ResearchPad - dna-manipulations https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Maximizing viral detection with SIV droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assays]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14590 Highly sensitive detection of HIV-1 nucleic acids is of critical importance for evaluating treatment interventions superimposed on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in HIV-1 infected individuals. SIV infection of rhesus macaques models many key aspects of human HIV-1 infection and plays a key role in evaluation of approaches for prevention, treatment and attempted eradication of HIV infection. Here we describe two droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assays, a ddPCR DNA assay and an RT-ddPCR RNA assay for detecting simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) on the RainDance platform. We demonstrate that RainDance ddPCR can tolerate significantly higher cell DNA input without inhibition on a per reaction basis (compared to both qPCR and Bio-Rad ddPCR), thus allowing a large quantity of sample to be analyzed in each reaction. In addition, the combination of a high processivity RT enzyme and RainDance ddPCR could overcome inhibition in severely inhibited (99.99% inhibition in qPCR quantification) viral RNA samples. These assays offer valuable tools for assessing low level viral production/replication and strategies for targeting residual virus in the setting of cART suppression of viral replication. The methodologies presented here can be adapted for a broad range of applications where highly sensitive nucleic acid detection is required.

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<![CDATA[Rapid and highly-specific generation of targeted DNA sequencing libraries enabled by linking capture probes with universal primers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117be8d5eed0c48469adc4

Targeted Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) is being adopted increasingly broadly in many research, commercial and clinical settings. Currently used target capture methods, however, typically require complex and lengthy (sometimes multi-day) workflows that complicates their use in certain applications. In addition, small panels for high sequencing depth applications such as liquid biopsy typically have low on-target rates, resulting in unnecessarily high sequencing cost. We have developed a novel targeted sequencing library preparation method, named Linked Target Capture (LTC), which replaces typical multi-day target capture workflows with a single-day, combined ‘target-capture-PCR’ workflow. This approach uses physically linked capture probes and PCR primers and is expected to work with panel sizes from 100 bp to >10 Mbp. It reduces the time and complexity of the capture workflow, eliminates long hybridization and wash steps and enables rapid library construction and target capture. High on-target read fractions are achievable due to repeated sequence selection in the target-capture-PCR step, thus lowering sequencing cost. We have demonstrated this technology on sample types including cell-free DNA (cfDNA) and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) derived DNA, capturing a 35-gene pan-cancer panel, and therein detecting single nucleotide variants, copy number variants, insertions, deletions and gene fusions. With the integration of unique molecular identifiers (UMIs), variants as low as 0.25% abundance were detected, limited by input mass and sequencing depth. Additionally, sequencing libraries were prepared in less than eight hours from extracted DNA to loaded sequencer, demonstrating that LTC holds promise as a broadly applicable tool for rapid, cost-effective and high performance targeted sequencing.

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<![CDATA[CENP-A and H3 Nucleosomes Display a Similar Stability to Force-Mediated Disassembly]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9deab0ee8fa60b68cab

Centromere-specific nucleosomes are a central feature of the kinetochore complex during mitosis, in which microtubules exert pulling and pushing forces upon the centromere. CENP-A nucleosomes have been assumed to be structurally unique, thereby providing resilience under tension relative to their H3 canonical counterparts. Here, we directly test this hypothesis by subjecting CENP-A and H3 octameric nucleosomes, assembled on random or on centromeric DNA sequences, to varying amounts of applied force by using single-molecule magnetic tweezers. We monitor individual disassembly events of CENP-A and H3 nucleosomes. Regardless of the DNA sequence, the force-mediated disassembly experiments for CENP-A and H3 nucleosomes demonstrate similar rupture forces, life time residency and disassembly steps. From these experiments, we conclude that CENP-A does not, by itself, contribute unique structural features to the nucleosome that lead to a significant resistance against force-mediated disruption. The data present insights into the mechanistic basis for how CENP-A nucleosomes might contribute to the structural foundation of the centromere in vivo.

