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Genes, Volume 10, Issue 8 (August 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
Tumor-Infiltrating Leukocyte Composition and Prognostic Power in Hepatitis B- and Hepatitis C-Related Hepatocellular Carcinomas
Genes 2019, 10(8), 630; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10080630 (registering DOI)
Received: 9 July 2019 / Revised: 15 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Background: Tumor-infiltrating leukocytes (TILs) are immune cells surrounding tumor cells, and several studies have shown that TILs are potential survival predictors in different cancers. However, few studies have dissected the differences between hepatitis B- and hepatitis C-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HBV−HCC and HCV−HCC). Therefore, [...] Read more.
Background: Tumor-infiltrating leukocytes (TILs) are immune cells surrounding tumor cells, and several studies have shown that TILs are potential survival predictors in different cancers. However, few studies have dissected the differences between hepatitis B- and hepatitis C-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HBV−HCC and HCV−HCC). Therefore, we aimed to determine whether the abundance and composition of TILs are potential predictors for survival outcomes in HCC and which TILs are the most significant predictors. Methods: Two bioinformatics algorithms, ESTIMATE and CIBERSORT, were utilized to analyze the gene expression profiles from 6 datasets, from which the abundance of corresponding TILs was inferred. The ESTIMATE algorithm examined the overall abundance of TILs, whereas the CIBERSORT algorithm reported the relative abundance of 22 different TILs. Both HBV−HCC and HCV−HCC were analyzed. Results: The results indicated that the total abundance of TILs was higher in non-tumor tissue regardless of the HCC type. Alternatively, the specific TILs associated with overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) varied between subtypes. For example, in HBV−HCC, plasma cells (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.05; 95% CI 1.00–1.10; p = 0.034) and activated dendritic cells (HR = 1.08; 95% CI 1.01–1.17; p = 0.03) were significantly associated with OS, whereas in HCV−HCC, monocytes (HR = 1.21) were significantly associated with OS. Furthermore, for RFS, CD8+ T cells (HR = 0.98) and M0 macrophages (HR = 1.02) were potential biomarkers in HBV−HCC, whereas neutrophils (HR = 1.01) were an independent predictor in HCV−HCC. Lastly, in both HBV−HCC and HCV−HCC, CD8+ T cells (HR = 0.97) and activated dendritic cells (HR = 1.09) had a significant association with OS, while γ delta T cells (HR = 1.04), monocytes (HR = 1.05), M0 macrophages (HR = 1.04), M1 macrophages (HR = 1.02), and activated dendritic cells (HR = 1.15) were highly associated with RFS. Conclusions: These findings demonstrated that TILs are potential survival predictors in HCC and different kinds of TILs are observed according to the virus type. Therefore, further investigations are warranted to elucidate the role of TILs in HCC, which may improve immunotherapy outcomes. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Population Genetic Analysis of the Estonian Native Horse Suggests Diverse and Distinct Genetics, Ancient Origin and Contribution from Unique Patrilines
Genes 2019, 10(8), 629; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10080629 (registering DOI)
Received: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 13 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
The Estonian Native Horse (ENH) is a medium-size pony found mainly in the western islands of Estonia and is well-adapted to the harsh northern climate and poor pastures. The ancestry of the ENH is debated, including alleged claims about direct descendance from the [...] Read more.
The Estonian Native Horse (ENH) is a medium-size pony found mainly in the western islands of Estonia and is well-adapted to the harsh northern climate and poor pastures. The ancestry of the ENH is debated, including alleged claims about direct descendance from the extinct Tarpan. Here we conducted a detailed analysis of the genetic makeup and relationships of the ENH based on the genotypes of 15 autosomal short tandem repeats (STRs), 18 Y chromosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), mitochondrial D-loop sequence and lateral gait allele in DMRT3. The study encompassed 2890 horses of 61 breeds, including 33 ENHs. We show that the expected and observed genetic diversities of the ENH are among the highest within 52 global breeds, and the highest among 8 related Northern European ponies. The genetically closest breeds to the ENH are the Finn Horse, and the geographically more distant primitive Hucul and Konik. ENH matrilines are diverse and relate to draught and Pontic-Caspian breeds. ENH patrilines relate to draught breeds, and to a unique haplogroup not described before. None of the 33 ENHs carried the “gait” mutation, but the mutation was found in 2 Huculs. The study demonstrates that the ENH is a genetically distinct and diverse breed of ancient origin with no notable pressure of selective breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Equine Genetics)
Open AccessArticle
Genome-Wide Identification and Transcriptional Expression of the METTL21C Gene Family in Chicken
Genes 2019, 10(8), 628; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10080628 (registering DOI)
Received: 26 June 2019 / Revised: 6 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
The chicken is a common type of poultry that is economically important both for its medicinal and nutritional values. Previous studies have found that free-range chickens have more skeletal muscle mass. The methyltransferase-like 21C gene (METTL21C) plays an important role in muscle [...] Read more.
The chicken is a common type of poultry that is economically important both for its medicinal and nutritional values. Previous studies have found that free-range chickens have more skeletal muscle mass. The methyltransferase-like 21C gene (METTL21C) plays an important role in muscle development; however, there have been few reports on the role of METTL21C in chickens. In this study, we performed a genome-wide identification of chicken METTL21C genes and analyzed their phylogeny, transcriptional expression profile, and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). We identified 10 GgMETTL21C genes from chickens, 11 from mice, and 32 from humans, and these genes were divided into six groups, which showed a large amount of variation among these three species. A total of 15 motifs were detected in METTL21C genes, and the intron phase of the gene structure showed that the METTL21C gene family was conservative in evolution. Further, both the transcript data and qPCR showed that a single gene’s (GgMETTL21C3) expression level increased with the muscle development of chickens, indicating that the METTL21C genes are involved in the development of chicken muscles. Our results provide some reference value for the subsequent study of the function of METTL21C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessReview
Chromosomics: Bridging the Gap between Genomes and Chromosomes
Genes 2019, 10(8), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10080627 (registering DOI)
Received: 18 July 2019 / Revised: 10 August 2019 / Accepted: 13 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
The recent advances in DNA sequencing technology are enabling a rapid increase in the number of genomes being sequenced. However, many fundamental questions in genome biology remain unanswered, because sequence data alone is unable to provide insight into how the genome is organised [...] Read more.
