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G Protein coupled pH sensing Receptor OGR1 Is a Regulator of Intestinal Inflammation
Article first published online 7 April 2015. Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text. Article first published online 7 April 2015. Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.Background: A novel family of proton-sensing G protein-coupled receptors, including OGR1, GPR4, and TDAG8, was identified to be important for physiological pH homeostasis and inflammation. Thus, we determined the function of proton-sensing OGR1 in the intestinal mucosa. Mtehods: OGR1 expression in colonic tissues was investigated in controls and patients with IBD. Expression of OGR1 upon cell activation was studied in the Mono Mac 6 (MM6) cell line and primary human and murine monocytes by real-time PCR. Ogr1 knockout mice were crossbred with Il-10 deficient mice and studied for more than 200 days. Microarray profiling was performed using Ogr1−/− and Ogr1+/+ (WT) residential peritoneal macrophages. Results: Patients with IBD expressed higher levels of OGR1 in the mucosa than non-IBD controls. Treatment of MM6 cells with TNF, led to significant upregulation of OGR1 expression, which could be reversed by the presence of NF-κB inhibitors. Kaplan–Meier survival analysis showed a significantly delayed onset and progression of rectal prolapse in female Ogr1−/−/Il-10−/− mice. These mice displayed significantly less rectal prolapses. Upregulation of gene expression, mediated by OGR1, in response to extracellular acidification in mouse macrophages was enriched for inflammation and immune response, actin cytoskeleton, and cell-adhesion gene pathways. Conclusions: OGR1 expression is induced in cells of human macrophage lineage and primary human monocytes by TNF. NF-κB inhibition reverses the induction of OGR1 expression by TNF. OGR1 deficiency protects from spontaneous inflammation in the Il-10 knockout model. Our data indicate a pathophysiological role for pH-sensing receptor OGR1 during the pathogenesis of mucosal inflammation. Background: A novel family of proton-sensing G protein-coupled receptors, including OGR1, GPR4, and TDAG8, was identified to be important for physiological pH homeostasis and inflammation. Thus, we determined the function of proton-sensing OGR1 in the intestinal mucosa. Mtehods: OGR1 expression in colonic tissues was investigated in controls and patients with IBD. Expression of OGR1 upon cell activation was studied in the Mono Mac 6 (MM6) cell line and primary human and murine monocytes by real-time PCR. Ogr1 knockout mice were crossbred with Il-10 deficient mice and studied for more than 200 days. Microarray profiling was performed using Ogr1−/− and Ogr1+/+ (WT) residential peritoneal macrophages. Results: Patients with IBD expressed higher levels of OGR1 in the mucosa than non-IBD controls. Treatment of MM6 cells with TNF, led to significant upregulation of OGR1 expression, which could be reversed by the presence of NF-κB inhibitors. Kaplan–Meier survival analysis showed a significantly delayed onset and progression of rectal prolapse in female Ogr1−/−/Il-10−/− mice. These mice displayed significantly less rectal prolapses. Upregulation of gene expression, mediated by OGR1, in response to extracellular acidification in mouse macrophages was enriched for inflammation and immune response, actin cytoskeleton, and cell-adhesion gene pathways. Conclusions: OGR1 expression is induced in cells of human macrophage lineage and primary human monocytes by TNF. NF-κB inhibition reverses the induction of OGR1 expression by TNF. OGR1 deficiency protects from spontaneous inflammation in the Il-10 knockout model. Our data indicate a pathophysiological role for pH-sensing receptor OGR1 during the pathogenesis of mucosal inflammation.
Non coding RNAs derived from an alternatively spliced REST transcript (REST 003) regulate breast cancer invasiveness
RE1-Silencing Transcription factor (REST) has a well-established role in regulating transcription of genes important for neuronal development. Its role in cancer, though significant, is less well understood. We show that REST downregulation in weakly invasive MCF-7 breast cancer cells converts them to a more invasive phenotype, while REST overexpression in highly invasive MDA-MB-231 cells suppresses invasiveness. Surprisingly, the mechanism responsible for these phenotypic changes does not depend directly on the transcriptional function of REST protein. Instead, it is driven by previously unstudied mid-size (30–200 nt) non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) derived from the first exon of an alternatively spliced REST transcript: REST-003. We show that processing of REST-003 into ncRNAs is controlled by an uncharacterized serine/arginine repeat-related protein, SRRM3. SRRM3 expression may be under REST-mediated transcriptional control, as it increases following REST downregulation. The SRRM3-dependent regulation of REST-003 processing into ncRNAs has many similarities to recently described promoter-associated small RNA-like processes. Targeting ncRNAs that control invasiveness could lead to new therapeutic approaches to limit breast cancer metastasis. RE1-Silencing Transcription factor (REST) has a well-established role in regulating transcription of genes important for neuronal development. Its role in cancer, though significant, is less well understood. We show that REST downregulation in weakly invasive MCF-7 breast cancer cells converts them to a more invasive phenotype, while REST overexpression in highly invasive MDA-MB-231 cells suppresses invasiveness. Surprisingly, the mechanism responsible for these phenotypic changes does not depend directly on the transcriptional function of REST protein. Instead, it is driven by previously unstudied mid-size (30–200 nt) non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) derived from the first exon of an alternatively spliced REST transcript: REST-003. We show that processing of REST-003 into ncRNAs is controlled by an uncharacterized serine/arginine repeat-related protein, SRRM3. SRRM3 expression may be under REST-mediated transcriptional control, as it increases following REST downregulation. The SRRM3-dependent regulation of REST-003 processing into ncRNAs has many similarities to recently described promoter-associated small RNA-like processes. Targeting ncRNAs that control invasiveness could lead to new therapeutic approaches to limit breast cancer metastasis.
Draft Genome Sequence of the Bacterium Lysobacter capsici X2 3, with a Broad Spectrum of Antimicrobial Activity against Multiple Plant Pathogenic Microbes
Lysobacter capsici strain X2-3 was isolated from the wheat rhizosphere in China and exhibits a remarkable capacity to inhibit the growth of multiple pathogens. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of L. capsici strain X2-3 in China. Lysobacter capsici strain X2-3 was isolated from the wheat rhizosphere in China and exhibits a remarkable capacity to inhibit the growth of multiple pathogens. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of L. capsici strain X2-3 in China.
The fission yeast MTREC complex targets CUTs and unspliced pre mRNAs to the nuclear exosome
The evolutionarily conserved MTREC complex promotes degradation of meiotic mRNAs and regulatory ncRNAs. Here the authors show that MTREC also targets cryptic unstable transcripts and unspliced pre-mRNAs for degradation by the nuclear exosome, while the TRAMP complex has only a minor role in this process. The evolutionarily conserved MTREC complex promotes degradation of meiotic mRNAs and regulatory ncRNAs. Here the authors show that MTREC also targets cryptic unstable transcripts and unspliced pre-mRNAs for degradation by the nuclear exosome, while the TRAMP complex has only a minor role in this process.Cryptic unstable transcripts (CUTs) are rapidly degraded by the nuclear exosome. However, the mechanism by which they are recognized and targeted to the exosome is not fully understood. Here we report that the MTREC complex, which has recently been shown to promote degradation of meiotic mRNAs and regulatory ncRNAs, is also the major nuclear exosome targeting complex for CUTs and unspliced pre-mRNAs in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. The MTREC complex specifically binds to CUTs, meiotic mRNAs and unspliced pre-mRNA transcripts and targets these RNAs for degradation by the nuclear exosome, while the TRAMP complex has only a minor role in this process. The MTREC complex physically interacts with the nuclear exosome and with various RNA-binding and RNA-processing complexes, coupling RNA processing to the RNA degradation machinery. Our study reveals the central role of the evolutionarily conserved MTREC complex in RNA quality control, and in the recognition and elimination of CUTs. Cryptic unstable transcripts (CUTs) are rapidly degraded by the nuclear exosome. However, the mechanism by which they are recognized and targeted to the exosome is not fully understood. Here we report that the MTREC complex, which has recently been shown to promote degradation of meiotic mRNAs and regulatory ncRNAs, is also the major nuclear exosome targeting complex for CUTs and unspliced pre-mRNAs in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. The MTREC complex specifically binds to CUTs, meiotic mRNAs and unspliced pre-mRNA transcripts and targets these RNAs for degradation by the nuclear exosome, while the TRAMP complex has only a minor role in this process. The MTREC complex physically interacts with the nuclear exosome and with various RNA-binding and RNA-processing complexes, coupling RNA processing to the RNA degradation machinery. Our study reveals the central role of the evolutionarily conserved MTREC complex in RNA quality control, and in the recognition and elimination of CUTs.
Metagenomic Analysis of Microbiome in Colon Tissue from Subjects with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Reveals Interplay of Viruses and Bacteria
Article first published online 29 April 2015. Article first published online 29 April 2015.Abstract: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, are poorly understood disorders affecting the intestinal tract. The current model for disease suggests that genetically susceptible patients develop intolerance to gut microflora, and chronic inflammation develops as a result of environmental insults. Although interest has mainly focused on studying genetic variants and gut bacterial flora, little is known about the potential of viral infection to contribute to disease. Accordingly, we conducted a metagenomic analysis to document the baseline virome in colonic biopsy samples from patients with IBD in order to assess the contribution of viral infection to IBD. Libraries were generated from colon RNA to create approximately 2 GB sequence data per library. Using a bioinformatic pipeline designed to detect viral sequences, more than 1000 viral reads were derived directly from tissue without any coculture or isolation procedure. Herein, we describe the complexity and abundance of viruses, bacteria/bacteriophage, and human endogenous retroviral sequences from 10 patients with IBD and 5 healthy subjects undergoing surveillance colonoscopy. Differences in gut microflora and the abundance of mammalian viruses and human endogenous retroviruses were readily detected in the metagenomic analyses. Specifically, patients with herpesviridae sequences in their colon demonstrated increased expression of human endogenous viral sequences and differences in the diversity of their microbiome. This study provides a promising metagenomic approach to describe the colonic microbiome that can be used to better understand virus–host and phage–bacteria interactions in IBD. Abstract: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, are poorly understood disorders affecting the intestinal tract. The current model for disease suggests that genetically susceptible patients develop intolerance to gut microflora, and chronic inflammation develops as a result of environmental insults. Although interest has mainly focused on studying genetic variants and gut bacterial flora, little is known about the potential of viral infection to contribute to disease. Accordingly, we conducted a metagenomic analysis to document the baseline virome in colonic biopsy samples from patients with IBD in order to assess the contribution of viral infection to IBD. Libraries were generated from colon RNA to create approximately 2 GB sequence data per library. Using a bioinformatic pipeline designed to detect viral sequences, more than 1000 viral reads were derived directly from tissue without any coculture or isolation procedure. Herein, we describe the complexity and abundance of viruses, bacteria/bacteriophage, and human endogenous retroviral sequences from 10 patients with IBD and 5 healthy subjects undergoing surveillance colonoscopy. Differences in gut microflora and the abundance of mammalian viruses and human endogenous retroviruses were readily detected in the metagenomic analyses. Specifically, patients with herpesviridae sequences in their colon demonstrated increased expression of human endogenous viral sequences and differences in the diversity of their microbiome. This study provides a promising metagenomic approach to describe the colonic microbiome that can be used to better understand virus–host and phage–bacteria interactions in IBD.
Rapid Identification and Verification of Indirubin Containing Medicinal Plants
Indirubin, one of the key components of medicinal plants including Isatis tinctoria, Polygonum tinctorium, and Strobilanthes cusia, possesses great medicinal efficacy in the treatment of chronic myelocytic leukemia (CML). Due to misidentification and similar name, materials containing indirubin and their close relatives frequently fall prey to adulteration. In this study, we selected an internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) for distinguishing these indirubin-containing species from five of their usual adulterants, after assessing identification efficiency of matK, rbcL, psbA-trnH, and ITS2 among these species. The results of genetic distances and neighbor-joining (NJ) phylogenetic tree indicated that ITS2 region is a powerful DNA barcode to accurately identify these indirubin-containing species and discriminate them from their adulterants. Additionally, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used to verify indirubin in different organs of the above species. The results showed that indirubin had been detected in the leaves of Is. tinctoria, P. tinctorium, S. cusia, and Indigo Naturalis (made from their mixture), but not in their roots, or in the leaves of their adulterants. Therefore, this study provides a novel and rapid method to identify and verify indirubin-containing medicinal plants for effective natural treatment of CML. Indirubin, one of the key components of medicinal plants including Isatis tinctoria, Polygonum tinctorium, and Strobilanthes cusia, possesses great medicinal efficacy in the treatment of chronic myelocytic leukemia (CML). Due to misidentification and similar name, materials containing indirubin and their close relatives frequently fall prey to adulteration. In this study, we selected an internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) for distinguishing these indirubin-containing species from five of their usual adulterants, after assessing identification efficiency of matK, rbcL, psbA-trnH, and ITS2 among these species. The results of genetic distances and neighbor-joining (NJ) phylogenetic tree indicated that ITS2 region is a powerful DNA barcode to accurately identify these indirubin-containing species and discriminate them from their adulterants. Additionally, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used to verify indirubin in different organs of the above species. The results showed that indirubin had been detected in the leaves of Is. tinctoria, P. tinctorium, S. cusia, and Indigo Naturalis (made from their mixture), but not in their roots, or in the leaves of their adulterants. Therefore, this study provides a novel and rapid method to identify and verify indirubin-containing medicinal plants for effective natural treatment of CML.
Draft Genome Sequence of Aneurinibacillus tyrosinisolvens LL 002T, Which Possesses Some Pseudouridine Synthases
We report the 5.7-Mb draft genome sequence of Aneurinibacillus tyrosinisolvens strain LL-002T, isolated from organic- and methane-rich sea sediments. The draft genome sequence of strain LL-002T consists of 5,693,818 bp in 136 contigs, with a G+C content of 44.5%, 5,946 potential coding sequences (CDS), 2 rRNAs, and 39 tRNAs. We report the 5.7-Mb draft genome sequence of Aneurinibacillus tyrosinisolvens strain LL-002T, isolated from organic- and methane-rich sea sediments. The draft genome sequence of strain LL-002T consists of 5,693,818 bp in 136 contigs, with a G+C content of 44.5%, 5,946 potential coding sequences (CDS), 2 rRNAs, and 39 tRNAs.
Exome Sequencing of Phenotypic Extremes Identifies CAV2 and TMC6 as Interacting Modifiers of Chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infection in Cystic Fibrosis
Author Summary Whole exome and whole genome sequencing provide the opportunity to test for associations between expressed traits and genetic variants that cannot be tested with chip technology, particularly variants that are too rare to be included on chips designed for genome-wide association analysis. We used exome sequencing to identify variants in CAV2 and TMC6 that modify the age-of-onset of chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection among children with cystic fibrosis, and validated our findings in a large cohort of children with cystic fibrosis. For a fixed number of study participants, it is known that the extreme phenotypes design provides greater statistical power than a random sampling design. In the extreme phenotypes design, one compares the frequency of a given set of genetic variants in one extreme of age-of-onset (early onset) to that in the other extreme (late onset). Here, we employed an alternative design that compares genetic frequencies in exomes sampled from one extreme to that among exomes from a large set of controls. We show that this design confers substantially greater statistical power for discovery of CAV2 and TMC6 and provide general conditions under which this single extreme versus control design is more powerful than the extreme phenotypes design. Author Summary Whole exome and whole genome sequencing provide the opportunity to test for associations between expressed traits and genetic variants that cannot be tested with chip technology, particularly variants that are too rare to be included on chips designed for genome-wide association analysis. We used exome sequencing to identify variants in CAV2 and TMC6 that modify the age-of-onset of chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection among children with cystic fibrosis, and validated our findings in a large cohort of children with cystic fibrosis. For a fixed number of study participants, it is known that the extreme phenotypes design provides greater statistical power than a random sampling design. In the extreme phenotypes design, one compares the frequency of a given set of genetic variants in one extreme of age-of-onset (early onset) to that in the other extreme (late onset). Here, we employed an alternative design that compares genetic frequencies in exomes sampled from one extreme to that among exomes from a large set of controls. We show that this design confers substantially greater statistical power for discovery of CAV2 and TMC6 and provide general conditions under which this single extreme versus control design is more powerful than the extreme phenotypes design.Discovery of rare or low frequency variants in exome or genome data that are associated with complex traits often will require use of very large sample sizes to achieve adequate statistical power. For a fixed sample size, sequencing of individuals sampled from the tails of a phenotype distribution (i.e., extreme phenotypes design) maximizes power and this approach was recently validated empirically with the discovery of variants in DCTN4 that influence the natural history of P. aeruginosa airway infection in persons with cystic fibrosis (CF; MIM219700). The increasing availability of large exome/genome sequence datasets that serve as proxies for population-based controls affords the opportunity to test an alternative, potentially more powerful and generalizable strategy, in which the frequency of rare variants in a single extreme phenotypic group is compared to a control group (i.e., extreme phenotype vs. control population design). As proof-of-principle, we applied this approach to search for variants associated with risk for age-of-onset of chronic P. aeruginosa airway infection among individuals with CF and identified variants in CAV2 and TMC6 that were significantly associated with group status. These results were validated using a large, prospective, longitudinal CF cohort and confirmed a significant association of a variant in CAV2 with increased age-of-onset of P. aeruginosa airway infection (hazard ratio = 0.48, 95% CI=[0.32, 0.88]) and variants in TMC6 with diminished age-of-onset of P. aeruginosa airway infection (HR = 5.4, 95% CI=[2.2, 13.5]) A strong interaction between CAV2 and TMC6 variants was observed (HR=12.1, 95% CI=[3.8, 39]) for children with the deleterious TMC6 variant and without the CAV2 protective variant. Neither gene showed a significant association using an extreme phenotypes design, and conditions for which the power of an extreme phenotype vs. control population design was greater than that for the extreme phenotypes design were explored. Discovery of rare or low frequency variants in exome or genome data that are associated with complex traits often will require use of very large sample sizes to achieve adequate statistical power. For a fixed sample size, sequencing of individuals sampled from the tails of a phenotype distribution (i.e., extreme phenotypes design) maximizes power and this approach was recently validated empirically with the discovery of variants in DCTN4 that influence the natural history of P. aeruginosa airway infection in persons with cystic fibrosis (CF; MIM219700). The increasing availability of large exome/genome sequence datasets that serve as proxies for population-based controls affords the opportunity to test an alternative, potentially more powerful and generalizable strategy, in which the frequency of rare variants in a single extreme phenotypic group is compared to a control group (i.e., extreme phenotype vs. control population design). As proof-of-principle, we applied this approach to search for variants associated with risk for age-of-onset of chronic P. aeruginosa airway infection among individuals with CF and identified variants in CAV2 and TMC6 that were significantly associated with group status. These results were validated using a large, prospective, longitudinal CF cohort and confirmed a significant association of a variant in CAV2 with increased age-of-onset of P. aeruginosa airway infection (hazard ratio = 0.48, 95% CI=[0.32, 0.88]) and variants in TMC6 with diminished age-of-onset of P. aeruginosa airway infection (HR = 5.4, 95% CI=[2.2, 13.5]) A strong interaction between CAV2 and TMC6 variants was observed (HR=12.1, 95% CI=[3.8, 39]) for children with the deleterious TMC6 variant and without the CAV2 protective variant. Neither gene showed a significant association using an extreme phenotypes design, and conditions for which the power of an extreme phenotype vs. control population design was greater than that for the extreme phenotypes design were explored.
Genome Anatomy of Streptococcus parasanguinis Strain C1A, Isolated from a Patient with Acute Exacerbation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Reveals Unusual Genomic Features
Streptococcus parasanguinis causes invasive diseases. However, the mechanism by which it causes disease remains unclear. Here, we describe the complete genome sequence of S. parasanguinis C1A, isolated from a patient diagnosed with an acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Several genes that might be associated with pathogenesis are also described. Streptococcus parasanguinis causes invasive diseases. However, the mechanism by which it causes disease remains unclear. Here, we describe the complete genome sequence of S. parasanguinis C1A, isolated from a patient diagnosed with an acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Several genes that might be associated with pathogenesis are also described.
Intrahost Dynamics of Antiviral Resistance in Influenza A Virus Reflect Complex Patterns of Segment Linkage, Reassortment, and Natural Selection
IMPORTANCE Understanding the evolutionary forces that shape the genetic diversity of influenza virus is crucial for predicting the emergence of drug-resistant strains but remains challenging because multiple processes occur concurrently. We characterized the evolution of antiviral resistance in a single persistent influenza virus infection, representing the first case in which reassortment and the complex patterns of drug resistance emergence and evolution have been determined within an individual host. Deep-sequence data from multiple time points revealed that the evolution of antiviral resistance reflects a combination of frequent mutation, natural selection, and a complex pattern of segment linkage and reassortment. In sum, these data show how immunocompromised hosts may help reveal the drivers of strain emergence. IMPORTANCE Understanding the evolutionary forces that shape the genetic diversity of influenza virus is crucial for predicting the emergence of drug-resistant strains but remains challenging because multiple processes occur concurrently. We characterized the evolution of antiviral resistance in a single persistent influenza virus infection, representing the first case in which reassortment and the complex patterns of drug resistance emergence and evolution have been determined within an individual host. Deep-sequence data from multiple time points revealed that the evolution of antiviral resistance reflects a combination of frequent mutation, natural selection, and a complex pattern of segment linkage and reassortment. In sum, these data show how immunocompromised hosts may help reveal the drivers of strain emergence.ABSTRACT Resistance following antiviral therapy is commonly observed in human influenza viruses. Although this evolutionary process is initiated within individual hosts, little is known about the pattern, dynamics, and drivers of antiviral resistance at this scale, including the role played by reassortment. In addition, the short duration of human influenza virus infections limits the available time window in which to examine intrahost evolution. Using single-molecule sequencing, we mapped, in detail, the mutational spectrum of an H3N2 influenza A virus population sampled from an immunocompromised patient who shed virus over a 21-month period. In this unique natural experiment, we were able to document the complex dynamics underlying the evolution of antiviral resistance. Individual resistance mutations appeared weeks before they became dominant, evolved independently on cocirculating lineages, led to a genome-wide reduction in genetic diversity through a selective sweep, and were placed into new combinations by reassortment. Notably, despite frequent reassortment, phylogenetic analysis also provided evidence for specific patterns of segment linkage, with a strong association between the hemagglutinin (HA)- and matrix (M)-encoding segments that matches that previously observed at the epidemiological scale. In sum, we were able to reveal, for the first time, the complex interaction between multiple evolutionary processes as they occur within an individual host. ABSTRACT Resistance following antiviral therapy is commonly observed in human influenza viruses. Although this evolutionary process is initiated within individual hosts, little is known about the pattern, dynamics, and drivers of antiviral resistance at this scale, including the role played by reassortment. In addition, the short duration of human influenza virus infections limits the available time window in which to examine intrahost evolution. Using single-molecule sequencing, we mapped, in detail, the mutational spectrum of an H3N2 influenza A virus population sampled from an immunocompromised patient who shed virus over a 21-month period. In this unique natural experiment, we were able to document the complex dynamics underlying the evolution of antiviral resistance. Individual resistance mutations appeared weeks before they became dominant, evolved independently on cocirculating lineages, led to a genome-wide reduction in genetic diversity through a selective sweep, and were placed into new combinations by reassortment. Notably, despite frequent reassortment, phylogenetic analysis also provided evidence for specific patterns of segment linkage, with a strong association between the hemagglutinin (HA)- and matrix (M)-encoding segments that matches that previously observed at the epidemiological scale. In sum, we were able to reveal, for the first time, the complex interaction between multiple evolutionary processes as they occur within an individual host.
Genome and Transcriptome of Clostridium phytofermentans, Catalyst for the Direct Conversion of Plant Feedstocks to Fuels
Clostridium phytofermentans was isolated from forest soil and is distinguished by its capacity to directly ferment plant cell wall polysaccharides into ethanol as the primary product, suggesting that it possesses unusual catabolic pathways. The objective of the present study was to understand the molecular mechanisms of biomass conversion to ethanol in a single organism, Clostridium phytofermentans, by analyzing its complete genome and transcriptome during growth on plant carbohydrates. The saccharolytic versatility of C. phytofermentans is reflected in a diversity of genes encoding ATP-binding cassette sugar transporters and glycoside hydrolases, many of which may have been acquired through horizontal gene transfer. These genes are frequently organized as operons that may be controlled individually by the many transcriptional regulators identified in the genome. Preferential ethanol production may be due to high levels of expression of multiple ethanol dehydrogenases and additional pathways maximizing ethanol yield. The genome also encodes three different proteinaceous bacterial microcompartments with the capacity to compartmentalize pathways that divert fermentation intermediates to various products. These characteristics make C. phytofermentans an attractive resource for improving the efficiency and speed of biomass conversion to biofuels. Clostridium phytofermentans was isolated from forest soil and is distinguished by its capacity to directly ferment plant cell wall polysaccharides into ethanol as the primary product, suggesting that it possesses unusual catabolic pathways. The objective of the present study was to understand the molecular mechanisms of biomass conversion to ethanol in a single organism, Clostridium phytofermentans, by analyzing its complete genome and transcriptome during growth on plant carbohydrates. The saccharolytic versatility of C. phytofermentans is reflected in a diversity of genes encoding ATP-binding cassette sugar transporters and glycoside hydrolases, many of which may have been acquired through horizontal gene transfer. These genes are frequently organized as operons that may be controlled individually by the many transcriptional regulators identified in the genome. Preferential ethanol production may be due to high levels of expression of multiple ethanol dehydrogenases and additional pathways maximizing ethanol yield. The genome also encodes three different proteinaceous bacterial microcompartments with the capacity to compartmentalize pathways that divert fermentation intermediates to various products. These characteristics make C. phytofermentans an attractive resource for improving the efficiency and speed of biomass conversion to biofuels.
Complete Genome Sequence of Corynebacterium kutscheri DSM 20755, a Corynebacterial Type Strain with Remarkably Low G+C Content of Chromosomal DNA
The complete genome sequence of the type strain Corynebacterium kutscheri DSM 20755 comprises 2,354,065 bp and 2,047 protein-coding genes. The mean G+C content of the chromosomal DNA is 46.46%, which is the lowest value detected so far in a member of the genus Corynebacterium. The complete genome sequence of the type strain Corynebacterium kutscheri DSM 20755 comprises 2,354,065 bp and 2,047 protein-coding genes. The mean G+C content of the chromosomal DNA is 46.46%, which is the lowest value detected so far in a member of the genus Corynebacterium.
Serum biomarkers of Burkholderia mallei infection elucidated by proteomic imaging of skin and lung abscesses
Background The bacterium Burkholderia mallei is the etiological agent of glanders, a highly contagious, often fatal zoonotic infectious disease that is also a biodefense concern. Clinical laboratory assays that analyze blood or other biological fluids are the highest priority because these specimens can be collected with minimal risk to the patient. However, progress in developing sensitive assays for monitoring B. mallei infection is hampered by a shortage of useful biomarkers. Results Reasoning that there should be a strong correlation between the proteomes of infected tissues and circulating serum, we employed imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) of thin-sectioned tissues from Chlorocebus aethiops (African green) monkeys infected with B. mallei to localize host and pathogen proteins that were associated with abscesses. Using laser-capture microdissection of specific regions identified by IMS and histology within the tissue sections, a more extensive proteomic analysis was performed by a technique that combined the physical separation capabilities of liquid chromatography (LC) with the sensitive mass analysis capabilities of mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). By examining standard formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections, this strategy resulted in the identification of several proteins that were associated with lung and skin abscesses, including the host protein calprotectin and the pathogen protein GroEL. Elevated levels of calprotectin detected by ELISA and antibody responses to GroEL, measured by a microarray of the bacterial proteome, were subsequently detected in the sera of C. aethiops, Macaca mulatta, and Macaca fascicularis primates infected with B. mallei. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that a combination of multidimensional MS analysis of traditional histology specimens with high-content protein microarrays can be used to discover lead pairs of host-pathogen biomarkers of infection that are identifiable in biological fluids. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12014-015-9079-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Background The bacterium Burkholderia mallei is the etiological agent of glanders, a highly contagious, often fatal zoonotic infectious disease that is also a biodefense concern. Clinical laboratory assays that analyze blood or other biological fluids are the highest priority because these specimens can be collected with minimal risk to the patient. However, progress in developing sensitive assays for monitoring B. mallei infection is hampered by a shortage of useful biomarkers. Results Reasoning that there should be a strong correlation between the proteomes of infected tissues and circulating serum, we employed imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) of thin-sectioned tissues from Chlorocebus aethiops (African green) monkeys infected with B. mallei to localize host and pathogen proteins that were associated with abscesses. Using laser-capture microdissection of specific regions identified by IMS and histology within the tissue sections, a more extensive proteomic analysis was performed by a technique that combined the physical separation capabilities of liquid chromatography (LC) with the sensitive mass analysis capabilities of mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). By examining standard formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections, this strategy resulted in the identification of several proteins that were associated with lung and skin abscesses, including the host protein calprotectin and the pathogen protein GroEL. Elevated levels of calprotectin detected by ELISA and antibody responses to GroEL, measured by a microarray of the bacterial proteome, were subsequently detected in the sera of C. aethiops, Macaca mulatta, and Macaca fascicularis primates infected with B. mallei. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that a combination of multidimensional MS analysis of traditional histology specimens with high-content protein microarrays can be used to discover lead pairs of host-pathogen biomarkers of infection that are identifiable in biological fluids. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12014-015-9079-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Software aided automatic laser optoporation and transfection of cells
Optoporation, the permeabilization of a cell membrane by laser pulses, has emerged as a powerful non-invasive and highly efficient technique to induce transfection of cells. However, the usual tedious manual targeting of individual cells significantly limits the addressable cell number. To overcome this limitation, we present an experimental setup with custom-made software control, for computer-automated cell optoporation. The software evaluates the image contrast of cell contours, automatically designates cell locations for laser illumination, centres those locations in the laser focus, and executes the illumination. By software-controlled meandering of the sample stage, in principle all cells in a typical cell culture dish can be targeted without further user interaction. The automation allows for a significant increase in the number of treatable cells compared to a manual approach. For a laser illumination duration of 100 ms, 7-8 positions on different cells can be targeted every second inside the area of the microscope field of view. The experimental capabilities of the setup are illustrated in experiments with Chinese hamster ovary cells. Furthermore, the influence of laser power is discussed, with mention on post-treatment cell survival and optoporation-efficiency rates. Optoporation, the permeabilization of a cell membrane by laser pulses, has emerged as a powerful non-invasive and highly efficient technique to induce transfection of cells. However, the usual tedious manual targeting of individual cells significantly limits the addressable cell number. To overcome this limitation, we present an experimental setup with custom-made software control, for computer-automated cell optoporation. The software evaluates the image contrast of cell contours, automatically designates cell locations for laser illumination, centres those locations in the laser focus, and executes the illumination. By software-controlled meandering of the sample stage, in principle all cells in a typical cell culture dish can be targeted without further user interaction. The automation allows for a significant increase in the number of treatable cells compared to a manual approach. For a laser illumination duration of 100 ms, 7-8 positions on different cells can be targeted every second inside the area of the microscope field of view. The experimental capabilities of the setup are illustrated in experiments with Chinese hamster ovary cells. Furthermore, the influence of laser power is discussed, with mention on post-treatment cell survival and optoporation-efficiency rates.
