The mitochondrial genome is widely studied in a variety of fields, such as population, forensic, and human and medical genetics. Most studies have been limited to a small portion of the sequence that, although highly diverse, does not describe the total variability. The arrival of modern high-throughput sequencing technologies has made it possible to investigate larger sequences in a shorter amount of time as well as in a more affordable fashion. This work aims to describe a protocol for sequencing and analyzing the complete mitochondrial genome with the Ion PGM™ platform. To evaluate the protocol, the mitochondrial genome was sequenced to approximately 210 Mbp, with high-quality sequences distributed between 12 samples that had an average coverage of 1023× per sample. Several variant callers were compared to improve the protocol outcome. The results suggest that it is possible to run up to 120 samples per run without any loss of any significant quality. Therefore, this protocol is an efficient and accurate tool for full mitochondrial genome analysis.
next-generation sequencing; mitochondrial DNA; analysis protocol; polymorphism; population genetics
The unwanted psychoactive effects of cannabinoid receptor agonists have limited their development as medicines. These CB1 mediated side effects are due to the fact that CB1 receptors are largely expressed in the Central Nervous System (CNS). Since it is known that CB1 receptors are also located peripherally, there is a growing interest in targeting cannabinoid receptors located outside the brain. A library of chromenopyrazoles designed in analogy to the classical cannabinoid cannabinol were synthesized, characterized and tested for cannabinoid activity. Radiolabeled binding assays were used to determine their affinities at CB1 and CB2 receptors. Structural features required for CB1/CB2 affinity and selectivity were explored using molecular modeling. Within the chromenopyrazoles series, some of them showed to be selective CB1 ligands. These modeling studies suggest that CB1 full selectivity over CB2 can be accounted for the presence of a pyrazole ring in the structure. The functional activities of selected chromenopyrazoles were evaluated in isolated tissues. Behavioral tests, in vivo, were then carried on the most effective CB1 cannabinoid agonist (13a). Chromenopyrazole 13a did not induce modifications in any of the tested parameters on the mouse cannabinoid tetrad, discarding CNS-mediated effects. This lack of agonistic activity in the CNS suggests that it does not readily cross the blood-brain barrier. Moreover, compound 13a can induce antinociception in a peripheral model of orofacial pain in rat. Taking into account the negative results obtained in the hot plate test, it could be suggested that the antinociception induced by 13a in the orofacial test may be mediated through peripheral mechanisms.
agonist; cannabinoid; peripheral; protein model; receptor
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have made high-throughput sequencing available to medium- and small-size laboratories, culminating in a tidal wave of genomic information. The quantity of sequenced bacterial genomes has not only brought excitement to the field of genomics but also heightened expectations that NGS would boost antibacterial discovery and vaccine development. Although many possible drug and vaccine targets have been discovered, the success rate of genome-based analysis has remained below expectations. Furthermore, NGS has had consequences for genome quality, resulting in an exponential increase in draft (partial data) genome deposits in public databases. If no further interests are expressed for a particular bacterial genome, it is more likely that the sequencing of its genome will be limited to a draft stage, and the painstaking tasks of completing the sequencing of its genome and annotation will not be undertaken. It is important to know what is lost when we settle for a draft genome and to determine the “scientific value” of a newly sequenced genome. This review addresses the expected impact of newly sequenced genomes on antibacterial discovery and vaccinology. Also, it discusses the factors that could be leading to the increase in the number of draft deposits and the consequent loss of relevant biological information.
Next-generation sequencing; Drafts; Prokaryotic genomes; Computational tools; Omics
Despite the economic importance of caseous lymphadenitis (CLA), a chronic disease caused by Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, few genes related to the virulence of its etiologic agent have been characterized. The oligopeptide permease (Opp) transporters are located in the plasma membrane and have functions generally related to the uptake of peptides from the extracellular environment. These peptide transporters, in addition to having an important role in cell nutrition, also participate in the regulation of various processes involving intercellular signaling, including the control of the expression of virulence genes in pathogenic bacteria. To study the role of Opp in C. pseudotuberculosis, an OppD deficient strain was constructed via simple crossover with a nonreplicative plasmid carrying part of the oppD gene sequence. As occurred to the wild-type, the ΔoppD strain showed impaired growth when exposed to the toxic glutathione peptide (GSH), indicating two possible scenarios: (i) that this component can be internalized by the bacterium through an Opp-independent pathway or (ii) that there is toxicity while the peptide is extracellular. Additionally, the ΔoppD mutant presented a reduced ability to adhere to and infect macrophages compared to the wild-type, although both strains exhibit the same potential to colonize spleens and cause injury and death to infected mice.
