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Sample records for oct4 gene regulatory

  1. Stem cell regulatory function mediated by expression of a novel mouse Oct4 pseudogene

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Huey; Shabbir, Arsalan; Molnar, Merced; Lee, Techung . E-mail: chunglee@buffalo.edu

    2007-03-30

    Multiple pseudogenes have been proposed for embryonic stem (ES) cell-specific genes, and their abundance suggests that some of these potential pseudogenes may be functional. ES cell-specific expression of Oct4 regulates stem cell pluripotency and self-renewing state. Although Oct4 expression has been reported in adult tissues during gene reprogramming, the detected Oct4 signal might be contributed by Oct4 pseudogenes. Among the multiple Oct4 transcripts characterized here is a {approx}1 kb clone derived from P19 embryonal carcinoma stem cells, which shares a {approx}87% sequence homology with the parent Oct4 gene, and has the potential of encoding an 80-amino acid product (designated as Oct4P1). Adenoviral expression of Oct4P1 in mesenchymal stem cells promotes their proliferation and inhibits their osteochondral differentiation. These dual effects of Oct4P1 are reminiscent of the stem cell regulatory function of the parent Oct4, and suggest that Oct4P1 may be a functional pseudogene or a novel Oct4-related gene with a unique function in stem cells.

  2. The BET family member BRD4 interacts with OCT4 and regulates pluripotency gene expression.

    PubMed

    Wu, Tao; Pinto, Hugo Borges; Kamikawa, Yasunao F; Donohoe, Mary E

    2015-03-10

    Embryonic stem cell (ESC) pluripotency is controlled by defined transcription factors. During cellular differentiation, ESCs undergo a global epigenetic reprogramming. Female ESCs exemplify this process as one of the two X-chromosomes is globally silenced during X chromosome inactivation (XCI) to balance the X-linked gene disparity with XY males. The pluripotent factor OCT4 regulates XCI by triggering X chromosome pairing and counting. OCT4 directly binds Xite and Tsix, which encode two long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) that suppress the silencer lncRNA, Xist. To control its activity as a master regulator in pluripotency and XCI, OCT4 must have chromatin protein partners. Here we show that BRD4, a member of the BET protein subfamily, interacts with OCT4. BRD4 occupies the regulatory regions of pluripotent genes and the lncRNAs of XCI. BET inhibition or depletion of BRD4 reduces the expression of many pluripotent genes and shifts cellular fate showing that BRD4 is pivotal for transcription in ESCs.

  3. Analysis of nuclear reprogramming in cloned miniature pig embryos by expression of Oct-4 and Oct-4 related genes

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Eugine; Lee, So Hyun; Kim, Sue

    2006-10-06

    Xenotransplantation is a rapidly expanding field of research and cloned miniature pigs have been considered as a model animal for it. However, the efficiency of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is extremely low, with most clones resulting in early lethality and several kinds of aberrant development. A possible explanation for the developmental failure of SCNT embryos is insufficient reprogramming of the somatic cell nucleus by the oocyte. In order to test this, we analyzed the reprogramming capacity of differentiated fibroblast cell nuclei and embryonic germ cell nuclei with Oct-4 and Oct-4 related genes (Ndp5211, Dppa2, Dppa3, and Dppa5), which are important for embryonic development, Hand1 and GATA-4, which are important for placental development, as molecular markers using RT-PCR. The Oct-4 expression level was significantly lower (P < 0.05) in cloned hatched blastocysts derived from fibroblasts and many of fibroblast-derived clones failed to reactivate at least one of the tested genes, while most of the germ cell clones and control embryos correctly expressed these genes. In conclusion, our results suggest that the reprogramming of fibroblast-derived cloned embryos is highly aberrant and this improper reprogramming could be one reason of the early lethality and post-implantation anomalies of somatic cell-derived clones.

  4. OCT4 Remodels the Phenotype and Promotes Angiogenesis of HUVECs by Changing the Gene Expression Profile

    PubMed Central

    Mou, Yan; Yue, Zhen; Wang, Xiaotong; Li, Wenxue; Zhang, Haiying; Wang, Yang; Li, Ronggui; Sun, Xin

    2016-01-01

    It has been shown that forced expression of four mouse stem cell factors (OCT4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc) changed the phenotype of rat endothelial cells to vascular progenitor cells. The present study aimed to explore whether the expression of OCT4 alone might change the phenotype of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) to endothelial progenitor cells and, if so, to examine the possible mechanism involved. A Matrigel-based in vitro angiogenesis assay was used to evaluate the angiogenesis of the cells; the gene expression profile was analyzed by an oligonucleotide probe-based gene array chip and validated by RT-QPCR. The cellular functions of the mRNAs altered by OCT4 were analyzed with Gene Ontology. We found that induced ectopic expression of mouse OCT4 in HUVECs significantly enhanced angiogenesis of the cells, broadly changed the gene expression profile and particularly increased the expression of CD133, CD34, and VEGFR2 (KDR) which are characteristic marker molecules for endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). Furthermore by analyzing the cellular functions that were targeted by the mRNAs altered by OCT4 we found that stem cell maintenance and cell differentiation were among the top functional response targeted by up-regulated and down-regulated mRNAs upon forced expression of OCT4. These results support the argument that OCT4 remodels the phenotype of HUVECs from endothelial cells to EPCs by up-regulating the genes responsible for stem cell maintenance and down-regulating the genes for cell differentiation. PMID:27226779

  5. Germ Cell Nuclear Factor (GCNF) Represses Oct4 Expression and Globally Modulates Gene Expression in Human Embryonic Stem (hES) Cells*

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hongran; Wang, Xiaohong; Xu, Xueping; Kyba, Michael; Cooney, Austin J.

    2016-01-01

    Oct4 is considered a key transcription factor for pluripotent stem cell self-renewal. It binds to specific regions within target genes to regulate their expression and is downregulated upon induction of differentiation of pluripotent stem cells; however, the mechanisms that regulate the levels of human Oct4 expression remain poorly understood. Here we show that expression of human Oct4 is directly repressed by germ cell nuclear factor (GCNF), an orphan nuclear receptor, in hES cells. Knockdown of GCNF by siRNA resulted in maintenance of Oct4 expression during RA-induced hES cell differentiation. While overexpression of GCNF promoted repression of Oct4 expression in both undifferentiated and differentiated hES cells. The level of Oct4 repression was dependent on the level of GCNF expression in a dose-dependent manner. mRNA microarray analysis demonstrated that overexpression of GCNF globally regulates gene expression in undifferentiated and differentiated hES cells. Within the group of altered genes, GCNF down-regulated 36% of the genes, and up-regulated 64% in undifferentiated hES cells. In addition, GCNF also showed a regulatory gene pattern that is different from RA treatment during hES cell differentiation. These findings increase our understanding of the mechanisms that maintain hES cell pluripotency and regulate gene expression during the differentiation process. PMID:26769970

  6. Germ Cell Nuclear Factor (GCNF) Represses Oct4 Expression and Globally Modulates Gene Expression in Human Embryonic Stem (hES) Cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hongran; Wang, Xiaohong; Xu, Xueping; Kyba, Michael; Cooney, Austin J

    2016-04-15

    Oct4 is considered a key transcription factor for pluripotent stem cell self-renewal. It binds to specific regions within target genes to regulate their expression and is downregulated upon induction of differentiation of pluripotent stem cells; however, the mechanisms that regulate the levels of human Oct4 expression remain poorly understood. Here we show that expression of human Oct4 is directly repressed by germ cell nuclear factor (GCNF), an orphan nuclear receptor, in hES cells. Knockdown of GCNF by siRNA resulted in maintenance of Oct4 expression during RA-induced hES cell differentiation. While overexpression of GCNF promoted repression of Oct4 expression in both undifferentiated and differentiated hES cells. The level of Oct4 repression was dependent on the level of GCNF expression in a dose-dependent manner. mRNA microarray analysis demonstrated that overexpression of GCNF globally regulates gene expression in undifferentiated and differentiated hES cells. Within the group of altered genes, GCNF down-regulated 36% of the genes, and up-regulated 64% in undifferentiated hES cells. In addition, GCNF also showed a regulatory gene pattern that is different from RA treatment during hES cell differentiation. These findings increase our understanding of the mechanisms that maintain hES cell pluripotency and regulate gene expression during the differentiation process.

  7. oct4-EGFP reporter gene expression marks the stem cells in embryonic development and in adult gonads of transgenic medaka.

    PubMed

    Froschauer, Alexander; Khatun, Mst Muslima; Sprott, David; Franz, Alexander; Rieger, Christiane; Pfennig, Frank; Gutzeit, Herwig O

    2013-01-01

    Maintenance of pluripotency in stem cells is tightly regulated among vertebrates. One of the key genes in this process is oct4, also referred to as pou5f1 in mammals and pou2 in teleosts. Pou5f1 evolved by duplication of pou2 early in the tetrapod lineage, but only monotremes and marsupials retained both genes. Either pou2 or pou5f1 was lost from the genomes of the other tetrapods that have been analyzed to date. Consequently, these two homologous genes are often designated oct4 in functional studies. In most vertebrates oct4 is expressed in pluripotent cells of the early embryo until the blastula stage, and later persist in germline stem cells until adulthood. The isolation and analysis of stem cells from embryo or adult individuals is hampered by the need for reliable markers that can identify and define the cell populations. Here, we report the faithful expression of EGFP under the control of endogenous pou2/oct4 promoters in transgenic medaka (Oryzias latipes). In vivo imaging in oct4-EGFP transgenic medaka reveals the temporal and spatial expression of pou2 in embryos and adults alike. We describe the temporal and spatial patterns of endogenous pou2 and oct4-EGFP expression in medaka with respect to germline and adult stem cells, and discuss applications of oct4-EGFP transgenic medaka in reproductive and stem cell biology. PMID:23139203

  8. Upregulation of Nanog and Sox-2 genes following ectopic expression of Oct-4 in amniotic fluid mesenchymal stem cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kai-Hung; Kao, An-Pei; Chang, Chia-Cheng; Lin, Ta-Chin; Kuo, Tsung-Cheng

    2015-01-01

    Octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct-4), an important gene regulating stem cell pluripotency, is well-known for its ability to reprogram somatic cells in vitro, either alone or in concert with other factors. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of ectopic expression of Oct human amniotic fluid stem cells. We developed a novel method for isolation of putative human amniotic fluid-derived multipotent stem cells. These cells showing mesenchymal stem cell phenotypes (human amniotic fluid-derived mesenchymal stem cells, hAFMSCs) were transfected with a plasmid carrying genes for Oct-4 and the green fluorescent protein (GFP). The stably transfected cells, hAFMSCs-Oct4/GFP, were selected by using G418 and found to express the GFP reporter gene under the control of Oct-4 promoter. We found that hAFMSCs developed by our method possess very high self-renewal ability (about 78 cumulative population doublings) and multilineage differentiation potency. Significantly, the hAFMSCs-Oct4/GFP cells showed enhanced expression of the three major pluripotency genes Oct-4, Nanog, and Sox-2, and increased colony-forming ability and growth rate compared with the parental hAFMSCs. We demonstrated that the ectopic expression of Oct-4 gene in hAFMSCs with high self-renewal ability could upregulate Nanog and Sox-2 gene expression and enhance cell growth rate and colony-forming efficiency. Therefore, the ectopic expression of Oct-4 could be a strategy to develop pluripotency in hAFMSCs for clinical applications.

  9. Global Oct4 target gene analysis reveals novel downstream PTEN and TNC genes required for drug-resistance and metastasis in lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yen-An; Chen, Chi-Hsin; Sun, H Sunny; Cheng, Chun-Pei; Tseng, Vincent S; Hsu, Han-Shui; Su, Wu-Chou; Lai, Wu-Wei; Wang, Yi-Ching

    2015-02-18

    Overexpression of Oct4, a stemness gene encoding a transcription factor, has been reported in several cancers. However, the mechanism by which Oct4 directs transcriptional program that leads to somatic cancer progression remains unclear. In this study, we provide mechanistic insight into Oct4-driven transcriptional network promoting drug-resistance and metastasis in lung cancer cell, animal and clinical studies. Through an integrative approach combining our Oct4 chromatin-immunoprecipitation sequencing and ENCODE datasets, we identified the genome-wide binding regions of Oct4 in lung cancer at promoter and enhancer of numerous genes involved in critical pathways which promote tumorigenesis. Notably, PTEN and TNC were previously undefined targets of Oct4. In addition, novel Oct4-binding motifs were found to overlap with DNA elements for Sp1 transcription factor. We provided evidence that Oct4 suppressed PTEN in an Sp1-dependent manner by recruitment of HDAC1/2, leading to activation of AKT signaling and drug-resistance. In contrast, Oct4 transactivated TNC independent of Sp1 and resulted in cancer metastasis. Clinically, lung cancer patients with Oct4 high, PTEN low and TNC high expression profile significantly correlated with poor disease-free survival. Our study reveals a critical Oct4-driven transcriptional program that promotes lung cancer progression, illustrating the therapeutic potential of targeting Oc4 transcriptionally regulated genes.

  10. Targeted transcriptional activation of silent oct4 pluripotency gene by combining designer TALEs and inhibition of epigenetic modifiers.

    PubMed

    Bultmann, Sebastian; Morbitzer, Robert; Schmidt, Christine S; Thanisch, Katharina; Spada, Fabio; Elsaesser, Janett; Lahaye, Thomas; Leonhardt, Heinrich

    2012-07-01

    Specific control of gene activity is a valuable tool to study and engineer cellular functions. Recent studies uncovered the potential of transcription activator-like effector (TALE) proteins that can be tailored to activate user-defined target genes. It remains however unclear whether and how epigenetic modifications interfere with TALE-mediated transcriptional activation. We studied the activity of five designer TALEs (dTALEs) targeting the oct4 pluripotency gene. In vitro assays showed that the five dTALEs that target distinct sites in the oct4 promoter had the expected DNA specificity and comparable affinities to their corresponding DNA targets. In contrast to their similar in vitro properties, transcriptional activation of oct4 by these distinct dTALEs varied up to 25-fold. While dTALEs efficiently upregulated transcription of the active oct4 promoter in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) they failed to activate the silenced oct4 promoter in ESC-derived neural stem cells (NSCs), indicating that as for endogenous transcription factors also dTALE activity is limited by repressive epigenetic mechanisms. We therefore targeted the activity of epigenetic modulators and found that chemical inhibition of histone deacetylases by valproic acid or DNA methyltransferases by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine facilitated dTALE-mediated activation of the epigenetically silenced oct4 promoter in NSCs. Notably, demethylation of the oct4 promoter occurred only if chemical inhibitors and dTALEs were applied together but not upon treatment with inhibitors or dTALEs only. These results show that dTALEs in combination with chemical manipulation of epigenetic modifiers facilitate targeted transcriptional activation of epigenetically silenced target genes.

  11. Forced expression of OCT4 influences the expression of pluripotent genes in human mesenchymal stem cells and fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Palma, C S; Tannous, M A; Malta, T M; Russo, E M S; Covas, D T; Picanço-Castro, V

    2013-04-02

    Genetic reprogramming of adult cells to generate induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells is a new and important step in sidestepping some of the ethical issues and risks involved in the use of embryonic stem cells. iPS cells can be generated by introduction of transcription factors, such as OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and CMYC. iPS cells resemble embryonic stem cells in their properties and differentiation potential. The mechanisms that lead to induced pluripotency and the effect of each transcription factor are not completely understood. We performed a critical evaluation of the effect of overexpressing OCT4 in mesenchymal stem cells and fibroblasts and found that OCT4 can activate the expression of other stemness genes, such as SOX2, NANOG, CMYC, FOXD3, KLF4, and βCATENIN, which are not normally or are very weakly expressed in mesenchymal stem cells. Transient expression of OCT4 was also performed to evaluate whether these genes are affected by its overexpression in the first 48 h. Transfected fibroblast cells expressed around 275-fold more OCT4 than non-transfected cells. In transient expression, in which cells were analyzed after 48 h, we detected only the up-regulation of FOXD3, SOX2, and KLF4 genes, suggesting that these genes are the earlier targets of OCT4 in this cellular type. We conclude that forced expression of OCT4 can alter cell status and activate the pluripotent network. Knowledge gained through study of these systems may help us to understand the kinetics and mechanism of cell reprogramming.

  12. Targeted transcriptional activation of silent oct4 pluripotency gene by combining designer TALEs and inhibition of epigenetic modifiers

    PubMed Central

    Bultmann, Sebastian; Morbitzer, Robert; Schmidt, Christine S.; Thanisch, Katharina; Spada, Fabio; Elsaesser, Janett; Lahaye, Thomas; Leonhardt, Heinrich

    2012-01-01

    Specific control of gene activity is a valuable tool to study and engineer cellular functions. Recent studies uncovered the potential of transcription activator-like effector (TALE) proteins that can be tailored to activate user-defined target genes. It remains however unclear whether and how epigenetic modifications interfere with TALE-mediated transcriptional activation. We studied the activity of five designer TALEs (dTALEs) targeting the oct4 pluripotency gene. In vitro assays showed that the five dTALEs that target distinct sites in the oct4 promoter had the expected DNA specificity and comparable affinities to their corresponding DNA targets. In contrast to their similar in vitro properties, transcriptional activation of oct4 by these distinct dTALEs varied up to 25-fold. While dTALEs efficiently upregulated transcription of the active oct4 promoter in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) they failed to activate the silenced oct4 promoter in ESC-derived neural stem cells (NSCs), indicating that as for endogenous transcription factors also dTALE activity is limited by repressive epigenetic mechanisms. We therefore targeted the activity of epigenetic modulators and found that chemical inhibition of histone deacetylases by valproic acid or DNA methyltransferases by 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine facilitated dTALE-mediated activation of the epigenetically silenced oct4 promoter in NSCs. Notably, demethylation of the oct4 promoter occurred only if chemical inhibitors and dTALEs were applied together but not upon treatment with inhibitors or dTALEs only. These results show that dTALEs in combination with chemical manipulation of epigenetic modifiers facilitate targeted transcriptional activation of epigenetically silenced target genes. PMID:22387464

  13. Direct activation of human and mouse Oct4 genes using engineered TALE and Cas9 transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jiabiao; Lei, Yong; Wong, Wing-Ki; Liu, Senquan; Lee, Kai-Chuen; He, Xiangjun; You, Wenxing; Zhou, Rui; Guo, Jun-Tao; Chen, Xiongfong; Peng, Xianlu; Sun, Hao; Huang, He; Zhao, Hui; Feng, Bo

    2014-04-01

    The newly developed transcription activator-like effector protein (TALE) and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/Cas9 transcription factors (TF) offered a powerful and precise approach for modulating gene expression. In this article, we systematically investigated the potential of these new tools in activating the stringently silenced pluripotency gene Oct4 (Pou5f1) in mouse and human somatic cells. First, with a number of TALEs and sgRNAs targeting various regions in the mouse and human Oct4 promoters, we found that the most efficient TALE-VP64s bound around -120 to -80 bp, while highly effective sgRNAs targeted from -147 to -89-bp upstream of the transcription start sites to induce high activity of luciferase reporters. In addition, we observed significant transcriptional synergy when multiple TFs were applied simultaneously. Although individual TFs exhibited marginal activity to up-regulate endogenous gene expression, optimized combinations of TALE-VP64s could enhance endogenous Oct4 transcription up to 30-fold in mouse NIH3T3 cells and 20-fold in human HEK293T cells. More importantly, the enhancement of OCT4 transcription ultimately generated OCT4 proteins. Furthermore, examination of different epigenetic modifiers showed that histone acetyltransferase p300 could enhance both TALE-VP64 and sgRNA/dCas9-VP64 induced transcription of endogenous OCT4. Taken together, our study suggested that engineered TALE-TF and dCas9-TF are useful tools for modulating gene expression in mammalian cells.

  14. Direct activation of human and mouse Oct4 genes using engineered TALE and Cas9 transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jiabiao; Lei, Yong; Wong, Wing-Ki; Liu, Senquan; Lee, Kai-Chuen; He, Xiangjun; You, Wenxing; Zhou, Rui; Guo, Jun-Tao; Chen, Xiongfong; Peng, Xianlu; Sun, Hao; Huang, He; Zhao, Hui; Feng, Bo

    2014-04-01

    The newly developed transcription activator-like effector protein (TALE) and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/Cas9 transcription factors (TF) offered a powerful and precise approach for modulating gene expression. In this article, we systematically investigated the potential of these new tools in activating the stringently silenced pluripotency gene Oct4 (Pou5f1) in mouse and human somatic cells. First, with a number of TALEs and sgRNAs targeting various regions in the mouse and human Oct4 promoters, we found that the most efficient TALE-VP64s bound around -120 to -80 bp, while highly effective sgRNAs targeted from -147 to -89-bp upstream of the transcription start sites to induce high activity of luciferase reporters. In addition, we observed significant transcriptional synergy when multiple TFs were applied simultaneously. Although individual TFs exhibited marginal activity to up-regulate endogenous gene expression, optimized combinations of TALE-VP64s could enhance endogenous Oct4 transcription up to 30-fold in mouse NIH3T3 cells and 20-fold in human HEK293T cells. More importantly, the enhancement of OCT4 transcription ultimately generated OCT4 proteins. Furthermore, examination of different epigenetic modifiers showed that histone acetyltransferase p300 could enhance both TALE-VP64 and sgRNA/dCas9-VP64 induced transcription of endogenous OCT4. Taken together, our study suggested that engineered TALE-TF and dCas9-TF are useful tools for modulating gene expression in mammalian cells. PMID:24500196

  15. Comparison of gene expression of SOX2 and OCT4 in normal tissue, polyps, and colon adenocarcinoma using immunohistochemical staining

    PubMed Central

    Talebi, Ardeshir; Kianersi, Kianoosh; Beiraghdar, Mozhdeh

    2015-01-01

    Background: Cancer stem cells have been isolated and characterized in all common cancers. SOX2 and OCT4 are important genes to enhance the self-renewal ability as activate stem cells and inhibit the genes that start differentiation and thus maintain the self-renewal ability of stem cells. Also, the aim of this study is “Comparison of gene expression of SOX2 and OCT4 in normal tissue, polyps, and colon adenocarcinoma using immunohistochemical staining.” Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study conducted on 20 patients so that for each patient, a sample of healthy tissue, dysplastic polyp tissue, and colon adenocarcinoma were provided as microscopic sections and staining on each tissue was performed through immunohistochemistry method by markers OCT4 and SOX2. The collected data were interred into SPSS version 18.0, (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) software and the level of significance were considered as <0.05. Results: The study sample consisted of 20 patients including 11 men (55%) and 9 women (45%) with a mean age of 55.6 ± 9.88 years. There was no association between Oct4 and colorectal cancer (CRC) patients (P > 0.05), but there was a significant correlation between Sox2 expression and CRC (P < 0.05). Patients in many aspects such as race, type of polyp, presence of lymph node, grade and intensity of Sox2 in different types of patients’ tissues (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Regarding our findings, the expression of Sox2 would be a liable marker for evaluating of cancer progression and could be a treatment target of CRC cells. PMID:26645019

  16. Manganese Superoxide Dismutase Gene Expression Is Induced by Nanog and Oct4, Essential Pluripotent Stem Cells’ Transcription Factors

    PubMed Central

    Solari, Claudia; Vázquez Echegaray, Camila; Cosentino, María Soledad; Petrone, María Victoria; Waisman, Ariel; Luzzani, Carlos; Francia, Marcos; Villodre, Emilly; Lenz, Guido; Miriuka, Santiago; Barañao, Lino; Guberman, Alejandra

    2015-01-01

    Pluripotent stem cells possess complex systems that protect them from oxidative stress and ensure genomic stability, vital for their role in development. Even though it has been reported that antioxidant activity diminishes along stem cell differentiation, little is known about the transcriptional regulation of the involved genes. The reported modulation of some of these genes led us to hypothesize that some of them could be regulated by the transcription factors critical for self-renewal and pluripotency in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In this work, we studied the expression profile of multiple genes involved in antioxidant defense systems in both ESCs and iPSCs. We found that Manganese superoxide dismutase gene (Mn-Sod/Sod2) was repressed during diverse differentiation protocols showing an expression pattern similar to Nanog gene. Moreover, Sod2 promoter activity was induced by Oct4 and Nanog when we performed a transactivation assay using two different reporter constructions. Finally, we studied Sod2 gene regulation by modulating the expression of Oct4 and Nanog in ESCs by shRNAs and found that downregulation of any of them reduced Sod2 expression. Our results indicate that pluripotency transcription factors positively modulate Sod2 gene transcription. PMID:26642061

  17. Manganese Superoxide Dismutase Gene Expression Is Induced by Nanog and Oct4, Essential Pluripotent Stem Cells' Transcription Factors.

    PubMed

    Solari, Claudia; Vázquez Echegaray, Camila; Cosentino, María Soledad; Petrone, María Victoria; Waisman, Ariel; Luzzani, Carlos; Francia, Marcos; Villodre, Emilly; Lenz, Guido; Miriuka, Santiago; Barañao, Lino; Guberman, Alejandra

    2015-01-01

    Pluripotent stem cells possess complex systems that protect them from oxidative stress and ensure genomic stability, vital for their role in development. Even though it has been reported that antioxidant activity diminishes along stem cell differentiation, little is known about the transcriptional regulation of the involved genes. The reported modulation of some of these genes led us to hypothesize that some of them could be regulated by the transcription factors critical for self-renewal and pluripotency in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In this work, we studied the expression profile of multiple genes involved in antioxidant defense systems in both ESCs and iPSCs. We found that Manganese superoxide dismutase gene (Mn-Sod/Sod2) was repressed during diverse differentiation protocols showing an expression pattern similar to Nanog gene. Moreover, Sod2 promoter activity was induced by Oct4 and Nanog when we performed a transactivation assay using two different reporter constructions. Finally, we studied Sod2 gene regulation by modulating the expression of Oct4 and Nanog in ESCs by shRNAs and found that downregulation of any of them reduced Sod2 expression. Our results indicate that pluripotency transcription factors positively modulate Sod2 gene transcription. PMID:26642061

  18. Manganese Superoxide Dismutase Gene Expression Is Induced by Nanog and Oct4, Essential Pluripotent Stem Cells' Transcription Factors.

    PubMed

    Solari, Claudia; Vázquez Echegaray, Camila; Cosentino, María Soledad; Petrone, María Victoria; Waisman, Ariel; Luzzani, Carlos; Francia, Marcos; Villodre, Emilly; Lenz, Guido; Miriuka, Santiago; Barañao, Lino; Guberman, Alejandra

    2015-01-01

    Pluripotent stem cells possess complex systems that protect them from oxidative stress and ensure genomic stability, vital for their role in development. Even though it has been reported that antioxidant activity diminishes along stem cell differentiation, little is known about the transcriptional regulation of the involved genes. The reported modulation of some of these genes led us to hypothesize that some of them could be regulated by the transcription factors critical for self-renewal and pluripotency in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In this work, we studied the expression profile of multiple genes involved in antioxidant defense systems in both ESCs and iPSCs. We found that Manganese superoxide dismutase gene (Mn-Sod/Sod2) was repressed during diverse differentiation protocols showing an expression pattern similar to Nanog gene. Moreover, Sod2 promoter activity was induced by Oct4 and Nanog when we performed a transactivation assay using two different reporter constructions. Finally, we studied Sod2 gene regulation by modulating the expression of Oct4 and Nanog in ESCs by shRNAs and found that downregulation of any of them reduced Sod2 expression. Our results indicate that pluripotency transcription factors positively modulate Sod2 gene transcription.

  19. Investigating the functionality of an OCT4-short response element in human induced pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Vega-Crespo, Agustin; Truong, Brian; Hermann, Kip J; Awe, Jason P; Chang, Katherine M; Lee, Patrick C; Schoenberg, Benjamen E; Wu, Lily; Byrne, James A; Lipshutz, Gerald S

    2016-01-01

    Pluripotent stem cells offer great therapeutic promise for personalized treatment platforms for numerous injuries, disorders, and diseases. Octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (OCT4) is a key regulatory gene maintaining pluripotency and self-renewal of mammalian cells. With site-specific integration for gene correction in cellular therapeutics, use of the OCT4 promoter may have advantages when expressing a suicide gene if pluripotency remains. However, the human OCT4 promoter region is 4 kb in size, limiting the capacity of therapeutic genes and other regulatory components for viral vectors, and decreasing the efficiency of homologous recombination. The purpose of this investigation was to characterize the functionality of a novel 967bp OCT4-short response element during pluripotency and to examine the OCT4 titer-dependent response during differentiation to human derivatives not expressing OCT4. Our findings demonstrate that the OCT4-short response element is active in pluripotency and this activity is in high correlation with transgene expression in vitro, and the OCT4-short response element is inactivated when pluripotent cells differentiate. These studies demonstrate that this shortened OCT4 regulatory element is functional and may be useful as part of an optimized safety component in a site-specific gene transferring system that could be used as an efficient and clinically applicable safety platform for gene transfer in cellular therapeutics. PMID:27500178

  20. Investigating the functionality of an OCT4-short response element in human induced pluripotent stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Vega-Crespo, Agustin; Truong, Brian; Hermann, Kip J; Awe, Jason P; Chang, Katherine M; Lee, Patrick C; Schoenberg, Benjamen E; Wu, Lily; Byrne, James A; Lipshutz, Gerald S

    2016-01-01

    Pluripotent stem cells offer great therapeutic promise for personalized treatment platforms for numerous injuries, disorders, and diseases. Octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (OCT4) is a key regulatory gene maintaining pluripotency and self-renewal of mammalian cells. With site-specific integration for gene correction in cellular therapeutics, use of the OCT4 promoter may have advantages when expressing a suicide gene if pluripotency remains. However, the human OCT4 promoter region is 4 kb in size, limiting the capacity of therapeutic genes and other regulatory components for viral vectors, and decreasing the efficiency of homologous recombination. The purpose of this investigation was to characterize the functionality of a novel 967bp OCT4-short response element during pluripotency and to examine the OCT4 titer-dependent response during differentiation to human derivatives not expressing OCT4. Our findings demonstrate that the OCT4-short response element is active in pluripotency and this activity is in high correlation with transgene expression in vitro, and the OCT4-short response element is inactivated when pluripotent cells differentiate. These studies demonstrate that this shortened OCT4 regulatory element is functional and may be useful as part of an optimized safety component in a site-specific gene transferring system that could be used as an efficient and clinically applicable safety platform for gene transfer in cellular therapeutics. PMID:27500178

  1. Development and Gene Expression of Porcine Cloned Embryos Derived from Bone Marrow Stem Cells with Overexpressing Oct4 and Sox2

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jeong-Hyeon; Lee, Won-Jae; Jeon, Ryoung-Hoon; Lee, Yeon-Mi; Jang, Si-Jung; Lee, Sung-Lim; Jeon, Byung-Geun; Ock, Sun-A; King, W. Allen

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The present study compared the potential of porcine bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (pBMSCs) at different passages as nuclear transfer (NT) donors and the developmental efficiency of NT embryos from donor cells transfected with/without Oct4 and Sox2. Early-passage pBMSCs showed higher proliferation and expression of Oct4 and Sox2 and differentiation potential into mesenchymal lineages than middle- and late-passage pBMSCs. Cleavage rate did not differ among pBMSCs at different passages, but NT embryos with early-passage pBMSCs and middle-passage pBMSCs transfected with Oct4 (Oct4-pBMSCs) had significantly (p<0.05) higher blastocyst development than those with middle-passage pBMSCs. The incidence of apoptotic bodies in NT blastocysts from late-passage pBMSCs and Sox2-transfected middle-passage pBMSCs (Sox2-pBMSCs) was significantly (p<0.05) higher than others. The transcriptional levels of Oct4, Sox2, Nanog, Cdx2, Dnmt3a, and Igf2r genes were significantly (p<0.05) higher in Oct4- and Sox2-pBMSCs NT embryos. Middle-passage pBMSCs NT embryos revealed lower transcriptional levels of Bcl2 than others, except Sox2-pBMSCs NT embryos. The transcriptional level of Bax increased gradually in NT embryos derived from pBMSCs following extended passages and was significantly (p<0.05) higher in Sox2-pBMSCs NT embryos. Our results demonstrated that early-passage pBMSCs are more potent in expressing transcription factors and displayed higher differentiation ability, and middle-passage pBMSCs transfected with Oct4 improved the developmental efficiency of NT embryos, suggesting that high Oct4 expression cells are more efficient as NT donors. PMID:25437870

  2. Enhanced hepatogenic transdifferentiation of human adipose tissue mesenchymal stem cells by gene engineering with Oct4 and Sox2.

    PubMed

    Han, Sei-Myoung; Coh, Ye-Rin; Ahn, Jin-Ok; Jang, Goo; Yum, Soo Young; Kang, Sung-Keun; Lee, Hee-Woo; Youn, Hwa-Young

    2015-01-01

    Adipose tissue mesenchymal stem cells (ATMSCs) represent an attractive tool for the establishment of a successful stem cell-based therapy in the field of liver regeneration medicine. ATMSCs overexpressing Oct4 and Sox2 (Oct4/Sox2-ATMSCs) showed enhanced proliferation and multipotency. Hence, we hypothesized that Oct4 and Sox2 can increase "transdifferentiation" of ATMSCs into cells of the hepatic lineage. In this study, we generated Oct4- and Sox2-overexpressing human ATMSCs by liposomal transfection. We confirmed the expression of mesenchymal stem cell surface markers without morphological alterations in both red-fluorescent protein (RFP) (control)- and Oct4/Sox2-ATMSCs by flow cytometry. After induction of differentiation into hepatocyte-like cells, the morphology of ATMSCs changed and they began to appear as round or polygonal epithelioid cells. Hepatic markers were evaluated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and confirmed by immunofluorescence. The results showed that albumin was strongly expressed in hepatogenic differentiated Oct4/Sox2-ATMSCs, whereas the expression level of α-fetoprotein was lower than that of RFP-ATMSCs. The functionality of hepatocytes was evaluated by periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining and urea assays. The number of PAS-positive cells was significantly higher and urea production was significantly higher in Oct4/Sox2-ATMSCs compared to that in RFP-ATMSCs. Taken together, the hepatocyte-like cells derived from Oct4/Sox2-ATMSCs were mature hepatocytes, possibly functional hepatocytes with enhanced capacity to store glycogen and produce urea. In this study, we demonstrated the enhanced transdifferentiation of Oct4- and Sox2-overexpressing ATMSCs into hepatocyte-like cells that have enhanced hepatocyte-specific functions. Therefore, we expect that Oct4/Sox2-ATMSCs may become a very useful source for hepatocyte regeneration or liver cell transplantation.

  3. Nanog, Oct4 and Tet1 interplay in establishing pluripotency.

    PubMed

    Olariu, Victor; Lövkvist, Cecilia; Sneppen, Kim

    2016-01-01

    A few central transcription factors inside mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are believed to control the cells' pluripotency. Characterizations of pluripotent state were put forward on both transcription factor and epigenetic levels. Whereas core players have been identified, it is desirable to map out gene regulatory networks which govern the reprogramming of somatic cells as well as the early developmental decisions. Here we propose a multiple level model where the regulatory network of Oct4, Nanog and Tet1 includes positive feedback loops involving DNA-demethylation around the promoters of Oct4 and Tet1. We put forward a mechanistic understanding of the regulatory dynamics which account for i) Oct4 overexpression is sufficient to induce pluripotency in somatic cell types expressing the other Yamanaka reprogramming factors endogenously; ii) Tet1 can replace Oct4 in reprogramming cocktail; iii) Nanog is not necessary for reprogramming however its over-expression leads to enhanced self-renewal; iv) DNA methylation is the key to the regulation of pluripotency genes; v) Lif withdrawal leads to loss of pluripotency. Overall, our paper proposes a novel framework combining transcription regulation with DNA methylation modifications which, takes into account the multi-layer nature of regulatory mechanisms governing pluripotency acquisition through reprogramming. PMID:27146218

  4. Nanog, Oct4 and Tet1 interplay in establishing pluripotency

    PubMed Central

    Olariu, Victor; Lövkvist, Cecilia; Sneppen, Kim

    2016-01-01

    A few central transcription factors inside mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are believed to control the cells’ pluripotency. Characterizations of pluripotent state were put forward on both transcription factor and epigenetic levels. Whereas core players have been identified, it is desirable to map out gene regulatory networks which govern the reprogramming of somatic cells as well as the early developmental decisions. Here we propose a multiple level model where the regulatory network of Oct4, Nanog and Tet1 includes positive feedback loops involving DNA-demethylation around the promoters of Oct4 and Tet1. We put forward a mechanistic understanding of the regulatory dynamics which account for i) Oct4 overexpression is sufficient to induce pluripotency in somatic cell types expressing the other Yamanaka reprogramming factors endogenously; ii) Tet1 can replace Oct4 in reprogramming cocktail; iii) Nanog is not necessary for reprogramming however its over-expression leads to enhanced self-renewal; iv) DNA methylation is the key to the regulation of pluripotency genes; v) Lif withdrawal leads to loss of pluripotency. Overall, our paper proposes a novel framework combining transcription regulation with DNA methylation modifications which, takes into account the multi-layer nature of regulatory mechanisms governing pluripotency acquisition through reprogramming. PMID:27146218

  5. Methylation of the Sox9 and Oct4 promoters and its correlation with gene expression during testicular development in the laboratory mouse

    PubMed Central

    Pamnani, Mamta; Sinha, Puja; Singh, Alka; Nara, Seema; Sachan, Manisha

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Sox9 and Oct4 are two important regulatory factors involved in mammalian development. Sox9, a member of the group E Sox transcription factor family, has a crucial role in the development of the genitourinary system, while Oct4, commonly known as octamer binding transcription factor 4, belongs to class V of the transcription family. The expression of these two proteins exhibits a dynamic pattern with regard to their expression sites and levels. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of de novo methylation in the regulation of the tissue- and site-specific expression of these proteins. The dynamics of the de novo methylation of 15 CpGs and six CpGs in Sox9 and Oct4 respectively, was studied with sodium bisulfite genomic DNA sequencing in mouse testis at different developmental stages. Consistent methylation of three CpGs was observed in adult ovary in which the expression of Sox9 was feeble, while the level of methylation in somatic tissue was greater in Oct4 compared to germinal tissue. The promoter-chromatin status of Sox9 was also studied with a chromatin immune-precipitation assay. PMID:27560488

  6. The developmental dismantling of pluripotency is reversed by ectopic Oct4 expression

    PubMed Central

    Osorno, Rodrigo; Tsakiridis, Anestis; Wong, Frederick; Cambray, Noemí; Economou, Constantinos; Wilkie, Ronald; Blin, Guillaume; Scotting, Paul J.; Chambers, Ian; Wilson, Valerie

    2012-01-01

    The transcription factors Nanog and Oct4 regulate pluripotency in the pre-implantation epiblast and in derivative embryonic stem cells. During post-implantation development, the precise timing and mechanism of the loss of pluripotency is unknown. Here, we show that in the mouse, pluripotency is extinguished at the onset of somitogenesis, coincident with reduced expression and chromatin accessibility of Oct4 and Nanog regulatory regions. Prior to somitogenesis expression of both Nanog and Oct4 is regionalized. We show that pluripotency tracks the in vivo level of Oct4 and not Nanog by assessing the ability to reactivate or maintain Nanog expression in cell culture. Enforced Oct4 expression in somitogenesis-stage tissue provokes rapid reopening of Oct4 and Nanog chromatin, Nanog re-expression and resuscitates moribund pluripotency. Our data suggest that decreasing Oct4 expression is converted to a sudden drop in competence to maintain pluripotency gene regulatory network activity that is subsequently stabilized by epigenetic locks. PMID:22669820

  7. Diethylnitrosamine-induced expression of germline-specific genes and pluripotency factors, including vasa and oct4, in medaka somatic cells.

    PubMed

    Shen, Jialing; Yokota, Shinpei; Yokoi, Hayato; Suzuki, Tohru

    2016-09-16

    Various methods have been developed to reprogram mammalian somatic cells into pluripotent cells as well as to directly reprogram somatic cells into other cell lineages. We are interested in applying these methods to fish, and here, we examined whether mRNA expression of germline-specific genes (vasa, nanos2, -3) and pluripotency factors (oct4, sox2, c-myc, nanog) is inducible in somatic cells of Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes). We found that the expression of vasa is induced in the gut and regenerating fin by exposure to a carcinogen, diethylnitrosamine (DEN). Induction of vasa in the gut started on the 5th day of treatment with >50 ppm DEN. In addition, nanos2, -3, oct4, sox2, klf4, c-myc, and nanog were also expressed simultaneously in some vasa-positive gut and regenerating fin samples. Vasa-positive cells were detected by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in the muscle surrounding the gut and in the wound epidermis, blastema, and fibroblast-like cells in regenerating fin. In vasa:GFP transgenic medaka, green fluorescent protein (GFP) fluorescence appeared in the wound epidermis and fibroblast-like cells in the regenerating fin following DEN exposure, in agreement with the IHC data. Our data show that mRNA expression of genes relevant to germ cell specification and pluripotency can be induced in fish somatic cells by exposure to DEN, suggesting the possibility of efficient and rapid cell reprogramming of fish somatic cells. PMID:27514449

  8. Differential Expression of OCT4 Pseudogenes in Pluripotent and Tumor Cell Lines

    PubMed Central

    Poursani, Ensieh M.; Mohammad Soltani, Bahram; Mowla, Seyed Javad

    2016-01-01

    Objective The human OCT4 gene, the most important pluripotency marker, can generate at least three different transcripts (OCT4A, OCT4B, and OCT4B1) by alternative splicing. OCT4A is the main isoform responsible for the stemness property of embryonic stem (ES) cells. There also exist eight processed OCT4 pseudogenes in the human genome with high homology to the OCT4A, some of which are transcribed in various cancers. Recent conflicting reports on OCT4 expression in tumor cells and tissues emphasize the need to discriminate the expression of OCT4A from other variants as well as OCT4 pseudogenes. Materials and Methods In this experimental study, DNA sequencing confirmed the authenticity of transcripts of OCT4 pseudogenes and their expression patterns were investigated in a panel of different human cell lines by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Results Differential expression of OCT4 pseudogenes in various human cancer and pluripotent cell lines was observed. Moreover, the expression pattern of OCT4-pseudogene 3 (OCT4-pg3) followed that of OCT4A during neural differentiation of the pluripotent cell line of NTERA-2 (NT2). Although OCT4-pg3 was highly expressed in undifferentiated NT2 cells, its expression was rapidly down-regulated upon induction of neural differentiation. Analysis of protein expression of OCT4A, OCT4-pg1, OCT4-pg3, and OCT4-pg4 by Western blotting indicated that OCT4 pseudogenes cannot produce stable proteins. Consistent with a newly proposed competitive role of pseudogene microRNA docking sites, we detected miR-145 binding sites on all transcripts of OCT4 and OCT4 pseudogenes. Conclusion Our study suggests a potential coding-independent function for OCT4 pseudogenes during differentiation or tumorigenesis. PMID:27054116

  9. Melatonin decreases estrogen receptor binding to estrogen response elements sites on the OCT4 gene in human breast cancer stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Lopes, Juliana; Arnosti, David; Trosko, James E.; Tai, Mei-Hui; Zuccari, Debora

    2016-01-01

    Cancer stem cells (CSCs) pose a challenge in cancer treatment, as these cells can drive tumor growth and are resistant to chemotherapy. Melatonin exerts its oncostatic effects through the estrogen receptor (ER) pathway in cancer cells, however its action in CSCs is unclear. Here, we evaluated the effect of melatonin on the regulation of the transcription factor OCT4 (Octamer Binding 4) by estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) in breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs). The cells were grown as a cell suspension or as anchorage independent growth, for the mammospheres growth, representing the CSCs population and treated with 10 nM estrogen (E2) or 10 μM of the environmental estrogen Bisphenol A (BPA) and 1 mM of melatonin. At the end, the cell growth as well as OCT4 and ERα expression and the binding activity of ERα to the OCT4 was assessed. The increase in number and size of mammospheres induced by E2 or BPA was reduced by melatonin treatment. Furthermore, binding of the ERα to OCT4 was reduced, accompanied by a reduction of OCT4 and ERα expression. Thus, melatonin treatment is effective against proliferation of BCSCs in vitro and impacts the ER pathway, demonstrating its potential therapeutic use in breast cancer. PMID:27551335

  10. Melatonin decreases estrogen receptor binding to estrogen response elements sites on the OCT4 gene in human breast cancer stem cells.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Juliana; Arnosti, David; Trosko, James E; Tai, Mei-Hui; Zuccari, Debora

    2016-05-01

    Cancer stem cells (CSCs) pose a challenge in cancer treatment, as these cells can drive tumor growth and are resistant to chemotherapy. Melatonin exerts its oncostatic effects through the estrogen receptor (ER) pathway in cancer cells, however its action in CSCs is unclear. Here, we evaluated the effect of melatonin on the regulation of the transcription factor OCT4 (Octamer Binding 4) by estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) in breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs). The cells were grown as a cell suspension or as anchorage independent growth, for the mammospheres growth, representing the CSCs population and treated with 10 nM estrogen (E2) or 10 μM of the environmental estrogen Bisphenol A (BPA) and 1 mM of melatonin. At the end, the cell growth as well as OCT4 and ERα expression and the binding activity of ERα to the OCT4 was assessed. The increase in number and size of mammospheres induced by E2 or BPA was reduced by melatonin treatment. Furthermore, binding of the ERα to OCT4 was reduced, accompanied by a reduction of OCT4 and ERα expression. Thus, melatonin treatment is effective against proliferation of BCSCs in vitro and impacts the ER pathway, demonstrating its potential therapeutic use in breast cancer. PMID:27551335

  11. Identification of Oct4-activating compounds that enhance reprogramming efficiency.

    PubMed

    Li, Wendong; Tian, E; Chen, Zhao-Xia; Sun, Guoqiang; Ye, Peng; Yang, Su; Lu, Dave; Xie, Jun; Ho, Thach-Vu; Tsark, Walter M; Wang, Charles; Horne, David A; Riggs, Arthur D; Yip, M L Richard; Shi, Yanhong

    2012-12-18

    One of the hurdles for practical application of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) is the low efficiency and slow process of reprogramming. Octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct4) has been shown to be an essential regulator of embryonic stem cell (ESC) pluripotency and key to the reprogramming process. To identify small molecules that enhance reprogramming efficiency, we performed a cell-based high-throughput screening of chemical libraries. One of the compounds, termed Oct4-activating compound 1 (OAC1), was found to activate both Oct4 and Nanog promoter-driven luciferase reporter genes. Furthermore, when added to the reprogramming mixture along with the quartet reprogramming factors (Oct4, Sox2, c-Myc, and Klf4), OAC1 enhanced the iPSC reprogramming efficiency and accelerated the reprogramming process. Two structural analogs of OAC1 also activated Oct4 and Nanog promoters and enhanced iPSC formation. The iPSC colonies derived using the Oct4-activating compounds along with the quartet factors exhibited typical ESC morphology, gene-expression pattern, and developmental potential. OAC1 seems to enhance reprogramming efficiency in a unique manner, independent of either inhibition of the p53-p21 pathway or activation of the Wnt-β-catenin signaling. OAC1 increases transcription of the Oct4-Nanog-Sox2 triad and Tet1, a gene known to be involved in DNA demethylation. PMID:23213213

  12. Identification of Oct4-activating compounds that enhance reprogramming efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wendong; Tian, E; Chen, Zhao-Xia; Sun, GuoQiang; Ye, Peng; Yang, Su; Lu, Dave; Xie, Jun; Ho, Thach-Vu; Tsark, Walter M.; Wang, Charles; Horne, David A.; Riggs, Arthur D.; Yip, M. L. Richard; Shi, Yanhong

    2012-01-01

    One of the hurdles for practical application of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) is the low efficiency and slow process of reprogramming. Octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct4) has been shown to be an essential regulator of embryonic stem cell (ESC) pluripotency and key to the reprogramming process. To identify small molecules that enhance reprogramming efficiency, we performed a cell-based high-throughput screening of chemical libraries. One of the compounds, termed Oct4-activating compound 1 (OAC1), was found to activate both Oct4 and Nanog promoter-driven luciferase reporter genes. Furthermore, when added to the reprogramming mixture along with the quartet reprogramming factors (Oct4, Sox2, c-Myc, and Klf4), OAC1 enhanced the iPSC reprogramming efficiency and accelerated the reprogramming process. Two structural analogs of OAC1 also activated Oct4 and Nanog promoters and enhanced iPSC formation. The iPSC colonies derived using the Oct4-activating compounds along with the quartet factors exhibited typical ESC morphology, gene-expression pattern, and developmental potential. OAC1 seems to enhance reprogramming efficiency in a unique manner, independent of either inhibition of the p53-p21 pathway or activation of the Wnt-β-catenin signaling. OAC1 increases transcription of the Oct4-Nanog-Sox2 triad and Tet1, a gene known to be involved in DNA demethylation. PMID:23213213

  13. Yin Yang 1 is associated with cancer stem cell transcription factors (SOX2, OCT4, BMI1) and clinical implication.

    PubMed

    Kaufhold, Samantha; Garbán, Hermes; Bonavida, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    The transcription factor Yin Yang 1 (YY1) is frequently overexpressed in cancerous tissues compared to normal tissues and has regulatory roles in cell proliferation, cell viability, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, metastasis and drug/immune resistance. YY1 shares many properties with cancer stem cells (CSCs) that drive tumorigenesis, metastasis and drug resistance and are regulated by overexpression of certain transcription factors, including SOX2, OCT4 (POU5F1), BMI1 and NANOG. Based on these similarities, it was expected that YY1 expression would be associated with SOX2, OCT4, BMI1, and NANOG's expressions and activities. Data mining from the proteomic tissue-based datasets from the Human Protein Atlas were used for protein expression patterns of YY1 and the four CSC markers in 17 types of cancer, including both solid and hematological malignancies. A close association was revealed between the frequency of expressions of YY1 and SOX2 as well as SOX2 and OCT4 in all cancers analyzed. Two types of dynamics were identified based on the nature of their association, namely, inverse or direct, between YY1 and SOX2. These two dynamics define distinctive patterns of BMI1 and OCT4 expressions. The relationship between YY1 and SOX2 expressions as well as the expressions of BMI1 and OCT4 resulted in the classification of four groups of cancers with distinct molecular signatures: (1) Prostate, lung, cervical, endometrial, ovarian and glioma cancers (YY1(lo)SOX2(hi)BMI1(hi)OCT4(hi)) (2) Skin, testis and breast cancers (YY1(hi)SOX2(lo)BMI1(hi)OCT4(hi)) (3) Liver, stomach, renal, pancreatic and urothelial cancers (YY1(lo)SOX2(lo)BMI1(hi)OCT4(hi)) and (4) Colorectal cancer, lymphoma and melanoma (YY1(hi)SOX2(hi)BMI1(lo)OCT4(hi)). A regulatory loop is proposed consisting of the cross-talk between the NF-kB/PI3K/AKT pathways and the downstream inter-regulation of target gene products YY1, OCT4, SOX2 and BMI1. PMID:27225481

  14. Regulation of stem cell pluripotency and differentiation involves a mutual regulatory circuit of the NANOG, OCT4, and SOX2 pluripotency transcription factors with polycomb repressive complexes and stem cell microRNAs.

    PubMed

    Kashyap, Vasundhra; Rezende, Naira C; Scotland, Kymora B; Shaffer, Sebastian M; Persson, Jenny Liao; Gudas, Lorraine J; Mongan, Nigel P

    2009-09-01

    Coordinated transcription factor networks have emerged as the master regulatory mechanisms of stem cell pluripotency and differentiation. Many stem cell-specific transcription factors, including the pluripotency transcription factors, OCT4, NANOG, and SOX2 function in combinatorial complexes to regulate the expression of loci, which are involved in embryonic stem (ES) cell pluripotency and cellular differentiation. This review will address how these pathways form a reciprocal regulatory circuit whereby the equilibrium between stem cell self-renewal, proliferation, and differentiation is in perpetual balance. We will discuss how distinct epigenetic repressive pathways involving polycomb complexes, DNA methylation, and microRNAs cooperate to reduce transcriptional noise and to prevent stochastic and aberrant induction of differentiation. We will provide a brief overview of how these networks cooperate to modulate differentiation along hematopoietic and neuronal lineages. Finally, we will describe how aberrant functioning of components of the stem cell regulatory network may contribute to malignant transformation of adult stem cells and the establishment of a "cancer stem cell" phenotype and thereby underlie multiple types of human malignancies.

  15. Conserved long noncoding RNAs transcriptionally regulated by Oct4 and Nanog modulate pluripotency in mouse embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Sheik Mohamed, Jameelah; Gaughwin, Philip Michael; Lim, Bing; Robson, Paul; Lipovich, Leonard

    2010-02-01

    The genetic networks controlling stem cell identity are the focus of intense interest, due to their obvious therapeutic potential as well as exceptional relevance to models of early development. Genome-wide mapping of transcriptional networks in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) reveals that many endogenous noncoding RNA molecules, including long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), may play a role in controlling the pluripotent state. We performed a genome-wide screen that combined full-length mESC transcriptome genomic mapping data with chromatin immunoprecipitation genomic location maps of the key mESC transcription factors Oct4 and Nanog. We henceforth identified four mESC-expressed, conserved lncRNA-encoding genes residing proximally to active genomic binding sites of Oct4 and Nanog. Accordingly, these four genes have potential roles in pluripotency. We show that two of these lncRNAs, AK028326 (Oct4-activated) and AK141205 (Nanog-repressed), are direct targets of Oct4 and Nanog. Most importantly, we demonstrate that these lncRNAs are not merely controlled by mESC transcription factors, but that they themselves regulate developmental state: knockdown and overexpression of these transcripts lead to robust changes in Oct4 and Nanog mRNA levels, in addition to alterations in cellular lineage-specific gene expression and in the pluripotency of mESCs. We further characterize AK028326 as a co-activator of Oct4 in a regulatory feedback loop. These results for the first time implicate lncRNAs in the modulation of mESC pluripotency and expand the established mESC regulatory network model to include functional lncRNAs directly controlled by key mESC transcription factors.

  16. The Oct4 protein: more than a magic stemness marker

    PubMed Central

    Zeineddine, Dana; Hammoud, Aya Abou; Mortada, Mohamad; Boeuf, Hélène

    2014-01-01

    The Oct4 protein, encoded by the Pou5f1 gene was the very first master gene, discovered 25 years ago, to be absolutely required for the stemness properties of murine and primate embryonic stem cells. This transcription factor, which has also been shown to be essential for somatic cell reprogrammation, displays various functions depending upon its level of expression and has been quoted as a “rheostat” gene. Oct4 protein is in complexes with many different partners and its activity depends upon fine post-translational modifications. This review aims at revisiting some properties of this protein, which has not yet delivered all its potentialities. PMID:25232507

  17. The Oct4 protein: more than a magic stemness marker.

    PubMed

    Zeineddine, Dana; Hammoud, Aya Abou; Mortada, Mohamad; Boeuf, Hélène

    2014-01-01

    The Oct4 protein, encoded by the Pou5f1 gene was the very first master gene, discovered 25 years ago, to be absolutely required for the stemness properties of murine and primate embryonic stem cells. This transcription factor, which has also been shown to be essential for somatic cell reprogrammation, displays various functions depending upon its level of expression and has been quoted as a "rheostat" gene. Oct4 protein is in complexes with many different partners and its activity depends upon fine post-translational modifications. This review aims at revisiting some properties of this protein, which has not yet delivered all its potentialities. PMID:25232507

  18. Spatiotemporal dynamics of OCT4 protein localization during preimplantation development in mice

    PubMed Central

    Fukuda, Atsushi; Mitani, Atsushi; Miyashita, Toshiyuki; Kobayashi, Hisato; Umezawa, Akihiro

    2016-01-01

    Spatiotemporal expression of transcription factors is crucial for genomic reprogramming. Pou5f1 (Oct4) is an essential transcription factor for reprogramming. A recent study reported that OCT4A, which is crucial for establishment and maintenance of pluripotent cells, is expressed in oocytes, but maternal OCT4A is dispensable for totipotency induction. Whereas another study reported that OCT4B, which is not related to pluripotency, is predominantly expressed instead of OCT4A during early preimplantation phases in mice. To determine the expression states of OCT4 in murine preimplantation embryos, we conducted in-depth expression and functional analyses. We found that pluripotency-related OCT4 mainly localizes to the cytoplasm in early preimplantation phases, with no major nuclear localization until the 8–16-cell stage despite high expression in both oocytes and early embryos. RNA-sequencing analysis using oocytes and early preimplantation embryos could not identify the splice variants creating alternative forms of OCT4 protein. Forced expression of OCT4 in zygotes by the injection of polyadenylated mRNA clearly showed nuclear localization of OCT4 protein around 3–5-fold greater than physiological levels and impaired developmental competency in a dose-dependent manner. Embryos with modest overexpression of OCT4 could develop to the 16-cell stage; however, more than 50% of the embryos were arrested at this stage, similar to the results for OCT4 depletion. In contrast, extensive overexpression of OCT4 resulted in complete arrest at the 2-cell stage accompanied by downregulation of zygotically activated genes and repetitive elements related to the totipotent state. These results demonstrated that OCT4 protein localization was spatiotemporally altered during preimplantation development, and strict control of Oct4 protein levels was essential for proper totipotential reprogramming. PMID:27495230

  19. Stem cell pluripotency and transcription factor Oct4.

    PubMed

    Pan, Guang Jin; Chang, Zeng Yi; Schöler, Hans R; Pei, Duanqing

    2002-12-01

    Mammalian cell totipotency is a subject that has fascinated scientists for generations. A long lasting question whether some of the somatic cells retains totipotency was answered by the cloning of Dolly at the end of the 20th century. The dawn of the 21st has brought forward great expectations in harnessing the power of totipotentcy in medicine. Through stem cell biology, it is possible to generate any parts of the human body by stem cell engineering. Considerable resources will be devoted to harness the untapped potentials of stem cells in the foreseeable future which may transform medicine as we know today. At the molecular level, totipotency has been linked to a singular transcription factor and its expression appears to define whether a cell should be totipotent. Named Oct4, it can activate or repress the expression of various genes. Curiously, very little is known about Oct4 beyond its ability to regulate gene expression. The mechanism by which Oct4 specifies totipotency remains entirely unresolved. In this review, we summarize the structure and function of Oct4 and address issues related to Oct4 function in maintaining totipotency or pluripotency of embryonic stem cells. PMID:12528890

  20. The pluripotency factor Oct4 interacts with Ctcf and also controls X-chromosome pairing and counting.

    PubMed

    Donohoe, Mary E; Silva, Susana S; Pinter, Stefan F; Xu, Na; Lee, Jeannie T

    2009-07-01

    Pluripotency of embryonic stem (ES) cells is controlled by defined transcription factors. During differentiation, mouse ES cells undergo global epigenetic reprogramming, as exemplified by X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) in which one female X chromosome is silenced to achieve gene dosage parity between the sexes. Somatic XCI is regulated by homologous X-chromosome pairing and counting, and by the random choice of future active and inactive X chromosomes. XCI and cell differentiation are tightly coupled, as blocking one process compromises the other and dedifferentiation of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells is accompanied by X chromosome reactivation. Recent evidence suggests coupling of Xist expression to pluripotency factors occurs, but how the two are interconnected remains unknown. Here we show that Oct4 (also known as Pou5f1) lies at the top of the XCI hierarchy, and regulates XCI by triggering X-chromosome pairing and counting. Oct4 directly binds Tsix and Xite, two regulatory noncoding RNA genes of the X-inactivation centre, and also complexes with XCI trans-factors, Ctcf and Yy1 (ref. 17), through protein-protein interactions. Depletion of Oct4 blocks homologous X-chromosome pairing and results in the inactivation of both X chromosomes in female cells. Thus, we have identified the first trans-factor that regulates counting, and ascribed new functions to Oct4 during X-chromosome reprogramming.

  1. Induced overexpression of OCT4A in human embryonic stem cells increases cloning efficiency.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Steven C; Chang, David F; Hong, Chang-Mu; Xia, Ping; Senadheera, Dinithi; Trump, Lisa; Mishra, Suparna; Lutzko, Carolyn

    2014-06-15

    Our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying human embryonic stem cell (hESC) self-renewal and differentiation is incomplete. The level of octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct4), a critical regulator of pluripotency, is precisely controlled in mouse embryonic stem cells. However, studies of human OCT4 are often confounded by the presence of three isoforms and six expressed pseudogenes, which has complicated the interpretation of results. Using an inducible lentiviral overexpression and knockdown system to manipulate OCT4A above or below physiological levels, we specifically examine the functional role of the OCT4A isoform in hESC. (We also designed and generated a comparable series of vectors, which were not functional, for the overexpression and knockdown of OCT4B.) We show that specific knockdown of OCT4A results in hESC differentiation, as indicated by morphology changes, cell surface antigen expression, and upregulation of ectodermal genes. In contrast, inducible overexpression of OCT4A in hESC leads to a transient instability of the hESC phenotype, as indicated by changes in morphology, cell surface antigen expression, and transcriptional profile, that returns to baseline within 5 days. Interestingly, sustained expression of OCT4A past 5 days enhances hESC cloning efficiency, suggesting that higher levels of OCT4A can support self-renewal. Overall, our results indicate that high levels of OCT4A increase hESC cloning efficiency and do not induce differentiation (whereas OCT4B expression cannot be induced in hESC), highlighting the importance of isoform-specific studies in a stable and inducible expression system for human OCT4. Additionally, we demonstrate the utility of an efficient method for conditional gene expression in hESC.

  2. Direct reprogramming of human neural stem cells by OCT4.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jeong Beom; Greber, Boris; Araúzo-Bravo, Marcos J; Meyer, Johann; Park, Kook In; Zaehres, Holm; Schöler, Hans R

    2009-10-01

    Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have been generated from mouse and human somatic cells by ectopic expression of four transcription factors (OCT4 (also called POU5F1), SOX2, c-Myc and KLF4). We previously reported that Oct4 alone is sufficient to reprogram directly adult mouse neural stem cells to iPS cells. Here we report the generation of one-factor human iPS cells from human fetal neural stem cells (one-factor (1F) human NiPS cells) by ectopic expression of OCT4 alone. One-factor human NiPS cells resemble human embryonic stem cells in global gene expression profiles, epigenetic status, as well as pluripotency in vitro and in vivo. These findings demonstrate that the transcription factor OCT4 is sufficient to reprogram human neural stem cells to pluripotency. One-factor iPS cell generation will advance the field further towards understanding reprogramming and generating patient-specific pluripotent stem cells. PMID:19718018

  3. Structural Mechanism behind Distinct Efficiency of Oct4/Sox2 Proteins in Differentially Spaced DNA Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Yesudhas, Dhanusha; Anwar, Muhammad Ayaz; Panneerselvam, Suresh; Durai, Prasannavenkatesh; Shah, Masaud; Choi, Sangdun

    2016-01-01

    The octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct4) and sex-determining region Y (SRY)-box 2 (Sox2) proteins induce various transcriptional regulators to maintain cellular pluripotency. Most Oct4/Sox2 complexes have either 0 base pairs (Oct4/Sox20bp) or 3 base pairs (Oct4/Sox23bp) separation between their DNA-binding sites. Results from previous biochemical studies have shown that the complexes separated by 0 base pairs are associated with a higher pluripotency rate than those separated by 3 base pairs. Here, we performed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and calculations to determine the binding free energy and per-residue free energy for the Oct4/Sox20bp and Oct4/Sox23bp complexes to identify structural differences that contribute to differences in induction rate. Our MD simulation results showed substantial differences in Oct4/Sox2 domain movements, as well as secondary-structure changes in the Oct4 linker region, suggesting a potential reason underlying the distinct efficiencies of these complexes during reprogramming. Moreover, we identified key residues and hydrogen bonds that potentially facilitate protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions, in agreement with previous experimental findings. Consequently, our results confess that differential spacing of the Oct4/Sox2 DNA binding sites can determine the magnitude of transcription of the targeted genes during reprogramming. PMID:26790000

  4. Oct4 Is a Key Regulator of Vertebrate Trunk Length Diversity.

    PubMed

    Aires, Rita; Jurberg, Arnon D; Leal, Francisca; Nóvoa, Ana; Cohn, Martin J; Mallo, Moisés

    2016-08-01

    Vertebrates exhibit a remarkably broad variation in trunk and tail lengths. However, the evolutionary and developmental origins of this diversity remain largely unknown. Posterior Hox genes were proposed to be major players in trunk length diversification in vertebrates, but functional studies have so far failed to support this view. Here we identify the pluripotency factor Oct4 as a key regulator of trunk length in vertebrate embryos. Maintaining high Oct4 levels in axial progenitors throughout development was sufficient to extend trunk length in mouse embryos. Oct4 also shifted posterior Hox gene-expression boundaries in the extended trunks, thus providing a link between activation of these genes and the transition to tail development. Furthermore, we show that the exceptionally long trunks of snakes are likely to result from heterochronic changes in Oct4 activity during body axis extension, which may have derived from differential genomic rearrangements at the Oct4 locus during vertebrate evolution. PMID:27453501

  5. BAY11 enhances OCT4 synthetic mRNA expression in adult human skin cells

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction The OCT4 transcription factor is involved in many cellular processes, including development, reprogramming, maintaining pluripotency and differentiation. Synthetic OCT4 mRNA was recently used (in conjunction with other reprogramming factors) to generate human induced pluripotent stem cells. Here, we discovered that BAY 11-7082 (BAY11), at least partially through an NF-κB-inhibition based mechanism, could significantly increase the expression of OCT4 following transfection of synthetic mRNA (synRNA) into adult human skin cells. Methods We tested various chemical and molecular small molecules on their ability to suppress the innate immune response seen upon synthetic mRNA transfection. Three molecules - B18R, BX795, and BAY11 - were used in immunocytochemical and proliferation-based assays. We also utilized global transcriptional meta-analysis coupled with quantitative PCR to identify relative gene expression downstream of OCT4. Results We found that human skin cells cultured in the presence of BAY11 resulted in reproducible increased expression of OCT4 that did not inhibit normal cell proliferation. The increased levels of OCT4 resulted in significantly increased expression of genes downstream of OCT4, including the previously identified SPP1, DUSP4 and GADD45G, suggesting the expressed OCT4 was functional. We also discovered a novel OCT4 putative downstream target gene SLC16A9 which demonstrated significantly increased expression following elevation of OCT4 levels. Conclusions For the first time we have shown that small molecule-based stabilization of synthetic mRNA expression can be achieved with use of BAY11. This small molecule-based inhibition of innate immune responses and subsequent robust expression of transfected synthetic mRNAs may have multiple applications for future cell-based research and therapeutics. PMID:23388106

  6. Sox2/Oct4: A delicately balanced partnership in pluripotent stem cells and embryogenesis.

    PubMed

    Rizzino, Angie; Wuebben, Erin L

    2016-06-01

    Considerable progress has been made in understanding the roles of Sox2 and Oct4 in embryonic stem cells and mammalian embryogenesis. Specifically, significant progress has been made in answering three questions about the functions of Sox2 and Oct4, which are the focus of this review. 1) Are the first or second cell lineage decisions during embryogenesis controlled by Oct4 and/or Sox2? 2) Do the levels of Oct4 and Sox2 need to be maintained within narrow limits to promote normal development and to sustain the self-renewal of pluripotent stem cells? 3) Do Oct4 and Sox2 work closely together or is the primary role of Sox2 in pluripotent cells to ensure the expression of Oct4? Although significant progress has been made in answering these questions, additional studies are needed to resolve several important remaining issues. Nonetheless, the preponderance of the evidence suggests there is considerable crosstalk between Sox2 and Oct4, and further suggests Sox2 and Oct4 function as molecular rheostats and utilize negative feedback loops to carefully balance their expression and other critical genes during embryogenesis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Oct transcription factor family, edited by Dr. Dean Tantin. PMID:26992828

  7. Overexpression of OCT4A ortholog elevates endogenous XIST in porcine parthenogenic blastocysts

    PubMed Central

    HWANG, Jae Yeon; CHOI, Kwang-Hwan; LEE, Dong-Kyung; KIM, Seung-Hun; KIM, Eun Bae; HYUN, Sang-Hwan; LEE, Chang-Kyu

    2015-01-01

    X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) is an epigenetic process that equalizes expression of X-borne genes between male and female eutherians. This process is observed in early eutherian embryo development in a species-specific manner. Until recently, various pluripotent factors have been suggested to regulate the process of XCI by repressing XIST expression, which is the master inducer for XCI. Recent insights into the process and its regulation have been restricted in mouse species despite the evolutionary diversity of the process and molecular mechanism among the species. OCT4A is one of the represented pluripotent factors, the gate-keeper for maintaining pluripotency, and an XIST repressor. Therefore, in here, we examined the relation between OCT4A and X-linked genes in porcine preimplantation embryos. Three X-linked genes, XIST, LOC102165544, and RLIM, were selected in present study because their orthologues have been known to regulate XCI in mice. Expression levels of OCT4A were positively correlated with XIST and LOC102165544 in female blastocysts. Furthermore, overexpression of exogenous human OCT4A in cleaved parthenotes generated blastocysts with increased XIST expression levels. However, increased XIST expression was not observed when exogenous OCT4A was obtained from early blastocysts. These results suggest the possibility that OCT4A would be directly or indirectly involved in XIST expression in earlier stage porcine embryos rather than blastocysts. PMID:26255835

  8. Sphere formation permits Oct4 reprogramming of ciliary body epithelial cells into induced pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Ni, Aiguo; Wu, Ming Jing; Chavala, Sai H

    2014-12-15

    Somatic cells can be reprogrammed to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells by defined sets of transcription factors. We previously described reprogramming of monolayer-cultured adult mouse ciliary body epithelial (CE) cells by Oct4 and Klf4, but not with Oct4 alone. In this study, we report that Oct4 alone is sufficient to reprogram CE cells to iPS cells through sphere formation. Furthermore, we demonstrate that sphere formation induces a partial reprogramming state characterized by expression of retinal progenitor markers, upregulation of reprogramming transcription factors, such as Sall4 and Nanog, demethylation in the promoter regions of pluripotency associated genes, and mesenchymal to epithelial transition. The Oct4-iPS cells maintained normal karyotypes, expressed markers for pluripotent stem cells, and were capable of differentiating into derivatives of all three embryonic germ layers in vivo and in vitro. These findings suggest that sphere formation may render somatic cells more susceptible to reprogramming.

