Understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in disease is critical for the development of more effective and individualized strategies for prevention and treatment. The amount of disease-related literature, including new genetic information on the molecular mechanisms of disease, is rapidly increasing. Extracting beneficial information from literature can be facilitated by computational methods such as the knowledge-discovery approach. Several methods for mining gene-disease relationships using computational methods have been developed, however, there has been a lack of research evaluating specific disease candidate genes.
We present a novel method for gathering and prioritizing specific disease candidate genes. Our approach involved the construction of a set of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms for the effective retrieval of publications related to a disease candidate gene. Information regarding the relationships between genes and publications was obtained from the gene2pubmed database. The set of genes was prioritized using a “weighted literature score” based on the number of publications and weighted by the number of genes occurring in a publication. Using our method for the disease states of pain and Alzheimer’s disease, a total of 1101 pain candidate genes and 2810 Alzheimer’s disease candidate genes were gathered and prioritized. The precision was 0.30 and the recall was 0.89 in the case study of pain. The precision was 0.04 and the recall was 0.6 in the case study of Alzheimer’s disease. The precision-recall curve indicated that the performance of our method was superior to that of other publicly available tools.
Our method, which involved the use of a set of MeSH terms related to disease candidate genes and a novel weighted literature score, improved the accuracy of gathering and prioritizing candidate genes by focusing on a specific disease.
First, the urinary metabolic profiling by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), was performed to compare ten cadmium (Cd) toxicosis cases from a Cd-polluted area in Mae Sot (Thailand) with gender-matched healthy controls. Orthogonal partial list square-discrimination analysis was used to identify new biomarker candidates in highly Cd exposed toxicosis cases with remarkable renal tubular dysfunction. The results of the first step of this study showed that urinary citrate was a negative marker and myo-inositol was a positive marker for Cd toxicosis in Thailand. In the second step, we measured urinary citrate in the residents (168 Cd-exposed subjects and 100 controls) and found significantly lower levels of urinary citrate and higher ratios of calcium/citrate and magnesium/citrate, which are risk factors for nephrolithiasis, in highly Cd-exposed residents. Additionally, this inverse association of urinary citrate with urinary Cd was observed after adjustment for age, smoking and renal tubular dysfunction, suggesting a direct effect of Cd on citrate metabolism. These results indicate that urinary citrate is a useful biomarker for the adverse health effects of Cd exposure in a Thai population with a high prevalence of nephrolithiasis.
cadmium; metabolomics; orthogonal partial list square-discrimination analysis (OPLS-DA); urinary citrate; Thailand
Clostridium perfringens causes gas gangrene and gastrointestinal (GI) diseases in humans. The most common cause of C. perfringens-associated food poisoning is the consumption of C. perfringens vegetative cells followed by sporulation and production of enterotoxin in the gut. Despite the importance of spore formation in C. perfringens pathogenesis, the details of the regulation of sporulation have not yet been defined fully. In this study, microarray and bioinformatic analyses identified a candidate gene (the RNA regulator virX) for the repression of genes encoding positive regulators (Spo0A and sigma factors) of C. perfringens sporulation. A virX mutant constructed in the food poisoning strain SM101 had a much higher sporulation efficiency than that of the wild type. The transcription of sigE, sigF, and sigK was strongly induced at 2.5 h of culture of the virX mutant. Moreover, the transcription of the enterotoxin gene was also strongly induced in the virX mutant. Western blotting confirmed that the levels of enterotoxin production were higher in the virX mutant than in the wild type. These observations indicated that the higher levels of sporulation and enterotoxin production in the virX mutant were specifically due to inactivation of the virX gene. Since virX homologues were not found in any Bacillus species but were present in other clostridial species, our findings identify further differences in the regulation of sporulation between Bacillus and certain Clostridium species. The virX RNA regulator plays a key role in the drastic shift in lifestyle of the anaerobic flesh eater C. perfringens between the vegetative state (for gas gangrene) and the sporulating state (for food poisoning).
