Open AccessCommunication
Development of Genome-Wide SSR Markers from Angelica gigas Nakai Using Next Generation Sequencing
Genes 2017, 8(10), 238; doi:10.3390/genes8100238 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Angelica gigas Nakai is an important medicinal herb, widely utilized in Asian countries especially in Korea, Japan, and China. Although it is a vital medicinal herb, the lack of sequencing data and efficient molecular markers has limited the application of a genetic approach
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Angelica gigas Nakai is an important medicinal herb, widely utilized in Asian countries especially in Korea, Japan, and China. Although it is a vital medicinal herb, the lack of sequencing data and efficient molecular markers has limited the application of a genetic approach for horticultural improvements. Simple sequence repeats (SSRs) are universally accepted molecular markers for population structure study. In this study, we found over 130,000 SSRs, ranging from di- to deca-nucleotide motifs, using the genome sequence of Manchu variety (MV) of A. gigas, derived from next generation sequencing (NGS). From the putative SSR regions identified, a total of 16,496 primer sets were successfully designed. Among them, we selected 848 SSR markers that showed polymorphism from in silico analysis and contained tri- to hexa-nucleotide motifs. We tested 36 SSR primer sets for polymorphism in 16 A. gigas accessions. The average polymorphism information content (PIC) was 0.69; the average observed heterozygosity (HO) values, and the expected heterozygosity (HE) values were 0.53 and 0.73, respectively. These newly developed SSR markers would be useful tools for molecular genetics, genotype identification, genetic mapping, molecular breeding, and studying species relationships of the Angelica genus. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Optimized mtDNA Control Region Primer Extension Capture Analysis for Forensically Relevant Samples and Highly Compromised mtDNA of Different Age and Origin
Genes 2017, 8(10), 237; doi:10.3390/genes8100237 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has proven useful in forensic genetics and ancient DNA (aDNA) studies, where specimens are often highly compromised and DNA quality and quantity are low. In forensic genetics, the mtDNA control region (CR) is commonly sequenced using established
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The analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has proven useful in forensic genetics and ancient DNA (aDNA) studies, where specimens are often highly compromised and DNA quality and quantity are low. In forensic genetics, the mtDNA control region (CR) is commonly sequenced using established Sanger-type Sequencing (STS) protocols involving fragment sizes down to approximately 150 base pairs (bp). Recent developments include Massively Parallel Sequencing (MPS) of (multiplex) PCR-generated libraries using the same amplicon sizes. Molecular genetic studies on archaeological remains that harbor more degraded aDNA have pioneered alternative approaches to target mtDNA, such as capture hybridization and primer extension capture (PEC) methods followed by MPS. These assays target smaller mtDNA fragment sizes (down to 50 bp or less), and have proven to be substantially more successful in obtaining useful mtDNA sequences from these samples compared to electrophoretic methods. Here, we present the modification and optimization of a PEC method, earlier developed for sequencing the Neanderthal mitochondrial genome, with forensic applications in mind. Our approach was designed for a more sensitive enrichment of the mtDNA CR in a single tube assay and short laboratory turnaround times, thus complying with forensic practices. We characterized the method using sheared, high quantity mtDNA (six samples), and tested challenging forensic samples (n = 2) as well as compromised solid tissue samples (n = 15) up to 8 kyrs of age. The PEC MPS method produced reliable and plausible mtDNA haplotypes that were useful in the forensic context. It yielded plausible data in samples that did not provide results with STS and other MPS techniques. We addressed the issue of contamination by including four generations of negative controls, and discuss the results in the forensic context. We finally offer perspectives for future research to enable the validation and accreditation of the PEC MPS method for final implementation in forensic genetic laboratories. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Zebrafish in Translational Cancer Research: Insight into Leukemia, Melanoma, Glioma and Endocrine Tumor Biology
