Fungal CYP53 enzymes are highly conserved proteins, involved in phenolic detoxification and have no homologues in higher eukaryotes, rendering them favorable drug targets. Aiming to discover novel CYP53 inhibitors, we employed two parallel virtual screening protocols and evaluated highest scoring hit compounds by analyzing the spectral binding interactions, by surveying the antifungal activity, and assessing the inhibition of catalytic activity. Based on combined results, we selected 3-methyl-4-(1H-pyrrol-1-yl)benzoic acid (compound 2) as the best candidate for hit-to-lead follow-up in the antifungal drug discovery process.
The DNA mismatch repair (MMR) enzymes repair errors in DNA that occur during normal DNA metabolism or are induced by certain cancer-contributing exposures. We assessed the association between 10 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 5 MMR genes and oesophageal cancer risk in South Africans. Prior to genotyping, SNPs were selected from the HapMap database, based on their significantly different genotypic distributions between European ancestry populations and four HapMap populations of African origin. In the Mixed Ancestry group, the MSH3 rs26279 G/G versus A/A or A/G genotype was positively associated with cancer (OR = 2.71; 95% CI: 1.34-5.50). Similar associations were observed for PMS1 rs5742938 (GG versus AA or AG: OR = 1.73; 95% CI: 1.07-2.79) and MLH3 rs28756991 (AA or GA versus GG: OR = 2.07; 95% IC:1.04-4.12). In Black individuals, however, no association between MMR polymorhisms and cancer risk was observed in individual SNP analysis. The interactions between MMR genes were evaluated using the model-based multifactor-dimensionality reduction approach, which showed a significant genetic interaction between SNPs in MSH2, MSH3 and PMS1 genes in Black and Mixed Ancestry subjects, respectively. The data also implies that pathogenesis of common polymorphisms in MMR genes is influenced by exposure to tobacco smoke. In conclusion, our findings suggest that common polymorphisms in MMR genes and/or their combined effects might be involved in the aetiology of oesophageal cancer.
The essential role of the Crem gene in normal sperm development is widely accepted and is confirmed by azoospermia in male mice lacking the Crem gene. The exact number of genes affected by Crem absence is not known, however a large difference has been observed recently between the estimated number of differentially expressed genes found in Crem knock-out (KO) mice compared to the number of gene loci bound by CREM. We therefore re-examined global gene expression in male mice lacking the Crem gene using whole genome transcriptome analysis with Affymetrix microarrays and compared the lists of differentially expressed genes from Crem-/- mice to a dataset of genes where binding of CREM was determined by Chip-seq. We determined the global effect of CREM on spermatogenesis as well as distinguished between primary and secondary effects of the CREM absence. We demonstrated that the absence of Crem deregulates over 4700 genes in KO testis. Among them are 101 genes associated with spermatogenesis 41 of which are bound by CREM and are deregulated in Crem KO testis. Absence of several of these genes in mouse models has proven their importance for normal spermatogenesis and male fertility. Our study showed that the absence of Crem plays a more important role on different aspects of spermatogenesis as estimated previously, with its impact ranging from apoptosis induction to deregulation of major circadian clock genes, steroidogenesis and the cell-cell junction dynamics. Several new genes important for normal spermatogenesis and fertility are down-regulated in KO testis and are therefore possible novel targets of CREM.
The mammalian circadian clock is driven by cell-autonomous transcriptional feedback loops that involve E-boxes, D-boxes, and ROR-elements. In peripheral organs, circadian rhythms are additionally affected by systemic factors. We show that intrinsic combinatorial gene regulation governs the liver clock. With a temporal resolution of 2 h, we measured the expression of 21 clock genes in mouse liver under constant darkness and equinoctial light-dark cycles. Based on these data and known transcription factor binding sites, we develop a six-variable gene regulatory network. The transcriptional feedback loops are represented by equations with time-delayed variables, which substantially simplifies modelling of intermediate protein dynamics. Our model accurately reproduces measured phases, amplitudes, and waveforms of clockgenes. Analysis of the network reveals properties of the clock: overcritical delays generate oscillations; synergy of inhibition and activation enhances amplitudes; and combinatorial modulation of transcription controls the phases. The agreement of measurements and simulations suggests that the intrinsic gene regulatory network primarily determines the circadian clock in liver, whereas systemic cues such as light-dark cycles serve to fine-tune the rhythms.
We present the potential of inclusion bodies (IBs) as a protein delivery method for polymeric filamentous proteins. We used as cell factory a strain of E. coli, a conventional host organism, and keratin 14 (K14) as an example of a complex protein. Keratins build the intermediate filament cytoskeleton of all epithelial cells. In order to build filaments, monomeric K14 needs first to dimerize with its binding partner (keratin 5, K5), which is then followed by heterodimer assembly into filaments. K14 IBs were electroporated into SW13 cells grown in culture together with a “reporter” plasmid containing EYFP labeled keratin 5 (K5) cDNA. As SW13 cells do not normally express keratins, and keratin filaments are built exclusively of keratin heterodimers (i.e. K5/K14), the short filamentous structures we obtained in this study can only be the result of: a) if both IBs and plasmid DNA are transfected simultaneously into the cell(s); b) once inside the cells, K14 protein is being released from IBs; c) released K14 is functional, able to form heterodimers with EYFP-K5. We conclude that soluble IBs may be also developed for complex cytoskeletal proteins and used as nanoparticles for their delivery into epithelial cells.