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UFGI publication round-up week 7/24 and 7/31/17

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin PiMZ Genotype Is Associated with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Two Racial Groups.

Author information: Foreman MG1, Wilson C2, DeMeo DL3, Hersh CP3, Beaty TH4, Cho MH3, Ziniti J3, Curran-Everett D2,5, Criner G6, Hokanson JE5, Brantly M7, Rouhani FN7, Sandhaus RA2, Crapo JD2, Silverman EK3; Genetic Epidemiology of COPD (COPDGene) Investigators *.

1Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.
2National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado.
3 Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
4Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.
5School of Public Health, University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado.
6School of Medicine, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and.
7College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Journal: Annals of the American Thoracic Society

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, caused primarily by homozygosity for the Z allele of the SERPINA1 gene, is a well-established genetic cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Whether the heterozygous PiMZ genotype for alpha-1 antitrypsin confers increased risk for COPD has been debated.

We analyzed 8,271 subjects in the Genetic Epidemiology of COPD (COPDGene) Study, hypothesizing that PiMZ would independently associate with COPD and COPD-related phenotypes.

The COPDGene Study comprises a multiethnic, cross-sectional, observational cohort of non-Hispanic white and African American current and former smokers with at least 10 pack-years of smoking who were enrolled for detailed clinical and genetic studies of COPD and COPD-related traits. We performed multivariate logistic regression analysis for moderate to severe COPD and assessed Pi genotype with other relevant covariates in models stratified by race. We analyzed quantitative characteristics on the basis of volumetric computed tomography with generalized linear models controlling for genotype, scanner type, and similar covariates.

White PiMZ COPDGene subjects had significantly lower lung function, FEV1 percent predicted (68 ± 28 vs. 75 ± 27; P = 0.0005), and FEV1/FVC ratio (0.59 ± 0.18 vs. 0.63 ± 0.17; P = 0.0008), as well as more radiographic emphysema (P = 0.001), than subjects without alpha-1 antitrypsin Z risk alleles. Similarly, African American PiMZ subjects had lower lung function, FEV1 percent predicted (65 ± 33 vs. 84 ± 25; P = 0.009) and FEV1/FVC (0.61 ± 0.21 vs. 0.71 ± 0.15; P = 0.03).

In the COPDGene Study, we demonstrate that PiMZ heterozygous individuals who smoke are at increased risk for COPD and obstructive lung function impairment compared with Z-allele noncarriers, regardless of race. Although severe alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is uncommon in African Americans, our study adds further support for initial targeted detection of all subjects with COPD for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, including African Americans. Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00608784).

 

 

Dual-Phase Iontophoresis for the Delivery of Antisense Oligonucleotides.

Author information: Gibson DJ1, Tuli SS2, Schultz GS1.

1Institute for Wound Research, University of Florida , Gainesville, Florida.
2Department of Ophthalmology, University of Florida , Gainesville, Florida.
Journal: Nucleic Acid Therapeutics

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: In support of ongoing research in the study of corneal and skin wound healing, we sought to improve on previously published results by using iontophoresis to deliver RNA interference-based oligonucleotides. By using a electromechanics-based approach, we were able to devise a two-phase solution that separated the buffering solution from the antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) solution. The separation was obtained by making the drug solution a higher density than the buffer, leading it to sink directly onto the tissue surface. This change immediately decreased the distance that the ASO would have to travel before delivery. The changes enabled delivery into ex vivo skin and corneas in 10 or fewer minutes and into in vivo corneas in 5 min. In vivo studies demonstrated short-term bioavailability of at least 24 h, a lack of chemical or thermal injury, a lack of interference in the healing of a corneal injury, and an antisense effect till at least day 7, but not day 14. The only side-effect observed was postdelivery edema that was not present when the vehicle alone was iontophoresed. This suggests that electro-osmotic flow from the delivery chamber was not the mechanism, but that the delivered solute likely increased the tissue’s osmolarity. These results support the continued development and utilization of this ASO delivery approach in research-grade oligonucleotides to probe molecular biological pathways and in support of testing therapeutic ASOs in the skin and cornea.

 

 

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin-Deficient Macrophages Have Increased Matriptase-Mediated Proteolytic Activity.

Author information: Krotova K1, Marek GW1, Wang RL1, Aslanidi G2, Hoffman BE2, Khodayari N1, Rouhani FN1, Brantly ML1.

1Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, and.
2Department of Pediatrics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Journal: American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency-associated emphysema is largely attributed to insufficient inhibition of neutrophil elastase released from neutrophils. Correcting AAT levels using augmentation therapy only slows disease progression, and that suggests a more complex process of lung destruction. Because alveolar macrophages (Mɸ) express AAT, we propose that the expression and intracellular accumulation of mutated Z-AAT (the most common mutation) compromises Mɸ function and contributes to emphysema development. Extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation is a hallmark of emphysema pathology. In this study, Mɸ from individuals with Z-AAT (Z-Mɸ) have greater proteolytic activity on ECM than do normal Mɸ. This abnormal Z-Mɸ activity is not abrogated by supplementation with exogenous AAT and is likely the result of cellular dysfunction induced by intracellular accumulation of Z-AAT. Using pharmacologic inhibitors, we show that several classes of proteases are involved in matrix degradation by Z-Mɸ. Importantly, compared with normal Mɸ, the membrane-bound serine protease, matriptase, is present in Z-Mɸ at higher levels and contributes to their proteolytic activity on ECM. In addition, we identified matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-14, a membrane-anchored metalloproteinase, as a novel substrate for matriptase, and showed that matriptase regulates the levels of MMP-14 on the cell surface. Thus, high levels of matriptase may contribute to increased ECM degradation by Z-Mɸ, both directly and through MMP-14 activation. In summary, the expression of Z-AAT in Mɸ confers increased proteolytic activity on ECM. This proteolytic activity is not rescued by exogenous AAT supplementation and could thus contribute to augmentation resistance in AAT deficiency-associated emphysema.

 

 

Returning to normal? Assessing transcriptome recovery over time in male rainbow darter (Etheostoma caeruleum) liver in response to wastewater-treatment plant upgrades.

Author information: Marjan P1, Martyniuk CJ2, Fuzzen MLM1, MacLatchy DL3, McMaster ME4, Servos MR1.

1Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
2Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology and Department of Physiological Science, Genetics Institute, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
3Department of Biology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
4Canada Center Inland Waters, National Water Research Institute, Aquatic Contaminant Research Division, Environment Canada, Burlington, Ontario, Canada.
Journal: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: The present study measured hepatic transcriptome responses in male rainbow darter (Etheostoma caeruleum) exposed to 2 municipal wastewater-treatment plants (MWWTPs; Kitchener and Waterloo) over 4 fall seasons (2011-2014) in the Grand River (Ontario, Canada). The overall goal was to determine if upgrades at the Kitchener MWWTP (in 2012) resulted in transcriptome responses indicative of improved effluent quality. The number of differentially expressed probes in fish downstream of the Kitchener outfall (904-1223) remained comparable to that downstream of Waterloo (767-3867). Noteworthy was that year and the interaction of year and site explained variability in more than twice the number of transcripts than site alone, suggesting that year and the interaction of year and site had a greater effect on the transcriptome than site alone. Gene set enrichment analysis revealed a gradual reduction in the number of gene ontologies over time at exposure sites, which corresponded with lower contaminant load. Subnetwork enrichment analysis revealed that there were noticeable shifts in the cell pathways differently expressed in the liver preupgrade and postupgrade. The dominant pathways altered preupgrade were related to genetic modifications and cell division, whereas postupgrade they were associated with the immune system, reproduction, and biochemical responses. Molecular pathways were dynamic over time, and following the upgrades, there was little evidence that gene expression profiles in fish collected from high-impact sites postupgrade were more similar to those in fish collected from reference site. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:2108-2122. © 2017 SETAC.

 

 

Homologues of CsLOB1 in citrus function as disease susceptibility genes in citrus canker.

Author information: Zhang J1, Huguet-Tapia JC1, Hu Y1, Jones J1, Wang N2, Liu S3, White FF1.

1Department of Plant Pathology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA 32611.
2Citrus Research and Education Center/Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, University of Florida, Lake Alfred, FL, USA 33850.
3Department of Plant Pathology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA 66506.
Journal: Molecular Plant Pathology

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: The lateral organ boundary domain (LBD) genes encode a group of plant-specific proteins that function as transcription factors in the regulation of plant growth and development. Citrus sinensis lateral organ boundary 1 (CsLOB1) is a member of the LBD family and functions as a disease susceptibility gene in citrus bacterial canker (CBC). Thirty-four LBD members have been identified from the Citrus sinensis genome. We assessed the potential for additional members of LBD genes in citrus to function as surrogates for CsLOB1 in CBC, and compared host gene expression on induction of different LBD genes. Using custom-designed transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors, two members of the same clade as CsLOB1, named CsLOB2 and CsLOB3, were found to be capable of functioning similarly to CsLOB1 in CBC. RNA sequencing and quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analyses revealed a set of cell wall metabolic genes that are associated with CsLOB1, CsLOB2 and CsLOB3 expression and may represent downstream genes involved in CBC.

 

 

Thermal Stability as a Determinant of AAV Serotype Identity.

Author information: Bennett A1, Patel S1, Mietzsch M1, Jose A1, Lins-Austin B1, Yu JC1, Bothner B2, McKenna R1, Agbandje-McKenna M1.

1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Center for Structural Biology, The McKnight Brain Institute, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.
2Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59715, USA.
Journal: Molecular Therapy. Methods & Clinical Development

Date of e-pub: July 2017

Abstract: Currently, there are over 150 ongoing clinical trials utilizing adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) to target various genetic diseases, including hemophilia (AAV2 and AAV8), congenital heart failure (AAV1 and AAV6), cystic fibrosis (AAV2), rheumatoid arthritis (AAV2), and Batten disease (AAVrh.10). Prior to patient administration, AAV vectors must have their serotype, concentration, purity, and stability confirmed. Here, we report the application of differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF) as a good manufacturing practice (GMP) capable of determining the melting temperature (Tm) for AAV serotype identification. This is a simple, rapid, cost effective, and robust method utilizing small amounts of purified AAV capsids (∼25 μL of ∼1011 particles). AAV1-9 and AAVrh.10 exhibit specific Tms in buffer formulations commonly used in clinical trials. Notably, AAV2 and AAV3, which are the least stable, have varied Tms, whereas AAV5, the most stable, has a narrow Tm range in the different buffers, respectively. Vector stability was dictated by VP3 only, specifically, the ratio of basic/acidic amino acids, and was independent of VP1 and VP2 content or the genome packaged. Furthermore, stability of recombinant AAVs differing by a single basic or acidic amino acid residue are distinguishable. Hence, AAV DSF profiles can serve as a robust method for serotype identification of clinical vectors.

 

 

Selection and characterization of DNA aptamer against glucagon receptor by cell-SELEX.

Author information: Wang G1,2, Liu J1, Chen K1, Xu Y1, Liu B1, Liao J1, Zhu L2, Hu X3, Li J3, Pu Y1, Zhong W1, Fu T3, Liu H4, Tan W5,6.

1Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, 410008, China.
2Anhui Provincial Engineering Research Center for Polysaccharide Drugs, Anhui Province Key Laboratory of Active Biological Macromolecules, School of Pharmacy, Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, 241002, China.
3Molecular Science and Biomedicine Laboratory, State Key Laboratory for Chemo/Bio-Sensing and Chemometrics, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, College of Biology, and Collaborative Research Center of Molecular Engineering for Theranostics, Hunan University, Changsha, Hunan, 410082, China.
4Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, 410008, China. lhx900@aliyun.com.
5Molecular Science and Biomedicine Laboratory, State Key Laboratory for Chemo/Bio-Sensing and Chemometrics, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, College of Biology, and Collaborative Research Center of Molecular Engineering for Theranostics, Hunan University, Changsha, Hunan, 410082, China. tan@chem.ufl.edu.
6Department of Chemistry, Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, Center for Research at the Bio/Nano Interface, Shands Cancer Center, University of Florida Genetics Institute and McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 32611-7200, United States. tan@chem.ufl.edu.
Journal: Scientific Reports

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: Excessive secretion of glucagon, a functional insulin antagonist, significantly contributes to hyperglycemia. Glucagon exerts its physiological functions through activation of the glucagon receptor (GCGR). Inhibition of GCGR activity represents a potential therapeutic approach for reducing excess glucose production in diabetes mellitus. Aptamers are short DNA or RNA oligonucleotides evolved from systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX). Here, we have successfully selected a DNA aptamer against GCGR by cell-SELEX, which can specifically bind membrane protein of CHO-GCGR cells with a K d of 52.7 ± 5.1 nM. Aptamer-mediated pull-down and gcgr knockdown assay verified that GCGR was the target of aptamer GR-3. Binding analysis revealed that GR-3 could recognize other cells with different affinity according to the level of GCGR protein expressed in these cells. Hepatic tissue imaging suggested that GR-3 could bind the cell membrane of hepatic tissues. With the advantages of small size, high binding affinity, good stability, lack of immunogenicity, and easy synthesis, aptamer GR-3 against GCGR can be a promising tool with the potential to attenuate hyperglycemia in diabetes mellitus.

 

 

An antigen-specific semi-therapeutic treatment with local delivery of tolerogenic factors through a dual-sized microparticle system blocks experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

Author information: Cho JJ1, Stewart JM2, Drashansky TT1, Brusko MA2, Zuniga AN1, Lorentsen KJ1, Keselowsky BG3, Avram D4.

1Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.
2J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.
3J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA. Electronic address: bkeselowsky@bme.ufl.edu.
4Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA. Electronic address: Dorina.Avram@medicine.ufl.edu.
Journal: Biomaterials

Date of e-pub: July 2017

Abstract: Antigen-specific treatments are highly desirable for autoimmune diseases in contrast to treatments which induce systemic immunosuppression. A novel antigen-specific therapy has been developed which, when administered semi-therapeutically, is highly efficacious in the treatment of the mouse model for multiple sclerosis, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). The treatment uses dual-sized, polymeric microparticles (dMPs) loaded with specific antigen and tolerizing factors for intra- and extra-cellular delivery, designed to recruit and modulate dendritic cells toward a tolerogenic phenotype without systemic release. This approach demonstrated robust efficacy and provided complete protection against disease. Therapeutic efficacy required encapsulation of the factors in controlled-release microparticles and was antigen-specific. Disease blocking was associated with a reduction of infiltrating CD4+ T cells, inflammatory cytokine-producing pathogenic CD4+ T cells, and activated macrophages and microglia in the central nervous system. Furthermore, CD4+ T cells isolated from dMP-treated mice were anergic in response to disease-specific, antigen-loaded splenocytes. Additionally, the frequency of CD86hiMHCIIhi dendritic cells in draining lymph nodes of EAE mice treated with Ag-specific dMPs was reduced. Our findings highlight the efficacy of microparticle-based drug delivery platform to mediate antigen-specific tolerance, and suggest that such a multi-factor combinatorial approach can act to block autoimmunity.

 

 

Experimental design and modeling approach to evaluate efficacy of β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combinations.

Author information: Sy SKB1, Derendorf H2.

1Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.
2Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA. Electronic address: hartmut@cop.ufl.edu.
Journal: Clinical Microbiology and Infection : The Official Publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Date of e-pub: July 2017

Abstract: A β-lactamase inhibitor (BLI) confers susceptibility of β-lactamase-expressing multidrug resistant (MDR) organisms to the partnering β-lactam (BL).

To discuss the experimental design and modeling strategies for 2-drug combination, using ceftazidime- and aztreonam-avibactam combinations, as examples.

The information came from several publications on avibactam in vitro time-kill studies and corresponding pharmacodynamic models.

The experimental design to optimally gather crucial information from constant-concentration time-kill studies is to use an agile matrix of two-drug-concentration combinations that cover 0.25- to 4-fold BL minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) relative to the BLI concentrations to be tested against the particular isolate. This shifting agile design can save substantial costs and resources, without sacrificing crucial information needed for model development. The complex synergistic BL/BLI interaction is quantitatively explored using a semi-mechanistic pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) mathematical model that accounts for antimicrobial activities in the combination, bacteria-mediated BL degradation and inhibition of BL degradation by BLI. A predictive mathematical formulation for the two-drug killing effects preserves the correlation between the model-derived EC50 of BL and the BL MIC. The predictive value of PK/PD model is evaluated against external data that were not used for model development, including but not limited to in vitro hollow fiber and in vivo murine infection models.

As a framework for translational predictions, the goal of this modeling strategy is to significantly decrease the decision-making time by running clinical trial simulations with MIC-substituted EC50 function for isolates of comparable susceptibility through established correlation between BL MIC and EC50 values.

 

 

A pathologist’s perspective on induced pluripotent stem cells.

Author information: Watanabe N1, Santostefano KE1,2, Yachnis AT1, Terada N1,2.

1Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, USA.
2Center for Cellular Reprogramming, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, USA.
Journal: Laboratory Investigation; a Journal of Technical Methods and Pathology

Date of e-pub: July 2017

Abstract: Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology was originally developed in 2006. Essentially, it converts somatic cells into pluripotent stem cells by transiently expressing a few transcriptional factors. Once generated, these iPSCs can differentiate into all the cell types of our body, theoretically, which has attracted great attention for clinical research including disease pathobiology studies. Could this technology then become an additional research or diagnostic tool widely available to practicing pathologists? Here we summarize progress in iPSC research toward disease pathobiology studies, its future potential, and remaining problems from a pathologist’s perspective. A particular focus will be on introducing the effort to recapitulate disease-related morphological changes through three-dimensional culture of stem cells such as organoid differentiation.Laboratory Investigation advance online publication, 31 July 2017; doi:10.1038/labinvest.2017.81.

 

 

Synthetic lethality in malignant pleural mesothelioma with PARP1 inhibition.

Author information: Srinivasan G1, Sidhu GS1, Williamson EA1, Jaiswal AS1, Najmunnisa N1, Wilcoxen K2, Jones D1, George TJ Jr3, Hromas R4.

1Department of Medicine and the Cancer Center, University of Florida Health, 1600 SW Archer Rd, Gainesville, FL, 32610, USA.
2Tesaro, Waltham, MA, 02451, USA.
3Department of Medicine and the Cancer Center, University of Florida Health, 1600 SW Archer Rd, Gainesville, FL, 32610, USA. thom.george@medicine.ufl.edu.
4Department of Medicine and the Cancer Center, University of Florida Health, 1600 SW Archer Rd, Gainesville, FL, 32610, USA. rhromas@ufl.edu.
Journal: Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

Date of e-pub: July 2017

Abstract: Malignant pleural mesotheliomas (MPM) are most often surgically unresectable, and they respond poorly to current chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Between 23 and 64% of malignant pleural mesothelioma have somatic inactivating mutations in the BAP1 gene. BAP1 is a homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair component found in the BRCA1/BARD1 complex. Similar to BRCA1/2 deficient cancers, mutation in the BAP1 gene leads to a deficient HR pathway and increases the reliance on other DNA repair pathways. We hypothesized that BAP1-mutant MPM would require PARP1 for survival, similar to the BRCA1/2 mutant breast and ovarian cancers. Therefore, we used the clinical PARP1 inhibitors niraparib and olaparib to assess whether they could induce synthetic lethality in MPM. Surprisingly, we found that all MPM cell lines examined, regardless of BAP1 status, were addicted to PARP1-mediated DNA repair for survival. We found that niraparib and olaparib exposure markedly decreased clonal survival in multiple MPM cell lines, with and without BAP1 mutations. This clonal cell death may be due to the extensive replication fork collapse and genomic instability that PARP1 inhibition induces in MPM cells. The requirement of MPM cells for PARP1 suggests that they may generally arise from defects in HR DNA repair. More importantly, these data demonstrate that the PARP1 inhibitors could be effective in the treatment of MPM, for which little effective therapy exists.

 

 

Gene-based Therapy in a Mouse Model of Blue Cone Monochromacy.

Author information: Zhang Y1,2, Deng WT1, Du W1,3, Zhu P1, Li J1, Xu F1,4, Sun J1,5, Gerstner CD6, Baehr W6, Sanford LB1, Zhao C7,8, Hauswirth WW9, Pang JJ10,11,12.

