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1.  The lactase persistence genotype is a protective factor for the metabolic syndrome 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(4):611-615.
The Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is defined as a pattern of metabolic disturbances, which include central obesity, insulin resistance and hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. Milk has been promoted as a healthy beverage that can improve the management of MetS. Most human adults, however, down-regulate the production of intestinal lactase after weaning. Lactase encoded by the LCT gene is necessary for lactose digestion. The -13910C > T SNP (rs4988235) is responsible for the lactase persistence phenotype in European populations. We herein investigated whether the lactase persistence genotype is also associated with the MetS in subjects from a Brazilian population of European descent. This study consisted of 334 individuals (average age of 41 years) genotyped by PCR-based methods for the -13910C > T SNP. Clinical data were assessed and the genotypes were tested for their independent contribution to the MetS using chi-square tests and multiple logistic regression analysis. Univariate analyses showed that hypertension and MetS prevalence were higher in individuals with the lactase non-persistence genotype than in lactase persistence subjects. Furthermore, lactase persistence was associated with a lower risk for MetS (OR = 0.467; 95% CI 0.264–0.824; p = 0.009). These results suggest that LCT genotypes can be a valuable tool for the management of MetS treatment.
PMCID: PMC4261958  PMID: 25505833
metabolic syndrome; lactase persistence; hypolactasia; lactose
2.  c.G2114A MYH9 mutation (DFNA17) causes non-syndromic autosomal dominant hearing loss in a Brazilian family 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(4):616-621.
We studied a family presenting 10 individuals affected by autosomal dominant deafness in all frequencies and three individuals affected by high frequency hearing loss. Genomic scanning using the 50k Affymetrix microarray technology yielded a Lod Score of 2.1 in chromosome 14 and a Lod Score of 1.9 in chromosome 22. Mapping refinement using microsatellites placed the chromosome 14 candidate region between markers D14S288 and D14S276 (8.85 cM) and the chromosome 22 near marker D22S283. Exome sequencing identified two candidate variants to explain hearing loss in chromosome 14 [PTGDR – c.G894A:p.R298R and PTGER2 – c.T247G:p.C83G], and one in chromosome 22 [MYH9, c.G2114A:p.R705H]. Pedigree segregation analysis allowed exclusion of the PTGDR and PTGER2 variants as the cause of deafness. However, the MYH9 variant segregated with the phenotype in all affected members, except the three individuals with different phenotype. This gene has been previously described as mutated in autosomal dominant hereditary hearing loss and corresponds to DFNA17. The mutation identified in our study is the same described in the prior report. Thus, although linkage studies suggested a candidate gene in chromosome 14, we concluded that the mutation in chromosome 22 better explains the hearing loss phenotype in the Brazilian family.
PMCID: PMC4261959  PMID: 25505834
DFNA17; MYH9 gene; Hearing loss
3.  Frequency of the allelic variant c.1150T > C in exon 10 of the fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) gene is not increased in patients with pathogenic mutations and related chondrodysplasia phenotypes 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(4):622-624.
Mutations in the FGFR3 gene cause the phenotypic spectrum of FGFR3 chondrodysplasias ranging from lethal forms to the milder phenotype seen in hypochondroplasia (Hch). The p.N540K mutation in the FGFR3 gene occurs in ∼70% of individuals with Hch, and nearly 30% of individuals with the Hch phenotype have no mutations in the FGFR3, which suggests genetic heterogeneity. The identification of a severe case of Hch associated with the typical mutation c.1620C > A and the occurrence of a c.1150T > C change that resulted in a p.F384L in exon 10, together with the suspicion that this second change could be a modulator of the phenotype, prompted us to investigate this hypothesis in a cohort of patients. An analysis of 48 patients with FGFR3 chondrodysplasia phenotypes and 330 healthy (control) individuals revealed no significant difference in the frequency of the C allele at the c.1150 position (p = 0.34). One patient carrying the combination `pathogenic mutation plus the allelic variant c.1150T > C’ had a typical achondroplasia (Ach) phenotype. In addition, three other patients with atypical phenotypes showed no association with the allelic variant. Together, these results do not support the hypothesis of a modulatory role for the c.1150T > C change in the FGFR3 gene.
