A gene expression system based on bacteriophage T7 RNA polymerase has been developed. T7 RNA polymerase is highly selective for its own promoters, which do not occur naturally in Escherichia coli. A relatively small amount of T7 RNA polymerase provided from a cloned copy of T7 gene 1 is sufficient to direct high-level transcription from a T7 promoter in a multicopy plasmid. Such transcription can proceed several times around the plasmid without terminating, and can be so active that transcription by E. coli RNA polymerase is greatly decreased. When a cleavage site for RNase III is introduced, discrete RNAs of plasmid length can accumulate. The natural transcription terminator from T7 DNA also works effectively in the plasmid. Both the rate of synthesis and the accumulation of RNA directed by T7 RNA polymerase can reach levels comparable with those for ribosomal RNAs in a normal cell. These high levels of accumulation suggest that the RNAs are relatively stable, perhaps in part because their great length and/or stem-and-loop structures at their 3' ends help to protect them against exonucleolytic degradation. It seems likely that a specific mRNA produced by T7 RNA polymerase can rapidly saturate the translational machinery of E. coli, so that the rate of protein synthesis from such an mRNA will depend primarily on the efficiency of its translation. When the mRNA is efficiently translated, a target protein can accumulate to greater than 50% of the total cell protein in three hours or less. We have used two ways to deliver active T7 RNA polymerase to the cell; infection by a lambda derivative that carries gene 1, or induction of a chromosomal copy of gene 1 under control of the lacUV5 promoter. When gene 1 is delivered by infection, very toxic target genes can be maintained silent in the cell until T7 RNA polymerase is introduced, when they rapidly become expressed at high levels. When gene 1 is resident in the chromosome, even the very low basal levels of T7 RNA polymerase present in the uninduced cell can prevent the establishment of plasmids carrying toxic target genes, or make the plasmid unstable.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
With a stepwise degradation and terminal labeling procedure the 3'-terminal sequence of E. coli 16S ribosomal RNA is shown to be Pyd-A-C-C-U-C-C-U-U-A(OH). It is suggested that this region of the RNA is able to interact with mRNA and that the 3'-terminal U-U-A(OH) is involved in the termination of protein synthesis through base-pairing with terminator codons. The sequence A-C-C-U-C-C could recognize a conserved sequence found in the ribosome binding sites of various coliphage mRNAs; it may thus be involved in the formation of the mRNA.30S subunit complex.
Interleukin-10 (IL-10), first recognized for its ability to inhibit activation and effector function of T cells, monocytes, and macrophages, is a multifunctional cytokine with diverse effects on most hemopoietic cell types. The principal routine function of IL-10 appears to be to limit and ultimately terminate inflammatory responses. In addition to these activities, IL-10 regulates growth and/or differentiation of B cells, NK cells, cytotoxic and helper T cells, mast cells, granulocytes, dendritic cells, keratinocytes, and endothelial cells. IL-10 plays a key role in differentiation and function of a newly appreciated type of T cell, the T regulatory cell, which may figure prominently in control of immune responses and tolerance in vivo. Uniquely among hemopoietic cytokines, IL-10 has closely related homologs in several virus genomes, which testify to its crucial role in regulating immune and inflammatory responses. This review highlights findings that have advanced our understanding of IL-10 and its receptor, as well as its in vivo function in health and disease.
Inducible expression systems in which T7 RNA polymerase transcribes coding sequences cloned under control of a T7lac promoter efficiently produce a wide variety of proteins in Escherichia coli. Investigation of factors that affect stability, growth, and induction of T7 expression strains in shaking vessels led to the recognition that sporadic, unintended induction of expression in complex media, previously reported by others, is almost certainly caused by small amounts of lactose. Glucose prevents induction by lactose by well-studied mechanisms. Amino acids also inhibit induction by lactose during log-phase growth, and high rates of aeration inhibit induction at low lactose concentrations. These observations, and metabolic balancing of pH, allowed development of reliable non-inducing and auto-inducing media in which batch cultures grow to high densities. Expression strains grown to saturation in non-inducing media retain plasmid and remain fully viable for weeks in the refrigerator, making it easy to prepare many freezer stocks in parallel and use working stocks for an extended period. Auto-induction allows efficient screening of many clones in parallel for expression and solubility, as cultures have only to be inoculated and grown to saturation, and yields of target protein are typically several-fold higher than obtained by conventional IPTG induction. Auto-inducing media have been developed for labeling proteins with selenomethionine, 15N or 13C, and for production of target proteins by arabinose induction of T7 RNA polymerase from the pBAD promoter in BL21-AI. Selenomethionine labeling was equally efficient in the commonly used methionine auxotroph B834(DE3) (found to be metE) or the prototroph BL21(DE3).