Cultivated strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) is octoploid and shows allogamous behaviour. The present study aims at dissecting this octoploid genome through comparison with its wild relatives, F. iinumae, F. nipponica, F. nubicola, and F. orientalis by de novo whole-genome sequencing on an Illumina and Roche 454 platforms. The total length of the assembled Illumina genome sequences obtained was 698 Mb for F. x ananassa, and ∼200 Mb each for the four wild species. Subsequently, a virtual reference genome termed FANhybrid_r1.2 was constructed by integrating the sequences of the four homoeologous subgenomes of F. x ananassa, from which heterozygous regions in the Roche 454 and Illumina genome sequences were eliminated. The total length of FANhybrid_r1.2 thus created was 173.2 Mb with the N50 length of 5137 bp. The Illumina-assembled genome sequences of F. x ananassa and the four wild species were then mapped onto the reference genome, along with the previously published F. vesca genome sequence to establish the subgenomic structure of F. x ananassa. The strategy adopted in this study has turned out to be successful in dissecting the genome of octoploid F. x ananassa and appears promising when applied to the analysis of other polyploid plant species.
Fragariax ananassa; wild Fragaria species; genome sequence assembly; comparative analysis; polyploidy
The swine-origin pandemic A(H1N1)2009 virus, A(H1N1)pdm09, is still circulating in parts of the human population. To monitor variants that may escape from vaccination specificity, antigenic characterization of circulating viruses is important. In this study, a hybridoma clone producing human monoclonal antibody against A(H1N1)pdm09, designated 5E4, was prepared using peripheral lymphocytes from a vaccinated volunteer. The 5E4 showed viral neutralization activity and inhibited hemagglutination. 5E4 escape mutants harbored amino acid substitutions (A189T and D190E) in the hemagglutinin (HA) protein, suggesting that 5E4 recognized the antigenic site Sb in the HA protein. To study the diversity of Sb in A(H1N1)pdm09, 58 viral isolates were obtained during the 2009/10 and 2010/11 winter seasons in Osaka, Japan. Hemagglutination-inhibition titers were significantly reduced against 5E4 in the 2010/11 compared with the 2009/10 samples. Viral neutralizing titers were also significantly decreased in the 2010/11 samples. By contrast, isolated samples reacted well to ferret anti-A(H1N1)pdm09 serum from both seasons. Nonsynonymous substitution rates revealed that the variant Sb and Ca2 sequences were being positively selected between 2009/10 and 2010/11. In 7,415 HA protein sequences derived from GenBank, variants in the antigenic sites Sa and Sb increased significantly worldwide from 2009 to 2013. These results indicate that the antigenic variants in Sb are likely to be in global circulation currently.
Tetraspanins organize protein complexes in tetraspanin-enriched membrane microdomains that are distinct from lipid rafts. Our previous studies suggested that reduction in the levels of tetraspanins CD9 and CD81 may be involved in the progression of inflammatory lung diseases, especially COPD. To search for agents that increase the levels of these tetraspanins, we screened 1,165 drugs in clinical use and found that statins upregulate CD9 and CD81 in RAW264.7 macrophages. The lipophilic statins, fluvastatin and simvastatin, reversed LPS-induced downregulation of CD9 and CD81, simultaneously preventing TNF-α and matrix metalloproteinase-9 production and spreading of RAW264.7 cells. These statins exerted anti-inflammatory effects in vitro in wild-type macrophages but not in CD9 knockout macrophages, and decreased lung inflammation in vivo in wild-type mice but not in CD9 knockout mice, suggesting that their effects are dependent on CD9. Mechanistically, the statins promoted reverse transfer of the LPS-signaling mediator CD14 from lipid rafts into CD9-enriched microdomains, thereby preventing LPS receptor formation. Finally, upregulation of CD9/CD81 by statins was related to blockade of GTPase geranylgeranylation in the mevalonate pathway. Our data underscore the importance of the negative regulator CD9 in lung inflammation, and suggest that statins exert anti-inflammatory effects by upregulating tetraspanin CD9 in macrophages.
