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Genes, Volume 13, Issue 1 (January 2022) – 163 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): ADHD is highly heritable, but the effects of dietary factors on modifying the role of genetic factors on ADHD remain unknown. The present study suggests that genetic factors play a more prominent role in individual differences of ADHD symptoms in the presence of high consumption of sugar and unhealthy foods. View this paper
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Article
Genetic Rescue of the Highly Inbred Norwegian Lundehund
Genes 2022, 13(1), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010163 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 3329
Abstract
Augmenting the genetic diversity of small, inbred populations by the introduction of new individuals is often termed “genetic rescue”. An example is the Norwegian Lundehund, a small spitz dog with inbreeding-related health problems that is being crossed with three Nordic breeds, including the [...] Read more.
Augmenting the genetic diversity of small, inbred populations by the introduction of new individuals is often termed “genetic rescue”. An example is the Norwegian Lundehund, a small spitz dog with inbreeding-related health problems that is being crossed with three Nordic breeds, including the Norwegian Buhund. Conservation breeding decisions for the (typically) small number of outcrossed individuals are vital for managing the rescue process, and we genotyped the Lundehund (n = 12), the Buhund (n = 12), their crosses (F1, n = 7) and first-generation backcrosses to the Lundehund (F2, n = 12) with >170,000 single nucleotide polymorphism loci to compare their levels of genetic diversity. We predicted that genome-wide diversity in F2 dogs would be higher than in the Lundehund but lower than in the F1 and the Buhund, and the heterozygosity values showed the expected patterns. We also found that runs of homozygosity, extended chromosomal regions of homozygous genotypes inherited from a common ancestor, were reduced in F2 individuals compared with Lundehund individuals. Our analyses demonstrate the benefits of outcrossing but indicate that some of the acquired genetic diversity is lost following immediate backcrossing. Additional breeding among F2 crosses could therefore merit from further consideration in genetic rescue management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Canine Genetics 2)
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Article
Evaluation of Different Cleaning Strategies for Removal of Contaminating DNA Molecules
Genes 2022, 13(1), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010162 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 795
Abstract
Decontamination strategies and their efficiencies are crucial when performing routine forensic analysis, and many factors influence the choice of agent to use. In this study, the effects of ten different cleaning strategies were evaluated to compare their ability to remove contaminating DNA molecules. [...] Read more.
Decontamination strategies and their efficiencies are crucial when performing routine forensic analysis, and many factors influence the choice of agent to use. In this study, the effects of ten different cleaning strategies were evaluated to compare their ability to remove contaminating DNA molecules. Cell-free DNA or blood was deposited on three surfaces (plastic, metal, and wood) and decontaminated with various treatments. The quantities of recovered DNA, obtained by swabbing the surfaces after cleaning using the different strategies, was analyzed by real-time PCR. Large differences in the DNA removal efficiencies were observed between different cleaning strategies, as well as between different surfaces. The most efficient cleaning strategies for cell-free DNA were the different sodium hypochlorite solutions and Trigene®, for which a maximum of 0.3% DNA was recovered on all three surfaces. For blood, a maximum of 0.8% of the deposited DNA was recovered after using Virkon® for decontamination. The recoveries after using these cleaning strategies correspond to DNA from only a few cells, out of 60 ng of cell-free DNA or thousands of deposited blood cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Forensic Genetics)
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Article
Indirect Genetic Effects of ADIPOQ Variants on Lipid Levels in a Sibling Study of a Rural Chinese Population
Genes 2022, 13(1), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010161 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 367
Abstract
Variations in lipid levels are the result of combinations of genetic and environmental factors. We aim to investigate the indirect effect between siblings of the three polymorphisms of ADIPOQ on serum lipid levels in rural Chinese populations. A total of 2571 sibling pairs [...] Read more.
Variations in lipid levels are the result of combinations of genetic and environmental factors. We aim to investigate the indirect effect between siblings of the three polymorphisms of ADIPOQ on serum lipid levels in rural Chinese populations. A total of 2571 sibling pairs were enrolled as study participants. A generalized estimating equation was used to accommodate a family-based design. We used stratified analysis to detect sex combination differences in the indirect genetic effect. We found a significant association between the number of altered risk alleles of rs182052 and ego lipid levels of TG (β = 0.177, P = 0.003), TC (β = 0.140, P = 0.004) and LDL-C (β = 0.098, P = 0.014). Ego and altered genotypes of rs182052 demonstrated a joint effect on ego lipid levels of TC (β = 0.212, P = 0.019), HDL-C (β = 0.099, P = 0.002) and LDL-C (β = 0.177, P = 0.013) in recessive inheritance mode. In opposite-sex siblings, the altered GG genotype of rs182052 increased the ego lipid levels. Thus, our findings demonstrate that ADIPOQ has an indirect genetic effect on lipid levels in sibling pairs, and there are sex-combination differences in the indirect genetic effect in siblings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
Article
Selection and Validation of Reliable Reference Genes for Gene Expression Studies in Different Genotypes and TRV-Infected Fruits of Peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch) during Ripening
Genes 2022, 13(1), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010160 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 390
Abstract
Real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) is a powerful tool to detect and quantify transcription abundance, and the stability of the reference gene determines its success. However, the most suitable reference gene for different genotypes and tobacco rattle virus (TRV) infected fruits was unclear in [...] Read more.
