In this article we present evidence for a relationship between chromosome gene loci and the topological properties of the protein-protein interaction network corresponding to the set of genes under consideration. Specifically, for each chromosome of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome, the distribution of the intra-chromosome inter-gene distances was analyzed and a positive correlation with the distance among the corresponding proteins of the protein-protein interaction network was found. In order to study this relationship we used concepts based on non-parametric statistics and information theory.
We provide statistical evidence that if two genes are closely located, then it is likely that their protein products are closely located in the protein-protein interaction network, or in other words, that they are involved in the same biological process.
Peroxisomes are subcellular organelles involved in lipid metabolic processes, including those of very-long-chain fatty acids and branched-chain fatty acids, among others. Peroxisome matrix proteins are synthesized in the cytoplasm. Targeting signals (PTS or peroxisomal targeting signal) at the C-terminus (PTS1) or N-terminus (PTS2) of peroxisomal matrix proteins mediate their import into the organelle. In the case of PTS2-containing proteins, the PTS2 signal is cleaved from the protein when transported into peroxisomes. The functional mechanism of PTS2 processing, however, is poorly understood. Previously we identified Tysnd1 (Trypsin domain containing 1) and biochemically characterized it as a peroxisomal cysteine endopeptidase that directly processes PTS2-containing prethiolase Acaa1 and PTS1-containing Acox1, Hsd17b4, and ScpX. The latter three enzymes are crucial components of the very-long-chain fatty acids β-oxidation pathway. To clarify the in vivo functions and physiological role of Tysnd1, we analyzed the phenotype of Tysnd1−/− mice. Male Tysnd1−/− mice are infertile, and the epididymal sperms lack the acrosomal cap. These phenotypic features are most likely the result of changes in the molecular species composition of choline and ethanolamine plasmalogens. Tysnd1−/− mice also developed liver dysfunctions when the phytanic acid precursor phytol was orally administered. Phyh and Agps are known PTS2-containing proteins, but were identified as novel Tysnd1 substrates. Loss of Tysnd1 interferes with the peroxisomal localization of Acaa1, Phyh, and Agps, which might cause the mild Zellweger syndrome spectrum-resembling phenotypes. Our data established that peroxisomal processing protease Tysnd1 is necessary to mediate the physiological functions of PTS2-containing substrates.
Peroxisomes are subcellular organelles that are present in almost all eukaryotic cells. The syllables “per-oxi” reflect the oxidative functions of these single-membrane-bound organelles in various metabolic processes, including those of very-long-chain fatty acids and branched-chain fatty acids. In an earlier study we identified a protease named Tysnd1 that is specifically located in the peroxisomes and processes the enzymes catalyzing the peroxisomal β-oxidation of very-long-chain fatty acids. In this study, we identified two novel Tysnd1 substrates, Agps and Phyh, which are involved in plasmalogen synthesis and phytanic acid metabolism, respectively. To further investigate the in vivo function of Tysnd1, we analyzed Tysnd1 knock-out mice. Mice that lack Tysnd1 showed reduced peroxisomal β-oxidation activity and an altered plasmalogen composition, as well as an abnormal phytanic acid metabolism. Male infertility is one of the major phenotypic manifestations of Tysnd1 deficiency. Our data support the idea that Tysnd1 affects the localization and activity of some of its substrates inside peroxisomes. Altogether, our Tysnd1-deficient mouse model expands the current peroxisome biology knowledge with regard to the molecular pathogenic mechanisms that may be relevant to some patients with Zellweger syndrome spectrum disorders.
