Temasek Life Science Laboratory

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Temasek Life Science Laboratory

Science, Singapore
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Ng C.-H.,National Neuroscience Institute | Guan M.S.H.,National Neuroscience Institute | Koh C.,National Neuroscience Institute | Ouyang X.,Temasek Life science Laboratory | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2012

Mutations in parkin and LRRK2 together account for the majority of familial Parkinson's disease (PD) cases. Interestingly, recent evidence implicates the involvement ofparkin and LRRK2inmitochondrial homeostasis. Supporting this, we show here bymeansof the Drosophila model system that, like parkin, LRRK2 mutations induce mitochondrial pathology in flies when expressed in their flight muscles, the toxic effects of which can be rescued by parkin coexpression. When expressed specifically in fly dopaminergic neurons, mutant LRRK2 results in the appearance of significantly enlarged mitochondria, a phenotype that can also be rescued by parkin coex-pression. Importantly, we also identified in this study that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a green tea-derived catechin, acts as a potent suppressor of dopaminergic and mitochondrial dysfunction in both mutant LRRK2 and parkin-null flies. Notably, the protective effects of EGCG are abolished when AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)isgeneticallyinactivated, suggesting that EGCG-mediated neuropro-tection requiresAMPK.Consistent with this,direct pharmacologicalorgenetic activationofAMPKreproduces EGCG'sprotective effects. Conversely, loss of AMPK activity exacerbates neuronal loss and associated phenotypes in parkin and LRRK mutant flies. Together, our results suggestthe relevanceofmitochondrial-associatedpathwayinLRRK2 and parkin-related pathogenesis, and that AMPK activation may represent a potential therapeutic strategy for these familial forms of PD. © 2012 the authors.

Jiang D.,National University of Singapore | Jiang D.,Temasek Life science Laboratory | Kong N.C.,National University of Singapore | Kong N.C.,Temasek Life science Laboratory | And 4 more authors.
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2011

Histone H3 lysine-4 (H3K4) methylation is associated with transcribed genes in eukaryotes. In Drosophila and mammals, both di- and tri-methylation of H3K4 are associated with gene activation. In contrast to animals, in Arabidopsis H3K4 trimethylation, but not mono- or di-methylation of H3K4, has been implicated in transcriptional activation. H3K4 methylation is catalyzed by the H3K4 methyltransferase complexes known as COMPASS or COMPASS-like in yeast and mammals. Here, we report that Arabidopsis homologs of the COMPASS and COMPASS-like complex core components known as Ash2, RbBP5, and WDR5 in humans form a nuclear subcomplex during vegetative and reproductive development, which can associate with multiple putative H3K4 methyltransferases. Loss of function of ARABIDOPSIS Ash2 RELATIVE (ASH2R) causes a great decrease in genome-wide H3K4 trimethylation, but not in di- or mono-methylation. Knockdown of ASH2R or the RbBP5 homolog suppresses the expression of a crucial Arabidopsis floral repressor, FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC), and FLC homologs resulting in accelerated floral transition. ASH2R binds to the chromatin of FLC and FLC homologs in vivo and is required for H3K4 trimethylation, but not for H3K4 dimethylation in these loci; overexpression of ASH2R causes elevated H3K4 trimethylation, but not H3K4 dimethylation, in its target genes FLC and FLC homologs, resulting in activation of these gene expression and consequent late flowering. These results strongly suggest that H3K4 trimethylation in FLC and its homologs can activate their expression, providing concrete evidence that H3K4 trimethylation accumulation can activate eukaryotic gene expression. Furthermore, our findings suggest that there are multiple COMPASS-like complexes in Arabidopsis and that these complexes deposit trimethyl but not di- or mono-methyl H3K4 in target genes to promote their expression, providing a molecular explanation for the observed coupling of H3K4 trimethylation (but not H3K4 dimethylation) with active gene expression in Arabidopsis. © 2011 Jiang et al.

Gao R.,National University of Singapore | Liu P.,Temasek Life science Laboratory | Wong S.-M.,National University of Singapore | Wong S.-M.,Temasek Life science Laboratory
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Viruses contain either DNA or RNA as genomes. DNA viruses replicate within nucleus, while most RNA viruses, especially (+)-sense single-stranded RNA, replicate and are present within cytoplasm. We proposed a new thought that is contrary to the common notion that (+)-sense single-stranded RNA viruses are present only in the cytoplasm. In this study, we question whether the genome of a plant RNA virus (non-retroviral) is present in the nucleus of infected cells? Hibiscus chlorotic ringspot virus (HCRSV) RNA was detected in the nucleus of infected cells, as shown by fluorescent in situ hybridization. Western blot using anti-histone 3 and anti-phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase showed that nuclei were highly purified from mock and HCRSV-infected kenaf (Hibiscus cannabilis L.) leaves, respectively. The p23 and HCRSV coat protein (CP) coding regions were both amplified from total RNA extracted from isolated nuclei. Viral RNA in the nucleus may be used to generate viral microRNAs (vir-miRNAs), as five putative vir-miRNAs were predicted from HCRSV using the vir-miRNAs prediction database. The vir-miRNA (hcrsv-miR-H1-5p) was detected using TaqMan® stem-loop real-time PCR, and by northern blot using DIG-end labeled probe in HCRSV-infected kenaf leaves. Finally, a novel nuclear localization signal (NLS) was discovered in p23 of HCRSV. The NLS interacts with importin α and facilitates viral RNA genome to enter nucleus. We demonstrate the presence of a (+)-sense single-stranded viral RNA within nucleus. © 2012 Gao et al.

