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Genes, Volume 14, Issue 1 (January 2023) – 237 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The genome-wide association study (GWAS) has been in use for 15 years. It has made immense progress in multiple fields from medicine to crop breeding. Although the methodology under the hood of GWAS has been improving, there is a substantial lack of easy-to-use tools for GWAS utilization. One such improved GWAS is the synthetic phenotype to causative mutation strategy (SP2CM) that enables causative mutation (CM) identification through accuracy calculation. AccuCalc is a Python package for convenient SP2CM strategy utilization for every species. AccuCalc has three inputs: genotype (vcf or hmp), binary phenotype (synthetic or observed) and GWAS result (p-values). Conclusion, AccuCalc creates synthetic phenotypes, calculates accuracy and draws Manhattan plots accentuated by accuracy. AccuCalc is especially beneficial for CM identification of rare phenotypes where GWAS would be underpowered. View this paper
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16 pages, 1801 KiB  
Article
Development of Toehold Switches as a Novel Ribodiagnostic Method for West Nile Virus
by Antonis Giakountis, Zoe Stylianidou, Anxhela Zaka, Styliani Pappa, Anna Papa, Christos Hadjichristodoulou and Kostas D. Mathiopoulos
Genes 2023, 14(1), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010237 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1955
Abstract
West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging neurotropic RNA virus and a member of the genus Flavivirus. Naturally, the virus is maintained in an enzootic cycle involving mosquitoes as vectors and birds that are the principal amplifying virus hosts. In humans, the [...] Read more.
West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging neurotropic RNA virus and a member of the genus Flavivirus. Naturally, the virus is maintained in an enzootic cycle involving mosquitoes as vectors and birds that are the principal amplifying virus hosts. In humans, the incubation period for WNV disease ranges from 3 to 14 days, with an estimated 80% of infected persons being asymptomatic, around 19% developing a mild febrile infection and less than 1% developing neuroinvasive disease. Laboratory diagnosis of WNV infection is generally accomplished by cross-reacting serological methods or highly sensitive yet expensive molecular approaches. Therefore, current diagnostic tools hinder widespread surveillance of WNV in birds and mosquitoes that serve as viral reservoirs for infecting secondary hosts, such as humans and equines. We have developed a synthetic biology-based method for sensitive and low-cost detection of WNV. This method relies on toehold riboswitches designed to detect WNV genomic RNA as transcriptional input and process it to GFP fluorescence as translational output. Our methodology offers a non-invasive tool with reduced operating cost and high diagnostic value that can be used for field surveillance of WNV in humans as well as in bird and mosquito populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Genomics)
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16 pages, 4222 KiB  
Article
Pathogenicity of PKCγ Genetic Variants—Possible Function as a Non-Invasive Diagnostic Biomarker in Ovarian Cancer
by Kanza Shahid, Khushbukhat Khan, Yasmin Badshah, Naeem Mahmood Ashraf, Arslan Hamid, Janeen H. Trembley, Maria Shabbir, Tayyaba Afsar, Ali Almajwal, Ali Abusharha and Suhail Razak
Genes 2023, 14(1), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010236 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1672
Abstract
Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate among gynecologic malignancies, owing to its misdiagnosis or late diagnosis. Identification of its genetic determinants could improve disease outcomes. Conventional Protein Kinase C-γ (PKCγ) dysregulation is reported in several cancers. Similarly, its variant rs1331262028 is also [...] Read more.
Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate among gynecologic malignancies, owing to its misdiagnosis or late diagnosis. Identification of its genetic determinants could improve disease outcomes. Conventional Protein Kinase C-γ (PKCγ) dysregulation is reported in several cancers. Similarly, its variant rs1331262028 is also reported to have an association with hepatocellular carcinoma. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to analyze the variant rs1331262028 association with ovarian cancer and to determine its impact on PKCγ’s protein interactions. Association of variation was determined through genotyping PCR (cohort size:100). Protein–protein docking and molecular dynamic simulation were carried out to study the variant impact of PKCγ interactions. The study outcome indicated the positive association of variant rs1331262028 with ovarian cancer and its clinicopathological features. Molecular dynamics simulation depicted the potential influence of variation on PKCγ molecular signaling. Hence, this study provided the foundations for assessing variant rs1331262028 as a potential prognostic marker for ovarian cancer. Through further validation, it can be applied at the clinical level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
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9 pages, 1185 KiB  
Communication
Sorted Bulls’ X-Chromosome-Bearing Spermatozoa Show Increased GAPDHS Activity Correlating with Motility
by Anna A. Kapitonova, Vladimir I. Muronetz and Denis V. Pozdyshev
Genes 2023, 14(1), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010235 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1567
Abstract
Sperm sexing is a technique for spermatozoa sorting into populations enriched with X- or Y-chromosome-bearing cells and is widely used in the dairy industry. Investigation of the characteristics of sorted semen is of practical interest, because it could contribute to the enhancement of [...] Read more.
Sperm sexing is a technique for spermatozoa sorting into populations enriched with X- or Y-chromosome-bearing cells and is widely used in the dairy industry. Investigation of the characteristics of sorted semen is of practical interest, because it could contribute to the enhancement of sexed semen fertility characteristics, which are currently lower than those of conventional semen. Comparison of a spermatozoa population enriched with X-chromosome-bearing cells to a mixed population is also intriguing in the context of potential differences that drive the mechanisms of primary sex-ratio determination. In this work, sexed (X spermatozoa) and conventional spermatozoa of Holstein bulls were analyzed for the content and enzymatic activity of GAPDHS, a sperm-specific isoform of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase that plays a significant role in the regulation of flagellar activity. No difference in the amount of this glycolysis enzyme per cell was revealed, but, notably, GAPDHS enzymatic activity in the sexed samples was significantly higher. Enzymatic activity among the group of sexed but not conventional sperm samples positively correlated with spermatozoa motility, which indicates the significant role of this enzyme for the sorted cells population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in ‘Animal Genetics and Genomics’)
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16 pages, 584 KiB  
Review
Methodological Changes in the Field of Paleogenetics
by Mikołaj Danielewski, Joanna Żuraszek, Aleksandra Zielińska, Karl-Heinz Herzig, Ryszard Słomski, Jarosław Walkowiak and Karolina Wielgus
Genes 2023, 14(1), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010234 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3261
Abstract
Paleogenetics has significantly changed since its inception almost forty years ago. Initially, molecular techniques available to the researchers offered minimal possibilities for ancient DNA analysis. The subsequent expansion of the scientific tool cabinet allowed for more remarkable achievements, combined has with the newfound [...] Read more.
