The ferritin is an important participant of iron-storage but its regulation and related factors were not well defined. The present objective was to explore the potential association between serum ferritin levels and sex hormones.
1999 Chinese men in the Fangchenggang Area Male Health and Examination Survey (FAMHES) were recruited in this cross-sectional study. Levels of serum ferritin, total testosterone (free testosterone was calculated from the total one), estradiol and sex hormone-binding protein were detected in venous blood samples. The effects of age, BMI, smoking as well as alcohol consumption were analyzed on ferritin levels, respectively, and then the Pearson’s correlation analysis was used to evaluate the association between ferritin levels and sex hormones adjusting for the above factors.
The age, BMI and alcohol consumption significantly affected serum ferritin levels, but there was no significant difference between smokers and nonsmokers. Ferritin levels were significantly and negatively associated with total testosterone (R = −0.205, P< 0.001), sex hormone-binding protein (R = −0.161, P<0.001) and free testosterone (R = −0.097, P<0.001). After age and alcohol consumption were adjusted, the above associations were still significant (R = −0.200, −0.181 and −0.083, respectively, all P<0.001). However, there was only borderline negative association between ferritin levels and estradiol (adjusted R = −0.039, P = 0.083).
The large scale of epidemic results showed the significantly negative associations between serum ferritin levels and sex hormones, which may provide more clues to explore the potential regulation and biological mechanism of ferritin.
In the study of complex diseases, a major challenge is disease heterogeneity, where the dysregulation of different pathways often lead to similar disease phenotypes. As a result, a given pathway could be differentially expressed with respect to controls for some patients, but not for others. Therefore, to develop successful personalized treatment regime, in addition to identifying disease relevant pathways for the entire patient group, it’s also important to test if a particular pathway is dysregulated for an individual patient. To this end, we compare pathway gene expression profile for a particular individual in the patient group to the “norm” (or standard) established by a group of control patients. We studied statistical analysis of patient-specific pathway activities under the mixed models framework. Using gene expression dataset with realistic correlation patterns, we showed the proposed hypothesis testing procedure had false positive rate (type I error) as expected. In addition, we illustrated the proposed methodology using a Type 2 Diabetes dataset. Our results showed a previously diabetes associated pathway was only differentially expressed (relative to the control group) in less than 30% of the diabetes patients, which provided an explanation for the moderate group level statistical significance seen in a previous study. This result also suggested targeting this particular pathway would likely be beneficial for only 30% of the patients. In addition to the case-control study we have illustrated, this model can be easily extended to handle more complex designs with additional covariates and multiple sources of variations. Moreover, the proposed model operates within a well-established statistical framework and can be implemented in common statistical packages.
Microarray; Gene expression; Mixed models; Pathway analysis; Gene set analysis; Statistical significance
Both Ang-2 and VEGFR-3 are major regulators of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, respectively, and thus may affect prognosis of OSCC. We sought to determine the associations between Ang-2 and VEGFR-3 expression and survival of OSCC.
Ang-2 and VEGFR-3 expression was determined immunohistochemically in tumor tissues from 112 patients with OSCC; OSCC-adjacent noncancerous oral tissue from 85 OSCC patients; and normal oral mucosa from 37 cancer-free individuals. A log-rank test and Cox proportional hazard models were used to compare survival among different groups with expression of Ang-2 and VEGFR-3.
Ang-2 and VEGFR-3 expression was upregulated in OSCC compared to nontumor tissue (all P<0.05). High Ang-2 expression positively correlated with microvessel density (MVD) (P<0.01), and high VEGFR-3 expression positively correlated with lymph node metastasis (P<0.01) and lymphatic vessel density (LVD) (P<0.01). The patients with high expression of Ang-2 alone or in combination with VEGFR-3 had a significantly worse survival than in patients with low expression of Ang-2 or any other co-expression status (all P<0.05), respectively. Furthermore, multivariable analysis showed that patients with high expression of Ang-2 alone or in combination with VEGFR-3 had a significantly increased risk of death compared with those with low expression of Ang-2 or any other co-expression status (HR, 2.7, 95% CI, 1.1–6.2 and 5.0, 1.3–15.4, respectively).
