AbstractPterygium is a common ocular surface condition frequently associated with irritative symptoms. The precise identity of its critical triggers as well as the hierarchical relationship between all the elements involved in the pathogenesis of this disease are not yet elucidated. Meta-analysis of gene expression studies represents a novel strategy capable of identifying key pathogenic mediators and therapeutic targets in complex diseases. Samples from nine patients were collected during surgery after photo documentation and clinical characterization of pterygia. Gene expression experiments were performed using Human Clariom D Assay gene chip. Differential gene expression analysis between active and atrophic pterygia was performed using limma package after adjusting variables by age. In addition, a meta-analysis was performed including recent gene expression studies available at the Gene Expression Omnibus public repository. Two databases including samples from adults with pterygium and controls fulfilled our inclusion criteria. Meta-analysis was performed using the Rank Production algorithm of the RankProd package. Gene set analysis was performed using ClueGO and the transcription factor regulatory network prediction was performed using appropriate bioinformatics tools. Finally, miRNA-mRNA regulatory network was reconstructed using up-regulated genes identified in the gene set analysis from the meta-analysis and their interacting miRNAs from the Brazilian cohort expression data. The meta-analysis identified 154 up-regulated and 58 down-regulated genes. A gene set analysis with the top up-regulated genes evidenced an overrepresentation of pathways associated with remodeling of extracellular matrix. Other pathways represented in the network included formation of cornified envelopes and unsaturated fatty acid metabolic processes. The miRNA-mRNA target prediction network, also reconstructed based on the set of up-regulated genes presented in the gene ontology and biological pathways network, showed that 17 target genes were negatively correlated with their interacting miRNAs from the Brazilian cohort expression data. Once again, the main identified cluster involved extracellular matrix remodeling mechanisms, while the second cluster involved formation of cornified envelope, establishment of skin barrier and unsaturated fatty acid metabolic process. Differential expression comparing active pterygium with atrophic pterygium using data generated from the Brazilian cohort identified differentially expressed genes between the two forms of presentation of this condition. Our results reveal differentially expressed genes not only in pterygium, but also in active pterygium when compared to the atrophic ones. New insights in relation to pterygium’s pathophysiology are suggested.
ABSTRACT Background: Congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS) have some phenotypic overlap with seronegative myasthenia gravis (SNMG). Objective: The aim of this single center study was to assess the minimum occurrence of CMS misdiagnosed as double SNMG in a Brazilian cohort. Methods: The genetic analysis of the most common mutations in CHRNE, RAPSN, and DOK7 genes was used as the main screening tool. Results: We performed genetic analysis in 22 patients with a previous diagnosis of ‘double’ SNMG. In this study, one CMS patient was confirmed due to the presence of compound heterozygous variants in the CHRNE gene (c.130insG/p.Cys210Phe). Conclusions: This study confirmed that CMS due to CHNRE mutations can be mistaken for SNMG. In addition, our study estimated the prevalence of misdiagnosed CMS to be 4.5% in ‘double’ SNMG patients of our center. Based on our findings, genetic screening could be helpful in the diagnostic workup of patients with ‘double’ SNMG in whom differential diagnosis is recommended.
Hepatoblastoma (HB) is a rare embryonal tumor, although it is the most common pediatric liver cancer. The aim of this study was to provide an accurate cytogenomic profile of this type of cancer, for which information in cancer databases is lacking. We performed an extensive literature review of cytogenetic studies on HBs disclosing that the most frequent copy number alterations (CNAs) are gains of 1q, 2/2q, 8/8q, and 20; and losses at 1p and 4q. Furthermore, the CNA profile of a Brazilian cohort of 26 HBs was obtained by array-CGH; the most recurrent CNAs were the same as shown in the literature review. Importantly, HBs from female patients, high-risk stratification tumors, tumors who developed in older patients (> 3 years at diagnosis) or from patients with metastasis and/or deceased carried a higher diversity of chromosomal alterations, specifically chromosomal losses at 1p, 4, 11q and 18q. In addition, we distinguished three major CNA profiles: no detectable CNA, few CNAs and tumors with complex genomes. Tumors with simpler genomes exhibited a significant association with the epithelial fetal subtype of HBs; in contrast, the complex genome group included three cases with epithelial embryonal histology, as well as the only HB with HCC features. A significant association of complex HB genomes was observed with older patients who developed high-risk tumors, metastasis, and deceased. Moreover, two patients with HBs exhibiting complex genomes were born with congenital anomalies. Together, these findings suggest that a high load of CNAs, mainly chromosomal losses, particularly losses at 1p and 18, increases the tendency to HB aggressiveness. Additionally, we identified six hot-spot chromosome regions most frequently affected in the entire group: 1q31.3q42.3, 2q23.3q37.3, and 20p13p11.1 gains, besides a 5,3 Mb amplification at 2q24.2q24.3, and losses at 1p36.33p35.1, 4p14 and 4q21.22q25. An in-silico analysis using the genes mapped to these six regions revealed several enriched biological pathways such as ERK Signaling, MicroRNAs in Cancer, and the PI3K-Akt Signaling, in addition to the WNT Signaling pathway; further investigation is required to evaluate if disturbances of these pathways can contribute to HB tumorigenesis. The analyzed gene set was found to be associated with neoplasms, abnormalities of metabolism/homeostasis and liver morphology, as well as abnormal embryonic development and cytokine secretion. In conclusion, we have provided a comprehensive characterization of the spectrum of chromosomal alterations reported in HBs and identified specific genomic regions recurrently altered in a Brazilian HB group, pointing to new biological pathways, and relevant clinical associations.
Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS) is an ultra-rare disease that potentially leads to kidney graft failure due to ongoing Thrombotic Microangiopathy (TMA). The aim was evaluating the frequency of TMA after kidney transplantation in patients with aHUS in a Brazilian cohort stratified by the use of the specific complement-inhibitor eculizumab.
This was a multicenter retrospective cohort study including kidney transplant patients diagnosed with aHUS. We collected data from 118 transplant centers in Brazil concerning aHUS transplanted patients between 01/01/2007 and 12/31/2019. Patients were stratified into three groups: no use of eculizumab (No Eculizumab Group), use of eculizumab for treatment of after transplantation TMA (Therapeutic Group), and use of eculizumab for prophylaxis of aHUS recurrence (Prophylactic Group).
Thirty-eight patients with aHUS who received kidney transplantation were enrolled in the study. Patients’ mean age was 30 years (24–40), and the majority of participants was women (63% of cases). In the No Eculizumab Group (n = 11), there was a 91% graft loss due to the TMA. The hazard ratio of TMA graft loss was 0.07 [0.01–0.55], p = 0.012 in the eculizumab Prophylactic Group and 0.04 [0.00–0.28], p = 0.002 in the eculizumab Therapeutic Group.
The TMA graft loss in the absence of a specific complement-inhibitor was higher among the Brazilian cohort of kidney transplant patients. This finding reinforces the need of eculizumab use for treatment of aHUS kidney transplant patients. Cost optimization analysis and the early access to C5 inhibitors are suggested, especially in low-medium income countries.