Paleogenetics has significantly changed since its inception almost forty years ago. Initially, molecular techniques available to the researchers offered minimal possibilities for ancient DNA analysis. The subsequent expansion of the scientific tool cabinet allowed for more remarkable achievements, combined has with the newfound popularity of this budding field of science. Finally, a breakthrough was made with the development of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies and the update of DNA isolation protocols, through which even very fragmented aDNA samples could be used to sequence whole genomes. In this paper, we review the achievements made thus far and compare the methodologies utilized in this field of science, discussing their benefits and challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Ancient Genomes)
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10 pages, 261 KiB  
Article
Clinical Evaluation of BioFire COVID-19 Test, BioFire Respiratory Panel 2.1, and Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 Assays for Sample-to-Answer Detection of SARS-CoV-2
by Joonhong Park, So Yeon Kim, Jaehyeon Lee and Ki Ho Hong
Genes 2023, 14(1), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010233 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2103
Abstract
Background: Due to the extreme infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, sample-to-answer SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription (RT) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays are urgently needed in order to facilitate infectious disease surveillance and control. The purpose of this study was to evaluate three sample-to-answer SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR assays—BioFire [...] Read more.
Background: Due to the extreme infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, sample-to-answer SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription (RT) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays are urgently needed in order to facilitate infectious disease surveillance and control. The purpose of this study was to evaluate three sample-to-answer SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR assays—BioFire COVID-19 Test, BioFire RP 2.1, and Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2—using clinical samples. Methods: A total of 77 leftover nasopharyngeal swab (NP) swabs (36 positives and 41 negatives) confirmed by reference SARS-CoV-2 RT real-time (q) PCR assay were collected. The clinical sample concordance, as specified by their respective emergency use authorizations (EUAs), in comparison to the reference SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR assay, was assessed. Results: The results showed that all three sample-to-answer SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR assays provided perfectly concordant results consistent with the reference SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR assay. The BioFire COVID-19 Test exhibited the best turnaround time (TAT) compared to the other assays, regardless of the test results, using one-way analysis of variance followed by Scheffe’s post hoc test (p < 0.001). The Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 showed a shorter average TAT (mean ± standard deviation, 49.9 ± 3.1 min) in the positive samples compared to that (55.7 ± 2.5 min) of the negative samples. Conclusions: Our evaluation demonstrates that the BioFire COVID-19 Test, BioFire RP 2.1, and Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 assays compare favorably to the reference SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR assay, along with a 100% concordance in assay results for clinical samples and an acceptable analytical performance at their guaranteed limits of detection. The addition of a widely used simultaneous sample-to-answer SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR assay will contribute to the number of medical laboratories able to test for COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics & Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases)
3 pages, 156 KiB  
Editorial
Genetics and Genomics of Melanoma: Current Progress and Future Directions
by Camelia Quek
Genes 2023, 14(1), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010232 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1538
Abstract
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that develops in the skin’s pigment cells, known as melanocytes, and can spread via blood and the lymphatic system to nearby tissues or distant organs in the body [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics of Melanoma)
13 pages, 1381 KiB  
Article
Genetic and Morphological Variation in Hypodontia of Maxillary Lateral Incisors
by Bernadette Kerekes-Máthé, Krisztina Mártha, Claudia Bănescu, Matthew Brook O’Donnell and Alan H. Brook
Genes 2023, 14(1), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010231 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1961
Abstract
(1) Background: Hypodontia has a multifactorial aetiology, in which genetic factors are a major component. Associated with this congenital absence, the formed teeth may show differences in size and shape, which may vary with the specific genetic variants and with the location of [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Hypodontia has a multifactorial aetiology, in which genetic factors are a major component. Associated with this congenital absence, the formed teeth may show differences in size and shape, which may vary with the specific genetic variants and with the location of the missing teeth. The aims of the present study were to investigate a specific variant of MSX1, derive morphometric tooth measurements in a sample of patients with isolated maxillary lateral incisor agenesis and matched controls, and model the findings. (2) Methods: Genotyping of the MSX1 rs8670 genetic variant and morphometric measurements with a 2D image analysis method were performed for 26 hypodontia patients and 26 matched controls. (3) Results: The risk of upper lateral incisor agenesis was 6.9 times higher when the T allele was present. The morphometric parameters showed significant differences between hypodontia patients and controls and between the unilateral and bilateral agenesis cases. The most affected crown dimension in the hypodontia patients was the bucco-lingual dimension. In crown shape there was significant variation the Carabelli trait in upper first molars. (4) Conclusions: The MSX1 rs8670 variant was associated with variations in morphological outcomes. The new findings for compensatory interactions between the maxillary incisors indicate that epigenetic and environmental factors interact with this genetic variant. A single-level directional complex interactive network model incorporates the variations seen in this study. Full article
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9 pages, 2646 KiB  
Communication
The Mitochondrial Genomes of Two Parasitoid Wasps Protapanteles immunis and Parapanteles hyposidrae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) with Phylogenetic Implications and Novel Gene Rearrangements
by Dandan Xiao, Ziqi Wang, Jiachen Zhu, Xiaogui Zhou, Pu Tang and Xuexin Chen
Genes 2023, 14(1), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010230 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1446
Abstract
Parapanteles hypsidrae (Wilkinson, 1928) and Protapanteles immunis (Haliday, 1834) are the most important parasitic wasps of Ectropis grisescens Warren and Ectropis obliqua (Prout). We sequenced and annotated the mitochondrial genomes of Pa. hyposidrae and Pr. immunis, which are 17,063 bp and 16,397 [...] Read more.
Parapanteles hypsidrae (Wilkinson, 1928) and Protapanteles immunis (Haliday, 1834) are the most important parasitic wasps of Ectropis grisescens Warren and Ectropis obliqua (Prout). We sequenced and annotated the mitochondrial genomes of Pa. hyposidrae and Pr. immunis, which are 17,063 bp and 16,397 bp in length, respectively, and possess 37 mitochondrial genes. We discovered two novel types of gene rearrangement, the local inversion of nad4L in Pa. hyposidrae and the remote inversion of the block cox3-nad3-nad5-nad4 in Pr. immunis, within the mitogenomes of Braconidae. The phylogenetic analysis supported the subfamily Microgastrinae is a monophyletic group, but the tribes Apantelini and Cotesiini within this subfamily are paraphyletic groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research on Mitochondrial Genome)
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9 pages, 1916 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Profiling of Developing Testes and First Wave of Spermatogenesis in the Rat
by Yan Zhang, Zaixia Liu, Xia Yun, Baiyin Batu, Zheng Yang, Xinlai Zhang, Wenguang Zhang and Taodi Liu
Genes 2023, 14(1), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010229 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1700
Abstract
Spermatogenesis is a complicated course of several rigorous restrained steps that spermatogonial stem cells undergo to develop into highly specialized spermatozoa; however, specific genes and signal pathways, which regulate the amplification, differentiation and maturation of these cells, remain unclear. We performed bioinformatics analyses [...] Read more.
