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UFGI Publications Round-Up Week 11/14/2016

AAV Infection: Protection from Cancer.

Author information: Srivastava A1, Carter B2.

1University Of Florida College of Medicine, Division of Cellular & Molecular Therapy, Departments of Pediatrics and Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, Gainesville, Florida, United States ; aruns@peds.ufl.edu.
2BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc, 10926, Novato, California, United States ; bacarter@bmrn.com.

Journal: Human Gene Therapy

Date of e-pub: November 2016

Abstract: In late 2015, Nault et al1, reported that of 193 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), 11 (<6%) contained an integrated genome sequence of the wild type (wt) adeno-associated virus 2 (AAV2), and suggested that AAV2 is associated with oncogenic insertional mutagenesis in human HCC. Although this conclusion was questioned by us2 and others3, in more recent publications, Nault et al4-7, continue to insist that AAV2 is an oncogenic virus in initiating HCC. Interestingly, Park et al8 recently reported that following evaluation of a total of 289 unrelated patients with HCC, the presence of AAV2 DNA was detected in tumor tissues from only 2 patients (<1%), and concluded that AAV2-mediated HCC is very rare in Korean patients. In view of these seemingly contradictory reports, in this review, we will provide a brief historic account of the putative role of AAV in the etiology of cancer, or lack thereof, and attempt to resolve some of this controversy.

 

 

Resurrecting ancestral structural dynamics of an antiviral immune receptor: adaptive binding pocket reorganization repeatedly shifts RNA preference.

Author information: Pugh C1, Kolaczkowski O1, Manny A1, Korithoski B1, Kolaczkowski B2,3.

1Department of Microbiology & Cell Science and Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA.
2Department of Microbiology & Cell Science and Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA. bryank@ufl.edu.
3Genetics Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA. bryank@ufl.edu.

Journal: BMC Evolutionary Biology

Date of e-pub: November 2016

Abstract: Although resurrecting ancestral proteins is a powerful tool for understanding the molecular-functional evolution of gene families, nearly all studies have examined proteins functioning in relatively stable biological processes. The extent to which more dynamic systems obey the same ‘rules’ governing stable processes is unclear. Here we present the first detailed investigation of the functional evolution of the RIG-like receptors (RLRs), a family of innate immune receptors that detect viral RNA in the cytoplasm.

Using kinetic binding assays and molecular dynamics simulations of ancestral proteins, we demonstrate how a small number of adaptive protein-coding changes repeatedly shifted the RNA preference of RLRs throughout animal evolution by reorganizing the shape and electrostatic distribution across the RNA binding pocket, altering the hydrogen bond network between the RLR and its RNA target. In contrast to observations of proteins involved in metabolism and development, we find that RLR-RNA preference ‘flip flopped’ between two functional states, and shifts in RNA preference were not always coupled to gene duplications or speciation events. We demonstrate at least one reversion of RLR-RNA preference from a derived to an ancestral function through a novel structural mechanism, indicating multiple structural implementations of similar functions.

Our results suggest a model in which frequent shifts in selection pressures imposed by an evolutionary arms race preclude the long-term functional optimization observed in stable biological systems. As a result, the evolutionary dynamics of immune receptors may be less constrained by structural epistasis and historical contingency.

 

 

Spatiotemporal dynamics of androgen signaling underlie sexual differentiation and congenital malformations of the urethra and vagina.

Author information: Larkins CE1, Enriquez AB2, Cohn MJ2,3.

1Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida Genetics Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610; christinelarkins@ufl.edu.
2Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida Genetics Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
3Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.

Journal: Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences USA

Date of e-pub: November 2016

Abstract: Disorders of sex development (DSDs) are congenital anomalies that affect sexual differentiation of genitourinary organs and secondary sex characters. A common cause of female genital virilization is congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), in which excess androgen production during development of 46XX females can result in vaginal atresia, masculinization of the urethra, a single urogenital sinus, and clitoral hypertrophy or ambiguous external genitalia. Development of the vagina depends on sexual differentiation of the urogenital sinus ridge, an epithelial thickening that forms where the sex ducts attach to the anterior urethra. In females, the sinus ridge descends posteriorly to allow the vaginal opening to form in the vulva, whereas in males and in females with CAH, androgens inhibit descent of the sinus ridge. The mechanisms that regulate development of the female urethra and vagina are largely unknown. Here we show that the timing and duration of, and the cell population targeted by, androgen signaling determine the position of vaginal attachment to the urethra. Manipulations of androgen signaling in utero reveal a temporal window of development when sinus ridge fate is determined. Cell type-specific genetic deletions of androgen receptor (Ar) identify a subpopulation of mesenchymal cells that regulate sinus ridge morphogenesis. These results reveal a common mechanism that coordinates development of the vagina and feminization of the urethra, which may account for development of a single urogenital sinus in females exposed to excessive androgen during a critical period of prenatal development.

