101 research outputs found

    Mitochondria-encoded genes contribute to evolution of heat and cold tolerance in yeast

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    Genetic analysis of phenotypic differences between species is typically limited to interfertile species. Here, we conducted a genome-wide noncomplementation screen to identify genes that contribute to a major difference in thermal growth profile between two reproductively isolated yeast species, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces uvarum. The screen identified only a single nuclear-encoded gene with a moderate effect on heat tolerance, but, in contrast, revealed a large effect of mitochondrial DNA (mitotype) on both heat and cold tolerance. Recombinant mitotypes indicate that multiple genes contribute to thermal divergence, and we show that protein divergence in COX1 affects both heat and cold tolerance. Our results point to the yeast mitochondrial genome as an evolutionary hotspot for thermal divergence.This work was supported by the NIH (grant GM080669) to J.C.F. Additional support to C.T.H. was provided by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (Hatch project 1003258), the National Science Foundation (DEB-1253634), and the DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (DOE BER Office of Science DE-SC0018409 and DE-FC02-07ER64494 to T. J. Donohue). C.T.H. is a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences and a Vilas Faculty Early Career Investigator, supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Vilas Trust Estate, respectively. D.P. is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 747775).Peer reviewe

    Novel Association Strategy with Copy Number Variation for Identifying New Risk Loci of Human Diseases

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    Copy number variations (CNV) are important causal genetic variations for human disease; however, the lack of a statistical model has impeded the systematic testing of CNVs associated with disease in large-scale cohort.Here, we developed a novel integrated strategy to test CNV-association in genome-wide case-control studies. We converted the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) signal to copy number states using a well-trained hidden Markov model. We mapped the susceptible CNV-loci through SNP site-specific testing to cope with the physiological complexity of CNVs. We also ensured the credibility of the associated CNVs through further window-based CNV-pattern clustering. Genome-wide data with seven diseases were used to test our strategy and, in total, we identified 36 new susceptible loci that are associated with CNVs for the seven diseases: 5 with bipolar disorder, 4 with coronary artery disease, 1 with Crohn's disease, 7 with hypertension, 9 with rheumatoid arthritis, 7 with type 1 diabetes and 3 with type 2 diabetes. Fifteen of these identified loci were validated through genotype-association and physiological function from previous studies, which provide further confidence for our results. Notably, the genes associated with bipolar disorder converged in the phosphoinositide/calcium signaling, a well-known affected pathway in bipolar disorder, which further supports that CNVs have impact on bipolar disorder.Our results demonstrated the effectiveness and robustness of our CNV-association analysis and provided an alternative avenue for discovering new associated loci of human diseases

    Regulation of hTERT by BCR-ABL at multiple levels in K562 cells

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The cytogenetic characteristic of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) is the formation of the Philadelphia chromosome gene product, BCR-ABL. Given that BCR-ABL is the specific target of Gleevec in CML treatment, we investigated the regulation of the catalytic component of telomerase, hTERT, by BCR-ABL at multiple levels in K562 cells.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Molecular techniques such as over expression, knockdown, real-time PCR, immunoprecipitation, western blotting, reporter assay, confocal microscopy, telomerase assays and microarray were used to suggest that hTERT expression and activity is modulated by BCR-ABL at multiple levels.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Our results suggest that BCR-ABL plays an important role in regulating hTERT in K562 (BCR-ABL positive human leukemia) cells. When Gleevec inhibited the tyrosine kinase activity of BCR-ABL, phosphorylation of hTERT was downregulated, therefore suggesting a positive correlation between BCR-ABL and hTERT. Gleevec treatment inhibited <it>hTERT </it>at mRNA level and significantly reduced telomerase activity (TA) in K562 cells, but not in HL60 or Jurkat cells (BCR-ABL negative cells). We also demonstrated that the transcription factor STAT5a plays a critical role in <it>hTERT </it>gene regulation in K562 cells. Knockdown of STAT5a, but not STAT5b, resulted in a marked downregulation of <it>hTERT </it>mRNA level, TA and hTERT protein level in K562 cells. Furthermore, translocation of hTERT from nucleoli to nucleoplasm was observed in K562 cells induced by Gleevec.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Our data reveal that BCR-ABL can regulate TA at multiple levels, including transcription, post-translational level, and proper localization. Thus, suppression of cell growth and induction of apoptosis by Gleevec treatment may be partially due to TA inhibition. Additionally, we have identified STAT5a as critical mediator of the <it>hTERT </it>gene expression in BCR-ABL positive CML cells, suggesting that targeting STAT5a may be a promising therapeutic strategy for BCR-ABL positive CML patients.</p

    Fine-mapping of prostate cancer susceptibility loci in a large meta-analysis identifies candidate causal variants

