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Sample records for gene transfer tools

  1. An XMRV Derived Retroviral Vector as a Tool for Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Retroviral vectors are widely used tools for gene delivery and gene therapy. They are useful for gene expression studies and genetic manipulation in vitro and in vivo. Many retroviral vectors are derived from the mouse gammaretrovirus, murine leukemia virus (MLV). These vectors have been widely used in gene therapy clinical trials. XMRV, initially found in prostate cancer tissue, was the first human gammaretrovirus described. Findings We developed a new retroviral vector based on XMRV called pXC. It was developed for gene transfer to human cells and is produced by transient cotransfection of LNCaP cells with pXC and XMRV-packaging plasmids. Conclusions We demonstrated that pXC mediates expression of inserted transgenes in cell lines. This new vector will be a useful tool for gene transfer in human and non-human cell lines, including gene therapy studies. PMID:21651801

  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 Central

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

    2008-01-01

    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. RATT: Rapid Annotation Transfer Tool

    PubMed Central

    Otto, Thomas D.; Dillon, Gary P.; Degrave, Wim S.; Berriman, Matthew

    2011-01-01

    Second-generation sequencing technologies have made large-scale sequencing projects commonplace. However, making use of these datasets often requires gene function to be ascribed genome wide. Although tool development has kept pace with the changes in sequence production, for tasks such as mapping, de novo assembly or visualization, genome annotation remains a challenge. We have developed a method to rapidly provide accurate annotation for new genomes using previously annotated genomes as a reference. The method, implemented in a tool called RATT (Rapid Annotation Transfer Tool), transfers annotations from a high-quality reference to a new genome on the basis of conserved synteny. We demonstrate that a Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome or a single 2.5 Mb chromosome from a malaria parasite can be annotated in less than five minutes with only modest computational resources. RATT is available at http://ratt.sourceforge.net. PMID:21306991

  5. Bicistronic gene transfer tools for delivery of miRNAs and protein coding sequences.

    PubMed

    Stoller, Michelle L; Chang, Henry C; Fekete, Donna M

    2013-09-05

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a category of small RNAs that modulate levels of proteins via post-transcriptional inhibition. Currently, a standard strategy to overexpress miRNAs is as mature miRNA duplexes, although this method is cumbersome if multiple miRNAs need to be delivered. Many of these miRNAs are found within introns and processed through the RNA polymerase II pathway. We have designed a vector to exploit this naturally-occurring intronic pathway to deliver the three members of the sensory-specific miR-183 family from an artificial intron. In one version of the vector, the downstream exon encodes the reporter (GFP) while another version encodes a fusion protein created between the transcription factor Atoh1 and the hemaglutinin epitope, to distinguish it from endogenous Atoh1. In vitro analysis shows that the miRNAs contained within the artificial intron are processed and bind to their targets with specificity. The genes downstream are successfully translated into protein and identifiable through immunofluorescence. More importantly, Atoh1 is proven functional through in vitro assays. These results suggest that this cassette allows expression of miRNAs and proteins simultaneously, which provides the opportunity for joint delivery of specific translational repressors (miRNA) and possibly transcriptional activators (transcription factors). This ability is attractive for future gene therapy use.

  6. Optimizing NTS-Polyplex as a Tool for Gene Transfer to Cultured Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez-Baltazar, Daniel

    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

  7. Regions of Unusual Statistical Properties as Tools in the Search for Horizontally Transferred Genes in Escherichia coli

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putonti, Catherine; Chumakov, Sergei; Chavez, Arturo; Luo, Yi; Graur, Dan; Fox, George E.; Fofanov, Yuriy

    2006-09-01

    The observed diversity of statistical characteristics along genomic sequences is the result of the influences of a variety of ongoing processes including horizontal gene transfer, gene loss, genome rearrangements, and evolution. The rate at which various processes affect the genome typically varies between different genomic regions. Thus, variations in statistical properties seen in different regions of a genome are often associated with its evolution and functional organization. Analysis of such properties is therefore relevant to many ongoing biomedical research efforts. Similarity Plot or S-plot is a Windows-based application for large-scale comparisons and 2D visualization of similarities between genomic sequences. This application combines two approaches wildly used in genomics: window analysis of statistical characteristics along genomes and dot-plot visual representation. S-plot is effective in detecting highly similar regions between two genomes. Within a single genome, S-plot has the ability to identify highly dissimilar regions displaying unusual compositional properties. The application was used to perform a comparative analysis of 50+ microbial genomes as well as many eukaryote genomes including human, rat, mouse, and drosophila. We illustrate the uses of S-Plot in a comparison involving Escherichia coli K12 and E. coli O157:H7.

  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. Lateral gene transfer, rearrangement, reconciliation

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Models of ancestral gene order reconstruction have progressively integrated different evolutionary patterns and processes such as unequal gene content, gene duplications, and implicitly sequence evolution via reconciled gene trees. These models have so far ignored lateral gene transfer, even though in unicellular organisms it can have an important confounding effect, and can be a rich source of information on the function of genes through the detection of transfers of clusters of genes. Result We report an algorithm together with its implementation, DeCoLT, that reconstructs ancestral genome organization based on reconciled gene trees which summarize information on sequence evolution, gene origination, duplication, loss, and lateral transfer. DeCoLT optimizes in polynomial time on the number of rearrangements, computed as the number of gains and breakages of adjacencies between pairs of genes. We apply DeCoLT to 1099 gene families from 36 cyanobacteria genomes. Conclusion DeCoLT is able to reconstruct adjacencies in 35 ancestral bacterial genomes with a thousand gene families in a few hours, and detects clusters of co-transferred genes. DeCoLT may also be used with any relationship between genes instead of adjacencies, to reconstruct ancestral interactions, functions or complexes. Availability http://pbil.univ-lyon1.fr/software/DeCoLT/ PMID:24564205

  10. Development of molecular tools to monitor conjugative transfer in rhizobia.

    PubMed

    Tejerizo, Gonzalo Torres; Bañuelos, Luis Alfredo; Cervantes, Laura; Gaytán, Paul; Pistorio, Mariano; Romero, David; Brom, Susana

    2015-10-01

    Evolution of bacterial populations has been extensively driven by horizontal transfer events. Conjugative plasmid transfer is considered the principal contributor to gene exchange among bacteria. Several conjugative and mobilizable plasmids have been identified in rhizobia, and two major molecular mechanisms that regulate their transfer have been described, under laboratory conditions. The knowledge of rhizobial plasmid transfer regulation in natural environments is very poor. In this work we developed molecular tools to easily monitor the conjugative plasmid transfer in rhizobia by flow cytometry (FC) or microscopy. 24 cassettes were constructed by combining a variety of promotors, fluorescent proteins and antibiotic resistance genes, and used to tag plasmids and chromosome of donor strains. We were able to detect plasmid transfer after conversion of non-fluorescent recipients into fluorescent transconjugants. Flow cytometry (FC) was optimized to count donor, recipient and transconjugant strains to determine conjugative transfer frequencies. Results were similar, when determined either by FC or by viable counts. Our constructions also allowed the visualization of transconjugants in crosses performed on bean roots. The tools presented here may also be used for other purposes, such as analysis of transcriptional fusions or single-cell tagging. Application of the system will allow the survey of how different environmental conditions or other regulators modulate plasmid transfer in rhizobia.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Reducible cationic lipids for gene transfer.

    PubMed Central

    Wetzer, B; Byk, G; Frederic, M; Airiau, M; Blanche, F; Pitard, B; Scherman, D

    2001-01-01

    One of the main challenges of gene therapy remains the increase of gene delivery into eukaryotic cells. We tested whether intracellular DNA release, an essential step for gene transfer, could be facilitated by using reducible cationic DNA-delivery vectors. For this purpose, plasmid DNA was complexed with cationic lipids bearing a disulphide bond. This reduction-sensitive linker is expected to be reduced and cleaved in the reducing milieu of the cytoplasm, thus potentially improving DNA release and consequently transfection. The DNA--disulphide-lipid complexation was monitored by ethidium bromide exclusion, and the size of complexes was determined by dynamic light scattering. It was found that the reduction kinetics of disulphide groups in DNA--lipid complexes depended on the position of the disulphide linker within the lipid molecule. Furthermore, the internal structure of DNA--lipid particles was examined by small-angle X-ray scattering before and after lipid reduction. DNA release from lipid complexes was observed after the reduction of disulphide bonds of several lipids. Cell-transfection experiments suggested that complexes formed with selected reducible lipids resulted in up to 1000-fold higher reporter-gene activity, when compared with their analogues without disulphide bonds. In conclusion, reduction-sensitive groups introduced into cationic lipid backbones potentially allow enhanced DNA release from DNA--lipid complexes after intracellular reduction and represent a tool for improved vectorization. PMID:11389682

  16. Reducible cationic lipids for gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Wetzer, B; Byk, G; Frederic, M; Airiau, M; Blanche, F; Pitard, B; Scherman, D

    2001-06-15

    One of the main challenges of gene therapy remains the increase of gene delivery into eukaryotic cells. We tested whether intracellular DNA release, an essential step for gene transfer, could be facilitated by using reducible cationic DNA-delivery vectors. For this purpose, plasmid DNA was complexed with cationic lipids bearing a disulphide bond. This reduction-sensitive linker is expected to be reduced and cleaved in the reducing milieu of the cytoplasm, thus potentially improving DNA release and consequently transfection. The DNA--disulphide-lipid complexation was monitored by ethidium bromide exclusion, and the size of complexes was determined by dynamic light scattering. It was found that the reduction kinetics of disulphide groups in DNA--lipid complexes depended on the position of the disulphide linker within the lipid molecule. Furthermore, the internal structure of DNA--lipid particles was examined by small-angle X-ray scattering before and after lipid reduction. DNA release from lipid complexes was observed after the reduction of disulphide bonds of several lipids. Cell-transfection experiments suggested that complexes formed with selected reducible lipids resulted in up to 1000-fold higher reporter-gene activity, when compared with their analogues without disulphide bonds. In conclusion, reduction-sensitive groups introduced into cationic lipid backbones potentially allow enhanced DNA release from DNA--lipid complexes after intracellular reduction and represent a tool for improved vectorization.

  17. Targeting Radiotherapy to Cancer by Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    2003-01-01

    Targeted radionuclide therapy is an alternative method of radiation treatment which uses a tumor-seeking agent carrying a radioactive atom to deposits of tumor, wherever in the body they may be located. Recent experimental data signifies promise for the amalgamation of gene transfer with radionuclide targeting. This review encompasses aspects of the integration of gene manipulation and targeted radiotherapy, highlighting the possibilities of gene transfer to assist the targeting of cancer with low molecular weight radiopharmaceuticals. PMID:12721515

  18. 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

  19. Biased gene transfer in microbial evolution.

    PubMed

    Andam, Cheryl P; Gogarten, J Peter

    2011-06-13

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is an important evolutionary process that allows the spread of innovations between distantly related organisms. We present evidence that prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) are more likely to transfer genetic material with their close relatives than with distantly related lineages. This bias in transfer partners can create phylogenetic signals that are difficult to distinguish from the signal created through shared ancestry. Preferences for transfer partners can be revealed by studying the distribution patterns of divergent genes with identical functions. In many respects, these genes are similar to alleles in a population, except that they coexist only in higher taxonomic groupings and are acquired by a species through HGT. We also discuss the role of biased gene transfer in the formation of taxonomically recognizable natural groups in the tree or net of life.

  20. Detecting Highways of Horizontal Gene Transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bansal, Mukul S.; Gogarten, J. Peter; Shamir, Ron

    In a horizontal gene transfer (HGT) event a gene is transferred between two species that do not share an ancestor-descendant relationship. Typically, no more than a few genes are horizontally transferred between any two species. However, several studies identified pairs of species between which many different genes were horizontally transferred. Such a pair is said to be linked by a highway of gene sharing. We present a method for inferring such highways. Our method is based on the fact that the evolutionary histories of horizontally transferred genes disagree with the corresponding species phylogeny. Specifically, given a set of gene trees and a trusted rooted species tree, each gene tree is first decomposed into its constituent quartet trees and the quartets that are inconsistent with the species tree are identified. Our method finds a pair of species such that a highway between them explains the largest (normalized) fraction of inconsistent quartets. For a problem on n species, our method requires O(n 4) time, which is optimal with respect to the quartets input size. An application of our method to a dataset of 1128 genes from 11 cyanobacterial species, as well as to simulated datasets, illustrates the efficacy of our method.

  1. Detecting highways of horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Bansal, Mukul S; Banay, Guy; Gogarten, J Peter; Shamir, Ron

    2011-09-01

    In a horizontal gene transfer (HGT) event, a gene is transferred between two species that do not have an ancestor-descendant relationship. Typically, no more than a few genes are horizontally transferred between any two species. However, several studies identified pairs of species between which many different genes were horizontally transferred. Such a pair is said to be linked by a highway of gene sharing. We present a method for inferring such highways. Our method is based on the fact that the evolutionary histories of horizontally transferred genes disagree with the corresponding species phylogeny. Specifically, given a set of gene trees and a trusted rooted species tree, each gene tree is first decomposed into its constituent quartet trees and the quartets that are inconsistent with the species tree are identified. Our method finds a pair of species such that a highway between them explains the largest (normalized) fraction of inconsistent quartets. For a problem on n species and m input quartet trees, we give an efficient O(m + n(2))-time algorithm for detecting highways, which is optimal with respect to the quartets input size. An application of our method to a dataset of 1128 genes from 11 cyanobacterial species, as well as to simulated datasets, illustrates the efficacy of our method.

  2. Friendly Extensible Transfer Tool Beta Version

    SciTech Connect

    Collins, William P.; Gutierrez, Kenneth M.; McRee, Susan R.; Sands, Daniel N.; Yaklin, Allan C.

    2016-04-15

    Often data transfer software is designed to meet specific requirements or apply to specific environments. Frequently, this requires source code integration for added functionality. An extensible data transfer framework is needed to more easily incorporate new capabilities, in modular fashion. Using FrETT framework, functionality may be incorporated (in many cases without need of source code) to handle new platform capabilities: I/O methods (e.g., platform specific data access), network transport methods, data processing (e.g., data compression.).

  3. 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.

  4. Novel gene transfer systems: intelligent gene transfer vectors for gene medicines.

    PubMed

    Nakajima, Toshihiro

    2012-01-01

    Drug delivery systems for gene transfer are called 'vectors'. These systems were originally invented as a delivery system for the transfection in vitro or in vivo. Several vectors are then developed for clinical use of gene medicines and currently some of them are approved as animal drugs. Conventional drug delivery system generally consists of approved (existing) materials to avoid additional pre-clinical or clinical studies. However, current vectors contain novel materials to improve an efficacy of gene medicines. Thus, these vectors have functions more than a mere delivery of active ingredients. For example some vectors have immunological functions such as adjuvants in vaccines. These new types of vectors are called 'intelligent' or 'innovative' vector system', since the concept or strategy for the development is completely different from conventional drug delivery systems. In this article, we described a current status of 'intelligent gene transfer vectors and discussed on the potentials of them.

  5. Antibody Gene Transfer for HIV Immunoprophylaxis

    PubMed Central

    Balazs, Alejandro B.; West, Anthony P.

    2015-01-01

    Antibody gene transfer, which involves the delivery of genes that encode potent, broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies, is a promising new strategy to prevent HIV infection. A satellite symposium at the AIDS Vaccine 2012 conference brought together many of the groups working in this field. PMID:23238748

  6. Antibody gene transfer for HIV immunoprophylaxis.

    PubMed

    Balazs, Alejandro B; West, Anthony P

    2013-01-01

    Antibody gene transfer, which involves the delivery of genes that encode potent, broadly neutralizing antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is a promising new strategy for preventing HIV infection. A satellite symposium at the AIDS Vaccine 2012 conference brought together many of the groups working in this field.

  7. Emerging role of regulatory T cells in gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Cao, Ou; Furlan-Freguia, Christian; Arruda, Valder R; Herzog, Roland W

    2007-10-01

    Induction and maintenance of immune tolerance to therapeutic transgene products are key requirements for successful gene replacement therapies. Gene transfer may also be used to specifically induce immune tolerance and thereby augment other types of therapies. Similarly, gene therapies for treatment of autoimmune diseases are being developed in order to restore tolerance to self-antigens. Regulatory T cells have emerged as key players in many aspects of immune tolerance, and a rapidly increasing body of work documents induction and/or activation of regulatory T cells by gene transfer. Regulatory T cells may suppress antibody formation and cytotoxic T cell responses and may be critical for immune tolerance to therapeutic proteins. In this regard, CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells have been identified as important components of tolerance in several gene transfer protocols, including hepatic in vivo gene transfer. Augmentation of regulatory T cell responses should be a promising new tool to achieve tolerance and avoid immune-mediated rejection of gene therapy. During the past decade, it has become obvious that immune regulation is an important and integral component of tolerance to self-antigens and of many forms of induced tolerance. Gene therapy can only be successful if the immune system does not reject the therapeutic transgene product. Recent studies provide a rapidly growing body of evidence that regulatory T cells (T(reg)) are involved and often play a crucial role in tolerance to proteins expressed by means of gene transfer. This review seeks to provide an overview of these data and their implications for gene therapy.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Molecular Transfer of Nematode Resistance Genes

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, V. M.; Ho, J.-Y.; Ma, H. M.

    1992-01-01

    Recombinant DNA techniques have been used to introduce agronomically valuable traits, including resistance to viruses, herbicides, and insects, into crop plants. Introduction of these genes into plants frequently involves Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer. The potential exists for applying this technology to nematode control by introducing genes conferring resistance to nematodes. Transferred genes could include those encoding products detrimental to nematode development or reproduction as well as cloned host resistance genes. Host genes that confer resistance to cyst or root-knot nematode species have been identified in many plants. The best characterized is Mi, a gene that confers resistance to root-knot nematodes in tomato. A map-based cloning approach is being used to isolate the gene. For development of a detailed map of the region of the genome surrounding Mi, DNA markers genetically linked to Mi have been identified and analyzed in tomato lines that have undergone a recombination event near Mi. The molecular map will be used to identify DNA corresponding to Mi. We estimate that a clone of Mi will be obtained in 2-5 years. An exciting prospect is that introduction of this gene will confer resistance in plant species without currently available sources of resistance. PMID:19282989

  12. 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

  13. Unsupervised Learning in Detection of Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Hamel, L.; Nahar, N.; Poptsova, M. S.; Zhaxybayeva, O.; Gogarten, J. P.

    2008-01-01

    The tree representation as a model for organismal evolution has been in use since before Darwin. However, with the recent unprecedented access to biomolecular data, it has been discovered that, especially in the microbial world, individual genes making up the genome of an organism give rise to different and sometimes conflicting evolutionary tree topologies. This discovery calls into question the notion of a single evolutionary tree for an organism and gives rise to the notion of an evolutionary consensus tree based on the evolutionary patterns of the majority of genes in a genome embedded in a network of gene histories. Here, we discuss an approach to the analysis of genomic data of multiple genomes using bipartition spectral analysis and unsupervised learning. An interesting observation is that genes within genomes that have evolutionary tree topologies, which are in substantial conflict with the evolutionary consensus tree of an organism, point to possible horizontal gene transfer events which often delineate significant evolutionary events. PMID:18509479

  14. Viral vectors for gene transfer: current status of gene therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Heilbronn, Regine; Weger, Stefan

    2010-01-01

    Gene therapy for the correction of inherited or acquired disease has gained increasing importance in recent years. Successful treatment of children suffering from severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) was achieved using retrovirus vectors for gene transfer. Encouraging improvements of vision were reported in a genetic eye disorder (LCA) leading to early childhood blindness. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors were used for gene transfer in these trials. This chapter gives an overview of the design and delivery of viral vectors for the transport of a therapeutic gene into a target cell or tissue. The construction and production of retrovirus, lentivirus, and AAV vectors are covered. The focus is on production methods suitable for biopharmaceutical upscaling and for downstream processing. Quality control measures and biological safety considerations for the use of vectors in clinical trials are discussed.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Therapeutic option of plasmid-DNA based gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Taniyama, Yoshiaki; Azuma, Junya; Kunugiza, Yasuo; Iekushi, Kazuma; Rakugi, Hiromi; Morishita, Ryuichi

    2012-01-01

    Gene therapy offers a novel approach for the prevention and treatment of a variety of diseases, but it is not yet a common method in clinical cases because of various problems. Viral vectors show high efficiency of gene transfer, but they have some problems with toxicity and immunity. On the other hand, plasmid deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-based gene transfer is very safe, but its efficiency is relatively low. Especially, plasmid DNA gene therapy is used for cardiovascular disease because plasmid DNA transfer is possible for cardiac or skeletal muscle. Clinical angiogenic gene therapy using plasmid DNA gene transfer has been attempted in patients with peripheral artery disease, but a phase III clinical trial did not show sufficient efficiency. In this situation, more efficient plasmid DNA gene transfer is needed all over the world. This review focuses on plasmid DNA gene transfer and its enhancement, including ultrasound with microbubbles, electroporation, hydrodynamic method, gene gun, jet injection, cationic lipids and cationic polymers.

  20. Horizontal gene transfer in parasitic plants.

    PubMed

    Davis, Charles C; Xi, Zhenxiang

    2015-08-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) between species has been a major focus of plant evolutionary research during the past decade. Parasitic plants, which establish a direct connection with their hosts, have provided excellent examples of how these transfers are facilitated via the intimacy of this symbiosis. In particular, phylogenetic studies from diverse clades indicate that parasitic plants represent a rich system for studying this phenomenon. Here, HGT has been shown to be astonishingly high in the mitochondrial genome, and appreciable in the nuclear genome. Although explicit tests remain to be performed, some transgenes have been hypothesized to be functional in their recipient species, thus providing a new perspective on the evolution of novelty in parasitic plants.

  1. Horizontal gene transfer from Agrobacterium to plants

    PubMed Central

    Matveeva, Tatiana V.; Lutova, Ludmila A.

    2014-01-01

    Most genetic engineering of plants uses Agrobacterium mediated transformation to introduce novel gene content. In nature, insertion of T-DNA in the plant genome and its subsequent transfer via sexual reproduction has been shown in several species in the genera Nicotiana and Linaria. In these natural examples of horizontal gene transfer from Agrobacterium to plants, the T-DNA donor is assumed to be a mikimopine strain of A. rhizogenes. A sequence homologous to the T-DNA of the Ri plasmid of Agrobacterium rhizogenes was found in the genome of untransformed Nicotiana glauca about 30 years ago, and was named “cellular T-DNA” (cT-DNA). It represents an imperfect inverted repeat and contains homologs of several T-DNA oncogenes (NgrolB, NgrolC, NgORF13, NgORF14) and an opine synthesis gene (Ngmis). A similar cT-DNA has also been found in other species of the genus Nicotiana. These presumably ancient homologs of T-DNA genes are still expressed, indicating that they may play a role in the evolution of these plants. Recently T-DNA has been detected and characterized in Linaria vulgaris and L. dalmatica. In Linaria vulgaris the cT-DNA is present in two copies and organized as a tandem imperfect direct repeat, containing LvORF2, LvORF3, LvORF8, LvrolA, LvrolB, LvrolC, LvORF13, LvORF14, and the Lvmis genes. All L. vulgaris and L. dalmatica plants screened contained the same T-DNA oncogenes and the mis gene. Evidence suggests that there were several independent T-DNA integration events into the genomes of these plant genera. We speculate that ancient plants transformed by A. rhizogenes might have acquired a selective advantage in competition with the parental species. Thus, the events of T-DNA insertion in the plant genome might have affected their evolution, resulting in the creation of new plant species. In this review we focus on the structure and functions of cT-DNA in Linaria and Nicotiana and discuss their possible evolutionary role. PMID:25157257

  2. Concepts and tools for gene editing.

    PubMed

    Josa, Santiago; Seruggia, Davide; Fernández, Almudena; Montoliu, Lluis

    2016-01-01

    Gene editing is a relatively recent concept in the molecular biology field. Traditional genetic modifications in animals relied on a classical toolbox that, aside from some technical improvements and additions, remained unchanged for many years. Classical methods involved direct delivery of DNA sequences into embryos or the use of embryonic stem cells for those few species (mice and rats) where it was possible to establish them. For livestock, the advent of somatic cell nuclear transfer platforms provided alternative, but technically challenging, approaches for the genetic alteration of loci at will. However, the entire landscape changed with the appearance of different classes of genome editors, from initial zinc finger nucleases, to transcription activator-like effector nucleases and, most recently, with the development of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated proteins (Cas). Gene editing is currently achieved by CRISPR-Cas-mediated methods, and this technological advancement has boosted our capacity to generate almost any genetically altered animal that can be envisaged.

  3. CRISPR as a strong gene editing tool.

    PubMed

    Shen, Shengfu; Loh, Tiing Jen; Shen, Hongling; Zheng, Xuexiu; Shen, Haihong

    2017-01-01

    Clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) is a new and effective genetic editing tool. CRISPR was initially found in bacteria to protect it from virus invasions. In the first step, specific DNA strands of virus are identified by guide RNA that is composed of crRNA and tracrRNA. Then RNAse III is required for producing crRNA from pre-crRNA. In The second step, a crRNA:tracrRNA:Cas9 complex guides RNase III to cleave target DNA. After cleavage of DNA by CRISPR-Cas9, DNA can be fixed by Non- Homologous End Joining (NHEJ) and Homology Directed Repair (HDR). Whereas NHEJ is simple and random, HDR is much more complex and accurate. Gene editing by CRISPR is able to be applied to various biological field such as agriculture and treating genetic diseases in human. [BMB Reports 2017; 50(1): 20-24].

  4. CRISPR as a strong gene editing tool

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Shengfu; Loh, Tiing Jen; Shen, Hongling; Zheng, Xuexiu; Shen, Haihong

    2017-01-01

    Clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) is a new and effective genetic editing tool. CRISPR was initially found in bacteria to protect it from virus invasions. In the first step, specific DNA strands of virus are identified by guide RNA that is composed of crRNA and tracrRNA. Then RNAse III is required for producing crRNA from pre-crRNA. In The second step, a crRNA:tracrRNA:Cas9 complex guides RNase III to cleave target DNA. After cleavage of DNA by CRISPR-Cas9, DNA can be fixed by Non-Homologous End Joining (NHEJ) and Homology Directed Repair (HDR). Whereas NHEJ is simple and random, HDR is much more complex and accurate. Gene editing by CRISPR is able to be applied to various biological field such as agriculture and treating genetic diseases in human. PMID:27616359

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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

  10. Stable transformation of maize after gene transfer by electroporation.

    PubMed

    Fromm, M E; Taylor, L P; Walbot, V

    The graminaceous monocots, including the economically important cereals, seem to be refractory to infection by Agrobacterium tumefaciens, a natural gene transfer system that has been successfully exploited for transferring foreign genes into higher plants. Therefore, direct transfer techniques that are potentially applicable to all plant species have been developed using a few dicot and monocot species as model systems. One of these techniques, electroporation, uses electrical pulses of high field strength to permeabilize cell membranes reversibly so as to facilitate the transfer of DNA into cells. Electroporation-mediated gene transfer has resulted in stably transformed animal cells and transient gene expression in monocot and dicot plant cells. Here we report that electroporation-mediated DNA transfer of a chimaeric gene encoding neomycin phosphotransferase results in stably transformed maize cells that are resistant to kanamycin.

  11. Plasmid DNA-based gene transfer with ultrasound and microbubbles.

    PubMed

    Taniyama, Yoshiaki; Azuma, Junya; Rakugi, Hiromi; Morishita, Ryuichi

    2011-12-01

    Gene therapy offers a novel approach for the prevention and treatment of a variety of diseases, but it is not yet a common option in the real world because of various problems. Viral vectors show high efficiency of gene transfer, but they have some problems with toxicity and immunity. On the other hand, plasmid DNA-based gene transfer is very safe, but its efficiency is relatively low. Especially, plasmid DNA gene therapy is used for cardiovascular disease because plasmid DNA transfer is possible for cardiac or skeletal muscle. Clinical angiogenic gene therapy using plasmid DNA gene transfer has been attempted in patients with peripheral artery disease, but a Phase III clinical trial did not show sufficient efficiency. Recently, a Phase III clinical trial of hepatocyte growth factor gene therapy in peripheral artery disease (PAD) showed improvement of ischemic ulcers, but it could not salvage limbs from amputation. In addition, a Phase I/II clinical study of fibroblast growth factor gene therapy in PAD extended amputation-free survival, but it seemed to fail in Phase III. In this situation, we and others have developed plasmid DNA-based gene transfer using ultrasound with microbubbles to enhance its efficiency while maintaining safety. Ultrasound-mediated gene transfer has been reported to augment the gene transfer efficiency and select the target organ using cationic microbubble phospholipids which bind negatively charged DNA. Ultrasound with microbubblesis likely to create new therapeutic options inavariety of diseases.

  12. Resin-Transfer-Molding of a Tool Face

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fowler, Mike; Ehlers, Edward; Brainard, David; Kellermann, Charles

    2004-01-01

    A resin-transfer-molding (RTM) process has been devised for fabricating a matrix/graphite-cloth composite panel that serves as tool face for manufacturing other composite panels. Heretofore, RTM has generally been confined to resins with viscosities low enough that they can readily flow through interstices of cloth. The present process makes it possible to use a high-temperature, more-viscous resin required for the tool face. First, a release layer and then a graphite cloth are laid on a foam pattern that has the desired contour. A spring with an inside diameter of 3/8 in. (.9.5 mm) is placed along the long dimension of the pattern to act as a conduit for the resin. Springs with an inside diameter of 1/4 in. (.6.4 mm) are run off the larger lengthwise spring for distributing the resin over the tool face. A glass cloth is laid on top to act as breather. The whole layup is vacuum-bagged. Resin is mixed and made to flow under vacuum assistance to infiltrate the layup through the springs. The whole process takes less than a day, and the exposure of personnel to resin vapors is minimized.

  13. Transfer of tools and food between groups of tufted capuchins (Cebus apella).

    PubMed

    Westergaard, G C; Suomi, S J

    1997-01-01

    This research examined tool and food transfer between two groups of tufted capcuhin monkeys (Cebus apella). Subjects in one group transferred stones to subjects in a second group who in turn used the stones as cutting tools and then transferred food to subjects in the first group. Aspects of the capuchins' behavior are similar to those described for food-sharing in Cebus, cooperative tool use in Papio, and tool and food exchange in Pan. We propose that tool use and food-sharing facilitate tool and food transfer between captive groups of Cebus apella.

  14. 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.}

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Therapeutic antibody gene transfer: an active approach to passive immunity.

    PubMed

    Bakker, Joost M; Bleeker, Wim K; Parren, Paul W H I

    2004-09-01

    Advances in gene transfer approaches are enabling the possibility of applying therapeutic antibodies using DNA. In particular gene transfer in combination with electroporation is promising and can result in generating in vivo antibody concentrations in the low therapeutic range. However, several important problems need to be dealt with before antibody gene transfer can become a valuable supplement to the current therapies. As antibody production following gene transfer is difficult to control, the danger of inducing autoimmune conditions or uncontrollable side effects occurs in cases in which autologous antigens are targeted. It is suggested that the most promising area of application therefore appears to be infectious disease in which heterologous antigens are targeted and concerns for long-term antibody exposure are minimal. Finally, genes encoding fully human antibodies will enhance long-term expression and decrease problems linked to immunogenicity.

  18. The power of phylogenetic approaches to detect horizontally transferred genes

    PubMed Central

    Poptsova, Maria S; Gogarten, J Peter

    2007-01-01

    Background Horizontal gene transfer plays an important role in evolution because it sometimes allows recipient lineages to adapt to new ecological niches. High genes transfer frequencies were inferred for prokaryotic and early eukaryotic evolution. Does horizontal gene transfer also impact phylogenetic reconstruction of the evolutionary history of genomes and organisms? The answer to this question depends at least in part on the actual gene transfer frequencies and on the ability to weed out transferred genes from further analyses. Are the detected transfers mainly false positives, or are they the tip of an iceberg of many transfer events most of which go undetected by current methods? Results Phylogenetic detection methods appear to be the method of choice to infer gene transfers, especially for ancient transfers and those followed by orthologous replacement. Here we explore how well some of these methods perform using in silico transfers between the terminal branches of a gamma proteobacterial, genome based phylogeny. For the experiments performed here on average the AU test at a 5% significance level detects 90.3% of the transfers and 91% of the exchanges as significant. Using the Robinson-Foulds distance only 57.7% of the exchanges and 60% of the donations were identified as significant. Analyses using bipartition spectra appeared most successful in our test case. The power of detection was on average 97% using a 70% cut-off and 94.2% with 90% cut-off for identifying conflicting bipartitions, while the rate of false positives was below 4.2% and 2.1% for the two cut-offs, respectively. For all methods the detection rates improved when more intervening branches separated donor and recipient. Conclusion Rates of detected transfers should not be mistaken for the actual transfer rates; most analyses of gene transfers remain anecdotal. The method and significance level to identify potential gene transfer events represent a trade-off between the frequency of erroneous

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Gene Chips: A New Tool for Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Botstein, David

    2005-03-01

    The knowledge of many complete genomic sequences has led to a ``grand unification of biology,'' consisting of direct evidence that most of the basic cellular functions of all organisms are carried out by genes and proteins whose primary sequences are directly related by descent (i.e. orthologs). Further, genome sequences have made it possible to study all the genes of a single organism simultaneously. We have been using DNA microarrays (sometime referred to as ``gene chips'') to study patterns of gene expression and genome rearrangement in yeast and human cells under a variety of conditions and in human tumors and normal tissues. These experiments produce huge volumes of data; new computational and statistical methods are required to analyze them properly. Examples from this work will be presented to illustrate how genome-scale experiments and analysis can result in new biological insights not obtainable by traditional analyses of genes and proteins one by one. For lymphomas, breast tumors, lung tumors, liver tumors, gastric tumors, brain tumors and soft tissue tumors we have been able, by the application of clustering algorithms, to subclassify tumors of similar anatomical origin on the basis of their gene expression patterns. These subclassifications appear to be reproducible and clinically as well as biologically meaningful. By studying synchronized cells growing in culture, we have identified many hundreds of yeast and human genes that are expressed periodically, at characteristically different points in the cell division cycle. In humans, it turns out that most of these genes are the same genes that comprise the ``proliferation cluster,'' i.e. the genes whose expression is specifically associated with the proliferativeness of tumors and tumor cell lines. Finally, we have been applying a variant of our DNA microarray technology (which we call ``array comparative hybridization'') to follow the DNA copy number of genes, both in tumors and in yeast cells

  4. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  6. 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

    2015-08-20

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. Gene transfer as a future therapy for rheumatoid arthritis.

    PubMed

    Müller-Ladner, Ulf; Pap, Thomas; Gay, Renate E; Gay, Steffen

    2003-07-01

    Inhibiting key pathogenic processes within the rheumatoid synovium is a most attractive goal to achieve, and the number of potential intra- and extracellular pathways operative in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that could be used for a gene therapy strategy is increasing continuously. Gene transfer or gene therapy might also be one of the approaches to solve the problem of long-term expression of therapeutic genes, in order to replace the frequent application of recombinant proteins, in the future. However, at present, gene therapy has not reached a realistic clinical stage, which is mainly due to severe side effects in humans, the complexity of RA pathophysiology and the current state of available gene transfer techniques. On the other hand, novel gene delivery systems are not restricted to vectors or certain types of cells, as mobile cells including macrophages, dendritic cells, lymphocytes and multipotent stem cells can also be used as smart gene transfer vehicles. Moreover, the observation in animal models that application of viral vectors into a joint can exert additional therapeutic effects in nearby joints might also facilitate the transfer from animal to human gene therapy. Future strategies will also examine the potential of novel long-term expression vectors such as lentiviruses and cytomegalovirus (CMV)-based viruses as a basis for future clinical trials in RA.

  9. Muscle as a target for supplementary factor IX gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, Brad E; Dobrzynski, Eric; Wang, Lixin; Hirao, Lauren; Mingozzi, Federico; Cao, Ou; Herzog, Roland W

    2007-07-01

    Immune responses to the factor IX (F.IX) transgene product are a concern in gene therapy for the X-linked bleeding disorder hemophilia B. The risk for such responses is determined by several factors, including the vector, target tissue, and others. Previously, we have demonstrated that hepatic gene transfer with adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors can induce F.IX-specific immune tolerance. Muscle-derived F.IX expression, however, is limited by a local immune response. Here, skeletal muscle was investigated as a target for supplemental gene transfer. Given the low invasiveness of intramuscular injections, this route would be ideal for secondary gene transfer, thereby boosting levels of transgene expression. However, this is feasible only if immune tolerance established by compartmentalization of expression to the liver extends to other sites. Immune tolerance to human F.IX established by prior hepatic AAV-2 gene transfer was maintained after subsequent injection of AAV-1 or adenoviral vector into skeletal muscle, and tolerized mice failed to form antibodies or an interferon (IFN)-gamma(+) T cell response to human F.IX. A sustained increase in systemic transgene expression was obtained for AAV-1, whereas an increase after adenoviral gene transfer was transient. A CD8(+) T cell response specifically against adenovirus-transduced fibers was observed, suggesting that cytotoxic T cell responses against viral antigens were sufficient to eliminate expression in muscle. In summary, the data demonstrate that supplemental F.IX gene transfer to skeletal muscle does not break tolerance achieved by liver-derived expression. The approach is efficacious, if the vector for muscle gene transfer does not express immunogenic viral proteins.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Evolution of and Horizontal Gene Transfer in the Endornavirus Genus

    PubMed Central

    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

  16. 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.

  17. Gene transfer agents: phage-like elements of genetic exchange

    PubMed Central

    Lang, Andrew S.; Zhaxybayeva, Olga; Beatty, J. Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer is important in the evolution of bacterial and archaeal genomes. An interesting genetic exchange process is carried out by diverse phage-like gene transfer agents (GTAs) that are found in a wide range of prokaryotes. Although GTAs resemble phages, they lack the hallmark capabilities that define typical phages, and they package random pieces of the producing cell’s genome. In this Review, we discuss the defining characteristics of the GTAs that have been identified to date, along with potential functions for these agents and the possible evolutionary forces that act on the genes involved in their production. PMID:22683880

  18. 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.

  19. High frequency of horizontal gene transfer in the oceans.

    PubMed

    McDaniel, Lauren D; Young, Elizabeth; Delaney, Jennifer; Ruhnau, Fabian; Ritchie, Kim B; Paul, John H

    2010-10-01

    Oceanic bacteria perform many environmental functions, including biogeochemical cycling of many elements, metabolizing of greenhouse gases, functioning in oceanic food webs (microbial loop), and producing valuable natural products and viruses. We demonstrate that the widespread capability of marine bacteria to participate in horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in coastal and oceanic environments may be the result of gene transfer agents (GTAs), viral-like particles produced by α-Proteobacteria. We documented GTA-mediated gene transfer frequencies a thousand to a hundred million times higher than prior estimates of HGT in the oceans, with as high as 47% of the culturable natural microbial community confirmed as gene recipients. These findings suggest a plausible mechanism by which marine bacteria acquire novel traits, thus ensuring resilience in the face of environmental change.

