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Sample records for neuronal gene transfer

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. Images PMID:2827006

  5. Neuroprotective effect of adenoviral catalase gene transfer in cortical neuronal cultures.

    PubMed

    Gáspár, Tamás; Domoki, Ferenc; Lenti, Laura; Institoris, Adám; Snipes, James A; Bari, Ferenc; Busija, David W

    2009-05-13

    Reduced availability of reactive oxygen species is a key component of neuroprotection against various toxic stimuli. Recently we showed that the hydrogen peroxide scavenger catalase plays a central role in delayed preconditioning induced by the mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium channel opener BMS-191095. The purpose of the experiments discussed here was to investigate the neuroprotective effect of catalase in vitro using a recombinant adenoviral catalase gene transfer protocol. To induce catalase overexpression, cultured rat cortical neurons were infected with the adenoviral vector Ad5CMVcatalase and control cells were incubated with Ad5CMVntLacZ for 24 h. Gene transfer effectively increased catalase protein levels and activity, but did not influence other antioxidants tested. Ad5CMVcatalase, with up to 10 plaque forming units (pfu) per neuron, did not affect cell viability under control conditions and did not protect against glutamate excitotoxicity or oxygen-glucose deprivation. In contrast, catalase overexpression conferred a dose-dependent protection against exposure to hydrogen peroxide (viability: control, 33.02+/-1.09%; LacZ 10 pfu/cell, 32.85+/-1.51%; catalase 1 pfu/cell, 62.09+/-4.17%*; catalase 2 pfu/cell, 98.71+/-3.35%*; catalase 10 pfu/cell, 99.68+/-1.99%*; *p<0.05 vs. control; mean+/-SEM). Finally, the protection could be antagonized using the catalase inhibitor 3-aminotriazole. Our results support the view that enhancing cellular antioxidant capacity may play a crucial role in neuroprotective strategies.

  6. Neuroprotective effect of adenoviral catalase gene transfer in cortical neuronal cultures

    PubMed Central

    Gáspár, Tamás; Domoki, Ferenc; Lenti, Laura; Institoris, Ádám; Snipes, James A; Bari, Ferenc; Busija, David W

    2009-01-01

    Reduced availability of reactive oxygen species is a key component of neuroprotection against various toxic stimuli. Recently we showed that the hydrogen peroxide scavenger catalase plays a central role in delayed preconditioning induced by the mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium channel opener BMS-191095. The purpose of the experiments discussed here was to investigate the neuroprotective effect of catalase in vitro using a recombinant adenoviral catalase gene transfer protocol. To induce catalase overexpression, cultured rat cortical neurons were infected with the adenoviral vector Ad5CMVcatalase and control cells were incubated with Ad5CMVntLacZ for 24h. Gene transfer effectively increased catalase protein levels and activity, but did not influence other antioxidants tested. Ad5CMVcatalase, with up to 10 plaque forming units (pfu) per neuron, did not affect cell viability under control conditions and did not protect against glutamate excitotoxicity or oxygen-glucose deprivation. In contrast, catalase overexpression conferred a dose-dependent protection against exposure to hydrogen peroxide (viability: control, 33.02±1.09%; LacZ 10 pfu/cell, 32.85±1.51%; catalase 1 pfu/cell, 62.09±4.17%*; catalase 2 pfu/cell, 98.71±3.35%*; catalase 10 pfu/cell, 99.68±1.99%*; *p<0.05 vs. control; mean±SEM). Finally, the protection could be antagonized using the catalase inhibitor 3-aminotriazole. Our results support the view that enhancing cellular antioxidant capacity may play a crucial role in neuroprotective strategies. PMID:19302986

  7. Subretinal delivery of recombinant AAV serotype 8 vector in dogs results in gene transfer to neurons in the brain.

    PubMed

    Stieger, Knut; Colle, Marie-Anne; Dubreil, Laurence; Mendes-Madeira, Alexandra; Weber, Michel; Le Meur, Guylène; Deschamps, Jack Yves; Provost, Nathalie; Nivard, Delphine; Cherel, Yan; Moullier, Philippe; Rolling, Fabienne

    2008-05-01

    Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors are among the most efficient gene delivery vehicles for gene transfer to the retina. This study evaluates the behavior of the rAAV8 serotype vector with regard to intraocular delivery in rats and dogs. Subretinal delivery of an AAV2/8.gfp vector results in efficient gene transfer in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), the photoreceptors and, surprisingly, in the cells of the inner nuclear layer as well as in ganglion cells. Most importantly, in dogs, gene transfer also occurred distal to the injection site in neurons of the lateral geniculate nucleus of the brain. Because green fluorescent protein (GFP) was detected along the visual pathway within the brain, we analyzed total DNA extracted from various brain slices using PCR. Vector sequences were detected in many parts of the brain, but chiefly in the contralateral hemisphere.

  8. Replication-deficient adenovirus vector transfer of gfp reporter gene into supraoptic nucleus and subfornical organ neurons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vasquez, E. C.; Johnson, R. F.; Beltz, T. G.; Haskell, R. E.; Davidson, B. L.; Johnson, A. K.

    1998-01-01

    The present studies used defined cells of the subfornical organ (SFO) and supraoptic nuclei (SON) as model systems to demonstrate the efficacy of replication-deficient adenovirus (Ad) encoding green fluorescent protein (GFP) for gene transfer. The studies investigated the effects of both direct transfection of the SON and indirect transfection (i.e., via retrograde transport) of SFO neurons. The SON of rats were injected with Ad (2 x 10(6) pfu) and sacrificed 1-7 days later for cell culture of the SON and of the SFO. In the SON, GFP fluorescence was visualized in both neuronal and nonneuronal cells while only neurons in the SFO expressed GFP. Successful in vitro transfection of cultured cells from the SON and SFO was also achieved with Ad (2 x 10(6) to 2 x 10(8) pfu). The expression of GFP in in vitro transfected cells was higher in nonneuronal (approximately 28% in SON and SFO) than neuronal (approximately 4% in SON and 10% in SFO) cells. The expression of GFP was time and viral concentration related. No apparent alterations in cellular morphology of transfected cells were detected and electrophysiological characterization of transfected cells was similar between GFP-expressing and nonexpressing neurons. We conclude that (1) GFP is an effective marker for gene transfer in living SON and SFO cells, (2) Ad infects both neuronal and nonneuronal cells, (3) Ad is taken up by axonal projections from the SON and retrogradely transported to the SFO where it is expressed at detectable levels, and (4) Ad does not adversely affect neuronal viability. These results demonstrate the feasibility of using adenoviral vectors to deliver genes to the SFO-SON axis. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  9. Replication-deficient adenovirus vector transfer of gfp reporter gene into supraoptic nucleus and subfornical organ neurons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vasquez, E. C.; Johnson, R. F.; Beltz, T. G.; Haskell, R. E.; Davidson, B. L.; Johnson, A. K.

    1998-01-01

    The present studies used defined cells of the subfornical organ (SFO) and supraoptic nuclei (SON) as model systems to demonstrate the efficacy of replication-deficient adenovirus (Ad) encoding green fluorescent protein (GFP) for gene transfer. The studies investigated the effects of both direct transfection of the SON and indirect transfection (i.e., via retrograde transport) of SFO neurons. The SON of rats were injected with Ad (2 x 10(6) pfu) and sacrificed 1-7 days later for cell culture of the SON and of the SFO. In the SON, GFP fluorescence was visualized in both neuronal and nonneuronal cells while only neurons in the SFO expressed GFP. Successful in vitro transfection of cultured cells from the SON and SFO was also achieved with Ad (2 x 10(6) to 2 x 10(8) pfu). The expression of GFP in in vitro transfected cells was higher in nonneuronal (approximately 28% in SON and SFO) than neuronal (approximately 4% in SON and 10% in SFO) cells. The expression of GFP was time and viral concentration related. No apparent alterations in cellular morphology of transfected cells were detected and electrophysiological characterization of transfected cells was similar between GFP-expressing and nonexpressing neurons. We conclude that (1) GFP is an effective marker for gene transfer in living SON and SFO cells, (2) Ad infects both neuronal and nonneuronal cells, (3) Ad is taken up by axonal projections from the SON and retrogradely transported to the SFO where it is expressed at detectable levels, and (4) Ad does not adversely affect neuronal viability. These results demonstrate the feasibility of using adenoviral vectors to deliver genes to the SFO-SON axis. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  10. 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

  11. In vivo gene transfer to dopamine neurons of rat substantia nigra via the high-affinity neurotensin receptor.

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez-Maya, I.; Navarro-Quiroga, I.; Meraz-Ríos, M. A.; Aceves, J.; Martinez-Fong, D.

    2001-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Recently, we synthesized a nonviral gene vector capable of transfecting cell lines taking advantage of neurotensin (NT) internalization. The vector is NT cross-linked with poly-L-lysine, to which a plasmid DNA was bound to form a complex (NT-polyplex). Nigral dopamine neurons are able to internalize NT, thus representing a target for gene transfer via NT-polyplex. This hypothesis was tested here using reporter genes encoding green fluorescent protein or chloramphenicol acetyl transferase. MATERIALS AND METHODS: NT-polyplex was injected into the substantia nigra. Double immunofluorescence labeling was used to reveal the cell type involved in the propidium iodide-labeled polyplex internalization and reporter gene expression. RESULTS: Polyplex internalization was observed within dopamine neurons but not within glial cells, and was prevented by both hypertonic sucrose solution and SR-48692, a selective nonpeptide antagonist of NT receptors. Reporter gene expression was observed in dopamine neurons from 48 hr up to 15 days after NT-polyplex injection, and was prevented by SR-48692. However, no expression was seen when the NT-polyplex was injected into the ansiform lobule of the cerebellum, which contains low- but not high-affinity NT receptors. Neither internalization nor expression was observed in cultured glial cells, despite the NT-polyplex binding to those cells that was prevented by levocabastine, a low-affinity NT receptor antagonist. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that high-affinity NT receptors mediate the uptake of NT-polyplex with the subsequent reporter gene expression in vivo. NT polyfection may be used to transfer genes of physiologic interest to nigrostriatal dopamine neurons, and to produce transgenic animal models of dopamine-related diseases. PMID:11471555

  12. Parkin is protective for substantia nigra dopamine neurons in a tau gene transfer neurodegeneration model.

    PubMed

    Klein, Ronald L; Dayton, Robert D; Henderson, Karen M; Petrucelli, Leonard

    2006-06-19

    Parkin is a ubiquitin ligase involved in the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Elevating parkin expression in cells reduces markers of oxidative stress while blocking parkin expression increases oxidative stress. In parkin gene knock down mouse and fly models, mitochondria function is deficient. Parkin is neuroprotective against a variety of toxic insults, while it remains unclear which of the above properties of parkin may mediate the protective actions. One of the models for which parkin is protective is overexpression of alpha-synuclein, a protein that self-aggregates in Parkinson disease. The microtubule-associated protein tau is another protein that self-aggregates in specific neurodegenerative diseases that also involve loss of dopamine neurons such as frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17, progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration. We recently developed a tau-induced dopaminergic degeneration model in rats using adeno-associated virus vectors. In this study, we successfully targeted either a mixed tau/parkin vector or mixed tau/control vector to the rat substantia nigra. While there was significant loss of dopamine neurons in the tau/control group relative to uninjected substantia nigra, there was no cell loss in the tau/parkin group. We found no difference in total tau levels between tau/control and tau/parkin groups. Parkin therefore protects dopamine neurons against tau as it does against alpha-synuclein, which further supports parkin as a therapeutic target for diseases involving loss of dopamine neurons.

  13. Efficient neuronal gene transfer with AAV8 leads to neurotoxic levels of tau or green fluorescent proteins.

    PubMed

    Klein, Ronald L; Dayton, Robert D; Leidenheimer, Nancy J; Jansen, Karen; Golde, Todd E; Zweig, Richard M

    2006-03-01

    Adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotype 8 appears to be the strongest of the natural serotypes reported to date for gene transfer in liver and muscle. In this study, we evaluated AAV8 in the brain by several methods, including biophotonic imaging of green fluorescent protein (GFP). In the adult rat hippocampus, levels of GFP expressed were clearly greater with AAV8 than with AAV2 or AAV5 by Western blot and biophotonic imaging and slightly but significantly greater than AAV1 by Western blot. In the substantia nigra, the GFP expression conferred by AAV8 was toxic to dopamine neurons, although toxicity could be avoided with dose titration. At the low dose at which there was no GFP toxicity from the GFP vector, another AAV8 vector for a disease-related (P301L) form of the microtubule-associated protein tau caused a 78% loss of dopamine neurons and significant amphetamine-stimulated rotational behavior. The AAV8 tau vector-induced cell loss was greater than that from AAV2 or AAV5 tau vectors, demonstrating that the increased gene transfer was functional. While the toxicity observed with GFP expression warrants great caution, the efficient AAV8 is promising for animal models of neurodegenerative diseases and potentially as well for gene therapy of brain diseases.

  14. Antibody-mediated targeted gene transfer of helper virus-free HSV-1 vectors to rat neocortical neurons that contain either NMDA receptor 2B or 2A subunits.

    PubMed

    Cao, Haiyan; Zhang, Guo-rong; Geller, Alfred I

    2011-09-30

    Because of the numerous types of neurons in the brain, and particularly the forebrain, neuron type-specific expression will benefit many potential applications of direct gene transfer. The two most promising approaches for achieving neuron type-specific expression are targeted gene transfer to a specific type of neuron and using a neuron type-specific promoter. We previously developed antibody-mediated targeted gene transfer with Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1) vectors by modifying glycoprotein C (gC) to replace the heparin binding domain, which mediates the initial binding of HSV-1 particles to many cell types, with the Staphylococcus A protein ZZ domain, which binds immunoglobulin (Ig) G. We showed that a chimeric gC-ZZ protein is incorporated into vector particles and binds IgG. As a proof-of-principle for antibody-mediated targeted gene transfer, we isolated complexes of these vector particles and an anti-NMDA NR1 subunit antibody, and demonstrated targeted gene transfer to neocortical cells that contain NR1 subunits. However, because most forebrain neurons contain NR1, we obtained only a modest increase in the specificity of gene transfer, and this targeting specificity is of limited utility for physiological experiments. Here, we report efficient antibody-mediated targeted gene transfer to NMDA NR2B- or NR2A-containing cells in rat postrhinal cortex, and a neuron-specific promoter further restricted recombinant expression to neurons. Of note, because NR2A-containing neurons are relatively rare, these results show that antibody-mediated targeted gene transfer with HSV-1 vectors containing neuron type-specific promoters can restrict recombinant expression to specific types of forebrain neurons of physiological significance.

  15. Plasmid-mediated gene transfer in neurons using the biolistics technique.

    PubMed

    Biewenga, J E; Destrée, O H; Schrama, L H

    1997-01-01

    Biolistics has been developed as a system for gene delivery into plant cells, but has recently been introduced for transfection into mammalian tissue, including few attempts in neural cells. Basically, in this system the plasmid DNA of interest is coated onto small particles, that are accelerated by a particular driving force. The combination of several so-called 'ballistic' parameters and tissue parameters determine the transfection efficiency. The main advantage of the system is that it is, unlike other available transfection methods, a mechanical way to cross the plasma membrane and therefore less dependent on target cell characteristics. In terms of transfection efficiency, biolistics seems favorable above conventional techniques, like calcium phosphate precipitation and lipofection. Compared to viral techniques biolistics may be less efficient, but is quicker and easier to handle and seems to produce fewer complications for in vivo gene delivery. Therefore, although the technique is only in a developmental stage, preliminary results seem promising, and optimalization of the method may prove useful in scientific research and/or clinical use.

  16. Adenoviral and adeno-associated viral vectors-mediated neuronal gene transfer to cardiovascular control regions of the rat brain.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yanling; Gao, Yongxin; Speth, Robert C; Jiang, Nan; Mao, Yingying; Sumners, Colin; Li, Hongwei

    2013-01-01

    Viral vectors have been utilized extensively to introduce genetic material into the central nervous system. In order to investigate gene functions in cardiovascular control regions of rat brain, we applied WPRE (woodchuck hepatitis virus post-transcriptional regulatory element) enhanced-adenoviral (Ad) and adeno-assoicated virus (AAV) type 2 vectors to mediate neuronal gene delivery to the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, the nucleus tractus solitarius and the rostral ventrolateral medulla, three important cardiovascular control regions known to express renin-angiotensin system (RAS) genes. Ad or AAV2 harboring an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) reporter gene or the angiotensin type 2 receptor gene were microinjected into these brain regions in adult rats. Our results demonstrated that both AAV2 and Ad vectors elicited long-term neuronal transduction in these regions. Interestingly, we found that the WPRE caused expression of GFP driven by the synapsin1 promoter in pure glial cultures or co-cultures of neurons and glia derived from rat hypothalamus and brainstem. However, in rat paraventricular nucleus WPRE did not cause expression of GFP in glia. This demonstrates the potential use of these vectors in studies of physiological functions of certain genes in the cardiovascular control regions of the brain.

  17. Heat shock protein 70 reduces α-synuclein-induced predegenerative neuronal dystrophy in the α-synuclein viral gene transfer rat model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Moloney, Teresa C; Hyland, Rhona; O'Toole, Daniel; Paucard, Alexia; Kirik, Deniz; O'Doherty, Aideen; Gorman, Adrienne M; Dowd, Eilís

    2014-01-01

    It has become increasingly evident that the nigrostriatal degeneration associated with Parkinson's disease initiates at the level of the axonal terminals in the putamen, and this nigrostriatal terminal dystrophy is either caused or exacerbated by the presence of α-synuclein immunopositive neuronal inclusions. Therefore, strategies aimed at reducing α-synuclein-induced early neuronal dystrophy may slow or halt the progression to overt nigrostriatal neurodegeneration. Thus, this study sought to determine if adeno-associated virus (AAV) mediated overexpression of two molecular chaperone heat shock proteins, namely Hsp27 or Hsp70, in the AAV-α-synuclein viral gene transfer rat model of Parkinson's disease could prevent α-synuclein-induced early neuronal pathology. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were intranigrally coinjected with pathogenic (AAV-α-synuclein) and putative therapeutic (AAV-Hsp27 or AAV-Hsp70) viral vectors and were sacrificed 18 weeks postviral injection. Intranigral injection of AAV-α-synuclein resulted in significant α-synuclein accumulation in the substantia nigra and striatal terminals which led to significant dystrophy of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons without overt nigrostriatal neurodegeneration. Coinjection of AAV-Hsp70, but not AAV-Hsp27, significantly reduced AAV-α-synuclein-induced neuronal dystrophy. These data confirm that overexpression of Hsp70 holds significant potential as a disease-modulating therapeutic approach for Parkinson's disease, with protective effects against early-onset α-synuclein-induced pathology demonstrated in the AAV-α-synuclein model. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. rAAV8-733-Mediated Gene Transfer of CHIP/Stub-1 Prevents Hippocampal Neuronal Death in Experimental Brain Ischemia.

    PubMed

    Cabral-Miranda, Felipe; Nicoloso-Simões, Elisa; Adão-Novaes, Juliana; Chiodo, Vince; Hauswirth, William W; Linden, Rafael; Chiarini, Luciana Barreto; Petrs-Silva, Hilda

    2017-02-01

    Brain ischemia is a major cause of adult disability and death, and it represents a worldwide health problem with significant economic burden for modern society. The identification of the molecular pathways activated after brain ischemia, together with efficient technologies of gene delivery to the CNS, may lead to novel treatments based on gene therapy. Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) is an effective platform for gene transfer to the CNS. Here, we used a serotype 8 rAAV bearing the Y733F mutation (rAAV8-733) to overexpress co-chaperone E3 ligase CHIP (also known as Stub-1) in rat hippocampal neurons, both in an oxygen and glucose deprivation model in vitro and in a four-vessel occlusion model of ischemia in vivo. We show that CHIP overexpression prevented neuronal degeneration in both cases and led to a decrease of both eIF2α (serine 51) and AKT (serine 473) phosphorylation, as well as reduced amounts of ubiquitinated proteins following hypoxia or ischemia. These data add to current knowledge of ischemia-related signaling in the brain and suggest that gene therapy based on the role of CHIP in proteostasis may provide a new venue for brain ischemia treatment. Copyright © 2017 The American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Antibody-mediated targeted gene transfer to NMDA NR1-containing neurons in rat neocortex by helper virus-free HSV-1 vector particles containing a chimeric HSV-1 glycoprotein C-staphylococcus A protein.

    PubMed

    Cao, Haiyan; Zhang, Guo-Rong; Geller, Alfred I

    2010-09-10

    Because of the heterogeneous cellular composition of the brain, and especially the forebrain, cell type-specific expression will benefit many potential applications of direct gene transfer. The two prevalent approaches for achieving cell type-specific expression are using a cell type-specific promoter or targeting gene transfer to a specific cell type. Targeted gene transfer with Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1) vectors modifies glycoprotein C (gC) to replace the heparin binding domain, which binds to many cell types, with a binding activity for a specific cell surface protein. We previously reported targeted gene transfer to nigrostriatal neurons using chimeric gC-glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor or gC-brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein. Unfortunately, this approach is limited to cells that express the cognate receptor for either neurotrophic factor. Thus, a general strategy for targeting gene transfer to many different types of neurons is desirable. Antibody-mediated targeted gene transfer has been developed for targeting specific virus vectors to specific peripheral cell types; a specific vector particle protein is modified to contain the Staphylococcus A protein ZZ domain, which binds immunoglobulin (Ig) G. Here, we report antibody-mediated targeted gene transfer of HSV-1 vectors to a specific type of forebrain neuron. We constructed a chimeric gC-ZZ protein, and showed this protein is incorporated into vector particles and binds Ig G. Complexes of these vector particles and an antibody to the NMDA receptor NR1 subunit supported targeted gene transfer to NR1-containing neocortical neurons in the rat brain, with long-term (2 months) expression.

  20. [Neuronal plasticity and gene expression].

    PubMed

    Sokolova, O O; Shtark, M B; Lisachev, P D

    2010-01-01

    Neuronal plasticity--a fundamental feature of brain--provides adequate interactions with dynamic environment. One of the most deeply investigated forms of the neuronal plasticity is a long-term potentiation (LTP)--a phenomenon underlying learning and memory. Signal paths activated during LTP converge into the nuclear of the neuron, giving rise to launch of the molecular-genetic programs, which mediate structural and functional remodeling of synapses. In the review data concerning involvement of multilevel gene expression into plastic change under neuronal activation are summarized.

  1. Gene transfer to the cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Louboutin, Jean-Pierre; Reyes, Beverly A S; Van Bockstaele, Elisabeth J; Strayer, David S

    2010-12-01

    There are several diseases for which gene transfer therapy to the cerebellum might be practicable. In these studies, we used recombinant Tag-deleted SV40-derived vectors (rSV40s) to study gene delivery targeting the cerebellum. These vectors transduce neurons and microglia very effectively in vitro and in vivo, and so we tested them to evaluate gene transfer to the cerebellum in vivo. Using a rSV40 vector carrying human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-Nef with a C-terminal FLAG epitope, we characterized the distribution, duration, and cell types transduced. Rats received test and control vectors by stereotaxic injection into the cerebellum. Transgene expression was assessed 1, 2, and 4 weeks later by immunostaining of serial brain sections. FLAG epitope-expressing cells were seen, at all times after vector administration, principally detected in the Purkinje cells of the cerebellum, identified as immunopositive for calbindin. Occasional microglial cells were tranduced; transgene expression was not detected in astrocytes or oligodendrocytes. No inflammatory or other reaction was detected at any time. Thus, SV40-derived vectors can deliver effective, safe, and durable transgene expression to the cerebellum.

  2. 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

  3. Evolutionary genomics: transdomain gene transfers.

    PubMed

    Bordenstein, Seth R

    2007-11-06

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

  4. 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

  5. PPARγ-coactivator-1α gene transfer reduces neuronal loss and amyloid-β generation by reducing β-secretase in an Alzheimer's disease model.

    PubMed

    Katsouri, Loukia; Lim, Yau M; Blondrath, Katrin; Eleftheriadou, Ioanna; Lombardero, Laura; Birch, Amy M; Mirzaei, Nazanin; Irvine, Elaine E; Mazarakis, Nicholas D; Sastre, Magdalena

    2016-10-25

    Current therapies for Alzheimer's disease (AD) are symptomatic and do not target the underlying Aβ pathology and other important hallmarks including neuronal loss. PPARγ-coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) is a cofactor for transcription factors including the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ), and it is involved in the regulation of metabolic genes, oxidative phosphorylation, and mitochondrial biogenesis. We previously reported that PGC-1α also regulates the transcription of β-APP cleaving enzyme (BACE1), the main enzyme involved in Aβ generation, and its expression is decreased in AD patients. We aimed to explore the potential therapeutic effect of PGC-1α by generating a lentiviral vector to express human PGC-1α and target it by stereotaxic delivery to hippocampus and cortex of APP23 transgenic mice at the preclinical stage of the disease. Four months after injection, APP23 mice treated with hPGC-1α showed improved spatial and recognition memory concomitant with a significant reduction in Aβ deposition, associated with a decrease in BACE1 expression. hPGC-1α overexpression attenuated the levels of proinflammatory cytokines and microglial activation. This effect was accompanied by a marked preservation of pyramidal neurons in the CA3 area and increased expression of neurotrophic factors. The neuroprotective effects were secondary to a reduction in Aβ pathology and neuroinflammation, because wild-type mice receiving the same treatment were unaffected. These results suggest that the selective induction of PGC-1α gene in specific areas of the brain is effective in targeting AD-related neurodegeneration and holds potential as therapeutic intervention for this disease.

  6. PPARγ-coactivator-1α gene transfer reduces neuronal loss and amyloid-β generation by reducing β-secretase in an Alzheimer’s disease model

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Yau M.; Blondrath, Katrin; Eleftheriadou, Ioanna; Lombardero, Laura; Birch, Amy M.; Mirzaei, Nazanin; Irvine, Elaine E.; Mazarakis, Nicholas D.; Sastre, Magdalena

    2016-01-01

    Current therapies for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are symptomatic and do not target the underlying Aβ pathology and other important hallmarks including neuronal loss. PPARγ-coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) is a cofactor for transcription factors including the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ), and it is involved in the regulation of metabolic genes, oxidative phosphorylation, and mitochondrial biogenesis. We previously reported that PGC-1α also regulates the transcription of β-APP cleaving enzyme (BACE1), the main enzyme involved in Aβ generation, and its expression is decreased in AD patients. We aimed to explore the potential therapeutic effect of PGC-1α by generating a lentiviral vector to express human PGC-1α and target it by stereotaxic delivery to hippocampus and cortex of APP23 transgenic mice at the preclinical stage of the disease. Four months after injection, APP23 mice treated with hPGC-1α showed improved spatial and recognition memory concomitant with a significant reduction in Aβ deposition, associated with a decrease in BACE1 expression. hPGC-1α overexpression attenuated the levels of proinflammatory cytokines and microglial activation. This effect was accompanied by a marked preservation of pyramidal neurons in the CA3 area and increased expression of neurotrophic factors. The neuroprotective effects were secondary to a reduction in Aβ pathology and neuroinflammation, because wild-type mice receiving the same treatment were unaffected. These results suggest that the selective induction of PGC-1α gene in specific areas of the brain is effective in targeting AD-related neurodegeneration and holds potential as therapeutic intervention for this disease. PMID:27791018

  7. AAV-dominant negative tumor necrosis factor (DN-TNF) gene transfer to the striatum does not rescue medium spiny neurons in the YAC128 mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Alto, Laura Taylor; Chen, Xi; Ruhn, Kelly A; Treviño, Isaac; Tansey, Malú G

    2014-01-01

    CNS inflammation is a hallmark of neurodegenerative disease, and recent studies suggest that the inflammatory response may contribute to neuronal demise. In particular, increased tumor necrosis factor (TNF) signaling is implicated in the pathology of both Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). We have previously shown that localized gene delivery of dominant negative TNF to the degenerating brain region can limit pathology in animal models of PD and AD. TNF is upregulated in Huntington's disease (HD), like in PD and AD, but it is unknown whether TNF signaling contributes to neuronal degeneration in HD. We used in vivo gene delivery to test whether selective reduction of soluble TNF signaling could attenuate medium spiny neuron (MSN) degeneration in the YAC128 transgenic (TG) mouse model of Huntington's disease (HD). AAV vectors encoding cDNA for dominant-negative tumor necrosis factor (DN-TNF) or GFP (control) were injected into the striatum of young adult wild type WT and YAC128 TG mice and achieved 30-50% target coverage. Expression of dominant negative TNF protein was confirmed immunohistologically and biochemically and was maintained as mice aged to one year, but declined significantly over time. However, the extent of striatal DN-TNF gene transfer achieved in our studies was not sufficient to achieve robust effects on neuroinflammation, rescue degenerating MSNs or improve motor function in treated mice. Our findings suggest that alternative drug delivery strategies should be explored to determine whether greater target coverage by DN-TNF protein might afford some level of neuroprotection against HD-like pathology and/or that soluble TNF signaling may not be the primary driver of striatal neuroinflammation and MSN loss in YAC128 TG mice.

  8. Aplysia californica neurons express microinjected neuropeptide genes.

    PubMed Central

    DesGroseillers, L; Cowan, D; Miles, M; Sweet, A; Scheller, R H

    1987-01-01

    Neuropeptide genes are expressed in specific subsets of large polyploid neurons in Aplysia californica. We have defined the transcription initiation sites of three of these neuropeptide genes (the R14, L11, and ELH genes) and determined the nucleotide sequence of the promoter regions. The genes contain the usual eucaryotic promoter signals as well as other structures of potential regulatory importance, including inverted and direct repeats. The L11 and ELH genes, which are otherwise unrelated, have homology in the promoter regions, while the R14 promoter was distinct. When cloned plasmids were microinjected into Aplysia neurons in organ culture, transitions between supercoiled, relaxed circular, and linear DNAs occurred along with ligation into high-molecular-weight species. About 20% of the microinjected neurons expressed the genes. The promoter region of the R14 gene functioned in expression of the microinjected DNA in all cells studied. When both additional 5' and 3' sequences were included, the gene was specifically expressed only in R14, suggesting that the specificity of expression is generated by a multicomponent repression system. Finally, the R14 peptide could be expressed in L11, demonstrating that it is possible to alter the transmitter phenotype of these neurons by introduction of cloned genes. Images PMID:3670293

  9. Gene regulatory logic of dopaminergic neuron differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Flames, Nuria; Hobert, Oliver

    2009-01-01

    Dopamine signaling regulates a variety of complex behaviors and defects in dopaminergic neuron function or survival result in severe human pathologies, such as Parkinson's disease 1. The common denominator of all dopaminergic neurons is the expression of dopamine pathway genes, which code for a set of phylogenetically conserved proteins involved in dopamine synthesis and transport. Gene regulatory mechanisms that result in the activation of dopamine pathway genes and thereby ultimately determine the identity of dopaminergic neurons are poorly understood in any system studied to date 2. We show here that a simple cis-regulatory element, the DA motif, controls the expression of all dopamine pathway genes in all dopaminergic cell types in C. elegans. The DA motif is activated by the ETS transcription factor, AST-1. Loss of ast-1 results in the failure of all distinct dopaminergic neuronal subtypes to terminally differentiate. Ectopic expression of ast-1 is sufficient to activate the dopamine production pathway in some cellular contexts. Vertebrate dopaminergic pathway genes also contain phylogenetically conserved DA motifs that can be activated by the mouse ETS transcription factor Etv1/ER81 and a specific class of dopaminergic neurons fails to differentiate in mice lacking Etv1/ER81. Moreover, ectopic Etv1/ER81 expression induces dopaminergic fate marker expression in neuronal primary cultures. Mouse Etv1/ER81 can also functionally substitute for ast-1 in C.elegans. Our studies reveal an astoundingly simple and apparently conserved regulatory logic of dopaminergic neuron terminal differentiation and may provide new entry points into the diagnosis or therapy of conditions in which dopamine neurons are defective. PMID:19287374

  10. 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.

  11. Rich club neurons dominate Information Transfer in local cortical networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nigam, Sunny; Shimono, Masanori; Sporns, Olaf; Beggs, John

    2015-03-01

    The performance of complex networks depends on how they route their traffic. It is unknown how information is transferred in local cortical networks of hundreds of closely-spaced neurons. To address this, it is necessary to record simultaneously from hundreds of neurons at a spacing that matches typical axonal connection distances, and at a temporal resolution that matches synaptic delays. We used a 512 electrode array (60 μm spacing) to record spontaneous activity at 20 kHz, simultaneously from up to 700 neurons in slice cultures of mouse somatosensory cortex for 1 hr at a time. We used transfer entropy to quantify directed information transfer (IT) between pairs of neurons. We found an approximately lognormal distribution of firing rates as reported in in-vivo. Pairwise information transfer strengths also were nearly lognormally distributed, similar to synaptic strengths. 20% of the neurons accounted for 70% of the total IT coming into, and going out of the network and were defined as rich nodes. These rich nodes were more densely and strongly connected to each other expected by chance, forming a rich club. This highly uneven distribution of IT has implications for the efficiency and robustness of local cortical networks, and gives clues to the plastic processes that shape them. JSPS.

  12. Horizontal gene transfer in chromalveolates

    PubMed Central

    Nosenko, Tetyana; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2007-01-01

    Background Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), the non-genealogical transfer of genetic material between different organisms, is considered a potentially important mechanism of genome evolution in eukaryotes. Using phylogenomic analyses of expressed sequence tag (EST) data generated from a clonal cell line of a free living dinoflagellate alga Karenia brevis, we investigated the impact of HGT on genome evolution in unicellular chromalveolate protists. Results We identified 16 proteins that have originated in chromalveolates through ancient HGTs before the divergence of the genera Karenia and Karlodinium and one protein that was derived through a more recent HGT. Detailed analysis of the phylogeny and distribution of identified proteins demonstrates that eight have resulted from independent HGTs in several eukaryotic lineages. Conclusion Recurring intra- and interdomain gene exchange provides an important source of genetic novelty not only in parasitic taxa as previously demonstrated but as we show here, also in free-living protists. Investigating the tempo and mode of evolution of horizontally transferred genes in protists will therefore advance our understanding of mechanisms of adaptation in eukaryotes. PMID:17894863

  13. Immunology of neonatal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Ponder, Katherine P

    2007-10-01

    Gene therapy could result in the permanent correction or amelioration of the clinical manifestations of many genetic diseases. However, immune responses to the therapeutic protein pose a significant hurdle for successful gene therapy. Problematic immune responses can include the development of a cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response that results in the destruction of genetically-modified cells and/or the formation of antibodies directed against the therapeutic protein. One approach to avoid an immune response is to perform gene therapy in newborns, which takes advantage of the fact that the immune system is relatively immature at birth. This approach has been highly effective in mice, and has resulted in stable expression without antibody formation for proteins that are highly immunogenic after transfer to adults. High levels of expression after neonatal gene therapy were more effective at inducing tolerance than low levels of expression in mice, which suggests that high antigen levels are more efficient at inducing tolerance. A criticism of this approach is that the murine immune system is less mature at birth than the immune systems of larger animals. Indeed, neonatal gene therapy to cats with mucopolysaccharidosis I resulted in a CTL response that destroyed expressing cells. Nevertheless, the immune system was still relatively immature, as transient administration of a single immunosuppressive agent at the time of neonatal gene therapy resulted in stable expression. Neonatal administration can reduce, but not eliminate, immune responses after gene therapy.

  14. Signal transfer within a cultured asymmetric cortical neuron circuit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isomura, Takuya; Shimba, Kenta; Takayama, Yuzo; Takeuchi, Akimasa; Kotani, Kiyoshi; Jimbo, Yasuhiko

    2015-12-01

    Objective. Simplified neuronal circuits are required for investigating information representation in nervous systems and for validating theoretical neural network models. Here, we developed patterned neuronal circuits using micro fabricated devices, comprising a micro-well array bonded to a microelectrode-array substrate. Approach. The micro-well array consisted of micrometre-scale wells connected by tunnels, all contained within a silicone slab called a micro-chamber. The design of the micro-chamber confined somata to the wells and allowed axons to grow through the tunnels bidirectionally but with a designed, unidirectional bias. We guided axons into the point of the arrow structure where one of the two tunnel entrances is located, making that the preferred direction. Main results. When rat cortical neurons were cultured in the wells, their axons grew through the tunnels and connected to neurons in adjoining wells. Unidirectional burst transfers and other asymmetric signal-propagation phenomena were observed via the substrate-embedded electrodes. Seventy-nine percent of burst transfers were in the forward direction. We also observed rapid propagation of activity from sites of local electrical stimulation, and significant effects of inhibitory synapse blockade on bursting activity. Significance. These results suggest that this simple, substrate-controlled neuronal circuit can be applied to develop in vitro models of the function of cortical microcircuits or deep neural networks, better to elucidate the laws governing the dynamics of neuronal networks.

  15. Transfer of mitochondria from astrocytes to neurons after stroke

    PubMed Central

    Hayakawa, Kazuhide; Esposito, Elga; Wang, Xiaohua; Terasaki, Yasukazu; Liu, Yi; Xing, Changhong; Ji, Xunming; Lo, Eng H.

    2016-01-01

    Recently, it was suggested that neurons can release and transfer damaged mitochondria to astrocytes for disposal and recycling 1. This ability to exchange mitochondria may represent a potential mode of cell-cell signaling in the central nervous system (CNS). Here, we show that astrocytes can also release functional mitochondria that enter into neurons. Astrocytic release of extracellular mitochondria particles was mediated by a calcium-dependent mechanism involving CD38/cyclic ADP ribose signaling. Transient focal cerebral ischemia in mice induced astrocytic mitochondria entry to adjacent neurons that amplified cell survival signals. Suppression of CD38 signaling with siRNA reduced extracellular mitochondria transfer and worsened neurological outcomes. These findings suggest a new mitochondrial mechanism of neuroglial crosstalk that may contribute to endogenous neuroprotective and neurorecovery mechanisms after stroke. PMID:27466127

  16. Transfer of mitochondria from astrocytes to neurons after stroke.

    PubMed

    Hayakawa, Kazuhide; Esposito, Elga; Wang, Xiaohua; Terasaki, Yasukazu; Liu, Yi; Xing, Changhong; Ji, Xunming; Lo, Eng H

    2016-07-28

    Neurons can release damaged mitochondria and transfer them to astrocytes for disposal and recycling. This ability to exchange mitochondria may represent a potential mode of cell-to-cell signalling in the central nervous system. Here we show that astrocytes in mice can also release functional mitochondria that enter neurons. Astrocytic release of extracellular mitochondrial particles was mediated by a calcium-dependent mechanism involving CD38 and cyclic ADP ribose signalling. Transient focal cerebral ischaemia in mice induced entry of astrocytic mitochondria into adjacent neurons, and this entry amplified cell survival signals. Suppression of CD38 signalling by short interfering RNA reduced extracellular mitochondria transfer and worsened neurological outcomes. These findings suggest a new mitochondrial mechanism of neuroglial crosstalk that may contribute to endogenous neuroprotective and neurorecovery mechanisms after stroke.

  17. Antioxidant gene therapy against neuronal cell death

    PubMed Central

    Navarro-Yepes, Juliana; Zavala-Flores, Laura; Annadurai, Anandhan; Wang, Fang; Skotak, Maciej; Chandra, Namas; Li, Ming; Pappa, Aglaia; Martinez-Fong, Daniel; Razo, Luz Maria Del; Quintanilla-Vega, Betzabet; Franco, Rodrigo

    2014-01-01

    Oxidative stress is a common hallmark of neuronal cell death associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, as well as brain stroke/ischemia and traumatic brain injury. Increased accumulation of reactive species of both oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen (RNS) has been implicated in mitochondrial dysfunction, energy impairment, alterations in metal homeostasis and accumulation of aggregated proteins observed in neurodegenerative disorders, which lead to the activation/modulation of cell death mechanisms that include apoptotic, necrotic and autophagic pathways. Thus, the design of novel antioxidant strategies to selectively target oxidative stress and redox imbalance might represent important therapeutic approaches against neurological disorders. This work reviews the evidence demonstrating the ability of genetically encoded antioxidant systems to selectively counteract neuronal cell loss in neurodegenerative diseases and ischemic brain damage. Because gene therapy approaches to treat inherited and acquired disorders offer many unique advantages over conventional therapeutic approaches, we discussed basic research/clinical evidence and the potential of virus-mediated gene delivery techniques for antioxidant gene therapy. PMID:24333264

  18. The molecular and gene regulatory signature of a neuron

    PubMed Central

    Hobert, Oliver; Carrera, Inés; Stefanakis, Nikolaos

    2010-01-01

    Neuron-type specific gene batteries define the morphological and functional diversity of cell types in the nervous system. Here, we discuss the composition of neuron-type specific gene batteries and illustrate gene regulatory strategies employed by distinct organisms from C.elegans to higher vertebrates, which are instrumental in determining the unique gene expression profile and molecular composition of individual neuronal cell types. Based on principles learned from prokaryotic gene regulation, we argue that neuronal, terminal gene batteries are functionally grouped into parallel acting “regulons”. The theoretical concepts discussed here provide testable hypotheses for future experimental analysis into the exact gene regulatory mechanisms that are employed in the generation of neuronal diversity and identity. PMID:20663572

  19. Tunneling nanotube (TNT)-mediated neuron-to neuron transfer of pathological Tau protein assemblies.

    PubMed

    Tardivel, Meryem; Bégard, Séverine; Bousset, Luc; Dujardin, Simon; Coens, Audrey; Melki, Ronald; Buée, Luc; Colin, Morvane

    2016-11-04

    A given cell makes exchanges with its neighbors through a variety of means ranging from diffusible factors to vesicles. Cells use also tunneling nanotubes (TNTs), filamentous-actin-containing membranous structures that bridge and connect cells. First described in immune cells, TNTs facilitate HIV-1 transfer and are found in various cell types, including neurons. We show that the microtubule-associated protein Tau, a key player in Alzheimer's disease, is a bona fide constituent of TNTs. This is important because Tau appears beside filamentous actin and myosin 10 as a specific marker of these fine protrusions of membranes and cytosol that are difficult to visualize. Furthermore, we observed that exogenous Tau species increase the number of TNTs established between primary neurons, thereby facilitating the intercellular transfer of Tau fibrils. In conclusion, Tau may contribute to the formation and function of the highly dynamic TNTs that may be involved in the prion-like propagation of Tau assemblies.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Bone mesenchymal stem cells for gene transfer of NGF to the adult rat brain: rescue the NGFR p75 positive neurons from fimbria-fornix lesion-induced degeneration.

    PubMed

    Leng, Shuilong; He, Junfeng; Fan, Wenguo; Cheng, Shaowu; Long, Dahong; He, Hongwen

    2008-12-31

    The study was to evaluate the therapeutic benefit of transplanted bone mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) transfected never growth factor (NGF) gene and GFP gene (as a reporter gene), in treating the rat with fimbria-fornix lesion. After transduction of NGF gene via recombinant retroviral vectors into the rat BMSCs, BMSCs were therefore transformed into the GFP-NGF positive BMSCs, nearly 100% of BMSCs expressed NGF, and then transplanted into basal forebrain of rat with fimbria-fornix lesion. After 2 weeks post-transplantation, the GFP-NGF positive BMSCs survive and fuse in vivo with astroglia or NGFR p75 positive neurons in the basal forebrain, no evidence of transdifferentiation was observed in this study. The number of NGFR p75 positive neurons in basal forebrain of NGF group was significantly higher than those of the void plasmid group (p < 0.05) or the PBS group (p < 0.01). These results indicate that the GFP-NGF positive BMSCs provide, by way of paracrine, NGF that effectively perform the functions of neuroprotection, which cell fusion may be also contribute to.

  4. Latent herpes simplex virus infection of sensory neurons alters neuronal gene expression.

    PubMed

    Kramer, Martha F; Cook, W James; Roth, Frederick P; Zhu, Jia; Holman, Holly; Knipe, David M; Coen, Donald M

    2003-09-01

    The persistence of herpes simplex virus (HSV) and the diseases that it causes in the human population can be attributed to the maintenance of a latent infection within neurons in sensory ganglia. Little is known about the effects of latent infection on the host neuron. We have addressed the question of whether latent HSV infection affects neuronal gene expression by using microarray transcript profiling of host gene expression in ganglia from latently infected versus mock-infected mouse trigeminal ganglia. (33)P-labeled cDNA probes from pooled ganglia harvested at 30 days postinfection or post-mock infection were hybridized to nylon arrays printed with 2,556 mouse genes. Signal intensities were acquired by phosphorimager. Mean intensities (n = 4 replicates in each of three independent experiments) of signals from mock-infected versus latently infected ganglia were compared by using a variant of Student's t test. We identified significant changes in the expression of mouse neuronal genes, including several with roles in gene expression, such as the Clk2 gene, and neurotransmission, such as genes encoding potassium voltage-gated channels and a muscarinic acetylcholine receptor. We confirmed the neuronal localization of some of these transcripts by using in situ hybridization. To validate the microarray results, we performed real-time reverse transcriptase PCR analyses for a selection of the genes. These studies demonstrate that latent HSV infection can alter neuronal gene expression and might provide a new mechanism for how persistent viral infection can cause chronic disease.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Nerve Growth Factor Gene Therapy: Activation of Neuronal Responses in Alzheimer Disease.

    PubMed

    Tuszynski, Mark H; Yang, Jennifer H; Barba, David; U, Hoi-Sang; Bakay, Roy A E; Pay, Mary M; Masliah, Eliezer; Conner, James M; Kobalka, Peter; Roy, Subhojit; Nagahara, Alan H

    2015-10-01

    Alzheimer disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder and lacks effective disease-modifying therapies. In 2001, we initiated a clinical trial of nerve growth factor (NGF) gene therapy in AD, the first effort at gene delivery in an adult neurodegenerative disorder. This program aimed to determine whether a nervous system growth factor prevents or reduces cholinergic neuronal degeneration in patients with AD. We present postmortem findings in 10 patients with survival times ranging from 1 to 10 years after treatment. To determine whether degenerating neurons in AD retain an ability to respond to a nervous system growth factor delivered after disease onset. Patients in this anatomicopathological study were enrolled in clinical trials from March 2001 to October 2012 at the University of California, San Diego, Medical Center in La Jolla. Ten patients with early AD underwent NGF gene therapy using ex vivo or in vivo gene transfer. The brains of all 8 patients in the first phase 1 ex vivo trial and of 2 patients in a subsequent phase 1 in vivo trial were examined. Brains were immunolabeled to evaluate in vivo gene expression, cholinergic neuronal responses to NGF, and activation of NGF-related cell signaling. In 2 patients, NGF protein levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Among 10 patients, degenerating neurons in the AD brain responded to NGF. All patients exhibited a trophic response to NGF in the form of axonal sprouting toward the NGF source. Comparing treated and nontreated sides of the brain in 3 patients who underwent unilateral gene transfer, cholinergic neuronal hypertrophy occurred on the NGF-treated side (P < .05). Activation of cellular signaling and functional markers was present in 2 patients who underwent adeno-associated viral vectors (serotype 2)-mediated NGF gene transfer. Neurons exhibiting tau pathology and neurons free of tau expressed NGF, indicating that degenerating cells can be infected with therapeutic

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Genes and brain malformations associated with abnormal neuron positioning.

    PubMed

    Moffat, Jeffrey J; Ka, Minhan; Jung, Eui-Man; Kim, Woo-Yang

    2015-11-05

    Neuronal positioning is a fundamental process during brain development. Abnormalities in this process cause several types of brain malformations and are linked to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, intellectual disability, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. Little is known about the pathogenesis of developmental brain malformations associated with abnormal neuron positioning, which has hindered research into potential treatments. However, recent advances in neurogenetics provide clues to the pathogenesis of aberrant neuronal positioning by identifying causative genes. This may help us form a foundation upon which therapeutic tools can be developed. In this review, we first provide a brief overview of neural development and migration, as they relate to defects in neuronal positioning. We then discuss recent progress in identifying genes and brain malformations associated with aberrant neuronal positioning during human brain development.