Real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) is a powerful tool to detect and quantify transcription abundance, and the stability of the reference gene determines its success. However, the most suitable reference gene for different genotypes and tobacco rattle virus (TRV) infected fruits was unclear in peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch). In this study, 10 reference genes were selected and gene expression was characterized by RT-qPCR across all samples, including different genotypes and TRV-infected fruits during ripening. Four statistical algorithms (geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, and RefFinder) were used to calculate the stability of 10 reference genes. The geNorm analysis indicated that two suitable reference genes should be used for gene expression normalization. In general, the best combination of reference genes was CYP2 and Tua5 for TRV-infected fruits and CYP2 and Tub1 for different genotypes. In 18S, GADPH, and TEF2, there is an unacceptable variability of gene expression in all experimental conditions. Furthermore, to confirm the validity of the reference genes, the expression levels of PpACO1, PpEIN2, and PpPL were normalized at different fruit storage periods. In summary, our results provide guidelines for selecting reliable reference genes in different genotypes and TRV-infected fruits and lay the foundation for accurate evaluation of gene expression for RT-qPCR analysis in peach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Identification of AMH and AMHR2 Variants Led to the Diagnosis of Persistent Müllerian Duct Syndrome in Three Cases
Genes 2022, 13(1), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010159 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 410
Abstract
Persistent Müllerian duct syndrome (PMDS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder of sexual development in males, defined by the presence of Müllerian remnants with otherwise normal sexual differentiation. Mutations in anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) and AMH receptor type 2 (AMHR2) [...] Read more.
Persistent Müllerian duct syndrome (PMDS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder of sexual development in males, defined by the presence of Müllerian remnants with otherwise normal sexual differentiation. Mutations in anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) and AMH receptor type 2 (AMHR2) genes are the main causes of PMDS. In this study, we performed molecular genetic analysis of 11 unrelated cryptorchidism patients using whole-exome sequencing and classified the variants. Three of the 11 patients had biallelic mutations in AMH or AMHR2. Case 1 carried a homozygous 4-bp deletion; c.321_324del:p.Q109Lfs*29 in exon 1 of AMH (NM_000479 transcript), which is a frameshift mutation, leading to the loss of function of AMH. Case 2 carried compound heterozygous mutations; c.494_502del (p.I165_A168delinsT) in exon 4 and g.6147C>A of AMHR2 (NM_001164690 transcript). Case 3 carried compound heterozygous mutations; c.G1168A (p.E390K) in exon 9 and c.A1315G (p.M439V) in exon 10 of AMHR2 (NM_001164690 transcript). All three patients were admitted due to azoospermia- and oligospermia-caused infertility. They were furtherly diagnosed with PMDS, as pelvic magnetic resonance imaging revealed the presence of Müllerian remnants. Our study suggests that PMDS and genetic analysis should be considered during the differential diagnosis of cryptorchidism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Complex Human Disease)
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Review
Inorganic Nitrogen Transport and Assimilation in Pea (Pisum sativum)
Genes 2022, 13(1), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010158 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 532
Abstract
The genome sequences of several legume species are now available allowing the comparison of the nitrogen (N) transporter inventories with non-legume species. A survey of the genes encoding inorganic N transporters and the sensing and assimilatory families in pea, revealed similar numbers of [...] Read more.
The genome sequences of several legume species are now available allowing the comparison of the nitrogen (N) transporter inventories with non-legume species. A survey of the genes encoding inorganic N transporters and the sensing and assimilatory families in pea, revealed similar numbers of genes encoding the primary N assimilatory enzymes to those in other types of plants. Interestingly, we find that pea and Medicago truncatula have fewer members of the NRT2 nitrate transporter family. We suggest that this difference may result from a decreased dependency on soil nitrate acquisition, as legumes have the capacity to derive N from a symbiotic relationship with diazotrophs. Comparison with M. truncatula, indicates that only one of three NRT2s in pea is likely to be functional, possibly indicating less N uptake before nodule formation and N-fixation starts. Pea seeds are large, containing generous amounts of N-rich storage proteins providing a reserve that helps seedling establishment and this may also explain why fewer high affinity nitrate transporters are required. The capacity for nitrate accumulation in the vacuole is another component of assimilation, as it can provide a storage reservoir that supplies the plant when soil N is depleted. Comparing published pea tissue nitrate concentrations with other plants, we find that there is less accumulation of nitrate, even in non-nodulated plants, and that suggests a lower capacity for vacuolar storage. The long-distance transported form of organic N in the phloem is known to be specialized in legumes, with increased amounts of organic N molecules transported, like ureides, allantoin, asparagine and amides in pea. We suggest that, in general, the lower tissue and phloem nitrate levels compared with non-legumes may also result in less requirement for high affinity nitrate transporters. The pattern of N transporter and assimilatory enzyme distribution in pea is discussed and compared with non-legumes with the aim of identifying future breeding targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pea Genetics and Breeding)
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Article
Genetic Distribution of Five Spinocerebellar Ataxia Microsatellite Loci in Mexican Native American Populations and Its Impact on Contemporary Mestizo Populations
Genes 2022, 13(1), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010157 - 16 Jan 2022
Viewed by 443
Abstract
Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) conform a heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders with autosomal dominant inheritance. Five of the most frequent SCAs are caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the exons of specific genes. The SCAs incidence and the distribution of polymorphic CAG alleles [...] Read more.
Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) conform a heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders with autosomal dominant inheritance. Five of the most frequent SCAs are caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the exons of specific genes. The SCAs incidence and the distribution of polymorphic CAG alleles vary among populations and ethnicities. Thus, characterization of the genetic architecture of ethnically diverse populations, which have undergone recent admixture and demographic events, could facilitate the identification of genetic risk factors. Owing to the great ethnic diversity of the Mexican population, this study aimed to analyze the allele frequencies of five SCA microsatellite loci (SCA1, SCA2, SCA3, SCA6, and SCA7) in eleven Mexican Native American (MNA) populations. Data from the literature were used to compare the allelic distribution of SCA loci with worldwide populations. The SCA loci allelic frequencies evidenced a certain genetic homogeneity in the MNA populations, except for Mayans, who exhibited distinctive genetic profiles. Neither pathological nor large normal alleles were found in MNA populations, except for the SCA2 pre-mutated allele in the Zapotec population. Collectively, our findings demonstrated the contribution of the MNA ancestry in shaping the genetic structure of contemporary Mexican Mestizo populations. Our results also suggest that Native American ancestry has no impact on the origin of SCAs in the Mexican population. Instead, the acquisition of pathological SCA alleles could be associated with European migration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics in Neuromuscular Disorders)
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Article
Drought, Low Nitrogen Stress, and Ultraviolet-B Radiation Effects on Growth, Development, and Physiology of Sweetpotato Cultivars during Early Season
Genes 2022, 13(1), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010156 - 16 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 524
Abstract
Drought, ultraviolet-B (UV-B), and nitrogen stress are significant constraints for sweetpotato productivity. Their impact on plant growth and development can be acute, resulting in low productivity. Identifying phenotypes that govern stress tolerance in sweetpotatoes is highly desirable to develop elite cultivars with better [...] Read more.
