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Genes, Volume 8, Issue 1 (January 2017)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Genes in 2016
Genes 2017, 8(1), 30; doi:10.3390/genes8010030
Received: 11 January 2017 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 13 January 2017
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Abstract
The editors of Genes would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016. We greatly appreciate the contribution of expert reviewers, which is crucial to the journal’s editorial process. We aim to recognize reviewer contributions through
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The editors of Genes would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016. We greatly appreciate the contribution of expert reviewers, which is crucial to the journal’s editorial process. We aim to recognize reviewer contributions through several mechanisms, of which the annual publication of reviewer names is one. Reviewers receive a voucher entitling them to a discount on their next MDPI publication and can download a certificate of recognition directly from our submission system. Additionally, reviewers can sign up to the service Publons (https://publons.com) to receive recognition. Of course, in these initiatives we are careful not to compromise reviewer confidentiality. Many reviewers see their work as a voluntary and often unseen part of their role as researchers. We are grateful to the time reviewers donate to our journals and the contribution they make. If you are interested in becoming a reviewer for Genes, see the link at the bottom of the webpage http://www.mdpi.com/reviewers. Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle A Spatial Control for Correct Timing of Gene Expression during the Escherichia coli Cell Cycle
Genes 2017, 8(1), 1; doi:10.3390/genes8010001
Received: 26 August 2016 / Revised: 9 December 2016 / Accepted: 15 December 2016 / Published: 23 December 2016
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Abstract
Temporal transcriptions of genes are achieved by different mechanisms such as dynamic interaction of activator and repressor proteins with promoters, and accumulation and/or degradation of key regulators as a function of cell cycle. We find that the TorR protein localizes to the old
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Temporal transcriptions of genes are achieved by different mechanisms such as dynamic interaction of activator and repressor proteins with promoters, and accumulation and/or degradation of key regulators as a function of cell cycle. We find that the TorR protein localizes to the old poles of the Escherichia coli cells, forming a functional focus. The TorR focus co-localizes with the nucleoid in a cell-cycle-dependent manner, and consequently regulates transcription of a number of genes. Formation of one TorR focus at the old poles of cells requires interaction with the MreB and DnaK proteins, and ATP, suggesting that TorR delivery requires cytoskeleton organization and ATP. Further, absence of the protein–protein interactions and ATP leads to loss in function of TorR as a transcription factor. We propose a mechanism for timing of cell-cycle-dependent gene transcription, where a transcription factor interacts with its target genes during a specific period of the cell cycle by limiting its own spatial distribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics)
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Open AccessArticle miR-203 and miR-320 Regulate Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2-Induced Osteoblast Differentiation by Targeting Distal-Less Homeobox 5 (Dlx5)
Genes 2017, 8(1), 4; doi:10.3390/genes8010004
Received: 31 October 2016 / Revised: 24 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 December 2016 / Published: 23 December 2016
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Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of small, non-coding RNAs (17–24 nucleotides), which regulate gene expression either by the degradation of the target mRNAs or inhibiting the translation of genes. Recent studies have indicated that miRNA plays an important role in regulating osteoblast differentiation.
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of small, non-coding RNAs (17–24 nucleotides), which regulate gene expression either by the degradation of the target mRNAs or inhibiting the translation of genes. Recent studies have indicated that miRNA plays an important role in regulating osteoblast differentiation. In this study, we identified miR-203 and miR-320b as important miRNAs modulating osteoblast differentiation. We identified Dlx5 as potential common target by prediction algorithms and confirmed this by knock-down and over expression of the miRNAs and assessing Dlx5 at mRNA and protein levels and specificity was verified by luciferase reporter assays. We examined the effect of miR-203 and miR-320b on osteoblast differentiation by transfecting with pre- and anti-miRs. Over-expression of miR-203 and miR-320b inhibited osteoblast differentiation, whereas inhibition of miR-203 and miR-320b stimulated alkaline phosphatase activity and matrix mineralization. We show that miR-203 and miR-320b negatively regulate BMP-2-induced osteoblast differentiation by suppressing Dlx5, which in turn suppresses the downstream osteogenic master transcription factor Runx2 and Osx and together they suppress osteoblast differentiation. Taken together, we propose a role for miR-203 and miR-320b in modulating bone metabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue microRNAs and Other Non-Coding RNAs in Human Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Parameters for Successful Parental RNAi as An Insect Pest Management Tool in Western Corn Rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera
Genes 2017, 8(1), 7; doi:10.3390/genes8010007
Received: 12 November 2016 / Revised: 17 December 2016 / Accepted: 19 December 2016 / Published: 24 December 2016
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Abstract
Parental RNAi (pRNAi) is an RNA interference response where the gene knockdown phenotype is observed in the progeny of the treated organism. pRNAi has been demonstrated in female western corn rootworms (WCR) via diet applications and has been described as a potential approach
[...] Read more.
Parental RNAi (pRNAi) is an RNA interference response where the gene knockdown phenotype is observed in the progeny of the treated organism. pRNAi has been demonstrated in female western corn rootworms (WCR) via diet applications and has been described as a potential approach for rootworm pest management. However, it is not clear if plant-expressed pRNAi can provide effective control of next generation WCR larvae in the field. In this study, we evaluated parameters required to generate a successful pRNAi response in WCR for the genes brahma and hunchback. The parameters tested included a concentration response, duration of the dsRNA exposure, timing of the dsRNA exposure with respect to the mating status in WCR females, and the effects of pRNAi on males. Results indicate that all of the above parameters affect the strength of pRNAi phenotype in females. Results are interpreted in terms of how this technology will perform in the field and the potential role for pRNAi in pest and resistance management strategies. More broadly, the described approaches enable examination of the dynamics of RNAi response in insects beyond pRNAi and crop pests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Interference 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Potential Inhibitory Influence of miRNA 210 on Regulatory T Cells during Epicutaneous Chemical Sensitization
Genes 2017, 8(1), 9; doi:10.3390/genes8010009
Received: 27 September 2016 / Revised: 6 December 2016 / Accepted: 19 December 2016 / Published: 27 December 2016
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Abstract
Toluene diisocyanate (TDI) is a potent low molecular weight chemical sensitizer and a leading cause of chemical-induced occupational asthma. The regulatory potential of microRNAs (miRNAs) has been recognized in a variety of disease states, including allergic disease; however, the roles of miRNAs in
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Toluene diisocyanate (TDI) is a potent low molecular weight chemical sensitizer and a leading cause of chemical-induced occupational asthma. The regulatory potential of microRNAs (miRNAs) has been recognized in a variety of disease states, including allergic disease; however, the roles of miRNAs in chemical sensitization are largely unknown. In a previous work, increased expression of multiple miRNAs during TDI sensitization was observed and several putative mRNA targets identified for these miRNAs were directly related to regulatory T-cell (Treg) differentiation and function including Foxp3 and Runx3. In this work, we show that miR-210 expression is increased in the mouse draining lymph node (dLN) and Treg subsets following dermal TDI sensitization. Alterations in dLN mRNA and protein expression of Treg related genes/putative miR-210 targets (foxp3, runx3, ctla4, and cd25) were observed at multiple time points following TDI exposure and in ex vivo systems. A Treg suppression assay, including a miR-210 mimic, was utilized to investigate the suppressive ability of Tregs. Cells derived from TDI sensitized mice treated with miR-210 mimic had less expression of miR-210 compared to the acetone control suggesting other factors, such as additional miRNAs, might be involved in the regulation of the functional capabilities of these cells. These novel findings indicate that miR-210 may have an inhibitory role in Treg function during TDI sensitization. Because the functional roles of miRNAs have not been previously elucidated in a model of chemical sensitization, these data contribute to the understanding of the potential immunologic mechanisms of chemical induced allergic disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics)
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Open AccessArticle Identification and Analysis of RNA Editing Sites in the Chloroplast Transcripts of Aegilops tauschii L.
