mice injected with wild-type neuro-2a cells developed tumors. Immunization of mice with IL-2 gene-transfected, irradiated neuro-2a cells protected these animals against a subsequent challenge with wild-type tumor cells. Finally, the size of large neuroblastomas decreased after IL-2-secreting neuro-2a cell injection into mice. Local secretion of IL-2 gene-transduced tumor cells abrogates their tumorigenicity and induces protective immunity and may inhibit the growth of neuroblastoma.

  13. Extensive Intra-Kingdom Horizontal Gene Transfer Converging on a Fungal Fructose Transporter Gene

    PubMed Central

    Coelho, Marco A.; Gonçalves, Carla; Sampaio, José Paulo; Gonçalves, Paula

    2013-01-01

    Comparative genomics revealed in the last decade a scenario of rampant horizontal gene transfer (HGT) among prokaryotes, but for fungi a clearly dominant pattern of vertical inheritance still stands, punctuated however by an increasing number of exceptions. In the present work, we studied the phylogenetic distribution and pattern of inheritance of a fungal gene encoding a fructose transporter (FSY1) with unique substrate selectivity. 109 FSY1 homologues were identified in two sub-phyla of the Ascomycota, in a survey that included 241 available fungal genomes. At least 10 independent inter-species instances of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) involving FSY1 were identified, supported by strong phylogenetic evidence and synteny analyses. The acquisition of FSY1 through HGT was sometimes suggestive of xenolog gene displacement, but several cases of pseudoparalogy were also uncovered. Moreover, evidence was found for successive HGT events, possibly including those responsible for transmission of the gene among yeast lineages. These occurrences do not seem to be driven by functional diversification of the Fsy1 proteins because Fsy1 homologues from widely distant lineages, including at least one acquired by HGT, appear to have similar biochemical properties. In summary, retracing the evolutionary path of the FSY1 gene brought to light an unparalleled number of independent HGT events involving a single fungal gene. We propose that the turbulent evolutionary history of the gene may be linked to the unique biochemical properties of the encoded transporter, whose predictable effect on fitness may be highly variable. In general, our results support the most recent views suggesting that inter-species HGT may have contributed much more substantially to shape fungal genomes than heretofore assumed. PMID:23818872

  14. Evolutionary Origins of the Eukaryotic Shikimate Pathway: Gene Fusions, Horizontal Gene Transfer, and Endosymbiotic Replacements†

    PubMed Central

    Richards, Thomas A.; Dacks, Joel B.; Campbell, Samantha A.; Blanchard, Jeffrey L.; Foster, Peter G.; McLeod, Rima; Roberts, Craig W.

    2006-01-01

    Currently the shikimate pathway is reported as a metabolic feature of prokaryotes, ascomycete fungi, apicomplexans, and plants. The plant shikimate pathway enzymes have similarities to prokaryote homologues and are largely active in chloroplasts, suggesting ancestry from the plastid progenitor genome. Toxoplasma gondii, which also possesses an alga-derived plastid organelle, encodes a shikimate pathway with similarities to ascomycete genes, including a five-enzyme pentafunctional arom. These data suggests that the shikimate pathway and the pentafunctional arom either had an ancient origin in the eukaryotes or was conveyed by eukaryote-to-eukaryote horizontal gene transfer (HGT). We expand sampling and analyses of the shikimate pathway genes to include the oomycetes, ciliates, diatoms, basidiomycetes, zygomycetes, and the green and red algae. Sequencing of cDNA from Tetrahymena thermophila confirmed the presence of a pentafused arom, as in fungi and T. gondii. Phylogenies and taxon distribution suggest that the arom gene fusion event may be an ancient eukaryotic innovation. Conversely, the Plantae lineage (represented here by both Viridaeplantae and the red algae) acquired different prokaryotic genes for all seven steps of the shikimate pathway. Two of the phylogenies suggest a derivation of the Plantae genes from the cyanobacterial plastid progenitor genome, but if the full Plantae pathway was originally of cyanobacterial origin, then the five other shikimate pathway genes were obtained from a minimum of two other eubacterial genomes. Thus, the phylogenies demonstrate both separate HGTs and shared derived HGTs within the Plantae clade either by primary HGT transfer or secondarily via the plastid progenitor genome. The shared derived characters support the holophyly of the Plantae lineage and a single ancestral primary plastid endosymbiosis. Our analyses also pinpoints a minimum of 50 gene/domain loss events, demonstrating that loss and replacement events have been

  15. Applying horizontal gene transfer phenomena to enhance non-viral gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Elmer, Jacob J; Christensen, Matthew D; Rege, Kaushal

    2013-11-28

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is widespread amongst prokaryotes, but eukaryotes tend to be far less promiscuous with their genetic information. However, several examples of HGT from pathogens into eukaryotic cells have been discovered and mimicked to improve non-viral gene delivery techniques. For example, several viral proteins and DNA sequences have been used to significantly increase cytoplasmic and nuclear gene delivery. Plant genetic engineering is routinely performed with the pathogenic bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens and similar pathogens (e.g. Bartonella henselae) may also be able to transform human cells. Intracellular parasites like Trypanosoma cruzi may also provide new insights into overcoming cellular barriers to gene delivery. Finally, intercellular nucleic acid transfer between host cells will also be briefly discussed. This article will review the unique characteristics of several different viruses and microbes and discuss how their traits have been successfully applied to improve non-viral gene delivery techniques. Consequently, pathogenic traits that originally caused diseases may eventually be used to treat many genetic diseases.

  16. Differential integrity of TALE nuclease genes following adenoviral and lentiviral vector gene transfer into human cells.

    PubMed

    Holkers, Maarten; Maggio, Ignazio; Liu, Jin; Janssen, Josephine M; Miselli, Francesca; Mussolino, Claudio; Recchia, Alessandra; Cathomen, Toni; Gonçalves, Manuel A F V

    2013-03-01

    The array of genome editing strategies based on targeted double-stranded DNA break formation have recently been enriched through the introduction of transcription activator-like type III effector (TALE) nucleases (TALENs). To advance the testing of TALE-based approaches, it will be crucial to deliver these custom-designed proteins not only into transformed cell types but also into more relevant, chromosomally stable, primary cells. Viral vectors are among the most effective gene transfer vehicles. Here, we investigated the capacity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1- and adenovirus-based vectors to package and deliver functional TALEN genes into various human cell types. To this end, we attempted to assemble particles of these two vector classes, each encoding a monomer of a TALEN pair targeted to a bipartite sequence within the AAVS1 'safe harbor' locus. Vector DNA analyses revealed that adenoviral vectors transferred intact TALEN genes, whereas lentiviral vectors failed to do so, as shown by their heterogeneously sized proviruses in target cells. Importantly, adenoviral vector-mediated TALEN gene delivery resulted in site-specific double-stranded DNA break formation at the intended AAVS1 target site at similarly high levels in both transformed and non-transformed cells. In conclusion, we demonstrate that adenoviral, but not lentiviral, vectors constitute a valuable TALEN gene delivery platform.

  17. Applying horizontal gene transfer phenomena to enhance non-viral gene therapy

    PubMed Central

    Elmer, Jacob J.; Christensen, Matthew D.; Rege, Kaushal

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is widespread amongst prokaryotes, but eukaryotes tend to be far less promiscuous with their genetic information. However, several examples of HGT from pathogens into eukaryotic cells have been discovered and mimicked to improve non-viral gene delivery techniques. For example, several viral proteins and DNA sequences have been used to significantly increase cytoplasmic and nuclear gene delivery. Plant genetic engineering is routinely performed with the pathogenic bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens and similar pathogens (e.g. Bartonella henselae) may also be able to transform human cells. Intracellular parasites like Trypanosoma cruzi may also provide new insights into overcoming cellular barriers to gene delivery. Finally, intercellular nucleic acid transfer between host cells will also be briefly discussed. This article will review the unique characteristics of several different viruses and microbes and discuss how their traits have been successfully applied to improve non-viral gene delivery techniques. Consequently, pathogenic traits that originally caused diseases may eventually be used to treat many genetic diseases. PMID:23994344

  18. Differential integrity of TALE nuclease genes following adenoviral and lentiviral vector gene transfer into human cells

    PubMed Central

    Holkers, Maarten; Maggio, Ignazio; Liu, Jin; Janssen, Josephine M.; Miselli, Francesca; Mussolino, Claudio; Recchia, Alessandra; Cathomen, Toni; Gonçalves, Manuel A. F. V.

    2013-01-01

    The array of genome editing strategies based on targeted double-stranded DNA break formation have recently been enriched through the introduction of transcription activator-like type III effector (TALE) nucleases (TALENs). To advance the testing of TALE-based approaches, it will be crucial to deliver these custom-designed proteins not only into transformed cell types but also into more relevant, chromosomally stable, primary cells. Viral vectors are among the most effective gene transfer vehicles. Here, we investigated the capacity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1- and adenovirus-based vectors to package and deliver functional TALEN genes into various human cell types. To this end, we attempted to assemble particles of these two vector classes, each encoding a monomer of a TALEN pair targeted to a bipartite sequence within the AAVS1 ‘safe harbor’ locus. Vector DNA analyses revealed that adenoviral vectors transferred intact TALEN genes, whereas lentiviral vectors failed to do so, as shown by their heterogeneously sized proviruses in target cells. Importantly, adenoviral vector-mediated TALEN gene delivery resulted in site-specific double-stranded DNA break formation at the intended AAVS1 target site at similarly high levels in both transformed and non-transformed cells. In conclusion, we demonstrate that adenoviral, but not lentiviral, vectors constitute a valuable TALEN gene delivery platform. PMID:23275534

  19. Hepatic Gene Transfer as a Means of Tolerance Induction to Transgene Products

    PubMed Central

    LoDuca, Paul A.; Hoffman, Brad E.; Herzog, Roland W.

    2010-01-01

    The liver is a preferred target organ for gene therapy not only for liver-specific diseases but also for disorders that require systemic delivery of a protein. Diseases that could benefit from hepatic gene transfer include hemophilia, metabolic disorders, lysosomal storage disorders, and others. For a successful delivery of the transgene and sustained expression, the protocol must avoid immune responses in order to be efficacious. A growing number of studies have demonstrated that liver-directed transfer can induce transgene product-specific immune tolerance. Tolerance obtained via this route requires optimal engineering of the vector to eliminate transgene expression in antigen presenting cells while restricting high levels of therapeutic expression to hepatocytes. Innate immune responses may prevent tolerance induction, cause toxicity, and have to be minimized. Discussed in our review is the crucial role of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells in tolerance to the hepatocyte-derived gene product, the immunobiology of the liver and our current understanding of its tolerogenic properties, current and proposed research as to the mechanisms behind the liver’s unique cellular environment, as well as development of the tools for tolerance induction such as advanced vector systems. PMID:19355868

  20. Fluorescent Resonance Energy Transfer: A Tool for Probing Molecular Cell-Biomaterial Interactions in Three Dimensions

    PubMed Central

    Huebsch, Nathaniel D.; Mooney, David J.

    2007-01-01

    The current paradigm in designing biomaterials is to optimize material chemical and physical parameters based on correlations between these parameters and downstream biological responses, whether in vitro or in vivo. Extensive developments in molecular design of biomaterials have facilitated identification of several biophysical and biochemical variables (e.g. adhesion peptide density, substrate elastic modulus) as being critical to cell response. However, these empirical observations do not indicate whether different parameters elicit cell responses by modulating redundant variables of the cell-material interface (e.g. number of cell-material bonds, cell-matrix mechanics). Recently, a molecular fluorescence technique, Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) has been applied to quantitatively analyze parameters of the cell-material interface for both two and three-dimensional adhesion substrates. Tools based on FRET have been utilized to quantify several parameters of the cell-material interface relevant to cell response, including molecular changes in matrix proteins induced by interactions both with surfaces and cells, the number of bonds between integrins and their adhesion ligands, and changes in the crosslink density of hydrogel synthetic extracellular matrix analogs. As such techniques allow both dynamic and 3D analyses they will be useful to quantitatively relate downstream cellular responses (e.g. gene expression) to the composition of this interface. Such understanding will allow bioengineers to fully exploit the potential of biomaterials engineered on the molecular scale, by optimizing material chemical and physical properties to a measurable set of interfacial parameters known to elicit a predictable response in a specific cell population. This will facilitate the rational design of complex, multi-functional biomaterials used as model systems for studying diseases or for clinical applications. PMID:17270268

  1. Studies of DEAE-dextran-mediated gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Yang, Y W; Yang, J C

    1997-02-01

    DEAE-dextran-mediated gene transfer was studied for the introduction of pSV2neo DNA into Fisher-rat 3T3 (FR3T3) cells. Zeta (zeta) potentials of the DEAE-dextran-DNA complexes and FR3T3 cells were found to be dependent on the concentration of DEAE-dextran in the medium. The maximum transfection efficiency occurred at a DEAE-dextran/DNA ratio of 50:1 or thereabouts. The interaction between DNA and cells is determined by the adsorption process. The results obtained, along with the correlation between the kinetic adsorption behaviour of 3H-labelled DNA and the transfection efficiency, indicated that adsorption of DEAE-dextran-DNA complexes to the negatively charged cell surfaces, due to electrostatic and dispersion attraction, plays the decisive role in determining the DNA transfection efficiencies.

  2. Measuring Immune Responses to recombinant AAV Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Martino, Ashley T.; Herzog, Roland W.; Anegon, Ignacio; Adjali, Oumeya

    2013-01-01

    Following AAV-based gene transfer, the occurrence of adaptive immune responses specific to the vector or the transgene product is a major roadblock to successful clinical translation. These responses include antibodies against the AAV capsid, which can be neutralizing and therefore prevent the ability to repeatedly administer the vector, and CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes, which can eliminate transduced cells. In addition, humans may have both humoral and cellular pre-existing immunity, as a result from natural infection with parent virus or related serotypes. The need for assays to detect and measure these anti-capsid immune responses in humans and in experimental animals is profound. Here, ELISPOT, immunocapture (ELISA), and neutralization assays are explained and provided in detail. Furthermore, such techniques can readily be adapted to monitor and quantify immune responses against therapeutic transgene products encoded by the vector genome. PMID:22034034

  3. Statistical Mechanics of Horizontal Gene Transfer in Evolutionary Ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chia, Nicholas; Goldenfeld, Nigel

    2011-04-01

    The biological world, especially its majority microbial component, is strongly interacting and may be dominated by collective effects. In this review, we provide a brief introduction for statistical physicists of the way in which living cells communicate genetically through transferred genes, as well as the ways in which they can reorganize their genomes in response to environmental pressure. We discuss how genome evolution can be thought of as related to the physical phenomenon of annealing, and describe the sense in which genomes can be said to exhibit an analogue of information entropy. As a direct application of these ideas, we analyze the variation with ocean depth of transposons in marine microbial genomes, predicting trends that are consistent with recent observations using metagenomic surveys.

  4. Horizontal gene transfer: building the web of life.

    PubMed

    Soucy, Shannon M; Huang, Jinling; Gogarten, Johann Peter

    2015-08-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the sharing of genetic material between organisms that are not in a parent-offspring relationship. HGT is a widely recognized mechanism for adaptation in bacteria and archaea. Microbial antibiotic resistance and pathogenicity are often associated with HGT, but the scope of HGT extends far beyond disease-causing organisms. In this Review, we describe how HGT has shaped the web of life using examples of HGT among prokaryotes, between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and even between multicellular eukaryotes. We discuss replacement and additive HGT, the proposed mechanisms of HGT, selective forces that influence HGT, and the evolutionary impact of HGT on ancestral populations and existing populations such as the human microbiome.

  5. Detecting rare gene transfer events in bacterial populations

    PubMed Central

    Nielsen, Kaare M.; Bøhn, Thomas; Townsend, Jeffrey P.

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) enables bacteria to access, share, and recombine genetic variation, resulting in genetic diversity that cannot be obtained through mutational processes alone. In most cases, the observation of evolutionary successful HGT events relies on the outcome of initially rare events that lead to novel functions in the new host, and that exhibit a positive effect on host fitness. Conversely, the large majority of HGT events occurring in bacterial populations will go undetected due to lack of replication success of transformants. Moreover, other HGT events that would be highly beneficial to new hosts can fail to ensue due to lack of physical proximity to the donor organism, lack of a suitable gene transfer mechanism, genetic compatibility, and stochasticity in tempo-spatial occurrence. Experimental attempts to detect HGT events in bacterial populations have typically focused on the transformed cells or their immediate offspring. However, rare HGT events occurring in large and structured populations are unlikely to reach relative population sizes that will allow their immediate identification; the exception being the unusually strong positive selection conferred by antibiotics. Most HGT events are not expected to alter the likelihood of host survival to such an extreme extent, and will confer only minor changes in host fitness. Due to the large population sizes of bacteria and the time scales involved, the process and outcome of HGT are often not amenable to experimental investigation. Population genetic modeling of the growth dynamics of bacteria with differing HGT rates and resulting fitness changes is therefore necessary to guide sampling design and predict realistic time frames for detection of HGT, as it occurs in laboratory or natural settings. Here we review the key population genetic parameters, consider their complexity and highlight knowledge gaps for further research. PMID:24432015

  6. Detecting rare gene transfer events in bacterial populations.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Kaare M; Bøhn, Thomas; Townsend, Jeffrey P

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) enables bacteria to access, share, and recombine genetic variation, resulting in genetic diversity that cannot be obtained through mutational processes alone. In most cases, the observation of evolutionary successful HGT events relies on the outcome of initially rare events that lead to novel functions in the new host, and that exhibit a positive effect on host fitness. Conversely, the large majority of HGT events occurring in bacterial populations will go undetected due to lack of replication success of transformants. Moreover, other HGT events that would be highly beneficial to new hosts can fail to ensue due to lack of physical proximity to the donor organism, lack of a suitable gene transfer mechanism, genetic compatibility, and stochasticity in tempo-spatial occurrence. Experimental attempts to detect HGT events in bacterial populations have typically focused on the transformed cells or their immediate offspring. However, rare HGT events occurring in large and structured populations are unlikely to reach relative population sizes that will allow their immediate identification; the exception being the unusually strong positive selection conferred by antibiotics. Most HGT events are not expected to alter the likelihood of host survival to such an extreme extent, and will confer only minor changes in host fitness. Due to the large population sizes of bacteria and the time scales involved, the process and outcome of HGT are often not amenable to experimental investigation. Population genetic modeling of the growth dynamics of bacteria with differing HGT rates and resulting fitness changes is therefore necessary to guide sampling design and predict realistic time frames for detection of HGT, as it occurs in laboratory or natural settings. Here we review the key population genetic parameters, consider their complexity and highlight knowledge gaps for further research.

  7. Developing Low-Conductance Window Frames: Capabilities and Limitations of Current Window Heat Transfer Design Tools

    SciTech Connect

    Gustavsen, Arild; Arasteh, Dariush; Jelle, Bjorn Petter; Curcija, Charlie; Kohler, Christian

    2008-09-11

    While window frames typically represent 20-30% of the overall window area, their impact on the total window heat transfer rates may be much larger. This effect is even greater in low-conductance (highly insulating) windows that incorporate very low-conductance glazing. Developing low-conductance window frames requires accurate simulation tools for product research and development. Based on a literature review and an evaluation of current methods of modeling heat transfer through window frames, we conclude that current procedures specified in ISO standards are not sufficiently adequate for accurately evaluating heat transfer through the low-conductance frames. We conclude that the near-term priorities for improving the modeling of heat transfer through low-conductance frames are: (1) Add 2D view-factor radiation to standard modeling and examine the current practice of averaging surface emissivity based on area weighting and the process of making an equivalent rectangular frame cavity. (2) Asses 3D radiation effects in frame cavities and develop recommendation for inclusion into the design fenestration tools. (3) Assess existing correlations for convection in vertical cavities using CFD. (4) Study 2D and 3D natural convection heat transfer in frame cavities for cavities that are proven to be deficient from item 3 above. Recommend improved correlations or full CFD modeling into ISO standards and design fenestration tools, if appropriate. (5) Study 3D hardware short-circuits and propose methods to ensure that these effects are incorporated into ratings. (6) Study the heat transfer effects of ventilated frame cavities and propose updated correlations.

  8. Multiple inter-kingdom horizontal gene transfers in the evolution of the phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase gene family.

    PubMed

    Peng, Yingmei; Cai, Jing; Wang, Wen; Su, Bing

    2012-01-01

    Pepcase is a gene encoding phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase that exists in bacteria, archaea and plants,playing an important role in plant metabolism and development. Most plants have two or more pepcase genes belonging to two gene sub-families, while only one gene exists in other organisms. Previous research categorized one plant pepcase gene as plant-type pepcase (PTPC) while the other as bacteria-type pepcase (BTPC) because of its similarity with the pepcase gene found in bacteria. Phylogenetic reconstruction showed that PTPC is the ancestral lineage of plant pepcase, and that all bacteria, protistpepcase and BTPC in plants are derived from a lineage of pepcase closely related with PTPC in algae. However, their phylogeny contradicts the species tree and traditional chronology of organism evolution. Because the diversification of bacteria occurred much earlier than the origin of plants, presumably all bacterialpepcase derived from the ancestral PTPC of algal plants after divergingfrom the ancestor of vascular plant PTPC. To solve this contradiction, we reconstructed the phylogeny of pepcase gene family. Our result showed that both PTPC and BTPC are derived from an ancestral lineage of gamma-proteobacteriapepcases, possibly via an ancient inter-kingdom horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from bacteria to the eukaryotic common ancestor of plants, protists and cellular slime mold. Our phylogenetic analysis also found 48other pepcase genes originated from inter-kingdom HGTs. These results imply that inter-kingdom HGTs played important roles in the evolution of the pepcase gene family and furthermore that HGTsare a more frequent evolutionary event than previouslythought. PMID:23251445

  9. Multiple inter-kingdom horizontal gene transfers in the evolution of the phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase gene family.

    PubMed

    Peng, Yingmei; Cai, Jing; Wang, Wen; Su, Bing

    2012-01-01

    Pepcase is a gene encoding phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase that exists in bacteria, archaea and plants,playing an important role in plant metabolism and development. Most plants have two or more pepcase genes belonging to two gene sub-families, while only one gene exists in other organisms. Previous research categorized one plant pepcase gene as plant-type pepcase (PTPC) while the other as bacteria-type pepcase (BTPC) because of its similarity with the pepcase gene found in bacteria. Phylogenetic reconstruction showed that PTPC is the ancestral lineage of plant pepcase, and that all bacteria, protistpepcase and BTPC in plants are derived from a lineage of pepcase closely related with PTPC in algae. However, their phylogeny contradicts the species tree and traditional chronology of organism evolution. Because the diversification of bacteria occurred much earlier than the origin of plants, presumably all bacterialpepcase derived from the ancestral PTPC of algal plants after divergingfrom the ancestor of vascular plant PTPC. To solve this contradiction, we reconstructed the phylogeny of pepcase gene family. Our result showed that both PTPC and BTPC are derived from an ancestral lineage of gamma-proteobacteriapepcases, possibly via an ancient inter-kingdom horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from bacteria to the eukaryotic common ancestor of plants, protists and cellular slime mold. Our phylogenetic analysis also found 48other pepcase genes originated from inter-kingdom HGTs. These results imply that inter-kingdom HGTs played important roles in the evolution of the pepcase gene family and furthermore that HGTsare a more frequent evolutionary event than previouslythought.

  10. Multiple Inter-Kingdom Horizontal Gene Transfers in the Evolution of the Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxylase Gene Family

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wen; Su, Bing

    2012-01-01

    Pepcase is a gene encoding phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase that exists in bacteria, archaea and plants,playing an important role in plant metabolism and development. Most plants have two or more pepcase genes belonging to two gene sub-families, while only one gene exists in other organisms. Previous research categorized one plant pepcase gene as plant-type pepcase (PTPC) while the other as bacteria-type pepcase (BTPC) because of its similarity with the pepcase gene found in bacteria. Phylogenetic reconstruction showed that PTPC is the ancestral lineage of plant pepcase, and that all bacteria, protistpepcase and BTPC in plants are derived from a lineage of pepcase closely related with PTPC in algae. However, their phylogeny contradicts the species tree and traditional chronology of organism evolution. Because the diversification of bacteria occurred much earlier than the origin of plants, presumably all bacterialpepcase derived from the ancestral PTPC of algal plants after divergingfrom the ancestor of vascular plant PTPC. To solve this contradiction, we reconstructed the phylogeny of pepcase gene family. Our result showed that both PTPC and BTPC are derived from an ancestral lineage of gamma-proteobacteriapepcases, possibly via an ancient inter-kingdom horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from bacteria to the eukaryotic common ancestor of plants, protists and cellular slime mold. Our phylogenetic analysis also found 48other pepcase genes originated from inter-kingdom HGTs. These results imply that inter-kingdom HGTs played important roles in the evolution of the pepcase gene family and furthermore that HGTsare a more frequent evolutionary event than previouslythought. PMID:23251445

  11. Gene rescue in plants by direct gene transfer of total genomic DNA into protoplasts.

    PubMed Central

    Gallois, P; Lindsey, K; Malone, R; Kreis, M; Jones, M G

    1992-01-01

    To study the possibility of gene rescue in plants by direct gene transfer we chose the Arabidopsis mutant GH50 as a source of donor DNA. GH50 is tolerant of chlorsulfuron, a herbicide of the sulfonylurea class. Tobacco protoplasts were cotransfected with genomic DNA and the plasmid pHP23 which confers kanamycin resistance. A high frequency of cointegration of the plasmid and the genomic DNA was expected, which would allow the tagging of the plant selectable trait with the plasmid DNA. After transfection by electroporation the protoplasts were cultivated on regeneration medium supplemented with either chlorsulfuron or kanamycin as a selective agent. Selection on kanamycin yielded resistant calluses at an absolute transformation frequency (ATF) of 0.8 x 10(-3). Selection on chlorsulfuron yielded resistant calluses at an ATF of 4.7 x 10(-6). When a selection on chlorsulfuron was subsequently applied to the kanamycin resistant calluses, 8% of them showed resistance to this herbicide. Southern analysis carried out on the herbicide resistant transformants detected the presence of the herbicide resistance gene of Arabidopsis into the genome of the transformed tobacco. Segregation analysis showed the presence of the resistance gene and the marker gene in the progeny of the five analysed transformants. 3 transformants showed evidence of genetic linkage between the two genes. In addition we show that using the same technique a kanamycin resistance gene from a transgenic tobacco could be transferred into sugar beet protoplasts at a frequency of 0.17% of the transformants. Images PMID:1508682

  12. DNS and Embedded DNS as Tools for Investigating Unsteady Heat Transfer Phenomena in Turbines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vonTerzi, Dominic; Bauer, H.-J.

    2010-01-01

    DNS is a powerful tool with high potential for investigating unsteady heat transfer and fluid flow phenomena, in particular for cases involving transition to turbulence and/or large coherent structures. - DNS of idealized configurations related to turbomachinery components is already possible. - For more realistic configurations and the inclusion of more effects, reduction of computational cost is key issue (e.g., hybrid methods). - Approach pursued here: Embedded DNS ( segregated coupling of DNS with LES and/or RANS). - Embedded DNS is an enabling technology for many studies. - Pre-transitional heat transfer and trailing-edge cutback film-cooling are good candidates for (embedded) DNS studies.

  13. How 24-Month-Olds Form and Transfer Knowledge about Tools: The Role of Perceptual, Functional, Causal, and Feedback Information

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bechtel, Sabrina; Jeschonek, Susanna; Pauen, Sabina

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated cognitive processes underlying tool use and knowledge transfer in 24-month-olds (N = 123). Following a demonstration, participants chose a tool to reach a reward in a training transfer paradigm. Differing from previous research, various aspects considered to be relevant for children's performance were integrated within the…

  14. Gene-transfer study approval awaits more data

    SciTech Connect

    Marwick, C.

    1988-11-18

    Approval of the gene-transfer study in cancer patients has been delayed. The proposal was recommended for approval by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) advisory committee, but has been put on hold by James B. Wyngaarden, MD, NIH director, pending submission in writing of further information. Some of this information, now forthcoming, had been withheld because data on preliminary studies had been submitted to peer-reviewed journals. The study involves placing the gene for neomycin-resistance to tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes as a marker. When these cells are injected into the patient, the presence of the marker should enable their fate to be studied over a prolonged period and an improved antitumor regimen could result. The use of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes as immunotherapy has been studied for two years at the NIH's National Cancer Institute. The patients' tumors are removed and the tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes are cultivated to obtain several billion cells. These cells are then injected back into the patient. Early clinical experience has shown a substantial decease in tumor size in some patients, but not in all, an no one knows why.

  15. What tangled web: barriers to rampant horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Kurland, Charles G

    2005-07-01

    Dawkins in his The Selfish Gene(1) quite aptly applies the term "selfish" to parasitic repetitive DNA sequences endemic to eukaryotic genomes, especially vertebrates. Doolittle and Sapienza(2) as well as Orgel and Crick(3) enlivened this notion of selfish DNA with the identification of such repetitive sequences as remnants of mobile elements such as transposons. In addition, Orgel and Crick(3) associated parasitic DNA with a potential to outgrow their host genomes by propagating both vertically via conventional genome replication as well as infectiously by horizontal gene transfer (HGT) to other genomes. Still later, Doolittle(4) speculated that unchecked HGT between unrelated genomes so complicates phylogeny that the conventional representation of a tree of life would have to be replaced by a thicket or a web of life.(4) In contrast, considerable data now show that reconstructions based on whole genome sequences are consistent with the conventional "tree of life".(5-10) Here, we identify natural barriers that protect modern genome populations from the inroads of rampant HGT.

  16. Magnetically Responsive Biodegradable Nanoparticles Enhance Adenoviral Gene Transfer in Cultured Smooth Muscle and Endothelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Chorny, Michael; Fishbein, Ilia; Alferiev, Ivan; Levy, Robert J.

    2012-01-01

    Replication-defective adenoviral (Ad) vectors have shown promise as a tool for gene delivery-based therapeutic applications. Their clinical use is however limited by therapeutically suboptimal transduction levels in cell types expressing low levels of Coxsackie-Ad receptor (CAR), the primary receptor responsible for the cell entry of the virus, and by systemic adverse reactions. Targeted delivery achievable with Ad complexed with biodegradable magnetically responsive nanoparticles (MNP) may therefore be instrumental for improving both the safety and efficiency of these vectors. Our hypothesis was that magnetically driven delivery of Ad affinity-bound to biodegradable MNP can substantially increase transgene expression in CAR deficient vascular cells in culture. Fluorescently labeled MNP were formulated from polylactide with inclusion of iron oxide and surface-modified with the D1 domain of CAR as an affinity linker. MNP cellular uptake and GFP reporter transgene expression were assayed fluorimetrically in cultured endothelial and smooth muscle cells using λex/λem of 540 nm/575 nm and 485 nm/535 nm, respectively. Stable vector-specific association of Ad with MNP resulted in formation of MNP–Ad complexes displaying rapid cell binding kinetics following a brief exposure to a high gradient magnetic field with resultant gene transfer levels significantly increased compared to free vector or nonmagnetic control treatment. Multiple regression analysis suggested a mechanism of MNP–Ad mediated transduction distinct from that of free Ad, and confirmed the major contribution of the complexes to the gene transfer under magnetic conditions. The magnetically enhanced transduction was achieved without compromising the cell viability or growth kinetics. The enhancement of adenoviral gene delivery by affinity complexation with biodegradable MNP represents a promising approach with a potential to extend the applicability of the viral gene therapeutic strategies. PMID:19496618

  17. Center for fetal monkey gene transfer for heart, lung, and blood diseases: an NHLBI resource for the gene therapy community.

    PubMed

    Tarantal, Alice F; Skarlatos, Sonia I

    2012-11-01

    The goals of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Center for Fetal Monkey Gene Transfer for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases are to conduct gene transfer studies in monkeys to evaluate safety and efficiency; and to provide NHLBI-supported investigators with expertise, resources, and services to actively pursue gene transfer approaches in monkeys in their research programs. NHLBI-supported projects span investigators throughout the United States and have addressed novel approaches to gene delivery; "proof-of-principle"; assessed whether findings in small-animal models could be demonstrated in a primate species; or were conducted to enable new grant or IND submissions. The Center for Fetal Monkey Gene Transfer for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases successfully aids the gene therapy community in addressing regulatory barriers, and serves as an effective vehicle for advancing the field.

  18. Genome-scale phylogenetic analysis finds extensive gene transfer among fungi

    PubMed Central

    Szöllősi, Gergely J.; Davín, Adrián Arellano; Tannier, Eric; Daubin, Vincent; Boussau, Bastien

    2015-01-01

    Although the role of lateral gene transfer is well recognized in the evolution of bacteria, it is generally assumed that it has had less influence among eukaryotes. To explore this hypothesis, we compare the dynamics of genome evolution in two groups of organisms: cyanobacteria and fungi. Ancestral genomes are inferred in both clades using two types of methods: first, Count, a gene tree unaware method that models gene duplications, gains and losses to explain the observed numbers of genes present in a genome; second, ALE, a more recent gene tree-aware method that reconciles gene trees with a species tree using a model of gene duplication, loss and transfer. We compare their merits and their ability to quantify the role of transfers, and assess the impact of taxonomic sampling on their inferences. We present what we believe is compelling evidence that gene transfer plays a significant role in the evolution of fungi. PMID:26323765

  19. Frequent, independent transfers of a catabolic gene from bacteria to contrasted filamentous eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Bruto, Maxime; Prigent-Combaret, Claire; Luis, Patricia; Moënne-Loccoz, Yvan; Muller, Daniel

    2014-08-22

    Even genetically distant prokaryotes can exchange genes between them, and these horizontal gene transfer events play a central role in adaptation and evolution. While this was long thought to be restricted to prokaryotes, certain eukaryotes have acquired genes of bacterial origin. However, gene acquisitions in eukaryotes are thought to be much less important in magnitude than in prokaryotes. Here, we describe the complex evolutionary history of a bacterial catabolic gene that has been transferred repeatedly from different bacterial phyla to stramenopiles and fungi. Indeed, phylogenomic analysis pointed to multiple acquisitions of the gene in these filamentous eukaryotes-as many as 15 different events for 65 microeukaryotes. Furthermore, once transferred, this gene acquired introns and was found expressed in mRNA databases for most recipients. Our results show that effective inter-domain transfers and subsequent adaptation of a prokaryotic gene in eukaryotic cells can happen at an unprecedented magnitude.

  20. Immunoregulation by B7 and IL-12 gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Kato, K; Okumura, K; Yagita, H

    1997-04-01

    Our recent studies using various costimulatory molecules have demonstrated that antitumor effect could be induced by B7- or B70-transduced mouse tumors. To augment antitumor effect in vivo, the combination therapy with a costimulatory gene and a cytokine, interkeukin 12 (IL-12), gene to treat metastatic mouse lung tumor was investigated. We transfected with mouse B7 and/or IL-12 into mouse lung carcinoma 3LL, and three transfectants (IL-12/3LL, B7/3LL and IL-12/B7/3LL) were generated. CTL activity induced by the inoculation of IL-12/B7/3LL was increased about 10-fold compared with parental 3LL inoculation. We then examined the therapeutic efficacy of combination with B7 and IL-12-transduced tumors. Four weeks after 3LL inoculation, lung metastasis was significantly reduced by IL-12/B7/3LL post-inoculation, indicating that potent therapeutic antitumor immunity can be induced by combination with costimulators B7 and IL-12. Recently, it was reported that p40 subunit of IL-12 appeared to be a specific inhibitor for IL-12 heterodimer in vitro. To clarify the biological functions of p40 in vivo, we generated the myoblast transfectants which produced IL-12 p40 alone. Local production of IL-12 p40 from transfectant could suppress allogenic CTL induction and Th1-type antibodies (IgG2a/2b/3) production in vivo. Furthermore, IL-12 p40 producing myoblast are less susceptible to rejection compared with parental myoblast, indicating that IL-12 p40 gene transfer may be useful therapeutically in Th1-mediated transplantation and autoimmune disorders.

  1. Multiplexed transposon-mediated stable gene transfer in human cells

    PubMed Central

    Kahlig, Kristopher M.; Saridey, Sai K.; Kaja, Aparna; Daniels, Melissa A.; George, Alfred L.; Wilson, Matthew H.

    2010-01-01

    Generation of cultured human cells stably expressing one or more recombinant gene sequences is a widely used approach in biomedical research, biotechnology, and drug development. Conventional methods are not efficient and have severe limitations especially when engineering cells to coexpress multiple transgenes or multiprotein complexes. In this report, we harnessed the highly efficient, nonviral, and plasmid-based piggyBac transposon system to enable concurrent genomic integration of multiple independent transposons harboring distinct protein-coding DNA sequences. Flow cytometry of cell clones derived from a single multiplexed transfection demonstrated approximately 60% (three transposons) or approximately 30% (four transposons) stable coexpression of all delivered transgenes with selection for a single marker transposon. We validated multiplexed piggyBac transposon delivery by coexpressing large transgenes encoding a multisubunit neuronal voltage-gated sodium channel (SCN1A) containing a pore-forming subunit and two accessory subunits while using two additional genes for selection. Previously unobtainable robust sodium current was demonstrated through 38 passages, suitable for use on an automated high-throughput electrophysiology platform. Cotransfection of three large (up to 10.8 kb) piggyBac transposons generated a heterozygous SCN1A stable cell line expressing two separate alleles of the pore-forming subunit and two accessory subunits (total of four sodium channel subunits) with robust functional expression. We conclude that the piggyBac transposon system can be used to perform multiplexed stable gene transfer in cultured human cells, and this technology may be valuable for applications requiring concurrent expression of multiprotein complexes. PMID:20080581

  2. Horizontal gene transfer of chlamydial-like tRNA genes into early vascular plant mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Knie, Nils; Polsakiewicz, Monika; Knoop, Volker

    2015-03-01

    Mitochondrial genomes of lycophytes are surprisingly diverse, including strikingly different transfer RNA (tRNA) gene complements: No mitochondrial tRNA genes are present in the spikemoss Selaginella moellendorffii, whereas 26 tRNAs are encoded in the chondrome of the clubmoss Huperzia squarrosa. Reinvestigating the latter we found that trnL(gag) and trnS(gga) had never before been identified in any other land plant mitochondrial DNA. Sensitive sequence comparisons showed these two tRNAs as well as trnN(guu) and trnS(gcu) to be very similar to their respective counterparts in chlamydial bacteria. We identified homologs of these chlamydial-type tRNAs also in other lycophyte, fern, and gymnosperm DNAs, suggesting horizontal gene transfer (HGT) into mitochondria in the early vascular plant stem lineages. These findings extend plant mitochondrial HGT to affect individual tRNA genes, to include bacterial donors, and suggest that Chlamydiae on top of their recently proposed key role in primary chloroplast establishment may also have participated in early tracheophyte genome evolution.

  3. Evaluation of biolistic gene transfer methods in vivo using non-invasive bioluminescent imaging techniques

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Gene therapy continues to hold great potential for treating many different types of disease and dysfunction. Safe and efficient techniques for gene transfer and expression in vivo are needed to enable gene therapeutic strategies to be effective in patients. Currently, the most commonly used methods employ replication-defective viral vectors for gene transfer, while physical gene transfer methods such as biolistic-mediated ("gene-gun") delivery to target tissues have not been as extensively explored. In the present study, we evaluated the efficacy of biolistic gene transfer techniques in vivo using non-invasive bioluminescent imaging (BLI) methods. Results Plasmid DNA carrying the firefly luciferase (LUC) reporter gene under the control of the human Cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter/enhancer was transfected into mouse skin and liver using biolistic methods. The plasmids were coupled to gold microspheres (1 μm diameter) using different DNA Loading Ratios (DLRs), and "shot" into target tissues using a helium-driven gene gun. The optimal DLR was found to be in the range of 4-10. Bioluminescence was measured using an In Vivo Imaging System (IVIS-50) at various time-points following transfer. Biolistic gene transfer to mouse skin produced peak reporter gene expression one day after transfer. Expression remained detectable through four days, but declined to undetectable levels by six days following gene transfer. Maximum depth of tissue penetration following biolistic transfer to abdominal skin was 200-300 μm. Similarly, biolistic gene transfer to mouse liver in vivo also produced peak early expression followed by a decline over time. In contrast to skin, however, liver expression of the reporter gene was relatively stable 4-8 days post-biolistic gene transfer, and remained detectable for nearly two weeks. Conclusions The use of bioluminescence imaging techniques enabled efficient evaluation of reporter gene expression in vivo. Our results demonstrate that

  4. Robust Retention and Transfer of Tool Construction Techniques in Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

    PubMed Central

    Vale, Gill L.; Flynn, Emma G.; Pender, Lydia; Price, Elizabeth; Whiten, Andrew; Lambeth, Susan P.; Schapiro, Steven J.; Kendal, Rachel L.

    2016-01-01

    Long-term memory can be critical to a species’ survival in environments with seasonal and even longer-term cycles of resource availability. The present, longitudinal study investigated whether complex tool behaviors used to gain an out-of-reach reward, following a hiatus of about 3 years and 7 months since initial experiences with a tool use task, were retained and subsequently executed more quickly by experienced than by naïve chimpanzees. Ten of the 11 retested chimpanzees displayed impressive long-term procedural memory, creating elongated tools using the same methods employed years previously, either combining 2 tools or extending a single tool. The complex tool behaviors were also transferred to a different task context, showing behavioral flexibility. This represents some of the first evidence for appreciable long-term procedural memory, and improvements in the utility of complex tool manufacture in chimpanzees. Such long-term procedural memory and behavioral flexibility have important implications for the longevity and transmission of behavioral traditions. PMID:26881941

  5. Robust retention and transfer of tool construction techniques in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes).

    PubMed

    Vale, Gill L; Flynn, Emma G; Pender, Lydia; Price, Elizabeth; Whiten, Andrew; Lambeth, Susan P; Schapiro, Steven J; Kendal, Rachel L

    2016-02-01

    Long-term memory can be critical to a species' survival in environments with seasonal and even longer-term cycles of resource availability. The present, longitudinal study investigated whether complex tool behaviors used to gain an out-of-reach reward, following a hiatus of about 3 years and 7 months since initial experiences with a tool use task, were retained and subsequently executed more quickly by experienced than by naïve chimpanzees. Ten of the 11 retested chimpanzees displayed impressive long-term procedural memory, creating elongated tools using the same methods employed years previously, either combining 2 tools or extending a single tool. The complex tool behaviors were also transferred to a different task context, showing behavioral flexibility. This represents some of the first evidence for appreciable long-term procedural memory, and improvements in the utility of complex tool manufacture in chimpanzees. Such long-term procedural memory and behavioral flexibility have important implications for the longevity and transmission of behavioral traditions. PMID:26881941

  6. Horizontal gene transfer and gene dosage drives adaptation to wood colonization in a tree pathogen.

    PubMed

    Dhillon, Braham; Feau, Nicolas; Aerts, Andrea L; Beauseigle, Stéphanie; Bernier, Louis; Copeland, Alex; Foster, Adam; Gill, Navdeep; Henrissat, Bernard; Herath, Padmini; LaButti, Kurt M; Levasseur, Anthony; Lindquist, Erika A; Majoor, Eline; Ohm, Robin A; Pangilinan, Jasmyn L; Pribowo, Amadeus; Saddler, John N; Sakalidis, Monique L; de Vries, Ronald P; Grigoriev, Igor V; Goodwin, Stephen B; Tanguay, Philippe; Hamelin, Richard C

    2015-03-17

    Some of the most damaging tree pathogens can attack woody stems, causing lesions (cankers) that may be lethal. To identify the genomic determinants of wood colonization leading to canker formation, we sequenced the genomes of the poplar canker pathogen, Mycosphaerella populorum, and the closely related poplar leaf pathogen, M. populicola. A secondary metabolite cluster unique to M. populorum is fully activated following induction by poplar wood and leaves. In addition, genes encoding hemicellulose-degrading enzymes, peptidases, and metabolite transporters were more abundant and were up-regulated in M. populorum growing on poplar wood-chip medium compared with M. populicola. The secondary gene cluster and several of the carbohydrate degradation genes have the signature of horizontal transfer from ascomycete fungi associated with wood decay and from prokaryotes. Acquisition and maintenance of the gene battery necessary for growth in woody tissues and gene dosage resulting in gene expression reconfiguration appear to be responsible for the adaptation of M. populorum to infect, colonize, and cause mortality on poplar woody stems.

