142,802 research outputs found

    Analysis of chromatin accessibility in decidualizing human endometrial stromal cells

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    Spontaneous decidualization of the endometrium in response to progesterone signaling is confined to menstruating species, including humans and other higher primates. During this process, endometrial stromal cells (EnSCs) differentiate into specialized decidual cells that control embryo implantation. We subjected undifferentiated and decidualizing human EnSCs to an assay for transposase accessible chromatin with sequencing (ATAC-seq) to map the underlying chromatin changes. A total of 185,084 open DNA loci were mapped accurately in EnSCs. Altered chromatin accessibility upon decidualization was strongly associated with differential gene expression. Analysis of 1533 opening and closing chromatin regions revealed over-representation of DNA binding motifs for known decidual transcription factors (TFs) and identified putative new regulators. ATAC-seq footprint analysis provided evidence of TF binding at specific motifs. One of the largest footprints involved the most enriched motif-basic leucine zipper-as part of a triple motif that also comprised the estrogen receptor and Pax domain binding sites. Without exception, triple motifs were located within Alu elements, which suggests a role for this primate-specific transposable element (TE) in the evolution of decidual genes. Although other TEs were generally under-represented in open chromatin of undifferentiated EnSCs, several classes contributed to the regulatory DNA landscape that underpins decidual gene expression

    Securin Is Not Required for Chromosomal Stability in Human Cells

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    Abnormalities of chromosome number are frequently observed in cancers. The mechanisms regulating chromosome segregation in human cells are therefore of great interest. Recently it has been reported that human cells without an hSecurin gene lose chromosomes at a high frequency. Here we show that, after hSecurin knockout through homologous recombination, chromosome losses are only a short, transient effect. After a few passages hSecurin(−/−) cells became chromosomally stable and executed mitoses normally. This was unexpected, as the securin loss resulted in a persisting reduction of the sister-separating protease separase and inefficient cleavage of the cohesin subunit Scc1. Our data demonstrate that securin is dispensable for chromosomal stability in human cells. We propose that human cells possess efficient mechanisms to compensate for the loss of genes involved in chromosome segregation

    Direct regulation of Treslin by cyclin-dependent kinase is essential for the onset of DNA replication

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    Treslin, a TopBP1-interacting protein, is necessary for deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) replication in vertebrates. Association between Treslin and TopBP1 requires cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) activity in Xenopus laevis egg extracts. We investigated the mechanism and functional importance of Cdk for this interaction using both X. laevis egg extracts and human cells. We found that Treslin also associated with TopBP1 in a Cdk-regulated manner in human cells and that Treslin was phosphorylated within a conserved Cdk consensus target sequence (on S976 in X. laevis and S1000 in humans). Recombinant human Cdk2–cyclin E also phosphorylated this residue of Treslin in vitro very effectively. Moreover, a mutant of Treslin that cannot undergo phosphorylation on this site showed significantly diminished binding to TopBP1. Finally, human cells harboring this mutant were severely deficient in DNA replication. Collectively, these results indicate that Cdk-mediated phosphorylation of Treslin during S phase is necessary for both its effective association with TopBP1 and its ability to promote DNA replication in human cells

    Aneuploidy and proteotoxic stress in cancer

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    Although nearly ubiquitous in cancer, aneuploidy exerts detrimental effects on human cells. We recently demonstrated that aneuploid human cells exhibit impaired heat shock factor protein 1 (HSF1) and HSP90 function, suggesting a functional link between two recurring features of cancer cells: aneuploidy and proteotoxic stress. Further, our fi ndings implicate HSF1 as a key factor in mitigating the effects of aneuploid

    Monitoring Protein-Ligand Interactions in Human Cells by Real-Time Quantitative In-Cell NMR using a High Cell Density Bioreactor

