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Filamentous fungi produce a diverse array of secondary metabolites (SMs) critical for defense, virulence, and communication. The metabolic pathways that produce SMs are found in contiguous gene clusters in fungal genomes, an atypical arrangement for metabolic pathways in other eukaryotes. Comparative studies of filamentous fungal species have shown that SM gene clusters are often either highly divergent or uniquely present in one or a handful of species, hampering efforts to determine the genetic basis and evolutionary drivers of SM gene cluster divergence. Here, we examined SM variation in 66 cosmopolitan strains of a single species, the opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Investigation of genome-wide within-species variation revealed 5 general types of variation in SM gene clusters: nonfunctional gene polymorphisms; gene gain and loss polymorphisms; whole cluster gain and loss polymorphisms; allelic polymorphisms, in which different alleles corresponded to distinct, nonhomologous clusters; and location polymorphisms, in which a cluster was found to differ in its genomic location across strains. These polymorphisms affect the function of representative A. fumigatus SM gene clusters, such as those involved in the production of gliotoxin, fumigaclavine, and helvolic acid as well as the function of clusters with undefined products. In addition to enabling the identification of polymorphisms, the detection of which requires extensive genome-wide synteny conservation (e.g., mobile gene clusters and nonhomologous cluster alleles), our approach also implicated multiple underlying genetic drivers, including point mutations, recombination, and genomic deletion and insertion events as well as horizontal gene transfer from distant fungi. Finally, most of the variants that we uncover within A. fumigatus have been previously hypothesized to contribute to SM gene cluster diversity across entire fungal classes and phyla. We suggest that the drivers of genetic diversity operating within a fungal species shown here are sufficient to explain SM cluster macroevolutionary patterns.
Twenty to thirty percent of patients undergoing cardiac surgery develop acute kidney injury (AKI). In mice, inhibition of soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) attenuates renal injury following ischemia-reperfusion. We tested the hypothesis that functional variants of EPHX2, encoding sEH, are associated with AKI after cardiac surgery. We genotyped patients in two independent cardiac surgery cohorts for functional EPHX2 polymorphisms, Lys55Arg and Arg287Gln, and determined AKI using Acute Kidney Injury Network criteria. The 287Gln variant was not associated with AKI. In the discovery cohort, the gain-of-function 55Arg variant was associated with an increased incidence of AKI in univariate (p = 0.03) and multivariable (p = 0.04) analyses. In white patients without chronic kidney disease (CKD), the 55Arg variant was independently associated with AKI with an OR of 2.04 (95% CI 0.95-4.42) for 55Arg heterozygotes and 31.53 (1.57-633.19) for homozygotes (p = 0.02), after controlling for age, sex, body mass index, baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate, and use of cardiopulmonary bypass. These findings were replicated in the second cardiac surgery cohort. 12,13- and total- dihydroxyoctadecanoic acids (DiHOME): epoxyoctadecanoic acids (EpOME) ratios were increased in EPHX2 55Arg variant carriers, consistent with increased hydrolase activity. The EPHX2 Lys55Arg polymorphism is associated with AKI following cardiac surgery in patients without preexisting CKD. Pharmacological strategies to decrease sEH activity might decrease postoperative AKI.
Goodpasture's disease is closely associated with HLA, particularly DRB1*1501. Other susceptible or protective HLA alleles are not clearly elucidated. The presentation models of epitopes by susceptible HLA alleles are also unclear. We genotyped 140 Chinese patients and 599 controls for four-digit HLA II genes, and extracted the encoding sequences from the IMGT/HLA database. T-cell epitopes of α3(IV)NC1 were predicted and the structures of DR molecule-peptide-T-cell receptor were constructed. We confirmed DRB1*1501 (OR = 4·6, P = 5·7 × 10 ) to be a risk allele for Goodpasture's disease. Arginine at position 13 (ARG13) (OR = 4·0, P = 1·0 × 10 ) and proline at position 11 (PRO11) (OR = 4·0, P = 2·0 × 10 ) on DRβ1, encoded by DRB1*1501, were associated with disease susceptibility. α (HGWISLWKGFSFIMF) was predicted as a T-cell epitope presented by DRB1*1501. Isoleucine , tryptophan , glycine , phenylalanine and phenylalanine , were presented in peptide-binding pockets 1, 4, 6, 7 and 9 of DR2b, respectively. ARG13 in pocket 4 interacts with tryptophan and forms a hydrogen bond. In conclusion, we propose a mechanism for DRB1*1501 susceptibility for Goodpasture's disease through encoding ARG13 and PRO11 on MHC-DRβ1 chain and presenting T-cell epitope, α , with five critical residues.
