137 research outputs found

    Intracellular complexes of the early-onset torsion dystonia-associated AAA+ ATPase TorsinA

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    A single GAG codon deletion in the gene encoding torsinA is linked to most cases of early-onset torsion dystonia. TorsinA is an ER-localized membrane-associated ATPase from the AAA+ superfamily with an unknown biological function. We investigated the formation of oligomeric complexes of torsinA in cultured mammalian cells and found that wild type torsinA associates into a complex with a molecular weight consistent with that of a homohexamer. Interestingly, the dystonia-linked variant torsinAőĒE displayed a reduced propensity to form the oligomers compared to the wild type protein. We also discovered that the deletion of the N-terminal membrane-associating region of torsinA abolished oligomer formation. Our results demonstrate that the dystonia-linked mutation in the torsinA gene produces a protein variant that is deficient in maintaining its oligomeric state and suggest that ER membrane association is required to stabilize the torsinA complex

    Hyphal Development in Candida albicans Requires Two Temporally Linked Changes in Promoter Chromatin for Initiation and Maintenance

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    Phenotypic plasticity is common in development. For Candida albicans, the most common cause of invasive fungal infections in humans, morphological plasticity is its defining feature and is critical for its pathogenesis. Unlike other fungal pathogens that exist primarily in either yeast or hyphal forms, C. albicans is able to switch reversibly between yeast and hyphal growth forms in response to environmental cues. Although many regulators have been found involved in hyphal development, the mechanisms of regulating hyphal development and plasticity of dimorphism remain unclear. Here we show that hyphal development involves two sequential regulations of the promoter chromatin of hypha-specific genes. Initiation requires a rapid but temporary disappearance of the Nrg1 transcriptional repressor of hyphal morphogenesis via activation of the cAMP-PKA pathway. Maintenance requires promoter recruitment of Hda1 histone deacetylase under reduced Tor1 (target of rapamycin) signaling. Hda1 deacetylates a subunit of the NuA4 histone acetyltransferase module, leading to eviction of the NuA4 acetyltransferase module and blockage of Nrg1 access to promoters of hypha-specific genes. Promoter recruitment of Hda1 for hyphal maintenance happens only during the period when Nrg1 is gone. The sequential regulation of hyphal development by the activation of the cAMP-PKA pathway and reduced Tor1 signaling provides a molecular mechanism for plasticity of dimorphism and how C. albicans adapts to the varied host environments in pathogenesis. Such temporally linked regulation of promoter chromatin by different signaling pathways provides a unique mechanism for integrating multiple signals during development and cell fate specification

    Low Dosage of Histone H4 Leads to Growth Defects and Morphological Changes in Candida albicans

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    Chromatin function depends on adequate histone stoichiometry. Alterations in histone dosage affect transcription and chromosome segregation, leading to growth defects and aneuploidies. In the fungal pathogen Candida albicans, aneuploidy formation is associated with antifungal resistance and pathogenesis. Histone modifying enzymes and chromatin remodeling proteins are also required for pathogenesis. However, little is known about the mechanisms that generate aneuploidies or about the epigenetic mechanisms that shape the response of C. albicans to the host environment. Here, we determined the impact of histone H4 deficit in the growth and colony morphology of C. albicans. We found that C. albicans requires at least two of the four alleles that code for histone H4 (HHF1 and HHF22) to grow normally. Strains with only one histone H4 allele show a severe growth defect and unstable colony morphology, and produce faster-growing, morphologically stable suppressors. Segmental or whole chromosomal trisomies that increased wild-type histone H4 copy number were the preferred mechanism of suppression. This is the first study of a core nucleosomal histone in C. albicans, and constitutes the prelude to future, more detailed research on the function of histone H4 in this important fungal pathogen

    A novel hybrid organosolv: steam explosion method for the efficient fractionation and pretreatment of birch biomass

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    Background: The main role of pretreatment is to reduce the natural biomass recalcitrance and thus enhance sac- charification yield. A further prerequisite for efficient utilization of all biomass components is their efficient fractiona- tion into well-defined process streams. Currently available pretreatment methods only partially fulfill these criteria. Steam explosion, for example, excels as a pretreatment method but has limited potential for fractionation, whereas organosolv is excellent for delignification but offers poor biomass deconstruction. Results: In this article, a hybrid method combining the cooking and fractionation of conventional organosolv pre - treatment with the implementation of an explosive discharge of the cooking mixture at the end of pretreatment was developed. The effects of various pretreatment parameters (ethanol content, duration, and addition of sulfuric acid) were evaluated. Pretreatment of birch at 200 ¬įC with 60% v/v ethanol and 1% w/w biomass H 2 SO 4 was proven to be the most efficient pretreatment condition yielding pretreated solids with 77.9% w/w cellulose, 8.9% w/w hemicellulose, and 7.0 w/w lignin content. Under these conditions, high delignification of 86.2% was demonstrated. The recovered lignin was of high purity, with cellulose and hemicellulose contents not exceeding 0.31 and 3.25% w/w, respectively, and ash to be < 0.17% w/w in all cases, making it suitable for various applications. The pretreated solids presented high saccharification yields, reaching 68% at low enzyme load (6 FPU/g) and complete saccharification at high enzyme load (22.5 FPU/g). Finally, simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) at 20% w/w solids yielded an ethanol titer of 80 g/L after 192 h, corresponding to 90% of the theoretical maximum. Conclusions: The novel hybrid method developed in this study allowed for the efficient fractionation of birch biomass and production of pretreated solids with high cellulose and low lignin contents. Moreover, the explosive dis- charge at the end of pretreatment had a positive effect on enzymatic saccharification, resulting in high hydrolyzability of the pretreated solids and elevated ethanol titers in the following high-gravity SSF. To the best of our knowledge, the ethanol concentration obtained with this method is the highest so far for birch biomass
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