Browsing by Subject "READ ALIGNMENT"

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  • Pratas, Diogo; Toppinen, Mari; Pyöriä, Lari; Hedman, Klaus; Sajantila, Antti; Perdomo, Maria F. (2020)
    Background: Advances in sequencing technologies have enabled the characterization of multiple microbial and host genomes, opening new frontiers of knowledge while kindling novel applications and research perspectives. Among these is the investigation of the viral communities residing in the human body and their impact on health and disease. To this end, the study of samples from multiple tissues is critical, yet, the complexity of such analysis calls for a dedicated pipeline. We provide an automatic and efficient pipeline for identification, assembly, and analysis of viral genomes that combines the DNA sequence data from multiple organs. TRACESPipe relies on cooperation among 3 modalities: compression-based prediction, sequence alignment, and de novo assembly. The pipeline is ultra-fast and provides, additionally, secure transmission and storage of sensitive data. Findings: TRACESPipe performed outstandingly when tested on synthetic and ex vivo datasets, identifying and reconstructing all the viral genomes, including those with high levels of single-nucleotide polymorphisms. It also detected minimal levels of genomic variation between different organs. Conclusions: TRACESPipe's unique ability to simultaneously process and analyze samples from different sources enables the evaluation of within-host variability. This opens up the possibility to investigate viral tissue tropism, evolution, fitness, and disease associations. Moreover, additional features such as DNA damage estimation and mitochondrial DNA reconstruction and analysis, as well as exogenous-source controls, expand the utility of this pipeline to other fields such as forensics and ancient DNA studies. TRACESPipe is released under GPLv3 and is available for free download at
  • Dinu, Liviu P.; Ionescu, Radu Tudor; Tomescu, Alexandru I. (2014)
  • Larson, Eric D.; Magno, Jose Pedrito M.; Steritz, Matthew J.; Llanes, Erasmo Gonzalo d; Cardwell, Jonathan; Pedro, Melquiadesa; Roberts, Tori Bootpetch; Einarsdottir, Elisabet; Rosanes, Rose Anne Q.; Greenlee, Christopher; Santos, Rachel Ann P.; Yousaf, Ayesha; Streubel, Sven-Olrik; Santos, Aileen Trinidad R.; Ruiz, Amanda G.; Mae Lagrana-Villagracia, Sheryl; Ray, Dylan; Yarza, Talitha Karisse L.; Scholes, Melissa A.; Anderson, Catherine B.; Acharya, Anushree; Gubbels, Samuel P.; Bamshad, Michael J.; Cass, Stephen P.; Lee, Nanette R.; Shaikh, Rehan S.; Nickerson, Deborah A.; Mohlke, Karen L.; Prager, Jeremy D.; Cruz, Teresa Luisa G.; Yoon, Patricia J.; Abes, Generoso T.; Schwartz, David A.; Chan, Abner L.; Wine, Todd M.; Maria Cutiongco-de la Paz, Eva; Friedman, Norman; Kechris, Katerina; Kere, Juha; Leal, Suzanne M.; Yang, Ivana; Patel, Janak A.; Tantoco, Ma Leah C.; Riazuddin, Saima; Chan, Kenny H.; Mattila, Petri S.; Reyes-Quintos, Maria Rina T.; Ahmed, Zubair M.; Jenkins, Herman A.; Chonmaitree, Tasnee; Hafren, Lena; Chiong, Charlotte M.; Santos-Cortez, Regie Lyn P. (2019)
    A genetic basis for otitis media is established, however, the role of rare variants in disease etiology is largely unknown. Previously a duplication variant within A2ML1 was identified as a significant risk factor for otitis media in an indigenous Filipino population and in US children. In this report exome and Sanger sequencing was performed using DNA samples from the indigenous Filipino population, Filipino cochlear implantees, US probands, Finnish, and Pakistani families with otitis media. Sixteen novel, damaging A2ML1 variants identified in otitis media patients were rare or low-frequency in population-matched controls. In the indigenous population, both gingivitis and A2ML1 variants including the known duplication variant and the novel splice variant c.4061 + 1 G>C were independently associated with otitis media. Sequencing of salivary RNA samples from indigenous Filipinos demonstrated lower A2ML1 expression according to the carriage of A2ML1 variants. Sequencing of additional salivary RNA samples from US patients with otitis media revealed differentially expressed genes that are highly correlated with A2ML1 expression levels. In particular, RND3 is upregulated in both A2ML1 variant carriers and high-A2ML1 expressors. These findings support a role for A2ML1 in keratinocyte differentiation within the middle ear as part of otitis media pathology and the potential application of ROCK inhibition in otitis media.
