Molecular Signatures
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2021 ◽  
Rubia M. Martin ◽  
Michael S. Bereman ◽  
Kurt C. Marsden

Exposure to cyanotoxins has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disease. While the cyanotoxin beta-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has received much attention, cyanobacteria produce many cyanotoxic compounds, several of which have been detected in nature alongside BMAA including 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (2,4-DAB), and N-(2-aminoethyl)glycine (AEG). Thus, the question of whether DAB and AEG also cause neurotoxic effects in vivo is of great interest, as is the question of whether they interact to enhance toxicity. Here, we evaluate the toxic and neurotoxic effects of these cyanotoxins alone or in combination by measuring zebrafish larval viability and behavior after exposure. 2,4-DAB was the most potent cyanotoxin as it decreased larval viability by approximately 50% at 6 days post fertilization, while BMAA and AEG decreased viability by just 16% and 8%, respectively. Although we only observed minor neurotoxic effects on spontaneous locomotion, BMAA and AEG enhanced acoustic startle sensitivity, and they interacted in an additive manner to exert their effects. 2,4-DAB, however, only modulated the startle kinematics, an indication of motor dysfunction. To investigate the mechanisms of 2,4-DAB's effects, we analyzed the protein profile of larval zebrafish exposed to 500 uM 2,4-DAB at two time points and identified molecular signatures consistent with neurodegeneration, including disruption of metabolic pathways and downregulation of the ALS-associated genes SOD1 and UBQLN4. Together, our data demonstrate that BMAA and its isomers AEG and 2,4-DAB cause neurotoxic effects in vivo, with 2,4-DAB as the most potent of the three in the zebrafish model.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Subhajyoti De

Early detection of cancer saves lives, but an effective detection strategy in public health settings requires a delicate balance - periodic screening should neither miss rapidly progressing disease nor fail to detect rare tumors at unusual locations; on the other hand, even a modest false positive rate carries risks of over-diagnosis and over-treatment of relatively indolent non-malignant disease. Genomic profiling of cell-free DNA from liquid biopsy using massively parallel sequencing is emerging as an attractive, non-invasive screening platform for sensitive detection of multiple types of cancer in a single assay. Genomic data from cell-free DNA can not only identify oncogenic mutation status, but also additional molecular signatures related to potential tissue of origin, the extent of clonal growth, and malignant disease states. Utilization of the full potential of the molecular signatures from cfDNA sequencing data can guide clinical management strategies for targeted follow-ups using imaging or molecular marker-based diagnostic platforms and treatment options.

2021 ◽  
Vol 5 ◽  
Phillip Brown ◽  
Yi Chen ◽  
Robin Siletzky ◽  
Cameron Parsons ◽  
Lee-Ann Jaykus ◽  

Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive foodborne pathogen responsible for the severe disease listeriosis and notorious for its ability to persist in food processing plants, leading to contamination of processed, ready-to-eat foods. L. monocytogenes persistence in various food processing environments (FPEs) has been extensively investigated by various subtyping tools, with increasing use of whole genome sequencing (WGS). However, major knowledge gaps remain. There is a need for facility-specific molecular signatures not only for adequate attribution of L. monocytogenes to a specific FPE but also for improved understanding of the ecology and evolution of L. monocytogenes in the food processing ecosystem. Furthermore, multiple strains can be recovered from a single FPE sample, but their diversity can be underestimated with common molecular subtyping tools. In this study we investigated a panel of 54 L. monocytogenes strains from four turkey processing plants in the United States. A combination of WGS and phenotypic assays was employed to assess strain persistence as well as identify facility-specific molecular signatures. Comparative analysis of allelic variation across the whole genome revealed that allelic profiles have the potential to be specific to individual processing plants. Certain allelic profiles remained associated with individual plants even when closely-related strains from other sources were included in the analysis. Furthermore, for certain sequence types (STs) based on the seven-locus multilocus sequence typing scheme, presence and location of premature stop codons in inlA, inlB length, prophage sequences, and the sequence content of a genomic hotspot could serve as plant-specific signatures. Interestingly, the analysis of different isolates from the same environmental sample revealed major differences not only in serotype and ST, but even in the sequence content of strains of the same ST. This study highlights the potential for WGS data to be deployed for identification of facility-specific signatures, thus facilitating the tracking of strain movement through the food chain. Furthermore, deployment of WGS for intra-sample strain analysis allows for a more complete environmental surveillance of L. monocytogenes in food processing facilities, reducing the risk of failing to detect strains that may be clinically relevant and potentially novel.

2021 ◽  
Vol 18 (19) ◽  
pp. 5491-5511
Tanya J. R. Lippmann ◽  
Michiel H. in 't Zandt ◽  
Nathalie N. L. Van der Putten ◽  
Freek S. Busschers ◽  
Marc P. Hijma ◽  

Abstract. Northern latitude peatlands act as important carbon sources and sinks, but little is known about the greenhouse gas (GHG) budgets of peatlands that were submerged beneath the North Sea during the last glacial–interglacial transition. We found that whilst peat formation was diachronous, commencing between 13 680 and 8360 calibrated years before the present, stratigraphic layering and local vegetation succession were consistent across a large study area. Large carbon stores were measured. In situ methane (CH4) concentrations of sediment pore waters were widespread but low at most sites, with the exception of two locations. Incubation experiments in the laboratory revealed molecular signatures of methanogenic archaea, with strong increases in rates of activity upon methylated substrate amendment. Remarkably, methanotrophic activity and the respective diagnostic molecular signatures could not be detected. Heterotrophic Bathyarchaeota dominated the archaeal communities, and bacterial populations were dominated by candidate phylum JS1 bacteria. In the absence of active methanogenic microorganisms, we conclude that these sediment harbour low concentrations of widespread millennia-old CH4. The presence of large widespread stores of carbon and in situ methanogenic microorganisms, in the absence of methanotrophic microorganisms, holds the potential for microbial CH4 production if catalysed by a change in environmental conditions.

2021 ◽  
Nabanita Roy ◽  
Ria Lodh ◽  
Anupam Sarma ◽  
Dhruba Kumar Bhattacharyya ◽  
Pankaj Barah

Hepatobiliary cancers (HBCs) are the most aggressive and sixth most diagnosed cancers globally. Biomarkers for timely diagnosis and targeted therapy in HBCs are still limited. Considering the gap, our objective is to identify unique and overlapping molecular signatures associated with HBCs. We analyzed publicly available transcriptomic datasets on Gallbladder cancer (GBC), Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) to identify potential biomarkers using integrative systems approaches. An effective Common and Unique Molecular Signature Identification (CUMSI) approach has been employed, which contains analysis of differential gene expression (DEG), gene co-expression networks (GCN), and protein-protein interactions (PPIs) networks. Functional analysis of the DEGs unique for GBC, HCC, and ICC indicated that GBC is associated with cellular processes, HCC is associated with immune signaling pathways, and ICC is associated with lipid metabolic pathways. Our findings shows that the hub genes and pathways identified for each individual cancer type of the HBS are related with the primary function of each organ and each cancer exhibit unique expression patterns despite being part of the same organ system.

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 ◽  
Xin Xu ◽  
Xingchen Li ◽  
Jingyi Zhou ◽  
Jianliu Wang

BackgroundTumor biomechanics correlates with the progression and prognosis of endometrial carcinoma (EC). The objective of this study is to construct a risk model using the mechanical stimulus-related genes in EC.MethodsWe retrieved the transcriptome profiling and clinical data of EC from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Molecular Signatures Database (MSigDB). Differentially expressed mechanical stimulus-related genes were extracted from the databases, and then the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression analysis was used to construct a risk model. A nomogram integrating the genes and the clinicopathological characteristics was established and validated using the Kaplan-Meier survival and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves to estimate the overall survival (OS) of EC patients. Protein profiling technology and immunofluorescence technique were performed to verify the connection between biomechanics and EC.ResultsIn total, 79 mechanical stimulus-related genes were identified by analyzing the two databases. Based on the LASSO regression analysis, 7 genes were selected for the establishment of the risk model. This model showed a good performance in terms of the prognostic accuracy in high- and low-risk groups. The area under the ROC curves (AUC) of this model was 0.697, 0.712 and 0.723 for 3-, 5- and 7-year OS, respectively. Then, a nomogram integrating the genes of the risk model and clinical features was constructed. The nomogram could accurately predict the OS (AUC = 0.779, 0.812 and 0.806 for 3-, 5- and 7-year OS, respectively). The results of the protein profiling technology and immunofluorescence revealed the expression of cytoskeleton proteins to be correlated with the Matrigel stiffness degree.ConclusionsIn summary, a risk model of 7 mechanical stimulus-related genes was identified in EC. A nomogram based on this risk model and combining the clinicopathological features to assess the overall survival of EC showed high practical value.

Nature ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 598 (7879) ◽  
pp. 200-204
Aparna Bhaduri ◽  
Carmen Sandoval-Espinosa ◽  
Marcos Otero-Garcia ◽  
Irene Oh ◽  
Raymund Yin ◽  

AbstractThe human brain is subdivided into distinct anatomical structures, including the neocortex, which in turn encompasses dozens of distinct specialized cortical areas. Early morphogenetic gradients are known to establish early brain regions and cortical areas, but how early patterns result in finer and more discrete spatial differences remains poorly understood1. Here we use single-cell RNA sequencing to profile ten major brain structures and six neocortical areas during peak neurogenesis and early gliogenesis. Within the neocortex, we find that early in the second trimester, a large number of genes are differentially expressed across distinct cortical areas in all cell types, including radial glia, the neural progenitors of the cortex. However, the abundance of areal transcriptomic signatures increases as radial glia differentiate into intermediate progenitor cells and ultimately give rise to excitatory neurons. Using an automated, multiplexed single-molecule fluorescent in situ hybridization approach, we find that laminar gene-expression patterns are highly dynamic across cortical regions. Together, our data suggest that early cortical areal patterning is defined by strong, mutually exclusive frontal and occipital gene-expression signatures, with resulting gradients giving rise to the specification of areas between these two poles throughout successive developmental timepoints.

2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (19) ◽  
pp. 10810
Dema Ali ◽  
Dana Alhattab ◽  
Hanan Jafar ◽  
Malak Alzubide ◽  
Nour Sharar ◽  

The stemness in keratinocyte stem cells (KSCs) is determined by their gene expression patterns. KSCs are crucial in maintaining epidermal homeostasis and wound repair and are widely used candidates for therapeutic applications. Although several studies have reported their positive identifiers, unique biomarkers for KSCs remain elusive. Here, we aim to identify potential candidate stem cell markers. Human epidermal keratinocytes (HEKs) from neonatal foreskin tissues were isolated and cultured. Single-cell clonal analysis identified and characterized three types of cells: KSCs (holoclones), transient amplifying cells (TACs; meroclones), and differentiated cells (DSCs; paraclones). The clonogenic potential of KSCs demonstrated the highest proliferation potential of KSCs, followed by TACs and DSCs, respectively. Whole-transcriptome analysis using microarray technology unraveled the molecular signatures of these cells. These results were validated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and flow cytometry analysis. A total of 301 signature upregulated and 149 downregulated differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in the KSCs, compared to TACs and DSCs. Furthermore, DEG analyses revealed new sets of genes related to cell proliferation, cell adhesion, surface makers, and regulatory factors. In conclusion, this study provides a useful source of information for the identification of potential SC-specific candidate markers.

Nature ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 598 (7879) ◽  
pp. 103-110 ◽  
Zizhen Yao ◽  
Hanqing Liu ◽  
Fangming Xie ◽  
Stephan Fischer ◽  
Ricky S. Adkins ◽  

AbstractSingle-cell transcriptomics can provide quantitative molecular signatures for large, unbiased samples of the diverse cell types in the brain1–3. With the proliferation of multi-omics datasets, a major challenge is to validate and integrate results into a biological understanding of cell-type organization. Here we generated transcriptomes and epigenomes from more than 500,000 individual cells in the mouse primary motor cortex, a structure that has an evolutionarily conserved role in locomotion. We developed computational and statistical methods to integrate multimodal data and quantitatively validate cell-type reproducibility. The resulting reference atlas—containing over 56 neuronal cell types that are highly replicable across analysis methods, sequencing technologies and modalities—is a comprehensive molecular and genomic account of the diverse neuronal and non-neuronal cell types in the mouse primary motor cortex. The atlas includes a population of excitatory neurons that resemble pyramidal cells in layer 4 in other cortical regions4. We further discovered thousands of concordant marker genes and gene regulatory elements for these cell types. Our results highlight the complex molecular regulation of cell types in the brain and will directly enable the design of reagents to target specific cell types in the mouse primary motor cortex for functional analysis.

2021 ◽  
Gayani Senevirathne ◽  
Neil H. Shubin

Evolutionary novelties entail the origin of morphologies that enable new functions. These features can arise through changes to gene function and regulation. One important novelty is the fused rod at the end of the vertebral column in anurans, the urostyle. This feature is composed of a coccyx and an ossifying hypochord, and both structures ossify during metamorphosis. We used Laser Capture Micro-dissection of these identified tissues and subjected them to RNA-seq and ATAC-seq analyses at three developmental stages in tadpoles of Xenopus tropicalis. These experiments reveal that the coccyx and hypochord have two different molecular signatures. ATAC-seq data reveals potential regulatory regions that are observed in proximity to candidate genes identified from RNA-seq. Neuronal (TUBB3) and muscle markers (MYH3) are upregulated in coccygeal tissues, whereas T-box genes (TBXT, TBXT.2), corticosteroid stress hormones (CRCH.1), and matrix metallopeptidases (MMP1, MMP8, MMP13) are upregulated in the hypochord. Even though an ossifying hypochord is only present in anurans, this ossification between the vertebral column and the notochord appears to resemble a congenital vertebral anomaly seen prenatally in humans, caused by an ectopic expression of the TBXT/TBXT.2 gene. This work opens the way to functional studies that help us better elucidate anuran bauplan evolution.

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