Genes 2017, 8(9), 236; doi:10.3390/genes8090236 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Over the past 15 years, zebrafish have emerged as a powerful tool for studying human cancers. Transgenic techniques have been employed to model different types of tumors, including leukemia, melanoma, glioblastoma and endocrine tumors. These models present histopathological and molecular conservation with their
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Over the past 15 years, zebrafish have emerged as a powerful tool for studying human cancers. Transgenic techniques have been employed to model different types of tumors, including leukemia, melanoma, glioblastoma and endocrine tumors. These models present histopathological and molecular conservation with their human cancer counterparts and have been fundamental for understanding mechanisms of tumor initiation and progression. Moreover, xenotransplantation of human cancer cells in embryos or adult zebrafish offers the advantage of studying the behavior of human cancer cells in a live organism. Chemical-genetic screens using zebrafish embryos have uncovered novel druggable pathways and new therapeutic strategies, some of which are now tested in clinical trials. In this review, we will report on recent advances in using zebrafish as a model in cancer studies—with specific focus on four cancer types—where zebrafish has contributed to novel discoveries or approaches to novel therapies. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Circulating microRNAs and Bioinformatics Tools to Discover Novel Diagnostic Biomarkers of Pediatric Diseases
Genes 2017, 8(9), 234; doi:10.3390/genes8090234 -
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Current studies have shown that miRNAs are also present in extracellular spaces, packaged into various membrane-bound vesicles, or associated with RNA-binding proteins. Circulating miRNAs are highly stable and can
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Current studies have shown that miRNAs are also present in extracellular spaces, packaged into various membrane-bound vesicles, or associated with RNA-binding proteins. Circulating miRNAs are highly stable and can act as intercellular messengers to affect many physiological processes. MicroRNAs circulating in body fluids have generated strong interest in their potential use as clinical biomarkers. In fact, their remarkable stability and the relative ease of detection make circulating miRNAs ideal tools for rapid and non-invasive diagnosis. This review summarizes recent insights about the origin, functions and diagnostic potential of extracellular miRNAs by especially focusing on pediatric diseases in order to explore the feasibility of alternative sampling sources for the development of non-invasive pediatric diagnostics. We will also discuss specific bioinformatics tools and databases for circulating miRNAs focused on the identification and discovery of novel diagnostic biomarkers of pediatric diseases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Genome-Wide Analysis of the Biosynthesis and Deactivation of Gibberellin-Dioxygenases Gene Family in Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze
Genes 2017, 8(9), 235; doi:10.3390/genes8090235 -
Abstract
Gibberellins (GAs), a class of diterpenoid phytohormones, play a key role in regulating diverse processes throughout the life cycle of plants. Bioactive GA levels are rapidly regulated by Gibberellin-dioxygenases (GAox), which are involved in the biosynthesis and deactivation of gibberellin. In this manuscript,
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Gibberellins (GAs), a class of diterpenoid phytohormones, play a key role in regulating diverse processes throughout the life cycle of plants. Bioactive GA levels are rapidly regulated by Gibberellin-dioxygenases (GAox), which are involved in the biosynthesis and deactivation of gibberellin. In this manuscript, a comprehensive genome-wide analysis was carried out to find all GAox in Camellia sinensis. For the first time in a tea plant, 14 CsGAox genes, containing two domains, DIOX_N (PF14226) and 2OG-FeII_Oxy, were identified (PF03171). These genes all belong to 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases (2-ODD), including four CsGA20ox (EC: 1.14.11.12), three CsGA3ox (EC: 1.14.11.15), and seven CsGA2ox (EC: 1.14.11.13). According to the phylogenetic classification as in Arabidopsis, the CsGAox genes spanned five subgroups. Each CsGAox shows tissue-specific expression patterns, although these vary greatly. Some candidate genes, which may play an important role in response to external abiotic stresses, have been identified with regards to patterns, such as CsGA20ox2, CsGA3ox2, CsGA3ox3, CsGA2ox1, CsGA2ox2,and CsGA2ox4. The bioactive GA levels may be closely related to the GA20ox, GA3ox and GA2ox genes. In addition, the candidate genes could be used as marker genes for abiotic stress resistance breeding in tea plants. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Chloroplast Genome Sequence of Clusterbean (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba L.): Genome Structure and Comparative Analysis
Genes 2017, 8(9), 212; doi:10.3390/genes8090212 -
Abstract
Clusterbean (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba L.), also known as guar, belongs to the family Leguminosae, and is an annual herbaceous legume. Guar is the main source of galactomannan for gas mining industries. In the present study, the draft chloroplast genome of clusterbean was generated
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Clusterbean (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba L.), also known as guar, belongs to the family Leguminosae, and is an annual herbaceous legume. Guar is the main source of galactomannan for gas mining industries. In the present study, the draft chloroplast genome of clusterbean was generated and compared to some of the previously reported legume chloroplast genomes. The chloroplast genome of clusterbean is 152,530 bp in length, with a quadripartite structure consisting of large single copy (LSC) and small single copy (SSC) of 83,025 bp and 17,879 bp in size, respectively, and a pair of inverted repeats (IRs) of 25,790 bp in size. The chloroplast genome contains 114 unique genes, which includes 78 protein coding genes, 30 tRNAs, 4 rRNAs genes, and 2 pseudogenes. It also harbors a 50 kb inversion, typical of the Leguminosae family. The IR region of the clusterbean chloroplast genome has undergone an expansion, and hence, the whole rps19 gene is included in the IR, as compared to other legume plastid genomes. A total of 220 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were detected in the clusterbean plastid genome. The analysis of the clusterbean plastid genome will provide useful insights for evolutionary, molecular and genetic engineering studies. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Satellite DNA: An Evolving Topic
Genes 2017, 8(9), 230; doi:10.3390/genes8090230 -
Abstract
Satellite DNA represents one of the most fascinating parts of the repetitive fraction of the eukaryotic genome. Since the discovery of highly repetitive tandem DNA in the 1960s, a lot of literature has extensively covered various topics related to the structure, organization, function,
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Satellite DNA represents one of the most fascinating parts of the repetitive fraction of the eukaryotic genome. Since the discovery of highly repetitive tandem DNA in the 1960s, a lot of literature has extensively covered various topics related to the structure, organization, function, and evolution of such sequences. Today, with the advent of genomic tools, the study of satellite DNA has regained a great interest. Thus, Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), together with high-throughput in silico analysis of the information contained in NGS reads, has revolutionized the analysis of the repetitive fraction of the eukaryotic genomes. The whole of the historical and current approaches to the topic gives us a broad view of the function and evolution of satellite DNA and its role in chromosomal evolution. Currently, we have extensive information on the molecular, chromosomal, biological, and population factors that affect the evolutionary fate of satellite DNA, knowledge that gives rise to a series of hypotheses that get on well with each other about the origin, spreading, and evolution of satellite DNA. In this paper, I review these hypotheses from a methodological, conceptual, and historical perspective and frame them in the context of chromosomal organization and evolution. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Cellular Methylation on Transgene Expression and Site-Specific Integration of Adeno-Associated Virus
Genes 2017, 8(9), 232; doi:10.3390/genes8090232 -
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