  9. Dynamic methylation and expression of Oct4 in early neural stem cells.

    PubMed

    Lee, Shih-Han; Jeyapalan, Jennie N; Appleby, Vanessa; Mohamed Noor, Dzul Azri; Sottile, Virginie; Scotting, Paul J

    2010-09-01

    Neural stem cells are a multipotent population of tissue-specific stem cells with a broad but limited differentiation potential. However, recent studies have shown that over-expression of the pluripotency gene, Oct4, alone is sufficient to initiate a process by which these can form 'induced pluripotent stem cells' (iPS cells) with the same broad potential as embryonic stem cells. This led us to examine the expression of Oct4 in endogenous neural stem cells, as data regarding its expression in neural stem cells in vivo are contradictory and incomplete. In this study we have therefore analysed the expression of Oct4 and other genes associated with pluripotency throughout development of the mouse CNS and in neural stem cells grown in vitro. We find that Oct4 is still expressed in the CNS by E8.5, but that this expression declines rapidly until it is undetectable by E15.5. This decline is coincident with the gradual methylation of the Oct4 promoter and proximal enhancer. Immunostaining suggests that the Oct4 protein is predominantly cytoplasmic in location. We also found that neural stem cells from all ages expressed the pluripotency associated genes, Sox2, c-Myc, Klf4 and Nanog. These data provide an explanation for the varying behaviour of cells from the early neuroepithelium at different stages of development. The expression of these genes also provides an indication of why Oct4 alone is sufficient to induce iPS formation in neural stem cells at later stages. PMID:20646110

  10. TGF-βI Regulates Cell Migration through Pluripotent Transcription Factor OCT4 in Endometriosis

    PubMed Central

    Au, Heng-Kien; Chang, Jui-Hung; Wu, Yu-Chih; Kuo, Yung-Che; Chen, Yu-Hsi; Lee, Wei-Chin; Chang, Te-Sheng; Lan, Pei-Chi; Kuo, Hung-Chih; Lee, Kha-Liang; Lee, Mei-Tsu; Tzeng, Chii-Ruey; Huang, Yen-Hua

    2015-01-01

    Transforming growth factor (TGF-β)/TGF-β receptor signal is known to promote cell migration. Up-regulation of TGF-β in serum/peritoneal fluid and increased levels of pluripotent transcription factor OCT4 in endometriotic tissues are frequently observed in patients with endometriosis. However, the mechanisms underlying how TGF-β/TGF-β receptor and OCT4 affect endometriotic cell migration still remain largely unknown. Therefore, endometriotic tissue with high cell migratory capacity were collected from patients with adenomyotic myometrium (n = 23) and chocolate cyst (n = 24); and endometrial tissue with low cell migratory capacity in normal endometrium or hyperplastic endometrium (n = 8) were collected as the controls. We found the mRNA levels of TGF-β receptor I (TGF-β RI) and OCT4 were significantly higher in the high-migratory ectopic endometriotic tissues than those of the low-migratory normal or hyperplastic endometrium. Positive correlations between TGF-β RI and OCT4, and either TGF-β RI or OCT4 with migration-related genes (SNAIL, SLUG and TWIST) regarding the mRNA levels were observed in human endometriotic tissues. TGF-βI dose-dependently increased the gene and protein levels of OCT4, SNAIL and N-Cadherin (N-CAD) and silencing of endogenous OCT4 significantly suppressed the TGF-βI-induced expressions of N-CAD and SNAIL in primary human endometriotic stromal cells and human endometrial carcinoma cell lines RL95-2 and HEC1A. Furthermore, TGF-βI significantly increased the migration ability of endometriotic cells and silencing of OCT4 dramatically suppressed the TGF-βI-induced cell migration activity evidenced by wound-closure assay, transwell assay, and confocal image of F-actin cellular distribution. In conclusion, the present findings demonstrate that the niche TGF-β plays a critical role in initiating expressions of pluripotent transcription factor OCT4 which may contribute to the ectopic endometrial growth by stimulating endometrial cell

  11. Akt-mediated phosphorylation of Oct4 is associated with the proliferation of stem-like cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    ZHAO, QING-WEI; ZHOU, YAN-WEN; LI, WEN-XIN; KANG, BO; ZHANG, XIAO-QIAN; YANG, YING; CHENG, JIE; YIN, SHENG-YONG; TONG, YING; HE, JIAN-QIN; YAO, HANG-PING; ZHENG, MIN; WANG, YING-JIE

    2015-01-01

    Oct4 protein encoded by POU5F1 plays a pivotal role in maintaining the self-renewal of pluripotent stem cells; however, its presence in cancer cells remains controversial. In the present study, we provided evidence that the transcripts of authentic OCT4 gene (OCT4A) and its multiple pseudogenes were detected in a variety of cancer cell lines. A few major bands were also detected by western blotting using an anti-Oct4A monoclonal antibody. Moreover, an anti-Oct4-pT235 antibody was used to identify a band in the majority of the tested cancer cell lines that coincided with one of the anti-Oct4A bands which was decreasable by a specific shRNA. The Oct4-pT235 signals were also detected in human glioblastoma and liver cancer specimens by immunofluorescence microscopy and immunohistochemistry. U87 glioblastoma cells were cultured in a neural stem cell medium to induce the formation of neurospheres rich in stem-like cancer cells. The levels of Oct4-pT235 in the sphere cells were markedly increased compared to their monolayer parental cells, a result that was accompanied by upregulation of the PI3K-Akt pathway. Akti-1/2, a specific inhibitor of Akt, effectively reduced the level of Oct4-pT235 and attenuated the proliferation of U87 sphere cells. ITE, an agonist of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, also significantly attenuated the Akt-mediated phosphorylation of Oct4 in glioblastoma and liver cancer cells, and reduced their tumorigenic potential in a xenograft tumor model. Taken together, we concluded that the Akt-mediated phosphorylation of Oct4A or its homolog protein was associated with the proliferation of stem-like cancer cells that may serve as a novel biomarker and drug target for certain types of cancer. PMID:25625591

  12. Aurkb/PP1-mediated resetting of Oct4 during the cell cycle determines the identity of embryonic stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Jihoon; Kim, Tae Wan; Kim, Hyunsoo; Kim, Hye Ji; Suh, Min Young; Lee, Sangho; Lee, Han-Teo; Kwak, Sojung; Lee, Sang-Eun; Lee, Jong-Hyuk; Jang, Hyonchol; Cho, Eun-Jung; Youn, Hong-Duk

    2016-01-01

    Pluripotency transcription programs by core transcription factors (CTFs) might be reset during M/G1 transition to maintain the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). However, little is known about how CTFs are governed during cell cycle progression. Here, we demonstrate that the regulation of Oct4 by Aurora kinase b (Aurkb)/protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) during the cell cycle is important for resetting Oct4 to pluripotency and cell cycle genes in determining the identity of ESCs. Aurkb phosphorylates Oct4(S229) during G2/M phase, leading to the dissociation of Oct4 from chromatin, whereas PP1 binds Oct4 and dephosphorylates Oct4(S229) during M/G1 transition, which resets Oct4-driven transcription for pluripotency and the cell cycle. Aurkb phosphor-mimetic and PP1 binding-deficient mutations in Oct4 alter the cell cycle, effect the loss of pluripotency in ESCs, and decrease the efficiency of somatic cell reprogramming. Our findings provide evidence that the cell cycle is linked directly to pluripotency programs in ESCs. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10877.001 PMID:26880562

  13. Differential Nucleosome Occupancies across Oct4-Sox2 Binding Sites in Murine Embryonic Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Sebeson, Amy; Xi, Liqun; Zhang, Quanwei; Sigmund, Audrey; Wang, Ji-Ping; Widom, Jonathan; Wang, Xiaozhong

    2015-01-01

    The binding sequence for any transcription factor can be found millions of times within a genome, yet only a small fraction of these sequences encode functional transcription factor binding sites. One of the reasons for this dichotomy is that many other factors, such as nucleosomes, compete for binding. To study how the competition between nucleosomes and transcription factors helps determine a functional transcription factor site from a predicted transcription factor site, we compared experimentally-generated in vitro nucleosome occupancy with in vivo nucleosome occupancy and transcription factor binding in murine embryonic stem cells. Using a solution hybridization enrichment technique, we generated a high-resolution nucleosome map from targeted regions of the genome containing predicted sites and functional sites of Oct4/Sox2 regulation. We found that at Pax6 and Nes, which are bivalently poised in stem cells, functional Oct4 and Sox2 sites show high amounts of in vivo nucleosome displacement compared to in vitro. Oct4 and Sox2, which are active, show no significant displacement of in vivo nucleosomes at functional sites, similar to nonfunctional Oct4/Sox2 binding. This study highlights a complex interplay between Oct4 and Sox2 transcription factors and nucleosomes among different target genes, which may result in distinct patterns of stem cell gene regulation.

  14. A DNA Repair Complex Functions as an Oct4/Sox2 Coactivator in Embryonic Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Fong, Yick W.; Inouye, Carla; Yamaguchi, Teppei; Cattoglio, Claudia; Grubisic, Ivan; Tjian, Robert

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY The transcriptional activators Oct4, Sox2 and Nanog cooperate with a wide array of cofactors to orchestrate an embryonic stem (ES) cell-specific gene expression program that forms the molecular basis of pluripotency. Here we report using an unbiased in vitro transcription-biochemical complementation assay to discover a multi-subunit stem cell coactivator complex (SCC) that is selectively required for the synergistic activation of the Nanog gene by Oct4 and Sox2. Purification, identification and reconstitution of SCC revealed this coactivator to be the trimeric XPC-nucleotide excision repair complex. SCC interacts directly with Oct4 and Sox2 and is recruited to the Nanog and Oct4 promoters as well as a majority of genomic regions that are occupied by Oct4 and Sox2. Depletion of SCC/XPC compromised both pluripotency in ES cells and somatic cell reprogramming of fibroblasts to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. This study identifies a transcriptional coactivator with diversified functions in maintaining ES cell pluripotency and safeguarding genome integrity. PMID:21962512

  15. Of Mice and Snakes: A Tail of Oct4.

    PubMed

    Shylo, Natalia A; Weatherbee, Scott D

    2016-08-01

    The vertebrate axial skeleton comprises regions of specialized vertebrae, which vary in length between lineages. Aires et al. (2016) uncover a key role for Oct4 in determining trunk length in mice. Additionally, a heterochronic shift in Oct4 expression may underlie the extreme elongation of the trunk in snakes. PMID:27505413

  16. Enhanced OCT4 transcriptional activity substitutes for exogenous SOX2 in cellular reprogramming

    PubMed Central

    Marthaler, Adele G.; Adachi, Kenjiro; Tiemann, Ulf; Wu, Guangming; Sabour, Davood; Velychko, Sergiy; Kleiter, Ingo; Schöler, Hans R.; Tapia, Natalia

    2016-01-01

    Adenoviral early region 1A (E1A) is a viral gene that can promote cellular proliferation and de-differentiation in mammalian cells, features required for the reprogramming of somatic cells to a pluripotent state. E1A has been shown to interact with OCT4, and as a consequence, to increase OCT4 transcriptional activity. Indeed, E1A and OCT4 are sufficient to revert neuroepithelial hybrids to pluripotency, as demonstrated in previous cell fusion experiments. However, the role that E1A might play in the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has not been investigated yet. In this report, we show that E1A can generate iPSCs in combination with OCT4 and KLF4, thus replacing exogenous SOX2. The generated iPSCs are bona fide pluripotent cells as shown by in vitro and in vivo tests. Overall, our study suggests that E1A might replace SOX2 through enhancing OCT4 transcriptional activity at the early stages of reprogramming. PMID:26762895

  17. An Oct4-Centered Protein Interaction Network in Embryonic Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    van den Berg, Debbie L.C.; Snoek, Tim; Mullin, Nick P.; Yates, Adam; Bezstarosti, Karel; Demmers, Jeroen; Chambers, Ian; Poot, Raymond A.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Transcription factors, such as Oct4, are critical for establishing and maintaining pluripotent cell identity. Whereas the genomic locations of several pluripotency transcription factors have been reported, the spectrum of their interaction partners is underexplored. Here, we use an improved affinity protocol to purify Oct4-interacting proteins from mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Subsequent purification of Oct4 partners Sall4, Tcfcp2l1, Dax1, and Esrrb resulted in an Oct4 interactome of 166 proteins, including transcription factors and chromatin-modifying complexes with documented roles in self-renewal, but also many factors not previously associated with the ESC network. We find that Esrrb associated with the basal transcription machinery and also detect interactions between transcription factors and components of the TGF-β, Notch, and Wnt signaling pathways. Acute depletion of Oct4 reduced binding of Tcfcp2l1, Dax1, and Esrrb to several target genes. In conclusion, our purification protocol allowed us to bring greater definition to the circuitry controlling pluripotent cell identity. PMID:20362541

  18. Establishment of oct4:gfp transgenic zebrafish line for monitoring cellular multipotency by GFP fluorescence.

    PubMed

    Kato, Hiroyuki; Abe, Kota; Yokota, Shinpei; Matsuno, Rinta; Mikekado, Tsuyoshi; Yokoi, Hayato; Suzuki, Tohru

    2015-01-01

    The establishment of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology in fish could facilitate the establishment of novel cryopreservation techniques for storing selected aquaculture strains as frozen cells. In order to apply iPS cell technology to fish, we established a transgenic zebrafish line, Tg(Tru.oct4:EGFP), using green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression under the control of the oct4 gene promoter as a marker to evaluate multipotency in iPS cell preparations. We used the oct4 promoter from fugu (Takifugu rubripes) due to the compact nature of the fugu genome and to facilitate future applications of this technology in marine fishes. During embryogenesis, maternal GFP fluorescence was observed at the cleavage stage and zygotic GFP expression was observed from the start of the shield stage until approximately 24 h after fertilization. gfp messenger RNA (mRNA) was expressed by whole embryonic cells at the shield stage, and then restricted to the caudal neural tube in the latter stages of embryogenesis. These observations showed that GFP fluorescence and the regulation of gfp mRNA expression by the exogenous fugu oct4 promoter are well suited for monitoring endogenous oct4 mRNA expression in embryos. Bisulfite sequencing revealed that the rate of CpG methylation in the transgenic oct4 promoter was high in adult cells (98%) and low in embryonic cells (37%). These findings suggest that, as with the endogenous oct4 promoter, demethylation and methylation both take place normally in the transgenic oct4 promoter during embryogenesis. The embryonic cells harvested at the shield stage formed embryonic body-like cellular aggregates and maintained GFP fluorescence for 6 d when cultured on Transwell-COL Permeable Supports or a feeder layer of adult fin cells. Loss of GFP fluorescence by cultured cells was correlated with cellular differentiation. We consider that the Tg(Tru.oct4:EGFP) zebrafish line established here is well suited for monitoring multipotency in

  19. Establishment of oct4:gfp transgenic zebrafish line for monitoring cellular multipotency by GFP fluorescence.

    PubMed

    Kato, Hiroyuki; Abe, Kota; Yokota, Shinpei; Matsuno, Rinta; Mikekado, Tsuyoshi; Yokoi, Hayato; Suzuki, Tohru

    2015-01-01

    The establishment of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology in fish could facilitate the establishment of novel cryopreservation techniques for storing selected aquaculture strains as frozen cells. In order to apply iPS cell technology to fish, we established a transgenic zebrafish line, Tg(Tru.oct4:EGFP), using green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression under the control of the oct4 gene promoter as a marker to evaluate multipotency in iPS cell preparations. We used the oct4 promoter from fugu (Takifugu rubripes) due to the compact nature of the fugu genome and to facilitate future applications of this technology in marine fishes. During embryogenesis, maternal GFP fluorescence was observed at the cleavage stage and zygotic GFP expression was observed from the start of the shield stage until approximately 24 h after fertilization. gfp messenger RNA (mRNA) was expressed by whole embryonic cells at the shield stage, and then restricted to the caudal neural tube in the latter stages of embryogenesis. These observations showed that GFP fluorescence and the regulation of gfp mRNA expression by the exogenous fugu oct4 promoter are well suited for monitoring endogenous oct4 mRNA expression in embryos. Bisulfite sequencing revealed that the rate of CpG methylation in the transgenic oct4 promoter was high in adult cells (98%) and low in embryonic cells (37%). These findings suggest that, as with the endogenous oct4 promoter, demethylation and methylation both take place normally in the transgenic oct4 promoter during embryogenesis. The embryonic cells harvested at the shield stage formed embryonic body-like cellular aggregates and maintained GFP fluorescence for 6 d when cultured on Transwell-COL Permeable Supports or a feeder layer of adult fin cells. Loss of GFP fluorescence by cultured cells was correlated with cellular differentiation. We consider that the Tg(Tru.oct4:EGFP) zebrafish line established here is well suited for monitoring multipotency in

  20. OCT4 pseudogene 5 upregulates OCT4 expression to promote proliferation by competing with miR-145 in endometrial carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Bai, Mingzhu; Yuan, Mu; Liao, Hong; Chen, Jiazhou; Xie, Binying; Yan, Dong; Xi, Xiaowei; Xu, Xianming; Zhang, Zhenbo; Feng, Youji

    2015-04-01

    OCT4 plays a critical role in the maintenance of stem cell pluripotency and proliferation, and is overexpressed in multiple human tumors, including endometrial cancer. OCT4 expression can be modulated by miR-145 and the OCT4 pseudogene 5 (OCT4-pg5), which share similar binding sites in the OCT4 3'-untranslated region. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the interaction between miR-145 and OCT4‑pg5 on OCT4 expression in endometrial cancer. We assessed OCT4-pg5 expression in 14 benign endometrium and 29 endometrial carcinoma samples. Furthermore, miR-145 mimic transfection was performed to explore its effect on OCT4-pg5 and OCT4 expression, and small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown of OCT4 was conducted to determine whether the effect of OCT4-pg5 on cellular growth was OCT4-dependent. We observed that OCT4-pg5 was abnormally activated in the endometrial carcinomas, and that overexpression of OCT4-pg5 contributed to enhanced cell proliferation and OCT4-PI3K/AKT-cyclin D1 signaling. Moreover, the miR-145 mimic depleted OCT4 expression, whereas elevated OCT4-pg5 restored OCT4 expression and OCT4-PI3K/AKT-cyclin D1 signaling. In conclusion, these data indicate that OCT4-pg5 can act as an RNA sponge to protect OCT4 transcripts from being inhibited by miR-145, providing novel insight into the control of OCT4 expression. PMID:25634023

  1. Oct4 is a reliable marker of liver tumor propagating cells in hepatocellular carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Wu, Guang; Wilson, George; Zhou, Gang; Hebbard, Lionel; George, Jacob; Qiao, Liang

    2015-10-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the 6th most common cancer worldwide and the 2nd most common cause of cancer related mortality. The poor prognosis is largely due to the difficulty in early diagnoses and eradication of stem-like cells within HCC, which are termed liver tumor propagating cells (LTPCs). These LTPCs are involved in all stages of tumorigenesis including tumor initiation, progression, and treatment failure. The greatest challenge in understanding these LTPCs is finding effective ways in isolating and characterizing these cells with current methods showing large inter-tumor variability in isolating these cells. Oct4 is a stem cell gene associated with LTPCs and has been shown to be involved in regulating a range of functions in HCC cells associated with LTPC features. In this study we determined the efficacy and reliability in utilizing Oct4 to isolate and characterize LTPCs. We have shown that Oct4 is ubiquitously expressed in all HCC tumors tested whereas other traditional LTPC markers had high intratumor variability in their expression. We then utilized a human Oct4 promoter driving an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) reporter which showed that Oct4+ cells had all the classic features of LTPCs including increased sphere formation in vitro, tumor forming potential in immunocompromised mice, expression of stemness associated genes, and resistance to Sorafenib which is the major drug used to treat advanced HCC. Based on our findings we have identified Oct4 as a reliable marker of LTPCs and discovered a novel way to isolate and characterize LTPCs. PMID:26562475

  2. A cohesin-OCT4 complex mediates Sox enhancers to prime an early embryonic lineage.

    PubMed

    Abboud, Nesrine; Moore-Morris, Thomas; Hiriart, Emilye; Yang, Henry; Bezerra, Hudson; Gualazzi, Maria-Giovanna; Stefanovic, Sonia; Guénantin, Anne-Claire; Evans, Sylvia M; Pucéat, Michel

    2015-04-08

    Short- and long-scales intra- and inter-chromosomal interactions are linked to gene transcription, but the molecular events underlying these structures and how they affect cell fate decision during embryonic development are poorly understood. One of the first embryonic cell fate decisions (that is, mesendoderm determination) is driven by the POU factor OCT4, acting in concert with the high-mobility group genes Sox-2 and Sox-17. Here we report a chromatin-remodelling mechanism and enhancer function that mediate cell fate switching. OCT4 alters the higher-order chromatin structure at both Sox-2 and Sox-17 loci. OCT4 titrates out cohesin and switches the Sox-17 enhancer from a locked (within an inter-chromosomal Sox-2 enhancer/CCCTC-binding factor CTCF/cohesin loop) to an active (within an intra-chromosomal Sox-17 promoter/enhancer/cohesin loop) state. SALL4 concomitantly mobilizes the polycomb complexes at the Soxs loci. Thus, OCT4/SALL4-driven cohesin- and polycombs-mediated changes in higher-order chromatin structure mediate instruction of early cell fate in embryonic cells.

  3. The Oct4 homologue PouV and Nanog regulate pluripotency in chicken embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Lavial, Fabrice; Acloque, Hervé; Bertocchini, Federica; Macleod, David J; Boast, Sharon; Bachelard, Elodie; Montillet, Guillaume; Thenot, Sandrine; Sang, Helen M; Stern, Claudio D; Samarut, Jacques; Pain, Bertrand

    2007-10-01

    Embryonic stem cells (ESC) have been isolated from pregastrulation mammalian embryos. The maintenance of their pluripotency and ability to self-renew has been shown to be governed by the transcription factors Oct4 (Pou5f1) and Nanog. Oct4 appears to control cell-fate decisions of ESC in vitro and the choice between embryonic and trophectoderm cell fates in vivo. In non-mammalian vertebrates, the existence and functions of these factors are still under debate, although the identification of the zebrafish pou2 (spg; pou5f1) and Xenopus Pou91 (XlPou91) genes, which have important roles in maintaining uncommitted putative stem cell populations during early development, has suggested that these factors have common functions in all vertebrates. Using chicken ESC (cESC), which display similar properties of pluripotency and long-term self-renewal to mammalian ESC, we demonstrated the existence of an avian homologue of Oct4 that we call chicken PouV (cPouV). We established that cPouV and the chicken Nanog gene are required for the maintenance of pluripotency and self-renewal of cESC. These findings show that the mechanisms by which Oct4 and Nanog regulate pluripotency and self-renewal are not exclusive to mammals.

  4. [Two vital transcriptional factors Oct-4 and Nanog to keep the pluripotency and self-renewal of stem cells and related regulation network].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yi-Ye; Zeng, Fan-Yi

    2008-05-01

    Oct-4 and Nanog are two critical transcriptional factors to keep pluripotency and self-renewal of stem cells in vivo and in vitro, and they usually express only in pluripotent cells and not in differentiated cells. They bind to the regulatory regions of targeted gene and often interact with other transcriptional factors and extracellular signal path components, such as Sox-2, FoxD3, LIF and BMP in specific tissues or developmental stages. So that all of these constitute a transcriptional crosstalk, and finally determine the cells destiny: keeping pluripotency or turning to differentiation. PMID:18487140

  5. Constitutive expression of the embryonic stem cell marker OCT4 in bovine somatic donor cells influences blastocysts rate and quality after nucleus transfer.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Alvarez, Lleretny; Manriquez, Jose; Velasquez, Alejandra; Castro, Fidel Ovidio

    2013-10-01

    Nuclear transfer (NT) is associated with epigenetic reprogramming of donor cells. Expression of certain genes in these cells might facilitate their expression in the NT embryo. This research was aimed to investigate the effect of constitutive expression of OCT4 in bovine somatic cells used for NT on the developmental potential of derived cloned embryos as well as in the expression of pluripotency markers in the Day-7 resulting embryos. Cloned blastocysts were generated from five cell lines that expressed OCT4. Pools of blastocysts were screened to detect OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG by qPCR. In vitro-fertilized time-matched blastocysts were used as controls. The development potential was assessed on the basis of blastocysts rate; grading and total cell counts at Day 7. OCT4 expression in the cell lines positively correlates with blastocysts rate (r = 0.92; p = 0.02), number of grade I blastocysts (r = 0.96; p = 0.01), and total cell number (r = 0.98; p = 0.002). The high expression of OCT4 in the cell line did not improve the final outcome of cloning. Somatic expression of OCT4 lead to increased expression of OCT4 and SOX2 in cloned grade I blastocysts; however, there was a bigger variability in OCT4 and SOX2 (p = 0.03; p = 0.02) expression in the embryos generated from cells expressing highest levels of OCT4. Probably the higher variability in OCT4 expression in cloned embryos is due to incorrect reprogramming and incapability of the oocyte to correct for higher OCT4 levels. For that reason, we concluded that OCT4 expression in somatic cells is not a good prognosis marker for selecting cell lines. PMID:23846396

  6. Conserved roles for Oct4 homologues in maintaining multipotency during early vertebrate development.

    PubMed

    Morrison, Gillian M; Brickman, Joshua M

    2006-05-01

    All vertebrate embryos have multipotent cells until gastrulation but, to date, derivation of embryonic stem (ES) cell lines has been achieved only for mouse and primates. ES cells are derived from mammalian inner cell mass (ICM) tissue that express the Class V POU domain (PouV) protein Oct4. Loss of Oct4 in mice results in a failure to maintain ICM and consequently an inability to derive ES cells. Here, we show that Oct4 homologues also function in early amphibian development where they act as suppressors of commitment during germ layer specification. Antisense morpholino mediated PouV knockdown in Xenopus embryos resulted in severe posterior truncations and anterior neural defects. Gastrulation stage embryos showed reduced expression of genes associated with uncommitted marginal zone cells, while the expression of markers associated with more mature cell states was expanded. Importantly, we have tested PouV proteins from a number of vertebrate species for the ability to substitute Oct4 in mouse ES cells. PouV domain proteins from both Xenopus and axolotl could support murine ES cell self-renewal but the only identified zebrafish protein in this family could not. Moreover, we found that PouV proteins regulated similar genes in ES cells and Xenopus embryos, and that PouV proteins capable of supporting ES cell self-renewal could also rescue the Xenopus PouV knockdown phenotype. We conclude that the unique ability of Oct4 to maintain ES cell pluripotency is derived from an ancestral function of this class of proteins to maintain multipotency. PMID:16651543

  7. Glutamine Metabolism Regulates the Pluripotency Transcription Factor OCT4

    PubMed Central

    Marsboom, Glenn; Zhang, Guo-Fang; Pohl-Avila, Nicole; Zhang, Yanmin; Yuan, Yang; Kang, Hojin; Hao, Bo; Brunengraber, Henri; Malik, Asrar B.; Rehman, Jalees

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY The molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of pluripotency by cellular metabolism in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are not fully understood. We found that high levels of glutamine metabolism are essential to prevent degradation of OCT4, a key transcription factor regulating hESC pluripotency. Glutamine withdrawal depletes the endogenous anti-oxidant glutathione, which results in the oxidation of OCT4 cysteine residues required for its DNA binding and enhanced OCT4 degradation. The emergence of the OCT4lo cell population following glutamine withdrawal did not result in greater propensity for cell death. Instead, glutamine withdrawal during vascular differentiation of hESCs generated cells with greater angiogenic capacity, thus indicating that modulating glutamine metabolism enhances the differentiation and functional maturation of cells. These findings demonstrate that the pluripotency transcription factor OCT4 can serve as a metabolic-redox sensor in hESCs and that metabolic cues can act in concert with growth factor signaling to orchestrate stem cell differentiation. PMID:27346346

  8. Evolution of the mammalian embryonic pluripotency gene regulatory network.

    PubMed

    Fernandez-Tresguerres, Beatriz; Cañon, Susana; Rayon, Teresa; Pernaute, Barbara; Crespo, Miguel; Torroja, Carlos; Manzanares, Miguel

    2010-11-16

    Embryonic pluripotency in the mouse is established and maintained by a gene-regulatory network under the control of a core set of transcription factors that include octamer-binding protein 4 (Oct4; official name POU domain, class 5, transcription factor 1, Pou5f1), sex-determining region Y (SRY)-box containing gene 2 (Sox2), and homeobox protein Nanog. Although this network is largely conserved in eutherian mammals, very little information is available regarding its evolutionary conservation in other vertebrates. We have compared the embryonic pluripotency networks in mouse and chick by means of expression analysis in the pregastrulation chicken embryo, genomic comparisons, and functional assays of pluripotency-related regulatory elements in ES cells and blastocysts. We find that multiple components of the network are either novel to mammals or have acquired novel expression domains in early developmental stages of the mouse. We also find that the downstream action of the mouse core pluripotency factors is mediated largely by genomic sequence elements nonconserved with chick. In the case of Sox2 and Fgf4, we find that elements driving expression in embryonic pluripotent cells have evolved by a small number of nucleotide changes that create novel binding sites for core factors. Our results show that the network in charge of embryonic pluripotency is an evolutionary novelty of mammals that is related to the comparatively extended period during which mammalian embryonic cells need to be maintained in an undetermined state before engaging in early differentiation events.

  9. An Oct4-pRb axis, controlled by MiR-335, integrates stem cell self-renewal and cell cycle control.

    PubMed

    Schoeftner, Stefan; Scarola, Michele; Comisso, Elisa; Schneider, Claudio; Benetti, Roberta

    2013-04-01

    The pluripotency of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) is controlled by a network of transcription factors, mi-RNAs, and signaling pathways. Here, we present a new regulatory circuit that connects miR-335, Oct4, and the Retinoblastoma pathway to control mESC self-renewal and differentiation. Oct4 drives the expression of Nipp1 and Ccnf that inhibit the activity of the protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) complex to establish hyperphosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein 1 (pRb) as a hallmark feature of self-renewing mESCs. The Oct4-Nipp1/Ccnf-PP1-pRb axis promoting mESC self-renewal is under control of miR-335 that regulates Oct4 and Rb expression. During mESC differentiation, miR-335 upregulation co-operates with the transcriptional repression of Oct4 to facilitate the collapse of the Oct4-Nipp1/Ccnf-PP1-pRb axis, pRb dephosphorylation, the exit from self-renewal, and the establishment of a pRb-regulated cell cycle program. Our results introduce Oct4-dependent control of the Rb pathway as novel regulatory circuit controlling mESC self-renewal and differentiation.

  10. OCT4A contributes to the stemness and multi-potency of human umbilical cord blood-derived multipotent stem cells (hUCB-MSCs)

    SciTech Connect

    Seo, Kwang-Won; Lee, Sae-Rom; Bhandari, Dilli Ram; Roh, Kyoung-Hwan; Park, Sang-Bum; So, Ah-Young; Jung, Ji-Won; Seo, Min-Soo; Kang, Soo-Kyung; Lee, Yong-Soon; Kang, Kyung-Sun

    2009-06-19

    The OCT4A gene, a POU homeodomain transcription factor, has been shown to be expressed in embryonic stem cells (ESC) as well as hUCB-MSCs. In this study, the roles played by OCT4A in hUCB-MSCs were determined by stably inhibiting OCT4A with lenti-viral vector-based small hairpin RNA (shRNA). A decreased rate of cell proliferation was observed in OCT4-inhibited hUCB-MSCs. Down-regulation of CCNA2 expression in OCT4-inhibited hUCB-MSCs was confirmed by RT-PCR and real-time RT-PCR analysis in three genetically independent hUCB-MSC clones. Adipogenic differentiation was also suppressed in OCT4-inhibited hUCB-MSCs. The up-regulation of DTX1 and down-regulation of HDAC1, 2, and 4 expressions may be related to this differentiation deformity. The expression of other transcription factors, including SOX2, REX1 and c-MYC, was also affected by OCT4 inhibition in hUCB-MSCs. In conclusion, these finding suggest that OCT4A performs functionally conserved roles in hUCB-MSCs, making its expression biologically important for ex vivo culture of hUCB-MSCs.

  11. Pontin functions as an essential coactivator for Oct4-dependent lincRNA expression in mouse embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Boo, Kyungjin; Bhin, Jinhyuk; Jeon, Yoon; Kim, Joomyung; Shin, Hi-Jai R; Park, Jong-Eun; Kim, Kyeongkyu; Kim, Chang Rok; Jang, Hyonchol; Kim, In-Hoo; Kim, V Narry; Hwang, Daehee; Lee, Ho; Baek, Sung Hee

    2015-04-10

    The actions of transcription factors, chromatin modifiers and noncoding RNAs are crucial for the programming of cell states. Although the importance of various epigenetic machineries for controlling pluripotency of embryonic stem (ES) cells has been previously studied, how chromatin modifiers cooperate with specific transcription factors still remains largely elusive. Here, we find that Pontin chromatin remodelling factor plays an essential role as a coactivator for Oct4 for maintenance of pluripotency in mouse ES cells. Genome-wide analyses reveal that Pontin and Oct4 share a substantial set of target genes involved in ES cell maintenance. Intriguingly, we find that the Oct4-dependent coactivator function of Pontin extends to the transcription of large intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) and in particular linc1253, a lineage programme repressing lincRNA, is a Pontin-dependent Oct4 target lincRNA. Together, our findings demonstrate that the Oct4-Pontin module plays critical roles in the regulation of genes involved in ES cell fate determination.

  12. Pontin functions as an essential coactivator for Oct4-dependent lincRNA expression in mouse embryonic stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Boo, Kyungjin; Bhin, Jinhyuk; Jeon, Yoon; Kim, Joomyung; Shin, Hi-Jai R.; Park, Jong-Eun; Kim, Kyeongkyu; Kim, Chang Rok; Jang, Hyonchol; Kim, In-Hoo; Kim, V. Narry; Hwang, Daehee; Lee, Ho; Baek, Sung Hee

    2015-01-01

    The actions of transcription factors, chromatin modifiers and noncoding RNAs are crucial for the programming of cell states. Although the importance of various epigenetic machineries for controlling pluripotency of embryonic stem (ES) cells has been previously studied, how chromatin modifiers cooperate with specific transcription factors still remains largely elusive. Here, we find that Pontin chromatin remodelling factor plays an essential role as a coactivator for Oct4 for maintenance of pluripotency in mouse ES cells. Genome-wide analyses reveal that Pontin and Oct4 share a substantial set of target genes involved in ES cell maintenance. Intriguingly, we find that the Oct4-dependent coactivator function of Pontin extends to the transcription of large intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) and in particular linc1253, a lineage programme repressing lincRNA, is a Pontin-dependent Oct4 target lincRNA. Together, our findings demonstrate that the Oct4-Pontin module plays critical roles in the regulation of genes involved in ES cell fate determination. PMID:25857206

  13. The expressions of stem cell markers: Oct4, Nanog, Sox2, nucleostemin, Bmi, Zfx, Tcl1, Tbx3, Dppa4, and Esrrb in bladder, colon, and prostate cancer, and certain cancer cell lines

    PubMed Central

    Amini, Sabrieh; Mobalegi, Jafar; Sofimajidpour, Heshmatollah

    2014-01-01

    Uncontrolled self-renewal plays a direct function in the progression of different types of carcinomas. The same molecular pathway that manages self-renewal in normal stem cells also seems to manage cancer stem cells. Here, we examine the expressions of self-renewal regulatory factors Oct4, Nanog, Sox2, nucleostemin, Zfx, Esrrb, Tcl1, Tbx3, and Dppa4 in tissue samples of colon, prostate, and bladder carcinomas as well as cancer cell lines HT-29, Caco-2, HT-1376, LNCaP, and HepG2. We used reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction to examine expressions of the above mentioned regulatory factors in cancer cell lines HT-29, Caco-2, HT-1376, LNCaP, and HepG2 and in 20 tumor tissue samples. Total RNA was isolated by the ISOGEN method. RNA integrity was checked by agarose gel electrophoresis and spectrophotometry. Expressions of Oct4 and nucleostemin at the protein level were determined by immunocytochemistry. A significant relationship was found between tumor grade and self-renewal gene expression. Expressions of stem cell specific marker genes were detected in all examined cancer cell lines, in 40% to 100% of bladder cancer samples, and in 60% to 100% of colon and prostate cancer samples. Oct4 expressed in 100% of tumor tissue samples. Our data show that stem cell markers Oct4, Nanog, Sox2, nucleostemin, Bmi, Zfx, Esrrb, Tcl1, Tbx3, and Dppa4 significantly express in cancer cell lines and cancer tissues. Hence, these markers might be useful as potential tumor markers in the diagnosis and/or prognosis of tumors. PMID:24693477

  14. TRIM32 modulates pluripotency entry and exit by directly regulating Oct4 stability

    PubMed Central

    Bahnassawy, Lamia’a; Perumal, Thanneer M.; Gonzalez-Cano, Laura; Hillje, Anna-Lena; Taher, Leila; Makalowski, Wojciech; Suzuki, Yutaka; Fuellen, Georg; Sol, Antonio del; Schwamborn, Jens Christian

    2015-01-01

    Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have revolutionized the world of regenerative medicine; nevertheless, the exact molecular mechanisms underlying their generation and differentiation remain elusive. Here, we investigated the role of the cell fate determinant TRIM32 in modulating such processes. TRIM32 is essential for the induction of neuronal differentiation of neural stem cells by poly-ubiquitinating cMyc to target it for degradation resulting in inhibition of cell proliferation. To elucidate the role of TRIM32 in regulating somatic cell reprogramming we analysed the capacity of TRIM32-knock-out mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) in generating iPSC colonies. TRIM32 knock-out MEFs produced a higher number of iPSC colonies indicating a role for TRIM32 in inhibiting this cellular transition. Further characterization of the generated iPSCs indicated that the TRIM32 knock-out iPSCs show perturbed differentiation kinetics. Additionally, mathematical modelling of global gene expression data revealed that during differentiation an Oct4 centred network in the wild-type cells is replaced by an E2F1 centred network in the TRIM32 deficient cells. We show here that this might be caused by a TRIM32-dependent downregulation of Oct4. In summary, the data presented here reveal that TRIM32 directly regulates at least two of the four Yamanaka Factors (cMyc and Oct4), to modulate cell fate transitions. PMID:26307407

  15. Analysis of mammalian gene batteries reveals both stable ancestral cores and highly dynamic regulatory sequences

    PubMed Central

    Ettwiller, Laurence; Budd, Aidan; Spitz, François; Wittbrodt, Joachim

    2008-01-01

    Background Changes in gene regulation are suspected to comprise one of the driving forces for evolution. To address the extent of cis-regulatory changes and how they impact on gene regulatory networks across eukaryotes, we systematically analyzed the evolutionary dynamics of target gene batteries controlled by 16 different transcription factors. Results We found that gene batteries show variable conservation within vertebrates, with slow and fast evolving modules. Hence, while a key gene battery associated with the cell cycle is conserved throughout metazoans, the POU5F1 (Oct4) and SOX2 batteries in embryonic stem cells show strong conservation within mammals, with the striking exception of rodents. Within the genes composing a given gene battery, we could identify a conserved core that likely reflects the ancestral function of the corresponding transcription factor. Interestingly, we show that the association between a transcription factor and its target genes is conserved even when we exclude conserved sequence similarities of their promoter regions from our analysis. This supports the idea that turnover, either of the transcription factor binding site or its direct neighboring sequence, is a pervasive feature of proximal regulatory sequences. Conclusions Our study reveals the dynamics of evolutionary changes within metazoan gene networks, including both the composition of gene batteries and the architecture of target gene promoters. This variation provides the playground required for evolutionary innovation around conserved ancestral core functions. PMID:19087242

  16. Plant Evolution: Evolving Antagonistic Gene Regulatory Networks.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Endymion D

    2016-06-20

    Developing a structurally complex phenotype requires a complex regulatory network. A new study shows how gene duplication provides a potential source of antagonistic interactions, an important component of gene regulatory networks. PMID:27326708

  17. Plant Evolution: Evolving Antagonistic Gene Regulatory Networks.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Endymion D

    2016-06-20

    Developing a structurally complex phenotype requires a complex regulatory network. A new study shows how gene duplication provides a potential source of antagonistic interactions, an important component of gene regulatory networks.

  18. Replacement of Oct4 by Tet1 during iPSC induction reveals an important role of DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation in reprogramming.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yawei; Chen, Jiayu; Li, Ke; Wu, Tong; Huang, Bo; Liu, Wenqiang; Kou, Xiaochen; Zhang, Yu; Huang, Hua; Jiang, Yonghua; Yao, Chao; Liu, Xiaolei; Lu, Zhiwei; Xu, Zijian; Kang, Lan; Chen, Jun; Wang, Hailin; Cai, Tao; Gao, Shaorong

    2013-04-01

    DNA methylation and demethylation have been proposed to play an important role in somatic cell reprogramming. Here, we demonstrate that the DNA hydroxylase Tet1 facilitates pluripotent stem cell induction by promoting Oct4 demethylation and reactivation. Moreover, Tet1 (T) can replace Oct4 and initiate somatic cell reprogramming in conjunction with Sox2 (S), Klf4 (K), and c-Myc (M). We established an efficient TSKM secondary reprogramming system and used it to characterize the dynamic profiles of 5-methylcytosine (5mC), 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), and gene expression during reprogramming. Our analysis revealed that both 5mC and 5hmC modifications increased at an intermediate stage of the process, correlating with a transition in the transcriptional profile. We also found that 5hmC enrichment is involved in the demethylation and reactivation of genes and regulatory regions that are important for pluripotency. Our data indicate that changes in DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation play important roles in genome-wide epigenetic remodeling during reprogramming. PMID:23499384

  19. Expression of Scl in mesoderm rescues hematopoiesis in the absence of Oct-4

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Kimi Y.; Williamson, Elizabeth A.; Rogers, Jason H.; Tran, Tam; Hromas, Robert

    2009-01-01

    In embryonic stem cells, Oct-4 concentration is critical in determining the development of endoderm, mesoderm, and trophectoderm. Although Oct-4 expression is essential for mesoderm development, it is unclear whether it has a role in the development of specific mesodermal tissues. In this study, we have examined the importance of Oct-4 in the generation of hematopoietic cells using an inducible Oct-4 ESC line. We demonstrate that Oct-4 has a role in supporting hematopoiesis after specifying brachyury-positive mesoderm. When we suppressed Oct-4 expression before or after mesoderm specification, no hematopoietic cells are detected. However, hematopoiesis can be rescued in the absence of Oct-4 after mesoderm specification if the essential hematopoietic transcription factor stem cell leukemia is expressed. Our results suggest that, for hematopoiesis to occur, Oct-4 is required for the initial specification of mesoderm and subsequently is required for the development of hematopoietic cells from uncommitted mesoderm. PMID:19321862

  20. The prognostic significance of OCT4 expression in patients with prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Kosaka, Takeo; Mikami, Shuji; Yoshimine, Shunsuke; Miyazaki, Yasumasa; Daimon, Tatsuaki; Kikuchi, Eiji; Miyajima, Akira; Oya, Mototsugu

    2016-05-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that OCT4 participates in tumorigenicity and malignancy in human cancers. However, the prognostic significance of OCT4 expression in prostate cancer (PCa) or predictive significance of OCT4 in docetaxel sensitivity in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) remains unclear. The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic value of OCT4 expression in PCa. We retrospectively analyzed the clinical records and evaluated the OCT4 expression in 205 patients with PCa who underwent radical prostatectomy. We examined the change of OCT4 expression in 3 patients with CRPC who underwent transurethral resection for local progression before and after docetaxel chemotherapy. OCT4 expression was significantly associated with higher pathological T stage (P < .001). The 5-year prostate-specific antigen recurrence-free survival rate was 56.8% in patients with higher OCT4 expression and 90.6% in patients with lower OCT4 expression (P < .001). Multivariate analysis revealed that high OCT4 expression was an independent prognostic indicator of prostate-specific antigen recurrence (P < .001). Elevated strong OCT4 expression in residual CRPC cells after docetaxel chemotherapy was observed in all CRPC patients, compared with before chemotherapy in corresponding specimens. Higher OCT4 expression represents a clinically relevant predictor of patient prognosis in PCa and may be a new biomarker that will provide additional prognostic information in CRPC when treated with docetaxel. PMID:27067776

  1. Exogenous Oct-4 inhibits lens transdifferentiation in the newt Notophthalmus viridescens.

    PubMed

    Bhavsar, Rital B; Tsonis, Panagiotis A

    2014-01-01

    From the cocktail of four factors that were able to induce pluripotent stem cells from differentiated cells, Oct-4, c-Myc, Sox-2 and Klf4, only Oct-4 was not expressed during regeneration in newts. To explore the possible action of this stemness factor we developed an assay where we introduced exogenous Oct-4 protein to an in vitro system for lens regeneration in newts. We found that exogenous Oct-4 inhibits differentiation of iris pigmented epithelial cells into lens cells and also regulates Sox-2 and Pax-6, both important players during lens development. Thus, presence of Oct-4 hinders transdifferentiation of iris cells.

  2. GLUT3 and PKM2 regulate OCT4 expression and support the hypoxic culture of human embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Christensen, David R; Calder, Philip C; Houghton, Franchesca D

    2015-12-07

    Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have the capacity to differentiate into all cell types and thus have great potential for regenerative medicine. hESCs cultured at low oxygen tensions are more pluripotent and display an increased glycolytic rate but how this is regulated is unknown. This study therefore aimed to investigate the regulation of glucose metabolism in hESCs and whether this might impact OCT4 expression. In contrast to the glucose transporter GLUT1, GLUT3 was regulated by environmental oxygen and localised to hESC membranes. Silencing GLUT3 caused a reduction in glucose uptake and lactate production as well as OCT4 expression. GLUT3 and OCT4 expression were correlated suggesting that hESC self-renewal is regulated by the rate of glucose uptake. Surprisingly, PKM2, a rate limiting enzyme of glycolysis displayed a nuclear localisation in hESCs and silencing PKM2 did not alter glucose metabolism suggesting a role other than as a glycolytic enzyme. PKM2 expression was increased in hESCs cultured at 5% oxygen compared to 20% oxygen and silencing PKM2 reduced OCT4 expression highlighting a transcriptional role for PKM2 in hESCs. Together, these data demonstrate two separate mechanisms by which genes regulating glucose uptake and metabolism are involved in the hypoxic support of pluripotency in hESCs.

  3. The Sox2-Oct4 Connection: Critical players in a much larger interdependent network integrated at multiple levels

    PubMed Central

    Rizzino, Angie

    2013-01-01

    The transcription factors Sox2 and Oct4 have been a major focus of stem cell biology since the discovery, more than 10 years ago, that they play critical roles during embryogenesis. Early work established that these two transcription factors work together to regulate genes required for the self-renewal and pluripotency of embryonic stem cells (ESC). Surprisingly, small changes (~2-fold) in the levels of either Oct4 or Sox2 induces the differentiation of ESC. Consequently, ESC must maintain the levels of these two transcription factors within narrow limits. Genome-wide binding studies and unbiased proteomic screens have been conducted to decipher the complex roles played by Oct4 and Sox2 in the transcriptional circuitry of ESC. Together, these and other studies provide a comprehensive understanding of the molecular machinery that sustains the self-renewal of ESC and restrains their differentiation. Importantly, these studies paint a landscape in which Oct4 and Sox2 are part of a much larger interdependent network composed of many transcription factors that are interconnected at multiple levels of function. PMID:23401375

  4. Oct4 overexpression facilitates proliferation of porcine fibroblasts and development of cloned embryos.

    PubMed

    Kim, Su Jin; Koo, Ok Jae; Park, Hee Jung; Moon, Joon Ho; da Torre, Bego Roibas; Javaregowda, Palaksha Kanive; Kang, Jung Taek; Park, Sol Ji; Saadeldin, Islam M; Choi, Ji Yei; Lee, Byeong-Chun; Jang, Goo

    2015-10-01

    Octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct4) is a critical molecule for the self-renewal and pluripotency of embryonic stem cells. Recent reports have shown that Oct4 also controls cell-cycle progression and enhances the proliferation of various types of cells. As the high proliferation of donor fibroblasts is critical to the production of transgenic pigs, using the somatic cell nuclear transfer technique, we analysed the effect of Oct4 overexpression on the proliferation of porcine fibroblasts and embryos. Porcine endogenous Oct4 cDNA was cloned, sequenced and inserted into an expression vector. The vector was transfected into porcine fibroblasts, and a stable Oct4-overexpressed cell line was established by antibiotic selection. Oct4 expression was validated by the immunostaining of Oct4. Cell morphology was changed to sharp, and both proliferation and migration abilities were enhanced in Oct4-overexpressed cells. Real-time RT-PCR results showed that p16, Bcl2 and Myc were upregulated in Oct4-overexpressed cells. Somatic cell nuclear transfer was performed using Oct4-overexpressed cells, and the development of Oct4 embryos was compared with that of wild-type cloned embryos. The cleavage and blastocyst formation rates were improved in the Oct4 embryos. Interestingly, blastocyst formation of the Oct4 embryos was observed as early as day 5 in culture, while blastocysts were observed from day 6 in wild-type cloned embryos. In conclusion, the overexpression of Oct4 enhanced the proliferation of both porcine fibroblasts and embryos.

  5. Exogenous expression of OCT4 facilitates oocyte-mediated reprogramming in cloned porcine embryos.

    PubMed

    Ji, Qianqian; Cong, Peiqing; Zhao, Haijing; Song, Zhenwei; Zhao, Guangyin; Gao, Jintao; Nie, Yu; Chen, Yaosheng

    2014-09-01

    OCT4 is a well-established regulator of pluripotency and nuclear reprogramming. To determine if improving OCT4 abundance can facilitate oocyte-mediated reprogramming in cloned porcine embryos, we artificially increased OCT4 levels by co-incubating donor cells with 50 ng/µl OCT4 plasmid. We observed higher rates of blastocyst formation (P < 0.05) and lower levels of blastocyst apoptosis in nuclear-transfer-derived embryos carrying OCT4-incubated donor nuclei (OCT4-SCNT). The beneficial effect caused by exogenous expression of OCT4 involves epigenetic changes, wherein increased histone acetylation (AcH3K9) appeared in OCT4-SCNT embryos at the one-cell and blastocyst stages and reduced histone methylation (H3K9me2) was observed at the one-cell stage (P < 0.05). There was a transient increase in exogenous OCT4 and an up-regulation of endogenous OCT4 level in OCT4-SCNT embryos (P < 0.05), while the expression pattern of epigenetic enzymes was changed. These modifications were accompanied by an up-regulation of CDX2, whose interaction with OCT4 is instrumental for implantation, and a down-regulation of XIST, a negative indicator of reprogramming (P < 0.05). Taken together, our results support a role for exogenous expression of OCT4 in improving the efficiency of nuclear reprogramming while establishing a convenient and timesaving method to improve nuclear-transfer outcomes.

  6. Single-cell duplex RT-LATE-PCR reveals Oct4 and Xist RNA gradients in 8-cell embryos

    PubMed Central

    Hartshorn, Cristina; Eckert, Judith J; Hartung, Odelya; Wangh, Lawrence J

    2007-01-01

    Background The formation of two distinctive cell lineages in preimplantation mouse embryos is characterized by differential gene expression. The cells of the inner cell mass are pluripotent and express high levels of Oct4 mRNA, which is down-regulated in the surrounding trophectoderm. In contrast, the trophectoderm of female embryos contains Xist mRNA, which is absent from cells of the inner mass. Prior to blastocyst formation, all blastomeres of female embryos still express both of these RNAs. We, thus, postulated that simultaneous quantification of Oct4 and Xist transcripts in individual blastomeres at the 8-cell stage could be informative as to their subsequent fate. Testing this hypothesis, however, presented numerous technical challenges. We overcame these difficulties by combining PurAmp, a single-tube method for RNA preparation and quantification, with LATE-PCR, an advanced form of asymmetric PCR. Results We constructed a duplex RT-LATE-PCR assay for real-time measurement of Oct4 and Xist templates and confirmed its specificity and quantitative accuracy with different methods. We then undertook analysis of sets of blastomeres isolated from embryos at the 8-cell stage. At this stage, all cells in the embryo are still pluripotent and morphologically equivalent. Our results demonstrate, however, that both Oct4 and Xist RNA levels vary in individual blastomeres comprising the same embryo, with some cells having particularly elevated levels of either transcript. Analysis of multiple embryos also shows that Xist and Oct4 expression levels are not correlated at the 8-cell stage, although transcription of both genes is up-regulated at this time in development. In addition, comparison of data from males and females allowed us to determine that the efficiency of the Oct4/Xist assay is unaffected by sex-related differences in gene expression. Conclusion This paper describes the first example of multiplex RT-LATE-PCR and its utility, when combined with PurAmp sample

  7. Ethanol alters the balance of Sox2, Oct4, and Nanog expression in distinct subpopulations during differentiation of embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Ogony, Joshua W; Malahias, Evangelia; Vadigepalli, Rajanikanth; Anni, Helen

    2013-08-01

    The transcription factors Sox2, Oct4, and Nanog regulate within a narrow dose-range embryonic stem (ES) cell pluripotency and cell lineage commitment. Excess of Oct4 relative to Sox2 guides cells to mesoendoderm (ME), while abundance of Sox2 promotes neuroectoderm (NE) formation. Literature does not address whether ethanol interferes with these regulatory interactions during neural development. We hypothesized that ethanol exposure of ES cells in early differentiation causes an imbalance of Oct4 and Sox2 that diverts cells away from NE to ME lineage, consistent with the teratogenesis effects caused by prenatal alcohol exposure. Mouse ES cells were exposed to ethanol (0, 25, 50, and 100 mM) during retinoic acid (10 nM)-directed differentiation to NE for 0-6 days, and the expression of Sox2, Oct4, and Nanog was measured in single live cells by multiparametric flow cytometry, and the cellular phenotype was characterized by immunocytochemistry. Our data showed an ethanol dose- and time-dependent asymmetric modulation of Oct4 and Sox2 expression, as early as after 2 days of exposure. Single-cell analysis of the correlated expression of Sox2, Oct4, and Nanog revealed that ethanol promoted distinct subpopulations with a high Oct4/Sox2 ratio. Ethanol-exposed cells differentiated to fewer β-III tubulin-immunoreactive cells with an immature neuronal phenotype by 4 days. We interpret these data as suggesting that ethanol diverted cells in early differentiation from the NE fate toward the ME lineage. Our results provide a novel insight into the mode of ethanol action and opportunities for discovery of prenatal biomarkers at early stages.

  8. Evolving Robust Gene Regulatory Networks

    PubMed Central

    Noman, Nasimul; Monjo, Taku; Moscato, Pablo; Iba, Hitoshi

    2015-01-01

    Design and implementation of robust network modules is essential for construction of complex biological systems through hierarchical assembly of ‘parts’ and ‘devices’. The robustness of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) is ascribed chiefly to the underlying topology. The automatic designing capability of GRN topology that can exhibit robust behavior can dramatically change the current practice in synthetic biology. A recent study shows that Darwinian evolution can gradually develop higher topological robustness. Subsequently, this work presents an evolutionary algorithm that simulates natural evolution in silico, for identifying network topologies that are robust to perturbations. We present a Monte Carlo based method for quantifying topological robustness and designed a fitness approximation approach for efficient calculation of topological robustness which is computationally very intensive. The proposed framework was verified using two classic GRN behaviors: oscillation and bistability, although the framework is generalized for evolving other types of responses. The algorithm identified robust GRN architectures which were verified using different analysis and comparison. Analysis of the results also shed light on the relationship among robustness, cooperativity and complexity. This study also shows that nature has already evolved very robust architectures for its crucial systems; hence simulation of this natural process can be very valuable for designing robust biological systems. PMID:25616055

  9. Cobalt and nickel stabilize stem cell transcription factor OCT4 through modulating its sumoylation and ubiquitination.

    PubMed

    Yao, Yixin; Lu, Yinghua; Chen, Wen-Chi; Jiang, Yongping; Cheng, Tao; Ma, Yupo; Lu, Lou; Dai, Wei

    2014-01-01

    Stem cell research can lead to the development of treatments for a wide range of ailments including diabetes, heart disease, aging, neurodegenerative diseases, spinal cord injury, and cancer. OCT4 is a master regulator of self-renewal of undifferentiated embryonic stem cells. OCT4 also plays a crucial role in reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Given known vivo reproductive toxicity of cobalt and nickel metals, we examined the effect of these metals on expression of several stem cell factors in embryonic Tera-1 cells, as well as stem cells. Cobalt and nickel induced a concentration-dependent increase of OCT4 and HIF-1α, but not NANOG or KLF4. OCT4 induced by cobalt and nickel was due primarily to protein stabilization because MG132 stabilized OCT4 in cells treated with either metals and because neither nickel nor cobalt significantly modulated its steady-state mRNA level. OCT4 stabilization by cobalt and nickel was mediated largely through reactive oxygen species (ROS) as co-treatment with ascorbic acid abolished OCT4 increase. Moreover, nickel and cobalt treatment increased sumoylation and mono-ubiquitination of OCT4 and K123 was crucial for mediating these modifications. Combined, our observations suggest that nickel and cobalt may exert their reproductive toxicity through perturbing OCT4 activity in the stem cell compartment.

  10. Regulation of tumorigenesis in oral epithelial cells by defined reprogramming factors Oct4 and Sox2

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Jinghua; He, Baoxia; Li, Xinming; Sun, Minglei; Lam, Alfred King-Yin; Qiao, Bin; Qiu, Weiliu

    2016-01-01

    Oct4 and Sox2 are pluripotent stem cell factors but the interplay between them in tumorigenesis is unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the roles of Oct4 and Sox2 in the reprogramming of oral cancer stem cells. One or both Oct4 and Sox2 were overexpressed in immortalized oral epithelial (hTERT+-OME) cells by lentivirus transduction. In addition, Oct4 and Sox2 proteins in two oral squamous cell carcinoma cell (OSCC) lines (Cal27 and primary cultured OSCC from a T2N2M0 patient) were individually or combinedly knocked down by shRNA. The results showed that the doubly transduced (Oct4+Sox2+) cells could trigger neoplasms in immunodeficient mice after lentivirus transduction, but single transduced (Oct4+ or Sox2+) cells had no tumor formation ability. The knockdown Sox2low and knockdown Oct4lowSox2low cells resulted in decreased tumor size in the immunodeficient mice but the single knockdown Oct4low cancer cells acquired more aggressive xenografts. Our findings suggest that Oct4+Sox2+ cells may be reprogrammed cancer stem cells inducing oral carcinogenesis. PMID:27279579

  11. Critical POU domain residues confer Oct4 uniqueness in somatic cell reprogramming.

    PubMed

    Jin, Wensong; Wang, Lei; Zhu, Fei; Tan, Weiqi; Lin, Wei; Chen, Dahua; Sun, Qinmiao; Xia, Zongping

    2016-01-01

    The POU domain transcription factor Oct4 plays critical roles in self-renewal and pluripotency of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Together with Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc, Oct4 can reprogram any other cell types to pluripotency, in which Oct4 is the only factor that cannot be functionally replaced by other POU family members. To investigate the determinant elements of Oct4 uniqueness, we performed Ala scan on all Ser, Thr, Tyr, Lys and Arg of murine Oct4 by testing their capability in somatic cell reprogramming. We uncovered a series of residues that are important for Oct4 functionality, in which almost all of these key residues are within the POU domains making direct interaction with DNA. The Oct4 N- and C-terminal transactivation domains (TADs) are not unique and could be replaced by the Yes-associated protein (YAP) TAD domain to support reprogramming. More importantly, we uncovered two important residues that confer Oct4 uniqueness in somatic cell reprogramming. Our systematic structure-function analyses bring novel mechanistic insight into the molecular basis of how critical residues function together to confer Oct4 uniqueness among POU family for somatic cell reprogramming. PMID:26877091

  12. Learning About Gene Regulatory Networks From Gene Deletion Experiments

    PubMed Central

    Brazma, Alvis

    2002-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks are a major focus of interest in molecular biology. A crucial question is how complex regulatory systems are encoded and controlled by the genome. Three recent publications have raised the question of what can be learned about gene regulatory networks from microarray experiments on gene deletion mutants. Using this indirect approach, topological features such as connectivity and modularity have been studied. PMID:18629255

  13. OCT-4 expression is essential for the segregation of trophectoderm lineages in porcine preimplantation embryos

    PubMed Central

    EMURA, Natsuko; SAKURAI, Nobuyuki; TAKAHASHI, Kazuki; HASHIZUME, Tsutomu; SAWAI, Ken

    2016-01-01

    Oct-4, a member of the POU family of transcription factors, is a key factor that regulates the segregation of the inner cell mass (ICM) and the trophectoderm (TE) during the transition from morula to blastocyst in mice. However, little is known about its role in porcine early embryogenesis. To determine the function of OCT-4 in the ICM and TE segregation of porcine embryos, we studied the developmental morphology of porcine embryos using RNA interference technology. Our experiments demonstrated that when 1-cell stage embryos were co-injected with the small interfering RNA (siRNA)for targeted knockdown of OCT-4 (OCT-4-siRNA) and tetramethylrhodamine isothiocyanate (TRITC)-dextran conjugate (Dx), they failed to form blastocysts. Therefore, in this study, we constructed chimeric embryos comprising blastomeres that either expressed OCT-4 normally or showed downregulated OCT-4 expression by co-injection of OCT-4-siRNA and Dx into one blastomere in 2- to 4-cell stage embryos. In control embryos, which were co-injected with control siRNA and Dx, Dx-positive cells contributed to the TE lineage in almost all the blastocysts examined. In contrast, Dx-positive cells derived from a blastomere co-injected with OCT-4-siRNA and Dx were degenerated in almost half the blastocysts. This was probably due to the inability of these cells to differentiate into the TE lineage. Real-time RT-PCR analysis revealed no difference in the levels of SOX2, TEAD4, FGF4 and FGFR1-IIIc, all of which are known to be regulated by OCT-4, between the OCT-4-siRNA-injected morulae and the control ones. However, the level of CDX2, a molecule specifically expressed in the TE lineage, was significantly higher in the former than in the latter. Our results indicate that continuous expression of OCT-4 in blastomeres is essential for TE formation of porcine embryos. PMID:27210587

  14. Oct4 and Sox2 overexpression improves the proliferation and differentiation of bone mesenchymal stem cells in Xiaomeishan porcine.

    PubMed

    Fan, Y X; Gu, C H; Zhang, Y L; Zhong, B S; Wang, L Z; Zhou, Z R; Wang, Z Y; Jia, R X; Wang, F

    2013-01-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow (BMSCs) are a population of self-renewing multipotent cells that are capable of differentiating into various cellular lineages, and are widely employed in tissue engineering and cell therapy. Recently, clinical research involving BMSCs has become increasingly popular. In order to conduct appropriate research, it is first necessary to amplify large amounts of functional BMSCs in vitro. However, after several passages of expanding in vitro, the proliferation and differentiation potential of BMSCs gradually decline. To determine whether overexpression of Oct4 or Sox2 might prevent this decline, we transfected Oct4 or Sox2, which are essential for the pluripotency and self-renewal of embryonic stem cells, into BMSCs of Xiaomeishan porcine by a lentivirus. The results showed that overexpression of Sox2 or Oct4 BMSCs in culture media containing a basic fibroblast growth factor resulted in higher proliferation and differentiation compared to controls, suggesting that genetic modification of stemness-related genes is an efficient way to maintain the proliferation and differentiation potential of BMSCs. PMID:24338401

  15. Plant nitrogen regulatory P-PII genes

    DOEpatents

    Coruzzi, Gloria M.; Lam, Hon-Ming; Hsieh, Ming-Hsiun

    2001-01-01

    The present invention generally relates to plant nitrogen regulatory PII gene (hereinafter P-PII gene), a gene involved in regulating plant nitrogen metabolism. The invention provides P-PII nucleotide sequences, expression constructs comprising said nucleotide sequences, and host cells and plants having said constructs and, optionally expressing the P-PII gene from said constructs. The invention also provides substantially pure P-PII proteins. The P-PII nucleotide sequences and constructs of the

  16. Granulosa cells and retinoic acid co-treatment enrich potential germ cells from manually selected Oct4-EGFP expressing human embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hsin-Fu; Jan, Pey-Shynan; Kuo, Hung-Chih; Wu, Fang-Chun; Lan, Chen-Wei; Huang, Mei-Chi; Chien, Chung-Liang; Ho, Hong-Nerng

    2014-09-01

    Differentiation of human embryonic stem (HES) cells to germ cells may become clinically useful in overcoming diseases related to germ-cell development. Niches were used to differentiate HES cell lines, NTU1 and H9 Oct4-enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP), including laminin, granulosa cell co-culture or conditioned medium, ovarian stromal cell co-culture or conditioned medium, retinoic acid, stem cell factor (SCF) and BMP4-BMP7-BMP8b treatment. Flow cytometry showed that granulosa cell co-culture (P < 0.001) or conditioned medium (P = 0.007) treatment for 14 days significantly increased the percentages of differentiated H9 Oct4-EGFP cells expressing early germ cell marker stage-specific embryonic antigen 1(SSEA1); sorted SSEA1[+] cells did not express higher levels of germ cell gene VASA and GDF9. Manually collected H9 Oct4-EGFP[+] cells expressed significantly higher levels of VASA (P = 0.005) and GDF9 (P = 0.001). H9 Oct4-EGFP[+] cells developed to ovarian follicle-like structures after culture for 28 days but with low efficiency. Unlike SCF and BMP4, retinoic acid co-treatment enhanced VASA, GDF9 and SCP3 expression. A protocol is recommended to enrich differentiated HES cells with germ-cell potential by culture with granulosa cells, conditioned medium or retinoic acid, manual selection of Oct4-EGFP[+] cells, and analysis of VASA, GDF9 expression, or both.

  17. Activation of the pluripotency factor OCT4 in smooth muscle cells is atheroprotective.

    PubMed

    Cherepanova, Olga A; Gomez, Delphine; Shankman, Laura S; Swiatlowska, Pamela; Williams, Jason; Sarmento, Olga F; Alencar, Gabriel F; Hess, Daniel L; Bevard, Melissa H; Greene, Elizabeth S; Murgai, Meera; Turner, Stephen D; Geng, Yong-Jian; Bekiranov, Stefan; Connelly, Jessica J; Tomilin, Alexey; Owens, Gary K

    2016-06-01

    Although somatic cell activation of the embryonic stem cell (ESC) pluripotency factor OCT4 has been reported, this previous work has been controversial and has not demonstrated a functional role for OCT4 in somatic cells. Here we demonstrate that smooth muscle cell (SMC)-specific conditional knockout of Oct4 in Apoe(-/-) mice resulted in increased lesion size and changes in lesion composition that are consistent with decreased plaque stability, including a thinner fibrous cap, increased necrotic core area, and increased intraplaque hemorrhage. Results of SMC-lineage-tracing studies showed that these effects were probably the result of marked reductions in SMC numbers within lesions and SMC investment within the fibrous cap, which may result from impaired SMC migration. The reactivation of Oct4 within SMCs was associated with hydroxymethylation of the Oct4 promoter and was hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α, encoded by HIF1A) and Krüppel-like factor-4 (KLF4)-dependent. These results provide the first direct evidence that OCT4 has a functional role in somatic cells, and they highlight the potential role of OCT4 in normal and diseased somatic cells.

  18. Coexpression of HMGA2 and Oct4 predicts an unfavorable prognosis in human gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Kong, Dequan; Su, Guoqiang; Zha, Lang; Zhang, Hongyu; Xiang, Jifeng; Xu, Wei; Tang, Yucheng; Wang, Ziwei

    2014-08-01

    High mobility group protein A2 (HMGA2) and octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct4) are transcription factors that play major roles in the acquisition of cancer stemness phenotypes and tumorigenicity of malignant neoplasms. The aim of this study was to analyze the association between HMGA2 and Oct4 expression and various clinicopathologic features in gastric cancer patients including invasion, metastasis, and clinical prognosis, in addition to overall survival. Immunohistochemistry was performed to explore the expression of HMGA2 and Oct4 in 158 gastric cancer and surrounding non-tumor tissues. Moreover, HMGA2 and Oct4 mRNA and protein levels were also detected by qRT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively, in 86 clinical tissue specimens and various gastric epithelial cell lines (GES-1, SGC7901, MKN45, and MKN27). Finally, associations between HMGA2 and Oct4 expression and clinicopathological features were analyzed by Pearson correlation coefficient. Survival analysis was performed by univariate and multivariate analyses. Taken together, we found that HMGA2 and Oct4 expression was significantly higher in gastric cancer tissues compared with non-cancerous tissues (P < 0.01), and HMGA2 and Oct4 protein levels were significantly higher in poorly differentiated gastric cancer cell lines (MKN45), moderately differentiated cell lines (SGC7901), and well-differentiated cell lines (MKN28) compared with human immortalized gastric epithelial cell lines (GES-1) (P < 0.01). Elevated HMGA2 and Oct4 levels were significantly associated with poor clinical prognosis (P < 0.05). Further conclusion showed that coexpression of HMGA2 and Oct4 in gastric cancer correlated with tumor invasion, metastasis, and clinical prognosis and predicted an unfavorable clinical outcome. These transcription factors may represent useful biomarkers to identify patients at high risk of postoperative recurrence. PMID:25037576

  19. Nocodazole treatment decreases expression of pluripotency markers Nanog and Oct4 in human embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Kallas, Ade; Pook, Martin; Maimets, Martti; Zimmermann, Külli; Maimets, Toivo

    2011-01-01

    Nocodazole is a known destabiliser of microtubule dynamics and arrests cell-cycle at the G2/M phase. In the context of the human embryonic stem cell (hESC) it is important to understand how this arrest influences the pluripotency of cells. Here we report for the first time the changes in the expression of transcription markers Nanog and Oct4 as well as SSEA-3 and SSEA-4 in human embryonic cells after their treatment with nocodazole. Multivariate permeabilised-cell flow cytometry was applied for characterising the expression of Nanog and Oct4 during different cell cycle phases. Among untreated hESC we detected Nanog-expressing cells, which also expressed Oct4, SSEA-3 and SSEA-4. We also found another population expressing SSEA-4, but without Nanog, Oct4 and SSEA-3 expression. Nocodazole treatment resulted in a decrease of cell population positive for all four markers Nanog, Oct4, SSEA-3, SSEA-4. Nocodazole-mediated cell-cycle arrest was accompanied by higher rate of apoptosis and upregulation of p53. Twenty-four hours after the release from nocodazole block, the cell cycle of hESC normalised, but no increase in the expression of transcription markers Nanog and Oct4 was detected. In addition, the presence of ROCK-2 inhibitor Y-27632 in the medium had no effect on increasing the expression of pluripotency markers Nanog and Oct4 or decreasing apoptosis or the level of p53. The expression of SSEA-3 and SSEA-4 increased in Nanog-positive cells after wash-out of nocodazole in the presence and in the absence of Y-27632. Our data show that in hESC nocodazole reversible blocks cell cycle, which is accompanied by irreversible loss of expression of pluripotency markers Nanog and Oct4.