Rickettsia japonica is an obligate intracellular alphaproteobacteria that causes tick-borne Japanese spotted fever, which has spread throughout East Asia. We determined the complete genomic DNA sequence of R. japonica type strain YH (VR-1363), which consists of 1,283,087 base pairs (bp) and 971 protein-coding genes. Comparison of the genomic DNA sequence of R. japonica with other rickettsiae in the public databases showed that 2 regions (4,323 and 216 bp) were conserved in a very narrow range of Rickettsia species, and the shorter one was inserted in, and disrupted, a preexisting open reading frame (ORF). While it is unknown how the DNA sequences were acquired in R. japonica genomes, it may be a useful signature for the diagnosis of Rickettsia species. Instead of the species-specific inserted DNA sequences, rickettsial genomes contain Rickettsia-specific palindromic elements (RPEs), which are also capable of locating in preexisting ORFs. Precise alignments of protein and DNA sequences involving RPEs showed that when a gene contains an inserted DNA sequence, each rickettsial ortholog carried an inserted DNA sequence at the same locus. The sequence, ATGAC, was shown to be highly frequent and thus characteristic in certain RPEs (RPE-4, RPE-6, and RPE-7). This finding implies that RPE-4, RPE-6, and RPE-7 were derived from a common inserted DNA sequence.
Geobacillus kaustophilus strain GBlys was isolated along with the bacteriophage ϕOH2, which infects G. kaustophilus NBRC 102445T. Here we present a draft sequence of this strain’s genome, which consists of 216 contigs for a total of 3,541,481 bp, 3,679 predicted coding sequences, and a G+C content of 52.1%.
Lactobacillus otakiensis strain JCM 15040T was isolated from an unsalted pickling solution used in the production of sunki, a traditional Japanese pickle. Here, we prepared a draft genome sequence for this strain consisting of 40 contigs containing a total of 2,347,132 bp, 2,310 predicted coding sequences, and a G+C content of 42.4%.
A majority of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) cells lack a metastasis suppressor, tetraspanin CD9, and CD9 expression promotes their apoptosis. By a proteomics-based approach, we compared an SCLC cell line with its CD9 transfectant and found that a calcium-binding neuronal protein, calretinin, is upregulated in CD9-positive SCLC cells. Ectopic or anticancer drug-induced CD9 expression upregulated calretinin, whereas CD9 knockdown down-regulated calretinin in SCLC cells. When calretinin was knocked down, CD9-positive SCLC cells revealed increased Akt phosphorylation and decreased apoptosis. These results suggest that CD9 positively regulates the expression of calretinin that mediates proapoptotic effect in SCLC cells.
•Most small cell lung cancer (SCLC) cells lack the metastatic suppressor CD9.•An SCLC cell line and its CD9 transfectant were compared by a proteomics approach.•Calretinin is upregulated in CD9 (+) SCLC cells.•Calretinin is a proapoptotic protein in CD9 (+) SCLC cells.
Small cell lung cancer; Proteomics; Tetraspanin; CD9; Calretinin; Apoptosis; SCLC, small cell lung cancer; NSCLC, nonsmall cell lung cancer; PARP, poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase; PMF, peptide mass fingerprinting; MALDI-TOF, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight; RT-PCR, reverse transcription-PCR; KO, knockout
Nori, a marine red alga, is one of the most profitable mariculture crops in the world. However, the biological properties of this macroalga are poorly understood at the molecular level. In this study, we determined the draft genome sequence of susabi-nori (Pyropia yezoensis) using next-generation sequencing platforms. For sequencing, thalli of P. yezoensis were washed to remove bacteria attached on the cell surface and enzymatically prepared as purified protoplasts. The assembled contig size of the P. yezoensis nuclear genome was approximately 43 megabases (Mb), which is an order of magnitude smaller than the previously estimated genome size. A total of 10,327 gene models were predicted and about 60% of the genes validated lack introns and the other genes have shorter introns compared to large-genome algae, which is consistent with the compact size of the P. yezoensis genome. A sequence homology search showed that 3,611 genes (35%) are functionally unknown and only 2,069 gene groups are in common with those of the unicellular red alga, Cyanidioschyzon merolae. As color trait determinants of red algae, light-harvesting genes involved in the phycobilisome were predicted from the P. yezoensis nuclear genome. In particular, we found a second homolog of phycobilisome-degradation gene, which is usually chloroplast-encoded, possibly providing a novel target for color fading of susabi-nori in aquaculture. These findings shed light on unexplained features of macroalgal genes and genomes, and suggest that the genome of P. yezoensis is a promising model genome of marine red algae.
