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2022 ◽  
Vol 23 (2) ◽  
pp. 925
Sara Illodo ◽  
Cibrán Pérez-González ◽  
Ramiro Barcia ◽  
Flor Rodríguez-Prieto ◽  
Wajih Al-Soufi ◽  

Guanine quadruplexes (G4s) are highly polymorphic four-stranded structures formed within guanine-rich DNA and RNA sequences that play a crucial role in biological processes. The recent discovery of the first G4 structures within mitochondrial DNA has led to a small revolution in the field. In particular, the G-rich conserved sequence block II (CSB II) can form different types of G4s that are thought to play a crucial role in replication. In this study, we decipher the most relevant G4 structures that can be formed within CSB II: RNA G4 at the RNA transcript, DNA G4 within the non-transcribed strand and DNA:RNA hybrid between the RNA transcript and the non-transcribed strand. We show that the more abundant, but unexplored, G6AG7 (37%) and G6AG8 (35%) sequences in CSB II yield more stable G4s than the less profuse G5AG7 sequence. Moreover, the existence of a guanine located 1 bp upstream promotes G4 formation. In all cases, parallel G4s are formed, but their topology changes from a less ordered to a highly ordered G4 when adding small amounts of potassium or sodium cations. Circular dichroism was used due to discriminate different conformations and topologies of nucleic acids and was complemented with gel electrophoresis and fluorescence spectroscopy studies.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Xiaorui Liu ◽  
Lingling Xie ◽  
Zhixu Fang ◽  
Li Jiang

We investigated the existence and potential pathogenicity of a SLC9A6 splicing variant in a Chinese boy with Christianson Syndrome (CS), which was reported for the first time in China. Trio whole-exome sequencing (WES) was performed in the proband and his parents. Multiple computer prediction tools were used to evaluate the pathogenicity of the variant, and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis and cDNA sequencing were performed to verify the RNA splicing results. The patient presented with characteristic features of CS: global developmental delay, seizures, absent speech, truncal ataxia, microcephaly, ophthalmoplegia, smiling face and hyperkinesis with electrical status epilepticus during sleep (ESES) detected in an electroencephalogram (EEG). A SLC9A6 splicing variant was identified by WES and complete skipping of exon 10 was confirmed by RT-PCR. This resulted in altered gene function and was predicted to be pathogenic. ESES observed early in the disease course is considered to be a significant feature of CS with the SLC9A6 variant. Combined genetic analysis at both the DNA and RNA levels is necessary to confirm the pathogenicity of this variant and its role in the clinical diagnosis of CS.

2022 ◽  
Vol 23 (2) ◽  
pp. 883
Annalisa Chianese ◽  
Carla Zannella ◽  
Alessandra Monti ◽  
Anna De Filippis ◽  
Nunzianna Doti ◽  

Viral infections represent a serious threat to the world population and are becoming more frequent. The search and identification of broad-spectrum antiviral molecules is necessary to ensure new therapeutic options, since there is a limited availability of effective antiviral drugs able to eradicate viral infections, and consequently due to the increase of strains that are resistant to the most used drugs. Recently, several studies on antimicrobial peptides identified them as promising antiviral agents. In detail, amphibian skin secretions serve as a rich source of natural antimicrobial peptides. Their antibacterial and antifungal activities have been widely reported, but their exploitation as potential antiviral agents have yet to be fully investigated. In the present study, the antiviral activity of the peptide derived from the secretion of Rana tagoi, named AR-23, was evaluated against both DNA and RNA viruses, with or without envelope. Different assays were performed to identify in which step of the infectious cycle the peptide could act. AR-23 exhibited a greater inhibitory activity in the early stages of infection against both DNA (HSV-1) and RNA (MeV, HPIV-2, HCoV-229E, and SARS-CoV-2) enveloped viruses and, on the contrary, it was inactive against naked viruses (PV-1). Altogether, the results indicated AR-23 as a peptide with potential therapeutic effects against a wide variety of human viruses.

