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1.  Microarray Analysis of Serum mRNA in Patients with Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma at Whole-Genome Scale 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:408683.
With the increasing demand for noninvasive approaches in monitoring head and neck cancer, circulating nucleic acids have been shown to be a promising tool. We focused on the global transcriptome of serum samples of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients in comparison with healthy individuals. We compared gene expression patterns of 36 samples. Twenty-four participants including 16 HNSCC patients (from 12 patients we obtained blood samples 1 year posttreatment) and 8 control subjects were recruited. The Illumina HumanWG-6 v3 Expression BeadChip was used to profile and identify the differences in serum mRNA transcriptomes. We found 159 genes to be significantly changed (Storey's P value <0.05) between normal and cancer serum specimens regardless of factors including p53 and B-cell lymphoma family members (Bcl-2, Bcl-XL). In contrast, there was no difference in gene expression between samples obtained before and after surgery in cancer patients. We suggest that microarray analysis of serum cRNA in patients with HNSCC should be suitable for refinement of early stage diagnosis of disease that can be important for development of new personalized strategies in diagnosis and treatment of tumours but is not suitable for monitoring further development of disease.
PMCID: PMC4017838  PMID: 24864240
2.  The Mitochondrion-Like Organelle of Trimastix pyriformis Contains the Complete Glycine Cleavage System 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e55417.
All eukaryotic organisms contain mitochondria or organelles that evolved from the same endosymbiotic event like classical mitochondria. Organisms inhabiting low oxygen environments often contain mitochondrial derivates known as hydrogenosomes, mitosomes or neutrally as mitochondrion-like organelles. The detailed investigation has shown unexpected evolutionary plasticity in the biochemistry and protein composition of these organelles in various protists. We investigated the mitochondrion-like organelle in Trimastix pyriformis, a free-living member of one of the three lineages of anaerobic group Metamonada. Using 454 sequencing we have obtained 7 037 contigs from its transcriptome and on the basis of sequence homology and presence of N-terminal extensions we have selected contigs coding for proteins that putatively function in the organelle. Together with the results of a previous transcriptome survey, the list now consists of 23 proteins – mostly enzymes involved in amino acid metabolism, transporters and maturases of proteins and transporters of metabolites. We have no evidence of the production of ATP in the mitochondrion-like organelle of Trimastix but we have obtained experimental evidence for the presence of enzymes of the glycine cleavage system (GCS), which is part of amino acid metabolism. Using homologous antibody we have shown that H-protein of GCS localizes into vesicles in the cell of Trimastix. When overexpressed in yeast, H- and P-protein of GCS and cpn60 were transported into mitochondrion. In case of H-protein we have demonstrated that the first 16 amino acids are necessary for this transport. Glycine cleavage system is at the moment the only experimentally localized pathway in the mitochondrial derivate of Trimastix pyriformis.
PMCID: PMC3596361  PMID: 23516392
3.  A Broad Phylogenetic Survey Unveils the Diversity and Evolution of Telomeres in Eukaryotes 
Genome Biology and Evolution  2013;5(3):468-483.
Telomeres, ubiquitous and essential structures of eukaryotic chromosomes, are known to come in a variety of forms, but knowledge about their actual diversity and evolution across the whole phylogenetic breadth of the eukaryotic life remains fragmentary. To fill this gap, we employed a complex experimental approach to probe telomeric minisatellites in various phylogenetically diverse groups of algae. Our most remarkable results include the following findings: 1) algae of the streptophyte class Klebsormidiophyceae possess the Chlamydomonas-type telomeric repeat (TTTTAGGG) or, in at least one species, a novel TTTTAGG repeat, indicating an evolutionary transition from the Arabidopsis-type repeat (TTTAGGG) ancestral for Chloroplastida; 2) the Arabidopsis-type repeat is also present in telomeres of Xanthophyceae, in contrast to the presence of the human-type repeat (TTAGGG) in other ochrophytes studied, and of the photosynthetic alveolate Chromera velia, consistent with its phylogenetic position close to apicomplexans and dinoflagellates; 3) glaucophytes and haptophytes exhibit the human-type repeat in their telomeres; and 4) ulvophytes and rhodophytes have unusual telomere structures recalcitrant to standard analysis. To obtain additional details on the distribution of different telomere types in eukaryotes, we performed in silico analyses of genomic data from major eukaryotic lineages, utilizing also genome assemblies from our on-going genome projects for representatives of three hitherto unsampled lineages (jakobids, malawimonads, and goniomonads). These analyses confirm the human-type repeat as the most common and possibly ancestral in eukaryotes, but alternative motifs replaced it along the phylogeny of diverse eukaryotic lineages, some of them several times independently.