  14. Core promoter factor TAF9B regulates neuronal gene expression

    PubMed Central

    Herrera, Francisco J; Yamaguchi, Teppei; Roelink, Henk; Tjian, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Emerging evidence points to an unexpected diversification of core promoter recognition complexes that serve as important regulators of cell-type specific gene transcription. Here, we report that the orphan TBP-associated factor TAF9B is selectively up-regulated upon in vitro motor neuron differentiation, and is required for the transcriptional induction of specific neuronal genes, while dispensable for global gene expression in murine ES cells. TAF9B binds to both promoters and distal enhancers of neuronal genes, partially co-localizing at binding sites of OLIG2, a key activator of motor neuron differentiation. Surprisingly, in this neuronal context TAF9B becomes preferentially associated with PCAF rather than the canonical TFIID complex. Analysis of dissected spinal column from Taf9b KO mice confirmed that TAF9B also regulates neuronal gene transcription in vivo. Our findings suggest that alternative core promoter complexes may provide a key mechanism to lock in and maintain specific transcriptional programs in terminally differentiated cell types. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02559.001 PMID:25006164

  15. Mechanisms of specificity in neuronal activity-regulated gene transcription

    PubMed Central

    Lyons, Michelle R.; West, Anne E.

    2011-01-01

    The brain is a highly adaptable organ that is capable of converting sensory information into changes in neuronal function. This plasticity allows behavior to be accommodated to the environment, providing an important evolutionary advantage. Neurons convert environmental stimuli into long-lasting changes in their physiology in part through the synaptic activity-regulated transcription of new gene products. Since the neurotransmitter-dependent regulation of Fos transcription was first discovered nearly 25 years ago, a wealth of studies have enriched our understanding of the molecular pathways that mediate activity-regulated changes in gene transcription. These findings show that a broad range of signaling pathways and transcriptional regulators can be engaged by neuronal activity to sculpt complex programs of stimulus-regulated gene transcription. However, the shear scope of the transcriptional pathways engaged by neuronal activity raises the question of how specificity in the nature of the transcriptional response is achieved in order to encode physiologically relevant responses to divergent stimuli. Here we summarize the general paradigms by which neuronal activity regulates transcription while focusing on the molecular mechanisms that confer differential stimulus-, cell-type-, and developmental-specificity upon activity-regulated programs of neuronal gene transcription. In addition, we preview some of the new technologies that will advance our future understanding of the mechanisms and consequences of activity-regulated gene transcription in the brain. PMID:21620929

  16. Cochlear implants and ex vivo BDNF gene therapy protect spiral ganglion neurons.

    PubMed

    Rejali, Darius; Lee, Valerie A; Abrashkin, Karen A; Humayun, Nousheen; Swiderski, Donald L; Raphael, Yehoash

    2007-06-01

    Spiral ganglion neurons often degenerate in the deaf ear, compromising the function of cochlear implants. Cochlear implant function can be improved by good preservation of the spiral ganglion neurons, which are the target of electrical stimulation by the implant. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has previously been shown to enhance spiral ganglion survival in experimentally deafened ears. Providing enhanced levels of BDNF in human ears may be accomplished by one of several different methods. The goal of these experiments was to test a modified design of the cochlear implant electrode that includes a coating of fibroblast cells transduced by a viral vector with a BDNF gene insert. To accomplish this type of ex vivo gene transfer, we transduced guinea pig fibroblasts with an adenovirus with a BDNF gene cassette insert, and determined that these cells secreted BDNF. We then attached BDNF-secreting cells to the cochlear implant electrode via an agarose gel, and implanted the electrode in the scala tympani. We determined that the BDNF expressing electrodes were able to preserve significantly more spiral ganglion neurons in the basal turns of the cochlea after 48 days of implantation when compared to control electrodes. This protective effect decreased in the higher cochlear turns. The data demonstrate the feasibility of combining cochlear implant therapy with ex vivo gene transfer for enhancing spiral ganglion neuron survival.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Naked DNA for liver gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Liu, Feng; Tyagi, Pradeep

    2005-01-01

    The majority of acquired and inherited genetic disorders, including most inborn errors of metabolism, are manifested in the liver. Therefore, it is hardly any surprise to see a large number of Medline reports describing gene therapy efforts in preclinical settings directed toward this organ (Inoue et al., 2004; Oka and Chen, 2004). Of late, non-viral vectors have garnered a lot of attention from the biomedical research community engaged in liver gene therapy (Gupta et al., 2004). However, the first initiative toward gene transfer to the liver using a non-viral approach was taken by Hickman et al. (1994), who applied the technique of naked DNA injection pioneered by Wolff (1990) for skeletal muscle. Direct injection of naked DNA resulted in low, variable and localized gene expression in the rat liver. Consequently, several developments reported in the literature since then aimed to improve hepatic gene expression by employing both surgical and nonsurgical methods. These developments include the exploitation of the unique vasculature of liver as well as the use of electric and mechanical force as an adjunct to the systemic administration of the naked plasmid gene. This chapter focuses on these developments reported from various laboratories, including ours. In addition, the underlying mechanism responsible for the dramatic increase in gene expression using these latest approaches for non-viral gene transfer to the liver is also discussed.

  2. Gene therapy and editing: Novel potential treatments for neuronal channelopathies.

    PubMed

    Wykes, R C; Lignani, G

    2017-05-28

    Pharmaceutical treatment can be inadequate, non-effective, or intolerable for many people suffering from a neuronal channelopathy. Development of novel treatment options, particularly those with the potential to be curative is warranted. Gene therapy approaches can permit cell-specific modification of neuronal and circuit excitability and have been investigated experimentally as a therapy for numerous neurological disorders, with clinical trials for several neurodegenerative diseases ongoing. Channelopathies can arise from a wide array of gene mutations; however they usually result in periods of aberrant network excitability. Therefore gene therapy strategies based on up or downregulation of genes that modulate neuronal excitability may be effective therapy for a wide range of neuronal channelopathies. As many channelopathies are paroxysmal in nature, optogenetic or chemogenetic approaches may be well suited to treat the symptoms of these diseases. Recent advances in gene-editing technologies such as the CRISPR-Cas9 system could in the future result in entirely novel treatment for a channelopathy by repairing disease-causing channel mutations at the germline level. As the brain may develop and wire abnormally as a consequence of an inherited or de novo channelopathy, the choice of optimal gene therapy or gene editing strategy will depend on the time of intervention (germline, neonatal or adult). Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  3. Regulation of clustered protocadherin genes in individual neurons.

    PubMed

    Hirayama, Teruyoshi; Yagi, Takeshi

    2017-09-01

    Individual neurons are basic functional units in the complex system of the brain. One aspect of neuronal individuality is generated by stochastic and combinatorial expression of diverse clustered protocadherins (Pcdhs), encoded by the Pcdha, Pcdhb, and Pcdhg gene clusters, that are critical for several aspects of neural circuit formation. Each clustered Pcdh gene has its own promoter containing conserved sequences and is transcribed by a promoter choice mechanism involving interaction between the promoter and enhancers. A CTCF/Cohesin complex induces this interaction by configuration of DNA-looping in the chromatin structure. At the same time, the semi-stochastic expression of clustered Pcdh genes is regulated in individual neurons by DNA methylation: the methyltransferase Dnmt3b regulates methylation state of individual clustered Pcdh genes during early embryonic stages prior to the establishment of neural stem cells. Several other factors, including Smchd1, also contribute to the regulation of clustered Pcdh gene expression. In addition, psychiatric diseases and early life experiences of individuals can influence expression of clustered Pcdh genes in the brain, through epigenetic alterations. Clustered Pcdh gene expression is thus a significant and highly regulated step in establishing neuronal individuality and generating functional neural circuits in the brain. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  4. Horizontal Gene Transfer and Ecosystem Function Dynamics.

    PubMed

    van de Guchte, Maarten

    2017-09-01

    Horizontal gene transfer can provide bacteria with new functions that confer an important competitive advantage, and is therefore likely to affect the dynamics of bacterial ecosystems. Two studies by Wolfe et al. and Bonham et al. prepare the way to study this hypothesis in a model ecosystem with reproducible properties. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Effects of orexin gene transfer in the dorsolateral pons in orexin knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Blanco-Centurion, Carlos; Liu, Meng; Konadhode, RodaRani; Pelluru, Dheeraj; Shiromani, Priyattam J

    2013-01-01

    Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by loss of orexin neurons. Previously, our group demonstrated that transfer of the orexin gene into surrogate neurons in the lateral hypothalamus and the zona incerta significantly reduced cataplexy bouts in the orexin-ataxin-3 mice model of narcolepsy. The current study determined the effects of orexin gene transfer into the dorsolateral pontine neurons in the orexin knockout (KO) mice model of narcolepsy. The dorsolateral pons was chosen because it plays a critical role in regulating muscle tone and thus it is conceivable to be involved in cataplexy as well. Cataplexy is the pathognomonic symptom in narcolepsy. Independent groups of orexin KO mice were given bilateral microinjections (0.75 μL each side) of either recombinant adenoassociated virus-orexin (rAAV-orexin; n = 7), or rAAV-green fluorescent protein (rAAV-GFP; n = 7) into the dorsolateral pons. A group of orexin KO mice that did not receive rAAV (n = 7) and a group of wild-type mice (C57BL/J6; n = 5) were used as controls. Three weeks after rAAV-mediated gene transfer narcolepsy symptoms were examined using sleep and behavioral recordings. Number, location of the orexin-immunoreactive neurons, and relative density of orexin immunoreactive fibers were determined. Orexin gene transfer into the dorsolateral pons significantly decreased cataplexy and modestly improved wake maintenance compared to the orexin KO mice that did not receive rAAV. In contrast, GFP gene transfer worsened narcoleptic symptoms compared to the no-rAAV orexin KO group. Orexin gene transfer into the dorsolateral pontine neurons can control cataplexy attacks and modestly improve wake maintenance.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Disruption of the Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) gene in pigs using ssDNA.

    PubMed

    Lorson, Monique A; Spate, Lee D; Samuel, Melissa S; Murphy, Clifton N; Lorson, Christian L; Prather, Randall S; Wells, Kevin D

    2011-12-01

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease that is a result of a deletion or mutation of the SMN1 (Survival Motor Neuron) gene. A duplicated and nearly identical copy, SMN2, serves as a disease modifier as increasing SMN2 copy number decreases the severity of the disease. Currently many therapeutic approaches for SMA are being developed. Therapeutic strategies aim to modulate splicing of SMN2-derived transcripts, increase SMN2 gene expression, increase neuro-protection of motor neurons, stabilize the SMN protein, replace the SMN1 gene and reconstitute the motor neuron population. It is our goal to develop a pig animal model of SMA for the development and testing of therapeutics and evaluation of toxicology. In the development of a SMA pig model, it was important to demonstrate that the human SMN2 gene would splice appropriately as the model would be based on the presence of the human SMN2 transgene. In this manuscript, we show splicing of the human SMN1 and SMN2 mini-genes in porcine cells is consistent with splicing in human cells, and we report the first genetic knockout of a gene responsible for a neurodegenerative disease in a large animal model using gene targeting with single-stranded DNA and somatic cell nuclear transfer.

  9. Disruption of the Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) gene in pigs using ssDNA

    PubMed Central

    Spate, Lee D.; Samuel, Melissa S.; Murphy, Clifton N.; Lorson, Christian L.; Prather, Randall S.; Wells, Kevin D.

    2015-01-01

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease that is a result of a deletion or mutation of the SMN1 (Survival Motor Neuron) gene. A duplicated and nearly identical copy, SMN2, serves as a disease modifier as increasing SMN2 copy number decreases the severity of the disease. Currently many therapeutic approaches for SMA are being developed. Therapeutic strategies aim to modulate splicing of SMN2-derived transcripts, increase SMN2 gene expression, increase neuroprotection of motor neurons, stabilize the SMN protein, replace the SMN1 gene and reconstitute the motor neuron population. It is our goal to develop a pig animal model of SMA for the development and testing of therapeutics and evaluation of toxicology. In the development of a SMA pig model, it was important to demonstrate that the human SMN2 gene would splice appropriately as the model would be based on the presence of the human SMN2 transgene. In this manuscript, we show splicing of the human SMN1 and SMN2 mini-genes in porcine cells is consistent with splicing in human cells, and we report the first genetic knockout of a gene responsible for a neurodegenerative disease in a large animal model using gene targeting with single-stranded DNA and somatic cell nuclear transfer. PMID:21350916

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Dopamine receptor gene expression by enkephalin neurons in rat forebrain

    SciTech Connect

    Le Moine, C.; Normand, E.; Guitteny, A.F.; Fouque, B.; Teoule, R.; Bloch, B. )

    1990-01-01

    In situ hybridization experiments were performed with brain sections from normal, control and haloperidol-treated rats to identify and map the cells expressing the D2 dopamine receptor gene. D2 receptor mRNA was detected with radioactive or biotinylated oligonucleotide probes. D2 receptor mRNA was present in glandular cells of the pituitary intermediate lobe and in neurons of the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, and forebrain, especially in caudate putamen, nucleus accumbens, olfactory tubercle, and piriform cortex. Hybridization with D2 and preproenkephalin A probes in adjacent sections, as well as combined hybridization with the two probes in the same sections, demonstrated that all detectable enkephalin neurons in the striatum contained the D2 receptor mRNA. Large neurons in caudate putamen, which were unlabeled with the preproenkephalin A probe and which may have been cholinergic, also expressed the D2 receptor gene. Haloperidol treatment (14 or 21 days) provoked an increase in mRNA content for D2 receptor and preproenkephalin A in the striatum. This suggests that the increase in D2 receptor number observed after haloperidol treatment is due to increased activity of the D2 gene. These results indicate that in the striatum, the enkephalin neurons are direct targets for dopamine liberated from mesostriatal neurons.

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Aging elevates metabolic gene expression in brain cholinergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Baskerville, Karen A; Kent, Caroline; Personett, David; Lai, Weil R; Park, Peter J; Coleman, Paul; McKinney, Michael

    2008-12-01

    The basal forebrain (BF) cholinergic system is selectively vulnerable in human brain diseases, while the cholinergic groups in the upper pons of the brainstem (BS) resist neurodegeneration. Cholinergic neurons (200 per region per animal) were laser-microdissected from five young (8 months) and five aged (24 months) F344 rats from the BF and the BS pontine lateral dorsal tegmental/pedunculopontine nuclei (LDTN/PPN) and their expression profiles were obtained. The bioinformatics program SigPathway was used to identify gene groups and pathways that were selectively affected by aging. In the BF cholinergic system, aging most significantly altered genes involved with a variety of metabolic functions. In contrast, BS cholinergic neuronal age effects included gene groupings related to neuronal plasticity and a broad range of normal cellular functions. Transcription factor GA-binding protein alpha (GABPalpha), which controls expression of nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial proteins, was more strongly upregulated in the BF cholinergic neurons (+107%) than in the BS cholinergic population (+40%). The results suggest that aging elicits elevates metabolic activity in cholinergic populations and that this occurs to a much greater degree in the BF group than in the BS group.

  17. Enhanced adenoviral gene delivery to motor and dorsal root ganglion neurons following injection into demyelinated peripheral nerves.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yongjie; Zheng, Yiyan; Zhang, Yi Ping; Shields, Lisa B E; Hu, Xiaoling; Yu, Panpan; Burke, Darlene A; Wang, Heming; Jun, Cai; Byers, Jonathan; Whittemore, Scott R; Shields, Christopher B

    2010-08-15

    Injection of viral vectors into peripheral nerves may transfer specific genes into their dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and motoneurons. However, myelin sheaths of peripheral axons block the entry of viral particles into nerves. We studied whether mild, transient peripheral nerve demyelination prior to intraneural viral vector injection would enhance gene transfer to target DRG neurons and motoneurons. The right sciatic nerve of C57BL/6 mice was focally demyelinated with 1% lysolecithin, and the left sciatic nerve was similarly injected with saline (control). Five days after demyelination, 0.5 microl of Ad5-GFP was injected into both sciatic nerves at the site of previous injection. The effectiveness of gene transfer was evaluated by counting GFP(+) neurons in the DRGs and ventral horns. After peripheral nerve demyelination, there was a fivefold increase in the number of infected DRG neurons and almost a 15-fold increase in the number of infected motoneurons compared with the control, nondemyelinated side. Focal demyelination reduced the myelin sheath barrier, allowing greater virus-axon contact. Increased CXADR expression on the demyelinated axons facilitated axoplasmic viral entry. No animals sustained any prolonged neurological deficits. Increased gene delivery into DRG neurons and motoneurons may provide effective treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, pain, and spinal cord injury.

  18. Ultrasound enhances retrovirus-mediated gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Naka, Toshio; Sakoda, Tsuyoshi; Doi, Takashi; Tsujino, Takeshi; Masuyama, Tohru; Kawashima, Seinosuke; Iwasaki, Tadaaki; Ohyanagi, Mitsumasa

    2007-01-01

    Viral vector systems are efficient for transfection of foreign genes into many tissues. Especially, retrovirus based vectors integrate the transgene into the genome of the target cells, which can sustain long term expression. However, it has been demonstrated that the transduction efficiency using retrovirus is relatively lower than those of other viruses. Ultrasound was recently reported to increase gene expression using plasmid DNA, with or without, a delivery vehicle. However, there are no reports, which show an ultrasound effect to retrovirus-mediated gene transfer efficiency. Retrovirus-mediated gene transfer systems were used for transfection of 293T cells, bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs), rat aortic smooth muscle cells (RASMCs), and rat skeletal muscle myoblasts (L6 cells) with beta-galactosidase (beta-Gal) genes. Transduction efficiency and cell viability assay were performed on 293T cells that were exposed to varying durations (5 to 30 seconds) and power levels (1.0 watts/cm(2) to 4.0 watts/cm(2)) of ultrasound after being transduced by a retrovirus. Effects of ultrasound to the retrovirus itself was evaluated by transduction efficiency of 293T cells. After exposure to varying power levels of ultrasound to a retrovirus for 5 seconds, 293T cells were transduced by a retrovirus, and transduction efficiency was evaluated. Below 1.0 watts/cm(2) and 5 seconds exposure, ultrasound showed increased transduction efficiency and no cytotoxicity to 293T cells transduced by a retrovirus. Also, ultrasound showed no toxicity to the virus itself at the same condition. Exposure of 5 seconds at the power of 1.0 watts/cm(2) of an ultrasound resulted in significant increases in retrovirus-mediated gene expression in all four cell types tested in this experiment. Transduction efficiencies by ultrasound were enhanced 6.6-fold, 4.8-fold, 2.3-fold, and 3.2-fold in 293T cells, BAECs, RASMCs, and L6 cells, respectively. Furthermore, beta-Gal activities were also increased

  19. 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

  20. Identification of a mouse synaptic glycoprotein gene in cultured neurons.

    PubMed

    Yu, Albert Cheung-Hoi; Sun, Chun Xiao; Li, Qiang; Liu, Hua Dong; Wang, Chen Ran; Zhao, Guo Ping; Jin, Meilei; Lau, Lok Ting; Fung, Yin-Wan Wendy; Liu, Shuang

    2005-10-01

    Neuronal differentiation and aging are known to involve many genes, which may also be differentially expressed during these developmental processes. From primary cultured cerebral cortical neurons, we have previously identified various differentially expressed gene transcripts from cultured cortical neurons using the technique of arbitrarily primed PCR (RAP-PCR). Among these transcripts, clone 0-2 was found to have high homology to rat and human synaptic glycoprotein. By in silico analysis using an EST database and the FACTURA software, the full-length sequence of 0-2 was assembled and the clone was named as mouse synaptic glycoprotein homolog 2 (mSC2). DNA sequencing revealed transcript size of mSC2 being smaller than the human and rat homologs. RT-PCR indicated that mSC2 was expressed differentially at various culture days. The mSC2 gene was located in various tissues with higher expression in brain, lung, and liver. Functions of mSC2 in neurons and other tissues remain elusive and will require more investigation.

  1. Inducible Gene Manipulations in Brain Serotonergic Neurons of Transgenic Rats

    PubMed Central

    Tews, Björn; Bartsch, Dusan

    2011-01-01

    The serotonergic (5-HT) system has been implicated in various physiological processes and neuropsychiatric disorders, but in many aspects its role in normal and pathologic brain function is still unclear. One reason for this might be the lack of appropriate animal models which can address the complexity of physiological and pathophysiological 5-HT functioning. In this respect, rats offer many advantages over mice as they have been the animal of choice for sophisticated neurophysiological and behavioral studies. However, only recently technologies for the targeted and tissue specific modification of rat genes - a prerequisite for a detailed study of the 5-HT system - have been successfully developed. Here, we describe a rat transgenic system for inducible gene manipulations in 5-HT neurons. We generated a Cre driver line consisting of a tamoxifen-inducible CreERT2 recombinase under the control of mouse Tph2 regulatory sequences. Tissue-specific serotonergic Cre recombinase expression was detected in four transgenic TPH2-CreERT2 rat founder lines. For functional analysis of Cre-mediated recombination, we used a rat Cre reporter line (CAG-loxP.EGFP), in which EGFP is expressed after Cre-mediated removal of a loxP-flanked lacZ STOP cassette. We show an in-depth characterisation of this rat Cre reporter line and demonstrate its applicability for monitoring Cre-mediated recombination in all major neuronal subpopulations of the rat brain. Upon tamoxifen induction, double transgenic TPH2-CreERT2/CAG-loxP.EGFP rats show selective and efficient EGFP expression in 5-HT neurons. Without tamoxifen administration, EGFP is only expressed in few 5-HT neurons which confirms minimal background recombination. This 5-HT neuron specific CreERT2 line allows Cre-mediated, inducible gene deletion or gene overexpression in transgenic rats which provides new opportunities to decipher the complex functions of the mammalian serotonergic system. PMID:22140568

  2. 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.

  3. Simple rapid method for gene transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Cockburn, A.F.; Meier, H.

    1990-01-30

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

  4. 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.

  5. Double-stranded RNA made in C. elegans neurons can enter the germline and cause transgenerational gene silencing

    PubMed Central

    Devanapally, Sindhuja; Ravikumar, Snusha; Jose, Antony M.

    2015-01-01

    An animal that can transfer gene-regulatory information from somatic cells to germ cells may be able to communicate changes in the soma from one generation to the next. In the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, expression of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) in neurons can result in the export of dsRNA-derived mobile RNAs to other distant cells. Here, we show that neuronal mobile RNAs can cause transgenerational silencing of a gene of matching sequence in germ cells. Consistent with neuronal mobile RNAs being forms of dsRNA, silencing of target genes that are expressed either in somatic cells or in the germline requires the dsRNA-selective importer SID-1. In contrast to silencing in somatic cells, which requires dsRNA expression in each generation, silencing in the germline is heritable after a single generation of exposure to neuronal mobile RNAs. Although initiation of inherited silencing within the germline requires SID-1, a primary Argonaute RDE-1, a secondary Argonaute HRDE-1, and an RNase D homolog MUT-7, maintenance of inherited silencing is independent of SID-1 and RDE-1, but requires HRDE-1 and MUT-7. Inherited silencing can persist for >25 generations in the absence of the ancestral source of neuronal dsRNA. Therefore, our results suggest that sequence-specific regulatory information in the form of dsRNA can be transferred from neurons to the germline to cause transgenerational silencing. PMID:25646479

  6. Synchronized Inhibition Boosts Information Transfer in Entrained Neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiesinga, Paul; Fellous, Jean-Marc; Jose, Jorge; Sejnowski, Terrence

    2001-03-01

    We investigated the ability of a single neuron to transduce the information content of a synchronized inhibitory synaptic drive, generated by an interneuron network, into an information-rich output of neuron spike times. The neuron was entrained to the periodic network drive when the jitter in the input spike times is sufficiently small (i.e. high precision), and the number of presynaptic spikes during one drive cycle is sufficiently large. The Shannon entropy of the output of spike times was reduced sharply during entrainment. Surprisingly, however, the amount of transduced information as measured by the mutual information was significantly increased during entrainment. This increase was due to the reduced contribution of the internal correlations to the output variability. These theoretical predictions were confirmed in experimental recordings from the rat neocortex and hippocampus.

  7. Phenotypic characteristics of hybrid cells generated by transferring neuronal nuclei into bone marrow stromal cell cytoplasts.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Zhujuan; Xu, Yan; Zhong, Qi; Zheng, Jian

    2012-02-10

    Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) are promising donor cells for transplantation therapies for a variety of diseases. However, there still lack efficient ways to induce directional differentiation of BMSCs to promote their practical use in transplantation therapy. In this study, we constructed hybrid cells by transferring neuronal nuclei into BMSC cytoplasts and investigated the proliferative capacity and phenotypic characteristics of the hybrid cells. The neuronal nuclei were labeled with Hoechst 33342 before the transfer process, and the cell membrane antigen CD71 was used as a marker of BMSC cytoplasts. The BMSC cytoplasts and neuronal karyoplasts were separated by Ficoll density gradient ultracentrifugation. The hybrid cells were generated by the polyethylene glycol-mediated fusion of BMSC cytoplasts with neuronal karyoplasts. The hybrid cells exhibited Hoechst 33342 staining in their nuclei and CD71 staining on their cytomembranes, which confirmed the success of cell fusion. The hybrid cells were positive for BrdU immunostaining. Viability analysis of the cultured hybrid cells by the MTT assay demonstrated their proliferative ability. Immunocytochemical staining revealed the expression of the neuron-specific markers NeuN and MAP2 in the third passage hybrid cells, which indicated their neuronal phenotypic characteristics. The results demonstrated that the hybrid cells produced by fusing neuronal karyoplasts with BMSC cytoplasts had proliferative capability and expressed the neuron-specific markers. Further study is required to investigate the phenotype of the hybrid cells both structurally and functionally.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Adenovirus-mediated gene delivery to hypothalamic magnocellular neurons in mice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vasquez, E. C.; Beltz, T. G.; Meyrelles, S. S.; Johnson, A. K.

    1999-01-01

    Vasopressin is synthesized by magnocellular neurons in supraoptic (SON) and paraventricular (PVN) hypothalamic nuclei and released by their axon terminals in the neurohypophysis (NH). With its actions as an antidiuretic hormone and vasoactive agent, vasopressin plays a pivotal role in the control of body fluids and cardiovascular homeostasis. Because of its well-defined neurobiology and functional importance, the SON/PVN-NH system is ideal to establish methods for gene transfer of genetic material into specific pathways in the mouse central nervous system. In these studies, we compared the efficiency of transferring the gene lacZ, encoding for beta-galactosidase (beta-gal), versus a gene encoding for green fluorescent protein by using replication-deficient adenovirus (Ad) vectors in adult mice. Transfection with viral concentrations up to 2 x 10(7) plaque-forming units per coverslip of NH, PVN, and SON in dissociated, cultured cells caused efficient transfection without cytotoxicity. However, over an extended period of time, higher levels (50% to 75% of the cells) of beta-gal expression were detected in comparison with green fluorescent protein (5% to 50% of the cells). With the use of a stereotaxic approach, the pituitary glands of mice were injected with Ad (4 x 10(6) plaque-forming units). In material from these animals, we were able to visualize the expression of the beta-gal gene in the NH and in magnocellular neurons of both the PVN and SON. The results of these experiments indicate that Ad-Rous sarcoma virus promoter-beta-gal is taken up by nerve terminals at the injection site (NH) and retrogradely transported to the soma of the neurons projecting to the NH. We conclude that the application of these experimental approaches will provide powerful tools for physiological studies and potential approaches to deliver therapeutic genes to treat diseases.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. LIS1 Lissencephaly gene CNS expression: Relation to neuronal migration

    SciTech Connect

    Reiner, O. |; Gal-Gerber, O.; Sapir, T.

    1994-09-01

    Lis1 is the murine gene corresponding to human LIS1 gene involved in Miller-Dieker lissencephaly located on chromosome 17p13.3 as demonstrated by cDNA cloning, sequence analysis and genetic mapping. Lis1 expression was studied in developing mouse brain using in situ hybridization. At embryonic day 15, Lis1 expression was most prominently localized in the neuronal layer of the retina, the developing hippocampus, doral root ganglia, cranial ganglia and the thalamus. At postnatal day 5 a unique pattern of expression was detected in the developing cerebellum. Lis1 was expressed at high levels in the Purkinje cell layer when the granule cells were migrating through the Purkinje cell layer inwards. The expression of Lis1 in Purkinje cells in the adult is markedly reduced. Similarly, Lis1 was expressed in the ontogenetically older layers of the neocortex (layers 5 and 6) where younger neurons have to migrate through to settle in the superficial layers. Thus, at both sites a link between expression and neuronal migration was demonstrated. These studies on the expression pattern of Lis1 could be useful in understanding abnormalities in Miller-Dieker lissencephaly syndrome (MDS) patients.

  14. Estrogen Regulation of Gene Expression in GnRH Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ng, Yewade; Wolfe, Andrew; Novaira, Horacio J.; Radovick, Sally

    2009-01-01

    Estrogen plays an essential role in the regulation of the female reproductive hormone axis and specifically is a major regulator of GnRH neuronal function in the female brain. GnRH neuronal cell lines were used to explore the direct effects of estradiol on gene expression in GnRH neurons. The presence of estrogen receptor (ER) binding sites was established by a receptor binding assay and estrogen receptor α and β mRNA were identified in GN11 cells and ERβ in GT1-7 cells using RT-PCR analysis of mRNA. ERα was more abundantly expressed in GN11 cells than ERβ as assessed by real time PCR. Additionally, GN11 cells expressed significantly more of both ERα and β than GT1-7 cells. Functional studies in GN11 and GT1-7 demonstrated estrogen down regulation of endogenous mouse GnRH mRNA levels using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Correspondingly, estradiol also reduced secretion of GnRH from both the GN11 and GT1-7 cell lines. Since estradiol has been shown to regulate progesterone receptor (PR) expression; similar studies were performed demonstrating an estradiol mediated increase in PR in both cell lines. Estradiol regulation of ER expression was also explored and these studies indicated that estradiol decreased ERα and ERβ mRNA levels in a dose-dependent manner in GN11 and GT1-7 cells. These effects were blocked by the addition of the estrogen receptor antagonist ICI 182,780. Both PPT, a specific ERα agonist, and DPN, a specific ERβ agonist, inhibited GnRH gene expression in GN11 cells, but only DPN inhibited GnRH gene expression in GT1-7 cells, consistent with their undetectable levels of ERα expression. These studies characterize a direct inhibitory effect of estradiol on GnRH in GnRH neurons, and a direct stimulatory effect of estradiol on PR gene expression. In addition, the agonist studies indicate there is a functional overlap of ERα and ERβ regulation in GnRH neurons. These studies may give insight into the molecular regulation of estrogen

  15. Horizontal gene transfer: A critical view

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

  16. Orexin gene transfer into the amygdala suppresses both spontaneous and emotion-induced cataplexy in orexin-knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Liu, Meng; Blanco-Centurion, Carlos; Konadhode, Roda Rani; Luan, Liju; Shiromani, Priyattam J

    2016-03-01

    Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder linked to the loss of orexin-producing neurons in the hypothalamus. Cataplexy, a sudden loss of muscle tone during waking, is an important distinguishing symptom of narcolepsy and it is often triggered by strong emotions. The neural circuit underlying cataplexy attacks is not known, but is likely to involve the amygdala, a region implicated in regulating emotions. In mice models of narcolepsy, transfer of the orexin gene into surrogate neurons has been successful in ameliorating narcoleptic symptoms. However, it is not known whether this method also blocks cataplexy triggered by strong emotions. To examine this possibility, the gene encoding mouse prepro-orexin was transferred into amygdala neurons of orexin-knockout (KO) mice (rAAV-orexin; n = 8). Orexin-KO mice that did not receive gene transfer (no-rAAV; n = 7) or received only the reporter gene (rAAV-GFP; n = 7) served as controls. Three weeks later, the animal's sleep and behaviour were recorded at night (no-odour control night), followed by another recording at night in the presence of predator odour (odour night). Orexin-KO mice given the orexin gene transfer into surrogate amygdala neurons had significantly less spontaneous bouts of cataplexy, and predator odour did not induce cataplexy compared with control mice. Moreover, the mice with orexin gene transfer were awake more during the odour night. These results demonstrate that orexin gene transfer into amygdala neurons can suppress both spontaneous and emotion-induced cataplexy attacks in narcoleptic mice. It suggests that manipulating amygdala pathways is a potential strategy for treating cataplexy in narcolepsy.

  17. Gain control of synaptic transfer from second- to third-order neurons of cockroach ocelli

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

    Synaptic transmission from second- to third-order neurons of cockroach ocelli occurs in an exponentially rising part of the overall sigmoidal characteristic curve relating pre- and postsynaptic voltage. Because of the nonlinear nature of the synapse, linear responses of second-order neurons to changes in ligh intensity are half-wave rectified, i.e., the response to a decrement in light is amplified whereas that to an increment in light is compressed. Here I report that the gain of synaptic transmission from second- to third-order neurons changes by ambient light levels and by wind stimulation applied to the cerci. Transfer characteristics of the synapse were studied by simultaneous intracellular recordings of second- and third-order neurons. Potential changes were evoked in second-order neurons by a sinusoidally modulated light with various mean luminances. With a decrease in the mean luminance (a) the mean membrane potential of second-order neurons was depolarized, (b) the synapse between the second- and third-order neurons operated in a steeper range of the exponential characteristic curve, where the gain to transmit modulatory signals was higher, and (c) the gain of third-order neurons to detect a decrement in light increased. Second-order neurons were depolarized when a wind or tactile stimulus was applied to various parts of the body including the cerci. During a wind-evoked depolarization, the synapse operated in a steeper range of the characteristic curve, which resulted in an increased gain of third-order neurons to detect light decrements. I conclude that the nonlinear nature of the synapse between the second- and third-order neurons provides an opportunity for an adjustment of gain to transmit signals of intensity change. The possibility that a similar gain control occurs in other visual systems and underlies a more advanced visual function, i.e., detection of motion, is discussed. PMID:8741734

  18. Dissecting differential gene expression within the circadian neuronal circuit of Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Nagoshi, Emi; Sugino, Ken; Kula, Ela; Okazaki, Etsuko; Tachibana, Taro; Nelson, Sacha; Rosbash, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Behavioral circadian rhythms are controlled by a neuronal circuit consisting of diverse neuronal subgroups. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the roles of neuronal subgroups within the Drosophila circadian circuit, we used cell-type specific gene-expression profiling and identified a large number of genes specifically expressed in all clock neurons or in two important subgroups. Moreover, we identified and characterized two circadian genes, which are expressed specifically in subsets of clock cells and affect different aspects of rhythms. The transcription factor Fer2 is expressed in ventral lateral neurons; it is required for the specification of lateral neurons and therefore their ability to drive locomotor rhythms. The Drosophila melanogaster homolog of the vertebrate circadian gene nocturnin is expressed in a subset of dorsal neurons and mediates the circadian light response. The approach should also enable the molecular dissection of many different Drosophila neuronal circuits. PMID:19966839

  19. Correlation and synchrony transfer in integrate-and-fire neurons: basic properties and consequences for coding.

    PubMed

    Shea-Brown, Eric; Josić, Kresimir; de la Rocha, Jaime; Doiron, Brent

    2008-03-14

    We study how pairs of neurons transfer correlated input currents into correlated spikes. Over rapid time scales, correlation transfer increases with both spike time variability and rate; the dependence on variability disappears at large time scales. This persists for a nonlinear membrane model and for heterogeneous cell pairs, but strong nonmonotonicities follow from refractory effects. We present consequences for population coding and for the encoding of time-varying stimuli.

  20. 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.

  1. Plant transformation via pollen tube-mediated gene transfer

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Direct Transfer of Viral and Cellular Proteins from Varicella-Zoster Virus-Infected Non-Neuronal Cells to Human Axons

    PubMed Central

    Grigoryan, Sergei; Yee, Michael B; Glick, Yair; Gerber, Doron; Kepten, Eldad; Garini, Yuval; Yang, In Hong; Kinchington, Paul R.; Goldstein, Ronald S.

    2015-01-01

    Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV), the alphaherpesvirus that causes varicella upon primary infection and Herpes zoster (shingles) following reactivation in latently infected neurons, is known to be fusogenic. It forms polynuclear syncytia in culture, in varicella skin lesions and in infected fetal human ganglia xenografted to mice. After axonal infection using VZV expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) in compartmentalized microfluidic cultures there is diffuse filling of axons with GFP as well as punctate fluorescence corresponding to capsids. Use of viruses with fluorescent fusions to VZV proteins reveals that both proteins encoded by VZV genes and those of the infecting cell are transferred in bulk from infecting non-neuronal cells to axons. Similar transfer of protein to axons was observed following cell associated HSV1 infection. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) experiments provide evidence that this transfer is by diffusion of proteins from the infecting cells into axons. Time-lapse movies and immunocytochemical experiments in co-cultures demonstrate that non-neuronal cells fuse with neuronal somata and proteins from both cell types are present in the syncytia formed. The fusogenic nature of VZV therefore may enable not only conventional entry of virions and capsids into axonal endings in the skin by classical entry mechanisms, but also by cytoplasmic fusion that permits viral protein transfer to neurons in bulk. PMID:25973990

  5. Direct transfer of viral and cellular proteins from varicella-zoster virus-infected non-neuronal cells to human axons.

    PubMed

    Grigoryan, Sergei; Yee, Michael B; Glick, Yair; Gerber, Doron; Kepten, Eldad; Garini, Yuval; Yang, In Hong; Kinchington, Paul R; Goldstein, Ronald S

    2015-01-01

    Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV), the alphaherpesvirus that causes varicella upon primary infection and Herpes zoster (shingles) following reactivation in latently infected neurons, is known to be fusogenic. It forms polynuclear syncytia in culture, in varicella skin lesions and in infected fetal human ganglia xenografted to mice. After axonal infection using VZV expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) in compartmentalized microfluidic cultures there is diffuse filling of axons with GFP as well as punctate fluorescence corresponding to capsids. Use of viruses with fluorescent fusions to VZV proteins reveals that both proteins encoded by VZV genes and those of the infecting cell are transferred in bulk from infecting non-neuronal cells to axons. Similar transfer of protein to axons was observed following cell associated HSV1 infection. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) experiments provide evidence that this transfer is by diffusion of proteins from the infecting cells into axons. Time-lapse movies and immunocytochemical experiments in co-cultures demonstrate that non-neuronal cells fuse with neuronal somata and proteins from both cell types are present in the syncytia formed. The fusogenic nature of VZV therefore may enable not only conventional entry of virions and capsids into axonal endings in the skin by classical entry mechanisms, but also by cytoplasmic fusion that permits viral protein transfer to neurons in bulk.

  6. 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.

  7. Lamin B1 is required for mature neuron-specific gene expression during olfactory sensory neuron differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Gigante, Crystal M.; Dibattista, Michele; Dong, Frederick N.; Zheng, Xiaobin; Yue, Sibiao; Young, Stephen G.; Reisert, Johannes; Zheng, Yixian; Zhao, Haiqing

    2017-01-01

    B-type lamins are major constituents of the nuclear lamina in all metazoan cells, yet have specific roles in the development of certain cell types. Although they are speculated to regulate gene expression in developmental contexts, a direct link between B-type lamins and developmental gene expression in an in vivo system is currently lacking. Here, we identify lamin B1 as a key regulator of gene expression required for the formation of functional olfactory sensory neurons. By using targeted knockout in olfactory epithelial stem cells in adult mice, we show that lamin B1 deficient neurons exhibit attenuated response to odour stimulation. This deficit can be explained by decreased expression of genes involved in mature neuron function, along with increased expression of genes atypical of the olfactory lineage. These results support that the broadly expressed lamin B1 regulates expression of a subset of genes involved in the differentiation of a specific cell type. PMID:28425486

  8. Atypical expression of Drosophila gustatory receptor genes in sensory and central neurons.

    PubMed

    Thorne, Natasha; Amrein, Hubert

    2008-02-01

    Members of the Drosophila gustatory receptor (Gr) gene family are generally expressed in chemosensory neurons and are known to mediate the perception of sugars, bitter substrates, CO(2), and pheromones. The Gr gene family consists of 68 members, many of which are organized in gene clusters of up to six genes, yet only expression of about 15 Gr genes has been characterized in detail prior to this study. Here we describe the first comprehensive expression analysis of six highly conserved Gr genes, Gr28a and Gr28b.a to Gr28b.e. Four of these Gr genes are not only expressed in the characteristic pattern associated with previously analyzed Gr genes-chemosensory neurons of the gustatory and olfactory system-but several other types of sensory neurons and neurons in the brain. Specifically, we show that several of the Gr28 genes are expressed in abdominal multidendritic neurons, putative hygroreceptive neurons of the arista, neurons associated with the Johnston's organ, peripheral proprioceptive neurons in the legs, neurons in the larval and adult brain, and oenocytes. Thus, our findings suggest that some Gr genes are utilized in nongustatory roles in the nervous system and tissues involved in proprioception, hygroreception, and other sensory modalities. It is also possible that the Gr28 genes have chemosensory roles in the detection of internal ligands. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  9. Postnatal Gene Therapy Improves Spatial Learning Despite the Presence of Neuronal Ectopia in a Model of Neuronal Migration Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Huaiyu; Liu, Yu; Bampoe, Kevin; He, Yonglin; Yu, Miao

    2016-01-01

    Patients with type II lissencephaly, a neuronal migration disorder with ectopic neurons, suffer from severe mental retardation, including learning deficits. There is no effective therapy to prevent or correct the formation of neuronal ectopia, which is presumed to cause cognitive deficits. We hypothesized that learning deficits were not solely caused by neuronal ectopia and that postnatal gene therapy could improve learning without correcting the neuronal ectopia formed during fetal development. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated spatial learning of cerebral cortex-specific protein O-mannosyltransferase 2 (POMT2, an enzyme required for O-mannosyl glycosylation) knockout mice and compared to the knockout mice that were injected with an adeno-associated viral vector (AAV) encoding POMT2 into the postnatal brains with Barnes maze. The data showed that the knockout mice exhibited reduced glycosylation in the cerebral cortex, reduced dendritic spine density on CA1 neurons, and increased latency to the target hole in the Barnes maze, indicating learning deficits. Postnatal gene therapy restored functional glycosylation, rescued dendritic spine defects, and improved performance on the Barnes maze by the knockout mice even though neuronal ectopia was not corrected. These results indicate that postnatal gene therapy improves spatial learning despite the presence of neuronal ectopia. PMID:27916859

  10. Postnatal Gene Therapy Improves Spatial Learning Despite the Presence of Neuronal Ectopia in a Model of Neuronal Migration Disorder.

    PubMed

    Hu, Huaiyu; Liu, Yu; Bampoe, Kevin; He, Yonglin; Yu, Miao

    2016-11-29

    Patients with type II lissencephaly, a neuronal migration disorder with ectopic neurons, suffer from severe mental retardation, including learning deficits. There is no effective therapy to prevent or correct the formation of neuronal ectopia, which is presumed to cause cognitive deficits. We hypothesized that learning deficits were not solely caused by neuronal ectopia and that postnatal gene therapy could improve learning without correcting the neuronal ectopia formed during fetal development. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated spatial learning of cerebral cortex-specific protein O-mannosyltransferase 2 (POMT2, an enzyme required for O-mannosyl glycosylation) knockout mice and compared to the knockout mice that were injected with an adeno-associated viral vector (AAV) encoding POMT2 into the postnatal brains with Barnes maze. The data showed that the knockout mice exhibited reduced glycosylation in the cerebral cortex, reduced dendritic spine density on CA1 neurons, and increased latency to the target hole in the Barnes maze, indicating learning deficits. Postnatal gene therapy restored functional glycosylation, rescued dendritic spine defects, and improved performance on the Barnes maze by the knockout mice even though neuronal ectopia was not corrected. These results indicate that postnatal gene therapy improves spatial learning despite the presence of neuronal ectopia.

  11. Widespread of horizontal gene transfer in the human genome.

    PubMed

    Huang, Wenze; Tsai, Lillian; Li, Yulong; Hua, Nan; Sun, Chen; Wei, Chaochun

    2017-04-04

    A fundamental concept in biology is that heritable material is passed from parents to offspring, a process called vertical gene transfer. An alternative mechanism of gene acquisition is through horizontal gene transfer (HGT), which involves movement of genetic materials between different species. Horizontal gene transfer has been found prevalent in prokaryotes but very rare in eukaryote. In this paper, we investigate horizontal gene transfer in the human genome. From the pair-wise alignments between human genome and 53 vertebrate genomes, 1,467 human genome regions (2.6 M bases) from all chromosomes were found to be more conserved with non-mammals than with most mammals. These human genome regions involve 642 known genes, which are enriched with ion binding. Compared to known horizontal gene transfer regions in the human genome, there were few overlapping regions, which indicated horizontal gene transfer is more common than we expected in the human genome. Horizontal gene transfer impacts hundreds of human genes and this study provided insight into potential mechanisms of HGT in the human genome.

  12. Neuronal Correlates of Cross-Modal Transfer in the Cerebellum and Pontine Nuclei

    PubMed Central

    Campolattaro, Matthew M.; Kashef, Alireza; Lee, Inah; Freeman, John H.

    2011-01-01

    Cross-modal transfer occurs when learning established with a stimulus from one sensory modality facilitates subsequent learning with a new stimulus from a different sensory modality. The current study examined neuronal correlates of cross-modal transfer of Pavlovian eyeblink conditioning in rats. Neuronal activity was recorded from tetrodes within the anterior interpositus nucleus (IPN) of the cerebellum and basilar pontine nucleus (PN) during different phases of training. After stimulus pre-exposure and unpaired training sessions with a tone conditioned stimulus (CS), light CS, and periorbital stimulation unconditioned stimulus (US), rats received associative training with one of the CSs and the US (CS1-US). Training then continued on the same day with the other CS to assess cross-modal transfer (CS2-US). The final training session included associative training with both CSs on separate trials to establish stronger cross-modal transfer (CS1/CS2). Neurons in the IPN and PN showed primarily unimodal responses during pre-training sessions. Learning-related facilitation of activity correlated with the conditioned response (CR) developed in the IPN and PN during CS1-US training. Subsequent CS2-US training resulted in acquisition of CRs and learning-related neuronal activity in the IPN but substantially less little learning-related activity in the PN. Additional CS1/CS2 training increased CRs and learning-related activity in the IPN and PN during CS2-US trials. The findings suggest that cross-modal neuronal plasticity in the PN is driven by excitatory feedback from the IPN to the PN. Interacting plasticity mechanisms in the IPN and PN may underlie behavioral cross-modal transfer in eyeblink conditioning. PMID:21411647

  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. Benefits of Neuronal Preferential Systemic Gene Therapy for Neurotransmitter Deficiency

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Ni-Chung; Muramatsu, Shin-Ichi; Chien, Yin-Hsiu; Liu, Wen-Shin; Wang, Wei-Hua; Cheng, Chia-Hao; Hu, Meng-Kai; Chen, Pin-Wen; Tzen, Kai-Yuan; Byrne, Barry J; Hwu, Wuh-Liang

    2015-01-01

    Aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency is a rare autosomal recessive disease that impairs synthesis of dopamine and serotonin. Children with AADC deficiency exhibit severe motor, behavioral, and autonomic dysfunctions. We previously generated an IVS6+4A>T knock-in mouse model of AADC deficiency (DdcKI mice) and showed that gene therapy at the neonatal stage can rescue this phenotype. In the present study, we extended this treatment to systemic therapy on young mice. After intraperitoneal injection of AADC viral vectors into 7-day-old DdcKI mice, the treated mice exhibited improvements in weight gain, survival, motor function, autonomic function, and behavior. The yfAAV9/3-Syn-I-mAADC-treated mice showed greater neuronal transduction and higher brain dopamine levels than AAV9-CMV-hAADC-treated mice, whereas AAV9-CMV-hAADC-treated mice exhibited hyperactivity. Therefore, neurotransmitter-deficient animals can be rescued at a young age using systemic gene therapy, although a vector for preferential neuronal expression may be necessary to avoid hyperactivity caused by this treatment. PMID:26137853

  15. Constitutive expression of the neuron-restrictive silencer factor (NRSF)/REST in differentiating neurons disrupts neuronal gene expression and causes axon pathfinding errors in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Paquette, Alice J.; Perez, Sharon E.; Anderson, David J.

