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2022 ◽  
Vol 23 (1) ◽  
Thomas H. Jonkman ◽  
Koen F. Dekkers ◽  
Roderick C. Slieker ◽  
Crystal D. Grant ◽  
M. Arfan Ikram ◽  

Abstract Background Epigenetic clocks use DNA methylation (DNAm) levels of specific sets of CpG dinucleotides to accurately predict individual chronological age. A popular application of these clocks is to explore whether the deviation of predicted age from chronological age is associated with disease phenotypes, where this deviation is interpreted as a potential biomarker of biological age. This wide application, however, contrasts with the limited insight in the processes that may drive the running of epigenetic clocks. Results We perform a functional genomics analysis on four epigenetic clocks, including Hannum’s blood predictor and Horvath’s multi-tissue predictor, using blood DNA methylome and transcriptome data from 3132 individuals. The four clocks result in similar predictions of individual chronological age, and their constituting CpGs are correlated in DNAm level and are enriched for similar histone modifications and chromatin states. Interestingly, DNAm levels of CpGs from the clocks are commonly associated with gene expression in trans. The gene sets involved are highly overlapping and enriched for T cell processes. Further analysis of the transcriptome and methylome of sorted blood cell types identifies differences in DNAm between naive and activated T and NK cells as a probable contributor to the clocks. Indeed, within the same donor, the four epigenetic clocks predict naive cells to be up to 40 years younger than activated cells. Conclusions The ability of epigenetic clocks to predict chronological age involves their ability to detect changes in proportions of naive and activated immune blood cells, an established feature of immuno-senescence. This finding may contribute to the interpretation of associations between clock-derived measures and age-related health outcomes.

Sumiko Yoshida ◽  
Masahiro Hatasa ◽  
Yujin Ohsugi ◽  
Yosuke Tsuchiya ◽  
Anhao Liu ◽  

Preventing adverse pregnancy outcomes is crucial for maternal and child health. Periodontal disease is a risk factor for many systemic diseases including adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth and low birth weight. In addition, the administration of the periodontopathic bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis exacerbates obesity, glucose tolerance, and hepatic steatosis and alters endocrine function in the brown adipose tissue (BAT). However, the effects of having periodontal disease during pregnancy remain unclear. Thus, this study investigates the effect of P. gingivalis administration on obesity, liver, and BAT during pregnancy. Sonicated P. gingivalis (Pg) or saline (Co) was injected intravenously and administered orally to pregnant C57BL/6J mice three times per week. Maternal body weight and fetal body weight on embryonic day (ED) 18 were evaluated. Microarray analysis and qPCR in the liver and BAT and hepatic and plasma triglyceride quantification were performed on dams at ED 18. The body weight of Pg dams was heavier than that of Co dams; however, the fetal body weight was decreased in the offspring of Pg dams. Microarray analysis revealed 254 and 53 differentially expressed genes in the liver and BAT, respectively. Gene set enrichment analysis exhibited the downregulation of fatty acid metabolism gene set in the liver and estrogen response early/late gene sets in the BAT, whereas inflammatory response and IL6/JAK/STAT3 signaling gene sets were upregulated both in the liver and BAT. The downregulation of expression levels of Lpin1, Lpin2, and Lxra in the liver, which are associated with triglyceride synthesis, and a decreasing trend in hepatic triglyceride of Pg dams were observed. P. gingivalis administration may alter lipid metabolism in the liver. Overall, the intravenous and oral administration of sonicated P. gingivalis-induced obesity and modified gene expression in the liver and BAT in pregnant mice and caused fetuses to be underweight.

2022 ◽  
Vol 11 ◽  
Xianhui Liu ◽  
Weiyu Zhang ◽  
Huanrui Wang ◽  
Lin Zhu ◽  
Kexin Xu

BackgroundPrevious reports have shown that short/branched chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (ACADSB) plays an important role in glioma, but its role in clear cell renal carcinoma (ccRCC) has not been reported.MethodsThe TIMER and UALCAN databases were used for pan-cancer analysis. RNA sequencing and microarray data of patients with ccRCC were downloaded from the Cancer Genome Atlas and Gene Expression Omnibus database. The differential expression of ACADSB in ccRCC and normal kidney tissues was tested. Correlations between ACADSB expression and clinicopathological parameters were assessed using the Wilcoxon test. The influences of ACADSB expression and clinicopathological parameters on overall survival were assessed using Cox proportional hazards models. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) was performed to explore the associated gene sets enriched in different ACADSB expression phenotypes. Gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analyses were performed on genes with similar expression patterns to ACADSB. Correlations between ACADSB and ferroptosis-related genes were assessed using Spearman’s correlation analysis.ResultsPan-cancer analysis revealed that ACADSB is down-regulated in multiple cancers, and decreased expression of ACADSB correlates with poor prognosis in certain types of cancer. Differential expression analyses revealed that ACADSB was down-regulated in ccRCC, indicating that ACADSB expression could be a single significant parameter to discriminate between normal and tumor tissues. Clinical association analysis indicated that decreased ACADSB expression was associated with high tumor stage and grade. The Cox regression model indicated that low ACADSB expression was an independent risk factor for the overall survival of patients with ccRCC. GSEA showed that 10 gene sets, including fatty acid (FA) metabolism, were differentially enriched in the ACADSB high expression phenotype. GO and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis revealed that ACADSB-related genes were significantly enriched in categories related to FA metabolism, branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) metabolism, and iron regulation. Spearman’s correlation analysis suggested that the expression of ACADSB was positively correlated with the expression of ferroptosis driver genes.ConclusionsACADSB showed good diagnostic and prognostic abilities for ccRCC. The downregulation of ACADSB might promote tumorigenesis and tumor progression by inhibiting FA catabolism, BCAA catabolism, and ferroptosis in ccRCC.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Judit Cabana-Domínguez ◽  
Bàrbara Torrico ◽  
Andreas Reif ◽  
Noèlia Fernàndez-Castillo ◽  
Bru Cormand