Genes 2017, 8(1), 13; doi:10.3390/genes8010013
Received: 23 September 2016 / Revised: 9 December 2016 / Accepted: 20 December 2016 / Published: 30 December 2016
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Abstract
RNA editing is an important way to convert cytidine (C) to uridine (U) at specific sites within RNA molecules at a post-transcriptional level in the chloroplasts of higher plants. Although it has been systematically studied in many plants, little is known about RNA
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RNA editing is an important way to convert cytidine (C) to uridine (U) at specific sites within RNA molecules at a post-transcriptional level in the chloroplasts of higher plants. Although it has been systematically studied in many plants, little is known about RNA editing in the wheat D genome donor Aegilops tauschii L. Here, we investigated the chloroplast RNA editing of Ae. tauschii and compared it with other wheat relatives to trace the evolution of wheat. Through bioinformatics prediction, a total of 34 C-to-U editing sites were identified, 17 of which were validated using RT-PCR product sequencing. Furthermore, 60 sites were found by the RNA-Seq read mapping approach, 24 of which agreed with the prediction and six were validated experimentally. The editing sites were biased toward tCn or nCa trinucleotides and 5′-pyrimidines, which were consistent with the flanking bases of editing sites of other seed plants. Furthermore, the editing events could result in the alteration of the secondary structures and topologies of the corresponding proteins, suggesting that RNA editing might impact the function of target genes. Finally, comparative analysis found some evolutionarily conserved editing sites in wheat and two species-specific sites were also obtained. This study is the first to report on RNA editing in Aegilops tauschii L, which not only sheds light on the evolution of wheat from the point of view of RNA editing, but also lays a foundation for further studies to identify the mechanisms of C-to-U alterations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Editing)
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Open AccessArticle mRNA Expression and DNA Methylation Analysis of Serotonin Receptor 2A (HTR2A) in the Human Schizophrenic Brain
Genes 2017, 8(1), 14; doi:10.3390/genes8010014
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 21 December 2016 / Accepted: 22 December 2016 / Published: 4 January 2017
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Abstract
Serotonin receptor 2A (HTR2A) is an important signalling factor implicated in cognitive functions and known to be associated with schizophrenia. The biological significance of HTR2A in schizophrenia remains unclear as molecular analyses including genetic association, mRNA expression and methylation studies have
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Serotonin receptor 2A (HTR2A) is an important signalling factor implicated in cognitive functions and known to be associated with schizophrenia. The biological significance of HTR2A in schizophrenia remains unclear as molecular analyses including genetic association, mRNA expression and methylation studies have reported inconsistent results. In this study, we examine HTR2A expression and methylation and the interaction with HTR2A polymorphisms to identify their biological significance in schizophrenia. Subjects included 25 schizophrenia and 25 control post-mortem brain samples. Genotype and mRNA data was generated by transcriptome sequencing. DNA methylation profiles were generated for CpG sites within promoter-exon I region. Expression, genotype and methylation data were examined for association with schizophrenia. HTR2A mRNA levels were reduced by 14% (p = 0.006) in schizophrenia compared to controls. Three CpG sites were hypermethylated in schizophrenia (cg5 p = 0.028, cg7 p = 0.021, cg10 p = 0.017) and HTR2A polymorphisms rs6314 (p = 0.008) and rs6313 (p = 0.026) showed genetic association with schizophrenia. Differential DNA methylation was associated with rs6314 and rs6313. There was a strong correlation between HTR2A DNA methylation and mRNA expression. The results were nominally significant but did not survive the rigorous Benjamini-Hochberg correction for multiple testing. Differential HTR2A expression in schizophrenia in our study may be the result of the combined effect of multiple differentially methylated CpG sites. Epigenetic HTR2A regulation may alter brain function, which contributes to the development of schizophrenia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Epigenetic Gene Regulation in Brain Function)
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Open AccessArticle Type 2 Diabetes Susceptibility in the Greek-Cypriot Population: Replication of Associations with TCF7L2, FTO, HHEX, SLC30A8 and IGF2BP2 Polymorphisms
Genes 2017, 8(1), 16; doi:10.3390/genes8010016
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 13 December 2016 / Accepted: 30 December 2016 / Published: 6 January 2017
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Abstract
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has been the subject of numerous genetic studies in recent years which revealed associations of the disease with a large number of susceptibility loci. We hereby initiate the evaluation of T2D susceptibility loci in the Greek-Cypriot population by performing
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Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has been the subject of numerous genetic studies in recent years which revealed associations of the disease with a large number of susceptibility loci. We hereby initiate the evaluation of T2D susceptibility loci in the Greek-Cypriot population by performing a replication case-control study. One thousand and eighteen individuals (528 T2D patients, 490 controls) were genotyped at 21 T2D susceptibility loci, using the allelic discrimination method. Statistically significant associations of T2D with five of the tested single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (TCF7L2 rs7901695, FTO rs8050136, HHEX rs5015480, SLC30A8 rs13266634 and IGF2BP2 rs4402960) were observed in this study population. Furthermore, 14 of the tested SNPs had odds ratios (ORs) in the same direction as the previously published studies, suggesting that these variants can potentially be used in the Greek-Cypriot population for predictive testing of T2D. In conclusion, our findings expand the genetic assessment of T2D susceptibility loci and reconfirm five of the worldwide established loci in a distinct, relatively small, newly investigated population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Functional Genomics of Diabetes Mellitus)
Open AccessArticle Error-Free Bypass of 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2′-deoxyguanosine by DNA Polymerase of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Phage PaP1
Genes 2017, 8(1), 18; doi:10.3390/genes8010018
Received: 21 November 2016 / Revised: 26 December 2016 / Accepted: 30 December 2016 / Published: 6 January 2017
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Abstract
As one of the most common forms of oxidative DNA damage, 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-oxoG) generally leads to G:C to T:A mutagenesis. To study DNA replication encountering 8-oxoG by the sole DNA polymerase (Gp90) of Pseudomonas aeruginosa phage PaP1, we performed steady-state and pre-steady-state kinetic
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As one of the most common forms of oxidative DNA damage, 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-oxoG) generally leads to G:C to T:A mutagenesis. To study DNA replication encountering 8-oxoG by the sole DNA polymerase (Gp90) of Pseudomonas aeruginosa phage PaP1, we performed steady-state and pre-steady-state kinetic analyses of nucleotide incorporation opposite 8-oxoG by Gp90 D234A that lacks exonuclease activities on ssDNA and dsDNA substrates. Gp90 D234A could bypass 8-oxoG in an error-free manner, preferentially incorporate dCTP opposite 8-oxoG, and yield similar misincorporation frequency to unmodified G. Gp90 D234A could extend beyond C:8-oxoG or A:8-oxoG base pairs with the same efficiency. dCTP incorporation opposite G and dCTP or dATP incorporation opposite 8-oxoG showed fast burst phases. The burst of incorporation efficiency (kpol/Kd,dNTP) is decreased as dCTP:G > dCTP:8-oxoG > dATP:8-oxoG. The presence of 8-oxoG in DNA does not affect its binding to Gp90 D234A in a binary complex but it does affect it in a ternary complex with dNTP and Mg2+, and dATP misincorporation opposite 8-oxoG further weakens the binding of Gp90 D234A to DNA. This study reveals Gp90 D234A can bypass 8-oxoG in an error-free manner, providing further understanding in DNA replication encountering oxidation lesion for P.aeruginosa phage PaP1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Replication Controls)
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Open AccessArticle Contribution of the RgfD Quorum Sensing Peptide to rgf Regulation and Host Cell Association in Group B Streptococcus
Genes 2017, 8(1), 23; doi:10.3390/genes8010023
Received: 7 October 2016 / Revised: 29 December 2016 / Accepted: 4 January 2017 / Published: 6 January 2017
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Abstract
Streptococcus agalactiae (group B Streptococcus; GBS) is a common inhabitant of the genitourinary and/or gastrointestinal tract in up to 40% of healthy adults; however, this opportunistic pathogen is able to breach restrictive host barriers to cause disease and persist in harsh and
