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Volume 12, November

Genes, Volume 12, Issue 12 (December 2021) – 188 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): While Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) is the most common postnatal defect of cardiac atrial septation, its full significance is far from be understood. A systematic review presented in this issue by Paolucci et al. addresses the genetic background of Foramen Ovale patency in humans. Form only 4 studies eligible, no variants resulted associated with PFO, except for the rs2200733 variant of chromosome 4q25 in atrial fibrillation patients. Despite the scarceness of evidence so far, animal studies indicate a robust genetic background in PFO. Further insight from genetic studies may help to better evaluate at the single-patient level the incidental or co-causative role of PFO in the setting of cryptogenic stroke and potential correlation with migraine. View this paper.
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Article
The Mitochondrial Genome of a Freshwater Pelagic Amphipod Macrohectopus branickii Is among the Longest in Metazoa
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2030; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122030 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 566
Abstract
There are more than 350 species of amphipods (Crustacea) in Lake Baikal, which have emerged predominantly through the course of endemic radiation. This group represents a remarkable model for studying various aspects of evolution, one of which is the evolution of mitochondrial (mt) [...] Read more.
There are more than 350 species of amphipods (Crustacea) in Lake Baikal, which have emerged predominantly through the course of endemic radiation. This group represents a remarkable model for studying various aspects of evolution, one of which is the evolution of mitochondrial (mt) genome architectures. We sequenced and assembled the mt genome of a pelagic Baikalian amphipod species Macrohectopus branickii. The mt genome is revealed to have an extraordinary length (42,256 bp), deviating significantly from the genomes of other amphipod species and the majority of animals. The mt genome of M. branickii has a unique gene order within amphipods, duplications of the four tRNA genes and Cox2, and a long non-coding region, that makes up about two thirds of the genome’s size. The extension of the mt genome was most likely caused by multiple duplications and inversions of regions harboring ribosomal RNA genes. In this study, we analyzed the patterns of mt genome length changes in amphipods and other animal phyla. Through a statistical analysis, we demonstrated that the variability in the mt genome length may be a characteristic of certain phyla and is primarily conferred by expansions of non-coding regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Clinical Theragnostic Relationship between Chemotherapeutic Resistance, and Sensitivity and miRNA Expressions in Head and Neck Cancers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocol
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2029; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122029 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 513
Abstract
Background: The microRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding single-stranded RNAs typically 19–25 nucleotides long and regulated by cellular and epigenetic factors. These miRNAs plays important part in several pathways necessary for cancer development, an altered miRNA expression can be oncogenic or tumor-suppressive. Recent experimental [...] Read more.
Background: The microRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding single-stranded RNAs typically 19–25 nucleotides long and regulated by cellular and epigenetic factors. These miRNAs plays important part in several pathways necessary for cancer development, an altered miRNA expression can be oncogenic or tumor-suppressive. Recent experimental results on miRNA have illuminated a different perspective of the molecular pathogenesis of head and neck cancers. Regulation of miRNA can have a detrimental effect on the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs in both neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings. This miRNA-induced chemoresistance can influence the prognosis and survival rate. The focus of the study is on how regulations of various miRNA levels contribute to chemoresistance in head and neck cancer (HNC). Recent findings suggest that up or down-regulation of miRNAs may lead to resistance towards various chemotherapeutic drugs, which may influence the prognosis. Methods: Studies on miRNA-specific chemoresistance in HNC were collected through literary (bibliographic) databases, including SCOPUS, PubMed, Nature, Elsevier, etc., and were systematically reviewed following PRISMA-P guidelines (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Protocol). We evaluated various miRNAs, their up and downregulation, the effect of altered regulation on the patient’s prognosis, resistant cell lines, etc. The data evaluated will be represented in the form of a review and meta-analysis. Discussion: This meta-analysis aims to explore the miRNA-induced chemoresistance in HNC and thus to aid further researches on this topic. PROSPERO registration: CRD42018104657. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Ins and Outs of miRNAs as Biomarkers)
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Review
Long Non-Coding RNAs at the Chromosomal Risk Loci Identified by Prostate and Breast Cancer GWAS
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2028; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122028 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 440
Abstract
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as key players in a variety of cellular processes. Deregulation of the lncRNAs has been implicated in prostate and breast cancers. Recently, germline genetic variations associated with cancer risk have been correlated with lncRNA expression and/or function. [...] Read more.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as key players in a variety of cellular processes. Deregulation of the lncRNAs has been implicated in prostate and breast cancers. Recently, germline genetic variations associated with cancer risk have been correlated with lncRNA expression and/or function. In addition, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at well-characterized cancer-associated lncRNAs have been analyzed for their association with cancer risk. These SNPs may occur within the lncRNA transcripts or spanning regions that may alter the structure, function, and expression of these lncRNA molecules and contribute to cancer progression and may have potential as therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. Additionally, some of these lncRNA have a tissue-specific expression profile, suggesting them as biomarkers for specific cancers. In this review, we highlight some of the cancer risk-associated SNPs that modulated lncRNAs with a potential role in prostate and breast cancers and speculate on how these lncRNAs may contribute to cancer development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Complexity of Hormone Sensitive Cancers)
Article
Carotenoid Biosynthetic Genes in Cabbage: Genome-Wide Identification, Evolution, and Expression Analysis
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2027; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122027 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 292
Abstract
Carotenoids are natural functional pigments produced by plants and microorganisms and play essential roles in human health. Cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata L.) is an economically important vegetable in terms of production and consumption. It is highly nutritious and contains β-carotene, [...] Read more.
