An origin of replication and a centromere are both needed to establish a replicative plasmid in the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica.
ABSTRACT: Two DNA fragments displaying ARS activity on plasmids in the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica have previously been cloned and shown to harbor centromeric sequences (P. Fournier, A. Abbas, M. Chasles, B. Kudla, D. M. Ogrydziak, D. Yaver, J.-W. Xuan, A. Peito, A.-M. Ribet, C. Feynerol, F. He, and C. Gaillardin, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 90:4912-4916, 1993; and P. Fournier, L. Guyaneux, M. Chasles, and C. Gaillardin, Yeast 7:25-36, 1991). We have used the integration properties of centromeric sequences to show that all Y. lipolytica ARS elements so far isolated are composed of both a replication origin and a centromere. The sequence and the distance between the origin and centromere do not seem to play a critical role, and many origins can function in association with one given centromere. A centromeric plasmid can therefore be used to clone putative chromosomal origins coming from several genomic locations, which confer the replicative property on the plasmid. The DNA sequences responsible for initiation in plasmids are short (several hundred base pairs) stretches which map close to or at replication initiation sites in the chromosome. Their chromosomal deletion abolishes initiation, but changing their chromosomal environment does not.
Project description:We have previously shown that both a centromere (CEN) and a replication origin are necessary for plasmid maintenance in the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica (). Because of this requirement, only a small number of centromere-proximal replication origins have been isolated from Yarrowia. We used a CEN-based plasmid to obtain noncentromeric origins, and several new fragments, some unique and some repetitive sequences, were isolated. Some of them were analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and correspond to actual sites of initiation (ORI) on the chromosome. We observed that a 125-bp fragment is sufficient for a functional ORI on plasmid, and that chromosomal origins moved to ectopic sites on the chromosome continue to act as initiation sites. These Yarrowia origins share an 8-bp motif, which is not essential for origin function on plasmids. The Yarrowia origins do not display any obvious common structural features, like bent DNA or DNA unwinding elements, generally present at or near eukaryotic replication origins. Y. lipolytica origins thus share features of those in the unicellular Saccharomyces cerevisiae and in multicellular eukaryotes: they are discrete and short genetic elements without sequence similarity.
Project description:Two sequences (ARS18 and ARS68) displaying autonomous replication activity were previously cloned in the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica. The smallest fragment (1-1.3 kb) required for extrachromosomal replication of a plasmid is significantly larger in Y. lipolytica than in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Neither autonomously replicating sequence (ARS) is homologous with known ARS or centromere (CEN) consensus sequences. They share short regions of sequence similarity with each other. These ARS fragments also contain Y. lipolytica centromeres: (i) integration of marker genes at the ARS loci results in a CEN-linked segregation of the markers, (ii) an ARS on a plasmid largely maintains sister chromatid attachment in meiosis I, and (iii) integration of these sequences at the LEU2 locus leads to chromosome breakage. Deletions performed on ARS18 show that CEN and ARS functions can be physically separated, but both are needed to establish a replicating plasmid.
Project description:The methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris is widely used to produce recombinant proteins, taking advantage of this species' high-density cell growth and strong ability to secrete proteins. Circular plasmids containing the P. pastoris-specific autonomously replicating sequence (PARS1) permit transformation of P. pastoris with higher efficiency than obtained following chromosomal integration by linearized DNA. Unfortunately, however, existing autonomously replicating plasmids are known to be inherently unstable. In this study, we used transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) data and genome sequence information to independently identify, on each of the four chromosomes, centromeric DNA sequences consisting of long inverted repeat sequences. By examining the chromosome 2 centromeric DNA sequence (Cen2) in detail, we demonstrate that an ?111-bp region located at one end of the putative centromeric sequence had autonomous replication activity. In addition, the full-length Cen2 sequence, which contains two long inverted repeat sequences and a nonrepetitive central core region, is needed for the accurate replication and distribution of plasmids in P. pastoris Thus, we constructed a new, stable, autonomously replicating plasmid vector that harbors the entire Cen2 sequence; this episome facilitates genetic manipulation in P. pastoris, providing high transformation efficiency and plasmid stability.IMPORTANCE Secretory production of recombinant proteins is the most important application of the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris, a species that permits mass production of heterologous proteins. To date, the genetic engineering of P. pastoris has relied largely on integrative vectors due to the lack of user-friendly tools. Autonomously replicating Pichia plasmids are expected to facilitate genetic manipulation; however, the existing systems, which use autonomously replicating sequences (ARSs) such as the P. pastoris-specific ARS (PARS1), are known to be inherently unstable for plasmid replication and distribution. Recently, the centromeric DNA sequences of P. pastoris were identified in back-to-back studies published by several groups; therefore, a new episomal plasmid vector with centromere DNA as a tool for genetic manipulation of P. pastoris is ready to be developed.