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Streptococcus agalactiae (group B Streptococcus; GBS) is a common inhabitant of the genitourinary and/or gastrointestinal tract in up to 40% of healthy adults; however, this opportunistic pathogen is able to breach restrictive host barriers to cause disease and persist in harsh and changing conditions. This study sought to identify a role for quorum sensing, a form of cell to cell communication, in the regulation of the fibrinogen-binding (rgfBDAC) two-component system and the ability to associate with decidualized endometrial cells in vitro. To do this, we created a deletion in rgfD, which encodes the putative autoinducing peptide, in a GBS strain belonging to multilocus sequence type (ST)-17 and made comparisons to the wild type. Sequence variation in the rgf operon was detected in 40 clinical strains and a non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism was detected in rgfD in all of the ST-17 genomes that resulted in a truncation. Using qPCR, expression of rgf operon genes was significantly decreased in the ST-17 ΔrgfD mutant during exponential growth with the biggest difference (3.3-fold) occurring at higher cell densities. Association with decidualized endometrial cells was decreased 1.3-fold in the mutant relative to the wild type and rgfC expression was reduced 22-fold in ΔrgfD following exposure to the endometrial cells. Collectively, these data suggest that this putative quorum sensing molecule is important for attachment to human tissues and demonstrate a role for RgfD in GBS pathogenesis through regulation of rgfC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virulence Gene Regulation in Bacteria)
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Open AccessArticle AAC as a Potential Target Gene to Control Verticillium dahliae
Genes 2017, 8(1), 25; doi:10.3390/genes8010025
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 28 December 2016 / Accepted: 5 January 2017 / Published: 10 January 2017
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Abstract
Verticillium dahliae invades the roots of host plants and causes vascular wilt, which seriously diminishes the yield of cotton and other important crops. The protein AAC (ADP, ATP carrier) is responsible for transferring ATP from the mitochondria into the cytoplasm. When V. dahliae
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Verticillium dahliae invades the roots of host plants and causes vascular wilt, which seriously diminishes the yield of cotton and other important crops. The protein AAC (ADP, ATP carrier) is responsible for transferring ATP from the mitochondria into the cytoplasm. When V. dahliae protoplasts were transformed with short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) targeting the VdAAC gene, fungal growth and sporulation were significantly inhibited. To further confirm a role for VdAAC in fungal development, we generated knockout mutants (ΔVdACC). Compared with wild-type V. dahliae (Vd wt), ΔVdAAC was impaired in germination and virulence; these impairments were rescued in the complementary strains (ΔVdAAC-C). Moreover, when an RNAi construct of VdAAC under the control of the 35S promoter was used to transform Nicotiana benthamiana, the expression of VdAAC was downregulated in the transgenic seedlings, and they had elevated resistance against V. dahliae. The results of this study suggest that VdAAC contributes to fungal development, virulence and is a promising candidate gene to control V. dahliae. In addition, RNAi is a highly efficient way to silence fungal genes and provides a novel strategy to improve disease resistance in plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Interference 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Identification of the Ovine Keratin-Associated Protein 22-1 (KAP22-1) Gene and Its Effect on Wool Traits
Genes 2017, 8(1), 27; doi:10.3390/genes8010027
Received: 18 October 2016 / Revised: 24 December 2016 / Accepted: 5 January 2017 / Published: 11 January 2017
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Abstract
Keratin-associated proteins (KAPs) are structural components of wool and hair fibers. To date, eight high glycine/tyrosine KAP (HGT-KAP) families have been identified in humans, but only three have been identified in sheep. In this study, the putative ovine homolog of the human KAP22-1
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Keratin-associated proteins (KAPs) are structural components of wool and hair fibers. To date, eight high glycine/tyrosine KAP (HGT-KAP) families have been identified in humans, but only three have been identified in sheep. In this study, the putative ovine homolog of the human KAP22-1 gene (KRTAP22-1) was amplified using primers designed based on a human KRTAP22-1 sequence. Polymerase chain reaction-single stranded conformational polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) was used to screen for variation in KRTAP22-1 in 390 Merino × Southdown-cross lambs and 75 New Zealand (NZ) Romney sheep. Three PCR-SSCP banding patterns were detected and DNA sequencing revealed that the banding patterns represented three different nucleotide sequences (A–C). Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified in these sequences. Variant B was most common with a frequency of 81.3% in NZ Romney sheep, while in the Merino × Southdown-cross lambs, A was more common with a frequency of 51.8%. The presence of B was found to be associated with increased wool yield and decreased mean fiber curvature (MFC). Sheep of genotype BB or AB had a higher wool yield than those of genotype AA. These results suggest that ovine KRTAP22-1 variation may be useful when developing breeding programs based on increasing wool yield, or decreasing wool curvature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics)
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Open AccessArticle Transgenic Tobacco Expressing the TAT-Helicokinin I-CpTI Fusion Protein Show Increased Resistance and Toxicity to Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)
Genes 2017, 8(1), 28; doi:10.3390/genes8010028
Received: 2 December 2016 / Revised: 26 December 2016 / Accepted: 5 January 2017 / Published: 12 January 2017
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Abstract
Insect kinins were shown to have diuretic activity, inhibit weight gain, and have antifeedant activity in insects. In order to study the potential of the TAT-fusion approach to deliver diuretic peptides per os to pest insects, the HezK I peptide from Helicoverpa zea
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Insect kinins were shown to have diuretic activity, inhibit weight gain, and have antifeedant activity in insects. In order to study the potential of the TAT-fusion approach to deliver diuretic peptides per os to pest insects, the HezK I peptide from Helicoverpa zea, as a representative of the kinin family, was selected. The fusion gene TAT-HezK I was designed and was used to transform tobacco plants. As a means to further improve the stability of TAT-HezK I, a fusion protein incorporating HezK I, transactivator of transcription (TAT), and the cowpea trypsin inhibitor (CpTI) was also designed. Finally, the toxicity of the different tobacco transgenic strains toward Helicoverpa armigera was compared. The results demonstrated that TAT-HezK I had high toxicity against insects via transgenic expression of the peptide in planta and intake through larval feeding. The toxicity of the fusion TAT-HezK I and CpTI was higher than the CpTI single gene in transgenic tobacco, and the fusion TAT-HezK I and CpTI further enhanced the stability and bioavailability of agents in oral administration. Our research helps in targeting new genes for improving herbivore tolerance in transgenic plant breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics)
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Open AccessArticle Characterization of the Transcriptome and Gene Expression of Brain Tissue in Sevenband Grouper (Hyporthodus septemfasciatus) in Response to NNV Infection
Genes 2017, 8(1), 31; doi:10.3390/genes8010031
Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 7 January 2017 / Accepted: 9 January 2017 / Published: 13 January 2017
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Abstract
Grouper is one of the favorite sea food resources in Southeast Asia. However, the outbreaks of the viral nervous necrosis (VNN) disease due to nervous necrosis virus (NNV) infection have caused mass mortality of grouper larvae. Many aqua-farms have suffered substantial financial loss
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Grouper is one of the favorite sea food resources in Southeast Asia. However, the outbreaks of the viral nervous necrosis (VNN) disease due to nervous necrosis virus (NNV) infection have caused mass mortality of grouper larvae. Many aqua-farms have suffered substantial financial loss due to the occurrence of VNN. To better understand the infection mechanism of NNV, we performed the transcriptome analysis of sevenband grouper brain tissue, the main target of NNV infection. After artificial NNV challenge, transcriptome of brain tissues of sevenband grouper was subjected to next generation sequencing (NGS) using an Illumina Hi-seq 2500 system. Both mRNAs from pooled samples of mock and NNV-infected sevenband grouper brains were sequenced. Clean reads of mock and NNV-infected samples were de novo assembled and obtained 104,348 unigenes. In addition, 628 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in response to NNV infection were identified. This result could provide critical information not only for the identification of genes involved in NNV infection, but for the understanding of the response of sevenband groupers to NNV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle Applying Human ADAR1p110 and ADAR1p150 for Site-Directed RNA Editing—G/C Substitution Stabilizes GuideRNAs against Editing
Genes 2017, 8(1), 34; doi:10.3390/genes8010034