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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. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Predicting Variation of DNA Shape Preferences in Protein-DNA Interaction in Cancer Cells with a New Biophysical Model
Genes 2017, 8(9), 233; doi:10.3390/genes8090233 -
Abstract
DNA shape readout is an important mechanism of transcription factor target site recognition, in addition to the sequence readout. Several machine learning-based models of transcription factor–DNA interactions, considering DNA shape features, have been developed in recent years. Here, we present a new biophysical
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DNA shape readout is an important mechanism of transcription factor target site recognition, in addition to the sequence readout. Several machine learning-based models of transcription factor–DNA interactions, considering DNA shape features, have been developed in recent years. Here, we present a new biophysical model of protein–DNA interactions by integrating the DNA shape properties. It is based on the neighbor dinucleotide dependency model BayesPI2, where new parameters are restricted to a subspace spanned by the dinucleotide form of DNA shape features. This allows a biophysical interpretation of the new parameters as a position-dependent preference towards specific DNA shape features. Using the new model, we explore the variation of DNA shape preferences in several transcription factors across various cancer cell lines and cellular conditions. The results reveal that there are DNA shape variations at FOXA1 (Forkhead Box Protein A1) binding sites in steroid-treated MCF7 cells. The new biophysical model is useful for elucidating the finer details of transcription factor–DNA interaction, as well as for predicting cancer mutation effects in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Transcription Factors Responding to Pb Stress in Maize
Genes 2017, 8(9), 231; doi:10.3390/genes8090231 -
Abstract
Pb can damage the physiological function of human organs by entering the human body via food-chain enrichment. Revealing the mechanisms of maize tolerance to Pb is critical for preventing this. In this study, a Pb-tolerant maize inbred line, 178, was used to analyse
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Pb can damage the physiological function of human organs by entering the human body via food-chain enrichment. Revealing the mechanisms of maize tolerance to Pb is critical for preventing this. In this study, a Pb-tolerant maize inbred line, 178, was used to analyse transcription factors (TFs) expressed under Pb stress based on RNA sequencing data. A total of 464 genes expressed in control check (CK) or Pb treatment samples were annotated as TFs. Among them, 262 differentially expressed transcription factors (DETs) were identified that responded to Pb treatment. Furthermore, the DETs were classified into 4 classes according to their expression patterns, and 17, 12 and 2 DETs were significantly annotated to plant hormone signal transduction, basal transcription factors and base excision repair, respectively. Seventeen DETs were found to participate in the plant hormone signal transduction pathway, where basic leucine zippers (bZIPs) were the most significantly enriched TFs, with 12 members involved. We further obtained 5 Arabidopsis transfer DNA (T-DNA) mutants for 6 of the maize bZIPs, among which the mutants atbzip20 and atbzip47, representing ZmbZIP54 and ZmbZIP107, showed obviously inhibited growth of roots and above-ground parts, compared with wild type. Five highly Pb-tolerant and 5 highly Pb-sensitive in maize lines were subjected to DNA polymorphism and expression level analysis of ZmbZIP54 and ZmbZIP107. The results suggested that differences in bZIPs expression partially accounted for the differences in Pb-tolerance among the maize lines. Our results contribute to the understanding of the molecular regulation mechanisms of TFs in maize under Pb stress. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Salt-Stress Response Mechanisms Using de Novo Transcriptome Sequencing of Salt-Tolerant and Sensitive Corchorus spp. Genotypes
Genes 2017, 8(9), 226; doi:10.3390/genes8090226 -
Abstract
High salinity is a major environmental stressor for crops. To understand the regulatory mechanisms underlying salt tolerance, we conducted a comparative transcriptome analysis between salt-tolerant and salt-sensitive jute (Corchorus spp.) genotypes in leaf and root tissues under salt stress and control conditions.
