Author(s): Riethmacher D, Brinkmann V, Birchmeier C
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Abstract The Ca(2+)-dependent cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin functions in the establishment and maintenance of epithelial cell morphology during embryogenesis and adulthood. Downregulation or complete shut-down of E-cadherin expression and mutation of the gene are observed during the progression of tumors of epithelial origin (carcinomas) and correlate with the metastatic potential. We have introduced a targeted mutation into the E-cadherin gene by homologous recombination in mouse embryonic stem cells. The mutation removes E-cadherin sequences essential for Ca2+ binding and for adhesive function. These embryonic stem cells were used to generate mice carrying the mutation. Heterozygous mutant animals appear normal and are fertile. However, the homozygous mutation is not compatible with life: E-cadherin -/- embryos show severe abnormalities before implantation. Particularly, the adhesive cells of the morula dissociate shortly after compaction has occurred, and their morphological polarization is then destroyed. Interestingly, the blastomers are still able to form desmosomes and tight junctions at sites of distorted cell-cell contact. Thus, maternal E-cadherin suffices for initial compaction of the morula but not for further preimplantation development to occur.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Human Genetics & Embryology
- Yosef Yarden
Classically, the 3âuntranslated region (3âUTR) is that region in eukaryotic protein-coding genes from the translation termination codon to the polyA signal. It is transcribed as an integral part of the mRNA encoded by the gene. However, there exists another kind of RNA, which consists of the 3âUTR alone, without all other elements in mRNA such as 5âUTR and coding region. The importance of independent 3âUTR RNA (referred as I3âUTR) was prompted by results of artificially introducing such RNA species into malignant mammalian cells. Since 1991, we found that the middle part of the 3âUTR of the human nuclear factor for interleukin-6 (NF-IL6) or C/EBP gene exerted tumor suppression effect in vivo. Our subsequent studies showed that transfection of C/EBP 3âUTR led to down-regulation of several genes favorable for malignancy and to up-regulation of some genes favorable for phenotypic reversion. Also, it was shown that the sequences near the termini of the C/EBP 3âUTR were important for its tumor suppression activity. Then, the C/EBP 3âUTR was found to directly inhibit the phosphorylation activity of protein kinase CPKC in SMMC-7721, a hepatocarcinoma cell line. Recently, an AU-rich region in the C/EBP 3âUTR was found also to be responsible for its tumor suppression. Recently we have also found evidence that the independent C/EBP 3âUTR RNA is actually exists in human tissues, such as fetal liver and heart, pregnant uterus, senescent fibroblasts etc. Through 1990âs to 2000âs, world scientists found several 3âUTR RNAs that functioned as artificial independent RNAs in cancer cells and resulted in tumor suppression. Interestingly, majority of genes for these RNAs have promoter-like structures in their 3âUTR regions, although the existence of their transcribed products as independent 3âUTR RNAs is still to be confirmed. Our studies indicate that the independent 3âUTR RNA is a novel non-coding RNA species whose function should be the regulation not of the expression of their original mRNA, but of some essential life activities of the cell as a whole.
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- Chuanling Zhang
Genetic Code Expansion in Natural Propagation for Site-Specific Engineering and Tracking of Single Adeno-Associated Viruses
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