1Ophthalmology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
2Department of Ophthalmology, First Affiliated Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.
3Ophthalmology Department of Peking University People’s Hospital, Peking University People’s Eye Center and Eye Institute, Beijing, China.
4Department of Ophthalmology, People’s Hospital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Nanning, Guangxi, China.
5Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Shanxi Dayi Hospital, Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, China.
6Opthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
7Department of Ophthalmology, First Affiliated Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. dr_zhaochen@163.com.
8Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science, Eye & ENT Hospital, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. dr_zhaochen@163.com.
9Ophthalmology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA. hauswrth@ufl.edu.
10Ophthalmology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA. jpang@ufl.edu.
11Department of Ophthalmology, First Affiliated Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. jpang@ufl.edu.
12Xiamen Eye Center of Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian, China. jpang@ufl.edu.
Journal: Scientific Reports

Date of e-pub: July 2017

Abstract: Cones are responsible for daylight, central, high acuity and color vision. Three proteins found in human cones, i.e. long-wavelength (L)-, middle-wavelength (M)-, and short-wavelength sensitive (S)-opsins, are responsible for red, green and blue color recognition, respectively. Human blue cone monochromacy (BCM) is characterized by functional loss of both L- and M-cone opsins due to mutations in the OPN1LW/OPN1MW gene cluster on the X chromosome. BCM patients, who rely on their vision from only S-cones and rods, suffer severely reduced visual acuity and impaired color vision. Recent studies show that there is sufficient cone structure remaining in the central fovea of BCM patients to consider AAV-mediated gene augmentation therapy. In contrast, mouse retina has only two opsins, S-opsin and M-opsin, but no L-opsin. We generated an M-opsin knockout mouse (Opn1mw -/-) expressing only S-opsin as a model for human BCM. We show that recombinant M-opsin delivered by AAV5 vectors rescues M-cone function in Opn1mw -/- mice. We also show that AAV delivered M-opsin localizes in the dorsal cone outer segments, and co-localizes with S-opsin in the ventral retina. Our study demonstrates that cones without M-opsin remain viable and respond to gene augmentation therapy, thereby providing proof-of-concept for cone function restoration in BCM patients.

 

 

Developing a 670k genotyping array to tag ~2M SNPs across 24 horse breeds.

Author information: Schaefer RJ1, Schubert M2, Bailey E3, Bannasch DL4, Barrey E5, Bar-Gal GK6, Brem G7, Brooks SA8, Distl O9, Fries R10, Finno CJ4, Gerber V11, Haase B12, Jagannathan V13, Kalbfleisch T14, Leeb T13, Lindgren G15, Lopes MS16, Mach N5, da Câmara Machado A16, MacLeod JN3, McCoy A17, Metzger J9, Penedo C18, Polani S6, Rieder S19, Tammen I12, Tetens J20,21, Thaller G20, Verini-Supplizi A22, Wade CM12, Wallner B7, Orlando L2,23, Mickelson JR24, McCue ME25.

1Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, USA.
2Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
3Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center, Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.
4School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA, 95616, USA.
5Unité de Génétique Animale et Biologie Intégrative- UMR1313, INRA, Université Paris-Saclay, AgroParisTech, 78350, Jouy-en-Josas, France.
6The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, The Hebrew University, 76100, Rehovot, Israel.
7Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
8Department of Animal Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
9Institute for Animal Breeding and Genetics, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany.
10Lehrstuhl für Tierzucht der Technischen Universität München, Liesel-Beckmann-Strasse 1, 85354, Freising, Germany.
11Swiss Institute of Equine Medicine, Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, and Agroscope, Länggassstrasse 124, 3001, Bern, Switzerland.
12School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Regimental Drive, B19-301 RMC Gunn, Sydney, NSW, 2006, Australia.
13Institute of Genetics, University of Bern, 3001, Bern, Switzerland.
14Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, 40202, USA.
15Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
16Biotechnology Centre of Azores, University of Azores, Angra do heroísmo, Portugal.
17Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL, 61802, USA.
18Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, University of California Davis, Davis, CA, USA.
19Agroscope, Swiss National Stud Farm, 1580, Avenches, Switzerland.
20Institute of Animal Breeding and Husbandry, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, Hermann-Rodewald-Strasse 6, 24098, Kiel, Germany.
21Department of Animal Sciences, Functional Breeding Group, Georg-August University Göttingen, Burckhardtweg 2, 37077, Göttingen, Germany.
22Department of Veterinary Medicine – Sport Horse Research Centre, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy.
23Laboratoire d’Anthropobiologie Moléculaire et d’Imagerie de Synthèse, CNRS UMR 5288, Université de Toulouse, Université Paul Sabatier, 31000, Toulouse, France.
24Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, USA.
25Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, USA. mccu0173@umn.edu.
Journal: BMC Genomics

Date of e-pub: July 2017

Abstract: To date, genome-scale analyses in the domestic horse have been limited by suboptimal single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) density and uneven genomic coverage of the current SNP genotyping arrays. The recent availability of whole genome sequences has created the opportunity to develop a next generation, high-density equine SNP array.

Using whole genome sequence from 153 individuals representing 24 distinct breeds collated by the equine genomics community, we cataloged over 23 million de novo discovered genetic variants. Leveraging genotype data from individuals with both whole genome sequence, and genotypes from lower-density, legacy SNP arrays, a subset of ~5 million high-quality, high-density array candidate SNPs were selected based on breed representation and uniform spacing across the genome. Considering probe design recommendations from a commercial vendor (Affymetrix, now Thermo Fisher Scientific) a set of ~2 million SNPs were selected for a next-generation high-density SNP chip (MNEc2M). Genotype data were generated using the MNEc2M array from a cohort of 332 horses from 20 breeds and a lower-density array, consisting of ~670 thousand SNPs (MNEc670k), was designed for genotype imputation.

Here, we document the steps taken to design both the MNEc2M and MNEc670k arrays, report genomic and technical properties of these genotyping platforms, and demonstrate the imputation capabilities of these tools for the domestic horse.

 

 

More on Intralymphatic Injection of Autoantigen in Type 1 Diabetes.

Author information: Haller M1,2, Atkinson M1, Schatz D1.

1University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
2hallemj@peds.ufl.edu
Journal: The New England Journal of Medicine

Date of e-pub: July 2017

Abstract: N/A

 

 

Using Organizational Philosophy to Create a Self-Sustaining Compensation Plan Without Harming Academic Missions.

Author information: Leverence R1, Nuttall R, Palmer R, Segal M, Wood A, Yancey F, Shuster J, Brantly M, Hromas R.

