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1.  Genome-wide association study identifies three new melanoma susceptibility loci 
Barrett, Jennifer H | Iles, Mark M | Harland, Mark | Taylor, John C | Aitken, Joanne F | Andresen, Per Arne | Akslen, Lars A | Armstrong, Bruce K | Avril, Marie-Francoise | Azizi, Esther | Bakker, Bert | Bergman, Wilma | Bianchi-Scarrà, Giovanna | Paillerets, Brigitte Bressac-de | Calista, Donato | Cannon-Albright, Lisa A | Corda, Eve | Cust, Anne E | Dębniak, Tadeusz | Duffy, David | Dunning, Alison | Easton, Douglas F | Friedman, Eitan | Galan, Pilar | Ghiorzo, Paola | Giles, Graham G | Hansson, Johan | Hocevar, Marko | Höiom, Veronica | Hopper, John L | Ingvar, Christian | Janssen, Bart | Jenkins, Mark A | Jönsson, Göran | Kefford, Richard F | Landi, Giorgio | Landi, Maria Teresa | Lang, Julie | Lubiński, Jan | Mackie, Rona | Malvehy, Josep | Martin, Nicholas G | Molven, Anders | Montgomery, Grant W | van Nieuwpoort, Frans A | Novakovic, Srdjan | Olsson, Håkan | Pastorino, Lorenza | Puig, Susana | Puig-Butille, Joan Anton | Randerson-Moor, Juliette | Snowden, Helen | Tuominen, Rainer | Van Belle, Patricia | van der Stoep, Nienke | Whiteman, David C | Zelenika, Diana | Han, Jiali | Fang, Shenying | Lee, Jeffrey E | Wei, Qingyi | Lathrop, G Mark | Gillanders, Elizabeth M | Brown, Kevin M | Goldstein, Alisa M | Kanetsky, Peter A | Mann, Graham J | MacGregor, Stuart | Elder, David E | Amos, Christopher I | Hayward, Nicholas K | Gruis, Nelleke A | Demenais, Florence | Newton Bishop, Julia A | Bishop, D Timothy
Nature Genetics  2011;43(11):1108-1113.
We report a genome-wide association study of melanoma, conducted by GenoMEL, of 2,981 cases, of European ancestry, and 1,982 study-specific controls, plus a further 6,426 French and UK population controls, all genotyped for 317,000 or 610,000 SNPs. The analysis confirmed previously known melanoma susceptibility loci. The 7 novel regions with at least one SNP with p<10−5 and further local imputed or genotyped support were selected for replication using two other genome-wide studies (from Australia and Houston, Texas). Additional replication came from UK and Dutch case-control series. Three of the 7 regions replicated at p<10−3: an ATM missense polymorphism (rs1801516, overall p=3.4×10−9); a polymorphism within MX2 (rs45430, p=2.9×10−9) and a SNP adjacent to CASP8 (rs13016963, p=8.6×10−10). A fourth region near CCND1 remains of potential interest, showing suggestive but inconclusive evidence of replication. Unlike the previously known regions, the novel loci showed no association with nevus or pigmentation phenotypes in a large UK case-control series.
doi:10.1038/ng.959
PMCID: PMC3251256  PMID: 21983787
2.  Strigolactone and karrikin signal perception: receptors, enzymes, or both? 
The signaling molecules strigolactone (SL) and karrikin are involved in seed germination, development of axillary meristems, senescence of leaves, and interactions with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The signal transduction pathways for both SLs and karrikins require the same F-box protein (MAX2) and closely related α/β hydrolase fold proteins (DAD2 and KAI2). The crystal structure of DAD2 has been solved revealing an α/β hydrolase fold protein with an internal cavity capable of accommodating SLs. DAD2 responds to the SL analog GR24 by changing conformation and binding to MAX2 in a GR24 concentration-dependent manner. DAD2 can also catalyze hydrolysis of GR24. Structure activity relationships of analogs indicate that the butenolide ring common to both SLs and karrikins is essential for biological activity, but the remainder of the molecules can be significantly modified without loss of activity. The combination of data from the study of DAD2, KAI2, and chemical analogs of SLs and karrikins suggests a model for binding that requires nucleophilic attack by the active site serine of the hydrolase at the carbonyl atom of the butenolide ring. A conformational change occurs in the hydrolase that results in interaction with the F-box protein MAX2. Downstream signal transduction is then likely to occur via SCF (Skp-Cullin-F-box) complex-mediated ubiquitination of target proteins and their subsequent degradation. The role of the catalytic activity of the hydrolase is unclear but it may be integral in binding as well as possibly allowing the signal to be cleared from the receptor. The α/β hydrolase fold family consists mostly of active enzymes, with a few notable exceptions. We suggest that DAD2 and KAI2 represent an intermediate stage where some catalytic activity is retained at the same time as a receptor role has evolved.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2012.00296
PMCID: PMC3531792  PMID: 23293648
strigolactone; karrikin; receptor; hormone; branching
3.  N-Glycosylation of Carnosinase Influences Protein Secretion and Enzyme Activity 
Diabetes  2010;59(8):1984-1990.