MicroRNAs are small non-coding nucleotide sequences that regulate gene expression. These structures are fundamental to several biological processes, including cell proliferation, development, differentiation and apoptosis. Identifying the expression profile of microRNAs in healthy human gastric antrum mucosa may help elucidate the miRNA regulatory mechanisms of the human stomach.
A small RNA library of stomach antrum tissue was sequenced using high-throughput SOLiD sequencing technology. The total read count for the gastric mucosa antrum region was greater than 618,000. After filtering and aligning using with MirBase, 148 mature miRNAs were identified in the gastric antrum tissue, totaling 3,181 quality reads; 63.5% (2,021) of the reads were concentrated in the eight most highly expressed miRNAs (hsa-mir-145, hsa-mir-29a, hsa-mir-29c, hsa-mir-21, hsa-mir-451a, hsa-mir-192, hsa-mir-191 and hsa-mir-148a). RT-PCR validated the expression profiles of seven of these highly expressed miRNAs and confirmed the sequencing results obtained using the SOLiD platform.
In comparison with other tissues, the antrum’s expression profile was unique with respect to the most highly expressed miRNAs, suggesting that this expression profile is specific to stomach antrum tissue. The current study provides a starting point for a more comprehensive understanding of the role of miRNAs in the regulation of the molecular processes of the human stomach.
A new meroditerpene, sartorypyrone C (5), was isolated, together with the known tryptoquivalines l (1a), H (1b), F (1c), 3′-(4-oxoquinazolin-3-yl) spiro[1H-indole-3,5′]-2,2′-dione (2) and 4(3H)-quinazolinone (3), from the culture of the marine sponge-associated fungus Neosartorya paulistensis (KUFC 7897), while reexamination of the fractions remaining from a previous study of the culture of the diseased coral-derived fungus N. laciniosa (KUFC 7896) led to isolation of a new tryptoquivaline derivative tryptoquivaline T (1d). Compounds 1a–d, 2, 3, and 5, together with aszonapyrones A (4a) and B (4b), chevalones B (6) and C (7a), sartorypyrones B (7b) and A (8), were tested for their antibacterial activity against four reference strains (Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa), as well as the environmental multidrug-resistant isolates. Only aszonapyrone A (4a) and sartorypyrone A (8) exhibited significant antibacterial activity as well as synergism with antibiotics against the Gram-positive multidrug-resistant strains. Antibiofilm assays of aszonapyrone A (4a) and sartorypyrone A (8) showed that practically no biofilm was formed in the presence of their 2× MIC and MIC. However, the presence of a sub-inhibitory concentration of ½ MIC of 4a and 8 was found to increase the biofilm production in both reference strain and the multidrug-resistant isolates of S. aureus.
antibacterial; antibiofilm; multidrug-resistant; tryptoquivalines; meroditerpenes; Neosartorya; marine-derived fungi
Corynebacterium ulcerans is a bacterial species with high importance because it causes infections in animals and, rarely, in humans. Its virulence mechanisms remain unclear. The current study describes the draft genome of C. ulcerans FRC58, which was isolated from the bronchitic aspiration of a patient in France.
The completion of whole-genome sequencing for Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis strain 1002 has contributed to major advances in research aimed at understanding the biology of this microorganism. This bacterium causes significant loss to goat and sheep farmers because it is the causal agent of the infectious disease caseous lymphadenitis, which may lead to outcomes ranging from skin injury to animal death. In the current study, we simulated the conditions experienced by the bacteria during host infection. By sequencing transcripts using the SOLiDTM 3 Plus platform, we identified new targets expected to potentiate the survival and replication of the pathogen in adverse environments. These results may also identify possible candidates useful for the development of vaccines, diagnostic kits or therapies aimed at the reduction of losses in agribusiness.
Under the 3 simulated conditions (acid, osmotic and thermal shock stresses), 474 differentially expressed genes exhibiting at least a 2-fold change in expression levels were identified. Important genes to the infection process were induced, such as those involved in virulence, defence against oxidative stress, adhesion and regulation, and many genes encoded hypothetical proteins, indicating that further investigation of the bacterium is necessary. The data will contribute to a better understanding of the biology of C. pseudotuberculosis and to studies investigating strategies to control the disease.
