HLA genotyping by next generation sequencing (NGS) requires three basic steps, PCR, NGS, and allele assignment. Compared to the conventional methods, such as PCR-sequence specific oligonucleotide primers (SSOP) and -sequence based typing (SBT), PCR-NGS is extremely labor intensive and time consuming. In order to simplify and accelerate the NGS-based HLA genotyping method for multiple DNA samples, we developed and evaluated four multiplex PCR methods for genotyping up to nine classical HLA loci including HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-C, HLA-DRB1/3/4/5, HLA-DQB1, and HLA-DPB1.
We developed multiplex PCR methods using newly and previously designed middle ranged PCR primer sets for genotyping different combinations of HLA loci, (1) HLA-DRB1/3/4/5, (2) HLA-DQB1 (3.8 kb to 5.3 kb), (3) HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-C, and (4) HLA-DPB1 (4.6 kb to 7.2 kb). The primer sets were designed to genotype polymorphic exons to the field 3 level or 6-digit typing. When we evaluated the PCR method for genotyping all nine HLA loci (9LOCI) using 46 Japanese reference subjects who represented a distribution of more than 99.5% of the HLA alleles at each of the nine HLA loci, all of the 276 alleles genotyped, except for HLA-DRB3/4/5 alleles, were consistent with known alleles assigned by the conventional methods together with relevant locus balance and no excessive allelic imbalance. One multiplex PCR method (9LOCI) was able to provide precise genotyping data even when only 1 ng of genomic DNA was used for the PCR as a sample template.
In this study, we have demonstrated that the multiplex PCR approach for NGS-based HLA genotyping could serve as an alternative routine HLA genotyping method, possibly replacing the conventional methods by providing an accelerated yet robust amplification step. The method also could provide significant merits for clinical applications with its ability to amplify lower quantity of samples and the cost-saving factors.
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Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a complex and heritable eating disorder characterized by dangerously low body weight. Neither candidate gene studies nor an initial genome wide association study (GWAS) have yielded significant and replicated results. We performed a GWAS in 2,907 cases with AN from 14 countries (15 sites) and 14,860 ancestrally matched controls as part of the Genetic Consortium for AN (GCAN) and the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 3 (WTCCC3). Individual association analyses were conducted in each stratum and meta-analyzed across all 15 discovery datasets. Seventy-six (72 independent) SNPs were taken forward for in silico (two datasets) or de novo (13 datasets) replication genotyping in 2,677 independent AN cases and 8,629 European ancestry controls along with 458 AN cases and 421 controls from Japan. The final global meta-analysis across discovery and replication datasets comprised 5,551 AN cases and 21,080 controls. AN subtype analyses (1,606 AN restricting; 1,445 AN binge-purge) were performed. No findings reached genome-wide significance. Two intronic variants were suggestively associated: rs9839776 (P=3.01×10-7) in SOX2OT and rs17030795 (P=5.84×10-6) in PPP3CA. Two additional signals were specific to Europeans: rs1523921 (P=5.76×10-6) between CUL3 and FAM124B and rs1886797 (P=8.05×10-6) near SPATA13. Comparing discovery to replication results, 76% of the effects were in the same direction, an observation highly unlikely to be due to chance (P=4×10-6), strongly suggesting that true findings exist but that our sample, the largest yet reported, was underpowered for their detection. The accrual of large genotyped AN case-control samples should be an immediate priority for the field.
anorexia nervosa; eating disorders; GWAS; genome-wide association study; body mass index; metabolic
TSPAN8 encoding tetraspanin-8 was identified as a candidate gene for immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) by a genome-wide association study using microsatellites in the Japanese population. Tetraspanin-8 is a cell surface protein that contributes to the migration and invasion of epithelial cells.
We performed immunohistochemistry for tetraspanin-8 on human renal biopsy specimens associated with IgAN, antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated nephropathy and interstitial nephritis, as well as normal renal tissue. Furthermore, to study the potential function of tetraspanin-8, we performed cell migration and invasion assays using human renal tubule cells transfected with tetraspanin-8.