Drought, ultraviolet-B (UV-B), and nitrogen stress are significant constraints for sweetpotato productivity. Their impact on plant growth and development can be acute, resulting in low productivity. Identifying phenotypes that govern stress tolerance in sweetpotatoes is highly desirable to develop elite cultivars with better yield. Ten sweetpotato cultivars were grown under nonstress (100% replacement of evapotranspiration (ET)), drought-stress (50% replacement of ET), UV-B (10 kJ), and low-nitrogen (20% LN) conditions. Various shoot and root morphological, physiological, and gas-exchange traits were measured at the early stage of the crop growth to assess its performance and association with the storage root number. All three stress factors caused significant changes in the physiological and root- and shoot-related traits. Drought stress reduced most shoot developmental traits (29%) to maintain root growth. UV-B stress increased the accumulation of plant pigments and decreased the photosynthetic rate. Low-nitrogen treatment decreased shoot growth (11%) and increased the root traits (18%). The highly stable and productive cultivars under all four treatments were identified using multitrait stability index analysis and weighted average of absolute scores (WAASB) analyses. Further, based on the total stress response indices, ‘Evangeline’, ‘O’Henry’, and ‘Beauregard B-14’ were identified as vigorous under drought; ‘Evangeline’, ‘Orleans’, and ‘Covington’ under UV-B; and ‘Bonita’, ‘Orleans’, and ‘Beauregard B-14’ cultivars showed greater tolerance to low nitrogen. The cultivars ‘Vardaman’ and ‘NC05-198’ recorded a low tolerance index across stress treatments. This information could help determine which plant phenotypes are desirable under stress treatment for better productivity. The cultivars identified as tolerant, sensitive, and well-adapted within and across stress treatments can be used as source materials for abiotic stress tolerance breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Diversity of Plant Tolerance to Environmental Restraints)
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Article
Molecular Responses to Thermal and Osmotic Stress in Arctic Intertidal Mussels (Mytilus edulis): The Limits of Resilience
Genes 2022, 13(1), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010155 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 783
Abstract
Increases in Arctic temperatures have accelerated melting of the Greenland icesheet, exposing intertidal organisms, such as the blue mussel Mytilus edulis, to high air temperatures and low salinities in summer. However, the interaction of these combined stressors is poorly described at the transcriptional [...] Read more.
Increases in Arctic temperatures have accelerated melting of the Greenland icesheet, exposing intertidal organisms, such as the blue mussel Mytilus edulis, to high air temperatures and low salinities in summer. However, the interaction of these combined stressors is poorly described at the transcriptional level. Comparing expression profiles of M. edulis from experimentally warmed (30 °C and 33 °C) animals kept at control (23‰) and low salinities (15‰) revealed a significant lack of enrichment for Gene Ontology terms (GO), indicating that similar processes were active under all conditions. However, there was a progressive increase in the abundance of upregulated genes as each stressor was applied, with synergistic increases at 33 °C and 15‰, suggesting combined stressors push the animal towards their tolerance thresholds. Further analyses comparing the effects of salinity alone (23‰, 15‰ and 5‰) showed high expression of stress and osmoregulatory marker genes at the lowest salinity, implying that the cell is carrying out intracellular osmoregulation to maintain the cytosol as hyperosmotic. Identification of aquaporins and vacuolar-type ATPase transcripts suggested the cell may use fluid-filled cavities to excrete excess intracellular water, as previously identified in embryonic freshwater mussels. These results indicate that M. edulis has considerable resilience to heat stress and highly efficient mechanisms to acclimatise to lowered salinity in a changing world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polar Genomics)
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Article
Genotype-Phenotype Comparison in POGZ-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders by Using Clinical Scoring
Genes 2022, 13(1), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010154 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 629
Abstract
POGZ-related disorders (also known as White-Sutton syndrome) encompass a wide range of neurocognitive abnormalities and other accompanying anomalies. Disease severity varies widely among POGZ patients and studies investigating genotype-phenotype association are scarce. Therefore, our aim was to collect data on previously unreported [...] Read more.
POGZ-related disorders (also known as White-Sutton syndrome) encompass a wide range of neurocognitive abnormalities and other accompanying anomalies. Disease severity varies widely among POGZ patients and studies investigating genotype-phenotype association are scarce. Therefore, our aim was to collect data on previously unreported POGZ patients and perform a large-scale phenotype-genotype comparison from published data. Overall, 117 POGZ patients’ genotype and phenotype data were included in the analysis, including 12 novel patients. A severity scoring system was developed for the comparison. Mild and severe phenotypes were compared with the types and location of the variants and the predicted presence or absence of nonsense-mediated RNA decay (NMD). Missense variants were more often associated with mild phenotypes (p = 0.0421) and truncating variants predicted to escape NMD presented with more severe phenotypes (p < 0.0001). Within this group, variants in the prolin-rich region of the POGZ protein were associated with the most severe phenotypes (p = 0.0004). Our study suggests that gain-of-function or dominant negative effect through escaping NMD and the location of the variants in the prolin-rich domain of the protein may play an important role in the severity of manifestations of POGZ–associated neurodevelopmental disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Genotype-Phenotype Study in Disease)
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Article
Establishing the Mutational Spectrum of Hungarian Patients with Familial Hypercholesterolemia
Genes 2022, 13(1), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010153 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 447
Abstract
Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is one of the most common autosomal, dominantly inherited diseases affecting cholesterol metabolism, which, in the absence of treatment, leads to the development of cardiovascular complications. The disease is still underdiagnosed, even though an early diagnosis would be of great [...] Read more.
Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is one of the most common autosomal, dominantly inherited diseases affecting cholesterol metabolism, which, in the absence of treatment, leads to the development of cardiovascular complications. The disease is still underdiagnosed, even though an early diagnosis would be of great importance for the patient to receive proper treatment and to prevent further complications. No studies are available describing the genetic background of Hungarian FH patients. In this work, we present the clinical and molecular data of 44 unrelated individuals with suspected FH. Sequencing of five FH-causing genes (LDLR, APOB, PCSK9, LDLRAP1 and STAP1) has been performed by next-generation sequencing (NGS). In cases where a copy number variation (CNV) has been detected by NGS, confirmation by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) has also been performed. We identified 47 causal or potentially causal (including variants of uncertain significance) LDLR and APOB variants in 44 index patients. The most common variant in the APOB gene was the c.10580G>A p.(Arg3527Gln) missense alteration, this being in accordance with literature data. Several missense variants in the LDLR gene were detected in more than one index patient. LDLR variants in the Hungarian population largely overlap with variants detected in neighboring countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Familial Hypercholesterolemia: Genetics and Emerging Therapies)
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Review
LncRNAs and the Angiogenic Switch in Cancer: Clinical Significance and Therapeutic Opportunities
Genes 2022, 13(1), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010152 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 529
Abstract
Angiogenesis is one of the hallmarks of cancer, and the establishment of new blood vessels is vital to allow for a tumour to grow beyond 1–2 mm in size. The angiogenic switch is the term given to the point where the number or [...] Read more.
Angiogenesis is one of the hallmarks of cancer, and the establishment of new blood vessels is vital to allow for a tumour to grow beyond 1–2 mm in size. The angiogenic switch is the term given to the point where the number or activity of the pro-angiogenic factors exceeds that of the anti-angiogenic factors, resulting in the angiogenic process proceeding, giving rise to new blood vessels accompanied by increased tumour growth, metastasis, and potential drug resistance. Long noncoding ribonucleic acids (lncRNAs) have been found to play a role in the angiogenic switch by regulating gene expression, transcription, translation, and post translation modification. In this regard they play both anti-angiogenic and pro-angiogenic roles. The expression levels of the pro-angiogenic lncRNAs have been found to correlate with patient survival. These lncRNAs are also potential drug targets for the development of therapies that will inhibit or modify tumour angiogenesis. Here we review the roles of lncRNAs in regulating the angiogenic switch. We cover specific examples of both pro and anti-angiogenic lncRNAs and discuss their potential use as both prognostic biomarkers and targets for the development of future therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-coding RNAs in Human Health and Diseases)
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Article
Changes in Expression of Specific mRNA Transcripts after Single- or Re-Irradiation in Mouse Testes
Genes 2022, 13(1), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010151 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 390
Abstract
Alkylating agents and irradiation induce testicular damage, which results in prolonged azoospermia. Even very low doses of radiation can significantly impair testis function. However, re-irradiation is an effective strategy for locally targeted treatments and the pain response and has seen important advances in [...] Read more.
Alkylating agents and irradiation induce testicular damage, which results in prolonged azoospermia. Even very low doses of radiation can significantly impair testis function. However, re-irradiation is an effective strategy for locally targeted treatments and the pain response and has seen important advances in the field of radiation oncology. At present, little is known about the relationship between the harmful effects and accumulated dose of irradiation derived from continuous low-dose radiation exposure. In this study, we examined the levels of mRNA transcripts encoding markers of 13 markers of germ cell differentiation and 28 Sertoli cell-specific products in single- and re-irradiated mice. Our results demonstrated that re-irradiation induced significantly decreased testicular weights with a significant decrease in germ cell differentiation mRNA species (Spo11, Tnp1, Gfra1, Oct4, Sycp3, Ddx4, Boll, Crem, Prm1, and Acrosin). In the 13 Sertoli cell-specific mRNA species decreased upon irradiation, six mRNA species (Claudin-11,Espn, Fshr, GATA1, Inhbb, and Wt1) showed significant differences between single- and re-irradiation. At the same time, different decreases in Sertoli cell-specific mRNA species were found in single-irradiation (Aqp8, Clu, Cst12, and Wnt5a) and re-irradiation (Tjp1, occludin,ZO-1, and ZO-2) mice. These results indicate that long-term aspermatogenesis may differ after single- and re-irradiated treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Male Infertility: From Genes to Genomes)
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Article
A Simulated Shift Work Schedule Does Not Increase DNA Double-Strand Break Repair by NHEJ in the Drosophila Rr3 System
Genes 2022, 13(1), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010150 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 485
Abstract
Long-term shift work is widely believed to increase the risk of certain cancers, but conflicting findings between studies render this association unclear. Evidence of interplay between the circadian clock, cell cycle regulation, and DNA damage detection machinery suggests the possibility that circadian rhythm [...] Read more.
Long-term shift work is widely believed to increase the risk of certain cancers, but conflicting findings between studies render this association unclear. Evidence of interplay between the circadian clock, cell cycle regulation, and DNA damage detection machinery suggests the possibility that circadian rhythm disruption consequent to shift work could alter the DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair pathway usage to favor mutagenic non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) repair. To test this hypothesis, we compared relative usage of NHEJ and single-strand annealing (SSA) repair of a complementary ended chromosomal double-stranded break using the Repair Reporter 3 (Rr3) system in Drosophila between flies reared on 12:12 and 8:8 (simulated shift work) light:dark schedules. Actimetric analysis showed that the 8:8 light:dark schedule effectively disrupted the rhythms in locomotor output. Inaccurate NHEJ repair was not a frequent outcome in this system overall, and no significant difference was seen in the usage of NHEJ or SSA repair between the control and simulated shift work schedules. We conclude that this circadian disruption regimen does not alter the usage of mutagenic NHEJ DSB repair in the Drosophila male pre-meiotic germline, in the context of the Rr3 system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Damage Response Mechanisms in Model Systems)
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Article
Novel Pathogenic Variants in PJVK, the Gene Encoding Pejvakin, in Subjects with Autosomal Recessive Non-Syndromic Hearing Impairment and Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder
Genes 2022, 13(1), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010149 - 15 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 565
Abstract
Pathogenic variants in the PJVK gene cause the DFNB59 type of autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing impairment (AR-NSHI). Phenotypes are not homogeneous, as a few subjects show auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD), while others show cochlear hearing loss. The numbers of reported cases and [...] Read more.