Spermatogenesis is a complicated course of several rigorous restrained steps that spermatogonial stem cells undergo to develop into highly specialized spermatozoa; however, specific genes and signal pathways, which regulate the amplification, differentiation and maturation of these cells, remain unclear. We performed bioinformatics analyses to investigate the dynamic changes of the gene expression patterns at three time points in the course of the first wave of rat spermatogenesis. Differently expressed genes (DEGs) were identified, and the features of DEGs were further analyzed with GO (Gene Ontology), KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) and Short Time-series Expression Miner (STEM). A total of 2954 differentially expressed genes were identified. By using STEM, the top 10 key genes were selected in the profile according to the enrichment results, and the distinguishable biological functions encoded by these DEGs were automatically divided into three parts. Genes from 6, 8 and 10 days were related to biosynthesis, immune response and cell junction, and genes from 14, 15 and 16 days were related to energy metabolic pathways. The results also suggest that genes from 29, 31 and 35 days may shift metabolic to sperm motility, sperm flagellum and cilium movement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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14 pages, 3116 KiB  
Article
Metatranscriptomic Analyses Reveal Important Roles of the Gut Microbiome in Primate Dietary Adaptation
by Mingyi Zhang, Xiaochen Wang, Ziming Wang, Shuxin Mao, Jiali Zhang, Ming Li and Huijuan Pan
Genes 2023, 14(1), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010228 - 15 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2389
Abstract
The gut microbiome plays a vital role in host ecological adaptation, especially dietary adaptations. Primates have evolved a variety of dietary and gut physiological structures that are useful to explore the role of the gut microbiome in host dietary adaptations. Here, we characterize [...] Read more.
The gut microbiome plays a vital role in host ecological adaptation, especially dietary adaptations. Primates have evolved a variety of dietary and gut physiological structures that are useful to explore the role of the gut microbiome in host dietary adaptations. Here, we characterize gut microbiome transcriptional activity in ten fecal samples from primates with three different diets and compare the results to their previously reported metagenomic profile. Bacteria related to cellulose degradation, like Bacteroidaceae and Alcaligenaceae, were enriched and actively expressed in the gut microbiome of folivorous primates, and functional analysis revealed that the glycan biosynthesis and metabolic pathways were significantly active. In omnivorous primates, Helicobacteraceae, which promote lipid metabolism, were significantly enriched in expression, and activity and xenobiotic biodegradation and metabolism as well as lipid metabolism pathways were significantly active. In frugivorous primates, the abundance and activity of Elusimicrobiaceae, Neisseriaceae, and Succinivibrionaceae, which are associated with digestion of pectin and fructose, were significantly elevated, and the functional pathways involved in the endocrine system were significantly enriched. In conclusion, the gut microbiome contributes to host dietary adaptation by helping hosts digest the inaccessible nutrients in their specific diets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Primate Phylogeny and Genetics)
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13 pages, 7950 KiB  
Article
The Complete Chloroplast Genome of An Ophiorrhiza baviensis Drake Species Reveals Its Molecular Structure, Comparative, and Phylogenetic Relationships
by Mai Huong Pham, Thu Hoai Tran, Thi Dung Le, Tung Lam Le, Ha Hoang and Hoang Ha Chu
Genes 2023, 14(1), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010227 - 15 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1936
Abstract
Ophiorrhiza baviensis Drake, a flowering medical plant in the Rubiaceae, exists uncertainly within the Ophiorrhiza genus’ evolutionary relationships. For the first time, the whole chloroplast (cp) genome of an O. baviensis Drake species was sequenced and annotated. Our findings demonstrate that the complete [...] Read more.
Ophiorrhiza baviensis Drake, a flowering medical plant in the Rubiaceae, exists uncertainly within the Ophiorrhiza genus’ evolutionary relationships. For the first time, the whole chloroplast (cp) genome of an O. baviensis Drake species was sequenced and annotated. Our findings demonstrate that the complete cp genome of O. baviensis is 154,770 bp in size, encoding a total of 128 genes, including 87 protein-coding genes, 8 rRNAs, and 33 tRNAs. A total of 59 SSRs were screened in the studied cp genome, along with six highly variable loci, which can be applied to generate significant molecular markers for the Ophiorrhiza genus. The comparative analysis of the O. baviensis cp genome with two published others of the Ophiorrhiza genus revealed a high similarity; however, there were some notable gene rearrangements in the O. densa plastome. The maximum likelihood phylogenetic trees were constructed based on the concatenation of the rps16 gene and the trnL-trnF intergenic spacer sequence, indicating a close relationship between the studied O. baviensis and other Ophiorrhiza. This study will provide a theoretical molecular basis for identifying O. baviensis Drake, as well as species of the Ophiorrhiza genus, and contribute to shedding light on the chloroplast genome evolution of Rubiaceae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phylogenetics, Genetics, and Breeding of Medicinal Plants)
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16 pages, 4602 KiB  
Article
The Potential of ANK1 to Predict Parkinson’s Disease
by Jinsong Xue, Fan Li and Peng Dai
Genes 2023, 14(1), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010226 - 15 Jan 2023
Viewed by 2203
Abstract
The main cause of Parkinson’s disease (PD) remains unknown and the pathologic changes in the brain limit rapid diagnosis. Herein, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database (GSE8397 and GSE22491) were assessed using linear models for microarray analysis (limma). [...] Read more.
The main cause of Parkinson’s disease (PD) remains unknown and the pathologic changes in the brain limit rapid diagnosis. Herein, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database (GSE8397 and GSE22491) were assessed using linear models for microarray analysis (limma). Ankyrin 1 (ANK1) was the only common gene differentially down-regulated in lateral substantia nigra (LSN), medial substantia nigra (MSN) and blood. Additionally, DEGs between high ANK1 and low ANK1 in GSE99039 were picked out and then uploaded to the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery (DAVID) for gene ontology (GO) functional annotation analysis. GO analysis displayed that these DEGs were mainly enriched in oxygen transport, myeloid cell development and gas transport (biological process (BP)); hemoglobin complex, haptoglobin–hemoglobin complex and cortical cytoskeleton (cellular component (CC)); and oxygen transporter activity, haptoglobin binding and oxygen binding (molecular function (MF)). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis showed ANK1 had good diagnostic accuracy and increased the area under the curve (AUC) value when combined with other biomarkers. Consistently, intraperitoneal injection of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropy-ridi-ne (MPTP) in C57BL/6J mice reduced ANK1 mRNA expression in both substantia nigra and blood compared to the control group. Thus, ANK1 may serve as a candidate biomarker for PD diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioinformatics)
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11 pages, 2102 KiB  
Article
Full-Length Transcriptome Profiling of Coridius chinensis Mitochondrial Genome Reveals the Transcription of Genes with Ancestral Arrangement in Insects
by Shiwen Xu, Yuange Duan, Ling Ma, Fan Song, Li Tian, Wanzhi Cai and Hu Li
Genes 2023, 14(1), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010225 - 15 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1867
Abstract
Coridius chinensis (Hemiptera: Dinidoridae) is a medicinal insect. Its mitochondrial gene arrangement is consistent with that of Drosophila melanogaster and Erthesina fullo, the two insects with well-studied mitochondrial transcription. To investigate whether the structural consistency of mitochondrial genes leads to similarities in [...] Read more.