  7. The Fusarium graminearum Genome Reveals More Secondary Metabolite Gene Clusters and Hints of Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Philip; Münsterkötter, Martin; Mewes, Hans-Werner; Schmeitzl, Clemens; Varga, Elisabeth; Berthiller, Franz; Adam, Gerhard; Güldener, Ulrich

    2014-01-01

    Fungal secondary metabolite biosynthesis genes are of major interest due to the pharmacological properties of their products (like mycotoxins and antibiotics). The genome of the plant pathogenic fungus Fusarium graminearum codes for a large number of candidate enzymes involved in secondary metabolite biosynthesis. However, the chemical nature of most enzymatic products of proteins encoded by putative secondary metabolism biosynthetic genes is largely unknown. Based on our analysis we present 67 gene clusters with significant enrichment of predicted secondary metabolism related enzymatic functions. 20 gene clusters with unknown metabolites exhibit strong gene expression correlation in planta and presumably play a role in virulence. Furthermore, the identification of conserved and over-represented putative transcription factor binding sites serves as additional evidence for cluster co-regulation. Orthologous cluster search provided insight into the evolution of secondary metabolism clusters. Some clusters are characteristic for the Fusarium phylum while others show evidence of horizontal gene transfer as orthologs can be found in representatives of the Botrytis or Cochliobolus lineage. The presented candidate clusters provide valuable targets for experimental examination. PMID:25333987

  8. Horizontal gene transfer and gene dosage drives adaptation to wood colonization in a tree pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Dhillon, Braham; Feau, Nicolas; Aerts, Andrea L.; Beauseigle, Stéphanie; Bernier, Louis; Copeland, Alex; Foster, Adam; Gill, Navdeep; Henrissat, Bernard; Herath, Padmini; LaButti, Kurt M.; Levasseur, Anthony; Lindquist, Erika A.; Majoor, Eline; Ohm, Robin A.; Pangilinan, Jasmyn L.; Pribowo, Amadeus; Saddler, John N.; Sakalidis, Monique L.; de Vries, Ronald P.; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Goodwin, Stephen B.; Tanguay, Philippe; Hamelin, Richard C.

    2015-01-01

    Some of the most damaging tree pathogens can attack woody stems, causing lesions (cankers) that may be lethal. To identify the genomic determinants of wood colonization leading to canker formation, we sequenced the genomes of the poplar canker pathogen, Mycosphaerella populorum, and the closely related poplar leaf pathogen, M. populicola. A secondary metabolite cluster unique to M. populorum is fully activated following induction by poplar wood and leaves. In addition, genes encoding hemicellulose-degrading enzymes, peptidases, and metabolite transporters were more abundant and were up-regulated in M. populorum growing on poplar wood-chip medium compared with M. populicola. The secondary gene cluster and several of the carbohydrate degradation genes have the signature of horizontal transfer from ascomycete fungi associated with wood decay and from prokaryotes. Acquisition and maintenance of the gene battery necessary for growth in woody tissues and gene dosage resulting in gene expression reconfiguration appear to be responsible for the adaptation of M. populorum to infect, colonize, and cause mortality on poplar woody stems. PMID:25733908

  9. Horizontal gene transfer and gene dosage drives adaptation to wood colonization in a tree pathogen.

    PubMed

    Dhillon, Braham; Feau, Nicolas; Aerts, Andrea L; Beauseigle, Stéphanie; Bernier, Louis; Copeland, Alex; Foster, Adam; Gill, Navdeep; Henrissat, Bernard; Herath, Padmini; LaButti, Kurt M; Levasseur, Anthony; Lindquist, Erika A; Majoor, Eline; Ohm, Robin A; Pangilinan, Jasmyn L; Pribowo, Amadeus; Saddler, John N; Sakalidis, Monique L; de Vries, Ronald P; Grigoriev, Igor V; Goodwin, Stephen B; Tanguay, Philippe; Hamelin, Richard C

    2015-03-17

    Some of the most damaging tree pathogens can attack woody stems, causing lesions (cankers) that may be lethal. To identify the genomic determinants of wood colonization leading to canker formation, we sequenced the genomes of the poplar canker pathogen, Mycosphaerella populorum, and the closely related poplar leaf pathogen, M. populicola. A secondary metabolite cluster unique to M. populorum is fully activated following induction by poplar wood and leaves. In addition, genes encoding hemicellulose-degrading enzymes, peptidases, and metabolite transporters were more abundant and were up-regulated in M. populorum growing on poplar wood-chip medium compared with M. populicola. The secondary gene cluster and several of the carbohydrate degradation genes have the signature of horizontal transfer from ascomycete fungi associated with wood decay and from prokaryotes. Acquisition and maintenance of the gene battery necessary for growth in woody tissues and gene dosage resulting in gene expression reconfiguration appear to be responsible for the adaptation of M. populorum to infect, colonize, and cause mortality on poplar woody stems. PMID:25733908

  10. Towards liver-directed gene therapy: retrovirus-mediated gene transfer into human hepatocytes.

    PubMed

    Grossman, M; Raper, S E; Wilson, J M

    1991-11-01

    Liver-directed gene therapy is being considered in the treatment of inherited metabolic diseases. One approach we are considering is the transplantation of autologous hepatocytes that have been genetically modified with recombinant retroviruses ex vivo. We describe, in this report, techniques for isolating human hepatocytes and efficiently transducing recombinant genes into primary cultures. Hepatocytes were isolated from tissue of four different donors, plated in primary culture, and exposed to recombinant retroviruses expressing either the LacZ reporter gene or the cDNA for rabbit LDL receptor. The efficiency of gene transfer under optimal conditions, as determined by Southern blot analysis, varied from a maximum of one proviral copy per cell to a minimum of 0.1 proviral copy per cell. Cytochemical assays were used to detect expression of the recombinant derived proteins, E. coli beta-galactosidase and rabbit LDL receptor. Hepatocytes transduced with the LDL receptor gene expressed levels of receptor protein that exceeded the normal endogenous levels. The ability to isolate and genetically modify human hepatocytes, as described in this report, is an important step towards the development of liver-directed gene therapies in humans. PMID:1767337

  11. The DAVID Gene Functional Classification Tool: a novel biological module-centric algorithm to functionally analyze large gene lists

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Da Wei; Sherman, Brad T; Tan, Qina; Collins, Jack R; Alvord, W Gregory; Roayaei, Jean; Stephens, Robert; Baseler, Michael W; Lane, H Clifford; Lempicki, Richard A

    2007-01-01

    The DAVID Gene Functional Classification Tool uses a novel agglomeration algorithm to condense a list of genes or associated biological terms into organized classes of related genes or biology, called biological modules. This organization is accomplished by mining the complex biological co-occurrences found in multiple sources of functional annotation. It is a powerful method to group functionally related genes and terms into a manageable number of biological modules for efficient interpretation of gene lists in a network context. PMID:17784955

  12. A novel roseobacter phage possesses features of podoviruses, siphoviruses, prophages and gene transfer agents

    PubMed Central

    Zhan, Yuanchao; Huang, Sijun; Voget, Sonja; Simon, Meinhard; Chen, Feng

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria in the Roseobacter lineage have been studied extensively due to their significant biogeochemical roles in the marine ecosystem. However, our knowledge on bacteriophage which infects the Roseobacter clade is still very limited. Here, we report a new bacteriophage, phage DSS3Φ8, which infects marine roseobacter Ruegeria pomeroyi DSS-3. DSS3Φ8 is a lytic siphovirus. Genomic analysis showed that DSS3Φ8 is most closely related to a group of siphoviruses, CbK-like phages, which infect freshwater bacterium Caulobacter crescentus. DSS3Φ8 contains a smaller capsid and has a reduced genome size (146 kb) compared to the CbK-like phages (205–279 kb). DSS3Φ8 contains the DNA polymerase gene which is closely related to T7-like podoviruses. DSS3Φ8 also contains the integrase and repressor genes, indicating its potential to involve in lysogenic cycle. In addition, four GTA (gene transfer agent) genes were identified in the DSS3Φ8 genome. Genomic analysis suggests that DSS3Φ8 is a highly mosaic phage that inherits the genetic features from siphoviruses, podoviruses, prophages and GTAs. This is the first report of CbK-like phages infecting marine bacteria. We believe phage isolation is still a powerful tool that can lead to discovery of new phages and help interpret the overwhelming unknown sequences in the viral metagenomics. PMID:27460944

  13. A novel roseobacter phage possesses features of podoviruses, siphoviruses, prophages and gene transfer agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhan, Yuanchao; Huang, Sijun; Voget, Sonja; Simon, Meinhard; Chen, Feng

    2016-07-01

    Bacteria in the Roseobacter lineage have been studied extensively due to their significant biogeochemical roles in the marine ecosystem. However, our knowledge on bacteriophage which infects the Roseobacter clade is still very limited. Here, we report a new bacteriophage, phage DSS3Φ8, which infects marine roseobacter Ruegeria pomeroyi DSS-3. DSS3Φ8 is a lytic siphovirus. Genomic analysis showed that DSS3Φ8 is most closely related to a group of siphoviruses, CbK-like phages, which infect freshwater bacterium Caulobacter crescentus. DSS3Φ8 contains a smaller capsid and has a reduced genome size (146 kb) compared to the CbK-like phages (205–279 kb). DSS3Φ8 contains the DNA polymerase gene which is closely related to T7-like podoviruses. DSS3Φ8 also contains the integrase and repressor genes, indicating its potential to involve in lysogenic cycle. In addition, four GTA (gene transfer agent) genes were identified in the DSS3Φ8 genome. Genomic analysis suggests that DSS3Φ8 is a highly mosaic phage that inherits the genetic features from siphoviruses, podoviruses, prophages and GTAs. This is the first report of CbK-like phages infecting marine bacteria. We believe phage isolation is still a powerful tool that can lead to discovery of new phages and help interpret the overwhelming unknown sequences in the viral metagenomics.

  14. A novel roseobacter phage possesses features of podoviruses, siphoviruses, prophages and gene transfer agents.

    PubMed

    Zhan, Yuanchao; Huang, Sijun; Voget, Sonja; Simon, Meinhard; Chen, Feng

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria in the Roseobacter lineage have been studied extensively due to their significant biogeochemical roles in the marine ecosystem. However, our knowledge on bacteriophage which infects the Roseobacter clade is still very limited. Here, we report a new bacteriophage, phage DSS3Φ8, which infects marine roseobacter Ruegeria pomeroyi DSS-3. DSS3Φ8 is a lytic siphovirus. Genomic analysis showed that DSS3Φ8 is most closely related to a group of siphoviruses, CbK-like phages, which infect freshwater bacterium Caulobacter crescentus. DSS3Φ8 contains a smaller capsid and has a reduced genome size (146 kb) compared to the CbK-like phages (205-279 kb). DSS3Φ8 contains the DNA polymerase gene which is closely related to T7-like podoviruses. DSS3Φ8 also contains the integrase and repressor genes, indicating its potential to involve in lysogenic cycle. In addition, four GTA (gene transfer agent) genes were identified in the DSS3Φ8 genome. Genomic analysis suggests that DSS3Φ8 is a highly mosaic phage that inherits the genetic features from siphoviruses, podoviruses, prophages and GTAs. This is the first report of CbK-like phages infecting marine bacteria. We believe phage isolation is still a powerful tool that can lead to discovery of new phages and help interpret the overwhelming unknown sequences in the viral metagenomics. PMID:27460944

  15. A novel roseobacter phage possesses features of podoviruses, siphoviruses, prophages and gene transfer agents.

    PubMed

    Zhan, Yuanchao; Huang, Sijun; Voget, Sonja; Simon, Meinhard; Chen, Feng

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria in the Roseobacter lineage have been studied extensively due to their significant biogeochemical roles in the marine ecosystem. However, our knowledge on bacteriophage which infects the Roseobacter clade is still very limited. Here, we report a new bacteriophage, phage DSS3Φ8, which infects marine roseobacter Ruegeria pomeroyi DSS-3. DSS3Φ8 is a lytic siphovirus. Genomic analysis showed that DSS3Φ8 is most closely related to a group of siphoviruses, CbK-like phages, which infect freshwater bacterium Caulobacter crescentus. DSS3Φ8 contains a smaller capsid and has a reduced genome size (146 kb) compared to the CbK-like phages (205-279 kb). DSS3Φ8 contains the DNA polymerase gene which is closely related to T7-like podoviruses. DSS3Φ8 also contains the integrase and repressor genes, indicating its potential to involve in lysogenic cycle. In addition, four GTA (gene transfer agent) genes were identified in the DSS3Φ8 genome. Genomic analysis suggests that DSS3Φ8 is a highly mosaic phage that inherits the genetic features from siphoviruses, podoviruses, prophages and GTAs. This is the first report of CbK-like phages infecting marine bacteria. We believe phage isolation is still a powerful tool that can lead to discovery of new phages and help interpret the overwhelming unknown sequences in the viral metagenomics.

  16. Tools for Atmospheric Radiative Transfer: Streamer and FluxNet. Revised

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Key, Jeffrey R.; Schweiger, Axel J.

    1998-01-01

    Two tools for the solution of radiative transfer problems are presented. Streamer is a highly flexible medium spectral resolution radiative transfer model based on the plane-parallel theory of radiative transfer. Capable of computing either fluxes or radiances, it is suitable for studying radiative processes at the surface or within the atmosphere and for the development of remote-sensing algorithms. FluxNet is a fast neural network-based implementation of Streamer for computing surface fluxes. It allows for a sophisticated treatment of radiative processes in the analysis of large data sets and potential integration into geophysical models where computational efficiency is an issue. Documentation and tools for the development of alternative versions of Fluxnet are available. Collectively, Streamer and FluxNet solve a wide variety of problems related to radiative transfer: Streamer provides the detail and sophistication needed to perform basic research on most aspects of complex radiative processes while the efficiency and simplicity of FluxNet make it ideal for operational use.

  17. Transduction-like gene transfer in the methanogen Methanococcus voltae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bertani, G.

    1999-01-01

    Strain PS of Methanococcus voltae (a methanogenic, anaerobic archaebacterium) was shown to generate spontaneously 4.4-kbp chromosomal DNA fragments that are fully protected from DNase and that, upon contact with a cell, transform it genetically. This activity, here called VTA (voltae transfer agent), affects all markers tested: three different auxotrophies (histidine, purine, and cobalamin) and resistance to BES (2-bromoethanesulfonate, an inhibitor of methanogenesis). VTA was most effectively prepared by culture filtration. This process disrupted a fraction of the M. voltae cells (which have only an S-layer covering their cytoplasmic membrane). VTA was rapidly inactivated upon storage. VTA particles were present in cultures at concentrations of approximately two per cell. Gene transfer activity varied from a minimum of 2 x 10(-5) (BES resistance) to a maximum of 10(-3) (histidine independence) per donor cell. Very little VTA was found free in culture supernatants. The phenomenon is functionally similar to generalized transduction, but there is no evidence, for the time being, of intrinsically viral (i.e., containing a complete viral genome) particles. Consideration of VTA DNA size makes the existence of such viral particles unlikely. If they exist, they must be relatively few in number;perhaps they differ from VTA particles in size and other properties and thus escaped detection. Digestion of VTA DNA with the AluI restriction enzyme suggests that it is a random sample of the bacterial DNA, except for a 0.9-kbp sequence which is amplified relative to the rest of the bacterial chromosome. A VTA-sized DNA fraction was demonstrated in a few other isolates of M. voltae.

  18. Multimodality Imaging of Gene Transfer with a Receptor-Based Reporter Gene

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Ron; Parry, Jesse J.; Akers, Walter J.; Berezin, Mikhail Y.; El Naqa, Issam M.; Achilefu, Samuel; Edwards, W. Barry; Rogers, Buck E.

    2010-01-01

    Gene therapy trials have traditionally used tumor and tissue biopsies for assessing the efficacy of gene transfer. Non-invasive imaging techniques offer a distinct advantage over tissue biopsies in that the magnitude and duration of gene transfer can be monitored repeatedly. Human somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (SSTR2) has been used for the nuclear imaging of gene transfer. To extend this concept, we have developed a somatostatin receptor–enhanced green fluorescent protein fusion construct (SSTR2-EGFP) for nuclear and fluorescent multimodality imaging. Methods An adenovirus containing SSTR2-EGFP (AdSSTR2-EGFP) was constructed and evaluated in vitro and in vivo. SCC-9 human squamous cell carcinoma cells were infected with AdEGFP, AdSSTR2, or AdSSTR2-EGFP for in vitro evaluation by saturation binding, internalization, and fluorescence spectroscopy assays. In vivo biodistribution and nano-SPECT imaging studies were conducted with mice bearing SCC-9 tumor xenografts directly injected with AdSSTR2-EGFP or AdSSTR2 to determine the tumor localization of 111In-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA)-Tyr3-octreotate. Fluorescence imaging was conducted in vivo with mice receiving intratumoral injections of AdSSTR2, AdSSTR2-EGFP, or AdEGFP as well as ex vivo with tissues extracted from mice. Results The similarity between AdSSTR2-EGFP and wild-type AdSSTR2 was demonstrated in vitro by the saturation binding and internalization assays, and the fluorescence emission spectra of cells infected with AdSSTR2-EGFP was almost identical to the spectra of cells infected with wild-type AdEGFP. Biodistribution studies demonstrated that the tumor uptake of 111In-DTPA-Tyr3-octreotate was not significantly different (P > 0.05) when tumors (n = 5) were injected with AdSSTR2 or AdSSTR2-EGFP but was significantly greater than the uptake in control tumors. Fluorescence was observed in tumors injected with AdSSTR2-EGFP and AdEGFP in vivo and ex vivo but not in tumors injected with AdSSTR2

  19. Selfish Operons: Horizontal Transfer May Drive the Evolution of Gene Clusters

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, J. G.; Roth, J. R.

    1996-01-01

    A model is presented whereby the formation of gene clusters in bacteria is mediated by transfer of DNA within and among taxa. Bacterial operons are typically composed of genes whose products contribute to a single function. If this function is subject to weak selection or to long periods with no selection, the contributing genes may accumulate mutations and be lost by genetic drift. From a cell's perspective, once several genes are lost, the function can be restored only if all missing genes were acquired simultaneously by lateral transfer. The probability of transfer of multiple genes increases when genes are physically proximate. From a gene's perspective, horizontal transfer provides a way to escape evolutionary loss by allowing colonization of organisms lacking the encoded functions. Since organisms bearing clustered genes are more likely to act as successful donors, clustered genes would spread among bacterial genomes. The physical proximity of genes may be considered a selfish property of the operon since it affects the probability of successful horizontal transfer but may provide no physiological benefit to the host. This process predicts a mosaic structure of modern genomes in which ancestral chromosomal material is interspersed with novel, horizontally transferred operons providing peripheral metabolic functions. PMID:8844169

  20. Increasing cholesterol synthesis in 7-dehydrosterol reductase (DHCR7) deficient mouse models through gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    Matabosch, Xavier; Ying, Lee; Serra, Montserrat; Wassif, Christopher A.; Porter, Forbes D.; Shackleton, Cedric; Watson, Gordon

    2010-01-01

    Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is caused by deficiency in the terminal step of cholesterol biosynthesis: the conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC) to cholesterol (C), catalyzed by 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (DHCR7). This disorder exhibits several phenotypic traits including dysmorphia and mental retardation with a broad range of severity. There are few proven treatment options. That most commonly used is a high cholesterol diet that seems to enhance the quality of life and improve behavioral characteristics of patients, although these positive effects are controversial. The goal of our study was to investigate the possibility of restoring DHCR7 activity by gene transfer. We constructed an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector containing the DHCR7 gene. After we infused this vector into affected mice, the introduced DHCR7 gene could be identified in liver, mRNA was expressed and a functional enzyme was produced. Evidence of functionality came from the ability to partially normalize the serum ratio of 7DHC/C in treated animals, apparently by increasing cholesterol production with concomitant decrease in 7DHC precursor. By five weeks after treatment the mean ratio (for 7 animals) had fallen to 0.05 while the ratio for untreated littermate controls had risen to 0.14. This provides proof of principle that gene transfer can ameliorate the genetic defect causing SLOS and provides a new experimental tool for studying the pathogenesis of this disease. If effective in humans, it might also offer a possible alternative to exogenous cholesterol therapy. However, it would not offer a complete cure for the disorder as many of the negative implications of defective synthesis are already established during prenatal development. PMID:20800683

  1. Increasing cholesterol synthesis in 7-dehydrosterol reductase (DHCR7) deficient mouse models through gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Matabosch, Xavier; Ying, Lee; Serra, Montserrat; Wassif, Christopher A; Porter, Forbes D; Shackleton, Cedric; Watson, Gordon

    2010-11-01

    Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is caused by deficiency in the terminal step of cholesterol biosynthesis: the conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC) to cholesterol (C), catalyzed by 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (DHCR7). This disorder exhibits several phenotypic traits including dysmorphia and mental retardation with a broad range of severity. There are few proven treatment options. That most commonly used is a high cholesterol diet that seems to enhance the quality of life and improve behavioral characteristics of patients, although these positive effects are controversial. The goal of our study was to investigate the possibility of restoring DHCR7 activity by gene transfer. We constructed an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector containing the DHCR7 gene. After we infused this vector into affected mice, the introduced DHCR7 gene could be identified in liver, mRNA was expressed and a functional enzyme was produced. Evidence of functionality came from the ability to partially normalize the serum ratio of 7DHC/C in treated animals, apparently by increasing cholesterol production with concomitant decrease in 7DHC precursor. By 5 weeks after treatment the mean ratio (for 7 animals) had fallen to 0.05 while the ratio for untreated littermate controls had risen to 0.14. This provides proof of principle that gene transfer can ameliorate the genetic defect causing SLOS and provides a new experimental tool for studying the pathogenesis of this disease. If effective in humans, it might also offer a possible alternative to exogenous cholesterol therapy. However, it would not offer a complete cure for the disorder as many of the negative implications of defective synthesis are already established during prenatal development.

  2. Microbial Evolution Is in the Cards: Horizontal Gene Transfer in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kagle, Jeanne; Hay, Anthony G.

    2007-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer, the exchange of genetic material between bacteria, is a potentially important factor in the degradation of synthetic compounds introduced to the environment and in the acquisition of other characteristics including antibiotic resistance. This game-based activity illustrates the role of horizontal gene transfer in the…

  3. Highly variable individual donor cell fates characterize robust horizontal gene transfer of an integrative and conjugative element

    PubMed Central

    Delavat, François; Mitri, Sara; Pelet, Serge; van der Meer, Jan Roelof

    2016-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer is an important evolutionary mechanism for bacterial adaptation. However, given the typical low transfer frequencies in a bacterial population, little is known about the fate and interplay of donor cells and the mobilized DNA during transfer. Here we study transfer of an integrative and conjugative element (ICE) among individual live bacterial cells. ICEs are widely distributed mobile DNA elements that are different than plasmids because they reside silent in the host chromosome and are maintained through vertical descent. Occasionally, ICEs become active, excise, and transmit their DNA to a new recipient, where it is reintegrated. We develop a fluorescent tool to differentiate excision, transfer, and reintegration of a model ICE named ICEclc (for carrying the clc genes for chlorocatechol metabolism) among single Pseudomonas cells by using time-lapse microscopy. We find that ICEclc activation is initiated in stationary phase cells, but excision and transfer predominantly occur only when such cells have been presented with new nutrients. Donors with activated ICE develop a number of different states, characterized by reduced cell division rates or growth arrest, persistence, or lysis, concomitant with ICE excision, and likely, ICE loss or replication. The donor cell state transitions can be described by using a stochastic model, which predicts that ICE fitness is optimal at low initiation rates in stationary phase. Despite highly variable donor cell fates, ICE transfer is remarkably robust overall, with 75% success after excision. Our results help to better understand ICE behavior and shed a new light on bacterial cellular differentiation during horizontal gene transfer. PMID:27247406

  4. Highly variable individual donor cell fates characterize robust horizontal gene transfer of an integrative and conjugative element.

    PubMed

    Delavat, François; Mitri, Sara; Pelet, Serge; van der Meer, Jan Roelof

    2016-06-14

    Horizontal gene transfer is an important evolutionary mechanism for bacterial adaptation. However, given the typical low transfer frequencies in a bacterial population, little is known about the fate and interplay of donor cells and the mobilized DNA during transfer. Here we study transfer of an integrative and conjugative element (ICE) among individual live bacterial cells. ICEs are widely distributed mobile DNA elements that are different than plasmids because they reside silent in the host chromosome and are maintained through vertical descent. Occasionally, ICEs become active, excise, and transmit their DNA to a new recipient, where it is reintegrated. We develop a fluorescent tool to differentiate excision, transfer, and reintegration of a model ICE named ICEclc (for carrying the clc genes for chlorocatechol metabolism) among single Pseudomonas cells by using time-lapse microscopy. We find that ICEclc activation is initiated in stationary phase cells, but excision and transfer predominantly occur only when such cells have been presented with new nutrients. Donors with activated ICE develop a number of different states, characterized by reduced cell division rates or growth arrest, persistence, or lysis, concomitant with ICE excision, and likely, ICE loss or replication. The donor cell state transitions can be described by using a stochastic model, which predicts that ICE fitness is optimal at low initiation rates in stationary phase. Despite highly variable donor cell fates, ICE transfer is remarkably robust overall, with 75% success after excision. Our results help to better understand ICE behavior and shed a new light on bacterial cellular differentiation during horizontal gene transfer. PMID:27247406

  5. Gene transfer in the evolution of parasite nucleotide biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Striepen, Boris; Pruijssers, Andrea J P; Huang, Jinling; Li, Catherine; Gubbels, Marc-Jan; Umejiego, Nwakaso N; Hedstrom, Lizbeth; Kissinger, Jessica C

    2004-03-01

    Nucleotide metabolic pathways provide numerous successful targets for antiparasitic chemotherapy, but the human pathogen Cryptosporidium parvum thus far has proved extraordinarily refractory to classical treatments. Given the importance of this protist as an opportunistic pathogen afflicting immunosuppressed individuals, effective treatments are urgently needed. The genome sequence of C. parvum is approaching completion, and we have used this resource to critically assess nucleotide biosynthesis as a target in C. parvum. Genomic analysis indicates that this parasite is entirely dependent on salvage from the host for its purines and pyrimidines. Metabolic pathway reconstruction and experimental validation in the laboratory further suggest that the loss of pyrimidine de novo synthesis is compensated for by possession of three salvage enzymes. Two of these, uridine kinase-uracil phosphoribosyltransferase and thymidine kinase, are unique to C. parvum within the phylum Apicomplexa. Phylogenetic analysis suggests horizontal gene transfer of thymidine kinase from a proteobacterium. We further show that the purine metabolism in C. parvum follows a highly streamlined pathway. Salvage of adenosine provides C. parvum's sole source of purines. This renders the parasite susceptible to inhibition of inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the multistep conversion of AMP to GMP. The inosine 5' monophosphate dehydrogenase inhibitors ribavirin and mycophenolic acid, which are already in clinical use, show pronounced anticryptosporidial activity. Taken together, these data help to explain why widely used drugs fail in the treatment of cryptosporidiosis and suggest more promising targets. PMID:14973196

  6. Horizontal gene transfer in the acquisition of novel traits by metazoans

    PubMed Central

    Boto, Luis

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer is accepted as an important evolutionary force modulating the evolution of prokaryote genomes. However, it is thought that horizontal gene transfer plays only a minor role in metazoan evolution. In this paper, I critically review the rising evidence on horizontally transferred genes and on the acquisition of novel traits in metazoans. In particular, I discuss suspected examples in sponges, cnidarians, rotifers, nematodes, molluscs and arthropods which suggest that horizontal gene transfer in metazoans is not simply a curiosity. In addition, I stress the scarcity of studies in vertebrates and other animal groups and the importance of forthcoming studies to understand the importance and extent of horizontal gene transfer in animals. PMID:24403327

  7. Testis mediated gene transfer: in vitro transfection in goat testis by electroporation.

    PubMed

    Raina, Atish; Kumar, Subodh; Shrivastava, Rohit; Mitra, Abhijit

    2015-01-01

    Testis mediated gene transfer (TMGT) is a potential tool for making transgenic mice having more than 90% success rate. However, this method needs further standardization before it can be adapted in other species including livestock. In order to standardize the TMGT in goat, buck testes (n=20) collected from the slaughter house were injected with a vector driving green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression under a cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter. Then, the testes were subjected to electroporation with predetermined voltage, pulse length, pulse interval and number of pulses. Seminiferous tubules were isolated from the electroporated testis and cultured in-vitro. The expression was checked at regular intervals. Green fluorescence was observed on different days in different samples. It suggests transient integration of the plasmid into the seminiferous tubules. This in-vitro transfection of seminiferous tubule using electroporation will provide valuable baseline information.

  8. Hematopoietic stem cell gene transfer for the treatment of hemoglobin disorders.

    PubMed

    Persons, Derek A

    2009-01-01

    Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC)-targeted gene transfer is an attractive approach for the treatment of a number of hematopoietic disorders caused by single gene defects. Indeed, in a series of gene transfer trials for two different primary immunodeficiencies beginning early in this decade, outstanding success has been achieved. Despite generally low levels of engrafted, genetically modified HSCs, these trials were successful because of the marked selective advantage of gene-corrected lymphoid precursors that allowed reconstitution of the immune system. Unlike the immunodeficiencies, this robust level of in vivo selection is not available to hematopoietic repopulating cells or early progenitor cells following gene transfer of a therapeutic globin gene in the setting of beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease. Both preclinical and clinical transplant studies involving bone marrow chimeras suggest that 20% or higher levels of engraftment of genetically modified HSCs will be needed for clinical success in the most severe of these disorders. Encouragingly, gene transfer levels in this range have recently been reported in a lentiviral vector gene transfer clinical trial for children with adrenoleukodystrophy. A clinical gene transfer trial for beta-thalassemia has begun in France, and one patient with transfusion-dependent HbE/beta-thalassemia has demonstrated a therapeutic effect after transplantation with autologous CD34(+) cells genetically modified with a beta-globin lentiviral vector. Here, the development and recent progress of gene therapy for the hemoglobin disorders is reviewed.

  9. Differential gene transfers and gene duplications in primary and secondary endosymbioses

    PubMed Central

    Zauner, Stefan; Lockhart, Peter; Stoebe-Maier, Bettina; Gilson, Paul; McFadden, Geoffrey I; Maier, Uwe G

    2006-01-01

    Background Most genes introduced into phototrophic eukaryotes during the process of endosymbiosis are either lost or relocated into the host nuclear genome. In contrast, groEL homologues are found in different genome compartments among phototrophic eukaryotes. Comparative sequence analyses of recently available genome data, have allowed us to reconstruct the evolutionary history of these genes and propose a hypothesis that explains the unusual genome distribution of groEL homologues. Results Our analyses indicate that while two distinct groEL genes were introduced into eukaryotes by a progenitor of plastids, these particular homologues have not been maintained in all evolutionary lineages. This is of significant interest, because two chaperone proteins always co-occur in oxygenic photosynthetic organisms. We infer strikingly different lineage specific processes of evolution involving deletion, duplication and targeting of groEL proteins. Conclusion The requirement of two groEL homologues for chaperon function in phototrophs has provided a constraint that has shaped convergent evolutionary scenarios in divergent evolutionary lineages. GroEL provides a general evolutionary model for studying gene transfers and convergent evolutionary processes among eukaryotic lineages. PMID:16640777

  10. Identification of the class I genes of the mouse major histocompatibility complex by DNA-mediated gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Goodenow, R S; McMillan, M; Nicolson, M; Sher, B T; Eakle, K; Davidson, N; Hood, L

    1982-11-18

    DNA-mediated gene transfer was used to identify cloned class I genes from the major histocompatibility complex of the BALB/c mouse. Three genes encoding the transplantation antigens H-2 Kd, Dd and Ld were identified as well as genes encoding the Qa-2,3 and two TL differentiation antigens. As many as 10 putative novel class I genes were detected by the association of their gene products with beta 2-microglobulin. Alloantiserum prepared to one of the novel antigens was used to demonstrate the expression of the previously undetected antigen on spleen cells of various inbred, congeneic, and recombinant congeneic strains of mice. PMID:6815535

  11. GOAL: A software tool for assessing biological significance of genes groups

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Modern high throughput experimental techniques such as DNA microarrays often result in large lists of genes. Computational biology tools such as clustering are then used to group together genes based on their similarity in expression profiles. Genes in each group are probably functionally related. The functional relevance among the genes in each group is usually characterized by utilizing available biological knowledge in public databases such as Gene Ontology (GO), KEGG pathways, association between a transcription factor (TF) and its target genes, and/or gene networks. Results We developed GOAL: Gene Ontology AnaLyzer, a software tool specifically designed for the functional evaluation of gene groups. GOAL implements and supports efficient and statistically rigorous functional interpretations of gene groups through its integration with available GO, TF-gene association data, and association with KEGG pathways. In order to facilitate more specific functional characterization of a gene group, we implement three GO-tree search strategies rather than one as in most existing GO analysis tools. Furthermore, GOAL offers flexibility in deployment. It can be used as a standalone tool, a plug-in to other computational biology tools, or a web server application. Conclusion We developed a functional evaluation software tool, GOAL, to perform functional characterization of a gene group. GOAL offers three GO-tree search strategies and combines its strength in function integration, portability and visualization, and its flexibility in deployment. Furthermore, GOAL can be used to evaluate and compare gene groups as the output from computational biology tools such as clustering algorithms. PMID:20459620

  12. G-SESAME: web tools for GO-term-based gene similarity analysis and knowledge discovery

    PubMed Central

    Du, Zhidian; Li, Lin; Chen, Chin-Fu; Yu, Philip S.; Wang, James Z.

    2009-01-01

    We have developed a set of online tools for measuring the semantic similarities of Gene Ontology (GO) terms and the functional similarities of gene products, and for further discovering biomedical knowledge from the GO database. The tools have been used for about 6.9 million times by 417 institutions from 43 countries since October 2006. The online tools are available at: http://bioinformatics.clemson.edu/G-SESAME. PMID:19491312

  13. G-SESAME: web tools for GO-term-based gene similarity analysis and knowledge discovery.

    PubMed

    Du, Zhidian; Li, Lin; Chen, Chin-Fu; Yu, Philip S; Wang, James Z

    2009-07-01

    We have developed a set of online tools for measuring the semantic similarities of Gene Ontology (GO) terms and the functional similarities of gene products, and for further discovering biomedical knowledge from the GO database. The tools have been used for about 6.9 million times by 417 institutions from 43 countries since October 2006. The online tools are available at: http://bioinformatics.clemson.edu/G-SESAME.

  14. Gene transfer into Solanum tuberosum via Rhizobium spp.

    PubMed

    Wendt, Toni; Doohan, Fiona; Winckelmann, Dominik; Mullins, Ewen

    2011-04-01

    Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation (ATMT) is the preferred technique for gene transfer into crops. A major disadvantage of the technology remains the complexity of the patent landscape that surrounds ATMT which restricts its use for commercial applications. An alternative system has been described (Broothaerts et al. in Nature 433:629-633, 2005) detailing the propensity of three rhizobia to transform the model crop Arabidopsis thaliana, the non-food crop Nicotiana tabacum and, at a very low frequency, the monocotyledonous crop Oryza sativa. In this report we describe for the first time the genetic transformation of Solanum tuberosum using the non-Agrobacterium species Sinorhizobium meliloti, Rhizobium sp. NGR234 and Mesorhizobium loti. This was achieved by combining an optimal bacterium and host co-cultivation period with a low antibiotic regime during the callus and shoot induction stages. Using this optimized protocol the transformation frequency (calculated as % of shoots equipped with root systems with the ability to grow in rooting media supplemented with 25 μg/ml hygromycin) of the rhizobia strains was calculated at 4.72, 5.85 and 1.86% for S. meliloti, R. sp. NGR234 and M. loti respectively, compared to 47.6% for the A. tumefaciens control. Stable transgene integration and expression was confirmed via southern hybridisation, quantitative PCR analysis and histochemical screening of both leaf and/or tuber tissue. In light of the rapid advances in potato genomics, combined with the sequencing of the potato genome, the ability of alternative bacteria species to genetically transform this major food crop will provide a novel resource to the Solanaceae community as it continues to develop potato as both a food and non-food crop.

  15. Migration and horizontal gene transfer divide microbial genomes into multiple niches.

    PubMed

    Niehus, Rene; Mitri, Sara; Fletcher, Alexander G; Foster, Kevin R

    2015-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer is central to microbial evolution, because it enables genetic regions to spread horizontally through diverse communities. However, how gene transfer exerts such a strong effect is not understood. Here we develop an eco-evolutionary model and show how genetic transfer, even when rare, can transform the evolution and ecology of microbes. We recapitulate existing models, which suggest that asexual reproduction will overpower horizontal transfer and greatly limit its effects. We then show that allowing immigration completely changes these predictions. With migration, the rates and impacts of horizontal transfer are greatly increased, and transfer is most frequent for loci under positive natural selection. Our analysis explains how ecologically important loci can sweep through competing strains and species. In this way, microbial genomes can evolve to become ecologically diverse where different genomic regions encode for partially overlapping, but distinct, ecologies. Under these conditions ecological species do not exist, because genes, not species, inhabit niches. PMID:26592443

  16. Migration and horizontal gene transfer divide microbial genomes into multiple niches

    PubMed Central

    Niehus, Rene; Mitri, Sara; Fletcher, Alexander G.; Foster, Kevin R.

    2015-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer is central to microbial evolution, because it enables genetic regions to spread horizontally through diverse communities. However, how gene transfer exerts such a strong effect is not understood. Here we develop an eco-evolutionary model and show how genetic transfer, even when rare, can transform the evolution and ecology of microbes. We recapitulate existing models, which suggest that asexual reproduction will overpower horizontal transfer and greatly limit its effects. We then show that allowing immigration completely changes these predictions. With migration, the rates and impacts of horizontal transfer are greatly increased, and transfer is most frequent for loci under positive natural selection. Our analysis explains how ecologically important loci can sweep through competing strains and species. In this way, microbial genomes can evolve to become ecologically diverse where different genomic regions encode for partially overlapping, but distinct, ecologies. Under these conditions ecological species do not exist, because genes, not species, inhabit niches. PMID:26592443

  17. Metagenomic Analyses Reveal That Energy Transfer Gene Abundances Can Predict the Syntrophic Potential of Environmental Microbial Communities.

    PubMed

    Oberding, Lisa; Gieg, Lisa M

    2016-01-01

    Hydrocarbon compounds can be biodegraded by anaerobic microorganisms to form methane through an energetically interdependent metabolic process known as syntrophy. The microorganisms that perform this process as well as the energy transfer mechanisms involved are difficult to study and thus are still poorly understood, especially on an environmental scale. Here, metagenomic data was analyzed for specific clusters of orthologous groups (COGs) related to key energy transfer genes thus far identified in syntrophic bacteria, and principal component analysis was used in order to determine whether potentially syntrophic environments could be distinguished using these syntroph related COGs as opposed to universally present COGs. We found that COGs related to hydrogenase and formate dehydrogenase genes were able to distinguish known syntrophic consortia and environments with the potential for syntrophy from non-syntrophic environments, indicating that these COGs could be used as a tool to identify syntrophic hydrocarbon biodegrading environments using metagenomic data. PMID:27681901

  18. Metagenomic Analyses Reveal That Energy Transfer Gene Abundances Can Predict the Syntrophic Potential of Environmental Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Oberding, Lisa; Gieg, Lisa M.

    2016-01-01

    Hydrocarbon compounds can be biodegraded by anaerobic microorganisms to form methane through an energetically interdependent metabolic process known as syntrophy. The microorganisms that perform this process as well as the energy transfer mechanisms involved are difficult to study and thus are still poorly understood, especially on an environmental scale. Here, metagenomic data was analyzed for specific clusters of orthologous groups (COGs) related to key energy transfer genes thus far identified in syntrophic bacteria, and principal component analysis was used in order to determine whether potentially syntrophic environments could be distinguished using these syntroph related COGs as opposed to universally present COGs. We found that COGs related to hydrogenase and formate dehydrogenase genes were able to distinguish known syntrophic consortia and environments with the potential for syntrophy from non-syntrophic environments, indicating that these COGs could be used as a tool to identify syntrophic hydrocarbon biodegrading environments using metagenomic data.

  19. Metagenomic Analyses Reveal That Energy Transfer Gene Abundances Can Predict the Syntrophic Potential of Environmental Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Oberding, Lisa; Gieg, Lisa M.

    2016-01-01

    Hydrocarbon compounds can be biodegraded by anaerobic microorganisms to form methane through an energetically interdependent metabolic process known as syntrophy. The microorganisms that perform this process as well as the energy transfer mechanisms involved are difficult to study and thus are still poorly understood, especially on an environmental scale. Here, metagenomic data was analyzed for specific clusters of orthologous groups (COGs) related to key energy transfer genes thus far identified in syntrophic bacteria, and principal component analysis was used in order to determine whether potentially syntrophic environments could be distinguished using these syntroph related COGs as opposed to universally present COGs. We found that COGs related to hydrogenase and formate dehydrogenase genes were able to distinguish known syntrophic consortia and environments with the potential for syntrophy from non-syntrophic environments, indicating that these COGs could be used as a tool to identify syntrophic hydrocarbon biodegrading environments using metagenomic data. PMID:27681901

  20. Apramycin resistance as a selective marker for gene transfer in mycobacteria.

    PubMed Central

    Paget, E; Davies, J

    1996-01-01

    We have explored the potential of using the apramycin resistance gene as a marker in mycobacterial gene transfer studies. Shuttle plasmids available for both electroporation and conjugation studies have been constructed, and we have successfully validated the use of the apramycin resistance gene as a component of cloning vectors for Mycobacterium smegmatis, M. bovis BCG, and M. tuberculosis. PMID:8892841

  1. uv excision-repair gene transfer in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells

    SciTech Connect

    MacInnes, M.A.; Bingham, J.M.; Strniste, G.F.; Thompson, L.H.

    1983-01-01

    uvc-sensitive mutants of CHO cells provide a model system for molecular studies of DNA repair. We present our recent results which show that these mutants are competent recipients for plasmid marker gene transfer and incorporation of a putative CHO repair gene. The applicability and advantages of this system for interspecies human repair gene identification are discussed.

  2. Contribution of Horizontal Gene Transfer to the Evolution of Saccharomyces cerevisiae†

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Charles; Brachat, Sophie; Dietrich, Fred S.

    2005-01-01

    The genomes of the hemiascomycetes Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Ashbya gossypii have been completely sequenced, allowing a comparative analysis of these two genomes, which reveals that a small number of genes appear to have entered these genomes as a result of horizontal gene transfer from bacterial sources. One potential case of horizontal gene transfer in A. gossypii and 10 potential cases in S. cerevisiae were identified, of which two were investigated further. One gene, encoding the enzyme dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHOD), is potentially a case of horizontal gene transfer, as shown by sequencing of this gene from additional bacterial and fungal species to generate sufficient data to construct a well-supported phylogeny. The DHOD-encoding gene found in S. cerevisiae, URA1 (YKL216W), appears to have entered the Saccharomycetaceae after the divergence of the S. cerevisiae lineage from the Candida albicans lineage and possibly since the divergence from the A. gossypii lineage. This gene appears to have come from the Lactobacillales, and following its acquisition the endogenous eukaryotic DHOD gene was lost. It was also shown that the bacterially derived horizontally transferred DHOD is required for anaerobic synthesis of uracil in S. cerevisiae. The other gene discussed in detail is BDS1, an aryl- and alkyl-sulfatase gene of bacterial origin that we have shown allows utilization of sulfate from several organic sources. Among the eukaryotes, this gene is found in S. cerevisiae and Saccharomyces bayanus and appears to derive from the alpha-proteobacteria. PMID:15947202

  3. Proteomic profiling of salivary gland after nonviral gene transfer mediated by conventional plasmids and minicircles

    PubMed Central

    Geguchadze, Ramaz; Wang, Zhimin; Zourelias, Lee; Perez-Riveros, Paola; Edwards, Paul C; Machen, Laurie; Passineau, Michael J

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we compared gene transfer efficiency and host response to ultrasound-assisted, nonviral gene transfer with a conventional plasmid and a minicircle vector in the submandibular salivary glands of mice. Initially, we looked at gene transfer efficiency with equimolar amounts of the plasmid and minicircle vectors, corroborating an earlier report showing that minicircle is more efficient in the context of a physical method of gene transfer. We then sought to characterize the physiological response of the salivary gland to exogenous gene transfer using global proteomic profiling. Somewhat surprisingly, we found that sonoporation alone, without a gene transfer vector present, had virtually no effect on the salivary gland proteome. However, when a plasmid vector was used, we observed profound perturbations of the salivary gland proteome that compared in magnitude to that seen in a previous report after high doses of adeno-associated virus. Finally, we found that gene transfer with a minicircle induces only minor proteomic alterations that were similar to sonoporation alone. Using mass spectrometry, we assigned protein IDs to 218 gel spots that differed between plasmid and minicircle. Bioinformatic analysis of these proteins demonstrated convergence on 68 known protein interaction pathways, most notably those associated with innate immunity, cellular stress, and morphogenesis. PMID:25414909

  4. Horizontal Gene Transfer of Pectinases from Bacteria Preceded the Diversification of Stick and Leaf Insects

    PubMed Central

    Shelomi, Matan; Danchin, Etienne G. J.; Heckel, David; Wipfler, Benjamin; Bradler, Sven; Zhou, Xin; Pauchet, Yannick

    2016-01-01

    Genes acquired by horizontal transfer are increasingly being found in animal genomes. Understanding their origin and evolution requires knowledge about the phylogenetic relationships from both source and recipient organisms. We used RNASeq data and respective assembled transcript libraries to trace the evolutionary history of polygalacturonase (pectinase) genes in stick insects (Phasmatodea). By mapping the distribution of pectinase genes on a Polyneoptera phylogeny, we identified the transfer of pectinase genes from known phasmatodean gut microbes into the genome of an early euphasmatodean ancestor that took place between 60 and 100 million years ago. This transfer preceded the rapid diversification of the suborder, enabling symbiont-free pectinase production that would increase the insects’ digestive efficiency and reduce dependence on microbes. Bacteria-to-insect gene transfer was thought to be uncommon, however the increasing availability of large-scale genomic data may change this prevailing notion. PMID:27210832

  5. Horizontal Gene Transfer of Pectinases from Bacteria Preceded the Diversification of Stick and Leaf Insects.

    PubMed

    Shelomi, Matan; Danchin, Etienne G J; Heckel, David; Wipfler, Benjamin; Bradler, Sven; Zhou, Xin; Pauchet, Yannick

    2016-01-01

    Genes acquired by horizontal transfer are increasingly being found in animal genomes. Understanding their origin and evolution requires knowledge about the phylogenetic relationships from both source and recipient organisms. We used RNASeq data and respective assembled transcript libraries to trace the evolutionary history of polygalacturonase (pectinase) genes in stick insects (Phasmatodea). By mapping the distribution of pectinase genes on a Polyneoptera phylogeny, we identified the transfer of pectinase genes from known phasmatodean gut microbes into the genome of an early euphasmatodean ancestor that took place between 60 and 100 million years ago. This transfer preceded the rapid diversification of the suborder, enabling symbiont-free pectinase production that would increase the insects' digestive efficiency and reduce dependence on microbes. Bacteria-to-insect gene transfer was thought to be uncommon, however the increasing availability of large-scale genomic data may change this prevailing notion. PMID:27210832

  6. Horizontal gene transfer and the evolution of transcriptionalregulation in Escherichia coli

    SciTech Connect

    Price, Morgan N.; Dehal, Paramvir S.; Arkin, Adam P.

