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author:("Xu, fuming")
1.  Coexpression networks implicate human midfetal deep cortical projection neurons in the pathogenesis of autism 
Cell  2013;155(5):997-1007.
SUMMARY
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental syndrome of unknown etiology. Recent studies employing exome- and genome-wide sequencing have identified nine high-confidence ASD (hcASD) genes. Working from the hypothesis that ASD-associated mutations in these biologically pleiotropic genes will disrupt intersecting developmental processes to contribute to a common phenotype, we have attempted to identify time periods, brain regions, and cell types in which these genes converge. We have constructed coexpression networks based on the hcASD “seed” genes, leveraging a rich expression data set encompassing multiple human brain regions across human development and into adulthood. By assessing enrichment of an independent set of probable ASD (pASD) genes, derived from the same sequencing studies, we demonstrate a key point of convergence in midfetal layer 5/6 cortical projection neurons. This approach informs when, where, and in what cell types mutations in these specific genes may be productively studied to clarify ASD pathophysiology.
doi:10.1016/j.cell.2013.10.020
PMCID: PMC3995413  PMID: 24267886
2.  Coupling Diffusion Imaging with Histological and Gene Expression Analysis to Examine the Dynamics of Cortical Areas across the Fetal Period of Human Brain Development 
Cerebral Cortex (New York, NY)  2012;23(11):2620-2631.
As a prominent component of the human fetal brain, the structure of the cerebral wall is characterized by its laminar organization which includes the radial glial scaffold during fetal development. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is useful to quantitatively delineate the microstructure of the developing brain and to clearly identify transient fetal layers in the cerebral wall. In our study, the spatio-temporal microstructural changes in the developing human fetal cerebral wall were quantitatively characterized with high-resolution DTI data of postmortem fetal brains from 13 to 21 gestational weeks. Eleven regions of interest for each layer in the entire cerebral wall were included. Distinctive time courses of microstructural changes were revealed for 11 regions of the neocortical plate. A histological analysis was also integrated to elucidate the relationship between DTI fractional anisotropy (FA) and histology. High FA values correlated with organized radial architecture in histological image. Expression levels of 17565 genes were quantified for each of 11 regions of human fetal neocortex from 13 to 21 gestational weeks to identify transcripts showing significant correlation with FA change. These correlations suggest that the heterogeneous and regionally specific microstructural changes of the human neocortex are related to different gene expression patterns.
doi:10.1093/cercor/bhs241
PMCID: PMC3792738  PMID: 22933464
development; diffusion tensor imaging; gene expression; histology; human fetal brain
3.  Growth Promotion-Related miRNAs in Oncidium Orchid Roots Colonized by the Endophytic Fungus Piriformospora indica 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e84920.
Piriformospora indica, an endophytic fungus of Sebacinales, colonizes the roots of a wide range of host plants and establishes various benefits for the plants. In this work, we describe miRNAs which are upregulated in Oncidium orchid roots after colonization by the fungus. Growth promotion and vigorous root development were observed in Oncidium hybrid orchid, while seedlings were colonized by P. indica. We performed a genome-wide expression profiling of small RNAs in Oncidium orchid roots either colonized or not-colonized by P. indica. After sequencing, 24,570,250 and 24744,141 clean reads were obtained from two libraries. 13,736 from 17,036,953 unique sequences showed homology to either 86 miRNA families described in 41 plant species, or to 46 potential novel miRNAs, or to 51 corresponding miRNA precursors. The predicted target genes of these miRNAs are mainly involved in auxin signal perception and transduction, transcription, development and plant defense. The expression analysis of miRNAs and target genes demonstrated the regulatory functions they may participate in. This study revealed that growth stimulation of the Oncidium orchid after colonization by P. indica includes an intricate network of miRNAs and their targets. The symbiotic function of P. indica on Oncidium orchid resembles previous findings on Chinese cabbage. This is the first study on growth regulation and development of Oncidium orchid by miRNAs induced by the symbiotic fungus P. indica.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084920
PMCID: PMC3883679  PMID: 24409313
4.  Spatiotemporal transcriptome of the human brain 
Nature  2011;478(7370):483-489.
