Browsing by Subject "INSIGHTS"

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  • Alonso Serra, Juan Antonio; Shi, Xueping; Peaucelle, Alexis; Rastas, Pasi; Bourdon, Matthieu; Immanen, Juha; Takahashi, Junko; Koivula, Hanna; Eswaran, Gugan; Muranen, Sampo Johannes; Help-Rinta-Rahko, Hanna; Smolander, Olli-Pekka; Su, Chang; Safronov, Omid; Gerber, Lorenz; Salojärvi, Jarkko; Hagqvist, Risto; Mähönen, Ari Pekka; Helariutta, Yrjö; Nieminen, Kaisa (2020)
    Tree architecture has evolved to support a top-heavy above-ground biomass, but this integral feature poses a weight-induced challenge to trunk stability. Maintaining an upright stem is expected to require vertical proprioception through feedback between sensing stem weight and responding with radial growth. Despite its apparent importance, the principle by which plant stems respond to vertical loading forces remains largely unknown. Here, by manipulating the stem weight of downy birch (Betula pubescens) trees, we show that cambial development is modulated systemically along the stem. We carried out a genetic study on the underlying regulation by combining an accelerated birch flowering program with a recessive mutation at the ELIMAKI locus (EKI), which causes a mechanically defective response to weight stimulus resulting in stem collapse after just 3 months. We observed delayed wood morphogenesis in eki compared with WT, along with a more mechanically elastic cambial zone and radial compression of xylem cell size, indicating that rapid tissue differentiation is critical for cambial growth under mechanical stress. Furthermore, the touch-induced mechanosensory pathway was transcriptionally misregulated in eki, indicating that the ELIMAKI locus is required to integrate the weight-growth feedback regulation. By studying this birch mutant, we were able to dissect vertical proprioception from the gravitropic response associated with reaction wood formation. Our study provides evidence for both local and systemic responses to mechanical stimuli during secondary plant development.
  • Quach, Bryan C.; Bray, Michael J.; Gaddis, Nathan C.; Liu, Mengzhen; Palviainen, Teemu; Minica, Camelia C.; Zellers, Stephanie; Sherva, Richard; Aliev, Fazil; Nothnagel, Michael; Young, Kendra A.; Marks, Jesse A.; Young, Hannah; Carnes, Megan U.; Guo, Yuelong; Waldrop, Alex; Sey, Nancy Y. A.; Landi, Maria T.; McNeil, Daniel W.; Drichel, Dmitriy; Farrer, Lindsay A.; Markunas, Christina A.; Vink, Jacqueline M.; Hottenga, Jouke-Jan; Iacono, William G.; Kranzler, Henry R.; Saccone, Nancy L.; Neale, Michael C.; Madden, Pamela; Rietschel, Marcella; Marazita, Mary L.; McGue, Matthew; Won, Hyejung; Winterer, Georg; Grucza, Richard; Dick, Danielle M.; Gelernter, Joel; Caporaso, Neil E.; Baker, Timothy B.; Boomsma, Dorret I.; Kaprio, Jaakko; Hokanson, John E.; Vrieze, Scott; Bierut, Laura J.; Johnson, Eric O.; Hancock, Dana B. (2020)
    Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality. Genetic variation contributes to initiation, regular smoking, nicotine dependence, and cessation. We present a Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND)-based genome-wide association study in 58,000 European or African ancestry smokers. We observe five genome-wide significant loci, including previously unreported loci MAGI2/GNAI1 (rs2714700) and TENM2 (rs1862416), and extend loci reported for other smoking traits to nicotine dependence. Using the heaviness of smoking index from UK Biobank (N=33,791), rs2714700 is consistently associated; rs1862416 is not associated, likely reflecting nicotine dependence features not captured by the heaviness of smoking index. Both variants influence nearby gene expression (rs2714700/MAGI2-AS3 in hippocampus; rs1862416/TENM2 in lung), and expression of genes spanning nicotine dependence-associated variants is enriched in cerebellum. Nicotine dependence (SNP-based heritability = 8.6%) is genetically correlated with 18 other smoking traits (r(g)=0.40-1.09) and co-morbidities. Our results highlight nicotine dependence-specific loci, emphasizing the FTND as a composite phenotype that expands genetic knowledge of smoking. There is strong genetic evidence for cigarette smoking behaviors, yet little is known on nicotine dependence (ND). Here, the authors perform a genome-wide association study on ND in 58,000 smokers, identifying five genome-wide significant loci.
