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In JoVE (2)
Other Publications (47)
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Nucleic Acids Research
- Seminars in Cancer Biology
- Journal of Virology
- Differentiation; Research in Biological Diversity
- Nucleic Acids Research
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Cell Cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)
- Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)
- Nature Methods
- Nature Methods
- Nature Methods
- Stem Cell Reviews
- Cancer Research
- Nature Methods
- Nature Protocols
- Science (New York, N.Y.)
- Nature Cell Biology
- CSH Protocols
- Nature Methods
- Cell Cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)
- BMC Genomics
- Cell Stem Cell
- The EMBO Journal
- Current Biology : CB
- Disease Models & Mechanisms
- Current Opinion in Biotechnology
- PloS One
- Cell Cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)
- EMBO Reports
- Science (New York, N.Y.)
- BMC Bioinformatics
- Nucleic Acids Research
- PLoS Biology
- Methods (San Diego, Calif.)
- Stem Cell Reviews
- PloS One
- Nature Cell Biology
- PloS One
- Cell Cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)
- Methods (San Diego, Calif.)
- Nature Methods
Articles by Frank Buchholz in JoVE
Molecular Evolution of the Tre Recombinase
Max Plank Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden
Here we report the generation of Tre recombinase through directed, molecular evolution. Tre recombinase recognizes a pre-defined target sequence within the LTR sequences of the HIV-1 provirus, resulting in the excision and eradication of the provirus from infected human cells. While still in its infancy, directed molecular evolution will allow the creation of custom enzymes that will serve as tools of molecular surgery and molecular medicine.
MISSION esiRNA for RNAi Screening in Mammalian Cells
Mirko Theis, Frank Buchholz
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
Here we use a human esiRNA library in a high-throughput screen for genes involved in cell division. We demonstrate how to set up and conduct an esiRNA screens, as well as how to analyze and validate the results.
Other articles by Frank Buchholz on PubMed
Short RNA Duplexes Produced by Hydrolysis with Escherichia Coli RNase III Mediate Effective RNA Interference in Mammalian Cells
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jul, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 12096193
Small interfering RNA (siRNA) has become a powerful tool for selectively silencing gene expression in cultured mammalian cells. Because different siRNAs of the same gene have variable silencing capacities, RNA interference with synthetic siRNA is inefficient and cost intensive, especially for functional genomic studies. Here we report the use of Escherichia coli RNase III to cleave double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) into endoribonuclease-prepared siRNA (esiRNA) that can target multiple sites within an mRNA. esiRNA recapitulates the potent and specific inhibition by long dsRNA in Drosophila S2 cells. In contrast to long dsRNA, esiRNA mediates effective RNA interference without apparent nonspecific effect in cultured mammalian cells. We found that sequence-specific interference by esiRNA and the nonspecific IFN response activated by long dsRNA are independent pathways in mammalian cells. esiRNA works by eliciting the destruction of its cognate mRNA. Because of its simplicity and potency, this approach is useful for analysis of mammalian gene functions.
Tissue-specific RNA Interference in Postimplantation Mouse Embryos with Endoribonuclease-prepared Short Interfering RNA
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Oct, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 12391321
RNA interference (RNAi) using double-stranded RNA has been used for the systematic analysis of gene function in invertebrate organisms. Here we have explored the use of short interfering RNA (siRNA) to knock down gene expression during the development of mammalian postimplantation embryos. The developing CNS system of embryonic day 10 mouse embryos was used as a model tissue. siRNA prepared by endoribonuclease digestion (esiRNA) was injected into the lumen of the neural tube at specific regions and delivered into neuroepithelial cells by directed electroporation. Injected and electroporated embryos were grown for 1 day in whole-embryo culture and the effects of RNAi were examined. esiRNA directed against beta-galactosidase (beta-gal), coelectroporated into neuroepithelial cells together with reporter plasmids expressing GFP and beta-gal, abolished expression of beta-gal but not GFP, showing the specificity of the esiRNA-mediated RNAi. To demonstrate RNAi of endogenous gene expression, we used heterozygous embryos of a knock-in mouse line expressing GFP from the Tis21 locus, a gene turned on in neuroepithelial cells that switch from proliferation to neurogenesis. GFP-directed esiRNA electroporated into neuroepithelial cells of such embryos blocked the GFP expression normally occurring on the onset of neurogenesis. Taken together, our data indicate that esiRNA delivered in a tissue-specific manner by topical injection followed by directed electroporation can efficiently silence endogenous gene expression in mammalian postimplantation embryos.
Crystal Structure of a Wild-type Cre Recombinase-loxP Synapse Reveals a Novel Spacer Conformation Suggesting an Alternative Mechanism for DNA Cleavage Activation
Nucleic Acids Research. Sep, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12954782
Escherichia coli phage P1 Cre recombinase catalyzes the site-specific recombination of DNA containing loxP sites. We report here two crystal structures of a wild-type Cre recombinase-loxP synaptic complex corresponding to two distinct reaction states: an initial pre-cleavage complex, trapped using a phosphorothioate modification at the cleavable scissile bond that prevents the recombination reaction, and a 3'-phosphotyrosine protein-DNA intermediate resulting from the first strand cleavage. In contrast to previously determined Cre complexes, both structures contain a full tetrameric complex in the asymmetric unit, unequivocally showing that the anti-parallel arrangement of the loxP sites is an intrinsic property of the Cre-loxP recombination synapse. The conformation of the spacer is different to the one observed for the symmetrized loxS site: a kink next to the scissile phosphate in the top strand of the pre-cleavage complex leads to unstacking of the TpG step and a widening of the minor groove. This side of the spacer is interacting with a 'cleavage-competent' Cre subunit, suggesting that the first cleavage occurs at the ApT step in the top strand. This is further confirmed by the structure of the 3'-phosphotyrosine intermediate, where the DNA is cleaved in the top strands and covalently linked to the 'cleavage-competent' subunits. The cleavage is followed by a movement of the C-terminal part containing the attacking Y324 and the helix N interacting with the 'non-cleaving' subunit. This rearrangement could be responsible for the interconversion of Cre subunits. Our results also suggest that the Cre-induced kink next to the scissile phosphodiester activates the DNA for cleavage at this position and facilitates strand transfer.