Tetraspanin-8 was often expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells and occasionally in tubule cells in normal kidney. In the kidneys of all types of nephropathy, tetraspanin-8 staining in the arteries was unaffected, but that in the tubules was enhanced. The degree of tubular staining negatively correlated with the estimated glomerular filtration rate, independently of the type of nephropathy. Tetraspanin-8-expressing tubule cells were found predominantly in distal and collecting tubules, identified by cytokeratin 7 or aquaporin 2 staining. In vitro studies using cultured tubule cells revealed that tetraspanin-8 promoted migration by 2.7-fold without laminin, by 2.8-fold with laminin and invasion into Matrigel by 3.5-fold, suggesting that enhanced tetraspanin-8 may be involved in the repair of tubules.
The obtained findings indicate that tetraspanin-8 expression is enhanced in injured distal tubules, which may be involved in the repair of tubules by facilitating migration and invasion.
Immunoglobulin A nephropathy; Tetraspanin; Tubulointerstitial injury; Migration
To study the male and female lineages of East Asian and European humans, we have sequenced 25 short tandem repeat markers on 453 Y-chromosomes and collected sequences of 72 complete mitochondrial genomes to construct independent phylogenetic trees for male and female lineages. The results indicate that East Asian individuals fall into two clades, one that includes East Asian individuals only and a second that contains East Asian and European individuals. Surprisingly, the European individuals did not form an independent clade, but branched within in the East Asians. We then estimated the divergence time of the root of the European clade as ∼41,000 years ago. These data indicate that, contrary to traditional views, Europeans diverged from East Asians around that time. We also address the origin of the Ainu lineage in northern Japan.
human evolution; individual lineages; mitochondrial DNA; Y-STR; East Asians; Europeans
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a complex and heritable eating disorder characterized by dangerously low body weight. Neither candidate gene studies nor an initial genome wide association study (GWAS) have yielded significant and replicated results. We performed a GWAS in 2,907 cases with AN from 14 countries (15 sites) and 14,860 ancestrally matched controls as part of the Genetic Consortium for AN (GCAN) and the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 3 (WTCCC3). Individual association analyses were conducted in each stratum and meta-analyzed across all 15 discovery datasets. Seventy-six (72 independent) SNPs were taken forward for in silico (two datasets) or de novo (13 datasets) replication genotyping in 2,677 independent AN cases and 8,629 European ancestry controls along with 458 AN cases and 421 controls from Japan. The final global meta-analysis across discovery and replication datasets comprised 5,551 AN cases and 21,080 controls. AN subtype analyses (1,606 AN restricting; 1,445 AN binge-purge) were performed. No findings reached genome-wide significance. Two intronic variants were suggestively associated: rs9839776 (P=3.01×10−7) in SOX2OT and rs17030795 (P=5.84×10−6) in PPP3CA. Two additional signals were specific to Europeans: rs1523921 (P=5.76×10−6) between CUL3 and FAM124B and rs1886797 (P=8.05×10−6) near SPATA13. Comparing discovery to replication results, 76% of the effects were in the same direction, an observation highly unlikely to be due to chance (P= 4×10−6), strongly suggesting that true findings exist but that our sample, the largest yet reported, was underpowered for their detection. The accrual of large genotyped AN case-control samples should be an immediate priority for the field.
anorexia nervosa; eating disorders; GWAS; genome-wide association study; body mass index; metabolic
Endometriosis is a chronic disease caused by the presence of endometrial tissue in ectopic locations outside the uterus. Chronic exposure to the environmental pollutant dioxin has been correlated with an increased incidence in the development of endometriosis in non-human primates. We have therefore examined whether there is an association between the polymorphisms of ten dioxin detoxification genes and endometriosis in Japanese women.
This was a pilot study in which 100 patients with endometriosis and 143 controls were enrolled. The prevalence of five microsatellite and 28 single nucleotide polymorphism markers within ten dioxin detoxification genes (AhR, AHRR, ARNT, CYP1A1, CYP2E1, EPHX1, GSTM1, GSTP1, GSTT1, NAT2) was examined.
Taking into account that this analysis was a preliminary study due to its small sample size and genetic power, the results did not show any statistically significant difference between the cases and controls for any of the allele and genotype frequency distributions examined. In addition, no significant associations between the allele/genotype of all polymorphisms and the stage (I–II or III–IV) of endometriosis were observed.
