Blood levels of adiponectin, an adipocyte-secreted protein correlated with metabolic and cardiovascular risks, are highly heritable. Genome-wide association (GWA) studies for adiponectin levels have identified 14 loci harboring variants associated with blood levels of adiponectin. To identify novel adiponectin-associated loci, particularly those of importance in East Asians, we conducted a meta-analysis of GWA studies for adiponectin in 7827 individuals, followed by two stages of replications in 4298 and 5954 additional individuals. We identified a novel adiponectin-associated locus on chromosome 10 near WDR11-FGFR2 (P = 3.0 × 10−14) and provided suggestive evidence for a locus on chromosome 12 near OR8S1-LALBA (P = 1.2 × 10−7). Of the adiponectin-associated loci previously described, we confirmed the association at CDH13 (P = 6.8 × 10−165), ADIPOQ (P = 1.8 × 10−22), PEPD (P = 3.6 × 10−12), CMIP (P = 2.1 × 10−10), ZNF664 (P = 2.3 × 10−7) and GPR109A (P = 7.4 × 10−6). Conditional analysis at ADIPOQ revealed a second signal with suggestive evidence of association only after conditioning on the lead SNP (Pinitial = 0.020; Pconditional = 7.0 × 10−7). We further confirmed the independence of two pairs of closely located loci (<2 Mb) on chromosome 16 at CMIP and CDH13, and on chromosome 12 at GPR109A and ZNF664. In addition, the newly identified signal near WDR11-FGFR2 exhibited evidence of association with triglycerides (P = 3.3 × 10−4), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, P = 4.9 × 10−4) and body mass index (BMI)-adjusted waist–hip ratio (P = 9.8 × 10−3). These findings improve our knowledge of the genetic basis of adiponectin variation, demonstrate the shared allelic architecture for adiponectin with lipids and central obesity and motivate further studies of underlying mechanisms.
To identify common genetic variants that contribute to lung cancer susceptibility, we conducted a multistage genome-wide association study of lung cancer in Asian women who never smoked. We scanned 5,510 never-smoking female lung cancer cases and 4,544 controls drawn from 14 studies from mainland China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. We genotyped the most promising variants (associated at P < 5 × 10-6) in an additional 1,099 cases and 2,913 controls. We identified three new susceptibility loci at 10q25.2 (rs7086803, P = 3.54 × 10-18), 6q22.2 (rs9387478, P = 4.14 × 10-10) and 6p21.32 (rs2395185, P = 9.51 × 10-9). We also confirmed associations reported for loci at 5p15.33 and 3q28 and a recently reported finding at 17q24.3. We observed no evidence of association for lung cancer at 15q25 in never-smoking women in Asia, providing strong evidence that this locus is not associated with lung cancer independent of smoking.
To identify the genetic factors that influence overall survival in never smokers who have non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), we performed a consistency meta-analysis study utilizing genome-wide association approaches for overall survival in 327 never smoker NSCLC patients from the MD Anderson Cancer Center and 293 cases from the Mayo Clinic. We then performed a two-pronged validation of the top 25 variants that included additional validation in 1,256 NSCLC patients from Taiwan and assessment of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) and differential expression of genes surrounding the top loci in 70 tumors and matched normal tissues. A total of 94 loci were significant for overall survival in both MD Anderson and Mayo studies in the consistency meta-analysis phase, with the top 25 variants reaching a p-value of 10−6. Two variants of these 25 were also significant in the Taiwanese population: rs6901416 (HR:1.44, 95%CI:1.01-2.06) and rs10766739 (HR:1.23, 95%CI:1.00-1.51). These loci resulted in a reduction in median survival time of at least 8 and 5 months in three populations, respectively. An additional six variants (rs4237904, rs7976914, rs4970833, rs954785, rs485411, and rs10906104) were validated through eQTL analysis that identified significant correlations with expression levels of six genes (LEMD3, TMBIM, ATXN7L2, SHE, ITIH2, and NUDT5, respectively) in normal lung tissue. These genes were also significantly differentially expressed between the tumor and normal lung. These findings identify several novel, candidate prognostic markers for NSCLC in never smokers, with eQTL analysis suggesting a potential biological mechanism for a subset of these observed associations.
Drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), the causative pathogen of tuberculosis (TB), has become a serious threat to global public health. Yet the development of novel drugs against MTB has been lagging. One potentially powerful approach to drug development is computation-aided repositioning of current drugs. However, the effectiveness of this approach has rarely been examined. Here we select the “TB drugome” approach – a protein structure-based method for drug repositioning for tuberculosis treatment – to (1) experimentally validate the efficacy of the identified drug candidates for inhibiting MTB growth, and (2) computationally examine how consistently drug candidates are prioritized, considering changes in input data. Twenty three drugs in the TB drugome were tested. Of them, only two drugs (tamoxifen and 4-hydroxytamoxifen) effectively suppressed MTB growth at relatively high concentrations. Both drugs significantly enhanced the inhibitory effects of three first-line anti-TB drugs (rifampin, isoniazid, and ethambutol). However, tamoxifen is not a top-listed drug in the TB drugome, and 4-hydroxytamoxifen is not approved for use in humans. Computational re-examination of the TB drugome indicated that the rankings were subject to technical and data-related biases. Thus, although our results support the effectiveness of the TB drugome approach for identifying drugs that can potentially be repositioned for stand-alone applications or for combination treatments for TB, the approach requires further refinements via incorporation of additional biological information. Our findings can also be extended to other structure-based drug repositioning methods.
Genome wide association studies (GWAS) are a population-scale approach to the identification of segments of the genome in which genetic variations may contribute to disease risk. Current methods focus on the discovery of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with disease traits. As there are many SNPs within identified risk loci, and the majority of these are situated within non-coding regions, a key challenge is to identify and prioritize variants affecting regulatory sequences that are likely to contribute to the phenotype assessed.
We focused investigation on SNPs within lung and breast cancer GWAS loci that reached genome-wide significance for potential roles in gene regulation with a specific focus on SNPs likely to disrupt transcription factor binding sites. Within risk loci, the regulatory potential of sub-regions was classified using relevant open chromatin and epigenetic high throughput sequencing data sets from the ENCODE project in available cancer and normal cell lines. Furthermore, transcription factor affinity altering variants were predicted by comparison of position weight matrix scores between disease and reference alleles. Lastly, ChIP-seq data of transcription associated factors and topological domains were included as binding evidence and potential gene target inference.
The sets of SNPs, including both the disease-associated markers and those in high linkage disequilibrium with them, were significantly over-represented in regulatory sequences of cancer and/or normal cells; however, over-representation was generally not restricted to disease-relevant tissue specific regions. The calculated regulatory potential, allelic binding affinity scores and ChIP-seq binding evidence were the three criteria used to prioritize candidates. Fitting all three criteria, we highlighted breast cancer susceptibility SNPs and a borderline lung cancer relevant SNP located in cancer-specific enhancers overlapping multiple distinct transcription associated factor ChIP-seq binding sites.
Incorporating high throughput sequencing epigenetic and transcription factor data sets from both cancer and normal cells into cancer genetic studies reveals potential functional SNPs and informs subsequent characterization efforts.
GWAS; Lung cancer; Regulatory regions; Gene regulation; Transcription factor binding site alteration; Enhancer; Topological domains
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol are heritable, modifiable, risk factors for coronary artery disease. To identify new loci and refine known loci influencing these lipids, we examined 188,578 individuals using genome-wide and custom genotyping arrays. We identify and annotate 157 loci associated with lipid levels at P < 5×10−8, including 62 loci not previously associated with lipid levels in humans. Using dense genotyping in individuals of European, East Asian, South Asian, and African ancestry, we narrow association signals in 12 loci. We find that loci associated with blood lipids are often associated with cardiovascular and metabolic traits including coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, waist-hip ratio, and body mass index. Our results illustrate the value of genetic data from individuals of diverse ancestries and provide insights into biological mechanisms regulating blood lipids to guide future genetic, biological, and therapeutic research.
Triglycerides are transported in plasma by specific triglyceride-rich lipoproteins; in epidemiologic studies, increased triglyceride levels correlate with higher risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). However, it is unclear whether this association reflects causal processes. We used 185 common variants recently mapped for plasma lipids (P<5×10−8 for each) to examine the role of triglycerides on risk for CAD. First, we highlight loci associated with both low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides, and show that the direction and magnitude of both are factors in determining CAD risk. Second, we consider loci with only a strong magnitude of association with triglycerides and show that these loci are also associated with CAD. Finally, in a model accounting for effects on LDL-C and/or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, a polymorphism's strength of effect on triglycerides is correlated with the magnitude of its effect on CAD risk. These results suggest that triglyceride-rich lipoproteins causally influence risk for CAD.
A recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) of subjects from Japan and South Korea reported a novel association between the TP63 locus on chromosome 3q28 and risk of lung adenocarcinoma (p = 7.3 × 10−12); however, this association did not achieve genome-wide significance (p < 10−7) among never-smoking males or females. To determine if this association with lung cancer risk is independent of tobacco use, we genotyped the TP63 SNPs reported by the previous GWAS (rs10937405 and rs4488809) in 3,467 never-smoking female lung cancer cases and 3,787 never-smoking female controls from 10 studies conducted in Taiwan, Mainland China, South Korea, and Singapore. Genetic variation in rs10937405 was associated with risk of lung adenocarcinoma [n = 2,529 cases; p = 7.1 × 10−8; allelic risk = 0.80, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.74–0.87]. There was also evidence of association with squamous cell carcinoma of the lung (n = 302 cases; p = 0.037; allelic risk = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.67–0.99). Our findings provide strong evidence that genetic variation in TP63 is associated with the risk of lung adenocarcinoma among Asian females in the absence of tobacco smoking.
Multidrug-resistant New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase 1 (NDM-1)-producing bacteria have spread globally and become a major clinical and public health threat. We report here the draft genome sequence of the Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolate 303K, harboring an NDM-1 coding sequence.
Physical performance is a major determinant of health in older adults, and is related to lifestyle factors. Dietary fiber has multiple health benefits. It remains unclear whether fiber intake is independently linked to superior physical performance. We aimed to assess the association between dietary fiber and physical performance in older adults.
This was a cross-sectional study conducted with community-dwelling adults aged 55 years and older (n=2680) from the ongoing Healthy Aging Longitudinal Study (HALST) in Taiwan 2008-2010. Daily dietary fiber intake was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Physical performance was determined objectively by measuring gait speed, 6-minute walk distance, timed “up and go” (TUG), summary performance score, hand grip strength.
Adjusting for all potential confounders, participants with higher fiber intake had significantly faster gait speed, longer 6-minute walk distance, faster TUG, higher summary performance score, and higher hand grip strength (all P <.05). Comparing with the highest quartile of fiber intake, the lowest quartile of fiber intake was significantly associated with the lowest sex-specific quartile of gait speed (adjusted OR, 2.18 in men [95% CI, 1.33-3.55] and 3.65 in women [95% CI, 2.20-6.05]), 6-minute walk distance (OR, 2.40 in men [95% CI, 1.38-4.17] and 4.32 in women [95% CI, 2.37-7.89]), TUG (OR, 2.42 in men [95% CI, 1.43-4.12] and 3.27 in women [95% CI, 1.94-5.52]), summary performance score (OR, 2.12 in men [95% CI, 1.19-3.78] and 5.47 in women [95% CI, 3.20-9.35]), and hand grip strength (OR, 2.64 in men [95% CI, 1.61-4.32] and 4.43 in women [95% CI, 2.62-7.50]).
Dietary fiber intake was independently associated with better physical performance.
Candidate gene and genome-wide association studies have identified ∼60 susceptibility loci for type 2 diabetes. A majority of these loci have been discovered and tested only in European populations. The aim of this study was to assess the presence and extent of trans-ethnic effects of these loci in an East Asian population.
A total of 9,335 unrelated Chinese Han individuals, including 4,535 with type 2 diabetes and 4,800 non-diabetic ethnically matched controls, were genotyped using the Illumina 200K Metabochip. We tested 50 established loci for type 2 diabetes and related traits (fasting glucose, fasting insulin, 2 h glucose). Disease association with the additive model of inheritance was analysed with logistic regression.
We found that 14 loci significantly transferred to the Chinese population, with two loci (p = 5.7 × 10−12 for KCNQ1; p = 5.0 × 10−8 for CDKN2A/B-CDKN2BAS) reaching independent genome-wide statistical significance. Five of these 14 loci had similar lead single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) as were found in the European studies while the other nine were different. Further stepwise conditional analysis identified a total of seven secondary signals and an independent novel locus at the 3′ end of CDKAL1.