PMCID: PMC3622300  PMID: 23395982
algae; telomerase activity; Excavata; comparative genomics; Goniomonas
4.  Active and total microbial communities in forest soil are largely different and highly stratified during decomposition 
The ISME Journal  2011;6(2):248-258.
Soils of coniferous forest ecosystems are important for the global carbon cycle, and the identification of active microbial decomposers is essential for understanding organic matter transformation in these ecosystems. By the independent analysis of DNA and RNA, whole communities of bacteria and fungi and its active members were compared in topsoil of a Picea abies forest during a period of organic matter decomposition. Fungi quantitatively dominate the microbial community in the litter horizon, while the organic horizon shows comparable amount of fungal and bacterial biomasses. Active microbial populations obtained by RNA analysis exhibit similar diversity as DNA-derived populations, but significantly differ in the composition of microbial taxa. Several highly active taxa, especially fungal ones, show low abundance or even absence in the DNA pool. Bacteria and especially fungi are often distinctly associated with a particular soil horizon. Fungal communities are less even than bacterial ones and show higher relative abundances of dominant species. While dominant bacterial species are distributed across the studied ecosystem, distribution of dominant fungi is often spatially restricted as they are only recovered at some locations. The sequences of cbhI gene encoding for cellobiohydrolase (exocellulase), an essential enzyme for cellulose decomposition, were compared in soil metagenome and metatranscriptome and assigned to their producers. Litter horizon exhibits higher diversity and higher proportion of expressed sequences than organic horizon. Cellulose decomposition is mediated by highly diverse fungal populations largely distinct between soil horizons. The results indicate that low-abundance species make an important contribution to decomposition processes in soils.
PMCID: PMC3260513  PMID: 21776033
bacteria; cellulose decomposition; forest soil; fungi; RNA; transcription
5.  Intraspecific sequence comparisons reveal similar rates of non-collinear gene insertion in the B and D genomes of bread wheat 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:155.
Polyploidization is considered one of the main mechanisms of plant genome evolution. The presence of multiple copies of the same gene reduces selection pressure and permits sub-functionalization and neo-functionalization leading to plant diversification, adaptation and speciation. In bread wheat, polyploidization and the prevalence of transposable elements resulted in massive gene duplication and movement. As a result, the number of genes which are non-collinear to genomes of related species seems markedly increased in wheat.
We used new-generation sequencing (NGS) to generate sequence of a Mb-sized region from wheat chromosome arm 3DS. Sequence assembly of 24 BAC clones resulted in two scaffolds of 1,264,820 and 333,768 bases. The sequence was annotated and compared to the homoeologous region on wheat chromosome 3B and orthologous loci of Brachypodium distachyon and rice. Among 39 coding sequences in the 3DS scaffolds, 32 have a homoeolog on chromosome 3B. In contrast, only fifteen and fourteen orthologs were identified in the corresponding regions in rice and Brachypodium, respectively. Interestingly, five pseudogenes were identified among the non-collinear coding sequences at the 3B locus, while none was found at the 3DS locus.
Direct comparison of two Mb-sized regions of the B and D genomes of bread wheat revealed similar rates of non-collinear gene insertion in both genomes with a majority of gene duplications occurring before their divergence. Relatively low proportion of pseudogenes was identified among non-collinear coding sequences. Our data suggest that the pseudogenes did not originate from insertion of non-functional copies, but were formed later during the evolution of hexaploid wheat. Some evidence was found for gene erosion along the B genome locus.