Received: 25 November 2016 / Revised: 23 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2017 / Published: 14 January 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2109 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Site-directed RNA editing is an approach to reprogram genetic information at the RNA level. We recently introduced a novel guideRNA that allows for the recruitment of human ADAR2 to manipulate genetic information. Here, we show that the current guideRNA design is already able
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Site-directed RNA editing is an approach to reprogram genetic information at the RNA level. We recently introduced a novel guideRNA that allows for the recruitment of human ADAR2 to manipulate genetic information. Here, we show that the current guideRNA design is already able to recruit another human deaminase, ADAR1, in both isoforms, p110 and p150. However, further optimization seems necessary as the current design is less efficient for ADAR1 isoforms. Furthermore, we describe hotspots at which the guideRNA itself is edited and show a way to circumvent this auto-editing without losing editing efficiency at the target. Both findings are important for the advancement of site-directed RNA editing as a tool in basic biology or as a platform for therapeutic editing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Editing)
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Open AccessArticle Integrative miRNA-Gene Expression Analysis Enables Refinement of Associated Biology and Prediction of Response to Cetuximab in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Cancer
Genes 2017, 8(1), 35; doi:10.3390/genes8010035
Received: 15 October 2016 / Revised: 22 December 2016 / Accepted: 7 January 2017 / Published: 14 January 2017
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Abstract
This paper documents the process by which we, through gene and miRNA expression profiling of the same samples of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) and an integrative miRNA-mRNA expression analysis, were able to identify candidate biomarkers of progression-free survival (PFS) in
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This paper documents the process by which we, through gene and miRNA expression profiling of the same samples of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) and an integrative miRNA-mRNA expression analysis, were able to identify candidate biomarkers of progression-free survival (PFS) in patients treated with cetuximab-based approaches. Through sparse partial least square–discriminant analysis (sPLS-DA) and supervised analysis, 36 miRNAs were identified in two components that clearly separated long- and short-PFS patients. Gene set enrichment analysis identified a significant correlation between the miRNA first-component and EGFR signaling, keratinocyte differentiation, and p53. Another significant correlation was identified between the second component and RAS, NOTCH, immune/inflammatory response, epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), and angiogenesis pathways. Regularized canonical correlation analysis of sPLS-DA miRNA and gene data combined with the MAGIA2 web-tool highlighted 16 miRNAs and 84 genes that were interconnected in a total of 245 interactions. After feature selection by a smoothed t-statistic support vector machine, we identified three miRNAs and five genes in the miRNA-gene network whose expression result was the most relevant in predicting PFS (Area Under the Curve, AUC = 0.992). Overall, using a well-defined clinical setting and up-to-date bioinformatics tools, we are able to give the proof of principle that an integrative miRNA-mRNA expression could greatly contribute to the refinement of the biology behind a predictive model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue microRNAs and Other Non-Coding RNAs in Human Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Sulfolobus acidocaldarius UDG Can Remove dU from the RNA Backbone: Insight into the Specific Recognition of Uracil Linked with Deoxyribose
Genes 2017, 8(1), 38; doi:10.3390/genes8010038
Received: 27 November 2016 / Revised: 1 January 2017 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
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Abstract
Sulfolobus acidocaldarius encodes family 4 and 5 uracil-DNA glycosylase (UDG). Two recombinant S. acidocaldarius UDGs (SacUDG) were prepared and biochemically characterized using oligonucleotides carrying a deaminated base. Both SacUDGs can remove deoxyuracil (dU) base from both double-stranded DNA and single-stranded DNA. Interestingly, they
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Sulfolobus acidocaldarius encodes family 4 and 5 uracil-DNA glycosylase (UDG). Two recombinant S. acidocaldarius UDGs (SacUDG) were prepared and biochemically characterized using oligonucleotides carrying a deaminated base. Both SacUDGs can remove deoxyuracil (dU) base from both double-stranded DNA and single-stranded DNA. Interestingly, they can remove U linked with deoxyribose from single-stranded RNA backbone, suggesting that the riboses on the backbone have less effect on the recognition of dU and hydrolysis of the C-N glycosidic bond. However, the removal of rU from DNA backbone is inefficient, suggesting strong steric hindrance comes from the 2′ hydroxyl of ribose linked to uracil. Both SacUDGs cannot remove 2,2′-anhydro uridine, hypoxanthine, and 7-deazaxanthine from single-stranded DNA and single-stranded DNA. Compared with the family 2 MUG, other family UDGs have an extra N-terminal structure consisting of about 50 residues. Removal of the 46 N-terminal residues of family 5 SacUDG resulted in only a 40% decrease in activity, indicating that the [4Fe-4S] cluster and truncated secondary structure are not the key elements in hydrolyzing the glycosidic bond. Combining our biochemical and structural results with those of other groups, we discussed the UDGs’ catalytic mechanism and the possible repair reactions of deaminated bases in prokaryotes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Replication and Transcription Associated DNA Repair)
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Open AccessArticle Genome Analysis of a Novel Broad Host Range Proteobacteria Phage Isolated from a Bioreactor Treating Industrial Wastewater
Genes 2017, 8(1), 40; doi:10.3390/genes8010040
Received: 7 August 2016 / Revised: 27 December 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
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Abstract
Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria, and consequently they have a major impact on the development of a microbial population. In this study, the genome of a novel broad host range bacteriophage, Aquamicrobium phage P14, isolated from a wastewater treatment plant, was analyzed.
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Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria, and consequently they have a major impact on the development of a microbial population. In this study, the genome of a novel broad host range bacteriophage, Aquamicrobium phage P14, isolated from a wastewater treatment plant, was analyzed. The Aquamicrobium phage P14 was found to infect members of different Proteobacteria classes (Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria). This phage contains a 40,551 bp long genome and 60% of its genes had blastx hits. Furthermore, the bacteriophage was found to share more than 50% of its genes with several podoviruses and has the same gene order as other polyvalent bacteriophages. The results obtained in this study led to the conclusion that indeed general features of the genome of the Aquamicrobium phage P14 are shared with other broad host range bacteriophages, however further analysis of the genome is needed in order to identify the specific mechanisms which enable the bacteriophage to infect both Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle Tissue Non-Specific Genes and Pathways Associated with Diabetes: An Expression Meta-Analysis
Genes 2017, 8(1), 44; doi:10.3390/genes8010044
Received: 21 November 2016 / Revised: 3 January 2017 / Accepted: 13 January 2017 / Published: 21 January 2017
PDF Full-text (908 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
We performed expression studies to identify tissue non-specific genes and pathways of diabetes by meta-analysis. We searched curated datasets of the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database and identified 13 and five expression studies of diabetes and insulin responses at various tissues, respectively. We
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We performed expression studies to identify tissue non-specific genes and pathways of diabetes by meta-analysis. We searched curated datasets of the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database and identified 13 and five expression studies of diabetes and insulin responses at various tissues, respectively. We tested differential gene expression by empirical Bayes-based linear method and investigated gene set expression association by knowledge-based enrichment analysis. Meta-analysis by different methods was applied to identify tissue non-specific genes and gene sets. We also proposed pathway mapping analysis to infer functions of the identified gene sets, and correlation and independent analysis to evaluate expression association profile of genes and gene sets between studies and tissues. Our analysis showed that PGRMC1 and HADH genes were significant over diabetes studies, while IRS1 and MPST genes were significant over insulin response studies, and joint analysis showed that HADH and MPST genes were significant over all combined data sets. The pathway analysis identified six significant gene sets over all studies. The KEGG pathway mapping indicated that the significant gene sets are related to diabetes pathogenesis. The results also presented that 12.8% and 59.0% pairwise studies had significantly correlated expression association for genes and gene sets, respectively; moreover, 12.8% pairwise studies had independent expression association for genes, but no studies were observed significantly different for expression association of gene sets. Our analysis indicated that there are both tissue specific and non-specific genes and pathways associated with diabetes pathogenesis. Compared to the gene expression, pathway association tends to be tissue non-specific, and a common pathway influencing diabetes development is activated through different genes at different tissues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Functional Genomics of Diabetes Mellitus)