We report the complete and annotated genome sequence of Bacillus cereus NC7401, a representative of the strain group that causes emetic-type food poisoning. The emetic toxin, cereulide, is produced by a nonribosomal protein synthesis (NRPS) system that is encoded by a gene cluster on a large resident plasmid, pNCcld.
Pediococcus lolii NGRI 0510QT was isolated from ryegrass silage produced on Ishigaki Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. Here we present a draft genome sequence for this strain, consisting of 103 contigs for a total of 2,047,078 bp, 2,154 predicted coding sequences, and a G+C content of 42.1%.
Influenza virus has the ability to evade host immune surveillance through rapid viral genetic drift and reassortment; therefore, it remains a continuous public health threat. The development of vaccines producing broadly reactive antibodies, as well as therapeutic strategies using human neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (HuMAbs) with global reactivity, has been gathering great interest recently. Here, three hybridoma clones producing HuMAbs against influenza B virus, designated 5A7, 3A2 and 10C4, were prepared using peripheral lymphocytes from vaccinated volunteers, and were investigated for broad cross-reactive neutralizing activity. Of these HuMAbs, 3A2 and 10C4, which recognize the readily mutable 190-helix region near the receptor binding site in the hemagglutinin (HA) protein, react only with the Yamagata lineage of influenza B virus. By contrast, HuMAb 5A7 broadly neutralizes influenza B strains that were isolated from 1985 to 2006, belonging to both Yamagata and Victoria lineages. Epitope mapping revealed that 5A7 recognizes 316G, 318C and 321W near the C terminal of HA1, a highly conserved region in influenza B virus. Indeed, no mutations in the amino acid residues of the epitope region were induced, even after the virus was passaged ten times in the presence of HuMAb 5A7. Moreover, 5A7 showed significant therapeutic efficacy in mice, even when it was administered 72 hours post-infection. These results indicate that 5A7 is a promising candidate for developing therapeutics, and provide insight for the development of a universal vaccine against influenza B virus.
Influenza virus is classified into types A, B and C. Influenza A virus is further divided into many subtypes, all of which exist in animals, indicating pandemic potential. By contrast, influenza B virus circulates almost exclusively in humans and, as there is no evidence for reassortment with influenza A virus, there is no indication of pandemic potential. Hence, there is far less accumulated research information regarding influenza B virus than influenza A virus. Influenza B virus, which is classified into two phylogenetic lineages, does, however, cause annual epidemics in humans and is therefore as essential to control as influenza A virus. Recently, the development of a universal vaccine and therapeutic strategies using human monoclonal antibodies (HuMAbs) has been gathering great interest. The present study reports a HuMAb neutralizing a wide range of influenza B viruses of both lineages. This HuMAb recognizes the conserved region of hemagglutinin. Moreover, therapeutic efficacy of this HuMAb was also confirmed by in vivo animal experiments. Thus, this study provides insight for the development of broad-spectrum therapeutics and a universal prophylactic vaccine against influenza B virus.
Apoptosis is a critical process in endothelial cell (EC) biology and pathology, which has been extensively studied at protein level. Numerous gene expression studies of EC apoptosis have also been performed, however few attempts have been made to use gene expression data to identify the molecular relationships and master regulators that underlie EC apoptosis. Therefore, we sought to understand these relationships by generating a Bayesian gene regulatory network (GRN) model.
ECs were induced to undergo apoptosis using serum withdrawal and followed over a time course in triplicate, using microarrays. When generating the GRN, this EC time course data was supplemented by a library of microarray data from EC treated with siRNAs targeting over 350 signalling molecules.
The GRN model proposed Vasohibin-1 (VASH1) as one of the candidate master-regulators of EC apoptosis with numerous downstream mRNAs. To evaluate the role played by VASH1 in EC, we used siRNA to reduce the expression of VASH1. Of 10 mRNAs downstream of VASH1 in the GRN that were examined, 7 were significantly up- or down-regulated in the direction predicted by the GRN.Further supporting an important biological role of VASH1 in EC, targeted reduction of VASH1 mRNA abundance conferred resistance to serum withdrawal-induced EC death.
We have utilised Bayesian GRN modelling to identify a novel candidate master regulator of EC apoptosis. This study demonstrates how GRN technology can complement traditional methods to hypothesise the regulatory relationships that underlie important biological processes.