A unique synaptic activity-responsive element (SARE) sequence, composed of the consensus binding sites for SRF, MEF2 and CREB, is necessary for control of transcriptional upregulation of the Arc gene in response to synaptic activity. We hypothesize that this sequence is a broad mechanism that regulates gene expression in response to synaptic activation and during plasticity; and that analysis of SARE-containing genes could identify molecular mechanisms involved in brain disorders. To search for conserved SARE sequences in the mammalian genome, we used the SynoR in silico tool, and found the SARE cluster predominantly in the regulatory regions of genes expressed specifically in the nervous system; most were related to neural development and homeostatic maintenance. Two of these SARE sequences were tested in luciferase assays and proved to promote transcription in response to neuronal activation. Supporting the predictive capacity of our candidate list, up-regulation of several SARE containing genes in response to neuronal activity was validated using external data and also experimentally using primary cortical neurons and quantitative real time RT-PCR. The list of SARE-containing genes includes several linked to mental retardation and cognitive disorders, and is significantly enriched in genes that encode mRNA targeted by FMRP (fragile X mental retardation protein). Our study thus supports the idea that SARE sequences are relevant transcriptional regulatory elements that participate in plasticity. In addition, it offers a comprehensive view of how activity-responsive transcription factors coordinate their actions and increase the selectivity of their targets. Our data suggest that analysis of SARE-containing genes will reveal yet-undescribed pathways of synaptic plasticity and additional candidate genes disrupted in mental disease.
The capsaicinoids are a group of compounds produced by chili pepper fruits and are used widely in many fields, especially in medical purposes. The capsaicinoid biosynthetic pathway has not yet been established clearly. To understand more knowledge in biosynthesis of capsaicinoids, we applied RNA-seq for the mixture of placenta and pericarp of pungent pepper (Capsicum frutescens L.). We have assessed the effect of various assembly parameters using different assembly software, and obtained one of the best strategies for de novo assembly of transcriptome data. We obtained a total 54,045 high-quality unigenes (transcripts) using Trinity software. About 92.65% of unigenes showed similarity to the public protein sequences, genome of potato and tomato and pepper (C. annuum) ESTs databases. Our results predicted 3 new structural genes (DHAD, TD, PAT), which filled gaps of the capsaicinoid biosynthetic pathway predicted by Mazourek, and revealed new candidate genes involved in capsaicinoid biosynthesis based on KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) analysis. A significant number of SSR (Simple Sequence Repeat) and SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) markers were predicted in C. frutescens and C. annuum sequences, which will be helpful in the identification of polymorphisms within chili pepper populations. These data will provide new insights to the pathway of capsaicinoid biosynthesis and subsequent research of chili peppers. In addition, our strategy of de novo transcriptome assembly is applicable to a wide range of similar studies.
The pandemic 2009-H1N1 influenza virus circulated in the human population and caused thousands deaths worldwide. Studies on pandemic influenza vaccines have shown that T cell recognition to conserved epitopes and cross-reactive T cell responses are important when new strains emerge, especially in the absence of antibody cross-reactivity. In this work, using HLA-B*4405 and DM1-TCR structure model, we systematically generated high confidence conserved 2009-H1N1 T cell epitope candidates and investigated their potential cross-reactivity against H5N1 avian flu virus.
Molecular docking analysis of differential DM1-TCR recognition of the 2009-H1N1 epitope candidates yielded a mosaic epitope (KEKMNTEFW) and potential H5N1 HA cross-reactive epitopes that could be applied as multivalent peptide towards influenza A vaccine development. Structural models of TCR cross-recognition between 2009-H1N1 and 2004-H5N1 revealed steric and topological effects of TCR contact residue mutations on TCR binding affinity.
The results are novel with regard to HA epitopes and useful for developing possible vaccination strategies against the rapidly changing influenza viruses. Yet, the challenge of identifying epitope candidates that result in heterologous T cell immunity under natural influenza infection conditions can only be overcome if more structural data on the TCR repertoire become available.
The identification of B-cell epitopes is an important step to study the antigen- antibody interactions for diagnosis and therapy. The present study aimed to identify B- cell epitopes of osmotin using bioinformatic tools and further modify these regions to study the allergenic property. B-cell epitopes were predicted based on amino acid physicochemical properties. Three single point mutations M1, M2, and M3 and a multiple point mutant (M123) were selected to disrupt the IgE binding. These mutants were cloned, expressed and proteins purified to homogeneity. The IgE binding of the purified proteins was evaluated by ELISA and ELISA inhibition with patients' sera. Three regions of osmotin M1 (57–70 aa), M2 (72–85 aa) and M3 (147–165 aa) were identified as potential antibody recognition sites using in silico tools. The sequence similarity search of the predicted epitopes of osmotin using Structural Database of Allergenic proteins (SDAP) showed similarity with known allergens from tomato, kiwifruit, bell pepper, apple, mountain cedar and cypress. Mutants M1, M2 and M3 showed up to 72%, 60% and 76% reduction, respectively in IgE binding whereas M123 showed up to 90% reduction with patients' sera. The immunoblot of M123 mutant showed 40% reduction in spot density as compared to osmotin. All mutants showed decreased inhibition potency with M123 exhibiting lowest potency of 32% with osmotin positive pooled patients' sera. The three B- cell epitopes of osmotin predicted by in silico method correlated with the experimental approach. The mutant M123 showed a reduction of 90% in IgE binding. The present method may be employed for prediction of B- cell epitopes of allergenic proteins.