    2000-01-01

    The neuron-restrictive silencer factor (NRSF; also known as REST for repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor) is a transcriptional repressor of multiple neuronal genes, but little is known about its function in vivo. NRSF is normally down-regulated upon neuronal differentiation. Constitutive expression of NRSF in the developing spinal cord of chicken embryos caused repression of two endogenous target genes, N-tubulin and Ng-CAM, but did not prevent overt neurogenesis. Nevertheless, commissural neurons that differentiated while constitutively expressing NRSF showed a significantly increased frequency of axon guidance errors. These data suggest that down-regulation of NRSF is necessary for the proper development of at least some classes of neurons in vivo. PMID:11050251

  16. Widespread Central Nervous System Gene Transfer and Silencing After Systemic Delivery of Novel AAV-AS Vector.

    PubMed

    Choudhury, Sourav R; Harris, Anne F; Cabral, Damien J; Keeler, Allison M; Sapp, Ellen; Ferreira, Jennifer S; Gray-Edwards, Heather L; Johnson, Jacob A; Johnson, Aime K; Su, Qin; Stoica, Lorelei; DiFiglia, Marian; Aronin, Neil; Martin, Douglas R; Gao, Guangping; Sena-Esteves, Miguel

    2016-04-01

    Effective gene delivery to the central nervous system (CNS) is vital for development of novel gene therapies for neurological diseases. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors have emerged as an effective platform for in vivo gene transfer, but overall neuronal transduction efficiency of vectors derived from naturally occurring AAV capsids after systemic administration is relatively low. Here, we investigated the possibility of improving CNS transduction of existing AAV capsids by genetically fusing peptides to the N-terminus of VP2 capsid protein. A novel vector AAV-AS, generated by the insertion of a poly-alanine peptide, is capable of extensive gene transfer throughout the CNS after systemic administration in adult mice. AAV-AS is 6- and 15-fold more efficient than AAV9 in spinal cord and cerebrum, respectively. The neuronal transduction profile varies across brain regions but is particularly high in the striatum where AAV-AS transduces 36% of striatal neurons. Widespread neuronal gene transfer was also documented in cat brain and spinal cord. A single intravenous injection of an AAV-AS vector encoding an artificial microRNA targeting huntingtin (Htt) resulted in 33-50% knockdown of Htt across multiple CNS structures in adult mice. This novel AAV-AS vector is a promising platform to develop new gene therapies for neurodegenerative disorders.

  17. 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.}

  18. 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.

  19. Imaging gene delivery in a mouse model of congenital neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    PubMed

    Pike, L S; Tannous, B A; Deliolanis, N C; Hsich, G; Morse, D; Tung, C-H; Sena-Esteves, M; Breakefield, X O

    2011-12-01

    Adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene replacement for lysosomal disorders have been spurred by the ability of some serotypes to efficiently transduce neurons in the brain and by the ability of lysosomal enzymes to cross-correct among cells. Here, we explored enzyme replacement therapy in a knock-out mouse model of congenital neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL), the most severe of the NCLs in humans. The missing protease in this disorder, cathepsin D (CathD) has high levels in the central nervous system. This enzyme has the potential advantage for assessing experimental therapy in that it can be imaged using a near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) probe activated by CathD. Injections of an AAV2/rh8 vector-encoding mouse CathD (mCathD) into both cerebral ventricles and peritoneum of newborn knock-out mice resulted in a significant increase in lifespan. Successful delivery of active CathD by the AAV2/rh8-mCathD vector was verified by NIRF imaging of mouse embryonic fibroblasts from knock-out mice in culture, as well as by ex vivo NIRF imaging of the brain and liver after gene transfer. These studies support the potential effectiveness and imaging evaluation of enzyme replacement therapy to the brain and other organs in CathD null mice via AAV-mediated gene delivery in neonatal animals.

  20. Cell-to-cell transfer of glial proteins to the squid giant axon: The glia- neuron protein transfer hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Lasek, RJ; Gainer, H; Barker, JL

    1977-01-01

    The hypothesis that glial cells synthesize proteins which are transferred to adjacent neurons was evaluated in the giant fiber of the squid (Loligo pealei). When giant fibers are separated from their neuron cell bodies and incubated in the presence of radioactive amino acids, labeled proteins appear in the glial cells and axoplasm. Labeled axonal proteins were detected by three methods: extrusion of the axoplasm from the giant fiber, autoradiography, and perfusion of the giant fiber. This protein synthesis is completely inhibited by puromycin but is not affected by chloramphenicol. The following evidence indicates that the labeled axonal proteins are not synthesized within the axon itself. (a) The axon does not contain a significant amount of ribosomes or ribosomal RNA. (b) Isolated axoplasm did not incorporate [(3)H]leucine into proteins. (c) Injection of Rnase into the giant axon did not reduce the appearance of newly synthesized proteins in the axoplasm of the giant fiber. These findings, coupled with other evidence, have led us to conclude that the adaxonal glial cells synthesize a class of proteins which are transferred to the giant axon. Analysis of the kinetics of this phenomenon indicates that some proteins are transferred to the axon within minutes of their synthesis in the glial cells. One or more of the steps in the transfer process appear to involve Ca++, since replacement of extracellular Ca++ by either Mg++ or Co++ significantly reduces the appearance of labeled proteins in the axon. A substantial fraction of newly synthesized glial proteins, possibly as much as 40 percent, are transferred to the giant axon. These proteins are heterogeneous and range in size from 12,000 to greater than 200,000 daltons. Comparisons of the amount of amino acid incorporation in glia cells and neuron cell bodies raise the possibility that the adaxonal glial cells may provide an important source of axonal proteins which is supplemental to that provided by axonal transport

  1. A Versatile Vector for Gene and Oligonucleotide Transfer into Cells in Culture and in vivo: Polyethylenimine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boussif, Otmane; Lezoualc'h, Frank; Zanta, Maria Antonietta; Djavaheri Mergny, Mojgan; Scherman, Daniel; Demeneix, Barbara; Behr, Jean-Paul

    1995-08-01

    Several polycations possessing substantial buffering capacity below physiological pH, such as lipopolyamines and polyamidoamine polymers, are efficient transfection agents per se-i.e., without the addition of cell targeting or membrane-disruption agents. This observation led us to test the cationic polymer polyethylenimine (PEI) for its genedelivery potential. Indeed, every third atom of PEI is a protonable amino nitrogen atom, which makes the polymeric network an effective "proton sponge" at virtually any pH. Luciferase reporter gene transfer with this polycation into a variety of cell lines and primary cells gave results comparable to, or even better than, lipopolyamines. Cytotoxicity was low and seen only at concentrations well above those required for optimal transfection. Delivery of oligonucleotides into embryonic neurons was followed by using a fluorescent probe. Virtually all neurons showed nuclear labeling, with no toxic effects. The optimal PEI cation/anion balance for in vitro transfection is only slightly on the cationic side, which is advantageous for in vivo delivery. Indeed, intracerebral luciferase gene transfer into newborn mice gave results comparable (for a given amount of DNA) to the in vitro transfection of primary rat brain endothelial cells or chicken embryonic neurons. Together, these properties make PEI a promising vector for gene therapy and an outstanding core for the design of more sophisticated devices. Our hypothesis is that its efficiency relies on extensive lysosome buffering that protects DNA from nuclease degradation, and consequent lysosomal swelling and rupture that provide an escape mechanism for the PEI/DNA particles.

  2. 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.

  3. Identification of nonviable genes affecting touch sensitivity in Caenorhabditis elegans using neuronally enhanced feeding RNA interference.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiaoyin; Cuadros, Margarete Diaz; Chalfie, Martin

    2015-01-09

    Caenorhabditis elegans senses gentle touch along the body via six touch receptor neurons. Although genetic screens and microarray analyses have identified several genes needed for touch sensitivity, these methods miss pleiotropic genes that are essential for the viability, movement, or fertility of the animals. We used neuronally enhanced feeding RNA interference to screen genes that cause lethality or paralysis when mutated, and we identified 61 such genes affecting touch sensitivity, including five positive controls. We confirmed 18 genes by using available alleles, and further studied one of them, tag-170, now renamed txdc-9. txdc-9 preferentially affects anterior touch response but is needed for tubulin acetylation and microtubule formation in both the anterior and posterior touch receptor neurons. Our results indicate that neuronally enhanced feeding RNA interference screens complement traditional mutageneses by identifying additional nonviable genes needed for specific neuronal functions.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Identification of neuron-related genes for cell therapy of neurological disorders by network analysis.

    PubMed

    Su, Li-Ning; Song, Xiao-Qing; Wei, Hui-Ping; Yin, Hai-Feng

    Bone mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) differentiated into neurons have been widely proposed for use in cell therapy of many neurological disorders. It is therefore important to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying this differentiation. We screened differentially expressed genes between immature neural tissues and untreated BMSCs to identify the genes responsible for neuronal differentiation from BMSCs. GSE68243 gene microarray data of rat BMSCs and GSE18860 gene microarray data of rat neurons were received from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. Transcriptome Analysis Console software showed that 1248 genes were up-regulated and 1273 were down-regulated in neurons compared with BMSCs. Gene Ontology functional enrichment, protein-protein interaction networks, functional modules, and hub genes were analyzed using DAVID, STRING 10, BiNGO tool, and Network Analyzer software, revealing that nine hub genes, Nrcam, Sema3a, Mapk8, Dlg4, Slit1, Creb1, Ntrk2, Cntn2, and Pax6, may play a pivotal role in neuronal differentiation from BMSCs. Seven genes, Dcx, Nrcam, sema3a, Cntn2, Slit1, Ephb1, and Pax6, were shown to be hub nodes within the neuronal development network, while six genes, Fgf2, Tgfβ1, Vegfa, Serpine1, Il6, and Stat1, appeared to play an important role in suppressing neuronal differentiation. However, additional studies are required to confirm these results.

  7. Identification of neuron-related genes for cell therapy of neurological disorders by network analysis* #

    PubMed Central

    Su, Li-ning; Song, Xiao-qing; Wei, Hui-ping; Yin, Hai-feng

    2017-01-01

    Bone mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) differentiated into neurons have been widely proposed for use in cell therapy of many neurological disorders. It is therefore important to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying this differentiation. We screened differentially expressed genes between immature neural tissues and untreated BMSCs to identify the genes responsible for neuronal differentiation from BMSCs. GSE68243 gene microarray data of rat BMSCs and GSE18860 gene microarray data of rat neurons were received from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. Transcriptome Analysis Console software showed that 1248 genes were up-regulated and 1273 were down-regulated in neurons compared with BMSCs. Gene Ontology functional enrichment, protein-protein interaction networks, functional modules, and hub genes were analyzed using DAVID, STRING 10, BiNGO tool, and Network Analyzer software, revealing that nine hub genes, Nrcam, Sema3a, Mapk8, Dlg4, Slit1, Creb1, Ntrk2, Cntn2, and Pax6, may play a pivotal role in neuronal differentiation from BMSCs. Seven genes, Dcx, Nrcam, Sema3a, Cntn2, Slit1, Ephb1, and Pax6, were shown to be hub nodes within the neuronal development network, while six genes, Fgf2, Tgfβ1, Vegfa, Serpine1, Il6, and Stat1, appeared to play an important role in suppressing neuronal differentiation. However, additional studies are required to confirm these results. PMID:28124845

  8. Targeting single neuronal networks for gene expression and cell labeling in vivo.

    PubMed

    Marshel, James H; Mori, Takuma; Nielsen, Kristina J; Callaway, Edward M

    2010-08-26

    To understand fine-scale structure and function of single mammalian neuronal networks, we developed and validated a strategy to genetically target and trace monosynaptic inputs to a single neuron in vitro and in vivo. The strategy independently targets a neuron and its presynaptic network for specific gene expression and fine-scale labeling, using single-cell electroporation of DNA to target infection and monosynaptic retrograde spread of a genetically modifiable rabies virus. The technique is highly reliable, with transsynaptic labeling occurring in every electroporated neuron infected by the virus. Targeting single neocortical neuronal networks in vivo, we found clusters of both spiny and aspiny neurons surrounding the electroporated neuron in each case, in addition to intricately labeled distal cortical and subcortical inputs. This technique, broadly applicable for probing and manipulating single neuronal networks with single-cell resolution in vivo, may help shed new light on fundamental mechanisms underlying circuit development and information processing by neuronal networks throughout the brain.

  9. Stable and Efficient Gene Transfer into the Retina Using an HIV-Based Lentiviral Vector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyoshi, Hiroyuki; Takahashi, Masayo; Gage, Fred H.; Verma, Inder M.

    1997-09-01

    The development of methods for efficient gene transfer to terminally differentiated retinal cells is important to study the function of the retina as well as for gene therapy of retinal diseases. We have developed a lentiviral vector system based on the HIV that can transduce terminally differentiated neurons of the brain in vivo. In this study, we have evaluated the ability of HIV vectors to transfer genes into retinal cells. An HIV vector containing a gene encoding the green fluorescent protein (GFP) was injected into the subretinal space of rat eyes. The GFP gene under the control of the cytomegalovirus promoter was efficiently expressed in both photoreceptor cells and retinal pigment epithelium. However, the use of the rhodopsin promoter resulted in expression predominantly in photoreceptor cells. Most successfully transduced eyes showed that photoreceptor cells in >80% of the area of whole retina expressed the GFP. The GFP expression persisted for at least 12 weeks with no apparent decrease. The efficient gene transfer into photoreceptor cells by HIV vectors will be useful for gene therapy of retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa.

  10. 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.

  11. Integrative properties and transfer function of cortical neurons initiating absence seizures in a rat genetic model.

    PubMed

    Williams, Mark S; Altwegg-Boussac, Tristan; Chavez, Mario; Lecas, Sarah; Mahon, Séverine; Charpier, Stéphane

    2016-11-15

    Absence seizures are accompanied by spike-and-wave discharges in cortical electroencephalograms. These complex paroxysmal activities, affecting the thalamocortical networks, profoundly alter cognitive performances and preclude conscious perception. Here, using a well-recognized genetic model of absence epilepsy, we investigated in vivo how information processing was impaired in the ictogenic neurons, i.e. the population of cortical neurons responsible for seizure initiation. In between seizures, ictogenic neurons were more prone to generate bursting activity and their firing response to weak depolarizing events was considerably facilitated compared to control neurons. In the course of seizures, information processing became unstable in ictogenic cells, alternating between an increased and a decreased responsiveness to excitatory inputs, depending on the spike and wave patterns. The state-dependent modulation in the excitability of ictogenic neurons affects their inter-seizure transfer function and their time-to-time responsiveness to incoming inputs during absences. Epileptic seizures result from aberrant cellular and/or synaptic properties that can alter the capacity of neurons to integrate and relay information. During absence seizures, spike-and-wave discharges (SWDs) interfere with incoming sensory inputs and preclude conscious experience. The Genetic Absence Epilepsy Rats from Strasbourg (GAERS), a well-established animal model of absence epilepsy, allows exploration of the cellular basis of this impaired information processing. Here, by combining in vivo electrocorticographic and intracellular recordings from GAERS and control animals, we investigated how the pro-ictogenic properties of seizure-initiating cortical neurons modify their integrative properties and input-output operation during inter-ictal periods and during the spike (S-) and wave (W-) cortical patterns alternating during seizures. In addition to a sustained depolarization and an excessive

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Transfer Entropy Reconstruction and Labeling of Neuronal Connections from Simulated Calcium Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Orlandi, Javier G.; Stetter, Olav; Soriano, Jordi; Geisel, Theo; Battaglia, Demian

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal dynamics are fundamentally constrained by the underlying structural network architecture, yet much of the details of this synaptic connectivity are still unknown even in neuronal cultures in vitro. Here we extend a previous approach based on information theory, the Generalized Transfer Entropy, to the reconstruction of connectivity of simulated neuronal networks of both excitatory and inhibitory neurons. We show that, due to the model-free nature of the developed measure, both kinds of connections can be reliably inferred if the average firing rate between synchronous burst events exceeds a small minimum frequency. Furthermore, we suggest, based on systematic simulations, that even lower spontaneous inter-burst rates could be raised to meet the requirements of our reconstruction algorithm by applying a weak spatially homogeneous stimulation to the entire network. By combining multiple recordings of the same in silico network before and after pharmacologically blocking inhibitory synaptic transmission, we show then how it becomes possible to infer with high confidence the excitatory or inhibitory nature of each individual neuron. PMID:24905689

  15. Steroid sensitive kiss2 neurones in the goldfish: evolutionary insights into the duplicate kisspeptin gene-expressing neurones.

    PubMed

    Kanda, S; Karigo, T; Oka, Y

    2012-06-01

    The KISS1/Kiss1/kiss1 gene product kisspeptin is suggested to be involved in the steroid feedback system in vertebrates. In addition to kiss1, kiss2 has been identified in many vertebrates, including some mammals, suggesting that the both genes were originally expressed in the common ancestor of teleosts and tetrapods. Moreover, peptides from both genes have been shown to activate the kisspeptin receptors. To investigate the involvement of kiss1 or kiss2 neurones in steroid feedback, we used a seasonal breeder, the goldfish (Carassius auratus). We found that kiss2 is expressed in the preoptic area (POA), nucleus lateralis tuberis and nucleus recessus lateralis, and that kiss1 is expressed in the habenula. Greater mRNA expression in breeding than in nonbreeding condition animals and conspicuous up-regulation of gene expression by gonadal steroids was seen only in the kiss2 neurones of the POA. Furthermore, double in situ hybridisation suggested that these neurones express oestrogen receptors. Given that amphibians express kiss2 in POA and mammalian anteroventral periventricular nucleus/POA Kiss1 neurones show similar expression dynamics as goldfish POA Kiss2 neurones, we hypothesise that kiss1 and kiss2 share the same evolutionary origin; and, after the loss of kiss2, kiss1 became active for steroid feedback in mammals. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Neuroendocrinology © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  16. Unbiased View of Synaptic and Neuronal Gene Complement in Ctenophores: Are There Pan-neuronal and Pan-synaptic Genes across Metazoa?

    PubMed

    Moroz, Leonid L; Kohn, Andrea B

    2015-12-01

    Hypotheses of origins and evolution of neurons and synapses are controversial, mostly due to limited comparative data. Here, we investigated the genome-wide distribution of the bilaterian "synaptic" and "neuronal" protein-coding genes in non-bilaterian basal metazoans (Ctenophora, Porifera, Placozoa, and Cnidaria). First, there are no recognized genes uniquely expressed in neurons across all metazoan lineages. None of the so-called pan-neuronal genes such as embryonic lethal abnormal vision (ELAV), Musashi, or Neuroglobin are expressed exclusively in neurons of the ctenophore Pleurobrachia. Second, our comparative analysis of about 200 genes encoding canonical presynaptic and postsynaptic proteins in bilaterians suggests that there are no true "pan-synaptic" genes or genes uniquely and specifically attributed to all classes of synapses. The majority of these genes encode receptive and secretory complexes in a broad spectrum of eukaryotes. Trichoplax (Placozoa) an organism without neurons and synapses has more orthologs of bilaterian synapse-related/neuron-related genes than do ctenophores-the group with well-developed neuronal and synaptic organization. Third, the majority of genes encoding ion channels and ionotropic receptors are broadly expressed in unicellular eukaryotes and non-neuronal tissues in metazoans. Therefore, they cannot be viewed as neuronal markers. Nevertheless, the co-expression of multiple types of ion channels and receptors does correlate with the presence of neural and synaptic organization. As an illustrative example, the ctenophore genomes encode a greater diversity of ion channels and ionotropic receptors compared with the genomes of the placozoan Trichoplax and the demosponge Amphimedon. Surprisingly, both placozoans and sponges have a similar number of orthologs of "synaptic" proteins as we identified in the genomes of two ctenophores. Ctenophores have a distinct synaptic organization compared with other animals. Our analysis of

  17. A Single Gene Target of an ETS-Family Transcription Factor Determines Neuronal CO2-Chemosensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Brandt, Julia P.; Martinez-Velazquez, Luis A.; Petersen, Jakob Gramstrup; Pocock, Roger; Ringstad, Niels

    2012-01-01

    Many animals possess neurons specialized for the detection of carbon dioxide (CO2), which acts as a cue to elicit behavioral responses and is also an internally generated product of respiration that regulates animal physiology. In many organisms how such neurons detect CO2 is poorly understood. We report here a mechanism that endows C. elegans neurons with the ability to detect CO2. The ETS-5 transcription factor is necessary for the specification of CO2-sensing BAG neurons. Expression of a single ETS-5 target gene, gcy-9, which encodes a receptor-type guanylate cyclase, is sufficient to bypass a requirement for ets-5 in CO2-detection and transforms neurons into CO2-sensing neurons. Because ETS-5 and GCY-9 are members of gene families that are conserved between nematodes and vertebrates, a similar mechanism might act in the specification of CO2-sensing neurons in other phyla. PMID:22479504

  18. Single-Cell Gene Expression Analysis of Cholinergic Neurons in the Arcuate Nucleus of the Hypothalamus

    PubMed Central

    Chua, Streamson; Jo, Young-Hwan

    2016-01-01

    The cholinoceptive system in the hypothalamus, in particular in the arcuate nucleus (ARC), plays a role in regulating food intake. Neurons in the ARC contain multiple neuropeptides, amines, and neurotransmitters. To study molecular and neurochemical heterogeneity of ARC neurons, we combine single-cell qRT-PCR and single-cell whole transcriptome amplification methods to analyze expression patterns of our hand-picked 60 genes in individual neurons in the ARC. Immunohistochemical and single-cell qRT-PCR analyses show choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-expressing neurons in the ARC. Gene expression patterns are remarkably distinct in each individual cholinergic neuron. Two-thirds of cholinergic neurons express tyrosine hydroxylase (Th) mRNA. A large subset of these Th-positive cholinergic neurons is GABAergic as they express the GABA synthesizing enzyme glutamate decarboxylase and vesicular GABA transporter transcripts. Some cholinergic neurons also express the vesicular glutamate transporter transcript gene. POMC and POMC-processing enzyme transcripts are found in a subpopulation of cholinergic neurons. Despite this heterogeneity, gene expression patterns in individual cholinergic cells appear to be highly regulated in a cell-specific manner. In fact, membrane receptor transcripts are clustered with their respective intracellular signaling and downstream targets. This novel population of cholinergic neurons may be part of the neural circuitries that detect homeostatic need for food and control the drive to eat. PMID:27611685

  19. The LIM homeobox gene ceh-14 confers thermosensory function to the AFD neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Cassata, G; Kagoshima, H; Andachi, Y; Kohara, Y; Dürrenberger, M B; Hall, D H; Bürglin, T R

    2000-03-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans three pairs of neurons, AFD, AIY, and AIZ, play a key role in thermosensation. The LIM homeobox gene ceh-14 is expressed in the AFD thermosensory neurons. ceh-14 mutant animals display athermotactic behaviors, although the neurons are still present and differentiated. Two other LIM homeobox genes, ttx-3 and lin-11, function in the two interneurons AIY and AIZ, respectively. Thus, the three key thermosensory neurons are specified by three different LIM homeobox genes. ceh-14 ttx-3 lin-11 triple mutant animals have a basic cryophilic thermotaxis behavior indicative of a second thermotaxis pathway. Misexpression of ceh-14 in chemosensory neurons can restore thermotactic behavior without impairing the chemosensory function. Thus, ceh-14 confers thermosensory function to neurons.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Vesicular stomatitis virus enables gene transfer and transsynaptic tracing in a wide range of organisms

    PubMed Central

    Mundell, Nathan A.; Beier, Kevin T.; Pan, Y. Albert; Lapan, Sylvain W.; Göz Aytürk, Didem; Berezovskii, Vladimir K.; Wark, Abigail R.; Drokhlyansky, Eugene; Bielecki, Jan; Born, Richard T.; Schier, Alexander F.

    2015-01-01

    Current limitations in technology have prevented an extensive analysis of the connections among neurons, particularly within nonmammalian organisms. We developed a transsynaptic viral tracer originally for use in mice, and then tested its utility in a broader range of organisms. By engineering the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) to encode a fluorophore and either the rabies virus glycoprotein (RABV‐G) or its own glycoprotein (VSV‐G), we created viruses that can transsynaptically label neuronal circuits in either the retrograde or anterograde direction, respectively. The vectors were investigated for their utility as polysynaptic tracers of chicken and zebrafish visual pathways. They showed patterns of connectivity consistent with previously characterized visual system connections, and revealed several potentially novel connections. Further, these vectors were shown to infect neurons in several other vertebrates, including Old and New World monkeys, seahorses, axolotls, and Xenopus. They were also shown to infect two invertebrates, Drosophila melanogaster, and the box jellyfish, Tripedalia cystophora, a species previously intractable for gene transfer, although no clear evidence of transsynaptic spread was observed in these species. These vectors provide a starting point for transsynaptic tracing in most vertebrates, and are also excellent candidates for gene transfer in organisms that have been refractory to other methods. J. Comp. Neurol. 523:1639–1663, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:25688551

  3. Functional auditory hair cells produced in the mammalian cochlea by in utero gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    Gubbels, Samuel. P.; Woessner, David W.; Mitchell, John C.; Ricci, Anthony J.; Brigande, John V.

    2010-01-01

    Sensory hair cells in the mammalian cochlea convert mechanical stimuli into electrical impulses that subserve audition1,2. Loss of hair cells and their innervating neurons is the most frequent cause of hearing impairment3. Atonal homolog 1 (Atoh1, also known as Math1) is a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor required for hair cell development4-6 and its misexpression in vitro7,8 and in vivo9,10 generates hair-cell-like cells. Atoh1-based gene therapy to ameliorate auditory10 and vestibular11 dysfunction has been proposed. However, the biophysical properties of putative hair cells induced by Atoh1 misexpression have not been characterized. Here we show that in utero gene transfer of Atoh1 produces functional supernumerary hair cells in the mouse cochlea. The induced hair cells display stereociliary bundles, attract neuronal processes, and express the ribbon synapse marker C-terminal binding protein 2 (Ctbp2)12,13. Moreover, the hair cells are capable of mechanoelectrical transduction1,2 and display basolateral conductances with age-appropriate specializations. Our results demonstrate that manipulation of cell fate by transcription factor misexpression produces functional sensory cells in the postnatal mammalian cochlea. We anticipate that our in utero gene transfer paradigm will enable the design and validation of gene therapies to ameliorate hearing loss in mouse models of human deafness14,15. PMID:18754012

  4. Unbiased View of Synaptic and Neuronal Gene Complement in Ctenophores: Are There Pan-neuronal and Pan-synaptic Genes across Metazoa?

    PubMed Central

    Moroz, Leonid L.; Kohn, Andrea B.

    2015-01-01

    Hypotheses of origins and evolution of neurons and synapses are controversial, mostly due to limited comparative data. Here, we investigated the genome-wide distribution of the bilaterian “synaptic” and “neuronal” protein-coding genes in non-bilaterian basal metazoans (Ctenophora, Porifera, Placozoa, and Cnidaria). First, there are no recognized genes uniquely expressed in neurons across all metazoan lineages. None of the so-called pan-neuronal genes such as embryonic lethal abnormal vision (ELAV), Musashi, or Neuroglobin are expressed exclusively in neurons of the ctenophore Pleurobrachia. Second, our comparative analysis of about 200 genes encoding canonical presynaptic and postsynaptic proteins in bilaterians suggests that there are no true “pan-synaptic” genes or genes uniquely and specifically attributed to all classes of synapses. The majority of these genes encode receptive and secretory complexes in a broad spectrum of eukaryotes. Trichoplax (Placozoa) an organism without neurons and synapses has more orthologs of bilaterian synapse-related/neuron-related genes than do ctenophores—the group with well-developed neuronal and synaptic organization. Third, the majority of genes encoding ion channels and ionotropic receptors are broadly expressed in unicellular eukaryotes and non-neuronal tissues in metazoans. Therefore, they cannot be viewed as neuronal markers. Nevertheless, the co-expression of multiple types of ion channels and receptors does correlate with the presence of neural and synaptic organization. As an illustrative example, the ctenophore genomes encode a greater diversity of ion channels and ionotropic receptors compared with the genomes of the placozoan Trichoplax and the demosponge Amphimedon. Surprisingly, both placozoans and sponges have a similar number of orthologs of “synaptic” proteins as we identified in the genomes of two ctenophores. Ctenophores have a distinct synaptic organization compared with other animals. Our

  5. In utero Electroporation followed by Primary Neuronal Culture for Studying Gene Function in Subset of Cortical Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Rice, Heather; Suth, Seiyam; Cavanaugh, William; Bai, Jilin; Young-Pearse, Tracy L.

    2010-01-01

    In vitro study of primary neuronal cultures allows for quantitative analyses of neurite outgrowth. In order to study how genetic alterations affect neuronal process outgrowth, shRNA or cDNA constructs can be introduced into primary neurons via chemical transfection or viral transduction. However, with primary cortical cells, a heterogeneous pool of cell types (glutamatergic neurons from different layers, inhibitory neurons, glial cells) are transfected using these methods. The use of in utero electroporation to introduce DNA constructs in the embryonic rodent cortex allows for certain subsets of cells to be targeted: while electroporation of early embryonic cortex targets deep layers of the cortex, electroporation at late embryonic timepoints targets more superficial layers. Further, differential placement of electrodes across the heads of individual embryos results in the targeting of dorsal-medial versus ventral-lateral regions of the cortex. Following electroporation, transfected cells can be dissected out, dissociated, and plated in vitro for quantitative analysis of neurite outgrowth. Here, we provide a step-by-step method to quantitatively measure neuronal process outgrowth in subsets of cortical cells. The basic protocol for in utero electroporation has been described in detail in two other JoVE articles from the Kriegstein lab 1, 2. We will provide an overview of our protocol for in utero electroporation, focusing on the most important details, followed by a description of our protocol that applies in utero electroporation to the study of gene function in neuronal process outgrowth. PMID:20972409

  6. Possible mechanism of polycation liposome (PCL)-mediated gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Sugiyama, Mayu; Matsuura, Mituso; Takeuchi, Yoshito; Kosaka, Jun; Nango, Mamoru; Oku, Naoto

    2004-01-28

    A novel gene transfer system utilizing polycation liposomes (PCLs), obtained by modifying liposomes with cetyl polyethylenimine (PEI), was previously developed (Gene Ther. 7 (2002) 1148). PCLs show notable transfection efficiency with low cytotoxicity. However, the mechanism of PCL-mediated gene transfer is still unclear. In this study, we examined the intracellular trafficking of PCL-DNA complexes by using HT1080 cells, fluorescent probe-labeled materials, and confocal laser scan microscopy. We found that the PCL-DNA complexes were taken up into cells by the endosomal pathway, since both cellular uptake of the complex and gene expression were blocked by wortmannin, an inhibitor of this pathway. We also observed that the plasmid DNA and cetyl PEI complex became detached from the PCL lipids and was preferentially transferred into the nucleus in the form of the complex, whereas the PCL lipids remained in the cytoplasmic area, possibly in the endosomes. In fact, nigericin, which dissipates the pH gradient across the endosomal membrane, inhibited the detachment of lipids from the PCL-DNA complex and subsequent gene expression. Taken together, our data indicate the following mechanism for gene transfer by PCLs: PCLs effectively transfer DNA to endosomes and release cetyl PEI-DNA complexes into the cytosol. Furthermore, cetyl PEI also contributes to gene entry into the nucleus.

  7. Zbtb20 defines a hippocampal neuronal identity through direct repression of genes that control projection neuron development in the isocortex.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Jakob V; Thomassen, Mads; Møllgård, Kjeld; Noraberg, Jens; Jensen, Niels A

    2014-05-01

    Hippocampal pyramidal neurons are important for encoding and retrieval of spatial maps and episodic memories. While previous work has shown that Zbtb20 is a cell fate determinant for CA1 pyramidal neurons, the regulatory mechanisms governing this process are not known. In this study, we demonstrate that Zbtb20 binds to genes that control neuronal subtype specification in the developing isocortex, including Cux1, Cux2, Fezf2, Foxp2, Mef2c, Rorb, Satb2, Sox5, Tbr1, Tle4, and Zfpm2. We show that Zbtb20 represses these genes during ectopic CA1 pyramidal neuron development in transgenic mice. These data reveal a novel regulatory mechanism by which Zbtb20 suppresses the acquisition of an isocortical fate during archicortical neurogenesis to ensure commitment to a CA1 pyramidal neuron fate. We further show that the expression pattern of Zbtb20 is evolutionary conserved in the fetal human hippocampus, where it is complementary to the expression pattern of the Zbtb20 target gene Tbr1. Therefore, the disclosed Zbtb20-mediated transcriptional repressor mechanism may be involved in development of the human archicortex.

  8. The forkhead domain gene unc-130 generates chemosensory neuron diversity in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sarafi-Reinach, Trina R.; Sengupta, Piali

    2000-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans responds to its complex chemical environment using a small number of chemosensory neurons. Each of these neurons exhibits a unique sensory response repertoire. The developmental mechanisms that generate this diversity of function are largely unknown. Many C. elegans chemosensory neurons, including the AWA and ASG neurons, arise as lineal sisters of an asymmetric division. Here we describe the gene unc-130, which plays a role in the generation of the AWA and ASG neurons. In unc-130 mutants, the ASG neurons adopt the fate of the AWA neurons. unc-130 encodes a member of the forkhead domain family of transcription factors, and is expressed in the precursors to AWA and ASG neurons. Misexpression of unc-130 in the AWA neurons is partly sufficient to repress the AWA fate, but not to promote ASG fate. unc-130 also plays a role in the development of additional chemosensory neurons. Our experiments show that the ASG neurons share a developmental default state in common with three types of olfactory neurons. We propose that distinct cell fates and hence diversity of function in the chemosensory neurons of C. elegans are generated in a hierarchical manner, utilizing both lineage-dependent and independent mechanisms. PMID:11018015

  9. Regulatory logic of pan-neuronal gene expression in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Stefanakis, Nikolaos; Carrera, Ines; Hobert, Oliver

    2015-01-01

    While neuronal cell types display an astounding degree of phenotypic diversity, most if not all neuron types share a core panel of terminal features. However, little is known about how pan-neuronal expression patterns are genetically programmed. Through an extensive analysis of the cis-regulatory control regions of a battery of pan-neuronal C.elegans genes, including genes involved in synaptic vesicle biology and neuropeptide signaling, we define a common organizational principle in the regulation of pan-neuronal genes in the form of a surprisingly complex array of seemingly redundant, parallel-acting cis-regulatory modules that direct expression to broad, overlapping domains throughout the nervous system. These parallel-acting cis-regulatory modules are responsive to a multitude of distinct trans-acting factors. Neuronal gene expression programs therefore fall into two fundamentally distinct classes. Neuron type-specific genes are generally controlled by discrete and non-redundantly acting regulatory inputs, while pan-neuronal gene expression is controlled by diverse, coincident and seemingly redundant regulatory inputs. PMID:26291158

  10. 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.

  11. In vivo rapid gene delivery into postmitotic neocortical neurons using iontoporation.

    PubMed

    De la Rossa, Andres; Jabaudon, Denis

    2015-01-01

    This protocol describes a method for directing the expression of genes of interest into postmitotic neocortical neurons in vivo. Microinjection of a DNA plasmid-amphiphilic molecule mix into the neocortex followed by delivery of an ad hoc electric pulse protocol during the first few days of life in mice allows rapid, focal and efficient expression of genes in postmitotic neurons. Compared with other gene delivery techniques such as in utero electroporation and viral infection, this method allows rapid (12 h), focal (50-200 μm), mosaic-like (50 to several hundred neurons) targeting of postmitotic neurons within existing circuits. This 'iontoporation' protocol, which can be completed within ∼20 min per mouse, allows straightforward assessment of genetic constructs in postmitotic cortical neurons and subsequent genetic, histological and physiological investigations of gene function.

  12. A novel peptide delivers plasmids across blood-brain barrier into neuronal cells as a single-component transfer vector.

    PubMed

    Fu, Ailing; Zhang, Miaomiao; Gao, Feiyan; Xu, Xingran; Chen, Zhangbao

    2013-01-01

    There is no data up to now to show that peptide can deliver plasmid into brain as a single-component transfer vector. Here we show that a novel peptide, RDP (consisted of 39 amino acids), can be exploited as an efficient plasmid vector for brain-targeting delivery. The plasmids containing Lac Z reporter gene (pVAX-Lac Z) and BDNF gene (pVAX-BDNF) are complexed with RDP and intravenously injected into mice. The results of gel retardation assay show that RDP enables to bind DNA in a dose-dependent manner, and the X-Gal staining identity that Lac Z is specifically expressed in the brain. Also, the results of Western blot and immunofluorescence staining of BDNF indicate that pVAX-BDNF complexed with RDP can be delivered into brain, and show neuroprotective properties in experimental Parkinson's disease (PD) model. The results demonstrate that RDP enables to bind and deliver DNA into the brain, resulting in specific gene expression in the neuronal cells. This strategy provides a novel, simple and effective approach for non-viral gene therapy of brain diseases.

  13. Global Analysis of Horizontal Gene Transfer in Fusarium verticillioides

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  14. Apolipoprotein E4 Suppresses Neuronal-Specific Gene Expression in Maturing Neuronal Progenitor Cells Exposed to HIV.

    PubMed

    Geffin, Rebeca; Martinez, Ricardo; de Las Pozas, Alicia; Issac, Biju; McCarthy, Micheline

    2017-09-01

    The apolipoprotein ε4 gene allele and the apolipoprotein E4 protein (ApoE4) are important host susceptibility factors linked to neurocognitive disorders associated with HIV infection or Alzheimer's disease. Our previous studies showed differential effects of the two most common human ApoE genotypes, APOE3/3 and APOE3/4, on gene expression by differentiating human neuroepithelial progenitor cells continuously exposed to HIV. To investigate the effects of ApoE3 versus ApoE4 isoforms specifically on maturing neurons, we adapted a human neuronal progenitor cell line, hNP1, with ApoE genotype APOE3/3. Differentiating hNP1 cells were exposed for 16 days to HIV- or mock-infected supernatants and to added recombinant ApoE isoforms rApoE3 or rApoE4 to modulate the ApoE phenotype of the cells. Gene expression was investigated using microarray and functional genomics analyses. Added rApoE3 differentially affected 36 genes. Added rApoE4 differentially affected 85 genes; 41 of which were differentially expressed only in HIV or mock-supernatant treated cells, and 80% of which were downregulated. Genes differentially downregulated only by rApoE4 represented multiple neuronal functions related to neurogenesis. Approximately five times more genes were differentially enriched by rApoE4 versus rApoE3 in the Gene Ontology (GO) cellular process analysis, with 4 orders of magnitude greater significance. Half of the top 10 GO processes affected by rApoE4 treatment were neurogenesis-related. The largest differences in gene expression between the two isoforms were observed within the HIV-exposed cultures, suggesting that HIV exposure magnifies ApoE4's suppressive effect on neuronal gene expression. This study provides evidence for neuronal-specific responses to ApoE4 that could affect neurogenesis and neuronal survival.

  15. 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.

  16. Horizontal gene transfer in an acid mine drainage microbial community.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jiangtao; Wang, Qi; Wang, Xiaoqi; Wang, Fumeng; Yao, Jinxian; Zhu, Huaiqiu

    2015-07-04

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has been widely identified in complete prokaryotic genomes. However, the roles of HGT among members of a microbial community and in evolution remain largely unknown. With the emergence of metagenomics, it is nontrivial to investigate such horizontal flow of genetic materials among members in a microbial community from the natural environment. Because of the lack of suitable methods for metagenomics gene transfer detection, microorganisms from a low-complexity community acid mine drainage (AMD) with near-complete genomes were used to detect possible gene transfer events and suggest the biological significance. Using the annotation of coding regions by the current tools, a phylogenetic approach, and an approximately unbiased test, we found that HGTs in AMD organisms are not rare, and we predicted 119 putative transferred genes. Among them, 14 HGT events were determined to be transfer events among the AMD members. Further analysis of the 14 transferred genes revealed that the HGT events affected the functional evolution of archaea or bacteria in AMD, and it probably shaped the community structure, such as the dominance of G-plasma in archaea in AMD through HGT. Our study provides a novel insight into HGT events among microorganisms in natural communities. The interconnectedness between HGT and community evolution is essential to understand microbial community formation and development.

  17. 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

  18. Regulation of mammalian horizontal gene transfer by apoptotic DNA fragmentation

    PubMed Central

    Yan, B; Wang, H; Li, F; Li, C-Y

    2006-01-01

    Previously it was shown that horizontal DNA transfer between mammalian cells can occur through the uptake of apoptotic bodies, where genes from the apoptotic cells were transferred to neighbouring cells phagocytosing the apoptotic bodies. The regulation of this process is poorly understood. It was shown that the ability of cells as recipient of horizontally transferred DNA was enhanced by deficiency of p53 or p21. However, little is known with regard to the regulation of DNA from donor apoptotic cells. Here we report that the DNA fragmentation factor/caspase-activated DNase (DFF/CAD), which is the endonuclease responsible for DNA fragmentation during apoptosis, plays a significant role in regulation of horizontal DNA transfer. Cells with inhibited DFF/CAD function are poor donors for horizontal gene transfer (HGT) while their ability of being recipients of HGT is not affected. PMID:17146478

  19. Quantifying impacts of short-term plasticity on neuronal information transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, Pat; Cowan, Anna I.; Stricker, Christian

    2012-04-01

    Short-term changes in efficacy have been postulated to enhance the ability of synapses to transmit information between neurons, and within neuronal networks. Even at the level of connections between single neurons, direct confirmation of this simple conjecture has proven elusive. By combining paired-cell recordings, realistic synaptic modeling, and information theory, we provide evidence that short-term plasticity can not only improve, but also reduce information transfer between neurons. We focus on a concrete example in rat neocortex, but our results may generalize to other systems. When information is contained in the timings of individual spikes, we find that facilitation, depression, and recovery affect information transmission in proportion to their impacts upon the probability of neurotransmitter release. When information is instead conveyed by mean spike rate only, the influences of short-term plasticity critically depend on the range of spike frequencies that the target network can distinguish (its effective dynamic range). Our results suggest that to efficiently transmit information, the brain must match synaptic type, coding strategy, and network connectivity during development and behavior.

  20. Isolation of Specific Neurons from C. elegans Larvae for Gene Expression Profiling

    PubMed Central

    Spencer, W. Clay; McWhirter, Rebecca; Miller, Tyne; Strasbourger, Pnina; Thompson, Owen; Hillier, LaDeana W.; Waterston, Robert H.; Miller, David M.

    2014-01-01

    Background The simple and well-described structure of the C. elegans nervous system offers an unprecedented opportunity to identify the genetic programs that define the connectivity and function of individual neurons and their circuits. A correspondingly precise gene expression map of C. elegans neurons would facilitate the application of genetic methods toward this goal. Here we describe a powerful new approach, SeqCeL (RNA-Seq of C. elegans cells) for producing gene expression profiles of specific larval C. elegans neurons. Methods and Results We have exploited available GFP reporter lines for FACS isolation of specific larval C. elegans neurons for RNA-Seq analysis. Our analysis showed that diverse classes of neurons are accessible to this approach. To demonstrate the applicability of this strategy to rare neuron types, we generated RNA-Seq profiles of the NSM serotonergic neurons that occur as a single bilateral pair of cells in the C. elegans pharynx. These data detected >1,000 NSM enriched transcripts, including the majority of previously known NSM-expressed genes. Significance This work offers a simple and robust protocol for expression profiling studies of post-embryonic C. elegans neurons and thus provides an important new method for identifying candidate genes for key roles in neuron-specific development and function. PMID:25372608

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. The role of the ETS gene PEA3 in the development of motor and sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Ladle, David R; Frank, Eric

    2002-12-01

    The ETS family of transcription factors includes two members, ER81 and PEA3, which are expressed in groups of sensory and motor neurons supplying individual muscles. To investigate a possible role of these genes in determining sensory and/or motor neuron phenotype, we studied mice in which each of these genes was deleted. In contrast to the deletion of ER81, which blocks the formation of projections from muscle sensory neurons to motor neurons in the spinal cord, deletion of PEA3 causes no obvious effects on sensory neurons or on their synaptic connections with motor neurons. PEA3 does play a major role in the formation of some brachial motoneurons however. Motoneurons innervating the cutaneous maximus muscle, which are normally PEA3(+), fail to develop normally so that postnatally the muscle is innervated by few motoneurons and is severely atrophic. Other studies suggest that these motoneurons initially appear during development but fail to contact their normal muscle targets.

  7. Stochastic fluctuations in gene expression in aging hippocampal neurons could be exacerbated by traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Shearer, Joseph; Boone, Deborah; Weisz, Harris; Jennings, Kristofer; Uchida, Tatsuo; Parsley, Margaret; DeWitt, Douglas; Prough, Donald; Hellmich, Helen

    2016-04-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a risk factor for age-related dementia and development of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease that are associated with cognitive decline. The exact mechanism for this risk is unknown but we hypothesized that TBI is exacerbating age-related changes in gene expression. Here, we present evidence in an animal model that experimental TBI increases age-related stochastic gene expression. We compared the variability in expression of several genes associated with cell survival or death, among three groups of laser capture microdissected hippocampal neurons from aging rat brains. TBI increased stochastic fluctuations in gene expression in both dying and surviving neurons compared to the naïve neurons. Increases in random, stochastic fluctuations in prosurvival or prodeath gene expression could potentially alter cell survival or cell death pathways in aging neurons after TBI which may lead to age-related cognitive decline.

  8. Identification of horizontally transferred genes in the genus Colletotrichum reveals a steady tempo of bacterial to fungal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Jaramillo, Vinicio D Armijos; Sukno, Serenella A; Thon, Michael R

    2015-01-02

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the stable transmission of genetic material between organisms by means other than vertical inheritance. HGT has an important role in the evolution of prokaryotes but is relatively rare in eukaryotes. HGT has been shown to contribute to virulence in eukaryotic pathogens. We studied the importance of HGT in plant pathogenic fungi by identifying horizontally transferred genes in the genomes of three members of the genus Colletotrichum. We identified eleven HGT events from bacteria into members of the genus Colletotrichum or their ancestors. The HGT events include genes involved in amino acid, lipid and sugar metabolism as well as lytic enzymes. Additionally, the putative minimal dates of transference were calculated using a time calibrated phylogenetic tree. This analysis reveals a constant flux of genes from bacteria to fungi throughout the evolution of subphylum Pezizomycotina. Genes that are typically transferred by HGT are those that are constantly subject to gene duplication and gene loss. The functions of some of these genes suggest roles in niche adaptation and virulence. We found no evidence of a burst of HGT events coinciding with major geological events. In contrast, HGT appears to be a constant, albeit rare phenomenon in the Pezizomycotina, occurring at a steady rate during their evolution.

  9. 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

  10. Nonviral gene transfer of hepatocyte growth factor attenuates neurologic injury after spinal cord ischemia in rabbits.

