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Genes, Volume 11, Issue 4 (April 2020) – 124 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Flowers can have different symmetry plans: bilateral, like the orchid Phalaenopsis equestris, [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
A DSG1 Frameshift Variant in a Rottweiler Dog with Footpad Hyperkeratosis
Genes 2020, 11(4), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040469 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 466
Abstract
A single male Rottweiler dog with severe footpad hyperkeratosis starting at an age of eight weeks was investigated. The hyperkeratosis was initially restricted to the footpads. The footpad lesions caused severe discomfort to the dog and had to be trimmed under anesthesia every [...] Read more.
A single male Rottweiler dog with severe footpad hyperkeratosis starting at an age of eight weeks was investigated. The hyperkeratosis was initially restricted to the footpads. The footpad lesions caused severe discomfort to the dog and had to be trimmed under anesthesia every 8–10 weeks. Histologically, the epidermis showed papillated villous projections of dense keratin in the stratum corneum. Starting at eight months of age, the patient additionally developed signs consistent with atopic dermatitis and recurrent bacterial skin and ear infections. Crusted hyperkeratotic plaques developed at sites of infection. We sequenced the genome of the affected dog and compared the data to 655 control genomes. A search for variants in 32 candidate genes associated with human palmoplantar keratoderma (PPK) revealed a single private protein-changing variant in the affected dog. This was located in the DSG1 gene encoding desmoglein 1. Heterozygous monoallelic DSG1 variants have been reported in human patients with striate palmoplantar keratoderma I (SPPK1), while biallelic DSG1 loss of function variants in humans lead to a more pronounced condition termed severe dermatitis, multiple allergies, and metabolic wasting (SAM) syndrome. The identified canine variant, DSG1:c.2541_2545delGGGCT, leads to a frameshift and truncates about 20% of the coding sequence. The affected dog was homozygous for the mutant allele. The comparative data on desmoglein 1 function in humans suggest that the identified DSG1 variant may have caused the footpad hyperkeratosis and predisposition for allergies and skin infections in the affected dog. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Basis of Inherited Diseases in Companion Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Pharmacogenomic Markers of Methotrexate Response in the Consolidation Phase of Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Treatment
Genes 2020, 11(4), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040468 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 316
Abstract
Methotrexate (MTX) is one of the staples of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treatment. MTX targets the folate metabolic pathway (FMP). Abnormal function of the enzymes in FMP, due to genetic aberrations, leads to adverse drug reactions. The aim of this study was [...] Read more.
Methotrexate (MTX) is one of the staples of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treatment. MTX targets the folate metabolic pathway (FMP). Abnormal function of the enzymes in FMP, due to genetic aberrations, leads to adverse drug reactions. The aim of this study was to investigate variants in pharmacogenes involved in FMP and their association with MTX pharmacokinetics (MTX elimination profile) and toxicity in the consolidation therapy phase of pediatric ALL patients. Eleven variants in the thymidylate synthetase (TYMS), methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), SLC19A1 and SLCO1B genes were analyzed in 148 patients, using PCR- and sequencing-based methodology. For the Serbian and European control groups, data on allele frequency distribution were extracted from in-house and public databases. Our results show that the A allele of SLC19A1 c.80 variant contributes to slow MTX elimination. Additionally, the AA genotype of the same variant is a predictor of MTX-related hepatotoxicity. Patients homozygous for TYMS 6bp deletion were more likely to experience gastrointestinal toxicity. No allele frequency dissimilarity was found for the analyzed variants between Serbian and European populations. Statistical modelling did not show a joint effect of analyzed variants. Our results indicate that SLC19A1 c.80 variant and TYMS 6bp deletion are the most promising pharmacogenomic markers of MTX response in pediatric ALL patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia)
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptomic Profiling Identifies Differentially Expressed Genes in Palbociclib-Resistant ER+ MCF7 Breast Cancer Cells
Genes 2020, 11(4), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040467 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 450
Abstract
Acquired resistance to cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK4/6) inhibition in estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer remains a significant clinical challenge. Efforts to uncover the mechanisms underlying resistance are needed to establish clinically actionable targets effective against resistant tumors. In this study, we [...] Read more.
Acquired resistance to cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK4/6) inhibition in estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer remains a significant clinical challenge. Efforts to uncover the mechanisms underlying resistance are needed to establish clinically actionable targets effective against resistant tumors. In this study, we sought to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) associated with acquired resistance to palbociclib in ER+ breast cancer. We performed next-generation transcriptomic RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and pathway analysis in ER+ MCF7 palbociclib-sensitive (MCF7/pS) and MCF7 palbociclib-resistant (MCF7/pR) cells. We identified 2183 up-regulated and 1548 down-regulated transcripts in MCF7/pR compared to MCF7/pS cells. Functional analysis of the DEGs using Gene Ontology (GO) and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database identified several pathways associated with breast cancer, including ‘cell cycle’, ‘DNA replication’, ‘DNA repair’ and ‘autophagy’. Additionally, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) revealed that resistance to palbociclib is closely associated with deregulation of several key canonical and metabolic pathways. Further studies are needed to determine the utility of these DEGs and pathways as therapeutics targets against ER+ palbociclib-resistant breast cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Complexity of Hormone Sensitive Cancers)
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Open AccessReview
Base Editing: The Ever Expanding Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) Tool Kit for Precise Genome Editing in Plants
Genes 2020, 11(4), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040466 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 836
Abstract
Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR associated protein 9 (Cas9), a newly developed genome-editing tool, has revolutionized animal and plant genetics by facilitating modification of target genes. This simple, convenient base-editing technology was developed to improve the precision of genome editing. Base [...] Read more.
Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR associated protein 9 (Cas9), a newly developed genome-editing tool, has revolutionized animal and plant genetics by facilitating modification of target genes. This simple, convenient base-editing technology was developed to improve the precision of genome editing. Base editors generate precise point mutations by permanent base conversion at a specific point, with very low levels of insertions and deletions. Different plant base editors have been established by fusing various nucleobase deaminases with Cas9, Cas13, or Cas12a (Cpf1), proteins. Adenine base editors can efficiently convert adenine (A) to guanine (G), whereas cytosine base editors can convert cytosine (C) to thymine (T) in the target region. RNA base editors can induce a base substitution of A to inosine (I) or C to uracil (U). In this review, we describe the precision of base editing systems and their revolutionary applications in plant science; we also discuss the limitations and future perspectives of this approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue TILLING and CRISPR to design the varieties of tomorrow)
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Open AccessArticle
A New SNP in Rice Gene Encoding Pyruvate Phosphate Dikinase (PPDK) Associated with Floury Endosperm
Genes 2020, 11(4), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040465 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 311
Abstract
Rice varieties with suitable flour-making qualities are required to promote the rice processed-food industry and to boost rice consumption. A rice mutation, Namil(SA)-flo1, produces grains with floury endosperm. Overall, grains with low grain hardness, low starch damage, and fine particle size are more [...] Read more.
Rice varieties with suitable flour-making qualities are required to promote the rice processed-food industry and to boost rice consumption. A rice mutation, Namil(SA)-flo1, produces grains with floury endosperm. Overall, grains with low grain hardness, low starch damage, and fine particle size are more suitable for use in flour processing grains with waxy, dull endosperm with normal grain hardness and a high amylose content. In this study, fine mapping found a C to T single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in exon 2 of the gene encoding cytosolic pyruvate phosphate dikinase (cyOsPPDK). The SNP resulted in a change of serine to phenylalanine acid at amino acid position 101. The gene was named FLOURY ENDOSPERM 4-5 (FLO4-5). Co-segregation analysis with the developed cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (CAPS) markers revealed co-segregation between the floury phenotype and the flo4-5. This CAPS marker could be applied directly for marker-assisted selection. Real-time RT-PCR experiments revealed that PPDK was expressed at considerably higher levels in the flo4-5 mutant than in the wild type during the grain filling stage. Plastid ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase small subunit (AGPS2a and AGPS2b) and soluble starch synthase (SSIIb and SSIIc) also exhibited enhanced expression in the flo4-5 mutant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Age-Specific and Common Key Regulatory Mechanisms Governing Eggshell Strength in Chicken Using Random Forests
Genes 2020, 11(4), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040464 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 298
Abstract
In today’s chicken egg industry, maintaining the strength of eggshells in longer laying cycles is pivotal for improving the persistency of egg laying. Eggshell development and mineralization underlie a complex regulatory interplay of various proteins and signaling cascades involving multiple organ systems. Understanding [...] Read more.
In today’s chicken egg industry, maintaining the strength of eggshells in longer laying cycles is pivotal for improving the persistency of egg laying. Eggshell development and mineralization underlie a complex regulatory interplay of various proteins and signaling cascades involving multiple organ systems. Understanding the regulatory mechanisms influencing this dynamic trait over time is imperative, yet scarce. To investigate the temporal changes in the signaling cascades, we considered eggshell strength at two different time points during the egg production cycle and studied the genotype–phenotype associations by employing the Random Forests algorithm on chicken genotypic data. For the analysis of corresponding genes, we adopted a well established systems biology approach to delineate gene regulatory pathways and master regulators underlying this important trait. Our results indicate that, while some of the master regulators (Slc22a1 and Sox11) and pathways are common at different laying stages of chicken, others (e.g., Scn11a, St8sia2, or the TGF- β pathway) represent age-specific functions. Overall, our results provide: (i) significant insights into age-specific and common molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of eggshell strength; and (ii) new breeding targets to improve the eggshell quality during the later stages of the chicken production cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics Applied to Livestock Production)
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptomic and Physiological Responses to Oxidative Stress in a Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Glutathione Peroxidase Mutant
Genes 2020, 11(4), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040463 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 447
Abstract
Aerobic photosynthetic organisms such as algae produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) as by-products of metabolism. ROS damage biomolecules such as proteins and lipids in cells, but also act as signaling molecules. The mechanisms that maintain the metabolic balance in aerobic photosynthetic organisms and [...] Read more.
Aerobic photosynthetic organisms such as algae produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) as by-products of metabolism. ROS damage biomolecules such as proteins and lipids in cells, but also act as signaling molecules. The mechanisms that maintain the metabolic balance in aerobic photosynthetic organisms and how the cells specifically respond to different levels of ROS are unclear. Glutathione peroxidase (GPX) enzymes detoxify hydrogen peroxide or organic hydroperoxides, and thus are important components of the antioxidant system. In this study, we employed a Chlamydomonas reinhardtii glutathione peroxidase knockout (gpx5) mutant to identify the genetic response to singlet oxygen (1O2) generated by the photosensitizer rose bengal (RB). To this end, we compared the transcriptomes of the parental strain CC4348 and the gpx5 mutant sampled before, and 1 h after, the addition of RB. Functional annotation of differentially expressed genes showed that genes encoding proteins related to ROS detoxification, stress-response-related molecular chaperones, and ubiquitin–proteasome pathway genes were upregulated in CC4338. When GPX5 was mutated, higher oxidative stress specifically induced the TCA cycle and enhanced mitochondrial electron transport. Transcription of selenoproteins and flagellar-associated proteins was depressed in CC4348 and the gpx5 mutant. In addition, we found iron homeostasis played an important role in maintaining redox homeostasis, and we uncovered the relationship between 1O2 stress and iron assimilation, as well as selenoproteins. Based on the observed expression profiles in response to different levels of oxidative stress, we propose a model for dose-dependent responses to different ROS levels in Chlamydomonas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Genotyping by RAD Sequencing Analysis Assessed the Genetic Distinctiveness of Experimental Lines and Narrowed down the Genomic Region Responsible for Leaf Shape in Endive (Cichorium endivia L.)
Genes 2020, 11(4), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040462 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 325
Abstract
The characterization of genetic diversity in elite breeding stocks is crucial for the registration and protection of new varieties. Moreover, experimental population structure analysis and information about the genetic distinctiveness of commercial materials are essential for crop breeding programs. The purpose of our [...] Read more.