Gene expression of reproductive system of the black tiger shrimp (Peneaus monodon) has been widely studied to address poor maturation problem in captivity. However, a systematic evaluation of reference genes in quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) for P. monodon reproductive organs is lacking. In this study, the stability of four potential reference genes (18s rRNA, GAPDH, β-actin, and EF1-α) was examined in the reproductive tissues in various conditions using bioinformatic tools: NormFinder and geNorm. For NormFinder, EF1-α and GAPDH ranked first and second as the most stable genes in testis groups whereas GAPDH and EF1-α were for ovaries from wild-caught broodstock and domesticated groups. EF1-α and β-actin ranked first and second for the eyestalk ablated ovaries. For geNorm, EF1-α and GAPDH had the best stability in all testis and ovaries from domesticated groups whereas EF1-α and β-actin were the best for ovaries from wild-caught and eyestalk ablated groups. Moreover, the expression levels of two well-known reproductive genes, Dmc1 and Vitellogenin, were used to validate these reference genes. When normalized to EF1-α, the expected expression patterns were obtained in all cases. Therefore, this work suggests that EF1-α is more versatile as reference genes in qPCR analysis for reproductive system in P. monodon.
This study is the first report to suggest a morphological phylogenetic framework for the seven varieties of Ficus deltoidea Jack (Ficus: Moraceae) from the Malay Peninsula of Malaysia. Several molecular-based classifications on the genus Ficus had been proposed, but neither had discussed the relationship between seven varieties of F. deltoidea to its allies nor within the varieties. The relationship between seven varieties of F. deltoidea is still debated due to the extreme morphological variabilities and ambiguous boundaries between taxa. Thus, the correct identification of these varieties is important as several morphological characters are variety-specific. To test the monophyly and further resolved the relationship in F. deltoidea, a morphological phylogenetic analysis was conducted based on herbarium specimens representing the seven varieties of F. deltoidea that were collected from the Malay Peninsula of Malaysia, by using related species of the genus Ficus; F. grossularioides, F. ischnopoda and F. oleifolia as the outgroups. Parsimony and neighbour-joining analyses indicated that F. deltoidea is monophyletic, in that the seven varieties of F. deltoidea nested into two clades; clade subspecies deltoidea (var. deltoidea, var. bilobata, var. angustifolia, var. kunstleri and var. trengganuensis) and clade subspecies motleyana (var. intermedia and var. motleyana).