Project description:The ability of plasmids to propagate in Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been instrumental in defining eukaryotic chromosomal control elements. Stable propagation demands both plasmid replication, which requires a chromosomal replication origin (i.e., an ARS), and plasmid distribution to dividing cells, which requires either a chromosomal centromere for segregation or a plasmid-partitioning element. While our knowledge of yeast ARSs and centromeres is relatively advanced, we know less about chromosomal regions that can function as plasmid partitioning elements. The Rap1 protein-binding site (RAP1) present in transcriptional silencers and telomeres of budding yeast is a known plasmid-partitioning element that functions to anchor a plasmid to the inner nuclear membrane (INM), which in turn facilitates plasmid distribution to daughter cells. This Rap1-dependent INM-anchoring also has an important chromosomal role in higher-order chromosomal structures that enhance transcriptional silencing and telomere stability. Thus, plasmid partitioning can reflect fundamental features of chromosome structure and biology, yet a systematic screen for plasmid partitioning elements has not been reported. Here, we couple deep sequencing with competitive growth experiments of a plasmid library containing thousands of short ARS fragments to identify new plasmid partitioning elements. Competitive growth experiments were performed with libraries that differed only in terms of the presence or absence of a centromere. Comparisons of the behavior of ARS fragments in the two experiments allowed us to identify sequences that were likely to drive plasmid partitioning. In addition to the silencer RAP1 site, we identified 74 new putative plasmid-partitioning motifs predicted to act as binding sites for DNA binding proteins enriched for roles in negative regulation of gene expression and G2/M-phase associated biology. These data expand our knowledge of chromosomal elements that may function in plasmid partitioning and suggest underlying biological roles shared by such elements.
Project description:The ability of centromeres to alternate between active and inactive states indicates significant epigenetic aspects controlling centromere assembly and function. In maize (Zea mays), misdivision of the B chromosome centromere on a translocation with the short arm of chromosome 9 (TB-9Sb) can produce many variants with varying centromere sizes and centromeric DNA sequences. In such derivatives of TB-9Sb, we found a de novo centromere on chromosome derivative 3-3, which has no canonical centromeric repeat sequences. This centromere is derived from a 288-kb region on the short arm of chromosome 9, and is 19 megabases (Mb) removed from the translocation breakpoint of chromosome 9 in TB-9Sb. The functional B centromere in progenitor telo2-2 is deleted from derivative 3-3, but some B-repeat sequences remain. The de novo centromere of derivative 3-3 becomes inactive in three further derivatives with new centromeres being formed elsewhere on each chromosome. Our results suggest that de novo centromere initiation is quite common and can persist on chromosomal fragments without a canonical centromere. However, we hypothesize that when de novo centromeres are initiated in opposition to a larger normal centromere, they are cleared from the chromosome by inactivation, thus maintaining karyotype integrity.
Project description:The centromere is a genomic locus required for the segregation of the chromosomes during cell division. This chromosomal region together with pericentromeres has been found to be susceptible to damage, and thus the perturbation of the centromere could lead to the development of aneuploidic events. Metabolic abnormalities that underlie the generation of cancer include inflammation, oxidative stress, cell cycle deregulation, and numerous others. The micronucleus assay, an early clinical marker of cancer, has been shown to provide a reliable measure of genotoxic damage that may signal cancer initiation. In the current review, we will discuss the events that lead to micronucleus formation and centromeric and pericentromeric chromatin instability, as well transcripts emanating from these regions, which were previously thought to be inactive. Studies were selected in PubMed if they reported the effects of nutritional status (macro- and micronutrients) or environmental toxicant exposure on micronucleus frequency or any other chromosomal abnormality in humans, animals, or cell models. Mounting evidence from epidemiologic, environmental, and nutritional studies provides a novel perspective on the origination of aneuploidic events. Although substantial evidence exists describing the role that nutritional status and environmental toxicants have on the generation of micronuclei and other nuclear aberrations, limited information is available to describe the importance of macro- and micronutrients on centromeric and pericentromeric chromatin stability. Moving forward, studies that specifically address the direct link between nutritional status, excess, or deficiency and the epigenetic regulation of the centromere will provide much needed insight into the nutritional and environmental regulation of this chromosomal region and the initiation of aneuploidy.
