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Published: 23 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Note: In lieu of an abstract, this is an excerpt from the first page. Following publication of our article [1], we identified discrepancies between the pedigree shown in Figure 1 and the rest of the text.
Published: 23 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Thiopurines are clinically useful in the management of diverse immunological and malignant conditions. Nevertheless, these purine analogues can cause lethal myelosuppression, which may be prevented by prospective testing for variants in the thiopurine S-methyltransferase (TPMT) and, in East Asians, Nudix hydrolase 15 (NUDT15) genes. Two single-tube, tetra-primer amplification refractory mutation system polymerase chain reaction (ARMS-PCR) assays were developed to genotype the common loss-of-function variants NUDT15 c.415C>T (rs116855232) and TPMT*3C c.719A>G (rs1142345). In a group of 60 unselected patients, one and seven were found to be homozygous and heterozygous, respectively, for NUDT15 c.415C>T; one was found to be heterozygous for TPMT*3C c.719A>G. There was no non-specific amplification, and the genotypes were 100% concordant with Sanger sequencing. Limit-of-detection for both assays was below 1 ng of heterozygous template per reaction. Time- and cost-effective ARMS-PCR assays, suitable for genotyping East-Asian patients for thiopurine intolerance, were successfully developed and validated.
Published: 23 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Nematodes have evolved the ability to parasitize plants on at least four independent occasions, with plant parasites present in Clades 1, 2, 10 and 12 of the phylum. In the case of Clades 10 and 12, horizontal gene transfer of plant cell wall degrading enzymes from bacteria and fungi has been implicated in the evolution of plant parasitism. We have used ribonucleic acid sequencing (RNAseq) to generate reference transcriptomes for two economically important nematode species, Xiphinema index and Longidorus elongatus, representative of two genera within the early-branching Clade 2 of the phylum Nematoda. We used a transcriptome-wide analysis to identify putative horizontal gene transfer events. This represents the first in-depth transcriptome analysis from any plant-parasitic nematode of this clade. For each species, we assembled ~30 million Illumina reads into a reference transcriptome. We identified 62 and 104 transcripts, from X. index and L. elongatus, respectively, that were putatively acquired via horizontal gene transfer. By cross-referencing horizontal gene transfer prediction with a phylum-wide analysis of Pfam domains, we identified Clade 2-specific events. Of these, a GH12 cellulase from X. index was analysed phylogenetically and biochemically, revealing a likely bacterial origin and canonical enzymatic function. Horizontal gene transfer was previously shown to be a phenomenon that has contributed to the evolution of plant parasitism among nematodes. Our findings underline the importance and the extensiveness of this phenomenon in the evolution of plant-parasitic life styles in this speciose and widespread animal phylum.
Published: 27 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Micro-RNA (miRNA or miR) regulates at least 60% of the genes in the human genome through their target sites at mRNA 3’-untranslated regions (UTR), and defects in miRNA expression regulation and target sites are frequently observed in cancers. We report here a systematic analysis of the distribution of miRNA target sites. Using the evolutionarily conserved miRNA binding sites in the TargetScan database (release 7.1), we constructed a miRNA co-regulation network by connecting genes sharing common miRNA target sites. The network possesses characteristics of the ubiquitous small-world network. Non-hub genes in the network—those sharing miRNA target sites with small numbers of genes—tend to form small cliques with their neighboring genes, while hub genes exhibit high levels of promiscuousness in their neighboring genes. Additionally, miRNA target site distribution is extremely uneven. Among the miRNAs, the distribution concentrates on a small number of miRNAs, in that their target sites occur in an extraordinarily large number of genes, that is, they have large numbers of target genes. The distribution across the genes follows a similar pattern; the mRNAs of a small proportion of the genes contain extraordinarily large numbers of miRNA binding sites. Quantitatively, the patterns fit into the P(K) ∝ Kα relationship (P(K): the number of miRNAs with K target genes or genes with K miRNA sites; α: a positive constant), the mathematical description of connection distribution among the nodes and a defining characteristic of the so-called scale-free networks—a subset of small-world networks. Notably, well-known tumor-suppressive miRNAs (Let-7, miR-15/16, 26, 29, 31, 34, 145, 200, 203–205, 223, and 375) collectively have more than expected target genes, and well-known cancer genes contain more than expected miRNA binding sites. In summary, miRNA target site distribution exhibits characteristics of the small-world network. The potential to use this pattern to better understand miRNA function and their oncological roles is discussed.
Published: 27 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
The problem of how a gradual development of ecological and morphological adaptations combines with large genome rearrangements, which have been found to occur in the phylogeny of many groups of organisms, is a matter of discussion in the literature. The objective of this work was to study the problem with the example of salmonids, whose evolution included at least six events of multiple chromosome fusions. Large karyotype rearrangements are associated with a decrease in ecological and morphological diversity in salmonids. In the above example, genome rearrangements seem to distort the function of the genetic systems that are responsible for the occurrence of certain ecological forms in salmonids.
Published: 25 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum L.) breeding programs aim to develop later maturing cultivars for extending early spring grazing in Western Canada. Plant maturity is a complex genetic trait, and little is known about genes associated with late maturity in this species. An attempt was made using RNA-Seq to profile the transcriptome of crested wheatgrass maturity and to analyze differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between early and late maturing lines. Three cDNA libraries for each line were generated by sampling leaves at the stem elongation stage, spikes at the boot and anthesis stages. A total of 75,218,230 and 74,015,092 clean sequence reads were obtained for early and late maturing lines, respectively. De novo assembly of all sequence reads generated 401,587 transcripts with a mean length of 546 bp and N50 length of 691 bp. Out of 13,133 DEGs detected, 22, 17, and eight flowering related DEGs were identified for the three stages, respectively. Twelve DEGs, including nine flowering related DEGs at the stem elongation stage were further confirmed by qRT-PCR. The analysis of homologous genes of the photoperiod pathway revealed their lower expression in the late maturing line at the stem elongation stage, suggesting that their differential expression contributed to late maturity in crested wheatgrass.
Published: 25 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Accessory, supernumerary, or—most simply—B chromosomes, are found in many eukaryotic karyotypes. These small chromosomes do not follow the usual pattern of segregation, but rather are transmitted in a higher than expected frequency. As increasingly being demonstrated by next-generation sequencing (NGS), their structure comprises fragments of standard (A) chromosomes, although in some plant species, their sequence also includes contributions from organellar genomes. Transcriptomic analyses of various animal and plant species have revealed that, contrary to what used to be the common belief, some of the B chromosome DNA is protein-encoding. This review summarizes the progress in understanding B chromosome biology enabled by the application of next-generation sequencing technology and state-of-the-art bioinformatics. In particular, a contrast is drawn between a direct sequencing approach and a strategy based on a comparative genomics as alternative routes that can be taken towards the identification of B chromosome sequences.
