39 research outputs found

    Epigenomic landscape of human colorectal cancer unveils an aberrant core of pan-cancer enhancers orchestrated by YAP/TAZ

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    Cancer is characterized by pervasive epigenetic alterations with enhancer dysfunction orchestrating the aberrant cancer transcriptional programs and transcriptional dependencies. Here, we epigenetically characterize human colorectal cancer (CRC) using de novo chromatin state discovery on a library of different patient-derived organoids. By exploring this resource, we unveil a tumor-specific deregulated enhancerome that is cancer cell-intrinsic and independent of interpatient heterogeneity. We show that the transcriptional coactivators YAP/TAZ act as key regulators of the conserved CRC gained enhancers. The same YAP/TAZ-bound enhancers display active chromatin profiles across diverse human tumors, highlighting a pan-cancer epigenetic rewiring which at single-cell level distinguishes malignant from normal cell populations. YAP/TAZ inhibition in established tumor organoids causes extensive cell death unveiling their essential role in tumor maintenance. This work indicates a common layer of YAP/TAZ-fueled enhancer reprogramming that is key for the cancer cell state and can be exploited for the development of improved therapeutic avenues

    Determinants for progression from asymptomatic infection to symptomatic visceral leishmaniasis: A cohort study.

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    BACKGROUND:Asymptomatic Leishmania donovani infections outnumber clinical presentations, however the predictors for development of active disease are not well known. We aimed to identify serological, immunological and genetic markers for progression from L. donovani infection to clinical Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL). METHODS:We enrolled all residents >2 years of age in 27 VL endemic villages in Bihar (India). Blood samples collected on filter paper on two occasions 6-12 months apart, were tested for antibodies against L. donovani with rK39-ELISA and DAT. Sero converters, (negative for both tests in the first round but positive on either of the two during the second round) and controls (negative on both tests on both occasions) were followed for three years. At the start of follow-up venous blood was collected for the following tests: DAT, rK39- ELISA, Quantiferon assay, SNP/HLA genotyping and L.donovani specific quantitative PCR. RESULTS:Among 1,606 subjects enrolled,17 (8/476 seroconverters and 9/1,130 controls) developed VL (OR 3.1; 95% CI 1.1-8.3). High DAT and rK39 ELISA antibody titers as well as positive qPCR were strongly and significantly associated with progression from seroconversion to VL with odds ratios of 19.1, 30.3 and 20.9 respectively. Most VL cases arose early (median 5 months) during follow-up. CONCLUSION:We confirmed the strong association between high DAT and/or rK39 titers and progression to disease among asymptomatic subjects and identified qPCR as an additional predictor. Low predictive values do not warrant prophylactic treatment but as most progressed to VL early during follow-up, careful oberservation of these subjects for at least 6 months is indicated

    Transcriptional blood signatures for active and amphotericin B treated visceral leishmaniasis in India.

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    Amphotericin B provides improved therapy for visceral leishmaniasis (VL) caused by Leishmania donovani, with single dose liposomal-encapsulated Ambisome providing the best cure rates. The VL elimination program aims to reduce the incidence rate in the Indian subcontinent to <1/10,000 population/year. Ability to predict which asymptomatic individuals (e.g. anti-leishmanial IgG and/or Leishmania-specific modified Quantiferon positive) will progress to clinical VL would help in monitoring disease outbreaks. Here we examined whole blood transcriptional profiles associated with asymptomatic infection, active disease, and in treated cases. Two independent microarray experiments were performed, with analysis focussed primarily on differentially expressed genes (DEGs) concordant across both experiments. No DEGs were identified for IgG or Quantiferon positive asymptomatic groups compared to negative healthy endemic controls. We therefore concentrated on comparing concordant DEGs from active cases with all healthy controls, and in examining differences in the transcriptome following different regimens of drug treatment. In these comparisons 6 major themes emerged: (i) expression of genes and enrichment of gene sets associated with erythrocyte function in active cases; (ii) strong evidence for enrichment of gene sets involved in cell cycle in comparing active cases with healthy controls; (iii) identification of IFNG encoding interferon-γ as the major hub gene in concordant gene expression patterns across experiments comparing active cases with healthy controls or with treated cases; (iv) enrichment for interleukin signalling (IL-1/3/4/6/7/8) and a prominent role for CXCL10/9/11 and chemokine signalling pathways in comparing active cases with treated cases; (v) the novel identification of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor signalling as a significant canonical pathway when comparing active cases with healthy controls or with treated cases; and (vi) global expression profiling support for more effective cure at day 30 post-treatment with a single dose of liposomal encapsulated amphotericin B compared to multi-dose non-liposomal amphotericin B treatment over 30 days. (296 words; 300 words allowed)

    Functional Alleles of Chicken BG Genes, Members of the Butyrophilin Gene Family, in Peripheral T Cells.