Radiation ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 2 (1) ◽  
pp. 62-77
Maria Gomolka ◽  
Martin Bucher ◽  
Lukas Duchrow ◽  
Beate Hochstrat ◽  
Dirk Taeger ◽  

Systematic bio- and databanks are key prerequisites for modern radiation research to investigate radiation response mechanisms in the context of genetic, environmental and lifestyle-associated factors. This report presents the current status of the German Uranium Miners’ Biobank. In 2008, the bio- and databank was established at the Federal Office for Radiation Protection, and the sampling of biological materials from former uranium miners with and without lung cancer was initiated. For this purpose, various biological specimens, such as DNA and RNA, were isolated from blood samples as well as from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded lung tissue. High-quality biomaterials suitable for OMICs research and the associated data on occupational radiation and dust exposure, and medical and lifestyle data from over 1000 individuals have been stored so far. Various experimental data, e.g., genome-wide SNPs, whole genome transcriptomic and miRNA data, as well as individual chromosomal aberration data from subgroups of biobank samples, are already available upon request for in-depth research on radiation-induced long-term effects, individual radiation susceptibility to lung cancer and radon-induced fingerprints in lung cancer. This biobank is the first systematic uranium miners´ biobank worldwide that is suitable for OMICs research on radiation-exposed workers. It offers the opportunity to link radiation-induced perturbations of biological pathways or processes and putative adverse outcome(s) by OMICs profiling at different biological organization levels.

Cancers ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 14 (2) ◽  
pp. 360
Guillaume Anthony Odri ◽  
Joëlle Tchicaya-Bouanga ◽  
Diane Ji Yun Yoon ◽  
Dominique Modrowski

Metastases of osteosarcomas are heterogeneous. They may grow simultaneously with the primary tumor, during treatment or shortly after, or a long time after the end of the treatment. They occur mainly in lungs but also in bone and various soft tissues. They can have the same histology as the primary tumor or show a shift towards a different differentiation path. However, the metastatic capacities of osteosarcoma cells can be predicted by gene and microRNA signatures. Despite the identification of numerous metastasis-promoting/predicting factors, there is no efficient therapeutic strategy to reduce the number of patients developing a metastatic disease or to cure these metastatic patients, except surgery. Indeed, these patients are generally resistant to the classical chemo- and to immuno-therapy. Hence, the knowledge of specific mechanisms should be extended to reveal novel therapeutic approaches. Recent studies that used DNA and RNA sequencing technologies highlighted complex relations between primary and secondary tumors. The reported results also supported a hierarchical organization of the tumor cell clones, suggesting that cancer stem cells are involved. Because of their chemoresistance, their plasticity, and their ability to modulate the immune environment, the osteosarcoma stem cells could be important players in the metastatic process.

2022 ◽  
Vol 2 ◽  
Brian Noh ◽  
Maria P. Blasco-Conesa ◽  
Yun-Ju Lai ◽  
Bhanu Priya Ganesh ◽  
Akihiko Urayama ◽  

Senescence in the cerebral endothelium has been proposed as a mechanism that can drive dysfunction of the cerebral vasculature, which precedes vascular dementia. Cysteine-rich angiogenic inducer 61 (Cyr61/CCN1) is a matricellular protein secreted by cerebral endothelial cells (CEC). CCN1 induces senescence in fibroblasts. However, whether CCN1 contributes to senescence in CEC and how this is regulated requires further study. Aging has been associated with the formation of four-stranded Guanine-quadruplexes (G4s) in G-rich motifs of DNA and RNA. Stabilization of the G4 structures regulates transcription and translation either by upregulation or downregulation depending on the gene target. Previously, we showed that aged mice treated with a G4-stabilizing compound had enhanced senescence-associated (SA) phenotypes in their brains, and these mice exhibited enhanced cognitive deficits. A sequence in the 3′-UTR of the human CCN1 mRNA has the ability to fold into G4s in vitro. We hypothesize that G4 stabilization regulates CCN1 in cultured primary CEC and induces endothelial senescence. We used cerebral microvessel fractions and cultured primary CEC from young (4-months old, m/o) and aged (18-m/o) mice to determine CCN1 levels. SA phenotypes were determined by high-resolution fluorescence microscopy in cultured primary CEC, and we used Thioflavin T to recognize RNA-G4s for fluorescence spectra. We found that cultured CEC from aged mice exhibited enhanced levels of SA phenotypes, and higher levels of CCN1 and G4 stabilization. In cultured CEC, CCN1 induced SA phenotypes, such as SA β-galactosidase activity, and double-strand DNA damage. Furthermore, CCN1 levels were upregulated by a G4 ligand, and a G-rich motif in the 3′-UTR of the Ccn1 mRNA was folded into a G4. In conclusion, we demonstrate that CCN1 can induce senescence in cultured primary CEC, and we provide evidence that G4 stabilization is a novel mechanism regulating the SASP component CCN1.

