Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Genetics and Molecular Biology]]> vol. 38 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<em>CYP3A5</em> genotyping for assessing the efficacy of treatment with simvastatin and atorvastatin]]> In this work, we examined the impact of polymorphism in the cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A5 gene, CYP3A5*1 (6986A &gt; G, rs 776746), on the reduction in the lipid levels caused by simvastatin and atorvastatin. We studied 350 hyperlipidemic patients who received 10-40 mg of atorvastatin (n = 175) or simvastatin (n = 175) daily. Genotyping for CYP3A5 was done by PCR-RFLP analysis. Differences in the lipid profile before and after treatment were expressed as the % difference. The frequency of CYP3A5 polymorphism was 13.4% for heterozygotes and 86.6% for homozygotes. Comparison of the responses to same dose of each drug showed that the highest % difference was associated with total cholesterol (TC) in subjects receiving atorvastatin 40 mg compared with simvastatin 40 mg (p = 0.048). However, comparison of the responses to equivalent doses of atorvastatin vs. simvastatin revealed no difference in the % change in any of the lipid parameters examined. In individuals with the same CYP3A5 genotype, a head to head comparison of the efficacy of the same dose of simvastatin vs. atorvastatin revealed an advantage for atorvastatin. For equivalent doses of atorvastatin vs. simvastatin there was no difference in the % change in any of the lipid parameters examined. Within the same genotype there was a significant difference in the % change related to the drug treatment. <![CDATA[Genetic association of single nucleotide polymorphisms in dystrobrevin binding protein 1 gene with schizophrenia in a Malaysian population]]> Dystrobrevin binding protein 1 (DTNBP1) gene is pivotal in regulating the glutamatergic system. Genetic variants of the DTNBP1 affect cognition and thus may be particularly relevant to schizophrenia. We therefore evaluated the association of six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with schizophrenia in a Malaysian population (171 cases; 171 controls). Associations between these six SNPs and schizophrenia were tested in two stages. Association signals with p &lt; 0.05 and minor allele frequency &gt; 0.05 in stage 1 were followed by genotyping the SNPs in a replication phase (stage 2). Genotyping was performed with sequenced specific primer (PCR-SSP) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). In our sample, we found significant associations between rs2619522 (allele p = 0.002, OR = 1.902, 95%CI = 1.266 – 2.859; genotype p = 0.002) and rs2619528 (allele p = 0.008, OR = 1.606, 95%CI = 1.130 – 2.281; genotype p = 6.18 × 10−5) and schizophrenia. Given that these two SNPs may be associated with the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, further studies on the other DTNBP1 variants are warranted. <![CDATA[<em>DNM2</em> mutations in a cohort of sporadic patients with centronuclear myopathy]]> Centronuclear myopathy (CNM) is a rare congenital muscle disease characterized by fibers with prominent centralized nuclei in muscle biopsies. The disease is clinically heterogeneous, ranging from severe neonatal hypotonic phenotypes to adult-onset mild muscle weakness, and can have multiple modes of inheritance in association with various genes, including MTM1, DNM2, BIN1 and RYR1. Here we analyzed 18 sporadic patients with clinical and histological diagnosis of CNM and sequenced the DNM2 gene, which codes for the dynamin 2 protein. We found DNM2 missense mutations in two patients, both in exon 8, one known (p.E368K) and one novel (p.F372C), which is found in a position of presumed pathogenicity and appeared de novo. The patients had similar phenotypes characterized by neonatal signs followed by improvement and late childhood reemergence of slowly progressive generalized muscle weakness, elongated face with ptosis and ophthalmoparesis, and histology showing fibers with radiating sarcoplasmic strands (RSS). These patients were the only ones in the series to present this histological marker, which together with previous reports in the literature suggest that, when RSS are present, direct sequencing of DNM2 mutation hot spot regions should be the first step in the molecular diagnosis of CNM, even in sporadic cases. <![CDATA[Human population genetic structure detected by pain-related mu opioid receptor gene polymorphisms]]> Several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the Mu Opioid Receptor gene (OPRM1) have been identified and associated with a wide variety of clinical phenotypes related both to pain sensitivity and analgesic requirements. The A118G and other potentially functional OPRM1 SNPs show significant differences in their allele distributions among populations. However, they have not been properly