    PubMed

    Shi, Enyi; Jiang, Xiaojing; Kazui, Teruhisa; Washiyama, Naoki; Yamashita, Katsushi; Terada, Hitoshi; Bashar, Abul Hasan Muhammad

    2006-10-01

    Paraplegia caused by spinal cord ischemia remains a serious complication after surgical repair of thoracoabdminal aortic aneurysms. Hepatocyte growth factor is a potent angiogenic and neurotrophic factor. We sought to investigate the neuroprotective effect of gene transfer of hepatocyte growth factor on spinal cord ischemia in rabbits. Human hepatocyte growth factor expression plasmid was combined with hemagglutinating virus of Japan envelope vector. Hemagglutinating virus of Japan envelope vector containing the hepatocyte growth factor gene was injected intrathecally into the experimental rabbits, whereas control vector or saline was given to the control animals. Five days later, spinal cord ischemia was induced by means of infrarenal aortic occlusion for 30 minutes. Hind-limb motor function was assessed during a 14-day recovery period with Tarlov criteria. Human hepatocyte growth factor was detected in the cerebrospinal fluid 3 days after gene transfer, and the level peaked on day 5. Compared with the control animals, hepatocyte growth factor gene transfer significantly increased the capillary density in the gray matter and decreased the spinal cord edema. All rabbits pretreated with saline or control vector had hind-limb paraplegia (Tarlov score = 0) 14 days after spinal cord ischemia. However, previous transfection of the hepatocyte growth factor gene remarkably enhanced the Tarlov scores, and 8 of the 9 rabbits showed normal motor function (Tarlov score = 5) after a 14-day recovery period. Histologic examination showed that the intact motor neurons were preserved to a much greater extent in the rabbits transfected with the hepatocyte growth factor gene. Gene transfer of hepatocyte growth factor attenuates neurologic injury after spinal cord ischemia.

  11. Peripheral nervous system genes expressed in central neurons induce growth on inhibitory substrates.

    PubMed

    Buchser, William J; Smith, Robin P; Pardinas, Jose R; Haddox, Candace L; Hutson, Thomas; Moon, Lawrence; Hoffman, Stanley R; Bixby, John L; Lemmon, Vance P

    2012-01-01

    Trauma to the spinal cord and brain can result in irreparable loss of function. This failure of recovery is in part due to inhibition of axon regeneration by myelin and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs). Peripheral nervous system (PNS) neurons exhibit increased regenerative ability compared to central nervous system neurons, even in the presence of inhibitory environments. Previously, we identified over a thousand genes differentially expressed in PNS neurons relative to CNS neurons. These genes represent intrinsic differences that may account for the PNS's enhanced regenerative ability. Cerebellar neurons were transfected with cDNAs for each of these PNS genes to assess their ability to enhance neurite growth on inhibitory (CSPG) or permissive (laminin) substrates. Using high content analysis, we evaluated the phenotypic profile of each neuron to extract meaningful data for over 1100 genes. Several known growth associated proteins potentiated neurite growth on laminin. Most interestingly, novel genes were identified that promoted neurite growth on CSPGs (GPX3, EIF2B5, RBMX). Bioinformatic approaches also uncovered a number of novel gene families that altered neurite growth of CNS neurons.

  12. Peripheral Nervous System Genes Expressed in Central Neurons Induce Growth on Inhibitory Substrates

    PubMed Central

    Buchser, William J.; Smith, Robin P.; Pardinas, Jose R.; Haddox, Candace L.; Hutson, Thomas; Moon, Lawrence; Hoffman, Stanley R.; Bixby, John L.; Lemmon, Vance P.

    2012-01-01

    Trauma to the spinal cord and brain can result in irreparable loss of function. This failure of recovery is in part due to inhibition of axon regeneration by myelin and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs). Peripheral nervous system (PNS) neurons exhibit increased regenerative ability compared to central nervous system neurons, even in the presence of inhibitory environments. Previously, we identified over a thousand genes differentially expressed in PNS neurons relative to CNS neurons. These genes represent intrinsic differences that may account for the PNS’s enhanced regenerative ability. Cerebellar neurons were transfected with cDNAs for each of these PNS genes to assess their ability to enhance neurite growth on inhibitory (CSPG) or permissive (laminin) substrates. Using high content analysis, we evaluated the phenotypic profile of each neuron to extract meaningful data for over 1100 genes. Several known growth associated proteins potentiated neurite growth on laminin. Most interestingly, novel genes were identified that promoted neurite growth on CSPGs (GPX3, EIF2B5, RBMX). Bioinformatic approaches also uncovered a number of novel gene families that altered neurite growth of CNS neurons. PMID:22701605

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-05

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

  16. 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.

  17. Shock wave induced sonoporation and gene transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Douglas L.

    2003-10-01

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

  18. 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

  19. [Gene transfer as treatment for metabolic inherited liver diseases

    PubMed

    Godoy, J L

    2000-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To study gene transfer looking for its future clinical application in the treatment of metabolic inherited liver diseases. METHODS: Bibliographic review about the subject. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Gene transfer into the liver would be an alternative to liver transplantation to treat some inherited metabolic diseases. Various vectors have been employed for gene transfer, including retrovirus vectors, whose integration into the chromosomal DNA would allow stable long term expression of the transgene. The integration of retrovirus vectors into the genoma of the target cell is only possible during mitosis. Therefore, these vectors must be delivered during hepatic regeneration induced by partial hepatectomy, for example. Another obstacle to be overcome is the extra hepatic dissemination of retrovirus, in particular to the germinals cells, due to the risk of changing the genetical heritage of the progeniture.

  20. Peripheral nerve graft with immunosuppression modifies gene expression in axotomized CNS neurons.

    PubMed

    Murray, Marion; Santi, Lauren; Monaghan, Rebecca; Houle, John D; Barr, Gordon A

    2011-12-01

    Adult central nervous system (CNS) neurons do not regenerate severed axons unaided but may regenerate axons into apposed predegenerated peripheral nerve grafts (PNGs). We examined gene expression by using microarray technology in laser-dissected lateral vestibular (LV) neurons whose axons were severed by a lateral hemisection at C3 (HX) and in lateral vestibular nucleus (LVN) neurons that were hemisected at C3 and that received immunosuppression with cyclosporine A (CsA) and a predegenerated PNG (termed I-PNG) into the lesion site. The results provide an expression analysis of temporal changes that occur in LVN neurons in nonregenerative and potentially regenerative states and over a period of 42 days. Axotomy alone resulted in a prolonged change in regulation of probe sets, with more being upregulated than downregulated. Apposition of a PNG with immunosuppression muted gene expression overall. Axotomized neurons (HX) upregulated genes commonly associated with axonal growth, whereas axotomized neurons whose axons were apposed to the PNG showed diminished expression of many of these genes but greater expression of genes related to energy production. The results suggest that axotomized LVN neurons express many genes thought to be associated with regeneration to a greater extent than LVN neurons that are apposed to a PNG. Thus the LVN neurons remain in a regenerative state following axotomy but the conditions provided by the I-PNG appear to be neuroprotective, preserving or enhancing mitochondrial activity, which may provide required energy for regeneration. We speculate that the graft also enables sufficient axonal synthesis of cytoskeletal components to allow axonal growth without marked increase in expression of genes normally associated with regeneration. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  1. 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

  2. Polycomb genes interact with the tumor suppressor genes hippo and warts in the maintenance of Drosophila sensory neuron dendrites

    PubMed Central

    Parrish, Jay Z.; Emoto, Kazuo; Jan, Lily Yeh; Jan, Yuh Nung

    2007-01-01

    Dendritic fields are important determinants of neuronal function. However, how neurons establish and then maintain their dendritic fields is not well understood. Here we show that Polycomb group (PcG) genes are required for maintenance of complete and nonoverlapping dendritic coverage of the larval body wall by Drosophila class IV dendrite arborization (da) neurons. In esc, Su(z)12, or Pc mutants, dendritic fields are established normally, but class IV neurons display a gradual loss of dendritic coverage, while axons remain normal in appearance, demonstrating that PcG genes are specifically required for dendrite maintenance. Both multiprotein Polycomb repressor complexes (PRCs) involved in transcriptional silencing are implicated in regulation of dendrite arborization in class IV da neurons, likely through regulation of homeobox (Hox) transcription factors. We further show genetic interactions and association between PcG proteins and the tumor suppressor kinase Warts (Wts), providing evidence for their cooperation in multiple developmental processes including dendrite maintenance. PMID:17437999

  3. Spatial gene's (Tbata) implication in neurite outgrowth and dendrite patterning in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Yammine, Miriam; Saade, Murielle; Chauvet, Sophie; Nguyen, Catherine

    2014-03-01

    The unique architecture of neurons requires the establishment and maintenance of polarity, which relies in part on microtubule-based kinesin motor transport to deliver essential cargo into axons and dendrites. In developing neurons, kinesin trafficking is essential for delivering organelles and molecules that are crucial for elongation and guidance of the growing axonal and dendritic termini. In mature neurons, kinesin cargo delivery is essential for neuron dynamic physiological functions which are critical in brain development. In this work, we followed Spatial (Tbata) gene expression during primary hippocampal neuron development and showed that it is highly expressed during dendrite formation. Spatial protein exhibits a somatodendritic distribution and we show that the kinesin motor Kif17, among other dendrite specific kinesins, is crucial for Spatial localization to dendrites of hippocampal neurons. Furthermore, Spatial down regulation in primary hippocampal cells revealed a role for Spatial in maintaining neurons' polarity by ensuring proper neurite outgrowth. This polarity is specified by intrinsic and extracellular signals that allow neurons to determine axon and dendrite fate during development. Neurotrophic factors, such as the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), are candidate extracellular polarity-regulating cues which are proposed to accelerate neuronal polarization by enhancing dendrite growth. Here, we show that NGF treatment increases Spatial expression in hippocampal neurons. Altogether, these data suggest that Spatial, in response to NGF and through its transport by Kif17, is crucial for neuronal polarization and can be a key regulator of neurite outgrowth.

  4. FACS identifies unique cocaine-induced gene regulation in selectively activated adult striatal neurons

    PubMed Central

    Guez-Barber, Danielle; Fanous, Sanya; Golden, Sam A.; Schrama, Regina; Koya, Eisuke; Stern, Anna L.; Bossert, Jennifer M.; Harvey, Brandon K.; Picciotto, Marina R.; Hope, Bruce T.

    2011-01-01

    Numerous studies with the neural activity marker Fos indicate that cocaine activates only a small proportion of sparsely distributed striatal neurons. Until now, efficient methods were not available to assess neuroadaptations induced specifically within these activated neurons. We used fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) to purify striatal neurons activated during cocaine-induced locomotion in naïve and cocaine-sensitized cfos-lacZ transgenic rats. Activated neurons were labeled with an antibody against β-galactosidase, the protein product of the lacZ gene. Cocaine induced a unique gene expression profile selectively in the small proportion of activated neurons that was not observed in the non-activated majority of neurons. These genes included altered levels of the immediate early genes arc, fosB, and nr4a3, as well as genes involved in p38 MAPK signaling and cell-type specificity. We propose that this FACS method can be used to study molecular neuroadaptations in specific neurons encoding the behavioral effects of abused drugs and other learned behaviors. PMID:21411666

  5. Favorable effects of VEGF gene transfer on a rat model of Parkinson disease using adeno-associated viral vectors.

    PubMed

    Tian, You-yong; Tang, Cui-Ju; Wang, Jia-ning; Feng, Yuan; Chen, Xiao-wu; Wang, Lan; Qiao, Xian; Sun, Sheng-gang

    2007-06-29

    Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a specific angiogenic peptide, which has been identified to play a critical role in neurodegeneration, and has beneficial effects on neurons. In this study, we investigated whether neurodegeneration in a rat model of Parkinson disease could be prevented by VEGF gene transfer mediated by adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors. Our results demonstrated that a single injection of a VEGF-expressing AAV vector into striatum improved the rotational behavior of rat Parkinson disease models, and promoted the survival of dopaminergic neurons and fibers. Meanwhile, AAV-VEGF injection significantly increased the reactive astrocytes and the levels of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor in striatum, but did not induce extra angiogenesis and remarkable disorder of blood-brain barrier. We thus conclude that intrastriatal delivery of VEGF gene mediated by AAV has favorable effects on the dopaminergic neurons in a rat Parkinson disease model.

  6. Experimental strategy to identify genes susceptible to oxidative stress in nigral dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Myung S; Kawamata, Hibiki; Kim, Dae J; Chun, Hong S; Son, Jin H

    2004-06-01

    Neuropathological evidence from both human and experimental models of Parkinson's disease (PD) firmly supports a significant role for oxidative stress (OS) in the death of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in substantia nigra. Largely unknown are the genes underlying selective susceptibility of nigral DA neuron to OS and how they effect nigral DA cell death. The major barriers to high-throughput identification of candidate genes are the paucity of nigral DA neurons as well as the dilution effect of non-DA cells both in primary cultures and brain tissues. To overcome these barriers, we have developed a DA cell line model, SN4741, appropriate for cDNA microarray analysis. Candidate genes were selected from both the microarray analysis and the molecular implication of their pathological mechanisms (i.e., decreased mitochondrial complex I activity and proteasomal dysfunction) of PD. Subsequent secondary validation tests were devised to characterize genes including clone #45 that may underlie selective vulnerability of nigral DA neuron to OS.

  7. Transferring a synthetic gene circuit from yeast to mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Nevozhay, Dmitry; Zal, Tomasz; Balázsi, Gábor

    2013-01-01

    The emerging field of synthetic biology builds gene circuits for scientific, industrial and therapeutic needs. Adaptability of synthetic gene circuits across different organisms could enable a synthetic biology pipeline, where circuits are designed in silico, characterized in microbes and reimplemented in mammalian settings for practical usage. However, the processes affecting gene circuit adaptability have not been systematically investigated. Here we construct a mammalian version of a negative feedback-based 'linearizer' gene circuit previously developed in yeast. The first naïve mammalian prototype was non-functional, but a computational model suggested that we could recover function by improving gene expression and protein localization. After rationally developing and combining new parts as the model suggested, we regained function and could tune target gene expression in human cells linearly and precisely as in yeast. The steps we have taken should be generally relevant for transferring any gene circuit from yeast into mammalian cells.

  8. 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.

  9. Nitric oxide regulation of calcitonin gene-related peptide gene expression in rat trigeminal ganglia neurons

    PubMed Central

    Bellamy, Jamie; Bowen, Elizabeth J.; Russo, Andrew F.; Durham, Paul L.

    2006-01-01

    Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and nitric oxide are involved in the underlying pathophysiology of migraine and other diseases involving neurogenic inflammation. We have tested the hypothesis that nitric oxide might trigger signaling mechanisms within the trigeminal ganglia neurons that would coordinately stimulate CGRP synthesis and release. Treatment of primary trigeminal ganglia cultures with nitric oxide donors caused a greater than four-fold increase in CGRP release compared with unstimulated cultures. Similarly, CGRP promoter activity was also stimulated by nitric oxide donors and overexpression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Cotreatment with the antimigraine drug sumatriptan greatly repressed nitric oxide stimulation of CGRP promoter activity and secretion. Somewhat surprisingly, the mechanisms of nitric oxide stimulation of CGRP secretion did not require cGMP or PI3-kinase signaling pathways, but rather, nitric oxide action required extracellular calcium and likely involves T-type calcium channels. Furthermore, nitric oxide was shown to increase expression of the active forms of the mitogen-activated protein kinases Jun amino-terminal kinase and p38 but not extracellular signal-related kinase in trigeminal neurons. In summary, our results provide new insight into the cellular mechanisms by which nitric oxide induces CGRP synthesis and secretion from trigeminal neurons. PMID:16630053

  10. Altering equine corneal fibroblast differentiation through Smad gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Marlo, Todd L; Giuliano, Elizabeth A; Tripathi, Ratnakar; Sharma, Ajay; Mohan, Rajiv R

    2017-07-06

    To explore the impact of equine corneal fibroblast (ECF) to myofibroblast (ECM) differentiation by altering the expression of the Smad genes either individually or in combination. Specifically, we sought to examine the ECF differentiation after (a) silencing of Smad2, 3, and 4 profibrotic genes individually and (b) overexpression of antifibrotic Smad7 gene and in a combination with pro- and antifibrotic Smad genes. Equine corneal fibroblast primary cultures were generated as previously described. ECFs were transfected with individual plasmids which silenced gene expression of either Smad2, 3, or 4 or in combination with a plasmid overexpressing Smad7 using Lipofectamine 2000™ or Lipofectamine BLOCK-iT™. Smad-transfected clones were then exposed to TGF-β1 to induce differentiation to myofibroblasts. Immunofluorescence and qRT-PCR techniques quantified levels of ECF differentiation to ECM by measuring alpha smooth muscle actin, a known marker of ECM transdifferentiation. Silencing of individual Smad2, 3, or 4 genes or overexpression of Smad7 showed significant inhibition of ECF transdifferentiation (73-83% reduction). Silencing of Smad2 showed the greatest inhibition of ECF transdifferentiation in (a) and was therefore utilized for the combination gene transfer testing. The combination gene transfer consisting of Smad7 overexpression and Smad2 silencing attenuated ECF differentiation significantly; however, the level was not significant compared to the overexpression of Smad7 individually. Using gene transfer technology involving profibrotic Smad silencing, antifibrotic Smad overexpression or its combination is a novel strategy to control TGF-β1-mediated fibrosis in equine fibroblasts. Combination gene therapy was not better than single gene therapy in this study. © 2017 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  11. Optimization of Tet1 ligand density in HPMA-co-oligolysine copolymers for targeted neuronal gene delivery

    PubMed Central

    Chu, David S.H.; Schellinger, Joan G.; Bocek, Michael J.; Johnson, Russell N.; Pun, Suzie H.

    2013-01-01

    Targeted gene delivery vectors can enhance cellular specificity and transfection efficiency. We demonstrated previously that conjugation of Tet1, a peptide that binds to the GT1b ganglioside, to polyethylenimine results in preferential transfection of neural progenitor cells in vivo. In this work, we investigate the effect of Tet1 ligand density on gene delivery to neuron-like, differentiated PC-12 cells. A series of statistical, cationic peptide-based polymers containing various amounts (1—5 mol%) of Tet1 were synthesized via one-pot reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization by copolymerization of Tet1 and oligo-l-lysine macromonomers with N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA). When complexed with plasmid DNA, the resulting panel of Tet1-functionalized polymers formed particles with similar particle size as particles formed with untargeted HPMA–oligolysine copolymers. The highest cellular uptake in neuron-like differentiated PC-12 cells was observed using polymers with intermediate Tet1 peptide incorporation. Compared to untargeted polymers, polymers with optimal incorporation of Tet1 increased gene delivery to neuron-like PC-12 cells by over an order of magnitude but had no effect compared to control polymers in transfecting NIH/3T3 control cells. PMID:24041424

  12. [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.

  13. 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

  14. Gene transfer strategies in animal transgenesis.

    PubMed

    Montoliu, Lluís

    2002-01-01

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

  15. Activity-Dependent Changes in Gene Expression in Schizophrenia Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Neurons.

    PubMed

    Roussos, Panos; Guennewig, Boris; Kaczorowski, Dominik C; Barry, Guy; Brennand, Kristen J

    2016-11-01

    Schizophrenia candidate genes participate in common molecular pathways that are regulated by activity-dependent changes in neurons. One important next step is to further our understanding on the role of activity-dependent changes of gene expression in the etiopathogenesis of schizophrenia. To examine whether neuronal activity-dependent changes of gene expression are dysregulated in schizophrenia. Neurons differentiated from human-induced pluripotent stem cells derived from 4 individuals with schizophrenia and 4 unaffected control individuals were depolarized using potassium chloride. RNA was extracted followed by genome-wide profiling of the transcriptome. Neurons were planted on June 21, 2013, and harvested on August 2, 2013. We performed differential expression analysis and gene coexpression analysis to identify activity-dependent or disease-specific changes of the transcriptome. Gene expression differences were assessed with linear models. Furthermore, we used gene set analyses to identify coexpressed modules that are enriched for schizophrenia risk genes. We identified 1669 genes that were significantly different in schizophrenia-associated vs control human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons and 1199 genes that are altered in these cells in response to depolarization (linear models at false discovery rate ≤0.05). The effect of activity-dependent changes of gene expression in schizophrenia-associated neurons (59 significant genes at false discovery rate ≤0.05) was attenuated compared with control samples (594 significant genes at false discovery rate ≤0.05). Using gene coexpression analysis, we identified 2 modules (turquoise and brown) that were associated with diagnosis status and 2 modules (yellow and green) that were associated with depolarization at a false discovery rate of ≤0.05. For 3 of the 4 modules, we found enrichment with schizophrenia-associated variants: brown (χ2 = 20.68; P = .002), turquoise (χ2 = 12.95; P

  16. Knockdown of mental disorder susceptibility genes disrupts neuronal network physiology in vitro.

    PubMed

    MacLaren, Erik J; Charlesworth, Paul; Coba, Marcelo P; Grant, Seth G N

    2011-06-01

    Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are common diseases caused by multiple genes that disrupt brain circuits. While great progress has been made in identifying schizophrenia susceptibility genes, these studies have left two major unanswered mechanistic questions: is there a core biochemical mechanism that these genes regulate, and what are the electrophysiological consequences of the altered gene expression? Because clinical studies implicate abnormalities in neuronal networks, we developed a system for studying the neurophysiology of neuronal networks in vitro where the role of candidate disease genes can be rapidly assayed. Using this system we focused on three postsynaptic proteins DISC1, TNIK and PSD-93/DLG2 each of which is encoded by a schizophrenia susceptibility gene. We also examined the utility of this assay system in bipolar disorder (BD), which has a strong genetic overlap with schizophrenia, by examining the bipolar disorder susceptibility gene Dctn5. The global neuronal network firing behavior of primary cultures of mouse hippocampus neurons was examined on multi-electrode arrays (MEAs) and genes of interest were knocked down using RNAi interference. Measurement of multiple neural network parameters demonstrated phenotypes for these genes compared with controls. Moreover, the different genes disrupted network properties and showed distinct and overlapping effects. These data show multiple susceptibility genes for complex psychiatric disorders, regulate neural network physiology and demonstrate a new assay system with wide application. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Diversification of C. elegans Motor Neuron Identity via Selective Effector Gene Repression.

    PubMed

    Kerk, Sze Yen; Kratsios, Paschalis; Hart, Michael; Mourao, Romulo; Hobert, Oliver

    2017-01-04

    A common organizational feature of nervous systems is the existence of groups of neurons that share common traits but can be divided into individual subtypes based on anatomical or molecular features. We elucidate the mechanistic basis of neuronal diversification processes in the context of C.elegans ventral cord motor neurons that share common traits that are directly activated by the terminal selector UNC-3. Diversification of motor neurons into different classes, each characterized by unique patterns of effector gene expression, is controlled by distinct combinations of phylogenetically conserved, class-specific transcriptional repressors. These repressors are continuously required in postmitotic neurons to prevent UNC-3, which is active in all neuron classes, from activating class-specific effector genes in specific motor neuron subsets via discrete cis-regulatory elements. The strategy of antagonizing the activity of broadly acting terminal selectors of neuron identity in a subtype-specific fashion may constitute a general principle of neuron subtype diversification.

  18. The effects of spontaneous activity, background noise, and the stimulus ensemble on information transfer in neurons.

    PubMed

    Chacron, Maurice J; Longtin, André; Maler, Leonard

    2003-11-01

    trial-to-trial variability of the neural response to repeated presentations of a stimulus. However, the same background noise can also increase the variability of the spike train and hence can lead to increased information transfer in the presence of background noise. Our study emphasizes how different assumptions can lead to different predictions for the information transmission of a neuron. Assumptions about the computations being performed by the system under study as well as the stimulus ensemble and background noise should therefore be carefully considered when applying information theory.

  19. CTCF is required for neural development and stochastic expression of clustered Pcdh genes in neurons.

    PubMed

    Hirayama, Teruyoshi; Tarusawa, Etsuko; Yoshimura, Yumiko; Galjart, Niels; Yagi, Takeshi

    2012-08-30

    The CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) is a key molecule for chromatin conformational changes that promote cellular diversity, but nothing is known about its role in neurons. Here, we produced mice with a conditional knockout (cKO) of CTCF in postmitotic projection neurons, mostly in the dorsal telencephalon. The CTCF-cKO mice exhibited postnatal growth retardation and abnormal behavior and had defects in functional somatosensory mapping in the brain. In terms of gene expression, 390 transcripts were expressed at significantly different levels between CTCF-deficient and control cortex and hippocampus. In particular, the levels of 53 isoforms of the clustered protocadherin (Pcdh) genes, which are stochastically expressed in each neuron, declined markedly. Each CTCF-deficient neuron showed defects in dendritic arborization and spine density during brain development. Their excitatory postsynaptic currents showed normal amplitude but occurred with low frequency. Our results indicate that CTCF regulates functional neural development and neuronal diversity by controlling clustered Pcdh expression.

  20. A calcium- and light-gated switch to induce gene expression in activated neurons.

    PubMed

    Lee, Dongmin; Hyun, Jung Ho; Jung, Kanghoon; Hannan, Patrick; Kwon, Hyung-Bae

    2017-09-01

    Despite recent advances in optogenetics, it remains challenging to manipulate gene expression in specific populations of neurons. We present a dual-protein switch system, Cal-Light, that translates neuronal-activity-mediated calcium signaling into gene expression in a light-dependent manner. In cultured neurons and brain slices, we show that Cal-Light drives expression of the reporter EGFP with high spatiotemporal resolution only in the presence of both blue light and calcium. Delivery of the Cal-Light components to the motor cortex of mice by viral vectors labels a subset of excitatory and inhibitory neurons related to learned lever-pressing behavior. By using Cal-Light to drive expression of the inhibitory receptor halorhodopsin (eNpHR), which responds to yellow light, we temporarily inhibit the lever-pressing behavior, confirming that the labeled neurons mediate the behavior. Thus, Cal-Light enables dissection of neural circuits underlying complex mammalian behaviors with high spatiotemporal precision.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Viral mediated gene transfer to sprouting blood vessels during angiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Alian, Akram; Eldor, Amiram; Falk, Haya; Panet, Amos

    2002-08-01

    Several experimental systems have been applied to investigate the development of new blood vessels. Angiogenesis can be followed ex-vivo by culturing explants of rat aorta 'rings' in biomatrix gels. This angiogenesis system was modified for the study of viral vector mediated gene transfer, using adenovirus, vaccinia- and retroviral vectors. Two modifications were introduced to the model in order to facilitate efficient viral mediated gene transfer, (i) placing the aorta ring on top of a thin layer of collagen such that the angiogenic tissue will be accessible to the viral vector; and (ii) infection of the aorta rings prior to embedding them into the collagen matrix. While adenovirus and vaccinia vectors infected efficiently the aorta rings they induced cell death. Subsequent gene transfer experiments were, therefore, carried with retroviral vectors containing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the beta-interferon (IFN) genes. Overexpression of VEGF enhanced significantly microvessel sprouting, while overexpression of IFN-beta induced an antiviral effect. The experimental system described in this study can facilitate the application of other viral vectors to the study of genes that may regulate the complex angiogenic process and thereby open new avenues for vascular gene therapy.

  4. Systematic inference of highways of horizontal gene transfer in prokaryotes.

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) plays a crucial role in the evolution of prokaryotic species. Typically, no more than a few genes are horizontally transferred between any two species. However, several studies identified pairs of species (or linages) between which many different genes were horizontally transferred. Such a pair is said to be linked by a highway of gene sharing. Inferring such highways is crucial to understanding the evolution of prokaryotes and for inferring past symbiotic and ecological associations among different species. We present a new improved method for systematically detecting highways of gene sharing. As we demonstrate using a variety of simulated datasets, our method is highly accurate and efficient, and robust to noise and high rates of HGT. We further validate our method by applying it to a published dataset of >22 000 gene trees from 144 prokaryotic species. Our method makes it practical, for the first time, to perform accurate highway analysis quickly and easily even on large datasets with high rates of HGT. An implementation of the method can be freely downloaded from: http://acgt.cs.tau.ac.il/hide.

  5. 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

  6. Cre-dependent selection yields AAV variants for widespread gene transfer to the adult brain

    PubMed Central

    Deverman, Benjamin E.; Pravdo, Piers L.; Simpson, Bryan P.; Kumar, Sripriya Ravindra; Chan, Ken Y.; Banerjee, Abhik; Wu, Wei-Li; Yang, Bin; Huber, Nina; Pasca, Sergiu P.; Gradinaru, Viviana

    2015-01-01

    Recombinant adeno-associated viruses (rAAVs) are commonly used vehicles for in vivo gene transfer1-6. However, the tropism repertoire of naturally occurring AAVs is limited, prompting a search for novel AAV capsids with desired characteristics7-13. Here we describe a capsid selection method, called Cre-recombination-based AAV targeted evolution (CREATE), that enables the development of AAV capsids that more efficiently transduce defined Cre-expressing cell populations in vivo. We use CREATE to generate AAV variants that efficiently and widely transduce the adult mouse central nervous system (CNS) after intravenous injection. One variant, AAV-PHP.B, transfers genes throughout the CNS with an efficiency that is at least 40-fold greater than that of the current standard, AAV914-17, and transduces the majority of astrocytes and neurons across multiple CNS regions. In vitro, it transduces human neurons and astrocytes more efficiently than does AAV9, demonstrating the potential of CREATE to produce customized AAV vectors for biomedical applications. PMID:26829320

  7. Cre-dependent selection yields AAV variants for widespread gene transfer to the adult brain.

    PubMed

    Deverman, Benjamin E; Pravdo, Piers L; Simpson, Bryan P; Kumar, Sripriya Ravindra; Chan, Ken Y; Banerjee, Abhik; Wu, Wei-Li; Yang, Bin; Huber, Nina; Pasca, Sergiu P; Gradinaru, Viviana

    2016-02-01

    Recombinant adeno-associated viruses (rAAVs) are commonly used vehicles for in vivo gene transfer. However, the tropism repertoire of naturally occurring AAVs is limited, prompting a search for novel AAV capsids with desired characteristics. Here we describe a capsid selection method, called Cre recombination-based AAV targeted evolution (CREATE), that enables the development of AAV capsids that more efficiently transduce defined Cre-expressing cell populations in vivo. We use CREATE to generate AAV variants that efficiently and widely transduce the adult mouse central nervous system (CNS) after intravenous injection. One variant, AAV-PHP.B, transfers genes throughout the CNS with an efficiency that is at least 40-fold greater than that of the current standard, AAV9 (refs. 14,15,16,17), and transduces the majority of astrocytes and neurons across multiple CNS regions. In vitro, it transduces human neurons and astrocytes more efficiently than does AAV9, demonstrating the potential of CREATE to produce customized AAV vectors for biomedical applications.

  8. Non-viral gene therapy that targets motor neurons in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Mary-Louise; Smith, Kevin S.; Matusica, Dusan; Fenech, Matthew; Hoffman, Lee; Rush, Robert A.; Voelcker, Nicolas H.

    2014-01-01

    A major challenge in neurological gene therapy is safe delivery of transgenes to sufficient cell numbers from the circulation or periphery. This is particularly difficult for diseases involving spinal cord motor neurons such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We have examined the feasibility of non-viral gene delivery to spinal motor neurons from intraperitoneal injections of plasmids carried by “immunogene” nanoparticles targeted for axonal retrograde transport using antibodies. PEGylated polyethylenimine (PEI-PEG12) as DNA carrier was conjugated to an antibody (MLR2) to the neurotrophin receptor p75 (p75NTR). We used a plasmid (pVIVO2) designed for in vivo gene delivery that produces minimal immune responses, has improved nuclear entry into post mitotic cells and also expresses green fluorescent protein (GFP). MLR2-PEI-PEG12 carried pVIVO2 and was specific for mouse motor neurons in mixed cultures containing astrocytes. While only 8% of motor neurons expressed GFP 72 h post transfection in vitro, when the immunogene was given intraperitonealy to neonatal C57BL/6J mice, GFP specific motor neuron expression was observed in 25.4% of lumbar, 18.3% of thoracic and 17.0% of cervical motor neurons, 72 h post transfection. PEI-PEG12 carrying pVIVO2 by itself did not transfect motor neurons in vivo, demonstrating the need for specificity via the p75NTR antibody MLR2. This is the first time that specific transfection of spinal motor neurons has been achieved from peripheral delivery of plasmid DNA as part of a non-viral gene delivery agent. These results stress the specificity and feasibility of immunogene delivery targeted for p75NTR expressing motor neurons, but suggests that further improvements are required to increase the transfection efficiency of motor neurons in vivo. PMID:25352776

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Huang, Jinling

    2013-10-01

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

  11. Parkinson's disease candidate gene prioritization based on expression profile of midbrain dopaminergic neurons

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. The pathological hallmark of the disease is degeneration of midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Genetic association studies have linked 13 human chromosomal loci to Parkinson's disease. Identification of gene(s), as part of the etiology of Parkinson's disease, within the large number of genes residing in these loci can be achieved through several approaches, including screening methods, and considering appropriate criteria. Since several of the indentified Parkinson's disease genes are expressed in substantia nigra pars compact of the midbrain, expression within the neurons of this area could be a suitable criterion to limit the number of candidates and identify PD genes. Methods In this work we have used the combination of findings from six rodent transcriptome analysis studies on the gene expression profile of midbrain dopaminergic neurons and the PARK loci in OMIM (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man) database, to identify new candidate genes for Parkinson's disease. Results Merging the two datasets, we identified 20 genes within PARK loci, 7 of which are located in an orphan Parkinson's disease locus and one, which had been identified as a disease gene. In addition to identifying a set of candidates for further genetic association studies, these results show that the criteria of expression in midbrain dopaminergic neurons may be used to narrow down the number of genes in PARK loci for such studies. PMID:20716345

  12. 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

  13. Genes expressed in the brain define three distinct neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed Central

    Nef, P; Oneyser, C; Alliod, C; Couturier, S; Ballivet, M

    1988-01-01

    Four genes encode the related protein subunits that assemble to form the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) at the motor endplate of vertebrates. We have isolated from the chicken genome four additional members of the same gene family whose protein products, termed alpha 2, alpha 3, alpha 4 and n alpha (non-alpha) probably define three distinct neuronal nAChR subtypes. The neuronal nAChR genes have identical structures consisting of six protein-coding exons and specify proteins that are best aligned with the chicken endplate alpha subunit, whose gene we have also characterized. mRNA transcripts encoding alpha 4 and n alpha are abundant in embryonic and in adult avian brain, whereas alpha 2 and alpha 3 transcripts are much scarcer. The same set of neuronal genes probably exists in all vertebrates since their counterparts have also been identified in the rat genome. Images PMID:3267226

  14. Antibiotics and gene transfer in swine gut bacteria

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  15. 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.

  16. "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.

  17. Identifying genes for neuron survival and axon outgrowth in Hirudo medicinalis.

    PubMed

    Blackshaw, S E; Babington, E J; Emes, R D; Malek, J; Wang, W-Z

    2004-01-01

    We have studied the molecular basis of nervous system repair in invertebrate (Hirudo medicinalis) nerve cells. Unlike in mammals, neurons in invertebrates survive injury and regrow processes to restore the connections that they held before the damage occurred. To identify genes whose expression is regulated after injury, we have used subtractive probes, constructed from regenerating and non-regenerating ganglia from the leech Hirudo medicinalis, to screen cDNA libraries made from whole leech CNS or from identified microdissected neurons. We have identified genes of known or predicted function as well as novel genes. Known genes up-regulated within hours of injury and that are widely expressed in invertebrate and mammalian cells include thioredoxin and tubulin. Other known genes, e.g. Cysteine Rich Intestinal Protein (CRIP), have previously been identified in mammalian cells though not in regenerating adult neurons. Two regulated genes identified, myohemerythrin and the novel protein ReN3 are exclusively expressed in invertebrates. Thus our approach has enabled us to identify genes, present in a neuron of known function, that are up- and down-regulated within hours of axotomy, and that may underpin the intrinsic ability of invertebrate neurons to survive damage and initiate regrowth programmes.

  18. Identifying genes for neuron survival and axon outgrowth in Hirudo medicinalis

    PubMed Central

    Blackshaw, SE; Babington, EJ; Emes, RD; Malek, J; Wang, W-Z

    2004-01-01

    We have studied the molecular basis of nervous system repair in invertebrate (Hirudo medicinalis) nerve cells. Unlike in mammals, neurons in invertebrates survive injury and regrow processes to restore the connections that they held before the damage occurred. To identify genes whose expression is regulated after injury, we have used subtractive probes, constructed from regenerating and non-regenerating ganglia from the leech Hirudo medicinalis, to screen cDNA libraries made from whole leech CNS or from identified microdissected neurons. We have identified genes of known or predicted function as well as novel genes. Known genes up-regulated within hours of injury and that are widely expressed in invertebrate and mammalian cells include thioredoxin and tubulin. Other known genes, e.g. Cysteine Rich Intestinal Protein (CRIP), have previously been identified in mammalian cells though not in regenerating adult neurons. Two regulated genes identified, myohemerythrin and the novel protein ReN3 are exclusively expressed in invertebrates. Thus our approach has enabled us to identify genes, present in a neuron of known function, that are up- and down-regulated within hours of axotomy, and that may underpin the intrinsic ability of invertebrate neurons to survive damage and initiate regrowth programmes. PMID:14690474

  19. 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.

  20. Gene co-regulation by Fezf2 selects neurotransmitter identity and connectivity of corticospinal neurons

    PubMed Central

    Lodato, Simona; Molyneaux, Bradley J; Zuccaro, Emanuela; Goff, Loyal A; Chen, Hsu-Hsin; Yuan, Wen; Meleski, Alyssa; Takahashi, Emi; Mahony, Shaun; Rinn, John L; Gifford, David K; Arlotta, Paola

    2014-01-01

    The neocortex contains an unparalleled diversity of neuronal subtypes, each defined by distinct traits that are developmentally acquired under the control of subtype-specific and pan-neuronal genes. The regulatory logic that orchestrates the expression of these unique combinations of genes is unknown for any class of cortical neuron. Here, we report that Fezf2 is a selector gene able to regulate the expression of gene sets that collectively define mouse corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN). We find that Fezf2 directly induces the glutamatergic identity of CSMN via activation of Vglut1 (Scl17a7) and inhibits a GABAergic fate by repressing transcription of Gad1. In addition, we identify the axon guidance receptor Ephb1 as a target of Fezf2 necessary to execute the ipsilateral extension of the corticospinal tract. Our data indicate that co-regulated expression of neuron subtype–specific and pan-neuronal gene batteries by a single transcription factor is one component of the regulatory logic responsible for the establishment of CSMN identity. PMID:24997765

  1. Gene expression in accumbens GABA neurons from inbred rats with different drug-taking behavior.

    PubMed

    Sharp, B M; Chen, H; Gong, S; Wu, X; Liu, Z; Hiler, K; Taylor, W L; Matta, S G

    2011-10-01

    Inbred Lewis and Fisher 344 rat strains differ greatly in drug self-administration; Lewis rats operantly self-administer drugs of abuse including nicotine, whereas Fisher self-administer poorly. As shown herein, operant food self-administration is similar. On the basis of their pivotal role in drug reward, we hypothesized that differences in basal gene expression in GABAergic neurons projecting from nucleus accumbens (NAcc) to ventral pallidum (VP) play a role in vulnerability to drug-taking behavior. The transcriptomes of NAcc shell-VP GABAergic neurons from these two strains were analyzed in adolescents, using a multidisciplinary approach that combined stereotaxic ionotophoretic brain microinjections, laser-capture microdissection (LCM) and microarray measurement of transcripts. Laser-capture microdissection enriched the gene transcripts detected in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons compared to the residual NAcc tissue: a ratio of neuron/residual >1 and false discovery rate (FDR) <5% yielded 6623 transcripts, whereas a ratio of >3 yielded 3514. Strain-dependent differences in gene expression within GABA neurons were identified; 322 vs. 60 transcripts showed 1.5-fold vs. 2-fold differences in expression (FDR < 5%). Classification by gene ontology showed that these 322 transcripts were widely distributed, without categorical enrichment. This is most consistent with a global change in GABA neuron function. Literature mining by Chilibot found 38 genes related to synaptic plasticity, signaling and gene transcription, all of which determine drug abuse; 33 genes have no known association with addiction or nicotine. In Lewis rats, upregulation of Mint-1, Cask, CamkII , Ncam1, Vsnl1, Hpcal1 and Car8 indicates that these transcripts likely contribute to altered signaling and synaptic function in NAcc GABA projection neurons to VP. © 2011 The Authors. Genes, Brain and Behavior © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Role of Immediate-Early Genes in Synaptic Plasticity and Neuronal Ensembles Underlying the Memory Trace.

    PubMed

    Minatohara, Keiichiro; Akiyoshi, Mika; Okuno, Hiroyuki

    2015-01-01

    In the brain, neuronal gene expression is dynamically changed in response to neuronal activity. In particular, the expression of immediate-early genes (IEGs) such as egr-1, c-fos, and Arc is rapidly and selectively upregulated in subsets of neurons in specific brain regions associated with learning and memory formation. IEG expression has therefore been widely used as a molecular marker for neuronal populations that undergo plastic changes underlying formation of long-term memory. In recent years, optogenetic and pharmacogenetic studies of neurons expressing c-fos or Arc have revealed that, during learning, IEG-positive neurons encode and store information that is required for memory recall, suggesting that they may be involved in formation of the memory trace. However, despite accumulating evidence for the role of IEGs in synaptic plasticity, the molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with this process remain unclear. In this review, we first summarize recent literature concerning the role of IEG-expressing neuronal ensembles in organizing the memory trace. We then focus on the physiological significance of IEGs, especially Arc, in synaptic plasticity, and describe our hypotheses about the importance of Arc expression in various types of input-specific circuit reorganization. Finally, we offer perspectives on Arc function that would unveil the role of IEG-expressing neurons in the formation of memory traces in the hippocampus and other brain areas.

  5. Role of Immediate-Early Genes in Synaptic Plasticity and Neuronal Ensembles Underlying the Memory Trace

    PubMed Central

    Minatohara, Keiichiro; Akiyoshi, Mika; Okuno, Hiroyuki

    2016-01-01

    In the brain, neuronal gene expression is dynamically changed in response to neuronal activity. In particular, the expression of immediate-early genes (IEGs) such as egr-1, c-fos, and Arc is rapidly and selectively upregulated in subsets of neurons in specific brain regions associated with learning and memory formation. IEG expression has therefore been widely used as a molecular marker for neuronal populations that undergo plastic changes underlying formation of long-term memory. In recent years, optogenetic and pharmacogenetic studies of neurons expressing c-fos or Arc have revealed that, during learning, IEG-positive neurons encode and store information that is required for memory recall, suggesting that they may be involved in formation of the memory trace. However, despite accumulating evidence for the role of IEGs in synaptic plasticity, the molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with this process remain unclear. In this review, we first summarize recent literature concerning the role of IEG-expressing neuronal ensembles in organizing the memory trace. We then focus on the physiological significance of IEGs, especially Arc, in synaptic plasticity, and describe our hypotheses about the importance of Arc expression in various types of input-specific circuit reorganization. Finally, we offer perspectives on Arc function that would unveil the role of IEG-expressing neurons in the formation of memory traces in the hippocampus and other brain areas. PMID:26778955

  6. Examination of mesenchymal stem cell-mediated RNAi transfer to Huntington's disease affected neuronal cells for reduction of huntingtin.

