ResearchPad - gene-identification-and-analysis https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[A tale of textiles: Genetic characterization of historical paper mulberry barkcloth from Oceania]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15748 Humans introduced paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera) from Taiwan into the Pacific over 5000 years ago as a fiber source to make barkcloth textiles that were, and still are, important cultural artifacts throughout the Pacific. We have used B. papyrifera, a species closely associated to humans, as a proxy to understand the human settlement of the Pacific Islands. We report the first genetic analysis of paper mulberry textiles from historical and archaeological contexts (200 to 50 years before present) and compare our results with genetic data obtained from contemporary and herbarium paper mulberry samples. Following stringent ancient DNA protocols, we extracted DNA from 13 barkcloth textiles. We confirmed that the fiber source is paper mulberry in nine of the 13 textiles studied using the nuclear ITS-1 marker and by statistical estimates. We detected high genetic diversity in historical Pacific paper mulberry barkcloth with a set of ten microsatellites, showing new alleles and specific genetic patterns. These genetic signatures allow tracing connections to plants from the Asian homeland, Near and Remote Oceania, establishing links not observed previously (using the same genetic tools) in extant plants or herbaria samples. These results show that historic barkcloth textiles are cultural materials amenable to genetic analysis to reveal human history and that these artifacts may harbor evidence of greater genetic diversity in Pacific B. papyrifera in the past.

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<![CDATA[High prevalence of phenotypic pyrazinamide resistance and its association with <i>pncA</i> gene mutations in <i>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</i> isolates from Uganda]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14718 Susceptibility testing for pyrazinamide (PZA), a cornerstone anti-TB drug is not commonly done in Uganda because it is expensive and characterized with technical difficulties thus resistance to this drug is less studied. Resistance is commonly associated with mutations in the pncA gene and its promoter region. However, these mutations vary geographically and those conferring phenotypic resistance are unknown in Uganda. This study determined the prevalence of PZA resistance and its association with pncA mutations.Materials and methodsUsing a cross-sectional design, archived isolates collected during the Uganda national drug resistance survey between 2008–2011 were sub-cultured. PZA resistance was tested by BACTEC Mycobacterial Growth Indicator Tube (MGIT) 960 system. Sequence reads were downloaded from the NCBI Library and bioinformatics pipelines were used to screen for PZA resistance–conferring mutations.ResultsThe prevalence of phenotypic PZA resistance was found to be 21%. The sensitivity and specificity of pncA sequencing were 24% (95% CI, 9.36–45.13%) and 100% (73.54% - 100.0%) respectively. We identified four mutations associated with PZA phenotypic resistance in Uganda; K96R, T142R, R154G and V180F.ConclusionThere is a high prevalence of phenotypic PZA resistance among TB patients in Uganda. The low sensitivity of pncA gene sequencing confirms the already documented discordances suggesting other mechanisms of PZA resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. ]]> <![CDATA[Myotonia congenita and periodic hypokalemia paralysis in a consanguineous marriage pedigree: Coexistence of a novel <i>CLCN1</i> mutation and an <i>SCN4A</i> mutation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14559 Myotonia congenita and hypokalemic periodic paralysis type 2 are both rare genetic channelopathies caused by mutations in the CLCN1 gene encoding voltage-gated chloride channel CLC-1 and the SCN4A gene encoding voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.4. The patients with concomitant mutations in both genes manifested different unique symptoms from mutations in these genes separately. Here, we describe a patient with myotonia and periodic paralysis in a consanguineous marriage pedigree. By using whole-exome sequencing, a novel F306S variant in the CLCN1 gene and a known R222W mutation in the SCN4A gene were identified in the pedigree. Patch clamp analysis revealed that the F306S mutant reduced the opening probability of CLC-1 and chloride conductance. Our study expanded the CLCN1 mutation database. We emphasized the value of whole-exome sequencing for differential diagnosis in atypical myotonic patients.