The characterization of genetic diversity in elite breeding stocks is crucial for the registration and protection of new varieties. Moreover, experimental population structure analysis and information about the genetic distinctiveness of commercial materials are essential for crop breeding programs. The purpose of our research was to assess the genetic relationships of 32 endive (Cichorium endivia L.) breeding lines, 18 from var. latifolium (escarole) and 14 from var. crispum (curly), using heterologous Cichorium intybus-derived simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) markers. We found that 14 out of 29 SSR markers were successfully amplified, but only 8 of them were related to polymorphic loci. To overcome the limitation of the low number of informative SSR marker loci, an alternative SNP-based approach was employed. The 4621 SNPs produced by a restriction site-associated DNA marker sequencing approach were able to fully discriminate the 32 endive accessions; most importantly, as many as 50 marker loci were found to distinguish the curly group from the escarole group. Interestingly, 24 of the marker loci mapped within a peripheral segment of chromosome 8 of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), spanning a chromosomal region of 49.6 Mb. Following Sanger sequencing-based validation, three genes were determined to carry nonsynonymous SNPs, and one of them matched a putative ortholog of AtELP1, subunit 1 of the Elongator complex. Considering that several previously characterized Elongator complex subunit mutants exhibited elongated and/or curly leaf phenotypes, this gene should be taken into consideration for a better understanding of the underlying mechanism controlling leaf shape in endive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
An Integrative Phenotype–Genotype Approach Using Phenotypic Characteristics from the UAE National Diabetes Study Identifies HSD17B12 as a Candidate Gene for Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
Genes 2020, 11(4), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040461 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 569
Abstract
The United Arab Emirates National Diabetes and Lifestyle Study (UAEDIAB) has identified obesity, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, and dyslipidemia as common phenotypic characteristics correlated with diabetes mellitus status. As these phenotypes are usually linked with genetic variants, we hypothesized that these phenotypes share [...] Read more.
The United Arab Emirates National Diabetes and Lifestyle Study (UAEDIAB) has identified obesity, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, and dyslipidemia as common phenotypic characteristics correlated with diabetes mellitus status. As these phenotypes are usually linked with genetic variants, we hypothesized that these phenotypes share single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-clusters that can be used to identify causal genes for diabetes. We explored the National Human Genome Research Institute-European Bioinformatics Institute Catalog of Published Genome-Wide Association Studies (NHGRI-EBI GWAS) to list SNPs with documented association with the UAEDIAB-phenotypes as well as diabetes. The shared chromosomal regions affected by SNPs were identified, intersected, and searched for Enriched Ontology Clustering. The potential SNP-clusters were validated using targeted DNA next-generation sequencing (NGS) in two Emirati diabetic patients. RNA sequencing from human pancreatic islets was used to study the expression of identified genes in diabetic and non-diabetic donors. Eight chromosomal regions containing 46 SNPs were identified in at least four out of the five UAEDIAB-phenotypes. A list of 34 genes was shown to be affected by those SNPs. Targeted NGS from two Emirati patients confirmed that the identified genes have similar SNP-clusters. ASAH1, LRP4, FES, and HSD17B12 genes showed the highest SNPs rate among the identified genes. RNA-seq analysis revealed high expression levels of HSD17B12 in human islets and to be upregulated in type 2 diabetes (T2D) donors. Our integrative phenotype-genotype approach is a novel, simple, and powerful tool to identify clinically relevant potential biomarkers in diabetes. HSD17B12 is a novel candidate gene for pancreatic β-cell function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Translational Bioinformatics: From Prediction to Validation)
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Open AccessArticle
An Improved Phenotype-Driven Tool for Rare Mendelian Variant Prioritization: Benchmarking Exomiser on Real Patient Whole-Exome Data
Genes 2020, 11(4), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040460 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 455
Abstract
Next-generation sequencing has revolutionized rare disease diagnostics, but many patients remain without a molecular diagnosis, particularly because many candidate variants usually survive despite strict filtering. Exomiser was launched in 2014 as a Java tool that performs an integrative analysis of patients’ sequencing data [...] Read more.
Next-generation sequencing has revolutionized rare disease diagnostics, but many patients remain without a molecular diagnosis, particularly because many candidate variants usually survive despite strict filtering. Exomiser was launched in 2014 as a Java tool that performs an integrative analysis of patients’ sequencing data and their phenotypes encoded with Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) terms. It prioritizes variants by leveraging information on variant frequency, predicted pathogenicity, and gene-phenotype associations derived from human diseases, model organisms, and protein–protein interactions. Early published releases of Exomiser were able to prioritize disease-causative variants as top candidates in up to 97% of simulated whole-exomes. The size of the tested real patient datasets published so far are very limited. Here, we present the latest Exomiser version 12.0.1 with many new features. We assessed the performance using a set of 134 whole-exomes from patients with a range of rare retinal diseases and known molecular diagnosis. Using default settings, Exomiser ranked the correct diagnosed variants as the top candidate in 74% of the dataset and top 5 in 94%; not using the patients’ HPO profiles (i.e., variant-only analysis) decreased the performance to 3% and 27%, respectively. In conclusion, Exomiser is an effective support tool for rare Mendelian phenotype-driven variant prioritization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinformatic Analysis for Rare Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Genetic Locus Underlying Easy Dehulling in Rice-Tartary for Easy Postharvest Processing of Tartary Buckwheat
Genes 2020, 11(4), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040459 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 298
Abstract
As a highly nutritious crop, Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tartaricum) strongly adapts and grows in adverse environments and is widely grown in Asia. However, its flour contains a large proportion of the hull that adheres to the testa layer of the groats and [...] Read more.
