The last three decades of research into tick salivary components have revealed several proteins with important pharmacological and immunological activities. Two primary interests have driven research into tick salivary secretions: the search for suitable pathogen transmission blocking or "anti-tick" vaccine candidates and the search for novel therapeutics derived from tick salivary components. Intensive basic research in the field of tick salivary gland transcriptomics and proteomics has identified several major protein families that play important roles in tick feeding and overcoming vertebrate antitick responses. Moreover, these families contain members with unrealized therapeutic potential. Here we review the major tick salivary protein families exploitable in medical applications such as immunomodulation, inhibition of hemostasis and inflammation. Moreover, we discuss the potential, opportunities, and challenges in searching for novel tick-derived drugs.
The DNA damage response is mediated by both DNA repair proteins and epigenetic markers. Here, we observe that N6-methyladenosine (m6A), a mark of the epitranscriptome, was common in RNAs accumulated at UV-damaged chromatin; however, inhibitors of RNA polymerases I and II did not affect the m6A RNA level at the irradiated genomic regions. After genome injury, m6A RNAs either diffused to the damaged chromatin or appeared at the lesions enzymatically. DNA damage did not change the levels of METTL3 and METTL14 methyltransferases. In a subset of irradiated cells, only the METTL16 enzyme, responsible for m6A in non-coding RNAs as well as for splicing regulation, was recruited to microirradiated sites. Importantly, the levels of the studied splicing factors were not changed by UVA light. Overall, if the appearance of m6A RNAs at DNA lesions is regulated enzymatically, this process must be mediated via the coregulatory function of METTL-like enzymes. This event is additionally accompanied by radiation-induced depletion of 2,2,7-methylguanosine (m3G/TMG) in RNA. Moreover, UV-irradiation also decreases the global cellular level of N1-methyladenosine (m1A) in RNAs. Based on these results, we prefer a model in which m6A RNAs rapidly respond to radiation-induced stress and diffuse to the damaged sites. The level of both (m1A) RNAs and m3G/TMG in RNAs is reduced as a consequence of DNA damage, recognized by the nucleotide excision repair mechanism.
Methylation of histones H4 at lysine 20 position (H4K20me), which is functional in DNA repair, represents a binding site for the 53BP1 protein. Here, we show a radiation-induced increase in the level of H4K20me3 while the levels of H4K20me1 and H4K20me2 remained intact. H4K20me3 was significantly pronounced at DNA lesions in only the G1 phase of the cycle, while this histone mark was reduced in very late S and G2 phases when PCNA was recruited to locally micro-irradiated chromatin. H4K20me3 was diminished in locally irradiated Suv39h1/h2 double knockout (dn) fibroblasts, and the same phenomenon was observed for H3K9me3 and its binding partner, the HP1β protein. Immunoprecipitation showed the existence of an interaction between H3K9me3-53BP1 and H4K20me3-53BP1; however, HP1β did not interact with 53BP1. Together, H3K9me3 and H4K20me3 represent epigenetic markers that are important for the function of the 53BP1 protein in non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) repair. The very late S phase represents the cell cycle breakpoint when a DDR function of the H4K20me3-53BP1 complex is abrogated due to recruitment of the PCNA protein and other DNA repair factors of homologous recombination to DNA lesions.
SummaryRecently formed allopolyploids represent an excellent system to study the impacts of hybridization and genomic duplication on genome structure and evolution. Here we explored the 35S rRNA genes (rDNA) in the Cardamine 9 schulzii allohexaploid that was formed by two subsequent hybridization events within the past c. 150 yr.The rDNA loci were analyzed by cloning, next generation sequencing (NGS), RT-PCR and FISH methods.The primary C. 9 insueta triploid hybrid derived from C. rivularis (♀) and C. amara (♂) had gene ratios highly skewed towards maternal sequences. Similarly, C. 9 schulzii, originating from the secondary hybridization event involving C. 9 insueta (♀) and C. pratensis (♂), showed a reduction in paternal rDNA homeologs despite an excess of chromosomes inherited from C. pratensis. We also identified novel rDNA loci in C. 9 schulzii, suggesting that lost loci might be slowly reinstalled by translocation (but not recombination) of genes from partner genomes.Prevalent clonal propagation of allopolyploids, C. 9 insueta and C. 9 schulzii, indicates that concerted evolution of rDNA may occur in the absence of extensive meiotic cycles. Adoption of NGS in rDNA variant analysis is highly informative for deciphering the evolutionary histories of allopolyploid species with ongoing homogenization processes.