    2007-12-20

    Background: Most bacterial genes were acquired by horizontalgene transfer from other bacteria instead of being inherited bycontinuous vertical descent from an ancient ancestor}. To understand howthe regulation of these {acquired} genes evolved, we examined theevolutionary histories of transcription factors and of regulatoryinteractions from the model bacterium Escherichia coli K12. Results:Although most transcription factors have paralogs, these usually arose byhorizontal gene transfer rather than by duplication within the E. colilineage, as previously believed. In general, most neighbor regulators --regulators that are adjacent to genes that they regulate -- were acquiredby horizontal gene transfer, while most global regulators evolvedvertically within the gamma-Proteobacteria. Neighbor regulators wereoften acquired together with the adjacent operon that they regulate, sothe proximity might be maintained by repeated transfers (like "selfishoperons"). Many of the as-yet-uncharacterized (putative) regulators havealso been acquired together with adjacent genes, so we predict that theseare neighbor regulators as well. When we analyzed the histories ofregulatory interactions, we found that the evolution of regulation byduplication was rare, and surprisingly, many of the regulatoryinteractions that are shared between paralogs result from convergentevolution. Another surprise was that horizontally transferred genes aremore likely than other genes to be regulated by multiple regulators, andmost of this complex regulation probably evolved after the transfer.Conclusions: Our results highlight the rapid evolution of niche-specificgene regulation in bacteria.

  7. Role of horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of photosynthetic eukaryotes and their plastids.

    PubMed

    Keeling, Patrick J

    2009-01-01

    Plastids are the organelles derived from a cyanobacterium through endosymbiosis. Unlike mitochondria, plastids are not found in all eukaryotes, but their evolution has an added layer of complexity since plastids have moved between eukaryotic lineages by secondary and tertiary endosymbiotic events. This complex history, together with the genetic integration between plastids and their host, has led to many opportunities for gene flow between phylogenetically distinct lineages. Some intracellular transfers do not lead to a protein functioning in a new environment, but many others do and the protein makeup of many plastids appears to have been influenced by exogenous sources as well. Here, different evolutionary sources and cellular destinations of gene flow that has affected the plastid lineage are reviewed. Most horizontal gene transfer (HGT) affecting the modern plastid has taken place via the host nucleus, in the form of genes for plastid-targeted proteins. The impact of this varies greatly from lineage to lineage, but in some cases such transfers can be as high as one fifth of analyzed genes. More rarely, genes have also been transferred to the plastid genome itself, and plastid genes have also been transferred to other non-plant, non-algal lineages. Overall, the proteome of many plastids has emerged as a mosaic of proteins from many sources, some from within the same cell (e.g., cytosolic genes or genes left over from the replacement of an earlier plastid), some from the plastid of other algal lineages, and some from completely unrelated sources. PMID:19271204

  8. Horizontal gene transfer of an entire metabolic pathway between a eukaryotic alga and its DNA virus

    PubMed Central

    Monier, Adam; Pagarete, António; de Vargas, Colomban; Allen, Michael J.; Read, Betsy; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Ogata, Hiroyuki

    2009-01-01

    Interactions between viruses and phytoplankton, the main primary producers in the oceans, affect global biogeochemical cycles and climate. Recent studies are increasingly revealing possible cases of gene transfers between cyanobacteria and phages, which might have played significant roles in the evolution of cyanobacteria/phage systems. However, little has been documented about the occurrence of horizontal gene transfer in eukaryotic phytoplankton/virus systems. Here we report phylogenetic evidence for the transfer of seven genes involved in the sphingolipid biosynthesis pathway between the cosmopolitan eukaryotic microalga Emiliania huxleyi and its large DNA virus EhV. PCR assays indicate that these genes are prevalent in E. huxleyi and EhV strains isolated from different geographic locations. Patterns of protein and gene sequence conservation support that these genes are functional in both E. huxleyi and EhV. This is the first clear case of horizontal gene transfer of multiple functionally linked enzymes in a eukaryotic phytoplankton–virus system. We examine arguments for the possible direction of the gene transfer. The virus-to-host direction suggests the existence of ancient viruses that controlled the complex metabolic pathway in order to infect primitive eukaryotic cells. In contrast, the host-to-virus direction suggests that the serial acquisition of genes involved in the same metabolic pathway might have been a strategy for the ancestor of EhVs to stay ahead of their closest relatives in the great evolutionary race for survival. PMID:19451591

  9. GtRNAdb 2.0: an expanded database of transfer RNA genes identified in complete and draft genomes.

    PubMed

    Chan, Patricia P; Lowe, Todd M

    2016-01-01

    Transfer RNAs represent the largest, most ubiquitous class of non-protein coding RNA genes found in all living organisms. The tRNAscan-SE search tool has become the de facto standard for annotating tRNA genes in genomes, and the Genomic tRNA Database (GtRNAdb) was created as a portal for interactive exploration of these gene predictions. Since its published description in 2009, the GtRNAdb has steadily grown in content, and remains the most commonly cited web-based source of tRNA gene information. In this update, we describe not only a major increase in the number of tRNA predictions (>367000) and genomes analyzed (>4370), but more importantly, the integration of new analytic and functional data to improve the quality and biological context of tRNA gene predictions. New information drawn from other sources includes tRNA modification data, epigenetic data, single nucleotide polymorphisms, gene expression and evolutionary conservation. A richer set of analytic data is also presented, including better tRNA functional prediction, non-canonical features, predicted structural impacts from sequence variants and minimum free energy structural predictions. Views of tRNA genes in genomic context are provided via direct links to the UCSC genome browsers. The database can be searched by sequence or gene features, and is available at http://gtrnadb.ucsc.edu/.

  10. Indirect Fitness Benefits Enable the Spread of Host Genes Promoting Costly Transfer of Beneficial Plasmids.

    PubMed

    Dimitriu, Tatiana; Misevic, Dusan; Lotton, Chantal; Brown, Sam P; Lindner, Ariel B; Taddei, François

    2016-06-01

    Bacterial genes that confer crucial phenotypes, such as antibiotic resistance, can spread horizontally by residing on mobile genetic elements (MGEs). Although many mobile genes provide strong benefits to their hosts, the fitness consequences of the process of transfer itself are less clear. In previous studies, transfer has been interpreted as a parasitic trait of the MGEs because of its costs to the host but also as a trait benefiting host populations through the sharing of a common gene pool. Here, we show that costly donation is an altruistic act when it spreads beneficial MGEs favoured when it increases the inclusive fitness of donor ability alleles. We show mathematically that donor ability can be selected when relatedness at the locus modulating transfer is sufficiently high between donor and recipients, ensuring high frequency of transfer between cells sharing donor alleles. We further experimentally demonstrate that either population structure or discrimination in transfer can increase relatedness to a level selecting for chromosomal transfer alleles. Both mechanisms are likely to occur in natural environments. The simple process of strong dilution can create sufficient population structure to select for donor ability. Another mechanism observed in natural isolates, discrimination in transfer, can emerge through coselection of transfer and discrimination alleles. Our work shows that horizontal gene transfer in bacteria can be promoted by bacterial hosts themselves and not only by MGEs. In the longer term, the success of cells bearing beneficial MGEs combined with biased transfer leads to an association between high donor ability, discrimination, and mobile beneficial genes. However, in conditions that do not select for altruism, host bacteria promoting transfer are outcompeted by hosts with lower transfer rate, an aspect that could be relevant in the fight against the spread of antibiotic resistance. PMID:27270455

  11. Indirect Fitness Benefits Enable the Spread of Host Genes Promoting Costly Transfer of Beneficial Plasmids

    PubMed Central

    Dimitriu, Tatiana; Misevic, Dusan; Lotton, Chantal; Brown, Sam P.; Lindner, Ariel B.; Taddei, François

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial genes that confer crucial phenotypes, such as antibiotic resistance, can spread horizontally by residing on mobile genetic elements (MGEs). Although many mobile genes provide strong benefits to their hosts, the fitness consequences of the process of transfer itself are less clear. In previous studies, transfer has been interpreted as a parasitic trait of the MGEs because of its costs to the host but also as a trait benefiting host populations through the sharing of a common gene pool. Here, we show that costly donation is an altruistic act when it spreads beneficial MGEs favoured when it increases the inclusive fitness of donor ability alleles. We show mathematically that donor ability can be selected when relatedness at the locus modulating transfer is sufficiently high between donor and recipients, ensuring high frequency of transfer between cells sharing donor alleles. We further experimentally demonstrate that either population structure or discrimination in transfer can increase relatedness to a level selecting for chromosomal transfer alleles. Both mechanisms are likely to occur in natural environments. The simple process of strong dilution can create sufficient population structure to select for donor ability. Another mechanism observed in natural isolates, discrimination in transfer, can emerge through coselection of transfer and discrimination alleles. Our work shows that horizontal gene transfer in bacteria can be promoted by bacterial hosts themselves and not only by MGEs. In the longer term, the success of cells bearing beneficial MGEs combined with biased transfer leads to an association between high donor ability, discrimination, and mobile beneficial genes. However, in conditions that do not select for altruism, host bacteria promoting transfer are outcompeted by hosts with lower transfer rate, an aspect that could be relevant in the fight against the spread of antibiotic resistance. PMID:27270455

  12. Agrobacterium tumefaciens Gene Transfer: How a Plant Pathogen Hacks the Nuclei of Plant and Nonplant Organisms.

    PubMed

    Bourras, Salim; Rouxel, Thierry; Meyer, Michel

    2015-10-01

    Agrobacterium species are soilborne gram-negative bacteria exhibiting predominantly a saprophytic lifestyle. Only a few of these species are capable of parasitic growth on plants, causing either hairy root or crown gall diseases. The core of the infection strategy of pathogenic Agrobacteria is a genetic transformation of the host cell, via stable integration into the host genome of a DNA fragment called T-DNA. This genetic transformation results in oncogenic reprogramming of the host to the benefit of the pathogen. This unique ability of interkingdom DNA transfer was largely used as a tool for genetic engineering. Thus, the artificial host range of Agrobacterium is continuously expanding and includes plant and nonplant organisms. The increasing availability of genomic tools encouraged genome-wide surveys of T-DNA tagged libraries, and the pattern of T-DNA integration in eukaryotic genomes was studied. Therefore, data have been collected in numerous laboratories to attain a better understanding of T-DNA integration mechanisms and potential biases. This review focuses on the intranuclear mechanisms necessary for proper targeting and stable expression of Agrobacterium oncogenic T-DNA in the host cell. More specifically, the role of genome features and the putative involvement of host's transcriptional machinery in relation to the T-DNA integration and effects on gene expression are discussed. Also, the mechanisms underlying T-DNA integration into specific genome compartments is reviewed, and a theoretical model for T-DNA intranuclear targeting is presented. PMID:26151736

  13. Intrapleural 'outside-in' gene therapy: therapeutics for organs of the chest via gene transfer to the pleura.

    PubMed

    Heguy, Adriana; Crystal, Ronald G

    2005-10-01

    The pleural space is an attractive site for using viral vectors to deliver gene products to the lung parenchyma, other thoracic structures and the systemic circulation. The advantages of intrapleural gene transfer using viral vectors include: (i) easy accessibility; (ii) large surface area; (iii) ability to provide high concentrations of secreted gene products to chest structures; (iv) low risk of detrimental effects of possible vector-induced inflammation compared with intravascular delivery; and (v) because it is local, lower vector doses can be used to deliver therapeutic genes to thoracic structures than less efficient systemic routes. Examples of pleural gene transfer include the use of adenovirus vectors to treat mesothelioma by transiently expressing genes that encode toxic proteins, immunomodulatory molecules or anti-angiogenesis factors. Intrapleural delivery of adeno-associated viral vectors represents an efficient strategy to treat alpha1-antitrypsin (alpha1AT) deficiency, achieving high lung and systemic therapeutic levels of alpha1AT. Intrapleural delivery of gene transfer vectors holds promise for the treatment of diseases requiring transient, localized gene expression, as well as sustained expression of genes to correct hereditary disorders requiring localized or systemic expression of the therapeutic protein.

  14. Intrapleural 'outside-in' gene therapy: therapeutics for organs of the chest via gene transfer to the pleura.

    PubMed

    Heguy, Adriana; Crystal, Ronald G

    2005-10-01

    The pleural space is an attractive site for using viral vectors to deliver gene products to the lung parenchyma, other thoracic structures and the systemic circulation. The advantages of intrapleural gene transfer using viral vectors include: (i) easy accessibility; (ii) large surface area; (iii) ability to provide high concentrations of secreted gene products to chest structures; (iv) low risk of detrimental effects of possible vector-induced inflammation compared with intravascular delivery; and (v) because it is local, lower vector doses can be used to deliver therapeutic genes to thoracic structures than less efficient systemic routes. Examples of pleural gene transfer include the use of adenovirus vectors to treat mesothelioma by transiently expressing genes that encode toxic proteins, immunomodulatory molecules or anti-angiogenesis factors. Intrapleural delivery of adeno-associated viral vectors represents an efficient strategy to treat alpha1-antitrypsin (alpha1AT) deficiency, achieving high lung and systemic therapeutic levels of alpha1AT. Intrapleural delivery of gene transfer vectors holds promise for the treatment of diseases requiring transient, localized gene expression, as well as sustained expression of genes to correct hereditary disorders requiring localized or systemic expression of the therapeutic protein. PMID:16248279

  15. GeneAnalytics: An Integrative Gene Set Analysis Tool for Next Generation Sequencing, RNAseq and Microarray Data.

    PubMed

    Ben-Ari Fuchs, Shani; Lieder, Iris; Stelzer, Gil; Mazor, Yaron; Buzhor, Ella; Kaplan, Sergey; Bogoch, Yoel; Plaschkes, Inbar; Shitrit, Alina; Rappaport, Noa; Kohn, Asher; Edgar, Ron; Shenhav, Liraz; Safran, Marilyn; Lancet, Doron; Guan-Golan, Yaron; Warshawsky, David; Shtrichman, Ronit

    2016-03-01

    Postgenomics data are produced in large volumes by life sciences and clinical applications of novel omics diagnostics and therapeutics for precision medicine. To move from "data-to-knowledge-to-innovation," a crucial missing step in the current era is, however, our limited understanding of biological and clinical contexts associated with data. Prominent among the emerging remedies to this challenge are the gene set enrichment tools. This study reports on GeneAnalytics™ ( geneanalytics.genecards.org ), a comprehensive and easy-to-apply gene set analysis tool for rapid contextualization of expression patterns and functional signatures embedded in the postgenomics Big Data domains, such as Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), RNAseq, and microarray experiments. GeneAnalytics' differentiating features include in-depth evidence-based scoring algorithms, an intuitive user interface and proprietary unified data. GeneAnalytics employs the LifeMap Science's GeneCards suite, including the GeneCards®--the human gene database; the MalaCards-the human diseases database; and the PathCards--the biological pathways database. Expression-based analysis in GeneAnalytics relies on the LifeMap Discovery®--the embryonic development and stem cells database, which includes manually curated expression data for normal and diseased tissues, enabling advanced matching algorithm for gene-tissue association. This assists in evaluating differentiation protocols and discovering biomarkers for tissues and cells. Results are directly linked to gene, disease, or cell "cards" in the GeneCards suite. Future developments aim to enhance the GeneAnalytics algorithm as well as visualizations, employing varied graphical display items. Such attributes make GeneAnalytics a broadly applicable postgenomics data analyses and interpretation tool for translation of data to knowledge-based innovation in various Big Data fields such as precision medicine, ecogenomics, nutrigenomics, pharmacogenomics, vaccinomics

  16. GeneAnalytics: An Integrative Gene Set Analysis Tool for Next Generation Sequencing, RNAseq and Microarray Data.

    PubMed

    Ben-Ari Fuchs, Shani; Lieder, Iris; Stelzer, Gil; Mazor, Yaron; Buzhor, Ella; Kaplan, Sergey; Bogoch, Yoel; Plaschkes, Inbar; Shitrit, Alina; Rappaport, Noa; Kohn, Asher; Edgar, Ron; Shenhav, Liraz; Safran, Marilyn; Lancet, Doron; Guan-Golan, Yaron; Warshawsky, David; Shtrichman, Ronit

    2016-03-01

    Postgenomics data are produced in large volumes by life sciences and clinical applications of novel omics diagnostics and therapeutics for precision medicine. To move from "data-to-knowledge-to-innovation," a crucial missing step in the current era is, however, our limited understanding of biological and clinical contexts associated with data. Prominent among the emerging remedies to this challenge are the gene set enrichment tools. This study reports on GeneAnalytics™ ( geneanalytics.genecards.org ), a comprehensive and easy-to-apply gene set analysis tool for rapid contextualization of expression patterns and functional signatures embedded in the postgenomics Big Data domains, such as Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), RNAseq, and microarray experiments. GeneAnalytics' differentiating features include in-depth evidence-based scoring algorithms, an intuitive user interface and proprietary unified data. GeneAnalytics employs the LifeMap Science's GeneCards suite, including the GeneCards®--the human gene database; the MalaCards-the human diseases database; and the PathCards--the biological pathways database. Expression-based analysis in GeneAnalytics relies on the LifeMap Discovery®--the embryonic development and stem cells database, which includes manually curated expression data for normal and diseased tissues, enabling advanced matching algorithm for gene-tissue association. This assists in evaluating differentiation protocols and discovering biomarkers for tissues and cells. Results are directly linked to gene, disease, or cell "cards" in the GeneCards suite. Future developments aim to enhance the GeneAnalytics algorithm as well as visualizations, employing varied graphical display items. Such attributes make GeneAnalytics a broadly applicable postgenomics data analyses and interpretation tool for translation of data to knowledge-based innovation in various Big Data fields such as precision medicine, ecogenomics, nutrigenomics, pharmacogenomics, vaccinomics

  17. Highly efficient gene knockout by injection of TALEN mRNAs into oocytes and host transfer in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Nakajima, Keisuke; Yaoita, Yoshio

    2015-01-16

    Zinc-finger nucleases, transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) and the CRISPR/Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated proteins) system are potentially powerful tools for producing tailor-made knockout animals. However, their mutagenic activity is not high enough to induce mutations at all loci of a target gene throughout an entire tadpole. In this study, we present a highly efficient method for introducing gene modifications at almost all target sequences in randomly selected embryos. The gene modification activity of TALEN is enhanced by adopting the host-transfer technique. In our method, the efficiency is further improved by injecting TALEN mRNAs fused to the 3'UTR of the Xenopus DEADSouth gene into oocytes, which are then transferred into a host female frog, where they are ovulated and fertilized. The addition of the 3'UTR of the DEADSouth gene promotes mRNA translation in the oocytes and increases the expression of TALEN proteins to near-maximal levels three hours post fertilization (hpf). In contrast, TALEN mRNAs without this 3'UTR are translated infrequently in oocytes. Our data suggest that genomic DNA is more sensitive to TALEN proteins from fertilization to the midblastula (MBT) stage. Our method works by increasing the levels of TALEN proteins during the pre-MBT stages.

  18. SAFETY AND EFFICIENCY OF MODULATING PARACELLULAR PERMEABILITY TO ENHANCE AIRWAY EPITHELIAL GENE TRANSFER IN VIVO

    EPA Science Inventory


    ABSTRACT

    We evaluated the safety of agents that enhance gene transfer by modulating paracellular permeability. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and cytokine release were measured in polarized primary human airway epithelial (HAE) cells after luminal application of vehicle, ...

  19. GeneAlign: a coding exon prediction tool based on phylogenetical comparisons.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Shu Ju; Lin, Chun Yuan; Liu, Ning Han; Chow, Wei Yuan; Tang, Chuan Yi

    2006-07-01

    GeneAlign is a coding exon prediction tool for predicting protein coding genes by measuring the homologies between a sequence of a genome and related sequences, which have been annotated, of other genomes. Identifying protein coding genes is one of most important tasks in newly sequenced genomes. With increasing numbers of gene annotations verified by experiments, it is feasible to identify genes in the newly sequenced genomes by comparing to annotated genes of phylogenetically close organisms. GeneAlign applies CORAL, a heuristic linear time alignment tool, to determine if regions flanked by the candidate signals (initiation codon-GT, AG-GT and AG-STOP codon) are similar to annotated coding exons. Employing the conservation of gene structures and sequence homologies between protein coding regions increases the prediction accuracy. GeneAlign was tested on Projector dataset of 491 human-mouse homologous sequence pairs. At the gene level, both the average sensitivity and the average specificity of GeneAlign are 81%, and they are larger than 96% at the exon level. The rates of missing exons and wrong exons are smaller than 1%. GeneAlign is a free tool available at http://genealign.hccvs.hc.edu.tw.

  20. Lightning-triggered electroporation and electrofusion as possible contributors to natural horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Kotnik, Tadej

    2013-09-01

    Phylogenetic studies show that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a significant contributor to genetic variability of prokaryotes, and was perhaps even more abundant during the early evolution. Hitherto, research of natural HGT has mainly focused on three mechanisms of DNA transfer: conjugation, natural competence, and viral transduction. This paper discusses the feasibility of a fourth such mechanism--cell electroporation and/or electrofusion triggered by atmospheric electrostatic discharges (lightnings). A description of electroporation as a phenomenon is followed by a review of experimental evidence that electroporation of prokaryotes in aqueous environments can result in release of non-denatured DNA, as well as uptake of DNA from the surroundings and transformation. Similarly, a description of electrofusion is followed by a review of experiments showing that prokaryotes devoid of cell wall can electrofuse into hybrids expressing the genes of their both precursors. Under sufficiently fine-tuned conditions, electroporation and electrofusion are efficient tools for artificial transformation and hybridization, respectively, but the quantitative analysis developed here shows that conditions for electroporation-based DNA release, DNA uptake and transformation, as well as for electrofusion are also present in many natural aqueous environments exposed to lightnings. Electroporation is thus a plausible contributor to natural HGT among prokaryotes, and could have been particularly important during the early evolution, when the other mechanisms might have been scarcer or nonexistent. In modern prokaryotes, natural absence of the cell wall is rare, but it is reasonable to assume that the wall has formed during a certain stage of evolution, and at least prior to this, electrofusion could also have contributed to natural HGT. The concluding section outlines several guidelines for assessment of the feasibility of lightning-triggered HGT.

  1. Lightning-triggered electroporation and electrofusion as possible contributors to natural horizontal gene transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotnik, Tadej

    2013-09-01

    Phylogenetic studies show that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a significant contributor to genetic variability of prokaryotes, and was perhaps even more abundant during the early evolution. Hitherto, research of natural HGT has mainly focused on three mechanisms of DNA transfer: conjugation, natural competence, and viral transduction. This paper discusses the feasibility of a fourth such mechanism - cell electroporation and/or electrofusion triggered by atmospheric electrostatic discharges (lightnings). A description of electroporation as a phenomenon is followed by a review of experimental evidence that electroporation of prokaryotes in aqueous environments can result in release of non-denatured DNA, as well as uptake of DNA from the surroundings and transformation. Similarly, a description of electrofusion is followed by a review of experiments showing that prokaryotes devoid of cell wall can electrofuse into hybrids expressing the genes of their both precursors. Under sufficiently fine-tuned conditions, electroporation and electrofusion are efficient tools for artificial transformation and hybridization, respectively, but the quantitative analysis developed here shows that conditions for electroporation-based DNA release, DNA uptake and transformation, as well as for electrofusion are also present in many natural aqueous environments exposed to lightnings. Electroporation is thus a plausible contributor to natural HGT among prokaryotes, and could have been particularly important during the early evolution, when the other mechanisms might have been scarcer or nonexistent. In modern prokaryotes, natural absence of the cell wall is rare, but it is reasonable to assume that the wall has formed during a certain stage of evolution, and at least prior to this, electrofusion could also have contributed to natural HGT. The concluding section outlines several guidelines for assessment of the feasibility of lightning-triggered HGT.

  2. YAGM: a web tool for mining associated genes in yeast based on diverse biological associations

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background Investigating association between genes can be used in understanding the relations of genes in biological processes. STRING and GeneMANIA are two well-known web tools which can provide a list of associated genes of a query gene based on diverse biological associations such as co-expression, co-localization, co-citation and so on. However, the transcriptional regulation association and mutant phenotype association have not been used in these two web tools. Since the comprehensive transcription factor (TF)-gene binding data, TF-gene regulation data and mutant phenotype data are available in yeast, we developed a web tool called YAGM (Yeast Associated Genes Miner) which constructed the transcriptional regulation association, mutant phenotype association and five commonly used biological associations to mine a list of associated genes of a query yeast gene. Description In YAGM, we collected seven kinds of datasets including TF-gene binding (TFB) data, TF-gene regulation (TFR) data, mutant phenotype (MP) data, functional annotation (FA) data, physical interaction (PI) data, genetic interaction (GI) data, and literature evidence (LE) data. Then by using the hypergeometric test to calculate the association scores of all gene pairs in yeast, we constructed seven biological associations including two transcriptional regulation associations (TFB association and TFR association), MP association, FA association, PI association, GI association, and LE association. Moreover, the expression profile association from SPELL database was also included in YAGM. When using YAGM, users can input a query gene and choose any possible subsets of the eight biological associations, then a list of associated genes of the query gene will be returned based on the chosen biological associations. Conclusions In this study, we presented the YAGM which provides eight biological associations for mining associated genes of a query gene in yeast. Among the eight biological associations

  3. Antisense transcription as a tool to tune gene expression.

    PubMed

    Brophy, Jennifer A N; Voigt, Christopher A

    2016-01-14

    A surprise that has emerged from transcriptomics is the prevalence of genomic antisense transcription, which occurs counter to gene orientation. While frequent, the roles of antisense transcription in regulation are poorly understood. We built a synthetic system in Escherichia coli to study how antisense transcription can change the expression of a gene and tune the response characteristics of a regulatory circuit. We developed a new genetic part that consists of a unidirectional terminator followed by a constitutive antisense promoter and demonstrate that this part represses gene expression proportionally to the antisense promoter strength. Chip-based oligo synthesis was applied to build a large library of 5,668 terminator-promoter combinations that was used to control the expression of three repressors (PhlF, SrpR, and TarA) in a simple genetic circuit (NOT gate). Using the library, we demonstrate that antisense promoters can be used to tune the threshold of a regulatory circuit without impacting other properties of its response function. Finally, we determined the relative contributions of antisense RNA and transcriptional interference to repressing gene expression and introduce a biophysical model to capture the impact of RNA polymerase collisions on gene repression. This work quantifies the role of antisense transcription in regulatory networks and introduces a new mode to control gene expression that has been previously overlooked in genetic engineering.

  4. Tool for Quantification of Staphylococcal Enterotoxin Gene Expression in Cheese▿

    PubMed Central

    Duquenne, Manon; Fleurot, Isabelle; Aigle, Marina; Darrigo, Claire; Borezée-Durant, Elise; Derzelle, Sylviane; Bouix, Marielle; Deperrois-Lafarge, Véronique; Delacroix-Buchet, Agnès

    2010-01-01

    Cheese is a complex and dynamic microbial ecosystem characterized by the presence of a large variety of bacteria, yeasts, and molds. Some microorganisms, including species of lactobacilli or lactococci, are known to contribute to the organoleptic quality of cheeses, whereas the presence of other microorganisms may lead to spoilage or constitute a health risk. Staphylococcus aureus is recognized worldwide as an important food-borne pathogen, owing to the production of enterotoxins in food matrices. In order to study enterotoxin gene expression during cheese manufacture, we developed an efficient procedure to recover total RNA from cheese and applied a robust strategy to study gene expression by reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). This method yielded pure preparations of undegraded RNA suitable for RT-qPCR. To normalize RT-qPCR data, expression of 10 potential reference genes was investigated during S. aureus growth in milk and in cheese. The three most stably expressed reference genes during cheese manufacture were ftsZ, pta, and gyrB, and these were used as internal controls for RT-qPCR of the genes sea and sed, encoding staphylococcal enterotoxins A and D, respectively. Expression of these staphylococcal enterotoxin genes was monitored during the first 72 h of the cheese-making process, and mRNA data were correlated with enterotoxin production. PMID:20061456

  5. Tool for quantification of staphylococcal enterotoxin gene expression in cheese.

    PubMed

    Duquenne, Manon; Fleurot, Isabelle; Aigle, Marina; Darrigo, Claire; Borezée-Durant, Elise; Derzelle, Sylviane; Bouix, Marielle; Deperrois-Lafarge, Véronique; Delacroix-Buchet, Agnès

    2010-03-01

    Cheese is a complex and dynamic microbial ecosystem characterized by the presence of a large variety of bacteria, yeasts, and molds. Some microorganisms, including species of lactobacilli or lactococci, are known to contribute to the organoleptic quality of cheeses, whereas the presence of other microorganisms may lead to spoilage or constitute a health risk. Staphylococcus aureus is recognized worldwide as an important food-borne pathogen, owing to the production of enterotoxins in food matrices. In order to study enterotoxin gene expression during cheese manufacture, we developed an efficient procedure to recover total RNA from cheese and applied a robust strategy to study gene expression by reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). This method yielded pure preparations of undegraded RNA suitable for RT-qPCR. To normalize RT-qPCR data, expression of 10 potential reference genes was investigated during S. aureus growth in milk and in cheese. The three most stably expressed reference genes during cheese manufacture were ftsZ, pta, and gyrB, and these were used as internal controls for RT-qPCR of the genes sea and sed, encoding staphylococcal enterotoxins A and D, respectively. Expression of these staphylococcal enterotoxin genes was monitored during the first 72 h of the cheese-making process, and mRNA data were correlated with enterotoxin production.

  6. Tools for regulated gene expression in the chloroplast of Chlamydomonas.

    PubMed

    Rochaix, Jean-David; Surzycki, Raymond; Ramundo, Silvia

    2014-01-01

    The green unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has emerged as a very attractive model system for chloroplast genetic engineering. Algae can be transformed readily at the chloroplast level through bombardment of cells with a gene gun, and transformants can be selected using antibiotic resistance or phototrophic growth. An inducible chloroplast gene expression system could be very useful for several reasons. First, it could be used to elucidate the function of essential chloroplast genes required for cell growth and survival. Second, it could be very helpful for expressing proteins which are toxic to the algal cells. Third, it would allow for the reversible depletion of photosynthetic complexes thus making it possible to study their biogenesis in a controlled fashion. Fourth, it opens promising possibilities for hydrogen production in Chlamydomonas. Here we describe an inducible/repressible chloroplast gene expression system in Chlamydomonas in which the copper-regulated Cyc6 promoter drives the expression of the nuclear Nac2 gene encoding a protein which is targeted to the chloroplast where it acts specifically on the chloroplast psbD 5'-untranslated region and is required for the stable accumulation of the psbD mRNA and photosystem II. The system can be used for any chloroplast gene or transgene by placing it under the control of the psbD 5'-untranslated region. PMID:24599871

  7. GeneAnalytics: An Integrative Gene Set Analysis Tool for Next Generation Sequencing, RNAseq and Microarray Data

    PubMed Central

    Ben-Ari Fuchs, Shani; Lieder, Iris; Mazor, Yaron; Buzhor, Ella; Kaplan, Sergey; Bogoch, Yoel; Plaschkes, Inbar; Shitrit, Alina; Rappaport, Noa; Kohn, Asher; Edgar, Ron; Shenhav, Liraz; Safran, Marilyn; Lancet, Doron; Guan-Golan, Yaron; Warshawsky, David; Shtrichman, Ronit

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Postgenomics data are produced in large volumes by life sciences and clinical applications of novel omics diagnostics and therapeutics for precision medicine. To move from “data-to-knowledge-to-innovation,” a crucial missing step in the current era is, however, our limited understanding of biological and clinical contexts associated with data. Prominent among the emerging remedies to this challenge are the gene set enrichment tools. This study reports on GeneAnalytics™ (geneanalytics.genecards.org), a comprehensive and easy-to-apply gene set analysis tool for rapid contextualization of expression patterns and functional signatures embedded in the postgenomics Big Data domains, such as Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), RNAseq, and microarray experiments. GeneAnalytics' differentiating features include in-depth evidence-based scoring algorithms, an intuitive user interface and proprietary unified data. GeneAnalytics employs the LifeMap Science's GeneCards suite, including the GeneCards®—the human gene database; the MalaCards—the human diseases database; and the PathCards—the biological pathways database. Expression-based analysis in GeneAnalytics relies on the LifeMap Discovery®—the embryonic development and stem cells database, which includes manually curated expression data for normal and diseased tissues, enabling advanced matching algorithm for gene–tissue association. This assists in evaluating differentiation protocols and discovering biomarkers for tissues and cells. Results are directly linked to gene, disease, or cell “cards” in the GeneCards suite. Future developments aim to enhance the GeneAnalytics algorithm as well as visualizations, employing varied graphical display items. Such attributes make GeneAnalytics a broadly applicable postgenomics data analyses and interpretation tool for translation of data to knowledge-based innovation in various Big Data fields such as precision medicine, ecogenomics, nutrigenomics

  8. Evolutionary Advantage Conferred by an Eukaryote-to-Eukaryote Gene Transfer Event in Wine Yeasts

    PubMed Central

    Marsit, Souhir; Mena, Adriana; Bigey, Frédéric; Sauvage, François-Xavier; Couloux, Arnaud; Guy, Julie; Legras, Jean-Luc; Barrio, Eladio; Dequin, Sylvie; Galeote, Virginie

    2015-01-01

    Although an increasing number of horizontal gene transfers have been reported in eukaryotes, experimental evidence for their adaptive value is lacking. Here, we report the recent transfer of a 158-kb genomic region between Torulaspora microellipsoides and Saccharomyces cerevisiae wine yeasts or closely related strains. This genomic region has undergone several rearrangements in S. cerevisiae strains, including gene loss and gene conversion between two tandemly duplicated FOT genes encoding oligopeptide transporters. We show that FOT genes confer a strong competitive advantage during grape must fermentation by increasing the number and diversity of oligopeptides that yeast can utilize as a source of nitrogen, thereby improving biomass formation, fermentation efficiency, and cell viability. Thus, the acquisition of FOT genes has favored yeast adaptation to the nitrogen-limited wine fermentation environment. This finding indicates that anthropic environments offer substantial ecological opportunity for evolutionary diversification through gene exchange between distant yeast species. PMID:25750179

  9. Surface engineering of lentiviral vectors for gene transfer into gene therapy target cells.

    PubMed

    Lévy, Camille; Verhoeyen, Els; Cosset, François-Loïc

    2015-10-01

    Since they allow gene integration into their host genome, lentiviral vectors (LVs) have strong therapeutic potentials, as emphasized by recent clinical trials. The surface-display of the pantropic vesicular stomatitis virus G glycoprotein (VSV-G) on LVs resulted in powerful tools for fundamental and clinical research. However, improved LVs are required either to genetically modify cell types not permissive to classical VSV-G-LVs or to restrict entry to specific cell types. Incorporation of heterologous viral glycoproteins (gps) on LVs often require modification of their cytoplasmic tails and ligands can be inserted into their ectodomain to target LVs to specific receptors. Recently, measles virus (MV) gps have been identified as strong candidates for LV-retargeting to multiple cell types, with the potential to evolve toward clinical applications.

  10. Direct Gene Transfer into Human Cultured Cells Facilitated by Laser Micropuncture of the Cell Membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Wen; Wilkinson, Joyce; Stanbridge, Eric J.; Berns, Michael W.

    1987-06-01

    The selective alteration of the cellular genome by laser microbeam irradiation has been extensively applied in cell biology. We report here the use of the third harmonic (355 nm) of an yttrium-aluminum garnet laser to facilitate the direct transfer of the neo gene into cultured human HT1080-6TG cells. The resultant transformants were selected in medium containing an aminoglycoside antibiotic, G418. Integration of the neo gene into individual human chromosomes and expression of the gene were demonstrated by Southern blot analyses, microcell-mediated chromosome transfer, and chromosome analyses. The stability of the integrated neo gene in the transformants was shown by a comparative growth assay in selective and nonselective media. Transformation and incorporation of the neo gene into the host genome occurred at a frequency of 8 × 10-4-3 × 10-3. This method appears to be 100-fold more efficient than the standard calcium phosphate-mediated method of DNA transfer.

  11. Direct gene transfer into human cultured cells facilitated by laser micropuncture of the cell membrane

    SciTech Connect

    Tao, W.; Wilkinson, J.; Stanbridge, E.J.; Berns, M.W.

    1987-06-01

    The selective alteration of the cellular genome by laser microbeam irradiation has been extensively applied in cell biology. We report here the use of the third harmonic (355 nm) of an yttrium-aluminum garnet laser to facilitate the direct transfer of the neo gene into cultured human HT1080-6TG cells. The resultant transformants were selected in media containing an aminoglycoside antibiotic, G418. Integration of the neo gene into individual chromosomes and expression of the gene were demonstrated by Southern blot analyses, microcell-mediated chromosome transfer, and chromosome analyses. The stability of the integrated neo gene in the transformants was shown by a comparative growth assay in selective and nonselective media. Transformation and incorporation of the neo gene into the host genome occurred at a frequency of 8x10-4-3x10-3. This method appears to be 100-fold more efficient than the standard calcium phosphate-mediated method of DNA transfer.

  12. Interleukin-6 gene transfer reverses body weight gain and fatty liver in obese mice.

    PubMed

    Ma, Yongjie; Gao, Mingming; Sun, Hao; Liu, Dexi

    2015-05-01

    Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a multifunctional protein and has a major influence on energy metabolism. The current study was designed to assess the therapeutic effect of overexpression of Il-6 gene through gene transfer on high fat diet-induced obese mice. Hydrodynamic delivery of 1 μg pLIVE-IL6 plasmid per mouse into C57BL/6 obese mice resulted in peak level at 10 ng/ml of circulating IL-6 1 day after gene transfer and above 1n g/ml thereafter for a period of 6 weeks. Persistent Il-6 gene expression did not affect food intake but induced a significant reduction in body weight and improved obesity-associated hepatic steatosis. Il-6 gene delivery enhanced thermogenic gene expression and elevated protein levels of phosphorylated STAT3, PGC1α and UCP1 in brown adipose tissue. Il-6 overexpression elevated mRNA levels of lipolysis genes, triggered phosphorylation of STAT3, AMPK, and ACC, and increased expression of genes involved in fatty acid oxidation in skeletal muscle. IL-6 did not affect macrophage infiltration but maintained the M2 macrophage population in adipose tissue. Collectively, these results suggest that overexpression of the Il-6 gene by hydrodynamic gene delivery induces weight loss and alleviates obesity-induced fatty liver and insulin resistance, supporting the notion that gene transfer is a valid approach in managing obesity epidemics.

  13. Role of horizontal gene transfer as a control on the coevolution of ribosomal proteins and the genetic code

    SciTech Connect

    Woese, Carl R.; Goldenfeld, Nigel; Luthey-Schulten, Zaida

    2011-03-31

    Our main goal is to develop the conceptual and computational tools necessary to understand the evolution of the universal processes of translation and replication and to identify events of horizontal gene transfer that occurred within the components. We will attempt to uncover the major evolutionary transitions that accompanied the development of protein synthesis by the ribosome and associated components of the translation apparatus. Our project goes beyond standard genomic approaches to explore homologs that are represented at both the structure and sequence level. Accordingly, use of structural phylogenetic analysis allows us to probe further back into deep evolutionary time than competing approaches, permitting greater resolution of primitive folds and structures. Specifically, our work focuses on the elements of translation, ranging from the emergence of the canonical genetic code to the evolution of specific protein folds, mediated by the predominance of horizontal gene transfer in early life. A unique element of this study is the explicit accounting for the impact of phenotype selection on translation, through a coevolutionary control mechanism. Our work contributes to DOE mission objectives through: (1) sophisticated computer simulation of protein dynamics and evolution, and the further refinement of techniques for structural phylogeny, which complement sequence information, leading to improved annotation of genomic databases; (2) development of evolutionary approaches to exploring cellular function and machinery in an integrated way; and (3) documentation of the phenotype interaction with translation over evolutionary time, reflecting the system response to changing selection pressures through horizontal gene transfer.

  14. NIH tools facilitate matching cancer drugs with gene targets

    Cancer.gov

    A new study details how a suite of web-based tools provides the research community with greatly improved capacity to compare data derived from large collections of genomic information against thousands of drugs. By comparing drugs and genetic targets, re

  15. Interactive Radiative Transfer Modeling Tools to Map Volcanic Emissions with Thermal Infrared Remote Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Realmuto, V. J.

    2012-12-01

    The estimation of plume composition from thermal infrared (TIR) radiance measurements is based in radiative transfer (RT) modeling. To model the observed spectra we must consider the temperature, emissivity, and elevation of the surface beneath the plume, plume altitude and thickness, and the local atmospheric temperature and humidity. Our knowledge of these parameters is never perfect, and interactive RT modeling allows us to evaluate the impact of these uncertainties on our estimates of plume composition. Interactive RT modeling has three main components: retrieval procedures for plume components, an engine for RT calculations, and a graphic user interface (GUI) to input radiance data, modify model parameters, launch retrievals, and visualize the resulting estimates of plume composition. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), in collaboration with Spectral Sciences, Inc. (SSI), is developing a new class of tools for interactive RT modeling. We will implement RT modeling on graphics processors (GPU) to achieve a 100-fold increase in processing speed, relative to conventional CPU-based processing, and thus enable fully-interactive estimation and visualization of plume composition. The heritage for our new tools is based on the Plume Tracker toolkit, developed at JPL, and MODTRAN RT model, developed by SSI. Plume Tracker integrates retrieval procedures, interactive visualization tools, and an interface to a modified version of MODTRAN under a single GUI. Our new tools will incorporate refinements from a recent adaptation of MODTRAN to optimize modeling the radiative properties of chemical clouds. This presentation will include a review of the foundations of plume mapping in the TIR and examples of the application of Plume Tracker to ASTER, MODIS, and AIRS data. We will present an overview of our tool development effort and discuss the application of these tools to data from new and future instruments, such as the airborne Hyperspectral Thermal Emission Spectrometer

  16. Dopamine receptor genes: new tools for molecular psychiatry.

    PubMed Central

    Niznik, H B; Van Tol, H H

    1992-01-01

    For over a decade it has been generally assumed that all the pharmacological and biochemical actions of dopamine within the central nervous system and periphery were mediated by two distinct dopamine receptors. These receptors, termed D1 and D2, were defined as those coupled to the stimulation or inhibition of adenylate cyclase, respectively, and by their selectivity and avidity for various drugs and compounds. The concept that two dopamine receptors were sufficient to account for all the effects mediated by dopamine was an oversimplification. Recent molecular biological studies have identified five distinct genes which encode at least eight functional dopamine receptors. The members of the expanded dopamine receptor family, however, can still be codifed by way of the original D1 and D2 receptor dichotomy. These include two genes encoding dopamine D1-like receptors (D1 [D1A]/D5 [D1B]) and three genes encoding D2-like receptors (D2/D3/D4). We review here our recent work on the cloning and characterization of some of the members of the dopamine receptor gene family (D1, D2, D4, D5), their relationship to neuropsychiatric disorders and their potential role in antipsychotic drug action. Images Fig. 1 PMID:1450188

  17. Lateral transfer of eukaryotic ribosomal RNA genes: an emerging concern for molecular ecology of microbial eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Yabuki, Akinori; Toyofuku, Takashi; Takishita, Kiyotaka

    2014-07-01

    Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes are widely utilized in depicting organismal diversity and distribution in a wide range of environments. Although a few cases of lateral transfer of rRNA genes between closely related prokaryotes have been reported, it remains to be reported from eukaryotes. Here, we report the first case of lateral transfer of eukaryotic rRNA genes. Two distinct sequences of the 18S rRNA gene were detected from a clonal culture of the stramenopile, Ciliophrys infusionum. One was clearly derived from Ciliophrys, but the other gene originated from a perkinsid alveolate. Genome-walking analyses revealed that this alveolate-type rRNA gene is immediately adjacent to two protein-coding genes (ubc12 and usp39), and the origin of both genes was shown to be a stramenopile (that is, Ciliophrys) in our phylogenetic analyses. These findings indicate that the alveolate-type rRNA gene is encoded on the Ciliophrys genome and that eukaryotic rRNA genes can be transferred laterally.