Carotenoids are natural functional pigments produced by plants and microorganisms and play essential roles in human health. Cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata L.) is an economically important vegetable in terms of production and consumption. It is highly nutritious and contains β-carotene, lutein, and other antioxidant carotenoids. Here, we systematically analyzed carotenoid biosynthetic genes (CBGs) on the whole genome to understand the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway in cabbage. In total, 62 CBGs were identified in the cabbage genome, which are orthologs of 47 CBGs in Arabidopsis thaliana. Out of the 62 CBGs, 46 genes in cabbage were mapped to nine chromosomes. Evolutionary analysis of carotenoid biosynthetic orthologous gene pairs among B. oleracea, B. rapa, and A. thaliana revealed that orthologous genes of B. oleracea underwent a negative selection similar to that of B. rapa. Expression analysis of the CBGs showed functional differentiation of orthologous gene copies in B. oleracea and B. rapa. Exogenous phytohormone treatment suggested that ETH, ABA, and MeJA can promote some important CBGs expression in cabbage. Phylogenetic analysis showed that BoPSYs exhibit high conservatism. Subcellular localization analysis indicated that BoPSYs are located in the chloroplast. This study is the first to study carotenoid biosynthesis genes in cabbage and provides a basis for further research on carotenoid metabolic mechanisms in cabbage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Effects of Genetic Polymorphisms of Cathepsin A on Metabolism of Tenofovir Alafenamide
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2026; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122026 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 315
Abstract
Cathepsin A (CatA) is important as a drug-metabolizing enzyme responsible for the activation of prodrugs, such as the anti-human immunodeficiency virus drug Tenofovir Alafenamide (TAF). The present study was undertaken to clarify the presence of polymorphisms of the CatA gene in healthy Japanese [...] Read more.
Cathepsin A (CatA) is important as a drug-metabolizing enzyme responsible for the activation of prodrugs, such as the anti-human immunodeficiency virus drug Tenofovir Alafenamide (TAF). The present study was undertaken to clarify the presence of polymorphisms of the CatA gene in healthy Japanese subjects and the influence of gene polymorphism on the expression level of CatA protein and the drug-metabolizing activity. Single-strand conformation polymorphism method was used to analyze genetic polymorphisms in healthy Japanese subjects. Nine genetic polymorphisms were identified in the CatA gene. The polymorphism (85_87CTG>-) in exon 2 was a mutation causing a deletion of leucine, resulting in the change of the leucine 9-repeat (Leu9) to 8-repeat (Leu8) in the signal peptide region of CatA protein. The effect of Leu8 on the expression level of CatA protein was evaluated in Flp-In-293 cells with a stably expressed CatA, resulting in the expression of CatA protein being significantly elevated in variant 2 with Leu8 compared with Leu9. Higher concentrations of tenofovir alanine (TFV-Ala), a metabolite of TAF, were observed in the Leu8-expressing cells than in the Leu9-expressing cells using LC/MS/MS. Our findings suggest that the drug metabolic activity of CatA is altered by the genetic polymorphism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacogenomics: Challenges and Future)
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Article
Gene Flow and Genetic Structure Reveal Reduced Diversity between Generations of a Tropical Tree, Manilkara multifida Penn., in Atlantic Forest Fragments
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2025; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122025 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 363
Abstract
The Atlantic Forest remnants in southern Bahia, Brazil, contain large tree species that have suffered disturbances in recent decades. Anthropogenic activities have led to a decrease in the population of many tree species and a loss of alleles that can maintain the evolutionary [...] Read more.
The Atlantic Forest remnants in southern Bahia, Brazil, contain large tree species that have suffered disturbances in recent decades. Anthropogenic activities have led to a decrease in the population of many tree species and a loss of alleles that can maintain the evolutionary fitness of their populations. This study assessed patterns of genetic diversity, spatial genetic structure, and genetic structure among Manilkara multifida Penn. populations, comparing the genetic parameters of adult and juvenile trees. In particular, we collected leaves from adults and juveniles of M. multifida in two protected areas, the Veracel Station (EVC) and the Una Biological Reserve (UBR), located in threatened Atlantic Forest fragments. We observed a substantial decay in genetic variability between generations in both areas i.e., adults’ HO values were higher (EVC = 0.720, UBR = 0.736) than juveniles’ (EVC = 0.463 and UBR = 0.560). Both juveniles and adults showed genetic structure between the two areas (θ = 0.017 for adults and θ = 0.109 for juveniles). Additionally, forest fragments indicated an unexpectedly short gene flow. Our results, therefore, highlight the pervasive effects of historical deforestation and other human disturbances on the genetic diversity of M. multifida populations within a key conservation region of the Atlantic Forest biodiversity hotspot. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation Genetics and Genomics of Small Wildlife Populations)
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Longitudinal Changes in Cortical Thickness in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Association with Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2024; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122024 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 338
Abstract
The neuroanatomy of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) shows highly heterogeneous developmental trajectories across individuals. Mapping atypical brain development onto clinical phenotypes, and establishing their molecular underpinnings, is therefore crucial for patient stratification and subtyping. In this longitudinal study we examined intra- and inter-individual [...] Read more.
The neuroanatomy of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) shows highly heterogeneous developmental trajectories across individuals. Mapping atypical brain development onto clinical phenotypes, and establishing their molecular underpinnings, is therefore crucial for patient stratification and subtyping. In this longitudinal study we examined intra- and inter-individual differences in the developmental trajectory of cortical thickness (CT) in childhood and adolescence, and their genomic underpinnings, in 33 individuals with ASD and 37 typically developing controls (aged 11–18 years). Moreover, we aimed to link regional atypical CT development to intra-individual variations in restricted and repetitive behavior (RRB) over a two-year time period. Individuals with ASD showed significantly reduced cortical thinning in several of the brain regions functionally related to wider autism symptoms and traits (e.g., fronto-temporal and cingulate cortices). The spatial patterns of the neuroanatomical differences in CT were enriched for genes known to be associated with ASD at a genetic and transcriptomic level. Further, intra-individual differences in CT correlated with within-subject variability in the severity of RRBs. Our findings represent an important step towards characterizing the neuroanatomical underpinnings of ASD across development based upon measures of CT. Moreover, our findings provide important novel insights into the link between microscopic and macroscopic pathology in ASD, as well as their relationship with different clinical ASD phenotypes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Genes to Therapy in Autism Spectrum Disorder)
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Article
Formation of the Codon Degeneracy during Interdependent Development between Metabolism and Replication
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2023; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122023 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 340
Abstract
Nirenberg’s genetic code chart shows a profound correspondence between codons and amino acids. The aim of this article is to try to explain the primordial formation of the codon degeneracy. It remains a puzzle how informative molecules arose from the supposed prebiotic random [...] Read more.