PMCID: PMC4261960  PMID: 25505835
FGFR3; F384L; hypochondroplasia; skeletal dysplasia
4.  Lack of an association between SNPs within the cholinergic receptor genes and smoking behavior in a Czech post-MONICA study 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(4):625-630.
Smoking has a significant heritable component of approximately 30–60%. Recent genome wide association studies have identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the nicotinic cholinergic receptor subunits 3 (rs578776), 5 (rs16969968) and β3 (rs6474412), which are associated with nicotine dependence in Western European populations. To analyze the association in a Czech population, we genotyped 1,191 males and 1,368 females (post-MONICA study). The WHO protocol was used to examine smoking status and the number of cigarettes smoked per day. There were 32.1% current and 27.6% past smokers among the males and 22.5% current and 13.8% past smokers among the females. We have not confirmed the original results: the SNPs rs16969968 (p = 0.07), rs578776 (p = 0.16) and rs6474412 (p = 0.76) were not associated with smoking status (never-smokers vs. ever-smokers) in the entire population, if a codominant model of analysis was used. This result was valid for both the male and female subpopulations if analyzed separately and adjusted for age. Finally, in ever-smokers, the number of cigarettes smoked per day was also independent of different genotypes, regardless of which polymorphism (and gender) was analyzed (the lowest p value was 0.49). The association between the cholinergic receptors–nicotinic subunits (-3, -5 and -ß3), and smoking behavior may be population-dependent.
PMCID: PMC4261961  PMID: 25505836
cholinergic receptors; polymorphism; smoking
5.  Comparison of breeding value prediction for two traits in a Nellore-Angus crossbred population using different Bayesian modeling methodologies 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(4):631-637.
The objectives of this study were to 1) compare four models for breeding value prediction using genomic or pedigree information and 2) evaluate the impact of fixed effects that account for family structure. Comparisons were made in a Nellore-Angus population comprising F2, F3 and half-siblings to embryo transfer F2 calves with records for overall temperament at weaning (TEMP; n = 769) and Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF; n = 387). After quality control, there were 34,913 whole genome SNP markers remaining. Bayesian methods employed were BayesB (π̃ = 0.995 or 0.997 for WBSF or TEMP, respectively) and BayesC (π = 0 and π̃), where π̃ is the ideal proportion of markers not included. Direct genomic values (DGV) from single trait Bayesian analyses were compared to conventional pedigree-based animal model breeding values. Numerically, BayesC procedures (using π̃) had the highest accuracy of all models for WBSF and TEMP (ρ̂gĝ = 0.843 and 0.923, respectively), but BayesB had the least bias (regression of performance on prediction closest to 1, β̂y,x = 2.886 and 1.755, respectively). Accounting for family structure decreased accuracy and increased bias in prediction of DGV indicating a detrimental impact when used in these prediction methods that simultaneously fit many markers.
PMCID: PMC4261962  PMID: 25505837
Bayesian inference; crossbred cattle; genomic prediction; model comparison
6.  Chromosomal diversity in three species of electric fish (Apteronotidae, Gymnotiformes) from the Amazon Basin 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(4):638-645.
Cytogenetic studies were carried out on samples of Parapteronotus hasemani, Sternarchogiton preto and Sternarchorhamphus muelleri (Apteronotidae, Gymnotiformes) from the Amazon basin. The first two species exhibited both a 2n = 52 karyotype, but differed in their karyotypic formulae, distribution of constitutive heterochromatin, and chromosomal location of the NOR. The third species, Sternarchorhamphus muelleri, was found to have a 2n = 32 karyotype. In all three species the DAPI and chromomycin A3 staining results were consistent with the C-banding results and nucleolar organizer region (NOR) localization. The 18S rDNA probe confirmed that there was only one pair of ribosomal DNA cistron bearers per species. The telomeric probe did not reveal interstitial telomeric sequences (ITS). The karyotypic differences among these species can be used for taxonomic identification. These data will be useful in future studies of these fishes and help understanding the phylogenetic relationships and chromosomal evolution of the Apteronotidae.