  • Smits, Dins; Brigis, Girts; Pavare, Jana; Urtane, Inga; Kovalovs, Sandis; Barengo, Noel Christopher (2020)
    Background The problem of nonadherence to therapy is a key reason of insufficient asthma control. Evaluating the beliefs about asthma medication, cognitive and emotional perceptions may help to identify patients with poor adherence to treatment in clinical practice which need additional attention in order to increase the likelihood of them taking their asthma medication according to the prescribed treatment protocol. The purpose of this study is to assess whether beliefs about asthma medication, cognitive and emotional factors are related to poor treatment adherence of asthma medication in a sample of asthma patients in Latvia. Methods Study subjects were asthma patients attending outpatient pulmonologist consultations in Latvia during September 2013 to December 2015. Beliefs about asthma medicine, cognitive and emotional factors related to asthma were determined in a cross-sectional, self-administered survey. The validated Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire (BMQ) and the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (brief IPQ) were used. Treatment adherence was assessed using 5-item version of the Medication Adherence Reporting Scale (MARS). The total sample size was 352 patients. Logistic regression models were used to predict poor adherence to asthma treatment. The validity of each logistic regression model was assessed by the Hosmer/Lemeshow test. The main outcome measure was self-reported adherence to treatment. Results The more the patients agreed with the statement "My future health depends on my asthma medication" the lower the possibility of poor adherence to asthma treatment (OR 0.42; 95% CI 0.24-0.74). The more concerned the patients were in regard to long-term effects of their medication (OR 2; 95% CI 1.22-3.27), the higher the probability of poor treatment adherence. Conclusions Screening asthma patients using the BMQ may help to identify those to benefit from interventions targeting their concerns and medication beliefs in order to improve adherence to asthma medication.
  • De Keyzer, Els L. R.; De Corte, Zoe; Van Steenberge, Maarten; Raeymaekers, Joost A. M.; Calboli, Federico C. F.; Kmentova, Nikol; Mulimbwa, Theophile N'Sibula; Virgilio, Massimiliano; Vangestel, Carl; Mulungula, Pascal Masilya; Volckaert, Filip A. M.; Vanhove, Maarten P. M. (2019)
    BackgroundClupeid fisheries in Lake Tanganyika (East Africa) provide food for millions of people in one of the world's poorest regions. Due to climate change and overfishing, the clupeid stocks of Lake Tanganyika are declining. We investigate the population structure of the Lake Tanganyika sprat Stolothrissa tanganicae, using for the first time a genomic approach on this species. This is an important step towards knowing if the species should be managed separately or as a single stock. Population structure is important for fisheries management, yet understudied for many African freshwater species. We hypothesize that distinct stocks of S. tanganicae could be present due to the large size of the lake (isolation by distance), limnological variation (adaptive evolution), or past separation of the lake (historical subdivision). On the other hand, high mobility of the species and lack of obvious migration barriers might have resulted in a homogenous population.ResultsWe performed a population genetic study on wild-caught S. tanganicae through a combination of mitochondrial genotyping (96 individuals) and RAD sequencing (83 individuals). Samples were collected at five locations along a north-south axis of Lake Tanganyika. The mtDNA data had low global FST and, visualised in a haplotype network, did not show phylogeographic structure. RAD sequencing yielded a panel of 3504 SNPs, with low genetic differentiation (F-ST=0.0054; 95% CI: 0.0046-0.0066). PCoA, fineRADstructure and global F-ST suggest a near-panmictic population. Two distinct groups are apparent in these analyses (F-ST=0.1338 95% CI: 0.1239,0.1445), which do not correspond to sampling locations. Autocorrelation analysis showed a slight increase in genetic difference with increasing distance. No outlier loci were detected in the RADseq data.ConclusionOur results show at most very weak geographical structuring of the stock and do not provide evidence for genetic adaptation to historical or environmental differences over a north-south axis. Based on these results, we advise to manage the stock as one population, integrating one management strategy over the four riparian countries. These results are a first comprehensive study on the population structure of these important fisheries target species, and can guide fisheries management.