SummaryDNA damage response (DDR) in ribosomal genes and mechanisms of DNA repair in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are less explored nuclear events. DDR in ESCs should be unique due to their high proliferation rate, expression of pluripotency factors, and specific chromatin signature. Given short population doubling time and fast progress through G1 phase, ESCs require a sustained production of rRNA, which leads to the formation of large and prominent nucleoli. Although transcription of rRNA in the nucleolus is relatively well understood, little is known about DDR in this nuclear compartment. Here, we directed formation of double-strand breaks in rRNA genes with I-PpoI endonuclease, and we studied nucleolar morphology, DDR, and chromatin modifications. We observed a pronounced formation of I-PpoI-induced nucleolar caps, positive on BRCA1, NBS1, MDC1, γH2AX, and UBF1 proteins. We showed interaction of nucleolar protein TCOF1 with HDAC1 and TCOF1 with CARM1 after DNA injury. Moreover, H3R17me2a modification mediated by CARM1 was found in I-PpoI-induced nucleolar caps. Finally, we report that heterochromatin protein 1 is not involved in DNA repair of nucleolar caps. (J Histochem Cytochem 64:669-686, 2016)
We studied how deficiency in lamins A/C and lamina-associated polypeptide 2α (Lap2α) affects DNA repair after irradiation. A-type lamins and Lap2α were not recruited to local DNA lesions and did not accumulate to γ-irradiation-induced foci (IRIF), as it is generally observed for well-known marker of DNA lesions, 53BP1 protein. At micro-irradiated chromatin of lmna double knockout (dn) and Lap2α dn cells, 53BP1 protein levels were reduced, compared to locally irradiated wild-type counterpart. Decreased levels of 53BP1 we also observed in whole populations of lmna dn and Lap2α dn cells, irradiated by UV light. We also studied distribution pattern of 53BP1 protein in a genome outside micro-irradiated region. In Lap2α deficient cells, identical fluorescence of mCherry-tagged 53BP1 protein was found at both microirradiated region and surrounding chromatin. However, a well-known marker of double strand breaks, γH2AX, was highly abundant in the lesion-surrounding genome of Lap2α deficient cells. Described changes, induced by irradiation in Lap2α dn cells, were not accompanied by cell cycle changes. In Lap2α dn cells, we additionally performed analysis by FLIM (Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy) that showed different dynamic behavior of mCherry-tagged 53BP1 protein pools when it was compared with wild-type (wt) fibroblasts. This analysis revealed three different fractions of mCherry-53BP1 protein. Two of them showed identical exponential decay times (τ1 and τ3), but the decay rate of τ2 and amplitudes of fluorescence decays (A1-A3) were statistically different in wt and Lap2α dn fibroblasts. Moreover, γ-irradiation weakened an interaction between A-type lamins and Lap2α. Together, our results demonstrate how depletion of Lap2α affects DNA damage response (DDR) and how chromatin compactness is changed in Lap2α deficient cells exposed to radiation.
G-quadruplexes (G4s) are four-stranded helical structures that regulate several nuclear processes, including gene expression and telomere maintenance. We observed that G4s are located in GC-rich (euchromatin) regions and outside the fibrillarin-positive compartment of nucleoli. Genomic regions around G4s were preferentially H3K9 acetylated and H3K9 dimethylated, but H3K9me3 rarely decorated G4 structures. We additionally observed the variability in the number of G4s in selected human and mouse cell lines. We found the highest number of G4s in human embryonic stem cells. We observed the highest degree of colocalization between G4s and transcription factories, positive on the phosphorylated form of RNA polymerase II (RNAP II). Similarly, a high colocalization rate was between G4s and nuclear speckles, enriched in pre-mRNA splicing factor SC-35. PML bodies, the replication protein SMD1, and Cajal bodies colocalized with G4s to a lesser extent. Thus, G4 structures seem to appear mainly in nuclear compartments transcribed via RNAP II, and pre-mRNA is spliced via the SC-35 protein. However, α-amanitin, an inhibitor of RNAP II, did not affect colocalization between G4s and transcription factories as well as G4s and SC-35-positive domains. In addition, irradiation by γ-rays did not change a mutual link between G4s and DNA repair proteins (G4s/γH2AX, G4s/53BP1, and G4s/MDC1), accumulated into DNA damage foci. Described characteristics of G4s seem to be the manifestation of pronounced G4s stability that is likely maintained not only via a high-order organization of these structures but also by a specific histone signature, including H3K9me2, responsible for chromatin compaction.
Local microirradiation with lasers represents a useful tool for studies of DNA-repair-related processes in live cells. Here, we describe a methodological approach to analyzing protein kinetics at DNA lesions over time or protein-protein interactions on locally microirradiated chromatin. We also show how to recognize individual phases of the cell cycle using the Fucci cellular system to study cell-cycle-dependent protein kinetics at DNA lesions. A methodological description of the use of two UV lasers (355 nm and 405 nm) to induce different types of DNA damage is also presented. Only the cells microirradiated by the 405-nm diode laser proceeded through mitosis normally and were devoid of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs). We also show how microirradiated cells can be fixed at a given time point to perform immunodetection of the endogenous proteins of interest. For the DNA repair studies, we additionally describe the use of biophysical methods including FRAP (Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching) and FLIM (Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy) in cells with spontaneously occurring DNA damage foci. We also show an application of FLIM-FRET (Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer) in experimental studies of protein-protein interactions.
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