Next Issue
Volume 11, December
Previous Issue
Volume 11, October

Table of Contents

Genes, Volume 11, Issue 11 (November 2020) – 154 articles

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story (view full-size image) To date, there is little evidence supporting a role of Y chromosome genetic variation in relation [...] Read more.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle
Genome-Wide Identification and Expression Profiling Analysis of the Trihelix Gene Family Under Abiotic Stresses in Medicago truncatula
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1389; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111389 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 205
Abstract
The trihelix transcription factor (GT) family is widely involved in regulating plant growth and development, and most importantly, responding to various abiotic stresses. Our study first reported the genome-wide identification and analysis of GT family genes in Medicago truncatula. Overall, 38 trihelix [...] Read more.
The trihelix transcription factor (GT) family is widely involved in regulating plant growth and development, and most importantly, responding to various abiotic stresses. Our study first reported the genome-wide identification and analysis of GT family genes in Medicago truncatula. Overall, 38 trihelix genes were identified in the M. truncatula genome and were classified into five subfamilies (GT-1, GT-2, SH4, GTγ and SIP1). We systematically analyzed the phylogenetic relationship, chromosomal distribution, tandem and segmental duplication events, gene structures and conserved motifs of MtGTs. Syntenic analysis revealed that trihelix family genes in M. truncatula had the most collinearity relationship with those in soybean followed by alfalfa, but very little collinearity with those in the maize and rice. Additionally, tissue-specific expression analysis of trihelix family genes suggested that they played various roles in the growth and development of specific tissues in M. truncatula. Moreover, the expression of some MtGT genes, such as MtGT19, MtGT20, MtGT22, and MtGT33, was dramatically induced by drought, salt, and ABA treatments, illustrating their vital roles in response to abiotic stresses. These findings are helpful for improving the comprehensive understanding of trihelix family; additionally, the study provides candidate genes for achieving the genetic improvement of stress resistance in legumes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Genomic Identification, Evolution and Sequence Analysis of the Heat-Shock Protein Gene Family in Buffalo
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1388; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111388 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 187
Abstract
Heat-shock proteins (HSP) are conserved chaperones crucial for protein degradation, maturation, and refolding. These adenosine triphosphate dependent chaperones were classified based on their molecular mass that ranges between 10–100 kDA, including; HSP10, HSP40, HSP70, HSP90, HSPB1, HSPD, [...] Read more.
Heat-shock proteins (HSP) are conserved chaperones crucial for protein degradation, maturation, and refolding. These adenosine triphosphate dependent chaperones were classified based on their molecular mass that ranges between 10–100 kDA, including; HSP10, HSP40, HSP70, HSP90, HSPB1, HSPD, and HSPH1 family. HSPs are essential for cellular responses and imperative for protein homeostasis and survival under stress conditions. This study performed a computational analysis of the HSP protein family to better understand these proteins at the molecular level. Physiochemical properties, multiple sequence alignment, and phylogenetic analysis were performed for 64 HSP genes in the Bubalus bubalis genome. Four genes were identified as belonging to the HSP90 family, 10 to HSP70, 39 to HSP40, 8 to HSPB, one for each HSPD, HSPH1, and HSP10, respectively. The aliphatic index was higher for HSP90 and HSP70 as compared to the HSP40 family, indicating their greater thermostability. Grand Average of hydropathicity Index values indicated the hydrophilic nature of HSP90, HSP70, and HSP40. Multiple sequence alignment indicated the presence of highly conserved consensus sequences that are plausibly significant for the preservation of structural integrity of proteins. In addition, this study has expanded our current knowledge concerning the genetic diversity and phylogenetic relatedness of HSPs of buffalo with other mammalian species. The phylogenetic tree revealed that buffalo is more closely related to Capra hircus and distantly associated with Danio rerio. Our findings provide an understanding of HSPs in buffalo at the molecular level for the first time. This study highlights functionally important HSPs and indicates the need for further investigations to better understand the role and mechanism of HSPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
GWAS Based on RNA-Seq SNPs and High-Throughput Phenotyping Combined with Climatic Data Highlights the Reservoir of Valuable Genetic Diversity in Regional Tomato Landraces
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1387; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111387 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 608
Abstract
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is a widely used model plant species for dissecting out the genomic bases of complex traits to thus provide an optimal platform for modern “-omics” studies and genome-guided breeding. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have become a preferred approach [...] Read more.
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is a widely used model plant species for dissecting out the genomic bases of complex traits to thus provide an optimal platform for modern “-omics” studies and genome-guided breeding. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have become a preferred approach for screening large diverse populations and many traits. Here, we present GWAS analysis of a collection of 115 landraces and 11 vintage and modern cultivars. A total of 26 conventional descriptors, 40 traits obtained by digital phenotyping, the fruit content of six carotenoids recorded at the early ripening (breaker) and red-ripe stages and 21 climate-related variables were analyzed in the context of genetic diversity monitored in the 126 accessions. The data obtained from thorough phenotyping and the SNP diversity revealed by sequencing of ripe fruit transcripts of 120 of the tomato accessions were jointly analyzed to determine which genomic regions are implicated in the expressed phenotypic variation. This study reveals that the use of fruit RNA-Seq SNP diversity is effective not only for identification of genomic regions that underlie variation in fruit traits, but also of variation related to additional plant traits and adaptive responses to climate variation. These results allowed validation of our approach because different marker-trait associations mapped on chromosomal regions where other candidate genes for the same traits were previously reported. In addition, previously uncharacterized chromosomal regions were targeted as potentially involved in the expression of variable phenotypes, thus demonstrating that our tomato collection is a precious reservoir of diversity and an excellent tool for gene discovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tomato Genetics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Transcriptome-Wide Identification of WRKY Transcription Factors and Their Expression Profiles under Different Types of Biological and Abiotic Stress in Pinus massoniana Lamb
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1386; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111386 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 223
Abstract
Pinus massoniana Lamb, an economically important conifer tree, is widely distributed in China. WRKY transcription factors (TFs) play important roles in plant growth and development, biological and abiotic stress. Nevertheless, there is little information about the WRKY genes in P. massoniana. By [...] Read more.