Seminars in Cancer Biology. Aug, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 14563120
Sequencing of whole genomes has provided new perspectives into the blueprints of diverse organisms. Knowing the sequences, however, does not always tell us much about the function of the genes that regulate development and homeostasis. RNA interference (RNAi) is becoming the method of choice for gene function analysis in cells and whole organisms. Here we review the approaches available to perform RNAi experiments in mammalian cells and in mice. We discuss usage of RNAi in cancer research and as a possible therapeutic tool for cancer treatment.
Alternative Approaches for Efficient Inhibition of Hepatitis C Virus RNA Replication by Small Interfering RNAs
Journal of Virology. Apr, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15016866
Persistent infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading cause of chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. It has recently been shown that HCV RNA replication is susceptible to small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), but the antiviral activity of siRNAs depends very much on their complementarity to the target sequence. Thus, the high degree of sequence diversity between different HCV genotypes and the rapid evolution of new quasispecies is a major problem in the development of siRNA-based gene therapies. For this study, we developed two alternative strategies to overcome these obstacles. In one approach, we used endoribonuclease-prepared siRNAs (esiRNAs) to simultaneously target multiple sites of the viral genome. We show that esiRNAs directed against various regions of the HCV coding sequence as well as the 5' nontranslated region (5' NTR) efficiently block the replication of subgenomic and genomic HCV replicons. In an alternative approach, we generated pseudotyped retroviruses encoding short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs). A total of 12 shRNAs, most of them targeting highly conserved sequence motifs within the 5' NTR or the early core coding region, were analyzed for their antiviral activities. After the transduction of Huh-7 cells containing a subgenomic HCV replicon, we found that all shRNAs targeting sequences in domain IV or nearby coding sequences blocked viral replication. In contrast, only one of seven shRNAs targeting sequences in domain II or III had a similar degree of antiviral activity, indicating that large sections of the NTRs are resistant to RNA interference. Moreover, we show that naive Huh-7 cells that stably expressed certain 5' NTR-specific shRNAs were largely resistant to a challenge with HCV replicons. These results demonstrate that the retroviral transduction of HCV-specific shRNAs provides a new possibility for antiviral intervention.
Tissue-specific RNA Interference in Post-implantation Mouse Embryos Using Directional Electroporation and Whole Embryo Culture
Differentiation; Research in Biological Diversity. Mar, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15066189
In mammals, embryonic development is more difficult to analyze than in non-mammalian species because this development occurs in utero. Interestingly, whole embryo culture allows the normal development of mouse post-implantation embryos for up to 2 days in vitro. One limitation of this technology has been the difficulty of performing loss-of-gene function studies in this system. RNA interference (RNAi), whereby double-stranded RNA molecules suppress the expression of complementary genes, has rapidly become a widely used tool for gene function analyses. We have combined the technologies of mouse whole embryo culture and RNAi to allow the molecular dissection of developmental processes. Here, we review the manipulation by topical injection followed by directional electroporation of endoribonuclease-prepared siRNA to demonstrate that this technology may be useful to knock down genes in a tissue- and region-specific manner in several organs of the developing mouse embryo.
Nucleic Acids Research. Jul, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15215362
RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful tool for inhibiting the expression of a gene by mediating the degradation of the corresponding mRNA. The basis of this gene-specific inhibition is small, double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs), also referred to as small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), that correspond in sequence to a part of the exon sequence of a silenced gene. The selection of siRNAs for a target gene is a crucial step in siRNA-mediated gene silencing. According to present knowledge, siRNAs must fulfill certain properties including sequence length, GC-content and nucleotide composition. Furthermore, the cross-silencing capability of dsRNAs for other genes must be evaluated. When designing siRNAs for chemical synthesis, most of these criteria are achievable by simple sequence analysis of target mRNAs, and the specificity can be evaluated by a single BLAST search against the transcriptome of the studied organism. A different method for raising siRNAs has, however, emerged which uses enzymatic digestion to hydrolyze long pieces of dsRNA into shorter molecules. These endoribonuclease-prepared siRNAs (esiRNAs or 'diced' RNAs) are less variable in their silencing capabilities and circumvent the laborious process of sequence selection for RNAi due to a broader range of products. Though powerful, this method might be more susceptible to cross-silencing genes other than the target itself. We have developed a web-based tool that facilitates the design and quality control of siRNAs for RNAi. The program, DEQOR, uses a scoring system based on state-of-the-art parameters for siRNA design to evaluate the inhibitory potency of siRNAs. DEQOR, therefore, can help to predict (i) regions in a gene that show high silencing capacity based on the base pair composition and (ii) siRNAs with high silencing potential for chemical synthesis. In addition, each siRNA arising from the input query is evaluated for possible cross-silencing activities by performing BLAST searches against the transcriptome or genome of a selected organism. DEQOR can therefore predict the probability that an mRNA fragment will cross-react with other genes in the cell and helps researchers to design experiments to test the specificity of esiRNAs or chemically designed siRNAs. DEQOR is freely available at http://cluster-1.mpi-cbg.de/Deqor/deqor.html.