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<![CDATA[The Inhibitory Effect of Non-Substrate and Substrate DNA on the Ligation and Self-Adenylylation Reactions Catalyzed by T4 DNA Ligase]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabcab0ee8fa60baf11e

DNA ligases are essential both to in vivo replication, repair and recombination processes, and in vitro molecular biology protocols. Prior characterization of DNA ligases through gel shift assays has shown the presence of a nick site to be essential for tight binding between the enzyme and its dsDNA substrate, with no interaction evident on dsDNA lacking a nick. In the current study, we observed a significant substrate inhibition effect, as well as the inhibition of both the self-adenylylation and nick-sealing steps of T4 DNA ligase by non-nicked, non-substrate dsDNA. Inhibition by non-substrate DNA was dependent only on the total DNA concentration rather than the structure; with 1 μg/mL of 40-mers, 75-mers, or circular plasmid DNA all inhibiting ligation equally. A >15-fold reduction in T4 DNA ligase self-adenylylation rate when in the presence of high non-nicked dsDNA concentrations was observed. Finally, EMSAs were utilized to demonstrate that non-substrate dsDNA can compete with nicked dsDNA substrates for enzyme binding. Based upon these data, we hypothesize the inhibition of T4 DNA ligase by non-nicked dsDNA is direct evidence for a two-step nick-binding mechanism, with an initial, nick-independent, transient dsDNA-binding event preceding a transition to a stable binding complex in the presence of a nick site.

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<![CDATA[Rapid Synthesis of a Long Double-Stranded Oligonucleotide from a Single-Stranded Nucleotide Using Magnetic Beads and an Oligo Library]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da62ab0ee8fa60b912ee

Chemical synthesis of oligonucleotides is a widely used tool in the field of biochemistry. Several methods for gene synthesis have been introduced in the growing area of genomics. In this paper, a novel method of constructing dsDNA is proposed. Short (28-mer) oligo fragments from a library were assembled through successive annealing and ligation processes, followed by PCR. First, two oligo fragments annealed to form a dsDNA molecule. The double-stranded oligo was immobilized onto magnetic beads (solid support) via streptavidin-biotin binding. Next, single-stranded oligo fragments were added successively through ligation to form the complete DNA molecule. The synthesized DNA was amplified through PCR and gel electrophoresis was used to characterize the product. Sanger sequencing showed that more than 97% of the nucleotides matched the expected sequence. Extending the length of the DNA molecule by adding single-stranded oligonucleotides from a basis set (library) via ligation enables a more convenient and rapid mechanism for the design and synthesis of oligonucleotides on the go. Coupled with an automated dispensing system and libraries of short oligo fragments, this novel DNA synthesis method would offer an efficient and cost-effective method for producing dsDNA.

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<![CDATA[Molecular Characterization of a Highly-Active Thermophilic β-Glucosidase from Neosartorya fischeri P1 and Its Application in the Hydrolysis of Soybean Isoflavone Glycosides]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab8ab0ee8fa60bad95a

Isoflavone occurs abundantly in leguminous seeds in the form of glycoside and aglycone. However, isoflavone glycoside has anti-nutritional effect and only the free type is beneficial to human health. In the present study we identified a β-glucosidase from thermophilic Neosartorya fischeri P1, termed NfBGL1, capable of efficiently converting isoflavone glycosides into free isoflavones. The gene, belonging to glycoside hydrolase family 3, was successfully overexpressed in Pichia pastoris at high cell density in a 3.7-l fermentor. Purified recombinant NfBGL1 had higher specific activity (2189±1.7 U/mg) and temperature optimum (80°C) than other fungal counterparts when using p-nitrophenyl β-d-glucopyranoside as the substrate. It retained stable at temperatures up to 70°C and over a broad pH range of 3.0−10.0. NfBGL1 had broad substrate specificity including glucosidase, cellobiase, xylanase and glucanase activities, and displayed preference for hydrolysis of β-1,2 glycosidic bond rather than β-1,3, β-1,4, β-1,6 bonds. The enzyme showed high bioconversion ability for major soybean isoflavone glycosides (daidin, gensitin and glycitin) into free forms. These properties make NfBGL1 potential for the wide use in the food, feed, pharmacy and biofuel industries.