Summary
Here we report the generation and analysis of genome-wide exon-level transcriptome data from 16 brain regions comprising the cerebellar cortex, mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus, striatum, amygdala, hippocampus, and 11 areas of the neocortex. The dataset was generated from 1,340 tissue samples collected from one or both hemispheres of 57 postmortem human brains, spanning from embryonic development to late adulthood and representing males and females of multiple ethnicities. We also performed genotyping of 2.5 million SNPs and assessed copy number variations for all donors. Approximately 86% of protein-coding genes were found to be expressed using stringent criteria, and over 90% of these were differentially regulated at the whole transcript or exon level across regions and/or time. The majority of these spatiotemporal differences occurred before birth, followed by an increase in the similarity among regional transcriptomes during postnatal lifespan. Genes were organized into functionally distinct co-expression networks, and sex differences were present in gene expression and exon usage. Finally, we demonstrate how these results can be used to profile trajectories of genes associated with neurodevelopmental processes, cell types, neurotransmitter systems, autism, and schizophrenia, as well as to discover associations between SNPs and spatiotemporal gene expression. This study provides a comprehensive, publicly available dataset on the spatiotemporal human brain transcriptome and new insights into the transcriptional foundations of human neurodevelopment.
doi:10.1038/nature10523
PMCID: PMC3566780  PMID: 22031440
5.  Stage and Gene Specific Signatures Defined by Histones H3K4me2 and H3K27me3 Accompany Mammalian Retina Maturation In Vivo 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e46867.
The epigenetic contribution to neurogenesis is largely unknown. There is, however, growing evidence that posttranslational modification of histones is a dynamic process that shows many correlations with gene expression. Here we have followed the genome-wide distribution of two important histone H3 modifications, H3K4me2 and H3K27me3 during late mouse retina development. The retina provides an ideal model for these studies because of its well-characterized structure and development and also the extensive studies of the retinal transcriptome and its development. We found that a group of genes expressed only in mature rod photoreceptors have a unique signature consisting of de-novo accumulation of H3K4me2, both at the transcription start site (TSS) and over the whole gene, that correlates with the increase in transcription, but no accumulation of H3K27me3 at any stage. By in silico analysis of this unique signature we have identified a larger group of genes that may be selectively expressed in mature rod photoreceptors. We also found that the distribution of H3K4me2 and H3K27me3 on the genes widely expressed is not always associated with their transcriptional levels. Different histone signatures for retinal genes with the same gene expression pattern suggest the diversities of epigenetic regulation. Genes without H3K4me2 and H3K27me3 accumulation at any stage represent a large group of transcripts never expressed in retina. The epigenetic signatures defined by H3K4me2 and H3K27me3 can distinguish cell-type specific genes from widespread transcripts and may be reflective of cell specificity during retina maturation. In addition to the developmental patterns seen in wild type retina, the dramatic changes of histone modification in the retinas of mutant animals lacking rod photoreceptors provide a tool to study the epigenetic changes in other cell types and thus describe a broad range of epigenetic events in a solid tissue in vivo.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046867
PMCID: PMC3467275  PMID: 23056497
7.  Mitochondrial DNA Variants of Respiratory Complex I that Uniquely Characterize Haplogroup T2 Are Associated with Increased Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(5):e5508.
Background
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a chronic neurodegenerative and neovascular retinal disease, is the leading cause of blindness in elderly people of western European origin. While structural and functional alterations in mitochondria (mt) and their metabolites have been implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic neurodegenerative and vascular diseases, the relationship of inherited variants in the mitochondrial genome and mt haplogroup subtypes with advanced AMD has not been reported in large prospective cohorts.
