153 research outputs found

    Pathogenesis of hypertension in a mouse model for human CLCN2 related hyperaldosteronism

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    Human primary aldosteronism (PA) can be caused by mutations in several ion channel genes but mouse models replicating this condition are lacking. We now show that almost all known PA-associated CLCN2 mutations markedly increase ClC-2 chloride currents and generate knock-in mice expressing a constitutively open ClC-2 Cl(−) channel as mouse model for PA. The Clcn2(op) allele strongly increases the chloride conductance of zona glomerulosa cells, provoking a strong depolarization and increasing cytoplasmic Ca(2+) concentration. Clcn2(op) mice display typical features of human PA, including high serum aldosterone in the presence of low renin activity, marked hypertension and hypokalemia. These symptoms are more pronounced in homozygous Clcn2(op/op) than in heterozygous Clcn2+/op mice. This difference is attributed to the unexpected finding that only ~50 % of Clcn2(+/op) zona glomerulosa cells are depolarized. By reproducing essential features of human PA, Clcn2(op) mice are a valuable model to study the pathological mechanisms underlying this disease

    Disrupting MLC1 and GlialCAM and ClC-2 interactions in leukodystrophy entails glial chloride channel dysfunction

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    Defects in the astrocytic membrane protein MLC1, the adhesion molecule GlialCAM or the chloride channel ClC-2 underlie human leukoencephalopathies. Whereas GlialCAM binds ClC-2 and MLC1, and modifies ClC-2 currents in vitro, no functional connections between MLC1 and ClC-2 are known. Here we investigate this by generating loss-of-function Glialcam and Mlc1 mouse models manifesting myelin vacuolization. We find that ClC-2 is unnecessary for MLC1 and GlialCAM localization in brain, whereas GlialCAM is important for targeting MLC1 and ClC-2 to specialized glial domains in vivo and for modifying ClC-2's biophysical properties specifically in oligodendrocytes (OLs), the cells chiefly affected by vacuolization. Unexpectedly, MLC1 is crucial for proper localization of GlialCAM and ClC-2, and for changing ClC-2 currents. Our data unmask an unforeseen functional relationship between MLC1 and ClC-2 in vivo, which is probably mediated by GlialCAM, and suggest that ClC-2 participates in the pathogenesis of megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts

    SynBlast: Assisting the analysis of conserved synteny information

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Motivation</p> <p>In the last years more than 20 vertebrate genomes have been sequenced, and the rate at which genomic DNA information becomes available is rapidly accelerating. Gene duplication and gene loss events inherently limit the accuracy of orthology detection based on sequence similarity alone. Fully automated methods for orthology annotation do exist but often fail to identify individual members in cases of large gene families, or to distinguish missing data from traceable gene losses. This situation can be improved in many cases by including conserved synteny information.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Here we present the <monospace>SynBlast</monospace> pipeline that is designed to construct and evaluate local synteny information. <monospace>SynBlast</monospace> uses the genomic region around a focal reference gene to retrieve candidates for homologous regions from a collection of target genomes and ranks them in accord with the available evidence for homology. The pipeline is intended as a tool to aid high quality manual annotation in particular in those cases where automatic procedures fail. We demonstrate how <monospace>SynBlast</monospace> is applied to retrieving orthologous and paralogous clusters using the vertebrate <it>Hox </it>and <it>ParaHox </it>clusters as examples.</p> <p>Software</p> <p>The <monospace>SynBlast</monospace> package written in <monospace>Perl</monospace> is available under the GNU General Public License at <url>http://www.bioinf.uni-leipzig.de/Software/SynBlast/</url>.</p

    A general scenario of Hox gene inventory variation among major sarcopterygian lineages

