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Martinez P.,Telomeres and Telomerase Group | Gomez-Lopez G.,Bioinformatics Core Unit | Garcia F.,Proteomics Core Unit | Mercken E.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | And 4 more authors.
Cell Reports | Year: 2013

RAP1 is part of shelterin, the protective complex at telomeres. RAP1 also binds along chromosome arms, where it is proposed to regulate gene expression. To investigate the nontelomeric roles of RAP1 invivo, we generated a RAP1 whole-body knockout mouse. These mice show early onset of obesity, which is more severe in females than in males. Rap1-deficient mice show accumulation of abdominal fat, hepatic steatosis, and high-fasting plasma levels of insulin, glucose, cholesterol, and alanine aminotransferase. Gene expression analyses of liver and visceral white fat from Rap1-deficient mice before the onset of obesity show deregulation of metabolic programs, including fatty acid, glucose metabolism, and PPARα signaling. We identify Pparα and Pgc1α as key factors affected by Rap1deletion in the liver. We show that RAP1 bindsto Pparα and Pgc1α loci and modulates theirtranscription. These findings reveal a role for a telomere-binding protein in the regulation of metabolism. © 2013 The Authors.

Martinez P.,Telomeres and Telomerase Group | Thanasoula M.,Telomeres and Telomerase Group | Carlos A.R.,CR UK MRC Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology and Biology | Gomez-Lopez G.,Bioinformatics Core Unit | And 6 more authors.
Nature Cell Biology | Year: 2010

Rap1 is a component of the shelterin complex at mammalian telomeres, but its in vivo role in telomere biology has remained largely unknown to date. Here we show that Rap1 deficiency is dispensable for telomere capping but leads to increased telomere recombination and fragility. We generated cells and mice deleted for Rap1; mice with Rap1 deletion in stratified epithelia were viable but had shorter telomeres and developed skin hyperpigmentation in adulthood. By performing chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with ultrahigh-throughput sequencing, we found that Rap1 binds to both telomeres and to extratelomeric sites through the (TTAGGG) 2 consensus motif. Extratelomeric Rap1-binding sites were enriched at subtelomeric regions, in agreement with preferential deregulation of subtelomeric genes in Rap1-deficient cells. More than 70% of extratelomeric Rap1-binding sites were in the vicinity of genes, and 31% of the genes deregulated in Rap1-null cells contained Rap1-binding sites, suggesting a role for Rap1 in transcriptional control. These findings place a telomere protein at the interface between telomere function and transcriptional regulation. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Garrobo I.,Telomeres and Telomerase Group | Marion R.M.,Telomeres and Telomerase Group | Dominguez O.,Genomics Core Unit | Pisano D.G.,Bioinformatics Core Unit | Blasco M.A.,Telomeres and Telomerase Group
Cell Cycle | Year: 2014

Telomeres are nucleoprotein structures at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes that protect them from degradation, end-to-end fusions, and fragility. In mammals, telomeres are composed of TTAGGG tandem repeats bound by a protein complex called shelterin, which has fundamental roles in the regulation of telomere protection and length. The telomeric repeat binding factor 1 (TERF1 or TRF1) is one of the components of shelterin and has been shown to be essential for telomere protection. Telomeric repeats can also be found throughout the genome, as Internal or Interstitial Telomeric Sequences (ITSs). Some of the components of shelterin have been described to bind to ITSs as well as other extra-telomeric regions, which in the case of RAP1 exert a key role in transcriptional regulation. Here, we set to address whether TRF1 can be found at extra-telomeric sites both under normal conditions and upon induction of telomere shortening. In particular, we performed a ChIP-sequencing technique to map TRF1 binding sites in MEFs wild-type and deficient for the telomerase RNA component (Terc-/-), with increasingly short telomeres. Our findings indicate that TRF1 is exclusively located at telomeres both under normal conditions, as well as under extreme telomere shortening. These results indicate that in mice not all members of shelterin have extra-telomeric roles as it was described for RAP1. © 2014 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Gonzalez V.M.,Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics IRTA UAB UB | Aventin N.,Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics IRTA UAB UB | Centeno E.,Bioinformatics Core Unit | Puigdomenech P.,Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics IRTA UAB UB
BMC Genomics | Year: 2014