  • Pihlajamäki, Mia-Elina; Asikainen, Arja; Ignatius, Suvi; Haapasaari, Päivi; Tuomisto, Jouni (2019)
    Using fish resources for food supply in a sustainable and efficient way requires an examination of the feasibility of prioritising the use of forage species. The present paper deals with the issue from the consumer perspective. Using Baltic herring as a case study, the role of sociodemographic determinants, the drivers and barriers of Baltic herring consumption are investigated in four Baltic Sea countries, based on an internet survey. The drivers and barriers of Baltic herring consumption are compared to those relating to Baltic salmon, to identify the main differences in consumer perceptions on species that are primarily used as feed and food. The present paper concludes that prioritising forage species primarily for human consumption calls for proactive catch use governance, which (1) acknowledges the species- and country-specific intricacies of forage fish consumption, (2) improves the availability of safe-to-eat fish on the market, and 3) provides consumers with sufficient information on the species (e.g., the type of herring and its origin), the sustainability of the fisheries, and the related health risks and benefits.
  • FinHCM Study Grp; Jääskeläinen, Pertti; Vangipurapu, Jagadish; Raivo, Joose; Kuulasmaa, Teemu; Helio, Tiina; Aalto-Setala, Katriina; Kaartinen, Maija; Ilveskoski, Erkki; Vanninen, Sari; Hämäläinen, Liisa; Melin, John; Kokkonen, Jorma; Nieminen, Markku S.; Laakso, Markku; Kuusisto, Johanna; Kervinen, Helena; Mustonen, Juha; Juvonen, Jukka; Niemi, Mari; Uusimaa, Paavo; Junttila, Juhani; Kotila, Matti; Pietila, Mikko; Jyrkila, Heini; Mahonen, Ilkka; Vartia, Paula (2019)
    Aims Nationwide large-scale genetic and outcome studies in cohorts with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) have not been previously published. Methods and results We sequenced 59 cardiomyopathy-associated genes in 382 unrelated Finnish patients with HCM and found 24 pathogenic or likely pathogenic mutations in six genes in 38.2% of patients. Most mutations were located in sarcomere genes (MYBPC3, MYH7, TPM1, and MYL2). Previously reported mutations by our study group (MYBPC3-Gln1061Ter, MYH7-Arg1053Gln, and TPM1-Asp175Asn) and a fourth major mutation MYH7-Val606Met accounted for 28.0% of cases. Mutations in GLA and PRKAG2 were found in three patients. Furthermore, we found 49 variants of unknown significance in 31 genes in 20.4% of cases. During a 6.7 +/- 4.2 year follow-up, annual all-cause mortality in 482 index patients and their relatives with HCM was higher than that in the matched Finnish population (1.70 vs. 0.87%; P <0.001). Sudden cardiac deaths were rare (n = 8). Systolic heart failure (hazard ratio 17.256, 95% confidence interval 3.266-91.170, P = 0.001) and maximal left ventricular wall thickness (hazard ratio 1.223, 95% confidence interval 1.098-1.363, P <0.001) were independent predictors of HCM-related mortality and life-threatening cardiac events. The patients with a pathogenic or likely pathogenic mutation underwent an implantable cardioverter defibrillator implantation more often than patients without a pathogenic or likely pathogenic mutation (12.9 vs. 3.5%, P <0.001), but there was no difference in all-cause or HCM-related mortality between the two groups. Mortality due to HCM during 10 year follow-up among the 5.2 million population of Finland was studied from death certificates of the National Registry, showing 269 HCM-related deaths, of which 32% were sudden. Conclusions We identified pathogenic and likely pathogenic mutations in 38% of Finnish patients with HCM. Four major sarcomere mutations accounted for 28% of HCM cases, whereas HCM-related mutations in non-sarcomeric genes were rare. Mortality in patients with HCM exceeded that of the general population. Finally, among 5.2 million Finns, there were at least 27 HCM-related deaths annually.