  20. Reversine Increases the Plasticity of Long-Term Cryopreserved Fibroblasts to Multipotent Progenitor Cells through Activation of Oct4

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiangchen; Guo, Yu; Yao, Yaxin; Hua, Jinlian; Ma, Yuehui; Liu, Changqing; Guan, Weijun

    2016-01-01

    Reversine, a purine analog, had been evidenced that it could induce dedifferentiation of differentiated cells into multipotent progenitor cells. Here, we showed that reversine could increase the plasticity of long-term cryopreserved bovine fibroblasts, and reversine-treated cells achieved the ability to differentiate into all three germ layers cells, such as osteoblasts and adipocytes from mesoblast, neurocyte from ectoderm, hepatocytes and smooth muscle cells from endoderm. Moreover, treatment of reversine caused the grow arrest of fibroblasts at G2/M and distinct cell swelling resulting in the formation of polyploid cells. In parallel, reversine treatment induced a multipotency of fibroblasts might be attributed to the activation of histone modifications, especially the degression of DNA methylation. However, molecular and cellular experiments suggested that reversine treatment enhanced selectively the expression of pluripotent marker gene Oct4 and mesenchymal marker genes CD29, CD44 and CD73, but Sox2 and Nanog were not detected. Taken together, these results clearly demonstrate the ability of reversine to dedifferentiation of long-term cryopreserved somatic cells through activation of pluripotent gene Oct4. PMID:26722217

  1. CDX2 regulates multiple trophoblast genes in bovine trophectoderm CT-1 cells.

    PubMed

    Schiffmacher, Andrew T; Keefer, Carol L

    2013-10-01

    The bovine trophectoderm (TE) undergoes a dramatic morphogenetic transition prior to uterine endometrial attachment. Many studies have documented trophoblast-specific gene expression profiles at various pre-attachment stages, yet genetic interactions within the transitioning TE gene regulatory network are not well characterized. During bovine embryogenesis, transcription factors OCT4 and CDX2 are co-expressed during early trophoblast elongation. In this study, the bovine trophectoderm-derived CT-1 cell line was utilized as a genetic model to examine the roles of CDX2 and OCT4 within the bovine trophoblast gene regulatory network. An RT-PCR screen for TE-lineage transcription factors identified expression of CDX2, ERRB, ID2, SOX15, ELF5, HAND1, and ASCL2. CT-1 cells also express a nuclear-localized, 360 amino acid OCT4 ortholog of the pluripotency-specific human OCT4A. To delineate the roles of CDX2 and OCT4 within the CT-1 gene network, CDX2 and OCT4 levels were manipulated via overexpression and siRNA-mediated knockdown. An increase in CDX2 negatively regulated OCT4 expression, but increased expression of IFNT, HAND1, ASCL2, SOX15, and ELF5. A reduction of CDX2 levels exhibited a reciprocal effect, resulting in decreased expression of IFNT, HAND1, ASCL2, and SOX15. Both overexpression and knockdown of CDX2 increased ETS2 transcription. In contrast to CDX2, manipulation of OCT4 levels only revealed a positive autoregulatory mechanism and upregulation of ASCL2. Together, these results suggest that CDX2 is a core regulator of multiple trophoblast genes within CT-1 cells.

  2. Phenotypic switching in gene regulatory networks.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Philipp; Popović, Nikola; Grima, Ramon

    2014-05-13

    Noise in gene expression can lead to reversible phenotypic switching. Several experimental studies have shown that the abundance distributions of proteins in a population of isogenic cells may display multiple distinct maxima. Each of these maxima may be associated with a subpopulation of a particular phenotype, the quantification of which is important for understanding cellular decision-making. Here, we devise a methodology which allows us to quantify multimodal gene expression distributions and single-cell power spectra in gene regulatory networks. Extending the commonly used linear noise approximation, we rigorously show that, in the limit of slow promoter dynamics, these distributions can be systematically approximated as a mixture of Gaussian components in a wide class of networks. The resulting closed-form approximation provides a practical tool for studying complex nonlinear gene regulatory networks that have thus far been amenable only to stochastic simulation. We demonstrate the applicability of our approach in a number of genetic networks, uncovering previously unidentified dynamical characteristics associated with phenotypic switching. Specifically, we elucidate how the interplay of transcriptional and translational regulation can be exploited to control the multimodality of gene expression distributions in two-promoter networks. We demonstrate how phenotypic switching leads to birhythmical expression in a genetic oscillator, and to hysteresis in phenotypic induction, thus highlighting the ability of regulatory networks to retain memory. PMID:24782538

  3. Latent phenotypes pervade gene regulatory circuits

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Latent phenotypes are non-adaptive byproducts of adaptive phenotypes. They exist in biological systems as different as promiscuous enzymes and genome-scale metabolic reaction networks, and can give rise to evolutionary adaptations and innovations. We know little about their prevalence in the gene expression phenotypes of regulatory circuits, important sources of evolutionary innovations. Results Here, we study a space of more than sixteen million three-gene model regulatory circuits, where each circuit is represented by a genotype, and has one or more functions embodied in one or more gene expression phenotypes. We find that the majority of circuits with single functions have latent expression phenotypes. Moreover, the set of circuits with a given spectrum of functions has a repertoire of latent phenotypes that is much larger than that of any one circuit. Most of this latent repertoire can be easily accessed through a series of small genetic changes that preserve a circuit’s main functions. Both circuits and gene expression phenotypes that are robust to genetic change are associated with a greater number of latent phenotypes. Conclusions Our observations suggest that latent phenotypes are pervasive in regulatory circuits, and may thus be an important source of evolutionary adaptations and innovations involving gene regulation. PMID:24884746

  4. Heterogeneity in Oct4 and Sox2 Targets Biases Cell Fate in 4-Cell Mouse Embryos.

    PubMed

    Goolam, Mubeen; Scialdone, Antonio; Graham, Sarah J L; Macaulay, Iain C; Jedrusik, Agnieszka; Hupalowska, Anna; Voet, Thierry; Marioni, John C; Zernicka-Goetz, Magdalena

    2016-03-24

    The major and essential objective of pre-implantation development is to establish embryonic and extra-embryonic cell fates. To address when and how this fundamental process is initiated in mammals, we characterize transcriptomes of all individual cells throughout mouse pre-implantation development. This identifies targets of master pluripotency regulators Oct4 and Sox2 as being highly heterogeneously expressed between blastomeres of the 4-cell embryo, with Sox21 showing one of the most heterogeneous expression profiles. Live-cell tracking demonstrates that cells with decreased Sox21 yield more extra-embryonic than pluripotent progeny. Consistently, decreasing Sox21 results in premature upregulation of the differentiation regulator Cdx2, suggesting that Sox21 helps safeguard pluripotency. Furthermore, Sox21 is elevated following increased expression of the histone H3R26-methylase CARM1 and is lowered following CARM1 inhibition, indicating the importance of epigenetic regulation. Therefore, our results indicate that heterogeneous gene expression, as early as the 4-cell stage, initiates cell-fate decisions by modulating the balance of pluripotency and differentiation.

  5. Oct4-induced oligodendrocyte progenitor cells enhance functional recovery in spinal cord injury model.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jeong Beom; Lee, Hyunah; Araúzo-Bravo, Marcos J; Hwang, Kyujin; Nam, Donggyu; Park, Myung Rae; Zaehres, Holm; Park, Kook In; Lee, Seok-Jin

    2015-12-01

    The generation of patient-specific oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) holds great potential as an expandable cell source for cell replacement therapy as well as drug screening in spinal cord injury or demyelinating diseases. Here, we demonstrate that induced OPCs (iOPCs) can be directly derived from adult mouse fibroblasts by Oct4-mediated direct reprogramming, using anchorage-independent growth to ensure high purity. Homogeneous iOPCs exhibit typical small-bipolar morphology, maintain their self-renewal capacity and OPC marker expression for more than 31 passages, share high similarity in the global gene expression profile to wild-type OPCs, and give rise to mature oligodendrocytes and astrocytes in vitro and in vivo. Notably, transplanted iOPCs contribute to functional recovery in a spinal cord injury (SCI) model without tumor formation. This study provides a simple strategy to generate functional self-renewing iOPCs and yields insights for the in-depth study of demyelination and regenerative medicine.

  6. Heterogeneity in Oct4 and Sox2 Targets Biases Cell Fate in 4-Cell Mouse Embryos.

    PubMed

    Goolam, Mubeen; Scialdone, Antonio; Graham, Sarah J L; Macaulay, Iain C; Jedrusik, Agnieszka; Hupalowska, Anna; Voet, Thierry; Marioni, John C; Zernicka-Goetz, Magdalena

    2016-03-24

    The major and essential objective of pre-implantation development is to establish embryonic and extra-embryonic cell fates. To address when and how this fundamental process is initiated in mammals, we characterize transcriptomes of all individual cells throughout mouse pre-implantation development. This identifies targets of master pluripotency regulators Oct4 and Sox2 as being highly heterogeneously expressed between blastomeres of the 4-cell embryo, with Sox21 showing one of the most heterogeneous expression profiles. Live-cell tracking demonstrates that cells with decreased Sox21 yield more extra-embryonic than pluripotent progeny. Consistently, decreasing Sox21 results in premature upregulation of the differentiation regulator Cdx2, suggesting that Sox21 helps safeguard pluripotency. Furthermore, Sox21 is elevated following increased expression of the histone H3R26-methylase CARM1 and is lowered following CARM1 inhibition, indicating the importance of epigenetic regulation. Therefore, our results indicate that heterogeneous gene expression, as early as the 4-cell stage, initiates cell-fate decisions by modulating the balance of pluripotency and differentiation. PMID:27015307

  7. Gene regulatory networks and the underlying biology of developmental toxicity

    EPA Science Inventory

    Embryonic cells are specified by large-scale networks of functionally linked regulatory genes. Knowledge of the relevant gene regulatory networks is essential for understanding phenotypic heterogeneity that emerges from disruption of molecular functions, cellular processes or sig...

  8. Autonomous Boolean modeling of gene regulatory networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Socolar, Joshua; Sun, Mengyang; Cheng, Xianrui

    2014-03-01

    In cases where the dynamical properties of gene regulatory networks are important, a faithful model must include three key features: a network topology; a functional response of each element to its inputs; and timing information about the transmission of signals across network links. Autonomous Boolean network (ABN) models are efficient representations of these elements and are amenable to analysis. We present an ABN model of the gene regulatory network governing cell fate specification in the early sea urchin embryo, which must generate three bands of distinct tissue types after several cell divisions, beginning from an initial condition with only two distinct cell types. Analysis of the spatial patterning problem and the dynamics of a network constructed from available experimental results reveals that a simple mechanism is at work in this case. Supported by NSF Grant DMS-10-68602

  9. Direct Reprogramming of Human Amniotic Fluid Stem Cells by OCT4 and Application in Repairing of Cerebral Ischemia Damage

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Mingde; Chen, Ruihua; Li, Hong; Liang, Hansi; Xue, Qun; Li, Fang; Chen, Ying; Zhang, Xueguang

    2016-01-01

    Amniotic fluid stem cells (AFSCs) are a type of fetal stem cell whose stemness encompasses both embryonic and adult stem cells, suggesting that they may be easily and efficiently reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). To further simplify the reprogramming process, the creation of AFSC-derived iPSCs using a single factor is desirable. Here we report the generation of one-factor human AFSC-iPSCs (AiPSCs) from human AFSCs by ectopic expression of the transcription factor OCT4. Just like human embryonic stem cells, AiPSCs exhibited similar epigenetic status, global gene expression profiles, teratoma formation and in vitro & in vivo pluripotency. Our results indicate that the OCT4 is necessary and sufficient to directly reprogram human AFSCs into pluripotent AiPSCs. Moreover, reflecting the similar memory characteristics of AFSCs and neural stem cells, we show that AiPSC membrane-derived vesicles (MVs) repair cerebral ischemia damage. We anticipate that the successful generation of one-factor AiPSCs will facilitate the creation of patient-specific pluripotent stem cells without the need for transgenic expression of oncogenes. Moreover, MVs from tissue-specific AiPSCs have potential in tissue repair, representing a novel application of iPSCs. PMID:27019637

  10. 8. Photo copy of historic photograph, Oct.4, 1944. BUILDING 60 ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    8. Photo copy of historic photograph, Oct.4, 1944. BUILDING 60 AND COAL POCKET (295), LOOKING NORTH. File No. 29. Copy print on file, Library, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England Division, Waltham, Massachusetts. - Watertown Arsenal, Building No. 60, Arsenal Street, Watertown, Middlesex County, MA

  11. Oct4 Mediates Tumor Initiating Properties in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas through the Regulation of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Lo-Lin; Hu, Fang-Wei; Lee, Shiuan-Shinn; Yu, Chuan-Hang; Yu, Cheng-Chia; Chang, Yu-Chao

    2014-01-01

    Background Overexpression of Oct4, an important transcription factor of embryonic stem cells (ESC), has been reported in several cancers. The aim of this study was to determine the emerging role of Oct4 in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) both in vitro and in vivo. Methodology/Principal Finding Tumourigenic activity and molecular mechanisms of Oct4 overexpression or knockdown by lentiviral infection in OSCC was investigated in vitro and in vivo. Initially, we demonstrated that Oct4 expression was increased in OSCC cell lines as compared to a normal oral epithelial cell line SG. Overexpression of Oct4 was demonstrated to enhance cell proliferation, invasiveness, anchorage-independent growth and xenotransplantation tumourigenicity. These findings were coupled with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) transformation in OSCCs. In contrast, the silence of Oct4 significantly blocked the xenograft tumorigenesis of OSCC-derived cancer stem cells (OSCC-CSCs) and significantly improved the recipient survival. Clinically, the level of Oct4 expression was higher in recurrent and metastatic OSCC specimens but lower in primary OSCC specimens. Conclusion/Significance Our results suggest that Oct4-mediated tumorigenecity is associated with the regulation of EMT. Oct4 might be a therapeutic target for OSCC. PMID:24475251

  12. Generation of oscillating gene regulatory network motifs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Dorp, M.; Lannoo, B.; Carlon, E.

    2013-07-01

    Using an improved version of an evolutionary algorithm originally proposed by François and Hakim [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USAPNASA60027-842410.1073/pnas.0304532101 101, 580 (2004)], we generated small gene regulatory networks in which the concentration of a target protein oscillates in time. These networks may serve as candidates for oscillatory modules to be found in larger regulatory networks and protein interaction networks. The algorithm was run for 105 times to produce a large set of oscillating modules, which were systematically classified and analyzed. The robustness of the oscillations against variations of the kinetic rates was also determined, to filter out the least robust cases. Furthermore, we show that the set of evolved networks can serve as a database of models whose behavior can be compared to experimentally observed oscillations. The algorithm found three smallest (core) oscillators in which nonlinearities and number of components are minimal. Two of those are two-gene modules: the mixed feedback loop, already discussed in the literature, and an autorepressed gene coupled with a heterodimer. The third one is a single gene module which is competitively regulated by a monomer and a dimer. The evolutionary algorithm also generated larger oscillating networks, which are in part extensions of the three core modules and in part genuinely new modules. The latter includes oscillators which do not rely on feedback induced by transcription factors, but are purely of post-transcriptional type. Analysis of post-transcriptional mechanisms of oscillation may provide useful information for circadian clock research, as recent experiments showed that circadian rhythms are maintained even in the absence of transcription.

  13. Using qualitative probability in reverse-engineering gene regulatory networks.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Zina M; Ngom, Alioune; Tawfik, Ahmed Y

    2011-01-01

    This paper demonstrates the use of qualitative probabilistic networks (QPNs) to aid Dynamic Bayesian Networks (DBNs) in the process of learning the structure of gene regulatory networks from microarray gene expression data. We present a study which shows that QPNs define monotonic relations that are capable of identifying regulatory interactions in a manner that is less susceptible to the many sources of uncertainty that surround gene expression data. Moreover, we construct a model that maps the regulatory interactions of genetic networks to QPN constructs and show its capability in providing a set of candidate regulators for target genes, which is subsequently used to establish a prior structure that the DBN learning algorithm can use and which 1) distinguishes spurious correlations from true regulations, 2) enables the discovery of sets of coregulators of target genes, and 3) results in a more efficient construction of gene regulatory networks. The model is compared to the existing literature using the known gene regulatory interactions of Drosophila Melanogaster.

  14. Transcriptional regulation of OCT4 by the ETS transcription factor ESE-1 in NCCIT human embryonic carcinoma cells.

    PubMed

    Park, Sung-Won; Do, Hyun-Jin; Ha, Woo Tae; Han, Mi-Hee; Yang, Heung-Mo; Lee, Soo-Hong; Song, Hyuk; Kim, Nam-Hyung; Kim, Jae-Hwan

    2014-07-25

    The epithelium-specific ETS transcription factor-1 (ESE-1) is physiologically important in the pathogenesis of various diseases. Recently, OCT4, a transcription factor involved in stem cell pluripotency, has been implicated in tumorigenesis. In this study, we invested the molecular mechanism by which ESE-1 regulates transcription of OCT4 in NCCIT human embryonic carcinoma cells. Real-time PCR analysis revealed that OCT4 levels were high in undifferentiated NCCIT cells but significantly decreased upon retinoic acid-mediated differentiation, concomitant with up-regulation of ESE-1 expression. OCT4 mRNA level rose following shRNA-mediated knockdown of ESE-1, but declined when ESE-1 was overexpressed, suggesting that the expression levels of OCT4 and ESE-1 may be coordinated in an opposite manner. Promoter-reporter assays revealed that induced OCT4 promoter activity in NCCIT cells was significantly down-regulated by ESE-1 overexpression in a dose-dependent manner. The inhibitory effect of ESE-1 on OCT4 promoter activity was relieved by co-expression of an ESE-1 mutant lacking the transactivation domain, but not by mutants lacking other domains. Serial deletion and site-directed mutagenesis of the OCT4 promoter revealed that a potential ETS binding site (EBS) is present in the conserved region 2 (CR2). ESE-1 interacted with the EBS element in CR2 and enrichment of CR2 significantly increased upon RA-mediated differentiation of NCCIT cells, suggesting that this binding is likely to be involved in ESE-1-mediated repression of OCT4 promoter activity upon differentiation. Taken together, the results of this study reveal the molecular details of the mechanism by which the oncogenic factor ESE-1 regulates expression of the stem cell transcription factor OCT4 in pluripotent NCCIT cells.

  15. Tryptophan derivatives regulate the transcription of Oct4 in stem-like cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Jie; Li, Wenxin; Kang, Bo; Zhou, Yanwen; Song, Jiasheng; Dan, Songsong; Yang, Ying; Zhang, Xiaoqian; Li, Jingchao; Yin, Shengyong; Cao, Hongcui; Yao, Hangping; Zhu, Chenggang; Yi, Wen; Zhao, Qingwei; Xu, Xiaowei; Zheng, Min; Zheng, Shusen; Li, Lanjuan; Shen, Binghui; Wang, Ying-Jie

    2015-01-01

    The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a ligand-activated transcription factor that responds to environmental toxicants, is increasingly recognized as a key player in embryogenesis and tumorigenesis. Here we show that a variety of tryptophan derivatives that act as endogenous AhR ligands can affect the transcription level of the master pluripotency factor Oct4. Among them, ITE enhances the binding of the AhR to the promoter of Oct4 and suppresses its transcription. Reduction of endogenous ITE levels in cancer cells by tryptophan deprivation or hypoxia leads to Oct4 elevation, which can be reverted by administration with synthetic ITE. Consequently, synthetic ITE induces the differentiation of stem-like cancer cells and reduces their tumorigenic potential in both subcutaneous and orthotopic xenograft tumour models. Thus, our results reveal a role of tryptophan derivatives and the AhR signalling pathway in regulating cancer cell stemness and open a new therapeutic avenue to target stem-like cancer cells. PMID:26059097

  16. Scalable topographies to support proliferation and Oct4 expression by human induced pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Reimer, Andreas; Vasilevich, Aliaksei; Hulshof, Frits; Viswanathan, Priyalakshmi; van Blitterswijk, Clemens A; de Boer, Jan; Watt, Fiona M

    2016-01-01

    It is well established that topographical features modulate cell behaviour, including cell morphology, proliferation and differentiation. To define the effects of topography on human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), we plated cells on a topographical library containing over 1000 different features in medium lacking animal products (xeno-free). Using high content imaging, we determined the effect of each topography on cell proliferation and expression of the pluripotency marker Oct4 24 h after seeding. Features that maintained Oct4 expression also supported proliferation and cell-cell adhesion at 24 h, and by 4 days colonies of Oct4-positive, Sox2-positive cells had formed. Computational analysis revealed that small feature size was the most important determinant of pluripotency, followed by high wave number and high feature density. Using this information we correctly predicted whether any given topography within our library would support the pluripotent state at 24 h. This approach not only facilitates the design of substrates for optimal human iPSC expansion, but also, potentially, identification of topographies with other desirable characteristics, such as promoting differentiation. PMID:26757610

  17. Tryptophan derivatives regulate the transcription of Oct4 in stem-like cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Jie; Li, Wenxin; Kang, Bo; Zhou, Yanwen; Song, Jiasheng; Dan, Songsong; Yang, Ying; Zhang, Xiaoqian; Li, Jingchao; Yin, Shengyong; Cao, Hongcui; Yao, Hangping; Zhu, Chenggang; Yi, Wen; Zhao, Qingwei; Xu, Xiaowei; Zheng, Min; Zheng, Shusen; Li, Lanjuan; Shen, Binghui; Wang, Ying-Jie

    2015-06-10

    The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a ligand-activated transcription factor that responds to environmental toxicants, is increasingly recognized as a key player in embryogenesis and tumorigenesis. Here we show that a variety of tryptophan derivatives that act as endogenous AhR ligands can affect the transcription level of the master pluripotency factor Oct4. Among them, ITE enhances the binding of the AhR to the promoter of Oct4 and suppresses its transcription. Reduction of endogenous ITE levels in cancer cells by tryptophan deprivation or hypoxia leads to Oct4 elevation, which can be reverted by administration with synthetic ITE. Consequently, synthetic ITE induces the differentiation of stem-like cancer cells and reduces their tumorigenic potential in both subcutaneous and orthotopic xenograft tumour models. Thus, our results reveal a role of tryptophan derivatives and the AhR signalling pathway in regulating cancer cell stemness and open a new therapeutic avenue to target stem-like cancer cells.

  18. Regulatory gene networks and the properties of the developmental process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Eric H.; McClay, David R.; Hood, Leroy

    2003-01-01

    Genomic instructions for development are encoded in arrays of regulatory DNA. These specify large networks of interactions among genes producing transcription factors and signaling components. The architecture of such networks both explains and predicts developmental phenomenology. Although network analysis is yet in its early stages, some fundamental commonalities are already emerging. Two such are the use of multigenic feedback loops to ensure the progressivity of developmental regulatory states and the prevalence of repressive regulatory interactions in spatial control processes. Gene regulatory networks make it possible to explain the process of development in causal terms and eventually will enable the redesign of developmental regulatory circuitry to achieve different outcomes.

  19. Predicting differences in gene regulatory systems by state space models.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Rui; Imoto, Seiya; Yamauchi, Mai; Nagasaki, Masao; Yoshida, Ryo; Shimamura, Teppei; Hatanaka, Yosuke; Ueno, Kazuko; Higuchi, Tomoyuki; Gotoh, Noriko; Miyano, Satoru

    2008-01-01

    We propose a statistical strategy to predict differentially regulated genes of case and control samples from time-course gene expression data by leveraging unpredictability of the expression patterns from the underlying regulatory system inferred by a state space model. The proposed method can screen out genes that show different patterns but generated by the same regulations in both samples, since these patterns can be predicted by the same model. Our strategy consists of three steps. Firstly, a gene regulatory system is inferred from the control data by a state space model. Then the obtained model for the underlying regulatory system of the control sample is used to predict the case data. Finally, by assessing the significance of the difference between case and predicted-case time-course data of each gene, we are able to detect the unpredictable genes that are the candidate as the key differences between the regulatory systems of case and control cells. We illustrate the whole process of the strategy by an actual example, where human small airway epithelial cell gene regulatory systems were generated from novel time courses of gene expressions following treatment with(case)/without(control) the drug gefitinib, an inhibitor for the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase. Finally, in gefitinib response data we succeeded in finding unpredictable genes that are candidates of the specific targets of gefitinib. We also discussed differences in regulatory systems for the unpredictable genes. The proposed method would be a promising tool for identifying biomarkers and drug target genes.

  20. Interplay between gene expression noise and regulatory network architecture

    PubMed Central

    Chalancon, Guilhem; Ravarani, Charles; Balaji, S.; Martinez-Arias, Alfonso; Aravind, L.; Jothi, Raja; Babu, M. Madan

    2012-01-01

    Complex regulatory networks orchestrate most cellular processes in biological systems. Genes in such networks are subject to expression noise, resulting in isogenic cell populations exhibiting cell-to-cell variation in protein levels. Increasing evidence suggests that cells have evolved regulatory strategies to limit, tolerate, or amplify expression noise. In this context, fundamental questions arise: how can the architecture of gene regulatory networks generate, make use of, or be constrained by expression noise? Here, we discuss the interplay between expression noise and gene regulatory network at different levels of organization, ranging from a single regulatory interaction to entire regulatory networks. We then consider how this interplay impacts a variety of phenomena such as pathogenicity, disease, adaptation to changing environments, differential cell-fate outcome and incomplete or partial penetrance effects. Finally, we highlight recent technological developments that permit measurements at the single-cell level, and discuss directions for future research. PMID:22365642

  1. Chaotic motifs in gene regulatory networks.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhaoyang; Ye, Weiming; Qian, Yu; Zheng, Zhigang; Huang, Xuhui; Hu, Gang

    2012-01-01

    Chaos should occur often in gene regulatory networks (GRNs) which have been widely described by nonlinear coupled ordinary differential equations, if their dimensions are no less than 3. It is therefore puzzling that chaos has never been reported in GRNs in nature and is also extremely rare in models of GRNs. On the other hand, the topic of motifs has attracted great attention in studying biological networks, and network motifs are suggested to be elementary building blocks that carry out some key functions in the network. In this paper, chaotic motifs (subnetworks with chaos) in GRNs are systematically investigated. The conclusion is that: (i) chaos can only appear through competitions between different oscillatory modes with rivaling intensities. Conditions required for chaotic GRNs are found to be very strict, which make chaotic GRNs extremely rare. (ii) Chaotic motifs are explored as the simplest few-node structures capable of producing chaos, and serve as the intrinsic source of chaos of random few-node GRNs. Several optimal motifs causing chaos with atypically high probability are figured out. (iii) Moreover, we discovered that a number of special oscillators can never produce chaos. These structures bring some advantages on rhythmic functions and may help us understand the robustness of diverse biological rhythms. (iv) The methods of dominant phase-advanced driving (DPAD) and DPAD time fraction are proposed to quantitatively identify chaotic motifs and to explain the origin of chaotic behaviors in GRNs.

  2. Modeling DNA sequence-based cis-regulatory gene networks.

    PubMed

    Bolouri, Hamid; Davidson, Eric H

    2002-06-01

    Gene network analysis requires computationally based models which represent the functional architecture of regulatory interactions, and which provide directly testable predictions. The type of model that is useful is constrained by the particular features of developmentally active cis-regulatory systems. These systems function by processing diverse regulatory inputs, generating novel regulatory outputs. A computational model which explicitly accommodates this basic concept was developed earlier for the cis-regulatory system of the endo16 gene of the sea urchin. This model represents the genetically mandated logic functions that the system executes, but also shows how time-varying kinetic inputs are processed in different circumstances into particular kinetic outputs. The same basic design features can be utilized to construct models that connect the large number of cis-regulatory elements constituting developmental gene networks. The ultimate aim of the network models discussed here is to represent the regulatory relationships among the genomic control systems of the genes in the network, and to state their functional meaning. The target site sequences of the cis-regulatory elements of these genes constitute the physical basis of the network architecture. Useful models for developmental regulatory networks must represent the genetic logic by which the system operates, but must also be capable of explaining the real time dynamics of cis-regulatory response as kinetic input and output data become available. Most importantly, however, such models must display in a direct and transparent manner fundamental network design features such as intra- and intercellular feedback circuitry; the sources of parallel inputs into each cis-regulatory element; gene battery organization; and use of repressive spatial inputs in specification and boundary formation. Successful network models lead to direct tests of key architectural features by targeted cis-regulatory analysis. PMID

  3. Computational discovery of gene modules and regulatory networks.

    PubMed

    Bar-Joseph, Ziv; Gerber, Georg K; Lee, Tong Ihn; Rinaldi, Nicola J; Yoo, Jane Y; Robert, François; Gordon, D Benjamin; Fraenkel, Ernest; Jaakkola, Tommi S; Young, Richard A; Gifford, David K

    2003-11-01

    We describe an algorithm for discovering regulatory networks of gene modules, GRAM (Genetic Regulatory Modules), that combines information from genome-wide location and expression data sets. A gene module is defined as a set of coexpressed genes to which the same set of transcription factors binds. Unlike previous approaches that relied primarily on functional information from expression data, the GRAM algorithm explicitly links genes to the factors that regulate them by incorporating DNA binding data, which provide direct physical evidence of regulatory interactions. We use the GRAM algorithm to describe a genome-wide regulatory network in Saccharomyces cerevisiae using binding information for 106 transcription factors profiled in rich medium conditions data from over 500 expression experiments. We also present a genome-wide location analysis data set for regulators in yeast cells treated with rapamycin, and use the GRAM algorithm to provide biological insights into this regulatory network

  4. Transcription factor trapping by RNA in gene regulatory elements.

    PubMed

    Sigova, Alla A; Abraham, Brian J; Ji, Xiong; Molinie, Benoit; Hannett, Nancy M; Guo, Yang Eric; Jangi, Mohini; Giallourakis, Cosmas C; Sharp, Phillip A; Young, Richard A

    2015-11-20

    Transcription factors (TFs) bind specific sequences in promoter-proximal and -distal DNA elements to regulate gene transcription. RNA is transcribed from both of these DNA elements, and some DNA binding TFs bind RNA. Hence, RNA transcribed from regulatory elements may contribute to stable TF occupancy at these sites. We show that the ubiquitously expressed TF Yin-Yang 1 (YY1) binds to both gene regulatory elements and their associated RNA species across the entire genome. Reduced transcription of regulatory elements diminishes YY1 occupancy, whereas artificial tethering of RNA enhances YY1 occupancy at these elements. We propose that RNA makes a modest but important contribution to the maintenance of certain TFs at gene regulatory elements and suggest that transcription of regulatory elements produces a positive-feedback loop that contributes to the stability of gene expression programs.

  5. Generation of human-induced pluripotent stem cells from gut mesentery-derived cells by ectopic expression of OCT4/SOX2/NANOG.

    PubMed

    Li, Yang; Zhao, Hongxi; Lan, Feng; Lee, Andrew; Chen, Liu; Lin, Changsheng; Yao, Yuanqing; Li, Lingsong

    2010-06-01

    Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have been generated from human somatic cells by ectopic expression of defined transcription factors. Application of this approach in human cells may have enormous potential to generate patient-specific pluripotent stem cells. However, traditional methods of reprogramming in human somatic cells involve the use of oncogenes c-MYC and KLF4, which are not applicable to clinical translation. In the present study, we investigated whether human fetal gut mesentery-derived cells (hGMDCs) could be successfully reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells by OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG alone. We used lentiviruses to express OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, in hGMDCs, then generated iPS cells that were identified by morphology, presence of pluripotency markers, global gene expression profile, DNA methylation status, capacity to form embryoid bodies (EBs), and terotoma formation. iPS cells resulting from hGMDCs were similar to human embryonic stem (ES) cells in morphology, proliferation, surface markers, gene expression, and epigenetic status of pluripotent cell-specific genes. Furthermore, these cells were able to differentiate into cell types of all three germ layers both in vitro and in vivo, as shown by EB and teratoma formation assays. DNA fingerprinting showed that the human iPS cells were derived from the donor cells, and are not a result of contamination. Our results provide proof that hGMDCs can be reprogrammed into pluripotent cells by ectopic expression of three factors (OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG) without the use of oncogenes c-MYC and KLF4. PMID:20698766

  6. Expression and clinical significance of Oct-4 and E-cad in non-small-cell lung cancer

    PubMed Central

    LI, LI; LV, YANLING; ZHANG, YING; HE, LIYA; ZHANG, HONGZHEN

    2016-01-01

    Non-small-lung cancer (NSCLC) is a common malignant tumor and is a leading cause of cancer mortality. Tumor stem cells are associated with tumor pathogenesis and development as well as invastion and metastasis. In the present study, the expression and correlation of tumor stem cell markers, octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct-4) and E-cadherin (E-cad) in NSCLC and normal lung tissue were investigated. Additionally, the molecular mechanisms of invasion and metastasis of NSCLC were assessed. The expression of Oct-4 and E-cad was examined in 65 pathologically diagnosed cases of NSCLC using immunohistochemistry. The correlation between Oct-4 and E-cad, as well as the association with pathological grade and clinical staging were also analyzed. Fifteen cases of normal lung tissues served as the control. The positive expression of Oct-4 and abnormal expression of E-cad was higher in the NSCLC tissue compared to the normal lung tissue, and increased as NSCLC malignancy increased. The differences in each grade each stage were statistically significant (P<0.05). A correlation was identified between the abnormal expression of Oct-4 and E-cad (P<0.05, coefficient of contingency C=0.439). In conclusion, the expression of Oct-4 promoted the epithelial-mesenchymal transition in lung cancer. PMID:26870194

  7. An organ boundary-enriched gene regulatory network uncovers regulatory hierarchies underlying axillary meristem initiation

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Caihuan; Zhang, Xiaoni; He, Jun; Yu, Haopeng; Wang, Ying; Shi, Bihai; Han, Yingying; Wang, Guoxun; Feng, Xiaoming; Zhang, Cui; Wang, Jin; Qi, Jiyan; Yu, Rong; Jiao, Yuling

    2014-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) control development via cell type-specific gene expression and interactions between transcription factors (TFs) and regulatory promoter regions. Plant organ boundaries separate lateral organs from the apical meristem and harbor axillary meristems (AMs). AMs, as stem cell niches, make the shoot a ramifying system. Although AMs have important functions in plant development, our knowledge of organ boundary and AM formation remains rudimentary. Here, we generated a cellular-resolution genomewide gene expression map for low-abundance Arabidopsis thaliana organ boundary cells and constructed a genomewide protein–DNA interaction map focusing on genes affecting boundary and AM formation. The resulting GRN uncovers transcriptional signatures, predicts cellular functions, and identifies promoter hub regions that are bound by many TFs. Importantly, further experimental studies determined the regulatory effects of many TFs on their targets, identifying regulators and regulatory relationships in AM initiation. This systems biology approach thus enhances our understanding of a key developmental process. PMID:25358340

  8. Phenotype accessibility and noise in random threshold gene regulatory networks.

    PubMed

    Pinho, Ricardo; Garcia, Victor; Feldman, Marcus W

    2014-01-01

    Evolution requires phenotypic variation in a population of organisms for selection to function. Gene regulatory processes involved in organismal development affect the phenotypic diversity of organisms. Since only a fraction of all possible phenotypes are predicted to be accessed by the end of development, organisms may evolve strategies to use environmental cues and noise-like fluctuations to produce additional phenotypic diversity, and hence to enhance the speed of adaptation. We used a generic model of organismal development --gene regulatory networks-- to investigate how different levels of noise on gene expression states (i.e. phenotypes) may affect access to new, unique phenotypes, thereby affecting phenotypic diversity. We studied additional strategies that organisms might adopt to attain larger phenotypic diversity: either by augmenting their genome or the number of gene expression states. This was done for different types of gene regulatory networks that allow for distinct levels of regulatory influence on gene expression or are more likely to give rise to stable phenotypes. We found that if gene expression is binary, increasing noise levels generally decreases phenotype accessibility for all network types studied. If more gene expression states are considered, noise can moderately enhance the speed of discovery if three or four gene expression states are allowed, and if there are enough distinct regulatory networks in the population. These results were independent of the network types analyzed, and were robust to different implementations of noise. Hence, for noise to increase the number of accessible phenotypes in gene regulatory networks, very specific conditions need to be satisfied. If the number of distinct regulatory networks involved in organismal development is large enough, and the acquisition of more genes or fine tuning of their expression states proves costly to the organism, noise can be useful in allowing access to more unique phenotypes

  9. Phenotype Accessibility and Noise in Random Threshold Gene Regulatory Networks

    PubMed Central

    Feldman, Marcus W.

    2015-01-01

    Evolution requires phenotypic variation in a population of organisms for selection to function. Gene regulatory processes involved in organismal development affect the phenotypic diversity of organisms. Since only a fraction of all possible phenotypes are predicted to be accessed by the end of development, organisms may evolve strategies to use environmental cues and noise-like fluctuations to produce additional phenotypic diversity, and hence to enhance the speed of adaptation. We used a generic model of organismal development --gene regulatory networks-- to investigate how different levels of noise on gene expression states (i.e. phenotypes) may affect access to new, unique phenotypes, thereby affecting phenotypic diversity. We studied additional strategies that organisms might adopt to attain larger phenotypic diversity: either by augmenting their genome or the number of gene expression states. This was done for different types of gene regulatory networks that allow for distinct levels of regulatory influence on gene expression or are more likely to give rise to stable phenotypes. We found that if gene expression is binary, increasing noise levels generally decreases phenotype accessibility for all network types studied. If more gene expression states are considered, noise can moderately enhance the speed of discovery if three or four gene expression states are allowed, and if there are enough distinct regulatory networks in the population. These results were independent of the network types analyzed, and were robust to different implementations of noise. Hence, for noise to increase the number of accessible phenotypes in gene regulatory networks, very specific conditions need to be satisfied. If the number of distinct regulatory networks involved in organismal development is large enough, and the acquisition of more genes or fine tuning of their expression states proves costly to the organism, noise can be useful in allowing access to more unique phenotypes

  10. Relationship of Oct-4 to malignant stage: a meta-analysis based on 502 positive/high Oct-4 cases and 522 negative/low case-free controls

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Fangfang; Zheng, Xiaobin; Huang, Rijiao; Yang, Weilin; Chen, Zhenguang

    2016-01-01

    Background Octamer 4 (Oct-4), an important member of the POU domain transcription factor family, has been suggested to function as a master switch during differentiation of human somatic cells and more recently has come to be linked with neoplastic properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between Oct-4 and cancer stage using a meta-analysis approach. Materials and Methods Relevant articles published as of May 2015 were retrieved from the following databases: PubMed, ISI Web of Knowledge, Embase, and Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI). The strengths of relationship for outcomes of interest were estimated based on odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results A total of 11 articles on Oct-4 and cancer staging that collectively included 502 positive/high Oct-4 cases and 522 negative/low case-free controls were chosen. Positive/high Oct-4 was significantly associated with cancer stage in several kinds of cancer. Specifically, positive/high Oct-4 was associated with cancer stage III/IV (fixed effects: OR = 1.53, 95% CI = 1.12–2.10), primary tumor (T3–4) (random effects: OR = 1.93, 95% CI = 0.99–3.77), and cancer grade of differentiation (intermediate-poor) (random effects: OR = 3.45, 95% CI = 1.5–7.61). Conclusion These findings suggest that positive/high Oct-4 is more strongly linked to stage III/IV cancer and cancer grade of differentiation, and is correlated with malignant characteristics that lead to poor prognosis in different types of cancer, especially in Asian. Given variability related to ethnicity and differences in cancer types, additional studies are warranted to establish the generalizability of our findings. PMID:26575328

  11. Robustness and Accuracy in Sea Urchin Developmental Gene Regulatory Networks

    PubMed Central

    Ben-Tabou de-Leon, Smadar

    2016-01-01

    Developmental gene regulatory networks robustly control the timely activation of regulatory and differentiation genes. The structure of these networks underlies their capacity to buffer intrinsic and extrinsic noise and maintain embryonic morphology. Here I illustrate how the use of specific architectures by the sea urchin developmental regulatory networks enables the robust control of cell fate decisions. The Wnt-βcatenin signaling pathway patterns the primary embryonic axis while the BMP signaling pathway patterns the secondary embryonic axis in the sea urchin embryo and across bilateria. Interestingly, in the sea urchin in both cases, the signaling pathway that defines the axis controls directly the expression of a set of downstream regulatory genes. I propose that this direct activation of a set of regulatory genes enables a uniform regulatory response and a clear cut cell fate decision in the endoderm and in the dorsal ectoderm. The specification of the mesodermal pigment cell lineage is activated by Delta signaling that initiates a triple positive feedback loop that locks down the pigment specification state. I propose that the use of compound positive feedback circuitry provides the endodermal cells enough time to turn off mesodermal genes and ensures correct mesoderm vs. endoderm fate decision. Thus, I argue that understanding the control properties of repeatedly used regulatory architectures illuminates their role in embryogenesis and provides possible explanations to their resistance to evolutionary change. PMID:26913048

  12. Role of stress-activated OCT4A in the cell fate decisions of embryonal carcinoma cells treated with etoposide.

    PubMed

    Huna, Anda; Salmina, Kristine; Erenpreisa, Jekaterina; Vazquez-Martin, Alejandro; Krigerts, Jekabs; Inashkina, Inna; Gerashchenko, Bogdan I; Townsend, Paul A; Cragg, Mark S; Jackson, Thomas R

    2015-01-01

    Tumor cellular senescence induced by genotoxic treatments has recently been found to be paradoxically linked to the induction of "stemness." This observation is critical as it directly impinges upon the response of tumors to current chemo-radio-therapy treatment regimens. Previously, we showed that following etoposide (ETO) treatment embryonal carcinoma PA-1 cells undergo a p53-dependent upregulation of OCT4A and p21Cip1 (governing self-renewal and regulating cell cycle inhibition and senescence, respectively). Here we report further detail on the relationship between these and other critical cell-fate regulators. PA-1 cells treated with ETO display highly heterogeneous increases in OCT4A and p21Cip1 indicative of dis-adaptation catastrophe. Silencing OCT4A suppresses p21Cip1, changes cell cycle regulation and subsequently suppresses terminal senescence; p21Cip1-silencing did not affect OCT4A expression or cellular phenotype. SOX2 and NANOG expression did not change following ETO treatment suggesting a dissociation of OCT4A from its pluripotency function. Instead, ETO-induced OCT4A was concomitant with activation of AMPK, a key component of metabolic stress and autophagy regulation. p16ink4a, the inducer of terminal senescence, underwent autophagic sequestration in the cytoplasm of ETO-treated cells, allowing alternative cell fates. Accordingly, failure of autophagy was accompanied by an accumulation of p16ink4a, nuclear disintegration, and loss of cell recovery. Together, these findings imply that OCT4A induction following DNA damage in PA-1 cells, performs a cell stress, rather than self-renewal, function by moderating the expression of p21Cip1, which alongside AMPK helps to then regulate autophagy. Moreover, this data indicates that exhaustion of autophagy, through persistent DNA damage, is the cause of terminal cellular senescence. PMID:26102294

  13. Over-expression of Oct4 and Sox2 transcription factors enhances differentiation of human umbilical cord blood cells in vivo

    SciTech Connect

    Guseva, Daria; Rizvanov, Albert A.; Salafutdinov, Ilnur I.; Kudryashova, Nezhdana V.; Palotás, András; Islamov, Rustem R.

    2014-09-05

    Highlights: • Gene and cell-based therapies comprise innovative aspects of regenerative medicine. • Genetically modified hUCB-MCs enhanced differentiation of cells in a mouse model of ALS. • Stem cells successfully transformed into micro-glial and endothelial lines in spinal cords. • Over-expressing oct4 and sox2 also induced production of neural marker PGP9.5. • Formation of new nerve cells, secreting trophic factors and neo-vascularisation could improve symptoms in ALS. - Abstract: Gene and cell-based therapies comprise innovative aspects of regenerative medicine. Even though stem cells represent a highly potential therapeutic strategy, their wide-spread exploitation is marred by ethical concerns, potential for malignant transformation and a plethora of other technical issues, largely restricting their use to experimental studies. Utilizing genetically modified human umbilical cord blood mono-nuclear cells (hUCB-MCs), this communication reports enhanced differentiation of transplants in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Over-expressing Oct4 and Sox2 induced production of neural marker PGP9.5, as well as transformation of hUCB-MCs into micro-glial and endothelial lines in ALS spinal cords. In addition to producing new nerve cells, providing degenerated areas with trophic factors and neo-vascularisation might prevent and even reverse progressive loss of moto-neurons and skeletal muscle paralysis.

  14. Small molecules enable cardiac reprogramming of mouse fibroblasts with a single factor, Oct4.

    PubMed

    Wang, Haixia; Cao, Nan; Spencer, C Ian; Nie, Baoming; Ma, Tianhua; Xu, Tao; Zhang, Yu; Wang, Xiaojing; Srivastava, Deepak; Ding, Sheng

    2014-03-13

    It was recently shown that mouse fibroblasts could be reprogrammed into cells of a cardiac fate by forced expression of multiple transcription factors and microRNAs. For ultimate application of such a reprogramming strategy for cell-based therapy or in vivo cardiac regeneration, reducing or eliminating the genetic manipulations by small molecules would be highly desirable. Here, we report the identification of a defined small-molecule cocktail that enables the highly efficient conversion of mouse fibroblasts into cardiac cells with only one transcription factor, Oct4, without any evidence of entrance into the pluripotent state. Small-molecule-induced cardiomyocytes spontaneously contract and exhibit a ventricular phenotype. Furthermore, these induced cardiomyocytes pass through a cardiac progenitor stage. This study lays the foundation for future pharmacological reprogramming approaches and provides a small-molecule condition for investigation of the mechanisms underlying the cardiac reprogramming process. PMID:24561253

  15. 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

  16. Rat alveolar type I cells proliferate, express OCT-4, and exhibit phenotypic plasticity in vitro.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Robert F; Allen, Lennell; Dobbs, Leland G

    2009-12-01

    Alveolar type I (TI) cells are large, squamous cells that cover 95-99% of the internal surface area of the lung. Although TI cells are believed to be terminally differentiated, incapable of either proliferation or phenotypic plasticity, TI cells in vitro both proliferate and express phenotypic markers of other differentiated cell types. Rat TI cells isolated in purities of >99% proliferate in culture, with a sixfold increase in cell number before the cells reach confluence; >50% of the cultured TI cells are Ki67+. At cell densities of 1-2 cells/well, approximately 50% of the cells had the capacity to form colonies. Under the same conditions, type II cells do not proliferate. Cultured TI cells express RTI40 and aquaporin 5, phenotypic markers of the TI cell phenotype. By immunofluorescence, Western blotting, and Q-PCR, TI cells express OCT-4A (POU5F1), a transcription factor associated with maintenance of the pluripotent state in stem cells. Based on the expression patterns of various marker proteins, TI cells are distinct from either of two recently described putative pulmonary multipotent cell populations, the bronchoalveolar stem cell or the OCT-4+ stem/progenitor cell. Although TI cells in adult rat lung tissue do not express either surfactant protein C (SP-C) or CC10, respective markers of the TII and Clara cell phenotypes, in culture TI cells can be induced to express both SP-C and CC10. Together, the findings that TI cells proliferate and exhibit phenotypic plasticity in vitro raise the possibility that TI cells may have similar properties in vivo. PMID:19717550

  17. Gene regulatory networks modelling using a dynamic evolutionary hybrid

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Inference of gene regulatory networks is a key goal in the quest for understanding fundamental cellular processes and revealing underlying relations among genes. With the availability of gene expression data, computational methods aiming at regulatory networks reconstruction are facing challenges posed by the data's high dimensionality, temporal dynamics or measurement noise. We propose an approach based on a novel multi-layer evolutionary trained neuro-fuzzy recurrent network (ENFRN) that is able to select potential regulators of target genes and describe their regulation type. Results The recurrent, self-organizing structure and evolutionary training of our network yield an optimized pool of regulatory relations, while its fuzzy nature avoids noise-related problems. Furthermore, we are able to assign scores for each regulation, highlighting the confidence in the retrieved relations. The approach was tested by applying it to several benchmark datasets of yeast, managing to acquire biologically validated relations among genes. Conclusions The results demonstrate the effectiveness of the ENFRN in retrieving biologically valid regulatory relations and providing meaningful insights for better understanding the dynamics of gene regulatory networks. The algorithms and methods described in this paper have been implemented in a Matlab toolbox and are available from: http://bioserver-1.bioacademy.gr/DataRepository/Project_ENFRN_GRN/. PMID:20298548

  18. Time-Delayed Models of Gene Regulatory Networks

    PubMed Central

    Parmar, K.; Blyuss, K. B.; Kyrychko, Y. N.; Hogan, S. J.

    2015-01-01

    We discuss different mathematical models of gene regulatory networks as relevant to the onset and development of cancer. After discussion of alternative modelling approaches, we use a paradigmatic two-gene network to focus on the role played by time delays in the dynamics of gene regulatory networks. We contrast the dynamics of the reduced model arising in the limit of fast mRNA dynamics with that of the full model. The review concludes with the discussion of some open problems. PMID:26576197

  19. LFG: a candidate apoptosis regulatory gene family.

    PubMed

    Hu, Lan; Smith, Temple F; Goldberger, Gabriel

    2009-11-01

    The expanding wealth of human, model and other organism's genomic data has allowed the identification of a distinct gene family of apoptotic related genes. Most of these genes are currently unannotated or have been subsumed under two questionably related gene families in the past. For example the transmembrane Bax inhibitor 1 (BI1) motif family has been reported to play a role in apoptosis and to consist of at least seven mammalian protein genes, GRINA, BI1, Lfg/FAIM2, Ghitm, RESC1/Tmbim1, GAAP/Tmbim4, and Tmbm1b. However, a detailed sequence and phylogenetic analysis shows that only five of these form a clear and unique protein family. This now provides information for understanding and investigating the biological roles of these proteins across a wide range of tissues in model organisms. The evolutionary relationships among these genes provide a powerful prospective for extrapolating to human conditions.

  20. Systems Approaches to Identifying Gene Regulatory Networks in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Long, Terri A.; Brady, Siobhan M.; Benfey, Philip N.

    2009-01-01

    Complex gene regulatory networks are composed of genes, noncoding RNAs, proteins, metabolites, and signaling components. The availability of genome-wide mutagenesis libraries; large-scale transcriptome, proteome, and metabalome data sets; and new high-throughput methods that uncover protein interactions underscores the need for mathematical modeling techniques that better enable scientists to synthesize these large amounts of information and to understand the properties of these biological systems. Systems biology approaches can allow researchers to move beyond a reductionist approach and to both integrate and comprehend the interactions of multiple components within these systems. Descriptive and mathematical models for gene regulatory networks can reveal emergent properties of these plant systems. This review highlights methods that researchers are using to obtain large-scale data sets, and examples of gene regulatory networks modeled with these data. Emergent properties revealed by the use of these network models and perspectives on the future of systems biology are discussed. PMID:18616425

  1. Bayesian Nonlinear Model Selection for Gene Regulatory Networks

    PubMed Central

    Ni, Yang; Stingo, Francesco C.; Baladandayuthapani, Veerabhadran

    2015-01-01

    Summary Gene regulatory networks represent the regulatory relationships between genes and their products and are important for exploring and defining the underlying biological processes of cellular systems. We develop a novel framework to recover the structure of nonlinear gene regulatory networks using semiparametric spline-based directed acyclic graphical models. Our use of splines allows the model to have both flexibility in capturing nonlinear dependencies as well as control of overfitting via shrinkage, using mixed model representations of penalized splines. We propose a novel discrete mixture prior on the smoothing parameter of the splines that allows for simultaneous selection of both linear and nonlinear functional relationships as well as inducing sparsity in the edge selection. Using simulation studies, we demonstrate the superior performance of our methods in comparison with several existing approaches in terms of network reconstruction and functional selection. We apply our methods to a gene expression dataset in glioblastoma multiforme, which reveals several interesting and biologically relevant nonlinear relationships. PMID:25854759

  2. Transient Downregulation of Nanog and Oct4 Induced by DETA/NO Exposure in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells Leads to Mesodermal/Endodermal Lineage Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Mora-Castilla, Sergio; Tejedo, Juan R.; Díaz, Irene; Hitos, Ana B.; Cahuana, Gladys M.; Hmadcha, Abdelkrim; Martín, Franz; Soria, Bernat

    2014-01-01

    The function of pluripotency genes in differentiation is a matter of investigation. We report here that Nanog and Oct4 are reexpressed in two mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) lines following exposure to the differentiating agent DETA/NO. Both cell lines express a battery of both endoderm and mesoderm markers following induction of differentiation with DETA/NO-based protocols. Confocal analysis of cells undergoing directed differentiation shows that the majority of cells expressing Nanog express also endoderm genes such as Gata4 and FoxA2 (75.4% and 96.2%, resp.). Simultaneously, mRNA of mesodermal markers Flk1 and Mef2c are also regulated by the treatment. Acetylated histone H3 occupancy at the promoter of Nanog is involved in the process of reexpression. Furthermore, Nanog binding to the promoter of Brachyury leads to repression of this gene, thus disrupting mesendoderm transition. PMID:25544848

  3. TALEN/CRISPR-mediated eGFP knock-in add-on at the OCT4 locus does not impact differentiation of human embryonic stem cells towards endoderm.

    PubMed

    Krentz, Nicole A J; Nian, Cuilan; Lynn, Francis C

    2014-01-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have great promise as a source of unlimited transplantable cells for regenerative medicine. However, current progress on producing the desired cell type for disease treatment has been limited due to an insufficient understanding of the developmental processes that govern their differentiation, as well as a paucity of tools to systematically study differentiation in the lab. In order to overcome these limitations, cell-type reporter hESC lines will be required. Here we outline two strategies using Transcription Activator Like Effector Nucleases (TALENs) and Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-Associated protein (Cas) to create OCT4-eGFP knock-in add-on hESC lines. Thirty-one and forty-seven percent of clones were correctly modified using the TALEN and CRISPR-Cas9 systems, respectively. Further analysis of three correctly targeted clones demonstrated that the insertion of eGFP in-frame with OCT4 neither significantly impacted expression from the wild type allele nor did the fusion protein have a dramatically different biological stability. Importantly, the OCT4-eGFP fusion was easily detected using microscopy, flow cytometry and western blotting. The OCT4 reporter lines remained equally competent at producing CXCR4+ definitive endoderm that expressed a panel of endodermal genes. Moreover, the genomic modification did not impact the formation of NKX6.1+/SOX9+ pancreatic progenitor cells following directed differentiation. In conclusion, these findings demonstrate for the first time that CRISPR-Cas9 can be used to modify OCT4 and highlight the feasibility of creating cell-type specific reporter hESC lines utilizing genome-editing tools that facilitate homologous recombination.

  4. Evolutionary conservation of regulatory elements in vertebrate HOX gene clusters

    SciTech Connect

    Santini, Simona; Boore, Jeffrey L.; Meyer, Axel

    2003-12-31

    Due to their high degree of conservation, comparisons of DNA sequences among evolutionarily distantly-related genomes permit to identify functional regions in noncoding DNA. Hox genes are optimal candidate sequences for comparative genome analyses, because they are extremely conserved in vertebrates and occur in clusters. We aligned (Pipmaker) the nucleotide sequences of HoxA clusters of tilapia, pufferfish, striped bass, zebrafish, horn shark, human and mouse (over 500 million years of evolutionary distance). We identified several highly conserved intergenic sequences, likely to be important in gene regulation. Only a few of these putative regulatory elements have been previously described as being involved in the regulation of Hox genes, while several others are new elements that might have regulatory functions. The majority of these newly identified putative regulatory elements contain short fragments that are almost completely conserved and are identical to known binding sites for regulatory proteins (Transfac). The conserved intergenic regions located between the most rostrally expressed genes in the developing embryo are longer and better retained through evolution. We document that presumed regulatory sequences are retained differentially in either A or A clusters resulting from a genome duplication in the fish lineage. This observation supports both the hypothesis that the conserved elements are involved in gene regulation and the Duplication-Deletion-Complementation model.

  5. Dynamic chromatin: the regulatory domain organization of eukaryotic gene loci.

    PubMed

    Bonifer, C; Hecht, A; Saueressig, H; Winter, D M; Sippel, A E

    1991-10-01

    It is hypothesized that nuclear DNA is organized in topologically constrained loop domains defining basic units of higher order chromatin structure. Our studies are performed in order to investigate the functional relevance of this structural subdivision of eukaryotic chromatin for the control of gene expression. We used the chicken lysozyme gene locus as a model to examine the relation between chromatin structure and gene function. Several structural features of the lysozyme locus are known: the extension of the region of general DNAasel sensitivity of the active gene, the location of DNA-sequences with high affinity for the nuclear matrix in vitro, and the position of DNAasel hypersensitive chromatin sites (DHSs). The pattern of DHSs changes depending on the transcriptional status of the gene. Functional studies demonstrated that DHSs mark the position of cis-acting regulatory elements. Additionally, we discovered a novel cis-activity of the border regions of the DNAasel sensitive domain (A-elements). By eliminating the position effect on gene expression usually observed when genes are randomly integrated into the genome after transfection, A-elements possibly serve as punctuation marks for a regulatory chromatin domain. Experiments using transgenic mice confirmed that the complete structurally defined lysozyme gene domain behaves as an independent regulatory unit, expressing the gene in a tissue specific and position independent manner. These expression features were lost in transgenic mice carrying a construct, in which the A-elements as well as an upstream enhancer region were deleted, indicating the lack of a locus activation function on this construct. Experiments are designed in order to uncover possible hierarchical relationships between the different cis-acting regulatory elements for stepwise gene activation during cell differentiation. We are aiming at the definition of the basic structural and functional requirements for position independent and high

  6. Dynamic chromatin: the regulatory domain organization of eukaryotic gene loci.

    PubMed

    Bonifer, C; Hecht, A; Saueressig, H; Winter, D M; Sippel, A E

    1991-10-01

    It is hypothesized that nuclear DNA is organized in topologically constrained loop domains defining basic units of higher order chromatin structure. Our studies are performed in order to investigate the functional relevance of this structural subdivision of eukaryotic chromatin for the control of gene expression. We used the chicken lysozyme gene locus as a model to examine the relation between chromatin structure and gene function. Several structural features of the lysozyme locus are known: the extension of the region of general DNAasel sensitivity of the active gene, the location of DNA-sequences with high affinity for the nuclear matrix in vitro, and the position of DNAasel hypersensitive chromatin sites (DHSs). The pattern of DHSs changes depending on the transcriptional status of the gene. Functional studies demonstrated that DHSs mark the position of cis-acting regulatory elements. Additionally, we discovered a novel cis-activity of the border regions of the DNAasel sensitive domain (A-elements). By eliminating the position effect on gene expression usually observed when genes are randomly integrated into the genome after transfection, A-elements possibly serve as punctuation marks for a regulatory chromatin domain. Experiments using transgenic mice confirmed that the complete structurally defined lysozyme gene domain behaves as an independent regulatory unit, expressing the gene in a tissue specific and position independent manner. These expression features were lost in transgenic mice carrying a construct, in which the A-elements as well as an upstream enhancer region were deleted, indicating the lack of a locus activation function on this construct. Experiments are designed in order to uncover possible hierarchical relationships between the different cis-acting regulatory elements for stepwise gene activation during cell differentiation. We are aiming at the definition of the basic structural and functional requirements for position independent and high

  7. Pou5f1/Oct4 Promotes Cell Survival via Direct Activation of mych Expression during Zebrafish Gastrulation

    PubMed Central

    Wendik, Björn; Polok, Bożena K.; Ben-Dor, Shifra; Onichtchouk, Daria; Driever, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    Myc proteins control cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, and apoptosis, and play important roles in cancer as well in establishment of pluripotency. Here we investigated the control of myc gene expression by the Pou5f1/Oct4 pluripotency factor in the early zebrafish embryo. We analyzed the expression of all known zebrafish Myc family members, myca, mycb, mych, mycl1a, mycl1b, and mycn, by whole mount in situ hybridization during blastula and gastrula stages in wildtype and maternal plus zygotic pou5f1 mutant (MZspg) embryos, as well as by quantitative PCR and in time series microarray data. We found that the broad blastula and gastrula stage mych expression, as well as late gastrula stage mycl1b expression, both depend on Pou5f1 activity. We analyzed ChIP-Seq data and found that both Pou5f1 and Sox2 bind to mych and mycl1b control regions. The regulation of mych by Pou5f1 appears to be direct transcriptional activation, as overexpression of a Pou5f1 activator fusion protein in MZspg embryos induced strong mych expression even when translation of zygotically expressed mRNAs was suppressed. We further showed that MZspg embryos develop enhanced apoptosis already during early gastrula stages, when apoptosis was not be detected in wildtype embryos. However, Mych knockdown alone did not induce early apoptosis, suggesting potentially redundant action of several early expressed myc genes, or combination of several pathways affected in MZspg. Experimental mych overexpression in MZspg embryos did significantly, but not completely suppress the apoptosis phenotype. Similarly, p53 knockdown only partially suppressed apoptosis in MZspg gastrula embryos. However, combined knockdown of p53 and overexpression of Mych completely rescued the MZspg apoptosis phenotype. These results reveal that Mych has anti-apoptotic activity in the early zebrafish embryo, and that p53-dependent and Myc pathways are likely to act in parallel to control apoptosis at these stages. PMID:24643012

  8. Pou5f1/Oct4 promotes cell survival via direct activation of mych expression during zebrafish gastrulation.

    PubMed

    Kotkamp, Kay; Kur, Esther; Wendik, Björn; Polok, Bożena K; Ben-Dor, Shifra; Onichtchouk, Daria; Driever, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    Myc proteins control cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, and apoptosis, and play important roles in cancer as well in establishment of pluripotency. Here we investigated the control of myc gene expression by the Pou5f1/Oct4 pluripotency factor in the early zebrafish embryo. We analyzed the expression of all known zebrafish Myc family members, myca, mycb, mych, mycl1a, mycl1b, and mycn, by whole mount in situ hybridization during blastula and gastrula stages in wildtype and maternal plus zygotic pou5f1 mutant (MZspg) embryos, as well as by quantitative PCR and in time series microarray data. We found that the broad blastula and gastrula stage mych expression, as well as late gastrula stage mycl1b expression, both depend on Pou5f1 activity. We analyzed ChIP-Seq data and found that both Pou5f1 and Sox2 bind to mych and mycl1b control regions. The regulation of mych by Pou5f1 appears to be direct transcriptional activation, as overexpression of a Pou5f1 activator fusion protein in MZspg embryos induced strong mych expression even when translation of zygotically expressed mRNAs was suppressed. We further showed that MZspg embryos develop enhanced apoptosis already during early gastrula stages, when apoptosis was not be detected in wildtype embryos. However, Mych knockdown alone did not induce early apoptosis, suggesting potentially redundant action of several early expressed myc genes, or combination of several pathways affected in MZspg. Experimental mych overexpression in MZspg embryos did significantly, but not completely suppress the apoptosis phenotype. Similarly, p53 knockdown only partially suppressed apoptosis in MZspg gastrula embryos. However, combined knockdown of p53 and overexpression of Mych completely rescued the MZspg apoptosis phenotype. These results reveal that Mych has anti-apoptotic activity in the early zebrafish embryo, and that p53-dependent and Myc pathways are likely to act in parallel to control apoptosis at these stages.

  9. Sequence-based model of gap gene regulatory network

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The detailed analysis of transcriptional regulation is crucially important for understanding biological processes. The gap gene network in Drosophila attracts large interest among researches studying mechanisms of transcriptional regulation. It implements the most upstream regulatory layer of the segmentation gene network. The knowledge of molecular mechanisms involved in gap gene regulation is far less complete than that of genetics of the system. Mathematical modeling goes beyond insights gained by genetics and molecular approaches. It allows us to reconstruct wild-type gene expression patterns in silico, infer underlying regulatory mechanism and prove its sufficiency. Results We developed a new model that provides a dynamical description of gap gene regulatory systems, using detailed DNA-based information, as well as spatial transcription factor concentration data at varying time points. We showed that this model correctly reproduces gap gene expression patterns in wild type embryos and is able to predict gap expression patterns in Kr mutants and four reporter constructs. We used four-fold cross validation test and fitting to random dataset to validate the model and proof its sufficiency in data description. The identifiability analysis showed that most model parameters are well identifiable. We reconstructed the gap gene network topology and studied the impact of individual transcription factor binding sites on the model output. We measured this impact by calculating the site regulatory weight as a normalized difference between the residual sum of squares error for the set of all annotated sites and for the set with the site of interest excluded. Conclusions The reconstructed topology of the gap gene network is in agreement with previous modeling results and data from literature. We showed that 1) the regulatory weights of transcription factor binding sites show very weak correlation with their PWM score; 2) sites with low regulatory weight are

  10. Cardiac gene regulatory networks in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Bryantsev, Anton L.; Cripps, Richard M.

    2009-01-01

    The Drosophila system has proven a powerful tool to help unlock the regulatory processes that occur during specification and differentiation of the embryonic heart. In this review, we focus upon a temporal analysis of the molecular events that result in heart formation in Drosophila, with a particular emphasis upon how genomic and other cuttingedge approaches are being brought to bear upon the subject. We anticipate that systemslevel approaches will contribute greatly to our comprehension of heart development and disease in the animal kingdom. PMID:18849017

  11. Regulatory links between imprinted genes: evolutionary predictions and consequences

    PubMed Central

    Patten, Manus M.; Cowley, Michael; Oakey, Rebecca J.; Feil, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Genomic imprinting is essential for development and growth and plays diverse roles in physiology and behaviour. Imprinted genes have traditionally been studied in isolation or in clusters with respect to cis-acting modes of gene regulation, both from a mechanistic and evolutionary point of view. Recent studies in mammals, however, reveal that imprinted genes are often co-regulated and are part of a gene network involved in the control of cellular proliferation and differentiation. Moreover, a subset of imprinted genes acts in trans on the expression of other imprinted genes. Numerous studies have modulated levels of imprinted gene expression to explore phenotypic and gene regulatory consequences. Increasingly, the applied genome-wide approaches highlight how perturbation of one imprinted gene may affect other maternally or paternally expressed genes. Here, we discuss these novel findings and consider evolutionary theories that offer a rationale for such intricate interactions among imprinted genes. An evolutionary view of these trans-regulatory effects provides a novel interpretation of the logic of gene networks within species and has implications for the origin of reproductive isolation between species. PMID:26842569

  12. Regulatory links between imprinted genes: evolutionary predictions and consequences.

    PubMed

    Patten, Manus M; Cowley, Michael; Oakey, Rebecca J; Feil, Robert

    2016-02-10

    Genomic imprinting is essential for development and growth and plays diverse roles in physiology and behaviour. Imprinted genes have traditionally been studied in isolation or in clusters with respect to cis-acting modes of gene regulation, both from a mechanistic and evolutionary point of view. Recent studies in mammals, however, reveal that imprinted genes are often co-regulated and are part of a gene network involved in the control of cellular proliferation and differentiation. Moreover, a subset of imprinted genes acts in trans on the expression of other imprinted genes. Numerous studies have modulated levels of imprinted gene expression to explore phenotypic and gene regulatory consequences. Increasingly, the applied genome-wide approaches highlight how perturbation of one imprinted gene may affect other maternally or paternally expressed genes. Here, we discuss these novel findings and consider evolutionary theories that offer a rationale for such intricate interactions among imprinted genes. An evolutionary view of these trans-regulatory effects provides a novel interpretation of the logic of gene networks within species and has implications for the origin of reproductive isolation between species.

  13. Gene Regulatory Networks Elucidating Huanglongbing Disease Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Martinelli, Federico; Reagan, Russell L.; Uratsu, Sandra L.; Phu, My L.; Albrecht, Ute; Zhao, Weixiang; Davis, Cristina E.; Bowman, Kim D.; Dandekar, Abhaya M.

    2013-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing was exploited to gain deeper insight into the response to infection by Candidatus liberibacter asiaticus (CaLas), especially the immune disregulation and metabolic dysfunction caused by source-sink disruption. Previous fruit transcriptome data were compared with additional RNA-Seq data in three tissues: immature fruit, and young and mature leaves. Four categories of orchard trees were studied: symptomatic, asymptomatic, apparently healthy, and healthy. Principal component analysis found distinct expression patterns between immature and mature fruits and leaf samples for all four categories of trees. A predicted protein – protein interaction network identified HLB-regulated genes for sugar transporters playing key roles in the overall plant responses. Gene set and pathway enrichment analyses highlight the role of sucrose and starch metabolism in disease symptom development in all tissues. HLB-regulated genes (glucose-phosphate-transporter, invertase, starch-related genes) would likely determine the source-sink relationship disruption. In infected leaves, transcriptomic changes were observed for light reactions genes (downregulation), sucrose metabolism (upregulation), and starch biosynthesis (upregulation). In parallel, symptomatic fruits over-expressed genes involved in photosynthesis, sucrose and raffinose metabolism, and downregulated starch biosynthesis. We visualized gene networks between tissues inducing a source-sink shift. CaLas alters the hormone crosstalk, resulting in weak and ineffective tissue-specific plant immune responses necessary for bacterial clearance. Accordingly, expression of WRKYs (including WRKY70) was higher in fruits than in leaves. Systemic acquired responses were inadequately activated in young leaves, generally considered the sites where most new infections occur. PMID:24086326

  14. Gene Regulatory Evolution During Speciation in a Songbird

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, John H.; Balakrishnan, Christopher N.

    2016-01-01

    Over the last decade, tremendous progress has been made toward a comparative understanding of gene regulatory evolution. However, we know little about how gene regulation evolves in birds, and how divergent genomes interact in their hybrids. Because of the unique features of birds – female heterogamety, a highly conserved karyotype, and the slow evolution of reproductive incompatibilities – an understanding of regulatory evolution in birds is critical to a comprehensive understanding of regulatory evolution and its implications for speciation. Using a novel complement of analyses of replicated RNA-seq libraries, we demonstrate abundant divergence in brain gene expression between zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) subspecies. By comparing parental populations and their F1 hybrids, we also show that gene misexpression is relatively rare among brain-expressed transcripts in male birds. If this pattern is consistent across tissues and sexes, it may partially explain the slow buildup of postzygotic reproductive isolation observed in birds relative to other taxa. Although we expected that the action of genetic drift on the island-dwelling zebra finch subspecies would be manifested in a higher rate of trans regulatory divergence, we found that most divergence was in cis regulation, following a pattern commonly observed in other taxa. Thus, our study highlights both unique and shared features of avian regulatory evolution. PMID:26976438

  15. Toucan: deciphering the cis-regulatory logic of coregulated genes

    PubMed Central

    Aerts, Stein; Thijs, Gert; Coessens, Bert; Staes, Mik; Moreau, Yves; De Moor, Bart

    2003-01-01

    TOUCAN is a Java application for the rapid discovery of significant cis-regulatory elements from sets of coexpressed or coregulated genes. Biologists can automatically (i) retrieve genes and intergenic regions, (ii) identify putative regulatory regions, (iii) score sequences for known transcription factor binding sites, (iv) identify candidate motifs for unknown binding sites, and (v) detect those statistically over-represented sites that are characteristic for a gene set. Genes or intergenic regions are retrieved from Ensembl or EMBL, together with orthologs and supporting information. Orthologs are aligned and syntenic regions are selected as candidate regulatory regions. Putative sites for known transcription factors are detected using our MotifScanner, which scores position weight matrices using a probabilistic model. New motifs are detected using our MotifSampler based on Gibbs sampling. Binding sites characteristic for a gene set—and thus statistically over-represented with respect to a reference sequence set—are found using a binomial test. We have validated Toucan by analyzing muscle-specific genes, liver-specific genes and E2F target genes; we have easily detected many known binding sites within intergenic DNA and identified new biologically plausible sites for known and unknown transcription factors. Software available at http://www.esat.kuleuven.ac.be/∼dna/BioI/Software.html. PMID:12626717

  16. Prediction of regulatory gene pairs using dynamic time warping and gene ontology.

    PubMed

    Yang, Andy C; Hsu, Hui-Huang; Lu, Ming-Da; Tseng, Vincent S; Shih, Timothy K

    2014-01-01

    Selecting informative genes is the most important task for data analysis on microarray gene expression data. In this work, we aim at identifying regulatory gene pairs from microarray gene expression data. However, microarray data often contain multiple missing expression values. Missing value imputation is thus needed before further processing for regulatory gene pairs becomes possible. We develop a novel approach to first impute missing values in microarray time series data by combining k-Nearest Neighbour (KNN), Dynamic Time Warping (DTW) and Gene Ontology (GO). After missing values are imputed, we then perform gene regulation prediction based on our proposed DTW-GO distance measurement of gene pairs. Experimental results show that our approach is more accurate when compared with existing missing value imputation methods on real microarray data sets. Furthermore, our approach can also discover more regulatory gene pairs that are known in the literature than other methods.