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<![CDATA[Identification and detection of a novel point mutation in the Chitin Synthase gene of <i>Culex pipiens</i> associated with diflubenzuron resistance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14502 Diflubenzuron is one of the main larvicides used for the control of the West Nile Virus vector Culex pipiens in the Mediterranean. However, the efficiency of control is now under threat due to the selection of insecticide resistance. Two point mutations were previously identified at the Chitin synthase and shown to confer low and high levels of resistance and a diagnostic was developed to monitor the trait. This study reports the identification of a third mutation associated with high levels of diflubenzuron resistance in Italy. This mutation was also detected in France, whereas no resistance mutations were found in Cx. pipiens mosquitoes sampled from Greece, Portugal and Israel. The findings are of major concern for mosquito control programs in S. Europe, which rely on the use of a limited number of larvicides.

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<![CDATA[The degradation-promoting roles of deubiquitinases Ubp6 and Ubp3 in cytosolic and ER protein quality control]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14498 The quality control of intracellular proteins is achieved by degrading misfolded proteins which cannot be refolded by molecular chaperones. In eukaryotes, such degradation is handled primarily by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. However, it remained unclear whether and how protein quality control deploys various deubiquitinases. To address this question, we screened deletions or mutation of the 20 deubiquitinase genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and discovered that almost half of the mutations slowed the removal of misfolded proteins whereas none of the remaining mutations accelerated this process significantly. Further characterization revealed that Ubp6 maintains the level of free ubiquitin to promote the elimination of misfolded cytosolic proteins, while Ubp3 supports the degradation of misfolded cytosolic and ER luminal proteins by different mechanisms.

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<![CDATA[Accelerated brain aging towards transcriptional inversion in a zebrafish model of the K115fs mutation of human PSEN2]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N35618ab8-cca5-47c4-ba7f-8d3941adbaaf

Background

The molecular changes involved in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) progression remain unclear since we cannot easily access antemortem human brains. Some non-mammalian vertebrates such as the zebrafish preserve AD-relevant transcript isoforms of the PRESENILIN genes lost from mice and rats. One example is PS2V, the alternative transcript isoform of the PSEN2 gene. PS2V is induced by hypoxia/oxidative stress and shows increased expression in late onset, sporadic AD brains. A unique, early onset familial AD mutation of PSEN2, K115fs, mimics the PS2V coding sequence suggesting that forced, early expression of PS2V-like isoforms may contribute to AD pathogenesis. Here we use zebrafish to model the K115fs mutation to investigate the effects of forced PS2V-like expression on the transcriptomes of young adult and aged adult brains.

Methods

We edited the zebrafish genome to model the K115fs mutation. To explore its effects at the molecular level, we analysed the brain transcriptome and proteome of young (6-month-old) and aged (24-month-old) wild type and heterozygous mutant female sibling zebrafish. Finally, we used gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) to compare molecular changes in the brains of these fish to human AD.

Results

Young heterozygous mutant fish show transcriptional changes suggesting accelerated brain aging and increased glucocorticoid signalling. These early changes precede a transcriptional ‘inversion’ that leads to glucocorticoid resistance and other likely pathological changes in aged heterozygous mutant fish. Notably, microglia-associated immune responses regulated by the ETS transcription factor family are altered in both our zebrafish mutant model and in human AD. The molecular changes we observe in aged heterozygous mutant fish occur without obvious histopathology and possibly in the absence of Aβ.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that forced expression of a PS2V-like isoform contributes to immune and stress responses favouring AD pathogenesis. This highlights the value of our zebrafish genetic model for exploring molecular mechanisms involved in AD pathogenesis.

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<![CDATA[HCV transmission in high-risk communities in Bulgaria]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c882406d5eed0c4846395b0

Background

The rate of HIV infection in Bulgaria is low. However, the rate of HCV-HIV-coinfection and HCV infection is high, especially among high-risk communities. The molecular epidemiology of those infections has not been studied before.

