Eric T. Meyer

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The duplication of entire genomes has long been recognized as having great potential for evolutionary novelties, but the mechanisms underlying their resolution through gene loss are poorly understood. Here we show that in the unicellular eukaryote Paramecium tetraurelia, a ciliate, most of the nearly 40,000 genes arose through at least three successive(More)
Primary or acquired resistance to current treatment protocols remains a major concern in clinical oncology and may be caused by defects in apoptosis programs. Since recent data suggest that TRAIL can bypass apoptosis resistance caused by Bcl-2, we further investigated the role of Bcl-2 in TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Here we report that overexpression of Bcl-2(More)
Most eukaryotic genes are interrupted by non-coding introns that must be accurately removed from pre-messenger RNAs to produce translatable mRNAs. Splicing is guided locally by short conserved sequences, but genes typically contain many potential splice sites, and the mechanisms specifying the correct sites remain poorly understood. In most organisms, short(More)
Programmed genome rearrangements drive functional gene assembly in ciliates during the development of the somatic macronucleus. The elimination of germline sequences is directed by noncoding RNAs and is initiated by DNA double-strand breaks, but the enzymes responsible for DNA cleavage have not been identified. We show here that PiggyMac (Pgm), a(More)
Chromosome walking has been used to study the organization of the class I genes in the D and Qa regions of the MHC of the BALB/c mouse and in the D region of the AKR mouse. Five and eight class I genes are found in the D and Qa regions of the BALB/c mouse, respectively, while the AKR mouse contains only a single class I D region gene that has been(More)
Resistance of tumors to treatment with cytotoxic drugs, irradiation or immunotherapy may be due to disrupted apoptosis programs. Here, we report in a variety of different tumor cells including Ewing tumor, neuroblastoma, malignant brain tumors and melanoma that caspase-8 expression acts as a key determinant of sensitivity for apoptosis induced by(More)
Paramecium internal eliminated sequences (IESs) are short AT-rich DNA elements that are precisely eliminated from the germ line genome during development of the somatic macronucleus. They are flanked by one 5'-TA-3' dinucleotide on each side, a single copy of which remains at the donor site after excision. The timing of their excision was examined in(More)
Insertions of parasitic DNA within coding sequences are usually deleterious and are generally counter-selected during evolution. Thanks to nuclear dimorphism, ciliates provide unique models to study the fate of such insertions. Their germline genome undergoes extensive rearrangements during development of a new somatic macronucleus from the germline(More)
Apoptosis in response to cellular stress such as treatment with cytotoxic drugs is mediated by effector caspases (caspase-3) which can be activated by different initiator pathways. Here, we report on a cell type specific triggering of death receptor and/or mitochondrial pathways upon drug treatment. In type I cells (BJAB), both the receptor and the(More)
The germline genome of ciliates is extensively rearranged during the development of a new somatic macronucleus from the germline micronucleus, after sexual events. In Paramecium tetraurelia, single-copy internal eliminated sequences (IESs) are precisely excised from coding sequences and intergenic regions. For a subset of IESs, introduction of the IES(More)