Human embryonic kidney cells have been transformed by exposing cells to sheared fragments of adenovirus type 5 DNA. The transformed cells (designated 293 cells) exhibited many of the characteristics of transformation including the elaboration of a virus-specific tumour antigen. Analysis of the polypeptides synthesized in the 293 cells by labelling with 35S-methionine and SDS PAGE showed a variable pattern of synthesis, different in a number of respects from that seen in otheruman cells. On labelling the surface of cells by lactoperoxidase catalysed radio-iodination, the absence of a labelled polypeptide analogous to the 250 K (LETS) glycoprotein was noted. Hybridization of labelled cellular RNA with restriction fragments of adenovirus type 5 DNA indicated transcription of a portion of the adenovirus genome at the conventional left hand end.
The RNA polymerase gene of bacteriophage T7 has been cloned into the plasmid pBR322 under the inducible control of the lambda PL promoter. After induction, T7 RNA polymerase constitutes 20% of the soluble protein of Escherichia coli, a 200-fold increase over levels found in T7-infected cells. The overproduced enzyme has been purified to homogeneity. During extraction the enzyme is sensitive to a specific proteolysis, a reaction that can be prevented by a modification of lysis conditions. The specificity of T7 RNA polymerase for its own promoters, combined with the ability to inhibit selectively the host RNA polymerase with rifampicin, permits the exclusive expression of genes under the control of a T7 RNA polymerase promoter. We describe such a coupled system and its use to express high levels of phage T7 gene 5 protein, a subunit of T7 DNA polymerase.
An algorithm was developed which facilitates the search for similarities between newly determined amino acid sequences and sequences already available in databases. Because of the algorithm's efficiency on many microcomputers, sensitive protein database searches may now become a routine procedure for molecular biologists. The method efficiently identifies regions of similar sequence and then scores the aligned identical and differing residues in those regions by means of an amino acid replacability matrix. This matrix increases sensitivity by giving high scores to those amino acid replacements which occur frequently in evolution. The algorithm has been implemented in a computer program designed to search protein databases very rapidly. For example, comparison of a 200-amino-acid sequence to the 500,000 residues in the National Biomedical Research Foundation library would take less than 2 minutes on a minicomputer, and less than 10 minutes on a microcomputer (IBM PC).
The Cre/lox system is widely used in mice to achieve cell-type-specific gene expression. However, a strong and universally responding system to express genes under Cre control is still lacking. We have generated a set of Cre reporter mice with strong, ubiquitous expression of fluorescent proteins of different spectra. The robust native fluorescence of these reporters enables direct visualization of fine dendritic structures and axonal projections of the labeled neurons, which is useful in mapping neuronal circuitry, imaging and tracking specific cell populations in vivo. Using these reporters and a high-throughput in situ hybridization platform, we are systematically profiling Cre-directed gene expression throughout the mouse brain in several Cre-driver lines, including new Cre lines targeting different cell types in the cortex. Our expression data are displayed in a public online database to help researchers assess the utility of various Cre-driver lines for cell-type-specific genetic manipulation.
Several Cre reporter strains of mice have been described, in which a lacZ gene is turned on in cells expressing Cre recombinase, as well as their daughter cells, following Cre-mediated excision of a loxP-flanked transcriptional "stop" sequence. These mice are useful for cell lineage tracing experiments as well as for monitoring the expression of Cre transgenes. The green fluorescent protein (GFP) and variants such as EYFP and ECFP offer an advantage over lacZ as a reporter, in that they can be easily visualized without recourse to the vital substrates required to visualize beta-gal in living tissue.
In view of the general utility of targeting the ubiquitously expressed ROSA26 locus, we constructed a generic ROSA26 targeting vector. We then generated two reporter lines of mice by inserting EYFP or ECFP cDNAs into the ROSA26 locus, preceded by a loxP-flanked stop sequence. These strains were tested by crossing them with transgenic strains expressing Cre in a ubiquitous (beta-actin-Cre) or a cell-specific (Isl1-Cre and En1-Cre) pattern. The resulting EYFP or ECFP expression patterns indicated that the reporter strains function as faithful monitors of Cre activity.
In contrast to existing lacZ reporter lines, where lacZ expression cannot easily be detected in living tissue, the EYFP and ECFP reporter strains are useful for monitoring the expression of Cre and tracing the lineage of these cells and their descendants in cultured embryos or organs. The non-overlapping emission spectra of EYFP and ECFP make them ideal for double labeling studies in living tissues.