Published: 25 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Baylisascaris schroederi, a roundworm parasite of giant pandas, badly affects the health of its hosts. Diagnosis of this disease currently depends mainly on sedimentation floatation and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) methods to detect the eggs. However, neither of these methods is suitable for diagnosis of early-stage panda baylisascariasis and no information on early diagnosis of this disease is available so far. Therefore, to develop an effective serologic diagnostic method, this study produced recombinant glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and thioredoxin peroxidase (Tpx) proteins from B. schroederi using a prokaryotic expression system. We determined the immunological characteristics of these proteins and their location in the parasite. Indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) were established to detect B. schroederi infection in giant pandas based on GAPDH and Tpx respectively. The open reading frame of the GAPDH gene (1083 bp) encoded a 39 kDa protein, while the predicted molecular weight of Tpx (588 bp) was 21.6 kDa. Western-blotting analysis revealed that both recombinant proteins could be recognized with positive serum of pandas infected with B. schroederi. Immunohistochemical staining showed that the endogenous GAPDH of B. schroederi was widely distributed in the worm while Tpx was mainly localized in the muscle, eggs, gut wall, uterus wall and hypodermis. Serological tests showed that the GAPDH-based indirect ELISA had a sensitivity of 95.83% and specificity of 100%, while the test using Tpx as the antigen had sensitivity of 75% and specificity of 91.7%. Thus, B. schroederi Tpx is unsuitable as a diagnostic antigen for baylisascariasis, but B. schroederi GAPDH is a good candidate diagnostic antigen for B. schroederi in pandas.
Published: 25 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Mole rats are exclusively subterranean and highly specialized rodents. Their long lifespans, remarkable anti-cancer mechanisms, and various distinctive adaptive features make them a useful research model. Moreover, opposing convergence of morphological traits, they have developed extremely high karyotype variability. Thus, 74 chromosomal forms have been described so far and new ones are being revealed continuously. These evolved during the process of rapid radiation and occur in different biogeographical regions. During research into their reproductive biology we have already provided substantial evidence for species-level separation of these taxa. Here, we review diverse chromosomal forms of the lesser blind mole rat, Mediterranean Nannospalax leucodon, distributed in South-eastern Europe, their karyotype records, biogeography, origin, and phylogeny from our extensive research. In the light of new data from molecular genetic studies, we question some former valuations and propose a cryptospecies rank for seven reproductively isolated chromosomal forms with sympatric and parapatric distribution and clear ecogeographical discrepances in their habitats, as well as new experimental and theoretical methods for understanding the courses of speciation of these unique fossorial mammals.
Published: 2 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Bone and dental diseases are serious public health problems. Most current clinical treatments for these diseases can produce side effects. Regeneration is a promising therapy for bone and dental diseases, yielding natural tissue recovery with few side effects. Because soft tissues inside the bone and dentin are densely populated with nerves and vessels, the study of bone and dentin regeneration should also consider the co-regeneration of nerves and vessels. In this study, a network-based method to identify co-regeneration genes for bone, dentin, nerve and vessel was constructed based on an extensive network of protein–protein interactions. Three procedures were applied in the network-based method. The first procedure, searching, sought the shortest paths connecting regeneration genes of one tissue type with regeneration genes of other tissues, thereby extracting possible co-regeneration genes. The second procedure, testing, employed a permutation test to evaluate whether possible genes were false discoveries; these genes were excluded by the testing procedure. The last procedure, screening, employed two rules, the betweenness ratio rule and interaction score rule, to select the most essential genes. A total of seventeen genes were inferred by the method, which were deemed to contribute to co-regeneration of at least two tissues. All these seventeen genes were extensively discussed to validate the utility of the method.
Published: 1 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
The Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene is one of the largest genes in the human genome. The gene exhibits a complex arrangement of seven alternative promoters, which drive the expression of three full length and four shorter isoforms. Dp116, the second smallest product of the DMD gene, is a Schwann cell-specific isoform encoded by a transcript corresponding to DMD exons 56–79, starting from a promoter/exon S1 within intron 55. The physiological roles of Dp116 are poorly understood, because of its extensive homology with other isoforms and its expression in specific tissues. This review summarizes studies on Dp116, focusing on clinical findings and alternative activation of the upstream translation initiation codon that is predicted to produce Dp118.
Published: 24 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Atherosclerosis is a chronic multifactorial inflammatory disease with high worldwide prevalence, and has become the leading cause of death. In the present study, we analyzed global gene expression changes in the aorta of Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) null mice fed a high-fat diet by using RNA-seq. We identified a total of 280 differentially expressed genes, of which 163 genes were upregulated and 117 genes were downregulated by high-fat diet compared with normal diet. Functional clustering and gene network analysis revealed that fatty acid metabolic process is crucial for atherosclerosis. By examining of the promoter regions of differentially expressed genes, we identified four causal transcription factors. Additionally, through connectivity map (CMap) analysis, multiple compounds were identified to have anti-atherosclerotic effects due to their ability to reverse gene expression during atherosclerosis. Our study provides a valuable resource for in-depth understanding of the mechanism underlying atherosclerosis.
Published: 24 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
The basic region/leucine zipper motif (bZIP) transcription factor family is one of the largest families of transcriptional regulators in plants. bZIP genes have been systematically characterized in some plants, but not in rapeseed (Brassica napus). In this study, we identified 247 BnbZIP genes in the rapeseed genome, which we classified into 10 subfamilies based on phylogenetic analysis of their deduced protein sequences. The BnbZIP genes were grouped into functional clades with Arabidopsis genes with similar putative functions, indicating functional conservation. Genome mapping analysis revealed that the BnbZIPs are distributed unevenly across all 19 chromosomes, and that some of these genes arose through whole-genome duplication and dispersed duplication events. All expression profiles of 247 bZIP genes were extracted from RNA-sequencing data obtained from 17 different B. napus ZS11 tissues with 42 various developmental stages. These genes exhibited different expression patterns in various tissues, revealing that these genes are differentially regulated. Our results provide a valuable foundation for functional dissection of the different BnbZIP homologs in B. napus and its parental lines and for molecular breeding studies of bZIP genes in B. napus.
Published: 24 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Chromosome evolution is a fundamental aspect of evolutionary biology. The evolution of chromosome size, structure and shape, number, and the change in DNA composition suggest the high plasticity of nuclear genomes at the chromosomal level. Repetitive DNA sequences, which represent a conspicuous fraction of every eukaryotic genome, particularly in plants, are found to be tightly linked with plant chromosome evolution. Different classes of repetitive sequences have distinct distribution patterns on the chromosomes. Mounting evidence shows that repetitive sequences may play multiple generative roles in shaping the chromosome karyotypes in plants. Furthermore, recent development in our understanding of the repetitive sequences and plant chromosome evolution has elucidated the involvement of a spectrum of epigenetic modification. In this review, we focused on the recent evidence relating to the distribution pattern of repetitive sequences in plant chromosomes and highlighted their potential relevance to chromosome evolution in plants. We also discussed the possible connections between evolution and epigenetic alterations in chromosome structure and repatterning, such as heterochromatin formation, centromere function, and epigenetic-associated transposable element inactivation.