As a highly nutritious crop, Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tartaricum) strongly adapts and grows in adverse environments and is widely grown in Asia. However, its flour contains a large proportion of the hull that adheres to the testa layer of the groats and is difficult to be removed in industrial processing. Fortunately, rice-Tartary, with the loose and non-adhering hull, provides potentiality of improving Tartary buckwheat that can dehull easily. Here, we performed high-throughput sequencing for two parents (Tartary buckwheat and rice-Tartary) and two pools (samples from the F2 population) and obtained 101 Gb raw sequencing data for further analysis. Sequencing reads were mapped to the reference genome of Tartary buckwheat, and a total of 633,256 unique SNPs and 270,181 unique indels were found in these four samples. Then, based on the Bulked Segregant Analysis (BSA), we identified a candidate genetic region, containing 45 impact SNPs/indels and 36 genes, that might underly non-adhering hull of rice-Tartary and should have value for breeding easy dehulling Tartary buckwheat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selection Methods in Plant Breeding: From Visual Phenotyping to NGS)
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Open AccessConcept Paper
A Gold Standard, CRISPR/Cas9-Based Complementation Strategy Reliant on 24 Nucleotide Bookmark Sequences
Genes 2020, 11(4), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040458 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 773
Abstract
Phenotypic complementation of gene knockouts is an essential step in establishing function. Here, we describe a simple strategy for ‘gold standard’ complementation in which the mutant allele is replaced in situ with a wild type (WT) allele in a procedure that exploits CRISPR/Cas9. [...] Read more.
Phenotypic complementation of gene knockouts is an essential step in establishing function. Here, we describe a simple strategy for ‘gold standard’ complementation in which the mutant allele is replaced in situ with a wild type (WT) allele in a procedure that exploits CRISPR/Cas9. The method relies on the prior incorporation of a unique 24 nucleotide (nt) ‘bookmark’ sequence into the mutant allele to act as a guide RNA target during its Cas9-mediated replacement with the WT allele. The bookmark comprises a 23 nt Cas9 target sequence plus an additional nt to ensure the deletion is in-frame. Here, bookmarks are tailored to Streptococcus pyogenes CRISPR/Cas9 but could be designed for any CRISPR/Cas system. For proof of concept, nine bookmarks were tested in Clostridium autoethanogenum. Complementation efficiencies reached 91%. As complemented strains are indistinguishable from their progenitors, concerns over contamination may be satisfied by the incorporation of ‘watermark’ sequences into the complementing genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CRISPR-Cas: Interactions with Genome and Physiological Maintenance)
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Open AccessArticle
Microfluidic Quantitative PCR Detection of 12 Transgenes from Horse Plasma for Gene Doping Control
Genes 2020, 11(4), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040457 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 575
Abstract
Gene doping, an activity which abuses and misuses gene therapy, is a major concern in sports and horseracing industries. Effective methods capable of detecting and monitoring gene doping are urgently needed. Although several PCR-based methods that detect transgenes have been developed, many of [...] Read more.
Gene doping, an activity which abuses and misuses gene therapy, is a major concern in sports and horseracing industries. Effective methods capable of detecting and monitoring gene doping are urgently needed. Although several PCR-based methods that detect transgenes have been developed, many of them focus only on a single transgene. However, numerous genes associated with athletic ability may be potential gene-doping material. Here, we developed a detection method that targets multiple transgenes. We targeted 12 genes that may be associated with athletic performance and designed two TaqMan probe/primer sets for each one. A panel of 24 assays was prepared and detected via a microfluidic quantitative PCR (MFQPCR) system using integrated fluidic circuits (IFCs). The limit of detection of the panel was 6.25 copy/μL. Amplification-specificity was validated using several concentrations of reference materials and animal genomic DNA, leading to specific detection. In addition, target-specific detection was successfully achieved in a horse administered 20 mg of the EPO transgene via MFQPCR. Therefore, MFQPCR may be considered a suitable method for multiple-target detection in gene-doping control. To our knowledge, this is the first application of microfluidic qPCR (MFQPCR) for gene-doping control in horseracing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
The Response of the Soil Microbiota to Long-Term Mineral and Organic Nitrogen Fertilization is Stronger in the Bulk Soil than in the Rhizosphere
Genes 2020, 11(4), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040456 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 418
Abstract
The effects of different agronomic practices, such as fertilization regimes, can be experimentally tested in long-term experiments (LTE). Here, we aimed to evaluate the effect of different nitrogen fertilizations on the bacterial microbiota in both rhizosphere and bulk soil of sugar beet, in [...] Read more.
The effects of different agronomic practices, such as fertilization regimes, can be experimentally tested in long-term experiments (LTE). Here, we aimed to evaluate the effect of different nitrogen fertilizations on the bacterial microbiota in both rhizosphere and bulk soil of sugar beet, in the Giessen-LTE (Germany). Fertilization treatments included mineral-N, manure, mineral-N + manure and no N-amendment. Metabarcoding and co-occurrence analysis of 16S rRNA genes, qPCR of amoA, nirK, nirS, nosZ-I and nosZ-II genes and soil physico-chemical analyses were performed. The effect of the fertilization treatments was more evident in the bulk soil, involving 33.1% of the microbiota. Co-occurrence analysis showed a rhizosphere cluster, dominated by Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Verrucomicrobia (hub taxa: Betaproteobacteriales), and a bulk soil cluster, dominated by Acidobacteria, Gemmatominadetes and “Latescibacteria” (hub taxa: Acidobacteria). In the bulk soil, mineral N-fertilization reduced nirK, amoA, nosZ-I and nosZ-II genes. Thirteen Operational taxonomic units (OTUs) showed 23 negative correlations with gene relative abundances. These OTUs likely represent opportunistic species that profited from the amended mineral-N and outgrew the species carrying N-cycle genes. Our results indicate trajectories for future research on soil microbiome in LTE and add new experimental evidence that will be helpful for sustainable management of nitrogen fertilizations on arable soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Suggests Key Roles for 5-Hydroxytryptamlne Receptors in Control of Goose Egg Production
Genes 2020, 11(4), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040455 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 360
Abstract
To date, research on poultry egg production performance has only been conducted within inter or intra-breed groups, while those combining both inter- and intra-breed groups are lacking. Egg production performance is known to differ markedly between Sichuan white goose (Anser cygnoides) [...] Read more.