These results suggest that many loci associated with type 2 diabetes are commonly shared between European and Chinese populations. Identification of population-specific SNPs may increase our understanding of the genetic architecture underlying type 2 diabetes in different ethnic populations.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-013-3047-1) contains peer-reviewed but unedited supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.
Ethnic difference; Genetic association; Type 2 diabetes
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of mortality in both developed and developing countries worldwide. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have now identified 46 independent susceptibility loci for CHD, however, the biological and disease-relevant mechanisms for these associations remain elusive. The large-scale meta-analysis of GWAS recently identified in Caucasians a CHD-associated locus at chromosome 6q23.2, a region containing the transcription factor TCF21 gene. TCF21 (Capsulin/Pod1/Epicardin) is a member of the basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor family, and regulates cell fate decisions and differentiation in the developing coronary vasculature. Herein, we characterize a cis-regulatory mechanism by which the lead polymorphism rs12190287 disrupts an atypical activator protein 1 (AP-1) element, as demonstrated by allele-specific transcriptional regulation, transcription factor binding, and chromatin organization, leading to altered TCF21 expression. Further, this element is shown to mediate signaling through platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGFR-β) and Wilms tumor 1 (WT1) pathways. A second disease allele identified in East Asians also appears to disrupt an AP-1-like element. Thus, both disease-related growth factor and embryonic signaling pathways may regulate CHD risk through two independent alleles at TCF21.
As much as half of the risk of developing coronary heart disease is genetically predetermined. Genome-wide association studies in human populations have now uncovered multiple sites of common genetic variation associated with heart disease. However, the biological mechanisms responsible for linking the disease associations with changes in gene expression are still underexplored. One of these variants occurs within the vascular developmental factor, TCF21, leading to dysregulated gene expression. Using various in silico and molecular approaches, we identify an intricate allele-specific regulatory mechanism underlying altered expression of TCF21. Notably, we observe that two apparently independent risk alleles identified in distinct populations function through a similar regulatory mechanism. Together these data suggest that conserved upstream pathways may organize the complex genetic etiology of coronary heart disease and potentially lead to new treatment opportunities.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified ∼100 loci associated with blood lipid levels, but much of the trait heritability remains unexplained, and at most loci the identities of the trait-influencing variants remain unknown. We conducted a trans-ethnic fine-mapping study at 18, 22, and 18 GWAS loci on the Metabochip for their association with triglycerides (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), respectively, in individuals of African American (n = 6,832), East Asian (n = 9,449), and European (n = 10,829) ancestry. We aimed to identify the variants with strongest association at each locus, identify additional and population-specific signals, refine association signals, and assess the relative significance of previously described functional variants. Among the 58 loci, 33 exhibited evidence of association at P<1×10−4 in at least one ancestry group. Sequential conditional analyses revealed that ten, nine, and four loci in African Americans, Europeans, and East Asians, respectively, exhibited two or more signals. At these loci, accounting for all signals led to a 1.3- to 1.8-fold increase in the explained phenotypic variance compared to the strongest signals. Distinct signals across ancestry groups were identified at PCSK9 and APOA5. Trans-ethnic analyses narrowed the signals to smaller sets of variants at GCKR, PPP1R3B, ABO, LCAT, and ABCA1. Of 27 variants reported previously to have functional effects, 74% exhibited the strongest association at the respective signal. In conclusion, trans-ethnic high-density genotyping and analysis confirm the presence of allelic heterogeneity, allow the identification of population-specific variants, and limit the number of candidate SNPs for functional studies.
Lipid traits are heritable, but many of the DNA variants that influence lipid levels remain unknown. In a genomic region, more than one variant may affect gene expression or function, and the frequencies of these variants can differ across populations. Genotyping densely spaced variants in individuals with different ancestries may increase the chance of identifying variants that affect gene expression or function. We analyzed high-density genotyped variants for association with TG, HDL-C, and LDL-C in African Americans, East Asians, and Europeans. At several genomic regions, we provide evidence that two or more variants can influence lipid traits; across loci, these additional signals increase the proportion of trait variation that can be explained by genes. At some association signals shared across populations, combining data from individuals of different ancestries narrowed the set of likely functional variants. At PCSK9 and APOA5, the data suggest that different variants influence trait levels in different populations. Variants previously reported to alter gene expression or function frequently exhibited the strongest association at those signals. The multiple signals and population-specific characteristics of the loci described here may be shared by genetic loci for other complex traits.