  17. Motifs emerge from function in model gene regulatory networks

    PubMed Central

    Burda, Z.; Krzywicki, A.; Martin, O. C.; Zagorski, M.

    2011-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks allow the control of gene expression patterns in living cells. The study of network topology has revealed that certain subgraphs of interactions or “motifs” appear at anomalously high frequencies. We ask here whether this phenomenon may emerge because of the functions carried out by these networks. Given a framework for describing regulatory interactions and dynamics, we consider in the space of all regulatory networks those that have prescribed functional capabilities. Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampling is then used to determine how these functional networks lead to specific motif statistics in the interactions. In the case where the regulatory networks are constrained to exhibit multistability, we find a high frequency of gene pairs that are mutually inhibitory and self-activating. In contrast, networks constrained to have periodic gene expression patterns (mimicking for instance the cell cycle) have a high frequency of bifan-like motifs involving four genes with at least one activating and one inhibitory interaction. PMID:21960444

  18. Derivation of LIF-independent mouse iPS cells with modified Oct4

    PubMed Central

    Hirai, Hiroyuki; Firpo, Meri; Kikyo, Nobuaki

    2015-01-01

    It has been very difficult, if not impossible, to establish mouse induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from differentiated cells, such as fibroblasts, without leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). We have established and maintained LIF-independent iPSCs for longer than 120 days with modified Oct4 along with Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc. The iPSCs will provide a novel tool to investigate the roles of the LIF-Stat3 signaling pathway in mouse pluripotent stem cells. Resource TableBiological reagent: induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cellName of Stem Cell constructM3O-lenti-iPSC-LIF(−)InstitutionUniversity of MinnesotaPerson who created resourceHiroyuki HiraiContact person and emailNobuaki Kikyo, kikyo001@umn.eduDate archived/stock date2014–2015OriginMouse embryonic fibroblastsType of resourceBiological reagent: induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cellSub-typeCell lineKey transcription factorsM3O, Sox2, Klf4, c-MycAuthenticationIdentity and purity of cell line confirmed (Figure 1)Link to related literature (direct URL links and full references)Hirai H., et al. In press, Stem Cell ResearchInformation in public databases PMID:26318720

  19. Approaches to modeling gene regulatory networks: a gentle introduction.

    PubMed

    Schlitt, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    This chapter is split into two main sections; first, I will present an introduction to gene networks. Second, I will discuss various approaches to gene network modeling which will include some examples for using different data sources. Computational modeling has been used for many different biological systems and many approaches have been developed addressing the different needs posed by the different application fields. The modeling approaches presented here are not limited to gene regulatory networks and occasionally I will present other examples. The material covered here is an update based on several previous publications by Thomas Schlitt and Alvis Brazma (FEBS Lett 579(8),1859-1866, 2005; Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 361(1467), 483-494, 2006; BMC Bioinformatics 8(suppl 6), S9, 2007) that formed the foundation for a lecture on gene regulatory networks at the In Silico Systems Biology workshop series at the European Bioinformatics Institute in Hinxton. PMID:23715978

  20. Combinatorial Gene Regulatory Functions Underlie Ultraconserved Elements in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Warnefors, Maria; Hartmann, Britta; Thomsen, Stefan; Alonso, Claudio R.

    2016-01-01

    Ultraconserved elements (UCEs) are discrete genomic elements conserved across large evolutionary distances. Although UCEs have been linked to multiple facets of mammalian gene regulation their extreme evolutionary conservation remains largely unexplained. Here, we apply a computational approach to investigate this question in Drosophila, exploring the molecular functions of more than 1,500 UCEs shared across the genomes of 12 Drosophila species. Our data indicate that Drosophila UCEs are hubs for gene regulatory functions and suggest that UCE sequence invariance originates from their combinatorial roles in gene control. We also note that the gene regulatory roles of intronic and intergenic UCEs (iUCEs) are distinct from those found in exonic UCEs (eUCEs). In iUCEs, transcription factor (TF) and epigenetic factor binding data strongly support iUCE roles in transcriptional and epigenetic regulation. In contrast, analyses of eUCEs indicate that they are two orders of magnitude more likely than the expected to simultaneously include protein-coding sequence, TF-binding sites, splice sites, and RNA editing sites but have reduced roles in transcriptional or epigenetic regulation. Furthermore, we use a Drosophila cell culture system and transgenic Drosophila embryos to validate the notion of UCE combinatorial regulatory roles using an eUCE within the Hox gene Ultrabithorax and show that its protein-coding region also contains alternative splicing regulatory information. Taken together our experiments indicate that UCEs emerge as a result of combinatorial gene regulatory roles and highlight common features in mammalian and insect UCEs implying that similar processes might underlie ultraconservation in diverse animal taxa. PMID:27247329

  1. A gene regulatory network armature for T-lymphocyte specification

    SciTech Connect

    Fung, Elizabeth-sharon

    2008-01-01

    Choice of a T-lymphoid fate by hematopoietic progenitor cells depends on sustained Notch-Delta signaling combined with tightly-regulated activities of multiple transcription factors. To dissect the regulatory network connections that mediate this process, we have used high-resolution analysis of regulatory gene expression trajectories from the beginning to the end of specification; tests of the short-term Notchdependence of these gene expression changes; and perturbation analyses of the effects of overexpression of two essential transcription factors, namely PU.l and GATA-3. Quantitative expression measurements of >50 transcription factor and marker genes have been used to derive the principal components of regulatory change through which T-cell precursors progress from primitive multipotency to T-lineage commitment. Distinct parts of the path reveal separate contributions of Notch signaling, GATA-3 activity, and downregulation of PU.l. Using BioTapestry, the results have been assembled into a draft gene regulatory network for the specification of T-cell precursors and the choice of T as opposed to myeloid dendritic or mast-cell fates. This network also accommodates effects of E proteins and mutual repression circuits of Gfil against Egr-2 and of TCF-l against PU.l as proposed elsewhere, but requires additional functions that remain unidentified. Distinctive features of this network structure include the intense dose-dependence of GATA-3 effects; the gene-specific modulation of PU.l activity based on Notch activity; the lack of direct opposition between PU.l and GATA-3; and the need for a distinct, late-acting repressive function or functions to extinguish stem and progenitor-derived regulatory gene expression.

  2. Combinatorial Gene Regulatory Functions Underlie Ultraconserved Elements in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Warnefors, Maria; Hartmann, Britta; Thomsen, Stefan; Alonso, Claudio R

    2016-09-01

    Ultraconserved elements (UCEs) are discrete genomic elements conserved across large evolutionary distances. Although UCEs have been linked to multiple facets of mammalian gene regulation their extreme evolutionary conservation remains largely unexplained. Here, we apply a computational approach to investigate this question in Drosophila, exploring the molecular functions of more than 1,500 UCEs shared across the genomes of 12 Drosophila species. Our data indicate that Drosophila UCEs are hubs for gene regulatory functions and suggest that UCE sequence invariance originates from their combinatorial roles in gene control. We also note that the gene regulatory roles of intronic and intergenic UCEs (iUCEs) are distinct from those found in exonic UCEs (eUCEs). In iUCEs, transcription factor (TF) and epigenetic factor binding data strongly support iUCE roles in transcriptional and epigenetic regulation. In contrast, analyses of eUCEs indicate that they are two orders of magnitude more likely than the expected to simultaneously include protein-coding sequence, TF-binding sites, splice sites, and RNA editing sites but have reduced roles in transcriptional or epigenetic regulation. Furthermore, we use a Drosophila cell culture system and transgenic Drosophila embryos to validate the notion of UCE combinatorial regulatory roles using an eUCE within the Hox gene Ultrabithorax and show that its protein-coding region also contains alternative splicing regulatory information. Taken together our experiments indicate that UCEs emerge as a result of combinatorial gene regulatory roles and highlight common features in mammalian and insect UCEs implying that similar processes might underlie ultraconservation in diverse animal taxa. PMID:27247329

  3. Asymmetric Regulation of Peripheral Genes by Two Transcriptional Regulatory Networks

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jing-Ru; Suzuki, Takahiro; Nishimura, Hajime; Kishima, Mami; Maeda, Shiori; Suzuki, Harukazu

    2016-01-01

    Transcriptional regulatory network (TRN) reconstitution and deconstruction occur simultaneously during reprogramming; however, it remains unclear how the starting and targeting TRNs regulate the induction and suppression of peripheral genes. Here we analyzed the regulation using direct cell reprogramming from human dermal fibroblasts to monocytes as the platform. We simultaneously deconstructed fibroblastic TRN and reconstituted monocytic TRN; monocytic and fibroblastic gene expression were analyzed in comparison with that of fibroblastic TRN deconstruction only or monocytic TRN reconstitution only. Global gene expression analysis showed cross-regulation of TRNs. Detailed analysis revealed that knocking down fibroblastic TRN positively affected half of the upregulated monocytic genes, indicating that intrinsic fibroblastic TRN interfered with the expression of induced genes. In contrast, reconstitution of monocytic TRN showed neutral effects on the majority of fibroblastic gene downregulation. This study provides an explicit example that demonstrates how two networks together regulate gene expression during cell reprogramming processes and contributes to the elaborate exploration of TRNs. PMID:27483142

  4. Efficient Reverse-Engineering of a Developmental Gene Regulatory Network

    PubMed Central

    Cicin-Sain, Damjan; Ashyraliyev, Maksat; Jaeger, Johannes

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the complex regulatory networks underlying development and evolution of multi-cellular organisms is a major problem in biology. Computational models can be used as tools to extract the regulatory structure and dynamics of such networks from gene expression data. This approach is called reverse engineering. It has been successfully applied to many gene networks in various biological systems. However, to reconstitute the structure and non-linear dynamics of a developmental gene network in its spatial context remains a considerable challenge. Here, we address this challenge using a case study: the gap gene network involved in segment determination during early development of Drosophila melanogaster. A major problem for reverse-engineering pattern-forming networks is the significant amount of time and effort required to acquire and quantify spatial gene expression data. We have developed a simplified data processing pipeline that considerably increases the throughput of the method, but results in data of reduced accuracy compared to those previously used for gap gene network inference. We demonstrate that we can infer the correct network structure using our reduced data set, and investigate minimal data requirements for successful reverse engineering. Our results show that timing and position of expression domain boundaries are the crucial features for determining regulatory network structure from data, while it is less important to precisely measure expression levels. Based on this, we define minimal data requirements for gap gene network inference. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of reverse-engineering with much reduced experimental effort. This enables more widespread use of the method in different developmental contexts and organisms. Such systematic application of data-driven models to real-world networks has enormous potential. Only the quantitative investigation of a large number of developmental gene regulatory networks will allow us to

  5. Noise Control in Gene Regulatory Networks with Negative Feedback.

    PubMed

    Hinczewski, Michael; Thirumalai, D

    2016-07-01

    Genes and proteins regulate cellular functions through complex circuits of biochemical reactions. Fluctuations in the components of these regulatory networks result in noise that invariably corrupts the signal, possibly compromising function. Here, we create a practical formalism based on ideas introduced by Wiener and Kolmogorov (WK) for filtering noise in engineered communications systems to quantitatively assess the extent to which noise can be controlled in biological processes involving negative feedback. Application of the theory, which reproduces the previously proven scaling of the lower bound for noise suppression in terms of the number of signaling events, shows that a tetracycline repressor-based negative-regulatory gene circuit behaves as a WK filter. For the class of Hill-like nonlinear regulatory functions, this type of filter provides the optimal reduction in noise. Our theoretical approach can be readily combined with experimental measurements of response functions in a wide variety of genetic circuits, to elucidate the general principles by which biological networks minimize noise.

  6. Function does not follow form in gene regulatory circuits

    PubMed Central

    Payne, Joshua L.; Wagner, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Gene regulatory circuits are to the cell what arithmetic logic units are to the chip: fundamental components of information processing that map an input onto an output. Gene regulatory circuits come in many different forms, distinct structural configurations that determine who regulates whom. Studies that have focused on the gene expression patterns (functions) of circuits with a given structure (form) have examined just a few structures or gene expression patterns. Here, we use a computational model to exhaustively characterize the gene expression patterns of nearly 17 million three-gene circuits in order to systematically explore the relationship between circuit form and function. Three main conclusions emerge. First, function does not follow form. A circuit of any one structure can have between twelve and nearly thirty thousand distinct gene expression patterns. Second, and conversely, form does not follow function. Most gene expression patterns can be realized by more than one circuit structure. And third, multifunctionality severely constrains circuit form. The number of circuit structures able to drive multiple gene expression patterns decreases rapidly with the number of these patterns. These results indicate that it is generally not possible to infer circuit function from circuit form, or vice versa. PMID:26290154

  7. Compartmentalized gene regulatory network of the pathogenic fungus Fusarium graminearum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Head blight caused by Fusarium graminearum (Fg) is a major limiting factor of wheat production with both yield loss and mycotoxin contamination. Here we report a model for global Fg gene regulatory networks (GRNs) inferred from a large collection of transcriptomic data using a machine-learning appro...

  8. Molecular characterization of a maize regulatory gene

    SciTech Connect

    Wessler, S.R.

    1991-12-01

    Based on initial bombardment studies we have previously concluded that promoter diversity was responsible for the diversity of naturally occurring R alleles. During this period we have found that R is controlled at the level of translation initiation and intron 1 is alternatively spliced. The experiments described in Sections 1 and 2 sought to quantify these effects and to determine whether they contribute to the tissue specific expression of select R alleles. This study was done because very little is understood about the post-transcriptional regulation of plant genes. Section 3 and 4 describe experiments designed to identify important structural components of the R protein.

  9. Inferring slowly-changing dynamic gene-regulatory networks.

    PubMed

    Wit, Ernst C; Abbruzzo, Antonino

    2015-01-01

    Dynamic gene-regulatory networks are complex since the interaction patterns between their components mean that it is impossible to study parts of the network in separation. This holistic character of gene-regulatory networks poses a real challenge to any type of modelling. Graphical models are a class of models that connect the network with a conditional independence relationships between random variables. By interpreting these random variables as gene activities and the conditional independence relationships as functional non-relatedness, graphical models have been used to describe gene-regulatory networks. Whereas the literature has been focused on static networks, most time-course experiments are designed in order to tease out temporal changes in the underlying network. It is typically reasonable to assume that changes in genomic networks are few, because biological systems tend to be stable. We introduce a new model for estimating slow changes in dynamic gene-regulatory networks, which is suitable for high-dimensional data, e.g. time-course microarray data. Our aim is to estimate a dynamically changing genomic network based on temporal activity measurements of the genes in the network. Our method is based on the penalized likelihood with l1-norm, that penalizes conditional dependencies between genes as well as differences between conditional independence elements across time points. We also present a heuristic search strategy to find optimal tuning parameters. We re-write the penalized maximum likelihood problem into a standard convex optimization problem subject to linear equality constraints. We show that our method performs well in simulation studies. Finally, we apply the proposed model to a time-course T-cell dataset.

  10. Inferring slowly-changing dynamic gene-regulatory networks

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Dynamic gene-regulatory networks are complex since the interaction patterns between their components mean that it is impossible to study parts of the network in separation. This holistic character of gene-regulatory networks poses a real challenge to any type of modelling. Graphical models are a class of models that connect the network with a conditional independence relationships between random variables. By interpreting these random variables as gene activities and the conditional independence relationships as functional non-relatedness, graphical models have been used to describe gene-regulatory networks. Whereas the literature has been focused on static networks, most time-course experiments are designed in order to tease out temporal changes in the underlying network. It is typically reasonable to assume that changes in genomic networks are few, because biological systems tend to be stable. We introduce a new model for estimating slow changes in dynamic gene-regulatory networks, which is suitable for high-dimensional data, e.g. time-course microarray data. Our aim is to estimate a dynamically changing genomic network based on temporal activity measurements of the genes in the network. Our method is based on the penalized likelihood with ℓ1-norm, that penalizes conditional dependencies between genes as well as differences between conditional independence elements across time points. We also present a heuristic search strategy to find optimal tuning parameters. We re-write the penalized maximum likelihood problem into a standard convex optimization problem subject to linear equality constraints. We show that our method performs well in simulation studies. Finally, we apply the proposed model to a time-course T-cell dataset. PMID:25917062

  11. Establishing the Architecture of Plant Gene Regulatory Networks.

    PubMed

    Yang, F; Ouma, W Z; Li, W; Doseff, A I; Grotewold, E

    2016-01-01

    Gene regulatory grids (GRGs) encompass the space of all the possible transcription factor (TF)-target gene interactions that regulate gene expression, with gene regulatory networks (GRNs) representing a temporal and spatial manifestation of a portion of the GRG, essential for the specification of gene expression. Thus, understanding GRG architecture provides a valuable tool to explain how genes are expressed in an organism, an important aspect of synthetic biology and essential toward the development of the "in silico" cell. Progress has been made in some unicellular model systems (eg, yeast), but significant challenges remain in more complex multicellular organisms such as plants. Key to understanding the organization of GRGs is therefore identifying the genes that TFs bind to, and control. The application of sensitive and high-throughput methods to investigate genome-wide TF-target gene interactions is providing a wealth of information that can be linked to important agronomic traits. We describe here the methods and resources that have been developed to investigate the architecture of plant GRGs and GRNs. We also provide information regarding where to obtain clones or other resources necessary for synthetic biology or metabolic engineering. PMID:27480690

  12. Implicit methods for qualitative modeling of gene regulatory networks.

    PubMed

    Garg, Abhishek; Mohanram, Kartik; De Micheli, Giovanni; Xenarios, Ioannis

    2012-01-01

    Advancements in high-throughput technologies to measure increasingly complex biological phenomena at the genomic level are rapidly changing the face of biological research from the single-gene single-protein experimental approach to studying the behavior of a gene in the context of the entire genome (and proteome). This shift in research methodologies has resulted in a new field of network biology that deals with modeling cellular behavior in terms of network structures such as signaling pathways and gene regulatory networks. In these networks, different biological entities such as genes, proteins, and metabolites interact with each other, giving rise to a dynamical system. Even though there exists a mature field of dynamical systems theory to model such network structures, some technical challenges are unique to biology such as the inability to measure precise kinetic information on gene-gene or gene-protein interactions and the need to model increasingly large networks comprising thousands of nodes. These challenges have renewed interest in developing new computational techniques for modeling complex biological systems. This chapter presents a modeling framework based on Boolean algebra and finite-state machines that are reminiscent of the approach used for digital circuit synthesis and simulation in the field of very-large-scale integration (VLSI). The proposed formalism enables a common mathematical framework to develop computational techniques for modeling different aspects of the regulatory networks such as steady-state behavior, stochasticity, and gene perturbation experiments.

  13. Analysis of gene regulatory networks in the mammalian circadian rhythm.

    PubMed

    Yan, Jun; Wang, Haifang; Liu, Yuting; Shao, Chunxuan

    2008-10-01

    Circadian rhythm is fundamental in regulating a wide range of cellular, metabolic, physiological, and behavioral activities in mammals. Although a small number of key circadian genes have been identified through extensive molecular and genetic studies in the past, the existence of other key circadian genes and how they drive the genomewide circadian oscillation of gene expression in different tissues still remains unknown. Here we try to address these questions by integrating all available circadian microarray data in mammals. We identified 41 common circadian genes that showed circadian oscillation in a wide range of mouse tissues with a remarkable consistency of circadian phases across tissues. Comparisons across mouse, rat, rhesus macaque, and human showed that the circadian phases of known key circadian genes were delayed for 4-5 hours in rat compared to mouse and 8-12 hours in macaque and human compared to mouse. A systematic gene regulatory network for the mouse circadian rhythm was constructed after incorporating promoter analysis and transcription factor knockout or mutant microarray data. We observed the significant association of cis-regulatory elements: EBOX, DBOX, RRE, and HSE with the different phases of circadian oscillating genes. The analysis of the network structure revealed the paths through which light, food, and heat can entrain the circadian clock and identified that NR3C1 and FKBP/HSP90 complexes are central to the control of circadian genes through diverse environmental signals. Our study improves our understanding of the structure, design principle, and evolution of gene regulatory networks involved in the mammalian circadian rhythm.

  14. How difficult is inference of mammalian causal gene regulatory networks?

    PubMed

    Djordjevic, Djordje; Yang, Andrian; Zadoorian, Armella; Rungrugeecharoen, Kevin; Ho, Joshua W K

    2014-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) play a central role in systems biology, especially in the study of mammalian organ development. One key question remains largely unanswered: Is it possible to infer mammalian causal GRNs using observable gene co-expression patterns alone? We assembled two mouse GRN datasets (embryonic tooth and heart) and matching microarray gene expression profiles to systematically investigate the difficulties of mammalian causal GRN inference. The GRNs were assembled based on > 2,000 pieces of experimental genetic perturbation evidence from manually reading > 150 primary research articles. Each piece of perturbation evidence records the qualitative change of the expression of one gene following knock-down or over-expression of another gene. Our data have thorough annotation of tissue types and embryonic stages, as well as the type of regulation (activation, inhibition and no effect), which uniquely allows us to estimate both sensitivity and specificity of the inference of tissue specific causal GRN edges. Using these unprecedented datasets, we found that gene co-expression does not reliably distinguish true positive from false positive interactions, making inference of GRN in mammalian development very difficult. Nonetheless, if we have expression profiling data from genetic or molecular perturbation experiments, such as gene knock-out or signalling stimulation, it is possible to use the set of differentially expressed genes to recover causal regulatory relationships with good sensitivity and specificity. Our result supports the importance of using perturbation experimental data in causal network reconstruction. Furthermore, we showed that causal gene regulatory relationship can be highly cell type or developmental stage specific, suggesting the importance of employing expression profiles from homogeneous cell populations. This study provides essential datasets and empirical evidence to guide the development of new GRN inference methods for

  15. Gap Gene Regulatory Dynamics Evolve along a Genotype Network.

    PubMed

    Crombach, Anton; Wotton, Karl R; Jiménez-Guri, Eva; Jaeger, Johannes

    2016-05-01

    Developmental gene networks implement the dynamic regulatory mechanisms that pattern and shape the organism. Over evolutionary time, the wiring of these networks changes, yet the patterning outcome is often preserved, a phenomenon known as "system drift." System drift is illustrated by the gap gene network-involved in segmental patterning-in dipteran insects. In the classic model organism Drosophila melanogaster and the nonmodel scuttle fly Megaselia abdita, early activation and placement of gap gene expression domains show significant quantitative differences, yet the final patterning output of the system is essentially identical in both species. In this detailed modeling analysis of system drift, we use gene circuits which are fit to quantitative gap gene expression data in M. abdita and compare them with an equivalent set of models from D. melanogaster. The results of this comparative analysis show precisely how compensatory regulatory mechanisms achieve equivalent final patterns in both species. We discuss the larger implications of the work in terms of "genotype networks" and the ways in which the structure of regulatory networks can influence patterns of evolutionary change (evolvability).

  16. Gap Gene Regulatory Dynamics Evolve along a Genotype Network

    PubMed Central

    Crombach, Anton; Wotton, Karl R.; Jiménez-Guri, Eva; Jaeger, Johannes

    2016-01-01

    Developmental gene networks implement the dynamic regulatory mechanisms that pattern and shape the organism. Over evolutionary time, the wiring of these networks changes, yet the patterning outcome is often preserved, a phenomenon known as “system drift.” System drift is illustrated by the gap gene network—involved in segmental patterning—in dipteran insects. In the classic model organism Drosophila melanogaster and the nonmodel scuttle fly Megaselia abdita, early activation and placement of gap gene expression domains show significant quantitative differences, yet the final patterning output of the system is essentially identical in both species. In this detailed modeling analysis of system drift, we use gene circuits which are fit to quantitative gap gene expression data in M. abdita and compare them with an equivalent set of models from D. melanogaster. The results of this comparative analysis show precisely how compensatory regulatory mechanisms achieve equivalent final patterns in both species. We discuss the larger implications of the work in terms of “genotype networks” and the ways in which the structure of regulatory networks can influence patterns of evolutionary change (evolvability). PMID:26796549

  17. Dynamic Gene Regulatory Networks Drive Hematopoietic Specification and Differentiation.

    PubMed

    Goode, Debbie K; Obier, Nadine; Vijayabaskar, M S; Lie-A-Ling, Michael; Lilly, Andrew J; Hannah, Rebecca; Lichtinger, Monika; Batta, Kiran; Florkowska, Magdalena; Patel, Rahima; Challinor, Mairi; Wallace, Kirstie; Gilmour, Jane; Assi, Salam A; Cauchy, Pierre; Hoogenkamp, Maarten; Westhead, David R; Lacaud, Georges; Kouskoff, Valerie; Göttgens, Berthold; Bonifer, Constanze

    2016-03-01

    Metazoan development involves the successive activation and silencing of specific gene expression programs and is driven by tissue-specific transcription factors programming the chromatin landscape. To understand how this process executes an entire developmental pathway, we generated global gene expression, chromatin accessibility, histone modification, and transcription factor binding data from purified embryonic stem cell-derived cells representing six sequential stages of hematopoietic specification and differentiation. Our data reveal the nature of regulatory elements driving differential gene expression and inform how transcription factor binding impacts on promoter activity. We present a dynamic core regulatory network model for hematopoietic specification and demonstrate its utility for the design of reprogramming experiments. Functional studies motivated by our genome-wide data uncovered a stage-specific role for TEAD/YAP factors in mammalian hematopoietic specification. Our study presents a powerful resource for studying hematopoiesis and demonstrates how such data advance our understanding of mammalian development. PMID:26923725

  18. Dynamic Gene Regulatory Networks Drive Hematopoietic Specification and Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Goode, Debbie K.; Obier, Nadine; Vijayabaskar, M.S.; Lie-A-Ling, Michael; Lilly, Andrew J.; Hannah, Rebecca; Lichtinger, Monika; Batta, Kiran; Florkowska, Magdalena; Patel, Rahima; Challinor, Mairi; Wallace, Kirstie; Gilmour, Jane; Assi, Salam A.; Cauchy, Pierre; Hoogenkamp, Maarten; Westhead, David R.; Lacaud, Georges; Kouskoff, Valerie; Göttgens, Berthold; Bonifer, Constanze

    2016-01-01

    Summary Metazoan development involves the successive activation and silencing of specific gene expression programs and is driven by tissue-specific transcription factors programming the chromatin landscape. To understand how this process executes an entire developmental pathway, we generated global gene expression, chromatin accessibility, histone modification, and transcription factor binding data from purified embryonic stem cell-derived cells representing six sequential stages of hematopoietic specification and differentiation. Our data reveal the nature of regulatory elements driving differential gene expression and inform how transcription factor binding impacts on promoter activity. We present a dynamic core regulatory network model for hematopoietic specification and demonstrate its utility for the design of reprogramming experiments. Functional studies motivated by our genome-wide data uncovered a stage-specific role for TEAD/YAP factors in mammalian hematopoietic specification. Our study presents a powerful resource for studying hematopoiesis and demonstrates how such data advance our understanding of mammalian development. PMID:26923725

  19. Downregulation of transcription factor Oct4 induces an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition via enhancement of Ca{sup 2+} influx in breast cancer cells

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, Jiajia; Qin, Kunhua; Zhang, Yan; Gong, Junbo; Li, Na; Lv, Dan; Xiang, Rong; Tan, Xiaoyue

    2011-08-12

    Highlights: {yields} We examine the role of Oct4 in metastasis in cultured MCF-7 cells. {yields} The down regulation of Oct4 induces EMT and increases the capability of migration and invasion in MCF-7 cells. {yields} TGF-{beta}1 inhibits Oct4 expression in both time- and dose-dependent manners. {yields} The EMT induced by TGF-{beta}1 or down regulation of Oct4 could be abrogated by inhibitor of SOCE. {yields} The down regulation of STIM1 (one of the major components of the CRAC channel) alleviates the EMT induce by Oct4 silencing down. -- Abstract: The stem cell-related transcription factor Oct4 regulates tumor proliferation and apoptosis, but its role in tumor migration and invasion is still undefined. Here, we compared Oct4 expression in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells, two breast cancer cell lines with similar epithelial origins, but distinct invasive and metastatic characteristics. We found MCF-7 cells to express very high levels of Oct4, while no obvious expression was detected in MDA-MB-231 cells. We then downregulated Oct4 expression using small interfering RNA (siRNA) to explore its effects on migration and invasion. Transwell assays showed that silencing Oct4 in MCF-7 cells improved their migration and invasion capabilities. Reverse-transcriptase PCR and western blots showed that E-cadherin expression decreased, and {alpha}-smooth muscle actin expression increased with Oct4 downregulation, which suggests that epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) occurred. A potent EMT stimulus, TGF-{beta}1, significantly inhibited Oct4 expression in both dose- and time course-dependent manners. Silencing Oct4 also upregulated expression of two major components of store-operated Ca{sup 2+} entry channels (SOCs), STIM1 and Orai1, and enhanced SOC-directed Ca{sup 2+} influx. Silencing STIM1 blocked the Ca{sup 2+} influx and rescued the EMT initiated by Oct4 downregulation. In conclusion, silencing Oct4 promotes invasion and metastasis in breast cancer cells by inducing EMT

  20. OCT4 mediates FSH-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition and invasion through the ERK1/2 signaling pathway in epithelial ovarian cancer.

    PubMed

    Liu, Lei; Zhang, Jing; Fang, Chi; Zhang, Zhenbo; Feng, Youji; Xi, Xiaowei

    2015-06-01

    Our previous study showed that Octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (OCT4) expression was upregulated and significantly associated with histological grade through the analysis of OCT4 expression in 159 ovarian cancer tissue samples, and OCT4 mediated follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)-induced anti-apoptosis in epithelial ovarian cancer. Nevertheless, whether OCT4 participates in FSH-induced invasion in ovarian cancer is still unknown. Therefore, the present study aimed to define whether FSH-induced ovarian cancer invasion is mediated by OCT4. In present study, we showed that FSH induced not only the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and invasive phenotype but also the upregulation of OCT4 expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner in epithelial ovarian cancer cells. In addition, the expression of FSH receptor (FSHR) was upregulated by FSH induction, and knockdown of FSHR inhibited FSH-stimulated OCT4 expression. ERK1/2 signaling pathway participated in the enhanced expression of OCT4 and Snail induced by FSH. We further showed that the activated expression of Snail and N-cadherin, the suppressed expression of E-cadherin and the morphological change of the cells stimulated by FSH were blocked by OCT4-specific small interfering RNA. Moreover, our results showed that OCT4 mediated the increase in invasive capacity induced by FSH in ovarian cancer cells. Taken together, our work reveals that OCT4 is an essential mediator in FSH-induced EMT and invasion in epithelial ovarian cancer and may act as a potential therapeutic target.

  1. Over-expression of Oct4 and Sox2 transcription factors enhances differentiation of human umbilical cord blood cells in vivo.

    PubMed

    Guseva, Daria; Rizvanov, Albert A; Salafutdinov, Ilnur I; Kudryashova, Nezhdana V; Palotás, András; Islamov, Rustem R

    2014-09-01

    Gene and cell-based therapies comprise innovative aspects of regenerative medicine. Even though stem cells represent a highly potential therapeutic strategy, their wide-spread exploitation is marred by ethical concerns, potential for malignant transformation and a plethora of other technical issues, largely restricting their use to experimental studies. Utilizing genetically modified human umbilical cord blood mono-nuclear cells (hUCB-MCs), this communication reports enhanced differentiation of transplants in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Over-expressing Oct4 and Sox2 induced production of neural marker PGP9.5, as well as transformation of hUCB-MCs into micro-glial and endothelial lines in ALS spinal cords. In addition to producing new nerve cells, providing degenerated areas with trophic factors and neo-vascularisation might prevent and even reverse progressive loss of moto-neurons and skeletal muscle paralysis.

  2. Topological origin of global attractors in gene regulatory networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, YunJun; Ouyang, Qi; Geng, Zhi

    2015-02-01

    Fixed-point attractors with global stability manifest themselves in a number of gene regulatory networks. This property indicates the stability of regulatory networks against small state perturbations and is closely related to other complex dynamics. In this paper, we aim to reveal the core modules in regulatory networks that determine their global attractors and the relationship between these core modules and other motifs. This work has been done via three steps. Firstly, inspired by the signal transmission in the regulation process, we extract the model of chain-like network from regulation networks. We propose a module of "ideal transmission chain (ITC)", which is proved sufficient and necessary (under certain condition) to form a global fixed-point in the context of chain-like network. Secondly, by examining two well-studied regulatory networks (i.e., the cell-cycle regulatory networks of Budding yeast and Fission yeast), we identify the ideal modules in true regulation networks and demonstrate that the modules have a superior contribution to network stability (quantified by the relative size of the biggest attraction basin). Thirdly, in these two regulation networks, we find that the double negative feedback loops, which are the key motifs of forming bistability in regulation, are connected to these core modules with high network stability. These results have shed new light on the connection between the topological feature and the dynamic property of regulatory networks.

  3. Additive functions in boolean models of gene regulatory network modules.

    PubMed

    Darabos, Christian; Di Cunto, Ferdinando; Tomassini, Marco; Moore, Jason H; Provero, Paolo; Giacobini, Mario

    2011-01-01

    Gene-on-gene regulations are key components of every living organism. Dynamical abstract models of genetic regulatory networks help explain the genome's evolvability and robustness. These properties can be attributed to the structural topology of the graph formed by genes, as vertices, and regulatory interactions, as edges. Moreover, the actual gene interaction of each gene is believed to play a key role in the stability of the structure. With advances in biology, some effort was deployed to develop update functions in boolean models that include recent knowledge. We combine real-life gene interaction networks with novel update functions in a boolean model. We use two sub-networks of biological organisms, the yeast cell-cycle and the mouse embryonic stem cell, as topological support for our system. On these structures, we substitute the original random update functions by a novel threshold-based dynamic function in which the promoting and repressing effect of each interaction is considered. We use a third real-life regulatory network, along with its inferred boolean update functions to validate the proposed update function. Results of this validation hint to increased biological plausibility of the threshold-based function. To investigate the dynamical behavior of this new model, we visualized the phase transition between order and chaos into the critical regime using Derrida plots. We complement the qualitative nature of Derrida plots with an alternative measure, the criticality distance, that also allows to discriminate between regimes in a quantitative way. Simulation on both real-life genetic regulatory networks show that there exists a set of parameters that allows the systems to operate in the critical region. This new model includes experimentally derived biological information and recent discoveries, which makes it potentially useful to guide experimental research. The update function confers additional realism to the model, while reducing the complexity

  4. Additive Functions in Boolean Models of Gene Regulatory Network Modules

    PubMed Central

    Darabos, Christian; Di Cunto, Ferdinando; Tomassini, Marco; Moore, Jason H.; Provero, Paolo; Giacobini, Mario

    2011-01-01

    Gene-on-gene regulations are key components of every living organism. Dynamical abstract models of genetic regulatory networks help explain the genome's evolvability and robustness. These properties can be attributed to the structural topology of the graph formed by genes, as vertices, and regulatory interactions, as edges. Moreover, the actual gene interaction of each gene is believed to play a key role in the stability of the structure. With advances in biology, some effort was deployed to develop update functions in Boolean models that include recent knowledge. We combine real-life gene interaction networks with novel update functions in a Boolean model. We use two sub-networks of biological organisms, the yeast cell-cycle and the mouse embryonic stem cell, as topological support for our system. On these structures, we substitute the original random update functions by a novel threshold-based dynamic function in which the promoting and repressing effect of each interaction is considered. We use a third real-life regulatory network, along with its inferred Boolean update functions to validate the proposed update function. Results of this validation hint to increased biological plausibility of the threshold-based function. To investigate the dynamical behavior of this new model, we visualized the phase transition between order and chaos into the critical regime using Derrida plots. We complement the qualitative nature of Derrida plots with an alternative measure, the criticality distance, that also allows to discriminate between regimes in a quantitative way. Simulation on both real-life genetic regulatory networks show that there exists a set of parameters that allows the systems to operate in the critical region. This new model includes experimentally derived biological information and recent discoveries, which makes it potentially useful to guide experimental research. The update function confers additional realism to the model, while reducing the complexity

  5. Helicobacter pylori upregulates Nanog and Oct4 via Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway to promote cancer stem cell-like properties in human gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Yong, Xin; Tang, Bo; Xiao, Yu-Feng; Xie, Rui; Qin, Yong; Luo, Gang; Hu, Chang-Jiang; Dong, Hui; Yang, Shi-Ming

    2016-05-01

    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is considered a major risk factor for gastric cancer. CagA behaves as a major bacterial oncoprotein playing a key role in H. pylori-induced tumorigenesis. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are believed to possess the ability to initiate tumorigenesis and promote progression. Although studies have suggested that cancer cells can exhibit CSC-like properties in the tumor microenvironment, it remains unclear whether H. pylori infection could induce the emergence of CSC-like properties in gastric cancer cells and, the underlying mechanism. Here, gastric cancer cells were co-cultured with a CagA-positive H. pylori strain or a CagA isogenic mutant strain. We found that H. pylori-infected gastric cancer cells exhibited CSC-like properties, including an increased expression of CSC specific surface markers CD44 and Lgr5, as well as that of Nanog, Oct4 and c-myc, which are known pluripotency genes, and an increased capacity for self-renewal, whereas these properties were not observed in the CagA isogenic mutant strain-infected cells. Further studies revealed that H. pylori activated Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in a CagA-dependent manner and that the activation of this pathway was dependent upon CagA-positive H. pylori-mediated phosphorylation of β-catenin at the C-terminal Ser675 and Ser552 residues in a c-met- and/or Akt-dependent manner. We further demonstrated that this activation was responsible for H. pylori-induced CSC-like properties. Moreover, we found the promoter activity of Nanog and Oct4 were upregulated, and β-catenin was observed to bind to these promoters during H. pylori infection, while a Wnt/β-catenin inhibitor suppressed promoter activity and binding. Taken together, these results suggest that H. pylori upregulates Nanog and Oct4 via Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway to promote CSC-like properties in gastric cancer cells.

  6. Effects of Four Different Regulatory Mechanisms on the Dynamics of Gene Regulatory Cascades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Sabine; Krishna, Sandeep; Semsey, Szabolcs; Lo Svenningsen, Sine

    2015-07-01

    Gene regulatory cascades (GRCs) are common motifs in cellular molecular networks. A given logical function in these cascades, such as the repression of the activity of a transcription factor, can be implemented by a number of different regulatory mechanisms. The potential consequences for the dynamic performance of the GRC of choosing one mechanism over another have not been analysed systematically. Here, we report the construction of a synthetic GRC in Escherichia coli, which allows us for the first time to directly compare and contrast the dynamics of four different regulatory mechanisms, affecting the transcription, translation, stability, or activity of a transcriptional repressor. We developed a biologically motivated mathematical model which is sufficient to reproduce the response dynamics determined by experimental measurements. Using the model, we explored the potential response dynamics that the constructed GRC can perform. We conclude that dynamic differences between regulatory mechanisms at an individual step in a GRC are often concealed in the overall performance of the GRC, and suggest that the presence of a given regulatory mechanism in a certain network environment does not necessarily mean that it represents a single optimal evolutionary solution.

  7. Gene therapy for cancer: regulatory considerations for approval

    PubMed Central

    Husain, S R; Han, J; Au, P; Shannon, K; Puri, R K

    2015-01-01

    The rapidly changing field of gene therapy promises a number of innovative treatments for cancer patients. Advances in genetic modification of cancer and immune cells and the use of oncolytic viruses and bacteria have led to numerous clinical trials for cancer therapy, with several progressing to late-stage product development. At the time of this writing, no gene therapy product has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some of the key scientific and regulatory issues include understanding of gene transfer vector biology, safety of vectors in vitro and in animal models, optimum gene transfer, long-term persistence or integration in the host, shedding of a virus and ability to maintain transgene expression in vivo for a desired period of time. Because of the biological complexity of these products, the FDA encourages a flexible, data-driven approach for preclinical safety testing programs. The clinical trial design should be based on the unique features of gene therapy products, and should ensure the safety of enrolled subjects. This article focuses on regulatory considerations for gene therapy product development and also discusses guidance documents that have been published by the FDA. PMID:26584531

  8. Gene therapy for cancer: regulatory considerations for approval.

    PubMed

    Husain, S R; Han, J; Au, P; Shannon, K; Puri, R K

    2015-12-01

    The rapidly changing field of gene therapy promises a number of innovative treatments for cancer patients. Advances in genetic modification of cancer and immune cells and the use of oncolytic viruses and bacteria have led to numerous clinical trials for cancer therapy, with several progressing to late-stage product development. At the time of this writing, no gene therapy product has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some of the key scientific and regulatory issues include understanding of gene transfer vector biology, safety of vectors in vitro and in animal models, optimum gene transfer, long-term persistence or integration in the host, shedding of a virus and ability to maintain transgene expression in vivo for a desired period of time. Because of the biological complexity of these products, the FDA encourages a flexible, data-driven approach for preclinical safety testing programs. The clinical trial design should be based on the unique features of gene therapy products, and should ensure the safety of enrolled subjects. This article focuses on regulatory considerations for gene therapy product development and also discusses guidance documents that have been published by the FDA.

  9. Establishing neural crest identity: a gene regulatory recipe

    PubMed Central

    Simões-Costa, Marcos; Bronner, Marianne E.

    2015-01-01

    The neural crest is a stem/progenitor cell population that contributes to a wide variety of derivatives, including sensory and autonomic ganglia, cartilage and bone of the face and pigment cells of the skin. Unique to vertebrate embryos, it has served as an excellent model system for the study of cell behavior and identity owing to its multipotency, motility and ability to form a broad array of cell types. Neural crest development is thought to be controlled by a suite of transcriptional and epigenetic inputs arranged hierarchically in a gene regulatory network. Here, we examine neural crest development from a gene regulatory perspective and discuss how the underlying genetic circuitry results in the features that define this unique cell population. PMID:25564621

  10. Two novel splice variants of SOX2OT, SOX2OT-S1, and SOX2OT-S2 are coupregulated with SOX2 and OCT4 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Shahryari, Alireza; Rafiee, Mahmoud Reza; Fouani, Youssef; Oliae, Nasrin Alipour; Samaei, Nader Mansour; Shafiee, Mohammad; Semnani, Shahryar; Vasei, Mohammad; Mowla, Seyed Javad

    2014-01-01

    Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as new regulators of stem cell pluripotency and tumorigenesis. The SOX2 gene, a master regulator of pluripotency, is embedded within the third intron of a lncRNA known as SOX2 overlapping transcript (SOX2OT). SOX2OT has been suspected to participate in regulation of SOX2 expression and/or other related processes; nevertheless, its potential involvement in tumor initiation and/or progression is unclear. Here, we have evaluated a possible correlation between expression patterns of SOX2OT and those of master regulators of pluripotency, SOX2 and OCT4, in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) tissue samples. We have also examined its potential function in the human embryonic carcinoma stem cell line, NTERA2 (NT2), which highly expresses SOX2OT, SOX2, and OCT4. Our data revealed a significant coupregulation of SOX2OT along with SOX2 and OCT4 in tumor samples, compared to the non-tumor tissues obtained from the margin of same tumors. We also identified two novel splice variants of SOX2OT (SOX2OT-S1 and SOX2OT-S2) which coupregulated with SOX2 and OCT4 in ESCCs. Suppressing SOX2OT variants caused a profound alteration in cell cycle distribution, including a 5.9 and 6.9 time increase in sub-G1 phase of cell cycle for SOX2OT-S1 and SOX2OT-S2, respectively. The expression of all variants was significantly diminished, upon the induction of neural differentiation in NT2 cells, suggesting their potential functional links to the undifferentiated state of the cells. Our data suggest a part for SOX2OT spliced variants in tumor initiation and/or progression as well as regulating pluripotent state of stem cells.

  11. Human Ocular Epithelial Cells Endogenously Expressing SOX2 and OCT4 Yield High Efficiency of Pluripotency Reprogramming.

    PubMed

    Poon, Ming-Wai; He, Jia; Fang, Xiaowei; Zhang, Zhao; Wang, Weixin; Wang, Junwen; Qiu, Fangfang; Tse, Hung-Fat; Li, Wei; Liu, Zuguo; Lian, Qizhou

    2015-01-01

    A variety of pluripotency reprogramming frequencies from different somatic cells has been observed, indicating cell origin is a critical contributor for efficiency of pluripotency reprogramming. Identifying the cell sources for efficient induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) generation, and defining its advantages or disadvantages on reprogramming, is therefore important. Human ocular tissue-derived conjunctival epithelial cells (OECs) exhibited endogenous expression of reprogramming factors OCT4A (the specific OCT 4 isoform on pluripotency reprogramming) and SOX2. We therefore determined whether OECs could be used for high efficiency of iPSCs generation. We compared the endogenous expression levels of four pluripotency factors and the pluripotency reprograming efficiency of human OECs with that of ocular stromal cells (OSCs). Real-time PCR, microarray analysis, Western blotting and immunostaining assays were employed to compare OECiPSCs with OSCiPSCs on molecular bases of reprogramming efficiency and preferred lineage-differentiation potential. Using the traditional KMOS (KLF4, C-MYC, OCT4 and SOX2) reprogramming protocol, we confirmed that OECs, endogenously expressing reprogramming factors OCT4A and SOX2, yield very high efficiency of iPSCs generation (~1.5%). Furthermore, higher efficiency of retinal pigmented epithelial differentiation (RPE cells) was observed in OECiPSCs compared to OSCiPSCs or skin fibroblast iMR90iPSCs. The findings in this study suggest that conjunctival-derived epithelial (OECs) cells can be easier converted to iPSCs than conjunctival-derived stromal cells (OSCs). This cell type may also have advantages in retinal pigmented epithelial differentiation.

  12. Human Ocular Epithelial Cells Endogenously Expressing SOX2 and OCT4 Yield High Efficiency of Pluripotency Reprogramming

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Xiaowei; Zhang, Zhao; Wang, Weixin; Wang, Junwen; Qiu, Fangfang; Tse, Hung-Fat; Li, Wei; Liu, Zuguo; Lian, Qizhou

    2015-01-01

    A variety of pluripotency reprogramming frequencies from different somatic cells has been observed, indicating cell origin is a critical contributor for efficiency of pluripotency reprogramming. Identifying the cell sources for efficient induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) generation, and defining its advantages or disadvantages on reprogramming, is therefore important. Human ocular tissue-derived conjunctival epithelial cells (OECs) exhibited endogenous expression of reprogramming factors OCT4A (the specific OCT 4 isoform on pluripotency reprogramming) and SOX2. We therefore determined whether OECs could be used for high efficiency of iPSCs generation. We compared the endogenous expression levels of four pluripotency factors and the pluripotency reprograming efficiency of human OECs with that of ocular stromal cells (OSCs). Real-time PCR, microarray analysis, Western blotting and immunostaining assays were employed to compare OECiPSCs with OSCiPSCs on molecular bases of reprogramming efficiency and preferred lineage-differentiation potential. Using the traditional KMOS (KLF4, C-MYC, OCT4 and SOX2) reprogramming protocol, we confirmed that OECs, endogenously expressing reprogramming factors OCT4A and SOX2, yield very high efficiency of iPSCs generation (~1.5%). Furthermore, higher efficiency of retinal pigmented epithelial differentiation (RPE cells) was observed in OECiPSCs compared to OSCiPSCs or skin fibroblast iMR90iPSCs. The findings in this study suggest that conjunctival-derived epithelial (OECs) cells can be easier converted to iPSCs than conjunctival-derived stromal cells (OSCs). This cell type may also have advantages in retinal pigmented epithelial differentiation. PMID:26131692

  13. Phase transitions in the evolution of gene regulatory networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skanata, Antun; Kussell, Edo

    The role of gene regulatory networks is to respond to environmental conditions and optimize growth of the cell. A typical example is found in bacteria, where metabolic genes are activated in response to nutrient availability, and are subsequently turned off to conserve energy when their specific substrates are depleted. However, in fluctuating environmental conditions, regulatory networks could experience strong evolutionary pressures not only to turn the right genes on and off, but also to respond optimally under a wide spectrum of fluctuation timescales. The outcome of evolution is predicted by the long-term growth rate, which differentiates between optimal strategies. Here we present an analytic computation of the long-term growth rate in randomly fluctuating environments, by using mean-field and higher order expansion in the environmental history. We find that optimal strategies correspond to distinct regions in the phase space of fluctuations, separated by first and second order phase transitions. The statistics of environmental randomness are shown to dictate the possible evolutionary modes, which either change the structure of the regulatory network abruptly, or gradually modify and tune the interactions between its components.

  14. Transcriptional Targeting in the Airway Using Novel Gene Regulatory Elements

    PubMed Central

    Burnight, Erin R.; Wang, Guoshun; McCray, Paul B.

    2012-01-01

    The delivery of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) to airway epithelia is a goal of many gene therapy strategies to treat cystic fibrosis. Because the native regulatory elements of the CFTR are not well characterized, the development of vectors with heterologous promoters of varying strengths and specificity would aid in our selection of optimal reagents for the appropriate expression of the vector-delivered CFTR gene. Here we contrasted the performance of several novel gene-regulatory elements. Based on airway expression analysis, we selected putative regulatory elements from BPIFA1 and WDR65 to investigate. In addition, we selected a human CFTR promoter region (∼ 2 kb upstream of the human CFTR transcription start site) to study. Using feline immunodeficiency virus vectors containing the candidate elements driving firefly luciferase, we transduced murine nasal epithelia in vivo. Luciferase expression persisted for 30 weeks, which was the duration of the experiment. Furthermore, when the nasal epithelium was ablated using the detergent polidocanol, the mice showed a transient loss of luciferase expression that returned 2 weeks after administration, suggesting that our vectors transduced a progenitor cell population. Importantly, the hWDR65 element drove sufficient CFTR expression to correct the anion transport defect in CFTR-null epithelia. These results will guide the development of optimal vectors for sufficient, sustained CFTR expression in airway epithelia. PMID:22447971

  15. Scalable topographies to support proliferation and Oct4 expression by human induced pluripotent stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Reimer, Andreas; Vasilevich, Aliaksei; Hulshof, Frits; Viswanathan, Priyalakshmi; van Blitterswijk, Clemens A.; de Boer, Jan; Watt, Fiona M.

    2016-01-01

    It is well established that topographical features modulate cell behaviour, including cell morphology, proliferation and differentiation. To define the effects of topography on human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), we plated cells on a topographical library containing over 1000 different features in medium lacking animal products (xeno-free). Using high content imaging, we determined the effect of each topography on cell proliferation and expression of the pluripotency marker Oct4 24 h after seeding. Features that maintained Oct4 expression also supported proliferation and cell-cell adhesion at 24 h, and by 4 days colonies of Oct4-positive, Sox2-positive cells had formed. Computational analysis revealed that small feature size was the most important determinant of pluripotency, followed by high wave number and high feature density. Using this information we correctly predicted whether any given topography within our library would support the pluripotent state at 24 h. This approach not only facilitates the design of substrates for optimal human iPSC expansion, but also, potentially, identification of topographies with other desirable characteristics, such as promoting differentiation. PMID:26757610

  16. Duplication of floral regulatory genes in the Lamiales.

    PubMed

    Aagaard, Jan E; Olmstead, Richard G; Willis, John H; Phillips, Patrick C

    2005-08-01

    Duplication of some floral regulatory genes has occurred repeatedly in angiosperms, whereas others are thought to be single-copy in most lineages. We selected three genes that interact in a pathway regulating floral development conserved among higher tricolpates (LFY/FLO, UFO/FIM, and AP3/DEF) and screened for copy number among families of Lamiales that are closely related to the model species Antirrhinum majus. We show that two of three genes have duplicated at least twice in the Lamiales. Phylogenetic analyses of paralogs suggest that an ancient whole genome duplication shared among many families of Lamiales occurred after the ancestor of these families diverged from the lineage leading to Veronicaceae (including the single-copy species A. majus). Duplication is consistent with previous patterns among angiosperm lineages for AP3/DEF, but this is the first report of functional duplicate copies of LFY/FLO outside of tetraploid species. We propose Lamiales taxa will be good models for understanding mechanisms of duplicate gene preservation and how floral regulatory genes may contribute to morphological diversity. PMID:21646149

  17. An Arabidopsis Gene Regulatory Network for Secondary Cell Wall Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Taylor-Teeples, M; Lin, L; de Lucas, M; Turco, G; Toal, TW; Gaudinier, A; Young, NF; Trabucco, GM; Veling, MT; Lamothe, R; Handakumbura, PP; Xiong, G; Wang, C; Corwin, J; Tsoukalas, A; Zhang, L; Ware, D; Pauly, M; Kliebenstein, DJ; Dehesh, K; Tagkopoulos, I; Breton, G; Pruneda-Paz, JL; Ahnert, SE; Kay, SA; Hazen, SP; Brady, SM

    2014-01-01

    Summary The plant cell wall is an important factor for determining cell shape, function and response to the environment. Secondary cell walls, such as those found in xylem, are composed of cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin and account for the bulk of plant biomass. The coordination between transcriptional regulation of synthesis for each polymer is complex and vital to cell function. A regulatory hierarchy of developmental switches has been proposed, although the full complement of regulators remains unknown. Here, we present a protein-DNA network between Arabidopsis transcription factors and secondary cell wall metabolic genes with gene expression regulated by a series of feed-forward loops. This model allowed us to develop and validate new hypotheses about secondary wall gene regulation under abiotic stress. Distinct stresses are able to perturb targeted genes to potentially promote functional adaptation. These interactions will serve as a foundation for understanding the regulation of a complex, integral plant component. PMID:25533953

  18. Inference of Gene Regulatory Network Based on Local Bayesian Networks.

    PubMed

    Liu, Fei; Zhang, Shao-Wu; Guo, Wei-Feng; Wei, Ze-Gang; Chen, Luonan

    2016-08-01

    The inference of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) from expression data can mine the direct regulations among genes and gain deep insights into biological processes at a network level. During past decades, numerous computational approaches have been introduced for inferring the GRNs. However, many of them still suffer from various problems, e.g., Bayesian network (BN) methods cannot handle large-scale networks due to their high computational complexity, while information theory-based methods cannot identify the directions of regulatory interactions and also suffer from false positive/negative problems. To overcome the limitations, in this work we present a novel algorithm, namely local Bayesian network (LBN), to infer GRNs from gene expression data by using the network decomposition strategy and false-positive edge elimination scheme. Specifically, LBN algorithm first uses conditional mutual information (CMI) to construct an initial network or GRN, which is decomposed into a number of local networks or GRNs. Then, BN method is employed to generate a series of local BNs by selecting the k-nearest neighbors of each gene as its candidate regulatory genes, which significantly reduces the exponential search space from all possible GRN structures. Integrating these local BNs forms a tentative network or GRN by performing CMI, which reduces redundant regulations in the GRN and thus alleviates the false positive problem. The final network or GRN can be obtained by iteratively performing CMI and local BN on the tentative network. In the iterative process, the false or redundant regulations are gradually removed. When tested on the benchmark GRN datasets from DREAM challenge as well as the SOS DNA repair network in E.coli, our results suggest that LBN outperforms other state-of-the-art methods (ARACNE, GENIE3 and NARROMI) significantly, with more accurate and robust performance. In particular, the decomposition strategy with local Bayesian networks not only effectively reduce

  19. Differential Incorporation of β-actin as A Component of RNA Polymerase II into Regulatory Regions of Stemness/Differentiation Genes in Retinoic Acid-Induced Differentiated Human Embryonic Carcinoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Falahzadeh, Khadijeh; Shahhoseini, Maryam; Afsharian, Parvaneh

    2016-01-01

    Objective Nuclear actin is involved in transcription regulation by recruitment of histone modifiers and chromatin remodelers to the regulatory regions of active genes. In recent years, further attention has been focused on the role of actin as a nuclear protein in transcriptional processes. In the current study, the epigenetic role of nuclear actin on transcription regulation of two stemness (OCT4 and NANOG) and two differentiation) NESTIN and PAX6) marker genes was evaluated in a human embryonal carcinoma cell line (NT2) before and after differentiation induction. Materials and Methods In this experimental study, differentiation of embryonal cells was induced by retinoic acid (RA), and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to evaluate differential expression of marker genes before and 3 days after RA- induced differentiation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) coupled with real-time PCR was then undertaken to monitor the incorporation of β-actin, as a functional component of RNA polymerase II, in the regulatory regions of marker genes. Results Data showed significant change in nuclear actin incorporation into the promoter regions of NESTIN and PAX6 after RA-induction. Conclusion We emphasize the dynamic functional role of nuclear actin in differentiation of embryonal cells and its role as a subunit of RNA polymerase II. PMID:27540526

  20. Propagation of genetic variation in gene regulatory networks

    PubMed Central

    Plahte, Erik; Gjuvsland, Arne B.; Omholt, Stig W.

    2013-01-01

    A future quantitative genetics theory should link genetic variation to phenotypic variation in a causally cohesive way based on how genes actually work and interact. We provide a theoretical framework for predicting and understanding the manifestation of genetic variation in haploid and diploid regulatory networks with arbitrary feedback structures and intra-locus and inter-locus functional dependencies. Using results from network and graph theory, we define propagation functions describing how genetic variation in a locus is propagated through the network, and show how their derivatives are related to the network’s feedback structure. Similarly, feedback functions describe the effect of genotypic variation of a locus on itself, either directly or mediated by the network. A simple sign rule relates the sign of the derivative of the feedback function of any locus to the feedback loops involving that particular locus. We show that the sign of the phenotypically manifested interaction between alleles at a diploid locus is equal to the sign of the dominant feedback loop involving that particular locus, in accordance with recent results for a single locus system. Our results provide tools by which one can use observable equilibrium concentrations of gene products to disclose structural properties of the network architecture. Our work is a step towards a theory capable of explaining the pleiotropy and epistasis features of genetic variation in complex regulatory networks as functions of regulatory anatomy and functional location of the genetic variation. PMID:23997378

  1. Propagation of genetic variation in gene regulatory networks.

    PubMed

    Plahte, Erik; Gjuvsland, Arne B; Omholt, Stig W

    2013-08-01

    A future quantitative genetics theory should link genetic variation to phenotypic variation in a causally cohesive way based on how genes actually work and interact. We provide a theoretical framework for predicting and understanding the manifestation of genetic variation in haploid and diploid regulatory networks with arbitrary feedback structures and intra-locus and inter-locus functional dependencies. Using results from network and graph theory, we define propagation functions describing how genetic variation in a locus is propagated through the network, and show how their derivatives are related to the network's feedback structure. Similarly, feedback functions describe the effect of genotypic variation of a locus on itself, either directly or mediated by the network. A simple sign rule relates the sign of the derivative of the feedback function of any locus to the feedback loops involving that particular locus. We show that the sign of the phenotypically manifested interaction between alleles at a diploid locus is equal to the sign of the dominant feedback loop involving that particular locus, in accordance with recent results for a single locus system. Our results provide tools by which one can use observable equilibrium concentrations of gene products to disclose structural properties of the network architecture. Our work is a step towards a theory capable of explaining the pleiotropy and epistasis features of genetic variation in complex regulatory networks as functions of regulatory anatomy and functional location of the genetic variation.

  2. Regulatory aspects for translating gene therapy research into the clinic.

    PubMed

    Laurencot, Carolyn M; Ruppel, Sheryl

    2009-01-01

    Gene therapy products are highly regulated, therefore moving a promising candidate from the laboratory into the clinic can present unique challenges. Success can only be achieved by proper planning and communication within the clinical development team, as well as consultation with the regulatory scientists who will eventually review the clinical plan. Regulators should not be considered as obstacles but rather as collaborators whose advice can significantly expedite the product development. Sound scientific data is required and reviewed by the regulatory agencies to determine whether the potential benefit to the patient population outweighs the risk. Therefore, compliance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) principles to ensure quality, safety, purity, and potency of the product, and to establish "proof of concept" for efficacy, and for safety information, respectively, is essential. The design and conduct of the clinical trial must adhere to Good Clinical Practice (GCP) principals. The clinical protocol should contain adequate rationale, supported by nonclinical data, to justify the starting dose and regimen, and adequate safety monitoring based on the patient population and the anticipated toxicities. Proper review and approval of gene therapy clinical studies by numerous committees, and regulatory agencies before and throughout the study allows for ongoing risk assessment of these novel and innovative products. The ethical conduct of clinical trials must be a priority for all clinical investigators and sponsors. As history has shown us, only a few fatal mistakes can dramatically alter the regulation of investigational products for all individuals involved in gene therapy clinical research, and further delay the advancement of gene therapy to licensed medicinal products.

  3. False-positive antibody signals for the pluripotency factor OCT4A (POU5F1) in testis-derived cells may lead to erroneous data and misinterpretations.

    PubMed

    Warthemann, R; Eildermann, K; Debowski, K; Behr, R

    2012-12-01

    Octamer-binding protein 4 (OCT4) is a key player in pluripotent embryonic stem (ES) cells and is essential for the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells. Recently, several reports indicated the spontaneous recovery of pluripotency in cultured adult human testis-derived cells. This was evidenced also by the detection of OCT4 using antibodies. However, the soundness of some data was recently put into question. During our attempts to derive pluripotent cells from the common marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus) testis, we obtained inconsistent data which prompted us to analyze deeper the characteristics of three independent OCT4 antibodies that were used in numerous published studies that received greatest attention. All antibodies detected OCT4 by immunofluorescence (IF) in a marmoset monkey ES cell line. Two of the three OCT4 antibodies also gave robust nuclear signals in testis-derived cells. However, the latter cells expressed no OCT4 mRNA as revealed by quantitative RT-PCR and turned out to be mesenchymal cells. When tested in western blot analyses, all antibodies detected heterologously expressed marmoset monkey OCT4 protein. But, importantly, those antibodies that resulted in non-specific signals in IF also showed additional non-specific bands in western blots. In summary, some commercially available OCT4 antibodies result in false-positive signals which may provoke erroneous conclusions when used in studies aiming at the generation of pluripotent cells in vitro. We conclude that (i) antibodies must be carefully characterized before use to prevent misleading observations and (ii) OCT4 expression must be monitored by a second antibody-independent method.

  4. A Gene Regulatory Program in Human Breast Cancer.

    PubMed

    Li, Renhua; Campos, John; Iida, Joji

    2015-12-01

    Molecular heterogeneity in human breast cancer has challenged diagnosis, prognosis, and clinical treatment. It is well known that molecular subtypes of breast tumors are associated with significant differences in prognosis and survival. Assuming that the differences are attributed to subtype-specific pathways, we then suspect that there might be gene regulatory mechanisms that modulate the behavior of the pathways and their interactions. In this study, we proposed an integrated methodology, including machine learning and information theory, to explore the mechanisms. Using existing data from three large cohorts of human breast cancer populations, we have identified an ensemble of 16 master regulator genes (or MR16) that can discriminate breast tumor samples into four major subtypes. Evidence from gene expression across the three cohorts has consistently indicated that the MR16 can be divided into two groups that demonstrate subtype-specific gene expression patterns. For example, group 1 MRs, including ESR1, FOXA1, and GATA3, are overexpressed in luminal A and luminal B subtypes, but lowly expressed in HER2-enriched and basal-like subtypes. In contrast, group 2 MRs, including FOXM1, EZH2, MYBL2, and ZNF695, display an opposite pattern. Furthermore, evidence from mutual information modeling has congruently indicated that the two groups of MRs either up- or down-regulate cancer driver-related genes in opposite directions. Furthermore, integration of somatic mutations with pathway changes leads to identification of canonical genomic alternations in a subtype-specific fashion. Taken together, these studies have implicated a gene regulatory program for breast tumor progression.

  5. Evo–Devo in the Era of Gene Regulatory Networks

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Antje H. L.; Smith, Joel

    2012-01-01

    Advanced genomics tools enable powerful new strategies for understanding complex biological processes, including development. By extension, we should be able to use these methods in a comparative fashion to capture evolutionary mechanisms. This requires a capacity to go deep and broad, to analyze developmental gene regulatory networks in many organisms, especially nontraditional models. As we usher in a new era of next-generation GRN (gene regulatory network) analysis, it is important to ask how to evaluate the evolution of network interactions. Particularly problematic, as always, is defining “independence”: Are two character traits found together because they are functionally linked or because of historical accident? The same basic question applies to understanding developmental GRN evolution. However, the essential difference here is that a GRN defines a causal chain of events. An understanding of causal relations—how Genes A and B work in concert to drive expression of Genes C and D to create a new Territory E—gives hope for establishing “trait independence” in a way that purely correlative arguments—the association of the expression of Gene D in Territory E—never could. Insight into causality provides the key to interpretation, as seen in this simplified scenario. Real-world networks bring new degrees of complexity, but the elucidation of causal relations remains the same. Has the day arrived when a single laboratory has the wherewithal to conduct multiorganism gene network projects in parallel? No. However, we argue that day is closer than one might suppose. We describe how a speedboat GRN project in one’s favorite nonmodel organism(s) might look and provide a framework for comparative network analysis. PMID:22927135

  6. Reverse Engineering of Genome-wide Gene Regulatory Networks from Gene Expression Data.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhi-Ping

    2015-02-01

    Transcriptional regulation plays vital roles in many fundamental biological processes. Reverse engineering of genome-wide regulatory networks from high-throughput transcriptomic data provides a promising way to characterize the global scenario of regulatory relationships between regulators and their targets. In this review, we summarize and categorize the main frameworks and methods currently available for inferring transcriptional regulatory networks from microarray gene expression profiling data. We overview each of strategies and introduce representative methods respectively. Their assumptions, advantages, shortcomings, and possible improvements and extensions are also clarified and commented.

  7. Colorectal cancer risk genes are functionally enriched in regulatory pathways.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xi; Cao, Mingming; Han, Su; Yang, Youlin; Zhou, Jin

    2016-01-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common complex disease caused by the combination of genetic variants and environmental factors. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been performed and reported some novel CRC susceptibility variants. However, the potential genetic mechanisms for newly identified CRC susceptibility variants are still unclear. Here, we selected 85 CRC susceptibility variants with suggestive association P < 1.00E-05 from the National Human Genome Research Institute GWAS catalog. To investigate the underlying genetic pathways where these newly identified CRC susceptibility genes are significantly enriched, we conducted a functional annotation. Using two kinds of SNP to gene mapping methods including the nearest upstream and downstream gene method and the ProxyGeneLD, we got 128 unique CRC susceptibility genes. We then conducted a pathway analysis in GO database using the corresponding 128 genes. We identified 44 GO categories, 17 of which are regulatory pathways. We believe that our results may provide further insight into the underlying genetic mechanisms for these newly identified CRC susceptibility variants. PMID:27146020

  8. Identifying gene regulatory network rewiring using latent differential graphical models.

    PubMed

    Tian, Dechao; Gu, Quanquan; Ma, Jian

    2016-09-30

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) are highly dynamic among different tissue types. Identifying tissue-specific gene regulation is critically important to understand gene function in a particular cellular context. Graphical models have been used to estimate GRN from gene expression data to distinguish direct interactions from indirect associations. However, most existing methods estimate GRN for a specific cell/tissue type or in a tissue-naive way, or do not specifically focus on network rewiring between different tissues. Here, we describe a new method called Latent Differential Graphical Model (LDGM). The motivation of our method is to estimate the differential network between two tissue types directly without inferring the network for individual tissues, which has the advantage of utilizing much smaller sample size to achieve reliable differential network estimation. Our simulation results demonstrated that LDGM consistently outperforms other Gaussian graphical model based methods. We further evaluated LDGM by applying to the brain and blood gene expression data from the GTEx consortium. We also applied LDGM to identify network rewiring between cancer subtypes using the TCGA breast cancer samples. Our results suggest that LDGM is an effective method to infer differential network using high-throughput gene expression data to identify GRN dynamics among different cellular conditions.

  9. Identifying gene regulatory network rewiring using latent differential graphical models

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Dechao; Gu, Quanquan; Ma, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) are highly dynamic among different tissue types. Identifying tissue-specific gene regulation is critically important to understand gene function in a particular cellular context. Graphical models have been used to estimate GRN from gene expression data to distinguish direct interactions from indirect associations. However, most existing methods estimate GRN for a specific cell/tissue type or in a tissue-naive way, or do not specifically focus on network rewiring between different tissues. Here, we describe a new method called Latent Differential Graphical Model (LDGM). The motivation of our method is to estimate the differential network between two tissue types directly without inferring the network for individual tissues, which has the advantage of utilizing much smaller sample size to achieve reliable differential network estimation. Our simulation results demonstrated that LDGM consistently outperforms other Gaussian graphical model based methods. We further evaluated LDGM by applying to the brain and blood gene expression data from the GTEx consortium. We also applied LDGM to identify network rewiring between cancer subtypes using the TCGA breast cancer samples. Our results suggest that LDGM is an effective method to infer differential network using high-throughput gene expression data to identify GRN dynamics among different cellular conditions. PMID:27378774

  10. Colorectal cancer risk genes are functionally enriched in regulatory pathways

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Xi; Cao, Mingming; Han, Su; Yang, Youlin; Zhou, Jin

    2016-01-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common complex disease caused by the combination of genetic variants and environmental factors. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been performed and reported some novel CRC susceptibility variants. However, the potential genetic mechanisms for newly identified CRC susceptibility variants are still unclear. Here, we selected 85 CRC susceptibility variants with suggestive association P < 1.00E-05 from the National Human Genome Research Institute GWAS catalog. To investigate the underlying genetic pathways where these newly identified CRC susceptibility genes are significantly enriched, we conducted a functional annotation. Using two kinds of SNP to gene mapping methods including the nearest upstream and downstream gene method and the ProxyGeneLD, we got 128 unique CRC susceptibility genes. We then conducted a pathway analysis in GO database using the corresponding 128 genes. We identified 44 GO categories, 17 of which are regulatory pathways. We believe that our results may provide further insight into the underlying genetic mechanisms for these newly identified CRC susceptibility variants. PMID:27146020

  11. Innovation and robustness in complex regulatory gene networks

    PubMed Central

    Ciliberti, S.; Martin, O. C.; Wagner, A.

    2007-01-01

    The history of life involves countless evolutionary innovations, a steady stream of ingenuity that has been flowing for more than 3 billion years. Very little is known about the principles of biological organization that allow such innovation. Here, we examine these principles for evolutionary innovation in gene expression patterns. To this end, we study a model for the transcriptional regulation networks that are at the heart of embryonic development. A genotype corresponds to a regulatory network of a given topology, and a phenotype corresponds to a steady-state gene expression pattern. Networks with the same phenotype form a connected graph in genotype space, where two networks are immediate neighbors if they differ by one regulatory interaction. We show that an evolutionary search on this graph can reach genotypes that are as different from each other as if they were chosen at random in genotype space, allowing evolutionary access to different kinds of innovation while staying close to a viable phenotype. Thus, although robustness to mutations may hinder innovation in the short term, we conclude that long-term innovation in gene expression patterns can only emerge in the presence of the robustness caused by connected genotype graphs. PMID:17690244

  12. Engineering nucleases for gene targeting: safety and regulatory considerations.

    PubMed

    Pauwels, Katia; Podevin, Nancy; Breyer, Didier; Carroll, Dana; Herman, Philippe

    2014-01-25

    Nuclease-based gene targeting (NBGT) represents a significant breakthrough in targeted genome editing since it is applicable from single-celled protozoa to human, including several species of economic importance. Along with the fast progress in NBGT and the increasing availability of customized nucleases, more data are available about off-target effects associated with the use of this approach. We discuss how NBGT may offer a new perspective for genetic modification, we address some aspects crucial for a safety improvement of the corresponding techniques and we also briefly relate the use of NBGT applications and products to the regulatory oversight.