An Endoribonuclease-prepared SiRNA Screen in Human Cells Identifies Genes Essential for Cell Division
Nature. Dec, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15616564
RNA interference (RNAi) is an evolutionarily conserved defence mechanism whereby genes are specifically silenced through degradation of messenger RNAs; this process is mediated by homologous double-stranded (ds)RNA molecules. In invertebrates, long dsRNAs have been used for genome-wide screens and have provided insights into gene functions. Because long dsRNA triggers a nonspecific interferon response in many vertebrates, short interfering (si)RNA or short hairpin (sh)RNAs must be used for these organisms to ensure specific gene silencing. Here we report the generation of a genome-scale library of endoribonuclease-prepared short interfering (esi)RNAs from a sequence-verified complementary DNA collection representing 15,497 human genes. We used 5,305 esiRNAs from this library to screen for genes required for cell division in HeLa cells. Using a primary high-throughput cell viability screen followed by a secondary high content videomicroscopy assay, we identified 37 genes required for cell division. These include several splicing factors for which knockdown generates mitotic spindle defects. In addition, a putative nuclear-export terminator was found to speed up cell proliferation and mitotic progression after knockdown. Thus, our study uncovers new aspects of cell division and establishes esiRNA as a versatile approach for genomic RNAi screens in mammalian cells.
RNA Interference Rescue by Bacterial Artificial Chromosome Transgenesis in Mammalian Tissue Culture Cells
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Feb, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15695330
RNA interference (RNAi) is a widely used method for analysis of gene function in tissue culture cells. However, to date there has been no reliable method for testing the specificity of any particular RNAi experiment. The ideal experiment is to rescue the phenotype by expression of the target gene in a form refractory to RNAi. The transgene should be expressed at physiological levels and with its different splice variants. Here, we demonstrate that expression of murine bacterial artificial chromosomes in human cells provides a reliable method to create RNAi-resistant transgenes. This strategy should be applicable to all eukaryotes and should therefore be a standard technology for confirming the specificity of RNAi. We show that this technique can be extended to allow the creation of tagged transgenes, expressed at physiological levels, for the further study of gene function.
Cell Cycle (Georgetown, Tex.). Apr, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15876870
The emergence of RNA interference (RNAi) technology has revolutionized functional genomic analyses in cell biology, including the study of cell division. In particular, the introduction of short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) has facilitated loss-of-function studies in mammalian cell lines. We have pioneered the rapid and cost-efficient generation of libraries of endoribonuclease-prepared short interfering RNAs (esiRNAs) for large-scale genetic screens in mammalian tissue culture cells. Our first pilot screen of 5305 genes in human HeLa cells identified novel genes required for cell division, establishing esiRNA as a sophisticated method for loss-of-function screens. Future genome-wide studies with esiRNA, using image-based assays and video microscopy, will help provide novel insights on the molecular mechanisms that govern cell division in mammalian cells.
Selective Expression of the Cre Recombinase in Late-stage Thymocytes Using the Distal Promoter of the Lck Gene
Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Jun, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15905512
Transgenic mouse lines were generated that express the Cre recombinase under the control of the distal promoter of the mouse Lck gene. Cre recombination in four of these lines of transgenic mice was characterized at the single cell level using ROSA26-regulated loxP-Stop-loxP-betageo and loxP-Stop-loxP-YFP reporter mouse lines. Two of the lines showed T cell-restricted Cre recombination, whereas the other two also expressed Cre in B cells, NK cells, and monocytes. Cre recombination began at a late stage of T cell development (at or after up-regulation of the TCR during positive selection) in the two T cell-restricted lines. Lines of mice that express the Cre recombinase at late stages of thymocyte development are of value for determining the impact of mutations on T cell function in the absence of complicating effects on early thymocyte selection.
Production of Endoribonuclease-prepared Short Interfering RNAs for Gene Silencing in Mammalian Cells
Nature Methods. Oct, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16179925
Nature. May, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16541024
Segregation of homologous maternal and paternal centromeres to opposite poles during meiosis I depends on post-replicative crossing over between homologous non-sister chromatids, which creates chiasmata and therefore bivalent chromosomes. Destruction of sister chromatid cohesion along chromosome arms due to proteolytic cleavage of cohesin's Rec8 subunit by separase resolves chiasmata and thereby triggers the first meiotic division. This produces univalent chromosomes, the chromatids of which are held together by centromeric cohesin that has been protected from separase by shugoshin (Sgo1/MEI-S332) proteins. Here we show in both fission and budding yeast that Sgo1 recruits to centromeres a specific form of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). Its inactivation causes loss of centromeric cohesin at anaphase I and random segregation of sister centromeres at the second meiotic division. Artificial recruitment of PP2A to chromosome arms prevents Rec8 phosphorylation and hinders resolution of chiasmata. Our data are consistent with the notion that efficient cleavage of Rec8 requires phosphorylation of cohesin and that this is blocked by PP2A at meiosis I centromeres.
Nature Methods. Sep, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16929314
Large-scale RNA interference (RNAi) screens in mammalian cells have mainly used synthetic small interfering RNA (siRNA) or short hairpin RNA (shRNA) libraries. The RNAi triggers for both of these approaches were designed with algorithm-based predictions to identify single sequences for mRNA knockdown. Alternatives to these approaches have recently been developed using enzymatic methods. Here we describe the concepts of enzymatically prepared shRNA and siRNA libraries, and discuss their strengths and limitations.