Based on the findings of this pilot study, we conclude the polymorphisms of the ten dioxin detoxification genes analyzed did not contribute to the etiology of endometriosis among our patients.
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Endometriosis; Dioxin detoxification genes; Single nucleotide polymorphisms; Microsatellite; Association study
Patients with Behçet's disease (BD) suffer from episodic inflammation often affecting the orogenital mucosa, skin, and eyes. To discover new BD-susceptibility loci, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 779,465 SNPs with imputed genotypes in 1,209 Turkish BD patients and 1,278 controls. We identified novel associations at CCR1, STAT4, and KLRC4. Additionally, two SNPs in ERAP1, encoding ERAP1 p.Asp575Asn and p.Arg725Gln, recessively conferred disease risk. These findings replicated in 1,468 independent Turkish and/or 1,352 Japanese samples (combined meta-analysis p < 2 × 10−9). We also found evidence for interaction between HLA-B*51 and ERAP1 (p = 9 × 10−4). The CCR1 and STAT4 variants were associated with gene expression differences. Three risk loci shared with ankylosing spondylitis and psoriasis (MHC-I, ERAP1, and IL23R, and the MHC-I-ERAP1 interaction), as well as two loci shared with inflammatory bowel disease (IL23R and IL10) implicate shared pathogenic pathways in the spondyloarthritides and BD.
β2-Microglobulin (β2M) is believed to have arisen in a basal jawed vertebrate (gnathostome) and is the essential L chain that associates with most MHC class I molecules. It contains a distinctive molecular structure called a constant-1 Ig superfamily domain, which is shared with other adaptive immune molecules including MHC class I and class II. Despite its structural similarity to class I and class II and its conserved function, β2M is encoded outside the MHC in all examined species from bony fish to mammals, but it is assumed to have translocated from its original location within the MHC early in gnathostome evolution. We screened a nurse shark bacterial artificial chromosome library and isolated clones containing β2M genes. A gene present in the MHC of all other vertebrates (ring3) was found in the bacterial artificial chromosome clone, and the close linkage of ring3 and β2M to MHC class I and class II genes was determined by single-strand conformational polymorphism and allele-specific PCR. This study satisfies the long-held conjecture that β2M was linked to the primordial MHC (Ur MHC); furthermore, the apparent stability of the shark genome may yield other genes predicted to have had a primordial association with the MHC specifically and with immunity in general.
Hexanchiformes is regarded as a monophyletic taxon, but the morphological and genetic relationships between the five extant species within the order are still uncertain. In this study, we determined the whole mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of seven sharks including representatives of the five Hexanchiformes, one squaliform, and one carcharhiniform and inferred the phylogenetic relationships among those species and 12 other Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fishes) species for which the complete mitogenome is available. The monophyly of Hexanchiformes and its close relation with all other Squaliformes sharks were strongly supported by likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of 13,749 aligned nucleotides of 13 protein coding genes and two rRNA genes that were derived from the whole mDNA sequences of the 19 species. The phylogeny suggested that Hexanchiformes is in the superorder Squalomorphi, Chlamydoselachus anguineus (frilled shark) is the sister species to all other Hexanchiformes, and the relations within Hexanchiformes are well resolved as Chlamydoselachus, (Notorynchus, (Heptranchias, (Hexanchus griseus, H. nakamurai))). Based on our phylogeny, we discussed evolutionary scenarios of the jaw suspension mechanism and gill slit numbers that are significant features in the sharks.
The aim of the study was to test whether estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1) gene polymorphisms are correlated with the risk of the development of endometriosis in Japanese women, as a preliminary study.
To compare allelic frequencies and genotype distributions, a case-control study of 100 affected women and 143 women with no evidence of disease was performed using 10 microsatellite repeat markers and 66 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the ESR1 gene region.
Although our results might be insufficient to detect genetic susceptibility, owing to the small sample size and low genetic power, statistical analysis of the differences in allelic frequency between the cases and controls at each microsatellite locus demonstrated that no microsatellite locus in the ESR1 gene displayed a significant association with the disease when multiple testing was taken into account. Also, there were no statistically significant differences in the SNP allele frequencies and genotypes between the cases and controls when multiple testing was taken into account.
