• June 18, 2021

Dendritic cells and the control of immunity.

Potent and specific genetic interference by double-stranded RNA in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Experimental introduction of RNA into cells can be used in certain biological systems to interfere with the function of an endogenous gene. Such effects have been proposed to result from a simple antisense mechanism that depends on hybridization between the injected RNA and endogenous messenger RNA transcripts. RNA interference has been used in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to manipulate gene expression. Here we investigate the requirements for structure and delivery of the interfering RNA.
To our surprise, we found that double-stranded RNA was substantially more effective at producing interference than was either strand individually. After injection into adult animals, purified single strands had at most a modest effect, whereas double-stranded mixtures caused potent and specific interference. The effects of this interference were evident in both the injected animals and their progeny. Only a few molecules of injected double-stranded RNA were required per affected cell, arguing against stochiometric interference with endogenous mRNA and suggesting that there could be a catalytic or amplification component in the interference process.

GUS fusions: beta-glucuronidase as a sensitive and versatile gene fusion marker in higher plants.

We have used the Escherichia coli beta-glucuronidase gene (GUS) as a gene fusion marker for analysis of gene expression in transformed plants. Higher plants tested lack intrinsic beta-glucuronidase activity, thus enhancing the sensitivity with which measurements can be made. We have constructed gene fusions using the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter or the promoter from a gene encoding the small subunit of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase (rbcS) to direct the expression of beta-glucuronidase in transformed plants.
Expression of GUS can be measured accurately using fluorometric assays of very small amounts of transformed plant tissue. Plants expressing GUS are normal, healthy and fertile. GUS is very stable, and tissue extracts continue to show high levels of GUS activity after prolonged storage. Histochemical analysis has been used to demonstrate the localization of gene activity in cells and tissues of transformed plants.

Dendritic cells and the control of immunity.

B and T lymphocytes are the mediators of immunity, but their function is under the control of dendritic cells. Dendritic cells in the periphery capture and process antigens, express lymphocyte co-stimulatory molecules, migrate to lymphoid organs and secrete cytokines to initiate immune responses. They not only activate lymphocytes, they also tolerize T cells to antigens that are innate to the body (self-antigens), thereby minimizing autoimmune reactions. Once a neglected cell type, dendritic cells can now be readily obtained in sufficient quantities to allow molecular and cell biological analysis. With knowledge comes the realization that these cells are a powerful tool for manipulating the immune system.

SPAdes: a new genome assembly algorithm and its applications to single-cell sequencing.

The lion’s share of bacteria in various environments cannot be cloned in the laboratory and thus cannot be sequenced using existing technologies. A major goal of single-cell genomics is to complement gene-centric metagenomic data with whole-genome assemblies of uncultivated organisms.
Assembly of single-cell data is challenging because of highly non-uniform read coverage as well as elevated levels of sequencing errors and chimeric reads. We describe SPAdes, a new assembler for both single-cell and standard (multicell) assembly, and demonstrate that it improves on the recently released E+V-SC assembler (specialized for single-cell data) and on popular assemblers Velvet and SoapDeNovo (for multicell data). SPAdes generates single-cell assemblies, providing information about genomes of uncultivatable bacteria that vastly exceeds what may be obtained via traditional metagenomics studies. SPAdes is available online ( http://bioinf.spbau.ru/spades ). It is distributed as open source software.

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