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1.  Analysis of the yeast short-term Crabtree effect and its origin 
The Febs Journal  2014;281(21):4805-4814.
The short-term Crabtree effect is defined as the immediate occurrence of aerobic alcoholic fermentation in response to provision of a pulse of excess sugar to sugar-limited yeast cultures. Here we have characterized ten yeast species with a clearly defined phylogenetic relationship. Yeast species were cultivated under glucose-limited conditions, and we studied their general carbon metabolism in response to a glucose pulse. We generated an extensive collection of data on glucose and oxygen consumption, and ethanol and carbon dioxide generation. We conclude that the Pichia,Debaryomyces,Eremothecium and Kluyveromyces marxianus yeasts do not exhibit any significant ethanol formation, while Kluyveromyces lactis behaves as an intermediate yeast, and Lachancea,Torulaspora,Vanderwaltozyma and Saccharomyces yeasts exhibit rapid ethanol accumulation. Based on the present data and our previous data relating to the presence of the long-term Crabtree effect in over 40 yeast species, we speculate that the origin of the short-term effect may coincide with the origin of the long-term Crabtree effect in the Saccharomycetales lineage, occurring ∼ 150 million years ago.
PMCID: PMC4240471  PMID: 25161062
aerobic fermentation; Crabtree effect; evolution; Saccharomyces; yeast
2.  Copy Number Variants in the Kallikrein Gene Cluster 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69097.
The kallikrein gene family (KLK1-KLK15) is the largest contiguous group of protease genes within the human genome and is associated with both risk and outcome of cancer and other diseases. We searched for copy number variants in all KLK genes using quantitative PCR analysis and analysis of inheritance patterns of single nucleotide polymorphisms. Two deletions were identified: one 2235-bp deletion in KLK9 present in 1.2% of alleles, and one 3394-bp deletion in KLK15 present in 4.0% of alleles. Each deletion eliminated one complete exon and created out-of-frame coding that eliminated the catalytic triad of the resulting truncated gene product, which therefore likely is a non-functional protein. Deletion breakpoints identified by DNA sequencing located the KLK9 deletion breakpoint to a long interspersed element (LINE) repeated sequence, while the deletion in KLK15 is located in a single copy sequence. To search for an association between each deletion and risk of prostate cancer (PC), we analyzed a cohort of 667 biopsied men (266 PC cases and 401 men with no evidence of PC at biopsy) using short deletion-specific PCR assays. There was no association between evidence of PC in this cohort and the presence of either gene deletion. Haplotyping revealed a single origin of each deletion, with most recent common ancestor estimates of 3000-8000 and 6000-14 000 years for the deletions in KLK9 and KLK15, respectively. The presence of the deletions on the same haplotypes in 1000 Genomes data of both European and African populations indicate an early origin of both deletions. The old age in combination with homozygous presence of loss-of-function variants suggests that some kallikrein-related peptidases have non-essential functions.
PMCID: PMC3718828  PMID: 23894413
3.  Yeast “Make-Accumulate-Consume” Life Strategy Evolved as a Multi-Step Process That Predates the Whole Genome Duplication 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68734.
When fruits ripen, microbial communities start a fierce competition for the freely available fruit sugars. Three yeast lineages, including baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, have independently developed the metabolic activity to convert simple sugars into ethanol even under fully aerobic conditions. This fermentation capacity, named Crabtree effect, reduces the cell-biomass production but provides in nature a tool to out-compete other microorganisms. Here, we analyzed over forty Saccharomycetaceae yeasts, covering over 200 million years of the evolutionary history, for their carbon metabolism. The experiments were done under strictly controlled and uniform conditions, which has not been done before. We show that the origin of Crabtree effect in Saccharomycetaceae predates the whole genome duplication and became a settled metabolic trait after the split of the S. cerevisiae and Kluyveromyces lineages, and coincided with the origin of modern fruit bearing plants. Our results suggest that ethanol fermentation evolved progressively, involving several successive molecular events that have gradually remodeled the yeast carbon metabolism. While some of the final evolutionary events, like gene duplications of glucose transporters and glycolytic enzymes, have been deduced, the earliest molecular events initiating Crabtree effect are still to be determined.
PMCID: PMC3711898  PMID: 23869229
4.  Investigating highly replicated asthma genes as candidate genes for allergic rhinitis 
BMC Medical Genetics  2013;14:51.
Asthma genetics has been extensively studied and many genes have been associated with the development or severity of this disease. In contrast, the genetic basis of allergic rhinitis (AR) has not been evaluated as extensively. It is well known that asthma is closely related with AR since a large proportion of individuals with asthma also present symptoms of AR, and patients with AR have a 5–6 fold increased risk of developing asthma. Thus, the relevance of asthma candidate genes as predisposing factors for AR is worth investigating. The present study was designed to investigate if SNPs in highly replicated asthma genes are associated with the occurrence of AR.
A total of 192 SNPs from 21 asthma candidate genes reported to be associated with asthma in 6 or more unrelated studies were genotyped in a Swedish population with 246 AR patients and 431 controls. Genotypes for 429 SNPs from the same set of genes were also extracted from a Singapore Chinese genome-wide dataset which consisted of 456 AR cases and 486 controls. All SNPs were subsequently analyzed for association with AR and their influence on allergic sensitization to common allergens.
