Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Genetics and Molecular Biology]]> vol. 38 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Identification of a novel <em>COL1A1</em> frameshift mutation, c.700delG, in a Chinese osteogenesis imperfecta family]]> Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a family of genetic disorders associated with bone loss and fragility. Mutations associated with OI have been found in genes encoding the type I collagen chains. People with OI type I often produce insufficient α1-chain type I collagen because of frameshift, nonsense, or splice site mutations in COL1A1 or COL1A2. This report is of a Chinese daughter and mother who had both experienced two bone fractures. Because skeletal fragility is predominantly inherited, we focused on identifying mutations in COL1A1 and COL1A2 genes. A novel mutation in COL1A1, c.700delG, was detected by genomic DNA sequencing in the mother and daughter, but not in their relatives. The identification of this mutation led to the conclusion that they were affected by mild OI type I. Open reading frame analysis indicated that this frameshift mutation would truncate α1-chain type I collagen at residue p263 (p.E234KfsX264), while the wild-type protein would contain 1,464 residues. The clinical data were consistent with the patients’ diagnosis of mild OI type I caused by haploinsufficiency of α1-chain type I collagen. Combined with previous reports, identification of the novel mutation COL1A1-c.700delG in these patients suggests that additional genetic and environmental factors may influence the severity of OI. <![CDATA[Ancestral association between <em>HLA</em> and <em>HFE</em> H63D and C282Y gene mutations from northwest Colombia]]> A significant association between HFE gene mutations and the HLA-A*03-B*07 and HLA-A*29-B*44 haplotypes has been reported in the Spanish population. It has been proposed that these mutations are probably connected with Celtic and North African ancestry, respectively. We aimed to find the possible ancestral association between HLA alleles and haplotypes associated with the HFE gene (C282Y and H63D) mutations in 214 subjects from Antioquia, Colombia. These were 18 individuals with presumed hereditary hemochromatosis (“HH”) and 196 controls. The HLA-B*07 allele was in linkage disequilibrium (LD) with C282Y, while HLA-A*23, A*29, HLA-B*44, and B*49 were in LD with H63D. Altogether, our results show that, although the H63D mutation is more common in the Antioquia population, it is not associated with any particular HLA haplotype, whereas the C282Y mutation is associated with HLA-A*03-B*07, this supporting a northern Spaniard ancestry. <![CDATA[Clinical and molecular characterization of a Brazilian cohort of campomelic dysplasia patients, and identification of seven new SOX9 mutations]]> Campomelic dysplasia (CD) is an autosomal, dominantly inherited, skeletal abnormality belonging to the subgroup of bent bone dysplasias. In addition to bowed lower limbs, CD typically includes the following: disproportionate short stature, flat face, micrognathia, cleft palate, bell-shaped thorax, and club feet. Up to three quarters of 46, XY individuals may be sex-reversed. Radiological signs include scapular and pubic hypoplasia, narrow iliac wings, spaced ischia, and bowed femora and tibiae. Lethal CD is usually due to heterozygous mutations in SOX9, a major regulator of chondrocytic development. We present a detailed clinical and molecular characterization of nine Brazilian CD patients. Infants were either stillborn (n = 2) or died shortly after birth and presented similar phenotypes. Sex-reversal was observed in one of three chromosomally male patients. Sequencing of SOX9 revealed new heterozygous mutations in seven individuals. Six patients had mutations that resulted in premature transcriptional termination, while one infant had a single-nucleotide substitution at the conserved splice-site acceptor of intron 1. No clear genotype-phenotype correlations were observed. This study highlights the diversity of SOX9 mutations leading to lethal CD, and expands the group of known genetic alterations associated with this skeletal dysplasia. <![CDATA[Clinical significance of miR-140-5p and miR-193b expression in patients with breast cancer and relationship to IGFBP5]]> The functional role of IGFBP5 in breast cancer is complicated. Experimental and bioinformatics studies have shown that IGFBP5 is targeted by miR-140-5p and miR-193b, although this has not yet been proven in clinical samples. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of miR-140-5p and miR-193b in breast cancer and adjacent normal tissue and assess its correlation with IGFBP5 and the clinicopathological characteristics of the tumors. IGFBP5 protein expression was analyzed immunohistochemically and IGFBP5, miR-140 and miR-193b mRNA expression levels were analyzed with real-time RT-PCR. Tumor tissue had higher miR-140-5p expression than adjacent normal tissue (p = 0.015). Samples with no immunohistochemical staining for IGFBP5 showed increased miR-140-5p expression (p = 0.009). miR-140-5p expression was elevated in invasive ductal carcinomas (p = 0.002), whereas basal-like tumors had decreased expression of miR-140-5p compared to other tumors (p = 0.008). Lymph node-positive samples showed an approximately 13-fold increase in miR-140-5p expression compared to lymph node-negative tissue (p = 0.049). These findings suggest that miR-140-5p, but not miR-193b, could be an important determinant of IGFBP5 expression and clinical phenotype in breast cancer patients. Further studies are needed to clarify the expressional regulation of IGFBP5 by miR-140-5p. <![CDATA[Novel splice-affecting variants in <em>CYP27A1</em> gene in two Chilean patients with Cerebrotendinous Xanthomatosis]]> Cerebrotendinous Xanthomatosis (CTX), a rare lipid storage disorder, is caused by recessive loss-of-function mutations of the 27-sterol hydroxylase (CYP27A1), producing an alteration of the synthesis of bile acids, with an accumulation of cholestanol. Clinical characteristics include juvenile cataracts, diarrhea, tendon xanthomas, cognitive impairment and other neurological manifestations. Early diagnosis is critical, because treatment with chenodeoxycholic acid may prevent neurological damage. We studied the CYP27A1 gene in two Chilean CTX patients by sequencing its nine exons, exon-intron boundaries, and cDNA from peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Patient 1 is a compound heterozygote for the novel substitution c.256-1G &gt; T that causes exon 2 skipping, leading to a premature stop codon in exon 3, and for the previously-known pathogenic mutation c.1183C &gt; T (p.Arg395Cys). Patient 2 is homozygous for the novel mutation c.1185-1G &gt; A that causes exon 7 skipping and the generation of a premature stop codon in exon 8, leading to the loss of the crucial adrenoxin binding domain of CYP27A1. <![CDATA[A novel c.1037C > G (p.Ala346Gly) mutation in <em>TP63</em> as cause of the ectrodactyly-ectodermal dysplasia and cleft lip/palate (EEC) syndrome]]> Ectrodactyly – ectodermal dysplasia and cleft lip/palate (EEC) syndrome (OMIM 604292) is a rare disorder determined by mutations in the TP63 gene. Most cases of EEC syndrome are associated to mutations in the DNA binding domain (DBD) region of the p63 protein. Here we report on a three-generation Brazilian family with three individuals (mother, son and grandfather) affected by EEC syndrome, determined by a novel mutation c.1037C &gt; G (p.Ala346Gly). The disorder in this family exhibits a broad spectrum of phenotypes: two individuals were personally examined, one presenting the complete constellation of EEC syndrome manifestations and the other presenting an intermediate phenotype; the third affected, a deceased individual not examined personally and referred to by his daughter, exhibited only the split-hand/foot malformation (SHFM). Our findings contribute to elucidate the complex phenotype-genotype correlations in EEC syndrome and other related TP63-mutation syndromes. The possibility of the mutation c.1037C &gt; G being related both to acro-dermato-ungual-lacrimal-tooth (ADULT) syndrome and SHFM is also raised by the findings here reported. <![CDATA[Association study of folate-related enzymes (MTHFR, MTR, MTRR) genetic variants with non-obstructive male infertility in a Polish population]]> Spermatogenesis is a process where an important contribution of genes involved in folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism is observed. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between male infertility and the MTHFR (677C &gt; T; 1298A &gt; C), MTR (2756A &gt; G) and MTRR (66A &gt; G) polymorphisms in a Polish population. No significant differences in genotype or allele frequencies were detected between the groups of 284 infertile men and of 352 fertile controls. These results demonstrate that common polymorphisms in folate pathway genes are not major risk factors for non-obstructive male infertility in the Polish population. <![CDATA[Genetic characterization of Uruguayan Pampa Rocha pigs with microsatellite markers]]> In this study, we genetically characterized the Uruguayan pig breed Pampa Rocha. Genetic variability was assessed by analyzing a panel of 25 microsatellite markers from a sample of 39 