Background: Plant NBS-LRR -resistance genes tend to be found in clusters, which have been shown to be hot spots of genome variability. In melon, half of the 81 predicted NBS-LRR genes group in nine clusters, and a 1Mb region on linkage group V contains the highest density of R-genes and presence/absence gene polymorphisms found in the melon genome. This region is known to contain the locus of Vat, an agronomically important gene that confers resistance to aphids. However, the presence of duplications makes the sequencing and annotation of R-gene clusters difficult, usually resulting in multi-gapped sequences with higher than average errors. Results: A 1-Mb sequence that contains the largest NBS-LRR gene cluster found in melon was improved using a strategy that combines Illumina paired-end mapping and PCR-based gap closing. Unknown sequence was decreased by 70% while about 3,000 SNPs and small indels were corrected. As a result, the annotations of 18 of a total of 23 NBS-LRR genes found in this region were modified, including additional coding sequences, amino acid changes, correction of splicing boundaries, or fussion of ORFs in common transcription units. A phylogeny analysis of the R-genes and their comparison with syntenic sequences in other cucurbits point to a pattern of local gene amplifications since the diversification of cucurbits from other families, and through speciation within the family. A candidate Vat gene is proposed based on the sequence similarity between a reported Vat gene from a Korean melon cultivar and a sequence fragment previously absent in the unrefined sequence. Conclusions: A sequence refinement strategy allowed substantial improvement of a 1Mb fragment of the melon genome and the re-annotation of the largest cluster of NBS-LRR gene homologues found in melon. Analysis of the cluster revealed that resistance genes have been produced by sequence duplication in adjacent genome locations since the divergence of cucurbits from other close families, and through the process of speciation within the family a candidate Vat gene was also identified using sequence previously unavailable, which demonstrates the advantages of genome assembly refinements when analyzing complex regions such as those containing clusters of highly similar genes. © 2014 González et al.

Gonzalez V.M.,Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics IRTA UAB UB | Aventin N.,Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics IRTA UAB UB | Centeno E.,Bioinformatics Core Unit | Puigdomenech P.,Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics IRTA UAB UB
BMC Genomics | Year: 2013

Background: Changes in the copy number of DNA sequences are one of the main mechanisms generating genome variability in eukaryotes. These changes are often related to phenotypic effects such as genetic disorders or novel pathogen resistance. The increasing availability of genome sequences through the application of next-generation massive sequencing technologies has allowed the study of genomic polymorphisms at both the interspecific and intraspecific levels, thus helping to understand how species adapt to changing environments through genome variability.Results: Data on gene presence/absence variation (PAV) in melon was obtained by resequencing a cultivated accession and an old-relative melon variety, and using previously obtained resequencing data from three other melon cultivars, among them DHL92, on which the current draft melon genome sequence is based. A total of 1,697 PAV events were detected, involving 4.4% of the predicted melon gene complement. In all, an average 1.5% of genes were absent from each analyzed cultivar as compared to the DHL92 reference genome. The most populated functional category among the 304 PAV genes of known function was that of stress response proteins (30% of all classified PAVs). Our results suggest that genes from multi-copy families are five times more likely to be affected by PAV than singleton genes. Also, the chance of genes present in the genome in tandem arrays being affected by PAV is double that of isolated genes, with PAV genes tending to be in longer clusters. The highest concentration of PAV events detected in the melon genome was found in a 1.1 Mb region of linkage group V, which also shows the highest density of melon stress-response genes. In particular, this region contains the longest continuous gene-containing PAV sequence so far identified in melon.Conclusions: The first genome-wide report of PAV variation among several melon cultivars is presented here. Multi-copy and clustered genes, especially those with putative stress-response functions, were found to be particularly affected by PAV polymorphisms. As cucurbits are known to possess a significantly lower number of defense-related genes compared to other plant species, PAV variation may play an important role in generating new pathogen resistances at the subspecies level. In addition, these results show the limitations of single reference genome sequences as the only basis for characterization and cloning of resistance genes. © 2013 González et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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