ijms-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Topical Collection "Feature Papers in Molecular Genetics and Genomics"

Editors

Prof. Dr. Cristoforo Comi
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Department of Translational Medicine, Section of Neurology, University of Piemonte Orientale, 28100 Novara, Italy
Interests: neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease, Huntington disease, other movement disorders, Alzheimer's disease; neuroimmune diseases including: multiple sclerosis, inflammatory neuropathies, myasthenia gravis
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Benoit Gauthier
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Andalusian Center for Molecular Biology and Regenerative Medicine CABIMER, Sevilla, Spain
Interests: islet physiology; genetics of diabetes; cell regeneration; drug development
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Dimitrios H. Roukos
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Centre for Biosystems and Genome Network Medicine, Ioannina University, Ioannina, Greece
Department of Surgery, Ioannina University Hospital, Ioannina, Greece
Department of Systems Biology, Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA), Athens, Greece
Interests: cancer; precision medicine; intra-tumor heterogeneity with multi-regional next generation sequencing (NGS); circulating cell free DNA-NGS; genomebased biomarkers development; transcriptome-based drug development; cell-cell interactions
Prof. Dr. Alfredo Fusco
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Departement of Molecular Medicine and Medical Biotechnology, University of Naples "Federico II", Naples, Italy
Interests: Molecular oncology; genetics and molecular biology; thyroid cancer; Pituitary tumors; hmga proteins

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Topical Collection “Feature Papers in Molecular Genetics and Genomics” will collect high-quality research articles, short communications, and review articles in all the fields of molecular genetics and genomics. Since the aim of this Topical Collection is to illustrate, through selected works, frontier research in this field, we encourage Editorial Board Members of the Molecular Genetics and Genomics Section of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences to contribute papers reflecting the latest progress in their research field or to invite relevant experts and colleagues to do so. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Gene regulation, chromatin, and epigenetics
  • Genome integrity, repair, and replication
  • Genes or genomes related to phenotypes and human physiopathology
  • Gene flow and transfer
  • Plant genetic studies
  • Animal genetic studies
  • Evolutionary genomics

Prof. Dr. Cristoforo Comi
Dr. Benoit Gauthier
Prof. Dr. Dimitrios Roukos
Prof. Dr. Alfredo Fusco
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (57 papers)

2021

Jump to: 2020, 2019

Open AccessReview
Usher Syndrome in the Inner Ear: Etiologies and Advances in Gene Therapy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(8), 3910; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22083910 - 10 Apr 2021
Viewed by 200
Abstract
Hearing loss is the most common sensory disorder with ~466 million people worldwide affected, representing about 5% of the population. A substantial portion of hearing loss is genetic. Hearing loss can either be non-syndromic, if hearing loss is the only clinical manifestation, or [...] Read more.
Hearing loss is the most common sensory disorder with ~466 million people worldwide affected, representing about 5% of the population. A substantial portion of hearing loss is genetic. Hearing loss can either be non-syndromic, if hearing loss is the only clinical manifestation, or syndromic, if the hearing loss is accompanied by a collage of other clinical manifestations. Usher syndrome is a syndromic form of genetic hearing loss that is accompanied by impaired vision associated with retinitis pigmentosa and, in many cases, vestibular dysfunction. It is the most common cause of deaf-blindness. Currently cochlear implantation or hearing aids are the only treatments for Usher-related hearing loss. However, gene therapy has shown promise in treating Usher-related retinitis pigmentosa. Here we review how the etiologies of Usher-related hearing loss make it a good candidate for gene therapy and discuss how various forms of gene therapy could be applied to Usher-related hearing loss. Full article
Open AccessArticle
DNA Methylation Patterns Correlate with the Expression of SCNN1A, SCNN1B, and SCNN1G (Epithelial Sodium Channel, ENaC) Genes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(7), 3754; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22073754 - 04 Apr 2021
Viewed by 380
Abstract
The interplay between the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) and the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) in respiratory epithelia has a crucial role in the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis (CF). The comprehension of the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation of ENaC genes is pivotal [...] Read more.
The interplay between the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) and the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) in respiratory epithelia has a crucial role in the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis (CF). The comprehension of the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation of ENaC genes is pivotal to better detail the pathogenic mechanism and the genotype–phenotype relationship in CF, as well as to realize therapeutic approaches based on the transcriptional downregulation of ENaC genes. Since we aimed to study the epigenetic transcriptional control of ENaC genes, an assessment of their expression and DNA methylation patterns in different human cell lines, nasal brushing samples, and leucocytes was performed. The mRNA expression of CFTR and ENaC subunits α, β and γ (respectively SCNN1A, SCNN1B, and SCNN1G genes) was studied by real time PCR. DNA methylation of 5′-flanking region of SCNN1A, SCNN1B, and SCNN1G genes was studied by HpaII/PCR. The levels of expression and DNA methylation of ENaC genes in the different cell lines, brushing samples, and leukocytes were very variable. The DNA regions studied of each ENaC gene showed different methylation patterns. A general inverse correlation between expression and DNA methylation was evidenced. Leukocytes showed very low expression of all the 3 ENaC genes corresponding to a DNA methylated pattern. The SCNN1A gene resulted to be the most expressed in some cell lines that, accordingly, showed a completely demethylated pattern. Coherently, a heavy and moderate methylated pattern of, respectively, SCNN1B and SCNN1G genes corresponded to low levels of expression. As exceptions, we found that dexamethasone treatment appeared to stimulate the expression of all the 3 ENaC genes, without an evident modulation of the DNA methylation pattern, and that in nasal brushing a considerable expression of all the 3 ENaC genes were found despite an apparent methylated pattern. At least part of the expression modulation of ENaC genes seems to depend on the DNA methylation patterns of specific DNA regions. This points to epigenetics as a controlling mechanism of ENaC function and as a possible therapeutic approach for CF. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication
Identifying Methylation Patterns in Dental Pulp Aging: Application to Age-at-Death Estimation in Forensic Anthropology
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(7), 3717; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22073717 - 02 Apr 2021
Viewed by 245
Abstract
Age-at-death estimation constitutes one of the key parameters for identification of human remains in forensic investigations. However, for applications in forensic anthropology, many current methods are not sufficiently accurate for adult individuals, leading to chronological age estimates erring by ±10 years. Based on [...] Read more.
Age-at-death estimation constitutes one of the key parameters for identification of human remains in forensic investigations. However, for applications in forensic anthropology, many current methods are not sufficiently accurate for adult individuals, leading to chronological age estimates erring by ±10 years. Based on recent trends in aging studies, DNA methylation has great potential as a solution to this problem. However, there are only a few studies that have been published utilizing DNA methylation to determine age from human remains. The aim of the present study was to expand the range of this work by analyzing DNA methylation in dental pulp from adult individuals. Healthy erupted third molars were extracted from individuals aged 22–70. DNA from pulp was isolated and bisulfite converted. Pyrosequencing was the chosen technique to assess DNA methylation. As noted in previous studies, we found that ELOVL2 and FHL2 CpGs played a role in age estimation. In addition, three new markers were evaluated—NPTX2, KLF14, and SCGN. A set of CpGs from these five loci was used in four different multivariate regression models, providing a Mean Absolute Error (MAE) between predicted and chronological age of 1.5–2.13 years. The findings from this research can improve age estimation, increasing the accuracy of identification in forensic anthropology. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Estradiol-17β Regulates Expression of Luteal DNA Methyltransferases and Genes Involved in the Porcine Corpus Luteum Function In Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(7), 3655; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22073655 - 01 Apr 2021
Viewed by 296
Abstract
The corpus luteum (CL) is a temporary endocrine gland vital for pregnancy establishment and maintenance. Estradiol-17β (E2) is the major embryonic signal in pigs supporting the CL’s function. The mechanisms of the luteoprotective action of E2 are still unclear. The present study aimed [...] Read more.
The corpus luteum (CL) is a temporary endocrine gland vital for pregnancy establishment and maintenance. Estradiol-17β (E2) is the major embryonic signal in pigs supporting the CL’s function. The mechanisms of the luteoprotective action of E2 are still unclear. The present study aimed to determine the effect of E2 on luteal expression of factors involved in CL function. An in vivo model of intrauterine E2 infusions was applied. Gilts on day 12 of pregnancy and the estrous cycle were used as referential groups. Concentrations of E2 and progesterone were elevated in CLs of gilts receiving E2 infusions, compared to placebo-treated gilts. Estradiol-17β stimulated luteal expression of DNA-methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1), but decreased expression of DNMT3B gene and protein, as well as DNMT3A protein. Similar results for DNMT3A and 3B were observed in CLs on day 12 of pregnancy compared to day 12 of the estrous cycle. Intrauterine infusions of E2 altered luteal expression of the genes involved in CL function: PTGFR, PTGES, STAR, HSD17B1, CYP19A1, and PGRMC1. Our findings indicate a role for E2 in expression regulation of factors related to CL function and a novel potential for E2 to regulate DNA methylation as putative physiological mechanisms controlling luteal gene expression. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Novel Position-Specific Encoding Algorithm (SeqPose) of Nucleotide Sequences and Its Application for Detecting Enhancers
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(6), 3079; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22063079 - 17 Mar 2021
Viewed by 258
Abstract
Enhancers are short genomic regions exerting tissue-specific regulatory roles, usually for remote coding regions. Enhancers are observed in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes, and their detections facilitate a better understanding of the transcriptional regulation mechanism. The accurate detection and transcriptional regulation strength evaluation [...] Read more.
Enhancers are short genomic regions exerting tissue-specific regulatory roles, usually for remote coding regions. Enhancers are observed in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes, and their detections facilitate a better understanding of the transcriptional regulation mechanism. The accurate detection and transcriptional regulation strength evaluation of the enhancers remain a major bioinformatics challenge. Most of the current studies utilized the statistical features of short fixed-length nucleotide sequences. This study introduces the location information of each k-mer (SeqPose) into the encoding strategy of a DNA sequence and employs the attention mechanism in the two-layer bi-directional long-short term memory (BD-LSTM) model (spEnhancer) for the enhancer detection problem. The first layer of the delivered classifier discriminates between enhancers and non-enhancers, and the second layer evaluates the transcriptional regulation strength of the detected enhancer. The SeqPose-encoded features are selected by the Chi-squared test, and 45 positions are removed from further analysis. The existing studies may focus on selecting the statistical DNA sequence descriptors with large contributions to the prediction models. This study does not utilize these statistical DNA sequence descriptors. Then the word vector of the SeqPose-encoded features is obtained by using the word embedding layer. This study hypothesizes that different word vector features may contribute differently to the enhancer detection model, and assigns different weights to these word vectors through the attention mechanism in the BD-LSTM model. The previous study generously provided the training and independent test datasets, and the proposed spEnhancer is compared with the three existing state-of-the-art studies using the same experimental procedure. The leave-one-out validation data on the training dataset shows that the proposed spEnhancer achieves similar detection performances as the three existing studies. While spEnhancer achieves the best overall performance metric MCC for both of the two binary classification problems on the independent test dataset. The experimental data shows that the strategy of removing redundant positions (SeqPose) may help improve the DNA sequence-based prediction models. spEnhancer may serve well as a complementary model to the existing studies, especially for the novel query enhancers that are not included in the training dataset. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
SARS-CoV-2 Entry Related Viral and Host Genetic Variations: Implications on COVID-19 Severity, Immune Escape, and Infectivity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(6), 3060; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22063060 - 17 Mar 2021
Viewed by 562
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has evolved to display particular patterns of genetic diversity in the genome across geographical regions. These variations in the virus and genetic variation in human populations can determine virus transmissibility and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity. [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has evolved to display particular patterns of genetic diversity in the genome across geographical regions. These variations in the virus and genetic variation in human populations can determine virus transmissibility and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity. Genetic variations and immune differences in human populations could be the driving forces in viral evolution. Recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 variants show several mutations at the receptor binding domain in the spike (S) glycoprotein and contribute to immune escape and enhanced binding with angiotensin 1-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Since ACE2 and transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) play important roles in SARS-CoV-2 entry into the cell, genetic variation in these host entry-related proteins may be a driving force for positive selection in the SARS-CoV-2 S glycoprotein. Dendritic or liver/lymph cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-3-grabbing non-integrin is also known to play vital roles in several pathogens. Genetic variations of these host proteins may affect the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. This review summarizes the latest research to describe the impacts of genetic variation in the viral S glycoprotein and critical host proteins and aims to provide better insights for understanding transmission and pathogenesis and more broadly for developing vaccine/antiviral drugs and precision medicine strategies, especially for high risk populations with genetic risk variants. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Cerebral Expression of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Subtype 5 in Idiopathic Autism Spectrum Disorder and Fragile X Syndrome: A Pilot Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(6), 2863; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22062863 - 11 Mar 2021
Viewed by 309
Abstract
Multiple lines of evidence suggest that dysfunction of the metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 (mGluR5) plays a role in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Yet animal and human investigations of mGluR5 expression provide conflicting findings about the nature [...] Read more.