Nirenberg’s genetic code chart shows a profound correspondence between codons and amino acids. The aim of this article is to try to explain the primordial formation of the codon degeneracy. It remains a puzzle how informative molecules arose from the supposed prebiotic random sequences. If introducing an initial driving force based on the relative stabilities of triplex base pairs, the prebiotic sequence evolution became innately nonrandom. Thus, the primordial assignment of the 64 codons to the 20 amino acids has been explained in detail according to base substitutions during the coevolution of tRNAs with aaRSs; meanwhile, the classification of aaRSs has also been explained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
NAPRT Expression Regulation Mechanisms: Novel Functions Predicted by a Bioinformatics Approach
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2022; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122022 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 554
Abstract
The nicotinate phosphoribosyltransferase (NAPRT) gene has gained relevance in the research of cancer therapeutic strategies due to its main role as a NAD biosynthetic enzyme. NAD metabolism is an attractive target for the development of anti-cancer therapies, given the high energy [...] Read more.
The nicotinate phosphoribosyltransferase (NAPRT) gene has gained relevance in the research of cancer therapeutic strategies due to its main role as a NAD biosynthetic enzyme. NAD metabolism is an attractive target for the development of anti-cancer therapies, given the high energy requirements of proliferating cancer cells and NAD-dependent signaling. A few studies have shown that NAPRT expression varies in different cancer types, making it imperative to assess NAPRT expression and functionality status prior to the application of therapeutic strategies targeting NAD. In addition, the recent finding of NAPRT extracellular form (eNAPRT) suggested the involvement of NAPRT in inflammation and signaling. However, the mechanisms regulating NAPRT gene expression have never been thoroughly addressed. In this study, we searched for NAPRT gene expression regulatory mechanisms in transcription factors (TFs), RNA binding proteins (RBPs) and microRNA (miRNAs) databases. We identified several potential regulators of NAPRT transcription activation, downregulation and alternative splicing and performed GO and expression analyses. The results of the functional analysis of TFs, RBPs and miRNAs suggest new, unexpected functions for the NAPRT gene in cell differentiation, development and neuronal biology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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Prenatal Diagnosis by Array Comparative Genomic Hybridization in Fetuses with Cardiac Abnormalities
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2021; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122021 - 19 Dec 2021
Viewed by 480
Abstract
Congenital heart defects (CHDs) appear in 8–10 out of 1000 live born newborns and are one of the most common causes of deaths. In fetuses, the congenital heart defects are found even 3–5 times more often. Currently, microarray comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) [...] Read more.
Congenital heart defects (CHDs) appear in 8–10 out of 1000 live born newborns and are one of the most common causes of deaths. In fetuses, the congenital heart defects are found even 3–5 times more often. Currently, microarray comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) is recommended by worldwide scientific organizations as a first-line test in the prenatal diagnosis of fetuses with sonographic abnormalities, especially cardiac defects. We present the results of the application of array CGH in 484 cases with prenatally diagnosed congenital heart diseases by fetal ultrasound scanning (256 isolated CHD and 228 CHD coexisting with other malformations). We identified pathogenic aberrations and likely pathogenic genetic loci for CHD in 165 fetuses and 9 copy number variants (CNVs) of unknown clinical significance. Prenatal array-CGH is a useful method allowing the identification of all unbalanced aberrations (number and structure) with a much higher resolution than the currently applied traditional assessment techniques karyotype. Due to this ability, we identified the etiology of heart defects in 37% of cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Prenatal Genetic Screening)
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Article
Genome-Wide Association Study Candidate Genes on Mammary System-Related Teat-Shape Conformation Traits in Chinese Holstein Cattle
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2020; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122020 - 19 Dec 2021
Viewed by 405
Abstract
In the dairy industry, mammary system traits are economically important for dairy animals, and it is important to explain their fundamental genetic architecture in Holstein cattle. Good and stable mammary system-related teat traits are essential for producer profitability in animal fitness and in [...] Read more.
In the dairy industry, mammary system traits are economically important for dairy animals, and it is important to explain their fundamental genetic architecture in Holstein cattle. Good and stable mammary system-related teat traits are essential for producer profitability in animal fitness and in the safety of dairy production. In this study, we conducted a genome-wide association study on three traits—anterior teat position (ATP), posterior teat position (PTP), and front teat length (FTL)—in which the FarmCPU method was used for association analyses. Phenotypic data were collected from 1000 Chinese Holstein cattle, and the GeneSeek Genomic Profiler Bovine 100K single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) chip was used for cattle genotyping data. After the quality control process, 984 individual cattle and 84,406 SNPs remained for GWAS work analysis. Nine SNPs were detected significantly associated with mammary-system-related teat traits after a Bonferroni correction (p < 5.92 × 10−7), and genes within a region of 200 kb upstream or downstream of these SNPs were performed bioinformatics analysis. A total of 36 gene ontology (GO) terms and 3 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways were significantly enriched (p < 0.05), and these terms and pathways are mainly related to metabolic processes, immune response, and cellular and amino acid catabolic processes. Eleven genes including MMS22L, E2F8, CSRP3, CDH11, PEX26, HAL, TAMM41, HIVEP3, SBF2, MYO16 and STXBP6 were selected as candidate genes that might play roles in the teat traits of cows. These results identify SNPs and candidate genes that give helpful biological information for the genetic architecture of these teat traits, thus contributing to the dairy production, health, and genetic selection of Chinese Holstein cattle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Gene Amplification as a Mechanism of Yeast Adaptation to Nonsense Mutations in Release Factor Genes
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2019; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122019 - 19 Dec 2021
Viewed by 466
Abstract
Protein synthesis (translation) is one of the fundamental processes occurring in the cells of living organisms. Translation can be divided into three key steps: initiation, elongation, and termination. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, there are two translation termination factors, eRF1 and eRF3. [...] Read more.
