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Genes, Volume 12, Issue 5 (May 2021) – 178 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Passive diffusion drives maternal-fetal exchange across the placenta of all molecules and is a significant determinant of fetal growth. Passive permeability to hydrophilic molecules (e.g. ions, glucose, amino acids) is determined directly by the surface area for exchange and inversely by the thickness of the barrier, as well as the size of the molecule. The image shows a pseudo-coloured electron micrograph of the four-layer barrier between maternal blood spaces (upper left corner) and fetal capillaries (lower right corner) in the mouse placenta (from top to bottom, layers are: sinusoidal trophoblast giant cells, syncytiotrophoblast layer I, syncytiotrophoblast layer II and endothelium). In this issue, Angiolini et al. examine the morphology and in vivo transfer capacity of placentae in a mouse model deficient for the maternally expressed gene Phlda2, uncovering this imprinted gene as a [...] Read more.
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Article
Network Protein Interaction in the Link between Stroke and Periodontitis Interplay: A Pilot Bioinformatic Analysis
Genes 2021, 12(5), 787; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050787 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 738
Abstract
The clinical interaction between stroke and periodontitis has been consistently studied and confirmed. Hence, exploring potentially new protein interactions in this association using bioinformatic strategies presents potential interest. In this exploratory study, we conducted a protein–protein network interaction (PPI) search with documented encoded [...] Read more.
The clinical interaction between stroke and periodontitis has been consistently studied and confirmed. Hence, exploring potentially new protein interactions in this association using bioinformatic strategies presents potential interest. In this exploratory study, we conducted a protein–protein network interaction (PPI) search with documented encoded proteins for both stroke and periodontitis. Genes of interest were collected via GWAS database. The STRING database was used to predict the PPI networks, first in a sensitivity purpose (confidence cut-off of 0.7), and then with a highest confidence cut-off (0.9). Genes over-representation was inspected in the final network. As a result, we foresee a prospective protein network of interaction between stroke and periodontitis. Inflammation, pro-coagulant/pro-thrombotic state and, ultimately, atheroma plaque rupture is the main biological mechanism derived from the network. These pilot results may pave the way to future molecular and therapeutic studies to further comprehend the mechanisms between these two conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics of Stroke)
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Article
Population Genetics of the Invasive Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes, in South-Eastern Australia
Genes 2021, 12(5), 786; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050786 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 706
Abstract
The use of genetic information in conservation biology has become more widespread with genetic information more readily available for non-model organisms. It has also been recognized that genetic information from invasive species can inform their management and control. The red fox poses a [...] Read more.
The use of genetic information in conservation biology has become more widespread with genetic information more readily available for non-model organisms. It has also been recognized that genetic information from invasive species can inform their management and control. The red fox poses a significant threat to Australian native fauna and the agricultural industry. Despite this, there are few recently published studies investigating the population genetics of foxes in Australia. This study investigated the population genetics of 94 foxes across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions of New South Wales, Australia. Diversity Array sequencing technology was used to genotype a large number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (N = 33,375). Moderate genetic diversity and relatedness were observed across the foxes sampled. Low to moderate levels of inbreeding, high-levels of identity-by-state values, as well as high identity-by-descent values were also found. There was limited evidence for population genetic structure among the foxes across the landscape sampled, supporting the presence of a single population across the study area. This indicates that there may be no barriers hindering fox dispersal across the landscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Population and Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics)
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Review
Genetic Risk Factors in Early-Onset Nonalcoholic Chronic Pancreatitis: An Update
Genes 2021, 12(5), 785; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050785 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 627
Abstract
Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is a progressive, irreversible inflammatory disorder of the pancreas, which results from interrelations between different genetic and environmental factors. Genetic variants are the primary cause of the disease in early-onset nonalcoholic CP patients. Novel CP-associated genes are continuously emerging from [...] Read more.
Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is a progressive, irreversible inflammatory disorder of the pancreas, which results from interrelations between different genetic and environmental factors. Genetic variants are the primary cause of the disease in early-onset nonalcoholic CP patients. Novel CP-associated genes are continuously emerging from genetic studies on CP cohorts, providing important clues for distinct mechanisms involved in CP development. On the basis of functional studies, the genetic alterations have been sub-grouped into CP-driving pathological pathways. This review focuses on the concept of CP as a complex disease driven by multiple genetic factors. We will discuss only well-defined genetic risk factors and distinct functional pathways involved in CP development, especially in the context of the early-onset nonalcoholic CP group. The diagnostic implications of the genetic testing will be addressed as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Risk Factors of Complex Diseases)
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Article
Genome-Wide Analysis of Potassium Channel Genes in Rice: Expression of the OsAKT and OsKAT Genes under Salt Stress
Genes 2021, 12(5), 784; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050784 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 835
Abstract
Potassium (K+), as a vital element, is involved in regulating important cellular processes such as enzyme activity, cell turgor, and nutrient movement in plant cells, which affects plant growth and production. Potassium channels are involved in the transport and release of potassium in [...] Read more.