individuals. Pampa Rocha pigs showed high genetic variability with observed and expected heterozygosities of 0.583 and 0.603, respectively. The mean number of alleles was 5.72. Twenty-four markers were polymorphic, with 95.8% of them in Hardy Weinberg equilibrium. The level of endogamy was low (FIS = 0.0475). A factorial analysis of correspondence was used to assess the genetic differences between Pampa Rocha and other pig breeds; genetic distances were calculated, and a tree was designed to reflect the distance matrix. Individuals were also allocated into clusters. This analysis showed that the Pampa Rocha breed was separated from the other breeds along the first and second axes. The neighbour-joining tree generated by the genetic distances DA showed clustering of Pampa Rocha with the Meishan breed. The allocation of individuals to clusters showed a clear separation of Pampa Rocha pigs. These results provide insights into the genetic variability of Pampa Rocha pigs and indicate that this breed is a well-defined genetic entity. <![CDATA[Chromosomal localization of microsatellite loci in <em>Drosophila mediopunctata</em>]]> Drosophila mediopunctata has been used as a model organism for genetics and evolutionary studies in the last three decades. A linkage map with 48 microsatellite loci recently published for this species showed five syntenic groups, which had their homology determined to Drosophila melanogaster chromosomes. Then, by inference, each of the groups was associated with one of the five major chromosomes of D. mediopunctata. Our objective was to carry out a genetic (chromosomal) analysis to increase the number of available loci with known chromosomal location. We made a simultaneous analysis of visible mutant phenotypes and microsatellite genotypes in a backcross of a standard strain and a mutant strain, which had each major autosome marked. Hence, we could establish the chromosomal location of seventeen loci; including one from each of the five major linkage groups previously published, and twelve new loci. Our results were congruent with the previous location and they open new possibilities to future work integrating microsatellites, chromosomal inversions, and genetic determinants of physiological and morphological variation. <![CDATA[Conservation implications of the mating system of the Pampa Hermosa landrace of peach palm analyzed with microsatellite markers]]> Peach palm (Bactris gasipaes) is cultivated by many indigenous and traditional communities from Amazonia to Central America for its edible fruits, and is currently important for its heart-of-palm. The objective of this study was to investigate the mating system of peach palm, as this is important for conservation and breeding. Eight microsatellite loci were used to genotype 24 open-pollinated progenies from three populations of the Pampa Hermosa landrace maintained in a progeny trial for genetic improvement. Both the multi-locus outcrossing rates (0.95 to 0.99) and the progeny level multi-locus outcrossing rates (0.9 to 1.0) were high, indicating that peach palm is predominantly allogamous. The outcrossing rates among relatives were significantly different from zero (0.101 to 0.202), providing evidence for considerable biparental inbreeding within populations, probably due to farmers planting seeds of a small number of open-pollinated progenies in the same plot. The correlations of paternity estimates were low (0.051 to 0.112), suggesting a large number of pollen sources (9 to 20) participating in pollination of individual fruit bunches. Effective population size estimates suggest that current germplasm collections are insufficient for long-term ex situ conservation. As with most underutilized crops, on farm conservation is the most important component of an integrated conservation strategy. <![CDATA[Developing a common bean core collection suitable for association mapping studies]]> Because of the continuous introduction of germplasm from abroad, some collections have a high number of accessions, making it difficult to explore the genetic variability present in a germplasm bank for conservation and breeding purposes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to quantify and analyze the structure of genetic variability among 500 common bean accessions to construct a core collection. A total of 58 SSRs were used for this purpose. The polymorphism information content (PIC) in the 180 common bean accessions selected to compose the core collection ranged from 0.17 to 0.86, and the discriminatory power (DP) ranged from 0.21 to 0.90. The 500 accessions were clustered into 15 distinct groups and the 180 accessions into four distinct