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    γδ T cells recognize a wide variety of ligands in mammals, among them members of the butyrophilin (BTN) family. Nothing is known about γδ T cell ligands in chickens, despite there being many such cells in blood and lymphoid tissues, as well as in mucosal surfaces. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) of chickens was discovered because of polymorphic BG genes, part of the BTN family. All but two BG genes are located in the BG region, oriented head-to-tail so that unequal crossing-over has led to copy number variation (CNV) as well as hybrid (chimeric) genes, making it difficult to identify true alleles. One approach is to examine BG genes expressed in particular cell types, which likely have the same functions in different BG haplotypes and thus can be considered "functional alleles." We cloned nearly full-length BG transcripts from peripheral T cells of four haplotypes (B2, B15, B19, and B21), and compared them to the BG genes of the B12 haplotype that previously were studied in detail. A dominant BG gene was found in each haplotype, but with significant levels of subdominant transcripts in three haplotypes (B2, B15, and B19). For three haplotypes (B15, B19, and B21), most sequences are closely-related to BG8, BG9, and BG12 from the B12 haplotype. We found that variation in the extracellular immunoglobulin-variable-like (Ig-V) domain is mostly localized to the membrane distal loops but without evidence for selection. However, variation in the cytoplasmic tail composed of many amino acid heptad repeats does appear to be selected (although not obviously localized), consistent with an intriguing clustering of charged and polar residues in an apparent α-helical coiled-coil. By contrast, the dominantly-expressed BG gene in the B2 haplotype is identical to BG13 from the B12 haplotype, and most of the subdominant sequences are from the BG5-BG7-BG11 clade. Moreover, alternative splicing leading to intron read-through results in dramatically truncated cytoplasmic tails, particularly for the dominantly-expressed BG gene of the B2 haplotype. The approach of examining "functional alleles" has yielded interesting data for closely-related genes, but also thrown up unexpected findings for at least one haplotype.This work was supported by funds from a Wellcome Trust programme grant (089305/Z/09/Z) and then a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award (110106/Z/15/Z)

    First Genome-Wide Association Study in an Australian Aboriginal Population Provides Insights into Genetic Risk Factors for Body Mass Index and Type 2 Diabetes

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    <div><p>A body mass index (BMI) >22kg/m<sup>2</sup> is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Aboriginal Australians. To identify loci associated with BMI and T2D we undertook a genome-wide association study using 1,075,436 quality-controlled single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped (Illumina 2.5M Duo Beadchip) in 402 individuals in extended pedigrees from a Western Australian Aboriginal community. Imputation using the thousand genomes (1000G) reference panel extended the analysis to 6,724,284 post quality-control autosomal SNPs. No associations achieved genome-wide significance, commonly accepted as P<5x10<sup>-8</sup>. Nevertheless, genes/pathways in common with other ethnicities were identified despite the arrival of Aboriginal people in Australia >45,000 years ago. The top hit (rs10868204 <i>P</i><sub>genotyped</sub> = 1.50x10<sup>-6</sup>; rs11140653 P<sub>imputed_1000G</sub> = 2.90x10<sup>-7</sup>) for BMI lies 5’ of <i>NTRK2</i>, the type 2 neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that regulates energy balance downstream of melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R). PIK3C2G (rs12816270 P<sub>genotyped</sub> = 8.06x10<sup>-6</sup>; rs10841048 P<sub>imputed_1000G</sub> = 6.28x10<sup>-7</sup>) was associated with BMI, but not with T2D as reported elsewhere. BMI also associated with <i>CNTNAP2</i> (rs6960319 P<sub>genotyped</sub> = 4.65x10<sup>-5</sup>; rs13225016 P<sub>imputed_1000G</sub> = 6.57x10<sup>-5</sup>), previously identified as the strongest gene-by-environment interaction for BMI in African-Americans. The top hit (rs11240074 P<sub>genotyped</sub> = 5.59x10<sup>-6</sup>, P<sub>imputed_1000G</sub> = 5.73x10<sup>-6</sup>) for T2D lies 5’ of <i>BCL9</i> that, along with <i>TCF7L2</i>, promotes beta-catenin’s transcriptional activity in the WNT signaling pathway. Additional hits occurred in genes affecting pancreatic (<i>KCNJ6</i>, <i>KCNA1</i>) and/or GABA (<i>GABRR1</i>, <i>KCNA1</i>) functions. Notable associations observed for genes previously identified at genome-wide significance in other populations included <i>MC4R</i> (P<sub>genotyped</sub> = 4.49x10<sup>-4</sup>) for BMI and <i>IGF2BP2</i> P<sub>imputed_1000G</sub> = 2.55x10<sup>-6</sup>) for T2D. Our results may provide novel functional leads in understanding disease pathogenesis in this Australian Aboriginal population.</p></div

    Host genetic factors in American cutaneous leishmaniasis: a critical appraisal of studies conducted in an endemic area of Brazil

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    American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) is a vector-transmitted infectious disease with an estimated 1.5 million new cases per year. In Brazil, ACL represents a significant public health problem, with approximately 30,000 new reported cases annually, representing an incidence of 18.5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Corte de Pedra is in a region endemic for ACL in the state of Bahia (BA), northeastern Brazil, with 500-1,300 patients treated annually. Over the last decade, population and family-based candidate gene studies were conducted in Corte de Pedra, founded on previous knowledge from studies on mice and humans. Notwithstanding limitations related to sample size and power, these studies contribute important genetic biomarkers that identify novel pathways of disease pathogenesis and possible new therapeutic targets. The present paper is a narrative review about ACL immunogenetics in BA, highlighting in particular the interacting roles of the wound healing gene FLI1 with interleukin-6 and genes SMAD2 and SMAD3 of the transforming growth factor beta signalling pathway. This research highlights the need for well-powered genetic and functional studies on Leishmania braziliensis infection as essential to define and validate the role of host genes in determining resistance/susceptibility regarding this disease

    Comparison of methods to account for relatedness in genome-wide association studies with family-based data.

