The neurotrophin receptor p75NTR conveys multiple signals via its intracellular death domain. However, how the death domain is activated and interacts with downstream adaptors remains unclear. Here, we report two crystal structures of the p75NTR death domain in the form of a non-covalent asymmetric dimer and a Cys379-Cys379 disulfide bond linked symmetric dimer, respectively. These two dimer arrangements have not previously been observed in other death domain-containing proteins. Further analysis shows that both the Cys379-Cys379 disulfide linked and non-covalent full-length p75NTR dimers are present on the cell surface. These observations suggest that various oligomers may exist simultaneously on the cell surface, and that p75NTR activation and signalling may be modulated by neurotrophins or other factors via inducing a shift of the equilibrium between different oligomeric states.
Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha (HNF4α), a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily, is essential for liver function and is linked to several diseases including diabetes, hemophilia, atherosclerosis, and hepatitis. Although many DNA response elements and target genes have been identified for HNF4α the complete repertoire of binding sites and target genes in the human genome is unknown. Here, we adapt protein binding microarrays (PBMs) to examine the DNA-binding characteristics of two HNF4α species (rat and human) and isoforms (HNF4α2 and HNF4α8) in a high-throughput fashion. We identified ~1400 new binding sequences and used this dataset to successfully train a Support Vector Machine (SVM)model that predicts an additional ~10,000 unique HNF4α-binding sequences; we also identify new rules for HNF4α DNA binding. We performed expression profiling of an HNF4α RNA interference knockdown in HepG2 cells and compared the results to a search of the promoters of all human genes with the PBM and SVM models, as well as published genome-wide location analysis. Using this integrated approach, we identified ~240 new direct HNF4α human target genes, including new functional categories of genes not typically associated with HNF4α, such as cell cycle, immune function, apoptosis, stress response, and other cancer-related genes.
We report the first use of PBMs with a full-length liver-enriched transcription factor and greatly expand the repertoire of HNF4α-binding sequences and target genes, thereby identifying new functions for HNF4α. We also establish a web-based tool, HNF4 Motif Finder, that can be used to identify potential HNF4α-binding sites in any sequence.
Glioma is a type of tumor that develops in the central nerve system, mainly the brain. Alterations of genomic sequence and sequence segments (such as copy number variations or CNV and copy neutral loss of heterozygosities or cnLOH) are thought to be a major determinant of the tumor grade.
We mapped genomic variations between low-grade and high-grade gliomas (LGG and HGG) in Chinese population based on Illumina’s Beadchip and validated the results using real-time qPCR.
At the cytoband level, we discovered: (1) unique losses in LGG on 5q, 8p and 11q, and in HGG on 6q, 11p, 13q and 19q; (2) unique gains in the LGG on 1p and in HGG at 5p, 7p, 7q and 20q; and (3) cnLOH in HGG only on 3q, 8q, 10p, 14q, 15q, 17p, 17q, 18q and 21q. Subsequently, we confirmed well-characterized oncogenes among tumor-related loci (such as EGFR and KIT) and detected novel genes that gained chromosome sequences (such as AASS, HYAL4, NDUFA5 and SPAM1) in both LGG and HGG. In addition, we found gains, losses, and cnLOH in several genes, including VN1R2, VN1R4, and ZNF677, in multiple samples. Mapping grade-associated pathways and their related gene ontology (GO) terms, we classified LGG-associated functions as “arachidonic acid metabolism”, “DNA binding” and “regulation of DNA-dependent transcription” and the HGG-associated as “neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction”, “neuronal cell body” and “defense response to bacterium”.
LGG and HGG appear to have different molecular signatures in genomic variations and our results provide invaluable information for the diagnosis and treatment of gliomas in patients with variable duration or diverse tumor differentiation.
The core promoter is the region flanking the transcription start site (TSS) that directs formation of the pre-initiation complex. Core promoters have been studied intensively in mammals and yeast, but not in more diverse eukaryotes. Here we investigate core promoters in oomycetes, a group within the Stramenopile kingdom that includes important plant and animal pathogens. Prior studies of a small collection of genes proposed that oomycete core promoters contain a 16 to 19 nt motif bearing an Initiator-like sequence (INR) flanked by a novel sequence named FPR, but this has not been extended to whole-genome analysis.