    PubMed

    Olson, Scott D; Kambal, Amal; Pollock, Kari; Mitchell, Gaela-Marie; Stewart, Heather; Kalomoiris, Stefanos; Cary, Whitney; Nacey, Catherine; Pepper, Karen; Nolta, Jan A

    2012-03-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a fatal, autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expanded trinucleotide (CAG) repeat in exon 1 of the huntingtin gene (Htt). This expansion creates a toxic polyglutamine tract in the huntingtin protein (HTT). Currently, there is no treatment for either the progression or prevention of the disease. RNA interference (RNAi) technology has shown promise in transgenic mouse models of HD by reducing expression of mutant HTT and slowing disease progression. The advancement of RNAi therapies to human clinical trials is hampered by problems delivering RNAi to affected neurons in a robust and sustainable manner. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have demonstrated a strong safety profile in both completed and numerous ongoing clinical trials. MSC exhibit a number of innate therapeutic effects, such as immune system modulation, homing to injury, and cytokine release into damaged microenvironments. The ability of MSC to transfer larger molecules and even organelles suggested their potential usefulness as delivery vehicles for therapeutic RNA inhibition. In a series of model systems we have found evidence that MSC can transfer RNAi targeting both reporter genes and mutant huntingtin in neural cell lines. MSC expressing shRNA antisense to GFP were found to decrease expression of GFP in SH-SY5Y cells after co-culture when assayed by flow cytometry. Additionally MSC expressing shRNA antisense to HTT were able to decrease levels of mutant HTT expressed in both U87 and SH-SY5Y target cells when assayed by Western blot and densitometry. These results are encouraging for expanding the therapeutic abilities of both RNAi and MSC for future treatments of Huntington's disease. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Genome-wide identification of neuronal activity-regulated genes in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiao; Rahman, Reazur; Guo, Fang; Rosbash, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Activity-regulated genes (ARGs) are important for neuronal functions like long-term memory and are well-characterized in mammals but poorly studied in other model organisms like Drosophila. Here we stimulated fly neurons with different paradigms and identified ARGs using high-throughput sequencing from brains as well as from sorted neurons: they included a narrow set of circadian neurons as well as dopaminergic neurons. Surprisingly, many ARGs are specific to the stimulation paradigm and very specific to neuron type. In addition and unlike mammalian immediate early genes (IEGs), fly ARGs do not have short gene lengths and are less enriched for transcription factor function. Chromatin assays using ATAC-sequencing show that the transcription start sites (TSS) of ARGs do not change with neural firing but are already accessible prior to stimulation. Lastly based on binding site enrichment in ARGs, we identified transcription factor mediators of firing and created neuronal activity reporters. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19942.001 PMID:27936378

  8. Evidence for evolutionary divergence of activity-dependent gene expression in developing neurons

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Jing; McQueen, Jamie; Bilican, Bilada; Dando, Owen; Magnani, Dario; Punovuori, Karolina; Selvaraj, Bhuvaneish T; Livesey, Matthew; Haghi, Ghazal; Heron, Samuel; Burr, Karen; Patani, Rickie; Rajan, Rinku; Sheppard, Olivia; Kind, Peter C; Simpson, T Ian; Tybulewicz, Victor LJ; Wyllie, David JA; Fisher, Elizabeth MC; Lowell, Sally; Chandran, Siddharthan; Hardingham, Giles E

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary differences in gene regulation between humans and lower mammalian experimental systems are incompletely understood, a potential translational obstacle that is challenging to surmount in neurons, where primary tissue availability is poor. Rodent-based studies show that activity-dependent transcriptional programs mediate myriad functions in neuronal development, but the extent of their conservation in human neurons is unknown. We compared activity-dependent transcriptional responses in developing human stem cell-derived cortical neurons with those induced in developing primary- or stem cell-derived mouse cortical neurons. While activity-dependent gene-responsiveness showed little dependence on developmental stage or origin (primary tissue vs. stem cell), notable species-dependent differences were observed. Moreover, differential species-specific gene ortholog regulation was recapitulated in aneuploid mouse neurons carrying human chromosome-21, implicating promoter/enhancer sequence divergence as a factor, including human-specific activity-responsive AP-1 sites. These findings support the use of human neuronal systems for probing transcriptional responses to physiological stimuli or indeed pharmaceutical agents. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20337.001 PMID:27692071

  9. Aberrant neuronal activity-induced signaling and gene expression in a mouse model of RASopathy

    PubMed Central

    Nakhaei-Rad, Saeideh; Montenegro-Venegas, Carolina; Pina-Fernández, Eneko; Marini, Claudia; Santos, Monica; Ahmadian, Mohammad R.; Stork, Oliver; Zenker, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Noonan syndrome (NS) is characterized by reduced growth, craniofacial abnormalities, congenital heart defects, and variable cognitive deficits. NS belongs to the RASopathies, genetic conditions linked to mutations in components and regulators of the Ras signaling pathway. Approximately 50% of NS cases are caused by mutations in PTPN11. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying cognitive impairments in NS patients are still poorly understood. Here, we report the generation and characterization of a new conditional mouse strain that expresses the overactive Ptpn11D61Y allele only in the forebrain. Unlike mice with a global expression of this mutation, this strain is viable and without severe systemic phenotype, but shows lower exploratory activity and reduced memory specificity, which is in line with a causal role of disturbed neuronal Ptpn11 signaling in the development of NS-linked cognitive deficits. To explore the underlying mechanisms we investigated the neuronal activity-regulated Ras signaling in brains and neuronal cultures derived from this model. We observed an altered surface expression and trafficking of synaptic glutamate receptors, which are crucial for hippocampal neuronal plasticity. Furthermore, we show that the neuronal activity-induced ERK signaling, as well as the consecutive regulation of gene expression are strongly perturbed. Microarray-based hippocampal gene expression profiling revealed profound differences in the basal state and upon stimulation of neuronal activity. The neuronal activity-dependent gene regulation was strongly attenuated in Ptpn11D61Y neurons. In silico analysis of functional networks revealed changes in the cellular signaling beyond the dysregulation of Ras/MAPK signaling that is nearly exclusively discussed in the context of NS at present. Importantly, changes in PI3K/AKT/mTOR and JAK/STAT signaling were experimentally confirmed. In summary, this study uncovers aberrant neuronal activity-induced signaling and regulation

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Gene expression of muscular and neuronal pathways is cooperatively dysregulated in patients with idiopathic achalasia

    PubMed Central

    Palmieri, Orazio; Mazza, Tommaso; Merla, Antonio; Fusilli, Caterina; Cuttitta, Antonello; Martino, Giuseppina; Latiano, Tiziana; Corritore, Giuseppe; Bossa, Fabrizio; Palumbo, Orazio; Muscarella, Lucia Anna; Carella, Massimo; Graziano, Paolo; Andriulli, Angelo; Latiano, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Idiopathic achalasia is characterized by the absence of peristalsis secondary to loss of neurons in the myenteric plexus that hampers proper relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter. Achalasia can be considered a multifactorial disorder as it occurs in related individuals and is associated with HLA class II genes, thereby suggesting genetic influence. We used microarray technology and advanced in-silico functional analyses to perform the first genome-wide expression profiling of mRNA in tissue samples from 12 achalasia and 5 control patients. It revealed 1,728 differentially expressed genes, of these, 837 (48.4%) were up-regulated in cases. In particular, genes participating to the smooth muscle contraction biological function were mostly up-regulated. Functional analysis revealed a significant enrichment of neuronal/muscular and neuronal/immunity processes. Upstream regulatory analysis of 180 genes involved in these processes suggested TLR4 and IL18 as critical key-players. Two functional gene networks were significantly over-represented: one involved in organ morphology, skeletal muscle system development and function, and neurological diseases, and the other participating in cell morphology, humoral immune response and cellular movement. These results highlight on pivotal genes that may play critical roles in neuronal/muscular and neuronal/immunity processes, and that may contribute to the onset and development of achalasia. PMID:27511445

  13. Using Expression Profiles of Caenorhabditis elegans Neurons To Identify Genes That Mediate Synaptic Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Baruch, Leehod; Itzkovitz, Shalev; Golan-Mashiach, Michal; Shapiro, Ehud; Segal, Eran

    2008-01-01

    Synaptic wiring of neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans is largely invariable between animals. It has been suggested that this feature stems from genetically encoded molecular markers that guide the neurons in the final stage of synaptic formation. Identifying these markers and unraveling the logic by which they direct synapse formation is a key challenge. Here, we address this task by constructing a probabilistic model that attempts to explain the neuronal connectivity diagram of C. elegans as a function of the expression patterns of its neurons. By only considering neuron pairs that are known to be connected by chemical or electrical synapses, we focus on the final stage of synapse formation, in which neurons identify their designated partners. Our results show that for many neurons the neuronal expression map of C. elegans can be used to accurately predict the subset of adjacent neurons that will be chosen as its postsynaptic partners. Notably, these predictions can be achieved using the expression patterns of only a small number of specific genes that interact in a combinatorial fashion. PMID:18711638

  14. Using expression profiles of Caenorhabditis elegans neurons to identify genes that mediate synaptic connectivity.

    PubMed

    Baruch, Leehod; Itzkovitz, Shalev; Golan-Mashiach, Michal; Shapiro, Ehud; Segal, Eran

    2008-07-11

    Synaptic wiring of neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans is largely invariable between animals. It has been suggested that this feature stems from genetically encoded molecular markers that guide the neurons in the final stage of synaptic formation. Identifying these markers and unraveling the logic by which they direct synapse formation is a key challenge. Here, we address this task by constructing a probabilistic model that attempts to explain the neuronal connectivity diagram of C. elegans as a function of the expression patterns of its neurons. By only considering neuron pairs that are known to be connected by chemical or electrical synapses, we focus on the final stage of synapse formation, in which neurons identify their designated partners. Our results show that for many neurons the neuronal expression map of C. elegans can be used to accurately predict the subset of adjacent neurons that will be chosen as its postsynaptic partners. Notably, these predictions can be achieved using the expression patterns of only a small number of specific genes that interact in a combinatorial fashion.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Progranulin gene delivery protects dopaminergic neurons in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Van Kampen, Jackalina M; Baranowski, David; Kay, Denis G

    2014-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by tremor, rigidity and akinesia/bradykinesia resulting from the progressive loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. To date, only symptomatic treatment is available for PD patients, with no effective means of slowing or stopping the progression of the disease. Progranulin (PGRN) is a 593 amino acid multifunction protein that is widely distributed throughout the CNS, localized primarily in neurons and microglia. PGRN has been demonstrated to be a potent regulator of neuroinflammation and also acts as an autocrine neurotrophic factor, important for long-term neuronal survival. Thus, enhancing PGRN expression may strengthen the cells resistance to disease. In the present study, we have used the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) model of PD to investigate the possible use of PGRN gene delivery as a therapy for the prevention or treatment of PD. Viral vector delivery of the PGRN gene was an effective means of elevating PGRN expression in nigrostriatal neurons. When PGRN expression was elevated in the SNC, nigrostriatal neurons were protected from MPTP toxicity in mice, along with a preservation of striatal dopamine content and turnover. Further, protection of nigrostriatal neurons by PGRN gene therapy was accompanied by reductions in markers of MPTP-induced inflammation and apoptosis as well as a complete preservation of locomotor function. We conclude that PGRN gene therapy may have beneficial effects in the treatment of PD.

  18. Expression of the KAL gene in multiple neuronal sites during chicken development.

    PubMed Central

    Legouis, R; Lievre, C A; Leibovici, M; Lapointe, F; Petit, C

    1993-01-01

    The human KAL gene is responsible for the X chromosome-linked Kallmann syndrome. A partial cDNA sequence from the chicken KAL homologue was determined and used to study expression of the KAL gene, by in situ hybridization, during chicken development, from day 6 of incubation. The KAL gene is mainly expressed in neurons of the central nervous system during the second half of embryonic life. High levels of transcript were detected in mitral neurons of the olfactory bulbs, in striatal neurons, in Purkinje cells of the cerebellum, in retinal neurons, and in isolated neurons of the brainstem and spinal cord. No expression was observed in glial cells. A low level of expression was observed in some mesenchymal derivatives. In the adult, expression is maintained or increased in several neuronal populations, especially in optic tectum and striatum. A possible role for the KAL protein in synaptogenesis at these stages is discussed. These results in the chicken embryo help to elucidate the mechanisms of anosmia and gonadotropin-releasing hormone deficiency, which define Kallmann syndrome. In addition, most of the occasional symptoms described in Kallmann syndrome patients, such as cerebellar ataxia, abnormal ocular movements, abnormal spatial visual attention, mirror movements, and renal aplasia, could be ascribed to malfunction of areas that, in the chicken, express the KAL gene. Images Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:8460158

  19. 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

  20. 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. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.

  1. 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.

  2. Functional expression of the murine connexin 36 gene coding for a neuron-specific gap junctional protein.

    PubMed

    Teubner, B; Degen, J; Söhl, G; Güldenagel, M; Bukauskas, F F; Trexler, E B; Verselis, V K; De Zeeuw, C I; Lee, C G; Kozak, C A; Petrasch-Parwez, E; Dermietzel, R; Willecke, K

    2000-08-01

    The mouse connexin 36 (Cx36) gene was mapped on chromosome 2 and an identical transcriptional start site was determined in brain and retina on exon I. Rabbit polyclonal antibodies to the presumptive cytoplasmic loop of the Cx36 protein recognized in immunohistochemical analyses Cx36 expression in the retina, olfactory bulb, hippocampus, inferior olive and cerebellum. In olivary neurons strong punctate labeling at dendritic cell contacts and weaker labeling in the cytoplasm of dendrites were shown by immuno electron microscopy. After expression of mouse Cx36 cDNA in human HeLa cells, neurobiotin transfer was increased 1.8-fold and electrical conductance at least 15-fold compared to untransfected HeLa cells. No Lucifer Yellow transfer was detected in either untransfected or Cx36 transfected HeLa cells. Single Cx36 channels in transfected HeLa cells showed a unitary conductance of 14.3 + or - 0. 8 pS. The sensitivity of Cx36 channels to transjunctional voltage was low in both HeLa-Cx36 cells and Xenopus oocytes expressing mouse Cx36. No increased transfer of neurobiotin was detected in heterotypic gap junctions formed by Cx36 and 9 other connexins expressed in HeLa cells. Our results suggest that Cx36 channels function as electrical synapses for transmission of electrical and metabolic signals between neurons in the central nervous system.

  3. Disrupting astrocyte-neuron lactate transfer persistently reduces conditioned responses to cocaine.

    PubMed

    Boury-Jamot, B; Carrard, A; Martin, J L; Halfon, O; Magistretti, P J; Boutrel, B

    2016-08-01

    A central problem in the treatment of drug addiction is the high risk of relapse often precipitated by drug-associated cues. The transfer of glycogen-derived lactate from astrocytes to neurons is required for long-term memory. Whereas blockade of drug memory reconsolidation represents a potential therapeutic strategy, the role of astrocyte-neuron lactate transport in long-term conditioning has received little attention. By infusing an inhibitor of glycogen phosphorylase into the basolateral amygdala of rats, we report that disruption of astrocyte-derived lactate not only transiently impaired the acquisition of a cocaine-induced conditioned place preference but also persistently disrupted an established conditioning. The drug memory was rescued by L-Lactate co-administration through a mechanism requiring the synaptic plasticity-related transcription factor Zif268 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signalling pathway but not the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf). The long-term amnesia induced by glycogenolysis inhibition and the concomitant decreased expression of phospho-ERK were both restored with L-Lactate co-administration. These findings reveal a critical role for astrocyte-derived lactate in positive memory formation and highlight a novel amygdala-dependent reconsolidation process, whose disruption may offer a novel therapeutic target to reduce the long-lasting conditioned responses to cocaine.

  4. Immune Clearance of Attenuated Rabies Virus Results in Neuronal Survival with Altered Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Gomme, Emily A.; Wirblich, Christoph; Addya, Sankar; Rall, Glenn F.; Schnell, Matthias J.

    2012-01-01

    Rabies virus (RABV) is a highly neurotropic pathogen that typically leads to mortality of infected animals and humans. The precise etiology of rabies neuropathogenesis is unknown, though it is hypothesized to be due either to neuronal death or dysfunction. Analysis of human brains post-mortem reveals surprisingly little tissue damage and neuropathology considering the dramatic clinical symptomology, supporting the neuronal dysfunction model. However, whether or not neurons survive infection and clearance and, provided they do, whether they are functionally restored to their pre-infection phenotype has not been determined in vivo for RABV, or any neurotropic virus. This is due, in part, to the absence of a permanent “mark” on once-infected cells that allow their identification long after viral clearance. Our approach to study the survival and integrity of RABV-infected neurons was to infect Cre reporter mice with recombinant RABV expressing Cre-recombinase (RABV-Cre) to switch neurons constitutively expressing tdTomato (red) to expression of a Cre-inducible EGFP (green), permanently marking neurons that had been infected in vivo. We used fluorescence microscopy and quantitative real-time PCR to measure the survival of neurons after viral clearance; we found that the vast majority of RABV-infected neurons survive both infection and immunological clearance. We were able to isolate these previously infected neurons by flow cytometry and assay their gene expression profiles compared to uninfected cells. We observed transcriptional changes in these “cured” neurons, predictive of decreased neurite growth and dysregulated microtubule dynamics. This suggests that viral clearance, though allowing for survival of neurons, may not restore them to their pre-infection functionality. Our data provide a proof-of-principle foundation to re-evaluate the etiology of human central nervous system diseases of unknown etiology: viruses may trigger permanent neuronal damage that

  5. Expression of the ghrelin receptor gene in neurons of the medulla oblongata of the rat.

    PubMed

    Bron, Romke; Yin, Lei; Russo, Domenico; Furness, John B

    2013-08-15

    There is ambiguity concerning the distribution of neurons that express the ghrelin receptor (GHSR) in the medulla oblongata. In the current study we used a sensitive nonradioactive method to investigate GHSR mRNA distribution by in situ hybridization. Strong expression of the GHSR gene was confirmed in neurons of the facial nucleus (FacN, 7), the dorsal vagal complex (DVC), and the semicompact (but not compact) nucleus ambiguus (AmbSC and AmbC). In addition, expression of GHSR was found in other regions, where it had not been described before. GHSR-positive neurons were observed in the gustatory rostral nucleus tractus solitarius and in areas involved in vestibulo-ocular processing (such as the medial vestibular nucleus and the nucleus abducens). GHSR expression was also noted in ventral areas associated with cardiorespiratory control, including the gigantocellular reticular nucleus, the lateral paragigantocellular nucleus, the rostral and caudal ventrolateral medulla, the (pre)-Bötzinger complex, and the rostral and caudal ventrolateral respiratory group. However, GHSR-positive neurons in ventrolateral areas did not express markers for cardiovascular presympathetic vasomotor neurons, respiratory propriobulbar rhythmogenic neurons, or sensory interneurons. GHSR-positive cells were intermingled with catecholamine neurons in the dorsal vagal complex but these populations did not overlap. Thus, the ghrelin receptor occurs in the medulla oblongata in 1) second-order sensory neurons processing gustatory, vestibulo-ocular, and visceral sensation; 2) cholinergic somatomotor neurons of the FacN and autonomic preganglionic neurons of the DMNX and AmbSC; 3) cardiovascular neurons in the DVC, Gi, and LPGi; 4) neurons of as yet unknown function in the ventrolateral medulla.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1993-05-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Gene expression and IG-DMR hypomethylation of maternally expressed gene 3 in developing corticospinal neurons.

    PubMed

    Qu, Chunsheng; Jiang, Tian; Li, Yong; Wang, Xiongwei; Cao, Huateng; Xu, Hongping; Qu, Jia; Chen, Jie-Guang

    2013-01-01

    The mammalian cerebral cortex plays a central role in higher cognitive functions and in the complex task of motor control. Maternally expressed gene 3 (Meg3) appears to play a role in cortical development and neurodegeneration, but the expression and regulation of Meg3 in the cortex is not clear. In this study, we examined the expression of transcript variants of Meg3 in the developing mouse cerebral cortex. By in situ hybridization, we found that a novel transcript variant of Meg3 with 8 small exons was expressed in the developing cortex, whereas the long isoforms of Meg3 (~11 kb) were enriched in corticospinal neurons (CSNs) in layer V of the cortex. No transcript variants of Meg3 were found in the neural progenitors at E12.5, when the intergenic differential methylation region (IG-DMR) near Meg3 was highly methylated. IG-DMR became demethylated at E15.5 and remained hypomethylated in early CSNs isolated from Fezf2-EGFP transgenic mice. The expression of Meg3 transcript variant 1 was inversely correlated with the IG-DMR methylation level during development. Moreover, expression of paternally expressed gene Peg11 was limited to the upper layers, consistent with the idea that the maternally expressed gene may be preferentially transcribed in the lower layers of the cortex. The spatiotemporal expression pattern of Meg3 suggests that it may participate in the early development of CSNs and contribute to cortical malfunctions related to aberrant imprinting in Meg3.

  11. Horizontal gene transfer in nematodes: a catalyst for plant parasitism?

    PubMed

    Haegeman, Annelies; Jones, John T; Danchin, Etienne G J

    2011-08-01

    The origin of plant parasitism within the phylum Nematoda is intriguing. The ability to parasitize plants has originated independently at least three times during nematode evolution and, as more molecular data has emerged, it has become clear that multiple instances of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from bacteria and fungi have played a crucial role in the nematode's adaptation to this new lifestyle. The first reported HGT cases in plant-parasitic nematodes were genes encoding plant cell wall-degrading enzymes. Other putative examples of HGT were subsequently described, including genes that may be involved in the modulation of the plant's defense system, the establishment of a nematode feeding site, and the synthesis or processing of nutrients. Although, in many cases, it is difficult to pinpoint the donor organism, candidate donors are usually soil dwelling and are either plant-pathogenic or plant-associated microorganisms, hence occupying the same ecological niche as the nematodes. The exact mechanisms of transfer are unknown, although close contacts with donor microorganisms, such as symbiotic or trophic interactions, are a possibility. The widespread occurrence of horizontally transferred genes in evolutionarily independent plant-parasitic nematode lineages suggests that HGT may be a prerequisite for successful plant parasitism in nematodes.

  12. Topoisomerase 1 Regulates Gene Expression in Neurons through Cleavage Complex-Dependent and -Independent Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Mabb, Angela M.; Simon, Jeremy M.; King, Ian F.; Lee, Hyeong-Min; An, Lin-Kun; Philpot, Benjamin D.; Zylka, Mark J.

    2016-01-01

    Topoisomerase 1 (TOP1) inhibitors, including camptothecin and topotecan, covalently trap TOP1 on DNA, creating cleavage complexes (cc’s) that must be resolved before gene transcription and DNA replication can proceed. We previously found that topotecan reduces the expression of long (>100 kb) genes and unsilences the paternal allele of Ube3a in neurons. Here, we sought to evaluate overlap between TOP1cc-dependent and -independent gene regulation in neurons. To do this, we utilized Top1 conditional knockout mice, Top1 knockdown, the CRISPR-Cas9 system to delete Top1, TOP1 catalytic inhibitors that do not generate TOP1cc’s, and a TOP1 mutation (T718A) that stabilizes TOP1cc’s. We found that topotecan treatment significantly alters the expression of many more genes, including long neuronal genes, immediate early genes, and paternal Ube3a, when compared to Top1 deletion. Our data show that topotecan has a stronger effect on neuronal transcription than Top1 deletion, and identifies TOP1cc-dependent and -independent contributions to gene expression. PMID:27231886

  13. Hybrid tetanus toxin C fragment-diphtheria toxin translocation domain allows specific gene transfer into PC12 cells.

    PubMed

    Barati, Shahram; Chegini, Fariba; Hurtado, Plinio; Rush, Robert A

    2002-09-01

    To study the mechanism by which genes can efficiently be transferred into specific cell types, we have constructed several novel, single-chain multicomponent proteins by recombining the nontoxic C fragment of tetanus toxin and the translocation domain of diphtheria toxin together with the DNA-binding fragment of GAL4 transcription factor, for transportation of plasmid DNA into neuronal cells. The C fragment of tetanus toxin provided neuronal selectivity, the translocation domain of diphtheria toxin permitted endosomal escape, and the GAL4 domain provided binding to DNA. To assess the cellular tasks of each component in gene transfer, different combinations of these fragments were produced by polymerase chain reaction, expressed in Escherichia coli, and purified under native conditions from the soluble proteins. We show that only fusion proteins bearing the C fragment of tetanus toxin bind to gangliosides and, followed by their specific binding to differentiated PC12 cells, are internalized within 10 min. These proteins delivered the green fluorescence protein gene to PC12 cells, with the highest transfection efficiency achieved with proteins containing both the C fragment and the translocation domain. Addition of chloroquine elevated the transfection efficiency, which was further increased by incorporation of a nuclear localization signal in the delivery system. In addition, the effect of different DNA-condensing materials (poly-L-lysine, protamine, lysine(n=8)-trytophan(n=2)-lysine(n=8)) on gene transfer was investigated.

  14. A mosaic genetic screen for genes necessary for Drosophila mushroom body neuronal morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Reuter, John E; Nardine, Timothy M; Penton, Andrea; Billuart, Pierre; Scott, Ethan K; Usui, Tadao; Uemura, Tadashi; Luo, Liqun

    2003-03-01

    Neurons undergo extensive morphogenesis during development. To systematically identify genes important for different aspects of neuronal morphogenesis, we performed a genetic screen using the MARCM system in the mushroom body (MB) neurons of the Drosophila brain. Mutations on the right arm of chromosome 2 (which contains approximately 20% of the Drosophila genome) were made homozygous in a small subset of uniquely labeled MB neurons. Independently mutagenized chromosomes (4600) were screened, yielding defects in neuroblast proliferation, cell size, membrane trafficking, and axon and dendrite morphogenesis. We report mutations that affect these different aspects of morphogenesis and phenotypically characterize a subset. We found that roadblock, which encodes a dynein light chain, exhibits reduced cell number in neuroblast clones, reduced dendritic complexity and defective axonal transport. These phenotypes are nearly identical to mutations in dynein heavy chain Dhc64 and in Lis1, the Drosophila homolog of human lissencephaly 1, reinforcing the role of the dynein complex in cell proliferation, dendritic morphogenesis and axonal transport. Phenotypic analysis of short stop/kakapo, which encodes a large cytoskeletal linker protein, reveals a novel function in regulating microtubule polarity in neurons. MB neurons mutant for flamingo, which encodes a seven transmembrane cadherin, extend processes beyond their wild-type dendritic territories. Overexpression of Flamingo results in axon retraction. Our results suggest that most genes involved in neuronal morphogenesis play multiple roles in different aspects of neural development, rather than performing a dedicated function limited to a specific process.

  15. Can Viruses be Modified to Achieve Sustained Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hua; Ertl, Hildegund C. J.

    2011-01-01

    It is very easy to replace a faulty gene in an immunocompromised mouse. First, one takes a well-characterized virus, such as an adenovirus or an adeno-associated virus, and incorporates the correct version of the faulty gene together with some regulatory sequences into the genome. Then, one transduces the recombinant genome into helper cells, which will add the viral capsid. At last, one injects the resulting viral vector into the sick mouse, and the mouse is cured. It is not that easy in an immunocompetent mouse, let alone in a human, as over the eons the immune system evolved to eliminate viruses regardless if they penetrate as dangerous pathogens or are injected by a well-meaning gene therapist. Here we offer our perspective on the potential of how viral vectors achieve sustained gene transfer in the face of a hostile immune system. PMID:21808636

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-01

    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. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Characterization of claustral neurons by comparative gene expression profiling and dye-injection analyses

    PubMed Central

    Watakabe, Akiya; Ohsawa, Sonoko; Ichinohe, Noritaka; Rockland, Kathleen S.; Yamamori, Tetsuo

    2014-01-01

    The identity of the claustrum as a part of cerebral cortex, and in particular of the adjacent insular cortex, has been investigated by connectivity features and patterns of gene expression. In the present paper, we mapped the cortical and claustral expression of several cortical genes in rodent and macaque monkey brains (nurr1, latexin, cux2, and netrinG2) to further assess shared features between cortex and claustrum. In mice, these genes were densely expressed in the claustrum, but very sparsely in the cortex and not present in the striatum. To test whether the cortical vs. claustral cell types can be distinguished by co-expression of these genes, we performed a panel of double ISH in mouse and macaque brain. NetrinG2 and nurr1 genes were co-expressed across entire cortex and claustrum, but cux2 and nurr1 were co-expressed only in the insular cortex and claustrum. Latexin was expressed, in the macaque, only in the claustrum. The nurr1+ claustral neurons expressed VGluT1, a marker for cortical glutamatergic cells and send cortical projections. Taken together, our data suggest a partial commonality between claustral neurons and a subtype of cortical neurons in the monkey brain. Moreover, in the embryonic (E110) macaque brain, many nurr1+ neurons were scattered in the white matter between the claustrum and the insular cortex, possibly representing their migratory history. In a second set of experiments, we injected Lucifer Yellow intracellularly in mouse and rat slices to investigate whether dendrites of insular and claustral neurons can cross the border of the two brain regions. Dendrites of claustral neurons did not invade the overlying insular territory. In summary, gene expression profile of the claustrum is similar to that of the neocortex, in both rodent and macaque brains, but with modifications in density of expression and cellular co-localization of specific genes. PMID:24904319

  18. Effects of lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation on expression of growth-associated genes by corticospinal neurons.

    PubMed

    Hossain-Ibrahim, M K; Rezajooi, K; MacNally, J K; Mason, M R J; Lieberman, A R; Anderson, P N

    2006-01-24

    Inflammation around cell bodies of primary sensory neurons and retinal ganglion cells enhances expression of neuronal growth-associated genes and stimulates axonal regeneration. We have asked if inflammation would have similar effects on corticospinal neurons, which normally show little response to spinal cord injury. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was applied onto the pial surface of the motor cortex of adult rats with or without concomitant injury of the corticospinal tract at C4. Inflammation around corticospinal tract cell bodies in the motor cortex was assessed by immunohistochemistry for OX42 (a microglia and macrophage marker). Expression of growth-associated genes c-jun, ATF3, SCG10 and GAP-43 was investigated by immunohistochemistry or in situ hybridisation. Application of LPS induced a gradient of inflammation through the full depth of the motor cortex and promoted c-Jun and SCG10 expression for up to 2 weeks, and GAP-43 upregulation for 3 days by many corticospinal neurons, but had very limited effects on neuronal ATF3 expression. However, many glial cells in the subcortical white matter upregulated ATF3. LPS did not promote sprouting of anterogradely labelled corticospinal axons, which did not grow into or beyond a cervical lesion site. Inflammation produced by topical application of LPS promoted increased expression of some growth-associated genes in the cell bodies of corticospinal neurons, but was insufficient to promote regeneration of the corticospinal tract.

  19. The multiple sclerosis drug fingolimod (FTY720) stimulates neuronal gene expression, axonal growth and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Anastasiadou, Sofia; Knöll, Bernd

    2016-05-01

    Fingolimod (FTY720) is a new generation oral treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). So far, FTY720 was mainly considered to target trafficking of immune cells but not brain cells such as neurons. Herein, we analyzed FTY720's potential to directly alter neuronal function. In CNS neurons, we identified a FTY720 governed gene expression response. FTY720 upregulated immediate early genes (IEGs) encoding for neuronal activity associated transcription factors such as c-Fos, FosB, Egr1 and Egr2 and induced actin cytoskeleton associated genes (actin isoforms, tropomyosin, calponin). Stimulation of primary neurons with FTY720 enhanced neurite growth and altered growth cone morphology. In accordance, FTY720 enhanced axon regeneration in mice upon facial nerve axotomy. We identified components of a FTY720 engaged signaling cascade including S1P receptors, G12/13G-proteins, RhoA-GTPases and the transcription factors SRF/MRTF. In summary, we uncovered a broader cellular and therapeutic operation mode of FTY720, suggesting beneficial FTY720 effects also on CNS neurons during MS therapy and for treatment of other neurodegenerative diseases requiring neuroprotective and neurorestorative processes.

  20. Target Genes of Neuron-Restrictive Silencer Factor Are Abnormally Up-Regulated in Human Myotilinopathy

    PubMed Central

    Barrachina, Marta; Moreno, Jesús; Juvés, Salvador; Moreno, Dolores; Olivé, Montse; Ferrer, Isidre

    2007-01-01

    Myotilinopathy is a subgroup of myofibrillar myopathies caused by mutations in the myotilin gene in which there is aggregation of abnormal cytoskeletal proteins and ubiquitin. We report here on the accumulation of neuron-related proteins such as ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCHL1), synaptosomal-associated protein 25, synaptophysin, and α-internexin in aberrant protein aggregates in myotilinopathy. We have determined that the neuron-restrictive silencer factor (NRSF)/RE1 silencing transcription factor (REST), a transcription factor expressed in non-neuronal tissues repressing the expression of several neuronal genes, is reduced in myotilinopathies. Moreover, NRSF transfection reduces UCHL1, synaptosomal-associated protein 25, synaptophysin, and α-internexin mRNA levels in DMS53 cells, whereas short interferring NRSF transfection increases UCHL1 and synaptophysin mRNA levels in U87-MG cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays have shown that NRSF interacts with the UCHL1 promoter in U87-MG and HeLa cells. In silico analysis of the UCHL1 gene promoter sequence using the MatInspector software has predicted three potential neuron-restrictive silencer elements (NRSEs): NRSE1 located in the complementary DNA chain and NRSE2 and NRSE3 in intron 1, in the coding and complementary chains, respectively. Together, these findings show, for the first time, abnormal regulation of NRSF/REST as a mechanism associated with the aberrant expression of selected neuron-related proteins, which in turn accumulate in abnormal protein aggregates, in myotilinopathy. PMID:17823282

  1. The neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) gene and neuroprotection against alcohol toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Karaçay, Bahri; Bonthius, Daniel J.

    2015-01-01

    When a mother abuses alcohol during pregnancy, the offspring can suffer a myriad of abnormalities, collectively known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Foremost among these abnormalities is central nervous system dysfunction, which commonly manifests itself as mental retardation, clumsiness, hyperactivity, and poor attention span. These behavior problems are due, in large part, to alcohol-induced neuronal losses in the developing fetal brain. However, not all fetuses are equally affected by maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy. While some fetuses are severely affected and develop hallmarks of FASD later in life, others exhibit no evident neuropathology or behavioral abnormalities. This variation is likely due, at least in part, to differences in fetal genetics. This review focuses on one particular gene, neuronal nitric oxide synthase, whose mutation worsens alcohol-induced neuronal death, both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, ectopic expression of the nNOS gene protects neurons against alcohol toxicity. The gene encodes an enzyme that produces nitric oxide (NO), which facilitates the protective effects of neuronal growth factors and which underlies the ability of neurons to resist alcohol toxicity as they mature. Nitric oxide exerts its protective effects against alcohol via a specific signaling pathway, the NO-cGMP-PKG pathway. Pharmacologic manipulation of this pathway could be of therapeutic use in preventing or ameliorating FASD. PMID:25672665

  2. 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

  3. Phage-mediated intergeneric transfer of toxin genes.

    PubMed

    Chen, John; Novick, Richard P

    2009-01-02

    Because bacteriophages generally parasitize only closely related bacteria, it is assumed that phage-mediated genetic exchange occurs primarily within species. Here we report that staphylococcal pathogenenicity islands, containing superantigen genes, and other mobile elements transferred to Listeria monocytogenes at the same high frequencies as they transfer within Staphylococcus aureus. Several staphylococcal phages transduced L. monocytogenes but could not form plaques. In an experiment modeling phage therapy for bovine mastitis, we observed pathogenicity island transfer between S. aureus and L. monocytogenes in raw milk. Thus, phages may participate in a far more expansive network of genetic information exchange among bacteria of different species than originally thought, with important implications for the evolution of human pathogens.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Development and morphology of the clock-gene-expressing lateral neurons of Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Helfrich-Förster, Charlotte; Shafer, Orie T; Wülbeck, Corinna; Grieshaber, Eva; Rieger, Dirk; Taghert, Paul

    2007-01-01

    The clock-gene-expressing lateral neurons are essential for the locomotor activity rhythm of Drosophila melanogaster. Traditionally, these neurons are divided into three groups: the dorsal lateral neurons (LN(d)), the large ventral lateral neurons (l-LN(v)), and the small ventral lateral neurons (s-LN(v)), whereby the latter group consists of four neurons that express the neuropeptide pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) and a fifth PDF-negative neuron. So far, only the l-LN(v) and the PDF-positive s-LN(v) have been shown to project into the accessory medulla, a small neuropil that contains the circadian pacemaker center in several insects. We show here that the other lateral neurons also arborize in the accessory medulla, predominantly forming postsynaptic sites. Both the l-LN(v) and LN(d) are anatomically well suited to connect the accessory medullae. Whereas the l-LN(v) may receive ipsilateral photic input from the Hofbauer-Buchner eyelet, the LN(d) invade mainly the contralateral accessory medulla and thus may receive photic input from the contralateral side. Both the LN(d) and the l-LN(v) differentiate during midmetamorphosis. They do so in close proximity to one another and the fifth PDF-negative s-LN(v), suggesting that these cell groups may derive from common precursors.

  7. A short upstream promoter region mediates transcriptional regulation of the mouse doublecortin gene in differentiating neurons

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Doublecortin (Dcx), a MAP (Microtubule-Associated Protein), is transiently expressed in migrating and differentiating neurons and thereby characterizes neuronal precursors and neurogenesis in developing and adult neurogenesis. In addition, reduced Dcx expression during development has been related to appearance of brain pathologies. Here, we attempt to unveil the molecular mechanisms controlling Dcx gene expression by studying its transcriptional regulation during neuronal differentiation. Results To determine and analyze important regulatory sequences of the Dcx promoter, we studied a putative regulatory region upstream from the mouse Dcx coding region (pdcx2kb) and several deletions thereof. These different fragments were used in vitro and in vivo to drive reporter gene expression. We demonstrated, using transient expression experiments, that pdcx2kb is sufficient to control specific reporter gene expression in cerebellar cells and in the developing brain (E14.5). We determined the temporal profile of Dcx promoter activity during neuronal differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESC) and found that transcriptional activation of the Dcx gene varies along with neuronal differentiation of mESC. Deletion experiments and sequence comparison of Dcx promoters across rodents, human and chicken revealed the importance of a highly conserved sequence in the proximal region of the promoter required for specific and strong expression in neuronal precursors and young neuronal cells. Further analyses revealed the presence in this short sequence of several conserved, putative transcription factor binding sites: LEF/TCF (Lymphoid Enhancer Factor/T-Cell Factor) which are effectors of the canonical Wnt pathway; HNF6/OC2 (Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor-6/Oncecut-2) members of the ONECUT family and NF-Y/CAAT (Nuclear Factor-Y). Conclusions Studies of Dcx gene regulatory sequences using native, deleted and mutated constructs suggest that fragments located upstream of the

  8. Differences in lateral gene transfer in hypersaline versus thermal environments.

    PubMed

    Rhodes, Matthew E; Spear, John R; Oren, Aharon; House, Christopher H

    2011-07-08

    The role of lateral gene transfer (LGT) in the evolution of microorganisms is only beginning to be understood. While most LGT events occur between closely related individuals, inter-phylum and inter-domain LGT events are not uncommon. These distant transfer events offer potentially greater fitness advantages and it is for this reason that these "long distance" LGT events may have significantly impacted the evolution of microbes. One mechanism driving distant LGT events is microbial transformation. Theoretically, transformative events can occur between any two species provided that the DNA of one enters the habitat of the other. Two categories of microorganisms that are well-known for LGT are the thermophiles and halophiles. We identified potential inter-class LGT events into both a thermophilic class of Archaea (Thermoprotei) and a halophilic class of Archaea (Halobacteria). We then categorized these LGT genes as originating in thermophiles and halophiles respectively. While more than 68% of transfer events into Thermoprotei taxa originated in other thermophiles, less than 11% of transfer events into Halobacteria taxa originated in other halophiles. Our results suggest that there is a fundamental difference between LGT in thermophiles and halophiles. We theorize that the difference lies in the different natures of the environments. While DNA degrades rapidly in thermal environments due to temperature-driven denaturization, hypersaline environments are adept at preserving DNA. Furthermore, most hypersaline environments, as topographical minima, are natural collectors of cellular debris. Thus halophiles would in theory be exposed to a greater diversity and quantity of extracellular DNA than thermophiles.

  9. 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.

  10. Gene Transfer in Eukaryotic Cells Using Activated Dendrimers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dennig, Jörg

    Gene transfer into eukaryotic cells plays an important role in cell biology. Over the last 30 years a number of transfection methods have been developed to mediate gene transfer into eukaryotic cells. Classical methods include co-precipitation of DNA with calcium phosphate, charge-dependent precipitation of DNA with DEAE-dextran, electroporation of nucleic acids, and formation of transfection complexes between DNA and cationic liposomes. Gene transfer technologies based on activated PAMAM-dendrimers provide another class of transfection reagents. PAMAM-dendrimers are highly branched, spherical molecules. Activation of newly synthesized dendrimers involves hydrolytic removal of some of the branches, and results in a molecule with a higher degree of flexibility. Activated dendrimers assemble DNA into compact structures via charge interactions. Activated dendrimer - DNA complexes bind to the cell membrane of eukaryotic cells, and are transported into the cell by non-specific endocytosis. A structural model of the activated dendrimer - DNA complex and a potential mechanism for its uptake into cells will be discussed.

  11. Radioiodinated Capsids Facilitate In Vivo Non-Invasive Tracking of Adeno-Associated Gene Transfer Vectors

    PubMed Central

    Kothari, P.; De, B. P.; He, B.; Chen, A.; Chiuchiolo, M. J.; Kim, D.; Nikolopoulou, A.; Amor-Coarasa, A.; Dyke, J. P.; Voss, H. U.; Kaminsky, S. M.; Foley, C. P.; Vallabhajosula, S.; Hu, B.; DiMagno, S. G.; Sondhi, D.; Crystal, R. G.; Babich, J. W.; Ballon, D.

    2017-01-01

    Viral vector mediated gene therapy has become commonplace in clinical trials for a wide range of inherited disorders. Successful gene transfer depends on a number of factors, of which tissue tropism is among the most important. To date, definitive mapping of the spatial and temporal distribution of viral vectors in vivo has generally required postmortem examination of tissue. Here we present two methods for radiolabeling adeno-associated virus (AAV), one of the most commonly used viral vectors for gene therapy trials, and demonstrate their potential usefulness in the development of surrogate markers for vector delivery during the first week after administration. Specifically, we labeled adeno-associated virus serotype 10 expressing the coding sequences for the CLN2 gene implicated in late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis with iodine-124. Using direct (Iodogen) and indirect (modified Bolton-Hunter) methods, we observed the vector in the murine brain for up to one week using positron emission tomography. Capsid radioiodination of viral vectors enables non-invasive, whole body, in vivo evaluation of spatial and temporal vector distribution that should inform methods for efficacious gene therapy over a broad range of applications. PMID:28059103

  12. The core clock gene Per1 phases molecular and electrical circadian rhythms in SCN neurons

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Jeff R.

    2016-01-01

    The brain’s biological clock, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), exhibits endogenous 24-hour rhythms in gene expression and spontaneous firing rate; however, the functional relationship between these neuronal rhythms is not fully understood. Here, we used a Per1::GFP transgenic mouse line that allows for the simultaneous quantification of molecular clock state and firing rate in SCN neurons to examine the relationship between these key components of the circadian clock. We find that there is a stable, phased relationship between E-box-driven clock gene expression and spontaneous firing rate in SCN neurons and that these relationships are independent of light input onto the system or of GABAA receptor-mediated synaptic activity. Importantly, the concordant phasing of gene and neural rhythms is disrupted in the absence of the homologous clock gene Per1, but persists in the absence of the core clock gene Per2. These results suggest that Per1 plays a unique, non-redundant role in phasing gene expression and firing rate rhythms in SCN neurons to increase the robustness of cellular timekeeping. PMID:27602274

  13. Mediator links epigenetic silencing of neuronal gene expression with x-linked mental retardation.

    PubMed

    Ding, Ning; Zhou, Haiying; Esteve, Pierre-Olivier; Chin, Hang Gyeong; Kim, Seokjoong; Xu, Xuan; Joseph, Sumy M; Friez, Michael J; Schwartz, Charles E; Pradhan, Sriharsa; Boyer, Thomas G

    2008-08-08

    Mediator occupies a central role in RNA polymerase II transcription as a sensor, integrator, and processor of regulatory signals that converge on protein-coding gene promoters. Compared to its role in gene activation, little is known regarding the molecular mechanisms and biological implications of Mediator as a transducer of repressive signals. Here we describe a protein interaction network required for extraneuronal gene silencing comprising Mediator, G9a histone methyltransferase, and the RE1 silencing transcription factor (REST; also known as neuron restrictive silencer factor, NRSF). We show that the MED12 interface in Mediator links REST with G9a-dependent histone H3K9 dimethylation to suppress neuronal genes in nonneuronal cells. Notably, missense mutations in MED12 causing the X-linked mental retardation (XLMR) disorders FG syndrome and Lujan syndrome disrupt its REST corepressor function. These findings implicate Mediator in epigenetic restriction of neuronal gene expression to the nervous system and suggest a pathologic basis for MED12-associated XLMR involving impaired REST-dependent neuronal gene regulation.

  14. Replication-dependent histone genes are actively transcribed in differentiating and aging retinal neurons.

    PubMed

    Banday, Abdul Rouf; Baumgartner, Marybeth; Al Seesi, Sahar; Karunakaran, Devi Krishna Priya; Venkatesh, Aditya; Congdon, Sean; Lemoine, Christopher; Kilcollins, Ashley M; Mandoiu, Ion; Punzo, Claudio; Kanadia, Rahul N

    2014-01-01

    In the mammalian genome, each histone family contains multiple replication-dependent paralogs, which are found in clusters where their transcription is thought to be coupled to the cell cycle. Here, we wanted to interrogate the transcriptional regulation of these paralogs during retinal development and aging. We employed deep sequencing, quantitative PCR, in situ hybridization (ISH), and microarray analysis, which revealed that replication-dependent histone genes were not only transcribed in progenitor cells but also in differentiating neurons. Specifically, by ISH analysis we found that different histone genes were actively transcribed in a subset of neurons between postnatal day 7 and 14. Interestingly, within a histone family, not all paralogs were transcribed at the same level during retinal development. For example, expression of Hist1h1b was higher embryonically, while that of Hist1h1c was higher postnatally. Finally, expression of replication-dependent histone genes was also observed in the aging retina. Moreover, transcription of replication-dependent histones was independent of rapamycin-mediated mTOR pathway inactivation. Overall, our data suggest the existence of variant nucleosomes produced by the differential expression of the replication-dependent histone genes across retinal development. Also, the expression of a subset of replication-dependent histone isotypes in senescent neurons warrants re-examining these genes as "replication-dependent." Thus, our findings underscore the importance of understanding the transcriptional regulation of replication-dependent histone genes in the maintenance and functioning of neurons.

  15. Alcohol consumption induces global gene expression changes in VTA dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Marballi, K; Genabai, N K; Blednov, Y A; Harris, R A; Ponomarev, I

    2016-03-01

    Alcoholism is associated with dysregulation in the neural circuitry that mediates motivated and goal-directed behaviors. The dopaminergic (DA) connection between the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the nucleus accumbens is viewed as a critical component of the neurocircuitry mediating alcohol's rewarding and behavioral effects. We sought to determine the effects of binge alcohol drinking on global gene expression in VTA DA neurons. Alcohol-preferring C57BL/6J × FVB/NJ F1 hybrid female mice were exposed to a modified drinking in the dark (DID) procedure for 3 weeks, while control animals had access to water only. Global gene expression of laser-captured tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive VTA DA neurons was measured using microarrays. A total of 644 transcripts were differentially expressed between the drinking and nondrinking mice, and 930 transcripts correlated with alcohol intake during the last 2 days of drinking in the alcohol group. Bioinformatics analysis of alcohol-responsive genes identified molecular pathways and networks perturbed in DA neurons by alcohol consumption, which included neuroimmune and epigenetic functions, alcohol metabolism and brain disorders. The majority of genes with high and specific expression in DA neurons were downregulated by or negatively correlated with alcohol consumption, suggesting a decreased activity of DA neurons in high drinking animals. These changes in the DA transcriptome provide a foundation for alcohol-induced neuroadaptations that may play a crucial role in the transition to addiction. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  16. Alcohol consumption induces global gene expression changes in VTA dopaminergic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Marballi, Ketan; Genabai, Naresh K.; Blednov, Yuri A.; Harris, R. Adron; Ponomarev, Igor

    2016-01-01

    Alcoholism is associated with dysregulation in the neural circuitry that mediates motivated and goal-directed behaviors. The dopaminergic connection between the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the nucleus accumbens is viewed as a critical component of the neurocircuitry mediating alcohol’s rewarding and behavioral effects. We sought to determine the effects of binge alcohol drinking on global gene expression in VTA dopaminergic (DA) neurons. Alcohol-preferring C57BL/6J × FVB/NJ F1 hybrid female mice were exposed to a modified drinking in the dark (DID) procedure for 3 weeks, while control animals had access to water only. Global gene expression of laser-captured tyrosine hydroxylase - positive VTA DA neurons was measured using microarrays. 644 transcripts were differentially expressed between the drinking and non-drinking mice and 930 transcripts correlated with alcohol intake during the last two days of drinking in the alcohol group. Bioinformatics analysis of alcohol-responsive genes identified molecular pathways and networks perturbed in DA neurons by alcohol consumption, which included neuroimmune and epigenetic functions, alcohol metabolism and brain disorders. The majority of genes with high and specific expression in DA neurons were down regulated by or negatively correlated with alcohol consumption, suggesting a decreased activity of DA neurons in high drinking animals. These changes in the dopaminergic transcriptome provide a foundation for alcohol-induced neuroadaptations that may play a crucial role in the transition to addiction. PMID:26482798

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Identification of genes influencing dendrite morphogenesis in developing peripheral sensory and central motor neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ou, Yimiao; Chwalla, Barbara; Landgraf, Matthias; van Meyel, Donald J

    2008-01-01

    Background Developing neurons form dendritic trees with cell type-specific patterns of growth, branching and targeting. Dendrites of Drosophila peripheral sensory neurons have emerged as a premier genetic model, though the molecular mechanisms that underlie and regulate their morphogenesis remain incompletely understood. Still less is known about this process in central neurons and the extent to which central and peripheral dendrites share common organisational principles and molecular features. To address these issues, we have carried out two comparable gain-of-function screens for genes that influence dendrite morphologies in peripheral dendritic arborisation (da) neurons and central RP2 motor neurons. Results We found 35 unique loci that influenced da neuron dendrites, including five previously shown as required for da dendrite patterning. Several phenotypes were class-specific and many resembled those of known mutants, suggesting that genes identified in this study may converge with and extend known molecular pathways for dendrite development in da neurons. The second screen used a novel technique for cell-autonomous gene misexpression in RP2 motor neurons. We found 51 unique loci affecting RP2 dendrite morphology, 84% expressed in the central nervous system. The phenotypic classes from both screens demonstrate that gene misexpression can affect specific aspects of dendritic development, such as growth, branching and targeting. We demonstrate that these processes are genetically separable. Targeting phenotypes were specific to the RP2 screen, and we propose that dendrites in the central nervous system are targeted to territories defined by Cartesian co-ordinates along the antero-posterior and the medio-lateral axes of the central neuropile. Comparisons between the screens suggest that the dendrites of peripheral da and central RP2 neurons are shaped by regulatory programs that only partially overlap. We focused on one common candidate pathway controlled by the

  20. Transcriptional regulation of neuronal genes and its effect on neural functions: gene expression in response to static magnetism in cultured rat hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Hirai, Takao; Yoneda, Yukio

    2005-07-01

    We have previously shown a marked but transient increase in DNA binding of the nuclear transcription factor activator protein-1 after brief exposure to static magnetic fields in cultured rat hippocampal neurons, suggesting that exposure to static magnetism would lead to long-term consolidation as well as amplification of different functional alterations through modulation of de novo protein synthesis at the level of gene transcription in the hippocampus. Hippocampal neurons were cultured under sustained exposure to static magnetic fields at 100 mT, followed by extraction of total RNA for differential display (DD) analysis using random primers. The first and the second DD polymerase chain reaction similarly showed the downregulation of particular genes in response to sustained magnetism. Nucleotide sequence analysis followed by BLASTN homology searching revealed high homology of these 2 DD-PCR products to the 3' non-coding regions of the mouse basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor ALF1 and that of histone H3.3A, respectively. On Northern blot analysis using the 2 cloned differentially expressed fragments labeled with [alpha-(32)P]dCTP by the random primer method, a marked decrease was seen in expression of mRNA for ALF1 and histone H3.3A in hippocampal neurons cultured under sustained exposure to static magnetic fields at 100 mT. It thus appears that static magnetism may modulate cellular integrity and functionality through expression of a variety of responsive genes required for gene transcription and translation, proliferation, differentiation, maturation, survival, and so on in cultured rat hippocampal neurons.