Pathogenic variants in the PJVK gene cause the DFNB59 type of autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing impairment (AR-NSHI). Phenotypes are not homogeneous, as a few subjects show auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD), while others show cochlear hearing loss. The numbers of reported cases and pathogenic variants are still small to establish accurate genotype-phenotype correlations. We investigated a cohort of 77 Spanish familial cases of AR-NSHI, in whom DFNB1 had been excluded, and a cohort of 84 simplex cases with isolated ANSD in whom OTOF variants had been excluded. All seven exons and exon-intron boundaries of the PJVK gene were sequenced. We report three novel DFNB59 cases, one from the AR-NSHI cohort and two from the ANSD cohort, with stable, severe to profound NSHI. Two of the subjects received unilateral cochlear implantation, with apparent good outcomes. Our study expands the spectrum of PJVK mutations, as we report four novel pathogenic variants: p.Leu224Arg, p.His294Ilefs*43, p.His294Asp and p.Phe317Serfs*20. We review the reported cases of DFNB59, summarize the clinical features of this rare subtype of AR-NSHI and discuss the involvement of PJVK in ANSD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Hearing Impairment)
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Article
Methylphosphonate Degradation and Salt-Tolerance Genes of Two Novel Halophilic Marivita Metagenome-Assembled Genomes from Unrestored Solar Salterns
Genes 2022, 13(1), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010148 - 15 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 458 | Correction
Abstract
Aerobic bacteria that degrade methylphosphonates and produce methane as a byproduct have emerged as key players in marine carbon and phosphorus cycles. Here, we present two new draft genome sequences of the genus Marivita that were assembled from metagenomes from hypersaline former industrial [...] Read more.
Aerobic bacteria that degrade methylphosphonates and produce methane as a byproduct have emerged as key players in marine carbon and phosphorus cycles. Here, we present two new draft genome sequences of the genus Marivita that were assembled from metagenomes from hypersaline former industrial salterns and compare them to five other Marivita reference genomes. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that both of these metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) represent new species in the genus. Average nucleotide identities to the closest taxon were <85%. The MAGs were assembled with SPAdes, binned with MetaBAT, and curated with scaffold extension and reassembly. Both genomes contained the phnCDEGHIJLMP suite of genes encoding the full C-P lyase pathway of methylphosphonate degradation and were significantly more abundant in two former industrial salterns than in nearby reference and restored wetlands, which have lower salinity levels and lower methane emissions than the salterns. These organisms contain a variety of compatible solute biosynthesis and transporter genes to cope with high salinity levels but harbor only slightly acidic proteomes (mean isoelectric point of 6.48). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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Review
All Ways Lead to Rome—Meiotic Stabilization Can Take Many Routes in Nascent Polyploid Plants
Genes 2022, 13(1), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010147 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 436
Abstract
Newly formed polyploids often show extensive meiotic defects, resulting in aneuploid gametes, and thus reduced fertility. However, while many neopolyploids are meiotically unstable, polyploid lineages that survive in nature are generally stable and fertile; thus, those lineages that survive are those that are [...] Read more.
Newly formed polyploids often show extensive meiotic defects, resulting in aneuploid gametes, and thus reduced fertility. However, while many neopolyploids are meiotically unstable, polyploid lineages that survive in nature are generally stable and fertile; thus, those lineages that survive are those that are able to overcome these challenges. Several genes that promote polyploid stabilization are now known in plants, allowing speculation on the evolutionary origin of these meiotic adjustments. Here, I discuss results that show that meiotic stability can be achieved through the differentiation of certain alleles of certain genes between ploidies. These alleles, at least sometimes, seem to arise by novel mutation, while standing variation in either ancestral diploids or related polyploids, from which alleles can introgress, may also contribute. Growing evidence also suggests that the coevolution of multiple interacting genes has contributed to polyploid stabilization, and in allopolyploids, the return of duplicated genes to single copies (genome fractionation) may also play a role in meiotic stabilization. There is also some evidence that epigenetic regulation may be important, which can help explain why some polyploid lineages can partly stabilize quite rapidly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Meiotic Chromosome Dynamics)
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Article
Gene Network of Susceptibility to Atypical Femoral Fractures Related to Bisphosphonate Treatment
Genes 2022, 13(1), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010146 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 525
Abstract
Atypical femoral fractures (AFF) are rare fragility fractures in the subtrocantheric or diaphysis femoral region associated with long-term bisphosphonate (BP) treatment. The etiology of AFF is still unclear even though a genetic basis is suggested. We performed whole exome sequencing (WES) analysis of [...] Read more.
Atypical femoral fractures (AFF) are rare fragility fractures in the subtrocantheric or diaphysis femoral region associated with long-term bisphosphonate (BP) treatment. The etiology of AFF is still unclear even though a genetic basis is suggested. We performed whole exome sequencing (WES) analysis of 12 patients receiving BPs for at least 5 years who sustained AFFs and 4 controls, also long-term treated with BPs but without any fracture. After filtration and prioritization of rare variants predicted to be damaging and present in genes shared among at least two patients, a total of 272 variants in 132 genes were identified. Twelve of these genes were known to be involved in bone metabolism and/or AFF, highlighting DAAM2 and LRP5, both involved in the Wnt pathway, as the most representative. Afterwards, we intersected all mutated genes with a list of 34 genes obtained from a previous study of three sisters with BP-related AFF, identifying nine genes. One of these (MEX3D) harbored damaging variants in two AFF patients from the present study and one shared among the three sisters. Gene interaction analysis using the AFFNET web suggested a complex network among bone-related genes as well as with other mutated genes. BinGO biological function analysis highlighted cytoskeleton and cilium organization. In conclusion, several genes and their interactions could provide genetic susceptibility to AFF, that along with BPs treatment and in some cases with glucocorticoids may trigger this so feared complication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Disorders of Bone)
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Review
Life Cycle and Phylogeography of True Truffles
Genes 2022, 13(1), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010145 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 416
Abstract
True truffle (Tuber spp.) is one group of ascomycetes with great economic importance. During the last 30 years, numerous fine-scale population genetics studies were conducted on different truffle species, aiming to answer several key questions regarding their life cycles; these questions are [...] Read more.