  13. Evolutionary and Topological Properties of Genes and Community Structures in Human Gene Regulatory Networks.

    PubMed

    Szedlak, Anthony; Smith, Nicholas; Liu, Li; Paternostro, Giovanni; Piermarocchi, Carlo

    2016-06-01

    The diverse, specialized genes present in today's lifeforms evolved from a common core of ancient, elementary genes. However, these genes did not evolve individually: gene expression is controlled by a complex network of interactions, and alterations in one gene may drive reciprocal changes in its proteins' binding partners. Like many complex networks, these gene regulatory networks (GRNs) are composed of communities, or clusters of genes with relatively high connectivity. A deep understanding of the relationship between the evolutionary history of single genes and the topological properties of the underlying GRN is integral to evolutionary genetics. Here, we show that the topological properties of an acute myeloid leukemia GRN and a general human GRN are strongly coupled with its genes' evolutionary properties. Slowly evolving ("cold"), old genes tend to interact with each other, as do rapidly evolving ("hot"), young genes. This naturally causes genes to segregate into community structures with relatively homogeneous evolutionary histories. We argue that gene duplication placed old, cold genes and communities at the center of the networks, and young, hot genes and communities at the periphery. We demonstrate this with single-node centrality measures and two new measures of efficiency, the set efficiency and the interset efficiency. We conclude that these methods for studying the relationships between a GRN's community structures and its genes' evolutionary properties provide new perspectives for understanding evolutionary genetics.

  14. Diverse Gene Expression in Human Regulatory T Cell Subsets Uncovers Connection between Regulatory T Cell Genes and Suppressive Function.

    PubMed

    Hua, Jing; Davis, Scott P; Hill, Jonathan A; Yamagata, Tetsuya

    2015-10-15

    Regulatory T (Treg) cells have a critical role in the control of immunity, and their diverse subpopulations may allow adaptation to different types of immune responses. In this study, we analyzed human Treg cell subpopulations in the peripheral blood by performing genome-wide expression profiling of 40 Treg cell subsets from healthy donors. We found that the human peripheral blood Treg cell population is comprised of five major genomic subgroups, represented by 16 tractable subsets with a particular cell surface phenotype. These subsets possess a range of suppressive function and cytokine secretion and can exert a genomic footprint on target effector T (Teff) cells. Correlation analysis of variability in gene expression in the subsets identified several cell surface molecules associated with Treg suppressive function, and pharmacological interrogation revealed a set of genes having causative effect. The five genomic subgroups of Treg cells imposed a preserved pattern of gene expression on Teff cells, with a varying degree of genes being suppressed or induced. Notably, there was a cluster of genes induced by Treg cells that bolstered an autoinhibitory effect in Teff cells, and this induction appears to be governed by a different set of genes than ones involved in counteracting Teff activation. Our work shows an example of exploiting the diversity within human Treg cell subpopulations to dissect Treg cell biology. PMID:26371251

  15. 78 FR 1624 - Fall 2012 Regulatory Agenda

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-08

    ... and not to existing residential wood-heating appliances. Timetable: Action Date FR Cite NPRM 06/00/13... that start up after the regulatory agenda is signed? H. What tools are available for mining regulatory..., ``Regulatory Planning and Review'' (58 FR 51735, Oct. 4, 1993), as supplemented by Executive Order (EO)...

  16. Inference of Gene Regulatory Network Based on Local Bayesian Networks.

    PubMed

    Liu, Fei; Zhang, Shao-Wu; Guo, Wei-Feng; Wei, Ze-Gang; Chen, Luonan

    2016-08-01

    The inference of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) from expression data can mine the direct regulations among genes and gain deep insights into biological processes at a network level. During past decades, numerous computational approaches have been introduced for inferring the GRNs. However, many of them still suffer from various problems, e.g., Bayesian network (BN) methods cannot handle large-scale networks due to their high computational complexity, while information theory-based methods cannot identify the directions of regulatory interactions and also suffer from false positive/negative problems. To overcome the limitations, in this work we present a novel algorithm, namely local Bayesian network (LBN), to infer GRNs from gene expression data by using the network decomposition strategy and false-positive edge elimination scheme. Specifically, LBN algorithm first uses conditional mutual information (CMI) to construct an initial network or GRN, which is decomposed into a number of local networks or GRNs. Then, BN method is employed to generate a series of local BNs by selecting the k-nearest neighbors of each gene as its candidate regulatory genes, which significantly reduces the exponential search space from all possible GRN structures. Integrating these local BNs forms a tentative network or GRN by performing CMI, which reduces redundant regulations in the GRN and thus alleviates the false positive problem. The final network or GRN can be obtained by iteratively performing CMI and local BN on the tentative network. In the iterative process, the false or redundant regulations are gradually removed. When tested on the benchmark GRN datasets from DREAM challenge as well as the SOS DNA repair network in E.coli, our results suggest that LBN outperforms other state-of-the-art methods (ARACNE, GENIE3 and NARROMI) significantly, with more accurate and robust performance. In particular, the decomposition strategy with local Bayesian networks not only effectively reduce

  17. Inference of Gene Regulatory Network Based on Local Bayesian Networks

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Fei; Zhang, Shao-Wu; Guo, Wei-Feng; Chen, Luonan

    2016-01-01

    The inference of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) from expression data can mine the direct regulations among genes and gain deep insights into biological processes at a network level. During past decades, numerous computational approaches have been introduced for inferring the GRNs. However, many of them still suffer from various problems, e.g., Bayesian network (BN) methods cannot handle large-scale networks due to their high computational complexity, while information theory-based methods cannot identify the directions of regulatory interactions and also suffer from false positive/negative problems. To overcome the limitations, in this work we present a novel algorithm, namely local Bayesian network (LBN), to infer GRNs from gene expression data by using the network decomposition strategy and false-positive edge elimination scheme. Specifically, LBN algorithm first uses conditional mutual information (CMI) to construct an initial network or GRN, which is decomposed into a number of local networks or GRNs. Then, BN method is employed to generate a series of local BNs by selecting the k-nearest neighbors of each gene as its candidate regulatory genes, which significantly reduces the exponential search space from all possible GRN structures. Integrating these local BNs forms a tentative network or GRN by performing CMI, which reduces redundant regulations in the GRN and thus alleviates the false positive problem. The final network or GRN can be obtained by iteratively performing CMI and local BN on the tentative network. In the iterative process, the false or redundant regulations are gradually removed. When tested on the benchmark GRN datasets from DREAM challenge as well as the SOS DNA repair network in E.coli, our results suggest that LBN outperforms other state-of-the-art methods (ARACNE, GENIE3 and NARROMI) significantly, with more accurate and robust performance. In particular, the decomposition strategy with local Bayesian networks not only effectively reduce

  18. Genomic aberrations frequently alter chromatin regulatory genes in chordoma.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lu; Zehir, Ahmet; Nafa, Khedoudja; Zhou, Nengyi; Berger, Michael F; Casanova, Jacklyn; Sadowska, Justyna; Lu, Chao; Allis, C David; Gounder, Mrinal; Chandhanayingyong, Chandhanarat; Ladanyi, Marc; Boland, Patrick J; Hameed, Meera

    2016-07-01

    Chordoma is a rare primary bone neoplasm that is resistant to standard chemotherapies. Despite aggressive surgical management, local recurrence and metastasis is not uncommon. To identify the specific genetic aberrations that play key roles in chordoma pathogenesis, we utilized a genome-wide high-resolution SNP-array and next generation sequencing (NGS)-based molecular profiling platform to study 24 patient samples with typical histopathologic features of chordoma. Matching normal tissues were available for 16 samples. SNP-array analysis revealed nonrandom copy number losses across the genome, frequently involving 3, 9p, 1p, 14, 10, and 13. In contrast, copy number gain is uncommon in chordomas. Two minimum deleted regions were observed on 3p within a ∼8 Mb segment at 3p21.1-p21.31, which overlaps SETD2, BAP1 and PBRM1. The minimum deleted region on 9p was mapped to CDKN2A locus at 9p21.3, and homozygous deletion of CDKN2A was detected in 5/22 chordomas (∼23%). NGS-based molecular profiling demonstrated an extremely low level of mutation rate in chordomas, with an average of 0.5 mutations per sample for the 16 cases with matched normal. When the mutated genes were grouped based on molecular functions, many of the mutation events (∼40%) were found in chromatin regulatory genes. The combined copy number and mutation profiling revealed that SETD2 is the single gene affected most frequently in chordomas, either by deletion or by mutations. Our study demonstrated that chordoma belongs to the C-class (copy number changes) tumors whose oncogenic signature is non-random multiple copy number losses across the genome and genomic aberrations frequently alter chromatin regulatory genes. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Genomic Aberrations Frequently Alter Chromatin Regulatory Genes in Chordoma

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lu; Zehir, Ahmet; Nafa, Khedoudja; Zhou, Nengyi; Berger, Michael F.; Casanova, Jacklyn; Sadowska, Justyna; Lu, Chao; Allis, C. David; Gounder, Mrinal; Chandhanayingyong, Chandhanarat; Ladanyi, Marc; Boland, Patrick J; Hameed, Meera

    2016-01-01

    Chordoma is a rare primary bone neoplasm that is resistant to standard chemotherapies. Despite aggressive surgical management, local recurrence and metastasis is not uncommon. To identify the specific genetic aberrations that play key roles in chordoma pathogenesis, we utilized a genome-wide high-resolution SNP-array and next generation sequencing (NGS)-based molecular profiling platform to study 24 patient samples with typical histopathologic features of chordoma. Matching normal tissues were available for 16 samples. SNP-array analysis revealed nonrandom copy number losses across the genome, frequently involving 3, 9p, 1p, 14, 10, and 13. In contrast, copy number gain is uncommon in chordomas. Two minimum deleted regions were observed on 3p within a ~8 Mb segment at 3p21.1–p21.31, which overlaps SETD2, BAP1 and PBRM1. The minimum deleted region on 9p was mapped to CDKN2A locus at 9p21.3, and homozygous deletion of CDKN2A was detected in 5/22 chordomas (~23%). NGS-based molecular profiling demonstrated an extremely low level of mutation rate in chordomas, with an average of 0.5 mutations per sample for the 16 cases with matched normal. When the mutated genes were grouped based on molecular functions, many of the mutation events (~40%) were found in chromatin regulatory genes. The combined copy number and mutation profiling revealed that SETD2 is the single gene affected most frequently in chordomas, either by deletion or by mutations. Our study demonstrated that chordoma belongs to the C-class (copy number changes) tumors whose oncogenic signature is non-random multiple copy number losses across the genome and genomic aberrations frequently alter chromatin regulatory genes. PMID:27072194

  20. Identification of Developmental Regulatory Genes in Aspergillus Nidulans by Overexpression

    PubMed Central

    Marhoul, J. F.; Adams, T. H.

    1995-01-01

    Overexpression of several Aspergillus nidulans developmental regulatory genes has been shown to cause growth inhibition and development at inappropriate times. We set out to identify previously unknown developmental regulators by constructing a nutritionally inducible A. nidulans expression library containing small, random genomic DNA fragments inserted next to the alcA promoter [ alcA (p) ] in an A. nidulans transformation vector. Among 20,000 transformants containing random alcA (p) genomic DNA fusion constructs, we identified 66 distinct mutant strains in which alcA (p) induction resulted in growth inhibition as well as causing other detectable phenotypic changes. These growth inhibited mutants were divided into 52 FIG (Forced expression Inhibition of Growth) and 14 FAB (Forced expression Activation of brlA) mutants based on whether or not alcA (p) induction resulted in accumulation of mRNA for the developmental regulatory gene brlA. In four FAB mutants, alcA (p) induction not only activated brlA expression but also caused hyphae to differentiate into reduced conidiophores that produced viable spores from the tips as is observed after alcA (p) :: brlA induction. Sequence analyses of the DNA fragments under alcA (p) control in three of these four sporulating strains showed that in two cases developmental activation resulted from overexpression of previously uncharacterized genes, whereas in the third strain, the alcA (p) was fused to brlA. The potential uses for this strategy in identifying genes whose overexpression results in specific phenotypic changes like developmental induction are discussed. PMID:7713416

  1. Identification of developmental regulatory genes in Aspergillus nidulans by overexpression.

    PubMed

    Marhoul, J F; Adams, T H

    1995-02-01

    Overexpression of several Aspergillus nidulans developmental regulatory genes has been shown to cause growth inhibition and development at inappropriate times. We set out to identify previously unknown developmental regulators by constructing a nutritionally inducible A. nidulans expression library containing small, random genomic DNA fragments inserted next to the alcA promoter [alcA(p)] in an A. nidulans transformation vector. Among 20,000 transformants containing random alcA(p) genomic DNA fusion constructs, we identified 66 distinct mutant strains in which alcA(p) induction resulted in growth inhibition as well as causing other detectable phenotypic changes. These growth inhibited mutants were divided into 52 FIG (Forced expression Inhibition of Growth) and 14 FAB (Forced expression Activation of brlA) mutants based on whether or not alcA(p) induction resulted in accumulation of mRNA for the developmental regulatory gene brlA. In four FAB mutants, alcA(p) induction not only activated brlA expression but also caused hyphae to differentiate into reduced conidiophores that produced viable spores from the tips as is observed after alcA(p)::brlA induction. Sequence analyses of the DNA fragments under alcA(p) control in three of these four sporulating strains showed that in two cases developmental activation resulted from overexpression of previously uncharacterized genes, whereas in the third strain, the alcA(p) was fused to brlA. The potential uses for this strategy in identifying genes whose overexpression results in specific phenotypic changes like developmental induction are discussed.

  2. Deduced products of C4-dicarboxylate transport regulatory genes of Rhizobium leguminosarum are homologous to nitrogen regulatory gene products.

    PubMed Central

    Ronson, C W; Astwood, P M; Nixon, B T; Ausubel, F M

    1987-01-01

    We have sequenced two genes dctB and dctD required for the activation of the C4-dicarboxylate transport structural gene dctA in free-living Rhizobium leguminosarum. The hydropathic profile of the dctB gene product (DctB) suggested that its N-terminal region may be located in the periplasm and its C-terminal region in the cytoplasm. The C-terminal region of DctB was strongly conserved with similar regions of the products of several regulatory genes that may act as environmental sensors, including ntrB, envZ, virA, phoR, cpxA, and phoM. The N-terminal domains of the products of several regulatory genes thought to be transcriptional activators, including ntrC, ompR, virG, phoB and sfrA. In addition, the central and C-terminal regions of DctD were strongly conserved with the products of ntrC and nifA, transcriptional activators that require the alternate sigma factor rpoN (ntrA) as co-activator. The central region of DctD also contained a potential ATP-binding domain. These results are consistent with recent results that show that rpoN product is required for dctA activation, and suggest that DctB plus DctD-mediated transcriptional activation of dctA may be mechanistically similar to NtrB plus NtrC-mediated activation of glnA in E. coli. PMID:3671068

  3. Graphlet Based Metrics for the Comparison of Gene Regulatory Networks

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Alberto J. M.; Dominguez, Calixto; Contreras-Riquelme, Sebastián; Holmes, David S.; Perez-Acle, Tomas

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the control of gene expression remains one of the main challenges in the post-genomic era. Accordingly, a plethora of methods exists to identify variations in gene expression levels. These variations underlay almost all relevant biological phenomena, including disease and adaptation to environmental conditions. However, computational tools to identify how regulation changes are scarce. Regulation of gene expression is usually depicted in the form of a gene regulatory network (GRN). Structural changes in a GRN over time and conditions represent variations in the regulation of gene expression. Like other biological networks, GRNs are composed of basic building blocks called graphlets. As a consequence, two new metrics based on graphlets are proposed in this work: REConstruction Rate (REC) and REC Graphlet Degree (RGD). REC determines the rate of graphlet similarity between different states of a network and RGD identifies the subset of nodes with the highest topological variation. In other words, RGD discerns how th GRN was rewired. REC and RGD were used to compare the local structure of nodes in condition-specific GRNs obtained from gene expression data of Escherichia coli, forming biofilms and cultured in suspension. According to our results, most of the network local structure remains unaltered in the two compared conditions. Nevertheless, changes reported by RGD necessarily imply that a different cohort of regulators (i.e. transcription factors (TFs)) appear on the scene, shedding light on how the regulation of gene expression occurs when E. coli transits from suspension to biofilm. Consequently, we propose that both metrics REC and RGD should be adopted as a quantitative approach to conduct differential analyses of GRNs. A tool that implements both metrics is available as an on-line web server (http://dlab.cl/loto). PMID:27695050

  4. Neurogenic gene regulatory pathways in the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Wei, Zheng; Angerer, Lynne M; Angerer, Robert C

    2016-01-15

    During embryogenesis the sea urchin early pluteus larva differentiates 40-50 neurons marked by expression of the pan-neural marker synaptotagmin B (SynB) that are distributed along the ciliary band, in the apical plate and pharyngeal endoderm, and 4-6 serotonergic neurons that are confined to the apical plate. Development of all neurons has been shown to depend on the function of Six3. Using a combination of molecular screens and tests of gene function by morpholino-mediated knockdown, we identified SoxC and Brn1/2/4, which function sequentially in the neurogenic regulatory pathway and are also required for the differentiation of all neurons. Misexpression of Brn1/2/4 at low dose caused an increase in the number of serotonin-expressing cells and at higher dose converted most of the embryo to a neurogenic epithelial sphere expressing the Hnf6 ciliary band marker. A third factor, Z167, was shown to work downstream of the Six3 and SoxC core factors and to define a branch specific for the differentiation of serotonergic neurons. These results provide a framework for building a gene regulatory network for neurogenesis in the sea urchin embryo.

  5. Neurogenic gene regulatory pathways in the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Wei, Zheng; Angerer, Lynne M; Angerer, Robert C

    2016-01-15

    During embryogenesis the sea urchin early pluteus larva differentiates 40-50 neurons marked by expression of the pan-neural marker synaptotagmin B (SynB) that are distributed along the ciliary band, in the apical plate and pharyngeal endoderm, and 4-6 serotonergic neurons that are confined to the apical plate. Development of all neurons has been shown to depend on the function of Six3. Using a combination of molecular screens and tests of gene function by morpholino-mediated knockdown, we identified SoxC and Brn1/2/4, which function sequentially in the neurogenic regulatory pathway and are also required for the differentiation of all neurons. Misexpression of Brn1/2/4 at low dose caused an increase in the number of serotonin-expressing cells and at higher dose converted most of the embryo to a neurogenic epithelial sphere expressing the Hnf6 ciliary band marker. A third factor, Z167, was shown to work downstream of the Six3 and SoxC core factors and to define a branch specific for the differentiation of serotonergic neurons. These results provide a framework for building a gene regulatory network for neurogenesis in the sea urchin embryo. PMID:26657764

  6. Evolutionary and Topological Properties of Genes and Community Structures in Human Gene Regulatory Networks

    PubMed Central

    Szedlak, Anthony; Smith, Nicholas; Liu, Li; Paternostro, Giovanni; Piermarocchi, Carlo

    2016-01-01

    The diverse, specialized genes present in today’s lifeforms evolved from a common core of ancient, elementary genes. However, these genes did not evolve individually: gene expression is controlled by a complex network of interactions, and alterations in one gene may drive reciprocal changes in its proteins’ binding partners. Like many complex networks, these gene regulatory networks (GRNs) are composed of communities, or clusters of genes with relatively high connectivity. A deep understanding of the relationship between the evolutionary history of single genes and the topological properties of the underlying GRN is integral to evolutionary genetics. Here, we show that the topological properties of an acute myeloid leukemia GRN and a general human GRN are strongly coupled with its genes’ evolutionary properties. Slowly evolving (“cold”), old genes tend to interact with each other, as do rapidly evolving (“hot”), young genes. This naturally causes genes to segregate into community structures with relatively homogeneous evolutionary histories. We argue that gene duplication placed old, cold genes and communities at the center of the networks, and young, hot genes and communities at the periphery. We demonstrate this with single-node centrality measures and two new measures of efficiency, the set efficiency and the interset efficiency. We conclude that these methods for studying the relationships between a GRN’s community structures and its genes’ evolutionary properties provide new perspectives for understanding evolutionary genetics. PMID:27359334

  7. Are Mesenchymal Cells Indeed Pluripotent Stem Cells or Just Stromal Cells? OCT-4 and VSELs Biology Has Led to Better Understanding.

    PubMed

    Bhartiya, Deepa

    2013-01-01

    Stem cells have excited researchers because of their potential to regenerate. However, which stem cells will be the best candidate for regenerative medicine remains an enigma. Compared to pluripotent stem cells with associated risks of immune rejection and teratoma formation, adult stem cells especially the mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are hyped to be a suitable alternate since they also exhibit pluripotent properties. This review shows that there is a subpopulation of pluripotent very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) among MSCs culture. The two populations differ from each other in expression pattern of OCT-4. VSELs exhibit nuclear OCT-4A, whereas the MSCs have cytoplasmic OCT-4B, similar to our earlier findings in testis and ovary. Pluripotent VSELs with nuclear OCT-4A exist in various adult body organs, and the immediate progenitors express cytoplasmic OCT-4B which is eventually lost as the cell differentiates further. To conclude it is essential to discriminate between nuclear and cytoplasmic OCT-4 expression and also to acknowledge the presence of VSELs. PMID:24187558

  8. Are Mesenchymal Cells Indeed Pluripotent Stem Cells or Just Stromal Cells? OCT-4 and VSELs Biology Has Led to Better Understanding.

    PubMed

    Bhartiya, Deepa

    2013-01-01

    Stem cells have excited researchers because of their potential to regenerate. However, which stem cells will be the best candidate for regenerative medicine remains an enigma. Compared to pluripotent stem cells with associated risks of immune rejection and teratoma formation, adult stem cells especially the mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are hyped to be a suitable alternate since they also exhibit pluripotent properties. This review shows that there is a subpopulation of pluripotent very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) among MSCs culture. The two populations differ from each other in expression pattern of OCT-4. VSELs exhibit nuclear OCT-4A, whereas the MSCs have cytoplasmic OCT-4B, similar to our earlier findings in testis and ovary. Pluripotent VSELs with nuclear OCT-4A exist in various adult body organs, and the immediate progenitors express cytoplasmic OCT-4B which is eventually lost as the cell differentiates further. To conclude it is essential to discriminate between nuclear and cytoplasmic OCT-4 expression and also to acknowledge the presence of VSELs.

  9. The influence of assortativity on the robustness and evolvability of gene regulatory networks upon gene birth

    PubMed Central

    Pechenick, Dov A.; Moore, Jason H.; Payne, Joshua L.

    2013-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) represent the interactions between genes and gene products, which drive the gene expression patterns that produce cellular phenotypes. GRNs display a number of characteristics that are beneficial for the development and evolution of organisms. For example, they are often robust to genetic perturbation, such as mutations in regulatory regions or loss of gene function. Simultaneously, GRNs are often evolvable as these genetic perturbations are occasionally exploited to innovate novel regulatory programs. Several topological properties, such as degree distribution, are known to influence the robustness and evolvability of GRNs. Assortativity, which measures the propensity of nodes of similar connectivity to connect to one another, is a separate topological property that has recently been shown to influence the robustness of GRNs to point mutations in cis-regulatory regions. However, it remains to be seen how assortativity may influence the robustness and evolvability of GRNs to other forms of genetic perturbation, such as gene birth via duplication or de novo origination. Here, we employ a computational model of genetic regulation to investigate whether the assortativity of a GRN influences its robustness and evolvability upon gene birth. We find that the robustness of a GRN generally increases with increasing assortativity, while its evolvability generally decreases. However, the rate of change in robustness outpaces that of evolvability, resulting in an increased proportion of assortative GRNs that are simultaneously robust and evolvable. By providing a mechanistic explanation for these observations, this work extends our understanding of how the assortativity of a GRN influences its robustness and evolvability upon gene birth. PMID:23542384

  10. Nucleotide sequence and temporal expression of a baculovirus regulatory gene.

    PubMed

    Guarino, L A; Summers, M D

    1987-07-01

    The nucleotide sequence of a trans-activating regulatory gene (IE-1) of the baculovirus Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus has been determined. This gene encodes a protein of 581 amino acids with a predicted molecular weight of 66,856. A DNA fragment containing the entire coding sequence of IE-1 was inserted downstream of an RNA promoter. Subsequent cell-free transcription and translation directed the synthesis of a single peptide with an apparent molecular weight of 70,000. Quantitative S1 nuclease analysis indicated that IE-1 was maximally synthesized during a 1-h virus adsorption period and that steady-state levels of IE-1 message were maintained during the first 24 h of infection. Northern blot hybridization indicated that several late transcripts which overlap the IE-1 gene were transcribed from both strands. The precise locations of the 5' and 3' ends of these overlapping transcripts were mapped using S1 nuclease. The overlapping transcripts were grouped in two transcriptional units. One unit was composed of IE-1 and overlapping gamma transcripts which initiated upstream of IE-1 and terminated downstream of IE-1. The other unit, transcribed from the opposite strand, consisted of gamma transcripts with coterminal 5' ends and extended 3' ends. The shorter, more abundant transcripts in this unit overlapped 30 to 40 bases of IE-1 at the 3' end, while the longer transcripts overlapped the entire IE-1 gene. Transcription of several early A. californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus genes, in addition to 39K, was shown to be trans-activated by IE-1, indicating that IE-1 may have a central role in the regulation of beta-gene expression. PMID:16789264

  11. Complex Dynamic Behavior in Simple Gene Regulatory Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santillán Zerón, Moisés

    2007-02-01

    Knowing the complete genome of a given species is just a piece of the puzzle. To fully unveil the systems behavior of an organism, an organ, or even a single cell, we need to understand the underlying gene regulatory dynamics. Given the complexity of the whole system, the ultimate goal is unattainable for the moment. But perhaps, by analyzing the most simple genetic systems, we may be able to develop the mathematical techniques and procedures required to tackle more complex genetic networks in the near future. In the present work, the techniques for developing mathematical models of simple bacterial gene networks, like the tryptophan and lactose operons are introduced. Despite all of the underlying assumptions, such models can provide valuable information regarding gene regulation dynamics. Here, we pay special attention to robustness as an emergent property. These notes are organized as follows. In the first section, the long historical relation between mathematics, physics, and biology is briefly reviewed. Recently, the multidisciplinary work in biology has received great attention in the form of systems biology. The main concepts of this novel science are discussed in the second section. A very slim introduction to the essential concepts of molecular biology is given in the third section. In the fourth section, a brief introduction to chemical kinetics is presented. Finally, in the fifth section, a mathematical model for the lactose operon is developed and analyzed..

  12. Identifying sleep regulatory genes using a Drosophila model of insomnia

    PubMed Central

    Seugnet, Laurent; Suzuki, Yasuko; Thimgan, Matthew; Donlea, Jeff; Gimbel, Sarah I.; Gottschalk, Laura; Duntley, Steve P.; Shaw, Paul J.

    2009-01-01

    Although it is widely accepted that sleep must serve an essential biological function, little is known about molecules that underlie sleep regulation. Given that insomnia is a common sleep disorder that disrupts the ability to initiate and maintain restorative sleep, a better understanding of its molecular underpinning may provide crucial insights into sleep regulatory processes. Thus, we created a line of flies using laboratory selection that share traits with human insomnia. After 60 generations insomnia-like (ins-l) flies sleep 60 min a day, exhibit difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, and show evidence of daytime cognitive impairment. ins-l flies are also hyperactive and hyper responsive to environmental perturbations. In addition they have difficulty maintaining their balance, have elevated levels of dopamine, are short-lived and show increased levels of triglycerides, cholesterol, and free fatty acids. While their core molecular clock remains intact, ins-l flies lose their ability to sleep when placed into constant darkness. Whole genome profiling identified genes that are modified in ins-l flies. Among those differentially expressed transcripts genes involved in metabolism, neuronal activity, and sensory perception constituted over-represented categories. We demonstrate that two of these genes are upregulated in human subjects following acute sleep deprivation. Together these data indicate that the ins-l flies are a useful tool that can be used to identify molecules important for sleep regulation and may provide insights into both the causes and long-term consequences of insomnia. PMID:19494137

  13. Data Integration for Microarrays: Enhanced Inference for Gene Regulatory Networks

    PubMed Central

    Sîrbu, Alina; Crane, Martin; Ruskin, Heather J.

    2015-01-01

    Microarray technologies have been the basis of numerous important findings regarding gene expression in the few last decades. Studies have generated large amounts of data describing various processes, which, due to the existence of public databases, are widely available for further analysis. Given their lower cost and higher maturity compared to newer sequencing technologies, these data continue to be produced, even though data quality has been the subject of some debate. However, given the large volume of data generated, integration can help overcome some issues related, e.g., to noise or reduced time resolution, while providing additional insight on features not directly addressed by sequencing methods. Here, we present an integration test case based on public Drosophila melanogaster datasets (gene expression, binding site affinities, known interactions). Using an evolutionary computation framework, we show how integration can enhance the ability to recover transcriptional gene regulatory networks from these data, as well as indicating which data types are more important for quantitative and qualitative network inference. Our results show a clear improvement in performance when multiple datasets are integrated, indicating that microarray data will remain a valuable and viable resource for some time to come.

  14. Stochastic S-system modeling of gene regulatory network.

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, Ahsan Raja; Chetty, Madhu; Evans, Rob

    2015-10-01

    Microarray gene expression data can provide insights into biological processes at a system-wide level and is commonly used for reverse engineering gene regulatory networks (GRN). Due to the amalgamation of noise from different sources, microarray expression profiles become inherently noisy leading to significant impact on the GRN reconstruction process. Microarray replicates (both biological and technical), generated to increase the reliability of data obtained under noisy conditions, have limited influence in enhancing the accuracy of reconstruction . Therefore, instead of the conventional GRN modeling approaches which are deterministic, stochastic techniques are becoming increasingly necessary for inferring GRN from noisy microarray data. In this paper, we propose a new stochastic GRN model by investigating incorporation of various standard noise measurements in the deterministic S-system model. Experimental evaluations performed for varying sizes of synthetic network, representing different stochastic processes, demonstrate the effect of noise on the accuracy of genetic network modeling and the significance of stochastic modeling for GRN reconstruction . The proposed stochastic model is subsequently applied to infer the regulations among genes in two real life networks: (1) the well-studied IRMA network, a real-life in-vivo synthetic network constructed within the Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast, and (2) the SOS DNA repair network in Escherichia coli.

  15. Gene-regulatory activity of alpha-tocopherol.

    PubMed

    Rimbach, Gerald; Moehring, Jennifer; Huebbe, Patricia; Lodge, John K

    2010-03-01

    Vitamin E is an essential vitamin and a lipid soluble antioxidant, at least, under in vitro conditions. The antioxidant properties of vitamin E are exerted through its phenolic hydroxyl group, which donates hydrogen to peroxyl radicals, resulting in the formation of stable lipid species. Beside an antioxidant role, important cell signalling properties of vitamin E have been described. By using gene chip technology we have identified alpha-tocopherol sensitive molecular targets in vivo including christmas factor (involved in the blood coagulation) and 5alpha-steroid reductase type 1 (catalyzes the conversion of testosterone to 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone) being upregulated and gamma-glutamyl-cysteinyl synthetase (the rate limiting enzyme in GSH synthesis) being downregulated due to alpha-tocopherol deficiency. Alpha-tocopherol regulates signal transduction cascades not only at the mRNA but also at the miRNA level since miRNA 122a (involved in lipid metabolism) and miRNA 125b (involved in inflammation) are downregulated by alpha-tocopherol. Genetic polymorphisms may determine the biological and gene-regulatory activity of alpha-tocopherol. In this context we have recently shown that genes encoding for proteins involved in peripheral alpha-tocopherol transport and degradation are significantly affected by the apoE genotype.

  16. Gene regulatory network analysis in sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Oliveri, Paola; Davidson, Eric H

    2004-01-01

    It may safely be predicted that GRN analysis will become increasingly important. It will come to underlie the causal study of development, the major effort underway to understand the regulatory code built into animal genomes and also the evolution of these genomes. Partly by serendipity, sea urchin embryos turn out to be a superb experimental material for GRN analysis. Their natural properties have, in turn, influenced the predilections of those who work on them, and between them and us, so to speak, this is now a developmental system of which we are rapidly gaining an unusually complete understanding. The causal linkages that control development of the whole embryo will be revealed, leading all the way from the heritable genomic regulatory code to the events of embryology. The fundamental experimental operation is the perturbation analysis: Here is where causality permeates the exploration. We have in this chapter summarized in some detail the requirements for perturbation GRN analysis in sea urchin embryos. But that is not all, nor is it enough to enable the assembly of a GRN: What is required is the combined application of elegant computational methods, of gene regulation molecular biology, of genomic sequence data, and of experimental embryology. As the results crystallize together, we can begin to see how far this powerful combination of methods and ideas is going to carry us. PMID:15575631

  17. Stability Depends on Positive Autoregulation in Boolean Gene Regulatory Networks

    PubMed Central

    Pinho, Ricardo; Garcia, Victor; Irimia, Manuel; Feldman, Marcus W.

    2014-01-01

    Network motifs have been identified as building blocks of regulatory networks, including gene regulatory networks (GRNs). The most basic motif, autoregulation, has been associated with bistability (when positive) and with homeostasis and robustness to noise (when negative), but its general importance in network behavior is poorly understood. Moreover, how specific autoregulatory motifs are selected during evolution and how this relates to robustness is largely unknown. Here, we used a class of GRN models, Boolean networks, to investigate the relationship between autoregulation and network stability and robustness under various conditions. We ran evolutionary simulation experiments for different models of selection, including mutation and recombination. Each generation simulated the development of a population of organisms modeled by GRNs. We found that stability and robustness positively correlate with autoregulation; in all investigated scenarios, stable networks had mostly positive autoregulation. Assuming biological networks correspond to stable networks, these results suggest that biological networks should often be dominated by positive autoregulatory loops. This seems to be the case for most studied eukaryotic transcription factor networks, including those in yeast, flies and mammals. PMID:25375153

  18. Eric Davidson: Steps to a gene regulatory network for development.

    PubMed

    Rothenberg, Ellen V

    2016-04-15

    Eric Harris Davidson was a unique and creative intellectual force who grappled with the diversity of developmental processes used by animal embryos and wrestled them into an intelligible set of principles, then spent his life translating these process elements into molecularly definable terms through the architecture of gene regulatory networks. He took speculative risks in his theoretical writing but ran a highly organized, rigorous experimental program that yielded an unprecedentedly full characterization of a developing organism. His writings created logical order and a framework for mechanism from the complex phenomena at the heart of advanced multicellular organism development. This is a reminiscence of intellectual currents in his work as observed by the author through the last 30-35 years of Davidson's life. PMID:26825392

  19. The effect of steroid hormones on the mRNA expression of oct4 and sox2 in uterine tissue of the ovariectomized mice model of menopause

    PubMed Central

    Davoudi, Marzieh; Zavareh, Saeed; Ghorbanian, Mohammad Taghi; Paylakhi, Seyed Hassan; Mohebbi, Seyed Reza

    2016-01-01

    Background: The uterus is a dynamic tissue responding to hormonal changes during reproductive cycles. As such, uterine stem cells have been studied in recent years. Transcription factors oct4 and sox2 are critical for effective maintenance of pluripotent cell identity. Objective: The present research evaluated the mRNA expression of oct4 and sox2 in the uterine tissues of ovariectomized mice treated with steroid hormones. Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, adult virgin female mice were ovariectomized and treated with estradiol 17β (E2), progesterone (P4), and a combination of E2 and P4 (E2 & P4) for 5 days. Uterine tissues were removed, and immunofluorescent (IF) staining and quantitative real-time PCR of oct4 and sox2 markers were performed. Results: IF showed oct4 and sox2 expression in the uterine endometrium and myometrium among all groups. The mRNA expression of oct4 (p=0.022) and sox2 (p=0.042) in the E2-treated group significantly were decreased compared to that in the control group. By contrast, the mRNA expression of oct4 and sox2 in the P4 (p=0.641 and 0.489 respectively) and E2 & P4-treated groups (p=0.267 and 0.264 respectively) did not show significant differences compared to the control group. Conclusion: The results indicate ovarian steroid hormones change the expression of oct4 and sox2 in the mice uterine tissues, which suggest the involvement of steroid hormonal regulation in uterine stem cells. PMID:27525332

  20. Using SCOPE to identify potential regulatory motifs in coregulated genes.

    PubMed

    Martyanov, Viktor; Gross, Robert H

    2011-05-31

    SCOPE is an ensemble motif finder that uses three component algorithms in parallel to identify potential regulatory motifs by over-representation and motif position preference. Each component algorithm is optimized to find a different kind of motif. By taking the best of these three approaches, SCOPE performs better than any single algorithm, even in the presence of noisy data. In this article, we utilize a web version of SCOPE to examine genes that are involved in telomere maintenance. SCOPE has been incorporated into at least two other motif finding programs and has been used in other studies. The three algorithms that comprise SCOPE are BEAM, which finds non-degenerate motifs (ACCGGT), PRISM, which finds degenerate motifs (ASCGWT), and SPACER, which finds longer bipartite motifs (ACCnnnnnnnnGGT). These three algorithms have been optimized to find their corresponding type of motif. Together, they allow SCOPE to perform extremely well. Once a gene set has been analyzed and candidate motifs identified, SCOPE can look for other genes that contain the motif which, when added to the original set, will improve the motif score. This can occur through over-representation or motif position preference. Working with partial gene sets that have biologically verified transcription factor binding sites, SCOPE was able to identify most of the rest of the genes also regulated by the given transcription factor. Output from SCOPE shows candidate motifs, their significance, and other information both as a table and as a graphical motif map. FAQs and video tutorials are available at the SCOPE web site which also includes a "Sample Search" button that allows the user to perform a trial run. Scope has a very friendly user interface that enables novice users to access the algorithm's full power without having to become an expert in the bioinformatics of motif finding. As input, SCOPE can take a list of genes, or FASTA sequences. These can be entered in browser text fields, or read from

  1. Evolution of the CNS myelin gene regulatory program.

    PubMed

    Li, Huiliang; Richardson, William D

    2016-06-15

    Myelin is a specialized subcellular structure that evolved uniquely in vertebrates. A myelinated axon conducts action potentials many times faster than an unmyelinated axon of the same diameter; for the same conduction speed, the unmyelinated axon would need a much larger diameter and volume than its myelinated counterpart. Hence myelin speeds information transfer and saves space, allowing the evolution of a powerful yet portable brain. Myelination in the central nervous system (CNS) is controlled by a gene regulatory program that features a number of master transcriptional regulators including Olig1, Olig2 and Myrf. Olig family genes evolved from a single ancestral gene in non-chordates. Olig2, which executes multiple functions with regard to oligodendrocyte identity and development in vertebrates, might have evolved functional versatility through post-translational modification, especially phosphorylation, as illustrated by its evolutionarily conserved serine/threonine phospho-acceptor sites and its accumulation of serine residues during more recent stages of vertebrate evolution. Olig1, derived from a duplicated copy of Olig2 in early bony fish, is involved in oligodendrocyte development and is critical to remyelination in bony vertebrates, but is lost in birds. The origin of Myrf orthologs might be the result of DNA integration between an invading phage or bacterium and an early protist, producing a fusion protein capable of self-cleavage and DNA binding. Myrf seems to have adopted new functions in early vertebrates - initiation of the CNS myelination program as well as the maintenance of mature oligodendrocyte identity and myelin structure - by developing new ways to interact with DNA motifs specific to myelin genes. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Myelin Evolution.

  2. Coordinated regulation of biosynthetic and regulatory genes coincides with anthocyanin accumulation in developing eggplant fruit

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Violet to black pigmentation of eggplant (Solanum melongena) fruit is attributed to anthocyanin accumulation. Model systems support the interaction of biosynthetic and regulatory genes for anthocyanin biosynthesis. Anthocyanin structural gene transcription requires the expression of at least one m...

  3. Large-scale time-lapse microscopy of Oct4 expression in human embryonic stem cell colonies.

    PubMed

    Bhadriraju, Kiran; Halter, Michael; Amelot, Julien; Bajcsy, Peter; Chalfoun, Joe; Vandecreme, Antoine; Mallon, Barbara S; Park, Kye-Yoon; Sista, Subhash; Elliott, John T; Plant, Anne L

    2016-07-01

    Identification and quantification of the characteristics of stem cell preparations is critical for understanding stem cell biology and for the development and manufacturing of stem cell based therapies. We have developed image analysis and visualization software that allows effective use of time-lapse microscopy to provide spatial and dynamic information from large numbers of human embryonic stem cell colonies. To achieve statistically relevant sampling, we examined >680 colonies from 3 different preparations of cells over 5days each, generating a total experimental dataset of 0.9 terabyte (TB). The 0.5 Giga-pixel images at each time point were represented by multi-resolution pyramids and visualized using the Deep Zoom Javascript library extended to support viewing Giga-pixel images over time and extracting data on individual colonies. We present a methodology that enables quantification of variations in nominally-identical preparations and between colonies, correlation of colony characteristics with Oct4 expression, and identification of rare events.

  4. The Impact of Gene Expression Variation on the Robustness and Evolvability of a Developmental Gene Regulatory Network

    PubMed Central

    Garfield, David A.; Runcie, Daniel E.; Babbitt, Courtney C.; Haygood, Ralph; Nielsen, William J.; Wray, Gregory A.

    2013-01-01

    Regulatory interactions buffer development against genetic and environmental perturbations, but adaptation requires phenotypes to change. We investigated the relationship between robustness and evolvability within the gene regulatory network underlying development of the larval skeleton in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. We find extensive variation in gene expression in this network throughout development in a natural population, some of which has a heritable genetic basis. Switch-like regulatory interactions predominate during early development, buffer expression variation, and may promote the accumulation of cryptic genetic variation affecting early stages. Regulatory interactions during later development are typically more sensitive (linear), allowing variation in expression to affect downstream target genes. Variation in skeletal morphology is associated primarily with expression variation of a few, primarily structural, genes at terminal positions within the network. These results indicate that the position and properties of gene interactions within a network can have important evolutionary consequences independent of their immediate regulatory role. PMID:24204211

  5. Regulatory component analysis: a semi-blind extraction approach to infer gene regulatory networks with imperfect biological knowledge.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chen; Xuan, Jianhua; Shih, Ie-Ming; Clarke, Robert; Wang, Yue

    2012-08-01

    With the advent of high-throughput biotechnology capable of monitoring genomic signals, it becomes increasingly promising to understand molecular cellular mechanisms through systems biology approaches. One of the active research topics in systems biology is to infer gene transcriptional regulatory networks using various genomic data; this inference problem can be formulated as a linear model with latent signals associated with some regulatory proteins called transcription factors (TFs). As common statistical assumptions may not hold for genomic signals, typical latent variable algorithms such as independent component analysis (ICA) are incapable to reveal underlying true regulatory signals. Liao et al. [1] proposed to perform inference using an approach named network component analysis (NCA), the optimization of which is achieved by a least-squares fitting approach with biological knowledge constraints. However, the incompleteness of biological knowledge and its inconsistency with gene expression data are not considered in the original NCA solution, which could greatly affect the inference accuracy. To overcome these limitations, we propose a linear extraction scheme, namely regulatory component analysis (RCA), to infer underlying regulatory signals even with partial biological knowledge. Numerical simulations show a significant improvement of our proposed RCA over NCA, not only when signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) is low, but also when the given biological knowledge is incomplete and inconsistent to gene expression data. Furthermore, real biological experiments on E. coli are performed for regulatory network inference in comparison with several typical linear latent variable methods, which again demonstrates the effectiveness and improved performance of the proposed algorithm.

  6. An algebra-based method for inferring gene regulatory networks

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The inference of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) from experimental observations is at the heart of systems biology. This includes the inference of both the network topology and its dynamics. While there are many algorithms available to infer the network topology from experimental data, less emphasis has been placed on methods that infer network dynamics. Furthermore, since the network inference problem is typically underdetermined, it is essential to have the option of incorporating into the inference process, prior knowledge about the network, along with an effective description of the search space of dynamic models. Finally, it is also important to have an understanding of how a given inference method is affected by experimental and other noise in the data used. Results This paper contains a novel inference algorithm using the algebraic framework of Boolean polynomial dynamical systems (BPDS), meeting all these requirements. The algorithm takes as input time series data, including those from network perturbations, such as knock-out mutant strains and RNAi experiments. It allows for the incorporation of prior biological knowledge while being robust to significant levels of noise in the data used for inference. It uses an evolutionary algorithm for local optimization with an encoding of the mathematical models as BPDS. The BPDS framework allows an effective representation of the search space for algebraic dynamic models that improves computational performance. The algorithm is validated with both simulated and experimental microarray expression profile data. Robustness to noise is tested using a published mathematical model of the segment polarity gene network in Drosophila melanogaster. Benchmarking of the algorithm is done by comparison with a spectrum of state-of-the-art network inference methods on data from the synthetic IRMA network to demonstrate that our method has good precision and recall for the network reconstruction task, while also

  7. Deoxycholic acid (DCA) confers an intestinal phenotype on esophageal squamous epithelium via induction of the stemness-associated reprogramming factors OCT4 and SOX2.

    PubMed

    Shen, Caifei; Zhang, Haoxiang; Wang, Pu; Feng, Ji; Li, Jingwen; Xu, Yin; Zhang, Anran; Shao, Shunzi; Yu, Xiaona; Yan, Wu; Xia, Yiju; Hu, Jiali; Fang, Dianchun

    2016-06-01

    Barrett's esophagus (BE) is essentially a metaplasia in which the normal stratified squamous epithelium is replaced by columnar epithelium. This study focuses on the involvement of OCT4 and SOX2, 2 key cell-reprogramming factors, in the deoxycholic acid (DCA)-induced expression of the intestinal hallmarks Cdx2 and MUC2 using both in vivo and in vitro models. Up-regulated expression of OCT4 and down-regulated expression of SOX2 were observed in BE compared with normal esophagus and esophagitis. Consistent with the data in vivo, DCA induced time-dependent expression of OCT4 at both the mRNA and protein levels and decreased nuclear expression of SOX2 in Het-1A cells. Down-regulation of OCT4 expression by siRNA abrogated DCA-induced expression of Cdx2 and MUC2, whereas siRNA against SOX2 significantly upregulated the expression of both Cdx2 and MUC2. Our data indicate that both OCT4 and SOX2 play important roles in the development of BE triggered by bile acid reflux. PMID:27096226

  8. Effects of gene regulatory reprogramming on gene expression in human and mouse developing hearts.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Chih-Hao; Ovcharenko, Ivan

    2013-01-01

    Lineage-specific regulatory elements underlie adaptation of species and play a role in disease susceptibility. We compared functionally conserved and lineage-specific enhancers by cross-mapping 5042 human and 6564 mouse heart enhancers. Of these, 79 per cent are lineage-specific, lacking a functional orthologue. Heart enhancers tend to cluster and, commonly, there are multiple heart enhancers in a heart locus providing a regulatory stability to the locus. We observed little cross-clustering, however, between lineage-specific and functionally conserved heart enhancers suggesting regulatory function acquisition and development in loci previously lacking heart activity. We also identified 862 human-specific heart enhancers: 417 featuring sequence conservation with mouse (class II) and 445 with neither sequence nor function conservation (class III). Ninety-eight per cent of class III enhancers were deleted from the mouse genome, and we estimated a similar-sized enhancer gain in the human lineage. Human-specific enhancers display no detectable decrease in the negative selection pressure and are strongly associated with genes partaking in the heart regulatory programmes. The loss of a heart enhancer could be compensated by activity of a redundant heart enhancer; however, we observed redundancy in only 15 per cent of class II and III enhancer loci indicating a large-scale reprogramming of the heart regulatory programme in mammals.

  9. Federal Trade Commission Semiannual Regulatory Agenda

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-20

    ... and Review'' of September 30, 1993, 58 FR 51735 (Oct. 4, 1993). This edition of the Unified Agenda of..., ``Federalism,'' of August 4, 1999, 64 FR 43255 (Aug. 10, 1999), which does not apply to independent regulatory...'s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR or Rule) to address the sale of debt relief services (74 FR...

  10. Clinical characteristics and prognosis of acute myeloid leukemia associated with DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutations.

    PubMed

    Ryotokuji, Takeshi; Yamaguchi, Hiroki; Ueki, Toshimitsu; Usuki, Kensuke; Kurosawa, Saiko; Kobayashi, Yutaka; Kawata, Eri; Tajika, Kenji; Gomi, Seiji; Kanda, Junya; Kobayashi, Anna; Omori, Ikuko; Marumo, Atsushi; Fujiwara, Yusuke; Yui, Shunsuke; Terada, Kazuki; Fukunaga, Keiko; Hirakawa, Tsuneaki; Arai, Kunihito; Kitano, Tomoaki; Kosaka, Fumiko; Tamai, Hayato; Nakayama, Kazutaka; Wakita, Satoshi; Fukuda, Takahiro; Inokuchi, Koiti

    2016-09-01

    In recent years, it has been reported that the frequency of DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutations - mutations of the genes that regulate gene expression through DNA methylation - is high in acute myeloid leukemia. The objective of the present study was to elucidate the clinical characteristics and prognosis of acute myeloid leukemia with associated DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutation. We studied 308 patients with acute myeloid leukemia. DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutations were observed in 135 of the 308 cases (43.8%). Acute myeloid leukemia associated with a DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutation was more frequent in older patients (P<0.0001) and in patients with intermediate cytogenetic risk (P<0.0001) accompanied by a high white blood cell count (P=0.0032). DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutation was an unfavorable prognostic factor for overall survival in the whole cohort (P=0.0018), in patients aged ≤70 years, in patients with intermediate cytogenetic risk, and in FLT3-ITD-negative patients (P=0.0409). Among the patients with DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutations, 26.7% were found to have two or more such mutations and prognosis worsened with increasing number of mutations. In multivariate analysis DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutation was an independent unfavorable prognostic factor for overall survival (P=0.0424). However, patients with a DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutation who underwent allogeneic stem cell transplantation in first remission had a significantly better prognosis than those who did not undergo such transplantation (P=0.0254). Our study establishes that DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutation is an important unfavorable prognostic factor in acute myeloid leukemia.

  11. Clinical characteristics and prognosis of acute myeloid leukemia associated with DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutations

    PubMed Central

    Ryotokuji, Takeshi; Yamaguchi, Hiroki; Ueki, Toshimitsu; Usuki, Kensuke; Kurosawa, Saiko; Kobayashi, Yutaka; Kawata, Eri; Tajika, Kenji; Gomi, Seiji; Kanda, Junya; Kobayashi, Anna; Omori, Ikuko; Marumo, Atsushi; Fujiwara, Yusuke; Yui, Shunsuke; Terada, Kazuki; Fukunaga, Keiko; Hirakawa, Tsuneaki; Arai, Kunihito; Kitano, Tomoaki; Kosaka, Fumiko; Tamai, Hayato; Nakayama, Kazutaka; Wakita, Satoshi; Fukuda, Takahiro; Inokuchi, Koiti

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, it has been reported that the frequency of DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutations – mutations of the genes that regulate gene expression through DNA methylation – is high in acute myeloid leukemia. The objective of the present study was to elucidate the clinical characteristics and prognosis of acute myeloid leukemia with associated DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutation. We studied 308 patients with acute myeloid leukemia. DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutations were observed in 135 of the 308 cases (43.8%). Acute myeloid leukemia associated with a DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutation was more frequent in older patients (P<0.0001) and in patients with intermediate cytogenetic risk (P<0.0001) accompanied by a high white blood cell count (P=0.0032). DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutation was an unfavorable prognostic factor for overall survival in the whole cohort (P=0.0018), in patients aged ≤70 years, in patients with intermediate cytogenetic risk, and in FLT3-ITD-negative patients (P=0.0409). Among the patients with DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutations, 26.7% were found to have two or more such mutations and prognosis worsened with increasing number of mutations. In multivariate analysis DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutation was an independent unfavorable prognostic factor for overall survival (P=0.0424). However, patients with a DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutation who underwent allogeneic stem cell transplantation in first remission had a significantly better prognosis than those who did not undergo such transplantation (P=0.0254). Our study establishes that DNA-methylation regulatory gene mutation is an important unfavorable prognostic factor in acute myeloid leukemia. PMID:27247325

  12. Signaling Pathways and Gene Regulatory Networks in Cardiomyocyte Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Parikh, Abhirath; Wu, Jincheng; Blanton, Robert M.

    2015-01-01

    Strategies for harnessing stem cells as a source to treat cell loss in heart disease are the subject of intense research. Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) can be expanded extensively in vitro and therefore can potentially provide sufficient quantities of patient-specific differentiated cardiomyocytes. Although multiple stimuli direct heart development, the differentiation process is driven in large part by signaling activity. The engineering of hPSCs to heart cell progeny has extensively relied on establishing proper combinations of soluble signals, which target genetic programs thereby inducing cardiomyocyte specification. Pertinent differentiation strategies have relied as a template on the development of embryonic heart in multiple model organisms. Here, information on the regulation of cardiomyocyte development from in vivo genetic and embryological studies is critically reviewed. A fresh interpretation is provided of in vivo and in vitro data on signaling pathways and gene regulatory networks (GRNs) underlying cardiopoiesis. The state-of-the-art understanding of signaling pathways and GRNs presented here can inform the design and optimization of methods for the engineering of tissues for heart therapies. PMID:25813860

  13. Novel genes dramatically alter regulatory network topology in amphioxus

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Qing; Zmasek, Christian M; Dishaw, Larry J; Mueller, M Gail; Ye, Yuzhen; Litman, Gary W; Godzik, Adam

    2008-01-01

    Background Regulation in protein networks often utilizes specialized domains that 'join' (or 'connect') the network through specific protein-protein interactions. The innate immune system, which provides a first and, in many species, the only line of defense against microbial and viral pathogens, is regulated in this way. Amphioxus (Branchiostoma floridae), whose genome was recently sequenced, occupies a unique position in the evolution of innate immunity, having diverged within the chordate lineage prior to the emergence of the adaptive immune system in vertebrates. Results The repertoire of several families of innate immunity proteins is expanded in amphioxus compared to both vertebrates and protostome invertebrates. Part of this expansion consists of genes encoding proteins with unusual domain architectures, which often contain both upstream receptor and downstream activator domains, suggesting a potential role for direct connections (shortcuts) that bypass usual signal transduction pathways. Conclusion Domain rearrangements can potentially alter the topology of protein-protein interaction (and regulatory) networks. The extent of such arrangements in the innate immune network of amphioxus suggests that domain shuffling, which is an important mechanism in the evolution of multidomain proteins, has also shaped the development of immune systems. PMID:18680598

  14. Creating and validating cis-regulatory maps of tissue-specific gene expression regulation

    PubMed Central

    O'Connor, Timothy R.; Bailey, Timothy L.

    2014-01-01

    Predicting which genomic regions control the transcription of a given gene is a challenge. We present a novel computational approach for creating and validating maps that associate genomic regions (cis-regulatory modules–CRMs) with genes. The method infers regulatory relationships that explain gene expression observed in a test tissue using widely available genomic data for ‘other’ tissues. To predict the regulatory targets of a CRM, we use cross-tissue correlation between histone modifications present at the CRM and expression at genes within 1 Mbp of it. To validate cis-regulatory maps, we show that they yield more accurate models of gene expression than carefully constructed control maps. These gene expression models predict observed gene expression from transcription factor binding in the CRMs linked to that gene. We show that our maps are able to identify long-range regulatory interactions and improve substantially over maps linking genes and CRMs based on either the control maps or a ‘nearest neighbor’ heuristic. Our results also show that it is essential to include CRMs predicted in multiple tissues during map-building, that H3K27ac is the most informative histone modification, and that CAGE is the most informative measure of gene expression for creating cis-regulatory maps. PMID:25200088

  15. Inference of gene regulatory subnetworks from time course gene expression data

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Identifying gene regulatory network (GRN) from time course gene expression data has attracted more and more attentions. Due to the computational complexity, most approaches for GRN reconstruction are limited on a small number of genes and low connectivity of the underlying networks. These approaches can only identify a single network for a given set of genes. However, for a large-scale gene network, there might exist multiple potential sub-networks, in which genes are only functionally related to others in the sub-networks. Results We propose the network and community identification (NCI) method for identifying multiple subnetworks from gene expression data by incorporating community structure information into GRN inference. The proposed algorithm iteratively solves two optimization problems, and can promisingly be applied to large-scale GRNs. Furthermore, we present the efficient Block PCA method for searching communities in GRNs. Conclusions The NCI method is effective in identifying multiple subnetworks in a large-scale GRN. With the splitting algorithm, the Block PCA method shows a promosing attempt for exploring communities in a large-scale GRN. PMID:22901088

  16. Phylogenetic structure and evolution of regulatory genes and integrases of P2-like phages.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, Hanna; Cardoso-Palacios, Carlos; Haggård-Ljungquist, Elisabeth; Nilsson, Anders S

    2011-07-01

    The phylogenetic relationships and structural similarities of the proteins encoded within the regulatory region (containing the integrase gene and the lytic-lysogenic transcriptional switch genes) of P2-like phages were analyzed, and compared with the phylogenetic relationship of P2-like phages inferred from four structural genes. P2-like phages are thought to be one of the most genetically homogenous phage groups but the regulatory region nevertheless varies extensively between different phage genomes.   The analyses showed that there are many types of regulatory regions, but two types can be clearly distinguished; regions similar either to the phage P2 or to the phage 186 regulatory regions. These regions were also found to be most frequent among the sequenced P2-like phage or prophage genomes, and common in phages using Escherichia coli as a host. Both the phylogenetic and the structural analyses showed that these two regions are related. The integrases as well as the cox/apl genes show a common monophyletic origin but the immunity repressor genes, the type P2 C gene and the type 186 cI gene, are likely of different origin. There was no indication of recombination between the P2-186 types of regulatory genes but the comparison of the phylogenies of the regulatory region with the phylogeny based on four structural genes revealed recombinational events between the regulatory region and the structural genes. Less common regulatory regions were phylogenetically heterogeneous and typically contained a fusion of genes from distantly related or unknown phages and P2-like genes.

  17. Phylogenetic structure and evolution of regulatory genes and integrases of P2-like phages

    PubMed Central

    Nilsson, Hanna; Cardoso-Palacios, Carlos; Haggård-Ljungquist, Elisabeth; Nilsson, Anders S.

    2011-01-01

    The phylogenetic relationships and structural similarities of the proteins encoded within the regulatory region (containing the integrase gene and the lytic–lysogenic transcriptional switch genes) of P2-like phages were analyzed, and compared with the phylogenetic relationship of P2-like phages inferred from four structural genes. P2-like phages are thought to be one of the most genetically homogenous phage groups but the regulatory region nevertheless varies extensively between different phage genomes.   The analyses showed that there are many types of regulatory regions, but two types can be clearly distinguished; regions similar either to the phage P2 or to the phage 186 regulatory regions. These regions were also found to be most frequent among the sequenced P2-like phage or prophage genomes, and common in phages using Escherichia coli as a host. Both the phylogenetic and the structural analyses showed that these two regions are related. The integrases as well as the cox/apl genes show a common monophyletic origin but the immunity repressor genes, the type P2 C gene and the type 186 cI gene, are likely of different origin. There was no indication of recombination between the P2–186 types of regulatory genes but the comparison of the phylogenies of the regulatory region with the phylogeny based on four structural genes revealed recombinational events between the regulatory region and the structural genes. Less common regulatory regions were phylogenetically heterogeneous and typically contained a fusion of genes from distantly related or unknown phages and P2-like genes. PMID:23050214

  18. Regulatory Divergence between Parental Alleles Determines Gene Expression Patterns in Hybrids

    PubMed Central

    Combes, Marie-Christine; Hueber, Yann; Dereeper, Alexis; Rialle, Stéphanie; Herrera, Juan-Carlos; Lashermes, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Both hybridization and allopolyploidization generate novel phenotypes by conciliating divergent genomes and regulatory networks in the same cellular context. To understand the rewiring of gene expression in hybrids, the total expression of 21,025 genes and the allele-specific expression of over 11,000 genes were quantified in interspecific hybrids and their parental species, Coffea canephora and Coffea eugenioides using RNA-seq technology. Between parental species, cis- and trans-regulatory divergences affected around 32% and 35% of analyzed genes, respectively, with nearly 17% of them showing both. The relative importance of trans-regulatory divergences between both species could be related to their low genetic divergence and perennial habit. In hybrids, among divergently expressed genes between parental species and hybrids, 77% was expressed like one parent (expression level dominance), including 65% like C. eugenioides. Gene expression was shown to result from the expression of both alleles affected by intertwined parental trans-regulatory factors. A strong impact of C. eugenioides trans-regulatory factors on the upregulation of C. canephora alleles was revealed. The gene expression patterns appeared determined by complex combinations of cis- and trans-regulatory divergences. In particular, the observed biased expression level dominance seemed to be derived from the asymmetric effects of trans-regulatory parental factors on regulation of alleles. More generally, this study illustrates the effects of divergent trans-regulatory parental factors on the gene expression pattern in hybrids. The characteristics of the transcriptional response to hybridization appear to be determined by the compatibility of gene regulatory networks and therefore depend on genetic divergences between the parental species and their evolutionary history. PMID:25819221

  19. Mining Gene Regulatory Networks by Neural Modeling of Expression Time-Series.

    PubMed

    Rubiolo, Mariano; Milone, Diego H; Stegmayer, Georgina

    2015-01-01

    Discovering gene regulatory networks from data is one of the most studied topics in recent years. Neural networks can be successfully used to infer an underlying gene network by modeling expression profiles as times series. This work proposes a novel method based on a pool of neural networks for obtaining a gene regulatory network from a gene expression dataset. They are used for modeling each possible interaction between pairs of genes in the dataset, and a set of mining rules is applied to accurately detect the subjacent relations among genes. The results obtained on artificial and real datasets confirm the method effectiveness for discovering regulatory networks from a proper modeling of the temporal dynamics of gene expression profiles.

  20. Large-scale time-lapse microscopy of Oct4 expression in human embryonic stem cell colonies.

    PubMed

    Bhadriraju, Kiran; Halter, Michael; Amelot, Julien; Bajcsy, Peter; Chalfoun, Joe; Vandecreme, Antoine; Mallon, Barbara S; Park, Kye-Yoon; Sista, Subhash; Elliott, John T; Plant, Anne L

    2016-07-01

    Identification and quantification of the characteristics of stem cell preparations is critical for understanding stem cell biology and for the development and manufacturing of stem cell based therapies. We have developed image analysis and visualization software that allows effective use of time-lapse microscopy to provide spatial and dynamic information from large numbers of human embryonic stem cell colonies. To achieve statistically relevant sampling, we examined >680 colonies from 3 different preparations of cells over 5days each, generating a total experimental dataset of 0.9 terabyte (TB). The 0.5 Giga-pixel images at each time point were represented by multi-resolution pyramids and visualized using the Deep Zoom Javascript library extended to support viewing Giga-pixel images over time and extracting data on individual colonies. We present a methodology that enables quantification of variations in nominally-identical preparations and between colonies, correlation of colony characteristics with Oct4 expression, and identification of rare events. PMID:27286574

  1. Significantly increased expression of OCT4 and ABCG2 in spheroid body-forming cells of the human gastric cancer MKN-45 cell line.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jianming; Wang, Lei; Ma, Lilin; Xu, Junfei; Liu, Chun; Zhang, Jianguo; Liu, Jie; Chen, Ruixin

    2013-10-01

    The cancer stem cell (CSC) theory hypothesizes that CSCs are the cause of tumor formation, recurrence and metastasis. Key to the study of CSCs is their isolation and identification. The present study investigated whether spheroid body-forming cells in the human gastric cancer (GC) MKN-45 cell line are enriched for CSC properties, and also assessed the expression of the candidate CSC markers, octamer-binding transcription factor-4 (OCT4) and adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette transporter G2 (ABCG2) in the MKN-45 spheroid body cells. The MKN-45 cells were plated in a stem cell-conditioned culture system to allow for spheroid body formation. The expression levels of OCT4 and ABCG2 in the spheroid body cells were assessed by qPCR, western blot analysis and immunofluorescence staining, while the tumorigenicity of the spheroid body-forming cells was assessed by in vivo xenograft studies in nude mice. The MKN-45 cells were able to form spheroid bodies when cultured in stem cell-conditioned medium. The spheroid body-forming cells showed a significantly higher (P<0.01) expression of OCT4 and ABCG2 compared with the parental cells. These data suggest that the spheroid body cells from the MKN-45 GC cell line cultured in stem cell-conditioned medium possessed gastric CSC properties. The co-expression of OCT4 and ABCG2 by these cells may represent the presence of a subpopulation of gastric CSCs.

  2. Cell type-selective disease-association of genes under high regulatory load

    PubMed Central

    Galhardo, Mafalda; Berninger, Philipp; Nguyen, Thanh-Phuong; Sauter, Thomas; Sinkkonen, Lasse

    2015-01-01

    We previously showed that disease-linked metabolic genes are often under combinatorial regulation. Using the genome-wide ChIP-Seq binding profiles for 93 transcription factors in nine different cell lines, we show that genes under high regulatory load are significantly enriched for disease-association across cell types. We find that transcription factor load correlates with the enhancer load of the genes and thereby allows the identification of genes under high regulatory load by epigenomic mapping of active enhancers. Identification of the high enhancer load genes across 139 samples from 96 different cell and tissue types reveals a consistent enrichment for disease-associated genes in a cell type-selective manner. The underlying genes are not limited to super-enhancer genes and show several types of disease-association evidence beyond genetic variation (such as biomarkers). Interestingly, the high regulatory load genes are involved in more KEGG pathways than expected by chance, exhibit increased betweenness centrality in the interaction network of liver disease genes, and carry longer 3′ UTRs with more microRNA (miRNA) binding sites than genes on average, suggesting a role as hubs integrating signals within regulatory networks. In summary, epigenetic mapping of active enhancers presents a promising and unbiased approach for identification of novel disease genes in a cell type-selective manner. PMID:26338775

  3. Cell type-selective disease-association of genes under high regulatory load.

    PubMed

    Galhardo, Mafalda; Berninger, Philipp; Nguyen, Thanh-Phuong; Sauter, Thomas; Sinkkonen, Lasse

    2015-10-15

    We previously showed that disease-linked metabolic genes are often under combinatorial regulation. Using the genome-wide ChIP-Seq binding profiles for 93 transcription factors in nine different cell lines, we show that genes under high regulatory load are significantly enriched for disease-association across cell types. We find that transcription factor load correlates with the enhancer load of the genes and thereby allows the identification of genes under high regulatory load by epigenomic mapping of active enhancers. Identification of the high enhancer load genes across 139 samples from 96 different cell and tissue types reveals a consistent enrichment for disease-associated genes in a cell type-selective manner. The underlying genes are not limited to super-enhancer genes and show several types of disease-association evidence beyond genetic variation (such as biomarkers). Interestingly, the high regulatory load genes are involved in more KEGG pathways than expected by chance, exhibit increased betweenness centrality in the interaction network of liver disease genes, and carry longer 3' UTRs with more microRNA (miRNA) binding sites than genes on average, suggesting a role as hubs integrating signals within regulatory networks. In summary, epigenetic mapping of active enhancers presents a promising and unbiased approach for identification of novel disease genes in a cell type-selective manner.

  4. Dendrosomal curcumin nanoformulation downregulates pluripotency genes via miR-145 activation in U87MG glioblastoma cells

    PubMed Central

    Tahmasebi Mirgani, Maryam; Isacchi, Benedetta; Sadeghizadeh, Majid; Marra, Fabio; Bilia, Anna Rita; Mowla, Seyed Javad; Najafi, Farhood; Babaei, Esmael

    2014-01-01

    Glioblastoma is an invasive tumor of the central nervous system. Tumor recurrence resulting from ineffective current treatments, mainly due to the blood–brain barrier, highlights the need for innovative therapeutic alternatives. The recent availability of nanotechnology represents a novel targeted strategy in cancer therapy. Natural products have received considerable attention for cancer therapy because of general lower side effects. Curcumin is a new candidate for anticancer treatment, but its low bioavailability and water solubility represent the main disadvantages of its use. Here, curcumin was efficiently encapsulated in a nontoxic nanocarrier, termed dendrosome, to overcome these problems. Dendrosomal curcumin was prepared as 142 nm spherical structures with constant physical and chemical stability. The inhibitory role of dendrosomal curcumin on the proliferation of U87MG cells, a cellular model of glioblastoma, was evaluated by considering master genes of pluripotency and regulatory miRNA (microribonucleic acid). Methylthiazol tetrazolium assay and flow cytometry were used to detect the antiproliferative effects of dendrosomal curcumin. Annexin-V-FLUOS and caspase assay were used to quantify apoptosis. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to analyze the expression of OCT4 (octamer binding protein 4) gene variants (OCT4A, OCT4B, and OCT4B1), SOX-2 (SRY [sex determining region Y]-box 2), Nanog, and miR-145. Dendrosomal curcumin efficiently suppresses U87MG cells growth with no cytotoxicity related to dendrosome. Additionally, the accumulation of cells in the SubG1 phase was observed in a time- and dose-dependent manner as well as higher rates of apoptosis after dendrosomal curcumin treatment. Conversely, nonneoplastic cells were not affected by this formulation. Dendrosomal curcumin significantly decreased the relative expression of OCT4A, OCT4B1, SOX-2, and Nanog along with noticeable overexpression of miR-145 as the upstream regulator. This

  5. Gene regulatory network inference using fused LASSO on multiple data sets.

    PubMed

    Omranian, Nooshin; Eloundou-Mbebi, Jeanne M O; Mueller-Roeber, Bernd; Nikoloski, Zoran

    2016-02-11

    Devising computational methods to accurately reconstruct gene regulatory networks given gene expression data is key to systems biology applications. Here we propose a method for reconstructing gene regulatory networks by simultaneous consideration of data sets from different perturbation experiments and corresponding controls. The method imposes three biologically meaningful constraints: (1) expression levels of each gene should be explained by the expression levels of a small number of transcription factor coding genes, (2) networks inferred from different data sets should be similar with respect to the type and number of regulatory interactions, and (3) relationships between genes which exhibit similar differential behavior over the considered perturbations should be favored. We demonstrate that these constraints can be transformed in a fused LASSO formulation for the proposed method. The comparative analysis on transcriptomics time-series data from prokaryotic species, Escherichia coli and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, as well as a eukaryotic species, mouse, demonstrated that the proposed method has the advantages of the most recent approaches for regulatory network inference, while obtaining better performance and assigning higher scores to the true regulatory links. The study indicates that the combination of sparse regression techniques with other biologically meaningful constraints is a promising framework for gene regulatory network reconstructions.