The recent advances in DNA sequencing technology are enabling a rapid increase in the number of genomes being sequenced. However, many fundamental questions in genome biology remain unanswered, because sequence data alone is unable to provide insight into how the genome is organised into chromosomes, the position and interaction of those chromosomes in the cell, and how chromosomes and their interactions with each other change in response to environmental stimuli or over time. The intimate relationship between DNA sequence and chromosome structure and function highlights the need to integrate genomic and cytogenetic data to more comprehensively understand the role genome architecture plays in genome plasticity. We propose adoption of the term ‘chromosomics’ as an approach encompassing genome sequencing, cytogenetics and cell biology, and present examples of where chromosomics has already led to novel discoveries, such as the sex-determining gene in eutherian mammals. More importantly, we look to the future and the questions that could be answered as we enter into the chromosomics revolution, such as the role of chromosome rearrangements in speciation and the role more rapidly evolving regions of the genome, like centromeres, play in genome plasticity. However, for chromosomics to reach its full potential, we need to address several challenges, particularly the training of a new generation of cytogeneticists, and the commitment to a closer union among the research areas of genomics, cytogenetics, cell biology and bioinformatics. Overcoming these challenges will lead to ground-breaking discoveries in understanding genome evolution and function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Driving Karyotype Evolution and Genomic Architecture)
Open AccessArticle
The Role of MIR9-2 in Shared Susceptibility of Psychiatric Disorders during Childhood: A Population-Based Birth Cohort Study
Genes 2019, 10(8), 626; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10080626 (registering DOI)
Received: 26 May 2019 / Revised: 23 July 2019 / Accepted: 13 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Background: It has been suggested that microRNAs (miRNAs; short non-protein-coding RNA molecules that mediate post-transcriptional regulation), including mir-9 and mir-34 families, are important for brain development. Current data suggest that mir-9 and mir-34 may have shared effects across psychiatric disorders. This study aims [...] Read more.
Background: It has been suggested that microRNAs (miRNAs; short non-protein-coding RNA molecules that mediate post-transcriptional regulation), including mir-9 and mir-34 families, are important for brain development. Current data suggest that mir-9 and mir-34 may have shared effects across psychiatric disorders. This study aims to explore the role of genetic polymorphisms in the MIR9-2 (rs4916723) and MIR34B/C (rs4938723) genes on the susceptibility of psychiatric disorders in children from the 2004 Pelotas Birth Cohort. Methods: Psychiatric disorders were assessed in 3585 individuals using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV), criteria through the application of standard semi-structured interviews (using the Development and Well-Being Assessment, DAWBA) at the six-years-of-age follow-up. The outcome was defined as the presence of any mental disorder. We also considered two broad groups of internalizing and externalizing disorders to further investigate the role of these variants in mental health. Results: We observed an association between rs4916723 (MIR9-2) and the presence of any psychiatric disorder (odds ratios (OR) = 0.820; 95% CI = 0.7130–0.944; p = 0.006) and a suggestive effect on internalizing disorders (OR = 0.830; 95% CI = 0.698–0.987; p = 0.035). rs4938723 (MIR34B/C) was not associated with any evaluated outcome. Conclusion: The study suggests that MIR9-2 may have an important role on a broad susceptibility for psychiatric disorders and may be important mainly for internalization problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
Open AccessArticle
Viral Sequences Detection by High-Throughput Sequencing in Cerebrospinal Fluid of Individuals with and without Central Nervous System Disease
Received: 11 July 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 14 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
: Meningitis, encephalitis, and myelitis are various forms of acute central nervous system (CNS) inflammation, which can coexist and lead to serious sequelae. Known aetiologies include infections and immune-mediated processes. Despite advances in clinical microbiology over the past decades, the cause of acute [...] Read more.
: Meningitis, encephalitis, and myelitis are various forms of acute central nervous system (CNS) inflammation, which can coexist and lead to serious sequelae. Known aetiologies include infections and immune-mediated processes. Despite advances in clinical microbiology over the past decades, the cause of acute CNS inflammation remains unknown in approximately 50% of cases. High-throughput sequencing was performed to search for viral sequences in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples collected from 26 patients considered to have acute CNS inflammation of unknown origin, and 10 patients with defined causes of CNS diseases. In order to better grasp the clinical significance of viral sequence data obtained in CSF, 30 patients without CNS disease who had a lumbar puncture performed during elective spinal anaesthesia were also analysed. One case of human astrovirus (HAstV)-MLB2-related meningitis and disseminated infection was identified. No other viral sequences that can easily be linked to CNS inflammation were detected. Viral sequences obtained in all patient groups are discussed. While some of them reflect harmless viral infections, others result from reagent or sample contamination, as well as index hopping. Altogether, this study highlights the potential of high-throughput sequencing in identifying previously unknown viral neuropathogens, as well as the interpretation issues related to its application in clinical microbiology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Diagnostics Using Next-Generation Sequencing)
Open AccessArticle
Anti-Colorectal Cancer Effects of Probiotic-Derived p8 Protein
Received: 1 July 2019 / Revised: 10 August 2019 / Accepted: 13 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
Recently, we reported a novel therapeutic probiotic-derived protein, p8, which has anti-colorectal cancer (anti-CRC) properties. In vitro experiments using a CRC cell line (DLD-1), anti-proliferation activity (about 20%) did not improve after increasing the dose of recombinant-p8 (r-p8) to >10 μM. Here, we [...] Read more.
Recently, we reported a novel therapeutic probiotic-derived protein, p8, which has anti-colorectal cancer (anti-CRC) properties. In vitro experiments using a CRC cell line (DLD-1), anti-proliferation activity (about 20%) did not improve after increasing the dose of recombinant-p8 (r-p8) to >10 μM. Here, we show that this was due to the low penetrative efficiency of r-p8 exogenous treatment. Furthermore, we found that r-p8 entered the cytosol through endocytosis, which might be a reason for the low penetration efficiency. Therefore, to improve the therapeutic efficacy of p8, we tried to improve delivery to CRC cells. This resulted in endogenous expression of p8 and increased the anti-proliferative effects by up to 2-fold compared with the exogenous treatment (40 μM). Anti-migration activity also increased markedly. Furthermore, we found that the anti-proliferation activity of p8 was mediated by inhibition of the p53-p21-Cyclin B1/Cdk1 signal pathway, resulting in growth arrest at the G2 phase of the cell cycle. Taken together, these results suggest that p8 is toxic to cancer cells, shows stable expression within cells, and shows strong cancer suppressive activity by inducing cell cycle arrest. Therefore, p8 is a strong candidate for gene therapy if it can be loaded onto cancer-specific viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Cycle and Regulation)
Open AccessArticle
Integration of Transcriptomes, Small RNAs, and Degradome Sequencing to Identify Putative miRNAs and Their Targets Related to Eu-Rubber Biosynthesis in Eucommia ulmoides
Received: 28 June 2019 / Revised: 10 August 2019 / Accepted: 13 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
Eucommia ulmoides has attracted much attention as a valuable natural rubber (Eu-rubber) production tree. As a strategic material, Eu-rubber plays a vital role in general and defence industries. However, the study of Eu-rubber biosynthesis at a molecular level is scarce, and the regulatory [...] Read more.
