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1.  Susceptibility Gene search for Nephropathy and related Traits in Mexican Americans 
Molecular biology reports  2013;40(10):5769-5779.
The rising global epidemic of diabetic nephropathy (DN) will likely lead to increase in the prevalence of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality posing a serious burden for public health care. Despite greater understanding of the etiology of diabetes and the development of novel treatment strategies to control blood glucose levels, the prevalence and incidence rate of DN is increasing especially in minority populations including Mexican Americans. Mexican Americans with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) are three times more likely to develop microalbuminuria, and four times more likely to develop clinical proteinuria compared to non-Hispanic whites. Furthermore, Mexican Americans have a six fold increased risk of developing renal failure secondary to T2DM compared to Caucasians. Prevention and better treatment of DN should be a high priority for both health-care organizations and society at large. Pathogenesis of DN is multi-factorial. Familial clustering of DN-related traits in MAs show that DN and related traits are heritable and that genes play a susceptibility role. While, there has been some progress in identifying genes which when mutated influence an individual’s risk, major gene(s) responsible for DN are yet to be identified. Knowledge of the genetic causes of DN is essential for elucidation of its mechanisms, and for adequate classification, prognosis, and treatment. Self-identification and collaboration among researchers with suitable genomic and clinical data for meta-analyses in Mexican Americans is critical for progress in replicating/identifying DN risk genes in this population. This paper reviews the approaches and recent efforts made to identify genetic variants contributing to risk for DN and related phenotypes in the Mexican American population.
PMCID: PMC4334565  PMID: 24057238
Diabetic Nephropathy; Mexican Americans; ACR; GFR; Type 2 Diabetes; linkage; candidate gene; SNPs
2.  Polymorphisms in nucleotide excision repair genes and susceptibility to colorectal cancer in the Polish population 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;42(3):755-764.
Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) is a rare autosomal recessive disease that is associated with a severe deficiency in nucleotide excision repair. Genetic polymorphisms in XP genes may be associated with a change in DNA repair capacity, which could be associated with colorectal cancer development. We assessed the association between 94 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within seven XP genes (XPA–XPG) and the colorectal cancer risk in the Polish population. We genotyped 758 unselected patients with colorectal cancer and 1,841 healthy adults. We found that a significantly decreased risk of colorectal cancer was associated with XPC polymorphism rs2228000_CT genotype (OR 0.59; p < 0.0001) and the rs2228000_TT genotype (OR 0.29; p < 0.0001) compared to the reference genotype (CC). And an increased disease risk was associated with the XPD SNP, rs1799793_AG genotype (OR 1.44, p = 0.018) and rs1799793_AA genotype (OR 3.31, p < 0.0001) compared to the reference genotype. Haplotype analysis within XPC, XPD and XPG revealed haplotypes associated with an altered colorectal cancer risk. Stratified analysis by gender showed differences between the association of three SNPs: XPC rs2228000, XPD rs1799793 and XPD rs238406 in females and males. Association analysis between age of disease onset and polymorphisms in XPD (rs1799793) and XPC (rs2228000) revealed differences in the prevalence of these variants in patients under and over 50 years of age. Our results confirmed that polymorphisms in XPC and XPD may be associated with the risk of colorectal cancer.
PMCID: PMC4330403  PMID: 25391773
Colorectal cancer risk; NER system; Xeroderma pigmentosum genes; XP genes; XPC; XPD
3.  Cumulative association between age-related macular degeneration and less studied genetic variants in PLEKHA1/ARMS2/HTRA1: a meta and gene-cluster analysis 
Molecular biology reports  2013;40(10):10.1007/s11033-013-2656-6.
The objective of this study is to examine the cumulative effect of the less studied genetic variants in PLEKHA1/ARMS2/HTRA1 on age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We performed an extensive literature search for studies on the association between AMD and the less studied genetic variants in PLEKHA1/ARMS2/HTRA1. Multiple meta-analyses were performed to evaluate the association between individual genetic variants and AMD. A gene-cluster analysis was used to investigate the cumulative effect of these less studied genetic variants on AMD. A total of 23 studies from 20 published papers met the eligibility criteria and were included in our analyses. Several genetic variants in the gene cluster are significantly associated with AMD in our meta-analyses or in individual studies. Gene-cluster analysis reveals a strong cumulative association between these genetic variants in this gene cluster and AMD (p<10−5). However, two previously suspected SNPs in ARMS2, including rs2736911, the SNP having the largest number of studies in our meta-analyses; and rs3793917, the SNP with the largest sample size, were not significantly associated with AMD (both p’s>0.12). Sensitivity analyses reveal significant association of AMD with rs2736911 in Chinese but not in Caucasian, with c.372_815del443ins54 in Caucasian but not in Chinese, and with rs1049331 in both ethnic groups. These less studied genetic variants have a significant cumulative effect on wet AMD. Our study provides evidence of the joint contribution of genetic variants in PLEKHA1/ARMS2/HTRA1 to AMD risk, in addition to the two widely studied genetic variants whose association with AMD was well established.