We used expectation maximization to find over-represented motifs near TSSs of Phytophthora infestans, the potato blight pathogen. The motifs corresponded to INR, FPR, and a new element found about 25 nt downstream of the TSS called DPEP. TATA boxes were not detected. Assays of DPEP function by mutagenesis were consistent with its role as a core motif. Genome-wide searches found a well-conserved combined INR+FPR in only about 13% of genes after correcting for false discovery, which contradicted prior reports that INR and FPR are found together in most genes. INR or FPR were found alone near TSSs in 18% and 7% of genes, respectively. Promoters lacking the motifs had pyrimidine-rich regions near the TSS. The combined INR+FPR motif was linked to higher than average mRNA levels, developmentally-regulated transcription, and functions related to plant infection, while DPEP and FPR were over-represented in constitutively-expressed genes. The INR, FPR, and combined INR+FPR motifs were detected in other oomycetes including Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis, Phytophthora sojae, Pythium ultimum, and Saprolegnia parasitica, while DPEP was found in all but S. parasitica. Only INR seemed present in a non-oomycete stramenopile.
The absence of a TATA box and presence of novel motifs show that the oomycete core promoter is diverged from that of model systems, and likely explains the lack of activity of non-oomycete promoters in Phytophthora transformants. The association of the INR+FPR motif with developmentally-regulated genes shows that oomycete core elements influence stage-specific transcription in addition to regulating formation of the pre-initiation complex.
Core promoter; Transcription initiation; Oomycete genome; Promoter mutagenesis; Transcription factor binding site; Reporter gene assay
Despite the advances in diagnosis and treatment of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), mortality and morbidity rates have not improved over the past decade. A major drawback in diagnosis and treatment of OSCC is the lack of knowledge relating to how genetic instability in oral cancer genomes affects oral carcinogenesis. Hence, the key aim of this study was to identify copy number alterations (CNAs) that may be cancer associated in OSCC using high-resolution array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH). To our knowledge this is the first study to use ultra-high density aCGH microarrays to profile a large number of OSCC genomes (n = 46). The most frequently amplified CNAs were located on chromosome 11q11(52%), 2p22.3(52%), 1q21.3–q22(54%), 6p21.32(59%), 20p13(61%), 7q34(52% and 72%),8p11.23–p11.22(80%), 8q11.1–q24.4(54%), 9q13–q34.3(54%), 11q23.3–q25(57%); 14q21.3–q31.1(54%); 14q31.3–q32.33(57%), 20p13–p12.3(54%) and 20q11.21–q13.33(52%). The most frequently deleted chromosome region was located on 3q26.1 (54%). In order to verify the CNAs from aCGH using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), the three top most amplified regions and their associated genes, namely ADAM5P (8p11.23–p11.22), MGAM (7q34) and SIRPB1 (20p13.1), were selected in this study. The ADAM5P locus was found to be amplified in 39 samples and deleted in one; MGAM (24 amplifications and 3 deletions); and SIRPB1 (12 amplifications, others undetermined). On the basis of putative cancer-related annotations, two genes, namely ADAM metallopeptidase domain 9 (ADAM9) and maltase-glucoamylase alpha-glucosidase (MGAM), that mapped to CNA regions were selected for further evaluation of their mRNA expression using reverse transcriptase qPCR. The over-expression of MGAM was confirmed with a 6.6 fold increase in expression at the mRNA level whereas the fold change in ADAM9 demonstrated a 1.6 fold increase. This study has identified significant regions in the OSCC genome that were amplified and resulted in consequent over-expression of the MGAM and ADAM9 genes that may be utilized as biological markers for OSCC.
Seizure is a common presenting manifestation and plays an important role in the clinical presentation and quality of life for patients with low-grade gliomas (LGGs). The authors set out to identify factors that influence preoperative seizure characteristics and postoperative seizure control. Cases involving adult patients who had undergone initial surgery for LGGs in a single institution between 2005 and 2009 were retrospectively reviewed. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with preoperative seizures and postoperative seizure control. Of the 508 patients in the series, 350 (68.9%) presented with seizures. Age less than 38 years and cortical involvement of tumor were more likely to be associated with seizures (P = .003 and .001, respectively, multivariate logistic analysis). For the cohort of 350 patients with seizures, Engel classification was used to evaluate 6- and 12-month outcome after surgery: completely seizure free (Engel class I), 65.3% and 62.5%; not seizure free (Engel classes II, III, IV), 34.7% and 37.5%. After multivariate logistic analysis, favorable seizure prognosis was more common in patients with secondary generalized seizure (P = .006) and with calcification on MRI (.031). With respect to treatment-related variables, patients achieved much better seizure control after gross total resection than after subtotal resection (P < .0001). Ki67 was an independent molecular marker predicting poor seizure control in the patients with a history of seizure if overexpressed but was not a predictor for those without preoperative seizures. These factors may provide insight into developing effective treatment strategies aimed at prolonging patients' survival.