Potassium (K+), as a vital element, is involved in regulating important cellular processes such as enzyme activity, cell turgor, and nutrient movement in plant cells, which affects plant growth and production. Potassium channels are involved in the transport and release of potassium in plant cells. In the current study, three OsKAT genes and two OsAKT genes, along with 11 nonredundant putative potassium channel genes in the rice genome, were characterized based on their physiochemical properties, protein structure, evolution, duplication, in silico gene expression, and protein–protein interactions. In addition, the expression patterns of OsAKTs and OsKATs were studied in root and shoot tissues under salt stress using real-time PCR in three rice cultivars. K+ channel genes were found to have diverse functions and structures, and OsKATs showed high genetic divergence from other K+ channel genes. Furthermore, the Ka/Ks ratios of duplicated gene pairs from the K+ channel gene family in rice suggested that these genes underwent purifying selection. Among the studied K+ channel proteins, OsKAT1 and OsAKT1 were identified as proteins with high potential N-glycosylation and phosphorylation sites, and LEU, VAL, SER, PRO, HIS, GLY, LYS, TYR, CYC, and ARG amino acids were predicted as the binding residues in the ligand-binding sites of K+ channel proteins. Regarding the coexpression network and KEGG ontology results, several metabolic pathways, including sugar metabolism, purine metabolism, carbon metabolism, glycerophospholipid metabolism, monoterpenoid biosynthesis, and folate biosynthesis, were recognized in the coexpression network of K+ channel proteins. Based on the available RNA-seq data, the K+ channel genes showed differential expression levels in rice tissues in response to biotic and abiotic stresses. In addition, the real-time PCR results revealed that OsAKTs and OsKATs are induced by salt stress in root and shoot tissues of rice cultivars, and OsKAT1 was identified as a key gene involved in the rice response to salt stress. In the present study, we found that the repression of OsAKTs, OsKAT2, and OsKAT2 in roots was related to salinity tolerance in rice. Our findings provide valuable insights for further structural and functional assays of K+ channel genes in rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rice Genetics and Breeding)
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Review
Harnessing Crop Wild Diversity for Climate Change Adaptation
Genes 2021, 12(5), 783; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050783 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1025
Abstract
Warming and drought are reducing global crop production with a potential to substantially worsen global malnutrition. As with the green revolution in the last century, plant genetics may offer concrete opportunities to increase yield and crop adaptability. However, the rate at which the [...] Read more.
Warming and drought are reducing global crop production with a potential to substantially worsen global malnutrition. As with the green revolution in the last century, plant genetics may offer concrete opportunities to increase yield and crop adaptability. However, the rate at which the threat is happening requires powering new strategies in order to meet the global food demand. In this review, we highlight major recent ‘big data’ developments from both empirical and theoretical genomics that may speed up the identification, conservation, and breeding of exotic and elite crop varieties with the potential to feed humans. We first emphasize the major bottlenecks to capture and utilize novel sources of variation in abiotic stress (i.e., heat and drought) tolerance. We argue that adaptation of crop wild relatives to dry environments could be informative on how plant phenotypes may react to a drier climate because natural selection has already tested more options than humans ever will. Because isolated pockets of cryptic diversity may still persist in remote semi-arid regions, we encourage new habitat-based population-guided collections for genebanks. We continue discussing how to systematically study abiotic stress tolerance in these crop collections of wild and landraces using geo-referencing and extensive environmental data. By uncovering the genes that underlie the tolerance adaptive trait, natural variation has the potential to be introgressed into elite cultivars. However, unlocking adaptive genetic variation hidden in related wild species and early landraces remains a major challenge for complex traits that, as abiotic stress tolerance, are polygenic (i.e., regulated by many low-effect genes). Therefore, we finish prospecting modern analytical approaches that will serve to overcome this issue. Concretely, genomic prediction, machine learning, and multi-trait gene editing, all offer innovative alternatives to speed up more accurate pre- and breeding efforts toward the increase in crop adaptability and yield, while matching future global food demands in the face of increased heat and drought. In order for these ‘big data’ approaches to succeed, we advocate for a trans-disciplinary approach with open-source data and long-term funding. The recent developments and perspectives discussed throughout this review ultimately aim to contribute to increased crop adaptability and yield in the face of heat waves and drought events. Full article
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Review
Genetics and Epigenetics of One-Carbon Metabolism Pathway in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Sex-Specific Brain Epigenome?
Genes 2021, 12(5), 782; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050782 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1215
Abstract
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition affecting behavior and communication, presenting with extremely different clinical phenotypes and features. ASD etiology is composite and multifaceted with several causes and risk factors responsible for different individual disease pathophysiological processes and clinical phenotypes. [...] Read more.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition affecting behavior and communication, presenting with extremely different clinical phenotypes and features. ASD etiology is composite and multifaceted with several causes and risk factors responsible for different individual disease pathophysiological processes and clinical phenotypes. From a genetic and epigenetic side, several candidate genes have been reported as potentially linked to ASD, which can be detected in about 10–25% of patients. Folate gene polymorphisms have been previously associated with other psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, mainly focused on gene variants in the DHFR gene (5q14.1; rs70991108, 19bp ins/del), MTHFR gene (1p36.22; rs1801133, C677T and rs1801131, A1298C), and CBS gene (21q22.3; rs876657421, 844ins68). Of note, their roles have been scarcely investigated from a sex/gender viewpoint, though ASD is characterized by a strong sex gap in onset-risk and progression. The aim of the present review is to point out the molecular mechanisms related to intracellular folate recycling affecting in turn remethylation and transsulfuration pathways having potential effects on ASD. Brain epigenome during fetal life necessarily reflects the sex-dependent different imprint of the genome-environment interactions which effects are difficult to decrypt. We here will focus on the DHFR, MTHFR and CBS gene-triad by dissecting their roles in a sex-oriented view, primarily to bring new perspectives in ASD epigenetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Neurodevelopmental Disorders)
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Article
Clinical and Molecular Features of Skin Malignancies in Muir-Torre Syndrome
Genes 2021, 12(5), 781; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050781 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 651
Abstract
Background: We investigated the mutational landscape of skin tumors in patients with Muir-Torre Syndrome (MTS) a hereditary autosomal dominant mismatch repair disorder of increased cancer susceptibility, and examined mutations other than in the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes. Methods: This retrospective single-center case [...] Read more.
Background: We investigated the mutational landscape of skin tumors in patients with Muir-Torre Syndrome (MTS) a hereditary autosomal dominant mismatch repair disorder of increased cancer susceptibility, and examined mutations other than in the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes. Methods: This retrospective single-center case series included seven patients with the diagnosis of Muir-Torre Syndrome with precise medical history and family history. Mutational analysis of tumor samples Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue blocks of skin lesions associated with Muir-Torre Syndrome were used for further analysis. All skin tumors were analyzed with the Oncomine Comprehensive Assay v3 (Life Technologies), which includes 161 of the most relevant cancer driver genes. Results: Eleven skin neoplasms (nine sebaceous tumors, one melanoma, one cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma) were diagnosed in seven patients. In two patients, visceral malignancies preceded the diagnosis of the skin tumors and one patient was diagnosed with a visceral malignancy after a sebaceous tumor. History of familial cancer of Lynch Syndrome (LS) was reported in three patients. The most frequently detected mutation was in the MSH2 gene, followed by mutations in the NOTCH1/2 and TP53 gene. Conclusion, this study provides a molecular analysis of Muir-Torre Syndrome associated and non-associated skin tumors in patients with Muir-Torre Syndrome. Patients with sebaceous lesions should undergo microsatellite instability analysis and accurate evaluation of personal and family history to detect a possible Muir-Torre syndrome. As secondary malignancies may appear years after the first occurrence of sebaceous tumors, lifelong screening is mandatory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skin Cancer: Genetics, Diagnosis and Prevention)
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Review
Imprecise Medicine: BRCA2 Variants of Uncertain Significance (VUS), the Challenges and Benefits to Integrate a Functional Assay Workflow with Clinical Decision Rules
Genes 2021, 12(5), 780; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050780 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 850
Abstract
Pathological mutations in homology-directed repair (HDR) genes impact both future cancer risk and therapeutic options for patients. HDR is a high-fidelity DNA repair pathway for resolving DNA double-strand breaks throughout the genome. BRCA2 is an essential protein that mediates the loading of RAD51 [...] Read more.
Pathological mutations in homology-directed repair (HDR) genes impact both future cancer risk and therapeutic options for patients. HDR is a high-fidelity DNA repair pathway for resolving DNA double-strand breaks throughout the genome. BRCA2 is an essential protein that mediates the loading of RAD51 onto resected DNA breaks, a key step in HDR. Germline mutations in BRCA2 are associated with an increased risk for breast, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. Clinical findings of germline or somatic BRCA2 mutations in tumors suggest treatment with platinum agents or PARP inhibitors. However, when genetic analysis reveals a variant of uncertain significance (VUS) in the BRCA2 gene, precision medicine-based decisions become complex. VUS are genetic changes with unknown pathological impact. Current statistics indicate that between 10–20% of BRCA sequencing results are VUS, and of these, more than 50% are missense mutations. Functional assays to determine the pathological outcome of VUS are urgently needed to provide clinical guidance regarding cancer risk and treatment options. In this review, we provide a brief overview of BRCA2 functions in HDR, describe how BRCA2 VUS are currently assessed in the clinic, and how genetic and biochemical functional assays could be integrated into the clinical decision process. We suggest a multi-step workflow composed of robust and accurate functional assays to correctly evaluate the potential pathogenic or benign nature of BRCA2 VUS. Success in this precision medicine endeavor will offer actionable information to patients and their physicians. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BRCA1 and BRCA2: Genome Instability and Tumorigenesis)
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Article
Amplified Fragments of an Autosome-Borne Gene Constitute a Significant Component of the W Sex Chromosome of Eremias velox (Reptilia, Lacertidae)
Genes 2021, 12(5), 779; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050779 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 706
Abstract
Heteromorphic W and Y sex chromosomes often experience gene loss and heterochromatinization, which is frequently viewed as their “degeneration”. However, the evolutionary trajectories of the heterochromosomes are in fact more complex since they may not only lose but also acquire new sequences. Previously, [...] Read more.
Heteromorphic W and Y sex chromosomes often experience gene loss and heterochromatinization, which is frequently viewed as their “degeneration”. However, the evolutionary trajectories of the heterochromosomes are in fact more complex since they may not only lose but also acquire new sequences. Previously, we found that the heterochromatic W chromosome of a lizard Eremias velox (Lacertidae) is decondensed and thus transcriptionally active during the lampbrush stage. To determine possible sources of this transcription, we sequenced DNA from a microdissected W chromosome sample and a total female DNA sample and analyzed the results of reference-based and de novo assembly. We found a new repetitive sequence, consisting of fragments of an autosomal protein-coding gene ATF7IP2, several SINE elements, and sequences of unknown origin. This repetitive element is distributed across the whole length of the W chromosome, except the centromeric region. Since it retained only 3 out of 10 original ATF7IP2 exons, it remains unclear whether it is able to produce a protein product. Subsequent studies are required to test the presence of this element in other species of Lacertidae and possible functionality. Our results provide further evidence for the view of W and Y chromosomes as not just “degraded” copies of Z and X chromosomes but independent genomic segments in which novel genetic elements may arise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chromosome-Centric View of the Genome Organization and Evolution)
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Editorial
Evolutionary Dynamics of Wild Populations
Genes 2021, 12(5), 778; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050778 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 547
Abstract
Wild populations are facing rapid and sometimes extreme environmental changes that are currently exacerbated by pressing human activities [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolutionary Dynamics of Wild Populations)
Article
Changes in Lactate Production, Lactate Dehydrogenase Genes Expression and DNA Methylation in Response to Tamoxifen Resistance Development in MCF-7 Cell Line
Genes 2021, 12(5), 777; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050777 - 19 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 840
Abstract
Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is a key enzyme in the last step of glycolysis, playing a role in the pyruvate-to-lactate reaction. It is associated with the prognosis and metastasis of many cancers, including breast cancer. In this study, we investigated the changes in LDH [...] Read more.
Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is a key enzyme in the last step of glycolysis, playing a role in the pyruvate-to-lactate reaction. It is associated with the prognosis and metastasis of many cancers, including breast cancer. In this study, we investigated the changes in LDH gene expression and lactate concentrations in the culture media during tamoxifen resistance development in the MCF-7 cell line, and examined LDHB promoter methylation levels. An upregulation of 2.9 times of LDHB gene expression was observed around the IC50 concentration of tamoxifen in treated cells, while fluctuation in LDHA gene expression levels was found. Furthermore, morphological changes in the cell shape accompanied the changes in gene expression. Bisulfate treatment followed by sequencing of the LDHB promoter was performed to track any change in methylation levels; hypomethylation of CpG areas was found, suggesting that gene expression upregulation could be due to methylation level changes. Changes in LDHA and LDHB gene expression were correlated with the increase in lactate concentration in the culture media of treated MCF-7 cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deciphering Epigenetic Signature in Human Health and Disease)
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Article
Heat Stress Pre-Exposure May Differentially Modulate Plant Defense to Powdery Mildew in a Resistant and Susceptible Barley Genotype
Genes 2021, 12(5), 776; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050776 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 700
Abstract
Heat stress negatively affects barley production and under elevated temperatures defense responses to powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei, Bgh) are altered. Previous research has analyzed the effects of short-term (30 s to 2 h) heat stress, however, few data are [...] Read more.
