Abstract in English:Women with mutations in the breast cancer genes BRCA1 or BRCA2 have an increased lifetime risk of developing breast, ovarian and other BRCA-associated cancers. However, the number of detected germline mutations in families with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome is lower than expected based upon genetic linkage data. Undetected deleterious mutations in the BRCA genes in some high-risk families are due to the presence of intragenic rearrangements such as deletions, duplications or insertions that span whole exons. This article reviews the molecular aspects of BRCA1 and BRCA2 rearrangements and their frequency among different populations. An overview of the techniques used to screen for large rearrangements in BRCA1 and BRCA2 is also presented. The detection of rearrangements in BRCA genes, especially BRCA1, offers a promising outlook for mutation screening in clinical practice, particularly in HBOC families that test negative for a germline mutation assessed by traditional methods.
Abstract in English:In 2004, a population-based cohort (the Núcleo Mama Porto Alegre - NMPOA Cohort) was started in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil and within that cohort, a hereditary breast cancer study was initiated, aiming to determine the prevalence of hereditary breast cancer phenotypes and evaluate acceptance of a genetic cancer risk assessment (GCRA) program. Women from that cohort who reported a positive family history of cancer were referred to GCRA. Of the 9218 women enrolled, 1286 (13.9%) reported a family history of cancer. Of the 902 women who attended GCRA, 55 (8%) had an estimated lifetime risk of breast cancer ³ 20% and 214 (23.7%) had pedigrees suggestive of a breast cancer predisposition syndrome; an unexpectedly high number of these fulfilled criteria for Li-Fraumeni-like syndrome (122 families, 66.7%). The overall prevalence of a hereditary breast cancer phenotype was 6.2% (95%CI: 5.67-6.65). These findings identified a problem of significant magnitude in the region and indicate that genetic cancer risk evaluation should be undertaken in a considerable proportion of the women from this community. The large proportion of women who attended GCRA (72.3%) indicates that the program was well-accepted by the community, regardless of the potential cultural, economic and social barriers.
Abstract in English:Haptoglobin is a plasma hemoglobin-binding protein that limits iron loss during normal erythrocyte turnover and hemolysis, thereby preventing oxidative damage mediated by iron excess in the circulation. Haptoglobin polymorphism in humans, characterized by the Hp*1 and Hp*2 alleles, results in distinct phenotypes known as Hp1-1, Hp2-1 and Hp2-2, whose frequencies vary according to the ethnic origin of the population. The Hp*1 allele has two subtypes, Hp*1F and Hp*1S, that also vary in their frequencies among populations worldwide. In this work, we examined the distribution frequencies of haptoglobin subtypes in three Brazilian population groups of different ethnicities. The haptoglobin genotypes of Kayabi Amerindians (n = 56), Kalunga Afro-descendants (n = 70) and an urban population (n = 132) were determined by allele-specific PCR. The Hp*1F allele frequency was highest in Kalunga (29.3%) and lowest in Kayabi (2.6%). The Hp*1F/Hp*1S allele frequency ratios were 0.6, 1.0 and 0.26 for the Kayabi, Kalunga and urban populations, respectively. This variation was attributable largely to the Hp*1F allele. However, despite the large variation in Hp*1F frequencies, results of FST (0.0291) indicated slight genetic differentiation among subpopulations of the general Brazilian population studied here. This is the first Brazilian report of variations in the Hp *1F and Hp*1S frequencies among non-Amerindian Brazilians.
Abstract in English:The genotypes of 31 autosomal short tandem repeat loci in the population of Carloforte were analyzed, these representing a linguistic and genetic isolate located on the island of Sardinia (Italy). The markers span the entire length of chromosomes 19, 20, 21 and 22. Allele frequencies and statistical parameters were presented for all loci. Observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.279 to 0.884, and polymorphism information content from 0.552 to 0.886. All but two loci showed Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium after Bonferroni correction. The 31 short tandem repeat loci examined in the present work provide additional data on the genetic structure of the Carloforte population.