Natural antisense transcripts are endogenous transcripts that are complementary to the sense-strand of DNA. These transcripts have been identified in various eukaryotic species and are involved in a broad range of regulatory events and biological processes. However, their general biological functions, expression characteristics and regulatory mechanisms are still unclear. In this study, 497 liver and 586 muscle samples were harvested from a White Duroc×Erhualian F2 resource population. The expression profiles of sense and antisense transcripts were determined by tag-based RNA sequencing. We identified 33.7% and 20.4% of transcripts having both sense and antisense expression, and 12.5% and 6.1% of transcripts only expressing antisense transcripts in liver and muscle, respectively. More than 32.2% of imprinting or predicted imprinting genes in the geneimprint database were detected with both sense and antisense expression. The correlations between sense and antisense expression in sense-antisense pairs were diverse in both liver and muscle, showing positive, negative or absent correlation. Antisense expression increases gene expression variability. More interestingly, compared to eQTL mapping of sense transcripts in which more than one eQTL was mapped for a transcript, only one eQTL was identified for each antisense transcript, and the percentage of cis-eQTL in antisense eQTL was higher than that in sense eQTL. This suggests that the expressions of antisense transcripts tend to be cis-regulated by a single genomic locus. To our knowledge, this study is the first systematical investigation of antisense transcription in pigs. The findings improve our understanding of the complexity of porcine transcriptome.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in the regulation of rodent tooth development, but little is known about their role in tooth development in large mammals. We identified 637 unique miRNA sequences in a large-scale screen for miRNA expression profiles in the developing lower deciduous molars of miniature pigs (Sus scrofa) using Illumina Solexa deep sequencing. These candidate miRNAs and another 105 known Sus scrofa miRNAs were included in the custom-designed microarray and used to analyze the miRNA expression profile in the bud, cap, early bell, and late bell stages of tooth development. Microarray analysis revealed 166 transcripts that were differentially expressed in the four stages. Bioinformatic analysis identified 18 key miRNAs, including let-7f, miR-128, miR-200b, and miR-200c, that might play key roles in tooth development. Taken together, our results not only identified the specific microRNAome and expression profile in developing lower deciduous molars of the miniature pig, but they also provided useful information for investigating the molecular mechanism of tooth development in the miniature pig.
The theme of the 2012 International Conference on Bioinformatics (InCoB) in Bangkok, Thailand was "From Biological Data to Knowledge to Technological Breakthroughs." Besides providing a forum for life scientists and bioinformatics researchers in the Asia-Pacific region to meet and interact, the conference also hosted thematic sessions on the Pan-Asian Pacific Genome Initiative and immunoinformatics. Over the seven years of conference papers published in BMC Bioinformatics and four years in BMC Genomics, we note that there is increasing interest in the applications of -omics technologies to the understanding of diseases, as a forerunner to personalized genomic medicine.
Ten years ago when Asia-Pacific Bioinformatics Network held the first International Conference on Bioinformatics (InCoB) in Bangkok its theme was North-South Networking. At that time InCoB aimed to provide biologists and bioinformatics researchers in the Asia-Pacific region a forum to meet, interact with, and disseminate knowledge about the burgeoning field of bioinformatics. Meanwhile InCoB has evolved into a major regional bioinformatics conference that attracts not only talented and established scientists from the region but increasingly also from East Asia, North America and Europe. Since 2006 InCoB yielded 114 articles in BMC Bioinformatics supplement issues that have been cited nearly 1,000 times to date. In part, these developments reflect the success of bioinformatics education and continuous efforts to integrate and utilize bioinformatics in biotechnology and biosciences in the Asia-Pacific region. A cross-section of research leading from biological data to knowledge and to technological applications, the InCoB2012 theme, is introduced in this editorial. Other highlights included sessions organized by the Pan-Asian Pacific Genome Initiative and a Machine Learning in Immunology competition. InCoB2013 is scheduled for September 18-21, 2013 at Suzhou, China.
To better understand abscisic acid (ABA) regulation of the synthesis of chloroplast proteins in maize (Zea mays L.) in response to drought and light, we compared leaf proteome differences between maize ABA-deficient mutant vp5 and corresponding wild-type Vp5 green and etiolated seedlings exposed to drought stress. Proteins extracted from the leaves of Vp5 and vp5 seedlings were used for two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and subsequent matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS). After Coomassie brilliant blue staining, approximately 450 protein spots were reproducibly detected on 2-DE gels. A total of 36 differentially expressed protein spots in response to drought and light were identified using MALDI-TOF MS and their subcellular localization was determined based on the annotation of reviewed accession in UniProt Knowledgebase and the software prediction. As a result, corresponding 13 proteins of the 24 differentially expressed protein spots were definitely localized in chloroplasts and their expression was in an ABA-dependent way, including 6 up-regulated by both drought and light, 5 up-regulated by drought but down-regulated by light, 5 up-regulated by light but down-regulated by drought; 5 proteins down-regulated by drought were mainly those involved in photosynthesis and ATP synthesis. Thus, the results in the present study supported the vital role of ABA in regulating the synthesis of drought- and/or light-induced proteins in maize chloroplasts and would facilitate the functional characterization of ABA-induced chloroplast proteins in C4 plants.