groups in the Structure analysis. According to analysis of molecular variance, the most divergent accessions comprised 97.2% of the observed genetic variability present within the base collection, confirming the efficiency of the selection criterion. The 180 selected accessions will be used for association mapping in future studies and could be potentially used by breeders to direct new crosses and generate elite cultivars that meet current and future global market needs. <![CDATA[Characterization and expression analysis of WOX2 homeodomain transcription factor in <em>Aegilops tauschii</em>]]> The WUSCHEL (WUS)-related homeobox (WOX) gene family coordinates transcription during the early phases of embryogenesis. In this study, a putative WOX2 homolog was isolated and characterized from Aegilops tauschii, the donor of D genome of Triticum aestivum. The sequence consisted of 2045 bp, and contained an open reading frame (ORF), encoded 322 amino acids. The predicted protein sequence contained a highly conserved homeodomain and the WUS-box domain, which is present in some members of the WOX protein family. The full-length ORF was subcloned into prokaryotic expression vector pET-30a, and an approximately 34-kDa protein was expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) cells with IPTG induction. The molecular mass of the expressed protein was identical to that predicted by the cDNA sequence. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that Ae. tauschii WOX2 is closely related to the rice and maize orthologs. Quantitative PCR analysis showed that WOX2 from Ae. tauschii was primarily expressed in the seeds; transcription increased during seed development and declined after the embryos matured, suggesting that WOX2 is associated with embryo development in Ae. tauschii. <![CDATA[Differential expression of the <em>pr</em>1A gene in <em>Metarhizium anisopliae</em> and <em>Metarhizium acridum</em> across different culture conditions and during pathogenesis]]> The entomopathogenic fungi of the genus Metarhizium have several subtilisin-like proteases that are involved in pathogenesis and these have been used to investigate genes that are differentially expressed in response to different growth conditions. The identification and characterization of these proteases can provide insight into how the fungus is capable of infecting a wide variety of insects and adapt to different substrates. In addition, the pr1A gene has been used for the genetic improvement of strains used in pest control. In this study we used quantitative RT-PCR to assess the relative expression levels of the pr1A gene in M. anisopliae and M. acridum during growth in different culture conditions and during infection of the sugar cane borer, Diatraea saccharalis Fabricius. We also carried out a pathogenicity test to assess the virulence of both species against D. saccharalis and correlated the results with the pattern of pr1A gene expression. This analysis revealed that, in both species, the pr1A gene was differentially expressed under the growth conditions studied and during the pathogenic process. M. anisopliae showed higher expression of pr1A in all conditions examined, when compared to M. acridum. Furthermore, M. anisopliae showed a greater potential to control D. saccharalis. Taken together, our results suggest that these species have developed different strategies to adapt to different growing conditions. <![CDATA[Genotoxic potential of the latex from cotton-leaf physicnut (<em>Jatropha gossypiifolia</em> L.)]]> Jatropha gossypiifolia L. (Euphorbiaceae), popularly known as cotton-leaf physicnut, is a milky shrub notable for its medicinal properties. The present study aimed to evaluate the toxic, cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of the latex of J. gossypiifolia, using Allium cepa L. as test system. Seeds of A. cepa were exposed to five concentrations of the latex (1.25; 2.5; 5; 10 and 20 mL/L) in order to evaluate parameters of toxicity (evaluation of root growth), cytotoxicity (mitotic index frequency) and genotoxicity (frequency of chromosome alterations). The latex showed a significant decrease in root mean growth value as well as mitotic index for the tested concentrations, except for 1.25 mL/L, when compared to results from the negative control. The 1.25, 2.5 and 5 mL/L concentrations induced significant chromo-some adherences, C-metaphases and/or chromosome bridges, as genotoxic effects. The significant frequency of chromosome bridges also indicated mutagenic potential for chromosomes of J. gossypiifolia as discussed in the paper. Considering that the latex is used in popular therapies, and that the test system