1R. Leverence is professor and vice chair, Department of Medicine, and chief, Division of Hospital Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida Health, and director of utilization review, Shands Teaching Hospital, Gainesville, Florida.R. Nuttall is chief financial officer, School of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas.R. Palmer is vice chair for administration, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida Health, Gainesville, Florida.M. Segal is professor and chief, Division of Nephrology, Hypertension, and Renal Transplantation, and co-vice chair for research, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida Health, Gainesville, Florida.A. Wood is chief financial officer, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida Health, Gainesville, Florida.F. Yancey is chief operating officer, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida Health, Gainesville, Florida.J. Shuster is professor, Departments of Health Outcomes and Policy, and Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design Program, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and biostatistician, College of Medicine, University of Florida Health, Gainesville, Florida.M. Brantly is professor and chief, Division of Pulmonary, Sleep and Critical Care Medicine, and co-vice chair for research, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida Health, Gainesville, Florida.R. Hromas is professor and chair, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida Health, Gainesville, Florida.
Journal: Academic Medicine : Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: Academic physician reimbursement has moved to productivity-based compensation plans. To be sustainable, such plans must be self-funding. Additionally, unless research and education are appropriately valued, faculty involved in these efforts will become disillusioned, yet revenue generation in these activities is less robust than for clinical care activities.

Faculty at the Department of Medicine, University of Florida Health, elected a committee of junior and senior faculty and division chiefs to restructure the compensation plan in fiscal year (FY) 2011. This committee was charged with designing a new compensation plan based on seven principles of organizational philosophy: equity, compensation coupled to productivity, authority aligned with responsibility, respect for all academic missions, transparency, professionalism, and self-funding in each academic mission.

The new compensation plan was implemented in FY2013. A survey administered at the end of FY2015 showed that 61% (76/125) of faculty were more satisfied with this plan than the previous plan. Since the year before implementation, clinical relative value units per faculty increased 7% (from 3,458 in FY2012 to 3,704 in FY2015, P < .002), incentives paid per faculty increased 250% (from $3,191 in FY2012 to $11,153 in FY2015, P ≤ .001), and publications per faculty increased 15% (from 2.6 in FY2012 to 3.0 in FY2015, P < .001). Grant submissions, external funding, and teaching hours also increased per faculty but did not reach statistical significance.

 

 

Post-hypoxia Invasion of the fetal brain by multidrug resistant Staphylococcus.

Author information: Zarate MA1, Rodriguez MD2, Chang EI1, Russell JT2, Arndt TJ1, Richards EM3, Ocasio BA2, Aranda E2, Gordon EM1, Yu K1, Neu J4, Keller-Wood M3, Triplett EW2, Wood CE5.

1Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida, USA.
2Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.
3Department of Pharmacodynamics, University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Gainesville, Florida, USA.
4Department of Pediatrics, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida, USA.
5Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida, USA. woodc@ufl.edu.
Journal: Scientific Reports

Date of e-pub: July 2017

Abstract: Herein we describe an association between activation of inflammatory pathways following transient hypoxia and the appearance of the multidrug resistant bacteria Staphylococcus simulans in the fetal brain. Reduction of maternal arterial oxygen tension by 50% over 30 min resulted in a subseiuent significant over-expression of genes associated with immune responses 24 h later in the fetal brain. The activated genes were consistent with stimulation by bacterial lipopolysaccharide; an influx of macrophages and appearance of live bacteria were found in these fetal brains. S. simulans was the predominant bacterial species in fetal brain after hypoxia, but was found in placenta of all animals. Strains of S. simulans from the placenta and fetal brain were equally highly resistant to multiple antibiotics including methicillin and had identical genome sequences. These results suggest that bacteria from the placenta invade the fetal brain after maternal hypoxia.

 

 

Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder-Reply.

Author information: Hirschtritt ME1, Bloch MH2, Mathews CA3.

1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco.
2Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
3Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida, Gainesville.
Journal: JAMA

Date of e-pub: July 2017

Abstract: N/A

 

 

The evolutionary history of the DMRT3 ‘Gait keeper’ haplotype.

Author information: Staiger EA1, Almén MS1, Promerová M1, Brooks S2, Cothran EG3, Imsland F1, Jäderkvist Fegraeus K4, Lindgren G4, Mehrabani Yeganeh H5, Mikko S4, Vega-Pla JL6, Tozaki T7, Rubin CJ1, Andersson L1,3,4.

1Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, SE-75123, Uppsala, Sweden.
2Department of Animal Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611-0910, USA.
3Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 77843-4458, USA.
4Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-75007, Uppsala, Sweden.
5Department of Animal Science, University of Tehran, 54500, Tehran, Iran.
6Laboratorio de Investigación Aplicada, Cría Caballar de las Fuerzas Armadas, 14080, Cordoba, Spain.
7Genetic Analysis Department, Laboratory of Racing Chemistry, Tochigi 320-0851, Utsunomiya, Japan.
Journal: Animal Genetics

Date of e-pub: July 2017

Abstract: A previous study revealed a strong association between the DMRT3:Ser301STOP mutation in horses and alternate gaits as well as performance in harness racing. Several follow-up studies have confirmed a high frequency of the mutation in gaited horse breeds and an effect on gait quality. The aim of this study was to determine when and where the mutation arose, to identify additional potential causal mutations and to determine the coalescence time for contemporary haplotypes carrying the stop mutation. We utilized sequences from 89 horses representing 26 breeds to identify 102 SNPs encompassing the DMRT3 gene that are in strong linkage disequilibrium with the stop mutation. These 102 SNPs were genotyped in an additional 382 horses representing 72 breeds, and we identified 14 unique haplotypes. The results provided conclusive evidence that DMRT3:Ser301STOP is causal, as no other sequence polymorphisms showed an equally strong association to locomotion traits. The low sequence diversity among mutant chromosomes demonstrated that they must have diverged from a common ancestral sequence within the last 10 000 years. Thus, the mutation occurred either just before domestication or more likely some time after domestication and then spread across the world as a result of selection on locomotion traits.

 

 

Personalizing antiplatelet prescribing using genetics for patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention.

Author information: Cavallari LH1.

1Department of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research and Center for Pharmacogenomics , University of Florida College of Pharmacy , Gainesville , FL , USA.
Journal: Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: Clopidogrel is commonly prescribed with aspirin to reduce the risk for adverse cardiovascular events after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). However, there is significant inter-patient variability in clopidogrel response. The CYP2C19 enzyme is involved in the biotransformation of clopidogrel to its pharmacologically active form, and variation in the CYP2C19 gene contributes to clopidogrel response variability. Areas covered. This article describes the impact of CYP2C19 genotype on clopidogrel pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and effectiveness. Examples of clinical implementation of CYP2C19 genotype-guided antiplatelet therapy for patients undergoing PCI are also described as are emerging outcomes data with this treatment approach. Expert commentary. A large clinical trial evaluating outcomes with CYP2C19 genotype-guided antiplatelet therapy after PCI is on-going. In the meantime, data from pragmatic and observational studies and smaller trials support improved outcomes with genotyping after PCI and use of alternative antiplatelet therapy in patients with a CYP2C19 genotype associated with reduced clopidogrel effectiveness.