Rotavirus G3P strains have been reported from a variety of species including humans, cats, dogs, monkeys, goats, and cows. Here, we report the characterization of the first human G3P rotavirus from East Asia identified in a 2-year-old child who was treated in a hospital's emergency ward in Taiwan in February 2005. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis demonstrated a close genetic relationship between the VP4, VP6, VP7, and NSP4 genes of Taiwanese G3P strain 04-94s51 and an Italian canine strain isolated a decade ago, suggesting a canine origin for the Taiwanese strain. In contrast, the Taiwanese strain was only moderately related to well-characterized canine-origin human G3P strains Ro1845 and HCR3, suggesting a distinct origin for the rotavirus strain from Taiwan.
Gastroenteritis–Rotavirus A; Zoonosis
Few randomized controlled trials (RCTs) report interventions targeting improvement of frailty status as an outcome.
This RCT enrolled 117 older adults (65-79 years of age) in Toufen, Taiwan who scored 3-6 on The Chinese Canadian Study of Health and Aging Clinical Frailty Scale Telephone Version and then score ≥1 on the Cardiovascular Health Study Phenotypic Classification of Frailty (CHS_PCF). With a two by two factorial design, subjects were randomly assigned to interventions (Exercise and nutrition, EN, n = 55 or problem solving therapy, PST, n = 57) or controls (non-EN, n = 62 or non-PST, n = 60). Educational booklets were provided to all. EN group subjects received nutrition consultation and a thrice-weekly exercise-training program while PST group subjects received 6 sessions in 3 month. Subjects were followed at 3, 6, and 12 months. Primary outcome was improvement of the CHS_PCF by at least one category (from pre-frail to robust, or from frail to pre-frail or robust) from baseline assessments. One hundred and one completed final assessments. Intention-to-treat analysis with the generalized estimating equation model was applied with adjustment for time and treatment-by-time interactions.
Mean age was 71.4 ± 3.7 years, with 59% females. Baseline characteristic were generally comparable between groups. EN group subjects had a higher improvement rate on the primary outcome than non-EN group subjects (45% vs 27%, adjusted p = 0.008) at 3 months, but not 6 or 12 months. They also had more increase of serum 25(OH) vitamin D level (4.9 ± 7.7 vs 1.2 ± 5.4, p = 0.006) and lower percentage of osteopenia (74% vs 89% p = 0.042) at 12 months. PST group subjects had better improvement (2.7 ± 6.1 vs 0.2 ± 6.7, p = 0.035, 6-month) and less deterioration (−3.5 ± 9.7 vs −7.1 ± 8.7, p = 0.036, 12-month) of dominant leg extension power than non-PST subjects. Some secondary outcomes were also improved in control groups (non-EN or non-PST). No adverse effects were reported.
The three-month EN intervention resulted in short-term (3-month) frailty status improvement and long-term effect on bone mineral density and serum vitamin D (12-month) among Taiwanese community-dwelling elders. The effect of PST was less pronounce.
Frailty; Aged; Intervention; Effectiveness; Community
Genetic variants near/within the ALDH2 gene encoding the mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 have been associated with blood pressure and hypertension in several case–control association studies in East Asian populations.
Three common tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (tagSNP) in the ALDH2 gene were genotyped in 1,134 subjects of Chinese origin from the Stanford Asia-Pacific Program for Hypertension and Insulin Resistance (SAPPHIRe) family cohort. We examined whether the ALDH2 SNP genotypes predicted the development of hypertension in the prospective SAPPHIRe cohort.
Over an average follow-up period of 5.7 years, carriers homozygous for the rs2238152 T allele in the ALDH2 gene were more likely to progress to hypertension than were non-carriers (hazard ratio [HR], 2.88, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-7.84, P = 0.03), corresponding to a population attributable risk of ~7.1%. The risk associated with the rs2238152 T allele were strongest in heavy/moderate alcohol drinkers and was reduced in non-drinkers, indicating an interaction between ALDH2 genetic variants and alcohol intake on the risk of hypertension (P for interaction = 0.04). The risk allele was associated with significantly lower ALDH2 gene expression levels in human adipose tissue.
ALDH2 genetic variants were associated with progression to hypertension in a prospective Chinese cohort. The association was modified by alcohol consumption.