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<![CDATA[GOTHiC, a probabilistic model to resolve complex biases and to identify real interactions in Hi-C data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc422

Hi-C is one of the main methods for investigating spatial co-localisation of DNA in the nucleus. However, the raw sequencing data obtained from Hi-C experiments suffer from large biases and spurious contacts, making it difficult to identify true interactions. Existing methods use complex models to account for biases and do not provide a significance threshold for detecting interactions. Here we introduce a simple binomial probabilistic model that resolves complex biases and distinguishes between true and false interactions. The model corrects biases of known and unknown origin and yields a p-value for each interaction, providing a reliable threshold based on significance. We demonstrate this experimentally by testing the method against a random ligation dataset. Our method outperforms previous methods and provides a statistical framework for further data analysis, such as comparisons of Hi-C interactions between different conditions. GOTHiC is available as a BioConductor package (http://www.bioconductor.org/packages/release/bioc/html/GOTHiC.html).

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<![CDATA[A Cost-Effective Approach to Sequence Hundreds of Complete Mitochondrial Genomes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da59ab0ee8fa60b8f730

We present a cost-effective approach to sequence whole mitochondrial genomes for hundreds of individuals. Our approach uses small reaction volumes and unmodified (non-phosphorylated) barcoded adaptors to minimize reagent costs. We demonstrate our approach by sequencing 383 Fundulus sp. mitochondrial genomes (192 F. heteroclitus and 191 F. majalis). Prior to sequencing, we amplified the mitochondrial genomes using 4–5 custom-made, overlapping primer pairs, and sequencing was performed on an Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform. After removing low quality and short sequences, 2.9 million and 2.8 million reads were generated for F. heteroclitus and F. majalis respectively. Individual genomes were assembled for each species by mapping barcoded reads to a reference genome. For F. majalis, the reference genome was built de novo. On average, individual consensus sequences had high coverage: 61-fold for F. heteroclitus and 57-fold for F. majalis. The approach discussed in this paper is optimized for sequencing mitochondrial genomes on an Illumina platform. However, with the proper modifications, this approach could be easily applied to other small genomes and sequencing platforms.

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<![CDATA[A Systematic Investigation of Parameters Influencing Droplet Rain in the Listeria monocytogenes prfA Assay - Reduction of Ambiguous Results in ddPCR]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f8ab0ee8fa60b70e34

The droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) determines DNA amounts based upon the pattern of positive and negative droplets, according to Poisson distribution, without the use of external standards. However, division into positive and negative droplets is often not clear because a part of the droplets has intermediate fluorescence values, appearing as “rain” in the plot. Despite the droplet rain, absolute quantification with ddPCR is possible, as shown previously for the prfA assay in quantifying Listeria monocytogenes. Nevertheless, reducing the rain, and thus ambiguous results, promotes the accuracy and credibility of ddPCR. In this study, we extensively investigated chemical and physical parameters for optimizing the prfA assay for ddPCR. While differences in the concentration of all chemicals and the dye, quencher and supplier of the probe did not alter the droplet pattern, changes in the PCR cycling program, such as prolonged times and increased cycle numbers, improved the assay.

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<![CDATA[Unexpected DNA Loss Mediated by the DNA Binding Activity of Ribonuclease A]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e4ab0ee8fa60b6a8b3

Ribonuclease A (RNase A) is widely used in molecular biology research both for analytical assays and for nucleic acid preparation. The catalytic mechanism of RNase A is well understood and absolutely precludes activity on DNA; however anecdotal reports of DNA degradation by RNase A are not uncommon. Here we describe a mechanism by which RNase A treatment can lead to apparent DNA degradation. This results from the surprising finding that RNase A remains functional in a phenol:chloroform mixture, to our knowledge the only enzyme that survives this highly denaturing solvent environment. Although RNase A does not cleave the DNA backbone it is capable of binding to DNA, forming stable RNase A-DNA complexes that partition to the interphase or organic phase during phenol:chloroform purification. The unexpected survival of the RNase A DNA-binding activity in phenol means that these complexes are not dissolved and a substantial amount of RNase A-bound DNA is permanently removed from the aqueous phase and lost on phase separation. This effect will impact DNA recovery from multiple procedures and is likely to represent a source of sequence bias in genome-wide studies. Our results also indicate that the results of analytical studies performed using RNase A must be considered with care.