 

 

Insights into the historical assembly of East Asian subtropical evergreen broadleaved forests revealed by the temporal history of the tea family.

Author information: Yu XQ1, Gao LM2, Soltis DE3,4,5, Soltis PS3,5, Yang JB1, Fang L6, Yang SX2, Li DZ1.

1Germplasm Bank of Wild Species, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, Yunnan, 650201, China.
2Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, Yunnan, 650201, China.
3Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA.
4Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA.
5Genetics Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32608, USA.
6College of Life Sciences, Jiujiang University, Jiujiang, Jiangxi, 332000, China.
Journal: The New Phytologist

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: Subtropical evergreen broadleaved forests (EBLFs) inhabit large areas of East Asia. Although paleovegetation reconstructions have revealed that the subtropical EBLFs existed in Southwest China during the Miocene, the historical construction of these forests remains poorly known. Here, we used the tea family (Theaceae), a characteristic component of the subtropical EBLFs, to gain new insights into the assembly of this important biome. Using a robust phylogenetic framework of Theaceae based on plastome and nuclear ribosomal DNA sequence data, the temporal history of the family was reconstructed. Data from other characteristic components of subtropical EBLFs, including Fagaceae, Lauraceae and Magnoliaceae, were also integrated. Most of the essential elements of the subtropical EBLFs appear to have originated around the Oligocene-Miocene (O-M) boundary. However, small woody lineages (e.g. Camellia, Hartia) from Theaceae were dated to the late Miocene. Accelerated net diversification rates within Theaceae were also detected near the O-M transition period and the late Miocene. Our results suggest that two independent intensifications of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) around the O-M boundary and the late Miocene may have facilitated the historical assembly of the subtropical EBLFs in East Asia.

 

 

Smart Human-Serum-Albumin-As2 O3 Nanodrug with Self-Amplified Folate Receptor-Targeting Ability for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment.

Author information: Peng Y1, Zhao Z1, Liu T1,2, Li X2, Hu X1, Wei X3, Zhang X1, Tan W1,4.

1Molecular Science and Biomedicine Laboratory, State Key Laboratory for Chemo/Bio-Sensing and Chemometrics, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Aptamer Engineering Center of Hunan Province, Hunan University, Changsha, 410082, China.
2Department of Infectious Diseases, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, 410008, China.
3Center for Clinical Molecular Medicine, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Child Development and Dis-orders, Children’s Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400014, China.
4Department of Chemistry, Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, Center for Research at Bio/Nano Interface, UF Health Cancer Center, UF Genetics Institute and McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611-7200, USA.
Journal: Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: Arsenic trioxide (ATO, As2 O3 ) is currently used to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia. However, expanding its use to include high-dose treatment of other cancers is severely hampered by serious side effects on healthy organs. To address these limitations, we loaded ATO onto folate (FA)-labeled human serum albumin (HSA) pretreated with glutathione (GSH) based on the low pH- and GSH-sensitive arsenic-sulfur bond, and we termed the resulting smart nanodrug as FA-HSA-ATO. FA-HSA-ATO could specifically recognize folate receptor-β-positive (FRβ+) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) cells, resulting in more intracellular accumulation of ATO. Furthermore, the nanodrug could upregulate FRβ expression in CML cancer cells and xenograft tumor model, facilitating even more recruitment and uptake of FRβ-targeting drugs. In vitro and in vivo experiments indicate that the nanodrug significantly alleviates side effects and improves therapeutic efficacy of ATO on CML and xenograft tumor model.

 

 

Type 1 Diabetes and Type 1 Interferonopathies: Localization of a Type 1 Common Thread of Virus Infection in the Pancreas.

Author information: Jean-Baptiste VSE1, Xia CQ2, Clare-Salzler MJ3, Horwitz MS4.

1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity (I3) Research Group, Life Sciences Institute, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z3, Canada.
2Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida 32610, USA.
3Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida, USA.
4Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity (I3) Research Group, Life Sciences Institute, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z3, Canada. Electronic address: mhorwitz@mail.ubc.ca.
Journal: EBioMedicine

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: Type 1 diabetes (T1D) has been associated with both genetic and environmental factors. Increasing incidence of T1D worldwide is prompting researchers to adopt different approaches to explain the biology of T1D, beyond the presence and activity of autoreactive lymphocytes. In this review, we propose inflammatory pathways as triggers for T1D. Within the scope of those inflammatory pathways and in understanding the pathogenesis of disease, we suggest that viruses, in particular Coxsackieviruses, act by causing a type 1 interferonopathy within the pancreas and the microenvironment of the islet. As such, this connection and common thread represents an exciting platform for the development of new diagnostic, treatment and/or prevention options.

 

 

Intake of Energy and Protein is Associated with Overweight Risk at Age 5.5 Years: Results from the Prospective TEDDY Study.

Author information: Beyerlein A1,2, Uusitalo UM3, Virtanen SM4,5,6,7, Vehik K3, Yang J3, Winkler C1,2, Kersting M8, Koletzko S9, Schatz D10, Aronsson CA11, Elding Larsson H11, Krischer JP3, Ziegler AG1,2, Norris JM12, Hummel S1,2; TEDDY Study Group.

1Institute of Diabetes Research, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Munich, Germany.
2Forschergruppe Diabetes, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Forschergruppe Diabetes e.V., Neuherberg, Germany.
3Health Informatics Institute, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA.
4Unit of Nutrition, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.
5School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.
6Center for Child Health Research, University of Tampere and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.
7The Science Center of Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Tampere, Finland.
8Research Institute of Child Nutrition, Pediatric University Clinic, Ruhr University at Bochum, Bochum, Germany.
9Dr. v. Hauner Children’s Hospital, University Munich Medical Center, Munich, Germany.
10Departments of Pediatrics and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.
11Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital SUS, Malmö, Sweden.
12Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado, USA.
Journal: Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: The associations of energy, protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake with weight status up to the age of 5.5 years were prospectively assessed in The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study.

Food record data (over 3 days) and BMI measurements between 0.25 and 5.5 years were available from 5,563 children with an increased genetic risk for type 1 diabetes followed from shortly after birth. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated for overweight and obesity by previous intake of energy, protein, carbohydrate, and fat with adjustment for potential confounders.

Having overweight or obesity at the age of 5.5 years was positively associated with mean energy intake in previous age intervals (e.g., adjusted OR [95% CI] for overweight: 1.06 [1.04-1.09] per 100 kcal intake at the age of 4.5-5.0 years) and with protein intake after the age of 3.5 and 4.5 years, respectively (e.g., adjusted OR for overweight: 1.06 [1.03-1.09] per 1% of energy intake at the age of 4.5-5.0 years). The respective associations with carbohydrate and fat intake were less consistent.

These findings indicate that energy and protein intake are positively associated with increased risk for overweight in childhood but yield no evidence for potential programming effects of protein intake in infancy.

