Abstract: Microsatellite instability (MSI) is a useful marker for risk assessment, prediction of chemotherapy responsiveness and prognosis in patients with colorectal cancer. Here, we describe a next generation sequencing approach for MSI testing using the MiSeq platform. Different from other MSI capturing strategies that are based on targeted gene capture, we utilize “deep resequencing”, where we focus the sequencing on only the microsatellite regions of interest. We sequenced a series of 44 colorectal tumours with normal controls for five MSI loci (BAT25, BAT26, BAT34c4, D18S55, D5S346) and a second series of six colorectal tumours (no control) with two mononucleotide loci (BAT25, BAT26). In the first series, we were able to determine 17 MSI-High, 1 MSI-Low and 26 microsatellite stable (MSS) tumours. In the second series, there were three MSI-High and three MSS tumours. Although there was some variation within individual markers, this NGS method produced the same overall MSI status for each tumour, as obtained with the traditional multiplex PCR-based method.
Abstract: The genome project increased appreciation of genetic complexity underlying disease phenotypes: many genes contribute each phenotype and each gene contributes multiple phenotypes. The aspiration of predicting common disease in individuals has evolved from seeking primary loci to marginal risk assignments based on many genes. Genetic interaction, defined as contributions to a phenotype that are dependent upon particular digenic allele combinations, could improve prediction of phenotype from complex genotype, but it is difficult to study in human populations. High throughput, systematic analysis of S. cerevisiae gene knockouts or knockdowns in the context of disease-relevant phenotypic perturbations provides a tractable experimental approach to derive gene interaction networks, in order to deduce by cross-species gene homology how phenotype is buffered against disease-risk genotypes. Yeast gene interaction network analysis to date has revealed biology more complex than previously imagined. This has motivated the development of more powerful yeast cell array phenotyping methods to globally model the role of gene interaction networks in modulating phenotypes (which we call yeast phenomic analysis). The article illustrates yeast phenomic technology, which is applied here to quantify gene X media interaction at higher resolution and supports use of a human-like media for future applications of yeast phenomics for modeling human disease.
Abstract: Expression of miRNAs in Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (NEN) is poorly characterized. We therefore wanted to examine the miRNA expression in Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs), and identify their targets and importance in NET carcinogenesis. miRNA expression in six NEN primary tumors, six NEN metastases and four normal intestinal tissues was characterized using miRNA arrays, and validated by in-situ hybridization and qPCR. Among the down-regulated miRNAs miR-129-5p and the let-7f/let-7 family, were selected for further characterization. Transfection of miR-129-5p inhibited growth of a pulmonary and an intestinal carcinoid cell line. Analysis of mRNA expression changes identified EGR1 and G3BP1 as miR-129-5p targets. They were validated by luciferase assay and western blotting, and found robustly expressed in NETs by immunohistochemistry. Knockdown of EGR1 and G3BP1 mimicked the growth inhibition induced by miR-129-5p. let-7 overexpression inhibited growth of carcinoid cell lines, and let-7 inhibition increased protein content of the transcription factor BACH1 and its targets MMP1 and HMGA2, all known to promote bone metastases. Immunohistochemistry analysis revealed that let-7 targets are highly expressed in NETs and metastases. We found down-regulation of miR-129-5p and the let-7 family, and identified new neuroendocrine specific targets for these miRNAs, which contributes to the growth and metastatic potential of these tumors.
Genes2014, 5(4), 1115-1131; doi:10.3390/genes5041115 - published 19 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Several transcription factors (TFs) coordinate to regulate expression of specific genes at the transcriptional level. In Arabidopsis thaliana it is estimated that approximately 10% of all genes encode TFs or TF-like proteins. It is important to identify target genes that are directly regulated by TFs in order to understand the complete picture of a plant’s transcriptome profile. Here, we investigate the role of the LONG HYPOCOTYL5 (HY5) transcription factor that acts as a regulator of photomorphogenesis. We used an in vitro genomic DNA binding assay coupled with immunoprecipitation and next-generation sequencing (gDB-seq) instead of the in vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-based methods. The results demonstrate that the HY5-binding motif predicted here was similar to the motif reported previously and that in vitro HY5-binding loci largely overlapped with the HY5-targeted candidate genes identified in previous ChIP-chip analysis. By combining these results with microarray analysis, we identified hundreds of HY5-binding genes that were differentially expressed in hy5. We also observed delayed induction of some transcripts of HY5-binding genes in hy5 mutants in response to blue-light exposure after dark treatment. Thus, an in vitro gDNA-binding assay coupled with sequencing is a convenient and powerful method to bridge the gap between identifying TF binding potential and establishing function.
Genes2014, 5(4), 1095-1114; doi:10.3390/genes5041095 - published 11 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Memantine is a non-competitive antagonist of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, and is an approved drug for the treatment of moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease. We identified a mouse strain with a naturally occurring mutation and an ataxic phenotype that presents with severe leg cramps. To investigate the phenotypes of these mutant mice, we screened several phenotype-modulating drugs and found that memantine (10 mg/kg) disrupted the sense of balance in the mutants. Moreover, the mutant mice showed an attenuated optokinetic response (OKR) and impaired OKR learning, which was also observed in wild-type mice treated with memantine. Microsatellite analyses indicated that the Grid2 gene-deletion is responsible for these phenotypes. Patch-clamp analysis showed a relatively small change in NMDA-dependent current in cultured granule cells from Grid2 gene-deleted mice, suggesting that GRID2 is important for correct NMDA receptor function. In general, NMDA receptors are activated after the activation of non-NMDA receptors, such as AMPA receptors, and AMPA receptor dysregulation also occurs in Grid2 mutant mice. Indeed, the AMPA treatment enhanced memantine susceptibility in wild-type mice, which was indicated by balance sense and OKR impairments. The present study explores a new role for GRID2 and highlights the adverse effects of memantine in different genetic backgrounds.