True truffle (Tuber spp.) is one group of ascomycetes with great economic importance. During the last 30 years, numerous fine-scale population genetics studies were conducted on different truffle species, aiming to answer several key questions regarding their life cycles; these questions are important for their cultivation. It is now evident that truffles are heterothallic, but with a prevalent haploid lifestyle. Strains forming ectomycorrhizas and germinating ascospores act as maternal and paternal partners respectively. At the same time, a number of large-scale studies were carried out, highlighting the influences of the last glaciation and river isolations on the genetic structure of truffles. A retreat to southern refugia during glaciation, and a northward expansion post glaciation, were revealed in all studied European truffles. The Mediterranean Sea, acting as a barrier, has led to the existence of several refugia in different peninsulas for a single species. Similarly, large rivers in southwestern China act as physical barriers to gene flow for truffles in this region. Further studies can pay special attention to population genetics of species with a wide distribution range, such as T. himalayense, and the correlation between truffle genetic structure and the community composition of truffle-associated bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Population Genetics of Fungi)
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Review
Influence of Haptoglobin Polymorphism on Stroke in Sickle Cell Disease Patients
Genes 2022, 13(1), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010144 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 893
Abstract
This review outlines the current clinical research investigating how the haptoglobin (Hp) genetic polymorphism and stroke occurrence are implicated in sickle cell disease (SCD) pathophysiology. Hp is a blood serum glycoprotein responsible for binding and removing toxic free hemoglobin from the vasculature. The [...] Read more.
This review outlines the current clinical research investigating how the haptoglobin (Hp) genetic polymorphism and stroke occurrence are implicated in sickle cell disease (SCD) pathophysiology. Hp is a blood serum glycoprotein responsible for binding and removing toxic free hemoglobin from the vasculature. The role of Hp in patients with SCD is critical in combating blood toxicity, inflammation, oxidative stress, and even stroke. Ischemic stroke occurs when a blocked vessel decreases oxygen delivery in the blood to cerebral tissue and is commonly associated with SCD. Due to the malformed red blood cells of sickle hemoglobin S, blockage of blood flow is much more prevalent in patients with SCD. This review is the first to evaluate the role of the Hp polymorphism in the incidence of stroke in patients with SCD. Overall, the data compiled in this review suggest that further studies should be conducted to reveal and evaluate potential clinical advancements for gene therapy and Hp infusions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics of Stroke)
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Article
Genome-Wide Analysis in Drosophila Reveals the Genetic Basis of Variation in Age-Specific Physical Performance and Response to ACE Inhibition
Genes 2022, 13(1), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010143 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 629
Abstract
Despite impressive results in restoring physical performance in rodent models, treatment with renin–angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors, such as Lisinopril, have highly mixed results in humans, likely, in part, due to genetic variation in human populations. To date, the genetic determinants of responses to [...] Read more.
Despite impressive results in restoring physical performance in rodent models, treatment with renin–angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors, such as Lisinopril, have highly mixed results in humans, likely, in part, due to genetic variation in human populations. To date, the genetic determinants of responses to drugs, such as RAS inhibitors, remain unknown. Given the complexity of the relationship between physical traits and genetic background, genomic studies which predict genotype- and age-specific responses to drug treatments in humans or vertebrate animals are difficult. Here, using 126 genetically distinct lines of Drosophila melanogaster, we tested the effects of Lisinopril on age-specific climbing speed and endurance. Our data show that functional response and sensitivity to Lisinopril treatment ranges from significant protection against physical decline to increased weakness depending on genotype and age. Furthermore, genome-wide analyses led to identification of evolutionarily conserved genes in the WNT signaling pathway as being significantly associated with variations in physical performance traits and sensitivity to Lisinopril treatment. Genetic knockdown of genes in the WNT signaling pathway, Axin, frizzled, nemo, and wingless, diminished or abolished the effects of Lisinopril treatment on climbing speed traits. Our results implicate these genes as contributors to the genotype- and age-specific effects of Lisinopril treatment and because they have orthologs in humans, they are potential therapeutic targets for improvement of resiliency. Our approach should be widely applicable for identifying genomic variants that predict age- and sex-dependent responses to any type of pharmaceutical treatment. Full article
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Article
Effects of BPA, BPS, and BPF on Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Enzyme Expression in Bovine Oocytes and Spermatozoa
Genes 2022, 13(1), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010142 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 559
Abstract
Bisphenol A (BPA) and its analogs, bisphenol S (BPS) and bisphenol F (BPF), might impact fertility by altering oxidative stress pathways. Here, we hypothesize that bisphenols-induced oxidative stress is responsible for decreased gamete quality. In both female (cumulus-oocyte-complexes—COCs) and male (spermatozoa), oxidative stress [...] Read more.
Bisphenol A (BPA) and its analogs, bisphenol S (BPS) and bisphenol F (BPF), might impact fertility by altering oxidative stress pathways. Here, we hypothesize that bisphenols-induced oxidative stress is responsible for decreased gamete quality. In both female (cumulus-oocyte-complexes—COCs) and male (spermatozoa), oxidative stress was measured by CM-H2DCFDA assay and key ROS scavengers (SOD1, SOD2, GPX1, GPX4, CAT) were quantified at the mRNA and protein levels using qPCR and Western blot (COCs)/immunofluorescence (sperm). Either gamete was treated in five groups: control, vehicle, and 0.05 mg/mL of BPA, BPS, or BPF. Our results show elevated ROS in BPA-treated COCs but decreased production in BPS- and BPF-treated spermatozoa. Additionally, both mRNA and protein expression of SOD2, GPX1, and GPX4 were decreased in BPA-treated COCs (p < 0.05). In sperm, motility (p < 0.03), but not morphology, was significantly altered by bisphenols. SOD1 mRNA expression was significantly increased, while GPX4 was significantly reduced. These results support BPA’s ability to alter oxidative stress in oocytes and, to a lesser extent, in sperm. However, BPS and BPF likely act through different mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Toxicants on Oocyte Quality and Embryo Development)
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Review
Review of the Forensic Applicability of Biostatistical Methods for Inferring Ancestry from Autosomal Genetic Markers
Genes 2022, 13(1), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010141 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 433
Abstract
The inference of ancestry has become a part of the services many forensic genetic laboratories provide. Interest in ancestry may be to provide investigative leads or identify the region of origin in cases of unidentified missing persons. There exist many biostatistical methods developed [...] Read more.