These results suggest that increased expression in tumors of Ang-2 may individually, or in combination with VEGFR-3, predict poor prognosis of OSCC.
The standard shotgun proteomics data analysis strategy relies on searching MS/MS spectra against a context-independent protein sequence database derived from the complete genome sequence of an organism. Because transcriptome sequence analysis (RNA-Seq) promises an unbiased and comprehensive picture of the transcriptome, we reason that a sample-specific protein database derived from RNA-Seq data can better approximate the real protein pool in the sample and thus improve protein identification. In this study, we have developed a two-step strategy for building sample-specific protein databases from RNA-Seq data. First, the database size is reduced by eliminating unexpressed or lowly expressed genes according to transcript quantification. Secondly, high-quality nonsynonymous coding single nucleotide variations (SNVs) are identified based on RNA-Seq data, and corresponding protein variants are added to the database. Using RNA-Seq and shotgun proteomics data from two colorectal cancer cell lines SW480 and RKO, we demonstrated that customized protein sequence databases could significantly increase the sensitivity of peptide identification, reduce ambiguity in protein assembly, and enable the detection of known and novel peptide variants. Thus, sample-specific databases from RNA-Seq data can enable more sensitive and comprehensive protein discovery in shotgun proteomics studies.
RNA-Seq; Shotgun Proteomics; Peptide Identification; Single Nucleotide Variations; data integration
Angiogenesis, the recruitment and re-configuration of pre-existing vasculature, is essential for tumor growth and metastasis. Increased tumor vascularization often correlates with poor patient outcomes in a broad spectrum of carcinomas. We identified four jointed box 1 (FJX1) as a candidate regulator of tumor angiogenesis in colorectal cancer. FJX1 mRNA and protein are upregulated in human colorectal tumor epithelium as compared with normal epithelium and colorectal adenomas, and high expression of FJX1 is associated with poor patient prognosis. FJX1 mRNA expression in colorectal cancer tissues is significantly correlated with changes in known angiogenesis genes. Augmented expression of FJX1 in colon cancer cells promotes growth of xenografts in athymic mice and is associated with increased tumor cell proliferation and vascularization. Furthermore, FJX1 null mice develop significantly fewer colonic polyps than wild-type littermates after combined dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) and azoxymethane (AOM) treatment. In vitro, conditioned media from FJX1 expressing cells promoted endothelial cell capillary tube formation in a HIF1-α dependent manner. Taken together our results support the conclusion that FJX1 is a novel regulator of tumor progression, due in part, to its effect on tumor vascularization.
Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) retrograde signaling is crucial for neuronal development and synaptic plasticity. However, how the BMP effector phospho-Mother against decapentaplegic (pMad) is processed following receptor activation remains poorly understood. Here we show that Drosophila Epsin1/Liquid facets (Lqf) positively regulates synaptic growth through post-endocytotic processing of pMad signaling complex. Lqf and the BMP receptor Wishful thinking (Wit) interact genetically and biochemically. lqf loss of function (LOF) reduces bouton number whereas overexpression of lqf stimulates bouton growth. Lqf-stimulated synaptic overgrowth is suppressed by genetic reduction of wit. Further, synaptic pMad fails to accumulate inside the motoneuron nuclei in lqf mutants and lqf suppresses synaptic overgrowth in spinster (spin) mutants with enhanced BMP signaling by reducing accumulation of nuclear pMad. Interestingly, lqf mutations reduce nuclear pMad levels without causing an apparent blockage of axonal transport itself. Finally, overexpression of Lqf significantly increases the number of multivesicular bodies (MVBs) in the synapse whereas lqf LOF reduces MVB formation, indicating that Lqf may function in signaling endosome recycling or maturation. Based on these observations, we propose that Lqf plays a novel endosomal role to ensure efficient retrograde transport of BMP signaling endosomes into motoneuron nuclei.