Methods

Consensus Sanger sequences of HVR1 and NS5B from 125 cases of HIV/HCV coinfections, collected during 2010–2014 in 15 different Bulgarian cities, were used for preliminary phylogenetic evaluation. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) data of the hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) analyzed via the Global Hepatitis Outbreak and Surveillance Technology (GHOST) were used to evaluate genetic heterogeneity and possible transmission linkages. Links between pairs that were below and above the established genetic distance threshold, indicative of transmission, were further examined by generating k-step networks.

Results

Preliminary genetic analyses showed predominance of HCV genotype 1a (54%), followed by 1b (20.8%), 2a (1.4%), 3a (22.3%) and 4a (1.4%), indicating ongoing transmission of many HCV strains of different genotypes. NGS of HVR1 from 72 cases showed significant genetic heterogeneity of intra-host HCV populations, with 5 cases being infected with 2 different genotypes or subtypes and 6 cases being infected with 2 strains of same subtype. GHOST revealed 8 transmission clusters involving 30 cases (41.7%), indicating a high rate of transmission.

Four transmission clusters were found in Sofia, three in Plovdiv, and one in Peshtera. The main risk factor for the clusters was injection drug use. Close genetic proximity among HCV strains from the 3 Sofia clusters, and between HCV strains from Peshtera and one of the two Plovdiv clusters confirms a long and extensive transmission history of these strains in Bulgaria.

Conclusions

Identification of several HCV genotypes and many HCV strains suggests a frequent introduction of HCV to the studied high-risk communities. GHOST detected a broad transmission network, which sustains circulation of several HCV strains since their early introduction in the 3 cities. This is the first report on the molecular epidemiology of HIV/HCV coinfections in Bulgaria.

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<![CDATA[The responses of lungs and adjacent lymph nodes in responding to Yersinia pestis infection: A transcriptomic study using a non-human primate model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c78500ed5eed0c484007bfd

Initiation of treatment during the pre-symptomatic phase of Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis) infection is particularly critical. The rapid proliferation of Y. pestis typically couples with the manifestation of common flu-like early symptoms that often misguides the medical intervention. Our study used African green monkeys (AGM) that did not exhibit clear clinical symptoms for nearly two days after intranasal challenge with Y. pestis and succumbed within a day after showing the first signs of clinical symptoms. The lung, and mediastinal and submandibular lymph nodes (LN) accumulated significant Y. pestis colonization immediately after the intranasal challenge. Hence, organ-specific molecular investigations are deemed to be the key to elucidating mechanisms of the initial host response. Our previous study focused on the whole blood of AGM, and we found early perturbations in the ubiquitin-microtubule-mediated host defense. Altered expression of the genes present in ubiquitin and microtubule networks indicated an early suppression of these networks in the submandibular lymph nodes. In concert, the upstream toll-like receptor signaling and downstream NFκB signaling were inhibited at the multi-omics level. The inflammatory response was suppressed in the lungs, submandibular lymph nodes and mediastinal lymph nodes. We posited a causal chain of molecular mechanisms that indicated Y. pestis was probably able to impair host-mediated proteolysis activities and evade autophagosome capture by dysregulating both ubiquitin and microtubule networks in submandibular lymph nodes. Targeting these networks in a submandibular LN-specific and time-resolved fashion could be essential for development of the next generation therapeutics for pneumonic plague.

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<![CDATA[A mutagenesis screen for essential plastid biogenesis genes in human malaria parasites]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d3cd5eed0c484c82311

Endosymbiosis has driven major molecular and cellular innovations. Plasmodium spp. parasites that cause malaria contain an essential, non-photosynthetic plastid—the apicoplast—which originated from a secondary (eukaryote–eukaryote) endosymbiosis. To discover organellar pathways with evolutionary and biomedical significance, we performed a mutagenesis screen for essential genes required for apicoplast biogenesis in Plasmodium falciparum. Apicoplast(−) mutants were isolated using a chemical rescue that permits conditional disruption of the apicoplast and a new fluorescent reporter for organelle loss. Five candidate genes were validated (out of 12 identified), including a triosephosphate isomerase (TIM)-barrel protein that likely derived from a core metabolic enzyme but evolved a new activity. Our results demonstrate, to our knowledge, the first forward genetic screen to assign essential cellular functions to unannotated P. falciparum genes. A putative TIM-barrel enzyme and other newly identified apicoplast biogenesis proteins open opportunities to discover new mechanisms of organelle biogenesis, molecular evolution underlying eukaryotic diversity, and drug targets against multiple parasitic diseases.