  • Patro, Rob; Salmela, Leena (2021)
    DNA and RNA sequencing is a core technology in biological andmedical research. The high throughput of these technologies and the consistent development of new experimental assays and biotechnologies demand the continuous development of methods to analyze the resulting data. The RECOMB SatelliteWorkshop on Massively Parallel Sequencing brings together leading researchers in computational genomics to discuss emerging frontiers in algorithm development for massively parallel sequencing data. The 10th meeting in this series, RECOMBSeq 2020, was scheduled to be held in Padua, Italy, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was carried out virtually instead. The online workshop featured keynote talks by Paola Bonizzoni and Zamin Iqbal, two highlight talks, ten regular talks, and three short talks. Seven of the works presented in the workshop are featured in this edition of iScience, and many of the talks are available online in the RECOMB-Seq 2020 YouTube channel.
  • Virtanen, Jenni; Smura, Teemu; Aaltonen, Kirsi; Moisander-Jylhä, Anna-Maria; Knuuttila, Anna; Vapalahti, Olli; Sironen, Tarja (2019)
    Aleutian mink disease virus (AMDV) is the causative agent of Aleutian disease (AD), which affects mink of all genotypes and also infects other mustelids such as ferrets, martens and badgers. Previous studies have investigated diversity in Finnish AMDV strains, but these studies have been restricted to small parts of the virus genome, and mostly from newly infected farms and free-ranging mustelids. Here, we investigated the diversity and evolution of Finnish AMDV strains by sequencing the complete coding sequences of 31 strains from mink originating from farms differing in their virus history, as well as from free-ranging mink. The data set was supplemented with partial genomes obtained from 26 strains. The sequences demonstrate that the Finnish AMDV strains have considerable diversity, and that the virus has been introduced to Finland in multiple events. Frequent recombination events were observed, as well as variation in the evolutionary rate in different parts of the genome and between different branches of the phylogenetic tree. Mink in the wild carry viruses with high intra-host diversity and are occasionally even co-infected by two different strains, suggesting that free-ranging mink tolerate chronic infections for extended periods of time. These findings highlight the need for further sampling to understand the mechanisms playing a role in the evolution and pathogenesis of AMDV.
  • Cairns, Johannes; Jokela, Roosa; Hultman, Jenni; Tamminen, Manu; Virta, Marko; Hiltunen, Teppo (2018)
    Experimental microbial ecology and evolution have yielded foundational insights into ecological and evolutionary processes using simple microcosm setups and phenotypic assays with one- or two-species model systems. The fields are now increasingly incorporating more complex systems and exploration of the molecular basis of observations. For this purpose, simplified, manageable and well-defined multispecies model systems are required that can be easily investigated using culturing and high-throughput sequencing approaches, bridging the gap between simpler and more complex synthetic or natural systems. Here we address this need by constructing a completely synthetic 33 bacterial strain community that can be cultured in simple laboratory conditions. We provide whole-genome data for all the strains as well as metadata about genomic features and phenotypic traits that allow resolving individual strains by amplicon sequencing and facilitate a variety of envisioned mechanistic studies. We further show that a large proportion of the strains exhibit coexistence in co-culture over serial transfer for 48 days in the absence of any experimental manipulation to maintain diversity. The constructed bacterial community can be a valuable resource in future experimental work.