Multiple lines of evidence suggest that dysfunction of the metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 (mGluR5) plays a role in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Yet animal and human investigations of mGluR5 expression provide conflicting findings about the nature of dysregulation of cerebral mGluR5 pathways in subtypes of ASD. The demonstration of reduced mGluR5 expression throughout the living brains of men with fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common known single-gene cause of ASD, provides a clue to examine mGluR5 expression in ASD. We aimed to (A) compare and contrast mGluR5 expression in idiopathic autism spectrum disorder (IASD), FXS, and typical development (TD) and (B) show the value of positron emission tomography (PET) for the application of precision medicine for the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with IASD, FXS, and related conditions. Two teams of investigators independently administered 3-[18F]fluoro-5-(2-pyridinylethynyl)benzonitrile ([18F]FPEB), a novel, specific mGluR5 PET ligand to quantitatively measure the density and the distribution of mGluR5s in the brain regions, to participants of both sexes with IASD and TD and men with FXS. In contrast to participants with TD, mGluR5 expression was significantly increased in the cortical regions of participants with IASD and significantly reduced in all regions of men with FXS. These results suggest the feasibility of this protocol as a valuable tool to measure mGluR5 expression in clinical trials of individuals with IASD and FXS and related conditions. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Analysis of mir-9 Expression Pattern in Rat Retina during Postnatal Development
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(5), 2577; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22052577 - 04 Mar 2021
Viewed by 276
Abstract
It is well established that miR-9 contributes to retinal neurogenesis. However, little is known about its presence and effects in the postnatal period. To expand our knowledge, miRNA-small RNA sequencing and in situ hybridization supported by RT-qPCR measurement were carried out. Mir-9 expression [...] Read more.
It is well established that miR-9 contributes to retinal neurogenesis. However, little is known about its presence and effects in the postnatal period. To expand our knowledge, miRNA-small RNA sequencing and in situ hybridization supported by RT-qPCR measurement were carried out. Mir-9 expression showed two peaks in the first three postnatal weeks in Wistar rats. The first peak was detected at postnatal Day 3 (P3) and the second at P10, then the expression gradually decreased until P21. Furthermore, we performed in silico prediction and established that miR-9 targets OneCut2 or synaptotagmin-17. Another two microRNAs (mir-135, mir-218) were found from databases which also target these proteins. They showed a similar tendency to mir-9; their lowest expression was at P7 and afterwards, they showed increase. We revealed that miR-9 is localized mainly in the inner retina. Labeling was observed in ganglion and amacrine cells. Additionally, horizontal cells were also marked. By dual miRNA-in situ hybridization/immunocytochemistry and qPCR, we revealed alterations in their temporal and spatial expression. Our results shed light on the significance of mir-9 regulation during the first three postnatal weeks in rat retina and suggest that miRNA could act on their targets in a stage-specific manner. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCase Report
Genetic Profiling of Malignant Melanoma Arising from an Ovarian Mature Cystic Teratoma: A Case Report
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(5), 2436; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22052436 - 28 Feb 2021
Viewed by 313
Abstract
Ovarian mature cystic teratomas comprise tissues derived from all three germ layers. In rare cases, malignant tumors arise from ovarian mature cystic teratoma. A variety of tumors can arise from mature cystic teratoma, among which primary malignant melanoma (MM), for which no molecular [...] Read more.
Ovarian mature cystic teratomas comprise tissues derived from all three germ layers. In rare cases, malignant tumors arise from ovarian mature cystic teratoma. A variety of tumors can arise from mature cystic teratoma, among which primary malignant melanoma (MM), for which no molecular analyses such as genomic sequencing have been reported to date, is exceedingly rare, thereby limiting possible therapeutic options using precision medicine. We used targeted gene sequencing to analyze the status of 160 cancer-related genes in a patient with MM arising from an ovarian mature cystic teratoma (MM-MCT). KRAS amplification and homozygous deletion in PTEN and RB1 were detected in tumor samples collected from the patient. No KRAS amplification has been previously reported in cutaneous MM, indicating that the carcinogenesis of MM-MCT differs from that of primary cutaneous melanomas. A better understanding of the underlying genetic mechanisms will help clarify the carcinogenesis of MM-MCT. In turn, this will enable treatment with novel targeting agents as well as the initial exploration of gene-based precision oncological therapies, which aim to improve treatment outcomes for patients with this disease. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Single-Strand Annealing in Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(4), 2167; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22042167 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 585
Abstract
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are among the most serious forms of DNA damage. In humans, DSBs are repaired mainly by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination repair (HRR). Single-strand annealing (SSA), another DSB repair system, uses homologous repeats flanking a DSB to [...] Read more.
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are among the most serious forms of DNA damage. In humans, DSBs are repaired mainly by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination repair (HRR). Single-strand annealing (SSA), another DSB repair system, uses homologous repeats flanking a DSB to join DNA ends and is error-prone, as it removes DNA fragments between repeats along with one repeat. Many DNA deletions observed in cancer cells display homology at breakpoint junctions, suggesting the involvement of SSA. When multiple DSBs occur in different chromosomes, SSA may result in chromosomal translocations, essential in the pathogenesis of many cancers. Inhibition of RAD52 (RAD52 Homolog, DNA Repair Protein), the master regulator of SSA, results in decreased proliferation of BRCA1/2 (BRCA1/2 DNA Repair Associated)-deficient cells, occurring in many hereditary breast and ovarian cancer cases. Therefore, RAD52 may be targeted in synthetic lethality in cancer. SSA may modulate the response to platinum-based anticancer drugs and radiation. SSA may increase the efficacy of the CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats)/Cas9 (CRISPR associated 9) genome editing and reduce its off-target effect. Several basic problems associated with SSA, including its evolutionary role, interplay with HRR and NHEJ and should be addressed to better understand its role in cancer pathogenesis and therapy. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Adipose Tissue Gene Expression of Entire Male, Immunocastrated and Surgically Castrated Pigs
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(4), 1768; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22041768 - 10 Feb 2021
Viewed by 364
Abstract
Differences in adipose tissue deposition and properties between pig male sex categories, i.e., entire males (EM), immunocastrates (IC) and surgical castrates (SC) are relatively well-characterized, whereas the underlying molecular mechanisms are still not fully understood. To gain knowledge about the genetic regulation of [...] Read more.
Differences in adipose tissue deposition and properties between pig male sex categories, i.e., entire males (EM), immunocastrates (IC) and surgical castrates (SC) are relatively well-characterized, whereas the underlying molecular mechanisms are still not fully understood. To gain knowledge about the genetic regulation of the differences in adipose tissue deposition, two different approaches were used: RNA-sequencing and candidate gene expression by quantitative PCR. A total of 83 differentially expressed genes were identified between EM and IC, 15 between IC and SC and 48 between EM and SC by RNA-sequencing of the subcutaneous adipose tissue. Comparing EM with IC or SC, upregulated genes related to extracellular matrix dynamics and adipogenesis, and downregulated genes involved in the control of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism were detected. Differential gene expression generally indicated high similarity between IC and SC as opposed to EM, except for several heat shock protein genes that were upregulated in EM and IC compared with SC. The candidate gene expression approach showed that genes involved in lipogenesis were downregulated in EM compared with IC pigs, further confirming RNA-sequencing results. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Novel Artificially Humanized Anti-Cripto-1 Antibody Suppressing Cancer Cell Growth
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(4), 1709; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22041709 - 08 Feb 2021
Viewed by 586
Abstract
Cripto-1 is a member of the EGF-CFC/FRL1/Cryptic family and is involved in embryonic development and carcinogenesis. We designed a novel anti-Cripto-1 artificial antibody and assessed the recognition to the antigen and the potential to suppress the growth of cancer stem cells. First, single [...] Read more.
Cripto-1 is a member of the EGF-CFC/FRL1/Cryptic family and is involved in embryonic development and carcinogenesis. We designed a novel anti-Cripto-1 artificial antibody and assessed the recognition to the antigen and the potential to suppress the growth of cancer stem cells. First, single chain antibody clones were isolated by bio-panning with the affinity to recombinant Cripto-1 protein from our original phage-display library. Then, the variable regions of heavy chain VH and light chain VL in each clone were fused to constant regions of heavy chain CH and light chain CL regions respectively. These fused genes were expressed in ExpiCHO-S cells to produce artificial humanized antibodies against Cripto-1. After evaluation of the expression levels, one clone was selected and the anti-Cripto-1 antibody was produced and purified. The purified antibody showed affinity to recombinant Cripto-1 at 1.1 pmol and immunoreactivity to cancer tissues and cell lines. The antibody was available to detect the immunoreactivity in tissue microarrays of malignant tumors as well as in Cripto-1 overexpressing cells. Simultaneously, the antibody exhibited the potential to suppress the growth of human colon cancer derived GEO cells overexpressing Cripto-1 with IC50 at approximately 110 nM. The artificially humanized antibody is proposed to be a good candidate to target cancer cells overexpressing Cripto-1. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Summary of the Available Molecular Methods for Detection of SARS-CoV-2 during the Ongoing Pandemic
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(3), 1298; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22031298 - 28 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 758
Abstract
Since early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an excess in morbidity and mortality rates worldwide. Containment strategies rely firstly on rapid and sensitive laboratory diagnosis, with molecular detection of the viral genome in respiratory samples being the gold standard. The reliability of [...] Read more.
Since early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an excess in morbidity and mortality rates worldwide. Containment strategies rely firstly on rapid and sensitive laboratory diagnosis, with molecular detection of the viral genome in respiratory samples being the gold standard. The reliability of diagnostic protocols could be affected by SARS-CoV-2 genetic variability. In fact, mutations occurring during SARS-CoV-2 genomic evolution can involve the regions targeted by the diagnostic probes. Following a review of the literature and an in silico analysis of the most recently described virus variants (including the UK B 1.1.7 and the South Africa 501Y.V2 variants), we conclude that the described genetic variability should have minimal or no effect on the sensitivity of existing diagnostic protocols for SARS-CoV-2 genome detection. However, given the continuous emergence of new variants, the situation should be monitored in the future, and protocols including multiple targets should be preferred. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCase Report
Clinical Considerations for a Family with Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Sudden Cardiac Death, and a Novel TTN Frameshift Mutation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(2), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22020670 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 529
Abstract
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the leading indication for heart transplantation. TTN gene truncating mutations account for about 25% of familial DCM cases and for 18% of sporadic DCM cases. The clinical relevance of specific variants in TTN has been difficult to determine because [...] Read more.