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High salinity is a major environmental stressor for crops. To understand the regulatory mechanisms underlying salt tolerance, we conducted a comparative transcriptome analysis between salt-tolerant and salt-sensitive jute (Corchorus spp.) genotypes in leaf and root tissues under salt stress and control conditions. In total, 68,961 unigenes were identified. Additionally, 11,100 unigenes (including 385 transcription factors (TFs)) exhibited significant differential expression in salt-tolerant or salt-sensitive genotypes. Numerous common and unique differentially expressed unigenes (DEGs) between the two genotypes were discovered. Fewer DEGs were observed in salt-tolerant jute genotypes whether in root or leaf tissues. These DEGs were involved in various pathways, such as ABA signaling, amino acid metabolism, etc. Among the enriched pathways, plant hormone signal transduction (ko04075) and cysteine/methionine metabolism (ko00270) were the most notable. Eight common DEGs across both tissues and genotypes with similar expression profiles were part of the PYL-ABA-PP2C (pyrabactin resistant-like/regulatory components of ABA receptors-abscisic acid-protein phosphatase 2C). The methionine metabolism pathway was only enriched in salt-tolerant jute root tissue. Twenty-three DEGs were involved in methionine metabolism. Overall, numerous common and unique salt-stress response DEGs and pathways between salt-tolerant and salt-sensitive jute have been discovered, which will provide valuable information regarding salt-stress response mechanisms and help improve salt-resistance molecular breeding in jute. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Isoform Sequencing Provides a More Comprehensive View of the Panax ginseng Transcriptome
Genes 2017, 8(9), 228; doi:10.3390/genes8090228 -
Abstract
Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer) has been widely used for medicinal purposes and contains potent plant secondary metabolites, including ginsenosides. To obtain transcriptomic data that offers a more comprehensive view of functional genomics in P. ginseng, we generated genome-wide transcriptome
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Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer) has been widely used for medicinal purposes and contains potent plant secondary metabolites, including ginsenosides. To obtain transcriptomic data that offers a more comprehensive view of functional genomics in P. ginseng, we generated genome-wide transcriptome data from four different P. ginseng tissues using PacBio isoform sequencing (Iso-Seq) technology. A total of 135,317 assembled transcripts were generated with an average length of 3.2 kb and high assembly completeness. Of those unigenes, 67.5% were predicted to be complete full-length (FL) open reading frames (ORFs) and exhibited a high gene annotation rate. Furthermore, we successfully identified unique full-length genes involved in triterpenoid saponin synthesis and plant hormonal signaling pathways, including auxin and cytokinin. Studies on the functional genomics of P. ginseng seedlings have confirmed the rapid upregulation of negative feed-back loops by auxin and cytokinin signaling cues. The conserved evolutionary mechanisms in the auxin and cytokinin canonical signaling pathways of P. ginseng are more complex than those in Arabidopsis thaliana. Our analysis also revealed a more detailed view of transcriptome-wide alternative isoforms for 88 genes. Finally, transposable elements (TEs) were also identified, suggesting transcriptional activity of TEs in P. ginseng. In conclusion, our results suggest that long-read, full-length or partial-unigene data with high-quality assemblies are invaluable resources as transcriptomic references in P. ginseng and can be used for comparative analyses in closely related medicinal plants. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Emerging Estrogenic Pollutants in the Aquatic Environment and Breast Cancer
Genes 2017, 8(9), 229; doi:10.3390/genes8090229 -
Abstract
The number and amount of man-made chemicals present in the aquatic environment has increased considerably over the past 50 years. Among these contaminants, endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) represent a significant proportion. This family of compounds interferes with normal hormonal processes through multiple molecular pathways.
