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  1. Medema, Marnix (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT The scale of post-transcriptional regulation and the implications of its interplay with other forms of regulation in environmental acclimation are underexplored for organisms of the domain Archaea . Here, we have investigated the scale of post-transcriptional regulation in the extremely halophilic archaeon Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1 by integrating the transcriptome-wide locations of transcript processing sites (TPSs) and SmAP1 binding, the genome-wide locations of antisense RNAs (asRNAs), and the consequences of RNase_2099C knockout on the differential expression of all genes. This integrated analysis has discovered that 54% of all protein-coding genes in the genome of this haloarchaeon are likely targeted by multiple mechanisms for putative post-transcriptional processing and regulation, with about 20% of genes likely being regulated by combinatorial schemes involving SmAP1, asRNAs, and RNase_2099C. Comparative analysis of mRNA levels (transcriptome sequencing [RNA-Seq]) and protein levels (sequential window acquisition of all theoretical fragment ion spectra mass spectrometry [SWATH-MS]) for 2,579 genes over four phases of batch culture growth in complex medium generated additional evidence for the conditional post-transcriptional regulation of 7% of all protein-coding genes. We demonstrate that post-transcriptional regulation may act to fine-tune specialized and rapid acclimation to stressful environments, e.g., as a switch to turn on gas vesicle biogenesis to promote vertical relocation under anoxic conditions and modulate the frequency of transposition by insertion sequence (IS) elements of the IS 200 /IS 605 , IS 4 , and IS H3 families. Findings from this study are provided as an atlas in a public Web resource ( ). IMPORTANCE While the transcriptional regulation landscape of archaea has been extensively investigated, we currently have limited knowledge about post-transcriptional regulation and its driving mechanisms in this domain of life. In this study, we collected and integrated omics data from multiple sources and technologies to infer post-transcriptionally regulated genes and the putative mechanisms modulating their expression at the protein level in Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1. The results suggest that post-transcriptional regulation may drive environmental acclimation by regulating hallmark biological processes. To foster discoveries by other research groups interested in the topic, we extended our integrated data to the public in the form of an interactive atlas ( ). 
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  2. Weiss, Louis M. (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Gametocytes of the malaria parasite Plasmodium are taken up by the mosquito vector with an infectious blood meal, representing a critical stage for parasite transmission. Calcium-independent protein kinases (CDPKs) play key roles in calcium-mediated signaling across the complex life cycle of the parasite. We sought to understand their role in human parasite transmission from the host to the mosquito vector and thus investigated the role of the human-infective parasite Plasmodium falciparum CDPK4 in the parasite life cycle. P. falciparum cdpk4 − parasites created by targeted gene deletion showed no effect in blood stage development or gametocyte development. However, cdpk4 − parasites showed a severe defect in male gametogenesis and the emergence of flagellated male gametes. To understand the molecular underpinnings of this defect, we performed mass spectrometry-based phosphoproteomic analyses of wild-type and Plasmodium falciparum cdpk4 − late gametocyte stages to identify key CDPK4-mediated phosphorylation events that may be important for the regulation of male gametogenesis. We further employed in vitro assays to identify these putative substrates of Plasmodium falciparum CDPK4. This indicated that CDPK4 regulates male gametogenesis by directly or indirectly controlling key essential events, such as DNA replication, mRNA translation, and cell motility. Taken together, our work demonstrates that PfCDPK4 is a central kinase that regulates exflagellation and thereby is critical for parasite transmission to the mosquito vector. IMPORTANCE Transmission of the malaria parasite to the mosquito vector is critical for the completion of the sexual stage of the parasite life cycle and is dependent on the release of male gametes from the gametocyte body inside the mosquito midgut. In the present study, we demonstrate that PfCDPK4 is critical for male gametogenesis and is involved in phosphorylation of proteins essential for male gamete emergence. Targeting PfCDPK4 and its substrates may provide insights into achieving effective malaria transmission-blocking strategies. 
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  3. Organ-specific proteins (OSPs) possess great medical potential both in clinics and in biomedical research. Applications of them—such as alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, and troponins—in clinics have raised certain concerns of their organ specificity. The dynamics and diversity of protein expression in heterogeneous human populations are well known, yet their effects on OSPs are less addressed. Here, we used mice as a model and implemented a breadth study to examine the panorgan proteome for potential variations in organ specificity in different genetic backgrounds. Using reasonable resources, we generated panorgan proteomes of four in-bred mouse strains. The results revealed a large diversity that was more profound among OSPs than among proteomes overall. We defined a robustness score to quantify such variation and derived three sets of OSPs with different stringencies. In the meantime, we found that the enriched biological functions of OSPs are also organ-specific and are sensitive and useful to assess the quality of OSPs. We hope our breadth study can open doors to explore the molecular diversity and dynamics of organ specificity at the protein level. 
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