A. cepa presents good correlation with tests carried out in mammals, it can be pointed out that its use for medicinal purposes may be harmful to human health especially if ingested. <![CDATA[Recombinogenic activity of Pantoprazole<sup>®</sup> in somatic cells of <em>Drosophila melanogaster</em>]]> Pantoprazole® is one of the leading proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) used in the treatment of a variety of diseases related to the upper gastrointestinal tract. However, studies have shown an increased risk of developing gastric cancer, intestinal metaplasia and hyperplasia of endocrine cells with prolonged use. In the present study, the somatic mutation and recombination test (SMART) was employed to determine the mutagenic effects of Pantoprazole on Drosophila melanogaster. Repeated treatments with Pantoprazole were performed on 72-hour larvae of the standard (ST) and high bioactivation (HB) crosses at concentrations of 2.5, 5.0, and 10.0 μM. In addition, doxorubicin (DXR) was administered at 0.4 mM, as a positive control. When administered to ST descendants, total number of spots were statistically significant at 2.5 and 5.0 μM concentrations. For HB descendants, a significant increase in the total number of spots was observed among the marked transheterozygous (MH) flies. Through analysis of balancer heterozygous (BH) descendants, recombinogenic effects were observed at all concentrations in descendants of the HB cross. In view of these experimental conditions and results, it was concluded that Pantoprazole is associated with recombinogenic effects in Drosophila melanogaster. <![CDATA[Enhanced tethered-flight duration and locomotor activity by overexpression of the human gene <em>SOD1</em> in <em>Drosophila</em> motorneurons]]> Mutation of the human gene superoxide dismutase (hSOD1) is associated with the fatal neurodegenerative disease familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Selective overexpression of hSOD1 in Drosophila motorneurons increases lifespan to 140% of normal. The current study was designed to determine resistance to lifespan decline and failure of sensorimotor functions by overexpressing hSOD1 in Drosophila‘s motorneurons. First, we measured the ability to maintain continuous flight and wingbeat frequency (WBF) as a function of age (5 to 50 days). Flies overexpressing hSOD1 under the D42-GAL4 activator were able to sustain flight significantly longer than controls, with the largest effect observed in the middle stages of life. The hSOD1-expressed line also had, on average, slower wingbeat frequencies in late, but not early life relative to age-matched controls. Second, we examined locomotor (exploratory walking) behavior in late life when flies had lost the ability to fly (age ≥ 60 d). hSOD1-expressed flies showed significantly more robust walking activity relative to controls. Findings show patterns of functional decline dissimilar to those reported for other life-extended lines, and suggest that the hSOD1 gene not only delays death but enhances sensorimotor abilities critical to survival even in late life. <![CDATA[Neuroprotective changes in degeneration-related gene expression in the substantia nigra following acupuncture in an MPTP mouse model of Parkinsonism: Microarray analysis]]> Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the death of dopamine-generating cells in the substantia nigra (SN). Acupuncture stimulation results in an enhanced survival of dopaminergic neurons in the SN in Parkinsonism animal models. The present study investigated changes in gene expression profiles measured using whole transcript array in the SN region related to the inhibitory effects of acupuncture in a chronic 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) Parkinsonism model. In this model, acupuncture stimulation at GB34 and LR3 attenuated the decrease in tyrosine hydroxylase in the SN region; stimulation at non-acupoints did not suppress this decrease. Gene array analysis revealed that 22 (10 annotated genes: Cdh1, Itih2, Mpzl2, Rdh9, Serping1, Slc6a13, Slc6a20a, Slc6a4, Tph2, and Ucma) probes that were up-regulated in MPTP animals relative to controls were exclusively down-regulated by acupuncture stimulation. In addition, 17 (two annotated genes: 4921530L21Rik and Gm13931) probes that were down-regulated in MPTP animals compared to controls were exclusively up-regulated by acupuncture stimulation. These findings indicate that the 39 probes (12 annotated genes) affected by MPTP and acupuncture may be responsible for the inhibitory effects of acupuncture on degeneration-related gene expression in the SN following damage induced by MPTP intoxication.