Heat stress negatively affects barley production and under elevated temperatures defense responses to powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei, Bgh) are altered. Previous research has analyzed the effects of short-term (30 s to 2 h) heat stress, however, few data are available on the influence of long-term exposure to heat on powdery mildew infections. We simultaneously assessed the effects of short and long term heat pre-exposure on resistance/susceptibility of barley to Bgh, evaluating powdery mildew infection by analyzing symptoms and Bgh biomass with RT-qPCR in barley plants pre-exposed to high temperatures (28 and 35 °C from 30 s to 5 days). Plant defense gene expression after heat stress pre-exposure and inoculation was also monitored. Our results show that prolonged heat stress (24, 48 and 120 h) further enhanced Bgh susceptibility in a susceptible barley line (MvHV118-17), while a resistant line (MvHV07-17) retained its pathogen resistance. Furthermore, prolonged heat stress significantly repressed the expression of several defense-related genes (BAX inhibitor-1, Pathogenesis related-1b and Respiratory burst oxidase homologue F2) in both resistant and susceptible barley lines. Remarkably, heat-suppressed defense gene expression returned to normal levels only in MvHV07-17, a possible reason why this barley line retains Bgh resistance even at high temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Powdery Mildew Resistance Genetics)
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Article
A Large Family with p.Arg554His Mutation in ABCD1: Clinical Features and Genotype/Phenotype Correlation in Female Carriers
Genes 2021, 12(5), 775; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050775 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 585
Abstract
X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD, OMIM #300100) is the most common peroxisomal disorder clinically characterized by two main phenotypes: adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN) and the cerebral demyelinating form of X-ALD (cerebral ALD). The disease is caused by defects in the gene for the adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette [...] Read more.
X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD, OMIM #300100) is the most common peroxisomal disorder clinically characterized by two main phenotypes: adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN) and the cerebral demyelinating form of X-ALD (cerebral ALD). The disease is caused by defects in the gene for the adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette protein, subfamily D (ABCD1) that encodes the peroxisomal transporter of very-long-chain fatty acids (VLCFAs). The defective function of ABCD1 protein prevents β-oxidation of VLCFAs, which thus accumulate in tissues and plasma, to represent the hallmark of the disease. As in many X-linked diseases, it has been routinely expected that female carriers are asymptomatic. Nonetheless, recent findings indicate that most ABCD1 female carriers become symptomatic, with a motor disability that typically appears between the fourth and fifth decade. In this paper, we report a large family in which affected males died during the first decade, while affected females develop, during the fourth decade, progressive lower limb weakness with spastic or ataxic-spastic gait, tetra-hyperreflexia with sensory alterations. Clinical and genetic evaluations were performed in nine subjects, eight females (five affected and three healthy) and one healthy male. All affected females were carriers of the c.1661G>A (p.Arg554His, rs201568579) mutation. This study strengthens the relevance of clinical symptoms in female carriers of ABCD1 mutations, which leads to a better understanding of the role of the genetic background and the genotype-phenotype correlation. This indicates the relevance to include ABCD1 genes in genetic panels for gait disturbance in women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
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Editorial
Special Issue: A Tale of Genes and Genomes
Genes 2021, 12(5), 774; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050774 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 529
Abstract
Variability is the source on which selective pressure acts, allowing genome evolution and adaptation [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Tale of Genes and Genomes)
Article
Tumor-Associated Macrophage Promotes the Survival of Cancer Cells upon Docetaxel Chemotherapy via the CSF1/CSF1R–CXCL12/CXCR4 Axis in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer
Genes 2021, 12(5), 773; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050773 - 19 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 638
Abstract
Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is an advanced stage of prostate cancer that can progress rapidly even in patients treated with castration. Previously, we found that tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) can be recruited by CSF-1 secreted by docetaxel-treated prostate cancer cells and promote the survival [...] Read more.
Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is an advanced stage of prostate cancer that can progress rapidly even in patients treated with castration. Previously, we found that tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) can be recruited by CSF-1 secreted by docetaxel-treated prostate cancer cells and promote the survival of cancer cells in response to chemotherapy. The inhibition of CSF-1R can impede this effect and significantly prolong survival in xenograft mice. However, the actual mechanism of how TAM improves cancer cell survival still remains elusive and controversial. Here, for the first time, we found that the enhanced survival of cancer cells achieved by TAM was mainly mediated by CXCR4 activation from the increased secretion of CXCL12 from CSF-1 activated TAM. This finding helps to clarify the mechanism of chemoresistance for second-line chemotherapy using docetaxel, facilitating the development of novel drugs to overcome immune tolerance in castration-resistant prostate cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacogenomics: Precision Medicine and Drug Response)
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Article
Causal Association between Periodontitis and Parkinson’s Disease: A Bidirectional Mendelian Randomization Study
Genes 2021, 12(5), 772; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050772 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 605
Abstract
The latest evidence revealed a possible association between periodontitis and Parkinson’s disease (PD). We explored the causal relationship of this bidirectional association through two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) in European ancestry populations. To this end, we used openly accessible data of genome-wide association studies [...] Read more.
The latest evidence revealed a possible association between periodontitis and Parkinson’s disease (PD). We explored the causal relationship of this bidirectional association through two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) in European ancestry populations. To this end, we used openly accessible data of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on periodontitis and PD. As instrumental variables for periodontitis, seventeen single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from a GWAS of periodontitis (1817 periodontitis cases vs. 2215 controls) and eight non-overlapping SNPs of periodontitis from an additional GWAS for validation purposes. Instrumental variables to explore for the reverse causation included forty-five SNPs from a GWAS of PD (20,184 cases and 397,324 controls). Multiple approaches of MR were carried-out. There was no evidence of genetic liability of periodontitis being associated with a higher risk of PD (B = −0.0003, Standard Error [SE] 0.0003, p = 0.26). The eight independent SNPs (B = −0.0000, SE 0.0001, p = 0.99) validated this outcome. We also found no association of genetically primed PD towards periodontitis (B = −0.0001, SE 0.0001, p = 0.19). These MR study findings do not support a bidirectional causal genetic liability between periodontitis and PD. Further GWAS studies are needed to confirm the consistency of these results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics of Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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Article
Genome Expression Dynamics Reveal the Parasitism Regulatory Landscape of the Root-Knot Nematode Meloidogyne incognita and a Promoter Motif Associated with Effector Genes
Genes 2021, 12(5), 771; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050771 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 1129
Abstract
Root-knot nematodes (genus Meloidogyne) are the major contributor to crop losses caused by nematodes. These nematodes secrete effector proteins into the plant, derived from two sets of pharyngeal gland cells, to manipulate host physiology and immunity. Successful completion of the life cycle, [...] Read more.