Pinus massoniana Lamb, an economically important conifer tree, is widely distributed in China. WRKY transcription factors (TFs) play important roles in plant growth and development, biological and abiotic stress. Nevertheless, there is little information about the WRKY genes in P. massoniana. By searching for conserved WRKY motifs in transcriptomic RNA sequencing data for P. massoniana, 31 sequences were identified as WRKY TFs. Then, phylogenetic and conserved motif analyses of the WRKY family in P. massoniana, Pinus taeda and Arabidopsis thaliana were used to classify WRKY genes. The expression patterns of six PmWRKY genes from different groups were determined using real-time quantitative PCR for 2-year-old P. massoniana seedings grown in their natural environment and challenged by phytohormones (salicylic acid, methyl jasmonate, or ethephon), abiotic stress (H2O2) and mechanical damage stress. As a result, the 31 PmWRKY genes identified were divided into three major groups and several subgroups based on structural and phylogenetic features. PmWRKY genes are regulated in response to abiotic stress and phytohormone treatment and may participate in signaling to improve plant stress resistance. Some PmWRKY genes behaved as predicted based on their homology with A. thaliana WRKY genes, but others showed divergent behavior. This systematic analysis lays the foundation for further identification of WRKY gene functions to aid further exploration of the functions and regulatory mechanisms of PmWRKY genes in biological and abiotic stress in P. massoniana. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Network Protein Interaction in Parkinson’s Disease and Periodontitis Interplay: A Preliminary Bioinformatic Analysis
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1385; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111385 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 263
Abstract
Recent studies supported a clinical association between Parkinson’s disease (PD) and periodontitis. Hence, investigating possible interactions between proteins associated to these two conditions is of interest. In this study, we conducted a protein–protein network interaction analysis with recognized genes encoding proteins with variants [...] Read more.
Recent studies supported a clinical association between Parkinson’s disease (PD) and periodontitis. Hence, investigating possible interactions between proteins associated to these two conditions is of interest. In this study, we conducted a protein–protein network interaction analysis with recognized genes encoding proteins with variants strongly associated with PD and periodontitis. Genes of interest were collected via the Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) database. Then, we conducted a protein interaction analysis, using the Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes/Proteins (STRING) database, with a highest confidence cutoff of 0.9 and sensitivity analysis with confidence cutoff of 0.7. Our protein network casts a comprehensive analysis of potential protein–protein interactions between PD and periodontitis. This analysis may underpin valuable information for new candidate molecular mechanisms between PD and periodontitis and may serve new potential targets for research purposes. These results should be carefully interpreted, giving the limitations of this approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics of Neurodegenerative Diseases)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Multi-Omics Database Analysis of Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases in Cancer
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1384; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111384 - 22 Nov 2020
Viewed by 272
Abstract
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) are key enzymes in the mRNA translation machinery, yet they possess numerous non-canonical functions developed during the evolution of complex organisms. The aaRSs and aaRS-interacting multi-functional proteins (AIMPs) are continually being implicated in tumorigenesis, but these connections are often limited [...] Read more.
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) are key enzymes in the mRNA translation machinery, yet they possess numerous non-canonical functions developed during the evolution of complex organisms. The aaRSs and aaRS-interacting multi-functional proteins (AIMPs) are continually being implicated in tumorigenesis, but these connections are often limited in scope, focusing on specific aaRSs in distinct cancer subtypes. Here, we analyze publicly available genomic and transcriptomic data on human cytoplasmic and mitochondrial aaRSs across many cancer types. As high-throughput technologies have improved exponentially, large-scale projects have systematically quantified genetic alteration and expression from thousands of cancer patient samples. One such project is the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), which processed over 20,000 primary cancer and matched normal samples from 33 cancer types. The wealth of knowledge provided from this undertaking has streamlined the identification of cancer drivers and suppressors. We examined aaRS expression data produced by the TCGA project and combined this with patient survival data to recognize trends in aaRSs’ impact on cancer both molecularly and prognostically. We further compared these trends to an established tumor suppressor and a proto-oncogene. We observed apparent upregulation of many tRNA synthetase genes with aggressive cancer types, yet, at the individual gene level, some aaRSs resemble a tumor suppressor while others show similarities to an oncogene. This study provides an unbiased, overarching perspective on the relationship of aaRSs with cancers and identifies certain aaRS family members as promising therapeutic targets or potential leads for developing biological therapy for cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue tRNAs in Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Fucosidosis—Clinical Manifestation, Long-Term Outcomes, and Genetic Profile—Review and Case Series
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1383; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111383 - 22 Nov 2020
Viewed by 184
Abstract
Fucosidosis is a neurodegenerative disorder which progresses inexorably. Clinical features include coarse facial features, growth retardation, recurrent upper respiratory infections, dysostosis multiplex, and angiokeratoma corporis diffusum. Fucosidosis is caused by mutations in the FUCA1 gene resulting in α-L-fucosidase deficiency. Only 36 pathogenic variants [...] Read more.
Fucosidosis is a neurodegenerative disorder which progresses inexorably. Clinical features include coarse facial features, growth retardation, recurrent upper respiratory infections, dysostosis multiplex, and angiokeratoma corporis diffusum. Fucosidosis is caused by mutations in the FUCA1 gene resulting in α-L-fucosidase deficiency. Only 36 pathogenic variants in the FUCA1 gene are related to fucosidosis. Most of them are missense/nonsense substitutions; six missense and 11 nonsense mutations. Among deletions there were eight small and five gross changes. So far, only three splice site variants have been described—one small deletion, one complete deletion and one stop-loss mutation. The disease has a significant clinical variability, the cause of which is not well understood. The genotype–phenotype correlation has not been well defined. This review describes the genetic profile and clinical manifestations of fucosidosis in pediatric and adult cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics of Inherited Metabolic Diseases)
Open AccessCase Report
A Novel Germline c.1267T>A MEN1 Mutation in MEN1 Family—from Phenotype to Gene and Back
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1382; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111382 - 21 Nov 2020
Viewed by 218
Abstract
Primary hyperparathyroidism is a relatively common endocrine disorder, which may be hereditary. This report describes clinical, biochemical, radiographic, and genetic findings, the latter obtained using next generation sequencing (NGS), in three consanguineous patients. Gene panels in NGS consisted of 5 or 70 genes, [...] Read more.