Protein synthesis (translation) is one of the fundamental processes occurring in the cells of living organisms. Translation can be divided into three key steps: initiation, elongation, and termination. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, there are two translation termination factors, eRF1 and eRF3. These factors are encoded by the SUP45 and SUP35 genes, which are essential; deletion of any of them leads to the death of yeast cells. However, viable strains with nonsense mutations in both the SUP35 and SUP45 genes were previously obtained in several groups. The survival of such mutants clearly involves feedback control of premature stop codon readthrough; however, the exact molecular basis of such feedback control remain unclear. To investigate the genetic factors supporting the viability of these SUP35 and SUP45 nonsense mutants, we performed whole-genome sequencing of strains carrying mutant sup35-n and sup45-n alleles; while no common SNPs or indels were found in these genomes, we discovered a systematic increase in the copy number of the plasmids carrying mutant sup35-n and sup45-n alleles. We used the qPCR method which confirmed the differences in the relative number of SUP35 and SUP45 gene copies between strains carrying wild-type or mutant alleles of SUP35 and SUP45 genes. Moreover, we compare the number of copies of the SUP35 and SUP45 genes in strains carrying different nonsense mutant variants of these genes as a single chromosomal copy. qPCR results indicate that the number of mutant gene copies is increased compared to the wild-type control. In case of several sup45-n alleles, this was due to a disomy of the entire chromosome II, while for the sup35-218 mutation we observed a local duplication of a segment of chromosome IV containing the SUP35 gene. Taken together, our results indicate that gene amplification is a common mechanism of adaptation to nonsense mutations in release factor genes in yeast. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Attention-Based Deep Multiple-Instance Learning for Classifying Circular RNA and Other Long Non-Coding RNA
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2018; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122018 - 19 Dec 2021
Viewed by 458
Abstract
Circular RNA (circRNA) is a distinguishable circular formed long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), which has specific roles in transcriptional regulation, multiple biological processes. The identification of circRNA from other lncRNA is necessary for relevant research. In this study, we designed attention-based multi-instance learning (MIL) [...] Read more.
Circular RNA (circRNA) is a distinguishable circular formed long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), which has specific roles in transcriptional regulation, multiple biological processes. The identification of circRNA from other lncRNA is necessary for relevant research. In this study, we designed attention-based multi-instance learning (MIL) network architecture fed with a raw sequence, to learn the sparse features of RNA sequences and to accomplish the circRNAs identification task. The model outperformed the state-of-art models. Moreover, following the validation of the attention mechanism effectiveness by the handwritten digit dataset, the key sequence loci underlying circRNA’s recognition were obtained based on the corresponding attention score. Then, motif enrichment analysis identified some of the key motifs for circRNA formation. In conclusion, we designed deep learning network architecture suitable for learning gene sequences with sparse features and implemented it for the circRNA identification task, and the model has strong representation capability in the indication of some key loci. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Non-coding RNAs: Sequence, Structure and Function)
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Article
miR-143 Targeting CUX1 to Regulate Proliferation of Dermal Papilla Cells in Hu Sheep
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2017; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122017 - 18 Dec 2021
Viewed by 357
Abstract
Wool curvature is the determining factor for lambskin quality of Hu lambs. However, the molecular mechanism of wool curvature formation is not yet known. miRNA has been proved to play an important role in hair follicle development, and we have discovered a differentially [...] Read more.
Wool curvature is the determining factor for lambskin quality of Hu lambs. However, the molecular mechanism of wool curvature formation is not yet known. miRNA has been proved to play an important role in hair follicle development, and we have discovered a differentially expressed miRNA, miR-143, in hair follicles of different curl levels. In this study, we first examined the effects of miR-143 on the proliferation and cell cycle of dermal papilla cells using CCK8, EdU and flow cytometry and showed that miR-143 inhibited the proliferation of dermal papilla cells and slowed down the cell cycle. Bioinformatics analysis was performed to predict the target genes KRT71 and CUX1 of miR-143, and both two genes were expressed at significantly higher levels in small waves than in straight lambskin wool (p < 0.05) as detected by qPCR and Western blot (WB). Then, the target relationships between miR-143 and KRT71 and CUX1 were verified through the dual-luciferase assay in 293T cells. Finally, after overexpression and suppression of miR-143 in dermal papilla cells, the expression trend of CUX1 was contrary to that of miR-143. Meanwhile, KRT71 was not detected because KRT71 was not expressed in dermal papilla cells. Therefore, we speculated that miR-143 can target CUX1 to inhibit the proliferation of dermal papilla cells, while miR-143 can target KRT71 to regulate the growth and development of hair follicles, so as to affect the development of hair follicles and ultimately affect the formation of wool curvature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
MiRNA-Regulated Pathways for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: Network-Based Approach to Insight into Pathogenesis
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2016; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122016 - 18 Dec 2021
Viewed by 361
Abstract
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common hereditary heart disease. The wide spread of high-throughput sequencing casts doubt on its monogenic nature, suggesting the presence of mechanisms of HCM development independent from mutations in sarcomeric genes. From this point of view, HCM may [...] Read more.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common hereditary heart disease. The wide spread of high-throughput sequencing casts doubt on its monogenic nature, suggesting the presence of mechanisms of HCM development independent from mutations in sarcomeric genes. From this point of view, HCM may arise from the interactions of several HCM-associated genes, and from disturbance of regulation of their expression. We developed a bioinformatic workflow to study the involvement of signaling pathways in HCM development through analyzing data on human heart-specific gene expression, miRNA-target gene interactions, and protein–protein interactions, available in open databases. Genes regulated by a pool of miRNAs contributing to human cardiac hypertrophy, namely hsa-miR-1-3p, hsa-miR-19b-3p, hsa-miR-21-5p, hsa-miR-29a-3p, hsa-miR-93-5p, hsa-miR-133a-3p, hsa-miR-155-5p, hsa-miR-199a-3p, hsa-miR-221-3p, hsa-miR-222-3p, hsa-miR-451a, and hsa-miR-497-5p, were considered. As a result, we pinpointed a module of TGFβ-mediated SMAD signaling pathways, enriched by targets of the selected miRNAs, that may contribute to the cardiac remodeling in HCM. We suggest that the developed network-based approach could be useful in providing a more accurate glimpse on pathological processes in the disease pathogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Small RNA Bioinformatics)
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Article
Single Cell Sequencing of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Derived Retinal Ganglion Cells (iPSC-RGC) Reveals Distinct Molecular Signatures and RGC Subtypes
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2015; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122015 - 18 Dec 2021
Viewed by 418
Abstract
We intend to identify marker genes with differential gene expression (DEG) and RGC subtypes in cultures of human-induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived retinal ganglion cells. Single-cell sequencing was performed on mature and functional iPSC-RGCs at day 40 using Chromium Single Cell 3’ V3 [...] Read more.