Coridius chinensis (Hemiptera: Dinidoridae) is a medicinal insect. Its mitochondrial gene arrangement is consistent with that of Drosophila melanogaster and Erthesina fullo, the two insects with well-studied mitochondrial transcription. To investigate whether the structural consistency of mitochondrial genes leads to similarities in transcription and post-transcriptional processing, we improved the gene annotation and constructed a quantitative transcription map for the C. chinensis mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) using full-length transcriptome sequencing. The size of this mitogenome was 16,214 bp and the proposed model of mitochondrial transcription was similar to that of Drosophila. Both strands were nearly entirely transcribed except for the antisense genes downstream of trnS2 on N strand. The expression of cytochrome c subunit genes is higher than that of NADH-dehydrogenase subunit genes. The post-transcriptional cleavage process followed the “tRNA punctuation” model, and both the “reverse cleavage” model in Drosophila and “forward cleavage” model in E. fullo were found in C. chinensis. In addition, we found that long non-coding RNAs from the control region contained tandem repeats. Polyadenylation was performed after CCA triplet at the 3′ end of tRNA. The isoform diversity of lrRNA was identified. Our study sheds light on the transcriptional regulation and RNA processing of insect mitogenomes with the putative ancestral gene arrangement. Full article
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12 pages, 4892 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification of GYF-Domain Encoding Genes in Three Brassica Species and Their Expression Responding to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in Brassica napus
by Xiaobo Zhang, Lei Qin, Junxing Lu, Yunong Xia, Xianyu Tang, Xun Lu and Shitou Xia
Genes 2023, 14(1), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010224 - 15 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1670
Abstract
GYF (glycine-tyrosine-phenylalanine)-domain-containing proteins, which were reported to participate in many aspects of biological processes in yeast and animals, are highly conserved adaptor proteins existing in almost all eukaryotes. Our previous study revealed that GYF protein MUSE11/EXA1 is involved in nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NLR) [...] Read more.
GYF (glycine-tyrosine-phenylalanine)-domain-containing proteins, which were reported to participate in many aspects of biological processes in yeast and animals, are highly conserved adaptor proteins existing in almost all eukaryotes. Our previous study revealed that GYF protein MUSE11/EXA1 is involved in nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NLR) receptor-mediated defense in Arabidopsis thaliana. However, the GYF-domain encoding homologous genes are still not clear in other plants. Here, we performed genome-wide identification of GYF-domain encoding genes (GYFs) from Brassica napus and its parental species, Brassica rapa and Brassica oleracea. As a result, 26 GYFs of B. napus (BnaGYFs), 11 GYFs of B. rapa (BraGYFs), and 14 GYFs of B. oleracea (BolGYFs) together with 10 A. thaliana (AtGYFs) were identified, respectively. We, then, conducted gene structure, motif, cis-acting elements, duplication, chromosome localization, and phylogenetic analysis of these genes. Gene structure analysis indicated the diversity of the exon numbers of these genes. We found that the defense and stress responsiveness element existed in 23 genes and also identified 10 motifs in these GYF proteins. Chromosome localization exhibited a similar distribution of BnaGYFs with BraGYFs or BolGYFs in their respective genomes. The phylogenetic and gene collinearity analysis showed the evolutionary conservation of GYFs among B. napus and its parental species as well as Arabidopsis. These 61 identified GYF domain proteins can be classified into seven groups according to their sequence similarity. Expression of BnaGYFs induced by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum provided five highly upregulated genes and five highly downregulated genes, which might be candidates for further research of plant–fungal interaction in B. napus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Biotic and Abiotic Stress Response in Crops)
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20 pages, 2181 KiB  
Review
Parvalbumin: A Major Fish Allergen and a Forensically Relevant Marker
by Subham Mukherjee, Petra Horka, Kamila Zdenkova and Eliska Cermakova
Genes 2023, 14(1), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010223 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 5640
Abstract
Parvalbumins (PVALBs) are low molecular weight calcium-binding proteins. In addition to their role in many biological processes, PVALBs play an important role in regulating Ca2+ switching in muscles with fast-twitch fibres in addition to their role in many biological processes. The PVALB gene [...] Read more.
Parvalbumins (PVALBs) are low molecular weight calcium-binding proteins. In addition to their role in many biological processes, PVALBs play an important role in regulating Ca2+ switching in muscles with fast-twitch fibres in addition to their role in many biological processes. The PVALB gene family is divided into two gene types, alpha (α) and beta (β), with the β gene further divided into two gene types, beta1 (β1) and beta2 (β2), carrying traces of whole genome duplication. A large variety of commonly consumed fish species contain PVALB proteins which are known to cause fish allergies. More than 95% of all fish-induced food allergies are caused by PVALB proteins. The authentication of fish species has become increasingly important as the seafood industry continues to grow and the growth brings with it many cases of food fraud. Since the PVALB gene plays an important role in the initiation of allergic reactions, it has been used for decades to develop alternate assays for fish identification. A brief review of the significance of the fish PVALB genes is presented in this article, which covers evolutionary diversity, allergic properties, and potential use as a forensic marker. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics in Aquaculture and Fisheries)
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34 pages, 7400 KiB  
Article
Evolutionary Landscape of SOX Genes to Inform Genotype-to-Phenotype Relationships
by Adam Underwood, Daniel T Rasicci, David Hinds, Jackson T Mitchell, Jacob K Zieba, Joshua Mills, Nicholas E Arnold, Taylor W Cook, Mehdi Moustaqil, Yann Gambin, Emma Sierecki, Frank Fontaine, Sophie Vanderweele, Akansha S Das, William Cvammen, Olivia Sirpilla, Xavier Soehnlen, Kristen Bricker, Maram Alokaili, Morgan Green, Sadie Heeringa, Amy M Wilstermann, Thomas M. Freeland, Dinah Qutob, Amy Milsted, Ralf Jauch, Timothy J Triche, Jr., Connie M Krawczyk, Caleb P Bupp, Surender Rajasekaran, Mathias Francois and Jeremy W. Prokopadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Genes 2023, 14(1), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010222 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3549
Abstract
The SOX transcription factor family is pivotal in controlling aspects of development. To identify genotype–phenotype relationships of SOX proteins, we performed a non-biased study of SOX using 1890 open-reading frame and 6667 amino acid sequences in combination with structural dynamics to interpret 3999 [...] Read more.
