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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2016-01-07
    Description: Life sciences are yielding huge data sets that underpin scientific discoveries fundamental to improvement in human health, agriculture and the environment. In support of these discoveries, a plethora of databases and tools are deployed, in technically complex and diverse implementations, across a spectrum of scientific disciplines. The corpus of documentation of these resources is fragmented across the Web, with much redundancy, and has lacked a common standard of information. The outcome is that scientists must often struggle to find, understand, compare and use the best resources for the task at hand. Here we present a community-driven curation effort, supported by ELIXIR—the European infrastructure for biological information—that aspires to a comprehensive and consistent registry of information about bioinformatics resources. The sustainable upkeep of this Tools and Data Services Registry is assured by a curation effort driven by and tailored to local needs, and shared amongst a network of engaged partners. As of November 2015, the registry includes 1785 resources, with depositions from 126 individual registrations including 52 institutional providers and 74 individuals. With community support, the registry can become a standard for dissemination of information about bioinformatics resources: we welcome everyone to join us in this common endeavour. The registry is freely available at https://bio.tools .
    Print ISSN: 0305-1048
    Electronic ISSN: 1362-4962
    Topics: Biology
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2012-12-20
    Description: This article summarizes our progress with RegulonDB ( http://regulondb.ccg.unam.mx/ ) during the past 2 years. We have kept up-to-date the knowledge from the published literature regarding transcriptional regulation in Escherichia coli K-12. We have maintained and expanded our curation efforts to improve the breadth and quality of the encoded experimental knowledge, and we have implemented criteria for the quality of our computational predictions. Regulatory phrases now provide high-level descriptions of regulatory regions. We expanded the assignment of quality to various sources of evidence, particularly for knowledge generated through high-throughput (HT) technology. Based on our analysis of most relevant methods, we defined rules for determining the quality of evidence when multiple independent sources support an entry. With this latest release of RegulonDB, we present a new highly reliable larger collection of transcription start sites, a result of our experimental HT genome-wide efforts. These improvements, together with several novel enhancements (the tracks display, uploading format and curational guidelines), address the challenges of incorporating HT-generated knowledge into RegulonDB. Information on the evolutionary conservation of regulatory elements is also available now. Altogether, RegulonDB version 8.0 is a much better home for integrating knowledge on gene regulation from the sources of information currently available.
    Print ISSN: 0305-1048
    Electronic ISSN: 1362-4962
    Topics: Biology
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  • 3
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    Oxford University Press
    Publication Date: 2015-01-16
    Description: We present SuperFly ( http://superfly.crg.eu ), a relational database for quantified spatio-temporal expression data of segmentation genes during early development in different species of dipteran insects (flies, midges and mosquitoes). SuperFly has a special focus on emerging non-drosophilid model systems. The database currently includes data of high spatio-temporal resolution for three species: the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster , the scuttle fly Megaselia abdita and the moth midge Clogmia albipunctata . At this point, SuperFly covers up to 9 genes and 16 time points per species, with a total of 1823 individual embryos. It provides an intuitive web interface, enabling the user to query and access original embryo images, quantified expression profiles, extracted positions of expression boundaries and integrated datasets, plus metadata and intermediate processing steps. SuperFly is a valuable new resource for the quantitative comparative study of gene expression patterns across dipteran species. Moreover, it provides an interesting test set for systems biologists interested in fitting mathematical gene network models to data. Both of these aspects are essential ingredients for progress toward a more quantitative and mechanistic understanding of developmental evolution.
