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Korlimarla A.,St Johns Research Institute Sjri | Bhandary L.,St Johns Research Institute Sjri | Prabhu J.S.,St Johns Research Institute Sjri | Shankar H.,St Johns Research Institute Sjri | And 5 more authors.
Cellular and Molecular Biology Letters | Year: 2013

The breast cancer type 1 susceptibility gene (BRCA1) is a tumor suppressor gene, mutations or loss of which lead to genomic instability and breast cancer. BRCA1 protein is part of a large multi-protein complex involved in a variety of DNA repair and transcription regulatory functions. At least four splice variants have been described and these differ in their function and tissue and spatio-temporal expression patterns. Structural analysis has revealed the presence of two nuclear localization signals (NLS) located in exon 11 of BRCA1. Interestingly, a splice variant of the protein that lacks both of the known NLS still manages to gain entry to the nucleus. While there is experimental proof for the translocation of these proteins by binding to other established nuclear proteins, we examined the possibility of a hitherto unidentified NLS in this particular variant. In this paper, we present evidence for the existence of a previously unreported non-canonical NLS contained within the first 39 amino acids of exon 11. A fusion protein with this 39mer and a reporter green fluorescent protein translocated into the nucleus when it was expressed in breast epithelial cells. We demonstrate the presence of a hitherto unreported noncanonical NLS in exon 11a of BRCA1. This NLS might aid proteins that were encoded by splice variants and lack the canonical NLS to localize to the nucleus. © 2013 Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien.

Tanumihardjo S.A.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Kurpad A.V.,St Johns Research Institute Sjri | Hunt J.R.,International Atomic Energy Agency
International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research | Year: 2014

The current use of serum retinol concentrations as a measurement of subclinical vitamin A deficiency is unsatisfactory for many reasons. The best technique available for vitamin A status assessment in humans is the measurement of total body pool size. Pool size is measured by the administration of retinol labelled with stable isotopes of carbon or hydrogen that are safe for human subjects, with subsequent measurement of the dilution of the labelled retinol within the body pool. However, the isotope techniques are time-consuming, technically challenging, and relatively expensive. There is also a need to assess different types of tracers and doses, and to establish clear guidelines for the use and interpretation of this method in different populations. Field-friendly improvements are desirable to encourage the application of this technique in developing countries where the need is greatest for monitoring the risk of vitamin A deficiency, the effectiveness of public health interventions, and the potential of hypervitaminosis due to combined supplement and fortification programs. These techniques should be applied to validate other less technical methods of assessing vitamin A deficiency. Another area of public health relevance for this technique is to understand the bioconversion of β-carotene to vitamin A, and its relation to existing vitamin A status, for future dietary diversification programs. © International Atomic Energy Agency 2014.

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