Abstract in English:Orofacial clefts (OFC; MIM 119530) are among the most common major birth defects. Here, we carried out mutation screening of the PVR and PVRL2 genes, which are both located at an OFC linkage region at 19q13 (OFC3) and are closely related to PVRL1, which has been associated with both syndromic and non-syndromic cleft lip and palate (nsCLP). We screened a total of 73 nsCLP patients and 105 non-cleft controls from the USA for variants in PVR and PVRL2, including all exons and encompassing all isoforms. We identified four variants in PVR and five in PVRL2. One non-synonymous PVR variant, A67T, was more frequent among nsCLP patients than among normal controls, but this difference did not achieve statistical significance.
Abstract in English:A recent substantial rearrangement of the 882 described eleutherodactyline frog species has considerably improved the understanding of their systematics. Nevertheless, many taxonomic aspects of the South American eleutherodactyline species remain unknown and require further investigation using morphological, cytogenetic and molecular approaches. In this work, the karyotypes of the Brazilian species Ischnocnema juipoca (Atibaia and Campos do Jordão, SP), Barycholos cf. ternetzi (Uberlândia, MG, and Porto Nacional, TO), and Pristimantis crepitans (Chapada dos Guimarães and São Vicente, MT) were analyzed using Giemsa staining, Ag-NOR labeling, and C-banding techniques. All individuals had a diploid number of 22 chromosomes, but the Fundamental Numbers were different among species. The herein described low chromosome number of Pristimantis crepitans is unique within this genus, suggesting that cytogenetically this species is not closely related either to its congeneric species or to Ischnocnema. In addition, karyotype differences, mainly in the NOR position, clearly distinguished the two Barycholos populations, besides indicating the existence of a so far undescribed species in this genus. A taxonomic review could clarify the systematic position of P. crepitans and verify the hypothetic new Barycholos species.
Abstract in English:Four populations of Astyanax hastatus Myers 1928 from the Guapimirim River basin (Rio de Janeiro State) were analyzed and three distinct cytotypes identified. These cytotypes presented 2n = 50 chromosomes, with 4M+8SM+10ST+28A (Cytotype A), 8M+10SM+14ST+18A (Cytotype B), 6M+8SM+4ST+32A (Cytotype C) and scanty heterochromatin, mainly located throughout pericentromeric regions of several chromosomal pairs. No homologies with the As-51 satellite DNA were observed in the three cytotypes, although all of them presented multiple 18S rDNA sites, as detected by both silver nitrate staining and FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridization). The application of the term "species complex" in Astyanax is discussed from a cytotaxonomic viewpoint.
Abstract in English:We determined the polymorphism C242T of the aromatase gene (Cyp19) and its allelic frequency, as well as the effect of the variants on productive and reproductive traits in 71 purebred Santa Inês sheep, 13 purebred Brazilian Somali sheep, nine purebred Poll Dorset sheep, and 18 crossbred 1/2 Dorper sheep. The animals were genotyped using the PCR-RFLP technique. The influence of the animal's genotype on its performance or on the performance of its lambs was analyzed by the least square method. Another factor assessed was the importance of the animal's genotype in analysis models for quantitative breeding value estimates, and whether there were differences among the averages of breeding values of animals with different genotypes for this gene. In the sample studied, no AA individuals were observed; the AB and BB frequencies were 0.64 and 0.36, respectively. All Brazilian Somali sheep were of genotype BB. All 1/2 Dorper BB animals presented a lower age at first lambing, and the Santa Inês BB ewes presented a lower lambing interval. In these same genetic groups, AB ewes presented higher litter weight at weaning. This is evidence that BB ewes have a better reproductive performance phenotype, whereas AB ewes present a better maternal ability phenotype. However, in general, animals with genotype AB presented better average breeding values than those with genotype BB.
Abstract in English:The objective of this paper was to determine the association of a SNP in the µ-calpain gene at position 316 with growth and quality of meat traits of steers grown on pasture. Fifty-nine Brangus and 20 Angus steers were genotyped for CAPN1 316. Warner Bratzler shear force was measured in l. lumborum samples after a 7-day aging period. A multivariate analysis of variance was performed, including shear force (WBSF), final weight (FW), average daily gain (ADG), backfat thickness (BFT), average monthly fat thickness gain (AMFTG), rib-eye area (REA), and beef rib-eye depth (RED) as dependent variables. The CAPN1 316 genotype was statistically significant. Univariate analyses were done with these variables. The marker genotype was statistically significant (p < 0.05) for WBSF (kg: CC: 4.41 ± 0.57; CG: 5.58 ± 0.20; GG: 6.29 ± 0.18), FW (kg: CC: 360.23 ± 14.71; CG: 381.34 ± 5.26; GG: 399.23 ± 4.68), and ADG (kg/d: CC: 0.675 ± 0.046; CG: 0.705 ± 0.016; GG: 0.765 ± 0.014) Shear force, final weight and average daily gain were significantly different according to the CAPN1 316 marker genotypes. The marker genotype was statistically significant in the multivariate analysis (p = 0.001). The first characteristic root explained 89% of the differences among genotypes. WBSF, FW and ADG were the most important traits in the first vector, indicating that animals with the marker genotype for lowest WBSF also have the lowest FW and ADG.