Despite the veterinary importance of C. pseudotuberculosis, the bacterium is poorly characterised; therefore, effective treatments for caseous lymphadenitis have been difficult to establish. Through the use of RNAseq, these results provide a better biological understanding of this bacterium, shed light on the most likely survival mechanisms used by this microorganism in adverse environments and identify candidates that may help reduce or even eradicate the problems caused by this disease.
Differential gene expression; Transcripts; RNAseq; SOLID™; Stress; C. pseudotuberculosis
The emergence of next-generation sequencing technologies allowed access to the vast amounts of information that are contained in the human genome. This information has contributed to the understanding of individual and population-based variability and improved the understanding of the evolutionary history of different human groups. However, the genome of a representative of the Amerindian populations had not been previously sequenced. Thus, the genome of an individual from a South American tribe was completely sequenced to further the understanding of the genetic variability of Amerindians. A total of 36.8 giga base pairs (Gbp) were sequenced and aligned with the human genome. These Gbp corresponded to 95.92% of the human genome with an estimated miscall rate of 0.0035 per sequenced bp. The data obtained from the alignment were used for SNP (single-nucleotide) and INDEL (insertion-deletion) calling, which resulted in the identification of 502,017 polymorphisms, of which 32,275 were potentially new high-confidence SNPs and 33,795 new INDELs, specific of South Native American populations. The authenticity of the sample as a member of the South Native American populations was confirmed through the analysis of the uniparental (maternal and paternal) lineages. The autosomal comparison distinguished the investigated sample from others continental populations and revealed a close relation to the Eastern Asian populations and Aboriginal Australian. Although, the findings did not discard the classical model of America settlement; it brought new insides to the understanding of the human population history. The present study indicates a remarkable genetic variability in human populations that must still be identified and contributes to the understanding of the genetic variability of South Native American populations and of the human populations history.
Serratia fonticola UTAD54 is an environmental isolate that is resistant to carbapenems due to the presence of a class A carbapenemase and a metallo-β-lactamase that are unique to this strain. Its draft genome sequence was obtained to clarify the molecular basis of its carbapenem resistance and identify the genomic context of its carbapenem resistance determinants.
Serratia fonticola is a Gram-negative bacterium with a wide distribution in aquatic environments. On some occasions, it has also been regarded as a significant human pathogen. In this work, we report the first draft genome sequence of an S. fonticola strain (LMG 7882T), which was isolated from freshwater.
An epidemic of surgical-site infections by a single strain of Mycobacterium abscessus subsp. bolletii affected >1,700 patients in Brazil from 2004 to 2008. The genome of the epidemic prototype strain M. abscessus subsp. bolletii INCQS 00594, deposited in the collection of the National Institute for Health Quality Control (INCQS), was sequenced.
Lung cancer accounts for the highest number of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Early diagnosis significantly increases the disease-free survival rate and a large amount of effort has been expended in screening trials and the development of early molecular diagnostics. However, a gold standard diagnostic strategy is not yet available. Here, based on miRNA expression profile in lung cancer and using a novel in silico reverse-transcriptomics approach, followed by analysis of the interactome; we have identified potential transcription factor (TF) markers that would facilitate diagnosis of subtype specific lung cancer. A subset of seven TF markers has been used in a microarray screen and was then validated by blood-based qPCR using stage-II and IV non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC). Our results suggest that overexpression of HMGA1, E2F6, IRF1, and TFDP1 and downregulation or no expression of SUV39H1, RBL1, and HNRPD in blood is suitable for diagnosis of lung adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma sub-types of NSCLC. Here, E2F6 was, for the first time, found to be upregulated in NSCLC blood samples. The miRNA-TF-miRNA interaction based molecular mechanisms of these seven markers in NSCLC revealed that HMGA1 and TFDP1 play vital roles in lung cancer tumorigenesis. The strategy developed in this work is applicable to any other cancer or disease and can assist in the identification of potential biomarkers.
Current immunological bioinformatic approaches focus on the prediction of allele-specific epitopes capable of triggering immunogenic activity. The prediction of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I epitopes is well studied, and various software solutions exist for this purpose. However, currently available tools do not account for the concentration of epitope products in the mature protein product and its relation to the reliability of target selection.
