Cross-kingdom delivery of specific microRNAs to recipient organisms via food ingestion has been reported recently. However, it is unclear if such delivery of microRNAs occurs frequently in animal organisms after typical dietary intake. We found substantial levels of specific microRNAs in diets commonly consumed orally by humans, mice, and honey bees. Yet, after ingestion of fruit replete with plant microRNAs (MIR156a, MIR159a, and MIR169a), a cohort of healthy athletes did not carry detectable plasma levels of those molecules. Similarly, despite consumption of a diet with animal fat replete in endogenous miR-21, negligible expression of miR-21 in plasma or organ tissue was observed in miR-21 -/- recipient mice. Correspondingly, when fed vegetarian diets containing the above plant microRNAs, wild-type recipient mice expressed insignificant levels of these microRNAs. Finally, despite oral uptake of pollen containing these plant microRNAs, negligible delivery of these molecules was observed in recipient honeybees. Therefore, we conclude that horizontal delivery of microRNAs via typical dietary ingestion is neither a robust nor a frequent mechanism to maintain steady-state microRNA levels in a variety of model animal organisms, thus defining the biological limits of these molecules in vivo.
Three-quarters of the oceanic crust formed at fast-spreading ridges is composed of plutonic rocks whose mineral assemblages, textures and compositions record the history of melt transport and crystallization between the mantle and the sea floor. Despite the importance of these rocks, sampling them in situ is extremely challenging owing to the overlying dykes and lavas. This means that models for understanding the formation of the lower crust are based largely on geophysical studies and ancient analogues (ophiolites) that did not form at typical mid-ocean ridges. Here we describe cored intervals of primitive, modally layered gabbroic rocks from the lower plutonic crust formed at a fast-spreading ridge, sampled by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program at the Hess Deep rift. Centimetre-scale, modally layered rocks, some of which have a strong layering-parallel foliation, confirm a long-held belief that such rocks are a key constituent of the lower oceanic crust formed at fast-spreading ridges. Geochemical analysis of these primitive lower plutonic rocks-in combination with previous geochemical data for shallow-level plutonic rocks, sheeted dykes and lavas-provides the most completely constrained estimate of the bulk composition of fast-spreading oceanic crust so far. Simple crystallization models using this bulk crustal composition as the parental melt accurately predict the bulk composition of both the lavas and the plutonic rocks. However, the recovered plutonic rocks show early crystallization of orthopyroxene, which is not predicted by current models of melt extraction from the mantle and mid-ocean-ridge basalt differentiation. The simplest explanation of this observation is that compositionally diverse melts are extracted from the mantle and partly crystallize before mixing to produce the more homogeneous magmas that erupt.
Foragers facilitate horizontal pathogen transmission in honey bee colonies, yet their systemic immune function wanes during transition to this life stage. In general, the insect immune system can be categorized into mechanisms operating at both the barrier epithelial surfaces and at the systemic level. As proposed by the intergenerational transfer theory of aging, such immunosenescence may result from changes in group resource allocation. Yet, the relative influence of pathogen transmission and resource allocation on immune function in bees from different stages has not been examined in the context of barrier immunity. We find that expression levels of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in honey bee barrier epithelia of the digestive tract do not follow a life stage-dependent decrease. In addition, correlation of AMP transcript abundance with microbe levels reveals a number of microbe-associated changes in AMPs levels that are equivalent between nurses and foragers. These results favor a model in which barrier effectors are maintained in foragers as a first line of defense, while systemic immune effectors are dismantled to optimize hive-level resources. These findings have important implications for our understanding of immunosenescence in honey bees and other social insects.
Master transcriptional regulators of development often function through dispersed cis elements at endogenous target genes. While cis-elements are routinely studied in transfection and transgenic reporter assays, it is challenging to ascertain how they function in vivo. To address this problem in the context of the locus encoding the critical hematopoietic transcription factor Gata2, we engineered mice lacking a cluster of GATA motifs 2.8 kb upstream of the Gata2 transcriptional start site. We demonstrate that the -2.8 kb site confers maximal Gata2 expression in hematopoietic stem cells and specific hematopoietic progenitors. By contrast to our previous demonstration that a palindromic GATA motif at the neighboring -1.8 kb site maintains Gata2 repression in terminally differentiating erythroid cells, the -2.8 kb site was not required to initiate or maintain repression. These analyses reveal qualitatively distinct functions of 2 GATA motif-containing regions in vivo.