Primary hyperparathyroidism is a relatively common endocrine disorder, which may be hereditary. This report describes clinical, biochemical, radiographic, and genetic findings, the latter obtained using next generation sequencing (NGS), in three consanguineous patients. Gene panels in NGS consisted of 5 or 70 genes, including MEN1 and RET. The first patient suffered from recurrent primary hyperparathyroidism. Primary hyperparathyroidism and pituitary microadenomas were afterwards diagnosed in two of her daughters. No clinical nor radiological features of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors were found. All three family members were heterozygous for MEN1 NM_130799: c.1267T>A transversion, which is predicted to result in substitution of tryptophan with arginine in position 423. Additionally, the first patient was also a carrier of RET NM_020975: c.1946C>T missense mutation, which was not present in two other family members. We describe a family with a novel heterozygous mutation (NM_130799: c.1267T>A) in MEN1 gene and postulate that it leads to MEN1 syndrome. The study underlies the importance of genetic testing in primary hyperparathyroidism in personalizing patients’ care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Differential Gene Expression in Longissimus Dorsi Muscle of Hanwoo Steers—New Insight in Genes Involved in Marbling Development at Younger Ages
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1381; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111381 - 21 Nov 2020
Viewed by 190
Abstract
The Korean Hanwoo breed possesses a high capacity to accumulate intramuscular fat, which is measured as a marbling score in the beef industry. Unfortunately, the development of marbling is not completely understood and the identification of differentially expressed genes at an early age [...] Read more.
The Korean Hanwoo breed possesses a high capacity to accumulate intramuscular fat, which is measured as a marbling score in the beef industry. Unfortunately, the development of marbling is not completely understood and the identification of differentially expressed genes at an early age is required to better understand this trait. In this study, we took muscle samples from 12 Hanwoo steers at the age of 18 and 30 months. From the contrast between age and marbling score, we identified in total 1883 differentially expressed genes (FDR < 0.05 and logarithm fold change ≥ 1.5) with 782 genes up-regulated and 1101 down-regulated. Differences in gene expression were higher between the ages x marbling groups rather than between high and low marbling groups. At 18 months of age, the genes SLC38A4, ABCA10, APOL6, and two novel genes (ENSBTAG00000015330 and ENSBTAG00000046041) were up-regulated in the high marbling group. From the protein–protein interaction network analysis, we identified unique networks when comparing marbling scores between different ages. Nineteen genes (AGT, SERPINE1, ADORA1, FOS, LEP, FOXO1, FOXO3, ADIPOQ, ITGA1, SDC1, SDC4, ITGB3, ITGB4, CXCL10, ACTG2, MX1, EDN1, ACTA2, and ESPL1) were identified to have an important role in marbling development. Further analyses are needed to better understand the role of these genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Metagenomic Information Recovery from Human Stool Samples Is Influenced by Sequencing Depth and Profiling Method
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1380; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111380 - 21 Nov 2020
Viewed by 303
Abstract
Sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene (16S) has long been a go-to method for microbiome characterization due to its accessibility and lower cost compared to shotgun metagenomic sequencing (SMS). However, 16S sequencing rarely provides species-level resolution and cannot provide direct assessment of other [...] Read more.
Sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene (16S) has long been a go-to method for microbiome characterization due to its accessibility and lower cost compared to shotgun metagenomic sequencing (SMS). However, 16S sequencing rarely provides species-level resolution and cannot provide direct assessment of other taxa (e.g., viruses and fungi) or functional gene content. Shallow shotgun metagenomic sequencing (SSMS) has emerged as an approach to bridge the gap between 16S sequencing and deep metagenomic sequencing. SSMS is cost-competitive with 16S sequencing, while also providing species-level resolution and functional gene content insights. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of sequencing depth on marker gene-mapping- and alignment-based annotation of bacteria in healthy human stool samples. The number of identified taxa decreased with lower sequencing depths, particularly with the marker gene-mapping-based approach. Other annotations, including viruses and pathways, also showed a depth-dependent effect on feature recovery. These results refine the understanding of the suitability and shortcomings of SSMS, as well as annotation tools for metagenomic analyses in human stool samples. Results may also translate to other sample types and may open the opportunity to explore the effect of sequencing depth and annotation method. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Microbiome Analysis Techniques and Discovery)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Genome-Wide Identification and Characterization of the TCP Gene Family in Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) and Their Transcriptional Responses to Different Treatments
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1379; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111379 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 208
Abstract
TCP proteins are plant-specific transcription factors widely implicated in leaf morphogenesis and senescence, flowering, lateral branching, hormone crosstalk, and stress responses. However, the relationship between the transcription pattern of TCPs and organ development in cucumber has not been systematically studied. In this study, [...] Read more.
TCP proteins are plant-specific transcription factors widely implicated in leaf morphogenesis and senescence, flowering, lateral branching, hormone crosstalk, and stress responses. However, the relationship between the transcription pattern of TCPs and organ development in cucumber has not been systematically studied. In this study, we performed a genome-wide identification of putative TCP genes and analyzed their chromosomal location, gene structure, conserved motif, and transcript expression. A total of 27 putative TCP genes were identified and characterized in cucumber. All 27 putative CsTCP genes were classified into class I and class II. Class I comprised 12 CsTCPs and Class II contained 15 CsTCPs. The 27 putative CsTCP genes were randomly distributed in five of seven chromosomes in cucumber. Four putative CsTCP genes were found to contain putative miR319 target sites. Quantitative RT-PCR revealed that 27 putative CsTCP genes exhibited different expression patterns in cucumber tissues and floral organ development. Transcript expression and phenotype analysis showed that the putative CsTCP genes responded to temperature and photoperiod and were induced by gibberellin (GA)and ethylene treatment, which suggested that CsTCP genes may regulate the lateral branching by involving in multiple signal pathways. These results lay the foundation for studying the function of cucumber TCP genes in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Plant Organogenesis and Tissue Regeneration)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
The Genetic Basis of Obesity and Related Metabolic Diseases in Humans and Companion Animals
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1378; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111378 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 532
Abstract
Obesity is one of the most prevalent health conditions in humans and companion animals globally. It is associated with premature mortality, metabolic dysfunction, and multiple health conditions across species. Obesity is, therefore, of importance in the fields of medicine and veterinary medicine. The [...] Read more.
