point mutations
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2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Jackson Luu ◽  
Connor M. Mott ◽  
Olivia R. Schreiber ◽  
Holly M. Giovinco ◽  
Melanie Betchen ◽  

Bacillus subtilis produces dormant, highly resistant endospores in response to extreme environmental stresses or starvation. These spores are capable of persisting in harsh environments for many years, even decades, without essential nutrients. Part of the reason that these spores can survive such extreme conditions is because their chromosomal DNA is well protected from environmental insults. The α/β-type small acid-soluble proteins (SASPs) coat the spore chromosome, which leads to condensation and protection from such insults. The histone-like protein HBsu has been implicated in the packaging of the spore chromosome and is believed to be important in modulating SASP-mediated alterations to the DNA, including supercoiling and stiffness. Previously, we demonstrated that HBsu is acetylated at seven lysine residues, and one physiological function of acetylation is to regulate chromosomal compaction. Here, we investigate if the process of sporulation or the resistance properties of mature spores are influenced by the acetylation state of HBsu. Using our collection of point mutations that mimic the acetylated and unacetylated forms of HBsu, we first determined if acetylation affects the process of sporulation, by determining the overall sporulation frequencies. We found that specific mutations led to decreases in sporulation frequency, suggesting that acetylation of HBsu at some sites, but not all, is required to regulate the process of sporulation. Next, we determined if the spores produced from the mutant strains were more susceptible to heat, ultraviolet (UV) radiation and formaldehyde exposure. We again found that altering acetylation at specific sites led to less resistance to these stresses, suggesting that proper HBsu acetylation is important for chromosomal packaging and protection in the mature spore. Interestingly, the specific acetylation patterns were different for the sporulation process and resistance properties of spores, which is consistent with the notion that a histone-like code exists in bacteria. We propose that specific acetylation patterns of HBsu are required to ensure proper chromosomal arrangement, packaging, and protection during the process of sporulation.

2022 ◽  
Soumyanetra Chandra ◽  
Kritika Gupta ◽  
Shruti Khare ◽  
Pehu Kohli ◽  
Aparna Asok ◽  

Deep mutational scanning studies suggest that single synonymous mutations are typically silent and that most exposed, non active-site residues are tolerant to mutations. Here we show that the ccdA antitoxin component of the E.coli ccdAB toxin-antitoxin operonic system is unusually sensitive to mutations when studied in the operonic context. A large fraction (~80%) of single codon mutations, including many synonymous mutations in the ccdA gene show inactive phenotypes that are correlated with the E.coli codon usage frequency but retain native-like binding affinity towards cognate toxin, CcdB. Therefore, the observed phenotypic effects are largely not due to alterations in protein structure or stability, consistent with the fact that a large region of CcdA is intrinsically disordered. In select cases, proteomics studies reveal altered ratios of CcdA:CcdB protein levels in vivo, suggesting that these mutations likely alter relative translation efficiencies of the two genes in the operon. We extend these results by predicting and validating single synonymous mutations that lead to loss of function phenotypes in the relBE operon upon introduction of rarer codons. Thus, in their native context, genes are likely to be more sensitive to both synonymous and non-synonymous point mutations than inferred from previous saturation mutagenesis studies.

Viruses ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 14 (1) ◽  
pp. 146
Angelo Pavesi ◽  
Fabio Romerio

Gene overprinting occurs when point mutations within a genomic region with an existing coding sequence create a new one in another reading frame. This process is quite frequent in viral genomes either to maximize the amount of information that they encode or in response to strong selective pressure. The most frequent scenario involves two different reading frames in the same DNA strand (sense overlap). Much less frequent are cases of overlapping genes that are encoded on opposite DNA strands (antisense overlap). One such example is the antisense ORF, asp in the minus strand of the HIV-1 genome overlapping the env gene. The asp gene is highly conserved in pandemic HIV-1 strains of group M, and it is absent in non-pandemic HIV-1 groups, HIV-2, and lentiviruses infecting non-human primates, suggesting that the ~190-amino acid protein that is expressed from this gene (ASP) may play a role in virus spread. While the function of ASP in the virus life cycle remains to be elucidated, mounting evidence from several research groups indicates that ASP is expressed in vivo. There are two alternative hypotheses that could be envisioned to explain the origin of the asp ORF. On one hand, asp may have originally been present in the ancestor of contemporary lentiviruses, and subsequently lost in all descendants except for most HIV-1 strains of group M due to selective advantage. Alternatively, the asp ORF may have originated very recently with the emergence of group M HIV-1 strains from SIVcpz. Here, we used a combination of computational and statistical approaches to study the genomic region of env in primate lentiviruses to shed light on the origin, structure, and sequence evolution of the asp ORF. The results emerging from our studies support the hypothesis of a recent de novo addition of the antisense ORF to the HIV-1 genome through a process that entailed progressive removal of existing internal stop codons from SIV strains to HIV-1 strains of group M, and fine tuning of the codon sequence in env that reduced the chances of new stop codons occurring in asp. Altogether, the study supports the notion that the HIV-1 asp gene encodes an accessory protein, providing a selective advantage to the virus.

2022 ◽  
Brenda Martínez-González ◽  
María Eugenia Soria ◽  
Lucia Vazquez-Sirvent ◽  
Cristina Ferrer-Orta ◽  
Rebeca Lobo-Vega ◽  

Mutant spectra of RNA viruses are important to understand viral pathogenesis, and response to selective pressures. There is a need to characterize the complexity of mutant spectra in coronaviruses sampled from infected patients. In particular, the possible relationship between SARS-CoV-2 mutant spectrum complexity and disease associations has not been established. In the present study, we report an ultra-deep sequencing (UDS) analysis of the mutant spectrum of amplicons from the nsp12 (polymerase)- and spike (S)-coding regions of thirty nasopharyngeal isolates (diagnostic samples) of SARS-CoV-2 of the first COVID-19 pandemic wave (Madrid, Spain, April 2020) classified according to the severity of ensuing COVID-19. Low frequency mutations and deletions, counted relative to the consensus sequence of the corresponding isolate, were overwhelmingly abundant. We show that the average number of different point mutations, mutations per haplotype and several diversity indices was significantly higher in SARS-CoV-2 isolated from patients who developed mild disease than in those associated with moderate or severe disease (exitus). No such bias was observed with RNA deletions. Location of amino acid substitutions in the three dimensional structures of nsp12 (polymerase) and S suggest significant structural or functional effects. Thus, patients who develop mild symptoms may be a richer source of genetic variants of SARS-CoV-2 than patients with moderate or severe COVID-19.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Hesham M. Al-Mekhlafi ◽  
Aymen M. Madkhali ◽  
Ahmed A. Abdulhaq ◽  
Wahib M. Atroosh ◽  
Ahmad Hassn Ghzwani ◽  

AbstractA total of 227 Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Jazan region, southwestern Saudi Arabia were amplified for the P. falciparum multi-drug resistance 1 (pfmdr1) gene to detect point mutations 11 years after the introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) in Saudi Arabia. The pfmdr1 86Y mutation was found in 11.5% (26/227) of the isolates while the N86 wild allele was detected in 88.5%. Moreover, 184F point mutations dominated (86.3%) the instances of pfmdr1 polymorphism while no mutation was observed at codons 1034, 1042 and 1246. Three pfmdr1 haplotypes were identified, NFSND (74.9%), NYSND (13.7%) and YFSND (11.4%). Associations of the prevalence of 86Y mutation and YFSND haplotype with participants’ nationality, residency and parasitaemia level were found to be significant (P < 0.05). The findings revealed significant decline in the prevalence of the pfmdr1 86Y mutation in P. falciparum isolates from Jazan region over a decade after the implementation of ACT treatment. Moreover, the high prevalence of the NFSND haplotype might be indicative of the potential emergence of CQ-sensitive but artemether-lumefantrine-resistant P. falciparum strains since the adoption of ACT. Therefore, continuous monitoring of the molecular markers of antimalarial drug resistance in Jazan region is highly recommended.

2022 ◽  
Vol 11 (6) ◽  
pp. 685-689
Abdi Meriem ◽  
Zemani-Fodil Faouzia

Hemophilia A (HA) is the most severe X-linked inherited bleeding disorder caused by hemizygous mutations in the F8 gene. Several F8 mutations are responsible of HA including intron 1 and 22 micro-inversions, large and small deletions, insertions, duplications, and point mutations. In a previous study, we determined the molecular causes of HA in 85% of patients group studied. However, no mutation were found in three unrelated patients origi-nating from Western Algeria. In the present study, we sought to characterize the molecular origin of HA in three patients by investigating rearrangements in the F8 gene using the MLPA method. Comparaison between case results and healthy controls showed absence of deletions or duplications in the F8 gene in these three hemophiliacs A patients. This finding has already been reported in many studies where any F8 mutation or rearrangement has been identified. Further analysis are required in order to determine the molecular origin of the disease in these families. It would be very interesting to look for deep intonic mutations and to study epigenetic mechanisms as well as DNA methylation and miRNAs.

2022 ◽  
Vol 23 (2) ◽  
pp. 771
José Manuel Ezquerra-Aznárez ◽  
Giulia Degiacomi ◽  
Henrich Gašparovič ◽  
Giovanni Stelitano ◽  
Josè Camilla Sammartino ◽  