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<![CDATA[The role of the innate immune response regulatory gene ABCF1 in mammalian embryogenesis and development]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60bdff14

ABCF1 is an ABC transporter family protein that has been shown to regulate innate immune response and is a risk gene for autoimmune pancreatitis and arthritis. Unlike other members of ABC transporter family, ABCF1 lacks trans-membrane domains and is thought to function in translation initiation through an interaction with eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF2). To study ABCF1 expression and function in development and disease, we used a single gene trap insertion in the Abcf1 gene in murine embryonic stem cells (ES cells) that allowed lineage tracing of the endogenous Abcf1 promoter by following the expression of a β-galactosidase reporter gene. From the ES cells, heterozygous mice (Abcf1+/-) were produced. No live born Abcf1-/- progeny were ever generated, and the lethality was not mouse strain-specific. Thus, we have determined that Abcf1 is an essential gene in development. Abcf1-/- mice were found to be embryonic lethal at 3.5 days post coitum (dpc), while Abcf1+/- mice appeared developmentally normal. Abcf1+/- mice were fertile and showed no significant differences in their anatomy when compared with their wild type littermates. The Abcf1 promoter was found to be active in all organs in adult mice, but varies in levels of expression in specific cell types within tissues. Furthermore, we observed high promoter activity in the blastocysts and embryos. Overall, Abcf1 expression in embryos is required for development and its expression in adults was highly correlated with actively proliferating and differentiating cell types.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptome Analysis of Targeted Mouse Mutations Reveals the Topography of Local Changes in Gene Expression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da64ab0ee8fa60b917db

The unintended consequences of gene targeting in mouse models have not been thoroughly studied and a more systematic analysis is needed to understand the frequency and characteristics of off-target effects. Using RNA-seq, we evaluated targeted and neighboring gene expression in tissues from 44 homozygous mutants compared with C57BL/6N control mice. Two allele types were evaluated: 15 targeted trap mutations (TRAP); and 29 deletion alleles (DEL), usually a deletion between the translational start and the 3’ UTR. Both targeting strategies insert a bacterial beta-galactosidase reporter (LacZ) and a neomycin resistance selection cassette. Evaluating transcription of genes in +/- 500 kb of flanking DNA around the targeted gene, we found up-regulated genes more frequently around DEL compared with TRAP alleles, however the frequency of alleles with local down-regulated genes flanking DEL and TRAP targets was similar. Down-regulated genes around both DEL and TRAP targets were found at a higher frequency than expected from a genome-wide survey. However, only around DEL targets were up-regulated genes found with a significantly higher frequency compared with genome-wide sampling. Transcriptome analysis confirms targeting in 97% of DEL alleles, but in only 47% of TRAP alleles probably due to non-functional splice variants, and some splicing around the gene trap. Local effects on gene expression are likely due to a number of factors including compensatory regulation, loss or disruption of intragenic regulatory elements, the exogenous promoter in the neo selection cassette, removal of insulating DNA in the DEL mutants, and local silencing due to disruption of normal chromatin organization or presence of exogenous DNA. An understanding of local position effects is important for understanding and interpreting any phenotype attributed to targeted gene mutations, or to spontaneous indels.

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<![CDATA[Application of GelGreen™ in Cesium Chloride Density Gradients for DNA-Stable Isotope Probing Experiments]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db11ab0ee8fa60bcc1e6

In this study, GelGreen was investigated as a replacement for SYBR® Safe to stain DNA in cesium chloride (CsCl) density gradients for DNA-stable isotope probing (SIP) experiments. Using environmental DNA, the usage of GelGreen was optimized for sensitivity compared to SYBR® Safe, its optimal concentration, detection limit for environmental DNA and its application in environmental DNA-SIP assay. Results showed that GelGreen was more sensitive than SYBR® Safe, while the optimal dosage (15X concentration) needed was approximately one-third of SYBR® Safe, suggesting that its sensitivity was three times more superior than SYBR® Safe. At these optimal parameters, the detection limit of GelGreen-stained environmental DNA was as low as 0.2 μg, but the usage of 0.5 μg environmental DNA was recommended to produce a more consistent DNA band. In addition, a modified needle extraction procedure was developed to withdraw DNA effectively by fractionating CsCl density gradients into four or five fractions. The successful application of GelGreen staining with 13C-labeled DNA from enriched activated sludge suggests that this stain was an excellent alternative of SYBR® Safe in CsCl density gradients for DNA-SIP assays.

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