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We conducted the largest investigation of predisposition variants in cancer to date, discovering 853 pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants in 8% of 10,389 cases from 33 cancer types. Twenty-one genes showed single or cross-cancer associations, including novel associations of SDHA in melanoma and PALB2 in stomach adenocarcinoma. The 659 predisposition variants and 18 additional large deletions in tumor suppressors, including ATM, BRCA1, and NF1, showed low gene expression and frequent (43%) loss of heterozygosity or biallelic two-hit events. We also discovered 33 such variants in oncogenes, including missenses in MET, RET, and PTPN11 associated with high gene expression. We nominated 47 additional predisposition variants from prioritized VUSs supported by multiple evidences involving case-control frequency, loss of heterozygosity, expression effect, and co-localization with mutations and modified residues. Our integrative approach links rare predisposition variants to functional consequences, informing future guidelines of variant classification and germline genetic testing in cancer.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Stem cells reside in a niche, a local environment whose cellular and molecular complexity is still being elucidated. In ovaries, germline stem cells depend on cap cells for self-renewing signals and physical attachment. Germline stem cells also contact the anterior escort cells, and here we report that anterior escort cells are absolutely required for germline stem cell maintenance. When escort cells die from impaired Wnt signaling or expression, the loss of anterior escort cells causes loss of germline stem cells. Anterior escort cells function as an integral niche component by promoting DE-cadherin anchorage and by transiently expressing the Dpp ligand to promote full-strength BMP signaling in germline stem cells. Anterior escort cells are maintained by Wnt6 ligands produced by cap cells; without Wnt6 signaling, anterior escort cells die leaving vacancies in the niche, leading to loss of germline stem cells. Our data identify anterior escort cells as constituents of the germline stem cell niche, maintained by a cap cell-produced Wnt6 survival signal.
© 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Nutrients affect adult stem cells through complex mechanisms involving multiple organs. Adipocytes are highly sensitive to diet and have key metabolic roles, and obesity increases the risk for many cancers. How diet-regulated adipocyte metabolic pathways influence normal stem cell lineages, however, remains unclear. has highly conserved adipocyte metabolism and a well-characterized female germline stem cell (GSC) lineage response to diet. Here, we conducted an isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) proteomic analysis to identify diet-regulated adipocyte metabolic pathways that control the female GSC lineage. On a rich (relative to poor) diet, adipocyte Hexokinase-C and metabolic enzymes involved in pyruvate/acetyl-CoA production are upregulated, promoting a shift of glucose metabolism toward macromolecule biosynthesis. Adipocyte-specific knockdown shows that these enzymes support early GSC progeny survival. Further, enzymes catalyzing fatty acid oxidation and phosphatidylethanolamine synthesis in adipocytes promote GSC maintenance, whereas lipid and iron transport from adipocytes controls vitellogenesis and GSC number, respectively. These results show a functional relationship between specific metabolic pathways in adipocytes and distinct processes in the GSC lineage, suggesting the adipocyte metabolism-stem cell link as an important area of investigation in other stem cell systems.
Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.
The use of CRISPR/Cas9 as a genome-editing tool in various model organisms has radically changed targeted mutagenesis. Here, we present a high-throughput targeted mutagenesis pipeline using CRISPR/Cas9 technology in zebrafish that will make possible both saturation mutagenesis of the genome and large-scale phenotyping efforts. We describe a cloning-free single-guide RNA (sgRNA) synthesis, coupled with streamlined mutant identification methods utilizing fluorescent PCR and multiplexed, high-throughput sequencing. We report germline transmission data from 162 loci targeting 83 genes in the zebrafish genome, in which we obtained a 99% success rate for generating mutations and an average germline transmission rate of 28%. We verified 678 unique alleles from 58 genes by high-throughput sequencing. We demonstrate that our method can be used for efficient multiplexed gene targeting. We also demonstrate that phenotyping can be done in the F1 generation by inbreeding two injected founder fish, significantly reducing animal husbandry and time. This study compares germline transmission data from CRISPR/Cas9 with those of TALENs and ZFNs and shows that efficiency of CRISPR/Cas9 is sixfold more efficient than other techniques. We show that the majority of published "rules" for efficient sgRNA design do not effectively predict germline transmission rates in zebrafish, with the exception of a GG or GA dinucleotide genomic match at the 5' end of the sgRNA. Finally, we show that predicted off-target mutagenesis is of low concern for in vivo genetic studies.
© 2015 Varshney et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
Germ cells give rise to all cell lineages in the next-generation and are responsible for the continuity of life. In a variety of organisms, germ cells and stem cells contain large ribonucleoprotein granules. Although these particles were discovered more than 100 years ago, their assembly and functions are not well understood. Here we report that glycolytic enzymes are components of these granules in Drosophila germ cells and both their mRNAs and the enzymes themselves are enriched in germ cells. We show that these enzymes are specifically required for germ cell development and that they protect their genomes from transposable elements, providing the first link between metabolism and transposon silencing. We further demonstrate that in the granules, glycolytic enzymes associate with the evolutionarily conserved Tudor protein. Our biochemical and single-particle EM structural analyses of purified Tudor show a flexible molecule and suggest a mechanism for the recruitment of glycolytic enzymes to the granules. Our data indicate that germ cells, similarly to stem cells and tumor cells, might prefer to produce energy through the glycolytic pathway, thus linking a particular metabolism to pluripotency.