Published: 18 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
We identified herein additional patients with rod-cone dystrophy (RCD) displaying mutations in KIZ, encoding the ciliary centrosomal protein kizuna and performed functional characterization of the respective protein in human fibroblasts and of its mouse ortholog PLK1S1 in the retina. Mutation screening was done by targeted next generation sequencing and subsequent Sanger sequencing validation. KIZ mRNA levels were assessed on blood and serum-deprived human fibroblasts from a control individual and a patient, compound heterozygous for the c.52G>T (p.Glu18*) and c.119_122del (p.Lys40Ilefs*14) mutations in KIZ. KIZ localization, documentation of cilium length and immunoblotting were performed in these two fibroblast cell lines. In addition, PLK1S1 immunolocalization was conducted in mouse retinal cryosections and isolated rod photoreceptors. Analyses of additional RCD patients enabled the identification of two homozygous mutations in KIZ, the known c.226C>T (p.Arg76*) mutation and a novel variant, the c.3G>A (p.Met1?) mutation. Albeit the expression levels of KIZ were three-times lower in the patient than controls in whole blood cells, further analyses in control- and mutant KIZ patient-derived fibroblasts unexpectedly revealed no significant difference between the two genotypes. Furthermore, the averaged monocilia length in the two fibroblast cell lines was similar, consistent with the preserved immunolocalization of KIZ at the basal body of the primary cilia. Analyses in mouse retina and isolated rod photoreceptors showed PLK1S1 localization at the base of the photoreceptor connecting cilium. In conclusion, two additional patients with mutations in KIZ were identified, further supporting that defects in KIZ/PLK1S1, detected at the basal body of the primary cilia in fibroblasts, and the photoreceptor connecting cilium in mouse, respectively, are involved in RCD. However, albeit the mutations were predicted to lead to nonsense mediated mRNA decay, we could not detect changes upon expression levels, protein localization or cilia length in KIZ-mutated fibroblast cells. Together, our findings unveil the limitations of fibroblasts as a cellular model for RCD and call for other models such as induced pluripotent stem cells to shed light on retinal pathogenic mechanisms of KIZ mutations.
Published: 18 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Mutations in RAB (member of the Ras superfamily) genes are increasingly recognized as cause of a variety of disorders including neurological conditions. While musician’s dystonia (MD) and writer’s dystonia (WD) are task-specific movement disorders, other dystonias persistently affect postures as in cervical dystonia. Little is known about the underlying etiology. Next-generation sequencing revealed a rare missense variant (c.586A>G; p.Ile196Val) in RAB12 in two of three MD/WD families. Next, we tested 916 additional dystonia patients; 512 Parkinson’s disease patients; and 461 healthy controls for RAB12 variants and identified 10 additional carriers of rare missense changes among dystonia patients (1.1%) but only one carrier in non-dystonic individuals (0.1%; p = 0.005). The detected variants among index patients comprised p.Ile196Val (n = 6); p.Ala174Thr (n = 3); p.Gly13Asp; p.Ala148Thr; and p.Arg181Gln in patients with MD; cervical dystonia; or WD. Two relatives of MD patients with WD also carried p.Ile196Val. The two variants identified in MD patients (p.Ile196Val; p.Gly13Asp) were characterized on endogenous levels in patient-derived fibroblasts and in two RAB12-overexpressing cell models. The ability to hydrolyze guanosine triphosphate (GTP), so called GTPase activity, was increased in mutants compared to wildtype. Furthermore, subcellular distribution of RAB12 in mutants was altered in fibroblasts. Soluble Transferrin receptor 1 levels were reduced in the blood of all three tested p.Ile196Val carriers. In conclusion, we demonstrate an enrichment of missense changes among dystonia patients. Functional characterization revealed altered enzyme activity and lysosomal distribution in mutants suggesting a contribution of RAB12 variants to MD and other dystonias.
Published: 18 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
We analyzed the structural behavior of DNA complexed with regulatory proteins and the nucleosome core particle (NCP). The three-dimensional structures of almost 25 thousand dinucleotide steps from more than 500 sequentially non-redundant crystal structures were classified by using DNA structural alphabet CANA (Conformational Alphabet of Nucleic Acids) and associations between ten CANA letters and sixteen dinucleotide sequences were investigated. The associations showed features discriminating between specific and non-specific binding of DNA to proteins. Important is the specific role of two DNA structural forms, A-DNA, and BII-DNA, represented by the CANA letters AAA and BB2: AAA structures are avoided in non-specific NCP complexes, where the wrapping of the DNA duplex is explained by the periodic occurrence of BB2 every 10.3 steps. In both regulatory and NCP complexes, the extent of bending of the DNA local helical axis does not influence proportional representation of the CANA alphabet letters, namely the relative incidences of AAA and BB2 remain constant in bent and straight duplexes.
Published: 18 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
The basic principles of chromosomal organization in eukaryotic cells remain elusive. Current mainstream research efforts largely concentrate on searching for critical packaging proteins involved in organizing chromosomes. I have taken a different perspective, by considering the role of genomic information in chromatins. In particular, I put forward the concept that repetitive DNA elements are key chromosomal packaging modules, and their intrinsic property of homology-based interaction can drive chromatin folding. Many repetitive DNA families have high copy numbers and clustered distribution patterns in the linear genomes. These features may facilitate the interactions among members in the same repeat families. In this paper, the potential liquid–liquid phase transition of repetitive DNAs that is induced by their extensive interaction in chromosomes will be considered. I propose that the interaction among repetitive DNAs may lead to phase separation of interacting repetitive DNAs from bulk chromatins. Phase separation of repetitive DNA may provide a physical mechanism that drives rapid massive changes of chromosomal conformation.
Published: 20 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Green products have strong potential in the discovery and development of unique drugs. Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) have been observed to have powerful cytotoxicity against cells that cause breast cancer. The present study aims to examine the cell cycle profile, status of cell death, and pathways of apoptosis in breast cancer cells (MCF-7) treated with biosynthesized ZnO NPs. The anti-proliferative activity of ZnO NPs was determined using MTT assay. Cell cycle analysis and the mode of cell death were evaluated using a flow cytometry instrument. Quantitative real-time-PCR (qRT-PCR) was employed to investigate the expression of apoptosis in MCF-7 cells. ZnO NPs were cytotoxic to the MCF-7 cells in a dose-dependent manner. The 50% growth inhibition concentration (IC50) of ZnO NPs at 24 h was 121 µg/mL. Cell cycle analysis revealed that ZnO NPs induced sub-G1 phase (apoptosis), with values of 1.87% at 0 μg/mL (control), 71.49% at IC25, 98.91% at IC50, and 99.44% at IC75. Annexin V/propidium iodide (PI) flow cytometry analysis confirmed that ZnO NPs induce apoptosis in MCF-7 cells. The pro-apoptotic genes p53, p21, Bax, and JNK were upregulated, whereas anti-apoptotic genes Bcl-2, AKT1, and ERK1/2 were downregulated in a dose-dependent manner. The arrest and apoptosis of MCF-7 cells were induced by ZnO NPs through several signalling pathways.