AbstractPsychiatric disorders are highly prevalent and display considerable clinical and genetic overlap. Dopaminergic and serotonergic neurotransmission have been shown to play an important role in many psychiatric disorders. Here we aim to assess the genetic contribution of these systems to eight psychiatric disorders (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anorexia nervosa (ANO), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder (BIP), major depression (MD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia (SCZ) and Tourette’s syndrome (TS)) using publicly available GWAS analyses performed by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium that include more than 160,000 cases and 275,000 controls. To do so, we elaborated four different gene sets: two ‘wide’ selections for dopamine (DA) and for serotonin (SERT) using the Gene Ontology and KEGG pathways tools, and two’core’ selections for the same systems, manually curated. At the gene level, we found 67 genes from the DA and/or SERT gene sets significantly associated with one of the studied disorders, and 12 of them were associated with two different disorders. Gene-set analysis revealed significant associations for ADHD and ASD with the wide DA gene set, for BIP with the wide SERT gene set, and for MD with the core SERT set. Interestingly, interrogation of a cross-disorder GWAS meta-analysis of the eight psychiatric conditions displayed association with the wide DA gene set. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic examination of genes encoding proteins essential to the function of these two neurotransmitter systems in these disorders. Our results support a pleiotropic contribution of the dopaminergic and serotonergic systems in several psychiatric conditions.

2022 ◽  
Vol 13 (1) ◽  
Chia-Chin Wu ◽  
Y. Alan Wang ◽  
J. Andrew Livingston ◽  
Jianhua Zhang ◽  
P. Andrew Futreal

AbstractOwing to a lack of response to the anti-PD1 therapy for most cancer patients, we develop a network approach to infer genes, pathways, and potential therapeutic combinations that are associated with tumor response to anti-PD1. Here, our prediction identifies genes and pathways known to be associated with anti-PD1, and is further validated by 6 CRISPR gene sets associated with tumor resistance to cytotoxic T cells and targets of the 36 compounds that have been tested in clinical trials for combination treatments with anti-PD1. Integration of our top prediction and TCGA data identifies hundreds of genes whose expression and genetic alterations that could affect response to anti-PD1 in each TCGA cancer type, and the comparison of these genes across cancer types reveals that the tumor immunoregulation associated with response to anti-PD1 would be tissue-specific. In addition, the integration identifies the gene signature to calculate the MHC I association immunoscore (MIAS) that shows a good correlation with patient response to anti-PD1 for 411 melanoma samples complied from 6 cohorts. Furthermore, mapping drug target data to the top genes in our association prediction identifies inhibitors that could potentially enhance tumor response to anti-PD1, such as inhibitors of the encoded proteins of CDK4, GSK3B, and PTK2.

2022 ◽  
Guang-Wen Cao ◽  
Linfeng Xian ◽  
Pei Zhao ◽  
Xi Chen ◽  
Zhimin Wei ◽  

Abstract To screen for sensitive drugs for recurrent primary liver cancer (PLC) and elucidate the mechanisms underlying inherent and acquired drug resistance, we established a platform of organoids, organoids-derived xenograft (ODX) mouse models, and patient-derived xenograft (PDX) mouse models of primary liver cancer (PLC). Fifty-two organoids were established from 153 PLC patients. Establishing organoids of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) displayed a trend toward a higher success rate than establishing PDX (29.0% vs. 23.7%) and took a shorter duration (13.0 ± 4.7 vs. 25.1 ± 5.4 days, P=2.28×10−13) than establishing PDX models. Larger tumor, vascular invasion, and advanced stage were significantly associated with successful establishment of organoids and PDX in HCC. Organoids and ODX recapitulated PLC histopathological features but enriched more aggressive cell types. PLC organoids were mostly resistant to lenvatinib in vitro but sensitive in ODX model, indicating innate immunity plays a role. Acquired sorafenib-resistant HCC organoids were generated via 3–5 months of induction. RNA-sequencing indicated that stemness– and epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT)–related gene sets were upregulated, whereas liver development– and liver specific molecule–related gene sets were downregulated, in acquired sorafenib-resistant organoids. Targeting mTOR signaling pathway was effective in treating acquired sorafenib-resistant HCC, possibly via inducing phosphorylated S6 kinase. Genes upregulated in acquired sorafenib-resistant HCC organoids were often associated with unfavorable prognosis. Conclusively, HCC organoids perform better than PDX for drug selection. Acquired sorafenib resistance in organoids promotes HCC aggressiveness via facilitating the stemness, retrodifferentiation, and EMT. Phosphorylated S6 kinase might be predictive for drug resistance in HCC.