Wen Li ◽  
Jinyang Zhang ◽  
Min Wang ◽  
Ru Dong ◽  
Xin Zhou ◽  

Abstract: Pyrimidine-fused derivatives that are the inextricable part of DNA and RNA play a key role in the normal life cycle of cells. Pyrimidine-fused dinitrogenous penta-heterocycles including pyrazolopyrimidines and imidazopyrimidines is a special class of pyrimidine-fused compounds contributing to an important portion in anti-cancer drug discovery, which have been discovered as core structure for promising anti-cancer agents used in clinic or clinical evaluations. Pyrimidine-fused dinitrogenous penta-heterocycles have become one privileged scaffold for anti-cancer drug discovery. This review consists of the recent progress of pyrimidine-fused dinitrogenous penta-heterocycles as anti-cancer agents and their synthetic strategies. In addition, this review also summarizes some key structure-activity relationships (SARs) of pyrimidine-fused dinitrogenous penta-heterocycle derivatives as anti-cancer agents.

2022 ◽  
Shan Qi ◽  
Javier Mota ◽  
Siu-Hong Chan ◽  
Johanna Villarreal ◽  
Nan Dai ◽  

Methyltransferase like-3 (METTL3) and METTL14 complex transfers a methyl group from S-adenosyl-L-methionine to N6 amino group of adenosine bases in RNA (m6A) and DNA (m6dA). Emerging evidence highlights a role of METTL3-METTL14 in the chromatin context, especially in processes where DNA and RNA are held in close proximity. However, a mechanistic framework about specificity for substrate RNA/DNA and their interrelationship remain unclear. By systematically studying methylation activity and binding affinity to a number of DNA and RNA oligos with different propensities to form inter- or intra-molecular duplexes or single-stranded molecules in vitro, we uncover an inverse relationship for substrate binding and methylation and show that METTL3-METTL14 preferentially catalyzes the formation of m6dA in single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), despite weaker binding affinity to DNA. In contrast, it binds structured RNAs with high affinity, but methylates the target adenosine in RNA (m6A) much less efficiently than it does in ssDNA. We also show that METTL3-METTL14-mediated methylation of DNA is largely restricted by structured RNA elements prevalent in long noncoding and other cellular RNAs.

Fumitaka Obayashi ◽  
Atsuko Hamada ◽  
Sachiko Yamasaki ◽  
Taku Kanda ◽  
Shigeaki Toratani ◽  

AbstractCowden syndrome (CS) is an autosomal dominant inherited disorder characterized by multiple hamartomas in various organs such as the mucosa, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. Patients with CS are at high risk for breast and thyroid cancers. Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) is a tumor suppressor gene that negatively regulates the AKT pathway, and PTEN mutations are known to be the major causes of this syndrome. However, the pathogenesis of this syndrome has not been clarified. Here, we present a case of a Japanese woman with multiple oral polyps, breast cancer, and thyroid cancer who was clinically diagnosed with CS. We obtained DNA and RNA samples from the patient’s peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and buccal mucosa tumor. Next-generation sequencing revealed novel germline mutations (c.1020delT and c.1026G > A) in exon 8 of PTEN. Sanger sequencing identified no PTEN transcript from the mutant allele. Furthermore, CS-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (CS-iPSCs) were established from PBMCs of the patient under feeder- and serum-free culture. Compared with healthy PBMCs and iPSCs, both of the CS-derived PBMCs and CS-iPSCs exhibited significantly reduced expression of the PTEN transcript. The transcriptional variant, PTENδ, was increased in CS-iPSCs, suggesting that it may be the cause of the disease.

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