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Open AccessReview Regulation and Function of Cdt1; A Key Factor in Cell Proliferation and Genome Stability
Genes 2017, 8(1), 2; doi:10.3390/genes8010002
Received: 6 November 2016 / Revised: 13 December 2016 / Accepted: 14 December 2016 / Published: 22 December 2016
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Abstract
Successful cell proliferation requires efficient and precise genome duplication followed by accurate chromosome segregation. The Cdc10-dependent transcript 1 protein (Cdt1) is required for the first step in DNA replication, and in human cells Cdt1 is also required during mitosis. Tight cell cycle controls
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Successful cell proliferation requires efficient and precise genome duplication followed by accurate chromosome segregation. The Cdc10-dependent transcript 1 protein (Cdt1) is required for the first step in DNA replication, and in human cells Cdt1 is also required during mitosis. Tight cell cycle controls over Cdt1 abundance and activity are critical to normal development and genome stability. We review here recent advances in elucidating Cdt1 molecular functions in both origin licensing and kinetochore–microtubule attachment, and we describe the current understanding of human Cdt1 regulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Replication Controls)
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Open AccessReview Mechanisms Governing DDK Regulation of the Initiation of DNA Replication
Genes 2017, 8(1), 3; doi:10.3390/genes8010003
Received: 1 November 2016 / Revised: 13 December 2016 / Accepted: 16 December 2016 / Published: 22 December 2016
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Abstract
The budding yeast Dbf4-dependent kinase (DDK) complex—comprised of cell division cycle (Cdc7) kinase and its regulatory subunit dumbbell former 4 (Dbf4)—is required to trigger the initiation of DNA replication through the phosphorylation of multiple minichromosome maintenance complex subunits 2-7 (Mcm2-7). DDK is also
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The budding yeast Dbf4-dependent kinase (DDK) complex—comprised of cell division cycle (Cdc7) kinase and its regulatory subunit dumbbell former 4 (Dbf4)—is required to trigger the initiation of DNA replication through the phosphorylation of multiple minichromosome maintenance complex subunits 2-7 (Mcm2-7). DDK is also a target of the radiation sensitive 53 (Rad53) checkpoint kinase in response to replication stress. Numerous investigations have determined mechanistic details, including the regions of Mcm2, Mcm4, and Mcm6 phosphorylated by DDK, and a number of DDK docking sites. Similarly, the way in which the Rad53 forkhead-associated 1 (FHA1) domain binds to DDK—involving both canonical and non-canonical interactions—has been elucidated. Recent work has revealed mutual promotion of DDK and synthetic lethal with dpb11-1 3 (Sld3) roles. While DDK phosphorylation of Mcm2-7 subunits facilitates their interaction with Sld3 at origins, Sld3 in turn stimulates DDK phosphorylation of Mcm2. Details of a mutually antagonistic relationship between DDK and Rap1-interacting factor 1 (Rif1) have also recently come to light. While Rif1 is able to reverse DDK-mediated Mcm2-7 complex phosphorylation by targeting the protein phosphatase glycogen 7 (Glc7) to origins, there is evidence to suggest that DDK can counteract this activity by binding to and phosphorylating Rif1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Replication Controls)
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Open AccessReview RNA Editing and Its Molecular Mechanism in Plant Organelles
Genes 2017, 8(1), 5; doi:10.3390/genes8010005
Received: 24 October 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 20 December 2016 / Published: 23 December 2016
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Abstract
RNA editing by cytidine (C) to uridine (U) conversions is widespread in plant mitochondria and chloroplasts. In some plant taxa, “reverse” U-to-C editing also occurs. However, to date, no instance of RNA editing has yet been reported in green algae and the complex
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RNA editing by cytidine (C) to uridine (U) conversions is widespread in plant mitochondria and chloroplasts. In some plant taxa, “reverse” U-to-C editing also occurs. However, to date, no instance of RNA editing has yet been reported in green algae and the complex thalloid liverworts. RNA editing may have evolved in early land plants 450 million years ago. However, in some plant species, including the liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha, editing may have been lost during evolution. Most RNA editing events can restore the evolutionarily conserved amino acid residues in mRNAs or create translation start and stop codons. Therefore, RNA editing is an essential process to maintain genetic information at the RNA level. Individual RNA editing sites are recognized by plant-specific pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins that are encoded in the nuclear genome. These PPR proteins are characterized by repeat elements that bind specifically to RNA sequences upstream of target editing sites. In flowering plants, non-PPR proteins also participate in multiple RNA editing events as auxiliary factors. C-to-U editing can be explained by cytidine deamination. The proteins discovered to date are important factors for RNA editing but a bona fide RNA editing enzyme has yet to be identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Editing)
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Open AccessReview Noncoding RNA Profiles in Tobacco- and Alcohol-Associated Diseases
Genes 2017, 8(1), 6; doi:10.3390/genes8010006
Received: 15 September 2016 / Revised: 20 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 December 2016 / Published: 23 December 2016
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Abstract
Tobacco and alcohol are the leading environmental risk factors in the development of human diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and liver injury. Despite the copious amount of research on this topic, by 2030, 8.3 million deaths are projected to occur worldwide due
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Tobacco and alcohol are the leading environmental risk factors in the development of human diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and liver injury. Despite the copious amount of research on this topic, by 2030, 8.3 million deaths are projected to occur worldwide due to tobacco use. The expression of noncoding RNAs, primarily microRNAs (miRNAs) and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), is modulated by tobacco and alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes can modulate the expression of miRNAs and lncRNAs through various signaling pathways, such as apoptosis, angiogenesis, and inflammatory pathways—primarily interleukin 6 (IL-6)/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), which seems to play a major role in the development of diseases associated with these risk factors. Since they may be predictive and prognostic biomarkers, they can be used both as predictors of the response to therapy and as a targeted therapy. Further, circulating miRNAs might be valuable noninvasive tools that can be used to examine diseases that are related to the use of tobacco and alcohol. This review discusses the function of noncoding RNAs in cancer and other human tobacco- and alcohol-associated diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue microRNAs and Other Non-Coding RNAs in Human Diseases)
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Open AccessReview Non-Coding RNAs in Lung Cancer: Contribution of Bioinformatics Analysis to the Development of Non-Invasive Diagnostic Tools
Genes 2017, 8(1), 8; doi:10.3390/genes8010008
Received: 16 October 2016 / Revised: 5 December 2016 / Accepted: 15 December 2016 / Published: 26 December 2016
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Abstract
Lung cancer is currently the leading cause of cancer related mortality due to late diagnosis and limited treatment intervention. Non-coding RNAs are not translated into proteins and have emerged as fundamental regulators of gene expression. Recent studies reported that microRNAs and long non-coding
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Lung cancer is currently the leading cause of cancer related mortality due to late diagnosis and limited treatment intervention. Non-coding RNAs are not translated into proteins and have emerged as fundamental regulators of gene expression. Recent studies reported that microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs are involved in lung cancer development and progression. Moreover, they appear as new promising non-invasive biomarkers for early lung cancer diagnosis. Here, we highlight their potential as biomarker in lung cancer and present how bioinformatics can contribute to the development of non-invasive diagnostic tools. For this, we discuss several bioinformatics algorithms and software tools for a comprehensive understanding and functional characterization of microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue microRNAs and Other Non-Coding RNAs in Human Diseases)
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Open AccessReview Mec1/ATR, the Program Manager of Nucleic Acids Inc.