calcification; extent of resection; Ki67; low-grade glioma; seizure
Chikungunya virus belongs to the genus Alphavirus in the family Togaviridae. Here we report the complete genome sequence of a chikungunya virus strain, GD05/2010, isolated in 2010 from a patient with chikungunya fever in Guangdong, China. The sequence information is important for surveillance of this emerging arboviral infection in China.
Forkhead box Q1 (FoxQ1) is a member of the forkhead transcription factor family, and it has recently been found to participate in cancer development. However, whether FoxQ1 expression contributes to glioma development and progression is not known. We investigate FoxQ1 expression in gliomas and the role of FoxQ1 during tumorgenesis.
Reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) and Western blot were used to determine the FoxQ1 and Neurexins 3 (NRXN3) expression in gliomas. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and luciferase assays were used to determine the regulation between FoxQ1 and NRXN3. We established depleted FoxQ1 stable clones in U-87MG cells and overexpressed FoxQ1 stable clones in SW1088 cells. MTT and transwell were used to evaluate the ability of proliferation and migration, respectively.
FoxQ1 mRNA and protein were up-regulated in gliomas and negatively related to the NRXN3 expression (r = −0.373, P = 0.042). FoxQ1 directly binds to NRXN3 promoter region and suppresses the promoter activity. Furthermore, the ability of proliferation and migration is reduced in depleted FoxQ1 cells.
FoxQ1 promotes glioma cell proliferation and migration by down-regulation of NRXN3 expression.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether abnormal expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9/tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMP)-1 and B cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2)/BCL-2-associated X protein (BAX) are correlated with the characteristic accelerated fibrosis and apoptosis during ageing and in atrial fibrillation (AF). Four groups of dogs were studied: adult dogs in sinus rhythm (SR), aged dogs in SR, adult dogs with AF induced by rapid atrial pacing and aged dogs with AF induced by rapid atrial pacing. The mRNA and protein expression levels of the target gene in the left atrium were measured by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western blot analysis. Pathohistological and ultrastructural changes were assessed by light and electron microscopy. The apoptotic indices of myocytes were detected by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate (dUTP) nick end labeling (TUNEL). The mRNA and protein expression levels of MMP-9 and BAX and those of TIMP-1 and BCL-2 were significantly upregulated and down-regulated, respectively, in the aged groups compared with the adult groups. Compared with the control groups, the adult and aged groups with AF exhibited significantly increased mRNA and protein expression levels of MMP-9 and BAX and decreased expression levels of TIMP-1 and BCL-2. Samples of atrial tissue demonstrated abnormal pathohistological and ultrastructural changes, accelerated fibrosis and apoptosis. MMP-9/TIMP-1 and BCL-2/BAX hold potential for use as substrates conducive to AF and their abnormal expression plays a major role in structural remodeling of the atrium.
atrial fibrillation; ageing; structural remodeling; atrial fibrosis; apoptosis
Exome sequencing has identified the causes of several Mendelian diseases, although it has rarely been used in a clinical setting to diagnose the genetic cause of an idiopathic disorder in a single patient. We performed exome sequencing on a pedigree with several members affected with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), in an effort to identify candidate variants predisposing to this complex disease. While we did identify some rare variants that might predispose to ADHD, we have not yet proven the causality for any of them. However, over the course of the study, one subject was discovered to have idiopathic hemolytic anemia (IHA), which was suspected to be genetic in origin. Analysis of this subject’s exome readily identified two rare non-synonymous mutations in PKLR gene as the most likely cause of the IHA, although these two mutations had not been documented before in a single individual. We further confirmed the deficiency by functional biochemical testing, consistent with a diagnosis of red blood cell pyruvate kinase deficiency. Our study implies that exome and genome sequencing will certainly reveal additional rare variation causative for even well-studied classical Mendelian diseases, while also revealing variants that might play a role in complex diseases. Furthermore, our study has clinical and ethical implications for exome and genome sequencing in a research setting; how to handle unrelated findings of clinical significance, in the context of originally planned complex disease research, remains a largely uncharted area for clinicians and researchers.