  18. Endosymbiotic evolution: RNA intermediates in endosymbiotic gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Timmis, Jeremy N

    2012-05-01

    More than a billion years of endosymbiotic evolution has resulted in extensive gene relocation between the genetic compartments of eukaryotic cells. A new study uses chloroplast genome transformation to shed light on the mechanisms involved.

  19. The use of carboxymethylcellulose gel to increase non-viral gene transfer in mouse airways.

    PubMed

    Griesenbach, Uta; Meng, Cuixiang; Farley, Raymond; Wasowicz, Marguerite Y; Munkonge, Felix M; Chan, Mario; Stoneham, Charlotte; Sumner-Jones, Stephanie G; Pringle, Ian A; Gill, Deborah R; Hyde, Stephen C; Stevenson, Barbara; Holder, Emma; Ban, Hiroshi; Hasegawa, Mamoru; Cheng, Seng H; Scheule, Ronald K; Sinn, Patrick L; McCray, Paul B; Alton, Eric W F W

    2010-03-01

    We have assessed whether viscoelastic gels known to inhibit mucociliary clearance can increase lipid-mediated gene transfer. Methylcellulose or carboxymethylcellulose (0.25-1.5%) was mixed with complexes of the cationic lipid GL67A and plasmids encoding luciferase and perfused onto the nasal epithelium of mice. Survival after perfusion with 1% CMC or 1% MC was 90 and 100%, respectively. In contrast 1.5% CMC was uniformly lethal likely due to the viscous solution blocking the airways. Perfusion with 0.5% CMC containing lipid/DNA complexes reproducibly increased gene expression by approximately 3-fold (n=16, p<0.05). Given this benefit, likely related to increased duration of contact, we also assessed the effect of prolonging contact time of the liposome/DNA complexes by delivering our standard 80 microg DNA dose over either approximately 22 or 60 min of perfusion. This independently increased gene transfer by 6-fold (n=8, p<0.05) and could be further enhanced by the addition of 0.5% CMC, leading to an overall 25-fold enhancement (n=8, p<0.001) in gene expression. As a result of these interventions CFTR transgene mRNA transgene levels were increased several logs above background. Interestingly, this did not lead to correction of the ion transport defects in the nasal epithelium of cystic fibrosis mice nor for immunohistochemical quantification of CFTR expression. To assess if 0.5% CMC also increased gene transfer in the mouse lung, we used whole body nebulisation chambers. CMC was nebulised for 1h immediately before, or simultaneously with GL67A/pCIKLux. The former did not increase gene transfer, whereas co-administration significantly increased gene transfer by 4-fold (p<0.0001, n=18). This study suggests that contact time of non-viral gene transfer agents is a key factor for gene delivery, and suggests two methods which may be translatable for use in man. PMID:20022367

  20. Suspension array technology: new tools for gene and protein analysis.

    PubMed

    Nolan, J P; Mandy, F F

    2001-11-01

    Flow cytometry has long been a key tool in the analysis of lymphocytes and other cells, owing to its ability to make quantitative, homogeneous, multiparameter measurements of particles. New developments in illumination sources, digital signal processing and microsphere chemistry are driving the development of flow cytometry in new areas of biomedical research. In particular. the maturation of approaches to perform highly parallel analyses using suspension arrays of microspheres with different morphospectral features is making flow cytometry an important tool in protein and genetic analysis. In this paper, we review the development of suspension array technology (SAT), current applications in protein and genomic analysis, and the prospects for this platform in a variety of large scale screening applications. PMID:11838973

  1. vir genes influence conjugal transfer of the Ti plasmid of Agrobacterium tumefaciens.

    PubMed Central

    Gelvin, S B; Habeck, L L

    1990-01-01

    Mutation of the genes virA, virB, virC, and virG of the Agrobacterium tumefaciens octopine-type Ti plasmid pTiR10 was found to cause a 100- to 10,000-fold decrease in the frequency of conjugal transfer of this plasmid between Agrobacterium cells. This effect was not absolute, however, in that it occurred only during early times (18 to 24 h) of induction of the conjugal transfer apparatus by octopine. Induction of these mutant Agrobacterium strains by octopine for longer periods (48 to 72 h) resulted in a normal conjugal transfer frequency. The effect of these vir gene mutations upon conjugation could be restored by the introduction of cosmids harboring wild-type copies of the corresponding disrupted vir genes into the mutant Agrobacterium strains. In addition, transfer of the self-mobilizable plasmid pPH1JI was not impaired in any of the mutant Agrobacterium strains tested. The effect of vir gene function on the conjugal transfer of the Ti plasmid suggests that a relationship may exist between the processes that control the transfer of the T-DNA from Agrobacterium to plant cells and the conjugal transfer of the Ti plasmid between bacterial cells. PMID:2155206

  2. Horizontal Gene Transfers from Bacteria to Entamoeba Complex: A Strategy for Dating Events along Species Divergence

    PubMed Central

    Romero, Miguel; Ximenez, Cecilia

    2016-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer has proved to be relevant in eukaryotic evolution, as it has been found more often than expected and related to adaptation to certain niches. A relatively large list of laterally transferred genes has been proposed and evaluated for the parasite Entamoeba histolytica. The goals of this work were to elucidate the importance of lateral gene transfer along the evolutionary history of some members of the genus Entamoeba, through identifying donor groups and estimating the divergence time of some of these events. In order to estimate the divergence time of some of the horizontal gene transfer events, the dating of some Entamoeba species was necessary, following an indirect dating strategy based on the fossil record of plausible hosts. The divergence between E. histolytica and E. nuttallii probably occurred 5.93 million years ago (Mya); this lineage diverged from E. dispar 9.97 Mya, while the ancestor of the latter separated from E. invadens 68.18 Mya. We estimated times for 22 transferences; the most recent occurred 31.45 Mya and the oldest 253.59 Mya. Indeed, the acquisition of genes through lateral transfer may have triggered a period of adaptive radiation, thus playing a major role in the evolution of the Entamoeba genus. PMID:27239333

  3. Horizontal Gene Transfers from Bacteria to Entamoeba Complex: A Strategy for Dating Events along Species Divergence.

    PubMed

    Romero, Miguel; Cerritos, R; Ximenez, Cecilia

    2016-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer has proved to be relevant in eukaryotic evolution, as it has been found more often than expected and related to adaptation to certain niches. A relatively large list of laterally transferred genes has been proposed and evaluated for the parasite Entamoeba histolytica. The goals of this work were to elucidate the importance of lateral gene transfer along the evolutionary history of some members of the genus Entamoeba, through identifying donor groups and estimating the divergence time of some of these events. In order to estimate the divergence time of some of the horizontal gene transfer events, the dating of some Entamoeba species was necessary, following an indirect dating strategy based on the fossil record of plausible hosts. The divergence between E. histolytica and E. nuttallii probably occurred 5.93 million years ago (Mya); this lineage diverged from E. dispar 9.97 Mya, while the ancestor of the latter separated from E. invadens 68.18 Mya. We estimated times for 22 transferences; the most recent occurred 31.45 Mya and the oldest 253.59 Mya. Indeed, the acquisition of genes through lateral transfer may have triggered a period of adaptive radiation, thus playing a major role in the evolution of the Entamoeba genus. PMID:27239333

  4. Regulated expression of foreign genes in vivo after germline transfer.

    PubMed Central

    Passman, R S; Fishman, G I

    1994-01-01

    Tight transcriptional control of foreign genes introduced into the germline of transgenic mice would be of great experimental value in studies of gene function. To develop a system in which the spatial and temporal expression of candidate genes implicated in cardiac development or function could be tightly controlled in vivo, we have generated transgenic mice expressing a tetracycline-controlled transactivator (tTA) under the control of a rat alpha myosin heavy chain promoter (MHC alpha-tTA mice), as well as mice harboring a candidate target gene implicated in the control of differentiation, Id1 (tet-Id1 mice). No expression of the target transgene was detected in any tissues of hemizygous tet-Id1 mice. Genetic crosses with MHC alpha-tTA mice resulted in transactivation of the Id1 transgene, but expression was restricted to heart, where tTA was expressed. Furthermore, transactivation of the target gene was tightly and reversibly controlled by systemic therapy with tetracycline, both in utero and postnatally. These studies demonstrate the feasibility of such a binary approach for tightly controlling the timing and extent of expression of transgenes in vivo. This approach should be generally useful for the ectopic expression of candidate genes in selected tissues during delineated developmental stages. Images PMID:7989599

  5. Horizontal Gene Transfer and the Evolution of Bacterial and Archaeal Population Structure

    PubMed Central

    Alm, Eric J.; Hanage, William P.

    2013-01-01

    Many bacterial and archaeal lineages have a history of extensive and ongoing horizontal gene transfer and loss, as evidenced by the large differences in genome content even among otherwise closely related isolates. How ecologically cohesive populations might evolve and be maintained under such conditions of rapid gene turnover has remained controversial. Here we synthesize recent literature demonstrating the importance of habitat and niche in structuring horizontal gene transfer. This leads to a model of ecological speciation via gradual genetic isolation triggered by differential habitat association of nascent populations. Further, we hypothesize that subpopulations can evolve through local gene exchange networks by tapping into a gene pool that is adaptive towards local, continuously changing organismic interactions and is, to a large degree, responsible for the observed rapid gene turnover. Overall, these insights help explain how bacteria and archaea form populations that display both ecological cohesion and high genomic diversity. PMID:23332119

  6. Efficient retrovirus-mediated transfer of cell-cycle control genes to transformed cells.

    PubMed

    Strauss, B E; Costanzi-Strauss, E

    1999-07-01

    The use of gene therapy continues to be a promising, yet elusive, alternative for the treatment of cancer. The origins of cancer must be well understood so that the therapeutic gene can be chosen with the highest chance of successful tumor regression. The gene delivery system must be tailored for optimum transfer of the therapeutic gene to the target tissue. In order to accomplish this, we study models of G1 cell-cycle control in both normal and transformed cells in order to understand the reasons for uncontrolled cellular proliferation. We then use this information to choose the gene to be delivered to the cells. We have chosen to study p16, p21, p53 and pRb gene transfer using the pCL-retrovirus. Described here are some general concepts and specific results of our work that indicate continued hope for the development of genetically based cancer treatments.

  7. Multiple lateral gene transfers and duplications have promoted plant parasitism ability in nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Danchin, Etienne G. J.; Rosso, Marie-Noëlle; Vieira, Paulo; de Almeida-Engler, Janice; Coutinho, Pedro M.; Henrissat, Bernard; Abad, Pierre

    2010-01-01

    Lateral gene transfer from prokaryotes to animals is poorly understood, and the scarce documented examples generally concern genes of uncharacterized role in the receiver organism. In contrast, in plant-parasitic nematodes, several genes, usually not found in animals and similar to bacterial homologs, play essential roles for successful parasitism. Many of these encode plant cell wall-degrading enzymes that constitute an unprecedented arsenal in animals in terms of both abundance and diversity. Here we report that independent lateral gene transfers from different bacteria, followed by gene duplications and early gain of introns, have shaped this repertoire. We also show protein immunolocalization data that suggest additional roles for some of these cell wall-degrading enzymes in the late stages of these parasites’ life cycle. Multiple functional acquisitions of exogenous genes that provide selective advantage were probably crucial for the emergence and proficiency of plant parasitism in nematodes. PMID:20876108

  8. Transference factors as a tool for the estimation of arsenic milk concentration.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Carrera, Alejo; Alvarez-Gonçalvez, Cristina V; Fernández-Cirelli, Alicia

    2016-08-01

    The Chaco Pampean Plain of central Argentina represents one of the largest regions with high levels of arsenic (As) in groundwater. The aim of this study was the assessment of a biotransference factor (BTF) as a tool for the estimation of As concentration in cow's milk from As drinking water concentration. Total As content in livestock drinking water, soil, forage, and milk was determined in farms located in an area of high As groundwater, in order to analyze the relation between As uptake and its transfer to milk. The concentrations of As in milk ranged from 0.5 to 8.0 μg/L. From the results obtained, drinking water may be considered the main source of exposure to As, and the biotransference factor for milk ranges from 1.5 × 10(-5) to 4.3 × 10(-4). Therefore, BTF provides a simple tool for the estimation of arsenic levels in milk through the As livestock drinking water content.

  9. Transference factors as a tool for the estimation of arsenic milk concentration.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Carrera, Alejo; Alvarez-Gonçalvez, Cristina V; Fernández-Cirelli, Alicia

    2016-08-01

    The Chaco Pampean Plain of central Argentina represents one of the largest regions with high levels of arsenic (As) in groundwater. The aim of this study was the assessment of a biotransference factor (BTF) as a tool for the estimation of As concentration in cow's milk from As drinking water concentration. Total As content in livestock drinking water, soil, forage, and milk was determined in farms located in an area of high As groundwater, in order to analyze the relation between As uptake and its transfer to milk. The concentrations of As in milk ranged from 0.5 to 8.0 μg/L. From the results obtained, drinking water may be considered the main source of exposure to As, and the biotransference factor for milk ranges from 1.5 × 10(-5) to 4.3 × 10(-4). Therefore, BTF provides a simple tool for the estimation of arsenic levels in milk through the As livestock drinking water content. PMID:27155835

  10. Complexity of genetic sequences modified by horizontal gene transfer and degraded-DNA uptake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremberger, George; Dehipawala, S.; Nguyen, A.; Cheung, E.; Sullivan, R.; Holden, T.; Lieberman, D.; Cheung, T.

    2015-09-01

    Horizontal gene transfer has been a major vehicle for efficient transfer of genetic materials among living species and could be one of the sources for noncoding DNA incorporation into a genome. Our previous study of lnc- RNA sequence complexity in terms of fractal dimension and information entropy shows a tight regulation among the studied genes in numerous diseases. The role of sequence complexity in horizontal transferred genes was investigated with Mealybug in symbiotic relation with a 139K genome microbe and Deinococcus radiodurans as examples. The fractal dimension and entropy showed correlation R-sq of 0.82 (N = 6) for the studied Deinococcus radiodurans sequences. For comparison the Deinococcus radiodurans oxidative stress tolerant catalase and superoxide dismutase genes under extracellular dGMP growth condition showed R-sq ~ 0.42 (N = 6); and the studied arsenate reductase horizontal transferred genes for toxicity survival in several microorganisms showed no correlation. Simulation results showed that R-sq < 0.4 would be improbable at less than one percent chance, suggestive of additional selection pressure when compared to the R-sq ~ 0.29 (N = 21) in the studied transferred genes in Mealybug. The mild correlation of R-sq ~ 0.5 for fractal dimension versus transcription level in the studied Deinococcus radiodurans sequences upon extracellular dGMP growth condition would suggest that lower fractal dimension with less electron density fluctuation favors higher transcription level.

  11. Gene transfers shaped the evolution of de novo NAD+ biosynthesis in eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Ternes, Chad M; Schönknecht, Gerald

    2014-09-01

    NAD(+) is an essential molecule for life, present in each living cell. It can function as an electron carrier or cofactor in redox biochemistry and energetics, and serves as substrate to generate the secondary messenger cyclic ADP ribose and nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate. Although de novo NAD(+) biosynthesis is essential, different metabolic pathways exist in different eukaryotic clades. The kynurenine pathway starting with tryptophan was most likely present in the last common ancestor of all eukaryotes, and is active in fungi and animals. The aspartate pathway, detected in most photosynthetic eukaryotes, was probably acquired from the cyanobacterial endosymbiont that gave rise to chloroplasts. An evolutionary analysis of enzymes catalyzing de novo NAD(+) biosynthesis resulted in evolutionary trees incongruent with established organismal phylogeny, indicating numerous gene transfers. Endosymbiotic gene transfers probably introduced the aspartate pathway into eukaryotes and may have distributed it among different photosynthetic clades. In addition, several horizontal gene transfers substituted eukaryotic genes with bacterial orthologs. Although horizontal gene transfer is accepted as a key mechanism in prokaryotic evolution, it is supposed to be rare in eukaryotic evolution. The essential metabolic pathway of de novo NAD(+) biosynthesis in eukaryotes was shaped by numerous gene transfers.

  12. Limitations of the murine nose in the development of nonviral airway gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Griesenbach, Uta; Sumner-Jones, Stephanie G; Holder, Emma; Munkonge, Felix M; Wodehouse, Theresa; Smith, Stephen N; Wasowicz, Marguerite Y; Pringle, Ian; Casamayor, Isabel; Chan, Mario; Coles, Rebecca; Cornish, Nikki; Dewar, Ann; Doherty, Ann; Farley, Raymond; Green, Anne-Marie; Jones, Bryony L; Larsen, Mia D B; Lawton, Anna E; Manvell, Michelle; Painter, Hazel; Singh, Charanjit; Somerton, Lucinda; Stevenson, Barbara; Varathalingam, Anusha; Siegel, Craig; Scheule, Ronald K; Cheng, Seng H; Davies, Jane C; Porteous, David J; Gill, Deborah R; Boyd, A Christopher; Hyde, Steve C; Alton, Eric W F W

    2010-07-01

    A clinical program to assess whether lipid GL67A-mediated gene transfer can ameliorate cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease is currently being undertaken by the UK CF Gene Therapy Consortium. We have evaluated GL67A gene transfer to the murine nasal epithelium of wild-type and CF knockout mice to assess this tissue as a test site for gene transfer agents. The plasmids used were regulated by either (1) the commonly used short-acting cytomegalovirus promoter/enhancer or (2) the ubiquitin C promoter. In a study of approximately 400 mice with CF, vector-specific CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) mRNA was detected in nasal epithelial cells of 82% of mice treated with a cytomegalovirus-plasmid (pCF1-CFTR), and 62% of mice treated with an ubiquitin C-plasmid. We then assessed whether CFTR gene transfer corrected a panel of CFTR-specific endpoint assays in the murine nose, including ion transport, periciliary liquid height, and ex vivo bacterial adherence. Importantly, even with the comparatively large number of animals assessed, the CFTR function studies were only powered to detect changes of more than 50% toward wild-type values. Within this limitation, no significant correction of the CF phenotype was detected. At the current levels of gene transfer efficiency achievable with nonviral vectors, the murine nose is of limited value as a stepping stone to human trials. PMID:19648474

  13. Gene Transfers Shaped the Evolution of De Novo NAD+ Biosynthesis in Eukaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Ternes, Chad M.; Schönknecht, Gerald

    2014-01-01

    NAD+ is an essential molecule for life, present in each living cell. It can function as an electron carrier or cofactor in redox biochemistry and energetics, and serves as substrate to generate the secondary messenger cyclic ADP ribose and nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate. Although de novo NAD+ biosynthesis is essential, different metabolic pathways exist in different eukaryotic clades. The kynurenine pathway starting with tryptophan was most likely present in the last common ancestor of all eukaryotes, and is active in fungi and animals. The aspartate pathway, detected in most photosynthetic eukaryotes, was probably acquired from the cyanobacterial endosymbiont that gave rise to chloroplasts. An evolutionary analysis of enzymes catalyzing de novo NAD+ biosynthesis resulted in evolutionary trees incongruent with established organismal phylogeny, indicating numerous gene transfers. Endosymbiotic gene transfers probably introduced the aspartate pathway into eukaryotes and may have distributed it among different photosynthetic clades. In addition, several horizontal gene transfers substituted eukaryotic genes with bacterial orthologs. Although horizontal gene transfer is accepted as a key mechanism in prokaryotic evolution, it is supposed to be rare in eukaryotic evolution. The essential metabolic pathway of de novo NAD+ biosynthesis in eukaryotes was shaped by numerous gene transfers. PMID:25169983

  14. Targeted gene transfer into rat facial muscles by nanosecond pulsed laser-induced stress waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurita, Akihiro; Matsunobu, Takeshi; Satoh, Yasushi; Ando, Takahiro; Sato, Shunichi; Obara, Minoru; Shiotani, Akihiro

    2011-09-01

    We investigate the feasibility of using nanosecond pulsed laser-induced stress waves (LISWs) for gene transfer into rat facial muscles. LISWs are generated by irradiating a black natural rubber disk placed on the target tissue with nanosecond pulsed laser light from the second harmonics (532 nm) of a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser, which is widely used in head and neck surgery and proven to be safe. After injection of plasmid deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA) coding for Lac Z into rat facial muscles, pulsed laser is used to irradiate the laser target on the skin surface without incision or exposure of muscles. Lac Z expression is detected by X-gal staining of excised rat facial skin and muscles. Strong Lac Z expression is observed seven days after gene transfer, and sustained for up to 14 days. Gene transfer is achieved in facial muscles several millimeters deep from the surface. Gene expression is localized to the tissue exposed to LISWs. No tissue damage from LISWs is observed. LISW is a promising nonviral target gene transfer method because of its high spatial controllability, easy applicability, and minimal invasiveness. Gene transfer using LISW to produce therapeutic proteins such as growth factors could be used to treat nerve injury and paralysis.

  15. Gene expression profiling as novel tool in experimental asthma research.

    PubMed

    Dittrich, A M; Quarcoo, D; Krokowski, M; Ahrens, B; Hamelmann, E

    2006-06-01

    With the advances achieved in decoding of the genetic structures of species and the novel possibilities of simultaneous measurements of the regulation of all genes of a given tissue, the last 10 years have seen a massive increase of our knowledge about genetic regulation of diseases. Additionally, the possibilities to control transcriptional processes within the cells will speed up the process of disentangling the various pathways leading to disease.

  16. Gene Loss and Horizontal Gene Transfer Contributed to the Genome Evolution of the Extreme Acidophile "Ferrovum".

    PubMed

    Ullrich, Sophie R; González, Carolina; Poehlein, Anja; Tischler, Judith S; Daniel, Rolf; Schlömann, Michael; Holmes, David S; Mühling, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD), associated with active and abandoned mining sites, is a habitat for acidophilic microorganisms that gain energy from the oxidation of reduced sulfur compounds and ferrous iron and that thrive at pH below 4. Members of the recently proposed genus "Ferrovum" are the first acidophilic iron oxidizers to be described within the Betaproteobacteria. Although they have been detected as typical community members in AMD habitats worldwide, knowledge of their phylogenetic and metabolic diversity is scarce. Genomics approaches appear to be most promising in addressing this lacuna since isolation and cultivation of "Ferrovum" has proven to be extremely difficult and has so far only been successful for the designated type strain "Ferrovum myxofaciens" P3G. In this study, the genomes of two novel strains of "Ferrovum" (PN-J185 and Z-31) derived from water samples of a mine water treatment plant were sequenced. These genomes were compared with those of "Ferrovum" sp. JA12 that also originated from the mine water treatment plant, and of the type strain (P3G). Phylogenomic scrutiny suggests that the four strains represent three "Ferrovum" species that cluster in two groups (1 and 2). Comprehensive analysis of their predicted metabolic pathways revealed that these groups harbor characteristic metabolic profiles, notably with respect to motility, chemotaxis, nitrogen metabolism, biofilm formation and their potential strategies to cope with the acidic environment. For example, while the "F. myxofaciens" strains (group 1) appear to be motile and diazotrophic, the non-motile group 2 strains have the predicted potential to use a greater variety of fixed nitrogen sources. Furthermore, analysis of their genome synteny provides first insights into their genome evolution, suggesting that horizontal gene transfer and genome reduction in the group 2 strains by loss of genes encoding complete metabolic pathways or physiological features contributed to the observed

  17. The agricultural antibiotic carbadox induces phage-mediated gene transfer in Salmonella

    PubMed Central

    Bearson, Bradley L.; Allen, Heather K.; Brunelle, Brian W.; Lee, In Soo; Casjens, Sherwood R.; Stanton, Thaddeus B.

    2013-01-01

    Antibiotics are used for disease therapeutic or preventative effects in humans and animals, as well as for enhanced feed conversion efficiency in livestock. Antibiotics can also cause undesirable effects in microbial populations, including selection for antibiotic resistance, enhanced pathogen invasion, and stimulation of horizontal gene transfer. Carbadox is a veterinary antibiotic used in the US during the starter phase of swine production for improved feed efficiency and control of swine dysentery and bacterial swine enteritis. Carbadox has been shown in vitro to induce phage-encoded Shiga toxin in Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and a phage-like element transferring antibiotic resistance genes in Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, but the effect of carbadox on prophages in other bacteria is unknown. This study examined carbadox exposure on prophage induction and genetic transfer in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, a human foodborne pathogen that frequently colonizes swine without causing disease. S. Typhimurium LT2 exposed to carbadox induced prophage production, resulting in bacterial cell lysis and release of virions that were visible by electron microscopy. Carbadox induction of phage-mediated gene transfer was confirmed by monitoring the transduction of a sodCIII::neo cassette in the Fels-1 prophage from LT2 to a recipient Salmonella strain. Furthermore, carbadox frequently induced generalized transducing phages in multidrug-resistant phage type DT104 and DT120 isolates, resulting in the transfer of chromosomal and plasmid DNA that included antibiotic resistance genes. Our research indicates that exposure of Salmonella to carbadox induces prophages that can transfer virulence and antibiotic resistance genes to susceptible bacterial hosts. Carbadox-induced, phage-mediated gene transfer could serve as a contributing factor in bacterial evolution during animal production, with prophages being a reservoir for bacterial fitness genes in the

  18. Optimizing A Lipocomplex-Based Gene Transfer Method into HeLa Cell Line.

    PubMed

    Asgharian, Alimohammad; Banan, Mehdi; Najmabadi, Hossein

    2014-01-01

    One of the most significant steps in gene expression studies is transferring genes into cell cultures. Despite there are different methods for gene delivery such as viral and non-viral producers, some cationic lipid reagents have recently developed to transfect into mam- malian cell lines. The main aim of this study was optimizing and improving lipocomplex based transient transfection procedures into HeLa cell line which is being used widely as a typical cell in biological studies. This study was an experimental research. In this work, pCMV β-Gal DNA plasmid was used as a reporter DNA for determining the rate of gene transfection into HeLa cells. To accomplish the highest gene delivery into HeLa cells, optimizing experiments were car- ried out in different volumes of FuGENE-HD, Lipofectamine(TM)2000 and X-tremeGENE. Also, we investigated tranasfection efficiency in presence of various cell densities of HeLa cells. Then, transfection efficiency and cell toxicity were measured by beta gal staining and trypan blue methods, respectively. Using FuGENE-HD in volume of 4µl along with 10(5) HeLa cells, transfection efficiency was higher (43.66 ± 1.52%) in comparison with the cationic lipids Lipofectamine(TM)2000 and X-tremeGENE. In addition, the rate of cell toxicity in presence of FuGENE-HD was less than 5%. In summary, the cationic lipid FuGENE-HD indicates a suitable potential to transfer DNA into HeLa cells and it can be an efficient reagent for gene delivery for HeLa cells in vitro. Moreover, it is worth designing and optimizing gene transfer experiments for other cell lines with FuGENE-HD due to its low toxicity and high efficiency.

  19. Widespread horizontal gene transfer from double-stranded RNA viruses to eukaryotic nuclear genomes.

    PubMed

    Liu, Huiquan; Fu, Yanping; Jiang, Daohong; Li, Guoqing; Xie, Jiatao; Cheng, Jiasen; Peng, Youliang; Ghabrial, Said A; Yi, Xianhong

    2010-11-01

    Horizontal gene transfer commonly occurs from cells to viruses but rarely occurs from viruses to their host cells, with the exception of retroviruses and some DNA viruses. However, extensive sequence similarity searches in public genome databases for various organisms showed that the capsid protein and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase genes from totiviruses and partitiviruses have widespread homologs in the nuclear genomes of eukaryotic organisms, including plants, arthropods, fungi, nematodes, and protozoa. PCR amplification and sequencing as well as comparative evidence of junction coverage between virus and host sequences support the conclusion that these viral homologs are real and occur in eukaryotic genomes. Sequence comparison and phylogenetic analysis suggest that these genes were likely transferred horizontally from viruses to eukaryotic genomes. Furthermore, we present evidence showing that some of the transferred genes are conserved and expressed in eukaryotic organisms and suggesting that these viral genes are also functional in the recipient genomes. Our findings imply that horizontal transfer of double-stranded RNA viral genes is widespread among eukaryotes and may give rise to functionally important new genes, thus entailing that RNA viruses may play significant roles in the evolution of eukaryotes.

  20. Functional and Evolutionary Characterization of a Gene Transfer Agent's Multilocus "Genome".

    PubMed

    Hynes, Alexander P; Shakya, Migun; Mercer, Ryan G; Grüll, Marc P; Bown, Luke; Davidson, Fraser; Steffen, Ekaterina; Matchem, Heidi; Peach, Mandy E; Berger, Tim; Grebe, Katherine; Zhaxybayeva, Olga; Lang, Andrew S

    2016-10-01

    Gene transfer agents (GTAs) are phage-like particles that can package and transfer a random piece of the producing cell's genome, but are unable to transfer all the genes required for their own production. As such, GTAs represent an evolutionary conundrum: are they selfish genetic elements propagating through an unknown mechanism, defective viruses, or viral structures "repurposed" by cells for gene exchange, as their name implies? In Rhodobacter capsulatus, production of the R. capsulatus GTA (RcGTA) particles is associated with a cluster of genes resembling a small prophage. Utilizing transcriptomic, genetic and biochemical approaches, we report that the RcGTA "genome" consists of at least 24 genes distributed across five distinct loci. We demonstrate that, of these additional loci, two are involved in cell recognition and binding and one in the production and maturation of RcGTA particles. The five RcGTA "genome" loci are widespread within Rhodobacterales, but not all loci have the same evolutionary histories. Specifically, two of the loci have been subject to frequent, probably virus-mediated, gene transfer events. We argue that it is unlikely that RcGTA is a selfish genetic element. Instead, our findings are compatible with the scenario that RcGTA is a virus-derived element maintained by the producing organism due to a selective advantage of within-population gene exchange. The modularity of the RcGTA "genome" is presumably a result of selection on the host organism to retain GTA functionality. PMID:27343288

  1. CD133-targeted gene transfer into long-term repopulating hematopoietic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Brendel, Christian; Goebel, Benjamin; Daniela, Abriss; Brugman, Martijn; Kneissl, Sabrina; Schwäble, Joachim; Kaufmann, Kerstin B; Müller-Kuller, Uta; Kunkel, Hana; Chen-Wichmann, Linping; Abel, Tobias; Serve, Hubert; Bystrykh, Leonid; Buchholz, Christian J; Grez, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Gene therapy for hematological disorders relies on the genetic modification of CD34(+) cells, a heterogeneous cell population containing about 0.01% long-term repopulating cells. Here, we show that the lentiviral vector CD133-LV, which uses a surface marker on human primitive hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) as entry receptor, transfers genes preferentially into cells with high engraftment capability. Transduction of unstimulated CD34(+) cells with CD133-LV resulted in gene marking of cells with competitive proliferative advantage in vitro and in immunodeficient mice. The CD133-LV-transduced population contained significantly more cells with repopulating capacity than cells transduced with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-LV, a lentiviral vector pseudotyped with the vesicular stomatitis virus G protein. Upon transfer of a barcode library, CD133-LV-transduced cells sustained gene marking in vivo for a prolonged period of time with a 6.7-fold higher recovery of barcodes compared to transduced control cells. Moreover, CD133-LV-transduced cells were capable of repopulating secondary recipients. Lastly, we show that this targeting strategy can be used for transfer of a therapeutic gene into CD34(+) cells obtained from patients suffering of X-linked chronic granulomatous disease. In conclusion, direct gene transfer into CD133(+) cells allows for sustained long-term engraftment of gene corrected cells.

  2. Two Horizontally Transferred Xenobiotic Resistance Gene Clusters Associated with Detoxification of Benzoxazolinones by Fusarium Species

    PubMed Central

    Glenn, Anthony E.; Davis, C. Britton; Gao, Minglu; Gold, Scott E.; Mitchell, Trevor R.; Proctor, Robert H.; Stewart, Jane E.; Snook, Maurice E.

    2016-01-01

    Microbes encounter a broad spectrum of antimicrobial compounds in their environments and often possess metabolic strategies to detoxify such xenobiotics. We have previously shown that Fusarium verticillioides, a fungal pathogen of maize known for its production of fumonisin mycotoxins, possesses two unlinked loci, FDB1 and FDB2, necessary for detoxification of antimicrobial compounds produced by maize, including the γ-lactam 2-benzoxazolinone (BOA). In support of these earlier studies, microarray analysis of F. verticillioides exposed to BOA identified the induction of multiple genes at FDB1 and FDB2, indicating the loci consist of gene clusters. One of the FDB1 cluster genes encoded a protein having domain homology to the metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) superfamily. Deletion of this gene (MBL1) rendered F. verticillioides incapable of metabolizing BOA and thus unable to grow on BOA-amended media. Deletion of other FDB1 cluster genes, in particular AMD1 and DLH1, did not affect BOA degradation. Phylogenetic analyses and topology testing of the FDB1 and FDB2 cluster genes suggested two horizontal transfer events among fungi, one being transfer of FDB1 from Fusarium to Colletotrichum, and the second being transfer of the FDB2 cluster from Fusarium to Aspergillus. Together, the results suggest that plant-derived xenobiotics have exerted evolutionary pressure on these fungi, leading to horizontal transfer of genes that enhance fitness or virulence. PMID:26808652

  3. Two Horizontally Transferred Xenobiotic Resistance Gene Clusters Associated with Detoxification of Benzoxazolinones by Fusarium Species.

    PubMed

    Glenn, Anthony E; Davis, C Britton; Gao, Minglu; Gold, Scott E; Mitchell, Trevor R; Proctor, Robert H; Stewart, Jane E; Snook, Maurice E

    2016-01-01

    Microbes encounter a broad spectrum of antimicrobial compounds in their environments and often possess metabolic strategies to detoxify such xenobiotics. We have previously shown that Fusarium verticillioides, a fungal pathogen of maize known for its production of fumonisin mycotoxins, possesses two unlinked loci, FDB1 and FDB2, necessary for detoxification of antimicrobial compounds produced by maize, including the γ-lactam 2-benzoxazolinone (BOA). In support of these earlier studies, microarray analysis of F. verticillioides exposed to BOA identified the induction of multiple genes at FDB1 and FDB2, indicating the loci consist of gene clusters. One of the FDB1 cluster genes encoded a protein having domain homology to the metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) superfamily. Deletion of this gene (MBL1) rendered F. verticillioides incapable of metabolizing BOA and thus unable to grow on BOA-amended media. Deletion of other FDB1 cluster genes, in particular AMD1 and DLH1, did not affect BOA degradation. Phylogenetic analyses and topology testing of the FDB1 and FDB2 cluster genes suggested two horizontal transfer events among fungi, one being transfer of FDB1 from Fusarium to Colletotrichum, and the second being transfer of the FDB2 cluster from Fusarium to Aspergillus. Together, the results suggest that plant-derived xenobiotics have exerted evolutionary pressure on these fungi, leading to horizontal transfer of genes that enhance fitness or virulence.

  4. Two Horizontally Transferred Xenobiotic Resistance Gene Clusters Associated with Detoxification of Benzoxazolinones by Fusarium Species.

    PubMed

    Glenn, Anthony E; Davis, C Britton; Gao, Minglu; Gold, Scott E; Mitchell, Trevor R; Proctor, Robert H; Stewart, Jane E; Snook, Maurice E

    2016-01-01

    Microbes encounter a broad spectrum of antimicrobial compounds in their environments and often possess metabolic strategies to detoxify such xenobiotics. We have previously shown that Fusarium verticillioides, a fungal pathogen of maize known for its production of fumonisin mycotoxins, possesses two unlinked loci, FDB1 and FDB2, necessary for detoxification of antimicrobial compounds produced by maize, including the γ-lactam 2-benzoxazolinone (BOA). In support of these earlier studies, microarray analysis of F. verticillioides exposed to BOA identified the induction of multiple genes at FDB1 and FDB2, indicating the loci consist of gene clusters. One of the FDB1 cluster genes encoded a protein having domain homology to the metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) superfamily. Deletion of this gene (MBL1) rendered F. verticillioides incapable of metabolizing BOA and thus unable to grow on BOA-amended media. Deletion of other FDB1 cluster genes, in particular AMD1 and DLH1, did not affect BOA degradation. Phylogenetic analyses and topology testing of the FDB1 and FDB2 cluster genes suggested two horizontal transfer events among fungi, one being transfer of FDB1 from Fusarium to Colletotrichum, and the second being transfer of the FDB2 cluster from Fusarium to Aspergillus. Together, the results suggest that plant-derived xenobiotics have exerted evolutionary pressure on these fungi, leading to horizontal transfer of genes that enhance fitness or virulence. PMID:26808652

  5. Guanidinylated block copolymers for gene transfer: A comparison with amine-based materials for in vitro and in vivo gene transfer efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Jennifer L.; Tan, James-Kevin Y.; Sellers, Drew L.; Wei, Hua; Horner, Philip J.; Pun, Suzie H.

    2015-01-01

    There is currently no cure for neuron loss in the brain, which can occur due to traumatic injury or neurodegenerative disease. One method proposed to enhance neurogenesis in the brain is gene transfer to neural progenitor cells. In this work, a guanidine-based copolymer was synthesized and compared to an amine-based copolymer analog previously shown to effectively deliver genes in the murine brain. The guanidine-based copolymer was more efficient at gene transfer to immortalized, cultured cell lines; however, the amine-based copolymer was more effective at gene transfer in the brain. DNA condensation studies revealed that the nucleic acid complexes formed with the guanidine-based copolymer were more susceptible to unpackaging in the presence of heparin sulfate proteoglycans compared to complexes formed with the amine-based copolymer. Therefore, polyplexes formed from the amine-based copolymer may be more resistant to destabilization by the heparan sulfate proteoglycans present in the stem cell niches of the brain. PMID:25907042

  6. GeneFriends: An online co-expression analysis tool to identify novel gene targets for aging and complex diseases

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Although many diseases have been well characterized at the molecular level, the underlying mechanisms are often unknown. Nearly half of all human genes remain poorly studied, yet these genes may contribute to a number of disease processes. Genes involved in common biological processes and diseases are often co-expressed. Using known disease-associated genes in a co-expression analysis may help identify and prioritize novel candidate genes for further study. Results We have created an online tool, called GeneFriends, which identifies co-expressed genes in over 1,000 mouse microarray datasets. GeneFriends can be used to assign putative functions to poorly studied genes. Using a seed list of disease-associated genes and a guilt-by-association method, GeneFriends allows users to quickly identify novel genes and transcription factors associated with a disease or process. We tested GeneFriends using seed lists for aging, cancer, and mitochondrial complex I disease. We identified several candidate genes that have previously been predicted as relevant targets. Some of the genes identified are already being tested in clinical trials, indicating the effectiveness of this approach. Co-expressed transcription factors were investigated, identifying C/ebp genes as candidate regulators of aging. Furthermore, several novel candidate genes, that may be suitable for experimental or clinical follow-up, were identified. Two of the novel candidates of unknown function that were co-expressed with cancer-associated genes were selected for experimental validation. Knock-down of their human homologs (C1ORF112 and C12ORF48) in HeLa cells slowed growth, indicating that these genes of unknown function, identified by GeneFriends, may be involved in cancer. Conclusions GeneFriends is a resource for biologists to identify and prioritize novel candidate genes involved in biological processes and complex diseases. It is an intuitive online resource that will help drive experimentation

  7. ExAtlas: An interactive online tool for meta-analysis of gene expression data.

    PubMed

    Sharov, Alexei A; Schlessinger, David; Ko, Minoru S H

    2015-12-01

    We have developed ExAtlas, an on-line software tool for meta-analysis and visualization of gene expression data. In contrast to existing software tools, ExAtlas compares multi-component data sets and generates results for all combinations (e.g. all gene expression profiles versus all Gene Ontology annotations). ExAtlas handles both users' own data and data extracted semi-automatically from the public repository (GEO/NCBI database). ExAtlas provides a variety of tools for meta-analyses: (1) standard meta-analysis (fixed effects, random effects, z-score, and Fisher's methods); (2) analyses of global correlations between gene expression data sets; (3) gene set enrichment; (4) gene set overlap; (5) gene association by expression profile; (6) gene specificity; and (7) statistical analysis (ANOVA, pairwise comparison, and PCA). ExAtlas produces graphical outputs, including heatmaps, scatter-plots, bar-charts, and three-dimensional images. Some of the most widely used public data sets (e.g. GNF/BioGPS, Gene Ontology, KEGG, GAD phenotypes, BrainScan, ENCODE ChIP-seq, and protein-protein interaction) are pre-loaded and can be used for functional annotations.

  8. ExAtlas: An interactive online tool for meta-analysis of gene expression data.

    PubMed

    Sharov, Alexei A; Schlessinger, David; Ko, Minoru S H

    2015-12-01

    We have developed ExAtlas, an on-line software tool for meta-analysis and visualization of gene expression data. In contrast to existing software tools, ExAtlas compares multi-component data sets and generates results for all combinations (e.g. all gene expression profiles versus all Gene Ontology annotations). ExAtlas handles both users' own data and data extracted semi-automatically from the public repository (GEO/NCBI database). ExAtlas provides a variety of tools for meta-analyses: (1) standard meta-analysis (fixed effects, random effects, z-score, and Fisher's methods); (2) analyses of global correlations between gene expression data sets; (3) gene set enrichment; (4) gene set overlap; (5) gene association by expression profile; (6) gene specificity; and (7) statistical analysis (ANOVA, pairwise comparison, and PCA). ExAtlas produces graphical outputs, including heatmaps, scatter-plots, bar-charts, and three-dimensional images. Some of the most widely used public data sets (e.g. GNF/BioGPS, Gene Ontology, KEGG, GAD phenotypes, BrainScan, ENCODE ChIP-seq, and protein-protein interaction) are pre-loaded and can be used for functional annotations. PMID:26223199

  9. Generation of hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase gene knockout rabbits by homologous recombination and gene trapping through somatic cell nuclear transfer.

    PubMed

    Yin, Mingru; Jiang, Weihua; Fang, Zhenfu; Kong, Pengcheng; Xing, Fengying; Li, Yao; Chen, Xuejin; Li, Shangang

    2015-11-02

    The rabbit is a common animal model that has been employed in studies on various human disorders, and the generation of genetically modified rabbit lines is highly desirable. Female rabbits have been successfully cloned from cumulus cells, and the somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) technology is well established. The present study generated hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) gene knockout rabbits using recombinant adeno-associated virus-mediated homologous recombination and SCNT. Gene trap strategies were employed to enhance the gene targeting rates. The male and female gene knockout fibroblast cell lines were derived by different strategies. When male HPRT knockout cells were used for SCNT, no live rabbits were obtained. However, when female HPRT(+/-) cells were used for SCNT, live, healthy rabbits were generated. The cloned HPRT(+/-) rabbits were fertile at maturity. We demonstrate a new technique to produce gene-targeted rabbits. This approach may also be used in the genetic manipulation of different genes or in other species.