OBJECTIVE
The (CTG)n polymorphism in the serum carnosinase (CN-1) gene affects CN-1 secretion. Since CN-1 is heavily glycosylated and glycosylation might influence protein secretion as well, we tested the role of N-glycosylation for CN-1 secretion and enzyme activity. We also tested whether CN-1 secretion is changed under hyperglycemic conditions.
RESULTS
N-glycosylation of CN-1 was either inhibited by tunicamycin in pCSII-CN-1–transfected Cos-7 cells or by stepwise deletion of its three putative N-glycosylation sites. CN-1 protein expression, N-glycosylation, and enzyme activity were assessed in cell extracts and supernatants. The influence of hyperglycemia on CN-1 enzyme activity in human serum was tested in homozygous (CTG)5 diabetic patients and healthy control subjects.
Tunicamycin completely inhibited CN-1 secretion. Deletion of all N-glycosylation sites was required to reduce CN-1 secretion efficiency. Enzyme activity was already diminished when two sites were deleted. In pCSII-CN-1–transfected Cos-7 cells cultured in medium containing 25 mmol/l d-glucose, the immature 61 kilodaltons (kDa) CN-1 immune reactive band was not detected. This was paralleled by an increased GlcNAc expression in cell lysates and CN-1 expression in the supernatants. Homozygous (CTG)5 diabetic patients had significantly higher serum CN-1 activity compared with genotype-matched, healthy control subjects.
CONCLUSIONS
We conclude that apart from the (CTG)n polymorphism in the signal peptide of CN-1, N-glycosylation is essential for appropriate secretion and enzyme activity. Since hyperglycemia enhances CN-1 secretion and enzyme activity, our data suggest that poor blood glucose control in diabetic patients might result in an increased CN-1 secretion even in the presence of the (CTG)5 allele.
doi:10.2337/db09-0868
PMCID: PMC2911063  PMID: 20460427
4.  Association Between CNDP1 Genotype and Diabetic Nephropathy Is Sex Specific 
Diabetes  2010;59(6):1555-1559.
OBJECTIVE
The 5-5 homozygous CNDP1 (carnosinase) genotype is associated with a reduced risk of diabetic nephropathy. We investigated whether this association is sex specific and independent of susceptibility for type 2 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Three separate groups of 114, 90, and 66 patients with type 2 diabetes and diabetic nephropathy were included in this study and compared with 93 patients with type 2 diabetes for >15 years without diabetic nephropathy and 472 population control subjects. The diabetes control group was used to determine an association in the three patient groups separately, and the population control group was used to estimate the genotype risk [odds ratio (CI)] for the population in a pooled analysis. The population control subjects were also compared with 562 patients with type 2 diabetes without diabetic nephropathy to determine whether the association was independent of type 2 diabetes. The CNDP1 genotype was determined by fragment analysis after PCR amplification.
RESULTS
The frequency of the 5-5 homozygous genotype was 28, 36, and 41% in the three diabetic nephropathy patient groups and 43 and 42% in the diabetic and population control subjects, respectively. The 5-5 homozygous genotype occurred significantly less frequently in women in all three patient groups compared with diabetic control subjects. The genotype risk for the population was estimated to be 0.5 (0.30–0.68) in women and 1.2 (0.77–1.69) in men. The 562 patients with type 2 diabetes without diabetic nephropathy did not differ from the general population (P = 0.23).
CONCLUSIONS
This study suggests that the association between the CNDP1 gene and diabetic nephropathy is sex specific and independent of susceptibility for type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.2337/db09-1377
PMCID: PMC2874718  PMID: 20332346
5.  Multicentric Validation of Proteomic Biomarkers in Urine Specific for Diabetic Nephropathy 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(10):e13421.
Background
Urine proteome analysis is rapidly emerging as a tool for diagnosis and prognosis in disease states. For diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy (DN), urinary proteome analysis was successfully applied in a pilot study. The validity of the previously established proteomic biomarkers with respect to the diagnostic and prognostic potential was assessed on a separate set of patients recruited at three different European centers. In this case-control study of 148 Caucasian patients with diabetes mellitus type 2 and duration ≥5 years, cases of DN were defined as albuminuria >300 mg/d and diabetic retinopathy (n = 66). Controls were matched for gender and diabetes duration (n = 82).
Methodology/Principal Findings
Proteome analysis was performed blinded using high-resolution capillary electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry (CE-MS). Data were evaluated employing the previously developed model for DN. Upon unblinding, the model for DN showed 93.8% sensitivity and 91.4% specificity, with an AUC of 0.948 (95% CI 0.898-0.978). Of 65 previously identified peptides, 60 were significantly different between cases and controls of this study. In <10% of cases and controls classification by proteome analysis not entirely resulted in the expected clinical outcome. Analysis of patient's subsequent clinical course revealed later progression to DN in some of the false positive classified DN control patients.
Conclusions
These data provide the first independent confirmation that profiling of the urinary proteome by CE-MS can adequately identify subjects with DN, supporting the generalizability of this approach. The data further establish urinary collagen fragments as biomarkers for diabetes-induced renal damage that may serve as earlier and more specific biomarkers than the currently used urinary albumin.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013421
PMCID: PMC2958112  PMID: 20975990
6.  Transcript and protein profiling identify candidate gene sets of potential adaptive significance in New Zealand Pachycladon 
Background
Transcript profiling of closely related species provides a means for identifying genes potentially important in species diversification. However, the predictive value of transcript profiling for inferring downstream-physiological processes has been unclear. In the present study we use shotgun proteomics to validate inferences from microarray studies regarding physiological differences in three Pachycladon species. We compare transcript and protein profiling and evaluate their predictive value for inferring glucosinolate chemotypes characteristic of these species.
Results
Evidence from heterologous microarrays and shotgun proteomics revealed differential expression of genes involved in glucosinolate hydrolysis (myrosinase-associated proteins) and biosynthesis (methylthioalkylmalate isomerase and dehydrogenase), the interconversion of carbon dioxide and bicarbonate (carbonic anhydrases), water use efficiency (ascorbate peroxidase, 2 cys peroxiredoxin, 20 kDa chloroplastic chaperonin, mitochondrial succinyl CoA ligase) and others (glutathione-S-transferase, serine racemase, vegetative storage proteins, genes related to translation and photosynthesis). Differences in glucosinolate hydrolysis products were directly confirmed. Overall, prediction of protein abundances from transcript profiles was stronger than prediction of transcript abundance from protein profiles. Protein profiles also proved to be more accurate predictors of glucosinolate profiles than transcript profiles. The similarity of species profiles for both transcripts and proteins reflected previously inferred phylogenetic relationships while glucosinolate chemotypes did not.
Conclusions
We have used transcript and protein profiling to predict physiological processes that evolved differently during diversification of three Pachycladon species. This approach has also identified candidate genes potentially important in adaptation, which are now the focus of ongoing study. Our results indicate that protein profiling provides a valuable tool for validating transcript profiles in studies of adaptive divergence.
doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-151
PMCID: PMC2886070  PMID: 20482888
7.  A rapid transcriptional activation is induced by the dormancy-breaking chemical hydrogen cyanamide in kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) buds 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2009;60(13):3835-3848.
Budbreak in kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) can be poor in locations that have warm winters with insufficient winter chilling. Kiwifruit vines are often treated with the dormancy-breaking chemical hydrogen cyanamide (HC) to increase and synchronize budbreak. This treatment also offers a tool to understand the processes involved in budbreak. A genomics approach is presented here to increase our understanding of budbreak in kiwifruit. Most genes identified following HC application appear to be associated with responses to stress, but a number of genes appear to be associated with the reactivation of growth. Three patterns of gene expression were identified: Profile 1, an HC-induced transient activation; Profile 2, an HC-induced transient activation followed by a growth-related activation; and Profile 3, HC- and growth-repressed. One group of genes that was rapidly up-regulated in response to HC was the glutathione S-transferase (GST) class of genes, which have been associated with stress and signalling. Previous budbreak studies, in three other species, also report up-regulated GST expression. Phylogenetic analysis of these GSTs showed that they clustered into two sub-clades, suggesting a strong correlation between their expression and budbreak across species.
doi:10.1093/jxb/erp231
PMCID: PMC2736901  PMID: 19651683
Actinidia deliciosa; budbreak; bud dormancy; hydrogen cyanamide; glutathione S-transferase; kiwifruit; microarray
8.  Analysis of expressed sequence tags from Actinidia: applications of a cross species EST database for gene discovery in the areas of flavor, health, color and ripening 
BMC Genomics  2008;9:351.
Background
Kiwifruit (Actinidia spp.) are a relatively new, but economically important crop grown in many different parts of the world. Commercial success is driven by the development of new cultivars with novel consumer traits including flavor, appearance, healthful components and convenience. To increase our understanding of the genetic diversity and gene-based control of these key traits in Actinidia, we have produced a collection of 132,577 expressed sequence tags (ESTs).
Results
The ESTs were derived mainly from four Actinidia species (A. chinensis, A. deliciosa, A. arguta and A. eriantha) and fell into 41,858 non redundant clusters (18,070 tentative consensus sequences and 23,788 EST singletons). Analysis of flavor and fragrance-related gene families (acyltransferases and carboxylesterases) and pathways (terpenoid biosynthesis) is presented in comparison with a chemical analysis of the compounds present in Actinidia including esters, acids, alcohols and terpenes. ESTs are identified for most genes in color pathways controlling chlorophyll degradation and carotenoid biosynthesis. In the health area, data are presented on the ESTs involved in ascorbic acid and quinic acid biosynthesis showing not only that genes for many of the steps in these pathways are represented in the database, but that genes encoding some critical steps are absent. In the convenience area, genes related to different stages of fruit softening are identified.
Conclusion
This large EST resource will allow researchers to undertake the tremendous challenge of understanding the molecular basis of genetic diversity in the Actinidia genus as well as provide an EST resource for comparative fruit genomics. The various bioinformatics analyses we have undertaken demonstrates the extent of coverage of ESTs for genes encoding different biochemical pathways in Actinidia.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-351
PMCID: PMC2515324  PMID: 18655731
9.  Global gene expression analysis of apple fruit development from the floral bud to ripe fruit 
BMC Plant Biology  2008;8:16.
Background
Apple fruit develop over a period of 150 days from anthesis to fully ripe. An array representing approximately 13000 genes (15726 oligonucleotides of 45–55 bases) designed from apple ESTs has been used to study gene expression over eight time points during fruit development. This analysis of gene expression lays the groundwork for a molecular understanding of fruit growth and development in apple.
Results
Using ANOVA analysis of the microarray data, 1955 genes showed significant changes in expression over this time course. Expression of genes is coordinated with four major patterns of expression observed: high in floral buds; high during cell division; high when starch levels and cell expansion rates peak; and high during ripening. Functional analysis associated cell cycle genes with early fruit development and three core cell cycle genes are significantly up-regulated in the early stages of fruit development. Starch metabolic genes were associated with changes in starch levels during fruit development. Comparison with microarrays of ethylene-treated apple fruit identified a group of ethylene induced genes also induced in normal fruit ripening. Comparison with fruit development microarrays in tomato has been used to identify 16 genes for which expression patterns are similar in apple and tomato and these genes may play fundamental roles in fruit development. The early phase of cell division and tissue specification that occurs in the first 35 days after pollination has been associated with up-regulation of a cluster of genes that includes core cell cycle genes.
Conclusion
Gene expression in apple fruit is coordinated with specific developmental stages. The array results are reproducible and comparisons with experiments in other species has been used to identify genes that may play a fundamental role in fruit development.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-8-16
PMCID: PMC2287172  PMID: 18279528

Results 1-9 (9)