  • SUMMIT Steering Comm; CARDIOGRAMplusC4D Steering Comm; van Zuydam, Natalie R.; Ladenvall, Claes; Vlachopoulou, Efthymia; Perola, Markus; Sinisalo, Juha; Salomaa, Veikko; Groop, Leif; Ripatti, Samuli (2020)
    BACKGROUND: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is accelerated in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D). METHODS: To test whether this reflects differential genetic influences on CAD risk in subjects with T2D, we performed a systematic assessment of genetic overlap between CAD and T2D in 66 643 subjects (27 708 with CAD and 24 259 with T2D). Variants showing apparent association with CAD in stratified analyses or evidence of interaction were evaluated in a further 117 787 subjects (16 694 with CAD and 11 537 with T2D). RESULTS: None of the previously characterized CAD loci was found to have specific effects on CAD in T2D individuals, and a genome-wide interaction analysis found no new variants for CAD that could be considered T2D specific. When we considered the overall genetic correlations between CAD and its risk factors, we found no substantial differences in these relationships by T2D background. CONCLUSIONS: This study found no evidence that the genetic architecture of CAD differs in those with T2D compared with those without T2D.
  • Konstantinou, Despoina; Popin, Rafael; Fewer, David P.; Sivonen, Kaarina; Gkelis, Spyros (2021)
    Sponges form symbiotic relationships with diverse and abundant microbial communities. Cyanobacteria are among the most important members of the microbial communities that are associated with sponges. Here, we performed a genus-wide comparative genomic analysis of the newly described marine benthic cyanobacterial genus Leptothoe (Synechococcales). We obtained draft genomes from Le. kymatousa TAU-MAC 1615 and Le. spongobia TAU-MAC 1115, isolated from marine sponges. We identified five additional Leptothoe genomes, host-associated or free-living, using a phylogenomic approach, and the comparison of all genomes showed that the sponge-associated strains display features of a symbiotic lifestyle. Le. kymatousa and Le. spongobia have undergone genome reduction; they harbored considerably fewer genes encoding for (i) cofactors, vitamins, prosthetic groups, pigments, proteins, and amino acid biosynthesis; (ii) DNA repair; (iii) antioxidant enzymes; and (iv) biosynthesis of capsular and extracellular polysaccharides. They have also lost several genes related to chemotaxis and motility. Eukaryotic-like proteins, such as ankyrin repeats, playing important roles in sponge-symbiont interactions, were identified in sponge-associated Leptothoe genomes. The sponge-associated Leptothoe stains harbored biosynthetic gene clusters encoding novel natural products despite genome reduction. Comparisons of the biosynthetic capacities of Leptothoe with chemically rich cyanobacteria revealed that Leptothoe is another promising marine cyanobacterium for the biosynthesis of novel natural products.