PMCID: PMC3864106  PMID: 24013816
Macular degeneration; Polymorphism; Meta-analysis; Gene-cluster analysis
4.  Isolation and characterization of 8 microsatellite loci for the “killer shrimp’’, an invasive Ponto-Caspian amphipod Dikerogammarus villosus (Crustacea: Amphipoda) 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;42:13-17.
Dikerogammarus villosus is a freshwater amphipod of the Ponto-Caspian origin recognized as one of the 100 worst alien species in Europe, having negative impact on biodiversity and functioning of the invaded aquatic ecosystems. The species has a wide ecophysiological tolerance and during the last 20 years it has rapidly spread throughout European inland waters. In consequence, it presents a major conservation management problem. We describe eight polymorphic microsatellite loci developed for D. villosus by combining a biotin-enrichment protocol and new generation 454GS-FLX Titanium pyrosequencing technology. When genotyped in 64 individuals from two locations, the loci exhibited a mean diversity of 4.87 alleles per locus (2–13). The mean observed and expected heterozygosities were, respectively, 0.439 (0.091–0.844) and 0.468 (0.089–0.843). Gametic disequilibrium was not detected for any pair of loci. The microsatellite markers will be a valuable tool in assessing the demographic processes associated with invasion of the killer shrimp from a genetic point of view.
PMCID: PMC4306734  PMID: 25234651
Invasive species; Population genetics; Dikerogammarus villosus; Biological invasions; Polymorphic loci
5.  De novo transcriptome of the desert beetle Microdera punctipennis (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) using illumina RNA-seq technology 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41(11):7293-7303.
Insects in Tenebrionidae have unique stress adaptations that allow them to survive temperature extremes. We report here a gene expression profiling of Microdera punctipennis, a beetle in desert region, to gain a global view of its environmental adaptations. A total of 48,158,004 reads were obtained by transcriptome sequencing, and the de novo assembly yielded 56,348 unigenes with an average length of 666 bp. Based on similarity searches with a cut-off E-value of 10−5 against two protein sequence databases, 41,109 of the unigenes (about 72.96 %) were matched to known proteins. An in-depth analysis of the data revealed a large number of genes were associated with environmental stress, including genes that encode heat shock proteins, antifreeze proteins, and enzymes such as chitinase, trehalose, and trehalose-6-phosphate synthase. This study generated a substantial number of M. punctipennis transcript sequences that can be used to discover novel genes associated with stress adaptation. These sequences are a valuable resource for future studies of the desert beetle and other insects in Tenebrionidae. Transcriptome analysis based on Illumina paired-end sequencing is a powerful approach for gene discovery and molecular marker development for non-model species.
PMCID: PMC4204002  PMID: 25142502
Microdera punctipennis; Transcriptome; Illumina sequencing; Heat shock protein; Antifreeze protein
6.  TRS-based PCR as a potential tool for inter-serovar discrimination of Salmonella Enteritidis, S. Typhimurium, S. Infantis, S. Virchow, S. Hadar, S. Newport and S. Anatum 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41(11):7121-7132.
Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica comprises a number of serovars, many of which pose an epidemiological threat to humans and are a worldwide cause of morbidity and mortality. Most reported food infection outbreaks involve the serovars Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium. Rapid identification to determine the primary sources of the bacterial contamination is important to the improvement of public health. In recent years, many DNA-based techniques have been applied to genotype Salmonella. Herein, we report the use of a manual TRS-PCR approach for the differentiation of the Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovars in a single-tube assay. One hundred seventy Salmonella strains were examined in this work. These consisted of serovars S. Enteritidis, S. Typhimurium, S. Infantis, S. Virchow, S. Hadar, S. Newport and S. Anatum. Five of the TRS-primers, N6(GTG)4, N6(CAC)4, N6(CGG)4, N6(CCG)4 and N6(CTG)4, perfectly distinguished the S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium serovars, and the N6(GTG)4 primer additionally grouped the other five frequently isolated serovars. In our opinion, the TRS-PCR methodology could be recommended for a quick and simple DNA-based test for inter-serovar discrimination of Salmonella strains.
PMCID: PMC4204001  PMID: 25063578
Salmonella enterica; TRS-PCR; Genotyping; Serovars
7.  Association between Fok I vitamin D receptor gene (VDR) polymorphism and impulsivity in alcohol-dependent patients 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41(11):7223-7228.
Vitamin D appears to have an important role in the modulation of the central nervous system. Vitamin D exerts its biological effects through its interaction with the vitamin D receptor (VDR). Located on chromosome 12 (12q13.1), the VDR gene has many different polymorphisms. Some of them are known to affect the VDR function, such as FokI (rs2228570, T/C) single nucleotide polymorphism. We aimed to explore a potential relationship between FokI VDR polymorphism and impulsiveness in alcohol-dependent (AD) patients. The study population consisted of 148 patients diagnosed with alcohol dependence (DSM-IV criteria) and 212 healthy controls. DNA was extracted from whole blood samples using the standard procedure. Genotypes were analyzed using a real-time PCR method. We found that FokI VDR gene polymorphism was associated with impulsivity [Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS)-11 total score; P = 0.014], and with attentional impulsivity (BIS-11 subscale; P = 0.002) in the male AD patients. Our results suggest that CC FokI genotype of the VDR gene is associated with a higher level of impulsivity in these patients. This finding supports the hypothesis that impulsiveness, which significantly contributes to development of alcohol dependence, has a genetic background.
PMCID: PMC4203996  PMID: 25059118
Alcohol dependence; Impulsivity; Vitamin D receptor gene; Genetic polymorphism
8.  Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) for chickpea Fusarium oxysporum wilt resistant genotypes using PCR based molecular markers 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41(10):6755-6762.
The exploration of genetically superior accessions is the key source of germplasm conservation and potential breeding material for the future. To meet the demand of better yielding chickpea cultivars in Pakistan the present study was organized to select more stable and resistant lines from indigenous as well as exotic chickpea germplasm obtained from Plant Genetic Resource Institute (PGRI), National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad, Pakistan. For the identification and evaluation of chickpea wilt resistant lines against Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceris (Schlechtends), the germplasm was tested in the field for the selection of wilt resistant lines and the PCR based molecular markers were investigated to use Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) for selection of the desirable cultivars. In field trial, 70 % accessions were resistant to wilt disease, while the remaining 30 % have shown susceptibility to the disease. A total of 5 RAPD and 15 SSR markers were screened for molecular based characterization of wilt response. The data of molecular markers were scored by the presence (1) and absence (0) of allele and subjected to statistical analysis. The analysis was based on coefficient of molecular similarity using UPGMA and sorted the germplasm into two groups based on disease response. Among the total used RAPD/SSR primers, only TA194 SSR marker showed linkage to wilt resistant locus at 85 % probability. The linkage of a marker was reconfirmed by receiver operating characteristic curve. The use of the sorted wilt resistant genotypes through SSR marker TA194 can make available ample prospect in MAS breeding for yield improvement of the crop in Pakistan.
PMCID: PMC4173118  PMID: 25017202
Chickpea; Wilt disease; Molecular markers; ROC; Curve analysis
10.  PTPN22 1858C>T gene polymorphism in patients with SLE: association with serological and clinical results 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41(9):6195-6200.
To assess the association between PTPN22 1858C>T gene polymorphism and susceptibility to, and clinical presentation of, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Our study included 135 SLE patients (120 women and 15 men; mean age 45.1 years; mean course of disease from 0.5 to 31 years) and 201 healthy subjects. The PTPN22 1858C>T gene polymorphism was genotyped by polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism. A significantly higher incidence of genotype CT in patients with SLE (36.3 %) was found, compared with the control group (24.9 %). The frequencies of C1858 and T1858 alleles were 78.1 and 21.9 % in SLE patients and 86.1 and 13.9 % in controls, respectively. Significantly higher SLE susceptibility was observed in patients carrying at least one T allele (p = 0.009; OR 1.86; 95 % CI 0.14–3.05). Significant association of the PTPN22 T1858 allele (CT + TT vs.CC) and secondary antiphospholipid syndrome was observed (p = 0.049). In SLE patients carrying the T1858 allele, higher levels of antiphospholipid antibodies (anticardiolipin antibodies and/or lupus anticoagulant) were found (p = 0.030; OR 2.17; 95 % CI 1.07–4.44).
PMCID: PMC4141968  PMID: 24985973
PTPN22 gene polymorphism; Systemic lupus erythematosus; Antiphospholipid antibodies; Antiphospholipid syndrome
11.  Identification of PLP2 and RAB5C as novel TPD52 binding partners through yeast two-hybrid screening 
Molecular biology reports  2014;41(7):4565-4572.
Tumor protein D52 (TPD52) is overexpressed in different cancers, but its molecular functions are poorly defined. A large, low-stringency yeast two-hybrid screen using full-length TPD52 bait identified known partners (TPD52, TPD52L1, TPD52L2, MAL2) and four other preys that reproducibly bound TPD52 and TPD52L1 baits (PLP2, RAB5C, GOLGA5, YIF1A). PLP2 and RAB5 interactions with TPD52 were confirmed in pull down assays, with interaction domain mapping experiments indicating that both proteins interact with a novel binding region of TPD52. This study provides insights into TPD52 functions, and ways to maximise the efficiency of lowstringency yeast two-hybrid screens.
PMCID: PMC4069224  PMID: 24604726
TPD52; Yeast two-hybrid; Pull down; PLP2; RAB5
12.  Micro RNA responses to chronic or acute exposures to low dose ionizing radiation 
Molecular biology reports  2012;39(7):7549-7558.
Human health risks of exposure to low dose ionizing radiation remain ambiguous and are the subject of intense debate. A wide variety of biological effects are induced after cellular exposure to ionizing radiation, but the underlying molecular mechanism(s) remain to be completely understood. We hypothesized that low dose c-radiation-induced effects are controlled by the modulation of micro RNA (miRNA) that participate in the control of gene expression at the posttranscriptional level and are involved in many cellular processes. We monitored the expression of several miRNA in human cells exposed to acute or chronic low doses of 10 cGy or a moderate dose of 400 cGy of 137Cs γ-rays. Dose, dose rate and time dependent differences in the relative expression of several miRNA were investigated. The expression patterns of many miRNA differed after exposure to either chronic or acute 10 cGy. The expression of miRNA let-7e, a negative regulator of RAS oncogene, and the c-MYC miRNA cluster were upregulated after 10 cGy chronic dose but were downregulated after 3 h of acute 10 cGy. The miR-21 was upregulated in chronic or acute low dose and moderate dose treated cells and its target genes hPDCD4, hPTEN, hSPRY2, and hTPM1 were found to be downregulated. These findings provide evidence that low dose and dose rate c-irradiation dictate the modulation of miRNA, which can result in a differential cellular response than occurs at high doses. This information will contribute to understanding the risks to human health after exposure to low dose radiation.
PMCID: PMC4062182  PMID: 22367372
Micro-RNA; Gene expression; Low dose ionizing radiation; Radiation effects
13.  RNAi silencing of the SoxE gene suppresses cell proliferation in silkworm BmN4 cells 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41(7):4769-4781.
The transcription factor SoxE is mainly expressed in the gonad and involved in the regulation of gonad development and sex determination in animals. Here, we used the silkworm ovary-derived BmN4-SID1 cell line to survey the roles of the silkworm SoxE protein (BmSoxE) and predict its candidate binding targets. RNAi-mediated silencing of BmSoxE expression suppressed cell proliferation in BmN4-SID1 cells. A further cell cycle analysis revealed that this inhibition of cell proliferation was largely due to cell cycle arrest in G1 phase when BmSoxE expression was blocked in BmN4-SID1 cells. Genome-wide microarray expression analyses demonstrated that the expression levels of a set of genes were significantly altered following BmSoxE RNAi. More than half of these genes contained conserved binding sites for HMG box domain of the Sox proteins and were predicted to be candidate binding targets for BmSoxE. Importantly, some of the candidate targets may be associated with the effect of BmSoxE on cell proliferation. Several candidate target genes showed gonad-specific expression in silkworm larvae. Taken together, these data demonstrate that BmSoxE is required for cell proliferation in silkworm BmN4-SID1 cells and provide valuable information for further investigations of the molecular control exerted by the BmSoxE protein over cell proliferation and gonad development in the silkworm.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11033-014-3348-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4066180  PMID: 24723138
Silkworm; SoxE; RNAi; Cell proliferation; Target
14.  The effect of NF-κB antisense oligonucleotide on transdifferentiation of fibroblast in lung tissue of mice injured by bleomycin 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41(6):4043-4051.
To investigate the influence of NF-κB antisense oligonucleotide on transdifferentiation of fibroblast in the pathological process of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice. 6 h before molding of C57BL/6 model of pulmonary fibrosis in mice, NF-κB antisense oligonucleotide was injected from caudal vein. Then the lung tissue was collected for primary culture as well as model group and control group. Cultured cells were used for immunocytochemical staining of p65, IκB-α and α-SMA proteins as well as in situ hybridization staining of p65 and IκB-α. Then image analysis was carried out. The expressions of all the indicators were expressed as mean optical density. Compared with the control group, the expressions of p65 protein, IκB-α protein and α-SMA protein of model group were increased, as well as the expressions of p65 mRNA and IκB-α mRNA (P < 0.05). Compared with model group, the expressions of all indicators of intervention group were decreased (P < 0.05). P65 protein and p65 mRNA were positively correlated with the expression of α-SMA protein respectively. p65 protein and p65 mRNA were positively correlated with the expressions of IκB-α protein and IκB-α mRNA respectively. NF-κB antisense oligonucleotide can inhibit the transdifferentiation of fibroblast towards myofibroblast in the pathological process of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice.
PMCID: PMC4033808  PMID: 24584660
Fibroblast; Myofibroblast; NF-κB; IkB-α; α-SMA; NF-κB antisense oligonucleotide
15.  Identification two novel nacrein-like proteins involved in the shell formation of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41(7):4273-4278.
Nacrein-like proteins have carbonic anhydrase (CA)-like domains, but their coding regions are flanked by inserted repeat sequence, such as Gly-X-Asn. Reportedly, nacrein-like proteins show the highest similarity to human carbonic anhydrase 1(α-CA1), possess CA catalytic functions, and play a key role in shell biomineralization. In the present study, two novel nacrein-like proteins were firstly identified from the shell-forming mantle of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas. With numerous analyses, it was identified and characterized that both the nacrein-like proteins F1 and F2 were secreted and most closely related to the nacrein-like protein of California mussel Mytilus californianus via phylogenetic analysis. RT-PCR analysis showed that the nacrein-like proteins F1 and F2 were expressed in multiple tissues and the expression levels remarkably rose after entering the spat stage, which were basically consistent with the increase of calcite fractions in the total shell volume. Surprisingly, the Gly-X-Asn repeat domain, which is distinctive in most nacrein-like proteins, was absent in the two newly identified nacrein-like proteins in C. gigas and replaced with a series of acidic amino acids (D/E). Regardless, nacrein-like proteins in mollusks seem to be vital to the deposition of calcium carbonate and likely perform diverse functions.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11033-014-3298-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4066178  PMID: 24584662
Nacrein-like proteins; Shell biomineralization; Crassostrea gigas; Calcite fractions
16.  The impact of antiandrogen 2-hydroxyflutamide on the expression of steroidogenic enzymes in cultured porcine ovarian follicles 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41(7):4213-4222.
We used our model system for agonism and antagonism of the androgen receptor (AR), in which the porcine ovarian follicles were exposed on the excessive concentration of an AR agonist- testosterone (T) or an AR antagonist- 2-hydroxyflutamide (2-Hf) to: (1) analyze the spatiotemporal expression of ovarian 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD), cytochrome P450 17α-hydroxylase/c17,20-lyase (P450c17) and cytochrome P450 aromatase (P450arom); (2) to determine the contribution of AR-mediated action during steroidogenesis and (3) to establish some correlations between the onset and expression pattern of the investigated proteins. Whole follicles (6–8 mm in diameter) isolated from mature porcine ovaries have been incubated (for 24 h) in an organ culture system in the presence of T (10−7 M), 2-Hf (1.7 × 10−4 M) or both T and 2-hydroxyflutamide (T+2-Hf, at the same concentrations as when added separately). Thereafter, sections obtained from cultured follicles were processed for main steroidogenic enzymes detection by immunohistochemistry. Moreover, expression of their mRNA and protein was determined by real-time PCR and Western blot analysis. Progesterone, androgens and estradiol concentrations in the culture media were measured by radioimmunoassays (RIA). Our results demonstrated that 2-Hf can influence the steroidogenic activity of porcine follicles in vitro through the blockade of AR. It was shown that follicular 2-Hf treatment brought about dramatic decline in the production of the investigated steroids. What is more the addition of 2-Hf separately caused a negative effect on 3β-HSD and P450c17 mRNA and protein expression by ovarian follicles, while it was without effect on P450arom mRNA level. Quite opposite effect was observed in case of the simultaneous addition of 2-Hf and T. It caused high increase, in both P450arom mRNA and its protein. What was interesting, addition T+2-Hf evoked 3β-HSD and P450c17 increase on mRNA level, but decreased their protein expression. This was against our expectations but the reason for that finding remains undiscovered, intriguing and worth reporting. These results suggest that alike, steroidogenic enzymes activity and their expression is associated with the presence of androgens and AR in the porcine ovary.
PMCID: PMC4066179  PMID: 24584661
2-Hydroxyflutamide; Steroidogenic enzymes; Ovarian follicles; Pig
17.  Transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) gene polymorphism and clinical phenotype in end-stage renal disease patients 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41(6):4063-4068.
Variants of the transcription factor 7-like 2 gene (TCF7L2) have been associated with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in different populations. Here we investigated the potential association of the rs7903146 polymorphism in the TCF7L2 gene with clinical profile of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. We examined a cohort of 1065 ESRD patients with diabetic and non-diabetic renal disease. The control group consisted of 924 healthy individuals. All subjects were genotyped for the rs7903146 single nucleotide polymorphism by polymerase chain reaction. The genotype distribution and allele frequencies were significantly different between ESRD patients and controls (p < 0.01). The OR for the TT genotype was 2.81 (95 % CI 2.08–3.79). Genotype and allele frequencies were compared between subgroups of patients with different clinical phenotypes. The frequency of the T allele was significantly higher in patients with diabetic nephropathy versus non-diabetic renal disease (p = 0.007, OR 1.70, 95 % CI 1.36–2.11). The statistically significant differences were demonstrated between patients with and without cardiovascular disease, with the OR for T allele 1.57 (95 % CI 1.31–1.90). The odds ratio for TT genotype was 2.38 (95 % CI 1.62–3.51). In our study the T allele of the rs7903146 SNP in the TCF7L2 gene confers the risk of developing diabetic nephropathy. We described for the first time a strong relationship between the TCF7L2 gene variant rs7903146 and cardiovascular disease in end-stage renal disease patients.
PMCID: PMC4033800  PMID: 24574000
Cardiovascular disease; Diabetic nephropathy; End-stage renal disease; Risk allele; Single nucleotide polymorphism
18.  The −930A>G polymorphism of the CYBA gene is associated with premature coronary artery disease. A case–control study and gene–risk factors interactions 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41(5):3287-3294.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease (CAD). NADPH oxidases are the main source of ROS in the vasculature. p22phox is a critical component of vascular NADPH oxidases and is encoded by the CYBA (cytochrome b245 alpha) gene. The −930A>G CYBA polymorphism (rs9932581:A>G) modulates the activity of the CYBA promoter, and influences CYBA transcriptional activity. The aim of the present study was to analyze a possible association between the −930A>G polymorphism and CAD and to search for gene–traditional risk factors interactions. 480 subjects were studied: 240 patients with premature CAD, 240 age and sex matched blood donors. The −930A>G polymorphism was genotyped using the TaqMan® Pre-designed SNP Genotyping Assay (Applied Biosystems). The −930G allele carrier state was a risk factor for CAD (OR 2.03, 95 % CI 1.21–3.44, P = 0.007). A synergistic effect of the −930G allele with overweight/obesity (BMI ≥ 25) and cigarette smoking was found. The estimated CAD risk for BMI ≥ 25 and the −930G allele interaction was about 160 % greater than that predicted by assuming additivity of the effects, and about 40 % greater for interaction of cigarette smoking and the −930G allele. Overweight/obesity was a risk factor for CAD only in the −930G allele carriers (P < 10−10) but not in the AA homozygotes (P = 1.00). In conclusion the −930A>G CYBA polymorphism is associated with CAD in the Polish population. The −930G allele carriers are particularly at risk of consequences of obesity and tobacco smoke exposure.
PMCID: PMC4013450  PMID: 24477591
CYBA; Polymorphism; NADPH oxidase; CAD; Atherosclerosis
19.  Physiological and photosynthetic characteristics of indica Hang2 expressing the sugarcane PEPC gene 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41(4):2189-2197.
Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) is known to play a key role in the initial fixation of CO2 in C4 photosynthesis. The PEPC gene from sugarcane (a C4 plant) was introduced into indica rice (Hang2), a process mediated by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Integration patterns and copy numbers of the gene was confirmed by DNA blot analysis. RT-PCR and western blotting results showed that the PEPC gene was expressed at both the mRNA and protein levels in the transgenic lines. Real-time PCR results indicated that expression of the sugarcane PEPC gene occurred mostly in green tissues and changed under high temperature and drought stress. All transgenic lines showed higher PEPC enzyme activities compared to the untransformed controls, with the highest activity (11.1 times higher than the controls) being observed in the transgenic line, T34. The transgenic lines also exhibited higher photosynthetic rates. The highest photosynthetic rate was observed in the transgenic line, T54 (22.3 μmol m−2 s−1; 24.6 % higher than that in non-transgenic plants) under high-temperature conditions. Furthermore, the filled grain and total grain numbers for transgenic lines were higher than those for non-transgenic plants, but the grain filling (%) and 1,000-grain weights of all transgenic lines remained unchanged. We concluded that over-expression of the PEPC gene from sugarcane in indica rice (Hang2) resulted in higher PEPC enzyme activities and higher photosynthesis rates under high-temperature conditions.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11033-014-3070-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3968443  PMID: 24469712
Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase gene (PEPC gene); C4 photosynthesis; Gene expression; Transgenic rice
20.  Association of microRNAs and pathologic response to preoperative chemotherapy in triple negative breast cancer: preliminary report 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41(5):2851-2857.
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) has caught the attention of oncologists worldwide because of poor prognosis and paucity of targeted therapies. Gene pathways have been widely studied, but less is known about epigenetic factors such as microRNAs (miRNAs) and their role in tailoring an individual systemic and surgical approach for breast cancer patients. The aim of the study was to examine selected miRNAs in TNBC core biopsies sampled before preoperative chemotherapy and the subsequent pathologic response in mastectomy or breast conservation specimens. Prior to treatment, core needle biopsies were collected from 11 female patients with inoperable locally advanced TNBC or large resectable tumors suitable for down-staging. In all 11 TNBC core biopsies we analyzed 19 miRNAs per sample: 512, 190, 200, 346, 148, 449, 203, 577, 93, 126, 423, 129, 193, 182, 136, 135, 191, 122 and 222 (miRCURY LNA™ Universal RT microRNA polymerase chain reaction Custom Pick & Mixpanels). The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to compare related samples. Ingenuity pathway analysis was used to evaluate potential functional significance of differentially expressed miRNAs. Statistical analysis showed that 3 of 19 miRNAs differed in relation to pathologic response i.e. good versus poor. These differences failed to reach statistical significance, although a trend was observed (p = 0.06). Among these miRNAs, we identified—miR-200b-3p, miR-190a and miR-512-5p. In summary, our results indicate that higher miR-200b-3p, higher miR-190a and lower miR-512-5p expression levels in core biopsies sampled from TNBC patients may be associated with better pathologic response to chemotherapy and the increased feasibility of breast conserving surgery in these patients. Although these results were from a small cohort, they provide an important basis for larger, prospective, multicenter studies to investigate the potential role of miRNAs in neoadjuvant setting.
PMCID: PMC4013446  PMID: 24469723
Breast cancer; microRNA; Pathologic response
21.  The study of t-PA, u-PA and PAI-1 genes polymorphisms in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41(5):2859-2864.
The most important feature of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) pathogenesis is an enzymatic degradation of elastic lamellae and extracellular matrix proteins particularly with participation of matrix metalloproteinases. Plasmin, which is responsible for the dissolution of fibrin in blood vessels, plays also a key role in the cascade for activation of the metalloproteinases. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of selected polymorphisms in genes coding for tissue plasminogen activator (−7351 C/T polymorphism), urokinase-type plasminogen activator (1788 C/T polymorphism) and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (−675 4G/5G and −844 G/A polymorphism) on the susceptibility to AAA. We performed a case–control study of 153 polish patients hospitalized due to AAA and compared them with matched healthy control subjects. The polymorphisms were ascertained through genotyping by polymerase chain reaction and restriction digestion of amplified fragments or through high-resolution melting analysis. In this study we have found lower frequency of wild-type GG genotype of the −844G/A PAI-1 polymorphism in cases than in controls, what may suggest the protective effect of this genotype for the risk of AAA development. None of the remaining polymorphisms tested were associated with AAA occurrence.
PMCID: PMC4013441  PMID: 24452721
Abdominal aortic aneurysm; t-PA −7351 C/T polymorphism; u-PA 1788 C/T polymorphism; PAI-1 −844 G/A polymorphism; PAI-1 −675 4G/5G polymorphism; RFLP
22.  Signatures of selection in five Italian cattle breeds detected by a 54K SNP panel 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41(2):957-965.
In this study we used a medium density panel of SNP markers to perform population genetic analysis in five Italian cattle breeds. The BovineSNP50 BeadChip was used to genotype a total of 2,935 bulls of Piedmontese, Marchigiana, Italian Holstein, Italian Brown and Italian Pezzata Rossa breeds. To determine a genome-wide pattern of positive selection we mapped the Fst values against genome location. The highest Fst peaks were obtained on BTA6 and BTA13 where some candidate genes are located. We identified selection signatures peculiar of each breed which suggest selection for genes involved in milk or meat traits. The genetic structure was investigated by using a multidimensional scaling of the genetic distance matrix and a Bayesian approach implemented in the STRUCTURE software. The genotyping data showed a clear partitioning of the cattle genetic diversity into distinct breeds if a number of clusters equal to the number of populations were given. Assuming a lower number of clusters beef breeds group together. Both methods showed all five breeds separated in well defined clusters and the Bayesian approach assigned individuals to the breed of origin. The work is of interest not only because it enriches the knowledge on the process of evolution but also because the results generated could have implications for selective breeding programs.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11033-013-2940-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3929051  PMID: 24442315
Selection signatures; SNP; Cattle breeds; MDS; Bayesian assignment
23.  Cultured mycelium Cordyceps sinensis protects liver sinusoidal endothelial cells in acute liver injured mice 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41(3):1815-1827.
Cultured mycelium Cordyceps sinensis (CMCS) was widely used for a variety of diseases including liver injury, the current study aims to investigate the protective effects of CMCS on liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) in acute injury liver and related action mechanisms. The mice were injected intraperitoneally with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and d-galactosamine (D-GalN). 39 male BABL/c mice were randomly divided into four groups: normal control, model control, CMCS treatment and 1,10-phenanthroline treatment groups. The Serum liver function parameters including alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels were assayed with the commercial kit. The inflammation and scaffold structure in liver were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and silver staining respectively. The LSECs and sub-endothelial basement membrane were observed with the scanning and transmission electronic microscope. The protein expressions of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) in liver were analyzed with Western blotting. Expression of von Willebrand factor (vWF) was investigated with immunofluorescence staining. The lipid peroxidation indicators including antisuperoxideanion (ASAFR), hydroxyl free radical (·OH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), malondialdehyde and glutathione S-transferase (GST) were determined with kits, and matrix metalloproteinase-2 and 9 (MMP-2/9) activities in liver were analyzed with gelatin zymography and in situ fluorescent zymography respectively. The model mice had much higher serum levels of ALT and AST than the normal mice. Compared to that in the normal control, more severe liver inflammation and hepatocyte apoptosis, worse hepatic lipid peroxidation demonstrated by the increased ASAFR, ·OH and MDA, but decreased SOD and GST, increased MMP-2/9 activities and VCAM-1, ICAM-1 and vWF expressions, which revealed obvious LSEC injury and scaffold structure broken, were shown in the model control. Compared with the model group, CMCS and 1,10-phenanthroline significantly improved serum ALT/AST, attenuated hepatic inflammation and improved peroxidative injury in liver, decreased MMP-2/9 activities in liver tissue, improved integration of scaffold structure, and decreased protein expression of VCAM-1 and ICAM-1. CMCS could protect LSECs from injury and maintain the microvasculature integration in acute injured liver of mice induced by LPS/D-GalN. Its action mechanism was associated with the down-regulation of MMP-2/9 activities and inhibition of peroxidation in injured liver.
PMCID: PMC3933741  PMID: 24442316
Mycelium Cordyceps sinensis; Liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs); Liver injury; Hepatic sinusoid; MMP-2/9; Oxidative stress
24.  Cofactor analogue-induced chemical reactivation of endonuclease activity in a DNA cleavage/methylation deficient TspGWI N473A variant in the NPPY motif 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41(4):2313-2323.
We reported previously that TspGWI, a prototype enzyme of a new Thermus sp. family of restriction endonucleases-methyltransferases (REases-MTases), undergoes the novel phenomenon of sinefungin (SIN)-caused specificity transition. Here we investigated mutant TspGWI N473A, containing a single amino acid (aa) substitution in the NPPY motif of the MTase. Even though the aa substitution is located within the MTase polypeptide segment, DNA cleavage and modification are almost completely abolished, indicating that the REase and MTase are intertwined. Remarkably, the TspGWI N473A REase functionality can be completely reconstituted by the addition of SIN. We hypothesize that SIN binds specifically to the enzyme and restores the DNA cleavage-competent protein tertiary structure. This indicates the significant role of allosteric effectors in DNA cleavage in Thermus sp. enzymes. This is the first case of REase mutation suppression by an S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) cofactor analogue. Moreover, the TspGWI N473A clone strongly affects E. coli division control, acting as a ‘selfish gene’. The mutant lacks the competing MTase activity and therefore might be useful for applications in DNA manipulation. Here we present a case study of a novel strategy for REase activity/specificity alteration by a single aa substitution, based on the bioinformatic analysis of active motif locations, combining (a) aa sequence engineering (b) the alteration of protein enzymatic properties, and (c) the use of cofactor–analogue cleavage reconstitution and stimulation.
PMCID: PMC3968444  PMID: 24442320
Endonuclease-methyltransferase; Thermus sp. enzyme; Enzymatic reaction cofactor; Cofactor analogue; Sinefungin; S-adenosylmethione; Mutant activation; Specificity change
25.  Thyroid hormones association with depression severity and clinical outcome in patients with major depressive disorder 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41(4):2419-2425.
The clinical implications of thyroid hormones in depression have been studied extensively and still remains disputable. Supplementation of thyroid hormones is considered to augment and accelerate antidepressant treatment. Studies on the role of thyroid hormones in depression deliver contradictory results. Here we assess theirs impact on depression severity and final clinical outcome in patients with major depression. Thyrotropin, free thyroxine (FT4), and free triiodothyronine (FT3) concentrations were measured with automated quantitative enzyme immunoassay. Depression severity and final clinical outcome were rated with 17-itemic Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression [HDRS(17)] and Clinical Global Impression Scales for severity and for improvement (CGIs, CGIi). FT3 and FT4 concentrations were significantly positively correlated with clinical improvement evaluated with CGIi (R = 0.38, P = 0.012; R = 0.33, P = 0.034, respectively). There was a significant correlation between FT4 concentrations and depression severity assessed in HDRS(17) (R = 0.31, P = 0.047). Male patients presented significantly higher FT3 serum levels (Z = 2.34, P = 0.018) and significantly greater clinical improvement (Z = 2.36, P = 0.018) when compared to female patients. We conclude that free thyroid hormones concentrations are associated with depression severity and have an impact on final clinical outcome. It can be more efficient to augment and accelerate the treatment of major depressive disorder with triiodothyronine instead of levothyroxine because of individual differences in thyroid hormones metabolism.
PMCID: PMC3968440  PMID: 24443228
Major depression; Thyroid hormones; Treatment; Outcome

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