Paris polyphylla var. yunnanensis is an important medicinal plant. Seed dormancy is one of the main factors restricting artificial cultivation. The molecular mechanisms of seed dormancy remain unclear, and little genomic or transcriptome data are available for this plant.
In this study, massive parallel pyrosequencing on the Roche 454-GS FLX Titanium platform was used to generate a substantial sequence dataset for the P. polyphylla embryo. 369,496 high quality reads were obtained, ranging from 50 to 1146 bp, with a mean of 219 bp. These reads were assembled into 47,768 unigenes, which included 16,069 contigs and 31,699 singletons. Using BLASTX searches of public databases, 15,757 (32.3%) unique transcripts were identified. Gene Ontology and Cluster of Orthologous Groups of proteins annotations revealed that these transcripts were broadly representative of the P. polyphylla embryo transcriptome. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes assigned 5961 of the unique sequences to specific metabolic pathways. Relative expression levels analysis showed that eleven phytohormone-related genes and five other genes have different expression patterns in the embryo and endosperm in the seed stratification process.
Gene annotation and quantitative RT-PCR expression analysis identified 464 transcripts that may be involved in phytohormone catabolism and biosynthesis, hormone signal, seed dormancy, seed maturation, cell wall growth and circadian rhythms. In particular, the relative expression analysis of sixteen genes (CYP707A, NCED, GA20ox2, GA20ox3, ABI2, PP2C, ARP3, ARP7, IAAH, IAAS, BRRK, DRM, ELF1, ELF2, SFR6, and SUS) in embryo and endosperm and at two temperatures indicated that these related genes may be candidates for clarifying the molecular basis of seed dormancy in P. polyphlla var. yunnanensis.
Embryo; Stratification; Seed dormancy; High-throughput sequencing; Paris polyphylla
The presence of homoeologous sequences and absence of a reference genome sequence make discovery and genotyping of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) more challenging in polyploid crops.
To address this challenge, we constructed reduced representation libraries (RRLs) for two Brassica napus inbred lines and their 91 doubled haploid (DH) progenies using a modified ddRADseq technique. A bioinformatics pipeline termed RFAPtools was developed to discover and genotype SNPs and presence/absence variations (PAVs). Using this pipeline, a pseudo-reference sequence (PRF) containing 180,991 sequence tags was constructed. By aligning sequence reads to the pseudo-reference sequence, allelic SNPs as well as PAVs were identified and genotyped with RFAPtools. Two parallel linkage maps, one SNP bin map containing 8,780 SNP loci and one PAV linkage map containing 12,423 dominant loci, were constructed. By aligning marker sequences to B. rapa sequence scaffolds, whose genome is available, we assigned 44 unassembled sequence scaffolds comprising 8.15 Mb onto the B. rapa chromosomes, and also identified 14 instances of misassembly and eight instances of mis-ordering sequence scaffolds.
These results indicate that the modified ddRADseq approach is a cost-effective and simple method to genotype tens of thousands SNPs and PAV markers in a polyploidy plant species. The results also demonstrated that RFAPtools developed in this study are powerful to mine allelic SNPs from homoeologous sequences in polyploids, therefore they are generally applicable in either diploid or polyploid species with or without a reference genome sequence.