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the leading indication for heart transplantation. TTN gene truncating mutations account for about 25% of familial DCM cases and for 18% of sporadic DCM cases. The clinical relevance of specific variants in TTN has been difficult to determine because of the sheer size of the protein for which TTN encodes, as well as existing extensive genetic variation. Clinicians should communicate novel clinically-relevant variants and genotype–phenotype associations, so that animal studies evaluating the molecular mechanisms are always conducted with a focus on clinical significance. In the present study, we report for the first time the novel truncating heterozygous variant NM_001256850.1:c.72777_72783del (p.Phe24259Leufs*51) in the TTN gene and its association with DCM in a family with sudden death. This variant occurs in the A-band region of the sarcomere, in a known mutational hotspot of the gene. Truncating titin variants that occur in this region are the most common cause of DCM and have been rarely reported in asymptomatic individuals, differently from other pathogenic TTN gene variants. Further studies are warranted to better understand this particular clinically-relevant variant. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Genetic Insight into the Domain Structure and Functions of Dicer-Type Ribonucleases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(2), 616; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22020616 - 09 Jan 2021
Viewed by 612
Abstract
Ribonuclease Dicer belongs to the family of RNase III endoribonucleases, the enzymes that specifically hydrolyze phosphodiester bonds found in double-stranded regions of RNAs. Dicer enzymes are mostly known for their essential role in the biogenesis of small regulatory RNAs. A typical Dicer-type RNase [...] Read more.
Ribonuclease Dicer belongs to the family of RNase III endoribonucleases, the enzymes that specifically hydrolyze phosphodiester bonds found in double-stranded regions of RNAs. Dicer enzymes are mostly known for their essential role in the biogenesis of small regulatory RNAs. A typical Dicer-type RNase consists of a helicase domain, a domain of unknown function (DUF283), a PAZ (Piwi-Argonaute-Zwille) domain, two RNase III domains, and a double-stranded RNA binding domain; however, the domain composition of Dicers varies among species. Dicer and its homologues developed only in eukaryotes; nevertheless, the two enzymatic domains of Dicer, helicase and RNase III, display high sequence similarity to their prokaryotic orthologs. Evolutionary studies indicate that a combination of the helicase and RNase III domains in a single protein is a eukaryotic signature and is supposed to be one of the critical events that triggered the consolidation of the eukaryotic RNA interference. In this review, we provide the genetic insight into the domain organization and structure of Dicer proteins found in vertebrate and invertebrate animals, plants and fungi. We also discuss, in the context of the individual domains, domain deletion variants and partner proteins, a variety of Dicers’ functions not only related to small RNA biogenesis pathways. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Mitochondrial DNA Replacement Techniques to Prevent Human Mitochondrial Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(2), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22020551 - 07 Jan 2021
Viewed by 683
Abstract
Background: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diseases are a group of maternally inherited genetic disorders caused by a lack of energy production. Currently, mtDNA diseases have a poor prognosis and no known cure. The chance to have unaffected offspring with a genetic link is important [...] Read more.
Background: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diseases are a group of maternally inherited genetic disorders caused by a lack of energy production. Currently, mtDNA diseases have a poor prognosis and no known cure. The chance to have unaffected offspring with a genetic link is important for the affected families, and mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRTs) allow them to do so. MRTs consist of transferring the nuclear DNA from an oocyte with pathogenic mtDNA to an enucleated donor oocyte without pathogenic mtDNA. This paper aims to determine the efficacy, associated risks, and main ethical and legal issues related to MRTs. Methods: A bibliographic review was performed on the MEDLINE and Web of Science databases, along with searches for related clinical trials and news. Results: A total of 48 publications were included for review. Five MRT procedures were identified and their efficacy was compared. Three main risks associated with MRTs were discussed, and the ethical views and legal position of MRTs were reviewed. Conclusions: MRTs are an effective approach to minimizing the risk of transmitting mtDNA diseases, but they do not remove it entirely. Global legal regulation of MRTs is required. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Transcription Factors as the “Blitzkrieg” of Plant Defense: A Pragmatic View of Nitric Oxide’s Role in Gene Regulation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(2), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22020522 - 07 Jan 2021
Viewed by 513
Abstract
Plants are in continuous conflict with the environmental constraints and their sessile nature demands a fine-tuned, well-designed defense mechanism that can cope with a multitude of biotic and abiotic assaults. Therefore, plants have developed innate immunity, R-gene-mediated resistance, and systemic acquired resistance [...] Read more.
Plants are in continuous conflict with the environmental constraints and their sessile nature demands a fine-tuned, well-designed defense mechanism that can cope with a multitude of biotic and abiotic assaults. Therefore, plants have developed innate immunity, R-gene-mediated resistance, and systemic acquired resistance to ensure their survival. Transcription factors (TFs) are among the most important genetic components for the regulation of gene expression and several other biological processes. They bind to specific sequences in the DNA called transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs) that are present in the regulatory regions of genes. Depending on the environmental conditions, TFs can either enhance or suppress transcriptional processes. In the last couple of decades, nitric oxide (NO) emerged as a crucial molecule for signaling and regulating biological processes. Here, we have overviewed the plant defense system, the role of TFs in mediating the defense response, and that how NO can manipulate transcriptional changes including direct post-translational modifications of TFs. We also propose that NO might regulate gene expression by regulating the recruitment of RNA polymerase during transcription. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Epigenetics of Aging and Aging-Associated Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(1), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010401 - 02 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2170
Abstract
Aging represents the multifactorial decline in physiological function of every living organism. Over the past decades, several hallmarks of aging have been defined, including epigenetic deregulation. Indeed, multiple epigenetic events were found altered across different species during aging. Epigenetic changes directly contributing to [...] Read more.
Aging represents the multifactorial decline in physiological function of every living organism. Over the past decades, several hallmarks of aging have been defined, including epigenetic deregulation. Indeed, multiple epigenetic events were found altered across different species during aging. Epigenetic changes directly contributing to aging and aging-related diseases include the accumulation of histone variants, changes in chromatin accessibility, loss of histones and heterochromatin, aberrant histone modifications, and deregulated expression/activity of miRNAs. As a consequence, cellular processes are affected, which results in the development or progression of several human pathologies, including cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and neurodegenerative disorders. In this review, we focus on epigenetic mechanisms underlying aging-related processes in various species and describe how these deregulations contribute to human diseases. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

2020

Jump to: 2021, 2019

Open AccessArticle
New Omics—Derived Perspectives on Retinal Dystrophies: Could Ion Channels-Encoding or Related Genes Act as Modifier of Pathological Phenotype?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(1), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010070 - 23 Dec 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 483
Abstract
Ion channels are membrane-spanning integral proteins expressed in multiple organs, including the eye. Here, ion channels play a role in several physiological processes, like signal transmission and visual processing. A wide range of mutations have been reported in the corresponding genes and their [...] Read more.
Ion channels are membrane-spanning integral proteins expressed in multiple organs, including the eye. Here, ion channels play a role in several physiological processes, like signal transmission and visual processing. A wide range of mutations have been reported in the corresponding genes and their interacting subunit coding genes, which contribute significantly to a wide spectrum of ocular diseases collectively called channelopathies, a subgroup of inherited retinal dystrophies. Such mutations result in either a loss or gain-of channel functions affecting the structure, assembly, trafficking and localization of channel proteins. We investigated the probands of seven Italian and Egyptian families affected by not completely defined forms of inherited retinal dystrophies, by whole exome sequencing (WES) experiments, and found interesting variants in already known causative genes probably able to impair retinal functionalities. However, because such variants did not completely explain the phenotype manifested by each patient, we proceed to further investigate possible related genes carrying mutations that might complement previously found data, based on the common aspect linked to neurotransmission impairments. We found 10 mutated genes whose variants might alter important ligand binding sites differently distributed through all considered patients. Such genes encode for ion channels, or their regulatory proteins, and strictly interact with known causative genes, also sharing with them synaptic-related pathways. Taking into account several limitations that will be resolved by further experiments, we believe that our exploratory investigation will help scientists to provide a new promising paradigm for precise diagnosis of retinal dystrophies to facilitate the development of rational treatments. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
High-Density Mapping and Candidate Gene Analysis of Pl18 and Pl20 in Sunflower by Whole-Genome Resequencing
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(24), 9571; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21249571 - 16 Dec 2020
Viewed by 390
Abstract
Downy mildew (DM) is one of the severe biotic threats to sunflower production worldwide. The inciting pathogen, Plasmopara halstedii, could overwinter in the field for years, creating a persistent threat to sunflower. The dominant genes Pl18 and Pl20 conferring resistance to [...] Read more.
Downy mildew (DM) is one of the severe biotic threats to sunflower production worldwide. The inciting pathogen, Plasmopara halstedii, could overwinter in the field for years, creating a persistent threat to sunflower. The dominant genes Pl18 and Pl20 conferring resistance to known DM races have been previously mapped to 1.5 and 1.8 cM intervals on sunflower chromosomes 2 and 8, respectively. Utilizing a whole-genome resequencing strategy combined with reference sequence-based chromosome walking and high-density mapping in the present study, Pl18 was placed in a 0.7 cM interval on chromosome 2. A candidate gene HanXRQChr02g0048181 for Pl18 was identified from the XRQ reference genome and predicted to encode a protein with typical NLR domains for disease resistance. The Pl20 gene was placed in a 0.2 cM interval on chromosome 8. The putative gene with the NLR domain for Pl20, HanXRQChr08g0210051, was identified within the Pl20 interval. SNP markers closely linked to Pl18 and Pl20 were evaluated with 96 diverse sunflower lines, and a total of 13 diagnostic markers for Pl18 and four for Pl20 were identified. These markers will facilitate to transfer these new genes to elite sunflower lines and to pyramid these genes with broad-spectrum DM resistance in sunflower breeding. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Benchmarking Long-Read Assemblers for Genomic Analyses of Bacterial Pathogens Using Oxford Nanopore Sequencing
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(23), 9161; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21239161 - 01 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 898
Abstract
Oxford Nanopore sequencing can be used to achieve complete bacterial genomes. However, the error rates of Oxford Nanopore long reads are greater compared to Illumina short reads. Long-read assemblers using a variety of assembly algorithms have been developed to overcome this deficiency, which [...] Read more.
Oxford Nanopore sequencing can be used to achieve complete bacterial genomes. However, the error rates of Oxford Nanopore long reads are greater compared to Illumina short reads. Long-read assemblers using a variety of assembly algorithms have been developed to overcome this deficiency, which have not been benchmarked for genomic analyses of bacterial pathogens using Oxford Nanopore long reads. In this study, long-read assemblers, namely Canu, Flye, Miniasm/Racon, Raven, Redbean, and Shasta, were thus benchmarked using Oxford Nanopore long reads of bacterial pathogens. Ten species were tested for mediocre- and low-quality simulated reads, and 10 species were tested for real reads. Raven was the most robust assembler, obtaining complete and accurate genomes. All Miniasm/Racon and Raven assemblies of mediocre-quality reads provided accurate antimicrobial resistance (AMR) profiles, while the Raven assembly of Klebsiella variicola with low-quality reads was the only assembly with an accurate AMR profile among all assemblers and species. All assemblers functioned well for predicting virulence genes using mediocre-quality and real reads, whereas only the Raven assemblies of low-quality reads had accurate numbers of virulence genes. Regarding multilocus sequence typing (MLST), Miniasm/Racon was the most effective assembler for mediocre-quality reads, while only the Raven assemblies of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and K. variicola with low-quality reads showed positive MLST results. Miniasm/Racon and Raven were the best performers for MLST using real reads. The Miniasm/Racon and Raven assemblies showed accurate phylogenetic inference. For the pan-genome analyses, Raven was the strongest assembler for simulated reads, whereas Miniasm/Racon and Raven performed the best for real reads. Overall, the most robust and accurate assembler was Raven, closely followed by Miniasm/Racon. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Determination and Dissection of DNA-Binding Specificity for the Thermus thermophilus HB8 Transcriptional Regulator TTHB099
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(21), 7929; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21217929 - 26 Oct 2020
Viewed by 558
Abstract
Transcription factors (TFs) have been extensively researched in certain well-studied organisms, but far less so in others. Following the whole-genome sequencing of a new organism, TFs are typically identified through their homology with related proteins in other organisms. However, recent findings demonstrate that [...] Read more.