PMCID: PMC4261963  PMID: 25505838
fluorochromes; FISH; chromosomal rearrangements; biodiversity
7.  Genetic identification of bucktooth parrotfish Sparisoma radians (Valenciennes, 1840) (Labridae, Scarinae) by chromosomal and molecular markers 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(4):646-651.
Parrotfishes (Labridae, Scarinae) comprise a large marine fish group of difficult identification, particularly during juvenile phase when the typical morphology and coloration of adults are absent. Therefore, the goal of this study was to test cytogenetic markers and DNA barcoding in the identification of bucktooth parrtotfish Sparisoma radians from the northeastern coast of Brazil. Sequencing of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) confirmed all studied samples as S. radians, and all showed high similarity (99–100%) with Caribbean populations. The karyotype of this species was divergent from most marine Perciformes, being composed of 2n = 46 chromosomes. These consisted of a large number of metacentric and submetacentric pairs with small amounts of heterochromatin and GC-rich single nucleolar organizer regions (NORs) not syntenic to 5S rDNA clusters. These are the first data about DNA barcoding in parrotfish from the Brazilian province and the first refined chromosomal analysis in Scarinae, providing useful data to a reliable genetic identification of S. radians.
PMCID: PMC4261964  PMID: 25505839
COI; karyotype; South Atlantic fish; ribossomal genes; Robertsonian rearrangements
8.  Comparative proteomic analysis of indica and japonica rice varieties 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(4):652-661.
Indica and japonica are two main subspecies of Asian cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.) that differ clearly in morphological and agronomic traits, in physiological and biochemical characteristics and in their genomic structure. However, the proteins and genes responsible for these differences remain poorly characterized. In this study, proteomic tools, including two-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, were used to globally identify proteins that differed between two sequenced rice varieties (93–11 and Nipponbare). In all, 47 proteins that differed significantly between 93–11 and Nipponbare were identified using mass spectrometry and database searches. Interestingly, seven proteins were expressed only in Nipponbare and one protein was expressed specifically in 93–11; these differences were confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR and proteomic analysis of other indica and japonica rice varieties. This is the first report to successfully demonstrate differences in the protein composition of indica and japonica rice varieties and to identify candidate proteins and genes for future investigation of their roles in the differentiation of indica and japonica rice.
PMCID: PMC4261965  PMID: 25505840
indica and japonica rice; molecular marker; proteomics; quantitative real-time PCR; unique proteins
9.  DNA barcoding in Atlantic Forest plants: What is the best marker for Sapotaceae species identification? 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(4):662-670.
The Atlantic Forest is a phytogeographic domain with a high rate of endemism and large species diversity. The Sapotaceae is a botanical family for which species identification in the Atlantic Forest is difficult. An approach that facilitates species identification in the Sapotaceae is urgently needed because this family includes threatened species and valuable timber species. In this context, DNA barcoding could provide an important tool for identifying species in the Atlantic Forest. In this work, we evaluated four plant barcode markers (matK, rbcL, trnH-psbA and the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer region - ITS) in 80 samples from 26 species of Sapotaceae that occur in the Atlantic Forest. ITS yielded the highest average interspecific distance (0.122), followed by trnH-psbA (0.019), matK (0.008) and rbcL (0.002). For species discrimination, ITS provided the best results, followed by matK, trnH-psbA and rbcL. Furthermore, the combined analysis of two, three or four markers did not result in higher rates of discrimination than obtained with ITS alone. These results indicate that the ITS region is the best option for molecular identification of Sapotaceae species from the Atlantic Forest.
PMCID: PMC4261966  PMID: 25505841
internal transcribed spacer; taxonomy; tree species; tropical forest
10.  Identification of novel and conserved microRNAs in Coffea canephora and Coffea arabica 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(4):671-682.
As microRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of many biological processes, a series of small RNAomes from plants have been produced in the last decade. However, miRNA data from several groups of plants are still lacking, including some economically important crops. Here microRNAs from Coffea canephora leaves were profiled and 58 unique sequences belonging to 33 families were found, including two novel microRNAs that have never been described before in plants. Some of the microRNA sequences were also identified in Coffea arabica that, together with C. canephora, correspond to the two major sources of coffee production in the world. The targets of almost all miRNAs were also predicted on coffee expressed sequences. This is the first report of novel miRNAs in the genus Coffea, and also the first in the plant order Gentianales. The data obtained establishes the basis for the understanding of the complex miRNA-target network on those two important crops.
PMCID: PMC4261967  PMID: 25505842
coffee; microRNA profiling; illumina sequencing
11.  Analysis of the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway cloning, molecular characterization and phylogeny of lanosterol 14 α-demethylase (ERG11) gene of Moniliophthora perniciosa 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(4):683-693.
The phytopathogenic fungus Moniliophthora perniciosa (Stahel) Aime & Philips-Mora, causal agent of witches’ broom disease of cocoa, causes countless damage to cocoa production in Brazil. Molecular studies have attempted to identify genes that play important roles in fungal survival and virulence. In this study, sequences deposited in the M. perniciosa Genome Sequencing Project database were analyzed to identify potential biological targets. For the first time, the ergosterol biosynthetic pathway in M. perniciosa was studied and the lanosterol 14α-demethylase gene (ERG11) that encodes the main enzyme of this pathway and is a target for fungicides was cloned, characterized molecularly and its phylogeny analyzed. ERG11 genomic DNA and cDNA were characterized and sequence analysis of the ERG11 protein identified highly conserved domains typical of this enzyme, such as SRS1, SRS4, EXXR and the heme-binding region (HBR). Comparison of the protein sequences and phylogenetic analysis revealed that the M. perniciosa enzyme was most closely related to that of Coprinopsis cinerea.
PMCID: PMC4261968  PMID: 25505843
Basidiomycota; fungus; ergosterol; Theobroma cacao
12.  Clustering of water bodies in unpolluted and polluted environments based on Escherichia coli phylogroup abundance using a simple interaction database 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(4):694-701.
Different types of water bodies, including lakes, streams, and coastal marine waters, are often susceptible to fecal contamination from a range of point and nonpoint sources, and have been evaluated using fecal indicator microorganisms. The most commonly used fecal indicator is Escherichia coli, but traditional cultivation methods do not allow discrimination of the source of pollution. The use of triplex PCR offers an approach that is fast and inexpensive, and here enabled the identification of phylogroups. The phylogenetic distribution of E. coli subgroups isolated from water samples revealed higher frequencies of subgroups A1 and B23 in rivers impacted by human pollution sources, while subgroups D1 and D2 were associated with pristine sites, and subgroup B1 with domesticated animal sources, suggesting their use as a first screening for pollution source identification. A simple classification is also proposed based on phylogenetic subgroup distribution using the w-clique metric, enabling differentiation of polluted and unpolluted sites.
PMCID: PMC4261969  PMID: 25505844
E. coli; phylogenetic groups; pollution sources; interaction networks; social network analysis
13.  Chromosomal damage and apoptosis analysis in exfoliated oral epithelial cells from mouthwash and alcohol users 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(4):702-707.
Chromosomal damage and apoptosis were analyzed in users of mouthwash and/or alcoholic beverages, using the micronucleus test on exfoliated oral mucosa cells. Samples from four groups of 20 individuals each were analyzed: three exposed groups (EG1, EG2 and EG3) and a control group (CG). EG1 comprised mouthwash users; EG2 comprised drinkers, and EG3 users of both mouthwashes and alcoholic beverages. Cell material was collected by gently scraping the insides of the cheeks. Then the cells were fixed in a methanol/acetic acid (3:1) solution and stained and counterstained, respectively, with Schiff reactive and fast green. Endpoints were computed on 2,000 cells in a blind test. Statistical analysis showed that chromosomal damage and apoptosis were significantly higher in individuals of groups EG1 and EG3 than in controls (p < 0.005 and p < 0.001, respectively). No significant difference in chromosomal damage and apoptosis was observed between the exposed groups. In EG2, only the occurrence of apoptosis was significantly higher than in the controls. These results suggest that mouthwashes alone or in association with alcoholic drinks induce genotoxic effects, manifested as chromosomal damage and apoptosis. They also suggest that alcoholic drinks are effective for stimulating the process of apoptosis. However, these data need to be confirmed in larger samples.
