75 research outputs found

    The functional and evolutionary impacts of human-specific deletions in conserved elements

    No full text
    Conserved genomic sequences disrupted in humans may underlie uniquely human phenotypic traits. We identified and characterized 10,032 human-specific conserved deletions (hCONDELs). These short (average 2.56 base pairs) deletions are enriched for human brain functions across genetic, epigenomic, and transcriptomic datasets. Using massively parallel reporter assays in six cell types, we discovered 800 hCONDELs conferring significant differences in regulatory activity, half of which enhance rather than disrupt regulatory function. We highlight several hCONDELs with putative human-specific effects on brain development, including HDAC5, CPEB4, and PPP2CA. Reverting an hCONDEL to the ancestral sequence alters the expression of LOXL2 and developmental genes involved in myelination and synaptic function. Our data provide a rich resource to investigate the evolutionary mechanisms driving new traits in humans and other species

    A genomic timescale for placental mammal evolution.

    No full text
    The precise pattern and timing of speciation events that gave rise to all living placental mammals remain controversial. We provide a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of genetic variation across an alignment of 241 placental mammal genome assemblies, addressing prior concerns regarding limited genomic sampling across species. We compared neutral genome-wide phylogenomic signals using concatenation and coalescent-based approaches, interrogated phylogenetic variation across chromosomes, and analyzed extensive catalogs of structural variants. Interordinal relationships exhibit relatively low rates of phylogenomic conflict across diverse datasets and analytical methods. Conversely, X-chromosome versus autosome conflicts characterize multiple independent clades that radiated during the Cenozoic. Genomic time trees reveal an accumulation of cladogenic events before and immediately after the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary, implying important roles for Cretaceous continental vicariance and the K-Pg extinction in the placental radiation

    Relating enhancer genetic variation across mammals to complex phenotypes using machine learning

    No full text
    Protein-coding differences between species often fail to explain phenotypic diversity, suggesting the involvement of genomic elements that regulate gene expression such as enhancers. Identifying associations between enhancers and phenotypes is challenging because enhancer activity can be tissue-dependent and functionally conserved despite low sequence conservation. We developed the Tissue-Aware Conservation Inference Toolkit (TACIT) to associate candidate enhancers with species' phenotypes using predictions from machine learning models trained on specific tissues. Applying TACIT to associate motor cortex and parvalbumin-positive interneuron enhancers with neurological phenotypes revealed dozens of enhancer-phenotype associations, including brain size-associated enhancers that interact with genes implicated in microcephaly or macrocephaly. TACIT provides a foundation for identifying enhancers associated with the evolution of any convergently evolved phenotype in any large group of species with aligned genomes

    Epsilon toxin-producing Clostridium perfringens colonize the MS gut and epsilon toxin overcomes immune privilege

    No full text
    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex disease of the CNS thought to require an environmental trigger. Gut dysbiosis is common in MS, but specific causative species are unknown. To address this knowledge gap, we used sensitive and quantitative PCR detection to show that people with MS were more likely to harbor and show a greater abundance of epsilon toxin-producing (ETX-producing) strains of C. perfringens within their gut microbiomes compared with individuals who are healthy controls (HCs). Isolates derived from patients with MS produced functional ETX and had a genetic architecture typical of highly conjugative plasmids. In the active immunization model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), where pertussis toxin (PTX) is used to overcome CNS immune privilege, ETX can substitute for PTX. In contrast to PTX-induced EAE, where inflammatory demyelination is largely restricted to the spinal cord, ETX-induced EAE caused demyelination in the corpus callosum, thalamus, cerebellum, brainstem, and spinal cord, more akin to the neuroanatomical lesion distribution seen in MS. CNS endothelial cell transcriptional profiles revealed ETX-induced genes that are known to play a role in overcoming CNS immune privilege. Together, these findings suggest that ETX-producing C. perfringens strains are biologically plausible pathogens in MS that trigger inflammatory demyelination in the context of circulating myelin autoreactive lymphocytes