Hybrid Vibrio cholerae El Tor Lacking SXT Identified as the Cause of a Cholera Outbreak in the Philippines
IMPORTANCE Genetic characterization and phylogenomics analysis of outbreak strains have proven to be critical for probing clonal relatedness to strains isolated in different geographical regions and over time. Recently, extensive genetic analyses of V. cholerae O1 strains isolated in different countries have been done. However, genome sequences of V. cholerae O1 isolates from the Philippines have not been available for epidemiological investigation. In this study, molecular typing and phylogenetic analysis of Vibrio cholerae isolated from both clinical and environmental samples in 2011 confirmed unique genetic features of the Philippines isolates, which are helpful to understand the global epidemiology of cholera. IMPORTANCE Genetic characterization and phylogenomics analysis of outbreak strains have proven to be critical for probing clonal relatedness to strains isolated in different geographical regions and over time. Recently, extensive genetic analyses of V. cholerae O1 strains isolated in different countries have been done. However, genome sequences of V. cholerae O1 isolates from the Philippines have not been available for epidemiological investigation. In this study, molecular typing and phylogenetic analysis of Vibrio cholerae isolated from both clinical and environmental samples in 2011 confirmed unique genetic features of the Philippines isolates, which are helpful to understand the global epidemiology of cholera.ABSTRACT Cholera continues to be a global threat, with high rates of morbidity and mortality. In 2011, a cholera outbreak occurred in Palawan, Philippines, affecting more than 500 people, and 20 individuals died. Vibrio cholerae O1 was confirmed as the etiological agent. Source attribution is critical in cholera outbreaks for proper management of the disease, as well as to control spread. In this study, three V. cholerae O1 isolates from a Philippines cholera outbreak were sequenced and their genomes analyzed to determine phylogenetic relatedness to V. cholerae O1 isolates from recent outbreaks of cholera elsewhere. The Philippines V. cholerae O1 isolates were determined to be V. cholerae O1 hybrid El Tor belonging to the seventh-pandemic clade. They clustered tightly, forming a monophyletic clade closely related to V. cholerae O1 hybrid El Tor from Asia and Africa. The isolates possess a unique multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) genotype (12-7-9-18-25 and 12-7-10-14-21) and lack SXT. In addition, they possess a novel 15-kb genomic island (GI-119) containing a predicted type I restriction-modification system. The CTXΦ-RS1 array of the Philippines isolates was similar to that of V. cholerae O1 MG116926, a hybrid El Tor strain isolated in Bangladesh in 1991. Overall, the data indicate that the Philippines V. cholerae O1 isolates are unique, differing from recent V. cholerae O1 isolates from Asia, Africa, and Haiti. Furthermore, the results of this study support the hypothesis that the Philippines isolates of V. cholerae O1 are indigenous and exist locally in the aquatic ecosystem of the Philippines. ABSTRACT Cholera continues to be a global threat, with high rates of morbidity and mortality. In 2011, a cholera outbreak occurred in Palawan, Philippines, affecting more than 500 people, and 20 individuals died. Vibrio cholerae O1 was confirmed as the etiological agent. Source attribution is critical in cholera outbreaks for proper management of the disease, as well as to control spread. In this study, three V. cholerae O1 isolates from a Philippines cholera outbreak were sequenced and their genomes analyzed to determine phylogenetic relatedness to V. cholerae O1 isolates from recent outbreaks of cholera elsewhere. The Philippines V. cholerae O1 isolates were determined to be V. cholerae O1 hybrid El Tor belonging to the seventh-pandemic clade. They clustered tightly, forming a monophyletic clade closely related to V. cholerae O1 hybrid El Tor from Asia and Africa. The isolates possess a unique multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) genotype (12-7-9-18-25 and 12-7-10-14-21) and lack SXT. In addition, they possess a novel 15-kb genomic island (GI-119) containing a predicted type I restriction-modification system. The CTXΦ-RS1 array of the Philippines isolates was similar to that of V. cholerae O1 MG116926, a hybrid El Tor strain isolated in Bangladesh in 1991. Overall, the data indicate that the Philippines V. cholerae O1 isolates are unique, differing from recent V. cholerae O1 isolates from Asia, Africa, and Haiti. Furthermore, the results of this study support the hypothesis that the Philippines isolates of V. cholerae O1 are indigenous and exist locally in the aquatic ecosystem of the Philippines.
Integrative conjugative elements of the ICEPan family play a potential role in Pantoea ananatis ecological diversification and antibiosis
Pantoea ananatis is a highly versatile enterobacterium isolated from diverse environmental sources. The ecological diversity of this species may be attributed, in part, to the acquisition of mobile genetic elements. One such element is an Integrative and Conjugative Element (ICE). By means of in silico analyses the ICE elements belonging to a novel family, ICEPan, were identified in the genome sequences of five P. ananatis strains and characterized. PCR screening showed that ICEPan is prevalent among P. ananatis strains isolated from different environmental sources and geographic locations. Members of the ICEPan family share a common origin with ICEs of other enterobacteria, as well as conjugative plasmids of Erwinia spp. Aside from core modules for ICEPan integration, maintenance and dissemination, the ICEPan contain extensive non-conserved islands coding for proteins that may contribute toward various phenotypes such as stress response and antibiosis, and the highly diverse ICEPan thus plays a major role in the diversification of P. ananatis. An island is furthermore integrated within an ICEPan DNA repair-encoding locus umuDC and we postulate its role in stress-induced dissemination and/or expression of the genes on this island. Pantoea ananatis is a highly versatile enterobacterium isolated from diverse environmental sources. The ecological diversity of this species may be attributed, in part, to the acquisition of mobile genetic elements. One such element is an Integrative and Conjugative Element (ICE). By means of in silico analyses the ICE elements belonging to a novel family, ICEPan, were identified in the genome sequences of five P. ananatis strains and characterized. PCR screening showed that ICEPan is prevalent among P. ananatis strains isolated from different environmental sources and geographic locations. Members of the ICEPan family share a common origin with ICEs of other enterobacteria, as well as conjugative plasmids of Erwinia spp. Aside from core modules for ICEPan integration, maintenance and dissemination, the ICEPan contain extensive non-conserved islands coding for proteins that may contribute toward various phenotypes such as stress response and antibiosis, and the highly diverse ICEPan thus plays a major role in the diversification of P. ananatis. An island is furthermore integrated within an ICEPan DNA repair-encoding locus umuDC and we postulate its role in stress-induced dissemination and/or expression of the genes on this island.
Quantitative and qualitative analysis of small RNAs in human endothelial cells and exosomes provides insights into localized RNA processing, degradation and sorting
Exosomes are small vesicles that mediate cell–cell communication. They contain proteins, lipids and RNA, and evidence is accumulating that these molecules are specifically sorted for release via exosomes. We recently showed that endothelial-cell-produced exosomes promote angiogenesis in vivo in a small RNA-dependent manner. Recent deep sequencing studies in exosomes from lymphocytic origin revealed a broad spectrum of small RNAs. However, selective depletion or incorporation of small RNA species into endothelial exosomes has not been studied extensively. With next generation sequencing, we identified all known non-coding RNA classes, including microRNAs (miRNAs), small nucleolar RNAs, yRNAs, vault RNAs, 5p and 3p fragments of miRNAs and miRNA-like fragments. In addition, we mapped many fragments of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and mitochondrial RNAs (mtRNAs). The distribution of small RNAs in exosomes revealed a considerable overlap with the distribution in the producing cells. However, we identified a remarkable enrichment of yRNA fragments and mRNA degradation products in exosomes consistent with yRNAs having a role in degradation of structured and misfolded RNAs in close proximity to endosomes. We propose that endothelial endosomes selectively sequester cytoplasmic RNA-degrading machineries taking part in gene regulation. The release of these regulatory RNAs via exosomes may have implications for endothelial cell–cell communication. Exosomes are small vesicles that mediate cell–cell communication. They contain proteins, lipids and RNA, and evidence is accumulating that these molecules are specifically sorted for release via exosomes. We recently showed that endothelial-cell-produced exosomes promote angiogenesis in vivo in a small RNA-dependent manner. Recent deep sequencing studies in exosomes from lymphocytic origin revealed a broad spectrum of small RNAs. However, selective depletion or incorporation of small RNA species into endothelial exosomes has not been studied extensively. With next generation sequencing, we identified all known non-coding RNA classes, including microRNAs (miRNAs), small nucleolar RNAs, yRNAs, vault RNAs, 5p and 3p fragments of miRNAs and miRNA-like fragments. In addition, we mapped many fragments of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and mitochondrial RNAs (mtRNAs). The distribution of small RNAs in exosomes revealed a considerable overlap with the distribution in the producing cells. However, we identified a remarkable enrichment of yRNA fragments and mRNA degradation products in exosomes consistent with yRNAs having a role in degradation of structured and misfolded RNAs in close proximity to endosomes. We propose that endothelial endosomes selectively sequester cytoplasmic RNA-degrading machineries taking part in gene regulation. The release of these regulatory RNAs via exosomes may have implications for endothelial cell–cell communication.
Trans species polymorphism at antimicrobial innate immunity cathelicidin genes of Atlantic cod and related species
Natural selection, the most important force in evolution, comes in three forms. Negative purifying selection removes deleterious variation and maintains adaptations. Positive directional selection fixes beneficial variants, producing new adaptations. Balancing selection maintains variation in a population. Important mechanisms of balancing selection include heterozygote advantage, frequency-dependent advantage of rarity, and local and fluctuating episodic selection. A rare pathogen gains an advantage because host defenses are predominantly effective against prevalent types. Similarly, a rare immune variant gives its host an advantage because the prevalent pathogens cannot escape the host’s apostatic defense. Due to the stochastic nature of evolution, neutral variation may accumulate on genealogical branches, but trans-species polymorphisms are rare under neutrality and are strong evidence for balancing selection. Balanced polymorphism maintains diversity at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in vertebrates. The Atlantic cod is missing genes for both MHC-II and CD4, vital parts of the adaptive immune system. Nevertheless, cod are healthy in their ecological niche, maintaining large populations that support major commercial fisheries. Innate immunity is of interest from an evolutionary perspective, particularly in taxa lacking adaptive immunity. Here, we analyze extensive amino acid and nucleotide polymorphisms of the cathelicidin gene family in Atlantic cod and closely related taxa. There are three major clusters, Cath1, Cath2, and Cath3, that we consider to be paralogous genes. There is extensive nucleotide and amino acid allelic variation between and within clusters. The major feature of the results is that the variation clusters by alleles and not by species in phylogenetic trees and discriminant analysis of principal components. Variation within the three groups shows trans-species polymorphism that is older than speciation and that is suggestive of balancing selection maintaining the variation. Using Bayesian and likelihood methods positive and negative selection is evident at sites in the conserved part of the genes and, to a larger extent, in the active part which also shows episodic diversifying selection, further supporting the argument for balancing selection. Natural selection, the most important force in evolution, comes in three forms. Negative purifying selection removes deleterious variation and maintains adaptations. Positive directional selection fixes beneficial variants, producing new adaptations. Balancing selection maintains variation in a population. Important mechanisms of balancing selection include heterozygote advantage, frequency-dependent advantage of rarity, and local and fluctuating episodic selection. A rare pathogen gains an advantage because host defenses are predominantly effective against prevalent types. Similarly, a rare immune variant gives its host an advantage because the prevalent pathogens cannot escape the host’s apostatic defense. Due to the stochastic nature of evolution, neutral variation may accumulate on genealogical branches, but trans-species polymorphisms are rare under neutrality and are strong evidence for balancing selection. Balanced polymorphism maintains diversity at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in vertebrates. The Atlantic cod is missing genes for both MHC-II and CD4, vital parts of the adaptive immune system. Nevertheless, cod are healthy in their ecological niche, maintaining large populations that support major commercial fisheries. Innate immunity is of interest from an evolutionary perspective, particularly in taxa lacking adaptive immunity. Here, we analyze extensive amino acid and nucleotide polymorphisms of the cathelicidin gene family in Atlantic cod and closely related taxa. There are three major clusters, Cath1, Cath2, and Cath3, that we consider to be paralogous genes. There is extensive nucleotide and amino acid allelic variation between and within clusters. The major feature of the results is that the variation clusters by alleles and not by species in phylogenetic trees and discriminant analysis of principal components. Variation within the three groups shows trans-species polymorphism that is older than speciation and that is suggestive of balancing selection maintaining the variation. Using Bayesian and likelihood methods positive and negative selection is evident at sites in the conserved part of the genes and, to a larger extent, in the active part which also shows episodic diversifying selection, further supporting the argument for balancing selection.
Exome Analysis of Patients with Concurrent Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Autoimmune Disease
Article first published online 17 April 2015. Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text. Article first published online 17 April 2015. Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.Background: Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (PIBD) is a chronic condition seen in genetically predisposed individuals. Genome-wide association studies have implicated >160 genomic loci in IBD with many genes coding for proteins in key immune pathways. This study looks at autoimmune disease burden in patients diagnosed with PIBD and interrogates exome data of a subset of patients. Methods: Patients were recruited from the Southampton Genetics of PIBD cohort. Clinical diagnosis of autoimmune disease in these individuals was ascertained from medical records. For a subset of patients with PIBD and concurrent asthma, exome data was interrogated to ascertain the burden of pathogenic variants within genes implicated in asthma. Association testing was conducted between cases and population controls using the SKAT-O test. Results: Forty-nine (28.3%) PIBD children (18.49% CD, 8.6% UC, and 21.15% IBDU patients) had a concurrent clinical diagnosis of at least one other autoimmune disorder; asthma was the most prevalent, affecting 16.2% of the PIBD cohort. Rare and common variant association testing revealed 6 significant genes (P < 0.05) before Bonferroni adjustment. Three of these genes were previously implicated in both asthma and IBD (ZPBP2 IL1R1, and IL18R1) and 3 in asthma only (PYHIN1, IL2RB, and GSTP1). Conclusions: One-third of our cohort had a concurrent autoimmune condition. We observed higher incidence of asthma compared with the overall pediatric prevalence. Despite a small sample size, SKAT-O evaluated a significant burden of rare and common mutations in 6 genes. Variant burden suggests that a systemic immune dysregulation rather than organ-specific could underpin immune dysfunction for a subset of patients. Background: Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (PIBD) is a chronic condition seen in genetically predisposed individuals. Genome-wide association studies have implicated >160 genomic loci in IBD with many genes coding for proteins in key immune pathways. This study looks at autoimmune disease burden in patients diagnosed with PIBD and interrogates exome data of a subset of patients. Methods: Patients were recruited from the Southampton Genetics of PIBD cohort. Clinical diagnosis of autoimmune disease in these individuals was ascertained from medical records. For a subset of patients with PIBD and concurrent asthma, exome data was interrogated to ascertain the burden of pathogenic variants within genes implicated in asthma. Association testing was conducted between cases and population controls using the SKAT-O test. Results: Forty-nine (28.3%) PIBD children (18.49% CD, 8.6% UC, and 21.15% IBDU patients) had a concurrent clinical diagnosis of at least one other autoimmune disorder; asthma was the most prevalent, affecting 16.2% of the PIBD cohort. Rare and common variant association testing revealed 6 significant genes (P < 0.05) before Bonferroni adjustment. Three of these genes were previously implicated in both asthma and IBD (ZPBP2 IL1R1, and IL18R1) and 3 in asthma only (PYHIN1, IL2RB, and GSTP1). Conclusions: One-third of our cohort had a concurrent autoimmune condition. We observed higher incidence of asthma compared with the overall pediatric prevalence. Despite a small sample size, SKAT-O evaluated a significant burden of rare and common mutations in 6 genes. Variant burden suggests that a systemic immune dysregulation rather than organ-specific could underpin immune dysfunction for a subset of patients.
An effective plasma membrane proteomics approach for small tissue samples
Advancing the quest for new drug targets demands the development of innovative plasma membrane proteome research strategies applicable to small, functionally defined tissue samples. Biotinylation of acute tissue slices and streptavidin pull-down followed by shotgun proteomics allowed the selective extraction and identification of >1,600 proteins of which >60% are associated with the plasma membrane, including (G-protein coupled) receptors, ion channels and transporters, and this from mm3-scale tissue. Advancing the quest for new drug targets demands the development of innovative plasma membrane proteome research strategies applicable to small, functionally defined tissue samples. Biotinylation of acute tissue slices and streptavidin pull-down followed by shotgun proteomics allowed the selective extraction and identification of >1,600 proteins of which >60% are associated with the plasma membrane, including (G-protein coupled) receptors, ion channels and transporters, and this from mm3-scale tissue.
Identification and functional characterization of Toll like receptor 2–1 in geese
Background Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), an important pattern recognition receptor, activates proinflammatory pathways in response to various pathogens. It has been reported in humans and chicken, but not in geese, an important waterfowl species in China. Since some vaccines stimulate robust immune responsesl in chicken but not in geeeses we speculated that their immune systems are different. Results In this study, we cloned the goose TLR2-1 gene using rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE)and showed that geese TLR2-1 encoded a 793-amino-acid protein, containing a signal secretion peptide, an extracellular leucine-rich repeat domain, a transmembrane domain and a Toll/interleukin-1 receptor signaling domain deduced from amino acid sequence. TLR2-1 shared 38.4%–93.5% homology with its homologues in other species. Tissue expression of geese TLR2-1 varied markedly, and was higher in kidney, cloacal bursa, skin and brain compared to other organs/tissues. HEK293 cells transfected with plasmids carrying goose TLR2-1 and NF-κB-luciferase responded significantly to stimulation with Mycoplasma fermentans lipopeptide. Furthermore, geese infected with Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) and Salmonella enteritidis (SE) showed significant upregulation of TLR2-1 in both in vivo and in vitro. Conclusion Geese TLR2-1 is a functional homologue of TLR2 present in other species and plays an important role in bacterial recognition in geese. Background Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), an important pattern recognition receptor, activates proinflammatory pathways in response to various pathogens. It has been reported in humans and chicken, but not in geese, an important waterfowl species in China. Since some vaccines stimulate robust immune responsesl in chicken but not in geeeses we speculated that their immune systems are different. Results In this study, we cloned the goose TLR2-1 gene using rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE)and showed that geese TLR2-1 encoded a 793-amino-acid protein, containing a signal secretion peptide, an extracellular leucine-rich repeat domain, a transmembrane domain and a Toll/interleukin-1 receptor signaling domain deduced from amino acid sequence. TLR2-1 shared 38.4%–93.5% homology with its homologues in other species. Tissue expression of geese TLR2-1 varied markedly, and was higher in kidney, cloacal bursa, skin and brain compared to other organs/tissues. HEK293 cells transfected with plasmids carrying goose TLR2-1 and NF-κB-luciferase responded significantly to stimulation with Mycoplasma fermentans lipopeptide. Furthermore, geese infected with Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) and Salmonella enteritidis (SE) showed significant upregulation of TLR2-1 in both in vivo and in vitro. Conclusion Geese TLR2-1 is a functional homologue of TLR2 present in other species and plays an important role in bacterial recognition in geese.
Diverse coupling of neurons to populations in sensory cortex
A large population of neurons can in principle produce an astronomical number of distinct firing patterns. In cortex however, these patterns lie in a space of lower dimension1-4, as if individual neurons were “obedient members of a huge orchestra”5. Here we use recordings from the visual cortex of mouse and monkey to investigate the relationship between individual neurons and the population, and to establish the underlying circuit mechanisms. We show that neighbouring neurons can differ in their coupling to the overall firing of the population, ranging from strongly coupled “choristers” to weakly coupled “soloists”. Population coupling is largely independent of sensory preferences, and it is a fixed cellular attribute, invariant to stimulus conditions. Neurons with high population coupling are more strongly affected by non-sensory behavioural variables such as motor intention. Population coupling reflects a causal relationship, predicting a neuron’s response to optogenetically-driven increases in local activity. Moreover, population coupling indicates synaptic connectivity: a neuron’s population coupling, measured in vivo, predicted subsequent in vitro estimates of the number of synapses received from its neighbours. Finally, population coupling provides a compact summary of population activity: knowledge of the population couplings of N neurons predicts a substantial portion of their N2 pairwise correlations. Population coupling therefore represents a novel, simple measure that characterises each neuron’s relationship to a larger population, explaining seemingly complex network firing patterns in terms of basic circuit variables. A large population of neurons can in principle produce an astronomical number of distinct firing patterns. In cortex however, these patterns lie in a space of lower dimension1-4, as if individual neurons were “obedient members of a huge orchestra”5. Here we use recordings from the visual cortex of mouse and monkey to investigate the relationship between individual neurons and the population, and to establish the underlying circuit mechanisms. We show that neighbouring neurons can differ in their coupling to the overall firing of the population, ranging from strongly coupled “choristers” to weakly coupled “soloists”. Population coupling is largely independent of sensory preferences, and it is a fixed cellular attribute, invariant to stimulus conditions. Neurons with high population coupling are more strongly affected by non-sensory behavioural variables such as motor intention. Population coupling reflects a causal relationship, predicting a neuron’s response to optogenetically-driven increases in local activity. Moreover, population coupling indicates synaptic connectivity: a neuron’s population coupling, measured in vivo, predicted subsequent in vitro estimates of the number of synapses received from its neighbours. Finally, population coupling provides a compact summary of population activity: knowledge of the population couplings of N neurons predicts a substantial portion of their N2 pairwise correlations. Population coupling therefore represents a novel, simple measure that characterises each neuron’s relationship to a larger population, explaining seemingly complex network firing patterns in terms of basic circuit variables.
Efficient Detection of Novel Nuclear Markers for Brassicaceae by Transcriptome Sequencing
The lack of DNA sequence information for most non-model organisms impairs the design of primers that are universally applicable for the study of molecular polymorphisms in nuclear markers. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques nowadays provide a powerful approach to overcome this limitation. We present a flexible and inexpensive method to identify large numbers of nuclear primer pairs that amplify in most Brassicaceae species. We first obtained and mapped NGS transcriptome sequencing reads from two of the distantly related Brassicaceae species, Cardamine hirsuta and Arabis alpina, onto the Arabidopsis thaliana reference genome, and then identified short conserved sequence motifs among the three species bioinformatically. From these, primer pairs to amplify coding regions (nuclear protein coding loci, NPCL) and exon-primed intron-crossing sequences (EPIC) were developed. We identified 2,334 universally applicable primer pairs, targeting 1,164 genes, which provide a large pool of markers as readily usable genomic resource that will help addressing novel questions in the Brassicaceae family. Testing a subset of the newly designed nuclear primer pairs revealed that a great majority yielded a single amplicon in all of the 30 investigated Brassicaceae taxa. Sequence analysis and phylogenetic reconstruction with a subset of these markers on different levels of phylogenetic divergence in the mustard family were compared with previous studies. The results corroborate the usefulness of the newly developed primer pairs, e.g., for phylogenetic analyses or population genetic studies. Thus, our method provides a cost-effective approach for designing nuclear loci across a broad range of taxa and is compatible with current NGS technologies. The lack of DNA sequence information for most non-model organisms impairs the design of primers that are universally applicable for the study of molecular polymorphisms in nuclear markers. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques nowadays provide a powerful approach to overcome this limitation. We present a flexible and inexpensive method to identify large numbers of nuclear primer pairs that amplify in most Brassicaceae species. We first obtained and mapped NGS transcriptome sequencing reads from two of the distantly related Brassicaceae species, Cardamine hirsuta and Arabis alpina, onto the Arabidopsis thaliana reference genome, and then identified short conserved sequence motifs among the three species bioinformatically. From these, primer pairs to amplify coding regions (nuclear protein coding loci, NPCL) and exon-primed intron-crossing sequences (EPIC) were developed. We identified 2,334 universally applicable primer pairs, targeting 1,164 genes, which provide a large pool of markers as readily usable genomic resource that will help addressing novel questions in the Brassicaceae family. Testing a subset of the newly designed nuclear primer pairs revealed that a great majority yielded a single amplicon in all of the 30 investigated Brassicaceae taxa. Sequence analysis and phylogenetic reconstruction with a subset of these markers on different levels of phylogenetic divergence in the mustard family were compared with previous studies. The results corroborate the usefulness of the newly developed primer pairs, e.g., for phylogenetic analyses or population genetic studies. Thus, our method provides a cost-effective approach for designing nuclear loci across a broad range of taxa and is compatible with current NGS technologies.
Revealing the unexplored fungal communities in deep groundwater of crystalline bedrock fracture zones in Olkiluoto, Finland
The diversity and functional role of fungi, one of the ecologically most important groups of eukaryotic microorganisms, remains largely unknown in deep biosphere environments. In this study we investigated fungal communities in packer-isolated bedrock fractures in Olkiluoto, Finland at depths ranging from 296 to 798 m below surface level. DNA- and cDNA-based high-throughput amplicon sequencing analysis of the fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) gene markers was used to examine the total fungal diversity and to identify the active members in deep fracture zones at different depths. Results showed that fungi were present in fracture zones at all depths and fungal diversity was higher than expected. Most of the observed fungal sequences belonged to the phylum Ascomycota. Phyla Basidiomycota and Chytridiomycota were only represented as a minor part of the fungal community. Dominating fungal classes in the deep bedrock aquifers were Sordariomycetes, Eurotiomycetes, and Dothideomycetes from the Ascomycota phylum and classes Microbotryomycetes and Tremellomycetes from the Basidiomycota phylum, which are the most frequently detected fungal taxa reported also from deep sea environments. In addition some fungal sequences represented potentially novel fungal species. Active fungi were detected in most of the fracture zones, which proves that fungi are able to maintain cellular activity in these oligotrophic conditions. Possible roles of fungi and their origin in deep bedrock groundwater can only be speculated in the light of current knowledge but some species may be specifically adapted to deep subsurface environment and may play important roles in the utilization and recycling of nutrients and thus sustaining the deep subsurface microbial community. The diversity and functional role of fungi, one of the ecologically most important groups of eukaryotic microorganisms, remains largely unknown in deep biosphere environments. In this study we investigated fungal communities in packer-isolated bedrock fractures in Olkiluoto, Finland at depths ranging from 296 to 798 m below surface level. DNA- and cDNA-based high-throughput amplicon sequencing analysis of the fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) gene markers was used to examine the total fungal diversity and to identify the active members in deep fracture zones at different depths. Results showed that fungi were present in fracture zones at all depths and fungal diversity was higher than expected. Most of the observed fungal sequences belonged to the phylum Ascomycota. Phyla Basidiomycota and Chytridiomycota were only represented as a minor part of the fungal community. Dominating fungal classes in the deep bedrock aquifers were Sordariomycetes, Eurotiomycetes, and Dothideomycetes from the Ascomycota phylum and classes Microbotryomycetes and Tremellomycetes from the Basidiomycota phylum, which are the most frequently detected fungal taxa reported also from deep sea environments. In addition some fungal sequences represented potentially novel fungal species. Active fungi were detected in most of the fracture zones, which proves that fungi are able to maintain cellular activity in these oligotrophic conditions. Possible roles of fungi and their origin in deep bedrock groundwater can only be speculated in the light of current knowledge but some species may be specifically adapted to deep subsurface environment and may play important roles in the utilization and recycling of nutrients and thus sustaining the deep subsurface microbial community.
A cupin domain containing protein with a quercetinase activity (VdQase) regulates Verticillium dahliae's pathogenicity and contributes to counteracting host defenses
We previously identified rutin as part of potato root responses to its pathogen Verticillium dahliae. Rutin was directly toxic to the pathogen at doses greater than 160 μM, a threshold below which many V. dahliae pathogenicity-related genes were up-regulated. We identified and characterized a cupin domain-containing protein (VdQase) with a dioxygenase activity and a potential role in V. dahliae-potato interactions. The pathogenicity of VdQase knock-out mutants generated through Agrobacterium tumefasciens-mediated transformation was significantly reduced on susceptible potato cultivar Kennebec compared to wild type isolates. Fluorescence microscopy revealed a higher accumulation of flavonols in the stems of infected potatoes and a higher concentration of rutin in the leaves in response to the VdQase mutants as compared to wild type isolates. This, along with the HPLC characterization of high residual and non-utilized quercetin in presence of the knockout mutants, indicates the involvement of VdQase in the catabolism of quercetin and possibly other flavonols in planta. Quantification of Salicylic and Jasmonic Acids (SA, JA) in response to the mutants vs. wild type isolates revealed involvement of VdQase in the interference with signaling, suggesting a role in pathogenicity. It is hypothesized that the by-product of dioxygenation 2-protocatechuoylphloroglucinolcarboxylic acid, after dissociating into phloroglucinol and protocatechuoyl moieties, becomes a starting point for benzoic acid and SA, thereby interfering with the JA pathway and affecting the interaction outcome. These events may be key factors for V. dahliae in countering potato defenses and becoming notorious in the rhizosphere. We previously identified rutin as part of potato root responses to its pathogen Verticillium dahliae. Rutin was directly toxic to the pathogen at doses greater than 160 μM, a threshold below which many V. dahliae pathogenicity-related genes were up-regulated. We identified and characterized a cupin domain-containing protein (VdQase) with a dioxygenase activity and a potential role in V. dahliae-potato interactions. The pathogenicity of VdQase knock-out mutants generated through Agrobacterium tumefasciens-mediated transformation was significantly reduced on susceptible potato cultivar Kennebec compared to wild type isolates. Fluorescence microscopy revealed a higher accumulation of flavonols in the stems of infected potatoes and a higher concentration of rutin in the leaves in response to the VdQase mutants as compared to wild type isolates. This, along with the HPLC characterization of high residual and non-utilized quercetin in presence of the knockout mutants, indicates the involvement of VdQase in the catabolism of quercetin and possibly other flavonols in planta. Quantification of Salicylic and Jasmonic Acids (SA, JA) in response to the mutants vs. wild type isolates revealed involvement of VdQase in the interference with signaling, suggesting a role in pathogenicity. It is hypothesized that the by-product of dioxygenation 2-protocatechuoylphloroglucinolcarboxylic acid, after dissociating into phloroglucinol and protocatechuoyl moieties, becomes a starting point for benzoic acid and SA, thereby interfering with the JA pathway and affecting the interaction outcome. These events may be key factors for V. dahliae in countering potato defenses and becoming notorious in the rhizosphere.
