The human X chromosome has a unique biology that was shaped by its evolution as the sex chromosome shared by males and females. We have determined 99.3% of the euchromatic sequence of the X chromosome. Our analysis illustrates the autosomal origin of the mammalian sex chromosomes, the stepwise process that led to the progressive loss of recombination between X and Y, and the extent of subsequent degradation of the Y chromosome. LINE1 repeat elements cover one-third of the X chromosome, with a distribution that is consistent with their proposed role as way stations in the process of X-chromosome inactivation. We found 1,098 genes in the sequence, of which 99 encode proteins expressed in testis and in various tumour types. A disproportionately high number of mendelian diseases are documented for the X chromosome. Of this number, 168 have been explained by mutations in 113 X-linked genes, which in many cases were characterized with the aid of the DNA sequence.
The rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) is an abundant primate species that diverged from the ancestors of Homo sapiens about 25 million years ago. Because they are genetically and physiologically similar to humans, rhesus monkeys are the most widely used nonhuman primate in basic and applied biomedical research. We determined the genome sequence of an Indian-origin Macaca mulatta female and compared the data with chimpanzees and humans to reveal the structure of ancestral primate genomes and to identify evidence for positive selection and lineagespecific expansions and contractions of gene families. A comparison of sequences from individual animals was used to investigate their underlying genetic diversity. The complete description of the macaque genome blueprint enhances the utility of this animal model for biomedical research and improves our understanding of the basic biology of the species.
The mammalian heart has a remarkable regenerative capacity for a short period of time after birth, after which the majority of cardiomyocytes permanently exit cell cycle. We sought to determine the primary post-natal event that results in cardiomyocyte cell-cycle arrest. We hypothesized that transition to the oxygen rich postnatal environment is the upstream signal that results in cell cycle arrest of cardiomyocytes. Here we show that reactive oxygen species (ROS), oxidative DNA damage, and DNA damage response (DDR) markers significantly increase in the heart during the first postnatal week. Intriguingly, postnatal hypoxemia, ROS scavenging, or inhibition of DDR all prolong the postnatal proliferative window of cardiomyocytes, while hyperoxemia and ROS generators shorten it. These findings uncover a previously unrecognized protective mechanism that mediates cardiomyocyte cell cycle arrest in exchange for utilization of oxygen dependent aerobic metabolism. Reduction of mitochondrial-dependent oxidative stress should be important component of cardiomyocyte proliferation-based therapeutic approaches.
To investigate the cell-intrinsic aging mechanisms that erode the function of somatic stem cells during aging, we have conducted a comprehensive integrated genomic analysis of young and aged cells. We profiled the transcriptome, DNA methylome, and histone modifications of young and old murine hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Transcriptome analysis indicated reduced TGFβ signaling and perturbation of genes involved in HSC proliferation and differentiation. Aged HSCs exhibited broader H3K4me3 peaks across HSC identity and self-renewal genes, and showed increased DNA methylation at transcription factor binding sites associated with differentiation-promoting genes combined with a reduction at genes associated with HSC maintenance. Together these changes reinforce HSC self-renewal and diminish differentiation, paralleling phenotypic HSC aging behavior. Ribosomal biogenesis emerged as a particular target of aging, with increased transcription of ribosomal protein and RNA genes, and hypomethylation of rRNA genes. This dataset will serve as a reference for future epigenomic analysis of stem cell aging.
The thermal desorption characteristics of 16 astrophysically relevant species from laboratory analogues of the icy mantles on interstellar dust grains have been surveyed in an extensive set of preliminary temperature programmed desorption experiments. The species can be separated into three categories based on behaviour. Water‐like species have a single relevant desorption coincident with water. CO‐like species show the volcano desorption and co‐desorption of trapped molecules, monolayer desorption from the surface of water ice, and multilayer desorption if initially present in sufficient abundance in an outer layer separated from the water ice. Intermediate species show the two desorptions of trapped molecules, and may show a small monolayer desorption for molecules small enough to have a limited ability to diffuse through the structure of porous amorphous water ice. Methods by which the results obtained under laboratory conditions can be adapted for astrophysical situations are discussed.
The Hippo pathway was initially discovered in Drosophila melanogaster as a key regulator of tissue growth. It is an evolutionarily conserved signaling cascade regulating numerous biological processes, including cell growth and fate decision, organ size control, and regeneration. The core of the Hippo pathway in mammals consists of a kinase cascade, MST1/2 and LATS1/2, as well as downstream effectors, transcriptional coactivators YAP and TAZ. These core components of the Hippo pathway control transcriptional programs involved in cell proliferation, survival, mobility, stemness, and differentiation. The Hippo pathway is tightly regulated by both intrinsic and extrinsic signals, such as mechanical force, cell–cell contact, polarity, energy status, stress, and many diffusible hormonal factors, the majority of which act through G protein–coupled receptors. Here, we review the current understanding of molecular mechanisms by which signals regulate the Hippo pathway with an emphasis on mechanotransduction and the effects of this pathway on basic biology and human diseases.
Chemotherapy eliminates the bulk of the tumor but it leaves a core of cancer cells with high capacity for repair and renewal. The molecular properties identified in these cells may explain some of the unique characteristics of CSCs that control self-renewal and drive metastasis. The identification and cloning of human OCSCs can aid in the development of better therapeutic approaches for ovarian cancer patients.
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