Polyploid crops; Brassica napus; Pseudo-reference sequence; Single nucleotide polymorphism; Presence/absence variation
Functional enrichment analysis is an essential task for the interpretation of gene lists derived from large-scale genetic, transcriptomic and proteomic studies. WebGestalt (WEB-based GEne SeT AnaLysis Toolkit) has become one of the popular software tools in this field since its publication in 2005. For the last 7 years, WebGestalt data holdings have grown substantially to satisfy the requirements of users from different research areas. The current version of WebGestalt supports 8 organisms and 201 gene identifiers from various databases and different technology platforms, making it directly available to the fast growing omics community. Meanwhile, by integrating functional categories derived from centrally and publicly curated databases as well as computational analyses, WebGestalt has significantly increased the coverage of functional categories in various biological contexts including Gene Ontology, pathway, network module, gene–phenotype association, gene–disease association, gene–drug association and chromosomal location, leading to a total of 78 612 functional categories. Finally, new interactive features, such as pathway map, hierarchical network visualization and phenotype ontology visualization have been added to WebGestalt to help users better understand the enrichment results. WebGestalt can be freely accessed through http://www.webgestalt.org or http://bioinfo.vanderbilt.edu/webgestalt/.
Modification of proteins by reactive electrophiles such as the 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE) plays a critical role in oxidant-associated human diseases. However, little is known about protein adduction and the mechanism by which protein damage elicits adaptive effects and toxicity. We developed a systems approach for relating protein adduction to gene expression changes through the integration of protein adduction, gene expression, protein-DNA interaction, and protein-protein interaction data. Using a random walk strategy, we expanded a list of responsive transcription factors inferred from gene expression studies to upstream signaling networks, which in turn allowed overlaying protein adduction data on the network for the prediction of stress sensors and their associated regulatory mechanisms. We demonstrated the general applicability of transcription factor-based signaling network inference using 103 known pathways. Applying our workflow on gene expression and protein adduction data from HNE-treatment not only rediscovered known mechanisms of electrophile stress but also generated novel hypotheses regarding protein damage sensors. Although developed for analyzing protein adduction data, the framework can be easily adapted for phosphoproteomics and other types of protein modification data.
Plant-derived active constituents and their semi-synthetic or synthetic analogs have served as major sources of anticancer drugs. 20(S)-protopanaxadiol (PPD) is a metabolite of ginseng saponin of both American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer). We previously demonstrated that ginsenoside Rg3, a glucoside precursor of PPD, exhibits anti-proliferative effects on HCT116 cells and reduces tumor size in a xenograft model. Our subsequent study indicated that PPD has more potent antitumor activity than that of Rg3 in vitro although the mechanism underlying the anticancer activity of PPD remains to be defined. Here, we investigated the mechanism underlying the anticancer activity of PPD in human cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. PPD was shown to inhibit growth and induce cell cycle arrest in HCT116 cells. The in vivo studies indicate that PPD inhibits xenograft tumor growth in athymic nude mice bearing HCT116 cells. The xenograft tumor size was significantly reduced when the animals were treated with PPD (30 mg/kg body weight) for 3 weeks. When the expression of previously identified Rg3 targets, A kinase (PRKA) anchor protein 8 (AKAP8L) and phosphatidylinositol transfer protein α (PITPNA), was analyzed, PPD was shown to inhibit the expression of PITPNA while upregulating AKAP8L expression in HCT116 cells. Pathway-specific reporter assays indicated that PPD effectively suppressed the NF-κB, JNK and MAPK/ERK signaling pathways. Taken together, our results suggest that the anticancer activity of PPD in colon cancer cells may be mediated through targeting NF-κB, JNK and MAPK/ERK signaling pathways, although the detailed mechanisms underlying the anticancer mode of PPD action need to be fully elucidated.
