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The Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project was established to characterize genetic effects on the transcriptome across human tissues and to link these regulatory mechanisms to trait and disease associations. Here, we present analyses of the version 8 data, examining 15,201 RNA-sequencing samples from 49 tissues of 838 postmortem donors. We comprehensively characterize genetic associations for gene expression and splicing in cis and trans, showing that regulatory associations are found for almost all genes, and describe the underlying molecular mechanisms and their contribution to allelic heterogeneity and pleiotropy of complex traits. Leveraging the large diversity of tissues, we provide insights into the tissue specificity of genetic effects and show that cell type composition is a key factor in understanding gene regulatory mechanisms in human tissues.
Copyright © 2020 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
Helicobacter pylori infection is the main risk factor for the development of gastric cancer, the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide. H. pylori colonizes the human gastric mucosa and persists for decades. The inflammatory response is ineffective in clearing the infection, leading to disease progression that may result in gastric adenocarcinoma. We have shown that polyamines are regulators of the host response to H. pylori, and that spermine oxidase (SMOX), which metabolizes the polyamine spermine into spermidine plus HO, is associated with increased human gastric cancer risk. We now used a molecular approach to directly address the role of SMOX, and demonstrate that Smox-deficient mice exhibit significant reductions of gastric spermidine levels and H. pylori-induced inflammation. Proteomic analysis revealed that cancer was the most significantly altered functional pathway in Smox gastric organoids. Moreover, there was also less DNA damage and β-catenin activation in H. pylori-infected Smox mice or gastric organoids, compared to infected wild-type animals or gastroids. The link between SMOX and β-catenin activation was confirmed in human gastric organoids that were treated with a novel SMOX inhibitor. These findings indicate that SMOX promotes H. pylori-induced carcinogenesis by causing inflammation, DNA damage, and activation of β-catenin signaling.
Influenza A virus nucleoprotein (NP) is a structural component that encapsulates the viral genome into the form of ribonucleoprotein complexes (vRNPs). Efficient assembly of vRNPs is critical for the virus life cycle. The assembly route from RNA-free NP to the NP-RNA polymer in vRNPs has been suggested to require a cellular factor UAP56, but the mechanism is poorly understood. Here, we characterized the interaction between NP and UAP56 using recombinant proteins and showed that UAP56 features two NP binding sites. In addition to the UAP56 core comprised of two RecA domains, we identified the N-terminal extension (NTE) of UAP56 as a previously unknown NP binding site. In particular, UAP56-NTE recognizes the nucleic acid binding region of NP. This corroborates our observation that binding of UAP56-NTE and RNA to NP is mutually exclusive. Collectively, our results reveal the molecular basis for how UAP56 acts on RNA-free NP, and provide new insights into NP-mediated influenza genome packaging.
Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Combination therapies consisting of multiple short therapeutic RNAs, such as small interfering RNA (siRNA) and microRNA (miRNA), have enormous potential in cancer treatment as they can precisely silence a specific set of oncogenes and target multiple disease-related pathways. However, clinical use of siRNA/miRNA combinations is limited by the availability of safe and efficient systemic delivery systems with sufficient tumor penetrating and endosomal escaping capabilities. This study reports on the development of multifunctional tumor-penetrating mesoporous silica nanoparticles (iMSNs) for simultaneous delivery of siRNA (siPlk1) and miRNA (miR-200c), using encapsulation of a photosensitizer indocyanine green (ICG) to facilitate endosomal escape and surface conjugation of the iRGD peptide to enable deep tumor penetration. Increased cell uptake of the nanoparticles was observed in both 3D tumor spheroids in vitro and in orthotopic MDA-MB-231 breast tumors in vivo. Using a galectin-8 recruitment assay, we showed that reactive oxygen species generated by ICG upon light irradiation functioned as an endosomolytic stimulus that caused release of the siRNA/miRNA combination from endosomes. Co-delivery of the therapeutic RNAs displayed combined cell killing activity in cancer cells. Systemic intravenous treatment of metastatic breast cancer with the iMSNs loaded with siPlk1 and miR-200c resulted in a significant suppression of the primary tumor growth and in marked reduction of metastasis upon short light irradiation of the primary tumor. This work demonstrates that siRNA-miRNA combination assisted by the photodynamic effect and tumor penetrating delivery system may provide a promising approach for metastatic cancer treatment.
BACKGROUND - Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare disease with studies limited by small sample sizes. Electronic health records (EHRs) represent a powerful tool to study patients with rare diseases such as SSc, but validated methods are needed. We developed and validated EHR-based algorithms that incorporate billing codes and clinical data to identify SSc patients in the EHR.
METHODS - We used a de-identified EHR with over 3 million subjects and identified 1899 potential SSc subjects with at least 1 count of the SSc ICD-9 (710.1) or ICD-10-CM (M34*) codes. We randomly selected 200 as a training set for chart review. A subject was a case if diagnosed with SSc by a rheumatologist, dermatologist, or pulmonologist. We selected the following algorithm components based on clinical knowledge and available data: SSc ICD-9 and ICD-10-CM codes, positive antinuclear antibody (ANA) (titer ≥ 1:80), and a keyword of Raynaud's phenomenon (RP). We performed both rule-based and machine learning techniques for algorithm development. Positive predictive values (PPVs), sensitivities, and F-scores (which account for PPVs and sensitivities) were calculated for the algorithms.