Abstract in English:The prediction of gains from selection allows the comparison of breeding methods and selection strategies, although these estimates may be biased. The objective of this study was to investigate the extent of such bias in predicting genetic gain. For this, we simulated 10 cycles of a hypothetical breeding program that involved seven traits, three population classes, three experimental conditions and two breeding methods (mass and half-sib selection). Each combination of trait, population, heritability, method and cycle was repeated 10 times. The predicted gains were biased, even when the genetic parameters were estimated without error. Gain from selection in both genders is twice the gain from selection in a single gender only in the absence of dominance. The use of genotypic variance or broad sense heritability in the predictions represented an additional source of bias. Predictions based on additive variance and narrow sense heritability were equivalent, as were predictions based on genotypic variance and broad sense heritability. The predictions based on mass and family selection were suitable for comparing selection strategies, whereas those based on selection within progenies showed the largest bias and lower association with the realized gain.
Abstract in English:The NF-kB pathway plays an important role in regulating the immunity response in animals. In this study, small interfering RNAs (siRNA) were used to specifically inhibit NF-kB 1 expression and to elucidate the role of NF-kB in the signal transduction pathway of the Salmonella challenge in the chicken HD11 cell line. The cells were transfected with either NF-kB 1 siRNA, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase siRNA (positive control) or the negative control siRNA for 24 h, followed by Salmonella enteritidis (SE) challenge or non-challenge for 1 h and 4 h. Eight candidate genes related to the signal pathway of SE challenge were selected to examine the effect of NF-kB 1 inhibition on their expressions by mRNA quantification. The results showed that, with a 36% inhibition of NF-kB 1 expression, gene expression of both Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 and interleukin (IL)-6 was consistently and significantly increased at both 1 h and 4 h following SE challenge, whereas the gene expression of MyD88 and IL-1β was increased at 1 h and 4 h, respectively. These findings suggest a likely inhibitory regulation by NF-kB 1, and could lay the foundation for studying the gene network of the innate immune response of SE infection in chickens.
Abstract in English:Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) are key enzymes involved in tissue remodeling. Within the ovary, they are believed to play a major role in ovulation, and have been linked to follicle atresia. To gain insight into the regulation of MMPs, we measured the effect of hormones and growth factors on MMP2 and MMP9 mRNA levels in non-luteinizing granulosa cells in serum-free culture. FSH and IGF1 both stimulated estradiol secretion and inhibited MMP2 and MMP9 mRNA abundance. In contrast, EGF and FGF2 both inhibited estradiol secretion but had no effect on MMP expression. At physiological doses, none of these hormones altered the proportion of dead cells. Although we cannot link MMP expression with apoptosis, the specific down regulation by the gonadotropic hormones FSH and IGF1 in vitro suggests that excess MMP2 and MMP9 expression is neither required nor desired for follicle development.
Abstract in English:The phylogenetic relationships of 15 taxa from Hystrix and the related genera Leymus (NsXm), Elymus (StH), Pseudoroegneria (St), Hordeum (H), Psathyrostachys (Ns), and Thinopyrum (E) were examined by using the Giemsa C-banded karyotype. The Hy. patula C-banding pattern was similar to those of Elymus species, whereas C-banding patterns of the other Hystrix species were similar to those of Leymus species. The results suggest high genetic diversity within Hystrix, and support treating Hy. patula as E. hystrix L., and transferring Hy. coreana, Hy. duthiei ssp. duthiei and Hy. duthiei ssp. longearistata to the genus Leymus. On comparing C-banding patterns of Elymus species with their diploid ancestors (Pseudoroegneria and Hordeum), there are indications that certain chromosomal re-arrangements had previously occurred in the St and H genomes. Furthermore, a comparison of the C-banding patterns of the Hystrix and Leymus species with the potential diploid progenitors (Psathyrostachys and Thinopyrum) suggests that Hy. coreana and some Leymus species are closely related to the Ns genome of Psathyrostachys, whereas Hy. duthiei ssp. duthiei, Hy. duthiei ssp. longearistata and some of the Leymus species have a close relationship with the E genome. The results suggest a multiple origin of the polyploid genera Hystrix and Leymus.