  1. The dusp1 Immediate Early Gene is Regulated by Natural Stimuli Predominantly in Sensory Input Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Horita, Haruhito; Wada, Kazuhiro; Rivas, Miriam V.; Hara, Erina; Jarvis, Erich D.

    2010-01-01

    Many immediate early genes (IEGs) have activity-dependent induction in a subset of brain subdivisions or neuron types. However, none have been reported yet with regulation specific to thalamic-recipient sensory neurons of the telencephalon or in the thalamic sensory input neurons themselves. Here, we report the first such gene, dual specificity phosphatase 1 (dusp1). Dusp1 is an inactivator of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and MAPK activates expression of egr1, one of the most commonly studied IEGs, as determined in cultured cells. We found that in the brain of naturally behaving songbirds and other avian species, hearing song, seeing visual stimuli, or performing motor behavior caused high dusp1 upregulation, respectively, in auditory, visual, and somatosensory input cell populations of the thalamus and thalamic-recipient sensory neurons of the telencephalic pallium, whereas high egr1 upregulation occurred only in subsequently connected secondary and tertiary sensory neuronal populations of these same pathways. Motor behavior did not induce high levels of dusp1 expression in the motor-associated areas adjacent to song nuclei, where egr1 is upregulated in response to movement. Our analysis of dusp1 expression in mouse brain suggests similar regulation in the sensory input neurons of the thalamus and thalamic-recipient layer IV and VI neurons of the cortex. These findings suggest that dusp1 has specialized regulation to sensory input neurons of the thalamus and telencephalon; they further suggest that this regulation may serve to attenuate stimulus-induced expression of egr1 and other IEGs, leading to unique molecular properties of forebrain sensory input neurons. PMID:20506480

  2. 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

  3. Aggregated Alpha-Synuclein Transfer Efficiently between Cultured Human Neuron-Like Cells and Localize to Lysosomes

    PubMed Central

    Severinsson, Emelie; Agholme, Lotta; Bergström, Joakim; Ingelsson, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease and other alpha-synucleinopathies are progressive neurodegenerative diseases characterized by aggregates of misfolded alpha-synuclein spreading throughout the brain. Recent evidence suggests that the pathological progression is likely due to neuron-to-neuron transfer of these aggregates between neuroanatomically connected areas of the brain. As the impact of this pathological spreading mechanism is currently debated, we aimed to investigate the transfer and subcellular location of alpha-synuclein species in a novel 3D co-culture human cell model based on highly differentiated SH-SY5Y cells. Fluorescently-labeled monomeric, oligomeric and fibrillar species of alpha-synuclein were introduced into a donor cell population and co-cultured with an EGFP-expressing acceptor-cell population of differentiated neuron-like cells. Subsequent transfer and colocalization of the different species were determined with confocal microscopy. We could confirm cell-to-cell transfer of all three alpha-synuclein species investigated. Interestingly the level of transferred oligomers and fibrils and oligomers were significantly higher than monomers, which could affect the probability of seeding and pathology in the recipient cells. Most alpha-synuclein colocalized with the lysosomal/endosomal system, both pre- and postsynaptically, suggesting its importance in the processing and spreading of alpha-synuclein. PMID:28030591

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    We analyze patterns of gene presence and absence in a maximum likelihood framework with rate parameters for gene gain and loss. Standard methods allow independent gains and losses in different parts of a tree. While losses of the same gene are likely to be frequent, multiple gains need to be considered carefully. A gene gain could occur by horizontal transfer or by origin of a gene within the lineage being studied. If a gene is gained more than once, then at least one of these gains must be a horizontal transfer. A key parameter is the ratio of gain to loss rates, a/v We consider the limiting case known as the infinitely many genes model, where a/v tends to zero and a gene cannot be gained more than once. The infinitely many genes model is used as a null model in comparison to models that allow multiple gains. Using genome data from cyanobacteria and archaea, it is found that the likelihood is significantly improved by allowing for multiple gains, but the average a/v is very small. The fraction of genes whose presence/absence pattern is best explained by multiple gains is only 15% in the cyanobacteria and 20% and 39% in two data sets of archaea. The distribution of rates of gene loss is very broad, which explains why many genes follow a treelike pattern of vertical inheritance, despite the presence of a significant minority of genes that undergo horizontal transfer. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Forebrain neuronal specific ablation of p53 gene provide protection in a cortical ischemic stroke model

    PubMed Central

    Filichia, Emily; Shen, Hui; Zhou, Xiaofei; Qi, Xin; Jin, Kevin; Greig, Nigel; Hoffer, Barry; Luo, Yu

    2016-01-01

    Cerebral ischemic injury involves death of multiple cell types at the ischemic sites. As a key regulator of cell death, the p53 gene has been implicated in the regulation of cell loss in stroke. Less focal damage is found in stroke animals pre-treated with a p53 inhibitor or in traditional p53 knockout (ko) mice. However, whether the p53 gene plays a direct role in regulating neuronal cell death is unknown. In this study, in contrast to the global inhibition of p53 function by pharmacological inhibitors and in traditional p53 ko mice, we utilized a neuronal specific conditional ko mouse line (CamcreTRP53 loxP/loxP) to achieve forebrain neuronal specific deletion of p53 and examined the role of the p53 gene in ischemia-induced cell death in neurons. Expression of p53 after stroke is examined using immunohistochemical method and outcome of stroke is examined by analysis of infarction size and behavioral deficits caused by stroke. Our data showed that p53 expression is upregulated in the ischemic region in neuronal cells in wildtype (wt) mice but not in CamcreTRP53 loxP/loxP ko mice. Deletion of the p53 gene in forebrain neurons results in a decreased infarction area in ko mice. Locomotor behavior, measured in automated activity chambers, showed that CamcreTRP53 loxP/loxP ko mice have less locomotor deficits compared to wt mice after MCAo. We conclude that manipulation of p53 expression in neurons may lead to unique therapeutic development in stroke. PMID:25779964

  6. 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. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  7. 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

  8. Evidence of horizontal gene transfer between obligate leaf nodule symbionts

    PubMed Central

    Pinto-Carbó, Marta; Sieber, Simon; Dessein, Steven; Wicker, Thomas; Verstraete, Brecht; Gademann, Karl; Eberl, Leo; Carlier, Aurelien

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria of the genus Burkholderia establish an obligate symbiosis with plant species of the Rubiaceae and Primulaceae families. The bacteria, housed within the leaves, are transmitted hereditarily and have not yet been cultured. We have sequenced and compared the genomes of eight bacterial leaf nodule symbionts of the Rubiaceae plant family. All of the genomes exhibit features consistent with genome erosion. Genes potentially involved in the biosynthesis of kirkamide, an insecticidal C7N aminocyclitol, are conserved in most Rubiaceae symbionts. However, some have partially lost the kirkamide pathway due to genome erosion and are unable to synthesize the compound. Kirkamide synthesis is therefore not responsible for the obligate nature of the symbiosis. More importantly, we find evidence of intra-clade horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events affecting genes of the secondary metabolism. This indicates that substantial gene flow can occur at the early stages following host restriction in leaf nodule symbioses. We propose that host-switching events and plasmid conjugative transfers could have promoted these HGTs. This genomic analysis of leaf nodule symbionts gives, for the first time, new insights in the genome evolution of obligate symbionts in their early stages of the association with plants. PMID:26978165

  9. Hippocampus neuronal metabolic gene expression outperforms whole tissue data in accurately predicting Alzheimer's disease progression.

    PubMed

    Stempler, Shiri; Waldman, Yedael Y; Wolf, Lior; Ruppin, Eytan

    2012-09-01

    Numerous metabolic alterations are associated with the impairment of brain cells in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here we use gene expression microarrays of both whole hippocampus tissue and hippocampal neurons of AD patients to investigate the ability of metabolic gene expression to predict AD progression and its cognitive decline. We find that the prediction accuracy of different AD stages is markedly higher when using neuronal expression data (0.9) than when using whole tissue expression (0.76). Furthermore, the metabolic genes' expression is shown to be as effective in predicting AD severity as the entire gene list. Remarkably, a regression model from hippocampal metabolic gene expression leads to a marked correlation of 0.57 with the Mini-Mental State Examination cognitive score. Notably, the expression of top predictive neuronal genes in AD is significantly higher than that of other metabolic genes in the brains of healthy subjects. All together, the analyses point to a subset of metabolic genes that is strongly associated with normal brain functioning and whose disruption plays a major role in AD.

  10. AAV Vector-Mediated Gene Delivery to Substantia Nigra Dopamine Neurons: Implications for Gene Therapy and Disease Models

    PubMed Central

    Albert, Katrina; Voutilainen, Merja H.; Domanskyi, Andrii; Airavaara, Mikko

    2017-01-01

    Gene delivery using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors is a widely used method to transduce neurons in the brain, especially due to its safety, efficacy, and long-lasting expression. In addition, by varying AAV serotype, promotor, and titer, it is possible to affect the cell specificity of expression or the expression levels of the protein of interest. Dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra projecting to the striatum, comprising the nigrostriatal pathway, are involved in movement control and degenerate in Parkinson’s disease. AAV-based gene targeting to the projection area of these neurons in the striatum has been studied extensively to induce the production of neurotrophic factors for disease-modifying therapies for Parkinson’s disease. Much less emphasis has been put on AAV-based gene therapy targeting dopamine neurons in substantia nigra. We will review the literature related to targeting striatum and/or substantia nigra dopamine neurons using AAVs in order to express neuroprotective and neurorestorative molecules, as well as produce animal disease models of Parkinson’s disease. We discuss difficulties in targeting substantia nigra dopamine neurons and their vulnerability to stress in general. Therefore, choosing a proper control for experimental work is not trivial. Since the axons along the nigrostriatal tract are the first to degenerate in Parkinson’s disease, the location to deliver the therapy must be carefully considered. We also review studies using AAV-α-synuclein (α-syn) to target substantia nigra dopamine neurons to produce an α-syn overexpression disease model in rats. Though these studies are able to produce mild dopamine system degeneration in the striatum and substantia nigra and some behavioural effects, there are studies pointing to the toxicity of AAV-carrying green fluorescent protein (GFP), which is often used as a control. Therefore, we discuss the potential difficulties in overexpressing proteins in general in the substantia

  11. AAV Vector-Mediated Gene Delivery to Substantia Nigra Dopamine Neurons: Implications for Gene Therapy and Disease Models.

    PubMed

    Albert, Katrina; Voutilainen, Merja H; Domanskyi, Andrii; Airavaara, Mikko

    2017-02-08

    Gene delivery using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors is a widely used method to transduce neurons in the brain, especially due to its safety, efficacy, and long-lasting expression. In addition, by varying AAV serotype, promotor, and titer, it is possible to affect the cell specificity of expression or the expression levels of the protein of interest. Dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra projecting to the striatum, comprising the nigrostriatal pathway, are involved in movement control and degenerate in Parkinson's disease. AAV-based gene targeting to the projection area of these neurons in the striatum has been studied extensively to induce the production of neurotrophic factors for disease-modifying therapies for Parkinson's disease. Much less emphasis has been put on AAV-based gene therapy targeting dopamine neurons in substantia nigra. We will review the literature related to targeting striatum and/or substantia nigra dopamine neurons using AAVs in order to express neuroprotective and neurorestorative molecules, as well as produce animal disease models of Parkinson's disease. We discuss difficulties in targeting substantia nigra dopamine neurons and their vulnerability to stress in general. Therefore, choosing a proper control for experimental work is not trivial. Since the axons along the nigrostriatal tract are the first to degenerate in Parkinson's disease, the location to deliver the therapy must be carefully considered. We also review studies using AAV-a-synuclein (a-syn) to target substantia nigra dopamine neurons to produce an α-syn overexpression disease model in rats. Though these studies are able to produce mild dopamine system degeneration in the striatum and substantia nigra and some behavioural effects, there are studies pointing to the toxicity of AAV-carrying green fluorescent protein (GFP), which is often used as a control. Therefore, we discuss the potential difficulties in overexpressing proteins in general in the substantia nigra.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Cationic Amino Acid Based Lipids as Effective Nonviral Gene Delivery Vectors for Primary Cultured Neurons

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The delivery of specific genes into neurons offers a potent approach for treatment of diseases as well as for the study of neuronal cell biology. Here we investigated the capabilities of cationic amino acid based lipid assemblies to act as nonviral gene delivery vectors in primary cultured neurons. An arginine-based lipid, Arg-C3-Glu2C14, and a lysine-based lipid, Lys-C3-Glu2C14, with two different types of counterion, chloride ion (Cl–) and trifluoroacetic acid (TFA–), were shown to successfully mediate transfection of primary cultured neurons with plasmid DNA encoding green fluorescent protein. Among four types of lipids, we optimized their conditions such as the lipid-to-DNA ratio and the amount of pDNA and conducted a cytotoxicity assay at the same time. Overall, Arg-C3-Glu2C14 with TFA– induced a rate of transfection in primary cultured neurons higher than that of Lys-C3-Glu2C14 using an optimal weight ratio of lipid-to-plasmid DNA of 1. Moreover, it was suggested that Arg-C3-Glu2C14 with TFA– showed the optimized value higher than that of Lipofectamine2000 in experimental conditions. Thus, Arg-C3-Glu2C14 with TFA– is a promising candidate as a reliable transfection reagent for primary cultured neurons with a relatively low cytotoxicity. PMID:24087930

  16. Age-related gene expression changes in substantia nigra dopamine neurons of the rat.

    PubMed

    Parkinson, Gemma M; Dayas, Christopher V; Smith, Doug W

    2015-07-01

    Ageing affects most, if not all, functional systems in the body. For example, the somatic motor nervous system, responsible for initiating and regulating motor output to skeletal musculature, is vulnerable to ageing. The nigrostriatal dopamine pathway is one component of this system, with deficits in dopamine signalling contributing to major motor dysfunction, as exemplified in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, while the dopamine deficit in PD is due to degeneration of substantia nigra (SN) dopamine (DA) neurons, it is unclear whether there is sufficient loss of SN DA neurons with ageing to explain observed motor impairments. Instead, evidence suggests that age-related loss of DA neuron function may be more important than frank cell loss. To further elucidate the mechanisms of functional decline, we have investigated age-related changes in gene expression specifically in laser microdissected SN DA neurons. There were significant age-related changes in the expression of genes associated with neurotrophic factor signalling and the regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase activity. Furthermore, reduced expression of the DA neuron-associated transcription factor, Nurr1, may contribute to these changes. Together, these results suggest that altered neurotrophic signalling and tyrosine hydroxylase activity may contribute to altered DA neuron signalling and motor nervous system regulation in ageing.

  17. Lateral Gene Transfer Dynamics in the Ancient Bacterial Genus Streptomyces.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Bradon R; Currie, Cameron R

    2017-06-06

    Lateral gene transfer (LGT) profoundly shapes the evolution of bacterial lineages. LGT across disparate phylogenetic groups and genome content diversity between related organisms suggest a model of bacterial evolution that views LGT as rampant and promiscuous. It has even driven the argument that species concepts and tree-based phylogenetics cannot be applied to bacteria. Here, we show that acquisition and retention of genes through LGT are surprisingly rare in the ubiquitous and biomedically important bacterial genus Streptomyces Using a molecular clock, we estimate that the Streptomyces bacteria are ~380 million years old, indicating that this bacterial genus is as ancient as land vertebrates. Calibrating LGT rate to this geologic time span, we find that on average only 10 genes per million years were acquired and subsequently maintained. Over that same time span, Streptomyces accumulated thousands of point mutations. By explicitly incorporating evolutionary timescale into our analyses, we provide a dramatically different view on the dynamics of LGT and its impact on bacterial evolution.IMPORTANCE Tree-based phylogenetics and the use of species as units of diversity lie at the foundation of modern biology. In bacteria, these pillars of evolutionary theory have been called into question due to the observation of thousands of lateral gene transfer (LGT) events within and between lineages. Here, we show that acquisition and retention of genes through LGT are exceedingly rare in the bacterial genus Streptomyces, with merely one gene acquired in Streptomyces lineages every 100,000 years. These findings stand in contrast to the current assumption of rampant genetic exchange, which has become the dominant hypothesis used to explain bacterial diversity. Our results support a more nuanced understanding of genetic exchange, with LGT impacting evolution over short timescales but playing a significant role over long timescales. Deeper understanding of LGT provides new

  18. 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

  19. [Experimental approach to the gene therapy of motor neuron disease with the use of genes hypoxia-inducible factors].

    PubMed

    Ismailov, Sh M; Barykova, Iu A; Shmarov, M M; Tarantul, V Z; Barskov, I V; Kucherianu, V G; Brylev, L V; Logunov, D Iu; Tutykhina, I L; Bocharov, E V; Zakharova, M N; Naroditskiĭ, B S; Illarioshkin, S N

    2014-05-01

    Motor neuron disease (MND), or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a progressive loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord and the brain. Several angiogenic and neurogenic growth factors, such as the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), angiogenin (ANG), insulin-like growth factor (IGF) and others, have been shown to promote survival of the spinal motor neurons during ischemia. We constructed recombinant vectors using human adenovirus 5 (Ad5) carrying the VEGF, ANG or IGF genes under the control of the cytomegalovirus promoter. As a model for MND, we employed a transgenic mice strain, B6SJL-Tg (SOD1*G93A)d11 Gur/J that develops a progressive degeneration of the spinal motor neurons caused by the expression of a mutated Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase gene SOD1. Delivery of the therapeutic genes to the spinal motor neurons was done using the effect of the retrograde axonal transport after multiple injections of the Ad5-VEGF, Ad5-ANG and Ad5-IGF vectors and their combinations into the limbs and back muscles of the SOD1(G93A) mice. Viral transgene expression in the spinal cord motor neurons was confirmed by immunocytochemistry and RT-RCR. We assessed the neurological status, motor activity and lifespan of experimental and control animal groups. We discovered that SOD1(G93A) mice injected with the Ad5-VEGF + Ad5-ANG combination showed a 2-3 week delay in manifestation of the disease, higher motor activity at the advanced stages of the disease, and at least a 10% increase in the lifespan compared to the control and other experimental groups. These results support the safety and therapeutic efficacy of the tested recombinant treatment. We propose that the developed experimental MND treatment based on viral delivery of VEGF + ANG can be used as a basis for gene therapy drug development and testing in the preclinical and clinical trials of the MND.

  20. Adult rat bone marrow stromal cells express genes associated with dopamine neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Kramer, Brian C.; Woodbury, Dale . E-mail: WOODBURYDL@AOL.COM; Black, Ira B.

    2006-05-19

    An intensive search is underway to identify candidates to replace the cells that degenerate in Parkinson's disease (PD). To date, no suitable substitute has been found. We have recently found that adult rat bone marrow stromal cells (MSCs) can be induced to assume a neuronal phenotype in vitro. These findings may have particular relevance to the treatment of PD. We now report that adult MSCs express multiple dopaminergic genes, suggesting that they are potential candidates for cell therapy. Using RT-PCR, we have examined families of genes that are associated with the development and/or survival of dopaminergic neurons. MSCs transcribe a variety of dopaminergic genes including patched and smoothened (components of the Shh receptor), Gli-1 (downstream mediator of Shh), and Otx-1, a gene associated with formation of the mesencephalon during development. Furthermore, Shh treatment elicits a 1.5-fold increase in DNA synthesis in cultured MSCs, suggesting the presence of a functional Shh receptor complex. We have also found that MSCs transcribe and translate Nurr-1, a nuclear receptor essential for the development of dopamine neurons. In addition, MSCs express a variety of growth factor receptors including the glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol-anchored ligand-binding subunit of the GDNF receptor, GFR{alpha}1, as well as fibroblast growth factor receptors one and four. The expression of genes that are associated with the development and survival of dopamine neurons suggests a potential role for these cells in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

  1. Familial Dysautonomia (FD) Human Embryonic Stem Cell Derived PNS Neurons Reveal that Synaptic Vesicular and Neuronal Transport Genes Are Directly or Indirectly Affected by IKBKAP Downregulation

    PubMed Central

    Kantor, Gal; Cheishvili, David; Even, Aviel; Birger, Anastasya; Turetsky, Tikva; Gil, Yaniv; Even-Ram, Sharona; Aizenman, Einat; Bashir, Nibal; Maayan, Channa; Razin, Aharon; Reubinoff, Benjamim E.; Weil, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    A splicing mutation in the IKBKAP gene causes Familial Dysautonomia (FD), affecting the IKAP protein expression levels and proper development and function of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Here we found new molecular insights for the IKAP role and the impact of the FD mutation in the human PNS lineage by using a novel and unique human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line homozygous to the FD mutation originated by pre implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) analysis. We found that IKBKAP downregulation during PNS differentiation affects normal migration in FD-hESC derived neural crest cells (NCC) while at later stages the PNS neurons show reduced intracellular colocalization between vesicular proteins and IKAP. Comparative wide transcriptome analysis of FD and WT hESC-derived neurons together with the analysis of human brains from FD and WT 12 weeks old embryos and experimental validation of the results confirmed that synaptic vesicular and neuronal transport genes are directly or indirectly affected by IKBKAP downregulation in FD neurons. Moreover we show that kinetin (a drug that corrects IKBKAP alternative splicing) promotes the recovery of IKAP expression and these IKAP functional associated genes identified in the study. Altogether, these results support the view that IKAP might be a vesicular like protein that might be involved in neuronal transport in hESC derived PNS neurons. This function seems to be mostly affected in FD-hESC derived PNS neurons probably reflecting some PNS neuronal dysfunction observed in FD. PMID:26437462

  2. Familial Dysautonomia (FD) Human Embryonic Stem Cell Derived PNS Neurons Reveal that Synaptic Vesicular and Neuronal Transport Genes Are Directly or Indirectly Affected by IKBKAP Downregulation.

    PubMed

    Lefler, Sharon; Cohen, Malkiel A; Kantor, Gal; Cheishvili, David; Even, Aviel; Birger, Anastasya; Turetsky, Tikva; Gil, Yaniv; Even-Ram, Sharona; Aizenman, Einat; Bashir, Nibal; Maayan, Channa; Razin, Aharon; Reubinoff, Benjamim E; Weil, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    A splicing mutation in the IKBKAP gene causes Familial Dysautonomia (FD), affecting the IKAP protein expression levels and proper development and function of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Here we found new molecular insights for the IKAP role and the impact of the FD mutation in the human PNS lineage by using a novel and unique human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line homozygous to the FD mutation originated by pre implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) analysis. We found that IKBKAP downregulation during PNS differentiation affects normal migration in FD-hESC derived neural crest cells (NCC) while at later stages the PNS neurons show reduced intracellular colocalization between vesicular proteins and IKAP. Comparative wide transcriptome analysis of FD and WT hESC-derived neurons together with the analysis of human brains from FD and WT 12 weeks old embryos and experimental validation of the results confirmed that synaptic vesicular and neuronal transport genes are directly or indirectly affected by IKBKAP downregulation in FD neurons. Moreover we show that kinetin (a drug that corrects IKBKAP alternative splicing) promotes the recovery of IKAP expression and these IKAP functional associated genes identified in the study. Altogether, these results support the view that IKAP might be a vesicular like protein that might be involved in neuronal transport in hESC derived PNS neurons. This function seems to be mostly affected in FD-hESC derived PNS neurons probably reflecting some PNS neuronal dysfunction observed in FD.

  3. Clathrin light chain B: gene structure and neuron-specific splicing.

    PubMed Central

    Stamm, S; Casper, D; Dinsmore, J; Kaufmann, C A; Brosius, J; Helfman, D M

    1992-01-01

    The clathrin light chains are components of clathrin coated vesicles, structural constituents involved in endocytosis and membrane recycling. The clathrin light chain B (LCB) gene encodes two isoforms, termed LCB2 and LCB3, via an alternative RNA splicing mechanism. We have determined the structure of the rat clathrin light chain B gene. The gene consists of six exons that extend over 11.9 kb. The first four exons and the last exon are common to the LCB2 and LCB3 isoforms. The fifth exon, termed EN, is included in the mRNA in brain, giving rise to the brain specific form LCB2 but is excluded in other tissues, generating the LCB3 isoform. Primary rat neuronal cell cultures express predominantly the brain specific LCB2 isoform, whereas primary rat cultures of glia express only the LCB3 isoform, suggesting that expression of the brain-specific LCB2 form is limited to neurons. Further evidence for neuronal localization of the LCB2 form is provided using a teratocarcinoma cell line, P19, which can be induced by retinoic acid to express a neuronal phenotype, concomitant with the induction of the LCB2 form. In order to determine the sequences involved in alternative splice site selection, we constructed a minigene containing the alternative spliced exon EN and its flanking intron and exon sequences. This minigene reflects the splicing pattern of the endogenous gene upon transfection in HeLa cell and primary neuronal cell cultures, indicating that this region of the LCB gene contains all the necessary information for neuron-specific splicing. Images PMID:1408826

  4. 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

  5. Centrifugal neurons of the octopus optic lobe cortex are immunopositive for calcitonin gene-related peptide.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Hirohumi; Yamamoto, Toshiharu

    2002-05-10

    Distribution of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-like substance in the optic lobe cortex and retina of the octopus was examined immunohistochemically. Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), a retrograde-transporting marker, was also used to label the centrifugal neurons. CGRP-immunoreactive (CGRP-IR) somata were seen in the inner granular cell layer, but not in the outer granular cell layer or the retina. CGRP-IR fibers were seen not only in the optic lobe cortex, but also in the retinal nerve plexus. Retrogradely labeled somata were seen in the inner granular cell layer, but not in the outer granular cell layer. Immunohistochemical double staining indicated that WGA-labeled centrifugal neurons were immunopositive for CGRP. These results suggested that the centrifugal neurons in the octopus optic lobe cortex are CGRP-like peptide-containing neurons, and that the peptide may modulate photoreceptor cell functions.

  6. Lower incidence of deletions in the survival of motor neuron gene and the neuronal apoptosis inhibitory protein gene in children with spinal muscular atrophy from Serbia.

    PubMed

    Miskovic, Marijana; Lalic, Tanja; Radivojevic, Danijela; Cirkovic, Sanja; Vlahovic, Gordana; Zamurovic, Dragan; Guc-Scekic, Marija

    2011-11-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the second most frequent autosomal recessive disease characterized by degeneration of the anterior horn cells of the spinal cord, leading to muscular atrophy. SMA is classified into three types according to disease severity and age-onset: severe (type I), intermediate (type II) and mild (type III). Deletions in the survival motor neuron (SMN) gene, located in the chromosome region 5q11.2- 5q13.3, are major determinants of SMA phenotype. Extended deletions that include the neuronal apoptosis inhibitory protein (NAIP) gene may correlate with the severtity of SMA. SMN gene is present in two highly homologous copies, SMN1 and SMN2, but only deletions of the SMN1 gene (exons 7 and 8 or exon 7) are responsible for clinical manifestations of SMA. Here, we present the deletion profiling of SMN1 and NAIP genes in 89 children with SMA from Serbia: 52 patients with type I, 26 with type II, and 11 with type III. The homozygous deletion of the SMN1 gene was confirmed in 72 of 89 (81%) patients, being the most frequent in SMA type I (48/52): 68 patients (94.4%) with deletion of exons 7 and 8 and 4 patients (5.6%) with deletion of exon 7. The extended deletion including the NAIP gene was detected in 18 of 89 (20.2%) patients, mostly affected with type I. This study has revealed the lower incidence of deletions in the SMN1 and NAIP genes in families with SMA in Serbia and will provide important information for genetic counselling in these families.

  7. Dopamine neurons from transgenic mice with a knockout of the p53 gene resist MPTP neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Trimmer, P A; Smith, T S; Jung, A B; Bennett, J P

    1996-09-01

    We have examined MPTP toxicity to dopamine neurons of mice homozygous for a transgenic knockout of the p53 growth control gene (p53-/-). MPTP at a total dose of 96 mg/kg administered in four doses over two days produced a non-homogeneous loss of striatal dopamine transport sites and quantitatively reduced 3H-mazindol binding to similar degrees in p53-/- and wild type controls 2 and 3 weeks after starting MPTP. Nigral DA neurons stained immunohistochemically for tyrosine hydroxylase were counted using both manual and automated methods and found to be reduced 29-34% in wild type controls but were not reduced in p53-/-. Mean DA neuronal surface areas were reduced 63-68% by MPTP in controls and 35-50% in p53-/-. We conclude that p53 protein appears necessary for complete expression of MPTP neurotoxicity to dopamine neurons. Our findings suggest that the p53 gene and other growth control genes may regulate dopamine neuronal death in PD.

  8. Identification of Neuronal Enhancers of the Proopiomelanocortin Gene by Transgenic Mouse Analysis and Phylogenetic Footprinting

    PubMed Central

    de Souza, Flávio S. J.; Santangelo, Andrea M.; Bumaschny, Viviana; Avale, María Elena; Smart, James L.; Low, Malcolm J.; Rubinstein, Marcelo

    2005-01-01

    The proopiomelanocortin (POMC) gene is expressed in the pituitary and arcuate neurons of the hypothalamus. POMC arcuate neurons play a central role in the control of energy homeostasis, and rare loss-of-function mutations in POMC cause obesity. Moreover, POMC is the prime candidate gene within a highly significant quantitative trait locus on chromosome 2 associated with obesity traits in several human populations. Here, we identify two phylogenetically conserved neuronal POMC enhancers designated nPE1 (600 bp) and nPE2 (150 bp) located approximately 10 to 12 kb upstream of mammalian POMC transcriptional units. We show that mouse or human genomic regions containing these enhancers are able to direct reporter gene expression to POMC hypothalamic neurons, but not the pituitary of transgenic mice. Conversely, deletion of nPE1 and nPE2 in the context of the entire transcriptional unit of POMC abolishes transgene expression in the hypothalamus without affecting pituitary expression. Our results indicate that the nPEs are necessary and sufficient for hypothalamic POMC expression and that POMC expression in the brain and pituitary is controlled by independent sets of enhancers. Our study advances the understanding of the molecular nature of hypothalamic POMC neurons and will be useful to determine whether polymorphisms in POMC regulatory regions play a role in the predisposition to obesity. PMID:15798195

  9. Direct gene transfer in the Gottingen minipig CNS using stereotaxic lentiviral microinjections.

    PubMed

    Norgaard Glud, Andreas; Hedegaard, Claus; Nielsen, Mette Slot; Sørensen, Jens Christian; Bendixen, Christian; Jensen, Poul Henning; Larsen, Knud; Bjarkam, Carsten Reidies

    2010-01-01

    We aim to induce direct viral mediated gene transfer in the substantia nigra (SN) of the Gottingen minipig using MRI guided stereotaxic injections of lentiviral vectors encoding enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). Nine female Gottingen minipigs were injected unilaterally into the SN with 6 per 2.5 microliters lentivirus capable of transducing cells and mediating expression of recombinant EGFP. The animals were euthanized after four (n=3) or twenty weeks (n=6). Fresh brain tissue from three animals was used for PCR. The remaining six brains were cryo- or paraffin-sectioned for fluorescence, Nissl-, and immunohistochemical EGFP visualization. EGFP was seen in nigral neurons, axons, glial cells, endothelial cells, and in nigral fibers targeting the striatum. PCR-based detection confirmed the presence of the transgene in SN, whereas all other examined brain areas were negative, indicating that the immunohistochemically detected EGFP in the striatum derived from transfected nigral cells.

  10. Evidence for a novel regulatory pathway for herpes simplex virus gene expression in trigeminal ganglion neurons.

    PubMed

    Kosz-Vnenchak, M; Jacobson, J; Coen, D M; Knipe, D M

    1993-09-01

    Thymidine kinase (TK)-negative (TK-) mutant strains of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) show reduced expression of alpha and beta viral genes during acute infection of trigeminal ganglion neurons following corneal infection (M. Kosz-Vnenchak, D. M. Coen, and D. M. Knipe, J. Virol. 64:5396-5402, 1990). It was surprising that a defect in a beta gene product would lead to decreased alpha and beta gene expression, given the regulatory pathways demonstrated for HSV infection of cultured cells. In this study, we have examined viral gene expression during reactivation from latent infection in explanted trigeminal ganglion tissue. In explant reactivation studies with wild-type virus, we observed viral productive gene expression over the first 48 h of explant incubation occurring in a temporal order (alpha, beta, gamma) similar to that in cultured cells. This occurred predominantly in latency-associated transcript-positive neurons but was limited to a fraction of these cells. In contrast, TK- mutant viruses showed greatly reduced alpha and beta gene expression upon explant of latently infected trigeminal ganglion tissue. An inhibitor of viral TK or an inhibitor of viral DNA polymerase greatly decreased viral lytic gene expression in trigeminal ganglion tissue latently infected with wild-type virus and explanted in culture. These results indicate that the regulatory mechanisms governing HSV gene expression are different in trigeminal ganglion neurons and cultured cells. We present a new model for viral gene expression in trigeminal ganglion neurons with implications for the nature of the decision process between latent infection and productive infection by HSV.

  11. Skin incision induces expression of axonal regeneration-related genes in adult rat spinal sensory neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Caitlin E.; Harrison, Benjamin J.; Rau, Kris K.; Hougland, M. Tyler; Bunge, Mary Bartlett; Mendell, Lorne M.; Petruska, Jeffrey C.

    2010-01-01

    Skin incision and nerve injury both induce painful conditions. Incisional and post-surgical pain is believed to arise primarily from inflammation of tissue and the subsequent sensitization of peripheral and central neurons. The role of axonal regeneration-related processes in development of pain has only been considered when there has been injury to the peripheral nerve itself, even though tissue damage likely induces injury of resident axons. We sought to determine if skin incision would affect expression of regeneration-related genes such as activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. ATF3 is absent from DRG neurons of the normal adult rodent, but is induced by injury of peripheral nerves and modulates the regenerative capacity of axons. Image analysis of immunolabeled DRG sections revealed that skin incision led to an increase in the number of DRG neurons expressing ATF3. RT-PCR indicated that other regeneration-associated genes (galanin, GAP-43, Gadd45a) were also increased, further suggesting an injury-like response in DRG neurons. Our finding that injury of skin can induce expression of neuronal injury/regeneration-associated genes may impact how clinical post-surgical pain is investigated and treated. Perspective Tissue injury, even without direct nerve injury, may induce a state of enhanced growth capacity in sensory neurons. Axonal regeneration-associated processes should be considered alongside nerve signal conduction and inflammatory/sensitization processes as possible mechanisms contributing to pain, particularly the transition from acute to chronic pain. PMID:20627820

  12. Horizontal gene transfer from flowering plants to Gnetum

    PubMed Central

    Won, Hyosig; Renner, Susanne S.

    2003-01-01

    Although horizontal gene transfer is well documented in microbial genomes, no case has been reported in higher plants. We discovered horizontal transfer of the mitochondrial nad1 intron 2 and adjacent exons b and c from an asterid to Gnetum (Gnetales, gymnosperms). Gnetum has two copies of intron 2, a group II intron, that differ in their exons, nucleotide composition, domain lengths, and structural characteristics. One of the copies, limited to an Asian clade of Gnetum, is almost identical to the homologous locus in angiosperms, and partial sequences of its exons b and c show characteristic substitutions unique to angiosperms. Analyses of 70 seed plant nad1 exons b and c and intron 2 sequences, including representatives of all angiosperm clades, support that this copy originated from a euasterid and was horizontally transferred to Gnetum. Molecular clock dating, using calibrations provided by gnetalean macrofossils, suggests an age of 5 to 2 million years for the Asian clade that received the horizontal transfer. PMID:12963817

  13. Neuronal RARβ Signaling Modulates PTEN Activity Directly in Neurons and via Exosome Transfer in Astrocytes to Prevent Glial Scar Formation and Induce Spinal Cord Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Goncalves, Maria B.; Malmqvist, Tony; Clarke, Earl; Hubens, Chantal J.; Grist, John; Hobbs, Carl; Trigo, Diogo; Risling, Mårten; Angeria, Maria; Damberg, Peter; Carlstedt, Thomas P.

    2015-01-01

    Failure of axonal regeneration in the central nervous system (CNS) is mainly attributed to a lack of intrinsic neuronal growth programs and an inhibitory environment from a glial scar. Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) is a major negative regulator of neuronal regeneration and, as such, inhibiting its activity has been considered a therapeutic target for spinal cord (SC) injuries (SCIs). Using a novel model of rat cervical avulsion, we show that treatment with a retinoic acid receptor β (RARβ) agonist results in locomotor and sensory recovery. Axonal regeneration from the severed roots into the SC could be seen by biotinylated dextran amine labeling. Light micrographs of the dorsal root entry zone show the peripheral nervous system (PNS)–CNS transition of regrown axons. RARβ agonist treatment also resulted in the absence of scar formation. Mechanism studies revealed that, in RARβ-agonist-treated neurons, PTEN activity is decreased by cytoplasmic phosphorylation and increased secretion in exosomes. These are taken up by astrocytes, resulting in hampered proliferation and causing them to arrange in a normal-appearing scaffold around the regenerating axons. Attribution of the glial modulation to neuronal PTEN in exosomes was demonstrated by the use of an exosome inhibitor in vivo and PTEN siRNA in vitro assays. The dual effect of RARβ signaling, both neuronal and neuronal–glial, results in axonal regeneration into the SC after dorsal root neurotmesis. Targeting this pathway may open new avenues for the treatment of SCIs. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) often result in permanent damage in the adult due to the very limited capacity of axonal regeneration. Intrinsic neuronal programs and the formation of a glial scar are the main obstacles. Here, we identify a single target, neuronal retinoic acid receptor β (RARβ), which modulates these two aspects of the postinjury physiological response. Activation of RARβ in the neuron inactivates

  14. 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

  15. y-Synuclein is an Adipocyte-Neuron Gene Coordinately-Expressed with Leptin & Increased in Obesity

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Objective: Recently, we characterized tumor suppressor candidate 5 (Tusc5) as an adipocyte-neuron peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-y (PPARy) target gene (1). Our objective herein was to identify additional candidate genes that play shared roles in neuron-fat physiology. Research Methods an...

  16. 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.

  17. Ancient horizontal gene transfer and the last common ancestors.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-22

    The genomic history of prokaryotic organismal lineages is marked by extensive horizontal gene transfer (HGT) between groups of organisms at all taxonomic levels. These HGT events have played an essential role in the origin and distribution of biological innovations. Analyses of ancient gene families show that HGT existed in the distant past, even at the time of the organismal last universal common ancestor (LUCA). Most gene transfers originated in lineages that have since gone extinct. Therefore, one cannot assume that the last common ancestors of each gene were all present in the same cell representing the cellular ancestor of all extant life. Organisms existing as part of a diverse ecosystem at the time of LUCA likely shared genetic material between lineages. If these other lineages persisted for some time, HGT with the descendants of LUCA could have continued into the bacterial and archaeal lineages. Phylogenetic analyses of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase protein families support the hypothesis that the molecular common ancestors of the most ancient gene families did not all coincide in space and time. This is most apparent in the evolutionary histories of seryl-tRNA synthetase and threonyl-tRNA synthetase protein families, each containing highly divergent "rare" forms, as well as the sparse phylogenetic distributions of pyrrolysyl-tRNA synthetase, and the bacterial heterodimeric form of glycyl-tRNA synthetase. These topologies and phyletic distributions are consistent with horizontal transfers from ancient, likely extinct branches of the tree of life. Of all the organisms that may have existed at the time of LUCA, by definition only one lineage is survived by known progeny; however, this lineage retains a genomic record of heterogeneous genetic origins. The evolutionary histories of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRS) are especially informative in detecting this signal, as they perform primordial biological functions, have undergone several ancient HGT events, and

  18. Kisspeptin Activates Ankrd 26 Gene Expression in Migrating Embryonic GnRH Neurons.

    PubMed

    Soga, Tomoko; Lim, Wei Ling; Khoo, Alan Soo-Beng; Parhar, Ishwar S

    2016-01-01

    Kisspeptin, a newly discovered neuropeptide, regulates gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Kisspeptins are a large RF-amide family of peptides. The kisspeptin coded by KiSS-1 gene is a 145-amino acid protein that is cleaved to C-terminal peptide kisspeptin-10. G-protein-coupled receptor 54 (GPR54) has been identified as a kisspeptin receptor, and it is expressed in GnRH neurons and in a variety of cancer cells. In this study, enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) labeled GnRH cells with migratory properties, which express GPR54, served as a model to study the effects of kisspeptin on cell migration. We monitored EGFP-GnRH neuronal migration in brain slide culture of embryonic day 14 transgenic rat by live cell imaging system and studied the effects of kisspeptin-10 (1 nM) treatment for 36 h on GnRH migration. Furthermore, to determine kisspeptin-induced molecular pathways related with apoptosis and cytoskeletal changes during neuronal migration, we studied the expression levels of candidate genes in laser-captured EGFP-GnRH neurons by real-time PCR. We found that there was no change in the expression level of genes related to cell proliferation and apoptosis. The expression of ankyrin repeat domain-containing protein (ankrd) 26 in EGFP-GnRH neurons was upregulated by the exposure to kisspeptin. These studies suggest that ankrd 26 gene plays an unidentified role in regulating neuronal movement mediated by kisspeptin-GPR54 signaling, which could be a potential pathway to suppress cell migration.

  19. Higher Vulnerability and Stress Sensitivity of Neuronal Precursor Cells Carrying an Alpha-Synuclein Gene Triplication

    PubMed Central

    Flierl, Adrian; Oliveira, Luís M. A.; Falomir-Lockhart, Lisandro J.; Mak, Sally K.; Hesley, Jayne; Soldner, Frank; Arndt-Jovin, Donna J.; Jaenisch, Rudolf; Langston, J. William; Jovin, Thomas M.; Schüle, Birgitt

    2014-01-01

    Parkinson disease (PD) is a multi-factorial neurodegenerative disorder with loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and characteristic intracellular inclusions, called Lewy bodies. Genetic predisposition, such as point mutations and copy number variants of the SNCA gene locus can cause very similar PD-like neurodegeneration. The impact of altered α-synuclein protein expression on integrity and developmental potential of neuronal stem cells is largely unexplored, but may have wide ranging implications for PD manifestation and disease progression. Here, we investigated if induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neuronal precursor cells (NPCs) from a patient with Parkinson’s disease carrying a genomic triplication of the SNCA gene (SNCA-Tri). Our goal was to determine if these cells these neuronal precursor cells already display pathological changes and impaired cellular function that would likely predispose them when differentiated to neurodegeneration. To achieve this aim, we assessed viability and cellular physiology in human SNCA-Tri NPCs both under normal and environmentally stressed conditions to model in vitro gene-environment interactions which may play a role in the initiation and progression of PD. Human SNCA-Tri NPCs displayed overall normal cellular and mitochondrial morphology, but showed substantial changes in growth, viability, cellular energy metabolism and stress resistance especially when challenged by starvation or toxicant challenge. Knockdown of α-synuclein in the SNCA-Tri NPCs by stably expressed short hairpin RNA (shRNA) resulted in reversal of the observed phenotypic changes. These data show for the first time that genetic alterations such as the SNCA gene triplication set the stage for decreased developmental fitness, accelerated aging, and increased neuronal cell loss. The observation of this “stem cell pathology” could have a great impact on both quality and quantity of neuronal networks and could provide a powerful new

  20. Kisspeptin Activates Ankrd 26 Gene Expression in Migrating Embryonic GnRH Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Soga, Tomoko; Lim, Wei Ling; Khoo, Alan Soo-Beng; Parhar, Ishwar S.

    2016-01-01

    Kisspeptin, a newly discovered neuropeptide, regulates gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Kisspeptins are a large RF-amide family of peptides. The kisspeptin coded by KiSS-1 gene is a 145-amino acid protein that is cleaved to C-terminal peptide kisspeptin-10. G-protein-coupled receptor 54 (GPR54) has been identified as a kisspeptin receptor, and it is expressed in GnRH neurons and in a variety of cancer cells. In this study, enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) labeled GnRH cells with migratory properties, which express GPR54, served as a model to study the effects of kisspeptin on cell migration. We monitored EGFP–GnRH neuronal migration in brain slide culture of embryonic day 14 transgenic rat by live cell imaging system and studied the effects of kisspeptin-10 (1 nM) treatment for 36 h on GnRH migration. Furthermore, to determine kisspeptin-induced molecular pathways related with apoptosis and cytoskeletal changes during neuronal migration, we studied the expression levels of candidate genes in laser-captured EGFP–GnRH neurons by real-time PCR. We found that there was no change in the expression level of genes related to cell proliferation and apoptosis. The expression of ankyrin repeat domain-containing protein (ankrd) 26 in EGFP–GnRH neurons was upregulated by the exposure to kisspeptin. These studies suggest that ankrd 26 gene plays an unidentified role in regulating neuronal movement mediated by kisspeptin–GPR54 signaling, which could be a potential pathway to suppress cell migration. PMID:26973595

  1. Differences in lateral gene transfer in hypersaline versus thermal environments

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The role of lateral gene transfer (LGT) in the evolution of microorganisms is only beginning to be understood. While most LGT events occur between closely related individuals, inter-phylum and inter-domain LGT events are not uncommon. These distant transfer events offer potentially greater fitness advantages and it is for this reason that these "long distance" LGT events may have significantly impacted the evolution of microbes. One mechanism driving distant LGT events is microbial transformation. Theoretically, transformative events can occur between any two species provided that the DNA of one enters the habitat of the other. Two categories of microorganisms that are well-known for LGT are the thermophiles and halophiles. Results We identified potential inter-class LGT events into both a thermophilic class of Archaea (Thermoprotei) and a halophilic class of Archaea (Halobacteria). We then categorized these LGT genes as originating in thermophiles and halophiles respectively. While more than 68% of transfer events into Thermoprotei taxa originated in other thermophiles, less than 11% of transfer events into Halobacteria taxa originated in other halophiles. Conclusions Our results suggest that there is a fundamental difference between LGT in thermophiles and halophiles. We theorize that the difference lies in the different natures of the environments. While DNA degrades rapidly in thermal environments due to temperature-driven denaturization, hypersaline environments are adept at preserving DNA. Furthermore, most hypersaline environments, as topographical minima, are natural collectors of cellular debris. Thus halophiles would in theory be exposed to a greater diversity and quantity of extracellular DNA than thermophiles. PMID:21740576

  2. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and gene expression analysis of neuronal subtypes after fluorescence activated cell sorting

    PubMed Central

    Finegersh, Andrey; Homanics, Gregg E.