Comparative analyses between human disease and non-disease genes are of great interest in understanding human disease gene evolution. However, the progression of neurodegenerative diseases (NDD) involving amyloid formation in specific brain regions is still unknown. Therefore, in this study, we mainly focused our analysis on the evolutionary features of human NDD genes with respect to non-disease genes. Here, we observed that human NDD genes are evolutionarily conserved relative to non-disease genes. To elucidate the conserved nature of NDD genes, we incorporated the evolutionary attributes like gene expression level, number of regulatory miRNAs, protein connectivity, intrinsic disorder content and relative aggregation propensity in our analysis. Our studies demonstrate that NDD genes have higher gene expression levels in favor of their lower evolutionary rates. Additionally, we observed that NDD genes have higher number of different regulatory miRNAs target sites and also have higher interaction partners than the non-disease genes. Moreover, miRNA targeted genes are known to have higher disorder content. In contrast, our analysis exclusively established that NDD genes have lower disorder content. In favor of our analysis, we found that NDD gene encoded proteins are enriched with multi interface hubs (party hubs) with lower disorder contents. Since, proteins with higher disorder content need to adapt special structure to reduce their aggregation propensity, NDD proteins found to have elevated relative aggregation propensity (RAP) in support of their lower disorder content. Finally, our categorical regression analysis confirmed the underlined relative dominance of protein connectivity, 3′UTR length, RAP, nature of hubs (singlish/multi interface) and disorder content for such evolutionary rates variation between human NDD genes and non-disease genes.
The phenomenon of pistil abortion widely occurs in Japanese apricot, and imperfect flowers with pistil abortion seriously decrease the yield in production. Although transcriptome analyses have been extensively studied in the past, a systematic study of differential gene expression has not been performed in Japanese apricot. To investigate genes related to the pistil development of Japanese apricot, high-throughput sequencing technology (Illumina) was employed to survey gene expression profiles from perfect and imperfect Japanese apricot flower buds. 3,476,249 and 3,580,677 tags were sequenced from two libraries constructed from perfect and imperfect flower buds of Japanese apricot, respectively. There were 689 significant differentially-expressed genes between the two libraries. GO annotation revealed that highly ranked genes were those implicated in small molecule metabolism, cellular component organisation or biogenesis at the cellular level and fatty acid metabolism. According to the results, we assumed that late embryogenesis abundant protein (LEA), Dicer-like 3 (DCL3) Xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase 2 (XTH2), Pectin lyase-like superfamily protein (PPME1), Lipid transfer protein 3 (LTP3), Fatty acid biosynthesis 1 (FAB1) and Fatty acid desaturase 5 (FAD5) might have relationships with the pistil abortion in Japanese apricot. The expression patterns of 36 differentially expressed genes were confirmed by real-time (RT)-PCR. This is the first report of the Illumina RNA-seq technique being used for the analysis of differentially-expressed gene profiles related to pistil abortion that both computationally and experimentally provides valuable information for the further functional characterisation of genes associated with pistil development in woody plants.
In the last years, there was an exponential increase in the number of publicly available genomes. Once finished, most genome projects lack financial support to review annotations. A few of these gene annotations are based on a combination of bioinformatics evidence, however, in most cases, annotations are based solely on sequence similarity to a previously known gene, which was most probably annotated in the same way. As a result, a large number of predicted genes remain unassigned to any functional category despite the fact that there is enough evidence in the literature to predict their function. We developed a classifier trained with term-frequency vectors automatically disclosed from text corpora of an ensemble of genes representative of each functional category of the J. Craig Venter Institute Comprehensive Microbial Resource (JCVI-CMR) ontology. The classifier achieved up to 84% precision with 68% recall (for confidence≥0.4), F-measure 0.76 (recall and precision equally weighted) in an independent set of 2,220 genes, from 13 bacterial species, previously classified by JCVI-CMR into unambiguous categories of its ontology. Finally, the classifier assigned (confidence≥0.7) to functional categories a total of 5,235 out of the ∼24 thousand genes previously in categories “Unknown function” or “Unclassified” for which there is literature in MEDLINE. Two biologists reviewed the literature of 100 of these genes, randomly picket, and assigned them to the same functional categories predicted by the automatic classifier. Our results confirmed the hypothesis that it is possible to confidently assign genes of a real world repository to functional categories, based exclusively on the automatic profiling of its associated literature. The LitProf - Gene Classifier web server is accessible at: www.cebio.org/litprofGC.
