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1.  Draft Genome Sequence of the Sexually Transmitted Pathogen Trichomonas vaginalis 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2007;315(5809):207-212.
We describe the genome sequence of the protist Trichomonas vaginalis, a sexually transmitted human pathogen. Repeats and transposable elements comprise about two-thirds of the ~160-megabase genome, reflecting a recent massive expansion of genetic material. This expansion, in conjunction with the shaping of metabolic pathways that likely transpired through lateral gene transfer from bacteria, and amplification of specific gene families implicated in pathogenesis and phagocytosis of host proteins may exemplify adaptations of the parasite during its transition to a urogenital environment. The genome sequence predicts previously unknown functions for the hydrogenosome, which support a common evolutionary origin of this unusual organelle with mitochondria.
doi:10.1126/science.1132894
PMCID: PMC2080659  PMID: 17218520
2.  Molecular signature of clinical severity in recovering patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) 
BMC Genomics  2005;6:132.
Background
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a recent epidemic human disease, is caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV). First reported in Asia, SARS quickly spread worldwide through international travelling. As of July 2003, the World Health Organization reported a total of 8,437 people afflicted with SARS with a 9.6% mortality rate. Although immunopathological damages may account for the severity of respiratory distress, little is known about how the genome-wide gene expression of the host changes under the attack of SARS-CoV.
Results
Based on changes in gene expression of peripheral blood, we identified 52 signature genes that accurately discriminated acute SARS patients from non-SARS controls. While a general suppression of gene expression predominated in SARS-infected blood, several genes including those involved in innate immunity, such as defensins and eosinophil-derived neurotoxin, were upregulated. Instead of employing clustering methods, we ranked the severity of recovering SARS patients by generalized associate plots (GAP) according to the expression profiles of 52 signature genes. Through this method, we discovered a smooth transition pattern of severity from normal controls to acute SARS patients. The rank of SARS severity was significantly correlated with the recovery period (in days) and with the clinical pulmonary infection score.
Conclusion
The use of the GAP approach has proved useful in analyzing the complexity and continuity of biological systems. The severity rank derived from the global expression profile of significantly regulated genes in patients may be useful for further elucidating the pathophysiology of their disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-6-132
PMCID: PMC1262710  PMID: 16174304
4.  The genome sequence of Salmonella enterica serovar Choleraesuis, a highly invasive and resistant zoonotic pathogen 
Nucleic Acids Research  2005;33(5):1690-1698.
Salmonella enterica serovar Choleraesuis (S.Choleraesuis), a highly invasive serovar among non-typhoidal Salmonella, usually causes sepsis or extra-intestinal focal infections in humans. S.Choleraesuis infections have now become particularly difficult to treat because of the emergence of resistance to multiple antimicrobial agents. The 4.7 Mb genome sequence of a multidrug-resistant S.Choleraesuis strain SC-B67 was determined. Genome wide comparison of three sequenced Salmonella genomes revealed that more deletion events occurred in S.Choleraesuis SC-B67 and S.Typhi CT18 relative to S.Typhimurium LT2. S.Choleraesuis has 151 pseudogenes, which, among the three Salmonella genomes, include the highest percentage of pseudogenes arising from the genes involved in bacterial chemotaxis signal-transduction pathways. Mutations in these genes may increase smooth swimming of the bacteria, potentially allowing more effective interactions with and invasion of host cells to occur. A key regulatory gene of TetR/AcrR family, acrR, was inactivated through the introduction of an internal stop codon resulting in overexpression of AcrAB that appears to be associated with ciprofloxacin resistance. While lateral gene transfer providing basic functions to allow niche expansion in the host and environment is maintained during the evolution of different serovars of Salmonella, genes providing little overall selective benefit may be lost rapidly. Our findings suggest that the formation of pseudogenes may provide a simple evolutionary pathway that complements gene acquisition to enhance virulence and antimicrobial resistance in S.Choleraesuis.
doi:10.1093/nar/gki297
PMCID: PMC1069006  PMID: 15781495

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