Transcription factors (TFs) have been extensively researched in certain well-studied organisms, but far less so in others. Following the whole-genome sequencing of a new organism, TFs are typically identified through their homology with related proteins in other organisms. However, recent findings demonstrate that structurally similar TFs from distantly related bacteria are not usually evolutionary orthologs. Here we explore TTHB099, a cAMP receptor protein (CRP)-family TF from the extremophile Thermus thermophilus HB8. Using the in vitro iterative selection method Restriction Endonuclease Protection, Selection and Amplification (REPSA), we identified the preferred DNA-binding motif for TTHB099, 5′–TGT(A/g)NBSYRSVN(T/c)ACA–3′, and mapped potential binding sites and regulated genes within the T. thermophilus HB8 genome. Comparisons with expression profile data in TTHB099-deficient and wild type strains suggested that, unlike E. coli CRP (CRPEc), TTHB099 does not have a simple regulatory mechanism. However, we hypothesize that TTHB099 can be a dual-regulator similar to CRPEc. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
The Non-Coding RNA GAS5 and Its Role in Tumor Therapy-Induced Resistance
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(20), 7633; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21207633 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 669
Abstract
The growth arrest-specific transcript 5 (GAS5) is a >200-nt lncRNA molecule that regulates several cellular functions, including proliferation, apoptosis, invasion and metastasis, across different types of human cancers. Here, we reviewed the current literature on the expression of GAS5 in leukemia, [...] Read more.
The growth arrest-specific transcript 5 (GAS5) is a >200-nt lncRNA molecule that regulates several cellular functions, including proliferation, apoptosis, invasion and metastasis, across different types of human cancers. Here, we reviewed the current literature on the expression of GAS5 in leukemia, cervical, breast, ovarian, prostate, urinary bladder, lung, gastric, colorectal, liver, osteosarcoma and brain cancers, as well as its interaction with various miRNAs and its effect on therapy-related resistance in these malignancies. The general consensus is that GAS5 acts as a tumor suppressor across different tumor types and that its up-regulation results in tumor sensitization to chemotherapy or radiotherapy. GAS5 seems to play a previously unappreciated, but significant role in tumor therapy-induced resistance. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
The Mitochondrial Dysfunction Hypothesis in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Current Status and Future Perspectives
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(16), 5785; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21165785 - 12 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 704
Abstract
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) constitute a set of heterogeneous neurodevelopmental conditions, characterized by a wide genetic variability that has led to hypothesize a polygenic origin. The metabolic profiles of patients with ASD suggest a possible implication of mitochondrial pathways. Although different physiological and [...] Read more.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) constitute a set of heterogeneous neurodevelopmental conditions, characterized by a wide genetic variability that has led to hypothesize a polygenic origin. The metabolic profiles of patients with ASD suggest a possible implication of mitochondrial pathways. Although different physiological and biochemical studies reported deficits in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in subjects with ASD, the role of mitochondrial DNA variations has remained relatively unexplored. In this review, we report and discuss very recent evidence to demonstrate the key role of mitochondrial disorders in the development of ASD. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Medaka (Oryzias latipes) Embryo as a Model for the Screening of Compounds That Counteract the Damage Induced by Ultraviolet and High-Energy Visible Light
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(16), 5769; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21165769 - 11 Aug 2020
Viewed by 632
Abstract
Continuous overexposure to sunlight increases its harmful effects on the skin. For this reason, there is a growing need to characterize economic models more representative of the negative effects and counteracting responses that irradiation causes on human skin. These models will serve for [...] Read more.
Continuous overexposure to sunlight increases its harmful effects on the skin. For this reason, there is a growing need to characterize economic models more representative of the negative effects and counteracting responses that irradiation causes on human skin. These models will serve for the screening of protective compounds against damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) and high energy visible light (HEV). Therefore, two common in vitro models employed for sunlight irradiation studies, namely human keratinocyte HaCat culture and reconstructed human epidermis (RHE), were compared with the medaka fish embryo model, traditionally used in other scientific disciplines. Using suberythemal doses of UVA and HEV to determine the level of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) generation and thymine dimers formed by UVB, we show that medaka embryo responds with a lower damage level, more comparable to human skin, than the other two models, probably due to the protective mechanisms that work in a complete organism. In the same way, the protective effects of antioxidant compounds have the greatest effect on medaka embryos. Taken together, these findings suggest that medaka embryos would be a good alternative in vitro model for sunlight effect studies, and for the screening of molecules with counteracting capacity against the damage caused by UV and HEV. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
The New Frontier in Oxytocin Physiology: The Oxytonic Contraction
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(14), 5144; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21145144 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 805
Abstract
Oxytocin (Oxt) is a nine amino acid peptide important in energy regulation and is essential to stress-related disorders. Specifically, low Oxt levels are associated with obesity in human subjects and diet-induced or genetically modified animal models. The striking evidence that Oxt is linked [...] Read more.
Oxytocin (Oxt) is a nine amino acid peptide important in energy regulation and is essential to stress-related disorders. Specifically, low Oxt levels are associated with obesity in human subjects and diet-induced or genetically modified animal models. The striking evidence that Oxt is linked to energy regulation is that Oxt- and oxytocin receptor (Oxtr)-deficient mice show a phenotype characterized by late onset obesity. Oxt−/− or Oxtr−/− develop weight gain without increasing food intake, suggesting that a lack of Oxt reduce metabolic rate. Oxt is differentially expressed in skeletal muscle exerting a protective effect toward the slow-twitch muscle after cold stress challenge in mice. We hypothesized that Oxt potentiates the slow-twitch muscle as it does with the uterus, triggering “the oxytonic contractions”. Physiologically, this is important to augment muscle strength in fight/flight response and is consistent with the augmented energetic need at time of labor and for the protection of the offspring when Oxt secretion spikes. The normophagic obesity of Oxt−/− or Oxtr−/− mice could have been caused by decreased skeletal muscle tonicity which drove the metabolic phenotype. In this review, we summarized our findings together with the recent literature on this fascinating subjects in a “new oxytonic perspective” over the physicology of Oxt. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Integrated Analysis of Tissue-Specific Promoter Methylation and Gene Expression Profile in Complex Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(14), 5056; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21145056 - 17 Jul 2020
Viewed by 884
Abstract
This study investigated whether the promoter region of DNA methylation positively or negatively regulates tissue-specific genes (TSGs) and if it correlates with disease pathophysiology. We assessed tissue specificity metrics in five human tissues, using sequencing-based approaches, including 52 whole genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS), [...] Read more.
This study investigated whether the promoter region of DNA methylation positively or negatively regulates tissue-specific genes (TSGs) and if it correlates with disease pathophysiology. We assessed tissue specificity metrics in five human tissues, using sequencing-based approaches, including 52 whole genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS), 52 RNA-seq, and 144 chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) data. A correlation analysis was performed between the gene expression and DNA methylation levels of the TSG promoter region. The TSG enrichment analyses were conducted in the gene–disease association network (DisGeNET). The epigenomic association analyses of CpGs in enriched TSG promoters were performed using 1986 Infinium MethylationEPIC array data. A correlation analysis showed significant associations between the promoter methylation and 449 TSGs’ expression. A disease enrichment analysis showed that diabetes- and obesity-related diseases were high-ranked. In an epigenomic association analysis based on obesity, 62 CpGs showed statistical significance. Among them, three obesity-related CpGs were newly identified and replicated with statistical significance in independent data. In particular, a CpG (cg17075888 of PDK4), considered as potential therapeutic targets, were associated with complex diseases, including obesity and type 2 diabetes. The methylation changes in a substantial number of the TSG promoters showed a significant association with metabolic diseases. Collectively, our findings provided strong evidence of the relationship between tissue-specific patterns of epigenetic changes and metabolic diseases. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Molecular Cytogenomic Characterization of the Murine Breast Cancer Cell Lines C-127I, EMT6/P and TA3 Hauschka
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4716; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134716 - 01 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 681
Abstract
Background: To test and introduce effective and less toxic breast cancer (BC) treatment strategies, animal models, including murine BC cell lines, are considered as perfect platforms. Strikingly, the knowledge on the genetic background of applied BC cell lines is often sparse though urgently [...] Read more.
Background: To test and introduce effective and less toxic breast cancer (BC) treatment strategies, animal models, including murine BC cell lines, are considered as perfect platforms. Strikingly, the knowledge on the genetic background of applied BC cell lines is often sparse though urgently necessary for their targeted and really justified application. Methods: In this study, we performed the first molecular cytogenetic characterization for three murine BC cell lines C-127I, EMT6/P and TA3 Hauschka. Besides fluorescence in situ hybridization-banding, array comparative genomic hybridization was also applied. Thus, overall, an in silico translation for the detected imbalances and chromosomal break events in the murine cell lines to the corresponding homologous imbalances in humans could be provided. The latter enabled a comparison of the murine cell line with human BC cytogenomics. Results: All three BC cell lines showed a rearranged karyotype at different stages of complexity, which can be interpreted carefully as reflectance of more or less advanced tumor stages. Conclusions: Accordingly, the C-127I cell line would represent the late stage BC while the cell lines EMT6/P and TA3 Hauschka would be models for the premalignant or early BC stage and an early or benign BC, respectively. With this cytogenomic information provided, these cell lines now can be applied really adequately in future research studies. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Familial Infertility (Azoospermia and Cryptozoospermia) in Two Brothers—Carriers of t(1;7) Complex Chromosomal Rearrangement (CCR):  Molecular Cytogenetic Analysis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(12), 4559; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21124559 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 951
Abstract
Structural aberrations involving more than two breakpoints on two or more chromosomes are known as complex chromosomal rearrangements (CCRs). They can reduce fertility through gametogenesis arrest developed due to disrupted chromosomal pairing in the pachytene stage. We present a familial case of two [...] Read more.
Structural aberrations involving more than two breakpoints on two or more chromosomes are known as complex chromosomal rearrangements (CCRs). They can reduce fertility through gametogenesis arrest developed due to disrupted chromosomal pairing in the pachytene stage. We present a familial case of two infertile brothers (with azoospermia and cryptozoospermia) and their mother, carriers of an exceptional type of CCR involving chromosomes 1 and 7 and three breakpoints. The aim was to identify whether meiotic disruption was caused by CCR and/or genomic mutations. Additionally, we performed a literature survey for male CCR carriers with reproductive failures. The characterization of the CCR chromosomes and potential genomic aberrations was performed using: G-banding using trypsin and Giemsa staining (GTG banding), fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) (including multicolor FISH (mFISH) and bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-FISH), and genome-wide array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH). The CCR description was established as: der(1)(1qter->1q42.3::1p21->1q42.3::7p14.3->7pter), der(7)(1pter->1p2 1::7p14.3->7qter). aCGH revealed three rare genes variants: ASMT, GARNL3, and SESTD1, which were ruled out due to unlikely biological functions. The aCGH analysis of three breakpoint CCR regions did not reveal copy number variations (CNVs) with biologically plausible genes. Synaptonemal complex evaluation (brother-1; spermatocytes II/oligobiopsy; the silver staining technique) showed incomplete conjugation of the chromosomes. Associations between CCR and the sex chromosomes (by FISH) were not found. A meiotic segregation pattern (brother-2; ejaculated spermatozoa; FISH) revealed 29.21% genetically normal/balanced spermatozoa. The aCGH analysis could not detect smaller intergenic CNVs of few kb or smaller (indels of single exons or few nucleotides). Since chromosomal aberrations frequently do not affect the phenotype of the carrier, in contrast to the negative influence on spermatogenesis, there is an obvious need for genomic sequencing to investigate the point mutations that may be responsible for the differences between the azoospermic and cryptozoospermic phenotypes observed in a family. Progeny from the same parents provide a unique opportunity to discover a novel genomic background of male infertility. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Differences between Well-Differentiated Neuroendocrine Tumors and Ductal Adenocarcinomas of the Pancreas Assessed by Multi-Omics Profiling
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(12), 4470; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21124470 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 635
Abstract
Most pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) are indolent, while pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDACs) are particularly aggressive. To elucidate the basis for this difference and to establish the biomarkers, by using the deep sequencing, we analyzed somatic variants across coding regions of 409 cancer genes [...] Read more.