Motivation: In genome-wide association studies (GWAS), up to millions of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are genotyped for thousands of individuals. However, conventional single locus-based approaches are usually unable to detect gene–gene interactions underlying complex diseases. Due to the huge search space for complicated high order interactions, many existing multi-locus approaches are slow and may suffer from low detection power for GWAS.
Results: In this article, we develop a simple, fast and effective algorithm to detect genome-wide multi-locus epistatic interactions based on the clustering of relatively frequent items. Extensive experiments on simulated data show that our algorithm is fast and more powerful in general than some recently proposed methods. On a real genome-wide case–control dataset for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the algorithm has identified genotype combinations that are significantly enriched in the cases.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
The increased chemosensitivity of oligodendroglial tumors has been associated with loss of heterozygosity (LOH) on chromosomes 1p and 19q. Other clinical and molecular factors have also been identified as being prognostic and predictive for treatment outcome. Seventy-seven patients with anaplastic oligodendroglioma (AO) or anaplastic oligoastrocytoma (AOA), treated in Beijing Tiantan Hospital from 2006 through 2008, were reviewed. LOH 1p, LOH 19q, IDH1 mutation, O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation, and protein expression level of MGMT, P53, EGFR, and Ki-67 were evaluated. Age at diagnosis, LOH 1p and 19q, IDH1 mutation, P53 expression level, reoperation when progression, and adjuvant chemotherapy were statistically significant factors for overall survival (OS) in univariate analysis. Further multivariate analysis showed that age at diagnosis (P = .010), LOH 1p and 19q (P = .016), IDH1 mutation (P = .011), and reoperation after progression (P = .048) were independent predictors for longer survival in these patients. Nonrandom associations were found between LOH 1p and LOH 19q, MGMT promoter methylation and LOH 1p or 19q, IDH1 mutation and LOH 1p and 19q, IDH1 mutation and MGMT promoter methylation, whereas mutual exclusion was found between MGMT promoter methylation and MGMT expression level. The present study confirmed that age at diagnosis, LOH 1p and 19q, IDH1 mutation, and reoperation after progression were independent significant prognostic factors for patients with anaplastic oligodendroglial tumors. Inter-relationship between LOH 1p, LOH 19q, IDH1 mutation, MGMT promoter methylation, and MGMT expression level were also revealed. Future clinical trials for AO and AOA should consider the molecular alterations of patients.
anaplastic oligodendroglial tumor; IDH1 mutation; LOH 1p and 19q; MGMT; prognostic factor
Immunity to conserved viral antigens is an attractive approach to develop a universal vaccine against epidemic and pandemic influenza. A nucleoprotein (NP)-based vaccine has been explored and preliminary studies have shown promise. However, no study has explored the immunity and cross-protective efficacy of recombinant NP derived from Escherichia coli compared with recombinant vaccinia virus (Tiantan).
Recombinant NP protein (rNP) from influenza virus A/Jingke/30/95(H3N2) was obtained from E. coli and recombinant vaccinia virus (Tiantan) RVJ1175NP. Purified rNP without adjuvant and RVJ1175NP were used to immunize BALB/c mice intramuscularly. Humoral immune responses were detected by ELISA, while cell-mediated immune responses were measured by ex vivo IFN-γ ELISPOT and in vivo cytotoxicity assays. The cross-protective efficacy was assessed by a challenge with a heterosubtype of influenza virus A/PR/8/34(H1N1).
Our results demonstrate that a high dose (90 μg) of rNP induced NP-specific antibodies and T cell responses that were comparable with those of RVJ1175NP in mice. Importantly, the survival ratio (36, 73, and 78%) of the vaccinated mice after the influenza virus A/PR/8/34(H1N1) challenge was rNP vaccine dose-dependent (10, 30, and 90 μg, respectively), and no significant differences were observed between the rNP- and RVJ1175NP-immunized (91%) mice.