ginseng; ginseng metabolites; 20(S)-protopanaxadiol; colorectal cancer; signaling pathway; natural products
The reversion-inducing cysteine-rich protein with Kazal motifs (RECK) gene was originally identified as a transformation suppressor gene that is widely expressed in normal tissues. In tumor tissues, RECK expression levels are significantly reduced, and the downregulation of RECK has been implicated in tumors that are more aggressive with a poor prognosis. In the present study, RECK expression in peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL; n=82) was examined using immunohistochemistry, and its correlation with clinicopathological factors was analyzed. According to the proportion of positively-stained cells and the staining intensity (SI), the patients were categorized into RECK-negative or RECK-positive groups. RECK expression was observed in 30 of the 82 patients (36.6%). The 3-year survival rate of the patients with RECK-positive tumors (65.5%) was significantly high compared with that of the patients with RECK-negative tumors (20.3%; P=0.046). Reduced RECK expression was found to be significantly correlated with extranodal lymphomatous involvement (P=0.012). The survival analysis showed that RECK-negative expression was an independent and significant factor for predicting a poor prognosis. RECK status is a useful prognostic factor for assessing the biological behavior in PTCL.
reversion-inducing cysteine-rich protein with Kazal motifs; prognosis; peripheral T-cell lymphoma
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key post-transcriptional regulators that inhibit gene expression by promoting mRNA decay and/or suppressing translation. However, the relative contributions of these two mechanisms to gene repression remain controversial. Early studies favor a translational repression-centric scenario, whereas recent large-scale studies suggest a dominant role of mRNA decay in miRNA regulation. Here we generated proteomics data for nine colorectal cancer cell lines and integrated them with matched miRNA and mRNA expression data to infer and characterize miRNA-mediated regulation. Consistent with previous reports, we found that 8mer site, site positioning within 3′UTR, local AU-rich context, and additional 3′ pairing could all help boost miRNA-mediated mRNA decay. However, these sequence features were generally not correlated with increased translational repression, except for local AU-rich context. Thus the contribution of translational repression might be underestimated in recent studies in which the analyses were based primarily on the response of genes with canonical 7–8 mer sites in 3′UTRs. Indeed, we found that translational repression was involved in more than half, and played a major role in one-third of all predicted miRNA-target interactions. It was even the predominant contributor to miR-138 mediated regulation, which was further supported by the observation that differential expression of miR-138 in two genetically matched cell lines corresponded to altered protein but not mRNA abundance of most target genes. In addition, our study also provided interesting insights into colon cancer biology such as the possible contributions of miR-138 and miR-141/miR-200c in inducing specific phenotypes of SW480 and RKO cell lines, respectively.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) generally is a late-onset neurodegenerative disease. Mutations in the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene account for approximately 20% of familial ALS and 2% of all ALS cases. Although a number of hypotheses have been proposed to explain mutant SOD1 toxicity, the molecular mechanisms of the disease remain unclear. SOD1-linked ALS is thought to function in a non–cell-autonomous manner such that motoneurons are critical for the onset, and glia contribute to progression of the disease. Recently, it has been shown in Drosophila melanogaster that expression of human SOD1 in a subset of neuronal cells causes synaptic transmission defects, modified motor function, and altered sensitivity to compounds that induce oxidative stress. Here we used the Gal4-UAS (Upstream Activation Sequence) system to further characterize flies expressing wild-type Drosophila SOD1 (dSOD1) and the mutant human SOD1G85R (G85R) allele in motoneurons and glia. Cell-specific expression of both dSOD1 and G85R was found to influence lifespan, affect sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide, and alter lipid peroxidation levels. To better understand the genetic consequences of G85R expression in motoneurons and glia, we conducted microarray analysis of both young flies (5 days old) and old flies (45 days old) expressing G85R selectively in motoneurons or glia and concurrently in motoneurons and glia. Results from this microarray experiment identified candidate genes for further investigation and may help elucidate the individual and combined contributions of motoneurons and glia in ALS.