Genes 2017, 8(1), 10; doi:10.3390/genes8010010
Received: 5 November 2016 / Revised: 19 December 2016 / Accepted: 22 December 2016 / Published: 28 December 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (702 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Eukaryotic cells are equipped with surveillance mechanisms called checkpoints to ensure proper execution of cell cycle events. Among these are the checkpoints that detect DNA damage or replication perturbations and coordinate cellular activities to maintain genome stability. At the forefront of damage sensing
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Eukaryotic cells are equipped with surveillance mechanisms called checkpoints to ensure proper execution of cell cycle events. Among these are the checkpoints that detect DNA damage or replication perturbations and coordinate cellular activities to maintain genome stability. At the forefront of damage sensing is an evolutionarily conserved molecule, known respectively in budding yeast and humans as Mec1 (Mitosis entry checkpoint 1) and ATR (Ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related protein). Through phosphorylation, Mec1/ATR activates downstream components of a signaling cascade to maintain nucleotide pool balance, protect replication fork integrity, regulate activation of origins of replication, coordinate DNA repair, and implement cell cycle delay. This list of functions continues to expand as studies have revealed that Mec1/ATR modularly interacts with various protein molecules in response to different cellular cues. Among these newly assigned functions is the regulation of RNA metabolism during checkpoint activation and the coordination of replication–transcription conflicts. In this review, I will highlight some of these new functions of Mec1/ATR with a focus on the yeast model organism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Replication Controls)
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Open AccessReview Sugar Allocation to Metabolic Pathways is Tightly Regulated and Affects the Virulence of Streptococcus mutans
Genes 2017, 8(1), 11; doi:10.3390/genes8010011
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 14 December 2016 / Accepted: 21 December 2016 / Published: 28 December 2016
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Abstract
Bacteria take up and metabolize sugar as a carbohydrate source for survival. Most bacteria can utilize many sugars, including glucose, sucrose, and galactose, as well as amino sugars, such as glucosamine and N-acetylglucosamine. After entering the cytoplasm, the sugars are mainly allocated
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Bacteria take up and metabolize sugar as a carbohydrate source for survival. Most bacteria can utilize many sugars, including glucose, sucrose, and galactose, as well as amino sugars, such as glucosamine and N-acetylglucosamine. After entering the cytoplasm, the sugars are mainly allocated to the glycolysis pathway (energy production) and to various bacterial component biosynthesis pathways, including the cell wall, nucleic acids and amino acids. Sugars are also utilized to produce several virulence factors, such as capsule and lipoteichoic acid. Glutamine-fructose-6-phosphate aminotransferase (GlmS) and glucosamine-6-phosphate deaminase (NagB) have crucial roles in sugar distribution to the glycolysis pathway and to cell wall biosynthesis. In Streptococcus mutans, a cariogenic pathogen, the expression levels of glmS and nagB are coordinately regulated in response to the presence or absence of amino sugars. In addition, the disruption of this regulation affects the virulence of S. mutans. The expression of nagB and glmS is regulated by NagR in S. mutans, but the precise mechanism underlying glmS regulation is not clear. In Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis, the mRNA of glmS has ribozyme activity and undergoes self-degradation at the mRNA level. However, there is no ribozyme activity region on glmS mRNA in S. mutans. In this review article, we summarize the sugar distribution, particularly the coordinated regulation of GlmS and NagB expression, and its relationship with the virulence of S. mutans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessReview Genetic Regulation of Virulence and Antibiotic Resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii
Genes 2017, 8(1), 12; doi:10.3390/genes8010012
Received: 22 September 2016 / Revised: 18 December 2016 / Accepted: 20 December 2016 / Published: 28 December 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (663 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Multidrug resistant microorganisms are forecast to become the single biggest challenge to medical care in the 21st century. Over the last decades, members of the genus Acinetobacter have emerged as bacterial opportunistic pathogens, in particular as challenging nosocomial pathogens because of the rapid
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Multidrug resistant microorganisms are forecast to become the single biggest challenge to medical care in the 21st century. Over the last decades, members of the genus Acinetobacter have emerged as bacterial opportunistic pathogens, in particular as challenging nosocomial pathogens because of the rapid evolution of antimicrobial resistances. Although we lack fundamental biological insight into virulence mechanisms, an increasing number of researchers are working to identify virulence factors and to study antibiotic resistance. Here, we review current knowledge regarding the regulation of virulence genes and antibiotic resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii. A survey of the two-component systems AdeRS, BaeSR, GacSA and PmrAB explains how each contributes to antibiotic resistance and virulence gene expression, while BfmRS regulates cell envelope structures important for pathogen persistence. A. baumannii uses the transcription factors Fur and Zur to sense iron or zinc depletion and upregulate genes for metal scavenging as a critical survival tool in an animal host. Quorum sensing, nucleoid-associated proteins, and non-classical transcription factors such as AtfA and small regulatory RNAs are discussed in the context of virulence and antibiotic resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virulence Gene Regulation in Bacteria)
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Open AccessReview Quorum Sensing Regulation of Competence and Bacteriocins in Streptococcus pneumoniae and mutans
Genes 2017, 8(1), 15; doi:10.3390/genes8010015
Received: 25 October 2016 / Revised: 25 December 2016 / Accepted: 27 December 2016 / Published: 5 January 2017
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Abstract
The human pathogens Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus mutans have both evolved complex quorum sensing (QS) systems that regulate the production of bacteriocins and the entry into the competent state, a requirement for natural transformation. Natural transformation provides bacteria with a mechanism to repair
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The human pathogens Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus mutans have both evolved complex quorum sensing (QS) systems that regulate the production of bacteriocins and the entry into the competent state, a requirement for natural transformation. Natural transformation provides bacteria with a mechanism to repair damaged genes or as a source of new advantageous traits. In S. pneumoniae, the competence pathway is controlled by the two-component signal transduction pathway ComCDE, which directly regulates SigX, the alternative sigma factor required for the initiation into competence. Over the past two decades, effectors of cellular killing (i.e., fratricides) have been recognized as important targets of the pneumococcal competence QS pathway. Recently, direct interactions between the ComCDE and the paralogous BlpRH pathway, regulating bacteriocin production, were identified, further strengthening the interconnections between these two QS systems. Interestingly, a similar theme is being revealed in S. mutans, the primary etiological agent of dental caries. This review compares the relationship between the bacteriocin and the competence QS pathways in both S. pneumoniae and S. mutans, and hopes to provide clues to regulatory pathways across the genus Streptococcus as a potential tool to efficiently investigate putative competence pathways in nontransformable streptococci. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virulence Gene Regulation in Bacteria)
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Open AccessReview Effects of Replication and Transcription on DNA Structure-Related Genetic Instability
Genes 2017, 8(1), 17; doi:10.3390/genes8010017
Received: 9 November 2016 / Revised: 21 December 2016 / Accepted: 26 December 2016 / Published: 5 January 2017
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Abstract
Many repetitive sequences in the human genome can adopt conformations that differ from the canonical B-DNA double helix (i.e., non-B DNA), and can impact important biological processes such as DNA replication, transcription, recombination, telomere maintenance, viral integration, transposome activation, DNA damage and repair.
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Many repetitive sequences in the human genome can adopt conformations that differ from the canonical B-DNA double helix (i.e., non-B DNA), and can impact important biological processes such as DNA replication, transcription, recombination, telomere maintenance, viral integration, transposome activation, DNA damage and repair. Thus, non-B DNA-forming sequences have been implicated in genetic instability and disease development. In this article, we discuss the interactions of non-B DNA with the replication and/or transcription machinery, particularly in disease states (e.g., tumors) that can lead to an abnormal cellular environment, and how such interactions may alter DNA replication and transcription, leading to potential conflicts at non-B DNA regions, and eventually result in genetic stability and human disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Replication and Transcription Associated DNA Repair)
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Open AccessReview Maintenance of Genome Integrity: How Mammalian Cells Orchestrate Genome Duplication by Coordinating Replicative and Specialized DNA Polymerases
Genes 2017, 8(1), 19; doi:10.3390/genes8010019
Received: 11 November 2016 / Revised: 19 December 2016 / Accepted: 27 December 2016 / Published: 6 January 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2195 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Precise duplication of the human genome is challenging due to both its size and sequence complexity. DNA polymerase errors made during replication, repair or recombination are central to creating mutations that drive cancer and aging. Here, we address the regulation of human DNA
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Precise duplication of the human genome is challenging due to both its size and sequence complexity. DNA polymerase errors made during replication, repair or recombination are central to creating mutations that drive cancer and aging. Here, we address the regulation of human DNA polymerases, specifically how human cells orchestrate DNA polymerases in the face of stress to complete replication and maintain genome stability. DNA polymerases of the B-family are uniquely adept at accurate genome replication, but there are numerous situations in which one or more additional DNA polymerases are required to complete genome replication. Polymerases of the Y-family have been extensively studied in the bypass of DNA lesions; however, recent research has revealed that these polymerases play important roles in normal human physiology. Replication stress is widely cited as contributing to genome instability, and is caused by conditions leading to slowed or stalled DNA replication. Common Fragile Sites epitomize “difficult to replicate” genome regions that are particularly vulnerable to replication stress, and are associated with DNA breakage and structural variation. In this review, we summarize the roles of both the replicative and Y-family polymerases in human cells, and focus on how these activities are regulated during normal and perturbed genome replication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Replication Controls)