Obesity is one of the most prevalent health conditions in humans and companion animals globally. It is associated with premature mortality, metabolic dysfunction, and multiple health conditions across species. Obesity is, therefore, of importance in the fields of medicine and veterinary medicine. The regulation of adiposity is a homeostatic process vulnerable to disruption by a multitude of genetic and environmental factors. It is well established that the heritability of obesity is high in humans and laboratory animals, with ample evidence that the same is true in companion animals. In this review, we provide an overview of how genes link to obesity in humans, drawing on a wealth of information from laboratory animal models, and summarise the mechanisms by which obesity causes related disease. Throughout, we focus on how large-scale human studies and niche investigations of rare mutations in severely affected patients have improved our understanding of obesity biology and can inform our ability to interpret results of animal studies. For dogs, cats, and horses, we compare the similarities in obesity pathophysiology to humans and review the genetic studies that have been previously reported in those species. Finally, we discuss how veterinary genetics may learn from humans about studying precise, nuanced phenotypes and implementing large-scale studies, but also how veterinary studies may be able to look past clinical findings to mechanistic ones and demonstrate translational benefits to human research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Basis of Inherited Diseases in Companion Animals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Mutations in Collagen Genes in the Context of an Isolated Population
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1377; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111377 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 185
Abstract
Genetic studies of population isolates have great potential to provide a unique insight into genetic differentiation and phenotypic expressions. Galičnik village is a population isolate located in the northwest region of the Republic of North Macedonia, established around the 10th century. Alport syndrome-linked [...] Read more.
Genetic studies of population isolates have great potential to provide a unique insight into genetic differentiation and phenotypic expressions. Galičnik village is a population isolate located in the northwest region of the Republic of North Macedonia, established around the 10th century. Alport syndrome-linked nephropathy with a complex inheritance pattern has been described historically among individuals in the village. In order to determine the genetic basis of the nephropathies and to characterize the genetic structure of the population, 23 samples were genotyped using a custom-made next generation sequencing panel and 111 samples using population genetic markers. We compared the newly obtained population data with fifteen European population data sets. NGS analysis revealed four different mutations in three different collagen genes in twelve individuals within the Galičnik population. The genetic isolation and small effective population size of Galičnik village have resulted in a high level of genomic homogeneity, with domination of R1a-M458 and R1b-U106* haplogroups. The study explains complex autosomal in cis digenic and X-linked inheritance patterns of nephropathy in the isolated population of Galičnik and describes the first case of Alport syndrome family with three different collagen gene mutations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Experimental Models to Study Autism Spectrum Disorders: hiPSCs, Rodents and Zebrafish
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1376; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111376 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 169
Abstract
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) affect around 1.5% of the global population, which manifest alterations in communication and socialization, as well as repetitive behaviors or restricted interests. ASD is a complex disorder with known environmental and genetic contributors; however, ASD etiology is far from [...] Read more.
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) affect around 1.5% of the global population, which manifest alterations in communication and socialization, as well as repetitive behaviors or restricted interests. ASD is a complex disorder with known environmental and genetic contributors; however, ASD etiology is far from being clear. In the past decades, many efforts have been put into developing new models to study ASD, both in vitro and in vivo. These models have a lot of potential to help to validate some of the previously associated risk factors to the development of the disorder, and to test new potential therapies that help to alleviate ASD symptoms. The present review is focused on the recent advances towards the generation of models for the study of ASD, which would be a useful tool to decipher the bases of the disorder, as well as to conduct drug screenings that hopefully lead to the identification of useful compounds to help patients deal with the symptoms of ASD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zebrafish Animal Models)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Chromosome Distribution of Highly Conserved Tandemly Arranged Repetitive DNAs in the Siberian Sturgeon (Acipenser baerii)
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1375; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111375 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 170
Abstract
Polyploid genomes present a challenge for cytogenetic and genomic studies, due to the high number of similar size chromosomes and the simultaneous presence of hardly distinguishable paralogous elements. The karyotype of the Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii) contains around 250 chromosomes and [...] Read more.
Polyploid genomes present a challenge for cytogenetic and genomic studies, due to the high number of similar size chromosomes and the simultaneous presence of hardly distinguishable paralogous elements. The karyotype of the Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii) contains around 250 chromosomes and is remarkable for the presence of paralogs from two rounds of whole-genome duplications (WGD). In this study, we applied the sterlet-derived acipenserid satDNA-based whole chromosome-specific probes to analyze the Siberian sturgeon karyotype. We demonstrate that the last genome duplication event in the Siberian sturgeon was accompanied by the simultaneous expansion of several repetitive DNA families. Some of the repetitive probes serve as good cytogenetic markers distinguishing paralogous chromosomes and detecting ancestral syntenic regions, which underwent fusions and fissions. The tendency of minisatellite specificity for chromosome size groups previously observed in the sterlet genome is also visible in the Siberian sturgeon. We provide an initial physical chromosome map of the Siberian sturgeon genome supported by molecular markers. The application of these data will facilitate genomic studies in other recent polyploid sturgeon species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chromosome-Centric View of the Genome Organization and Evolution)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Classification of Changes in the Fecal Microbiota Associated with Colonic Adenomatous Polyps Using a Long-Read Sequencing Platform
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1374; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111374 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 201
Abstract
The microbiota is the community of microorganisms that colonizes the oral cavity, respiratory tract, and gut of multicellular organisms. The microbiota exerts manifold physiological and pathological impacts on the organism it inhabits. A growing body of attention is being paid to host–microbiota interplay, [...] Read more.