Eucommia ulmoides has attracted much attention as a valuable natural rubber (Eu-rubber) production tree. As a strategic material, Eu-rubber plays a vital role in general and defence industries. However, the study of Eu-rubber biosynthesis at a molecular level is scarce, and the regulatory network between microRNAs (miRNAs) and messenger RNAs (mRNAs) in Eu-rubber biosynthesis has not been assessed. In this study, we comprehensively analyzed the transcriptomes, small RNAs (sRNAs) and degradome to reveal the regulatory network of Eu-rubber biosynthesis in E. ulmoides. A total of 82,065 unigenes and 221 miRNAs were identified using high-throughput sequencing; 20,815 targets were predicted using psRNATarget software. Of these targets, 779 miRNA-target pairs were identified via degradome sequencing. Thirty-one miRNAs were differentially expressed; 22 targets of 34 miRNAs were annotated in the terpenoid backbone biosynthesis pathway (ko00900) based on the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG). These miRNAs were putatively related to Eu-rubber biosynthesis. A regulatory network was constructed according to the expression profiles of miRNAs and their targets. These results provide a comprehensive analysis of transcriptomics, sRNAs and degradome to reveal the Eu-rubber accumulation, and provide new insights into genetic engineering techniques which may improve the content of Eu-rubber in E. ulmoides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
The Molecular Evolution of Circadian Clock Genes in Spotted Gar (Lepisosteus oculatus)
Received: 3 July 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 14 August 2019 / Published: 17 August 2019
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Abstract
Circadian rhythms are biological rhythms with a period of approximately 24 h. While canonical circadian clock genes and their regulatory mechanisms appear highly conserved, the evolution of clock gene families is still unclear due to several rounds of whole genome duplication in vertebrates. [...] Read more.
Circadian rhythms are biological rhythms with a period of approximately 24 h. While canonical circadian clock genes and their regulatory mechanisms appear highly conserved, the evolution of clock gene families is still unclear due to several rounds of whole genome duplication in vertebrates. The spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus), as a non-teleost ray-finned fish, represents a fish lineage that diverged before the teleost genome duplication (TGD), providing an outgroup for exploring the evolutionary mechanisms of circadian clocks after whole-genome duplication. In this study, we interrogated the spotted gar draft genome sequences and found that spotted gar contains 26 circadian clock genes from 11 families. Phylogenetic analysis showed that 9 of these 11 spotted gar circadian clock gene families have the same number of genes as humans, while the members of the nfil3 and cry families are different between spotted gar and humans. Using phylogenetic and syntenic analyses, we found that nfil3-1 is conserved in vertebrates, while nfil3-2 and nfil3-3 are maintained in spotted gar, teleost fish, amphibians, and reptiles, but not in mammals. Following the two-round vertebrate genome duplication (VGD), spotted gar retained cry1a, cry1b, and cry2, and cry3 is retained in spotted gar, teleost fish, turtles, and birds, but not in mammals. We hypothesize that duplication of core clock genes, such as (nfil3 and cry), likely facilitated diversification of circadian regulatory mechanisms in teleost fish. We also found that the transcription factor binding element (Ahr::Arnt) is retained only in one of the per1 or per2 duplicated paralogs derived from the TGD in the teleost fish, implicating possible subfuctionalization cases. Together, these findings help decipher the repertoires of the spotted gar’s circadian system and shed light on how the vertebrate circadian clock systems have evolved. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of the HOXA Gene Family in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Received: 22 July 2019 / Revised: 6 August 2019 / Accepted: 14 August 2019 / Published: 16 August 2019
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Abstract
The HOXA gene family is associated with various cancer types. However, the role of HOXA genes in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have not been comprehensively studied. We compared the transcriptional expression, survival data, and network analysis of HOXA-associated signaling pathways in patients [...] Read more.
The HOXA gene family is associated with various cancer types. However, the role of HOXA genes in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have not been comprehensively studied. We compared the transcriptional expression, survival data, and network analysis of HOXA-associated signaling pathways in patients with AML using the ONCOMINE, GEPIA, LinkedOmics, cBioPortal, and Metascape databases. We observed that HOXA2-10 mRNA expression levels were significantly upregulated in AML and that high HOXA1-10 expression was associated with poor AML patient prognosis. The HOXA genes were altered in ~18% of the AML samples, either in terms of amplification, deep deletion, or elevated mRNA expression. The following pathways were modulated by HOXA gene upregulation: GO:0048706: embryonic skeletal system development; R-HSA-5617472: activation of HOX genes in anterior hindbrain development during early embryogenesis; GO:0060216: definitive hemopoiesis; hsa05202: transcriptional mis-regulation in cancer; and GO:0045638: negative regulation of myeloid cell differentiation, and they were significantly regulated due to alterations affecting the HOXA genes. This study identified HOXA3-10 genes as potential AML therapeutic targets and prognostic markers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Transcriptome Landscape Variation in the Genus Thymus
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 31 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 August 2019 / Published: 16 August 2019
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Abstract
Among the Lamiaceae family, the genus Thymus is an economically important genera due to its medicinal and aromatic properties. Most Thymus molecular research has focused on the determining the phylogenetic relationships between different species, but no published work has focused on the evolution [...] Read more.
Among the Lamiaceae family, the genus Thymus is an economically important genera due to its medicinal and aromatic properties. Most Thymus molecular research has focused on the determining the phylogenetic relationships between different species, but no published work has focused on the evolution of the transcriptome across the genus to elucidate genes involved in terpenoid biosynthesis. Hence, in this study, the transcriptomes of five different Thymus species were generated and analyzed to mine putative genes involved in thymol and carvacrol biosynthesis. High-throughput sequencing produced ~43 million high-quality reads per sample, which were assembled de novo using several tools, then further subjected to a quality evaluation. The best assembly for each species was used as queries to search within the UniProt, KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes), COG (Clusters of Orthologous Groups) and TF (Transcription Factors) databases. Mining the transcriptomes resulted in the identification of 592 single-copy orthogroups used for phylogenetic analysis. The data showed strongly support a close genetic relationship between Thymus vulgaris and Thymus daenensis. Additionally, this study dates the speciation events between 1.5–2.1 and 9–10.2 MYA according to different methodologies. Our study provides a global overview of genes related to the terpenoid pathway in Thymus, and can help establish an understanding of the relationship that exists among Thymus species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Cloning and Functional Analysis of Lignin Biosynthesis Genes Cf4CL and CfCCoAOMT in Cryptomeria fortunei
Received: 4 July 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 12 August 2019 / Published: 15 August 2019
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Abstract
Cryptomeria fortunei, also known as the Chinese cedar, is an important timber species in southern China. The primary component of its woody tissues is lignin, mainly present in secondary cell walls. Therefore, continuous lignin synthesis is crucial for wood formation. In this [...] Read more.