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p><it>H</it>ox genes are known to play a key role in shaping the body plan of metazoans. Evolutionary dynamics of these genes is therefore essential in explaining patterns of evolutionary diversity. Among extant sarcopterygians comprising both lobe-finned fishes and tetrapods, our knowledge of the <it>Hox </it>genes and clusters has largely been restricted in several model organisms such as frogs, birds and mammals. Some evolutionary gaps still exist, especially for those groups with derived body morphology or occupying key positions on the tree of life, hindering our understanding of how <it>Hox </it>gene inventory varied along the sarcopterygian lineage.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>We determined the <it>Hox </it>gene inventory for six sarcopterygian groups: lungfishes, caecilians, salamanders, snakes, turtles and crocodiles by comprehensive PCR survey and genome walking. Variable <it>Hox </it>genes in each of the six sarcopterygian group representatives, compared to the human <it>Hox </it>gene inventory, were further validated for their presence/absence by PCR survey in a number of related species representing a broad evolutionary coverage of the group. Turtles, crocodiles, birds and placental mammals possess the same 39 <it>Hox </it>genes. <it>HoxD12 </it>is absent in snakes, amphibians and probably lungfishes. <it>HoxB13 </it>is lost in frogs and caecilians. Lobe-finned fishes, amphibians and squamate reptiles possess <it>HoxC3</it>. <it>HoxC1 </it>is only present in caecilians and lobe-finned fishes. Similar to coelacanths, lungfishes also possess <it>HoxA14</it>, which is only found in lobe-finned fishes to date. Our <it>Hox </it>gene variation data favor the lungfish-tetrapod, turtle-archosaur and frog-salamander relationships and imply that the loss of <it>HoxD12 </it>is not directly related to digit reduction.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Our newly determined <it>Hox </it>inventory data provide a more complete scenario for evolutionary dynamics of <it>Hox </it>genes along the sarcopterygian lineage. Limbless, worm-like caecilians and snakes possess similar <it>Hox </it>gene inventories to animals with less derived body morphology, suggesting changes to their body morphology are likely due to other modifications rather than changes to <it>Hox </it>gene numbers. Furthermore, our results provide basis for future sequencing of the entire <it>Hox </it>clusters of these animals.</p

    Chromosomal-level assembly of the Asian Seabass genome using long sequence reads and multi-layered scaffolding

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    We report here the ~670 Mb genome assembly of the Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer), a tropical marine teleost. We used long-read sequencing augmented by transcriptomics, optical and genetic mapping along with shared synteny from closely related fish species to derive a chromosome-level assembly with a contig N50 size over 1 Mb and scaffold N50 size over 25 Mb that span ~90% of the genome. The population structure of L. calcarifer species complex was analyzed by re-sequencing 61 individuals representing various regions across the species' native range. SNP analyses identified high levels of genetic diversity and confirmed earlier indications of a population stratification comprising three clades with signs of admixture apparent in the South-East Asian population. The quality of the Asian seabass genome assembly far exceeds that of any other fish species, and will serve as a new standard for fish genomics

    Unresolved orthology and peculiar coding sequence properties of lamprey genes: the KCNA gene family as test case

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    Background:In understanding the evolutionary process of vertebrates, cyclostomes (hagfishes and lamprey) occupy crucial positions. Resolving molecular phylogenetic relationships of cyclostome genes with gnathostomes (jawed vertebrates) genes is indispensable in deciphering both the species tree and gene trees. However, molecular phylogenetic analyses, especially those including lamprey genes, have produced highly discordant results between gene families. To efficiently scrutinize this problem using partial genome assemblies of early vertebrates, we focused on the potassium voltage-gated channel, shaker-related (KCNA) family, whose members are mostly single-exon.Results:Seven sea lamprey KCNA genes as well as six elephant shark genes were identified, and their orthologies to bony vertebrate subgroups were assessed. In contrast to robustly supported orthology of the elephant shark genes to gnathostome subgroups, clear orthology of any sea lamprey gene could not be established. Notably, sea lamprey KCNA sequences displayed unique codon usage pattern and amino acid composition, probably associated with exceptionally high GC-content in their coding regions. This lamprey-specific property of coding sequences was also observed generally for genes outside this gene family.Conclusions:Our results suggest that secondary modifications of sequence properties unique to the lamprey lineage may be one of the factors preventing robust orthology assessments of lamprey genes, which deserves further genome-wide validation. The lamprey lineage-specific alteration of protein-coding sequence properties needs to be taken into consideration in tackling the key questions about early vertebrate evolution

    HOX transcription factors are potential therapeutic targets in non-small-cell lung cancer (targeting HOX genes in lung cancer)