    2016-01-01

    Background With advances in cell capture, gene expression can now be studied in neuronal subtypes and single cells; however, studying epigenetic mechanisms that underlie these changes presents challenges. Moreover, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) protocols optimized for low cell number do not adequately address technical issues and cell loss while preparing tissue for fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS). Developing a reliable FACS-ChIP protocol without the need for pooling tissue from multiple animals would enable study of epigenetic mechanisms in neuronal subtypes. Methods FACS was used to isolate dopamine 1 receptor (D1R) expressing cells from the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of a commercially available BAC transgenic mouse strain. D1R+ cells were used to study gene expression as well as histone modifications at gene promoters using a novel native ChIP protocol. Results Isolated cells had enrichment of the dopamine 1 receptor (D1R) mRNA and nearly undetectable levels of GFAP and D2R mRNA. ChIP analysis demonstrated the association of activating or repressive histone modifications with highly expressed or silent gene promoters, respectively. Comparison with existing methods: The ChIP protocol developed in this paper enables characterization of histone modifications from ~30,000 FAC-sorted neurons. Conclusions We describe a one day FACS-ChIP protocol that can be applied to epigenetic studies of neuronal subtypes without pooling tissue. PMID:26868730

  3. BDNF gene delivery mediated by neuron-targeted nanoparticles is neuroprotective in peripheral nerve injury.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Cátia D F; Gonçalves, Nádia P; Gomes, Carla P; Saraiva, Maria J; Pêgo, Ana P

    2017-03-01

    Neuron-targeted gene delivery is a promising strategy to treat peripheral neuropathies. Here we propose the use of polymeric nanoparticles based on thiolated trimethyl chitosan (TMCSH) to mediate targeted gene delivery to peripheral neurons upon a peripheral and minimally invasive intramuscular administration. Nanoparticles were grafted with the non-toxic carboxylic fragment of the tetanus neurotoxin (HC) to allow neuron targeting and were explored to deliver a plasmid DNA encoding for the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in a peripheral nerve injury model. The TMCSH-HC/BDNF nanoparticle treatment promoted the release and significant expression of BDNF in neural tissues, which resulted in an enhanced functional recovery after injury as compared to control treatments (vehicle and non-targeted nanoparticles), associated with an improvement in key pro-regenerative events, namely, the increased expression of neurofilament and growth-associated protein GAP-43 in the injured nerves. Moreover, the targeted nanoparticle treatment was correlated with a significantly higher density of myelinated axons in the distal stump of injured nerves, as well as with preservation of unmyelinated axon density as compared with controls and a protective role in injury-denervated muscles, preventing them from denervation. These results highlight the potential of TMCSH-HC nanoparticles as non-viral gene carriers to deliver therapeutic genes into the peripheral neurons and thus, pave the way for their use as an effective therapeutic intervention for peripheral neuropathies.

  4. Networks of Neuronal Genes Affected by Common and Rare Variants in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Ben-David, Eyal; Shifman, Sagiv

    2012-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are neurodevelopmental disorders with phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity. Recent studies have reported rare and de novo mutations in ASD, but the allelic architecture of ASD remains unclear. To assess the role of common and rare variations in ASD, we constructed a gene co-expression network based on a widespread survey of gene expression in the human brain. We identified modules associated with specific cell types and processes. By integrating known rare mutations and the results of an ASD genome-wide association study (GWAS), we identified two neuronal modules that are perturbed by both rare and common variations. These modules contain highly connected genes that are involved in synaptic and neuronal plasticity and that are expressed in areas associated with learning and memory and sensory perception. The enrichment of common risk variants was replicated in two additional samples which include both simplex and multiplex families. An analysis of the combined contribution of common variants in the neuronal modules revealed a polygenic component to the risk of ASD. The results of this study point toward contribution of minor and major perturbations in the two sub-networks of neuronal genes to ASD risk. PMID:22412387

  5. Growth arrest specific gene 7 is associated with schizophrenia and regulates neuronal migration and morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhengrong; Zheng, Fanfan; You, Yang; Ma, Yuanlin; Lu, Tianlan; Yue, Weihua; Zhang, Dai

    2016-05-18

    Schizophrenia is a highly heritable chronic mental disorder with significant abnormalities in brain function. The neurodevelopmental hypothesis proposes that schizophrenia originates in the prenatal period due to impairments in neuronal developmental processes such as migration and arborization, leading to abnormal brain maturation. Previous studies have identified multiple promising candidate genes that drive functions in neurodevelopment and are associated with schizophrenia. However, the molecular mechanisms of how they exert effects on the pathophysiology of schizophrenia remain largely unknown. In our research, we identified growth arrest specific gene 7 (GAS7) as a schizophrenia risk gene in two independent Han Chinese populations using a two-stage association study. Functional experiments were done to further explore the underlying mechanisms of the role of Gas7 in cortical development. In vitro, we discovered that Gas7 contributed to neurite outgrowth through the F-BAR domain. In vivo, overexpression of Gas7 arrested neuronal migration by increasing leading process branching, while suppression of Gas7 could inhibit neuronal migration by lengthening leading processes. Through a series of behavioral tests, we also found that Gas7-deficient mice showed sensorimotor gating deficits. Our results demonstrate GAS7 as a susceptibility gene for schizophrenia. Gas7 might participate in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia by regulating neurite outgrowth and neuronal migration through its C-terminal F-BAR domain. The impaired pre-pulse inhibition (PPI) of Gas7-deficient mice might mirror the disease-related behavior in schizophrenia.

  6. Interaction between conjugative and retrotransposable elements in horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  7. 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

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Spinal cord injury and the neuron-intrinsic regeneration-associated gene program.

    PubMed

    Fagoe, Nitish D; van Heest, Jessica; Verhaagen, Joost

    2014-12-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) affects millions of people worldwide and causes a significant physical, emotional, social and economic burden. The main clinical hallmark of SCI is the permanent loss of motor, sensory and autonomic function below the level of injury. In general, neurons of the central nervous system (CNS) are incapable of regeneration, whereas injury to the peripheral nervous system is followed by axonal regeneration and usually results in some degree of functional recovery. The weak neuron-intrinsic regeneration-associated gene (RAG) response upon injury is an important reason for the failure of neurons in the CNS to regenerate an axon. This response consists of the expression of many RAGs, including regeneration-associated transcription factors (TFs). Regeneration-associated TFs are potential key regulators of the RAG program. The function of some regeneration-associated TFs has been studied in transgenic and knock-out mice and by adeno-associated viral vector-mediated overexpression in injured neurons. Here, we review these studies and propose that AAV-mediated gene delivery of combinations of regeneration-associated TFs is a potential strategy to activate the RAG program in injured CNS neurons and achieve long-distance axon regeneration.

  15. Non-syndromic mild mental retardation candidate gene CDKL3 regulates neuronal morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zanhua; Xu, Dafeng; Zhao, Yongbo; Zheng, Jing

    2010-09-01

    Mental retardation is a common neurological disorder characterized by various clinical manifestations, primarily impaired cognitive function. To date, only a few genes linked to mental retardation have been well characterized, and the genetics of mental retardation remains poorly understood. Here, we investigated the role of the Cdkl3, a mental retardation candidate gene, in neuronal morphogenesis. We show that Cdkl3 mRNA expression is developmentally regulated in the central nervous system, peaking during neonatal stages, and CDKL3 protein is enriched in neuronal nuclei. Downregulating CDKL3 by RNAi decreased dendrite branching, total dendritic length and complexity in cultured cortical neurons, whereas it promoted axon growth without affecting axon/dendrite specification. Furthermore, depleting CDKL3 in developing cortical neurons also inhibited dendritic growth and maturation, and reduced spine density on basal dendrites in vivo. In contrast, overexpressing CDKL3 enhanced dendritic elaboration both in vitro and in vivo and suppressed axonal outgrowth in vitro. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that CDKL3 is involved in neuronal morphogenesis during development.

  16. 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. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Interleukin-10 Gene Transfer in Rat Limbal Transplantation.

    PubMed

    Kaufmann, Claude; Mortimer, Lauren A; Brereton, Helen M; Irani, Yazad D; Parker, Douglas Ga; Anson, Donald S; Bachmann, Lucas M; Williams, Keryn A

    2017-09-19

    To evaluate the gene transfer of the interleukin (IL)-10 cytokine as a treatment modality for prolonging limbal allograft survival in a rat model. Adenoviral (AV) and lentiviral (LV) vectors were produced for ex vivo gene transfer into limbal graft tissue prior to orthotopic transplantation. Experimental groups comprised unmodified isografts, unmodified allografts, allografts transfected with a reporter gene, and allografts transfected with IL-10. The functional effects of the transgenes were determined by clinical assessment and by following donor cell survival in the recipient animal. Group comparisons were made using survival analysis and tested with the log-rank test. Differences in mean rejection times between groups were tested using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Isografts survived during the entire observation period of 56 days. Allografts underwent clinical rejection at a mean of 6.7 days (standard deviation 2.0) postoperatively, irrespective of the presence of transgenes (p < 0.001 for difference in rejection times). For both the AV and LV vector systems, Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a statistically significant difference with respect to time-to-graft failure when comparing allografts transfected with IL-10 with allografts transfected with reporter gene alone (p = 0.011 and p < 0.001, respectively). In the isografts, donor cells could be detected during the complete observation period. In all the allograft groups, however, donor cell detection declined after 1 week and was lost after 4 weeks. Under the conditions tested in the present model, both the AV and the LV vector systems were able to transfect limbal graft tissue ex vivo with biologically active IL-10, leading to delayed rejection compared to the controls.

  18. Ccm3, a gene associated with cerebral cavernous malformations, is required for neuronal migration.

    PubMed

    Louvi, Angeliki; Nishimura, Sayoko; Günel, Murat

    2014-03-01

    Loss of function of cerebral cavernous malformation 3 (CCM3) results in an autosomal dominant cerebrovascular disorder. Here, we uncover a developmental role for CCM3 in regulating neuronal migration in the neocortex. Using cell type-specific gene inactivation in mice, we show that CCM3 has both cell autonomous and cell non-autonomous functions in neural progenitors and is specifically required in radial glia and newly born pyramidal neurons migrating through the subventricular zone, but not in those migrating through the cortical plate. Loss of CCM3 function leads to RhoA activation, alterations in the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton affecting neuronal morphology, and abnormalities in laminar positioning of primarily late-born neurons, indicating CCM3 involvement in radial glia-dependent locomotion and possible interaction with the Cdk5/RhoA pathway. Thus, we identify a novel cytoplasmic regulator of neuronal migration and demonstrate that its inactivation in radial glia progenitors and nascent neurons produces severe malformations of cortical development.

  19. Tau deficiency leads to the upregulation of BAF-57, a protein involved in neuron-specific gene repression.

    PubMed

    de Barreda, Elena Gómez; Dawson, Hana N; Vitek, Michel P; Avila, Jesús

    2010-06-03

    Although tau is mainly located in the cell cytoplasm, mostly bound to tubulin, it may also be found in the nucleus of neurons. Hence, we tested whether tau might play a role in regulating the expression of certain genes by comparing gene expression in mice containing or lacking the tau protein. Our results identified a significant difference in the expression of the smarce1 gene, which codes for the BAF-57 protein, a protein involved in the repression of neuron specific genes. These data suggest a role for tau in neuron maturation. Copyright 2010 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. CXCR4 gene transfer prevents pressure overload induced heart failure

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Neuronal gene expression in aluminum-induced neurofibrillary pathology: an in situ hybridization study.

    PubMed

    Chambers, C B; Muma, N A

    1997-01-01

    Alterations in cytoskeletal proteins such as the perikaryal accumulation of neurofilaments (NFs) occur in a number of human neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and may contribute to their debilitating effects. The administration of aluminum salts to rabbits induces the aberrant accumulation of NFs within the proximal axons and perikarya of vulnerable neurons and is one animal model which has been extensively studied in an attempt to gain insight into the mechanism(s) of NF perturbations in human disease. Previous studies using Northern blotting techniques to examine mRNA levels in the aluminum-induced neuropathy model have led to seemingly contradictory results. We have used in situ hybridization which provides the cellular resolution needed to: 1) determine whether there are generalized decreases in the levels of mRNA expression or decreases in mRNA encoding specific proteins; 2) determine whether alterations in mRNA levels occur specifically in neurons with NF accumulations; and 3) begin to resolve some of the apparent contradictions in the literature. A moderate dose of aluminum lactate administered on two consecutive days produced neurofibrillary tangles in spinal cord neurons seven days after the first dose. Polyadenylated mRNA levels were not altered in spinal cord neurons in aluminum-treated compared to saline-treated control animals or in tangle-bearing compared to non tangle-bearing neurons in aluminum-treated animals. Middle and high NF subunit (NFH) mRNA levels were not significantly different from polyadenylated mRNA levels in spinal cord neurons in aluminum-treated/control animals. NFH mRNA levels were decreased in neurons containing aluminum-induced NF accumulations. These results suggest that NFH gene expression may be down regulated by an inhibitory feedback mechanism induced by perikaryal accumulations of NFs. This inhibitory feedback regulation for NFH may have

  3. Gene dosage-dependent rescue of HSP neurite defects in SPG4 patients’ neurons

    PubMed Central

    Havlicek, Steven; Kohl, Zacharias; Mishra, Himanshu K.; Prots, Iryna; Eberhardt, Esther; Denguir, Naime; Wend, Holger; Plötz, Sonja; Boyer, Leah; Marchetto, Maria C.N.; Aigner, Stefan; Sticht, Heinrich; Groemer, Teja W.; Hehr, Ute; Lampert, Angelika; Schlötzer-Schrehardt, Ursula; Winkler, Jürgen; Gage, Fred H.; Winner, Beate

    2014-01-01

    The hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are a heterogeneous group of motorneuron diseases characterized by progressive spasticity and paresis of the lower limbs. Mutations in Spastic Gait 4 (SPG4), encoding spastin, are the most frequent cause of HSP. To understand how mutations in SPG4 affect human neurons, we generated human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) from fibroblasts of two patients carrying a c.1684C>T nonsense mutation and from two controls. These SPG4 and control hiPSCs were able to differentiate into neurons and glia at comparable efficiency. All known spastin isoforms were reduced in SPG4 neuronal cells. The complexity of SPG4 neurites was decreased, which was paralleled by an imbalance of axonal transport with less retrograde movement. Prominent neurite swellings with disrupted microtubules were present in SPG4 neurons at an ultrastructural level. While some of these swellings contain acetylated and detyrosinated tubulin, these tubulin modifications were unchanged in total cell lysates of SPG4 neurons. Upregulation of another microtubule-severing protein, p60 katanin, may partially compensate for microtubuli dynamics in SPG4 neurons. Overexpression of the M1 or M87 spastin isoforms restored neurite length, branching, numbers of primary neurites and reduced swellings in SPG4 neuronal cells. We conclude that neurite complexity and maintenance in HSP patient-derived neurons are critically sensitive to spastin gene dosage. Our data show that elevation of single spastin isoform levels is sufficient to restore neurite complexity and reduce neurite swellings in patient cells. Furthermore, our human model offers an ideal platform for pharmacological screenings with the goal to restore physiological spastin levels in SPG4 patients. PMID:24381312

  4. Gene dosage-dependent rescue of HSP neurite defects in SPG4 patients' neurons.

    PubMed

    Havlicek, Steven; Kohl, Zacharias; Mishra, Himanshu K; Prots, Iryna; Eberhardt, Esther; Denguir, Naime; Wend, Holger; Plötz, Sonja; Boyer, Leah; Marchetto, Maria C N; Aigner, Stefan; Sticht, Heinrich; Groemer, Teja W; Hehr, Ute; Lampert, Angelika; Schlötzer-Schrehardt, Ursula; Winkler, Jürgen; Gage, Fred H; Winner, Beate

    2014-05-15

    The hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are a heterogeneous group of motorneuron diseases characterized by progressive spasticity and paresis of the lower limbs. Mutations in Spastic Gait 4 (SPG4), encoding spastin, are the most frequent cause of HSP. To understand how mutations in SPG4 affect human neurons, we generated human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) from fibroblasts of two patients carrying a c.1684C>T nonsense mutation and from two controls. These SPG4 and control hiPSCs were able to differentiate into neurons and glia at comparable efficiency. All known spastin isoforms were reduced in SPG4 neuronal cells. The complexity of SPG4 neurites was decreased, which was paralleled by an imbalance of axonal transport with less retrograde movement. Prominent neurite swellings with disrupted microtubules were present in SPG4 neurons at an ultrastructural level. While some of these swellings contain acetylated and detyrosinated tubulin, these tubulin modifications were unchanged in total cell lysates of SPG4 neurons. Upregulation of another microtubule-severing protein, p60 katanin, may partially compensate for microtubuli dynamics in SPG4 neurons. Overexpression of the M1 or M87 spastin isoforms restored neurite length, branching, numbers of primary neurites and reduced swellings in SPG4 neuronal cells. We conclude that neurite complexity and maintenance in HSP patient-derived neurons are critically sensitive to spastin gene dosage. Our data show that elevation of single spastin isoform levels is sufficient to restore neurite complexity and reduce neurite swellings in patient cells. Furthermore, our human model offers an ideal platform for pharmacological screenings with the goal to restore physiological spastin levels in SPG4 patients.

  5. Horizontal gene transfer of microbial cellulases into nematode genomes is associated with functional assimilation and gene turnover

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Natural acquisition of novel genes from other organisms by horizontal or lateral gene transfer is well established for microorganisms. There is now growing evidence that horizontal gene transfer also plays important roles in the evolution of eukaryotes. Genome-sequencing and EST projects of plant and animal associated nematodes such as Brugia, Meloidogyne, Bursaphelenchus and Pristionchus indicate horizontal gene transfer as a key adaptation towards parasitism and pathogenicity. However, little is known about the functional activity and evolutionary longevity of genes acquired by horizontal gene transfer and the mechanisms favoring such processes. Results We examine the transfer of cellulase genes to the free-living and beetle-associated nematode Pristionchus pacificus, for which detailed phylogenetic knowledge is available, to address predictions by evolutionary theory for successful gene transfer. We used transcriptomics in seven Pristionchus species and three other related diplogastrid nematodes with a well-defined phylogenetic framework to study the evolution of ancestral cellulase genes acquired by horizontal gene transfer. We performed intra-species, inter-species and inter-genic analysis by comparing the transcriptomes of these ten species and tested for cellulase activity in each species. Species with cellulase genes in their transcriptome always exhibited cellulase activity indicating functional integration into the host's genome and biology. The phylogenetic profile of cellulase genes was congruent with the species phylogeny demonstrating gene longevity. Cellulase genes show notable turnover with elevated birth and death rates. Comparison by sequencing of three selected cellulase genes in 24 natural isolates of Pristionchus pacificus suggests these high evolutionary dynamics to be associated with copy number variations and positive selection. Conclusion We could demonstrate functional integration of acquired cellulase genes into the nematode

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Lateral gene transfers have polished animal genomes: lessons from nematodes.

    PubMed

    Danchin, Etienne G J; Rosso, Marie-Noëlle

    2012-01-01

    It is now accepted that lateral gene transfers (LGT), have significantly contributed to the composition of bacterial genomes. The amplitude of the phenomenon is considered so high in prokaryotes that it challenges the traditional view of a binary hierarchical tree of life to correctly represent the evolutionary history of species. Given the plethora of transfers between prokaryotes, it is currently impossible to infer the last common ancestral gene set for any extant species. For this ensemble of reasons, it has been proposed that the Darwinian binary tree of life may be inappropriate to correctly reflect the actual relations between species, at least in prokaryotes. In contrast, the contribution of LGT to the composition of animal genomes is less documented. In the light of recent analyses that reported series of LGT events in nematodes, we discuss the importance of this phenomenon in the evolutionary history and in the current composition of an animal genome. Far from being neutral, it appears that besides having contributed to nematode genome contents, LGT have favored the emergence of important traits such as plant-parasitism.

  9. Lateral gene transfers have polished animal genomes: lessons from nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Danchin, Etienne G. J.; Rosso, Marie-Noëlle

    2012-01-01

    It is now accepted that lateral gene transfers (LGT), have significantly contributed to the composition of bacterial genomes. The amplitude of the phenomenon is considered so high in prokaryotes that it challenges the traditional view of a binary hierarchical tree of life to correctly represent the evolutionary history of species. Given the plethora of transfers between prokaryotes, it is currently impossible to infer the last common ancestral gene set for any extant species. For this ensemble of reasons, it has been proposed that the Darwinian binary tree of life may be inappropriate to correctly reflect the actual relations between species, at least in prokaryotes. In contrast, the contribution of LGT to the composition of animal genomes is less documented. In the light of recent analyses that reported series of LGT events in nematodes, we discuss the importance of this phenomenon in the evolutionary history and in the current composition of an animal genome. Far from being neutral, it appears that besides having contributed to nematode genome contents, LGT have favored the emergence of important traits such as plant-parasitism. PMID:22919619

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

    PubMed

    Wu, Dong-Dong; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2011-11-01

    Horizontal gene transfer, the movement of genetic materials across the normal mating barriers between organisms occurs frequently and contributes significantly to the evolution of both eukaryotic and prokaryotic genomes. However, few concurrent transfers of functionally related genes implemented in a pathway from eukaryotes to prokaryotes are observed. Here, we did phylogenetic analyses to support that the genes, i.e. dihydrofolate reductase, glycine hydroxymethyltransferase, and thymidylate synthase involved in thymidylate metabolism, in Hz-1 virus were obtained from insect genome recently by independent horizontal gene transfers. In addition, five other related genes in nucleotide metabolism show evidences of horizontal gene transfers. These genes demonstrate similar expression pattern, and they may have formatted a functionally related pathway (e.g. thymidylate synthesis, and DNA replication) in Hz-1 virus. In conclusion, we provide an example of horizontal gene transfer of functionally related genes in a pathway to prokaryote from eukaryote. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. A microRNA embedded AAV alpha-synuclein gene silencing vector for dopaminergic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Han, Ye; Khodr, Christina E.; Sapru, Mohan K.; Pedapati, Jyothi; Bohn, Martha C.

    2011-01-01

    Alpha-synuclein (SNCA), an abundantly expressed presynaptic protein, is implicated in Parkinson disease (PD). Since over-expression of human SNCA (hSNCA) leads to death of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in human, rodent and fly brain, hSNCA gene silencing may reduce levels of toxic forms of SNCA and ameliorate degeneration of DA neurons in PD. To begin to develop a gene therapy for PD based on hSNCA gene silencing, two AAV gene silencing vectors were designed, and tested for efficiency and specificity of silencing, as well as toxicity in vitro. The same hSNCA silencing sequence (shRNA) was used in both vectors, but in one vector, the shRNA was embedded in a microRNA backbone and driven by a pol II promoter, and in the other the shRNA was not embedded in a microRNA and was driven by a pol III promoter. Both vectors silenced hSNCA to the same extent in 293T cells transfected with hSNCA. In DA PC12 cells, neither vector decreased expression of rat SNCA, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine transporter (DAT) or the vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT). However, the mir30 embedded vector was significantly less toxic to both PC12 and SH-SY5Y cells. Our in vitro data suggest that this miRNA-embedded silencing vector may be ideal for chronic in vivo SNCA gene silencing in DA neurons. PMID:21338582

  12. Gene expression profile of activated microglia under conditions associated with dopamine neuronal damage.

    PubMed

    Thomas, David M; Francescutti-Verbeem, Dina M; Kuhn, Donald M

    2006-03-01

    Microglia are the resident antigen-presenting cells within the central nervous system (CNS), and they serve immune-like functions in protecting the brain against injury and invading pathogens. By contrast, activated microglia can secrete numerous reactants that damage neurons. The pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative diseases has been associated with microglial activation, but the signaling pathways that program a neuronally protective or destructive phenotype in microglia are not known. To increase the understanding of microglial activation, microarray analysis was used to profile the transcriptome of BV-2 microglial cells after activation. Microglia were activated by lipopolysaccharide, the HIV neurotoxic protein TAT, and dopamine quinone, each of which has been linked to dopamine neuronal damage. We identified 210 of 9882 genes whose expression was differentially regulated by all activators (116 increased and 94 decreased in expression). Gene ontology analysis assigned up-regulated genes to a number of specific biological processes and molecular functions, including immune response, inflammation, and cytokine/chemokine activity. Genes down-regulated in expression contribute to conditions that are permissive of microglial migration, lowered adhesion to matrix, lessened phagocytosis, and reduction in receptors that oppose chemotaxis and inflammation. These results elaborate a broad profile of microglial genes whose expression is altered by conditions associated with both neurodegenerative diseases and microglial activation.

  13. Rare variants in neuronal excitability genes influence risk for bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Ament, Seth A; Szelinger, Szabolcs; Glusman, Gustavo; Ashworth, Justin; Hou, Liping; Akula, Nirmala; Shekhtman, Tatyana; Badner, Judith A; Brunkow, Mary E; Mauldin, Denise E; Stittrich, Anna-Barbara; Rouleau, Katherine; Detera-Wadleigh, Sevilla D; Nurnberger, John I; Edenberg, Howard J; Gershon, Elliot S; Schork, Nicholas; Price, Nathan D; Gelinas, Richard; Hood, Leroy; Craig, David; McMahon, Francis J; Kelsoe, John R; Roach, Jared C

    2015-03-17

    We sequenced the genomes of 200 individuals from 41 families multiply affected with bipolar disorder (BD) to identify contributions of rare variants to genetic risk. We initially focused on 3,087 candidate genes with known synaptic functions or prior evidence from genome-wide association studies. BD pedigrees had an increased burden of rare variants in genes encoding neuronal ion channels, including subunits of GABAA receptors and voltage-gated calcium channels. Four uncommon coding and regulatory variants also showed significant association, including a missense variant in GABRA6. Targeted sequencing of 26 of these candidate genes in an additional 3,014 cases and 1,717 controls confirmed rare variant associations in ANK3, CACNA1B, CACNA1C, CACNA1D, CACNG2, CAMK2A, and NGF. Variants in promoters and 5' and 3' UTRs contributed more strongly than coding variants to risk for BD, both in pedigrees and in the case-control cohort. The genes and pathways identified in this study regulate diverse aspects of neuronal excitability. We conclude that rare variants in neuronal excitability genes contribute to risk for BD.

  14. The androgen receptor gene: a major modifier of speed of neuronal transmission and intelligence?

    PubMed

    Manning, J T

    2007-01-01

    Humans show considerable additive genetic variance in cognitive ability or general intelligence (g) but the genes that influence this variation are largely unknown. It is suggested here that the X-linked androgen receptor gene (AR) has a major modifying effect on speed of neuronal transmission and thus on g. The AR is polymorphic in its N-terminal transactivation domain which encodes a polyglutamine tract (CAGn) with a parametric mean of n=21 CAG repeats and normal variation between n=11 and n=30 repeats . Very low repeat numbers are associated with mental retardation, repeat numbers above 30 with reduced cognitive function, and CAGn greater than 40 with spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy. Within the range of 11-30 repeats short CAG chains are associated with high androgen sensitivity and high sperm counts. Despite this, all human populations contain many individuals with n>21 repeats. I suggest that within the range of 11-30 repeats there is a positive association with speed of neuronal transmission and values of g. The advantage of high g and the consequent spread of alleles for high CAGn will be countered by the negative effects on sperm production. Below CAGn=11 and above CAGn=30 neuronal speed may reduce, thus leading to reductions in g and loss of function of neurons. In support of the model I discuss the link between the X-chromosome and g, the comparative structure of the AR gene in the primates, and the variation in CAGn and g in human ethnic groups.

  15. Gene networks activated by specific patterns of action potentials in dorsal root ganglia neurons

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Philip R.; Cohen, Jonathan E.; Iacobas, Dumitru A.; Iacobas, Sanda; Fields, R. Douglas

    2017-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks underlie the long-term changes in cell specification, growth of synaptic connections, and adaptation that occur throughout neonatal and postnatal life. Here we show that the transcriptional response in neurons is exquisitely sensitive to the temporal nature of action potential firing patterns. Neurons were electrically stimulated with the same number of action potentials, but with different inter-burst intervals. We found that these subtle alterations in the timing of action potential firing differentially regulates hundreds of genes, across many functional categories, through the activation or repression of distinct transcriptional networks. Our results demonstrate that the transcriptional response in neurons to environmental stimuli, coded in the pattern of action potential firing, can be very sensitive to the temporal nature of action potential delivery rather than the intensity of stimulation or the total number of action potentials delivered. These data identify temporal kinetics of action potential firing as critical components regulating intracellular signalling pathways and gene expression in neurons to extracellular cues during early development and throughout life. PMID:28256583

  16. Gene networks activated by specific patterns of action potentials in dorsal root ganglia neurons.

    PubMed

    Lee, Philip R; Cohen, Jonathan E; Iacobas, Dumitru A; Iacobas, Sanda; Fields, R Douglas

    2017-03-03

    Gene regulatory networks underlie the long-term changes in cell specification, growth of synaptic connections, and adaptation that occur throughout neonatal and postnatal life. Here we show that the transcriptional response in neurons is exquisitely sensitive to the temporal nature of action potential firing patterns. Neurons were electrically stimulated with the same number of action potentials, but with different inter-burst intervals. We found that these subtle alterations in the timing of action potential firing differentially regulates hundreds of genes, across many functional categories, through the activation or repression of distinct transcriptional networks. Our results demonstrate that the transcriptional response in neurons to environmental stimuli, coded in the pattern of action potential firing, can be very sensitive to the temporal nature of action potential delivery rather than the intensity of stimulation or the total number of action potentials delivered. These data identify temporal kinetics of action potential firing as critical components regulating intracellular signalling pathways and gene expression in neurons to extracellular cues during early development and throughout life.

  17. 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.

  18. The study of the Bithorax-complex genes in patterning CCAP neurons reveals a temporal control of neuronal differentiation by Abd-B

    PubMed Central

    Moris-Sanz, M.; Estacio-Gómez, A.; Sánchez-Herrero, E.; Díaz-Benjumea, F. J.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT During development, HOX genes play critical roles in the establishment of segmental differences. In the Drosophila central nervous system, these differences are manifested in the number and type of neurons generated by each neuroblast in each segment. HOX genes can act either in neuroblasts or in postmitotic cells, and either early or late in a lineage. Additionally, they can be continuously required during development or just at a specific stage. Moreover, these features are generally segment-specific. Lately, it has been shown that contrary to what happens in other tissues, where HOX genes define domains of expression, these genes are expressed in individual cells as part of the combinatorial codes involved in cell type specification. In this report we analyse the role of the Bithorax-complex genes – Ultrabithorax, abdominal-A and Abdominal-B – in sculpting the pattern of crustacean cardioactive peptide (CCAP)-expressing neurons. These neurons are widespread in invertebrates, express CCAP, Bursicon and MIP neuropeptides and play major roles in controlling ecdysis. There are two types of CCAP neuron: interneurons and efferent neurons. Our results indicate that Ultrabithorax and Abdominal-A are not necessary for specification of the CCAP-interneurons, but are absolutely required to prevent the death by apoptosis of the CCAP-efferent neurons. Furthermore, Abdominal-B controls by repression the temporal onset of neuropeptide expression in a subset of CCAP-efferent neurons, and a peak of ecdysone hormone at the end of larval life counteracts this repression. Thus, Bithorax complex genes control the developmental appearance of these neuropeptides both temporally and spatially. PMID:26276099

  19. Distinct Profiles of REST Interactions with Its Target Genes at Different Stages of Neuronal DevelopmentD⃞

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yuh-Man; Greenway, Deborah J.; Johnson, Rory; Street, Miyoko; Belyaev, Nikolai D.; Deuchars, Jim; Bee, Thomas; Wilde, Sandra; Buckley, Noel J.

    2005-01-01

    Differentiation of pluripotent embryonic stem (ES) cells through multipotent neural stem (NS) cells into differentiated neurons is accompanied by wholesale changes in transcriptional programs. One factor that is present at all three stages and a key to neuronal differentiation is the RE1-silencing transcription factor (REST/NRSF). Here, we have used a novel chromatin immunoprecipitation-based cloning strategy (SACHI) to identify 89 REST target genes in ES cells, embryonic hippocampal NS cells and mature hippocampus. The gene products are involved in all aspects of neuronal function, especially neuronal differentiation, axonal growth, vesicular transport and release, and ionic conductance. Most target genes are silent or expressed at low levels in ES and NS cells, but are expressed at much higher levels in hippocampus. These data indicate that the REST regulon is specific to each developmental stage and support the notion that REST plays distinct roles in regulating gene expression in pluripotent ES cells, multipotent NS cells, and mature neurons. PMID:16195345

  20. In ovo electroporation in chick midbrain for studying gene function in dopaminergic neuron development.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ben; Geary, Lauren B; Ma, Yong-Chao

    2012-08-03

    Dopaminergic neurons located in the ventral midbrain control movement, emotional behavior, and reward mechanisms. The dysfunction of ventral midbrain dopaminergic neurons is implicated in Parkinson's disease, Schizophrenia, depression, and dementia. Thus, studying the regulation of midbrain dopaminergic neuron differentiation could not only provide important insight into mechanisms regulating midbrain development and neural progenitor fate specification, but also help develop new therapeutic strategies for treating a variety of human neurological disorders. Dopaminergic neurons differentiate from neural progenitors lining the ventricular zone of embryonic ventral midbrain. The development of neural progenitors is controlled by gene expression programs. Here we report techniques utilizing electroporation to express genes specifically in the midbrain of Hamburger Hamilton (HH) stage 11 (thirteen somites, 42 hours) chick embryos. The external development of chick embryos allows for convenient experimental manipulations at specific embryonic stages, with the effects determined at later developmental time points. Chick embryonic neural tubes earlier than HH stage 13 (nineteen somites, 48 hours) consist of multipotent neural progenitors that are capable of differentiating into distinct cell types of the nervous system. The pCAG vector, which contains both a CMV promoter and a chick β-actin enhancer, allows for robust expression of Flag or other epitope-tagged constructs in embryonic chick neural tubes. In this report, we emphasize special measures to achieve regionally restricted gene expression in embryonic midbrain dopaminergic neuron progenitors, including how to inject DNA constructs specifically into the embryonic midbrain region and how to pinpoint electroporation with small custom-made electrodes. Analyzing chick midbrain at later stages provides an excellent in vivo system for plasmid vector-mediated gain-of-function and loss-of-function studies of midbrain

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1990-09-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    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. Diseases caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria are taking an important toll with respect to human morbidity and mortality. The most relevant antibiotic resistance genes come to human pathogens carried by plasmids, mainly using conjugation as a transmission mechanism. Here, we identified and characterized a series of compounds that were active against several plasmid groups of clinical relevance, in a wide variety of bacterial hosts. These inhibitors might be used for fighting antibiotic-resistance dissemination by inhibiting conjugation. Potential inhibitors could be used in specific settings (e.g., farm, fish factory, or even clinical settings) to

  5. 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. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. Anxiety as a neurodevelopmental disorder in a neuronal subpopulation: Evidence from gene expression data.

    PubMed

    Viggiano, Adela; Cacciola, Giovanna; Widmer, David A J; Viggiano, Davide

    2015-08-30

    The relationship between genes and anxious behavior, is nor linear nor monotonic. To address this problem, we analyzed with a meta-analytic method the literature data of the behavior of knockout mice, retrieving 33 genes whose deletion was accompanied by increased anxious behavior, 34 genes related to decreased anxious behavior and 48 genes not involved in anxiety. We correlated the anxious behavior resulting from the deletion of these genes to their brain expression, using the Allen Brain Atlas and Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. The main finding is that the genes accompanied, after deletion, by a modification of the anxious behavior, have lower expression in the cerebral cortex, the amygdala and the ventral striatum. The lower expression level was putatively due to their selective presence in a neuronal subpopulation. This difference was replicated also using a database of human gene expression, further showing that the differential expression pertained, in humans, a temporal window of young postnatal age (4 months up to 4 years) but was not evident at fetal or adult human stages. Finally, using gene enrichment analysis we also show that presynaptic genes are involved in the emergence of anxiety and postsynaptic genes in the reduction of anxiety after gene deletion.

  7. 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).

  8. Comprehensive qPCR profiling of gene expression in single neuronal cells

    PubMed Central

    Citri, Ami; Pang, Zhiping P.; Sudhof, Thomas C.; Wernig, Marius; Malenka, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    A major challenge in neuronal stem cell biology lies in characterization of lineage-specific reprogrammed human neuronal cells, a process that necessitates the use of an assay sensitive to the single-cell level. Single-cell gene profiling can provide definitive evidence regarding the conversion of one cell type into another at a high level of resolution. The protocol we describe employs Fluidigm Biomark dynamic arrays for high-throughput expression profiling from single neuronal cells, assaying up to 96 independent samples with up to 96 qPCR probes (equivalent to 9216 reactions) in a single experiment, which can be completed within 2–3 days. The protocol enables simple and cost-effective profiling of several hundred transcripts from a single cell, and could have numerous utilities. PMID:22193304

  9. Drosophila Orb2 targets genes involved in neuronal growth, synapse formation, and protein turnover

    PubMed Central

    Mastushita-Sakai, Tomoko; White-Grindley, Erica; Samuelson, Jessica; Seidel, Chris; Si, Kausik

    2010-01-01

    In the study of long-term memory, how memory persists is a fundamental and unresolved question. What are the molecular components of the long-lasting memory trace? Previous studies in Aplysia and Drosophila have found that a neuronal variant of a RNA-binding protein with a self-perpetuating prion-like property, cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding protein, is required for the persistence of long-term synaptic facilitation in the snail and long-term memory in the fly. In this study, we have identified the mRNA targets of the Drosophila neuronal cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding protein, Orb2. These Orb2 targets include genes involved in neuronal growth, synapse formation, and intriguingly, protein turnover. These targets suggest that the persistent form of the memory trace might be comprised of molecules that maintain a sustained, permissive environment for synaptic growth in an activated synapse. PMID:20547833

  10. Congenital Nystagmus Gene FRMD7 Is Necessary for Establishing a Neuronal Circuit Asymmetry for Direction Selectivity

    PubMed Central

    Yonehara, Keisuke; Fiscella, Michele; Drinnenberg, Antonia; Esposti, Federico; Trenholm, Stuart; Krol, Jacek; Franke, Felix; Scherf, Brigitte Gross; Kusnyerik, Akos; Müller, Jan; Szabo, Arnold; Jüttner, Josephine; Cordoba, Francisco; Reddy, Ashrithpal Police; Németh, János; Nagy, Zoltán Zsolt; Munier, Francis; Hierlemann, Andreas; Roska, Botond

    2016-01-01

    Summary Neuronal circuit asymmetries are important components of brain circuits, but the molecular pathways leading to their establishment remain unknown. Here we found that the mutation of FRMD7, a gene that is defective in human congenital nystagmus, leads to the selective loss of the horizontal optokinetic reflex in mice, as it does in humans. This is accompanied by the selective loss of horizontal direction selectivity in retinal ganglion cells and the transition from asymmetric to symmetric inhibitory input to horizontal direction-selective ganglion cells. In wild-type retinas, we found FRMD7 specifically expressed in starburst amacrine cells, the interneuron type that provides asymmetric inhibition to direction-selective retinal ganglion cells. This work identifies FRMD7 as a key regulator in establishing a neuronal circuit asymmetry, and it suggests the involvement of a specific inhibitory neuron type in the pathophysiology of a neurological disease. Video Abstract PMID:26711119

  11. A sympathetic neuron autonomous role for Egr3-mediated gene regulation in dendrite morphogenesis and target tissue innervation.

    PubMed

    Quach, David H; Oliveira-Fernandes, Michelle; Gruner, Katherine A; Tourtellotte, Warren G

    2013-03-06

    Egr3 is a nerve growth factor (NGF)-induced transcriptional regulator that is essential for normal sympathetic nervous system development. Mice lacking Egr3 in the germline have sympathetic target tissue innervation abnormalities and physiologic sympathetic dysfunction similar to humans with dysautonomia. However, since Egr3 is widely expressed and has pleiotropic function, it has not been clear whether it has a role within sympathetic neurons and if so, what target genes it regulates to facilitate target tissue innervation. Here, we show that Egr3 expression within sympathetic neurons is required for their normal innervation since isolated sympathetic neurons lacking Egr3 have neurite outgrowth abnormalities when treated with NGF and mice with sympathetic neuron-restricted Egr3 ablation have target tissue innervation abnormalities similar to mice lacking Egr3 in all tissues. Microarray analysis performed on sympathetic neurons identified many target genes deregulated in the absence of Egr3, with some of the most significantly deregulated genes having roles in axonogenesis, dendritogenesis, and axon guidance. Using a novel genetic technique to visualize axons and dendrites in a subpopulation of randomly labeled sympathetic neurons, we found that Egr3 has an essential role in regulating sympathetic neuron dendrite morphology and terminal axon branching, but not in regulating sympathetic axon guidance to their targets. Together, these results indicate that Egr3 has a sympathetic neuron autonomous role in sympathetic nervous system development that involves modulating downstream target genes affecting the outgrowth and branching of sympathetic neuron dendrites and axons.

  12. 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.

  13. Analysis of novel nonviral gene transfer systems for gene delivery to cells of the musculoskeletal system.

    PubMed

    Orth, Patrick; Weimer, Anja; Kaul, Gunter; Kohn, Dieter; Cucchiarini, Magali; Madry, Henning

    2008-02-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of novel nonviral gene delivery systems in cells of musculoskeletal origin. Primary cultures of lapine skeletal muscle cells, lapine articular chondrocytes, human cells from fibrous dysplasia and cell lines established from human osteosarcoma (SAOS-2), chondrosarcoma (CS-1), murine skeletal myoblasts (L8) and fibroblasts (NIH 3T3) were transfected with the P. pyralis luc or the E. coli lacZ genes using Nanofectin 1 and 2, Superfect, JetPEI, GeneJammer, Effectene, TransPass D2, FuGENE 6, Lipofectamine 2000, Dreamfect, Metafectene, Escort III, and calcium phosphate. Maximal transfection efficiency in lapine skeletal muscle cells was of 60.8 +/- 21.2% using Dreamfect, 38.9 +/- 5.0% in articular chondrocytes using Gene Jammer, 5.2 +/- 8.0% in human cells from fibrous dysplasia using Lipofectamine 2000, 12.7 +/- 16.2% in SAOS-2 cells using FuGENE 6, 29.9 +/- 3.5% in CS-1 cells using Lipofectamine 2000, 70.7 +/- 8.6% in L8 cells using FuGENE 6, and 48.9 +/- 13.0% in NIH 3T3 cells using Metafectene. When the cells were transfected with a human IGF-I gene, significant amounts of the IGF-I protein were secreted. These results indicate that relatively high levels of transfection can be achieved using novel nonviral gene transfer methods.

  14. Altered Expression of Genes Encoding Neurotransmitter Receptors in GnRH Neurons of Proestrous Mice

    PubMed Central

    Vastagh, Csaba; Rodolosse, Annie; Solymosi, Norbert; Liposits, Zsolt

    2016-01-01

    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons play a key role in the central regulation of reproduction. In proestrous female mice, estradiol triggers the pre-ovulatory GnRH surge, however, its impact on the expression of neurotransmitter receptor genes in GnRH neurons has not been explored yet. We hypothesized that proestrus is accompanied by substantial changes in the expression profile of genes coding for neurotransmitter receptors in GnRH neurons. We compared the transcriptome of GnRH neurons obtained from intact, proestrous, and metestrous female GnRH-GFP transgenic mice, respectively. About 1500 individual GnRH neurons were sampled from both groups and their transcriptome was analyzed using microarray hybridization and real-time PCR. In this study, changes in mRNA expression of genes involved in neurotransmitter signaling were investigated. Differential gene expression was most apparent in GABA-ergic (Gabbr1, Gabra3, Gabrb3, Gabrb2, Gabrg2), glutamatergic (Gria1, Gria2, Grin1, Grin3a, Grm1, Slc17a6), cholinergic (Chrnb2, Chrm4) and dopaminergic (Drd3, Drd4), adrenergic (Adra1b, Adra2a, Adra2c), adenosinergic (Adora2a, Adora2b), glycinergic (Glra), purinergic (P2rx7), and serotonergic (Htr1b) receptors. In concert with these events, expression of genes in the signaling pathways downstream to the receptors, i.e., G-proteins (Gnai1, Gnai2, Gnas), adenylate-cyclases (Adcy3, Adcy5), protein kinase A (Prkaca, Prkacb) protein kinase C (Prkca) and certain transporters (Slc1a4, Slc17a6, Slc6a17) were also changed. The marked differences found in the expression of genes involved in neurotransmitter signaling of GnRH neurons at pro- and metestrous stages of the ovarian cycle indicate the differential contribution of these neurotransmitter systems to the induction of the pre-ovulatory GnRH surge, the known prerequisite of the subsequent hormonal cascade inducing ovulation. PMID:27774052

  15. Foamy virus–mediated gene transfer to canine repopulating cells

    PubMed Central

    Kiem, Hans-Peter; Allen, James; Trobridge, Grant; Olson, Erik; Keyser, Kirsten; Peterson, Laura; Russell, David W.

    2007-01-01

    Foamy virus (FV) vectors are particularly attractive gene-transfer vectors for stem-cell gene therapy because they form a stable transduction intermediate in quiescent cells and can efficiently transduce hematopoietic stem cells. Here, we studied the use of FV vectors to transduce long-term hematopoietic repopulating cells in the dog, a clinically relevant large animal model. Mobilized canine peripheral blood (PB) CD34+ cells were transduced with an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)–expressing FV vector in an 18-hour transduction protocol. All 3 dogs studied had rapid neutrophil engraftment to greater than 500/μL with a median of 10 days. Transgene expression was detected in all cell lineages (B cells, T cells, granulocytes, red blood cells, and platelets), indicating multilineage engraftment of transduced cells. Up to 19% of blood cells were EGFP+, and this was confirmed at the DNA level by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Southern blot analysis. These transduction rates were higher than the best results we obtained previously with lentiviral vectors in a similar transduction protocol. Integration site analysis also demonstrated polyclonal repopulation and the transduction of multipotential hematopoietic repopulating cells. These data suggest that FV vectors should be useful for stem-cell gene therapy, particularly for applications in which short transduction protocols are critical. PMID:16968897

  16. 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®.

  17. CEP290 gene transfer rescues Leber Congenital Amaurosis cellular phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Burnight, E.R.; Wiley, L.A.; Drack, A.V.; Braun, T.A.; Anfinson, K.R.; Kaalberg, E.E.; Halder, J.A.; Affatigato, L.M.; Mullins, R.F.; Stone, E.M.; Tucker, B.A.

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in CEP290 are the most common cause of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a severe inherited retinal degenerative disease for which there is currently no cure. Autosomal recessive CEP290-associated LCA is a good candidate for gene-replacement therapy, and cells derived from affected individuals give researchers the ability to study human disease and therapeutic gene correction in vitro. Here we report the development of lentiviral vectors carrying full-length CEP290 for the purpose of correcting the CEP290 disease-specific phenotype in human cells. A lentiviral vector containing CMV-driven human full-length CEP290 was constructed. Following transduction of patient-specific, iPSC-derived, photoreceptor precursor cells, rt-PCR analysis and western blotting revealed vector-derived expression. Because CEP290 is important in ciliogenesis, the ability of fibroblast cultures from CEP290-associated LCA patients to form cilia was investigated. In cultures derived from these patients, fewer cells formed cilia compared to unaffected controls. Cilia that were formed were shorter in patient derived cells than in cells from unaffected individuals. Importantly, lentiviral delivery of CEP290 rescued the ciliogenesis defect. The successful construction and viral transfer of full-length CEP290 brings us closer to the goal of providing gene- and cell- based therapies for patients affected with this common form of LCA. PMID:24807808

  18. Neurons That Underlie Drosophila melanogaster Reproductive Behaviors: Detection of a Large Male-Bias in Gene Expression in fruitless-Expressing Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Newell, Nicole R.; New, Felicia N.; Dalton, Justin E.; McIntyre, Lauren M.; Arbeitman, Michelle N.