PMCID: PMC4261970  PMID: 25505845
micronucleus; apoptosis; mouthwash; alcoholic beverages
14.  Targeted disruption of the mouse testis-enriched gene Znf230 does not affect spermatogenesis or fertility 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(4):708-715.
The mouse testis-enriched Znf230 gene, which encodes a type of RING finger protein, is present primarily in the nuclei of spermatogonia, the acrosome and the tail of spermatozoa. To investigate the role of Znf230 in spermatogenesis, we generated Znf230-deficient mice by disrupting Znf230 exon-5 and exon-6 using homologous recombination. The homozygous Znf230-knockout (KO) mice did not exhibit Znf230 mRNA expression and Znf230 protein production. Znf230 KO mice exhibited no obvious impairment in body growth or fertility. Male Znf230 KO mice had integral reproductive systems and mature sperm that were regular in number and shape. The developmental stages of male germ cells of Znf230 KO mice were also normal. We further examined variations in the transcriptomes of testicular tissue between Znf230 KO and wild-type mice through microarray analysis. The results showed that the mRNA level of one unclassified transcript 4921513I08Rik was increased and that the mRNA levels of three other transcripts, i.e., 4930448A20Rik, 4931431B13Rik and potassium channel tetramerisation domain containing 14(Kctd14), were reduced more than two-fold in Znf230 KO mice compared with wild-type mice. Using our current examination techniques, these findings suggested that Znf230 deficiency in mice may not affect growth, fertility or spermatogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4261971  PMID: 25505846
Znf230; knockout mice; spermatogenesis; Kctd14
15.  PCI-24781 down-regulates EZH2 expression and then promotes glioma apoptosis by suppressing the PIK3K/Akt/mTOR pathway 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(4):716-724.
PCI-24781 is a novel histone deacetylase inhibitor that inhibits tumor proliferation and promotes cell apoptosis. However, it is unclear whether PCI-24781 inhibits Enhancer of Zeste 2 (EZH2) expression in malignant gliomas. In this work, three glioma cell lines were incubated with various concentrations of PCI-24781 (0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2.5 and 5 μM) and analyzed for cell proliferation by the MTS [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium] assay and colony formation, and cell cycle and apoptosis were assessed by flow cytometry. The expression of EZH2 and apoptosis-related proteins was assessed by western blotting. Malignant glioma cells were also transfected with EZH2 siRNA to examine how PCI-24781 suppresses tumor cells. EZH2 was highly expressed in the three glioma cell lines. Incubation with PCI-24781 reduced cell proliferation and increased cell apoptosis by down-regulating EZH2 in a concentration-dependent manner. These effects were simulated by EZH2 siRNA. In addition, PCI-24781 or EZH2 siRNA accelerated cell apoptosis by down-regulating the expression of AKT, mTOR, p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70s6k), glycogen synthase kinase 3A and B (GSK3a/b) and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E binding protein 1 (4E-BP1). These data suggest that PCI-24781 may be a promising therapeutic agent for treating gliomas by down-regulating EZH2 which promotes cell apoptosis by suppressing the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mammalian target of the rapamycin (mTOR) pathway.
PMCID: PMC4261972  PMID: 25505847
EZH2; malignant gliomas; PCI-24781; PIK3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway
16.  Alternative parameterizations of relatedness in whole genome association analysis of pre-weaning traits of Nelore-Angus calves 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(3):518-525.