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<![CDATA[Dynamical differential expression (DyDE) reveals the period control mechanisms of the Arabidopsis circadian oscillator]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca30ed5eed0c48441f086

The circadian oscillator, an internal time-keeping device found in most organisms, enables timely regulation of daily biological activities by maintaining synchrony with the external environment. The mechanistic basis underlying the adjustment of circadian rhythms to changing external conditions, however, has yet to be clearly elucidated. We explored the mechanism of action of nicotinamide in Arabidopsis thaliana, a metabolite that lengthens the period of circadian rhythms, to understand the regulation of circadian period. To identify the key mechanisms involved in the circadian response to nicotinamide, we developed a systematic and practical modeling framework based on the identification and comparison of gene regulatory dynamics. Our mathematical predictions, confirmed by experimentation, identified key transcriptional regulatory mechanisms of circadian period and uncovered the role of blue light in the response of the circadian oscillator to nicotinamide. We suggest that our methodology could be adapted to predict mechanisms of drug action in complex biological systems.

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<![CDATA[Presence, persistence and effects of pre-treatment HIV-1 drug resistance variants detected using next generation sequencing: A Retrospective longitudinal study from rural coastal Kenya]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9f3d5eed0c48452a5bd

Background

The epidemiology of HIV-1 drug resistance (HIVDR) determined by Sanger capillary sequencing, has been widely studied. However, much less is known about HIVDR detected using next generation sequencing (NGS) methods. We aimed to determine the presence, persistence and effect of pre-treatment HIVDR variants detected using NGS in HIV-1 infected antiretroviral treatment (ART) naïve participants from rural Coastal Kenya.

Methods

In a retrospective longitudinal study, samples from HIV-1 infected participants collected prior [n = 2 time-points] and after [n = 1 time-point] ART initiation were considered. An ultra-deep amplicon-based NGS assay, calling for nucleotide variants at >2.0% frequency of viral population, was used. Suspected virologic failure (sVF) was defined as a one-off HIV-1 viral load of >1000 copies/ml whilst on ART.

Results

Of the 50 eligible participants, 12 (24.0% [95% CI: 13.1–38.2]) had at least one detectable pre-treatment HIVDR variant against Protease Inhibitors (PIs, n = 6 [12%]), Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs, n = 4 [8.0%]) and Non-NRTIs (n = 3 [6.0%]). Overall, 15 pre-treatment resistance variants were detected (frequency, range: 2.3–92.0%). A positive correlation was observed between mutation frequency and absolute load for NRTI and/or NNRTI variants (r = 0.761 [p = 0.028]), but not for PI variants (r = -0.117 [p = 0.803]). Participants with pre-treatment NRTI and/or NNRTI resistance had increased odds of sVF (OR = 6.0; 95% CI = 1.0–36.9; p = 0.054).

Conclusions

Using NGS, pre-treatment resistance variants were common, though observed PI variants were unlikely transmitted, but rather probably generated de novo. Even when detected from a low frequency, pre-treatment NRTI and/or NNRTI resistance variants may adversely affect treatment outcomes.