Cryptomeria fortunei, also known as the Chinese cedar, is an important timber species in southern China. The primary component of its woody tissues is lignin, mainly present in secondary cell walls. Therefore, continuous lignin synthesis is crucial for wood formation. In this study, we aimed to discover key genes involved in lignin synthesis expressed in the vascular cambium of C. fortunei. Through transcriptome sequencing, we detected expression of two genes, 4CL and CCoAOMT, known to be homologous to enzymes involved in the lignin synthesis pathway. We studied the function of these genes through bioinformatics analysis, cloning, vascular cambium expression analysis, and transgenic cross-species functional validation studies. Our results show that Cf4CL and CfCCoAOMT do indeed function in the pathway of lignin synthesis and likely perform this function in C. fortunei. They are prime candidates for future (gene-editing) studies aimed at optimizing C. fortunei wood production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Biology of Secondary Growth)
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Open AccessReview
Host Invasion by Pathogenic Amoebae: Epithelial Disruption by Parasite Proteins
Received: 14 March 2019 / Revised: 25 April 2019 / Accepted: 29 April 2019 / Published: 14 August 2019
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Abstract
The epithelium represents the first and most extensive line of defence against pathogens, toxins and pollutant agents in humans. In general, pathogens have developed strategies to overcome this barrier and use it as an entrance to the organism. Entamoeba histolytica, Naegleria fowleri [...] Read more.
The epithelium represents the first and most extensive line of defence against pathogens, toxins and pollutant agents in humans. In general, pathogens have developed strategies to overcome this barrier and use it as an entrance to the organism. Entamoeba histolytica, Naegleria fowleri and Acanthamoeba spp. are amoebae mainly responsible for intestinal dysentery, meningoencephalitis and keratitis, respectively. These amoebae cause significant morbidity and mortality rates. Thus, the identification, characterization and validation of molecules participating in host-parasite interactions can provide attractive targets to timely intervene disease progress. In this work, we present a compendium of the parasite adhesins, lectins, proteases, hydrolases, kinases, and others, that participate in key pathogenic events. Special focus is made for the analysis of assorted molecules and mechanisms involved in the interaction of the parasites with epithelial surface receptors, changes in epithelial junctional markers, implications on the barrier function, among others. This review allows the assessment of initial host-pathogen interaction, to correlate it to the potential of parasite invasion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Proteins in Parasitic Protozoa)
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Open AccessArticle
Global Investigation of Cytochrome P450 Genes in the Chicken Genome
Received: 21 June 2019 / Revised: 5 August 2019 / Accepted: 9 August 2019 / Published: 14 August 2019
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Abstract
Cytochrome P450 (CYP) superfamily enzymes are broadly involved in a variety of physiological and toxicological processes. However, genome-wide analysis of this superfamily has never been investigated in the chicken genome. In this study, genome-wide analyses identified 45 chicken CYPs (cCYPs) from the chicken [...] Read more.
Cytochrome P450 (CYP) superfamily enzymes are broadly involved in a variety of physiological and toxicological processes. However, genome-wide analysis of this superfamily has never been investigated in the chicken genome. In this study, genome-wide analyses identified 45 chicken CYPs (cCYPs) from the chicken genome, and their classification and evolutionary relationships were investigated by phylogenetic, conserved protein motif, and gene structure analyses. The comprehensive evolutionary data revealed several remarkable characteristics of cCYPs, including the highly divergent and rapid evolution of the cCYPs, and the loss of cCYP2AF in the chicken genome. Furthermore, the cCYP expression profile was investigated by RNA-sequencing. The differential expression of cCYPs in developing embryos revealed the involvement of cCYPs in embryonic development. The significantly regulated cCYPs suggested its potential role in hepatic metabolism. Additionally, 11 cCYPs, including cCYP2AC1, cCYP2C23a, and cCYP2C23b, were identified as estrogen-responsive genes, which indicates that these cCYPs are involved in the estrogen-signaling pathway. Meanwhile, an expression profile analysis highlights the divergent role of different cCYPs. These data expand our view of the phylogeny and evolution of cCYPs, provide evolutionary insight, and can help elucidate the roles of cCYPs in physiological and toxicological processes in chicken. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Characterization and Expression of SPP1, LAP3 and LCORL and Their Association with Growth Traits in Sheep
Received: 21 June 2019 / Revised: 7 August 2019 / Accepted: 9 August 2019 / Published: 14 August 2019
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Abstract
The SPP1, LAP3, and LCORL are located on chromosome 6 of sheep and a domain of 36.15-38.56 Mb, which plays an essential role in tissue and embryonic growth. In this study, we cloned the complete coding sequences of SPP1 and partial [...] Read more.
The SPP1, LAP3, and LCORL are located on chromosome 6 of sheep and a domain of 36.15-38.56 Mb, which plays an essential role in tissue and embryonic growth. In this study, we cloned the complete coding sequences of SPP1 and partial coding regions of LAP3 and LCORL from Hu sheep (Gansu Province, China) and analyzed their genomic structures. The RT-qPCR showed that the three genes were expressed widely in the different tissues of Hu sheep. The SPP1 expression was significantly higher in the kidney (p < 0.01) and LAP3 expression was significantly higher in the spleen, lung, kidney, and duodenum than in the other tissues (heart, liver, rumen, muscle, fat, and ovary; p < 0.05). The LCORL was preferentially expressed in the spleen, duodenum, and lung (p < 0.05). In addition, the nucleotide substitution NM_001009224.1:c.132A>C was found in SPP1; an association analysis showed that it was associated with birth weight and yearling weight (p < 0.05), and NM_001009224.1:c.132C was the dominant allele. Two mutations XM_012179698.3:c.232C>G and XM_012179698.3:c.1154C>T were identified in LAP3. The nucleotide substitution XM_012179698.3:c.232C>G was confirmed to be associated with birth weight, 1-month weight, 3-month weight (p < 0.05), and 2-month weight (p < 0.01). The nucleotide substitution XM_012179698.3:c.1154C>T was associated with birth weight (p < 0.01), 1-month weight, and 2-month weight (p < 0.05). The LAP3 gene XM_012179698.3:c.232C>G mutation with the C allele has higher body weight than other sheep, and CC genotype individuals show higher birth weight, 1-month weight, and weaning weight than the GG genotype individuals (p < 0.05). Our results support the conclusion that the mutations on ovine SPP1 and LAP3 successfully track functional alleles that affect growth in sheep, and these genes could be used as candidate genes for improving the growth traits of sheep during breeding. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptomic Analysis of Porcine Granulosa Cells Overexpressing Retinol Binding Protein 4
Received: 16 May 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 9 August 2019 / Published: 13 August 2019
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Abstract
Retinol binding protein 4 (RBP4), mainly secreted by the liver and adipocytes, is a transporter of vitamin A. RBP4 has been shown to be involved in several pathophysiological processes, such as obesity, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular risk. Reports have indicated the high expression [...] Read more.