  • Genetics DNA Methylation Consort; NHLBI Trans-Omics Precision Med; McCartney, Daniel L.; Min, Josine L.; Richmond, Rebecca C.; Palviainen, Teemu; Ollikainen, Miina; Kaprio, Jaakko (2021)
    Background Biological aging estimators derived from DNA methylation data are heritable and correlate with morbidity and mortality. Consequently, identification of genetic and environmental contributors to the variation in these measures in populations has become a major goal in the field. Results Leveraging DNA methylation and SNP data from more than 40,000 individuals, we identify 137 genome-wide significant loci, of which 113 are novel, from genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analyses of four epigenetic clocks and epigenetic surrogate markers for granulocyte proportions and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 levels, respectively. We find evidence for shared genetic loci associated with the Horvath clock and expression of transcripts encoding genes linked to lipid metabolism and immune function. Notably, these loci are independent of those reported to regulate DNA methylation levels at constituent clock CpGs. A polygenic score for GrimAge acceleration showed strong associations with adiposity-related traits, educational attainment, parental longevity, and C-reactive protein levels. Conclusion This study illuminates the genetic architecture underlying epigenetic aging and its shared genetic contributions with lifestyle factors and longevity.
  • GoLEAD Consortium; SUMMIT Consortium; van Zuydam, Natalie R.; Stiby, Alexander; Abdalla, Moustafa; Dahlström, Emma H.; Vlachopoulou, Efthymia; Sandholm, Niina; Forsblom, Carol; Sinisalo, Juha; Perola, Markus; Kallio, Milla; Groop, Per-Henrik; Groop, Leif; Kullo, Iftikhar J. (2021)
    Background: Peripheral artery disease (PAD) affects >200 million people worldwide and is associated with high mortality and morbidity. We sought to identify genomic variants associated with PAD overall and in the contexts of diabetes and smoking status. Methods: We identified genetic variants associated with PAD and then meta-analyzed with published summary statistics from the Million Veterans Program and UK Biobank to replicate their findings. Next, we ran stratified genome-wide association analysis in ever smokers, never smokers, individuals with diabetes, and individuals with no history of diabetes and corresponding interaction analyses, to identify variants that modify the risk of PAD by diabetic or smoking status. Results: We identified 5 genome-wide significant (P-association
  • Psychiat Genomics Consortium; 23andMe Res Team; Psychosis Endopheno-types Int Cons; Wellcome Trust Case Control Consor; Lee, Phil H.; Anttila, Verneri; Won, Hyejung; Kaprio, Jaakko; Keski-Rahkonen, Anna; Churchhouse, Claire; Rehnström, Karola; Raevuori, Anu; Palotie, Aarno; Daly, Mark J.; Neale, Benjamin M. (2019)
    Genetic influences on psychiatric disorders transcend diagnostic boundaries, suggesting substantial pleiotropy of contributing loci. However, the nature and mechanisms of these pleiotropic effects remain unclear. We performed analyses of 232,964 cases and 494,162 controls from genome-wide studies of anorexia nervosa, attention-deficit/hyper-activity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and Tourette syndrome. Genetic correlation analyses revealed a meaningful structure within the eight disorders, identifying three groups of inter-related disorders. Meta-analysis across these eight disorders detected 109 loci associated with at least two psychiatric disorders, including 23 loci with pleiotropic effects on four or more disorders and 11 loci with antagonistic effects on multiple disorders. The pleiotropic loci are located within genes that show heightened expression in the brain throughout the lifespan, beginning prenatally in the second trimester, and play prominent roles in neurodevelopmental processes. These findings have important implications for psychiatric nosology, drug development, and risk prediction.