  10. A functional variomics tool for discovering drug resistance genes and drug targets

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Zhiwei; Chen, Kaifu; Zhang, Jianhuai; Li, Yongxiang; Wang, Hui; Cui, Dandan; Tang, Jiangwu; Liu, Yong; Shi, Xiaomin; Li, Wei; Liu, Dan; Chen, Rui; Sucgang, Richard S.; Pan, Xuewen

    2013-01-01

    Comprehensive discovery of genetic mechanisms of drug resistance and identification of in vivo drug targets represent significant challenges. Here we present a functional variomics technology in the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This tool analyzes numerous genetic variants and effectively tackles both problems simultaneously. Using this tool, we discovered almost all genes that, due to mutations or modest overexpression, confer resistance to rapamycin, cycloheximide, and amphotericin B. Most significant among the resistance genes were drug targets, including multiple targets of a given drug. With amphotericin B, we discovered the highly conserved membrane protein Pmp3 as a potent resistance factor and a possible novel target. Widespread application of this tool should allow rapid identification of conserved resistance mechanisms and targets of many more compounds. New genes and alleles that confer resistance to other stresses can also be discovered. Similar tools in other systems such as human cell lines will also be useful. PMID:23416056

  11. Gene Transfer to the Desiccation-Tolerant Cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis

    PubMed Central

    Billi, Daniela; Friedmann, E. Imre; Helm, Richard F.; Potts, Malcolm

    2001-01-01

    The coccoid cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis dominates microbial communities in the most extreme arid hot and cold deserts. These communities withstand constraints that result from multiple cycles of drying and wetting and/or prolonged desiccation, through mechanisms which remain poorly understood. Here we describe the first system for genetic manipulation of Chroococcidiopsis. Plasmids pDUCA7 and pRL489, based on the pDU1 replicon of Nostoc sp. strain PCC 7524, were transferred to different isolates of Chroococcidiopsis via conjugation and electroporation. This report provides the first evidence that pDU1 replicons can be maintained in cyanobacteria other than Nostoc and Anabaena. Following conjugation, both plasmids replicated in Chroococcidiopsis sp. strains 029, 057, and 123 but not in strains 171 and 584. Both plasmids were electroporated into strains 029 and 123 but not into strains 057, 171, and 584. Expression of PpsbA-luxAB on pRL489 was visualized through in vivo luminescence. Efficiencies of conjugative transfer for pDUCA7 and pRL489 into Chroococcidiopsis sp. strain 029 were approximately 10−2 and 10−4 transconjugants per recipient cell, respectively. Conjugative transfer occurred with a lower efficiency into strains 057 and 123. Electrotransformation efficiencies of about 10−4 electrotransformants per recipient cell were achieved with strains 029 and 123, using either pDUCA7 or pRL489. Extracellular deoxyribonucleases were associated with each of the five strains. Phylogenetic analysis, based upon the V6 to V8 variable regions of 16S rRNA, suggests that desert strains 057, 123, 171, and 029 are distinct from the type species strain Chroococcidiopsis thermalis PCC 7203. The high efficiency of conjugative transfer of Chroococcidiopsis sp. strain 029, from the Negev Desert, Israel, makes this a suitable experimental strain for genetic studies on desiccation tolerance. PMID:11244070

  12. Lysogenic Transfer of Group A Streptococcus Superantigen Gene among Streptococci

    PubMed Central

    Vojtek, Ivo; Pirzada, Zaid A.; Henriques-Normark, Birgitta; Mastny, Markus; Janapatla, Rajendra P.; Charpentier, Emmanuelle

    2010-01-01

    A group A Streptococcus(GAS) isolate,serotypeM12,recovered from a patient with streptococcal toxic shock syndrome was analyzed for superantigen-carrying prophages, revealing 149, which encodes superantigen SSA. Sequence analysis of the att-L proximal region of 149 showed that the phage had a mosaic nature. Remarkably, we successfully obtained lysogenic conversion of GAS clinical isolates of various M serotypes (M1, M3, M5, M12, M19, M28, and M94), as well as of group C Streptococcus equisimilis (GCSE) clinical isolates, via transfer of a recombinant phage 149::Kmr. Phage149::Kmr from selected lysogenized GAS and GCSE strains could be transferred back to M12 GAS strains. Our data indicate that horizontal transfer of lysogenic phages among GAS can occur across the M-type barrier; these data also provide further support for the hypothesis that toxigenic conversion can occur via lysogeny between species. Streptococci might employ this mechanism specifically to allow more efficient adaptation to changing host challenges, potentially leading to fitter and more virulent clones. PMID:18179387

  13. Lysogenic transfer of group A Streptococcus superantigen gene among Streptococci.

    PubMed

    Vojtek, Ivo; Pirzada, Zaid A; Henriques-Normark, Birgitta; Mastny, Markus; Janapatla, Rajendra P; Charpentier, Emmanuelle

    2008-01-15

    A group A Streptococcus (GAS) isolate, serotype M12, recovered from a patient with streptococcal toxic shock syndrome was analyzed for superantigen-carrying prophages, revealing phi149, which encodes superantigen SSA. Sequence analysis of the att-L proximal region of phi149 showed that the phage had a mosaic nature. Remarkably, we successfully obtained lysogenic conversion of GAS clinical isolates of various M serotypes (M1, M3, M5, M12, M19, M28, and M94), as well as of group C Streptococcus equisimilis (GCSE) clinical isolates, via transfer of a recombinant phage phi149::Km(r). Phage phi149::Km(r) from selected lysogenized GAS and GCSE strains could be transferred back to M12 GAS strains. Our data indicate that horizontal transfer of lysogenic phages among GAS can occur across the M-type barrier; these data also provide further support for the hypothesis that toxigenic conversion can occur via lysogeny between species. Streptococci might employ this mechanism specifically to allow more efficient adaptation to changing host challenges, potentially leading to fitter and more virulent clones.

  14. Zebrafish Expression Ontology of Gene Sets (ZEOGS): a tool to analyze enrichment of zebrafish anatomical terms in large gene sets.

    PubMed

    Prykhozhij, Sergey V; Marsico, Annalisa; Meijsing, Sebastiaan H

    2013-09-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an established model organism for developmental and biomedical research. It is frequently used for high-throughput functional genomics experiments, such as genome-wide gene expression measurements, to systematically analyze molecular mechanisms. However, the use of whole embryos or larvae in such experiments leads to a loss of the spatial information. To address this problem, we have developed a tool called Zebrafish Expression Ontology of Gene Sets (ZEOGS) to assess the enrichment of anatomical terms in large gene sets. ZEOGS uses gene expression pattern data from several sources: first, in situ hybridization experiments from the Zebrafish Model Organism Database (ZFIN); second, it uses the Zebrafish Anatomical Ontology, a controlled vocabulary that describes connected anatomical structures; and third, the available connections between expression patterns and anatomical terms contained in ZFIN. Upon input of a gene set, ZEOGS determines which anatomical structures are overrepresented in the input gene set. ZEOGS allows one for the first time to look at groups of genes and to describe them in terms of shared anatomical structures. To establish ZEOGS, we first tested it on random gene selections and on two public microarray datasets with known tissue-specific gene expression changes. These tests showed that ZEOGS could reliably identify the tissues affected, whereas only very few enriched terms to none were found in the random gene sets. Next we applied ZEOGS to microarray datasets of 24 and 72 h postfertilization zebrafish embryos treated with beclomethasone, a potent glucocorticoid. This analysis resulted in the identification of several anatomical terms related to glucocorticoid-responsive tissues, some of which were stage-specific. Our studies highlight the ability of ZEOGS to extract spatial information from datasets derived from whole embryos, indicating that ZEOGS could be a useful tool to automatically analyze gene expression

  15. Horizontal transfer of archaeal genes into the deinococcaceae: detection by molecular and computer-based approaches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olendzenski, L.; Liu, L.; Zhaxybayeva, O.; Murphey, R.; Shin, D. G.; Gogarten, J. P.

    2000-01-01

    Members of the Deinococcaceae (e.g., Thermus, Meiothermus, Deinococcus) contain A/V-ATPases typically found in Archaea or Eukaryotes which were probably acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Two methods were used to quantify the extent to which archaeal or eukaryotic genes have been acquired by this lineage. Screening of a Meiothermus ruber library with probes made against Thermoplasma acidophilum DNA yielded a number of clones which hybridized more strongly than background. One of these contained the prolyl tRNA synthetase (RS) gene. Phylogenetic analysis shows the M. ruber and D. radiodurans prolyl RS to be more closely related to archaeal and eukaryal forms of this gene than to the typical bacterial type. Using a bioinformatics approach, putative open reading frames (ORFs) from the prerelease version of the D. radiodurans genome were screened for genes more closely related to archaeal or eukaryotic genes. Putative ORFs were searched against representative genomes from each of the three domains using automated BLAST. ORFs showing the highest matches against archaeal and eukaryotic genes were collected and ranked. Among the top-ranked hits were the A/V-ATPase catalytic and noncatalytic subunits and the prolyl RS genes. Using phylogenetic methods, ORFs were analyzed and trees assessed for evidence of horizontal gene transfer. Of the 45 genes examined, 20 showed topologies in which D. radiodurans homologues clearly group with eukaryotic or archaeal homologues, and 17 additional trees were found to show probable evidence of horizontal gene transfer. Compared to the total number of ORFs in the genome, those that can be identified as having been acquired from Archaea or Eukaryotes are relatively few (approximately 1%), suggesting that interdomain transfer is rare.

  16. Transfer of tetracycline resistance genes with aggregation substance in food-borne Enterococcus faecalis.

    PubMed

    Choi, Jong-Mi; Woo, Gun-Jo

    2015-04-01

    Enterococcus faecalis has the ability to conjugate with the aid of aggregation substance (AS) and inducible sex pheromones to exchange genetic elements in food matrix. To evaluate the food safety condition and the transferable factor, 250 tetracycline-resistant food-borne E. faecalis were collected in Korea. Among the isolates, a majority of tetracycline-resistant isolates (49.6 %) harbored both the tet(M) and tet(L) genes together, followed by tet(M) (19.6 %), and tet(L) (6.8 %) alone. Also, we found the combination of tet(L)/tet(M)/tet(O) or tet(M)/tet(O). We identified two tet(S) genes including the isolate carrying tet(M) + tet(S) genes. Additionally, most E. faecalis were positive for cpd and ccf (both 96.8 %) followed by cob (57.2 %). Through mating experiments, we confirmed E. faecalis possessing the Int-Tn gene and/or any AS gene successfully transferred tet genes to JH2-2 E. faecalis, whereas neither E. faecalis carrying AS genes nor the Int-Tn gene showed the conjugation. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis results supported a distinct pattern, implying transfer of genetic information. Our study revealed a high occurrence of tetracycline resistance genes in E. faecalis from various foods. The widespread dissemination of tetracycline resistance genes would be promoted to transfer tetracycline resistance genes by pheromone-mediated conjugation systems.

  17. Specific patterns of defective HSV-1 gene transfer in the adult central nervous system: implications for gene targeting.

    PubMed

    Wood, M J; Byrnes, A P; Kaplitt, M G; Pfaff, D W; Rabkin, S D; Charlton, H M

    1994-11-01

    Viral vectors are a means by which genes can be delivered to specific sites in the adult central nervous system. Nevertheless, the interaction between the viral vector and cells of the nervous system, which forms the basis for specific gene transfer, is not well understood. In this study a nonreplicating defective herpes simplex virus type 1 vector, expressing the marker gene lacZ, was stereotaxically injected at varying titers into the rat central nervous system. Three sites were targeted: the caudate nucleus, dentate gyrus, and cerebellar cortex, and the resulting patterns of beta-galactosidase activity were examined. Many cells of neuronal and glial morphology, and of differing neuronal subtypes, expressed beta-galactosidase at each of the injection sites. However, beta-galactosidase activity was also detected in distant secondary brain areas, the neurons of which make afferent connections with the primary sites. This strongly suggested that the retrograde transport of defective virus was the basis for the enzyme activity observed at a distance. Moreover, retrograde transport to secondary sites was found to be highly selective and restricted to certain retrograde neuroanatomical pathways in a specific and titer dependent fashion. The pathways observed were predominantly, but not exclusively, monoaminergic in origin. This finding is supported by reports of specific tropism by HSV for monoaminergic circuits in experimental encephalitis and transneuronal tracing studies. Our observations suggest that certain functional neuronal populations, which are permissive for the retrograde transfer of defective HSV-1 vectors, might be specifically targeted for gene transfer using this approach. Conversely, a knowledge of the pathways permissive for viral uptake, retrograde transfer, and subsequent gene expression will be essential in order to predict the consequences of gene transfer using viral vectors. PMID:7821388

  18. MERAV: a tool for comparing gene expression across human tissues and cell types.

    PubMed

    Shaul, Yoav D; Yuan, Bingbing; Thiru, Prathapan; Nutter-Upham, Andy; McCallum, Scott; Lanzkron, Carolyn; Bell, George W; Sabatini, David M

    2016-01-01

    The oncogenic transformation of normal cells into malignant, rapidly proliferating cells requires major alterations in cell physiology. For example, the transformed cells remodel their metabolic processes to supply the additional demand for cellular building blocks. We have recently demonstrated essential metabolic processes in tumor progression through the development of a methodological analysis of gene expression. Here, we present the Metabolic gEne RApid Visualizer (MERAV, http://merav.wi.mit.edu), a web-based tool that can query a database comprising ∼4300 microarrays, representing human gene expression in normal tissues, cancer cell lines and primary tumors. MERAV has been designed as a powerful tool for whole genome analysis which offers multiple advantages: one can search many genes in parallel; compare gene expression among different tissue types as well as between normal and cancer cells; download raw data; and generate heatmaps; and finally, use its internal statistical tool. Most importantly, MERAV has been designed as a unique tool for analyzing metabolic processes as it includes matrixes specifically focused on metabolic genes and is linked to the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway search.

  19. Smelt was the likely beneficiary of an antifreeze gene laterally transferred between fishes

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Type II antifreeze protein (AFP) from the rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax, is a calcium-dependent C-type lectin homolog, similar to the AFPs from herring and sea raven. While C-type lectins are ubiquitous, type II AFPs are only found in a few species in three widely separated branches of teleost fishes. Furthermore, several other non-homologous AFPs are found in intervening species. We have previously postulated that this sporadic distribution has resulted from lateral gene transfer. The alternative hypothesis, that the AFP evolved from a lectin present in a shared ancestor and that this gene was lost in most species, is not favored because both the exon and intron sequences are highly conserved. Results Here we have sequenced and annotated a 160 kb smelt BAC clone containing a centrally-located AFP gene along with 14 other genes. Quantitative PCR indicates that there is but a single copy of this gene within the smelt genome, which is atypical for fish AFP genes. The corresponding syntenic region has been identified and searched in a number of other species and found to be devoid of lectin or AFP sequences. Unlike the introns of the AFP gene, the intronic sequences of the flanking genes are not conserved between species. As well, the rate and pattern of mutation in the AFP gene are radically different from those seen in other smelt and herring genes. Conclusions These results provide stand-alone support for an example of lateral gene transfer between vertebrate species. They should further inform the debate about genetically modified organisms by showing that gene transfer between ‘higher’ eukaryotes can occur naturally. Analysis of the syntenic regions from several fishes strongly suggests that the smelt acquired the AFP gene from the herring. PMID:23009612

  20. GEE: An Informatics Tool for Gene Expression Data Explore

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Soo Youn; Park, Chan Hee; Yoon, Jun Hee; Yun, Sunmin

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Major public high-throughput functional genomic data repositories, including the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) and ArrayExpress have rapidly expanded. As a result, a large number of diverse high-throughput functional genomic data retrieval systems have been developed. However, high-throughput functional genomic data retrieval remains challenging. Methods We developed Gene Expression data Explore (GEE), the first powerful, flexible web and mobile search application for searching whole-genome epigenetic data and microarray data in public databases, such as GEO and ArrayExpress. Results GEE provides an elaborate, convenient interface of query generation competences not available via various high-throughput functional genomic data retrieval systems, including GEO, ArrayExpress, and Atlas. In particular, GEE provides a suitable query generator using eVOC, the Experimental Factor Ontology (EFO), which is well represented with a variety of high-throughput functional genomic data experimental conditions. In addition, GEE provides an experimental design query constructor (EDQC), which provides elaborate retrieval filter conditions when the user designs real experiments. Conclusions The web version of GEE is available at http://www.snubi.org/software/gee, and its app version is available from the Apple App Store. PMID:27200217

  1. Bead transfection: rapid and efficient gene transfer into marrow stromal and other adherent mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Matthews, K E; Mills, G B; Horsfall, W; Hack, N; Skorecki, K; Keating, A

    1993-05-01

    We report a simple, rapid, efficient and cost-effective method of gene transfer into bone marrow stromal and other adherent mammalian cells. Our approach involves brief incubation of cells with glass beads in a solution containing the DNA to be transferred. We optimized the technique using COS cells (SV40 transformed kidney cell line from African green monkey) and a transient expression assay for chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT). Factors affecting gene transfer include size and condition of the beads and DNA concentration, but not DNA conformation. Gene transfer efficiency, assessed in a transient expression assay for beta-galactosidase activity, was 5 and 3% in nontransformed human bone marrow stromal cells and COS cells, respectively. Long-term stable expression with the selectable marker, neomycin phosphotransferase, was demonstrated in clonogenic COS cells at a frequency of 27%. Southern analysis of resistant clones revealed the transferred DNA to be integrated in low copy number at one or two sites in the host cell genome. Comparison with electroporation and DEAE-dextran indicates that bead transfection is more efficient than the latter and less costly than either of these methods. In view of its simplicity and because the use of retroviral sequences can be avoided, bead transfection may be an attractive means of gene insertion for gene therapy.

  2. Investigation of horizontal gene transfer in poplar/Amanita muscaria ectomycorrhizas.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chi; Hampp, Rüdiger; Nehls, Uwe

    2005-01-01

    Fine roots of forest trees form together with certain soil fungi symbiotic structures (ectomycorrhizas), where fungal hyphae are in intimate contact with plant cells. Due to root cell degeneration, plant DNA is released and could be taken up by the fungus. The possibility that horizontal gene transfer might result in a risk for the environment should be evaluated before a massive release of genetically engineered trees into nature occurs, even though only a few convincing examples of horizontal gene transfer are known. Transgenic poplars containing a construct of the Streptomyces hygroscopicus bar gene under the control of the Cochliobolus heterostrophus GPD (glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase) promoter were generated by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The functionality of this construct in the ectomycorrhizal model fungus Amanita muscaria was previously verified by protoplast-based fungal transformation. 35,000 ectomycorrhizas, formed between transgenic poplars and non-transgenic A. muscaria hyphae, were isolated and transferred to selective agar plates. Putative herbicide-resistant fungal colonies were obtained after the first round of selection. However, none of these colonies survived a transfer onto fresh selection medium, nor did they contain the bar gene, indicating that no horizontal gene transfer from poplar to A. muscaria occurred during symbiosis under axenic conditions. However, since ectomycorrhizas are associated under natural conditions with viruses, bacteria and other fungi, these additional associations should be evaluated in future. PMID:16827551

  3. Mucus altering agents as adjuncts for nonviral gene transfer to airway epithelium.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, S; Kitson, C; Farley, R; Steel, R; Marriott, C; Parkins, D A; Scarpa, M; Wainwright, B; Evans, M J; Colledge, W H; Geddes, D M; Alton, E W

    2001-09-01

    Nonviral vectors have been shown to be a safe and valid alternative to recombinant viruses for gene therapy of cystic fibrosis (CF). Nevertheless, gene transfer efficiency needs to be increased before clinical efficacy is likely in man. One barrier to increased efficacy is normal airway mucus. Using an ex vivo model of sheep tracheal epithelium, we show that this barrier can, in part, be overcome by treatment with the mucolytic agents, Nacystelyn or N-acetylcysteine using either a cationic lipid or a cationic polymer as the gene transfer agent. Further, in vivo application of either Nacystelyn or the anticholinergic glycopyrrolate, both clinically used agents, resulted in increased reporter gene expression in the mouse lung, but no significant correction of the bioelectric defect in CF null mice. These results, whilst unlikely to be sufficient in themselves to achieve clinically relevant gene therapy, may be a further useful step in the attainment of this goal.

  4. Population-Dynamic Modeling of Bacterial Horizontal Gene Transfer by Natural Transformation.

    PubMed

    Mao, Junwen; Lu, Ting

    2016-01-01

    Natural transformation is a major mechanism of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) and plays an essential role in bacterial adaptation, evolution, and speciation. Although its molecular underpinnings have been increasingly revealed, natural transformation is not well characterized in terms of its quantitative ecological roles. Here, by using Neisseria gonorrhoeae as an example, we developed a population-dynamic model for natural transformation and analyzed its dynamic characteristics with nonlinear tools and simulations. Our study showed that bacteria capable of natural transformation can display distinct population behaviors ranging from extinction to coexistence and to bistability, depending on their HGT rate and selection coefficient. With the model, we also illustrated the roles of environmental DNA sources-active secretion and passive release-in impacting population dynamics. Additionally, by constructing and utilizing a stochastic version of the model, we examined how noise shapes the steady and dynamic behaviors of the system. Notably, we found that distinct waiting time statistics for HGT events, namely a power-law distribution, an exponential distribution, and a mix of the both, are associated with the dynamics in the regimes of extinction, coexistence, and bistability accordingly. This work offers a quantitative illustration of natural transformation by revealing its complex population dynamics and associated characteristics, therefore advancing our ecological understanding of natural transformation as well as HGT in general.

  5. Direct Gene Transfer into Plant Mature Seeds via Electroporation After Vacuum Treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagio, Takashi

    A number of direct gene transfer methods have been used successfully in plant genetic engineering, providing powerful tools to investigate fundamental and applied problems in plant biology (Chowrira et al., 1996; D'halluin et al., 1992; Morandini and Salamini, 2003; Rakoczy-Trojanowska, 2002; Songstad et al., 1995). In cereals, several methods have been found to be suitable for obtaining transgenic plant; these include bombardment of scutellum (Hagio et al., 1995) and inflorescence cultures (He et al., 2001), and silicon carbide fiber-mediated DNA delivery (Asano et al., 1991) and Agrobacterium tumefaciens transformation (Potrykus, 1990). Electroporation of cereal protoplasts also has proved successful but it involves prolonged cell treatments and generally is limited by the difficulties of regeneration from cereal protoplast cultures (Fromm et al., 1987). Many laboratories worldwide are now using Agrobacterium as a vehicle for routine production of transgenic crop plants. The primary application of the particle system (Klein et al., 1987) has been for transformation of species recalcitrant to conventional Agrobacterium (Binns, 1990) or protoplast methods. But these conventional methods can be applied to the species and varieties that are amenable to tissue culture (Machii et al., 1998). Mature seeds are readily available and free from the seasonal limits that immature embryo, inflorescence, and anther have. This method enables us to produce transgenic plants without time-consuming tissue culture process.

  6. Population-Dynamic Modeling of Bacterial Horizontal Gene Transfer by Natural Transformation.

    PubMed

    Mao, Junwen; Lu, Ting

    2016-01-01

    Natural transformation is a major mechanism of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) and plays an essential role in bacterial adaptation, evolution, and speciation. Although its molecular underpinnings have been increasingly revealed, natural transformation is not well characterized in terms of its quantitative ecological roles. Here, by using Neisseria gonorrhoeae as an example, we developed a population-dynamic model for natural transformation and analyzed its dynamic characteristics with nonlinear tools and simulations. Our study showed that bacteria capable of natural transformation can display distinct population behaviors ranging from extinction to coexistence and to bistability, depending on their HGT rate and selection coefficient. With the model, we also illustrated the roles of environmental DNA sources-active secretion and passive release-in impacting population dynamics. Additionally, by constructing and utilizing a stochastic version of the model, we examined how noise shapes the steady and dynamic behaviors of the system. Notably, we found that distinct waiting time statistics for HGT events, namely a power-law distribution, an exponential distribution, and a mix of the both, are associated with the dynamics in the regimes of extinction, coexistence, and bistability accordingly. This work offers a quantitative illustration of natural transformation by revealing its complex population dynamics and associated characteristics, therefore advancing our ecological understanding of natural transformation as well as HGT in general. PMID:26745428

  7. Integrative gene transfer in the truffle Tuber borchii by Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation is a powerful tool for reverse genetics and functional genomic analysis in a wide variety of plants and fungi. Tuber spp. are ecologically important and gastronomically prized fungi (“truffles”) with a cryptic life cycle, a subterranean habitat and a symbiotic, but also facultative saprophytic lifestyle. The genome of a representative member of this group of fungi has recently been sequenced. However, because of their poor genetic tractability, including transformation, truffles have so far eluded in-depth functional genomic investigations. Here we report that A. tumefaciens can infect Tuber borchii mycelia, thereby conveying its transfer DNA with the production of stably integrated transformants. We constructed two new binary plasmids (pABr1 and pABr3) and tested them as improved transformation vectors using the green fluorescent protein as reporter gene and hygromycin phosphotransferase as selection marker. Transformants were stable for at least 12 months of in vitro culture propagation and, as revealed by TAIL- PCR analysis, integration sites appear to be heterogeneous, with a preference for repeat element-containing genome sites. PMID:24949275

  8. Integrative gene transfer in the truffle Tuber borchii by Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation.

    PubMed

    Brenna, Andrea; Montanini, Barbara; Muggiano, Eleonora; Proietto, Marco; Filetici, Patrizia; Ottonello, Simone; Ballario, Paola

    2014-01-01

    Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation is a powerful tool for reverse genetics and functional genomic analysis in a wide variety of plants and fungi. Tuber spp. are ecologically important and gastronomically prized fungi ("truffles") with a cryptic life cycle, a subterranean habitat and a symbiotic, but also facultative saprophytic lifestyle. The genome of a representative member of this group of fungi has recently been sequenced. However, because of their poor genetic tractability, including transformation, truffles have so far eluded in-depth functional genomic investigations. Here we report that A. tumefaciens can infect Tuber borchii mycelia, thereby conveying its transfer DNA with the production of stably integrated transformants. We constructed two new binary plasmids (pABr1 and pABr3) and tested them as improved transformation vectors using the green fluorescent protein as reporter gene and hygromycin phosphotransferase as selection marker. Transformants were stable for at least 12 months of in vitro culture propagation and, as revealed by TAIL- PCR analysis, integration sites appear to be heterogeneous, with a preference for repeat element-containing genome sites.

  9. GFP as a marker for transient gene transfer and expression in Mycoplasma hyorhinis.

    PubMed

    Ishag, Hassan Z A; Liu, Maojun; Yang, Ruosong; Xiong, Qiyan; Feng, Zhixin; Shao, Guoqing

    2016-01-01

    Mycoplasma hyorhinis (M. hyorhinis) is an opportunistic pathogen of pigs and has been shown to transform cell cultures, which has increased the interest of researchers. The green florescence proteins (GFP) gene of Aquorea victoria, proved to be a vital marker to identify transformed cells in mixed populations. Use of GFP to observe gene transfer and expression in M. hyorhinis (strain HUB-1) has not been described. We have constructed a pMD18-O/MHRgfp plasmid containing the p97 gene promoter, origin of replication, tetracycline resistance marker and GFP gene controlled by the p97 gene promoter. The plasmid transformed into M. hyorhinis with a frequency of ~4 × 10(-3) cfu/µg plasmid DNA and could be detected by PCR amplification of the GFP gene from the total DNA of the transformant mycoplasmas. Analysis of a single clone grown on KM2-Agar containing tetracycline, showed a green fluorescence color. Conclusively, this report suggests the usefulness of GFP to monitor transient gene transfer and expression in M. hyorhinis, eventually minimizing screening procedures for gene transfer and expression. PMID:27386255

  10. Transformation of Vicia narbonensis via Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Pickardt, T; Meixner, M; Schade, V; Schieder, O

    1991-02-01

    Shoot tips and epicotyl-segments of Vicia narbonensis were co-cultivated with Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain C58C1 pGV 3850 HPT, carrying a plasmid coding for hygromycin-phosphotransferase. On callus-induction medium containing 60 mg/l hygromycin for selection, approximately 18% of the explants produced hygromycin-resistant callus. After transfer to regeneration-medium these calluses produced hygromycin-resistant and nopaline-positive somatic embryos which could be regenerated to plantlets. The integration of the T-DNA into the plant genome was confirmed by Southern analysis.

  11. Exploration of new perspectives and limitations in Agrobacterium mediated gene transfer technology. Progress report, [June 1, 1992-- May 31, 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Marton, L.

    1994-12-31

    This report describes progress aimed at constructing gene-transfer technology for Nicotiana plumbaginifolia. Most actual effort as described herein has so far been directed at exploring new perspectives and limitations in Agrobacterium mediated gene transfer. Accomplishments are described using a core homologous gene targeting vector.

  12. Direct phylogenetic evidence for lateral transfer of elongation factor-like gene

    PubMed Central

    Kamikawa, Ryoma; Inagaki, Yuji; Sako, Yoshihiko

    2008-01-01

    Genes encoding elongation factor-like (EFL) proteins, which show high similarity to elongation factor-1α (EF-1α), have been found in phylogenetically distantly related eukaryotes. The sporadic distribution of “EFL-containing” lineages within “EF-1α-containing” lineages indirectly, but strongly, suggests lateral gene transfer as the principal driving force in EFL evolution. However, one of the most critical aspects in the above hypothesis, the donor lineages in any putative cases of lateral EFL gene transfer, remained unclear. In this study, we provide direct evidence for lateral transfer of an EFL gene through the analyses of 10 diatom EFL genes. All diatom EFL homologues tightly clustered in phylogenetic analyses, suggesting acquisition of the exogenous EFL gene early in diatom evolution. Our survey additionally identified Thalassiosira pseudonana as a eukaryote bearing EF-1α and EFL genes and secondary EFL gene loss in Phaeodactylum tricornutum, the complete genome of which encodes only the EF-1α gene. Most importantly, the EFL phylogeny recovered a robust grouping of homologues from diatoms, the cercozoan Bigelowiella natans, and the foraminifer Planoglabratella opecularis, with the diatoms nested within the Bigelowiella plus Planoglabratella (Rhizaria) grouping. The particular relationships recovered are further consistent with two characteristic sequence motifs. The best explanation of our data analyses is an EFL gene transfer from a foraminifer to a diatom, the first case in which the donor–recipient relationship was clarified. Finally, based on a reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR assay and the genome information of Thalassiosira and Phaeodactylum, we propose the loss of elongation factor function in Thalassiosira EF-1α. PMID:18458344

  13. CGUG: in silico proteome and genome parsing tool for the determination of "core" and unique genes in the analysis of genomes up to ca. 1.9 Mb

    PubMed Central

    Mahadevan, Padmanabhan; King, John F; Seto, Donald

    2009-01-01

    Background Viruses and small-genome bacteria (~2 megabases and smaller) comprise a considerable population in the biosphere and are of interest to many researchers. These genomes are now sequenced at an unprecedented rate and require complementary computational tools to analyze. "CoreGenesUniqueGenes" (CGUG) is an in silico genome data mining tool that determines a "core" set of genes from two to five organisms with genomes in this size range. Core and unique genes may reflect similar niches and needs, and may be used in classifying organisms. Findings CGUG is available at as a web-based on-the-fly tool that performs iterative BLASTP analyses using a reference genome and up to four query genomes to provide a table of genes common to these genomes. The result is an in silico display of genomes and their proteomes, allowing for further analysis. CGUG can be used for "genome annotation by homology", as demonstrated with Chlamydophila and Francisella genomes. Conclusion CGUG is used to reanalyze the ICTV-based classifications of bacteriophages, to reconfirm long-standing relationships and to explore new classifications. These genomes have been problematic in the past, due largely to horizontal gene transfers. CGUG is validated as a tool for reannotating small genome bacteria using more up-to-date annotations by similarity or homology. These serve as an entry point for wet-bench experiments to confirm the functions of these "hypothetical" and "unknown" proteins. PMID:19706165

  14. Degrees of separation as a statistical tool for evaluating candidate genes.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Ronald M; Pettersson, Mats E

    2014-12-01

    Selection of candidate genes is an important step in the exploration of complex genetic architecture. The number of gene networks available is increasing and these can provide information to help with candidate gene selection. It is currently common to use the degree of connectedness in gene networks as validation in Genome Wide Association (GWA) and Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL) mapping studies. However, it can cause misleading results if not validated properly. Here we present a method and tool for validating the gene pairs from GWA studies given the context of the network they co-occur in. It ensures that proposed interactions and gene associations are not statistical artefacts inherent to the specific gene network architecture. The CandidateBacon package provides an easy and efficient method to calculate the average degree of separation (DoS) between pairs of genes to currently available gene networks. We show how these empirical estimates of average connectedness are used to validate candidate gene pairs. Validation of interacting genes by comparing their connectedness with the average connectedness in the gene network will provide support for said interactions by utilising the growing amount of gene network information available.

  15. Mathematical modelling of antimicrobial resistance in agricultural waste highlights importance of gene transfer rate.

    PubMed

    Baker, Michelle; Hobman, Jon L; Dodd, Christine E R; Ramsden, Stephen J; Stekel, Dov J

    2016-04-01

    Antimicrobial resistance is of global concern. Most antimicrobial use is in agriculture; manures and slurry are especially important because they contain a mix of bacteria, including potential pathogens, antimicrobial resistance genes and antimicrobials. In many countries, manures and slurry are stored, especially over winter, before spreading onto fields as organic fertilizer. Thus, these are a potential location for gene exchange and selection for resistance. We develop and analyse a mathematical model to quantify the spread of antimicrobial resistance in stored agricultural waste. We use parameters from a slurry tank on a UK dairy farm as an exemplar. We show that the spread of resistance depends in a subtle way on the rates of gene transfer and antibiotic inflow. If the gene transfer rate is high, then its reduction controls resistance, while cutting antibiotic inflow has little impact. If the gene transfer rate is low, then reducing antibiotic inflow controls resistance. Reducing length of storage can also control spread of resistance. Bacterial growth rate, fitness costs of carrying antimicrobial resistance and proportion of resistant bacteria in animal faeces have little impact on spread of resistance. Therefore, effective treatment strategies depend critically on knowledge of gene transfer rates. PMID:26906100

  16. Rare Events of Intragenus and Intraspecies Horizontal Transfer of the 16S rRNA Gene.

    PubMed

    Tian, Ren-Mao; Cai, Lin; Zhang, Wei-Peng; Cao, Hui-Luo; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2015-07-27

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of operational genes has been widely reported in prokaryotic organisms. However, informational genes such as those involved in transcription and translation processes are very difficult to be horizontally transferred, as described by Woese's complexity hypothesis. Here, we analyzed all of the completed prokaryotic genome sequences (2,143 genomes) in the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) database, scanned for genomes with high intragenomic heterogeneity of 16S rRNA gene copies, and explored potential HGT events of ribosomal RNA genes based on the phylogeny, genomic organization, and secondary structures of the ribosomal RNA genes. Our results revealed 28 genomes with relatively high intragenomic heterogeneity of multiple 16S rRNA gene copies (lowest pairwise identity <98.0%), and further analysis revealed HGT events and potential donors of the heterogeneous copies (such as HGT from Chlamydia suis to Chlamydia trachomatis) and mutation events of some heterogeneous copies (such as Streptococcus suis JS14). Interestingly, HGT of the 16S rRNA gene only occurred at intragenus or intraspecies levels, which is quite different from the HGT of operational genes. Our results improve our understanding regarding the exchange of informational genes.

  17. Adenovirus-mediated gene transfer to tumor cells.

    PubMed

    Cascalló, Manel; Alemany, Ramon

    2004-01-01

    Cell transduction in vitro is only the first step toward proving that a genetherapy vector can be useful to treat tumors. However, tumor targeting in vivo is now the milestone for gene therapy to succeed against disseminated cancer. Therefore, most valuable information is obtained from studies of vector biodistribution. Owing to the hepatotropism of adenoviral vectors, a particularly important parameter is the tumor/liver ratio. This ratio can be given at the level of gene expression if the amount of transgene expression is measured. To optimize the targeting, however, the levels of viral particles that reach the tumor compared to other organs must be studied. Most of this chapter deals with methods to quantify the virus fate in tumor-bearing animals. We present a radioactive labeling method that can be used to study biodistribution. After a small section dealing with tumor models, we describe methods to quantify different parameters related to adenovirus-mediated tumor targeting. PMID:14970588

  18. Clinical and ethical implications of mitochondrial gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Mitalipov, Shoukhrat; Wolf, Don P

    2014-01-01

    Inherited diseases caused by mitochondrial gene (mtDNA) mutations affect at least 1 in 5000-10,000 children and are associated with severe clinical symptoms. Novel reproductive techniques designed to replace mutated mtDNA in oocytes or early embryos have been proposed to prevent transmission of disease from parents to their children. Here we review the efficacy and safety of these approaches and their associated ethical and regulatory issues.

  19. Indication of Horizontal DNA Gene Transfer by Extracellular Vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Speiseder, Thomas; Badbaran, Anita; Reimer, Rudolph; Indenbirken, Daniela; Grundhoff, Adam; Brunswig-Spickenheier, Bärbel; Alawi, Malik; Lange, Claudia

    2016-01-01

    The biological relevance of extracellular vesicles (EV) in intercellular communication has been well established. Thus far, proteins and RNA were described as main cargo. Here, we show that EV released from human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-hMSC) also carry high-molecular DNA in addition. Extensive EV characterization revealed this DNA mainly associated with the outer EV membrane and to a smaller degree also inside the EV. Our EV purification protocol secured that DNA is not derived from apoptotic or necrotic cells. To analyze the relevance of EV-associated DNA we lentivirally transduced Arabidopsis thaliana-DNA (A.t.-DNA) as indicator into BM-hMSC and generated EV. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) techniques we detected high copy numbers of A.t.-DNA in EV. In recipient hMSC incubated with tagged EV for two weeks we identified A.t.-DNA transferred to recipient cells. Investigation of recipient cell DNA using quantitative PCR and verification of PCR-products by sequencing suggested stable integration of A.t.-DNA. In conclusion, for the first time our proof-of-principle experiments point to horizontal DNA transfer into recipient cells via EV. Based on our results we assume that eukaryotic cells are able to exchange genetic information in form of DNA extending the known cargo of EV by genomic DNA. This mechanism might be of relevance in cancer but also during cell evolution and development. PMID:27684368

  20. Decreasing the effects of horizontal gene transfer on bacterial phylogeny: the Escherichia coli case study.

    PubMed

    Escobar-Páramo, Patricia; Sabbagh, Audrey; Darlu, Pierre; Pradillon, Olivier; Vaury, Christelle; Denamur, Erick; Lecointre, Guillaume

    2004-01-01

    Phylogenetic reconstructions of bacterial species from DNA sequences are hampered by the existence of horizontal gene transfer. One possible way to overcome the confounding influence of such movement of genes is to identify and remove sequences which are responsible for significant character incongruence when compared to a reference dataset free of horizontal transfer (e.g., multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, restriction fragment length polymorphism, or random amplified polymorphic DNA) using the incongruence length difference (ILD) test of Farris et al. [Cladistics 10 (1995) 315]. As obtaining this "whole genome dataset" prior to the reconstruction of a phylogeny is clearly troublesome, we have tested alternative approaches allowing the release from such reference dataset, designed for a species with modest level of horizontal gene transfer, i.e., Escherichia coli. Eleven different genes available or sequenced in this work were studied in a set of 30 E. coli reference (ECOR) strains. Either using ILD to test incongruence between each gene against the all remaining (in this case 10) genes in order to remove sequences responsible for significant incongruence, or using just a simultaneous analysis without removals, gave robust phylogenies with slight topological differences. The use of the ILD test remains a suitable method for estimating the level of horizontal gene transfer in bacterial species. Supertrees also had suitable properties to extract the phylogeny of strains, because the way they summarize taxonomic congruence clearly limits the impact of individual gene transfers on the global topology. Furthermore, this work allowed a significant improvement of the accuracy of the phylogeny within E. coli. PMID:15022774

  1. Security Transition Program Office (STPO), technology transfer of the STPO process, tools, and techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Hauth, J.T.; Forslund, C.R.J.; Underwood, J.A.

    1994-09-01

    In 1990, with the transition from a defense mission to environmental restoration, the U.S. Department of Energy`s (DOE`s) Hanford Site began a significant effort to diagnose, redesign, and implement new safeguards and security (SAS) processes. In 1992 the Security Transition Program Office (STPO) was formed to address the sweeping changes that were being identified. Comprised of SAS and other contractor staff with extensive experience and supported by staff experienced in organizational analysis and work process redesign, STPO undertook a series of tasks designed to make fundamental changes to SAS processes throughout the Hanford Site. The goal of STPO is to align the SAS work and organization with the new Site mission. This report describes the key strategy, tools, methods, and techniques used by STPO to change SAS processes at Hanford. A particular focus of this review is transferring STPO`s experience to other DOE sites and federal agency efforts: that is, to extract, analyze, and provide a critical review of the approach, tools, and techniques used by STPO that will be useful to other DOE sites and national laboratories in transitioning from a defense production mode to environmental restoration and other missions. In particular, what lessons does STPO provide as a pilot study or model for implementing change in other transition activities throughout the DOE complex? More broadly, what theoretical and practical contributions do DOE transition efforts, such as STPO, provide to federal agency streamlining efforts and attempts to {open_quotes}reinvent{close_quotes} government enterprises in the public sector? The approach used by STPO should provide valuable information to those examining their own processes in light of new mission requirements.

  2. Gene Transfer into Rat Brain Using Adenoviral Vectors

    PubMed Central

    Puntel, Mariana; Kroeger, Kurt M.; Sanderson, Nicholas S.R.; Thomas, Clare E.; Castro, Maria G.; Lowenstein, Pedro R.

    2010-01-01

    Viral vector–mediated gene delivery is an attractive procedure for introducing genes into the brain, both for purposes of basic neuroscience research and to develop gene therapy for neurological diseases. Replication-defective adenoviruses possess many features which make them ideal vectors for this purpose—efficiently transducing terminally differentiated cells such as neurons and glial cells, resulting in high levels of transgene expression in vivo. Also, in the absence of anti-adenovirus immunity, these vectors can sustain very long-term transgene expression within the brain parenchyma. This unit provides protocols for the stereotactic injection of adenoviral vectors into the brain, followed by protocols to detect transgene expression or infiltrates of immune cells by immunocytochemistry or immunofluorescence. ELISPOT and neutralizing antibody assay methodologies are provided to quantitate the levels of cellular and humoral immune responses against adenoviruses. Quantitation of adenoviral vector genomes within the rat brain using qPCR is also described. Curr. Protoc. Neurosci. 50:4.24.1–4.24.49. © 2010 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. PMID:20066657

  3. Microbubble-Enhanced Ultrasound Gene Transfer into Fibroblast Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirayama, Kota; Kaneko, Yukio; Tei, Yuichi; Matsumoto, Yoichiro

    2007-05-01

    Ultrasound finds many applications in the medical field, including ultrasound imaging, non-invasive treatment of tumors and lithotripsy. Ultrasound also has a potential to deliver some therapeutic materials, such as genes, drugs or proteins into cells. It is known that microbubbles can improve the delivery efficiency. It is believed that therapeutic materials can pass through the cell membrane whose permeability is increased by microbubble destruction or the ultrasound pressure. In this study, we investigated the delivery of GFP plasmid gene into the fibroblast cells. Ultrasound (frequency = 2.1 MHz, duty cycle = 10%) was used to irradiate the cultured cells through a medium that contains microbubbles and GFP plasmid. GFP plasmid transfection could be easily observed by fluorescence microscopy. Ultrasound irradiation under a variety of conditions resulted in successful GFP plasmid delivery. Microbubbles enhanced GFP transfection, and conclusions were drawn as to the relationship between gene transfection and various ultrasound exposure parameters. We also investigated the effect of ultrasound intensity on cell viability.