Published: 20 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Hybrid zones between chromosome races of the common shrew (Sorex araneus) provide exceptional models to study the potential role of chromosome rearrangements in the initial steps of speciation. The Novosibirsk and Tomsk races differ by a series of Robertsonian fusions with monobrachial homology. They form a narrow hybrid zone and generate hybrids with both simple (chain of three chromosomes) and complex (chain of eight or nine) synaptic configurations. Using immunolocalisation of the meiotic proteins, we examined chromosome pairing and recombination in males from the hybrid zone. Homozygotes and simple heterozygotes for Robertsonian fusions showed a low frequency of synaptic aberrations (<10%). The carriers of complex synaptic configurations showed multiple pairing abnormalities, which might lead to reduced fertility. The recombination frequency in the proximal regions of most chromosomes of all karyotypes was much lower than in the other regions. The strong suppression of recombination in the pericentromeric regions and co-segregation of race specific chromosomes involved in the long chains would be expected to lead to linkage disequilibrium between genes located there. Genic differentiation, together with the high frequency of pairing aberrations in male carriers of the long chains, might contribute to maintenance of the narrow hybrid zone.
Published: 20 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
We performed a clinical and genetic characterization of a pediatric cohort of patients with inherited retinal dystrophy (IRD) to identify the most suitable cases for gene therapy. The cohort comprised 43 patients, aged between 2 and 18 years, with severe isolated IRD at the time of presentation. The ophthalmological characterization also included assessment of the photoreceptor layer integrity in the macular region (ellipsoid zone (EZ) band). In parallel, we carried out a targeted, next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based analysis using a panel that covers over 150 genes with either an established or a candidate role in IRD pathogenesis. Based on the ophthalmological assessment, the cohort was composed of 24 Leber congenital amaurosis, 14 early onset retinitis pigmentosa, and 5 achromatopsia patients. We identified causative mutations in 58.1% of the cases. We also found novel genotype-phenotype correlations in patients harboring mutations in the CEP290 and CNGB3 genes. The EZ band was detectable in 40% of the analyzed cases, also in patients with genotypes usually associated with severe clinical manifestations. This study provides the first detailed clinical-genetic assessment of severe IRDs with infantile onset and lays the foundation of a standardized protocol for the selection of patients that are more likely to benefit from gene replacement therapeutic approaches.
Published: 20 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Inherited retinal diseases (IRDs) are often associated with variable clinical expressivity (VE) and incomplete penetrance (IP). Underlying mechanisms may include environmental, epigenetic, and genetic factors. Cis-acting expression quantitative trait loci (cis-eQTLs) can be implicated in the regulation of genes by favoring or hampering the expression of one allele over the other. Thus, the presence of such loci elicits allelic expression imbalance (AEI) that can be traced by massive parallel sequencing techniques. In this study, we performed an AEI analysis on RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) data, from 52 healthy retina donors, that identified 194 imbalanced single nucleotide polymorphisms(SNPs) in 67 IRD genes. Focusing on SNPs displaying AEI at a frequency higher than 10%, we found evidence of AEI in several IRD genes regularly associated with IP and VE (BEST1, RP1, PROM1, and PRPH2). Based on these SNPs commonly undergoing AEI, we performed pyrosequencing in an independent sample set of 17 healthy retina donors in order to confirm our findings. Indeed, we were able to validate CDHR1, BEST1, and PROM1 to be subjected to cis-acting regulation. With this work, we aim to shed light on differentially expressed alleles in the human retina transcriptome that, in the context of autosomal dominant IRD cases, could help to explain IP or VE.
Published: 20 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade is a universal signal transduction module that plays a vital role in regulating growth and development, as well as environmental stress responses in plants. Wheat is one of the most important crops worldwide. Although the MAPK kinase kinase (MAP3K) family in wheat has been investigated, the MAPK and MAPK kinase (MAP2K) gene families remain unknown at present. Here, 54 MAPK and 18 MAPKK genes were identified in wheat using recent genomic information. Phylogenetic analysis of Triticum aestivum L. MAPKs and MAPKKs (TaMAPKs and TaMAPKKs) together with homologous genes from other species classified them into four groups, and the clustering was consistent with the genomic exon/intron structures. Conserved motif analysis found that MAPK proteins contained a typical TXY phosphorylation site and MAPKK proteins contained an S/T-X5-S/T motif. RNA-seq data mapping analysis showed that MAPK and MAPKK genes in group IV had tissue-specific expression profiles, whereas each group I member showed relatively high expression in all organs. Expression patterns of TaMAPK and TaMAPKK genes under stress conditions were also investigated and stress-responsive candidates were identified. Co-expression network analysis identified 11 TaMAPK genes and 6 TaMAPKK genes involved in the interaction network pathway. Overall, this study provided useful information for evolutionary and functional surveys of MAPK and MAPKK gene families in wheat and beyond.
Published: 17 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
We report and discuss the results of a quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis of the expression patterns of seven three amino acid loop extension (TALE) homeobox genes (four KNOTTED-like homeobox (KNOX) and three BEL1-like homeobox (BELL) genes) identified after next generation sequencing (NGS) and assembly of the sporophyte and gametophyte transcriptomes of the endangered fern species Vandenboschia speciosa. Among the four KNOX genes, two belonged to the KNOX1 class and the other two belonged to the KNOX2 class. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequences supported the typical domain structure of both types of TALE proteins, and the homology to TALE proteins of mosses, lycophytes, and seed plant species. The expression analyses demonstrate that these homeodomain proteins appear to have a key role in the establishment and development of the gametophyte and sporophyte phases of V. speciosa lifecycle, as well as in the control of the transition between both phases. Vandenboschia speciosa VsKNAT3 (a KNOX2 class protein) as well as VsBELL4 and VsBELL10 proteins have higher expression levels during the sporophyte program. On the contrary, one V. speciosa KNOX1 protein (VsKNAT6) and one KNOX2 protein (VsKNAT4) seem important during the development of the gametophyte phase. TALE homeobox genes might be among the key regulators in the gametophyte-to-sporophyte developmental transition in regular populations that show alternation of generations, since some of the genes analyzed here (VsKNAT3, VsKNAT6, VsBELL4, and VsBELL6) are upregulated in a non-alternating population in which only independent gametophytes are found (they grow by vegetative reproduction outside of the range of sporophyte distribution). Thus, these four genes might trigger the vegetative propagation of the gametophyte and the repression of the sexual development in populations composed of independent gametophytes. This study represents a comprehensive identification and characterization of TALE homeobox genes in V. speciosa, and gives novel insights about the role of these genes in fern development.
Published: 17 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been reported to be involved in the development of maize plant. However, few focused on seed development of maize. Here, we identified 753 lncRNA candidates in maize genome from six seed samples. Similar to the mRNAs, lncRNAs showed tissue developmental stage specific and differential expression, indicating their putative role in seed development. Increasing evidence shows that crosstalk among RNAs mediated by shared microRNAs (miRNAs) represents a novel layer of gene regulation, which plays important roles in plant development. Functional roles and regulatory mechanisms of lncRNAs as competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNA) in plants, particularly in maize seed development, are unclear. We combined analyses of consistently altered 17 lncRNAs, 840 mRNAs and known miRNA to genome-wide investigate potential lncRNA-mediated ceRNA based on “ceRNA hypothesis”. The results uncovered seven novel lncRNAs as potential functional ceRNAs. Functional analyses based on their competitive coding-gene partners by Gene Ontology (GO) and KEGG biological pathway demonstrated that combined effects of multiple ceRNAs can have major impacts on general developmental and metabolic processes in maize seed. These findings provided a useful platform for uncovering novel mechanisms of maize seed development and may provide opportunities for the functional characterization of individual lncRNA in future studies.