© 2015 The Authors.
Adipocytes have key endocrine roles, mediated in large part by secreted protein hormones termed adipokines. The adipokine adiponectin is well known for its role in sensitizing peripheral tissues to insulin, and several lines of evidence suggest that adiponectin might also modulate stem cells/precursors. It remains unclear, however, how adiponectin signaling controls stem cells and whether this role is secondary to its insulin-sensitizing effects or distinct. Drosophila adipocytes also function as an endocrine organ and, although no obvious adiponectin homolog has been identified, Drosophila AdipoR encodes a well-conserved homolog of mammalian adiponectin receptors. Here, we generate a null AdipoR allele and use clonal analysis to demonstrate an intrinsic requirement for AdipoR in germline stem cell (GSC) maintenance in the Drosophila ovary. AdipoR null GSCs are not fully responsive to bone morphogenetic protein ligands from the niche and have a slight reduction in E-cadherin levels at the GSC-niche junction. Conversely, germline-specific overexpression of AdipoR inhibits natural GSC loss, suggesting that reduction in adiponectin signaling might contribute to the normal decline in GSC numbers observed over time in wild-type females. Surprisingly, AdipoR is not required for insulin sensitization of the germline, leading us to speculate that insulin sensitization is a more recently acquired function than stem cell regulation in the evolutionary history of adiponectin signaling. Our findings establish Drosophila female GSCs as a new system for future studies addressing the molecular mechanisms whereby adiponectin receptor signaling modulates stem cell fate.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Recent developments in genetic technologies allow deep analysis of the sequence diversity of immune repertoires, but little work has been reported on the architecture of immune repertoires in mucosal tissues. Antibodies are the key to prevention of infections at the mucosal surface, but it is currently unclear whether the B cell repertoire at mucosal surfaces reflects the dominant antibodies found in the systemic compartment or whether mucosal tissues harbor unique repertoires. We examined the expressed antibody variable gene repertoires from 10 different human tissues using RNA samples derived from a large number of individuals. The results revealed that mucosal tissues such as stomach, intestine and lung possess unique antibody gene repertoires that differed substantially from those found in lymphoid tissues or peripheral blood. Mutation frequency analysis of mucosal tissue repertoires revealed that they were highly mutated, with little evidence for the presence of naïve B cells, in contrast to blood. Mucosal tissue repertoires possessed longer heavy chain complementarity determining region 3 loops than lymphoid tissue repertoires. We also noted a large increase in frequency of both insertions and deletions in the small intestine antibody repertoire. These data suggest that mucosal immune repertoires are distinct in many ways from the systemic compartment.
Mitochondrial medicine is one of the few areas of genetic disease where germ-line transfer is being actively pursued as a treatment option. All of the germ-line transfer methods currently under development involve some carry-over of the maternal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) heteroplasmy, potentially delivering the pathogenic mutation to the offspring. Rapid changes in mtDNA heteroplasmy have been observed within a single generation, and so any 'leakage' of mutant mtDNA could lead to mtDNA disease in future generations, compromising the reproductive health of the first generation, and leading to repeated interventions in subsequent generations. To determine whether this is a real concern, we developed a model of mtDNA heteroplasmy inheritance by studying 87 mother-child pairs, and predicted the likely outcome of different levels of 'mutant mtDNA leakage' on subsequent maternal generations. This showed that, for a clinical threshold of 60%, reducing the proportion of mutant mtDNA to <5% dramatically reduces the chance of disease recurrence in subsequent generations, but transmitting >5% mutant mtDNA was associated with a significant chance of disease recurrence. Mutations with a lower clinical threshold were associated with a higher risk of recurrence. Our findings provide reassurance that, at least from an mtDNA perspective, methods currently under development have the potential to effectively eradicate pathogenic mtDNA mutations from subsequent generations.
α-Kleisins are core components of meiotic and mitotic cohesin complexes. Arabidopsis contains four genes that encode α-kleisin proteins: SYN1, SYN2, SYN3 and SYN4. SYN1, a REC8 ortholog, is essential for meiosis, while SYN2 and SYN4 appear to be SCC1 orthologs and function in mitosis. SYN3 is essential for megagametogenesis and is enriched in the nucleolus of meiotic and mitotic cells. In this study the role of SYN3 during meiosis was investigated by characterization of plants that express SYN3-RNAi constructs from either meiotic DMC1, native SYN3, or inducible PX7 promoters. Reduction of SYN3 caused defects in homologous chromosome synapsis and synaptonemal complex (SC) formation during male and female meiosis. Consistent with this observation, relatively little signal for the SC component ZYP1 was detected on the chromosomes of SYN3-RNAi plants. ZYP1 transcript levels were relatively normal, but several transcripts for genes that encode proteins involved in meiotic recombination were altered, which suggested that a reduction in SYN3 may inhibit meiotic progression by alteration of meiotic gene expression.
© 2012 The Authors. The Plant Journal © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.