Most pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) are indolent, while pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDACs) are particularly aggressive. To elucidate the basis for this difference and to establish the biomarkers, by using the deep sequencing, we analyzed somatic variants across coding regions of 409 cancer genes and measured mRNA/miRNA expression in nine PNETs, eight PDACs, and four intestinal neuroendocrine tumors (INETs). There were 153 unique somatic variants considered pathogenic or likely pathogenic, found in 50, 57, and 24 genes in PDACs, PNETs, and INETs, respectively. Ten and 11 genes contained a pathogenic mutation in at least one sample of all tumor types and in PDACs and PNETs, respectively, while 28, 34, and 11 genes were found to be mutated exclusively in PDACs, PNETs, and INETs, respectively. The mRNA and miRNA transcriptomes of PDACs and NETs were distinct: from 54 to 1659 differentially expressed mRNAs and from 117 to 250 differentially expressed miRNAs exhibited high discrimination ability and resulted in models with an area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC-ROC) >0.9 for both miRNA and mRNA. Given the miRNAs high stability, we proposed exploring that class of RNA as new pancreatic tumor biomarkers. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Association between Five Common Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) Gene Polymorphisms and Colorectal Cancer Susceptibility
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(12), 4334; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21124334 - 18 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 662
Abstract
The plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) is expressed in many cancer cell types and modulates cancer growth, invasion, and angiogenesis. The present study investigated the association between five PAI-1 gene polymorphisms and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. Five PAI-1 polymorphisms (−844G > A [...] Read more.
The plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) is expressed in many cancer cell types and modulates cancer growth, invasion, and angiogenesis. The present study investigated the association between five PAI-1 gene polymorphisms and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. Five PAI-1 polymorphisms (−844G > A [rs2227631], −675 4G > 5G [rs1799889], +43G > A [rs6092], +9785G > A [rs2227694], and +11053T > G [rs7242]) were genotyped using a polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism assay in 459 CRC cases and 416 controls. Increased CRC risk was more frequently associated with PAI-1 −675 5G5G polymorphism than with 4G4G (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.556; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.012–2.391; p = 0.04). In contrast, for the PAI-1 +11053 polymorphism, we found a lower risk of CRC with the GG genotype (AOR = 0.620; 95% CI: 0.413–0.932; p = 0.02) than with the TT genotype, as well as for recessive carriers (TT + TG vs. GG, AOR = 0.662; 95% CI: 0.469–0.933; p = 0.02). The +43AA genotype was associated with lower overall survival (OS) than the +43GG genotype. Our results suggest that the PAI-1 genotype plays a role in CRC risk. This is the first study to identify an association between five PAI-1 polymorphisms and CRC incidence worldwide. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Insight into the Regulatory Relationships between the Insulin-Like Androgenic Gland Hormone Gene and the Insulin-Like Androgenic Gland Hormone-binding Protein Gene in Giant Freshwater Prawns (Macrobrachium rosenbergii)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(12), 4207; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21124207 - 12 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 601
Abstract
Giant freshwater prawns (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) are commonly found throughout the world. The size of the male giant freshwater prawn is much larger than that of the female. Therefore, understanding the molecular mechanism that underlies the sexual differentiation of M. rosenbergii is [...] Read more.
Giant freshwater prawns (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) are commonly found throughout the world. The size of the male giant freshwater prawn is much larger than that of the female. Therefore, understanding the molecular mechanism that underlies the sexual differentiation of M. rosenbergii is of both commercial and scientific importance. Insulin-like androgenic gland hormone (IAG) plays a key role in the differentiation of sex in M. rosenbergii. Although IAG has been investigated, the regulatory relationship between IAG and its binding protein partner, the insulin-like androgenic gland hormone-binding protein (IAGBP), has not been studied in M. rosenbergii. Here, we cloned and characterized the IAGBP from M. rosenbergii (Mr-IAGBP) for the very first time. Transcriptomic analysis showed that Mr-IAGBP mRNA was detected in a wide array of tissues with the highest expression found in the androgenic gland. The importance of IAG in male development was further demonstrated by an increase in IAG transcripts during the development of the androgenic gland and Mr-IAG was only highly transcribed in the androgenic gland of M. rosenbergii. Interestingly, we found that the Mr-IAG gene expression started during the 20th-day larva after hatching stage (LH20), followed (20th-day post-larval stage, PL20) by a gradual elevation of Mr-IAGBP levels. The levels of both genes peaked at the adult stage. The relationship between Mr-IAGBP and Mr-IAG was further analyzed using RNA interference. The injection of Mr-IAGBP double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) significantly reduced the transcription of Mr-IAG, while the amount of Mr-IAGBP mRNA and the translation of IAGBP protein was significantly reduced by the injection of Mr-IAG dsRNA. These results revealed that IAGBP is involved in IAG signaling. Furthermore, our data supports the hypothesis that (IAG and IAGBP)-IAG receptor signaling schemes exist in M. rosenbergii. Our results will provide important information for the further study of determining the sex of M. rosenbergii. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Reference Ranges of 8-Isoprostane Concentrations in Exhaled Breath Condensate (EBC): A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(11), 3822; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21113822 - 28 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 727
Abstract
Isoprostanes are physiopathologic mediators of oxidative stress, resulting in lipid peroxidation. 8-isoprostane seems particularly useful for measuring oxidative stress damage. However, no reference range values are available for 8-isoprosante in exhaled breath condensate (EBC) of healthy adults, enabling its meaningful interpretation as a [...] Read more.
Isoprostanes are physiopathologic mediators of oxidative stress, resulting in lipid peroxidation. 8-isoprostane seems particularly useful for measuring oxidative stress damage. However, no reference range values are available for 8-isoprosante in exhaled breath condensate (EBC) of healthy adults, enabling its meaningful interpretation as a biomarker. We conducted this systematic review and meta-analysis according to the protocol following PROSPERO (CRD42020146623). After searching and analyzing the literature, we included 86 studies. After their qualitative synthesis and risk of bias assessment, 52 studies were included in meta-analysis. The latter focused on studies using immunological analytical methods and investigated how the concentrations of 8-isoprostane differ based on gender. We found that gender had no significant effect in 8-isoprostane concentration. Among other studied factors, such as individual characteristics and factors related to EBC collection, only the device used for EBC collection significantly affected measured 8-isoprostane concentrations. However, adjustment for the factors related to EBC collection, yielded uncertainty whether this effect is due to the device itself or to the other factors. Given this uncertainty, we estimated the reference range values of 8-isoprostane stratified by gender and EBC collection device. A better standardization of EBC collection seems necessary; as well more studies using chemical analytical methods to extend this investigation. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
High Homology-Directed Repair Using Mitosis Phase and Nucleus Localizing Signal
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(11), 3747; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21113747 - 26 May 2020
Viewed by 767
Abstract
In homology-directed repair, mediated knock-in single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotides (ssODNs) can be used as a homologous template and present high efficiency, but there is still a need to improve efficiency. Previous studies have mainly focused on controlling double-stranded break size, ssODN stability, and the DNA [...] Read more.
In homology-directed repair, mediated knock-in single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotides (ssODNs) can be used as a homologous template and present high efficiency, but there is still a need to improve efficiency. Previous studies have mainly focused on controlling double-stranded break size, ssODN stability, and the DNA repair cycle. Nevertheless, there is a lack of research on the correlation between the cell cycle and single-strand template repair (SSTR) efficiency. Here, we investigated the relationship between cell cycle and SSTR efficiency. We found higher SSTR efficiency during mitosis, especially in the metaphase and anaphase. A Cas9 protein with a nuclear localization signal (NLS) readily migrated to the nucleus; however, the nuclear envelope inhibited the nuclear import of many nucleotide templates. This seemed to result in non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) before the arrival of the homologous template. Thus, we assessed whether NLS-tagged ssODNs and free NLS peptides could circumvent problems posed by the nuclear envelope. NLS-tagging ssODNs enhanced SSTR and indel efficiency by 4-fold compared to the control. Our results suggest the following: (1) mitosis is the optimal phase for SSTR, (2) the donor template needs to be delivered to the nucleus before nuclease delivery, and (3) NLS-tagging ssODNs improve SSTR efficiency, especially high in mitosis. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessReview
Urinary 8-OHdG as a Biomarker for Oxidative Stress: A Systematic Literature Review and Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(11), 3743; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21113743 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1015
Abstract
Oxidative stress reflects a disturbance in the balance between the production and accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS are scavenged by the antioxidant system, but when in excess concentration, they can oxidize proteins, lipids, and DNA. DNA damage is usually repaired, and [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress reflects a disturbance in the balance between the production and accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS are scavenged by the antioxidant system, but when in excess concentration, they can oxidize proteins, lipids, and DNA. DNA damage is usually repaired, and the oxidized products are excreted in urine. 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine is considered a biomarker for oxidative damage of DNA. It is needed to define background ranges for 8-OHdG, to use it as a measure of oxidative stress overproduction. We established a standardized protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess background ranges for urinary 8-OHdG concentrations in healthy populations. We computed geometric mean (GM) and geometric standard deviations (GSD) as the basis for the meta-analysis. We retrieved an initial 1246 articles, included 84 articles, and identified 128 study subgroups. We stratified the subgroups by body mass index, gender, and smoking status reported. The pooled GM value for urinary 8-OHdG concentrations in healthy adults with a mean body mass index (BMI) ≤ 25 measured using chemical methods was 3.9 ng/mg creatinine (interquartile range (IQR): 3 to 5.5 ng/mg creatinine). A significant positive association was observed between smoking and urinary 8-OHdG concentrations when measured by chemical analysis. No gender effect was observed. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
What Do We Know About the Genetic Basis of Seed Desiccation Tolerance and Longevity?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(10), 3612; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21103612 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 815
Abstract
Long-term seed storage is important for protecting both economic interests and biodiversity. The extraordinary properties of seeds allow us to store them in the right conditions for years. However, not all types of seeds are resilient, and some do not tolerate extreme desiccation [...] Read more.
Long-term seed storage is important for protecting both economic interests and biodiversity. The extraordinary properties of seeds allow us to store them in the right conditions for years. However, not all types of seeds are resilient, and some do not tolerate extreme desiccation or low temperature. Seeds can be divided into three categories: (1) orthodox seeds, which tolerate water losses of up to 7% of their water content and can be stored at low temperature; (2) recalcitrant seeds, which require a humidity of 27%; and (3) intermediate seeds, which lose their viability relatively quickly compared to orthodox seeds. In this article, we discuss the genetic bases for desiccation tolerance and longevity in seeds and the differences in gene expression profiles between the mentioned types of seeds. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 Microdeletion (Burnside–Butler) Syndrome: In Silico Analyses of the Four Coding Genes Reveal Functional Associations with Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(9), 3296; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21093296 - 06 May 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1449
Abstract
The 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 microdeletion (Burnside–Butler) syndrome is emerging as the most frequent pathogenic copy number variation (CNV) in humans associated with neurodevelopmental disorders with changes in brain morphology, behavior, and cognition. In this study, we explored functions and interactions of the [...] Read more.