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    In-cell NMR is a unique approach to observe the structural and dynamic properties of biological macromolecules at atomic resolution directly in living cells. Protein folding, chemical modifications, and conformational changes induced by ligand binding can be observed. Therefore, this method has great potential in the context of drug development. However, the short lifetime of human cells confined in the NMR spectrometer limits the application range of in-cell NMR. To overcome this issue, NMR bioreactors are employed that can greatly improve the cell sample stability over time and, importantly, enable the real-time recording of in-cell NMR spectra. In this way, the evolution of processes such as ligand penetration and binding to the intracellular protein target can be monitored in real time. Bioreactors are often limited by low cell viability at high cell numbers, which results in a trade-off between the overall sensitivity of the experiment and cell viability. We recently reported an NMR bioreactor that maintains a high number of human cells metabolically active for extended periods of time, up to 72 h. This setup was applied to monitor protein-ligand interactions and protein chemical modification. We also introduced a workflow for quantitative analysis of the real-time NMR data, based on multivariate curve resolution. The method provides concentration profiles of the chemical species present in the cells as a function of time, which can be further analyzed to obtain relevant kinetic parameters. Here we provide a detailed description of the NMR bioreactor setup and its application to monitoring protein-ligand interactions in human cells

    Chimeric piggyBac transposases for genomic targeting in human cells.

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    Integrating vectors such as viruses and transposons insert transgenes semi-randomly and can potentially disrupt or deregulate genes. For these techniques to be of therapeutic value, a method for controlling the precise location of insertion is required. The piggyBac (PB) transposase is an efficient gene transfer vector active in a variety of cell types and proven to be amenable to modification. Here we present the design and validation of chimeric PB proteins fused to the Gal4 DNA binding domain with the ability to target transgenes to pre-determined sites. Upstream activating sequence (UAS) Gal4 recognition sites harbored on recipient plasmids were preferentially targeted by the chimeric Gal4-PB transposase in human cells. To analyze the ability of these PB fusion proteins to target chromosomal locations, UAS sites were randomly integrated throughout the genome using the Sleeping Beauty transposon. Both N- and C-terminal Gal4-PB fusion proteins but not native PB were capable of targeting transposition nearby these introduced sites. A genome-wide integration analysis revealed the ability of our fusion constructs to bias 24% of integrations near endogenous Gal4 recognition sequences. This work provides a powerful approach to enhance the properties of the PB system for applications such as genetic engineering and gene therapy

    Simultaneous precise editing of multiple genes in human cells

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    Abstract. When double-strand breaks are introduced in a genome by CRISPR they are repaired either by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ), which often results i

    Ultraaccurate genome sequencing and haplotyping of single human cells.

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    Accurate detection of variants and long-range haplotypes in genomes of single human cells remains very challenging. Common approaches require extensive in vitro amplification of genomes of individual cells using DNA polymerases and high-throughput short-read DNA sequencing. These approaches have two notable drawbacks. First, polymerase replication errors could generate tens of thousands of false-positive calls per genome. Second, relatively short sequence reads contain little to no haplotype information. Here we report a method, which is dubbed SISSOR (single-stranded sequencing using microfluidic reactors), for accurate single-cell genome sequencing and haplotyping. A microfluidic processor is used to separate the Watson and Crick strands of the double-stranded chromosomal DNA in a single cell and to randomly partition megabase-size DNA strands into multiple nanoliter compartments for amplification and construction of barcoded libraries for sequencing. The separation and partitioning of large single-stranded DNA fragments of the homologous chromosome pairs allows for the independent sequencing of each of the complementary and homologous strands. This enables the assembly of long haplotypes and reduction of sequence errors by using the redundant sequence information and haplotype-based error removal. We demonstrated the ability to sequence single-cell genomes with error rates as low as 10-8 and average 500-kb-long DNA fragments that can be assembled into haplotype contigs with N50 greater than 7 Mb. The performance could be further improved with more uniform amplification and more accurate sequence alignment. The ability to obtain accurate genome sequences and haplotype information from single cells will enable applications of genome sequencing for diverse clinical needs

    The pause-initiation limit restricts transcription activation in human cells.

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    Eukaryotic gene transcription is often controlled at the level of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) pausing in the promoter-proximal region. Pausing Pol II limits the frequency of transcription initiation ('pause-initiation limit'), predicting that the pause duration must be decreased for transcriptional activation. To test this prediction, we conduct a genome-wide kinetic analysis of the heat shock response in human cells. We show that the pause-initiation limit restricts transcriptional activation at most genes. Gene activation generally requires the activity of the P-TEFb kinase CDK9, which decreases the duration of Pol II pausing and thereby enables an increase in the productive initiation frequency. The transcription of enhancer elements is generally not pause limited and can be activated without CDK9 activity. Our results define the kinetics of Pol II transcriptional regulation in human cells at all gene classes during a natural transcription response
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