Identification and Knockdown of the Olfactory Receptor (OrCo) in Gypsy Moth, Lymantria dispar
The gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, is an important economic pest that causes large-scale damage to forests worldwide. Because of its important role in initiating and controlling insect behavior, olfaction—and olfaction-based pest management—has drawn increasing attention from entomologists. In this study, we identified the gene that encodes the olfactory receptor co-receptor (OrCo). Through amino acid sequence alignment, we found that LdisOrCo shares high identity with other OrCo proteins from different insect orders. Next, we performed RNA-interference (RNAi) to assess the role of OrCo in olfaction. Electroantennographic assays showed that after RNAi, the average value of males' response to sex pheromones was 0.636 mV, significantly lower than that of the positive control (average = 1.472 mV). Females showed no response to sex pheromones before or after RNAi. Finally, quantitative PCR showed a strong decrease in the expression of OrCo after RNAi, by ~74% in males and by 23% in females relative to the positive controls. These results indicate that OrCo is not only critical to odor recognition, but it may also represent a new target for development of semiochemicals that can influence insect behavior. The gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, is an important economic pest that causes large-scale damage to forests worldwide. Because of its important role in initiating and controlling insect behavior, olfaction—and olfaction-based pest management—has drawn increasing attention from entomologists. In this study, we identified the gene that encodes the olfactory receptor co-receptor (OrCo). Through amino acid sequence alignment, we found that LdisOrCo shares high identity with other OrCo proteins from different insect orders. Next, we performed RNA-interference (RNAi) to assess the role of OrCo in olfaction. Electroantennographic assays showed that after RNAi, the average value of males' response to sex pheromones was 0.636 mV, significantly lower than that of the positive control (average = 1.472 mV). Females showed no response to sex pheromones before or after RNAi. Finally, quantitative PCR showed a strong decrease in the expression of OrCo after RNAi, by ~74% in males and by 23% in females relative to the positive controls. These results indicate that OrCo is not only critical to odor recognition, but it may also represent a new target for development of semiochemicals that can influence insect behavior.
Expression of leukemia inhibitory factor in Müller glia cells is regulated by a redox dependent mRNA stability mechanism
Background Photoreceptor degeneration is a main hallmark of many blinding diseases making protection of photoreceptors crucial to prevent vision loss. Thus, regulation of endogenous neuroprotective factors may be key for cell survival and attenuation of disease progression. Important neuroprotective factors in the retina include H2O2 generated by injured photoreceptors, and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) expressed in Müller glia cells in response to photoreceptor damage. Results We present evidence that H2O2 connects to the LIF response by inducing stabilization of Lif transcripts in Müller cells. This process was independent of active gene transcription and p38 MAPK, but relied on AU-rich elements (AREs), which we identified within the highly conserved Lif 3′UTR. Affinity purification combined with quantitative mass spectrometry identified several proteins that bound to these AREs. Among those, interleukin enhancer binding factor 3 (ILF3) was confirmed to participate in the redox-dependent Lif mRNA stabilization. Additionally we show that KH-type splicing regulatory protein (KHSRP) was crucial for maintaining basal Lif expression levels in non-stressed Müller cells. Conclusions Our results suggest that H2O2-induced redox signaling increases Lif transcript levels through ILF3 mediated mRNA stabilization. Generation of H2O2 by injured photoreceptors may thus enhance stability of Lif mRNA and therefore augment neuroprotective LIF signaling during degenerative conditions in vivo. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12915-015-0137-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Background Photoreceptor degeneration is a main hallmark of many blinding diseases making protection of photoreceptors crucial to prevent vision loss. Thus, regulation of endogenous neuroprotective factors may be key for cell survival and attenuation of disease progression. Important neuroprotective factors in the retina include H2O2 generated by injured photoreceptors, and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) expressed in Müller glia cells in response to photoreceptor damage. Results We present evidence that H2O2 connects to the LIF response by inducing stabilization of Lif transcripts in Müller cells. This process was independent of active gene transcription and p38 MAPK, but relied on AU-rich elements (AREs), which we identified within the highly conserved Lif 3′UTR. Affinity purification combined with quantitative mass spectrometry identified several proteins that bound to these AREs. Among those, interleukin enhancer binding factor 3 (ILF3) was confirmed to participate in the redox-dependent Lif mRNA stabilization. Additionally we show that KH-type splicing regulatory protein (KHSRP) was crucial for maintaining basal Lif expression levels in non-stressed Müller cells. Conclusions Our results suggest that H2O2-induced redox signaling increases Lif transcript levels through ILF3 mediated mRNA stabilization. Generation of H2O2 by injured photoreceptors may thus enhance stability of Lif mRNA and therefore augment neuroprotective LIF signaling during degenerative conditions in vivo. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12915-015-0137-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Co cultivation and transcriptome sequencing of two co existing fish pathogens Moritella viscosa and Aliivibrio wodanis
Background Aliivibrio wodanis and Moritella viscosa have often been isolated concurrently from fish with winter-ulcer disease. Little is known about the interaction between the two bacterial species and how the presence of one bacterial species affects the behaviour of the other. Results The impact on bacterial growth in co-culture was investigated in vitro, and the presence of A. wodanis has an inhibitorial effect on M. viscosa. Further, we have sequenced the complete genomes of these two marine Gram-negative species, and have performed transcriptome analysis of the bacterial gene expression levels from in vivo samples. Using bacterial implants in the fish abdomen, we demonstrate that the presence of A. wodanis is altering the gene expression levels of M. viscosa compared to when the bacteria are implanted separately. Conclusions From expression profiling of the transcriptomes, it is evident that the presence of A. wodanis is altering the global gene expression of M. viscosa. Co-cultivation studies showed that A. wodanis is impeding the growth of M. viscosa, and that the inhibitorial effect is not contact-dependent. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1669-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Background Aliivibrio wodanis and Moritella viscosa have often been isolated concurrently from fish with winter-ulcer disease. Little is known about the interaction between the two bacterial species and how the presence of one bacterial species affects the behaviour of the other. Results The impact on bacterial growth in co-culture was investigated in vitro, and the presence of A. wodanis has an inhibitorial effect on M. viscosa. Further, we have sequenced the complete genomes of these two marine Gram-negative species, and have performed transcriptome analysis of the bacterial gene expression levels from in vivo samples. Using bacterial implants in the fish abdomen, we demonstrate that the presence of A. wodanis is altering the gene expression levels of M. viscosa compared to when the bacteria are implanted separately. Conclusions From expression profiling of the transcriptomes, it is evident that the presence of A. wodanis is altering the global gene expression of M. viscosa. Co-cultivation studies showed that A. wodanis is impeding the growth of M. viscosa, and that the inhibitorial effect is not contact-dependent. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1669-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Pyrosequencing revealed shifts of prokaryotic communities between healthy and disease like tissues of the Red Sea sponge Crella cyathophora
Sponge diseases have been widely reported, yet the causal factors and major pathogenic microbes remain elusive. In this study, two individuals of the sponge Crella cyathophora in total that showed similar disease-like characteristics were collected from two different locations along the Red Sea coast separated by more than 30 kilometers. The disease-like parts of the two individuals were both covered by green surfaces, and the body size was much smaller compared with adjacent healthy regions. Here, using high-throughput pyrosequencing technology, we investigated the prokaryotic communities in healthy and disease-like sponge tissues as well as adjacent seawater. Microbes in healthy tissues belonged mainly to the Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria and Bacteroidetes, and were much more diverse at the phylum level than reported previously. Interestingly, the disease-like tissues from the two sponge individuals underwent shifts of prokaryotic communities and were both enriched with a novel clade affiliated with the phylum Verrucomicrobia, implying its intimate connection with the disease-like Red Sea sponge C. cyathophora. Enrichment of the phylum Verrucomicrobia was also considered to be correlated with the presence of algae assemblages forming the green surface of the disease-like sponge tissues. This finding represents an interesting case of sponge disease and is valuable for further study. Sponge diseases have been widely reported, yet the causal factors and major pathogenic microbes remain elusive. In this study, two individuals of the sponge Crella cyathophora in total that showed similar disease-like characteristics were collected from two different locations along the Red Sea coast separated by more than 30 kilometers. The disease-like parts of the two individuals were both covered by green surfaces, and the body size was much smaller compared with adjacent healthy regions. Here, using high-throughput pyrosequencing technology, we investigated the prokaryotic communities in healthy and disease-like sponge tissues as well as adjacent seawater. Microbes in healthy tissues belonged mainly to the Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria and Bacteroidetes, and were much more diverse at the phylum level than reported previously. Interestingly, the disease-like tissues from the two sponge individuals underwent shifts of prokaryotic communities and were both enriched with a novel clade affiliated with the phylum Verrucomicrobia, implying its intimate connection with the disease-like Red Sea sponge C. cyathophora. Enrichment of the phylum Verrucomicrobia was also considered to be correlated with the presence of algae assemblages forming the green surface of the disease-like sponge tissues. This finding represents an interesting case of sponge disease and is valuable for further study.
Olfactomedin 1 Has a V shaped Disulfide linked Tetrameric Structure*
Olfactomedin-1 (Olfm1; also known as noelin and pancortin) is a member of the olfactomedin domain-containing superfamily and a highly expressed neuronal glycoprotein important for nervous system development. It binds a number of secreted proteins and cell surface-bound receptors to induce cell signaling processes. Using a combined approach of x-ray crystallography, solution scattering, analytical ultracentrifugation, and electron microscopy we determined that full-length Olfm1 forms disulfide-linked tetramers with a distinctive V-shaped architecture. The base of the “V” is formed by two disulfide-linked dimeric N-terminal domains. Each of the two V legs consists of a parallel dimeric disulfide-linked coiled coil with a C-terminal β-propeller dimer at the tips. This agrees with our crystal structure of a C-terminal coiled-coil segment and β-propeller combination (Olfm1coil-Olf) that reveals a disulfide-linked dimeric arrangement with the β-propeller top faces in an outward exposed orientation. Similar to its family member myocilin, Olfm1 is stabilized by calcium. The dimer-of-dimers architecture suggests a role for Olfm1 in clustering receptors to regulate signaling and sheds light on the conformation of several other olfactomedin domain family members. Olfactomedin-1 (Olfm1; also known as noelin and pancortin) is a member of the olfactomedin domain-containing superfamily and a highly expressed neuronal glycoprotein important for nervous system development. It binds a number of secreted proteins and cell surface-bound receptors to induce cell signaling processes. Using a combined approach of x-ray crystallography, solution scattering, analytical ultracentrifugation, and electron microscopy we determined that full-length Olfm1 forms disulfide-linked tetramers with a distinctive V-shaped architecture. The base of the “V” is formed by two disulfide-linked dimeric N-terminal domains. Each of the two V legs consists of a parallel dimeric disulfide-linked coiled coil with a C-terminal β-propeller dimer at the tips. This agrees with our crystal structure of a C-terminal coiled-coil segment and β-propeller combination (Olfm1coil-Olf) that reveals a disulfide-linked dimeric arrangement with the β-propeller top faces in an outward exposed orientation. Similar to its family member myocilin, Olfm1 is stabilized by calcium. The dimer-of-dimers architecture suggests a role for Olfm1 in clustering receptors to regulate signaling and sheds light on the conformation of several other olfactomedin domain family members.
Two Cdc2 Kinase Genes with Distinct Functions in Vegetative and Infectious Hyphae in Fusarium graminearum
Author Summary In the model yeasts and filamentous fungi, CDC2 is an essential gene that encodes the only CDK essential for mitotic cell cycle progression. However, the wheat scab fungus F. graminearum contains two CDC2 orthologs. The cdc2A and cdc2B deletion mutants had no defects in vegetative growth but deletion of both is lethal. Whereas the cdc2B mutant was normal, the cdc2A mutant was almost non-pathogenic, indicating that only Cdc2A is essential in infectious hyphae. Cdc2A and Cdc2B differ in subcellular localization and only localization of Cdc2A to the nucleus was increased in cells active in mitosis. Furthermore, F. graminearum uniquely has two orthologs of Ipl1 Aurora kinase and mutants deleted of orthologs of five essential yeast mitotic kinase genes were viable. However, most of these mutants were significantly reduced in virulence. Overall, our data indicate that F. graminearum differs from the model fungi in CDK and other key mitotic kinase genes, and cell cycle regulation is different between vegetative and infectious hyphae. This is the first report on two Cdc2 kinases in fungi and they differ in subcellular localization and functions during sexual reproduction and plant infection. Author Summary In the model yeasts and filamentous fungi, CDC2 is an essential gene that encodes the only CDK essential for mitotic cell cycle progression. However, the wheat scab fungus F. graminearum contains two CDC2 orthologs. The cdc2A and cdc2B deletion mutants had no defects in vegetative growth but deletion of both is lethal. Whereas the cdc2B mutant was normal, the cdc2A mutant was almost non-pathogenic, indicating that only Cdc2A is essential in infectious hyphae. Cdc2A and Cdc2B differ in subcellular localization and only localization of Cdc2A to the nucleus was increased in cells active in mitosis. Furthermore, F. graminearum uniquely has two orthologs of Ipl1 Aurora kinase and mutants deleted of orthologs of five essential yeast mitotic kinase genes were viable. However, most of these mutants were significantly reduced in virulence. Overall, our data indicate that F. graminearum differs from the model fungi in CDK and other key mitotic kinase genes, and cell cycle regulation is different between vegetative and infectious hyphae. This is the first report on two Cdc2 kinases in fungi and they differ in subcellular localization and functions during sexual reproduction and plant infection.Eukaryotic cell cycle involves a number of protein kinases important for the onset and progression through mitosis, most of which are well characterized in the budding and fission yeasts and conserved in other fungi. However, unlike the model yeast and filamentous fungi that have a single Cdc2 essential for cell cycle progression, the wheat scab fungus Fusarium graminearum contains two CDC2 orthologs. The cdc2A and cdc2B mutants had no obvious defects in growth rate and conidiation but deletion of both of them is lethal, indicating that these two CDC2 orthologs have redundant functions during vegetative growth and asexual reproduction. However, whereas the cdc2B mutant was normal, the cdc2A mutant was significantly reduced in virulence and rarely produced ascospores. Although deletion of CDC2A had no obvious effect on the formation of penetration branches or hyphopodia, the cdc2A mutant was limited in the differentiation and growth of infectious growth in wheat tissues. Therefore, CDC2A plays stage-specific roles in cell cycle regulation during infectious growth and sexual reproduction. Both CDC2A and CDC2B are constitutively expressed but only CDC2A was up-regulated during plant infection and ascosporogenesis. Localization of Cdc2A- GFP to the nucleus but not Cdc2B-GFP was observed in vegetative hyphae, ascospores, and infectious hyphae. Complementation assays with chimeric fusion constructs showed that both the N- and C-terminal regions of Cdc2A are important for its functions in pathogenesis and ascosporogenesis but only the N-terminal region is important for its subcellular localization. Among the Sordariomycetes, only three Fusarium species closely related to F. graminearum have two CDC2 genes. Furthermore, F. graminearum uniquely has two Aurora kinase genes and one additional putative cyclin gene, and its orthologs of CAK1 and other four essential mitotic kinases in the budding yeast are dispensable for viability. Overall, our data indicate that cell cycle regulation is different between vegetative and infectious hyphae in F. graminearum and Cdc2A, possibly by interacting with a stage-specific cyclin, plays a more important role than Cdc2B during ascosporogenesis and plant infection. Eukaryotic cell cycle involves a number of protein kinases important for the onset and progression through mitosis, most of which are well characterized in the budding and fission yeasts and conserved in other fungi. However, unlike the model yeast and filamentous fungi that have a single Cdc2 essential for cell cycle progression, the wheat scab fungus Fusarium graminearum contains two CDC2 orthologs. The cdc2A and cdc2B mutants had no obvious defects in growth rate and conidiation but deletion of both of them is lethal, indicating that these two CDC2 orthologs have redundant functions during vegetative growth and asexual reproduction. However, whereas the cdc2B mutant was normal, the cdc2A mutant was significantly reduced in virulence and rarely produced ascospores. Although deletion of CDC2A had no obvious effect on the formation of penetration branches or hyphopodia, the cdc2A mutant was limited in the differentiation and growth of infectious growth in wheat tissues. Therefore, CDC2A plays stage-specific roles in cell cycle regulation during infectious growth and sexual reproduction. Both CDC2A and CDC2B are constitutively expressed but only CDC2A was up-regulated during plant infection and ascosporogenesis. Localization of Cdc2A- GFP to the nucleus but not Cdc2B-GFP was observed in vegetative hyphae, ascospores, and infectious hyphae. Complementation assays with chimeric fusion constructs showed that both the N- and C-terminal regions of Cdc2A are important for its functions in pathogenesis and ascosporogenesis but only the N-terminal region is important for its subcellular localization. Among the Sordariomycetes, only three Fusarium species closely related to F. graminearum have two CDC2 genes. Furthermore, F. graminearum uniquely has two Aurora kinase genes and one additional putative cyclin gene, and its orthologs of CAK1 and other four essential mitotic kinases in the budding yeast are dispensable for viability. Overall, our data indicate that cell cycle regulation is different between vegetative and infectious hyphae in F. graminearum and Cdc2A, possibly by interacting with a stage-specific cyclin, plays a more important role than Cdc2B during ascosporogenesis and plant infection.
Interpretation of personal genome sequencing data in terms of disease ranks based on mutual information
Background The rapid advances in genome sequencing technologies have resulted in an unprecedented number of genome variations being discovered in humans. However, there has been very limited coverage of interpretation of the personal genome sequencing data in terms of diseases. Methods In this paper we present the first computational analysis scheme for interpreting personal genome data by simultaneously considering the functional impact of damaging variants and curated disease-gene association data. This method is based on mutual information as a measure of the relative closeness between the personal genome and diseases. We hypothesize that a higher mutual information score implies that the personal genome is more susceptible to a particular disease than other diseases. Results The method was applied to the sequencing data of 50 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients in The Cancer Genome Atlas. The utility of associations between a disease and the personal genome was explored using data of healthy (control) people obtained from the 1000 Genomes Project. The ranks of the disease terms in the AML patient group were compared with those in the healthy control group using "Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute" (C04.557.337.539.550) as the corresponding MeSH disease term. The mutual information rank of the disease term was substantially higher in the AML patient group than in the healthy control group, which demonstrates that the proposed methodology can be successfully applied to infer associations between the personal genome and diseases. Conclusions Overall, the area under the receiver operating characteristics curve was significantly larger for the AML patient data than for the healthy controls. This methodology could contribute to consequential discoveries and explanations for mining personal genome sequencing data in terms of diseases, and have versatility with respect to genomic-based knowledge such as drug-gene and environmental-factor-gene interactions. Background The rapid advances in genome sequencing technologies have resulted in an unprecedented number of genome variations being discovered in humans. However, there has been very limited coverage of interpretation of the personal genome sequencing data in terms of diseases. Methods In this paper we present the first computational analysis scheme for interpreting personal genome data by simultaneously considering the functional impact of damaging variants and curated disease-gene association data. This method is based on mutual information as a measure of the relative closeness between the personal genome and diseases. We hypothesize that a higher mutual information score implies that the personal genome is more susceptible to a particular disease than other diseases. Results The method was applied to the sequencing data of 50 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients in The Cancer Genome Atlas. The utility of associations between a disease and the personal genome was explored using data of healthy (control) people obtained from the 1000 Genomes Project. The ranks of the disease terms in the AML patient group were compared with those in the healthy control group using "Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute" (C04.557.337.539.550) as the corresponding MeSH disease term. The mutual information rank of the disease term was substantially higher in the AML patient group than in the healthy control group, which demonstrates that the proposed methodology can be successfully applied to infer associations between the personal genome and diseases. Conclusions Overall, the area under the receiver operating characteristics curve was significantly larger for the AML patient data than for the healthy controls. This methodology could contribute to consequential discoveries and explanations for mining personal genome sequencing data in terms of diseases, and have versatility with respect to genomic-based knowledge such as drug-gene and environmental-factor-gene interactions.
Computational Prediction of acyl coA Binding Proteins Structure in Brassica napus
Acyl-coA binding proteins could transport acyl-coA esters from plastid to endoplasmic reticulum, prior to fatty acid biosynthesis, leading to the formation of triacylglycerol. The structure and the subcellular localization of acyl-coA binding proteins (ACBP) in Brassica napus were computationally predicted in this study. Earlier, the structure analysis of ACBPs was limited to the small ACBPs, the current study focused on all four classes of ACBPs. Physicochemical parameters including the size and the length, the intron-exon structure, the isoelectric point, the hydrophobicity, and the amino acid composition were studied. Furthermore, identification of conserved residues and conserved domains were carried out. Secondary structure and tertiary structure of ACBPs were also studied. Finally, subcellular localization of ACBPs was predicted. The findings indicated that the physicochemical parameters and subcellular localizations of ACBPs in Brassica napus were identical to Arabidopsis thaliana. Conserved domain analysis indicated that ACBPs contain two or three kelch domains that belong to different families. Identical residues in acyl-coA binding domains corresponded to eight amino acid residues in all ACBPs of B. napus. However, conserved residues of common ACBPs in all species of animal, plant, bacteria and fungi were only inclusive in small ACBPs. Alpha-helixes were displayed and conserved in all the acyl-coA binding domains, representing almost the half of the protein structure. The findings confirm high similarities in ACBPs between A. thaliana and B. napus, they might share the same functions but loss or gain might be possible. Acyl-coA binding proteins could transport acyl-coA esters from plastid to endoplasmic reticulum, prior to fatty acid biosynthesis, leading to the formation of triacylglycerol. The structure and the subcellular localization of acyl-coA binding proteins (ACBP) in Brassica napus were computationally predicted in this study. Earlier, the structure analysis of ACBPs was limited to the small ACBPs, the current study focused on all four classes of ACBPs. Physicochemical parameters including the size and the length, the intron-exon structure, the isoelectric point, the hydrophobicity, and the amino acid composition were studied. Furthermore, identification of conserved residues and conserved domains were carried out. Secondary structure and tertiary structure of ACBPs were also studied. Finally, subcellular localization of ACBPs was predicted. The findings indicated that the physicochemical parameters and subcellular localizations of ACBPs in Brassica napus were identical to Arabidopsis thaliana. Conserved domain analysis indicated that ACBPs contain two or three kelch domains that belong to different families. Identical residues in acyl-coA binding domains corresponded to eight amino acid residues in all ACBPs of B. napus. However, conserved residues of common ACBPs in all species of animal, plant, bacteria and fungi were only inclusive in small ACBPs. Alpha-helixes were displayed and conserved in all the acyl-coA binding domains, representing almost the half of the protein structure. The findings confirm high similarities in ACBPs between A. thaliana and B. napus, they might share the same functions but loss or gain might be possible.
Cloning, expression analysis, and RNA interference study of a HORMA domain containing autophagy related gene 13 (ATG13) from the coleopteran beetle, Tenebrio molitor
Autophagy is a process that is necessary during starvation, as it replenishes metabolic precursors by eliminating damaged organelles. Autophagy is mediated by more than 35 autophagy-related (Atg) proteins that participate in the nucleation, elongation, and curving of the autophagosome membrane. In a pursuit to address the role of autophagy during development and immune resistance of the mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor, we screened ATG gene sequences from the whole-larva transcriptome database. We identified a homolog of ATG13 gene in T. molitor (designated as TmATG13) that comprises a cDNA of 1176 bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding a protein of 391 amino acids. Analyses of the structure-specific features of TmAtg13 showed an intrinsically disordered middle and C-terminal region that was rich in regulatory phosphorylation sites. The N-terminal Atg13 domain had a HORMA (Hop1, Rev7, and Mad2) fold containing amino acid residues conserved across the Atg13 insect orthologs. A quantitative reverse-transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that TmATG13 was expressed ubiquitously during all developmental stages of the insect. TmATG13 mRNA expression was high in the fat body and gut of the larval and adult stages of the insect. The TmATG13 transcripts were expressed at a high level until 6 days of ovarian development, followed by a significant decline. Silencing of ATG13 transcripts in T. molitor larvae showed a reduced survivability of 39 and 38% in response to Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus infection. Furthermore, the role of TmAtg13 in initiating autophagy as a part of the host cell autophagic complex of the host cells against the intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes is currently under study and will be critical to unfold the structure-function relationships. Autophagy is a process that is necessary during starvation, as it replenishes metabolic precursors by eliminating damaged organelles. Autophagy is mediated by more than 35 autophagy-related (Atg) proteins that participate in the nucleation, elongation, and curving of the autophagosome membrane. In a pursuit to address the role of autophagy during development and immune resistance of the mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor, we screened ATG gene sequences from the whole-larva transcriptome database. We identified a homolog of ATG13 gene in T. molitor (designated as TmATG13) that comprises a cDNA of 1176 bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding a protein of 391 amino acids. Analyses of the structure-specific features of TmAtg13 showed an intrinsically disordered middle and C-terminal region that was rich in regulatory phosphorylation sites. The N-terminal Atg13 domain had a HORMA (Hop1, Rev7, and Mad2) fold containing amino acid residues conserved across the Atg13 insect orthologs. A quantitative reverse-transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that TmATG13 was expressed ubiquitously during all developmental stages of the insect. TmATG13 mRNA expression was high in the fat body and gut of the larval and adult stages of the insect. The TmATG13 transcripts were expressed at a high level until 6 days of ovarian development, followed by a significant decline. Silencing of ATG13 transcripts in T. molitor larvae showed a reduced survivability of 39 and 38% in response to Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus infection. Furthermore, the role of TmAtg13 in initiating autophagy as a part of the host cell autophagic complex of the host cells against the intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes is currently under study and will be critical to unfold the structure-function relationships.
Functional analysis of a chromosomal deletion associated with myelodysplastic syndromes using isogenic human induced pluripotent stem cells
Chromosomal deletions associated with human diseases, such as cancer are common, but synteny issues complicate modeling of these deletions in mice. We use cellular reprogramming and genome engineering to functionally dissect the loss of chromosome 7q [del(7q)], a somatic cytogenetic abnormality present in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). We derive del(7q)- and isogenic karyotypically normal induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from hematopoietic cells of MDS patients and show that the del(7q) iPSCs recapitulate disease-associated phenotypes, including impaired hematopoietic differentiation. These disease phenotypes are rescued by spontaneous dosage correction and can be reproduced in karyotypically normal cells by engineering hemizygosity of defined chr7q segments, in a 20 Mb region. We use a phenotype-rescue screen to identify candidate haploinsufficient genes that might mediate the del(7q)- hematopoietic defect. Our approach highlights the utility of human iPSCs both for functional mapping of disease-associated large-scale chromosomal deletions and for discovery of haploinsufficient genes. Chromosomal deletions associated with human diseases, such as cancer are common, but synteny issues complicate modeling of these deletions in mice. We use cellular reprogramming and genome engineering to functionally dissect the loss of chromosome 7q [del(7q)], a somatic cytogenetic abnormality present in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). We derive del(7q)- and isogenic karyotypically normal induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from hematopoietic cells of MDS patients and show that the del(7q) iPSCs recapitulate disease-associated phenotypes, including impaired hematopoietic differentiation. These disease phenotypes are rescued by spontaneous dosage correction and can be reproduced in karyotypically normal cells by engineering hemizygosity of defined chr7q segments, in a 20 Mb region. We use a phenotype-rescue screen to identify candidate haploinsufficient genes that might mediate the del(7q)- hematopoietic defect. Our approach highlights the utility of human iPSCs both for functional mapping of disease-associated large-scale chromosomal deletions and for discovery of haploinsufficient genes.
Causations of phylogeographic barrier of some rocky shore species along the Chinese coastline
Background Substrate, ocean current and freshwater discharge are recognized as important factors that control the larval dispersal and recruitment of intertidal species. Life history traits of individual species will determine the differential responses to these physical factors, and hence resulting in contrasting phylogeography across the same biogeographic barrier. To determine how these factors affect genetic structure of rocky shore species along the China coast, a comparative phylogeographic study of four intertidal and subtidal species was conducted using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA by combining new sequences from Siphonaria japonica with previously published sequences from three species (Cellana toreuma, Sargassum horneri and Atrina pectinata). Results Analysis of molecular variance and pairwise ΦST revealed significant genetic differences between the Yellow Sea (YS) and the other two marginal seas (East China Sea, ECS and South China Sea, SCS) for rocky-shore species (S. japonica, C. toreuma, S. horneri), but not for muddy-shore species Atrina pectinata. Demographic history analysis proved that the population size of all these four species were persistent though the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, ~20 ka BP). Migration analysis revealed that gene flow differentiated northward and southward migration for these four species. However, the inferred direction of gene flow using alternatively mitochondrial or nuclear markers was contradictory in S. japonica. Conclusions It is concluded that there is a phylogeographical break at the Yangtze River estuary for the rocky shore species and the causation of the barrier is mainly due to the unsuitable substratum and freshwater discharge. All four intertidal and subtidal species appear to have persisted through the LGM in China, indicating the lower impact of LGM on intertidal and subtidal species than generally anticipated. The imbalanced gene flow between YS and ESCS groups for these four species could be explained by historical refugia. The discordance between mitochondrial and nuclear markers in the MIGRATE analysis of S. japonica prove the importance of employing multi-locus data in biogeographic study. Climate change, land reclamation and dam construction, which are changing substrate and hydrological conditions around Yangtze River estuary, will consequently affect the biogeographic pattern of intertidal species. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12862-015-0387-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Background Substrate, ocean current and freshwater discharge are recognized as important factors that control the larval dispersal and recruitment of intertidal species. Life history traits of individual species will determine the differential responses to these physical factors, and hence resulting in contrasting phylogeography across the same biogeographic barrier. To determine how these factors affect genetic structure of rocky shore species along the China coast, a comparative phylogeographic study of four intertidal and subtidal species was conducted using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA by combining new sequences from Siphonaria japonica with previously published sequences from three species (Cellana toreuma, Sargassum horneri and Atrina pectinata). Results Analysis of molecular variance and pairwise ΦST revealed significant genetic differences between the Yellow Sea (YS) and the other two marginal seas (East China Sea, ECS and South China Sea, SCS) for rocky-shore species (S. japonica, C. toreuma, S. horneri), but not for muddy-shore species Atrina pectinata. Demographic history analysis proved that the population size of all these four species were persistent though the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, ~20 ka BP). Migration analysis revealed that gene flow differentiated northward and southward migration for these four species. However, the inferred direction of gene flow using alternatively mitochondrial or nuclear markers was contradictory in S. japonica. Conclusions It is concluded that there is a phylogeographical break at the Yangtze River estuary for the rocky shore species and the causation of the barrier is mainly due to the unsuitable substratum and freshwater discharge. All four intertidal and subtidal species appear to have persisted through the LGM in China, indicating the lower impact of LGM on intertidal and subtidal species than generally anticipated. The imbalanced gene flow between YS and ESCS groups for these four species could be explained by historical refugia. The discordance between mitochondrial and nuclear markers in the MIGRATE analysis of S. japonica prove the importance of employing multi-locus data in biogeographic study. Climate change, land reclamation and dam construction, which are changing substrate and hydrological conditions around Yangtze River estuary, will consequently affect the biogeographic pattern of intertidal species. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12862-015-0387-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Genome Sequence of Arthrobacter koreensis 5J12A, a Plant Growth Promoting and Desiccation Tolerant Strain
Arthrobacter koreensis 5J12A is a desiccation-tolerant organism isolated from the Nerium oleander rhizosphere. Here, we report its genome sequence, which may shed light on its role in plant growth promotion. This is believed to be the first published genome of a desiccation-tolerant plant growth promoter from the genus Arthrobacter. Arthrobacter koreensis 5J12A is a desiccation-tolerant organism isolated from the Nerium oleander rhizosphere. Here, we report its genome sequence, which may shed light on its role in plant growth promotion. This is believed to be the first published genome of a desiccation-tolerant plant growth promoter from the genus Arthrobacter.