Retrovirus particles with type C morphology were found in two T-cell lymphoblastoid cell lines, HUT 102 and CTCL-3, and in fresh peripheral blood lymphocytes obtained from a patient with a cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (mycosis fungoides). The cell lines continuously produce these viruses, which are collectively referred to as HTLV, strain CR(HTLV(CR)). Originally, the production of virus from HUT 102 cells required induction with 5-iodo-2'-deoxyuridine, but the cell line became a constitutive producer of virus at its 56th passage. Cell line CTCL-3 has been a constitutive producer of virus from its second passage in culture. Both mature and immature extracellular virus particles were seen in thin-section electron micrographs of fixed, pelleted cellular material; on occasion, typical type C budding virus particles were seen. No form of intracellular virus particle has been seen. Mature particles were 100-110 nm in diameter, consisted of an electron-dense core surrounded by an outer membrane separated by an electron-lucent region, banded at a density of 1.16 g/ml on a continuous 25-65% sucrose gradient, and contained 70S RNA and a DNA polymerase activity typical of viral reverse transcriptase (RT; RNA-dependent DNA nucleotidyltransferase). Under certain conditions of assay, HTLV(CR) RT showed cation preference for Mg(2+) over Mn(2+), distinct from the characteristics of cellular DNA polymerases purified from human lymphocytes and the RT from most type C viruses. Antibodies to cellular DNA polymerase gamma and anti-bodies against RT purified from several animal retroviruses failed to detectably interact with HTLV(CR) RT under conditions that were positive for the respective homologous DNA polymerase, demonstrating a lack of close relationship of HTLV(CR) RT to cellular DNA polymerases gamma or RT of these viruses. Six major proteins, with sizes of approximately 10,000, 13,000, 19,000, 24,000, 42,000, and 52,000 daltons, were apparent when doubly banded, disrupted HTLV(CR) particles were chromatographed on a NaDodSO(4)/polyacrylamide gel. The number of these particle-associated proteins is consistent with the expected proteins of a retrovirus, but the sizes of some are distinct from those of most known retroviruses of the primate subgroups.
A simple method is described for converting a standard rabbit reticulocyte cell-free extract (lysate) into an mRNA-dependent protein synthesis system. The lysate is preincubated with CaCl2 and micrococcal nuclease, and then excess ethyleneglycol-bis(2-aminoethylether)-N,N'-tetraacetic acid is added to chelate the Ca2+ and inactivate the nuclease. Lysates treated in this way have neglibible endogenous amino acid incorporation activity, but 75% of the activity of the original lysate can be recovered by the addition of globin mRNA. The efficiency of utilisation of added mRNA and the sensitivity of the system are both very high. No residual nuclease activity could be detected, and the tRNA is functionally unimpaired. Several different species of mRNA have been shown to be translated efficiently into full-sized products of the expected molecular weight up to about 200000, and there is no detectable accumulation of incomplete protein products. The efficient translation of RNA from two plant viruses (tobacco mosaic virus and cowpea mosaic virus) required heterologous tRNA.
After infection and a prolonged incubation period, the scrapie agent causes a degenerative disease of the central nervous system in sheep and goats. Six lines of evidence including sensitivity to proteases demonstrate that this agent contains a protein that is required for infectivity. Although the scrapie agent is irreversibly inactivated by alkali, five procedures with more specificity for modifying nucleic acids failed to cause inactivation. The agent shows heterogeneity with respect to size, apparently a result of its hydrophobicity; the smallest form may have a molecular weight of 50,000 or less. Because the novel properties of the scrapie agent distinguish it from viruses, plasmids, and viroids, a new term "prion" is proposed to denote a small proteinaceous infectious particle which is resistant to inactivation by most procedures that modify nucleic acids. Knowledge of the scrapie agent structure may have significance for understanding the causes of several degenerative diseases.
A chemically modified phage T7 DNA polymerase has three properties that make it ideal for DNA sequencing by the chain-termination method. The enzyme is highly processive, catalyzing the polymerization of thousands of nucleotides without dissociating. By virtue of the modification the 3' to 5' exonuclease activity is eliminated. The modified polymerase efficiently uses nucleotide analogs that increase the electrophoretic resolution of bands in gels. Consequently, dideoxynucleotide-terminated fragments have highly uniform radioactive intensity throughout the range of a few to thousands of nucleotides in length. There is virtually no background due to terminations at pause sites or secondary-structure impediments. Processive synthesis with dITP in place of dGTP eliminates band compressions, making possible the unambiguous determination of sequences from a single orientation.