Quantitative RT-PCR can be a very sensitive and powerful technique for measuring differential gene expression. Changes in gene expression induced by abiotic stresses are complex and multifaceted, which make determining stably expressed genes for data normalization difficult. To identify the most suitable reference genes for abiotic stress studies in soybean, 13 candidate genes collected from literature were evaluated for stability of expression under dehydration, high salinity, cold and ABA (abscisic acid) treatments using delta CT and geNorm approaches. Validation of reference genes indicated that the best reference genes are tissue- and stress-dependent. With respect to dehydration treatment, the Fbox/ABC, Fbox/60s gene pairs were found to have the highest expression stability in the root and shoot tissues of soybean seedlings, respectively. Fbox and 60s genes are the most suitable reference genes across dehydrated root and shoot tissues. Under salt stress the ELF1b/IDE and Fbox/ELF1b are the most stably expressed gene pairs in roots and shoots, respectively, while 60s/Fbox is the best gene pair in both tissues. For studying cold stress in roots or shoots, IDE/60s and Fbox/Act27 are good reference gene pairs, respectively. With regard to gene expression analysis under ABA treatment in either roots, shoots or across these tissues, 60s/ELF1b, ELF1b/Fbox and 60s/ELF1b are the most suitable reference genes, respectively. The expression of ELF1b/60s, 60s/Fbox and 60s/Fbox genes was most stable in roots, shoots and both tissues, respectively, under various stresses studied. Among the genes tested, 60s was found to be the best reference gene in different tissues and under various stress conditions. The highly ranked reference genes identified from this study were proved to be capable of detecting subtle differences in expression rates that otherwise would be missed if a less stable reference gene was used.
Lepidoptera insects have a novel development process comprising several metamorphic stages during their life cycle compared with vertebrate animals. Unlike most Lepidoptera insects that live on nectar during the adult stage, the Bombyx mori silkworm adults do not eat anything and die after egg-laying. In addition, the midguts of Lepidoptera insects produce antimicrobial proteins during the wandering stage when the larval tissues undergo numerous changes. The exact mechanisms responsible for these phenomena remain unclear.
We used the silkworm as a model and performed genome-wide transcriptional profiling of the midgut between the feeding stage and the wandering stage. Many genes concerned with metabolism, digestion, and ion and small molecule transportation were down-regulated during the wandering stage, indicating that the wandering stage midgut loses its normal functions. Microarray profiling, qRT-PCR and western blot proved the production of antimicrobial proteins (peptides) in the midgut during the wandering stage. Different genes of the immune deficiency (Imd) pathway were up-regulated during the wandering stage. However, some key genes belonging to the Toll pathway showed no change in their transcription levels. Unlike butterfly (Pachliopta aristolochiae), the midgut of silkworm moth has a layer of cells, indicating that the development of midgut since the wandering stage is not usual. Cell division in the midgut was observed only for a short time during the wandering stage. However, there was extensive cell apoptosis before pupation. The imbalance of cell division and apoptosis probably drives the continuous degeneration of the midgut in the silkworm since the wandering stage.
This study provided an insight into the mechanism of the degeneration of the silkworm midgut and the production of innate immunity-related proteins during the wandering stage. The imbalance of cell division and apoptosis induces irreversible degeneration of the midgut. The Imd pathway probably regulates the production of antimicrobial peptides in the midgut during the wandering stage.
Single amino acid variants (SAVs) are the most abundant form of known genetic variations associated with human disease. Successful prediction of the functional impact of SAVs from sequences can thus lead to an improved understanding of the underlying mechanisms of why a SAV may be associated with certain disease. In this work, we constructed a high-quality structural dataset that contained 679 high-quality protein structures with 2,048 SAVs by collecting the human genetic variant data from multiple resources and dividing them into two categories, i.e., disease-associated and neutral variants. We built a two-stage random forest (RF) model, termed as FunSAV, to predict the functional effect of SAVs by combining sequence, structure and residue-contact network features with other additional features that were not explored in previous studies. Importantly, a two-step feature selection procedure was proposed to select the most important and informative features that contribute to the prediction of disease association of SAVs. In cross-validation experiments on the benchmark dataset, FunSAV achieved a good prediction performance with the area under the curve (AUC) of 0.882, which is competitive with and in some cases better than other existing tools including SIFT, SNAP, Polyphen2, PANTHER, nsSNPAnalyzer and PhD-SNP. The sourcecodes of FunSAV and the datasets can be downloaded at http://sunflower.kuicr.kyoto-u.ac.jp/sjn/FunSAV.
The accumulation of glomerular extracellular matrix (ECM) is one of the critical pathological characteristics of diabetic renal fibrosis. Fibronectin (FN) is an important constituent of ECM. Our previous studies indicate that the activation of the sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1)-sphingosine 1- phosphate (S1P) signaling pathway plays a key regulatory role in FN production in glomerular mesangial cells (GMCs) under diabetic condition. Among the five S1P receptors, the activation of S1P2 receptor is the most abundant. Berberine (BBR) treatment also effectively inhibits SphK1 activity and S1P production in the kidneys of diabetic models, thus improving renal injury. Based on these data, we further explored whether BBR could prevent FN production in GMCs under diabetic condition via the S1P2 receptor. Here, we showed that BBR significantly down-regulated the expression of S1P2 receptor in diabetic rat kidneys and GMCs exposed to high glucose (HG) and simultaneously inhibited S1P2 receptor-mediated FN overproduction. Further, BBR also obviously suppressed the activation of NF-κB induced by HG, which was accompanied by reduced S1P2 receptor and FN expression. Taken together, our findings suggest that BBR reduces FN expression by acting on the S1P2 receptor in the mesangium under diabetic condition. The role of BBR in S1P2 receptor expression regulation could closely associate with its inhibitory effect on NF-κB activation.
Quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) has become an accurate and widely used technique to analyze expression levels of selected genes. It is very necessary to select appropriate reference genes for gene expression normalization. In the present study, we assessed the expression stability of 11 reference genes including eight traditional housekeeping genes and three novel genes in different tissues/organs and developing seeds from four cultivars of tung tree. All 11 reference genes showed a wide range of Ct values in all samples, indicating that they differently expressed. Three softwares – geNorm, NormFinder and BestKeeper – were used to determine the stability of these references except for ALB (2S albumin), which presented a little divergence. The results from the three softwares showed that ACT7 (Actin7a), UBQ (Ubiquitin), GAPDH (glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase) and EF1α (elongation factor 1-α) were the most stable reference genes across all of the tested tung samples and tung developing seeds, while ALB (2S albumin) was unsuitable as internal controls. ACT7, EF1β (elongation factor1-beta), GAPDH and TEF1 (transcription elongation factor 1) were the top four choices for different tissues/organs whereas LCR69 did not favor normalization of RT-qPCR in these tissues/organs. Meanwhile, the expression profiles of FAD2 and FADX were realized using stable reference genes. The relative quantification of the FAD2 and FADX genes varied according to the internal controls and the number of internal controls. The results further proved the importance of the choice of reference genes in the tung tree. These stable reference genes will be employed in normalization and quantification of transcript levels in future expression studies of tung genes.
Cytokinins (CKs) mediate cellular responses to drought stress and targeted control of CK metabolism can be used to develop drought-tolerant plants. Aiming to manipulate CK levels to improve drought tolerance of soybean cultivars through genetic engineering of CK metabolic genes, we surveyed the soybean genome and identified 14 CK biosynthetic (isopentenyltransferase, GmIPT) and 17 CK degradative (CK dehydrogenase, GmCKX) genes. Comparative analyses of GmIPTs and GmCKXs with Arabidopsis counterparts revealed their similar architecture. The average numbers of abiotic stress-inducible cis-elements per promoter were 0.4 and 1.2 for GmIPT and GmCKX genes, respectively, suggesting that upregulation of GmCKXs, thereby reduction of CK levels, maybe the major events under abiotic stresses. Indeed, the expression of 12 GmCKX genes was upregulated by dehydration in R2 roots. Overall, the expressions of soybean CK metabolic genes in various tissues at various stages were highly responsive to drought. CK contents in various organs at the reproductive (R2) stage were also determined under well-watered and drought stress conditions. Although tRNA-type GmIPT genes were highly expressed in soybean, cis-zeatin and its derivatives were found at low concentrations. Moreover, reduction of total CK content in R2 leaves under drought was attributable to the decrease in dihydrozeatin levels, suggesting a role of this molecule in regulating soybean's responses to drought stress. Our systematic analysis of the GmIPT and GmCKX families has provided an insight into CK metabolism in soybean under drought stress and a solid foundation for in-depth characterization and future development of improved drought-tolerant soybean cultivars by manipulation of CK levels via biotechnological approach.