addressed in a population genetic analysis. Population stratification could lead to erroneous conclusions when they are not taken into account in association studies. The aim of our study was to analyze OPRM1 SNP variability by comparing population samples of the International Hap Map database and to analyze a new population sample from the city of Corrientes, Argentina. The results confirm that OPRM1 SNP variability differs among human populations and displays a clear ancestry genetic structure, with three population clusters: Africa, Asia, and Europe-America. <![CDATA[Cytogenetic studies in six species of <em>Scinax</em> (Anura, Hylidae) clade <em>Scinax ruber</em> from northern and northeastern Brazil]]> Scinax species are still underrepresented in cytogenetic studies, mainly with respect to populations from northeastern and northern Brazil. In this study, we provide new chromosomal information on Scinax boesemani, S. camposseabrai, S. garbei, S. pachycrus, S. trilineatus and S. x-signatus, all belonging to clade S. ruber. They were collected at two locations in the Caatinga biome (northeastern Brazil) and at one in the Amazon (northern Brazil) biomes. Chromosomes were analyzed by conventional staining, C-banding, Ag-NOR staining, and fluorochrome staining. All species shared a modal diploid value of 2n = 24 and fundamental arm number (FN) of 48. Moreover, both chromosomal size and morphology were similar to other species in this Scinax clade. C-banding revealed centromeric heterochromatin in all species, along with terminal species-specific C-bands in some species. Active nucleolar organizer regions (Ag-NORs) were identified at 11q in most species, except for S. boesemani and S. garbei (Ag-NORs at interstitial region of 8q). Differing from most anurans, GC-rich regions were not restricted to NORs, but also coincident with some centromeric and terminal C-bands. These data contribute to the cytotaxonomy of Scinax by providing chromosomal markers and demonstrating the occurrence of microstructural rearrangements and inversions on chromosomal evolution of Scinax. <![CDATA[The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the little egret (<em>Egretta garzetta</em>)]]> Many phylogenetic questions in the Ciconiiformes remain unresolved and complete mitogenome data are urgently needed for further molecular investigation. In this work, we determined the complete mitogenome sequence of the little egret (Egretta garzetta). The genome was 17,361 bp in length and the gene organization was typical of other avian mtDNA. In protein-coding genes (PCGs), a C insertion was found in ND3, and CO III and ND4 terminated with incomplete stop codons (T). tRNA-Val and tRNA-Ser (AGY) were unable to fold into canonical cloverleaf secondary structures because they had lost the DHU arms. Long repetitive sequences consisting of five types of tandem repeats were found at the 3′ end of Domain III in the control region. A phylogenetic analysis of 11 species of Ciconiiformes was done using complete mitogenome data and 12 PCGs. The tree topologies obtained with these two strategies were identical, which strongly confirmed the monophyly of Ardeidae, Threskiorothidae and Ciconiidae. The phylogenetic analysis also revealed that Egretta was more closely related to Ardea than to Nycticorax in the Ardeidae, and Platalea was more closely related to Threskiornis than to Nipponia in the Threskiornithidae. These findings contribute to our understanding of the phylogenetic relationships of Ciconiiformes based on complete mitogenome data. <![CDATA[Presence of two mitochondrial genomes in the mytilid <em>Perumytilus purpuratus</em>: Phylogenetic evidence for doubly uniparental inheritance]]> This study presents evidence, using sequences of ribosomal 16S and COI mtDNA, for the presence of two mitochondrial genomes in Perumytilus purpuratus. This may be considered evidence of doubly uniparental mtDNA inheritance. The presence of the two types of mitochondrial genomes differentiates females from males. The F genome was found in the somatic and gonadal tissues of females and in the somatic tissues of males; the M genome was found in the gonads and mantle of males only. For the mitochondrial 16S region, ten haplotypes were found for the F genome (nucleotide diversity 0.004), and 7 haplotypes for the M genome (nucleotide diversity 0.001), with a distance Dxy of 0.125 and divergence Kxy of 60.33%. For the COI gene 17 haplotypes were found for the F genome (nucleotide diversity 0.009), and 10 haplotypes for the M genome (nucleotide diversity 0.010), with a genetic distance Dxy of 0.184 and divergence Kxy of 99.97%. Our results report the presence of two well-differentiated, sex-specific types of mitochondrial genome (one present in the male gonad, the other in the female gonad), implying the presence of DUI in P. purpuratus. These results indicate that