Publications by authors named "Daniel J Ferullo"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

C21orf57 is a human homologue of bacterial YbeY proteins.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2017 03 30;484(3):612-617. Epub 2017 Jan 30.

Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. Electronic address:

The product of the human C21orf57 (huYBEY) gene is predicted to be a homologue of the highly conserved YbeY proteins found in nearly all bacteria. We show that, like its bacterial and chloroplast counterparts, the HuYbeY protein is an RNase and that it retains sufficient function in common with bacterial YbeY proteins to partially suppress numerous aspects of the complex phenotype of an Escherichia coli ΔybeY mutant. Expression of HuYbeY in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which lacks a YbeY homologue, results in a severe growth phenotype. This observation suggests that the function of HuYbeY in human cells is likely regulated through specific interactions with partner proteins similarly to the way YbeY is regulated in bacteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.01.149DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5318257PMC
March 2017

The ObgE/CgtA GTPase influences the stringent response to amino acid starvation in Escherichia coli.

Mol Microbiol 2009 Jul 23;73(2):253-66. Epub 2009 Jun 23.

Department of Biology and Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, USA.

The stringent response is important for bacterial survival under stressful conditions, such as amino acid starvation, and is characterized by the accumulation of ppGpp and pppGpp. ObgE (CgtA, YhbZ) is an essential conserved GTPase in Escherichia coli and several observations have implicated the protein in the control of the stringent response. However, consequences of the protein on specific responses to amino acid starvation have not been noted. We show that ObgE binds to ppGpp with biologically relevant affinity in vitro, implicating ppGpp as an in vivo ligand of ObgE. ObgE mutants increase the ratio of pppGpp to ppGpp within the cell during the stringent response. These changes are correlated with a delayed inhibition of DNA replication by the stringent response, delayed resumption of DNA replication after release, as well as a decreased survival after amino acid deprivation. With these data, we place ObgE as an active effector of the response to amino acid starvation in vivo. Our data correlate the pppGpp/ppGpp ratio with DNA replication control under bacterial starvation conditions, suggesting a possible role for the relative balance of these two nucleotides.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2958.2009.06767.xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2771346PMC
July 2009

Cell cycle synchronization of Escherichia coli using the stringent response, with fluorescence labeling assays for DNA content and replication.

Methods 2009 May 24;48(1):8-13. Epub 2009 Feb 24.

Department of Biology and Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454-9110, USA.

We describe a method for synchronization of the cell cycle in the bacterium Escherichia coli. Treatment of asynchronous cultures with the amino acid analog, dl-serine hydroxamate, induces the stringent response, with concomitant arrest of DNA replication at initiation. Following release of the stringent response, cells initiate DNA replication in synchrony, as determined by flow cytometry for DNA content, Southern blotting and microscopy. This method has the advantage that it can be used in fully wild-type cells, at different growth rates, and may be applicable to other bacterial species with replication control by the stringent response. We also elaborate other methods useful for establishing cell cycle parameters in bacterial populations. We describe flow cytometric methods for analyzing bacterial populations for DNA content using the DNA-specific dye PicoGreen, readily detected by most commercial flow cytometers. We also present an method for incorporation of the nucleotide ethynyl-deoxyuridine, EdU, followed by "click" labeling with fluorescent dyes, which allows us to measure and visualize newly replicated DNA in fixed E. coli K-12 cells under non-denaturing conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymeth.2009.02.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2746677PMC
May 2009

The stringent response and cell cycle arrest in Escherichia coli.

PLoS Genet 2008 Dec 12;4(12):e1000300. Epub 2008 Dec 12.

Department of Biology and Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, USA.

The bacterial stringent response, triggered by nutritional deprivation, causes an accumulation of the signaling nucleotides pppGpp and ppGpp. We characterize the replication arrest that occurs during the stringent response in Escherichia coli. Wild type cells undergo a RelA-dependent arrest after treatment with serine hydroxamate to contain an integer number of chromosomes and a replication origin-to-terminus ratio of 1. The growth rate prior to starvation determines the number of chromosomes upon arrest. Nucleoids of these cells are decondensed; in the absence of the ability to synthesize ppGpp, nucleoids become highly condensed, similar to that seen after treatment with the translational inhibitor chloramphenicol. After induction of the stringent response, while regions corresponding to the origins of replication segregate, the termini remain colocalized in wild-type cells. In contrast, cells arrested by rifampicin and cephalexin do not show colocalized termini, suggesting that the stringent response arrests chromosome segregation at a specific point. Release from starvation causes rapid nucleoid reorganization, chromosome segregation, and resumption of replication. Arrest of replication and inhibition of colony formation by ppGpp accumulation is relieved in seqA and dam mutants, although other aspects of the stringent response appear to be intact. We propose that DNA methylation and SeqA binding to non-origin loci is necessary to enforce a full stringent arrest, affecting both initiation of replication and chromosome segregation. This is the first indication that bacterial chromosome segregation, whose mechanism is not understood, is a step that may be regulated in response to environmental conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1000300DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2586660PMC
December 2008

Chromosome segregation control by Escherichia coli ObgE GTPase.

Mol Microbiol 2007 Jul 18;65(2):569-81. Epub 2007 Jun 18.

Department of Biology and Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454-9110, USA.

Escherichia coli cells depleted of the conserved GTPase, ObgE, show early chromosome-partitioning defects and accumulate replicated chromosomes in which the terminus regions are colocalized. Cells lacking ObgE continue to initiate replication, with a normal ratio of the origin to terminus. Localization of the SeqA DNA binding protein, normally seen as punctate foci, however, was disturbed. Depletion of ObgE also results in cell filamentation, with polyploid DNA content. Depletion of ObgE did not cause lethality, and cells recovered fully after expression of ObgE was restored. We propose a model in which ObgE is required to license chromosome segregation and subsequent cell cycle events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2958.2007.05811.xDOI Listing
July 2007

A late-acting quality control process for mature eukaryotic rRNAs.

Mol Cell 2006 Nov;24(4):619-26

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts 02454, USA.

Ribosome biogenesis is a multifaceted process involving a host of trans-acting factors mediating numerous chemical reactions, RNA conformational changes, and RNA-protein associations. Given this high degree of complexity, tight quality control is likely crucial to ensure structural and functional integrity of the end products. We demonstrate that ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) containing individual point mutations, in either the 25S peptidyl transferase center or 18S decoding site, that adversely affect ribosome function are strongly downregulated in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This downregulation occurs via decreased stability of the mature rRNA contained in fully assembled ribosomes and ribosomal subunits. Thus, eukaryotes possess a quality-control mechanism, nonfunctional rRNA decay (NRD), capable of detecting and eliminating the rRNA component of mature ribosomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2006.10.008DOI Listing
November 2006