Gestation length, birth weight, and weaning weight of F2 Nelore-Angus calves (n = 737) with designed extensive full-sibling and half-sibling relatedness were evaluated for association with 34,957 SNP markers. In analyses of birth weight, random relatedness was modeled three ways: 1) none, 2) random animal, pedigree-based relationship matrix, or 3) random animal, genomic relationship matrix. Detected birth weight-SNP associations were 1,200, 735, and 31 for those parameterizations respectively; each additional model refinement removed associations that apparently were a result of the built-in stratification by relatedness. Subsequent analyses of gestation length and weaning weight modeled genomic relatedness; there were 40 and 26 trait-marker associations detected for those traits, respectively. Birth weight associations were on BTA14 except for a single marker on BTA5. Gestation length associations included 37 SNP on BTA21, 2 on BTA27 and one on BTA3. Weaning weight associations were on BTA14 except for a single marker on BTA10. Twenty-one SNP markers on BTA14 were detected in both birth and weaning weight analyses.
PMCID: PMC4171760  PMID: 25249774
birth weight; gestation length; weaning weight; Nelore; whole genome association
17.  Molecular analysis of phylogeographic subspecies in three Ponto-Caspian sturgeon species 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(3):587-597.
Sturgeons (Order Acipenseriformes) represent an extremely valuable natural resource that is now facing depletion. In the current study we evaluate if the traditional classification in subspecies of Acipenser gueldenstaedtii, Acipenser stellatus and Huso huso, endemic to Ponto-Caspian region is sustained by molecular analysis and if these represent Evolutionary Significant Units (ESUs) that should be managed separately in conservation programs. To examine the classification of taxonomic entities we sequenced a fragment of the mitochondrial control region in case of three sturgeon species that inhabit the North-western of Black Sea and migrate for reproduction in the Lower Danube. Beside these sequences, we used previously published sequences from sturgeon individuals sampled in the Black Sea, Azov Sea and Caspian Sea. We determined the genetic diversity and genetic differentiation, conducted a Population Aggregation Analysis (PAA) and inferred an intraspecific molecular phylogeny and haplotype network. The results indicated a low level of genetic differentiation between the geographically designated subspecies and did not support a significant divergence or reciprocal monophyly between them. Our results confirm previous genetic studies with smaller samples sizes, but additional analyses including nuclear markers should be conducted for proper recommendations aiming at the development of conservation programs.
PMCID: PMC4171761  PMID: 25249783
Ponto-Caspian sturgeon; subspecies; ESUs; mitochondrial markers
18.  Genetic variation in cultivated Rheum tanguticum populations 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(3):540-548.
To examine whether cultivation reduced genetic variation in the important Chinese medicinal plant Rheum tanguticum, the levels and distribution of genetic variation were investigated using ISSR markers. Fifty-eight R. tanguticum individuals from five cultivated populations were studied. Thirteen primers were used and a total of 320 DNA bands were scored. High levels of genetic diversity were detected in cultivated R. tanguticum (PPB = 82.19, H = 0.2498, HB = 0.3231, I = 0.3812) and could be explained by the outcrossing system, as well as long-lived and human-mediated seed exchanges. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed that more genetic variation was found within populations (76.1%) than among them (23.9%). This was supported by the coefficient of gene differentiation (Gst = 0.2742) and Bayesian analysis (θB = 0.1963). The Mantel test revealed no significant correlation between genetic and geographic distances among populations (r = 0.1176, p = 0.3686). UPGMA showed that the five cultivated populations were separated into three clusters, which was in good accordance with the results provided by the Bayesian software STRUCTURE (K = 3). A short domestication history and no artificial selection may be an effective way of maintaining and conserving the gene pools of wild R. tanguticum.
PMCID: PMC4171762  PMID: 25249777
cultivated populations; genetic variation; ISSR; Polygonaceae; Rheum tanguticum Maxim. ex Balf
19.  Association between cervical lesion grade and micronucleus frequency in the Papanicolaou test 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(3):496-499.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between the frequency of micronuclei (MN) and the cellular changes detected in the conventional Papanicolaou test. One hundred and seventy-four Papanicolaou test smears with cellular changes were examined. MN screening was done in cytopathological smears by counting 1,000 cervical cells in a light microscope. MN frequencies were significantly higher in the group with cellular changes compared to the control group (p < 0.001). The mean MN frequencies were 0.95 ± 1.12 (mean ± SD) in the control group (n = 223), 2.98 ± 1.20 in individuals with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US) (n = 50), 4.04 ± 1.45 in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) I (n = 52), 5.97 ± 1.83 in CIN II (n = 30), 7.29 ± 1.55 in CIN III (n = 17) and 8.64 ± 1.55 in invasive cancer (n = 25). These findings suggest that MN monitoring should be included as an additional criterion for the early detection of cytogenetic damage in routine examinations. This monitoring should be done in the same smear as used for cytopathological examination. More specific and systematic studies are necessary to confirm this proposal.