We developed a computational strategy based on measuring the epitope's concentration in the mature protein, called Mature Epitope Density (MED). Our method, though simple, is capable of identifying promising vaccine targets. Our online software implementation provides a computationally light and reliable analysis of bacterial exoproteins and their potential for vaccines or diagnosis projects against pathogenic organisms. We evaluated our computational approach by using the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) H37Rv exoproteome as a gold standard model. A literature search was carried out on 60 out of 553 Mtb's predicted exoproteins, looking for previous experimental evidence concerning their possible antigenicity. Half of the 60 proteins were classified as highest scored by the MED statistic, while the other half were classified as lowest scored. Among the lowest scored proteins, ~13% were confirmed as not related to antigenicity or not contributing to the bacterial pathogenicity, and 70% of the highest scored proteins were confirmed as related. There was no experimental evidence of antigenic or pathogenic contributions for three of the highest MED-scored Mtb proteins. Hence, these three proteins could represent novel putative vaccine and drug targets for Mtb. A web version of MED is publicly available online at http://med.mmci.uni-saarland.de/.
The software presented here offers a practical and accurate method to identify potential vaccine and diagnosis candidates against pathogenic bacteria by "reading" results from well-established reverse vaccinology software in a novel way, considering the epitope's concentration in the mature portion of the protein.
Since the first successful attempt at sequencing the Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis genome, large amounts of genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic data have been generated. C. pseudotuberculosis is an interesting bacterium due to its great zoonotic potential and because it causes considerable economic losses worldwide. Furthermore, different strains of C. pseudotuberculosis are capable of causing various diseases in different hosts. Currently, we seek information about the phylogenetic relationships between different strains of C. pseudotuberculosis isolates from different hosts across the world and to employ these data to develop tools to diagnose and eradicate the diseases these strains cause. In this review, we present the latest findings on C. pseudotuberculosis that have been obtained with the most advanced techniques for sequencing and genomic organization. We also discuss the development of in silico tools for processing these data to prompt a better understanding of this pathogen.
Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis; SOLiD next generation sequencing; Ion Torrent next generation sequencing; SDS-PAGE; mass spectrometry; RNA-seq
Microcystis aeruginosa strain SPC777 is an important toxin-producing cyanobacterium, isolated from a water bloom of the Billings reservoir (São Paulo State, Brazil). Here, we report the draft genome sequence and initial findings from a preliminary analysis of strain SPC777, including several gene clusters involved in nonribosomal and ribosomal synthesis of secondary metabolites.
Methylobacterium mesophilicum strain SR1.6/6 is an endophytic bacterium isolated from a surface-sterilized Citrus sinensis branch. Ecological and biotechnological aspects of this bacterium, such as the genes involved in its association with the host plant and the primary oxidation of methanol, were annotated in the draft genome.
Anopheles darlingi is the principal neotropical malaria vector, responsible for more than a million cases of malaria per year on the American continent. Anopheles darlingi diverged from the African and Asian malaria vectors ∼100 million years ago (mya) and successfully adapted to the New World environment. Here we present an annotated reference A. darlingi genome, sequenced from a wild population of males and females collected in the Brazilian Amazon. A total of 10 481 predicted protein-coding genes were annotated, 72% of which have their closest counterpart in Anopheles gambiae and 21% have highest similarity with other mosquito species. In spite of a long period of divergent evolution, conserved gene synteny was observed between A. darlingi and A. gambiae. More than 10 million single nucleotide polymorphisms and short indels with potential use as genetic markers were identified. Transposable elements correspond to 2.3% of the A. darlingi genome. Genes associated with hematophagy, immunity and insecticide resistance, directly involved in vector–human and vector–parasite interactions, were identified and discussed. This study represents the first effort to sequence the genome of a neotropical malaria vector, and opens a new window through which we can contemplate the evolutionary history of anopheline mosquitoes. It also provides valuable information that may lead to novel strategies to reduce malaria transmission on the South American continent. The A. darlingi genome is accessible at www.labinfo.lncc.br/index.php/anopheles-darlingi.
Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis is of major veterinary importance because it affects many animal species, causing economically significant livestock diseases and losses. Therefore, the genomic sequencing of various lines of this organism, isolated from different hosts, will aid in the development of diagnostic methods and new prevention and treatment strategies and improve our knowledge of the biology of this microorganism. In this study, we present the genome of C. pseudotuberculosis Cp31, isolated from a buffalo in Egypt.