To date, research on poultry egg production performance has only been conducted within inter or intra-breed groups, while those combining both inter- and intra-breed groups are lacking. Egg production performance is known to differ markedly between Sichuan white goose (Anser cygnoides) and Landes goose (Anser anser). In order to understand the mechanism of egg production performance in geese, we undertook this study. Here, 18 ovarian stromal samples from both Sichuan white goose and Landes goose at the age of 145 days (3 individuals before egg production initiation for each breed) and 730 days (3 high- and low egg production individuals during non-laying periods for each breed) were collected to reveal the genome-wide expression profiles of ovarian mRNAs and lncRNAs between these two geese breeds at different physiological stages. Briefly, 58, 347, 797, 777, and 881 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and 56, 24, 154, 105, and 224 differentially expressed long non-coding RNAs (DElncRNAs) were found in LLD vs. HLD (low egg production Landes goose vs. high egg production Landes goose), LSC vs. HSC (low egg production Sichuan White goose vs. high egg production Sichuan white goose), YLD vs. YSC (young Landes goose vs. young Sichuan white goose), HLD vs. HSC (high egg production Landes goose vs. high egg production Sichuan white goose), and LLD vs. LSC (low egg production Landes goose vs. low egg production Sichuan white goose) groups, respectively. Functional enrichment analysis of these DEGs and DElncRNAs suggest that the “neuroactive ligand–receptor interaction pathway” is crucial for egg production, and particularly, members of the 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor (HTR) family affect egg production by regulating ovarian metabolic function. Furthermore, the big differences in the secondary structures among HTR1F and HTR1B, HTR2B, and HTR7 may lead to their different expression patterns in goose ovaries of both inter- and intra-breed groups. These results provide novel insights into the mechanisms regulating poultry egg production performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Mechanisms of Multiple Insecticide Resistance in a Highly Plasmodium-Infected Malaria Vector Anopheles funestus Sensu Stricto from Sahel of Northern Nigeria
Genes 2020, 11(4), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040454 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 592
Abstract
The Nigerian Government is scaling up the distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets for malaria control, but the lack of surveillance data, especially in the Sudan/Sahel region of the country, may hinder targeting priority populations. Here, the vectorial role and insecticide resistance profile of [...] Read more.
The Nigerian Government is scaling up the distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets for malaria control, but the lack of surveillance data, especially in the Sudan/Sahel region of the country, may hinder targeting priority populations. Here, the vectorial role and insecticide resistance profile of a population of a major malaria vector Anopheles funestus sensu stricto from Sahel of Nigeria was characterised. An. funestus s.s. was the only vector found, with a high human blood index (100%) and a biting rate of 5.3/person/night. High Plasmodium falciparum infection was discovered (sporozoite rate = 54.55%). The population is resistant to permethrin (mortality = 48.30%, LT50 = 65.76 min), deltamethrin, DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) and bendiocarb, with mortalities of 29.44%, 56.34% and 54.05%, respectively. Cone-bioassays established loss of efficacy of the pyrethroid-only long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs); but 100% recovery of susceptibility was obtained for piperonylbutoxide (PBO)-containing PermaNet®3.0. Synergist bioassays with PBO and diethyl maleate recovered susceptibility, implicating CYP450s (permethrin mortality = 78.73%, χ2 = 22.33, P < 0.0001) and GSTs (DDT mortality = 81.44%, χ2 = 19.12, P < 0.0001). A high frequency of 119F GSTe2 mutation (0.84) was observed (OR = 16, χ2 = 3.40, P = 0.05), suggesting the preeminent role of metabolic resistance. These findings highlight challenges associated with deployment of LLINs and indoor residual spraying (IRS) in Nigeria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
AQP3 Facilitates Proliferation and Adipogenic Differentiation of Porcine Intramuscular Adipocytes
Genes 2020, 11(4), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040453 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 306
Abstract
The meat quality of animal products is closely related to the intramuscular fat content. Aquaglyceroporin (AQP) defines a class of water/glycerol channels that primarily facilitate the passive transport of glycerol and water across biological membranes. In this study, the AQP3 protein of the [...] Read more.
The meat quality of animal products is closely related to the intramuscular fat content. Aquaglyceroporin (AQP) defines a class of water/glycerol channels that primarily facilitate the passive transport of glycerol and water across biological membranes. In this study, the AQP3 protein of the AQP family was mainly studied in the adipogenic function of intramuscular adipocytes in pigs. Here, we found that AQP3 was increased at both mRNA and protein levels upon adipogenic stimuli in porcine intramuscular adipocytes in vitro. Western blot results showed knockdown of AQP3 by siRNA significantly suppressed the expression of adipogenic genes (PPARγ, aP2, etc.), repressed Akt phosphorylation, as well as reducing lipid accumulation. Furthermore, deletion of AQP3 by siRNA significantly downregulated expression of cell cycle genes (cyclin D, E), and decreased the number of EdU-positive cells as well as cell viability. Collectively, our data indicate that AQP3 is of great importance in both adipogenic differentiation and proliferation in intramuscular adipocytes, providing a potential target for modulating fat infiltration in skeletal muscles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pig Genomics and Genetics)
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Open AccessCommunication
First Molecular Diagnosis of Clinical Cases of Gastric Anisakiosis in Spain
Genes 2020, 11(4), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040452 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 426
Abstract
Anisakiosis is a fish-borne disease with gastrointestinal and/or allergic symptoms caused by the consumption of raw or undercooked fish parasitized with nematode larvae of the genus Anisakis. In Europe, Anisakis pegreffii has been detected as the causative agent, although the sibling species [...] Read more.