Published: 13 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a complex disease with a multi-step carcinogenic process from preneoplastic lesions, including cirrhosis, low-grade dysplastic nodules (LGDNs), and high-grade dysplastic nodules (HGDNs) to HCC. There is only an elemental understanding of its molecular pathogenesis, for which a key problem is to identify when and how the critical transition happens during the HCC initiation period at a molecular level. In this work, for the first time, we revealed that LGDNs is the tipping point (i.e., pre-HCC state rather than HCC state) of hepatocarcinogenesis based on a series of gene expression profiles by a new mathematical model termed dynamic network biomarkers (DNB)—a group of dominant genes or molecules for the transition. Different from the conventional biomarkers based on the differential expressions of the observed genes (or molecules) for diagnosing a disease state, the DNB model exploits collective fluctuations and correlations of the observed genes, thereby predicting the imminent disease state or diagnosing the critical state. Our results show that DNB composed of 59 genes signals the tipping point of HCC (i.e., LGDNs). On the other hand, there are a large number of differentially expressed genes between cirrhosis and HGDNs, which highlighted the stark differences or drastic changes before and after the tipping point or LGDNs, implying the 59 DNB members serving as the early-warning signals of the upcoming drastic deterioration for HCC. We further identified the biological pathways responsible for this transition, such as the type I interferon signaling pathway, Janus kinase–signal transducers and activators of transcription (JAK–STAT) signaling pathway, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β signaling pathway, retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I)-like receptor signaling pathway, cell adhesion molecules, and cell cycle. In particular, pathways related to immune system reactions and cell adhesion were downregulated, and pathways related to cell growth and death were upregulated. Furthermore, DNB was validated as an effective predictor of prognosis for HCV-induced HCC patients by survival analysis on independent data, suggesting a potential clinical application of DNB. This work provides biological insights into the dynamic regulations of the critical transitions during multistep hepatocarcinogenesis.
Published: 13 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Ubiquitous exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine disruptor (ED), has raised concerns for both human and ecosystem health. Epigenetic factors, including microRNAs (miRNAs), are key regulators of gene expression during cancer. The effect of BPA exposure on the zebrafish epigenome remains poorly characterized. Zebrafish represents an excellent model to study cancer as the organism develops a disease that resembles human cancer. Using zebrafish as a systems toxicology model, we hypothesized that chronic BPA-exposure impacts the miRNome in adult zebrafish and establishes an epigenome more susceptible to cancer development. After a 3 week exposure to 100 nM BPA, RNA from the liver was extracted to perform high throughput mRNA and miRNA sequencing. Differential expression (DE) analyses comparing BPA-exposed to control specimens were performed using established bioinformatics pipelines. In the BPA-exposed liver, 6188 mRNAs and 15 miRNAs were differently expressed (q ≤ 0.1). By analyzing human orthologs of the DE zebrafish genes, signatures associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), oxidative phosphorylation, mitochondrial dysfunction and cell cycle were uncovered. Chronic exposure to BPA has a significant impact on the liver miRNome and transcriptome in adult zebrafish with the potential to cause adverse health outcomes including cancer.
Published: 13 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the leading musculoskeletal disorders in the adult population. It is associated with cartilage damage triggered by the deterioration of the extracellular matrix tissue. The present study explores the effect of intra-articular injection of autologous microfragmented adipose tissue to host chondrocytes and cartilage proteoglycans in patients with knee OA. A prospective, non-randomized, interventional, single-center, open-label clinical trial was conducted from January 2016 to April 2017. A total of 17 patients were enrolled in the study, and 32 knees with osteoarthritis were assessed. Surgical intervention (lipoaspiration) followed by tissue processing and intra-articular injection of the final microfragmented adipose tissue product into the affected knee(s) was performed in all patients. Patients were assessed for visual analogue scale (VAS), delayed gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of cartilage (dGEMRIC) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) glycans at the baseline, three, six and 12 months after the treatment. Magnetic resonance sequence in dGEMRIC due to infiltration of the anionic, negatively charged contrast gadopentetate dimeglumine (Gd-DTPA2−) into the cartilage indicated that the contents of cartilage glycosaminoglycans significantly increased in specific areas of the treated knee joint. In addition, dGEMRIC consequently reflected subsequent changes in the mechanical axis of the lower extremities. The results of our study indicate that the use of autologous and microfragmented adipose tissue in patients with knee OA (measured by dGEMRIC MRI) increased glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content in hyaline cartilage, which is in line with observed VAS and clinical results.
Published: 13 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs) play a major role in adipocyte differentiation and lipid metabolism in animals. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) appear to be involved in many biological processes in adipose tissue. However, the specific influence on miRNAs by CLA supplementation in porcine adipose tissue remains unclear. Thus, we continuously added 1.5% CLA to the pig diet from the embryo stage to the finishing period and conducted a high-throughput sequencing approach to analyse the changes in adipose tissue miRNAs. We identified 283 known porcine miRNAs, and 14 miRNAs were differentially expressed in response to CLA treatment. A Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis showed that the targets of the 14 differentially expressed miRNAs were involved in the Wnt signalling pathway. The CLA treatment downregulated the gene expression of PPARγ, C/EBPα, FAS, and FATP1 in both subcutaneous and abdominal fat tissues; the analysis showed that ssc-miR-21 expression was significantly correlated with PPARγ expression (p<0.05), and speculated that ssc-miR-21 might influence adipogenesis through PPARγ. In conclusion, our study analysed the miRNA profiles in porcine adipose tissues by CLA treatment, and demonstrated that miRNAs are important regulators of fat lipogenesis. This study provides valuable information for the molecular regulatory mechanism of CLA on adipose tissue.
Published: 13 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Chiroptera is the second largest order among mammals, with over 1300 species in 21 extant families. The group is extremely diverse in several aspects of its natural history, including dietary strategies, ecology, behavior and morphology. Bat genomes show ample chromosome diversity (from 2n = 14 to 62). As with other mammalian orders, Chiroptera is characterized by clades with low, moderate and extreme chromosomal change. In this article, we will discuss trends of karyotypic evolution within distinct bat lineages (especially Phyllostomidae, Hipposideridae and Rhinolophidae), focusing on two perspectives: evolution of genome architecture, modes of chromosomal evolution, and the use of chromosome data to resolve taxonomic problems.
Published: 13 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Ecosystem boundaries, such as the Arctic-Boreal treeline, are strongly coupled with climate and were spatially highly dynamic during past glacial-interglacial cycles. Only a few studies cover vegetation changes since the last interglacial, as most of the former landscapes are inundated and difficult to access. Using pollen analysis and sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) metabarcoding, we reveal vegetation changes on Bol’shoy Lyakhovsky Island since the last interglacial from permafrost sediments. Last interglacial samples depict high levels of floral diversity with the presence of trees (Larix, Picea, Populus) and shrubs (Alnus, Betula, Ribes, Cornus, Saliceae) on the currently treeless island. After the Last Glacial Maximum, Larix re-colonised the island but disappeared along with most shrub taxa. This was probably caused by Holocene sea-level rise, which led to increased oceanic conditions on the island. Additionally, we applied two newly developed larch-specific chloroplast markers to evaluate their potential for tracking past population dynamics from environmental samples. The novel markers were successfully re-sequenced and exhibited two variants of each marker in last interglacial samples. SedaDNA can track vegetation changes as well as genetic changes across geographic space through time and can improve our understanding of past processes that shape modern patterns.