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    The HOX genes are a family of homeodomain-containing transcription factors that determine the identity of cells and tissues during embryonic development. They are also known to behave as oncogenes in some haematological malignancies. In this study, we show that the expression of many of the HOX genes is highly elevated in primary non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) and in the derived cell lines A549 and H23. Furthermore, blocking the activity of HOX proteins by interfering with their binding to the PBX co-factor causes these cells to undergo apoptosis in vitro and reduces the growth of A549 tumours in vivo. These findings suggest that the interaction between HOX and PBX proteins is a potential therapeutic target in NSCLC

    Molecular characterization and expression analysis of five different elongation factor 1 alpha genes in the flatfish Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis Kaup): Differential gene expression and thyroid hormones dependence during metamorphosis

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Eukaryotic elongation factor 1 alpha (eEF1A) is one of the four subunits composing eukaryotic translation elongation factor 1. It catalyzes the binding of aminoacyl-tRNA to the A-site of the ribosome in a GTP-dependent manner during protein synthesis, although it also seems to play a role in other non-translational processes. Currently, little information is still available about its expression profile and regulation during flatfish metamorphosis. With regard to this, Senegalese sole (<it>Solea senegalensis</it>) is a commercially important flatfish in which <it>eEF1A </it>gene remains to be characterized.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The development of large-scale genomics of Senegalese sole has facilitated the identification of five different <it>eEF1A </it>genes, referred to as <it>SseEF1A1</it>, <it>SseEF1A2</it>, <it>SseEF1A3</it>, <it>SseEF1A4</it>, and <it>Sse42Sp50</it>. Main characteristics and sequence identities with other fish and mammalian eEF1As are described. Phylogenetic and tissue expression analyses allowed for the identification of <it>SseEF1A1 </it>and <it>SseEF1A2 </it>as the Senegalese sole counterparts of mammalian <it>eEF1A1 </it>and <it>eEF1A2</it>, respectively, and of <it>Sse42Sp50 </it>as the ortholog of <it>Xenopus laevis </it>and teleost <it>42Sp50 </it>gene. The other two elongation factors, <it>SseEF1A3 </it>and <it>SseEF1A4</it>, represent novel genes that are mainly expressed in gills and skin. The expression profile of the five genes was also studied during larval development, revealing different behaviours. To study the possible regulation of <it>SseEF1A </it>gene expressions by thyroid hormones (THs), larvae were exposed to the goitrogen thiourea (TU). TU-treated larvae exhibited lower <it>SseEF1A4 </it>mRNA levels than untreated controls at both 11 and 15 days after treatment, whereas transcripts of the other four genes remained relatively unchanged. Moreover, addition of exogenous T4 hormone to TU-treated larvae increased significantly the steady-state levels of <it>SseEF1A4 </it>with respect to untreated controls, demonstrating that its expression is up-regulated by THs.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>We have identified five different <it>eEF1A </it>genes in the Senegalese sole, referred to as <it>SseEF1A1</it>, <it>SseEF1A2</it>, <it>SseEF1A3</it>, <it>SseEF1A4</it>, and <it>Sse42Sp50</it>. The five genes exhibit different expression patterns in tissues and during larval development. TU and T4 treatments demonstrate that <it>SseEF1A4 </it>is up-regulated by THs, suggesting a role in the translational regulation of the factors involved in the dramatic changes that occurs during Senegalese sole metamorphosis.</p

    Hox cluster duplication in the basal teleost Hiodon alosoides (Osteoglossomorpha)

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    Large-scale—even genome-wide—duplications have repeatedly been invoked as an explanation for major radiations. Teleosts, the most species-rich vertebrate clade, underwent a “fish-specific genome duplication” (FSGD) that is shared by most ray-finned fish lineages. We investigate here the Hox complement of the goldeye (Hiodon alosoides), a representative of Osteoglossomorpha, the most basal teleostean clade. An extensive PCR survey reveals that goldeye has at least eight Hox clusters, indicating a duplicated genome compared to basal actinopterygians. The possession of duplicated Hox clusters is uncoupled to species richness. The Hox system of the goldeye is substantially different from that of other teleost lineages, having retained several duplicates of Hox genes for which crown teleosts have lost at least one copy. A detailed analysis of the PCR fragments as well as full length sequences of two HoxA13 paralogs, and HoxA10 and HoxC4 genes places the duplication event close in time to the divergence of Osteoglossomorpha and crown teleosts. The data are consistent with—but do not conclusively prove—that Osteoglossomorpha shares the FSGD
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