    2016-01-01

    Male and female reproductive behaviors in Drosophila melanogaster are vastly different, but neurons that express sex-specifically spliced fruitless transcripts (fru P1) underlie these behaviors in both sexes. How this set of neurons can generate such different behaviors between the two sexes is an unresolved question. A particular challenge is that fru P1-expressing neurons comprise only 2–5% of the adult nervous system, and so studies of adult head tissue or whole brain may not reveal crucial differences. Translating Ribosome Affinity Purification (TRAP) identifies the actively translated pool of mRNAs from fru P1-expressing neurons, allowing a sensitive, cell-type-specific assay. We find four times more male-biased than female-biased genes in TRAP mRNAs from fru P1-expressing neurons. This suggests a potential mechanism to generate dimorphism in behavior. The male-biased genes may direct male behaviors by establishing cell fate in a similar context of gene expression observed in females. These results suggest a possible global mechanism for how distinct behaviors can arise from a shared set of neurons. PMID:27247289

  19. 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

  20. Cannabidiol Activates Neuronal Precursor Genes in Human Gingival Mesenchymal Stromal Cells.

    PubMed

    Soundara Rajan, Thangavelu; Giacoppo, Sabrina; Scionti, Domenico; Diomede, Francesca; Grassi, Gianpaolo; Pollastro, Federica; Piattelli, Adriano; Bramanti, Placido; Mazzon, Emanuela; Trubiani, Oriana

    2016-12-05

    In the last years, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) from oral tissues have received considerable interest in regenerative medicine since they can be obtained with minimal invasive procedure and exhibit immunomodulatory properties. This study was aimed to investigate whether in vitro pre-treatment of MSCs obtained from human gingiva (hGMSCs) with Cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid component produced by the plant Cannabis sativa, may promote human gingiva derived MSCs to differentiate toward neuronal precursor cells. Specifically, we have treated the hGMSCs with CBD (5 µM) for 24 h in order to evaluate the expression of genes involved in cannabidiol signaling, cell proliferation, self-renewal and multipotency, and neural progenitor cells differentiation. Next generation sequencing (NGS) demonstrated that CBD activates genes associated with G protein coupled receptor signaling in hGMSCs. Genes involved in DNA replication, cell cycle, proliferation, and apoptosis were regulated. Moreover, genes associated with the biological process of neuronal progenitor cells (NCPs) proliferation, neuron differentiation, neurogenesis, and nervous system development were significantly modulated. From our results, we hypothesize that human gingiva-derived MSCs conditioned with CBD could represent a valid method for improving the hGMSCs phenotype and thus might be a potential therapeutic tool in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. J. Cell. Biochem. 9999: 1-16, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Downregulation of immediate-early genes linking to suppression of neuronal plasticity in rats after 28-day exposure to glycidol

    SciTech Connect

    Akane, Hirotoshi; Saito, Fumiyo; Shiraki, Ayako; Takeyoshi, Masahiro; Imatanaka, Nobuya; Itahashi, Megu; Murakami, Tomoaki; Shibutani, Makoto

    2014-09-01

    We previously found that the 28-day oral toxicity study of glycidol at 200 mg/kg/day in rats resulted in axonopathy in both the central and peripheral nervous systems and aberrations in the late-stage of hippocampal neurogenesis targeting the process of neurite extension. To capture the neuronal parameters in response to glycidol toxicity, these animals were subjected to region-specific global gene expression profiling in four regions of cerebral and cerebellar architectures, followed by immunohistochemical analysis of selected gene products. Expression changes of genes related to axonogenesis and synaptic transmission were observed in the hippocampal dentate gyrus, cingulate cortex and cerebellar vermis at 200 mg/kg showing downregulation in most genes. In the corpus callosum, genes related to growth, survival and functions of glial cells fluctuated their expression. Immunohistochemically, neurons expressing gene products of immediate-early genes, i.e., Arc, Fos and Jun, decreased in their number in the dentate granule cell layer, cingulate cortex and cerebellar vermis. We also applied immunohistochemical analysis in rat offspring after developmental exposure to glycidol through maternal drinking water. The results revealed increases of Arc{sup +} neurons at 1000 ppm and Fos{sup +} neurons at ≥ 300 ppm in the dentate granule cell layer of offspring only at the adult stage. These results suggest that glycidol suppressed neuronal plasticity in the brain after 28-day exposure to young adult animals, in contrast to the operation of restoration mechanism to increase neuronal plasticity at the adult stage in response to aberrations in neurogenesis after developmental exposure. - Highlights: • Neuronal toxicity parameters after 28-day glycidol treatment were examined in rats. • Region-specific global gene expression profiling was conducted in brain regions. • Cortical tissues downregulated genes on axonogenesis and synaptic transmission. • Cortical tissues

  2. Synaptic gene dysregulation within hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons in mild cognitive impairment

    PubMed Central

    Counts, Scott E.; Alldred, Melissa J.; Che, Shaoli; Ginsberg, Stephen D.; Mufson, Elliott J.

    2014-01-01

    Clinical neuropathologic studies suggest that the selective vulnerability of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal projection neurons plays a key role in the onset of cognitive impairment during the early phases of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Disruption of this neuronal population likely affects hippocampal pre- and postsynaptic efficacy underlying episodic memory circuits. Therefore, identifying perturbations in the expression of synaptic gene products within CA1 neurons prior to frank AD is crucial for the development of disease modifying therapies. Here we used custom-designed microarrays to examine progressive alterations in synaptic gene expression within CA1 neurons in cases harvested from the Rush Religious Orders Study who died with a clinical diagnosis of no cognitive impairment (NCI), mild cognitive impairment (MCI, a putative prodromal AD stage), or mild/moderate AD. Quantitative analysis revealed that 21 out of 28 different transcripts encoding regulators of synaptic function were significantly downregulated (1.4 to 1.8 fold) in CA1 neurons in MCI and AD compared to NCI, whereas synaptic transcript levels were not significantly different between MCI and AD. The downregulated transcripts encoded regulators of presynaptic vesicle trafficking, including synaptophysin and synaptogyrin, regulators of vesicle docking and fusion/release, such as synaptotagmin and syntaxin 1, and regulators of glutamatergic postsynaptic function, including PSD-95 and synaptopodin. Clinical pathologic correlation analysis revealed that downregulation of these synaptic markers was strongly associated with poorer antemortem cognitive status and postmortem AD pathological criteria such as Braak stage, NIA-Reagan, and CERAD diagnosis. In contrast to the widespread loss of synaptic gene expression observed in CA1 neurons in MCI, transcripts encoding β-amyloid precursor protein (APP), APP family members, and regulators of APP metabolism were not differentially regulated in CA1 neurons across the

  3. Modulation of voltage-activated channels by calcitonin gene-related peptide in cultured rat neurones.

    PubMed Central

    Zona, C; Farini, D; Palma, E; Eusebi, F

    1991-01-01

    1. Whole-cell currents were recorded from cultures of dissociated neocortical neurones of the rat. Rat alpha-calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP; 1 nM-1 microM) caused significant dose-dependent decreases in the voltage-activated transient (A-current) and delayed rectifier K+ currents. Forskolin (10 nM-20 microM) mimicked this effect. Peak K+ currents were gradually decreased after loading neurones with cyclic AMP (100 microM) through patch pipettes. CGRP was ineffective in neurones loaded with cyclic AMP. 2. CGRP (0.5-2 microM) increased cytosolic cyclic AMP concentration and this effect was mimicked by forskolin (5-40 microM). 3. CGRP (0.1-1 microM) reduced high-threshold Ca2+ currents; as did forskolin (5-20 microM) and cyclic AMP loaded into the neurones. In contrast, low-threshold Ca2+ currents were not affected by any of these agents. 4. Voltage-activated Na+ currents were significantly reduced by both CGRP (0.1-1 microM) and forskolin (5-20 microM). A similar effect was observed when cells were loaded with cyclic AMP. 5. We conclude that, in neocortical neurones, CGRP attenuates voltage-activated currents by stimulating the intracellular cyclic AMP signalling system. PMID:1726796

  4. Serum response factor mediated gene activity in physiological and pathological processes of neuronal motility.

    PubMed

    Knöll, Bernd

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, the transcription factor serum response factor (SRF) was shown to contribute to various physiological processes linked to neuronal motility. The latter include cell migration, axon guidance, and, e.g., synapse function relying on cytoskeletal dynamics, neurite outgrowth, axonal and dendritic differentiation, growth cone motility, and neurite branching. SRF teams up with myocardin related transcription factors (MRTFs) and ternary complex factors (TCFs) to mediate cellular actin cytoskeletal dynamics and the immediate-early gene (IEG) response, a bona fide indicator of neuronal activation. Herein, I will discuss how SRF and cofactors might modulate physiological processes of neuronal motility. Further, potential mechanisms engaged by neurite growth promoting molecules and axon guidance cues to target SRF's transcriptional machinery in physiological neuronal motility will be presented. Of note, altered cytoskeletal dynamics and rapid initiation of an IEG response are a hallmark of injured neurons in various neurological disorders. Thus, SRF and its MRTF and TCF cofactors might emerge as a novel trio modulating peripheral and central axon regeneration.

  5. Serum Response Factor Mediated Gene Activity in Physiological and Pathological Processes of Neuronal Motility

    PubMed Central

    Knöll, Bernd

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, the transcription factor serum response factor (SRF) was shown to contribute to various physiological processes linked to neuronal motility. The latter include cell migration, axon guidance, and, e.g., synapse function relying on cytoskeletal dynamics, neurite outgrowth, axonal and dendritic differentiation, growth cone motility, and neurite branching. SRF teams up with myocardin related transcription factors (MRTFs) and ternary complex factors (TCFs) to mediate cellular actin cytoskeletal dynamics and the immediate-early gene (IEG) response, a bona fide indicator of neuronal activation. Herein, I will discuss how SRF and cofactors might modulate physiological processes of neuronal motility. Further, potential mechanisms engaged by neurite growth promoting molecules and axon guidance cues to target SRF’s transcriptional machinery in physiological neuronal motility will be presented. Of note, altered cytoskeletal dynamics and rapid initiation of an IEG response are a hallmark of injured neurons in various neurological disorders. Thus, SRF and its MRTF and TCF cofactors might emerge as a novel trio modulating peripheral and central axon regeneration. PMID:22164132

  6. Superior Cervical Ganglia Neurons Induce Foxp3+ Regulatory T Cells via Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide.

    PubMed

    Szklany, Kirsten; Ruiter, Evelyn; Mian, Firoz; Kunze, Wolfgang; Bienenstock, John; Forsythe, Paul; Karimi, Khalil

    2016-01-01

    The nervous and immune systems communicate bidirectionally, utilizing diverse molecular signals including cytokines and neurotransmitters to provide an integrated response to changes in the body's internal and external environment. Although, neuro-immune interactions are becoming better understood under inflammatory circumstances and it has been evidenced that interaction between neurons and T cells results in the conversion of encephalitogenic T cells to T regulatory cells, relatively little is known about the communication between neurons and naïve T cells. Here, we demonstrate that following co-culture of naïve CD4+ T cells with superior cervical ganglion neurons, the percentage of Foxp3 expressing CD4+CD25+ cells significantly increased. This was mediated in part by immune-regulatory cytokines TGF-β and IL-10, as well as the neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide while vasoactive intestinal peptide was shown to play no role in generation of T regulatory cells. Additionally, T cells co-cultured with neurons showed a decrease in the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokine IFN-γ released upon in vitro stimulation. These findings suggest that the generation of Tregs may be promoted by naïve CD4+ T cell: neuron interaction through the release of neuropeptide CGRP.

  7. Effect of Ovarian Hormones on Genes Promoting Dendritic Spines In Laser Captured Serotonin Neurons From Macaques

    PubMed Central

    Bethea, Cynthia L.; Reddy, Arubala P.

    2009-01-01

    Dendritic spines are the elementary structural units of neuronal plasticity and the cascades that promote dendrite spine remodeling center on Rho GTPases and downstream effectors of actin dynamics. In a model of hormone replacement therapy (HT), we sought the effect of estradiol (E) and progesterone (P) on gene expression in these cascades in laser captured serotonin neurons from rhesus macaques with cDNA array analysis. Spayed rhesus macaques were treated with either placebo, E or E+P via Silastic implant for 1 month prior to euthanasia after which the midbrain was obtained, sectioned and immunostained for TPH. TPH-positive neurons were laser captured using an Arcturus Laser Dissection Microscope (PixCell II). RNA from laser captured serotonin neurons (n=2 animals/treatment) was hybridized to Rhesus Affymetrix GeneChips. There was a significant change in 744 probe sets (ANOVA, p < 0.05), but 10,493 probe sets exhibited a 2-fold or greater change. Pivotal changes in pathways leading to dendrite spine proliferation and transformation included 2-fold or greater increases in expression of the Rho GTPases called CDC42, Rac1 and RhoA. In addition, 2-fold or greater increases occurred in downstream effectors of actin dynamics including PAK1, ROCK, PIP5K, IRSp53, WASP, WAVE, MLC, cofilin, gelsolin, profilin and 3 subunits of ARP2/3. Finally, 2-fold or greater decreases occurred in CRIPAK, LIMK2 and MLCK. The regulation of RhoA, Rac1, CDC42, ROCK, PIP5k, IRSp53, WASP, WAVE, LIMK2, CRIPAK1, MLCK, ARP2/3 subunit 3, gelsolin, profilin and cofilin was confirmed with nested qRT-PCR on laser captured RNA (n=3 animals/treatment). The data indicate that ovarian steroids target gene expression of the Rho GTPases and pivotal downstream proteins that in turn, would promote dendritic spine proliferation and stabilization on serotonin neurons of the dorsal raphe nucleus. PMID:19687787

  8. 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

  9. Fast targeted gene transfection and optogenetic modification of single neurons using femtosecond laser irradiation

    PubMed Central

    Antkowiak, Maciej; Torres-Mapa, Maria Leilani; Witts, Emily C.; Miles, Gareth B.; Dholakia, Kishan; Gunn-Moore, Frank J.

    2013-01-01

    A prevailing problem in neuroscience is the fast and targeted delivery of DNA into selected neurons. The development of an appropriate methodology would enable the transfection of multiple genes into the same cell or different genes into different neighboring cells as well as rapid cell selective functionalization of neurons. Here, we show that optimized femtosecond optical transfection fulfills these requirements. We also demonstrate successful optical transfection of channelrhodopsin-2 in single selected neurons. We extend the functionality of this technique for wider uptake by neuroscientists by using fast three-dimensional laser beam steering enabling an image-guided “point-and-transfect” user-friendly transfection of selected cells. A sub-second transfection timescale per cell makes this method more rapid by at least two orders of magnitude when compared to alternative single-cell transfection techniques. This novel technology provides the ability to carry out large-scale cell selective genetic studies on neuronal ensembles and perform rapid genetic programming of neural circuits. PMID:24257461

  10. Fast targeted gene transfection and optogenetic modification of single neurons using femtosecond laser irradiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antkowiak, Maciej; Torres-Mapa, Maria Leilani; Witts, Emily C.; Miles, Gareth B.; Dholakia, Kishan; Gunn-Moore, Frank J.

    2013-11-01

    A prevailing problem in neuroscience is the fast and targeted delivery of DNA into selected neurons. The development of an appropriate methodology would enable the transfection of multiple genes into the same cell or different genes into different neighboring cells as well as rapid cell selective functionalization of neurons. Here, we show that optimized femtosecond optical transfection fulfills these requirements. We also demonstrate successful optical transfection of channelrhodopsin-2 in single selected neurons. We extend the functionality of this technique for wider uptake by neuroscientists by using fast three-dimensional laser beam steering enabling an image-guided ``point-and-transfect'' user-friendly transfection of selected cells. A sub-second transfection timescale per cell makes this method more rapid by at least two orders of magnitude when compared to alternative single-cell transfection techniques. This novel technology provides the ability to carry out large-scale cell selective genetic studies on neuronal ensembles and perform rapid genetic programming of neural circuits.

  11. Mapping Gene Expression in Excitatory Neurons during Hippocampal Late-Phase Long-Term Potentiation

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Patrick B.; Kawaguchi, Riki; Blum, Charles; Achiro, Jennifer M.; Coppola, Giovanni; O'Dell, Thomas J.; Martin, Kelsey C.

    2017-01-01

    The persistence of long-lasting changes in synaptic connectivity that underlie long-term memory require new RNA and protein synthesis. To elucidate the temporal pattern of gene expression that gives rise to long-lasting neuronal plasticity, we analyzed differentially-expressed (DE) RNAs in mouse hippocampal slices following induction of late phase long-term potentiation (L-LTP) specifically within pyramidal excitatory neurons using Translating Ribosome Affinity Purification RNA sequencing (TRAP-seq). We detected time-dependent changes in up- and down-regulated ribosome-associated mRNAs over 2 h following L-LTP induction, with minimal overlap of DE transcripts between time points. TRAP-seq revealed greater numbers of DE transcripts and magnitudes of LTP-induced changes than RNA-seq of all cell types in the hippocampus. Neuron-enriched transcripts had greater changes at the ribosome-loading level than the total RNA level, while RNA-seq identified many non-neuronal DE mRNAs. Our results highlight the importance of considering both time course and cell-type specificity in activity-dependent gene expression during memory formation. PMID:28275336

  12. Radioiodine therapy of thyroid carcinoma following Pax-8 gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Mu, D; Huang, R; Ma, X; Li, S; Kuang, A

    2012-04-01

    The thyroid transcription factor Pax-8 could bind with the promoter/enhancer of thyroid-specific genes such as thyroglobulin (Tg), thyroperoxidase (TPO) and sodium iodide symporter (NIS), and regulate the expression of these proteins in thyrocyte. Promoting iodide accumulation in tumor cells by re-expression of Pax-8 provides a possible strategy for radioiodine therapy of tumor. Therefore, we investigated the effect of Pax-8 gene transfer on radioiodine therapy of thyroid carcinoma. The human Pax-8 gene was transfected into the human thyroid carcinoma (K1 and F133) cells by the recombinant adenovirus vector. Although the NIS mRNA was not detected, the expression of mRNA and proteins of Tg and TPO in AdPax-8-infected F133 cells were activated by Pax-8. Iodide uptake in thyroid carcinoma cells was reactivated by Pax-8 (increasing 3.3-fold in K1 cells and 5.7-fold in F133 cells). Moreover, Pax-8 promoted iodide organification and the retention time of iodine in Pax-8-expressing cells apparently prolonged in vitro and in vivo (P<0.05). Pax-8-expressing thyroid carcinoma cells were selectively killed by radioiodine. The AdPax-8-infected tumors in vivo clearly visualized in scanning images at 12 h after administration of radioiodine. These results indicate that Pax-8 can promote iodide uptake, and specifically prolong the retention time of iodide in thyroid cancer in vitro and in vivo by promoting the expression of TPO and Tg proteins. Pax-8 gene transfection may lead to effective radioiodine therapy of tumor.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. A Single Vector Platform for High-Level Gene Transduction of Central Neurons: Adeno-Associated Virus Vector Equipped with the Tet-Off System

    PubMed Central

    Sohn, Jaerin; Takahashi, Megumu; Okamoto, Shinichiro; Ishida, Yoko; Furuta, Takahiro

    2017-01-01

    Visualization of neurons is indispensable for the investigation of neuronal circuits in the central nervous system. Virus vectors have been widely used for labeling particular subsets of neurons, and the adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector has gained popularity as a tool for gene transfer. Here, we developed a single AAV vector Tet-Off platform, AAV-SynTetOff, to improve the gene-transduction efficiency, specifically in neurons. The platform is composed of regulator and response elements in a single AAV genome. After infection of Neuro-2a cells with the AAV-SynTetOff vector, the transduction efficiency of green fluorescent protein (GFP) was increased by approximately 2- and 15-fold relative to the conventional AAV vector with the human cytomegalovirus (CMV) or human synapsin I (SYN) promoter, respectively. We then injected the AAV vectors into the mouse neostriatum. GFP expression in the neostriatal neurons infected with the AAV-SynTetOff vector was approximately 40-times higher than that with the CMV or SYN promoter. By adding a membrane-targeting signal to GFP, the axon fibers of neostriatal neurons were clearly visualized. In contrast, by attaching somatodendritic membrane-targeting signals to GFP, axon fiber labeling was mostly suppressed. Furthermore, we prepared the AAV-SynTetOff vector, which simultaneously expressed somatodendritic membrane-targeted GFP and membrane-targeted red fluorescent protein (RFP). After injection of the vector into the neostriatum, the cell bodies and dendrites of neostriatal neurons were labeled with both GFP and RFP, whereas the axons in the projection sites were labeled only with RFP. Finally, we applied this vector to vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-positive (VIP+) neocortical neurons, one of the subclasses of inhibitory neurons in the neocortex, in layer 2/3 of the mouse primary somatosensory cortex. The results revealed the differential distribution of the somatodendritic and axonal structures at the population level. The

  20. A Single Vector Platform for High-Level Gene Transduction of Central Neurons: Adeno-Associated Virus Vector Equipped with the Tet-Off System.

    PubMed

    Sohn, Jaerin; Takahashi, Megumu; Okamoto, Shinichiro; Ishida, Yoko; Furuta, Takahiro; Hioki, Hiroyuki

    2017-01-01

    Visualization of neurons is indispensable for the investigation of neuronal circuits in the central nervous system. Virus vectors have been widely used for labeling particular subsets of neurons, and the adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector has gained popularity as a tool for gene transfer. Here, we developed a single AAV vector Tet-Off platform, AAV-SynTetOff, to improve the gene-transduction efficiency, specifically in neurons. The platform is composed of regulator and response elements in a single AAV genome. After infection of Neuro-2a cells with the AAV-SynTetOff vector, the transduction efficiency of green fluorescent protein (GFP) was increased by approximately 2- and 15-fold relative to the conventional AAV vector with the human cytomegalovirus (CMV) or human synapsin I (SYN) promoter, respectively. We then injected the AAV vectors into the mouse neostriatum. GFP expression in the neostriatal neurons infected with the AAV-SynTetOff vector was approximately 40-times higher than that with the CMV or SYN promoter. By adding a membrane-targeting signal to GFP, the axon fibers of neostriatal neurons were clearly visualized. In contrast, by attaching somatodendritic membrane-targeting signals to GFP, axon fiber labeling was mostly suppressed. Furthermore, we prepared the AAV-SynTetOff vector, which simultaneously expressed somatodendritic membrane-targeted GFP and membrane-targeted red fluorescent protein (RFP). After injection of the vector into the neostriatum, the cell bodies and dendrites of neostriatal neurons were labeled with both GFP and RFP, whereas the axons in the projection sites were labeled only with RFP. Finally, we applied this vector to vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-positive (VIP+) neocortical neurons, one of the subclasses of inhibitory neurons in the neocortex, in layer 2/3 of the mouse primary somatosensory cortex. The results revealed the differential distribution of the somatodendritic and axonal structures at the population level. The

  1. 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

  2. The Impact of Gene Silencing on Horizontal Gene Transfer and Bacterial Evolution.

    PubMed

    Navarre, W W

    2016-01-01

    The H-NS family of DNA-binding proteins is the subject of intense study due to its important roles in the regulation of horizontally acquired genes critical for virulence, antibiotic resistance, and metabolism. Xenogeneic silencing proteins, typified by the H-NS protein of Escherichia coli, specifically target and downregulate expression from AT-rich genes by selectively recognizing specific structural features unique to the AT-rich minor groove. In doing so, these proteins facilitate bacterial evolution; enabling these cells to engage in horizontal gene transfer while buffering potential any detrimental fitness consequences that may result from it. Xenogeneic silencing and counter-silencing explain how bacterial cells can evolve effective gene regulatory strategies in the face of rampant gene gain and loss and it has extended our understanding of bacterial gene regulation beyond the classic operon model. Here we review the structures and mechanisms of xenogeneic silencers as well as their impact on bacterial evolution. Several H-NS-like proteins appear to play a role in facilitating gene transfer by other mechanisms including by regulating transposition, conjugation, and participating in the activation of virulence loci like the locus of enterocyte effacement pathogenicity island of pathogenic strains of E. coli. Evidence suggests that the critical determinants that dictate whether an H-NS-like protein will be a silencer or will perform a different function do not lie in the DNA-binding domain but, rather, in the domains that control oligomerization. This suggests that H-NS-like proteins are transcription factors that both recognize and alter the shape of DNA to exert specific effects that include but are not limited to gene silencing. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. A Subset of Autism-Associated Genes Regulate the Structural Stability of Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Yu-Chih; Frei, Jeannine A.; Kilander, Michaela B. C.; Shen, Wenjuan; Blatt, Gene J.

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) comprises a range of neurological conditions that affect individuals’ ability to communicate and interact with others. People with ASD often exhibit marked qualitative difficulties in social interaction, communication, and behavior. Alterations in neurite arborization and dendritic spine morphology, including size, shape, and number, are hallmarks of almost all neurological conditions, including ASD. As experimental evidence emerges in recent years, it becomes clear that although there is broad heterogeneity of identified autism risk genes, many of them converge into similar cellular pathways, including those regulating neurite outgrowth, synapse formation and spine stability, and synaptic plasticity. These mechanisms together regulate the structural stability of neurons and are vulnerable targets in ASD. In this review, we discuss the current understanding of those autism risk genes that affect the structural connectivity of neurons. We sub-categorize them into (1) cytoskeletal regulators, e.g., motors and small RhoGTPase regulators; (2) adhesion molecules, e.g., cadherins, NCAM, and neurexin superfamily; (3) cell surface receptors, e.g., glutamatergic receptors and receptor tyrosine kinases; (4) signaling molecules, e.g., protein kinases and phosphatases; and (5) synaptic proteins, e.g., vesicle and scaffolding proteins. Although the roles of some of these genes in maintaining neuronal structural stability are well studied, how mutations contribute to the autism phenotype is still largely unknown. Investigating whether and how the neuronal structure and function are affected when these genes are mutated will provide insights toward developing effective interventions aimed at improving the lives of people with autism and their families. PMID:27909399

  7. Novel Mutations in Synaptic Transmission Genes Suppress Neuronal Hyperexcitation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    McCulloch, Katherine A.; Qi, Yingchuan B.; Takayanagi-Kiya, Seika; Jin, Yishi; Cherra, Salvatore J.

    2017-01-01

    Acetylcholine (ACh) receptors (AChR) regulate neural circuit activity in multiple contexts. In humans, mutations in ionotropic acetylcholine receptor (iAChR) genes can cause neurological disorders, including myasthenia gravis and epilepsy. In Caenorhabditis elegans, iAChRs play multiple roles in the locomotor circuit. The cholinergic motor neurons express an ACR-2-containing pentameric AChR (ACR-2R) comprised of ACR-2, ACR-3, ACR-12, UNC-38, and UNC-63 subunits. A gain-of-function mutation in the non-α subunit gene acr-2 [acr-2(gf)] causes defective locomotion as well as spontaneous convulsions. Previous studies of genetic suppressors of acr-2(gf) have provided insights into ACR-2R composition and assembly. Here, to further understand how the ACR-2R regulates neuronal activity, we expanded the suppressor screen for acr-2(gf)-induced convulsions. The majority of these suppressor mutations affect genes that play critical roles in synaptic transmission, including two novel mutations in the vesicular ACh transporter unc-17. In addition, we identified a role for a conserved major facilitator superfamily domain (MFSD) protein, mfsd-6, in regulating neural circuit activity. We further defined a role for the sphingosine (SPH) kinase (Sphk) sphk-1 in cholinergic neuron activity, independent of previously known signaling pathways. Overall, the genes identified in our study suggest that optimal modulation of synaptic activity is balanced by the differential activities of multiple pathways, and the novel alleles provide valuable reagents to further dissect neuronal mechanisms regulating the locomotor circuit. PMID:28468816

  8. Heme oxygenase-2 gene deletion attenuates oxidative stress in neurons exposed to extracellular hemin

    PubMed Central

    Regan, Raymond F; Chen, Jing; Benvenisti-Zarom, Luna

    2004-01-01

    Background Hemin, the oxidized form of heme, accumulates in intracranial hematomas and is a potent oxidant. Growing evidence suggests that it contributes to delayed injury to surrounding tissue, and that this process is affected by the heme oxygenase enzymes. In a prior study, heme oxygenase-2 gene deletion increased the vulnerability of cultured cortical astrocytes to hemin. The present study tested the effect of HO-2 gene deletion on protein oxidation, reactive oxygen species formation, and cell viability after mixed cortical neuron/astrocyte cultures were incubated with neurotoxic concentrations of hemin. Results Continuous exposure of wild-type cultures to 1–10 μM hemin for 14 h produced concentration-dependent neuronal death, as detected by both LDH release and fluorescence intensity after propidium iodide staining, with an EC50 of 1–2 μM; astrocytes were not injured by these low hemin concentrations. Cell death was consistently reduced by at least 60% in knockout cultures. Exposure to hemin for 4 hours, a time point that preceded cell lysis, increased protein oxidation in wild-type cultures, as detected by staining of immunoblots for protein carbonyl groups. At 10 μM hemin, carbonylation was increased 2.3-fold compared with control sister cultures subjected to medium exchanges only; this effect was reduced by about two-thirds in knockout cultures. Cellular reactive oxygen species, detected by fluorescence intensity after dihydrorhodamine 123 (DHR) staining, was markedly increased by hemin in wild-type cultures and was localized to neuronal cell bodies and processes. In contrast, DHR fluorescence intensity in knockout cultures did not differ from that of sham-washed controls. Neuronal death in wild-type cultures was almost completely prevented by the lipid-soluble iron chelator phenanthroline; deferoxamine had a weaker but significant effect. Conclusions These results suggest that HO-2 gene deletion protects neurons in mixed neuron-astrocyte cultures

  9. Tet1 is critical for neuronal activity-regulated gene expression and memory extinction.

    PubMed

    Rudenko, Andrii; Dawlaty, Meelad M; Seo, Jinsoo; Cheng, Albert W; Meng, Jia; Le, Thuc; Faull, Kym F; Jaenisch, Rudolf; Tsai, Li-Huei

    2013-09-18

    The ten-eleven translocation (Tet) family of methylcytosine dioxygenases catalyze oxidation of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) and promote DNA demethylation. Despite the abundance of 5hmC and Tet proteins in the brain, little is known about the functions of the neuronal Tet enzymes. Here, we analyzed Tet1 knockout mice (Tet1KO) and found downregulation of multiple neuronal activity-regulated genes, including Npas4, c-Fos, and Arc. Furthermore, Tet1KO animals exhibited abnormal hippocampal long-term depression and impaired memory extinction. Analysis of the key regulatory gene, Npas4, indicated that its promoter region, containing multiple CpG dinucleotides, is hypermethylated in both naive Tet1KO mice and after extinction training. Such hypermethylation may account for the diminished expression of Npas4 itself and its downstream targets, impairing transcriptional programs underlying cognitive processes. In summary, we show that neuronal Tet1 regulates normal DNA methylation levels, expression of activity-regulated genes, synaptic plasticity, and memory extinction.

  10. Viral gene transfer of APPsα rescues synaptic failure in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model.

    PubMed

    Fol, Romain; Braudeau, Jerome; Ludewig, Susann; Abel, Tobias; Weyer, Sascha W; Roederer, Jan-Peter; Brod, Florian; Audrain, Mickael; Bemelmans, Alexis-Pierre; Buchholz, Christian J; Korte, Martin; Cartier, Nathalie; Müller, Ulrike C

    2016-02-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by synaptic failure, dendritic and axonal atrophy, neuronal death and progressive loss of cognitive functions. It is commonly assumed that these deficits arise due to β-amyloid accumulation and plaque deposition. However, increasing evidence indicates that loss of physiological APP functions mediated predominantly by neurotrophic APPsα produced in the non-amyloidogenic α-secretase pathway may contribute to AD pathogenesis. Upregulation of APPsα production via induction of α-secretase might, however, be problematic as this may also affect substrates implicated in tumorigenesis. Here, we used a gene therapy approach to directly overexpress APPsα in the brain using AAV-mediated gene transfer and explored its potential to rescue structural, electrophysiological and behavioral deficits in APP/PS1∆E9 AD model mice. Sustained APPsα overexpression in aged mice with already preexisting pathology and amyloidosis restored synaptic plasticity and partially rescued spine density deficits. Importantly, AAV-APPsα treatment also resulted in a functional rescue of spatial reference memory in the Morris water maze. Moreover, we demonstrate a significant reduction of soluble Aβ species and plaque load. In addition, APPsα induced the recruitment of microglia with a ramified morphology into the vicinity of plaques and upregulated IDE and TREM2 expression suggesting enhanced plaque clearance. Collectively, these data indicate that APPsα can mitigate synaptic and cognitive deficits, despite established pathology. Increasing APPsα may therefore be of therapeutic relevance for AD.

  11. 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.

  12. The recent transfer of a homing endonuclease gene

    PubMed Central

    Haugen, Peik; Wikmark, Odd-Gunnar; Vader, Anna; Coucheron, Dag H.; Sjøttem, Eva; Johansen, Steinar D.

    2005-01-01

    The myxomycete Didymium iridis (isolate Panama 2) contains a mobile group I intron named Dir.S956-1 after position 956 in the nuclear small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene. The intron is efficiently spread through homing by the intron-encoded homing endonuclease I-DirI. Homing endonuclease genes (HEGs) usually spread with their associated introns as a unit, but infrequently also spread independent of introns (or inteins). Clear examples of HEG mobility are however sparse. Here, we provide evidence for the transfer of a HEG into a group I intron named Dir.S956-2 that is inserted into the SSU rDNA of the Costa Rica 8 isolate of D.iridis. Similarities between intron sequences that flank the HEG and rDNA sequences that flank the intron (the homing endonuclease recognition sequence) suggest that the HEG invaded the intron during the recent evolution in a homing-like event. Dir.S956-2 is inserted into the same SSU site as Dir.S956-1. Remarkably, the two group I introns encode distantly related splicing ribozymes with phylogenetically related HEGs inserted on the opposite strands of different peripheral loop regions. The HEGs are both interrupted by small spliceosomal introns that must be removed during RNA maturation. PMID:15891115

  13. Passive Immunization against HIV/AIDS by Antibody Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Lili; Wang, Pin

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24473340

  14. Therapeutic misconception in early phase gene transfer trials.

    PubMed

    Henderson, Gail E; Easter, Michele M; Zimmer, Catherine; King, Nancy M P; Davis, Arlene M; Rothschild, Barbra Bluestone; Churchill, Larry R; Wilfond, Benjamin S; Nelson, Daniel K

    2006-01-01

    Many subjects in early phase clinical trials expect to benefit in some way from the research intervention. It is understandable that people hope for improvement in their condition, no matter what the evidence. Yet unreasonable expectation of medical benefit may reflect problems with informed consent: Investigators may not disclose clearly that direct medical benefit from an early phase experimental intervention is unlikely or impossible, or subjects may not appreciate the differences between treatment and research. This paper presents findings from recent interviews with researchers and subjects and analysis of consent forms in early phase gene transfer research, a cutting-edge technology often called 'gene therapy'. We use three variables to construct a composite measure of therapeutic misconception TM, tapping misconceptions about the purposes of early phase research and the potential for direct medical benefit in these trials. Our multivariate model demonstrates the importance of both subject- and study-level factors as predictors of this TM index: education, disease type, and communication by study personnel about the likelihood of benefit. We hope that this work will deepen the discussion of how to define and measure TM, and refine the specification of factors that are related to subjects' TM.

  15. Fear conditioning leads to alteration in specific genes expression in cortical and thalamic neurons that project to the lateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    Katz, Ira K; Lamprecht, Raphael

    2015-02-01

    RNA transcription is needed for memory formation. However, the ability to identify genes whose expression is altered by learning is greatly impaired because of methodological difficulties in profiling gene expression in specific neurons involved in memory formation. Here, we report a novel approach to monitor the expression of genes after learning in neurons in specific brain pathways needed for memory formation. In this study, we aimed to monitor gene expression after fear learning. We retrogradely labeled discrete thalamic neurons that project to the lateral amygdala (LA) of rats. The labeled neurons were dissected, using laser microdissection microscopy, after fear conditioning learning or unpaired training. The RNAs from the dissected neurons were subjected to microarray analysis. The levels of selected RNAs detected by the microarray analysis to be altered by fear conditioning were also assessed by nanostring analysis. We observed that the expression of genes involved in the regulation of translation, maturation and degradation of proteins was increased 6 h after fear conditioning compared to unpaired or naïve trained rats. These genes were not expressed 24 h after training or in cortical neurons that project to the LA. The expression of genes involved in transcription regulation and neuronal development was altered after fear conditioning learning in the cortical-LA pathway. The present study provides key information on the identity of genes expressed in discrete thalamic and cortical neurons that project to the LA after fear conditioning. Such an approach could also serve to identify gene products as targets for the development of a new generation of therapeutic agents that could be aimed to functionally identified brain circuits to treat memory-related disorders.

  16. Long-term Ovariectomy Decreases Serotonin Neuron Number and Gene Expression in Free Ranging Macaques

    PubMed Central

    Bethea, Cynthia L.; Smith, Arik W.; Centeno, Maria Luisa; Reddy, Arubala P.

    2011-01-01

    The serotonin system responds to the ovarian steroid steroids, estradiol (E) and progesterone (P), in women and female animal models. In macaques, ovarian steroid administration to ovariectomized (Ovx) individuals improves serotonin neural function through actions on pivotal serotonin-related genes and proteins, such as TPH2 (tryptophan hydroxylase 2), SERT (serotonin reuptake transporter) and the 5HT1A autoreceptor. In addition, ovarian steroid administration reduces gene and protein expression in the caspase-independent pathway and reduces DNA fragmentation in serotonin neurons. This study examines the hypothesis that long-term ovariectomy will lead to a loss of serotonin neurons and compromised gene expression in serotonin neurons. Female Japanese macaques were ovariectomized or tubal-ligated (n=5/group) at 3 years of age and returned to their natal troop. After 3 years, the animals were collected, administered a fenfluramine challenge to determine global serotonin availability and then euthanized. Fev, TPH2, SERT and 5HT1A expression were examined with digoxigenin in situ hybridization (dig-ISH) and quantitative image analysis. Cell number, positive pixel area and average pixel density were determined. In the Ovx group, Fev, TPH2, SERT and 5HT1A showed a significant decease in average and total cell number and positive pixel area. The reduction in Fev-positive neurons suggests that there were fewer serotonin neurons in Ovx animals compared to ovary-intact animals. Compared to ovary-intact animals, SERT also showed a decrease in positive-pixel density. The decrease in TPH2 in the Ovx animals was consistent with earlier results in 5-month Ovx animals, but it may be due to the decrease in cell number rather than a decrease in expression on an individual cell basis. The decrease in SERT and 5HT1A in long-term Ovx differed from previous studies in short-term Ovx. In summary, long-term ovarian steroid loss resulted in fewer serotonin neurons and overall lower Fev

  17. Actin-mediated gene expression in neurons: the MRTF-SRF connection.

    PubMed

    Knöll, Bernd

    2010-06-01

    The traditional view of cellular actin is a rather autarkic cytoskeletal framework function confined to the cytoplasm. However, there is now evidence that alterations in actin dynamics are sensed by the nucleus and subsequently modulate gene expression. In communicating with the nucleus, cytoplasmic, and most likely also nucleus-resident actin, provides a further (gene) regulatory loop to cell motility. A transcription module composed of MRTF (myocardin-related transcription factor) and SRF (serum response factor) emerges as prime target of such actin signaling. Here, I focus on the nervous system, where the actin-MRTF-SRF entity governs multiple aspects of neuronal motility.

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Strategic expression of ion transport peptide gene products in central and peripheral neurons of insects.

    PubMed

    Dai, Li; Zitnan, Dusan; Adams, Michael E

    2007-01-10

    Structurally related ion transport peptides (ITP) and crustacean hyperglycemic hormones (CHH) are increasingly implicated in diverse metabolic and developmental functions in arthropods. We identified a conserved ITP gene encoding two peptides by alternative splicing in Manduca sexta, Bombyx mori, and Aedes aegypti: A C-terminally amidated ITP and a C-terminally unblocked ITP-like peptide (ITPL), which share common N-terminal sequences but have divergent C-termini. In the moth M. sexta, these peptides are expressed in two, regionally distinct neuronal populations in the central and peripheral nervous systems (CNS, PNS). MasITP expression is confined to the brain in five pairs of lateral neurosecretory cells (type Ia(2)) projecting ipsilateral axons into the retrocerebral complex and three to five pairs of adjacent small neurons that arborize extensively within the brain. Expression of MasITPL is comparatively weak in the brain but strong in the ventral ganglia and the PNS, where MasITP is absent. MasITPL occurs in bilaterally paired neurons of all thoracic and abdominal ganglia. In the PNS, MasITPL is coexpressed with crustacean cardioactive peptide in type II link nerve neurons (L1) of abdominal segments 2-7, which project axons into neurohemal transverse nerves. During metamorphosis, additional expression of MasITPL is observed in two pairs of small lateral neurons in the brain and one pair of ventromedial neurons in each of AG2-6. A similar pattern of differential ITP and ITPL expression was observed in the CNS and PNS of B. mori and Schistocerca americana. These distinctive cellular expression patterns suggest that ITP and ITPL have evolved specialized physiological functions in arthropods. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  3. Center for Fetal Monkey Gene Transfer for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases: An NHLBI Resource for the Gene Therapy Community

    PubMed Central

    Skarlatos, Sonia I.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:22974119

  4. 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.

  5. [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.

  6. Highly efficient cell-type-specific gene inactivation reveals a key function for the Drosophila FUS homolog cabeza in neurons.

    PubMed

    Frickenhaus, Marie; Wagner, Marina; Mallik, Moushami; Catinozzi, Marica; Storkebaum, Erik

    2015-03-16

    To expand the rich genetic toolkit of Drosophila melanogaster, we evaluated whether introducing FRT or LoxP sites in endogenous genes could allow for cell-type-specific gene inactivation in both dividing and postmitotic cells by GAL4-driven expression of FLP or Cre recombinase. For proof of principle, conditional alleles were generated for cabeza (caz), the Drosophila homolog of human FUS, a gene implicated in the neurodegenerative disorders amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Upon selective expression in neurons or muscle, both FLP and Cre mediated caz inactivation in all neurons or muscle cells, respectively. Neuron-selective caz inactivation resulted in failure of pharate adult flies to eclose from the pupal case, and adult escapers displayed motor performance defects and reduced life span. Due to Cre-toxicity, FLP/FRT is the preferred system for cell-type-specific gene inactivation, and this strategy outperforms RNAi-mediated knock-down. Furthermore, the GAL80 target system allowed for temporal control over gene inactivation, as induction of FLP expression from the adult stage onwards still inactivated caz in >99% of neurons. Remarkably, selective caz inactivation in adult neurons did not affect motor performance and life span, indicating that neuronal caz is required during development, but not for maintenance of adult neuronal function.

  7. Genes regulated in neurons undergoing transcription-dependent apoptosis belong to signaling pathways rather than the apoptotic machinery.

    PubMed

    Desagher, Solange; Severac, Dany; Lipkin, Alexey; Bernis, Cyril; Ritchie, William; Le Digarcher, Anne; Journot, Laurent

    2005-02-18

    Neuronal apoptosis has been shown to require de novo RNA/protein synthesis. However, very few genes whose expression is necessary for inducing apoptosis have been identified so far. To systematically identify such genes, we have used genome-scale, long oligonucleotide microarrays and characterized the gene expression profile of cerebellar granule neurons in the early phase of apoptosis elicited by KCl deprivation. We identified 368 significantly differentially expressed genes, including most of the genes previously reported to be transcriptionally regulated in this paradigm. In addition, we identified several hundreds of genes whose transcriptional regulation has never been associated with neuronal apoptosis. We used automated Gene Ontology annotation, analysis of promoter sequences, and statistical tools to characterize these regulations. Although differentially expressed genes included some components of the apoptotic machinery, this functional category was not significantly over-represented among regulated genes. On the other hand, categories related to signal transduction were the most significantly over-represented group. This indicates that the apoptotic machinery is mainly constitutive, whereas molecular pathways that lead to the activation of apoptotic components are transcriptionally regulated. In particular, we show for the first time that signaling pathways known to be involved in the control of neuronal survival are regulated at the transcriptional level and not only by post-translational mechanisms. Moreover, our approach provides insights into novel transcription factors and novel mechanisms, such as the unfolded protein response and cell adhesion, that may contribute to the induction of neuronal apoptosis.

  8. 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.

  9. Glycosaminoglycan storage in cultured neonatal murine mucopolysaccharidosis type VII neuroglial cells and correction by beta-glucuronidase gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Taylor, R M; Wolfe, J H

    1997-05-01

    The inherited deficiency of beta-glucuronidase activity causes the lysosomal storage disorder mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) type VII (Sly disease). The sequential catabolism of glycosaminoglycans in lysosomes is blocked, and undegraded substrates accumulate in cells of many tissues, including neurons and glia in the brain. To evaluate the deficient metabolic pathway, primary cultures of mixed brain cells were established from newborn MPS VII mice. beta-Glucuronidase levels and glycosaminoglycan accumulation were studied in normal, carrier, and MPS VII cells. Retroviral vector-mediated transfer of a normal beta-glucuronidase cDNA corrected the enzymatic deficiency in MPS VII cells and restored glycosaminoglycan catabolism to normal. High levels of beta-glucuronidase expression were sustained in vector-corrected nondividing glial cell cultures for >2 months. These studies provide an in vitro model for evaluating somatic gene transfer in neural cells affected in mucopolysaccharidoses.

  10. The use of an optimized chimeric envelope glycoprotein enhances the efficiency of retrograde gene transfer of a pseudotyped lentiviral vector in the primate brain.

    PubMed

    Tanabe, Soshi; Inoue, Ken-Ichi; Tsuge, Hitomi; Uezono, Shiori; Nagaya, Kiyomi; Fijiwara, Maki; Kato, Shigeki; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Takada, Masahiko

    2017-02-28

    Lentiviral vectors have been used not only for various basic research experiments, but also for a wide range of gene therapy trials in animal models. The development of a pseudotyped lentiviral vector with the property of retrograde infection allows us to introduce foreign genes into neurons that are localized in regions innervating the site of vector injection. Here, we report the efficiency of retrograde gene transfer of a recently developed FuG-E pseudotyped lentiviral vector in the primate brain by comparing its transduction pattern with that of the parental FuG-C pseudotyped vector. After injection of the FuG-E vector encoding green fluorescent protein (GFP) into the striatum of macaque monkeys, many GFP-immunoreactive neurons were found in regions projecting to the striatum, such as the cerebral cortex, thalamus, and substantia nigra. Quantitative analysis revealed that in all regions, the number of neurons retrogradely transduced with the FuG-E vector was larger than in the FuG-C vector injection case. It was also confirmed that the FuG-E vector displayed explicit neuronal specificity to the same extent as the FuG-C vector. This vector might promote approaches to pathway-selective gene manipulation and provide a powerful tool for effective gene therapy trials against neurological disorders through enhanced retrograde delivery.

  11. 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.

  12. Elements of style: consent form language and the therapeutic misconception in phase 1 gene transfer trials.

    PubMed

    Kimmelman, Jonathan; Levenstadt, Aaron

    2005-04-01

    The therapeutic misconception arises wherever human subjects misinterpret the primary purpose of a clinical trial as therapeutic. Such misconceptions are particularly prevalent in trials involving severely ill subjects or novel and well-publicized investigational agents. In order to identify possible sources of the therapeutic misconception in gene transfer trials, 286 phase 1 human gene transfer consent documents were analyzed for their description of purpose, alternatives, and their use of the term gene tr