Published: 11 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Resistance gene analogs (RGAs) were searched bioinformatically in the sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) genome as potential candidates for improving resistance against different diseases. In the present study, Ion Torrent sequencing technology was used to identify mutations in 21 RGAs. The DNA samples of ninety-six individuals from six sea beets (Beta vulgaris L. subsp. maritima) and six sugar beet pollinators (eight individuals each) were used for the discovery of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Target amplicons of about 200 bp in length were designed with the Ion AmpliSeq Designer system in order to cover the DNA sequences of the RGAs. The number of SNPs ranged from 0 in four individuals to 278 in the pollinator R740 (which is resistant to rhizomania infection). Among different groups of beets, cytoplasmic male sterile lines had the highest number of SNPs (132) whereas the lowest number of SNPs belonged to O-types (95). The principal coordinates analysis (PCoA) showed that the polymorphisms inside the gene Bv8_184910_pkon (including the CCCTCC sequence) can effectively differentiate wild from cultivated beets, pointing at a possible mutation associated to rhizomania resistance that originated directly from cultivated beets. This is unlike other resistance sources that are introgressed from wild beets. This gene belongs to the receptor-like kinase (RLK) class of RGAs, and is associated to a hypothetical protein. In conclusion, this first report of using Ion Torrent sequencing technology in beet germplasm suggests that the identified sequence CCCTCC can be used in marker-assisted programs to differentiate wild from domestic beets and to identify other unknown disease resistance genes in beet.
Published: 11 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Defective mini-puberty results in insufficient testosterone secretion that impairs the differentiation of gonocytes into dark-type (Ad) spermatogonia. The differentiation of gonocytes into Ad spermatogonia can be induced by administration of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist, GnRHa (Buserelin, INN)). Nothing is known about the mechanism that underlies successful GnRHa treatment in the germ cells. Using RNA-sequencing of testicular biopsies, we recently examined RNA profiles of testes with and without GnRHa treatment. Here, we focused on the expression patterns of known gene markers for gonocytes and spermatogonia, and found that DMRTC2, PAX7, BRACHYURY/T, and TERT were associated with defective mini-puberty and were responsive to GnRHa. These results indicate novel testosterone-dependent genes and provide valuable insight into the transcriptional response to both defective mini-puberty and curative GnRHa treatment, which prevents infertility in man with one or both undescended (cryptorchid) testes.
Published: 11 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
In the early days of pharmacy, the development of new drugs was frequently achieved by restless chemists who worked solitarily, day by day for years
Published: 11 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Phytocystatins play multiple roles in plant growth, development and resistance to pests and other environmental stresses. A ramie (Boehmeria nivea L.) phytocystatin gene, designated as BnCPI, was isolated from a ramie cDNA library and its full-length cDNA was obtained by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). The full-length cDNA sequence (691 bp) consisted of a 303 bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding a protein of 100 amino acids with deduced molecular mass of 11.06 kDa and a theoretical isoelectric point (pI) of 6.0. The alignment of genome DNA (accession no. MF153097) and cDNA sequences of BnCPI showed that an intron (~104 bp) exists in the coding region. The BnCPI protein contains most of the highly conserved blocks including Gly5-Gly6 at the N-terminal, the reactive site motif QxVxG (Q49V50V51S52G53), the L79-W80 block and the [LVI]-[AGT]-[RKE]-[FY]-[AS]-[VI]-x-[EDQV]-[HYFQ]-N (L22G23R24 F25A26V27 D28D29H30 N31) block that is common among plant cystatins. BLAST analysis indicated that BnCPI is similar to cystatins from Glycine max (77%), Glycine soja (76%), Hevea brasiliensis (75%) and Ricinus communis (75%). The BnCPI was subcloned into expression vector pSmart-I and then overexpressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) as a His-tagged recombinant protein. The purified reBnCPI has a molecular mass of 11.4 kDa determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS–PAGE). Purified reBnCPI can efficiently inhibit the protease activity of papain and ficin toward BANA (Nα-benzoyl-L-arginine-2-naphthyamide), as well as the mycelium growth of some important plant pathogenic fungi. The data further contribute to our understanding of the molecular functions of BnCPI.
Published: 10 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
It is increasingly appreciated that missense variants may not only alter protein structure and function but may also influence pre-mRNA splicing and/or mRNA stability. Here we explore this issue in the context of currently known SPINK1 missense variants using a full-length gene assay. We demonstrated that 4 (17%) out of 24 variants tested significantly reduced pre-mRNA splicing and/or stability as compared with the wild-type. However, since the strongest effect observed was a 23% reduction from normal, the contribution of SPINK1 missense variants to the clinical phenotype through an impact on mRNA processing alone may be relatively minor compared with their effects in relation to protein structure/function.
Published: 6 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is the only commercially cultivated plant for producing natural rubber, one of the most essential industrial raw materials. Knowledge of the evolutionary and functional characteristics of kinases in H. brasiliensis is limited because of the long growth period and lack of well annotated genome information. Here, we reported mitogen-activated protein kinases in H. brasiliensis (HbMPKs) by manually checking and correcting the rubber tree genome. Of the 20 identified HbMPKs, four members were validated by proteomic data. Protein motif and phylogenetic analyses classified these members into four known groups comprising Thr-Glu-Tyr (TEY) and Thr-Asp-Tyr (TDY) domains, respectively. Evolutionary and syntenic analyses suggested four duplication events: HbMPK3/HbMPK6, HbMPK8/HbMPK9/HbMPK15, HbMPK10/HbMPK12 and HbMPK11/HbMPK16/HbMPK19. Expression profiling of the identified HbMPKs in roots, stems, leaves and latex obtained from three cultivars with different latex yield ability revealed tissue- and variety-expression specificity of HbMPK paralogues. Gene expression patterns under osmotic, oxidative, salt and cold stresses, combined with cis-element distribution analyses, indicated different regulation patterns of HbMPK paralogues. Further, Ka/Ks and Tajima analyses suggested an accelerated evolutionary rate in paralogues HbMPK10/12. These results revealed HbMPKs have diverse functions in natural rubber biosynthesis, and highlighted the potential possibility of using MPKs to improve stress tolerance in future rubber tree breeding.
Published: 6 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
The curse of ancient Egyptian DNA was lifted by a recent study which sequenced the mitochondrial genomes (mtGenome) of 90 ancient Egyptians from the archaeological site of Abusir el-Meleq. Surprisingly, these ancient inhabitants were more closely related to those from the Near East than to contemporary Egyptians. It has been accepted that the timeless highway of the Nile River seeded Egypt with African genetic influence, well before pre-Dynastic times. Here we report on the successful recovery and analysis of the complete mtGenome from a burial recovered from a remote Romano–Christian cemetery, Kellis 2 (K2). K2 serviced the ancient municipality of Kellis, a village located in the Dakhleh Oasis in the southwest desert in Egypt. The data were obtained by high throughput sequencing (HTS) performed independently at two ancient DNA facilities (Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, Dover, DE, USA and Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA). These efforts produced concordant haplotypes representing a U1a1a haplogroup lineage. This result indicates that Near Eastern maternal influence previously identified at Abusir el-Meleq was also present further south, in ancient Kellis during the Romano–Christian period.