Drosophila; ALS; SOD1; glia; motoneuron
Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE)-based proteomics approach was applied to extensively explore the molecular basis of plant development and environmental adaptation. These proteomics analyses revealed thousands of differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) closely related to different biological processes. However, little attention has been paid to how peptide mass fingerprinting (PMF) data generated by the approach can be directly utilized for the determination of protein phosphorylation. Here, we used the software tool FindMod to predict the peptides that might carry the phosphorylation modification by examining their PMF data for mass differences between the empirical and theoretical peptides and then identified phosphorylation sites using MALDI TOF/TOF according to predicted peptide data from these DEP spots in the 2-D gels. As a result, a total of 48 phosphorylation sites of 40 DEPs were successfully identified among 235 known DEPs previously revealed in the 2-D gels of elongating cotton fiber cells. The 40 phosphorylated DEPs, including important enzymes such as enolase, transketolase and UDP-L-rhamnose synthase, are presumed to participate in the functional regulation of numerous metabolic pathways, suggesting the reverse phosphorylation of these proteins might play important roles in elongating cotton fibers. The results also indicated that some different isoforms of the identical DEP revealed in our 2-DE-based proteomics analysis could be annotated by phosphorylation events. Taken together, as the first report of large-scale identification of phosphorylation sites in elongating cotton fiber cells, our study provides not only an excellent example of directly identifying phosphorylation sites from known DEPs on 2-D gels but also provides a valuable resource for future functional studies of phosphorylated proteins in this field.
Silkworms and spiders generate fibres that exhibit high strength and extensibility. The underlying mechanisms involved in processing silk proteins into fiber form remain incompletely understood, resulting in the failure to fully recapitulate the remarkable properties of native fibers in vitro from regenerated silk solutions. In the present study, the extensibility and high strength of regenerated silks were achieved by mimicking the natural spinning process. Conformational transitions inside micelles, followed by aggregation of micelles and their stabilization as they relate to the metastable structure of silk are described. Subsequently, the mechanisms to control the formation of nanofibrous structures were elucidated. The results clarify that the self-assembly of silk in aqueous solution is a thermodynamically driven process where kinetics also play a key role. Four key factors, molecular mobility, charge, hydrophilic interactions and concentration underlie the process. Adjusting these factors can balance nanostructure and conformational composition, and be used to achieve silk-based materials with properties comparable to native fibers. These mechanisms suggest new directions to design silk-based multifunctional materials.
Silk Self-Assembly; Biomaterials; Kinetics; Nanostructure
A central and unresolved question in cancer is how deregulated signaling leads to acquisition of an invasive cellular phenotype. Here, we modeled the invasive transition as a theoretical switch between focal adhesions and extracellular matrix (ECM)-degrading invadopodia and built molecular interaction network models of each structure. To identify upstream regulatory hubs, we added first degree binding partners and applied graph theoretic analyses. Comparison of the results to clustered reverse phase protein array signaling data from head and neck carcinomas led us to choose phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and protein kinase C alpha (PKCα) for further analysis. Consistent with a previous report, PI3K activity promoted both the formation and activity of invadopodia. Furthermore, PI3K induction of invadopodia was increased by overexpression of SH2 domain-containing inositol 5′-phosphatase 2 (SHIP2), suggesting that a major part of the mechanism is synthesis of PI(3,4,5)P3, a precursor for PI(3,4)P2, which promotes invadopodia formation. Knockdown of PKCα led to divergent effects on invadopodia formation, depending on the activation state of PI3K. Loss of PKCα inhibited invadopodia formation in cells with wild-type PI3K pathway status. Conversely, in cells with either activating PI3K mutants or lacking the endogenous opposing enzyme phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), PKCα knockdown increased invadopodia formation. Investigation of the mechanism revealed that a negative feedback loop from PKCα dampened PI3K activity and invasive behavior in cells with genetic overactivation of the PI3K pathway. These studies demonstrate the potential of network modeling as a discovery tool and identify PI3K and PKCα as critical interacting regulators of invasive behavior.
China faces a major increase in cardiovascular disease, yet there is limited population-based data on risk factors, particularly in children.
Methods and Results
Fasting blood samples, anthropometry and blood pressure were collected on 9,244 children and adults aged ≥7 years in late 2009 as part of the national China Health and Nutrition Survey. Prevalent overweight, elevated blood pressure, and cardiometabolic risk factors: glucose, HbA1c, triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), high and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C and LDL-C), and C-reactive protein (CRP) are presented.
