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Los Andes, Chile

Gamboa M.C.,Andres Bello University | Baltierra F.,Fundacion Ciencia and Vida | Leon G.,Andres Bello University | Krauskopf E.,Andres Bello University
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry | Year: 2013

Vacuolar solute accumulation has been shown to be a mechanism by which plants are capable of increasing drought and salt tolerance. The exposure of plants to NaCl induces H+ transport into the vacuole by specialized pumps. One of them corresponds to the vacuolar H+-pyrophosphatase, which generates a H+ gradient across the vacuolar membrane. In our laboratory we isolated the first cDNA sequence of a vacuolar pyrophosphatase type I (EVP1) from Eucalyptus globulus. Using real-time PCR we confirmed that EVP1 participates in Eucalyptus plants' response to drought and salt stress through an ABA independent pathway. Additionally, the overexpression of EVP1 in transgenic Arabidopsis resulted in an enhancement of drought and salt tolerance. Interestingly we established that the transgenic plants had a higher number of root hairs, which may have a positive effect on the plant's response to drought and salt stress. These results suggest that EVP1 plays an active role in abiotic stress tolerance in E.globulus, and that it may be potentially used to enhance drought and stress tolerance of plants. © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. Source


Gupta S.,Karolinska Institutet | Gupta S.,Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control | Braun M.,Karolinska University Hospital | Tischler N.D.,Fundacion Ciencia and Vida | And 9 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens | Year: 2013

Hantaviruses cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus cardio-pulmonary syndrome (HCPS; also called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS)), both human diseases with high case-fatality rates. Endothelial cells are the main targets for hantaviruses. An intriguing observation in patients with HFRS and HCPS is that on one hand the virus infection leads to strong activation of CD8 T cells and NK cells, on the other hand no obvious destruction of infected endothelial cells is observed. Here, we provide an explanation for this dichotomy by showing that hantavirus-infected endothelial cells are protected from cytotoxic lymphocyte-mediated induction of apoptosis. When dissecting potential mechanisms behind this phenomenon, we discovered that the hantavirus nucleocapsid protein inhibits the enzymatic activity of both granzyme B and caspase 3. This provides a tentative explanation for the hantavirus-mediated block of cytotoxic granule-mediated apoptosis-induction, and hence the protection of infected cells from cytotoxic lymphocytes. These findings may explain why infected endothelial cells in hantavirus-infected patients are not destroyed by the strong cytotoxic lymphocyte response. © 2013 Gupta et al. Source


Mendez A.S.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Alfaro J.,Fundacion Ciencia and Vida | Morales-Soto M.A.,Fundacion Ciencia and Vida | Morales-Soto M.A.,Andres Bello University | And 12 more authors.
eLife | Year: 2015

Two ER membrane-resident transmembrane kinases, IRE1 and PERK, function as stress sensors in the unfolded protein response. IRE1 also has an endoribonuclease activity, which initiates a non-conventional mRNA splicing reaction, while PERK phosphorylates eIF2α. We engineered a potent small molecule, IPA, that binds to IRE1’s ATP-binding pocket and predisposes the kinase domain to oligomerization, activating its RNase. IPA also inhibits PERK but, paradoxically, activates it at low concentrations, resulting in a bell-shaped activation profile. We reconstituted IPA-activation of PERK-mediated eIF2α phosphorylation from purified components. We estimate that under conditions of maximal activation less than 15% of PERK molecules in the reaction are occupied by IPA. We propose that IPA binding biases the PERK kinase towards its active conformation, which trans-activates apo-PERK molecules. The mechanism by which partial occupancy with an inhibitor can activate kinases may be wide-spread and carries major implications for design and therapeutic application of kinase inhibitors. © 2015, eLife Sciences Publications Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Donas C.,Andres Bello University | Fritz M.,Andres Bello University | Manriquez V.,Laboratorio Of Inmunologia | Tejon G.,Laboratorio Of Inmunologia | And 5 more authors.
Clinical and Developmental Immunology | Year: 2013

Regulatory T cells are a specific subset of lymphocytes that suppress immune responses and play a crucial role in the maintenance of self-tolerance. They can be generated in the thymus as well as in the periphery through differentiation of naïve CD4+ T cells. The forkhead box P3 transcription factor (Foxp3) is a crucial molecule regulating the generation and function of Tregs. Here we show that the foxp3 gene promoter becomes hyperacetylated in in vitro differentiated Tregs compared to naïve CD4 + T cells. We also show that the histone deacetylase inhibitor TSA stimulated the in vitro differentiation of naïve CD4+ T cells into Tregs and that this induction was accompanied by a global increase in histone H3 acetylation. Importantly, we also demonstrated that Tregs generated in the presence of TSA have phenotypical and functional differences from the Tregs generated in the absence of TSA. Thus, TSA-generated Tregs showed increased suppressive activities, which could potentially be explained by a mechanism involving the ectonucleotidases CD39 and CD73. Our data show that TSA could potentially be used to enhance the differentiation and suppressive function of CD4+Foxp3+ Treg cells. © 2013 Cristian Doñas et al. Source


Rivera C.,Fundacion Ciencia and Vida | Gurard-Levin Z.A.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Gurard-Levin Z.A.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Gurard-Levin Z.A.,Equipe Labellisee Ligue Contre le Cancer | And 4 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms | Year: 2014

In eukaryotic organisms, the replication of the DNA sequence and its organization into chromatin are critical to maintain genome integrity. Chromatin components, such as histone variants and histone post-translational modifications, along with the higher-order chromatin structure, impact several DNA metabolic processes, including replication, transcription, and repair. In this review we focus on lysine methylation and the relationships between this histone mark and chromatin replication. We first describe studies implicating lysine methylation in regulating early steps in the replication process. We then discuss chromatin reassembly following replication fork passage, where the incorporation of a combination of newly synthesized histones and parental histones can impact the inheritance of lysine methylation marks on the daughter strands. Finally, we elaborate on how the inheritance of lysine methylation can impact maintenance of the chromatin landscape, using heterochromatin as a model chromatin domain, and we discuss the potential mechanisms involved in this process. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Methylation: A Multifaceted Modification - looking at transcription and beyond. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

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