Published: 6 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Gene relocation from the residual genomes of organelles to the nuclear genome still continues, although as a scaled down evolutionary phenomenon, limited in occurrence mostly to protists (sensu lato) and land plants. During this process, the structural integrity of transferred genes is usually preserved. However, the relocation of mitochondrial genes that code for respiratory chain and ribosomal proteins is sometimes associated with their fragmentation into two complementary genes. Herein, this review compiles cases of piecewise gene transfer from the mitochondria to the nucleus, and discusses hypothesized mechanistic links between the fission and relocation of those genes.
Published: 5 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Dendrobium officinale is an extremely valuable orchid used in traditional Chinese medicine, so sought after that it has a higher market value than gold. Although the expression profiles of some genes involved in the polysaccharide synthesis have previously been investigated, little research has been carried out on their alternatively spliced isoforms in D. officinale. In addition, information regarding the translocation of sugars from leaves to stems in D. officinale also remains limited. We analyzed the polysaccharide content of D. officinale leaves and stems, and completed in-depth transcriptome sequencing of these two diverse tissue types using second-generation sequencing (SGS) and single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing technology. The results of this study yielded a digital inventory of gene and mRNA isoform expressions. A comparative analysis of both transcriptomes uncovered a total of 1414 differentially expressed genes, including 844 that were up-regulated and 570 that were down-regulated in stems. Of these genes, one sugars will eventually be exported transporter (SWEET) and one sucrose transporter (SUT) are expressed to a greater extent in D. officinale stems than in leaves. Two glycosyltransferase (GT) and four cellulose synthase (Ces) genes undergo a distinct degree of alternative splicing. In the stems, the content of polysaccharides is twice as much as that in the leaves. The differentially expressed GT and transcription factor (TF) genes will be the focus of further study. The genes DoSWEET4 and DoSUT1 are significantly expressed in the stem, and are likely to be involved in sugar loading in the phloem.
Published: 5 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Alternative splicing is a key molecular mechanism now considered as a hallmark of cancer that has been associated with the expression of distinct isoforms during the onset and progression of the disease. The leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women worldwide is breast cancer, and even when the role of alternative splicing in this type of cancer has been established, the function of this mechanism in breast cancer biology is not completely decoded. In order to gain a comprehensive view of the role of alternative splicing in breast cancer biology and development, we summarize here recent findings regarding alternative splicing events that have been well documented for breast cancer evolution, considering its prognostic and therapeutic value. Moreover, we analyze how the response to endocrine and chemical therapies could be affected due to alternative splicing and differential expression of variant isoforms. With all this knowledge, it becomes clear that targeting alternative splicing represents an innovative approach for breast cancer therapeutics and the information derived from current studies could guide clinical decisions with a direct impact in the clinical advances for breast cancer patients nowadays.
Published: 5 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Fishes exhibit the greatest diversity of species among vertebrates, offering a number of relevant models for genetic and evolutionary studies. The investigation of sex chromosome differentiation is a very active and striking research area of fish cytogenetics, as fishes represent one of the most vital model groups. Neotropical fish species show an amazing variety of sex chromosome systems, where different stages of differentiation can be found, ranging from homomorphic to highly differentiated sex chromosomes. Here, we draw attention on the impact of recent developments in molecular cytogenetic analyses that helped to elucidate many unknown questions about fish sex chromosome evolution, using excellent characiform models occurring in the Neotropical region, namely the Erythrinidae family and the Triportheus genus. While in Erythrinidae distinct XY and/or multiple XY-derived sex chromosome systems have independently evolved at least four different times, representatives of Triportheus show an opposite scenario, i.e., highly conserved ZZ/ZW system with a monophyletic origin. In both cases, recent molecular approaches, such as mapping of repetitive DNA classes, comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), and whole chromosome painting (WCP), allowed us to unmask several new features linked to the molecular composition and differentiation processes of sex chromosomes in fishes.
, Qi Zhao, , , Jiaxuan Lu, , , Dongsheng Yu
Published: 5 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Both X-linked hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (XLHED) and non-syndromic tooth agenesis (NSTA) result in symptoms of congenital tooth loss. This study investigated genetic causes in two families with XLHED and four families with NSTA. We screened for mutations of WNT10A, EDA, EDAR, EDARADD, PAX9, MSX1, AXIN2, LRP6, and WNT10B through Sanger sequencing. Whole exome sequencing was performed for the proband of NSTA Family 4. Novel mutation c.1051G>T (p.Val351Phe) and the known mutation c.467G>A (p.Arg156His) of Ectodysplasin A (EDA) were identified in families with XLHED. Novel EDA receptor (EDAR) mutation c.73C>T (p.Arg25*), known EDA mutation c.491A>C (p.Glu164Ala), and known Wnt family member 10A (WNT10A) mutations c.511C>T (p.Arg171Cys) and c.742C>T (p.Arg248*) were identified in families with NSTA. The novel EDA and EDAR mutations were predicted as being pathogenic through bioinformatics analyses and structural modeling. Two variants of WNT10A, c.374G>A (p.Arg125Lys) and c.125A>G (p.Asn42Ser), were found in patients with NSTA. The two WNT10A variants were predicted to affect the splicing of message RNA, but minigene experiments showed normal splicing of mutated minigenes. This study uncovered the genetic foundations with respect to six families with XLHED or NSTA. We identified six mutations, of which two were novel mutations of EDA and EDAR. This is the first report of a nonsense EDAR mutation leading to NSTA.
Published: 5 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Pericentral retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is an atypical form of RP that affects the near-peripheral retina first and tends to spare the far periphery. This study was performed to further define the genetic basis of this phenotype. We identified a cohort of 43 probands with pericentral RP based on a comprehensive analysis of their retinal phenotype. Genetic analyses of DNA samples from these patients were performed using panel-based next-generation sequencing, copy number variations, and whole exome sequencing (WES). Mutations provisionally responsible for disease were found in 19 of the 43 families (44%) analyzed. These include mutations in RHO (five patients), USH2A (four patients), and PDE6B (two patients). Of 28 putatively pathogenic alleles, 15 (54%) have been previously identified in patients with more common forms of typical RP, while the remaining 13 mutations (46%) were novel. Burden testing of WES data successfully identified HGSNAT as a cause of pericentral RP in at least two patients, suggesting it is also a relatively common cause of pericentral RP. While additional sequencing might uncover new genes specifically associated with pericentral RP, the current results suggest that genetically pericentral RP is not a separate clinical entity, but rather is part of the spectrum of mild RP phenotypes.