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    Approaches based on linear mixed models (LMMs) have recently gained popularity for modelling population substructure and relatedness in genome-wide association studies. In the last few years, a bewildering variety of different LMM methods/software packages have been developed, but it is not always clear how (or indeed whether) any newly-proposed method differs from previously-proposed implementations. Here we compare the performance of several LMM approaches (and software implementations, including EMMAX, GenABEL, FaST-LMM, Mendel, GEMMA and MMM) via their application to a genome-wide association study of visceral leishmaniasis in 348 Brazilian families comprising 3626 individuals (1972 genotyped). The implementations differ in precise details of methodology implemented and through various user-chosen options such as the method and number of SNPs used to estimate the kinship (relatedness) matrix. We investigate sensitivity to these choices and the success (or otherwise) of the approaches in controlling the overall genome-wide error-rate for both real and simulated phenotypes. We compare the LMM results to those obtained using traditional family-based association tests (based on transmission of alleles within pedigrees) and to alternative approaches implemented in the software packages MQLS, ROADTRIPS and MASTOR. We find strong concordance between the results from different LMM approaches, and all are successful in controlling the genome-wide error rate (except for some approaches when applied naively to longitudinal data with many repeated measures). We also find high correlation between LMMs and alternative approaches (apart from transmission-based approaches when applied to SNPs with small or non-existent effects). We conclude that LMM approaches perform well in comparison to competing approaches. Given their strong concordance, in most applications, the choice of precise LMM implementation cannot be based on power/type I error considerations but must instead be based on considerations such as speed and ease-of-use

    Common variants in the HLA-DRB1-HLA-DQA1 HLA class II region are associated with susceptibility to visceral leishmaniasis

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    Pancreatitis occurs in approximately 4% of patients treated with the thiopurines azathioprine or mercaptopurine. Its development is unpredictable and almost always leads to drug withdrawal. We identified patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who had developed pancreatitis within 3 months of starting these drugs from 168 sites around the world. After detailed case adjudication, we performed a genome-wide association study on 172 cases and 2,035 controls with IBD. We identified strong evidence of association within the class II HLA region, with the most significant association identified at rs2647087 (odds ratio 2.59, 95% confidence interval 2.07-3.26, P = 2 × 10(-16)). We replicated these findings in an independent set of 78 cases and 472 controls with IBD matched for drug exposure. Fine mapping of the HLA region identified association with the HLA-DQA1*02:01-HLA-DRB1*07:01 haplotype. Patients heterozygous at rs2647087 have a 9% risk of developing pancreatitis after administration of a thiopurine, whereas homozygotes have a 17% risk

    No evidence for association between SLC11A1 and visceral leishmaniasis in India.

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    BACKGROUND: SLC11A1 has pleiotropic effects on macrophage function and remains a strong candidate for infectious disease susceptibility. 5' and/or 3' polymorphisms have been associated with tuberculosis, leprosy, and visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Most studies undertaken to date were under-powered, and none has been replicated within a population. Association with tuberculosis has replicated variably across populations. Here we investigate SLC11A1 and VL in India. METHODS: Nine polymorphisms (rs34448891, rs7573065, rs2276631, rs3731865, rs17221959, rs2279015, rs17235409, rs17235416, rs17229009) that tag linkage disequilibrium blocks across SLC11A1 were genotyped in primary family-based (313 cases; 176 families) and replication (941 cases; 992 controls) samples. Family- and population-based analyses were performed to look for association between SLC11A1 variants and VL. Quantitative RT/PCR was used to compare SLC11A1 expression in mRNA from paired splenic aspirates taken before and after treatment from 24 VL patients carrying different genotypes at the functional promoter GTn polymorphism (rs34448891). RESULTS: No associations were observed between VL and polymorphisms at SLC11A1 that were either robust to correction for multiple testing or replicated across primary and replication samples. No differences in expression of SLC11A1 were observed when comparing pre- and post-treatment samples, or between individuals carrying different genotypes at the GTn repeat. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first well-powered study of SLC11A1 as a candidate for VL, which we conclude does not have a major role in regulating VL susceptibility in India.RIGHTS : This article is licensed under the BioMed Central licence at http://www.biomedcentral.com/about/license which is similar to the 'Creative Commons Attribution Licence'. In brief you may : copy, distribute, and display the work; make derivative works; or make commercial use of the work - under the following conditions: the original author must be given credit; for any reuse or distribution, it must be made clear to others what the license terms of this work are
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