care must be taken in phylogenetic comparisons using mtDNA sequences of P. purpuratus without considering the sex of the individuals. <![CDATA[<em>Galactinol synthase</em> transcriptional profile in two genotypes of <em>Coffea canephora</em> with contrasting tolerance to drought]]> Increased synthesis of galactinol and raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs) has been reported in vegetative tissues in response to a range of abiotic stresses. In this work, we evaluated the transcriptional profile of a Coffea canephora galactinol synthase gene (CcGolS1) in two clones that differed in tolerance to water deficit in order to assess the contribution of this gene to drought tolerance. The expression of CcGolS1 in leaves was differentially regulated by water deficit, depending on the intensity of stress and the genotype. In clone 109A (drought-susceptible), the abundance of CcGolS1 transcripts decreased upon exposure to drought, reaching minimum values during recovery from severe water deficit and stress. In contrast, CcGolS1 gene expression in clone 14 (drought-tolerant) was stimulated by water deficit. Changes in galactinol and RFO content did not correlate with variation in the steady-state transcript level. However, the magnitude of increase in RFO accumulation was higher in the tolerant cultivar, mainly under severe water deficit. The finding that the drought-tolerant coffee clone showed enhanced accumulation of CcGolS1 transcripts and RFOs under water deficit suggests the possibility of using this gene to improve drought tolerance in this important crop. <![CDATA[<em>Eucalyptus urograndis</em> stem proteome is responsive to short-term cold stress]]> Eucalyptus urograndis is a hybrid eucalyptus of major economic importance to the Brazilian pulp and paper industry. Although widely used in forest nurseries around the country, little is known about the biochemical changes imposed by environmental stress in this species. In this study, we evaluated the changes in the stem proteome after short-term stimulation by exposure to low temperature. Using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry-based protein identification, 12 proteins were found to be differentially regulated and successfully identified after stringent database searches against a protein database from a closely related species (Eucalyptus grandis). The identification of these proteins indicated that the E. urograndis stem proteome responded quickly to low temperature, mostly by down-regulating specific proteins involved in energy metabolism, protein synthesis and signaling. The results of this study represent the first step in understanding the molecular and biochemical responses of E. urograndis to thermal stress. <![CDATA[Comparative karyotype analysis of populations in the <em>Alstroemeria presliana</em> Herbert (Alstroemeriaceae) complex in Chile]]> Alstroemeria L., one of the most diverse genera of the Chilean flora and of high floricultural value, is represented by 35 species, most of them distributed between 28–38° S in the Mediterranean zone of Central Chile. There are 24 complex-forming taxa, of which 18 have conservation problems (8 are considered “endangered” and 10 as “vulnerable”). One of these complexes is Alstroemeria presliana Herb. with two subspecies: subsp. presliana and subsp. australis Bayer. Alstroemeria presliana grows in Chile and Argentina: subsp. presliana is distributed from Reserva Nacional Siete Tazas (35°27′ S, Region of Maule) to Antuco, (37°25′ S, Region of Bío-Bío), and is also found in Neuquén, Argentina; subsp. australis is endemic to the Cordillera of Nahuelbuta. A comparative karyotype study was carried out among six populations of A. presliana subsp. presliana and five populations of A. presliana subsp. australis. The eleven populations presented an asymmetric karyotype, with 2n = 2× = 16 chromosomes but with different karyotype formulae. A. presliana subsp. presliana shows the haploid formula 2m + 2m-sat + 1sm-sat + 1st-sat + 1t + 1 t-sat, and A. presliana subsp. australis presents a formula 1m + 2m-sat + 1sm + 2t + 2t-sat chromosomes. The architecture of the karyotype between the subspecies is very different. The scatter plot among CVCL vs. MCA shows different groupings between populations of the two subspecies. According to the results obtained it is possible to consider raising Alstroemeria presliana subsp. australis at species level. <![CDATA[Microbial quality of soil from the Pampa biome in response to different grazing pressures]]> The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of different grazing pressures on the activity and diversity of soil bacteria. We performed a long-term experiment in Eldorado do Sul, southern Brazil, that assessed three levels of grazing pressure: high pressure (HP), with 4% herbage allowance (HA), moderate pressure (MP), with 12% HA, and low