11% of Chinese children and 30% of Chinese adults are overweight. Rates of diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and inflammation are high and increased with age and were associated with urbanization. Approximately 42% of children have at least one of the following: pre-diabetes or diabetes, hypertension, high TC, LDL-C, TG, and CRP and low HDL-C, as do 70% males and 60% females aged 18–40 years and >86% of males and females ≥40 years.
HbA1c findings suggest that as many as 29.4 million Chinese children and 415.8 million Chinese adults may be prediabetic or diabetic. The high prevalence in less urban areas and across all income levels suggests that cardiometabolic risk is pervasive across rural and urban China.
China; children; diabetes; cardio-metabolic; adults
Epigenetic marks are crucial for organogenesis, but their role in heart development is poorly understood. Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) trimethylates histone H3 at lysine 27, establishing H3K27me3 repressive epigenetic marks that promote tissue-specific differentiation by silencing ectopic gene programs.
We studied the function of PRC2 in murine heart development using a tissue-restricted conditional inactivation strategy.
Methods and Results
Inactivation of the PRC2 subunit Ezh2 by Nkx2-5Cre (Ezh2NK) caused lethal congenital heart malformations, namely compact myocardial hypoplasia, hypertrabeculation, and ventricular septal defect. Candidate and genome-wide RNA expression profiling and chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses of Ezh2NK heart identified genes directly repressed by EZH2. Among these were the potent cell cycle inhibitors Ink4a/b, whose upregulation was associated with decreased cardiomyocyte proliferation in Ezh2NK. EZH2-repressed genes were enriched for transcriptional regulators of non-cardiomyocyte expression programs, such as Pax6, Isl1, Six1. EZH2 was also required for proper spatiotemporal regulation of cardiac gene expression, as Hcn4, Mlc2a, and Bmp10 were inappropriately upregulated in ventricular RNA. PRC2 was also required later in heart development, as indicated by cardiomyocyte-restricted TNT-Cre inactivation of the PRC2 subunit Eed. However, Ezh2 inactivation by TNT-Cre did not cause an overt phenotype, likely due to functional redundancy with Ezh1. Thus early Ezh2 inactivation by Nk2-5Cre caused later disruption of cardiomyocyte gene expression and heart development.
Our study reveals a previously undescribed role of EZH2 in regulating heart formation and shows that perturbation of the epigenetic landscape early in cardiogenesis has sustained disruptive effects at later developmental stages.
Heart development; epigenetics; transcriptional regulation
Haloferax mediterranei, an extremely halophilic archaeon, has shown promise for production of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) from unrelated cheap carbon sources. Here we report the complete genome (3,904,707 bp) of H. mediterranei CGMCC 1.2087, consisting of one chromosome and three megaplasmids.
This study investigates the dynamic shifts in snacking behaviors and patterns in China. Using four waves (1991, 2004, 2006, and 2009) from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) with full socioeconomic and demographic data and 3-day, 24-hour dietary recall data, 45,402 individuals age two and older were studied. Multiple logistic regressions were performed to examine the association of social-demographic factors on snacking behaviors. Results show that snacking prevalence, frequency of daily snacking occasions, and percentage of total daily energy intake (EI) from snacks increased significantly across all ages between 1991 and 2009, with a dramatic increase after 2004. Snacking was much more prevalent among children and higher-income, urban, and educated populations over time. Evening was the preferred snacking occasion, and the proportion of total daily EI from snacks varied between 4.1% and 12.3% for all snackers by age. Fruits, grains, and beverages were the most popular snacks and the highest contributors to snacking EI over all age groups. A marked transition from a tradition of two or three meals per day toward meals combined with snacks is underway. Further research is needed to develop a better understanding of the nutritional implications of Chinese snacking behaviors.