A limited number of potential associations were observed and the overall pattern of P-values corresponds well to the expectations in the absence of an effect. However, in the tests of allele effects in the Chinese population the number of significant P-values exceeds the expectations. The strongest signals were found for SNPs in NPSR1 and CTLA4. In these genes, a total of nine SNPs showed P-values <0.001 with corresponding Q-values <0.05. In the NPSR1 gene some P-values were lower than the Bonferroni correction level. Reanalysis after elimination of all patients with asthmatic symptoms excluded asthma as a confounding factor in our results. Weaker indications were found for IL13 and GSTP1 with respect to sensitization to birch pollen in the Swedish population.
Genetic variation in the majority of the highly replicated asthma genes were not associated to AR in our populations which suggest that asthma and AR could have less in common than previously anticipated. However, NPSR1 and CTLA4 can be genetic links between AR and asthma and associations of polymorphisms in NPSR1 with AR have not been reported previously.
PMCID: PMC3653682  PMID: 23663310
Allergic rhinitis; Association; Asthma; Case–control; Replication
5.  Poor Reproducibility of Allergic Rhinitis SNP Associations 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e53975.
Replication of reported associations is crucial to the investigation of complex disease. More than 100 SNPs have previously been reported as associated with allergic rhinitis (AR), but few of these have been replicated successfully. To investigate the general reproducibility of reported AR-associations in candidate gene studies, one Swedish (352 AR-cases, 709 controls) and one Singapore Chinese population (948 AR-cases, 580 controls) were analyzed using 49 AR-associated SNPs. The overall pattern of P-values indicated that very few of the investigated SNPs were associated with AR. Given published odds ratios (ORs) most SNPs showed high power to detect an association, but no correlations were found between the ORs of the two study populations or with published ORs. None of the association signals were in common to the two genome-wide association studies published in AR, indicating that the associations represent false positives or have much lower effect-sizes than reported.
PMCID: PMC3559641  PMID: 23382861
6.  Toll-like receptor gene polymorphisms are associated with allergic rhinitis: a case control study 
BMC Medical Genetics  2012;13:66.
The Toll-like receptor proteins are important in host defense and initiation of the innate and adaptive immune responses. A number of studies have identified associations between genetic variation in the Toll-like receptor genes and allergic disorders such as asthma and allergic rhinitis. The present study aim to search for genetic variation associated with allergic rhinitis in the Toll-like receptor genes.
A first association analysis genotyped 73 SNPs in 182 cases and 378 controls from a Swedish population. Based on these results an additional 24 SNPs were analyzed in one Swedish population with 352 cases and 709 controls and one Chinese population with 948 cases and 580 controls.
The first association analysis identified 4 allergic rhinitis-associated SNPs in the TLR7-TLR8 gene region. Subsequent analysis of 24 SNPs from this region identified 7 and 5 significant SNPs from the Swedish and Chinese populations, respectively. The corresponding risk-associated haplotypes are significant after Bonferroni correction and are the most common haplotypes in both populations. The associations are primarily detected in females in the Swedish population, whereas it is seen in males in the Chinese population. Further independent support for the involvement of this region in allergic rhinitis was obtained from quantitative skin prick test data generated in both populations.
Haplotypes in the TLR7-TLR8 gene region were associated with allergic rhinitis in one Swedish and one Chinese population. Since this region has earlier been associated with asthma and allergic rhinitis in a Danish linkage study this speaks strongly in favour of this region being truly involved in the development of this disease.
PMCID: PMC3459792  PMID: 22857391
Allergic rhinitis; Toll-like receptor; Polymorphism; Genetics; Haplotype; Case–control
7.  Comprehensive evaluation of genetic variation in S100A7 suggests an association with the occurrence of allergic rhinitis 
Respiratory Research  2008;9(1):29.
S100A7 is a calcium-binding protein with chemotactic and antimicrobial properties. S100A7 protein levels are decreased in nasal lavage fluid from individuals with ongoing allergic rhinitis, suggesting a role for S100A7 in allergic airway inflammation. The aims of this study were to describe genetic variation in S100A7 and search for associations between this variation and allergic rhinitis.
Peripheral blood was collected from 184 atopic patients with a history of pollen-induced allergic rhinitis and 378 non-atopic individuals, all of Swedish origin. DNA was extracted and the S100A7 gene was resequenced in a subset of 47 randomly selected atopic individuals. Nine polymorphisms were genotyped in 184 atopic and 378 non-atopic individuals and subsequently investigated for associations with allergic rhinitis as well as skin prick test results. Haplotypes were estimated and compared in the two groups.
Thirteen polymorphisms were identified in S100A7, of which 7 were previously undescribed. rs3014837 (G/C), which gives rise to an Asp → Glu amino acid shift, had significantly increased minor allele frequency in atopic individuals. The major haplotype, containing the major allele at all sites, was more common in non-atopic individuals, while the haplotype containing the minor allele at rs3014837 was equally more common among the atopic individuals. Additionally, heterozygotes at this site had significantly higher scores in skin prick tests for 9 out of 11 tested allergens, compared to homozygotes.
This is the first study describing genetic variation, associated with allergy, in S100A7. The results indicate that rs3014837 is linked to allergic rhinitis in our Swedish population and render S100A7 a strong candidate for further investigations regarding its role in allergic inflammation.
PMCID: PMC2335106  PMID: 18373864

Results 1-7 (7)