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<![CDATA[A data-driven interactome of synergistic genes improves network-based cancer outcome prediction]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d3fd5eed0c484c82364

Robustly predicting outcome for cancer patients from gene expression is an important challenge on the road to better personalized treatment. Network-based outcome predictors (NOPs), which considers the cellular wiring diagram in the classification, hold much promise to improve performance, stability and interpretability of identified marker genes. Problematically, reports on the efficacy of NOPs are conflicting and for instance suggest that utilizing random networks performs on par to networks that describe biologically relevant interactions. In this paper we turn the prediction problem around: instead of using a given biological network in the NOP, we aim to identify the network of genes that truly improves outcome prediction. To this end, we propose SyNet, a gene network constructed ab initio from synergistic gene pairs derived from survival-labelled gene expression data. To obtain SyNet, we evaluate synergy for all 69 million pairwise combinations of genes resulting in a network that is specific to the dataset and phenotype under study and can be used to in a NOP model. We evaluated SyNet and 11 other networks on a compendium dataset of >4000 survival-labelled breast cancer samples. For this purpose, we used cross-study validation which more closely emulates real world application of these outcome predictors. We find that SyNet is the only network that truly improves performance, stability and interpretability in several existing NOPs. We show that SyNet overlaps significantly with existing gene networks, and can be confidently predicted (~85% AUC) from graph-topological descriptions of these networks, in particular the breast tissue-specific network. Due to its data-driven nature, SyNet is not biased to well-studied genes and thus facilitates post-hoc interpretation. We find that SyNet is highly enriched for known breast cancer genes and genes related to e.g. histological grade and tamoxifen resistance, suggestive of a role in determining breast cancer outcome.

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<![CDATA[Network hubs affect evolvability]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52c6d5eed0c4842bcfcd

The regulatory processes in cells are typically organized into complex genetic networks. However, it is still unclear how this network structure modulates the evolution of cellular regulation. One would expect that mutations in central and highly connected modules of a network (so-called hubs) would often result in a breakdown and therefore be an evolutionary dead end. However, a new study by Koubkova-Yu and colleagues finds that in some circumstances, altering a hub can offer a quick evolutionary advantage. Specifically, changes in a hub can induce significant phenotypic changes that allow organisms to move away from a local fitness peak, whereas the fitness defects caused by the perturbed hub can be mitigated by mutations in its interaction partners. Together, the results demonstrate how network architecture shapes and facilitates evolutionary adaptation.

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<![CDATA[Discovery of gene regulatory elements through a new bioinformatics analysis of haploid genetic screens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fef9d5eed0c48413586a

The systematic identification of regulatory elements that control gene expression remains a challenge. Genetic screens that use untargeted mutagenesis have the potential to identify protein-coding genes, non-coding RNAs and regulatory elements, but their analysis has mainly focused on identifying the former two. To identify regulatory elements, we conducted a new bioinformatics analysis of insertional mutagenesis screens interrogating WNT signaling in haploid human cells. We searched for specific patterns of retroviral gene trap integrations (used as mutagens in haploid screens) in short genomic intervals overlapping with introns and regions upstream of genes. We uncovered atypical patterns of gene trap insertions that were not predicted to disrupt coding sequences, but caused changes in the expression of two key regulators of WNT signaling, suggesting the presence of cis-regulatory elements. Our methodology extends the scope of haploid genetic screens by enabling the identification of regulatory elements that control gene expression.

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<![CDATA[EMT network-based feature selection improves prognosis prediction in lung adenocarcinoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca30cd5eed0c48441f069

Various feature selection algorithms have been proposed to identify cancer prognostic biomarkers. In recent years, however, their reproducibility is criticized. The performance of feature selection algorithms is shown to be affected by the datasets, underlying networks and evaluation metrics. One of the causes is the curse of dimensionality, which makes it hard to select the features that generalize well on independent data. Even the integration of biological networks does not mitigate this issue because the networks are large and many of their components are not relevant for the phenotype of interest. With the availability of multi-omics data, integrative approaches are being developed to build more robust predictive models. In this scenario, the higher data dimensions create greater challenges. We proposed a phenotype relevant network-based feature selection (PRNFS) framework and demonstrated its advantages in lung cancer prognosis prediction. We constructed cancer prognosis relevant networks based on epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) and integrated them with different types of omics data for feature selection. With less than 2.5% of the total dimensionality, we obtained EMT prognostic signatures that achieved remarkable prediction performance (average AUC values >0.8), very significant sample stratifications, and meaningful biological interpretations. In addition to finding EMT signatures from different omics data levels, we combined these single-omics signatures into multi-omics signatures, which improved sample stratifications significantly. Both single- and multi-omics EMT signatures were tested on independent multi-omics lung cancer datasets and significant sample stratifications were obtained.