Snacking behaviors; snacking patterns; Chinese; social-demographic factors; trend
The 2012 International Conference on Intelligent Biology and Medicine (ICIBM 2012) was held on April 22-24, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. The conference featured six technical sessions, one tutorial session, one workshop, and 3 keynote presentations that covered state-of-the-art research activities in genomics, systems biology, and intelligent computing. In addition to a major emphasis on the next generation sequencing (NGS)-driven informatics, ICIBM 2012 aligned significant interests in systems biology and its applications in medicine. We highlight in this editorial the selected papers from the meeting that address the developments of novel algorithms and applications in systems biology.
Accurate calling of SNPs and genotypes from next-generation sequencing data is an essential prerequisite for most human genetics studies. A number of computational steps are required or recommended when translating the raw sequencing data into the final calls. However, whether each step does contribute to the performance of variant calling and how it affects the accuracy still remain unclear, making it difficult to select and arrange appropriate steps to derive high quality variants from different sequencing data. In this study, we made a systematic assessment of the relative contribution of each step to the accuracy of variant calling from Illumina DNA sequencing data.
We found that the read preprocessing step did not improve the accuracy of variant calling, contrary to the general expectation. Although trimming off low-quality tails helped align more reads, it introduced lots of false positives. The ability of markup duplication, local realignment and recalibration, to help eliminate false positive variants depended on the sequencing depth. Rearranging these steps did not affect the results. The relative performance of three popular multi-sample SNP callers, SAMtools, GATK, and GlfMultiples, also varied with the sequencing depth.
Our findings clarify the necessity and effectiveness of computational steps for improving the accuracy of SNP and genotype calls from Illumina sequencing data and can serve as a general guideline for choosing SNP calling strategies for data with different coverage.
We present a report of the 2012 International Conference on Intelligent Biology and Medicine (ICIBM 2012) and the editorial report of the supplement to BMC Genomics that includes 22 research papers selected from ICIBM 2012, which was held on April 22-24, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. The conference covered a variety of research areas, including bioinformatics, systems biology, and intelligent computing. It included six sessions, a tutorial - Introduction to Proteome Informatics, a workshop - Next Generation Sequencing, and a poster session. The selected papers in this Supplement issue represent the genomic focus in ICIBM 2012.
Answering questions such as "Which genes are related to breast cancer?" usually requires retrieving relevant publications through the PubMed search engine, reading these publications, and creating gene lists. This process is not only time-consuming, but also prone to errors.
We report GLAD4U (Gene List Automatically Derived For You), a new, free web-based gene retrieval and prioritization tool. GLAD4U takes advantage of existing resources of the NCBI to ensure computational efficiency. The quality of gene lists created by GLAD4U for three Gene Ontology (GO) terms and three disease terms was assessed using corresponding "gold standard" lists curated in public databases. For all queries, GLAD4U gene lists showed very high recall but low precision, leading to low F-measure. As a comparison, EBIMed's recall was consistently lower than GLAD4U, but its precision was higher. To present the most relevant genes at the top of a list, we studied two prioritization methods based on publication count and the hypergeometric test, and compared the ranked lists and those generated by EBIMed to the gold standards. Both GLAD4U methods outperformed EBIMed for all queries based on a variety of quality metrics. Moreover, the hypergeometric method allowed for a better performance by thresholding genes with low scores. In addition, manual examination suggests that many false-positives could be explained by the incompleteness of the gold standards. The GLAD4U user interface accepts any valid queries for PubMed, and its output page displays the ranked gene list and information associated with each gene, chronologically-ordered supporting publications, along with a summary of the run and links for file export and functional enrichment and protein interaction network analysis.
GLAD4U has a high overall recall. Although precision is generally low, the prioritization methods successfully rank truly relevant genes at the top of the lists to facilitate efficient browsing. GLAD4U is simple to use, and its interface can be found at: http://bioinfo.vanderbilt.edu/glad4u.