Root-knot nematodes (genus Meloidogyne) are the major contributor to crop losses caused by nematodes. These nematodes secrete effector proteins into the plant, derived from two sets of pharyngeal gland cells, to manipulate host physiology and immunity. Successful completion of the life cycle, involving successive molts from egg to adult, covers morphologically and functionally distinct stages and will require precise control of gene expression, including effector genes. The details of how root-knot nematodes regulate transcription remain sparse. Here, we report a life stage-specific transcriptome of Meloidogyne incognita. Combined with an available annotated genome, we explore the spatio-temporal regulation of gene expression. We reveal gene expression clusters and predicted functions that accompany the major developmental transitions. Focusing on effectors, we identify a putative cis-regulatory motif associated with expression in the dorsal glands, providing an insight into effector regulation. We combine the presence of this motif with several other criteria to predict a novel set of putative dorsal gland effectors. Finally, we show this motif, and thereby its utility, is broadly conserved across the Meloidogyne genus, and we name it Mel-DOG. Taken together, we provide the first genome-wide analysis of spatio-temporal gene expression in a root-knot nematode and identify a new set of candidate effector genes that will guide future functional analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics of Plant-Nematode Interactions)
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Article
Impacts of the Type I Toxin–Antitoxin System, SprG1/SprF1, on Staphylococcus aureus Gene Expression
Genes 2021, 12(5), 770; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050770 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 635
Abstract
Type I toxin–antitoxin (TA) systems are widespread genetic modules in bacterial genomes. They express toxic peptides whose overexpression leads to growth arrest or cell death, whereas antitoxins regulate the expression of toxins, acting as labile antisense RNAs. The Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus [...] Read more.
Type I toxin–antitoxin (TA) systems are widespread genetic modules in bacterial genomes. They express toxic peptides whose overexpression leads to growth arrest or cell death, whereas antitoxins regulate the expression of toxins, acting as labile antisense RNAs. The Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) genome contains and expresses several functional type I TA systems, but their biological functions remain unclear. Here, we addressed and challenged experimentally, by proteomics, if the type I TA system, the SprG1/SprF1 pair, influences the overall gene expression in S. aureus. Deleted and complemented S. aureus strains were analyzed for their proteomes, both intracellular and extracellular, during growth. Comparison of intracellular proteomes among the strains points to the SprF1 antitoxin as moderately downregulating protein expression. In the strain naturally expressing the SprG1 toxin, cytoplasmic proteins are excreted into the medium, but this is not due to unspecific cell leakages. Such a toxin-driven release of the cytoplasmic proteins may modulate the host inflammatory response that, in turn, could amplify the S. aureus infection spread. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics of Metabolism in Microorganisms)
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Communication
Alpha-Actinin-3 Deficiency Might Affect Recovery from Non-Contact Muscle Injuries: Preliminary Findings in a Top-Level Soccer Team
Genes 2021, 12(5), 769; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050769 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 556
Abstract
There are recent data suggesting an association between the R577X polymorphism (rs1815739) in the gene encoding α-actinin-3 (ACTN3) and the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. The purpose of this study was to analyze the association of rs1815739 with risk of, and recovery [...] Read more.
There are recent data suggesting an association between the R577X polymorphism (rs1815739) in the gene encoding α-actinin-3 (ACTN3) and the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. The purpose of this study was to analyze the association of rs1815739 with risk of, and recovery time from non-contact soft-tissue muscle injuries in professional soccer players. Forty-six (22 male and 24 female) players from a top-level professional soccer team were assessed during five consecutive seasons: the genotype distribution was: RR, 41.3%; RX, 47.8%; and XX, 10.9%. There was a trend towards a higher risk of muscle injury associated with the XX genotype (p = 0.092, with no injury-free XX player during the 5-year study period) and a significant genotype effect for the time needed to return to play (p = 0.044, with the highest value shown for the XX genotype, i.e., 36 ± 26 days, vs. 20 ± 10 and 17 ± 12 days for RR and RX, respectively). In conclusion, the XX genotype might be associated not only with a higher risk of non-contact muscle injuries, but also of recovery time from these conditions. However, more research in larger cohorts is needed to confirm this preliminary hypothesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics in Sport)
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Article
Meta-Analysis of Heifer Traits Identified Reproductive Pathways in Bos indicus Cattle
Genes 2021, 12(5), 768; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050768 - 18 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1180
Abstract
Fertility traits measured early in life define the reproductive potential of heifers. Knowledge of genetics and biology can help devise genomic selection methods to improve heifer fertility. In this study, we used ~2400 Brahman cattle to perform GWAS and multi-trait meta-analysis to determine [...] Read more.