Vasohibin; HUVEC; Bayesian; Gene regulatory network
In this study, we developed the first genetic linkage map for the major rice insect pest, the brown planthopper (BPH, Nilaparvata lugens). The linkage map was constructed by integrating linkage data from two backcross populations derived from three inbred BPH strains. The consensus map consists of 474 simple sequence repeats, 43 single-nucleotide polymorphisms, and 1 sequence-tagged site, for a total of 518 markers at 472 unique positions in 17 linkage groups. The linkage groups cover 1093.9 cM, with an average distance of 2.3 cM between loci. The average number of marker loci per linkage group was 27.8. The sex-linkage group was identified by exploiting X-linked and Y-specific markers. Our linkage map and the newly developed markers used to create it constitute an essential resource and a useful framework for future genetic analyses in BPH.
Nilaparvata lugens; brown planthopper; genetic linkage map; SSR; SNP
Pantoea agglomerans is a Gram-negative bacterium that grows symbiotically with various plants. Here we report the 4.8-Mb genome sequence of P. agglomerans strain IG1. The lipopolysaccharides derived from P. agglomerans IG1 have been shown to be effective in the prevention of various diseases, such as bacterial or viral infection, lifestyle-related diseases. This genome sequence represents a substantial step toward the elucidation of pathways for production of lipopolysaccharides.
α-Ketoglutaramate (KGM) is the α-keto acid analogue of glutamine, which exists mostly in equilibrium with a lactam form (2-hydroxy-5-oxoproline) under physiological conditions. KGM was identified in human urine and its concentration quantified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The keto acid was shown to be markedly elevated in urine obtained from patients with primary hyperammonemia due to an inherited metabolic defect in any one of the five enzymes of the urea cycle. Increased urinary KGM was also noted in other patients with primary hyperammonemia, including three patients with a defect resulting in lysinuric protein intolerance and one of two patients with a defect in the ornithine transporter I. These findings indicate disturbances in nitrogen metabolism, most probably at the level of glutamine metabolism in primary hyperammonemia diseases. Urinary KGM levels, however, were not well correlated with secondary hyperammonemia in patients with propionic acidemia or methylmalonic acidemia, possibly as a result, in part, of decreased glutamine levels. In conclusion, the GC/MS procedure has the required lower limit of quantification for analysis of urinary KGM, which is markedly increased in urea cycle disorders and other primary hyperammonemic diseases.
α-Ketoglutaramate; 2-hydroxy-5-oxoproline; GC/MS analysis of urine; Primary hyperammonemia; Secondary hyperammonemia; Urea cycle disorders
Although neurons are highly polarized, how neuronal polarity is generated remains poorly understood. An evolutionarily conserved inositol-producing enzyme myo-inositol monophosphatase (IMPase) is essential for polarized localization of synaptic molecules in Caenorhabditis elegans and can be inhibited by lithium, a drug for bipolar disorder. The synaptic defect of IMPase mutants causes defects in sensory behaviors including thermotaxis. Here we show that the abnormalities of IMPase mutants can be suppressed by mutations in two enzymes, phospholipase Cβ or synaptojanin, which presumably reduce the level of membrane phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2). We also found that mutations in phospholipase Cβ conferred resistance to lithium treatment. Our results suggest that reduction of PIP2 on plasma membrane is a major cause of abnormal synaptic polarity in IMPase mutants and provide the first in vivo evidence that lithium impairs neuronal PIP2 synthesis through inhibition of IMPase. We propose that the PIP2 signaling regulated by IMPase plays a novel and fundamental role in the synaptic polarity.
bipolar disorder; Caenorhabditis elegans; myo-inositol monophosphatase (IMPase); synapse; lithium
The filamentous fungus Aspergillus kawachii has traditionally been used for brewing the Japanese distilled spirit shochu. A. kawachii characteristically hyperproduces citric acid and a variety of polysaccharide glycoside hydrolases. Here the genome sequence of A. kawachii IFO 4308 was determined and annotated. Analysis of the sequence may provide insight into the properties of this fungus that make it superior for use in shochu production, leading to the further development of A. kawachii for industrial applications.