    The contribution of historical processes to contemporary extinction risk in placental mammals

    No full text
    Species persistence can be influenced by the amount, type, and distribution of diversity across the genome, suggesting a potential relationship between historical demography and resilience. In this study, we surveyed genetic variation across single genomes of 240 mammals that compose the Zoonomia alignment to evaluate how historical effective population size (Ne) affects heterozygosity and deleterious genetic load and how these factors may contribute to extinction risk. We find that species with smaller historical Ne carry a proportionally larger burden of deleterious alleles owing to long-term accumulation and fixation of genetic load and have a higher risk of extinction. This suggests that historical demography can inform contemporary resilience. Models that included genomic data were predictive of species' conservation status, suggesting that, in the absence of adequate census or ecological data, genomic information may provide an initial risk assessment

    Integrating gene annotation with orthology inference at scale

    No full text
    Annotating coding genes and inferring orthologs are two classical challenges in genomics and evolutionary biology that have traditionally been approached separately, limiting scalability. We present TOGA (Tool to infer Orthologs from Genome Alignments), a method that integrates structural gene annotation and orthology inference. TOGA implements a different paradigm to infer orthologous loci, improves ortholog detection and annotation of conserved genes compared with state-of-the-art methods, and handles even highly fragmented assemblies. TOGA scales to hundreds of genomes, which we demonstrate by applying it to 488 placental mammal and 501 bird assemblies, creating the largest comparative gene resources so far. Additionally, TOGA detects gene losses, enables selection screens, and automatically provides a superior measure of mammalian genome quality. TOGA is a powerful and scalable method to annotate and compare genes in the genomic era

    Three-dimensional genome rewiring in loci with human accelerated regions

    No full text
    Human accelerated regions (HARs) are conserved genomic loci that evolved at an accelerated rate in the human lineage and may underlie human-specific traits. We generated HARs and chimpanzee accelerated regions with an automated pipeline and an alignment of 241 mammalian genomes. Combining deep learning with chromatin capture experiments in human and chimpanzee neural progenitor cells, we discovered a significant enrichment of HARs in topologically associating domains containing human-specific genomic variants that change three-dimensional (3D) genome organization. Differential gene expression between humans and chimpanzees at these loci suggests rewiring of regulatory interactions between HARs and neurodevelopmental genes. Thus, comparative genomics together with models of 3D genome folding revealed enhancer hijacking as an explanation for the rapid evolution of HARs

    Search for intermediate-mass black hole binaries in the third observing run of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo

    No full text
    International audienceIntermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) span the approximate mass range 100−105 M⊙, between black holes (BHs) that formed by stellar collapse and the supermassive BHs at the centers of galaxies. Mergers of IMBH binaries are the most energetic gravitational-wave sources accessible by the terrestrial detector network. Searches of the first two observing runs of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo did not yield any significant IMBH binary signals. In the third observing run (O3), the increased network sensitivity enabled the detection of GW190521, a signal consistent with a binary merger of mass ∌150 M⊙ providing direct evidence of IMBH formation. Here, we report on a dedicated search of O3 data for further IMBH binary mergers, combining both modeled (matched filter) and model-independent search methods. We find some marginal candidates, but none are sufficiently significant to indicate detection of further IMBH mergers. We quantify the sensitivity of the individual search methods and of the combined search using a suite of IMBH binary signals obtained via numerical relativity, including the effects of spins misaligned with the binary orbital axis, and present the resulting upper limits on astrophysical merger rates. Our most stringent limit is for equal mass and aligned spin BH binary of total mass 200 M⊙ and effective aligned spin 0.8 at 0.056 Gpc−3 yr−1 (90% confidence), a factor of 3.5 more constraining than previous LIGO-Virgo limits. We also update the estimated rate of mergers similar to GW190521 to 0.08 Gpc−3 yr−1.Key words: gravitational waves / stars: black holes / black hole physicsCorresponding author: W. Del Pozzo, e-mail: [email protected]† Deceased, August 2020

    Prognostic indicators and outcomes of hospitalised COVID-19 patients with neurological disease: An individual patient data meta-analysis.

