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Genes, Volume 8, Issue 10 (October 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) In the Roman-Christian municipality of Kellis (ca. 50–450 AD), within the remote southwest Egyptian [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview Chromosome Evolution in Connection with Repetitive Sequences and Epigenetics in Plants
Genes 2017, 8(10), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100290
Received: 10 September 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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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
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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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chromosomal Evolution)
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Gene Expression Changes in the Aorta of ApoE Null Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet
Genes 2017, 8(10), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100289
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 8 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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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
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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. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Genome-Wide Identification and Structural Analysis of bZIP Transcription Factor Genes in Brassica napus
Genes 2017, 8(10), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100288
Received: 3 September 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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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
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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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Estimating Phylogenies from Large Genomic Datasets)
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Open AccessArticle The Transcriptomes of Xiphinema index and Longidorus elongatus Suggest Independent Acquisition of Some Plant Parasitism Genes by Horizontal Gene Transfer in Early-Branching Nematodes
Genes 2017, 8(10), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100287
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
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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
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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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horizontal Gene Transfer)
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Open AccessCorrection Correction: Gustafson et al., Whole Genome Sequencing Revealed Mutations in Two Independent Genes as the Underlying Cause of Retinal Degeneration in an Ashkenazi Jewish Pedigree. Genes 2017, 8, 210
Genes 2017, 8(10), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100286
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
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Abstract
Following publication of our article [1], we identified discrepancies between the pedigree shown in Figure 1 and the rest of the text.[...] Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Novel Tetra-Primer ARMS-PCR Assays for Thiopurine Intolerance Susceptibility Mutations NUDT15 c.415C>T and TPMT c.719A>G (TPMT*3C) in East Asians
Genes 2017, 8(10), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100285
Received: 19 September 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
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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
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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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
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Open AccessBrief Report Genome-Wide Identification and Analysis of MAPK and MAPKK Gene Families in Bread Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)
Genes 2017, 8(10), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100284
Received: 20 August 2017 / Revised: 13 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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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
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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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution and Biodiversity of the Plant Genome Architecture)
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Open AccessCommunication Allelic Expression Imbalance in the Human Retinal Transcriptome and Potential Impact on Inherited Retinal Diseases
Genes 2017, 8(10), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100283
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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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
[...] Read more.
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. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Chromosome Synapsis and Recombination in Male Hybrids between Two Chromosome Races of the Common Shrew (Sorex araneus L., Soricidae, Eulipotyphla)
Genes 2017, 8(10), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100282
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 8 October 2017 / Accepted: 17 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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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
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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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chromosomal Evolution)
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Open AccessArticle Eco-Friendly Formulated Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles: Induction of Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis in the MCF-7 Cancer Cell Line
Genes 2017, 8(10), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100281
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 24 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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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
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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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Clinical and Genetic Evaluation of a Cohort of Pediatric Patients with Severe Inherited Retinal Dystrophies
Genes 2017, 8(10), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100280
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 2 October 2017 / Accepted: 13 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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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
[...] Read more.
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. Full article
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Open AccessOpinion Potential Role of Phase Separation of Repetitive DNA in Chromosomal Organization
Genes 2017, 8(10), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100279
Received: 23 August 2017 / Revised: 7 October 2017 / Accepted: 13 October 2017 / Published: 18 October 2017
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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
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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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chromosomal Evolution)
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Open AccessArticle A DNA Structural Alphabet Distinguishes Structural Features of DNA Bound to Regulatory Proteins and in the Nucleosome Core Particle
Genes 2017, 8(10), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100278
Received: 3 August 2017 / Revised: 6 October 2017 / Accepted: 13 October 2017 / Published: 18 October 2017
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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
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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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein-DNA Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle Further Insights into the Ciliary Gene and Protein KIZ and Its Murine Ortholog PLK1S1 Mutated in Rod-Cone Dystrophy
Genes 2017, 8(10), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100277
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 4 October 2017 / Accepted: 6 October 2017 / Published: 18 October 2017
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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
[...] Read more.
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. Full article
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Open AccessReview Functional Characterization of Rare RAB12 Variants and Their Role in Musician’s and Other Dystonias
Genes 2017, 8(10), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8100276
Received: 13 September 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 17 October 2017 / Published: 18 October 2017
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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.
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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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
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