We intend to identify marker genes with differential gene expression (DEG) and RGC subtypes in cultures of human-induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived retinal ganglion cells. Single-cell sequencing was performed on mature and functional iPSC-RGCs at day 40 using Chromium Single Cell 3’ V3 protocols (10X Genomics). Sequencing libraries were run on Illumina Novaseq to generate 150 PE reads. Demultiplexed FASTQ files were mapped to the hg38 reference genome using the STAR package, and cluster analyses were performed using a cell ranger and BBrowser2 software. QC analysis was performed by removing the reads corresponding to ribosomal and mitochondrial genes, as well as cells that had less than 1X mean absolute deviation (MAD), resulting in 4705 cells that were used for further analyses. Cells were separated into clusters based on the gene expression normalization via PCA and TSNE analyses using the Seurat tool and/or Louvain clustering when using BBrowser2 software. DEG analysis identified subsets of RGCs with markers like MAP2, RBPMS, TUJ1, BRN3A, SOX4, TUBB3, SNCG, PAX6 and NRN1 in iPSC-RGCs. Differential expression analysis between separate clusters identified significant DEG transcripts associated with cell cycle, neuron regulatory networks, protein kinases, calcium signaling, growth factor hormones, and homeobox transcription factors. Further cluster refinement identified RGC diversity and subtype specification within iPSC-RGCs. DEGs can be used as biomarkers for RGC subtype classification, which will allow screening model systems that represent a spectrum of diseases with RGC pathology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights into Heritability of Glaucoma and Other Optic Neuropathies)
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Article
Exome Sequencing Reveals Novel Variants and Expands the Genetic Landscape for Congenital Microcephaly
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2014; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122014 - 18 Dec 2021
Viewed by 510
Abstract
Congenital microcephaly causes smaller than average head circumference relative to age, sex and ethnicity and is most usually associated with a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders. The underlying etiology is highly heterogeneous and can be either environmental or genetic. Disruption of any one of [...] Read more.
Congenital microcephaly causes smaller than average head circumference relative to age, sex and ethnicity and is most usually associated with a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders. The underlying etiology is highly heterogeneous and can be either environmental or genetic. Disruption of any one of multiple biological processes, such as those underlying neurogenesis, cell cycle and division, DNA repair or transcription regulation, can result in microcephaly. This etiological heterogeneity manifests in a clinical variability and presents a major diagnostic and therapeutic challenge, leaving an unacceptably large proportion of over half of microcephaly patients without molecular diagnosis. To elucidate the clinical and genetic landscapes of congenital microcephaly, we sequenced the exomes of 191 clinically diagnosed patients with microcephaly as one of the features. We established a molecular basis for microcephaly in 71 patients (37%), and detected novel variants in five high confidence candidate genes previously unassociated with this condition. We report a large number of patients with mutations in tubulin-related genes in our cohort as well as higher incidence of pathogenic mutations in MCPH genes. Our study expands the phenotypic and genetic landscape of microcephaly, facilitating differential clinical diagnoses for disorders associated with most commonly disrupted genes in our cohort. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Basis of Sensory and Neurological Disorders)
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Review
Transcriptomics View over the Germination Landscape in Biofortified Rice
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2013; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122013 - 18 Dec 2021
Viewed by 352
Abstract
Hidden hunger, or micronutrient deficiency, is a worldwide problem. Several approaches are employed to alleviate its effects (e.g., promoting diet diversity, use of dietary supplements, chemical fortification of processed food), and among these, biofortification is considered as one of the most cost-effective and [...] Read more.
Hidden hunger, or micronutrient deficiency, is a worldwide problem. Several approaches are employed to alleviate its effects (e.g., promoting diet diversity, use of dietary supplements, chemical fortification of processed food), and among these, biofortification is considered as one of the most cost-effective and highly sustainable. Rice is one of the best targets for biofortification since it is a staple food for almost half of the world’s population as a high-energy source but with low nutritional value. Multiple biofortified rice lines have been produced during the past decades, while few studies also reported modifications in germination behavior (in terms of enhanced or decreased germination percentage or speed). It is important to underline that rapid, uniform germination, and seedling establishment are essential prerequisites for crop productivity. Combining the two traits, biofortified, highly-nutritious seeds with improved germination behavior can be envisaged as a highly-desired target for rice breeding. To this purpose, information gathered from transcriptomics studies can reveal useful insights to unveil the molecular players governing both traits. The present review aims to provide an overview of transcriptomics studies applied at the crossroad between biofortification and seed germination, pointing out potential candidates for trait pyramiding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Polymorphisms in Genes Involved in Osteoblast Differentiation and Function Are Associated with Anthropometric Phenotypes in Spanish Women
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2012; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122012 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 335
Abstract
Much of the genetic variance associated with osteoporosis is still unknown. Bone mineral density (BMD) is the main predictor of osteoporosis risk, although other anthropometric phenotypes have recently gained importance. The aim of this study was to analyze the association of SNPs in [...] Read more.