Influenza A virus NP derived from E. coli or recombinant vaccinia (Tiantan) virus elicited cross-protection against influenza virus in mice, and the immune response and protective efficacy of rNP were comparable to RVJ1175NP. These data provide a basis for the use of prokaryotically expressed NP as a candidate universal influenza vaccine.
Molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of meningioma are not fully elucidated. In this study, we established differential gene expression profiles between meningiomas and brain arachnoidal tissue by using Affymetrix GeneChip Human U133 Plus 2.0 Array. KEGG pathway analysis demonstrated that PI3K/Akt and TGFβ signaling pathways were up-regulated in fibroblastic meningioma, and focal adhesion and ECM-receptor interaction pathways were activated in anaplastic meningioma. EGFL6 was one of the most up-regulated genes in fibroblastic meningioma by microarray analysis. Quantitative real-time PCR demonstrated that benign meningiomas had significantly higher levels of EGFL6 mRNA than brain arachnoidal tissue and atypical and anaplastic meningiomas (P<0.001). EGFL6 gene was also highly expressed in ovarian cancer, but expressed lowly in other investigated tumors. ELISA analysis showed that patients with benign meningiomas and ovarian cancers had the highest serum levels of EGFL6 (mean concentration: 672 pg/ml for benign meningiomas, and 616 pg/ml for ovarian cancers). Healthy people and patients with other tumors, however, had low levels of serum EGFL6. In conclusion, we proposed that activation of PI3K/Akt and integrin-mediated signaling pathways was involved in the pathogenesis of benign and anaplastic meningiomas, respectively. We also presented evidence that EGFL6 was overexpressed in benign meningioma tissues and serum.
The oxidative stress mechanism is of particular interest in the pathogenesis of glioma, given the high rate of oxygen metabolism in the brain. Potential links between polymorphisms of antioxidant genes and glioma risk are currently unknown. We therefore investigated the association between polymorphisms in antioxidant genes and glioma risk.
We examined 16 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of 9 antioxidant genes (GPX1, CAT, PON1, NQO1, SOD2/MnSOD, SOD3, and NOS1*2*3) in 384 glioma and 384 control cases in a Chinese hospital-based case–control study. Genotypes were determined using the OpenArray platform, which employs the chip-based Taq-Man genotyping technology. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression.
Using single-locus analysis, we identified four SNPs (SOD2 V16A, SOD3 T58A, GPX1 -46 C/T, and NOS1 3’-UTR) that were significantly associated with the risk of glioma development. To assess the cumulative effects, we performed a combined unfavourable genotype analysis. Compared with the reference group that exhibited no unfavourable genotypes, the medium- and high-risk groups exhibited a 1.86-fold (95% CI, 1.30-2.67) and a 4.86-fold (95% CI, 1.33-17.71) increased risk of glioma, respectively (P-value for the trend < 0.001).
These data suggest that genetic variations in oxidative stress genes might contribute to the aetiology of glioma.
Oxidative stress; Single nucleotide polymorphism; Glioma; SOD2; SOD3; GPX1; NOS1
The 23-amino acid extracellular domain of matrix 2 protein (M2e) and the internal nucleoprotein (NP) of influenza are highly conserved among viruses and thus are promising candidate antigens for the development of a universal influenza vaccine. Various M2e- or NP-based DNA or viral vector vaccines have been shown to have high immunogenicity; however, high cost, complicated immunization procedures, and vector-specific antibody responses have restricted their applications. Immunization with an NP–M2e fusion protein expressed in Escherichia coli may represent an alternative strategy for the development of a universal influenza vaccine.
cDNA encoding M2e was fused to the 3′ end of NP cDNA from influenza virus A/Beijing/30/95 (H3N2). The fusion protein (NM2e) was expressed in E. coli and isolated with 90% purity. Mice were immunized with recombinant NM2e protein along with aluminum hydroxide gel and/or CpG as adjuvant. NM2e plus aluminum hydroxide gel almost completely protected the mice against a lethal (20 LD50) challenge of heterologous influenza virus A/PR/8/34.
The NM2e fusion protein expressed in E. coli was highly immunogenic in mice. Immunization with NM2e formulated with aluminum hydroxide gel protected mice against a lethal dose of a heterologous influenza virus. Vaccination with recombinant NM2e fusion protein is a promising strategy for the development of a universal influenza vaccine.