Methodology/Prinicipal Findings
We examined the relationship of inherited mtDNA variants with advanced AMD in 1168 people using a three-stage design on samples from 12-year and 10-year prospective studies on the natural history of age-related eye disease. In Stage I we resequenced the entire genome in 99 elderly AMD-free controls and 215 people with advanced AMD from the 12-year study. A consistent association with AMD in 14 of 17 SNPs characterizing the mtDNA T haplogroup emerged. Further analysis revealed these associations were driven entirely by the T2 haplogroup, and characterized by two variants in Complex I genes (A11812G of MT-ND4 and A14233G of MT-ND6). We genotyped T haplogroups in an independent sample of 490 cases and 61 controls from the same study (Stage II) and in 56 cases and 246 controls from the 10-year study (Stage III). People in the T2 haplogroup were approximately 2.5 times more likely to have advanced AMD than their peers (odds ratio [OR] = 2.54, 95%CI 1.36–4.80, P≤0.004) after considering the totality of evidence. Findings persisted after considering the impact of AMD-associated variants A69S and Y402H (OR = 5.19, 95%CI 1.19–22.69, P≤0.029).
Conclusion
Loci defining the mtDNA T2 haplogroup and Complex I are reasonable targets for novel functional analyses and therapeutic research in AMD.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005508
PMCID: PMC2677106  PMID: 19434233
8.  Comparison of gene expression during in vivo and in vitro postnatal retina development 
Retina explants are widely used as a model of neural development. To define the molecular basis of differences between the development of retina in vivo and in vitro during the early postnatal period, we carried out a series of microarray comparisons using mouse retinas. About 75% of 8,880 expressed genes from retina explants kept the same expression volume and pattern as the retina in vivo. Fewer than 6% of the total gene population was changed at two consecutive time points, and only about 1% genes showed more than a threefold change at any time point studied. Functional Gene Ontology (GO) mapping for both changed and unchanged genes showed similar distribution patterns, except that more genes were changed in the GO clusters of response to stimuli and carbohydrate metabolism. Three distinct expression patterns of genes preferentially expressed in rod photoreceptors were observed in the retina explants. Some genes showed a lag in increased expression, some showed no change, and some continued to have a reduced level of expression. An early downregulation of cyclin D1 in the explanted retina might explain the reduction in numbers of precursors in explanted retina and suggests that external factors are required for maintenance of cyclin D1. The global view of gene profiles presented in this study will help define the molecular changes in retina explants over time and will provide criteria to define future changes that improve this model system.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12177-008-9009-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s12177-008-9009-z
PMCID: PMC2802513  PMID: 20072636
Retina development; Retina explant; Microarray; Gene expression; Functional genomics; System biology; Rod photoreceptors; Cyclin D1
9.  A biphasic pattern of gene expression during mouse retina development 
Background
Between embryonic day 12 and postnatal day 21, six major neuronal and one glia cell type are generated from multipotential progenitors in a characteristic sequence during mouse retina development. We investigated expression patterns of retina transcripts during the major embryonic and postnatal developmental stages to provide a systematic view of normal mouse retina development,
Results
A tissue-specific cDNA microarray was generated using a set of sequence non-redundant EST clones collected from mouse retina. Eleven stages of mouse retina, from embryonic day 12.5 (El2.5) to postnatal day 21 (PN21), were collected for RNA isolation. Non-amplified RNAs were labeled for microarray experiments and three sets of data were analyzed for significance, hierarchical relationships, and functional clustering. Six individual gene expression clusters were identified based on expression patterns of transcripts through retina development. Two developmental phases were clearly divided with postnatal day 5 (PN5) as a separate cluster. Among 4,180 transcripts that changed significantly during development, approximately 2/3 of the genes were expressed at high levels up until PN5 and then declined whereas the other 1/3 of the genes increased expression from PN5 and remained at the higher levels until at least PN21. Less than 1% of the genes observed showed a peak of expression between the two phases. Among the later increased population, only about 40% genes are correlated with rod photoreceptors, indicating that multiple cell types contributed to gene expression in this phase. Within the same functional classes, however, different gene populations were expressed in distinct developmental phases. A correlation coefficient analysis of gene expression during retina development between previous SAGE studies and this study was also carried out.