Gu X.,National University of Singapore | Gu X.,Temasek Life science Laboratory | Wang Y.,National University of Singapore | Wang Y.,Temasek Life science Laboratory | And 3 more authors.
PLoS Biology | Year: 2013

The developmental transition from a vegetative to a reproductive phase (i.e., flowering) is timed by the seasonal cue day length or photoperiod in many plant species. Through the photoperiod pathway, inductive day lengths trigger the production of a systemic flowering signal, florigen, to provoke the floral transition. FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT), widely conserved in angiosperms, is a major component of the mobile florigen. In the long-day plant Arabidopsis, FT expression is rhythmically activated by the output of the photoperiod pathway CONSTANS (CO), specifically at the end of long days. How FT expression is modulated at an adequate level in response to the long-day cue to set a proper flowering time remains unknown. Here, we report a periodic histone deacetylation mechanism for the photoperiodic modulation of FT expression. We have identified a plant-unique core structural component of an Arabidopsis histone deacetylase (HDAC) complex. In long days, this component accumulates at dusk, and is recruited by a MADS-domain transcription factor to the FT locus specifically at the end of the day, leading to periodic histone deacetylation of FT chromatin at dusk. Furthermore, we found that at the end of long days CO activity not only activates FT expression but also enables HDAC-activity recruitment to FT chromatin to dampen the level of FT expression, and so prevent precocious flowering in response to the inductive long-day cue. These results collectively reveal a periodic histone deacetylation mechanism for the day-length control of flowering time in higher plants. © 2013 Gu et al.

Chen Z.,Temasek Life science Laboratory | Higgins J.D.,University of Birmingham | Hui J.T.L.,Temasek Life science Laboratory | Li J.,Temasek Life science Laboratory | And 3 more authors.
EMBO Journal | Year: 2011

We have analysed the role of RBR (retinoblastoma related), the Arabidopsis homologue of the tumour suppressor Retinoblastoma protein (pRb), during meiosis. We characterise the rbr-2 mutation, which causes a loss of RBR in male meiocytes. The rbr-2 plants exhibit strongly reduced fertility, while vegetative growth is generally unaffected. The reduced fertility is due to a meiotic defect that results in reduced chiasma formation and subsequent errors in chromosome disjunction. Immunolocalisation studies in wild-type meiocytes reveal that RBR is recruited as foci to the chromosomes during early prophase I in a DNA double-strand-break-dependent manner. In the absence of RBR, expression of several meiotic genes is reduced. The localisation of the recombinases AtRAD51 and AtDMC1 is normal. However, localisation of the MutS homologue AtMSH4 is compromised. Additionally, polymerisation of the synaptonemal complex protein AtZYP1 is abnormal. Together, these data indicate that loss of RBR during meiosis results in a reduction of crossover formation and an associated failure in chromosome synapsis. Our results indicate that RBR has an important role in meiosis affecting different aspects of this complex process. © 2011 European Molecular Biology Organization | All Rights Reserved.

Castagnetti S.,Cancer Research UK | Castagnetti S.,University of Oxford | Oliferenko S.,Temasek Life science Laboratory | Oliferenko S.,National University of Singapore | And 2 more authors.
PLoS Biology | Year: 2010

Mitosis in eukaryotic cells employs spindle microtubules to drive accurate chromosome segregation at cell division. Cells lacking spindle microtubules arrest in mitosis due to a spindle checkpoint that delays mitotic progression until all chromosomes have achieved stable bipolar attachment to spindle microtubules. In fission yeast, mitosis occurs within an intact nuclear membrane with the mitotic spindle elongating between the spindle pole bodies. We show here that in fission yeast interference with mitotic spindle formation delays mitosis only briefly and cells proceed to an unusual nuclear division process we term nuclear fission, during which cells perform some chromosome segregation and efficiently enter S-phase of the next cell cycle. Nuclear fission is blocked if spindle pole body maturation or sister chromatid separation cannot take place or if actin polymerization is inhibited. We suggest that this process exhibits vestiges of a primitive nuclear division process independent of spindle microtubules, possibly reflecting an evolutionary intermediate state between bacterial and Archeal chromosome segregation where the nucleoid divides without a spindle and a microtubule spindle-based eukaryotic mitosis. © 2010 Castagnetti et al.