The findings in our pilot study suggest that ESR1 polymorphisms do not contribute to endometriosis susceptibility.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12199-011-0259-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Endometriosis; Estrogen receptor-alpha gene; Endocrinology; Association study
The polymorphisms in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region are powerful tool for studying human evolutionary processes. We investigated genetic structure of Japanese by using five-locus HLA genotypes (HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1, and -DPB1) of 2,005 individuals from 10 regions of Japan. We found a significant level of population substructure in Japanese; particularly the differentiation between Okinawa Island and mainland Japanese. By using a plot of the principal component scores, we identified ancestry informative alleles associated with the underlying population substructure. We examined extent of linkage disequilibrium (LD) between pairs of HLA alleles on the haplotypes that were differentiated among regions. The LDs were strong and weak for pairs of HLA alleles characterized by low and high frequencies in Okinawa Island, respectively. The five-locus haplotypes whose alleles exhibit strong LD were unique to Japanese and South Korean, suggesting that these haplotypes had been recently derived from the Korean Peninsula. The alleles characterized by high frequency in Japanese compared to South Korean formed segmented three-locus haplotype that was commonly found in Aleuts, Eskimos, and North- and Meso-Americans but not observed in Korean and Chinese. The serologically equivalent haplotype was found in Orchid Island in Taiwan, Mongol, Siberia, and Arctic regions. It suggests that early Japanese who existed prior to the migration wave from the Korean Peninsula shared ancestry with northern Asian who moved to the New World via the Bering Strait land bridge. These results may support the admixture model for peopling of Japanese Archipelago.
A multicenter meta-analysis including data from 9389 psoriasis patients and 9477 control subjects was performed to investigate the contribution of the deletion of genes LCE3C and LCE3B, involved in skin barrier defense, to psoriasis susceptibility in different populations. The study confirms that the deletion of LCE3C and LCE3B is a common genetic factor for susceptibility to psoriasis in European populations [OROverall = 1.21 (1.15–1.27)], and for the first time directly demonstrated the deletion's association with psoriasis in [Chinese OR = 1.27 (1.16–1.34); Mongolian OR = 2.08 (1.44–2.99)] populations. The analysis of the HLA-Cw6 locus showed significant differences in the epistatic interaction with the LCE3C and LCE3B deletion in at least some European populations, indicating epistatic effects between these two major genetic contributors to psoriasis. The study highlights the value of examining genetic risk factors in multiple populations to identify genetic interactions, and indicates the need of further studies to understand the interaction of the skin barrier and the immune system in susceptibility to psoriasis.
Lattice degeneration of the retina is a vitreoretinal disorder characterized by a visible fundus lesion predisposing the patient to retinal tears and detachment. The etiology of this degeneration is still uncertain, but it is likely that both genetic and environmental factors play important roles in its development. To identify genetic susceptibility regions for lattice degeneration of the retina, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using a dense panel of 23,465 microsatellite markers covering the entire human genome. This GWAS in a Japanese cohort (294 patients with lattice degeneration and 294 controls) led to the identification of one microsatellite locus, D2S0276i, in the collagen type IV alpha 4 (COL4A4) gene on chromosome 2q36.3. To validate the significance of this observation, we evaluated the D2S0276i region in the GWAS cohort and in an independent Japanese cohort (280 patients and 314 controls) using D2S0276i and 47 single nucleotide polymorphisms covering the region. The strong associations were observed in D2S0276i and rs7558081 in the COL4A4 gene (Pc = 5.8×10−6, OR = 0.63 and Pc = 1.0×10−5, OR = 0.69 in a total of 574 patients and 608 controls, respectively). Our findings suggest that variants in the COL4A4 gene may contribute to the development of lattice degeneration of the retina.