    Print ISSN: 0305-1048
    Electronic ISSN: 1362-4962
    Topics: Biology
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  • 4
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    Oxford University Press
    Publication Date: 2015-01-24
    Description: The particular behaviour of eukaryotic RNA polymerases along different gene regions and amongst distinct gene functional groups is not totally understood. To cast light onto the alternative active or backtracking states of RNA polymerase II, we have quantitatively mapped active RNA polymerases at a high resolution following a new biotin-based genomic run-on (BioGRO) technique. Compared with conventional profiling with chromatin immunoprecipitation, the analysis of the BioGRO profiles in Saccharomyces cerevisiae shows that RNA polymerase II has unique activity profiles at both gene ends, which are highly dependent on positioned nucleosomes. This is the first demonstration of the in vivo influence of positioned nucleosomes on transcription elongation. The particular features at the 5' end and around the polyadenylation site indicate that this polymerase undergoes extensive specific-activity regulation in the initial and final transcription elongation phases. The genes encoding for ribosomal proteins show distinctive features at both ends. BioGRO also provides the first nascentome analysis for RNA polymerase III, which indicates that transcription of tRNA genes is poorly regulated at the individual copy level. The present study provides a novel perspective of the transcription cycle that incorporates inactivation/reactivation as an important aspect of RNA polymerase dynamics.
    Keywords: Massively Parallel (Deep) Sequencing, Transcriptome Mapping - Monitoring Gene Expression
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    Electronic ISSN: 1362-4962
    Topics: Biology
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  • 5
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    Oxford University Press
    Publication Date: 2012-02-17
    Description: DNA replication is strictly regulated through a sequence of steps that involve many macromolecular protein complexes. One of them is the replicative helicase, which is required for initiation and elongation phases. A MCM helicase found as a prophage in the genome of Bacillus cereus is fused with a primase domain constituting an integrative arrangement of two essential activities for replication. We have isolated this helicase–primase complex (BcMCM) showing that it can bind DNA and displays not only helicase and primase but also DNA polymerase activity. Using single-particle electron microscopy and 3D reconstruction, we obtained structures of BcMCM using ATPS or ADP in the absence and presence of DNA. The complex depicts the typical hexameric ring shape. The dissection of the unwinding mechanism using site-directed mutagenesis in the Walker A, Walker B, arginine finger and the helicase channels, suggests that the BcMCM complex unwinds DNA following the extrusion model similarly to the E1 helicase from papillomavirus.
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    Electronic ISSN: 1362-4962
    Topics: Biology
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  • 6
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    Oxford University Press
    Publication Date: 2013-06-23
    Description: The Proteomics Standard Initiative Common QUery InterfaCe (PSICQUIC) specification was created by the Human Proteome Organization Proteomics Standards Initiative (HUPO-PSI) to enable computational access to molecular-interaction data resources by means of a standard Web Service and query language. Currently providing 〉150 million binary interaction evidences from 28 servers globally, the PSICQUIC interface allows the concurrent search of multiple molecular-interaction information resources using a single query. Here, we present an extension of the PSICQUIC specification (version 1.3), which has been released to be compliant with the enhanced standards in molecular interactions. The new release also includes a new reference implementation of the PSICQUIC server available to the data providers. It offers augmented web service capabilities and improves the user experience. PSICQUIC has been running for almost 5 years, with a user base growing from only 4 data providers to 28 (April 2013) allowing access to 151 310 109 binary interactions. The power of this web service is shown in PSICQUIC View web application, an example of how to simultaneously query, browse and download results from the different PSICQUIC servers. This application is free and open to all users with no login requirement ( http://www.ebi.ac.uk/Tools/webservices/psicquic/view/main.xhtml ).
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    Electronic ISSN: 1362-4962
    Topics: Biology
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2013-12-29
    Description: IntAct (freely available at http://www.ebi.ac.uk/intact ) is an open-source, open data molecular interaction database populated by data either curated from the literature or from direct data depositions. IntAct has developed a sophisticated web-based curation tool, capable of supporting both IMEx- and MIMIx-level curation. This tool is now utilized by multiple additional curation teams, all of whom annotate data directly into the IntAct database. Members of the IntAct team supply appropriate levels of training, perform quality control on entries and take responsibility for long-term data maintenance. Recently, the MINT and IntAct databases decided to merge their separate efforts to make optimal use of limited developer resources and maximize the curation output. All data manually curated by the MINT curators have been moved into the IntAct database at EMBL-EBI and are merged with the existing IntAct dataset. Both IntAct and MINT are active contributors to the IMEx consortium ( http://www.imexconsortium.org ).