 

 

ATM, radiation, and the risk of second primary breast cancer.

Author information: Bernstein JL1; WECARE Study Collaborative Group, Concannon P2.

1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics , Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center , New York , NY , U.S.A.
2Genetics Institute and Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine , University of Florida , Gainesville , FL , U.S.A.
Journal: International Journal of Radiation biology

Date of e-pub: July 2017

Abstract: It was first suggested more than 40 years ago that heterozygous carriers for the human autosomal recessive disorder Ataxia-Telangiectasia (A-T) might also be at increased risk for cancer. Subsequent studies have identified the responsible gene, Ataxia-Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM), characterized genetic variation at this locus in A-T and a variety of different cancers, and described the functions of the ATM protein with regard to cellular DNA damage responses. However, an overall model of how ATM contributes to cancer risk, and in particular, the role of DNA damage in this process, remains lacking. This review considers these questions in the context of contralateral breast cancer (CBC).

Heterozygous carriers of loss of function mutations in ATM that are A-T causing, are at increased risk of breast cancer. However, examination of a range of genetic variants, both rare and common, across multiple cancers, suggests that ATM may have additional effects on cancer risk that are allele-dependent. In the case of CBC, selected common alleles at ATM are associated with a reduced incidence of CBC, while other rare and predicted deleterious variants may act jointly with radiation exposure to increase risk. Further studies that characterize germline and somatic ATM mutations in breast cancer and relate the detected genetic changes to functional outcomes, particularly with regard to radiation responses, are needed to gain a complete picture of the complex relationship between ATM, radiation and breast cancer.

 

 

miRNA-mediated post-transcriptional silencing of transgenes leads to increased adeno-associated viral vector yield and targeting specificity.

Author information: Reid CA1,2, Boye SL2, Hauswirth WW2, Lipinski DM1,2,3.

1Department of Ophthalmology, Eye Institute, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.
2Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
3Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
Journal: Gene Therapy

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: The production of high-titer recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vector is essential for treatment of genetic diseases affecting the retina and choroid, where anatomical constraints may limit injectable volumes. Problematically, cytotoxicity arising from overexpression of the transgene during vector production frequently leads to a reduction in vector yield. Herein, we evaluate the use of microRNA (miRNA)-mediated silencing to limit overexpression of cytotoxic transgenes during packaging as a method of increasing vector yield. We examined if post-transcriptional regulation of transgenes during packaging via miRNA technology would lead to increased rAAV yields. Our results demonstrate that silencing of cytotoxic transgenes during production resulted in up to a 22-fold increase in vector yield. The inclusion of organ-specific miRNA sequences improved biosafety by limiting off-target expression following systemic rAAV administration. The small size (22-23 bp) of the target site allows for the inclusion of multiple copies into the vector with minimal impact on coding capacity. Taken together, our results suggest that inclusion of miRNA target sites into the 3′-untranslated region of the AAV cassette allow for silencing of cytotoxic transgenes during vector production leading to improved vector yield, in addition to increasing targeting specificity without reliance on cell-specific promoters.

 

 

Submicroscopic malaria infections in pregnant women from six departments in Haiti.

Author information: Elbadry MA1,2, Tagliamonte MS3, Raccurt CP4, Lemoine JF5, Existe A4, Boncy J4, Weppelmann TA6, Dame JB2,3, Okech BA1,2.

1Department of Environmental and Global Health, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
2Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
3Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
4Laboratoire National de Santé Publique, Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
5Programme National de Contrôle de la Malaria, Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
6Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA.
Journal: Tropical Medicine & International Health : TM & IH

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: To describe the epidemiology of malaria in pregnancy in Haiti.

Cross-sectional study among pregnant women in six departments of Haiti. After obtaining informed consent, whole blood samples and demographic surveys were collected to investigate malaria prevalence, anaemia and socio-behavioural risk factors for infection, respectively. A total of 311 pregnant women were screened for Plasmodium falciparum infection using a rapid diagnostic test (RDT), microscopy and a novel, quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction method (qRT-PCR).

Overall, 1.2% (4/311) of pregnant women were tested positive for malaria infection by both microscopy and RDT. However, using the qRT-PCR, 16.4% (51/311) of pregnant women were positive. The prevalence of malaria infection varied with geographical locations ranging between 0% and 46.4%. Additionally, 53% of pregnant women had some form of anaemia; however, no significant association was found between anaemia and submicroscopic malaria infection. The socio-behavioural risk factors identified to be protective of malaria infection were marital status (P < 0.05) and travel within one month prior to screening (P < 0.05).

This study is the first to document the high prevalence of submicroscopic malaria infections among pregnant women in Haiti and identify social and behavioural risk factors for disease transmission.

 

 

The Enzyme Activity and Substrate Specificity of Two Major Cinnamyl Alcohol Dehydrogenases in Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), SbCAD2 and SbCAD4.

Author information: Jun SY1, Walker AM2, Kim H3, Ralph J3, Vermerris W4,5, Sattler SE6, Kang C7,2.

1Department of Chemistry, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164.
2School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164.
3Department of Biochemistry and Department of Energy Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53726.
4Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32610.
5University of Florida, Genetics Institute, Gainesville, Florida 32610.
6United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Wheat, Sorghum, and Forage Research Unit, Lincoln, Nebraska 68583.
7Department of Chemistry, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164 chkang@wsu.edu.
Journal: Plant Physiology

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: Cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) catalyzes the final step in monolignol biosynthesis, reducing sinapaldehyde, coniferaldehyde, and p-coumaraldehyde to their corresponding alcohols in an NADPH-dependent manner. Because of its terminal location in monolignol biosynthesis, the variation in substrate specificity and activity of CAD can result in significant changes in overall composition and amount of lignin. Our in-depth characterization of two major CAD isoforms, SbCAD2 (Brown midrib 6 [bmr6]) and SbCAD4, in lignifying tissues of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), a strategic plant for generating renewable chemicals and fuels, indicates their similarity in both structure and activity to Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) CAD5 and Populus tremuloides sinapyl alcohol dehydrogenase, respectively. This first crystal structure of a monocot CAD combined with enzyme kinetic data and a catalytic model supported by site-directed mutagenesis allows full comparison with dicot CADs and elucidates the potential signature sequence for their substrate specificity and activity. The L119W/G301F-SbCAD4 double mutant displayed its substrate preference in the order coniferaldehyde > p-coumaraldehyde > sinapaldehyde, with higher catalytic efficiency than that of both wild-type SbCAD4 and SbCAD2. As SbCAD4 is the only major CAD isoform in bmr6 mutants, replacing SbCAD4 with L119W/G301F-SbCAD4 in bmr6 plants could produce a phenotype that is more amenable to biomass processing.

 

 

Mechanisms of efficient As solubilization in soils and As accumulation by As-hyperaccumulator Pteris vittata.

Author information: Han YH1, Liu X1, Rathinasabapathi B2, Li HB1, Chen Y3, Ma LQ4.

