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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.

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.

Numerous responses are triggered by light in the cell. How the light signal is detected and transduced into a cellular response is still an enigma. Each zebrafish cell has the capacity to directly detect light, making this organism particularly suitable for the study of light dependent transcription. To gain insight into the light signalling mechanism we identified genes that are activated by light exposure at an early embryonic stage, when specialised light sensing organs have not yet formed. We screened over 14,900 genes using micro-array GeneChips, and identified 19 light-induced genes that function primarily in light signalling, stress response, and DNA repair. Here we reveal that PAR Response Elements are present in all promoters of the light-induced genes, and demonstrate a pivotal role for the PAR bZip transcription factor Thyrotroph embryonic factor (Tef) in regulating the majority of light-induced genes. We show that tefbeta transcription is directly regulated by light while transcription of tefalpha is under circadian clock control at later stages of development. These data leads us to propose their involvement in light-induced UV tolerance in the zebrafish embryo.

Piazzolla D.,Tumour Suppression Group | Palla A.R.,Tumour Suppression Group | Pantoja C.,Tumour Suppression Group | Canamero M.,Histopathology Core Unit | And 16 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2014

NANOG is a pluripotency transcription factor in embryonic stem cells; however, its role in adult tissues remains largely unexplored. Here we show that mouse NANOG is selectively expressed in stratified epithelia, most notably in the oesophagus where the Nanog promoter is hypomethylated. Interestingly, inducible ubiquitous overexpression of NANOG in mice causes hyperplasia selectively in the oesophagus, in association with increased cell proliferation. NANOG transcriptionally activates the mitotic programme, including Aurora A kinase (Aurka), in stratified epithelia, and endogenous NANOG directly binds to the Aurka promoter in primary keratinocytes. Interestingly, overexpression of Nanog or Aurka in mice increased proliferation and aneuploidy in the oesophageal basal epithelium. Finally, inactivation of NANOG in cell lines from oesophageal or head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (ESCCs or HNSCCs, respectively) results in lower levels of AURKA and decreased proliferation, and NANOG and AURKA expression are positively correlated in HNSCCs. Together, these results indicate that NANOG has a lineage-restricted mitogenic function in stratified epithelia. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Cash T.P.,Tumour Suppression Group | Pita G.,Human Genotyping CEGEN Unit | Dominguez O.,Genomics Core Unit | Alonso M.R.,Human Genotyping CEGEN Unit | And 10 more authors.
Aging Cell | Year: 2014

Exceptional longevity (EL) is a rare phenotype that can cluster in families, and co-segregation of genetic variation in these families may point to candidate genes that could contribute to extended lifespan. In this study, for the first time, we have sequenced a total of seven exomes from exceptionally long-lived siblings (probands ≥ 103 years and at least one sibling ≥ 97 years) that come from three separate families. We have focused on rare functional variants (RFVs) which have ≤ 1% minor allele frequency according to databases and that are likely to alter gene product function. Based on this, we have identified one candidate longevity gene carrying RFVs in all three families, APOB. Interestingly, APOB is a component of lipoprotein particles together with APOE, and variants in the genes encoding these two proteins have been previously associated with human longevity. Analysis of nonfamilial EL cases showed a trend, without reaching statistical significance, toward enrichment of APOB RFVs. We have also identified candidate longevity genes shared between two families (5-13) or within individual families (66-156 genes). Some of these genes have been previously linked to longevity in model organisms, such as PPARGC1A, NRG1, RAD52, RAD51, NCOR1, and ADCY5 genes. This work provides an initial catalog of genes that could contribute to exceptional familial longevity. © 2014 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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