Retinol binding protein 4 (RBP4), mainly secreted by the liver and adipocytes, is a transporter of vitamin A. RBP4 has been shown to be involved in several pathophysiological processes, such as obesity, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular risk. Reports have indicated the high expression levels of RBP4 in cystic follicles. However, the role of RBP4 in mammalian follicular granulosa cells (GCs) remains largely unknown. To illustrate the molecular pathways associated with the effects of RBP4 on GCs, we used high-throughput sequencing to detect differential gene expression in GCs overexpressing RBP4. A total of 113 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in RBP4-overexpressing GCs, and they included 71 upregulated and 42 downregulated genes. The differential expressions of the top 10 DEGs were further confirmed by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Pathway analysis indicated that the DEGs are mostly involved in oxidative phosphorylation, Parkinson’s disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Huntington’s disease, cardiac muscle contraction, Alzheimer’s disease, fatty acid biosynthesis, AMP-activated protein kinase signaling pathway, and insulin signaling pathway. Genes in these pathways should be useful for future studies on GCs. Altogether, the results of our study establish a framework for understanding the potential functions of RBP4 in porcine GCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Domestication Genetics)
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Open AccessReview
A Critical Review of Animal Models Used in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Pathophysiology
Received: 5 July 2019 / Revised: 30 July 2019 / Accepted: 1 August 2019 / Published: 13 August 2019
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Abstract
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is one of the most frequent, complex, and heterogeneous hematological malignancies. AML prognosis largely depends on acquired cytogenetic, epigenetic, and molecular abnormalities. Despite the improvement in understanding the biology of AML, survival rates remain quite low. Animal models offer [...] Read more.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is one of the most frequent, complex, and heterogeneous hematological malignancies. AML prognosis largely depends on acquired cytogenetic, epigenetic, and molecular abnormalities. Despite the improvement in understanding the biology of AML, survival rates remain quite low. Animal models offer a valuable tool to recapitulate different AML subtypes, and to assess the potential role of novel and known mutations in disease progression. This review provides a comprehensive and critical overview of select available AML animal models. These include the non-mammalian Zebrafish and Drosophila models as well as the mammalian rodent systems, comprising rats and mice. The suitability of each animal model, its contribution to the advancement of knowledge in AML pathophysiology and treatment, as well as its advantages and limitations are discussed. Despite some limitations, animal models represent a powerful approach to assess toxicity, and permit the design of new therapeutic strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Modeling in Cancer)
Open AccessArticle
Meta-Analysis of Cancer Triploidy: Rearrangements of Genome Complements in Male Human Tumors Are Characterized by XXY Karyotypes
Received: 5 April 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 9 August 2019 / Published: 13 August 2019
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Abstract
Triploidy in cancer is associated with poor prognosis, but its origins remain unclear. Here, we attempted to differentiate between random chromosomal and whole-genome origins of cancer triploidy. In silico meta-analysis was performed on 15 male malignant and five benign tumor cohorts (2928 karyotypes) [...] Read more.
Triploidy in cancer is associated with poor prognosis, but its origins remain unclear. Here, we attempted to differentiate between random chromosomal and whole-genome origins of cancer triploidy. In silico meta-analysis was performed on 15 male malignant and five benign tumor cohorts (2928 karyotypes) extracted from the Mitelman Database, comparing their ploidy and combinations of sex chromosomes. A distinct near-triploid fraction was observed in all malignant tumor types, and was especially high in seminoma. For all tumor types, X-chromosome doubling, predominantly observed as XXY, correlated strongly with the near-triploid state (r ≈ 0.9, p < 0.001), negatively correlated with near-diploidy, and did not correlate with near-tetraploidy. A smaller near-triploid component with a doubled X-chromosome was also present in three of the five benign tumor types, especially notable in colon adenoma. Principal component analysis revealed a non-random correlation structure shaping the X-chromosome disomy distribution across all tumor types. We suggest that doubling of the maternal genome followed by pedogamic fusion with a paternal genome (a possible mimic of the fertilization aberration, 69, XXY digyny) associated with meiotic reprogramming may be responsible for the observed rearrangements of genome complements leading to cancer triploidy. The relatively frequent loss of the Y-chromosome results as a secondary factor from chromosome instability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chromosomal Heterogeneity and Human Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Key Genes and Pathways in Pancreatic Cancer Gene Expression Profile by Integrative Analysis
Received: 6 July 2019 / Revised: 31 July 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 13 August 2019
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Abstract
Background: Pancreatic cancer is one of the malignant tumors that threaten human health. Methods: The gene expression profiles of GSE15471, GSE19650, GSE32676 and GSE71989 were downloaded from the gene expression omnibus database including pancreatic cancer and normal samples. The differentially expressed genes between [...] Read more.
Background: Pancreatic cancer is one of the malignant tumors that threaten human health. Methods: The gene expression profiles of GSE15471, GSE19650, GSE32676 and GSE71989 were downloaded from the gene expression omnibus database including pancreatic cancer and normal samples. The differentially expressed genes between the two types of samples were identified with the Limma package using R language. The gene ontology functional and pathway enrichment analyses of differentially-expressed genes were performed by the DAVID software followed by the construction of a protein–protein interaction network. Hub gene identification was performed by the plug-in cytoHubba in cytoscape software, and the reliability and survival analysis of hub genes was carried out in The Cancer Genome Atlas gene expression data. Results: The 138 differentially expressed genes were significantly enriched in biological processes including cell migration, cell adhesion and several pathways, mainly associated with extracellular matrix-receptor interaction and focal adhesion pathway in pancreatic cancer. The top hub genes, namely thrombospondin 1, DNA topoisomerase II alpha, syndecan 1, maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase and proto-oncogene receptor tyrosine kinase Met were identified from the protein–protein interaction network. The expression levels of hub genes were consistent with data obtained in The Cancer Genome Atlas. DNA topoisomerase II alpha, syndecan 1, maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase and proto-oncogene receptor tyrosine kinase Met were significantly linked with poor survival in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Conclusions: These hub genes may be used as potential targets for pancreatic cancer diagnosis and treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biotechnology Tools and Genetic Medicine)
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Objective Optimized Fuzzy Clustering for Detecting Cell Clusters from Single-Cell Expression Profiles
Received: 21 June 2019 / Revised: 30 July 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 13 August 2019
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Abstract
Rapid advance in single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) allows measurement of the expression of genes at single-cell resolution in complex disease or tissue. While many methods have been developed to detect cell clusters from the scRNA-seq data, this task currently remains a main challenge. [...] Read more.