Comparative transcriptome profiling of Pyropia yezoensis (Ueda) M.S. Hwang and H.G. Choi in response to temperature stresses
Background Pyropia yezoensis is a model organism often used to investigate the mechanisms underlying stress tolerance in intertidal zones. The digital gene expression (DGE) approach was used to characterize a genome-wide comparative analysis of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) that influence the physiological, developmental or biochemical processes in samples subjected to 4 treatments: high-temperature stress (HT), chilling stress (CS), freezing stress (FS) and normal temperature (NT). Results Equal amounts of total RNAs collected from 8 samples (two biological replicates per treatment) were sequenced using the Illumina/Solexa platform. Compared with NT, a total of 2202, 1334 and 592 differentially expressed unigenes were detected in HT, CS and FS respectively. Clustering analysis suggested P. yezoensis acclimates to low and high-temperature stress condition using different mechanisms: In heat stress, the unigenes related to replication and repair of DNA and protein processing in endoplasmic reticulum were active; however at low temperature stresses, unigenes related to carbohydrate metabolism and energy metabolism were active. Analysis of gene differential expression showed that four categories of DEGs functioning as temperature sensors were found, including heat shock proteins, H2A, histone deacetylase complex and transcription factors. Heat stress caused chloroplast genes down-regulated and unigenes encoding metacaspases up-regulated, which is an important regulator of PCD. Cold stress caused an increase in the expression of FAD to improve the proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids. An up-regulated unigene encoding farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase was found in cold stress, indicating that the plant hormone ABA also played an important role in responding to temperature stress in P. yezoensis. Conclusion The variation of amount of unigenes and different gene expression pattern under different temperature stresses indicated the complicated and diverse regulation mechanism in response to temperature stress in P. yezoensis. Several common metabolism pathways were found both in P. yezoensis and in higher plants, such as FAD in low-temperature stress and HSP in heat stress. Meanwhile, many chloroplast genes and unigene related to the synthesis of abscisic acid were detected, revealing its unique temperature-regulation mechanism in this intertidal species. This sequencing dataset and analysis may serve as a valuable resource to study the mechanisms involved in abiotic stress tolerance in intertidal seaweeds. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1586-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Background Pyropia yezoensis is a model organism often used to investigate the mechanisms underlying stress tolerance in intertidal zones. The digital gene expression (DGE) approach was used to characterize a genome-wide comparative analysis of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) that influence the physiological, developmental or biochemical processes in samples subjected to 4 treatments: high-temperature stress (HT), chilling stress (CS), freezing stress (FS) and normal temperature (NT). Results Equal amounts of total RNAs collected from 8 samples (two biological replicates per treatment) were sequenced using the Illumina/Solexa platform. Compared with NT, a total of 2202, 1334 and 592 differentially expressed unigenes were detected in HT, CS and FS respectively. Clustering analysis suggested P. yezoensis acclimates to low and high-temperature stress condition using different mechanisms: In heat stress, the unigenes related to replication and repair of DNA and protein processing in endoplasmic reticulum were active; however at low temperature stresses, unigenes related to carbohydrate metabolism and energy metabolism were active. Analysis of gene differential expression showed that four categories of DEGs functioning as temperature sensors were found, including heat shock proteins, H2A, histone deacetylase complex and transcription factors. Heat stress caused chloroplast genes down-regulated and unigenes encoding metacaspases up-regulated, which is an important regulator of PCD. Cold stress caused an increase in the expression of FAD to improve the proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids. An up-regulated unigene encoding farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase was found in cold stress, indicating that the plant hormone ABA also played an important role in responding to temperature stress in P. yezoensis. Conclusion The variation of amount of unigenes and different gene expression pattern under different temperature stresses indicated the complicated and diverse regulation mechanism in response to temperature stress in P. yezoensis. Several common metabolism pathways were found both in P. yezoensis and in higher plants, such as FAD in low-temperature stress and HSP in heat stress. Meanwhile, many chloroplast genes and unigene related to the synthesis of abscisic acid were detected, revealing its unique temperature-regulation mechanism in this intertidal species. This sequencing dataset and analysis may serve as a valuable resource to study the mechanisms involved in abiotic stress tolerance in intertidal seaweeds. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1586-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Molecular Cloning and Functional Characterization of Mannose Receptor in Zebra Fish (Danio rerio) during Infection with Aeromonas sobria
Mannose receptor (MR) is a member of pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs), which plays a significant role in immunity responses. Much work on MR has been done in mammals and birds while little in fish. In this report, a MR gene (designated as zfMR) was cloned from zebra fish (Danio rerio), which is an attractive model for the studies of animal diseases. The full-length cDNA of zfMR contains 6248 bp encoding a putative protein of 1428 amino acids. The predicted amino acid sequences showed that zfMR contained a cysteine-rich domain, a single fibronectin type II (FN II) domain, eight C-type lectin-like domains (CTLDs), a transmembrane domain and a short C-terminal cytoplasmic domain, sharing highly conserved structures with MRs from the other species. The MR mRNA could be detected in all examined tissues with highest level in kidney. The temporal expression patterns of MR, IL-1β and TNF-α mRNAs were analyzed in the liver, spleen, kidney and intestine post of infection with Aeromonas sobria. By immunohistochemistry assay, slight enhancement of MR protein was also observed in the spleen and intestine of the infected zebra fish. The established zebra fish-A. sobria infection model will be valuable for elucidating the role of MR in fish immune responses to infection. Mannose receptor (MR) is a member of pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs), which plays a significant role in immunity responses. Much work on MR has been done in mammals and birds while little in fish. In this report, a MR gene (designated as zfMR) was cloned from zebra fish (Danio rerio), which is an attractive model for the studies of animal diseases. The full-length cDNA of zfMR contains 6248 bp encoding a putative protein of 1428 amino acids. The predicted amino acid sequences showed that zfMR contained a cysteine-rich domain, a single fibronectin type II (FN II) domain, eight C-type lectin-like domains (CTLDs), a transmembrane domain and a short C-terminal cytoplasmic domain, sharing highly conserved structures with MRs from the other species. The MR mRNA could be detected in all examined tissues with highest level in kidney. The temporal expression patterns of MR, IL-1β and TNF-α mRNAs were analyzed in the liver, spleen, kidney and intestine post of infection with Aeromonas sobria. By immunohistochemistry assay, slight enhancement of MR protein was also observed in the spleen and intestine of the infected zebra fish. The established zebra fish-A. sobria infection model will be valuable for elucidating the role of MR in fish immune responses to infection.
Metabolomics Suggests That Soil Inoculation with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Decreased Free Amino Acid Content in Roots of Durum Wheat Grown under N Limited, P Rich Field Conditions
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) have a major impact on plant nutrition, defence against pathogens, a plant’s reaction to stressful environments, soil fertility, and a plant’s relationship with other microorganisms. Such effects imply a broad reprogramming of the plant’s metabolic activity. However, little information is available regarding the role of AMF and their relation to other soil plant growth—promoting microorganisms in the plant metabolome, especially under realistic field conditions. In the present experiment, we evaluated the effects of inoculation with AMF, either alone or in combination with plant growth–promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), on the metabolome and changes in metabolic pathways in the roots of durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) grown under N-limited agronomic conditions in a P-rich environment. These two treatments were compared to infection by the natural AMF population (NAT). Soil inoculation with AMF almost doubled wheat root colonization by AMF and decreased the root concentrations of most compounds in all metabolic pathways, especially amino acids (AA) and saturated fatty acids, whereas inoculation with AMF+PGPR increased the concentrations of such compounds compared to inoculation with AMF alone. Enrichment metabolomics analyses showed that AA metabolic pathways were mostly changed by the treatments, with reduced amination activity in roots most likely due to a shift from the biosynthesis of common AA to γ-amino butyric acid. The root metabolome differed between AMF and NAT but not AMF+PGPR and AMF or NAT. Because the PGPR used were potent mineralisers, and AMF can retain most nitrogen (N) taken as organic compounds for their own growth, it is likely that this result was due to an increased concentration of mineral N in soil inoculated with AMF+PGPR compared to AMF alone. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) have a major impact on plant nutrition, defence against pathogens, a plant’s reaction to stressful environments, soil fertility, and a plant’s relationship with other microorganisms. Such effects imply a broad reprogramming of the plant’s metabolic activity. However, little information is available regarding the role of AMF and their relation to other soil plant growth—promoting microorganisms in the plant metabolome, especially under realistic field conditions. In the present experiment, we evaluated the effects of inoculation with AMF, either alone or in combination with plant growth–promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), on the metabolome and changes in metabolic pathways in the roots of durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) grown under N-limited agronomic conditions in a P-rich environment. These two treatments were compared to infection by the natural AMF population (NAT). Soil inoculation with AMF almost doubled wheat root colonization by AMF and decreased the root concentrations of most compounds in all metabolic pathways, especially amino acids (AA) and saturated fatty acids, whereas inoculation with AMF+PGPR increased the concentrations of such compounds compared to inoculation with AMF alone. Enrichment metabolomics analyses showed that AA metabolic pathways were mostly changed by the treatments, with reduced amination activity in roots most likely due to a shift from the biosynthesis of common AA to γ-amino butyric acid. The root metabolome differed between AMF and NAT but not AMF+PGPR and AMF or NAT. Because the PGPR used were potent mineralisers, and AMF can retain most nitrogen (N) taken as organic compounds for their own growth, it is likely that this result was due to an increased concentration of mineral N in soil inoculated with AMF+PGPR compared to AMF alone.
Direct Ionic Regulation of the Activity of Myo Inositol Biosynthesis Enzymes in Mozambique Tilapia
Myo-inositol (Ins) is a major compatible osmolyte in many cells, including those of Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). Ins biosynthesis is highly up-regulated in tilapia and other euryhaline fish exposed to hyperosmotic stress. In this study, enzymatic regulation of two enzymes of Ins biosynthesis, Ins phosphate synthase (MIPS) and inositol monophosphatase (IMPase), by direct ionic effects is analyzed. Specific MIPS and IMPase isoforms from Mozambique tilapia (MIPS-160 and IMPase 1) were selected based on experimental, phylogenetic, and structural evidence supporting their role for Ins biosynthesis during hyperosmotic stress. Recombinant tilapia IMPase 1 and MIPS-160 activity was assayed in vitro at ionic conditions that mimic changes in the intracellular milieu during hyperosmotic stress. The in vitro activities of MIPS-160 and IMPase 1 are highest at alkaline pH of 8.8. IMPase 1 catalytic efficiency is strongly increased during hyperosmolality (particularly for the substrate D-Ins-3-phosphate, Ins-3P), mainly as a result of [Na+] elevation. Furthermore, the substrate-specificity of IMPase 1 towards D-Ins-1-phosphate (Ins-1P) is lower than towards Ins-3P. Because MIPS catalysis results in Ins-3P this results represents additional evidence for IMPase 1 being the isoform that mediates Ins biosynthesis in tilapia. Our data collectively demonstrate that the Ins biosynthesis enzymes are activated under ionic conditions that cells are exposed to during hypertonicity, resulting in Ins accumulation, which, in turn, results in restoration of intracellular ion homeostasis. We propose that the unique and direct ionic regulation of the activities of Ins biosynthesis enzymes represents an efficient biochemical feedback loop for regulation of intracellular physiological ion homeostasis during hyperosmotic stress. Myo-inositol (Ins) is a major compatible osmolyte in many cells, including those of Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). Ins biosynthesis is highly up-regulated in tilapia and other euryhaline fish exposed to hyperosmotic stress. In this study, enzymatic regulation of two enzymes of Ins biosynthesis, Ins phosphate synthase (MIPS) and inositol monophosphatase (IMPase), by direct ionic effects is analyzed. Specific MIPS and IMPase isoforms from Mozambique tilapia (MIPS-160 and IMPase 1) were selected based on experimental, phylogenetic, and structural evidence supporting their role for Ins biosynthesis during hyperosmotic stress. Recombinant tilapia IMPase 1 and MIPS-160 activity was assayed in vitro at ionic conditions that mimic changes in the intracellular milieu during hyperosmotic stress. The in vitro activities of MIPS-160 and IMPase 1 are highest at alkaline pH of 8.8. IMPase 1 catalytic efficiency is strongly increased during hyperosmolality (particularly for the substrate D-Ins-3-phosphate, Ins-3P), mainly as a result of [Na+] elevation. Furthermore, the substrate-specificity of IMPase 1 towards D-Ins-1-phosphate (Ins-1P) is lower than towards Ins-3P. Because MIPS catalysis results in Ins-3P this results represents additional evidence for IMPase 1 being the isoform that mediates Ins biosynthesis in tilapia. Our data collectively demonstrate that the Ins biosynthesis enzymes are activated under ionic conditions that cells are exposed to during hypertonicity, resulting in Ins accumulation, which, in turn, results in restoration of intracellular ion homeostasis. We propose that the unique and direct ionic regulation of the activities of Ins biosynthesis enzymes represents an efficient biochemical feedback loop for regulation of intracellular physiological ion homeostasis during hyperosmotic stress.
Structural Insights into the Neutralization Properties of the Fully Human, Anti interferon Monoclonal Antibody Sifalimumab*
We report the three-dimensional structure of human interferon α-2A (IFN-α2A) bound to the Fab fragment of a therapeutic monoclonal antibody (sifalimumab; IgG1/κ). The structure of the corresponding complex was solved at a resolution of 3.0 Å using molecular replacement and constitutes the first reported structure of a human type I IFN bound to a therapeutic antibody. This study revealed the major contribution made by the first complementarity-determining region in each of sifalimumab light and heavy chains. These data also provided the molecular basis for sifalimumab mechanism of action. We propose that its interferon-neutralizing properties are the result of direct competition for IFN-α2A binding to the IFN receptor subunit 1 (IFNAR1) and do not involve inhibiting IFN-α2A binding to the IFN receptor subunit 2 (IFNAR2). We report the three-dimensional structure of human interferon α-2A (IFN-α2A) bound to the Fab fragment of a therapeutic monoclonal antibody (sifalimumab; IgG1/κ). The structure of the corresponding complex was solved at a resolution of 3.0 Å using molecular replacement and constitutes the first reported structure of a human type I IFN bound to a therapeutic antibody. This study revealed the major contribution made by the first complementarity-determining region in each of sifalimumab light and heavy chains. These data also provided the molecular basis for sifalimumab mechanism of action. We propose that its interferon-neutralizing properties are the result of direct competition for IFN-α2A binding to the IFN receptor subunit 1 (IFNAR1) and do not involve inhibiting IFN-α2A binding to the IFN receptor subunit 2 (IFNAR2).
Secondary Metabolites Control the Associated Bacterial Communities of Saprophytic Basidiomycotina Fungi
Fungi grow under humid conditions and are, therefore, prone to biofilm infections. A 16S rRNA fingerprint analysis was performed on 49 sporocarps of Basidiomycotina in order to determine whether they are able to control these biofilms. Ninety-five bacterial phylotypes, comprising 4 phyla and 10 families, were identified. While ectomycorrhizal fungi harbored the highest bacterial diversity, saprophytic fungi showed little or no association with bacteria. Seven fungal species were screened for antimicrobial and antibiofilm activities. Biofilm formation and bacterial growth was inhibited by extracts obtained from saprophytic fungi, which confirmed the hypothesis that many fungi modulate biofilm colonization on their sporocarps. Fungi grow under humid conditions and are, therefore, prone to biofilm infections. A 16S rRNA fingerprint analysis was performed on 49 sporocarps of Basidiomycotina in order to determine whether they are able to control these biofilms. Ninety-five bacterial phylotypes, comprising 4 phyla and 10 families, were identified. While ectomycorrhizal fungi harbored the highest bacterial diversity, saprophytic fungi showed little or no association with bacteria. Seven fungal species were screened for antimicrobial and antibiofilm activities. Biofilm formation and bacterial growth was inhibited by extracts obtained from saprophytic fungi, which confirmed the hypothesis that many fungi modulate biofilm colonization on their sporocarps.
Characterization of the doublesex gene within the Culex pipiens complex suggests regulatory plasticity at the base of the mosquito sex determination cascade
Background The doublesex gene controls somatic sexual differentiation of many metazoan species, including the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae and the dengue and yellow fever vector Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae). As in other studied dipteran dsx homologs, the gene maintains functionality via evolutionarily conserved protein domains and sex-specific alternative splicing. The upstream factors that regulate splicing of dsx and the manner in which they do so however remain variable even among closely related organisms. As the induction of sex ratio biases is a central mode of action in many emerging molecular insecticides, it is imperative to elucidate as much of the sex determination pathway as possible in the mosquito disease vectors. Results Here we report the full-length gene sequence of the doublesex gene in Culex quinquefasciatus (Cxqdsx) and its male and female-specific isoforms. Cxqdsx maintains characteristics possibly derived in the Culicinae and present in the Aedes aegypti dsx gene (Aeadsx) such as gain of exon 3b and the presence of Rbp1 cis-regulatory binding sites, and also retains presumably ancestral attributes present in Anopheles gambiae such as maintenance of a singular female-specific exon 5. Unlike in Aedes aegypti, we find no evidence for intron gain in the female transcript(s), yet recover a second female isoform generated via selection of an alternate splice donor. Utilizing next-gen sequence (NGS) data, we complete the Aeadsx gene model and identify a putative core promoter region in both Aeadsx and Cxqdsx. Also utilizing NGS data, we construct a full-length gene sequence for the dsx homolog of the northern house mosquito Culex pipiens form pipiens (Cxpipdsx). Analysis of peptide evolutionary rates between Cxqdsx and Cxpipdsx (both members of the Culex pipiens complex) shows the male-specific portion of the transcript to have evolved rapidly with respect to female-specific and common regions. Conclusions As in other studied insects, doublesex maintains sex-specific splicing and conserved doublesex/mab-3 domains in the mosquitoes Culex quinquefasciatus and Cx. pipiens. The cis-regulated splicing of Cxqdsx does not appear to follow either currently described mosquito model (for An. gambiae and Ae. aegypti); each of the three mosquito genera exhibit evidence of unique cis-regulatory mechanisms. The male-specific dsx terminus exhibits rapid peptide evolutionary rates, even among closely related sibling species. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12862-015-0386-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Background The doublesex gene controls somatic sexual differentiation of many metazoan species, including the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae and the dengue and yellow fever vector Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae). As in other studied dipteran dsx homologs, the gene maintains functionality via evolutionarily conserved protein domains and sex-specific alternative splicing. The upstream factors that regulate splicing of dsx and the manner in which they do so however remain variable even among closely related organisms. As the induction of sex ratio biases is a central mode of action in many emerging molecular insecticides, it is imperative to elucidate as much of the sex determination pathway as possible in the mosquito disease vectors. Results Here we report the full-length gene sequence of the doublesex gene in Culex quinquefasciatus (Cxqdsx) and its male and female-specific isoforms. Cxqdsx maintains characteristics possibly derived in the Culicinae and present in the Aedes aegypti dsx gene (Aeadsx) such as gain of exon 3b and the presence of Rbp1 cis-regulatory binding sites, and also retains presumably ancestral attributes present in Anopheles gambiae such as maintenance of a singular female-specific exon 5. Unlike in Aedes aegypti, we find no evidence for intron gain in the female transcript(s), yet recover a second female isoform generated via selection of an alternate splice donor. Utilizing next-gen sequence (NGS) data, we complete the Aeadsx gene model and identify a putative core promoter region in both Aeadsx and Cxqdsx. Also utilizing NGS data, we construct a full-length gene sequence for the dsx homolog of the northern house mosquito Culex pipiens form pipiens (Cxpipdsx). Analysis of peptide evolutionary rates between Cxqdsx and Cxpipdsx (both members of the Culex pipiens complex) shows the male-specific portion of the transcript to have evolved rapidly with respect to female-specific and common regions. Conclusions As in other studied insects, doublesex maintains sex-specific splicing and conserved doublesex/mab-3 domains in the mosquitoes Culex quinquefasciatus and Cx. pipiens. The cis-regulated splicing of Cxqdsx does not appear to follow either currently described mosquito model (for An. gambiae and Ae. aegypti); each of the three mosquito genera exhibit evidence of unique cis-regulatory mechanisms. The male-specific dsx terminus exhibits rapid peptide evolutionary rates, even among closely related sibling species. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12862-015-0386-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Genome wide identification of the Phaseolus vulgaris sRNAome using small RNA and degradome sequencing
Background MiRNAs and phasiRNAs are negative regulators of gene expression. These small RNAs have been extensively studied in plant model species but only 10 mature microRNAs are present in miRBase version 21, the most used miRNA database, and no phasiRNAs have been identified for the model legume Phaseolus vulgaris. Thanks to the recent availability of the first version of the common bean genome, degradome data and small RNA libraries, we are able to present here a catalog of the microRNAs and phasiRNAs for this organism and, particularly, we suggest new protagonists in the symbiotic nodulation events. Results We identified a set of 185 mature miRNAs, including 121 previously unpublished sequences, encoded by 307 precursors and distributed in 98 families. Degradome data allowed us to identify a total of 181 targets for these miRNAs. We reveal two regulatory networks involving conserved miRNAs: those known to play crucial roles in the establishment of nodules, and novel miRNAs present only in common bean, suggesting a specific role for these sequences. In addition, we identified 125 loci that potentially produce phased small RNAs, with 47 of them having all the characteristics of being triggered by a total of 31 miRNAs, including 14 new miRNAs identified in this study. Conclusions We provide here a set of new small RNAs that contribute to the broader knowledge of the sRNAome of Phaseolus vulgaris. Thanks to the identification of the miRNA targets from degradome analysis and the construction of regulatory networks between the mature microRNAs, we present here the probable functional regulation associated with the sRNAome and, particularly, in N2-fixing symbiotic nodules. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1639-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Background MiRNAs and phasiRNAs are negative regulators of gene expression. These small RNAs have been extensively studied in plant model species but only 10 mature microRNAs are present in miRBase version 21, the most used miRNA database, and no phasiRNAs have been identified for the model legume Phaseolus vulgaris. Thanks to the recent availability of the first version of the common bean genome, degradome data and small RNA libraries, we are able to present here a catalog of the microRNAs and phasiRNAs for this organism and, particularly, we suggest new protagonists in the symbiotic nodulation events. Results We identified a set of 185 mature miRNAs, including 121 previously unpublished sequences, encoded by 307 precursors and distributed in 98 families. Degradome data allowed us to identify a total of 181 targets for these miRNAs. We reveal two regulatory networks involving conserved miRNAs: those known to play crucial roles in the establishment of nodules, and novel miRNAs present only in common bean, suggesting a specific role for these sequences. In addition, we identified 125 loci that potentially produce phased small RNAs, with 47 of them having all the characteristics of being triggered by a total of 31 miRNAs, including 14 new miRNAs identified in this study. Conclusions We provide here a set of new small RNAs that contribute to the broader knowledge of the sRNAome of Phaseolus vulgaris. Thanks to the identification of the miRNA targets from degradome analysis and the construction of regulatory networks between the mature microRNAs, we present here the probable functional regulation associated with the sRNAome and, particularly, in N2-fixing symbiotic nodules. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1639-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Data from a proteomic analysis of colonic fibroblasts secretomes
The tumor cell proliferation, migration and invasion were influenced by the interaction between the cancer cells and their microenvironment. In current study, we established two pairs of the primary fibroblast cultures from colorectal adenocarcinoma tissues and the normal counterparts and identified 227 proteins in the colonic fibroblast secretomes; half of these proteins were novel. The mass spectrometry data and analyzed results presented here provide novel insights into the molecular characteristics and modulatory role of colon cancer associated fibroblasts. The data is related to “Identification of colonic fibroblast secretomes reveals secretory factors regulating colon cancer cell proliferation” by Chen et al. [1]. The tumor cell proliferation, migration and invasion were influenced by the interaction between the cancer cells and their microenvironment. In current study, we established two pairs of the primary fibroblast cultures from colorectal adenocarcinoma tissues and the normal counterparts and identified 227 proteins in the colonic fibroblast secretomes; half of these proteins were novel. The mass spectrometry data and analyzed results presented here provide novel insights into the molecular characteristics and modulatory role of colon cancer associated fibroblasts. The data is related to “Identification of colonic fibroblast secretomes reveals secretory factors regulating colon cancer cell proliferation” by Chen et al. [1].
Prevalence of classic, MLB clade and VA clade Astroviruses in Kenya and The Gambia
Background Infectious diarrhea leads to significant mortality in children, with 40 % of these deaths occurring in Africa. Classic human astroviruses are a well-established etiology of diarrhea. In recent years, seven novel astroviruses have been discovered (MLB1, MLB2, MLB3, VA1/HMO-C, VA2/HMO-B, VA3/HMO-A, VA4); however, there have been few studies on their prevalence or potential association with diarrhea. Methods To investigate the prevalence and diversity of these classic and recently described astroviruses in a pediatric population, a case–control study was performed. Nine hundred and forty nine stools were previously collected from cases of moderate-to-severe diarrhea and matched controls of patients less than 5 years of age in Kenya and The Gambia. RT-PCR screening was performed using pan-astrovirus primers. Results Astroviruses were present in 9.9 % of all stool samples. MLB3 was the most common astrovirus with a prevalence of 2.6 %. Two subtypes of MLB3 were detected that varied based on location in Africa. In this case–control study, Astrovirus MLB1 was associated with diarrhea in Kenya, whereas Astrovirus MLB3 was associated with the control state in The Gambia. Classic human astrovirus was not associated with diarrhea in this study. Unexpectedly, astroviruses with high similarity to Canine Astrovirus and Avian Nephritis Virus 1 and 2 were also found in one case of diarrhea and two control stools respectively. Conclusions Astroviruses including novel MLB- and VA-clade members are commonly found in pediatric stools in Kenya and The Gambia. The most recently discovered astrovirus, MLB3, was the most prevalent and was found more commonly in control stools in The Gambia, while astrovirus MLB1 was associated with diarrhea in Kenya. Furthermore, a distinct subtype of MLB3 was noted, as well as 3 unanticipated avian or canine astroviruses in the human stool samples. As a result of a broadly reactive PCR screen for astroviruses, new insight was gained regarding the epidemiology of astroviruses in Africa, where a large proportion of diarrheal morbidity and mortality occur. Background Infectious diarrhea leads to significant mortality in children, with 40 % of these deaths occurring in Africa. Classic human astroviruses are a well-established etiology of diarrhea. In recent years, seven novel astroviruses have been discovered (MLB1, MLB2, MLB3, VA1/HMO-C, VA2/HMO-B, VA3/HMO-A, VA4); however, there have been few studies on their prevalence or potential association with diarrhea. Methods To investigate the prevalence and diversity of these classic and recently described astroviruses in a pediatric population, a case–control study was performed. Nine hundred and forty nine stools were previously collected from cases of moderate-to-severe diarrhea and matched controls of patients less than 5 years of age in Kenya and The Gambia. RT-PCR screening was performed using pan-astrovirus primers. Results Astroviruses were present in 9.9 % of all stool samples. MLB3 was the most common astrovirus with a prevalence of 2.6 %. Two subtypes of MLB3 were detected that varied based on location in Africa. In this case–control study, Astrovirus MLB1 was associated with diarrhea in Kenya, whereas Astrovirus MLB3 was associated with the control state in The Gambia. Classic human astrovirus was not associated with diarrhea in this study. Unexpectedly, astroviruses with high similarity to Canine Astrovirus and Avian Nephritis Virus 1 and 2 were also found in one case of diarrhea and two control stools respectively. Conclusions Astroviruses including novel MLB- and VA-clade members are commonly found in pediatric stools in Kenya and The Gambia. The most recently discovered astrovirus, MLB3, was the most prevalent and was found more commonly in control stools in The Gambia, while astrovirus MLB1 was associated with diarrhea in Kenya. Furthermore, a distinct subtype of MLB3 was noted, as well as 3 unanticipated avian or canine astroviruses in the human stool samples. As a result of a broadly reactive PCR screen for astroviruses, new insight was gained regarding the epidemiology of astroviruses in Africa, where a large proportion of diarrheal morbidity and mortality occur.