  • Trotta, Luca; Norberg, Anna; Taskinen, Mervi; Beziat, Vivien; Degerman, Sofie; Wartiovaara-Kautto, Ulla; Välimaa, Hannamari; Jahnukainen, Kirsi; Casanova, Jean-Laurent; Seppänen, Mikko; Saarela, Janna; Koskenvuo, Minna; Martelius, Timi (2018)
    Background: The telomere biology disorders (TBDs) include a range of multisystem diseases characterized by mucocutaneous symptoms and bone marrow failure. In dyskeratosis congenita (DKQ, the clinical features of TBDs stem from the depletion of crucial stem cell populations in highly proliferative tissues, resulting from abnormal telomerase function. Due to the wide spectrum of clinical presentations and lack of a conclusive laboratory test it may be challenging to reach a clinical diagnosis, especially if patients lack the pathognomonic clinical features of TBDs. Methods: Clinical sequencing was performed on a cohort of patients presenting with variable immune phenotypes lacking molecular diagnoses. Hypothesis-free whole-exome sequencing (WES) was selected in the absence of compelling diagnostic hints in patients with variable immunological and haematological conditions. Results: In four patients belonging to three families, we have detected five novel variants in known TBD-causing genes (DKC1, TERT and RTEL1). In addition to the molecular findings, they all presented shortened blood cell telomeres. These findings are consistent with the displayed TBD phenotypes, addressing towards the molecular diagnosis and subsequent clinical follow-up of the patients. Conclusions: Our results strongly support the utility of WES-based approaches for routine genetic diagnostics of TBD patients with heterogeneous or atypical clinical presentation who otherwise might remain undiagnosed.
  • Katainen, Riku; Donner, Iikki; Cajuso, Tatiana; Kaasinen, Eevi; Palin, Kimmo; Mäkinen, Veli; Aaltonen, Lauri A.; Pitkänen, Esa (2018)
    Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is routinely applied in life sciences and clinical practice, but interpretation of the massive quantities of genomic data produced has become a critical challenge. The genome-wide mutation analyses enabled by NGS have had a revolutionary impact in revealing the predisposing and driving DNA alterations behind a multitude of disorders. The workflow to identify causative mutations from NGS data, for example in cancer and rare diseases, commonly involves phases such as quality filtering, case-control comparison, genome annotation, and visual validation, which require multiple processing steps and usage of various tools and scripts. To this end, we have introduced an interactive and user-friendly multi-platform-compatible software, BasePlayer, which allows scientists, regardless of bioinformatics training, to carry out variant analysis in disease genetics settings. A genome-wide scan of regulatory regions for mutation clusters can be carried out with a desktop computer in -10 min with a dataset of 3 million somatic variants in 200 whole-genome-sequenced (WGS) cancers.
  • Veltsos, Paris; Ridout, Kate E.; Toups, Melissa A.; Gonzalez-Martinez, Santiago C.; Muyle, Aline; Emery, Olivier; Rastas, Pasi; Hudzieczek, Vojtech; Hobza, Roman; Vyskot, Boris; Marais, Gabriel A. B.; Filatov, Dmitry A.; Pannell, John R. (2019)
    Suppressed recombination allows divergence between homologous sex chromosomes and the functionality of their genes. Here, we reveal patterns of the earliest stages of sex-chromosome evolution in the diploid dioecious herb Mercurialis annua on the basis of cytological analysis, de novo genome assembly and annotation, genetic mapping, exome resequencing of natural populations, and transcriptome analysis. The genome assembly contained 34,105 expressed genes, of which 10,076 were assigned to linkage groups. Genetic mapping and exome resequencing of individuals across the species range both identified the largest linkage group, LG1, as the sex chromosome. Although the sex chromosomes of M. annua are karyotypically homomorphic, we estimate that about one-third of the Y chromosome, containing 568 transcripts and spanning 22.3 cM in the corresponding female map, has ceased recombining. Nevertheless, we found limited evidence for Y-chromosome degeneration in terms of gene loss and pseudogenization, and most X- and Y-linked genes appear to have diverged in the period subsequent to speciation between M. annua and its sister species M. huetii, which shares the same sex-determining region. Taken together, our results suggest that the M. annua Y chromosome has at least two evolutionary strata: a small old stratum shared with M. huetii, and a more recent larger stratum that is probably unique to M. annua and that stopped recombining similar to 1 MYA. Patterns of gene expression within the nonrecombining region are consistent with the idea that sexually antagonistic selection may have played a role in favoring suppressed recombination.
  • A., Galarza Juan; Dhaygude, Kishor; Behnaz, Ghaedi; Kaisa, Suisto; Janne, Valkonen; Johanna, Mappes (2019)
    Insect metamorphosis is one of the most recognized processes delimiting transitions between phenotypes. It has been traditionally postulated as an adaptive process decoupling traits between life stages, allowing evolutionary independence of pre- and post-metamorphic phenotypes. However, the degree of autonomy between these life stages varies depending on the species and has not been studied in detail over multiple traits simultaneously. Here, we reared full-sib larvae of the warningly coloured wood tiger moth (Arctia plantaginis) in different temperatures and examined their responses for phenotypic (melanization change, number of moults), gene expression (RNA-seq and qPCR of candidate genes for melanization and flight performance) and life-histories traits (pupal weight, and larval and pupal ages). In the emerging adults, we examined their phenotypes (melanization and size) and compared them at three condition proxies: heat absorption (ability to engage flight), flight metabolism (ability to sustain flight) and overall flight performance. We found that some larval responses, as evidenced by gene expression and change in melanization, did not have an effect on the adult (i.e. size and wing melanization), whereas other adult traits such as heat absorption, body melanization and flight performance were found to be impacted by rearing temperature. Adults reared at high temperature showed higher resting metabolic rate, lower body melanization, faster heating rate, lower body temperature at take-off and inferior flight performance than cold-reared adults. Thus our results did not unambiguously support the environment-matching hypothesis. Our results illustrate the importance of assessing multiple traits across life stages as these may only be partly decoupled by metamorphosis. This article is part of the theme issue 'The evolution of complete metamorphosis'.
  • Karkman, Antti; Parnanen, Katariina; Larsson, D. G. Joakim (2019)
    Discharge of treated sewage leads to release of antibiotic resistant bacteria, resistance genes and antibiotic residues to the environment. However, it is unclear whether increased abundance of antibiotic resistance genes in sewage and sewage-impacted environments is due to on-site selection pressure by residual antibiotics, or is simply a result of fecal contamination with resistant bacteria. Here we analyze relative resistance gene abundance and accompanying extent of fecal pollution in publicly available metagenomic data, using crAssphage sequences as a marker of human fecal contamination (crAssphage is a bacteriophage that is exceptionally abundant in, and specific to, human feces). We find that the presence of resistance genes can largely be explained by fecal pollution, with no clear signs of selection in the environment, with the exception of environments polluted by very high levels of anti-biotics from manufacturing, where selection is evident. Our results demonstrate the necessity to take into account fecal pollution levels to avoid making erroneous assumptions regarding environmental selection of antibiotic resistance.
  • UWCMG (2018)
    Non-secretor status due tohomozygosity for the commonFUT2 variant c. 461G> A(p. Trp154*) is associated witheither risk for autoimmune diseases or protection against viral diarrhea and HIV. We determined the role of FUT2 in otitis media susceptibility by obtaining DNA samples from 609 multi-ethnic families and simplex case subjectswith otitis media. Exome and Sanger sequencing, linkage analysis, and Fisher exact and transmission disequilibrium tests (TDT) were performed. The common FUT2 c. 604C> T (p. Arg202*) variant co-segregates with otitismedia in a Filipino pedigree (LOD = 4.0). Additionally, a rare variant, c. 412C> T (p. Arg138Cys), is associated with recurrent/ chronic otitismedia in European-American children (p = 1.2310(-5)) and US trios (TDT p = 0.01). The c. 461G> A (p. Trp154*) variant was also overtransmitted in US trios (TDT p = 0.01) and was associated with shifts inmiddle ear microbiota composition (PERMANOVA p <10(-7)) and increased biodiversity. When all missense and nonsense variants identified in multi-ethnic US trios withCADD> 20 were combined, FUT2 variantswere over-transmitted in trios (TDTp = 0.001). Fut2 is transiently upregulated inmouse middle ear after inoculation withnon-typeable Haemophilus influenzae. Four FUT2 variants-namely p. Ala104Val, p. Arg138Cys, p. Trp154*, and p. Arg202*-reduced A antigen in mutant-transfected COS-7 cells, while the nonsense variants also reduced FUT2 protein levels. Common and rare FUT2 variants confer susceptibility to otitis media, likely by modifying the middle ear microbiome through regulation of A antigen levels in epithelial cells. Our familiesdemonstratemarked intra-familial genetic heterogeneity, suggesting thatmultiple combinations of common and rare variants plus environmental factors influence the individual otitis media phenotype as a complex trait.
  • Duru, Ilhan Cem; Andreevskaya, Margarita; Laine, Pia; Rode, Tone Mari; Ylinen, Anne; Lovdal, Trond; Bar, Nadav; Crauwels, Peter; Riedel, Christian U.; Bucur, Florentina Ionela; Nicolau, Anca Ioana; Auvinen, Petri (2020)
    BackgroundHigh pressure processing (HPP; i.e. 100-600MPa pressure depending on product) is a non-thermal preservation technique adopted by the food industry to decrease significantly foodborne pathogens, including Listeria monocytogenes, from food. However, susceptibility towards pressure differs among diverse strains of L. monocytogenes and it is unclear if this is due to their intrinsic characteristics related to genomic content. Here, we tested the barotolerance of 10 different L. monocytogenes strains, from food and food processing environments and widely used reference strains including clinical isolate, to pressure treatments with 400 and 600MPa. Genome sequencing and genome comparison of the tested L. monocytogenes strains were performed to investigate the relation between genomic profile and pressure tolerance.ResultsNone of the tested strains were tolerant to 600MPa. A reduction of more than 5 log(10) was observed for all strains after 1min 600MPa pressure treatment. L. monocytogenes strain RO15 showed no significant reduction in viable cell counts after 400MPa for 1min and was therefore defined as barotolerant. Genome analysis of so far unsequenced L. monocytogenes strain RO15, 2HF33, MB5, AB199, AB120, C7, and RO4 allowed us to compare the gene content of all strains tested. This revealed that the three most pressure tolerant strains had more than one CRISPR system with self-targeting spacers. Furthermore, several anti-CRISPR genes were detected in these strains. Pan-genome analysis showed that 10 prophage genes were significantly associated with the three most barotolerant strains.ConclusionsL. monocytogenes strain RO15 was the most pressure tolerant among the selected strains. Genome comparison suggests that there might be a relationship between prophages and pressure tolerance in L. monocytogenes.
  • 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.
  • Kaasinen, Eevi; Kuismin, Outi; Rajamäki, Kristiina; Ristolainen, Heikki; Aavikko, Mervi; Kondelin, Johanna; Saarinen, Silva; Berta, Davide G.; Katainen, Riku; Hirvonen, Elina A. M.; Karhu, Auli; Taira, Aurora; Tanskanen, Tomas; Alkodsi, Amjad; Taipale, Minna; Morgunova, Ekaterina; Franssila, Kaarle; Lehtonen, Rainer; Mäkinen, Markus; Aittomäki, Kristiina; Palotie, Aarno; Kurki, Mitja; Pietiläinen, Olli; Hilpert, Morgane; Saarentaus, Elmo; Niinimäki, Jaakko; Junttila, Juhani; Kaikkonen, Kari; Vahteristo, Pia; Skoda, Radek C.; Seppänen, Mikko R. J.; Eklund, Kari K.; Taipale, Jussi; Kilpivaara, Outi; Aaltonen, Lauri A. (2019)
    Clonal hematopoiesis driven by somatic heterozygous TET2 loss is linked to malignant degeneration via consequent aberrant DNA methylation, and possibly to cardiovascular disease via increased cytokine and chemokine expression as reported in mice. Here, we discover a germline TET2 mutation in a lymphoma family. We observe neither unusual predisposition to atherosclerosis nor abnormal pro-inflammatory cytokine or chemokine expression. The latter finding is confirmed in cells from three additional unrelated TET2 germline mutation carriers. The TET2 defect elevates blood DNA methylation levels, especially at active enhancers and cell-type specific regulatory regions with binding sequences of master transcription factors involved in hematopoiesis. The regions display reduced methylation relative to all open chromatin regions in four DNMT3A germline mutation carriers, potentially due to TET2-mediated oxidation. Our findings provide insight into the interplay between epigenetic modulators and transcription factor activity in hematological neoplasia, but do not confirm the putative role of TET2 in atherosclerosis.
  • Draper, L. A.; Ryan, F. J.; Smith, M. K.; Jalanka, J.; Mattila, E.; Arkkila, P.; Ross, R. P.; Satokari, R.; Hill, C. (2018)
    BackgroundFaecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is used in the treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. Its success is typically attributed to the restoration of a diverse microbiota. Viruses (including bacteriophages) are the most numerically dominant and potentially the most diverse members of the microbiota, but their fate following FMT has not been well studied.ResultsWe studied viral transfer following FMT from 3 donors to 14 patients. Recipient viromes resembled those of their donors for up to 12months. Tracking individual bacteriophage colonisation revealed that engraftment of individual bacteriophages was dependent on specific donor-recipient pairings. Specifically, multiple recipients from a single donor displayed highly individualised virus colonisation patterns.ConclusionsThe impact of viruses on long-term microbial dynamics is a factor that should be reviewed when considering FMT as a therapeutic option.
  • Pärnänen, Katariina; Karkman, Antti; Hultman, Jenni; Lyra, Christina; Bengtsson-Palme, Johan; Larsson, D. G. Joakim; Rautava, Samuli; Isolauri, Erika; Salminen, Seppo; Kumar, Himanshu; Satokari, Reetta; Virta, Marko (2018)
    The infant gut microbiota has a high abundance of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) compared to adults, even in the absence of antibiotic exposure. Here we study potential sources of infant gut ARGs by performing metagenomic sequencing of breast milk, as well as infant and maternal gut microbiomes. We find that fecal ARG and mobile genetic element (MGE) profiles of infants are more similar to those of their own mothers than to those of unrelated mothers. MGEs in mothers' breast milk are also shared with their own infants. Termination of breastfeeding and intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis of mothers, which have the potential to affect microbial community composition, are associated with higher abundances of specific ARGs, the composition of which is largely shaped by bacterial phylogeny in the infant gut. Our results suggest that infants inherit the legacy of past antibiotic consumption of their mothers via transmission of genes, but microbiota composition still strongly impacts the overall resistance load.
  • Dave, Kashyap; Sur, Inderpreet; Yan, Jian; Zhang, Jilin; Kaasinen, Eevi; Zhong, Fan; Blaas, Leander; Li, Xiaoze; Kharazi, Shabnam; Gustafsson, Charlotte; De Paep, Ayla; Mansson, Robert; Taipale, Jussi (2017)
    The gene desert upstream of the MYC oncogene on chromosome 8q24 contains susceptibility loci for several major forms of human cancer. The region shows high conservation between human and mouse and contains multiple MYC enhancers that are activated in tumor cells. However, the role of this region in normal development has not been addressed. Here we show that a 538 kb deletion of the entire MYC upstream super-enhancer region in mice results in 50% to 80% decrease in Myc expression in multiple tissues. The mice are viable and show no overt phenotype. However, they are resistant to tumorigenesis, and most normal cells isolated from them grow slowly in culture. These results reveal that only cells whose MYC activity is increased by serum or oncogenic driver mutations depend on the 8q24 super-enhancer region, and indicate that targeting the activity of this element is a promising strategy of cancer chemoprevention and therapy.
  • Richter, Uwe; Ng, Kah Ying; Suomi, Fumi; Marttinen, Paula; Turunen, Taina; Jackson, Christopher; Suomalainen, Anu; Vihinen, Helena; Jokitalo, Eija; Nyman, Tuula A.; Isokallio, Marita A.; Stewart, James B.; Mancini, Cecilia; Brusco, Alfredo; Seneca, Sara; Lombes, Anne; Taylor, Robert W.; Battersby, Brendan J. (2019)
    Mitochondria have a compartmentalized gene expression system dedicated to the synthesis of membrane proteins essential for oxidative phosphorylation. Responsive quality control mechanisms are needed to ensure that aberrant protein synthesis does not disrupt mitochondrial function. Pathogenic mutations that impede the function of the mitochondrial matrix quality control protease complex composed of AFG3L2 and paraplegin cause a multifaceted clinical syndrome. At the cell and molecular level, defects to this quality control complex are defined by impairment to mitochondrial form and function. Here, we establish the etiology of these phenotypes. We show how disruptions to the quality control of mitochondrial protein synthesis trigger a sequential stress response characterized first by OMA1 activation followed by loss of mitochondrial ribosomes and by remodelling of mitochondrial inner membrane ultrastructure. Inhibiting mitochondrial protein synthesis with chloramphenicol completely blocks this stress response. Together, our data establish a mechanism linking major cell biological phenotypes of AFG3L2 pathogenesis and show how modulation of mitochondrial protein synthesis can exert a beneficial effect on organelle homeostasis.
  • Jin, Long; Yu, Jian Ping; Yang, Zai Jun; Merilä, Juha; Liao, Wen Bo (2018)
    Hibernation is an effective energy conservation strategy that has been widely adopted by animals to cope with unpredictable environmental conditions. The liver, in particular, plays an important role in adaptive metabolic adjustment during hibernation. Mammalian studies have revealed that many genes involved in metabolism are differentially expressed during the hibernation period. However, the differentiation in global gene expression between active and torpid states in amphibians remains largely unknown. We analyzed gene expression in the liver of active and torpid Asiatic toads (Bufo gargarizans) using RNA-sequencing. In addition, we evaluated the differential expression of genes between females and males. A total of 1399 genes were identified as differentially expressed between active and torpid females. Of these, the expressions of 395 genes were significantly elevated in torpid females and involved genes responding to stresses, as well as contractile proteins. The expression of 1004 genes were significantly down-regulated in torpid females, most which were involved in metabolic depression and shifts in the energy utilization. Of the 715 differentially expressed genes between active and torpid males, 337 were up-regulated and 378 down-regulated. A total of 695 genes were differentially expressed between active females and males, of which 655 genes were significantly down-regulated in males. Similarly, 374 differentially expressed genes were identified between torpid females and males, with the expression of 252 genes (mostly contractile proteins) being significantly down-regulated in males. Our findings suggest that expression of many genes in the liver of B. gargarizans are down-regulated during hibernation. Furthermore, there are marked sex differences in the levels of gene expression, with females showing elevated levels of gene expression as compared to males, as well as more marked down-regulation of gene-expression in torpid males than females.