Published: 30 September 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Disease resistance genes (R genes), as part of the plant defense system, have coevolved with corresponding pathogen molecules. The main objectives of this project were to identify non-Toll interleukin receptor, nucleotide-binding site, leucine-rich repeat (nTNL) genes and elucidate their evolutionary divergence across six plant genomes. Using reference sequences from Arabidopsis, we investigated nTNL orthologs in the genomes of common bean, Medicago, soybean, poplar, and rice. We used Hidden Markov Models for sequence identification, performed model-based phylogenetic analyses, visualized chromosomal positioning, inferred gene clustering, and assessed gene expression profiles. We analyzed 908 nTNL R genes in the genomes of the six plant species, and classified them into 12 subgroups based on the presence of coiled-coil (CC), nucleotide binding site (NBS), leucine rich repeat (LRR), resistance to Powdery mildew 8 (RPW8), and BED type zinc finger domains. Traditionally classified CC-NBS-LRR (CNL) genes were nested into four clades (CNL A-D) often with abundant, well-supported homogeneous subclades of Type-II R genes. CNL-D members were absent in rice, indicating a unique R gene retention pattern in the rice genome. Genomes from Arabidopsis, common bean, poplar and soybean had one chromosome without any CNL R genes. Medicago and Arabidopsis had the highest and lowest number of gene clusters, respectively. Gene expression analyses suggested unique patterns of expression for each of the CNL clades. Differential gene expression patterns of the nTNL genes were often found to correlate with number of introns and GC content, suggesting structural and functional divergence.
Published: 30 September 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Gut microbiota forms a catalog of about 1000 bacterial species; which mainly belong to the Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes phyla. Microbial genes are essential for key metabolic processes; such as the biosynthesis of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA); amino acids; bile acids or vitamins. It is becoming clear that gut microbiota is playing a prevalent role in pathologies such as metabolic syndrome; type 2 diabetes (T2D); inflammatory and bowel diseases. Obesity and related diseases; notably type 2 diabetes, induce gut dysbiosis. In this review; we aim to cover the current knowledge about the effects of antidiabetic drugs on gut microbiota diversity and composition as well as the potential beneficial effects mediated by specific taxa. Metformin is the first-line treatment against T2D. In addition to its glucose-lowering and insulin sensitizing effects, metformin promotes SCFA-producing and mucin-degrading bacteria. Other antidiabetic drugs discussed in this review show positive effects on dysbiosis; but without any consensus specifically regarding the Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio. Thus, beneficial effects might be mediated by specific taxa.
Published: 3 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
The alterations of micro RNAs (miRNAs) and their potential roles in arsenite-induced tumorigenesis are still poorly understood. In this study, miRNA Array was used to detect the expression level of miRNAs in human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells that were transformed by 2.5 μM arsenite for 13 weeks. These cells exhibited a neoplastic phenotype manifested by increased levels of cellular proliferation and migration and clone formation. Subsequently, 191 dysregulated miRNAs were identified to be associated with arsenite-induced transformation by miRNA Array. Among them, six miRNAs were validated by their expression levels with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and 17 miRNAs were further explored via their target genes as well as regulatory network. Three databases, TargetMiner, miRDB, and TarBase, were used to predict the target genes of the 17 miRNAs, and a total of 954 common genes were sorted. Results of Gene Ontology (GO) analyses showed that the 954 genes were involved in diverse terms of GO categories, such as positive regulation of macroautophagy, epithelial cell maturation, and synaptic vesicle clustering. Moreover, results of Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analyses demonstrated that most of these target genes were enriched in various cancer-related pathways, including non-small cell lung cancer, Wnt signaling pathway, cell cycle, and p53 signaling pathway. The miRNA-gene regulatory network, which was constructed by cytoscape software with miRNAs and their target genes, showed that miR-15b-5p, miR-106b-5p, and miR-320d were the core hubs. Collectively, our results provide new insights into miRNA-mediated mechanisms underlying arsenite-induced transformation, although more experimental verification is still needed to prove these predictions.
, , Wei Zhao, , Yan Wan, Jun Yan, ,
Published: 3 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
Soil salinization has been a tremendous obstacle for agriculture production. The regulatory networks underlying salinity adaption in model plants have been extensively explored. However, limited understanding of the salt response mechanisms has hindered the planting and production in Fagopyrum tataricum, an economic and health-beneficial plant mainly distributing in southwest China. In this study, we performed physiological analysis and found that salt stress of 200 mM NaCl solution significantly affected the relative water content (RWC), electrolyte leakage (EL), malondialdehyde (MDA) content, peroxidase (POD) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities in tartary buckwheat seedlings. Further, we conducted transcriptome comparison between control and salt treatment to identify potential regulatory components involved in F. tataricum salt responses. A total of 53.15 million clean reads from control and salt-treated libraries were produced via an Illumina sequencing approach. Then we de novo assembled these reads into a transcriptome dataset containing 57,921 unigenes with N50 length of 1400 bp and total length of 44.5 Mb. A total of 36,688 unigenes could find matches in public databases. GO, KEGG and KOG classification suggested the enrichment of these unigenes in 56 sub-categories, 25 KOG, and 273 pathways, respectively. Comparison of the transcriptome expression patterns between control and salt treatment unveiled 455 differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Further, we found the genes encoding for protein kinases, phosphatases, heat shock proteins (HSPs), ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, glutathione S-transferases (GSTs), abiotic-related transcription factors and circadian clock might be relevant to the salinity adaption of this species. Thus, this study offers an insight into salt tolerance mechanisms, and will serve as useful genetic information for tolerant elite breeding programs in future.
Published: 3 October 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
A broad mutational spectrum in the dystrophin (DMD) gene, from large deletions/duplications to point mutations, causes Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy (D/BMD). Comprehensive genotyping is particularly relevant considering the mutation-centered therapies for dystrophinopathies. We report the genetic characterization of a patient with disease onset at age 13 years, elevated creatine kinase levels and reduced dystrophin labeling, where multiplex-ligation probe amplification (MLPA) and genomic sequencing failed to detect pathogenic variants. Bioinformatic, transcriptomic (real time PCR, RT-PCR), and genomic approaches (Southern blot, long-range PCR, and single molecule real-time sequencing) were used to characterize the mutation. An aberrant transcript was identified, containing a 103-nucleotide insertion between exons 51 and 52, with no similarity with the DMD gene. This corresponded to the partial exonization of a long interspersed nuclear element (LINE-1), disrupting the open reading frame. Further characterization identified a complete LINE-1 (~6 kb with typical hallmarks) deeply inserted in intron 51. Haplotyping and segregation analysis demonstrated that the mutation had a de novo origin. Besides underscoring the importance of mRNA studies in genetically unsolved cases, this is the first report of a disease-causing fully intronic LINE-1 element in DMD, adding to the diversity of mutational events that give rise to D/BMD.
Published: 18 September 2017
by MDPI
Abstract:
DNA methylation is a major epigenetic event that affects not only cellular gene expression but that also has the potential to influence bacterial and viral DNA in their host-dependent functions. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) genome contains a high degree of CpG sequences capable of methylation in its terminal repeat sequences, which are the sole elements retained in AAV-based vectors used in gene therapy. The present study determined the influence of methylation status of the host cell on wild type (wt) AAV integration and recombinant (r) AAV transgene expression in HeLa cells. Results of the study indicated that hypo-methylation significantly enhanced both wtAAV chromosomal integration and transgene expression of rAAV. A direct influence of methylation on AAV integration was further confirmed by methylating the AAVS1 integration sites prior to viral infection with DNA trans-complementation assay. These results signify the importance of epigenetic status of target cells as one of the key factors in long-term transgene expression in AAV gene therapy.
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