Project description:The inner centromere region of a mitotic chromosome critically regulates sister chromatid cohesion and kinetochore-microtubule attachments. However, the molecular mechanism underlying inner centromere assembly remains elusive. Here, using CRISPR/Cas9-based gene editing in HeLa cells, we disrupted the interaction of Shugoshin 1 (Sgo1) with histone H2A phosphorylated on Thr-120 (H2ApT120) to selectively release Sgo1 from mitotic centromeres. Interestingly, cells expressing the H2ApT120-binding defective mutant of Sgo1 have an elevated rate of chromosome missegregation accompanied by weakened centromeric cohesion and decreased centromere accumulation of the chromosomal passenger complex (CPC), an integral part of the inner centromere and a key player in the correction of erroneous kinetochore-microtubule attachments. When artificially tethered to centromeres, a Sgo1 mutant defective in binding protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is not able to support proper centromeric cohesion and CPC accumulation, indicating that the Sgo1-PP2A interaction is essential for the integrity of mitotic centromeres. We further provide evidence indicating that Sgo1 protects centromeric cohesin to create a binding site for the histone H3-associated protein kinase Haspin, which not only inhibits the cohesin release factor Wapl and thereby strengthens centromeric cohesion but also phosphorylates histone H3 at Thr-3 to position CPC at inner centromeres. Taken together, our findings reveal a positive feedback-based mechanism that ensures proper assembly of the functional inner centromere during mitosis. They further suggest a causal link between centromeric cohesion defects and chromosomal instability in cancer cells.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The centromeric and pericentromeric regions of plant chromosomes are colonized by Ty3/gypsy retrotransposons, which, on the basis of their reverse transcriptase sequences, form the chromovirus CRM clade. Despite their potential importance for centromere evolution and function, they have remained poorly characterized. In this work, we aimed to carry out a comprehensive survey of CRM clade elements with an emphasis on their diversity, structure, chromosomal distribution and transcriptional activity. RESULTS:We have surveyed a set of 190 CRM elements belonging to 81 different retrotransposon families, derived from 33 host species and falling into 12 plant families. The sequences at the C-terminus of their integrases were unexpectedly heterogeneous, despite the understanding that they are responsible for targeting to the centromere. This variation allowed the division of the CRM clade into the three groups A, B and C, and the members of each differed considerably with respect to their chromosomal distribution. The differences in chromosomal distribution coincided with variation in the integrase C-terminus sequences possessing a putative targeting domain (PTD). A majority of the group A elements possess the CR motif and are concentrated in the centromeric region, while members of group C have the type II chromodomain and are dispersed throughout the genome. Although representatives of the group B lack a PTD of any type, they appeared to be localized preferentially in the centromeres of tested species. All tested elements were found to be transcriptionally active. CONCLUSIONS:Comprehensive analysis of the CRM clade elements showed that genuinely centromeric retrotransposons represent only a fraction of the CRM clade (group A). These centromeric retrotransposons represent an active component of centromeres of a wide range of angiosperm species, implying that they play an important role in plant centromere evolution. In addition, their transcriptional activity is consistent with the notion that the transcription of centromeric retrotransposons has a role in normal centromere function.
Project description:Centromeres are essential chromosomal structures that mediate the accurate distribution of genetic material during meiotic and mitotic cell divisions. In most organisms, centromeres are epigenetically specified and propagated by nucleosomes containing the centromere-specific H3 variant, centromere protein A (CENP-A). Although centromeres perform a critical and conserved function, CENP-A and the underlying centromeric DNA are rapidly evolving. This paradox has been explained by the centromere drive hypothesis, which proposes that CENP-A is undergoing an evolutionary tug-of-war with selfish centromeric DNA. Here, we review our current understanding of CENP-A evolution in relation to centromere drive and discuss classical and recent advances, including new evidence implicating CENP-A chaperones in this conflict.
Project description:In most species, the centromere is comprised of repetitive DNA sequences, which rapidly evolve. Paradoxically, centromeres fulfill an essential function during mitosis, as they are the chromosomal sites wherein, through the kinetochore, the mitotic spindles bind. It is now generally accepted that centromeres are transcribed, and that such transcription is associated with a broad range of functions. More than a decade of work on this topic has shown that centromeric transcripts are found across the eukaryotic tree and associate with heterochromatin formation, chromatin structure, kinetochore structure, centromeric protein loading, and inner centromere signaling. In this review, we discuss the conservation of small and long non-coding centromeric RNAs, their associations with various centromeric functions, and their potential roles in disease.