Endophytic bacterial diversity in the phyllosphere of Amazon Paullinia cupana associated with asymptomatic and symptomatic anthracnose
Endophytes colonize an ecological niche similar to that of phytopathogens, which make them candidate for disease suppression. Anthracnose is a disease caused by Colletotrichum spp., a phytopathogen that can infect guarana (Paullinia cupana), an important commercial crop in the Brazilian Amazon. We investigated the diversity of endophytic bacteria inhabiting the phyllosphere of asymptomatic and symptomatic anthracnose guarana plants. The PCR-denaturation gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) fingerprints revealed differences in the structure of the evaluated communities. Detailed analysis of endophytic bacteria composition using culture-dependent and 16S rRNA clone libraries revealed the presence of Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Acidobacteria phyla. Firmicutes comprised the majority of isolates in asymptomatic plants (2.40E−4). However, cloning and sequencing of 16S rRNA revealed differences at the genus level for Neisseria (1.4E−4), Haemophilus (2.1E−3) and Arsenophonus (3.6E−5) in asymptomatic plants, Aquicella (3.5E−3) in symptomatic anthracnose plants, and Pseudomonas (1.1E−3), which was mainly identified in asymptomatic plants. In cross-comparisons of the endophytic bacterial communities as a whole, symptomatic anthracnose plants contained higher diversity, as reflected in the Shannon–Weaver and Simpson indices estimation (P < 0.05). Similarly, comparisons using LIBSHUFF and heatmap analysis for the relative abundance of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) showed differences between endophytic bacterial communities. These data are in agreement with the NMSD and ANOSIM analysis of DGGE profiles. Our results suggest that anthracnose can restructure endophytic bacterial communities by selecting certain strains in the phyllosphere of P. cupana. The understanding of these interactions is important for the development of strategies of biocontrol for Colletotrichum. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40064-015-1037-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Endophytes colonize an ecological niche similar to that of phytopathogens, which make them candidate for disease suppression. Anthracnose is a disease caused by Colletotrichum spp., a phytopathogen that can infect guarana (Paullinia cupana), an important commercial crop in the Brazilian Amazon. We investigated the diversity of endophytic bacteria inhabiting the phyllosphere of asymptomatic and symptomatic anthracnose guarana plants. The PCR-denaturation gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) fingerprints revealed differences in the structure of the evaluated communities. Detailed analysis of endophytic bacteria composition using culture-dependent and 16S rRNA clone libraries revealed the presence of Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Acidobacteria phyla. Firmicutes comprised the majority of isolates in asymptomatic plants (2.40E−4). However, cloning and sequencing of 16S rRNA revealed differences at the genus level for Neisseria (1.4E−4), Haemophilus (2.1E−3) and Arsenophonus (3.6E−5) in asymptomatic plants, Aquicella (3.5E−3) in symptomatic anthracnose plants, and Pseudomonas (1.1E−3), which was mainly identified in asymptomatic plants. In cross-comparisons of the endophytic bacterial communities as a whole, symptomatic anthracnose plants contained higher diversity, as reflected in the Shannon–Weaver and Simpson indices estimation (P < 0.05). Similarly, comparisons using LIBSHUFF and heatmap analysis for the relative abundance of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) showed differences between endophytic bacterial communities. These data are in agreement with the NMSD and ANOSIM analysis of DGGE profiles. Our results suggest that anthracnose can restructure endophytic bacterial communities by selecting certain strains in the phyllosphere of P. cupana. The understanding of these interactions is important for the development of strategies of biocontrol for Colletotrichum. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40064-015-1037-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Discordant Impact of HLA on Viral Replicative Capacity and Disease Progression in Pediatric and Adult HIV Infection
Author Summary HLA plays a central role in determining disease outcome in adult HIV infection. A principal mechanism by which this HLA effect is mediated is via viral replicative capacity (VRC), protective HLA alleles such as HLA-B*57 driving the selection of viral escape mutants that reduce VRC. The factors contributing to the diverse disease progression rates observed in infected children, however, remain uncertain. We here address the role of HLA and VRC in pediatric disease progression in a large cohort in Kimberley, South Africa. The findings highlight the consistent and important role of VRC in both adult and pediatric progression. However, the impact of key HLA molecules in shaping disease outcome in adult infection is notably absent in pediatric infection. Further studies of pediatric infection therefore provide the potential to gain critical new insights into HLA-independent mechanisms of HIV disease non-progression that predominate in HIV-infected but healthy, ART-naive children. Understanding these mechanisms remains of direct relevance to the development of future interventions to minimize HIV disease. Author Summary HLA plays a central role in determining disease outcome in adult HIV infection. A principal mechanism by which this HLA effect is mediated is via viral replicative capacity (VRC), protective HLA alleles such as HLA-B*57 driving the selection of viral escape mutants that reduce VRC. The factors contributing to the diverse disease progression rates observed in infected children, however, remain uncertain. We here address the role of HLA and VRC in pediatric disease progression in a large cohort in Kimberley, South Africa. The findings highlight the consistent and important role of VRC in both adult and pediatric progression. However, the impact of key HLA molecules in shaping disease outcome in adult infection is notably absent in pediatric infection. Further studies of pediatric infection therefore provide the potential to gain critical new insights into HLA-independent mechanisms of HIV disease non-progression that predominate in HIV-infected but healthy, ART-naive children. Understanding these mechanisms remains of direct relevance to the development of future interventions to minimize HIV disease.HLA class I polymorphism has a major influence on adult HIV disease progression. An important mechanism mediating this effect is the impact on viral replicative capacity (VRC) of the escape mutations selected in response to HLA-restricted CD8+ T-cell responses. Factors that contribute to slow progression in pediatric HIV infection are less well understood. We here investigate the relationship between VRC and disease progression in pediatric infection, and the effect of HLA on VRC and on disease outcome in adult and pediatric infection. Studying a South African cohort of >350 ART-naïve, HIV-infected children and their mothers, we first observed that pediatric disease progression is significantly correlated with VRC. As expected, VRCs in mother-child pairs were strongly correlated (p = 0.004). The impact of the protective HLA alleles, HLA-B*57, HLA-B*58:01 and HLA-B*81:01, resulted in significantly lower VRCs in adults (p<0.0001), but not in children. Similarly, in adults, but not in children, VRCs were significantly higher in subjects expressing the disease-susceptible alleles HLA-B*18:01/45:01/58:02 (p = 0.007). Irrespective of the subject, VRCs were strongly correlated with the number of Gag CD8+ T-cell escape mutants driven by HLA-B*57/58:01/81:01 present in each virus (p = 0.0002). In contrast to the impact of VRC common to progression in adults and children, the HLA effects on disease outcome, that are substantial in adults, are small and statistically insignificant in infected children. These data further highlight the important role that VRC plays both in adult and pediatric progression, and demonstrate that HLA-independent factors, yet to be fully defined, are predominantly responsible for pediatric non-progression. HLA class I polymorphism has a major influence on adult HIV disease progression. An important mechanism mediating this effect is the impact on viral replicative capacity (VRC) of the escape mutations selected in response to HLA-restricted CD8+ T-cell responses. Factors that contribute to slow progression in pediatric HIV infection are less well understood. We here investigate the relationship between VRC and disease progression in pediatric infection, and the effect of HLA on VRC and on disease outcome in adult and pediatric infection. Studying a South African cohort of >350 ART-naïve, HIV-infected children and their mothers, we first observed that pediatric disease progression is significantly correlated with VRC. As expected, VRCs in mother-child pairs were strongly correlated (p = 0.004). The impact of the protective HLA alleles, HLA-B*57, HLA-B*58:01 and HLA-B*81:01, resulted in significantly lower VRCs in adults (p<0.0001), but not in children. Similarly, in adults, but not in children, VRCs were significantly higher in subjects expressing the disease-susceptible alleles HLA-B*18:01/45:01/58:02 (p = 0.007). Irrespective of the subject, VRCs were strongly correlated with the number of Gag CD8+ T-cell escape mutants driven by HLA-B*57/58:01/81:01 present in each virus (p = 0.0002). In contrast to the impact of VRC common to progression in adults and children, the HLA effects on disease outcome, that are substantial in adults, are small and statistically insignificant in infected children. These data further highlight the important role that VRC plays both in adult and pediatric progression, and demonstrate that HLA-independent factors, yet to be fully defined, are predominantly responsible for pediatric non-progression.
The effect of red light and far red light conditions on secondary metabolism in Agarwood
Background Agarwood, a heartwood derived from Aquilaria trees, is a valuable commodity that has seen prevalent use among many cultures. In particular, it is widely used in herbal medicine and many compounds in agarwood are known to exhibit medicinal properties. Although there exists much research into medicinal herbs and extraction of high value compounds, few have focused on increasing the quantity of target compounds through stimulation of its related pathways in this species. Results In this study, we observed that cucurbitacin yield can be increased through the use of different light conditions to stimulate related pathways and conducted three types of high-throughput sequencing experiments in order to study the effect of light conditions on secondary metabolism in agarwood. We constructed genome-wide profiles of RNA expression, small RNA, and DNA methylation under red light and far-red light conditions. With these profiles, we identified a set of small RNA which potentially regulates gene expression via the RNA-directed DNA methylation pathway. Conclusions We demonstrate that light conditions can be used to stimulate pathways related to secondary metabolism, increasing the yield of cucurbitacins. The genome-wide expression and methylation profiles from our study provide insight into the effect of light on gene expression for secondary metabolism in agarwood and provide compelling new candidates towards the study of functional secondary metabolic components. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12870-015-0537-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Background Agarwood, a heartwood derived from Aquilaria trees, is a valuable commodity that has seen prevalent use among many cultures. In particular, it is widely used in herbal medicine and many compounds in agarwood are known to exhibit medicinal properties. Although there exists much research into medicinal herbs and extraction of high value compounds, few have focused on increasing the quantity of target compounds through stimulation of its related pathways in this species. Results In this study, we observed that cucurbitacin yield can be increased through the use of different light conditions to stimulate related pathways and conducted three types of high-throughput sequencing experiments in order to study the effect of light conditions on secondary metabolism in agarwood. We constructed genome-wide profiles of RNA expression, small RNA, and DNA methylation under red light and far-red light conditions. With these profiles, we identified a set of small RNA which potentially regulates gene expression via the RNA-directed DNA methylation pathway. Conclusions We demonstrate that light conditions can be used to stimulate pathways related to secondary metabolism, increasing the yield of cucurbitacins. The genome-wide expression and methylation profiles from our study provide insight into the effect of light on gene expression for secondary metabolism in agarwood and provide compelling new candidates towards the study of functional secondary metabolic components. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12870-015-0537-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Molecular characterisation of new organisation of plnEF and plw loci of bacteriocin genes harbour concomitantly in Lactobacillus plantarum I UL4
Background Bacteriocin-producing Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have vast applications in human and animal health, as well as in food industry. The structural, immunity, regulatory, export and modification genes are required for effective bacteriocin biosynthesis. Variations in gene sequence, composition and organisation will affect the antimicrobial spectrum of bacteriocin greatly. Lactobacillus plantarum I-UL4 is a novel multiple bacteriocin producer that harbours both plw and plnEF structural genes simultaneous which has not been reported elsewhere. Therefore, molecular characterisation of bacteriocin genes that harboured in L. plantarum I-UL4 was conducted in this study. Results and discussion Under optimised conditions, 8 genes (brnQ1, napA1, plnL, plnD, plnEF, plnI, plnG and plnH) of plnEF locus and 2 genes (plw and plwG) of plw locus were amplified successfully from genomic DNA extracted from L. plantarum I-UL4 using specific primers designed from 24 pln genes selected randomly from reported plw, plS, pln423 and plnEF loci. DNA sequence analysis of the flanking region of the amplified genes revealed the presence of two pln loci, UL4-plw and UL4-plnEF loci, which were chromosomally encoded as shown by Southern hybridisation. UL4-plw locus that contained three ORFs were arranged in one operon and possessed remarkable amino acid sequence of LMG2379-plw locus, suggesting it was highly conserved. Interestingly, the UL4-plnEF locus appeared to be a composite pln locus of JDM1-plnEF and J51-plnEF locus in terms of genetic composition and organisation, whereby twenty complete and one partial open reading frames (ORFs) were aligned and organised successfully into five operons. Furthermore, a mutation was detected in plnF structural gene which has contributed to a longer bacteriocin peptide. Conclusions Plantaricin EF and plantaricin W encoded by plnEF and plnW loci are classified as class I bacteriocin and class II bacteriocin molecules respectively. The concurrent presence of two pln loci encoding bacteriocins from two different classes has contributed greatly to the broad inhibitory spectrum of L. plantarum I-UL4. The new genetic composition and organisation of plnEF locus and concurrent presence of plnEF and plnW loci indicated that L. plantarum I-UL4 is a novel multiple bacteriocin producer that possesses vast potentials in various industries. Background Bacteriocin-producing Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have vast applications in human and animal health, as well as in food industry. The structural, immunity, regulatory, export and modification genes are required for effective bacteriocin biosynthesis. Variations in gene sequence, composition and organisation will affect the antimicrobial spectrum of bacteriocin greatly. Lactobacillus plantarum I-UL4 is a novel multiple bacteriocin producer that harbours both plw and plnEF structural genes simultaneous which has not been reported elsewhere. Therefore, molecular characterisation of bacteriocin genes that harboured in L. plantarum I-UL4 was conducted in this study. Results and discussion Under optimised conditions, 8 genes (brnQ1, napA1, plnL, plnD, plnEF, plnI, plnG and plnH) of plnEF locus and 2 genes (plw and plwG) of plw locus were amplified successfully from genomic DNA extracted from L. plantarum I-UL4 using specific primers designed from 24 pln genes selected randomly from reported plw, plS, pln423 and plnEF loci. DNA sequence analysis of the flanking region of the amplified genes revealed the presence of two pln loci, UL4-plw and UL4-plnEF loci, which were chromosomally encoded as shown by Southern hybridisation. UL4-plw locus that contained three ORFs were arranged in one operon and possessed remarkable amino acid sequence of LMG2379-plw locus, suggesting it was highly conserved. Interestingly, the UL4-plnEF locus appeared to be a composite pln locus of JDM1-plnEF and J51-plnEF locus in terms of genetic composition and organisation, whereby twenty complete and one partial open reading frames (ORFs) were aligned and organised successfully into five operons. Furthermore, a mutation was detected in plnF structural gene which has contributed to a longer bacteriocin peptide. Conclusions Plantaricin EF and plantaricin W encoded by plnEF and plnW loci are classified as class I bacteriocin and class II bacteriocin molecules respectively. The concurrent presence of two pln loci encoding bacteriocins from two different classes has contributed greatly to the broad inhibitory spectrum of L. plantarum I-UL4. The new genetic composition and organisation of plnEF locus and concurrent presence of plnEF and plnW loci indicated that L. plantarum I-UL4 is a novel multiple bacteriocin producer that possesses vast potentials in various industries.
Genetic Divergence among Regions Containing the Vulnerable Great Desert Skink (Liopholis kintorei) in the Australian Arid Zone
Knowledge of genetic structure and patterns of connectivity is valuable for implementation of effective conservation management. The arid zone of Australia contains a rich biodiversity, however this has come under threat due to activities such as altered fire regimes, grazing and the introduction of feral herbivores and predators. Suitable habitats for many species can be separated by vast distances, and despite an apparent lack of current geographical barriers to dispersal, habitat specialisation, which is exhibited by many desert species, may limit connectivity throughout this expansive region. We characterised the genetic structure and differentiation of the great desert skink (Liopholis kintorei), which has a patchy, but widespread distribution in the western region of the Australian arid zone. As a species of cultural importance to local Aboriginal groups and nationally listed as Vulnerable, it is a conservation priority for numerous land managers in central Australia. Analysis of mitochondrial ND4 sequence data and ten nuclear microsatellite loci across six sampling localities through the distribution of L. kintorei revealed considerable differentiation among sites, with mitochondrial FST and microsatellite F′ST ranging from 0.047-0.938 and 0.257-0.440, respectively. The extent of differentiation suggests three main regions that should be managed separately, in particular the southeastern locality of Uluru. Current genetic delineation of these regions should be maintained if future intervention such as translocation or captive breeding is to be undertaken. Knowledge of genetic structure and patterns of connectivity is valuable for implementation of effective conservation management. The arid zone of Australia contains a rich biodiversity, however this has come under threat due to activities such as altered fire regimes, grazing and the introduction of feral herbivores and predators. Suitable habitats for many species can be separated by vast distances, and despite an apparent lack of current geographical barriers to dispersal, habitat specialisation, which is exhibited by many desert species, may limit connectivity throughout this expansive region. We characterised the genetic structure and differentiation of the great desert skink (Liopholis kintorei), which has a patchy, but widespread distribution in the western region of the Australian arid zone. As a species of cultural importance to local Aboriginal groups and nationally listed as Vulnerable, it is a conservation priority for numerous land managers in central Australia. Analysis of mitochondrial ND4 sequence data and ten nuclear microsatellite loci across six sampling localities through the distribution of L. kintorei revealed considerable differentiation among sites, with mitochondrial FST and microsatellite F′ST ranging from 0.047-0.938 and 0.257-0.440, respectively. The extent of differentiation suggests three main regions that should be managed separately, in particular the southeastern locality of Uluru. Current genetic delineation of these regions should be maintained if future intervention such as translocation or captive breeding is to be undertaken.
High Throughput Sequencing Reveals Hypothalamic MicroRNAs as Novel Partners Involved in Timing the Rapid Development of Chicken (Gallus gallus) Gonads
Onset of the rapid gonad growth is a milestone in sexual development that comprises many genes and regulatory factors. The observations in model organisms and mammals including humans have shown a potential link between miRNAs and development timing. To determine whether miRNAs play roles in this process in the chicken (Gallus gallus), the Solexa deep sequencing was performed to analyze the profiles of miRNA expression in the hypothalamus of hens from two different pubertal stages, before onset of the rapid gonad development (BO) and after onset of the rapid gonad development (AO). 374 conserved and 46 novel miRNAs were identified as hypothalamus-expressed miRNAs in the chicken. 144 conserved miRNAs were showed to be differentially expressed (reads > 10, P < 0.05) during the transition from BO to AO. Five differentially expressed miRNAs were validated by real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) method. 2013 putative genes were predicted as the targets of the 15 most differentially expressed miRNAs (fold-change > 4.0, P < 0.01). Of these genes, 7 putative circadian clock genes, Per2, Bmal1/2, Clock, Cry1/2, and Star were found to be targeted multiple times by the miRNAs. qRT-PCR revealed the basic transcription levels of these clock genes were much higher (P < 0.01) in AO than in BO. Further functional analysis suggested that these 15 miRNAs play important roles in transcriptional regulation and signal transduction pathways. The results provide new insights into miRNAs functions in timing the rapid development of chicken gonads. Considering the characteristics of miRNA functional conservation, the results will contribute to the research on puberty onset in humans. Onset of the rapid gonad growth is a milestone in sexual development that comprises many genes and regulatory factors. The observations in model organisms and mammals including humans have shown a potential link between miRNAs and development timing. To determine whether miRNAs play roles in this process in the chicken (Gallus gallus), the Solexa deep sequencing was performed to analyze the profiles of miRNA expression in the hypothalamus of hens from two different pubertal stages, before onset of the rapid gonad development (BO) and after onset of the rapid gonad development (AO). 374 conserved and 46 novel miRNAs were identified as hypothalamus-expressed miRNAs in the chicken. 144 conserved miRNAs were showed to be differentially expressed (reads > 10, P < 0.05) during the transition from BO to AO. Five differentially expressed miRNAs were validated by real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) method. 2013 putative genes were predicted as the targets of the 15 most differentially expressed miRNAs (fold-change > 4.0, P < 0.01). Of these genes, 7 putative circadian clock genes, Per2, Bmal1/2, Clock, Cry1/2, and Star were found to be targeted multiple times by the miRNAs. qRT-PCR revealed the basic transcription levels of these clock genes were much higher (P < 0.01) in AO than in BO. Further functional analysis suggested that these 15 miRNAs play important roles in transcriptional regulation and signal transduction pathways. The results provide new insights into miRNAs functions in timing the rapid development of chicken gonads. Considering the characteristics of miRNA functional conservation, the results will contribute to the research on puberty onset in humans.
Involvement of enhancer of zeste homolog 2 in cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer cells by interacting with several genes
In the present study, gene expression profiles of cisplatin-sensitive ovarian cancer (OC) cells were compared with those of cisplatin-resistant OC cells to identify key genes and pathways contributing to cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer cells. The GSE15372 gene expression data set was downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus, and included five biological replicates of cisplatin-sensitive OC cells and five biological replicates of cisplatin-resistant OC cells. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were screened using the limma package in R, based on the cut-off values of P<0.05 and |log2 (fold change)|>1. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway enrichment analysis and Gene Ontology enrichment analysis were performed on the DEGs using the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integration Discovery. The protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed for the DEGs using STRING, and sub-networks were analyzed by Clustering with Overlapping Neighborhood Expansion. A total of 556 DEGs were identified in the cisplatin-sensitive OC cells, of which 246 were upregulated and 310 were downregulated. Functional enrichment analysis revealed metabolism-associated pathways, DNA replication and cell cycle were significantly enriched in the downregulated genes, while cell growth and differentiation, response to stimulus, and apoptosis were significantly enriched in the upregulated genes. A PPI network, including 342 nodes was constructed for the DEGs and four subnetworks were extracted from the entire network. A total of 34 DEGs interacting with enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) were identified, which were associated with DNA replication, pyrimidine metabolism and cell cycle. In conclusion, a number of key genes and pathways associated with the cisplatin-resistance of OC were revealed, particularly EZH2. These findings assist in the development of therapy for OC. In the present study, gene expression profiles of cisplatin-sensitive ovarian cancer (OC) cells were compared with those of cisplatin-resistant OC cells to identify key genes and pathways contributing to cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer cells. The GSE15372 gene expression data set was downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus, and included five biological replicates of cisplatin-sensitive OC cells and five biological replicates of cisplatin-resistant OC cells. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were screened using the limma package in R, based on the cut-off values of P<0.05 and |log2 (fold change)|>1. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway enrichment analysis and Gene Ontology enrichment analysis were performed on the DEGs using the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integration Discovery. The protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed for the DEGs using STRING, and sub-networks were analyzed by Clustering with Overlapping Neighborhood Expansion. A total of 556 DEGs were identified in the cisplatin-sensitive OC cells, of which 246 were upregulated and 310 were downregulated. Functional enrichment analysis revealed metabolism-associated pathways, DNA replication and cell cycle were significantly enriched in the downregulated genes, while cell growth and differentiation, response to stimulus, and apoptosis were significantly enriched in the upregulated genes. A PPI network, including 342 nodes was constructed for the DEGs and four subnetworks were extracted from the entire network. A total of 34 DEGs interacting with enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) were identified, which were associated with DNA replication, pyrimidine metabolism and cell cycle. In conclusion, a number of key genes and pathways associated with the cisplatin-resistance of OC were revealed, particularly EZH2. These findings assist in the development of therapy for OC.
Expansion of the HSFY gene family in pig lineages
Background Amplified gene families on sex chromosomes can harbour genes with important biological functions, especially relating to fertility. The Y-linked heat shock transcription factor (HSFY) family has become amplified on the Y chromosome of the domestic pig (Sus scrofa), in an apparently independent event to an HSFY expansion on the Y chromosome of cattle (Bos taurus). Although the biological functions of HSFY genes are poorly understood, they appear to be involved in gametogenesis in a number of mammalian species, and, in cattle, HSFY gene copy number may correlate with levels of fertility. Results We have investigated the HSFY family in domestic pig, and other suid species including warthog, bushpig, babirusa and peccaries. The domestic pig contains at least two amplified variants of HSFY, distinguished predominantly by presence or absence of a SINE within the intron. Both these variants are expressed in testis, and both are present in approximately 50 copies each in a single cluster on the short arm of the Y. The longer form has multiple nonsense mutations rendering it likely non-functional, but many of the shorter forms still have coding potential. Other suid species also have these two variants of HSFY, and estimates of copy number suggest the HSFY family may have amplified independently twice during suid evolution. Conclusions The HSFY genes have become amplified in multiple species lineages independently. HSFY is predominantly expressed in testis in domestic pig, a pattern conserved with cattle, in which HSFY may play a role in fertility. Further investigation of the potential associations of HSFY with fertility and testis development may be of agricultural interest. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1650-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Background Amplified gene families on sex chromosomes can harbour genes with important biological functions, especially relating to fertility. The Y-linked heat shock transcription factor (HSFY) family has become amplified on the Y chromosome of the domestic pig (Sus scrofa), in an apparently independent event to an HSFY expansion on the Y chromosome of cattle (Bos taurus). Although the biological functions of HSFY genes are poorly understood, they appear to be involved in gametogenesis in a number of mammalian species, and, in cattle, HSFY gene copy number may correlate with levels of fertility. Results We have investigated the HSFY family in domestic pig, and other suid species including warthog, bushpig, babirusa and peccaries. The domestic pig contains at least two amplified variants of HSFY, distinguished predominantly by presence or absence of a SINE within the intron. Both these variants are expressed in testis, and both are present in approximately 50 copies each in a single cluster on the short arm of the Y. The longer form has multiple nonsense mutations rendering it likely non-functional, but many of the shorter forms still have coding potential. Other suid species also have these two variants of HSFY, and estimates of copy number suggest the HSFY family may have amplified independently twice during suid evolution. Conclusions The HSFY genes have become amplified in multiple species lineages independently. HSFY is predominantly expressed in testis in domestic pig, a pattern conserved with cattle, in which HSFY may play a role in fertility. Further investigation of the potential associations of HSFY with fertility and testis development may be of agricultural interest. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1650-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Comparative Transcriptome Analysis of Cultivated and Wild Watermelon during Fruit Development
Watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai] is an important vegetable crop world-wide. Watermelon fruit quality is a complex trait determined by various factors such as sugar content, flesh color and flesh texture. Fruit quality and developmental process of cultivated and wild watermelon are highly different. To systematically understand the molecular basis of these differences, we compared transcriptome profiles of fruit tissues of cultivated watermelon 97103 and wild watermelon PI296341-FR. We identified 2,452, 826 and 322 differentially expressed genes in cultivated flesh, cultivated mesocarp and wild flesh, respectively, during fruit development. Gene ontology enrichment analysis of these genes indicated that biological processes and metabolic pathways related to fruit quality such as sweetness and flavor were significantly changed only in the flesh of 97103 during fruit development, while those related to abiotic stress response were changed mainly in the flesh of PI296341-FR. Our comparative transcriptome profiling analysis identified critical genes potentially involved in controlling fruit quality traits including α-galactosidase, invertase, UDP-galactose/glucose pyrophosphorylase and sugar transporter genes involved in the determination of fruit sugar content, phytoene synthase, β-carotene hydroxylase, 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase and carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase genes involved in carotenoid metabolism, and 4-coumarate:coenzyme A ligase, cellulose synthase, pectinesterase, pectinesterase inhibitor, polygalacturonase inhibitor and α-mannosidase genes involved in the regulation of flesh texture. In addition, we found that genes in the ethylene biosynthesis and signaling pathway including ACC oxidase, ethylene receptor and ethylene responsive factor showed highly ripening-associated expression patterns, indicating a possible role of ethylene in fruit development and ripening of watermelon, a non-climacteric fruit. Our analysis provides novel insights into watermelon fruit quality and ripening biology. Furthermore, the comparative expression profile data we developed provides a valuable resource to accelerate functional studies in watermelon and facilitate watermelon crop improvement. Watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai] is an important vegetable crop world-wide. Watermelon fruit quality is a complex trait determined by various factors such as sugar content, flesh color and flesh texture. Fruit quality and developmental process of cultivated and wild watermelon are highly different. To systematically understand the molecular basis of these differences, we compared transcriptome profiles of fruit tissues of cultivated watermelon 97103 and wild watermelon PI296341-FR. We identified 2,452, 826 and 322 differentially expressed genes in cultivated flesh, cultivated mesocarp and wild flesh, respectively, during fruit development. Gene ontology enrichment analysis of these genes indicated that biological processes and metabolic pathways related to fruit quality such as sweetness and flavor were significantly changed only in the flesh of 97103 during fruit development, while those related to abiotic stress response were changed mainly in the flesh of PI296341-FR. Our comparative transcriptome profiling analysis identified critical genes potentially involved in controlling fruit quality traits including α-galactosidase, invertase, UDP-galactose/glucose pyrophosphorylase and sugar transporter genes involved in the determination of fruit sugar content, phytoene synthase, β-carotene hydroxylase, 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase and carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase genes involved in carotenoid metabolism, and 4-coumarate:coenzyme A ligase, cellulose synthase, pectinesterase, pectinesterase inhibitor, polygalacturonase inhibitor and α-mannosidase genes involved in the regulation of flesh texture. In addition, we found that genes in the ethylene biosynthesis and signaling pathway including ACC oxidase, ethylene receptor and ethylene responsive factor showed highly ripening-associated expression patterns, indicating a possible role of ethylene in fruit development and ripening of watermelon, a non-climacteric fruit. Our analysis provides novel insights into watermelon fruit quality and ripening biology. Furthermore, the comparative expression profile data we developed provides a valuable resource to accelerate functional studies in watermelon and facilitate watermelon crop improvement.
The hierarchical organization of natural protein interaction networks confers self organization properties on pseudocells
Background Cell organization is governed and maintained via specific interactions among its constituent macromolecules. Comparison of the experimentally determined protein interaction networks in different model organisms has revealed little conservation of the specific edges linking ortholog proteins. Nevertheless, some topological characteristics of the graphs representing the networks - namely non-random degree distribution and high clustering coefficient - are shared by networks of distantly related organisms. Here we investigate the role of the topological features of the protein interaction network in promoting cell organization. Methods We have used a stochastic model, dubbed ProtNet representing a computer stylized cell to answer questions about the dynamic consequences of the topological properties of the static graphs representing protein interaction networks. Results By using a novel metrics of cell organization, we show that natural networks, differently from random networks, can promote cell self-organization. Furthermore the ensemble of protein complexes that forms in pseudocells, which self-organize according to the interaction rules of natural networks, are more robust to perturbations. Conclusions The analysis of the dynamic properties of networks with a variety of topological characteristics lead us to conclude that self organization is a consequence of the high clustering coefficient, whereas the scale free degree distribution has little influence on this property. Background Cell organization is governed and maintained via specific interactions among its constituent macromolecules. Comparison of the experimentally determined protein interaction networks in different model organisms has revealed little conservation of the specific edges linking ortholog proteins. Nevertheless, some topological characteristics of the graphs representing the networks - namely non-random degree distribution and high clustering coefficient - are shared by networks of distantly related organisms. Here we investigate the role of the topological features of the protein interaction network in promoting cell organization. Methods We have used a stochastic model, dubbed ProtNet representing a computer stylized cell to answer questions about the dynamic consequences of the topological properties of the static graphs representing protein interaction networks. Results By using a novel metrics of cell organization, we show that natural networks, differently from random networks, can promote cell self-organization. Furthermore the ensemble of protein complexes that forms in pseudocells, which self-organize according to the interaction rules of natural networks, are more robust to perturbations. Conclusions The analysis of the dynamic properties of networks with a variety of topological characteristics lead us to conclude that self organization is a consequence of the high clustering coefficient, whereas the scale free degree distribution has little influence on this property.
Cross Talk between KGF and KITLG Proteins Implicated with Ovarian Folliculogenesis in Buffalo Bubalus bubalis
Molecular interactions between mesenchymal-derived Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) and Kit ligand (KITLG) are essential for follicular development. These factors are expressed by theca and granulosa cells. We determined full length coding sequence of buffalo KGF and KITLG proteins having 194 and 274 amino acids, respectively. The recombinant KGF and KITLG proteins were solubilized in 10 mM Tris, pH 7.5 and 50 mM Tris, pH 7.4 and purified using Ni-NTA column and GST affinity chromatography, respectively. The purity and molecular weight of His-KGF (~23 kDa) and GST-KITLG (~57 kDa) proteins were confirmed by SDS-PAGE and western blotting. The co-immunoprecipitation assay accompanied with computational analysis demonstrated the interaction between KGF and KITLG proteins. We deduced 3D structures of the candidate proteins and assessed their binding based on protein docking. In the process, KGF specific residues, Lys123, Glu135, Lys140, Lys155 and Trp156 and KITLG specific ones, Ser226, Phe233, Gly234, Ala235, Phe236, Trp238 and Lys239 involved in the formation of KGF-KITLG complex were detected. The hydrophobic interactions surrounding KGF-KITLG complex affirmed their binding affinity and stability to the interacting interface. Additionally, in-silico site directed mutagenesis enabled the assessment of changes that occurred in the binding energies of mutated KGF-KITLG protein complex. Our results demonstrate that in the presence of KITLG, KGF mimics its native binding mode suggesting all the KGF residues are specific to their binding complex. This study provides an insight on the critical amino acid residues participating in buffalo ovarian folliculogenesis. Molecular interactions between mesenchymal-derived Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) and Kit ligand (KITLG) are essential for follicular development. These factors are expressed by theca and granulosa cells. We determined full length coding sequence of buffalo KGF and KITLG proteins having 194 and 274 amino acids, respectively. The recombinant KGF and KITLG proteins were solubilized in 10 mM Tris, pH 7.5 and 50 mM Tris, pH 7.4 and purified using Ni-NTA column and GST affinity chromatography, respectively. The purity and molecular weight of His-KGF (~23 kDa) and GST-KITLG (~57 kDa) proteins were confirmed by SDS-PAGE and western blotting. The co-immunoprecipitation assay accompanied with computational analysis demonstrated the interaction between KGF and KITLG proteins. We deduced 3D structures of the candidate proteins and assessed their binding based on protein docking. In the process, KGF specific residues, Lys123, Glu135, Lys140, Lys155 and Trp156 and KITLG specific ones, Ser226, Phe233, Gly234, Ala235, Phe236, Trp238 and Lys239 involved in the formation of KGF-KITLG complex were detected. The hydrophobic interactions surrounding KGF-KITLG complex affirmed their binding affinity and stability to the interacting interface. Additionally, in-silico site directed mutagenesis enabled the assessment of changes that occurred in the binding energies of mutated KGF-KITLG protein complex. Our results demonstrate that in the presence of KITLG, KGF mimics its native binding mode suggesting all the KGF residues are specific to their binding complex. This study provides an insight on the critical amino acid residues participating in buffalo ovarian folliculogenesis.