Abstract in English:The subgenus Ceratochloa of the genus Bromus includes a number of closely related allopolyploid forms or species that present a difficult taxonomic problem. The present work combines data concerning chromosome length, heterochromatin distribution and nuclear genome size of different 6x, 8x and 12x accessions in this subgenus. Special attention is paid to the karyotype structure and genomic constitution of duodecaploid plants recently found in South America. Hexaploid lineages possess six almost indistinguishable genomes and a nuclear DNA content between 12.72 pg and 15.10 pg (mean 1Cx value = 2.32 pg), whereas octoploid lineages contain the same six genomes (AABBCC) plus two that are characterized by longer chromosomes and a greater DNA content (1Cx = 4.47 pg). Two duodecaploid accessions found in South America resemble each other and apparently differ from the North American duodecaploid B. arizonicus as regards chromosome size and nuclear DNA content (40.00 and 40.50 pg vs. 27.59 pg). These observations suggest that the South American duodecaploids represent a separate evolutionary lineage of the B. subgenus Ceratochloa, unrecognized heretofore.
Abstract in English:The aim of this study was to evaluate methods for developing a Brazilian maize core collection. For an initial survey of the active collection, passport information, as well as characterization and evaluation of accessions, were taken into consideration, these then being divided according to geographic region and kernel-type. Multiple sampling methods were evaluated. The strategy of constant sampling generated extensive alterations in extract accession frequency. The multivariate strategy with dispersion graphs and principal components associated with the Tocher method was considered efficient for identifying the most divergent genotypes. The multivariate strategy generated greater alterations in the variance of traits. The average number of traits revealed few modifications with the various sampling strategies used. Therefore, the active collection could be considered as possessing a satisfactory amount of information for most of its accessions. Moreover, the multivariate strategy generated modifications in the variance of the traits, independent of sampling intensity.
Abstract in English:Habitat fragmentation and a decrease in population size may lead to a loss in population genetic diversity. For the first time, the reduction in genetic diversity in the northernmost limit of natural occurence (southeastern Brazil) of Araucaria angustifolia in comparison with populations in the main area of the species continuous natural distribution (southern Brazil), was tested. The 673 AFLPs markers revealed a high level of genetic diversity for the species (Ht = 0.27), despite anthropogenic influence throughout the last century, and a decrease of H in isolated populations of southeastern Brazil (H = 0.16), thereby indicating the tendency for higher genetic diversity in remnant populations of continuous forests in southern Brazil, when compared to natural isolated populations in the southeastern region. A strong differentiation among southern and southeastern populations was detected (AMOVA variance ranged from 10%-15%). From Bayesian analysis, it is suggested that the nine populations tested form five "genetic clusters" (K = 5). Five of these populations, located in the northernmost limit of distribution of the species, represent three "genetic clusters". These results are in agreement with the pattern of geographic distribution of the studied populations.
Abstract in English:Wheat (Triticum aestivum) is one of the most important food staples in the south of Brazil. Understanding genetic variability among the assortment of Brazilian wheat is important for breeding. The aim of this work was to molecularly characterize the thirty-six wheat cultivars recommended for various regions of Brazil, and to assess mutual genetic distances, through the use of microsatellite markers. Twenty three polymorphic microsatellite markers (PMM) delineated all 36 of the samples, revealing a total of 74 simple sequence repeat (SSR) alleles, i.e. an average of 3.2 alleles per locus. Polymorphic information content (PIC value) calculated to assess the informativeness of each marker ranged from 0.20 to 0.79, with a mean of 0.49. Genetic distances among the 36 cultivars ranged from 0.10 (between cultivars Ocepar 18 and BRS 207) to 0.88 (between cultivars CD 101 and Fudancep 46), the mean distance being 0.48. Twelve groups were obtained by using the unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic means analysis (UPGMA), and thirteen through the Tocher method. Both methods produced similar clusters, with one to thirteen cultivars per group. The results indicate that these tools may be used to protect intellectual property and for breeding and selection programs.