The microbiota is the community of microorganisms that colonizes the oral cavity, respiratory tract, and gut of multicellular organisms. The microbiota exerts manifold physiological and pathological impacts on the organism it inhabits. A growing body of attention is being paid to host–microbiota interplay, which is highly relevant to the development of carcinogenesis. Adenomatous polyps are considered a common hallmark of colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of carcinogenesis-mediated death worldwide. In this study, we examined the relevance between targeted operational taxonomic units and colonic polyps using short- and long-read sequencing platforms. The gut microbiota was assessed in 132 clinical subjects, including 53 healthy participants, 36 patients with occult blood in the gut, and 43 cases with adenomatous polyps. An elevation in the relative abundance of Klebsiella pneumonia, Fusobacterium varium, and Fusobacterium mortiferum was identified in patients with adenomatous polyps compared with the other groups using long-read sequencing workflow. In contrast, the relatively high abundances of Blautia luti, Bacteroides plebeius, and Prevotella copri were characterized in the healthy groups. The diversities in gut microbiota communities were similar in all recruited samples. These results indicated that alterations in gut microbiota were characteristic of participants with adenomatous polyps, which might be relevant to the further development of CRC. These findings provide a potential contribution to the early prediction and interception of CRC occurrence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
New Transcriptome-Based SNP Markers for Noug (Guizotia abyssinica) and Their Conversion to KASP Markers for Population Genetics Analyses
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1373; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111373 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 337
Abstract
The development and use of genomic resources are essential for understanding the population genetics of crops for their efficient conservation and enhancement. Noug (Guizotia abyssinica) is an economically important oilseed crop in Ethiopia and India. The present study sought to develop [...] Read more.
The development and use of genomic resources are essential for understanding the population genetics of crops for their efficient conservation and enhancement. Noug (Guizotia abyssinica) is an economically important oilseed crop in Ethiopia and India. The present study sought to develop new DNA markers for this crop. Transcriptome sequencing was conducted on two genotypes and 628 transcript sequences containing 959 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were developed. A competitive allele-specific PCR (KASP) assay was developed for the SNPs and used for genotyping of 24 accessions. A total of 554 loci were successfully genotyped across the accessions, and 202 polymorphic loci were used for population genetics analyses. Polymorphism information content (PIC) of the loci varied from 0.01 to 0.37 with a mean of 0.24, and about 49% of the loci showed significant deviation from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The mean expected heterozygosity was 0.27 suggesting moderately high genetic variation within accessions. Low but significant differentiation existed among accessions (FST = 0.045, p < 0.0001). Landrace populations from isolated areas may have useful mutations and should be conserved and used in breeding this crop. The genomic resources developed in this study were shown to be useful for population genetics research and can also be used in, e.g., association genetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Population and Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Stem Cells: Current Status and Therapeutic Implications
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1372; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111372 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 182
Abstract
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a class of pluripotent cells that have been observed in most types of cancers. Evolving evidence suggests that CSCs, has the ability to self-renew and initiate tumors, may be responsible for promoting therapeutic resistance, tumor recurrence and metastasis. [...] Read more.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a class of pluripotent cells that have been observed in most types of cancers. Evolving evidence suggests that CSCs, has the ability to self-renew and initiate tumors, may be responsible for promoting therapeutic resistance, tumor recurrence and metastasis. Tumor heterogeneity is originating from CSCs and its progenitors are recognized as major difficulty in efficaciously treating cancer patients. Therefore, understanding the biological mechanisms by which CSCs survive chemo- and-radiation therapy has the potential to identify new therapeutic strategies in the future. In this review, we summarized recent advances in CSC biology and their environment, and discuss about the potential therapies to prevent therapeutic resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
At the X-Roads of Sex and Genetics in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1371; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111371 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 263
Abstract
Group 1 pulmonary hypertension (pulmonary arterial hypertension; PAH) is a rare disease characterized by remodeling of the small pulmonary arteries leading to progressive elevation of pulmonary vascular resistance, ultimately leading to right ventricular failure and death. Deleterious mutations in the serine-threonine receptor bone [...] Read more.
Group 1 pulmonary hypertension (pulmonary arterial hypertension; PAH) is a rare disease characterized by remodeling of the small pulmonary arteries leading to progressive elevation of pulmonary vascular resistance, ultimately leading to right ventricular failure and death. Deleterious mutations in the serine-threonine receptor bone morphogenetic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2; a central mediator of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling) and female sex are known risk factors for the development of PAH in humans. In this narrative review, we explore the complex interplay between the BMP and estrogen signaling pathways, and the potentially synergistic mechanisms by which these signaling cascades increase the risk of developing PAH. A comprehensive understanding of these tangled pathways may reveal therapeutic targets to prevent or slow the progression of PAH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Plant Organellar DNA Polymerases Evolved Multifunctionality through the Acquisition of Novel Amino Acid Insertions
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1370; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111370 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 225
Abstract
The majority of DNA polymerases (DNAPs) are specialized enzymes with specific roles in DNA replication, translesion DNA synthesis (TLS), or DNA repair. The enzymatic characteristics to perform accurate DNA replication are in apparent contradiction with TLS or DNA repair abilities. For instance, replicative [...] Read more.
The majority of DNA polymerases (DNAPs) are specialized enzymes with specific roles in DNA replication, translesion DNA synthesis (TLS), or DNA repair. The enzymatic characteristics to perform accurate DNA replication are in apparent contradiction with TLS or DNA repair abilities. For instance, replicative DNAPs incorporate nucleotides with high fidelity and processivity, whereas TLS DNAPs are low-fidelity polymerases with distributive nucleotide incorporation. Plant organelles (mitochondria and chloroplast) are replicated by family-A DNA polymerases that are both replicative and TLS DNAPs. Furthermore, plant organellar DNA polymerases from the plant model Arabidopsis thaliana (AtPOLIs) execute repair of double-stranded breaks by microhomology-mediated end-joining and perform Base Excision Repair (BER) using lyase and strand-displacement activities. AtPOLIs harbor three unique insertions in their polymerization domain that are associated with TLS, microhomology-mediated end-joining (MMEJ), strand-displacement, and lyase activities. We postulate that AtPOLIs are able to execute those different functions through the acquisition of these novel amino acid insertions, making them multifunctional enzymes able to participate in DNA replication and DNA repair. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Damage Repair in Plants)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Mapping of Diabetes Susceptibility Loci in a Domestic Cat Breed with an Unusually High Incidence of Diabetes Mellitus
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1369; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111369 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 323
Abstract
Genetic variants that are associated with susceptibility to type 2 diabetes (T2D) are important for identification of individuals at risk and can provide insights into the molecular basis of disease. Analysis of T2D in domestic animals provides both the opportunity to improve veterinary [...] Read more.