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    Prostate cancer is a polygenic disease with a large heritable component. A number of common, low-penetrance prostate cancer risk loci have been identified through GWAS. Here we apply the Bayesian multivariate variable selection algorithm JAM to fine-map 84 prostate cancer susceptibility loci, using summary data from a large European ancestry meta-analysis. We observe evidence for multiple independent signals at 12 regions and 99 risk signals overall. Only 15 original GWAS tag SNPs remain among the catalogue of candidate variants identified; the remainder are replaced by more likely candidates. Biological annotation of our credible set of variants indicates significant enrichment within promoter and enhancer elements, and transcription factor-binding sites, including AR, ERG and FOXA1. In 40 regions at least one variant is colocalised with an eQTL in prostate cancer tissue. The refined set of candidate variants substantially increase the proportion of familial relative risk explained by these known susceptibility regions, which highlights the importance of fine-mapping studies and has implications for clinical risk profiling. © 2018 The Author(s).Prostate cancer is a polygenic disease with a large heritable component. A number of common, low-penetrance prostate cancer risk loci have been identified through GWAS. Here we apply the Bayesian multivariate variable selection algorithm JAM to fine-map 84 prostate cancer susceptibility loci, using summary data from a large European ancestry meta-analysis. We observe evidence for multiple independent signals at 12 regions and 99 risk signals overall. Only 15 original GWAS tag SNPs remain among the catalogue of candidate variants identified; the remainder are replaced by more likely candidates. Biological annotation of our credible set of variants indicates significant enrichment within promoter and enhancer elements, and transcription factor-binding sites, including AR, ERG and FOXA1. In 40 regions at least one variant is colocalised with an eQTL in prostate cancer tissue. The refined set of candidate variants substantially increase the proportion of familial relative risk explained by these known susceptibility regions, which highlights the importance of fine-mapping studies and has implications for clinical risk profiling. © 2018 The Author(s).Peer reviewe

    Elevation of the Yields of Very Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids via Minimal Codon Optimization of Two Key Biosynthetic Enzymes

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    Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5Δ5,8,11,14,17) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6Δ4,7,10,13,16,19) are nutritionally beneficial to human health. Transgenic production of EPA and DHA in oilseed crops by transferring genes originating from lower eukaryotes, such as microalgae and fungi, has been attempted in recent years. However, the low yield of EPA and DHA produced in these transgenic crops is a major hurdle for the commercialization of these transgenics. Many factors can negatively affect transgene expression, leading to a low level of converted fatty acid products. Among these the codon bias between the transgene donor and the host crop is one of the major contributing factors. Therefore, we carried out codon optimization of a fatty acid delta-6 desaturase gene PinD6 from the fungus Phytophthora infestans, and a delta-9 elongase gene, IgASE1 from the microalga Isochrysis galbana for expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Arabidopsis respectively. These are the two key genes encoding enzymes for driving the first catalytic steps in the Δ6 desaturation/ Δ6 elongation and the Δ9 elongation/Δ8 desaturation pathways for EPA/DHA biosynthesis. Hence expression levels of these two genes are important in determining the final yield of EPA/DHA. Via PCR-based mutagenesis we optimized the least preferred codons within the first 16 codons at their N-termini, as well as the most biased CGC codons (coding for arginine) within the entire sequences of both genes. An expression study showed that transgenic Arabidopsis plants harbouring the codon-optimized IgASE1 contained 64% more elongated fatty acid products than plants expressing the native IgASE1 sequence, whilst Saccharomyces cerevisiae expressing the codon optimized PinD6 yielded 20 times more desaturated products than yeast expressing wild-type (WT) PinD6. Thus the codon optimization strategy we developed here offers a simple, effective and low-cost alternative to whole gene synthesis for high expression of foreign genes in yeast and Arabidopsis

    Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 328 diseases and injuries for 195 countries, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016

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    As mortality rates decline, life expectancy increases, and populations age, non-fatal outcomes of diseases and injuries are becoming a larger component of the global burden of disease. The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016 (GBD 2016) provides a comprehensive assessment of prevalence, incidence, and years lived with disability (YLDs) for 328 causes in 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2016

    Global, regional, and national disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 333 diseases and injuries and healthy life expectancy (HALE) for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016