The current standard of care for newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is resection followed by radiotherapy with concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide. Recent studies suggest that nearly half of the patients with early radiological deterioration post treatment do not suffer from tumor recurrence but from pseudoprogression. Similarly, a significant number of patients with brain metastases suffer from radiation necrosis following radiation treatments. Conventional MRI is currently unable to differentiate tumor progression from treatment-induced effects. The ability to clearly differentiate tumor from non-tumoral tissues is crucial for appropriate patient management. Ten patients with primary brain tumors and 10 patients with brain metastases were scanned by delayed contrast extravasation MRI prior to surgery. Enhancement subtraction maps calculated from high resolution MR images acquired up to 75 min after contrast administration were used for obtaining stereotactic biopsies. Histological assessment was then compared with the pre-surgical calculated maps. In addition, the application of our maps for prediction of progression was studied in a small cohort of 13 newly diagnosed GBM patients undergoing standard chemoradiation and followed up to 19.7 months post therapy. The maps showed two primary enhancement populations: the slow population where contrast clearance from the tissue was slower than contrast accumulation and the fast population where clearance was faster than accumulation. Comparison with histology confirmed the fast population to consist of morphologically active tumor and the slow population to consist of non-tumoral tissues. Our maps demonstrated significant correlation with perfusion-weighted MR data acquired simultaneously, although contradicting examples were shown. Preliminary results suggest that early changes in the fast volumes may serve as a predictor for time to progression. These preliminary results suggest that our high resolution MRI-based delayed enhancement subtraction maps may be applied for clear depiction of tumor and non-tumoral tissues in patients with primary brain tumors and patients with brain metastases.
Due to the difficulty in separating two (paternal and maternal) copies of a chromosome, most published human genome sequences only provide genotype information, i.e., the mixed information of the underlying two haplotypes. However, phased haplotype information is needed to completely understand complex genetic polymorphisms and to increase the power of genome-wide association studies for complex diseases. With the rapid development of DNA sequencing technologies, reconstructing a pair of haplotypes from an individual's aligned DNA fragments by computer algorithms (i.e., Single Individual Haplotyping) has become a practical haplotyping approach.
In the paper, we combine two measures "errors corrected" and "fragments cut" and propose a new optimization model, called Balanced Optimal Partition (BOP), for single individual haplotyping. The model generalizes two existing models, Minimum Error Correction (MEC) and Maximum Fragments Cut (MFC), and could be made either model by using some extreme parameter values. To solve the model, we design a heuristic dynamic programming algorithm H-BOP. By limiting the number of intermediate solutions at each iteration to an appropriately chosen small integer k, H-BOP is able to solve the model efficiently.
Extensive experimental results on simulated and real data show that when k = 8, H-BOP is generally faster and more accurate than a recent state-of-art algorithm ReFHap in haplotype reconstruction. The running time of H-BOP is linearly dependent on some of the key parameters controlling the input size and H-BOP scales well to large input data. The code of H-BOP is available to the public for free upon request to the corresponding author.
When studying genetic diseases in which genetic variations are passed on to offspring, the ability to distinguish between paternal and maternal alleles is essential. Determining haplotypes from genotype data is called haplotype inference. Most existing computational algorithms for haplotype inference have been designed to use genotype data collected from individuals in the form of a pedigree. A haplotype is regarded as a hereditary unit and therefore input pedigrees are preferred that are free of mutational events and have a minimum number of genetic recombinational events. These ideas motivated the zero-recombinant haplotype configuration (ZRHC) problem, which strictly follows the Mendelian law of inheritance, namely that one haplotype of each child is inherited from the father and the other haplotype is inherited from the mother, both without any mutation. So far no linear-time algorithm for ZRHC has been proposed for general pedigrees, even though the number of mating loops in a human pedigree is usually very small and can be regarded as constant.