Avermectins are macrocyclic lactones with anthelmintic activity. Recently, they were found to be effective against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which accounts for one third of the worldwide deaths from antimicrobial resistance. However, their anti-mycobacterial mode of action remains to be elucidated. The activity of selamectin was determined against a panel of M. tuberculosis mutants. Two strains carrying mutations in DprE1, the decaprenylphosphoryl-β-D-ribose oxidase involved in the synthesis of mycobacterial arabinogalactan, were more susceptible to selamectin. Biochemical assays against the Mycobacterium smegmatis DprE1 protein confirmed this finding, and docking studies predicted a binding site in a loop that included Leu275. Sequence alignment revealed variants in this position among mycobacterial species, with the size and hydrophobicity of the residue correlating with their MIC values; M. smegmatis DprE1 variants carrying these point mutations validated the docking predictions. However, the correlation was not confirmed when M. smegmatis mutant strains were constructed and MIC phenotypic assays performed. Likewise, metabolic labeling of selamectin-treated M. smegmatis and M. tuberculosis cells with 14C-labeled acetate did not reveal the expected lipid profile associated with DprE1 inhibition. Together, our results confirm the in vitro interactions of selamectin and DprE1 but suggest that selamectin could be a multi-target anti-mycobacterial compound.

2022 ◽  
Qin Yang ◽  
Park Tae-Sung ◽  
Lee Bumkyu ◽  
Lim Myung-Ho

Abstract In the present study, we attempted to knock out the bar gene selection marker in the fixed Bt- and herbicide-resistant transgenic line BT-T07 (T8 generation) to generate a marker-free Bt-resistant rice line. A binary vector containing a CRISPR/Cas9 system targeting the 108–130 bp region of bar was transformed into rice embryonic calli, and plantlets were regenerated under non-selective conditions. Three T0 plants were observed to have non-target point mutations and deletions in the targeted gene and were putatively heterozygous and chimeras. One T0 plant, 130-4, was confirmed to have a 76-nt deletion, from 140 bp to 225 bp, and it showed the segregation of bar in its T1 progenies, with 16 bar-knockout lines and seven normal bar-expressing lines. However, the CRISPR/Cas9 editing vector sequences were not detected in any of the T1 plants. In addition, unusual removal of pre-existing T-DNA was observed in all bar-knockout T1 plants. Illumina sequencing of a bar-knockout line, 130-4-36, revealed a small fraction of read residues of pre-existing T-DNA from the bar sequence to the right border at the original junction site. We speculate that this rare phenomenon might be directed by the homology between pre-existing T-DNA and CRISPR/Cas9 editing vector sequences during meiotic recombination. We report imprecise modifications and unpredictable outcomes of gene-editing techniques, providing valuable perspectives on gene-editing applications.

2022 ◽  
Vol 13 (1) ◽  
Cheng-Yu Tsai ◽  
Emmanuel Oluwatobi Salawu ◽  
Hongchun Li ◽  
Guan-Yu Lin ◽  
Ting-Yu Kuo ◽  

AbstractThe systematic design of functional peptides has technological and therapeutic applications. However, there is a need for pattern-based search engines that help locate desired functional motifs in primary sequences regardless of their evolutionary conservation. Existing databases such as The Protein Secondary Structure database (PSS) no longer serves the community, while the Dictionary of Protein Secondary Structure (DSSP) annotates the secondary structures when tertiary structures of proteins are provided. Here, we extract 1.7 million helices from the PDB and compile them into a database (Therapeutic Peptide Design database; TP-DB) that allows queries of compounded patterns to facilitate the identification of sequence motifs of helical structures. We show how TP-DB helps us identify a known purification-tag-specific antibody that can be repurposed into a diagnostic kit for Helicobacter pylori. We also show how the database can be used to design a new antimicrobial peptide that shows better Candida albicans clearance and lower hemolysis than its template homologs. Finally, we demonstrate how TP-DB can suggest point mutations in helical peptide blockers to prevent a targeted tumorigenic protein-protein interaction. TP-DB is made available at http://dyn.life.nthu.edu.tw/design/.

2022 ◽  
Camryn Carter ◽  
Justin Airas ◽  
Carol A. Parish

SARS-CoV-2 is a coronavirus that has created a global pandemic. The virus contains a spike protein which has been shown to bind to the ACE2 receptor on the surface of human cells. Vaccines have been developed that recognize elements of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and they have been successful in preventing infection. Recently, the omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was reported and quickly became a variant of concern due to its transmissibility. This variant contained an unusually large number (32) of point mutations, of which 15 of those mutations are in the receptor binding domain of the spike protein. In order to assess the differential binding ability of the wild type and omicron variant of the RBD spike protein to human ACE2 receptors, we conducted 2 μs of molecular dynamics simulation to estimate the binding affinities and behaviors. Based upon MM-GBSA binding affinity, center of mass distance measurements, ensemble clustering, pairwise residue decomposition and hydrogen bonding analysis, we can conclude that the 15 point mutations in the receptor binding domain do not increase the affinity of the spike protein for the human ACE2 receptor. The MM-GBSA binding estimations over a 2 μs trajectory, suggest that the wild type binds to ACE2 with a value of -29.69 kcal/mol while the omicron mutant binds with an energy value of -26.67 kcal/mol. These values are within the error estimates of the MM-GBSA method. While some mutations increase binding, more mutations diminish binding, leading to an overall similar picture of binding.

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