PMCID: PMC4171763  PMID: 25249771
cervical cancer; cervical lesions; micronucleus; Papanicolaou test
20.  Detection and characterization of Wolbachia infection in silkworm 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(3):573-580.
Wolbachia naturally infects a wide variety of arthropods, where it plays important roles in host reproduction. It was previously reported that Wolbachia did not infect silkworm. By means of PCR and sequencing we found in this study that Wolbachia is indeed present in silkworm. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that Wolbachia infection in silkworm may have occurred via transfer from parasitic wasps. Furthermore, Southern blotting results suggest a lateral transfer of the wsp gene into the genomes of some wild silkworms. By antibiotic treatments, we found that tetracycline and ciprofloxacin can eliminate Wolbachia in the silkworm and Wolbachia is important to ovary development of silkworm. These results provide clues towards a more comprehensive understanding of the interaction between Wolbachia and silkworm and possibly other lepidopteran insects.
PMCID: PMC4171764  PMID: 25249781
Wolbachia; silkworm; wsp; antibiotics
21.  Gender-dependent association of HSD11B1 single nucleotide polymorphisms with glucose and HDL-C levels 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(3):490-495.
In this study, we investigated the influence of two SNPs (rs846910 and rs12086634) of the HSD11B1 gene that encodes 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1(11β-HSD1), the enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of cortisol to cortisone, on variables associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome in 215 individuals of both sexes from southern Brazil. The HSD11B1 gene variants were genotyped using the TaqMan SNP genotyping assay. Glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol were measured by standard automated methods. Significant results were found in women, with carriers of the G allele of SNP rs12086634 having higher glucose levels than non-carriers. Carriers of the A allele of SNP rs846910 had higher levels of HDL-cholesterol. The involvement of both polymorphisms as independent factors in determining the levels of glucose and HDL-cholesterol was confirmed by multiple regression analysis (β = 0.19 ±0.09, p = 0.03 and β= 0.22 ± 0.10, p = 0.03, respectively). Our findings suggest that the HSD11B1SNPs studied may indirectly influence glucose and HDL-cholesterol metabolism in women, possibly through down-regulation of the HSD11B1 gene by estrogen.
PMCID: PMC4171765  PMID: 25249770
HSD11B1 gene; men; metabolism; metabolic syndrome; women
22.  Transcriptional profile of fibroblasts obtained from the primary site, lymph node and bone marrow of breast cancer patients 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(3):480-489.
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) influence tumor development at primary as well as in metastatic sites, but there have been no direct comparisons of the transcriptional profiles of stromal cells from different tumor sites. In this study, we used customized cDNA microarrays to compare the gene expression profile of stromal cells from primary tumor (CAF, n = 4), lymph node metastasis (N+, n = 3) and bone marrow (BM, n = 4) obtained from breast cancer patients. Biological validation was done in another 16 samples by RT-qPCR. Differences between CAF vs N+, CAF vs BM and N+ vs BM were represented by 20, 235 and 245 genes, respectively (SAM test, FDR < 0.01). Functional analysis revealed that genes related to development and morphogenesis were overrepresented. In a biological validation set, NOTCH2 was confirmed to be more expressed in N+ (vs CAF) and ADCY2, HECTD1, HNMT, LOX, MACF1, SLC1A3 and USP16 more expressed in BM (vs CAF). Only small differences were observed in the transcriptional profiles of fibroblasts from the primary tumor and lymph node of breast cancer patients, whereas greater differences were observed between bone marrow stromal cells and the other two sites. These differences may reflect the activities of distinct differentiation programs.