Nature Methods. Oct, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16990807
Large-scale RNA interference (RNAi)-based analyses, very much as other 'omic' approaches, have inherent rates of false positives and negatives. The variability in the standards of care applied to validate results from these studies, if left unchecked, could eventually begin to undermine the credibility of RNAi as a powerful functional approach. This Commentary is an invitation to an open discussion started among various users of RNAi to set forth accepted standards that would insure the quality and accuracy of information in the large datasets coming out of genome-scale screens.
Stem Cell Reviews. 2006 | Pubmed ID: 17142881
Embryonic stem (ES) cells are pluripotent cells that can be isolated and grown in vitro from the inner cell mass of blastocysts. Their potential to differentiate into any cell of the body makes them a promising starting material for cell therapy. Much progress has been made in recent years to develop ES cell differentiation protocols employing cocktails of certain growth factors or by using cell-type-restricted promoters driving the expression of selection markers or fluorescent proteins. However, little is known about the molecular details underlying the earliest processes of mammalian development. Genetic tools that provide novel insight into these processes would be very helpful to gain a better molecular understanding and to design better differentiation protocols. Recently, RNAi has emerged as a powerful technology to perform loss-of-function studies in mammalian cells. This technology should be ideal to identify and study genes required for ES cell self-renewal and differentiation. Here, we review the recent advances and challenges of RNAi research in ES cells and we provide a perspective on possible applications to enhance our understanding of ES cell self-renewal and early differentiation.
RUNX1 DNA-binding Mutants, Associated with Minimally Differentiated Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, Disrupt Myeloid Differentiation
Cancer Research. Jan, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17234761
Mutations in the RUNX1 gene are found at high frequencies in minimally differentiated acute myelogenous leukemia. In addition to null mutations, many of the mutations generate Runx1 DNA-binding (RDB) mutants. To determine if these mutants antagonize wild-type protein activity, cDNAs were transduced into murine bone marrow or human cord blood cells using retroviral vectors. Significantly, the RDB mutants did not act in a transdominant fashion in vivo to disrupt Runx1 activity in either T-cell or platelet development, which are highly sensitive to Runx1 dosage. However, RDB mutant expression impaired expansion and differentiation of the erythroid compartment in which Runx1 expression is normally down-regulated, showing that a RDB-independent function is incompatible with erythroid differentiation. Significantly, both bone marrow progenitors expressing RDB mutants or deficient for Runx1 showed increased replating efficiencies in vitro, accompanied by the accumulation of myeloblasts and dysplastic progenitors, but the effect was more pronounced in RDB cultures. Disruption of the interface that binds CBFbeta, an important cofactor of Runx1, did not impair RDB mutant replating activity, arguing against inactivation of Runx1 function by CBFbeta sequestration. We propose that RDB mutants antagonize Runx1 function in early progenitors by disrupting a critical balance between DNA-binding-independent and DNA-binding-dependent signaling.
Genome-wide Resources of Endoribonuclease-prepared Short Interfering RNAs for Specific Loss-of-function Studies
Nature Methods. Apr, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17351622
RNA interference (RNAi) has become an important technique for loss-of-gene-function studies in mammalian cells. To achieve reliable results in an RNAi experiment, efficient and specific silencing triggers are required. Here we present genome-wide data sets for the production of endoribonuclease-prepared short interfering RNAs (esiRNAs) for human, mouse and rat. We used an algorithm to predict the optimal region for esiRNA synthesis for every protein-coding gene of these three species. We created a database, RiDDLE, for retrieval of target sequences and primer information. To test this in silico resource experimentally, we generated 16,242 esiRNAs that can be used for RNAi screening in human cells. Comparative analyses with chemically synthesized siRNAs demonstrated a high silencing efficacy of esiRNAs and a 12-fold reduction of downregulated off-target transcripts as detected by microarray analysis. Hence, the presented esiRNA libraries offer an efficient, cost-effective and specific alternative to presently available mammalian RNAi resources.
Nature Protocols. 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17546005
Tandem affinity purification (TAP) is a generic two-step affinity purification protocol for isolation of TAP-tagged proteins together with associated proteins. We used bacterial artificial chromosome to heterologously express TAP-tagged murine Sgo1 protein in human HeLa cells. This allowed us to test the functionality of the Sgo1-TAP protein by RNA interference-mediated depletion of the endogenous human Sgo1. Here, we present an optimized protocol for purification of TAP-tagged Sgo1 protein as well as KIAA1387 from HeLa cells with detailed instructions. The purification protocol can be completed in 1 day and it should be applicable to other proteins.
Science (New York, N.Y.). Jun, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17600219
HIV-1 integrates into the host chromosome and persists as a provirus flanked by long terminal repeats (LTRs). To date, treatment regimens primarily target the virus enzymes or virus-cell fusion, but not the integrated provirus. We report here the substrate-linked protein evolution of a tailored recombinase that recognizes an asymmetric sequence within an HIV-1 LTR. This evolved recombinase efficiently excised integrated HIV proviral DNA from the genome of infected cells. Although a long way from use in the clinic, we speculate that this type of technology might be adapted in future antiretroviral therapies, among other possible uses.