  • Vatanen, Tommi; Plichta, Damian R.; Somani, Juhi; Muench, Philipp C.; Arthur, Timothy D.; Hall, Andrew Brantley; Rudolf, Sabine; Oakeley, Edward J.; Ke, Xiaobo; Young, Rachel A.; Haiser, Henry J.; Kolde, Raivo; Yassour, Moran; Luopajärvi, Kristiina; Siljander, Heli; Virtanen, Suvi M.; Ilonen, Jorma; Uibo, Raivo; Tillmann, Vallo; Mokurov, Sergei; Dorshakova, Natalya; Porter, Jeffrey A.; McHardy, Alice C.; Lahdesmaki, Harri; Vlamakis, Hera; Huttenhower, Curtis; Knip, Mikael; Xavier, Ramnik J. (2019)
    The human gut microbiome matures towards the adult composition during the first years of life and is implicated in early immune development. Here, we investigate the effects of microbial genomic diversity on gut microbiome development using integrated early childhood data sets collected in the DIABIMMUNE study in Finland, Estonia and Russian Karelia. We show that gut microbial diversity is associated with household location and linear growth of children. Single nucleotide polymorphism- and metagenomic assembly-based strain tracking revealed large and highly dynamic microbial pangenomes, especially in the genus Bacteroides, in which we identified evidence of variability deriving from Bacteroides-targeting bacteriophages. Our analyses revealed functional consequences of strain diversity; only 10% of Finnish infants harboured Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis, a subspecies specialized in human milk metabolism, whereas Russian infants commonly maintained a probiotic Bifidobacterium bifidum strain in infancy. Groups of bacteria contributing to diverse, characterized metabolic pathways converged to highly subject-specific configurations over the first two years of life. This longitudinal study extends the current view of early gut microbial community assembly based on strain-level genomic variation.
  • Kerminen, Sini; Martin, Alicia R.; Koskela, Jukka; Ruotsalainen, Sanni E.; Havulinna, Aki S.; Surakka, Ida; Palotie, Aarno; Perola, Markus; Salomaa, Veikko; Daly, Mark J.; Ripatti, Samuli; Pirinen, Matti (2019)
    Polygenic scores (PSs) are becoming a useful tool to identify individuals with high genetic risk for complex diseases, and several projects are currently testing their utility for translational applications. It is also tempting to use PSs to assess whether genetic variation can explain a part of the geographic distribution of a phenotype. However, it is not well known how the population genetic properties of the training and target samples affect the geographic distribution of PSs. Here, we evaluate geographic differences, and related biases, of PSs in Finland in a geographically well-defined sample of 2,376 individuals from the National FINRISK study. First, we detect geographic differences in PSs for coronary artery disease (CAD), rheumatoid arthritis, schizophrenia, waist-hip ratio (WHR), body-mass index (BMI), and height, but not for Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis. Second, we use height as a model trait to thoroughly assess the possible population genetic biases in PSs and apply similar approaches to the other phenotypes. Most importantly, we detect suspiciously large accumulations of geographic differences for CAD, WHR, BMI, and height, suggesting bias arising from the population's genetic structure rather than from a direct genotype-phenotype association. This work demonstrates how sensitive the geographic patterns of current PSs are for small biases even within relatively homogeneous populations and provides simple tools to identify such biases. A thorough understanding of the effects of population genetic structure on PSs is essential for translational applications of PSs.
  • Huilaja, Laura; Makikallio, Kaarin; Sormunen, Raija; Lohi, Jouko; Hurskainen, Tiina; Tasanen, Kaisa (2013)
  • Pitkälä, Kaisu H.; Finne-Soveri, Harriet; Immonen, Susanna; Lehti, Tuuli; Tiilikainen, Ida; Vesterinen, Teppo; Saarinen, Esa (2018)
    This article describes a new type of team training that involves undergraduate students of medicine, students from the Aalto University (industrial engineering and management, architecture, information networks, collaborative and industrial design and bioinformation technology) and specialized home care nurses. During the course, the students learned interdisciplinary teamwork and created innovations in the care of older people. The 18 participants formed six microteams (three persons in each team: one specialized nurse, one medical student and one from Aalto University). The course consisted of two seminars and 3 full days of home visits to older people's homes. Participants were encouraged to make one innovation in each home visit that would improve the older person's well-being or streamline the processes of home care. During the course, the participants promptly formed tight teams. They valued the know-how of the other team members and learned openly from each other. They also created a number of practical innovations in home care which they presented to executives of older people's care in a final seminar. The course received very good feedback from the students. This course is an encouraging example of how gerontological interdisciplinary team training may be successfully applied. The article describes both the learning outcomes and the innovations the students produced during their home visits. It also discusses the learning theories behind effective interdisciplinary team learning.