The 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 microdeletion (Burnside–Butler) syndrome is emerging as the most frequent pathogenic copy number variation (CNV) in humans associated with neurodevelopmental disorders with changes in brain morphology, behavior, and cognition. In this study, we explored functions and interactions of the four protein-coding genes in this region, namely NIPA1, NIPA2, CYFIP1, and TUBGCP5, and elucidate their role, in solo and in concert, in the causation of neurodevelopmental disorders. First, we investigated the STRING protein-protein interactions encompassing all four genes and ascertained their predicted Gene Ontology (GO) functions, such as biological processes involved in their interactions, pathways and molecular functions. These include magnesium ion transport molecular function, regulation of axonogenesis and axon extension, regulation and production of bone morphogenetic protein and regulation of cellular growth and development. We gathered a list of significantly associated cardinal maladies for each gene from searchable genomic disease websites, namely MalaCards.org: HGMD, OMIM, ClinVar, GTR, Orphanet, DISEASES, Novoseek, and GeneCards.org. Through tabulations of such disease data, we ascertained the cardinal disease association of each gene, as well as their expanded putative disease associations. This enabled further tabulation of disease data to ascertain the role of each gene in the top ten overlapping significant neurodevelopmental disorders among the disease association data sets: (1) Prader–Willi Syndrome (PWS); (2) Angelman Syndrome (AS); (3) 15q11.2 Deletion Syndrome with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder & Learning Disability; (4) Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); (5) Schizophrenia; (6) Epilepsy; (7) Down Syndrome; (8) Microcephaly; (9) Developmental Disorder, and (10) Peripheral Nervous System Disease. The cardinal disease associations for each of the four contiguous 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 genes are NIPA1- Spastic Paraplegia 6; NIPA2—Angelman Syndrome and Prader–Willi Syndrome; CYFIP1—Fragile X Syndrome and Autism; TUBGCP5—Prader–Willi Syndrome. The four genes are individually associated with PWS, ASD, schizophrenia, epilepsy, and Down syndrome. Except for TUBGCP5, the other three genes are associated with AS. Unlike the other genes, TUBGCP5 is also not associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning disability, developmental disorder, or peripheral nervous system disease. CYFIP1 was the only gene not associated with microcephaly but was the only gene associated with developmental disorders. Collectively, all four genes were associated with up to three-fourths of the ten overlapping neurodevelopmental disorders and are deleted in this most prevalent known pathogenic copy number variation now recognized among humans with these clinical findings. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Genetic Architecture of Early Vigor Traits in Wild Soybean
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(9), 3105; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21093105 - 28 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 690
Abstract
A worldwide food shortage has been projected as a result of the current increase in global population and climate change. In order to provide sufficient food to feed more people, we must develop crops that can produce higher yields. Plant early vigor traits, [...] Read more.
A worldwide food shortage has been projected as a result of the current increase in global population and climate change. In order to provide sufficient food to feed more people, we must develop crops that can produce higher yields. Plant early vigor traits, early growth rate (EGR), early plant height (EPH), inter-node length, and node count are important traits that are related to crop yield. Glycine soja, the wild counterpart to cultivated soybean, Glycine max, harbors much higher genetic diversity and can grow in diverse environments. It can also cross easily with cultivated soybean. Thus, it holds a great potential in developing soybean cultivars with beneficial agronomic traits. In this study, we used 225 wild soybean accessions originally from diverse environments across its geographic distribution in East Asia. We quantified the natural variation of several early vigor traits, investigated the relationships among them, and dissected the genetic basis of these traits by applying a Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) with genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data. Our results showed positive correlation between all early vigor traits studied. A total of 12 SNPs significantly associated with EPH were identified with 4 shared with EGR. We also identified two candidate genes, Glyma.07G055800.1 and Glyma.07G055900.1, playing important roles in influencing trait variation in both EGR and EPH in G. soja. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Prevalence of Cytoplasmic Actin Mutations in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma and Multiple Myeloma: A Functional Assessment Based on Actin Three-Dimensional Structures
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(9), 3093; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21093093 - 27 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 784
Abstract
Mutations in actins have been linked to several developmental diseases. Their occurrence across different cancers has, however, not been investigated. Using the cBioPortal database we show that human actins are infrequently mutated in patient samples of various cancers types. Nevertheless, ranking these studies [...] Read more.
Mutations in actins have been linked to several developmental diseases. Their occurrence across different cancers has, however, not been investigated. Using the cBioPortal database we show that human actins are infrequently mutated in patient samples of various cancers types. Nevertheless, ranking these studies by mutational frequency suggest that some have a higher percentage of patients with ACTB and ACTG1 mutations. Within studies on hematological cancers, mutations in ACTB and ACTG1 are associated with lymphoid cancers since none have currently been reported in myeloid cancers. Within the different types of lymphoid cancers ACTB mutations are most frequent in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and ACTG1 mutations in multiple myeloma. We mapped the ACTB and ACTG1 mutations found in these two cancer types on the 3D-structure of actin showing they are in regions important for actin polymer formation or binding to myosin. The potential effects of the mutations on actin properties imply that mutations in cytoplasmic actins deserve dedicated research in DLBCL and multiple myeloma. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
C5-Substituted 2-Selenouridines Ensure Efficient Base Pairing with Guanosine; Consequences for Reading the NNG-3′ Synonymous mRNA Codons
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(8), 2882; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21082882 - 20 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 781
Abstract
5-Substituted 2-selenouridines (R5Se2U) are post-transcriptional modifications present in the first anticodon position of transfer RNA. Their functional role in the regulation of gene expression is elusive. Here, we present efficient syntheses of 5-methylaminomethyl-2-selenouridine (1, mnm5Se2U), 5-carboxymethylaminomethyl-2-selenouridine (2, cmnm5Se2U), and [...] Read more.
5-Substituted 2-selenouridines (R5Se2U) are post-transcriptional modifications present in the first anticodon position of transfer RNA. Their functional role in the regulation of gene expression is elusive. Here, we present efficient syntheses of 5-methylaminomethyl-2-selenouridine (1, mnm5Se2U), 5-carboxymethylaminomethyl-2-selenouridine (2, cmnm5Se2U), and Se2U (3) alongside the crystal structure of the latter nucleoside. By using pH-dependent potentiometric titration, pKa values for the N3H groups of 13 were assessed to be significantly lower compared to their 2-thio- and 2-oxo-congeners. At physiological conditions (pH 7.4), Se2-uridines 1 and 2 preferentially adopted the zwitterionic form (ZI, ca. 90%), with the positive charge located at the amino alkyl side chain and the negative charge at the Se2-N3-O4 edge. As shown by density functional theory (DFT) calculations, this ZI form efficiently bound to guanine, forming the so-called “new wobble base pair”, which was accepted by the ribosome architecture. These data suggest that the tRNA anticodons with wobble R5Se2Us may preferentially read the 5′-NNG-3′ synonymous codons, unlike their 2-thio- and 2-oxo-precursors, which preferentially read the 5′-NNA-3′ codons. Thus, the interplay between the levels of U-, S2U- and Se2U-tRNA may have a dominant role in the epitranscriptomic regulation of gene expression via reading of the synonymous 3′-A- and 3′-G-ending codons. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
In or Out? New Insights on Exon Recognition through Splice-Site Interdependency
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(7), 2300; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072300 - 26 Mar 2020
Viewed by 998
Abstract
Noncanonical splice-site mutations are an important cause of inherited diseases. Based on in vitro and stem-cell-based studies, some splice-site variants show a stronger splice defect than expected based on their predicted effects, suggesting that other sequence motifs influence the outcome. We investigated whether [...] Read more.
Noncanonical splice-site mutations are an important cause of inherited diseases. Based on in vitro and stem-cell-based studies, some splice-site variants show a stronger splice defect than expected based on their predicted effects, suggesting that other sequence motifs influence the outcome. We investigated whether splice defects due to human-inherited-disease-associated variants in noncanonical splice-site sequences in ABCA4, DMD, and TMC1 could be rescued by strengthening the splice site on the other side of the exon. Noncanonical 5′- and 3′-splice-site variants were selected. Rescue variants were introduced based on an increase in predicted splice-site strength, and the effects of these variants were analyzed using in vitro splice assays in HEK293T cells. Exon skipping due to five variants in noncanonical splice sites of exons in ABCA4, DMD, and TMC1 could be partially or completely rescued by increasing the predicted strengths of the other splice site of the same exon. We named this mechanism “splicing interdependency”, and it is likely based on exon recognition by splicing machinery. Awareness of this interdependency is of importance in the classification of noncanonical splice-site variants associated with disease and may open new opportunities for treatments. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Genetic Identification and Transcriptome Analysis of Lintless and Fuzzless Traits in Gossypium arboreum L.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(5), 1675; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21051675 - 29 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1020
Abstract
Cotton fibres, as single cells arising from the seed coat, can be classified as lint and fuzz according to their final length. Gossypium arboreum is a cultivated diploid cotton species and a potential donor of the A subgenome of the more widely grown [...] Read more.
Cotton fibres, as single cells arising from the seed coat, can be classified as lint and fuzz according to their final length. Gossypium arboreum is a cultivated diploid cotton species and a potential donor of the A subgenome of the more widely grown tetraploid cottons. In this study, we performed genetic studies on one lintless and seven fuzzless G. arboreum accessions. Through association and genetic linkage analyses, a recessive locus on Chr06 containing GaHD-1 was found to be the likely gene underlying the lintless trait. GaHD-1 carried a mutation at a splicing acceptor site that resulted in alternative splicing and a deletion of 247 amino acid from the protein. The regions containing GaGIR1 and GaMYB25-like were found to be associated with fuzz development in G. arboreum, with the former being the major contributor. Comparative transcriptome analyses using 0-5 days post-anthesis (dpa) ovules from lintless, fuzzless, and normal fuzzy seed G. arboreum accessions revealed gene modules and hub genes potentially important for lint and fuzz initiation and development. Three significant modules and 26 hub genes associated with lint fibre initiation were detected by weighted gene co-expression network analysis. Similar analyses identified three vital modules and 10 hub genes to be associated with fuzz development. The findings in this study contribute to understanding the complex molecular mechanism(s) regulating fibre initiation and development and indicate that G. arboreum may have fibre developmental pathways different from tetraploid cotton. It also provides candidate genes for further investigation into modifying fibre development in G. arboreum. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Genome-Wide Profiling and Phylogenetic Analysis of the SWEET Sugar Transporter Gene Family in Walnut and Their Lack of Responsiveness to Xanthomonas arboricola pv. juglandis Infection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(4), 1251; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21041251 - 13 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1244
Abstract
Following photosynthesis, sucrose is translocated to sink organs, where it provides the primary source of carbon and energy to sustain plant growth and development. Sugar transporters from the SWEET (sugar will eventually be exported transporter) family are rate-limiting factors that mediate sucrose transport [...] Read more.