Abstract in English:Molecular genetic research relies heavily on the ability to detect polymorphisms in DNA. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the most frequent form of DNA variation in the genome. In combination with a PCR assay, the corresponding SNP can be analyzed as a derived cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (dCAPS) marker. The dCAPS method exploits the well-known specificity of a restriction endonuclease for its recognition site and can be used to virtually detect any SNP. Here, we describe the use of the dCAPS method for detecting single-nucleotide changes by means of a barley EST, CK569932, PCR-based marker.
Abstract in English:Microsatellite markers were transferred and characterized for two Neotropical fig tree species, Ficus citrifolia and Ficus eximia. Our study demonstrated that microsatellite markers developed from different subgenera of Ficus can be transferred to related species. In the present case, 12 of the 15 primer pairs tested (80%) were successfully transferred to both of the above species. Eleven loci were polymorphic when tested across 60 F. citrifolia and 60 F. eximia individuals. For F. citrifolia, there were 4 to 15 alleles per locus, whereas expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.31 to 0.91. In the case of F. eximia, this was 2 to 12 alleles per locus and expected heterozygosities from 0.42 to 0.87.
Abstract in English:Nutrition in the Teredinidae family of wood-boring mollusks is sustained by cellulolytic/nitrogen fixing symbiotic bacteria of the Teredinibacter clade. The mangrove Teredinidae Neoteredo reynei is popularly used in the treatment of infectious diseases in the north of Brazil. In the present work, the symbionts of N. reynei, which are strictly confined to the host's gills, were conclusively identified as Teredinibacter turnerae. Symbiont variants obtained in vitro were able to grow using casein as the sole carbon/nitrogen source and under reduced concentrations of NaCl. Furthermore, cellulose consumption in T. turnerae was clearly reduced under low salt concentrations. As a point of interest, we hereby report first hand that T. turnerae in fact exerts antibiotic activity. Furthermore, this activity was also affected by NaCl concentration. Finally, T. turnerae was able to inhibit the growth of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, this including strains of Sphingomonas sp., Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus sciuri. Our findings introduce new points of view on the ecology of T. turnerae, and suggest new biotechnological applications for this marine bacterium.
Abstract in English:Queens and workers of social insects differ in the rates of egg laying. Using genomic information we determined the sequence of vasa, a highly conserved gene specific to the germ line of metazoans, for the honey bee and four stingless bees. The vasa sequence of social bees differed from that of other insects in two motifs. By RT-PCR we confirmed the germ line specificity of Amvasa expression in honey bees. In situ hybridization on ovarioles showed that Amvasa is expressed throughout the germarium, except for the transition zone beneath the terminal filament. A diffuse vasa signal was also seen in terminal filaments suggesting the presence of germ line cells. Oocytes showed elevated levels of Amvasa transcripts in the lower germarium and after follicles became segregated. In previtellogenic follicles, Amvasa transcription was detected in the trophocytes, which appear to supply its mRNA to the growing oocyte. A similar picture was obtained for ovarioles of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata, except that Amvasa expression was higher in the oocytes of previtellogenic follicles. The social bees differ in this respect from Drosophila, the model system for insect oogenesis, suggesting that changes in the sequence and expression pattern of vasa may have occurred during social evolution.
Abstract in English:ZNF230 is a novel zinc finger gene cloned by our laboratory. In order to understand the potential functions of this gene in vertebrate development, we cloned the zebrafish orthologue of human ZNF230, named rnf141. The cDNA fragment of rnf141 was obtained by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). The open reading frame (ORF) encodes a polypeptide of 222 amino acids which shares 75.65% identity with the human ZNF230. RT-PCR analysis in zebrafish embryo and adult tissues revealed that rnf141 transcripts are maternally derived and that rnf141 mRNA has a broad distribution. Zygotic rnf141 message is strongly localized in the central nervous system, as shown by whole-mount in situ hybridization. Knockdown and over expression of rnf141 can induce abnormal phenotypes, including abnormal development of brain, as well as yolk sac and axis extendsion. Marker gene analysis showed that rnf141 may play a role in normal dorsoventral patterning of zebrafish embryos, suggesting that rnf141 may have a broad function during early development of vertebrates.