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<![CDATA[Mutation screening in non-syndromic hearing loss patients with cochlear implantation by massive parallel sequencing in Taiwan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79b005d5eed0c4841e3c60

Objectives

To explore the molecular epidemiology of rare deafness genes in Taiwanese sensorineural hearing impairment (SNHI) patients with cochlear implantation (CI) by performing massive parallel sequencing (MPS) and correlating genetic factors and CI outcomes.

Methods

We enrolled 41 Taiwanese non-syndromic deafness patients with CI that lacked known mutations in common deafness genes. All probands were screened by a targeted exon amplification method that used massively parallel sequencing to screen a customized panel that included 40 relatively rare non-syndromic deafness genes.

Results

Thirteen candidate variants in nine relatively rare deafness genes (MYO15A, TMC1, MYH14, MYO3A, ACTG1, COL11A2, DSPP, GRHL2, and WFS1) were identified in 24.4% (10/41) of the non-syndromic deafness probands with CI. According to the ACMG Standards and Guidelines, five variants in MYO15A and ACTG1 were classified as likely pathogenic variants. Two of three multi-generational pedigrees exhibiting deafness were analyzed for the segregation of the disorder with the possible disease-causing variants. Patients with variants detected in most of the identified variant-bearing genes showed relatively good CI outcomes.

Conclusions

We successfully identified candidate variants in partially deaf Taiwanese probands who lacked the known mutations in common deafness genes. Comparing the progress of hearing rehabilitation in CI patients with their apparent causative variants and the expression profiles of their altered genes allowed us to speculate on how alterations in specific gene sets may influence outcomes in hearing rehabilitation after CI.

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<![CDATA[Multi-study inference of regulatory networks for more accurate models of gene regulation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536a85d5eed0c484a47592

Gene regulatory networks are composed of sub-networks that are often shared across biological processes, cell-types, and organisms. Leveraging multiple sources of information, such as publicly available gene expression datasets, could therefore be helpful when learning a network of interest. Integrating data across different studies, however, raises numerous technical concerns. Hence, a common approach in network inference, and broadly in genomics research, is to separately learn models from each dataset and combine the results. Individual models, however, often suffer from under-sampling, poor generalization and limited network recovery. In this study, we explore previous integration strategies, such as batch-correction and model ensembles, and introduce a new multitask learning approach for joint network inference across several datasets. Our method initially estimates the activities of transcription factors, and subsequently, infers the relevant network topology. As regulatory interactions are context-dependent, we estimate model coefficients as a combination of both dataset-specific and conserved components. In addition, adaptive penalties may be used to favor models that include interactions derived from multiple sources of prior knowledge including orthogonal genomics experiments. We evaluate generalization and network recovery using examples from Bacillus subtilis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and show that sharing information across models improves network reconstruction. Finally, we demonstrate robustness to both false positives in the prior information and heterogeneity among datasets.

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<![CDATA[Genotypes of 2579 patients with phenylketonuria reveal a high rate of BH4 non-responders in Russia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c46ad5eed0c4845e872a

Phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) deficiency is responsible for most cases of phenylketonuria (PKU). Furthermore, numerous studies on BH4-sensitive PAH deficiency have been conducted. To date, BH4, a cofactor of PAH, has not been used to treat PKU in Russia.Genotype data of patients with PKU can be used to predict their sensitivity to BH4 therapy. A cohort of 2579 patients with PKU from Russia was analyzed for 25 common PAH gene mutations using custom allele-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification-based technology. A mutation detection rate of 84.1% chromosomes was accomplished. Both pathogenic alleles were identified in 73.1% of patients. The most frequent pathogenic variants were p.Arg408Trp (50.9%), p.Arg261Gln (5.3%), p.Pro281Leu (3.5%), IVS12+1G>A (3.1%), IVS10-11G>A (2.6%), and p.Arg158Leu (2.4%). The exact boundaries of a PAH exon 5 deletion were defined as EX5del4154ins268 (c.442-2913_509+1173del4154ins268). Severe phenotypes prevailed in the cohort, and classical PKU was observed in 71.8% cases. Due to the genotype-based prediction, 55.9% of the probands were non-responders to the BH4-treatment, and 20.2% were potential responders. Analysis of genotype data is useful to predict BH4 response in PKU patients. The high rate of non-responders among Russian patients was due to the high allele frequency of severe PAH mutations.

