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    10/01/85 | In vitro replication of human mitochondrial DNA: accurate initiation at the origin of light-strand synthesis.
    Wong TW, Clayton DA
    Cell. 1985 Oct;42(3):951-8. doi: 10.1101/gad.1352105

    Synthesis of human light-strand mitochondrial DNA was accomplished in vitro using DNA primase, DNA polymerase, and other accessory proteins isolated from human mitochondria. Replication begins with the synthesis of primer RNA on a T-rich sequence in the origin stem-loop structure of the template DNA and absolutely requires ATP. A transition from RNA synthesis to DNA synthesis occurs near the base of the stem-loop structure and a potential recognition site for signaling that transition has been identified. The start sites of the in vitro products were mapped at the nucleotide level and were found to be in excellent agreement with those of in vivo nascent light-strand DNA. Isolated human mitochondrial enzymes recognize and utilize the bovine, but not the mouse, origin of light-strand replication.

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    Faithful transcription of human mitochondrial DNA has been reproduced in vitro, using a fraction of mitochondrial proteins capable of accurate initiation at both the heavy- and light-strand promoters. Here we report the initial dissection of this system into two nonfunctional components which, upon mixing, reconstitute promoter-specific transcriptional capacity in vitro. One of these components copurifies with the major nonspecific RNA polymerase activity, suggesting its identity. The other component lacks significant polymerase activity, but contains a protein or proteins required for accurate initiation at the two individual promoters by isolated mitochondrial RNA polymerase. This factor facilitates specific transcription, but has little or no effect on nonspecific transcription of a synthetic copolymer (poly(dA-dT)), indicating a positive role in proper promoter recognition. The transcription factor markedly stimulates light-strand transcription, but only moderately enhances transcription initiation at the heavy-strand promoter, suggesting different or additional factor requirements for heavy-strand transcription. These requirements may reflect the functional differences between heavy- and light-strand transcription in vivo and, in particular, the role of the light-strand promoter in priming of heavy-strand DNA replication.

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    06/01/85 | Replication priming and transcription initiate from precisely the same site in mouse mitochondrial DNA.
    Chang DD, Hauswirth WW, Clayton DA
    The EMBO Journal. 1985 Jun;4(6):1559-67. doi: 10.1101/gad.1352105

    Mammalian mitochondrial DNA maintains a novel displacement-loop region containing the major sites of transcriptional initiation and the origin of heavy strand DNA replication. Because the exact map positions of the 5’ termini of nascent mouse displacement-loop strands are known, it is possible to examine directly a potential relationship between replication priming and transcription. Analyses of in vivo nucleic acids complementary to the displacement-loop region reveal two species with identical 5’ ends at map position 16 183. One is entirely RNA and the other is RNA covalently linked to DNA. In the latter the transition from RNA to DNA is sharp, occurring near or within a series of previously identified conserved sequences 74-163 nucleotides downstream from the transcriptional initiation site. These data suggest that the initial events in replication priming and transcription are the same and that the decision to synthesize DNA or RNA is a downstream event under the control of short, conserved displacement-loop template sequences.

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    Zuker LabRubin Lab
    04/01/85 | Isolation and structure of a rhodopsin gene from D. melanogaster.
    Zuker CS, Cowman AF, Rubin GM
    Cell. 1985 Apr;40(4):851-8. doi: 10.1186/gb-2007-8-7-r145

    Using a novel method for detecting cross-homologous nucleic acid sequences we have isolated the gene coding for the major rhodopsin of Drosophila melanogaster and mapped it to chromosomal region 92B8-11. Comparison of cDNA and genomic DNA sequences indicates that the gene is divided into five exons. The amino acid sequence deduced from the nucleotide sequence is 373 residues long, and the polypeptide chain contains seven hydrophobic segments that appear to correspond to the seven transmembrane segments characteristic of other rhodopsins. Three regions of Drosophila rhodopsin are highly conserved with the corresponding domains of bovine rhodopsin, suggesting an important role for these polypeptide regions.

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    Baker Lab
    02/01/85 | Sex-specific regulation of yolk protein gene expression in Drosophila.
    Baker B, Belote J, Handler A, Wolfner M, Livak K
    Cell. 1985 Feb;40(2):339-48

    Many of the genes in the regulatory hierarchy controlling sex determination in Drosophila melanogaster are known. Here we examine how this regulatory hierarchy controls the expression of the structural genes encoding the female-specific yolk polypeptides. Temperature shift experiments with a temperature-sensitive allele of the sex determination regulatory gene transformer-2 (tra-2) showed that tra-2+ function is required in the adult for both the sex-specific initiation and maintenance of YP synthesis. Control of the YP genes by this regulatory hierarchy is at the level of transcription, or transcript stability. The results of temperature shift experiments with abdomens isolated from tra-2ts homozygotes support the notion that the tra-2+ function acts in a cell-autonomous manner to control YP synthesis. These results provide a paradigm for the way this regulatory hierarchy controls the terminal differentiation functions for sexually dimorphic development.

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