Nature Cell Biology. Dec, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17994010
Cell division is fundamental for all organisms. Here we report a genome-scale RNA-mediated interference screen in HeLa cells designed to identify human genes that are important for cell division. We have used a library of endoribonuclease-prepared short interfering RNAs for gene silencing and have used DNA content analysis to identify genes that induced cell cycle arrest or altered ploidy on silencing. Validation and secondary assays were performed to generate a nine-parameter loss-of-function phenoprint for each of the genes. These phenotypic signatures allowed the assignment of genes to specific functional classes by combining hierarchical clustering, cross-species analysis and proteomic data mining. We highlight the richness of our dataset by ascribing novel functions to genes in mitosis and cytokinesis. In particular, we identify two evolutionarily conserved transcriptional regulatory networks that govern cytokinesis. Our work provides an experimental framework from which the systematic analysis of novel genes necessary for cell division in human cells can begin.
Production of Endoribonuclease-Prepared Short Interfering RNAs (esiRNAs) for Specific and Effective Gene Silencing in Mammalian Cells
CSH Protocols. 2007 | Pubmed ID: 21357149
INTRODUCTIONThe mechanism of RNA interference has emerged as a practical tool to study loss of function in many organisms. To make the method of gene knockdown suitable for mammalian cells, short interfering double-stranded RNAs (siRNAs) need to be applied. This protocol describes a straightforward, low-cost method, which uses recombinant Escherichia coli RNase III to digest long dsRNA into endoribonuclease-prepared short interfering RNAs (esiRNAs). Advantages of this technology are the high efficiency and specificity of the resulting esiRNA and its usefulness for not only small-scale applications, but also high-throughput loss-of-function analyses. Another great asset of esiRNA is its flexibility in design, using Web-based tools such as DEQOR, or predesigned esiRNA sequences from the database RiDDLE. PCR products flanked with T7 promoter sequences are generated, transcribed, and annealed. The resulting long dsRNA is enzymatically digested into a pool of overlapping esiRNAs, which are subsequently spin-column-purified.
Nature Methods. May, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18391959
The interpretation of genome sequences requires reliable and standardized methods to assess protein function at high throughput. Here we describe a fast and reliable pipeline to study protein function in mammalian cells based on protein tagging in bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs). The large size of the BAC transgenes ensures the presence of most, if not all, regulatory elements and results in expression that closely matches that of the endogenous gene. We show that BAC transgenes can be rapidly and reliably generated using 96-well-format recombineering. After stable transfection of these transgenes into human tissue culture cells or mouse embryonic stem cells, the localization, protein-protein and/or protein-DNA interactions of the tagged protein are studied using generic, tag-based assays. The same high-throughput approach will be generally applicable to other model systems.
Cell Cycle (Georgetown, Tex.). Jul, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18635956
High-throughput screening technologies allow the identification of genes and proteins essential for mammalian cell division. However, the underlying complexity and connectivity of different biological processes, such as signal transduction, transcription, translation and proteolysis make it difficult to understand the mammalian cell cycle based on the analysis of its individual components alone. The recent development of robust and precise assays to study the mammalian cell cycle, in combination with functional genomics and proteomics, together provide the necessary tools to address this critical issue. With the implementation of different "Omics" technologies for quantitative and high-throughput data acquisition, the possibility of obtaining a more detailed view of the mammalian cell cycle is now realistic. Here, we review RNAi reagents, assays and validation strategies for the identification of genes functioning in the human cell cycle, and outline genomic, proteomic and microscopic approaches to further characterize their specific functions. While a fully integrated model of mammalian cell division remains a distant goal, a framework of a systems understanding of this medically relevant process is beginning to emerge.
Three LIF-dependent Signatures and Gene Clusters with Atypical Expression Profiles, Identified by Transcriptome Studies in Mouse ES Cells and Early Derivatives
BMC Genomics. 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19203379
Mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells remain pluripotent in vitro when grown in the presence of the cytokine Leukaemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF). Identification of LIF targets and of genes regulating the transition between pluripotent and early differentiated cells is a critical step for understanding the control of ES cell pluripotency.
The Symplekin/ZONAB Complex Inhibits Intestinal Cell Differentiation by the Repression of AML1/Runx1
Gastroenterology. Jul, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19328795
Symplekin is a ubiquitously expressed protein involved in RNA polyadenylation and transcriptional regulation that localizes at tight junctions in epithelial cells. The association between symplekin and the Y-box transcription factor ZONAB activates proliferation in intestinal and kidney cells. We analyzed symplekin expression in human colonic crypts and investigated its function in differentiation.
A Genome-scale RNAi Screen for Oct4 Modulators Defines a Role of the Paf1 Complex for Embryonic Stem Cell Identity
Cell Stem Cell. May, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19345177
Pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) maintain self-renewal while ensuring a rapid response to differentiation cues. The identification of genes maintaining ESC identity is important to develop these cells for their potential therapeutic use. Here we report a genome-scale RNAi screen for a global survey of genes affecting ESC identity via alteration of Oct4 expression. Factors with the strongest effect on Oct4 expression included components of the Paf1 complex, a protein complex associated with RNA polymerase II. Using a combination of proteomics, expression profiling, and chromatin immunoprecipitation, we demonstrate that the Paf1C binds to promoters of key pluripotency genes, where it is required to maintain a transcriptionally active chromatin structure. The Paf1C is developmentally regulated and blocks ESC differentiation upon overexpression, and the knockdown in ESCs causes expression changes similar to Oct4 or Nanog depletions. We propose that the Paf1C plays an important role in maintaining ESC identity.