 

 

Loss and Re-emergence of Legs in Snakes by Modular Evolution of Sonic hedgehog and HOXD Enhancers.

Author information: Leal F1, Cohn MJ2.

1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, UF Genetics Institute, University of Florida, P.O. Box 103610, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA; Department of Biology, UF Genetics Institute, University of Florida, P.O. Box 103610, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.
2Howard Hughes Medical Institute, UF Genetics Institute, University of Florida, P.O. Box 103610, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA; Department of Biology, UF Genetics Institute, University of Florida, P.O. Box 103610, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA; Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, UF Genetics Institute, University of Florida, P.O. Box 103610, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA. Electronic address: mjcohn@ufl.edu.

Journal: Current Biology

Date of e-pub: November 2016

Abstract: Limb reduction and loss are hallmarks of snake evolution. Although advanced snakes are completely limbless, basal and intermediate snakes retain pelvic girdles and small rudiments of the femur. Moreover, legs may have re-emerged in extinct snake lineages [1-5], suggesting that the mechanisms of limb development were not completely lost in snakes. Here we report that hindlimb development arrests in python embryos as a result of mutations that abolish essential transcription factor binding sites in the limb-specific enhancer of Sonic hedgehog (SHH). Consequently, SHH transcription is weak and transient in python hindlimb buds, leading to early termination of a genetic circuit that drives limb outgrowth. Our results suggest that degenerate evolution of the SHH limb enhancer played a role in reduction of hindlimbs during snake evolution. By contrast, HOXD digit enhancers are conserved in pythons, and HOXD gene expression in the hindlimb buds progresses to the distal phase, forming an autopodial (digit) domain. Python hindlimb buds then develop transitory pre-chondrogenic condensations of the tibia, fibula, and footplate, raising the possibility that re-emergence of hindlimbs during snake evolution did not require de novo re-evolution of lost structures but instead could have resulted from persistence of embryonic legs.

 

 

Hepatic ZIP14-mediated Zinc Transport Contributes to Endosomal Insulin Receptor Trafficking and Glucose Metabolism.

Author information: Aydemir TB1, Troche C1, Kim MH1, Cousins RJ2,3.

1From the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department and Center for Nutritional Sciences College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and.
2From the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department and Center for Nutritional Sciences College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and cousins@ufl.edu.
3the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611.

Journal: Journal of Biological Chemistry

Date of e-pub: November 2016

Abstract: Zinc influences signaling pathways through controlled targeted zinc transport. Zinc transporter Zip14 KO mice display a phenotype that includes impaired intestinal barrier function with low grade chronic inflammation, hyperinsulinemia, and increased body fat, which are signatures of diet-induced diabetes (type 2 diabetes) and obesity in humans. Hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes and obesity is caused by insulin resistance. Insulin resistance results in inhibition of glucose uptake by liver and other peripheral tissues, principally adipose and muscle and with concurrently higher hepatic glucose production. Therefore, modulation of hepatic glucose metabolism is an important target for antidiabetic treatment approaches. We demonstrate that during glucose uptake, cell surface abundance of zinc transporter ZIP14 and mediated zinc transport increases. Zinc is distributed to multiple sites in hepatocytes through sequential translocation of ZIP14 from plasma membrane to early and late endosomes. Endosomes from Zip14 KO mice were zinc-deficient because activities of the zinc-dependent insulin-degrading proteases insulin-degrading enzyme and cathepsin D were impaired; hence insulin receptor activity increased. Transient increases in cytosolic zinc levels are concurrent with glucose uptake and suppression of glycogen synthesis. In contrast, Zip14 KO mice exhibited greater hepatic glycogen synthesis and impaired gluconeogenesis and glycolysis related to low cytosolic zinc levels. We can conclude that ZIP14-mediated zinc transport contributes to regulation of endosomal insulin receptor activity and glucose homeostasis in hepatocytes. Therefore, modulation of ZIP14 transport activity presents a new target for management of diabetes and other glucose-related disorders.

NOTE: These abstracts were retrieved from the U.S. National Library of Medicine website managed in collaboration with the U.S. National Library of Medicine 

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