  4. Kerfuffle: a web tool for multi-species gene colocalization analysis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The evolutionary pressures that underlie the large-scale functional organization of the genome are not well understood in eukaryotes. Recent evidence suggests that functionally similar genes may colocalize (cluster) in the eukaryotic genome, suggesting the role of chromatin-level gene regulation in shaping the physical distribution of coordinated genes. However, few of the bioinformatic tools currently available allow for a systematic study of gene colocalization across several, evolutionarily distant species. Furthermore, most tools require the user to input manually curated lists of gene position information, DNA sequence or gene homology relations between species. With the growing number of sequenced genomes, there is a need to provide new comparative genomics tools that can address the analysis of multi-species gene colocalization. Results Kerfuffle is a web tool designed to help discover, visualize, and quantify the physical organization of genomes by identifying significant gene colocalization and conservation across the assembled genomes of available species (currently up to 47, from humans to worms). Kerfuffle only requires the user to specify a list of human genes and the names of other species of interest. Without further input from the user, the software queries the e!Ensembl BioMart server to obtain positional information and discovers homology relations in all genes and species specified. Using this information, Kerfuffle performs a multi-species clustering analysis, presents downloadable lists of clustered genes, performs Monte Carlo statistical significance calculations, estimates how conserved gene clusters are across species, plots histograms and interactive graphs, allows users to save their queries, and generates a downloadable visualization of the clusters using the Circos software. These analyses may be used to further explore the functional roles of gene clusters by interrogating the enriched molecular pathways associated with each

  5. Meganucleases and Other Tools for Targeted Genome Engineering: Perspectives and Challenges for Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Silva, George; Poirot, Laurent; Galetto, Roman; Smith, Julianne; Montoya, Guillermo; Duchateau, Philippe; Pâques, Frédéric

    2011-01-01

    The importance of safer approaches for gene therapy has been underscored by a series of severe adverse events (SAEs) observed in patients involved in clinical trials for Severe Combined Immune Deficiency Disease (SCID) and Chromic Granulomatous Disease (CGD). While a new generation of viral vectors is in the process of replacing the classical gamma-retrovirus–based approach, a number of strategies have emerged based on non-viral vectorization and/or targeted insertion aimed at achieving safer gene transfer. Currently, these methods display lower efficacies than viral transduction although many of them can yield more than 1% engineered cells in vitro. Nuclease-based approaches, wherein an endonuclease is used to trigger site-specific genome editing, can significantly increase the percentage of targeted cells. These methods therefore provide a real alternative to classical gene transfer as well as gene editing. However, the first endonuclease to be in clinic today is not used for gene transfer, but to inactivate a gene (CCR5) required for HIV infection. Here, we review these alternative approaches, with a special emphasis on meganucleases, a family of naturally occurring rare-cutting endonucleases, and speculate on their current and future potential. PMID:21182466

  6. Analysis of the sequence and gene products of the transfer region of the F sex factor.

    PubMed Central

    Frost, L S; Ippen-Ihler, K; Skurray, R A

    1994-01-01

    Bacterial conjugation results in the transfer of DNA of either plasmid or chromosomal origin between microorganisms. Transfer begins at a defined point in the DNA sequence, usually called the origin of transfer (oriT). The capacity of conjugative DNA transfer is a property of self-transmissible plasmids and conjugative transposons, which will mobilize other plasmids and DNA sequences that include a compatible oriT locus. This review will concentrate on the genes required for bacterial conjugation that are encoded within the transfer region (or regions) of conjugative plasmids. One of the best-defined conjugation systems is that of the F plasmid, which has been the paradigm for conjugation systems since it was discovered nearly 50 years ago. The F transfer region (over 33 kb) contains about 40 genes, arranged contiguously. These are involved in the synthesis of pili, extracellular filaments which establish contact between donor and recipient cells; mating-pair stabilization; prevention of mating between similar donor cells in a process termed surface exclusions; DNA nicking and transfer during conjugation; and the regulation of expression of these functions. This review is a compendium of the products and other features found in the F transfer region as well as a discussion of their role in conjugation. While the genetics of F transfer have been described extensively, the mechanism of conjugation has proved elusive, in large part because of the low levels of expression of the pilus and the numerous envelope components essential for F plasmid transfer. The advent of molecular genetic techniques has, however, resulted in considerable recent progress. This summary of the known properties of the F transfer region is provided in the hope that it will form a useful basis for future comparison with other conjugation systems. PMID:7915817

  7. Site-specific recombinases as tools for heterologous gene integration.

    PubMed

    Hirano, Nobutaka; Muroi, Tetsurou; Takahashi, Hideo; Haruki, Mitsuru

    2011-10-01

    Site-specific recombinases are the enzymes that catalyze site-specific recombination between two specific DNA sequences to mediate DNA integration, excision, resolution, or inversion and that play a pivotal role in the life cycles of many microorganisms including bacteria and bacteriophages. These enzymes are classified as tyrosine-type or serine-type recombinases based on whether a tyrosine or serine residue mediates catalysis. All known tyrosine-type recombinases catalyze the formation of a Holliday junction intermediate, whereas the catalytic mechanism of all known serine-type recombinases includes the 180° rotation and rejoining of cleaved substrate DNAs. Both recombinase families are further subdivided into two families; the tyrosine-type recombinases are subdivided by the recombination directionality, and the serine-type recombinases are subdivided by the protein size. Over more than two decades, many different site-specific recombinases have been applied to in vivo genome engineering, and some of them have been used successfully to mediate integration, deletion, or inversion in a wide variety of heterologous genomes, including those from bacteria to higher eukaryotes. Here, we review the recombination mechanisms of the best characterized recombinases in each site-specific recombinase family and recent advances in the application of these recombinases to genomic manipulation, especially manipulations involving site-specific gene integration into heterologous genomes. PMID:21822899

  8. Potential transfer of extended spectrum β-lactamase encoding gene, blashv18 gene, between Klebsiella pneumoniae in raw foods.

    PubMed

    Jung, Yangjin; Matthews, Karl R

    2016-12-01

    This study investigated the transfer frequency of the extended-spectrum β-lactamase-encoding gene (blaSHV18) among Klebsiella pneumoniae in tryptic soy broth (TSB), pasteurized milk, unpasteurized milk, alfalfa sprouts and chopped lettuce at defined temperatures. All transconjugants were characterized phenotypically and genotypically. KP04(ΔKM) and KP08(ΔKM) isolated from seed sprouts and KP342 were used as recipients in mating experiments with K. pneumoniae ATCC 700603 serving as the donor. In mating experiments, no transconjugants were detected at 4 °C in liquid media or chopped lettuce, but detected in all media tested at 15 °C, 24 °C, and 37 °C. At 24 °C, the transfer of blaSHV18 gene occurred more frequently in alfalfa sprouts (5.15E-04 transconjugants per recipient) and chopped lettuce (3.85E-05) than liquid media (1.08E-05). On chopped lettuce, transconjugants were not detected at day 1 post-mating at 15 °C, but observed on day 2 (1.43E-05). Transconjugants carried the blaSHV18 gene transferred from the donor and the virulence gene harbored by recipient. More importantly, a class 1 integrase gene and resistance to tetracycline, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole were co-transferred during mating. These quantitative results suggest that fresh produce exposed to temperature abuse may serve as a competent vehicle for the spread of gene encoding for antibiotic resistance, having a potential negative impact on human health. PMID:27554144

  9. Gene transfer for inherited metabolic disorders of the liver: immunological challenges.

    PubMed

    Gordts, Stephanie C; Van Craeyveld, Eline; Jacobs, Frank; De Geest, Bart

    2011-01-01

    Hepatocytes are a key target for gene transfer directed at correction of inborn errors of metabolism. The theoretical potential of hepatocyte-directed gene transfer contrasts with the hurdles for clinical translation of this technology. Innate immune responses following gene transfer are initiated by recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns by pattern recognition receptors like Toll-like receptors. Adaptive immune responses may constitute the most significant hurdle for efficient gene transfer. Besides the challenge imposed by adaptive immune responses against the vector and the potential problem of pre-existing immunity, immune responses against the transgene product may also constitute an obstacle. The liver is a tolerogenic organ. Naive T cells encounter liver antigens initially in the liver, rather than in lymphoid tissue. Lymph nodes and the spleen are anatomical compartments that provide a particular microarchitecture and microenvironment for the induction of immunity. In contrast, antigen presentation in the liver takes place in a completely different microarchitecture and microenvironment. This is a key aspect of the hepatic adaptive immune tolerance induction. Consistent with the tolerogenic nature of the liver microenvironment, the risk of antibody formation against the transgene product may be limited in the setting of hepatocyte-directed gene transfer and specifically by restricting transgene expression to hepatocytes by use of hepatocyte-specific expression cassettes. However, it is unclear to which extent animal experimental data following gene transfer predict immune responses in humans. Extrapolations from animals to humans are required but should be performed with sufficient insight into the dramatic species differences of the immune system.

  10. Horizontal Transfer of Plasmid-Mediated Cephalosporin Resistance Genes in the Intestine of Houseflies (Musca domestica).

    PubMed

    Fukuda, Akira; Usui, Masaru; Okubo, Torahiko; Tamura, Yutaka

    2016-06-01

    Houseflies are a mechanical vector for various types of bacteria, including antimicrobial-resistant bacteria (ARB). If the intestine of houseflies is a suitable site for the transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs), houseflies could also serve as a biological vector for ARB. To clarify whether cephalosporin resistance genes are transferred efficiently in the housefly intestine, we compared with conjugation experiments in vivo (in the intestine) and in vitro by using Escherichia coli with eight combinations of four donor and two recipient strains harboring plasmid-mediated cephalosporin resistance genes and chromosomal-encoded rifampicin resistance genes, respectively. In the in vivo conjugation experiment, houseflies ingested donor strains for 6 hr and then recipient strains for 3 hr, and 24 hr later, the houseflies were surface sterilized and analyzed. In vitro conjugation experiments were conducted using the broth-mating method. In 3/8 combinations, the in vitro transfer frequency (Transconjugants/Donor) was ≥1.3 × 10(-4); the in vivo transfer rates of cephalosporin resistance genes ranged from 2.0 × 10(-4) to 5.7 × 10(-5). Moreover, cephalosporin resistance genes were transferred to other species of enteric bacteria of houseflies such as Achromobacter sp. and Pseudomonas fluorescens. These results suggest that houseflies are not only a mechanical vector for ARB but also a biological vector for the occurrence of new ARB through the horizontal transfer of ARGs in their intestine. PMID:26683492

  11. Horizontal Transfer of Plasmid-Mediated Cephalosporin Resistance Genes in the Intestine of Houseflies (Musca domestica).

    PubMed

    Fukuda, Akira; Usui, Masaru; Okubo, Torahiko; Tamura, Yutaka

    2016-06-01

    Houseflies are a mechanical vector for various types of bacteria, including antimicrobial-resistant bacteria (ARB). If the intestine of houseflies is a suitable site for the transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs), houseflies could also serve as a biological vector for ARB. To clarify whether cephalosporin resistance genes are transferred efficiently in the housefly intestine, we compared with conjugation experiments in vivo (in the intestine) and in vitro by using Escherichia coli with eight combinations of four donor and two recipient strains harboring plasmid-mediated cephalosporin resistance genes and chromosomal-encoded rifampicin resistance genes, respectively. In the in vivo conjugation experiment, houseflies ingested donor strains for 6 hr and then recipient strains for 3 hr, and 24 hr later, the houseflies were surface sterilized and analyzed. In vitro conjugation experiments were conducted using the broth-mating method. In 3/8 combinations, the in vitro transfer frequency (Transconjugants/Donor) was ≥1.3 × 10(-4); the in vivo transfer rates of cephalosporin resistance genes ranged from 2.0 × 10(-4) to 5.7 × 10(-5). Moreover, cephalosporin resistance genes were transferred to other species of enteric bacteria of houseflies such as Achromobacter sp. and Pseudomonas fluorescens. These results suggest that houseflies are not only a mechanical vector for ARB but also a biological vector for the occurrence of new ARB through the horizontal transfer of ARGs in their intestine.

  12. Förster resonance energy transfer as a tool to study photoreceptor biology.

    PubMed

    Hovan, Stephanie C; Howell, Scott; Park, Paul S-H

    2010-01-01

    Vision is initiated in photoreceptor cells of the retina by a set of biochemical events called phototransduction. These events occur via coordinated dynamic processes that include changes in secondary messenger concentrations, conformational changes and post-translational modifications of signaling proteins, and protein-protein interactions between signaling partners. A complete description of the orchestration of these dynamic processes is still unavailable. Described in this work is the first step in the development of tools combining fluorescent protein technology, Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), and transgenic animals that have the potential to reveal important molecular insights about the dynamic processes occurring in photoreceptor cells. We characterize the fluorescent proteins SCFP3A and SYFP2 for use as a donor-acceptor pair in FRET assays, which will facilitate the visualization of dynamic processes in living cells. We also demonstrate the targeted expression of these fluorescent proteins to the rod photoreceptor cells of Xenopus laevis, and describe a general method for detecting FRET in these cells. The general approaches described here can address numerous types of questions related to phototransduction and photoreceptor biology by providing a platform to visualize dynamic processes in molecular detail within a native context.

  13. Förster resonance energy transfer as a tool to study photoreceptor biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hovan, Stephanie C.; Howell, Scott; Park, Paul S.-H.

    2010-11-01

    Vision is initiated in photoreceptor cells of the retina by a set of biochemical events called phototransduction. These events occur via coordinated dynamic processes that include changes in secondary messenger concentrations, conformational changes and post-translational modifications of signaling proteins, and protein-protein interactions between signaling partners. A complete description of the orchestration of these dynamic processes is still unavailable. Described in this work is the first step in the development of tools combining fluorescent protein technology, Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), and transgenic animals that have the potential to reveal important molecular insights about the dynamic processes occurring in photoreceptor cells. We characterize the fluorescent proteins SCFP3A and SYFP2 for use as a donor-acceptor pair in FRET assays, which will facilitate the visualization of dynamic processes in living cells. We also demonstrate the targeted expression of these fluorescent proteins to the rod photoreceptor cells of Xenopus laevis, and describe a general method for detecting FRET in these cells. The general approaches described here can address numerous types of questions related to phototransduction and photoreceptor biology by providing a platform to visualize dynamic processes in molecular detail within a native context.

  14. Adenoviral-mediated imaging of gene transfer using a somatostatin receptor-cytosine deaminase fusion protein.

    PubMed

    Lears, K A; Parry, J J; Andrews, R; Nguyen, K; Wadas, T J; Rogers, B E

    2015-03-01

    Suicide gene therapy is a process by which cells are administered a gene that encodes a protein capable of converting a nontoxic prodrug into an active toxin. Cytosine deaminase (CD) has been widely investigated as a means of suicide gene therapy owing to the enzyme's ability to convert the prodrug 5-fluorocytosine (5-FC) into the toxic compound 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). However, the extent of gene transfer is a limiting factor in predicting therapeutic outcome. The ability to monitor gene transfer, non-invasively, would strengthen the efficiency of therapy. In this regard, we have constructed and evaluated a replication-deficient adenovirus (Ad) containing the human somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (SSTR2) fused with a C-terminal yeast CD gene for the non-invasive monitoring of gene transfer and therapy. The resulting Ad (AdSSTR2-yCD) was evaluated in vitro in breast cancer cells to determine the function of the fusion protein. These studies demonstrated that both the SSTR2 and yCD were functional in binding assays, conversion assays and cytotoxicity assays. In vivo studies similarly demonstrated the functionality using conversion assays, biodistribution studies and small animal positron-emission tomography (PET) imaging studies. In conclusion, the fusion protein has been validated as useful for the non-invasive imaging of yCD expression and will be evaluated in the future for monitoring yCD-based therapy. PMID:25837665

  15. Adenoviral-Mediated Imaging of Gene Transfer Using a Somatostatin Receptor-Cytosine Deaminase Fusion Protein

    PubMed Central

    Lears, Kimberly A.; Parry, Jesse J.; Andrews, Rebecca; Nguyen, Kim; Wadas, Thaddeus J.; Rogers, Buck E.

    2015-01-01

    Suicide gene therapy is a process by which cells are administered a gene that encodes a protein capable of converting a nontoxic prodrug into an active toxin. Cytosine deaminase (CD) has been widely investigated as a means of suicide gene therapy due to the enzyme’s ability to convert the prodrug 5-fluorocytosine (5-FC) into the toxic compound 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). However, the extent of gene transfer is a limiting factor in predicting therapeutic outcome. The ability to monitor gene transfer, non-invasively, would strengthen the efficiency of therapy. In this regard, we have constructed and evaluated a replication-deficient adenovirus (Ad) containing the human somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (SSTR2) fused with a C-terminal yeast CD gene for the non-invasive monitoring of gene transfer and therapy. The resulting Ad (AdSSTR2-yCD) was evaluated in vitro in breast cancer cells to determine the function of the fusion protein. These studies demonstrated that the both the SSTR2 and yCD were functional in binding assays, conversion assays, and cytotoxicity assays. In vivo studies similarly demonstrated the functionality using conversion assays, biodistribution studies, and small animal positron-emission tomography (PET) imaging studies. In conclusion, the fusion protein has been validated as useful for the non-invasive imaging of yCD expression and will be evaluated in the future for monitoring yCD-based therapy. PMID:25837665

  16. Stable and Efficient Gene Transfer into the Retina Using an HIV-Based Lentiviral Vector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyoshi, Hiroyuki; Takahashi, Masayo; Gage, Fred H.; Verma, Inder M.

    1997-09-01

    The development of methods for efficient gene transfer to terminally differentiated retinal cells is important to study the function of the retina as well as for gene therapy of retinal diseases. We have developed a lentiviral vector system based on the HIV that can transduce terminally differentiated neurons of the brain in vivo. In this study, we have evaluated the ability of HIV vectors to transfer genes into retinal cells. An HIV vector containing a gene encoding the green fluorescent protein (GFP) was injected into the subretinal space of rat eyes. The GFP gene under the control of the cytomegalovirus promoter was efficiently expressed in both photoreceptor cells and retinal pigment epithelium. However, the use of the rhodopsin promoter resulted in expression predominantly in photoreceptor cells. Most successfully transduced eyes showed that photoreceptor cells in >80% of the area of whole retina expressed the GFP. The GFP expression persisted for at least 12 weeks with no apparent decrease. The efficient gene transfer into photoreceptor cells by HIV vectors will be useful for gene therapy of retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa.

  17. Development of the Transferable Learning Orientations Tool: Providing Metacognitive Opportunities and Meaningful Feedback for Students and Instructors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simper, Natalie; Kaupp, James; Frank, Brian; Scott, Jill

    2016-01-01

    This study encapsulates the development and testing of the Transferable Learning Orientations (TLO) tool. It is a triangulated measure built on select scales from the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ), together with multiple-choice items adapted from the lifelong learning VALUE rubric, and an open-ended response for each…

  18. Development of a low-cost, modified resin transfer molding process using elastomeric tooling and automated preform fabrication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doane, William J.; Hall, Ronald G.

    1992-01-01

    This paper describes the design and process development of low-cost structural parts made by a modified resin transfer molding process. Innovative application of elastomeric tooling to increase laminate fiber volume and automated forming of fiber preforms are discussed, as applied to fabrication of a representative section of a cruise missile fuselage.

  19. Transfer of cloned human class I major histocompatibility complex genes into HLA mutant human lymphoblastoid cells.

    PubMed Central

    Shimizu, Y; Koller, B; Geraghty, D; Orr, H; Shaw, S; Kavathas, P; DeMars, R

    1986-01-01

    Three new kinds of recombinant DNA constructs were used to transfer cloned human class I HLA genes (A2 and B8) into unique HLA mutant lymphoblastoid cells: pHeBo(x): a class I gene, "x," in plasmid vector pHeBo, which contains a hygromycin resistance gene and Epstein-Barr virus oriP element that sustains extrachromosomal replication; pHPT(x): gene x in a vector with a hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) gene; pHPTe(x): gene x in a vector with the HPRT gene and oriP element. Cell surface class I antigen expression was strong in transferents made with class I-deficient lymphoblastoid cell line mutants .144 (A-null), .53 (B-null), and .184 (A-null, B-null). Transferents expressing HLA-A2 were recognized specifically by HLA-A2-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes. When introduced on either of the vectors with the Epstein-Barr virus oriP element, the class I gene replicated extrachromosomally and was lost at rates of 0.2 to 0.3 per cell division. When introduced with vector pHPT (lacking Epstein-Barr virus oriP), the B8 gene was inserted at different chromosomal locations. Introduction of the HLA-B8 gene failed to restore antigen expression by HLA-B-null mutant .174, providing evidence that, unlike mutants exemplified by .53, .144, and .184, some HLA antigen loss mutants are deficient in a trans-acting function needed for class I antigen expression. Of more general interest, the results obtained with HLA class I genes in vectors that replicate extrachromosomally suggest ways of relating genic expression to chromatin structure and function and of attempting to clone functional human centromeres. Images PMID:3023867

  20. Transfer of cloned human class I major histocompatibility complex genes into HLA mutant human lymphoblastoid cells.

    PubMed

    Shimizu, Y; Koller, B; Geraghty, D; Orr, H; Shaw, S; Kavathas, P; DeMars, R

    1986-04-01

    Three new kinds of recombinant DNA constructs were used to transfer cloned human class I HLA genes (A2 and B8) into unique HLA mutant lymphoblastoid cells: pHeBo(x): a class I gene, "x," in plasmid vector pHeBo, which contains a hygromycin resistance gene and Epstein-Barr virus oriP element that sustains extrachromosomal replication; pHPT(x): gene x in a vector with a hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) gene; pHPTe(x): gene x in a vector with the HPRT gene and oriP element. Cell surface class I antigen expression was strong in transferents made with class I-deficient lymphoblastoid cell line mutants .144 (A-null), .53 (B-null), and .184 (A-null, B-null). Transferents expressing HLA-A2 were recognized specifically by HLA-A2-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes. When introduced on either of the vectors with the Epstein-Barr virus oriP element, the class I gene replicated extrachromosomally and was lost at rates of 0.2 to 0.3 per cell division. When introduced with vector pHPT (lacking Epstein-Barr virus oriP), the B8 gene was inserted at different chromosomal locations. Introduction of the HLA-B8 gene failed to restore antigen expression by HLA-B-null mutant .174, providing evidence that, unlike mutants exemplified by .53, .144, and .184, some HLA antigen loss mutants are deficient in a trans-acting function needed for class I antigen expression. Of more general interest, the results obtained with HLA class I genes in vectors that replicate extrachromosomally suggest ways of relating genic expression to chromatin structure and function and of attempting to clone functional human centromeres. PMID:3023867

  1. Current genome editing tools in gene therapy: new approaches to treat cancer.

    PubMed

    Shuvalov, Oleg; Petukhov, Alexey; Daks, Alexandra; Fedorova, Olga; Ermakov, Alexander; Melino, Gerry; Barlev, Nickolai A

    2015-01-01

    Gene therapy suggests a promising approach to treat genetic diseases by applying genes as pharmaceuticals. Cancer is a complex disease, which strongly depends on a particular genetic make-up and hence can be treated with gene therapy. From about 2,000 clinical trials carried out so far, more than 60% were cancer targeted. Development of precise and effective gene therapy approaches is intimately connected with achievements in the molecular biology techniques. The field of gene therapy was recently revolutionized by the introduction of "programmable" nucleases, including ZFNs, TALENs, and CRISPR, which target specific genomic loci with high efficacy and precision. Furthermore, when combined with DNA transposons for the delivery purposes into cells, these programmable nucleases represent a promising alternative to the conventional viral-mediated gene delivery. In addition to "programmable" nucleases, a new class of TALE- and CRISPR-based "artificial transcription effectors" has been developed to mediate precise regulation of specific genes. In sum, these new molecular tools may be used in a wide plethora of gene therapy strategies. This review highlights the current status of novel genome editing tools and discusses their suitability and perspectives in respect to cancer gene therapy studies.

  2. DepthTools: an R package for a robust analysis of gene expression data

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The use of DNA microarrays and oligonucleotide chips of high density in modern biomedical research provides complex, high dimensional data which have been proven to convey crucial information about gene expression levels and to play an important role in disease diagnosis. Therefore, there is a need for developing new, robust statistical techniques to analyze these data. Results depthTools is an R package for a robust statistical analysis of gene expression data, based on an efficient implementation of a feasible notion of depth, the Modified Band Depth. This software includes several visualization and inference tools successfully applied to high dimensional gene expression data. A user-friendly interface is also provided via an R-commander plugin. Conclusion We illustrate the utility of the depthTools package, that could be used, for instance, to achieve a better understanding of genome-level variation between tumors and to facilitate the development of personalized treatments. PMID:23885712

  3. Transferring Gus gene into intact rice cells by low energy ion beam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zengliang, Yu; Jianbo, Yang; Yuejin, Wu; Beijiu, Cheng; Jianjun, He; Yuping, Huo

    1993-06-01

    A new technique of transferring genes by low energy ion beam has been reported in this paper. The Gus and CAT (chloramphenicol acetyltransferase) genes, as "foreign" genetic materials, were introduced into the suspension cells and ripe embryos or rice by implantation of 20-30 keV Ar + at doses ranging from 1 × 10 15 to 4 × 10 15 ions/cm 2. The activities of CAT and Gus were detected in the cells and embryos after several weeks. The results indicate that the transfer was a success.

  4. Origin of the plant Tm-1-like gene via two independent horizontal transfer events and one gene fusion event.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zefeng; Liu, Li; Fang, Huimin; Li, Pengcheng; Xu, Shuhui; Cao, Wei; Xu, Chenwu; Huang, Jinling; Zhou, Yong

    2016-01-01

    The Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) resistance gene Tm-1 encodes a direct inhibitor of ToMV RNA replication to protect tomato from infection. The plant Tm-1-like (Tm-1L) protein is predicted to contain an uncharacterized N-terminal UPF0261 domain and a C-terminal TIM-barrel signal transduction (TBST) domain. Homologous searches revealed that proteins containing both of these two domains are mainly present in charophyte green algae and land plants but absent from glaucophytes, red algae and chlorophyte green algae. Although Tm-1 homologs are widely present in bacteria, archaea and fungi, UPF0261- and TBST-domain-containing proteins are generally encoded by different genes in these linages. A co-evolution analysis also suggested a putative interaction between UPF0261- and TBST-domain-containing proteins. Phylogenetic analyses based on homologs of these two domains revealed that plants have acquired UPF0261- and TBST-domain-encoding genes through two independent horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events before the origin of land plants from charophytes. Subsequently, gene fusion occurred between these two horizontally acquired genes and resulted in the origin of the Tm-1L gene in streptophytes. Our results demonstrate a novel evolutionary mechanism through which the recipient organism may acquire genes with functional interaction through two different HGT events and further fuse them into one functional gene.

  5. Origin of the plant Tm-1-like gene via two independent horizontal transfer events and one gene fusion event.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zefeng; Liu, Li; Fang, Huimin; Li, Pengcheng; Xu, Shuhui; Cao, Wei; Xu, Chenwu; Huang, Jinling; Zhou, Yong

    2016-01-01

    The Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) resistance gene Tm-1 encodes a direct inhibitor of ToMV RNA replication to protect tomato from infection. The plant Tm-1-like (Tm-1L) protein is predicted to contain an uncharacterized N-terminal UPF0261 domain and a C-terminal TIM-barrel signal transduction (TBST) domain. Homologous searches revealed that proteins containing both of these two domains are mainly present in charophyte green algae and land plants but absent from glaucophytes, red algae and chlorophyte green algae. Although Tm-1 homologs are widely present in bacteria, archaea and fungi, UPF0261- and TBST-domain-containing proteins are generally encoded by different genes in these linages. A co-evolution analysis also suggested a putative interaction between UPF0261- and TBST-domain-containing proteins. Phylogenetic analyses based on homologs of these two domains revealed that plants have acquired UPF0261- and TBST-domain-encoding genes through two independent horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events before the origin of land plants from charophytes. Subsequently, gene fusion occurred between these two horizontally acquired genes and resulted in the origin of the Tm-1L gene in streptophytes. Our results demonstrate a novel evolutionary mechanism through which the recipient organism may acquire genes with functional interaction through two different HGT events and further fuse them into one functional gene. PMID:27647002

  6. Origin of the plant Tm-1-like gene via two independent horizontal transfer events and one gene fusion event

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zefeng; Liu, Li; Fang, Huimin; Li, Pengcheng; Xu, Shuhui; Cao, Wei; Xu, Chenwu; Huang, Jinling; Zhou, Yong

    2016-01-01

    The Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) resistance gene Tm-1 encodes a direct inhibitor of ToMV RNA replication to protect tomato from infection. The plant Tm-1-like (Tm-1L) protein is predicted to contain an uncharacterized N-terminal UPF0261 domain and a C-terminal TIM-barrel signal transduction (TBST) domain. Homologous searches revealed that proteins containing both of these two domains are mainly present in charophyte green algae and land plants but absent from glaucophytes, red algae and chlorophyte green algae. Although Tm-1 homologs are widely present in bacteria, archaea and fungi, UPF0261- and TBST-domain-containing proteins are generally encoded by different genes in these linages. A co-evolution analysis also suggested a putative interaction between UPF0261- and TBST-domain-containing proteins. Phylogenetic analyses based on homologs of these two domains revealed that plants have acquired UPF0261- and TBST-domain-encoding genes through two independent horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events before the origin of land plants from charophytes. Subsequently, gene fusion occurred between these two horizontally acquired genes and resulted in the origin of the Tm-1L gene in streptophytes. Our results demonstrate a novel evolutionary mechanism through which the recipient organism may acquire genes with functional interaction through two different HGT events and further fuse them into one functional gene. PMID:27647002

  7. The role of doxorubicin in non-viral gene transfer in the lung.

    PubMed

    Griesenbach, Uta; Meng, Cuixiang; Farley, Raymond; Gardner, Aaron; Brake, Maresa A; Frankel, Gad M; Gruenert, Dieter C; Cheng, Seng H; Scheule, Ronald K; Alton, Eric W F W

    2009-04-01

    Proteasome inhibitors have been shown to increase adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated transduction in vitro and in vivo. To assess if proteasome inhibitors also increase lipid-mediated gene transfer with relevance to cystic fibrosis (CF), we first assessed the effects of doxorubicin and N-acetyl-l-leucinyl-l-leucinal-l-norleucinal in non-CF (A549) and CF (CFTE29o-) airway epithelial cell lines. CFTE29o- cells did not show a response to Dox or LLnL; however, gene transfer in A549 cells increased in a dose-related fashion (p < 0.05), up to approximately 20-fold respectively at the optimal dose (no treatment: 9.3 x 10(4) +/- 1.5 x 10(3), Dox: 1.6 x 10(6)+/-2.6 x 10(5), LLnL: 1.9 x 10(6) +/- 3.2 x 10(5)RLU/mg protein). As Dox is used clinically in cancer chemotherapy we next assessed the effect of this drug on non-viral lung gene transfer in vivo. CF knockout mice were injected intraperitoneally (IP) with Dox (25-100 mg/kg) immediately before nebulisation with plasmid DNA carrying a luciferase reporter gene under the control of a CMV promoter/enhancer (pCIKLux) complexed to the cationic lipid GL67A. Dox also significantly (p < 0.05) increased expression of a plasmid regulated by an elongation factor 1alpha promoter (hCEFI) approximately 8-fold. Although administration of Dox before lung gene transfer may not be a clinically viable option, understanding how Dox increases lung gene expression may help to shed light on intracellular bottle-necks to gene transfer, and may help to identify other adjuncts that may be more appropriate for use in man. PMID:19152975

  8. Improved retroviral suicide gene transfer in colon cancer cell lines after cell synchronization with methotrexate

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Cancer gene therapy by retroviral vectors is mainly limited by the level of transduction. Retroviral gene transfer requires target cell division. Cell synchronization, obtained by drugs inducing a reversible inhibition of DNA synthesis, could therefore be proposed to precondition target cells to retroviral gene transfer. We tested whether drug-mediated cell synchronization could enhance the transfer efficiency of a retroviral-mediated gene encoding herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (HSV-tk) in two colon cancer cell lines, DHDK12 and HT29. Methods Synchronization was induced by methotrexate (MTX), aracytin (ara-C) or aphidicolin. Gene transfer efficiency was assessed by the level of HSV-TK expression. Transduced cells were driven by ganciclovir (GCV) towards apoptosis that was assessed using annexin V labeling by quantitative flow cytometry. Results DHDK12 and HT29 cells were synchronized in S phase with MTX but not ara-C or aphidicolin. In synchronized DHDK12 and HT29 cells, the HSV-TK transduction rates were 2 and 1.5-fold higher than those obtained in control cells, respectively. Furthermore, the rate of apoptosis was increased two-fold in MTX-treated DHDK12 cells after treatment with GCV. Conclusions Our findings indicate that MTX-mediated synchronization of target cells allowed a significant improvement of retroviral HSV-tk gene transfer, resulting in an increased cell apoptosis in response to GCV. Pharmacological control of cell cycle may thus be a useful strategy to optimize the efficiency of retroviral-mediated cancer gene therapy. PMID:21970612

  9. Comparative gene transfer efficiency of low molecular weight polylysine DNA-condensing peptides.

    PubMed

    McKenzie, D L; Collard, W T; Rice, K G

    1999-10-01

    In a previous report (M.S. Wadhwa et al. (1997) Bioconjugate Chem. 8, 81-88), we synthesized a panel of polylysine-containing peptides and determined that a minimal repeating lysine chain of 18 residues followed by a tryptophan and an alkylated cysteine residue (AlkCWK18) resulted in the formation of optimal size (78 nm diameter) plasmid DNA condensates that mediated efficient in vitro gene transfer. Shorter polylysine chains produced larger DNA condensates and mediated much lower gene expression while longer lysine chains were equivalent to AlkCWK18. Surprisingly, AlkCWK18 (molecular weight 2672) was a much better gene transfer agent than commercially available low molecular weight polylysine (molecular weight 1000-4000), despite its similar molecular weight. Possible explanations were that the cysteine or tryptophan residue in AlkCWK18 contributed to the DNA binding and the formation of small condensates or that the homogeneity of AlkCWK18 relative to low molecular weight polylysine facilitated optimal condensation. To test these hypotheses, the present study prepared AlkCYK18 and K20 and used these to form DNA condensates and conduct in vitro gene transfer. The results established that DNA condensates prepared with either AlkCYK18 or K20 possessed identical particle size and mediated in vitro gene transfer efficiencies that were indistinguishable from AlkCWK18 DNA condensates, eliminating the possibility of contributions from cysteine or tryptophan. However, a detailed chromatographic and electrospray mass spectrometry analysis of low molecular weight polylysine revealed it to possess a much lower than anticipated average chain length of dp 6. Thus, the short chain length of low molecular weight polylysine explains its inability to form small DNA condensates and mediate efficient gene transfer relative to AlkCWK18 DNA condensates. These experiments further emphasize the need to develop homogenous low molecular weight carrier molecules for nonviral gene delivery.

  10. The Kinetic and Thermodynamic Aftermath of Horizontal Gene Transfer Governs Evolutionary Recovery.

    PubMed

    Doore, Sarah M; Fane, Bentley A

    2015-10-01

    Shared host cells can serve as melting pots for viral genomes, giving many phylogenies a web-like appearance due to horizontal gene transfer. However, not all virus families exhibit web-like phylogenies. Microviruses form three distinct clades, represented by φX174, G4, and α3. Here, we investigate protein-based barriers to horizontal gene transfer between clades. We transferred gene G, which encodes a structural protein, between φX174 and G4, and monitored the evolutionary recovery of the resulting chimeras. In both cases, particle assembly was the major barrier after gene transfer. The G4φXG chimera displayed a temperature-sensitive assembly defect that could easily be corrected through single mutations that promote productive assembly. Gene transfer in the other direction was more problematic. The initial φXG4G chimera required an exogenous supply of both the φX174 major spike G and DNA pilot H proteins. Elevated DNA pilot protein levels may be required to compensate for off-pathway reactions that may have become thermodynamically and/or kinetically favored when the foreign spike protein was present. After three targeted genetic selections, the foreign spike protein was productively integrated into the φX174 background. The first adaption involved a global decrease in gene expression. This was followed by modifications affecting key protein-protein interactions that govern assembly. Finally, gene expression was re-elevated. Although the first selection suppresses nonproductive reactions, subsequent selections promote productive assembly and ultimately viability. However, viable chimeric strains exhibited reduced fitness compared with wild-type. This chimera's path to recovery may partially explain how unusual recombinant viruses could persist long enough to naturally emerge.

  11. Regulatory and ethical issues for phase I in utero gene transfer studies.

    PubMed

    Strong, Carson

    2011-11-01

    Clinical gene transfer research has involved adult and child subjects, and it is expected that gene transfer in fetal subjects will occur in the future. Some genetic diseases have serious adverse effects on the fetus before birth, and there is hope that prenatal gene therapy could prevent such disease progression. Research in animal models of prenatal gene transfer is actively being pursued. The prospect of human phase I in utero gene transfer studies raises important regulatory and ethical issues. One issue not previously addressed arises in applying U.S. research regulations to such studies. Specifically, current regulations state that research involving greater than minimal risk to the fetus and no prospect of direct benefit to the fetus or pregnant woman is not permitted. Phase I studies will involve interventions such as needle insertions through the uterus, which carry risks to the fetus including spontaneous abortion and preterm birth. It is possible that these risks will be regarded as exceeding minimal. Also, some regard the probability of therapeutic benefit in phase I studies to be so low that these studies do not satisfy the regulatory requirement that they "hold out the prospect of direct benefit" to subjects. On the basis of these considerations, investigators and institutional review boards might reasonably conclude that some phase I in utero studies are not to be permitted. This paper identifies considerations that are relevant to such judgments and explores ethically acceptable ways in which phase I studies can be designed so that they are permitted by the regulations.

  12. Widespread Horizontal Gene Transfer from Circular Single-stranded DNA Viruses to Eukaryotic Genomes

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In addition to vertical transmission, organisms can also acquire genes from other distantly related species or from their extra-chromosomal elements (plasmids and viruses) via horizontal gene transfer (HGT). It has been suggested that phages represent substantial forces in prokaryotic evolution. In eukaryotes, retroviruses, which can integrate into host genome as an obligate step in their replication strategy, comprise approximately 8% of the human genome. Unlike retroviruses, few members of other virus families are known to transfer genes to host genomes. Results Here we performed a systematic search for sequences related to circular single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viruses in publicly available eukaryotic genome databases followed by comprehensive phylogenetic analysis. We conclude that the replication initiation protein (Rep)-related sequences of geminiviruses, nanoviruses and circoviruses have been frequently transferred to a broad range of eukaryotic species, including plants, fungi, animals and protists. Some of the transferred viral genes were conserved and expressed, suggesting that these genes have been coopted to assume cellular functions in the host genomes. We also identified geminivirus-like and parvovirus-like transposable elements in genomes of fungi and lower animals, respectively, and thereby provide direct evidence that eukaryotic transposons could derive from ssDNA viruses. Conclusions Our discovery extends the host range of circular ssDNA viruses and sheds light on the origin and evolution of these viruses. It also suggests that ssDNA viruses act as an unforeseen source of genetic innovation in their hosts. PMID:21943216

  13. Bacteriophage Mediates Efficient Gene Transfer in Combination with Conventional Transfection Reagents.

    PubMed

    Donnelly, Amanda; Yata, Teerapong; Bentayebi, Kaoutar; Suwan, Keittisak; Hajitou, Amin

    2015-12-01

    The development of commercially available transfection reagents for gene transfer applications has revolutionized the field of molecular biology and scientific research. However, the challenge remains in ensuring that they are efficient, safe, reproducible and cost effective. Bacteriophage (phage)-based viral vectors have the potential to be utilized for general gene transfer applications within research and industry. Yet, they require adaptations in order to enable them to efficiently enter cells and overcome mammalian cellular barriers, as they infect bacteria only; furthermore, limited progress has been made at increasing their efficiency. The production of a novel hybrid nanocomplex system consisting of two different nanomaterial systems, phage vectors and conventional transfection reagents, could overcome these limitations. Here we demonstrate that the combination of cationic lipids, cationic polymers or calcium phosphate with M13 bacteriophage-derived vectors, engineered to carry a mammalian transgene cassette, resulted in increased cellular attachment, entry and improved transgene expression in human cells. Moreover, addition of a targeting ligand into the nanocomplex system, through genetic engineering of the phage capsid further increased gene expression and was effective in a stable cell line generation application. Overall, this new hybrid nanocomplex system (i) provides enhanced phage-mediated gene transfer; (ii) is applicable for laboratory transfection processes and (iii) shows promise within industry for large-scale gene transfer applications. PMID:26670247

  14. Bacteriophage Mediates Efficient Gene Transfer in Combination with Conventional Transfection Reagents

    PubMed Central

    Donnelly, Amanda; Yata, Teerapong; Bentayebi, Kaoutar; Suwan, Keittisak; Hajitou, Amin

    2015-01-01

    The development of commercially available transfection reagents for gene transfer applications has revolutionized the field of molecular biology and scientific research. However, the challenge remains in ensuring that they are efficient, safe, reproducible and cost effective. Bacteriophage (phage)-based viral vectors have the potential to be utilized for general gene transfer applications within research and industry. Yet, they require adaptations in order to enable them to efficiently enter cells and overcome mammalian cellular barriers, as they infect bacteria only; furthermore, limited progress has been made at increasing their efficiency. The production of a novel hybrid nanocomplex system consisting of two different nanomaterial systems, phage vectors and conventional transfection reagents, could overcome these limitations. Here we demonstrate that the combination of cationic lipids, cationic polymers or calcium phosphate with M13 bacteriophage-derived vectors, engineered to carry a mammalian transgene cassette, resulted in increased cellular attachment, entry and improved transgene expression in human cells. Moreover, addition of a targeting ligand into the nanocomplex system, through genetic engineering of the phage capsid further increased gene expression and was effective in a stable cell line generation application. Overall, this new hybrid nanocomplex system (i) provides enhanced phage-mediated gene transfer; (ii) is applicable for laboratory transfection processes and (iii) shows promise within industry for large-scale gene transfer applications. PMID:26670247

  15. The Writer's Individualized Transfer Tool: A Freeware Innovation for Fostering and Researching Transfer of Writing Skills and Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khost, Peter H.

    2015-01-01

    Most higher education institutions lack a program that promotes students' transfer--that is, reapplication or repurposing--of writing skills and knowledge across the curriculum, a phenomenon that research shows does not tend to happen without deliberate sustained support. This article introduces an online instrument, the Writer's Individualized…

  16. Fishing for biodiversity: novel methanopterin-linked C transfer genes deduced from the Sargasso Sea metagenome.

    PubMed

    Kalyuzhnaya, Marina G; Nercessian, Olivier; Lapidus, Alla; Chistoserdova, Ludmila

    2005-12-01

    The recently generated database of microbial genes from an oligotrophic environment populated by a calculated 1800 major phylotypes (the Sargasso Sea metagenome-SSM) presents a great source for expanding local databases of genes indicative of a specific function. In this article we analyse the SSM for the presence of methanopterin-linked C1 transfer genes that are signature for methylotrophy. We conclude that more than 10 phylotypes possessing genes of interest are present in this environment. The sequences representative of these major phylotypes do not appear to belong to any known microbial group capable of methanopterin-linked C1 transfer. Instead, these sequences separate from all known sequences on phylogenetic trees, pointing toward their affiliation with novel microbial phyla. These data imply a broader distribution of methanopterin-linked functions in the microbial world than has been previously known.

  17. Endosperm transfer cell-specific genes and proteins: structure, function and applications in biotechnology

    PubMed Central

    Lopato, Sergiy; Borisjuk, Nikolai; Langridge, Peter; Hrmova, Maria

    2014-01-01

    Endosperm transfer cells (ETC) are one of four main types of cells in endosperm. A characteristic feature of ETC is the presence of cell wall in-growths that create an enlarged plasma membrane surface area. This specialized cell structure is important for the specific function of ETC, which is to transfer nutrients from maternal vascular tissue to endosperm. ETC-specific genes are of particular interest to plant biotechnologists, who use genetic engineering to improve grain quality and yield characteristics of important field crops. The success of molecular biology-based approaches to manipulating ETC function is dependent on a thorough understanding of the functions of ETC-specific genes and ETC-specific promoters. The aim of this review is to summarize the existing data on structure and function of ETC-specific genes and their products. Potential applications of ETC-specific genes, and in particular their promoters for biotechnology will be discussed. PMID:24578704

  18. Collective evolution of cyanobacteria and cyanophages mediated by horizontal gene transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shih, Hong-Yan; Rogers, Tim; Goldenfeld, Nigel

    We describe a model for how antagonistic predator-prey coevolution can lead to mutualistic adaptation to an environment, as a result of horizontal gene transfer. Our model is a simple description of ecosystems such as marine cyanobacteria and their predator cyanophages, which carry photosynthesis genes. These genes evolve more rapidly in the virosphere than the bacterial pan-genome, and thus the bacterial population could potentially benefit from phage predation. By modeling both the barrier to predation and horizontal gene transfer, we study this balance between individual sacrifice and collective benefits. The outcome is an emergent mutualistic coevolution of improved photosynthesis capability, benefiting both bacteria and phage. This form of multi-level selection can contribute to niche stratification in the cyanobacteria-phage ecosystem. This work is supported in part by a cooperative agreement with NASA, Grant NNA13AA91A/A0018.

  19. Gene network inference and visualization tools for biologists: application to new human transcriptome datasets

    PubMed Central

    Hurley, Daniel; Araki, Hiromitsu; Tamada, Yoshinori; Dunmore, Ben; Sanders, Deborah; Humphreys, Sally; Affara, Muna; Imoto, Seiya; Yasuda, Kaori; Tomiyasu, Yuki; Tashiro, Kosuke; Savoie, Christopher; Cho, Vicky; Smith, Stephen; Kuhara, Satoru; Miyano, Satoru; Charnock-Jones, D. Stephen; Crampin, Edmund J.; Print, Cristin G.