The SOX transcription factor family is pivotal in controlling aspects of development. To identify genotype–phenotype relationships of SOX proteins, we performed a non-biased study of SOX using 1890 open-reading frame and 6667 amino acid sequences in combination with structural dynamics to interpret 3999 gnomAD, 485 ClinVar, 1174 Geno2MP, and 4313 COSMIC human variants. We identified, within the HMG (High Mobility Group)- box, twenty-seven amino acids with changes in multiple SOX proteins annotated to clinical pathologies. These sites were screened through Geno2MP medical phenotypes, revealing novel SOX15 R104G associated with musculature abnormality and SOX8 R159G with intellectual disability. Within gnomAD, SOX18 E137K (rs201931544), found within the HMG box of ~0.8% of Latinx individuals, is associated with seizures and neurological complications, potentially through blood–brain barrier alterations. A total of 56 highly conserved variants were found at sites outside the HMG-box, including several within the SOX2 HMG-box-flanking region with neurological associations, several in the SOX9 dimerization region associated with Campomelic Dysplasia, SOX14 K88R (rs199932938) flanking the HMG box associated with cardiovascular complications within European populations, and SOX7 A379V (rs143587868) within an SOXF conserved far C-terminal domain heterozygous in 0.716% of African individuals with associated eye phenotypes. This SOX data compilation builds a robust genotype-to-phenotype association for a gene family through more robust ortholog data integration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics of Rare Disorders)
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16 pages, 4465 KiB  
Article
Molecular Mapping of Biofortification Traits in Bread Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Using a High-Density SNP Based Linkage Map
by Vasudha Jadon, Shashi Sharma, Hari Krishna, Gopalareddy Krishnappa, Rahul Gajghate, Narayana Bhat Devate, Kusuma Kumari Panda, Neelu Jain, Pradeep Kumar Singh and Gyanendra Pratap Singh
Genes 2023, 14(1), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010221 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1949
Abstract
A set of 188 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) derived from a cross between a high-yielding Indian bread wheat cultivar HD2932 and a synthetic hexaploid wheat (SHW) Synthetic 46 derived from tetraploid Triticum turgidum (AA, BB 2n = 28) and diploid Triticum tauschii (DD, [...] Read more.
A set of 188 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) derived from a cross between a high-yielding Indian bread wheat cultivar HD2932 and a synthetic hexaploid wheat (SHW) Synthetic 46 derived from tetraploid Triticum turgidum (AA, BB 2n = 28) and diploid Triticum tauschii (DD, 2n = 14) was used to identify novel genomic regions associated in the expression of grain iron concentration (GFeC), grain zinc concentration (GZnC), grain protein content (GPC) and thousand kernel weight (TKW). The RIL population was genotyped using SNPs from 35K Axiom® Wheat Breeder’s Array and 34 SSRs and phenotyped in two environments. A total of nine QTLs including five for GPC (QGpc.iari_1B, QGpc.iari_4A, QGpc.iari_4B, QGpc.iari_5D, and QGpc.iari_6B), two for GFeC (QGfec.iari_5B and QGfec.iari_6B), and one each for GZnC (QGznc.iari_7A) and TKW (QTkw.iari_4B) were identified. A total of two stable and co-localized QTLs (QGpc.iari_4B and QTkw.iari_4B) were identified on the 4B chromosome between the flanking region of Xgwm149–AX-94559916. In silico analysis revealed that the key putative candidate genes such as P-loop containing nucleoside triphosphatehydrolase, Nodulin-like protein, NAC domain, Purine permease, Zinc-binding ribosomal protein, Cytochrome P450, Protein phosphatase 2A, Zinc finger CCCH-type, and Kinesin motor domain were located within the identified QTL regions and these putative genes are involved in the regulation of iron homeostasis, zinc transportation, Fe, Zn, and protein remobilization to the developing grain, regulation of grain size and shape, and increased nitrogen use efficiency. The identified novel QTLs, particularly stable and co-localized QTLs are useful for subsequent use in marker-assisted selection (MAS). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wheat Genomics, Genetics and Breeding)
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15 pages, 7471 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification of WD40 Proteins in Cucurbita maxima Reveals Its Potential Functions in Fruit Development
by Chen Chen, Yating Yang, Liu Pan, Wenhao Xia, Lanruoyan Xu, Bing Hua, Zhiping Zhang and Minmin Miao
Genes 2023, 14(1), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010220 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1691
Abstract
WD40 proteins, a super gene family in eukaryotes, are involved in multiple biological processes. Members of this family have been identified in several plants and shown to play key roles in various development processes, including acting as scaffolding molecules with other proteins. However, [...] Read more.
WD40 proteins, a super gene family in eukaryotes, are involved in multiple biological processes. Members of this family have been identified in several plants and shown to play key roles in various development processes, including acting as scaffolding molecules with other proteins. However, WD40 proteins have not yet been systematically analyzed and identified in Cucurbita maxima. In this study, 231 WD40 proteins (CmWD40s) were identified in C. maxima and classified into five clusters. Eleven subfamilies were identified based on different conserved motifs and gene structures. The CmWD40 genes were distributed in 20 chromosomes; 5 and 33 pairs of CmWD40s were distinguished as tandem and segmental duplications, respectively. Overall, 58 pairs of orthologous WD40 genes in C. maxima and Arabidopsis thaliana, and 56 pairs of orthologous WD40 genes in C. maxima and Cucumis sativus were matched. Numerous CmWD40s had diverse expression patterns in fruits, leaf, stem, and root. Several genes were involved in responses to NaCl. The expression pattern of CmWD40s suggested their key role in fruit development and abiotic stress response. Finally, we identified 14 genes which might be involved in fruit development. Our results provide valuable basis for further functional verification of CmWD40s in C. maxima. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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12 pages, 2357 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Analysis of CYP450 Family Members in Fritillaria cirrhosa D. Don and Profiling of Key CYP450s Related to Isosteroidal Alkaloid Biosynthesis
by Rui Li, Maotao Xiao, Jian Li, Qi Zhao, Mingcheng Wang and Ziwei Zhu
Genes 2023, 14(1), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010219 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1661
Abstract
Fritillaria cirrhosa D. Don (known as Chuan-Bei-Mu in Chinese) can synthesize isosteroidal alkaloids (ISA) with excellent medicinal value, and its bulb has become an indispensable ingredient in many patented drugs. Members of the cytochrome P450 (CYP450) gene superfamily have been shown to play [...] Read more.
Fritillaria cirrhosa D. Don (known as Chuan-Bei-Mu in Chinese) can synthesize isosteroidal alkaloids (ISA) with excellent medicinal value, and its bulb has become an indispensable ingredient in many patented drugs. Members of the cytochrome P450 (CYP450) gene superfamily have been shown to play essential roles in regulating steroidal alkaloids biosynthesis. However, little information is available on the P450s in F. cirrhosa. Here, we performed full-length transcriptome analysis and discovered 48 CYP450 genes belonging to 10 clans, 25 families, and 46 subfamilies. By combining phylogenetic trees, gene expression, and key F. cirrhosa ISA content analysis, we presumably identify seven FcCYP candidate genes, which may be hydroxylases active at the C-22, C-23, or C-26 positions in the late stages of ISA biosynthesis. The transcript expression levels of seven FcCYP candidate genes were positively correlated with the accumulation of three major alkaloids in bulbs of different ages. These data suggest that the candidate genes are most likely to be associated with ISA biosynthesis. Finally, the subcellular localization prediction of FcCYPs and transient expression analysis within Nicotiana benthamiana showed that the FcCYPs were mainly localized in the chloroplast. This study presents a systematic analysis of the CYP450 gene family in F. cirrhosa and provides a foundation for further functional characterization of the CYPs involved in ISA biosynthesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phylogenetics, Genetics, and Breeding of Medicinal Plants)
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13 pages, 1498 KiB  
Article
Impact of Data and Study Characteristics on Microbiome Volatility Estimates
by Daniel J. Park and Anna M. Plantinga
Genes 2023, 14(1), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010218 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1553
Abstract
The human microbiome is a dynamic community of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms. Both the composition of the microbiome (the microbes that are present and their relative abundances) and the temporal variability of the microbiome (the magnitude of changes in their composition [...] Read more.