The inference of ancestry has become a part of the services many forensic genetic laboratories provide. Interest in ancestry may be to provide investigative leads or identify the region of origin in cases of unidentified missing persons. There exist many biostatistical methods developed for the study of population structure in the area of population genetics. However, the challenges and questions are slightly different in the context of forensic genetics, where the origin of a specific sample is of interest compared to the understanding of population histories and genealogies. In this paper, the methodologies for modelling population admixture and inferring ancestral populations are reviewed with a focus on their strengths and weaknesses in relation to ancestry inference in the forensic context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Forensic Genetics)
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Article
Cyanogenesis in the Sorghum Genus: From Genotype to Phenotype
Genes 2022, 13(1), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010140 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 614
Abstract
Domestication has resulted in a loss of genetic diversity in our major food crops, leading to susceptibility to biotic and abiotic stresses linked with climate change. Crop wild relatives (CWR) may provide a source of novel genes potentially important for re-gaining climate resilience. [...] Read more.
Domestication has resulted in a loss of genetic diversity in our major food crops, leading to susceptibility to biotic and abiotic stresses linked with climate change. Crop wild relatives (CWR) may provide a source of novel genes potentially important for re-gaining climate resilience. Sorghum bicolor is an important cereal crop with wild relatives that are endemic to Australia. Sorghum bicolor is cyanogenic, but the cyanogenic status of wild Sorghum species is not well known. In this study, leaves of wild species endemic in Australia are screened for the presence of the cyanogenic glucoside dhurrin. The direct measurement of dhurrin content and the potential for dhurrin-derived HCN release (HCNp) showed that all the tested Australian wild species were essentially phenotypically acyanogenic. The unexpected low dhurrin content may reflect the variable and generally nutrient-poor environments in which they are growing in nature. Genome sequencing of six CWR and PCR amplification of the CYP79A1 gene from additional species showed that a high conservation of key amino acids is required for correct protein function and dhurrin synthesis, pointing to the transcriptional regulation of the cyanogenic phenotype in wild sorghum as previously shown in elite sorghum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Specialized Metabolism: From Genetics to Phenotype)
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Article
OTP970 Is Required for RNA Editing of Chloroplast ndhB Transcripts in Arabidopsis thaliana
Genes 2022, 13(1), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010139 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 459
Abstract
RNA editing is essential for compensating for defects or mutations in haploid organelle genomes and is regulated by numerous trans-factors. Pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins are the prime factors that are involved in RNA editing; however, many have not yet been identified. Here, [...] Read more.
RNA editing is essential for compensating for defects or mutations in haploid organelle genomes and is regulated by numerous trans-factors. Pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins are the prime factors that are involved in RNA editing; however, many have not yet been identified. Here, we screened the plastid-targeted PLS-DYW subfamily of PPR proteins belonging to Arabidopsis thaliana and identified ORGANELLE TRANSCRIPT PROCESSING 970 (OTP970) as a key player in RNA editing in plastids. A loss-of-function otp970 mutant was impaired in RNA editing of ndhB transcripts at site 149 (ndhB-C149). RNA-immunoprecipitation analysis indicated that OTP970 was associated with the ndhB-C149 site. The complementation of the otp970 mutant with OTP970 lacking the DYW domain (OTP970∆DYW) failed to restore the RNA editing of ndhB-C149. ndhB gene encodes the B subunit of the NADH dehydrogenase-like (NDH) complex; however, neither NDH activity and stability nor NDH-PSI supercomplex formation were affected in otp970 mutant compared to the wild type, indicating that alteration in amino acid sequence is not necessary for NdhB function. Together, these results suggest that OTP970 is involved in the RNA editing of ndhB-C149 and that the DYW domain is essential for its function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Evolution of Plant Organelle Genome)
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Review
Wnt Pathway Extracellular Components and Their Essential Roles in Bone Homeostasis
Genes 2022, 13(1), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010138 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 498
Abstract
The Wnt pathway is involved in several processes essential for bone development and homeostasis. For proper functioning, the Wnt pathway is tightly regulated by numerous extracellular elements that act by both activating and inhibiting the pathway at different moments. This review aims to [...] Read more.
The Wnt pathway is involved in several processes essential for bone development and homeostasis. For proper functioning, the Wnt pathway is tightly regulated by numerous extracellular elements that act by both activating and inhibiting the pathway at different moments. This review aims to describe, summarize and update the findings regarding the extracellular modulators of the Wnt pathway, including co-receptors, ligands and inhibitors, in relation to bone homeostasis, with an emphasis on the animal models generated, the diseases associated with each gene and the bone processes in which each member is involved. The precise knowledge of all these elements will help us to identify possible targets that can be used as a therapeutic target for the treatment of bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Disorders of Bone)
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Article
Clinical and Genetic Characteristics of COL2A1-Associated Skeletal Dysplasias in 60 Russian Patients: Part I
Genes 2022, 13(1), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010137 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 427
Abstract
The significant variability in the clinical manifestations of COL2A1-associated skeletal dysplasias makes it necessary to conduct a clinical and genetic analysis of individual nosological variants, which will contribute to improving our understanding of the pathogenetic mechanisms and prognosis. We presented the clinical and [...] Read more.