PMCID: PMC4171766  PMID: 25249769
bone marrow; breast neoplasm; fibroblast; gene expression profiling; lymph node; mesenchymal stromal cells; tumor microenvironment
23.  Large-scale analysis of NBS domain-encoding resistance gene analogs in Triticeae 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(3):598-610.
Proteins containing nucleotide binding sites (NBS) encoded by plant resistance genes play an important role in the response of plants to a wide array of pathogens. In this paper, an in silico search was conducted in order to identify and characterize members of NBS-encoding gene family in the tribe of Triticeae. A final dataset of 199 sequences was obtained by four search methods. Motif analysis confirmed the general structural organization of the NBS domain in cereals, characterized by the presence of the six commonly conserved motifs: P-loop, RNBS-A, Kinase-2, Kinase-3a, RNBS-C and GLPL. We revealed the existence of 11 distinct distribution patterns of these motifs along the NBS domain. Four additional conserved motifs were shown to be significantly present in all 199 sequences. Phylogenetic analyses, based on genetic distance and parsimony, revealed a significant overlap between Triticeae sequences and Coiled coil-Nucleotide binding site-Leucine rich repeat (CNL)-type functional genes from monocotyledons. Furthermore, several Triticeae sequences belonged to clades containing functional homologs from non Triticeae species, which has allowed for these sequences to be functionally assigned. The findings reported, in this study, will provide a strong groundwork for the isolation of candidate R-genes in Triticeae crops and the understanding of their evolution.
PMCID: PMC4171767  PMID: 25249784
NBS domain; data mining; phylogeny; plant resistance genes; Triticeae
24.  Genetic diversity and structure of Atta robusta (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Attini), an endangered species endemic to the restinga ecoregion 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(3):581-586.
The genetic diversity and structure of the ant Atta robusta were assessed by ISSR (inter-simple sequence repeats) in 72 colonies collected from 10 localities in the Brazilian states of Espírito Santo (48 colonies) and Rio de Janeiro (24 colonies). The ISSR pattern included 67 bands, 51 of them (76.1%) polymorphic. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed a high level (57.4%) of inter-population variation, which suggested a high degree of genetic structure that was confirmed by UPGMA (unweighted pair-group method using an arithmetic average) cluster analysis. The significant correlation between genetic and geographic distances (r = 0.64, p < 0.05) indicated isolation that reflected the distance between locations. Overall, the populations were found to be genetically divergent. This finding indicates the need for management plans to preserve and reduce the risk of extinction of A. robusta.
PMCID: PMC4171768  PMID: 25249782
endemism; endangered; ISSR; population genetics; restinga
25.  Molecular cloning and mRNA expression of the peptidoglycan recognition protein gene HcPGRP1 and its isoform HcPGRP1a from the freshwater mussel Hyriopsis cumingi 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2014;37(3):508-517.
Peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGRPs) are innate immune molecules that have been structurally conserved throughout evolution in invertebrates and vertebrates. In this study, peptidoglycan recognition protein HcPGRP1 and its isoform HcPGRP1a were identified in the freshwater mussel Hyriopsis cumingii. The full-length cDNAs of HcPGRP1 (973 bp) and HcPGRP1a (537 bp) encoded polypeptides with 218 and 151 amino acids, respectively. Sequence analysis showed that HcPGRP1 had one C-terminal PGRP domain that was conserved throughout evolution. Phylogenetic analysis showed that HcPGRP1 clustered closely with EsPGRP4 of Euprymna scolopes. Real-time PCR showed that the mRNA transcripts of HcPGRP1 and HcPGRP1a were constitutively expressed in various tissues, with the highest level in hepatopancreas. Stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and peptidoglycan (PGN) significantly up-regulated HcPGRP1 mRNA expression in hepatopancreas and foot, but not in gill, whereas HcPGRP1a expression was significantly up-regulated in all three tissues. Our results indicate that HcPGRP1 is both a constitutive and inducible protein that may be involved in immune responses (recognition and defense) against invaders.
PMCID: PMC4171769  PMID: 25249773
expression pattern; gene cloning; Hyriopsis cumingi; innate immunity; peptidoglycan recognition protein

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