Genetic variants that are associated with susceptibility to type 2 diabetes (T2D) are important for identification of individuals at risk and can provide insights into the molecular basis of disease. Analysis of T2D in domestic animals provides both the opportunity to improve veterinary management and breeding programs as well as to identify novel T2D risk genes. Australian-bred Burmese (ABB) cats have a 4-fold increased incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) compared to Burmese cats bred in the United States. This is likely attributable to a genetic founder effect. We investigated this by performing a genome-wide association scan on ABB cats. Four SNPs were associated with the ABB T2D phenotype with p values <0.005. All exons and splice junctions of candidate genes near significant single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were sequenced, including the genes DGKG, IFG2BP2, SLC8A1, E2F6, ETV5, TRA2B and LIPH. Six candidate polymorphisms were followed up in a larger cohort of ABB cats with or without T2D and also in Burmese cats bred in America, which exhibit low T2D incidence. The original SNPs were confirmed in this cohort as associated with the T2D phenotype, although no novel coding SNPs in any of the seven candidate genes showed association with T2D. The identification of genetic markers associated with T2D susceptibility in ABB cats will enable preventative health strategies and guide breeding programs to reduce the prevalence of T2D in these cats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Basis of Inherited Diseases in Companion Animals)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
SWI/SNF Alterations in Squamous Bladder Cancers
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1368; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111368 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 234
Abstract
Dysfunction of the SWI/SNF complex has been observed in various cancers including urothelial carcinomas. However, the clinical impact of the SWI/SNF complex in squamous-differentiated bladder cancers (sq-BLCA) remains unclear. Therefore, we aimed to analyze potential expression loss and genetic alterations of (putative) key [...] Read more.
Dysfunction of the SWI/SNF complex has been observed in various cancers including urothelial carcinomas. However, the clinical impact of the SWI/SNF complex in squamous-differentiated bladder cancers (sq-BLCA) remains unclear. Therefore, we aimed to analyze potential expression loss and genetic alterations of (putative) key components of the SWI/SNF complex considering the co-occurrence of genetic driver mutations and PD-L1 expression as indicators for therapeutic implications. Assessment of ARID1A, SMARCA2, SMARCA4, SMARCB1/INI1, SMARCC1, SMARCC2 and PBRM1 mutations in a TCGA data set of sq-BLCA (n = 45) revealed that ARID1A was the most frequently altered SWI/SNF gene (15%) while being associated with protein downregulation. Genetic alterations and loss of ARID1A were confirmed by Targeted Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) (3/6) and immunohistochemistry (6/116). Correlation with further mutational data and PD-L1 expression revealed co-occurrence of ARID1A loss and TP53 mutations, while positive correlations with other driver mutations such as PIK3CA were not observed. Finally, a rare number of sq-BLCA samples were characterized by both ARID1A protein loss and strong PD-L1 expression suggesting a putative benefit upon immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy. Hence, for the first time, our data revealed expression loss of SWI/SNF subunits in sq-BLCA, highlighting ARID1A as a putative target of a small subgroup of patients eligible for novel therapeutic strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics of Bladder Cancer)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Comprehensive Genomic Profile of Heterogeneous Long Follow-Up Triple-Negative Breast Cancer and Its Clinical Characteristics Shows DNA Repair Deficiency Has Better Prognostic
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1367; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111367 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 273
Abstract
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) presents a marked diversity at the molecular level, which promotes a clinical heterogeneity that further complicates treatment. We performed a detailed whole exome sequencing profile of 29 Mexican patients with long follow-up TNBC to identify genomic alterations associated with [...] Read more.
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) presents a marked diversity at the molecular level, which promotes a clinical heterogeneity that further complicates treatment. We performed a detailed whole exome sequencing profile of 29 Mexican patients with long follow-up TNBC to identify genomic alterations associated with overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), and pathologic complete response (PCR), with the aim to define their role as molecular predictive factors of treatment response and prognosis. We detected 31 driver genes with pathogenic mutations in TP53 (53%), BRCA1/2 (27%), CDKN1B (9%), PIK3CA (9%), and PTEN (9%), and 16 operative mutational signatures. Moreover, tumors with mutations in BRCA1/2 showed a trend of sensitivity to platinum salts. We found an association between deficiency in DNA repair and surveillance genes and DFS. Across all analyzed tumors we consistently found a heterogeneous molecular complexity in terms of allelic composition and operative mutational processes, which hampered the definition of molecular traits with clinical utility. This work contributes to the elucidation of the global molecular alterations of TNBC by providing accurate genomic data that may help forthcoming studies to improve treatment and survival. This is the first study that integrates genomic alterations with a long follow-up of clinical variables in a Latin American population that is an underrepresented ethnicity in most of the genomic studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Highly Rearranged Karyotypes and Multiple Sex Chromosome Systems in Armored Catfishes from the Genus Harttia (Teleostei, Siluriformes)
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1366; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111366 - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 221
Abstract
Harttia comprises an armored catfish genus endemic to the Neotropical region, including 27 valid species with low dispersion rates that are restricted to small distribution areas. Cytogenetics data point to a wide chromosomal diversity in this genus due to changes that occurred in [...] Read more.