  • Zong, Guanghui; Hu, Zhijian; O'Keefe, Sarah; Tranter, Dale; Iannotti, Michael J.; Baron, Ludivine; Hall, Belinda; Corfield, Katherine; Paatero, Anja O.; Henderson, Mark J.; Roboti, Peristera; Zhou, Jianhong; Sun, Xianwei; Govindarajan, Mugunthan; Rohde, Jason M.; Blanchard, Nicolas; Simmonds, Rachel; Inglese, James; Du, Yuchun; Demangel, Caroline; High, Stephen; Paavilainen, Ville O.; Shi, Wei Q. (2019)
    Ipomoeassin F is a potent natural cytotoxin that inhibits growth of many tumor cell lines with single-digit nanomolar potency. However, its biological and pharmacological properties have remained largely unexplored. Building upon our earlier achievements in total synthesis and medicinal chemistry, we used chemical proteomics to identify Sec61 alpha (protein transport protein Sec61 subunit alpha isoform 1), the pore-forming subunit of the Sec61 protein translocon, as a direct binding partner of ipomoeassin F in living cells. The interaction is specific and strong enough to survive lysis conditions, enabling a biotin analogue of ipomoeassin F to pull down Sec61 alpha from live cells, yet it is also reversible, as judged by several experiments including fluorescent streptavidin staining, delayed competition in affinity pulldown, and inhibition of TNF biogenesis after washout. Sec61 alpha forms the central subunit of the ER protein translocation complex, and the binding of ipomoeassin F results in a substantial, yet selective, inhibition of protein translocation in vitro and a broad ranging inhibition of protein secretion in live cells. Lastly, the unique resistance profile demonstrated by specific amino acid single-point mutations in Sec61 alpha provides compelling evidence that Sec61 alpha is the primary molecular target of ipomoeassin F and strongly suggests that the binding of this natural product to Sec61 alpha is distinctive. Therefore, ipomoeassin F represents the first plant-derived, carbohydrate-based member of a novel structural class that offers new opportunities to explore Sec61 alpha function and to further investigate its potential as a therapeutic target for drug discovery.
  • CardShock Investigators; Hongisto, Mari; Kataja, Anu; Tarvasmäki, Tuukka; Holopainen, Anu; Javanainen, Tuija; Jurkko, Raija; Jäntti, Toni; Kimmoun, Antoine; Levy, Bruno; Mebazaa, Alexandre; Pulkki, Kari; Sionis, Alessandro; Tolppanen, Heli; Wollert, Kai C.; Harjola, Veli-Pekka; Lassus, Johan (2019)
    Background: The aim of this study was to assess the levels, kinetics, and prognostic value of growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) in cardiogenic shock (CS). Methods and Results: Levels of GDF-15 were determined in serial plasma samples (0-120 h) from 177 CS patients in the CardShock study. Kinetics of GDF-15, its association with 90-day mortality, and incremental value for risk stratification were assessed. The median GDF-15(0h) level was 9647 ng/L (IQR 4500-19,270 ng/L) and levels above median were significantly associated with acidosis, hyperlactatemia, renal dysfunction, and higher 90-day mortality (56% vs 28%, P7000 ng/L was identified as a strong predictor of death (OR 5.0; 95% CI 1.9-3.8, P=.002). Adding GDF-15(12h) >7000 ng/L to the CardShock risk score improved discrimination and risk stratification for 90-day mortality. Conclusions: GDF-15 levels are highly elevated in CS and associated with markers of systemic hypoperfusion and end-organ dysfunction. GDF-15 helps to discriminate survivors from non-survivors very early in CS.