Comparative Profiling Identifies C13orf3 As a Component of the Ska Complex Required for Mammalian Cell Division
The EMBO Journal. May, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19387489
Proliferation of mammalian cells requires the coordinated function of many proteins to accurately divide a cell into two daughter cells. Several RNAi screens have identified previously uncharacterised genes that are implicated in mammalian cell division. The molecular function for these genes needs to be investigated to place them into pathways. Phenotypic profiling is a useful method to assign putative functions to uncharacterised genes. Here, we show that the analysis of protein localisation is useful to refine a phenotypic profile. We show the utility of this approach by defining a function of the previously uncharacterised gene C13orf3 during cell division. C13orf3 localises to centrosomes, the mitotic spindle, kinetochores, spindle midzone, and the cleavage furrow during cell division and is specifically phosphorylated during mitosis. Furthermore, C13orf3 is required for centrosome integrity and anaphase onset. Depletion by RNAi leads to mitotic arrest in metaphase with an activation of the spindle assembly checkpoint and loss of sister chromatid cohesion. Proteomic analyses identify C13orf3 (Ska3) as a new component of the Ska complex and show a direct interaction with a regulatory subunit of the protein phosphatase PP2A. All together, these data identify C13orf3 as an important factor for metaphase to anaphase progression and highlight the potential of combined RNAi screening and protein localisation analyses.
Current Biology : CB. May, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19427217
The assembly of a robust microtubule-based mitotic spindle is a prerequisite for the accurate segregation of chromosomes to progeny. Spindle assembly relies on the concerted action of centrosomes, spindle microtubules, molecular motors, and nonmotor spindle proteins.
Dre Recombinase, Like Cre, is a Highly Efficient Site-specific Recombinase in E. Coli, Mammalian Cells and Mice
Disease Models & Mechanisms. Sep-Oct, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19692579
Tyrosine site-specific recombinases (SSRs) including Cre and FLP are essential tools for DNA and genome engineering. Cre has long been recognized as the best SSR for genome engineering, particularly in mice. Obtaining another SSR that is as good as Cre will be a valuable addition to the genomic toolbox. To this end, we have developed and validated reagents for the Dre-rox system. These include an Escherichia coli-inducible expression vector based on the temperature-sensitive pSC101 plasmid, a mammalian expression vector based on the CAGGs promoter, a rox-lacZ reporter embryonic stem (ES) cell line based on targeting at the Rosa26 locus, the accompanying Rosa26-rox reporter mouse line, and a CAGGs-Dre deleter mouse line. We also show that a Dre-progesterone receptor shows good ligand-responsive induction properties. Furthermore, we show that there is no crossover recombination between Cre-rox or Dre-loxP. Hence, we add another set of efficient tools to the genomic toolbox, which will enable the development of more sophisticated mouse models for the analysis of gene function and disease.
Current Opinion in Biotechnology. Aug, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19700301
DNA has been a main focus of biomedical research ever since its discovery as the hereditary molecule. This discovery laid the foundation for scientists to begin both to elucidate and to manipulate its function. Since then many DNA processing enzymes have been discovered and many technologies have been developed to process and manipulate DNA with these enzymes. The sequencing of entire genomes has increased the demand for sophisticated DNA processing enzymes. This need is being addressed by engineering DNA processing enzymes using rational and evolutionary approaches to improve or design novel properties. It now appears feasible that engineered DNA processing enzymes will find utility in molecular medicine as tools for advanced genome engineering.
PloS One. 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19727443
Embryonic stem (ES) cells have high self-renewal capacity and the potential to differentiate into a large variety of cell types. To investigate gene networks operating in pluripotent ES cells and their derivatives, the "Functional Genomics in Embryonic Stem Cells" consortium (FunGenES) has analyzed the transcriptome of mouse ES cells in eleven diverse settings representing sixty-seven experimental conditions. To better illustrate gene expression profiles in mouse ES cells, we have organized the results in an interactive database with a number of features and tools. Specifically, we have generated clusters of transcripts that behave the same way under the entire spectrum of the sixty-seven experimental conditions; we have assembled genes in groups according to their time of expression during successive days of ES cell differentiation; we have included expression profiles of specific gene classes such as transcription regulatory factors and Expressed Sequence Tags; transcripts have been arranged in "Expression Waves" and juxtaposed to genes with opposite or complementary expression patterns; we have designed search engines to display the expression profile of any transcript during ES cell differentiation; gene expression data have been organized in animated graphs of KEGG signaling and metabolic pathways; and finally, we have incorporated advanced functional annotations for individual genes or gene clusters of interest and links to microarray and genomic resources. The FunGenES database provides a comprehensive resource for studies into the biology of ES cells.
SKAnking with Ska3: Essential Role of Ska3 in Cell Division Revealed by Combined Phenotypic Profiling
Cell Cycle (Georgetown, Tex.). Nov, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19838048
A Domesticated Transposon Mediates the Effects of a Single-nucleotide Polymorphism Responsible for Enhanced Muscle Growth
EMBO Reports. Apr, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20134481
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the regulatory regions of the genome can have a profound impact on phenotype. The G3072A polymorphism in intron 3 of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) is implicated in higher muscle content and reduced fat in European pigs and is bound by a putative repressor. Here, we identify this repressor--which we call muscle growth regulator (MGR)--by using a DNA protein interaction screen based on quantitative mass spectrometry. MGR has a bipartite nuclear localization signal, two BED-type zinc fingers and is highly conserved between placental mammals. Surprisingly, the gene is located in an intron and belongs to the hobo-Ac-Tam3 transposase superfamily, suggesting regulatory use of a formerly parasitic element. In transactivation assays, MGR differentially represses the expression of the two SNP variants. Knockdown of MGR in C2C12 myoblast cells upregulates Igf2 expression and mild overexpression retards growth. Thus, MGR is the repressor responsible for enhanced muscle growth in the IGF2 G3072A polymorphism in commercially bred pigs.
Nature. Mar, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20190736
Endocytosis is a complex process fulfilling many cellular and developmental functions. Understanding how it is regulated and integrated with other cellular processes requires a comprehensive analysis of its molecular constituents and general design principles. Here, we developed a new strategy to phenotypically profile the human genome with respect to transferrin (TF) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) endocytosis by combining RNA interference, automated high-resolution confocal microscopy, quantitative multiparametric image analysis and high-performance computing. We identified several novel components of endocytic trafficking, including genes implicated in human diseases. We found that signalling pathways such as Wnt, integrin/cell adhesion, transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta and Notch regulate the endocytic system, and identified new genes involved in cargo sorting to a subset of signalling endosomes. A systems analysis by Bayesian networks further showed that the number, size, concentration of cargo and intracellular position of endosomes are not determined randomly but are subject to specific regulation, thus uncovering novel properties of the endocytic system.
Science (New York, N.Y.). Apr, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20360068
Chromosome segregation and cell division are essential, highly ordered processes that depend on numerous protein complexes. Results from recent RNA interference screens indicate that the identity and composition of these protein complexes is incompletely understood. Using gene tagging on bacterial artificial chromosomes, protein localization, and tandem-affinity purification-mass spectrometry, the MitoCheck consortium has analyzed about 100 human protein complexes, many of which had not or had only incompletely been characterized. This work has led to the discovery of previously unknown, evolutionarily conserved subunits of the anaphase-promoting complex and the gamma-tubulin ring complex--large complexes that are essential for spindle assembly and chromosome segregation. The approaches we describe here are generally applicable to high-throughput follow-up analyses of phenotypic screens in mammalian cells.
BMC Bioinformatics. 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20478033
With the current technological advances in high-throughput biology, the necessity to develop tools that help to analyse the massive amount of data being generated is evident. A powerful method of inspecting large-scale data sets is gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) and investigation of protein structural features can guide determining the function of individual genes. However, a convenient tool that combines these two features to aid in high-throughput data analysis has not been developed yet. In order to fill this niche, we developed the user-friendly, web-based application, PhenoFam.
SeLOX--a Locus of Recombination Site Search Tool for the Detection and Directed Evolution of Site-specific Recombination Systems
Nucleic Acids Research. Jul, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20529878
Site-specific recombinases have become a resourceful tool for genome engineering, allowing sophisticated in vivo DNA modifications and rearrangements, including the precise removal of integrated retroviruses from host genomes. In a recent study, a mutant form of Cre recombinase has been used to excise the provirus of a specific HIV-1 strain from the human genome. To achieve provirus excision, the Cre recombinase had to be evolved to recombine an asymmetric locus of recombination (lox)-like sequence present in the long terminal repeat (LTR) regions of a HIV-1 strain. One pre-requisite for this type of work is the identification of degenerate lox-like sites in genomic sequences. Given their nature-two inverted repeats flanking a spacer of variable length-existing search tools like BLAST or RepeatMasker perform poorly. To address this lack of available algorithms, we have developed the web-server SeLOX, which can identify degenerate lox-like sites within genomic sequences. SeLOX calculates a position weight matrix based on lox-like sequences, which is used to search genomic sequences. For computational efficiency, we transform sequences into binary space, which allows us to use a bit-wise AND Boolean operator for comparisons. Next to finding lox-like sites for Cre type recombinases in HIV LTR sequences, we have used SeLOX to identify lox-like sites in HIV LTRs for six yeast recombinases. We finally demonstrate the general usefulness of SeLOX in identifying lox-like sequences in large genomes by searching Cre type recombination sites in the entire human genome. SeLOX is freely available at http://selox.mpi-cbg.de/cgi-bin/selox/index.
A Genome-scale DNA Repair RNAi Screen Identifies SPG48 As a Novel Gene Associated with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia
PLoS Biology. 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20613862
DNA repair is essential to maintain genome integrity, and genes with roles in DNA repair are frequently mutated in a variety of human diseases. Repair via homologous recombination typically restores the original DNA sequence without introducing mutations, and a number of genes that are required for homologous recombination DNA double-strand break repair (HR-DSBR) have been identified. However, a systematic analysis of this important DNA repair pathway in mammalian cells has not been reported. Here, we describe a genome-scale endoribonuclease-prepared short interfering RNA (esiRNA) screen for genes involved in DNA double strand break repair. We report 61 genes that influenced the frequency of HR-DSBR and characterize in detail one of the genes that decreased the frequency of HR-DSBR. We show that the gene KIAA0415 encodes a putative helicase that interacts with SPG11 and SPG15, two proteins mutated in hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). We identify mutations in HSP patients, discovering KIAA0415/SPG48 as a novel HSP-associated gene, and show that a KIAA0415/SPG48 mutant cell line is more sensitive to DNA damaging drugs. We present the first genome-scale survey of HR-DSBR in mammalian cells providing a dataset that should accelerate the discovery of novel genes with roles in DNA repair and associated medical conditions. The discovery that proteins forming a novel protein complex are required for efficient HR-DSBR and are mutated in patients suffering from HSP suggests a link between HSP and DNA repair.