It has been proposed' that gene-regulatory circuits with virtually any desired property can be constructed from networks of simple regulatory elements. These properties, which include multistability and oscillations, have been found in specialized gene circuits such as the bacteriophage lambda switch and the Cyanobacteria circadian oscillator. However, these behaviours have not been demonstrated in networks of non-specialized regulatory components. Here we present the construction of a genetic toggle switch-a synthetic, bistable gene-regulatory network-in Escherichia coli and provide a simple theory that predicts the conditions necessary for bistability. The toggle is constructed from any two repressible promoters arranged in a mutually inhibitory network. It is flipped between stable states using transient chemical or thermal induction and exhibits a nearly ideal switching threshold. As a practical device, the toggle switch forms a synthetic, addressable cellular memory unit and has implications for biotechnology, biocomputing and gene therapy.
In the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis, caspase activation is closely linked to mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP). Numerous pro-apoptotic signal-transducing molecules and pathological stimuli converge on mitochondria to induce MOMP. The local regulation and execution of MOMP involve proteins from the Bcl-2 family, mitochondrial lipids, proteins that regulate bioenergetic metabolite flux, and putative components of the permeability transition pore. MOMP is lethal because it results in the release of caspase-activating molecules and caspase-independent death effectors, metabolic failure in the mitochondria, or both. Drugs designed to suppress excessive MOMP may avoid pathological cell death, and the therapeutic induction of MOMP may restore apoptosis in cancer cells in which it is disabled. The general rules governing the pathophysiology of MOMP and controversial issues regarding its regulation are discussed.
The complete (172,282 base pairs) nucleotide sequence of the B95-8 strain of Epstein-Barr virus has been established using the dideoxynucleotide/M13 sequencing procedure. Many RNA polymerase II promoters have been mapped and the mRNAs from these promoters have been assigned to the latent or early/late productive virus cycles. Likely protein-coding regions have been identified and three of these have been shown to encode a ribonucleotide reductase, a DNA polymerase and two surface glycoproteins.
Networks of interacting biomolecules carry out many essential functions in living cells, but the 'design principles' underlying the functioning of such intracellular networks remain poorly understood, despite intensive efforts including quantitative analysis of relatively simple systems. Here we present a complementary approach to this problem: the design and construction of a synthetic network to implement a particular function. We used three transcriptional repressor systems that are not part of any natural biological clock to build an oscillating network, termed the repressilator, in Escherichia coli. The network periodically induces the synthesis of green fluorescent protein as a readout of its state in individual cells. The resulting oscillations, with typical periods of hours, are slower than the cell-division cycle, so the state of the oscillator has to be transmitted from generation to generation. This artificial clock displays noisy behaviour, possibly because of stochastic fluctuations of its components. Such 'rational network design may lead both to the engineering of new cellular behaviours and to an improved understanding of naturally occurring networks.
A short sequence of amino acids including Lys-128 is required for the normal nuclear accumulation of wild-type and deleted forms of SV40 large T antigen. A cytoplasmic large T mutant that lacks sequences from around Lys-128 localizes to the nucleus if the missing sequence is attached to its amino terminus. The implication that the sequence element around Lys-128 acts as an autonomous signal capable of specifying nuclear location was tested directly by transferring it to the amino termini of beta-galactosidase and of pyruvate kinase, normally a cytoplasmic protein. Sequences that included the putative signal induced each of the fusion proteins to accumulate completely in the nucleus but had no discernible effect when Lys-128 was replaced by Thr. By reducing the size of the transposed sequence we conclude that Pro-Lys-Lys-Lys-Arg-Lys-Val can act as a nuclear location signal. The sequence may represent a prototype of similar sequences in other nuclear proteins.
A method is described to synthesize small RNAs of defined length and sequence using T7 RNA polymerase and templates of synthetic DNA which contain the T7 promoter. Partially single stranded templates which are base paired only in the -17 to +1 promoter region are just as active in transcription as linear plasmid DNA. Runoff transcripts initiate at a unique, predictable position, but may have one nucleotide more or less on the 3' terminus. In addition to the full length products, the reactions also yield a large amount of smaller oligoribonucleotides in the range from 2 to 6 nucleotides which appear to be the result of abortive initiation events. Variants in the +1 to +6 region of the promoter are transcribed with reduced efficiency but increase the variety of RNAs which can be made. Transcription reaction conditions have been optimized to allow the synthesis of milligram amounts of virtually any RNA from 12 to 35 nucleotides in length.
p300/CBP is a transcriptional adaptor that integrates signals from many sequence-specific activators via direct interactions. Various cellular and viral factors target p300/CBP to modulate transcription and/or cell cycle progression. One such factor, the cellular p300/CBP associated factor (PCAF), possesses intrinsic histone acetyltransferase activity. Here, we demonstrate that p300/CBP is not only a transcriptional adaptor but also a histone acetyltransferase. p300/CBP represents a novel class of acetyltransferases in that it does not have the conserved motif found among various other acetyltransferases. p300/CBP acetylates all four core histones in nucleosomes. These observations suggest that p300/CBP acetylates nucleosomes in concert with PCAF.