Sarojam R.,University of California at Davis | Sarojam R.,Temasek Life science Laboratory | Sappl P.G.,Monash University | Goldshmidt A.,Weizmann Institute of Science | And 5 more authors.
Plant Cell | Year: 2010

In seed plants, leaves are born on radial shoots, but unlike shoots, they are determinate dorsiventral organs made of flat lamina. YABBY genes are found only in seed plants and in all cases studied are expressed primarily in lateral organs and in a polar manner. Despite their simple expression, Arabidopsis thaliana plants lacking all YABBY gene activities have a wide range of morphological defects in all lateral organs as well as the shoot apical meristem (SAM). Here, we show that leaves lacking all YABBY activities are initiated as dorsiventral appendages but fail to properly activate lamina programs. In particular, the activation of most CINCINNATA-class TCP genes does not commence, SAM-specific programs are reactivated, and a marginal leaf domain is not established. Altered distribution of auxin signaling and the auxin efflux carrier PIN1, highly reduced venation, initiation of multiple cotyledons, and gradual loss of the SAM accompany these defects. We suggest that YABBY functions were recruited to mold modified shoot systems into flat plant appendages by translating organ polarity into lamina-specific programs that include marginal auxin flow and activation of a maturation schedule directing determinate growth. © American Society of Plant Biologists. © 2010 American Society of Plant Biologists.

Gu Y.,Temasek Life science Laboratory
Nucleus (Austin, Tex.) | Year: 2012

The aim of mitosis is to produce two daughter nuclei, each containing a chromosome complement identical to that of the mother nucleus. This can be accomplished through a variety of strategies, with "open" and "closed" modes of mitosis positioned at the opposite ends of the spectrum and a range of intermediate patterns in between. In the "closed" mitosis, the nuclear envelope remains intact throughout the nuclear division. In the "open" division type, the envelope of the original nucleus breaks down early in mitosis and reassembles around the segregated daughter genomes. In any case, the nuclear membrane has to remodel to accommodate the mitotic spindle assembly, chromosome segregation and formation of the daughter nuclei. We have recently shown that within the fission yeast clade, the mitotic control of the nuclear surface area may determine the choice between the nuclear envelope breakdown and a fully "closed" division. Here we discuss our data and argue that comparative cell biology studies using two fission yeast species, Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Schizosaccharomyces japonicus, could provide unprecedented insights into physiology and evolution of mitosis.

Dong C.-H.,Qingdao Agricultural University | Hong Y.,Temasek Life science Laboratory
Plant Cell Reports | Year: 2013

Key message: We found that Arabidopsis AtADF1 was phosphorylated by AtCDPK6 at serine 6 predominantly and the phosphoregulation plays a key role in the regulation of ADF1-mediated depolymerization of actin filaments. Since actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF) is highly conserved among eukaryotes, it is one of the key modulators for actin organization. In plants, ADF is directly involved in the depolymerization of actin filaments, and therefore important for F-actin-dependent cellular activities. The activity of ADF is tightly controlled through a number of molecular mechanisms, including phosphorylation-mediated inactivation of ADF. To investigate Arabidopsis ADF1 phosphoregulation, we generated AtADF1 phosphorylation site-specific mutants. Using transient expression and stable transgenic approaches, we analyzed the ADF1 phosphorylation mutants in the regulation of actin filament organizations in plant cells. By in vitro phosphorylation assay, we showed that AtADF1 is phosphorylated by AtCDPK6 at serine 6 predominantly. Chemically induced expression of AtCDPK6 can negatively regulate the wild-type AtADF1 in depolymerizing actin filaments, but not those of the mutants AtADF1(S6A) and AtADF1(S6D). These results demonstrate a regulatory function of Arabidopsis CDPK6 in the N-terminal phosphorylation of AtADF1. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Ding Y.,Nanyang Technological University | Peng N.,Temasek Life science Laboratory | Du Y.,Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences, Singapore | Ji L.,Temasek Life science Laboratory | Cao B.,Nanyang Technological University
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2014

Although biofilm-based bioprocesses have been increasingly used in various applications, the long-term robust and efficient biofilm performance remains one of the main bottlenecks. In this study, we demonstrated that biofilm cohesiveness and performance of Shewanella oneidensis can be enhanced through disrupting putrescine biosynthesis. Through random transposon mutagenesis library screening, one hyperadherent mutant strain, CP2-1-S1, exhibiting an enhanced capability in biofilm formation, was obtained. Comparative analysis of the performance of biofilms formed by S. oneidensis MR-1 wild type (WT) and CP2-1-S1 in removing dichromate (Cr2O7 2-), i.e., Cr(VI), from the aqueous phase showed that, compared with the WT biofilms, CP2-1-S1 biofilms displayed a substantially lower rate of cell detachment upon exposure to Cr(VI), suggesting a higher cohesiveness of the mutant biofilms. In addition, the amount of Cr(III) immobilized by CP2-1-S1 biofilms was much larger, indicating an enhanced performance in Cr(VI) bioremediation. We further showed that speF, a putrescine biosynthesis gene, was disrupted in CP2-1-S1 and that the biofilm phenotypes could be restored by both genetic and chemical complementations. Our results also demonstrated an important role of putrescine in mediating matrix disassembly in S. oneidensis biofilms. © 2014, American Society for Microbiology.

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