    2012-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks inferred from RNA abundance data have generated significant interest, but despite this, gene network approaches are used infrequently and often require input from bioinformaticians. We have assembled a suite of tools for analysing regulatory networks, and we illustrate their use with microarray datasets generated in human endothelial cells. We infer a range of regulatory networks, and based on this analysis discuss the strengths and limitations of network inference from RNA abundance data. We welcome contact from researchers interested in using our inference and visualization tools to answer biological questions. PMID:22121215

  20. Systematic Search for Evidence of Interdomain Horizontal Gene Transfer from Prokaryotes to Oomycete Lineages.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, Charley G P; Fitzpatrick, David A

    2016-01-01

    While most commonly associated with prokaryotes, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) can also have a significant influence on the evolution of microscopic eukaryotes. Systematic analysis of HGT in the genomes of the oomycetes, filamentous eukaryotic microorganisms in the Stramenopiles-Alveolates-Rhizaria (SAR) supergroup, has to date focused mainly on intradomain transfer events between oomycetes and fungi. Using systematic whole-genome analysis followed by phylogenetic reconstruction, we have investigated the extent of interdomain HGT between bacteria and plant-pathogenic oomycetes. We report five putative instances of HGT from bacteria into the oomycetes. Two transfers were found in Phytophthora species, including one unique to the cucurbit pathogen Phytophthora capsici. Two were found in Pythium species only, and the final transfer event was present in Phytopythium and Pythium species, the first reported bacterium-inherited genes in these genera. Our putative transfers included one protein that appears to be a member of the Pythium secretome, metabolic proteins, and enzymes that could potentially break down xenobiotics within the cell. Our findings complement both previous reports of bacterial genes in oomycete and SAR genomes and the growing body of evidence suggesting that interdomain transfer from prokaryotes into eukaryotes occurs more frequently than previously thought. IMPORTANCE Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the nonvertical inheritance of genetic material by transfer between different species. HGT is an important evolutionary mechanism for prokaryotes and in some cases is responsible for the spread of antibiotic resistance from resistant to benign species. Genome analysis has shown that examples of HGT are not as frequent in eukaryotes, but when they do occur they may have important evolutionary consequences. For example, the acquisition of fungal genes by an ancestral Phytophthora (plant destroyer) species is responsible for the large repertoire of

  1. Systematic Search for Evidence of Interdomain Horizontal Gene Transfer from Prokaryotes to Oomycete Lineages

    PubMed Central

    McCarthy, Charley G. P.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT While most commonly associated with prokaryotes, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) can also have a significant influence on the evolution of microscopic eukaryotes. Systematic analysis of HGT in the genomes of the oomycetes, filamentous eukaryotic microorganisms in the Stramenopiles-Alveolates-Rhizaria (SAR) supergroup, has to date focused mainly on intradomain transfer events between oomycetes and fungi. Using systematic whole-genome analysis followed by phylogenetic reconstruction, we have investigated the extent of interdomain HGT between bacteria and plant-pathogenic oomycetes. We report five putative instances of HGT from bacteria into the oomycetes. Two transfers were found in Phytophthora species, including one unique to the cucurbit pathogen Phytophthora capsici. Two were found in Pythium species only, and the final transfer event was present in Phytopythium and Pythium species, the first reported bacterium-inherited genes in these genera. Our putative transfers included one protein that appears to be a member of the Pythium secretome, metabolic proteins, and enzymes that could potentially break down xenobiotics within the cell. Our findings complement both previous reports of bacterial genes in oomycete and SAR genomes and the growing body of evidence suggesting that interdomain transfer from prokaryotes into eukaryotes occurs more frequently than previously thought. IMPORTANCE Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the nonvertical inheritance of genetic material by transfer between different species. HGT is an important evolutionary mechanism for prokaryotes and in some cases is responsible for the spread of antibiotic resistance from resistant to benign species. Genome analysis has shown that examples of HGT are not as frequent in eukaryotes, but when they do occur they may have important evolutionary consequences. For example, the acquisition of fungal genes by an ancestral Phytophthora (plant destroyer) species is responsible for the large repertoire

  2. Systematic Search for Evidence of Interdomain Horizontal Gene Transfer from Prokaryotes to Oomycete Lineages

    PubMed Central

    McCarthy, Charley G. P.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT While most commonly associated with prokaryotes, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) can also have a significant influence on the evolution of microscopic eukaryotes. Systematic analysis of HGT in the genomes of the oomycetes, filamentous eukaryotic microorganisms in the Stramenopiles-Alveolates-Rhizaria (SAR) supergroup, has to date focused mainly on intradomain transfer events between oomycetes and fungi. Using systematic whole-genome analysis followed by phylogenetic reconstruction, we have investigated the extent of interdomain HGT between bacteria and plant-pathogenic oomycetes. We report five putative instances of HGT from bacteria into the oomycetes. Two transfers were found in Phytophthora species, including one unique to the cucurbit pathogen Phytophthora capsici. Two were found in Pythium species only, and the final transfer event was present in Phytopythium and Pythium species, the first reported bacterium-inherited genes in these genera. Our putative transfers included one protein that appears to be a member of the Pythium secretome, metabolic proteins, and enzymes that could potentially break down xenobiotics within the cell. Our findings complement both previous reports of bacterial genes in oomycete and SAR genomes and the growing body of evidence suggesting that interdomain transfer from prokaryotes into eukaryotes occurs more frequently than previously thought. IMPORTANCE Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the nonvertical inheritance of genetic material by transfer between different species. HGT is an important evolutionary mechanism for prokaryotes and in some cases is responsible for the spread of antibiotic resistance from resistant to benign species. Genome analysis has shown that examples of HGT are not as frequent in eukaryotes, but when they do occur they may have important evolutionary consequences. For example, the acquisition of fungal genes by an ancestral Phytophthora (plant destroyer) species is responsible for the large repertoire

  3. Systematic Search for Evidence of Interdomain Horizontal Gene Transfer from Prokaryotes to Oomycete Lineages.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, Charley G P; Fitzpatrick, David A

    2016-01-01

    While most commonly associated with prokaryotes, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) can also have a significant influence on the evolution of microscopic eukaryotes. Systematic analysis of HGT in the genomes of the oomycetes, filamentous eukaryotic microorganisms in the Stramenopiles-Alveolates-Rhizaria (SAR) supergroup, has to date focused mainly on intradomain transfer events between oomycetes and fungi. Using systematic whole-genome analysis followed by phylogenetic reconstruction, we have investigated the extent of interdomain HGT between bacteria and plant-pathogenic oomycetes. We report five putative instances of HGT from bacteria into the oomycetes. Two transfers were found in Phytophthora species, including one unique to the cucurbit pathogen Phytophthora capsici. Two were found in Pythium species only, and the final transfer event was present in Phytopythium and Pythium species, the first reported bacterium-inherited genes in these genera. Our putative transfers included one protein that appears to be a member of the Pythium secretome, metabolic proteins, and enzymes that could potentially break down xenobiotics within the cell. Our findings complement both previous reports of bacterial genes in oomycete and SAR genomes and the growing body of evidence suggesting that interdomain transfer from prokaryotes into eukaryotes occurs more frequently than previously thought. IMPORTANCE Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the nonvertical inheritance of genetic material by transfer between different species. HGT is an important evolutionary mechanism for prokaryotes and in some cases is responsible for the spread of antibiotic resistance from resistant to benign species. Genome analysis has shown that examples of HGT are not as frequent in eukaryotes, but when they do occur they may have important evolutionary consequences. For example, the acquisition of fungal genes by an ancestral Phytophthora (plant destroyer) species is responsible for the large repertoire of

  4. The Transfer Function Model (TFM) as a Tool for Simulating Gravity Wave Phenomena in the Mesosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, H.; Mayr, H.; Moore, J.; Wilson, S.; Armaly, A.

    2008-12-01

    The Transfer Function Model (TFM) is semi-analytical and linear, and it is designed to describe the acoustic gravity waves (GW) propagating over the globe and from the ground to 600 km under the influence of vertical temperature variations. Wave interactions with the flow are not accounted for. With an expansion in terms of frequency-dependent spherical harmonics, the time consuming vertical integration of the conservation equations is reduced to computing the transfer function (TF). (The applied lower and upper boundary conditions assure that spurious wave reflections will not occur.) The TF describes the dynamical properties of the medium divorced from the complexities of the temporal and horizontal variations of the excitation source. Given the TF, the atmospheric response to a chosen source is then obtained in short order to simulate the GW propagating through the atmosphere over the globe. In the past, this model has been applied to study auroral processes, which produce distinct wave phenomena such as: (1) standing lamb modes that propagate horizontally in the viscous medium of the thermosphere, (2) waves generated in the auroral oval that experience geometric amplification propagating to the pole where constructive interference generates secondary waves that propagate equatorward, (3) ducted modes propagating through the middle atmosphere that leak back into the thermosphere, and (4) GWs reflected from the Earth's surface that reach the thermosphere in a narrow propagation cone. Well-defined spectral features characterize these wave modes in the TF to provide analytical understanding. We propose the TFM as a tool for simulating GW in the mesosphere and in particular the features observed in Polar Mesospheric Clouds (PMC). With present-day computers, it takes less than one hour to compute the TF, so that there is virtually no practical limitation on the source configurations that can be applied and tested in the lower atmosphere. And there is no limitation on

  5. Interfamily transfer of dual NB-LRR genes confers resistance to multiple pathogens.

    PubMed

    Narusaka, Mari; Kubo, Yasuyuki; Hatakeyama, Katsunori; Imamura, Jun; Ezura, Hiroshi; Nanasato, Yoshihiko; Tabei, Yutaka; Takano, Yoshitaka; Shirasu, Ken; Narusaka, Yoshihiro

    2013-01-01

    A major class of disease resistance (R) genes which encode nucleotide binding and leucine rich repeat (NB-LRR) proteins have been used in traditional breeding programs for crop protection. However, it has been difficult to functionally transfer NB-LRR-type R genes in taxonomically distinct families. Here we demonstrate that a pair of Arabidopsis (Brassicaceae) NB-LRR-type R genes, RPS4 and RRS1, properly function in two other Brassicaceae, Brassica rapa and Brassica napus, but also in two Solanaceae, Nicotiana benthamiana and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). The solanaceous plants transformed with RPS4/RRS1 confer bacterial effector-specific immunity responses. Furthermore, RPS4 and RRS1, which confer resistance to a fungal pathogen Colletotrichum higginsianum in Brassicaceae, also protect against Colletotrichum orbiculare in cucumber (Cucurbitaceae). Importantly, RPS4/RRS1 transgenic plants show no autoimmune phenotypes, indicating that the NB-LRR proteins are tightly regulated. The successful transfer of two R genes at the family level implies that the downstream components of R genes are highly conserved. The functional interfamily transfer of R genes can be a powerful strategy for providing resistance to a broad range of pathogens.

  6. Gene Transfer and the Reconstruction of Life's Early History from Genomic Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gogarten, J. Peter; Fournier, Gregory; Zhaxybayeva, Olga

    2008-03-01

    The metaphor of the unique and strictly bifurcating tree of life, suggested by Charles Darwin, needs to be replaced (or at least amended) to reflect and include processes that lead to the merging of and communication between independent lines of descent. Gene histories include and reflect processes such as gene transfer, symbioses and lineage fusion. No single molecule can serve as a proxy for the tree of life. Individual gene histories can be reconstructed from the growing molecular databases containing sequence and structural information. With some simplifications these gene histories can be represented by furcating trees; however, merging these gene histories into web-like organismal histories, including the transfer of metabolic pathways and cell biological innovations from now-extinct lineages, has yet to be accomplished. Because of these difficulties in interpreting the record retained in molecular sequences, correlations with biochemical fossils and with the geological record need to be interpreted with caution. Advances to detect and pinpoint transfer events promise to untangle at least a few of the intertwined histories of individual genes within organisms and trace them to the organismal ancestors. Furthermore, analysis of the shape of molecular phylogenetic trees may point towards organismal radiations that might reflect early mass extinction events that occurred on a planetary scale.

  7. Poxvirus protein evolution: Family-wide assessment of possible horizontal gene transfer events

    PubMed Central

    Odom, Mary R.; Hendrickson, R. Curtis; Lefkowitz, Elliot J.

    2009-01-01

    To investigate the evolutionary origins of proteins encoded by the Poxviridae family of viruses, we examined all poxvirus protein coding genes using a method of characterizing and visualizing the similarity between these proteins and taxonomic subsets of proteins in GenBank. Our analysis divides poxvirus proteins into categories based on their relative degree of similarity to two different taxonomic subsets of proteins such as all eukaryote vs. all virus (except poxvirus) proteins. As an example, this allows us to identify, based on high similarity to only eukaryote proteins, poxvirus proteins that may have been obtained by horizontal transfer from their hosts. Although this method alone does not definitively prove horizontal gene transfer, it allows us to provide an assessment of the possibility of horizontal gene transfer for every poxvirus protein. Potential candidates can then be individually studied in more detail during subsequent investigation. Results of our analysis demonstrate that in general, proteins encoded by members of the subfamily Chordopoxvirinae exhibit greater similarity to eukaryote proteins than to proteins of other virus families. In addition, our results reiterate the important role played by host gene capture in poxvirus evolution; highlight the functions of many genes poxviruses share with their hosts; and illustrate which host-like genes are present uniquely in poxviruses and which are also present in other virus families. PMID:19464330

  8. Gene Transfer and the Reconstruction of Life's Early History from Genomic Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gogarten, J. Peter; Fournier, Gregory; Zhaxybayeva, Olga

    The metaphor of the unique and strictly bifurcating tree of life, suggested by Charles Darwin, needs to be replaced (or at least amended) to reflect and include processes that lead to the merging of and communication between independent lines of descent. Gene histories include and reflect processes such as gene transfer, symbioses and lineage fusion. No single molecule can serve as a proxy for the tree of life. Individual gene histories can be reconstructed from the growing molecular databases containing sequence and structural information. With some simplifications these gene histories can be represented by furcating trees; however, merging these gene histories into web-like organismal histories, including the transfer of metabolic pathways and cell biological innovations from now-extinct lineages, has yet to be accomplished. Because of these difficulties in interpreting the record retained in molecular sequences, correlations with biochemical fossils and with the geological record need to be interpreted with caution. Advances to detect and pinpoint transfer events promise to untangle at least a few of the intertwined histories of individual genes within organisms and trace them to the organismal ancestors. Furthermore, analysis of the shape of molecular phylogenetic trees may point towards organismal radiations that might reflect early mass extinction events that occurred on a planetary scale.

  9. Preventing High Fat Diet-induced Obesity and Improving Insulin Sensitivity through Neuregulin 4 Gene Transfer.

    PubMed

    Ma, Yongjie; Gao, Mingming; Liu, Dexi

    2016-01-01

    Neuregulin 4 (NRG4), an epidermal growth factor-like signaling molecule, plays an important role in cell-to-cell communication during tissue development. Its function to regulate energy metabolism has recently been reported. This current study was designed to assess the preventive and therapeutic effects of NRG4 overexpression on high fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity. Using the hydrodynamic gene transfer method, we demonstrate that Nrg4 gene transfer in mice suppressed the development of diet-induced obesity, but did not affect pre-existing adiposity and body weight in obese mice. Nrg4 gene transfer curbed HFD-induced hepatic steatosis by inhibiting lipogenesis and PPARγ-mediated lipid storage. Concurrently, overexpression of NRG4 reduced chronic inflammation in both preventive and treatment studies, evidenced by lower mRNA levels of macrophage marker genes including F4/80, Cd68, Cd11b, Cd11c, and macrophage chemokine Mcp1, resulting in improved insulin sensitivity. Collectively, these results demonstrate that overexpression of the Nrg4 gene by hydrodynamic gene delivery prevents HFD-induced weight gain and fatty liver, alleviates obesity-induced chronic inflammation and insulin resistance, and supports the health benefits of NRG4 in managing obesity and obesity-associated metabolic disorders. PMID:27184920

  10. Preventing High Fat Diet-induced Obesity and Improving Insulin Sensitivity through Neuregulin 4 Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Yongjie; Gao, Mingming; Liu, Dexi

    2016-01-01

    Neuregulin 4 (NRG4), an epidermal growth factor-like signaling molecule, plays an important role in cell-to-cell communication during tissue development. Its function to regulate energy metabolism has recently been reported. This current study was designed to assess the preventive and therapeutic effects of NRG4 overexpression on high fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity. Using the hydrodynamic gene transfer method, we demonstrate that Nrg4 gene transfer in mice suppressed the development of diet-induced obesity, but did not affect pre-existing adiposity and body weight in obese mice. Nrg4 gene transfer curbed HFD-induced hepatic steatosis by inhibiting lipogenesis and PPARγ-mediated lipid storage. Concurrently, overexpression of NRG4 reduced chronic inflammation in both preventive and treatment studies, evidenced by lower mRNA levels of macrophage marker genes including F4/80, Cd68, Cd11b, Cd11c, and macrophage chemokine Mcp1, resulting in improved insulin sensitivity. Collectively, these results demonstrate that overexpression of the Nrg4 gene by hydrodynamic gene delivery prevents HFD-induced weight gain and fatty liver, alleviates obesity-induced chronic inflammation and insulin resistance, and supports the health benefits of NRG4 in managing obesity and obesity-associated metabolic disorders. PMID:27184920

  11. Lentiviral transgenesis--a versatile tool for basic research and gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Pfeifer, Alexander

    2006-08-01

    Transgenic animals are of outstanding relevance for medical sciences, because they can be used to model human diseases and to develop gene therapy strategies. A recent development is lentiviral transgenesis: The generation of transgenic animals by lentiviral transduction of oocytes or early embryos. Lentiviral transgenesis is an efficient method to express transgenes in mice and rats as well as in biomedically relevant livestock. Thus, the applications of this technology range from the generation of disease models to gene pharming for human proteins. An important extension of viral transgenesis is the combination of lentiviral gene transfer with RNA interference. Thereby, expression of specific genes can be silenced and loss-of-function models can be generated. Finally, lentiviral transgenic animals can be used to directly evaluate gene therapy strategies that are based on lentiviral vectors prior to their use in humans.

  12. Lentiviral transgenesis--a versatile tool for basic research and gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Pfeifer, Alexander

    2006-08-01

    Transgenic animals are of outstanding relevance for medical sciences, because they can be used to model human diseases and to develop gene therapy strategies. A recent development is lentiviral transgenesis: The generation of transgenic animals by lentiviral transduction of oocytes or early embryos. Lentiviral transgenesis is an efficient method to express transgenes in mice and rats as well as in biomedically relevant livestock. Thus, the applications of this technology range from the generation of disease models to gene pharming for human proteins. An important extension of viral transgenesis is the combination of lentiviral gene transfer with RNA interference. Thereby, expression of specific genes can be silenced and loss-of-function models can be generated. Finally, lentiviral transgenic animals can be used to directly evaluate gene therapy strategies that are based on lentiviral vectors prior to their use in humans. PMID:16918338

  13. Horizontal Gene Transfer of the Non-ribosomal Peptide Synthetase Gene Among Endophytic and Epiphytic Bacteria Associated with Ethnomedicinal Plants.

    PubMed

    Nongkhlaw, Fenella Mary War; Joshi, S R

    2016-01-01

    This study genetically screened endophytic and epiphytic bacteria associated with ethnomedicinal plants for the presence of the non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) gene and identified horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of the NRPS gene between the bacterial species. NRPSs are large multimodular enzymes that synthesize a wide range of biologically active natural compounds that are pharmacologically important. Twenty-nine plant-associated culturable bacteria were screened for the presence of the NRPS gene, of which seven bacterial NRPS gene fragments were successfully detected. According to our findings the presence of NRPS gene among the isolates does not always equate to their antagonistic ability. Phylogenetic analysis of the NRPS and 16S rRNA-encoding genes was used to predict HGT that may have occurred during gene evolution. The occurrence of HGT was demonstrated in the isolates (one inter-phylum and four intra-phyla) and was supported by phylogenetic analysis, mol% G+C content, and tetranucleotide usage pattern and codon usage frequency. Among the four intra-phyla HGT, one isolate showed inter-class HGT and three other isolates showed intra-class HGT.

  14. Identification of tool use acquisition-associated genes in the primate neocortex.

    PubMed

    Matsunaga, Eiji; Nambu, Sanae; Oka, Mariko; Tanaka, Michio; Taoka, Miki; Iriki, Atsushi

    2015-08-01

    Japanese macaques are able to learn how to use rakes to take food after only a few weeks of training. Since tool-use training induced rapid morphological changes in some restricted brain areas, this system will be a good model for studying the neural basis of plasticity in human brains. To examine the mechanisms of tool-use associated brain expansion on the molecular and cellular level, here, we performed comprehensive analysis of gene expressions with microarray. We identified various transcripts showing differential expression between trained and untrained monkeys in the region around the lateral and intraparietal sulci. Among candidates, we focused on genes related to synapse formation and function. Using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and histochemical analysis, we confirmed at least three genes (ADAM19, SPON2, and WIF1) with statistically different expression levels in neurons and glial cells. Comparative analysis revealed that tool use-associated genes were more obviously expressed in macaque monkeys than marmosets or mice. Thus, our findings suggest that cognitive tasks induce structural changes in the neocortex via gene expression, and that learning-associated genes innately differ with relation to learning ability.

  15. Operon Formation is Driven by Co-Regulation and Not by Horizontal Gene Transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Price, Morgan N.; Huang, Katherine H.; Arkin, Adam P.; Alm, Eric J.

    2005-04-12

    Although operons are often subject to horizontal gene transfer (HGT), non-HGT genes are particularly likely to be in operons. To resolve this apparent discrepancy and to determine whether HGT is involved in operon formation, we examined the evolutionary history of the genes and operons in Escherichia coli K12. We show that genes that have homologs in distantly related bacteria but not in close relatives of E. coli (indicating HGTi) form new operons at about the same rates as native genes. Furthermore, genes in new operons are no more likely than other genes to have phylogenetic trees that are inconsistent with the species tree. In contrast, essential genes and ubiquitous genes without paralogs (genes believed to undergo HGT rarely) often form new operons. We conclude that HGT is not associated with operon formation, but instead promotes the prevalence of pre-existing operons. To explain operon formation, we propose that new operons reduce the amount of regulatory information required to specify optimal expression patterns. Consistent with this hypothesis, operons have greater amounts of conserved regulatory sequences than do individually transcribed genes.

  16. Lateral gene transfer, lineage-specific gene expansion and the evolution of Nucleo Cytoplasmic Large DNA viruses.

    PubMed

    Filée, Jonathan

    2009-07-01

    Nucleo Cytoplasmic Large DNA viruses (NCLDVs) are a diverse group that infects a wide range of eukaryotic hosts (for example, vertebrates, insects, protists,...) and also show a huge range in genome size (between 100kb and 1.2Mb). Here I review some recent results that shed light on the origin and genome evolution of these viruses. Current data suggests that NCLDVs could have originated from a simple and ancient viral ancestor with a small subset of 30-35 genes encoding replication and structural proteins. Subsequent lateral gene transfer of both cellular genes and diverse families of Mobile Genetic Elements, followed by massive lineage-specific gene duplications is probably responsible for the huge diversity of genome size and composition found in extant NCLDVs.

  17. Definition of the ovalbumin gene promoter by transfer of an ovalglobin fusion gene into cultured cells.

    PubMed Central

    Knoll, B J; Zarucki-Schulz, T; Dean, D C; O'Malley, B W

    1983-01-01

    In order to study the initiation of transcription from the ovalbumin gene promoter, we constructed a hybrid gene (ovalglobin) in which 753 bps of ovalbumin gene 5'-flanking sequence were joined to the chicken adult beta-globin gene. When transfected into HeLa S3 cells, ovalglobin gene transcription initiated at the ovalbumin gene cap site, as measured by S1 nuclease and primer extension analysis. Deletion of 5'-flanking sequences to position -95 had little effect on transcription; deletion to -77 reduced transcription to about 20% of the wild type level and deletion to -48 reduced the level to about 2%. A deletion to -24, removing the sequence TATATAT, abolished transcription entirely. Hormonal regulation of the ovalglobin gene was observed when primary oviduct cells were used as recipients for DNA transfection. Under these conditions, addition of progesterone increased the level of ovalglobin transcripts to more than 10 times the uninduced level. Images PMID:6314256

  18. Gene transfer on inorganic/organic hybrid silica nanosheets.

    PubMed

    Huang, Nien-Chi; Ji, Qingmin; Yamazaki, Tomohiko; Nakanishi, Waka; Hanagata, Nobutaka; Ariga, Katsuhiko; Hsu, Shan-hui

    2015-10-14

    Gene delivery is often accomplished by the forward or reverse transfection protocol. In either protocol, a transfection reagent (usually cationic) is added to increase the delivery efficiency. In this study, we employed a series of nanosheet networks to facilitate the delivery of naked plasmid DNA into human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). By adding different chemicals into the reaction mixture for etching the silica glass, we were able to fabricate inorganic/organic hybrid nanosheet networks with different physico-chemical characteristics. We then analyzed the transfection efficiency on different nanosheets and the possible dependence of the transfection efficiency on the physico-chemical parameters of nanosheets. The results showed that all nanosheet networks were noncytotoxic and demonstrated a high cell survival rate (∼90%) after transfection. The transfection efficiency was critically determined by the aspect ratio (height/thickness of the wall) of the nanosheets. The effects of chemistry or other surface properties were not significant. Moreover, the transfection efficiency may be successfully predicted by the initial cell migration rate and the activation of integrin β3 on the nanosheets. Compared to the conventional method, transfection using concurrent cell/plasmid seeding on the nanosheets is not only more effective but also much safer. Future efforts may focus on combining the inorganic/organic hybrid nanosheets with soft substrates for in situ transfection. PMID:26365825

  19. The use of carboxymethylcellulose gel to increase non-viral gene transfer in mouse airways

    PubMed Central

    Griesenbach, Uta; Meng, Cuixiang; Farley, Raymond; Wasowicz, Marguerite; Munkonge, Felix M; Chan, Mario; Stoneham, Charlotte; Sumner-Jones, Stephanie; Pringle, Ian A.; Gill, Deborah R.; Hyde, Stephen C.; Stevenson, Barbara; Holder, Emma; Ban, Hiroshi; Hasegawa, Mamoru; Cheng, Seng H; Scheule, Ronald K; Sinn, Patrick L; McCray, Paul B; Alton, Eric WFW

    2014-01-01

    We have assessed whether viscoelastic gels known to inhibit mucociliary clearance can increase lipid-mediated gene transfer. Methylcellulose or carboxymethylcellulose (0.25 to 1.5%) were mixed with complexes of the cationic lipid GL67A and plasmids encoding luciferase and perfused onto the nasal epithelium of mice. Survival after perfusion with 1% CMC or1% MC was 90 and 100%, respectively. In contrast 1.5% CMC was uniformly lethal likely due to the viscous solution blocking the airways. Perfusion with 0.5% CMC containing lipid/DNA complexes reproducibly increased gene expression by approximately 3-fold (n= 16, p<0.05). Given this benefit, likely related to increased duration of contact, we also assessed the effect of prolonging contact time of the liposome/DNA complexes by delivering our standard 80 μg DNA dose over either approximately 22 or 60 min of perfusion. This independently increased gene transfer by 6-fold (n=8, p<0.05) and could be further enhanced by the addition of 0.5% CMC, leading to an overall 25-fold enhancement (n=8, p<0.001) in gene expression. As a result of these interventions CFTR transgene mRNA transgene levels were increased several logs above background. Interestingly, this did not lead to correction of the ion transport defects in the nasal epithelium of cystic fibrosis mice nor for immunohistochemical quantification of CFTR expression. To assess if 0.5% CMC also increased gene transfer in the mouse lung, we used whole body nebulisation chambers. CMC was nebulised for 1 hr immediately before, or simultaneously with GL67A/pCIKLux. The former did not increase gene transfer, whereas co-administration significantly increased gene transfer by 4-fold (p<0.0001, n=18). This study suggests that contact time of non-viral gene transfer agents is a key factor for gene delivery, and suggests two methods which may be translatable for use in man. PMID:20022367

  20. Study of Lateral Gene Transfer in an Acid Mine Drainage Community Enabled by Comparative Genomics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hugenholtz, P.; Croft, L.; Tyson, G. W.; Baker, B. J.; Detter, C.; Richardson, P. M.; Banfield, J. F.

    2002-12-01

    Lateral gene transfer (LGT) is thought to play a crucial role in the ecology and evolution of prokaryotes. We are investigating the role of LGT in an acid mine drainage community hosted in a pyrite-dominated metal sulfide deposit at the Richmond mine at Iron Mountain, CA. Due to biologically-mediated pyrite dissolution, the prevailing conditions within the mine are extremely low pH (< 1.0), very high ionic concentrations (molar concentrations of iron sulfate and mM concentrations of arsenic, copper and zinc), and moderate to high temperatures (30 to >50 C). These conditions are thought to largely isolate the community from potential external gene donors since naked DNA, phage and prokaryotes native to neutral pH habitats do not persist at pH <1.0 precluding an external influx of genes by transformation, transduction and conjugation, respectively. Microbial communities exist in several distinct habitats within Richmond mine including biofilms (subaqueous slime streamers and subaerial slimes) and cells attached directly to pyrite granules. This, however, belies an unusual simplicity in community composition. All communities investigated to date comprise only a handful of phylogenetically distinct organisms, typically dominated by the iron-oxidizing genera Leptospirillum and Ferroplasma. We have undertaken a community genomics analysis of a subaerial biofilm dominated by a Leptospirillum population to facilitate the study of LGT in this type of environment. The genome of Ferroplasma acidarmanus fer1, a minor component of the target community (but a major component of other Richmond mine communities), has been sequenced. Comparative genome analyses indicate that F. acidarmanus and the ancestor of two acidophilic Thermoplasma species belonging to the Euryarchaeota have traded many genes with phylogenetically remote acidophilic Sulfolobus species (Crenarchaeota). The putatively transferred sets of Sulfolobus genes in Ferroplasma and the Thermoplasma ancestor are distinct

  1. Lateral Gene Transfer and Gene Duplication Played a Key Role in the Evolution of Mastigamoeba balamuthi Hydrogenosomes

    PubMed Central

    Nývltová, Eva; Stairs, Courtney W.; Hrdý, Ivan; Rídl, Jakub; Mach, Jan; Pačes, Jan; Roger, Andrew J.; Tachezy, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Lateral gene transfer (LGT) is an important mechanism of evolution for protists adapting to oxygen-poor environments. Specifically, modifications of energy metabolism in anaerobic forms of mitochondria (e.g., hydrogenosomes) are likely to have been associated with gene transfer from prokaryotes. An interesting question is whether the products of transferred genes were directly targeted into the ancestral organelle or initially operated in the cytosol and subsequently acquired organelle-targeting sequences. Here, we identified key enzymes of hydrogenosomal metabolism in the free-living anaerobic amoebozoan Mastigamoeba balamuthi and analyzed their cellular localizations, enzymatic activities, and evolutionary histories. Additionally, we characterized 1) several canonical mitochondrial components including respiratory complex II and the glycine cleavage system, 2) enzymes associated with anaerobic energy metabolism, including an unusual D-lactate dehydrogenase and acetyl CoA synthase, and 3) a sulfate activation pathway. Intriguingly, components of anaerobic energy metabolism are present in at least two gene copies. For each component, one copy possesses an mitochondrial targeting sequence (MTS), whereas the other lacks an MTS, yielding parallel cytosolic and hydrogenosomal extended glycolysis pathways. Experimentally, we confirmed that the organelle targeting of several proteins is fully dependent on the MTS. Phylogenetic analysis of all extended glycolysis components suggested that these components were acquired by LGT. We propose that the transformation from an ancestral organelle to a hydrogenosome in the M. balamuthi lineage involved the lateral acquisition of genes encoding extended glycolysis enzymes that initially operated in the cytosol and that established a parallel hydrogenosomal pathway after gene duplication and MTS acquisition. PMID:25573905

  2. Lateral gene transfer and gene duplication played a key role in the evolution of Mastigamoeba balamuthi hydrogenosomes.

    PubMed

    Nývltová, Eva; Stairs, Courtney W; Hrdý, Ivan; Rídl, Jakub; Mach, Jan; Pačes, Jan; Roger, Andrew J; Tachezy, Jan

    2015-04-01

    Lateral gene transfer (LGT) is an important mechanism of evolution for protists adapting to oxygen-poor environments. Specifically, modifications of energy metabolism in anaerobic forms of mitochondria (e.g., hydrogenosomes) are likely to have been associated with gene transfer from prokaryotes. An interesting question is whether the products of transferred genes were directly targeted into the ancestral organelle or initially operated in the cytosol and subsequently acquired organelle-targeting sequences. Here, we identified key enzymes of hydrogenosomal metabolism in the free-living anaerobic amoebozoan Mastigamoeba balamuthi and analyzed their cellular localizations, enzymatic activities, and evolutionary histories. Additionally, we characterized 1) several canonical mitochondrial components including respiratory complex II and the glycine cleavage system, 2) enzymes associated with anaerobic energy metabolism, including an unusual D-lactate dehydrogenase and acetyl CoA synthase, and 3) a sulfate activation pathway. Intriguingly, components of anaerobic energy metabolism are present in at least two gene copies. For each component, one copy possesses an mitochondrial targeting sequence (MTS), whereas the other lacks an MTS, yielding parallel cytosolic and hydrogenosomal extended glycolysis pathways. Experimentally, we confirmed that the organelle targeting of several proteins is fully dependent on the MTS. Phylogenetic analysis of all extended glycolysis components suggested that these components were acquired by LGT. We propose that the transformation from an ancestral organelle to a hydrogenosome in the M. balamuthi lineage involved the lateral acquisition of genes encoding extended glycolysis enzymes that initially operated in the cytosol and that established a parallel hydrogenosomal pathway after gene duplication and MTS acquisition.

  3. "This Is a Tool for You to Use": Expansive Framing and Adaptive Transfer in Two PBL Science Classrooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becherer, Kendall

    This dissertation is a qualitative, comparative case study investigating productive disciplinary engagement, framing for transfer, and tool use in two high school science classrooms. My goal was to investigate the implementation of material resources that were developed to support students' engagement, driven by my primary research question: How does the implementation of material tools as a learning resource support or impede students' productive disciplinary engagement in a project-based learning setting? Using a grounded theory approach, I analyzed video transcriptions and interviews of two teachers and their students at the same school as they enacted a coordinated project-based, advanced placement curriculum as part of a design-based implementation research project. Findings suggest that intentional framing and use of tools may help teachers support students in making connections across multiple parts of a project in ways that facilitate productive engagement in the discipline of science as well as students building on and adapting their knowledge over time. Keywords: Project-based learning, advanced placement, environmental science, scientific practices, dialogic discourse, grammar of schooling, situative theory, student engagement, productive disciplinary engagement, material resources, student authorship, framing for transfer, expansive framing, near transfer, adaptive transfer.

  4. Editing T cell specificity towards leukemia by zinc-finger nucleases and lentiviral gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    Lombardo, Angelo; Magnani, Zulma; Liu, Pei-Qi; Reik, Andreas; Chu, Victoria; Paschon, David E.; Zhang, Lei; Kuball, Jurgen; Camisa, Barbara; Bondanza, Attilio; Casorati, Giulia; Ponzoni, Maurilio; Ciceri, Fabio; Bordignon, Claudio; Greenberg, Philip D.; Holmes, Michael C.; Gregory, Philip D.; Naldini, Luigi; Bonini, Chiara

    2016-01-01

    The transfer of high-avidity T-cell receptor (TCR) genes isolated from rare tumor-specific lymphocytes into polyclonal T cells is an attractive cancer immunotherapy strategy. However, TCR gene transfer results in competition for surface expression and inappropriate pairing between the exogenous and endogenous TCR chains, resulting in suboptimal activity and potentially harmful unpredicted specificities. We designed zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) promoting the disruption of endogenous TCR β and α chain genes. ZFN-treated lymphocytes lacked CD3/TCR surface expression and expanded with IL-7 and IL-15. Upon lentiviral transfer of a TCR for the WT1 tumor antigen, these TCR-edited cells expressed the new TCR at high levels, were easily expanded to near-purity, and proved superior in specific antigen recognition to matched TCR-transferred cells. In contrast to TCR-transferred cells, TCR edited lymphocytes did not mediate off-target reactivity while maintaining anti-tumor activity in vivo, thus demonstrating that complete editing of T-cell specificity generate tumor-specific lymphocytes with improved biosafety profile. PMID:22466705

  5. Evidence for particle-induced horizontal gene transfer and serial transduction between bacteria.

    PubMed

    Chiura, Hiroshi Xavier; Kogure, Kazuhiro; Hagemann, Sylvia; Ellinger, Adolf; Velimirov, Branko

    2011-06-01

    Incubation of the amino acid-deficient strain Escherichia coli AB1157 with particles harvested from an oligotrophic environment revealed evidence of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) with restoration of all deficiencies in revertant cells with frequencies up to 1.94 × 10(-5). None of the markers were preferentially transferred, indicating that the DNA transfer is performed by generalized transduction. The highest gene transfer frequencies were obtained for single markers, with values up to 1.04 × 10(-2). All revertants were able to produce particles of comparable size, appearing at the beginning of the stationary phase. Examination of the revertants using electron microscopy showed bud-like structures with electron-dense bodies. The particles that display the structural features of membrane vesicles were again infectious to E. coli AB1157, producing new infectious particles able to transduce genetic information, a phenomenon termed serial transduction. Thus, the <0.2-μm particle fraction from seawater contains a particle size fraction with high potential for gene transfer. Biased sinusoidal field gel electrophoresis indicated a DNA content for the particles of 370 kbp, which was higher than that of known membrane vesicles. These findings provide evidence of a new method of HGT, in which mobilizable DNA is trafficked from donor to recipient cells via particles.

  6. The impact of gene duplication, insertion, deletion, lateral gene transfer and sequencing error on orthology inference: a simulation study.

    PubMed

    Dalquen, Daniel A; Altenhoff, Adrian M; Gonnet, Gaston H; Dessimoz, Christophe

    2013-01-01

    The identification of orthologous genes, a prerequisite for numerous analyses in comparative and functional genomics, is commonly performed computationally from protein sequences. Several previous studies have compared the accuracy of orthology inference methods, but simulated data has not typically been considered in cross-method assessment studies. Yet, while dependent on model assumptions, simulation-based benchmarking offers unique advantages: contrary to empirical data, all aspects of simulated data are known with certainty. Furthermore, the flexibility of simulation makes it possible to investigate performance factors in isolation of one another.Here, we use simulated data to dissect the performance of six methods for orthology inference available as standalone software packages (Inparanoid, OMA, OrthoInspector, OrthoMCL, QuartetS, SPIMAP) as well as two generic approaches (bidirectional best hit and reciprocal smallest distance). We investigate the impact of various evolutionary forces (gene duplication, insertion, deletion, and lateral gene transfer) and technological artefacts (ambiguous sequences) on orthology inference. We show that while gene duplication/loss and insertion/deletion are well handled by most methods (albeit for different trade-offs of precision and recall), lateral gene transfer disrupts all methods. As for ambiguous sequences, which might result from poor sequencing, assembly, or genome annotation, we show that they affect alignment score-based orthology methods more strongly than their distance-based counterparts.

  7. Evolution of genes and organisms: the tree/web of life in light of horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Olendzenski, Lorraine; Gogarten, J Peter

    2009-10-01

    Gene exchange necessitates expanding the model of the tree of life, impacts the notion of organismal and molecular most recent common ancestors, and provides examples of natural selection working at multiple levels. Gene exchange, whether by horizontal gene transfer (HGT), hybridization of species, or symbiosis, modifies the organismal tree of life into a web. Darwin suggested the tree of life was like a coral, where living surface branches were supported by masses of dead branches. In phylogenetic trees, organismal or molecular lineages coalesce back to a lucky universal ancestor whose descendents are found in current lineages and which coexisted with other, now-extinct lineages. HGT complicates the reconstruction of a universal ancestor; genes in a genome can have different evolutionary histories, and even infrequent gene transfer will cause different molecular lineages to coalesce to molecular ancestors that existed in different organismal lineages and at different times. HGT, as well as symbiosis, provides a mechanism for integrating and expanding the organizational level on which natural selection acts, contributing to selection at the group and community level.

  8. HGCS: an online tool for prioritizing disease-causing gene variants by biological distance

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Identifying the genotypes underlying human disease phenotypes is a fundamental step in human genetics and medicine. High-throughput genomic technologies provide thousands of genetic variants per individual. The causal genes of a specific phenotype are usually expected to be functionally close to each other. According to this hypothesis, candidate genes are picked from high-throughput data on the basis of their biological proximity to core genesgenes already known to be responsible for the phenotype. There is currently no effective gene-centric online interface for this purpose. Results We describe here the human gene connectome server (HGCS), a powerful, easy-to-use interactive online tool enabling researchers to prioritize any list of genes according to their biological proximity to core genes associated with the phenotype of interest. We also make available an updated and extended version for all human gene-specific connectomes. The HGCS is freely available to noncommercial users from: http://hgc.rockefeller.edu/. Conclusions The HGCS should help investigators from diverse fields to identify new disease-causing candidate genes more effectively, via a user-friendly online interface. PMID:24694260

  9. Functional and Evolutionary Characterization of a Gene Transfer Agent’s Multilocus “Genome”

    PubMed Central

    Hynes, Alexander P.; Shakya, Migun; Mercer, Ryan G.; Grüll, Marc P.; Bown, Luke; Davidson, Fraser; Steffen, Ekaterina; Matchem, Heidi; Peach, Mandy E.; Berger, Tim; Grebe, Katherine; Zhaxybayeva, Olga; Lang, Andrew S.

    2016-01-01

    Gene transfer agents (GTAs) are phage-like particles that can package and transfer a random piece of the producing cell’s genome, but are unable to transfer all the genes required for their own production. As such, GTAs represent an evolutionary conundrum: are they selfish genetic elements propagating through an unknown mechanism, defective viruses, or viral structures “repurposed” by cells for gene exchange, as their name implies? In Rhodobacter capsulatus, production of the R. capsulatus GTA (RcGTA) particles is associated with a cluster of genes resembling a small prophage. Utilizing transcriptomic, genetic and biochemical approaches, we report that the RcGTA “genome” consists of at least 24 genes distributed across five distinct loci. We demonstrate that, of these additional loci, two are involved in cell recognition and binding and one in the production and maturation of RcGTA particles. The five RcGTA “genome” loci are widespread within Rhodobacterales, but not all loci have the same evolutionary histories. Specifically, two of the loci have been subject to frequent, probably virus-mediated, gene transfer events. We argue that it is unlikely that RcGTA is a selfish genetic element. Instead, our findings are compatible with the scenario that RcGTA is a virus-derived element maintained by the producing organism due to a selective advantage of within-population gene exchange. The modularity of the RcGTA “genome” is presumably a result of selection on the host organism to retain GTA functionality. PMID:27343288

  10. Microbubbles and ultrasound increase intraventricular polyplex gene transfer to the brain.

    PubMed

    Tan, James-Kevin Y; Pham, Binhan; Zong, Yujin; Perez, Camilo; Maris, Don O; Hemphill, Ashton; Miao, Carol H; Matula, Thomas J; Mourad, Pierre D; Wei, Hua; Sellers, Drew L; Horner, Philip J; Pun, Suzie H

    2016-06-10

    Neurons in the brain can be damaged or lost from neurodegenerative disease, stroke, or traumatic injury. Although neurogenesis occurs in mammalian adult brains, the levels of natural neurogenesis are insufficient to restore function in these cases. Gene therapy has been pursued as a promising strategy to induce differentiation of neural progenitor cells into functional neurons. Non-viral vectors are a preferred method of gene transfer due to potential safety and manufacturing benefits but suffer from lower delivery efficiencies compared to viral vectors. Since the neural stem and progenitor cells reside in the subventricular zone of the brain, intraventricular injection has been used as an administration route for gene transfer to these cells. However, the choroid plexus epithelium remains an obstacle to delivery. Recently, transient disruption of the blood-brain barrier by microbubble-enhanced ultrasound has been used to successfully improve drug delivery to the brain after intravenous injection. In this work, we demonstrate that microbubble-enhanced ultrasound can similarly improve gene transfer to the subventricular zone after intraventricular injection. Microbubbles of different surface charges (neutral, slightly cationic, and cationic) were prepared, characterized by acoustic flow cytometry, and evaluated for their ability to increase the permeability of immortalized choroid plexus epithelium monolayers in vitro. Based on these results, slightly cationic microbubbles were evaluated for microbubble and ultrasound-mediated enhancement of non-viral gene transfer in vivo. When coupled with our previously reported gene delivery vehicles, the slightly cationic microbubbles significantly increased ultrasound-mediated transfection of the murine brain when compared to commercially available Definity® microbubbles. Temporary disruption of the choroid plexus by microbubble-enhanced ultrasound is therefore a viable way of enhancing gene delivery to the brain and merits

  11. Utilizing cell-matrix interactions to modulate gene transfer to stem cells inside hyaluronic acid hydrogels.

    PubMed

    Gojgini, Shiva; Tokatlian, Talar; Segura, Tatiana

    2011-10-01

    The effective delivery of DNA locally would increase the applicability of gene therapy in tissue regeneration, where diseased tissue is to be repaired in situ. One promising approach is to use hydrogel scaffolds to encapsulate and deliver plasmid DNA in the form of nanoparticles to the diseased tissue, so that cells infiltrating the scaffold are transfected to induce regeneration. This study focuses on the design of a DNA nanoparticle-loaded hydrogel scaffold. In particular, this study focuses on understanding how cell-matrix interactions affect gene transfer to adult stem cells cultured inside matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) degradable hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogel scaffolds. HA was cross-linked to form a hydrogel material using a MMP degradable peptide and Michael addition chemistry. Gene transfer inside these hydrogel materials was assessed as a function of polyplex nitrogen to phosphate ratio (N/P = 5 to 12), matrix stiffness (100-1700 Pa), RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp) concentration (10-400 μM), and RGD presentation (0.2-4.7 RGDs per HA molecule). All variables were found to affect gene transfer to mouse mensenchymal stem cells culture inside the DNA loaded hydrogels. As expected, higher N/P ratios lead to higher gene transfer efficiency but also higher toxicity; softer hydrogels resulted in higher transgene expression than stiffer hydrogels, and an intermediate RGD concentration and RGD clustering resulted in higher transgene expression. We believe that the knowledge gained through this in vitro model can be utilized to design better scaffold-mediated gene delivery for local gene therapy.