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<![CDATA[Analysis of antifungal resistance genes in Candida albicans and Candida glabrata using next generation sequencing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f7d3d5eed0c484386a4b

Introduction/Objectives

An increase in antifungal resistant Candida strains has been reported in recent years. The aim of this study was to detect mutations in resistance genes of azole-resistant, echinocandin-resistant or multi-resistant strains using next generation sequencing technology, which allows the analysis of multiple resistance mechanisms in a high throughput setting.

Methods

Forty clinical Candida isolates (16 C. albicans and 24 C. glabrata strains) with MICs for azoles and echinocandins above the clinical EUCAST breakpoint were examined. The genes ERG11, ERG3, TAC1 and GSC1 (FKS1) in C. albicans, as well as ERG11, CgPDR1, FKS1 and FKS2 in C. glabrata were sequenced.

Results

Fifty-four different missense mutations were identified, 13 of which have not been reported before. All nine echinocandin-resistant Candida isolates showed mutations in the hot spot (HS) regions of FKS1, FKS2 or GSC1. In ERG3 two homozygous premature stop codons were identified in two highly azole-resistant and moderately echinocandin-resistant C. albicans strains. Seven point mutations in ERG11 were determined in azole-resistant C. albicans whereas in azole-resistant C. glabrata, no ERG11 mutations were detected. In 10 out of 13 azole-resistant C. glabrata, 12 different potential gain-of-function mutations in the transcription factor CgPDR1 were verified, which are associated with an overexpression of the efflux pumps CDR1/2.

Conclusion

This study showed that next generation sequencing allows the thorough investigation of a large number of isolates more cost efficient and faster than conventional Sanger sequencing. Targeting different resistance genes and a large sample size of highly resistant strains allows a better determination of the relevance of the different mutations, and to differentiate between causal mutations and polymorphisms.

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<![CDATA[Assessment of complementarity of WGCNA and NERI results for identification of modules associated to schizophrenia spectrum disorders]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c62d5eed0c484bd2043

Psychiatric disorders involve both changes in multiple genes as well different types of variations. As such, gene co-expression networks allowed the comparison of different stages and parts of the brain contributing to an integrated view of genetic variation. Two methods based on co-expression networks presents appealing results: Weighted Gene Correlation Network Analysis (WGCNA) and Network-Medicine Relative Importance (NERI). By selecting two different gene expression databases related to schizophrenia, we evaluated the biological modules selected by both WGCNA and NERI along these databases as well combining both WGCNA and NERI results (WGCNA-NERI). Also we conducted a enrichment analysis for the identification of partial biological function of each result (as well a replication analysis). To appraise the accuracy of whether both algorithms (as well our approach, WGCNA-NERI) were pointing to genes related to schizophrenia and its complex genetic architecture we conducted the MSET analysis, based on a reference gene list of schizophrenia database (SZDB) related to DNA Methylation, Exome, GWAS as well as copy number variation mutation studies. The WGCNA results were more associated with inflammatory pathways and immune system response; NERI obtained genes related with cellular regulation, embryological pathways e cellular growth factors. Only NERI were able to provide a statistical meaningful results to the MSET analysis (for Methylation and de novo mutations data). However, combining WGCNA and NERI provided a much more larger overlap in these two categories and additionally on Transcriptome database. Our study suggests that using both methods in combination is better for establishing a group of modules and pathways related to a complex disease than using each method individually. NERI is available at: https://bitbucket.org/sergionery/neri.

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