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    BACKGROUND: Measurement of changes in health across locations is useful to compare and contrast changing epidemiological patterns against health system performance and identify specific needs for resource allocation in research, policy development, and programme decision making. Using the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016, we drew from two widely used summary measures to monitor such changes in population health: disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) and healthy life expectancy (HALE). We used these measures to track trends and benchmark progress compared with expected trends on the basis of the Socio-demographic Index (SDI). METHODS: We used results from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016 for all-cause mortality, cause-specific mortality, and non-fatal disease burden to derive HALE and DALYs by sex for 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2016. We calculated DALYs by summing years of life lost and years of life lived with disability for each location, age group, sex, and year. We estimated HALE using age-specific death rates and years of life lived with disability per capita. We explored how DALYs and HALE differed from expected trends when compared with the SDI: the geometric mean of income per person, educational attainment in the population older than age 15 years, and total fertility rate. FINDINGS: The highest globally observed HALE at birth for both women and men was in Singapore, at 75·2 years (95% uncertainty interval 71·9-78·6) for females and 72·0 years (68·8-75·1) for males. The lowest for females was in the Central African Republic (45·6 years [42·0-49·5]) and for males was in Lesotho (41·5 years [39·0-44·0]). From 1990 to 2016, global HALE increased by an average of 6·24 years (5·97-6·48) for both sexes combined. Global HALE increased by 6·04 years (5·74-6·27) for males and 6·49 years (6·08-6·77) for females, whereas HALE at age 65 years increased by 1·78 years (1·61-1·93) for males and 1·96 years (1·69-2·13) for females. Total global DALYs remained largely unchanged from 1990 to 2016 (-2·3% [-5·9 to 0·9]), with decreases in communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional (CMNN) disease DALYs offset by increased DALYs due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The exemplars, calculated as the five lowest ratios of observed to expected age-standardised DALY rates in 2016, were Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Maldives, Peru, and Israel. The leading three causes of DALYs globally were ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and lower respiratory infections, comprising 16·1% of all DALYs. Total DALYs and age-standardised DALY rates due to most CMNN causes decreased from 1990 to 2016. Conversely, the total DALY burden rose for most NCDs; however, age-standardised DALY rates due to NCDs declined globally. INTERPRETATION: At a global level, DALYs and HALE continue to show improvements. At the same time, we observe that many populations are facing growing functional health loss. Rising SDI was associated with increases in cumulative years of life lived with disability and decreases in CMNN DALYs offset by increased NCD DALYs. Relative compression of morbidity highlights the importance of continued health interventions, which has changed in most locations in pace with the gross domestic product per person, education, and family planning. The analysis of DALYs and HALE and their relationship to SDI represents a robust framework with which to benchmark location-specific health performance. Country-specific drivers of disease burden, particularly for causes with higher-than-expected DALYs, should inform health policies, health system improvement initiatives, targeted prevention efforts, and development assistance for health, including financial and research investments for all countries, regardless of their level of sociodemographic development. The presence of countries that substantially outperform others suggests the need for increased scrutiny for proven examples of best practices, which can help to extend gains, whereas the presence of underperforming countries suggests the need for devotion of extra attention to health systems that need more robust support. FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    Measuring progress and projecting attainment on the basis of past trends of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals in 188 countries: an analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016

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    The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are grounded in the global ambition of “leaving no one behind”. Understanding today’s gains and gaps for the health-related SDGs is essential for decision makers as they aim to improve the health of populations. As part of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016 (GBD 2016), we measured 37 of the 50 health-related SDG indicators over the period 1990–2016 for 188 countries, and then on the basis of these past trends, we projected indicators to 2030

    Alcohol use and burden for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2016 : a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016

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    Background Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for death and disability, but its overall association with health remains complex given the possible protective effects of moderate alcohol consumption on some conditions. With our comprehensive approach to health accounting within the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016, we generated improved estimates of alcohol use and alcohol-attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 195 locations from 1990 to 2016, for both sexes and for 5-year age groups between the ages of 15 years and 95 years and older. Methods Using 694 data sources of individual and population-level alcohol consumption, along with 592 prospective and retrospective studies on the risk of alcohol use, we produced estimates of the prevalence of current drinking, abstention, the distribution of alcohol consumption among current drinkers in standard drinks daily (defined as 10 g of pure ethyl alcohol), and alcohol-attributable deaths and DALYs. We made several methodological improvements compared with previous estimates: first, we adjusted alcohol sales estimates to take into account tourist and unrecorded consumption; second, we did a new meta-analysis of relative risks for 23 health outcomes associated with alcohol use; and third, we developed a new method to quantify the level of alcohol consumption that minimises the overall risk to individual health. Findings Globally, alcohol use was the seventh leading risk factor for both deaths and DALYs in 2016, accounting for 2.2% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 1.5-3.0) of age-standardised female deaths and 6.8% (5.8-8.0) of age-standardised male deaths. Among the population aged 15-49 years, alcohol use was the leading risk factor globally in 2016, with 3.8% (95% UI 3.2-4-3) of female deaths and 12.2% (10.8-13-6) of male deaths attributable to alcohol use. For the population aged 15-49 years, female attributable DALYs were 2.3% (95% UI 2.0-2.6) and male attributable DALYs were 8.9% (7.8-9.9). The three leading causes of attributable deaths in this age group were tuberculosis (1.4% [95% UI 1. 0-1. 7] of total deaths), road injuries (1.2% [0.7-1.9]), and self-harm (1.1% [0.6-1.5]). For populations aged 50 years and older, cancers accounted for a large proportion of total alcohol-attributable deaths in 2016, constituting 27.1% (95% UI 21.2-33.3) of total alcohol-attributable female deaths and 18.9% (15.3-22.6) of male deaths. The level of alcohol consumption that minimised harm across health outcomes was zero (95% UI 0.0-0.8) standard drinks per week. Interpretation Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for global disease burden and causes substantial health loss. We found that the risk of all-cause mortality, and of cancers specifically, rises with increasing levels of consumption, and the level of consumption that minimises health loss is zero. These results suggest that alcohol control policies might need to be revised worldwide, refocusing on efforts to lower overall population-level consumption.Peer reviewe
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