The significant variability in the clinical manifestations of COL2A1-associated skeletal dysplasias makes it necessary to conduct a clinical and genetic analysis of individual nosological variants, which will contribute to improving our understanding of the pathogenetic mechanisms and prognosis. We presented the clinical and genetic characteristics of 60 Russian pediatric patients with type II collagenopathies caused by previously described and newly identified variants in the COL2A1 gene. Diagnosis confirmation was carried out by new generation sequencing of the target panel with subsequent validation of the identified variants using automated Sanger sequencing. It has been shown that clinical forms of spondyloepiphyseal dysplasias predominate in childhood, both with more severe clinical manifestations (58%) and with unusual phenotypes of mild forms with normal growth (25%). However, Stickler syndrome, type I was less common (17%). In the COL2A1 gene, 28 novel variants were identified, and a total of 63% of the variants were found in the triple helix region resulted in glycine substitution in Gly-XY repeats, which were identified in patients with clinical manifestations of congenital spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia with varying severity, and were not found in Stickler syndrome, type I and Kniest dysplasia. In the C-propeptide region, five novel variants leading to the development of unusual phenotypes of spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia have been identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Disorders of Bone)
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Article
First Glimpse into the Genomic Characterization of People from the Imperial Roman Community of Casal Bertone (Rome, First–Third Centuries AD)
Genes 2022, 13(1), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010136 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 732
Abstract
This paper aims to provide a first glimpse into the genomic characterization of individuals buried in Casal Bertone (Rome, first–third centuries AD) to gain preliminary insight into the genetic makeup of people who lived near a tannery workshop, fullonica. Therefore, we explored the [...] Read more.
This paper aims to provide a first glimpse into the genomic characterization of individuals buried in Casal Bertone (Rome, first–third centuries AD) to gain preliminary insight into the genetic makeup of people who lived near a tannery workshop, fullonica. Therefore, we explored the genetic characteristics of individuals who were putatively recruited as fuller workers outside the Roman population. Moreover, we identified the microbial communities associated with humans to detect microbes associated with the unhealthy environment supposed for such a workshop. We examined five individuals from Casal Bertone for ancient DNA analysis through whole-genome sequencing via a shotgun approach. We conducted multiple investigations to unveil the genetic components featured in the samples studied and their associated microbial communities. We generated reliable whole-genome data for three samples surviving the quality controls. The individuals were descendants of people from North African and the Near East, two of the main foci for tannery and dyeing activity in the past. Our evaluation of the microbes associated with the skeletal samples showed microbes growing in soils with waste products used in the tannery process, indicating that people lived, died, and were buried around places where they worked. In that perspective, the results represent the first genomic characterization of fullers from the past. This analysis broadens our knowledge about the presence of multiple ancestries in Imperial Rome, marking a starting point for future data integration as part of interdisciplinary research on human mobility and the bio-cultural characteristics of people employed in dedicated workshops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Genomic Impact of Human Migrations)
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Article
Expression of Fibroblast Activation Protein Is Enriched in Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer and Predicts Worse Survival
Genes 2022, 13(1), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010135 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 479
Abstract
Background: Advanced prostate cancer (PC) may accumulate genomic alterations that hallmark lineage plasticity and transdifferentiation to a neuroendocrine (NE) phenotype. Fibroblast activation protein (FAP) is a key player in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). However, its clinical value and role in NE differentiation in advanced [...] Read more.
Background: Advanced prostate cancer (PC) may accumulate genomic alterations that hallmark lineage plasticity and transdifferentiation to a neuroendocrine (NE) phenotype. Fibroblast activation protein (FAP) is a key player in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). However, its clinical value and role in NE differentiation in advanced PC has not been fully investigated. Methods: Two hundred and eight patients from a multicenter, prospective cohort of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) with available RNA sequencing data were analyzed for tumor FAP mRNA expression, and its association with overall survival (OS) and NE tumor features was investigated. Results: Twenty-one patients (10%) were found to have high FAP mRNA expression. Compared to the rest, this subset had a proportionally higher exposure to taxanes and AR signaling inhibitors (abiraterone or enzalutamide) and was characterized by active NE signaling, evidenced by high NEPC- and low AR-gene expression scores. These patients with high tumor mRNA FAP expression had a more aggressive clinical course and significantly shorter survival (12 months) compared to those without altered FAP expression (28 months, log-rank p = 0.016). Conclusions: FAP expression may serve as a valuable NE marker indicating a worse prognosis in patients with metastatic CRPC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Genetic Research on Neuroendocrine Tumors)
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Article
Identification and Characterization of Wall-Associated Kinase (WAK) and WAK-like (WAKL) Gene Family in Juglans regia and Its Wild Related Species Juglans mandshurica
Genes 2022, 13(1), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13010134 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 432
Abstract
Wall-associated kinase (WAK) and WAK-like kinase (WAKL) are receptor-like kinases (RLKs), which play important roles in signal transduction between the cell wall and the cytoplasm in plants. WAK/WAKLs have been studied in many plants, but were rarely studied in the important economic walnut [...] Read more.
Wall-associated kinase (WAK) and WAK-like kinase (WAKL) are receptor-like kinases (RLKs), which play important roles in signal transduction between the cell wall and the cytoplasm in plants. WAK/WAKLs have been studied in many plants, but were rarely studied in the important economic walnut tree. In this study, 27 and 14 WAK/WAKL genes were identified in Juglans regia and its wild related species Juglans mandshurica, respectively. We found tandem duplication might play a critical role in the expansion of WAK/WAKL gene family in J. regia, and most of the WAK/WAKL homologous pairs underwent purified selection during evolution. All WAK/WAKL proteins have the extracellular WAK domain and the cytoplasmic protein kinase domain, and the latter was more conserved than the former. Cis-acting elements analysis showed that WAK/WAKL might be involved in plant growth and development, plant response to abiotic stress and hormones. Gene expression pattern analysis further indicated that most WAK/WAKL genes in J. regia might play a role in the development of leaves and be involved in plant response to biotic stress. Our study provides a new perspective for the evolutionary analysis of gene families in tree species and also provides potential candidate genes for studying WAK/WAKL gene function in walnuts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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