Anisakiosis is a fish-borne disease with gastrointestinal and/or allergic symptoms caused by the consumption of raw or undercooked fish parasitized with nematode larvae of the genus Anisakis. In Europe, Anisakis pegreffii has been detected as the causative agent, although the sibling species Anisakis simplex sensu stricto (s.s.) is also known to cause the disease in other parts of the world, and discrepancies exist regarding their respective pathogenic potential. In Spain a high number of cases has been recorded, with marinated anchovies being the main source of infection, although no specific diagnosis has been documented in humans. In this study, we analyzed three cases of anisakiosis in patients from Barcelona (Spain) who had consumed undercooked hake. All patients described epigastric pain and several larval nematodes were removed endoscopically from their stomachs. Larvae were morphologically characterized as third-stage larvae of Anisakis simplex sensu lato (s.l.) and molecularly identified as A. simplex (s.s.) by means of PCR RFLP of the ITS region of the rDNA and sequencing of the elongation factor1 alpha1 (EF1 α-1) nDNA gen. This study represents the first specific identification of Anisakis larvae in clinical cases of anisakiosis reported in Spain. Specific molecular diagnosis is of crucial importance for assessing the health risk of Anisakis sibling species. Hake consumption stands out as a risk factor for anisakiosis, since this fish species can be highly parasitized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Omics Studies on Anisakid Nematodes)
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Open AccessArticle
Genetic Characterization of Cupped Oyster Resources in Europe Using Informative Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) Panels
Genes 2020, 11(4), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040451 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 302
Abstract
The Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, was voluntarily introduced from Japan and British Columbia into Europe in the early 1970s, mainly to replace the Portuguese oyster, Crassostrea angulata, in the French shellfish industry, following a severe disease outbreak. Since then, the two [...] Read more.
The Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, was voluntarily introduced from Japan and British Columbia into Europe in the early 1970s, mainly to replace the Portuguese oyster, Crassostrea angulata, in the French shellfish industry, following a severe disease outbreak. Since then, the two species have been in contact in southern Europe and, therefore, have the potential to exchange genes. Recent evolutionary genomic works have provided empirical evidence that C. gigas and C. angulata exhibit partial reproductive isolation. Although hybridization occurs in nature, the rate of interspecific gene flow varies across the genome, resulting in highly heterogeneous genome divergence. Taking this biological property into account is important to characterize genetic ancestry and population structure in oysters. Here, we identified a subset of ancestry-informative makers from the most differentiated regions of the genome using existing genomic resources. We developed two different panels in order to (i) easily differentiate C. gigas and C. angulata, and (ii) describe the genetic diversity and structure of the cupped oyster with a particular focus on French Atlantic populations. Our results confirm high genetic homogeneity among Pacific cupped oyster populations in France and reveal several cases of introgressions between Portuguese and Japanese oysters in France and Portugal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Diversity of Marine Populations)
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Open AccessReview
The Potential Role of Activating the ATP-Sensitive Potassium Channel in the Treatment of Hyperphagic Obesity
Genes 2020, 11(4), 450; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040450 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 430
Abstract
To evaluate the potential role of ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel activation in the treatment of hyperphagic obesity, a PubMed search was conducted focused on the expression of genes encoding the KATP channel, the response to activating the KATP channel [...] Read more.
To evaluate the potential role of ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel activation in the treatment of hyperphagic obesity, a PubMed search was conducted focused on the expression of genes encoding the KATP channel, the response to activating the KATP channel in tissues regulating appetite and the establishment and maintenance of obesity, the evaluation of KATP activators in obese hyperphagic animal models, and clinical studies on syndromic obesity. KATP channel activation is mechanistically involved in the regulation of appetite in the arcuate nucleus; the regulation of hyperinsulinemia, glycemic control, appetite and satiety in the dorsal motor nucleus of vagus; insulin secretion by β-cells; and the synthesis and β-oxidation of fatty acids in adipocytes. KATP channel activators have been evaluated in hyperphagic obese animal models and were shown to reduce hyperphagia, induce fat loss and weight loss in older animals, reduce the accumulation of excess body fat in growing animals, reduce circulating and hepatic lipids, and improve glycemic control. Recent experience with a KATP channel activator in Prader–Willi syndrome is consistent with the therapeutic responses observed in animal models. KATP channel activation, given the breadth of impact and animal model and clinical results, is a viable target in hyperphagic obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Prader-Willi syndrome)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Ecological Processes Affecting Long-Term Eukaryote and Prokaryote Biofilm Persistence in Nitrogen Removal from Sewage
Genes 2020, 11(4), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040449 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 372
Abstract
The factors affecting long-term biofilm stability in sewage treatment remain largely unexplored. We therefore analyzed moving bed bioreactors (MBBRs) biofilm composition and function two years apart from four reactors in a nitrogen-removal sewage treatment plant. Multivariate ANOVA revealed a similar prokaryote microbiota composition [...] Read more.
The factors affecting long-term biofilm stability in sewage treatment remain largely unexplored. We therefore analyzed moving bed bioreactors (MBBRs) biofilm composition and function two years apart from four reactors in a nitrogen-removal sewage treatment plant. Multivariate ANOVA revealed a similar prokaryote microbiota composition on biofilm carriers from the same reactors, where reactor explained 84.6% of the variance, and year only explained 1.5%. Eukaryotes showed a less similar composition with reactor explaining 56.8% of the variance and year 9.4%. Downstream effects were also more pronounced for eukaryotes than prokaryotes. For prokaryotes, carbon source emerged as a potential factor for deterministic assembly. In the two reactors with methanol as a carbon source, the bacterial genus Methylotenera dominated, with M. versatilis as the most abundant species. M. versatilis showed large lineage diversity. The lineages mainly differed with respect to potential terminal electron acceptor usage (nitrogen oxides and oxygen). Searches in the Sequence Read Archive (SRA) database indicate a global distribution of the M. versatilis strains, with methane-containing sediments as the main habitat. Taken together, our results support long-term prokaryote biofilm persistence, while eukaryotes were less persistent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genes at Ten)
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Open AccessArticle
A Study of Gene Expression Changes in Human Spinal and Oculomotor Neurons; Identifying Potential Links to Sporadic ALS
Genes 2020, 11(4), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040448 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 591
Abstract
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that causes compromised function of motor neurons and neuronal death. However, oculomotor neurons are largely spared from disease symptoms. The underlying causes for sporadic ALS as well as for the resistance of oculomotor neurons to [...] Read more.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that causes compromised function of motor neurons and neuronal death. However, oculomotor neurons are largely spared from disease symptoms. The underlying causes for sporadic ALS as well as for the resistance of oculomotor neurons to disease symptoms remain poorly understood. In this bioinformatic-analysis, we compared the gene expression profiles of spinal and oculomotor tissue samples from control individuals and sporadic ALS patients. We show that the genes GAD2 and GABRE (involved in GABA signaling), and CALB1 (involved in intracellular Ca2+ ion buffering) are downregulated in the spinal tissues of ALS patients, but their endogenous levels are higher in oculomotor tissues relative to the spinal tissues. Our results suggest that the downregulation of these genes and processes in spinal tissues are related to sporadic ALS disease progression and their upregulation in oculomotor neurons confer upon them resistance to ALS symptoms. These results build upon prevailing models of excitotoxicity that are relevant to sporadic ALS disease progression and point out unique opportunities for better understanding the progression of neurodegenerative properties associated with sporadic ALS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perspectives and Opportunities for ALS in the “Omics” Era)
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Metabolites in the Link between DNA Replication and Central Carbon Metabolism in Escherichia coli
Genes 2020, 11(4), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040447 - 19 Apr 2020
Viewed by 485
Abstract
A direct link between DNA replication regulation and central carbon metabolism (CCM) has been previously demonstrated in Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, as effects of certain mutations in genes coding for replication proteins could be specifically suppressed by particular mutations in genes [...] Read more.
A direct link between DNA replication regulation and central carbon metabolism (CCM) has been previously demonstrated in Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, as effects of certain mutations in genes coding for replication proteins could be specifically suppressed by particular mutations in genes encoding CCM enzymes. However, specific molecular mechanism(s) of this link remained unknown. In this report, we demonstrate that various CCM metabolites can suppress the effects of mutations in different replication genes of E. coli on bacterial growth, cell morphology, and nucleoid localization. This provides evidence that the CCM-replication link is mediated by metabolites rather than direct protein-protein interactions. On the other hand, action of metabolites on DNA replication appears indirect rather than based on direct influence on the replication machinery, as rate of DNA synthesis could not be corrected by metabolites in short-term experiments. This corroborates the recent discovery that in B. subtilis, there are multiple links connecting CCM to DNA replication initiation and elongation. Therefore, one may suggest that although different in detail, the molecular mechanisms of CCM-dependent regulation of DNA replication are similar in E. coli and B. subtilis, making this regulation an important and common constituent of the control of cell physiology in bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics of Metabolism in Microorganisms)
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Cosegregating DCTN1 Splice Site Variant in a Family with Bipolar Disorder May Hold the Key to Understanding the Etiology
Genes 2020, 11(4), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040446 - 18 Apr 2020
Viewed by 1457
Abstract
A novel cosegregating splice site variant in the Dynactin-1 (DCTN1) gene was discovered by Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) in a family with a history of bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive diagnosis (MDD). Psychiatric illness in this family follows an autosomal [...] Read more.
A novel cosegregating splice site variant in the Dynactin-1 (DCTN1) gene was discovered by Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) in a family with a history of bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive diagnosis (MDD). Psychiatric illness in this family follows an autosomal dominant pattern. DCTN1 codes for the largest dynactin subunit, namely p150Glued, which plays an essential role in retrograde axonal transport and in neuronal autophagy. A GT→TT transversion in the DCTN1 gene, uncovered in the present work, is predicted to disrupt the invariant canonical splice donor site IVS22 + 1G > T and result in intron retention and a premature termination codon (PTC). Thus, this splice site variant is predicted to trigger RNA nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) and/or result in a C-terminal truncated p150Glued protein (ct-p150Glued), thereby negatively impacting retrograde axonal transport and neuronal autophagy. BD prophylactic medications, and most antipsychotics and antidepressants, are known to enhance neuronal autophagy. This variant is analogous to the dominant-negative GLUED Gl1 mutation in Drosophila, which is responsible for a neurodegenerative phenotype. The newly identified variant may reflect an autosomal dominant cause of psychiatric pathology in this affected family. Factors that affect alternative splicing of the DCTN1 gene, leading to NMD and/or ct-p150Glued, may be of fundamental importance in contributing to our understanding of the etiology of BD as well as MDD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Psychiatric Disorders)
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Open AccessArticle
MinION-Based DNA Barcoding of Preserved and Non-Invasively Collected Wildlife Samples
Genes 2020, 11(4), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040445 - 18 Apr 2020
Viewed by 731
Abstract
The ability to sequence a variety of wildlife samples with portable, field-friendly equipment will have significant impacts on wildlife conservation and health applications. However, the only currently available field-friendly DNA sequencer, the MinION by Oxford Nanopore Technologies, has a high error rate compared [...] Read more.
The ability to sequence a variety of wildlife samples with portable, field-friendly equipment will have significant impacts on wildlife conservation and health applications. However, the only currently available field-friendly DNA sequencer, the MinION by Oxford Nanopore Technologies, has a high error rate compared to standard laboratory-based sequencing platforms and has not been systematically validated for DNA barcoding accuracy for preserved and non-invasively collected tissue samples. We tested whether various wildlife sample types, field-friendly methods, and our clustering-based bioinformatics pipeline, SAIGA, can be used to generate consistent and accurate consensus sequences for species identification. Here, we systematically evaluate variation in cytochrome b sequences amplified from scat, hair, feather, fresh frozen liver, and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) liver. Each sample was processed by three DNA extraction protocols. For all sample types tested, the MinION consensus sequences matched the Sanger references with 99.29%–100% sequence similarity, even for samples that were difficult to amplify, such as scat and FFPE tissue extracted with Chelex resin. Sequencing errors occurred primarily in homopolymer regions, as identified in previous MinION studies. We demonstrate that it is possible to generate accurate DNA barcode sequences from preserved and non-invasively collected wildlife samples using portable MinION sequencing, creating more opportunities to apply portable sequencing technology for species identification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MetaGenomics Sequencing In Situ)
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Open AccessReview
Farnesol and Tyrosol: Secondary Metabolites with a Crucial quorum-sensing Role in Candida Biofilm Development
Genes 2020, 11(4), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040444 - 18 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 366
Abstract
When living in biological and interactive communities, microorganisms use quorum-sensing mechanisms for their communication. According to cell density, bacteria and fungi can produce signaling molecules (e.g., secondary metabolites), which participate, for example, in the regulation of gene expression and coordination of collective behavior [...] Read more.
When living in biological and interactive communities, microorganisms use quorum-sensing mechanisms for their communication. According to cell density, bacteria and fungi can produce signaling molecules (e.g., secondary metabolites), which participate, for example, in the regulation of gene expression and coordination of collective behavior in their natural niche. The existence of these secondary metabolites plays a main role in competence, colonization of host tissues and surfaces, morphogenesis, and biofilm development. Therefore, for the design of new antibacterials or antifungals and understanding on how these mechanisms occur, to inhibit the secretion of quorum-sensing (e.g., farnesol and tyrosol) molecules leading the progress of microbial infections seems to be an interesting option. In yeasts, farnesol has a main role in the morphological transition, inhibiting hyphae production in a concentration-dependent manner, while tyrosol has a contrary function, stimulating transition from spherical cells to germ tube form. It is beyond doubt that secretion of both molecules by fungi has not been fully described, but specific meaning for their existence has been found. This brief review summarizes the important function of these two compounds as signaling chemicals participating mainly in Candida morphogenesis and regulatory mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omics Studies Focused on Fungal Secondary Metabolism)
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Open AccessEditorial
Statistics in the Genomic Era
Genes 2020, 11(4), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040443 - 18 Apr 2020
Viewed by 306
Abstract
In recent years, technology breakthroughs have greatly enhanced our ability to understand the complex world of molecular biology [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Statistical Methods for the Analysis of Genomic Data)
Open AccessReview
Genetics and Epigenetics of Atopic Dermatitis: An Updated Systematic Review
Genes 2020, 11(4), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040442 - 18 Apr 2020
Viewed by 614
Abstract
Background: Atopic dermatitis is a common inflammatory skin disorder that affects up to 15–20% of the population and is characterized by recurrent eczematous lesions with intense itching. As a heterogeneous disease, multiple factors have been suggested to explain the nature of atopic dermatitis [...] Read more.
Background: Atopic dermatitis is a common inflammatory skin disorder that affects up to 15–20% of the population and is characterized by recurrent eczematous lesions with intense itching. As a heterogeneous disease, multiple factors have been suggested to explain the nature of atopic dermatitis (AD), and its high prevalence makes it necessary to periodically compile and update the new information available. In this systematic review, the focus is set at the genetic and epigenetic studies carried out in the last years. Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted in three scientific publication databases (PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Scopus). The search was restricted to publications indexed from July 2016 to December 2019, and keywords related to atopic dermatitis genetics and epigenetics were used. Results: A total of 73 original papers met the inclusion criteria established, including 9 epigenetic studies. A total of 62 genes and 5 intergenic regions were described as associated with AD. Conclusion: Filaggrin (FLG) polymorphisms are confirmed as key genetic determinants for AD development, but also epigenetic regulation and other genes with functions mainly related to the immune system and extracellular matrix, reinforcing the notion of skin homeostasis breakage in AD. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Special Issue: Genetics of Biodegradation and Bioremediation
Genes 2020, 11(4), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040441 - 17 Apr 2020
Viewed by 308
Abstract
Many different biodegradation pathways, both aerobic and anaerobic, have already been characterised, and the phylogenetic relationships among catabolic genes within the different types of pathways have been studied. However, new biodegradation activities and their coding genes are continuously being reported, including those involved [...] Read more.
Many different biodegradation pathways, both aerobic and anaerobic, have already been characterised, and the phylogenetic relationships among catabolic genes within the different types of pathways have been studied. However, new biodegradation activities and their coding genes are continuously being reported, including those involved in the catabolism of emerging contaminants or those generally regarded as non-biodegradable. Gene regulation is also an important issue for the efficient biodegradation of contaminants. Specific induction by the substrate and over-imposed global regulatory networks adjust the expression of the biodegradation genes to the bacterial physiological needs. New biodegradation pathways can be assembled in a particular strain or in a bacterial consortium by recruiting biodegradation genes from different origins through horizontal gene transfer. The abundance and diversity of biodegradation genes, analysed by either genomic or metagenomic approaches, constitute valuable indicators of the biodegradation potential of a particular environmental niche. This knowledge paves the way to systems metabolic engineering approaches to valorise biowaste for the production of value-added products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Biodegradation and Bioremediation)
Open AccessArticle
LRRC19—A Bridge between Selenium Adjuvant Therapy and Renal Clear Cell Carcinoma: A Study Based on Datamining
Genes 2020, 11(4), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040440 - 17 Apr 2020
Viewed by 306
Abstract
Kidney renal clear cell carcinoma (KIRC) is the most common and fatal subtype of renal cancer. Antagonistic associations between selenium and cancer have been reported in previous studies. Selenium compounds, as anti-cancer agents, have been reported and approved for clinical trials. The main [...] Read more.
Kidney renal clear cell carcinoma (KIRC) is the most common and fatal subtype of renal cancer. Antagonistic associations between selenium and cancer have been reported in previous studies. Selenium compounds, as anti-cancer agents, have been reported and approved for clinical trials. The main active form of selenium in selenoproteins is selenocysteine (Sec). The process of Sec biosynthesis and incorporation into selenoproteins plays a significant role in biological processes, including anti-carcinogenesis. However, a comprehensive selenoprotein mRNA analysis in KIRC remains absent. In the present study, we examined all 25 selenoproteins and identified key selenoproteins, glutathione peroxidase 3 (GPX3) and type 1 iodothyronine deiodinase (DIO1), with the associated prognostic biomarker leucine-rich repeat containing 19 (LRRC19) in clear cell renal cell carcinoma cases from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. We performed validations for the key gene expression levels by two individual clear cell renal cell carcinoma cohorts, GSE781 and GSE6344, datasets from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. Multivariate survival analysis demonstrated that low expression of LRRC19 was an independent risk factor for OS. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) identified tyrosine metabolism, metabolic pathways, peroxisome, and fatty acid degradation as differentially enriched with the high LRRC19 expression in KIRC cases, which are involved in selenium therapy of clear cell renal cell carcinoma. In conclusion, low expression of LRRC19 was identified as an independent risk factor, which will advance our understanding concerning the selenium adjuvant therapy of clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
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