Computer aided screening of natural compounds targeting the E6 protein of HPV using molecular docking
The cancer profile in the Indian state of Uttarakhand reveals that the breast cancer is the most prevalent type of cancers in females followed by cervical and ovarian type. Literature survey shows that the E6 protein of Human Papilloma Virus-16 (HPV-16) is responsible for causing several forms of cancer in human. Therefore, it is of interest to screen HPV-16 E6 target protein with known natural compounds using computer aided molecular modeling and docking tools. The complete structure of E6 is unknown. Hence, the E6 structure model was constructed using different online servers followed by molecular docking of Colchine, Curcumin, Daphnoretin, Ellipticine and Epigallocatechin-3-gallate; five known natural compounds with best E6 protein model predicted by Phyre2 server. The screening exercise shows that Daphnoretin (with binding free energy of -8.3 kcal/mol), a natural compound derived from Wikstroemia indica has the top binding properties. Thus, it is of interest to consider the compound for further validation. The cancer profile in the Indian state of Uttarakhand reveals that the breast cancer is the most prevalent type of cancers in females followed by cervical and ovarian type. Literature survey shows that the E6 protein of Human Papilloma Virus-16 (HPV-16) is responsible for causing several forms of cancer in human. Therefore, it is of interest to screen HPV-16 E6 target protein with known natural compounds using computer aided molecular modeling and docking tools. The complete structure of E6 is unknown. Hence, the E6 structure model was constructed using different online servers followed by molecular docking of Colchine, Curcumin, Daphnoretin, Ellipticine and Epigallocatechin-3-gallate; five known natural compounds with best E6 protein model predicted by Phyre2 server. The screening exercise shows that Daphnoretin (with binding free energy of -8.3 kcal/mol), a natural compound derived from Wikstroemia indica has the top binding properties. Thus, it is of interest to consider the compound for further validation.
PC, a Novel Oral Insecticidal Toxin from Bacillus bombysepticus Involved in Host Lethality via APN and BtR 175
Insect pests have developed resistance to chemical insecticides, insecticidal toxins as bioinsecticides or genetic protection built into crops. Consequently, novel, orally active insecticidal toxins would be valuable biological alternatives for pest control. Here, we identified a novel insecticidal toxin, parasporal crystal toxin (PC), from Bacillus bombysepticus (Bb). PC shows oral pathogenic activity and lethality towards silkworms and Cry1Ac-resistant Helicoverpa armigera strains. In vitro assays, PC after activated by trypsin binds to BmAPN4 and BtR-175 by interacting with CR7 and CR12 fragments. Additionally, trypsin-activated PC demonstrates cytotoxicity against Sf9 cells expressing BmAPN4, revealing that BmAPN4 serves as a functional receptor that participates in Bb and PC pathogenicity. In vivo assay, knocking out BtR-175 increased the resistance of silkworms to PC. These data suggest that PC is the first protein with insecticidal activity identified in Bb that is capable of causing silkworm death via receptor interactions, representing an important advance in our understanding of the toxicity of Bb and the contributions of interactions between microbial pathogens and insects to disease pathology. Furthermore, the potency of PC as an insecticidal protein makes it a good candidate for inclusion in integrated agricultural pest management systems. Insect pests have developed resistance to chemical insecticides, insecticidal toxins as bioinsecticides or genetic protection built into crops. Consequently, novel, orally active insecticidal toxins would be valuable biological alternatives for pest control. Here, we identified a novel insecticidal toxin, parasporal crystal toxin (PC), from Bacillus bombysepticus (Bb). PC shows oral pathogenic activity and lethality towards silkworms and Cry1Ac-resistant Helicoverpa armigera strains. In vitro assays, PC after activated by trypsin binds to BmAPN4 and BtR-175 by interacting with CR7 and CR12 fragments. Additionally, trypsin-activated PC demonstrates cytotoxicity against Sf9 cells expressing BmAPN4, revealing that BmAPN4 serves as a functional receptor that participates in Bb and PC pathogenicity. In vivo assay, knocking out BtR-175 increased the resistance of silkworms to PC. These data suggest that PC is the first protein with insecticidal activity identified in Bb that is capable of causing silkworm death via receptor interactions, representing an important advance in our understanding of the toxicity of Bb and the contributions of interactions between microbial pathogens and insects to disease pathology. Furthermore, the potency of PC as an insecticidal protein makes it a good candidate for inclusion in integrated agricultural pest management systems.
Metagenome Sequencing Reveals Rhodococcus Dominance in Farpuk Cave, Mizoram, India, an Eastern Himalayan Biodiversity Hot Spot Region
The present study employed 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to survey the prokaryotic microbiota on Farpuk Cave, revealing a diverse bacterial community with 4,021 operational taxonomical units (OTUs), mainly dominated by the genus Rhodococcus. Moreover, 18.17% of the OTUs were unclassified at the phylum level, suggesting the existence of novel bacterial species. The present study employed 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to survey the prokaryotic microbiota on Farpuk Cave, revealing a diverse bacterial community with 4,021 operational taxonomical units (OTUs), mainly dominated by the genus Rhodococcus. Moreover, 18.17% of the OTUs were unclassified at the phylum level, suggesting the existence of novel bacterial species.
Draft Genome Sequence of Microbacterium profundi Shh49T, an Actinobacterium Isolated from Deep Sea Sediment of a Polymetallic Nodule Environment
Microbacterium profundi strain Shh49T was isolated from deep-sea sediment from a polymetallic nodule area located in the East Pacific Ocean. Strain Shh49T contains genes related to the reduction/oxidation of metals. It has potential application in the bioremediation of heavy metal-contaminated environments. Microbacterium profundi strain Shh49T was isolated from deep-sea sediment from a polymetallic nodule area located in the East Pacific Ocean. Strain Shh49T contains genes related to the reduction/oxidation of metals. It has potential application in the bioremediation of heavy metal-contaminated environments.
Draft Whole Genome Sequence of the Biocontrol Agent Trichoderma harzianum T6776
Trichoderma harzianum T6776 is a promising beneficial isolate whose effects consist of growth promotion, positive response of photosynthetic activity, hormonal signaling, and carbon partitioning in tomato, coupled with biocontrol of plant pathogens. Here, we present the first genome assembly of T6776, providing a useful platform for the scientific community. Trichoderma harzianum T6776 is a promising beneficial isolate whose effects consist of growth promotion, positive response of photosynthetic activity, hormonal signaling, and carbon partitioning in tomato, coupled with biocontrol of plant pathogens. Here, we present the first genome assembly of T6776, providing a useful platform for the scientific community.
Evolutionary dynamics of rhomboid proteases in Streptomycetes
Background Proteolytic enzymes are ubiquitous and active in a myriad of biochemical pathways. One type, the rhomboids are intramembrane serine proteases that release their products extracellularly. These proteases are present in all forms of life and their function is not fully understood, although some evidence suggests they participate in cell signaling. Streptomycetes are prolific soil bacteria with diverse physiological and metabolic properties that respond to signals from other cells and from the environment. In the present study, we investigate the evolutionary dynamics of rhomboids in Streptomycetes, as this can shed light into the possible involvement of rhomboids in the complex lifestyles of these bacteria. Results Analysis of Streptomyces genomes revealed that they harbor up to five divergent putative rhomboid genes (arbitrarily labeled families A–E), two of which are orthologous to rhomboids previously described in Mycobacteria. Characterization of each of these rhomboid families reveals that each group is distinctive, and has its own evolutionary history. Two of the Streptomyces rhomboid families are highly conserved across all analyzed genomes suggesting they are essential. At least one family has been horizontally transferred, while others have been lost in several genomes. Additionally, the transcription of the four rhomboid genes identified in Streptomyces coelicolor, the model organism of this genus, was verified by reverse transcription. Conclusions Using phylogenetic and genomic analysis, this study demonstrates the existence of five distinct families of rhomboid genes in Streptomycetes. Families A and D are present in all nine species analyzed indicating a potentially important role for these genes. The four rhomboids present in S. coelicolor are transcribed suggesting they could participate in cellular metabolism. Future studies are needed to provide insight into the involvement of rhomboids in Streptomyces physiology. We are currently constructing knock out (KO) mutants for each of the rhomboid genes from S. coelicolor and will compare the phenotypes of the KOs to the wild type strain. Background Proteolytic enzymes are ubiquitous and active in a myriad of biochemical pathways. One type, the rhomboids are intramembrane serine proteases that release their products extracellularly. These proteases are present in all forms of life and their function is not fully understood, although some evidence suggests they participate in cell signaling. Streptomycetes are prolific soil bacteria with diverse physiological and metabolic properties that respond to signals from other cells and from the environment. In the present study, we investigate the evolutionary dynamics of rhomboids in Streptomycetes, as this can shed light into the possible involvement of rhomboids in the complex lifestyles of these bacteria. Results Analysis of Streptomyces genomes revealed that they harbor up to five divergent putative rhomboid genes (arbitrarily labeled families A–E), two of which are orthologous to rhomboids previously described in Mycobacteria. Characterization of each of these rhomboid families reveals that each group is distinctive, and has its own evolutionary history. Two of the Streptomyces rhomboid families are highly conserved across all analyzed genomes suggesting they are essential. At least one family has been horizontally transferred, while others have been lost in several genomes. Additionally, the transcription of the four rhomboid genes identified in Streptomyces coelicolor, the model organism of this genus, was verified by reverse transcription. Conclusions Using phylogenetic and genomic analysis, this study demonstrates the existence of five distinct families of rhomboid genes in Streptomycetes. Families A and D are present in all nine species analyzed indicating a potentially important role for these genes. The four rhomboids present in S. coelicolor are transcribed suggesting they could participate in cellular metabolism. Future studies are needed to provide insight into the involvement of rhomboids in Streptomyces physiology. We are currently constructing knock out (KO) mutants for each of the rhomboid genes from S. coelicolor and will compare the phenotypes of the KOs to the wild type strain.
Defining the Human Brain Proteome Using Transcriptomics and Antibody Based Profiling with a Focus on the Cerebral Cortex
The mammalian brain is a complex organ composed of many specialized cells, harboring sets of both common, widely distributed, as well as specialized and discretely localized proteins. Here we focus on the human brain, utilizing transcriptomics and public available Human Protein Atlas (HPA) data to analyze brain-enriched (frontal cortex) polyadenylated messenger RNA and long non-coding RNA and generate a genome-wide draft of global and cellular expression patterns of the brain. Based on transcriptomics analysis of altogether 27 tissues, we have estimated that approximately 3% (n=571) of all protein coding genes and 13% (n=87) of the long non-coding genes expressed in the human brain are enriched, having at least five times higher expression levels in brain as compared to any of the other analyzed peripheral tissues. Based on gene ontology analysis and detailed annotation using antibody-based tissue micro array analysis of the corresponding proteins, we found the majority of brain-enriched protein coding genes to be expressed in astrocytes, oligodendrocytes or in neurons with molecular properties linked to synaptic transmission and brain development. Detailed analysis of the transcripts and the genetic landscape of brain-enriched coding and non-coding genes revealed brain-enriched splice variants. Several clusters of neighboring brain-enriched genes were also identified, suggesting regulation of gene expression on the chromatin level. This multi-angle approach uncovered the brain-enriched transcriptome and linked genes to cell types and functions, providing novel insights into the molecular foundation of this highly specialized organ. The mammalian brain is a complex organ composed of many specialized cells, harboring sets of both common, widely distributed, as well as specialized and discretely localized proteins. Here we focus on the human brain, utilizing transcriptomics and public available Human Protein Atlas (HPA) data to analyze brain-enriched (frontal cortex) polyadenylated messenger RNA and long non-coding RNA and generate a genome-wide draft of global and cellular expression patterns of the brain. Based on transcriptomics analysis of altogether 27 tissues, we have estimated that approximately 3% (n=571) of all protein coding genes and 13% (n=87) of the long non-coding genes expressed in the human brain are enriched, having at least five times higher expression levels in brain as compared to any of the other analyzed peripheral tissues. Based on gene ontology analysis and detailed annotation using antibody-based tissue micro array analysis of the corresponding proteins, we found the majority of brain-enriched protein coding genes to be expressed in astrocytes, oligodendrocytes or in neurons with molecular properties linked to synaptic transmission and brain development. Detailed analysis of the transcripts and the genetic landscape of brain-enriched coding and non-coding genes revealed brain-enriched splice variants. Several clusters of neighboring brain-enriched genes were also identified, suggesting regulation of gene expression on the chromatin level. This multi-angle approach uncovered the brain-enriched transcriptome and linked genes to cell types and functions, providing novel insights into the molecular foundation of this highly specialized organ.
Draft Genome Sequence of Tannerella forsythia Type Strain ATCC 43037
Tannerella forsythia is an oral pathogen implicated in the development of periodontitis. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of the Tannerella forsythia strain ATCC 43037. The previously available genome of this designation (NCBI reference sequence NC_016610.1) was discovered to be derived from a different strain, FDC 92A2 (= ATCC BAA-2717). Tannerella forsythia is an oral pathogen implicated in the development of periodontitis. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of the Tannerella forsythia strain ATCC 43037. The previously available genome of this designation (NCBI reference sequence NC_016610.1) was discovered to be derived from a different strain, FDC 92A2 (= ATCC BAA-2717).
Identification of the gene defect responsible for severe hypercholesterolaemia using whole exome sequencing
Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is a serious genetic metabolic disease. We identified a specific family in which the proband had typical homozygous phenotype of FH, but couldn’t detect any mutations in usual pathogenic genes using traditional sequencing. This study is the first attempt to use whole exome sequencing (WES) to identify the pathogenic genes in Chinese FH. The routine examinations were performed on all parentage members, and WES on 5 members. We used bioinformatics methods to splice and filter out the pathogenic gene. Finally, Sanger sequencing and cDNA sequencing were used to verify the candidate genes. Half of parentage members had got hypercholesterolaemia. WES identified LDLR IVS8[−10] as a candidate mutation from 222,267 variations. The Sanger sequencing showed proband had a homozygous mutation inherited from his parents, and this loci were cosegregated with FH phenotype. The cDNA sequencing revealed that this mutations caused abnormal shearing. This mutation was first identified in Chinese patients, and this homozygous mutation is a new genetic type of FH. This is the first time that WES was used in Chinese FH patients. We detected a novel genetic type of LDLR homozygous mutation. WES is powerful tools to identify specific FH families with potentially pathogenic gene mutations. Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is a serious genetic metabolic disease. We identified a specific family in which the proband had typical homozygous phenotype of FH, but couldn’t detect any mutations in usual pathogenic genes using traditional sequencing. This study is the first attempt to use whole exome sequencing (WES) to identify the pathogenic genes in Chinese FH. The routine examinations were performed on all parentage members, and WES on 5 members. We used bioinformatics methods to splice and filter out the pathogenic gene. Finally, Sanger sequencing and cDNA sequencing were used to verify the candidate genes. Half of parentage members had got hypercholesterolaemia. WES identified LDLR IVS8[−10] as a candidate mutation from 222,267 variations. The Sanger sequencing showed proband had a homozygous mutation inherited from his parents, and this loci were cosegregated with FH phenotype. The cDNA sequencing revealed that this mutations caused abnormal shearing. This mutation was first identified in Chinese patients, and this homozygous mutation is a new genetic type of FH. This is the first time that WES was used in Chinese FH patients. We detected a novel genetic type of LDLR homozygous mutation. WES is powerful tools to identify specific FH families with potentially pathogenic gene mutations.
Genomic Analysis and Surveillance of the Coronavirus Dominant in Ducks in China
The genetic diversity, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy of some coronaviruses dominant in birds other than chickens remain enigmatic. In this study we sequenced the genome of a newly identified coronavirus dominant in ducks (DdCoV), and performed a large-scale surveillance of coronaviruses in chickens and ducks using a conserved RT-PCR assay. The viral genome harbors a tandem repeat which is rare in vertebrate RNA viruses. The repeat is homologous to some proteins of various cellular organisms, but its origin remains unknown. Many substitutions, insertions, deletions, and some frameshifts and recombination events have occurred in the genome of the DdCoV, as compared with the coronavirus dominant in chickens (CdCoV). The distances between DdCoV and CdCoV are large enough to separate them into different species within the genus Gammacoronavirus. Our surveillance demonstrated that DdCoVs and CdCoVs belong to different lineages and occupy different ecological niches, further supporting that they should be classified into different species. Our surveillance also demonstrated that DdCoVs and CdCoVs are prevalent in live poultry markets in some regions of China. In conclusion, this study shed novel insight into the genetic diversity, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy of the coronaviruses circulating in chickens and ducks. The genetic diversity, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy of some coronaviruses dominant in birds other than chickens remain enigmatic. In this study we sequenced the genome of a newly identified coronavirus dominant in ducks (DdCoV), and performed a large-scale surveillance of coronaviruses in chickens and ducks using a conserved RT-PCR assay. The viral genome harbors a tandem repeat which is rare in vertebrate RNA viruses. The repeat is homologous to some proteins of various cellular organisms, but its origin remains unknown. Many substitutions, insertions, deletions, and some frameshifts and recombination events have occurred in the genome of the DdCoV, as compared with the coronavirus dominant in chickens (CdCoV). The distances between DdCoV and CdCoV are large enough to separate them into different species within the genus Gammacoronavirus. Our surveillance demonstrated that DdCoVs and CdCoVs belong to different lineages and occupy different ecological niches, further supporting that they should be classified into different species. Our surveillance also demonstrated that DdCoVs and CdCoVs are prevalent in live poultry markets in some regions of China. In conclusion, this study shed novel insight into the genetic diversity, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy of the coronaviruses circulating in chickens and ducks.
Preferential Amplification of Pathogenic Sequences
The application of next generation sequencing (NGS) technology in the diagnosis of human pathogens is hindered by the fact that pathogenic sequences, especially viral, are often scarce in human clinical specimens. This known disproportion leads to the requirement of subsequent deep sequencing and extensive bioinformatics analysis. Here we report a method we called “Preferential Amplification of Pathogenic Sequences (PATHseq)” that can be used to greatly enrich pathogenic sequences. Using a computer program, we developed 8-, 9-, and 10-mer oligonucleotides called “non-human primers” that do not match the most abundant human transcripts, but instead selectively match transcripts of human pathogens. Instead of using random primers in the construction of cDNA libraries, the PATHseq method recruits these short non-human primers, which in turn, preferentially amplifies non-human, presumably pathogenic sequences. Using this method, we were able to enrich pathogenic sequences up to 200-fold in the final sequencing library. This method does not require prior knowledge of the pathogen or assumption of the infection; therefore, it provides a fast and sequence-independent approach for detection and identification of human viruses and other pathogens. The PATHseq method, coupled with NGS technology, can be broadly used in identification of known human pathogens and discovery of new pathogens. The application of next generation sequencing (NGS) technology in the diagnosis of human pathogens is hindered by the fact that pathogenic sequences, especially viral, are often scarce in human clinical specimens. This known disproportion leads to the requirement of subsequent deep sequencing and extensive bioinformatics analysis. Here we report a method we called “Preferential Amplification of Pathogenic Sequences (PATHseq)” that can be used to greatly enrich pathogenic sequences. Using a computer program, we developed 8-, 9-, and 10-mer oligonucleotides called “non-human primers” that do not match the most abundant human transcripts, but instead selectively match transcripts of human pathogens. Instead of using random primers in the construction of cDNA libraries, the PATHseq method recruits these short non-human primers, which in turn, preferentially amplifies non-human, presumably pathogenic sequences. Using this method, we were able to enrich pathogenic sequences up to 200-fold in the final sequencing library. This method does not require prior knowledge of the pathogen or assumption of the infection; therefore, it provides a fast and sequence-independent approach for detection and identification of human viruses and other pathogens. The PATHseq method, coupled with NGS technology, can be broadly used in identification of known human pathogens and discovery of new pathogens.
Comparative Transcriptome Analysis of White and Purple Potato to Identify Genes Involved in Anthocyanin Biosynthesis
Introduction The potato (Solanum tuberosum) cultivar ‘Xin Daping’ is tetraploid with white skin and white flesh, while the cultivar ‘Hei Meiren’ is also tetraploid with purple skin and purple flesh. Comparative transcriptome analysis of white and purple cultivars was carried out using high-throughput RNA sequencing in order to further understand the mechanism of anthocyanin biosynthesis in potato. Methods and Results By aligning transcript reads to the recently published diploid potato genome and de novo assembly, 209 million paired-end Illumina RNA-seq reads from these tetraploid cultivars were assembled on to 60,930 transcripts, of which 27,754 (45.55%) are novel transcripts and 9393 alternative transcripts. Using a comparison of the RNA-sequence datasets, multiple versions of the genes encoding anthocyanin biosynthetic steps and regulatory transcription factors were identified. Other novel genes potentially involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis in potato tubers were also discovered. Real-time qPCR validation of candidate genes revealed good correlation with the transcriptome data. SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) and indels were predicted and validated for the transcription factors MYB AN1 and bHLH1 and the biosynthetic gene anthocyanidin 3-O-glucosyltransferase (UFGT). Conclusions These results contribute to our understanding of the molecular mechanism of white and purple potato development, by identifying differential responses of biosynthetic gene family members together with the variation in structural genes and transcription factors in this highly heterozygous crop. This provides an excellent platform and resource for future genetic and functional genomic research. Introduction The potato (Solanum tuberosum) cultivar ‘Xin Daping’ is tetraploid with white skin and white flesh, while the cultivar ‘Hei Meiren’ is also tetraploid with purple skin and purple flesh. Comparative transcriptome analysis of white and purple cultivars was carried out using high-throughput RNA sequencing in order to further understand the mechanism of anthocyanin biosynthesis in potato. Methods and Results By aligning transcript reads to the recently published diploid potato genome and de novo assembly, 209 million paired-end Illumina RNA-seq reads from these tetraploid cultivars were assembled on to 60,930 transcripts, of which 27,754 (45.55%) are novel transcripts and 9393 alternative transcripts. Using a comparison of the RNA-sequence datasets, multiple versions of the genes encoding anthocyanin biosynthetic steps and regulatory transcription factors were identified. Other novel genes potentially involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis in potato tubers were also discovered. Real-time qPCR validation of candidate genes revealed good correlation with the transcriptome data. SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) and indels were predicted and validated for the transcription factors MYB AN1 and bHLH1 and the biosynthetic gene anthocyanidin 3-O-glucosyltransferase (UFGT). Conclusions These results contribute to our understanding of the molecular mechanism of white and purple potato development, by identifying differential responses of biosynthetic gene family members together with the variation in structural genes and transcription factors in this highly heterozygous crop. This provides an excellent platform and resource for future genetic and functional genomic research.
The venomous cocktail of the vampire snail Colubraria reticulata (Mollusca, Gastropoda)
Background Hematophagy arose independently multiple times during metazoan evolution, with several lineages of vampire animals particularly diversified in invertebrates. However, the biochemistry of hematophagy has been studied in a few species of direct medical interest and is still underdeveloped in most invertebrates, as in general is the study of venom toxins. In cone snails, leeches, arthropods and snakes, the strong target specificity of venom toxins uniquely aligns them to industrial and academic pursuits (pharmacological applications, pest control etc.) and provides a biochemical tool for studying biological activities including cell signalling and immunological response. Neogastropod snails (cones, oyster drills etc.) are carnivorous and include active predators, scavengers, grazers on sessile invertebrates and hematophagous parasites; most of them use venoms to efficiently feed. It has been hypothesized that trophic innovations were the main drivers of rapid radiation of Neogastropoda in the late Cretaceous. We present here the first molecular characterization of the alimentary secretion of a non-conoidean neogastropod, Colubraria reticulata. Colubrariids successfully feed on the blood of fishes, throughout the secretion into the host of a complex mixture of anaesthetics and anticoagulants. We used a NGS RNA-Seq approach, integrated with differential expression analyses and custom searches for putative secreted feeding-related proteins, to describe in detail the salivary and mid-oesophageal transcriptomes of this Mediterranean vampire snail, with functional and evolutionary insights on major families of bioactive molecules. Results A remarkably low level of overlap was observed between the gene expression in the two target tissues, which also contained a high percentage of putatively secreted proteins when compared to the whole body. At least 12 families of feeding-related proteins were identified, including: 1) anaesthetics, such as ShK Toxin-containing proteins and turripeptides (ion-channel blockers), Cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs), Adenosine Deaminase (ADA); 2) inhibitors of primary haemostasis, such as novel vWFA domain-containing proteins, the Ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase family member 5 (ENPP5) and the wasp Antigen-5; 3) anticoagulants, such as TFPI-like multiple Kunitz-type protease inhibitors, Peptidases S1 (PS1), CAP/ShKT domain-containing proteins, Astacin metalloproteases and Astacin/ShKT domain-containing proteins; 4) additional proteins, such the Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE: vasopressive) and the cytolytic Porins. Conclusions Colubraria feeding physiology seems to involve inhibitors of both primary and secondary haemostasis, anaesthetics, a vasoconstrictive enzyme to reduce feeding time and tissue-degrading proteins such as Porins and Astacins. The complexity of Colubraria venomous cocktail and the divergence from the arsenal of the few neogastropods studied to date (mostly conoideans) suggest that biochemical diversification of neogastropods might be largely underestimated and worth of extensive investigation. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1648-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Background Hematophagy arose independently multiple times during metazoan evolution, with several lineages of vampire animals particularly diversified in invertebrates. However, the biochemistry of hematophagy has been studied in a few species of direct medical interest and is still underdeveloped in most invertebrates, as in general is the study of venom toxins. In cone snails, leeches, arthropods and snakes, the strong target specificity of venom toxins uniquely aligns them to industrial and academic pursuits (pharmacological applications, pest control etc.) and provides a biochemical tool for studying biological activities including cell signalling and immunological response. Neogastropod snails (cones, oyster drills etc.) are carnivorous and include active predators, scavengers, grazers on sessile invertebrates and hematophagous parasites; most of them use venoms to efficiently feed. It has been hypothesized that trophic innovations were the main drivers of rapid radiation of Neogastropoda in the late Cretaceous. We present here the first molecular characterization of the alimentary secretion of a non-conoidean neogastropod, Colubraria reticulata. Colubrariids successfully feed on the blood of fishes, throughout the secretion into the host of a complex mixture of anaesthetics and anticoagulants. We used a NGS RNA-Seq approach, integrated with differential expression analyses and custom searches for putative secreted feeding-related proteins, to describe in detail the salivary and mid-oesophageal transcriptomes of this Mediterranean vampire snail, with functional and evolutionary insights on major families of bioactive molecules. Results A remarkably low level of overlap was observed between the gene expression in the two target tissues, which also contained a high percentage of putatively secreted proteins when compared to the whole body. At least 12 families of feeding-related proteins were identified, including: 1) anaesthetics, such as ShK Toxin-containing proteins and turripeptides (ion-channel blockers), Cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs), Adenosine Deaminase (ADA); 2) inhibitors of primary haemostasis, such as novel vWFA domain-containing proteins, the Ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase family member 5 (ENPP5) and the wasp Antigen-5; 3) anticoagulants, such as TFPI-like multiple Kunitz-type protease inhibitors, Peptidases S1 (PS1), CAP/ShKT domain-containing proteins, Astacin metalloproteases and Astacin/ShKT domain-containing proteins; 4) additional proteins, such the Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE: vasopressive) and the cytolytic Porins. Conclusions Colubraria feeding physiology seems to involve inhibitors of both primary and secondary haemostasis, anaesthetics, a vasoconstrictive enzyme to reduce feeding time and tissue-degrading proteins such as Porins and Astacins. The complexity of Colubraria venomous cocktail and the divergence from the arsenal of the few neogastropods studied to date (mostly conoideans) suggest that biochemical diversification of neogastropods might be largely underestimated and worth of extensive investigation. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1648-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Low Genetic Diversity and Strong Geographical Structure of the Critically Endangered White Headed Langur (Trachypithecus leucocephalus) Inferred from Mitochondrial DNA Control Region Sequences
Many Asian colobine monkey species are suffering from habitat destruction and population size decline. There is a great need to understand their genetic diversity, population structure and demographic history for effective species conservation. The white-headed langur (Trachypithecus leucocephalus) is a Critically Endangered colobine species endemic to the limestone karst forests in southwestern China. We analyzed the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences of 390 fecal samples from 40 social groups across the main distribution areas, which represented one-third of the total extant population. Only nine haplotypes and 10 polymorphic sites were identified, indicating remarkably low genetic diversity in the species. Using a subset of 77 samples from different individuals, we evaluated genetic variation, population structure, and population demographic history. We found very low values of haplotype diversity (h = 0.570 ± 0.056) and nucleotide diversity (π = 0.00323 ± 0.00044) in the hypervariable region I (HVRI) of the mtDNA control region. Distribution of haplotypes displayed marked geographical pattern, with one population (Chongzuo, CZ) showing a complete lack of genetic diversity (having only one haplotype), whereas the other population (Fusui, FS) having all nine haplotypes. We detected strong population genetic structure among habit patches (Φ ST = 0.375, P < 0.001). In addition, the Mantel test showed a significant correlation between the pairwise genetic distances and geographical distances among social groups in FS (correlation coefficient = 0.267, P = 0.003), indicting isolation-by-distance pattern of genetic divergence in the mtDNA sequences. Analyses of demographic history suggested an overall stable historical population size and modest population expansion in the last 2,000 years. Our results indicate different genetic diversity and possibly distinct population history for different local populations, and suggest that CZ and FS should be considered as one evolutionarily significant unit (ESU) and two management units (MUs) pending further investigation using nuclear markers. Many Asian colobine monkey species are suffering from habitat destruction and population size decline. There is a great need to understand their genetic diversity, population structure and demographic history for effective species conservation. The white-headed langur (Trachypithecus leucocephalus) is a Critically Endangered colobine species endemic to the limestone karst forests in southwestern China. We analyzed the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences of 390 fecal samples from 40 social groups across the main distribution areas, which represented one-third of the total extant population. Only nine haplotypes and 10 polymorphic sites were identified, indicating remarkably low genetic diversity in the species. Using a subset of 77 samples from different individuals, we evaluated genetic variation, population structure, and population demographic history. We found very low values of haplotype diversity (h = 0.570 ± 0.056) and nucleotide diversity (π = 0.00323 ± 0.00044) in the hypervariable region I (HVRI) of the mtDNA control region. Distribution of haplotypes displayed marked geographical pattern, with one population (Chongzuo, CZ) showing a complete lack of genetic diversity (having only one haplotype), whereas the other population (Fusui, FS) having all nine haplotypes. We detected strong population genetic structure among habit patches (Φ ST = 0.375, P < 0.001). In addition, the Mantel test showed a significant correlation between the pairwise genetic distances and geographical distances among social groups in FS (correlation coefficient = 0.267, P = 0.003), indicting isolation-by-distance pattern of genetic divergence in the mtDNA sequences. Analyses of demographic history suggested an overall stable historical population size and modest population expansion in the last 2,000 years. Our results indicate different genetic diversity and possibly distinct population history for different local populations, and suggest that CZ and FS should be considered as one evolutionarily significant unit (ESU) and two management units (MUs) pending further investigation using nuclear markers.