Methods (San Diego, Calif.). Apr, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21185384
The development of advanced functional genomic tools has paved the way for systematic investigations of biological processes in health and disease. In particular, the implementation of RNA interference (RNAi) as a genome-wide, loss-of-function screening tool has enabled scientists to probe the role for every gene in cellular assays and many new factors for various processes have been discovered employing RNAi screens in recent years. However, the results also demonstrate the complexity of biological systems and indicate that we are still a long way from understanding functional networks in depth. Nevertheless, RNAi screens present a powerful method to interrogate gene function in high-throughput and different methods to elicit RNAi in mammalian cells have been developed. Here, we describe steps that should be considered when planning an RNAi screen employing endoribonuclease prepared (e)siRNAs. We provide useful information on how to implement the screen and analyze the results. Furthermore, we discuss strategies for hit validation and present an outline on how to follow-up on verified hits to gain a molecular understanding of the underlying phenotypes.
Stem Cell Reviews. Apr, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21526416
The ability of embryonic stem (ES) cells to generate any of the around 220 cell types of the adult body has fascinated scientists ever since their discovery. The capacity to re-program fully differentiated cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells has further stimulated the interest in ES cell research. Fueled by this interest, intense research has provided new insights into the biology of ES cells in the recent past. The development of large-scale and high throughput RNAi technologies has made it possible to sample the role of every gene in maintaining ES cell identity. Here, we review the RNAi screens performed in ES cells to date and discuss the challenges associated with these large-scale experiments. Furthermore, we provide a perspective on how to streamline the molecular characterization following the initial phenotypic description utilizing bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenesis.
RAD21 Cooperates with Pluripotency Transcription Factors in the Maintenance of Embryonic Stem Cell Identity
PloS One. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21589869
For self-renewal, embryonic stem cells (ESCs) require the expression of specific transcription factors accompanied by a particular chromosome organization to maintain a balance between pluripotency and the capacity for rapid differentiation. However, how transcriptional regulation is linked to chromosome organization in ESCs is not well understood. Here we show that the cohesin component RAD21 exhibits a functional role in maintaining ESC identity through association with the pluripotency transcriptional network. ChIP-seq analyses of RAD21 reveal an ESC specific cohesin binding pattern that is characterized by CTCF independent co-localization of cohesin with pluripotency related transcription factors Oct4, Nanog, Sox2, Esrrb and Klf4. Upon ESC differentiation, most of these binding sites disappear and instead new CTCF independent RAD21 binding sites emerge, which are enriched for binding sites of transcription factors implicated in early differentiation. Furthermore, knock-down of RAD21 causes expression changes that are similar to expression changes after Nanog depletion, demonstrating the functional relevance of the RAD21--pluripotency transcriptional network association. Finally, we show that Nanog physically interacts with the cohesin or cohesin interacting proteins STAG1 and WAPL further substantiating this association. Based on these findings we propose that a dynamic placement of cohesin by pluripotency transcription factors contributes to a chromosome organization supporting the ESC expression program.
Nature Cell Biology. Jul, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21642980
TP53 (tumour protein 53) is one of the most frequently mutated genes in human cancer and its role during cellular transformation has been studied extensively. However, the homeostatic functions of p53 are less well understood. Here, we explore the molecular dependency network of TP53 through an RNAi-mediated synthetic interaction screen employing two HCT116 isogenic cell lines and a genome-scale endoribonuclease-prepared short interfering RNA library. We identify a variety of TP53 synthetic interactions unmasking the complex connections of p53 to cellular physiology and growth control. Molecular dissection of the TP53 synthetic interaction with UNRIP indicates an enhanced dependency of TP53-negative cells on small nucleolar ribonucleoprotein (snoRNP) assembly. This dependency is mediated by the snoRNP chaperone gene NOLC1 (also known as NOPP140), which we identify as a physiological p53 target gene. This unanticipated function of TP53 in snoRNP assembly highlights the potential of RNAi-mediated synthetic interaction screens to dissect molecular pathways of tumour suppressor genes.
PloS One. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21853123
In tumor cells, stepwise oncogenic deregulation of signaling cascades induces alterations of cellular morphology and promotes the acquisition of malignant traits. Here, we identified a set of 21 genes, including FGF9, as determinants of tumor cell morphology by an RNA interference phenotypic screen in SW480 colon cancer cells. Using a panel of small molecular inhibitors, we subsequently established phenotypic effects, downstream signaling cascades, and associated gene expression signatures of FGF receptor signals. We found that inhibition of FGF signals induces epithelial cell adhesion and loss of motility in colon cancer cells. These effects are mediated via the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and Rho GTPase cascades. In agreement with these findings, inhibition of the MEK1/2 or JNK cascades, but not of the PI3K-AKT signaling axis also induced epithelial cell morphology. Finally, we found that expression of FGF9 was strong in a subset of advanced colon cancers, and overexpression negatively correlated with patients' survival. Our functional and expression analyses suggest that FGF receptor signals can contribute to colon cancer progression.
Cell Cycle (Georgetown, Tex.). Oct, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22067651
Methods (San Diego, Calif.). Jan, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 20600935
Current antiretroviral therapies would greatly benefit from the concurrent removal of integrated HIV-1 proviral DNA from the patient's cells. In this review, we describe an experimental strategy that allowed the engineering and functional analysis of a HIV-1 LTR-specific recombinase (Tre-recombinase). We furthermore provide protocols that are utilized for the investigation of Tre's antiretroviral activity in infected tissue cultures as well as in infected humanized Rag2(-/-)γc(-/-) mice.
Nature Methods. Feb, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22327834
Whereas methods to comprehensively study cellular roles of protein-coding genes are available, techniques to systematically investigate long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), which have been implicated in diverse biological pathways, are limited. Here we report combined knockdown and localization analysis of noncoding RNAs (c-KLAN) that merges functional characterization and localization approaches to study lncRNAs. Using this technique we identified transcripts that regulate mouse embryonic stem cell identity.