Harttia comprises an armored catfish genus endemic to the Neotropical region, including 27 valid species with low dispersion rates that are restricted to small distribution areas. Cytogenetics data point to a wide chromosomal diversity in this genus due to changes that occurred in isolated populations, with chromosomal fusions and fissions explaining the 2n number variation. In addition, different multiple sex chromosome systems and rDNA loci location are also found in some species. However, several Harttia species and populations remain to be investigated. In this study, Harttia intermontana and two still undescribed species, morphologically identified as Harttia sp. 1 and Harttia sp. 2, were cytogenetically analyzed. Harttia intermontana has 2n = 52 and 2n = 53 chromosomes, while Harttia sp. 1 has 2n = 56 and 2n = 57 chromosomes in females and males, respectively, thus highlighting the occurrence of an XX/XY1Y2 multiple sex chromosome system in both species. Harttia sp. 2 presents 2n = 62 chromosomes for both females and males, with fission events explaining its karyotype diversification. Chromosomal locations of the rDNA sites were also quite different among species, reinforcing that extensive rearrangements had occurred in their karyotype evolution. Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) experiments among some Harttia species evidenced a shared content of the XY1Y2 sex chromosomes in three of them, thus pointing towards their common origin. Therefore, the comparative analysis among all Harttia species cytogenetically studied thus far allowed us to provide an evolutionary scenario related to the speciation process of this fish group. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
CRISPR-Cas Diversity in Clinical Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhi Isolates from South Asian Countries
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1365; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111365 - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 761
Abstract
Typhoid fever, caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi), is a global health concern and its treatment is problematic due to the rise in antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Rapid detection of patients infected with AMR positive S. Typhi is, therefore, crucial to [...] Read more.
Typhoid fever, caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi), is a global health concern and its treatment is problematic due to the rise in antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Rapid detection of patients infected with AMR positive S. Typhi is, therefore, crucial to prevent further spreading. Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats and CRISPR-associated genes (CRISPR-Cas), is an adaptive immune system that initially was used for typing purposes. Later, it was discovered to play a role in defense against phages and plasmids, including ones that carry AMR genes, and, at present, it is being explored for its usage in diagnostics. Despite the availability of whole-genome sequences (WGS), very few studied the CRISPR-Cas system of S. Typhi, let alone in typing purposes or relation to AMR. In the present study, we analyzed the CRISPR-Cas system of S. Typhi using WGS data of 1059 isolates obtained from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan in combination with demographic data and AMR status. Our results reveal that the S. Typhi CRISPR loci can be classified into two groups: A (evidence level >2) and B (evidence level ≤2), in which we identified a total of 47 unique spacers and 15 unique direct repeats. Further analysis of the identified spacers and repeats demonstrated specific patterns that harbored significant associations with genotype, demographic characteristics, and AMR status, thus raising the possibility of their usage as biomarkers. Potential spacer targets were identified and, interestingly, the phage-targeting spacers belonged to the group-A and plasmid-targeting spacers to the group-B CRISPR loci. Further analyses of the spacer targets led to the identification of an S. Typhi protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) sequence, TTTCA/T. New cas-genes known as DinG, DEDDh, and WYL were also discovered in the S. Typhi genome. However, a specific variant of the WYL gene was only identified in the extensively drug-resistant (XDR) lineage from Pakistan and ciprofloxacin-resistant lineage from Bangladesh. From this work, we conclude that there are strong correlations between variations identified in the S. Typhi CRISPR-Cas system and endemic AMR positive S. Typhi isolates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omics Research of Pathogenic Microorganisms)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Genetic Mutations and Variants in the Susceptibility of Familial Non-Medullary Thyroid Cancer
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1364; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111364 - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 232
Abstract
Thyroid cancer is the most frequent endocrine malignancy with the majority of cases derived from thyroid follicular cells and caused by sporadic mutations. However, when at least two or more first degree relatives present thyroid cancer, it is classified as familial non-medullary thyroid [...] Read more.
Thyroid cancer is the most frequent endocrine malignancy with the majority of cases derived from thyroid follicular cells and caused by sporadic mutations. However, when at least two or more first degree relatives present thyroid cancer, it is classified as familial non-medullary thyroid cancer (FNMTC) that may comprise 3–9% of all thyroid cancer. In this context, 5% of FNMTC are related to hereditary syndromes such as Cowden and Werner Syndromes, displaying specific genetic predisposition factors. On the other hand, the other 95% of cases are classified as non-syndromic FNMTC. Over the last 20 years, several candidate genes emerged in different studies of families worldwide. Nevertheless, the identification of a prevalent polymorphism or germinative mutation has not progressed in FNMTC. In this work, an overview of genetic alteration related to syndromic and non-syndromic FNMTC is presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Perspectives in Thyroid Cancer)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Hes5.9 Coordinate FGF and Notch Signaling to Modulate Gastrulation via Regulating Cell Fate Specification and Cell Migration in Xenopus tropicalis
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1363; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111363 (registering DOI) - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 182
Abstract
Gastrulation drives the establishment of three germ layers and embryonic axes during frog embryonic development. Mesodermal cell fate specification and morphogenetic movements are vital factors coordinating gastrulation, which are regulated by numerous signaling pathways, such as the Wnt (Wingless/Integrated), Notch, and FGF (Fibroblast [...] Read more.
Gastrulation drives the establishment of three germ layers and embryonic axes during frog embryonic development. Mesodermal cell fate specification and morphogenetic movements are vital factors coordinating gastrulation, which are regulated by numerous signaling pathways, such as the Wnt (Wingless/Integrated), Notch, and FGF (Fibroblast growth factor) pathways. However, the coordination of the Notch and FGF signaling pathways during gastrulation remains unclear. We identified a novel helix–loop–helix DNA binding domain gene (Hes5.9), which was regulated by the FGF and Notch signaling pathways during gastrulation. Furthermore, gain- and loss-of-function of Hes5.9 led to defective cell migration and disturbed the expression patterns of mesodermal and endodermal marker genes, thus interfering with gastrulation. Collectively, these results suggest that Hes5.9 plays a crucial role in cell fate decisions and cell migration during gastrulation, which is modulated by the FGF and Notch signaling pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Genomic and Transcriptomic Analysis for Identification of Genes and Interlinked Pathways Mediating Artemisinin Resistance in Leishmania donovani
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1362; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111362 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 286
Abstract
Current therapy for visceral leishmaniasis (VL), compromised by drug resistance, toxicity, and high cost, demands for more effective, safer, and low-cost drugs. Artemisinin has been found to be an effectual drug alternative in experimental models of leishmaniasis. Comparative genome and transcriptome analysis of [...] Read more.