RESULTS - PPVs were low for algorithms using only 1 count of the SSc ICD-9 code. As code counts increased, the PPVs increased. PPVs were higher for algorithms using ICD-10-CM codes versus the ICD-9 code. Adding a positive ANA and RP keyword increased the PPVs of algorithms only using ICD billing codes. Algorithms using ≥ 3 or ≥ 4 counts of the SSc ICD-9 or ICD-10-CM codes and ANA positivity had the highest PPV at 100% but a low sensitivity at 50%. The algorithm with the highest F-score of 91% was ≥ 4 counts of the ICD-9 or ICD-10-CM codes with an internally validated PPV of 90%. A machine learning method using random forests yielded an algorithm with a PPV of 84%, sensitivity of 92%, and F-score of 88%. The most important feature was RP keyword.
CONCLUSIONS - Algorithms using only ICD-9 codes did not perform well to identify SSc patients. The highest performing algorithms incorporated clinical data with billing codes. EHR-based algorithms can identify SSc patients across a healthcare system, enabling researchers to examine important outcomes.
: Metastasis and drug resistance contribute substantially to the poor prognosis of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. However, the epigenetic regulatory mechanisms by which CRC develops metastatic and drug-resistant characteristics remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate the role of miR-302a in the metastasis and molecular-targeted drug resistance of CRC and elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms. : miR-302a expression in CRC cell lines and patient tissue microarrays was analyzed by qPCR and fluorescence hybridization. The roles of miR-302a in metastasis and cetuximab (CTX) resistance were evaluated both and . Bioinformatic prediction algorithms and luciferase reporter assays were performed to identify the miR-302a binding regions in the NFIB and CD44 3'-UTRs. A chromatin immunoprecipitation assay was performed to examine NFIB occupancy in the ITGA6 promoter region. Immunoblotting was performed to identify the EGFR-mediated pathways altered by miR-302a. : miR-302a expression was frequently reduced in CRC cells and tissues, especially in CTX-resistant cells and patient-derived xenografts. The decreased miR-302a levels correlated with poor overall CRC patient survival. miR-302a overexpression inhibited metastasis and restored CTX responsiveness in CRC cells, whereas miR-302a silencing exerted the opposite effects. NFIB and CD44 were identified as novel targets of miR-302a. miR-302a inhibited the metastasis-promoting effect of NFIB that physiologically activates ITGA6 transcription. miR-302a restored CTX responsiveness by suppressing CD44-induced cancer stem cell-like properties and EGFR-mediated MAPK and AKT signaling. These results are consistent with clinical observations indicating that miR-302a expression is inversely correlated with the expression of its targets in CRC specimens. : Our findings show that miR-302a acts as a multifaceted regulator of CRC metastasis and CTX resistance by targeting NFIB and CD44, respectively. Our study implicates miR-302a as a candidate prognostic predictor and a therapeutic agent in CRC.
© The author(s).
Cation-chloride cotransporters (CCCs) mediate the coupled, electroneutral symport of cations with chloride across the plasma membrane and are vital for cell volume regulation, salt reabsorption in the kidney, and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-mediated modulation in neurons. Here we present cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of human potassium-chloride cotransporter KCC1 in potassium chloride or sodium chloride at 2.9- to 3.5-angstrom resolution. KCC1 exists as a dimer, with both extracellular and transmembrane domains involved in dimerization. The structural and functional analyses, along with computational studies, reveal one potassium site and two chloride sites in KCC1, which are all required for the ion transport activity. KCC1 adopts an inward-facing conformation, with the extracellular gate occluded. The KCC1 structures allow us to model a potential ion transport mechanism in KCCs and provide a blueprint for drug design.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
Transformative technologies are enabling the construction of three-dimensional maps of tissues with unprecedented spatial and molecular resolution. Over the next seven years, the NIH Common Fund Human Biomolecular Atlas Program (HuBMAP) intends to develop a widely accessible framework for comprehensively mapping the human body at single-cell resolution by supporting technology development, data acquisition, and detailed spatial mapping. HuBMAP will integrate its efforts with other funding agencies, programs, consortia, and the biomedical research community at large towards the shared vision of a comprehensive, accessible three-dimensional molecular and cellular atlas of the human body, in health and under various disease conditions.
Export of mRNA from the nucleus to the cytoplasm is a critical process for all eukaryotic gene expression. As mRNA is synthesized, it is packaged with a myriad of RNA-binding proteins to form ribonucleoprotein particles (mRNPs). For each step in the processes of maturation and export, mRNPs must have the correct complement of proteins. Much of the mRNA export pathway revolves around the heterodimeric export receptor yeast Mex67•Mtr2/human NXF1•NXT1, which is recruited to signal the completion of nuclear mRNP assembly, mediates mRNP targeting/translocation through the nuclear pore complex (NPC), and is displaced at the cytoplasmic side of the NPC to release the mRNP into the cytoplasm. Directionality of the transport is governed by at least two DEAD-box ATPases, yeast Sub2/human UAP56 in the nucleus and yeast Dbp5/human DDX19 at the cytoplasmic side of the NPC, which respectively mediate the association and dissociation of Mex67•Mtr2/NXF1•NXT1 onto the mRNP. Here we review recent progress from structural studies of key constituents in different steps of nuclear mRNA export. These findings have laid the foundation for further studies to obtain a comprehensive mechanistic view of the mRNA export pathway.
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.