In development, lineage-restricted transcription factors simultaneously promote differentiation while repressing alternative fates. Molecular dissection of this process has been challenging as transcription factor loci are regulated by many trans-acting factors functioning through dispersed cis elements. It is not understood whether these elements function collectively to confer transcriptional regulation, or individually to control specific aspects of activation or repression, such as initiation versus maintenance. Here, we have analyzed cis element regulation of the critical hematopoietic factor Gata2, which is expressed in early precursors and repressed as GATA-1 levels rise during terminal differentiation. We engineered mice lacking a single cis element -1.8 kb upstream of the Gata2 transcriptional start site. Although Gata2 is normally repressed in late-stage erythroblasts, the -1.8 kb mutation unexpectedly resulted in reactivated Gata2 transcription, blocked differentiation, and an aberrant lineage-specific gene expression pattern. Our findings demonstrate that the -1.8 kb site selectively maintains repression, confers a specific histone modification pattern and expels RNA Polymerase II from the locus. These studies reveal how an individual cis element establishes a normal developmental program via regulating specific steps in the mechanism by which a critical transcription factor is repressed.
Erythropoietic and megakaryocytic programs are specified from multipotential progenitors by the transcription factor GATA1. FOG1, a GATA1-interaction partner, is critical for GATA1 function in several contexts by bringing multiple complexes into association with GATA1 to facilitate activation or repression of target genes. To further elucidate regulation of these associations by cellular and extracellular cues, we examined FOG1 for post-translational modifications. We found that FOG1 is SUMOylated and phosphorylated in erythroid cells in a differentiation-dependent manner. Removal of the SUMOylation sites in FOG1 does not impair nuclear localization, protein stability, or chromatin occupancy. However, SUMOylation of FOG1 modulates interactions with C-terminal binding protein family members, specifically promoting CTBP1 binding. Phosphorylation of FOG1 modulates SUMOylation and, therefore, indirectly regulates the CTBP interaction. Post-translational modification of FOG1 may contribute to control of co-occupancy by CTBP family members, the NuRD complex, and GATA1 at differentially regulated genes.
c-Myc (Myc) is an important transcriptional regulator in embryonic stem (ES) cells, somatic cell reprogramming, and cancer. Here, we identify a Myc-centered regulatory network in ES cells by combining protein-protein and protein-DNA interaction studies and show that Myc interacts with the NuA4 complex, a regulator of ES cell identity. In combination with regulatory network information, we define three ES cell modules (Core, Polycomb, and Myc) and show that the modules are functionally separable, illustrating that the overall ES cell transcription program is composed of distinct units. With these modules as an analytical tool, we have reassessed the hypothesis linking an ES cell signature with cancer or cancer stem cells. We find that the Myc module, independent of the Core module, is active in various cancers and predicts cancer outcome. The apparent similarity of cancer and ES cell signatures reflects, in large part, the pervasive nature of Myc regulatory networks.
Erythropoietic and megakaryocytic programs are directed by the transcription factor GATA1. Friend of GATA1 (FOG1), a protein interaction partner of GATA1, is critical for GATA1 function in multiple contexts. Previous work has shown that FOG1 recruits two multi-protein complexes, the nucleosome remodeling domain (NuRD) complex and a C-terminal binding protein (CTBP)-containing complex, into association with GATA1 to mediate activation and repression of target genes. To elucidate mechanisms that might differentially regulate the association of FOG1, as well as GATA1, with these two complexes, we characterized a previously unrecognized translational isoform of FOG1. We found that an N-terminally truncated version of FOG1 is produced from an internal ATG and that this isoform, designated FOG1S, lacks the nucleosome remodeling domain-binding domain, altering the complexes with which it interacts. Both isoforms interact with the C-terminal binding protein complex, which we show also contains lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1). FOG1S is preferentially excluded from the nucleus by unknown mechanisms. These data reveal two novel mechanisms for the regulation of GATA1 interaction with FOG1-dependent protein complexes through the production of two translational isoforms with differential interaction profiles and independent nuclear localization controls.
DNA methylation is essential for development and in diverse biological processes. The DNA methyltransferase Dnmt1 maintains parental cell methylation patterns on daughter DNA strands in mitotic cells; however, the precise role of Dnmt1 in regulation of quiescent adult stem cells is not known. To examine the role of Dnmt1 in adult hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), we conditionally disrupted Dnmt1 in the hematopoietic system. Defects were observed in Dnmt1-deficient HSC self-renewal, niche retention, and in the ability of Dnmt1-deficient HSCs to give rise to multilineage hematopoiesis. Loss of Dnmt1 also had specific impact on myeloid progenitor cells, causing enhanced cell cycling and inappropriate expression of mature lineage genes. Dnmt1 regulates distinct patterns of methylation and expression of discrete gene families in long-term HSCs and multipotent and lineage-restricted progenitors, suggesting that Dnmt1 differentially controls these populations. These findings establish a unique and critical role for Dnmt1 in the primitive hematopoietic compartment.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.