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The number and amount of man-made chemicals present in the aquatic environment has increased considerably over the past 50 years. Among these contaminants, endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) represent a significant proportion. This family of compounds interferes with normal hormonal processes through multiple molecular pathways. They represent a potential risk for human and wildlife as they are suspected to be involved in the development of diseases including, but not limited to, reprotoxicity, metabolic disorders, and cancers. More precisely, several studies have suggested that the increase of breast cancers in industrialized countries is linked to exposure to EDCs, particularly estrogen-like compounds. Estrogen receptors alpha (ERα) and beta (ERβ) are the two main transducers of estrogen action and therefore important targets for these estrogen-like endocrine disrupters. More than 70% of human breast cancers are ERα-positive and estrogen-dependent, and their development and growth are not only influenced by endogenous estrogens but also likely by environmental estrogen-like endocrine disrupters. It is, therefore, of major importance to characterize the potential estrogenic activity from contaminated surface water and identify the molecules responsible for the hormonal effects. This information will help us understand how environmental contaminants can potentially impact the development of breast cancer and allow us to fix a maximal limit to the concentration of estrogen-like compounds that should be found in the environment. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of emerging estrogen-like compounds in the environment, sum up studies demonstrating their direct or indirect interactions with ERs, and link their presence to the development of breast cancer. Finally, we emphasize the use of in vitro and in vivo methods based on the zebrafish model to identify and characterize environmental estrogens. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Chloroplast Genome Sequence of Scutellaria baicalensis Provides Insight into Intraspecific and Interspecific Chloroplast Genome Diversity in Scutellaria
Genes 2017, 8(9), 227; doi:10.3390/genes8090227 -
Abstract
Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (Lamiaceae) is the source of the well-known traditional Chinese medicine “HuangQin” (Radix Scutellariae). Natural sources of S. baicalensis are rapidly declining due to high market demand and overexploitation. Moreover, the commercial products of Radix Scutellariae have often been
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Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (Lamiaceae) is the source of the well-known traditional Chinese medicine “HuangQin” (Radix Scutellariae). Natural sources of S. baicalensis are rapidly declining due to high market demand and overexploitation. Moreover, the commercial products of Radix Scutellariae have often been found to contain adulterants in recent years, which may give rise to issues regarding drug efficacy and safety. In this study, we developed valuable chloroplast molecular resources by comparing intraspecific and interspecific chloroplast genome. The S. baicalensis chloroplast genome is a circular molecule consisting of two single-copy regions separated by a pair of inverted repeats. Comparative analyses of three Scutellaria chloroplast genomes revealed six variable regions (trnH-psbA, trnK-rps16, petN-psbM, trnT-trnL, petA-psbJ, and ycf1) that could be used as DNA barcodes. There were 25 single nucleotide polymorphisms(SNPs) and 29 indels between the two S. baicalensis genotypes. All of the indels occurred within non-coding regions. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that Scutellarioideae is a sister taxon to Lamioideae. These resources could be used to explore the variation present in Scutellaria populations and for further evolutionary, phylogenetic, barcoding and genetic engineering studies, in addition to effective exploration and conservation of S. baicalensis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of the Ovine Keratin-Associated Protein 26-1 Gene and Its Association with Variation in Wool Traits
Genes 2017, 8(9), 225; doi:10.3390/genes8090225 -
Abstract
Keratin-associated proteins (KAPs) are structural components of wool and hair fibres, and are believed to play a role in defining the physico-mechanical properties of the wool fibre. In this study, the putative ovine homologue of the human KAP26-1 gene (KRTAP26-1) was