The human microbiome is a dynamic community of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms. Both the composition of the microbiome (the microbes that are present and their relative abundances) and the temporal variability of the microbiome (the magnitude of changes in their composition across time, called volatility) has been associated with human health. However, the effect of unbalanced sampling intervals and differential read depth on the estimates of microbiome volatility has not been thoroughly assessed. Using four publicly available gut and vaginal microbiome time series, we subsampled the datasets to several sampling intervals and read depths and then compared additive, multiplicative, centered log ratio (CLR)-based, qualitative, and distance-based measures of microbiome volatility between the conditions. We find that longer sampling intervals are associated with larger quantitative measures of change (particularly for common taxa), but not with qualitative measures of change or distance-based volatility quantification. A lower sequencing read depth is associated with smaller multiplicative, CLR-based, and qualitative measures of change (particularly for less common taxa). Strategic subsampling may serve as a useful sensitivity analysis in unbalanced longitudinal studies investigating clinical associations with microbiome volatility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Statistical Analysis of Microbiome Data: From Methods to Application)
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12 pages, 2388 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification of DUF668 Gene Family and Expression Analysis under Drought and Salt Stresses in Sweet Potato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam]
by Enliang Liu, Zhiqiang Li, Zhengqian Luo, Linli Xu, Ping Jin, Shun Ji, Guohui Zhou, Zhenyang Wang, Zhilin Zhou and Hua Zhang
Genes 2023, 14(1), 217; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010217 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1931
Abstract
The domain of unknown function 668 (DUF668) is a gene family that plays a vital role in responses to adversity coercion stresses in plant. However, the function of the DUF668 gene family is not fully understood in sweet potato. In this study, bioinformatics [...] Read more.
The domain of unknown function 668 (DUF668) is a gene family that plays a vital role in responses to adversity coercion stresses in plant. However, the function of the DUF668 gene family is not fully understood in sweet potato. In this study, bioinformatics methods were used to analyze the number, physicochemical properties, evolution, structure, and promoter cis-acting elements of the IbDUF668 family genes, and RNA-seq and qRT–PCR were performed to detect gene expression and their regulation under hormonal and abiotic stress. A total of 14 IbDUF668 proteins were identified in sweet potato, distributed on nine chromosomes. By phylogenetic analysis, IbDUF668 proteins can be divided into two subfamilies. Transcriptome expression profiling revealed that many genes from DUF668 in sweet potato showed specificity and differential expression under cold, heat, drought, salt and hormones (ABA, GA3 and IAA). Four genes (IbDUF668-6, 7, 11 and 13) of sweet potato were significantly upregulated by qRT-PCR under ABA, drought and NaCl stress. Results suggest that the DUF668 gene family is involved in drought and salt tolerance in sweet potato, and it will further provide the basic information of DUF668 gene mechanisms in plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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9 pages, 1241 KiB  
Brief Report
Distinct Roles of Histone Lysine Demethylases and Methyltransferases in Developmental Eye Disease
by Linda M. Reis, Huban Atilla, Peter Kannu, Adele Schneider, Samuel Thompson, Tanya Bardakjian and Elena V. Semina
Genes 2023, 14(1), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010216 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1921
Abstract
Histone lysine methyltransferase and demethylase enzymes play a central role in chromatin organization and gene expression through the dynamic regulation of histone lysine methylation. Consistent with this, genes encoding for histone lysine methyltransferases (KMTs) and demethylases (KDMs) are involved in complex human syndromes, [...] Read more.
Histone lysine methyltransferase and demethylase enzymes play a central role in chromatin organization and gene expression through the dynamic regulation of histone lysine methylation. Consistent with this, genes encoding for histone lysine methyltransferases (KMTs) and demethylases (KDMs) are involved in complex human syndromes, termed congenital regulopathies. In this report, we present several lines of evidence for the involvement of these genes in developmental ocular phenotypes, suggesting that individuals with structural eye defects, especially when accompanied by craniofacial, neurodevelopmental and growth abnormalities, should be examined for possible variants in these genes. We identified nine heterozygous damaging genetic variants in KMT2D (5) and four other histone lysine methyltransferases/demethylases (KMT2C, SETD1A/KMT2F, KDM6A and KDM5C) in unrelated families affected with developmental eye disease, such as Peters anomaly, sclerocornea, Axenfeld-Rieger spectrum, microphthalmia and coloboma. Two families were clinically diagnosed with Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome and two were diagnosed with Peters plus-like syndrome; others received no specific diagnosis prior to genetic testing. All nine alleles were novel and five of them occurred de novo; five variants resulted in premature truncation, three were missense changes and one was an in-frame deletion/insertion; and seven variants were categorized as pathogenic or likely pathogenic and two were variants of uncertain significance. This study expands the phenotypic spectra associated with KMT and KDM factors and highlights the importance of genetic testing for correct clinical diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
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17 pages, 3245 KiB  
Article
Research Trends of Vitamin D Metabolism Gene Polymorphisms Based on a Bibliometric Investigation
by Mohamed Abouzid, Marta Karaźniewicz-Łada, Basel Abdelazeem and James Robert Brašić
Genes 2023, 14(1), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010215 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2832
Abstract
Vitamin D requires activation to show its pharmacological effect. While most studies investigate the association between vitamin D and disease, only a few focus on the impact of vitamin D metabolism gene polymorphisms (vitDMGPs). This bibliometric study aims to provide an overview of [...] Read more.