Fertility traits measured early in life define the reproductive potential of heifers. Knowledge of genetics and biology can help devise genomic selection methods to improve heifer fertility. In this study, we used ~2400 Brahman cattle to perform GWAS and multi-trait meta-analysis to determine genomic regions associated with heifer fertility. Heifer traits measured were pregnancy at first mating opportunity (PREG1, a binary trait), first conception score (FCS, score 1 to 3) and rebreeding score (REB, score 1 to 3.5). The heritability estimates were 0.17 (0.03) for PREG1, 0.11 (0.05) for FCS and 0.28 (0.05) for REB. The three traits were highly genetically correlated (0.75–0.83) as expected. Meta-analysis was performed using SNP effects estimated for each of the three traits, adjusted for standard error. We identified 1359 significant SNPs (p-value < 9.9 × 10−6 at FDR < 0.0001) in the multi-trait meta-analysis. Genomic regions of 0.5 Mb around each significant SNP from the meta-analysis were annotated to create a list of 2560 positional candidate genes. The most significant SNP was in the vicinity of a genomic region on chromosome 8, encompassing the genes SLC44A1, FSD1L, FKTN, TAL2 and TMEM38B. The genomic region in humans that contains homologs of these genes is associated with age at puberty in girls. Top significant SNPs pointed to additional fertility-related genes, again within a 0.5 Mb region, including ESR2, ITPR1, GNG2, RGS9BP, ANKRD27, TDRD12, GRM1, MTHFD1, PTGDR and NTNG1. Functional pathway enrichment analysis resulted in many positional candidate genes relating to known fertility pathways, including GnRH signaling, estrogen signaling, progesterone mediated oocyte maturation, cAMP signaling, calcium signaling, glutamatergic signaling, focal adhesion, PI3K-AKT signaling and ovarian steroidogenesis pathway. The comparison of results from this study with previous transcriptomics and proteomics studies on puberty of the same cattle breed (Brahman) but in a different population identified 392 genes in common from which some genes—BRAF, GABRA2, GABR1B, GAD1, FSHR, CNGA3, PDE10A, SNAP25, ESR2, GRIA2, ORAI1, EGFR, CHRNA5, VDAC2, ACVR2B, ORAI3, CYP11A1, GRIN2A, ATP2B3, CAMK2A, PLA2G, CAMK2D and MAPK3—are also part of the above-mentioned pathways. The biological functions of the positional candidate genes and their annotation to known pathways allowed integrating the results into a bigger picture of molecular mechanisms related to puberty in the hypothalamus–pituitary–ovarian axis. A reasonable number of genes, common between previous puberty studies and this study on early reproductive traits, corroborates the proposed molecular mechanisms. This study identified the polymorphism associated with early reproductive traits, and candidate genes that provided a visualization of the proposed mechanisms, coordinating the hypothalamic, pituitary, and ovarian functions for reproductive performance in Brahman cattle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genome-Wide Association Analysis of Cattle)
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Article
Evolution of an Epidermal Differentiation Complex (EDC) Gene Family in Birds
Genes 2021, 12(5), 767; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050767 - 18 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 711
Abstract
The transition of amniotes to a fully terrestrial lifestyle involved the adaptation of major molecular innovations to the epidermis, often in the form of epidermal appendages such as hair, scales and feathers. Feathers are diverse epidermal structures of birds, and their evolution has [...] Read more.
The transition of amniotes to a fully terrestrial lifestyle involved the adaptation of major molecular innovations to the epidermis, often in the form of epidermal appendages such as hair, scales and feathers. Feathers are diverse epidermal structures of birds, and their evolution has played a key role in the expansion of avian species to a wide range of lifestyles and habitats. As with other epidermal appendages, feather development is a complex process which involves many different genetic and protein elements. In mammals, many of the genetic elements involved in epidermal development are located at a specific genetic locus known as the epidermal differentiation complex (EDC). Studies have identified a homologous EDC locus in birds, which contains several genes expressed throughout epidermal and feather development. A family of avian EDC genes rich in aromatic amino acids that also contain MTF amino acid motifs (EDAAs/EDMTFs), that includes the previously reported histidine-rich or fast-protein (HRP/fp), an important marker in feather development, has expanded significantly in birds. Here, we characterize the EDAA gene family in birds and investigate the evolutionary history and possible functions of EDAA genes using phylogenetic and sequence analyses. We provide evidence that the EDAA gene family originated in an early archosaur ancestor, and has since expanded in birds, crocodiles and turtles, respectively. Furthermore, this study shows that the respective amino acid compositions of avian EDAAs are characteristic of structural functions associated with EDC genes and feather development. Finally, these results support the hypothesis that the genes of the EDC have evolved through tandem duplication and diversification, which has contributed to the evolution of the intricate avian epidermis and epidermal appendages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics and Evolution of Sauropsid Traits in the Genomics Era)
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Article
Impact of Snoring on Telomere Shortening in Adolescents with Atopic Diseases
Genes 2021, 12(5), 766; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050766 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 826
Abstract
Atopic diseases can impose a significant burden on children and adolescents. Telomere length is a cellular marker of aging reflecting the impact of cumulative stress exposure on individual health. Since elevated oxidative stress and inflammation burden induced by chronic atopy and snoring may [...] Read more.
Atopic diseases can impose a significant burden on children and adolescents. Telomere length is a cellular marker of aging reflecting the impact of cumulative stress exposure on individual health. Since elevated oxidative stress and inflammation burden induced by chronic atopy and snoring may impact telomere length, this study aimed to investigate whether snoring would moderate the relationship between atopic diseases and telomere length in early adolescence. We surveyed 354 adolescents and their parents. Parents reported the adolescents’ history of atopic diseases, recent snoring history as well as other family sociodemographic characteristics. Buccal swab samples were also collected from the adolescents for telomere length determination. Independent and combined effects of atopic diseases and snoring on telomere length were examined. Among the surveyed adolescents, 174 were reported by parents to have atopic diseases (20 had asthma, 145 had allergic rhinitis, 53 had eczema, and 25 had food allergy). Shorter TL was found in participants with a history of snoring and atopic diseases (β = −0.34, p = 0.002) particularly for asthma (β = −0.21, p = 0.007) and allergic rhinitis (β = −0.22, p = 0.023). Our findings suggest that snoring in atopic patients has important implications for accelerated telomere shortening. Proper management of atopic symptoms at an early age is important for the alleviation of long-term health consequences at the cellular level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
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Article
Genome-Wide Association Study Reveals Genomic Regions Associated with Fusarium Wilt Resistance in Common Bean
Genes 2021, 12(5), 765; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050765 - 18 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 790
Abstract
Fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. phaseoli, Fop) is one of the main fungal soil diseases in common bean. The aim of the present study was to identify genomic regions associated with Fop resistance through genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in [...] Read more.
Fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. phaseoli, Fop) is one of the main fungal soil diseases in common bean. The aim of the present study was to identify genomic regions associated with Fop resistance through genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in a Mesoamerican Diversity Panel (MDP) and to identify potential common bean sources of Fop’s resistance. The MDP was genotyped with BARCBean6K_3BeadChip and evaluated for Fop resistance with two different monosporic strains using the root-dip method. Disease severity rating (DSR) and the area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC), at 21 days after inoculation (DAI), were used for GWAS performed with FarmCPU model. The p-value of each SNP was determined by resampling method and Bonferroni test. For UFV01 strain, two significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were mapped on the Pv05 and Pv11 for AUDPC, and the same SNP (ss715648096) on Pv11 was associated with AUDPC and DSR. Another SNP, mapped on Pv03, showed significance for DSR. Regarding IAC18001 strain, significant SNPs on Pv03, Pv04, Pv05, Pv07 and on Pv01, Pv05, and Pv10 were observed. Putative candidate genes related to nucleotide-binding sites and carboxy-terminal leucine-rich repeats were identified. The markers may be important future tools for genomic selection to Fop disease resistance in beans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Pathogens and Plant Genetic Variation Detection)
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Article
Characteristics of the AT-Hook Motif Containing Nuclear Localized (AHL) Genes in Carrot Provides Insight into Their Role in Plant Growth and Storage Root Development
Genes 2021, 12(5), 764; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050764 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 523
Abstract
The AT-hook motif containing nuclear localized (AHL) gene family, controlling various developmental processes, is conserved in land plants. They comprise Plant and Prokaryote Conserved (PPC) domain and one or two AT-hook motifs. DcAHLc1 has been proposed as a candidate gene governing the formation [...] Read more.
The AT-hook motif containing nuclear localized (AHL) gene family, controlling various developmental processes, is conserved in land plants. They comprise Plant and Prokaryote Conserved (PPC) domain and one or two AT-hook motifs. DcAHLc1 has been proposed as a candidate gene governing the formation of the carrot storage root. We identified and in-silico characterized carrot AHL proteins, performed phylogenetic analyses, investigated their expression profiles and constructed gene coexpression networks. We found 47 AHL genes in carrot and grouped them into two clades, A and B, comprising 29 and 18 genes, respectively. Within Clade-A, we distinguished three subclades, one of them grouping noncanonical AHLs differing in their structure (two PPC domains) and/or cellular localization (not nucleus). Coexpression network analysis attributed AHLs expressed in carrot roots into four of the 72 clusters, some of them showing a large number of interactions. Determination of expression profiles of AHL genes in various tissues and samples provided basis to hypothesize on their possible roles in the development of the carrot storage root. We identified a group of rapidly evolving noncanonical AHLs, possibly differing functionally from typical AHLs, as suggested by their expression profiles and their predicted cellular localization. We pointed at several AHLs likely involved in the development of the carrot storage root. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticultural Crop Genetics and Improvement)
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Review
The Ribosomal Gene Loci—The Power behind the Throne
Genes 2021, 12(5), 763; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050763 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 807
Abstract
Nucleoli form around actively transcribed ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes (rDNA), and the morphology and location of nucleolus-associated genomic domains (NADs) are linked to the RNA Polymerase I (Pol I) transcription status. The number of rDNA repeats (and the proportion of actively transcribed rRNA [...] Read more.
Nucleoli form around actively transcribed ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes (rDNA), and the morphology and location of nucleolus-associated genomic domains (NADs) are linked to the RNA Polymerase I (Pol I) transcription status. The number of rDNA repeats (and the proportion of actively transcribed rRNA genes) is variable between cell types, individuals and disease state. Substantial changes in nucleolar morphology and size accompanied by concomitant changes in the Pol I transcription rate have long been documented during normal cell cycle progression, development and malignant transformation. This demonstrates how dynamic the nucleolar structure can be. Here, we will discuss how the structure of the rDNA loci, the nucleolus and the rate of Pol I transcription are important for dynamic regulation of global gene expression and genome stability, e.g., through the modulation of long-range genomic interactions with the suppressive NAD environment. These observations support an emerging paradigm whereby the rDNA repeats and the nucleolus play a key regulatory role in cellular homeostasis during normal development as well as disease, independent of their role in determining ribosome capacity and cellular growth rates. Full article
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Article
Improvement of a Yairipok Chujak Maize Landrace from North Eastern Himalayan Region for β-Carotene Content through Molecular Marker-Assisted Backcross Breeding
Genes 2021, 12(5), 762; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050762 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 579
Abstract
In the North Eastern Himalayan region (NEHR) of India, maize is an important food crop. The local people cultivate the maize landraces and consume them as food. However, these landraces are deficient in β-carotene content. Thus, we aimed to incorporate the crtRB1 gene [...] Read more.