Rapid advance in single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) allows measurement of the expression of genes at single-cell resolution in complex disease or tissue. While many methods have been developed to detect cell clusters from the scRNA-seq data, this task currently remains a main challenge. We proposed a multi-objective optimization-based fuzzy clustering approach for detecting cell clusters from scRNA-seq data. First, we conducted initial filtering and SCnorm normalization. We considered various case studies by selecting different cluster numbers ( c l = 2 to a user-defined number), and applied fuzzy c-means clustering algorithm individually. From each case, we evaluated the scores of four cluster validity index measures, Partition Entropy ( P E ), Partition Coefficient ( P C ), Modified Partition Coefficient ( M P C ), and Fuzzy Silhouette Index ( F S I ). Next, we set the first measure as minimization objective (↓) and the remaining three as maximization objectives (↑), and then applied a multi-objective decision-making technique, TOPSIS, to identify the best optimal solution. The best optimal solution (case study) that had the highest TOPSIS score was selected as the final optimal clustering. Finally, we obtained differentially expressed genes (DEGs) using Limma through the comparison of expression of the samples between each resultant cluster and the remaining clusters. We applied our approach to a scRNA-seq dataset for the rare intestinal cell type in mice [GEO ID: GSE62270, 23,630 features (genes) and 288 cells]. The optimal cluster result (TOPSIS optimal score= 0.858) comprised two clusters, one with 115 cells and the other 91 cells. The evaluated scores of the four cluster validity indices, F S I , P E , P C , and M P C for the optimized fuzzy clustering were 0.482, 0.578, 0.607, and 0.215, respectively. The Limma analysis identified 1240 DEGs (cluster 1 vs. cluster 2). The top ten gene markers were Rps21, Slc5a1, Crip1, Rpl15, Rpl3, Rpl27a, Khk, Rps3a1, Aldob and Rps17. In this list, Khk (encoding ketohexokinase) is a novel marker for the rare intestinal cell type. In summary, this method is useful to detect cell clusters from scRNA-seq data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Maize CC-Type Glutaredoxins That Are Associated with Response to Drought Stress
Received: 9 July 2019 / Revised: 1 August 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
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Abstract
Global maize cultivation is often adversely affected by drought stress. The CC-type glutaredoxin (GRX) genes form a plant-specific subfamily that regulate plant growth and respond to environmental stresses. However, how maize CC-type GRX (ZmGRXCC) genes respond to drought stress remains unclear. [...] Read more.
Global maize cultivation is often adversely affected by drought stress. The CC-type glutaredoxin (GRX) genes form a plant-specific subfamily that regulate plant growth and respond to environmental stresses. However, how maize CC-type GRX (ZmGRXCC) genes respond to drought stress remains unclear. We performed a TBLASTN search to identify ZmGRXCCs in the maize genome and verified the identified sequences using the NCBI conservative domain database (CDD). We further established a phylogenetic tree using Mega7 and surveyed known cis-elements in the promoters of ZmGRXCCs using the PlantCARE database. We found twenty-one ZmGRXCCs in the maize genome by a genome-wide investigation and compared their phylogenetic relationships with rice, maize, and Arabidopsis. The analysis of their redox active sites showed that most of the 21 ZmGRXCCs share similar structures with their homologs. We assessed their expression at young seedlings and adult leaves under drought stress and their expression profiles in 15 tissues, and found that they were differentially expressed, indicating that different ZmGRXCC genes have different functions. Notably, ZmGRXCC14 is up-regulated at seedling, V12, V14, V16, and R1 stages. Importantly, significant associations between genetic variation in ZmGRXCC14 and drought tolerance are found at the seedling stage. These results will help to advance the study of the function of ZmGRXCCs genes under drought stress and understand the mechanism of drought resistance in maize. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress in Plants: Current Challenges and Perspectives)
Open AccessReview
Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms in the Pathogenesis of Classical, Vascular, and Hypermobile Ehlers‒Danlos Syndromes
Received: 26 June 2019 / Revised: 30 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
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Abstract
The Ehlers‒Danlos syndromes (EDS) constitute a heterogenous group of connective tissue disorders characterized by joint hypermobility, skin abnormalities, and vascular fragility. The latest nosology recognizes 13 types caused by pathogenic variants in genes encoding collagens and other molecules involved in collagen processing and [...] Read more.
The Ehlers‒Danlos syndromes (EDS) constitute a heterogenous group of connective tissue disorders characterized by joint hypermobility, skin abnormalities, and vascular fragility. The latest nosology recognizes 13 types caused by pathogenic variants in genes encoding collagens and other molecules involved in collagen processing and extracellular matrix (ECM) biology. Classical (cEDS), vascular (vEDS), and hypermobile (hEDS) EDS are the most frequent types. cEDS and vEDS are caused respectively by defects in collagen V and collagen III, whereas the molecular basis of hEDS is unknown. For these disorders, the molecular pathology remains poorly studied. Herein, we review, expand, and compare our previous transcriptome and protein studies on dermal fibroblasts from cEDS, vEDS, and hEDS patients, offering insights and perspectives in their molecular mechanisms. These cells, though sharing a pathological ECM remodeling, show differences in the underlying pathomechanisms. In cEDS and vEDS fibroblasts, key processes such as collagen biosynthesis/processing, protein folding quality control, endoplasmic reticulum homeostasis, autophagy, and wound healing are perturbed. In hEDS cells, gene expression changes related to cell-matrix interactions, inflammatory/pain responses, and acquisition of an in vitro pro-inflammatory myofibroblast-like phenotype may contribute to the complex pathogenesis of the disorder. Finally, emerging findings from miRNA profiling of hEDS fibroblasts are discussed to add some novel biological aspects about hEDS etiopathogenesis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
DNILMF-LDA: Prediction of lncRNA-Disease Associations by Dual-Network Integrated Logistic Matrix Factorization and Bayesian Optimization
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 22 July 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
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Abstract
Identifying associations between lncRNAs and diseases can help understand disease-related lncRNAs and facilitate disease diagnosis and treatment. The dual-network integrated logistic matrix factorization (DNILMF) model has been used for drug–target interaction prediction, and good results have been achieved. We firstly applied DNILMF to [...] Read more.