As one of the leading causes of visual impairment and blindness, myopia poses a significant public health burden in Asia. The primary determinant of myopia is an elongated ocular axial length (AL). Here we report a meta-analysis of three genome-wide association studies on AL conducted in 1,860 Chinese adults, 929 Chinese children, and 2,155 Malay adults. We identified a genetic locus on chromosome 1q41 harboring the zinc-finger 11B pseudogene ZC3H11B showing genome-wide significant association with AL variation (rs4373767, β = −0.16 mm per minor allele, Pmeta = 2.69×10−10). The minor C allele of rs4373767 was also observed to significantly associate with decreased susceptibility to high myopia (per-allele odds ratio (OR) = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.68–0.84, Pmeta = 4.38×10−7) in 1,118 highly myopic cases and 5,433 controls. ZC3H11B and two neighboring genes SLC30A10 and LYPLAL1 were expressed in the human neural retina, retinal pigment epithelium, and sclera. In an experimental myopia mouse model, we observed significant alterations to gene and protein expression in the retina and sclera of the unilateral induced myopic eyes for the murine genes ZC3H11A, SLC30A10, and LYPLAL1. This supports the likely role of genetic variants at chromosome 1q41 in influencing AL variation and high myopia.
Myopic individuals exhibit an increase in ocular axial length (AL). As a highly heritable ocular biometry of refractive error, identification of quantitative trait loci influencing AL variation would be valuable in informing the biological etiology of myopia. We have determined that a genetic locus on chromosome 1q41 containing zinc-finger pseudogene ZC3H11B is associated with AL and high myopia through a meta-analysis of three genome-wide association scans on AL in Chinese and Malays, with validation for high myopia association in two additional Japanese cohorts. In addition, variations in the expression of murine gene ZC3H11A and two neighboring genes SLC30A10 and LYPLAL1 in the retina and sclera in a myopic mouse model implicate the role of these genes in myopia onset. To our knowledge, this is the first genome-wide survey of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variation of AL in Asians. Our results suggest that genetic variants at chromosome 1q41 have potential roles in both common and high myopia.
We made an H1N1 vaccine candidate from a virus library consisting of 144 ( = 16 HA×9 NA) non-pathogenic influenza A viruses and examined its protective effects against a pandemic (2009) H1N1 strain using immunologically naïve cynomolgus macaques to exclude preexisting immunity and to employ a preclinical study since preexisting immunity in humans previously vaccinated or infected with influenza virus might make comparison of vaccine efficacy difficult. Furthermore, macaques carrying a major histocompatibility complex class I molecule, Mafa-A1*052∶02, were used to analyze peptide-specific CD8+ T cell responses. Sera of macaques immunized with an inactivated whole particle formulation without addition of an adjuvant showed higher neutralization titers against the vaccine strain A/Hokkaido/2/1981 (H1N1) than did sera of macaques immunized with a split formulation. Neutralization activities against the pandemic strain A/Narita/1/2009 (H1N1) in sera of macaques immunized twice with the split vaccine reached levels similar to those in sera of macaques immunized once with the whole particle vaccine. After inoculation with the pandemic virus, the virus was detected in nasal samples of unvaccinated macaques for 6 days after infection and for 2.67 days and 5.33 days on average in macaques vaccinated with the whole particle vaccine and the split vaccine, respectively. After the challenge infection, recall neutralizing antibody responses against the pandemic virus and CD8+ T cell responses specific for nucleoprotein peptide NP262-270 bound to Mafa-A1*052∶02 in macaques vaccinated with the whole particle vaccine were observed more promptly or more vigorously than those in macaques vaccinated with the split vaccine. These findings demonstrated that the vaccine derived from our virus library was effective for pandemic virus infection in macaques and that the whole particle vaccine conferred more effective memory and broader cross-reactive immune responses to macaques against pandemic influenza virus infection than did the split vaccine.
To investigate whether interleukin 10 (IL10) gene polymorphisms are associated with the development of sarcoidosis in Japanese patients.
Two hundred and eighty-eight Japanese sarcoidosis patients and 310 Japanese healthy controls were recruited. We genotyped 9 single-nucleotide polymorphisms in IL10 and assessed the allelic diversity between cases and controls.
No significant differences in the frequency of IL10 alleles, genotypes, and haplotypes in the sarcoidosis cases compared to the controls were detected.