Much of the genetic variance associated with osteoporosis is still unknown. Bone mineral density (BMD) is the main predictor of osteoporosis risk, although other anthropometric phenotypes have recently gained importance. The aim of this study was to analyze the association of SNPs in genes involved in osteoblast differentiation and function with BMD, body mass index (BMI), and waist (WC) and hip (HC) circumferences. Four genes that affect osteoblast differentiation and/or function were selected from among the differentially expressed genes in fragility hip fracture (FOXC1, CTNNB1, MEF2C, and EBF2), and an association study of four single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was conducted in a cohort of 1001 women. Possible allelic imbalance was also studied for SNP rs87939 of the CTNNB1 gene. We found significant associations of SNP rs87939 of the CTNNB1 gene with LS-sBMD, and of SNP rs1366594 of the MEF2C gene with BMI, after adjustment for confounding variables. The SNP of the MEF2C gene also showed a significant trend to association with FN-sBMD (p = 0.009). A possible allelic imbalance was ruled out as no differences for each allele were detected in CTNNB1 expression in primary osteoblasts obtained from homozygous women. In conclusion, we demonstrated that two SNPs in the MEF2C and CTNNB1 genes, both implicated in osteoblast differentiation and/or function, are associated with BMI and LS-sBMD, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Disorders of Bone)
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Article
Functional Conservation and Divergence of Five AP1/FUL-like Genes in Marigold (Tagetes erecta L.)
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2011; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122011 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 316
Abstract
Members of AP1/FUL subfamily genes play an essential role in the regulation of floral meristem transition, floral organ identity, and fruit ripping. At present, there have been insufficient studies to explain the function of the AP1/FUL-like subfamily genes in Asteraceae. Here, we [...] Read more.
Members of AP1/FUL subfamily genes play an essential role in the regulation of floral meristem transition, floral organ identity, and fruit ripping. At present, there have been insufficient studies to explain the function of the AP1/FUL-like subfamily genes in Asteraceae. Here, we cloned two euAP1 clade genes TeAP1-1 and TeAP1-2, and three euFUL clade genes TeFUL1, TeFUL2, and TeFUL3 from marigold (Tagetes erecta L.). Expression profile analysis demonstrated that TeAP1-1 and TeAP1-2 were mainly expressed in receptacles, sepals, petals, and ovules. TeFUL1 and TeFUL3 were expressed in flower buds, stems, and leaves, as well as reproductive tissues, while TeFUL2 was mainly expressed in flower buds and vegetative tissues. Overexpression of TeAP1-2 or TeFUL2 in Arabidopsis resulted in early flowering, implying that these two genes might regulate the floral transition. Yeast two-hybrid analysis indicated that TeAP1/FUL proteins only interacted with TeSEP proteins to form heterodimers and that TeFUL2 could also form a homodimer. In general, TeAP1-1 and TeAP1-2 might play a conserved role in regulating sepal and petal identity, similar to the functions of MADS-box class A genes, while TeFUL genes might display divergent functions. This study provides a theoretical basis for the study of AP1/FUL-like genes in Asteraceae species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Specialized Metabolism: From Genetics to Phenotype)
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Review
SUMO-Based Regulation of Nuclear Positioning to Spatially Regulate Homologous Recombination Activities at Replication Stress Sites
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2010; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122010 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 429
Abstract
DNA lesions have properties that allow them to escape their nuclear compartment to achieve DNA repair in another one. Recent studies uncovered that the replication fork, when its progression is impaired, exhibits increased mobility when changing nuclear positioning and anchors to nuclear pore [...] Read more.
DNA lesions have properties that allow them to escape their nuclear compartment to achieve DNA repair in another one. Recent studies uncovered that the replication fork, when its progression is impaired, exhibits increased mobility when changing nuclear positioning and anchors to nuclear pore complexes, where specific types of homologous recombination pathways take place. In yeast models, increasing evidence points out that nuclear positioning is regulated by small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) metabolism, which is pivotal to maintaining genome integrity at sites of replication stress. Here, we review how SUMO-based pathways are instrumental to spatially segregate the subsequent steps of homologous recombination during replication fork restart. In particular, we discussed how routing towards nuclear pore complex anchorage allows distinct homologous recombination pathways to take place at halted replication forks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamics of DNA Double Strand Breaks)
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Article
Genomics Reveal Admixture and Unexpected Patterns of Diversity in a Parapatric Pair of Butterflies
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2009; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122009 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 589
Abstract
We studied the evolutionary relationship of two widely distributed parapatric butterfly species, Melitaea athalia and Melitaea celadussa, using the ddRAD sequencing approach, as well as genital morphology and mtDNA data. M. athalia was retrieved as paraphyletic with respect to M. celadussa. [...] Read more.
We studied the evolutionary relationship of two widely distributed parapatric butterfly species, Melitaea athalia and Melitaea celadussa, using the ddRAD sequencing approach, as well as genital morphology and mtDNA data. M. athalia was retrieved as paraphyletic with respect to M. celadussa. Several cases of mito-nuclear discordance and morpho-genetic mismatch were found in the contact zone. A strongly diverged and marginally sympatric clade of M. athalia from the Balkans was revealed. An in-depth analysis of genomic structure detected high levels of admixture between M. athalia and M. celadussa at the contact zone, though not reaching the Balkan clade. The demographic modelling of populations supported the intermediate genetic make-up of European M. athalia populations with regards to M. celadussa and the Balkan clade. However, the dissimilarity matrix of genotype data (PCoA) suggested the Balkan lineage having a genetic component that is unrelated to the athalia-celadussa group. Although narrowly sympatric, almost no signs of gene flow were found between the main M. athalia group and the Balkan clade. We propose two possible scenarios on the historical evolution of our model taxa and the role of the last glacial maximum in shaping their current distribution. Finally, we discuss the complexities regarding the taxonomic delimitation of parapatric taxa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Population and Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Analysis of Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Gene Expression Highlights the Role of Extracellular Vesicles in the Immune Response following Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Children
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2008; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122008 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 390
Abstract
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is an effective treatment method used in many neoplastic and non-neoplastic diseases that affect the bone marrow, blood cells, and immune system. The procedure is associated with a risk of adverse events, mostly related to the immune response [...] Read more.