Conclusion
This study provides a complementary genome-wide view of common gene dynamics and a broad molecular classification of mouse retina development. Different genes in the same functional clusters are expressed in the different developmental stages, suggesting that cells might change gene expression profiles from differentiation to maturation stages. We propose that large-scale changes in gene regulation during development are necessary for the final maturation and function of the retina.
doi:10.1186/1471-213X-6-48
PMCID: PMC1633734  PMID: 17044933
10.  Molecular phylogeny of the antiangiogenic and neurotrophic serpin, pigment epithelium derived factor in vertebrates 
BMC Genomics  2006;7:248.
Background
Pigment epithelium derived factor (PEDF), a member of the serpin family, regulates cell proliferation, promotes survival of neurons, and blocks growth of new blood vessels in mammals. Defining the molecular phylogeny of PEDF by bioinformatic analysis is one approach to understanding the link between its gene structure and its function in these biological processes.
Results
From a comprehensive search of available DNA databases we identified a single PEDF gene in all vertebrate species examined. These included four mammalian and six non-mammalian vertebrate species in which PEDF had not previously been described. A five gene cluster around PEDF was found in an approximate 100 kb region in mammals, birds, and amphibians. In ray-finned fish these genes are scattered over three chromosomes although only one PEDF gene was consistently found. The PEDF gene is absent in invertebrates including Drosophila melanogaster (D. melanogaster), Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), and sea squirt (C. intestinalis). The PEDF gene is transcribed in all vertebrate phyla, suggesting it is biologically active throughout vertebrate evolution. The multiple actions of PEDF are likely conserved in evolution since it has the same gene structure across phyla, although the size of the gene ranges from 48.3 kb in X. tropicalis to 2.9 kb in fugu, with human PEDF at a size of 15.6 kb. A strong similarity in the proximal 200 bp of the PEDF promoter in mammals suggests the existence of a possible regulatory region across phyla. Using a non-synonymous/synonymous substitution rate ratio we show that mammalian and fish PEDFs have similar ratios of <0.13, reflecting a strong purifying selection of PEDF gene. A large number of repetitive transposable elements of the SINE and LINE class were found with random distribution in both the promoter and introns of mammalian PEDF.
Conclusion
The PEDF gene first appears in vertebrates and our studies suggest that the regulation and biological actions of this gene are preserved across vertebrates. This comprehensive analysis of the PEDF gene across phyla provides new information that will aid further characterization of common functional motifs of this serpin in biological processes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-7-248
PMCID: PMC1609119  PMID: 17020603
11.  Comprehensive in silico functional specification of mouse retina transcripts 
BMC Genomics  2005;6:40.
Background
The retina is a well-defined portion of the central nervous system (CNS) that has been used as a model for CNS development and function studies. The full specification of transcripts in an individual tissue or cell type, like retina, can greatly aid the understanding of the control of cell differentiation and cell function. In this study, we have integrated computational bioinformatics and microarray experimental approaches to classify the tissue specificity and developmental distribution of mouse retina transcripts.
Results
We have classified a set of retina-specific genes using sequence-based screening integrated with computational and retina tissue-specific microarray approaches. 33,737 non-redundant sequences were identified as retina transcript clusters (RTCs) from more than 81,000 mouse retina ESTs. We estimate that about 19,000 to 20,000 genes might express in mouse retina from embryonic to adult stages. 39.1% of the RTCs are not covered by 60,770 RIKEN full-length cDNAs. Through comparison with 2 million mouse ESTs, spectra of neural, retinal, late-generated retinal, and photoreceptor -enriched RTCs have been generated. More than 70% of these RTCs have data from biological experiments confirming their tissue-specific expression pattern. The highest-grade retina-enriched pool covered almost all the known genes encoding proteins involved in photo-transduction.
Conclusion
This study provides a comprehensive mouse retina transcript profile for further gene discovery in retina and suggests that tissue-specific transcripts contribute substantially to the whole transcriptome.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-6-40
PMCID: PMC1083414  PMID: 15777472

Results 1-11 (11)