  20. Characterization of Two Cysteine Transfer RNA Genes from Xenopus Laevis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-07-12

    author hereby certifies that the use of any copyrighted material in the dissertation manuscript entitled: "Characterization of two cysteine tRNA genes...Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences 11 ABSTRACT Title of Thesis: Characterization of Two Cysteine Transfer RNA Genes from Xenopus...method after constructing a set of deletions and reclonlng into the plasmid pUC 8. The DNA fragment is 1737 bp long and contains two cysteine tRNA genes

  1. 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

  2. GenePANDA—a novel network-based gene prioritizing tool for complex diseases

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Tianshu; Chen, Shu; Wu, Xiaohui; Tian, Weidong

    2017-01-01

    Here we describe GenePANDA, a novel network-based tool for prioritizing candidate disease genes. GenePANDA assesses whether a gene is likely a candidate disease gene based on its relative distance to known disease genes in a functional association network. A unique feature of GenePANDA is the introduction of adjusted network distance derived by normalizing the raw network distance between two genes with their respective mean raw network distance to all other genes in the network. The use of adjusted network distance significantly improves GenePANDA’s performance on prioritizing complex disease genes. GenePANDA achieves superior performance over five previously published algorithms for prioritizing disease genes. Finally, GenePANDA can assist in prioritizing functionally important SNPs identified by GWAS. PMID:28252032

  3. Phosphatidylserine immobilization of lentivirus for localized gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Seungjin; Tuinstra, Hannah M.; Salvay, David M.; Shea, Lonnie D.

    2010-01-01

    Localized and efficient gene transfer can be promoted by exploiting the interaction between the vector and biomaterial. Regulation of the vector-material interaction was investigated by capitalizing on the binding between lentivirus and phosphatidylserine (PS), a component of the plasma membrane. PS was incorporated into microspheres composed of the copolymers of lactide and glycolide (PLG) using an emulsion process. Increasing the weight ratio of PS to PLG led to a greater incorporation of PS. Lentivirus, but not adenovirus, associated with PS-PLG microspheres, and binding was specific to PS relative to PLG alone or PLG modified with phosphatidylcholine. Immobilized lentivirus produced large numbers of transduced cells, and increased transgene expression relative to virus alone. Microspheres were subsequently formed into porous tissue engineering scaffolds, with retention of lentivirus binding. Lentivirus immobilization resulted in long-term and localized expression within a subcutaneously implanted scaffold. Microspheres were also formed into multiple channel bridges for implantation into the spinal cord. Lentivirus delivery from the bridge produced maximal expression at the implant and a gradient of expression rostrally and caudally. This specific binding of lentiviral vectors to biomaterial scaffolds may provide a versatile tool for numerous applications in regenerative medicine or within model systems that investigate tissue development. PMID:20206382

  4. Gene transfer and mutagenesis mediated by Sleeping Beauty transposon in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus).

    PubMed

    He, Xiaozhen; Li, Jie; Long, Yong; Song, Guili; Zhou, Peiyong; Liu, Qiuxiang; Zhu, Zuoyan; Cui, Zongbin

    2013-10-01

    The success of gene transfer has been demonstrated in many of vertebrate species, whereas the efficiency of producing transgenic animals remains pretty low due to the random integration of foreign genes into a recipient genome. The Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon is able to improve the efficiency of gene transfer in zebrafish and mouse, but its activity in tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) has yet to be characterized. Herein, we demonstrate the potential of using the SB transposon system as an effective tool for gene transfer and insertional mutagenesis in tilapia. A transgenic construct pT2/tiHsp70-SB11 was generated by subcloning the promoter of tilapia heat shock protein 70 (tiHsp70) gene, the SB11 transposase gene and the carp β-actin gene polyadenylation signal into the second generation of SB transposon. Transgenic tilapia was produced by microinjection of this construct with in vitro synthesized capped SB11 mRNA. SB11 transposon was detected in 28.89 % of founders, 12.9 % of F1 and 43.75 % of F2. Analysis of genomic sequences flanking integrated transposons indicates that this transgenic tilapia line carries two copies of SB transposon, which landed into two different endogenous genes. Induced expression of SB11 gene after heat shock was detected using reverse transcription PCR in F2 transgenic individuals. In addition, the Cre/loxP system was introduced to delete the SB11 cassette for stabilization of gene interruption and bio-safety. These findings suggest that the SB transposon system is active and can be used for efficient gene transfer and insertional mutagenesis in tilapia.

  5. 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

  6. Horizontal functional gene transfer from bacteria to fishes.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-22

    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.

  7. Occurrence and expression of gene transfer agent genes in marine bacterioplankton.

    PubMed

    Biers, Erin J; Wang, Kui; Pennington, Catherine; Belas, Robert; Chen, Feng; Moran, Mary Ann

    2008-05-01

    Genes with homology to the transduction-like gene transfer agent (GTA) were observed in genome sequences of three cultured members of the marine Roseobacter clade. A broader search for homologs for this host-controlled virus-like gene transfer system identified likely GTA systems in cultured Alphaproteobacteria, and particularly in marine bacterioplankton representatives. Expression of GTA genes and extracellular release of GTA particles ( approximately 50 to 70 nm) was demonstrated experimentally for the Roseobacter clade member Silicibacter pomeroyi DSS-3, and intraspecific gene transfer was documented. GTA homologs are surprisingly infrequent in marine metagenomic sequence data, however, and the role of this lateral gene transfer mechanism in ocean bacterioplankton communities remains unclear.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. [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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Plasmid and clonal interference during post horizontal gene transfer evolution.

    PubMed

    Bedhomme, S; Perez Pantoja, D; Bravo, I G

    2017-02-16

    Plasmids are nucleic acid molecules that can drive their own replication in a living cell. They can be transmitted horizontally and can thrive in the host cell to high-copy numbers. Plasmid replication and gene expression consume cellular resources and cells carrying plasmids incur fitness costs. But many plasmids carry genes that can be beneficial under certain conditions, allowing the cell to endure in the presence of antibiotics, toxins, competitors or parasites. Horizontal transfer of plasmid-encoded genes can thus instantaneously confer differential adaptation to local or transient selection conditions. This conflict between cellular fitness and plasmid spread sets the scene for multilevel selection processes. We have engineered a system to study the short-term evolutionary impact of different synonymous versions of a plasmid-encoded antibiotic resistance gene. Applying experimental evolution under different selection conditions and deep sequencing allowed us to show rapid local adaptation to the presence of antibiotic and to the specific version of the resistance gene transferred. We describe the presence of clonal interference at two different levels: at the within-cell level, because a single cell can carry several plasmids, and at the between-cell level, because a bacterial population may contain several clones carrying different plasmids and displaying different fitness in the presence/absence of antibiotic. Understanding the within-cell and between-cell dynamics of plasmids after horizontal gene transfer is essential to unravel the dense network of mobile elements underlying the worldwide threat to public health of antibiotic resistance.

  16. Horizontal gene transfer in eukaryotes: The weak-link model

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Jinling

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24037739

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. Quasispecies theory for horizontal gene transfer and recombination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muñoz, Enrique; Park, Jeong-Man; Deem, Michael W.

    2008-12-01

    We introduce a generalization of the parallel, or Crow-Kimura, and Eigen models of molecular evolution to represent the exchange of genetic information between individuals in a population. We study the effect of different schemes of genetic recombination on the steady-state mean fitness and distribution of individuals in the population, through an analytic field theoretic mapping. We investigate both horizontal gene transfer from a population and recombination between pairs of individuals. Somewhat surprisingly, these nonlinear generalizations of quasispecies theory to modern biology are analytically solvable. For two-parent recombination, we find two selected phases, one of which is spectrally rigid. We present exact analytical formulas for the equilibrium mean fitness of the population, in terms of a maximum principle, which are generally applicable to any permutation invariant replication rate function. For smooth fitness landscapes, we show that when positive epistatic interactions are present, recombination or horizontal gene transfer introduces a mild load against selection. Conversely, if the fitness landscape exhibits negative epistasis, horizontal gene transfer or recombination introduces an advantage by enhancing selection towards the fittest genotypes. These results prove that the mutational deterministic hypothesis holds for quasispecies models. For the discontinuous single sharp peak fitness landscape, we show that horizontal gene transfer has no effect on the fitness, while recombination decreases the fitness, for both the parallel and the Eigen models. We present numerical and analytical results as well as phase diagrams for the different cases.

  1. "Active" cancer immunotherapy by anti-Met antibody gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Vigna, Elisa; Pacchiana, Giovanni; Mazzone, Massimiliano; Chiriaco, Cristina; Fontani, Lara; Basilico, Cristina; Pennacchietti, Selma; Comoglio, Paolo M

    2008-11-15

    Gene therapy provides a still poorly explored opportunity to treat cancer by "active" immunotherapy as it enables the transfer of genes encoding antibodies directed against specific oncogenic proteins. By a bidirectional lentiviral vector, we transferred the cDNA encoding the heavy and light chains of a monoclonal anti-Met antibody (DN-30) to epithelial cancer cells. In vitro, the transduced cells synthesized and secreted correctly assembled antibodies with the expected high affinity, inducing down-regulation of the Met receptor and strong inhibition of the invasive growth response. The inhibitory activity resulted (a) from the interference of the antibody with the Met receptor intracellular processing ("cell autonomous activity," in cis) and (b) from the antibody-induced cleavage of Met expressed at the cell surface ("bystander effect," in trans). The monoclonal antibody gene transferred into live animals by systemic administration or by local intratumor delivery resulted in substantial inhibition of tumor growth. These data provide proof of concept both for targeting the Met receptor and for a gene transfer-based immunotherapy strategy.

  2. Horizontal gene transfer and the evolution of methanogenic pathways.

    PubMed

    Fournier, Greg

    2009-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a driving force in the evolution of metabolic pathways, allowing novel enzymatic functions that provide a selective advantage to be rapidly incorporated into an organism's physiology. Here, the role of two HGT events in the evolution of methanogenesis is described. First, the acetoclastic sub-pathway of methanogenesis is shown to have evolved via a transfer of the ackA and pta genes from a cellulolytic clostridia to a family of methanogenic archaea. Second, the system for encoding the amino acid pyrrolysine, used for the synthesis of enzymes for methanogenesis from methylamines, is shown to likely have evolved via transfer from an ancient, unknown, deeply branching organismal lineage.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Biased gene transfer mimics patterns created through shared ancestry

    PubMed Central

    Andam, Cheryl P.; Williams, David; Gogarten, J. Peter

    2010-01-01

    In phylogenetic reconstruction, two types of bacterial tyrosyl-tRNA synthetases (TyrRS) form distinct clades with many bacterial phyla represented in both clades. Very few taxa possess both forms, and maximum likelihood analysis of the distribution of TyrRS types suggests horizontal gene transfer (HGT), rather than an ancient duplication followed by differential gene loss, as the contributor to the evolutionary history of TyrRS in bacteria. However, for each TyrRS type, phylogenetic reconstruction yields phylogenies similar to the ribosomal phylogeny, revealing that frequent gene transfer has not destroyed the expected phylogeny; rather, the expected phylogenetic signal was reinforced or even created by HGT. We show that biased HGT can mimic patterns created through shared ancestry by in silico simulation. Furthermore, in cases where genomic synteny is sufficient to allow comparisons of relative gene positions, both tyrRS types occupy equivalent positions in closely related genomes, rejecting the loss hypothesis. Although the two types of bacterial TyrRS are only distantly related and only rarely coexist in a single genome, they have many features in common with alleles that are swapped between related lineages. We propose to label these functionally similar homologs as homeoalleles. We conclude that the observed phylogenetic pattern reflects both vertical inheritance and biased HGT and that the signal caused by common organismal descent is difficult to distinguish from the signal due to biased gene transfer. PMID:20495090

  6. Biased gene transfer mimics patterns created through shared ancestry.

    PubMed

    Andam, Cheryl P; Williams, David; Gogarten, J Peter

    2010-06-08

    In phylogenetic reconstruction, two types of bacterial tyrosyl-tRNA synthetases (TyrRS) form distinct clades with many bacterial phyla represented in both clades. Very few taxa possess both forms, and maximum likelihood analysis of the distribution of TyrRS types suggests horizontal gene transfer (HGT), rather than an ancient duplication followed by differential gene loss, as the contributor to the evolutionary history of TyrRS in bacteria. However, for each TyrRS type, phylogenetic reconstruction yields phylogenies similar to the ribosomal phylogeny, revealing that frequent gene transfer has not destroyed the expected phylogeny; rather, the expected phylogenetic signal was reinforced or even created by HGT. We show that biased HGT can mimic patterns created through shared ancestry by in silico simulation. Furthermore, in cases where genomic synteny is sufficient to allow comparisons of relative gene positions, both tyrRS types occupy equivalent positions in closely related genomes, rejecting the loss hypothesis. Although the two types of bacterial TyrRS are only distantly related and only rarely coexist in a single genome, they have many features in common with alleles that are swapped between related lineages. We propose to label these functionally similar homologs as homeoalleles. We conclude that the observed phylogenetic pattern reflects both vertical inheritance and biased HGT and that the signal caused by common organismal descent is difficult to distinguish from the signal due to biased gene transfer.

  7. Quartet analysis of putative horizontal gene transfer in Crenarchaeota.

    PubMed

    Ching, Travers H; Yoza, Brandon A; Li, Qing X

    2014-02-01

    Horizontal gene transfers (HGT) between four Crenarchaeota species (Metallosphaera cuprina Ar-4T, Acidianus hospitalis W1T, Vulcanisaeta moutnovskia 768-28T, and Pyrobaculum islandicum DSM 4184T) were investigated with quartet analysis. Strong support was found for individual genes that disagree with the phylogeny of the majority, implying genomic mosaicism. One such gene, a ferredoxin-related gene, was investigated further and incorporated into a larger phylogeny, which provided evidence for HGT of this gene from the Vulcanisaeta lineage to the Acidianus lineage. This is the first application of quartet analysis of HGT for the phylum Crenarchaeota. The results have shown that quartet analysis is a powerful technique to screen homologous sequences for putative HGTs and is useful in visually describing genomic mosaicism and HGT within four taxa.

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. An Examination of Technology Transfer as a Tool for Management.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-03-01

    Delacarte Press, 1967. 22. Schon, Donald A., "Champions for Radical New Invention," Harvard Business Review , Vol. 41, No. 2, pp. 77-86 March-April 1963. 23...Wells, J. G. and Waterman, R. H. Jr., "Space Technology: Pay-Off from Spin-Off," Harvard Business Review pp. 106-118, July-August 1964, 24. Barth, R...Foster, R. N. "Organize for Technology Transfer" Harvard Business Review , pp. 31-37, Nov.-Dec. 1971. 29. Wooster Ohio Agricultural Experiment

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Lateral gene transfer, bacterial genome evolution, and the Anthropocene.

    PubMed

    Gillings, Michael R

    2017-02-01

    Lateral gene transfer (LGT) has significantly influenced bacterial evolution since the origins of life. It helped bacteria generate flexible, mosaic genomes and enables individual cells to rapidly acquire adaptive phenotypes. In turn, this allowed bacteria to mount strong defenses against human attempts to control their growth. The widespread dissemination of genes conferring resistance to antimicrobial agents has precipitated a crisis for modern medicine. Our actions can promote increased rates of LGT and also provide selective forces to fix such events in bacterial populations. For instance, the use of selective agents induces the bacterial SOS response, which stimulates LGT. We create hotspots for lateral transfer, such as wastewater systems, hospitals, and animal production facilities. Conduits of gene transfer between humans and animals ensure rapid dissemination of recent transfer events, as does modern transport and globalization. As resistance to antibacterial compounds becomes universal, there is likely to be increasing selection pressure for phenotypes with adverse consequences for human welfare, such as enhanced virulence, pathogenicity, and transmission. Improved understanding of the ecology of LGT could help us devise strategies to control this fundamental evolutionary process.

  14. Kidney-specific transposon-mediated gene transfer in vivo.

    PubMed

    Woodard, Lauren E; Cheng, Jizhong; Welch, Richard C; Williams, Felisha M; Luo, Wentian; Gewin, Leslie S; Wilson, Matthew H

    2017-03-20

    Methods enabling kidney-specific gene transfer in adult mice are needed to develop new therapies for kidney disease. We attempted kidney-specific gene transfer following hydrodynamic tail vein injection using the kidney-specific podocin and gamma-glutamyl transferase promoters, but found expression primarily in the liver. In order to achieve kidney-specific transgene expression, we tested direct hydrodynamic injection of a DNA solution into the renal pelvis and found that luciferase expression was strong in the kidney and absent from extra-renal tissues. We observed heterogeneous, low-level transfection of the collecting duct, proximal tubule, distal tubule, interstitial cells, and rarely glomerular cells following injection. To assess renal injury, we performed the renal pelvis injections on uninephrectomised mice and found that their blood urea nitrogen was elevated at two days post-transfer but resolved within two weeks. Although luciferase expression quickly decreased following renal pelvis injection, the use of the piggyBac transposon system improved long-term expression. Immunosuppression with cyclophosphamide stabilised luciferase expression, suggesting immune clearance of the transfected cells occurs in immunocompetent animals. Injection of a transposon expressing erythropoietin raised the haematocrit, indicating that the developed injection technique can elicit a biologic effect in vivo. Hydrodynamic renal pelvis injection enables transposon mediated-kidney specific gene transfer in adult mice.

  15. Kidney-specific transposon-mediated gene transfer in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Woodard, Lauren E.; Cheng, Jizhong; Welch, Richard C.; Williams, Felisha M.; Luo, Wentian; Gewin, Leslie S.; Wilson, Matthew H.

    2017-01-01

    Methods enabling kidney-specific gene transfer in adult mice are needed to develop new therapies for kidney disease. We attempted kidney-specific gene transfer following hydrodynamic tail vein injection using the kidney-specific podocin and gamma-glutamyl transferase promoters, but found expression primarily in the liver. In order to achieve kidney-specific transgene expression, we tested direct hydrodynamic injection of a DNA solution into the renal pelvis and found that luciferase expression was strong in the kidney and absent from extra-renal tissues. We observed heterogeneous, low-level transfection of the collecting duct, proximal tubule, distal tubule, interstitial cells, and rarely glomerular cells following injection. To assess renal injury, we performed the renal pelvis injections on uninephrectomised mice and found that their blood urea nitrogen was elevated at two days post-transfer but resolved within two weeks. Although luciferase expression quickly decreased following renal pelvis injection, the use of the piggyBac transposon system improved long-term expression. Immunosuppression with cyclophosphamide stabilised luciferase expression, suggesting immune clearance of the transfected cells occurs in immunocompetent animals. Injection of a transposon expressing erythropoietin raised the haematocrit, indicating that the developed injection technique can elicit a biologic effect in vivo. Hydrodynamic renal pelvis injection enables transposon mediated-kidney specific gene transfer in adult mice. PMID:28317878

  16. 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

  17. Three computational tools for predicting bacterial essential genes.

    PubMed

    Guo, Feng-Biao; Ye, Yuan-Nong; Ning, Lu-Wen; Wei, Wen

    2015-01-01

    Essential genes are those genes indispensable for the survival of any living cell. Bacterial essential genes constitute the cornerstones of synthetic biology and are often attractive targets in the development of antibiotics and vaccines. Because identification of essential genes with wet-lab ways often means expensive economic costs and tremendous labor, scientists changed to seek for alternative way of computational prediction. Aiming to help to solve this issue, our research group (CEFG: group of Computational, Comparative, Evolutionary and Functional Genomics, http://cefg.uestc.edu.cn) has constructed three online services to predict essential genes in bacterial genomes. These freely available tools are applicable for single gene sequences without annotated functions, single genes with definite names, and complete genomes of bacterial strains. To ensure reliable predictions, the investigated species should belong to the same family (for EGP) or phylum (for CEG_Match and Geptop) with one of the reference species, respectively. As the pilot software for the issue, predicting accuracies of them have been assessed and compared with existing algorithms, and note that all of other published algorithms have not any formed online services. We hope these services at CEFG will help scientists and researchers in the field of essential genes.

  18. Horizontal transfer of carbohydrate metabolism genes into ectomycorrhizal Amanita.

    PubMed

    Chaib De Mares, Maryam; Hess, Jaqueline; Floudas, Dimitrios; Lipzen, Anna; Choi, Cindy; Kennedy, Megan; Grigoriev, Igor V; Pringle, Anne

    2015-03-01

    The genus Amanita encompasses both symbiotic, ectomycorrhizal fungi and asymbiotic litter decomposers; all species are derived from asymbiotic ancestors. Symbiotic species are no longer able to degrade plant cell walls. The carbohydrate esterases family 1 (CE1s) is a diverse group of enzymes involved in carbon metabolism, including decomposition and carbon storage. CE1 genes of the ectomycorrhizal A. muscaria appear diverged from all other fungal homologues, and more similar to CE1s of bacteria, suggesting a horizontal gene transfer (HGT) event. In order to test whether AmanitaCE1s were acquired horizontally, we built a phylogeny of CE1s collected from across the tree of life, and describe the evolution of CE1 genes among Amanita and relevant lineages of bacteria. CE1s of symbiotic Amanita were very different from CE1s of asymbiotic Amanita, and are more similar to bacterial CE1s. The protein structure of one CE1 gene of A. muscaria matched a depolymerase that degrades the carbon storage molecule poly((R)-3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB). Asymbiotic Amanita do not carry sequence or structural homologues of these genes. The CE1s acquired through HGT may enable novel metabolisms, or play roles in signaling or defense. This is the first evidence for the horizontal transfer of carbohydrate metabolism genes into ectomycorrhizal fungi.

  19. 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.

  20. The use of gene therapy tools in reproductive immunology research.

    PubMed

    Zenclussen, Ana Claudia; Zenclussen, Maria L; Ritter, Thomas; Volk, Hans D

    2005-10-01

    Mammalian pregnancy is a complex phenomenon allowing the maternal immune system to support its allogeneic fetus, while still being effective against pathogens. Gene therapy approaches have the potential to treat devastating inherited diseases for which there is a little hope of finding a conventional cure. In reproductive medicine, experimental trials have been made so far only for correcting gene defects in utero. The use of gene therapy for improving pregnancy-rate success or avoiding pregnancy-related diseases i.e. miscarriage or pre-eclampsia, remains a very distant goal with unresolved moral and ethical aspects. However, gene therapy may help determining the role of several genes in supporting fetal growth and/or avoiding its rejection experimentally and might further help to identify new targets of intervention. Gene therapy strategies to avoid fetal rejection may include the transfer and expression of cyto-protective molecules locally at the fetal-placental interface. In addition, the ex-vivo genetic modification of immune cells for tolerance induction is a novel and tempting approach. In this regard, we have confirmed the role of the cyto-protective and immunomodulatory molecule Heme Oxygenase-1 (HO-1), by treating animals undergoing abortion with an adenovirus coding for HO-1. Since the sole application of a control vector did not provoke deleterious effects in pregnancy outcome, we propose the use of experimental gene therapy for unveiling molecular and cellular pathways leading to pregnancy success.

  1. 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

  2. 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)

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-11-07

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

    2012-06-28

    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

  7. 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.

  8. Horizontal Gene Transfer is a Significant Driver of Gene Innovation in Dinoflagellates

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24259313

  9. Phylogeographic support for horizontal gene transfer involving sympatric bruchid species

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez, Nadir; Benrey, Betty; Hossaert-McKey, Martine; Grill, Andrea; McKey, Doyle; Galtier, Nicolas

    2006-01-01

    Background We report on the probable horizontal transfer of a mitochondrial gene, cytb, between species of Neotropical bruchid beetles, in a zone where these species are sympatric. The bruchid beetles Acanthoscelides obtectus, A. obvelatus, A. argillaceus and Zabrotes subfasciatus develop on various bean species in Mexico. Whereas A. obtectus and A. obvelatus develop on Phaseolus vulgaris in the Mexican Altiplano, A. argillaceus feeds on P. lunatus in the Pacific coast. The generalist Z. subfasciatus feeds on both bean species, and is sympatric with A. obtectus and A. obvelatus in the Mexican Altiplano, and with A. argillaceus in the Pacific coast. In order to assess the phylogenetic position of these four species, we amplified and sequenced one nuclear (28S rRNA) and two mitochondrial (cytb, COI) genes. Results Whereas species were well segregated in topologies obtained for COI and 28S rRNA, an unexpected pattern was obtained in the cytb phylogenetic tree. In this tree, individuals from A. obtectus and A. obvelatus, as well as Z. subfasciatus individuals from the Mexican Altiplano, clustered together in a unique little variable monophyletic unit. In contrast, A. argillaceus and Z. subfasciatus individuals from the Pacific coast clustered in two separated clades, identically to the pattern obtained for COI and 28S rRNA. An additional analysis showed that Z. subfasciatus individuals from the Mexican Altiplano also possessed the cytb gene present in individuals of this species from the Pacific coast. Zabrotes subfasciatus individuals from the Mexican Altiplano thus demonstrated two cytb genes, an "original" one and an "infectious" one, showing 25% of nucleotide divergence. The "infectious" cytb gene seems to be under purifying selection and to be expressed in mitochondria. Conclusion The high degree of incongruence of the cytb tree with patterns for other genes is discussed in the light of three hypotheses: experimental contamination, hybridization, and

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Gene editing for skin diseases: designer nucleases as tools for gene therapy of skin fragility disorders.

    PubMed

    March, Oliver P; Reichelt, Julia; Koller, Ulrich

    2017-03-07

    The current treatment of inherited blistering skin diseases, such as epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is largely restricted to wound care and pain management. More effective therapeutic strategies are urgently required and targeting the genetic basis of these severe diseases is now within reach. Here we describe current gene editing tools and their potential to correct gene function in monogenetic blistering skin diseases. We present the features of the most frequently used gene editing techniques TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9, determining their preferential application under specific genetic conditions, including the type of mutational inheritance, the targeting site within the gene or the possibility to specifically target the mutation. Both tools have traits beneficial in specific situations. Promising developments in the field engender gene editing as a potentially powerful therapeutic option for future clinical applications. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-27

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-04

    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.

  18. 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

  19. Horizontal transfer of expressed genes in a parasitic flowering plant

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Recent studies have shown that plant genomes have potentially undergone rampant horizontal gene transfer (HGT). In plant parasitic systems HGT appears to be facilitated by the intimate physical association between the parasite and its host. HGT in these systems has been invoked when a DNA sequence obtained from a parasite is placed phylogenetically very near to its host rather than with its closest relatives. Studies of HGT in parasitic plants have relied largely on the fortuitous discovery of gene phylogenies that indicate HGT, and no broad systematic search for HGT has been undertaken in parasitic systems where it is most expected to occur. Results We analyzed the transcriptomes of the holoparasite Rafflesia cantleyi Solms-Laubach and its obligate host Tetrastigma rafflesiae Miq. using phylogenomic approaches. Our analyses show that several dozen actively transcribed genes, most of which appear to be encoded in the nuclear genome, are likely of host origin. We also find that hundreds of vertically inherited genes (VGT) in this parasitic plant exhibit codon usage properties that are more similar to its host than to its closest relatives. Conclusions Our results establish for the first time a substantive number of HGTs in a plant host-parasite system. The elevated rate of unidirectional host-to- parasite gene transfer raises the possibility that HGTs may provide a fitness benefit to Rafflesia for maintaining these genes. Finally, a similar convergence in codon usage of VGTs has been shown in microbes with high HGT rates, which may help to explain the increase of HGTs in these parasitic plants. PMID:22681756

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Transcriptional gene silencing as a tool for uncovering gene function in maize.

    PubMed

    Cigan, A Mark; Unger-Wallace, Erica; Haug-Collet, Kristin

    2005-09-01

    Transcriptional gene silencing has broad applications for studying gene function in planta. In maize, a large number of genes have been identified as tassel-preferred in their expression pattern, both by traditional genetic methods and by recent high-throughput expression profiling platforms. Approaches using RNA suppression may provide a rapid alternative means to identify genes directly related to pollen development in maize. The male fertility gene Ms45 and several anther-expressed genes of unknown function were used to evaluate the efficacy of generating male-sterile plants by transcriptional gene silencing. A high frequency of male-sterile plants was obtained by constitutively expressing inverted repeats (IR) of the Ms45 promoter. These sterile plants lacked MS45 mRNA due to transcriptional inactivity of the target promoter. Moreover, fertility was restored to these promoter IR-containing plants by expressing the Ms45 coding region using heterologous promoters. Transcriptional silencing of other anther-expressed genes also significantly affected male fertility phenotypes and led to increased methylation of the target promoter DNA sequences. These studies provide evidence of disruption of gene activity in monocots by RNA interference constructs directed against either native or transformed promoter regions. This approach not only enables the correlation of monocot anther-expressed genes with functions that are important for reproduction in maize, but may also provide a tool for studying gene function and identifying regulatory components unique to transcriptional gene control.

  4. 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

    2015-10-05

    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.

  5. Adenovirus dodecahedron, a new vector for human gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Fender, P; Ruigrok, R W; Gout, E; Buffet, S; Chroboczek, J

    1997-01-01

    Recombinant adenovirus is one of most efficient delivery vehicles for gene therapy. However, the initial enthusiasm for the use of recombinant adenovirus for gene therapy has been tempered by strong immune responses that develop to the virus and virus-infected cells. Even though recombinant adenoviruses are replication-defective, they introduce into the recipient cell, together with the gene of interest, viral genetes that might lead to fortuitous recombination if the recipient is infected by wild-type adenovirus. We propose the use of a dodecahedron made of adenovirus pentons or penton bases as an alternative vector for human gene therapy. The penton is a complex of two oligomeric proteins, a penton base and fiber, involved in the cell attachment, internalization, and liberation of virus into the cytoplasm. The dodecahedron retains many of the advantages of adenovirus for gene transfer such as efficiency of entry, efficient release of DNA from endosomes, and wide range of cell and tissue targets. Because it consists of only one or two adenovirus proteins instead of the 11 contained in an adenovirus virion and it does not contain the viral genome, it is potentially a safer alternative to recombinant adenovirus.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Massive Mitochondrial Gene Transfer in a Parasitic Flowering Plant Clade

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, Robert K.; Sugumaran, M.; Marx, Christopher J.; Rest, Joshua S.; Davis, Charles C.

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies have suggested that plant genomes have undergone potentially rampant horizontal gene transfer (HGT), especially in the mitochondrial genome. Parasitic plants have provided the strongest evidence of HGT, which appears to be facilitated by the intimate physical association between the parasites and their hosts. A recent phylogenomic study demonstrated that in the holoparasite Rafflesia cantleyi (Rafflesiaceae), whose close relatives possess the world's largest flowers, about 2.1% of nuclear gene transcripts were likely acquired from its obligate host. Here, we used next-generation sequencing to obtain the 38 protein-coding and ribosomal RNA genes common to the mitochondrial genomes of angiosperms from R. cantleyi and five additional species, including two of its closest relatives and two host species. Strikingly, our phylogenetic analyses conservatively indicate that 24%–41% of these gene sequences show evidence of HGT in Rafflesiaceae, depending on the species. Most of these transgenic sequences possess intact reading frames and are actively transcribed, indicating that they are potentially functional. Additionally, some of these transgenes maintain synteny with their donor and recipient lineages, suggesting that native genes have likely been displaced via homologous recombination. Our study is the first to comprehensively assess the magnitude of HGT in plants involving a genome (i.e., mitochondria) and a species interaction (i.e., parasitism) where it has been hypothesized to be potentially rampant. Our results establish for the first time that, although the magnitude of HGT involving nuclear genes is appreciable in these parasitic plants, HGT involving mitochondrial genes is substantially higher. This may represent a more general pattern for other parasitic plant clades and perhaps more broadly for angiosperms. PMID:23459037

  9. Massive mitochondrial gene transfer in a parasitic flowering plant clade.

    PubMed

    Xi, Zhenxiang; Wang, Yuguo; Bradley, Robert K; Sugumaran, M; Marx, Christopher J; Rest, Joshua S; Davis, Charles C

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies have suggested that plant genomes have undergone potentially rampant horizontal gene transfer (HGT), especially in the mitochondrial genome. Parasitic plants have provided the strongest evidence of HGT, which appears to be facilitated by the intimate physical association between the parasites and their hosts. A recent phylogenomic study demonstrated that in the holoparasite Rafflesia cantleyi (Rafflesiaceae), whose close relatives possess the world's largest flowers, about 2.1% of nuclear gene transcripts were likely acquired from its obligate host. Here, we used next-generation sequencing to obtain the 38 protein-coding and ribosomal RNA genes common to the mitochondrial genomes of angiosperms from R. cantleyi and five additional species, including two of its closest relatives and two host species. Strikingly, our phylogenetic analyses conservatively indicate that 24%-41% of these gene sequences show evidence of HGT in Rafflesiaceae, depending on the species. Most of these transgenic sequences possess intact reading frames and are actively transcribed, indicating that they are potentially functional. Additionally, some of these transgenes maintain synteny with their donor and recipient lineages, suggesting that native genes have likely been displaced via homologous recombination. Our study is the first to comprehensively assess the magnitude of HGT in plants involving a genome (i.e., mitochondria) and a species interaction (i.e., parasitism) where it has been hypothesized to be potentially rampant. Our results establish for the first time that, although the magnitude of HGT involving nuclear genes is appreciable in these parasitic plants, HGT involving mitochondrial genes is substantially higher. This may represent a more general pattern for other parasitic plant clades and perhaps more broadly for angiosperms.

  10. 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.

  11. Horizontal gene transfer and recombination in Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis

    PubMed Central

    McNeilly, Celia L.; McMillan, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis (SDSE) is a human pathogen that colonizes the skin or throat, and causes a range of diseases from relatively benign pharyngitis to potentially fatal invasive diseases. While not as virulent as the close relative Streptococcus pyogenes the two share a number of virulence factors and are known to coexist in a human host. Both pre- and post-genomic studies have revealed that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) and recombination occurs between these two organisms and plays a major role in shaping the population structure of SDSE. This review summarizes our current knowledge of HGT and recombination in the evolution of SDSE. PMID:25566202

  12. Transfer of nonselectable genes into mouse teratocarcinoma cells and transcription of the transferred human. beta. -globin gene

    SciTech Connect

    Wagner, E.F.; Mintz, B.

    1982-02-01

    Teratocarcinoma (TCC) stem cells can function as vehicles for the introduction of specific recombinant genes into mice. Because most genes do not code for a selectable marker, the authors investigated the transformation efficiency of vectors with a linked selectable gene. In one series, TCC cells first selected for thymidine kinase deficiency were treated with DNA from the plasmid vector PtkH..beta..1 containing the human genomic ..beta..-globin gene and the thymidine kinase gene of herpes simplex virus. A high transformation frequency was obtained after selection in hypoxanthine-aminopterin-thymidine medium. Hybridization tests revealed that the majority of transformants had intact copies of the human gene among three to six total copies per cell. These were associated with cellular DNA sequences as judged from the presence of additional new restriction fragments and from stability of the sequences in tumors produced by injecting the cells subcutaneously. Total polyadenylate-containing RNA from cell cultures of two out of four transformants examined showed hybridization to the human gene probe: one RNA species resembled mature human ..beta..-globin mRNA transcripts; the others were of larger size. In differentiating tumors, various tissues, including hematopoietic cells of TCC provenance could be found. In a second model set of experiments, wild-type TCC cells were used to test a dominant-selection scheme with pSV-gpt vectors. Numerous transformants were isolated, and their transfected DNA was apparently stably integrated. Thus, any gene of choice can be transferred into TCC stem cells even without mutagenesis of the cells, and selected cell clones can be characterized. Cells of interest may then be introduced into early embryos to produce new mouse strains with predetermined genetic changes.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Reconstructability analysis as a tool for identifying gene-gene interactions in studies of human diseases.

    PubMed

    Shervais, Stephen; Kramer, Patricia L; Westaway, Shawn K; Cox, Nancy J; Zwick, Martin

    2010-01-01

    There are a number of common human diseases for which the genetic component may include an epistatic interaction of multiple genes. Detecting these interactions with standard statistical tools is difficult because there may be an interaction effect, but minimal or no main effect. Reconstructability analysis (RA) uses Shannon's information theory to detect relationships between variables in categorical datasets. We applied RA to simulated data for five different models of gene-gene interaction, and find that even with heritability levels as low as 0.008, and with the inclusion of 50 non-associated genes in the dataset, we can identify the interacting gene pairs with an accuracy of > or =80%. We applied RA to a real dataset of type 2 non-insulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM) cases and controls, and closely approximated the results of more conventional single SNP disease association studies. In addition, we replicated prior evidence for epistatic interactions between SNPs on chromosomes 2 and 15.

  18. Interspecific evolution: microbial symbiosis, endosymbiosis and gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Hoffmeister, Meike; Martin, William

    2003-08-01

    Microbial symbioses are interesting in their own right and also serve as exemplary models to help biologists to understand two important symbioses in the evolutionary past of eukaryotic cells: the origins of chloroplasts and mitochondria. Most, if not all, microbial symbioses have a chemical basis: compounds produced by one partner are useful for the other. But symbioses can also entail the transfer of genes from one partner to the other, which in some cases cements two cells into a bipartite, co-evolving unit. Here, we discuss some microbial symbioses in which progress is being made in uncovering the nature of symbiotic interactions: anaerobic methane-oxidizing consortia, marine worms that possess endosymbionts instead of a digestive tract, amino acid-producing endosymbionts of aphids, prokaryotic endosymbionts living within a prokaryotic host within mealybugs, endosymbionts of an insect vector of human disease and a photosynthetic sea slug that steals chloroplasts from algae. In the case of chloroplasts and mitochondria, examples of recent and ancient gene transfer to the chromosomes of their host cell illustrate the process of genetic merger in the wake of organelle origins.

  19. Resistance Gene Transfer during Treatments for Experimental Avian Colibacillosis

    PubMed Central

    Dheilly, Alexandra; Le Devendec, Laëtitia; Mourand, Gwenaëlle; Bouder, Axelle; Jouy, Eric

    2012-01-01

    An experiment was conducted in animal facilities to compare the impacts of four avian colibacillosis treatments—oxytetracycline (OTC), trimethoprim-sulfadimethoxine (SXT), amoxicillin (AMX), or enrofloxacin (ENR)—on the susceptibility of Escherichia coli in broiler intestinal tracts. Birds were first orally inoculated with rifampin-resistant E. coli strains bearing plasmid genes conferring resistance to fluoroquinolones (qnr), cephalosporins (blaCTX-M or blaFOX), trimethoprim-sulfonamides, aminoglycosides, or tetracyclines. Feces samples were collected before, during, and after antimicrobial treatments. The susceptibilities of E. coli strains were studied, and resistance gene transfer was analyzed. An increase in the tetracycline-resistant E. coli population was observed only in OTC-treated birds, whereas multiresistant E. coli was detected in the dominant E. coli populations of SXT-, AMX-, or ENR-treated birds. Most multiresistant E. coli strains were susceptible to rifampin and exhibited various pulsed-field gel electrophoresis profiles, suggesting the transfer of one of the multiresistance plasmids from the inoculated strains to other E. coli strains in the intestinal tract. In conclusion, this study clearly illustrates how, in E. coli, “old” antimicrobials may coselect antimicrobial resistance to recent and critical molecules. PMID:21986830

  20. 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

  1. Intra- and inter-generic transfer of pathogenicity island-encoded virulence genes by cos phages.

    PubMed

    Chen, John; Carpena, Nuria; Quiles-Puchalt, Nuria; Ram, Geeta; Novick, Richard P; Penadés, José R

    2015-05-01

    Bacteriophage-mediated horizontal gene transfer is one of the primary driving forces of bacterial evolution. The pac-type phages are generally thought to facilitate most of the phage-mediated gene transfer between closely related bacteria, including that of mobile genetic elements-encoded virulence genes. In this study, we report that staphylococcal cos-type phages transferred the Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity island SaPIbov5 to non-aureus staphylococcal species and also to different genera. Our results describe the first intra- and intergeneric transfer of a pathogenicity island by a cos phage, and highlight a gene transfer mechanism that may have important implications for pathogen evolution.

  2. 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.

