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author:("Wang, danxia")
1.  Allele-Selective Transcriptome Recruitment to Polysomes Primed for Translation: Protein-Coding and Noncoding RNAs, and RNA Isoforms 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(9):e0136798.
mRNA translation into proteins is highly regulated, but the role of mRNA isoforms, noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), and genetic variants remains poorly understood. mRNA levels on polysomes have been shown to correlate well with expressed protein levels, pointing to polysomal loading as a critical factor. To study regulation and genetic factors of protein translation we measured levels and allelic ratios of mRNAs and ncRNAs (including microRNAs) in lymphoblast cell lines (LCL) and in polysomal fractions. We first used targeted assays to measure polysomal loading of mRNA alleles, confirming reported genetic effects on translation of OPRM1 and NAT1, and detecting no effect of rs1045642 (3435C>T) in ABCB1 (MDR1) on polysomal loading while supporting previous results showing increased mRNA turnover of the 3435T allele. Use of high-throughput sequencing of complete transcript profiles (RNA-Seq) in three LCLs revealed significant differences in polysomal loading of individual RNA classes and isoforms. Correlated polysomal distribution between protein-coding and non-coding RNAs suggests interactions between them. Allele-selective polysome recruitment revealed strong genetic influence for multiple RNAs, attributable either to differential expression of RNA isoforms or to differential loading onto polysomes, the latter defining a direct genetic effect on translation. Genes identified by different allelic RNA ratios between cytosol and polysomes were enriched with published expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) affecting RNA functions, and associations with clinical phenotypes. Polysomal RNA-Seq combined with allelic ratio analysis provides a powerful approach to study polysomal RNA recruitment and regulatory variants affecting protein translation.
PMCID: PMC4558023  PMID: 26331722
2.  Cholesteryl Ester Transfer Protein (CETP) Polymorphisms Affect mRNA Splicing, HDL Levels, and Sex-Dependent Cardiovascular Risk 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e31930.
Polymorphisms in and around the Cholesteryl Ester Transfer Protein (CETP) gene have been associated with HDL levels, risk for coronary artery disease (CAD), and response to therapy. The mechanism of action of these polymorphisms has yet to be defined. We used mRNA allelic expression and splice isoform measurements in human liver tissues to identify the genetic variants affecting CETP levels. Allelic CETP mRNA expression ratios in 56 human livers were strongly associated with several variants 2.5–7 kb upstream of the transcription start site (e.g., rs247616 p = 6.4×10−5, allele frequency 33%). In addition, a common alternatively spliced CETP isoform lacking exon 9 (Δ9), has been shown to prevent CETP secretion in a dominant-negative manner. The Δ 9 expression ranged from 10 to 48% of total CETP mRNA in 94 livers. Increased formation of this isoform was exclusively associated with an exon 9 polymorphism rs5883-C>T (p = 6.8×10−10) and intron 8 polymorphism rs9930761-T>C (5.6×10−8) (in high linkage disequilibrium with allele frequencies 6–7%). rs9930761 changes a key splicing branch point nucleotide in intron 8, while rs5883 alters an exonic splicing enhancer sequence in exon 9.
The effect of these polymorphisms was evaluated in two clinical studies. In the Whitehall II study of 4745 subjects, both rs247616 and rs5883T/rs9930761C were independently associated with increased HDL-C levels in males with similar effect size (rs247616 p = 9.6×10−28 and rs5883 p = 8.6×10−10, adjusted for rs247616). In an independent multiethnic US cohort of hypertensive subjects with CAD (INVEST-GENE), rs5883T/rs9930761C alone were significantly associated with increased incidence of MI, stroke, and all-cause mortality in males (rs5883: OR 2.36 (CI 1.29–4.30), p = 0.005, n = 866). These variants did not reach significance in females in either study. Similar to earlier results linking low CETP activity with poor outcomes in males, our results suggest genetic, sex-dependent CETP splicing effects on cardiovascular risk by a mechanism independent of circulating HDL-C levels.
PMCID: PMC3293889  PMID: 22403620

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