  6. Gene regulatory network inference using fused LASSO on multiple data sets

    PubMed Central

    Omranian, Nooshin; Eloundou-Mbebi, Jeanne M. O.; Mueller-Roeber, Bernd; Nikoloski, Zoran

    2016-01-01

    Devising computational methods to accurately reconstruct gene regulatory networks given gene expression data is key to systems biology applications. Here we propose a method for reconstructing gene regulatory networks by simultaneous consideration of data sets from different perturbation experiments and corresponding controls. The method imposes three biologically meaningful constraints: (1) expression levels of each gene should be explained by the expression levels of a small number of transcription factor coding genes, (2) networks inferred from different data sets should be similar with respect to the type and number of regulatory interactions, and (3) relationships between genes which exhibit similar differential behavior over the considered perturbations should be favored. We demonstrate that these constraints can be transformed in a fused LASSO formulation for the proposed method. The comparative analysis on transcriptomics time-series data from prokaryotic species, Escherichia coli and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, as well as a eukaryotic species, mouse, demonstrated that the proposed method has the advantages of the most recent approaches for regulatory network inference, while obtaining better performance and assigning higher scores to the true regulatory links. The study indicates that the combination of sparse regression techniques with other biologically meaningful constraints is a promising framework for gene regulatory network reconstructions. PMID:26864687

  7. Large-scale modeling of condition-specific gene regulatory networks by information integration and inference

    PubMed Central

    Ellwanger, Daniel Christian; Leonhardt, Jörn Florian; Mewes, Hans-Werner

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how regulatory networks globally coordinate the response of a cell to changing conditions, such as perturbations by shifting environments, is an elementary challenge in systems biology which has yet to be met. Genome-wide gene expression measurements are high dimensional as these are reflecting the condition-specific interplay of thousands of cellular components. The integration of prior biological knowledge into the modeling process of systems-wide gene regulation enables the large-scale interpretation of gene expression signals in the context of known regulatory relations. We developed COGERE (http://mips.helmholtz-muenchen.de/cogere), a method for the inference of condition-specific gene regulatory networks in human and mouse. We integrated existing knowledge of regulatory interactions from multiple sources to a comprehensive model of prior information. COGERE infers condition-specific regulation by evaluating the mutual dependency between regulator (transcription factor or miRNA) and target gene expression using prior information. This dependency is scored by the non-parametric, nonlinear correlation coefficient η2 (eta squared) that is derived by a two-way analysis of variance. We show that COGERE significantly outperforms alternative methods in predicting condition-specific gene regulatory networks on simulated data sets. Furthermore, by inferring the cancer-specific gene regulatory network from the NCI-60 expression study, we demonstrate the utility of COGERE to promote hypothesis-driven clinical research.

  8. Large-scale modeling of condition-specific gene regulatory networks by information integration and inference.

    PubMed

    Ellwanger, Daniel Christian; Leonhardt, Jörn Florian; Mewes, Hans-Werner

    2014-12-01

    Understanding how regulatory networks globally coordinate the response of a cell to changing conditions, such as perturbations by shifting environments, is an elementary challenge in systems biology which has yet to be met. Genome-wide gene expression measurements are high dimensional as these are reflecting the condition-specific interplay of thousands of cellular components. The integration of prior biological knowledge into the modeling process of systems-wide gene regulation enables the large-scale interpretation of gene expression signals in the context of known regulatory relations. We developed COGERE (http://mips.helmholtz-muenchen.de/cogere), a method for the inference of condition-specific gene regulatory networks in human and mouse. We integrated existing knowledge of regulatory interactions from multiple sources to a comprehensive model of prior information. COGERE infers condition-specific regulation by evaluating the mutual dependency between regulator (transcription factor or miRNA) and target gene expression using prior information. This dependency is scored by the non-parametric, nonlinear correlation coefficient η(2) (eta squared) that is derived by a two-way analysis of variance. We show that COGERE significantly outperforms alternative methods in predicting condition-specific gene regulatory networks on simulated data sets. Furthermore, by inferring the cancer-specific gene regulatory network from the NCI-60 expression study, we demonstrate the utility of COGERE to promote hypothesis-driven clinical research.

  9. Large scale gene regulatory network inference with a multi-level strategy.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jun; Zhao, Xiaodong; Lin, Zongli; Shao, Zhifeng

    2016-02-01

    Transcriptional regulation is a basis of many crucial molecular processes and an accurate inference of the gene regulatory network is a helpful and essential task to understand cell functions and gain insights into biological processes of interest in systems biology. Inspired by the Dialogue for Reverse Engineering Assessments and Methods (DREAM) projects, many excellent gene regulatory network inference algorithms have been proposed. However, it is still a challenging problem to infer a gene regulatory network from gene expression data on a large scale. In this paper, we propose a gene regulatory network inference method based on a multi-level strategy (GENIMS), which can give results that are more accurate and robust than the state-of-the-art methods. The proposed method mainly consists of three levels, which are an original feature selection step based on guided regularized random forest, normalization of individual feature selection and the final refinement step according to the topological property of the gene regulatory network. To prove the accuracy and robustness of our method, we compare our method with the state-of-the-art methods on the DREAM4 and DREAM5 benchmark networks and the results indicate that the proposed method can significantly improve the performance of gene regulatory network inference. Additionally, we also discuss the influence of the selection of different parameters in our method. PMID:26687446

  10. Reverse engineering and analysis of genome-wide gene regulatory networks from gene expression profiles using high-performance computing.

    PubMed

    Belcastro, Vincenzo; Gregoretti, Francesco; Siciliano, Velia; Santoro, Michele; D'Angelo, Giovanni; Oliva, Gennaro; di Bernardo, Diego

    2012-01-01

    Regulation of gene expression is a carefully regulated phenomenon in the cell. “Reverse-engineering” algorithms try to reconstruct the regulatory interactions among genes from genome-scale measurements of gene expression profiles (microarrays). Mammalian cells express tens of thousands of genes; hence, hundreds of gene expression profiles are necessary in order to have acceptable statistical evidence of interactions between genes. As the number of profiles to be analyzed increases, so do computational costs and memory requirements. In this work, we designed and developed a parallel computing algorithm to reverse-engineer genome-scale gene regulatory networks from thousands of gene expression profiles. The algorithm is based on computing pairwise Mutual Information between each gene-pair. We successfully tested it to reverse engineer the Mus Musculus (mouse) gene regulatory network in liver from gene expression profiles collected from a public repository. A parallel hierarchical clustering algorithm was implemented to discover “communities” within the gene network. Network communities are enriched for genes involved in the same biological functions. The inferred network was used to identify two mitochondrial proteins.

  11. The Association between Infants' Self-Regulatory Behavior and MAOA Gene Polymorphism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Minghao; Chen, Xinyin; Way, Niobe; Yoshikawa, Hirokazu; Deng, Huihua; Ke, Xiaoyan; Yu, Weiwei; Chen, Ping; He, Chuan; Chi, Xia; Lu, Zuhong

    2011-01-01

    Self-regulatory behavior in early childhood is an important characteristic that has considerable implications for the development of adaptive and maladaptive functioning. The present study investigated the relations between a functional polymorphism in the upstream region of monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA) and self-regulatory behavior in a sample…

  12. A provisional regulatory gene network for specification of endomesoderm in the sea urchin embryo

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davidson, Eric H.; Rast, Jonathan P.; Oliveri, Paola; Ransick, Andrew; Calestani, Cristina; Yuh, Chiou-Hwa; Minokawa, Takuya; Amore, Gabriele; Hinman, Veronica; Arenas-Mena, Cesar; Otim, Ochan; Brown, C. Titus; Livi, Carolina B.; Lee, Pei Yun; Revilla, Roger; Schilstra, Maria J.; Clarke, Peter J C.; Rust, Alistair G.; Pan, Zhengjun; Arnone, Maria I.; Rowen, Lee; Cameron, R. Andrew; McClay, David R.; Hood, Leroy; Bolouri, Hamid

    2002-01-01

    We present the current form of a provisional DNA sequence-based regulatory gene network that explains in outline how endomesodermal specification in the sea urchin embryo is controlled. The model of the network is in a continuous process of revision and growth as new genes are added and new experimental results become available; see http://www.its.caltech.edu/mirsky/endomeso.htm (End-mes Gene Network Update) for the latest version. The network contains over 40 genes at present, many newly uncovered in the course of this work, and most encoding DNA-binding transcriptional regulatory factors. The architecture of the network was approached initially by construction of a logic model that integrated the extensive experimental evidence now available on endomesoderm specification. The internal linkages between genes in the network have been determined functionally, by measurement of the effects of regulatory perturbations on the expression of all relevant genes in the network. Five kinds of perturbation have been applied: (1) use of morpholino antisense oligonucleotides targeted to many of the key regulatory genes in the network; (2) transformation of other regulatory factors into dominant repressors by construction of Engrailed repressor domain fusions; (3) ectopic expression of given regulatory factors, from genetic expression constructs and from injected mRNAs; (4) blockade of the beta-catenin/Tcf pathway by introduction of mRNA encoding the intracellular domain of cadherin; and (5) blockade of the Notch signaling pathway by introduction of mRNA encoding the extracellular domain of the Notch receptor. The network model predicts the cis-regulatory inputs that link each gene into the network. Therefore, its architecture is testable by cis-regulatory analysis. Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and Lytechinus variegatus genomic BAC recombinants that include a large number of the genes in the network have been sequenced and annotated. Tests of the cis-regulatory predictions of

  13. A saturation screen for cis-acting regulatory DNA in the Hox genes of Ciona intestinalis

    SciTech Connect

    Keys, David N.; Lee, Byung-in; Di Gregorio, Anna; Harafuji, Naoe; Detter, Chris; Wang, Mei; Kahsai, Orsalem; Ahn, Sylvia; Arellano, Andre; Zhang, Quin; Trong, Stephan; Doyle, Sharon A.; Satoh, Noriyuki; Satou, Yutaka; Saiga, Hidetoshi; Christian, Allen; Rokhsar, Dan; Hawkins, Trevor L.; Levine, Mike; Richardson, Paul

    2005-01-05

    A screen for the systematic identification of cis-regulatory elements within large (>100 kb) genomic domains containing Hox genes was performed by using the basal chordate Ciona intestinalis. Randomly generated DNA fragments from bacterial artificial chromosomes containing two clusters of Hox genes were inserted into a vector upstream of a minimal promoter and lacZ reporter gene. A total of 222 resultant fusion genes were separately electroporated into fertilized eggs, and their regulatory activities were monitored in larvae. In sum, 21 separable cis-regulatory elements were found. These include eight Hox linked domains that drive expression in nested anterior-posterior domains of ectodermally derived tissues. In addition to vertebrate-like CNS regulation, the discovery of cis-regulatory domains that drive epidermal transcription suggests that C. intestinalis has arthropod-like Hox patterning in the epidermis.

  14. Identifying Gene Regulatory Networks in Arabidopsis by In Silico Prediction, Yeast-1-Hybrid, and Inducible Gene Profiling Assays.

    PubMed

    Sparks, Erin E; Benfey, Philip N

    2016-01-01

    A system-wide understanding of gene regulation will provide deep insights into plant development and physiology. In this chapter we describe a threefold approach to identify the gene regulatory networks in Arabidopsis thaliana that function in a specific tissue or biological process. Since no single method is sufficient to establish comprehensive and high-confidence gene regulatory networks, we focus on the integration of three approaches. First, we describe an in silico prediction method of transcription factor-DNA binding, then an in vivo assay of transcription factor-DNA binding by yeast-1-hybrid and lastly the identification of co-expression clusters by transcription factor induction in planta. Each of these methods provides a unique tool to advance our understanding of gene regulation, and together provide a robust model for the generation of gene regulatory networks.

  15. Inferring gene regulatory networks via nonlinear state-space models and exploiting sparsity.

    PubMed

    Noor, Amina; Serpedin, Erchin; Nounou, Mohamed; Nounou, Hazem N

    2012-01-01

    This paper considers the problem of learning the structure of gene regulatory networks from gene expression time series data. A more realistic scenario when the state space model representing a gene network evolves nonlinearly is considered while a linear model is assumed for the microarray data. To capture the nonlinearity, a particle filter-based state estimation algorithm is considered instead of the contemporary linear approximation-based approaches. The parameters characterizing the regulatory relations among various genes are estimated online using a Kalman filter. Since a particular gene interacts with a few other genes only, the parameter vector is expected to be sparse. The state estimates delivered by the particle filter and the observed microarray data are then subjected to a LASSO-based least squares regression operation which yields a parsimonious and efficient description of the regulatory network by setting the irrelevant coefficients to zero. The performance of the aforementioned algorithm is compared with the extended Kalman filter (EKF) and Unscented Kalman Filter (UKF) employing the Mean Square Error (MSE) as the fidelity criterion in recovering the parameters of gene regulatory networks from synthetic data and real biological data. Extensive computer simulations illustrate that the proposed particle filter-based network inference algorithm outperforms EKF and UKF, and therefore, it can serve as a natural framework for modeling gene regulatory networks with nonlinear and sparse structure. PMID:22350207

  16. Single nucleotide polymorphism in transcriptional regulatory regions and expression of environmentally responsive genes

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Xuting; Tomso, Daniel J.; Liu Xuemei; Bell, Douglas A. . E-mail: BELL1@niehs.nih.gov

    2005-09-01

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the human genome are DNA sequence variations that can alter an individual's response to environmental exposure. SNPs in gene coding regions can lead to changes in the biological properties of the encoded protein. In contrast, SNPs in non-coding gene regulatory regions may affect gene expression levels in an allele-specific manner, and these functional polymorphisms represent an important but relatively unexplored class of genetic variation. The main challenge in analyzing these SNPs is a lack of robust computational and experimental methods. Here, we first outline mechanisms by which genetic variation can impact gene regulation, and review recent findings in this area; then, we describe a methodology for bioinformatic discovery and functional analysis of regulatory SNPs in cis-regulatory regions using the assembled human genome sequence and databases on sequence polymorphism and gene expression. Our method integrates SNP and gene databases and uses a set of computer programs that allow us to: (1) select SNPs, from among the >9 million human SNPs in the NCBI dbSNP database, that are similar to cis-regulatory element (RE) consensus sequences; (2) map the selected dbSNP entries to the human genome assembly in order to identify polymorphic REs near gene start sites; (3) prioritize the candidate polymorphic RE containing genes by searching the existing genotype and gene expression data sets. The applicability of this system has been demonstrated through studies on p53 responsive elements and is being extended to additional pathways and environmentally responsive genes.

  17. Reconstruction of the Regulatory Network for Bacillus subtilis and Reconciliation with Gene Expression Data

    PubMed Central

    Faria, José P.; Overbeek, Ross; Taylor, Ronald C.; Conrad, Neal; Vonstein, Veronika; Goelzer, Anne; Fromion, Vincent; Rocha, Miguel; Rocha, Isabel; Henry, Christopher S.

    2016-01-01

    We introduce a manually constructed and curated regulatory network model that describes the current state of knowledge of transcriptional regulation of Bacillus subtilis. The model corresponds to an updated and enlarged version of the regulatory model of central metabolism originally proposed in 2008. We extended the original network to the whole genome by integration of information from DBTBS, a compendium of regulatory data that includes promoters, transcription factors (TFs), binding sites, motifs, and regulated operons. Additionally, we consolidated our network with all the information on regulation included in the SporeWeb and Subtiwiki community-curated resources on B. subtilis. Finally, we reconciled our network with data from RegPrecise, which recently released their own less comprehensive reconstruction of the regulatory network for B. subtilis. Our model describes 275 regulators and their target genes, representing 30 different mechanisms of regulation such as TFs, RNA switches, Riboswitches, and small regulatory RNAs. Overall, regulatory information is included in the model for ∼2500 of the ∼4200 genes in B. subtilis 168. In an effort to further expand our knowledge of B. subtilis regulation, we reconciled our model with expression data. For this process, we reconstructed the Atomic Regulons (ARs) for B. subtilis, which are the sets of genes that share the same “ON” and “OFF” gene expression profiles across multiple samples of experimental data. We show how ARs for B. subtilis are able to capture many sets of genes corresponding to regulated operons in our manually curated network. Additionally, we demonstrate how ARs can be used to help expand or validate the knowledge of the regulatory networks by looking at highly correlated genes in the ARs for which regulatory information is lacking. During this process, we were also able to infer novel stimuli for hypothetical genes by exploring the genome expression metadata relating to experimental

  18. Reconstruction of the Regulatory Network for Bacillus subtilis and Reconciliation with Gene Expression Data.

    PubMed

    Faria, José P; Overbeek, Ross; Taylor, Ronald C; Conrad, Neal; Vonstein, Veronika; Goelzer, Anne; Fromion, Vincent; Rocha, Miguel; Rocha, Isabel; Henry, Christopher S

    2016-01-01

    We introduce a manually constructed and curated regulatory network model that describes the current state of knowledge of transcriptional regulation of Bacillus subtilis. The model corresponds to an updated and enlarged version of the regulatory model of central metabolism originally proposed in 2008. We extended the original network to the whole genome by integration of information from DBTBS, a compendium of regulatory data that includes promoters, transcription factors (TFs), binding sites, motifs, and regulated operons. Additionally, we consolidated our network with all the information on regulation included in the SporeWeb and Subtiwiki community-curated resources on B. subtilis. Finally, we reconciled our network with data from RegPrecise, which recently released their own less comprehensive reconstruction of the regulatory network for B. subtilis. Our model describes 275 regulators and their target genes, representing 30 different mechanisms of regulation such as TFs, RNA switches, Riboswitches, and small regulatory RNAs. Overall, regulatory information is included in the model for ∼2500 of the ∼4200 genes in B. subtilis 168. In an effort to further expand our knowledge of B. subtilis regulation, we reconciled our model with expression data. For this process, we reconstructed the Atomic Regulons (ARs) for B. subtilis, which are the sets of genes that share the same "ON" and "OFF" gene expression profiles across multiple samples of experimental data. We show how ARs for B. subtilis are able to capture many sets of genes corresponding to regulated operons in our manually curated network. Additionally, we demonstrate how ARs can be used to help expand or validate the knowledge of the regulatory networks by looking at highly correlated genes in the ARs for which regulatory information is lacking. During this process, we were also able to infer novel stimuli for hypothetical genes by exploring the genome expression metadata relating to experimental conditions

  19. Clinicopathological and prognostic significance of Oct-4 expression in patients with non-small cell lung cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Shuang-Jiang; Huang, Jian; Zhou, Xu-Dong; Zhang, Wen-Biao; Lai, Yu-Tian

    2016-01-01

    Background Octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct-4) has been identified to participate in the tumorigenicity and malignancy of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, its definite prognostic roles in NSCLC still remain a debate. Therefore, we conducted this meta-analysis to evaluate the prognostic value of Oct-4 expression in NSCLC and its relationship to some major clinicopathological characteristics. Methods A comprehensive literature retrieval was performed in PubMed, EMBASE and the Web of Science to identify the full-text articles that met our eligibility criteria. Odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) severed as the summarized statistics for clinicopathological assessments, and hazard ratio (HR) with 95% CI served as the summarized statistics for prognostic assessments. Q-test and I2-statistic were used to evaluate the level of heterogeneity. Potential publication bias was detected by both Begg’s test and Egger’s test. Results There were 16 retried articles with 1,363 NSCLC cases included into this meta-analysis. Oct-4 expression was found to be significantly associated with the unfavorable outcomes for differentiation degree (OR: 3.065; 95% CI: 1.568–5.957; P=0.001), TNM stage (OR: 3.695; 95% CI: 2.252–6.063; P<0.001) and lymphatic metastasis (OR: 2.372; 95% CI: 1.504–3.742; P<0.001), but not associated with the histological subtypes, gender, age and smoking status. Oct-4 expression was also significantly associated with the poor prognosis of NSCLC (HR: 3.030; 95% CI: 2.283–4.021; P<0.001). The prognostic roles of Oct-4 expression in NSCLC still remained statistically reliable in the subgroups stratified by statistical analysis, patients’ origins, positively-stained sites and histological subtypes. Conclusions Our meta-analysis indicates that Oct-4 can serve as a strong biomarker predicting the poor clinicopathological and prognostic characteristics of NSCLC. More high-quality studies based on a large sample size will be

  20. Identification of genes involved in regulatory mechanism of pigments in broiler chickens.

    PubMed

    Tarique, T M; Yang, S; Mohsina, Z; Qiu, J; Yan, Z; Chen, G; Chen, A

    2014-01-01

    Chicken is an important model organism that unites the evolutionary gap between mammals and other vertebrates and provide major source of protein from meat and eggs for all over the world population. However, specific genes underlying the regulatory mechanism of broiler pigmentation have not yet been determined. In order to better understand the genes involved in the mechanism of pigmentation in the muscle tissues of broilers, the Affymetrix microarray hybridization experiment platform was used to identify gene expression profiles at 7 weeks of age. Broilers fed canthaxanthin, natural lutein, and orangeII pigments (100 mg/kg) were used to explore gene expression profiles). Our data showed that the 7th week of age was a very important phase with regard to gene expression profiles. We identified a number of differentially expressed genes; in canthaxanthin, natural lutein, and orangeII, there were 54 (32 upregulated and 22 downregulated), 23 (15 upregulated and 8 downregulated), and 7 (5 upregulated and 2 downregulated) known genes, respectively. Our data indicate that the numbers of differentially expressed genes were more upregulated than downregulated, and several genes showed conserved signaling to previously known functions. Thus, functional characterization of differentially expressed genes revealed several categories that are involved in important biological processes, including pigmentation, growth, molecular mechanisms, fat metabolism, cell proliferation, immune response, lipid metabolism, and protein synthesis and degradation. The results of the present study demonstrate that the genes associated with canthaxanthin, natural lutein, and orangeII are key regulatory genes that control the regulatory mechanisms of pigmentation.

  1. Gene regulatory evolution and the origin of macroevolutionary novelties: insights from the neural crest.

    PubMed

    Van Otterloo, Eric; Cornell, Robert A; Medeiros, Daniel Meulemans; Garnett, Aaron T

    2013-07-01

    The appearance of novel anatomic structures during evolution is driven by changes to the networks of transcription factors, signaling pathways, and downstream effector genes controlling development. The nature of the changes to these developmental gene regulatory networks (GRNs) is poorly understood. A striking test case is the evolution of the GRN controlling development of the neural crest (NC). NC cells emerge from the neural plate border (NPB) and contribute to multiple adult structures. While all chordates have a NPB, only in vertebrates do NPB cells express all the genes constituting the neural crest GRN (NC-GRN). Interestingly, invertebrate chordates express orthologs of NC-GRN components in other tissues, revealing that during vertebrate evolution new regulatory connections emerged between transcription factors primitively expressed in the NPB and genes primitively expressed in other tissues. Such interactions could have evolved by two mechanisms. First, transcription factors primitively expressed in the NPB may have evolved new DNA and/or cofactor binding properties (protein neofunctionalization). Alternately, cis-regulatory elements driving NPB expression may have evolved near genes primitively expressed in other tissues (cis-regulatory neofunctionalization). Here we discuss how gene duplication can, in principle, promote either form of neofunctionalization. We review recent published examples of interspecies gene-swap, or regulatory-element-swap, experiments that test both models. Such experiments have yielded little evidence to support the importance of protein neofunctionalization in the emergence of the NC-GRN, but do support the importance of novel cis-regulatory elements in this process. The NC-GRN is an excellent model for the study of gene regulatory and macroevolutionary innovation.

  2. 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

  3. Novel regulatory cascades controlling expression of nitrogen-fixation genes in Geobacter sulfurreducens

    PubMed Central

    Ueki, Toshiyuki; Lovley, Derek R.

    2010-01-01

    Geobacter species often play an important role in bioremediation of environments contaminated with metals or organics and show promise for harvesting electricity from waste organic matter in microbial fuel cells. The ability of Geobacter species to fix atmospheric nitrogen is an important metabolic feature for these applications. We identified novel regulatory cascades controlling nitrogen-fixation gene expression in Geobacter sulfurreducens. Unlike the regulatory mechanisms known in other nitrogen-fixing microorganisms, nitrogen-fixation gene regulation in G. sulfurreducens is controlled by two two-component His–Asp phosphorelay systems. One of these systems appears to be the master regulatory system that activates transcription of the majority of nitrogen-fixation genes and represses a gene encoding glutamate dehydrogenase during nitrogen fixation. The other system whose expression is directly activated by the master regulatory system appears to control by antitermination the expression of a subset of the nitrogen-fixation genes whose transcription is activated by the master regulatory system and whose promoter contains transcription termination signals. This study provides a new paradigm for nitrogen-fixation gene regulation. PMID:20660485

  4. Regulatory architecture determines optimal regulation of gene expression in metabolic pathways.

    PubMed

    Chubukov, Victor; Zuleta, Ignacio A; Li, Hao

    2012-03-27

    In response to environmental changes, the connections ("arrows") in gene regulatory networks determine which genes modulate their expression, but the quantitative parameters of the network ("the numbers on the arrows") are equally important in determining the resulting phenotype. What are the objectives and constraints by which evolution determines these parameters? We explore these issues by analyzing gene expression changes in a number of yeast metabolic pathways in response to nutrient depletion. We find that a striking pattern emerges that couples the regulatory architecture of the pathway to the gene expression response. In particular, we find that pathways controlled by the intermediate metabolite activation (IMA) architecture, in which an intermediate metabolite activates transcription of pathway genes, exhibit the following response: the enzyme immediately downstream of the regulatory metabolite is under the strongest transcriptional control, whereas the induction of the enzymes upstream of the regulatory intermediate is relatively weak. This pattern of responses is absent in pathways not controlled by an IMA architecture. The observation can be explained by the constraint imposed by the fundamental feedback structure of the network, which places downstream enzymes under a negative feedback loop and upstream ones under a positive feedback loop. This general design principle for transcriptional control of a metabolic pathway can be derived from a simple cost/benefit model of gene expression, in which the observed pattern is an optimal solution. Our results suggest that the parameters regulating metabolic enzyme expression are optimized by evolution, under the strong constraint of the underlying regulatory architecture.

  5. Gene Regulatory Network Inference of Immunoresponsive Gene 1 (IRG1) Identifies Interferon Regulatory Factor 1 (IRF1) as Its Transcriptional Regulator in Mammalian Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Tallam, Aravind; Perumal, Thaneer M.; Antony, Paul M.; Jäger, Christian; Fritz, Joëlle V.; Vallar, Laurent; Balling, Rudi; del Sol, Antonio; Michelucci, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    Immunoresponsive gene 1 (IRG1) is one of the highest induced genes in macrophages under pro-inflammatory conditions. Its function has been recently described: it codes for immune-responsive gene 1 protein/cis-aconitic acid decarboxylase (IRG1/CAD), an enzyme catalysing the production of itaconic acid from cis-aconitic acid, a tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediate. Itaconic acid possesses specific antimicrobial properties inhibiting isocitrate lyase, the first enzyme of the glyoxylate shunt, an anaplerotic pathway that bypasses the TCA cycle and enables bacteria to survive on limited carbon conditions. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying itaconic acid production through IRG1 induction in macrophages, we examined the transcriptional regulation of IRG1. To this end, we studied IRG1 expression in human immune cells under different inflammatory stimuli, such as TNFα and IFNγ, in addition to lipopolysaccharides. Under these conditions, as previously shown in mouse macrophages, IRG1/CAD accumulates in mitochondria. Furthermore, using literature information and transcription factor prediction models, we re-constructed raw gene regulatory networks (GRNs) for IRG1 in mouse and human macrophages. We further implemented a contextualization algorithm that relies on genome-wide gene expression data to infer putative cell type-specific gene regulatory interactions in mouse and human macrophages, which allowed us to predict potential transcriptional regulators of IRG1. Among the computationally identified regulators, siRNA-mediated gene silencing of interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF1) in macrophages significantly decreased the expression of IRG1/CAD at the gene and protein level, which correlated with a reduced production of itaconic acid. Using a synergistic approach of both computational and experimental methods, we here shed more light on the transcriptional machinery of IRG1 expression and could pave the way to therapeutic approaches targeting itaconic acid levels

  6. Analysis of Gene Sets Based on the Underlying Regulatory Network

    PubMed Central

    Michailidis, George

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Networks are often used to represent the interactions among genes and proteins. These interactions are known to play an important role in vital cell functions and should be included in the analysis of genes that are differentially expressed. Methods of gene set analysis take advantage of external biological information and analyze a priori defined sets of genes. These methods can potentially preserve the correlation among genes; however, they do not directly incorporate the information about the gene network. In this paper, we propose a latent variable model that directly incorporates the network information. We then use the theory of mixed linear models to present a general inference framework for the problem of testing the significance of subnetworks. Several possible test procedures are introduced and a network based method for testing the changes in expression levels of genes as well as the structure of the network is presented. The performance of the proposed method is compared with methods of gene set analysis using both simulation studies, as well as real data on genes related to the galactose utilization pathway in yeast. PMID:19254181

  7. miR-302 regulates pluripotency, teratoma formation and differentiation in stem cells via an AKT1/OCT4-dependent manner

    PubMed Central

    Li, H-L; Wei, J-F; Fan, L-Y; Wang, S-H; Zhu, L; Li, T-P; Lin, G; Sun, Y; Sun, Z-J; Ding, J; Liang, X-L; Li, J; Han, Q; Zhao, R-C-H

    2016-01-01

    Pluripotency makes human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) promising for regenerative medicine, but the teratoma formation has been considered to be a major obstacle for their clinical applications. Here, we determined that the downregulation of miR-302 suppresses the teratoma formation, hampers the self-renewal and pluripotency, and promotes hPSC differentiation. The underlying mechanism is that the high endogenous expression of miR-302 suppresses the AKT1 expression by directly targeting its 3'UTR and subsequently maintains the pluripotent factor OCT4 at high level. Our findings reveal that miR-302 regulates OCT4 by suppressing AKT1, which provides hPSCs two characteristics related to their potential for clinical applications: the benefit of pluripotency and the hindrance of teratoma formation. More importantly, we demonstrate that miR-302 upregulation cannot lead OCT4 negative human adult mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) to acquire the teratoma formation in vivo. Whether miR-302 upregulation can drive hMSCs to acquire a higher differentiation potential is worthy of deep investigation. PMID:26821070

  8. Ancora: a web resource for exploring highly conserved noncoding elements and their association with developmental regulatory genes

    PubMed Central

    Engström, Pär G; Fredman, David; Lenhard, Boris

    2008-01-01

    Metazoan genomes contain arrays of highly conserved noncoding elements (HCNEs) that span developmental regulatory genes and define regulatory domains. We describe Ancora , a web resource that provides data and tools for exploring genomic organization of HCNEs for multiple genomes. Ancora includes a genome browser that shows HCNE locations and features novel HCNE density plots as a powerful tool to discover developmental regulatory genes and distinguish their regulatory elements and domains. PMID:18279518

  9. Clinical development of gene therapy needs a tailored approach: a regulatory perspective from the European Union.

    PubMed

    Narayanan, Gopalan; Cossu, Giulio; Galli, Maria Cristina; Flory, Egbert; Ovelgonne, Hans; Salmikangas, Paula; Schneider, Christian K; Trouvin, Jean-Hugues

    2014-03-01

    Gene therapy is a rapidly evolving field that needs an integrated approach, as acknowledged in the concept article on the revision of the guideline on gene transfer medicinal products. The first gene therapy application for marketing authorization was approved in the International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH) region in 2012, the product being Alipogene tiparvovec. The regulatory process for this product has been commented on extensively, highlighting the challenges posed by such a novel technology. Here, as current or previous members of the Committee for Advanced Therapies, we share our perspectives and views on gene therapy as a treatment modality based on current common understanding and regulatory experience of gene therapy products in the European Union to date. It is our view that a tailored approach is needed for a given gene therapy product in order to achieve successful marketing authorization.

  10. Characterization of DNA methylation change in stem cell marker genes during differentiation of human embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Yeo, Seungeun; Jeong, Sangkyun; Kim, Janghwan; Han, Jee-Soo; Han, Yong-Mahn; Kang, Yong-Kook

    2007-08-01

    Pluripotent human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have the distinguishing feature of innate capacity to allow indefinite self-renewal. This attribute continues until specific constraints or restrictions, such as DNA methylation, are imposed on the genome, usually accompanied by differentiation. With the aim of utilizing DNA methylation as a sign of early differentiation, we probed the genomic regions of hESCs, particularly focusing on stem cell marker (SCM) genes to identify regulatory sequences that display differentiation-sensitive alterations in DNA methylation. We show that the promoter regions of OCT4 and NANOG, but not SOX2, REX1 and FOXD3, undergo significant methylation during hESCs differentiation in which SCM genes are substantially repressed. Thus, following exposure to differentiation stimuli, OCT4 and NANOG gene loci are modified relatively rapidly by DNA methylation. Accordingly, we propose that the DNA methylation states of OCT4 and NANOG sequences may be utilized as barometers to determine the extent of hESC differentiation.

  11. Characterization of DNA methylation change in stem cell marker genes during differentiation of human embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Yeo, Seungeun; Jeong, Sangkyun; Kim, Janghwan; Han, Jee-Soo; Han, Yong-Mahn; Kang, Yong-Kook

    2007-08-01

    Pluripotent human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have the distinguishing feature of innate capacity to allow indefinite self-renewal. This attribute continues until specific constraints or restrictions, such as DNA methylation, are imposed on the genome, usually accompanied by differentiation. With the aim of utilizing DNA methylation as a sign of early differentiation, we probed the genomic regions of hESCs, particularly focusing on stem cell marker (SCM) genes to identify regulatory sequences that display differentiation-sensitive alterations in DNA methylation. We show that the promoter regions of OCT4 and NANOG, but not SOX2, REX1 and FOXD3, undergo significant methylation during hESCs differentiation in which SCM genes are substantially repressed. Thus, following exposure to differentiation stimuli, OCT4 and NANOG gene loci are modified relatively rapidly by DNA methylation. Accordingly, we propose that the DNA methylation states of OCT4 and NANOG sequences may be utilized as barometers to determine the extent of hESC differentiation. PMID:17548060

  12. 77 FR 7980 - Department Regulatory Agenda; Semiannual Summary

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-13

    ... accordance with Executive Order (EO) 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review,'' (58 FR 51735; Oct. 4, 1993) and the Department's Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; Feb. 26, 1979), the Department... last Agenda was published in the Federal Register on July 7, 2011 (76 FR 40092). The next one...

  13. 78 FR 3289 - Department Regulatory Agenda; Semiannual Summary

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-15

    ... Transportation Fall 2012 Unified Agenda published in the Federal Register on January 8, 2013 (78 FR 1604), is... accordance with Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review,'' (58 FR 51735; Oct. 4, 1993) and the Department's Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; Feb. 26, 1979), the...

  14. 78 FR 1604 - Department Regulatory Agenda; Semiannual Summary

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-08

    ... and in accordance with Executive Order (EO) 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review,'' (58 FR 51735; Oct. 4, 1993) and the Department's Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; Feb. 26, 1979... Plan. The FAA's latest review notice was published November 15, 2007 (72 FR 64170). In that notice,...

  15. 76 FR 40092 - Department Regulatory Agenda; Semiannual Summary

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-07

    ... accordance with Executive Order (EO) 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review,'' (58 FR 51735; Oct 4, 1993) and the Department's Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; Feb 26, 1979), the Department... last agenda was published in the Federal Register on December 20, 2010 (75 FR 79812). The next one...

  16. Medusa structure of the gene regulatory network: dominance of transcription factors in cancer subtype classification.

    PubMed

    Guo, Yuchun; Feng, Ying; Trivedi, Niraj S; Huang, Sui

    2011-05-01

    Gene expression profiles consisting of ten thousands of transcripts are used for clustering of tissue, such as tumors, into subtypes, often without considering the underlying reason that the distinct patterns of expression arise because of constraints in the realization of gene expression profiles imposed by the gene regulatory network. The topology of this network has been suggested to consist of a regulatory core of genes represented most prominently by transcription factors (TFs) and microRNAs, that influence the expression of other genes, and of a periphery of 'enslaved' effector genes that are regulated but not regulating. This 'medusa' architecture implies that the core genes are much stronger determinants of the realized gene expression profiles. To test this hypothesis, we examined the clustering of gene expression profiles into known tumor types to quantitatively demonstrate that TFs, and even more pronounced, microRNAs, are much stronger discriminators of tumor type specific gene expression patterns than a same number of randomly selected or metabolic genes. These findings lend support to the hypothesis of a medusa architecture and of the canalizing nature of regulation by microRNAs. They also reveal the degree of freedom for the expression of peripheral genes that are less stringently associated with a tissue type specific global gene expression profile.

  17. An atlas of gene regulatory networks reveals multiple three-gene mechanisms for interpreting morphogen gradients

    PubMed Central

    Cotterell, James; Sharpe, James

    2010-01-01

    The interpretation of morphogen gradients is a pivotal concept in developmental biology, and several mechanisms have been proposed to explain how gene regulatory networks (GRNs) achieve concentration-dependent responses. However, the number of different mechanisms that may exist for cells to interpret morphogens, and the importance of design features such as feedback or local cell–cell communication, is unclear. A complete understanding of such systems will require going beyond a case-by-case analysis of real morphogen interpretation mechanisms and mapping out a complete GRN ‘design space.' Here, we generate a first atlas of design space for GRNs capable of patterning a homogeneous field of cells into discrete gene expression domains by interpreting a fixed morphogen gradient. We uncover multiple very distinct mechanisms distributed discretely across the atlas, thereby expanding the repertoire of morphogen interpretation network motifs. Analyzing this diverse collection of mechanisms also allows us to predict that local cell–cell communication will rarely be responsible for the basic dose-dependent response of morphogen interpretation networks. PMID:21045819

  18. In silico evolution of the hunchback gene indicates redundancy in cis-regulatory organization and spatial gene expression.

    PubMed

    Zagrijchuk, Elizaveta A; Sabirov, Marat A; Holloway, David M; Spirov, Alexander V

    2014-04-01

    Biological development depends on the coordinated expression of genes in time and space. Developmental genes have extensive cis-regulatory regions which control their expression. These regions are organized in a modular manner, with different modules controlling expression at different times and locations. Both how modularity evolved and what function it serves are open questions. We present a computational model for the cis-regulation of the hunchback (hb) gene in the fruit fly (Drosophila). We simulate evolution (using an evolutionary computation approach from computer science) to find the optimal cis-regulatory arrangements for fitting experimental hb expression patterns. We find that the cis-regulatory region tends to readily evolve modularity. These cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) do not tend to control single spatial domains, but show a multi-CRM/multi-domain correspondence. We find that the CRM-domain correspondence seen in Drosophila evolves with a high probability in our model, supporting the biological relevance of the approach. The partial redundancy resulting from multi-CRM control may confer some biological robustness against corruption of regulatory sequences. The technique developed on hb could readily be applied to other multi-CRM developmental genes.

  19. In silico evolution of the hunchback gene indicates redundancy in cis-regulatory organization and spatial gene expression

    PubMed Central

    Zagrijchuk, Elizaveta A.; Sabirov, Marat A.; Holloway, David M.; Spirov, Alexander V.

    2014-01-01

    Biological development depends on the coordinated expression of genes in time and space. Developmental genes have extensive cis-regulatory regions which control their expression. These regions are organized in a modular manner, with different modules controlling expression at different times and locations. Both how modularity evolved and what function it serves are open questions. We present a computational model for the cis-regulation of the hunchback (hb) gene in the fruit fly (Drosophila). We simulate evolution (using an evolutionary computation approach from computer science) to find the optimal cis-regulatory arrangements for fitting experimental hb expression patterns. We find that the cis-regulatory region tends to readily evolve modularity. These cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) do not tend to control single spatial domains, but show a multi-CRM/multi-domain correspondence. We find that the CRM-domain correspondence seen in Drosophila evolves with a high probability in our model, supporting the biological relevance of the approach. The partial redundancy resulting from multi-CRM control may confer some biological robustness against corruption of regulatory sequences. The technique developed on hb could readily be applied to other multi-CRM developmental genes. PMID:24712536

  20. Sex-dependent gene regulatory networks of the heart rhythm

    PubMed Central

    Iacobas, S.; Thomas, N.; Spray, D. C.

    2010-01-01

    Expression level, control, and intercoordination of 66 selected heart rhythm determinant (HRD) genes were compared in atria and ventricles of four male and four female adult mice. We found that genes encoding various adrenergic receptors, ankyrins, ion channels and transporters, connexins, cadherins, plakophilins, and other components of the intercalated discs form a complex network that is chamber dependent and differs between the two sexes. In addition, most HRD genes in atria had higher expression in males than in females, while in ventricles, expression levels were mostly higher in females than in males. Moreover, significant chamber differences were observed between the sexes, with higher expression in atria than ventricles for males and higher expression in ventricles than atria for females. We have ranked the selected genes according to their prominence (new concept) within the HRD gene web defined as extent of expression coordination with the other web genes and stability of expression. Interestingly, the prominence hierarchy was substantially different between the two sexes. Taken together, these findings indicate that the organizational principles of the heart rhythm transcriptome are sex dependent, with the newly introduced prominence analysis allowing identification of genes that are pivotal for the sexual dichotomy. PMID:19756788

  1. Multiple Cis-Acting Sequences Contribute to Evolved Regulatory Variation for Drosophila Adh Genes

    PubMed Central

    Fang, X. M.; Brennan, M. D.

    1992-01-01

    Drosophila affinidisjuncta and Drosophila hawaiiensis are closely related species that display distinct tissue-specific expression patterns for their homologous alcohol dehydrogenase genes (Adh genes). In Drosophila melanogaster transformants, both genes are expressed at high levels in the larval and adult fat bodies, but the D. affinidisjuncta gene is expressed 10-50-fold more strongly in the larval and adult midguts and Malpighian tubules. The present study reports the mapping of cis-acting sequences contributing to the regulatory differences between these two genes in transformants. Chimeric genes were constructed and introduced into the germ line of D. melanogaster. Stage- and tissue-specific expression patterns were determined by measuring steady-state RNA levels in larvae and adults. Three portions of the promoter region make distinct contributions to the tissue-specific regulatory differences between the native genes. Sequences immediately upstream of the distal promoter have a strong effect in the adult Malpighian tubules, while sequences between the two promoters are relatively important in the larval Malpighian tubules. A third gene segment, immediately upstream of the proximal promoter, influences levels of the proximal Adh transcript in all tissues and developmental stages examined, and largely accounts for the regulatory difference in the larval and adult midguts. However, these as well as other sequences make smaller contributions to various aspects of the tissue-specific regulatory differences. In addition, some chimeric genes display aberrant RNA levels for the whole organism, suggesting close physical association between sequences involved in tissue-specific regulatory differences and those important for Adh expression in the larval and adult fat bodies. PMID:1644276

  2. Serial analysis of gene expression provides new insights into regulatory T cells.

    PubMed

    Cobbold, Stephen P; Adams, Elizabeth; Graca, Luis; Waldmann, Herman

    2003-08-01

    It is now possible to induce donor-specific transplantation tolerance in adult rodents using a number of therapeutic strategies. Such peripheral tolerance is maintained by regulatory CD4+ T cells, not only in transplantation models, but also in autoimmunity. Differential gene expression analyses have been used to identify potential new markers for regulatory T cells, aiming to reveal new insights into their mechanisms of action, and to find novel targets for therapeutic manipulation of the immune system. PMID:14690045

  3. Functional and regulatory interactions between Hox and extradenticle genes

    PubMed Central

    Azpiazu, Natalia; Morata, Ginés

    1998-01-01

    The homeobox gene extradenticle (exd) acts as a cofactor of Hox function both in Drosophila and vertebrates. It has been shown that the distribution of the Exd protein is developmentally regulated at the post-translational level; in the regions where exd is not functional Exd is present only in the cell cytoplasm, whereas it accumulates in the nuclei of cells requiring exd function. We show that the subcellular localization of Exd is regulated by the BX-C genes and that each BX-C gene can prevent or reduce nuclear translocation of Exd to different extents. In spite of this negative regulation, two BX-C genes, Ultrabithorax and abdominal-A, require exd activity for their maintenance and function. We propose that mutual interactions between Exd and BX-C proteins ensure the correct amounts of interacting molecules. As the Hoxd10 gene has the same properties as Drosophila BX-C genes, we suggest that the control mechanism of subcellular distribution of Exd found in Drosophila probably operates in other organisms as well. PMID:9436985

  4. Biological data warehousing system for identifying transcriptional regulatory sites from gene expressions of microarray data.

    PubMed

    Tsou, Ann-Ping; Sun, Yi-Ming; Liu, Chia-Lin; Huang, Hsien-Da; Horng, Jorng-Tzong; Tsai, Meng-Feng; Liu, Baw-Juine

    2006-07-01

    Identification of transcriptional regulatory sites plays an important role in the investigation of gene regulation. For this propose, we designed and implemented a data warehouse to integrate multiple heterogeneous biological data sources with data types such as text-file, XML, image, MySQL database model, and Oracle database model. The utility of the biological data warehouse in predicting transcriptional regulatory sites of coregulated genes was explored using a synexpression group derived from a microarray study. Both of the binding sites of known transcription factors and predicted over-represented (OR) oligonucleotides were demonstrated for the gene group. The potential biological roles of both known nucleotides and one OR nucleotide were demonstrated using bioassays. Therefore, the results from the wet-lab experiments reinforce the power and utility of the data warehouse as an approach to the genome-wide search for important transcription regulatory elements that are the key to many complex biological systems.

  5. Regulatory Oversight of Gene Therapy and Cell Therapy Products in Korea.

    PubMed

    Choi, Minjoung; Han, Euiri; Lee, Sunmi; Kim, Taegyun; Shin, Won

    2015-01-01

    The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety regulates gene therapy and cell therapy products as biological products under the authority of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act. As with other medicinal products, gene therapy and cell therapy products are subject to approval for use in clinical trials and for a subsequent marketing authorization and to post-market surveillance. Research and development of gene therapy and cell therapy products have been progressing rapidly in Korea with extensive investment, offering great potential for the treatment of various serious diseases. To facilitate development of safe and effective products and provide more opportunities to patients suffering from severe diseases, several regulatory programs, such as the use of investigational products for emergency situations, fast-track approval, prereview of application packages, and intensive regulatory consultation, can be applied to these products. The regulatory approach for these innovative products is case by case and founded on science-based review that is flexible and balances the risks and benefits.

  6. An efficient approach of attractor calculation for large-scale Boolean gene regulatory networks.

    PubMed

    He, Qinbin; Xia, Zhile; Lin, Bin

    2016-11-01

    Boolean network models provide an efficient way for studying gene regulatory networks. The main dynamics of a Boolean network is determined by its attractors. Attractor calculation plays a key role for analyzing Boolean gene regulatory networks. An approach of attractor calculation was proposed in this study, which improved the predecessor-based approach. Furthermore, the proposed approach combined with the identification of constant nodes and simplified Boolean networks to accelerate attractor calculation. The proposed algorithm is effective to calculate all attractors for large-scale Boolean gene regulatory networks. If the average degree of the network is not too large, the algorithm can get all attractors of a Boolean network with dozens or even hundreds of nodes.

  7. Regulatory regions in the yeast FBP1 and PCK1 genes.

    PubMed

    Mercado, J J; Gancedo, J M

    1992-10-19

    By deletion analysis of the fusion genes FBP1-lacZ and PCK1-lacZ we have identified a number of strong regulatory regions in the genes FBP1 and PCK1 which encode fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase. Lack of expression of beta-galactosidase in fusions lacking sequences from the coding regions suggests the existence of downstream activating elements. Both promoters have several UAS and URS regions as well as sites implicated in catabolite repression. We have found in both genes consensus sequences for the binding of the same regulatory proteins, such as yAP1, MIG1 or the complex HAP2/HAP3/HAP4. Neither deletion nor overexpression of the MIG1 gene affected the regulated expression of the FBP1 or PCK1 genes.

  8. Regulatory elements of the floral homeotic gene AGAMOUS identified by phylogenetic footprinting and shadowing.

    SciTech Connect

    Hong, R. L., Hamaguchi, L., Busch, M. A., and Weigel, D.

    2003-06-01

    OAK-B135 In Arabidopsis thaliana, cis-regulatory sequences of the floral homeotic gene AGAMOUS (AG) are located in the second intron. This 3 kb intron contains binding sites for two direct activators of AG, LEAFY (LFY) and WUSCHEL (WUS), along with other putative regulatory elements. We have used phylogenetic footprinting and the related technique of phylogenetic shadowing to identify putative cis-regulatory elements in this intron. Among 29 Brassicaceae, several other motifs, but not the LFY and WUS binding sites previously identified, are largely invariant. Using reporter gene analyses, we tested six of these motifs and found that they are all functionally important for activity of AG regulatory sequences in A. thaliana. Although there is little obvious sequence similarity outside the Brassicaceae, the intron from cucumber AG has at least partial activity in A. thaliana. Our studies underscore the value of the comparative approach as a tool that complements gene-by-gene promoter dissection, but also highlight that sequence-based studies alone are insufficient for a complete identification of cis-regulatory sites.

  9. Feather Development Genes and Associated Regulatory Innovation Predate the Origin of Dinosauria

    PubMed Central

    Lowe, Craig B.; Clarke, Julia A.; Baker, Allan J.; Haussler, David; Edwards, Scott V.

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of avian feathers has recently been illuminated by fossils and the identification of genes involved in feather patterning and morphogenesis. However, molecular studies have focused mainly on protein-coding genes. Using comparative genomics and more than 600,000 conserved regulatory elements, we show that patterns of genome evolution in the vicinity of feather genes are consistent with a major role for regulatory innovation in the evolution of feathers. Rates of innovation at feather regulatory elements exhibit an extended period of innovation with peaks in the ancestors of amniotes and archosaurs. We estimate that 86% of such regulatory elements and 100% of the nonkeratin feather gene set were present prior to the origin of Dinosauria. On the branch leading to modern birds, we detect a strong signal of regulatory innovation near insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP) 2 and IGFBP5, which have roles in body size reduction, and may represent a genomic signature for the miniaturization of dinosaurian body size preceding the origin of flight. PMID:25415961

  10. Feather development genes and associated regulatory innovation predate the origin of Dinosauria.

    PubMed

    Lowe, Craig B; Clarke, Julia A; Baker, Allan J; Haussler, David; Edwards, Scott V

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of avian feathers has recently been illuminated by fossils and the identification of genes involved in feather patterning and morphogenesis. However, molecular studies have focused mainly on protein-coding genes. Using comparative genomics and more than 600,000 conserved regulatory elements, we show that patterns of genome evolution in the vicinity of feather genes are consistent with a major role for regulatory innovation in the evolution of feathers. Rates of innovation at feather regulatory elements exhibit an extended period of innovation with peaks in the ancestors of amniotes and archosaurs. We estimate that 86% of such regulatory elements and 100% of the nonkeratin feather gene set were present prior to the origin of Dinosauria. On the branch leading to modern birds, we detect a strong signal of regulatory innovation near insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP) 2 and IGFBP5, which have roles in body size reduction, and may represent a genomic signature for the miniaturization of dinosaurian body size preceding the origin of flight.

  11. Complement regulatory protein genes in channel catfish and their involvement in disease defense response.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Chen; Zhang, Jiaren; Yao, Jun; Liu, Shikai; Li, Yun; Song, Lin; Li, Chao; Wang, Xiaozhu; Liu, Zhanjiang

    2015-11-01

    Complement system is one of the most important defense systems of innate immunity, which plays a crucial role in disease defense responses in channel catfish. However, inappropriate and excessive complement activation could lead to potential damage to the host cells. Therefore the complement system is controlled by a set of complement regulatory proteins to allow normal defensive functions, but prevent hazardous complement activation to host tissues. In this study, we identified nine complement regulatory protein genes from the channel catfish genome. Phylogenetic and syntenic analyses were conducted to determine their orthology relationships, supporting their correct annotation and potential functional inferences. The expression profiles of the complement regulatory protein genes were determined in channel catfish healthy tissues and after infection with the two main bacterial pathogens, Edwardsiella ictaluri and Flavobacterium columnare. The vast majority of complement regulatory protein genes were significantly regulated after bacterial infections, but interestingly were generally up-regulated after E. ictaluri infection while mostly down-regulated after F. columnare infection, suggesting a pathogen-specific pattern of regulation. Collectively, these findings suggested that complement regulatory protein genes may play complex roles in the host immune responses to bacterial pathogens in channel catfish.

  12. Genome-wide identification of regulatory elements and reconstruction of gene regulatory networks of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii under carbon deprivation.

    PubMed

    Winck, Flavia Vischi; Vischi Winck, Flavia; Arvidsson, Samuel; Riaño-Pachón, Diego Mauricio; Hempel, Sabrina; Koseska, Aneta; Nikoloski, Zoran; Urbina Gomez, David Alejandro; Rupprecht, Jens; Mueller-Roeber, Bernd

    2013-01-01

    The unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a long-established model organism for studies on photosynthesis and carbon metabolism-related physiology. Under conditions of air-level carbon dioxide concentration [CO2], a carbon concentrating mechanism (CCM) is induced to facilitate cellular carbon uptake. CCM increases the availability of carbon dioxide at the site of cellular carbon fixation. To improve our understanding of the transcriptional control of the CCM, we employed FAIRE-seq (formaldehyde-assisted Isolation of Regulatory Elements, followed by deep sequencing) to determine nucleosome-depleted chromatin regions of algal cells subjected to carbon deprivation. Our FAIRE data recapitulated the positions of known regulatory elements in the promoter of the periplasmic carbonic anhydrase (Cah1) gene, which is upregulated during CCM induction, and revealed new candidate regulatory elements at a genome-wide scale. In addition, time series expression patterns of 130 transcription factor (TF) and transcription regulator (TR) genes were obtained for cells cultured under photoautotrophic condition and subjected to a shift from high to low [CO2]. Groups of co-expressed genes were identified and a putative directed gene-regulatory network underlying the CCM was reconstructed from the gene expression data using the recently developed IOTA (inner composition alignment) method. Among the candidate regulatory genes, two members of the MYB-related TF family, Lcr1 (Low-CO 2 response regulator 1) and Lcr2 (Low-CO2 response regulator 2), may play an important role in down-regulating the expression of a particular set of TF and TR genes in response to low [CO2]. The results obtained provide new insights into the transcriptional control of the CCM and revealed more than 60 new candidate regulatory genes. Deep sequencing of nucleosome-depleted genomic regions indicated the presence of new, previously unknown regulatory elements in the C. reinhardtii genome. Our work can

  13. The PAZAR database of gene regulatory information coupled to the ORCA toolkit for the study of regulatory sequences

    PubMed Central

    Portales-Casamar, Elodie; Arenillas, David; Lim, Jonathan; Swanson, Magdalena I.; Jiang, Steven; McCallum, Anthony; Kirov, Stefan; Wasserman, Wyeth W.

    2009-01-01

    The PAZAR database unites independently created and maintained data collections of transcription factor and regulatory sequence annotation. The flexible PAZAR schema permits the representation of diverse information derived from experiments ranging from biochemical protein–DNA binding to cellular reporter gene assays. Data collections can be made available to the public, or restricted to specific system users. The data ‘boutiques’ within the shopping-mall-inspired system facilitate the analysis of genomics data and the creation of predictive models of gene regulation. Since its initial release, PAZAR has grown in terms of data, features and through the addition of an associated package of software tools called the ORCA toolkit (ORCAtk). ORCAtk allows users to rapidly develop analyses based on the information stored in the PAZAR system. PAZAR is available at http://www.pazar.info. ORCAtk can be accessed through convenient buttons located in the PAZAR pages or via our website at http://www.cisreg.ca/ORCAtk. PMID:18971253

  14. Inference of the Xenopus tropicalis embryonic regulatory network and spatial gene expression patterns

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background During embryogenesis, signaling molecules produced by one cell population direct gene regulatory changes in neighboring cells and influence their developmental fates and spatial organization. One of the earliest events in the development of the vertebrate embryo is the establishment of three germ layers, consisting of the ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm. Attempts to measure gene expression in vivo in different germ layers and cell types are typically complicated by the heterogeneity of cell types within biological samples (i.e., embryos), as the responses of individual cell types are intermingled into an aggregate observation of heterogeneous cell types. Here, we propose a novel method to elucidate gene regulatory circuits from these aggregate measurements in embryos of the frog Xenopus tropicalis using gene network inference algorithms and then test the ability of the inferred networks to predict spatial gene expression patterns. Results We use two inference models with different underlying assumptions that incorporate existing network information, an ODE model for steady-state data and a Markov model for time series data, and contrast the performance of the two models. We apply our method to both control and knockdown embryos at multiple time points to reconstruct the core mesoderm and endoderm regulatory circuits. Those inferred networks are then used in combination with known dorsal-ventral spatial expression patterns of a subset of genes to predict spatial expression patterns for other genes. Both models are able to predict spatial expression patterns for some of the core mesoderm and endoderm genes, but interestingly of different gene subsets, suggesting that neither model is sufficient to recapitulate all of the spatial patterns, yet they are complementary for the patterns that they do capture. Conclusion The presented methodology of gene network inference combined with spatial pattern prediction provides an additional layer of validation to

  15. Analysis of regulatory networks constructed based on gene coexpression in pituitary adenoma.

    PubMed

    Gong, Jie; Diao, Bo; Yao, Guo Jie; Liu, Ying; Xu, Guo Zheng

    2013-12-01

    Gene coexpression patterns can reveal gene collections with functional consistency. This study systematically constructs regulatory networks for pituitary tumours by integrating gene coexpression, transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation. Through network analysis, we elaborate the incidence mechanism of pituitary adenoma. The Pearson's correlation coefficient was utilized to calculate the level of gene coexpression. By comparing pituitary adenoma samples with normal samples, pituitary adenoma-specific gene coexpression patterns were identified. For pituitary adenoma-specific coexpressed genes, we integrated transcription factor (TF) and microRNA (miRNA) regulation to construct a complex regulatory network from the transcriptional and posttranscriptional perspectives. Network module analysis identified the synergistic regulation of genes by miRNAs and TFs in pituitary adenoma. We identified 142 pituitary adenoma-specific active genes, including 43 TFs and 99 target genes of TFs. Functional enrichment of these 142 genes revealed that the occurrence of pituitary adenoma induced abnormalities in intracellular metabolism and angiogenesis process. These 142 genes were also significantly enriched in adenoma pathway. Module analysis of the systematic regulatory network found that three modules contained elements that were closely related to pituitary adenoma, such as FGF2 and SP1, as well as transcription factors and miRNAs involved in the tumourigenesis. These results show that in the occurrence of pituitary adenoma, miRNA, TF and genes interact with each other. Based on gene expression, the proposed method integrates interaction information from different levels and systematically explains the occurrence of pituitary tumours. It facilitates the tracing of the origin of the disease and can provide basis for early diagnosis of complex diseases or cancer without obvious symptoms.

  16. Experimental approaches for gene regulatory network construction: the chick as a model system

    PubMed Central

    Streit, Andrea; Tambalo, Monica; Chen, Jingchen; Grocott, Timothy; Anwar, Maryam; Sosinsky, Alona; Stern, Claudio D.

    2012-01-01

    Setting up the body plan during embryonic development requires the coordinated action of many signals and transcriptional regulators in a precise temporal sequence and spatial pattern. The last decades have seen an explosion of information describing the molecular control of many developmental processes. The next challenge is to integrate this information into logic ‘wiring diagrams’ that visualise gene actions and outputs, have predictive power and point to key control nodes. Here we provide an experimental workflow on how to construct gene regulatory networks using the chick as model system. Keywords: transcription factors, transcriptome analysis, conserved regulatory elements PMID:23174848

  17. Molecular characterization of a maize regulatory gene. Progress report, July 1989--March 1990

    SciTech Connect

    Wessler, S.

    1990-12-31

    This progress report contains information concerning the characterization of the Maize regulatory gene. The findings of this research program have immediate significance. Firstly, it provides support for the notion that R proteins, produced by the regulatory gene, are functionally equivalent. Secondly, the success of these experiments provides a simple transient assay for either natural or constructed R protein mutations. The relative ease of this assay coupled with overnight results are important prerequisites to the proposed experiments involving a structure-function analysis of the R protein.

  18. Transcriptional Regulatory Network Analysis of MYB Transcription Factor Family Genes in Rice

    PubMed Central

    Smita, Shuchi; Katiyar, Amit; Chinnusamy, Viswanathan; Pandey, Dev M.; Bansal, Kailash C.

    2015-01-01

    MYB transcription factor (TF) is one of the largest TF families and regulates defense responses to various stresses, hormone signaling as well as many metabolic and developmental processes in plants. Understanding these regulatory hierarchies of gene expression networks in response to developmental and environmental cues is a major challenge due to the complex interactions between the genetic elements. Correlation analyses are useful to unravel co-regulated gene pairs governing biological process as well as identification of new candidate hub genes in response to these complex processes. High throughput expression profiling data are highly useful for construction of co-expression networks. In the present study, we utilized transcriptome data for comprehensive regulatory network studies of MYB TFs by “top-down” and “guide-gene” approaches. More than 50% of OsMYBs were strongly correlated under 50 experimental conditions with 51 hub genes via “top-down” approach. Further, clusters were identified using Markov Clustering (MCL). To maximize the clustering performance, parameter evaluation of the MCL inflation score (I) was performed in terms of enriched GO categories by measuring F-score. Comparison of co-expressed cluster and clads analyzed from phylogenetic analysis signifies their evolutionarily conserved co-regulatory role. We utilized compendium of known interaction and biological role with Gene Ontology enrichment analysis to hypothesize function of coexpressed OsMYBs. In the other part, the transcriptional regulatory network analysis by “guide-gene” approach revealed 40 putative targets of 26 OsMYB TF hubs with high correlation value utilizing 815 microarray data. The putative targets with MYB-binding cis-elements enrichment in their promoter region, functional co-occurrence as well as nuclear localization supports our finding. Specially, enrichment of MYB binding regions involved in drought-inducibility implying their regulatory role in drought

  19. Harnessing Diversity towards the Reconstructing of Large Scale Gene Regulatory Networks

    PubMed Central

    Yamanaka, Ryota; Kitano, Hiroaki

    2013-01-01

    Elucidating gene regulatory network (GRN) from large scale experimental data remains a central challenge in systems biology. Recently, numerous techniques, particularly consensus driven approaches combining different algorithms, have become a potentially promising strategy to infer accurate GRNs. Here, we develop a novel consensus inference algorithm, TopkNet that can integrate multiple algorithms to infer GRNs. Comprehensive performance benchmarking on a cloud computing framework demonstrated that (i) a simple strategy to combine many algorithms does not always lead to performance improvement compared to the cost of consensus and (ii) TopkNet integrating only high-performance algorithms provide significant performance improvement compared to the best individual algorithms and community prediction. These results suggest that a priori determination of high-performance algorithms is a key to reconstruct an unknown regulatory network. Similarity among gene-expression datasets can be useful to determine potential optimal algorithms for reconstruction of unknown regulatory networks, i.e., if expression-data associated with known regulatory network is similar to that with unknown regulatory network, optimal algorithms determined for the known regulatory network can be repurposed to infer the unknown regulatory network. Based on this observation, we developed a quantitative measure of similarity among gene-expression datasets and demonstrated that, if similarity between the two expression datasets is high, TopkNet integrating algorithms that are optimal for known dataset perform well on the unknown dataset. The consensus framework, TopkNet, together with the similarity measure proposed in this study provides a powerful strategy towards harnessing the wisdom of the crowds in reconstruction of unknown regulatory networks. PMID:24278007

  20. Anthocyanin regulatory/structural gene expression in Phalaenopsis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Partial cDNA fragments of Myb, Myc, Wd, Chs and Dfr genes were generated by Reverse Transcription-PCR using total RNA isolated from flowers of P. amabilis (L.) Blume (anthocyanin-free) and P. schilleriana Rchb. f. (anthocyanin-containing) and cloned into a TOPO vector. RT-PCR revealed that the struc...

  1. Mutations of epigenetic regulatory genes are common in thymic carcinomas.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yisong; Thomas, Anish; Lau, Christopher; Rajan, Arun; Zhu, Yuelin; Killian, J Keith; Petrini, Iacopo; Pham, Trung; Morrow, Betsy; Zhong, Xiaogang; Meltzer, Paul S; Giaccone, Giuseppe

    2014-12-08

    Genetic alterations and etiology of thymic epithelial tumors (TETs) are largely unknown, hampering the development of effective targeted therapies for patients with TETs. Here TETs of advanced-stage patients enrolled in a clinical trial of molecularly-guided targeted therapies were employed for targeted sequencing of 197 cancer-associated genes. Comparative sequence analysis of 78 TET/blood paired samples obtained from 47 thymic carcinoma (TC) and 31 thymoma patients revealed a total of 86 somatic non-synonymous sequence variations across 39 different genes in 33 (42%) TETs. TCs (62%; 29/47) showed higher incidence of somatic non-synonymous mutations than thymomas (13%; 4/31; p < 0.0001). TP53 was the most frequently mutated gene in TETs (n = 13; 17%), especially in TCs (26%), and was associated with a poorer overall survival (p < 0.0001). Genes in histone modification [BAP1 (n = 6; 13%), SETD2 (n = 5; 11%), ASXL1 (n = 2; 4%)], chromatin remodeling [SMARCA4 (n = 2; 4%)], and DNA methylation [DNMT3A (n = 3; 7%), TET2 (n = 2; 4%), WT1 (n = 2; 4%)] pathways were recurrently mutated in TCs, but not in thymomas. Our results suggest a potential disruption of epigenetic homeostasis in TCs, and a substantial difference in genetic makeup between TCs and thymomas. Further investigation is warranted into the roles of epigenetic dysregulation in TC development and its potential for targeted therapy.

  2. Strong early seed-specific gene regulatory region

    SciTech Connect

    Broun, Pierre; Somerville, Chris

    2002-01-01

    Nucleic acid sequences and methods for their use are described which provide for early seed-specific transcription, in order to modulate or modify expression of foreign or endogenous genes in seeds, particularly embryo cells. The method finds particular use in conjunction with modifying fatty acid production in seed tissue.

  3. Strong early seed-specific gene regulatory region

    DOEpatents

    Broun, Pierre; Somerville, Chris

    1999-01-01

    Nucleic acid sequences and methods for their use are described which provide for early seed-specific transcription, in order to modulate or modify expression of foreign or endogenous genes in seeds, particularly embryo cells. The method finds particular use in conjunction with modifying fatty acid production in seed tissue.

  4. Mutations of epigenetic regulatory genes are common in thymic carcinomas

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yisong; Thomas, Anish; Lau, Christopher; Rajan, Arun; Zhu, Yuelin; Killian, J. Keith; Petrini, Iacopo; Pham, Trung; Morrow, Betsy; Zhong, Xiaogang; Meltzer, Paul S.; Giaccone, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    Genetic alterations and etiology of thymic epithelial tumors (TETs) are largely unknown, hampering the development of effective targeted therapies for patients with TETs. Here TETs of advanced-stage patients enrolled in a clinical trial of molecularly-guided targeted therapies were employed for targeted sequencing of 197 cancer-associated genes. Comparative sequence analysis of 78 TET/blood paired samples obtained from 47 thymic carcinoma (TC) and 31 thymoma patients revealed a total of 86 somatic non-synonymous sequence variations across 39 different genes in 33 (42%) TETs. TCs (62%; 29/47) showed higher incidence of somatic non-synonymous mutations than thymomas (13%; 4/31; p < 0.0001). TP53 was the most frequently mutated gene in TETs (n = 13; 17%), especially in TCs (26%), and was associated with a poorer overall survival (p < 0.0001). Genes in histone modification [BAP1 (n = 6; 13%), SETD2 (n = 5; 11%), ASXL1 (n = 2; 4%)], chromatin remodeling [SMARCA4 (n = 2; 4%)], and DNA methylation [DNMT3A (n = 3; 7%), TET2 (n = 2; 4%), WT1 (n = 2; 4%)] pathways were recurrently mutated in TCs, but not in thymomas. Our results suggest a potential disruption of epigenetic homeostasis in TCs, and a substantial difference in genetic makeup between TCs and thymomas. Further investigation is warranted into the roles of epigenetic dysregulation in TC development and its potential for targeted therapy. PMID:25482724

  5. Developmental gene regulatory network architecture across 500 million years of echinoderm evolution.

    PubMed

    Hinman, Veronica F; Nguyen, Albert T; Cameron, R Andrew; Davidson, Eric H

    2003-11-11

    Evolutionary change in morphological features must depend on architectural reorganization of developmental gene regulatory networks (GRNs), just as true conservation of morphological features must imply retention of ancestral developmental GRN features. Key elements of the provisional GRN for embryonic endomesoderm development in the sea urchin are here compared with those operating in embryos of a distantly related echinoderm, a starfish. These animals diverged from their common ancestor 520-480 million years ago. Their endomesodermal fate maps are similar, except that sea urchins generate a skeletogenic cell lineage that produces a prominent skeleton lacking entirely in starfish larvae. A relevant set of regulatory genes was isolated from the starfish Asterina miniata, their expression patterns determined, and effects on the other genes of perturbing the expression of each were demonstrated. A three-gene feedback loop that is a fundamental feature of the sea urchin GRN for endoderm specification is found in almost identical form in the starfish: a detailed element of GRN architecture has been retained since the Cambrian Period in both echinoderm lineages. The significance of this retention is highlighted by the observation of numerous specific differences in the GRN connections as well. A regulatory gene used to drive skeletogenesis in the sea urchin is used entirely differently in the starfish, where it responds to endomesodermal inputs that do not affect it in the sea urchin embryo. Evolutionary changes in the GRNs since divergence are limited sharply to certain cis-regulatory elements, whereas others have persisted unaltered.

  6. Developmental gene regulatory network architecture across 500 million years of echinoderm evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hinman, Veronica F.; Nguyen, Albert T.; Cameron, R. Andrew; Davidson, Eric H.

    2003-01-01

    Evolutionary change in morphological features must depend on architectural reorganization of developmental gene regulatory networks (GRNs), just as true conservation of morphological features must imply retention of ancestral developmental GRN features. Key elements of the provisional GRN for embryonic endomesoderm development in the sea urchin are here compared with those operating in embryos of a distantly related echinoderm, a starfish. These animals diverged from their common ancestor 520-480 million years ago. Their endomesodermal fate maps are similar, except that sea urchins generate a skeletogenic cell lineage that produces a prominent skeleton lacking entirely in starfish larvae. A relevant set of regulatory genes was isolated from the starfish Asterina miniata, their expression patterns determined, and effects on the other genes of perturbing the expression of each were demonstrated. A three-gene feedback loop that is a fundamental feature of the sea urchin GRN for endoderm specification is found in almost identical form in the starfish: a detailed element of GRN architecture has been retained since the Cambrian Period in both echinoderm lineages. The significance of this retention is highlighted by the observation of numerous specific differences in the GRN connections as well. A regulatory gene used to drive skeletogenesis in the sea urchin is used entirely differently in the starfish, where it responds to endomesodermal inputs that do not affect it in the sea urchin embryo. Evolutionary changes in the GRNs since divergence are limited sharply to certain cis-regulatory elements, whereas others have persisted unaltered.

  7. Transposable elements: an abundant and natural source of regulatory sequences for host genes.

    PubMed

    Rebollo, Rita; Romanish, Mark T; Mager, Dixie L

    2012-01-01

    The fact that transposable elements (TEs) can influence host gene expression was first recognized more than 50 years ago. However, since that time, TEs have been widely regarded as harmful genetic parasites-selfish elements that are rarely co-opted by the genome to serve a beneficial role. Here, we survey recent findings that relate to TE impact on host genes and remind the reader that TEs, in contrast to other noncoding parts of the genome, are uniquely suited to gene regulatory functions. We review recent studies that demonstrate the role of TEs in establishing and rewiring gene regulatory networks and discuss the overall ubiquity of exaptation. We suggest that although individuals within a population can be harmed by the deleterious effects of new TE insertions, the presence of TE sequences in a genome is of overall benefit to the population. PMID:22905872

  8. An excitable gene regulatory circuit induces transient cellular differentiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Süel, Gürol M.; Garcia-Ojalvo, Jordi; Liberman, Louisa M.; Elowitz, Michael B.