Exiguobacterium antarcticum is a psychotropic bacterium isolated for the first time from microbial mats of Lake Fryxell in Antarctica. Many organisms of the genus Exiguobacterium are extremophiles and have properties of biotechnological interest, e.g., the capacity to adapt to cold, which make this genus a target for discovering new enzymes, such as lipases and proteases, in addition to improving our understanding of the mechanisms of adaptation and survival at low temperatures. This study presents the genome of E. antarcticum B7, isolated from a biofilm sample of Ginger Lake on King George Island, Antarctic peninsula.
The bacterium Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis is of major veterinary importance because it affects livestock, particularly sheep, goats, and horses, in several countries, including Australia, Brazil, the United States, and Canada, resulting in significant economic losses. In the present study, we describe the complete genome of the Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis Cp316 strain, biovar equi, isolated from the abscess of a North American horse.
AIM: To evaluate the association between Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and MLH1 and MGMT methylation and its relationship with microsatellite instability (MSI).
METHODS: The methylation status of the MLH1 and MGMT promoter region was analysed by methylation specific methylation-polymerase chain reaction (MSP-PCR) in gastric biopsy samples from uninfected or H. pylori-infected children (n = 50), from adults with chronic gastritis (n = 97) and from adults with gastric cancer (n = 92). MLH1 and MGMT mRNA expression were measured by real-time PCR and normalised to a constitutive gene (β actin). MSI analysis was performed by screening MSI markers at 4 loci (Bat-25, Bat-26, D17S250 and D2S123) with PCR; PCR products were analysed by single strand conformation polymorphism followed by silver staining. Statistical analyses were performed with either the χ2 test with Yates continuity correction or Fisher’s exact test, and statistical significance for expression analysis was assessed using an unpaired Student’s t-test.
RESULTS: Methylation was not detected in the promoter regions of MLH1 and MGMT in gastric biopsy samples from children, regardless of H. pylori infection status. The MGMT promoter was methylated in 51% of chronic gastritis adult patients and was associated with H. pylori infection (P < 0.05); this region was methylated in 66% of gastric cancer patients, and the difference in the percentage of methylated samples between these patients and those from H. pylori-infected chronic gastritis patients was statistically significant (P < 0.05). MLH1 methylation frequencies among H. pylori-infected and non-infected chronic gastritis adult patients were 13% and 7%, respectively. We observed methylation of the MLH1 promoter (39%) and increased MSI levels (68%) in samples from gastric cancer patients in comparison to samples from H. pylori-infected adult chronic gastritis patients (P < 0.001 and P < 0.01, respectively). The frequency of promoter methylation for both genes was higher in gastric cancer samples than in H. pylori-positive chronic gastritis samples (P < 0.05). The levels of MLH1 and MGMT mRNA were significantly reduced in chronic gastritis samples that were also hypermethylated (P < 0.01).
CONCLUSION: In summary, MGMT and MLH1 methylation did not occur in earlier-stage H. pylori infections and thus might depend on the duration of infection.
Helicobacter pylori; Microsatellite instability; Promoter methylation; MLH1; MGMT; Gastric cancer
Streptococcus agalactiae (Lancefield group B; GBS) is the causative agent of meningoencephalitis in fish, mastitis in cows, and neonatal sepsis in humans. Meningoencephalitis is a major health problem for tilapia farming and is responsible for high economic losses worldwide. Despite its importance, the genomic characteristics and the main molecular mechanisms involved in virulence of S. agalactiae isolated from fish are still poorly understood. Here, we present the genomic features of the 1,820,886 bp long complete genome sequence of S. agalactiae SA20-06 isolated from a meningoencephalitis outbreak in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) from Brazil, and its annotation, consisting of 1,710 protein-coding genes (excluding pseudogenes), 7 rRNA operons, 79 tRNA genes and 62 pseudogenes.
Streptococcus agalactiae; fish pathogen; genome sequencing
Methanosarcina mazei is a strictly anaerobic methanogen from the Methanosarcinales order, which is known for its broad catabolic range among methanogens and is widespread throughout diverse environments. The draft genome of the strain presented here was cultivated from sediment samples collected from the Tucuruí hydroelectric power station reservoir.