2022 ◽  
Vol 13 (1) ◽  
Young-Il Kim ◽  
Kwang-Min Yu ◽  
June-Young Koh ◽  
Eun-Ha Kim ◽  
Se-Mi Kim ◽  

AbstractWhile the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in healthy people does not differ significantly among age groups, those aged 65 years or older exhibit strikingly higher COVID-19 mortality compared to younger individuals. To further understand differing COVID-19 manifestations in patients of different ages, three age groups of ferrets are infected with SARS-CoV-2. Although SARS-CoV-2 is isolated from all ferrets regardless of age, aged ferrets (≥3 years old) show higher viral loads, longer nasal virus shedding, and more severe lung inflammatory cell infiltration, and clinical symptoms compared to juvenile (≤6 months) and young adult (1–2 years) groups. Furthermore, direct contact ferrets co-housed with the virus-infected aged group shed more virus than direct-contact ferrets co-housed with virus-infected juvenile or young adult ferrets. Transcriptome analysis of aged ferret lungs reveals strong enrichment of gene sets related to type I interferon, activated T cells, and M1 macrophage responses, mimicking the gene expression profile of severe COVID-19 patients. Thus, SARS-CoV-2-infected aged ferrets highly recapitulate COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms and are useful for understanding age-associated infection, transmission, and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2.

2022 ◽  
Juliano Morimoto ◽  
Davina Derous ◽  
Marius Wenzel ◽  
Youn Henry ◽  
Herve Colinet

Intraspecific competition at the larval stage is an important ecological factor affecting life-history, adaptation and evolutionary trajectory in holometabolous insects. However, the molecular pathways and physiological trade-offs underpinning these ecological processes are poorly characterised. We reared Drosophila melanogaster at three egg densities (5, 60 and 300 eggs/ml) and sequenced the transcriptomes of pooled third-instar larvae. We also examined emergence time, egg-to-adult viability, adult mass and adult sex-ratio at each density. Medium crowding had minor detrimental effects on adult phenotypes compared to low density and yielded 24 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) including several chitinase enzymes. In contrast, high crowding had substantial detrimental effects on adult phenotypes and yielded 2107 DEGs. Among these, upregulated gene sets were enriched in sugar, steroid and amino acid metabolism as well as DNA replication pathways, whereas downregulated gene sets were enriched in ABC transporters, Taurine, Toll/Imd signalling and P450 xenobiotics metabolism pathways. Overall, our findings show that larval overcrowding has a large consistent effect on several molecular pathways (i.e., core responses) with few pathways displaying density-specific regulation (i.e., idiosyncratic responses). This provides important insights into how holometabolous insects respond to intraspecific competition during development.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Maria Dehli Vigeland ◽  
Siri Tennebø Flåm ◽  
Magnus Dehli Vigeland ◽  
Ansgar Espeland ◽  
Per Martin Kristoffersen ◽  

AbstractDisability and distress caused by chronic low back pain (LBP) lacking clear pathoanatomical explanations cause huge problems both for patients and society. A subgroup of patients has Modic changes (MC), identifiable by MRI as vertebral bone marrow lesions. The cause of such changes and their relationship to pain are not yet understood. We explored the pathobiology of these lesions using profiling of gene expression in blood, coupled with an edema-sensitive MRI technique known as short tau inversion recovery (STIR) imaging. STIR images and total RNA from blood were collected from 96 patients with chronic LBP and MC type I, the most inflammatory MC state. We found the expression of 37 genes significantly associated with STIR signal volume, ten genes with edema abundancy (a constructed combination of STIR signal volume, height, and intensity), and one gene with expression levels significantly associated with maximum STIR signal intensity. Gene sets related to interferon signaling, mitochondrial metabolism and defense response to virus were identified as significantly enriched among the upregulated genes in all three analyses. Our results point to inflammation and immunological defense as important players in MC biology in patients with chronic LBP.

Yong Guo ◽  
Hideyuki Ihara ◽  
Tomo Aoyagi ◽  
Tomoyuki Hori ◽  
Yoko Katayama

Sulfurovum spp. TSL1 and TSL6 are sulfur-oxidizing chemolithoautotrophic bacteria isolated from the tsunami-launched marine sediment in the Great East Japan earthquake. This announcement describes the draft genome sequences of the two isolates that possess the gene sets for the sulfur oxidation pathway.

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