Vitamin D requires activation to show its pharmacological effect. While most studies investigate the association between vitamin D and disease, only a few focus on the impact of vitamin D metabolism gene polymorphisms (vitDMGPs). This bibliometric study aims to provide an overview of current publications on vitDMGPs (CYP27B1, CYP24A1, CYP2R1, CYP27A1, CYP2R1, DHCR7/NADSYN1), compare them across countries, affiliations, and journals, and inspect keywords, co-citations, and citation bursts to identify trends in this research field. CiteSpace© (version 6.1.R3, Chaomei Chen), Bibliometrix© (R version 4.1.3 library, K-Synth Srl, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy), VOSviewer© (version 1.6.1, Nees Jan van Eck and Ludo Waltman, Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands) and Microsoft® Excel 365 (Microsoft, Redmond, Washington, USA) classified and summarized Web of Science articles from 1998 to November 2022. We analyzed 2496 articles and built a timeline of co-citations and a bibliometric keywords co-occurrence map. The annual growth rate of vitDMGPs publications was 18.68%, and their relative research interest and published papers were increasing. The United States of America leads vitDMGPs research. The University of California System attained the highest quality of vitDMGPs research, followed by the American National Institutes of Health and Harvard University. The three productive journals on vitDMGPs papers are J. Steroid. Biochem. Mol. Biol., PLOS ONE, and J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. We highlighted that the vitDMGPs domain is relatively new, and many novel research opportunities are available, especially those related to studying single nucleotide polymorphisms or markers in a specific gene in the vitamin D metabolism cycle and their association with disease. Genome-wide association studies, genetic variants of vitDMGPs, and vitamin D and its role in cancer risk were the most popular studies. CYP24A1 and CYB27A1 were the most-studied genes in vitDMGPs. Insulin was the longest-trending studied hormone associated with vitDMGPs. Trending topics in this field relate to bile acid metabolism, transcriptome and gene expression, biomarkers, single nucleotide polymorphism, and fibroblast growth factor 23. We also expect an increase in original research papers investigating the association between vitDMGPs and coronavirus disease 2019, hypercalcemia, Smith–Lemli–Opitz syndrome, 27-hydroxycholesterol, and mendelian randomization. These findings will provide the foundations for innovations in the diagnosis and treatment of a vast spectrum of conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinformatics and Machine Learning in Disease Research)
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18 pages, 2558 KiB  
Article
Spectrum of Genetic Variants in the Dystrophin Gene: A Single Centre Retrospective Analysis of 750 Duchenne and Becker Patients from Southern Italy
by Emanuela Viggiano, Esther Picillo, Luigia Passamano, Maria Elena Onore, Giulio Piluso, Marianna Scutifero, Annalaura Torella, Vincenzo Nigro and Luisa Politano
Genes 2023, 14(1), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010214 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2353
Abstract
Dystrophinopathies are X-linked recessive muscle disorders caused by mutations in the dystrophin (DMD) gene that include deletions, duplications, and point mutations. Correct diagnosis is important for providing adequate patient care and family planning, especially at this time when mutation-specific therapies are [...] Read more.
Dystrophinopathies are X-linked recessive muscle disorders caused by mutations in the dystrophin (DMD) gene that include deletions, duplications, and point mutations. Correct diagnosis is important for providing adequate patient care and family planning, especially at this time when mutation-specific therapies are available. We report a large single-centre study on the spectrum of DMD gene variants observed in 750 patients analyzed for suspected Duchenne (DMD) or Becker (BMD) muscular dystrophy, over the past 30 years, at the Cardiomyology and Medical Genetics of the University of Campania. We found 534 (71.21%) large deletions, 73 (9.73%) large duplications, and 112 (14.93%) point mutations, of which 44 (5.9%) were small ins/del causing frame-shifts, 57 (7.6%) nonsense mutations, 8 (1.1%) splice site and 3 (0.4%) intronic mutations, and 31 (4.13%) non mutations. Moreover, we report the prevalence of the different types of mutations in patients with DMD and BMD according to their decade of birth, from 1930 to 2020, and correlate the data to the different techniques used over the years. In the most recent decades, we observed an apparent increase in the prevalence of point mutations, probably due to the use of Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS). In conclusion, in southern Italy, deletions are the most frequent variation observed in DMD and BMD patients followed by point mutations and duplications, as elsewhere in the world. NGS was useful to identify point mutations in cases of strong suspicion of DMD/BMD negative on deletions/duplications analyses. In the era of personalized medicine and availability of new causative therapies, a collective effort is necessary to enable DMD and BMD patients to have timely genetic diagnoses and avoid late implementation of standard of care and late initiation of appropriate treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Muscular Dystrophies from Pathogenesis to Gene Therapy)
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14 pages, 1532 KiB  
Review
Potential Involvement of LncRNAs in Cardiometabolic Diseases
by Mirolyuba Ilieva and Shizuka Uchida
Genes 2023, 14(1), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010213 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1901
Abstract
Characterized by cardiovascular disease and diabetes, cardiometabolic diseases are a major cause of mortality around the world. As such, there is an urgent need to understand the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic diseases. Increasing evidence suggests that most of the mammalian genome are transcribed as [...] Read more.
Characterized by cardiovascular disease and diabetes, cardiometabolic diseases are a major cause of mortality around the world. As such, there is an urgent need to understand the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic diseases. Increasing evidence suggests that most of the mammalian genome are transcribed as RNA, but only a few percent of them encode for proteins. All of the RNAs that do not encode for proteins are collectively called non-protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). Among these ncRNAs, long ncRNAs (lncRNAs) are considered as missing keys to understand the pathogeneses of various diseases, including cardiometabolic diseases. Given the increased interest in lncRNAs, in this study, we will summarize the latest trend in the lncRNA research from the perspective of cardiometabolism and disease by focusing on the major risk factors of cardiometabolic diseases: obesity, cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension. Because genetic inheritance is unavoidable in cardiometabolic diseases, we paid special attention to the genetic factors of lncRNAs that may influence cardiometabolic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Cardiovascular Metabolism)
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13 pages, 3900 KiB  
Article
Phenotype-Based Genetic Analysis Reveals Missing Heritability of KIF11-Related Retinopathy: Clinical and Genetic Findings
by Haoyu Chang, Xin Zhang, Ke Xu, Nien Li, Yue Xie, Weiyu Yan and Yang Li
Genes 2023, 14(1), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010212 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1514
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to detect the missing heritability of patients with KIF11-related retinopathy and to describe their clinical and genetic characteristics. We enrolled 10 individuals from 7 unrelated families harboring a pathogenic monoallelic variant in KIF11. All subjects [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to detect the missing heritability of patients with KIF11-related retinopathy and to describe their clinical and genetic characteristics. We enrolled 10 individuals from 7 unrelated families harboring a pathogenic monoallelic variant in KIF11. All subjects underwent ophthalmic assessment and extraocular phenotype evaluations, as well as comprehensive molecular genetic analyses using next-generation sequencing. Minigene assays were performed to observe the effects of one novel deep intron variant (DIV) and one novel synonymous variant on pre-mRNA splicing. We detected 6 novel different disease-causing variants of KIF11 in the seven pedigrees. Co-segregation analysis and ultra-deep sequencing results indicated that 5 variants arose de novo in 5 families (71%). Functional validation revealed that the synonymous variant leads to an exon skip, while the DIV causes a pseudoexon (PE) inclusion. The patients presented with high variations in their phenotype, and two families exhibited incomplete penetrance. Ocular manifestations and characteristic facial features were observed in all patients, as well as microcephaly in seven patients, intellectual disability in five patients, and lymphedema in one patient. The key retinal features for KIF11-related retinopathy were retinal folds, tractional retinal detachment, and chorioretinal dysplasia. All seven probands had more severe visual detects than other affected family members. Our findings widen the genetic spectrum of KIF11 variants. DIV explained rare unresolved cases with KIF11-related retinopathy. The patients displayed a variable phenotype expressivity and incomplete penetrance, indicating the importance of genetic analysis for patients with KIF11-related retinopathy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Pathogenesis of Inherited Eye Diseases)
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12 pages, 373 KiB  
Article
Support Interval for Two-Sample Summary Data-Based Mendelian Randomization
by Kai Wang
Genes 2023, 14(1), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010211 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1635
Abstract
The summary-data-based Mendelian randomization (SMR) method is gaining popularity in estimating the causal effect of an exposure on an outcome. In practice, the instrument SNP is often selected from the genome-wide association study (GWAS) on the exposure but no correction is made for [...] Read more.