Identifying associations between lncRNAs and diseases can help understand disease-related lncRNAs and facilitate disease diagnosis and treatment. The dual-network integrated logistic matrix factorization (DNILMF) model has been used for drug–target interaction prediction, and good results have been achieved. We firstly applied DNILMF to lncRNA–disease association prediction (DNILMF-LDA). We combined different similarity kernel matrices of lncRNAs and diseases by using nonlinear fusion to extract the most important information in fused matrices. Then, lncRNA–disease association networks and similarity networks were built simultaneously. Finally, the Gaussian process mutual information (GP-MI) algorithm of Bayesian optimization was adopted to optimize the model parameters. The 10-fold cross-validation result showed that the area under receiving operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) value of DNILMF-LDA was 0.9202, and the area under precision-recall (PR) curve (AUPR) was 0.5610. Compared with LRLSLDA, SIMCLDA, BiwalkLDA, and TPGLDA, the AUC value of our method increased by 38.81%, 13.07%, 8.35%, and 6.75%, respectively. The AUPR value of our method increased by 52.66%, 40.05%, 37.01%, and 44.25%. These results indicate that DNILMF-LDA is an effective method for predicting the associations between lncRNAs and diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Technologies and Resources for Genetics)
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Open AccessArticle
The Hot QTL Locations for Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium Nutrition and Agronomic Traits at Seedling and Maturity Stages of Wheat under Different Potassium Treatments
Received: 15 May 2019 / Revised: 5 August 2019 / Accepted: 5 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
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Abstract
Potassium (K) is one of the most important mineral nutrients for wheat. In this study, the effects of low K (LK) treatments and the quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for K, calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) use efficiency traits, both at the seedling and [...] Read more.
Potassium (K) is one of the most important mineral nutrients for wheat. In this study, the effects of low K (LK) treatments and the quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for K, calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) use efficiency traits, both at the seedling and maturity stages of wheat, were investigated. The set of “Tainong 18 × Linmai 6” recombinant inbred lines (RILs) were used to identify the QTLs under different K treatments using hydroponic culture and field trials. The majority of K concentrations and content-related traits at seedling and maturity stages decreased with reduced K supply, but the K use efficiency-related traits increased. In contrast, with reduced K supply, the contents of Ca and Mg increased, while the Ca and Mg use efficiency decreased. A total of 217 QTLs for seedling traits and 89 QTLs for adult traits were detected. Four relatively high-frequency QTLs (RHF-QTLs) and 18 QTL clusters (colocation of QTLs for more than two traits) were detected. Eight clusters were detected for K-, Ca-, and Mg-related traits simultaneously. This means that these traits might be controlled by the same QTL. In addition, we highlight that 4B might be an important chromosome regulating the nutrition of K, Ca, and Mg in wheat. The 4B chromosome and four hot QTL clusters, which located 45 QTLs, might be important potential targets for further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptomic Analysis of the Influence of Methanol Assimilation on the Gene Expression in the Recombinant Pichia pastoris Producing Hirudin Variant 3
Received: 27 July 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
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Abstract
Hirudin and its variants, as strong inhibitors against thrombin, are present in the saliva of leeches and are recognized as potent anticoagulants. However, their yield is far from the clinical requirement up to now. In this study, the production of hirudin variant 3 [...] Read more.
Hirudin and its variants, as strong inhibitors against thrombin, are present in the saliva of leeches and are recognized as potent anticoagulants. However, their yield is far from the clinical requirement up to now. In this study, the production of hirudin variant 3 (HV3) was successfully realized by cultivating the recombinant Pichia pastoris GS115/pPIC9K-hv3 under the regulation of the promoter of AOX1 encoding alcohol oxidase (AOX). The antithrombin activity in the fermentation broth reached the maximum value of 5000 ATU/mL. To explore an effective strategy for improving HV3 production in the future, we investigated the influence of methanol assimilation on the general gene expression in this recombinant by transcriptomic study. The results showed that methanol was partially oxidized into CO2, and the rest was converted into glycerone-P which subsequently entered into central carbon metabolism, energy metabolism, and amino acid biosynthesis. However, the later metabolic processes were almost all down-regulated. Therefore, we propose that the up-regulated central carbon metabolism, energy, and amino acid metabolism should be beneficial for methanol assimilation, which would accordingly improve the production of HV3. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptome Analysis of Acid-Responsive Genes and Pathways Involved in Polyamine Regulation in Iron Walnut
Received: 29 June 2019 / Revised: 7 August 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 10 August 2019
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Abstract
We reported changes in the co-regulated mRNA expression in iron walnut (Juglans sigillata) in response to soil pH treatments and identified mRNAs specific to acidic soil conditions. Phenotypic and physiological analyses revealed that iron walnut growth was greater for the pH [...] Read more.
We reported changes in the co-regulated mRNA expression in iron walnut (Juglans sigillata) in response to soil pH treatments and identified mRNAs specific to acidic soil conditions. Phenotypic and physiological analyses revealed that iron walnut growth was greater for the pH 4–5 and pH 5–6 treatments than for the pH 3–4 and pH 6–7 treatments. A total of 2768 differentially expressed genes were detected and categorized into 12 clusters by Short Time-series Expression Miner (STEM). The 994 low-expression genes in cluster III and 255 high-expression genes in cluster X were classified as acid-responsive genes on the basis of the relationships between phenotype, physiology, and STEM clustering, and the two gene clusters were analyzed by a maximum likelihood (ML) evolutionary tree with the greatest log likelihood values. No prominent sub-clusters occurred in cluster III, but three occurred in cluster X. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis indicated that acid-responsive genes were related primarily to arginine biosynthesis and the arginine/proline metabolism pathway, implying that polyamine accumulation may enhance iron walnut acid stress tolerance. Overall, our results revealed 1249 potentially acid-responsive genes in iron walnut, indicating that its response to acid stress involves different pathways and activated genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress in Plants: Current Challenges and Perspectives)
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Open AccessArticle
Integrative Analysis of Cancer Omics Data for Prognosis Modeling
Received: 13 July 2019 / Revised: 30 July 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 9 August 2019
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Abstract
Prognosis modeling plays an important role in cancer studies. With the development of omics profiling, extensive research has been conducted to search for prognostic markers for various cancer types. However, many of the existing studies share a common limitation by only focusing on [...] Read more.
