55 research outputs found

    Machine learning predicts new anti-CRISPR proteins

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    Abstract The increasing use of CRISPR–Cas9 in medicine, agriculture, and synthetic biology has accelerated the drive to discover new CRISPR–Cas inhibitors as potential mechanisms of control for gene editing applications. Many anti-CRISPRs have been found that inhibit the CRISPR–Cas adaptive immune system. However, comparing all currently known anti-CRISPRs does not reveal a shared set of properties for facile bioinformatic identification of new anti-CRISPR families. Here, we describe AcRanker, a machine learning based method to aid direct identification of new potential anti-CRISPRs using only protein sequence information. Using a training set of known anti-CRISPRs, we built a model based on XGBoost ranking. We then applied AcRanker to predict candidate anti-CRISPRs from predicted prophage regions within self-targeting bacterial genomes and discovered two previously unknown anti-CRISPRs: AcrllA20 (ML1) and AcrIIA21 (ML8). We show that AcrIIA20 strongly inhibits Streptococcus iniae Cas9 (SinCas9) and weakly inhibits Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 (SpyCas9). We also show that AcrIIA21 inhibits SpyCas9, Streptococcus aureus Cas9 (SauCas9) and SinCas9 with low potency. The addition of AcRanker to the anti-CRISPR discovery toolkit allows researchers to directly rank potential anti-CRISPR candidate genes for increased speed in testing and validation of new anti-CRISPRs. A web server implementation for AcRanker is available online at http://acranker.pythonanywhere.com/

    Being Tamil, being Hindu:Tamil migrants’ negotiations of the absence of Tamil Hindu spaces in the West Midlands and South West of England

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    This paper considers the religious practices of Tamil Hindus who have settled in the West Midlands and South West of England in order to explore how devotees of a specific ethno-regional Hindu tradition with a well-established UK infrastructure in the site of its adherents’ population density adapt their religious practices in settlement areas which lack this infrastructure. Unlike the majority of the UK Tamil population who live in the London area, the participants in this study did not have ready access to an ethno-religious infrastructure of Tamil-orientated temples and public rituals. The paper examines two means by which this absence was addressed as well as the intersections and negotiations of religion and ethnicity these entailed: firstly, Tamil Hindus’ attendance of temples in their local area which are orientated towards a broadly imagined Hindu constituency or which cater to a non-Tamil ethno-linguistic or sectarian community; and, secondly, through the ‘DIY’ performance of ethnicised Hindu ritual in non-institutional settings

    DSIF and RNA Polymerase II CTD Phosphorylation Coordinate the Recruitment of Rpd3S to Actively Transcribed Genes

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    Histone deacetylase Rpd3 is part of two distinct complexes: the large (Rpd3L) and small (Rpd3S) complexes. While Rpd3L targets specific promoters for gene repression, Rpd3S is recruited to ORFs to deacetylate histones in the wake of RNA polymerase II, to prevent cryptic initiation within genes. Methylation of histone H3 at lysine 36 by the Set2 methyltransferase is thought to mediate the recruitment of Rpd3S. Here, we confirm by ChIP–Chip that Rpd3S binds active ORFs. Surprisingly, however, Rpd3S is not recruited to all active genes, and its recruitment is Set2-independent. However, Rpd3S complexes recruited in the absence of H3K36 methylation appear to be inactive. Finally, we present evidence implicating the yeast DSIF complex (Spt4/5) and RNA polymerase II phosphorylation by Kin28 and Ctk1 in the recruitment of Rpd3S to active genes. Taken together, our data support a model where Set2-dependent histone H3 methylation is required for the activation of Rpd3S following its recruitment to the RNA polymerase II C-terminal domain

    Genomic Dissection of Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia, Including 28 Subphenotypes

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    publisher: Elsevier articletitle: Genomic Dissection of Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia, Including 28 Subphenotypes journaltitle: Cell articlelink: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2018.05.046 content_type: article copyright: © 2018 Elsevier Inc

    Safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222) against SARS-CoV-2: an interim analysis of four randomised controlled trials in Brazil, South Africa, and the UK.