The summary-data-based Mendelian randomization (SMR) method is gaining popularity in estimating the causal effect of an exposure on an outcome. In practice, the instrument SNP is often selected from the genome-wide association study (GWAS) on the exposure but no correction is made for such selection in downstream analysis, leading to a biased estimate of the effect size and invalid inference. We address this issue by using the likelihood derived from the sampling distribution of the estimated SNP effects in the exposure GWAS and the outcome GWAS. This likelihood takes into account how the instrument SNPs are selected. Since the effective sample size is 1, the asymptotic theory does not apply. We use a support for a profile likelihood as an interval estimate of the causal effect. Simulation studies indicate that this support has robust coverage while the confidence interval implied by the SMR method has lower-than-nominal coverage. Furthermore, the variance of the two-stage least squares estimate of the causal effect is shown to be the same as the variance used for SMR for one-sample data when there is no selection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Big Data in Healthcare, Bioinformatics and Precision Medicine)
(This article belongs to the Section Bioinformatics)
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12 pages, 3623 KiB  
Article
The Complete Mitochondrial Genome and Gene Arrangement of the Enigmatic Scaphopod Pictodentalium vernedei
by Tianzhe Zhang, Yunan Wang and Hao Song
Genes 2023, 14(1), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010210 - 13 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1733
Abstract
The enigmatic scaphopods, or tusk shells, are a small and rare group of molluscs whose phylogenomic position among the Conchifera is undetermined, and the taxonomy within this class also needs revision. Such work is hindered by there only being a very few mitochondrial [...] Read more.
The enigmatic scaphopods, or tusk shells, are a small and rare group of molluscs whose phylogenomic position among the Conchifera is undetermined, and the taxonomy within this class also needs revision. Such work is hindered by there only being a very few mitochondrial genomes in this group that are currently available. Here, we present the assembly and annotation of the complete mitochondrial genome from Dentaliida Pictodentalium vernedei, whose mitochondrial genome is 14,519 bp in size, containing 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes and two rRNA genes. The nucleotide composition was skewed toward A-T, with a 71.91% proportion of AT content. Due to the mitogenome-based phylogenetic analysis, we defined P. vernedei as a sister to Graptacme eborea in Dentaliida. Although a few re-arrangements occurred, the mitochondrial gene order showed deep conservation within Dentaliida. Yet, such a gene order in Dentaliida largely diverges from Gadilida and other molluscan classes, suggesting that scaphopods have the highest degree of mitogenome arrangement compared to other molluscs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Evolution of Marine Shellfish)
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13 pages, 3956 KiB  
Article
Peanut AhmTERF1 Regulates Root Growth by Modulating Mitochondrial Abundance
by Limei Li, Xiaoyun Li, Chen Yang and Ling Li
Genes 2023, 14(1), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010209 - 13 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1244
Abstract
Mitochondria are responsible for energy generation, as well as key metabolic and signaling pathways, and thus affect the entire developmental process of plants as well as their responses to stress. In metazoans, mitochondrial transcription termination factors (mTERFs) are known to regulate mitochondrial transcription. [...] Read more.
Mitochondria are responsible for energy generation, as well as key metabolic and signaling pathways, and thus affect the entire developmental process of plants as well as their responses to stress. In metazoans, mitochondrial transcription termination factors (mTERFs) are known to regulate mitochondrial transcription. mTERFs have also been discovered in plants, but only a few of these proteins have been explored for their biological functions. Here, we report a role in root growth for mitochondria-associated protein AhmTERF1 in peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.). Overexpressing AhmTERF1 significantly stimulated the growth of peanut hairy roots and transgenic Arabidopsis. Surprisingly, AhmTERF1 is predominantly expressed in the root meristem where it increases mitochondrial abundance. AhmTERF1 binding to mtDNA was enriched in the RRN18 and RRN26 regions, suggesting it is related to the accumulation of mitochondrial ribosomes. Peanut is one of the main oil crops and the important source of edible oil and AhmTERF1 likely affects agronomic traits related to root growth in different peanut cultivars. We propose that peanut AhmTERF1 is an important protein for root growth due to its role in regulating mitochondrial abundance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics and Breeding of Oil Crops)
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23 pages, 7305 KiB  
Article
Weighted Gene Co-Expression Network Analysis Reveals Hub Genes for Fuzz Development in Gossypium hirsutum
by Yang Jiao, Yilei Long, Kaixiang Xu, Fuxiang Zhao, Jieyin Zhao, Shengmei Li, Shiwei Geng, Wenju Gao, Peng Sun, Xiaojuan Deng, Quanjia Chen, Chunpin Li and Yanying Qu
Genes 2023, 14(1), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14010208 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1739
Abstract
Fuzzless Gossypium hirsutum mutants are ideal materials for investigating cotton fiber initiation and development. In this study, we used the fuzzless G. hirsutum mutant Xinluzao 50 FLM as the research material and combined it with other fuzzless materials for verification by RNA sequencing [...] Read more.
Fuzzless Gossypium hirsutum mutants are ideal materials for investigating cotton fiber initiation and development. In this study, we used the fuzzless G. hirsutum mutant Xinluzao 50 FLM as the research material and combined it with other fuzzless materials for verification by RNA sequencing to explore the gene expression patterns and differences between genes in upland cotton during the fuzz period. A gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis showed that differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were mainly enriched in the metabolic process, microtubule binding, and other pathways. A weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) showed that two modules of Xinluzao 50 and Xinluzao 50 FLM and four modules of CSS386 and Sicala V-2 were highly correlated with fuzz. We selected the hub gene with the highest KME value among the six modules and constructed an interaction network. In addition, we selected some genes with high KME values from the six modules that were highly associated with fuzz in the four materials and found 19 common differential genes produced by the four materials. These 19 genes are likely involved in the formation of fuzz in upland cotton. Several hub genes belong to the arabinogalactan protein and GDSL lipase, which play important roles in fiber development. According to the differences in expression level, 4 genes were selected from the 19 genes and tested for their expression level in some fuzzless materials. The modules, hub genes, and common genes identified in this study can provide new insights into the formation of fiber and fuzz, and provide a reference for molecular design breeding for the genetic improvement of cotton fiber. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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