Dextran sulfate sodium induced colitis alters stress associated behaviour and neuropeptide gene expression in the amygdala hippocampus network of mice
Psychological stress causes disease exacerbation and relapses in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. Since studies on stress processing during visceral inflammation are lacking, we investigated the effects of experimental colitis as well as psychological stress on neurochemical and neuroendocrine changes as well as behaviour in mice. Dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis and water avoidance stress (WAS) were used as mouse models of colitis and mild psychological stress, respectively. We measured WAS-associated behaviour, gene expression and proinflammatory cytokine levels within the amygdala, hippocampus and hypothalamus as well as plasma levels of cytokines and corticosterone in male C57BL/6N mice. Animals with DSS-induced colitis presented with prolonged immobility during the WAS session, which was associated with brain region-dependent alterations of neuropeptide Y (NPY), NPY receptor Y1, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), CRH receptor 1, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and glucocorticoid receptor gene expression. Furthermore, the combination of DSS and WAS increased interleukin-6 and growth regulated oncogene-α levels in the brain. Altered gut-brain signalling in the course of DSS-induced colitis is thought to cause the observed distinct gene expression changes in the limbic system and the aberrant molecular and behavioural stress responses. These findings provide new insights into the effects of stress during IBD. Psychological stress causes disease exacerbation and relapses in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. Since studies on stress processing during visceral inflammation are lacking, we investigated the effects of experimental colitis as well as psychological stress on neurochemical and neuroendocrine changes as well as behaviour in mice. Dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis and water avoidance stress (WAS) were used as mouse models of colitis and mild psychological stress, respectively. We measured WAS-associated behaviour, gene expression and proinflammatory cytokine levels within the amygdala, hippocampus and hypothalamus as well as plasma levels of cytokines and corticosterone in male C57BL/6N mice. Animals with DSS-induced colitis presented with prolonged immobility during the WAS session, which was associated with brain region-dependent alterations of neuropeptide Y (NPY), NPY receptor Y1, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), CRH receptor 1, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and glucocorticoid receptor gene expression. Furthermore, the combination of DSS and WAS increased interleukin-6 and growth regulated oncogene-α levels in the brain. Altered gut-brain signalling in the course of DSS-induced colitis is thought to cause the observed distinct gene expression changes in the limbic system and the aberrant molecular and behavioural stress responses. These findings provide new insights into the effects of stress during IBD.
Identification and Characterization of a PRDM14 Homolog in Japanese Flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus)
PRDM14 is a PR (PRDI-BF1-RIZ1 homologous) domain protein with six zinc fingers and essential roles in genome-wide epigenetic reprogramming. This protein is required for the establishment of germ cells and the maintenance of the embryonic stem cell ground state. In this study, we cloned the full-length cDNA and genomic DNA of the Paralichthys olivaceus prdm14 (Po-prdm14) gene and isolated the 5' regulatory region of Po-prdm14 by whole-genome sequencing. Peptide sequence alignment, gene structure analysis, and phylogenetic analysis revealed that Po-PRDM14 was homologous to mammalian PRDM14. Results of real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction amplification (RT-qPCR) and in situ hybridization (ISH) in embryos demonstrated that Po-prdm14 was highly expressed between the morula and late gastrula stages, with its expression peaking in the early gastrula stage. Relatively low expression of Po-prdm14 was observed in the other developmental stages. ISH of gonadal tissues revealed that the transcripts were located in the nucleus of the oocytes in the ovaries but only in the spermatogonia and not the spermatocytes in the testes. We also presume that the Po-prdm14 transcription factor binding sites and their conserved binding region among vertebrates. The combined results suggest that Po-PRDM14 has a conserved function in teleosts and mammals. PRDM14 is a PR (PRDI-BF1-RIZ1 homologous) domain protein with six zinc fingers and essential roles in genome-wide epigenetic reprogramming. This protein is required for the establishment of germ cells and the maintenance of the embryonic stem cell ground state. In this study, we cloned the full-length cDNA and genomic DNA of the Paralichthys olivaceus prdm14 (Po-prdm14) gene and isolated the 5' regulatory region of Po-prdm14 by whole-genome sequencing. Peptide sequence alignment, gene structure analysis, and phylogenetic analysis revealed that Po-PRDM14 was homologous to mammalian PRDM14. Results of real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction amplification (RT-qPCR) and in situ hybridization (ISH) in embryos demonstrated that Po-prdm14 was highly expressed between the morula and late gastrula stages, with its expression peaking in the early gastrula stage. Relatively low expression of Po-prdm14 was observed in the other developmental stages. ISH of gonadal tissues revealed that the transcripts were located in the nucleus of the oocytes in the ovaries but only in the spermatogonia and not the spermatocytes in the testes. We also presume that the Po-prdm14 transcription factor binding sites and their conserved binding region among vertebrates. The combined results suggest that Po-PRDM14 has a conserved function in teleosts and mammals.
Expression Profiling Reveals Genes Involved in the Regulation of Wool Follicle Bulb Regression and Regeneration in Sheep
Wool is an important material in textile manufacturing. In order to investigate the intrinsic factors that regulate wool follicle cycling and wool fiber properties, Illumina sequencing was performed on wool follicle bulb samples from the middle anagen, catagen and late telogen/early anagen phases. In total, 13,898 genes were identified. KRTs and KRTAPs are the most highly expressed gene families in wool follicle bulb. In addition, 438 and 203 genes were identified to be differentially expressed in wool follicle bulb samples from the middle anagen phase compared to the catagen phase and the samples from the catagen phase compared to the late telogen/early anagen phase, respectively. Finally, our data revealed that two groups of genes presenting distinct expression patterns during the phase transformation may have important roles for wool follicle bulb regression and regeneration. In conclusion, our results demonstrated the gene expression patterns in the wool follicle bulb and add new data towards an understanding of the mechanisms involved in wool fiber growth in sheep. Wool is an important material in textile manufacturing. In order to investigate the intrinsic factors that regulate wool follicle cycling and wool fiber properties, Illumina sequencing was performed on wool follicle bulb samples from the middle anagen, catagen and late telogen/early anagen phases. In total, 13,898 genes were identified. KRTs and KRTAPs are the most highly expressed gene families in wool follicle bulb. In addition, 438 and 203 genes were identified to be differentially expressed in wool follicle bulb samples from the middle anagen phase compared to the catagen phase and the samples from the catagen phase compared to the late telogen/early anagen phase, respectively. Finally, our data revealed that two groups of genes presenting distinct expression patterns during the phase transformation may have important roles for wool follicle bulb regression and regeneration. In conclusion, our results demonstrated the gene expression patterns in the wool follicle bulb and add new data towards an understanding of the mechanisms involved in wool fiber growth in sheep.
Identification of human leukemia antigen A*0201 restricted epitopes derived from epidermal growth factor pathway substrate number 8
T-cell-mediated immunotherapy of hematological malignancies requires selection of targeted tumor-associated antigens and T-cell epitopes contained in these tumor proteins. Epidermal growth factor receptor pathway substrate 8 (EPS8), whose function is pivotal for tumor proliferation, progression and metastasis, has been found to be overexpressed in most human tumor types, while its expression in normal tissue is low. The aim of the present study was to identify human leukemia antigen (HLA)-A*0201-restricted epitopes of EPS8 by using a reverse immunology approach. To achieve this, computer algorithms were used to predict HLA-A*0201 molecular binding, proteasome cleavage patterns as well as translocation of transporters associated with antigen processing. Candidate peptides were experimentally validated by T2 binding affinity assay and brefeldin-A decay assay. The functional avidity of peptide-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) induced from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of healthy volunteers were evaluated by using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay and a cytotoxicity assay. Four peptides, designated as P455, P92, P276 and P360, had high affinity and stability of binding towards the HLA-A*0201 molecule, and specific CTLs induced by them significantly responded to the corresponding peptides and secreted IFN-γ. At the same time, the CTLs were able to specifically lyse EPS8-expressing cell lines in an HLA-A*0201-restricted manner. The present study demon-strated that P455, P92, P276 and P360 were CTL epitopes of EPS8, and were able to be used for epitope-defined adoptive T-cell transfer and multi-epitope-based vaccine design. T-cell-mediated immunotherapy of hematological malignancies requires selection of targeted tumor-associated antigens and T-cell epitopes contained in these tumor proteins. Epidermal growth factor receptor pathway substrate 8 (EPS8), whose function is pivotal for tumor proliferation, progression and metastasis, has been found to be overexpressed in most human tumor types, while its expression in normal tissue is low. The aim of the present study was to identify human leukemia antigen (HLA)-A*0201-restricted epitopes of EPS8 by using a reverse immunology approach. To achieve this, computer algorithms were used to predict HLA-A*0201 molecular binding, proteasome cleavage patterns as well as translocation of transporters associated with antigen processing. Candidate peptides were experimentally validated by T2 binding affinity assay and brefeldin-A decay assay. The functional avidity of peptide-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) induced from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of healthy volunteers were evaluated by using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay and a cytotoxicity assay. Four peptides, designated as P455, P92, P276 and P360, had high affinity and stability of binding towards the HLA-A*0201 molecule, and specific CTLs induced by them significantly responded to the corresponding peptides and secreted IFN-γ. At the same time, the CTLs were able to specifically lyse EPS8-expressing cell lines in an HLA-A*0201-restricted manner. The present study demon-strated that P455, P92, P276 and P360 were CTL epitopes of EPS8, and were able to be used for epitope-defined adoptive T-cell transfer and multi-epitope-based vaccine design.
Functional classification of 15 million SNPs detected from diverse chicken populations
Next-generation sequencing has prompted a surge of discovery of millions of genetic variants from vertebrate genomes. Besides applications in genetic association and linkage studies, a fraction of these variants will have functional consequences. This study describes detection and characterization of 15 million SNPs from chicken genome with the goal to predict variants with potential functional implications (pfVars) from both coding and non-coding regions. The study reports: 183K amino acid-altering SNPs of which 48% predicted as evolutionary intolerant, 13K splicing variants, 51K likely to alter RNA secondary structures, 500K within most conserved elements and 3K from non-coding RNAs. Regions of local fixation within commercial broiler and layer lines were investigated as potential selective sweeps using genome-wide SNP data. Relationships with phenotypes, if any, of the pfVars were explored by overlaying the sweep regions with known QTLs. Based on this, the candidate genes and/or causal mutations for a number of important traits are discussed. Although the fixed variants within sweep regions were enriched with non-coding SNPs, some non-synonymous-intolerant mutations reached fixation, suggesting their possible adaptive advantage. The results presented in this study are expected to have important implications for future genomic research to identify candidate causal mutations and in poultry breeding. Next-generation sequencing has prompted a surge of discovery of millions of genetic variants from vertebrate genomes. Besides applications in genetic association and linkage studies, a fraction of these variants will have functional consequences. This study describes detection and characterization of 15 million SNPs from chicken genome with the goal to predict variants with potential functional implications (pfVars) from both coding and non-coding regions. The study reports: 183K amino acid-altering SNPs of which 48% predicted as evolutionary intolerant, 13K splicing variants, 51K likely to alter RNA secondary structures, 500K within most conserved elements and 3K from non-coding RNAs. Regions of local fixation within commercial broiler and layer lines were investigated as potential selective sweeps using genome-wide SNP data. Relationships with phenotypes, if any, of the pfVars were explored by overlaying the sweep regions with known QTLs. Based on this, the candidate genes and/or causal mutations for a number of important traits are discussed. Although the fixed variants within sweep regions were enriched with non-coding SNPs, some non-synonymous-intolerant mutations reached fixation, suggesting their possible adaptive advantage. The results presented in this study are expected to have important implications for future genomic research to identify candidate causal mutations and in poultry breeding.
Insights into Diversity and Imputed Metabolic Potential of Bacterial Communities in the Continental Shelf of Agatti Island
Marine microbes play a key role and contribute largely to the global biogeochemical cycles. This study aims to explore microbial diversity from one such ecological hotspot, the continental shelf of Agatti Island. Sediment samples from various depths of the continental shelf were analyzed for bacterial diversity using deep sequencing technology along with the culturable approach. Additionally, imputed metagenomic approach was carried out to understand the functional aspects of microbial community especially for microbial genes important in nutrient uptake, survival and biogeochemical cycling in the marine environment. Using culturable approach, 28 bacterial strains representing 9 genera were isolated from various depths of continental shelf. The microbial community structure throughout the samples was dominated by phylum Proteobacteria and harbored various bacterioplanktons as well. Significant differences were observed in bacterial diversity within a short region of the continental shelf (1–40 meters) i.e. between upper continental shelf samples (UCS) with lesser depths (i.e. 1–20 meters) and lower continental shelf samples (LCS) with greater depths (i.e. 25–40 meters). By using imputed metagenomic approach, this study also discusses several adaptive mechanisms which enable microbes to survive in nutritionally deprived conditions, and also help to understand the influence of nutrition availability on bacterial diversity. Marine microbes play a key role and contribute largely to the global biogeochemical cycles. This study aims to explore microbial diversity from one such ecological hotspot, the continental shelf of Agatti Island. Sediment samples from various depths of the continental shelf were analyzed for bacterial diversity using deep sequencing technology along with the culturable approach. Additionally, imputed metagenomic approach was carried out to understand the functional aspects of microbial community especially for microbial genes important in nutrient uptake, survival and biogeochemical cycling in the marine environment. Using culturable approach, 28 bacterial strains representing 9 genera were isolated from various depths of continental shelf. The microbial community structure throughout the samples was dominated by phylum Proteobacteria and harbored various bacterioplanktons as well. Significant differences were observed in bacterial diversity within a short region of the continental shelf (1–40 meters) i.e. between upper continental shelf samples (UCS) with lesser depths (i.e. 1–20 meters) and lower continental shelf samples (LCS) with greater depths (i.e. 25–40 meters). By using imputed metagenomic approach, this study also discusses several adaptive mechanisms which enable microbes to survive in nutritionally deprived conditions, and also help to understand the influence of nutrition availability on bacterial diversity.
Modeling Based Structural Insights into Biodegradation of the Herbicide Diuron by Laccase 1 from Ceriporiopsis subvermispora
The herbicide diuron (3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea) is used in many agricultural crops and non-crop areas worldwide, leading to the pollution of the aquatic environment by soil leaching. White rot fungi and its lignin modifying enzymes, peroxidases and laccases, are responsible for its degradation. Therefore, it is of interest to explore the potential use of Ceriporiopsis subvermispora laccase (CersuLac1) in the biotransformation of this herbicide by using its enzyme laccase. However, the structure of laccase from Ceriporiopsis subvermispora is still unknown. Hence, a model of laccase was constructed using homology modeling. The model was further used to dock p-methylbenzoate in the presence of four copper ions to analyze molecular basis of its binding and interaction. The ligand-protein interaction is stereo-chemically favorable in nature. The presence of the single protonated Lys457 was necessary for catalysis, being coordinated by a cupper ion. The best pose of diuron on CersuLac1 has a theoretical Ki of 2.91 mM. This is comparable to the KM values for laccases from other organisms with similar compounds. Thus, we document the insights for the potential use of laccase from Ceriporiopsis subvermispora in the biotransfrormation of diuron. The herbicide diuron (3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea) is used in many agricultural crops and non-crop areas worldwide, leading to the pollution of the aquatic environment by soil leaching. White rot fungi and its lignin modifying enzymes, peroxidases and laccases, are responsible for its degradation. Therefore, it is of interest to explore the potential use of Ceriporiopsis subvermispora laccase (CersuLac1) in the biotransformation of this herbicide by using its enzyme laccase. However, the structure of laccase from Ceriporiopsis subvermispora is still unknown. Hence, a model of laccase was constructed using homology modeling. The model was further used to dock p-methylbenzoate in the presence of four copper ions to analyze molecular basis of its binding and interaction. The ligand-protein interaction is stereo-chemically favorable in nature. The presence of the single protonated Lys457 was necessary for catalysis, being coordinated by a cupper ion. The best pose of diuron on CersuLac1 has a theoretical Ki of 2.91 mM. This is comparable to the KM values for laccases from other organisms with similar compounds. Thus, we document the insights for the potential use of laccase from Ceriporiopsis subvermispora in the biotransfrormation of diuron.
Functional marker development of miR1511 InDel and allelic diversity within the genus Glycine
Background Single-stranded non-protein coding small RNAs, 18–25 nucleotides in length, are ubiquitous throughout plants genomes and are involved in post-transcriptional gene regulation. Several types of DNA markers have been reported for the detection of genetic diversity or sequence variation in soybean, one of the most important legume crops in worldwide for seed protein and oil content. Recently, with the available of public genomic databases, there has been a shift from the labor-intensive development of PCR-based markers to sequence-based genotyping and the development of functional markers within genes, often coupled with the use of RNA information. But thus far miRNA-based markers have been only developed in rice and tobacco. Here we report the first functional molecular miRNA marker, miR1511-InDel, in soybean for a specific single copy locus used to assess genetic variation in domesticated soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr) and its wild progenitor (Glycine soja Sieb. & Zucc.). Results We genotyped a total of 1,669 accessions of domesticated soybean (G. max) and its wild progenitor G. soja which are native throughout the China and parts of Korea, Japan and Russia. The results indicate that the miR1511 locus is distributed in cultivated soybean and has three alleles in annual wild soybean. Based on this result, we proposed that miR-InDel marker technology can be used to assess genetic variation. The inclusion of geo-reference data with miR1511-InDel marker data corroborated that accessions from the Yellow River basin (Huanghuai) exhibited high genetic diversity which provides more molecular evidence for gene diversity in annual wild soybean and domestication of soybean. Conclusions These results provide evidence for the use of RNA marker, miRNA1511-InDel, as a soybean-specific functional maker for the study of genetic diversity, genotyping of germplasm and evolution studies. This is also the first report of functional marker developed from soybean miRNA located within the functional region of pre-miRNA1511. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1665-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Background Single-stranded non-protein coding small RNAs, 18–25 nucleotides in length, are ubiquitous throughout plants genomes and are involved in post-transcriptional gene regulation. Several types of DNA markers have been reported for the detection of genetic diversity or sequence variation in soybean, one of the most important legume crops in worldwide for seed protein and oil content. Recently, with the available of public genomic databases, there has been a shift from the labor-intensive development of PCR-based markers to sequence-based genotyping and the development of functional markers within genes, often coupled with the use of RNA information. But thus far miRNA-based markers have been only developed in rice and tobacco. Here we report the first functional molecular miRNA marker, miR1511-InDel, in soybean for a specific single copy locus used to assess genetic variation in domesticated soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr) and its wild progenitor (Glycine soja Sieb. & Zucc.). Results We genotyped a total of 1,669 accessions of domesticated soybean (G. max) and its wild progenitor G. soja which are native throughout the China and parts of Korea, Japan and Russia. The results indicate that the miR1511 locus is distributed in cultivated soybean and has three alleles in annual wild soybean. Based on this result, we proposed that miR-InDel marker technology can be used to assess genetic variation. The inclusion of geo-reference data with miR1511-InDel marker data corroborated that accessions from the Yellow River basin (Huanghuai) exhibited high genetic diversity which provides more molecular evidence for gene diversity in annual wild soybean and domestication of soybean. Conclusions These results provide evidence for the use of RNA marker, miRNA1511-InDel, as a soybean-specific functional maker for the study of genetic diversity, genotyping of germplasm and evolution studies. This is also the first report of functional marker developed from soybean miRNA located within the functional region of pre-miRNA1511. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1665-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Comprehensive analysis of Panax ginseng root transcriptomes
Background Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer) is a highly effective medicinal plant containing ginsenosides with various pharmacological activities, whose roots are produced commercially for crude drugs. Results Here, we used the Illumina platform to generate over 232 million RNA sequencing reads from four root samples, including whole roots from one-year-old plants and three types of root tissue from six-year-old plants (i.e., main root bodies, rhizomes, and lateral roots). Through de novo assembly and reference-assisted selection, we obtained a non-redundant unigene set consisting of 55,949 transcripts with an average length of 1,250 bp. Among transcripts in the unigene set, 94 % were functionally annotated via similarity searches against protein databases. Approximately 28.6 % of the transcripts represent novel gene sequences that have not previously been reported for P. ginseng. Digital expression profiling revealed 364 genes showing differential expression patterns among the four root samples. Additionally, 32 were uniquely expressed in one-year-old roots, while seven were uniquely expressed in six-year-old root tissues. We identified 38 transcripts encoding enzymes involved in ginsenoside biosynthesis pathways and 189 encoding UDP-glycosyltransferases. Conclusion Our analysis provides new insights into the role of the root transcriptome in development and secondary metabolite biosynthesis in P. ginseng. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12870-015-0527-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Background Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer) is a highly effective medicinal plant containing ginsenosides with various pharmacological activities, whose roots are produced commercially for crude drugs. Results Here, we used the Illumina platform to generate over 232 million RNA sequencing reads from four root samples, including whole roots from one-year-old plants and three types of root tissue from six-year-old plants (i.e., main root bodies, rhizomes, and lateral roots). Through de novo assembly and reference-assisted selection, we obtained a non-redundant unigene set consisting of 55,949 transcripts with an average length of 1,250 bp. Among transcripts in the unigene set, 94 % were functionally annotated via similarity searches against protein databases. Approximately 28.6 % of the transcripts represent novel gene sequences that have not previously been reported for P. ginseng. Digital expression profiling revealed 364 genes showing differential expression patterns among the four root samples. Additionally, 32 were uniquely expressed in one-year-old roots, while seven were uniquely expressed in six-year-old root tissues. We identified 38 transcripts encoding enzymes involved in ginsenoside biosynthesis pathways and 189 encoding UDP-glycosyltransferases. Conclusion Our analysis provides new insights into the role of the root transcriptome in development and secondary metabolite biosynthesis in P. ginseng. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12870-015-0527-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Pex11mediates peroxisomal proliferation by promoting deformation of the lipid membrane
Pex11p family proteins are key players in peroxisomal fission, but their molecular mechanisms remains mostly unknown. In the present study, overexpression of Pex11pβ caused substantial vesiculation of peroxisomes in mammalian cells. This vesicle formation was dependent on dynamin-like protein 1 (DLP1) and mitochondrial fission factor (Mff), as knockdown of these proteins diminished peroxisomal fission after Pex11pβ overexpression. The fission-deficient peroxisomes exhibited an elongated morphology, and peroxisomal marker proteins, such as Pex14p or matrix proteins harboring peroxisomal targeting signal 1, were discernible in a segmented staining pattern, like beads on a string. Endogenous Pex11pβ was also distributed a striped pattern, but which was not coincide with Pex14p and PTS1 matrix proteins. Altered morphology of the lipid membrane was observed when recombinant Pex11p proteins were introduced into proteo-liposomes. Constriction of proteo-liposomes was observed under confocal microscopy and electron microscopy, and the reconstituted Pex11pβ protein localized to the membrane constriction site. Introducing point mutations into the N-terminal amphiphathic helix of Pex11pβ strongly reduced peroxisomal fission, and decreased the oligomer formation. These results suggest that Pex11p contributes to the morphogenesis of the peroxisomal membrane, which is required for subsequent fission by DLP1. Pex11p family proteins are key players in peroxisomal fission, but their molecular mechanisms remains mostly unknown. In the present study, overexpression of Pex11pβ caused substantial vesiculation of peroxisomes in mammalian cells. This vesicle formation was dependent on dynamin-like protein 1 (DLP1) and mitochondrial fission factor (Mff), as knockdown of these proteins diminished peroxisomal fission after Pex11pβ overexpression. The fission-deficient peroxisomes exhibited an elongated morphology, and peroxisomal marker proteins, such as Pex14p or matrix proteins harboring peroxisomal targeting signal 1, were discernible in a segmented staining pattern, like beads on a string. Endogenous Pex11pβ was also distributed a striped pattern, but which was not coincide with Pex14p and PTS1 matrix proteins. Altered morphology of the lipid membrane was observed when recombinant Pex11p proteins were introduced into proteo-liposomes. Constriction of proteo-liposomes was observed under confocal microscopy and electron microscopy, and the reconstituted Pex11pβ protein localized to the membrane constriction site. Introducing point mutations into the N-terminal amphiphathic helix of Pex11pβ strongly reduced peroxisomal fission, and decreased the oligomer formation. These results suggest that Pex11p contributes to the morphogenesis of the peroxisomal membrane, which is required for subsequent fission by DLP1.
Whole Genome Sequences of 15 Strains of Staphylococcus aureus subsp. aureus Isolated from Foodstuff and Human Clinical Samples
The whole-genome sequences of 15 strains of Staphylococcus aureus (10 strains isolated from foodstuff samples in Switzerland and five from human clinical samples) were obtained by Illumina sequencing. Most strains fit within the known diversity for the species, but one (SA-120) possessed a higher G+C content and a higher number of genes than usual. The whole-genome sequences of 15 strains of Staphylococcus aureus (10 strains isolated from foodstuff samples in Switzerland and five from human clinical samples) were obtained by Illumina sequencing. Most strains fit within the known diversity for the species, but one (SA-120) possessed a higher G+C content and a higher number of genes than usual.
Draft Genome Sequence of Mycobacterium elephantis Strain Lipa
We report the draft genome sequence of Mycobacterium elephantis strain Lipa from a sputum sample of a patient with pulmonary disease. This is the first draft genome sequence of M. elephantis, a rapidly growing mycobacterium. We report the draft genome sequence of Mycobacterium elephantis strain Lipa from a sputum sample of a patient with pulmonary disease. This is the first draft genome sequence of M. elephantis, a rapidly growing mycobacterium.
Natural Lactic Acid Bacteria Population and Silage Fermentation of Whole crop Wheat
Winter wheat is a suitable crop to be ensiled for animal feed and China has the largest planting area of this crop in the world. During the ensiling process, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) play the most important role in the fermentation. We investigated the natural population of LAB in whole-crop wheat (WCW) and examined the quality of whole-crop wheat silage (WCWS) with and without LAB inoculants. Two Lactobacillus plantarum subsp. plantarum strains, Zhengzhou University 1 (ZZU 1) selected from corn and forage and grass 1 (FG 1) from a commercial inoculant, were used as additives. The silages inoculated with LAB strains (ZZU 1 and FG 1) were better preserved than the control, with lower pH values (3.5 and 3.6, respectively) (p<0.05) and higher contents of lactic acid (37.5 and 34.0 g/kg of fresh matter (FM), respectively) (p<0.05) than the control. Sixty LAB strains were isolated from fresh material and WCWS without any LAB inoculation. These LAB strains were divided into the following four genera and six species based on their phenotypic, biochemical and phylogenetic characteristics: Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides, Leuconostoc citreum, Weissella cibaria, Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, Lactobacillus buchneri, and Lactobacillus plantarum subsp. plantarum. However, the prevalent LAB, which was predominantly heterofermentative (66.7%), consisted of Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides, Leuconostoc citreum, Weissella cibaria, and Lactobacillus buchneri. This study revealed that most of isolated LAB strains from control WCWS were heterofermentative and could not grow well at low pH condition; the selective inoculants of Lactobacillus strains, especially ZZU 1, could improve WCWS quality significantly. Winter wheat is a suitable crop to be ensiled for animal feed and China has the largest planting area of this crop in the world. During the ensiling process, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) play the most important role in the fermentation. We investigated the natural population of LAB in whole-crop wheat (WCW) and examined the quality of whole-crop wheat silage (WCWS) with and without LAB inoculants. Two Lactobacillus plantarum subsp. plantarum strains, Zhengzhou University 1 (ZZU 1) selected from corn and forage and grass 1 (FG 1) from a commercial inoculant, were used as additives. The silages inoculated with LAB strains (ZZU 1 and FG 1) were better preserved than the control, with lower pH values (3.5 and 3.6, respectively) (p<0.05) and higher contents of lactic acid (37.5 and 34.0 g/kg of fresh matter (FM), respectively) (p<0.05) than the control. Sixty LAB strains were isolated from fresh material and WCWS without any LAB inoculation. These LAB strains were divided into the following four genera and six species based on their phenotypic, biochemical and phylogenetic characteristics: Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides, Leuconostoc citreum, Weissella cibaria, Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, Lactobacillus buchneri, and Lactobacillus plantarum subsp. plantarum. However, the prevalent LAB, which was predominantly heterofermentative (66.7%), consisted of Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides, Leuconostoc citreum, Weissella cibaria, and Lactobacillus buchneri. This study revealed that most of isolated LAB strains from control WCWS were heterofermentative and could not grow well at low pH condition; the selective inoculants of Lactobacillus strains, especially ZZU 1, could improve WCWS quality significantly.
