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The genetic architecture of psychiatric disorders is characterized by a large number of small-effect variants located primarily in non-coding regions, suggesting that the underlying causal effects may influence disease risk by modulating gene expression. We provide comprehensive analyses using transcriptome data from an unprecedented collection of tissues to gain pathophysiological insights into the role of the brain, neuroendocrine factors (adrenal gland) and gastrointestinal systems (colon) in psychiatric disorders. In each tissue, we perform PrediXcan analysis and identify trait-associated genes for schizophrenia (n associations = 499; n unique genes = 275), bipolar disorder (n associations = 17; n unique genes = 13), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (n associations = 19; n unique genes = 12) and broad depression (n associations = 41; n unique genes = 31). Importantly, both PrediXcan and summary-data-based Mendelian randomization/heterogeneity in dependent instruments analyses suggest potentially causal genes in non-brain tissues, showing the utility of these tissues for mapping psychiatric disease genetic predisposition. Our analyses further highlight the importance of joint tissue approaches as 76% of the genes were detected only in difficult-to-acquire tissues.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified more than 170 breast cancer susceptibility loci. Here we hypothesize that some risk-associated variants might act in non-breast tissues, specifically adipose tissue and immune cells from blood and spleen. Using expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) reported in these tissues, we identify 26 previously unreported, likely target genes of overall breast cancer risk variants, and 17 for estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer, several with a known immune function. We determine the directional effect of gene expression on disease risk measured based on single and multiple eQTL. In addition, using a gene-based test of association that considers eQTL from multiple tissues, we identify seven (and four) regions with variants associated with overall (and ER-negative) breast cancer risk, which were not reported in previous GWAS. Further investigation of the function of the implicated genes in breast and immune cells may provide insights into the etiology of breast cancer.
Transcriptomic imputation approaches combine eQTL reference panels with large-scale genotype data in order to test associations between disease and gene expression. These genic associations could elucidate signals in complex genome-wide association study (GWAS) loci and may disentangle the role of different tissues in disease development. We used the largest eQTL reference panel for the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) to create a set of gene expression predictors and demonstrate their utility. We applied DLPFC and 12 GTEx-brain predictors to 40,299 schizophrenia cases and 65,264 matched controls for a large transcriptomic imputation study of schizophrenia. We identified 413 genic associations across 13 brain regions. Stepwise conditioning identified 67 non-MHC genes, of which 14 did not fall within previous GWAS loci. We identified 36 significantly enriched pathways, including hexosaminidase-A deficiency, and multiple porphyric disorder pathways. We investigated developmental expression patterns among the 67 non-MHC genes and identified specific groups of pre- and postnatal expression.
Manganese (Mn) is an essential micronutrient critical for the pathogenesis of , a significant cause of human morbidity and mortality. Paradoxically, excess Mn is toxic; therefore, maintenance of intracellular Mn homeostasis is required for survival. Here we describe a Mn exporter in , MntE, which is a member of the cation diffusion facilitator (CDF) protein family and conserved among Gram-positive pathogens. Upregulation of transcription in response to excess Mn is dependent on the presence of MntR, a transcriptional repressor of the Mn uptake system. Inactivation of or leads to reduced growth in media supplemented with Mn, demonstrating MntE is required for detoxification of excess Mn. Inactivation of results in elevated levels of intracellular Mn, but reduced intracellular iron (Fe) levels, supporting the hypothesis that MntE functions as a Mn efflux pump and Mn efflux influences Fe homeostasis. Strains inactivated for are more sensitive to the oxidants NaOCl and paraquat, indicating Mn homeostasis is critical for resisting oxidative stress. Furthermore, and are required for full virulence of during infection, suggesting experiences Mn toxicity Combined, these data support a model in which MntR controls Mn homeostasis by balancing transcriptional repression of and induction of , both of which are critical for pathogenesis. Thus, Mn efflux contributes to bacterial survival and virulence during infection, establishing MntE as a potential antimicrobial target and expanding our understanding of Mn homeostasis. Manganese (Mn) is generally viewed as a critical nutrient that is beneficial to pathogenic bacteria due to its function as an enzymatic cofactor and its capability of acting as an antioxidant; yet paradoxically, high concentrations of this transition metal can be toxic. In this work, we demonstrate utilizes the cation diffusion facilitator (CDF) family protein MntE to alleviate Mn toxicity through efflux of excess Mn. Inactivation of leads to a significant reduction in resistance to oxidative stress and mediated mortality within a mouse model of systemic infection. These results highlight the importance of MntE-mediated Mn detoxification in intracellular Mn homeostasis, resistance to oxidative stress, and virulence. Therefore, this establishes MntE as a potential target for development of anti- therapeutics.
Copyright © 2019 Grunenwald et al.