ALDH2; Hypertension; SNP; Chinese
Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) has emerged as an important pathogen causing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in Taiwan. The present study is aimed to investigate the epidemiology of HAIs caused by CRAB and the association of CRAB infection and hospital usage of different antimicrobials.
Two nationwide databases in the period 2003 to 2008, the Taiwan Nosocomial Infection Surveillance System and National Health Insurance claim data, were used for analysis. A total of 13,811 healthcare-associated A. baumannii infections and antimicrobial usage data from 121 hospitals were analyzed.
There was a significant increase in the proportion of number of HAIs caused by CRAB over that by all A. baumannii (CRABpAB), from 14% in 2003 to 46% in 2008 (P<0.0001). The greatest increase was in central Taiwan, from 4% in 2003 to 62% in 2008 (P<0.0001). Use of anti-pseudomonal carbapenems, but not other classes of antibiotics, was significantly correlated with the increase of CRABpAB (r = 0.86, P<0.0001).
We suggested that dedicated use of anti-pseudomonal carbapenems would be an important intervention to control the increase of CRABpAB.
Changes in transcriptional orientation (“CTOs”) occur frequently in prokaryotic genomes. Such changes usually result from genomic inversions, which may cause a conflict between the directions of replication and transcription and an increase in mutation rate. However, CTOs do not always lead to the replication-transcription confrontation. Furthermore, CTOs may cause deleterious disruptions of operon structure and/or gene regulations. The currently existing CTOs may indicate relaxation of selection pressure. Therefore, it is of interest to investigate whether CTOs have an independent effect on the evolutionary rates of the affected genes, and whether these genes are subject to any type of selection pressure in prokaryotes.
Three closely related enterbacteria, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, were selected for comparisons of synonymous (dS) and nonsynonymous (dN) substitution rate between the genes that have experienced changes in transcriptional orientation (changed-orientation genes, “COGs”) and those that do not (same-orientation genes, “SOGs”). The dN/dS ratio was also derived to evaluate the selection pressure on the analyzed genes. Confounding factors in the estimation of evolutionary rates, such as gene essentiality, gene expression level, replication-transcription confrontation, and decreased dS at gene terminals were controlled in the COG-SOG comparisons.
We demonstrate that COGs have significantly higher dN and dS than SOGs when a series of confounding factors are controlled. However, the dN/dS ratios are similar between the two gene groups, suggesting that the increase in dS can sufficiently explain the increase in dN in COGs. Therefore, the increases in evolutionary rates in COGs may be mainly mutation-driven.
Here we show that CTOs can increase the evolutionary rates of the affected genes. This effect is independent of the replication-transcription confrontation, which is suggested to be the major cause of inversion-associated evolutionary rate increases. The real cause of such evolutionary rate increases remains unclear but is worth further explorations.
Klebsiella pneumoniae is a Gram-negative bacterium of the family Enterobacteriaceae that possesses diverse metabolic capabilities: many strains are leading causes of hospital-acquired infections that are often refractory to multiple antibiotics, yet other strains are metabolically engineered and used for production of commercially valuable chemicals. To study its metabolism, we constructed a genome-scale metabolic model (iYL1228) for strain MGH 78578, experimentally determined its biomass composition, experimentally determined its ability to grow on a broad range of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur sources, and assessed the ability of the model to accurately simulate growth versus no growth on these substrates. The model contains 1,228 genes encoding 1,188 enzymes that catalyze 1,970 reactions and accurately simulates growth on 84% of the substrates tested. Furthermore, quantitative comparison of growth rates between the model and experimental data for nine of the substrates also showed good agreement. The genome-scale metabolic reconstruction for K. pneumoniae presented here thus provides an experimentally validated in silico platform for further studies of this important industrial and biomedical organism.
Metabolic reconstructions (MRs) are common denominators in systems biology and represent biochemical, genetic, and genomic (BiGG) knowledge-bases for target organisms by capturing currently available information in a consistent, structured manner. Salmonella enterica subspecies I serovar Typhimurium is a human pathogen, causes various diseases and its increasing antibiotic resistance poses a public health problem.