CD2-associated protein (CD2AP) is an adaptor molecule involved in T cell receptor signaling and podocyte homeostasis. CD2AP-deficient mice develop nephritic syndrome and renal failure caused by glomerulosclerosis. Transcription factor E2F1 is a key regulator of cell proliferation and apoptosis. Here we report that E2F1 up-regulates the human CD2AP promoter and further increases the mRNA and protein levels of the human CD2AP in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells. By semi-quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot analysis we demonstrate that ectopic expression of E2F1 elevates the mRNA and protein levels of CD2AP. Consistently, transient transfection assays prove that overexpression of E2F1 transactivates the CD2AP promoter while knocking-down of endogenous E2F1 by a shRNA strategy results in reduction of the CD2AP promoter activity. Toward understanding the underlying mechanism of this regulation, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation and mutations of the putative Sp1 binding sites, demonstrating that E2F1 can bind to Sp1 binding site and overexpression of E2F1 is capable of increasing the binding of E2F1 and decreasing the binding of Sp1 to Sp1 binding sites.
Infestation of ovine skin with the ectoparasitic mite Psoroptes ovis results in the development of a rapid cutaneous inflammatory response, leading to the crusted skin lesions characteristic of sheep scab. To facilitate the identification of novel diagnostic and therapeutic targets, a better understanding of the host-parasite relationship in sheep scab is essential. Although our knowledge of the host's local cutaneous inflammatory response to sheep scab has increased in recent years, we still know relatively little about the mechanisms of this response at the systemic level. This study used a combined network and pathway analysis of the in vivo transcriptomic response of circulating leukocytes to infestation with P. ovis, during a 6 week period. Network graph analysis identified six temporally-associated gene clusters, which separated into two distinct sub-networks within the graph, representing those genes either up or down-regulated during the time course. Functional and pathway analysis of these clusters identified novel insights into the host systemic response to P. ovis infestation, including roles for the complement system, clotting cascade and fibrinolysis. These analyses also highlighted potential mechanisms by which the systemic immune response to sheep scab can influence local tissue responses via enhanced leukocyte activation and extravasation. By analysing the transcriptomic responses of circulating leukocytes in sheep following infestation with P. ovis, this study has provided key insights into the inflammatory response to infestation and has also demonstrated the utility of these cells as a proxy of events occurring at local tissue sites, providing insight into the mechanisms by which a local allergen-induced inflammatory response may be controlled.
Reverse transcription coupled with real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) is a frequently used method for gene expression profiling. Reference genes (RGs) are commonly employed to normalize gene expression data. A limited information exist on the gene expression and profiling in developing barley caryopsis. Expression stability was assessed by measuring the cycle threshold (Ct) range and applying both the GeNorm (pair-wise comparison of geometric means) and Normfinder (model-based approach) principles for the calculation. Here, we have identified a set of four RGs suitable for studying gene expression in the developing barley caryopsis. These encode the proteins GAPDH, HSP90, HSP70 and ubiquitin. We found a correlation between the frequency of occurrence of a transcript in silico and its suitability as an RG. This set of RGs was tested by comparing the normalized level of β-amylase (β-amy1) transcript with directly measured quantities of the BMY1 gene product in the developing barley caryopsis. This panel of genes could be used for other gene expression studies, as well as to optimize β-amy1 analysis for study of the impact of β-amy1 expression upon barley end-use quality.