In this trans-ethnic multi-omic study, we reinterpret the genetic architecture of blood pressure to identify genes, tissues, phenomes and medication contexts of blood pressure homeostasis. We discovered 208 novel common blood pressure SNPs and 53 rare variants in genome-wide association studies of systolic, diastolic and pulse pressure in up to 776,078 participants from the Million Veteran Program (MVP) and collaborating studies, with analysis of the blood pressure clinical phenome in MVP. Our transcriptome-wide association study detected 4,043 blood pressure associations with genetically predicted gene expression of 840 genes in 45 tissues, and mouse renal single-cell RNA sequencing identified upregulated blood pressure genes in kidney tubule cells.
is a Gram-negative opportunistic pathogen that causes diverse infections, including pneumonia, bacteremia, and wound infections. Due to multiple intrinsic and acquired antimicrobial-resistance mechanisms, isolates are commonly multidrug resistant, and infections are notoriously difficult to treat. The World Health Organization recently highlighted carbapenem-resistant as a "critical priority" for the development of new antimicrobials because of the risk to human health posed by this organism. Therefore, it is important to discover the mechanisms used by to survive stresses encountered during infection in order to identify new drug targets. In this study, by use of imaging, we identified hydrogen peroxide (HO) as a stressor produced in the lung during infection and defined OxyR as a transcriptional regulator of the HO stress response. Upon exposure to HO, differentially transcribes several hundred genes. However, the transcriptional upregulation of genes predicted to detoxify hydrogen peroxide is abolished in an strain in which the transcriptional regulator is genetically inactivated. Moreover, inactivation of in both antimicrobial-susceptible and multidrug-resistant strains impairs growth in the presence of HO OxyR is a direct regulator of and , which encode the major HO-degrading enzymes in , as confirmed through measurement of promoter binding by recombinant OxyR in electromobility shift assays. Finally, an mutant is less fit than wild-type during infection of the murine lung. This work reveals a mechanism used by this important human pathogen to survive HO stress encountered during infection.
Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.
Bcl-2 family proteins reorganize mitochondrial membranes during apoptosis, to form pores and rearrange cristae. In vitro and in vivo analysis integrated with human genetics reveals a novel homeostatic mitochondrial function for Bcl-2 family protein Bid. Loss of full-length Bid results in apoptosis-independent, irregular cristae with decreased respiration. mice display stress-induced myocardial dysfunction and damage. A gene-based approach applied to a biobank, validated in two independent GWAS studies, reveals that decreased genetically determined BID expression associates with myocardial infarction (MI) susceptibility. Patients in the bottom 5% of the expression distribution exhibit >4 fold increased MI risk. Carrier status with nonsynonymous variation in Bid's membrane binding domain, Bid, associates with MI predisposition. Furthermore, Bid but not Bid associates with Mcl-1, previously implicated in cristae stability; decreased MCL-1 expression associates with MI. Our results identify a role for Bid in homeostatic mitochondrial cristae reorganization, that we link to human cardiac disease.
© 2018, Salisbury-Ruf et al.
2-hydroxybenzylamine (2-HOBA), a compound found in buckwheat, is a potent scavenger of reactive γ-ketoaldehydes, which are increased in diseases associated with inflammation and oxidative stress. While the potential of 2-HOBA is promising, studies were needed to characterize the safety of the compound before clinical trials. In a series of experiments, the risks of 2-HOBA-mediated mutagenicity and cardio-toxicity were assessed in vitro. The effects of 2-HOBA on the mRNA expression of select cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes were also assessed in cryopreserved human hepatocytes. Further, the distribution and metabolism of 2-HOBA in blood were determined. Our results indicate that 2-HOBA is not cytotoxic or mutagenic in vitro and does not induce the expression of CYP1A2, CYP2B6, or CYP3A4 in human hepatocytes. The results of the hERG testing showed a low risk of cardiac QT wave prolongation. Plasma protein binding and red blood cell distribution characteristics indicate low protein binding and no preferential distribution into erythrocytes. The major metabolites identified were salicylic acid and the glycoside conjugate of 2-HOBA. Together, these findings support development of 2-HOBA as a nutritional supplement and provide important information for the design of further preclinical safety studies in animals as well as for human clinical trials with 2-HOBA.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the deadliest form of breast cancer because it is more aggressive, diagnosed at later stage and more likely to develop local and systemic recurrence. Many patients do not experience adequate tumor control after current clinical treatments involving surgical removal, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy, leading to disease progression and significantly decreased quality of life. Here we report a new combinatory therapy strategy involving cannabinoid-based medicine and photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of TNBC. This combinatory therapy targets two proteins upregulated in TNBC: the cannabinoid CB2 receptor (CBR, a G-protein coupled receptor) and translocator protein (TSPO, a mitochondria membrane receptor). We found that the combined CBR agonist and TSPO-PDT treatment resulted in synergistic inhibition in TNBC cell and tumor growth. This combinatory therapy approach provides new opportunities to treat TNBC with high efficacy. In addition, this study provides new evidence on the therapeutic potential of CBR agonists for cancer.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.