Here, we describe a community-driven effort, in which more than 20 experts in S. Typhimurium biology and systems biology collaborated to reconcile and expand the S. Typhimurium BiGG knowledge-base. The consensus MR was obtained starting from two independently developed MRs for S. Typhimurium. Key results of this reconstruction jamboree include i) development and implementation of a community-based workflow for MR annotation and reconciliation; ii) incorporation of thermodynamic information; and iii) use of the consensus MR to identify potential multi-target drug therapy approaches.
Taken together, with the growing number of parallel MRs a structured, community-driven approach will be necessary to maximize quality while increasing adoption of MRs in experimental design and interpretation.
Nucleic acid hybridization is an extensively adopted principle in biomedical research, in which the performance of any hybridization-based method depends on the specificity of probes to their targets. To determine the optimal probe(s) for detecting target(s) from a sample cocktail, we developed a novel algorithm, which has been implemented into a web platform for probe designing. This probe design workflow is now upgraded to satisfy experiments that require a probe designing tool to take the increasing volume of sequence datasets.
Algorithms and probe parameters applied in UPS 2.0 include GC content, the secondary structure, melting temperature (Tm), the stability of the probe-target duplex estimated by the thermodynamic model, sequence complexity, similarity of probes to non-target sequences, and other empirical parameters used in the laboratory. Several probe background options,Unique probe within a group,Unique probe in a specific Unigene set,Unique probe based onthe pangenomic level, and Unique Probe in the user-defined genome/transcriptome, are available to meet the scenarios that the experiments will be conducted. Parameters, such as salt concentration and the lower-bound Tm of probes, are available for users to optimize their probe design query. Output files are available for download on the result page. Probes designed by the UPS algorithm are suitable for generating microarrays, and the performance of UPS-designed probes has been validated by experiments.
The UPS 2.0 evaluates probe-to-target hybridization under a user-defined condition to ensure high-performance hybridization with minimal chance of non-specific binding at the pangenomic and genomic levels. The UPS algorithm mimics the target/non-target mixture in an experiment and is very useful in developing diagnostic kits and microarrays. The UPS 2.0 website has had more than 1,300 visits and 360,000 sequences performed the probe designing task in the last 30 months. It is freely accessible at http://array.iis.sinica.edu.tw/ups/.
Screen cast: http://array.iis.sinica.edu.tw/ups/demo/demo.htm
Genome-wide association studies of lung cancer reported in populations of European background have identified three regions on chromosomes 5p15.33, 6p21.33, and 15q25 that have achieved genome-wide significance with p-values of 10−7 or lower. These studies have been performed primarily in cigarette smokers, raising the possibility that the observed associations could be related to tobacco use, lung carcinogenesis, or both. Since most women in Asia do not smoke, we conducted a genome-wide association study of lung adenocarcinoma in never-smoking females (584 cases, 585 controls) among Han Chinese in Taiwan and found that the most significant association was for rs2736100 on chromosome 5p15.33 (p = 1.30×10−11). This finding was independently replicated in seven studies from East Asia totaling 1,164 lung adenocarcinomas and 1,736 controls (p = 5.38×10−11). A pooled analysis achieved genome-wide significance for rs2736100. This SNP marker localizes to the CLPTM1L-TERT locus on chromosome 5p15.33 (p = 2.60×10−20, allelic risk = 1.54, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.41–1.68). Risks for heterozygote and homozygote carriers of the minor allele were 1.62 (95% CI; 1.40–1.87), and 2.35 (95% CI: 1.95–2.83), respectively. In summary, our results show that genetic variation in the CLPTM1L-TERT locus of chromosome 5p15.33 is directly associated with the risk of lung cancer, most notably adenocarcinoma.
Worldwide, approximately 15% of lung cancer cases occur among nonsmokers. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of lung cancer conducted in populations of European background have identified three regions on chromosomes 5, 6, and 15 that harbor genetic variants that confer risk for lung cancer. Prior studies were conducted primarily in cigarette smokers, raising the possibility that the associations could be related to tobacco use, lung carcinogenesis, or both. A GWAS of lung cancer among never-smokers is an optimal setting to discover effects that are independent of smoking. Since most women in Asia do not smoke, we conducted a GWAS of lung adenocarcinoma among never-smoking females (584 cases, 585 controls) in Taiwan, and observed a region on chromosome 5 significantly associated with risk for lung cancer in never-smoking women. The finding was independently replicated in seven studies from East Asia totaling 1,164 lung adenocarcinomas and 1,736 controls. To our knowledge, this study is the first reported GWAS of lung cancer in East Asian women, and together with the replication studies represents the largest genetic association study in this population. The findings provide insight into the genetic contribution of common variants to lung carcinogenesis.
