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The centromere of a chromosome is composed mainly of two domains, a kinetochore assembling core centromere and peri-centromeric heterochromatin regions. The crucial role of centromeric heterochromatin is still unknown, because even in simpler unicellular organisms such as the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the heterochromatin protein Swi6 (HP1(More)
Approximately 17% of the human genome is comprised of long interspersed nuclear element 1 (LINE-1, L1) non-LTR retrotransposons. L1 retrotransposition is known to be the cause of several genetic diseases, such as hemophilia A, Duchene muscular dystrophy, and so on. The L1 retroelements are also able to cause colon cancer, suggesting that L1 transposition(More)
Vpr, an accessory gene of HIV-1, induces cell cycle abnormality with accumulation at G2/M phase and increased ploidy. Since abnormality of mitotic checkpoint control provides a molecular basis of genomic instability, we studied the effects of Vpr on genetic integrity using a stable clone, named MIT-23, in which Vpr expression is controlled by the(More)
Recent observations imply that HIV-1 infection induces chromosomal DNA damage responses. However, the precise molecular mechanism and biological relevance are not fully understood. Here, we report that HIV-1 infection causes double-strand breaks in chromosomal DNA. We further found that Vpr, an accessory gene product of HIV-1, is a major factor responsible(More)
Although pericentromeric heterochromatin is essential for chromosome segregation, its role in humans remains controversial. Dissecting the function of HIV-1-encoded Vpr, we unraveled important properties of heterochromatin during chromosome segregation. In Vpr-expressing cells, hRad21, hSgo1, and hMis12, which are crucial for proper chromosome segregation,(More)
Approximately 42% of the human genome is composed of endogenous retroelements, and the major retroelement component, long interspersed element-1 (L1), comprises ∼17% of the total genome. A single human cell has more than 5 × 10(5) copies of L1, 80∼100 copies of which are competent for retrotransposition (RTP). Notably, L1 can induce RTP of other(More)
Genomic DNA is organized three-dimensionally in the nucleus, and is thought to form compact chromatin domains. Although chromatin compaction is known to be essential for mitosis, whether it confers other advantages, particularly in interphase cells, remains unknown. Here, we report that chromatin compaction protects genomic DNA from radiation damage. Using(More)
Viral protein R (Vpr), a protein of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) with various biological functions, was shown to be present in the blood of HIV-1-positive patients. However, it remained unclear whether circulating Vpr in patients’ blood is biologically active. Here, we examined the activity of blood Vpr using an assay system by which(More)
Minerals are important for cellular functions, such as transcription and enzyme activity, and are also involved in the metabolism of anticancer chemotherapeutic compounds. Profiling of intracellular elements in individual cells could help in understanding the mechanism of drug resistance in tumors and possibly provide a new strategy of anticancer(More)
Vpr, an accessory gene of human immunodeficiency virus type 1, encodes a virion-associated nuclear protein that plays an important role in the primary viral infection of resting macrophages. It has a variety of biological functions, including roles in a cell cycle abnormality at G(2)/M phase, apoptosis, nuclear transfer of preintegration complex, and DNA(More)