PMCID: PMC3445842  PMID: 22935214
Wheat; BAC sequencing; Homoeologous genomes; Gene duplication; Non-collinear genes; Allopolyploidy
6.  Correction: The Plastid Genome of Eutreptiella Provides a Window into the Process of Secondary Endosymbiosis of Plastid in Euglenids 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):10.1371/annotation/c03a517b-fade-4f91-ae19-8ccb2eea697c.
PMCID: PMC3368968
7.  Correction: The Plastid Genome of Eutreptiella Provides a Window into the Process of Secondary Endosymbiosis of Plastid in Euglenids 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):10.1371/annotation/3f9f229e-e4e1-457b-b33d-89950e1799c5.
PMCID: PMC3331978
8.  The Plastid Genome of Eutreptiella Provides a Window into the Process of Secondary Endosymbiosis of Plastid in Euglenids 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33746.
Euglenids are a group of protists that comprises species with diverse feeding modes. One distinct and diversified clade of euglenids is photoautotrophic, and its members bear green secondary plastids. In this paper we present the plastid genome of the euglenid Eutreptiella, which we assembled from 454 sequencing of Eutreptiella gDNA. Comparison of this genome and the only other available plastid genomes of photosynthetic euglenid, Euglena gracilis, revealed that they contain a virtually identical set of 57 protein coding genes, 24 genes fewer than the genome of Pyramimonas parkeae, the closest extant algal relative of the euglenid plastid. Searching within the transcriptomes of Euglena and Eutreptiella showed that 6 of the missing genes were transferred to the nucleus of the euglenid host while 18 have been probably lost completely. Euglena and Eutreptiella represent the deepest bifurcation in the photosynthetic clade, and therefore all these gene transfers and losses must have happened before the last common ancestor of all known photosynthetic euglenids. After the split of Euglena and Eutreptiella only one additional gene loss took place. The conservation of gene content in the two lineages of euglenids is in contrast to the variability of gene order and intron counts, which diversified dramatically. Our results show that the early secondary plastid of euglenids was much more susceptible to gene losses and endosymbiotic gene transfers than the established plastid, which is surprisingly resistant to changes in gene content.
PMCID: PMC3308993  PMID: 22448269
9.  Global transcriptome analysis of the C57BL/6J mouse testis by SAGE: evidence for nonrandom gene order 
BMC Genomics  2005;6:29.
We generated the gene expression profile of the total testis from the adult C57BL/6J male mice using serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE). Two high-quality SAGE libraries containing a total of 76 854 tags were constructed. An extensive bioinformatic analysis and comparison of SAGE transcriptomes of the total testis, testicular somatic cells and other mouse tissues was performed and the theory of male-biased gene accumulation on the X chromosome was tested.
We sorted out 829 genes predominantly expressed from the germinal part and 944 genes from the somatic part of the testis. The genes preferentially and specifically expressed in total testis and testicular somatic cells were identified by comparing the testis SAGE transcriptomes to the available transcriptomes of seven non-testis tissues. We uncovered chromosomal clusters of adjacent genes with preferential expression in total testis and testicular somatic cells by a genome-wide search and found that the clusters encompassed a significantly higher number of genes than expected by chance. We observed a significant 3.2-fold enrichment of the proportion of X-linked genes specific for testicular somatic cells, while the proportions of X-linked genes specific for total testis and for other tissues were comparable. In contrast to the tissue-specific genes, an under-representation of X-linked genes in the total testis transcriptome but not in the transcriptomes of testicular somatic cells and other tissues was detected.
Our results provide new evidence in favor of the theory of male-biased genes accumulation on the X chromosome in testicular somatic cells and indicate the opposite action of the meiotic X-inactivation in testicular germ cells.
PMCID: PMC1079818  PMID: 15748293

Results 1-9 (9)