The metabolic syndrome (MetS) concept is widely used in public health and clinical settings without an agreed pathophysiology. We have re-examined the MetS in terms of body fuels, so as to provide a coherent cross-cultural pathogenesis.
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 2001-2) with n = 2254 and Taiwanese National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) sub-set for hypertension, hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia assessment (TwSHHH 2002), n = 5786, were used to compare different ethnicities according to NCEP-ATPIII (NCEP-tw) criteria for METS. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) using principal components (PC) was employed to differentiate and unify MetS components across four ethnicities, gender, age-strata, and urban-rural settings.
The first two factors from the PC analysis (PCA) accounted for from 55.2% (non-Hispanic white) to 63.7% (Taiwanese) of the variance. Rotated factor loadings showed that the six MetS components provided three clusters: the impaired energy regulation (IER) components (waist circumference, WC, fasting triglycerides, TG, and fasting plasma glucose, FPG), systolic and diastolic blood pressures (BPs), and HDL-cholesterol, where the IER components accounted for 25-26% of total variance of MetS components. For the three US ethnic subgroups, factor 1 was mainly determined by IER and HDL-cholesterol, and factor 2 was related to the BP components. For Taiwanese, IER was determinant for both factors, and BPs and HDL-cholesterol were related to factors 1 and 2 respectively.
There is a MetS core which unifies populations. It comprises WC, TG and FPG as a core, IER, which may be expressed and modulated in various second order ways.
Protein tyrosine phosphatase 1β (PTP-1β) is involved in the regulation of several important physiological pathways. It regulates both insulin and leptin signaling, and interacts with the epidermal- and platelet-derived growth factor receptors. The gene is located on human chromosome 20q13, and several rare single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been shown to be associated with insulin resistance and diabetes in different populations. As part of our ongoing investigations into the genetic basis of hypertension, we examined common sequence variants in the gene for association with hypertension, obesity and altered lipid profile in two populations of Japanese and Chinese descent. We re-sequenced all exons, selected intronic sequences and the promoter region in 24 individuals from our cohort. Fourteen SNPs were discovered, and six of these spanning 78 kb were genotyped in 1553 individuals from 672 families. All six SNPs were in linkage disequilibrium, and we found strong association of common risk haplotypes with hypertension in Chinese and Japanese (P < 0.0001). In addition, individual SNPs showed association to total plasma cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and VLDL-cholesterol levels, as well as obesity measures (body mass index). This analysis supports that PTP-1β affects plasma lipid levels, and may lead to obesity and hypertension in Japanese and Chinese. Given similar associations found in other populations to insulin resistance and diabetes, this gene may play a crucial role in the development of the characteristic metabolic changes seen in patients with the metabolic syndrome.
Subjects with the metabolic syndrome are accompanied by insulin resistance (IR). However, it is not clear how well the newly-defined metabolic syndrome identifying IR specifically in hypertensive subjects.
The purpose of the study is to evaluate the performance of the metabolic syndrome, defined by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) definitions, in identifying IR in hypertension.
The analysis is a cross-sectional study. Totally, 228 hypertensive patients and 92 non-diabetic normotensive controls who received insulin suppressive tests to directly evaluate their insulin sensitivity were included from the Stanford Asia and Pacific Program for Hypertension and IR. McNemar’s tests were used to compare sensitivity and specificity of the AHA-defined with the IDF-defined metabolic syndrome in diagnosis of IR.
The sensitivity of the metabolic syndrome for IR in hypertension was 89.7 % and the specificity 45.9 % by the AHA definition. Using the IDF definition, the sensitivity was 77.6 %, and the specificity increased to 63.5 %. The diagnostic power of individual components of the syndrome was also modest. The predictive discrimination of wider waist circumference was similar to that of the AHA-defined metabolic syndrome.
Use of the metabolic syndrome by the AHA definition provided good sensitivity but low specificity to diagnose IR in hypertension. The IDF definition improved in false positive rate, but it was still not specific enough to identify IR in hypertension.
hypertension; insulin resistance; metabolic syndrome; steady-state plasma glucose