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Open AccessReview PrimPol—Prime Time to Reprime
Genes 2017, 8(1), 20; doi:10.3390/genes8010020
Received: 4 November 2016 / Revised: 9 December 2016 / Accepted: 16 December 2016 / Published: 6 January 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2860 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The complex molecular machines responsible for genome replication encounter many obstacles during their progression along DNA. Tolerance of these obstructions is critical for efficient and timely genome duplication. In recent years, primase-polymerase (PrimPol) has emerged as a new player involved in maintaining eukaryotic
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The complex molecular machines responsible for genome replication encounter many obstacles during their progression along DNA. Tolerance of these obstructions is critical for efficient and timely genome duplication. In recent years, primase-polymerase (PrimPol) has emerged as a new player involved in maintaining eukaryotic replication fork progression. This versatile replicative enzyme, a member of the archaeo-eukaryotic primase (AEP) superfamily, has the capacity to perform a range of template-dependent and independent synthesis activities. Here, we discuss the emerging roles of PrimPol as a leading strand repriming enzyme and describe the mechanisms responsible for recruiting and regulating the enzyme during this process. This review provides an overview and update of the current PrimPol literature, as well as highlighting unanswered questions and potential future avenues of investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Replication Controls)
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Open AccessReview Targeting MicroRNAs in Cancer Gene Therapy
Genes 2017, 8(1), 21; doi:10.3390/genes8010021
Received: 18 November 2016 / Revised: 28 December 2016 / Accepted: 30 December 2016 / Published: 9 January 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (243 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a kind of conserved small non-coding RNAs that participate in regulating gene expression by targeting multiple molecules. Early studies have shown that the expression of miRNAs changes significantly in different tumor tissues and cancer cell lines. It is well acknowledged
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a kind of conserved small non-coding RNAs that participate in regulating gene expression by targeting multiple molecules. Early studies have shown that the expression of miRNAs changes significantly in different tumor tissues and cancer cell lines. It is well acknowledged that such variation is involved in almost all biological processes, including cell proliferation, mobility, survival and differentiation. Increasing experimental data indicate that miRNA dysregulation is a biomarker of several pathological conditions including cancer, and that miRNA can exert a causal role, as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes, in different steps of the tumorigenic process. Anticancer therapies based on miRNAs are currently being developed with a goal to improve outcomes of cancer treatment. In our present study, we review the function of miRNAs in tumorigenesis and development, and discuss the latest clinical applications and strategies of therapy targeting miRNAs in cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Therapy)
Open AccessReview Control of Initiation of DNA Replication in Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli
Genes 2017, 8(1), 22; doi:10.3390/genes8010022
Received: 12 November 2016 / Revised: 16 December 2016 / Accepted: 20 December 2016 / Published: 10 January 2017
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Abstract
Initiation of DNA Replication is tightly regulated in all cells since imbalances in chromosomal copy number are deleterious and often lethal. In bacteria such as Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, at the point of cytokinesis, there must be two complete copies of
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Initiation of DNA Replication is tightly regulated in all cells since imbalances in chromosomal copy number are deleterious and often lethal. In bacteria such as Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, at the point of cytokinesis, there must be two complete copies of the chromosome to partition into the daughter cells following division at mid-cell during vegetative growth. Under conditions of rapid growth, when the time taken to replicate the chromosome exceeds the doubling time of the cells, there will be multiple initiations per cell cycle and daughter cells will inherit chromosomes that are already undergoing replication. In contrast, cells entering the sporulation pathway in B. subtilis can do so only during a short interval in the cell cycle when there are two, and only two, chromosomes per cell, one destined for the spore and one for the mother cell. Here, we briefly describe the overall process of DNA replication in bacteria before reviewing initiation of DNA replication in detail. The review covers DnaA-directed assembly of the replisome at oriC and the multitude of mechanisms of regulation of initiation, with a focus on the similarities and differences between E. coli and B. subtilis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Replication Controls)
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Open AccessReview Translesion Synthesis: Insights into the Selection and Switching of DNA Polymerases
Genes 2017, 8(1), 24; doi:10.3390/genes8010024
Received: 30 November 2016 / Revised: 4 January 2017 / Accepted: 4 January 2017 / Published: 10 January 2017
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Abstract
DNA replication is constantly challenged by DNA lesions, noncanonical DNA structures and difficult-to-replicate DNA sequences. Two major strategies to rescue a stalled replication fork and to ensure continuous DNA synthesis are: (1) template switching and recombination-dependent DNA synthesis; and (2) translesion synthesis (TLS)
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DNA replication is constantly challenged by DNA lesions, noncanonical DNA structures and difficult-to-replicate DNA sequences. Two major strategies to rescue a stalled replication fork and to ensure continuous DNA synthesis are: (1) template switching and recombination-dependent DNA synthesis; and (2) translesion synthesis (TLS) using specialized DNA polymerases to perform nucleotide incorporation opposite DNA lesions. The former pathway is mainly error-free, and the latter is error-prone and a major source of mutagenesis. An accepted model of translesion synthesis involves DNA polymerase switching steps between a replicative DNA polymerase and one or more TLS DNA polymerases. The mechanisms that govern the selection and exchange of specialized DNA polymerases for a given DNA lesion are not well understood. In this review, recent studies concerning the mechanisms of selection and switching of DNA polymerases in eukaryotic systems are summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Replication Controls)
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Open AccessReview Origin DNA Melting—An Essential Process with Divergent Mechanisms
Genes 2017, 8(1), 26; doi:10.3390/genes8010026
Received: 21 November 2016 / Revised: 27 December 2016 / Accepted: 3 January 2017 / Published: 11 January 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2956 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Origin DNA melting is an essential process in the various domains of life. The replication fork helicase unwinds DNA ahead of the replication fork, providing single-stranded DNA templates for the replicative polymerases. The replication fork helicase is a ring shaped-assembly that unwinds DNA
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Origin DNA melting is an essential process in the various domains of life. The replication fork helicase unwinds DNA ahead of the replication fork, providing single-stranded DNA templates for the replicative polymerases. The replication fork helicase is a ring shaped-assembly that unwinds DNA by a steric exclusion mechanism in most DNA replication systems. While one strand of DNA passes through the central channel of the helicase ring, the second DNA strand is excluded from the central channel. Thus, the origin, or initiation site for DNA replication, must melt during the initiation of DNA replication to allow for the helicase to surround a single-DNA strand. While this process is largely understood for bacteria and eukaryotic viruses, less is known about how origin DNA is melted at eukaryotic cellular origins. This review describes the current state of knowledge of how genomic DNA is melted at a replication origin in bacteria and eukaryotes. We propose that although the process of origin melting is essential for the various domains of life, the mechanism for origin melting may be quite different among the different DNA replication initiation systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Replication Controls)
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Open AccessReview Replication Fork Protection Factors Controlling R-Loop Bypass and Suppression
Genes 2017, 8(1), 33; doi:10.3390/genes8010033
Received: 28 October 2016 / Revised: 2 January 2017 / Accepted: 9 January 2017 / Published: 14 January 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (557 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Replication–transcription conflicts have been a well-studied source of genome instability for many years and have frequently been linked to defects in RNA processing. However, recent characterization of replication fork-associated proteins has revealed that defects in fork protection can directly or indirectly stabilize R-loop
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Replication–transcription conflicts have been a well-studied source of genome instability for many years and have frequently been linked to defects in RNA processing. However, recent characterization of replication fork-associated proteins has revealed that defects in fork protection can directly or indirectly stabilize R-loop structures in the genome and promote transcription–replication conflicts that lead to genome instability. Defects in essential DNA replication-associated activities like topoisomerase, or the minichromosome maintenance (MCM) helicase complex, as well as fork-associated protection factors like the Fanconi anemia pathway, both appear to mitigate transcription–replication conflicts. Here, we will highlight recent advances that support the concept that normal and robust replisome function itself is a key component of mitigating R-loop coupled genome instability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue R-loop Biology in Eukaryotes)
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Open AccessReview Familial Lung Cancer: A Brief History from the Earliest Work to the Most Recent Studies
Genes 2017, 8(1), 36; doi:10.3390/genes8010036
Received: 28 October 2016 / Revised: 29 December 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 17 January 2017
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Abstract
Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in the United States, killing roughly one of four cancer patients in 2016. While it is well-established that lung cancer is caused primarily by environmental effects (particularly tobacco smoking), there is evidence for genetic susceptibility. Lung cancer
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Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in the United States, killing roughly one of four cancer patients in 2016. While it is well-established that lung cancer is caused primarily by environmental effects (particularly tobacco smoking), there is evidence for genetic susceptibility. Lung cancer has been shown to aggregate in families, and segregation analyses have hypothesized a major susceptibility locus for the disease. Genetic association studies have provided strong evidence for common risk variants of small-to-moderate effect. Rare and highly penetrant alleles have been identified by linkage studies, including on 6q23–25. Though not common, some germline mutations have also been identified via sequencing studies. Ongoing genomics studies aim to identify additional high penetrance germline susceptibility alleles for this deadly disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Genetics)