    Get PDF
    BackgroundNeurological COVID-19 disease has been reported widely, but published studies often lack information on neurological outcomes and prognostic risk factors. We aimed to describe the spectrum of neurological disease in hospitalised COVID-19 patients; characterise clinical outcomes; and investigate factors associated with a poor outcome.MethodsWe conducted an individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis of hospitalised patients with neurological COVID-19 disease, using standard case definitions. We invited authors of studies from the first pandemic wave, plus clinicians in the Global COVID-Neuro Network with unpublished data, to contribute. We analysed features associated with poor outcome (moderate to severe disability or death, 3 to 6 on the modified Rankin Scale) using multivariable models.ResultsWe included 83 studies (31 unpublished) providing IPD for 1979 patients with COVID-19 and acute new-onset neurological disease. Encephalopathy (978 [49%] patients) and cerebrovascular events (506 [26%]) were the most common diagnoses. Respiratory and systemic symptoms preceded neurological features in 93% of patients; one third developed neurological disease after hospital admission. A poor outcome was more common in patients with cerebrovascular events (76% [95% CI 67-82]), than encephalopathy (54% [42-65]). Intensive care use was high (38% [35-41]) overall, and also greater in the cerebrovascular patients. In the cerebrovascular, but not encephalopathic patients, risk factors for poor outcome included breathlessness on admission and elevated D-dimer. Overall, 30-day mortality was 30% [27-32]. The hazard of death was comparatively lower for patients in the WHO European region.InterpretationNeurological COVID-19 disease poses a considerable burden in terms of disease outcomes and use of hospital resources from prolonged intensive care and inpatient admission; preliminary data suggest these may differ according to WHO regions and country income levels. The different risk factors for encephalopathy and stroke suggest different disease mechanisms which may be amenable to intervention, especially in those who develop neurological symptoms after hospital admission

    Prognostic indicators and outcomes of hospitalised COVID-19 patients with neurological disease: An individual patient data meta-analysis

    Get PDF
    BACKGROUND: Neurological COVID-19 disease has been reported widely, but published studies often lack information on neurological outcomes and prognostic risk factors. We aimed to describe the spectrum of neurological disease in hospitalised COVID-19 patients; characterise clinical outcomes; and investigate factors associated with a poor outcome. METHODS: We conducted an individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis of hospitalised patients with neurological COVID-19 disease, using standard case definitions. We invited authors of studies from the first pandemic wave, plus clinicians in the Global COVID-Neuro Network with unpublished data, to contribute. We analysed features associated with poor outcome (moderate to severe disability or death, 3 to 6 on the modified Rankin Scale) using multivariable models. RESULTS: We included 83 studies (31 unpublished) providing IPD for 1979 patients with COVID-19 and acute new-onset neurological disease. Encephalopathy (978 [49%] patients) and cerebrovascular events (506 [26%]) were the most common diagnoses. Respiratory and systemic symptoms preceded neurological features in 93% of patients; one third developed neurological disease after hospital admission. A poor outcome was more common in patients with cerebrovascular events (76% [95% CI 67-82]), than encephalopathy (54% [42-65]). Intensive care use was high (38% [35-41]) overall, and also greater in the cerebrovascular patients. In the cerebrovascular, but not encephalopathic patients, risk factors for poor outcome included breathlessness on admission and elevated D-dimer. Overall, 30-day mortality was 30% [27-32]. The hazard of death was comparatively lower for patients in the WHO European region. INTERPRETATION: Neurological COVID-19 disease poses a considerable burden in terms of disease outcomes and use of hospital resources from prolonged intensive care and inpatient admission; preliminary data suggest these may differ according to WHO regions and country income levels. The different risk factors for encephalopathy and stroke suggest different disease mechanisms which may be amenable to intervention, especially in those who develop neurological symptoms after hospital admission
    • 

    corecore