Centre for Cancer Research - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-5 of 5
The Scalloped and Nerfin-1 Transcription Factors Cooperate to Maintain Neuronal Cell Fate
(CELL PRESS, 2018-11-06)
The ability of cells to stably maintain their fate is governed by specific transcription regulators. Here, we show that the Scalloped (Sd) and Nervous fingers-1 (Nerfin-1) transcription factors physically and functionally interact to maintain medulla neuron fate in the Drosophila melanogaster CNS. Using Targeted DamID, we find that Sd and Nerfin-1 occupy a highly overlapping set of target genes, including regulators of neural stem cell and neuron fate, and signaling pathways that regulate CNS development such as Notch and Hippo. Modulation of either Sd or Nerfin-1 activity causes medulla neurons to dedifferentiate to a stem cell-like state, and this is mediated at least in part by Notch pathway deregulation. Intriguingly, orthologs of Sd and Nerfin-1 have also been implicated in control of neuronal cell fate decisions in both worms and mammals. Our data indicate that this transcription factor pair exhibits remarkable biochemical and functional conservation across metazoans.
Renal Structure in Normoalbuminuric and Albuminuric Patients With Type 2 Diabetes and Impaired Renal Function
(AMER DIABETES ASSOC, 2013-11-01)
OBJECTIVE: The structural basis of normoalbuminuric renal insufficiency in patients with type 2 diabetes remains to be elucidated. We compared renal biopsy findings in patients with type 2 diabetes and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and measured GFR of <60 mL/min/1.73 m2, associated with either normo-, micro-, or macroalbuminuria. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: In patients with normo- (n = 8) or microalbuminuria (n = 6), renal biopsies were performed according to a research protocol. In patients with macroalbuminuria (n = 17), biopsies were performed according to clinical indication. Findings were categorized according to the Fioretto classification: category 1 (C1), normal/near normal; category 2 (C2), typical diabetic nephropathy (DN) with predominantly glomerular changes; and category 3 (C3), atypical with disproportionately severe interstitial/tubular/vascular damage and with no/mild diabetic glomerular changes. RESULTS: In our study population (mean eGFR 35 mL/min/1.73 m2), typical glomerular changes (C2) of DN were observed in 22 of 23 subjects with micro- or macroalbuminuria compared with 3 of 8 subjects with normoalbuminuria (P = 0.002). By contrast, predominantly interstitial or vascular changes (C3) were seen in only 1 of 23 subjects with micro- or macroalbuminuria compared with 3 of 8 normoalbuminuric subjects (P = 0.08). Mesangial area increased progressively from normal controls to patients with type 2 diabetes and normo-, micro-, and macroalbuminuria. Varying degrees of arteriosclerosis, although not necessarily the predominant pattern, were seen in seven of eight subjects with normoalbuminuria. CONCLUSIONS: Typical renal structural changes of DN were observed in patients with type 2 diabetes and elevated albuminuria. By contrast, in normoalbuminuric renal insufficiency, these changes were seen less frequently, likely reflecting greater contributions from aging, hypertension, and arteriosclerosis.
Identification of Novel Markers of Mouse Fetal Ovary Development
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2012-07-26)
In contrast to the developing testis, molecular pathways driving fetal ovarian development have been difficult to characterise. To date no single master regulator of ovarian development has been identified that would be considered the female equivalent of Sry. Using a genomic approach we identified a number of novel protein-coding as well as non-coding genes that were detectable at higher levels in the ovary compared to testis during early mouse gonad development. We were able to cluster these ovarian genes into different temporal expression categories. Of note, Lrrc34 and AK015184 were detected in XX but not XY germ cells before the onset of sex-specific germ cell differentiation marked by entry into meiosis in an ovary and mitotic arrest in a testis. We also defined distinct spatial expression domains of somatic cell genes in the developing ovary. Our data expands the set of markers of early mouse ovary differentiation and identifies a classification of early ovarian genes, thus providing additional avenues with which to dissect this process.
An RNA-binding Protein, Lin28, Recognizes and Remodels G-quartets in the MicroRNAs (miRNAs) and mRNAs It Regulates
(AMER SOC BIOCHEMISTRY MOLECULAR BIOLOGY INC, 2015-07-17)
Lin28 is an evolutionarily conserved RNA-binding protein that inhibits processing of pre-let-7 microRNAs (miRNAs) and regulates translation of mRNAs that control developmental timing, pluripotency, metabolism, and tumorigenesis. The RNA features that mediate Lin28 binding to the terminal loops of let-7 pre-miRNAs and to Lin28-responsive elements (LREs) in mRNAs are not well defined. Here we show that Lin28 target datasets are enriched for RNA sequences predicted to contain stable planar structures of 4 guanines known as G-quartets (G4s). The imino NMR spectra of pre-let-7 loops and LREs contain resonances characteristic of G4 hydrogen bonds. These sequences bind to a G4-binding fluorescent dye, N-methyl-mesoporphyrin IX (NMM). Mutations and truncations in the RNA sequence that prevent G4 formation also prevent Lin28 binding. The addition of Lin28 to a pre-let-7 loop or an LRE reduces G4 resonance intensity and NMM binding, suggesting that Lin28 may function to remodel G4s. Further, we show that NMM inhibits Lin28 binding. Incubation of a human embryonal carcinoma cell line with NMM reduces its stem cell traits. In particular it increases mature let-7 levels, decreases OCT4, HMGA1, CCNB1, CDK4, and Lin28A protein, decreases sphere formation, and inhibits colony formation. Our results suggest a previously unknown structural feature of Lin28 targets and a new strategy for manipulating Lin28 function.