Given a pedigree with n individuals, m marker loci, and k mating loops, we proposed an algorithm that can provide a general solution to the zero-recombinant haplotype configuration problem in O(kmn + k2m) time. In addition, this algorithm can be modified to detect inconsistencies within the genotype data without loss of efficiency. The proposed algorithm was subject to 12000 experiments to verify its performance using different (n, m) combinations. The value of k was uniformly distributed between zero and six throughout all experiments. The experimental results show a great linearity in terms of execution time in relation to input size when both n and m are larger than 100. For those experiments where n or m are less than 100, the proposed algorithm runs very fast, in thousandth to hundredth of a second, on a personal desktop computer.
We have developed the first deterministic linear-time algorithm for the zero-recombinant haplotype configuration problem. Our experimental results demonstrated the linearity of its execution time in relation to the input size. The proposed algorithm can be modified to detect inconsistency within the genotype data without loss of efficiency and is expected to be able to handle recombinant and missing data with further extension.
Haplotype inference; zero-recombinant haplotype configuration (ZRHC); pedigree; mating loop.
Here we report the first complete genome sequence of a dengue virus serotype 4 genotype II strain, GZ30, isolated in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, in 2010. The sequence information provided herein will help us to understand the molecular epidemiology of dengue virus and predict the risk of severe diseases in mainland China.
The new second generation sequencing technology revolutionizes many biology-related research fields and poses various computational biology challenges. One of them is transcriptome assembly based on RNA-Seq data, which aims at reconstructing all full-length mRNA transcripts simultaneously from millions of short reads. In this article, we consider three objectives in transcriptome assembly: the maximization of prediction accuracy, minimization of interpretation, and maximization of completeness. The first objective, the maximization of prediction accuracy, requires that the estimated expression levels based on assembled transcripts should be as close as possible to the observed ones for every expressed region of the genome. The minimization of interpretation follows the parsimony principle to seek as few transcripts in the prediction as possible. The third objective, the maximization of completeness, requires that the maximum number of mapped reads (or “expressed segments” in gene models) be explained by (i.e., contained in) the predicted transcripts in the solution. Based on the above three objectives, we present IsoLasso, a new RNA-Seq based transcriptome assembly tool. IsoLasso is based on the well-known LASSO algorithm, a multivariate regression method designated to seek a balance between the maximization of prediction accuracy and the minimization of interpretation. By including some additional constraints in the quadratic program involved in LASSO, IsoLasso is able to make the set of assembled transcripts as complete as possible. Experiments on simulated and real RNA-Seq datasets show that IsoLasso achieves, simultaneously, higher sensitivity and precision than the state-of-art transcript assembly tools.
algorithms; computational molecular biology; machine learning; probability; sequence analysis
MicroRNAs, a group of small endogenous, noncoding RNAs, are aberrantly expressed in many human cancers and can act as oncogene or anti-oncogene. Recent evidence suggests that some miRNAs have prognostic value for tumors. MiR-328 is known as a tumor suppressor; however, its relationship with the clinicopathological features of glioblastoma (GBM) and its prognostic value has yet not been investigated. We found that expression of miR-328 was significantly decreased both in anaplastic and GBM cohorts and that low miR-328 expression also conferred poor survival in primary GBM (PGBM) patients. MiR-328 might, therefore, serve as an independent prognostic marker. Furthermore, expression profiles of miR-328-associated mRNAs were established via microarrays for 60 GBM samples. The ontology of the miR-328-associated genes was then analyzed, which identified gene sets tightly related to cell mitosis. In addition, ectopic expression of miR-328 inhibited U87 cell proliferation and induced U87 cell cycle arrest. In conclusion, this is the first report showing that miR-328 is associated with patient’s survival time and that miR-328 might serve as an independent prognostic biomarker for GBM.
The H subunit of Mg-chelatase (CHLH) was shown to regulate abscisic acid (ABA) signaling and the I subunit (CHLI) was also reported to modulate ABA signaling in guard cells. However, it remains essentially unknown whether and how the Mg-chelatase-catalyzed Mg-protoporphyrin IX-production differs from ABA signaling. Using a newly-developed surface plasmon resonance system, we showed that ABA binds to CHLH, but not to the other Mg-chelatase components/subunits CHLI, CHLD (D subunit) and GUN4. A new rtl1 mutant allele of the CHLH gene in Arabidopsis thaliana showed ABA-insensitive phenotypes in both stomatal movement and seed germination. Upregulation of CHLI1 resulted in ABA hypersensitivity in seed germination, while downregulation of CHLI conferred ABA insensitivity in stomatal response in Arabidopsis. We showed that CHLH and CHLI, but not CHLD, regulate stomatal sensitivity to ABA in tobacco (Nicotiana benthamiana). The overexpression lines of the CHLD gene showed wild-type ABA sensitivity in Arabidopsis. Both the GUN4-RNA interference and overexpression lines of Arabidopsis showed wild-type phenotypes in the major ABA responses. These findings provide clear evidence that the Mg-chelatase-catalyzed Mg-ProtoIX production is distinct from ABA signaling, giving information to understand the mechanism by which the two cellular processes differs at the molecular level.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11103-012-9965-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
H subunit of Mg-chelatase; I subunit of Mg-chelatase; D subunit of Mg-chelatase; GUN4; ABA binding; ABA signal transduction
To investigate the therapeutic effects of renal denervation (RD) on post- myocardial infarction (MI) cardiac remodeling in rats, the most optimal time for intervention and the sustainability of these effects.
One hundred SPF male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to N group (Normal, n = 10), MI group(MI, n = 20),RD group (RD, n = 10), RD3+MI (MI three days after RD, n = 20), MI1+RD (RD one day after MI, n = 20), MI7+RD (RD seven days after MI, n = 20). MI was produced through thoracotomic ligation of the anterior descending artery. RD was performed through laparotomic stripping of the renal arteriovenous adventitial sympathetic nerve. Left ventricular function, hemodynamics, plasma BNP, urine volume, urine sodium excretion and other indicators were measured four weeks after MI.
(1) The left ventricular function of the MI group significantly declined (EF<40%), plasma BNP was elevated, urine output was significantly reduced, and 24-hour urine sodium excretion was significantly reduced. (2) Denervation can be achieved by surgically stripping the arteriovenous adventitia, approximately 3 mm from the abdominal aorta. (3) In rats with RD3+MI, MI1+RD and MI7+RD, compared with MI rats respectively, the LVEF was significantly improved (75±8.4%,69±3.8%,73±5.5%), hemodynamic indicators were significantly improved, plasma BNP was significantly decreased, and the urine output was significantly increased (21.3±5 ml,23.8±5.4 ml,25.2±8.7 ml). However, the urinary sodium excretion also increased but without significant difference.
RD has preventive and therapeutic effects on post-MI cardiac remodeling.These effects can be sustained for at least four weeks, but there were no significant differences between denervation procedures performed at different times in the course of illness. Cardiac function, hemodynamics, urine volume and urine sodium excretion in normal rats were not affected by RD.
The metagenomics approach allows the simultaneous sequencing of all genomes in an environmental sample. This results in high complexity datasets, where in addition to repeats and sequencing errors, the number of genomes and their abundance ratios are unknown. Recently developed next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies significantly improve the sequencing efficiency and cost. On the other hand, they result in shorter reads, which makes the separation of reads from different species harder. Among the existing computational tools for metagenomic analysis, there are similarity-based methods that use reference databases to align reads and composition-based methods that use composition patterns (i.e., frequencies of short words or l-mers) to cluster reads. Similarity-based methods are unable to classify reads from unknown species without close references (which constitute the majority of reads). Since composition patterns are preserved only in significantly large fragments, composition-based tools cannot be used for very short reads, which becomes a significant limitation with the development of NGS. A recently proposed algorithm, AbundanceBin, introduced another method that bins reads based on predicted abundances of the genomes sequenced. However, it does not separate reads from genomes of similar abundance levels.
In this work, we present a two-phase heuristic algorithm for separating short paired-end reads from different genomes in a metagenomic dataset. We use the observation that most of the l-mers belong to unique genomes when l is sufficiently large. The first phase of the algorithm results in clusters of l-mers each of which belongs to one genome. During the second phase, clusters are merged based on l-mer repeat information. These final clusters are used to assign reads. The algorithm could handle very short reads and sequencing errors. It is initially designed for genomes with similar abundance levels and then extended to handle arbitrary abundance ratios. The software can be download for free at
Our tests on a large number of simulated metagenomic datasets concerning species at various phylogenetic distances demonstrate that genomes can be separated if the number of common repeats is smaller than the number of genome-specific repeats. For such genomes, our method can separate NGS reads with a high precision and sensitivity.
Metagenomics; NGS short reads; Genome separation; Clustering