1State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Jiangsu, 210046, China.
2Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States.
3State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Jiangsu, 210046, China. Electronic address: chenyanshan@nju.edu.cn.
4State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Jiangsu, 210046, China; Soil and Water Science Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States. Electronic address: lqma@ufl.edu.
Journal: Environmental Pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: Arsenic (As) in soils is of major environmental concern due to its ubiquity and carcinogenicity. Pteris vittata (Chinese brake fern) is the first known As-hyperaccumulator, which is highly efficient in extracting As from soils and translocating it to the fronds, making it possible to be used for phytoremediation of As-contaminated soils. In addition, P. vittata has served as a model plant to study As metabolisms in plants. Based on the recent advances, we reviewed the mechanisms of efficient As solubilization and transformation in rhizosphere soils of P. vittata and effective As uptake, translocation and detoxification in P. vittata. We also provided future research perspectives to further improve As phytoremediation by P. vittata.

 

 

A test of genomic modularity among life-history adaptations promoting speciation with gene flow.

Author information: Ragland GJ1,2,3, Doellman MM1, Meyers PJ1, Hood GR1,4, Egan SP1,4,5, Powell THQ1,6,7, Hahn DA6, Nosil P8, Feder JL1,2,5.

1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA.
2Environmental Change Initiative, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA.
3Department of Integrative Biology, University of Colorado – Denver, Denver, CO, USA.
4Department of Biosciences, Rice University, Houston, TX, USA.
5Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics Initiative, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA.
6Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
7Department of Biological Sciences, State University of New York – Binghamton, Binghamton, NY, USA.
8Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
Journal: Molecular Ecology

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: Speciation with gene flow may require adaptive divergence of multiple traits to generate strong ecologically based reproductive isolation. Extensive negative pleiotropy or physical linkage of genes in the wrong phase affecting these diverging traits may therefore hinder speciation, while genetic independence or “modularity” among phenotypic traits may reduce constraints and facilitate divergence. Here, we test whether the genetics underlying two components of diapause life history, initial diapause intensity and diapause termination timing, constrain differentiation between sympatric hawthorn and apple-infesting host races of the fly Rhagoletis pomonella through analysis of 10,256 SNPs measured via genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS). Loci genetically associated with diapause termination timing were mainly observed for SNPs mapping to chromosomes 1-3 in the genome, most notably for SNPs displaying higher levels of linkage disequilibrium (LD), likely due to inversions. In contrast, selection on initial diapause intensity affected loci on all five major chromosomes of the genome, specifically those showing low levels of LD. This lack of overlap in genetically associated loci suggests that the two diapause phenotypes are largely modular. On chromosome 2, however, intermediate level LD loci and a subgroup of high LD loci displayed significant negative relationships between initial diapause intensity and diapause termination time. These gene regions on chromosome 2 therefore affected both traits, while most regions were largely independent. Moreover, loci associated with both measured traits also tended to exhibit highly divergent allele frequencies between the host races. Thus, the presence of nonoverlapping genetic modules likely facilitates simultaneous, adaptive divergence for the measured life-history components.

 

 

Preemptive Panel-Based Pharmacogenetic Testing: The Time is Now.

Author information: Weitzel KW1,2, Cavallari LH3,4, Lesko LJ5.

1Department of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research, and Center for Pharmacogenomics, University of Florida College of Pharmacy, PO Box 100486, Gainesville, Florida, 32610-0486, USA. kweitzel@cop.ufl.edu.
2UF Health Personalized Medicine Program,, Gainesville, Florida, USA. kweitzel@cop.ufl.edu.
3Department of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research, and Center for Pharmacogenomics, University of Florida College of Pharmacy, PO Box 100486, Gainesville, Florida, 32610-0486, USA.
4UF Health Personalized Medicine Program,, Gainesville, Florida, USA.
5Department of Pharmaceutics, University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Orlando, Florida, USA.
Journal: Pharmaceutical Research

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: While recent discoveries have paved the way for the use of genotype-guided prescribing in some clinical environments, significant debate persists among clinicians and researchers about the optimal approach to pharmacogenetic testing in clinical practice. One crucial factor in this debate surrounds the timing and methodology of genotyping, specifically whether genotyping should be performed reactively for targeted genes when a single drug is prescribed, or preemptively using a panel-based approach prior to drug prescribing. While early clinical models that employed a preemptive approach were largely developed in academic health centers through multidisciplinary efforts, increasing examples of pharmacogenetic testing are emerging in community-based and primary care practice environments. However, educational and practice-based resources for these clinicians remain largely nonexistent. As such, there is a need for the health care system to shift its focus from debating about preemptive genotyping to developing and disseminating needed resources to equip frontline clinicians for clinical implementation of pharmacogenetics. Providing tools and guidance to support these emerging models of care will be essential to support the thoughtful, evidence-based use of pharmacogenetic information in diverse clinical practice environments. Specifically, the creation of efficient and accurate point-of-care resources, practice-based tools, and clinical models is needed, along with identification and dissemination of sustainable avenues for pharmacogenetic test reimbursement.

 

 

Whole genome sequencing reveals a novel deletion variant in the KIT gene in horses with white spotted coat colour phenotypes.

Author information: Dürig N1,2, Jude R1,2,3, Holl H4,5, Brooks SA4, Lafayette C5, Jagannathan V1,2, Leeb T1,2.

1Vetsuisse Faculty, Institute of Genetics, University of Bern, 3001, Bern, Switzerland.
2DermFocus, University of Bern, 3001, Bern, Switzerland.
3RJC, 53919, Weilerswist, Germany.
4Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611-0910, USA.
5Etalon Inc., Menlo Park, CA, 94025, USA.
Journal: Animal Genetics

Date of e-pub: August 2017

Abstract: White spotting phenotypes in horses can range in severity from the common white markings up to completely white horses. EDNRB, KIT, MITF, PAX3 and TRPM1 represent known candidate genes for such phenotypes in horses. For the present study, we re-investigated a large horse family segregating a variable white spotting phenotype, for which conventional Sanger sequencing of the candidate genes’ individual exons had failed to reveal the causative variant. We obtained whole genome sequence data from an affected horse and specifically searched for structural variants in the known candidate genes. This analysis revealed a heterozygous ~1.9-kb deletion spanning exons 10-13 of the KIT gene (chr3:77,740,239_77,742,136del1898insTATAT). In continuity with previously named equine KIT variants we propose to designate the newly identified deletion variant W22. We had access to 21 horses carrying the W22 allele. Four of them were compound heterozygous W20/W22 and had a completely white phenotype. Our data suggest that W22 represents a true null allele of the KIT gene, whereas the previously identified W20 leads to a partial loss of function. These findings will enable more precise genetic testing for depigmentation phenotypes in horses.

 

 

NOTE: These abstracts were retrieved from the U.S. National Library of Medicine website managed in collaboration with the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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