Current therapy for visceral leishmaniasis (VL), compromised by drug resistance, toxicity, and high cost, demands for more effective, safer, and low-cost drugs. Artemisinin has been found to be an effectual drug alternative in experimental models of leishmaniasis. Comparative genome and transcriptome analysis of in vitro-adapted artesunate-resistant (K133AS-R) and -sensitive wild-type (K133WT) Leishmania donovani parasites was carried out using next-generation sequencing and single-color DNA microarray technology, respectively, to identify genes and interlinked pathways contributing to drug resistance. Whole-genome sequence analysis of K133WT vs. K133AS-R parasites revealed substantial variation among the two and identified 240 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 237 insertion deletions (InDels), 616 copy number variations (CNVs) (377 deletions and 239 duplications), and trisomy of chromosome 12 in K133AS-R parasites. Transcriptome analysis revealed differential expression of 208 genes (fold change ≥ 2) in K133AS-R parasites. Functional categorization and analysis of modulated genes of interlinked pathways pointed out plausible adaptations in K133AS-R parasites, such as (i) a dependency on lipid and amino acid metabolism for generating energy, (ii) reduced DNA and protein synthesis leading to parasites in the quiescence state, and (iii) active drug efflux. The upregulated expression of cathepsin-L like protease, amastin-like surface protein, and amino acid transporter and downregulated expression of the gene encoding ABCG2, pteridine receptor, adenylatecyclase-type receptor, phosphoaceylglucosamine mutase, and certain hypothetical proteins are concordant with genomic alterations suggesting their potential role in drug resistance. The study provided an understanding of the molecular basis linked to artemisinin resistance in Leishmania parasites, which may be advantageous for safeguarding this drug for future use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinetoplastid Genomics and Beyond)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Segregation Analysis of Rare NRP1 and NRP2 Variants in Families with Lymphedema
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1361; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111361 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 224
Abstract
Neuropilins are transmembrane coreceptors expressed by endothelial cells and neurons. NRP1 and NRP2 bind a variety of ligands, by which they trigger cell signaling, and are important in the development of lymphatic valves and lymphatic capillaries, respectively. This study focuses on identifying rare [...] Read more.
Neuropilins are transmembrane coreceptors expressed by endothelial cells and neurons. NRP1 and NRP2 bind a variety of ligands, by which they trigger cell signaling, and are important in the development of lymphatic valves and lymphatic capillaries, respectively. This study focuses on identifying rare variants in the NRP1 and NRP2 genes that could be linked to the development of lymphatic malformations in patients diagnosed with lymphedema. Two hundred and thirty-five Italian lymphedema patients, who tested negative for variants in known lymphedema genes, were screened for variants in NRP1 and NRP2. Two probands carried variants in NRP1 and four in NRP2. The variants of both genes segregated with lymphedema in familial cases. Although further functional and biochemical studies are needed to clarify their involvement with lymphedema and to associate NRP1 and NRP2 with lymphedema, we suggest that it is worthwhile also screening lymphedema patients for these two new candidate genes. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effect of 20(S)-Hydroxycholesterol on Multilineage Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Isolated from Compact Bones in Chicken
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1360; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111360 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 252
Abstract
Bone health and body weight gain have significant economic and welfare importance in the poultry industry. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are common progenitors of different cell lineages such as osteoblasts, adipocytes, and myocytes. Specific oxysterols have shown to be pro-osteogenic and anti-adipogenic in [...] Read more.
Bone health and body weight gain have significant economic and welfare importance in the poultry industry. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are common progenitors of different cell lineages such as osteoblasts, adipocytes, and myocytes. Specific oxysterols have shown to be pro-osteogenic and anti-adipogenic in mouse and human MSCs. To determine the effect of 20(S)-hydroxycholesterol (20S) on osteogenic, adipogenic, and myogenic differentiation in chicken, mesenchymal stem cells isolated from compact bones of broiler chickens (cBMSCs) were subjected to various doses of 20S, and markers of lineage-specific mRNA were analyzed using real-time PCR and cell cytochemistry. Further studies were conducted to evaluate the molecular mechanisms involved in lineage-specific differentiation pathways. Like human and mouse MSCs, 20S oxysterol expressed pro-osteogenic, pro-myogenic, and anti-adipogenic differentiation potential in cBMSCs. Moreover, 20(S)-Hydroxycholesterol induced markers of osteogenic genes and myogenic regulatory factors when exposed to cBMSCs treated with their specific medium. In contrast, 20S oxysterol suppressed expression of adipogenic marker genes when exposed to cBMSCs treated with OA, an adipogenic precursor of cBMSCs. To elucidate the molecular mechanism by which 20S exerts its differentiation potential in all three lineages, we focused on the hedgehog signaling pathway. The hedgehog inhibitor, cyclopamine, completely reversed the effect of 20S induced expression of osteogenic and anti-adipogenic mRNA. However, there was no change in the mRNA expression of myogenic genes. The results showed that 20S oxysterol promotes osteogenic and myogenic differentiation and decreases adipocyte differentiation of cBMSCs. This study also showed that the induction of osteogenesis and adipogenesis inhibition in cBMSCs by 20S is mediated through the hedgehog signaling mechanism. The results indicated that 20(S) could play an important role in the differentiation of chicken-derived MSCs and provided the theory basis on developing an intervention strategy to regulate skeletal, myogenic, and adipogenic differentiation in chicken, which will contribute to improving chicken bone health and meat quality. The current results provide the rationale for the further study of regulatory mechanisms of bioactive molecules on the differentiation of MSCs in chicken, which can help to address skeletal health problems in poultry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry Genetics, Breeding and Biotechnology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop