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1.  WWOX, the common chromosomal fragile site, FRA16D, cancer gene 
Cytogenetic and genome research  2003;100(0):101-110.
Gross chromosomal rearrangements and aneuploidy are among the most common somatic genomic abnormalities that occur during cancer initiation and progression, in particular in human solid tumor carcinogenesis. The loss of large chromosomal regions as consequence of gross rearrangements (e.g. deletions, monosomies, unbalanced translocations and mitotic recombination) have been traditionally associated with the existence of tumor suppressor genes within the areas affected by the loss of genetic material. The long arm of chromosome 16 was identified as being frequently associated with structural abnormalities in multiple neoplasias, that led us to focus attention on the detailed genetic dissection of this region resulting in the cloning of the putative tumor suppressor gene, WWOX (WW domain containing Oxidoreductase). Interestingly, the WWOX gene resides in the very same region as that of the common chromosomal fragile site 16D (FRA16D). The WWOX gene encodes a protein that contains two WW domains, involved in protein-protein interactions, and a short chain dehydrogenase (SDR) domain, possibly involved in sex-steroid metabolism. We have identified the WWOX WW domain ligand as the PPXY motif confirming the biochemical activity of this domain. WWOX normally resides in the Golgi and we will demonstrate that Golgi localization requires an intact SDR. Inactivation of the WWOX gene during tumorigenesis can occur by homozygous deletions and possibly mutation, however, aberrantly spliced forms of WWOX mRNA have been observed even when one allele is still intact. The aberrantly spliced mRNAs have deletions of the exons that encode the SDR and these WWOX protein isoforms display abnormal intracellular localization to the nucleus possibly functioning as dominant negative inhibitors of full length WWOX. Thus, generation of aberrant transcripts of WWOX may represent a novel mechanism to functionally inactivate WWOX without genomic alteration of the remaining allele. In this article we will review the cloning and identification of WWOX as the target of FRA16D. In addition, we will discuss the possible biochemical functions of WWOX and present evidence that ectopic WWOX expression inhibits tumor growth.
PMCID: PMC4150470  PMID: 14526170
2.  Experimental Designs for Array Comparative Genomic Hybridization (aCGH) Technology 
Cytogenetic and genome research  2013;139(4):250-257.
Array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) technology is commonly used to estimate genome-wide copy number variation and to evaluate associations with copy number and disease. Although aCGH technology is well developed and there are numerous algorithms available for estimating copy number, little attention has been paid to the important issue of statistical experimental design. Herein, we review classical statistical experimental designs and discuss their relevance to aCGH technology as well as their importance for down-stream statistical analyses. Furthermore, we provide experimental design guidance for various study objectives.
PMCID: PMC3728659  PMID: 23548696
3.  Evolutionary Consequences, Constraints and Potential of Polyploidy in Plants 
Cytogenetic and genome research  2013;140(0):10.1159/000351727.
Polyploidy, the possession of more than 2 complete genomes, is a major force in plant evolution known to affect the genetic and genomic constitution and the phenotype of an organism, which will have consequences for its ecology and geography as well as for lineage diversification and speciation. In this review, we discuss phylogenetic patterns in the incidence of polyploidy including possible underlying causes, the role of polyploidy for diversification, the effects of polyploidy on geographical and ecological patterns, and putative underlying mechanisms as well as chromosome evolution and evolution of repetitive DNA following polyploidization. Spurred by technological advances, a lot has been learned about these aspects both in model and increasingly also in nonmodel species. Despite this enormous progress, long-standing questions about polyploidy still cannot be unambiguously answered, due to frequently idiosyncratic outcomes and insufficient integration of different organizational levels (from genes to ecology), but likely this will change in the near future. See also the sister article focusing on animals by Choleva and Janko in this themed issue.
PMCID: PMC3859924  PMID: 23796571
Chromosome evolution; Diversification; Ecogeography; Polyploidy; Repetitive DNA
4.  Role of retinoid signaling in the regulation of spermatogenesis 
Cytogenetic and genome research  2004;105(0):189-202.
While the need for vitamin A for the normal progression of male germ cell differentiation has been known for many years, the molecular mechanisms underlying this requirement are poorly understood. This review will explore the aspects of the effects on spermatogenesis of dietary deprivation of vitamin A, in particular as to how they compare to the male sterility that results from the genetic ablation of function of the retinoid receptor RAR·. The effects of other genes involved with retinoid synthesis, transport, and degradation are also considered. The possible cellular mechanisms that may be affected by the lack of retinoid signaling are discussed, in particular, cell cycle regulation and cell-cell interaction, both of which are critical for normal spermatogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3803148  PMID: 15237207
5.  A radiation hybrid map of river buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) chromosome one (BBU1) 
Cytogenetic and genome research  2007;119(0):100-104.
The largest chromosome in the river buffalo karyotype, BBU1, is a submetacentric chromosome with reported homology between BBU1q and bovine chromosome 1 and between BBU1p and BTA27. We present the first radiation hybrid map of this chromosome containing 69 cattle derived markers including 48 coding genes, 17 microsatellites and four ESTs distributed in two linkage groups spanning a total length of 1330.1 cR5000. The RH map was constructed based on analysis of a recently developed river buffalo-hamster whole genome radiation hybrid (BBURH5000) panel. The retention frequency of individual markers across the panel ranged from 17.8% to 52.2%. With few exceptions, the order of markers within linkage groups is identical to the order established for corresponding cattle RH maps. The BBU1 map provides a starting point for comparison of gene order rearrangements between river buffalo chromosome 1 and its bovine homologs.
PMCID: PMC3780412  PMID: 18160788
6.  A radiation hybrid map of river buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) chromosome 7 and comparative mapping to the cattle and human genomes 
Cytogenetic and genome research  2008;119(0):235-241.
A preliminary radiation hybrid (RH) map containing 50 loci on chromosome 7 of the domestic river buffalo Bubalus bubalis (BBU; 2n = 50) was constructed based on a comparative mapping approach. The RH map of BBU7 includes thirty-seven gene markers and thirteen microsatellites. All loci have been previously assigned to Bos taurus (BTA) chromosome BTA6, which is known for its association with several economically important milk production traits in cattle. The map consists of two linkage groups spanning a total length of 627.9 cR5,000. Comparative analysis of the BBU7 RH5,000 map with BTA6 in cattle gave new evidence for strong similarity between the two chromosomes over their entire length and exposed minor differences in locus order. Comparison of the BBU7 RH5,000 map with the Homo sapiens (HSA) genome revealed similarity with a large chromosome segment of HSA4. Comparative analysis of loci in both species revealed more variability than previously known in gene order and several chromosome rearrangements including centromere relocation. The data obtained in our study define the evolutionary conserved segment on BBU7 and HSA4 to be between 3.5 megabases (Mb) and 115.8 Mb in the HSA4 (genome build 36) DNA sequence.
PMCID: PMC3779130  PMID: 18253035
7.  Evolutionary conservation of alternative splicing in chicken 
Cytogenetic and genome research  2007;117(0):146-157.
Alternative splicing represents a source of great diversity for regulating protein expression and function. It has been estimated that one-third to two-thirds of mammalian genes are alternatively spliced. With the sequencing of the chicken genome and analysis of transcripts expressed in chicken tissues, we are now in a position to address evolutionary conservation of alternative splicing events in chicken and mammals. Here, we compare chicken and mammalian transcript sequences of 41 alternatively-spliced genes and 50 frequently accessed genes. Our results support a high frequency of splicing events in chicken, similar to that observed in mammals.
PMCID: PMC3726401  PMID: 17675855 CAMSID: cams3218
8.  A high-resolution 15,000Rad radiation hybrid panel for the domestic cat 
The current genetic and recombination maps of the cat have less than 3,000 markers and a resolution limit greater than 1 Mb. To complement the first generation domestic cat maps, support higher resolution mapping studies, and aid genome assembly in specific areas as well as in the whole genome, a 15,000Rad radiation hybrid (RH) panel for the domestic cat was generated. Fibroblasts from the female Abyssinian cat that was used to generate the cat genomic sequence were fused to a Chinese hamster cell line (A23), producing 150 hybrid lines. The clones were initially characterized using 39 STR and 1536 SNP markers. The utility of whole genome amplification (WGA) in preserving and extending RH panel DNA was also tested using ten STR markers; no significant difference in retention was observed. The resolution of the 15,000Rad RH panel was established by constructing framework maps across ten different 1 Mb regions on different feline chromosomes. In these regions, two-point analysis was used to estimate RH distances, which compared favorably with the estimation of physical distances. The study demonstrates that the 15,000Rad RH panel constitutes a powerful tool for constructing high-resolution maps, having an average resolution of 40.1 kb per marker across the ten 1 Mb regions. In addition, the RH panel will complement existing genomic resources for the domestic cat, aid in the accurate reassemblies of the forthcoming cat genomic sequence, and support cross-species genomic comparisons.
PMCID: PMC3480197  PMID: 22777158
9.  Identifying Early Events of Gene Expression in Breast Cancer with Systems Biology Phylogenetics 
Cytogenetic and genome research  2013;139(3):206-214.
Advanced omics technologies such as deep sequencing and spectral karyotyping are revealing more of cancer heterogeneity at the genetic, genomic, gene expression, epigenetic, proteomic, and metabolomic levels. With this increasing body of emerging data, the task of data analysis becomes critical for mining and modeling to better understand the relevant underlying biological processes. However, the multiple levels of heterogeneity evident within and among populations, healthy and diseased, complicate the mining and interpretation of biological data, especially when dealing with hundreds to tens of thousands of variables. Heterogeneity occurs in many diseases, such as cancers, autism, macular degeneration, and others. In cancer, heterogeneity has hampered the search for validated biomarkers for early detection, and it has complicated the task of finding clonal (driver) and nonclonal (nonexpanded or passenger) aberrations. We show that subtyping of cancer (classification of specimens) should be an a priori step to the identification of early events of cancers. Studying early events in oncogenesis can be done on histologically normal tissues from diseased individuals (HNTDI), since they most likely have been exposed to the same mutagenic insults that caused the cancer in their neighboring tissues. Polarity assessment of HNTDI data variables by using healthy specimens as outgroup(s), followed by the application of parsimony phylogenetic analysis, produces a hierarchical classification of specimens that reveals the early events of the disease ontogeny within its subtypes as shared derived changes (abnormal changes) or synapomorphies in phylogenetic terminology.
PMCID: PMC3671766  PMID: 23548567
Cancer; Early events; Heterogeneity; Parsimony; Phylogenetics; Synapomorphies; Systems biology
10.  The Role of Shugoshin in Meiotic Chromosome Segregation 
Cytogenetic and genome research  2011;133(2-4):234-242.
During meiosis, DNA replication is followed by 2 successive chromosome segregation events, resulting in the production of gametes with a haploid number of chromosomes from a diploid precursor cell. Faithful chromosome segregation in meiosis requires that sister chromatid cohesion is lost from chromosome arms during meiosis I, but retained at centromeric regions until meiosis II. Recent studies have begun to uncover the mechanisms underlying this stepwise loss of cohesion in meiosis and the role of a conserved protein, shugoshin, in regulating this process.
PMCID: PMC3077332  PMID: 21273764
Chromosome Segregation; Cohesin; Meiosis; PP2A; Separase; Shugoshin
11.  The Role of Shugoshin in Meiotic Chromosome Segregation 
Cytogenetic and Genome Research  2011;133(2-4):234-242.
During meiosis, DNA replication is followed by 2 successive chromosome segregation events, resulting in the production of gametes with a haploid number of chromosomes from a diploid precursor cell. Faithful chromosome segregation in meiosis requires that sister chromatid cohesion is lost from chromosome arms during meiosis I, but retained at centromeric regions until meiosis II. Recent studies have begun to uncover the mechanisms underlying this stepwise loss of cohesion in meiosis and the role of a conserved protein, shugoshin, in regulating this process.
PMCID: PMC3077332  PMID: 21273764
Chromosome Segregation; Cohesin; Meiosis; PP2A; Separase; Shugoshin
13.  Telomeres, histone code, and DNA damage response 
Cytogenetic and genome research  2009;122(3-4):297-307.
Genomic stability is maintained by telomeres, the end terminal structures that protect chromosomes from fusion or degradation. Shortening or loss of telomeric repeats or altered telomere chromatin structure is correlated with telomere dysfunction such as chromosome end-to-end associations that could lead to genomic instability and gene amplification. The structure at the end of telomeres is such that its DNA differs from DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) to avoid nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ), which is accomplished by forming a unique higher order nucleoprotein structure. Telomeres are attached to the nuclear matrix and have a unique chromatin structure. Whether this special structure is maintained by specific chromatin changes is yet to be thoroughly investigated. Chromatin modifications implicated in transcriptional regulation are thought to be the result of a code on the histone proteins (histone code). This code, involving phosphorylation, acetylation, methylation, ubiquitylation, and sumoylation of histones, is believed to regulate chromatin accessibility either by disrupting chromatin contacts or by recruiting non-histone proteins to chromatin. The histone code in which distinct histone tail-protein interactions promote engagement may be the deciding factor for choosing specific DSB repair pathways. Recent evidence suggests that such mechanisms are involved in DNA damage detection and repair. Altered telomere chromatin structure has been linked to defective DNA damage response (DDR), and eukaryotic cells have evolved DDR mechanisms utilizing proficient DNA repair and cell cycle checkpoints in order to maintain genomic stability. Recent studies suggest that chromatin modifying factors play a critical role in the maintenance of genomic stability. This review will summarize the role of DNA damage repair proteins specifically ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and its effectors and the telomere complex in maintaining genome stability.
PMCID: PMC2714185  PMID: 19188699
14.  Regulation of telomere length in Drosophila 
Cytogenetic and genome research  2009;122(3-4):356-364.
Telomeres in all organisms must perform the same vital functions to ensure cell viability: to act as a protective chromosome cap that distinguishes natural chromosome ends from DNA double strand breaks, and to balance the loss of DNA from the chromosome end due incomplete DNA replication. Most eukaryotes rely on a specialized reverse transcriptase, telomerase, to generate short repeats at the chromosome end to maintain chromosome length. Drosophila, however, uses retrotransposons that target telomeres. Transposition of these elements may be controlled by small RNAs and spreading of silent chromatin from the telomere associated sequence, both of which limit the retrotransposon expression level. Proteins binding to the retrotransposon array, such as HP1 an PROD, may also modulate transcription. It is not clear, however, that simply increasing transcript levels of the telomeric retrotransposons is sufficient to increase transposition. The chromosome cap may control the ability of the telomere-specific elements to attach to chromosome ends. As in other organisms, chromosomes can be elongated by gene conversion. Although the mechanism is not known, HP1, a component of the cap, and the Ku proteins are key components in this pathway.
PMCID: PMC2637470  PMID: 19188706
15.  Canine Cytogenetics - From band to basepair 
Cytogenetic and genome research  2008;120(1-2):50-60.
Humans and dogs have coexisted for thousands of years, during which time we have developed a unique bond, centered on companionship. Along the way, we have developed purebred dog breeds in a manner that has resulted unfortunately in many of them being affected by serious genetic disorders, including cancers. With serendipity and irony the unique genetic architecture of the 21st Century genome of Man's best friend may ultimately provide many of the keys to unlock some of nature's most intriguing biological puzzles. Canine cytogenetics has advanced significantly over the past 10 years, spurred on largely by the surge of interest in the dog as a biomedical model for genetic disease and the availability of advanced genomics resources. As such the role of canine cytogenetics has moved rapidly from one that served initially to define the gross genomic organization of the canine genome and provide a reliable means to determine the chromosomal location of individual genes, to one that enabled the assembled sequence of the canine genome to be anchored to the karyotype. Canine cytogenetics now presents the biomedical research community with a means to assist in our search for a greater understanding of how genome architectures altered during speciation and in our search for genes associated with cancers that affect both dogs and humans. The cytogenetics ‘toolbox’ for the dog is now loaded. This review aims to provide a summary of some of the recent advancements in canine cytogenetics.
PMCID: PMC2564286  PMID: 18467825
canine; dog; genome; chromosome; cytogenetics
16.  A 4103 marker integrated physical and comparative map of the horse genome 
Cytogenetic and genome research  2008;122(1):28-36.
A comprehensive second-generation whole genome radiation hybrid (RH II), cytogenetic and comparative map of the horse genome (2n=64) has been developed using the 5000rad horse × hamster radiation hybrid panel and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The map contains 4,103 markers (3,816 RH, 1,144 FISH) assigned to all 31 pairs of autosomes and the X chromosome. The RH maps of individual chromosomes are anchored and oriented using 857 cytogenetic markers. The overall resolution of the map is one marker per 775 kilobase-pairs (kb), which represents a more than five-fold improvement over the first-generation map. The RH II incorporates 920 markers shared jointly with the two recently reported meiotic maps. Consequently the two maps were aligned with the RH II maps of individual autosomes and the X chromosome. Additionally, a comparative map of the horse genome was generated by connecting 1,904 loci on the horse map with genome sequences available for eight diverse vertebrates to highlight regions of evolutionarily conserved syntenies, linkages and chromosomal breakpoints. The integrated map thus obtained presents the most comprehensive information on the physical and comparative organization of the equine genome and will assist future assemblies of whole genome BAC fingerprint maps and the genome sequence. It will also serve as a tool to identify genes governing health, disease and performance traits in horses and assist us in understanding the evolution of the equine genome in relation to other species.
PMCID: PMC2587302  PMID: 18931483
radiation hybrid map; horse; comparative; whole genome
17.  Genomic signatures of breast cancer metastasis 
Cytogenetic and genome research  2007;118(2-4):116-129.
Despite significant advances in the treatment of primary cancer, the ability to predict the metastatic behavior of a patient’s cancer, as well as to detect and eradicate such recurrences, remain major clinical challenges in oncology. While many potential molecular biomarkers have been identified and tested previously, none have greatly improved the accuracy of specimen evaluation over routine histopathological criteria and they predict individual outcomes poorly. However, the recent introduction of high-throughput microarray technology has opened new avenues in genomic investigation of cancer, and through application in tissue-based studies and appropriate animal models, has facilitated the identification of gene expression signatures that are associated with the lethal progression of breast cancer. The use of these approaches has the potential to greatly impact our knowledge of tumor biology, to provide efficient biomarkers, and enable development towards customized prognostication and therapies for the individual.
PMCID: PMC2546496  PMID: 18000362
18.  Loss of Homologous Recombination or Non-homologous End-joining Leads to Radial Formation Following DNA Interstrand Crosslink Damage 
Cytogenetic and genome research  2008;121(3-4):174-180.
High levels of interstrand cross-link damage in mammalian cells cause chromatid breaks and radial formations recognizable by cytogenetic examination. The mechanism of radial formation observed following DNA damage has yet to be determined. Due to recent findings linking homologous recombination and non-homologous end-joining to the action of the Fanconi anemia pathway, we speculated that radials might be the result of defects in either of the pathways of DNA repair. To test this hypothesis, we have investigated the role of homologous recombination proteins RAD51 and RAD52, non-homologous end-joining proteins Ku70 and LIG4, and protein MRE11 in radial formation and cell survival following interstrand crosslink damage with mitomycin C. For the studies we used small inhibitory RNA to deplete the proteins from cells, allowing for evaluation of radial formation and cell survival. In transformed normal human fibroblasts, depletion of these proteins increased interstrand crosslink sensitivity as manifest by decreased cell survival and increased radial formation. These results demonstrate that inactivation of proteins from either of the two separate DNA repair pathways increases cellular sensitivity to interstrand crosslinks, indicating each pathway plays a role in the normal response to interstrand crosslink damage. We can also conclude that homologous recombination or non-homologous end-joining are not required for radial formation, since radials occur with depletion of these pathways.
PMCID: PMC2535844  PMID: 18758156
19.  Characterising alternate splicing and tissue specific expression in the chicken from ESTs 
Cytogenetic and genome research  2007;117(1-4):268-277.
Alternate splicing is believed to produce the greatest diversity in transcriptional complexity and function in eukaryotic species. In this study, we present an analysis of alternative splicing events that occur in the chicken, using the recently sequenced genomic sequence and over 580,000 EST sequences mapped back to the genome. A carefully controlled EST-to-genome mapping pipeline is presented, based around the Exonerate program using the est2genome model, which also considers several quality control steps to filter out erroneous matches. The data is then used to estimate the level of alternate splicing events with respect to Ensembl predicted transcripts. The EST-genome mappings are characterised at the exon level, in order to classify individual splicing events and provide estimates of novel transcripts not currently annotated by the Ensembl genome database. This is the first large scale analysis of this kind in an avian species, and suggests that chicken displays a similar level of alternate splicing as that found in other higher vertebrates such as human and mouse, both in terms of the number of genes that undergo alternate splicing events, and the average number of transcripts produced per gene. The EST data suggests alternate splicing may occur in some 50-60% of the chicken gene set and with an average of around 2.3 transcripts per gene which undergo this process. The EST data is also used to look at gene and transcript usage in the tissues sequenced in embryonic and adult libraries. Genes which display notable biases were analysed in more detail, including in twinfilin-2 and embryonic heavy chain myosin. This also highlights several as yet functionally un-annotated genes which appear to be important in embryonic tissues and also undergo alternate splicing events. The analysis also demonstrates some of the difficulties involved in using EST-based data to annotate transcriptional activity in eukaryotic genes, where a broad spectrum of tissues and a large number of sequenced transcripts are required in order to fully characterise alternate splicing and differential expression.
PMCID: PMC2266501  PMID: 17675868
alternate splicing; Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs); chicken genome; development; bioinformatics
20.  Transposable elements donate lineage-specific regulatory sequences to host genomes 
Cytogenetic and genome research  2005;110(1-4):333-341.
The evolutionary implications of transposable element (TE) influences on gene regulation are explored here. An historical perspective is presented to underscore the importance of TE influences on gene regulation with respect to both the discovery of TEs and the early conceptualization of their potential impact on host genome evolution. Evidence that points to a role for TEs in host gene regulation is reviewed, and comparisons between genome sequences are used to demonstrate the fact that TEs are particularly lineage-specific components of their host genomes. Consistent with these two properties of TEs, regulatory effects and evolutionary specificity, human-mouse genome wide sequence comparisons reveal that the regulatory sequences that are contributed by TEs are exceptionally lineage specific. This suggests a particular mechanism by which TEs may drive the diversification of gene regulation between evolutionary lineages.
PMCID: PMC1803082  PMID: 16093685
Cytogenetic and genome research  2005;110(1-4):152-159.
Drosophila telomeres have been maintained by retrotransposition for at least 60 MY, which predates the separation of extant species of this genus. Studies of D. melanogaster, D. yakuba, and D. virilis show that, in Drosophila, telomeres are composed of two non-LTR retrotransposons, HeT-A and TART. Far from being static, HeT-A and TART evolve faster than Drosophila euchromatic genes. In spite of their high rate of sequence change, HeT-A and TART maintain their basic structures and unusual individual features. The maintenance of their separate identities suggests that HeT-A and TART cooperate either in the process of retrotransposition onto the chromosome end, or in the formation of telomere chromatin by transposed DNA copies. The telomeric retrotransposons and the Drosophila genome constitute an example of a robust symbiotic relationship between mobile elements and the genome.
PMCID: PMC1188233  PMID: 16093667
22.  Nuclear reprogramming in mammalian somatic cell nuclear cloning 
Cytogenetic and genome research  2004;105(2-4):285-291.
Nuclear cloning is still a developing technique used to create genetically identical animals by somatic cell nuclear transfer into unfertilized eggs. Despite an intensive effort in a number of laboratories, the success rate of obtaining viable offspring from this technique remains less than 5%. In the past few years many investigators reported the reprogramming of specific nuclear activities in cloned animals, such as genome-wide gene expression patterns, DNA methylation, genetic imprinting, histone modifications and telomere length regulation. The results highlight the tremendous difficulty the clones face to reprogram the original differentiation status of the donor nuclei. Nevertheless, nuclei prepared from terminally differentiated lymphocytes can overcome this barrier and produce apparently normal mice. Study of this striking nuclear reprogramming activity should significantly contribute to our understanding of cell differentiation in more physiological settings.
PMCID: PMC2078605  PMID: 15237217

Results 1-22 (22)