In the North Eastern Himalayan region (NEHR) of India, maize is an important food crop. The local people cultivate the maize landraces and consume them as food. However, these landraces are deficient in β-carotene content. Thus, we aimed to incorporate the crtRB1 gene from UMI285β+ into the genetic background of the NEHR maize landrace, Yairipok Chujak (CAUM66), and thereby enhance the β-carotene content through marker-assisted backcrossing (MABC). In this regard, we backcrossed and screened BC1F1 and BC2F1 plants possessing the heterozygous allele for crtRB1 and then screened with 106 polymorphic simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. The plants having maximum recurrent parent genome recovery (RPGR) were selected in each generation and selfed to produce BC2F2 seeds. In the BC2F2 generation, four plants (CAUM66-54-9-12-2, CAUM66-54-9-12-11, CAUM66-54-9-12-13, and CAUM66-54-9-12-24) having homozygous crtRB1-favorable allele with maximum RPGR (86.74–90.16%) were selected and advanced to BC2F3. The four selected plants were selfed to produce BC2F3 and then evaluated for agronomic traits and β-carotene content. The agronomic performance of the four lines was similar (78.83–99.44%) to that of the recurrent parent, and β-carotene content (7.541–8.711 μg/g) was on par with the donor parent. Our study is the first to improve the β-carotene content in NEHR maize landrace through MABC. The newly developed lines could serve as potential resources to further develop nutrition-rich maize lines and could provide genetic stock for use in breeding programs. Full article
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Article
Family-Based Genome-Wide Association Study of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Middle Eastern Families
Genes 2021, 12(5), 761; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050761 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 698
Abstract
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disease characterized by abnormalities in language and social communication with substantial clinical heterogeneity. Genetic factors play an important role in ASD with heritability estimated between 70% to 80%. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified multiple loci [...] Read more.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disease characterized by abnormalities in language and social communication with substantial clinical heterogeneity. Genetic factors play an important role in ASD with heritability estimated between 70% to 80%. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified multiple loci associated with ASD. However, most studies were performed on European populations and little is known about the genetic architecture of ASD in Middle Eastern populations. Here, we report the first GWAS of ASD in the Middle eastern population of Qatar. We analyzed 171 families with ASD, using linear mixed models adjusting for relatedness and other confounders. Results showed that common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in seven loci are associated with ASD (p < 1 × 10−5). Although the identified loci did not reach genome-wide significance, many of the top associated SNPs are located within or near genes that have been implicated in ASD or related neurodevelopmental disorders. These include GORASP2, GABBR2, ANKS6, THSD4, ERCC6L, ARHGEF6, and HDAC8. Additionally, three of the top associated SNPs were significantly associated with gene expression. We also found evidence of association signals in two previously reported ASD-susceptibility loci (rs10099100 and rs4299400). Our results warrant further functional studies and replication to provide further insights into the genetic architecture of ASD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics of Neuropsychiatric Disorders)
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Article
Differential mRNA and miRNA Profiles Reveal the Potential Roles of Genes and miRNAs Involved in LPS Infection in Chicken Macrophages
Genes 2021, 12(5), 760; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050760 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 628
Abstract
Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a component of the cell wall of Gram-negative bacteria, and triggers an inflammatory response both in vitro and in vivo. Here, we used LPS from Escherichia coli serotype enteritidis to stimulate chicken macrophages (HD11) and conducted the transcriptome analysis using [...] Read more.
Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a component of the cell wall of Gram-negative bacteria, and triggers an inflammatory response both in vitro and in vivo. Here, we used LPS from Escherichia coli serotype enteritidis to stimulate chicken macrophages (HD11) and conducted the transcriptome analysis using a bioinformatics approach to explore the functions of immune-related genes and miRNAs. In total, 1759 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and 18 differentially expressed (DE)-miRNAs were detected during LPS infection. At 6 h post infection, 1025 DEGs and 10 miRNAs were up-regulated, and 734 DEGs and 8 DE-miRNAs were down-regulated. Based on both RNA hybrid and miRanda systems, 55 DEGs could be targeted by 14 DE-miRNAs. The target genes were related to the immune response, such as IRF8, STAT3, TRAF7, and other potential candidate genes. The DE-miRNAs miR146a-3p, miR6583-5p, and miR30c-2-3p were investigated further. They were predicted to target 34 genes that may also be candidates for immune-related miRNAs and genes. Our results enhanced our understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms of Gram-negative bacteria in chickens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Natural Antisense Transcript PEBP1P3 Regulates the RNA Expression, DNA Methylation and Histone Modification of CD45 Gene
Genes 2021, 12(5), 759; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050759 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 514
Abstract
The leukocyte common antigen CD45 is a transmembrane phosphatase expressed on all nucleated hemopoietic cells, and the expression levels of its splicing isoforms are closely related to the development and function of lymphocytes. PEBP1P3 is a natural antisense transcript from the opposite strand [...] Read more.
The leukocyte common antigen CD45 is a transmembrane phosphatase expressed on all nucleated hemopoietic cells, and the expression levels of its splicing isoforms are closely related to the development and function of lymphocytes. PEBP1P3 is a natural antisense transcript from the opposite strand of CD45 intron 2 and is predicted to be a noncoding RNA. The genotype-tissue expression and quantitative PCR data suggested that PEBP1P3 might be involved in the regulation of expression of CD45 splicing isoforms. To explore the regulatory mechanism of PEBP1P3 in CD45 expression, DNA methylation and histone modification were detected by bisulfate sequencing PCR and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, respectively. The results showed that after the antisense RNA PEBP1P3 was knocked down by RNA interference, the DNA methylation of CD45 intron 2 was decreased and histone H3K9 and H3K36 trimethylation at the alternative splicing exons of CD45 DNA was increased. Knockdown of PEBP1P3 also increased the binding levels of chromatin conformation organizer CTCF at intron 2 and the alternative splicing exons of CD45. The present results indicate that the natural antisense RNA PEBP1P3 regulated the alternative splicing of CD45 RNA, and that might be correlated with the regulation of histone modification and DNA methylation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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Review
Regeneration Potential of Jellyfish: Cellular Mechanisms and Molecular Insights
Genes 2021, 12(5), 758; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12050758 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 778
Abstract
Medusozoans, the Cnidarian subphylum, have multiple life stages including sessile polyps and free-swimming medusae or jellyfish, which are typically bell-shaped gelatinous zooplanktons that exhibit diverse morphologies. Despite having a relatively complex body structure with well-developed muscles and nervous systems, the adult medusa stage [...] Read more.
Medusozoans, the Cnidarian subphylum, have multiple life stages including sessile polyps and free-swimming medusae or jellyfish, which are typically bell-shaped gelatinous zooplanktons that exhibit diverse morphologies. Despite having a relatively complex body structure with well-developed muscles and nervous systems, the adult medusa stage maintains a high regenerative ability that enables organ regeneration as well as whole body reconstitution from the part of the body. This remarkable regeneration potential of jellyfish has long been acknowledged in different species; however, recent studies have begun dissecting the exact processes underpinning regeneration events. In this article, we introduce the current understanding of regeneration mechanisms in medusae, particularly focusing on cellular behaviors during regeneration such as wound healing, blastema formation by stem/progenitor cells or cell fate plasticity, and the organism-level patterning that restores radial symmetry. We also discuss putative molecular mechanisms involved in regeneration processes and introduce a variety of novel model jellyfish species in the effort to understand common principles and diverse mechanisms underlying the regeneration of complex organs and the entire body. Full article
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