    2006-03-01

    Certain types of cellular differentiation are probabilistic and transient. In such systems individual cells can switch to an alternative state and, after some time, switch back again. In Bacillus subtilis, competence is an example of such a transiently differentiated state associated with the capability for DNA uptake from the environment. Individual genes and proteins underlying differentiation into the competent state have been identified, but it has been unclear how these genes interact dynamically in individual cells to control both spontaneous entry into competence and return to vegetative growth. Here we show that this behaviour can be understood in terms of excitability in the underlying genetic circuit. Using quantitative fluorescence time-lapse microscopy, we directly observed the activities of multiple circuit components simultaneously in individual cells, and analysed the resulting data in terms of a mathematical model. We find that an excitable core module containing positive and negative feedback loops can explain both entry into, and exit from, the competent state. We further tested this model by analysing initiation in sister cells, and by re-engineering the gene circuit to specifically block exit. Excitable dynamics driven by noise naturally generate stochastic and transient responses, thereby providing an ideal mechanism for competence regulation.

  9. The Intolerance of Regulatory Sequence to Genetic Variation Predicts Gene Dosage Sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Quanli; Halvorsen, Matt; Han, Yujun; Weir, William H.; Allen, Andrew S.; Goldstein, David B.

    2015-01-01

    Noncoding sequence contains pathogenic mutations. Yet, compared with mutations in protein-coding sequence, pathogenic regulatory mutations are notoriously difficult to recognize. Most fundamentally, we are not yet adept at recognizing the sequence stretches in the human genome that are most important in regulating the expression of genes. For this reason, it is difficult to apply to the regulatory regions the same kinds of analytical paradigms that are being successfully applied to identify mutations among protein-coding regions that influence risk. To determine whether dosage sensitive genes have distinct patterns among their noncoding sequence, we present two primary approaches that focus solely on a gene’s proximal noncoding regulatory sequence. The first approach is a regulatory sequence analogue of the recently introduced residual variation intolerance score (RVIS), termed noncoding RVIS, or ncRVIS. The ncRVIS compares observed and predicted levels of standing variation in the regulatory sequence of human genes. The second approach, termed ncGERP, reflects the phylogenetic conservation of a gene’s regulatory sequence using GERP++. We assess how well these two approaches correlate with four gene lists that use different ways to identify genes known or likely to cause disease through changes in expression: 1) genes that are known to cause disease through haploinsufficiency, 2) genes curated as dosage sensitive in ClinGen’s Genome Dosage Map, 3) genes judged likely to be under purifying selection for mutations that change expression levels because they are statistically depleted of loss-of-function variants in the general population, and 4) genes judged unlikely to cause disease based on the presence of copy number variants in the general population. We find that both noncoding scores are highly predictive of dosage sensitivity using any of these criteria. In a similar way to ncGERP, we assess two ensemble-based predictors of regional noncoding importance

  10. Innate immune activity conditions the effect of regulatory variants upon monocyte gene expression.

    PubMed

    Fairfax, Benjamin P; Humburg, Peter; Makino, Seiko; Naranbhai, Vivek; Wong, Daniel; Lau, Evelyn; Jostins, Luke; Plant, Katharine; Andrews, Robert; McGee, Chris; Knight, Julian C

    2014-03-01

    To systematically investigate the impact of immune stimulation upon regulatory variant activity, we exposed primary monocytes from 432 healthy Europeans to interferon-γ (IFN-γ) or differing durations of lipopolysaccharide and mapped expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs). More than half of cis-eQTLs identified, involving hundreds of genes and associated pathways, are detected specifically in stimulated monocytes. Induced innate immune activity reveals multiple master regulatory trans-eQTLs including the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), coding variants altering enzyme and receptor function, an IFN-β cytokine network showing temporal specificity, and an interferon regulatory factor 2 (IRF2) transcription factor-modulated network. Induced eQTL are significantly enriched for genome-wide association study loci, identifying context-specific associations to putative causal genes including CARD9, ATM, and IRF8. Thus, applying pathophysiologically relevant immune stimuli assists resolution of functional genetic variants.

  11. Drivers of structural features in gene regulatory networks: From biophysical constraints to biological function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, O. C.; Krzywicki, A.; Zagorski, M.

    2016-07-01

    Living cells can maintain their internal states, react to changing environments, grow, differentiate, divide, etc. All these processes are tightly controlled by what can be called a regulatory program. The logic of the underlying control can sometimes be guessed at by examining the network of influences amongst genetic components. Some associated gene regulatory networks have been studied in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, unveiling various structural features ranging from broad distributions of out-degrees to recurrent "motifs", that is small subgraphs having a specific pattern of interactions. To understand what factors may be driving such structuring, a number of groups have introduced frameworks to model the dynamics of gene regulatory networks. In that context, we review here such in silico approaches and show how selection for phenotypes, i.e., network function, can shape network structure.

  12. Drivers of structural features in gene regulatory networks: From biophysical constraints to biological function.

    PubMed

    Martin, O C; Krzywicki, A; Zagorski, M

    2016-07-01

    Living cells can maintain their internal states, react to changing environments, grow, differentiate, divide, etc. All these processes are tightly controlled by what can be called a regulatory program. The logic of the underlying control can sometimes be guessed at by examining the network of influences amongst genetic components. Some associated gene regulatory networks have been studied in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, unveiling various structural features ranging from broad distributions of out-degrees to recurrent "motifs", that is small subgraphs having a specific pattern of interactions. To understand what factors may be driving such structuring, a number of groups have introduced frameworks to model the dynamics of gene regulatory networks. In that context, we review here such in silico approaches and show how selection for phenotypes, i.e., network function, can shape network structure. PMID:27365153

  13. Modelling and analysis of gene regulatory network using feedback control theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Samad, H.; Khammash, M.

    2010-01-01

    Molecular pathways are a part of a remarkable hierarchy of regulatory networks that operate at all levels of organisation. These regulatory networks are responsible for much of the biological complexity within the cell. The dynamic character of these pathways and the prevalence of feedback regulation strategies in their operation make them amenable to systematic mathematical analysis using the same tools that have been used with success in analysing and designing engineering control systems. In this article, we aim at establishing this strong connection through various examples where the behaviour exhibited by gene networks is explained in terms of their underlying control strategies. We complement our analysis by a survey of mathematical techniques commonly used to model gene regulatory networks and analyse their dynamic behaviour.

  14. Innate Immune Activity Conditions the Effect of Regulatory Variants upon Monocyte Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Fairfax, Benjamin P.; Naranbhai, Vivek; Wong, Daniel; Lau, Evelyn; Jostins, Luke; Plant, Katharine; Andrews, Robert; McGee, Chris; Knight, Julian C.

    2014-01-01

    To systematically investigate the impact of immune stimulation upon regulatory variant activity, we exposed primary monocytes from 432 healthy Europeans to interferon-γ (IFN-γ) or differing durations of lipopolysaccharide and mapped expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs). More than half of cis-eQTLs identified, involving hundreds of genes and associated pathways, are detected specifically in stimulated monocytes. Induced innate immune activity reveals multiple master regulatory trans-eQTLs including the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), coding variants altering enzyme and receptor function, an IFN-β cytokine network showing temporal specificity, and an interferon regulatory factor 2 (IRF2) transcription factor–modulated network. Induced eQTL are significantly enriched for genome-wide association study loci, identifying context-specific associations to putative causal genes including CARD9, ATM, and IRF8. Thus, applying pathophysiologically relevant immune stimuli assists resolution of functional genetic variants. PMID:24604202

  15. Regulatory hotspots are associated with plant gene expression under varying soil phosphorus supply in Brassica rapa.

    PubMed

    Hammond, John P; Mayes, Sean; Bowen, Helen C; Graham, Neil S; Hayden, Rory M; Love, Christopher G; Spracklen, William P; Wang, Jun; Welham, Sue J; White, Philip J; King, Graham J; Broadley, Martin R

    2011-07-01

    Gene expression is a quantitative trait that can be mapped genetically in structured populations to identify expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL). Genes and regulatory networks underlying complex traits can subsequently be inferred. Using a recently released genome sequence, we have defined cis- and trans-eQTL and their environmental response to low phosphorus (P) availability within a complex plant genome and found hotspots of trans-eQTL within the genome. Interval mapping, using P supply as a covariate, revealed 18,876 eQTL. trans-eQTL hotspots occurred on chromosomes A06 and A01 within Brassica rapa; these were enriched with P metabolism-related Gene Ontology terms (A06) as well as chloroplast- and photosynthesis-related terms (A01). We have also attributed heritability components to measures of gene expression across environments, allowing the identification of novel gene expression markers and gene expression changes associated with low P availability. Informative gene expression markers were used to map eQTL and P use efficiency-related QTL. Genes responsive to P supply had large environmental and heritable variance components. Regulatory loci and genes associated with P use efficiency identified through eQTL analysis are potential targets for further characterization and may have potential for crop improvement.

  16. A Computational Approach towards a Gene Regulatory Network for the Developing Nematostella vectensis Gut

    PubMed Central

    Botman, Daniel; Röttinger, Eric; Martindale, Mark Q.; de Jong, Johann; Kaandorp, Jaap A.

    2014-01-01

    Background The starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis is a diploblastic cnidarian that expresses a set of conserved genes for gut formation during its early development. During the last decade, the spatial distribution of many of these genes has been visualized with RNA hybridization or protein immunolocalization techniques. However, due to N. vectensis' curved and changing morphology, quantification of these spatial data is problematic. A method is developed for two-dimensional gene expression quantification, which enables a numerical analysis and dynamic modeling of these spatial patterns. Methods/Result In this work, first standardized gene expression profiles are generated from publicly available N. vectensis embryo images that display mRNA and/or protein distributions. Then, genes expressed during gut formation are clustered based on their expression profiles, and further grouped based on temporal appearance of their gene products in embryonic development. Representative expression profiles are manually selected from these clusters, and used as input for a simulation-based optimization scheme. This scheme iteratively fits simulated profiles to the selected profiles, leading to an optimized estimation of the model parameters. Finally, a preliminary gene regulatory network is derived from the optimized model parameters. Outlook While the focus of this study is N. vectensis, the approach outlined here is suitable for inferring gene regulatory networks in the embryonic development of any animal, thus allowing to comparatively study gene regulation of gut formation in silico across various species. PMID:25076223

  17. An effective data mining technique for reconstructing gene regulatory networks from time series expression data.

    PubMed

    Ma, Patrick C H; Chan, Keith C C

    2007-06-01

    Recent development in DNA microarray technologies has made the reconstruction of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) feasible. To infer the overall structure of a GRN, there is a need to find out how the expression of each gene can be affected by the others. Many existing approaches to reconstructing GRNs are developed to generate hypotheses about the presence or absence of interactions between genes so that laboratory experiments can be performed afterwards for verification. Since, they are not intended to be used to predict if a gene in an unseen sample has any interactions with other genes, statistical verification of the reliability of the discovered interactions can be difficult. Furthermore, since the temporal ordering of the data is not taken into consideration, the directionality of regulation cannot be established using these existing techniques. To tackle these problems, we propose a data mining technique here. This technique makes use of a probabilistic inference approach to uncover interesting dependency relationships in noisy, high-dimensional time series expression data. It is not only able to determine if a gene is dependent on another but also whether or not it is activated or inhibited. In addition, it can predict how a gene would be affected by other genes even in unseen samples. For performance evaluation, the proposed technique has been tested with real expression data. Experimental results show that it can be very effective. The discovered dependency relationships can reveal gene regulatory relationships that could be used to infer the structures of GRNs.

  18. [Collaborative study on regulatory science for facilitating clinical development of gene therapy products for genetic diseases].

    PubMed

    Uchida, Eriko; Igarashi, Yuka; Sato, Yoji

    2014-01-01

    Gene therapy products are expected as innovative medicinal products for intractable diseases such as life-threatening genetic diseases and cancer. Recently, clinical developments by pharmaceutical companies are accelerated in Europe and the United States, and the first gene therapy product in advanced countries was approved for marketing authorization by the European Commission in 2012. On the other hand, more than 40 clinical studies for gene therapy have been completed or ongoing in Japan, most of them are conducted as clinical researches by academic institutes, and few clinical trials have been conducted for approval of gene therapy products. In order to promote the development of gene therapy products, revision of the current guideline and/or preparation of concept paper to address the evaluation of the quality and safety of gene therapy products are necessary and desired to clearly show what data should be submitted before First-in-Human clinical trials of novel gene therapy products. We started collaborative study with academia and regulatory agency to promote regulatory science toward clinical development of gene therapy products for genetic diseases based on lentivirus and adeno-associated virus vectors; National Center for Child Health and Development (NCCHD), Nippon Medical School and PMDA have been joined in the task force. At first, we are preparing pre-draft of the revision of the current gene therapy guidelines in this project.

  19. Regulatory hotspots are associated with plant gene expression under varying soil phosphorus supply in Brassica rapa.

    PubMed

    Hammond, John P; Mayes, Sean; Bowen, Helen C; Graham, Neil S; Hayden, Rory M; Love, Christopher G; Spracklen, William P; Wang, Jun; Welham, Sue J; White, Philip J; King, Graham J; Broadley, Martin R

    2011-07-01

    Gene expression is a quantitative trait that can be mapped genetically in structured populations to identify expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL). Genes and regulatory networks underlying complex traits can subsequently be inferred. Using a recently released genome sequence, we have defined cis- and trans-eQTL and their environmental response to low phosphorus (P) availability within a complex plant genome and found hotspots of trans-eQTL within the genome. Interval mapping, using P supply as a covariate, revealed 18,876 eQTL. trans-eQTL hotspots occurred on chromosomes A06 and A01 within Brassica rapa; these were enriched with P metabolism-related Gene Ontology terms (A06) as well as chloroplast- and photosynthesis-related terms (A01). We have also attributed heritability components to measures of gene expression across environments, allowing the identification of novel gene expression markers and gene expression changes associated with low P availability. Informative gene expression markers were used to map eQTL and P use efficiency-related QTL. Genes responsive to P supply had large environmental and heritable variance components. Regulatory loci and genes associated with P use efficiency identified through eQTL analysis are potential targets for further characterization and may have potential for crop improvement. PMID:21527424

  20. Fungal Genes in Context: Genome Architecture Reflects Regulatory Complexity and Function

    PubMed Central

    Noble, Luke M.; Andrianopoulos, Alex

    2013-01-01

    Gene context determines gene expression, with local chromosomal environment most influential. Comparative genomic analysis is often limited in scope to conserved or divergent gene and protein families, and fungi are well suited to this approach with low functional redundancy and relatively streamlined genomes. We show here that one aspect of gene context, the amount of potential upstream regulatory sequence maintained through evolution, is highly predictive of both molecular function and biological process in diverse fungi. Orthologs with large upstream intergenic regions (UIRs) are strongly enriched in information processing functions, such as signal transduction and sequence-specific DNA binding, and, in the genus Aspergillus, include the majority of experimentally studied, high-level developmental and metabolic transcriptional regulators. Many uncharacterized genes are also present in this class and, by implication, may be of similar importance. Large intergenic regions also share two novel sequence characteristics, currently of unknown significance: they are enriched for plus-strand polypyrimidine tracts and an information-rich, putative regulatory motif that was present in the last common ancestor of the Pezizomycotina. Systematic consideration of gene UIR in comparative genomics, particularly for poorly characterized species, could help reveal organisms’ regulatory priorities. PMID:23699226

  1. Bottom-up GGM algorithm for constructing multiple layered hierarchical gene regulatory networks

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Multilayered hierarchical gene regulatory networks (ML-hGRNs) are very important for understanding genetics regulation of biological pathways. However, there are currently no computational algorithms available for directly building ML-hGRNs that regulate biological pathways. A bottom-up graphic Gaus...

  2. Gene regulatory networks in plants: learning causality from time and perturbation

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The goal of systems biology is to generate models for predicting how a system will react under untested conditions or in response to genetic perturbations. This paper discusses experimental and analytical approaches to deriving causal relationships in gene regulatory networks. PMID:23805876

  3. The prognostic value of whole blood SOX2, NANOG and OCT4 mRNA expression in advanced small-cell lung cancer

    PubMed Central

    Rijavec, Matija; Koren, Ana; Sadikov, Aleksander; Korošec, Peter; Cufer, Tanja

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background The data on expression and clinical impact of cancer stem cell markers SOX2, NANOG and OCT4 in lung cancer is still lacking. The aim of our study was to compare SOX2, NANOG and OCT4 mRNA expression levels in whole blood between advanced small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients and healthy controls, and to correlate mRNA expression with progression-free survival (PFS) after first-line chemotherapy and overall survival (OS) in advanced SCLC patients. Patients and methods 50 advanced SCLC patients treated with standard chemotherapy and followed at University Clinic Golnik, Slovenia, between 2009 and 2013 were prospectively included. SOX2, NANOG and OCT4 mRNA expression levels were determined using TaqMan qPCR in whole blood collected prior to chemotherapy. Whole blood of 34 matched healthy individuals with no cancerous disease was also tested. Results SOX2 mRNA expression was significantly higher in whole blood of SCLC patients compared to healthy controls (p = 0.006). Significant correlation between SOX2 mRNA expression levels and the number of distant metastatic sites was established (p = 0.027). In survival analysis, patients with high SOX2 expression had shorter OS (p = 0.017) and PFS (p = 0.046). In multivariate Cox analysis, an independent value of high SOX2 expression for shorter OS (p = 0.002), but not PFS was confirmed. No significant differences were observed for NANOG or OCT4 expression levels when comparing SCLC patients and healthy controls neither when analysing survival outcomes in SCLC patients. Conclusions SOX2 mRNA expression in whole blood might be a promising non-invasive marker for molecular screening of SCLC and important prognostic marker in advanced chemotherapy-treated SCLC patients, altogether indicating important role of cancer stem-like cell (CSC) regulators in cancer spread. Further evaluation of SOX2 as a possible screening/prognostic marker and a therapeutic target of SCLC is warranted. PMID:27247551

  4. Identification of a cis-regulatory element by transient analysis of co-ordinately regulated genes

    PubMed Central

    Dare, Andrew P; Schaffer, Robert J; Lin-Wang, Kui; Allan, Andrew C; Hellens, Roger P

    2008-01-01

    Background Transcription factors (TFs) co-ordinately regulate target genes that are dispersed throughout the genome. This co-ordinate regulation is achieved, in part, through the interaction of transcription factors with conserved cis-regulatory motifs that are in close proximity to the target genes. While much is known about the families of transcription factors that regulate gene expression in plants, there are few well characterised cis-regulatory motifs. In Arabidopsis, over-expression of the MYB transcription factor PAP1 (PRODUCTION OF ANTHOCYANIN PIGMENT 1) leads to transgenic plants with elevated anthocyanin levels due to the co-ordinated up-regulation of genes in the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway. In addition to the anthocyanin biosynthetic genes, there are a number of un-associated genes that also change in expression level. This may be a direct or indirect consequence of the over-expression of PAP1. Results Oligo array analysis of PAP1 over-expression Arabidopsis plants identified genes co-ordinately up-regulated in response to the elevated expression of this transcription factor. Transient assays on the promoter regions of 33 of these up-regulated genes identified eight promoter fragments that were transactivated by PAP1. Bioinformatic analysis on these promoters revealed a common cis-regulatory motif that we showed is required for PAP1 dependent transactivation. Conclusion Co-ordinated gene regulation by individual transcription factors is a complex collection of both direct and indirect effects. Transient transactivation assays provide a rapid method to identify direct target genes from indirect target genes. Bioinformatic analysis of the promoters of these direct target genes is able to locate motifs that are common to this sub-set of promoters, which is impossible to identify with the larger set of direct and indirect target genes. While this type of analysis does not prove a direct interaction between protein and DNA, it does provide a tool to

  5. Gene regulatory interactions at lateral organ boundaries in maize.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Michael W; Bolduc, Nathalie; Hake, Kayley; Htike, Yadanar; Hay, Angela; Candela, Héctor; Hake, Sarah

    2014-12-01

    Maize leaves have distinct tissues that serve specific purposes. The blade tilts back to photosynthesize and the sheath wraps around the stem to provide structural support and protect young leaves. At the junction between blade and sheath are the ligule and auricles, both of which are absent in the recessive liguleless1 (lg1) mutant. Using an antibody against LG1, we reveal LG1 accumulation at the site of ligule formation and in the axil of developing tassel branches. The dominant mutant Wavy auricle in blade1 (Wab1-R) produces ectopic auricle tissue in the blade and increases the domain of LG1 accumulation. We determined that wab1 encodes a TCP transcription factor by positional cloning and revertant analysis. Tassel branches are few and upright in the wab1 revertant tassel and have an increased branch angle in the dominant mutant. wab1 mRNA is expressed at the base of branches in the inflorescence and is necessary for LG1 expression. wab1 is not expressed in leaves, except in the dominant mutant. The domain of wab1 expression in the Wab1-R leaf closely mirrors the accumulation of LG1. Although wab1 is not needed to induce lg1 expression in the leaf, LG1 is needed to counteract the severe phenotype of the dominant Wab1-R mutant. The regulatory interaction of LG1 and WAB1 reveals a link between leaf shape and tassel architecture, and suggests the ligule is a boundary similar to that at the base of lateral organs. PMID:25359728

  6. Cooperative adaptive responses in gene regulatory networks with many degrees of freedom.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Masayo; Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2013-04-01

    Cells generally adapt to environmental changes by first exhibiting an immediate response and then gradually returning to their original state to achieve homeostasis. Although simple network motifs consisting of a few genes have been shown to exhibit such adaptive dynamics, they do not reflect the complexity of real cells, where the expression of a large number of genes activates or represses other genes, permitting adaptive behaviors. Here, we investigated the responses of gene regulatory networks containing many genes that have undergone numerical evolution to achieve high fitness due to the adaptive response of only a single target gene; this single target gene responds to changes in external inputs and later returns to basal levels. Despite setting a single target, most genes showed adaptive responses after evolution. Such adaptive dynamics were not due to common motifs within a few genes; even without such motifs, almost all genes showed adaptation, albeit sometimes partial adaptation, in the sense that expression levels did not always return to original levels. The genes split into two groups: genes in the first group exhibited an initial increase in expression and then returned to basal levels, while genes in the second group exhibited the opposite changes in expression. From this model, genes in the first group received positive input from other genes within the first group, but negative input from genes in the second group, and vice versa. Thus, the adaptation dynamics of genes from both groups were consolidated. This cooperative adaptive behavior was commonly observed if the number of genes involved was larger than the order of ten. These results have implications in the collective responses of gene expression networks in microarray measurements of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the significance to the biological homeostasis of systems with many components.

  7. Comparison of five major trichome regulatory genes in Brassica villosa with orthologues within the Brassicaceae.

    PubMed

    Nayidu, Naghabushana K; Kagale, Sateesh; Taheri, Ali; Withana-Gamage, Thushan S; Parkin, Isobel A P; Sharpe, Andrew G; Gruber, Margaret Y

    2014-01-01

    Coding sequences for major trichome regulatory genes, including the positive regulators GLABRA 1(GL1), GLABRA 2 (GL2), ENHANCER OF GLABRA 3 (EGL3), and TRANSPARENT TESTA GLABRA 1 (TTG1) and the negative regulator TRIPTYCHON (TRY), were cloned from wild Brassica villosa, which is characterized by dense trichome coverage over most of the plant. Transcript (FPKM) levels from RNA sequencing indicated much higher expression of the GL2 and TTG1 regulatory genes in B. villosa leaves compared with expression levels of GL1 and EGL3 genes in either B. villosa or the reference genome species, glabrous B. oleracea; however, cotyledon TTG1 expression was high in both species. RNA sequencing and Q-PCR also revealed an unusual expression pattern for the negative regulators TRY and CPC, which were much more highly expressed in trichome-rich B. villosa leaves than in glabrous B. oleracea leaves and in glabrous cotyledons from both species. The B. villosa TRY expression pattern also contrasted with TRY expression patterns in two diploid Brassica species, and with the Arabidopsis model for expression of negative regulators of trichome development. Further unique sequence polymorphisms, protein characteristics, and gene evolution studies highlighted specific amino acids in GL1 and GL2 coding sequences that distinguished glabrous species from hairy species and several variants that were specific for each B. villosa gene. Positive selection was observed for GL1 between hairy and non-hairy plants, and as expected the origin of the four expressed positive trichome regulatory genes in B. villosa was predicted to be from B. oleracea. In particular the unpredicted expression patterns for TRY and CPC in B. villosa suggest additional characterization is needed to determine the function of the expanded families of trichome regulatory genes in more complex polyploid species within the Brassicaceae.

  8. Regulatory Frameworks for Gene and Cell Therapies in Japan.

    PubMed

    Maeda, Daisuke; Yamaguchi, Teruhide; Ishizuka, Takami; Hirata, Masakazu; Takekita, Kazuhiro; Sato, Daisaku

    2015-01-01

    The regulations for the human use of advanced therapy medical products such as gene and cell therapy products have evolved in accordance with advance of clinical experience, scientific knowledge, and social acceptance to these technologies. In Japan, two laws, the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices (PMD) Act and the Act on the Safety of Regenerative Medicine (ASRM), were enacted in November 2014. The PMD Act defines regenerative medical products for the first time and introduces a system for the conditional and time-limited marketing authorization of regenerative medical products. Under ASRM, the responsibilities of medical institutions to ensure the safety and provide transparency of such medical technologies are described. Amendments to accompanying guidelines for these two Acts are currently in preparation. It is expected that the new legislative frameworks will promote the timely development of new products and technologies, to bring safe and effective regenerative medicines to Japanese patients.

  9. Differentially expressed regulatory genes in honey bee caste development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hepperle, C.; Hartfelder, K.

    2001-03-01

    In the honey bee, an eminently fertile queen with up to 200 ovarioles per ovary monopolizes colony level reproduction. In contrast, worker bees have only few ovarioles and are essentially sterile. This phenotype divergence is a result of caste-specifically modulated juvenile hormone and ecdysteroid titers in larval development. In this study we employed a differential-display reverse transcription (DDRT)-PCR protocol to detect ecdysteroid-regulated gene expression during a critical phase of caste development. We identified a Ftz-F1 homolog and a Cut-like transcript. Ftz-F1 could be a putative element of the metamorphic ecdysone response cascade of bees, whereas Cut-like proteins are described as transcription factors involved in maintaining cellular differentiation states. The downregulation of both factors can be interpreted as steps in the metamorphic degradation of ovarioles in worker-bee ovaries.

  10. The structure of the human peripherin gene (PRPH) and identification of potential regulatory elements

    SciTech Connect

    Foley, J.; Ley, C.A.; Parysek, L.M.

    1994-07-15

    The authors determined the complete nucleotide sequence of the coding region of the human peripherin gene (PRPH), as well as 742 bp 5{prime} to the cap site and 584 bp 3{prime} to the stop codon, and compared its structure and sequence to the rat and mouse genes. The overall structure of 9 exons separated by 8 introns is conserved among these three mammalian species. The nucleotide sequences of the human peripherin gene exons were 90% identical to the rat gene sequences, and the predicted human peripherin protein differed from rat peripherin at only 18 of 475 amino acid residues. Comparison of the 5{prime} flanking regions of the human peripherin gene and rodent genes revealed extensive areas of high homology. Additional conserved segments were found in introns 1 and 2. Within the 5{prime} region, potential regulatory sequences, including a nerve growth factor negative regulatory element, a Hox protein binding site, and a heat shock element, were identified in all peripherin genes. The positional conservation of each element suggests that they may be important in the tissue-specific, developmental-specific, and injury-specific expression of the peripherin gene. 24 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  11. De Novo Evolution of Complex, Global and Hierarchical Gene Regulatory Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Dafyd J.

    2010-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks exhibit complex, hierarchical features such as global regulation and network motifs. There is much debate about whether the evolutionary origins of such features are the results of adaptation, or the by-products of non-adaptive processes of DNA replication. The lack of availability of gene regulatory networks of ancestor species on evolutionary timescales makes this a particularly difficult problem to resolve. Digital organisms, however, can be used to provide a complete evolutionary record of lineages. We use a biologically realistic evolutionary model that includes gene expression, regulation, metabolism and biosynthesis, to investigate the evolution of complex function in gene regulatory networks. We discover that: (i) network architecture and complexity evolve in response to environmental complexity, (ii) global gene regulation is selected for in complex environments, (iii) complex, inter-connected, hierarchical structures evolve in stages, with energy regulation preceding stress responses, and stress responses preceding growth rate adaptations and (iv) robustness of evolved models to mutations depends on hierarchical level: energy regulation and stress responses tend not to be robust to mutations, whereas growth rate adaptations are more robust and non-lethal when mutated. These results highlight the adaptive and incremental evolution of complex biological networks, and the value and potential of studying realistic in silico evolutionary systems as a way of understanding living systems. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00239-010-9369-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:20680619

  12. Using Xenopus Embryos to Study Transcriptional and Posttranscriptional Gene Regulatory Mechanisms of Intermediate Filaments.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chen; Szaro, Ben G

    2016-01-01

    Intermediate filament genes exhibit highly regulated, tissue-specific patterns of expression during development and in response to injury. Identifying the responsible cis-regulatory gene elements thus holds great promise for revealing insights into fundamental gene regulatory mechanisms controlling tissue differentiation and repair. Because much of this regulation occurs in response to signals from surrounding cells, characterizing them requires a model system in which their activity can be tested within the context of an intact organism conveniently. We describe methods for doing so by injecting plasmid DNAs into fertilized Xenopus embryos. A prokaryotic element for site-specific recombination and two dual HS4 insulator elements flanking the reporter gene promote penetrant, promoter-typic expression that persists through early swimming tadpole stages, permitting the observation of fluorescent reporter protein expression in live embryos. In addition to describing cloning strategies for generating these plasmids, we present methods for coinjecting test and reference plasmids to identify the best embryos for analysis, for analyzing reporter protein and RNA expression, and for characterizing the trafficking of expressed reporter RNAs from the nucleus to polysomes. Thus, this system can be used to study the activities of cis-regulatory elements of intermediate filament genes at multiple levels of transcriptional and posttranscriptional control within an intact vertebrate embryo, from early stages of embryogenesis through later stages of organogenesis and tissue differentiation.

  13. Immuno-stimultory/regulatory gene expression patterns in advanced ovarian cancer

    PubMed Central

    Eng, Kevin H.; Weir, Isabelle; Tsuji, Takemasa; Odunsi, Kunle

    2015-01-01

    It has been established that a high degree of tumor-infiltrating T cells is associated with ovarian cancer prognosis. We hypothesized that tumors display an immune-related program of transcription that can act in a stimulatory or a regulatory manner. We analyzed transcriptome-wide gene expression data from 503 ovarian tumors from the Cancer Genome Atlas to identify genes that show differential prognoses when stratified by CD3 expression. Genes with immunological functions and tumor antigen genes were selected for analysis. We repeated our analysis in an independent validation study. Five genes showed stimulatory/regulatory patterns at a high level of confidence (Bonferroni p < 0.05). Three of these (MAGEA8, MPL, AMHR2) were validated and one (WT1) could not be evaluated. These patterns show specific prognostic effect only in conjunction with CD3 expression. When patients express multiple transcripts in poor prognosis directions, there is a dose response: increasingly regulatory type tumors are associated with higher stage, lower treatment response and shorter overall survival and progression free survival. The high-confidence set of transcripts (MAGEA8, MPL, AMHR2, WT1) and selected low-confidence hits (EPOR, TLR7) alone or in combination represent candidate prognosis markers for further investigation. PMID:26622942

  14. Data- and knowledge-based modeling of gene regulatory networks: an update

    PubMed Central

    Linde, Jörg; Schulze, Sylvie; Henkel, Sebastian G.; Guthke, Reinhard

    2015-01-01

    Gene regulatory network inference is a systems biology approach which predicts interactions between genes with the help of high-throughput data. In this review, we present current and updated network inference methods focusing on novel techniques for data acquisition, network inference assessment, network inference for interacting species and the integration of prior knowledge. After the advance of Next-Generation-Sequencing of cDNAs derived from RNA samples (RNA-Seq) we discuss in detail its application to network inference. Furthermore, we present progress for large-scale or even full-genomic network inference as well as for small-scale condensed network inference and review advances in the evaluation of network inference methods by crowdsourcing. Finally, we reflect the current availability of data and prior knowledge sources and give an outlook for the inference of gene regulatory networks that reflect interacting species, in particular pathogen-host interactions. PMID:27047314

  15. Data- and knowledge-based modeling of gene regulatory networks: an update.

    PubMed

    Linde, Jörg; Schulze, Sylvie; Henkel, Sebastian G; Guthke, Reinhard

    2015-01-01

    Gene regulatory network inference is a systems biology approach which predicts interactions between genes with the help of high-throughput data. In this review, we present current and updated network inference methods focusing on novel techniques for data acquisition, network inference assessment, network inference for interacting species and the integration of prior knowledge. After the advance of Next-Generation-Sequencing of cDNAs derived from RNA samples (RNA-Seq) we discuss in detail its application to network inference. Furthermore, we present progress for large-scale or even full-genomic network inference as well as for small-scale condensed network inference and review advances in the evaluation of network inference methods by crowdsourcing. Finally, we reflect the current availability of data and prior knowledge sources and give an outlook for the inference of gene regulatory networks that reflect interacting species, in particular pathogen-host interactions.

  16. Preservation of Gene Duplication Increases the Regulatory Spectrum of Ribosomal Protein Genes and Enhances Growth under Stress.

    PubMed

    Parenteau, Julie; Lavoie, Mathieu; Catala, Mathieu; Malik-Ghulam, Mustafa; Gagnon, Jules; Abou Elela, Sherif

    2015-12-22

    In baker's yeast, the majority of ribosomal protein genes (RPGs) are duplicated, and it was recently proposed that such duplications are preserved via the functional specialization of the duplicated genes. However, the origin and nature of duplicated RPGs' (dRPGs) functional specificity remain unclear. In this study, we show that differences in dRPG functions are generated by variations in the modality of gene expression and, to a lesser extent, by protein sequence. Analysis of the sequence and expression patterns of non-intron-containing RPGs indicates that each dRPG is controlled by specific regulatory sequences modulating its expression levels in response to changing growth conditions. Homogenization of dRPG sequences reduces cell tolerance to growth under stress without changing the number of expressed genes. Together, the data reveal a model where duplicated genes provide a means for modulating the expression of ribosomal proteins in response to stress. PMID:26686636

  17. iRegulon: From a Gene List to a Gene Regulatory Network Using Large Motif and Track Collections

    PubMed Central

    Imrichová, Hana; Van de Sande, Bram; Standaert, Laura; Christiaens, Valerie; Hulselmans, Gert; Herten, Koen; Naval Sanchez, Marina; Potier, Delphine; Svetlichnyy, Dmitry; Kalender Atak, Zeynep; Fiers, Mark; Marine, Jean-Christophe; Aerts, Stein

    2014-01-01

    Identifying master regulators of biological processes and mapping their downstream gene networks are key challenges in systems biology. We developed a computational method, called iRegulon, to reverse-engineer the transcriptional regulatory network underlying a co-expressed gene set using cis-regulatory sequence analysis. iRegulon implements a genome-wide ranking-and-recovery approach to detect enriched transcription factor motifs and their optimal sets of direct targets. We increase the accuracy of network inference by using very large motif collections of up to ten thousand position weight matrices collected from various species, and linking these to candidate human TFs via a motif2TF procedure. We validate iRegulon on gene sets derived from ENCODE ChIP-seq data with increasing levels of noise, and we compare iRegulon with existing motif discovery methods. Next, we use iRegulon on more challenging types of gene lists, including microRNA target sets, protein-protein interaction networks, and genetic perturbation data. In particular, we over-activate p53 in breast cancer cells, followed by RNA-seq and ChIP-seq, and could identify an extensive up-regulated network controlled directly by p53. Similarly we map a repressive network with no indication of direct p53 regulation but rather an indirect effect via E2F and NFY. Finally, we generalize our computational framework to include regulatory tracks such as ChIP-seq data and show how motif and track discovery can be combined to map functional regulatory interactions among co-expressed genes. iRegulon is available as a Cytoscape plugin from http://iregulon.aertslab.org. PMID:25058159

  18. Robust inference of the context specific structure and temporal dynamics of gene regulatory network

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Response of cells to changing endogenous or exogenous conditions is governed by intricate molecular interactions, or regulatory networks. To lead to appropriate responses, regulatory network should be 1) context-specific, i.e., its constituents and topology depend on the phonotypical and experimental context including tissue types and cell conditions, such as damage, stress, macroenvironments of cell, etc. and 2) time varying, i.e., network elements and their regulatory roles change actively over time to control the endogenous cell states e.g. different stages in a cell cycle. Results A novel network model PathRNet and a reconstruction approach PATTERN are proposed for reconstructing the context specific time varying regulatory networks by integrating microarray gene expression profiles and existing knowledge of pathways and transcription factors. The nodes of the PathRNet are Transcription Factors (TFs) and pathways, and edges represent the regulation between pathways and TFs. The reconstructed PathRNet for Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus infection of human endothelial cells reveals the complicated dynamics of the underlying regulatory mechanisms that govern this intricate process. All the related materials including source code are available at http://compgenomics.utsa.edu/tvnet.html. Conclusions The proposed PathRNet provides a system level landscape of the dynamics of gene regulatory circuitry. The inference approach PATTERN enables robust reconstruction of the temporal dynamics of pathway-centric regulatory networks. The proposed approach for the first time provides a dynamic perspective of pathway, TF regulations, and their interaction related to specific endogenous and exogenous conditions. PMID:21143778

  19. Inferring regulatory networks by combining perturbation screens and steady state gene expression profiles.

    PubMed

    Shojaie, Ali; Jauhiainen, Alexandra; Kallitsis, Michael; Michailidis, George

    2014-01-01

    Reconstructing transcriptional regulatory networks is an important task in functional genomics. Data obtained from experiments that perturb genes by knockouts or RNA interference contain useful information for addressing this reconstruction problem. However, such data can be limited in size and/or are expensive to acquire. On the other hand, observational data of the organism in steady state (e.g., wild-type) are more readily available, but their informational content is inadequate for the task at hand. We develop a computational approach to appropriately utilize both data sources for estimating a regulatory network. The proposed approach is based on a three-step algorithm to estimate the underlying directed but cyclic network, that uses as input both perturbation screens and steady state gene expression data. In the first step, the algorithm determines causal orderings of the genes that are consistent with the perturbation data, by combining an exhaustive search method with a fast heuristic that in turn couples a Monte Carlo technique with a fast search algorithm. In the second step, for each obtained causal ordering, a regulatory network is estimated using a penalized likelihood based method, while in the third step a consensus network is constructed from the highest scored ones. Extensive computational experiments show that the algorithm performs well in reconstructing the underlying network and clearly outperforms competing approaches that rely only on a single data source. Further, it is established that the algorithm produces a consistent estimate of the regulatory network. PMID:24586224

  20. Inferring Regulatory Networks by Combining Perturbation Screens and Steady State Gene Expression Profiles

    PubMed Central

    Michailidis, George

    2014-01-01

    Reconstructing transcriptional regulatory networks is an important task in functional genomics. Data obtained from experiments that perturb genes by knockouts or RNA interference contain useful information for addressing this reconstruction problem. However, such data can be limited in size and/or are expensive to acquire. On the other hand, observational data of the organism in steady state (e.g., wild-type) are more readily available, but their informational content is inadequate for the task at hand. We develop a computational approach to appropriately utilize both data sources for estimating a regulatory network. The proposed approach is based on a three-step algorithm to estimate the underlying directed but cyclic network, that uses as input both perturbation screens and steady state gene expression data. In the first step, the algorithm determines causal orderings of the genes that are consistent with the perturbation data, by combining an exhaustive search method with a fast heuristic that in turn couples a Monte Carlo technique with a fast search algorithm. In the second step, for each obtained causal ordering, a regulatory network is estimated using a penalized likelihood based method, while in the third step a consensus network is constructed from the highest scored ones. Extensive computational experiments show that the algorithm performs well in reconstructing the underlying network and clearly outperforms competing approaches that rely only on a single data source. Further, it is established that the algorithm produces a consistent estimate of the regulatory network. PMID:24586224

  1. From System-Wide Differential Gene Expression to Perturbed Regulatory Factors: A Combinatorial Approach.

    PubMed

    Mahajan, Gaurang; Mande, Shekhar C

    2015-01-01

    High-throughput experiments such as microarrays and deep sequencing provide large scale information on the pattern of gene expression, which undergoes extensive remodeling as the cell dynamically responds to varying environmental cues or has its function disrupted under pathological conditions. An important initial step in the systematic analysis and interpretation of genome-scale expression alteration involves identification of a set of perturbed transcriptional regulators whose differential activity can provide a proximate hypothesis to account for these transcriptomic changes. In the present work, we propose an unbiased and logically natural approach to transcription factor enrichment. It involves overlaying a list of experimentally determined differentially expressed genes on a background regulatory network coming from e.g. literature curation or computational motif scanning, and identifying that subset of regulators whose aggregated target set best discriminates between the altered and the unaffected genes. In other words, our methodology entails testing of all possible regulatory subnetworks, rather than just the target sets of individual regulators as is followed in most standard approaches. We have proposed an iterative search method to efficiently find such a combination, and benchmarked it on E. coli microarray and regulatory network data available in the public domain. Comparative analysis carried out on artificially generated differential expression profiles, as well as empirical factor overexpression data for M. tuberculosis, shows that our methodology provides marked improvement in accuracy of regulatory inference relative to the standard method that involves evaluating factor enrichment in an individual manner. PMID:26562430

  2. From System-Wide Differential Gene Expression to Perturbed Regulatory Factors: A Combinatorial Approach.

    PubMed

    Mahajan, Gaurang; Mande, Shekhar C

    2015-01-01

    High-throughput experiments such as microarrays and deep sequencing provide large scale information on the pattern of gene expression, which undergoes extensive remodeling as the cell dynamically responds to varying environmental cues or has its function disrupted under pathological conditions. An important initial step in the systematic analysis and interpretation of genome-scale expression alteration involves identification of a set of perturbed transcriptional regulators whose differential activity can provide a proximate hypothesis to account for these transcriptomic changes. In the present work, we propose an unbiased and logically natural approach to transcription factor enrichment. It involves overlaying a list of experimentally determined differentially expressed genes on a background regulatory network coming from e.g. literature curation or computational motif scanning, and identifying that subset of regulators whose aggregated target set best discriminates between the altered and the unaffected genes. In other words, our methodology entails testing of all possible regulatory subnetworks, rather than just the target sets of individual regulators as is followed in most standard approaches. We have proposed an iterative search method to efficiently find such a combination, and benchmarked it on E. coli microarray and regulatory network data available in the public domain. Comparative analysis carried out on artificially generated differential expression profiles, as well as empirical factor overexpression data for M. tuberculosis, shows that our methodology provides marked improvement in accuracy of regulatory inference relative to the standard method that involves evaluating factor enrichment in an individual manner.

  3. ChIP-Array 2: integrating multiple omics data to construct gene regulatory networks

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Panwen; Qin, Jing; Qin, Yiming; Zhu, Yun; Wang, Lily Yan; Li, Mulin Jun; Zhang, Michael Q.; Wang, Junwen

    2015-01-01

    Transcription factors (TFs) play an important role in gene regulation. The interconnections among TFs, chromatin interactions, epigenetic marks and cis-regulatory elements form a complex gene transcription apparatus. Our previous work, ChIP-Array, combined TF binding and transcriptome data to construct gene regulatory networks (GRNs). Here we present an enhanced version, ChIP-Array 2, to integrate additional types of omics data including long-range chromatin interaction, open chromatin region and histone modification data to dissect more comprehensive GRNs involving diverse regulatory components. Moreover, we substantially extended our motif database for human, mouse, rat, fruit fly, worm, yeast and Arabidopsis, and curated large amount of omics data for users to select as input or backend support. With ChIP-Array 2, we compiled a library containing regulatory networks of 18 TFs/chromatin modifiers in mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC). The web server and the mESC library are publicly free and accessible athttp://jjwanglab.org/chip-array. PMID:25916854

  4. Identification and characterization of the afsR homologue regulatory gene from Streptomyces peucetius ATCC 27952.

    PubMed

    Parajuli, Niranjan; Viet, Hung Trinh; Ishida, Kenji; Tong, Hang Thi; Lee, Hei Chan; Liou, Kwangkyoung; Sohng, Jae Kyung

    2005-01-01

    We have isolated an afsR homologue, called afsR-p, through genome analysis of Streptomyces peucetius ATCC 27952. AfsR-p shares 60% sequence identity with AfsR from Streptomyces coelicolor A3 (2). afsR-p was expressed under the control of the ermE* promoter in its hosts S. peucetius, Streptomyces lividans TK 24, Streptomyces clavuligerus and Streptomyces griseus. We observed overproduction of doxorubicin (4-fold) in S. peucetius, gamma-actinorhodin (2.6-fold) in S. lividans, clavulanic acid (1.5-fold) in S. clavuligerus and streptomycin (slight) in S. griseus. Overproduction was due to expression of the gene in these strains as compared to the wild-type strains harboring the vector only. Comparative study of the expression of afsR-p revealed that regulatory networking in Streptomyces is not uniform. We speculate that phosphorylated AfsR-p becomes bound to the promoter region of afsS. The latter activates other regulatory genes, including pathway regulatory genes, and induces the production of secondary metabolites including antibiotics. We identified specific conserved amino acids and exploited them for the isolation of the partial sequence of the afsR homologue from S. clavuligerus and Streptomyces achromogens (rubradirin producer). Such findings provide additional evidence for the presence of a serine/threonine and tyrosine kinase-dependent global regulatory network in Streptomyces.

  5. Identification and characterization of the afsR homologue regulatory gene from Streptomyces peucetius ATCC 27952.

    PubMed

    Parajuli, Niranjan; Viet, Hung Trinh; Ishida, Kenji; Tong, Hang Thi; Lee, Hei Chan; Liou, Kwangkyoung; Sohng, Jae Kyung

    2005-01-01

    We have isolated an afsR homologue, called afsR-p, through genome analysis of Streptomyces peucetius ATCC 27952. AfsR-p shares 60% sequence identity with AfsR from Streptomyces coelicolor A3 (2). afsR-p was expressed under the control of the ermE* promoter in its hosts S. peucetius, Streptomyces lividans TK 24, Streptomyces clavuligerus and Streptomyces griseus. We observed overproduction of doxorubicin (4-fold) in S. peucetius, gamma-actinorhodin (2.6-fold) in S. lividans, clavulanic acid (1.5-fold) in S. clavuligerus and streptomycin (slight) in S. griseus. Overproduction was due to expression of the gene in these strains as compared to the wild-type strains harboring the vector only. Comparative study of the expression of afsR-p revealed that regulatory networking in Streptomyces is not uniform. We speculate that phosphorylated AfsR-p becomes bound to the promoter region of afsS. The latter activates other regulatory genes, including pathway regulatory genes, and induces the production of secondary metabolites including antibiotics. We identified specific conserved amino acids and exploited them for the isolation of the partial sequence of the afsR homologue from S. clavuligerus and Streptomyces achromogens (rubradirin producer). Such findings provide additional evidence for the presence of a serine/threonine and tyrosine kinase-dependent global regulatory network in Streptomyces. PMID:15921897

  6. Mutual information and the fidelity of response of gene regulatory models.

    PubMed

    Tabbaa, Omar P; Jayaprakash, C

    2014-08-01

    We investigate cellular response to extracellular signals by using information theory techniques motivated by recent experiments. We present results for the steady state of the following gene regulatory models found in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells: a linear transcription-translation model and a positive or negative auto-regulatory model. We calculate both the information capacity and the mutual information exactly for simple models and approximately for the full model. We find that (1) small changes in mutual information can lead to potentially important changes in cellular response and (2) there are diminishing returns in the fidelity of response as the mutual information increases. We calculate the information capacity using Gillespie simulations of a model for the TNF-α-NF-κB network and find good agreement with the measured value for an experimental realization of this network. Our results provide a quantitative understanding of the differences in cellular response when comparing experimentally measured mutual information values of different gene regulatory models. Our calculations demonstrate that Gillespie simulations can be used to compute the mutual information of more complex gene regulatory models, providing a potentially useful tool in synthetic biology.

  7. Mutual information and the fidelity of response of gene regulatory models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabbaa, Omar P.; Jayaprakash, C.

    2014-08-01

    We investigate cellular response to extracellular signals by using information theory techniques motivated by recent experiments. We present results for the steady state of the following gene regulatory models found in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells: a linear transcription-translation model and a positive or negative auto-regulatory model. We calculate both the information capacity and the mutual information exactly for simple models and approximately for the full model. We find that (1) small changes in mutual information can lead to potentially important changes in cellular response and (2) there are diminishing returns in the fidelity of response as the mutual information increases. We calculate the information capacity using Gillespie simulations of a model for the TNF-α-NF-κ B network and find good agreement with the measured value for an experimental realization of this network. Our results provide a quantitative understanding of the differences in cellular response when comparing experimentally measured mutual information values of different gene regulatory models. Our calculations demonstrate that Gillespie simulations can be used to compute the mutual information of more complex gene regulatory models, providing a potentially useful tool in synthetic biology.

  8. A comprehensive gene regulatory network for the diauxic shift in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Geistlinger, Ludwig; Csaba, Gergely; Dirmeier, Simon; Küffner, Robert; Zimmer, Ralf

    2013-10-01

    Existing machine-readable resources for large-scale gene regulatory networks usually do not provide context information characterizing the activating conditions for a regulation and how targeted genes are affected. Although this information is essentially required for data interpretation, available networks are often restricted to not condition-dependent, non-quantitative, plain binary interactions as derived from high-throughput screens. In this article, we present a comprehensive Petri net based regulatory network that controls the diauxic shift in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. For 100 specific enzymatic genes, we collected regulations from public databases as well as identified and manually curated >400 relevant scientific articles. The resulting network consists of >300 multi-input regulatory interactions providing (i) activating conditions for the regulators; (ii) semi-quantitative effects on their targets; and (iii) classification of the experimental evidence. The diauxic shift network compiles widespread distributed regulatory information and is available in an easy-to-use machine-readable form. Additionally, we developed a browsable system organizing the network into pathway maps, which allows to inspect and trace the evidence for each annotated regulation in the model. PMID:23873954

  9. Identification of C4 photosynthesis metabolism and regulatory-associated genes in Eleocharis vivipara by SSH.

    PubMed

    Chen, Taiyu; Ye, Rongjian; Fan, Xiaolei; Li, Xianghua; Lin, Yongjun

    2011-09-01

    This is the first effort to investigate the candidate genes involved in kranz developmental regulation and C(4) metabolic fluxes in Eleocharis vivipara, which is a leafless freshwater amphibious plant and possesses a distinct culms anatomy structure and photosynthetic pattern in contrasting environments. A terrestrial specific SSH library was constructed to investigate the genes involved in kranz anatomy developmental regulation and C(4) metabolic fluxes. A total of 73 ESTs and 56 unigenes in 384 clones were identified by array hybridization and sequencing. In total, 50 unigenes had homologous genes in the databases of rice and Arabidopsis. The real-time quantitative PCR results showed that most of the genes were accumulated in terrestrial culms and ABA-induced culms. The C(4) marker genes were stably accumulated during the culms development process in terrestrial culms. With respect to C(3) culms, C(4) photosynthesis metabolism consumed much more transporters and translocators related to ion metabolism, organic acids and carbohydrate metabolism, phosphate metabolism, amino acids metabolism, and lipids metabolism. Additionally, ten regulatory genes including five transcription factors, four receptor-like proteins, and one BURP protein were identified. These regulatory genes, which co-accumulated with the culms developmental stages, may play important roles in culms structure developmental regulation, bundle sheath chloroplast maturation, and environmental response. These results shed new light on the C(4) metabolic fluxes, environmental response, and anatomy structure developmental regulation in E. vivipara.

  10. A Genome-Wide Regulatory Framework Identifies Maize Pericarp Color1 Controlled Genes[C][W

    PubMed Central

    Morohashi, Kengo; Casas, María Isabel; Ferreyra, Lorena Falcone; Mejía-Guerra, María Katherine; Pourcel, Lucille; Yilmaz, Alper; Feller, Antje; Carvalho, Bruna; Emiliani, Julia; Rodriguez, Eduardo; Pellegrinet, Silvina; McMullen, Michael; Casati, Paula; Grotewold, Erich

    2012-01-01

    Pericarp Color1 (P1) encodes an R2R3-MYB transcription factor responsible for the accumulation of insecticidal flavones in maize (Zea mays) silks and red phlobaphene pigments in pericarps and other floral tissues, which makes P1 an important visual marker. Using genome-wide expression analyses (RNA sequencing) in pericarps and silks of plants with contrasting P1 alleles combined with chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with high-throughput sequencing, we show here that the regulatory functions of P1 are much broader than the activation of genes corresponding to enzymes in a branch of flavonoid biosynthesis. P1 modulates the expression of several thousand genes, and ∼1500 of them were identified as putative direct targets of P1. Among them, we identified F2H1, corresponding to a P450 enzyme that converts naringenin into 2-hydroxynaringenin, a key branch point in the P1-controlled pathway and the first step in the formation of insecticidal C-glycosyl flavones. Unexpectedly, the binding of P1 to gene regulatory regions can result in both gene activation and repression. Our results indicate that P1 is the major regulator for a set of genes involved in flavonoid biosynthesis and a minor modulator of the expression of a much larger gene set that includes genes involved in primary metabolism and production of other specialized compounds. PMID:22822204

  11. Role of Conserved Non-Coding Regulatory Elements in LMW Glutenin Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Juhász, Angéla; Makai, Szabolcs; Sebestyén, Endre; Tamás, László; Balázs, Ervin

    2011-01-01

    Transcriptional regulation of LMW glutenin genes were investigated in-silico, using publicly available gene sequences and expression data. Genes were grouped into different LMW glutenin types and their promoter profiles were determined using cis-acting regulatory elements databases and published results. The various cis-acting elements belong to some conserved non-coding regulatory regions (CREs) and might act in two different ways. There are elements, such as GCN4 motifs found in the long endosperm box that could serve as key factors in tissue-specific expression. Some other elements, such as the AACA/TA motifs or the individual prolamin box variants, might modulate the level of expression. Based on the promoter sequences and expression characteristic LMW glutenin genes might be transcribed following two different mechanisms. Most of the s- and i-type genes show a continuously increasing expression pattern. The m-type genes, however, demonstrate normal distribution in their expression profiles. Differences observed in their expression could be related to the differences found in their promoter sequences. Polymorphisms in the number and combination of cis-acting elements in their promoter regions can be of crucial importance in the diverse levels of production of single LMW glutenin gene types. PMID:22242127

  12. Molecular cloning and regulatory analysis of the arylsulfatase structural gene of Neurospora crassa.

    PubMed Central

    Paietta, J V

    1989-01-01

    The ars-1+ gene of Neurospora crassa encodes the enzyme arylsulfatase. ars-1+ is in a group of highly regulated sulfur-related structural genes that are expressed under conditions of sulfur limitation and are under coordinate control of the cys-3+ and scon+ regulatory genes. The ars-1+ gene was cloned by chromosome walking from the qa gene cluster, using a lambda library. Cotransformation of an N. crassa ars-1 mutant with the isolated lambda clones and the benomyl resistance gene, followed by assay for arylsulfatase activity, was used to screen for the ars-1+ gene. Further confirmation that the cloned segment mapped to the ars-1+ locus was obtained by restriction-fragment-length polymorphism analysis. Northern (RNA) blot analysis showed that the ars-1+ gene was transcribed to give an mRNA of 2.3 kilobases. In wild-type cells, the ars-1+ transcript was abundant under sulfur-derepressing conditions but absent under repressing conditions. Time course analysis showed that the appearance of ars-1+ message in sulfur-derepressed cultures paralleled the appearance of arylsulfatase enzyme activity. In addition, transcription of ars-1+ was detected only under derepressing conditions in a nuclear transcription assay. In a cys-3 regulatory mutant that was unable to synthesize arylsulfatase (or other sulfur-controlled enzymes), there was no ars-1+ transcript under repressing or derepressing conditions. In a temperature-sensitive cys-3 mutant, the ars-1+ transcript was present only at the permissive growth temperature and under sulfur derepression. A negative regulatory mutant, sconc, displayed both constitutive expression of arylsulfatase enzyme activity and content of ars-1+ message. Images PMID:2528685

  13. Analysis of a gene regulatory cascade mediating circadian rhythm in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Li, Ying; Li, Guang; Wang, Haifang; Du, Jiulin; Yan, Jun

    2013-01-01

    In the study of circadian rhythms, it has been a puzzle how a limited number of circadian clock genes can control diverse aspects of physiology. Here we investigate circadian gene expression genome-wide using larval zebrafish as a model system. We made use of a spatial gene expression atlas to investigate the expression of circadian genes in various tissues and cell types. Comparison of genome-wide circadian gene expression data between zebrafish and mouse revealed a nearly anti-phase relationship and allowed us to detect novel evolutionarily conserved circadian genes in vertebrates. We identified three groups of zebrafish genes with distinct responses to light entrainment: fast light-induced genes, slow light-induced genes, and dark-induced genes. Our computational analysis of the circadian gene regulatory network revealed several transcription factors (TFs) involved in diverse aspects of circadian physiology through transcriptional cascade. Of these, microphthalmia-associated transcription factor a (mitfa), a dark-induced TF, mediates a circadian rhythm of melanin synthesis, which may be involved in zebrafish's adaptation to daily light cycling. Our study describes a systematic method to discover previously unidentified TFs involved in circadian physiology in complex organisms.

  14. Comparison of gene regulatory networks of benign and malignant breast cancer samples with normal samples.

    PubMed

    Chen, D B; Yang, H J

    2014-11-11

    The aim of this study was to explain the pathogenesis and deterioration process of breast cancer. Breast cancer expression profile data GSE27567 was downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database, and breast cancer-related genes were extracted from databases, including Cancer-Resource and Online Mendelian Inheritance In Man (OMIM). Next, h17 transcription factor data were obtained from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Database for Annotation, Visualization, and Integrated Discovery (DAVID)-enrichment analysis was applied and gene-regulatory networks were constructed by double-two-way t-tests in 3 states, including normal, benign, and malignant. Furthermore, network topological properties were compared between 2 states, and breast cancer-related bub genes were ranked according to their different degrees between each of the two states. A total of 2380 breast cancer-related genes and 215 transcription factors were screened by exploring databases; the genes were mainly enriched in their functions, such as cell apoptosis and proliferation, and pathways, such as p53 signaling and apoptosis, which were related with carcinogenesis. In addition, gene-regulatory networks in the 3 conditions were constructed. By comparing their network topological properties, we found that there is a larger transition of differences between malignant and benign breast cancer. Moreover, 8 hub genes (YBX1, ZFP36, YY1, XRCC5, XRCC4, ZFHX3, ZMAT3, and XPC) were identified in the top 10 genes ranked by different degrees. Through comparative analysis of gene-regulation networks, we identified the link between related genes and the pathogenesis of breast cancer. However, further experiments are needed to confirm our results.

  15. Comparative analysis of the transcription-factor gene regulatory networks of E. coli and S. cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Guzmán-Vargas, Lev; Santillán, Moisés

    2008-01-01

    Background The regulatory interactions between transcription factors (TF) and regulated genes (RG) in a species genome can be lumped together in a single directed graph. The TF's and RG's conform the nodes of this graph, while links are drawn whenever a transcription factor regulates a gene's expression. Projections onto TF nodes can be constructed by linking every two nodes regulating a common gene. Similarly, projections onto RG nodes can be made by linking every two regulated genes sharing at least one common regulator. Recent studies of the connectivity pattern in the transcription-factor regulatory network of many organisms have revealed some interesting properties. However, the differences between TF and RG nodes have not been widely explored. Results After analysing the RG and TF projections of the transcription-factor gene regulatory networks of Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we found several common characteristic as well as some noticeable differences. To better understand these differences, we compared the properties of the E. coli and S. cerevisiae RG- and TF-projected networks with those of the corresponding projections built from randomized versions of the original bipartite networks. These last results indicate that the observed differences are mostly due to the very different ratios of TF to RG counts of the E. coli and S. cerevisiae bipartite networks, rather than to their having different connectivity patterns. Conclusion Since E. coli is a prokaryotic organism while S. cerevisiae is eukaryotic, there are important differences between them concerning processing of mRNA before translation, DNA packing, amount of junk DNA, and gene regulation. From the results in this paper we conclude that the most important effect such differences have had on the development of the corresponding transcription-factor gene regulatory networks is their very different ratios of TF to RG numbers. This ratio is more than three times larger in S

  16. Regulatory Oversight of Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapeutic Products and Gene Therapy Products in Singapore.

    PubMed

    Goh, Choon Wee; Kellathur, Srinivasan N; Ong, Lee Lee; Wu, Xiaofeng

    2015-01-01

    The regulatory environment for cell- and tissue-based therapeutic products and gene therapy products is rapidly evolving and drug regulatory agencies are working towards establishing a risk-based system in the regulatory framework. Similarly in Singapore, a risk-based tiered approach has been applied whereby clinical trials and product licence of high-risk cell- and tissue-based therapeutic products (substantially manipulated products, products intended for nonhomologous use or combined products) and gene therapy products are regulated as medicinal products under the Medicines Act. There is no legal definition for cell- and tissue-based therapeutic and gene therapy products. The current working definition for a cell- and tissue-based therapeutic product is an article containing or consisting of an autologous or allogeneic human cell or tissue that are used for or administered to, or intended to be used for or administered to, human beings for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of human diseases or conditions. Gene therapy products are included under the current biological medicinal product definition.

  17. A Catalog of Regulatory Sequences for Trait Gene for the Genome Editing of Wheat

    PubMed Central

    Makai, Szabolcs; Tamás, László; Juhász, Angéla

    2016-01-01

    Wheat has been cultivated for 10000 years and ever since the origin of hexaploid wheat it has been exempt from natural selection. Instead, it was under the constant selective pressure of human agriculture from harvest to sowing during every year, producing a vast array of varieties. Wheat has been adopted globally, accumulating variation for genes involved in yield traits, environmental adaptation and resistance. However, one small but important part of the wheat genome has hardly changed: the regulatory regions of both the x- and y-type high molecular weight glutenin subunit (HMW-GS) genes, which are alone responsible for approximately 12% of the grain protein content. The phylogeny of the HMW-GS regulatory regions of the Triticeae demonstrates that a genetic bottleneck may have led to its decreased diversity during domestication and the subsequent cultivation. It has also highlighted the fact that the wild relatives of wheat may offer an unexploited genetic resource for the regulatory region of these genes. Significant research efforts have been made in the public sector and by international agencies, using wild crosses to exploit the available genetic variation, and as a result synthetic hexaploids are now being utilized by a number of breeding companies. However, a newly emerging tool of genome editing provides significantly improved efficiency in exploiting the natural variation in HMW-GS genes and incorporating this into elite cultivars and breeding lines. Recent advancement in the understanding of the regulation of these genes underlines the needs for an overview of the regulatory elements for genome editing purposes. PMID:27766102

  18. A computational framework for qualitative simulation of nonlinear dynamical models of gene-regulatory networks

    PubMed Central

    Ironi, Liliana; Panzeri, Luigi

    2009-01-01

    Background Due to the huge amount of information at genomic level made recently available by high-throughput experimental technologies, networks of regulatory interactions between genes and gene products, the so-called gene-regulatory networks, can be uncovered. Most networks of interest are quite intricate because of both the high dimension of interacting elements and the complexity of the kinds of interactions between them. Then, mathematical and computational modeling frameworks are a must to predict the network behavior in response to environmental stimuli. A specific class of Ordinary Differential Equations (ODE) has shown to be adequate to describe the essential features of the dynamics of gene-regulatory networks. But, deriving quantitative predictions of the network dynamics through the numerical simulation of such models is mostly impracticable as they are currently characterized by incomplete knowledge of biochemical reactions underlying regulatory interactions, and of numeric values of kinetic parameters. Results This paper presents a computational framework for qualitative simulation of a class of ODE models, based on the assumption that gene regulation is threshold-dependent, i.e. only effective above or below a certain threshold. The simulation algorithm we propose assumes that threshold-dependent regulation mechanisms are modeled by continuous steep sigmoid functions, unlike other simulation tools that considerably simplifies the problem by approximating threshold-regulated response functions by step functions discontinuous in the thresholds. The algorithm results from the interplay between methods to deal with incomplete knowledge and to study phenomena that occur at different time-scales. Conclusion The work herein presented establishes the computational groundwork for a sound and a complete algorithm capable to capture the dynamical properties that depend only on the network structure and are invariant for ranges of values of kinetic parameters

  19. Distribution of the trehalase activation response and the regulatory trehalase gene among yeast species.

    PubMed

    Soto, T; Fernández, J; Cansado, J; Vicente, J; Gacto, M

    1997-12-01

    In Saccharomyces cerevisiae and other yeasts the activity of regulatory trehalases increases in response to the addition of glucose and to thermal changes in the extracellular medium. We have performed an screening on the extent of this response among different representative yeast species and the results show that this ability is displayed only by a few members of the Saccharomycetaceae family. However, all yeasts examined contain a gene related to that coding for regulatory trehalase in S. cerevisiae. This finding reveals that the operational distinction between regulatory and nonregulatory trehalase in yeasts is not a property of the enzyme by itself but relays on the expression of accompanying mechanisms able to modulate trehalase activity.

  20. Conservation and divergence of autonomous pathway genes in the flowering regulatory network of Beta vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Abou-Elwafa, Salah F; Büttner, Bianca; Chia, Tansy; Schulze-Buxloh, Gretel; Hohmann, Uwe; Mutasa-Göttgens, Effie; Jung, Christian; Müller, Andreas E

    2011-06-01

    The transition from vegetative growth to reproductive development is a complex process that requires an integrated response to multiple environmental cues and endogenous signals. In Arabidopsis thaliana, which has a facultative requirement for vernalization and long days, the genes of the autonomous pathway function as floral promoters by repressing the central repressor and vernalization-regulatory gene FLC. Environmental regulation by seasonal changes in daylength is under control of the photoperiod pathway and its key gene CO. The root and leaf crop species Beta vulgaris in the caryophyllid clade of core eudicots, which is only very distantly related to Arabidopsis, is an obligate long-day plant and includes forms with or without vernalization requirement. FLC and CO homologues with related functions in beet have been identified, but the presence of autonomous pathway genes which function in parallel to the vernalization and photoperiod pathways has not yet been reported. Here, this begins to be addressed by the identification and genetic mapping of full-length homologues of the RNA-regulatory gene FLK and the chromatin-regulatory genes FVE, LD, and LDL1. When overexpressed in A. thaliana, BvFLK accelerates bolting in the Col-0 background and fully complements the late-bolting phenotype of an flk mutant through repression of FLC. In contrast, complementation analysis of BvFVE1 and the presence of a putative paralogue in beet suggest evolutionary divergence of FVE homologues. It is further shown that BvFVE1, unlike FVE in Arabidopsis, is under circadian clock control. Together, the data provide first evidence for evolutionary conservation of components of the autonomous pathway in B. vulgaris, while also suggesting divergence or subfunctionalization of one gene. The results are likely to be of broader relevance because B. vulgaris expands the spectrum of evolutionarily diverse species which are subject to differential developmental and/or environmental regulation

  1. A Consensus Network of Gene Regulatory Factors in the Human Frontal Lobe.

    PubMed

    Berto, Stefano; Perdomo-Sabogal, Alvaro; Gerighausen, Daniel; Qin, Jing; Nowick, Katja

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive abilities, such as memory, learning, language, problem solving, and planning, involve the frontal lobe and other brain areas. Not much is known yet about the molecular basis of cognitive abilities, but it seems clear that cognitive abilities are determined by the interplay of many genes. One approach for analyzing the genetic networks involved in cognitive functions is to study the coexpression networks of genes with known importance for proper cognitive functions, such as genes that have been associated with cognitive disorders like intellectual disability (ID) or autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Because many of these genes are gene regulatory factors (GRFs) we aimed to provide insights into the gene regulatory networks active in the human frontal lobe. Using genome wide human frontal lobe expression data from 10 independent data sets, we first derived 10 individual coexpression networks for all GRFs including their potential target genes. We observed a high level of variability among these 10 independently derived networks, pointing out that relying on results from a single study can only provide limited biological insights. To instead focus on the most confident information from these 10 networks we developed a method for integrating such independently derived networks into a consensus network. This consensus network revealed robust GRF interactions that are conserved across the frontal lobes of different healthy human individuals. Within this network, we detected a strong central module that is enriched for 166 GRFs known to be involved in brain development and/or cognitive disorders. Interestingly, several hubs of the consensus network encode for GRFs that have not yet been associated with brain functions. Their central role in the network suggests them as excellent new candidates for playing an essential role in the regulatory network of the human frontal lobe, which should be investigated in future studies. PMID:27014338

  2. A Consensus Network of Gene Regulatory Factors in the Human Frontal Lobe

    PubMed Central

    Berto, Stefano; Perdomo-Sabogal, Alvaro; Gerighausen, Daniel; Qin, Jing; Nowick, Katja

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive abilities, such as memory, learning, language, problem solving, and planning, involve the frontal lobe and other brain areas. Not much is known yet about the molecular basis of cognitive abilities, but it seems clear that cognitive abilities are determined by the interplay of many genes. One approach for analyzing the genetic networks involved in cognitive functions is to study the coexpression networks of genes with known importance for proper cognitive functions, such as genes that have been associated with cognitive disorders like intellectual disability (ID) or autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Because many of these genes are gene regulatory factors (GRFs) we aimed to provide insights into the gene regulatory networks active in the human frontal lobe. Using genome wide human frontal lobe expression data from 10 independent data sets, we first derived 10 individual coexpression networks for all GRFs including their potential target genes. We observed a high level of variability among these 10 independently derived networks, pointing out that relying on results from a single study can only provide limited biological insights. To instead focus on the most confident information from these 10 networks we developed a method for integrating such independently derived networks into a consensus network. This consensus network revealed robust GRF interactions that are conserved across the frontal lobes of different healthy human individuals. Within this network, we detected a strong central module that is enriched for 166 GRFs known to be involved in brain development and/or cognitive disorders. Interestingly, several hubs of the consensus network encode for GRFs that have not yet been associated with brain functions. Their central role in the network suggests them as excellent new candidates for playing an essential role in the regulatory network of the human frontal lobe, which should be investigated in future studies. PMID:27014338

  3. Partitioning of genetic variation between regulatory and coding gene segments: the predominance of software variation in genes encoding introvert proteins.