Following photosynthesis, sucrose is translocated to sink organs, where it provides the primary source of carbon and energy to sustain plant growth and development. Sugar transporters from the SWEET (sugar will eventually be exported transporter) family are rate-limiting factors that mediate sucrose transport across concentration gradients, sustain yields, and participate in reproductive development, plant senescence, stress responses, as well as support plant–pathogen interaction, the focus of this study. We identified 25 SWEET genes in the walnut genome and distinguished each by its individual gene structure and pattern of expression in different walnut tissues. Their chromosomal locations, cis-acting motifs within their 5′ regulatory elements, and phylogenetic relationship patterns provided the first comprehensive analysis of the SWEET gene family of sugar transporters in walnut. This family is divided into four clades, the analysis of which suggests duplication and expansion of the SWEET gene family in Juglans regia. In addition, tissue-specific gene expression signatures suggest diverse possible functions for JrSWEET genes. Although these are commonly used by pathogens to harness sugar products from their plant hosts, little was known about their role during Xanthomonas arboricola pv. juglandis (Xaj) infection. We monitored the expression profiles of the JrSWEET genes in different tissues of “Chandler” walnuts when challenged with pathogen Xaj417 and concluded that SWEET-mediated sugar translocation from the host is not a trigger for walnut blight disease development. This may be directly related to the absence of type III secretion system-dependent transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs) in Xaj417, which suggests different strategies are employed by this pathogen to promote susceptibility to this major aboveground disease of walnuts. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
High Dosage Lithium Treatment Induces DNA Damage and p57Kip2 Decrease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(3), 1169; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21031169 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1008
Abstract
Lithium salt is the first-line therapeutic option for bipolar disorder and has been proposed as a potential antitumoral drug. The effects of LiCl treatment were investigated in SH-SY5Y, a human neuroblastoma cell line and an in vitro model of dopaminergic neuronal differentiation. LiCl, [...] Read more.
Lithium salt is the first-line therapeutic option for bipolar disorder and has been proposed as a potential antitumoral drug. The effects of LiCl treatment were investigated in SH-SY5Y, a human neuroblastoma cell line and an in vitro model of dopaminergic neuronal differentiation. LiCl, at the dosage used in psychiatric treatment, does not affect cell proliferation, while at higher doses it delays the SH-SY5Y cell division cycle and for prolonged usage reduces cell viability. Moreover, the ion treatment affects DNA integrity as demonstrated by accumulation of p53 and γH2AX (the phosphorylated form of H2AX histone), two important markers of genome damage. p57Kip2, a CIP/Kip protein, is required for proper neuronal maturation and represents a main factor of response to stress including genotoxicity. We evaluated the effect of lithium on p57Kip2 levels. Unexpectedly, we found that lithium downregulates the level of p57Kip2 in a dose-dependent manner, mainly acting at the transcriptional level. A number of different approaches, mostly based on p57Kip2 content handling, confirmed that the CKI/Kip reduction plays a key role in the DNA damage activated by lithium and suggests the unanticipated view that p57Kip2 might be involved in DNA double-strand break responses. In conclusion, our study identified novel roles for p57Kip2 in the molecular mechanism of lithium at high concentration and, more in general, in the process of DNA repair. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Construction of a High-Density Genetic Map and Mapping of Firmness in Grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) Based on Whole-Genome Resequencing
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(3), 797; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21030797 - 25 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1178
Abstract
Berry firmness is one of the most important quality traits in table grapes. The underlying molecular and genetic mechanisms for berry firmness remain unclear. We constructed a high-density genetic map based on whole-genome resequencing to identify loci associated with berry firmness. The genetic [...] Read more.
Berry firmness is one of the most important quality traits in table grapes. The underlying molecular and genetic mechanisms for berry firmness remain unclear. We constructed a high-density genetic map based on whole-genome resequencing to identify loci associated with berry firmness. The genetic map had 19 linkage groups, including 1662 bin markers (26,039 SNPs), covering 1463.38 cM, and the average inter-marker distance was 0.88 cM. An analysis of berry firmness in the F1 population and both parents for three consecutive years revealed continuous variability in F1, with a distribution close to the normal distribution. Based on the genetic map and phenotypic data, three potentially significant quantitative trait loci (QTLs) related to berry firmness were identified by composite interval mapping. The contribution rate of each QTL ranged from 21.5% to 28.6%. We identified four candidate genes associated with grape firmness, which are related to endoglucanase, abscisic acid (ABA), and transcription factors. A qRT-PCR analysis revealed that the expression of abscisic-aldehyde oxidase-like gene (VIT_18s0041g02410) and endoglucanase 3 gene (VIT_18s0089g00210) in Muscat Hamburg was higher than in Crimson Seedless at the veraison stage, which was consistent with that of parent berry firmness. These results confirmed that VIT_18s0041g02410 and VIT_18s0089g00210 are candidate genes associated with berry firmness. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Genomics Education in the Era of Personal Genomics: Academic, Professional, and Public Considerations
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(3), 768; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21030768 - 24 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1335
Abstract
Since the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, genomic sequencing has become a prominent tool used by diverse disciplines in modern science. In the past 20 years, the cost of genomic sequencing has decreased exponentially, making it affordable and accessible. Bioinformatic [...] Read more.
Since the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, genomic sequencing has become a prominent tool used by diverse disciplines in modern science. In the past 20 years, the cost of genomic sequencing has decreased exponentially, making it affordable and accessible. Bioinformatic and biological studies have produced significant scientific breakthroughs using the wealth of genomic information now available. Alongside the scientific benefit of genomics, companies offer direct-to-consumer genetic testing which provide health, trait, and ancestry information to the public. A key area that must be addressed is education about what conclusions can be made from this genomic information and integrating genomic education with foundational genetic principles already taught in academic settings. The promise of personal genomics providing disease treatment is exciting, but many challenges remain to validate genomic predictions and diagnostic correlations. Ethical and societal concerns must also be addressed regarding how personal genomic information is used. This genomics revolution provides a powerful opportunity to educate students, clinicians, and the public on scientific and ethical issues in a personal way to increase learning. In this review, we discuss the influence of personal genomics in society and focus on the importance and benefits of genomics education in the classroom, clinics, and the public and explore the potential consequences of personal genomic education. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Rapid Cellular Perception of Gravitational Forces in Human Jurkat T Cells and Transduction into Gene Expression Regulation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(2), 514; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020514 - 14 Jan 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 912
Abstract
Cellular processes are influenced in many ways by changes in gravitational force. In previous studies, we were able to demonstrate, in various cellular systems and research platforms that reactions and adaptation processes occur very rapidly after the onset of altered gravity. In this [...] Read more.
Cellular processes are influenced in many ways by changes in gravitational force. In previous studies, we were able to demonstrate, in various cellular systems and research platforms that reactions and adaptation processes occur very rapidly after the onset of altered gravity. In this study we systematically compared differentially expressed gene transcript clusters (TCs) in human Jurkat T cells in microgravity provided by a suborbital ballistic rocket with vector-averaged gravity (vag) provided by a 2D clinostat. Additionally, we included 9× g centrifuge experiments and rigorous controls for excluding other factors of influence than gravity. We found that 11 TCs were significantly altered in 5 min of flight-induced and vector-averaged gravity. Among the annotated clusters were G3BP1, KPNB1, NUDT3, SFT2D2, and POMK. Our results revealed that less than 1% of all examined TCs show the same response in vag and flight-induced microgravity, while 38% of differentially regulated TCs identified during the hypergravity phase of the suborbital ballistic rocket flight could be verified with a 9× g ground centrifuge. In the 2D clinostat system, doing one full rotation per second, vector effects of the gravitational force are only nullified if the sensing mechanism requires 1 s or longer. Due to the fact that vag with an integration period of 1 s was not able to reproduce the results obtained in flight-induced microgravity, we conclude that the initial trigger of gene expression response to microgravity requires less than 1 s reaction time. Additionally, we discovered extensive gene expression differences caused by simple handling of the cell suspension in control experiments, which underlines the need for rigorous standardization regarding mechanical forces during cell culture experiments in general. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Novel Loss-of-Function Variants in CDC14A are Associated with Recessive Sensorineural Hearing Loss in Iranian and Pakistani Patients
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(1), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21010311 - 02 Jan 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1220
Abstract
CDC14A encodes the Cell Division Cycle 14A protein and has been associated with autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss (DFNB32), as well as hearing impairment and infertile male syndrome (HIIMS) since 2016. To date, only nine variants have been associated in patients whose initial [...] Read more.
CDC14A encodes the Cell Division Cycle 14A protein and has been associated with autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss (DFNB32), as well as hearing impairment and infertile male syndrome (HIIMS) since 2016. To date, only nine variants have been associated in patients whose initial symptoms included moderate-to-profound hearing impairment. Exome analysis of Iranian and Pakistani probands who both showed bilateral, sensorineural hearing loss revealed a novel splice site variant (c.1421+2T>C, p.?) that disrupts the splice donor site and a novel frameshift variant (c.1041dup, p.Ser348Glnfs*2) in the gene CDC14A, respectively. To evaluate the pathogenicity of both loss-of-function variants, we analyzed the effects of both variants on the RNA-level. The splice variant was characterized using a minigene assay. Altered expression levels due to the c.1041dup variant were assessed using RT-qPCR. In summary, cDNA analysis confirmed that the c.1421+2T>C variant activates a cryptic splice site, resulting in a truncated transcript (c.1414_1421del, p.Val472Leufs*20) and the c.1041dup variant results in a defective transcript that is likely degraded by nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. The present study functionally characterizes two variants and provides further confirmatory evidence that CDC14A is associated with a rare form of hereditary hearing loss. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

2019

Jump to: 2021, 2020

Open AccessArticle
Association of Complement Factor D and H Polymorphisms with Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21010017 - 18 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 919
Abstract
Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) is defined as two or more consecutive pregnancy losses prior to 20 weeks of gestation, and the incidence of RPL is estimated at 1% of all pregnancies. While the etiologies of RPL are diverse, immune function is considered to [...] Read more.
Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) is defined as two or more consecutive pregnancy losses prior to 20 weeks of gestation, and the incidence of RPL is estimated at 1% of all pregnancies. While the etiologies of RPL are diverse, immune function is considered to be an important cause of RPL. In particular, the complement system is essential for stable development of the placenta and fetus. Moreover, complement factor D (CFD) and complement factor H (CFH) are important regulators of the complement system and are associated with diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration. Therefore, we investigated whether polymorphisms of CFD and CFH are associated with RPL in 412 women with RPL and 384 control women. Genotyping of three polymorphisms (CFD rs2230216, CFH rs1065489, and CFH rs1061170) was performed by TaqMan probe real-time PCR and PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism. Association of three polymorphisms with RPL was evaluated by statistical analysis. The GT/TC genotype combination of CFH rs1065489 G>T/CFH rs1061170 T>C was associated with a decreased risk of RPL occurrence compared with reference genotypes (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.439; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.238–0.810; p = 0.008), and this association remained significant after adjustment for multiple comparisons using false discovery rate (FDR) correction (p = 0.040). In addition, the CFH rs1065489G>T polymorphism is associated with homocysteine and prolactin level and CFH rs1061170 TC genotype is related to uric acid and triglycerides level in RPL patients. Therefore, those factors could be possible clinical risk factors in RPL patients. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Genetic and Physiological Dissection of Photosynthesis in Barley Exposed to Drought Stress
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(24), 6341; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20246341 - 16 Dec 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1371
Abstract
Balanced photosynthesis under drought is essential for better survival and for agricultural benefits in terms of biomass and yield. Given the current attempts to improve the photosynthetic efficiency for greater crop yield, the explanation of the genetic basis of that process, together with [...] Read more.