  3. Simultaneous gene quantitation of multiple genes in individual bovine nuclear transfer blastocysts.

    PubMed

    Smith, Craig; Berg, Debbie; Beaumont, Sue; Standley, Neil T; Wells, David N; Pfeffer, Peter L

    2007-01-01

    During somatic cell nuclear transfer (NT), the transcriptional status of the donor cell has to be reprogrammed to reflect that of an embryo. We analysed the accuracy of this process by comparing transcript levels of four developmentally important genes (Oct4, Otx2, Ifitm3, GATA6), a gene involved in epigenetic regulation (Dnmt3a) and three housekeeping genes (beta-actin, beta-tubulin and GAPDH) in 21 NT blastocysts with that in genetically half-identical in vitro produced (IVP, n=19) and in vivo (n=15) bovine embryos. We have optimised an RNA-isolation and SYBR-green-based real-time RT-PCR procedure allowing the reproducible absolute quantification of multiple genes from a single blastocyst. Our data indicated that transcript levels did not differ significantly between stage and grade-matched zona-free NT and IVP embryos except for Ifitm3/Fragilis, which was expressed at twofold higher levels in NT blastocysts. Ifitm3 expression is confined to the inner cell mass at day 7 blastocysts and to the epiblast in day 14 embryos. No ectopic expression in the trophectoderm was seen in NT embryos. Gene expression in NT and IVP embryos increased between two- and threefold for all eight genes from early to late blastocyst stages. This increase exceeded the increase in cell number over this time period indicating an increase in transcript number per cell. Embryo quality (morphological grading) was correlated to cell number for NT and IVP embryos with grade 3 blastocysts containing 30% fewer cells. However, only NT embryos displayed a significant reduction in gene expression (50%) with loss of quality. Variability in gene expression levels was not significantly different in NT, IVP or in vivo embryos but differed among genes, suggesting that the stringency of regulation is intrinsic to a gene and not affected by culture or nuclear transfer. Oct4 levels exhibited the lowest variability. Analysing the total variability of all eight genes for individual embryos revealed that in

  4. Successful gene transfer into dendritic cells with cationized gelatin and plasmid DNA complexes via a phagocytosis-dependent mechanism.

    PubMed

    Inada, Satoshi; Fujiwara, Hitoshi; Atsuji, Kiyoto; Takashima, Kazuhiro; Araki, Yasunobu; Kubota, Takeshi; Tabata, Yasuhiko; Yamagishi, Hisakazu

    2006-01-01

    The use of gene-modified dendritic cells (DC) is a powerful tool to enhance antitumor immune responses stimulated by these cells in cancer immunotherapy. Cationized gelatin is preferably incorporated via phagocytosis and is gradually degraded by proteolysis while buffering lysosomal activity. This may be appropriate for gene transfer into phagocytic cells, such as immature DC. In the present study, successful transfection into monocyte-derived immature DC was demonstrated using cationized gelatin and plasmid DNA complexes. A high transfection efficiency, approaching 16%, was obtained upon transfection of the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) gene as evaluated by flow cytometry. Transgene expression of EGFP and murine interleukin 12 were also detected by RT-PCR. The antigen-presenting capacity of the transfected DC was equal to that of untransfected DC as evaluated by the allogeneic mixed lymphocyte reaction. Cationized gelatin has the potential to be a unique non-viral vector for gene transfer into DC.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Gene transfer into older chicken embryos by ex ovo electroporation.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jiankai; Yan, Xin; Lin, Juntang; Rolfs, Arndt

    2012-07-27

    The chicken embryo provides an excellent model system for studying gene function and regulation during embryonic development. In ovo electroporation is a powerful method to over-express exogenous genes or down-regulate endogenous genes in vivo in chicken embryos(1). Different structures such as DNA plasmids encoding genes(2-4), small interfering RNA (siRNA) plasmids(5), small synthetic RNA oligos(6), and morpholino antisense oligonucleotides(7) can be easily transfected into chicken embryos by electroporation. However, the application of in ovo electroporation is limited to embryos at early incubation stages (younger than stage HH20--according to Hamburg and Hamilton)(8) and there are some disadvantages for its application in embryos at later stages (older than stage HH22--approximately 3.5 days of development). For example, the vitelline membrane at later stages is usually stuck to the shall membrane and opening a window in the shell causes rupture of the vessels, resulting in death of the embryos; older embryos are covered by vitelline and allantoic vessels, where it is difficult to access and manipulate the embryos; older embryos move vigorously and is difficult to control the orientation through a relatively small window in the shell. In this protocol we demonstrate an ex ovo electroporation method for gene transfer into chicken embryos at late stages (older than stage HH22). For ex ovo electroporation, embryos are cultured in Petri dishes(9) and the vitelline and allantoic vessels are widely spread. Under these conditions, the older chicken embryos are easily accessed and manipulated. Therefore, this method overcomes the disadvantages of in ovo electroporation applied to the older chicken embryos. Using this method, plasmids can be easily transfected into different parts of the older chicken embryos(10-12).

  9. 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…

  10. Comparative analysis of magnetosome gene clusters in magnetotactic bacteria provides further evidence for horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Jogler, Christian; Kube, Michael; Schübbe, Sabrina; Ullrich, Susanne; Teeling, Hanno; Bazylinski, Dennis A; Reinhardt, Richard; Schüler, Dirk

    2009-05-01

    The organization of magnetosome genes was analysed in all available complete or partial genomic sequences of magnetotactic bacteria (MTB), including the magnetosome island (MAI) of the magnetotactic marine vibrio strain MV-1 determined in this study. The MAI was found to differ in gene content and organization between Magnetospirillum species and strains MV-1 or MC-1. Although a similar organization of magnetosome genes was found in all MTB, distinct variations in gene order and sequence similarity were uncovered that may account for the observed diversity of biomineralization, cell biology and magnetotaxis found in various MTB. While several magnetosome genes were present in all MTB, others were confined to Magnetospirillum species, indicating that the minimal set of genes required for magnetosome biomineralization might be smaller than previously suggested. A number of novel candidate genes were implicated in magnetosome formation by gene cluster comparison. Based on phylogenetic and compositional evidence we present a model for the evolution of magnetotaxis within the Alphaproteobacteria, which suggests the independent horizontal transfer of magnetosome genes from an unknown ancestor of magnetospirilla into strains MC-1 and MV-1.

  11. 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.

  12. Flexible tools for gene expression and silencing in tomato.

    PubMed

    Fernandez, Ana I; Viron, Nicolas; Alhagdow, Moftah; Karimi, Mansour; Jones, Matthew; Amsellem, Ziva; Sicard, Adrien; Czerednik, Anna; Angenent, Gerco; Grierson, Donald; May, Sean; Seymour, Graham; Eshed, Yuval; Lemaire-Chamley, Martine; Rothan, Christophe; Hilson, Pierre

    2009-12-01

    As a genetic platform, tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) benefits from rich germplasm collections and ease of cultivation and transformation that enable the analysis of biological processes impossible to investigate in other model species. To facilitate the assembly of an open genetic toolbox designed to study Solanaceae, we initiated a joint collection of publicly available gene manipulation tools. We focused on the characterization of promoters expressed at defined time windows during fruit development, for the regulated expression or silencing of genes of interest. Five promoter sequences were captured as entry clones compatible with the versatile MultiSite Gateway format: PPC2, PG, TPRP, and IMA from tomato and CRC from Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Corresponding transcriptional fusions were made with the GUS gene, a nuclear-localized GUS-GFP reporter, and the chimeric LhG4 transcription factor. The activity of the promoters during fruit development and in fruit tissues was confirmed in transgenic tomato lines. Novel Gateway destination vectors were generated for the transcription of artificial microRNA (amiRNA) precursors and hairpin RNAs under the control of these promoters, with schemes only involving Gateway BP and LR Clonase reactions. Efficient silencing of the endogenous phytoene desaturase gene was demonstrated in transgenic tomato lines producing a matching amiRNA under the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S or PPC2 promoter. Lastly, taking advantage of the pOP/LhG4 two-component system, we found that well-characterized flower-specific Arabidopsis promoters drive the expression of reporters in patterns generally compatible with heterologous expression. Tomato lines and plasmids will be distributed through a new Nottingham Arabidopsis Stock Centre service unit dedicated to Solanaceae resources.

  13. Episcopic 3D Imaging Methods: Tools for Researching Gene Function

    PubMed Central

    Weninger, Wolfgang J; Geyer, Stefan H

    2008-01-01

    This work aims at describing episcopic 3D imaging methods and at discussing how these methods can contribute to researching the genetic mechanisms driving embryogenesis and tissue remodelling, and the genesis of pathologies. Several episcopic 3D imaging methods exist. The most advanced are capable of generating high-resolution volume data (voxel sizes from 0.5x0.5x1 µm upwards) of small to large embryos of model organisms and tissue samples. Beside anatomy and tissue architecture, gene expression and gene product patterns can be three dimensionally analyzed in their precise anatomical and histological context with the aid of whole mount in situ hybridization or whole mount immunohistochemical staining techniques. Episcopic 3D imaging techniques were and are employed for analyzing the precise morphological phenotype of experimentally malformed, randomly produced, or genetically engineered embryos of biomedical model organisms. It has been shown that episcopic 3D imaging also fits for describing the spatial distribution of genes and gene products during embryogenesis, and that it can be used for analyzing tissue samples of adult model animals and humans. The latter offers the possibility to use episcopic 3D imaging techniques for researching the causality and treatment of pathologies or for staging cancer. Such applications, however, are not yet routine and currently only preliminary results are available. We conclude that, although episcopic 3D imaging is in its very beginnings, it represents an upcoming methodology, which in short terms will become an indispensable tool for researching the genetic regulation of embryo development as well as the genesis of malformations and diseases. PMID:19452045

  14. Effective generation of transgenic pigs and mice by linker based sperm-mediated gene transfer.

    PubMed Central

    2002-01-01

    Background Transgenic animals have become valuable tools for both research and applied purposes. The current method of gene transfer, microinjection, which is widely used in transgenic mouse production, has only had limited success in producing transgenic animals of larger or higher species. Here, we report a linker based sperm-mediated gene transfer method (LB-SMGT) that greatly improves the production efficiency of large transgenic animals. Results The linker protein, a monoclonal antibody (mAb C), is reactive to a surface antigen on sperm of all tested species including pig, mouse, chicken, cow, goat, sheep, and human. mAb C is a basic protein that binds to DNA through ionic interaction allowing exogenous DNA to be linked specifically to sperm. After fertilization of the egg, the DNA is shown to be successfully integrated into the genome of viable pig and mouse offspring with germ-line transfer to the F1 generation at a highly efficient rate: 37.5% of pigs and 33% of mice. The integration is demonstrated again by FISH analysis and F2 transmission in pigs. Furthermore, expression of the transgene is demonstrated in 61% (35/57) of transgenic pigs (F0 generation). Conclusions Our data suggests that LB-SMGT could be used to generate transgenic animals efficiently in many different species. PMID:11964188

  15. 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®.

  16. Phylogenetic analyses of cyanobacterial genomes: Quantification of horizontal gene transfer events

    PubMed Central

    Zhaxybayeva, Olga; Gogarten, J. Peter; Charlebois, Robert L.; Doolittle, W. Ford; Papke, R. Thane

    2006-01-01

    Using 1128 protein-coding gene families from 11 completely sequenced cyanobacterial genomes, we attempt to quantify horizontal gene transfer events within cyanobacteria, as well as between cyanobacteria and other phyla. A novel method of detecting and enumerating potential horizontal gene transfer events within a group of organisms based on analyses of “embedded quartets” allows us to identify phylogenetic signal consistent with a plurality of gene families, as well as to delineate cases of conflict to the plurality signal, which include horizontally transferred genes. To infer horizontal gene transfer events between cyanobacteria and other phyla, we added homologs from 168 available genomes. We screened phylogenetic trees reconstructed for each of these extended gene families for highly supported monophyly of cyanobacteria (or lack of it). Cyanobacterial genomes reveal a complex evolutionary history, which cannot be represented by a single strictly bifurcating tree for all genes or even most genes, although a single completely resolved phylogeny was recovered from the quartets’ plurality signals. We find more conflicts within cyanobacteria than between cyanobacteria and other phyla. We also find that genes from all functional categories are subject to transfer. However, in interphylum as compared to intraphylum transfers, the proportion of metabolic (operational) gene transfers increases, while the proportion of informational gene transfers decreases. PMID:16899658

  17. Supra-operonic clusters of functionally related genes (SOCs) are a source of horizontal gene co-transfers

    PubMed Central

    Pang, Tin Yau; Lercher, Martin J.

    2017-01-01

    Adaptation of bacteria occurs predominantly via horizontal gene transfer (HGT). While it is widely recognized that horizontal acquisitions frequently encompass multiple genes, it is unclear what the size distribution of successfully transferred DNA segments looks like and what evolutionary forces shape this distribution. Here, we identified 1790 gene family pairs that were consistently co-gained on the same branches across a phylogeny of 53 E. coli strains. We estimated a lower limit of their genomic distances at the time they were transferred to their host genomes; this distribution shows a sharp upper bound at 30 kb. The same gene-pairs can have larger distances (up to 70 kb) in other genomes. These more distant pairs likely represent recent acquisitions via transduction that involve the co-transfer of excised prophage genes, as they are almost always associated with intervening phage-associated genes. The observed distribution of genomic distances of co-transferred genes is much broader than expected from a model based on the co-transfer of genes within operons; instead, this distribution is highly consistent with the size distribution of supra-operonic clusters (SOCs), groups of co-occurring and co-functioning genes that extend beyond operons. Thus, we propose that SOCs form a basic unit of horizontal gene transfer. PMID:28067311

  18. 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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Dhillon, Braham; Feau, Nicolas; Aerts, Andrea L.; ...

    2015-03-02

    Some of the most damaging tree diseases are caused by pathogens that induce cankers, a stem deformation often lethal. To investigate the cause of this adaptation, we sequenced the genomes of poplar pathogens that do and do not cause cankers. We found a unique cluster of genes that produce secondary metabolites and are co-activated when the canker pathogen is grown on poplar wood and leaves. The gene genealogy is discordant with the species phylogeny, showing a signature of horizontal transfer from fungi associated with wood decay. Furthermore, genes encoding hemicellulose-degrading enzymes are up-regulated on poplar wood chips, with some havingmore » been acquired horizontally. In conclusion, we propose that adaptation to colonize poplar woody stems is the result of acquisition of these genes.« less

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

    2015-03-02

    Some of the most damaging tree diseases are caused by pathogens that induce cankers, a stem deformation often lethal. To investigate the cause of this adaptation, we sequenced the genomes of poplar pathogens that do and do not cause cankers. We found a unique cluster of genes that produce secondary metabolites and are co-activated when the canker pathogen is grown on poplar wood and leaves. The gene genealogy is discordant with the species phylogeny, showing a signature of horizontal transfer from fungi associated with wood decay. Furthermore, genes encoding hemicellulose-degrading enzymes are up-regulated on poplar wood chips, with some having been acquired horizontally. In conclusion, we propose that adaptation to colonize poplar woody stems is the result of acquisition of these genes.

  1. Immunomodulation by mucosal gene transfer using TGF-beta DNA.

    PubMed Central

    Kuklin, N A; Daheshia, M; Chun, S; Rouse, B T

    1998-01-01

    This report evaluates the efficacy of DNA encoding TGF-beta administered mucosally to suppress immunity and modulate the immunoinflammatory response to herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection. A single intranasal administration of an eukaryotic expression vector encoding TGF-beta1 led to expression in the lung and lymphoid tissue. T cell-mediated immune responses to HSV infection were suppressed with this effect persisting as measured by the delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction for at least 7 wk. Treated animals were more susceptible to systemic infection with HSV. Multiple prophylactic mucosal administrations of TGF-beta DNA also suppressed the severity of ocular lesions caused by HSV infection, although no effects on this immunoinflammatory response were evident after therapeutic treatment with TGF-beta DNA. Our results demonstrate that the direct mucosal gene transfer of immunomodulatory cytokines provides a convenient means of modulating immunity and influencing the expression of inflammatory disorders. PMID:9664086

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Widespread impact of horizontal gene transfer on plant colonization of land

    PubMed Central

    Yue, Jipei; Hu, Xiangyang; Sun, Hang; Yang, Yongping; Huang, Jinling

    2012-01-01

    In complex multicellular eukaryotes such as animals and plants, horizontal gene transfer is commonly considered rare with very limited evolutionary significance. Here we show that horizontal gene transfer is a dynamic process occurring frequently in the early evolution of land plants. Our genome analyses of the moss Physcomitrella patens identified 57 families of nuclear genes that were acquired from prokaryotes, fungi or viruses. Many of these gene families were transferred to the ancestors of green or land plants. Available experimental evidence shows that these anciently acquired genes are involved in some essential or plant-specific activities such as xylem formation, plant defence, nitrogen recycling as well as the biosynthesis of starch, polyamines, hormones and glutathione. These findings suggest that horizontal gene transfer had a critical role in the transition of plants from aquatic to terrestrial environments. On the basis of these findings, we propose a model of horizontal gene transfer mechanism in nonvascular and seedless vascular plants. PMID:23093189

  8. Widespread impact of horizontal gene transfer on plant colonization of land.

    PubMed

    Yue, Jipei; Hu, Xiangyang; Sun, Hang; Yang, Yongping; Huang, Jinling

    2012-01-01

    In complex multicellular eukaryotes such as animals and plants, horizontal gene transfer is commonly considered rare with very limited evolutionary significance. Here we show that horizontal gene transfer is a dynamic process occurring frequently in the early evolution of land plants. Our genome analyses of the moss Physcomitrella patens identified 57 families of nuclear genes that were acquired from prokaryotes, fungi or viruses. Many of these gene families were transferred to the ancestors of green or land plants. Available experimental evidence shows that these anciently acquired genes are involved in some essential or plant-specific activities such as xylem formation, plant defence, nitrogen recycling as well as the biosynthesis of starch, polyamines, hormones and glutathione. These findings suggest that horizontal gene transfer had a critical role in the transition of plants from aquatic to terrestrial environments. On the basis of these findings, we propose a model of horizontal gene transfer mechanism in nonvascular and seedless vascular plants.

  9. Transfer of physical understanding in a non-tool-using parrot.

    PubMed

    van Horik, Jayden O; Emery, Nathan J

    2016-11-01

    Physical cognition has generally been assessed in tool-using species that possess a relatively large brain size, such as corvids and apes. Parrots, like corvids and apes, also have large relative brain sizes, yet although parrots rarely use tools in the wild, growing evidence suggests comparable performances on physical cognition tasks. It is, however, unclear whether success on such tasks is facilitated by previous experience and training procedures. We therefore investigated physical comprehension of object relationships in two non-tool-using species of captive neotropical parrots on a new means-end paradigm, the Trap-Gaps task, using unfamiliar materials and modified training procedures that precluded procedural cues. Red-shouldered macaws (Diopsittaca nobilis) and black-headed caiques (Pionites melanocephala) were presented with an initial task that required them to discriminate between pulling food trays through gaps while attending to the respective width of the gaps and size of the trays. Subjects were then presented with a novel, but functionally equivalent, transfer task. Six of eight birds solved the initial task through trial-and-error learning. Four of these six birds solved the transfer task, with one caique demonstrating spontaneous comprehension. These findings suggest that non-tool-using parrots may possess capacities for sophisticated physical cognition by generalising previously learned rules across novel problems.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24990676

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. [Gene transfer agent--a novel and widespread occurrence mechanism of gene exchange in ocean-a review].

    PubMed

    Cai, Haiyuan

    2012-01-01

    Gene Transfer Agent (GTA) particles are released by bacteria and resemble small, tailed bacteriophages. GTA particles contain small, random pieces of host DNA rather than GTA structural genes or a phage genome. Gene transfer mediated by GTA is efficient and species specific based on knowledge of currently best studied GTAs produced by 4 anaerobes. Genome sequencing projects have revealed a remarkable distribution of GTA gene clusters in the genomes of marine bacterioplankton, implying GTA may be an important mechanism for horizontal gene transfer in ocean. On basis of characterization of the 4 best studied GTAs, this review described GTAs released by numerically dominant marine bacteria, discussed their properties that were important for horizontal gene transfer in ocean, and gave future perspectives to advance GTA research.

  16. 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

  17. The elucidation of gene transferring mechanism by ultrasound-responsive unmodified and mannose-modified lipoplexes.

    PubMed

    Un, Keita; Kawakami, Shigeru; Yoshida, Mitsuru; Higuchi, Yuriko; Suzuki, Ryo; Maruyama, Kazuo; Yamashita, Fumiyoshi; Hashida, Mitsuru

    2011-07-01

    The development of gene transfection methods enhancing the level of gene expression under simple and low-toxic condition is required for gene therapy in clinical. Our group has developed the ultrasound (US)-mediated gene transfection method using Man-PEG(2000) bubble lipoplexes, which are US-responsive and mannose-modified gene carriers, and succeeded in obtaining the enhanced gene expression in mannose receptor-expressing cells selectively by the gene transfer using Man-PEG(2000) bubble lipoplexes with US exposure in vitro and in vivo. Here, we investigated pDNA transferring mechanism followed by US exposure to unmodified and Man-PEG(2000) bubble lipoplexes, in particular, focused on US exposure timing. Following investigation of intracellular transferring characteristics, a large amount of pDNA was transferred into the cytoplasm followed by US-mediated destruction of bubble lipoplexes in the gene transfer using both bubble lipoplexes with US exposure. Moreover, the effective gene expression was obtained without TNF-α production when US was exposed until 5 min after the addition of bubble lipoplexes. These findings suggest that the gene transfer using unmodified and Man-PEG(2000) bubble lipoplexes with US exposure enables to transfer pDNA into the cytoplasm, and optimized US exposure timing is important to achieve the high level of gene expression and the low level of pro-inflammatory cytokine production.

  18. 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.

  19. IL-7 surface-engineered lentiviral vectors promote survival and efficient gene transfer in resting primary T lymphocytes.

    PubMed

    Verhoeyen, Els; Dardalhon, Valerie; Ducrey-Rundquist, Odile; Trono, Didier; Taylor, Naomi; Cosset, François-Loïc

    2003-03-15

    Important gene therapy target cells such as resting human T cells are refractory to transduction with lentiviral vectors. Completion of reverse transcription, nuclear import, and subsequent integration of the lentiviral genome occur in these cells only if they have been activated. In T-cell-based gene therapy trials performed to date, cells have been activated via their cognate antigen receptor. To couple activation with gene transfer, we previously generated lentiviral vectors displaying an anti-CD3 scFv fragment that allowed up to 48% transduction of freshly isolated T cells. However, transduction of highly purified resting T cells with these anti-CD3-displaying lentiviral vectors was inefficient and shifted the T cells from the naive to the memory phenotype. Here, we describe interleukin-7 (IL-7)-displaying HIV-1-derived vectors. Like recombinant IL-7, these modified particles could promote the survival of primary T cells placed in culture without inducing a naive-to-memory phenotypic switch. Furthermore, a single exposure to the IL-7-displaying vectors resulted in efficient gene transfer in both resting memory adult T cells and naive cord blood T cells. With adult naive T cells, preactivation with recombinant IL-7 was necessary for efficient gene transfer. Altogether, these results suggest that IL-7-displaying vectors could constitute interesting tools for T-cell-targeted gene therapy.

  20. Phylogenetic detection of horizontal gene transfer during the step-wise genesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background In the past decade, the availability of complete genome sequence data has greatly facilitated comparative genomic research aimed at addressing genetic variability within species. More recently, analysis across species has become feasible, especially in genera where genome sequencing projects of multiple species have been initiated. To understand the genesis of the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis within a genus where the majority of species are harmless environmental organisms, we have used genome sequence data from 16 mycobacteria to look for evidence of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) associated with the emergence of pathogenesis. First, using multi-locus sequence analysis (MLSA) of 20 housekeeping genes across these species, we derived a phylogeny that serves as the basis for HGT assignments. Next, we performed alignment searches for the 3989 proteins of M. tuberculosis H37Rv against 15 other mycobacterial genomes, generating a matrix of 59835 comparisons, to look for genetic elements that were uniquely found in M. tuberculosis and closely-related pathogenic mycobacteria. To assign when foreign genes were likely acquired, we designed a bioinformatic program called mycoHIT (mycobacterial homologue investigation tool) to analyze these data in conjunction with the MLSA-based phylogeny. Results The bioinformatic screen predicted that 137 genes had been acquired by HGT at different phylogenetic strata; these included genes coding for metabolic functions and modification of mycobacterial lipids. For the majority of these genes, corroborating evidence of HGT was obtained, such as presence of phage or plasmid, and an aberrant GC%. Conclusion M. tuberculosis emerged through vertical inheritance along with the step-wise addition of genes acquired via HGT events, a process that may more generally describe the evolution of other pathogens. PMID:19664275

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Transduction-Like Gene Transfer in the Methanogen Methanococcus voltae

    PubMed Central

    Bertani, Giuseppe

    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 × 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. PMID:10321998

  6. Parvalbumin gene transfer impairs skeletal muscle contractility in old mice.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Kate T; Ham, Daniel J; Church, Jarrod E; Naim, Timur; Trieu, Jennifer; Williams, David A; Lynch, Gordon S

    2012-08-01

    Sarcopenia is the progressive age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass associated with functional impairments that reduce mobility and quality of life. Overt muscle wasting with sarcopenia is usually preceded by a slowing of the rate of relaxation and a reduction in maximum force production. Parvalbumin (PV) is a cytosolic Ca(2+) buffer thought to facilitate relaxation in muscle. We tested the hypothesis that restoration of PV levels in muscles of old mice would increase the magnitude and hasten relaxation of submaximal and maximal force responses. The tibialis anterior (TA) muscles of young (6 month), adult (13 month), and old (26 month) C57BL/6 mice received electroporation-assisted gene transfer of plasmid encoding PV or empty plasmid (pcDNA3.1). Contractile properties of TA muscles were assessed in situ 14 days after transfer. In old mice, muscles with increased PV expression had a 40% slower rate of tetanic force development (p<0.01), and maximum twitch and tetanic force were 22% and 16% lower than control values, respectively (p<0.05). Muscles with increased PV expression from old mice had an 18% lower maximum specific (normalized) force than controls, and absolute force was `26% lower at higher stimulation frequencies (150-300 Hz, p<0.05). In contrast, there was no effect of increased PV expression on TA muscle contractile properties in young and adult mice. The impairments in skeletal muscle function in old mice argue against PV overexpression as a therapeutic strategy for ameliorating aspects of contractile dysfunction with sarcopenia and help clarify directions for therapeutic interventions for age-related changes in skeletal muscle structure and function.

  7. Novel "Superspreader" Bacteriophages Promote Horizontal Gene Transfer by Transformation.

    PubMed

    Keen, Eric C; Bliskovsky, Valery V; Malagon, Francisco; Baker, James D; Prince, Jeffrey S; Klaus, James S; Adhya, Sankar L

    2017-01-17

    Bacteriophages infect an estimated 10(23) to 10(25) bacterial cells each second, many of which carry physiologically relevant plasmids (e.g., those encoding antibiotic resistance). However, even though phage-plasmid interactions occur on a massive scale and have potentially significant evolutionary, ecological, and biomedical implications, plasmid fate upon phage infection and lysis has not been investigated to date. Here we show that a subset of the natural lytic phage population, which we dub "superspreaders," releases substantial amounts of intact, transformable plasmid DNA upon lysis, thereby promoting horizontal gene transfer by transformation. Two novel Escherichia coli phage superspreaders, SUSP1 and SUSP2, liberated four evolutionarily distinct plasmids with equal efficiency, including two close relatives of prominent antibiotic resistance vectors in natural environments. SUSP2 also mediated the extensive lateral transfer of antibiotic resistance in unbiased communities of soil bacteria from Maryland and Wyoming. Furthermore, the addition of SUSP2 to cocultures of kanamycin-resistant E. coli and kanamycin-sensitive Bacillus sp. bacteria resulted in roughly 1,000-fold more kanamycin-resistant Bacillus sp. bacteria than arose in phage-free controls. Unlike many other lytic phages, neither SUSP1 nor SUSP2 encodes homologs to known hydrolytic endonucleases, suggesting a simple potential mechanism underlying the superspreading phenotype. Consistent with this model, the deletion of endonuclease IV and the nucleoid-disrupting protein ndd from coliphage T4, a phage known to extensively degrade chromosomal DNA, significantly increased its ability to promote plasmid transformation. Taken together, our results suggest that phage superspreaders may play key roles in microbial evolution and ecology but should be avoided in phage therapy and other medical applications.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. Targeted gene transfer of different genes to presynaptic and postsynaptic neocortical neurons connected by a glutamatergic synapse.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guo-rong; Zhao, Hua; Cao, Haiyan; Li, Xu; Geller, Alfred I

    2012-09-14

    Genetic approaches to analyzing neuronal circuits and learning would benefit from a technology to first deliver a specific gene into presynaptic neurons, and then deliver a different gene into an identified subset of their postsynaptic neurons, connected by a specific synapse type. Here, we describe targeted gene transfer across a neocortical glutamatergic synapse, using as the model the projection from rat postrhinal to perirhinal cortex. The first gene transfer, into the presynaptic neurons in postrhinal cortex, used a virus vector and standard gene transfer procedures. The vector expresses an artificial peptide neurotransmitter containing a dense core vesicle targeting domain, a NMDA NR1 subunit binding domain (from a monoclonal antibody), and the His tag. Upon release, this peptide neurotransmitter binds to NMDA receptors on the postsynaptic neurons. Antibody-mediated targeted gene transfer to these postsynaptic neurons in perirhinal cortex used a His tag antibody, as the peptide neurotransmitter contains the His tag. Confocal microscopy showed that with untargeted gene transfer, ~3% of the transduced presynaptic axons were proximal to a transduced postsynaptic dendrite. In contrast, with targeted gene transfer, ≥ 20% of the presynaptic axons were proximal to a transduced postsynaptic dendrite. Targeting across other types of synapses might be obtained by modifying the artificial peptide neurotransmitter to contain a binding domain for a different neurotransmitter receptor. This technology may benefit elucidating how specific neurons and subcircuits contribute to circuit physiology, behavior, and learning.

  13. yrGATE: a web-based gene-structure annotation tool for the identification and dissemination of eukaryotic genes.

    PubMed

    Wilkerson, Matthew D; Schlueter, Shannon D; Brendel, Volker

    2006-01-01

    Your Gene structure Annotation Tool for Eukaryotes (yrGATE) provides an Annotation Tool and Community Utilities for worldwide web-based community genome and gene annotation. Annotators can evaluate gene structure evidence derived from multiple sources to create gene structure annotations. Administrators regulate the acceptance of annotations into published gene sets. yrGATE is designed to facilitate rapid and accurate annotation of emerging genomes as well as to confirm, refine, or correct currently published annotations. yrGATE is highly portable and supports different standard input and output formats. The yrGATE software and usage cases are available at http://www.plantgdb.org/prj/yrGATE.

  14. Persistent gene expression in mouse nasal epithelia following feline immunodeficiency virus-based vector gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Sinn, Patrick L; Burnight, Erin R; Hickey, Melissa A; Blissard, Gary W; McCray, Paul B

    2005-10-01

    Gene transfer development for treatment or prevention of cystic fibrosis lung disease has been limited by the inability of vectors to efficiently and persistently transduce airway epithelia. Influenza A is an enveloped virus with natural lung tropism; however, pseudotyping feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)-based lentiviral vector with the hemagglutinin envelope protein proved unsuccessful. Conversely, pseudotyping FIV with the envelope protein from influenza D (Thogoto virus GP75) resulted in titers of 10(6) transducing units (TU)/ml and conferred apical entry into well-differentiated human airway epithelial cells. Baculovirus GP64 envelope glycoproteins share sequence identity with influenza D GP75 envelope glycoproteins. Pseudotyping FIV with GP64 from three species of baculovirus resulted in titers of 10(7) to 10(9) TU/ml. Of note, GP64 from Autographa californica multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus resulted in high-titer FIV preparations (approximately 10(9) TU/ml) and conferred apical entry into polarized primary cultures of human airway epithelia. Using a luciferase reporter gene and bioluminescence imaging, we observed persistent gene expression from in vivo gene transfer in the mouse nose with A. californica GP64-pseudotyped FIV (AcGP64-FIV). Longitudinal bioluminescence analysis documented persistent expression in nasal epithelia for approximately 1 year without significant decline. According to histological analysis using a LacZ reporter gene, olfactory and respiratory epithelial cells were transduced. In addition, methylcellulose-formulated AcGP64-FIV transduced mouse nasal epithelia with much greater efficiency than similarly formulated vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein-pseudotyped FIV. These data suggest that AcGP64-FIV efficiently transduces and persistently expresses a transgene in nasal epithelia in the absence of agents that disrupt the cellular tight junction integrity.

  15. Thixotropic solutions enhance viral-mediated gene transfer to airway epithelia.

    PubMed

    Seiler, Michael P; Luner, Paul; Moninger, Thomas O; Karp, Philip H; Keshavjee, Shaf; Zabner, Joseph

    2002-08-01

    Adenovirus-mediated gene transfer to airway epithelia is inefficient in part because its receptor is absent on the apical surface of the airways. Targeting adenovirus to other receptors, increasing the viral concentration, and even prolonging the incubation time with adenovirus vectors can partially overcome the lack of receptors and facilitate gene transfer. Unfortunately, mucociliary clearance would prevent prolonged incubation time in vivo. Thixotropic solutions (TS) are gels that upon a vigorous shearing force reversibly become liquid. We hypothesized that formulating recombinant adenoviruses in TS would decrease virus clearance and thus enhance gene transfer to the airway epithelia. We found that clearance of virus-sized fluorescent beads by human airway epithelia in vitro and by monkey trachea in vivo were markedly decreased when the beads were formulated in TS compared with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). Adenovirus formulated in TS significantly increased adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of a reporter gene in human airway epithelia in vitro and in murine airway epithelia in vivo. Furthermore, an adenovirus encoding the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) gene (AdCFTR) formulated in TS was more efficient in correcting the chloride transport defect in cystic fibrosis airway epithelia than AdCFTR formulated in PBS. These data indicate a novel strategy to augment the efficiency of gene transfer to the airways that may be applicable to a number of different gene transfer vectors and could be of value in gene transfer to cystic fibrosis (CF) airway epithelia in vivo.

  16. 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

  17. Gene transfer for neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Campochiaro, Peter A

    2011-05-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex disease that has two phases: a degenerative phase often referred to as nonneovascular AMD (non-NVAMD) or dry AMD and a phase dominated by growth of new blood vessels in the subretinal space, referred to as NVAMD or wet AMD. Advances in the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of NVAMD have led to new drug therapies that have provided major benefits to patients. However, those treatments require frequent intraocular injections that in many patients must be continued indefinitely to maintain visual benefits. Gene transfer to augment expression of endogenous antiangiogenic proteins is an alternative approach that has the potential to provide long-term stability in patients with NVAMD. Studies in animal models that mimic aspects of NVAMD have identified several possible transgenes, and a clinical trial in patients with advanced NVAMD has suggested that the approach may be feasible. Many important questions remain, but the rationale and preliminary data are compelling. The results of two ongoing clinical trials may answer several of the questions and help direct future research.

  18. Recent tissue engineering-based advances for effective rAAV-mediated gene transfer in the musculoskeletal system.

    PubMed

    Rey-Rico, Ana; Cucchiarini, Magali

    2016-04-01

    Musculoskeletal tissues are diverse and significantly different in their ability to repair upon injury. Current treatments often fail to reproduce the natural functions of the native tissue, leading to an imperfect healing. Gene therapy might improve the repair of tissues by providing a temporarily and spatially defined expression of the therapeutic gene(s) at the site of the injury. Several gene transfer vehicles have been developed to modify various human cells and tissues from musculoskeletal system among which the non-pathogenic, effective, and relatively safe recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors that have emerged as the preferred gene delivery system to treat human disorders. Adapting tissue engineering platforms to gene transfer approaches mediated by rAAV vectors is an attractive tool to circumvent both the limitations of the current therapeutic options to promote an effective healing of the tissue and the natural obstacles from these clinically adapted vectors to achieve an efficient and durable gene expression of the therapeutic sequences within the lesions.

  19. Gene recruitment--a common mechanism in the evolution of transfer RNA gene families.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiujuan; Lavrov, Dennis V

    2011-04-01

    The evolution of alloacceptor transfer RNAs (tRNAs) has been traditionally thought to occur vertically and reflect the evolution of the genetic code. Yet there have been several indications that a tRNA gene could evolve horizontally, from a copy of an alloacceptor tRNA gene in the same genome. Earlier, we provided the first unambiguous evidence for the occurrence of such "tRNA gene recruitment" in nature--in the mitochondrial (mt) genome of the demosponge Axinella corrugata. Yet the extent and the pattern of this process in the evolution of tRNA gene families remained unclear. Here we analyzed tRNA genes from 21 mt genomes of demosponges as well as nuclear genomes of rhesus macaque, chimpanzee and human. We found four new cases of alloacceptor tRNA gene recruitment in mt genomes and eleven cases in the nuclear genomes. In most of these cases we observed a single nucleotide substitution at the middle position of the anticodon, which resulted in the change of not only the tRNA's amino-acid identity but also the class of the amino-acyl tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) involved in amino-acylation. We hypothesize that the switch to a different class of aaRSs may have prevented the conflict between anticodon and amino-acid identities of recruited tRNAs. Overall our results suggest that gene recruitment is a common phenomenon in tRNA multigene family evolution and should be taken into consideration when tRNA evolutionary history is reconstructed.

  20. Genomic Data Quality Impacts Automated Detection of Lateral Gene Transfer in Fungi

    PubMed Central

    Dupont, Pierre-Yves; Cox, Murray P.

    2017-01-01

    Lateral gene transfer (LGT, also known as horizontal gene transfer), an atypical mechanism of transferring genes between species, has almost become the default explanation for genes that display an unexpected composition or phylogeny. Numerous methods of detecting LGT events all rely on two fundamental strategies: primary structure composition or gene tree/species tree comparisons. Discouragingly, the results of these different approaches rarely coincide. With the wealth of genome data now available, detection of laterally transferred genes is increasingly being attempted in large uncurated eukaryotic datasets. However, detection methods depend greatly on the quality of the underlying genomic data, which are typically complex for eukaryotes. Furthermore, given the automated nature of genomic data collection, it is typically impractical to manually verify all protein or gene models, orthology predictions, and multiple sequence alignments, requiring researchers to accept a substantial margin of error in their datasets. Using a test case comprising plant-associated genomes across the fungal kingdom, this study reveals that composition- and phylogeny-based methods have little statistical power to detect laterally transferred genes. In particular, phylogenetic methods reveal extreme levels of topological variation in fungal gene trees, the vast majority of which show departures from the canonical species tree. Therefore, it is inherently challenging to detect LGT events in typical eukaryotic genomes. This finding is in striking contrast to the large number of claims for laterally transferred genes in eukaryotic species that routinely appear in the literature, and questions how many of these proposed examples are statistically well supported. PMID:28235827

  1. Identification of multiple independent horizontal gene transfers into poxviruses using a comparative genomics approach

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Poxviruses are important pathogens of humans, livestock and wild animals. These large dsDNA viruses have a set of core orthologs whose gene order is extremely well conserved throughout poxvirus genera. They also contain many genes with sequence and functional similarity to host genes which were probably acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Although phylogenetic trees can indicate the occurrence of horizontal gene transfer and even uncover multiple events, their use may be hampered by uncertainties in both the topology and the rooting of the tree. We propose to use synteny conservation around the horizontally transferred gene (HTgene) to distinguish between single and multiple events. Results Here we devise a method that incorporates comparative genomic information into the investigation of horizontal gene transfer, and we apply this method to poxvirus genomes. We examined the synteny conservation around twenty four pox genes that we identified, or which were reported in the literature, as candidate HTgenes. We found support for multiple independent transfers into poxviruses for five HTgenes. Three of these genes are known to be important for the survival of the virus in or out of the host cell and one of them increases susceptibility to some antiviral drugs. Conclusion In related genomes conserved synteny information can provide convincing evidence for multiple independent horizontal gene transfer events even in the absence of a robust phylogenetic tree for the HTgene. PMID:18304319

  2. [Polymeric nanoparticles with therapeutic gene for gene therapy: I. Preparation and in vivo gene transfer study].

    PubMed

    Yang, Jing; Song, Cunxian; Sun, Hongfan; Wu, Li; Tang, Lina; Leng, Xigang; Wang, Pengyan; Xu, Yiyao; Li, Yongjun; Guan, Heng

    2005-06-01

    VEGF nanoparticle (VEGF-NP) was prepared by a multi-emulsification technique using a biodegradable poly-dl-lactic-co-glycolic (PLGA) as matrix material. The nanoparticles were characterized for size, VEGF loading capacity, and in vitro release. VEGF-NP and naked VEGF plasmid were intramuscularly injected into the ischemia site of the rabbit chronic hindlimb ischemia model and the efficiency of VEGF-NP as gene delivery carrier for gene therapy in animal model was evaluated. Gene therapuetic effect was assessed evaluated by RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry and angiography assay. The average size of VEGF-NP was around 300 nm. The encapsulation efficiency of VEGF was above 96%. Loading amount of VEGF in the nanoparticles was about 4%. In vitro, nanoparticles maintained sustained-release of VEGF for two weeks. Two weeks post gene injection the capillary density in VEGF-NP group (81.22 per mm2) was significantly higher than that in control group (29.54 mm2). RT-PCR results showed greatly higher VEGF expression in VEGF-NP group (31.79au * mm) than that in naked VEGF group (9.15 au * mm). As a carrier system for gene therapy in animal model, VEGF-NP is much better than naked DNA plasmid. The results demonstrate great possibility of using NP carrier in human gene therapy.

  3. Novel and effective gene transfer technique for study of vascular renin angiotensin system.

    PubMed Central

    Morishita, R; Gibbons, G H; Kaneda, Y; Ogihara, T; Dzau, V J

    1993-01-01

    Vascular renin angiotensin system (RAS) has been reported to exist in vascular wall. However, there is no direct evidence whether the vascular RAS per se can modulate growth of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), because there is no suitable method to investigate the effect of endogenously produced vasoactive substances on growth of these cells. In this study, we transferred angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and/or renin cDNAs into cultured VSMC using the efficient Sendai virus (hemagglutinating virus of Japan) liposome-mediated gene transfer method, to examine their relative roles in VSMC growth in vitro. Within 35 min or 6 h, the transfection of ACE cDNA into VSMC by hemagglutinating virus of Japan method resulted in a twofold higher ACE activity than control vector, whereas a cationic liposome (Lipofectin)-mediated method failed to show any effect. This in vitro system provided us with the opportunity to investigate the influence of endogenous vascular RAS on VSMC growth. Transfection of ACE or renin cDNA resulted in increased DNA and RNA synthesis, which was inhibited with the specific angiotensin II receptor antagonist (DuP 753: 10(-6) M). Angiotensin I added to ACE-transfected VSMC increased RNA synthesis in a dose-dependent manner. Cotransfection of renin and ACE cDNAs stimulated further RNA synthesis as compared to ACE or renin cDNA alone. These results showed that transfected components of RAS can modulate VSMC growth through the endogenous production of vascular angiotensin II, and that ACE as well as renin are rate limiting in determining the VSMC RAS activity. We conclude that the hemagglutinating virus of Japan liposome-mediated gene transfer technique provides a new and useful tool for study of endogenous vascular modulators such as vascular RAS. Images PMID:8390484

  4. Bioinformatics tools for achieving better gene silencing in plants.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Firoz; Dai, Xinbin; Zhao, Patrick Xuechun

    2015-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) is one of the most popular and effective molecular technologies for knocking down the expression of an individual gene of interest in living organisms. Yet the technology still faces the major issue of nonspecific gene silencing, which can compromise gene functional characterization and the interpretation of phenotypes associated with individual gene knockdown. Designing an effective and target-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) for induction of RNAi is therefore the major challenge in RNAi-based gene silencing. A 'good' siRNA molecule must possess three key features: (a) the ability to specifically silence an individual gene of interest, (b) little or no effect on the expressions of unintended siRNA gene targets (off-target genes), and (c) no cell toxicity. Although several siRNA design and analysis algorithms have been developed, only a few of them are specifically focused on gene silencing in plants. Furthermore, current algorithms lack a comprehensive consideration of siRNA specificity, efficacy, and nontoxicity in siRNA design, mainly due to lack of integration of all known rules that govern different steps in the RNAi pathway. In this review, we first describe popular RNAi methods that have been used for gene silencing in plants and their serious limitations regarding gene-silencing potency and specificity. We then present novel, rationale-based strategies in combination with computational and experimental approaches to induce potent, specific, and nontoxic gene silencing in plants.

  5. 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

  6. Environmental factors influencing gene transfer agent (GTA) mediated transduction in the subtropical ocean.

    PubMed

    McDaniel, Lauren D; Young, Elizabeth C; Ritchie, Kimberly B; Paul, John H

    2012-01-01

    Microbial genomic sequence analyses have indicated widespread horizontal gene transfer (HGT). However, an adequate mechanism accounting for the ubiquity of HGT has been lacking. Recently, high frequencies of interspecific gene transfer have been documented, catalyzed by Gene Transfer Agents (GTAs) of marine α-Proteobacteria. It has been proposed that the presence of bacterial genes in highly purified viral metagenomes may be due to GTAs. However, factors influencing GTA-mediated gene transfer in the environment have not yet been determined. Several genomically sequenced strains containing complete GTA sequences similar to Rhodobacter capsulatus (RcGTA, type strain) were screened to ascertain if they produced putative GTAs, and at what abundance. Five of nine marine strains screened to date spontaneously produced virus-like particles (VLP's) in stationary phase. Three of these strains have demonstrated gene transfer activity, two of which were documented by this lab. These two strains Roseovarius nubinhibens ISM and Nitratireductor 44B9s, were utilized to produce GTAs designated RnGTA and NrGTA and gene transfer activity was verified in culture. Cell-free preparations of purified RnGTA and NrGTA particles from marked donor strains were incubated with natural microbial assemblages to determine the level of GTA-mediated gene transfer. In conjunction, several ambient environmental parameters were measured including lysogeny indicated by prophage induction. GTA production in culture systems indicated that approximately half of the strains produced GTA-like particles and maximal GTA counts ranged from 10-30% of host abundance. Modeling of GTA-mediated gene transfer frequencies in natural samples, along with other measured environmental variables, indicated a strong relationship between GTA mediated gene transfer and the combined factors of salinity, multiplicity of infection (MOI) and ambient bacterial abundance. These results indicate that GTA-mediated HGT in the

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Evolution of the cutinase gene family: evidence for lateral gene transfer of a candidate Phytophthora virulence factor.

    PubMed

    Belbahri, Lassaad; Calmin, Gautier; Mauch, Felix; Andersson, Jan O

    2008-01-31

    Lateral gene transfer (LGT) can facilitate the acquisition of new functions in recipient lineages, which may enable them to colonize new environments. Several recent publications have shown that gene transfer between prokaryotes and eukaryotes occurs with appreciable frequency. Here we present a study of interdomain gene transfer of cutinases -- well documented virulence factors in fungi -- between eukaryotic plant pathogens Phytophthora species and prokaryotic bacterial lineages. Two putative cutinase genes were cloned from Phytophthora brassicae and Northern blotting experiments showed that these genes are expressed early during the infection of the host Arabidopsis thaliana and induced during cyst germination of the pathogen. Analysis of the gene organisation of this gene family in Phytophthora ramorum and P. sojae showed three and ten copies in tight succession within a region of 5 and 25 kb, respectively, probably indicating a recent expansion in Phytophthora lineages by gene duplications. Bioinformatic analyses identified orthologues only in three genera of Actinobacteria, and in two distantly related eukaryotic groups: oomycetes and fungi. Together with phylogenetic analyses this limited distribution of the gene in the tree of life strongly support a scenario where cutinase genes originated after the origin of land plants in a microbial lineage living in proximity of plants and subsequently were transferred between distantly related plant-degrading microbes. More precisely, a cutinase gene was likely acquired by an ancestor of P. brassicae, P. sojae, P. infestans and P. ramorum, possibly from an actinobacterial source, suggesting that gene transfer might be an important mechanism in the evolution of their virulence. These findings could indeed provide an interesting model system to study acquisition of virulence factors in these important plant pathogens.

  13. 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

  14. Gene Transfer Efficiency in Gonococcal Biofilms: Role of Biofilm Age, Architecture, and Pilin Antigenic Variation

    PubMed Central

    Kouzel, Nadzeya; Oldewurtel, Enno R.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Extracellular DNA is an important structural component of many bacterial biofilms. It is unknown, however, to which extent external DNA is used to transfer genes by means of transformation. Here, we quantified the acquisition of multidrug resistance and visualized its spread under selective and nonselective conditions in biofilms formed by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The density and architecture of the biofilms were controlled by microstructuring the substratum for bacterial adhesion. Horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes between cocultured strains, each carrying a single resistance, occurred efficiently in early biofilms. The efficiency of gene transfer was higher in early biofilms than between planktonic cells. It was strongly reduced after 24 h and independent of biofilm density. Pilin antigenic variation caused a high fraction of nonpiliated bacteria but was not responsible for the reduced gene transfer at later stages. When selective pressure was applied to dense biofilms using antibiotics at their MIC, the double-resistant bacteria did not show a significant growth advantage. In loosely connected biofilms, the spreading of double-resistant clones was prominent. We conclude that multidrug resistance readily develops in early gonococcal biofilms through horizontal gene transfer. However, selection and spreading of the multiresistant clones are heavily suppressed in dense biofilms. IMPORTANCE Biofilms are considered ideal reaction chambers for horizontal gene transfer and development of multidrug resistances. The rate at which genes are exchanged within biofilms is unknown. Here, we quantified the acquisition of double-drug resistance by gene transfer between gonococci with single resistances. At early biofilm stages, the transfer efficiency was higher than for planktonic cells but then decreased with biofilm age. The surface topography affected the architecture of the biofilm. While the efficiency of gene transfer was independent of the

  15. Possible mechanism of gene transfer into early to mid-gestational mouse fetuses by tail vein injection.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, N; Nakamura, S; Ohtsuka, M; Kimura, M; Sato, M

    2002-11-01

    Our aim is to develop a simple gene transfer method into egg cylinder and mid-gestational murine embryos. We examined whether plasmid/lipid complexes injected into the tail veins of pregnant transgenic mice can be transferred to fetuses at E 4.5-13.5. When pregnant CETZ-17 mice carrying a transgene consisting of a ubiquitous promoter, floxed EGFP/CAT and the LacZ gene, were injected with a Cre expression vector DNA/lipid complex, Cre-mediated excision of the transgenes, as evaluated by X-gal staining, occurred in 10-50% of fetuses treated at E 11.5-13.5. Although younger embryos remained unstained, PCR analysis revealed low levels of the Cre vector DNA and recombined transgene. To examine the fate of a solution given intravenously, we injected trypan blue or fluorescence-labeled plasmid DNA/lipid complexes into females at E 5.5-11.5 and E 6.5, respectively. Both collected in the visceral endoderm (VE) lineage, but were undetectable in the embryo proper. These findings suggest that substances in maternal blood are delivered to post-implantation embryos via cells of the VE lineage and placenta, but that most are trapped in the VE. If significantly improved, gene transfer to fetuses by injection into the maternal circulation may become a promising tool in fetal gene therapy and embryological studies.

  16. 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.

  17. Plasmid transfer by conjugation as a possible route of horizontal gene transfer and recombination in Xylella fastidiosa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Horizontal gene transfer is an important component of evolution and adaptation of bacterial species. Xylella fastidiosa has the ability to incorporate exogenous DNA into its genome by homologous recombination at relatively high rates. This genetic recombination is believed to play a role in adaptati...

  18. Gene Editing: A New Tool for Viral Disease.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, Edward M; Cullen, Bryan R

    2017-01-14

    The emergence of the CRISPR/Cas system of antiviral adaptive immunity in bacteria as a facile system for gene editing in mammalian cells may well lead to gene editing becoming a novel treatment for a range of human diseases, especially those caused by deleterious germline mutations. Another potential target for gene editing are DNA viruses that cause chronic pathogenic diseases that cannot be cured by using currently available drugs. We review the current state of this field and discuss the potential advantages and problems with using a gene editing approach as a treatment for diseases caused by DNA viruses.

  19. Alphavirus vectors as tools in neuroscience and gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Lundstrom, Kenneth

    2016-05-02

    Alphavirus-based vectors have been engineered for in vitro and in vivo expression of heterelogous genes. The rapid and easy generation of replication-deficient recombinant particles and the broad range of host cell infection have made alphaviruses attractive vehicles for applications in neuroscience and gene therapy. Efficient delivery to primary neurons and hippocampal slices has allowed localization studies of gene expression and electrophysiological recordings of ion channels. Alphavirus vectors have also been applied for in vivo delivery to rodent brain. Due to the strong local transient expression provided by alphavirus vectors a number of immunization and gene therapy approaches have demonstrated both therapeutic and prophylactic efficacy in various animal models.

  20. Horizontally transferred genes in the genome of Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In recent years, as the development of next-generation sequencing technology, a growing number of genes have been reported as being horizontally transferred from prokaryotes to eukaryotes, most of them involving arthropods. As a member of the phylum Arthropoda, the Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei has to adapt to the complex water environments with various symbiotic or parasitic microorganisms, which provide a platform for horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Results In this study, we analyzed the genome-wide HGT events in L. vannamei. Through homology search and phylogenetic analysis, followed by experimental PCR confirmation, 14 genes with HGT event were identified: 12 of them were transferred from bacteria and two from fungi. Structure analysis of these genes showed that the introns of the two fungi-originated genes were substituted by shrimp DNA fragment, two genes transferred from bacteria had shrimp specific introns inserted in them. Furthermore, around other three bacteria-originated genes, there were three large DNA segments inserted into the shrimp genome. One segment was a transposon that fully transferred, and the other two segments contained only coding regions of bacteria. Functional prediction of these 14 genes showed that 6 of them might be related to energy metabolism, and 4 others related to defense of the organism. Conclusions HGT events from bacteria or fungi were happened in the genome of L. vannamei, and these horizontally transferred genes can be transcribed in shrimp. This is the first time to report the existence of horizontally transferred genes in shrimp. Importantly, most of these genes are exposed to a negative selection pressure and appeared to be functional. PMID:23914989

  1. 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

  2. A new computational method for the detection of horizontal gene transfer events.

    PubMed

    Tsirigos, Aristotelis; Rigoutsos, Isidore

    2005-01-01

    In recent years, the increase in the amounts of available genomic data has made it easier to appreciate the extent by which organisms increase their genetic diversity through horizontally transferred genetic material. Such transfers have the potential to give rise to extremely dynamic genomes where a significant proportion of their coding DNA has been contributed by external sources. Because of the impact of these horizontal transfers on the ecological and pathogenic character of the recipient organisms, methods are continuously sought that are able to computationally determine which of the genes of a given genome are products of transfer events. In this paper, we introduce and discuss a novel computational method for identifying horizontal transfers that relies on a gene's nucleotide composition and obviates the need for knowledge of codon boundaries. In addition to being applicable to individual genes, the method can be easily extended to the case of clusters of horizontally transferred genes. With the help of an extensive and carefully designed set of experiments on 123 archaeal and bacterial genomes, we demonstrate that the new method exhibits significant improvement in sensitivity when compared to previously published approaches. In fact, it achieves an average relative improvement across genomes of between 11 and 41% compared to the Codon Adaptation Index method in distinguishing native from foreign genes. Our method's horizontal gene transfer predictions for 123 microbial genomes are available online at http://cbcsrv.watson.ibm.com/HGT/.

  3. GESearch: An Interactive GUI Tool for Identifying Gene Expression Signature.

    PubMed

    Ye, Ning; Yin, Hengfu; Liu, Jingjing; Dai, Xiaogang; Yin, Tongming

    2015-01-01

    The huge amount of gene expression data generated by microarray and next-generation sequencing technologies present challenges to exploit their biological meanings. When searching for the coexpression genes, the data mining process is largely affected by selection of algorithms. Thus, it is highly desirable to provide multiple options of algorithms in the user-friendly analytical toolkit to explore the gene expression signatures. For this purpose, we developed GESearch, an interactive graphical user interface (GUI) toolkit, which is written in MATLAB and supports a variety of gene expression data files. This analytical toolkit provides four models, including the mean, the regression, the delegate, and the ensemble models, to identify the coexpression genes, and enables the users to filter data and to select gene expression patterns by browsing the display window or by importing knowledge-based genes. Subsequently, the utility of this analytical toolkit is demonstrated by analyzing two sets of real-life microarray datasets from cell-cycle experiments. Overall, we have developed an interactive GUI toolkit that allows for choosing multiple algorithms for analyzing the gene expression signatures.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Bacteriophage WO Can Mediate Horizontal Gene Transfer in Endosymbiotic Wolbachia Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guan H.; Sun, Bao F.; Xiong, Tuan L.; Wang, Yan K.; Murfin, Kristen E.; Xiao, Jin H.; Huang, Da W.

    2016-01-01

    Phage-mediated horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is common in free-living bacteria, and many transferred genes can play a significant role in their new bacterial hosts. However, there are few reports concerning phage-mediated HGT in endosymbionts (obligate intracellular bacteria within animal or plant hosts), such as Wolbachia. The Wolbachia-infecting temperate phage WO can actively shift among Wolbachia genomes and has the potential to mediate HGT between Wolbachia strains. In the present study, we extend previous findings by validating that the phage WO can mediate transfer of non-phage genes. To do so, we utilized bioinformatic, phylogenetic, and molecular analyses based on all sequenced Wolbachia and phage WO genomes. Our results show that the phage WO can mediate HGT between Wolbachia strains, regardless of whether the transferred genes originate from Wolbachia or other unrelated bacteria. PMID:27965627

  7. 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, ...

  8. Genome-wide identification of horizontal gene transfer in Fusarium verticillioides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), the exchange and stable integration of genetic material between different lineages, breaks species boundaries and generates new biological diversity. In eukaryotes, despite potential barriers, like the nuclear envelope and multicellularity, HGT may be facilitated by t...

  9. 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.

  10. A statistical model for bacterial speciation triggered by lateral gene transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sidhu, Sunjeet; Peng, Wequin

    2006-03-01

    The process of bacterial speciation has been a major unresolved issue in the study of bacterial evolution. It has been proposed that lateral gene transfer and homologous recombination play critical and complementary roles in speciation. We introduce a statistical model, of a population, for the evolution under lateral gene transfer and local homologous recombination. We examine the evolutionary dynamics and its dependence on various evolutionary operators. J. G. Lawrence, Theor. Popul. Biol. 61, 449(2002).

  11. Fabrication of DNA-antibody-apatite composite layers for cell-targeted gene transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    Surface-mediated gene transfer systems using apatite (Ap)-based composite layers have received increased attention in tissue engineering applications owing to their safety, biocompatibility and relatively high efficiency. In this study, DNA-antibody-apatite composite layers (DA-Ap layers), in which DNA and antibody molecules are immobilized within a matrix of apatite nanocrystals, were fabricated using a biomimetic coating process. They were then assayed for their gene transfer capability for application in a specific cell-targeted gene transfer. A DA-Ap layer that was fabricated with an anti-CD49f antibody showed a higher gene transfer capability to the CD49f-positive CHO-K1 cells than a DNA-apatite composite layer (D-Ap layer). The antibody facilitated the gene transfer capability of the DA-Ap layer only to the specific cells that were expressing corresponding antigens. When the DA-Ap layer was fabricated with an anti-N-cadherin antibody, a higher gene transfer capability compared with the D-Ap layer was found in the N-cadherin-positive P19CL6 cells, but not in the N-cadherin-negative UV♀2 cells or in the P19CL6 cells that were pre-blocked with anti-N-cadherin. Therefore, the antigen-antibody binding that takes place at the cell-layer interface should be responsible for the higher gene transfer capability of the DA-Ap than D-Ap layer. These results suggest that the DA-Ap layer works as a mediator in a specific cell-targeted gene transfer system.

  12. Fabrication of DNA-antibody-apatite composite layers for cell-targeted gene transfer.

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

    Surface-mediated gene transfer systems using apatite (Ap)-based composite layers have received increased attention in tissue engineering applications owing to their safety, biocompatibility and relatively high efficiency. In this study, DNA-antibody-apatite composite layers (DA-Ap layers), in which DNA and antibody molecules are immobilized within a matrix of apatite nanocrystals, were fabricated using a biomimetic coating process. They were then assayed for their gene transfer capability for application in a specific cell-targeted gene transfer. A DA-Ap layer that was fabricated with an anti-CD49f antibody showed a higher gene transfer capability to the CD49f-positive CHO-K1 cells than a DNA-apatite composite layer (D-Ap layer). The antibody facilitated the gene transfer capability of the DA-Ap layer only to the specific cells that were expressing corresponding antigens. When the DA-Ap layer was fabricated with an anti-N-cadherin antibody, a higher gene transfer capability compared with the D-Ap layer was found in the N-cadherin-positive P19CL6 cells, but not in the N-cadherin-negative UV♀2 cells or in the P19CL6 cells that were pre-blocked with anti-N-cadherin. Therefore, the antigen-antibody binding that takes place at the cell-layer interface should be responsible for the higher gene transfer capability of the DA-Ap than D-Ap layer. These results suggest that the DA-Ap layer works as a mediator in a specific cell-targeted gene transfer system.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Immune deficiency enhances expression of recombinant human antibody in mice after nonviral in vivo gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Kitaguchi, Kohji; Toda, Mikako; Takekoshi, Masataka; Maeda, Fumiko; Muramatsu, Tatsuo; Murai, Atsushi

    2005-10-01

    A cDNA encoding human antibody against hepatitis B virus was expressed in normal and severe combined immune deficiency (SCID) mice to clarify whether or not host immune status affects circulating levels of the recombinant human antibody (RhAb) after nonviral in vivo gene transfer. For transferring genes, either electroporation (EP) or hydrodynamics-based transfection (HD) was employed. The former was applied to the leg muscle to express the gene, while the latter primarily targeted foreign gene expression in the liver. The expressed RhAb was secreted into the blood circulation, and its existence was assayed by ELISA. Prior to the investigation of host immune status, suitable forms of plasmid expression vectors and types of electrodes were determined in normal mice. Results showed that the vector encoding both the light and heavy chains driven by the CMV promoter had the highest plasma RhAb concentrations, and a pair of pincette-type electrodes conferred the best performance. In both EP and HD, the SCID state showed an increased and prolonged RhAb production in the blood circulation due probably to suppressed recognition of RhAb as a foreign protein to the host animal. The difference in gene transfer methods demonstrated a characteristic pattern: an early and sharp rise followed by a relatively rapid decrease in HD, in contrast to a gradual rise followed by a plateau level maintained in EP. As a result, with the same amount of gene transferred, the plasma RhAb concentrations for the first 7 or 8 weeks were higher in HD than EP, while the reverse was true for the latter period. Multiple gene transfer contributed to maintaining and prolonging high RhAb concentrations in plasma by both methods with similar characteristic patterns accompanying the respective gene transfer method. These results suggest the importance of host immunological potency for maintaining plasma RhAb concentrations if these gene transfer technologies are used for clinical and therapeutic purposes.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Horizontal gene transfer from diverse bacteria to an insect genome enables a tripartite nested mealybug symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Husnik, Filip; Nikoh, Naruo; Koga, Ryuichi; Ross, Laura; Duncan, Rebecca P; Fujie, Manabu; Tanaka, Makiko; Satoh, Nori; Bachtrog, Doris; Wilson, Alex C C; von Dohlen, Carol D; Fukatsu, Takema; McCutcheon, John P

    2013-06-20

    The smallest reported bacterial genome belongs to Tremblaya princeps, a symbiont of Planococcus citri mealybugs (PCIT). Tremblaya PCIT not only has a 139 kb genome, but possesses its own bacterial endosymbiont, Moranella endobia. Genome and transcriptome sequencing, including genome sequencing from a Tremblaya lineage lacking intracellular bacteria, reveals that the extreme genomic degeneracy of Tremblaya PCIT likely resulted from acquiring Moranella as an endosymbiont. In addition, at least 22 expressed horizontally transferred genes from multiple diverse bacteria to the mealybug genome likely complement missing symbiont genes. However, none of these horizontally transferred genes are from Tremblaya, showing that genome reduction in this symbiont has not been enabled by gene transfer to the host nucleus. Our results thus indicate that the functioning of this three-way symbiosis is dependent on genes from at least six lineages of organisms and reveal a path to intimate endosymbiosis distinct from that followed by organelles.

  19. Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1)-derived recombinant vectors for gene transfer and gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Marconi, Peggy; Fraefel, Cornel; Epstein, Alberto L

    2015-01-01

    Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1 ) is a human pathogen whose lifestyle is based on a long-term dual interaction with the infected host, being able to establish both lytic and latent infections. The virus genome is a 153-kilobase pair (kbp) double-stranded DNA molecule encoding more than 80 genes. The interest of HSV-1 as gene transfer vector stems from its ability to infect many different cell types, both quiescent and proliferating cells, the very high packaging capacity of the virus capsid, the outstanding neurotropic adaptations that this virus has evolved, and the fact that it never integrates into the cellular chromosomes, thus avoiding the risk of insertional mutagenesis. Two types of vectors can be derived from HSV-1, recombinant vectors and amplicon vectors, and different methodologies have been developed to prepare large stocks of each type of vector. This chapter summarizes the approach most commonly used to prepare recombinant HSV-1 vectors through homologous recombination, either in eukaryotic cells or in bacteria.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Evolutionary transfers of mitochondrial genes to the nucleus in the Populus lineage and coexpression of nuclear and mitochondrial Sdh4 genes.

    PubMed

    Choi, Catherine; Liu, Zhenlan; Adams, Keith L

    2006-01-01

    The transfer of mitochondrial genes to the nucleus is an ongoing evolutionary process in flowering plants. Evolutionarily recent gene transfers provide insights into the evolutionary dynamics of the process and the way in which transferred genes become functional in the nucleus. Genes that are present in the mitochondrion of some angiosperms but have been transferred to the nucleus in the Populus lineage were identified by searches of Populus sequence databases. Sequence analyses and expression experiments were used to characterize the transferred genes. Two succinate dehydrogenase genes and six mitochondrial ribosomal protein genes have been transferred to the nucleus in the Populus lineage and have become expressed. Three transferred genes have gained an N-terminal mitochondrial targeting presequence from other pre-existing genes and two of the transferred genes do not contain an N-terminal targeting presequence. Intact copies of the succinate dehydrogenase gene Sdh4 are present in both the mitochondrion and the nucleus. Both copies of Sdh4 are expressed in multiple organs of two Populus species and RNA editing occurs in the mitochondrial copy. These results provide a genome-wide perspective on mitochondrial genes that were transferred to the nucleus and became expressed, functional genes during the evolutionary history of Populus.

  5. Exploration of horizontal gene transfer between transplastomic tobacco and plant-associated bacteria.

    PubMed

    Demanèche, Sandrine; Monier, Jean-Michel; Dugat-Bony, Eric; Simonet, Pascal

    2011-10-01

    The likelihood of gene transfer from transgenic plants to bacteria is dependent on the transgene copy number and on the presence of homologous sequences for recombination. The large number of chloroplast genomes in a plant cell as well as the prokaryotic origin of the transgene may thus significantly increase the likelihood of gene transfer from transplastomic plants to bacteria. In order to assess the probability of such a transfer, bacterial isolates, screened for their ability to colonize decaying tobacco plant tissue and possessing DNA sequence similarity to the chloroplastic genes accD and rbcL flanking the transgene (aadA), were tested for their ability to take up extracellular DNA (broad host-range pBBR1MCS-3-derived plasmid, transplastomic plant DNA and PCR products containing the genes accD-aadA-rbcL) by natural or electrotransformation. The results showed that among the 16 bacterial isolates tested, six were able to accept foreign DNA and acquire the spectinomycin resistance conferred by the aadA gene on plasmid, but none of them managed to integrate transgenic DNA in their chromosome. Our results provide no indication that the theoretical gene transfer-enhancing properties of transplastomic plants cause horizontal gene transfer at rates above those found in other studies with nuclear transgenes.

  6. Gene Editing: Powerful New Tools for Nephrology Research and Therapy.

    PubMed

    Miyagi, Ayano; Lu, Aiwu; Humphreys, Benjamin D

    2016-10-01

    Biologic research is experiencing a transformation brought about by the ability of programmable nucleases to manipulate the genome. In the recently developed CRISPR/Cas system, short RNA sequences guide the endonuclease Cas9 to any location in the genome, causing a DNA double-strand break (DSB). Repair of DSBs allows the introduction of targeted genetic manipulations with high precision. Cas9-mediated gene editing is simple, scalable, and rapid, and it can be applied to virtually any organism. Here, we summarize the development of modern gene editing techniques and the biology of DSB repair on which these techniques are based. We discuss technical points in applying this technology and review its use in model organisms. Finally, we describe prospects for the use of gene editing to treat human genetic diseases. This technology offers tremendous promise for equipping the nephrology research community to better model and ultimately, treat kidney diseases.

  7. Horizontal transfers of transposable elements in eukaryotes: The flying genes.

    PubMed

    Panaud, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    Transposable elements (TEs) are the major components of eukaryotic genomes. Their propensity to densely populate and in some cases invade the genomes of plants and animals is in contradiction with the fact that transposition is strictly controlled by several molecular pathways acting at either transcriptional or post-transcriptional levels. Horizontal transfers, defined as the transmission of genetic material between sexually isolated species, have long been considered as rare phenomena. Here, we show that the horizontal transfers of transposable elements (HTTs) are very frequent in ecosystems. The exact mechanisms of such transfers are not well understood, but species involved in close biotic interactions, like parasitism, show a propensity to exchange genetic material horizontally. We propose that HTTs allow TEs to escape the silencing machinery of their host genome and may therefore be an important mechanism for their survival and their dissemination in eukaryotes.

  8. Resurrection of an ancestral gene: functional and evolutionary analyses of the Ngrol genes transferred from Agrobacterium to Nicotiana.

    PubMed

    Aoki, Seishiro

    2004-08-01

    The Ng rol genes, which have high similarity in sequence to the rol genes of Agrobacterium rhizogenes, are present in the genome of untransformed plants of Nicotiana glauca. It is thought that bacterial infection resulted in the transfer of the Ng rol genes to plants early in the evolution of the genus Nicotiana, since several species in this genus contain rol-like sequences but others do not. Plants transformed with the bacterial rol genes exhibit various developmental and morphological changes. The presence of rol-like sequences in plant genomes is therefore thought to have contributed to the evolution of Nicotiana species. This paper focuses on studies of the Ng rol genes in present-day plants and during the evolution of the genus Nicotiana. The functional sequences of several Ng rol genes may have been conserved after their ancient introduction from a bacterium to the plant. Resurrection of an ancestral function of one of the Ng rol genes, as examined by physiological and evolutionary analyses, is also described. The origin of the Ng rol genes is then considered, based on results of molecular phylogenetic analyses. The effects of the horizontal transfer of the Ng rol genes and mutations in the genes are discussed on the plants of the genus Nicotiana during evolution.

  9. Phylogenetic analysis of the incidence of lux gene horizontal transfer in Vibrionaceae.

    PubMed

    Urbanczyk, Henryk; Ast, Jennifer C; Kaeding, Allison J; Oliver, James D; Dunlap, Paul V

    2008-05-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is thought to occur frequently in bacteria in nature and to play an important role in bacterial evolution, contributing to the formation of new species. To gain insight into the frequency of HGT in Vibrionaceae and its possible impact on speciation, we assessed the incidence of interspecies transfer of the lux genes (luxCDABEG), which encode proteins involved in luminescence, a distinctive phenotype. Three hundred three luminous strains, most of which were recently isolated from nature and which represent 11 Aliivibrio, Photobacterium, and Vibrio species, were screened for incongruence of phylogenies based on a representative housekeeping gene (gyrB or pyrH) and a representative lux gene (luxA). Strains exhibiting incongruence were then subjected to detailed phylogenetic analysis of horizontal transfer by using multiple housekeeping genes (gyrB, recA, and pyrH) and multiple lux genes (luxCDABEG). In nearly all cases, housekeeping gene and lux gene phylogenies were congruent, and there was no instance in which the lux genes of one luminous species had replaced the lux genes of another luminous species. Therefore, the lux genes are predominantly vertically inherited in Vibrionaceae. The few exceptions to this pattern of congruence were as follows: (i) the lux genes of the only known luminous strain of Vibrio vulnificus, VVL1 (ATCC 43382), were evolutionarily closely related to the lux genes of Vibrio harveyi; (ii) the lux genes of two luminous strains of Vibrio chagasii, 21N-12 and SB-52, were closely related to those of V. harveyi and Vibrio splendidus, respectively; (iii) the lux genes of a luminous strain of Photobacterium damselae, BT-6, were closely related to the lux genes of the lux-rib(2) operon of Photobacterium leiognathi; and (iv) a strain of the luminous bacterium Photobacterium mandapamensis was found to be merodiploid for the lux genes, and the second set of lux genes was closely related to the lux genes of the lux-rib(2

  10. Phylogenetic Analysis of the Incidence of lux Gene Horizontal Transfer in Vibrionaceae▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Urbanczyk, Henryk; Ast, Jennifer C.; Kaeding, Allison J.; Oliver, James D.; Dunlap, Paul V.

    2008-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is thought to occur frequently in bacteria in nature and to play an important role in bacterial evolution, contributing to the formation of new species. To gain insight into the frequency of HGT in Vibrionaceae and its possible impact on speciation, we assessed the incidence of interspecies transfer of the lux genes (luxCDABEG), which encode proteins involved in luminescence, a distinctive phenotype. Three hundred three luminous strains, most of which were recently isolated from nature and which represent 11 Aliivibrio, Photobacterium, and Vibrio species, were screened for incongruence of phylogenies based on a representative housekeeping gene (gyrB or pyrH) and a representative lux gene (luxA). Strains exhibiting incongruence were then subjected to detailed phylogenetic analysis of horizontal transfer by using multiple housekeeping genes (gyrB, recA, and pyrH) and multiple lux genes (luxCDABEG). In nearly all cases, housekeeping gene and lux gene phylogenies were congruent, and there was no instance in which the lux genes of one luminous species had replaced the lux genes of another luminous species. Therefore, the lux genes are predominantly vertically inherited in Vibrionaceae. The few exceptions to this pattern of congruence were as follows: (i) the lux genes of the only known luminous strain of Vibrio vulnificus, VVL1 (ATCC 43382), were evolutionarily closely related to the lux genes of Vibrio harveyi; (ii) the lux genes of two luminous strains of Vibrio chagasii, 21N-12 and SB-52, were closely related to those of V. harveyi and Vibrio splendidus, respectively; (iii) the lux genes of a luminous strain of Photobacterium damselae, BT-6, were closely related to the lux genes of the lux-rib2 operon of Photobacterium leiognathi; and (iv) a strain of the luminous bacterium Photobacterium mandapamensis was found to be merodiploid for the lux genes, and the second set of lux genes was closely related to the lux genes of the lux-rib2

  11. 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

  12. Interleukin 10 gene transfer prevents experimental colitis in rats

    PubMed Central

    Barbara, G; Xing, Z; Hogaboam, C; Gauldie, J; Collins, S

    2000-01-01

    BACKGROUND—The development of colitis in interleukin 10 (IL-10) deficient mice, together with the known anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of this cytokine have prompted consideration of IL-10 as a treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, studies using hrIL-10 in IBD models have yielded inconsistent results.
AIMS—To examine the therapeutic potential of overexpressing the IL-10 gene before and after the induction of experimental colitis in rats.
METHODS—Gene transfer was achieved by intraperitoneal injection of non-replicating human type 5 adenovirus bearing the IL-10 gene, either 24 hours before or one hour after intrarectal administration of dinitrobenzene sulphonic acid in rats. Colonic damage and inflammation was assessed macroscopically and by measuring myeloperoxidase activity and leukotriene B4 concentrations.
RESULTS—Gene transfer increased IL-10 protein in serum for up to six days. IL-10 gene transfer prior to colitis improved colitis macroscopically and histologically, and significantly reduced colonic myeloperoxidase activity and leukotriene B4 concentrations. In contrast, IL-10 gene transfer after the onset of colitis had no beneficial effect.
CONCLUSIONS—Gene therapy using an adenovirus-IL-10 construct was successful in preventing but not in reversing experimental colitis in the rat.


Keywords: gene therapy; colitis; interleukin 10; adenovirus vector; leukotrienes; inflammatory bowel disease; maintenance therapy PMID:10673295

  13. Multilevel populations and the evolution of antibiotic resistance through horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Andam, Cheryl P; Fournier, Gregory P; Gogarten, Johann Peter

    2011-09-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) can create diversity in the genetic repertoire of a lineage. Successful gene transfer likely occurs more frequently between more closely related organisms, leading to the formation of higher-level exchange groups that in some respects are comparable to single-species populations. Genes that appear fixed in a single species can be replaced through distant homologs or iso-functional analogs acquired through HGT. These genes may originate from other species or they may be acquired by an individual strain from the species pan-genome. Because of their similarity to alleles in a population, we label these gene variants that are exchanged between related species as homeoalleles. In a case study, we show that biased gene transfer plays an important role in the evolution of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRS). Many microorganisms make use of these genes against naturally occurring antibiotics. We suggest that the resistance against naturally occurring antibiotics is the likely driving force behind the frequent switching between divergent aaRS types and the reason for the maintenance of these homeoalleles in higher-level exchange groups. Resistance to naturally occurring antibiotics may lead to the maintenance of different types of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases in Bacteria through gene transfer.

  14. Studies on the transfer techniques of three maize genes.

    PubMed

    Wang, G; Zhang, H; Ding, Q; Xie, Y; Dai, J

    1996-01-01

    Maize transformation has been carried out through microprojectile bombardment, ultrasonication in a DNA buffer, and ovary-injection with a self-made microinjector. The plasmid pB48.415, which carries a 3'-truncated Bt-toxin protein gene and a hygromycin phosphotransferase (hpt) gene, was used in the transformation. Transgenic maize plants were obtained from immature embryos and embryogenic calli bombarded with a particle gun, embryogenic calli ultrasonicated under different conditions of ovaries injected 10-20 hours after pollination. The results of Dot blotting and Southern blotting analyses proved the integration of the Bt gene into maize genome.

  15. 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

  16. Cre Recombinase Gene Transfer In Vitro and Detection of loxP-Dependent Recombination.

    PubMed

    Ohtsubo, Kazuaki; Marth, Jamey D

    2007-07-01

    INTRODUCTIONAltering the genome of intact cells and organisms by site-specific DNA recombination has become an important gene-transfer methodology. The inclusion of exogenous recombinase target sequences within transferred DNA segments allows subsequent modifications to previously altered genomic structure that increase the utility of gene transfer and enhance experimental design. In this protocol, correctly targeted mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell clones bearing the F[tkneo] allele (containing several loxP sites) are subjected to in vitro Cre gene transfer to generate ES cell subclones bearing either Type 1 (Δ) or Type 2 (F) alleles. Type 2 ES cells are used to generate chimeric mice that are then crossed to germ-line Cre-expressing mice, such as ZP3-Cre transgenic mates. The additional time needed to breed the mice (~2-3 mo) is typically less troublesome than the cost and effort of maintaining multiple clone-derived lines of mice.

  17. Development of an Autologous Macrophage-based Adoptive Gene Transfer Strategy to Treat Posttraumatic Osteoarthritis (PTOA) and Osteoarithritis (OA)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-05-01

    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-13-1-0228 TITLE: Development of an Autologous Macrophage-based Adoptive Gene Transfer Strategy to Treat Posttraumatic...Final 3. DATES COVERED 1 Sep 2013 - 28 Feb 2016 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Development of an Autologous Macrophage-based Adoptive Gene Transfer Strategy to...autologous macrophage-based adoptive gene transfer strategy can effectively deliver and confine expression of an anti-catabolic gene (IL-1ra or IL-1β

  18. Linear topology confers in vivo gene transfer activity to polyethylenimines.

    PubMed

    Brissault, B; Leborgne, C; Guis, C; Danos, O; Cheradame, H; Kichler, A

    2006-01-01

    Although polyethylenimines (PEIs) are frequently used transfection agents, it is still unclear which of their properties are required for efficient gene delivery. This is even more striking when working in vivo since some PEIs are able to generate significant gene expression, whereas others are not. To facilitate a rational development of compounds with improved transfection activities, studies aimed at identifying the properties involved in the transfection process seem indispensable. In the present work, we investigated how transfection with linear PEI of 22 kDa allows for high reporter gene expression in lungs after intravenous injection, whereas the branched PEI of 25 kDa does not. To this end, we synthesized L-PEI derivatives that are intermediates between linear and branched PEIs. Our results show that the topology plays a crucial role in obtaining in vivo reporter gene expression, whereas the content of primary, secondary, and tertiary amines is only of minor importance.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Horizontal Gene Transfer of Phytochelatin Synthases from Bacteria to Extremophilic Green Algae.

    PubMed

    Olsson, Sanna; Penacho, Vanessa; Puente-Sánchez, Fernando; Díaz, Silvia; Gonzalez-Pastor, José Eduardo; Aguilera, Angeles

    2017-01-01

    Transcriptomic sequencing together with bioinformatic analyses and an automated annotation process led us to identify novel phytochelatin synthase (PCS) genes from two extremophilic green algae (Chlamydomonas acidophila and Dunaliella acidophila). These genes are of intermediate length compared to known PCS genes from eukaryotes and PCS-like genes from prokaryotes. A detailed phylogenetic analysis gives new insight into the complicated evolutionary history of PCS genes and provides evidence for multiple horizontal gene transfer events from bacteria to eukaryotes within the gene family. A separate subgroup containing PCS-like genes within the PCS gene family is not supported since the PCS genes are monophyletic only when the PCS-like genes are included. The presence and functionality of the novel genes in the organisms were verified by genomic sequencing and qRT-PCR. Furthermore, the novel PCS gene in Chlamydomonas acidophila showed very strong induction by cadmium. Cloning and expression of the gene in Escherichia coli clearly improves its cadmium resistance. The gene in Dunaliella was not induced, most likely due to gene duplication.

  6. Evidence for Horizontal Gene Transfer as Origin of Putrescine Production in Oenococcus oeni RM83▿

    PubMed Central

    Marcobal, Ángela; de las Rivas, Blanca; Moreno-Arribas, M. Victoria; Muñoz, Rosario

    2006-01-01

    The nucleotide sequence of a 17.2-kb chromosomal DNA fragment containing the odc gene encoding ornithine decarboxylase has been determined in the putrescine producer Oenococcus oeni RM83. This DNA fragment contains 13 open reading frames, including genes coding for five transposases and two phage proteins. This description might represent the first evidence of a horizontal gene transfer event as the origin of a biogenic amine biosynthetic locus. PMID:17056681

  7. Flow cytometry analysis of adenosine deaminase (ADA) expression: a simple and reliable tool for the assessment of ADA-deficient patients before and after gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Otsu, Makoto; Hershfield, Michael S; Tuschong, Laura M; Muul, Linda M; Onodera, Masafumi; Ariga, Tadashi; Sakiyama, Yukio; Candotti, Fabio

    2002-02-10

    Clinical gene therapy trials for adenosine deaminase (ADA) deficiency have shown limited success of corrective gene transfer into autologous T lymphocytes and CD34(+) cells. In these trials, the levels of gene transduction and expression in hematopoietic cells have been assessed by DNA- or RNA-based assays and measurement of ADA enzyme activity. Although informative, these methods are rarely applied to clonal analysis. The results of these assays therefore provide best estimates of transduction efficiency and gene expression in bulk populations based on the assumption that gene transfer and expression are uniformly distributed among transduced cells. As a useful additional tool for evaluation of ADA gene expression, we have developed a flow cytometry (fluorescence-activated cell sorting, FACS) assay capable of estimating the levels of intracellular ADA on a single-cell basis. We validated this technique with T cell lines and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from ADA-deficient patients that showed severely reduced levels of ADA expression (ADA-dull) by FACS and Western blot analyses. After retrovirus-mediated ADA gene transfer, these cells showed clearly distinguishable populations exhibiting ADA expression (ADA-bright), thus allowing estimation of transduction efficiency. By mixing ADA-deficient and normal cells and using enzymatic amplification, we determined that our staining procedure could detect as little as 5% ADA-bright cells. This technique, therefore, will be useful to quickly assess the expression of ADA in hematopoietic cells of severe combined immunodeficient patients and represents an important tool for the follow-up of patients treated in clinical gene transfer protocols.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. GeneBase 1.1: a tool to summarize data from NCBI gene datasets and its application to an update of human gene statistics.

    PubMed

    Piovesan, Allison; Caracausi, Maria; Antonaros, Francesca; Pelleri, Maria Chiara; Vitale, Lorenza

    2016-01-01

    We release GeneBase 1.1, a local tool with a graphical interface useful for parsing, structuring and indexing data from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Gene data bank. Compared to its predecessor GeneBase (1.0), GeneBase 1.1 now allows dynamic calculation and summarization in terms of median, mean, standard deviation and total for many quantitative parameters associated with genes, gene transcripts and gene features (exons, introns, coding sequences, untranslated regions). GeneBase 1.1 thus offers the opportunity to perform analyses of the main gene structure parameters also following the search for any set of genes with the desired characteristics, allowing unique functionalities not provided by the NCBI Gene itself. In order to show the potential of our tool for local parsing, structuring and dynamic summarizing of publicly available databases for data retrieval, analysis and testing of biological hypotheses, we provide as a sample application a revised set of statistics for human nuclear genes, gene transcripts and gene features. In contrast with previous estimations strongly underestimating the length of human genes, a 'mean' human protein-coding gene is 67 kbp long, has eleven 309 bp long exons and ten 6355 bp long introns. Median, mean and extreme values are provided for many other features offering an updated reference source for human genome studies, data useful to set parameters for bioinformatic tools and interesting clues to the biomedical meaning of the gene features themselves.Database URL: http://apollo11.isto.unibo.it/software/.

  11. GeneBase 1.1: a tool to summarize data from NCBI gene datasets and its application to an update of human gene statistics

    PubMed Central

    Piovesan, Allison; Caracausi, Maria; Antonaros, Francesca; Pelleri, Maria Chiara; Vitale, Lorenza

    2016-01-01

    We release GeneBase 1.1, a local tool with a graphical interface useful for parsing, structuring and indexing data from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Gene data bank. Compared to its predecessor GeneBase (1.0), GeneBase 1.1 now allows dynamic calculation and summarization in terms of median, mean, standard deviation and total for many quantitative parameters associated with genes, gene transcripts and gene features (exons, introns, coding sequences, untranslated regions). GeneBase 1.1 thus offers the opportunity to perform analyses of the main gene structure parameters also following the search for any set of genes with the desired characteristics, allowing unique functionalities not provided by the NCBI Gene itself. In order to show the potential of our tool for local parsing, structuring and dynamic summarizing of publicly available databases for data retrieval, analysis and testing of biological hypotheses, we provide as a sample application a revised set of statistics for human nuclear genes, gene transcripts and gene features. In contrast with previous estimations strongly underestimating the length of human genes, a ‘mean’ human protein-coding gene is 67 kbp long, has eleven 309 bp long exons and ten 6355 bp long introns. Median, mean and extreme values are provided for many other features offering an updated reference source for human genome studies, data useful to set parameters for bioinformatic tools and interesting clues to the biomedical meaning of the gene features themselves. Database URL: http://apollo11.isto.unibo.it/software/ PMID:28025344

  12. Horizontal Transfer and Death of a Fungal Secondary Metabolic Gene Cluster

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Matthew A.; Rokas, Antonis; Slot, Jason C.

    2012-01-01

    A cluster composed of four structural and two regulatory genes found in several species of the fungal genus Fusarium (class Sordariomycetes) is responsible for the production of the red pigment bikaverin. We discovered that the unrelated fungus Botrytis cinerea (class Leotiomycetes) contains a cluster of five genes that is highly similar in sequence and gene order to the Fusarium bikaverin cluster. Synteny conservation, nucleotide composition, and phylogenetic analyses of the cluster genes indicate that the B. cinerea cluster was acquired via horizontal transfer from a Fusarium donor. Upon or subsequent to the transfer, the B. cinerea gene cluster became inactivated; one of the four structural genes is missing, two others are pseudogenes, and the fourth structural gene shows an accelerated rate of nonsynonymous substitutions along the B. cinerea lineage, consistent with relaxation of selective constraints. Interestingly, the bik4 regulatory gene is still intact and presumably functional, whereas bik5, which is a pathway-specific regulator, also shows a mild but significant acceleration of evolutionary rate along the B. cinerea lineage. This selective preservation of the bik4 regulator suggests that its conservation is due to its likely involvement in other non–bikaverin-related biological processes in B. cinerea. Thus, in addition to novel metabolism, horizontal transfer of wholesale metabolic gene clusters might also be contributing novel regulation. PMID:22294497

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

    PubMed Central

    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 carried out in different volumes of FuGENE-HD, LipofectamineTM2000 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 105 HeLa cells, transfection efficiency was higher (43.66 ± 1.52%) in comparison with the cationic lipids LipofectamineTM2000 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. PMID:24381863

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Carotenoids in unexpected places: gall midges, lateral gene transfer, and carotenoid biosynthesis in animals.

    PubMed

    Cobbs, Cassidy; Heath, Jeremy; Stireman, John O; Abbot, Patrick

    2013-08-01

    Carotenoids are conjugated isoprenoid molecules with many important physiological functions in organisms, including roles in photosynthesis, oxidative stress reduction, vision, diapause, photoperiodism, and immunity. Until recently, it was believed that only plants, microorganisms, and fungi were capable of synthesizing carotenoids and that animals acquired them from their diet, but recent studies have demonstrated that two arthropods (pea aphid and spider mite) possess a pair of genes homologous to those required for the first step of carotenoid biosynthesis. Absent in all other known animal genomes, these genes appear to have been acquired by aphids and spider mites in one or several lateral gene transfer events from a fungal donor. We report the third case of fungal carotenoid biosynthesis gene homologs in an arthropod: flies from the family Cecidomyiidae, commonly known as gall midges. Using phylogenetic analyses we show that it is unlikely that lycopene cyclase/phytoene synthase and phytoene desaturase homologs were transferred singly to an ancient arthropod ancestor; instead we propose that genes were transferred independently from related fungal donors after divergence of the major arthropod lineages. We also examine variation in intron placement and copy number of the carotenoid genes that may underlie function in the midges. This trans-kingdom transfer of carotenoid genes may represent a key innovation, underlying the evolution of phytophagy and plant-galling in gall midges and facilitating their extensive diversification across plant lineages.

  19. 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.

  20. Gene transfer in hepatocarcinoma cell lines: in vitro optimization of a virus-free system.

    PubMed

    Ghoumari, A M; Rixe, O; Yarovoi, S V; Zerrouqi, A; Mouawad, R; Poynard, T; Opolon, P; Khayat, D; Soubrane, C

    1996-06-01

    Many approaches exist for hepatic gene delivery, including viral vectors and non-viral vectors. In this study, we tested a panel of liposomes to transfer pAGO, a plasmid containing one copy of herpes simplex virus (HSVtk) gene, and pYED11, a plasmid containing two copies of the HSVtk gene, into a murine hepatocarcinoma cell line (Hepa 1-6) and a human hepatocarcinoma cell line (Hep-G2). The efficiency of gene delivery and expression was characterized by beta-galactosidase staining, flow cytometric analysis and quantitative lacZ activity. Different combinations of liposomes and DNA and the ratio of the concentration of liposome to DNA were tested. The efficient transfer was shown with DOTAP followed by transfectam and lipofectamine. Under these conditions, we tested the cytotoxicity of ganciclovir (GCV) exposure on Hepa 1-6 and Hep-G2 transfected separately with liposome-pAGO and liposome-pYED11 complexes. This study demonstrates the in vitro efficacy of each liposome tested to transduce the HSVtk gene into hepatocarcinoma cell lines. The transfer of two copies of the HSVtk gene rendered cells 1.5 times more sensitive to GCV than cells transduced by pAGO as compared to controls. This was achieved most efficiently by the DOTAP-pYED11 complex. Thus, pYED11 may be considered as an alternative to pAGO as a gene transfer vector.

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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

    2016-01-04

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Effects of local and systemic viral interleukin-10 gene transfer on corneal allograft survival.

    PubMed

    Gong, N; Pleyer, U; Volk, H-D; Ritter, T

    2007-03-01

    In this study, we explored the immunomodulatory effects of viral interleukin (IL) IL-10 after ex vivo and in vivo gene transfer in experimental corneal transplantation. Wistar-Furth rats were used as donors and major histocompatibility complex class I/II-disparate Lewis rats served as recipients. For ex vivo gene therapy donor corneas were either transfected with liposome/vIL-10 plasmid DNA mixtures or transduced with a vIL-10 expressing adenovirus vector (AdvIL-10). For in vivo studies, recipients were treated with AdvIL-10 intraperitoneally 1 day before transplantation. Graft survival was analysed using the Kaplan-Meier survival method. To monitor the efficacy of the therapy messenger RNA (mRNA) cytokine expression profiles in grafts and draining lymph nodes were analysed by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Moreover, anti-adenovirus immunity was also investigated. Neither ex vivo liposome-mediated vIL-10 gene transfer nor ex vivo AdvIL-10 gene transfer led to prolonged corneal allograft survival. In contrast, corneal allograft survival was significantly prolonged in animals receiving systemic AdvIL-10 gene transfer. Moreover, only systemic vIL-10 gene therapy modulated the cytokine mRNA expression profile in draining lymph nodes. Interestingly, systemic AdvIL-10 gene transfer could not inhibit the generation of anti-adenovirus antibodies. Our data indicate systemic expression of the vIL-10 gene is required to modulate the cytokine expression profile in the draining lymph nodes, which might be a pre-requisite for the success of cytokine gene therapy.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Innate Functions of Immunoglobulin M Lessen Liver Gene Transfer with Helper-Dependent Adenovirus

    PubMed Central

    Unzu, Carmen; Morales-Kastresana, Aizea; Sampedro, Ana; Serrano-Mendioroz, Irantzu; Azpilikueta, Arantza; Ochoa, María Carmen; Dubrot, Juan; Martínez-Ansó, Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    The immune system poses obstacles to viral vectors, even in the first administration to preimmunized hosts. We have observed that the livers of B cell-deficient mice were more effectively transduced by a helper-dependent adenovirus serotype-5 (HDA) vector than those of WT mice. This effect was T-cell independent as shown in athymic mice. Passive transfer of the serum from adenovirus-naïve WT to Rag1KO mice resulted in a reduction in gene transfer that was traced to IgM purified from serum of adenovirus-naïve mice. To ascribe the gene transfer inhibition activity to either adenoviral antigen-specific or antigen-unspecific functions of IgM, we used a monoclonal IgM antibody of unrelated specificity. Both the polyclonal and the irrelevant monoclonal IgM inhibited gene transfer by the HDA vector to either cultured hepatocellular carcinoma cells or to the liver of mice in vivo. Adsorption of polyclonal or monoclonal IgMs to viral capsids was revealed by ELISAs on adenovirus-coated plates. These observations indicate the existence of an inborn IgM mechanism deployed against a prevalent virus to reduce early post-infection viremia. In conclusion, innate IgM binding to adenovirus serotype-5 capsids restrains gene-transfer and offers a mechanism to be targeted for optimization of vector dosage in gene therapy with HDA vectors. PMID:24465560

  14. Plant expansins in bacteria and fungi: evolution by horizontal gene transfer and independent domain fusion.

    PubMed

    Nikolaidis, Nikolas; Doran, Nicole; Cosgrove, Daniel J

    2014-02-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has been described as a common mechanism of transferring genetic material between prokaryotes, whereas genetic transfers from eukaryotes to prokaryotes have been rarely documented. Here we report a rare case of HGT in which plant expansin genes that code for plant cell-wall loosening proteins were transferred from plants to bacteria, fungi, and amoebozoa. In several cases, the species in which the expansin gene was found is either in intimate association with plants or is a known plant pathogen. Our analyses suggest that at least two independent genetic transfers occurred from plants to bacteria and fungi. These events were followed by multiple HGT events within bacteria and fungi. We have also observed that in bacteria expansin genes have been independently fused to DNA fragments that code for an endoglucanase domain or for a carbohydrate binding module, pointing to functional convergence at the molecular level. Furthermore, the functional similarities between microbial expansins and their plant xenologs suggest that these proteins mediate microbial-plant interactions by altering the plant cell wall and therefore may provide adaptive advantages to these species. The evolution of these nonplant expansins represents a unique case in which bacteria and fungi have found innovative and adaptive ways to interact with and infect plants by acquiring genes from their host. This evolutionary paradigm suggests that despite their low frequency such HGT events may have significantly contributed to the evolution of prokaryotic and eukaryotic species.

  15. AAV8-mediated hepatic gene transfer in infant rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta).

    PubMed

    Wang, Lili; Bell, Peter; Lin, Jianping; Calcedo, Roberto; Tarantal, Alice F; Wilson, James M

    2011-11-01

    Many genetic metabolic diseases manifest in infancy, therefore, it is important to develop effective treatments that could be implemented at this time. Adeno-associated virus serotype 8 (AAV8) gene transfer has been studied in neonatal mouse, cat, and dog models and shown some efficacy with a single hepatic injection at birth. AAV8-mediated liver gene transfer has also generated sustained therapeutic effects in feline and canine models of lysosomal storage disorders. In these models, delaying the age of vector treatment increased gene transfer stability. The growth rate of infant nonhuman primates is more similar to the growth trajectory of humans, thus infant monkeys provide an excellent model to study AAV gene transfer efficiency, stability, and safety. In this study, we report for the first time that AAV8-mediated hepatic gene transfer in infant monkeys is safe and efficient but less stable when compared to adolescent animals. Infant monkeys administered AAV8 intravenously at 1 week postnatal age achieved up to 98% transduction of hepatocytes within 7 days of injection; however, there was significant dilution of genomes and loss of transgene expression 35 days postadministration. Delaying the injection to 1 month postnatal age did not improve stability of transduction but decreased the antibody response to AAV8 capsid.

  16. Innate functions of immunoglobulin M lessen liver gene transfer with helper-dependent adenovirus.

    PubMed

    Unzu, Carmen; Melero, Ignacio; Morales-Kastresana, Aizea; Sampedro, Ana; Serrano-Mendioroz, Irantzu; Azpilikueta, Arantza; Ochoa, María Carmen; Dubrot, Juan; Martínez-Ansó, Eduardo; Fontanellas, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    The immune system poses obstacles to viral vectors, even in the first administration to preimmunized hosts. We have observed that the livers of B cell-deficient mice were more effectively transduced by a helper-dependent adenovirus serotype-5 (HDA) vector than those of WT mice. This effect was T-cell independent as shown in athymic mice. Passive transfer of the serum from adenovirus-naïve WT to Rag1KO mice resulted in a reduction in gene transfer that was traced to IgM purified from serum of adenovirus-naïve mice. To ascribe the gene transfer inhibition activity to either adenoviral antigen-specific or antigen-unspecific functions of IgM, we used a monoclonal IgM antibody of unrelated specificity. Both the polyclonal and the irrelevant monoclonal IgM inhibited gene transfer by the HDA vector to either cultured hepatocellular carcinoma cells or to the liver of mice in vivo. Adsorption of polyclonal or monoclonal IgMs to viral capsids was revealed by ELISAs on adenovirus-coated plates. These observations indicate the existence of an inborn IgM mechanism deployed against a prevalent virus to reduce early post-infection viremia. In conclusion, innate IgM binding to adenovirus serotype-5 capsids restrains gene-transfer and offers a mechanism to be targeted for optimization of vector dosage in gene therapy with HDA vectors.

  17. Transferring Sclerotinia Resistance Genes from Wild Helianthus into Cultivated Sunflower

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To enhance resistance to Sclerotinia head and stalk rot in cultivated sunflower, mining and introgression of Sclerotinia resistance genes from diverse wild Helianthus accessions into cultivated sunflower has been conducted using backcrossing method since 2004. During the last four years, numerous in...

  18. 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

  19. Massive gene transfer and extensive RNA editing of a symbiotic dinoflagellate plastid genome.

    PubMed

    Mungpakdee, Sutada; Shinzato, Chuya; Takeuchi, Takeshi; Kawashima, Takeshi; Koyanagi, Ryo; Hisata, Kanako; Tanaka, Makiko; Goto, Hiroki; Fujie, Manabu; Lin, Senjie; Satoh, Nori; Shoguchi, Eiichi

    2014-05-31

    Genome sequencing of Symbiodinium minutum revealed that 95 of 109 plastid-associated genes have been transferred to the nuclear genome and subsequently expanded by gene duplication. Only 14 genes remain in plastids and occur as DNA minicircles. Each minicircle (1.8-3.3 kb) contains one gene and a conserved noncoding region containing putative promoters and RNA-binding sites. Nine types of RNA editing, including a novel G/U type, were discovered in minicircle transcripts but not in genes transferred to the nucleus. In contrast to DNA editing sites in dinoflagellate mitochondria, which tend to be highly conserved across all taxa, editing sites employed in DNA minicircles are highly variable from species to species. Editing is crucial for core photosystem protein function. It restores evolutionarily conserved amino acids and increases peptidyl hydropathy. It also increases protein plasticity necessary to initiate photosystem complex assembly.

  20. 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.

  1. Tumor specific ultrasound enhanced gene transfer in vivo with novel liposomal bubbles.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Ryo; Takizawa, Tomoko; Negishi, Yoichi; Utoguchi, Naoki; Sawamura, Kaori; Tanaka, Kumiko; Namai, Eisuke; Oda, Yusuke; Matsumura, Yasuhiro; Maruyama, Kazuo

    2008-01-22

    Bubble liposomes (liposomes which entrap an ultrasound imaging gas) may constitute a unique system for delivering various molecules efficiently into mammalian cells in vitro. In this study, Bubble liposomes were compared with cationic lipid (CL)-DNA complexes as potential gene delivery carriers into tumor in vivo. The delivery of genes by Bubble liposomes depended on the intensity of the applied ultrasound. Transfection efficiency plateaued at 0.7 W/cm(2) ultrasound intensity. Bubble liposomes efficiently transferred genes into cultured cells even when the cells were exposed to ultrasound for only 1 s. In addition, Bubble liposomes could introduce the luciferase gene more effectively than CL-DNA complexes into mouse ascites tumor cells and solid tumor tissue. We conclude that the combination of Bubble liposomes and ultrasound is a minimally-invasive and tumor specific gene transfer method in vivo.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. Principal Angle Enrichment Analysis (PAEA): Dimensionally Reduced Multivariate Gene Set Enrichment Analysis Tool.

    PubMed

    Clark, Neil R; Szymkiewicz, Maciej; Wang, Zichen; Monteiro, Caroline D; Jones, Matthew R; Ma'ayan, Avi

    2015-11-01

    Gene set analysis of differential expression, which identifies collectively differentially expressed gene sets, has become an important tool for biology. The power of this approach lies in its reduction of the dimensionality of the statistical problem and its incorporation of biological interpretation by construction. Many approaches to gene set analysis have been proposed, but benchmarking their performance in the setting of real biological data is difficult due to the lack of a gold standard. In a previously published work we proposed a geometrical approach to differential expression which performed highly in benchmarking tests and compared well to the most popular methods of differential gene expression. As reported, this approach has a natural extension to gene set analysis which we call Principal Angle Enrichment Analysis (PAEA). PAEA employs dimensionality reduction and a multivariate approach for gene set enrichment analysis. However, the performance of this method has not been assessed nor its implementation as a web-based tool. Here we describe new benchmarking protocols for gene set analysis methods and find that PAEA performs highly. The PAEA method is implemented as a user-friendly web-based tool, which contains 70 gene set libraries and is freely available to the community.

  5. Lines of evidence for horizontal gene transfer of a phenazine producing operon into multiple bacterial species.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, David A

    2009-02-01

    Phenazines are secondary metabolites with broad-spectrum antibiotic activity against bacteria, fungi, and eukaryotes. In pseudomonad species, a conserved seven-gene phenazine operon (phzABCDEFG) is required for the conversion of chorismic acid to the broad-spectrum antibiotic phenazine-1-carboxylate. Previous analyses of genes involved in phenazine production from nonpseudomonad species uncovered a high degree of sequence similarity to pseudomonad homologues. The analyses undertaken in this study wished to eluciadate the evolutionary history of genes involved in the production of phenazines. Furthermore, I wanted to determine if the phenazine operon has been transferred through horizontal gene transfer. Analyses of GC content, codon usage patterns, frequency of 3:1 dinucleotides, sequence similarities, and phylogenetic reconstructions were undertaken to map the evolutionary history of phenazine genes from multiple bacterial species. Patchy phyletic distribution, high sequence similarities, and phylogenetic evidence infer that pseudomonad, Streptomyces cinnamonensis, Pantoea agglomerans, Burkholderia cepacia, Pectobacterium atrosepticum, Brevibacterium linens, and Mycobacterium abscessus species all contain a phenazine operon which has most likely been transferred among these species through horizontal gene transfer. The acquisition of an antibiotic-associated operon is significant, as it may increase the relative fitness of the recipient species.

  6. Direct phylogenetic evidence for lateral transfer of elongation factor-like gene.

    PubMed

    Kamikawa, Ryoma; Inagaki, Yuji; Sako, Yoshihiko

    2008-05-13

    Genes encoding elongation factor-like (EFL) proteins, which show high similarity to elongation factor-1alpha (EF-1alpha), have been found in phylogenetically distantly related eukaryotes. The sporadic distribution of "EFL-containing" lineages within "EF-1alpha-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-1alpha and EFL genes and secondary EFL gene loss in Phaeodactylum tricornutum, the complete genome of which encodes only the EF-1alpha 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-1alpha.

  7. 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

  8. GEOGLE: context mining tool for the correlation between gene expression and the phenotypic distinction

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Yao; Tu, Kang; Zheng, Siyuan; Li, Yun; Ding, Guohui; Ping, Jie; Hao, Pei; Li, Yixue

    2009-01-01

    Background In the post-genomic era, the development of high-throughput gene expression detection technology provides huge amounts of experimental data, which challenges the traditional pipelines for data processing and analyzing in scientific researches. Results In our work, we integrated gene expression information from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), biomedical ontology from Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and signaling pathway knowledge from sigPathway entries to develop a context mining tool for gene expression analysis – GEOGLE. GEOGLE offers a rapid and convenient way for searching relevant experimental datasets, pathways and biological terms according to multiple types of queries: including biomedical vocabularies, GDS IDs, gene IDs, pathway names and signature list. Moreover, GEOGLE summarizes the signature genes from a subset of GDSes and estimates the correlation between gene expression and the phenotypic distinction with an integrated p value. Conclusion This approach performing global searching of expression data may expand the traditional way of collecting heterogeneous gene expression experiment data. GEOGLE is a novel tool that provides researchers a quantitative way to understand the correlation between gene expression and phenotypic distinction through meta-analysis of gene expression datasets from different experiments, as well as the biological meaning behind. The web site and user guide of GEOGLE are available at: PMID:19703314

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Horizontal transfer of a large and highly toxic secondary metabolic gene cluster between fungi.

    PubMed

    Slot, Jason C; Rokas, Antonis

    2011-01-25

    Genes involved in intermediary and secondary metabolism in fungi are frequently physically linked or clustered. For example, in Aspergillus nidulans the entire pathway for the production of sterigmatocystin (ST), a highly toxic secondary metabolite and a precursor to the aflatoxins (AF), is located in a ∼54 kb, 23 gene cluster. We discovered that a complete ST gene cluster in Podospora anserina was horizontally transferred from Aspergillus. Phylogenetic analysis shows that most Podospora cluster genes are adjacent to or nested within Aspergillus cluster genes, although the two genera belong to different taxonomic classes. Furthermore, the Podospora cluster is highly conserved in content, sequence, and microsynteny with the Aspergillus ST/AF clusters and its intergenic regions contain 14 putative binding sites for AflR, the transcription factor required for activation of the ST/AF biosynthetic genes. Examination of ∼52,000 Podospora expressed sequence tags identified transcripts for 14 genes in the cluster, with several expressed at multiple life cycle stages. The presence of putative AflR-binding sites and the expression evidence for several cluster genes, coupled with the recent independent discovery of ST production in Podospora [1], suggest that this HGT event probably resulted in a functional cluster. Given the abundance of metabolic gene clusters in fungi, our finding that one of the largest known metabolic gene clusters moved intact between species suggests that such transfers might have significantly contributed to fungal metabolic diversity. PAPERFLICK:

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Herpes simplex virus-mediated human hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase gene transfer into neuronal cells

    SciTech Connect

    Palella, T.D.; Silverman, L.J.; Schroll, C.T.; Homa, F.L.; Levine, M.; Kelley, W.N.

    1988-01-01

    The virtually complete deficiency of the purine salvage enzyme hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) results in a devastating neurological disease, Lesch-Nyhan syndrome. Transfer of the HPRT gene into fibroblasts and lymphoblasts in vitro and into hematopoietic cells in vivo has been accomplished by other groups with retroviral-derived vectors. It appears to be necessary, however, to transfer the HPRT gene into neuronal cells to correct the neurological dysfunction of this disorder. The neurotropic virus herpes simplex virus type 1 has features that make it suitable for use as a vector to transfer the HPRT gene into neuronal tissue. This report describes the isolation of an HPRT-deficient rat neuroma cell line, designated B103-4C, and the construction of a recombinant herpes simplex virus type 1 that contained human HPRT cDNA. These recombinant viruses were used to infect B103-4C cells. Infected cells expressed HPRT activity which was human in origin.

  15. 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

  16. Meganucleases and other tools for targeted genome engineering: perspectives and challenges for gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Silva, George; Poirot, Laurent; Galetto, Roman; Smith, Julianne; Montoya, Guillermo; Duchateau, Philippe; Pâques, Frédéric

    2011-02-01

    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% of 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.

  17. MapGene2Chrom, a tool to draw gene physical map based on Perl and SVG languages.

    PubMed

    Jiangtao, Chao; Yingzhen, Kong; Qian, Wang; Yuhe, Sun; Daping, Gong; Jing, Lv; Guanshan, Liu

    2015-01-01

    Genetic linkage map is helpful for analysis on heredity of some gene families and map-based gene cloning because of its simple and elegant manifestation. One software is in need to draw a gene physical map, which shows a manner similar to the genetic linkage map, based on the relative physical distance between genes. Although some tools like GBrowse and MapViewer etc. are available to draw gene physical map, there are obvious limitations for them: (1) the data need to be decorated in advance; (2) users can't modify results. Therefore, we developed a bio-assisted mapping software--MapGene2Chrom with PC and web versions, which is based on Perl and SVG languages. The software can be used to draw the corresponding physical map quickly in SVG format based on the input data. It will become a useful tool for drawing gene physical map with the advantages of simple input data format, easily modified output and very good portability.

  18. Frequency of horizontal gene transfer of a large catabolic plasmid (pJP4) in soil.

    PubMed

    Neilson, J W; Josephson, K L; Pepper, I L; Arnold, R B; Di Giovanni, G D; Sinclair, N A

    1994-11-01

    Limited work has been done to assess the bioremediation potential of transfer of plasmid-borne degradative genes from introduced to indigenous organisms in the environment. Here we demonstrate the transfer by conjugation of the catabolic plasmid pJP4, using a model system with donor and recipient organisms. The donor organism was Alcaligenes eutrophus JMP134 and the recipient organism was Variovorax paradoxus isolated from a toxic waste site. Plasmid pJP4 contains genes for mercury resistance and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic (2,4-D) acid degradation. A transfer frequency of approximately 1/10(3) donor and recipient cells (parent cells) was observed on solid agar media, decreasing to 1/10(5) parent cells in sterile soil and finally 1/10(6) parent cells in 2,4-D-amended, nonsterile soil. Presumptive transconjugants were confirmed to be resistant to Hg, to be capable of degrading 2,4-D, and to contain a plasmid of size comparable to that of pJP4. In addition, we confirmed the transfer through PCR amplifications of the tfdB gene. Although transfer of pJP4 did occur at a high frequency in pure culture, the rate was significantly decreased by the introduction of abiotic (sterile soil) and biotic (nonsterile soil) stresses. An evaluation of the data from this model system implies that the reliance on plasmid transfer from a donor organism as a remediative strategy has limited potential.

  19. The National Institutes of Health Oversight of Human Gene Transfer Research: Enhancing Science and Safety.

    PubMed

    O'Reilly, Marina; Jambou, Robert; Rosenthal, Eugene; Montgomery, Maureen; Hassani, Morad; Gargiulo, Linda; Corrigan-Curay, Jacqueline

    2015-01-01

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) oversight of human gene transfer research, which is defined as the deliberate transfer of recombinant and/or synthetic nucleic acid molecules to humans, originates with the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines). The NIH Guidelines, which were first published in the Federal Register almost 40 years ago, have been amended numerous times to remain responsive to scientific progress and to clearly define the responsibilities of NIH, the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC), investigators, and institutions. Human gene transfer trials conducted at clinical sites in the United States (USA) are subject to the NIH Guidelines if they are conducted at, or sponsored by, an institution that receives any support for recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid research from the NIH. Human gene transfer trials conducted either in the USA or abroad are also subject to the NIH Guidelines if the investigational agent was developed with NIH funds and the institution that developed the investigational materials sponsors or participates in these projects. Trials are registered with the NIH Office Biotechnology Activities (OBA) and there are ongoing reporting requirements. Each new trial is reviewed by the RAC, and those that are novel or raise unique ethical or social issues are selected for review at quarterly public RAC meetings. The RAC also advises the NIH on policy and other matters relating to clinical gene transfer research and biosafety.

  20. An Efficient Low Cost Method for Gene Transfer to T Lymphocytes

    PubMed Central

    Chicaybam, Leonardo; Sodre, Andressa Laino; Curzio, Bianca Azevedo; Bonamino, Martin Hernan

    2013-01-01

    Gene transfer to T lymphocytes has historically relied on retro and lentivirus, but recently transposon-based gene transfer is rising as a simpler and straight forward approach to achieve stable transgene expression. Transfer of expression cassettes to T lymphocytes remains challenging, being based mainly on commercial kits. Aims We herein report a convenient and affordable method based on in house made buffers, generic cuvettes and utilization of the widely available Lonza nucleofector II device to promote efficient gene transfer to T lymphocytes. Results This approach renders high transgene expression levels in primary human T lymphocytes (mean 45%, 41–59%), the hard to transfect murine T cells (mean 38%, 36–42% for C57/BL6 strain) and human Jurkat T cell line. Cell viability levels after electroporation allowed further manipulations such as in vitro expansion and Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) mediated gain of function for target cell lysis. Conclusions We describe here an efficient general protocol for electroporation based modification of T lymphocytes. By opening access to this protocol, we expect that efficient gene transfer to T lymphocytes, for transient or stable expression, may be achieved by an increased number of laboratories at lower and affordable costs. PMID:23555950

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Efficient transfer of two large secondary metabolite pathway gene clusters into heterologous hosts by transposition

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Jun; Wenzel, Silke C.; Perlova, Olena; Wang, Junping; Gross, Frank; Tang, Zhiru; Yin, Yulong; Stewart, A. Francis; Zhang, Youming

    2008-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer by transposition has been widely used for transgenesis in prokaryotes. However, conjugation has been preferred for transfer of large transgenes, despite greater restrictions of host range. We examine the possibility that transposons can be used to deliver large transgenes to heterologous hosts. This possibility is particularly relevant to the expression of large secondary metabolite gene clusters in various heterologous hosts. Recently, we showed that the engineering of large gene clusters like type I polyketide/nonribosomal peptide pathways for heterologous expression is no longer a bottleneck. Here, we apply recombineering to engineer either the epothilone (epo) or myxochromide S (mchS) gene cluster for transpositional delivery and expression in heterologous hosts. The 58-kb epo gene cluster was fully reconstituted from two clones by stitching. Then, the epo promoter was exchanged for a promoter active in the heterologous host, followed by engineering into the MycoMar transposon. A similar process was applied to the mchS gene cluster. The engineered gene clusters were transferred and expressed in the heterologous hosts Myxococcus xanthus and Pseudomonas putida. We achieved the largest transposition yet reported for any system and suggest that delivery by transposon will become the method of choice for delivery of large transgenes, particularly not only for metabolic engineering but also for general transgenesis in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. PMID:18701643

  4. "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.

  5. Lentiviral Gene Transfer of Rpe65 Rescues Survival and Function of Cones in a Mouse Model of Leber Congenital Amaurosis

    PubMed Central

    Crippa, Sylvain V; Hauswirth, William W; Lem, Janis; Munier, Francis L; Seeliger, Mathias W; Wenzel, Andreas; Arsenijevic, Yvan

    2006-01-01

    Background RPE65 is specifically expressed in the retinal pigment epithelium and is essential for the recycling of 11-cis-retinal, the chromophore of rod and cone opsins. In humans, mutations in RPE65 lead to Leber congenital amaurosis or early-onset retinal dystrophy, a severe form of retinitis pigmentosa. The proof of feasibility of gene therapy for RPE65 deficiency has already been established in a dog model of Leber congenital amaurosis, but rescue of the cone function, although crucial for human high-acuity vision, has never been strictly proven. In Rpe65 knockout mice, photoreceptors show a drastically reduced light sensitivity and are subject to degeneration, the cone photoreceptors being lost at early stages of the disease. In the present study, we address the question of whether application of a lentiviral vector expressing the Rpe65 mouse cDNA prevents cone degeneration and restores cone function in Rpe65 knockout mice. Methods and Findings Subretinal injection of the vector in Rpe65-deficient mice led to sustained expression of Rpe65 in the retinal pigment epithelium. Electroretinogram recordings showed that Rpe65 gene transfer restored retinal function to a near-normal pattern. We performed histological analyses using cone-specific markers and demonstrated that Rpe65 gene transfer completely prevented cone degeneration until at least four months, an age at which almost all cones have degenerated in the untreated Rpe65-deficient mouse. We established an algorithm that allows prediction of the cone-rescue area as a function of transgene expression, which should be a useful tool for future clinical trials. Finally, in mice deficient for both RPE65 and rod transducin, Rpe65 gene transfer restored cone function when applied at an early stage of the disease. Conclusions By demonstrating that lentivirus-mediated Rpe65 gene transfer protects and restores the function of cones in the Rpe65−/− mouse, this study reinforces the therapeutic value of gene therapy

  6. The MORPH-R web server and software tool for predicting missing genes in biological pathways.

    PubMed

    Amar, David; Frades, Itziar; Diels, Tim; Zaltzman, David; Ghatan, Netanel; Hedley, Pete E; Alexandersson, Erik; Tzfadia, Oren; Shamir, Ron

    2015-09-01

    A biological pathway is the set of molecular entities involved in a given biological process and the interrelations among them. Even though biological pathways have been studied extensively, discovering missing genes in pathways remains a fundamental challenge. Here, we present an easy-to-use tool that allows users to run MORPH (MOdule-guided Ranking of candidate PatHway genes), an algorithm for revealing missing genes in biological pathways, and demonstrate its capabilities. MORPH supports the analysis in tomato, Arabidopsis and the two new species: rice and the newly sequenced potato genome. The new tool, called MORPH-R, is available both as a web server (at http://bioinformatics.psb.ugent.be/webtools/morph/) and as standalone software that can be used locally. In the standalone version, the user can apply the tool to new organisms using any proprietary and public data sources.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. An Efficient Algorithm for Gene/Species Trees Parsimonious Reconciliation with Losses, Duplications and Transfers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doyon, Jean-Philippe; Scornavacca, Celine; Gorbunov, K. Yu.; Szöllősi, Gergely J.; Ranwez, Vincent; Berry, Vincent

    Tree reconciliation methods aim at estimating the evolutionary events that cause discrepancy between gene trees and species trees. We provide a discrete computational model that considers duplications, transfers and losses of genes. The model yields a fast and exact algorithm to infer time consistent and most parsimonious reconciliations. Then we study the conditions under which parsimony is able to accurately infer such events. Overall, it performs well even under realistic rates, transfers being in general less accurately recovered than duplications. An implementation is freely available at http://www.atgc-montpellier.fr/MPR.

  11. Distant horizontal gene transfer is rare for multiple families of prokaryotic insertion sequences.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Andreas; de la Chaux, Nicole

    2008-11-01

    Horizontal gene transfer in prokaryotes is rampant on short and intermediate evolutionary time scales. It poses a fundamental problem to our ability to reconstruct the evolutionary tree of life. Is it also frequent over long evolutionary distances? To address this question, we analyzed the evolution of 2,091 insertion sequences from all 20 major families in 438 completely sequenced prokaryotic genomes. Specifically, we mapped insertion sequence occurrence on a 16S rDNA tree of the genomes we analyzed, and we also constructed phylogenetic trees of the insertion sequence transposase coding sequences. We found only 30 cases of likely horizontal transfer among distantly related prokaryotic clades. Most of these horizontal transfer events are ancient. Only seven events are recent. Almost all of these transfer events occur between pairs of human pathogens or commensals. If true also for other, non-mobile DNA, the rarity of distant horizontal transfer increases the odds of reliable phylogenetic inference from sequence data.

  12. The effect of mucolytic agents on gene transfer across a CF sputum barrier in vitro.

    PubMed

    Stern, M; Caplen, N J; Browning, J E; Griesenbach, U; Sorgi, F; Huang, L; Gruenert, D C; Marriot, C; Crystal, R G; Geddes, D M; Alton, E W

    1998-01-01

    Trials of gene transfer for cystic fibrosis (CF) are currently underway. However, direct application to the airways may be impeded by the presence of airway secretions. We have therefore assessed the effect of CF sputum on the expression of the reporter gene beta-galactosidase complexed with the cationic liposome DC-Chol/DOPE in a number of cell lines in vitro. Transfection was markedly inhibited in the presence of sputum; the effect was concentration dependent and was only partially ameliorated by removal of sputum with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) washing before gene transfer. However, treatment of the sputum-covered cells with recombinant human DNase (rhDNase, 50 micrograms/ml) but not with N-acetylcysteine, Nacystelyn, lysine (all 20 mM) or recombinant alginase (0.5 U/ml) significantly (P < 0.005) improved gene transfer. Adenovirus-mediated gene transfer efficiency in the presence of sputum was similarly inhibited, and again, treatment with rhDNase before transfection significantly improved gene transfer (P < 0.005). Transfection of Cos 7 cells in the presence of exogenous genomic DNA alone demonstrated similar inhibition to that observed with sputum and was also ameliorated by pre-treatment of DNA-covered cells with rhDNase. In a separate series of experiments performed in the absence of added sputum or genomic DNA, increasing concentrations of rhDNase resulted in a concentration-related decline in transfection efficiency. However, even at the highest concentration (500 micrograms/ml of rhDNase), transfection efficiency remained more than 50% of control. Thus, pre-treatment of CF airways with rhDNase may be appropriate before liposome or adenovirus-mediated gene therapy.

  13. 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.

  14. Endosomal processing limits gene transfer to polarized airway epithelia by adeno-associated virus

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Dongsheng; Yue, Yongping; Yan, Ziying; Yang, Jusan; Engelhardt, John F.

    2000-01-01

    The restriction of viral receptors and coreceptors to the basolateral surface of airway epithelial cells has been blamed for the inefficient transfer of viral vectors to the apical surface of this tissue. We now report, however, that differentiated human airway epithelia internalize rAAV type-2 virus efficiently from their apical surfaces, despite the absence of known adeno-associated virus–2 (AAV-2) receptors or coreceptors at these sites. The dramatically lower transduction efficiency of rAAV infection from the apical surface of airway cells appears to result instead from differences in endosomal processing and nuclear trafficking of apically or basolaterally internalized virions. AAV capsid proteins are ubiquitinated after endocytosis, and gene transfer can be significantly enhanced by proteasome or ubiquitin ligase inhibitors. Tripeptide proteasome inhibitors increased persistent rAAV gene delivery from the apical surface >200-fold, to a level nearly equivalent to that achieved with basolateral infection. In vivo application of proteasome inhibitor in mouse lung augmented rAAV gene transfer from undetectable levels to a mean of 10.4 ± 1.6% of the epithelial cells in large bronchioles. Proteasome inhibitors also increased rAAV-2–mediated gene transfer to the liver tenfold, but they did not affect transduction of skeletal or cardiac muscle. These findings suggest that tissue-specific ubiquitination of viral capsid proteins interferes with rAAV-2 transduction and provides new approaches to circumvent this barrier for gene therapy of diseases such as cystic fibrosis. PMID:10841516

  15. Gene transfer to muscle from the isolated regional circulation.

    PubMed

    Petrov, Mihail; Malik, Alock; Mead, Andrew; Bridges, Charles R; Stedman, Hansell H

    2011-01-01

    Vector transport across the endothelium has long been regarded as one of the central "bottlenecks" in gene therapy research, especially as it pertains to the muscular dystrophies where the target tissue approaches half of the total body mass. Clinical studies of gene therapy for hemophilia B revealed the limitations of the intramuscular route, compelling an aggressive approach to the study of scale-independent circulatory means of vector delivery. The apparent permeability of the microvasculature in small animals suggests that gravitational and/or inertial effects on the circulation require progressive restriction of fluid and solute flow across the capillary wall with increasing body size. To overcome this physiological restriction, we initially used a combined surgical and pharmacological approach to temporarily alter permeability within the isolated pelvic limb. Although this was successful, new information about the cell and molecular biology of histamine-induced changes in microvascular permeability suggested an alternative approach, which substituted pressure-induced transvenular extravasation. Here we outline the details of our surgical approaches in the rat. We also discuss the modifications that are appropriate for the dog.

  16. Use of HIV as a gene transfer vector.

    PubMed

    Pluta, Krzysztof; Kacprzak, Magdalena Marta

    2009-01-01

    Despite the extensive research efforts over the past 25 years that have focused on HIV, there is still no cure for AIDS. However, tremendous progress in the understanding of the structure and biology of the HIV virus led to the development of safe and potent HIV-based transgene delivery vectors. These genetic vehicles are referred to as lentiviral vectors. They appear to be better suited for particular applications, such as transgene delivery into stem cells, compared to other viral- and non-viral vectors. This is because Lentivirus-based vectors can efficiently infect nondividing and slowly dividing cells. In the present review article, the current state of understanding of HIV-1 is discussed and the main characteristics that had an impact on vector design are outlined. A historical view on the vector concept is presented to facilitate discussion of recent results in vector engineering in a broader context. Subsequently, a state of the art overview concerning vector construction and vector production is given. This review also touches upon the subject of lentiviral vector safety and related topics that can be helpful in addressing this issue are discussed. Finally, examples of Lentivirus-based gene delivery systems and their applications are presented, with emphasis on animal transgenesis and human gene therapy.

  17. Safety and efficacy of gene transfer for Leber's congenital amaurosis.

    PubMed

    Maguire, Albert M; Simonelli, Francesca; Pierce, Eric A; Pugh, Edward N; Mingozzi, Federico; Bennicelli, Jeannette; Banfi, Sandro; Marshall, Kathleen A; Testa, Francesco; Surace, Enrico M; Rossi, Settimio; Lyubarsky, Arkady; Arruda, Valder R; Konkle, Barbara; Stone, Edwin; Sun, Junwei; Jacobs, Jonathan; Dell'Osso, Lou; Hertle, Richard; Ma, Jian-xing; Redmond, T Michael; Zhu, Xiaosong; Hauck, Bernd; Zelenaia, Olga; Shindler, Kenneth S; Maguire, Maureen G; Wright, J Fraser; Volpe, Nicholas J; McDonnell, Jennifer Wellman; Auricchio, Alberto; High, Katherine A; Bennett, Jean

    2008-05-22

    Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA) is a group of inherited blinding diseases with onset during childhood. One form of the disease, LCA2, is caused by mutations in the retinal pigment epithelium-specific 65-kDa protein gene (RPE65). We investigated the safety of subretinal delivery of a recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) carrying RPE65 complementary DNA (cDNA) (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00516477 [ClinicalTrials.gov]). Three patients with LCA2 had an acceptable local and systemic adverse-event profile after delivery of AAV2.hRPE65v2. Each patient had a modest improvement in measures of retinal function on subjective tests of visual acuity. In one patient, an asymptomatic macular hole developed, and although the occurrence was considered to be an adverse event, the patient had some return of retinal function. Although the follow-up was very short and normal vision was not achieved, this study provides the basis for further gene therapy studies in patients with LCA.

  18. Semantic integration of gene expression analysis tools and data sources using software connectors

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The study and analysis of gene expression measurements is the primary focus of functional genomics. Once expression data is available, biologists are faced with the task of extracting (new) knowledge associated to the underlying biological phenomenon. Most often, in order to perform this task, biologists execute a number of analysis activities on the available gene expression dataset rather than a single analysis activity. The integration of heteregeneous tools and data sources to create an integrated analysis environment represents a challenging and error-prone task. Semantic integration enables the assignment of unambiguous meanings to data shared among different applications in an integrated environment, allowing the exchange of data in a semantically consistent and meaningful way. This work aims at developing an ontology-based methodology for the semantic integration of gene expression analysis tools and data sources. The proposed methodology relies on software connectors to support not only the access to heterogeneous data sources but also the definition of transformation rules on exchanged data. Results We have studied the different challenges involved in the integration of computer systems and the role software connectors play in this task. We have also studied a number of gene expression technologies, analysis tools and related ontologies in order to devise basic integration scenarios and propose a reference ontology for the gene expression domain. Then, we have defined a number of activities and associated guidelines to prescribe how the development of connectors should be carried out. Finally, we have applied the proposed methodology in the construction of three different integration scenarios involving the use of different tools for the analysis of different types of gene expression data. Conclusions The proposed methodology facilitates the development of connectors capable of semantically integrating different gene expression analysis tools

  19. CRISPR-ERA: a comprehensive design tool for CRISPR-mediated gene editing, repression and activation

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Honglei; Wei, Zheng; Dominguez, Antonia; Li, Yanda; Wang, Xiaowo; Qi, Lei S.

    2015-01-01

    Summary: The CRISPR/Cas9 system was recently developed as a powerful and flexible technology for targeted genome engineering, including genome editing (altering the genetic sequence) and gene regulation (without altering the genetic sequence). These applications require the design of single guide RNAs (sgRNAs) that are efficient and specific. However, this remains challenging, as it requires the consideration of many criteria. Several sgRNA design tools have been developed for gene editing, but currently there is no tool for the design of sgRNAs for gene regulation. With accumulating experimental data on the use of CRISPR/Cas9 for gene editing and regulation, we implement a comprehensive computational tool based on a set of sgRNA design rules summarized from these published reports. We report a genome-wide sgRNA design tool and provide an online website for predicting sgRNAs that are efficient and specific. We name the tool CRISPR-ERA, for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat-mediated editing, repression, and activation (ERA). Availability and implementation: http://CRISPR-ERA.stanford.edu. Contact: stanley.qi@stanford.edu or xwwang@tsinghua.edu.cn Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:26209430

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Express primer tool for high-throughput gene cloning and expression.

    SciTech Connect

    Yoon, J. R.; Laible, P. D.; Gu, M.; Scott, H. N.; Collart, F. R.; Biosciences Division

    2002-12-01

    High-throughput approaches for gene cloning and expression require the development of new nonstandard tools for molecular biologists and biochemists. We introduce a Web-based tool to design primers specifically for the generation of expression clones for both laboratory-scale and high-throughput projects. The application is designed not only to allow the user complete flexibility to specify primer design parameters but also to minimize the amount of manual intervention needed to generate a large number of primers for the simultaneous amplification of multiple target genes.

  4. 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

  5. Creation and validation of a widely applicable multiple gene transfer vector system for stable transformation in plant.

    PubMed

    Sun, Quanxi; Liu, Jiang; Li, Yaxiao; Zhang, Qin; Shan, Shihua; Li, Xinzheng; Qi, Baoxiu

    2013-11-01

    Multiple gene transfer (MGT) technology has become a powerful tool for basic and applied plant biology research in recent years. Despite some notable successes in obtaining plant lines harbouring multiple transgenes, these methods are still generally unwieldy and costly. We report here a straightforward and cost effective strategy, utilizing commonly available restriction enzymes for the transfer of multiple genes into plants, hence greatly widening the accessibility of MGT. This methodology exploits the specific 'nested' arrangement of a pair of isocaudomer restriction enzymes (for example XbaI-AvrII-XbaI) so that through the alternate use of these two enzymes in a reiterative fashion multiple genes/constructs (up to five in this study) could be 'stacked' together with ease. In a proof-of-concept experiment, we constructed a plant transformation vector containing three reporter gene expression cassettes flanked by two matrix attachment region sequences. The expression of all three genes was confirmed in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana. The usefulness of this technology was further validated by the construction of a plant transformation vector containing five transgenes for the production of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20∆⁵,⁸,¹¹,¹⁴,¹⁷), a polyunsaturated essential fatty acid found in fish oils that is beneficial for health. In addition, we constructed four more vectors, incorporating one seed specific and three promoters conferring constitutive expression. These expression cassettes are flanked by a different isocaudomer pair (AvrII-SpeI-AvrII) and four other unique restriction sites, allowing the exchange of promoters and terminators of choice.

  6. 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

  7. Immunology of AAV-Mediated Gene Transfer in the Eye

    PubMed Central

    Willett, Keirnan; Bennett, Jean

    2013-01-01

    The eye has been at the forefront of translational gene therapy largely owing to suitable disease targets, anatomic accessibility, and well-studied immunologic privilege. These advantages have fostered research culminating in several clinical trials and adeno-associated virus (AAV) has emerged as the vector of choice for many ocular therapies. Pre-clinical and clinical investigations have assessed the humoral and cellular immune responses to a variety of naturally occurring and engineered AAV serotypes as well as their delivered transgenes and these data have been correlated to potential clinical sequelae. Encouragingly, AAV appears safe and effective with clinical follow-up surpassing 5 years in some studies. As disease targets continue to expand for AAV in the eye, thorough and deliberate assessment of immunologic safety is critical. With careful study, the development of these technologies should concurrently inform the biology of the ocular immune response. PMID:24009613

  8. PyMut: a web tool for overlapping gene loss-of-function mutation design.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ke; Hou, Sha; Dai, Junbiao; Sun, Zhirong

    2015-12-03

    Loss-of-function study is an effective approach to research gene functions. However, currently most of such studies have ignored an important problem (in this paper, we call it "off-target" problem), that is, if the target gene is an overlapping gene (A gene whose expressible nucleotides overlaps with that of another one), loss-of-function muta-tion by deleting the complete open reading frame (ORF) may also cause the gene it overlaps lose function, resulting a phenotype which may be rather different from that of single gene deletion. Therefore, when doing such studies, the loss-of-function mutations should be carefully designed to guarantee only the function of the target gene will be abolished. In this paper, we present PyMut, an easy-to-use web tool for biologists to design such mutations. To the best of our knowledge, PyMut is the first tool that aims to solve the "off-target" problem regarding the overlapping genes. Our web server is freely available at http://www.bioinfo.tsinghua.edu.cn/~liuke/PyMut/index.html.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Fluoroquinolone induction of phage-mediated gene transfer in multidrug-resistant Salmonella.

    PubMed

    Bearson, Bradley L; Brunelle, Brian W

    2015-08-01

    Fluoroquinolones are broad-spectrum antibiotics that inhibit bacterial DNA gyrase and topoisomerase activity, which can cause DNA damage and result in bacterial cell death. In response to DNA damage, bacteria induce an SOS response to stimulate DNA repair. However, the SOS response may also induce prophage with production of infectious virions. Salmonella strains typically contain multiple prophages, and certain strains including phage types DT120 and DT104 contain prophage that upon induction are capable of generalised transduction. In this study, strains of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium DT120 and DT104 were exposed to fluoroquinolones important for use in human and veterinary disease therapy to determine whether prophage(s) are induced that could facilitate phage-mediated gene transfer. Cultures of MDR S. Typhimurium DT120 and DT104 containing a kanamycin resistance plasmid were lysed after exposure to fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin, enrofloxacin and danofloxacin). Bacterial cell lysates were able to transfer the plasmid to a recipient kanamycin-susceptible Salmonella strain by generalised transduction. In addition, exposure of DT120 to ciprofloxacin induced the recA gene of the bacterial SOS response and genes encoded in a P22-like generalised transducing prophage. This research indicates that fluoroquinolone exposure of MDR Salmonella can facilitate horizontal gene transfer, suggesting that fluoroquinolone usage in human and veterinary medicine may have unintended consequences, including the induction of phage-mediated gene transfer from MDR Salmonella. Stimulation of gene transfer following bacterial exposure to fluoroquinolones should be considered an adverse effect, and clinical decisions regarding antibiotic selection for infectious disease therapy should include this potential risk.

  13. 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

  14. A case of horizontal gene transfer from Wolbachia to Aedes albopictus C6/36 cell line

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Qing; He, Ji; Yu, Jing; Ye, Yuting; Zhou, Dan; Sun, Yan; Zhang, Donghui; Ma, Lei; Shen, Bo; Zhu, Changliang

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer plays an essential role in evolution and ecological adaptation, yet this phenomenon has remained controversial, particularly where it occurs between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. There are a handful of reported examples of horizontal gene transfer occurring between prokaryotes and eukaryotes in the literature, with most of these documented cases pertaining to invertebrates and endosymbionts. However, the vast majority of these horizontally transferred genes were either eventually excluded or rapidly became nonfunctional in the recipient genome. In this study, we report the discovery of a horizontal gene transfer from the endosymbiont Wolbachia in the C6/36 cell line derived from the mosquito Aedes albopictus. Moreover, we report that this horizontally transferred gene displayed high transcription level. This finding and the results of further experimentation strongly suggest this gene is functional and has been expressed and translated into a protein in the mosquito host cells. PMID:24812591

  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. Evolution of Acetoclastic Methanogenesis in Methanosarcina via Horizontal Gene Transfer from Cellulolytic Clostridia▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Fournier, Gregory P.; Gogarten, J. Peter

    2008-01-01

    Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that two genes required for acetoclastic methanogenesis, ackA and pta, were horizontally transferred to the ancestor of Methanosarcina from a derived cellulolytic organism in the class Clostridia. This event likely occurred within the last 475 million years, causing profound changes in planetary methane biogeochemistry. PMID:18055595

  17. Lateral gene transfer in a heavy metal-contaminated-groundwater microbial community

    DOE PAGES

    Hemme, Christopher L.; Green, Stefan J.; Rishishwar, Lavanya; ...

    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.

  18. Horizontal Gene Transfer among Bacteria and Its Role in Biological Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Arber, Werner

    2014-01-01

    This is a contribution to the history of scientific advance in the past 70 years concerning the identification of genetic information, its molecular structure, the identification of its functions and the molecular mechanisms of its evolution. Particular attention is thereby given to horizontal gene transfer among microorganisms, as well as to biosafety considerations with regard to beneficial applications of acquired scientific knowledge. PMID:25370194

  19. 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.

  20. Role of Vibrio cholerae exochitinase ChiA2 in horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Mondal, Moumita; Chatterjee, Nabendu Sekhar

    2016-03-01

    Vibrio cholerae exochitinase ChiA2 plays a key role in acquisition of nutrients by chitin hydrolysis in the natural environment as well as in pathogenesis in the intestinal milieu. In this study we demonstrate the importance of ChiA2 in horizontal gene transfer in the natural environment. We found that the expression of ChiA2 and TfoX, the central regulator of V. cholerae horizontal gene transfer, varied with changes in environmental conditions. The activity of ChiA2 was also dependent on these conditions. In 3 different environmental conditions tested here, we observed that the supporting environmental condition for maximum expression and activity of ChiA2 was 20 °C, pH 5.5, and 100 mmol/L salinity in the presence of chitin. The same condition also induced TfoX expression and was favorable for horizontal gene transfer in V. cholerae. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis showed that ChiA2 released a significant amount of (GlcNAc)2 from chitin hydrolysis under the favorable condition. We hypothesized that under the favorable environmental condition, ChiA2 was upregulated and maximally active to produce a significant amount of (GlcNAc)2 from chitin. The same environmental condition also induced tfoX expression, followed by its translational activation by the (GlcNAc)2 produced, leading to efficient horizontal gene transfer.

  1. Transcriptional activity of novel ALDH1L1 promoters in the rat brain following AAV vector-mediated gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    Mudannayake, Janitha M; Mouravlev, Alexandre; Fong, Dahna M; Young, Deborah

    2016-01-01

    Aldehyde dehydrogenase family 1, member L1 (ALDH1L1) is a recently characterized pan-astrocytic marker that is more homogenously expressed throughout the brain than the classic astrocytic marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein. We generated putative promoter sequence variants of the rat ALDH1L1 gene for use in adeno-associated viral vector-mediated gene transfer, with an aim to achieve selective regulation of transgene expression in astrocytes in the rat brain. Unexpectedly, ALDH1L1 promoter variants mediated transcriptional activity exclusively in neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta as assessed by luciferase reporter expression at 3 weeks postvector infusion. This selectivity for neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta also persisted in the context of adeno-associated viral serotype 5, 8 or 9 vector-mediated gene delivery. An in vivo promoter comparison showed the highest performing ALDH1L1 promoter variant mediated higher transgene expression than the neuronal-specific synapsin 1 and tyrosine hydroxylase promoters. The ALDH1L1 promoter was also transcriptionally active in dentate granule neurons following intrahippocampal adeno-associated viral vector infusion, whereas transgene expression was detected in both striatal neurons and astrocytes following vector infusion into the striatum. Our results demonstrate the potential suitability of the ALDH1L1 promoter as a new tool in the development of gene therapy and disease modelling applications. PMID:27990448

  2. Membrane immunoglobulin expressed by retroviral vector gene transfer mimics partial function of the B-cell receptor in vivo.

    PubMed

    Lu, Jing; Chen, Feng; Xu, Zhen; Zhang, Lingling; Xu, Peng; Liu, Depei; Liang, Chihchuan

    2016-01-01

    Activation of B-cells is initiated by the ligation of B-cell receptors by its cognate antigen, inducing a series of signal cascades. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of these important events is a crucial goal for immunologists. Chimeric B cell receptors provide a powerful tool for analysis of B-cell signal function. However, this method can only be used in tool cells, but cannot be used for in vivo study. Here, we constructed a retroviral vector to encode both heavy chains and light chains of a membrane immunoglobulin, and expressed them in primary B-cells using retroviral gene transfer. Our results demonstrate that the membrane immunoglobulin expressed by retroviral vectors transfer can initiate B-cell receptor-mediated signaling, resulting in the phosphorylation of Syk and Erk1/2 proteins. The results showed that B-cells expressing membrane immunoglobulin can make proliferative responses to cognate antigen both in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, we provide a methodology for rapidly analyzing the downstream signals of B-cell receptors both in vitro and in vivo, which could expedite the identification of proteins involved in B-cell function.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Assessment of conjugal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes in Salmonella Typhimurium exposed to bile salts.

    PubMed

    He, Xinlong; Ahn, Juhee

    2014-08-01

    This study was designed to evaluate the transfer potential of antibiotic resistance genes in antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium(R)) in the presence of bile salts. The resistance of S. Typhimurium(R) to ampicillin, kanamycin, and tetracycline was increased by 64-, 64-, and 512-fold, respectively. The highest transfer frequency from S. Typhimurium(R) to Escherichia coli was observed at the bile salt concentration of 160 μg/ml (3.8 × 10(-3) transferrants/cells). The expression of traJ and traY was suppressed in S. Typhimurium(R) by bile salt. This study provides useful information for understanding the conjugative transfer of antibiotic resistance genes in S. Typhimurium under intestinal conditions.

  7. Phylogenetic evidence for extensive horizontal gene transfer of type III secretion system genes among enterobacterial plant pathogens.

    PubMed

    Naum, Marianna; Brown, Eric W; Mason-Gamer, Roberta J

    2009-10-01

    This study uses sequences from four genes, which are involved in the formation of the type III secretion apparatus, to determine the role of horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of virulence genes for the enterobacterial plant pathogens. Sequences of Erwinia, Brenneria, Pectobacterium, Dickeya and Pantoea were compared (a) with one another, (b) with sequences of enterobacterial animal pathogens, and (c) with sequences of plant pathogenic gamma and beta proteobacteria, to evaluate probable paths of lateral exchange leading to the current distribution of virulence determinants among these micro-organisms. Phylogenies were reconstructed based on hrcC, hrcR, hrcJ and hrcV gene sequences using parsimony and maximum-likelihood algorithms. Virulence gene phylogenies were also compared with several housekeeping gene loci in order to evaluate patterns of lateral versus vertical acquisition. The resulting phylogenies suggest that multiple horizontal gene transfer events have occurred both within and among the enterobacterial plant pathogens and plant pathogenic gamma and beta proteobacteria. hrcJ sequences are the most similar, exhibiting anywhere from 2 to 50 % variation at the nucleotide level, with the highest degree of variation present between plant and animal pathogen sequences. hrcV sequences are conserved among plant and animal pathogens at the N terminus. The C-terminal domain is conserved only among the enterobacterial plant pathogens, as are the hrcC and hrcR sequences. Additionally, hrcJ and hrcV sequence phylogenies suggest that at least some type III secretion system virulence genes from enterobacterial plant pathogens are related more closely to those of the genus Pseudomonas, a conclusion neither supported nor refuted by hrcC or hrcR.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Targeted gene transfer to corneal endothelium in vivo by electric pulse.

    PubMed

    Oshima, Y; Sakamoto, T; Yamanaka, I; Nishi, T; Ishibashi, T; Inomata, H

    1998-10-01

    A novel method of in vivo targeted gene transfer to intentionally selected areas of the corneal endothelium was developed. Plasmid DNA with the lacZ gene coding for beta-galactosidase was injected into the anterior chamber of adult Wistar rats, and eight pulses of electricity at intensities ranging from 5 to 40 V/cm were delivered for 50 ms to the cornea with a specially designed electric probe in order to determine the effect of gene transfer on the corneal endothelial cells. Gene expression was visualized by enzymatic color reaction using X-gal in enucleated eyes on days 1, 3, 7, 14 and 21 after gene transfer. The treated eyes were then photographed and the X-gal-positive areas were evaluated by an image analyzer. The ratios of the areas (X-gal-positive area/area of entire corneal endothelium x 100%) were then calculated to determine gene transfection efficiency. The expression of beta-galactosidase was clearly detected in the cytoplasm of the corneal endothelial cells as early as day 1 and lasted until day 21. The most intense gene expression was observed on days 1 and 3 (5.21% on day 1 and 6.45% on day 3). The expression of beta-galactosidase on day 3 was most evident following delivery of 20 V electric pulses (0.09% at 5 V, 0.03% at 10 V, 6.45% at 20 V). beta-Galactosidase expression was limited to the corneal endothelial cells in highly selected areas and no beta-galactosidase expression was detected in any other intra- or axtraocular tissues. In addition, no cell damage was apparent in the cornea and no inflammation was detected in any other intraocular tissues. Thus, low-voltage electric pulses successfully transferred the gene of interest to highly selective areas of the corneal endothelium without inducing any pathological changes. This targeted gene transfer method appears to have great potential for use in gene therapy for ocular diseases.

  11. 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.

  12. The case of horizontal gene transfer from bacteria to the peculiar dinoflagellate plastid genome

    PubMed Central

    Mackiewicz, Paweł; Bodył, Andrzej; Moszczyński, Krzysztof

    2013-01-01

    Organelle genomes lose their genes by transfer to host nuclear genomes, but only occasionally are enriched by foreign genes from other sources. In contrast to mitochondria, plastid genomes are especially resistant to such horizontal gene transfer (HGT), and thus every gene acquired in this way is notable. An exceptional case of HGT was recently recognized in the peculiar peridinin plastid genome of dinoflagellates, which is organized in plasmid-like minicircles. Genomic and phylogenetic analyses of Ceratium horridum and Pyrocystis lunula minicircles revealed four genes and one unannotated open reading frame that probably were gained from bacteria belonging to the Bacteroidetes. Such bacteria seem to be a good source of genes because close endosymbiotic associations between them and dinoflagellates have been observed. The HGT-acquired genes are involved in plastid functions characteristic of other photosynthetic eukaryotes, and their arrangement resembles bacterial operons. These studies indicate that the peridinin plastid genome, usually regarded as having resulted from reduction and fragmentation of a typical plastid genome derived from red algae, may have a chimeric origin that includes bacterial contributions. Potential contamination of the Ceratium and Pyrocystis plastid genomes by bacterial sequences and the controversial localization of their minicircles in the nucleus are also discussed. PMID:24195014

  13. Gene transfer in the liver using recombinant adeno-associated virus

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Seemin Seher; Li, Jia; Godwin, Jonathan; Gao, Guangping; Zhong, Li

    2013-01-01

    Liver-directed gene transfer and gene therapy are rapidly gaining attention primarily because the liver is centrally involved in a variety of metabolic functions that are affected in various inherited disorders. Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) is a popular gene delivery vehicle for gene therapy and intravenous delivery of some rAAV serotypes results in very efficient transduction of the liver. rAAV-mediated and liver-directed gene transfer can help in creating somatic transgenic animals or disease models and studying the function of various genes and miRNAs. The liver is the target tissue for gene therapy of many inborn metabolic diseases and may also be exploited as a “bio-factory” for the production of coagulation factors, insulin and growth hormones and other non-hepatic proteins. Hence efficient delivery of transgenes and small RNAs to the liver by rAAV vectors has been of long-standing interest to research scientists and clinicians alike. PMID:23686826

  14. 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

  15. How much does horizontal gene transfer affect the phylogenetic tree of bacteria?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Bin; Boisvert, Philippe; Higgs, Paul

    2004-03-01

    Ribosomal RNA sequences are frequently used in bacterial phylogenetics. We have developed RNA-specific phylogenetic methods that take account of the conserved secondary structure of these sequences. Our method uses Monte Carlo simulations to generate a representative sample of evolutionary trees (analogous to an equilibrium ensemble in physics). It is known that horizontal transfer of genes can occur between bacterial species, although the frequency and implications of this are not fully understood. If horizontal transfer were frequent, there would be no consistent evolutionary tree for bacteria. We compared trees for 16S rRNA, 23S rRNA and tRNA genes from Proteobacteria (a diverse group for which many complete genome sequences are available). The gene trees are consistent with one another in most respects. Minor differences can almost all be attributed to uncertainties and unreliabilities in the phylogenetic method. We therefore conclude that these genes all give a coherent picture of the phylogeny of the organisms, and that horizontal transfer of these genes is too rare to obscure the signal of the organismal tree.

  16. AAV gene transfer to the retina does not protect retrovirally transduced hepatocytes from the immune response.

    PubMed

    Bellodi-Privato, Marta; Le Meur, Guylène; Aubert, Dominique; Mendes-Madera, Alexandra; Pichard, Virginie; Rolling, Fabienne; Ferry, Nicolas

    2004-06-01

    Gene therapy of inherited hepatic disease relies on sustained expression of the therapeutic transgene. In many instances, such expression will require immune tolerization to the non-self therapeutic transgene product. We previously demonstrated that a cytotoxic immune response eliminated hepatocytes after in vivo transduction using recombinant retroviral vectors. In the present study we investigated whether prior gene transfer to the retina, which is suspected to induce immune tolerance, could alleviate the immune response occurring after retrovirus mediated gene transfer to the liver. Retinal cells were transduced using adeno-associated viral vectors harbouring a beta-galactosidase transgene. Sixty days later, regenerating hepatocytes were transduced after partial hepatectomy using a recombinant retrovirus carrying the transgene. Three weeks later, anti beta-galactosidase antibodies were present in all animals. Elimination of the transduced hepatocytes eventually occurred in all animals by 2 months after liver gene transfer, although sustained beta-galactosidase expression was still present in the retina in 66% of the animals. We conclude that although the retina behaves as an immunoprivileged site, gene expression in the subretinal space is not sufficient to induce immune tolerance to a transgene product expressed in the liver.

  17. Horizontal gene transfer facilitated the evolution of plant parasitic mechanisms in the oomycetes.

    PubMed

    Richards, Thomas A; Soanes, Darren M; Jones, Meredith D M; Vasieva, Olga; Leonard, Guy; Paszkiewicz, Konrad; Foster, Peter G; Hall, Neil; Talbot, Nicholas J

    2011-09-13

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) can radically alter the genomes of microorganisms, providing the capacity to adapt to new lifestyles, environments, and hosts. However, the extent of HGT between eukaryotes is unclear. Using whole-genome, gene-by-gene phylogenetic analysis we demonstrate an extensive pattern of cross-kingdom HGT between fungi and oomycetes. Comparative genomics, including the de novo genome sequence of Hyphochytrium catenoides, a free-living sister of the oomycetes, shows that these transfers largely converge within the radiation of oomycetes that colonize plant tissues. The repertoire of HGTs includes a large number of putatively secreted proteins; for example, 7.6% of the secreted proteome of the sudden oak death parasite Phytophthora ramorum has been acquired from fungi by HGT. Transfers include gene products with the capacity to break down plant cell walls and acquire sugars, nucleic acids, nitrogen, and phosphate sources from the environment. Predicted HGTs also include proteins implicated in resisting plant defense mechanisms and effector proteins for attacking plant cells. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that some oomycetes became successful plant parasites by multiple acquisitions of genes from fungi.

  18. Gene organization around the phenylalanyl-transfer ribonucleic acid synthetase locus in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed Central

    Comer, M M

    1981-01-01

    The organization of seven genes located at about 38 min on the genetic map of Escherichia coli was examined; these genes included pheS and pheT, which code for the alpha and beta subunits of phenylalanyl-transfer ribonucleic acid synthetase, and thrS, the structural gene for threonyl-transfer ribonucleic acid synthetase. Deletion mutants were isolated from an F-prime-containing merodiploid strain and were characterized genetically. Seventeen different kinds of deletions extending into pheS of pheT were identified. These deletions unambiguously defined the gene order as aroD pps himA pheT pheS thrS pfkB. Mutants with deletions covering either pheS or pheT, but not both, were analyzed further by assay of phenylalanyl-transfer ribonucleic acid synthetase. The phenotype of the mutants with a deletion from pfkB through pheS was anomalous; although the pheT gene was apparently still present, its product, the beta subunit, was much reduced in activity. PMID:7012115

  19. 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.

  20. Intensive pharmacological immunosuppression allows for repetitive liver gene transfer with recombinant adenovirus in nonhuman primates.

    PubMed

    Fontanellas, Antonio; Hervás-Stubbs, Sandra; Mauleón, Itsaso; Dubrot, Juan; Mancheño, Uxua; Collantes, María; Sampedro, Ana; Unzu, Carmen; Alfaro, Carlos; Palazón, Asis; Smerdou, Cristian; Benito, Alberto; Prieto, Jesús; Peñuelas, Iván; Melero, Ignacio

    2010-04-01

    Repeated administration of gene therapies is hampered by host immunity toward vectors and transgenes. Attempts to circumvent antivector immunity include pharmacological immunosuppression or alternating different vectors and vector serotypes with the same transgene. Our studies show that B-cell depletion with anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody and concomitant T-cell inhibition with clinically available drugs permits repeated liver gene transfer to a limited number of nonhuman primates with recombinant adenovirus. Adenoviral vector-mediated transfer of the herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase (HSV1-tk) reporter gene was visualized in vivo with a semiquantitative transgene-specific positron emission tomography (PET) technique, liver immunohistochemistry, and immunoblot for the reporter transgene in needle biopsies. Neutralizing antibody and T cell-mediated responses toward the viral capsids were sequentially monitored and found to be repressed by the drug combinations tested. Repeated liver transfer of the HSV1-tk reporter gene with the same recombinant adenoviral vector was achieved in macaques undergoing a clinically feasible immunosuppressive treatment that ablated humoral and cellular immune responses. This strategy allows measurable gene retransfer to the liver as late as 15 months following the first adenoviral exposure in a macaque, which has undergone a total of four treatments with the same adenoviral vector.

  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. FastGCN: a GPU accelerated tool for fast gene co-expression networks.

    PubMed

    Liang, Meimei; Zhang, Futao; Jin, Gulei; Zhu, Jun

    2015-01-01

    Gene co-expression networks comprise one type of valuable biological networks. Many methods and tools have been published to construct gene co-expression networks; however, most of these tools and methods are inconvenient and time consuming for large datasets. We have developed a user-friendly, accelerated and optimized tool for constructing gene co-expression networks that can fully harness the parallel nature of GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) architectures. Genetic entropies were exploited to filter out genes with no or small expression changes in the raw data preprocessing step. Pearson correlation coefficients were then calculated. After that, we normalized these coefficients and employed the False Discovery Rate to control the multiple tests. At last, modules identification was conducted to construct the co-expression networks. All of these calculations were implemented on a GPU. We also compressed the coefficient matrix to save space. We compared the performance of the GPU implementation with those of multi-core CPU implementations with 16 CPU threads, single-thread C/C++ implementation and single-thread R implementation. Our results show that GPU implementation largely outperforms single-thread C/C++ implementation and single-thread R implementation, and GPU implementation outperforms multi-core CPU implementation when the number of genes increases. With the test dataset containing 16,000 genes and 590 individuals, we can achieve greater than 63 times the speed using a GPU implementation compared with a single-thread R implementation when 50 percent of genes were filtered out and about 80 times the speed when no genes were filtered out.

  3. Networks of lexical borrowing and lateral gene transfer in language and genome evolution.

    PubMed

    List, Johann-Mattis; Nelson-Sathi, Shijulal; Geisler, Hans; Martin, William

    2014-02-01

    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.

  4. Parallel Evolution and Horizontal Gene Transfer of the pst Operon in Firmicutes from Oligotrophic Environments

    PubMed Central

    Moreno-Letelier, Alejandra; Olmedo, Gabriela; Eguiarte, Luis E.; Martinez-Castilla, Leon; Souza, Valeria

    2011-01-01

    The high affinity phosphate transport system (pst) is crucial for phosphate uptake in oligotrophic environments. Cuatro Cienegas Basin (CCB) has extremely low P levels and its endemic Bacillus are closely related to oligotrophic marine Firmicutes. Thus, we expected the pst operon of CCB to share the same evolutionary history and protein similarity to marine Firmicutes. Orthologs of the pst operon were searched in 55 genomes of Firmicutes and 13 outgroups. Phylogenetic reconstructions were performed for the pst operon and 14 concatenated housekeeping genes using maximum likelihood methods. Conserved domains and 3D structures of the phosphate-binding protein (PstS) were also analyzed. The pst operon of Firmicutes shows two highly divergent clades with no correlation to the type of habitat nor a phylogenetic congruence, suggesting horizontal gene transfer. Despite sequence divergence, the PstS protein had a similar 3D structure, which could be due to parallel evolution after horizontal gene transfer events. PMID:21461370

  5. Technology insight: gene transfer and the design of novel treatments for rheumatoid arthritis.

    PubMed

    Moritz, Falk; Distler, Oliver; Ospelt, Caroline; Gay, Renate E; Gay, Steffen

    2006-03-01

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by systemic inflammation and joint destruction. Novel therapies have emerged during the past decade, marking a new era in the treatment of RA. Meanwhile, in vivo and in vitro gene-transfer studies have provided valuable insights into mechanisms of disease pathogenesis. Advanced gene-delivery techniques and animal models promise further progress in RA research and the development of novel therapeutic strategies for this disease. In this article we provide an overview of the wide spectrum of potential targets that have been identified so far, discuss currently available gene-transfer methods, and outline the barriers that need to be overcome for these approaches to be successfully applied in daily practice.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Horizontal gene transfer of a bacterial insect toxin gene into the Epichloë fungal symbionts of grasses

    PubMed Central

    Ambrose, Karen V.; Koppenhöfer, Albrecht M.; Belanger, Faith C.

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer is recognized as an important factor in genome evolution, particularly when the newly acquired gene confers a new capability to the recipient species. We identified a gene similar to the makes caterpillars floppy (mcf1 and mcf2) insect toxin genes in Photorhabdus, bacterial symbionts of nematodes, in the genomes of the Epichloë fungi, which are intercellular symbionts of grasses. Infection by Epichloë spp. often confers insect resistance to the grass hosts, largely due to the production of fungal alkaloids. A mcf-like gene is present in all of the Epichloë genome sequences currently available but in no other fungal genomes. This suggests the Epichloë genes were derived from a single lineage-specific HGT event. Molecular dating was used to estimate the time of the HGT event at between 7.2 and 58.8 million years ago. The mcf-like coding sequence from Epichloë typhina subsp. poae was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. E. coli cells expressing the Mcf protein were toxic to black cutworms (Agrotis ipsilon), whereas E. coli cells containing the vector only were non-toxic. These results suggest that the Epichloë mcf-like genes may be a component, in addition to the fungal alkaloids, of the insect resistance observed in Epichloë-infected grasses. PMID:24990771

  10. Comparison of reprogramming genes in induced pluripotent stem cells and nuclear transfer cloned embryos.

    PubMed

    Duan, Lian; Wang, Zhendong; Shen, Jingling; Shan, Zhiyan; Shen, Xinghui; Wu, Yanshuang; Sun, Ruizhen; Li, Tong; Yuan, Rui; Zhao, Qiaoshi; Bai, Guangyu; Gu, Yanli; Jin, Lianhong; Lei, Lei

    2014-08-01

    The most effective reprogramming methods, somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), are widely used in biological research and regenerative medicine, yet the mechanism that reprograms somatic cells to totipotency remains unclear and thus reprogramming efficiency is still low. Microarray technology has been employed in analyzing the transcriptomes changes during iPS reprogramming. Unfortunately, it is difficult to obtain enough DNA from SCNT reconstructed embryos to take advantage of this technology. In this study, we aimed to identify critical genes from the transcriptional profile for iPS reprogramming and compared expression levels of these genes in SCNT reprogramming. By integrating gene expression information from microarray databases and published studies comparing somatic cells with either miPSCs or mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs), we obtained two lists of co-upregulated genes. The gene ontology (GO) enriched analysis of these two lists demonstrated that the reprogramming process is associated with numerous biological processes. Specifically, we selected 32 genes related to heterochromatin, embryonic development, and cell cycle from our co-upregulated gene datasets and examined the gene expression level in iPSCs and SCNT embryos by qPCR. The results revealed that some reprogramming related genes in iPSCs were also expressed in SCNT reprogramming. We established the network of gene interactions that occur with genes differentially expressed in iPS and SCNT reprogramming and then performed GO analysis on the genes in the network. The network genes function in chromatin organization, heterochromatin, transcriptional regulation, and cell cycle. Further researches to improve reprogramming efficiency, especially in SCNT, will focus on functional studies of these selected genes.

  11. Intraspecies Transfer of the Chromosomal Acinetobacter baumannii blaNDM-1 Carbapenemase Gene

    PubMed Central

    Krahn, Thomas; Wibberg, Daniel; Maus, Irena; Winkler, Anika; Bontron, Séverine; Sczyrba, Alexander; Nordmann, Patrice; Pühler, Alfred; Poirel, Laurent

    2016-01-01

    The species Acinetobacter baumannii is one of the most important multidrug-resistant human pathogens. To determine its virulence and antibiotic resistance determinants, the genome of the nosocomial blaNDM-1-positive A. baumannii strain R2090 originating from Egypt was completely sequenced. Genome analysis revealed that strain R2090 is highly related to the community-acquired Australian A. baumannii strain D1279779. The two strains belong to sequence type 267 (ST267). Isolate R2090 harbored the chromosomally integrated transposon Tn125 carrying the carbapenemase gene blaNDM-1 that is not present in the D1279779 genome. To test the transferability of the metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) gene region, the clinical isolate R2090 was mated with the susceptible A. baumannii recipient CIP 70.10, and the carbapenem-resistant derivative R2091 was obtained. Genome sequencing of the R2091 derivative revealed that it had received an approximately 66-kb region comprising the transposon Tn125 embedding the blaNDM-1 gene. This region had integrated into the chromosome of the recipient strain CIP 70.10. From the four known mechanisms for horizontal gene transfer (conjugation, outer membrane vesicle-mediated transfer, transformation, and transduction), conjugation could be ruled out, since strain R2090 lacks any plasmid, and a type IV secretion system is not encoded in its chromosome. However, strain R2090 possesses three putative prophages, two of which were predicted to be complete and therefore functional. Accordingly, it was supposed that the transfer of the resistance gene region from the clinical isolate R2090 to the recipient occurred by general transduction facilitated by one of the prophages present in the R2090 genome. Hence, phage-mediated transduction has to be taken into account for the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes within the species A. baumannii. PMID:26953198

  12. Update of the G2D tool for prioritization of gene candidates to inherited diseases

    PubMed Central

    Perez-Iratxeta, Carolina; Bork, Peer; Andrade-Navarro, Miguel A.

    2007-01-01

    G2D (genes to diseases) is a web resource for prioritizing genes as candidates for inherited diseases. It uses three algorithms based on different prioritization strategies. The input to the server is the genomic region where the user is looking for the disease-causing mutation, plus an additional piece of information depending on the algorithm used. This information can either be the disease phenotype (described as an online Mendelian inheritance in man (OMIM) identifier), one or several genes known or suspected to be associated with the disease (defined by their Entrez Gene identifiers), or a second genomic region that has been linked as well to the disease. In the latter case, the tool uses known or predicted interactions between genes in the two regions extracted from the STRING database. The output in every case is an ordered list of candidate genes in the region of interest. For the first two of the three methods, the candidate genes are first retrieved through sequence homology search, then scored accordingly to the corresponding method. This means that some of them will correspond to well-known characterized genes, and others will overlap with predicted genes, thus providing a wider analysis. G2D is publicly available at http://www.ogic.ca/projects/g2d_2/ PMID:17478516

  13. From genes to markers: exploiting gene sequence information to develop tools for plant breeding.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Melissa; Mather, Diane E

    2014-01-01

    Once the sequence is known for a gene of interest, it is usually possible to design markers to detect polymorphisms within the gene. Such markers can be particularly useful in plant breeding, especially if they detect the causal polymorphism within the gene and are diagnostic of the phenotype. In this chapter, we (1) discuss how gene sequences are obtained and aligned and how polymorphic sites can be identified or predicted; (2) explain the principles of PCR primer design and PCR amplification and provide guidelines for their application in the design and testing of markers; (3) discuss detection methods for presence/absence (dominant) polymorphisms, length polymorphisms and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs); and (4) outline some of the factors that affect the utility of markers in plant breeding and explain how markers can be evaluated (validated) for use in plant breeding.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Studies on gene transfer and reversion to UV resistance in xeroderma pigmentosum cells

    SciTech Connect

    Schultz, R.A.; Barbis, D.P.; Friedberg, E.C.

    1985-11-01

    We have examined several parameters which address the feasibility of complementing the UV-sensitive phenotype of xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) fibroblasts by gene transfer. We present a comparative study which demonstrates that, relative to immortalized cells, human diploid cells are poor recipients for gene transfer. As measured by both transient and stable expression assays, diploid fibroblasts were completely refractory to DNA transfer by calcium phosphate coprecipitation and exhibited substantially reduced levels of expression following gene transfer by fusion with E. coli protoplasts. We also examined the significance of reversion of the phenotype of UV sensitivity in SV40-immortalized XP-A cell lines. In addition to confirming a previous report of reversion to wild-type levels of UV resistance at a frequency of approximately 10(-7), we have attempted to facilitate the identification of XP-A cells complemented with genomic DNA by employing less stringent selection schemes and cotransfection of a selectable marker. Under these conditions, we observed an increased frequency of reversion and were unable to identify true transfectants.

  17. Lateral Transfer of the Denitrification Pathway Genes among Thermus thermophilus Strains▿

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez, Laura; Bricio, Carlos; José Gómez, Manuel; Berenguer, José

    2011-01-01

    Nitrate respiration is a common and strain-specific property in Thermus thermophilus encoded by the nitrate respiration conjugative element (NCE) that can be laterally transferred by conjugation. In contrast, nitrite respiration and further denitrification steps are restricted to a few isolates of this species. These later steps of the denitrification pathway are under the regulatory control of an NCE-encoded transcription factor, but nothing is known about their coding sequences or its putative genetic linkage to the NCE. In this study we examine the genetic linkage between nitrate and nitrite respiration through lateral gene transfer (LGT) assays and describe a cluster of genes encoding the nitrite-nitric oxide respiration in T. thermophilus PRQ25. We show that the whole denitrification pathway can be transferred from the denitrificant strain PRQ25 to an aerobic strain, HB27, and that the genes coding for nitrite and nitric oxide respiration are encoded near the NCE. Sequence data from the draft genome of PRQ25 confirmed these results and allowed us to describe the most compact nor-nir cluster known thus far and to demonstrate the expression and activities of the encoded enzymes in the HB27 denitrificant derivatives obtained by LGT. We conclude that this NCE nor-nir supercluster constitutes a whole denitrification island that can be spread by lateral transfer among Thermus thermophilus strains. PMID:21169443

  18. Systemic protein delivery by muscle-gene transfer is limited by a local immune response

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lixin; Dobrzynski, Eric; Schlachterman, Alexander; Cao, Ou; Herzog, Roland W.

    2005-01-01

    Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors have been successfully used for therapeutic expression of systemic transgene products (such as factor IX or erythropoietin) following in vivo administration to skeletal muscle of animal models of inherited hematologic disorders. However, an immune response may be initiated if the transgene product represents a neoantigen. Here, we use ovalbumin (OVA) as a model antigen and demonstrate immune-mediated elimination of expression on muscle-directed AAV-2 gene transfer. Administration to immune competent mice resulted in transient systemic OVA expression. Within 10 days, OVA-specific T-helper cells had been activated in draining lymph nodes, an inflammatory immune response ensued, and OVA-expressing muscle fibers were destroyed by a cytotoxic CD8+ T-cell response. Use of a muscle-specific promoter did not prevent this immune response. Adoptively transferred CD4+ cells transgenic for a T-cell receptor specific to OVA peptide-major histocompatibility complex class II showed antigen-specific, vector dose-dependent proliferation confined to the draining lymph nodes of AAV-OVA–transduced muscle within 5 days after gene transfer and subsequently participated in lymphocytic infiltration of transduced muscle. This study documents that a local immune response limits sustained expression of a secreted protein in muscle gene transfer, a finding that may have consequences for design of clinical protocols. PMID:15713796

  19. Meta-Analysis of Experimental Data Concerning Antimicrobial Resistance Gene Transfer Rates during Conjugation▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Hunter, Paul R.; Wilkinson, Dawn C.; Catling, Louise A.; Barker, Gary C.

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a meta-analysis of published transfer rates of antimicrobial resistance genes. A total of 34 papers were identified, of which 28 contained rates estimated in relation to either donor or recipient bacterial counts. The published rates ranged from 10−2 to 10−9. Generalized linear modeling was conducted to identify the factors influencing this variation. Highly significant associations between transfer frequency and both the donor (P = 1.2 × 10−4) and recipient (P = 1.0 × 10−5) genera were found. Also significant was whether the donor and recipient strains were of the same genus (P = 0.023) and the nature of the genetic element (P = 0.0019). The type of experiment, in vivo or in vitro, approached statistical significance (P = 0.12). Parameter estimates from a general linear model were used to estimate the probability of transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes to potential pathogens in the intestine following oral ingestion. The mean logarithms of these probabilities are in the range of [−7.0, −3.1]. These probability distributions are suitable for use in the quantitative assessment of the risk of transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes to the intestinal flora of humans and animals. PMID:18708517

  20. Gene therapy of the central nervous system: general considerations on viral vectors for gene transfer into the brain.

    PubMed

    Serguera, C; Bemelmans, A-P

    2014-12-01

    The last decade has nourished strong doubts on the beneficial prospects of gene therapy for curing fatal diseases. However, this climate of reservation is currently being transcended by the publication of several successful clinical protocols, restoring confidence in the appropriateness of therapeutic gene transfer. A strong sign of this present enthusiasm for gene therapy by clinicians and industrials is the market approval of the therapeutic viral vector Glybera, the first commercial product in Europe of this class of drug. This new field of medicine is particularly attractive when considering therapies for a number of neurological disorders, most of which are desperately waiting for a satisfactory treatment. The central nervous system is indeed a very compliant organ where gene transfer can be stable and successful if provided through an appropriate strategy. The purpose of this review is to present the characteristics of the most efficient virus-derived vectors used by researchers and clinicians to genetically modify particular cell types or whole regions of the brain. In addition, we discuss major issues regarding side effects, such as genotoxicity and immune response associated to the use of these vectors.

  1. ARG-ANNOT, a New Bioinformatic Tool To Discover Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Bacterial Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Sushim Kumar; Padmanabhan, Babu Roshan; Diene, Seydina M.; Lopez-Rojas, Rafael; Kempf, Marie; Landraud, Luce

    2014-01-01

    ARG-ANNOT (Antibiotic Resistance Gene-ANNOTation) is a new bioinformatic tool that was created to detect existing and putative new antibiotic resistance (AR) genes in bacterial genomes. ARG-ANNOT uses a local BLAST program in Bio-Edit software that allows the user to analyze sequences without a Web interface. All AR genetic determinants were collected from published works and online resources; nucleotide and protein sequences were retrieved from the NCBI GenBank database. After building a database that includes 1,689 antibiotic resistance genes, the software was tested in a blind manner using 100 random sequences selected from the database to verify that the sensitivity and specificity were at 100% even when partial sequences were queried. Notably, BLAST analysis results obtained using the rmtF gene sequence (a new aminoglycoside-modifying enzyme gene sequence that is not included in the database) as a query revealed that the tool was able to link this sequence to short sequences (17 to 40 bp) found in other genes of the rmt family with significant E values. Finally, the analysis of 178 Acinetobacter baumannii and 20 Staphylococcus aureus genomes allowed the detection of a significantly higher number of AR genes than the Resfinder gene analyzer and 11 point mutations in target genes known to be associated with AR. The average time for the analysis of a genome was 3.35 ± 0.13 min. We have created a concise database for BLAST using a Bio-Edit interface that can detect AR genetic determinants in bacterial genomes and can rapidly and easily discover putative new AR genetic determinants. PMID:24145532

  2. Interferon-β gene transfer induces a strong cytotoxic bystander effect on melanoma cells.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Úrsula A; Gil-Cardeza, María L; Villaverde, Marcela S; Finocchiaro, Liliana M E; Glikin, Gerardo C

    2015-05-01

    A local gene therapy scheme for the delivery of type I interferons could be an alternative for the treatment of melanoma. We evaluated the cytotoxic effects of interferon-β (IFNβ) gene lipofection on tumor cell lines derived from three human cutaneous and four canine mucosal melanomas. The cytotoxicity of human IFNβ gene lipofection resulted higher or equivalent to that of the corresponding addition of the recombinant protein (rhIFNβ) to human cells. IFNβ gene lipofection was not cytotoxic for only one canine melanoma cell line. When cultured as monolayers, three human and three canine IFNβ-lipofected melanoma cell lines displayed a remarkable bystander effect. As spheroids, the same six cell lines were sensitive to IFNβ gene transfer, two displaying a significant multicell resistance phenotype. The effects of conditioned IFNβ-lipofected canine melanoma cell culture media suggested the release of at least one soluble thermolabile cytotoxic factor that could not be detected in human melanoma cells. By using a secretion signal-free truncated human IFNβ, we showed that its intracellular expression was enough to induce cytotoxicity in two human melanoma cell lines. The lower cytoplasmatic levels of reactive oxygen species detected after intracellular IFNβ expression could be related to the resistance displayed by one human melanoma cell line. As IFNβ gene transfer was effective against most of the assayed melanomas in a way not limited by relatively low lipofection efficiencies, the clinical potential of this approach is strongly supported.

  3. Targeted disruption of Ataxia-telangiectasia mutated gene in miniature pigs by somatic cell nuclear transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Young June; Ahn, Kwang Sung; Kim, Minjeong; Kim, Min Ju; Park, Sang-Min; Ryu, Junghyun; Ahn, Jin Seop; Heo, Soon Young; Kang, Jee Hyun; Choi, You Jung; Choi, Seong-Jun; Shim, Hosup

    2014-10-03

    Highlights: • ATM gene-targeted pigs were produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer. • A novel large animal model for ataxia telangiectasia was developed. • The new model may provide an alternative to the mouse model. - Abstract: Ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) is a recessive autosomal disorder associated with pleiotropic phenotypes, including progressive cerebellar degeneration, gonad atrophy, and growth retardation. Even though A-T is known to be caused by the mutations in the Ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) gene, the correlation between abnormal cellular physiology caused by ATM mutations and the multiple symptoms of A-T disease has not been clearly determined. None of the existing ATM mouse models properly reflects the extent to which neurological degeneration occurs in human. In an attempt to provide a large animal model for A-T, we produced gene-targeted pigs with mutations in the ATM gene by somatic cell nuclear transfer. The disrupted allele in the ATM gene of cloned piglets was confirmed via PCR and Southern blot analysis. The ATM gene-targeted pigs generated in the present study may provide an alternative to the current mouse model for the study of mechanisms underlying A-T disorder and for the development of new therapies.

  4. Evidence for extensive horizontal gene transfer from the draft genome of a tardigrade

    PubMed Central

    Boothby, Thomas C.; Tenlen, Jennifer R.; Smith, Frank W.; Wang, Jeremy R.; Patanella, Kiera A.; Osborne Nishimura, Erin; Tintori, Sophia C.; Li, Qing; Jones, Corbin D.; Yandell, Mark; Glasscock, Jarret; Goldstein, Bob

    2015-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), or the transfer of genes between species, has been recognized recently as more pervasive than previously suspected. Here, we report evidence for an unprecedented degree of HGT into an animal genome, based on a draft genome of a tardigrade, Hypsibius dujardini. Tardigrades are microscopic eight-legged animals that are famous for their ability to survive extreme conditions. Genome sequencing, direct confirmation of physical linkage, and phylogenetic analysis revealed that a large fraction of the H. dujardini genome is derived from diverse bacteria as well as plants, fungi, and Archaea. We estimate that approximately one-sixth of tardigrade genes entered by HGT, nearly double the fraction found in the most extreme cases of HGT into animals known to date. Foreign genes have supplemented, expanded, and even replaced some metazoan gene families within the tardigrade genome. Our results demonstrate that an unexpectedly large fraction of an animal genome can be derived from foreign sources. We speculate that animals that can survive extremes may be particularly prone to acquiring foreign genes. PMID:26598659

  5. Non-Invasive Gene Transfer by Iontophoresis for Therapy of an Inherited Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Souied, Eric H.; Reid, Silvia N. M.; Piri, Natik I.; Lerner, Leonid E.; Nusinowitz, Steven; Farber, Debora B.

    2009-01-01

    Despite extensive research on many of the genes responsible for inherited retinal degenerations leading to blindness, no effective treatment is currently available for patients affected with these diseases. Among the therapeutic approaches tested on animal models of human retinal degeneration, gene therapy using different types of viral vectors as delivery agents has yielded promising results. We report here our results on a non-invasive, non-viral delivery approach using transscleral iontophoresis for transfer of plasmid DNA into mouse retina. Proof of principle experiments were carried out using plasmid containing GFP cDNA to demonstrate expression of the transferred gene in the retina after single applications of iontophoresis. Various parameters for multiple applications of iontophoresis were optimized to sustain GFP gene expression in mouse photoreceptors. Subsequently, repeated iontophoresis of plasmid containing normal β-phosphodiesterase (β-PDE) cDNA was performed in the rd1 mouse, an animal model of autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa caused by a mutant β-PDE gene. In normal mice, transscleral iontophoresis of the GFP plasmid provided a significant increase in fluorescence of the retina in the treated versus non-treated eyes. In rd1 mice, repeated iontophoresis of β-PDE cDNA plasmid partially rescued photoreceptors morphologically, as observed by microscopy, and functionally, as recorded on ERG measurements, without adverse effects. Therefore, transscleral iontophoresis of plasmid DNA containing therapeutic genes may be an efficient, safe and non-invasive method for the treatment of retinal degenerations. PMID:18653181

  6. Evidence for extensive horizontal gene transfer from the draft genome of a tardigrade.

    PubMed

    Boothby, Thomas C; Tenlen, Jennifer R; Smith, Frank W; Wang, Jeremy R; Patanella, Kiera A; Nishimura, Erin Osborne; Tintori, Sophia C; Li, Qing; Jones, Corbin D; Yandell, Mark; Messina, David N; Glasscock, Jarret; Goldstein, Bob

    2015-12-29

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), or the transfer of genes between species, has been recognized recently as more pervasive than previously suspected. Here, we report evidence for an unprecedented degree of HGT into an animal genome, based on a draft genome of a tardigrade, Hypsibius dujardini. Tardigrades are microscopic eight-legged animals that are famous for their ability to survive extreme conditions. Genome sequencing, direct confirmation of physical linkage, and phylogenetic analysis revealed that a large fraction of the H. dujardini genome is derived from diverse bacteria as well as plants, fungi, and Archaea. We estimate that approximately one-sixth of tardigrade genes entered by HGT, nearly double the fraction found in the most extreme cases of HGT into animals known to date. Foreign genes have supplemented, expanded, and even replaced some metazoan gene families within the tardigrade genome. Our results demonstrate that an unexpectedly large fraction of an animal genome can be derived from foreign sources. We speculate that animals that can survive extremes may be particularly prone to acquiring foreign genes.

  7. Maternal transfer and transcriptional onset of immune genes during ontogenesis in Atlantic cod.

    PubMed

    Seppola, Marit; Johnsen, Hanne; Mennen, Saskia; Myrnes, Bjørnar; Tveiten, Helge

    2009-11-01

    The immune system in teleosts is not completely developed during embryonic and larval stages and immune competence is assumed to be restricted. This study is the first to address whether immune transcripts are maternally transferred to offspring and when immune genes are transcriptionally active in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). In unfertilised eggs, transcripts encoding lysozyme and cathelicidin were found indicating maternal transfer of antibacterial transcripts. Lysozyme activity was also present at this stage suggesting the presence of a functional protein. Transcripts of two other putative antibacterial genes (hepcidin and pentraxin) and antiviral genes (ISG15 and LGP2) were absent in unfertilised eggs. The transcriptional onset of these genes occurred during the gastrula period. Transcripts of the heavy chain constant regions of the immunoglobulin (Ig) D, membrane-associated and secreted form of IgM were absent in unfertilised eggs. Transcription of the heavy chain locus commenced at low levels during the segmentation period indicating the onset of B-cell development. Most innate immune genes showed an increase in transcription around hatch and first feeding, indicating a preparation for increased pathogen exposure at this time. Prior to and during metamorphosis all genes showed a pronounced elevation in transcript levels indicating a further maturation of the immune system during this period.

  8. Horizontal gene transfers and cell fusions in microbiology, immunology and oncology (Review).

    PubMed

    Sinkovics, Joseph G

    2009-09-01

    Evolving young genomes of archaea, prokaryota and unicellular eukaryota were wide open for the acceptance of alien genomic sequences, which they often preserved and vertically transferred to their descendants throughout three billion years of evolution. Established complex large genomes, although seeded with ancestral retroelements, have come to regulate strictly their integrity. However, intruding retroelements, especially the descendents of Ty3/Gypsy, the chromoviruses, continue to find their ways into even the most established genomes. The simian and hominoid-Homo genomes preserved and accommodated a large number of endogenous retroviral genomic segments. These retroelements may mature into exogenous retroviruses, or into functional new genes. Phages and viruses have been instrumental in incorporating and transferring host cell genes. These events profoundly influenced and altered the course of evolution. Horizontal (lateral) gene transfers (HGT) overwhelmed the genomes of the ancient protocells and the evolving unicellular microorganisms, actually leading to their Cambrian explosion. While the rigidly organized genomes of multicellular organisms increasingly resist H/LGT, de-differentiated cells assuming the metabolism of their onto- or phylogenetic ancestors, open up widely to the practice of H/LGT by direct transfer, or to transfers mediated by viruses, or by cell fusions. This activity is intensified in malignantly transformed cells, thus rendering these subjects receptive to therapy with oncolytic viruses and with viral vectors of tumor-suppressive or immunogenic genetic materials. Naturally formed hybrids of dendritic and tumor cells are often tolerogenic, whereas laboratory products of these unisons may be immunogenic in the hosts of origin. As human breast cancer stem cells are induced by a treacherous class of CD8+ T cells to undergo epithelial to mesenchymal (ETM) transition and to yield to malignant transformation by the omnipresent proto

  9. Ionizing and ultraviolet radiation enhances the efficiency of DNA mediated gene transfer in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Perez, C.F.

    1984-08-01

    The enhancement effects of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation on the efficiency of DNA mediated gene transfer were studied. Confluent Rat-2 cells were transfected with purified SV40 viral DNA, irradiated with either X-rays or ultraviolet, trypsinized, plated, and assayed for the formation of foci on Rat-2 monolayers. Both ionizing and ultraviolet radiation enhanced the frequency of A-gene transformants/survivor compared to unirradiated transfected cells. These enhancements were non-linear and dose dependent. A recombinant plasmid, pOT-TK5, was constructed that contained the SV40 virus A-gene and the Herpes Simplex virus (HSV) thymidine kinase (TK) gene. Confluent Rat-2 cells transfected with pOT-TK5 DNA and then immediately irradiated with either X-rays or 330 MeV/amu argon particles at the Berkeley Bevalac showed a higher frequency of HAT/sup +/ colonies/survivor than unirradiated transfected cells. Rat-2 cells transfected with the plasmid, pTK2, containing only the HSV TK-gene were enhanced for TK-transformation by both X-rays and ultraviolet radiation. The results demonstrate that radiation enhancement of the efficiency of DNA mediated gene transfer is not explained by increased nuclear uptake of the transfected DNA. Radiation increases the competence of the transfected cell population for genetic transformation. Three models for this increased competence are presented. The targeted integration model, the inducible recombination model, the partition model, and the utilization of DNA mediated gene transfer for DNA repair studies are discussed. 465 references.

  10. [Advances in molecular mechanisms of bacterial resistance caused by stress-induced transfer of resistance genes--a review].

    PubMed

    Sun, Dongchang; Wang, Bing; Zhu, Lihong

    2013-07-04

    The transfer of resistance gene is one of the most important causes of bacterial resistance. Recent studies reveal that stresses induce the transfer of antibiotic resistance gene through multiple mechanisms. DNA damage stresses trigger bacterial SOS response and induce the transfer of resistance gene mediated by conjugative DNA. Antibiotic stresses induce natural bacterial competence for transformation in some bacteria which lack the SOS system. In addition, our latest studies show that the general stress response regulator RpoS regulates a novel type of resistance gene transfer which is mediated by double-stranded plasmid DNA and occurs exclusively on the solid surface. In this review, we summarized recent advances in SOS dependent and independent stress-induced DNA transfer which is mediated by conjugation and transformation respectively, and the transfer of double-stranded plasmid DNA on the solid surface which is regulated by RpoS. We propose that future work should address how stresses activate the key regulators and how these regulators control the expression of gene transfer related genes. Answers to the above questions would pave the way for searching for candidate targets for controlling bacterial resistance resulted from the transfer of antibiotic genes.

  11. Correlation of length of linear oligo(ethanamino) amides with gene transfer and cytotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Scholz, Claudia; Kos, Petra; Leclercq, Laurent; Jin, Xiaoyun; Cottet, Hervé; Wagner, Ernst

    2014-09-01

    The optimization of synthetic carriers for gene transfer remains a major challenge. Cationic polymers such as polyethylenimine (PEI) often show increasing gene transfer activity with increasing molecular weight, but this favorable effect is accompanied by an undesired increase in cytotoxicity. Moreover, the polydispersity of polymers prevents accurate determination of optimum size. Herein we describe the step-by-step elongation of precise linear oligo(ethanamino) amides by making use of the artificial amino acid succinoyl-tetraethylene pentamine (Stp) for solid-phase-assisted synthesis. This procedure enabled us to identify the optimal oligomer Stp30-W (8.4 kDa) with a length of 30 Stp units, with which effective gene transfer occurs in the absence of cytotoxicity. The transfection efficiency of Stp30-W exceeded that of standard linear PEI (22 kDa) by sixfold; nevertheless, Stp30-W exhibited tenfold lower cytotoxicity. In addition to the lower molecular weight, the succinate spacer between the oligoamine units may also contribute to the favorable biocompatibility. The cytotoxicity of the cationic polymer PEI is a major concern for use as a carrier for gene delivery, so this comparison between linear PEI and the new Stp oligomers is particularly relevant.

  12. Plant–Agrobacterium interaction mediated by ethylene and super-Agrobacterium conferring efficient gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    Nonaka, Satoko; Ezura, Hiroshi

    2014-01-01

    Agrobacterium tumefaciens has a unique ability to transfer genes into plant genomes. This ability has been utilized for plant genetic engineering. However, the efficiency is not sufficient for all plant species. Several studies have shown that ethylene decreased the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation frequency. Thus, A. tumefaciens with an ability to suppress ethylene evolution would increase the efficiency of Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Some studies showed that plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) can reduce ethylene levels in plants through 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) deaminase, which cleaves the ethylene precursor ACC into α-ketobutyrate and ammonia, resulting in reduced ethylene production. The whole genome sequence data showed that A. tumefaciens does not possess an ACC deaminase gene in its genome. Therefore, providing ACC deaminase activity to the bacteria would improve gene transfer. As expected, A. tumefaciens with ACC deaminase activity, designated as super-Agrobacterium, could suppress ethylene evolution and increase the gene transfer efficiency in several plant species. In this review, we summarize plant–Agrobacterium interactions and their applications for improving Agrobacterium-mediated genetic engineering techniques via super-Agrobacterium. PMID:25520733

  13. Mitochondrial DNA of Vitis vinifera and the issue of rampant horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Goremykin, Vadim V; Salamini, Francesco; Velasco, Riccardo; Viola, Roberto

    2009-01-01

    The mitochondrial genome of grape (Vitis vinifera), the largest organelle genome sequenced so far, is presented. The genome is 773,279 nt long and has the highest coding capacity among known angiosperm mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs). The proportion of promiscuous DNA of plastid origin in the genome is also the largest ever reported for an angiosperm mtDNA, both in absolute and relative terms. In all, 42.4% of chloroplast genome of Vitis has been incorporated into its mitochondrial genome. In order to test if horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has also contributed to the gene content of the grape mtDNA, we built phylogenetic trees with the coding sequences of mitochondrial genes of grape and their homologs from plant mitochondrial genomes. Many incongruent gene tree topologies were obtained. However, the extent of incongruence between these gene trees is not significantly greater than that observed among optimal trees for chloroplast genes, the common ancestry of which has never been in doubt. In both cases, we attribute this incongruence to artifacts of tree reconstruction, insufficient numbers of characters, and gene paralogy. This finding leads us to question the recent phylogenetic interpretation of Bergthorsson et al. (2003, 2004) and Richardson and Palmer (2007) that rampant HGT into the mtDNA of Amborella best explains phylogenetic incongruence between mitochondrial gene trees for angiosperms. The only evidence for HGT into the Vitis mtDNA found involves fragments of two coding sequences stemming from two closteroviruses that cause the leaf roll disease of this plant. We also report that analysis of sequences shared by both chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes provides evidence for a previously unknown gene transfer route from the mitochondrion to the chloroplast.

  14. Biased gene transfer and its implications for the concept of lineage

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In the presence of horizontal gene transfer (HGT), the concepts of lineage and genealogy in the microbial world become more ambiguous because chimeric genomes trace their ancestry from a myriad of sources, both living and extinct. Results We present the evolutionary histories of three aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRS) to illustrate that the concept of organismal lineage in the prokaryotic world is defined by both vertical inheritance and reticulations due to HGT. The acquisition of a novel gene from a distantly related taxon can be considered as a shared derived character that demarcates a group of organisms, as in the case of the spirochaete Phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase (PheRS). On the other hand, when organisms transfer genetic material with their close kin, the similarity and therefore relatedness observed among them is essentially shaped by gene transfer. Studying the distribution patterns of divergent genes with identical functions, referred to as homeoalleles, can reveal preferences for transfer partners. We describe the very ancient origin and the distribution of the archaeal homeoalleles for Threonyl-tRNA synthetases (ThrRS) and Seryl-tRNA synthetases (SerRS). Conclusions Patterns created through biased HGT can be undistinguishable from those created through shared organismal ancestry. A re-evaluation of the definition of lineage is necessary to reflect genetic relatedness due to both HGT and vertical inheritance. In most instances, HGT bias will maintain and strengthen similarity within groups. Only in cases where HGT bias is due to other factors, such as shared ecological niche, do patterns emerge from gene phylogenies that are in conflict with those reflecting shared organismal ancestry. Reviewers This article was reviewed by W. Ford Doolittle, François-Joseph Lapointe, and Frederic Bouchard. PMID:21943000

  15. Elongation and gene expression in bovine cloned embryos transferred to temporary recipients.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Alvarez, Lleretny; Cox, José; Navarrete, Felipe; Valdés, Cristián; Zamorano, Teresa; Einspanier, Ralf; Castro, Fidel Ovidio

    2009-11-01

    SummaryElongated embryos provide a unique source of information about trophoblastic differentiation, gene expression and maternal-embryonic interactions; however they are difficult and costly to obtain, especially elongated cloned embryos. One alternative is their production in heterologous temporary recipients such as sheep and goats. We aimed to produce elongated bovine cloned embryos using heterologous transfer to temporary recipients. Day-7 cloned cattle blastocysts were transferred to the uteri of ewes and goats and recovered as elongated structures at day 17. We evaluated elongation, length, presence of embryonic disc and expression of several important genes for embryonic development. We also produced homologous (cloned cattle embryos transferred into cattle uteri). Cloned bovine blastocysts were able to proceed with preimplantation development through elongation with high efficiency despite the species to which they were transferred. In qualitative and quantitative RT-PCR experiments we found differences in the pattern of gene expression among embryos recovered from different species. Sox2, Nanog and FGF-4 were markedly deregulated. No previous reports about the expression pattern of the studied genes had been published for elongated bovine cloned embryos produced in intermediate recipients, furthermore, the pattern of expression of Nanog, Oct4, Eomes, Cdx2, IFN-tau, Dicer, FGF-4 and Sox2 shown here are novel for elongated cloned bovine embryos created by hand-made cloning. Our data confirmed that sheep and goats can be used as temporary recipients. This model could serve as a basis for further research on gene expression and cellular changes during bovine peri-implantation development.

  16. Evidence of recent interkingdom horizontal gene transfer between bacteria and Candida parapsilosis

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background To date very few incidences of interdomain gene transfer into fungi have been identified. Here, we used the emerging genome sequences of Candida albicans WO-1, Candida tropicalis, Candida parapsilosis, Clavispora lusitaniae, Pichia guilliermondii, and Lodderomyces elongisporus to identify recent interdomain HGT events. We refer to these as CTG species because they translate the CTG codon as serine rather than leucine, and share a recent common ancestor. Results Phylogenetic and syntenic information infer that two C. parapsilosis genes originate from bacterial sources. One encodes a putative proline racemase (PR). Phylogenetic analysis also infers that there were independent transfers of bacterial PR enzymes into members of the Pezizomycotina, and protists. The second HGT gene in C. parapsilosis belongs to the phenazine F (PhzF) superfamily. Most CTG species also contain a fungal PhzF homolog. Our phylogeny suggests that the CTG homolog originated from an ancient HGT event, from a member of the proteobacteria. An analysis of synteny suggests that C. parapsilosis has lost the endogenous fungal form of PhzF, and subsequently reacquired it from a proteobacterial source. There is evidence that Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Basidiomycotina also obtained a PhzF homolog through HGT. Conclusion Our search revealed two instances of well-supported HGT from bacteria into the CTG clade, both specific to C. parapsilosis. Therefore, while recent interkingdom gene transfer has taken place in the CTG lineage, its occurrence is rare. However, our analysis will not detect ancient gene transfers, and we may have underestimated the global extent of HGT into CTG species. PMID:18577206

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26522387

  18. Proteomic analysis and identification of the structural and regulatory proteins of the Rhodobacter capsulatus gene transfer agent.

    PubMed

    Chen, Frank; Spano, Anthony; Goodman, Benjamin E; Blasier, Kiev R; Sabat, Agnes; Jeffery, Erin; Norris, Andrew; Shabanowitz, Jeffrey; Hunt, Donald F; Lebedev, Nikolai

    2009-02-01

    The gene transfer agent of Rhodobacter capsulatus (GTA) is a unique phage-like particle that exchanges genetic information between members of this same species of bacterium. Besides being an excellent tool for genetic mapping, the GTA has a number of advantages for biotechnological and nanoengineering purposes. To facilitate the GTA purification and identify the proteins involved in GTA expression, assembly and regulation, in the present work we construct and transform into R. capsulatus Y262 a gene coding for a C-terminally His-tagged capsid protein. The constructed protein was expressed in the cells, assembled into chimeric GTA particles inside the cells and excreted from the cells into surrounding medium. Transmission electron micrographs of phosphotungstate-stained, NiNTA-purified chimeric GTA confirm that its structure is similar to normal GTA particles, with many particles composed both of a head and a tail. The mass spectrometric proteomic analysis of polypeptides present in the GTA recovered outside the cells shows that GTA is composed of at least 9 proteins represented in the GTA gene cluster including proteins coded for by Orf's 3, 5, 6-9, 11, 13, and 15.

  19. Applications of RNA interference in cancer therapeutics as a powerful tool for suppressing gene expression.

    PubMed

    He, Song; Zhang, Dechun; Cheng, Fang; Gong, Fanghong; Guo, Yanan

    2009-11-01

    Cancer poses a tremendous therapeutic challenge worldwide, highlighting the critical need for developing novel therapeutics. A promising cancer treatment modality is gene therapy, which is a form of molecular medicine designed to introduce into target cells genetic material with therapeutic intent. The history of RNA interference (RNAi) has only a dozen years, however, further studies have revealed that it is a potent method of gene silencing that has developed rapidly over the past few years as a result of its extensive importance in the study of genetics, molecular biology and physiology. RNAi is a natural process by which small interfering RNA (siRNA) duplex directs sequence specific post-transcriptional silencing of homologous genes by binding to its complementary mRNA and triggering its elimination. RNAi has been extensively used as a novel and effective gene silencing tool for the fundamental research of cancer therapeutics, and has displayed great potential in clinical treatment.

  20. SpectroGene: A Tool for Proteogenomic Annotations Using Top-Down Spectra.

    PubMed

    Kolmogorov, Mikhail; Liu, Xiaowen; Pevzner, Pavel A

    2016-01-04

    In the past decade, proteogenomics has emerged as a valuable technique that contributes to the state-of-the-art in genome annotation; however, previous proteogenomic studies were limited to bottom-up mass spectrometry and did not take advantage of top-down approaches. We show that top-down proteogenomics allows one to address the problems that remained beyond the reach of traditional bottom-up proteogenomics. In particular, we show that top-down proteogenomics leads to the discovery of previously unannotated genes even in extensively studied bacterial genomes and present SpectroGene, a software tool for genome annotation using top-down tandem mass spectra. We further show that top-down proteogenomics searches (against the six-frame translation of a genome) identify nearly all proteoforms found in traditional top-down proteomics searches (against the annotated proteome). SpectroGene is freely available at http://github.com/fenderglass/SpectroGene .

  1. Exosomes and microvesicles: extracellular vesicles for genetic information transfer and gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yi; El Andaloussi, Samir; Wood, Matthew J A

    2012-10-15

    Exosomes and microvesicles are extracellular nanovesicles released by most but not all cells. They are specifically equipped to mediate intercellular communication via the transfer of genetic information, including the transfer of both coding and non-coding RNAs, to recipient cells. As a result, both exosomes and microvesicles play a fundamental biological role in the regulation of normal physiological as well as aberrant pathological processes, via altered gene regulatory networks and/or via epigenetic programming. For example, microvesicle-mediated genetic transfer can regulate the maintenance of stem cell plasticity and induce beneficial cell phenotype modulation. Alternatively, such vesicles play a role in tumor pathogenesis and the spread of neurodegenerative diseases via the transfer of specific microRNAs and pathogenic proteins. Given this natural property for genetic information transfer, the possibility of exploiting these vesicles for therapeutic purposes is now being investigated. Stem cell-derived microvesicles appear to be naturally equipped to mediate tissue regeneration under certain conditions, while recent evidence suggests that exosomes might be harnessed for the targeted delivery of human genetic therapies via the introduction of exogenous genetic cargoes such as siRNA. Thus, extracellular vesicles are emerging as potent genetic information transfer agents underpinning a range of biological processes and with therapeutic potential.

  2. Phylogeographic reconstruction of a bacterial species with high levels of lateral gene transfer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pearson, T.; Giffard, P.; Beckstrom-Sternberg, S.; Auerbach, R.; Hornstra, H.; Tuanyok, A.; Price, E.P.; Glass, M.B.; Leadem, B.; Beckstrom-Sternberg, J. S.; Allan, G.J.; Foster, J.T.; Wagner, D.M.; Okinaka, R.T.; Sim, S.H.; Pearson, O.; Wu, Z.; Chang, J.; Kaul, R.; Hoffmaster, A.R.; Brettin, T.S.; Robison, R.A.; Mayo, M.; Gee, J.E.; Tan, P.; Currie, B.J.; Keim, P.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Phylogeographic reconstruction of some bacterial populations is hindered by low diversity coupled with high levels of lateral gene transfer. A comparison of recombination levels and diversity at seven housekeeping genes for eleven bacterial species, most of which are commonly cited as having high levels of lateral gene transfer shows that the relative contributions of homologous recombination versus mutation for Burkholderia pseudomallei is over two times higher than for Streptococcus pneumoniae and is thus the highest value yet reported in bacteria. Despite the potential for homologous recombination to increase diversity, B. pseudomallei exhibits a relative lack of diversity at these loci. In these situations, whole genome genotyping of orthologous shared single nucleotide polymorphism loci, discovered using next generation sequencing technologies, can provide very large data sets capable of estimating core phylogenetic relationships. We compared and searched 43 whole genome sequences of B. pseudomallei and its closest relatives for single nucleotide polymorphisms in orthologous shared regions to use in phylogenetic reconstruction. Results: Bayesian phylogenetic analyses of >14,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms yielded completely resolved trees for these 43 strains with high levels of statistical support. These results enable a better understanding of a separate analysis of population differentiation among >1,700 B. pseudomallei isolates as defined by sequence data from seven housekeeping genes. We analyzed this larger data set for population structure and allele sharing that can be attributed to lateral gene transfer. Our results suggest that despite an almost panmictic population, we can detect two distinct populations of B. pseudomallei that conform to biogeographic patterns found in many plant and animal species. That is, separation along Wallace's Line, a biogeographic boundary between Southeast Asia and Australia. Conclusion: We describe an

  3. Phylogeographic reconstruction of a bacterial species with high levels of lateral gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Phylogeographic reconstruction of some bacterial populations is hindered by low diversity coupled with high levels of lateral gene transfer. A comparison of recombination levels and diversity at seven housekeeping genes for eleven bacterial species, most of which are commonly cited as having high levels of lateral gene transfer shows that the relative contributions of homologous recombination versus mutation for Burkholderia pseudomallei is over two times higher than for Streptococcus pneumoniae and is thus the highest value yet reported in bacteria. Despite the potential for homologous recombination to increase diversity, B. pseudomallei exhibits a relative lack of diversity at these loci. In these situations, whole genome genotyping of orthologous shared single nucleotide polymorphism loci, discovered using next generation sequencing technologies, can provide very large data sets capable of estimating core phylogenetic relationships. We compared and searched 43 whole genome sequences of B. pseudomallei and its closest relatives for single nucleotide polymorphisms in orthologous shared regions to use in phylogenetic reconstruction. Results Bayesian phylogenetic analyses of >14,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms yielded completely resolved trees for these 43 strains with high levels of statistical support. These results enable a better understanding of a separate analysis of population differentiation among >1,700 B. pseudomallei isolates as defined by sequence data from seven housekeeping genes. We analyzed this larger data set for population structure and allele sharing that can be attributed to lateral gene transfer. Our results suggest that despite an almost panmictic population, we can detect two distinct populations of B. pseudomallei that conform to biogeographic patterns found in many plant and animal species. That is, separation along Wallace's Line, a biogeographic boundary between Southeast Asia and Australia. Conclusion We describe an

  4. DNA-water interactions distinguish messenger RNA genes from transfer RNA genes.

    PubMed

    Khandelwal, Garima; Jayaram, B

    2012-05-30

    Physicochemical properties of DNA sequences as a guide to developing insights into genome organization has received little attention. Here, we utilize the energetics of DNA to further advance the knowledge on its language at a molecular level. Specifically, we ask the question whether physicochemical properties of different functional units on genomes differ. We extract intramolecular and solvation energies of different DNA base pair steps from a comprehensive set of molecular dynamics simulations. We then investigate the solvation behavior of DNA sequences coding for mRNAs and tRNAs. Distinguishing mRNA genes from tRNA genes is a tricky problem in genome annotation without assumptions on length of DNA and secondary structure of the product of transcription. We find that solvation energetics of DNA behaves as an extremely efficient property in discriminating 2,063,537 genes coding for mRNAs from 56,251 genes coding for tRNAs in all (~1500) completely sequenced prokaryotic genomes.

  5. Pigment-cell-specific genes from fibroblasts are transactivated after chromosomal transfer into melanoma cells

    SciTech Connect

    Powers, T.P.; Davidson, R.L.; Shows, T.B.

    1994-02-01

    Human and mouse fibroblast chromosomes carrying tyrosinase or b-locus genes were introduced, by microcell hybridization, into pigmented Syrian hamster melanoma cells, and the microcell hybrids were tested for transactivation of the fibroblast tyrosinase and b-locus genes. By using species-specific PCR amplification to distinguish fibroblast and melanoma cDNAs, it was demonstrated that the previously silent fibroblast tyrosinase and b-locus genes were transactivated following chromosomal transfer into pigmented melanoma cells. However, transactivation of the mouse fibroblast tyrosinase gene was unstable in microcell hybrid subclones and possibly dependent on a second fibroblast locus that could have segregated in the subclones. This second locus was not necessary for transactivation of the fibroblast b-locus gene, thus demonstrating noncoordinate transactivation of fibroblast tyrosinase and b-locus genes. Transactivation of the fibroblast tyrosinase gene in microcell hybrids apparently is dependent on the absence of a putative fibroblast extinguisher locus for tyrosinase gene expression, which presumably is responsible for the extinction of pigmentation in hybrids between karyotypically complete fibroblasts and melanoma cells. 46 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

  6. Immune response to lentiviral bilirubin UDP-glucuronosyltransferase gene transfer in fetal and neonatal rats.

    PubMed

    Seppen, J; van Til, N P; van der Rijt, R; Hiralall, J K; Kunne, C; Elferink, R P J Oude

    2006-04-01

    Gene therapy for inherited disorders might cause an immune response to the therapeutic protein. A solution would be to introduce the gene in the fetal or neonatal period, which should lead to tolerization. Lentiviral vectors mediate long-term gene expression, and are well suited for gene therapy early in development. A model for fetal or neonatal gene therapy is the inherited disorder of bilirubin metabolism, Crigler-Najjar disease (CN). The absence of bilirubin UDP-glucoronyltransferase (UGT1A1) activity in CN patients causes high serum levels of unconjugated bilirubin and brain damage in infancy. CN is attractive for the development of gene therapy because the mutant Gunn rat closely mimics the human disease. Injection of UGT1A1 lentiviral vectors corrected the hyperbilirubinemia for more than a year in rats injected as fetuses and for up to 18 weeks in rats injected the day of birth. UGT1A1 gene transfer was confirmed by the presence of bilirubin glucuronides in bile. All animals injected with UGT1A1 lentiviral vectors developed antibodies to UGT1A1. Animals injected with green fluorescent protein (GFP) lentiviral vectors did not develop antibodies to GFP. Our results indicate that fetal and neonatal gene therapy with immunogenic proteins such as UGT1A1 does not necessarily lead to tolerization.

  7. Evolutionary implications of phylogenetic analyses of the gene transfer agent (GTA) of Rhodobacter capsulatus.

    PubMed

    Lang, Andrew S; Taylor, Terumi A; Beatty, J Thomas

    2002-11-01

    The gene transfer agent (GTA) of the a-proteobacterium Rhodobacter capsulatus is a cell-controlled genetic exchange vector. Genes that encode the GTA structure are clustered in a 15-kb region of the R. capsulatus chromosome, and some of these genes show sequence similarity to known bacteriophage head and tail genes. However, the production of GTA is controlled at the level of transcription by a cellular two-component signal transduction system. This paper describes homologues of both the GTA structural gene cluster and the GTA regulatory genes in the a-proteobacteria Rhodopseudomonas palustris, Rhodobacter sphaeroides, Caulobacter crescentus, Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Brucella melitensis. These sequences were used in a phylogenetic tree approach to examine the evolutionary relationships of selected GTA proteins to these homologues and (pro)phage proteins, which was compared to a 16S rRNA tree. The data indicate that a GTA-like element was present in a single progenitor of the extant species that contain both GTA structural cluster and regulatory gene homologues. The evolutionary relationships of GTA structural proteins to (pro)phage proteins indicated by the phylogenetic tree patterns suggest a predominantly vertical descent of GTA-like sequences in the a-proteobacteria and little past gene exchange with (pro)phages.

  8. In vivo gene transfer targeting in pancreatic adenocarcinoma with cell surface antigens

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is a deadly malignancy resistant to current therapies. It is critical to test new strategies, including tumor-targeted delivery of therapeutic agents. This study tested the possibility to target the transfer of a suicide gene in tumor cells using an oncotropic lentiviral vector. Results Three cell surface markers were evaluated to target the transduction of cells by lentiviruses pseudotyped with a modified glycoprotein from Sindbis virus. Only Mucin-4 and the Claudin-18 proteins were found efficient for targeted lentivirus transductions in vitro. In subcutaneous xenografts of human pancreatic cancer cells models, Claudin-18 failed to achieve efficient gene transfer but Mucin-4 was found very potent. Human pancreatic tumor cells were modified to express a fluorescent protein detectable in live animals by bioimaging, to perform a direct non invasive and costless follow up of the tumor growth. Targeted gene transfer of a bicistronic transgene bearing a luciferase gene and the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase gene into orthotopic grafts was carried out with Mucin-4 oncotropic lentiviruses. By contrast to the broad tropism VSV-G carrying lentivirus, this oncotropic lentivirus was found to transduce specifically tumor cells, sparing normal pancreatic cells in vivo. Transduced cells disappeared after ganciclovir treatment while the orthotopic tumor growth was slowed down. Conclusion This work considered for the first time three aspect of pancreatic adenocarcinoma targeted therapy. First, lentiviral transduction of human pancreatic tumor cells was possible when cells were grafted orthotopically. Second, we used a system targeting the tumor cells with cell surface antigens and sparing the normal cells. Finally, the TK/GCV anticancer system showed promising results in vivo. Importantly, the approach presented here appeared to be a safer, much more specific and an as efficient way to perform gene delivery in pancreatic tumors

  9. Selective gene transfer to endometrial cancer cells by a polymer against matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2).

    PubMed

    Han, Joo Youn; Choi, Dong Soon; Kim, Changhoon; Joo, Hyun; Min, Churl K

    2008-04-01

    A novel cancer-cell-specific gene delivery vector with high transfection efficiency was designed and tested with an in vitro coculture consisting of the human endometrial adenocarcinoma cell line, HEC-1A cells, and normal endometrial stromal cells. For the cancer-cell targeting, polyethylenimine (PEI), a cationic polymer that can be easily combined with anionic DNA to form a particulate complex, polyplex, being capable of transferring a gene into a variety of cells, was covalently conjugated with antibodies against matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2), a typical surface-marker protein on cancer cells known for its close correlation with angiogenesis and invasion in many types of cancer, using the heterofunctional cross-linker, n-succinimidyl 3-(2-pyridyldithio)-propionamide. Biophysical properties and transfection efficiencies of anti-MMP-2-conjugated PEI were analyzed by means of dynamic light scattering, laser Doppler anemometry, and flow cytometry. Our results reveal that (1) the PEI-anti-MMP-2 antibody conjugate maintains physical parameters, including sizes and surface charges, which appear to be favorable for gene transfer and (2) when the pEGFP-N3 plasmid complexes of the PEI-anti-MMP-2 antibody conjugate are applied to the coculture consisting of HEC-1A cells and human stromal cells, a high level of green fluorescent protein expression occurs in HEC-1A cells over stromal cells, suggesting a specific gene transfer targeting cancer cells. Therefore, targeting invading cancer cells with the PEI-anti-MMP-2 antibody conjugate could be promising in endometrial cancer treatment, and this gene delivery system deserves further optimization in the context of targeted therapeutic gene delivery.

  10. Allen Brain Atlas-Driven Visualizations: a web-based gene expression energy visualization tool.

    PubMed

    Zaldivar, Andrew; Krichmar, Jeffrey L

    2014-01-01

    The Allen Brain Atlas-Driven Visualizations (ABADV) is a publicly accessible web-based tool created to retrieve and visualize expression energy data from the Allen Brain Atlas (ABA) across multiple genes and brain structures. Though the ABA offers their own search engine and software for researchers to view their growing collection of online public data sets, including extensive gene expression and neuroanatomical data from human and mouse brain, many of their tools limit the amount of genes and brain structures researchers can view at once. To complement their work, ABADV generates multiple pie charts, bar charts and heat maps of expression energy values for any given set of genes and brain structures. Such a suite of free and easy-to-understand visualizations allows for easy comparison of gene expression across multiple brain areas. In addition, each visualization links back to the ABA so researchers may view a summary of the experimental detail. ABADV is currently supported on modern web browsers and is compatible with expression energy data from the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas in situ hybridization data. By creating this web application, researchers can immediately obtain and survey numerous amounts of expression energy data from the ABA, which they can then use to supplement their work or perform meta-analysis. In the future, we hope to enable ABADV across multiple data resources.

  11. Continuous cell supply from Krt7-expressing hematopoietic stem cells during native hematopoiesis revealed by targeted in vivo gene transfer method

    PubMed Central

    Tajima, Yoko; Ito, Keiichi; Umino, Ayumi; Wilkinson, Adam C.; Nakauchi, Hiromitsu; Yamazaki, Satoshi

    2017-01-01

    The nature of hematopoietic stem cells under normal hematopoiesis remained largely unknown due to the limited assays available to monitor their behavior in situ. Here, we develop a new mouse model to transfer genes specifically into the primitive hematopoietic stem cell compartment through the utilization of a modified Rcas/TVA system. We succeeded in transferring a GFP reporter gene into adult hematopoietic stem cells in vivo, which are predominantly quiescent, by generating pseudotyped-lentivirus. Furthermore, we demonstrate the utility of this system to study neonatal hematopoiesis, a developmental stage that has been difficult to analyze to date. Using the system developed in this study, we observed continuous multi-lineage hematopoietic cell supply in peripheral blood from Krt7-positive hematopoietic stem cells during unperturbed homeostatic condition. This powerful experimental system could provide a new standard tool to analyze hematopoiesis under physiological condition without transplantation. PMID:28098173

  12. Investigation on gene transfer from genetically modified corn (Zea mays L.) plants to soil bacteria.

    PubMed

    Ma, B L; Blackshaw, Robert E; Roy, Julie; He, Tianpei

    2011-01-01

    Knowledge about the prevalence and diversity of antibiotic resistance genes in soil bacteria communities is required to evaluate the possibility and ecological consequences of the transfer of these genes carried by genetically modified (GM) plants to soil bacteria. The neomycin phosphotransferase gene (nptII) conferring resistance to kanamycin and neomycin is one of the antibiotic resistance genes commonly present in GM plants. In this study, we investigated kanamycin-resistant (Km(R)) and neomycin-resistant (Nm(R)) soil bacterial populations in a 3-year field trial using a commercial GM corn (Zea mays L.) carrying the nptII gene and its near isogenic line. The results showed that a portion (2.3 - 15.6 %) of cultivable soil bacteria was naturally resistant to kanamycin or neomycin. However, no significant difference in the population level of Km(R) or Nm(R) soil bacteria was observed between the GM and non-GM corn fields. The nptII gene was not detected in any of the total 3000 Km(R) or Nm(R) isolates screened by PCR. Further, total soil bacterial cells were collected through Nycodenz gradient centrifugation and bacterial community DNA was subjected to PCR. Detection limit was about 500 cells per gram of fresh soil. Our study suggests that the nptII gene was relatively rare in the soil bacterial populations and there was no evidence of gene transfer from a GM corn plant to soil bacteria based on the data from total soil bacterial communities.

  13. Human glycolipid transfer protein (GLTP) genes: organization, transcriptional status and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Xianqiong; Chung, Taeowan; Lin, Xin; Malakhova, Margarita L; Pike, Helen M; Brown, Rhoderick E

    2008-01-01

    Background Glycolipid transfer protein is the prototypical and founding member of the new GLTP superfamily distinguished by a novel conformational fold and glycolipid binding motif. The present investigation provides the first insights into the organization, transcriptional status, phylogenetic/evolutionary relationships of GLTP genes. Results In human cells, single-copy GLTP genes were found in chromosomes 11 and 12. The gene at locus 11p15.1 exhibited several features of a potentially active retrogene, including a highly homologous (~94%), full-length coding sequence containing all key amino acid residues involved in glycolipid liganding. To establish the transcriptional activity of each human GLTP gene, in silico EST evaluations, RT-PCR amplifications of GLTP transcript(s), and methylation analyses of regulator CpG islands were performed using various human cells. Active transcription was found for 12q24.11 GLTP but 11p15.1 GLTP was transcriptionally silent. Heterologous expression and purification of the GLTP paralogs showed glycolipid intermembrane transfer activity only for 12q24.11 GLTP. Phylogenetic/evolutionary analyses indicated that the 5-exon/4-intron organizational pattern and encoded sequence of 12q24.11 GLTP were highly conserved in therian mammals and other vertebrates. Orthologs of the intronless GLTP gene were observed in primates but not in rodentiates, carnivorates, cetartiodactylates, or didelphimorphiates, consistent with recent evolutionary development. Conclusion The results identify and characterize the gene responsible for GLTP expression in humans and provide the first evidence for the existence of a GLTP pseudogene, while demonstrating the rigorous approach needed to unequivocally distinguish transcriptionally-active retrogenes from silent pseudogenes. The results also rectify errors in the Ensembl database regarding the organizational structure of the actively transcribed GLTP gene in Pan troglodytes and establish the intronless GLTP as

  14. Intra- and interspecies transfer and expression of Rhizobium japonicum hydrogen uptake genes and autotrophic growth capability

    PubMed Central

    Lambert, Grant R.; Cantrell, Michael A.; Hanus, F. Joe; Russell, Sterling A.; Haddad, Karen R.; Evans, Harold J.

    1985-01-01

    Cosmids containing hydrogen uptake genes have previously been isolated in this laboratory. Four new cosmids that contain additional hup gene(s) have now been identified by conjugal transfer of a Rhizobium japonicum 122DES gene bank into a Tn5-generated Hup- mutant and screening for the acquisition of Hup activity. The newly isolated cosmids, pHU50-pHU53, contain part of the previously isolated pHU1 but extend as far as 20 kilobases beyond its border. pHU52 complements five of six Hup- mutants and confers activity on several Hup- wild-type R. japonicum strains in the free-living state and where tested in nodules. Transconjugants obtained from interspecies transfer of pHU52 to Rhizobium meliloti 102F28, 102F32, and 102F51 and Rhizobium leguminosarum 128C53 showed hydrogen-dependent methyleneblue reduction, performed the oxyhydrogen reaction, and showed hydrogen-dependent autotrophic growth by virtue of the introduced genes. The identity of the presumptive transconjugants was confirmed by antibiotic-resistance profiles and by plant nodulation tests. Images PMID:16578786

  15. Retroviral-mediated gene transfer and expression of human phenylalanine hydroxylase in primary mouse hepatocytes.

    PubMed Central

    Peng, H; Armentano, D; MacKenzie-Graham, L; Shen, R F; Darlington, G; Ledley, F D; Woo, S L

    1988-01-01

    Genetic therapy for phenylketonuria (severe phenylalanine hydroxylase deficiency) may require introduction of a normal phenylalanine hydroxylase gene into hepatic cells of patients. We report development of a recombinant retrovirus based on the N2 vector for gene transfer and expression of human phenylalanine hydroxylase cDNA in primary mouse hepatocytes. This construct contains an internal promoter of the human alpha 1-antitrypsin gene driving transcription of the phenylalanine hydroxylase cDNA. Primary mouse hepatocytes were isolated from newborn mice, infected with the recombinant virus, and selected for expression of the neomycin-resistance gene. Hepatocytes transformed with the recombinant virus contained high levels of human phenylalanine hydroxylase mRNA transcripts originating form the retroviral and internal promoters. These results demonstrate that the transcriptional regulatory elements of the alpha 1-antitrypsin gene retain their tissue-specific function in the recombinant provirus and establish a method for efficient transfer and high-level expression of human phenylalanine hydroxylase in primary hepatocytes. Images PMID:3186716

  16. Graphene materials as 2D non-viral gene transfer vector platforms.

    PubMed

    Vincent, M; de Lázaro, I; Kostarelos, K

    2017-01-05

    Advances in genomics and gene therapy could offer solutions to many diseases that remain incurable today, however, one of the critical reasons halting clinical progress is due to the difficulty in designing efficient and safe delivery vectors for the appropriate genetic cargo. Safety and large-scale production concerns counter-balance the high gene transfer efficiency achieved with viral vectors, while non-viral strategies have yet to become sufficiently efficient. The extraordinary physicochemical, optical and photothermal properties of graphene-based materials (GBMs) could offer two-dimensional components for the design of nucleic acid carrier systems. We discuss here such properties and their implications for the optimization of gene delivery. While the design of such vectors is still in its infancy, we provide here an exhaustive and up-to-date analysis of the studies that have explored GBMs as gene transfer vectors, focusing on the functionalization strategies followed to improve vector performance and on the biological effects attained.Gene Therapy advance online publication, 5 January 2017; doi:10.1038/gt.2016.79.

  17. Sleeping Beauty-Mediated Drug Resistance Gene Transfer in Human Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells

    PubMed Central

    Hyland, Kendra A.; Olson, Erik R.; McIvor, R. Scott

    2015-01-01

    The Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon system can insert sequences into mammalian chromosomes, supporting long-term expression of both reporter and therapeutic genes. Hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) are an ideal therapeutic gene transfer target as they are used in therapy for a variety of hematologic and metabolic conditions. As successful SB-mediated gene transfer into human CD34+ HPCs has been reported by several laboratories, we sought to extend these studies to the introduction of a therapeutic gene conferring resistance to methotrexate (MTX), potentially providing a chemoprotective effect after engraftment. SB-mediated transposition of hematopoietic progenitors, using a transposon encoding an L22Y variant dihydrofolate reductase fused to green fluorescent protein, conferred resistance to methotrexate and dipyridamole, a nucleoside transport inhibitor that tightens MTX selection conditions, as assessed by in vitro hematopoietic colony formation. Transposition of individual transgenes was confirmed by sequence analysis of transposon–chromosome junctions recovered by linear amplification-mediated PCR. These studies demonstrate the potential of SB-mediated transposition of HPCs for expression of drug resistance genes for selective and chemoprotective applications. PMID:26176276

  18. Site-specific integration and tailoring of cassette design for sustainable gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Lombardo, Angelo; Cesana, Daniela; Genovese, Pietro; Di Stefano, Bruno; Provasi, Elena; Colombo, Daniele F; Neri, Margherita; Magnani, Zulma; Cantore, Alessio; Lo Riso, Pietro; Damo, Martina; Pello, Oscar M; Holmes, Michael C; Gregory, Philip D; Gritti, Angela; Broccoli, Vania; Bonini, Chiara; Naldini, Luigi

    2011-08-21

    Integrative gene transfer methods are limited by variable transgene expression and by the consequences of random insertional mutagenesis that confound interpretation in gene-function studies and may cause adverse events in gene therapy. Site-specific integration may overcome these hurdles. Toward this goal, we studied the transcriptional and epigenetic impact of different transgene expression cassettes, targeted by engineered zinc-finger nucleases to the CCR5 and AAVS1 genomic loci of human cells. Analyses performed before and after integration defined features of the locus and cassette design that together allow robust transgene expression without detectable transcriptional perturbation of the targeted locus and its flanking genes in many cell types, including primary human lymphocytes. We thus provide a framework for sustainable gene transfer in AAVS1 that can be used for dependable genetic manipulation, neutral marking of the cell and improved safety of therapeutic applications, and demonstrate its feasibility by rapidly generating human lymphocytes and stem cells carrying targeted and benign transgene insertions.

  19. Gene transfer into hematopoietic stem cells as treatment for primary immunodeficiency diseases.

    PubMed

    Candotti, Fabio

    2014-04-01

    Gene transfer into the hematopoietic stem cell has shown curative potential for a variety of hematological disorders. Primary immunodeficiency diseases have led to the way in this field of gene therapy as an example and a model. Clinical results from the past 15 years have shown that significant improvement and even cure can be achieved for diseases such as X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency, adenosine deaminase deficiency, chronic granulomatous disease and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. Unfortunately, with the initial clear clinical benefits, the first serious complications of gene therapy have also occurred. In a significant number of patients treated using vectors based on murine gamma-retroviruses and carrying powerful viral enhancer elements, insertional oncogenesis events have resulted in acute leukemias that, in some cases, have had fatal outcomes. These serious adverse events have sparked a revision of the assessment of risks and benefits of integrating gene transfer for hematological diseases and prompted the development and application of new generations of viral vectors with recognized superior safety characteristics. This review summarizes the clinical experience of gene therapy for primary immunodeficiencies and discusses the likely avenues of progress in the future development of this expanding field of clinical investigations.

  20. Lateral gene transfer in eukaryotes: tip of the iceberg or of the ice cube?

    PubMed

    Danchin, Etienne G J

    2016-11-18

    Lateral gene transfer (LGT) is the transmission of genes, sometimes across species barriers, outwith the classic vertical inheritance from parent to offspring. LGT is recognized as an important phenomenon that has shaped the genomes and biology of prokaryotes. Whether LGT in eukaryotes is important and widespread remains controversial. A study in BMC Biology concludes that LGT in eukaryotes is neither continuous nor prevalent and suggests a rule of thumb for judging when apparent LGT may reflect contamination.See research article: http://bmcbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12915-016-0315-9 .

  1. Gene Transfer by Guanidinium-Cholesterol Cationic Lipids into Airway Epithelial Cells in vitro and in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oudrhiri, Noufissa; Vigneron, Jean-Pierre; Peuchmaur, Michel; Leclerc, Tony; Lehn, Jean-Marie; Lehn, Pierre

    1997-03-01

    Synthetic vectors represent an attractive alternative approach to viral vectors for gene transfer, in particular into airway epithelial cells for lung-directed gene therapy for cystic fibrosis. Having recently found that guanidinium-cholesterol cationic lipids are efficient reagents for gene transfer into mammalian cell lines in vitro, we have investigated their use for gene delivery into primary airway epithelial cells in vitro and in vivo. The results obtained indicate that the lipid bis (guanidinium)-tren-cholesterol (BGTC) can be used to transfer a reporter gene into primary human airway epithelial cells in culture. Furthermore, liposomes composed of BGTC and dioleoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (DOPE) are efficient for gene delivery to the mouse airway epithelium in vivo. Transfected cells were detected both in the surface epithelium and in submucosal glands. In addition, the transfection efficiency of BGTC/DOPE liposomes in vivo was quantitatively assessed by using the luciferase reporter gene system.

  2. Bidirectional transfer of RNAi between honey bee and Varroa destructor: Varroa gene silencing reduces Varroa population.

    PubMed

    Garbian, Yael; Maori, Eyal; Kalev, Haim; Shafir, Sharoni; Sela, Ilan

    2012-12-01

    The mite Varroa destructor is an obligatory ectoparasite of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) and is one of the major threats to apiculture worldwide. We previously reported that honey bees fed on double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) with a sequence homologous to that of the Israeli acute paralysis virus are protected from the viral disease. Here we show that dsRNA ingested by bees is transferred to the Varroa mite and from mite on to a parasitized bee. This cross-species, reciprocal exchange of dsRNA between bee and Varroa engendered targeted gene silencing in the latter, and resulted in an over 60% decrease in the mite population. Thus, transfer of gene-silencing-triggering molecules between this invertebrate host and its ectoparasite could lead to a conceptually novel approach to Varroa control.

  3. Transfer of antibiotic-resistance genes via phage-related mobile elements.

    PubMed

    Brown-Jaque, Maryury; Calero-Cáceres, William; Muniesa, Maite

    2015-05-01

    Antibiotic resistance is a major concern for society because it threatens the effective prevention of infectious diseases. While some bacterial strains display intrinsic resistance, others achieve antibiotic resistance by mutation, by the recombination of foreign DNA into the chromosome or by horizontal gene acquisition. In many cases, these three mechanisms operate together. Several mobile genetic elements (MGEs) have been reported to mobilize different types of resistance genes and despite sharing common features, they are often considered and studied separately. Bacteriophages and phage-related particles have recently been highlighted as MGEs that transfer antibiotic resistance. This review focuses on phages, phage-related elements and on composite MGEs (phages-MGEs) involved in antibiotic resistance mobility. We review common features of these elements, rather than differences, and provide a broad overview of the antibiotic resistance transfer mechanisms observed in nature, which is a necessary first step to controlling them.

  4. Localized gene transfer and its application for the study of central cardiovascular control.

    PubMed

    Hirooka, Yoshitaka

    2006-06-30

    The arterial baroreceptor reflex is the major feedback control system that acts to stabilize blood pressure. Abnormalities of this reflex are considered to be an underlying mechanism in the cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and heart failure. There is accumulating evidence, however, that central nervous system mechanisms are involved in the enhanced sympathetic drive that occurs in these disease states. This article reviews studies performed in our laboratory in which a gene transfer technique, in combination with other methods, was used to determine the functional role of the central control of cardiovascular regulation. We developed a technique to transfer adenovirus vectors encoding specific genes into the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) or the rostral ventral medulla (RVLM) of rats in vivo. We applied this technique to hypertensive rats as well as in mice with heart failure to explore the pathophysiological significance of nitric oxide, reactive oxygen species, and Rho-kinase.

  5. Recombinant AAV-mediated gene transfer to the retina: gene therapy perspectives.

    PubMed

    Rolling, F

    2004-10-01

    Retinal degenerative diseases such as retinal macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa constitute a broad group of diseases that all share one critical feature, the progressive apoptotic loss of cells in the retina. There is currently no effective treatment available by which the course of these disorders can be modified, and visual dysfunction often progresses to total blindness. Gene therapy represents an attractive approach to treating retinal degeneration because the eye is easily accessible and allows local application of therapeutic vectors with reduced risk of systemic effects. Furthermore, transgene expression within the retina and effects of treatments may be monitored by a variety of noninvasive examinations. An increasing number of strategies for molecular treatment of retinal disease rely on recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) as a therapeutic gene delivery vector. Before rAAV-mediated gene therapy for retinal degeneration becomes a reality, there are a number of important requirements that include: (1) evaluation of different rAAV serotypes, (2) screening of vectors in large animals in order to ensure that they mediate safe and long-term gene expression, (3) appropriate regulation of therapeutic gene expression, (4) evaluation of vectors carrying a therapeutic gene in relevant animal models, (5) identification of suitable patients, and finally (6) manufacture of clinical grade vector. All these steps towards gene therapy are still being explored. Outcomes of these studies will be discussed in the order in which they occur, from vector studies to preclinical assessment of the therapeutic potential of rAAV in animal models of retinal degeneration.

  6. Bacteriophages Isolated from Chicken Meat and the Horizontal Transfer of Antimicrobial Resistance Genes

    PubMed Central

    Shousha, Amira; Awaiwanont, Nattakarn; Sofka, Dmitrij; Smulders, Frans J. M.; Paulsen, Peter; Szostak, Michael P.; Humphrey, Tom

    2015-01-01

    Antimicrobial resistance in microbes poses a global and increasing threat to public health. The horizontal transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes was thought to be due largely to conjugative plasmids or transposons, with only a minor part being played by transduction through bacteriophages. However, whole-genome sequencing has recently shown that the latter mechanism could be highly important in the exchange of antimicrobial resistance genes between microorganisms and environments. The transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes by phages could underlie the origin of resistant bacteria found in food. We show that chicken meat carries a number of phages capable of transferring antimicrobial resistance. Of 243 phages randomly isolated from chicken meat, about a quarter (24.7%) were able to transduce resistance to one or more of the five antimicrobials tested into Escherichia coli ATCC 13706 (DSM 12242). Resistance to kanamycin was transduced the most often, followed by that to chloramphenicol, with four phages transducing tetracycline resistance and three transducing ampicillin resistance. Phages able to transduce antimicrobial resistance were isolated from 44% of the samples of chicken meat that we tested. The statistically significant (P = 0.01) relationship between the presence of phages transducing kanamycin resistance and E. coli isolates resistant to this antibiotic suggests that transduction may be an important mechanism for transferring kanamycin resistance to E. coli. It appears that the transduction of resistance to certain antimicrobials, e.g., kanamycin, not only is widely distributed in E. coli isolates found on meat but also could represent a major mechanism for resistance transfer. The result is of high importance for animal and human health. PMID:25934615

  7. Bacteriophages Isolated from Chicken Meat and the Horizontal Transfer of Antimicrobial Resistance Genes.

    PubMed

    Shousha, Amira; Awaiwanont, Nattakarn; Sofka, Dmitrij; Smulders, Frans J M; Paulsen, Peter; Szostak, Michael P; Humphrey, Tom; Hilbert, Friederike

    2015-07-01

    Antimicrobial resistance in microbes poses a global and increasing threat to public health. The horizontal transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes was thought to be due largely to conjugative plasmids or transposons, with only a minor part being played by transduction through bacteriophages. However, whole-genome sequencing has recently shown that the latter mechanism could be highly important in the exchange of antimicrobial resistance genes between microorganisms and environments. The transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes by phages could underlie the origin of resistant bacteria found in food. We show that chicken meat carries a number of phages capable of transferring antimicrobial resistance. Of 243 phages randomly isolated from chicken meat, about a quarter (24.7%) were able to transduce resistance to one or more of the five antimicrobials tested into Escherichia coli ATCC 13706 (DSM 12242). Resistance to kanamycin was transduced the most often, followed by that to chloramphenicol, with four phages transducing tetracycline resistance and three transducing ampicillin resistance. Phages able to transduce antimicrobial resistance were isolated from 44% of the samples of chicken meat that we tested. The statistically significant (P = 0.01) relationship between the presence of phages transducing kanamycin resistance and E. coli isolates resistant to this antibiotic suggests that transduction may be an important mechanism for transferring kanamycin resistance to E. coli. It appears that the transduction of resistance to certain antimicrobials, e.g., kanamycin, not only is widely distributed in E. coli isolates found on meat but also could represent a major mechanism for resistance transfer. The result is of high importance for animal and human health.

  8. Gene therapy as a potential tool for treating neuroblastoma-a focused review.

    PubMed

    Kumar, M D; Dravid, A; Kumar, A; Sen, D

    2016-05-01

    Neuroblastoma, a solid tumor caused by rapid division of undifferentiated neuroblasts, is the most common childhood malignancy affecting children aged <5 years. Several approaches and strategies developed and tested to cure neuroblastoma have met with limited success due to different reasons. Many oncogenes are deregulated during the onset and development of neuroblastoma and thus offer an opportunity to circumvent this disease if the expression of these genes is restored to normalcy. Gene therapy is a powerful tool with the potential to inhibit the deleterious effects of oncogenes by inserting corrected/normal genes into the genome. Both viral and non-viral vector-based gene therapies have been developed and adopted to deliver the target genes into neuroblastoma cells. These attempts have given hope to bringing in a new regime of treatment against neuroblastoma. A few gene-therapy-based treatment strategies have been tested in limited clinical trials yielding some positive results. This mini review is an attempt to provide an overview of the available options of gene therapy to treat neuroblastoma.

  9. The Laboratory as a Tool for Learning Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, and Thermal Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neto, Alberto Hernandez; Tribess, Arlindo; Fiorelli, Flavio Augusto Sanzogo

    The consolidation of the theoretical concepts as well as the use and learning of experimental techniques that are compatible with the technological evolution has been the main goals in Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer and Thermal Systems Laboratories at Escola Politecnica of University of Sao Paulo. The infra-structure and experimental benches in…

  10. Using the DACUM Process as an Effective and Efficient Tool in International Technology Transfer Projects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lamoureux, Marvin E.; Leeper, Michael J.

    1996-01-01

    Explores two cases of the use of the DACUM (Developing a Curriculum) process in the transfer of technology from Canada to China. Describes the DACUM process and the Transport Systems Training Project that used it, illustrated with three DACUM charts. (JOW)