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    BACKGROUND: A safe and efficacious vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), if deployed with high coverage, could contribute to the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine in a pooled interim analysis of four trials. METHODS: This analysis includes data from four ongoing blinded, randomised, controlled trials done across the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Participants aged 18 years and older were randomly assigned (1:1) to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine or control (meningococcal group A, C, W, and Y conjugate vaccine or saline). Participants in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group received two doses containing 5 × 1010 viral particles (standard dose; SD/SD cohort); a subset in the UK trial received a half dose as their first dose (low dose) and a standard dose as their second dose (LD/SD cohort). The primary efficacy analysis included symptomatic COVID-19 in seronegative participants with a nucleic acid amplification test-positive swab more than 14 days after a second dose of vaccine. Participants were analysed according to treatment received, with data cutoff on Nov 4, 2020. Vaccine efficacy was calculated as 1 - relative risk derived from a robust Poisson regression model adjusted for age. Studies are registered at ISRCTN89951424 and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04324606, NCT04400838, and NCT04444674. FINDINGS: Between April 23 and Nov 4, 2020, 23 848 participants were enrolled and 11 636 participants (7548 in the UK, 4088 in Brazil) were included in the interim primary efficacy analysis. In participants who received two standard doses, vaccine efficacy was 62·1% (95% CI 41·0-75·7; 27 [0·6%] of 4440 in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group vs71 [1·6%] of 4455 in the control group) and in participants who received a low dose followed by a standard dose, efficacy was 90·0% (67·4-97·0; three [0·2%] of 1367 vs 30 [2·2%] of 1374; pinteraction=0·010). Overall vaccine efficacy across both groups was 70·4% (95·8% CI 54·8-80·6; 30 [0·5%] of 5807 vs 101 [1·7%] of 5829). From 21 days after the first dose, there were ten cases hospitalised for COVID-19, all in the control arm; two were classified as severe COVID-19, including one death. There were 74 341 person-months of safety follow-up (median 3·4 months, IQR 1·3-4·8): 175 severe adverse events occurred in 168 participants, 84 events in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group and 91 in the control group. Three events were classified as possibly related to a vaccine: one in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group, one in the control group, and one in a participant who remains masked to group allocation. INTERPRETATION: ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 has an acceptable safety profile and has been found to be efficacious against symptomatic COVID-19 in this interim analysis of ongoing clinical trials. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation, National Institutes for Health Research (NIHR), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lemann Foundation, Rede D'Or, Brava and Telles Foundation, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midland's NIHR Clinical Research Network, and AstraZeneca

    Safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222) against SARS-CoV-2: an interim analysis of four randomised controlled trials in Brazil, South Africa, and the UK

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    Background A safe and efficacious vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), if deployed with high coverage, could contribute to the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine in a pooled interim analysis of four trials. Methods This analysis includes data from four ongoing blinded, randomised, controlled trials done across the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Participants aged 18 years and older were randomly assigned (1:1) to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine or control (meningococcal group A, C, W, and Y conjugate vaccine or saline). Participants in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group received two doses containing 5 × 1010 viral particles (standard dose; SD/SD cohort); a subset in the UK trial received a half dose as their first dose (low dose) and a standard dose as their second dose (LD/SD cohort). The primary efficacy analysis included symptomatic COVID-19 in seronegative participants with a nucleic acid amplification test-positive swab more than 14 days after a second dose of vaccine. Participants were analysed according to treatment received, with data cutoff on Nov 4, 2020. Vaccine efficacy was calculated as 1 - relative risk derived from a robust Poisson regression model adjusted for age. Studies are registered at ISRCTN89951424 and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04324606, NCT04400838, and NCT04444674. Findings Between April 23 and Nov 4, 2020, 23 848 participants were enrolled and 11 636 participants (7548 in the UK, 4088 in Brazil) were included in the interim primary efficacy analysis. In participants who received two standard doses, vaccine efficacy was 62·1% (95% CI 41·0–75·7; 27 [0·6%] of 4440 in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group vs71 [1·6%] of 4455 in the control group) and in participants who received a low dose followed by a standard dose, efficacy was 90·0% (67·4–97·0; three [0·2%] of 1367 vs 30 [2·2%] of 1374; pinteraction=0·010). Overall vaccine efficacy across both groups was 70·4% (95·8% CI 54·8–80·6; 30 [0·5%] of 5807 vs 101 [1·7%] of 5829). From 21 days after the first dose, there were ten cases hospitalised for COVID-19, all in the control arm; two were classified as severe COVID-19, including one death. There were 74 341 person-months of safety follow-up (median 3·4 months, IQR 1·3–4·8): 175 severe adverse events occurred in 168 participants, 84 events in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group and 91 in the control group. Three events were classified as possibly related to a vaccine: one in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group, one in the control group, and one in a participant who remains masked to group allocation. Interpretation ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 has an acceptable safety profile and has been found to be efficacious against symptomatic COVID-19 in this interim analysis of ongoing clinical trials

    A crystallographic study of human NONO (p54<sup>nrb</sup>):Overcoming pathological problems with purification, data collection and noncrystallographic symmetry: Overcoming

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    Non-POU domain-containing octamer-binding protein (NONO, a.k.a. p54(nrb)) is a central player in nuclear gene regulation with rapidly emerging medical significance. NONO is a member of the highly conserved Drosophila behaviour/human splicing (DBHS) protein family, a dynamic family of obligatory dimeric nuclear regulatory mediators. However, work with the NONO homodimer has been limited by rapid irreversible sample aggregation. Here, it is reported that l-proline stabilizes purified NONO homodimers, enabling good-quality solution small-angle X-ray structure determination and crystallization. NONO crystallized in the apparent space group P2(1) with a unique axis (b) of 408.9 Å and with evidence of twinning, as indicated by the cumulative intensity distribution L statistic, suggesting the possibility of space group P1. Structure solution by molecular replacement shows a superhelical arrangement of six NONO homodimers (or 12 in P1) oriented parallel to the long axis, resulting in extensive noncrystallographic symmetry. Further analysis revealed that the crystal was not twinned, but the collected data suffered from highly overlapping reflections that obscured the L-test. Optimized data collection on a new crystal using higher energy X-rays, a smaller beam width and an increased sample-to-detector distance produced non-overlapping reflections to 2.6 Å resolution. The steps taken to analyse and overcome this series of practical difficulties and to produce a biologically informative structure are discussed
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