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is an effective treatment method used in many neoplastic and non-neoplastic diseases that affect the bone marrow, blood cells, and immune system. The procedure is associated with a risk of adverse events, mostly related to the immune response after transplantation. The aim of our research was to identify genes, processes and cellular entities involved in the variety of changes occurring after allogeneic HSCT in children by performing a whole genome expression assessment together with pathway enrichment analysis. We conducted a prospective study of 27 patients (aged 1.5–18 years) qualified for allogenic HSCT. Blood samples were obtained before HSCT and 6 months after the procedure. Microarrays were used to analyze gene expressions in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. This was followed by Gene Ontology (GO) functional enrichment analysis, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis, and protein–protein interaction (PPI) analysis using bioinformatic tools. We found 139 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) of which 91 were upregulated and 48 were downregulated. “Blood microparticle”, “extracellular exosome”, “B-cell receptor signaling pathway”, “complement activation” and “antigen binding” were among GO terms found to be significantly enriched. The PPI analysis identified 16 hub genes. Our results provide insight into a broad spectrum of epigenetic changes that occur after HSCT. In particular, they further highlight the importance of extracellular vesicles (exosomes and microparticles) in the post-HSCT immune response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cells Research and Therapy: Genetic Aspects)
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Article
Genetic Diversity and Population Structure Analysis of the USDA Olive Germplasm Using Genotyping-By-Sequencing (GBS)
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2007; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122007 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 496
Abstract
Olives are one of the most important fruit and woody oil trees cultivated in many parts of the world. Olive oil is a critical component of the Mediterranean diet due to its importance in heart health. Olives are believed to have been brought [...] Read more.
Olives are one of the most important fruit and woody oil trees cultivated in many parts of the world. Olive oil is a critical component of the Mediterranean diet due to its importance in heart health. Olives are believed to have been brought to the United States from the Mediterranean countries in the 18th century. Despite the increase in demand and production areas, only a few selected olive varieties are grown in most traditional or new growing regions in the US. By understanding the genetic background, new sources of genetic diversity can be incorporated into the olive breeding programs to develop regionally adapted varieties for the US market. This study aimed to explore the genetic diversity and population structure of 90 olive accessions from the USDA repository along with six popular varieties using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS)-generated SNP markers. After quality filtering, 54,075 SNP markers were retained for the genetic diversity analysis. The average gene diversity (GD) and polymorphic information content (PIC) values of the SNPs were 0.244 and 0.206, respectively, indicating a moderate genetic diversity for the US olive germplasm evaluated in this study. The structure analysis showed that the USDA collection was distributed across seven subpopulations; 63% of the accessions were grouped into an identifiable subpopulation. The phylogenetic and principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) showed that the subpopulations did not align with the geographical origins or climatic zones. An analysis of the molecular variance revealed that the major genetic variation sources were within populations. These findings provide critical information for future olive breeding programs to select genetically distant parents and facilitate future gene identification using genome-wide association studies (GWAS) or a marker-assisted selection (MAS) to develop varieties suited to production in the US. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tree Genetics and Improvement)
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Article
Lower Fractions of TCF4 Transcripts Spanning over the CTG18.1 Trinucleotide Repeat in Human Corneal Endothelium
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2006; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122006 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 342
Abstract
Fuchs’ endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) is a bilateral disease of the cornea caused by gradual loss of corneal endothelial cells. Late-onset FECD is strongly associated with the CTG18.1 trinucleotide repeat expansion in the Transcription Factor 4 gene (TCF4), which forms RNA [...] Read more.
Fuchs’ endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) is a bilateral disease of the cornea caused by gradual loss of corneal endothelial cells. Late-onset FECD is strongly associated with the CTG18.1 trinucleotide repeat expansion in the Transcription Factor 4 gene (TCF4), which forms RNA nuclear foci in corneal endothelial cells. To date, 46 RefSeq transcripts of TCF4 are annotated by the National Center of Biotechnology information (NCBI), however the effect of the CTG18.1 expansion on expression of alternative TCF4 transcripts is not completely understood. To investigate this, we used droplet digital PCR for quantification of TCF4 transcripts spanning over the CTG18.1 and transcripts with transcription start sites immediately downstream of the CTG18.1. TCF4 expression was analysed in corneal endothelium and in whole blood of FECD patients with and without CTG18.1 expansion, in non-FECD controls without CTG18.1 expansion, and in five additional control tissues. Subtle changes in transcription levels in groups of TCF4 transcripts were detected. In corneal endothelium, we found a lower fraction of transcripts spanning over the CTG18.1 tract compared to all other tissues investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Alternative Splicing in Human Physiology and Disease)
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Review
Small Molecule Drugs Targeting Non-Coding RNAs as Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2005; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122005 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 476
Abstract
Despite the enormous burden of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) on patients, caregivers, and society, only a few treatments with limited efficacy are currently available. While drug development conventionally focuses on disease-associated proteins, RNA has recently been shown to be druggable for [...] Read more.
Despite the enormous burden of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) on patients, caregivers, and society, only a few treatments with limited efficacy are currently available. While drug development conventionally focuses on disease-associated proteins, RNA has recently been shown to be druggable for therapeutic purposes as well. Approximately 70% of the human genome is transcribed into non-protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) such as microRNAs, long ncRNAs, and circular RNAs, which can adopt diverse structures and cellular functions. Many ncRNAs are specifically enriched in the central nervous system, and their dysregulation is implicated in ADRD pathogenesis, making them attractive therapeutic targets. In this review, we first detail why targeting ncRNAs with small molecules is a promising therapeutic strategy for ADRD. We then outline the process from discovery to validation of small molecules targeting ncRNAs in preclinical studies, with special emphasis on primary high-throughput screens for identifying lead compounds. Screening strategies for specific ncRNAs will also be included as examples. Key challenges—including selecting appropriate ncRNA targets, lack of specificity of small molecules, and general low success rate of neurological drugs and how they may be overcome—will be discussed throughout the review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-coding RNAs in Alzheimer's Disease)
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Review
Genetics and Epigenetics in Allergic Rhinitis
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2004; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122004 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 401
Abstract
The pathogenesis of allergic rhinitis is associated with genetic, environmental, and epigenetic factors. Genotyping of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) is an advanced technique in the field of molecular genetics that is closely correlated with genome-wide association studies (GWASs) in large population groups with [...] Read more.