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Keratin-associated proteins (KAPs) are structural components of wool and hair fibres, and are believed to play a role in defining the physico-mechanical properties of the wool fibre. In this study, the putative ovine homologue of the human KAP26-1 gene (KRTAP26-1) was sequenced and four variants (named A–D) were identified. The sequences shared some identity with each other and with other KRTAPs, but they had the greatest similarity with the human KRTAP26-1 sequence. This suggests they represent different variants of ovine KRTAP26-1. The association of these KRTAP26-1 variants with wool traits was investigated in the 383 Merino-Southdown cross sheep. The presence of B was associated (p < 0.05) with an increase in mean fibre diameter (MFD), mean fibre curvature, and prickle factor (PF). The presence of C was found to be associated (p < 0.05) with an increase in wool yield (Yield) and mean staple length (MSL), and a decrease in MFD, fibre diameter standard deviation (FDSD), and PF. The results suggest that sheep with C have, on average, higher wool quality. These results may be useful in the future development of breeding programs based on decreasing wool MFD and FDSD, or on increasing wool MSL. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Functional Characterization of Selected Universal Stress Protein from Salvia miltiorrhiza (SmUSP) in Escherichia coli
Genes 2017, 8(9), 224; doi:10.3390/genes8090224 -
Abstract
The multigene universal stress protein (USP) family is evolutionarily conserved. Members play indispensable roles in plant tolerance to abiotic stresses. Although relatively well-characterized in model plants, such as Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa, this family has not been investigated in Salvia miltiorrhiza
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The multigene universal stress protein (USP) family is evolutionarily conserved. Members play indispensable roles in plant tolerance to abiotic stresses. Although relatively well-characterized in model plants, such as Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa, this family has not been investigated in Salvia miltiorrhiza, an important herbal plant for which yields can be limited by various abiotic stresses. Here, we identified 32 USP family members in the S. miltiorrhiza genome, and used phylogenetic analysis to sort these SmUSPs into four groups. Groups A and B belong to the ATP-binding class whereas Groups C and D are in the non-ATP-binding class. Motif analysis and multiple sequence alignment hinted that members of group A and B were able to bind ATP. Our qRT-PCR data from different tissues/organs and under salt and heat stresses provided an overall expression pattern for those genes. Three SmUSPs (SmUSP1, SmUSP8, and SmUSP27) were cloned from S. miltiorrhiza and functionally characterized in Escherichiacoli. Compared with the control cells, those that expressed SmUSPs exhibited enhanced tolerance to salt, heat, and a combination of the two. This suggested that the protein has a protective role in cells when exposed to single-stress and multiple-stress conditions. Our findings provide valuable information that helps improve our understanding of the evolutionary and functional conservation and diversity associated with the USP gene family in S. miltiorrhiza. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Advances in Genomic Profiling and Analysis of 3D Chromatin Structure and Interaction
Genes 2017, 8(9), 223; doi:10.3390/genes8090223 -
Abstract
Recent sequence-based profiling technologies such as high-throughput sequencing to detect fragment nucleotide sequence (Hi-C) and chromatin interaction analysis by paired-end tag sequencing (ChIA-PET) have revolutionized the field of three-dimensional (3D) chromatin architecture. It is now recognized that human genome functions as folded 3D
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Recent sequence-based profiling technologies such as high-throughput sequencing to detect fragment nucleotide sequence (Hi-C) and chromatin interaction analysis by paired-end tag sequencing (ChIA-PET) have revolutionized the field of three-dimensional (3D) chromatin architecture. It is now recognized that human genome functions as folded 3D chromatin units and looping paradigm is the basic principle of gene regulation. To better interpret the 3D data dramatically accumulating in past five years and to gain deep biological insights, huge efforts have been made in developing novel quantitative analysis methods. However, the full understanding of genome regulation requires thorough knowledge in both genomic technologies and their related data analyses. We summarize the recent advances in genomic technologies in identifying the 3D chromatin structure and interaction, and illustrate the quantitative analysis methods to infer functional domains and chromatin interactions, and further elucidate the emerging single-cell Hi-C technique and its computational analysis, and finally discuss the future directions such as advances of 3D chromatin techniques in diseases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
High-Throughput Study of the Effects of Celastrol on Activated Fibroblast-Like Synoviocytes from Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Genes 2017, 8(9), 221; doi:10.3390/genes8090221 -
Abstract
Celastrol, a natural triterpene, exhibits potential anti-inflammatory activity in a variety of inflammatory diseases. The present study aimed to investigate its biological effect on activated fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The primary FLSs of the synovial tissues were obtained