Balanced photosynthesis under drought is essential for better survival and for agricultural benefits in terms of biomass and yield. Given the current attempts to improve the photosynthetic efficiency for greater crop yield, the explanation of the genetic basis of that process, together with the phenotypic analysis, is significant in terms of both basic studies and potential agricultural application. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to uncover the molecular basis of the photosynthesis process under drought stress in barley. To address that goal, we conducted transcriptomic examination together with detailed photosynthesis analysis using the JIP-test. Using this approach, we indicated that photosynthesis is a process that is very early affected in barley seedlings treated with severe drought stress. Rather than focusing on individual genes, our strategy was pointed to the identification of groups of genes with similar expression patterns. As such, we identified and annotated almost 150 barley genes as crucial core-components of photosystems, electron transport components, and Calvin cycle enzymes. Moreover, we designated 17 possible regulatory interactions between photosynthesis-related genes and transcription factors in barley. Summarizing, our results provide a list of candidate genes for future genetic research and improvement of barley drought tolerance by targeting photosynthesis. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCase Report
Novel JAG1 Deletion Variant in Patient with Atypical Alagille Syndrome
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(24), 6247; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20246247 - 11 Dec 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1106
Abstract
Alagille syndrome (AGS) is an autosomal-dominant disorder characterized by various degrees of abnormalities in the liver, heart, eyes, vertebrae, kidneys, face, vasculature, skeleton, and pancreas. This case report describes a newborn child exhibiting a congenital neural tube defect and peculiar craniofacial appearance characterized [...] Read more.
Alagille syndrome (AGS) is an autosomal-dominant disorder characterized by various degrees of abnormalities in the liver, heart, eyes, vertebrae, kidneys, face, vasculature, skeleton, and pancreas. This case report describes a newborn child exhibiting a congenital neural tube defect and peculiar craniofacial appearance characterized by a prominent forehead, deep-set eyes, bulbous nasal tip, and subtle upper lip. Just a few hours after birth, congenital heart disease was suspected for cyanosis and confirmed by heart evaluation. In particular, echocardiography indicated pulmonary atresia with ventricular septal defect with severe hypoplasia of the pulmonary branches (1.5 mm), large patent ductus arteriosus and several major aortopulmonary collateral arteries. Due to the association of peculiar craniofacial appearance and congenital heart disease, a form of Alagille syndrome was suspected. In addition, on the fifth day after birth, the patient developed jaundice, had acholic stools, and high levels of conjugated bilirubin and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) were detected in the blood. Genetic testing revealed the novel variant c.802del in a single copy of the JAG1 gene. No variants in the NOTCH2 gene were detected. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first clinical description of a congenital neural tube defect in a molecularly confirmed Alagille patient. This work demonstrates a novel pathogenic heterozygous JAG1 mutation is associated with an atypical form of Alagille syndrome, suggesting an increased risk for neural tube defects compared to other Alagille patients. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The 1,10-Phenanthroline Ligand Enhances the Antiproliferative Activity of DNA-Intercalating Thiourea-Pd(II) and -Pt(II) Complexes Against Cisplatin-Sensitive and -Resistant Human Ovarian Cancer Cell Lines
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(24), 6122; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20246122 - 04 Dec 2019
Viewed by 974
Abstract
Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological malignancy, often because of the frequent insurgence of chemoresistance to the drugs currently used. Thus, new therapeutical agents are needed. We tested the toxicity of 16 new DNA-intercalating agents to cisplatin (cDDP)-sensitive human ovarian carcinoma cell [...] Read more.
Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological malignancy, often because of the frequent insurgence of chemoresistance to the drugs currently used. Thus, new therapeutical agents are needed. We tested the toxicity of 16 new DNA-intercalating agents to cisplatin (cDDP)-sensitive human ovarian carcinoma cell lines and their resistant counterparts. The compounds were the complexes of Pt(II) or Pd(II) with bipyridyl (bipy) and phenanthrolyl (phen) and with four different thiourea ancillary ligands. Within each of the four series of complexes characterized by the same thiourea ligand, the Pd(phen) drugs invariably showed the highest anti-proliferative efficacy. This paralleled both a higher intracellular drug accumulation and a more efficient DNA intercalation than all the other metal-bidentate ligand combinations. The consequent inhibition of topoisomerase II activity led to the greatest inhibition of DNA metabolism, evidenced by the inhibition of the expression of the folate cycle enzymes and a marked perturbation of cell-cycle distribution in both cell lines. These findings indicate that the particular interaction of Pd(II) with phenanthroline confers the best pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties that make this class of DNA intercalators remarkable inhibitors, even of the resistant cell growth. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessCase Report
Genotype–Phenotype Correlation in a Family with Brugada Syndrome Harboring the Novel p.Gln371* Nonsense Variant in the SCN5A Gene
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(22), 5522; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20225522 - 06 Nov 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 802
Abstract
Brugada syndrome (BrS) is marked by coved ST-segment elevation and increased risk of sudden cardiac death. The genetics of this syndrome are elusive in over half of the cases. Variants in the SCN5A gene are the single most common known genetic unifier, accounting [...] Read more.
Brugada syndrome (BrS) is marked by coved ST-segment elevation and increased risk of sudden cardiac death. The genetics of this syndrome are elusive in over half of the cases. Variants in the SCN5A gene are the single most common known genetic unifier, accounting for about a third of cases. Research models, such as animal models and cell lines, are limited. In the present study, we report the novel NM_198056.2:c.1111C>T (p.Gln371*) heterozygous variant in the SCN5A gene, as well as its segregation with BrS in a large family. The results herein suggest a pathogenic effect of this variant. Functional studies are certainly warranted to characterize the molecular effects of this variant. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Type IV Collagen Is Essential for Proper Function of Integrin-Mediated Adhesion in Drosophila Muscle Fibers
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(20), 5124; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20205124 - 16 Oct 2019
Viewed by 1331
Abstract
Congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD), a subgroup of myopathies is a genetically and clinically heterogeneous group of inherited muscle disorders and is characterized by progressive muscle weakness, fiber size variability, fibrosis, clustered necrotic fibers, and central myonuclei present in regenerating muscle. Type IV collagen [...] Read more.
Congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD), a subgroup of myopathies is a genetically and clinically heterogeneous group of inherited muscle disorders and is characterized by progressive muscle weakness, fiber size variability, fibrosis, clustered necrotic fibers, and central myonuclei present in regenerating muscle. Type IV collagen (COL4A1) mutations have recently been identified in patients with intracerebral, vascular, renal, ophthalmologic pathologies and congenital muscular dystrophy, consistent with diagnoses of Walker–Warburg Syndrome or Muscle–Eye–Brain disease. Morphological characteristics of muscular dystrophy have also been demonstrated Col4a1 mutant mice. Yet, several aspects of the pathomechanism of COL4A1-associated muscle defects remained largely uncharacterized. Based on the results of genetic, histological, molecular, and biochemical analyses in an allelic series of Drosophila col4a1 mutants, we provide evidence that col4a1 mutations arise by transitions in glycine triplets, associate with severely compromised muscle fibers within the single-layer striated muscle of the common oviduct, characterized by loss of sarcomere structure, disintegration and streaming of Z-discs, indicating an essential role for the COL4A1 protein. Features of altered cytoskeletal phenotype include actin bundles traversing over sarcomere units, amorphous actin aggregates, atrophy, and aberrant fiber size. The mutant COL4A1-associated defects appear to recapitulate integrin-mediated adhesion phenotypes observed in RNA-inhibitory Drosophila. Our results provide insight into the mechanistic details of COL4A1-associated muscle disorders and suggest a role for integrin-collagen interaction in the maintenance of sarcomeres. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Stabilization of c-KIT G-Quadruplex DNA Structures by the RNA Polymerase I Inhibitors BMH-21 and BA-41
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(19), 4927; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20194927 - 04 Oct 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1117
Abstract
The stabilization of G-quadruplex DNA structures by small molecules with affinity to oncogene promoters has emerged as a promising anticancer strategy, due to a potential role in gene expression regulation. We explored the ability of BMH-21 (1) and its analogue BA-41 [...] Read more.
The stabilization of G-quadruplex DNA structures by small molecules with affinity to oncogene promoters has emerged as a promising anticancer strategy, due to a potential role in gene expression regulation. We explored the ability of BMH-21 (1) and its analogue BA-41 (2) to bind the G-quadruplex structure present in the c-KIT promoter by biophysical methods and molecular modeling. We provide evidence that both compounds interact with the c-KIT 21-mer sequence. The stable monomeric intramolecular parallel G-quadruplex obtained by the mutation of positions 12 and 21 allowed the precise determination of the binding mode by NMR and molecular dynamics studies. Both compounds form a complex characterized by one ligand molecule positioned over the tetrad at the 3′-end, stabilized by an extensive network of π–π interactions. The binding constants (Kb) obtained with fluorescence are similar for both complexes (around 106 M−1). Compound BA-41 (2) showed significant antiproliferative activity against a human lymphoma cell line, SU-DHL4, known to express substantial levels of c-KIT. However, the partial inhibition of c-KIT expression by Western blot analysis suggested that the interaction of compound 2 with the c-KIT promoter is not the primary event and that multiple effects provide a contribution as determinants of biological activity. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCase Report
Novel SCN5A p.W697X Nonsense Mutation Segregation in a Family with Brugada Syndrome
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(19), 4920; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20194920 - 04 Oct 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 877
Abstract
Brugada syndrome (BrS) is marked by an elevated ST-segment elevation and increased risk of sudden cardiac death. Variants in the SCN5A gene are considered to be molecular confirmation of the syndrome in about one third of cases, while the genetics remain a mystery [...] Read more.
Brugada syndrome (BrS) is marked by an elevated ST-segment elevation and increased risk of sudden cardiac death. Variants in the SCN5A gene are considered to be molecular confirmation of the syndrome in about one third of cases, while the genetics remain a mystery in about half of the cases, with the remaining cases being attributed to variants in any of a number of genes. Before research models can be developed, it is imperative to understand the genetics in patients. Even data from humans is complicated, since variants in the most common gene in BrS, SCN5A, are associated with a number of pathologies, or could even be considered benign, depending on the variant. Here, we provide crucial human data on a novel NM_198056.2:c.2091G>A (p.Trp697X) point-nonsense heterozygous variant in the SCN5A gene, as well as its segregation with BrS. The results herein suggest a pathogenic effect of this variant. These results could be used as a stepping stone for functional studies to better understand the molecular effects of this variant in BrS. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Mitochondrial Genomes of Two Thaparocleidus Species (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea) Reveal the First rRNA Gene Rearrangement among the Neodermata
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(17), 4214; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20174214 - 28 Aug 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 984
Abstract
Phylogenetic framework for the closely related Ancylodiscoidinae and Ancyrocephalinae subfamilies remains contentious. As this issue was never studied using a large molecular marker, we sequenced the first two Ancylodiscoidinae mitogenomes: Thaparocleidus asoti and Thaparocleidus varicus. Both mitogenomes had two non-coding regions (NCRs) [...] Read more.
Phylogenetic framework for the closely related Ancylodiscoidinae and Ancyrocephalinae subfamilies remains contentious. As this issue was never studied using a large molecular marker, we sequenced the first two Ancylodiscoidinae mitogenomes: Thaparocleidus asoti and Thaparocleidus varicus. Both mitogenomes had two non-coding regions (NCRs) that contained a number of repetitive hairpin-forming elements (RHE). Due to these, the mitogenome of T. asoti (16,074 bp) is the longest among the Monogenea; especially large is its major NCR, with 3500 bp, approximately 1500 bp of which could not be sequenced (thus, the total mitogenome size is ≈ 17,600 bp). Although RHEs have been identified in other monopisthocotyleans, they appear to be independently derived in different taxa. The presence of RHEs may have contributed to the high gene order rearrangement rate observed in the two mitogenomes, including the first report of a transposition of rRNA genes within the Neodermata. Phylogenetic analyses using mitogenomic dataset produced Dactylogyrinae embedded within the Ancyrocephalinae (paraphyly), whereas Ancylodiscoidinae formed a sister-group with them. This was also supported by the gene order analysis. 28S rDNA dataset produced polyphyletic Dactylogyridae and Ancyrocephalinae. The phylogeny of the two subfamilies shall have to be further evaluated with more data. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop