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1358 Publications

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    Baker Lab
    02/01/87 | A molecular analysis of transformer, a gene in Drosophila that controls female sexual differentiation.
    Baker B, McKeown M, Belote J
    Cell. 1987 Feb;48(3):489-99

    The transformer (tra) gene regulates all aspects of somatic sexual differentiation in Drosophila melanogaster females and has no function in males. We have isolated the tra gene as part of a 200 kb chromosomal walk. The 25 kb region around tra contains four genetically identified complementation groups and at least six transcriptional units. Germ-line transformation experiments indicate that a fragment of 2 kb is sufficient to supply tra+ function. Mapping of cDNAs from tra and from the adjacent genes indicates that the tra+ transcription unit is 1.2 kb or less. This transcription unit gives rise to a 1.0 kb RNA that is female-specific and a 1.2 kb RNA that is present in both sexes. tra+ and the gene at the 3' side overlap slightly in the 3' ends of their RNA coding sequences. These results suggest that tra+ function is regulated at the level of production of the female-specific tra RNA. The fact that a tra transcript is found in males raises interesting possibilities for how tra expression is controlled.

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    01/22/87 | Postembryonic neurogenesis in the CNS of the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta. I. Neuroblast arrays and the fate of their progeny during metamorphosis.
    Booker R, Truman JW
    The Journal of Comparative Neurology. 1987 Jan 22;255(4):548-59. doi: 10.1002/cne.902550407

    The tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta exhibits dramatic changes in its body morphology and behavior as it is transformed from a larva into an adult during metamorphosis. Accompanying these changes is an extensive reorganization of this moth’s central nervous system (CNS), which involves both the death and remodeling of subsets of larval neurons. We report here that the segmental ganglia of the larvae also contain a stereotyped array of identifiable neuronal stem cells (neuroblasts) that contribute over 2,000 cells to each thoracic ganglion and about 40-80 cells to each abdominal ganglion. The distribution of these neuroblasts varies in a segment specific manner. Dormant neuroblasts are found adjacent to the neuropil in late embryos and early first instar larvae. After the molt to the second instar, these cells enlarge and begin to divide. Through a series of asymmetrical divisions, each neuroblast generates a discrete nest of 10-90 progeny by the end of larval life. These progeny (the imaginal nest cells) are developmentally arrested at an early stage of differentiation and remain so until metamorphosis. At the onset of metamorphosis, a wave of cell death sweeps through the nests, the extent of the death being much greater within the abdominal nests than in the thoracic nests. The surviving imaginal nest cells then differentiate to become functional neurons that are incorporated into the adult CNS.

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    11/01/86 | An O(ND) difference algorithm and its variations.
    Myers E
    Algorithmica. 1986 Nov;1:251-66

    The problems of finding a longest common subsequence of two sequences A and B and a shortest edit script for transforming A into B have long been known to be dual problems. In this paper, they are shown to be equivalent to finding a shortest/longest path in an edit graph. Using this perspective, a simple O(ND) time and space algorithm is developed where N is the sum of the lengths of A and B and D is the size of the minimum edit script for A and B. The algorithm performs well when differences are small (sequences are similar) and is consequently fast in typical applications. The algorithm is shown to have O(N +D expected-time performance under a basic stochastic model. A refinement of the algorithm requires only O(N) space, and the use of suffix trees leads to an O(NlgN +D ) time variation.

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    06/20/86 | DNA primase of human mitochondria is associated with structural RNA that is essential for enzymatic activity.
    Wong TW, Clayton DA
    Cell. 1986 Jun 20;45(6):817-25. doi: 10.1101/gad.1352105

    DNA primase isolated from human mitochondria sediments in glycerol density gradients at 30S and 70S. These unusually high sedimentation coefficients are a result of association of the primase activity with RNA. Treatment of primase with nuclease not only affects its sedimentation behavior, but also inactivates the primase activity. The major RNA species that cofractionates with primase activity is shown by direct sequence analysis to be cytosolic 5.8S ribosomal RNA (rRNA). Specific degradation of endogenous 5.8S rRNA using ribonuclease H and oligonucleotides complementary to 5.8S rRNA results in reduction of primase activity. Other small RNAs may play a structural role in the formation of an active DNA primase complex.

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    01/17/86 | Tissue specificity of Drosophila P element transposition is regulated at the level of mRNA splicing.
    Laski FA, Rio DC, Rubin GM
    Cell. 1986 Jan 17;44(1):7-19. doi: 10.1186/gb-2007-8-7-r145

    We show that the germline specificity of P element transposition is controlled at the level of mRNA splicing and not at the level of transcription. In the major P element RNA transcript, isolated from somatic cells, the first three open reading frames are joined by the removal of two introns. Using in vitro mutagenesis and genetic analysis we demonstrate the existence of a third intron whose removal is required for transposase production. We propose that this intron is only removed in the germline and that its removal is the sole basis for the germline restriction of P element transposition.

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    01/01/86 | Endocrine regulation of the form and function of axonal arbors during insect metamorphosis.
    Levine RB, Truman JW, Linn D, Bate CM
    The Journal of Neuroscienc : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 1986 Jan;6(1):293-9

    By discrete manipulation of the endocrine cues that control insect metamorphosis, it has been possible to examine the mechanisms governing the growth of neural processes during development. During the transition from larva to pupa in the hawkmoth, Manduca sexta, identified sensory neurons reorganize their central projections to evoke a new behavior–the gintrap reflex. Topical application of a juvenile hormone analog to the peripheral cell bodies of these sensory neurons during a critical period of development caused them to retain their larval commitment rather than undergo pupal development with the rest of the animal. The sensory neurons retained the larval arborization pattern within the pupal CNS and were unable to evoke the gin-trap reflex. Thus, the hormonal environment of the cell body is critical for controlling growth and synapse formation by distant axonal processes.

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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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