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Analyses of high throughput sequencing data starts with alignment against a reference genome, which is the foundation for all re-sequencing data analyses. Each new release of the human reference genome has been augmented with improved accuracy and completeness. It is presumed that the latest release of human reference genome, GRCh38 will contribute more to high throughput sequencing data analysis by providing more accuracy. But the amount of improvement has not yet been quantified. We conducted a study to compare the genomic analysis results between the GRCh38 reference and its predecessor GRCh37. Through analyses of alignment, single nucleotide polymorphisms, small insertion/deletions, copy number and structural variants, we show that GRCh38 offers overall more accurate analysis of human sequencing data. More importantly, GRCh38 produced fewer false positive structural variants. In conclusion, GRCh38 is an improvement over GRCh37 not only from the genome assembly aspect, but also yields more reliable genomic analysis results.
Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Greater genetic variability in an individual is protective against recessive disease. However, existing quantifications of autozygosity, such as runs of homozygosity (ROH), have proved highly sensitive to genotyping density and have yielded inconclusive results about the relationship of diversity and disease risk. Using genotyping data from three data sets with >43,000 subjects, we demonstrated that an alternative approach to quantifying genetic variability, the heterozygosity ratio, is a robust measure of diversity and is positively associated with the nondisease trait height and several disease phenotypes in subjects of European ancestry. The heterozygosity ratio is the number of heterozygous sites in an individual divided by the number of nonreference homozygous sites and is strongly affected by the degree of genetic admixture of the population and varies across human populations. Unlike quantifications of ROH, the heterozygosity ratio is not sensitive to the density of genotyping performed. Our results establish the heterozygosity ratio as a powerful new statistic for exploring the patterns and phenotypic effects of different levels of genetic variation in populations.
Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.
Abnormal platelet reactivity is associated with recurrent ischemia and bleeding following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR1), encoded by F2R, is a high affinity thrombin receptor on platelets and the target of the antiplatelet drug vorapaxar. The intronic single nucleotide polymorphism F2R IVS-14 A/T affects PAR1 receptor density and function. We hypothesized that carriers of the T allele, who have been shown to have decreased platelet reactivity, would be at lower risk for thrombotic events, but higher risk for bleeding following PCI. Using BioVU, the Vanderbilt DNA repository linked to the electronic medical record, we studied 660 patients who underwent PCI for unstable or stable coronary artery disease. Primary outcome measures were major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE, composite of revascularization, MI, stroke, death) and bleeding (assessed by Bleeding Academic Research Consortium scale) over 24 months. The minor allele (T) frequency was 14.8 %. There were no genotypic differences in the frequency of MACE (33.7, 28.8, and 31.6 % for A/A, A/T, and T/T respectively, P = 0.50) or bleeding (15.7, 14.7, and 18.8 % for A/A, A/T, and T/T respectively, P = 0.90). In a Cox regression model, fully adjusted for age, race, sex, BMI, and smoking status, carrying a T allele was not associated with MACE (HR 1.19, 95 % CI 0.89-1.59, P = 0.23) or bleeding (HR 0.73, 95 % CI 0.37-1.4, P = 0.34). In conclusion, in our population, F2R IVS-14 PAR1 variability does not affect risk of MACE or bleeding following PCI.
A genome-wide association study among Europeans related polymorphisms of the Toll-like receptor (TLR) locus at 4p14 and the Fcγ receptor 2a locus at 1q23.3 to Helicobacter pylori serologic status. We replicated associations of 4p14 but not 1q23.3 with anti-Helicobacter pylori antibodies in 1402 Finnish males. Importantly, our analysis clarified that the phenotype affected by 4p14 is quantitative level of these antibodies rather than association with seropositivity per se. In addition, we annotated variants at 4p14 as expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) associated with TLR6/10 and FAM114A1. Our findings suggest that 4p14 polymorphisms are linked to host immune response to H. pylori infection but not to its acquisition.
OBJECTIVE - To identify genes affected by advancing gestation and racial/ethnic origin in human ductus arteriosus (DA).
STUDY DESIGN - We collected 3 sets of DA tissue (n = 93, n = 89, n = 91; total = 273 fetuses) from second trimester pregnancies. We examined four genes, with DNA polymorphisms that distribute along racial lines, to identify "Caucasian" and "non-Caucasian" DA. We used real time polymerase chain reaction to measure RNA expression of 48 candidate genes involved in functional closure of the DA, and used multivariable regression analyses to examine the relationships between advancing gestation, "non-Caucasian" race, and gene expression.
RESULTS - Mature gestation and non-Caucasian race are significant predictors for identifying infants who will close their patent DA when treated with indomethacin. Advancing gestation consistently altered gene expression in pathways involved with oxygen-induced constriction (eg, calcium-channels, potassium-channels, and endothelin signaling), contractile protein maturation, tissue remodeling, and prostaglandin and nitric oxide signaling in all 3 tissue sets. None of the pathways involved with oxygen-induced constriction appeared to be altered in "non-Caucasian" DA. Two genes, SLCO2A1 and NOS3, (involved with prostaglandin reuptake/metabolism and nitric oxide production, respectively) were consistently decreased in "non-Caucasian" DA.
CONCLUSIONS - Prostaglandins and nitric oxide are the most important vasodilators opposing DA closure. Indomethacin inhibits prostaglandin production, but not nitric oxide production. Because decreased SLCO2A1 and NOS3 expression can lead to increased prostaglandin and decreased nitric oxide concentrations, we speculate that prostaglandin-mediated vasodilation may play a more dominant role in maintaining the "non-Caucasian" patent DA, making it more likely to close when inhibited by indomethacin.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - Genetic polymorphisms within the interferon lambda (IFN-λ) region are strongly associated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) clearance; the IFNL4-ΔG/TT (rs368234815) polymorphism, which controls the generation of IFN-λ4 protein, is more strongly associated with HCV clearance than rs12979860 (the 'IL28B variant'). An IFNL3 3' untranslated region polymorphism (rs4803217) has been proposed as a causal variant that may affect HCV clearance by altering IFNL3 mRNA stability.
METHODS - We compared IFNL4-ΔG/TT and rs4803217 for association with response to pegylated-IFN-α/ribavirin in the VIRAHEP-C and HALT-C trials, and spontaneous HCV clearance in the ALIVE, UHS and WIHS studies. Genotyping was performed with TaqMan assays. We compared differences in mean reduction in HCV RNA levels by genotype and haplotype. For HCV clearance, we calculated p-values comparing c-statistics for IFNL4-ΔG/TT and rs4803217 genotypes by a bootstrap approach.
RESULTS - Among European Americans, linkage disequilibrium between IFNL4-ΔG/TT and rs4803217 was strong (r(2)=0.89-0.99) and there were no significant differences between the variants. In African American (AA) individuals enrolled in VIRAHEP-C, HCV RNA at treatment day 28 was more strongly associated with IFNL4-ΔG/TT than rs4803217 (p=0.003); the IFNL4-ΔG:rs4803217-G haplotype, which includes the putatively favorable IFNL3 allele, was actually associated with the poorest day 28 response (p=0.03, comparison to IFNL4-ΔG:rs4803217-T haplotype). Among AA participants, associations were stronger for IFNL4-ΔG/TT than rs4803217 for undetectable HCV RNA at week 24 in Virahep-C (p=0.03) and week 20 in HALT-C (p=0.03), as well as for spontaneous HCV clearance (p=0.048).
CONCLUSION - IFNL4-ΔG/TT is the primary IFN-λ region polymorphism for impaired HCV clearance.
Published by Elsevier B.V.