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    Electronic ISSN: 1362-4962
    Topics: Biology
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  • 8
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    Oxford University Press
    Publication Date: 2012-08-08
    Description: Transcription factor IIS (TFIIS) stimulates RNA cleavage by RNA polymerase II by allowing backtracked enzymes to resume transcription elongation. Yeast cells do not require TFIIS for viability, unless they suffer severe transcriptional stress due to NTP-depleting drugs like 6-azauracil or mycophenolic acid. In order to broaden our knowledge on the role of TFIIS under transcriptional stress, we carried out a genetic screening for suppressors of TFIIS-lacking cells’ sensitivity to 6-azauracil and mycophenolic acid. Five suppressors were identified, four of which were related to the transcriptional regulation of those genes encoding ribosomal components [rRNAs and ribosomal proteins (RP)], including global regulator SFP1 . This led us to discover that RNA polymerase II is hypersensitive to the absence of TFIIS under NTP scarcity conditions when transcribing RP genes. The absence of Sfp1 led to a profound alteration of the transcriptional response to NTP-depletion, thus allowing the expression of RP genes to resist these stressful conditions in the absence of TFIIS. We discuss the effect of transcriptional stress on ribosome biogenesis and propose that TFIIS contributes to prevent a transcriptional imbalance between rDNA and RP genes.
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  • 9
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    Oxford University Press
    Publication Date: 2016-11-01
    Description: A wide range of diseases course with an unbalance between the consumption of oxygen by tissues and its supply. This situation triggers a transcriptional response, mediated by the hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs), that aims to restore oxygen homeostasis. Little is known about the inter-individual variation in this response and its role in the progression of disease. Herein, we sought to identify common genetic variants mapping to hypoxia response elements (HREs) and characterize their effect on transcription. To this end, we constructed a list of genome-wide HIF-binding regions from publicly available experimental datasets and studied the genetic variability in these regions by targeted re-sequencing of genomic samples from 96 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 144 obstructive sleep apnea patients. This study identified 14 frequent variants disrupting potential HREs. The analysis of the genomic regions containing these variants by means of reporter assays revealed that variants rs1009329, rs6593210 and rs150921338 impaired the transcriptional response to hypoxia. Finally, using genome editing we confirmed the functional role of rs6593210 in the transcriptional regulation of EGFR. In summary, we found that inter-individual variability in non-coding regions affect the response to hypoxia and could potentially impact on the progression of pulmonary diseases.
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    Topics: Biology
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  • 10
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    Oxford University Press
    Publication Date: 2016-06-21
    Description: BRCA2 is a multi-faceted protein critical for the proper regulation of homology-directed repair of DNA double-strand breaks. Elucidating the mechanistic features of BRCA2 is crucial for understanding homologous recombination and how patient-derived mutations impact future cancer risk. Eight centrally located BRC repeats in BRCA2 mediate binding and regulation of RAD51 on resected DNA substrates. Herein, we dissect the biochemical and cellular features of the BRC repeats tethered to the DNA binding domain of BRCA2. To understand how the BRC repeats and isolated domains of BRCA2 contribute to RAD51 binding, we analyzed both the biochemical and cellular properties of these proteins. In contrast to the individual BRC repeat units, we find that the BRC5–8 region potentiates RAD51-mediated DNA strand pairing and provides complementation functions exceeding those of BRC repeats 1–4. Furthermore, BRC5–8 can efficiently repair nuclease-induced DNA double-strand breaks and accelerate the assembly of RAD51 repair complexes upon DNA damage. These findings highlight the importance of the BRC5–8 domain in stabilizing the RAD51 filament and promoting homology-directed repair under conditions of cellular DNA damage.
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    Topics: Biology
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