pressure (LP), with 16% HA. Two reference areas were also assessed, one of never-grazed native vegetation (NG) and another of regenerated vegetation after two years of grazing (RG). Soil samples were evaluated for microbial biomass and enzymatic (β-glucosidase, arylsulfatase and urease) activities. The structure of the bacterial community and the population of diazotrophic bacteria were evaluated by RFLP of the 16S rRNA and nifH genes, respectively. The diversity of diazotrophic bacteria was assessed by partial sequencing of the 16S rDNA gene. The presence of grazing animals increased soil microbial biomass in MP and HP. The structures of the bacterial community and the populations of diazotrophic bacteria were altered by the different grazing managements, with a greater diversity of diazotrophic bacteria in the LP treatment. Based on the characteristics evaluated, the MP treatment was the most appropriate for animal production and conservation of the Pampa biome. <![CDATA[X<sub>1</sub>X<sub>1</sub>X<sub>2</sub>X<sub>2</sub>/X<sub>1</sub>X<sub>2</sub>Y sex chromosome systems in the Neotropical Gymnotiformes electric fish of the genus <em>Brachyhypopomus</em>]]> Several types of sex chromosome systems have been recorded among Gymnotiformes, including male and female heterogamety, simple and multiple sex chromosomes, and different mechanisms of origin and evolution. The X1X1X2X2/X1X2Y systems identified in three species of this order are considered homoplasic for the group. In the genus Brachyhypopomus, only B. gauderio presented this type of system. Herein we describe the karyotypes of Brachyhypopomus pinnicaudatus and B. n. sp. FLAV, which have an X1X1X2X2/X1X2Y sex chromosome system that evolved via fusion between an autosome and the Y chromosome. The morphology of the chromosomes and the meiotic pairing suggest that the sex chromosomes of B. gauderio and B. pinnicaudatus have a common origin, whereas in B . n. sp. FLAV the sex chromosome system evolved independently. However, we cannot discard the possibility of common origin followed by distinct processes of differentiation. The identification of two new karyotypes with an X1X1X2X2/X1X2Y sex chromosome system in Gymnotiformes makes it the most common among the karyotyped species of the group. Comparisons of these karyotypes and the evolutionary history of the taxa indicate independent origins for their sex chromosomes systems. The recurrent emergence of the X1X1X2X2/X1X2Y system may represent sex chromosomes turnover events in Gymnotiformes. <![CDATA[The ability of mouse nuclear transfer embryonic stem cells to differentiate into primordial germ cells]]> Nuclear transfer embryonic stem cells (ntESCs) show stem cell characteristics such as pluripotency but cause no immunological disorders. Although ntESCs are able to differentiate into somatic cells, the ability of ntESCs to differentiate into primordial germ cells (PGCs) has not been examined. In this work, we examined the capacity of mouse ntESCs to differentiate into PGCs in vitro. ntESCs aggregated to form embryoid bodies (EB) in EB culture medium supplemented with bone morphogenetic protein 4(BMP4) as the differentiation factor. The expression level of specific PGC genes was compared at days 4 and 8 using real time PCR. Flow cytometry and immunocytochemical staining were used to detect Mvh as a specific PGC marker. ntESCs expressed particular genes related to different stages of PGC development. Flow cytometry and immunocytochemical staining confirmed the presence of Mvh protein in a small number of cells. There were significant differences between cells that differentiated into PGCs in the group treated with Bmp4 compared to non-treated cells. These findings indicate that ntESCs can differentiate into putative PGCs. Improvement of ntESC differentiation into PGCs may be a reliable means of producing mature germ cells. <![CDATA[Exposure to an extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field only slightly modifies the proteome of <em>Chromobacterium violaceum</em> ATCC 12472]]> Several studies of the physiological responses of different organisms exposed to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) have been described. In this work, we report the minimal effects of in situ exposure to ELF-EMF on the global protein expression of Chromobacterium violaceum using a gel-based proteomic approach. The protein expression profile was only slightly altered, with five differentially expressed proteins detected in the exposed cultures; two of these proteins (DNA-binding stress protein, Dps, and alcohol dehydrogenase) were identified by MS/MS. The enhanced expression of Dps possibly helped to prevent physical damage to DNA. Although small, the changes in protein expression observed here were probably beneficial in helping the bacteria to adapt to the stress generated by the electromagnetic field.