    PubMed

    Mitchison, A

    1997-01-01

    In considering genetic variation in eukaryotes, a fundamental distinction can be made between variation in regulatory (software) and coding (hardware) gene segments. For quantitative traits the bulk of variation, particularly that near the population mean, appears to reside in regulatory segments. The main exceptions to this rule concern proteins which handle extrinsic substances, here termed extrovert proteins. The immune system includes an unusually large proportion of this exceptional category, but even so its chief source of variation may well be polymorphism in regulatory gene segments. The main evidence for this view emerges from genome scanning for quantitative trait loci (QTL), which in the case of the immune system points to a major contribution of pro-inflammatory cytokine genes. Further support comes from sequencing of major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) class II promoters, where a high level of polymorphism has been detected. These Mhc promoters appear to act, in part at least, by gating the back-signal from T cells into antigen-presenting cells. Both these forms of polymorphism are likely to be sustained by the need for flexibility in the immune response. Future work on promoter polymorphism is likely to benefit from the input from genome informatics. PMID:9148788

  4. LegumeGRN: A Gene Regulatory Network Prediction Server for Functional and Comparative Studies

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Mingyi; Verdier, Jerome; Benedito, Vagner A.; Tang, Yuhong; Murray, Jeremy D.; Ge, Yinbing; Becker, Jörg D.; Carvalho, Helena; Rogers, Christian; Udvardi, Michael; He, Ji

    2013-01-01

    Building accurate gene regulatory networks (GRNs) from high-throughput gene expression data is a long-standing challenge. However, with the emergence of new algorithms combined with the increase of transcriptomic data availability, it is now reachable. To help biologists to investigate gene regulatory relationships, we developed a web-based computational service to build, analyze and visualize GRNs that govern various biological processes. The web server is preloaded with all available Affymetrix GeneChip-based transcriptomic and annotation data from the three model legume species, i.e., Medicago truncatula, Lotus japonicus and Glycine max. Users can also upload their own transcriptomic and transcription factor datasets from any other species/organisms to analyze their in-house experiments. Users are able to select which experiments, genes and algorithms they will consider to perform their GRN analysis. To achieve this flexibility and improve prediction performance, we have implemented multiple mainstream GRN prediction algorithms including co-expression, Graphical Gaussian Models (GGMs), Context Likelihood of Relatedness (CLR), and parallelized versions of TIGRESS and GENIE3. Besides these existing algorithms, we also proposed a parallel Bayesian network learning algorithm, which can infer causal relationships (i.e., directionality of interaction) and scale up to several thousands of genes. Moreover, this web server also provides tools to allow integrative and comparative analysis between predicted GRNs obtained from different algorithms or experiments, as well as comparisons between legume species. The web site is available at http://legumegrn.noble.org. PMID:23844010

  5. Maize anthocyanin regulatory gene pl is a duplicate of c1 that functions in the plant.

    PubMed

    Cone, K C; Cocciolone, S M; Burr, F A; Burr, B

    1993-12-01

    Genetic studies in maize have identified several regulatory genes that control the tissue-specific synthesis of purple anthocyanin pigments in the plant. c1 regulates pigmentation in the aleurone layer of the kernel, whereas pigmentation in the vegetative and floral tissues of the plant body depends on pl. c1 encodes a protein with the structural features of eukaryotic transcription factors and functions to control the accumulation of transcripts for the anthocyanin biosynthetic genes. Previous genetic and molecular observations have prompted the hypothesis that c1 and pl are functionally duplicate, in that they control the same set of anthocyanin structural genes but in distinct parts of the plant. Here, we show that this proposed functional similarity is reflected by DNA sequence homology between c1 and pl. Using a c1 DNA fragment as a hybridization probe, genomic and cDNA clones for pl were isolated. Comparison of pl and c1 cDNA sequences revealed that the genes encode proteins with 90% or more amino acid identity in the amino- and carboxyl-terminal domains that are known to be important for the regulatory function of the C1 protein. Consistent with the idea that the pl gene product also acts as a transcriptional activator is our finding that a functional pl allele is required for the transcription of at least three structural genes in the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway. PMID:8305872

  6. Reverse engineering sparse gene regulatory networks using cubature kalman filter and compressed sensing.

    PubMed

    Noor, Amina; Serpedin, Erchin; Nounou, Mohamed; Nounou, Hazem

    2013-01-01

    This paper proposes a novel algorithm for inferring gene regulatory networks which makes use of cubature Kalman filter (CKF) and Kalman filter (KF) techniques in conjunction with compressed sensing methods. The gene network is described using a state-space model. A nonlinear model for the evolution of gene expression is considered, while the gene expression data is assumed to follow a linear Gaussian model. The hidden states are estimated using CKF. The system parameters are modeled as a Gauss-Markov process and are estimated using compressed sensing-based KF. These parameters provide insight into the regulatory relations among the genes. The Cramér-Rao lower bound of the parameter estimates is calculated for the system model and used as a benchmark to assess the estimation accuracy. The proposed algorithm is evaluated rigorously using synthetic data in different scenarios which include different number of genes and varying number of sample points. In addition, the algorithm is tested on the DREAM4 in silico data sets as well as the in vivo data sets from IRMA network. The proposed algorithm shows superior performance in terms of accuracy, robustness, and scalability.

  7. Arabidopsis Ensemble Reverse-Engineered Gene Regulatory Network Discloses Interconnected Transcription Factors in Oxidative Stress[W

    PubMed Central

    Vermeirssen, Vanessa; De Clercq, Inge; Van Parys, Thomas; Van Breusegem, Frank; Van de Peer, Yves

    2014-01-01

    The abiotic stress response in plants is complex and tightly controlled by gene regulation. We present an abiotic stress gene regulatory network of 200,014 interactions for 11,938 target genes by integrating four complementary reverse-engineering solutions through average rank aggregation on an Arabidopsis thaliana microarray expression compendium. This ensemble performed the most robustly in benchmarking and greatly expands upon the availability of interactions currently reported. Besides recovering 1182 known regulatory interactions, cis-regulatory motifs and coherent functionalities of target genes corresponded with the predicted transcription factors. We provide a valuable resource of 572 abiotic stress modules of coregulated genes with functional and regulatory information, from which we deduced functional relationships for 1966 uncharacterized genes and many regulators. Using gain- and loss-of-function mutants of seven transcription factors grown under control and salt stress conditions, we experimentally validated 141 out of 271 predictions (52% precision) for 102 selected genes and mapped 148 additional transcription factor-gene regulatory interactions (49% recall). We identified an intricate core oxidative stress regulatory network where NAC13, NAC053, ERF6, WRKY6, and NAC032 transcription factors interconnect and function in detoxification. Our work shows that ensemble reverse-engineering can generate robust biological hypotheses of gene regulation in a multicellular eukaryote that can be tested by medium-throughput experimental validation. PMID:25549671

  8. Oxygen and an Extracellular Phase Transition Independently Control Central Regulatory Genes and Conidiogenesis in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Chi, Myoung-Hwan; Craven, Kelly D.

    2013-01-01

    Conidiogenesis is the primary process for asexual reproduction in filamentous fungi. As the conidia resulting from the conidiogenesis process are primarily disseminated via air currents and/or water, an outstanding question has been how fungi recognize aerial environments suitable for conidial development. In this study, we documented the somewhat complex development of the conidia-bearing structures, termed conidiophores, from several Aspergillus species in a subsurface (gel-phase) layer of solid media. A subset of the isolates studied was able to develop conidiophores in a gel-phase environment, but exposure to the aeriform environment was required for the terminal developmental transition from phialide cells to conidia. The remaining Aspergilli could not initiate the conidiogenesis process until they were exposed to the aeriform environment. Our observations of conidiophore development in high or low oxygen conditions in both aeriform and gel-phase environments revealed that oxygen and the aeriform state are positive environmental factors for inducing conidiogenesis in most of the aspergilli tested in this study. Transcriptional analysis using A. fumigatus strain AF293 confined to either the aeriform or gel-phase environments revealed that expression of a key regulatory gene for conidiophore development (AfubrlA) is facilitated by oxygen while expression of another regulatory gene controlling conidia formation from phialides (AfuabaA) was repressed regardless of oxygen levels in the gel-embedded environment. Furthermore, by comparing the developmental behavior of conidiation-defective mutants lacking genes controlling various regulatory checkpoints throughout the conidiogenesis pathway, we propose that this aerial response by the fungus requires both oxygen and the phase transition (solid to aeriform), with these environmental signals integrating into the upstream regulatory pathway and central regulatory pathway of conidiogenesis, respectively. Our findings

  9. In silico regulatory analysis for exploring human disease progression

    PubMed Central

    Holloway, Dustin T; Kon, Mark; DeLisi, Charles

    2008-01-01

    Background An important goal in bioinformatics is to unravel the network of transcription factors (TFs) and their targets. This is important in the human genome, where many TFs are involved in disease progression. Here, classification methods are applied to identify new targets for 152 transcriptional regulators using publicly-available targets as training examples. Three types of sequence information are used: composition, conservation, and overrepresentation. Results Starting with 8817 TF-target interactions we predict an additional 9333 targets for 152 TFs. Randomized classifiers make few predictions (~2/18660) indicating that our predictions for many TFs are significantly enriched for true targets. An enrichment score is calculated and used to filter new predictions. Two case-studies for the TFs OCT4 and WT1 illustrate the usefulness of our predictions: • Many predicted OCT4 targets fall into the Wnt-pathway. This is consistent with known biology as OCT4 is developmentally related and Wnt pathway plays a role in early development. • Beginning with 15 known targets, 354 predictions are made for WT1. WT1 has a role in formation of Wilms' tumor. Chromosomal regions previously implicated in Wilms' tumor by cytological evidence are statistically enriched in predicted WT1 targets. These findings may shed light on Wilms' tumor progression, suggesting that the tumor progresses either by loss of WT1 or by loss of regions harbouring its targets. • Targets of WT1 are statistically enriched for cancer related functions including metastasis and apoptosis. Among new targets are BAX and PDE4B, which may help mediate the established anti-apoptotic effects of WT1. • Of the thirteen TFs found which co-regulate genes with WT1 (p ≤ 0.02), 8 have been previously implicated in cancer. The regulatory-network for WT1 targets in genomic regions relevant to Wilms' tumor is provided. Conclusion We have assembled a set of features for the targets of human TFs and used them to

  10. Autoregressive models for gene regulatory network inference: sparsity, stability and causality issues.

    PubMed

    Michailidis, George; d'Alché-Buc, Florence

    2013-12-01

    Reconstructing gene regulatory networks from high-throughput measurements represents a key problem in functional genomics. It also represents a canonical learning problem and thus has attracted a lot of attention in both the informatics and the statistical learning literature. Numerous approaches have been proposed, ranging from simple clustering to rather involved dynamic Bayesian network modeling, as well as hybrid ones that combine a number of modeling steps, such as employing ordinary differential equations coupled with genome annotation. These approaches are tailored to the type of data being employed. Available data sources include static steady state data and time course data obtained either for wild type phenotypes or from perturbation experiments. This review focuses on the class of autoregressive models using time course data for inferring gene regulatory networks. The central themes of sparsity, stability and causality are discussed as well as the ability to integrate prior knowledge for successful use of these models for the learning task at hand. PMID:24176667

  11. Regulatory divergence of X-linked genes and hybrid male sterility in mice.

    PubMed

    Oka, Ayako; Shiroishi, Toshihiko

    2014-01-01

    Postzygotic reproductive isolation is the reduction of fertility or viability in hybrids between genetically diverged populations. One example of reproductive isolation, hybrid male sterility, may be caused by genetic incompatibility between diverged genetic factors in two distinct populations. Genetic factors involved in hybrid male sterility are disproportionately located on the X chromosome. Recent studies showing the evolutionary divergence in gene regulatory networks or epigenetic effects suggest that the genetic incompatibilities occur at much broader levels than had previously been thought (e.g., incompatibility of protein-protein interactions). The latest studies suggest that evolutionary divergence of transcriptional regulation causes genetic incompatibilities in hybrid animals, and that such incompatibilities preferentially involve X-linked genes. In this review, we focus on recent progress in understanding hybrid sterility in mice, including our studies, and we discuss the evolutionary significance of regulatory divergence for speciation.

  12. Evolution of DNA specificity in a transcription factor family produced a new gene regulatory module.

    PubMed

    McKeown, Alesia N; Bridgham, Jamie T; Anderson, Dave W; Murphy, Michael N; Ortlund, Eric A; Thornton, Joseph W

    2014-09-25

    Complex gene regulatory networks require transcription factors (TFs) to bind distinct DNA sequences. To understand how novel TF specificity evolves, we combined phylogenetic, biochemical, and biophysical approaches to interrogate how DNA recognition diversified in the steroid hormone receptor (SR) family. After duplication of the ancestral SR, three mutations in one copy radically weakened binding to the ancestral estrogen response element (ERE) and improved binding to a new set of DNA sequences (steroid response elements, SREs). They did so by establishing unfavorable interactions with ERE and abolishing unfavorable interactions with SRE; also required were numerous permissive substitutions, which nonspecifically improved cooperativity and affinity of DNA binding. Our findings indicate that negative determinants of binding play key roles in TFs' DNA selectivity and-with our prior work on the evolution of SR ligand specificity during the same interval-show how a specific new gene regulatory module evolved without interfering with the integrity of the ancestral module. PMID:25259920

  13. Developmental gene regulatory networks in sea urchins and what we can learn from them.

    PubMed

    Martik, Megan L; Lyons, Deirdre C; McClay, David R

    2016-01-01

    Sea urchin embryos begin zygotic transcription shortly after the egg is fertilized.  Throughout the cleavage stages a series of transcription factors are activated and, along with signaling through a number of pathways, at least 15 different cell types are specified by the beginning of gastrulation.  Experimentally, perturbation of contributing transcription factors, signals and receptors and their molecular consequences enabled the assembly of an extensive gene regulatory network model.  That effort, pioneered and led by Eric Davidson and his laboratory, with many additional insights provided by other laboratories, provided the sea urchin community with a valuable resource.  Here we describe the approaches used to enable the assembly of an advanced gene regulatory network model describing molecular diversification during early development.  We then provide examples to show how a relatively advanced authenticated network can be used as a tool for discovery of how diverse developmental mechanisms are controlled and work. PMID:26962438

  14. Information theory in systems biology. Part I: Gene regulatory and metabolic networks.

    PubMed

    Mousavian, Zaynab; Kavousi, Kaveh; Masoudi-Nejad, Ali

    2016-03-01

    "A Mathematical Theory of Communication", was published in 1948 by Claude Shannon to establish a framework that is now known as information theory. In recent decades, information theory has gained much attention in the area of systems biology. The aim of this paper is to provide a systematic review of those contributions that have applied information theory in inferring or understanding of biological systems. Based on the type of system components and the interactions between them, we classify the biological systems into 4 main classes: gene regulatory, metabolic, protein-protein interaction and signaling networks. In the first part of this review, we attempt to introduce most of the existing studies on two types of biological networks, including gene regulatory and metabolic networks, which are founded on the concepts of information theory.

  15. Preservation of dynamic properties in qualitative modeling frameworks for gene regulatory networks.

    PubMed

    Jamshidi, Shahrad; Siebert, Heike; Bockmayr, Alexander

    2013-05-01

    Mathematical modeling often helps to provide a systems perspective on gene regulatory networks. In particular, qualitative approaches are useful when detailed kinetic information is lacking. Multiple methods have been developed that implement qualitative information in different ways, e.g., in purely discrete or hybrid discrete/continuous models. In this paper, we compare the discrete asynchronous logical modeling formalism for gene regulatory networks due to R. Thomas with piecewise affine differential equation models. We provide a local characterization of the qualitative dynamics of a piecewise affine differential equation model using the discrete dynamics of a corresponding Thomas model. Based on this result, we investigate the consistency of higher-level dynamical properties such as attractor characteristics and reachability. We show that although the two approaches are based on equivalent information, the resulting qualitative dynamics are different. In particular, the dynamics of the piecewise affine differential equation model is not a simple refinement of the dynamics of the Thomas model.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1993-01-01

    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. Images PMID:8394454

  17. Discovering transcription factor regulatory targets using gene expression and binding data

    PubMed Central

    Maienschein-Cline, Mark; Zhou, Jie; White, Kevin P.; Sciammas, Roger; Dinner, Aaron R.

    2012-01-01

    Motivation: Identifying the target genes regulated by transcription factors (TFs) is the most basic step in understanding gene regulation. Recent advances in high-throughput sequencing technology, together with chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), enable mapping TF binding sites genome wide, but it is not possible to infer function from binding alone. This is especially true in mammalian systems, where regulation often occurs through long-range enhancers in gene-rich neighborhoods, rather than proximal promoters, preventing straightforward assignment of a binding site to a target gene. Results: We present EMBER (Expectation Maximization of Binding and Expression pRofiles), a method that integrates high-throughput binding data (e.g. ChIP-chip or ChIP-seq) with gene expression data (e.g. DNA microarray) via an unsupervised machine learning algorithm for inferring the gene targets of sets of TF binding sites. Genes selected are those that match overrepresented expression patterns, which can be used to provide information about multiple TF regulatory modes. We apply the method to genome-wide human breast cancer data and demonstrate that EMBER confirms a role for the TFs estrogen receptor alpha, retinoic acid receptors alpha and gamma in breast cancer development, whereas the conventional approach of assigning regulatory targets based on proximity does not. Additionally, we compare several predicted target genes from EMBER to interactions inferred previously, examine combinatorial effects of TFs on gene regulation and illustrate the ability of EMBER to discover multiple modes of regulation. Availability: All code used for this work is available at http://dinner-group.uchicago.edu/downloads.html Contact: dinner@uchicago.edu Supplementary Information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:22084256

  18. Redeployment of a conserved gene regulatory network during Aedes aegypti development.

    PubMed

    Suryamohan, Kushal; Hanson, Casey; Andrews, Emily; Sinha, Saurabh; Scheel, Molly Duman; Halfon, Marc S

    2016-08-15

    Changes in gene regulatory networks (GRNs) underlie the evolution of morphological novelty and developmental system drift. The fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster and the dengue and Zika vector mosquito Aedes aegypti have substantially similar nervous system morphology. Nevertheless, they show significant divergence in a set of genes co-expressed in the midline of the Drosophila central nervous system, including the master regulator single minded and downstream genes including short gastrulation, Star, and NetrinA. In contrast to Drosophila, we find that midline expression of these genes is either absent or severely diminished in A. aegypti. Instead, they are co-expressed in the lateral nervous system. This suggests that in A. aegypti this "midline GRN" has been redeployed to a new location while lost from its previous site of activity. In order to characterize the relevant GRNs, we employed the SCRMshaw method we previously developed to identify transcriptional cis-regulatory modules in both species. Analysis of these regulatory sequences in transgenic Drosophila suggests that the altered gene expression observed in A. aegypti is the result of trans-dependent redeployment of the GRN, potentially stemming from cis-mediated changes in the expression of sim and other as-yet unidentified regulators. Our results illustrate a novel "repeal, replace, and redeploy" mode of evolution in which a conserved GRN acquires a different function at a new site while its original function is co-opted by a different GRN. This represents a striking example of developmental system drift in which the dramatic shift in gene expression does not result in gross morphological changes, but in more subtle differences in development and function of the late embryonic nervous system.

  19. Molecular cloning and analysis of the scon-2 negative regulatory gene of Neurospora crassa.

    PubMed Central

    Paietta, J V

    1990-01-01

    The sulfur regulatory system of Neurospora crassa is composed of a group of highly regulated structural genes (e.g., the gene encoding arylsulfatase) that are under coordinate control of scon+ (sulfur controller) negative and cys-3+ positive regulatory genes. In scon-1 (previously designated sconC) and scon-2 mutants, there is constitutive expression of sulfur structural genes regardless of the sulfur level available to the cells. The scon-2+ gene was cloned by sib selection screening of a cosmid-based gene library. The screening was based on the use of chromate, a toxic sulfate analog, which is transported into scon-2 cells grown on high sulfur but is not transported into cells that have regained normal sulfur regulation. Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis was used to confirm that the cloned segment mapped to the proper chromosomal location. In wild-type cells, Northern (RNA) blot analysis showed that a 2.6-kilobase scon-2+ transcript was present at a substantial level only under sulfur-derepressing conditions. Kinetic analysis showed that scon-2+ mRNA content increased as the cells became sulfur starved. Further, scon-2+ RNA was detectable in a nuclear transcription assay only under derepressing conditions. In scon-1, the levels of scon-2+ mRNA were found to be constitutive. In the cys-3 regulatory mutant, there was a reduced level of scon-2+ transcript. cys-3+ and ars-1+ mRNAs were present under both derepressing and repressing conditions in the scon-2 mutant. Repeat-induced point mutation-generated scon-2 mutants were identical in phenotype to the known mutant. Images PMID:1975945

  20. Redeployment of a conserved gene regulatory network during Aedes aegypti development.

    PubMed

    Suryamohan, Kushal; Hanson, Casey; Andrews, Emily; Sinha, Saurabh; Scheel, Molly Duman; Halfon, Marc S

    2016-08-15

    Changes in gene regulatory networks (GRNs) underlie the evolution of morphological novelty and developmental system drift. The fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster and the dengue and Zika vector mosquito Aedes aegypti have substantially similar nervous system morphology. Nevertheless, they show significant divergence in a set of genes co-expressed in the midline of the Drosophila central nervous system, including the master regulator single minded and downstream genes including short gastrulation, Star, and NetrinA. In contrast to Drosophila, we find that midline expression of these genes is either absent or severely diminished in A. aegypti. Instead, they are co-expressed in the lateral nervous system. This suggests that in A. aegypti this "midline GRN" has been redeployed to a new location while lost from its previous site of activity. In order to characterize the relevant GRNs, we employed the SCRMshaw method we previously developed to identify transcriptional cis-regulatory modules in both species. Analysis of these regulatory sequences in transgenic Drosophila suggests that the altered gene expression observed in A. aegypti is the result of trans-dependent redeployment of the GRN, potentially stemming from cis-mediated changes in the expression of sim and other as-yet unidentified regulators. Our results illustrate a novel "repeal, replace, and redeploy" mode of evolution in which a conserved GRN acquires a different function at a new site while its original function is co-opted by a different GRN. This represents a striking example of developmental system drift in which the dramatic shift in gene expression does not result in gross morphological changes, but in more subtle differences in development and function of the late embryonic nervous system. PMID:27341759

  1. Temperature-Related Reaction Norms of Gene Expression: Regulatory Architecture and Functional Implications.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jun; Nolte, Viola; Schlötterer, Christian

    2015-09-01

    The environment has profound effects on the expression of many traits and reaction norms describe the expression dynamics of a trait across a broad range of environmental conditions. Here, we analyze gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster across four different developmental temperatures (13-29 °C). Gene expression is highly plastic with 83.3% of the genes being differentially expressed. We distinguished three components of plasticity: 1) Dynamics of gene expression intensity (sum of change), 2) direction of change, and 3) curvature of the reaction norm (linear vs. quadratic). Studying their regulatory architecture we found that all three plasticity components were most strongly affected by the number of different transcription factors (TFs) binding to the target gene. More TFs were found in genes with less expression changes across temperatures. Although the effect of microRNAs was weaker, we consistently noted a trend in the opposite direction. The most plastic genes were regulated by fewer TFs and more microRNAs than less plastic genes. Different patterns of plasticity were also reflected by their functional characterization based on gene ontology. Our results suggest that reaction norms provide an important key to understand the functional requirements of natural populations exposed to variable environmental conditions.

  2. MODELING OF GENE REGULATORY PROCESSES BY POPULATION MEDIATED SIGNALING. NEW APPLICATIONS OF POPULATION BALANCES

    PubMed Central

    Shu, Che-Chi; Chatterjee, Anushree; Hu, Wei-Shou

    2011-01-01

    Population balance modeling is considered for cell populations in gene regulatory processes in which one or more intracellular variables undergo stochastic dynamics as determined by Ito stochastic differential equations. This paper addresses formulation and computational issues with sample applications to the spread of drug resistance among bacterial cells. It is shown that predictions from population balances can display qualitative differences from those made with single cell models which are usually encountered in the literature. Such differences are deemed to be important. PMID:22581980

  3. The Influence of Assortativity on the Robustness of Signal-Integration Logic in Gene Regulatory Networks

    PubMed Central

    Pechenick, Dov A.; Payne, Joshua L.; Moore, Jason H.

    2011-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) drive the cellular processes that sustain life. To do so reliably, GRNs must be robust to perturbations, such as gene deletion and the addition or removal of regulatory interactions. GRNs must also be robust to genetic changes in regulatory regions that define the logic of signal-integration, as these changes can affect how specific combinations of regulatory signals are mapped to particular gene expression states. Previous theoretical analyses have demonstrated that the robustness of a GRN is influenced by its underlying topological properties, such as degree distribution and modularity. Another important topological property is assortativity, which measures the propensity with which nodes of similar connectivity are connected to one another. How assortativity influences the robustness of the signal-integration logic of GRNs remains an open question. Here, we use computational models of GRNs to investigate this relationship. We separately consider each of the three dynamical regimes of this model for a variety of degree distributions. We find that in the chaotic regime, robustness exhibits a pronounced increase as assortativity becomes more positive, while in the critical and ordered regimes, robustness is generally less sensitive to changes in assortativity. We attribute the increased robustness to a decrease in the duration of the gene expression pattern, which is caused by a reduction in the average size of a GRN’s in-components. This study provides the first direct evidence that assortativity influences the robustness of the signal-integration logic of computational models of GRNs, illuminates a mechanistic explanation for this influence, and furthers our understanding of the relationship between topology and robustness in complex biological systems. PMID:22155134

  4. Cloning and nucleotide sequence of luxR, a regulatory gene controlling bioluminescence in Vibrio harveyi.

    PubMed Central

    Showalter, R E; Martin, M O; Silverman, M R

    1990-01-01

    Mutagenesis with transposon mini-Mulac was used previously to identify a regulatory locus necessary for expression of bioluminescence genes, lux, in Vibrio harveyi (M. Martin, R. Showalter, and M. Silverman, J. Bacteriol. 171:2406-2414, 1989). Mutants with transposon insertions in this regulatory locus were used to construct a hybridization probe which was used in this study to detect recombinants in a cosmid library containing the homologous DNA. Recombinant cosmids with this DNA stimulated expression of the genes encoding enzymes for luminescence, i.e., the luxCDABE operon, which were positioned in trans on a compatible replicon in Escherichia coli. Transposon mutagenesis and analysis of the DNA sequence of the cloned DNA indicated that regulatory function resided in a single gene of about 0.6-kilobases named luxR. Expression of bioluminescence in V. harveyi and in the fish light-organ symbiont Vibrio fischeri is controlled by density-sensing mechanisms involving the accumulation of small signal molecules called autoinducers, but similarity of the two luminescence systems at the molecular level was not apparent in this study. The amino acid sequence of the LuxR product of V. harveyi, which indicates a structural relationship to some DNA-binding proteins, is not similar to the sequence of the protein that regulates expression of luminescence in V. fischeri. In addition, reconstitution of autoinducer-controlled luminescence in recombinant E. coli, already achieved with lux genes cloned from V. fischeri, was not accomplished with the isolation of luxR from V. harveyi, suggesting a requirement for an additional regulatory component. PMID:2160932

  5. Repressive BMP2 gene regulatory elements near the BMP2 promoter

    SciTech Connect

    Jiang, Shan; Chandler, Ronald L.; Fritz, David T.; Mortlock, Douglas P.; Rogers, Melissa B.

    2010-02-05

    The level of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) profoundly influences essential cell behaviors such as proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and migration. The spatial and temporal pattern of BMP2 synthesis, particular in diverse embryonic cells, is highly varied and dynamic. We have identified GC-rich sequences within the BMP2 promoter region that strongly repress gene expression. These elements block the activity of a highly conserved, osteoblast enhancer in response to FGF2 treatment. Both positive and negative gene regulatory elements control BMP2 synthesis. Detecting and mapping the repressive motifs is essential because they impede the identification of developmentally regulated enhancers necessary for normal BMP2 patterns and concentration.

  6. Supervised inference of gene regulatory networks from positive and unlabeled examples.

    PubMed

    Mordelet, Fantine; Vert, Jean-Philippe

    2013-01-01

    Elucidating the structure of gene regulatory networks (GRN), i.e., identifying which genes are under control of which transcription factors, is an important challenge to gain insight on a cell's working mechanisms. We present SIRENE, a method to estimate a GRN from a collection of expression data. Contrary to most existing methods for GRN inference, SIRENE requires as input a list of known regulations, in addition to expression data, and implements a supervised machine-learning approach based on learning from positive and unlabeled examples to account for the lack of negative examples.

  7. Functional Dissection of Regulatory Models Using Gene Expression Data of Deletion Mutants

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Min; Han, Jing-Dong J.

    2013-01-01

    Genome-wide gene expression profiles accumulate at an alarming rate, how to integrate these expression profiles generated by different laboratories to reverse engineer the cellular regulatory network has been a major challenge. To automatically infer gene regulatory pathways from genome-wide mRNA expression profiles before and after genetic perturbations, we introduced a new Bayesian network algorithm: Deletion Mutant Bayesian Network (DM_BN). We applied DM_BN to the expression profiles of 544 yeast single or double deletion mutants of transcription factors, chromatin remodeling machinery components, protein kinases and phosphatases in S. cerevisiae. The network inferred by this method identified causal regulatory and non-causal concurrent interactions among these regulators (genetically perturbed genes) that are strongly supported by the experimental evidence, and generated many new testable hypotheses. Compared to networks reconstructed by routine similarity measures or by alternative Bayesian network algorithms, the network inferred by DM_BN excels in both precision and recall. To facilitate its application in other systems, we packaged the algorithm into a user-friendly analysis tool that can be downloaded at http://www.picb.ac.cn/hanlab/DM_BN.html. PMID:24039601

  8. Echinochrome A Increases Mitochondrial Mass and Function by Modulating Mitochondrial Biogenesis Regulatory Genes

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Seung Hun; Kim, Hyoung Kyu; Song, In-Sung; Noh, Su Jin; Marquez, Jubert; Ko, Kyung Soo; Rhee, Byoung Doo; Kim, Nari; Mishchenko, Natalia P.; Fedoreyev, Sergey A.; Stonik, Valentin A.; Han, Jin

    2014-01-01

    Echinochrome A (Ech A) is a natural pigment from sea urchins that has been reported to have antioxidant properties and a cardio protective effect against ischemia reperfusion injury. In this study, we ascertained whether Ech A enhances the mitochondrial biogenesis and oxidative phosphorylation in rat cardio myoblast H9c2 cells. To study the effects of Ech A on mitochondrial biogenesis, we measured mitochondrial mass, level of oxidative phosphorylation, and mitochondrial biogenesis regulatory gene expression. Ech A treatment did not induce cytotoxicity. However, Ech A treatment enhanced oxygen consumption rate and mitochondrial ATP level. Likewise, Ech A treatment increased mitochondrial contents in H9c2 cells. Furthermore, Ech A treatment up-regulated biogenesis of regulatory transcription genes, including proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator (PGC)-1α, estrogen-related receptor (ERR)-α, peroxisome proliferator-activator receptor (PPAR)-γ, and nuclear respiratory factor (NRF)-1 and such mitochondrial transcription regulatory genes as mitochondrial transcriptional factor A (TFAM), mitochondrial transcription factor B2 (TFB2M), mitochondrial DNA direct polymerase (POLMRT), single strand binding protein (SSBP) and Tu translation elongation factor (TUFM). In conclusion, these data suggest that Ech A is a potentiated marine drug which enhances mitochondrial biogenesis. PMID:25196935

  9. Regulatory and ethical issues for phase I in utero gene transfer studies.

    PubMed

    Strong, Carson

    2011-11-01

    Clinical gene transfer research has involved adult and child subjects, and it is expected that gene transfer in fetal subjects will occur in the future. Some genetic diseases have serious adverse effects on the fetus before birth, and there is hope that prenatal gene therapy could prevent such disease progression. Research in animal models of prenatal gene transfer is actively being pursued. The prospect of human phase I in utero gene transfer studies raises important regulatory and ethical issues. One issue not previously addressed arises in applying U.S. research regulations to such studies. Specifically, current regulations state that research involving greater than minimal risk to the fetus and no prospect of direct benefit to the fetus or pregnant woman is not permitted. Phase I studies will involve interventions such as needle insertions through the uterus, which carry risks to the fetus including spontaneous abortion and preterm birth. It is possible that these risks will be regarded as exceeding minimal. Also, some regard the probability of therapeutic benefit in phase I studies to be so low that these studies do not satisfy the regulatory requirement that they "hold out the prospect of direct benefit" to subjects. On the basis of these considerations, investigators and institutional review boards might reasonably conclude that some phase I in utero studies are not to be permitted. This paper identifies considerations that are relevant to such judgments and explores ethically acceptable ways in which phase I studies can be designed so that they are permitted by the regulations.

  10. [Butanol as a regulatory factor of ompC gene expression in E. coli cells].

    PubMed

    Seregina, T A; Shakulov, R S; Mironov, A S

    2012-11-01

    The influence of butanol on the expression of ompC gene encoding synthesis of OmpC porin in the MG 1655 strain of E. coli and butanol-tolerant mutant ButR was studied. It was shown that in the case of wild bacteria, the addition of butanol to the growth medium results in an increased level of ompC transcription. However, OmpC porin is not detected in the membrane fraction of cells. ButR mutant exhibits a higher level of ompC gene expression. A direct correlation is observed between the level of OmpC porin expression and its content in the membrane fraction of ButR mutant cells. In the regulatory region of the ompC gene of the ButR mutant, three nucleotide substitutions located in the binding sites of OmpR and CpxR activator proteins were identified. It was shown that mutations in the regulatory region of the ompC gene in the ButR mutant are responsible for the decreased level of OmpC porin expression under normal growth conditions. However, these mutations lead to an increased level of OmpC porin synthesis in the presence of butanol. These data suggest an additional mechanism of ompC gene regulation with the participation of butanol as a positive transcription effector.

  11. Inferring Gene Regulatory Networks by Singular Value Decomposition and Gravitation Field Algorithm

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Ming; Wu, Jia-nan; Huang, Yan-xin; Liu, Gui-xia; Zhou, You; Zhou, Chun-guang

    2012-01-01

    Reconstruction of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) is of utmost interest and has become a challenge computational problem in system biology. However, every existing inference algorithm from gene expression profiles has its own advantages and disadvantages. In particular, the effectiveness and efficiency of every previous algorithm is not high enough. In this work, we proposed a novel inference algorithm from gene expression data based on differential equation model. In this algorithm, two methods were included for inferring GRNs. Before reconstructing GRNs, singular value decomposition method was used to decompose gene expression data, determine the algorithm solution space, and get all candidate solutions of GRNs. In these generated family of candidate solutions, gravitation field algorithm was modified to infer GRNs, used to optimize the criteria of differential equation model, and search the best network structure result. The proposed algorithm is validated on both the simulated scale-free network and real benchmark gene regulatory network in networks database. Both the Bayesian method and the traditional differential equation model were also used to infer GRNs, and the results were used to compare with the proposed algorithm in our work. And genetic algorithm and simulated annealing were also used to evaluate gravitation field algorithm. The cross-validation results confirmed the effectiveness of our algorithm, which outperforms significantly other previous algorithms. PMID:23226565

  12. Inferring gene regulatory networks by singular value decomposition and gravitation field algorithm.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Ming; Wu, Jia-nan; Huang, Yan-xin; Liu, Gui-xia; Zhou, You; Zhou, Chun-guang

    2012-01-01

    Reconstruction of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) is of utmost interest and has become a challenge computational problem in system biology. However, every existing inference algorithm from gene expression profiles has its own advantages and disadvantages. In particular, the effectiveness and efficiency of every previous algorithm is not high enough. In this work, we proposed a novel inference algorithm from gene expression data based on differential equation model. In this algorithm, two methods were included for inferring GRNs. Before reconstructing GRNs, singular value decomposition method was used to decompose gene expression data, determine the algorithm solution space, and get all candidate solutions of GRNs. In these generated family of candidate solutions, gravitation field algorithm was modified to infer GRNs, used to optimize the criteria of differential equation model, and search the best network structure result. The proposed algorithm is validated on both the simulated scale-free network and real benchmark gene regulatory network in networks database. Both the Bayesian method and the traditional differential equation model were also used to infer GRNs, and the results were used to compare with the proposed algorithm in our work. And genetic algorithm and simulated annealing were also used to evaluate gravitation field algorithm. The cross-validation results confirmed the effectiveness of our algorithm, which outperforms significantly other previous algorithms.

  13. 78 FR 44287 - Department Regulatory Agenda; Semiannual Summary

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-23

    ... 636--Design-build Contracting 23 CFR part 637--Construction Inspection and Approval Federal Motor... revised, as needed, to assure that they continue to meet the needs for which they originally were designed... Planning and Review,'' (58 FR 51735; Oct. 4, 1993) and the Department's Regulatory Policies and...

  14. Puffs and gene regulation--molecular insights into the Drosophila ecdysone regulatory hierarchy.

    PubMed

    Thummel, C S

    1990-12-01

    Sixteen years ago, Michael Ashburner and his colleagues proposed a hierarchical model for the genetic control of polytene chromosome puffing by the steroid hormone ecdysone. The recent molecular isolation and characterization of three early ecdysone-inducible genes has confirmed many aspects of this model--these genes are directly induced by ecdysone, repressed by ecdysone-induced proteins, and appear to encode DNA binding regulatory proteins. The three early genes are also remarkably similar in structure. They are all unusually long and complex, with multiple transcripts that direct the synthesis of several related proteins from each locus. Proteins encoded by two of the early genes bind to both early and late ecdysone-induced puffs, implying that they are key regulators in the hierarchy. PMID:2127884

  15. Integration of metabolic and gene regulatory networks modulates the C. elegans dietary response.

    PubMed

    Watson, Emma; MacNeil, Lesley T; Arda, H Efsun; Zhu, Lihua Julie; Walhout, Albertha J M

    2013-03-28

    Expression profiles are tailored according to dietary input. However, the networks that control dietary responses remain largely uncharacterized. Here, we combine forward and reverse genetic screens to delineate a network of 184 genes that affect the C. elegans dietary response to Comamonas DA1877 bacteria. We find that perturbation of a mitochondrial network composed of enzymes involved in amino acid metabolism and the TCA cycle affects the dietary response. In humans, mutations in the corresponding genes cause inborn diseases of amino acid metabolism, most of which are treated by dietary intervention. We identify several transcription factors (TFs) that mediate the changes in gene expression upon metabolic network perturbations. Altogether, our findings unveil a transcriptional response system that is poised to sense dietary cues and metabolic imbalances, illustrating extensive communication between metabolic networks in the mitochondria and gene regulatory networks in the nucleus.

  16. State of the Art of Fuzzy Methods for Gene Regulatory Networks Inference

    PubMed Central

    Al Qazlan, Tuqyah Abdullah; Kara-Mohamed, Chafia

    2015-01-01

    To address one of the most challenging issues at the cellular level, this paper surveys the fuzzy methods used in gene regulatory networks (GRNs) inference. GRNs represent causal relationships between genes that have a direct influence, trough protein production, on the life and the development of living organisms and provide a useful contribution to the understanding of the cellular functions as well as the mechanisms of diseases. Fuzzy systems are based on handling imprecise knowledge, such as biological information. They provide viable computational tools for inferring GRNs from gene expression data, thus contributing to the discovery of gene interactions responsible for specific diseases and/or ad hoc correcting therapies. Increasing computational power and high throughput technologies have provided powerful means to manage these challenging digital ecosystems at different levels from cell to society globally. The main aim of this paper is to report, present, and discuss the main contributions of this multidisciplinary field in a coherent and structured framework. PMID:25879048

  17. Scavenger receptor A gene regulatory elements target gene expression to macrophages and to foam cells of atherosclerotic lesions.

    PubMed Central

    Horvai, A; Palinski, W; Wu, H; Moulton, K S; Kalla, K; Glass, C K

    1995-01-01

    Transcription of the macrophage scavenger receptor A gene is markedly upregulated during monocyte to macrophage differentiation. In these studies, we demonstrate that 291 bp of the proximal scavenger receptor promoter, in concert with a 400-bp upstream enhancer element, is sufficient to direct macrophage-specific expression of a human growth hormone reporter in transgenic mice. These regulatory elements, which contain binding sites for PU.1, AP-1, and cooperating ets-domain transcription factors, are also sufficient to mediate regulation of transgene expression during the in vitro differentiation of bone marrow progenitor cells in response to macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Mutation of the PU.1 binding site within the scavenger receptor promoter severely impairs transgene expression, consistent with a crucial role of PU.1 in regulating the expression of the scavenger receptor gene. The ability of the scavenger receptor promoter and enhancer to target gene expression to macrophages in vivo, including foam cells of atherosclerotic lesions, suggests that these regulatory elements will be of general utility in the study of macrophage differentiation and function by permitting specific modifications of macrophage gene expression. Images Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:7777517

  18. A model of gene expression based on random dynamical systems reveals modularity properties of gene regulatory networks.

    PubMed

    Antoneli, Fernando; Ferreira, Renata C; Briones, Marcelo R S

    2016-06-01

    Here we propose a new approach to modeling gene expression based on the theory of random dynamical systems (RDS) that provides a general coupling prescription between the nodes of any given regulatory network given the dynamics of each node is modeled by a RDS. The main virtues of this approach are the following: (i) it provides a natural way to obtain arbitrarily large networks by coupling together simple basic pieces, thus revealing the modularity of regulatory networks; (ii) the assumptions about the stochastic processes used in the modeling are fairly general, in the sense that the only requirement is stationarity; (iii) there is a well developed mathematical theory, which is a blend of smooth dynamical systems theory, ergodic theory and stochastic analysis that allows one to extract relevant dynamical and statistical information without solving the system; (iv) one may obtain the classical rate equations form the corresponding stochastic version by averaging the dynamic random variables (small noise limit). It is important to emphasize that unlike the deterministic case, where coupling two equations is a trivial matter, coupling two RDS is non-trivial, specially in our case, where the coupling is performed between a state variable of one gene and the switching stochastic process of another gene and, hence, it is not a priori true that the resulting coupled system will satisfy the definition of a random dynamical system. We shall provide the necessary arguments that ensure that our coupling prescription does indeed furnish a coupled regulatory network of random dynamical systems. Finally, the fact that classical rate equations are the small noise limit of our stochastic model ensures that any validation or prediction made on the basis of the classical theory is also a validation or prediction of our model. We illustrate our framework with some simple examples of single-gene system and network motifs.

  19. Demystifying the secret mission of enhancers: linking distal regulatory elements to target genes

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Lijing; Berman, Benjamin P.; Farnham, Peggy J.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Enhancers are short regulatory sequences bound by sequence-specific transcription factors and play a major role in the spatiotemporal specificity of gene expression patterns in development and disease. While it is now possible to identify enhancer regions genomewide in both cultured cells and primary tissues using epigenomic approaches, it has been more challenging to develop methods to understand the function of individual enhancers because enhancers are located far from the gene(s) that they regulate. However, it is essential to identify target genes of enhancers not only so that we can understand the role of enhancers in disease but also because this information will assist in the development of future therapeutic options. After reviewing models of enhancer function, we discuss recent methods for identifying target genes of enhancers. First, we describe chromatin structure-based approaches for directly mapping interactions between enhancers and promoters. Second, we describe the use of correlation-based approaches to link enhancer state with the activity of nearby promoters and/or gene expression. Third, we describe how to test the function of specific enhancers experimentally by perturbing enhancer–target relationships using high-throughput reporter assays and genome editing. Finally, we conclude by discussing as yet unanswered questions concerning how enhancers function, how target genes can be identified, and how to distinguish direct from indirect changes in gene expression mediated by individual enhancers. PMID:26446758

  20. Isolation of Sparus auratus prolactin gene and activity of the cis-acting regulatory elements.

    PubMed

    Astola, Antonio; Ortiz, Manuela; Calduch-Giner, Josep A; Pérez-Sánchez, Jaume; Valdivia, Manuel M

    2003-10-15

    A sea bream prolactin (sbPRL) gene was isolated using a prolactin cDNA fragment, generated by PCR as a probe. The gene analyzed comprises 3.5 kb of DNA containing five exons as described previously for other fish PRL genes. Analysis of 1.0 kb of the proximal promoter sequence reveals a consensus TATAA box, up to seven (A/T)3NCAT consensus motifs for binding of the pituitary-specific factor Pit-1 and putative CREB and GATA binding sites. CHO culture cells co-transfected with a sbPRL promoter sequence and a sea bream Pit-1 cDNA expression plasmid showed expression of a linked luciferase reporter gene. Transient expression experiments with 5'-delection mutants reveals at least three regulatory regions on the sbPRL gene, two with a stimulatory effect on transcription and one with apparent inhibitory effect. From a comparative point of view, this study of PRL gene in Sparus auratus, correlates well with those previously published on tilapia and rainbow trout. The molecular data reported will be useful for comparative analysis of gene regulation in the GH/PRL gene family in teleosts.

  1. Demystifying the secret mission of enhancers: linking distal regulatory elements to target genes.

    PubMed

    Yao, Lijing; Berman, Benjamin P; Farnham, Peggy J

    2015-01-01

    Enhancers are short regulatory sequences bound by sequence-specific transcription factors and play a major role in the spatiotemporal specificity of gene expression patterns in development and disease. While it is now possible to identify enhancer regions genomewide in both cultured cells and primary tissues using epigenomic approaches, it has been more challenging to develop methods to understand the function of individual enhancers because enhancers are located far from the gene(s) that they regulate. However, it is essential to identify target genes of enhancers not only so that we can understand the role of enhancers in disease but also because this information will assist in the development of future therapeutic options. After reviewing models of enhancer function, we discuss recent methods for identifying target genes of enhancers. First, we describe chromatin structure-based approaches for directly mapping interactions between enhancers and promoters. Second, we describe the use of correlation-based approaches to link enhancer state with the activity of nearby promoters and/or gene expression. Third, we describe how to test the function of specific enhancers experimentally by perturbing enhancer-target relationships using high-throughput reporter assays and genome editing. Finally, we conclude by discussing as yet unanswered questions concerning how enhancers function, how target genes can be identified, and how to distinguish direct from indirect changes in gene expression mediated by individual enhancers. PMID:26446758

  2. Functional evolution of cis-regulatory modules at a homeotic gene in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Ho, Margaret C W; Johnsen, Holly; Goetz, Sara E; Schiller, Benjamin J; Bae, Esther; Tran, Diana A; Shur, Andrey S; Allen, John M; Rau, Christoph; Bender, Welcome; Fisher, William W; Celniker, Susan E; Drewell, Robert A

    2009-11-01

    It is a long-held belief in evolutionary biology that the rate of molecular evolution for a given DNA sequence is inversely related to the level of functional constraint. This belief holds true for the protein-coding homeotic (Hox) genes originally discovered in Drosophila melanogaster. Expression of the Hox genes in Drosophila embryos is essential for body patterning and is controlled by an extensive array of cis-regulatory modules (CRMs). How the regulatory modules functionally evolve in different species is not clear. A comparison of the CRMs for the Abdominal-B gene from different Drosophila species reveals relatively low levels of overall sequence conservation. However, embryonic enhancer CRMs from other Drosophila species direct transgenic reporter gene expression in the same spatial and temporal patterns during development as their D. melanogaster orthologs. Bioinformatic analysis reveals the presence of short conserved sequences within defined CRMs, representing gap and pair-rule transcription factor binding sites. One predicted binding site for the gap transcription factor KRUPPEL in the IAB5 CRM was found to be altered in Superabdominal (Sab) mutations. In Sab mutant flies, the third abdominal segment is transformed into a copy of the fifth abdominal segment. A model for KRUPPEL-mediated repression at this binding site is presented. These findings challenge our current understanding of the relationship between sequence evolution at the molecular level and functional activity of a CRM. While the overall sequence conservation at Drosophila CRMs is not distinctive from neighboring genomic regions, functionally critical transcription factor binding sites within embryonic enhancer CRMs are highly conserved. These results have implications for understanding mechanisms of gene expression during embryonic development, enhancer function, and the molecular evolution of eukaryotic regulatory modules.

  3. Metatranscriptomic insights on gene expression and regulatory controls in Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis

    PubMed Central

    Oyserman, Ben O; Noguera, Daniel R; del Rio, Tijana Glavina; Tringe, Susannah G; McMahon, Katherine D

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies on enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) have focused on reconstructing genomic blueprints for the model polyphosphate-accumulating organism Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis. Here, a time series metatranscriptome generated from enrichment cultures of Accumulibacter was used to gain insight into anerobic/aerobic metabolism and regulatory mechanisms within an EBPR cycle. Co-expressed gene clusters were identified displaying ecologically relevant trends consistent with batch cycle phases. Transcripts displaying increased abundance during anerobic acetate contact were functionally enriched in energy production and conversion, including upregulation of both cytoplasmic and membrane-bound hydrogenases demonstrating the importance of transcriptional regulation to manage energy and electron flux during anerobic acetate contact. We hypothesized and demonstrated hydrogen production after anerobic acetate contact, a previously unknown strategy for Accumulibacter to maintain redox balance. Genes involved in anerobic glycine utilization were identified and phosphorus release after anerobic glycine contact demonstrated, suggesting that Accumulibacter routes diverse carbon sources to acetyl-CoA formation via previously unrecognized pathways. A comparative genomics analysis of sequences upstream of co-expressed genes identified two statistically significant putative regulatory motifs. One palindromic motif was identified upstream of genes involved in PHA synthesis and acetate activation and is hypothesized to be a phaR binding site, hence representing a hypothetical PHA modulon. A second motif was identified ~35 base pairs (bp) upstream of a large and diverse array of genes and hence may represent a sigma factor binding site. This analysis provides a basis and framework for further investigations into Accumulibacter metabolism and the reconstruction of regulatory networks in uncultured organisms. PMID:26555245

  4. Metatranscriptomic insights on gene expression and regulatory controls in Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis.

    PubMed

    Oyserman, Ben O; Noguera, Daniel R; del Rio, Tijana Glavina; Tringe, Susannah G; McMahon, Katherine D

    2016-04-01

    Previous studies on enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) have focused on reconstructing genomic blueprints for the model polyphosphate-accumulating organism Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis. Here, a time series metatranscriptome generated from enrichment cultures of Accumulibacter was used to gain insight into anerobic/aerobic metabolism and regulatory mechanisms within an EBPR cycle. Co-expressed gene clusters were identified displaying ecologically relevant trends consistent with batch cycle phases. Transcripts displaying increased abundance during anerobic acetate contact were functionally enriched in energy production and conversion, including upregulation of both cytoplasmic and membrane-bound hydrogenases demonstrating the importance of transcriptional regulation to manage energy and electron flux during anerobic acetate contact. We hypothesized and demonstrated hydrogen production after anerobic acetate contact, a previously unknown strategy for Accumulibacter to maintain redox balance. Genes involved in anerobic glycine utilization were identified and phosphorus release after anerobic glycine contact demonstrated, suggesting that Accumulibacter routes diverse carbon sources to acetyl-CoA formation via previously unrecognized pathways. A comparative genomics analysis of sequences upstream of co-expressed genes identified two statistically significant putative regulatory motifs. One palindromic motif was identified upstream of genes involved in PHA synthesis and acetate activation and is hypothesized to be a phaR binding site, hence representing a hypothetical PHA modulon. A second motif was identified ~35 base pairs (bp) upstream of a large and diverse array of genes and hence may represent a sigma factor binding site. This analysis provides a basis and framework for further investigations into Accumulibacter metabolism and the reconstruction of regulatory networks in uncultured organisms. PMID:26555245

  5. Identification and cloning of a fur regulatory gene in Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed Central

    Staggs, T M; Perry, R D

    1991-01-01

    Yersinia pestis is one of many microorganisms responding to environmental iron concentrations by regulating the synthesis of proteins and an iron transport system(s). In a number of bacteria, expression of iron uptake systems and other virulence determinants is controlled by the Fur regulatory protein. DNA hybridization analysis revealed that both pigmented and nonpigmented cells of Y. pestis possess a DNA locus homologous to the Escherichia coli fur gene. Introduction of a Fur-regulated beta-galactosidase reporter gene into Y. pestis KIM resulted in iron-responsive beta-galactosidase activity, indicating that Y. pestis KIM expresses a functional Fur regulatory protein. A cloned 1.9-kb ClaI fragment of Y. pestis chromosomal DNA hybridized specifically to the fur gene of E. coli. The coding region of the E. coli fur gene hybridized to a 1.1-kb region at one end of the cloned Y. pestis fragment. The failure of this clone to complement an E. coli fur mutant suggests that the 1.9-kb clone does not contain a functional promoter. Subcloning of this fragment into an inducible expression vector restored Fur regulation in an E. coli fur mutant. In addition, a larger 4.8-kb Y. pestis clone containing the putative promoter region complemented the Fur- phenotype. These results suggest that Y. pestis possesses a functional Fur regulatory protein capable of interacting with the E. coli Fur system. In Y. pestis Fur may regulate the expression of iron transport systems and other virulence factors in response to iron limitation in the environment. Possible candidates for Fur regulation in Y. pestis include genes involved in ferric iron transport as well as hemin, heme/hemopexin, heme/albumin, ferritin, hemoglobin, and hemoglobin/haptoglobin utilization. Images PMID:1898928

  6. Autoregulation of the Kluyveromyces lactis pyruvate decarboxylase gene KlPDC1 involves the regulatory gene RAG3.

    PubMed

    Ottaviano, Daniela; Micolonghi, Chiara; Tizzani, Lorenza; Lemaire, Marc; Wésolowski-Louvel, Micheline; De Stefano, Maria Egle; Ranieri, Danilo; Bianchi, Michele M

    2014-07-01

    In the yeast Kluyveromyces lactis, the pyruvate decarboxylase gene KlPDC1 is strongly regulated at the transcription level by different environmental factors. Sugars and hypoxia act as inducers of transcription, while ethanol acts as a repressor. Their effects are mediated by gene products, some of which have been characterized. KlPDC1 transcription is also strongly repressed by its product--KlPdc1--through a mechanism called autoregulation. We performed a genetic screen that allowed us to select and identify the regulatory gene RAG3 as a major factor in the transcriptional activity of the KlPDC1 promoter in the absence of the KlPdc1 protein, i.e. in the autoregulatory mechanism. We also showed that the two proteins Rag3 and KlPdc1 interact, co-localize in the cell and that KlPdc1 may control Rag3 nuclear localization.

  7. The impact of widespread regulatory neofunctionalization on homeolog gene evolution following whole-genome duplication in maize

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Thomas E.; Langdale, Jane A.

    2014-01-01

    Whole-genome duplications are a widespread feature of plant genome evolution, having been detected in all flowering plant lineages. Despite the prevalence of these events, the extent to which duplicated genes (homeolog gene pairs) functionally diverge (neofunctionalization) is unclear. We present a genome-wide analysis of molecular evolution and regulatory neofunctionalization in maize (Zea mays L.). We demonstrate that 13% of all homeolog gene pairs in maize are regulatory neofunctionalized in leaves, and that regulatory neofunctionalized genes experience enhanced purifying selection. We show that significantly more genes have been regulatory neofunctionalized in foliar leaves than in husk leaves and that both leaf types have experienced selection for distinct functional roles. Furthermore, we demonstrate that biased subgenome expression dominance occurs only in the presence of regulatory neofunctionalization and that in nonregulatory neofunctionalized genes subgenome dominance is progressively acquired during development. Taken together, our study reveals several novel insights into the evolution of maize, genes, and gene expression, and provides a general model for gene evolution following whole-genome duplication in plants. PMID:24788921

  8. Lactogenic hormonal induction of long distance interactions between beta-casein gene regulatory elements.

    PubMed

    Kabotyanski, Elena B; Rijnkels, Monique; Freeman-Zadrowski, Courtneay; Buser, Adam C; Edwards, Dean P; Rosen, Jeffrey M

    2009-08-21

    Lactogenic hormone regulation of beta-casein gene expression in mammary epithelial cells provides an excellent model in which to study the mechanisms by which steroid and peptide hormone signaling control gene expression. Prolactin- and glucocorticoid-mediated induction of beta-casein gene expression involves two principal regulatory regions, a proximal promoter and a distal enhancer located in the mouse approximately -6 kb upstream of the transcription start site. Using a chromosome conformation capture assay and quantitative real time PCR, we demonstrate that a chromatin loop is created in conjunction with the recruitment of specific transcription factors and p300 in HC11 mammary epithelial cells. Stimulation with both prolactin and hydrocortisone is required for the induction of these long range interactions between the promoter and enhancer, and no DNA looping was observed in nontreated cells or cells treated with each of the hormones separately. The lactogenic hormone-induced interaction between the proximal promoter and distal enhancer was confirmed in hormone-treated primary three-dimensional mammary acini cultures. In addition, the developmental regulation of DNA looping between the beta-casein regulatory regions was observed in lactating but not in virgin mouse mammary glands. Furthermore, beta-casein mRNA induction and long range interactions between these regulatory regions were inhibited in a progestin-dependent manner following stimulation with prolactin and hydrocortisone in HC11 cells expressing human PR-B. Collectively, these data suggest that the communication between these regulatory regions with intervening DNA looping is a crucial step required to both create and maintain active chromatin domains and regulate transcription.

  9. Predicting miRNA Targets by Integrating Gene Regulatory Knowledge with Expression Profiles

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Weijia; Le, Thuc Duy; Liu, Lin; Zhou, Zhi-Hua; Li, Jiuyong

    2016-01-01

    Motivation microRNAs (miRNAs) play crucial roles in post-transcriptional gene regulation of both plants and mammals, and dysfunctions of miRNAs are often associated with tumorigenesis and development through the effects on their target messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Identifying miRNA functions is critical for understanding cancer mechanisms and determining the efficacy of drugs. Computational methods analyzing high-throughput data offer great assistance in understanding the diverse and complex relationships between miRNAs and mRNAs. However, most of the existing methods do not fully utilise the available knowledge in biology to reduce the uncertainty in the modeling process. Therefore it is desirable to develop a method that can seamlessly integrate existing biological knowledge and high-throughput data into the process of discovering miRNA regulation mechanisms. Results In this article we present an integrative framework, CIDER (Causal miRNA target Discovery with Expression profile and Regulatory knowledge), to predict miRNA targets. CIDER is able to utilise a variety of gene regulation knowledge, including transcriptional and post-transcriptional knowledge, and to exploit gene expression data for the discovery of miRNA-mRNA regulatory relationships. The benefits of our framework is demonstrated by both simulation study and the analysis of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the breast cancer (BRCA) datasets. Our results reveal that even a limited amount of either Transcription Factor (TF)-miRNA or miRNA-mRNA regulatory knowledge improves the performance of miRNA target prediction, and the combination of the two types of knowledge enhances the improvement further. Another useful property of the framework is that its performance increases monotonically with the increase of regulatory knowledge. PMID:27064982

  10. Robustness and state-space structure of Boolean gene regulatory models.

    PubMed

    Willadsen, Kai; Wiles, Janet

    2007-12-21

    Robustness to perturbation is an important characteristic of genetic regulatory systems, but the relationship between robustness and model dynamics has not been clearly quantified. We propose a method for quantifying both robustness and dynamics in terms of state-space structures, for Boolean models of genetic regulatory systems. By investigating existing models of the Drosophila melanogaster segment polarity network and the Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell-cycle network, we show that the structure of attractor basins can yield insight into the underlying decision making required of the system, and also the way in which the system maximises its robustness. In particular, gene networks implementing decisions based on a few genes have simple state-space structures, and their attractors are robust by virtue of their simplicity. Gene networks with decisions that involve many interacting genes have correspondingly more complicated state-space structures, and robustness cannot be achieved through the structure of the attractor basins, but is achieved by larger attractor basins that dominate the state space. These different types of robustness are demonstrated by the two models: the D. melanogaster segment polarity network is robust due to simple attractor basins that implement decisions based on spatial signals; the S. cerevisiae cell-cycle network has a complicated state-space structure, and is robust only due to a giant attractor basin that dominates the state space.

  11. Cloning and analysis of the positively acting regulatory gene amdR from Aspergillus nidulans

    SciTech Connect

    Andrianopoulos, A.; Hynes, M.J. )

    1988-08-01

    The positively acting regulatory gene amdR of Aspergillus nidulans coordinately regulates the expression of four unlinked structural genes involved in acetamide (amdS), omega amino acid (gatA and gabA), and lactam (lamA) catabolism. By the use of DNA-mediated transformation of A.nidulans, the amdR regulatory gene was cloned from a genomic cosmid library. Southern blot analysis of DNA from various loss-of-function amdR mutants revealed the presence of four detectable DNA rearrangements, including a deletion, an insertion, and a translocation. No detectable DNA rearrangements were found in several constitutive amdR/sup c/ mutants. The authors discuss an analysis of the fate of amdR-bearing plasmids in transformants which showed that 10 to 20% of the transformation events were homologous integrations or gene conversions. The authors describe how this phenomenon was exploited in developing a strategy by which amdr/sup c/ and amdR/sup -/ alleles can be readily cloned and analyzed. Examination of the transcription of amdR by Northern blot (RNA blot) analysis revealed the presence of two mRNAs (2.7 and 1.8 kilobases) which were constitutively synthesized at a very low level. In addition, amdR transcription did not appear to depend on the presence of a functional amdR product nor was it altered in amdR/sup c/ mutants.

  12. A gene regulatory motif that generates oscillatory or multiway switch outputs

    PubMed Central

    Panovska-Griffiths, Jasmina; Page, Karen M.; Briscoe, James

    2013-01-01

    The pattern of gene expression in a developing tissue determines the spatial organization of cell type generation. We previously defined regulatory interactions between a set of transcription factors that specify the pattern of gene expression in progenitors of different neuronal subtypes of the vertebrate neural tube. These transcription factors form a circuit that acts as a multistate switch, patterning the tissue in response to a gradient of Sonic Hedgehog. Here, by simplifying aspects of the regulatory interactions, we found that the topology of the circuit allows either switch-like or oscillatory behaviour depending on parameter values. The qualitative dynamics appear to be controlled by a simpler sub-circuit, which we term the AC–DC motif. We argue that its topology provides a natural way to implement a multistate gene expression switch and we show that the circuit is readily extendable to produce more distinct stripes of gene expression. Our analysis also suggests that AC–DC motifs could be deployed in tissues patterned by oscillatory mechanisms, thus blurring the distinction between pattern-formation mechanisms relying on temporal oscillations or graded signals. Furthermore, during evolution, mechanisms of gradient interpretation might have arisen from oscillatory circuits, or vice versa. PMID:23235261

  13. Regulatory elements responsible for inducible expression of the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor gene in macrophages.

    PubMed Central

    Nishizawa, M; Nagata, S

    1990-01-01

    Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) plays an essential role in granulopoiesis during bacterial infection. Macrophages produce G-CSF in response to bacterial endotoxins such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS). To elucidate the mechanism of the induction of G-CSF gene in macrophages or macrophage-monocytes, we have examined regulatory cis elements in the promoter of mouse G-CSF gene. Analyses of linker-scanning and internal deletion mutants of the G-CSF promoter by the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase assay have indicated that at least three regulatory elements are indispensable for the LPS-induced expression of the G-CSF gene in macrophages. When one of the three elements was reiterated and placed upstream of the TATA box of the G-CSF promoter, it mediated inducibility as a tissue-specific and orientation-independent enhancer. Although this element contains a conserved NF-kappa B-like binding site, the gel retardation assay and DNA footprint analysis with nuclear extracts from macrophage cell lines demonstrated that nuclear proteins bind to the DNA sequence downstream of the NF-kappa B-like element, but not to the conserved element itself. The DNA sequence of the binding site was found to have some similarities to the LPS-responsive element which was recently identified in the promoter of the mouse class II major histocompatibility gene. Images PMID:1691438

  14. Combining tree-based and dynamical systems for the inference of gene regulatory networks

    PubMed Central

    Huynh-Thu, Vân Anh; Sanguinetti, Guido

    2015-01-01

    Motivation: Reconstructing the topology of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) from time series of gene expression data remains an important open problem in computational systems biology. Existing GRN inference algorithms face one of two limitations: model-free methods are scalable but suffer from a lack of interpretability and cannot in general be used for out of sample predictions. On the other hand, model-based methods focus on identifying a dynamical model of the system. These are clearly interpretable and can be used for predictions; however, they rely on strong assumptions and are typically very demanding computationally. Results: Here, we propose a new hybrid approach for GRN inference, called Jump3, exploiting time series of expression data. Jump3 is based on a formal on/off model of gene expression but uses a non-parametric procedure based on decision trees (called ‘jump trees’) to reconstruct the GRN topology, allowing the inference of networks of hundreds of genes. We show the good performance of Jump3 on in silico and synthetic networks and applied the approach to identify regulatory interactions activated in the presence of interferon gamma. Availability and implementation: Our MATLAB implementation of Jump3 is available at http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/vhuynht/software.html. Contact: vhuynht@inf.ed.ac.uk or G.Sanguinetti@ed.ac.uk Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:25573916

  15. A recursive network approach can identify constitutive regulatory circuits in gene expression data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blasi, Monica Francesca; Casorelli, Ida; Colosimo, Alfredo; Blasi, Francesco Simone; Bignami, Margherita; Giuliani, Alessandro

    2005-03-01

    The activity of the cell is often coordinated by the organisation of proteins into regulatory circuits that share a common function. Genome-wide expression profiles might contain important information on these circuits. Current approaches for the analysis of gene expression data include clustering the individual expression measurements and relating them to biological functions as well as modelling and simulation of gene regulation processes by additional computer tools. The identification of the regulative programmes from microarray experiments is limited, however, by the intrinsic difficulty of linear methods to detect low-variance signals and by the sensitivity of the different approaches. Here we face the problem of recognising invariant patterns of correlations among gene expression reminiscent of regulation circuits. We demonstrate that a recursive neural network approach can identify genetic regulation circuits from expression data for ribosomal and genome stability genes. The proposed method, by greatly enhancing the sensitivity of microarray studies, allows the identification of important aspects of genetic regulation networks and might be useful for the discrimination of the different players involved in regulation circuits. Our results suggest that the constitutive regulatory networks involved in the generic organisation of the cell display a high degree of clustering depending on a modular architecture.

  16. Structure and function of gene regulatory networks associated with worker sterility in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Sobotka, Julia A; Daley, Mark; Chandrasekaran, Sriram; Rubin, Benjamin D; Thompson, Graham J

    2016-03-01

    A characteristic of eusocial bees is a reproductive division of labor in which one or a few queens monopolize reproduction, while her worker daughters take on reproductively altruistic roles within the colony. The evolution of worker reproductive altruism involves indirect selection for the coordinated expression of genes that regulate personal reproduction, but evidence for this type of selection remains elusive. In this study, we tested whether genes coexpressed under queen-induced worker sterility show evidence of adaptive organization within a model brain transcriptional regulatory network (TRN). If so, this structured pattern would imply that indirect selection on nonreproductive workers has influenced the functional organization of genes within the network, specifically to regulate the expression of sterility. We found that literature-curated sets of candidate genes for sterility, ranging in size from 18 to 267, show strong evidence of clustering within the three-dimensional space of the TRN. This finding suggests that our candidate sets of genes for sterility form functional modules within the living bee brain's TRN. Moreover, these same gene sets colocate to a single, albeit large, region of the TRN's topology. This spatially organized and convergent pattern contrasts with a null expectation for functionally unrelated genes to be haphazardly distributed throughout the network. Our meta-genomic analysis therefore provides first evidence for a truly "social transcriptome" that may regulate the conditional expression of honeybee worker sterility. PMID:26925214

  17. Structure and function of gene regulatory networks associated with worker sterility in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Sobotka, Julia A; Daley, Mark; Chandrasekaran, Sriram; Rubin, Benjamin D; Thompson, Graham J

    2016-03-01

    A characteristic of eusocial bees is a reproductive division of labor in which one or a few queens monopolize reproduction, while her worker daughters take on reproductively altruistic roles within the colony. The evolution of worker reproductive altruism involves indirect selection for the coordinated expression of genes that regulate personal reproduction, but evidence for this type of selection remains elusive. In this study, we tested whether genes coexpressed under queen-induced worker sterility show evidence of adaptive organization within a model brain transcriptional regulatory network (TRN). If so, this structured pattern would imply that indirect selection on nonreproductive workers has influenced the functional organization of genes within the network, specifically to regulate the expression of sterility. We found that literature-curated sets of candidate genes for sterility, ranging in size from 18 to 267, show strong evidence of clustering within the three-dimensional space of the TRN. This finding suggests that our candidate sets of genes for sterility form functional modules within the living bee brain's TRN. Moreover, these same gene sets colocate to a single, albeit large, region of the TRN's topology. This spatially organized and convergent pattern contrasts with a null expectation for functionally unrelated genes to be haphazardly distributed throughout the network. Our meta-genomic analysis therefore provides first evidence for a truly "social transcriptome" that may regulate the conditional expression of honeybee worker sterility.

  18. Locus-wide identification of EGR2/Krox20 regulatory targets in myelin genes

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Sung-Wook; Srinivasan, Rajini; Jones, Erin A.; Sun, Guannan; Keles, Sunduz; Krueger, Courtney; Chang, Li-Wei; Nagarajan, Rakesh; Svaren, John

    2011-01-01

    Myelination of peripheral nerves by Schwann cells depends upon a gene regulatory network controlled by Egr2/Krox20, which is specifically required for Schwann cells to initiate and maintain myelination. To elucidate the mechanism by which Egr2 regulates gene expression during myelination, we have performed chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis on myelinating rat sciatic nerve in vivo. The resulting samples were applied to a tiled microarray consisting of a broad spectrum of genes that are activated or repressed in Egr2-deficient mice. The results show extensive binding within myelin-associated genes, as well as some genes that become repressed in myelinating Schwann cells. Many of the Egr2 peaks coincide with regions of open chromatin, which is a marker of enhancer regions. In addition, further analysis showed that there is substantial colocalization of Egr2 binding with Sox10, a transcription factor required for Schwann cell specification and other stages of Schwann cell development. Finally, we have found that Egr2 binds to promoters of several lipid biosynthetic genes, which is consistent with their dramatic upregulation during the formation of lipid-rich myelin. Overall, this analysis provides a locus-wide profile of Egr2 binding patterns in major myelin-associated genes using myelinating peripheral nerve. PMID:21044070

  19. An ant colony optimization based algorithm for identifying gene regulatory elements.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wei; Chen, Hanwu; Chen, Ling

    2013-08-01

    It is one of the most important tasks in bioinformatics to identify the regulatory elements in gene sequences. Most of the existing algorithms for identifying regulatory elements are inclined to converge into a local optimum, and have high time complexity. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is a meta-heuristic method based on swarm intelligence and is derived from a model inspired by the collective foraging behavior of real ants. Taking advantage of the ACO in traits such as self-organization and robustness, this paper designs and implements an ACO based algorithm named ACRI (ant-colony-regulatory-identification) for identifying all possible binding sites of transcription factor from the upstream of co-expressed genes. To accelerate the ants' searching process, a strategy of local optimization is presented to adjust the ants' start positions on the searched sequences. By exploiting the powerful optimization ability of ACO, the algorithm ACRI can not only improve precision of the results, but also achieve a very high speed. Experimental results on real world datasets show that ACRI can outperform other traditional algorithms in the respects of speed and quality of solutions. PMID:23746735

  20. Identification and Analysis of Regulatory Elements in Porcine Bone Morphogenetic Protein 15 Gene Promoter.

    PubMed

    Wan, Qianhui; Wang, Yaxian; Wang, Huayan

    2015-10-27

    Bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15) is secreted by the mammalian oocytes and is indispensable for ovarian follicular development, ovulation, and fertility. To determine the regulation mechanism of BMP15 gene, the regulatory sequence of porcine BMP15 was investigated in this study. The cloned BMP15 promoter retains the cell-type specificity, and is activated in cells derived from ovarian tissue. The luciferase assays in combination with a series of deletion of BMP15 promoter sequence show that the -427 to -376 bp region of BMP15 promoter is the primary regulatory element, in which there are a number of transcription factor binding sites, including LIM homeobox 8 (LHX8), newborn ovary homeobox gene (NOBOX), and paired-like homeodomain transcription factor 1 (PITX1). Determination of tissue-specific expression reveals that LHX8, but not PITX1 and NOBOX, is exclusively expressed in pig ovary tissue and is translocated into the cell nuclei. Overexpression of LHX8 in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells could significantly promote BMP15 promoter activation. This study confirms a key regulatory element that is located in the proximal region of B