Our results suggest that IL10 polymorphisms are not significantly related to the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis in the Japanese population.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have yielded novel genetic loci underlying common diseases. We propose a systems genetics approach to utilize these discoveries for better understanding of the genetic architecture of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Current evidence of genetic associations with RA was sought through PubMed and the NHGRI GWAS catalog. The associations of 15 single nucleotide polymorphisms and HLA-DRB1 alleles were confirmed in 1,287 cases and 1,500 controls of Japanese subjects. Among these, HLA-DRB1 alleles and eight SNPs showed significant associations and all but one of the variants had the same direction of effect as identified in the previous studies, indicating that the genetic risk factors underlying RA are shared across populations. By receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, the area under the curve (AUC) for the genetic risk score based on the selected variants was 68.4%. For seropositive RA patients only, the AUC improved to 70.9%, indicating good but suboptimal predictive ability. A simulation study shows that more than 200 additional loci with similar effect size as recent GWAS findings or 20 rare variants with intermediate effects are needed to achieve AUC = 80.0%. We performed the random walk with restart (RWR) algorithm to prioritize genes for future mapping studies. The performance of the algorithm was confirmed by leave-one-out cross-validation. The RWR algorithm pointed to ZAP70 in the first rank, in which mutation causes RA-like autoimmune arthritis in mice. By applying the hierarchical clustering method to a subnetwork comprising RA-associated genes and top-ranked genes by the RWR, we found three functional modules relevant to RA etiology: “leukocyte activation and differentiation”, “pattern-recognition receptor signaling pathway”, and “chemokines and their receptors”.
These results suggest that the systems genetics approach is useful to find directions of future mapping strategies to illuminate biological pathways.
Sarcoidosis is a systemic inflammatory disease characterized by the formation of non-caseating granulomas, with varied clinical manifestations. The common etiology of sarcoidosis is uncertain, but it is thought to be triggered by an exogenous antigenic stimulus, such as some bacterial proteins. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) recognize microbial components and elicit innate as well as adaptive immune responses. It has been reported that polymorphisms in TLR2 might be important in a small group of Caucasian sarcoidosis patients. The present study aimed to establish whether these findings are relevant to the Japanese population.
We genotyped 5 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in TLR2 and assessed the allelic diversity between 257 Japanese sarcoidosis patients and 193 Japanese healthy controls.
No significant differences in the frequency of TLR2 alleles and haplotypes in the sarcoidosis cases were found in comparison with the controls. However, marginal associations were observed for TLR2 at rs3804099 and rs3804100 in sarcoidosis patients with cutaneous manifestations.
Our results suggest that TLR2 polymorphisms are not significantly related to the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis in the Japanese population.
To investigate whether the solute carrier family 1, member 3 (SLC1A3) gene, which encodes the glutamate aspartate transporter, is associated with normal tension glaucoma (NTG) in Japanese patients.
Two hundred and ninety-five Japanese patients with NTG and 518 Japanese healthy controls were recruited. Patients exhibiting comparatively early NTG onset were selected because early onset suggests that genetic factors may show stronger involvement. We genotyped 5 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in SLC1A3 and assessed the allelic and genotypic diversity among cases and controls.
There were no statistically significant differences in the frequency of SLC1A3 alleles and genotypes between cases and controls.
Our study showed no association between SLC1A3 and NTG, suggesting that the SLC1A3 gene may not be an associated factor in NTG pathogenesis.
Mouse transgenesis has proven invaluable for analysis of gene function and generation of human disease models. We describe here the development of a pronuclear injection-based targeted transgenesis (PITT) system, involving site-specific integration in fertilized eggs. The system was applied to two different genomic target loci to generate a series of transgenic lines including fluorescent mice, which reproducibly displayed strong, ubiquitous and stable transgene expression. We also demonstrated that knockdown mice could be readily generated by PITT by taking advantage of the reproducible and highly efficient expression system. The PITT system, which circumvents the problem of unpredictable and unstable transgene expression of conventional random-integration transgenic mice, reduces the time, cost and effort needed to generate transgenic mice, and is potentially applicable to both in vivo ‘gain-of-function’ and ‘loss-of-function’ studies.
The response of normal tissues in cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy varies, possibly due to genetic differences underlying variation in radiosensitivity.