A Novel Trypanosoma cruzi Protein Associated to the Flagellar Pocket of Replicative Stages and Involved in Parasite Growth
The flagellar pocket constitutes an active and strategic site in the body of trypanosomatids (i.e. parasitic protozoa that cause important human and/or livestock diseases), which participates in several important processes such as cell polarity, morphogenesis and replication. Most importantly, the flagellar pocket is the unique site of surface protein export and nutrient uptake in trypanosomatids, and thus constitutes a key portal for the interaction with the host. In this work, we identified and characterized a novel Trypanosoma cruzi protein, termed TCLP 1, that accumulates at the flagellar pocket area of parasite replicative forms, as revealed by biochemical, immuno-cytochemistry and electron microscopy techniques. Different in silico analyses revealed that TCLP 1 is the founding member of a family of chimeric molecules restricted to trypanosomatids bearing, in addition to eukaryotic ubiquitin-like and protein-protein interacting domains, a motif displaying significant structural homology to bacterial multi-cargo chaperones involved in the secretion of virulence factors. Using the fidelity of an homologous expression system we confirmed TCLP 1 sub-cellular distribution and showed that TCLP 1-over-expressing parasites display impaired survival and accelerated progression to late stationary phase under starvation conditions. The reduced endocytic capacity of TCLP 1-over-expressors likely underlies (at least in part) this growth phenotype. TCLP 1 is involved in the uptake of extracellular macromolecules required for nutrition and hence in T. cruzi growth. Due to the bacterial origin, sub-cellular distribution and putative function(s), we propose TCLP 1 and related orthologs in trypanosomatids as appealing therapeutic targets for intervention against these health-threatening parasites. The flagellar pocket constitutes an active and strategic site in the body of trypanosomatids (i.e. parasitic protozoa that cause important human and/or livestock diseases), which participates in several important processes such as cell polarity, morphogenesis and replication. Most importantly, the flagellar pocket is the unique site of surface protein export and nutrient uptake in trypanosomatids, and thus constitutes a key portal for the interaction with the host. In this work, we identified and characterized a novel Trypanosoma cruzi protein, termed TCLP 1, that accumulates at the flagellar pocket area of parasite replicative forms, as revealed by biochemical, immuno-cytochemistry and electron microscopy techniques. Different in silico analyses revealed that TCLP 1 is the founding member of a family of chimeric molecules restricted to trypanosomatids bearing, in addition to eukaryotic ubiquitin-like and protein-protein interacting domains, a motif displaying significant structural homology to bacterial multi-cargo chaperones involved in the secretion of virulence factors. Using the fidelity of an homologous expression system we confirmed TCLP 1 sub-cellular distribution and showed that TCLP 1-over-expressing parasites display impaired survival and accelerated progression to late stationary phase under starvation conditions. The reduced endocytic capacity of TCLP 1-over-expressors likely underlies (at least in part) this growth phenotype. TCLP 1 is involved in the uptake of extracellular macromolecules required for nutrition and hence in T. cruzi growth. Due to the bacterial origin, sub-cellular distribution and putative function(s), we propose TCLP 1 and related orthologs in trypanosomatids as appealing therapeutic targets for intervention against these health-threatening parasites.
Virological and epidemiological analysis of coxsackievirus A24 variant epidemic of acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis in Okinawa, Japan, in 2011
Background Acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis (AHC) is a highly contagious enterovirus infection of the conjunctiva and cornea. Coxsackievirus A24 variant (CA24v) is one of its etiological agents. We report a clinical, epidemiological, and virological analysis of a large epidemic of AHC that occurred from May to September, 2011, in Okinawa, Japan. Methods Clinical and epidemic aspects were evaluated for 435 AHC patients (348 bilateral and 87 unilateral, 783 eyes). Virological studies were carried out on nine isolates from ten patients. Virus isolation and direct detection of the enterovirus genome by the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction method and complete nucleotide sequencing of the VP1 gene and phylogeny-based classification using the VP4 sequences were carried out. Results The 11–15-year age group comprised the highest (62.0%) proportion of cases among all age groups. Conjunctival hyperemia was present in all patients, and subconjunctival hemorrhage, superficial punctate keratitis, and preauricular lymphadenopathy were present in 25.4%, 10.3%, and 7.8% of eyes, respectively. CA24v was isolated from the epidemic strain, and phylogenetic analysis based on a fragment of the VP1 gene showed 96%–97% identity between the current strain and the recent China/GD01/2010 strain. Conclusion These findings demonstrate that the clinical and epidemiological features of AHC observed in this study were similar to those of the past epidemic in the same region. It should be noted that sequential outbreaks of AHC due to CA24v might occur in the same location after a considerable period of time, and public health precautions are necessary to control this explosive epidemic. Background Acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis (AHC) is a highly contagious enterovirus infection of the conjunctiva and cornea. Coxsackievirus A24 variant (CA24v) is one of its etiological agents. We report a clinical, epidemiological, and virological analysis of a large epidemic of AHC that occurred from May to September, 2011, in Okinawa, Japan. Methods Clinical and epidemic aspects were evaluated for 435 AHC patients (348 bilateral and 87 unilateral, 783 eyes). Virological studies were carried out on nine isolates from ten patients. Virus isolation and direct detection of the enterovirus genome by the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction method and complete nucleotide sequencing of the VP1 gene and phylogeny-based classification using the VP4 sequences were carried out. Results The 11–15-year age group comprised the highest (62.0%) proportion of cases among all age groups. Conjunctival hyperemia was present in all patients, and subconjunctival hemorrhage, superficial punctate keratitis, and preauricular lymphadenopathy were present in 25.4%, 10.3%, and 7.8% of eyes, respectively. CA24v was isolated from the epidemic strain, and phylogenetic analysis based on a fragment of the VP1 gene showed 96%–97% identity between the current strain and the recent China/GD01/2010 strain. Conclusion These findings demonstrate that the clinical and epidemiological features of AHC observed in this study were similar to those of the past epidemic in the same region. It should be noted that sequential outbreaks of AHC due to CA24v might occur in the same location after a considerable period of time, and public health precautions are necessary to control this explosive epidemic.
Prevalence and molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia duodenalis in diarrhoeic patients in the Qikiqtani Region, Nunavut, Canada
Background Although the prevalences of infection with the protozoan parasites Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia duodenalis in humans appear to be relatively high in the Canadian North, their transmission patterns are poorly understood. Objective To determine the detection rate and the molecular characteristics of Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia duodenalis in diarrhoeic patients in the Qikiqtani (Baffin Island) Region of Nunavut, Canada, in order to better understand the burden of illness and the potential mechanisms of transmission. Study design/methods Diarrhoeal stool specimens (n=108) submitted to the Qikiqtani General Hospital for clinical testing were also tested for the presence of Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia duodenalis using epifluorescence microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). DNA sequencing and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analyses were performed on PCR-positive specimens to determine the species, genotypes and sub-genotypes of the parasites. Results Cryptosporidium was detected in 15.7% of the diarrhoeic patients, while Giardia was detected in 4.6%. DNA sequencing of a fragment of the small subunit rRNA gene indicated that all of the Cryptosporidium amplicons had a 100% homology to C. parvum, and a gp60 assay showed that all aligned with C. parvum sub-genotype IIa. Microsatellite analysis revealed 3 cases of sub-genotype IIaA15G2R1, 2 of IIaA15G1R and 1 case each of sub-genotypes IIaA16G1R1 and IIaA15R1. For Giardia, results based on the amplification of both the 16S rRNA gene and the gdh gene were generally in agreement, and both DNA sequencing and RFLP demonstrated the presence of the G. duodenalis Assemblage B genotype. Conclusions Both C. parvum and G. duodenalis Assemblage B were present in human diarrhoeal stool specimens from Nunavut, which was suggestive of zoonotic transmission, although human-to-human transmission cannot be ruled out. To fully understand the public health significance of the different Cryptosporidium and Giardia species and genotypes in diarrhoeic patients, it will be imperative to establish the extent of genetic diversity within these parasites through comprehensive studies of the molecular epidemiology of cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis in the Nunavut region. Background Although the prevalences of infection with the protozoan parasites Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia duodenalis in humans appear to be relatively high in the Canadian North, their transmission patterns are poorly understood. Objective To determine the detection rate and the molecular characteristics of Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia duodenalis in diarrhoeic patients in the Qikiqtani (Baffin Island) Region of Nunavut, Canada, in order to better understand the burden of illness and the potential mechanisms of transmission. Study design/methods Diarrhoeal stool specimens (n=108) submitted to the Qikiqtani General Hospital for clinical testing were also tested for the presence of Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia duodenalis using epifluorescence microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). DNA sequencing and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analyses were performed on PCR-positive specimens to determine the species, genotypes and sub-genotypes of the parasites. Results Cryptosporidium was detected in 15.7% of the diarrhoeic patients, while Giardia was detected in 4.6%. DNA sequencing of a fragment of the small subunit rRNA gene indicated that all of the Cryptosporidium amplicons had a 100% homology to C. parvum, and a gp60 assay showed that all aligned with C. parvum sub-genotype IIa. Microsatellite analysis revealed 3 cases of sub-genotype IIaA15G2R1, 2 of IIaA15G1R and 1 case each of sub-genotypes IIaA16G1R1 and IIaA15R1. For Giardia, results based on the amplification of both the 16S rRNA gene and the gdh gene were generally in agreement, and both DNA sequencing and RFLP demonstrated the presence of the G. duodenalis Assemblage B genotype. Conclusions Both C. parvum and G. duodenalis Assemblage B were present in human diarrhoeal stool specimens from Nunavut, which was suggestive of zoonotic transmission, although human-to-human transmission cannot be ruled out. To fully understand the public health significance of the different Cryptosporidium and Giardia species and genotypes in diarrhoeic patients, it will be imperative to establish the extent of genetic diversity within these parasites through comprehensive studies of the molecular epidemiology of cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis in the Nunavut region.
Structural modeling of the N terminal signal–receiving domain of IκBα
The transcription factor nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) exerts essential roles in many biological processes including cell growth, apoptosis and innate and adaptive immunity. The NF-κB inhibitor (IκBα) retains NF-κB in the cytoplasm and thus inhibits nuclear localization of NF-κB and its association with DNA. Recent protein crystal structures of the C-terminal part of IκBα in complex with NF-κB provided insights into the protein-protein interactions but could not reveal structural details about the N-terminal signal receiving domain (SRD). The SRD of IκBα contains a degron, formed following phosphorylation by IκB kinases (IKK). In current protein X-ray structures, however, the SRD is not resolved and assumed to be disordered. Here, we combined secondary structure annotation and domain threading followed by long molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and showed that the SRD possesses well-defined secondary structure elements. We show that the SRD contains 3 additional stable α-helices supplementing the six ARDs present in crystallized IκBα. The IκBα/NF-κB protein-protein complex remained intact and stable during the entire simulations. Also in solution, free IκBα retains its structural integrity. Differences in structural topology and dynamics were observed by comparing the structures of NF-κB free and NF-κB bound IκBα-complex. This study paves the way for investigating the signaling properties of the SRD in the IκBα degron. A detailed atomic scale understanding of molecular mechanism of NF-κB activation, regulation and the protein-protein interactions may assist to design and develop novel chronic inflammation modulators. The transcription factor nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) exerts essential roles in many biological processes including cell growth, apoptosis and innate and adaptive immunity. The NF-κB inhibitor (IκBα) retains NF-κB in the cytoplasm and thus inhibits nuclear localization of NF-κB and its association with DNA. Recent protein crystal structures of the C-terminal part of IκBα in complex with NF-κB provided insights into the protein-protein interactions but could not reveal structural details about the N-terminal signal receiving domain (SRD). The SRD of IκBα contains a degron, formed following phosphorylation by IκB kinases (IKK). In current protein X-ray structures, however, the SRD is not resolved and assumed to be disordered. Here, we combined secondary structure annotation and domain threading followed by long molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and showed that the SRD possesses well-defined secondary structure elements. We show that the SRD contains 3 additional stable α-helices supplementing the six ARDs present in crystallized IκBα. The IκBα/NF-κB protein-protein complex remained intact and stable during the entire simulations. Also in solution, free IκBα retains its structural integrity. Differences in structural topology and dynamics were observed by comparing the structures of NF-κB free and NF-κB bound IκBα-complex. This study paves the way for investigating the signaling properties of the SRD in the IκBα degron. A detailed atomic scale understanding of molecular mechanism of NF-κB activation, regulation and the protein-protein interactions may assist to design and develop novel chronic inflammation modulators.
Genome Sequences of Cluster G Mycobacteriophages Cambiare, FlagStaff, and MOOREtheMARYer
Mycobacteriophages Cambiare, FlagStaff, and MOOREtheMARYer are newly isolated phages of Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2 155 recovered from soil samples in Pittsburgh, PA. All three genomes are closely related to cluster G mycobacteriophages but differ sufficiently in nucleotide sequence and gene content to warrant division of cluster G into several subclusters. Mycobacteriophages Cambiare, FlagStaff, and MOOREtheMARYer are newly isolated phages of Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2 155 recovered from soil samples in Pittsburgh, PA. All three genomes are closely related to cluster G mycobacteriophages but differ sufficiently in nucleotide sequence and gene content to warrant division of cluster G into several subclusters.
Genome Sequence of a Newly Isolated Mycobacteriophage, ShedlockHolmes
Mycobacteriophage ShedlockHolmes is a newly isolated phage infecting Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2155. It has a 61,081-bp genome containing 99 predicted protein-coding genes and one tRNA gene. ShedlockHolmes is closely related to mycobacteriophages Pixie, Keshu, and MacnCheese and is a new member of subcluster K3. Mycobacteriophage ShedlockHolmes is a newly isolated phage infecting Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2155. It has a 61,081-bp genome containing 99 predicted protein-coding genes and one tRNA gene. ShedlockHolmes is closely related to mycobacteriophages Pixie, Keshu, and MacnCheese and is a new member of subcluster K3.
Genome Sequence of Mycobacteriophage Phayonce
Mycobacteriophage Phayonce is a newly isolated phage recovered from a soil sample in Pittsburgh, PA, using Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2155 as a host. Phayonce’s genome is 49,203 bp long and contains 77 protein-coding genes, 23 of them having predicted functions. Phayonce shares a strong similarity in nucleotide sequence with phages of cluster P. Mycobacteriophage Phayonce is a newly isolated phage recovered from a soil sample in Pittsburgh, PA, using Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2155 as a host. Phayonce’s genome is 49,203 bp long and contains 77 protein-coding genes, 23 of them having predicted functions. Phayonce shares a strong similarity in nucleotide sequence with phages of cluster P.
Genome Sequence of Mycobacteriophage Momo
Momo is a newly discovered phage of Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2155. Momo has a double-stranded DNA genome 154,553 bp in length, with 233 predicted protein-encoding genes, 34 tRNA genes, and one transfer-messenger RNA (tmRNA) gene. Momo has a myoviral morphology and shares extensive nucleotide sequence similarity with subcluster C1 mycobacteriophages. Momo is a newly discovered phage of Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2155. Momo has a double-stranded DNA genome 154,553 bp in length, with 233 predicted protein-encoding genes, 34 tRNA genes, and one transfer-messenger RNA (tmRNA) gene. Momo has a myoviral morphology and shares extensive nucleotide sequence similarity with subcluster C1 mycobacteriophages.
Drimane Sesquiterpene Conjugated Amino Acids from a Marine Isolate of the Fungus Talaromyces minioluteus (Penicillium Minioluteum)
Four new sesquiterpene lactones (3, 4, 6 and 7) and three known compounds, purpuride (1), berkedrimane B (2) and purpuride B (5), were isolated from the marine fungus, Talaromyces minioluteus (Penicillium minioluteum). New compounds were drimane sesquiterpenes conjugated with N-acetyl-l-valine, and their structures were elucidated by analysis of spectroscopic data, as well as by single crystal X-ray analysis. The isolated compounds could not inhibit the apoptosis-regulating enzyme, caspase-3, while three of the compounds (2, 3 and 7) exhibited weak cytotoxic activity. Four new sesquiterpene lactones (3, 4, 6 and 7) and three known compounds, purpuride (1), berkedrimane B (2) and purpuride B (5), were isolated from the marine fungus, Talaromyces minioluteus (Penicillium minioluteum). New compounds were drimane sesquiterpenes conjugated with N-acetyl-l-valine, and their structures were elucidated by analysis of spectroscopic data, as well as by single crystal X-ray analysis. The isolated compounds could not inhibit the apoptosis-regulating enzyme, caspase-3, while three of the compounds (2, 3 and 7) exhibited weak cytotoxic activity.
Draft Genome Sequence of Gluconobacter oxydans NL71, a Strain That Efficiently Biocatalyzes Xylose to Xylonic Acid at a High Concentration
Gluconobacter oxydans NL71, a selected strain in the crude lignocellulosic hydrolysate, catalyzed 600 g/liter xylose to 586.3 g/liter xylonic acid at 95.1% yield. The biocatalysis of xylose yielded three times higher than the best previous output, providing a possibility of the industrial scale utilization of lignocellulosic xylose. Due to its promising industrial applications, we sequenced the complete genome of strain G. oxydans NL71 to further our understanding of its overall metabolism. Gluconobacter oxydans NL71, a selected strain in the crude lignocellulosic hydrolysate, catalyzed 600 g/liter xylose to 586.3 g/liter xylonic acid at 95.1% yield. The biocatalysis of xylose yielded three times higher than the best previous output, providing a possibility of the industrial scale utilization of lignocellulosic xylose. Due to its promising industrial applications, we sequenced the complete genome of strain G. oxydans NL71 to further our understanding of its overall metabolism.
Molecular docking study of malaria drug target enzyme transketolase in Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 portends the novel approach to its treatment
Background Malaria has been a major life threatening mosquito borne disease from long since. Unavailability of any effective vaccine and recent emergence of multi drug resistant strains of malaria pathogen Plasmodium falciparum continues to cause persistent deaths in the tropical and sub-tropical region. As a result, demands for new targets for more effective anti-malarial drugs are escalating. Transketolase is an enzyme of the pentose phosphate pathway; a novel pathway which is involved in energy generation and nucleic acid synthesis. Moreover, significant difference in homology between Plasmodium falciparum transketolase (Pftk) and human (Homo sapiens) transketolase makes it a suitable candidate for drug therapy. Our present study is aimed to predict the 3D structure of Plasmodium falciparum transketolase and design an inhibitor against it. Results The primary and secondary structural features of the protein is calculated by ProtParam and SOPMA respectively which revealed the protein is composed of 43.3 % alpha helix and 33.04 % random coils along with 15.62 % extended strands, 8.04 % beta turns. The three dimensional structure of the transketolase is constructed using homology modeling tool MODELLAR utilizing several available transketolase structures as templates. The structure is then subjected to deep optimization and validated by structure validation tools PROCHECK, VERIFY 3D, ERRAT, QMEAN. The predicted model scored 0.74 for global model reliability in PROCHECK analysis, which ensures the quality of the model. According to VERIFY 3D the predicted model scored 0.77 which determines good environmental profile along with ERRAT score of 78.313 which is below 95 % rejection limit. Protein-protein and residue–residue interaction networks are generated by STRING and RING server respectively. CASTp server was used to analyze active sites and His 109, Asn 108 and His 515 are found to be more positive site to dock the substrate, in addition molecular docking simulation with Autodock vina determined the estimated free energy of molecular binding was of −6.6 kcal/mol for most favorable binding of 6′-Methyl-Thiamin Diphosphate. Conclusion This predicted structure of Pftk will serve first hand in the future development of effective Pftk inhibitors with potential anti-malarial activity. However, this is a preliminary study of designing an inhibitor against Plasmodium falciparum 3D7; the results await justification by in vitro and in vivo experimentations. Background Malaria has been a major life threatening mosquito borne disease from long since. Unavailability of any effective vaccine and recent emergence of multi drug resistant strains of malaria pathogen Plasmodium falciparum continues to cause persistent deaths in the tropical and sub-tropical region. As a result, demands for new targets for more effective anti-malarial drugs are escalating. Transketolase is an enzyme of the pentose phosphate pathway; a novel pathway which is involved in energy generation and nucleic acid synthesis. Moreover, significant difference in homology between Plasmodium falciparum transketolase (Pftk) and human (Homo sapiens) transketolase makes it a suitable candidate for drug therapy. Our present study is aimed to predict the 3D structure of Plasmodium falciparum transketolase and design an inhibitor against it. Results The primary and secondary structural features of the protein is calculated by ProtParam and SOPMA respectively which revealed the protein is composed of 43.3 % alpha helix and 33.04 % random coils along with 15.62 % extended strands, 8.04 % beta turns. The three dimensional structure of the transketolase is constructed using homology modeling tool MODELLAR utilizing several available transketolase structures as templates. The structure is then subjected to deep optimization and validated by structure validation tools PROCHECK, VERIFY 3D, ERRAT, QMEAN. The predicted model scored 0.74 for global model reliability in PROCHECK analysis, which ensures the quality of the model. According to VERIFY 3D the predicted model scored 0.77 which determines good environmental profile along with ERRAT score of 78.313 which is below 95 % rejection limit. Protein-protein and residue–residue interaction networks are generated by STRING and RING server respectively. CASTp server was used to analyze active sites and His 109, Asn 108 and His 515 are found to be more positive site to dock the substrate, in addition molecular docking simulation with Autodock vina determined the estimated free energy of molecular binding was of −6.6 kcal/mol for most favorable binding of 6′-Methyl-Thiamin Diphosphate. Conclusion This predicted structure of Pftk will serve first hand in the future development of effective Pftk inhibitors with potential anti-malarial activity. However, this is a preliminary study of designing an inhibitor against Plasmodium falciparum 3D7; the results await justification by in vitro and in vivo experimentations.
Design and bioinformatics analysis of genome wide CLIP experiments
The past decades have witnessed a surge of discoveries revealing RNA regulation as a central player in cellular processes. RNAs are regulated by RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) at all post-transcriptional stages, including splicing, transportation, stabilization and translation. Defects in the functions of these RBPs underlie a broad spectrum of human pathologies. Systematic identification of RBP functional targets is among the key biomedical research questions and provides a new direction for drug discovery. The advent of cross-linking immunoprecipitation coupled with high-throughput sequencing (genome-wide CLIP) technology has recently enabled the investigation of genome-wide RBP–RNA binding at single base-pair resolution. This technology has evolved through the development of three distinct versions: HITS-CLIP, PAR-CLIP and iCLIP. Meanwhile, numerous bioinformatics pipelines for handling the genome-wide CLIP data have also been developed. In this review, we discuss the genome-wide CLIP technology and focus on bioinformatics analysis. Specifically, we compare the strengths and weaknesses, as well as the scopes, of various bioinformatics tools. To assist readers in choosing optimal procedures for their analysis, we also review experimental design and procedures that affect bioinformatics analyses. The past decades have witnessed a surge of discoveries revealing RNA regulation as a central player in cellular processes. RNAs are regulated by RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) at all post-transcriptional stages, including splicing, transportation, stabilization and translation. Defects in the functions of these RBPs underlie a broad spectrum of human pathologies. Systematic identification of RBP functional targets is among the key biomedical research questions and provides a new direction for drug discovery. The advent of cross-linking immunoprecipitation coupled with high-throughput sequencing (genome-wide CLIP) technology has recently enabled the investigation of genome-wide RBP–RNA binding at single base-pair resolution. This technology has evolved through the development of three distinct versions: HITS-CLIP, PAR-CLIP and iCLIP. Meanwhile, numerous bioinformatics pipelines for handling the genome-wide CLIP data have also been developed. In this review, we discuss the genome-wide CLIP technology and focus on bioinformatics analysis. Specifically, we compare the strengths and weaknesses, as well as the scopes, of various bioinformatics tools. To assist readers in choosing optimal procedures for their analysis, we also review experimental design and procedures that affect bioinformatics analyses.
Reproductive Mode and the Evolution of Genome Size and Structure in Caenorhabditis Nematodes
Author Summary Closely related species can vary widely in genome size, yet the genetic and evolutionary forces responsible for these differences are poorly understood. Among Caenorhabditis nematodes, self-fertilizing species have genomes 20–40% smaller than outcrossing species. Constructing a high quality de novo genome assembly in C. remanei, we find that this outcrossing species has many more protein coding genes than the self-fertilizing Caenorhabditis. Intergenic spaces are larger on the X chromosome and smaller on autosomes for both selfing and outcrossing Caenorhabditis, but protein-coding genes are larger on the X chromosome in the self-fertile C. briggsae and C. elegans and larger on autosomes in the outcrossing C. remanei. This contrasting pattern of contracting genomes and expanding genes is likely mediated by changes in the balance between genetic drift and natural selection accompanying the transition to self-fertilization. Author Summary Closely related species can vary widely in genome size, yet the genetic and evolutionary forces responsible for these differences are poorly understood. Among Caenorhabditis nematodes, self-fertilizing species have genomes 20–40% smaller than outcrossing species. Constructing a high quality de novo genome assembly in C. remanei, we find that this outcrossing species has many more protein coding genes than the self-fertilizing Caenorhabditis. Intergenic spaces are larger on the X chromosome and smaller on autosomes for both selfing and outcrossing Caenorhabditis, but protein-coding genes are larger on the X chromosome in the self-fertile C. briggsae and C. elegans and larger on autosomes in the outcrossing C. remanei. This contrasting pattern of contracting genomes and expanding genes is likely mediated by changes in the balance between genetic drift and natural selection accompanying the transition to self-fertilization.The self-fertile nematode worms Caenorhabditis elegans, C. briggsae, and C. tropicalis evolved independently from outcrossing male-female ancestors and have genomes 20-40% smaller than closely related outcrossing relatives. This pattern of smaller genomes for selfing species and larger genomes for closely related outcrossing species is also seen in plants. We use comparative genomics, including the first high quality genome assembly for an outcrossing member of the genus (C. remanei) to test several hypotheses for the evolution of genome reduction under a change in mating system. Unlike plants, it does not appear that reductions in the number of repetitive elements, such as transposable elements, are an important contributor to the change in genome size. Instead, all functional genomic categories are lost in approximately equal proportions. Theory predicts that self-fertilization should equalize the effective population size, as well as the resulting effects of genetic drift, between the X chromosome and autosomes. Contrary to this, we find that the self-fertile C. briggsae and C. elegans have larger intergenic spaces and larger protein-coding genes on the X chromosome when compared to autosomes, while C. remanei actually has smaller introns on the X chromosome than either self-reproducing species. Rather than being driven by mutational biases and/or genetic drift caused by a reduction in effective population size under self reproduction, changes in genome size in this group of nematodes appear to be caused by genome-wide patterns of gene loss, most likely generated by genomic adaptation to self reproduction per se. The self-fertile nematode worms Caenorhabditis elegans, C. briggsae, and C. tropicalis evolved independently from outcrossing male-female ancestors and have genomes 20-40% smaller than closely related outcrossing relatives. This pattern of smaller genomes for selfing species and larger genomes for closely related outcrossing species is also seen in plants. We use comparative genomics, including the first high quality genome assembly for an outcrossing member of the genus (C. remanei) to test several hypotheses for the evolution of genome reduction under a change in mating system. Unlike plants, it does not appear that reductions in the number of repetitive elements, such as transposable elements, are an important contributor to the change in genome size. Instead, all functional genomic categories are lost in approximately equal proportions. Theory predicts that self-fertilization should equalize the effective population size, as well as the resulting effects of genetic drift, between the X chromosome and autosomes. Contrary to this, we find that the self-fertile C. briggsae and C. elegans have larger intergenic spaces and larger protein-coding genes on the X chromosome when compared to autosomes, while C. remanei actually has smaller introns on the X chromosome than either self-reproducing species. Rather than being driven by mutational biases and/or genetic drift caused by a reduction in effective population size under self reproduction, changes in genome size in this group of nematodes appear to be caused by genome-wide patterns of gene loss, most likely generated by genomic adaptation to self reproduction per se.
Evolution of an Enzyme from a Noncatalytic Nucleic Acid Sequence
The mechanism by which enzymes arose from both abiotic and biological worlds remains an unsolved natural mystery. We postulate that an enzyme can emerge from any sequence of any functional polymer under permissive evolutionary conditions. To support this premise, we have arbitrarily chosen a 50-nucleotide DNA fragment encoding for the Bos taurus (cattle) albumin mRNA and subjected it to test-tube evolution to derive a catalytic DNA (DNAzyme) with RNA-cleavage activity. After only a few weeks, a DNAzyme with significant catalytic activity has surfaced. Sequence comparison reveals that seven nucleotides are responsible for the conversion of the noncatalytic sequence into the enzyme. Deep sequencing analysis of DNA pools along the evolution trajectory has identified individual mutations as the progressive drivers of the molecular evolution. Our findings demonstrate that an enzyme can indeed arise from a sequence of a functional polymer via permissive molecular evolution, a mechanism that may have been exploited by nature for the creation of the enormous repertoire of enzymes in the biological world today. The mechanism by which enzymes arose from both abiotic and biological worlds remains an unsolved natural mystery. We postulate that an enzyme can emerge from any sequence of any functional polymer under permissive evolutionary conditions. To support this premise, we have arbitrarily chosen a 50-nucleotide DNA fragment encoding for the Bos taurus (cattle) albumin mRNA and subjected it to test-tube evolution to derive a catalytic DNA (DNAzyme) with RNA-cleavage activity. After only a few weeks, a DNAzyme with significant catalytic activity has surfaced. Sequence comparison reveals that seven nucleotides are responsible for the conversion of the noncatalytic sequence into the enzyme. Deep sequencing analysis of DNA pools along the evolution trajectory has identified individual mutations as the progressive drivers of the molecular evolution. Our findings demonstrate that an enzyme can indeed arise from a sequence of a functional polymer via permissive molecular evolution, a mechanism that may have been exploited by nature for the creation of the enormous repertoire of enzymes in the biological world today.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilm Response and Resistance to Cold Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Is Linked to the Redox Active Molecule Phenazine
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important opportunistic pathogen displaying high antibiotic resistance. Its resistance is in part due to its outstanding ability to form biofilms on a range of biotic and abiotic surfaces leading to difficult-to-treat, often long-term infections. Cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) is a new, promising antibacterial treatment to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Plasma is ionized gas that has antibacterial properties through the generation of a mix of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS), excited molecules, charged particles and UV photons. Our results show the efficient removal of P. aeruginosa biofilms using a plasma jet (kINPen med), with no viable cells detected after 5 min treatment and no attached biofilm cells visible with confocal microscopy after 10 min plasma treatment. Because of its multi-factorial action, it is widely presumed that the development of bacterial resistance to plasma is unlikely. However, our results indicate that a short plasma treatment (3 min) may lead to the emergence of a small number of surviving cells exhibiting enhanced resistance to subsequent plasma exposure. Interestingly, these cells also exhibited a higher degree of resistance to hydrogen peroxide. Whole genome comparison between surviving cells and control cells revealed 10 distinct polymorphic regions, including four belonging to the redox active, antibiotic pigment phenazine. Subsequently, the interaction between phenazine production and CAP resistance was demonstrated in biofilms of transposon mutants disrupted in different phenazine pathway genes which exhibited significantly altered sensitivity to CAP. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important opportunistic pathogen displaying high antibiotic resistance. Its resistance is in part due to its outstanding ability to form biofilms on a range of biotic and abiotic surfaces leading to difficult-to-treat, often long-term infections. Cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) is a new, promising antibacterial treatment to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Plasma is ionized gas that has antibacterial properties through the generation of a mix of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS), excited molecules, charged particles and UV photons. Our results show the efficient removal of P. aeruginosa biofilms using a plasma jet (kINPen med), with no viable cells detected after 5 min treatment and no attached biofilm cells visible with confocal microscopy after 10 min plasma treatment. Because of its multi-factorial action, it is widely presumed that the development of bacterial resistance to plasma is unlikely. However, our results indicate that a short plasma treatment (3 min) may lead to the emergence of a small number of surviving cells exhibiting enhanced resistance to subsequent plasma exposure. Interestingly, these cells also exhibited a higher degree of resistance to hydrogen peroxide. Whole genome comparison between surviving cells and control cells revealed 10 distinct polymorphic regions, including four belonging to the redox active, antibiotic pigment phenazine. Subsequently, the interaction between phenazine production and CAP resistance was demonstrated in biofilms of transposon mutants disrupted in different phenazine pathway genes which exhibited significantly altered sensitivity to CAP.