Open AccessReview Centromere Stability: The Replication Connection
Genes 2017, 8(1), 37; doi:10.3390/genes8010037
Received: 19 December 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 12 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
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Abstract
The fission yeast centromere, which is similar to metazoan centromeres, contains highly repetitive pericentromere sequences that are assembled into heterochromatin. This is required for the recruitment of cohesin and proper chromosome segregation. Surprisingly, the pericentromere replicates early in the S phase. Loss of
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The fission yeast centromere, which is similar to metazoan centromeres, contains highly repetitive pericentromere sequences that are assembled into heterochromatin. This is required for the recruitment of cohesin and proper chromosome segregation. Surprisingly, the pericentromere replicates early in the S phase. Loss of heterochromatin causes this domain to become very sensitive to replication fork defects, leading to gross chromosome rearrangements. This review examines the interplay between components of DNA replication, heterochromatin assembly, and cohesin dynamics that ensures maintenance of genome stability and proper chromosome segregation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Replication Controls)
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Open AccessReview The Complex Relationship between Virulence and Antibiotic Resistance
Genes 2017, 8(1), 39; doi:10.3390/genes8010039
Received: 4 November 2016 / Revised: 21 December 2016 / Accepted: 7 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
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Abstract
Antibiotic resistance, prompted by the overuse of antimicrobial agents, may arise from a variety of mechanisms, particularly horizontal gene transfer of virulence and antibiotic resistance genes, which is often facilitated by biofilm formation. The importance of phenotypic changes seen in a biofilm, which
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Antibiotic resistance, prompted by the overuse of antimicrobial agents, may arise from a variety of mechanisms, particularly horizontal gene transfer of virulence and antibiotic resistance genes, which is often facilitated by biofilm formation. The importance of phenotypic changes seen in a biofilm, which lead to genotypic alterations, cannot be overstated. Irrespective of if the biofilm is single microbe or polymicrobial, bacteria, protected within a biofilm from the external environment, communicate through signal transduction pathways (e.g., quorum sensing or two-component systems), leading to global changes in gene expression, enhancing virulence, and expediting the acquisition of antibiotic resistance. Thus, one must examine a genetic change in virulence and resistance not only in the context of the biofilm but also as inextricably linked pathologies. Observationally, it is clear that increased virulence and the advent of antibiotic resistance often arise almost simultaneously; however, their genetic connection has been relatively ignored. Although the complexities of genetic regulation in a multispecies community may obscure a causative relationship, uncovering key genetic interactions between virulence and resistance in biofilm bacteria is essential to identifying new druggable targets, ultimately providing a drug discovery and development pathway to improve treatment options for chronic and recurring infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virulence Gene Regulation in Bacteria)
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Open AccessReview RNA Editing, ADAR1, and the Innate Immune Response
Genes 2017, 8(1), 41; doi:10.3390/genes8010041
Received: 29 November 2016 / Revised: 3 January 2017 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
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Abstract
RNA editing, particularly A-to-I RNA editing, has been shown to play an essential role in mammalian embryonic development and tissue homeostasis, and is implicated in the pathogenesis of many diseases including skin pigmentation disorder, autoimmune and inflammatory tissue injury, neuron degeneration, and various
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RNA editing, particularly A-to-I RNA editing, has been shown to play an essential role in mammalian embryonic development and tissue homeostasis, and is implicated in the pathogenesis of many diseases including skin pigmentation disorder, autoimmune and inflammatory tissue injury, neuron degeneration, and various malignancies. A-to-I RNA editing is carried out by a small group of enzymes, the adenosine deaminase acting on RNAs (ADARs). Only three members of this protein family, ADAR1–3, exist in mammalian cells. ADAR3 is a catalytically null enzyme and the most significant function of ADAR2 was found to be in editing on the neuron receptor GluR-B mRNA. ADAR1, however, has been shown to play more significant roles in biological and pathological conditions. Although there remains much that is not known about how ADAR1 regulates cellular function, recent findings point to regulation of the innate immune response as an important function of ADAR1. Without appropriate RNA editing by ADAR1, endogenous RNA transcripts stimulate cytosolic RNA sensing receptors and therefore activate the IFN-inducing signaling pathways. Overactivation of innate immune pathways can lead to tissue injury and dysfunction. However, obvious gaps in our knowledge persist as to how ADAR1 regulates innate immune responses through RNA editing. Here, we review critical findings from ADAR1 mechanistic studies focusing on its regulatory function in innate immune responses and identify some of the important unanswered questions in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Editing)
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Open AccessReview Regulation of DNA Replication in Early Embryonic Cleavages
Genes 2017, 8(1), 42; doi:10.3390/genes8010042
Received: 25 November 2016 / Revised: 6 January 2017 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 19 January 2017
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Abstract
Early embryonic cleavages are characterized by short and highly synchronous cell cycles made of alternating S- and M-phases with virtually absent gap phases. In this contracted cell cycle, the duration of DNA synthesis can be extraordinarily short. Depending on the organism, the whole
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Early embryonic cleavages are characterized by short and highly synchronous cell cycles made of alternating S- and M-phases with virtually absent gap phases. In this contracted cell cycle, the duration of DNA synthesis can be extraordinarily short. Depending on the organism, the whole genome of an embryo is replicated at a speed that is between 20 to 60 times faster than that of a somatic cell. Because transcription in the early embryo is repressed, DNA synthesis relies on a large stockpile of maternally supplied proteins stored in the egg representing most, if not all, cellular genes. In addition, in early embryonic cell cycles, both replication and DNA damage checkpoints are inefficient. In this article, we will review current knowledge on how DNA synthesis is regulated in early embryos and discuss possible consequences of replicating chromosomes with little or no quality control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Replication Controls)
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Open AccessReview Burkholderia cepacia Complex Regulation of Virulence Gene Expression: A Review
Genes 2017, 8(1), 43; doi:10.3390/genes8010043
Received: 7 November 2016 / Revised: 11 January 2017 / Accepted: 12 January 2017 / Published: 19 January 2017
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Abstract
Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) bacteria emerged as opportunistic pathogens in cystic fibrosis and immunocompromised patients. Their eradication is very difficult due to the high level of intrinsic resistance to clinically relevant antibiotics. Bcc bacteria have large and complex genomes, composed of two to
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Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) bacteria emerged as opportunistic pathogens in cystic fibrosis and immunocompromised patients. Their eradication is very difficult due to the high level of intrinsic resistance to clinically relevant antibiotics. Bcc bacteria have large and complex genomes, composed of two to four replicons, with variable numbers of insertion sequences. The complexity of Bcc genomes confers a high genomic plasticity to these bacteria, allowing their adaptation and survival to diverse habitats, including the human host. In this work, we review results from recent studies using omics approaches to elucidate in vivo adaptive strategies and virulence gene regulation expression of Bcc bacteria when infecting the human host or subject to conditions mimicking the stressful environment of the cystic fibrosis lung. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virulence Gene Regulation in Bacteria)
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Open AccessReview Risks at the DNA Replication Fork: Effects upon Carcinogenesis and Tumor Heterogeneity
Genes 2017, 8(1), 46; doi:10.3390/genes8010046
Received: 6 December 2016 / Revised: 9 January 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2017 / Published: 22 January 2017
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Abstract
The ability of all organisms to copy their genetic information via DNA replication is a prerequisite for cell division and a biological imperative of life. In multicellular organisms, however, mutations arising from DNA replication errors in the germline and somatic cells are the
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The ability of all organisms to copy their genetic information via DNA replication is a prerequisite for cell division and a biological imperative of life. In multicellular organisms, however, mutations arising from DNA replication errors in the germline and somatic cells are the basis of genetic diseases and cancer, respectively. Within human tumors, replication errors additionally contribute to mutator phenotypes and tumor heterogeneity, which are major confounding factors for cancer therapeutics. Successful DNA replication involves the coordination of many large-scale, complex cellular processes. In this review, we focus on the roles that defects in enzymes that normally act at the replication fork and dysregulation of enzymes that inappropriately damage single-stranded DNA at the fork play in causing mutations that contribute to carcinogenesis. We focus on tumor data and experimental evidence that error-prone variants of replicative polymerases promote carcinogenesis and on research indicating that the primary target mutated by APOBEC (apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide-like) cytidine deaminases is ssDNA present at the replication fork. Furthermore, we discuss evidence from model systems that indicate replication stress and other cancer-associated metabolic changes may modulate mutagenic enzymatic activities at the replication fork. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Replication Controls)
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Open AccessErratum Erratum: Pan Y. et al. Cucumber Metallothionein-Like 2 (CsMTL2) Exhibits Metal-Binding Properties. Genes 2016, 7, 106
Genes 2017, 8(1), 29; doi:10.3390/genes8010029
Received: 10 January 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 12 January 2017
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(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics)

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