  12. Bacteriophage-like Particles Associated with the Gene Transfer Agent of Methanococcus Voltale PS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bertani, G.; Eiserling, F.; Pushkin, A.; Gingery, M.

    1999-01-01

    The methanogenic archaebacterium Methanococus voltae (strain PS) is known to produce a filterable, DNase resistant agent (called VTA, for voltae transfer agent), which carries very small fragments (4,400 base pairs) of bacterial DNA and is able to transduce bacterial genes between derivatives of the strain.

  13. Lateral gene transfer in a heavy metal-contaminated-groundwater microbial community

    DOE PAGES

    Hemme, Christopher L.; Green, Stefan J.; Rishishwar, Lavanya; Prakash, Om; Pettenato, Angelica; Chakraborty, Romy; Deutschbauer, Adam M.; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Wu, Liyou; He, Zhili; et al

    2016-04-05

    Here, unraveling the drivers controlling the response and adaptation of biological communities to environmental change, especially anthropogenic activities, is a central but poorly understood issue in ecology and evolution. Comparative genomics studies suggest that lateral gene transfer (LGT) is a major force driving microbial genome evolution, but its role in the evolution of microbial communities remains elusive.

  14. Assessing the effects of a sequestered germline on interdomain lateral gene transfer in Metazoa.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Lindy; Grant, Jessica R; Laughinghouse, Haywood Dail; Katz, Laura A

    2016-06-01

    A sequestered germline in Metazoa has been argued to be an obstacle to lateral gene transfer (LGT), though few studies have specifically assessed this claim. Here, we test the hypothesis that the origin of a sequestered germline reduced LGT events in Bilateria (i.e., triploblast lineages) as compared to early-diverging Metazoa (i.e., Ctenophora, Cnidaria, Porifera, and Placozoa). We analyze single-gene phylogenies generated with over 900 species sampled from among Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukaryota to identify well-supported interdomain LGTs. We focus on ancient interdomain LGT (i.e., those between prokaryotes and multiple lineages of Metazoa) as systematic errors in single-gene tree reconstruction create uncertainties for interpreting eukaryote-to-eukaryote transfer. The breadth of the sampled Metazoa enables us to estimate the timing of LGTs, and to examine the pattern before versus after the evolution of a sequestered germline. We identified 58 LGTs found only in Metazoa and prokaryotes (i.e., bacteria and/or archaea), and seven genes transferred from prokaryotes into Metazoa plus one other eukaryotic clade. Our analyses indicate that more interdomain transfers occurred before the development of a sequestered germline, consistent with the hypothesis that this feature is an obstacle to LGT. PMID:27139503

  15. Efficient gene transfer into normal human B lymphocytes with the chimeric adenoviral vector Ad5/F35.

    PubMed

    Jung, Daniel; Néron, Sonia; Drouin, Mathieu; Jacques, Annie

    2005-09-01

    The failure to efficiently introduce genes into normal cells such as human B lymphocytes limits the characterization of their function on cellular growth, differentiation and survival. Recent studies have shown that a new adenoviral vector Ad5/F35 can efficiently transduce human haematopoietic CD34+ progenitor cells. In this study, we compared the gene transfer efficiencies of the Ad5/F35 vector to that of the parental vector Ad5 in human B lymphocytes. Peripheral blood B cells obtained from healthy individuals were cultured in vitro using CD40-CD154 system. Normal B lymphocytes were infected with replication-defectives Ad5 and Ad5/F35, both containing the GFP reporter gene, and transduction efficiencies were monitored by flow cytometry. Ad5 was highly ineffective, infecting only about 5% of human B lymphocytes. In contrast, Ad5/F35 transduced up to 60% of human B lymphocytes and GFP expression could be detected for up to 5 days post infection. Importantly, physiology of B lymphocytes such as proliferation, viability and antibodies secretion were unaffected following Ad5/F35 transduction. Finally, we observed that memory B lymphocytes were more susceptible to Ad5/F35 infection than naïve B lymphocytes. Thus, our results demonstrate that the adenoviral vector Ad5/F35 is an efficient tool for the functional characterization of genes in B lymphopoiesis.

  16. Fast gene transfer into the adult zebrafish brain by herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and electroporation: methods and optogenetic applications

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Ming; De Koninck, Paul; Neve, Rachael L.; Friedrich, Rainer W.

    2014-01-01

    The zebrafish has various advantages as a model organism to analyze the structure and function of neural circuits but efficient viruses or other tools for fast gene transfer are lacking. We show that transgenes can be introduced directly into the adult zebrafish brain by herpes simplex type I viruses (HSV-1) or electroporation. We developed a new procedure to target electroporation to defined brain areas and identified promoters that produced strong long-term expression. The fast workflow of electroporation was exploited to express multiple channelrhodopsin-2 variants and genetically encoded calcium indicators in telencephalic neurons for measurements of neuronal activity and synaptic connectivity. The results demonstrate that HSV-1 and targeted electroporation are efficient tools for gene delivery into the zebrafish brain, similar to adeno-associated viruses and lentiviruses in other species. These methods fill an important gap in the spectrum of molecular tools for zebrafish and are likely to have a wide range of applications. PMID:24834028

  17. Diversity, evolution, and horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in soda lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinkart, Holly C.; Storrie-Lombardi, Michael C.

    2007-09-01

    Soap Lake is a hypersaline, alkaline lake in Central Washington State (USA). For the past five years the lake has been the site of an NSF Microbial Observatory project devoted to identifying critical geochemical and microbial characteristics of the monimolimnion sediment and water column, and has demonstrated rich multispecies communities occupy all areas of the lake. Soap Lake and similar soda lakes are subject to repeated transient periods of extreme evaporation characterized by significant repetitive alterations in salinity, pH, and total water volume, yet maintain high genetic and metabolic diversity. It has been argued that this repetitive cycle for salinity, alkalinity, and sulfur concentration has been a major driver for prokaryote evolution and diversity. The rapidity of wet-dry cycling places special demands on genome evolution, requirements that are beyond the relatively conservative eukaryotic evolutionary strategy of serial alteration of existing gene sequences in a relatively stable genome. Although HGT is most likely responsible for adding a significant amount of noise to the genetic record, analysis of HGT activity can also provide us with a much-needed probe for exploration of prokaryotic genome evolution and the origin of diversity. Packaging of genetic information within the protective protein capsid of a bacteriophage would seem preferable to exposing naked DNA to the highly alkaline conditions in the lake. In this study, we present preliminary data demonstrating the presence of a diverse group of phage integrases in Soap Lake. Integrase is the viral enzyme responsible for the insertion of phage DNA into the bacterial host's chromosome. The presence of the integrase sequence in bacterial chromosomes is evidence of lysogeny, and the diversity of integrase sequences reported here suggests a wide variety of temperate phage exist in this system, and are especially active in transition zones.

  18. Identification of a Divided Genome for VSH-1, the Prophage-Like Gene Transfer Agent of Brachyspira hyodysenteriae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Brachyspira hyodysenteriae B204 genome sequence revealed three VSH-1 tail genes hvp31, hvp60, and hvp37, in a 3.6 kb cluster. The location and transcription direction of these genes relative to the previously described VSH-1 16.3 kb gene operon indicate that the gene transfer agent VSH-1 has a ...

  19. Conjugative transposons: an unusual and diverse set of integrated gene transfer elements.

    PubMed Central

    Salyers, A A; Shoemaker, N B; Stevens, A M; Li, L Y

    1995-01-01

    Conjugative transposons are integrated DNA elements that excise themselves to form a covalently closed circular intermediate. This circular intermediate can either reintegrate in the same cell (intracellular transposition) or transfer by conjugation to a recipient and integrate into the recipient's genome (intercellular transposition). Conjugative transposons were first found in gram-positive cocci but are now known to be present in a variety of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria also. Conjugative transposons have a surprisingly broad host range, and they probably contribute as much as plasmids to the spread of antibiotic resistance genes in some genera of disease-causing bacteria. Resistance genes need not be carried on the conjugative transposon to be transferred. Many conjugative transposons can mobilize coresident plasmids, and the Bacteroides conjugative transposons can even excise and mobilize unlinked integrated elements. The Bacteroides conjugative transposons are also unusual in that their transfer activities are regulated by tetracycline via a complex regulatory network. PMID:8531886

  20. Fat-to-glucose interconversion by hydrodynamic transfer of two glyoxylate cycle enzyme genes

    PubMed Central

    Cordero, P; Campion, J; Milagro, FI; Marzo, F; Martinez, JA

    2008-01-01

    The glyoxylate cycle, which is well characterized in higher plants and some microorganisms but not in vertebrates, is able to bypass the citric acid cycle to achieve fat-to-carbohydrate interconversion. In this context, the hydrodynamic transfer of two glyoxylate cycle enzymes, such as isocytrate lyase (ICL) and malate synthase (MS), could accomplish the shift of using fat for the synthesis of glucose. Therefore, 20 mice weighing 23.37 ± 0.96 g were hydrodinamically gene transferred by administering into the tail vein a bolus with ICL and MS. After 36 hours, body weight, plasma glucose, respiratory quotient and energy expenditure were measured. The respiratory quotient was increased by gene transfer, which suggests that a higher carbohydrate/lipid ratio is oxidized in such animals. This application could help, if adequate protocols are designed, to induce fat utilization for glucose synthesis, which might be eventually useful to reduce body fat depots in situations of obesity and diabetes. PMID:19077206

  1. pGenN, a Gene Normalization Tool for Plant Genes and Proteins in Scientific Literature

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Ruoyao; Arighi, Cecilia N.; Lee, Jung-Youn; Wu, Cathy H.; Vijay-Shanker, K.

    2015-01-01

    Background Automatically detecting gene/protein names in the literature and connecting them to databases records, also known as gene normalization, provides a means to structure the information buried in free-text literature. Gene normalization is critical for improving the coverage of annotation in the databases, and is an essential component of many text mining systems and database curation pipelines. Methods In this manuscript, we describe a gene normalization system specifically tailored for plant species, called pGenN (pivot-based Gene Normalization). The system consists of three steps: dictionary-based gene mention detection, species assignment, and intra species normalization. We have developed new heuristics to improve each of these phases. Results We evaluated the performance of pGenN on an in-house expertly annotated corpus consisting of 104 plant relevant abstracts. Our system achieved an F-value of 88.9% (Precision 90.9% and Recall 87.2%) on this corpus, outperforming state-of-art systems presented in BioCreative III. We have processed over 440,000 plant-related Medline abstracts using pGenN. The gene normalization results are stored in a local database for direct query from the pGenN web interface (proteininformationresource.org/pgenn/). The annotated literature corpus is also publicly available through the PIR text mining portal (proteininformationresource.org/iprolink/). PMID:26258475

  2. Plasmid encoded antibiotic resistance: acquisition and transfer of antibiotic resistance genes in bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, P M

    2008-01-01

    Bacteria have existed on Earth for three billion years or so and have become adept at protecting themselves against toxic chemicals. Antibiotics have been in clinical use for a little more than 6 decades. That antibiotic resistance is now a major clinical problem all over the world attests to the success and speed of bacterial adaptation. Mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in bacteria are varied and include target protection, target substitution, antibiotic detoxification and block of intracellular antibiotic accumulation. Acquisition of genes needed to elaborate the various mechanisms is greatly aided by a variety of promiscuous gene transfer systems, such as bacterial conjugative plasmids, transposable elements and integron systems, that move genes from one DNA system to another and from one bacterial cell to another, not necessarily one related to the gene donor. Bacterial plasmids serve as the scaffold on which are assembled arrays of antibiotic resistance genes, by transposition (transposable elements and ISCR mediated transposition) and site-specific recombination mechanisms (integron gene cassettes). The evidence suggests that antibiotic resistance genes in human bacterial pathogens originate from a multitude of bacterial sources, indicating that the genomes of all bacteria can be considered as a single global gene pool into which most, if not all, bacteria can dip for genes necessary for survival. In terms of antibiotic resistance, plasmids serve a central role, as the vehicles for resistance gene capture and their subsequent dissemination. These various aspects of bacterial resistance to antibiotics will be explored in this presentation. PMID:18193080

  3. Evidence for the Intense Exchange of MazG in Marine Cyanophages by Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Clokie, Martha R. J.; Mann, Nicholas H.; Bryan, Samantha J.

    2008-01-01

    Background S-PM2 is a phage capable of infecting strains of unicellular cyanobacteria belonging to the genus Synechococcus. S-PM2, like other myoviruses infecting marine cyanobacteria, encodes a number of bacterial-like genes. Amongst these genes is one encoding a MazG homologue that is hypothesized to be involved in the adaption of the infected host for production of progeny phage. Methodology/Principal Findings This study focuses on establishing the occurrence of mazG homologues in other cyanophages isolated from different oceanic locations. Degenerate PCR primers were designed using the mazG gene of S-PM2. The mazG gene was found to be widely distributed and highly conserved among Synechococcus myoviruses and podoviruses from diverse oceanic provinces. Conclusions/Significance This study provides evidence of a globally connected cyanophage gene pool, the cyanophage mazG gene having a small effective population size indicative of rapid lateral gene transfer despite being present in a substantial fraction of cyanophage. The Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus phage mazG genes do not cluster with the host mazG gene, suggesting that their primary hosts are not the source of the mazG gene. PMID:18431505

  4. Horizontal gene transfer: essentiality and evolvability in prokaryotes, and roles in evolutionary transitions.

    PubMed

    Koonin, Eugene V

    2016-01-01

    The wide spread of gene exchange and loss in the prokaryotic world has prompted the concept of 'lateral genomics' to the point of an outright denial of the relevance of phylogenetic trees for evolution. However, the pronounced coherence congruence of the topologies of numerous gene trees, particularly those for (nearly) universal genes, translates into the notion of a statistical tree of life (STOL), which reflects a central trend of vertical evolution. The STOL can be employed as a framework for reconstruction of the evolutionary processes in the prokaryotic world. Quantitatively, however, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) dominates microbial evolution, with the rate of gene gain and loss being comparable to the rate of point mutations and much greater than the duplication rate. Theoretical models of evolution suggest that HGT is essential for the survival of microbial populations that otherwise deteriorate due to the Muller's ratchet effect. Apparently, at least some bacteria and archaea evolved dedicated vehicles for gene transfer that evolved from selfish elements such as plasmids and viruses. Recent phylogenomic analyses suggest that episodes of massive HGT were pivotal for the emergence of major groups of organisms such as multiple archaeal phyla as well as eukaryotes. Similar analyses appear to indicate that, in addition to donating hundreds of genes to the emerging eukaryotic lineage, mitochondrial endosymbiosis severely curtailed HGT. These results shed new light on the routes of evolutionary transitions, but caution is due given the inherent uncertainty of deep phylogenies. PMID:27508073

  5. Horizontal gene transfer: essentiality and evolvability in prokaryotes, and roles in evolutionary transitions

    PubMed Central

    Koonin, Eugene V.

    2016-01-01

    The wide spread of gene exchange and loss in the prokaryotic world has prompted the concept of ‘lateral genomics’ to the point of an outright denial of the relevance of phylogenetic trees for evolution. However, the pronounced coherence congruence of the topologies of numerous gene trees, particularly those for (nearly) universal genes, translates into the notion of a statistical tree of life (STOL), which reflects a central trend of vertical evolution. The STOL can be employed as a framework for reconstruction of the evolutionary processes in the prokaryotic world. Quantitatively, however, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) dominates microbial evolution, with the rate of gene gain and loss being comparable to the rate of point mutations and much greater than the duplication rate. Theoretical models of evolution suggest that HGT is essential for the survival of microbial populations that otherwise deteriorate due to the Muller’s ratchet effect. Apparently, at least some bacteria and archaea evolved dedicated vehicles for gene transfer that evolved from selfish elements such as plasmids and viruses. Recent phylogenomic analyses suggest that episodes of massive HGT were pivotal for the emergence of major groups of organisms such as multiple archaeal phyla as well as eukaryotes. Similar analyses appear to indicate that, in addition to donating hundreds of genes to the emerging eukaryotic lineage, mitochondrial endosymbiosis severely curtailed HGT. These results shed new light on the routes of evolutionary transitions, but caution is due given the inherent uncertainty of deep phylogenies. PMID:27508073

  6. Phylogenetic Evidence for Lateral Gene Transfer in the Intestine of Marine Iguanas

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, David M.; Cann, Isaac K. O.; Altermann, Eric; Mackie, Roderick I.

    2010-01-01

    Background Lateral gene transfer (LGT) appears to promote genotypic and phenotypic variation in microbial communities in a range of environments, including the mammalian intestine. However, the extent and mechanisms of LGT in intestinal microbial communities of non-mammalian hosts remains poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings We sequenced two fosmid inserts obtained from a genomic DNA library derived from an agar-degrading enrichment culture of marine iguana fecal material. The inserts harbored 16S rRNA genes that place the organism from which they originated within Clostridium cluster IV, a well documented group that habitats the mammalian intestinal tract. However, sequence analysis indicates that 52% of the protein-coding genes on the fosmids have top BLASTX hits to bacterial species that are not members of Clostridium cluster IV, and phylogenetic analysis suggests that at least 10 of 44 coding genes on the fosmids may have been transferred from Clostridium cluster XIVa to cluster IV. The fosmids encoded four transposase-encoding genes and an integrase-encoding gene, suggesting their involvement in LGT. In addition, several coding genes likely involved in sugar transport were probably acquired through LGT. Conclusion Our phylogenetic evidence suggests that LGT may be common among phylogenetically distinct members of the phylum Firmicutes inhabiting the intestinal tract of marine iguanas. PMID:20520734

  7. Tissue-engineering strategies to repair joint tissue in osteoarthritis: nonviral gene-transfer approaches.

    PubMed

    Madry, Henning; Cucchiarini, Magali

    2014-10-01

    Loss of articular cartilage is a common clinical consequence of osteoarthritis (OA). In the past decade, substantial progress in tissue engineering, nonviral gene transfer, and cell transplantation have provided the scientific foundation for generating cartilaginous constructs from genetically modified cells. Combining tissue engineering with overexpression of therapeutic genes enables immediate filling of a cartilage defect with an engineered construct that actively supports chondrogenesis. Several pioneering studies have proved that spatially defined nonviral overexpression of growth-factor genes in constructs of solid biomaterials or hydrogels is advantageous compared with gene transfer or scaffold alone, both in vitro and in vivo. Notably, these investigations were performed in models of focal cartilage defects, because advanced cartilage-repair strategies based on the principles of tissue engineering have not advanced sufficiently to enable resurfacing of extensively degraded cartilage as therapy for OA. These studies serve as prototypes for future technological developments, because they raise the possibility that cartilage constructs engineered from genetically modified chondrocytes providing autocrine and paracrine stimuli could similarly compensate for the loss of articular cartilage in OA. Because cartilage-tissue-engineering strategies are already used in the clinic, combining tissue engineering and nonviral gene transfer could prove a powerful approach to treat OA.

  8. Improvement of adoptive cellular immunotherapy of human cancer using ex-vivo gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Paul, Stephane; Calmels, Bastien; Acres, R Bruce

    2002-02-01

    A variety of adoptive cellular strategies, aimed at boosting the immune system, have been tested in the management of metastatic diseases. Despite the drawbacks associated with ex vivo cell manipulation and upscaling, several such approaches have been assessed in the clinic. The use of lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells, auto-lymphocyte therapy (ALT) and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) have been the best studied and further trials are ongoing. Thus far, these approaches have not consistently shown benefit when compared to standard immune-based treatment with biologic response modifiers, notably, high-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2). More recently, it has been shown, in various animal models, that the ex vivo transfer of genes to cells of the immune system can have a dramatic impact on cancer immunotherapy. The application of gene transfer techniques to immunotherapy has animated the field of cell-based cancer therapy research. A wide variety of viral and non-viral gene transfer methods have been investigated in this context. Ex vivo strategies include gene delivery into tumor cells and into cellular components of the immune system, including cytotoxic T cells, NK, macrophages and dendritic cells (DC). Several of these approaches have already been translated into cancer therapy clinical trials. In this review, we focus on the rationale and types of ex vivo gene-based immunotherapy of cancer. Finally, the use of genetically modified DC for tumor vaccination and its prospects are discussed. PMID:12108977

  9. Direct gene transfer into human cultured cells facilitated by laser micropuncture of the cell membrane

    SciTech Connect

    Tao, W.; Wilkinson, J.; Stanbridge, E.J.; Berns, M.W.

    1987-06-01

    The selective alteration of the cellular genome by laser microbeam irradiation has been extensively applied in cell biology. The authors report here the use of the third harmonic (355 nm) of an yttrium-aluminum garnet laser to facilitate the direct transfer of the neo gene into cultured human HT1080-6TG cells. The resultant transformants were selected in medium containing an aminoglycoside antibiotic, G418. Integration of the neo gene into individual human chromosomes and expression of the gene were demonstrated by Southern blot analyses, microcell-mediated chromosome transfer, and chromosome analyses. The stability of the integrated neo gene in the transformants was shown by a comparative growth assay in selective and nonselective media. Transformation and incorporation of the neo gene into the host genome occurred at a frequency of 8 x 10 /sup -4/-3 x 10/sup -3/. This method appears to be 100-fold more efficient than the standard calcium phosphate-mediated method of DNA transfer.

  10. Source–sink plasmid transfer dynamics maintain gene mobility in soil bacterial communities

    PubMed Central

    Wood, A. Jamie

    2016-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer is a fundamental process in bacterial evolution that can accelerate adaptation via the sharing of genes between lineages. Conjugative plasmids are the principal genetic elements mediating the horizontal transfer of genes, both within and between bacterial species. In some species, plasmids are unstable and likely to be lost through purifying selection, but when alternative hosts are available, interspecific plasmid transfer could counteract this and maintain access to plasmid-borne genes. To investigate the evolutionary importance of alternative hosts to plasmid population dynamics in an ecologically relevant environment, we established simple soil microcosm communities comprising two species of common soil bacteria, Pseudomonas fluorescens and Pseudomonas putida, and a mercury resistance (HgR) plasmid, pQBR57, both with and without positive selection [i.e., addition of Hg(II)]. In single-species populations, plasmid stability varied between species: although pQBR57 survived both with and without positive selection in P. fluorescens, it was lost or replaced by nontransferable HgR captured to the chromosome in P. putida. A simple mathematical model suggests these differences were likely due to pQBR57’s lower intraspecific conjugation rate in P. putida. By contrast, in two-species communities, both models and experiments show that interspecific conjugation from P. fluorescens allowed pQBR57 to persist in P. putida via source–sink transfer dynamics. Moreover, the replacement of pQBR57 by nontransferable chromosomal HgR in P. putida was slowed in coculture. Interspecific transfer allows plasmid survival in host species unable to sustain the plasmid in monoculture, promoting community-wide access to the plasmid-borne accessory gene pool and thus potentiating future evolvability. PMID:27385827

  11. Source-sink plasmid transfer dynamics maintain gene mobility in soil bacterial communities.

    PubMed

    Hall, James P J; Wood, A Jamie; Harrison, Ellie; Brockhurst, Michael A

    2016-07-19

    Horizontal gene transfer is a fundamental process in bacterial evolution that can accelerate adaptation via the sharing of genes between lineages. Conjugative plasmids are the principal genetic elements mediating the horizontal transfer of genes, both within and between bacterial species. In some species, plasmids are unstable and likely to be lost through purifying selection, but when alternative hosts are available, interspecific plasmid transfer could counteract this and maintain access to plasmid-borne genes. To investigate the evolutionary importance of alternative hosts to plasmid population dynamics in an ecologically relevant environment, we established simple soil microcosm communities comprising two species of common soil bacteria, Pseudomonas fluorescens and Pseudomonas putida, and a mercury resistance (Hg(R)) plasmid, pQBR57, both with and without positive selection [i.e., addition of Hg(II)]. In single-species populations, plasmid stability varied between species: although pQBR57 survived both with and without positive selection in P. fluorescens, it was lost or replaced by nontransferable Hg(R) captured to the chromosome in P. putida A simple mathematical model suggests these differences were likely due to pQBR57's lower intraspecific conjugation rate in P. putida By contrast, in two-species communities, both models and experiments show that interspecific conjugation from P. fluorescens allowed pQBR57 to persist in P. putida via source-sink transfer dynamics. Moreover, the replacement of pQBR57 by nontransferable chromosomal Hg(R) in P. putida was slowed in coculture. Interspecific transfer allows plasmid survival in host species unable to sustain the plasmid in monoculture, promoting community-wide access to the plasmid-borne accessory gene pool and thus potentiating future evolvability. PMID:27385827

  12. Baculovirus-mediated gene transfer in butterfly wings in vivo: an efficient expression system with an anti-gp64 antibody

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Candidate genes for color pattern formation in butterfly wings have been known based on gene expression patterns since the 1990s, but their functions remain elusive due to a lack of a functional assay. Several methods of transferring and expressing a foreign gene in butterfly wings have been reported, but they have suffered from low success rates or low expression levels. Here, we developed a simple, practical method to efficiently deliver and express a foreign gene using baculovirus-mediated gene transfer in butterfly wings in vivo. Results A recombinant baculovirus containing a gene for green fluorescent protein (GFP) was injected into pupae of the blue pansy butterfly Junonia orithya (Nymphalidae). GFP fluorescence was detected in the pupal wings and other body parts of the injected individuals three to five days post-injection at various degrees of fluorescence. We obtained a high GFP expression rate at relatively high virus titers, but it was associated with pupal death before color pattern formation in wings. To reduce the high mortality rate caused by the baculovirus treatment, we administered an anti-gp64 antibody, which was raised against baculovirus coat protein gp64, to infected pupae after the baculovirus injection. This treatment greatly reduced the mortality rate of the infected pupae. GFP fluorescence was observed in pupal and adult wings and other body parts of the antibody-treated individuals at various degrees of fluorescence. Importantly, we obtained completely developed wings with a normal color pattern, in which fluorescent signals originated directly from scales or the basal membrane after the removal of scales. GFP fluorescence in wing tissues spatially coincided with anti-GFP antibody staining, confirming that the fluorescent signals originated from the expressed GFP molecules. Conclusions Our baculovirus-mediated gene transfer system with an anti-gp64 antibody is reasonably efficient, and it can be an invaluable tool to transfer

  13. Lentiviral gene transfer into human and murine hematopoietic stem cells: size matters.

    PubMed

    Canté-Barrett, Kirsten; Mendes, Rui D; Smits, Willem K; van Helsdingen-van Wijk, Yvette M; Pieters, Rob; Meijerink, Jules P P

    2016-01-01

    Contemporary biomedical research increasingly depends on techniques to induce or to inhibit expression of genes in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) or other primary cells to assess their roles on cellular processes including differentiation, apoptosis and migration. Surprisingly little information is available to optimize lentiviral transduction of HSCs. We have therefore carefully optimized transduction of murine and human HSCs by optimizing vector design, serum-free virus production and virus quantitation. We conclude that the viral RNA length, even in relatively small vectors, is an important factor affecting the lentiviral gene transfer on the level of both the virus production and the cellular transduction efficiency. Efficient transfer of large gene sequences into difficult-to-transduce primary cells will benefit from reducing the lentiviral construct size. PMID:27306375

  14. Networks of lexical borrowing and lateral gene transfer in language and genome evolution

    PubMed Central

    List, Johann-Mattis; Nelson-Sathi, Shijulal; Geisler, Hans; Martin, William

    2014-01-01

    Like biological species, languages change over time. As noted by Darwin, there are many parallels between language evolution and biological evolution. Insights into these parallels have also undergone change in the past 150 years. Just like genes, words change over time, and language evolution can be likened to genome evolution accordingly, but what kind of evolution? There are fundamental differences between eukaryotic and prokaryotic evolution. In the former, natural variation entails the gradual accumulation of minor mutations in alleles. In the latter, lateral gene transfer is an integral mechanism of natural variation. The study of language evolution using biological methods has attracted much interest of late, most approaches focusing on language tree construction. These approaches may underestimate the important role that borrowing plays in language evolution. Network approaches that were originally designed to study lateral gene transfer may provide more realistic insights into the complexities of language evolution. PMID:24375688

  15. IGG: A tool to integrate GeneChips for genetic studies.

    PubMed

    Li, M-X; Jiang, L; Ho, S-L; Song, Y-Q; Sham, P-C

    2007-11-15

    To facilitate genetic studies using high-throughput genotyping technologies, we have developed an open source tool to integrate genotype data across the Affymetrix and Illumina platforms. It can efficiently integrate a large amount of data from various GeneChips, add genotypes of the HapMap Project into a specific project, flexibly trim and export the integrated data with different formats of popular genetic analysis tools, and highly control the quality of genotype data. Furthermore, this tool has sufficiently simplified its usage through its user-friendly graphic interface and is independent of third-party databases. IGG has successfully been applied to a genome-wide linkage scan in a Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease pedigree by integrating three types of GeneChips and HapMap project genotypes. PMID:17872914

  16. DSGeo: software tools for cross-platform analysis of gene expression data in GEO.

    PubMed

    Lacson, Ronilda; Pitzer, Erik; Kim, Jihoon; Galante, Pedro; Hinske, Christian; Ohno-Machado, Lucila

    2010-10-01

    The Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) is the largest resource of public gene expression data. While GEO enables data browsing, query and retrieval, additional tools can help realize its potential for aggregating and comparing data across multiple studies and platforms. This paper describes DSGeo-a collection of valuable tools that were developed for annotating, aggregating, integrating, and analyzing data deposited in GEO. The core set of tools include a Relational Database, a Data Loader, a Data Browser, and an Expression Combiner and Analyzer. The application enables querying for specific sample characteristics and identifying studies containing samples that match the query. The Expression Combiner application enables normalization and aggregation of data from these samples and returns these data to the user after filtering, according to the user's preferences. The Expression Analyzer allows simple statistical comparisons between groups of data. This seamless integration makes annotated cross-platform data directly available for analysis.

  17. IGG: A tool to integrate GeneChips for genetic studies.

    PubMed

    Li, M-X; Jiang, L; Ho, S-L; Song, Y-Q; Sham, P-C

    2007-11-15

    To facilitate genetic studies using high-throughput genotyping technologies, we have developed an open source tool to integrate genotype data across the Affymetrix and Illumina platforms. It can efficiently integrate a large amount of data from various GeneChips, add genotypes of the HapMap Project into a specific project, flexibly trim and export the integrated data with different formats of popular genetic analysis tools, and highly control the quality of genotype data. Furthermore, this tool has sufficiently simplified its usage through its user-friendly graphic interface and is independent of third-party databases. IGG has successfully been applied to a genome-wide linkage scan in a Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease pedigree by integrating three types of GeneChips and HapMap project genotypes.

  18. Gene transfer agent (GTA) genes reveal diverse and dynamic Roseobacter and Rhodobacter populations in the Chesapeake Bay.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yanlin; Wang, Kui; Budinoff, Charles; Buchan, Alison; Lang, Andrew; Jiao, Nianzhi; Chen, Feng

    2009-03-01

    Within the bacterial class Alphaproteobacteria, the order Rhodobacterales contains the Roseobacter and Rhodobacter clades. Roseobacters are abundant and play important biogeochemical roles in marine environments. Roseobacter and Rhodobacter genomes contain a conserved gene transfer agent (GTA) gene cluster, and GTA-mediated gene transfer has been observed in these groups of bacteria. In this study, we investigated the genetic diversity of these two groups in Chesapeake Bay surface waters using a specific PCR primer set targeting the conserved Rhodobacterales GTA major capsid protein gene (g5). The g5 gene was successfully amplified from 26 Rhodobacterales isolates and the bay microbial communities using this primer set. Four g5 clone libraries were constructed from microbial assemblages representing different regions and seasons of the bay and yielded diverse sequences. In total, 12 distinct g5 clusters could be identified among 158 Chesapeake Bay clones, 11 fall within the Roseobacter clade, and one falls in the Rhodobacter clade. The vast majority of the clusters (10 out of 12) lack cultivated representatives. The composition of g5 sequences varied dramatically along the bay during the wintertime, and a distinct Roseobacter population composition between winter and summer was observed. The congruence between g5 and 16S rRNA gene phylogenies indicates that g5 may serve as a useful genetic marker to investigate diversity and abundance of Roseobacter and Rhodobacter in natural environments. The presence of the g5 gene in the natural populations of Roseobacter and Rhodobacter implies that genetic exchange through GTA transduction could be an important mechanism for maintaining the metabolic flexibility of these groups of bacteria.

  19. PointCloudXplore: a visualization tool for 3D gene expressiondata

    SciTech Connect

    Rubel, Oliver; Weber, Gunther H.; Keranen, Soile V.E.; Fowlkes,Charles C.; Luengo Hendriks, Cristian L.; Simirenko, Lisa; Shah, NameetaY.; Eisen, Michael B.; Biggn, Mark D.; Hagen, Hans; Sudar, Damir J.; Malik, Jitendra; Knowles, David W.; Hamann, Bernd

    2006-10-01

    The Berkeley Drosophila Transcription Network Project (BDTNP) has developed a suite of methods that support quantitative, computational analysis of three-dimensional (3D) gene expression patterns with cellular resolution in early Drosophila embryos, aiming at a more in-depth understanding of gene regulatory networks. We describe a new tool, called PointCloudXplore (PCX), that supports effective 3D gene expression data exploration. PCX is a visualization tool that uses the established visualization techniques of multiple views, brushing, and linking to support the analysis of high-dimensional datasets that describe many genes' expression. Each of the views in PointCloudXplore shows a different gene expression data property. Brushing is used to select and emphasize data associated with defined subsets of embryo cells within a view. Linking is used to show in additional views the expression data for a group of cells that have first been highlighted as a brush in a single view, allowing further data subset properties to be determined. In PCX, physical views of the data are linked to abstract data displays such as parallel coordinates. Physical views show the spatial relationships between different genes' expression patterns within an embryo. Abstract gene expression data displays on the other hand allow for an analysis of relationships between different genes directly in the gene expression space. We discuss on parallel coordinates as one example abstract data view currently available in PCX. We have developed several extensions to standard parallel coordinates to facilitate brushing and the visualization of 3D gene expression data.

  20. AnGeLi: A Tool for the Analysis of Gene Lists from Fission Yeast.

    PubMed

    Bitton, Danny A; Schubert, Falk; Dey, Shoumit; Okoniewski, Michal; Smith, Graeme C; Khadayate, Sanjay; Pancaldi, Vera; Wood, Valerie; Bähler, Jürg

    2015-01-01

    Genome-wide assays and screens typically result in large lists of genes or proteins. Enrichments of functional or other biological properties within such lists can provide valuable insights and testable hypotheses. To systematically detect these enrichments can be challenging and time-consuming, because relevant data to compare against query gene lists are spread over many different sources. We have developed AnGeLi (Analysis of Gene Lists), an intuitive, integrated web-tool for comprehensive and customized interrogation of gene lists from the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. AnGeLi searches for significant enrichments among multiple qualitative and quantitative information sources, including gene and phenotype ontologies, genetic and protein interactions, numerous features of genes, transcripts, translation, and proteins such as copy numbers, chromosomal positions, genetic diversity, RNA polymerase II and ribosome occupancy, localization, conservation, half-lives, domains, and molecular weight among others, as well as diverse sets of genes that are co-regulated or lead to the same phenotypes when mutated. AnGeLi uses robust statistics which can be tailored to specific needs. It also provides the option to upload user-defined gene sets to compare against the query list. Through an integrated data submission form, AnGeLi encourages the community to contribute additional curated gene lists to further increase the usefulness of this resource and to get the most from the ever increasing large-scale experiments. AnGeLi offers a rigorous yet flexible statistical analysis platform for rich insights into functional enrichments and biological context for query gene lists, thus providing a powerful exploratory tool through which S. pombe researchers can uncover fresh perspectives and unexpected connections from genomic data. AnGeLi is freely available at: www.bahlerlab.info/AnGeLi. PMID:26635866

  1. AnGeLi: A Tool for the Analysis of Gene Lists from Fission Yeast.

    PubMed

    Bitton, Danny A; Schubert, Falk; Dey, Shoumit; Okoniewski, Michal; Smith, Graeme C; Khadayate, Sanjay; Pancaldi, Vera; Wood, Valerie; Bähler, Jürg

    2015-01-01

    Genome-wide assays and screens typically result in large lists of genes or proteins. Enrichments of functional or other biological properties within such lists can provide valuable insights and testable hypotheses. To systematically detect these enrichments can be challenging and time-consuming, because relevant data to compare against query gene lists are spread over many different sources. We have developed AnGeLi (Analysis of Gene Lists), an intuitive, integrated web-tool for comprehensive and customized interrogation of gene lists from the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. AnGeLi searches for significant enrichments among multiple qualitative and quantitative information sources, including gene and phenotype ontologies, genetic and protein interactions, numerous features of genes, transcripts, translation, and proteins such as copy numbers, chromosomal positions, genetic diversity, RNA polymerase II and ribosome occupancy, localization, conservation, half-lives, domains, and molecular weight among others, as well as diverse sets of genes that are co-regulated or lead to the same phenotypes when mutated. AnGeLi uses robust statistics which can be tailored to specific needs. It also provides the option to upload user-defined gene sets to compare against the query list. Through an integrated data submission form, AnGeLi encourages the community to contribute additional curated gene lists to further increase the usefulness of this resource and to get the most from the ever increasing large-scale experiments. AnGeLi offers a rigorous yet flexible statistical analysis platform for rich insights into functional enrichments and biological context for query gene lists, thus providing a powerful exploratory tool through which S. pombe researchers can uncover fresh perspectives and unexpected connections from genomic data. AnGeLi is freely available at: www.bahlerlab.info/AnGeLi.

  2. Myocardial Gene Transfer: Routes and Devices for Regulation of Transgene Expression by Modulation of Cellular Permeability

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Michael G.; Bridges, Charles R.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Heart diseases are major causes of morbidity and mortality in Western society. Gene therapy approaches are becoming promising therapeutic modalities to improve underlying molecular processes affecting failing cardiomyocytes. Numerous cardiac clinical gene therapy trials have yet to demonstrate strong positive results and advantages over current pharmacotherapy. The success of gene therapy depends largely on the creation of a reliable and efficient delivery method. The establishment of such a system is determined by its ability to overcome the existing biological barriers, including cellular uptake and intracellular trafficking as well as modulation of cellular permeability. In this article, we describe a variety of physical and mechanical methods, based on the transient disruption of the cell membrane, which are applied in nonviral gene transfer. In addition, we focus on the use of different physiological techniques and devices and pharmacological agents to enhance endothelial permeability. Development of these methods will undoubtedly help solve major problems facing gene therapy. PMID:23427834

  3. Loss of two introns from the Magnolia tripetala mitochondrial cox2 gene implicates horizontal gene transfer and gene conversion as a novel mechanism of intron loss.

    PubMed

    Hepburn, Nancy J; Schmidt, Derek W; Mower, Jeffrey P

    2012-10-01

    Intron loss is often thought to occur through retroprocessing, which is the reverse transcription and genomic integration of a spliced transcript. In plant mitochondria, several unambiguous examples of retroprocessing are supported by the parallel loss of an intron and numerous adjacent RNA edit sites, but in most cases, the evidence for intron loss via retroprocessing is weak or lacking entirely. To evaluate mechanisms of intron loss, we designed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay to detect recent intron losses from the mitochondrial cox2 gene within genus Magnolia, which was previously suggested to have variability in cox2 intron content. Our assay showed that all 22 examined species have a cox2 gene with two introns. However, one species, Magnolia tripetala, contains an additional cox2 gene that lacks both introns. Quantitative PCR showed that both M. tripetala cox2 genes are present in the mitochondrial genome. Although the intronless gene has lost several ancestral RNA edit sites, their distribution is inconsistent with retroprocessing models. Instead, phylogenetic and gene conversion analyses indicate that the intronless gene was horizontally acquired from a eudicot and then underwent gene conversion with the native intron-containing gene. The models are presented to summarize the roles of horizontal gene transfer and gene conversion as a novel mechanism of intron loss.

  4. Targeting Fungal Genes by Diced siRNAs: A Rapid Tool to Decipher Gene Function in Aspergillus nidulans

    PubMed Central

    Kalleda, Natarajaswamy; Naorem, Aruna; Manchikatla, Rajam V.

    2013-01-01

    Background Gene silencing triggered by chemically synthesized small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) has become a powerful tool for deciphering gene function in many eukaryotes. However, prediction and validation of a single siRNA duplex specific to a target gene is often ineffective. RNA interference (RNAi) with synthetic siRNA suffers from lower silencing efficacy, off-target effects and is cost-intensive, especially for functional genomic studies. With the explosion of fungal genomic information, there is an increasing need to analyze gene function in a rapid manner. Therefore, studies were performed in order to investigate the efficacy of gene silencing induced by RNase III-diced-siRNAs (d-siRNA) in model filamentous fungus, Aspergillus nidulans. Methodology/Principal Findings Stable expression of heterologous reporter gene in A. nidulans eases the examination of a new RNAi-induction route. Hence, we have optimized Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation (AMT) of A. nidulans for stable expression of sGFP gene. This study demonstrates that the reporter GFP gene stably introduced into A. nidulans can be effectively silenced by treatment of GFP-d-siRNAs. We have shown the down-regulation of two endogenous genes, AnrasA and AnrasB of A. nidulans by d-siRNAs. We have also elucidated the function of an uncharacterized Ras homolog, rasB gene, which was found to be involved in hyphal growth and development. Further, silencing potency of d-siRNA was higher as compared to synthetic siRNA duplex, targeting AnrasA. Silencing was shown to be sequence-specific, since expression profiles of other closely related Ras family genes in d-siRNA treated AnrasA and AnrasB silenced lines exhibited no change in gene expression. Conclusions/Significance We have developed and applied a fast, specific and efficient gene silencing approach for elucidating gene function in A. nidulans using d-siRNAs. We have also optimized an efficient AMT in A. nidulans, which is useful for stable

  5. AthaMap web tools for the analysis and identification of co-regulated genes.

    PubMed

    Galuschka, Claudia; Schindler, Martin; Bülow, Lorenz; Hehl, Reinhard

    2007-01-01

    The AthaMap database generates a map of cis-regulatory elements for the whole Arabidopsis thaliana genome. This database has been extended by new tools to identify common cis-regulatory elements in specific regions of user-provided gene sets. A resulting table displays all cis-regulatory elements annotated in AthaMap including positional information relative to the respective gene. Further tables show overviews with the number of individual transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) present and TFBS common to the whole set of genes. Over represented cis-elements are easily identified. These features were used to detect specific enrichment of drought-responsive elements in cold-induced genes. For identification of co-regulated genes, the output table of the colocalization function was extended to show the closest genes and their relative distances to the colocalizing TFBS. Gene sets determined by this function can be used for a co-regulation analysis in microarray gene expression databases such as Genevestigator or PathoPlant. Additional improvements of AthaMap include display of the gene structure in the sequence window and a significant data increase. AthaMap is freely available at http://www.athamap.de/. PMID:17148485

  6. SUMO-1 gene transfer improves cardiac function in a large-animal model of heart failure.

    PubMed

    Tilemann, Lisa; Lee, Ahyoung; Ishikawa, Kiyotake; Aguero, Jaume; Rapti, Kleopatra; Santos-Gallego, Carlos; Kohlbrenner, Erik; Fish, Kenneth M; Kho, Changwon; Hajjar, Roger J

    2013-11-13

    Recently, the impact of small ubiquitin-related modifier 1 (SUMO-1) on the regulation and preservation of sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium adenosine triphosphatase (SERCA2a) function was discovered. The amount of myocardial SUMO-1 is decreased in failing hearts, and its knockdown results in severe heart failure (HF) in mice. In a previous study, we showed that SUMO-1 gene transfer substantially improved cardiac function in a murine model of pressure overload-induced HF. Toward clinical translation, we evaluated in this study the effects of SUMO-1 gene transfer in a swine model of ischemic HF. One month after balloon occlusion of the proximal left anterior descending artery followed by reperfusion, the animals were randomized to receive either SUMO-1 at two doses, SERCA2a, or b