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Celastrol, a natural triterpene, exhibits potential anti-inflammatory activity in a variety of inflammatory diseases. The present study aimed to investigate its biological effect on activated fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The primary FLSs of the synovial tissues were obtained from synovial biopsies of patients with RA. The normal human FLS line (HFLS) was used as a control. After the RA–FLSs and HFLSs were treated with or without celastrol, various approaches, including the WST-1 assay, transwell assay, real-time PCR and ELISA analysis, were performed to estimate proliferation, invasion and expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines of the RA–FLSs. Microarray analysis was performed to screen for differentially expressed genes in RA–FLSs before and after celastrol treatment. The results showed that treatment of celastrol attenuated both the proliferation and invasion of the RA–FLSs. The expression of several chemokine genes, including CCL2, CXCL10, CXCL12, CCR2 and CXCR4, was significantly changed after celastrol treatment. The genes involved in the NF-κB signaling pathway appeared to be regulated by celastrol. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
RECQ1 Helicase Silencing Decreases the Tumour Growth Rate of U87 Glioblastoma Cell Xenografts in Zebrafish Embryos
Genes 2017, 8(9), 222; doi:10.3390/genes8090222 -
Abstract
RECQ1 helicase has multiple roles in DNA replication, including restoration of the replication fork and DNA repair, and plays an important role in tumour progression. Its expression is highly elevated in glioblastoma as compared to healthy brain tissue. We studied the effects of
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RECQ1 helicase has multiple roles in DNA replication, including restoration of the replication fork and DNA repair, and plays an important role in tumour progression. Its expression is highly elevated in glioblastoma as compared to healthy brain tissue. We studied the effects of small hairpin RNA (shRNA)-induced silencing of RECQ1 helicase on the increase in cell number and the invasion of U87 glioblastoma cells. RECQ1 silencing reduced the rate of increase in the number of U87 cells by 30%. This corresponded with a 40% reduction of the percentage of cells in the G2 phase of the cell cycle, and an accumulation of cells in the G1 phase. These effects were confirmed in vivo, in the brain of zebrafish (Daniorerio) embryos, by implanting DsRed-labelled RECQ1 helicase-silenced and control U87 cells. The growth of resulting tumours was quantified by monitoring the increase in xenograft fluorescence intensity during a three-day period with fluorescence microscopy. The reduced rate of tumour growth, by approximately 30% in RECQ1 helicase-silenced cells, was in line with in vitro measurements of the increase in cell number upon RECQ1 helicase silencing. However, RECQ1 helicase silencing did not affect invasive behaviour of U87 cells in the zebrafish brain. This is the first in vivo confirmation that RECQ1 helicase is a promising molecular target in the treatment of glioblastoma. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quantification of Pseudouridine Levels in Cellular RNA Pools with a Modified HPLC-UV Assay
Genes 2017, 8(9), 219; doi:10.3390/genes8090219 -
Abstract
Pseudouridine (Ψ) is the most abundant post-transcriptionally modified ribonucleoside. Different Ψ modifications correlate with stress responses and are postulated to coordinate the distinct biological responses to a diverse panel of cellular stresses. With the help of different guide RNAs, the dyskerin complex pseudouridylates
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Pseudouridine (Ψ) is the most abundant post-transcriptionally modified ribonucleoside. Different Ψ modifications correlate with stress responses and are postulated to coordinate the distinct biological responses to a diverse panel of cellular stresses. With the help of different guide RNAs, the dyskerin complex pseudouridylates ribosomal RNA, small nuclear RNA and selective messenger RNAs. To monitor Ψ levels quantitatively, a previously reported high performance liquid chromatography method coupled with ultraviolet detection (HPLC-UV) was modified to determine total Ψ levels in different cellular RNA fractions. Our method was validated to be accurate and precise within the linear range of 0.06–15.36 pmol/μL and to have absolute Ψ quantification levels as low as 3.07 pmol. Using our optimized HPLC assay, we found that 1.20% and 1.94% of all ribonucleosides in nuclear-enriched RNA and small non-coding RNA pools from the HEK293 cell line, and 1.77% and 0.98% of ribonucleosides in 18S and 28S rRNA isolated from the HeLa cell line, were pseudouridylated. Upon knockdown of dyskerin expression, a consistent and significant reduction in total Ψ levels in nuclear-enriched RNA pools was observed. Our assay provides a fast and accurate quantification method to measure changes in Ψ levels of different RNA pools without sample derivatization. Full article
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