The pathogenesis of allergic rhinitis is associated with genetic, environmental, and epigenetic factors. Genotyping of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) is an advanced technique in the field of molecular genetics that is closely correlated with genome-wide association studies (GWASs) in large population groups with allergic diseases. Many recent studies have paid attention to the role of epigenetics, including alteration of DNA methylation, histone acetylation, and miRNA levels in the pathogenesis of allergic rhinitis. In this review article, genetics and epigenetics of allergic rhinitis, including information regarding functions and significance of previously known and newly-discovered genes, are summarized. Directions for future genetic and epigenetic studies of allergic rhinitis are also proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Epigenetics of Allergy Diseases)
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Review
The Neglected Contribution of Streptomycin to the Tuberculosis Drug Resistance Problem
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2003; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122003 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 458
Abstract
The airborne pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis is responsible for a present major public health problem worsened by the emergence of drug resistance. M. tuberculosis has acquired and developed streptomycin (STR) resistance mechanisms that have been maintained and transmitted in the population over the last [...] Read more.
The airborne pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis is responsible for a present major public health problem worsened by the emergence of drug resistance. M. tuberculosis has acquired and developed streptomycin (STR) resistance mechanisms that have been maintained and transmitted in the population over the last decades. Indeed, STR resistant mutations are frequently identified across the main M. tuberculosis lineages that cause tuberculosis outbreaks worldwide. The spread of STR resistance is likely related to the low impact of the most frequent underlying mutations on the fitness of the bacteria. The withdrawal of STR from the first-line treatment of tuberculosis potentially lowered the importance of studying STR resistance. However, the prevalence of STR resistance remains very high, could be underestimated by current genotypic methods, and was found in outbreaks of multi-drug (MDR) and extensively drug (XDR) strains in different geographic regions. Therefore, the contribution of STR resistance to the problem of tuberculosis drug resistance should not be neglected. Here, we review the impact of STR resistance and detail well-known and novel candidate STR resistance mechanisms, genes, and mutations. In addition, we aim to provide insights into the possible role of STR resistance in the development of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. Full article
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Article
Structural Insight into the Mechanism of PALB2 Interaction with MRG15
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2002; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122002 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 378
Abstract
The tumor suppressor protein partner and localizer of BRCA2 (PALB2) orchestrates the interactions between breast cancer susceptibility proteins 1 and 2 (BRCA1, -2) that are critical for genome stability, homologous recombination (HR) and DNA repair. PALB2 mutations predispose patients to a spectrum of [...] Read more.
The tumor suppressor protein partner and localizer of BRCA2 (PALB2) orchestrates the interactions between breast cancer susceptibility proteins 1 and 2 (BRCA1, -2) that are critical for genome stability, homologous recombination (HR) and DNA repair. PALB2 mutations predispose patients to a spectrum of cancers, including breast and ovarian cancers. PALB2 localizes HR machinery to chromatin and links it with transcription through multiple DNA and protein interactions. This includes its interaction with MRG15 (Morf-related gene on chromosome 15), which is part of many transcription complexes, including the HAT-associated and the HDAC-associated complexes. This interaction is critical for PALB2 localization in actively transcribed genes, where transcription/replication conflicts lead to frequent replication stress and DNA breaks. We solved the crystal structure of the MRG15 MRG domain bound to the PALB2 peptide and investigated the effect of several PALB2 mutations, including patient-derived variants. PALB2 interacts with an extended surface of the MRG that is known to interact with other proteins. This, together with a nanomolar affinity, suggests that the binding of MRG15 partners, including PALB2, to this region is mutually exclusive. Breast cancer-related mutations of PALB2 cause only minor attenuation of the binding affinity. New data reveal the mechanism of PALB2-MRG15 binding, advancing our understanding of PALB2 function in chromosome maintenance and tumorigenesis. Full article
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Article
The Evolution and Expression Profiles of EC1 Gene Family during Development in Cotton
Genes 2021, 12(12), 2001; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12122001 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 411
Abstract
Fertilization is essential to sexual reproduction of flowering plants. EC1 (EGG CELL 1) proteins have a conserved cysteine spacer characteristic and play a crucial role in double fertilization process in many plant species. However, to date, the role of EC1 gene family in [...] Read more.
Fertilization is essential to sexual reproduction of flowering plants. EC1 (EGG CELL 1) proteins have a conserved cysteine spacer characteristic and play a crucial role in double fertilization process in many plant species. However, to date, the role of EC1 gene family in cotton is fully unknown. Hence, detailed bioinformatics analysis was explored to elucidate the biological mechanisms of EC1 gene family in cotton. In this study, we identified 66 genes in 10 plant species in which a total of 39 EC1 genes were detected from cotton genome. Phylogenetic analysis clustered the identified EC1 genes into three families (I-III) and all of them contain Prolamin-like domains. A good collinearity was observed in the synteny analysis of the orthologs from cotton genomes. Whole-genome duplication was determined to be one of the major impetuses for the expansion of the EC1 gene family during the process of evolution. qRT-PCR analysis showed that EC1 genes were highly expressed in reproductive tissues under multiple stresses, signifying their potential role in enhancing stress tolerance or responses. Additionally, gene interaction networks showed that EC1 genes may be involved in cell stress and response transcriptional regulator in the synergid cells and activate the expression of genes required for pollen tube guidance. Our results provide novel functional insights into the evolution and functional elucidation of EC1 gene family in cotton. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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