  • Ilinca, Andreea; Englund, Elisabet; Samuelsson, Sofie; Truve, Katarina; Kafantari, Efthymia; Martinez-Majander, Nicolas; Putaala, Jukka; Hakansson, Claes; Lindgren, Arne G.; Puschmann, Andreas (2021)
    Objective To describe a possible novel genetic mechanism for cerebral small vessel disease (cSVD) and stroke. Methods We studied a Swedish kindred with ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage, tremor, dysautonomia, and mild cognitive decline. Members were examined clinically, radiologically, and by histopathology. Genetic workup included whole-exome sequencing (WES) and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) and intrafamilial cosegregation analyses. Results Fifteen family members were examined clinically. Twelve affected individuals had white matter hyperintensities and 1 or more of (1) stroke episodes, (2) clinically silent lacunar ischemic lesions, and (3) cognitive dysfunction. All affected individuals had tremor and/or atactic gait disturbance. Mild symmetric basal ganglia calcifications were seen in 3 affected members. Postmortem examination of 1 affected member showed pathologic alterations in both small and large arteries the brain. Skin biopsies of 3 affected members showed extracellular amorphous deposits within the subepidermal zone, which may represent degenerated arterioles. WES or WGS did not reveal any potentially disease-causing variants in known genes for cSVDs or idiopathic basal ganglia calcification, but identified 1 heterozygous variant, NM_004672.4 MAP3K6 c.322G>A p.(Asp108Asn), that cosegregated with the disease in this large family. MAP3K6 has known functions in angiogenesis and affects vascular endothelial growth factor expression, which may be implicated in cerebrovascular disease. Conclusions Our data strongly suggest the MAP3K6 variant to be causative for this novel disease phenotype, but the absence of functional data and the present lack of additional families with this disease and MAP3K6 mutations still limit the formal evidence for the variant's pathogenicity.
  • Messina, Andrea; Pulli, Kristiina; Santini, Sara; Acierno, James; Kansakoski, Johanna; Cassatella, Daniele; Xu, Cheng; Casoni, Filippo; Malone, Samuel A.; Ternier, Gaetan; Conte, Daniele; Sidis, Yisrael; Tommiska, Johanna; Vaaralahti, Kirsi; Dwyer, Andrew; Gothilf, Yoav; Merlo, Giorgio R.; Santoni, Federico; Niederlander, Nicolas J.; Giacobini, Paolo; Raivio, Taneli; Pitteloud, Nelly (2020)
    Congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (CHH) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by infertility and the absence of puberty. Defects in GnRH neuron migration or altered GnRH secretion and/or action lead to a severe gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) deficiency. Given the close developmental association of GnRH neurons with the olfactory primary axons, CHH is often associated with anosmia or hyposmia, in which case it is defined as Kallmann syndrome (KS). The genetics of CHH are heterogeneous, and >40 genes are involved either alone or in combination. Several CHH-related genes controlling GnRH ontogeny encode proteins containing fibronectin-3 (FN3) domains, which are important for brain and neural development. Therefore, we hypothesized that defects in other FN3-superfamily genes would underlie CHH. Next-generation sequencing was performed for 240 CHH unrelated probands and filtered for rare, protein-truncating variants (PTVs) in FN3-superfamily genes. Compared to gnomAD controls the CHH cohort was statistically enriched for PTVs in neuron-derived neurotrophic factor (NDNF) (p = 1.40 x 10(-6)). Three heterozygous PTVs (p.Lys62*, p.Tyr128Thrfs*55, and p.Trp469*, all absent from the gnomAD database) and an additional heterozygous missense mutation (p.Thr201Ser) were found in four KS probands. Notably, NDNF is expressed along the GnRH neuron migratory route in both mouse embryos and human fetuses and enhances GnRH neuron migration. Further, knock down of the zebrafish ortholog of NDNF resulted in altered GnRH migration. Finally, mice lacking Ndnf showed delayed GnRH neuron migration and altered olfactory axonal projections to the olfactory bulb; both results are consistent with a role of NDNF in GnRH neuron development. Altogether, our results highlight NDNF as a gene involved in the GnRH neuron migration implicated in KS.
  • Uvarov, Pavel; Kajander, Tommi; Airaksinen, Matti S. (2014)