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Bulankova P.,Austrian Academy of Sciences | Akimcheva S.,Austrian Academy of Sciences | Fellner N.,Campus Science Support Facilities | Riha K.,Austrian Academy of Sciences
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2013

Meiosis is a modified cell division in which a single S-phase is followed by two rounds of chromosome segregation resulting in the production of haploid gametes. The meiotic mode of chromosome segregation requires extensive remodeling of the basic cell cycle machinery and employment of unique regulatory mechanisms. Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) and cyclins represent an ancient molecular module that drives and regulates cell cycle progression. The cyclin gene family has undergone a massive expansion in angiosperm plants, but only a few cyclins were thoroughly characterized. In this study we performed a systematic immunolocalization screen to identify Arabidopsis thaliana A- and B-type cyclins expressed in meiosis. Many of these cyclins exhibit cell-type-specific expression in vegetative tissues and distinct subcellular localization. We found six A-type cyclins and a single B-type cyclin (CYCB3;1) to be expressed in male meiosis. Mutant analysis revealed that these cyclins contribute to distinct meiosis-related processes. While A2 cyclins are important for chromosome segregation, CYCB3;1 prevents ectopic cell wall formation. We further show that cyclin SDS does not contain a D-box and is constitutively expressed throughout meiosis. Analysis of plants carrying cyclin SDS with an introduced D-box motif determined that, in addition to its function in recombination, SDS acts together with CYCB3;1 in suppressing unscheduled cell wall synthesis. Our phenotypic and expression data provide extensive evidence that multiplication of cyclins is in plants accompanied by functional diversification. © 2013 Bulankova et al.

Fischer D.,Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke | Laiho A.,Abo Akademi University | Gyenesei A.,Campus Science Support Facilities | Sironen A.,Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke
G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics | Year: 2015

Recent developments in high-throughput sequencing techniques have enabled large-scale analysis of genetic variations and gene expression in different tissues and species, but gene expression patterns and genetic variations in livestock are not well-characterized. In this study, we have used highthroughput transcriptomic sequencing of the Finnish Large White to identify gene expression patterns and coding polymorphisms within the breed in the testis and oviduct. The main objective of this study was to identify polymorphisms within genes that are highly and specifically expressed in male and/or female reproductive organs. The differential expression (DE) analysis underlined 1234 genes highly expressed in the testis and 1501 in the oviduct. Furthermore, we used a novel in-house R-package hoardeR for the identification of novel genes and their orthologs, which underlined 55 additional DE genes based on orthologs in the human, cow, and sheep. Identification of polymorphisms in the dataset resulted in a total of 29,973 variants, of which 10,704 were known coding variants. Fifty-seven nonsynonymous SNPs were present among genes with high expression in the testis and 67 were present in the oviduct, underlining possible influential genes for reproduction traits. Seven genes (PGR, FRAS1, TCF4, ADAT1, SPAG6, PIWIL2, and DNAH8) with polymorphisms were highlighted as reproduction-related based on their biological function. The expression and SNPs of these genes were confirmed using RT-PCR and Sanger sequencing. The identified nonsynonymous mutations within genes highly expressed in the testis or oviduct provide a list of candidate genes for reproduction traits within the pig population and enable identification of biomarkers for sow and boar fertility. © 2015 Fischer et al.

Derboven E.,Gregor Mendel Instituten Academy of science | Ekker H.,Campus Science Support Facilities | Kusenda B.,Gregor Mendel Instituten Academy of science | Bulankova P.,Gregor Mendel Instituten Academy of science | And 2 more authors.
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2014

The CST (Cdc13/CTC1-STN1-TEN1) complex was proposed to have evolved kingdom specific roles in telomere capping and replication. To shed light on its evolutionary conserved function, we examined the effect of STN1 dysfunction on telomere structure in plants. STN1 inactivation in Arabidopsis leads to a progressive loss of telomeric DNA and the onset of telomeric defects depends on the initial telomere size. While EXO1 aggravates defects associated with STN1 dysfunction, it does not contribute to the formation of long G-overhangs. Instead, these G-overhangs arise, at least partially, from telomerase-mediated telomere extension indicating a deficiency in C-strand fill-in synthesis. Analysis of hypomorphic DNA polymerase α mutants revealed that the impaired function of a general replication factor mimics the telomeric defects associated with CST dysfunction. Furthermore, we show that STN1-deficiency hinders re-replication of heterochromatic regions to a similar extent as polymerase α mutations. This comparative analysis of stn1 and pol α mutants suggests that STN1 plays a genome-wide role in DNA replication and that chromosome-end deprotection in stn1 mutants may represent a manifestation of aberrant replication through telomeres. © 2014 Derboven et al.

Lauwers M.,Institute of Molecular Pathology | Pichler P.,Institute of Molecular Pathology | Edelman N.B.,Institute of Molecular Pathology | Resch G.P.,Campus Science Support Facilities | And 6 more authors.
Current Biology | Year: 2013

Hair cells reside in specialized epithelia in the inner ear of vertebrates, mediating the detection of sound, motion, and gravity. The transduction of these stimuli into a neuronal impulse requires the deflection of stereocilia, which are stabilized by the actin-rich cuticular plate. Recent electrophysiological studies have implicated the vestibular system in pigeon magnetosensation [1]. Here we report the discovery of a single iron-rich organelle that resides in the cuticular plate of cochlear and vestibular hair cells in the pigeon. Transmission electron microscopy, coupled with elemental analysis, has shown that this structure is composed of ferritin-like granules, is approximately 300-600 nm in diameter, is spherical, and in some instances is membrane-bound and/or organized in a paracrystalline array. This organelle is found in hair cells in a wide variety of avian species, but not in rodents or in humans. This structure may function as (1) a store of excess iron, (2) a stabilizer of stereocilia, or (3) a mediator of magnetic detection. Given the specific subcellular location, elemental composition, and evolutionary conservation, we propose that this structure is an integral component of the sensory apparatus in birds. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Rao S.,Austrian Academy of Sciences | Tortola L.,Austrian Academy of Sciences | Perlot T.,Austrian Academy of Sciences | Wirnsberger G.,Austrian Academy of Sciences | And 27 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2014

Autophagy is a mechanism by which starving cells can control their energy requirements and metabolic states, thus facilitating the survival of cells in stressful environments, in particular in the pathogenesis of cancer. Here we report that tissue-specific inactivation of Atg5, essential for the formation of autophagosomes, markedly impairs the progression of KRas G12D -driven lung cancer, resulting in a significant survival advantage of tumour-bearing mice. Autophagy-defective lung cancers exhibit impaired mitochondrial energy homoeostasis, oxidative stress and a constitutively active DNA damage response. Genetic deletion of the tumour suppressor p53 reinstates cancer progression of autophagy-deficient tumours. Although there is improved survival, the onset of Atg5-mutant KRas G12D -driven lung tumours is markedly accelerated. Mechanistically, increased oncogenesis maps to regulatory T cells. These results demonstrate that, in KRas G12D -driven lung cancer, Atg5-regulated autophagy accelerates tumour progression; however, autophagy also represses early oncogenesis, suggesting a link between deregulated autophagy and regulatory T cell controlled anticancer immunity. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

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