Cancer patients (n = 360) were selected retrospectively from the RadGenomics project. Adverse effects within 3 months of radiotherapy completion were graded using the National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria; high grade group were grade 3 or more (n = 180), low grade group were grade 1 or less (n = 180). Pooled genomic DNA (gDNA) (n = 90 from each group) was screened using 23,244 microsatellites. Markers with different inter-group frequencies (Fisher exact test P < 0.05) were analyzed using the remaining pooled gDNA. Silencing RNA treatment was performed in cultured normal human skin fibroblasts.
Forty-seven markers had positive association values; including one in the SEMA3A promoter region (P = 1.24 × 10-5). SEMA3A knockdown enhanced radiation resistance.
This study identified 47 putative radiosensitivity markers, and suggested a role for SEMA3A in radiosensitivity.
To investigate whether the GLC1F locus is associated with normal tension glaucoma (NTG) in Japanese patients.
We recruited 242 unrelated Japanese subjects, including, 141 NTG patients and 101 healthy controls. The patients exhibiting a comparatively early onset were selected as they suggest that genetic factors may show stronger involvement. Genotyping and assessment of allelic diversity was performed on 11 highly polymorphic microsatellite markers in and around the GLC1F locus.
Individuals carrying the 163 allele of D7S1277i had a statistically significant increased risk of NTG (p=0.0013, pc=0.016, OR=2.47, 95%CI=1.42–4.30). None of the other markers identified significant loci (pc>0.05) after Bonferroni’s correction.
These findings suggested that the genes in the GLC1F locus may be associated with the pathogenesis of NTG.
Normal tension glaucoma (NTG) is a subtype of glaucoma in which intraocular pressure is within the statistically normal range. NTG may be associated with an immune disorder. The aim of this study was to determine whether specific alleles in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 genes correlated with NTG in Japanese patients.
We genotyped the HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 alleles in 113 Japanese patients with NTG and in 184 healthy Japanese control subjects using the polymerase chain reaction-sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes (PCR-SSOP) Luminex method. We assessed the allelic diversity in patients and controls.
There were no statistically significant differences in the allele frequency of HLADRB1 and HLA-DQB1 between NTG patients and control subjects, and no HLA-DRB1-HLA-DQB1 haplotypes demonstrated any significant association with NTG.
Our findings suggest that HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 polymorphisms have no significant effect on the development of NTG in Japanese patients.
There are two main classes of natural killer (NK) cell receptors in mammals, the killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) and the structurally unrelated killer cell lectin-like receptors (KLR). While KIR represent the most diverse group of NK receptors in all primates studied to date, including humans, apes, and Old and New World monkeys, KLR represent the functional equivalent in rodents. Here, we report a first digression from this rule in lemurs, where the KLR (CD94/NKG2) rather than KIR constitute the most diverse group of NK cell receptors. We demonstrate that natural selection contributed to such diversification in lemurs and particularly targeted KLR residues interacting with the peptide presented by MHC class I ligands. We further show that lemurs lack a strict ortholog or functional equivalent of MHC-E, the ligands of non-polymorphic KLR in “higher” primates. Our data support the existence of a hitherto unknown system of polymorphic and diverse NK cell receptors in primates and of combinatorial diversity as a novel mechanism to increase NK cell receptor repertoire.
Most receptors of natural killer (NK) cells interact with highly polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules and thereby regulate the activity of NK cells against infected or malignant target cells. Whereas humans, apes, and Old and New World monkeys use the family of killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) as highly diverse NK cell receptors, this function is performed in rodents by the diverse family of lectin-like receptors Ly49. When did this functional separation occur in evolution? We followed this by investigating lemurs, primates that are distantly related to humans. We show here that lemurs employ the CD94/NKG2 family as their highly diversified NK cell receptors. The CD94/NKG2 receptors also belong to the lectin-like receptor family, but are rather conserved in “higher” primates and rodents. We could further demonstrate that lemurs have a single Ly49 gene like other primates but lack functional KIR genes of the KIR3DL lineage and show major deviations in their MHC class I genomic organisation. Thus, lemurs have evolved a “third way” of polymorphic and diverse NK cell receptors. In addition, the multiplied lemur CD94/NKG2 receptors can be freely combined, thereby forming diverse receptors. This is, therefore, the first description of some combinatorial diversity of NK cell receptors.