Prognosis modeling plays an important role in cancer studies. With the development of omics profiling, extensive research has been conducted to search for prognostic markers for various cancer types. However, many of the existing studies share a common limitation by only focusing on a single cancer type and suffering from a lack of sufficient information. With potential molecular similarity across cancer types, one cancer type may contain information useful for the analysis of other types. The integration of multiple cancer types may facilitate information borrowing so as to more comprehensively and more accurately describe prognosis. In this study, we conduct marginal and joint integrative analysis of multiple cancer types, effectively introducing integration in the discovery process. For accommodating high dimensionality and identifying relevant markers, we adopt the advanced penalization technique which has a solid statistical ground. Gene expression data on nine cancer types from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) are analyzed, leading to biologically sensible findings that are different from the alternatives. Overall, this study provides a novel venue for cancer prognosis modeling by integrating multiple cancer types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Statistical Methods for the Analysis of Genomic Data)
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Open AccessArticle
Regulation of KIR3DL3 Expression via miRNA
Received: 16 July 2019 / Revised: 31 July 2019 / Accepted: 5 August 2019 / Published: 9 August 2019
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Abstract
Killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) 3DL3 is a framework gene present in all human KIR haplotypes. Although the structure of KIR3DL3 is suggestive of an inhibitory receptor, the function of KIR3DL3 has not been demonstrated and cognate ligands have not been identified. KIR3DL3 has [...] Read more.
Killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) 3DL3 is a framework gene present in all human KIR haplotypes. Although the structure of KIR3DL3 is suggestive of an inhibitory receptor, the function of KIR3DL3 has not been demonstrated and cognate ligands have not been identified. KIR3DL3 has been shown to be constitutively expressed at a low RNA level in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) and decidual natural kill (NK) cells, but cell surface expression of KIR3DL3 cannot be detected. Accordingly, post-transcriptional regulation of KIR3DL3 should exist. Using bioinformatics analysis, we identified three candidate micro ribonucleic acids (miRNAs; miR-26a-5p, -26b-5p and -185-5p) that potentially regulate KIR3DL3 expression. Luciferase reporter assays utilizing constructs with mutated miRNA-binding sites of miR-26a-5p, -26b-5p and -185-5p in the 3’-untranslated region (3’ UTR) of KIR3DL3 resulted in up-regulation of luciferase activity demonstrating a potential mechanism of gene regulation. Furthermore, knockdown of the same endogenous miRNAs using silencing ribonucleic acid (siRNA) led to induced surface expression of KIR3DL3. In conclusion, we provide a novel mechanism of functional regulation of KIR3DL3 via miRNAs. These findings are relevant in understanding the generation of KIR repertoire and NK cell clonality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Network as a Biomarker: A Novel Network-Based Sparse Bayesian Machine for Pathway-Driven Drug Response Prediction
Received: 26 June 2019 / Revised: 5 August 2019 / Accepted: 6 August 2019 / Published: 9 August 2019
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Abstract
With the advances in different biological networks including gene regulation, gene co-expression, protein–protein interaction networks, and advanced approaches for network reconstruction, analysis, and interpretation, it is possible to discover reliable and accurate molecular network-based biomarkers for monitoring cancer treatment. Such efforts will also [...] Read more.
With the advances in different biological networks including gene regulation, gene co-expression, protein–protein interaction networks, and advanced approaches for network reconstruction, analysis, and interpretation, it is possible to discover reliable and accurate molecular network-based biomarkers for monitoring cancer treatment. Such efforts will also pave the way toward the realization of biomarker-driven personalized medicine against cancer. Previously, we have reconstructed disease-specific driver signaling networks using multi-omics profiles and cancer signaling pathway data. In this study, we developed a network-based sparse Bayesian machine (NBSBM) approach, using previously derived disease-specific driver signaling networks to predict cancer cell responses to drugs. NBSBM made use of the information encoded in a disease-specific (differentially expressed) network to improve its prediction performance in problems with a reduced amount of training data and a very high-dimensional feature space. Sparsity in NBSBM is favored by a spike and slab prior distribution, which is combined with a Markov random field prior that encodes the network of feature dependencies. Gene features that are connected in the network are assumed to be both relevant and irrelevant to drug responses. We compared the proposed method with network-based support vector machine (NBSVM) approaches and found that the NBSBM approach could achieve much better accuracy than the other two NBSVM methods. The gene modules selected from the disease-specific driver networks for predicting drug sensitivity might be directly involved in drug sensitivity or resistance. This work provides a disease-specific network-based drug sensitivity prediction approach and can uncover the potential mechanisms of the action of drugs by selecting the most predictive sub-networks from the disease-specific network. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Genetic Potential of the Biocontrol Agent Pseudomonas brassicacearum (Formerly P. trivialis) 3Re2-7 Unraveled by Genome Sequencing and Mining, Comparative Genomics and Transcriptomics
Received: 11 July 2019 / Revised: 2 August 2019 / Accepted: 6 August 2019 / Published: 9 August 2019
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Abstract
The genus Pseudomonas comprises many known plant-associated microbes with plant growth promotion and disease suppression properties. Genome-based studies allow the prediction of the underlying mechanisms using genome mining tools and the analysis of the genes unique for a strain by implementing comparative genomics. [...] Read more.
The genus Pseudomonas comprises many known plant-associated microbes with plant growth promotion and disease suppression properties. Genome-based studies allow the prediction of the underlying mechanisms using genome mining tools and the analysis of the genes unique for a strain by implementing comparative genomics. Here, we provide the genome sequence of the strain Pseudomonas brassicacearum 3Re2-7, formerly known as P. trivialis and P. reactans, elucidate its revised taxonomic classification, experimentally verify the gene predictions by transcriptome sequencing, describe its genetic biocontrol potential and contextualize it to other known Pseudomonas biocontrol agents. The P. brassicacearum 3Re2-7 genome comprises a circular chromosome with a size of 6,738,544 bp and a GC-content of 60.83%. 6267 genes were annotated, of which 6113 were shown to be transcribed in rich medium and/or in the presence of Rhizoctonia solani. Genome mining identified genes related to biocontrol traits such as secondary metabolite and siderophore biosynthesis, plant growth promotion, inorganic phosphate solubilization, biosynthesis of lipo- and exopolysaccharides, exoproteases, volatiles and detoxification. Core genome analysis revealed, that the 3Re2-7 genome exhibits a high collinearity with the representative genome for the species, P. brassicacearum subsp. brassicacearum NFM421. Comparative genomics allowed the identification of 105 specific genes and revealed gene clusters that might encode specialized biocontrol mechanisms of strain 3Re2-7. Moreover, we captured the transcriptome of P. brassicacearum 3Re2-7, confirming the transcription of the predicted biocontrol-related genes. The gene clusters coding for 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol (phlABCDEFGH) and hydrogen cyanide (hcnABC) were shown to be highly transcribed. Further genes predicted to encode putative alginate production enzymes, a pyrroloquinoline quinone precursor peptide PqqA and a matrixin family metalloprotease were also found to be highly transcribed. With this study, we provide a basis to further characterize the mechanisms for biocontrol in Pseudomonas species, towards a sustainable and safe application of P. brassicacearum biocontrol agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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