Abstract in English:A molecular phylogenetic analysis based on mitochondrial 16S ribosomal DNA and Control Region sequences from native and introduced populations was undertaken, in order to characterize the introduction of Cichla (peacock bass or tucunaré) species in Brazil. Mitochondrial DNA haplotypes found in introduced fish from Minas Gerais state (southeastern Brazil) clustered only with those from native species of the Tocantins River (Cichla piquiti and C. kelberi), thereby suggesting a single or, at most, few translocation acts in this area, even though with fish from the same source-population. Our study contributes to an understanding of the introduction of Cichla in regions of Brazil outside the Amazon basin, and adds phylogenetic data to the recently describe Cichla species, endemic from the Tocantins-Araguaia basin.
Abstract in English:Five out of the seven recognized species of sea turtles (Testudines) occur on the Brazilian coast. The Barcode Initiative is an effort to undertake a molecular inventory of Earth biodiversity. Cytochrome Oxidase c subunit I (COI) molecular tags for sea turtle species have not yet been described. In this study, COI sequences for the five species of sea turtles that occur in Brazil were generated. These presented widely divergent haplotypes. All observed values were on the same range as those already described for other animal groups: the overall mean distance was 8.2%, the mean distance between families (Dermochelyidae and Cheloniidae) 11.7%, the mean intraspecific divergence 0.34%, and the mean distance within Cheloniidae 6.4%, this being 19-fold higher than the mean divergence observed within species. We obtained species-specific COI barcode tags that can be used for identifying each of the marine turtle species studied.
Abstract in English:We analyzed mtDNA control region sequences of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Arvoredo Island, a foraging ground in southern Brazil, and identified eight haplotypes. Of these, CM-A8 (64%) and CM-A5 (22%) were dominant, the remainder presenting low frequencies (< 5%). Haplotype (h) and nucleotide ( π) diversities were 0.5570 ± 0.0697 and 0.0021 ± 0.0016, respectively. Exact tests of differentiation and AMOVA ΦST pairwise values between the study area and eight other Atlantic foraging grounds revealed significant differences in most areas, except Ubatuba and Rocas/Noronha, in Brazil (p > 0.05). Mixed Stock Analysis, incorporating eleven Atlantic and one Mediterranean rookery as possible sources of individuals, indicated Ascension and Aves islands as the main contributing stocks to the Arvoredo aggregation (68.01% and 22.96%, respectively). These results demonstrate the extensive relationships between Arvoredo Island and other Atlantic foraging and breeding areas. Such an understanding provides a framework for establishing adequate management and conservation strategies for this endangered species.
Abstract in English:Much forensic inference based upon DNA evidence is made assuming Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium (HWE) for the genetic loci being used. Several statistical tests to detect and measure deviation from HWE have been devised, and their limitations become more obvious when testing for deviation within multiallelic DNA loci. The most popular methods-Chi-square and Likelihood-ratio tests-are based on asymptotic results and cannot guarantee a good performance in the presence of low frequency genotypes. Since the parameter space dimension increases at a quadratic rate on the number of alleles, some authors suggest applying sequential methods, where the multiallelic case is reformulated as a sequence of "biallelic" tests. However, in this approach it is not obvious how to assess the general evidence of the original hypothesis; nor is it clear how to establish the significance level for its acceptance/rejection. In this work, we introduce a straightforward method for the multiallelic HWE test, which overcomes the aforementioned issues of sequential methods. The core theory for the proposed method is given by the Full Bayesian Significance Test (FBST), an intuitive Bayesian approach which does not assign positive probabilities to zero measure sets when testing sharp hypotheses. We compare FBST performance to Chi-square, Likelihood-ratio and Markov chain tests, in three numerical experiments. The results suggest that FBST is a robust and high performance method for the HWE test, even in the presence of several alleles and small sample sizes.
Abstract in English:In this work, we present a method for predicting hot spot residues by using a set of structural and evolutionary parameters. Unlike previous studies, we use a set of parameters which do not depend on the structure of the protein in complex, so that the predictor can also be used when the interface region is unknown. Despite the fact that no information concerning proteins in complex is used for prediction, the application of the method to a compiled dataset described in the literature achieved a performance of 60.4%, as measured by F-Measure, corresponding to a recall of 78.1% and a precision of 49.5%. This result is higher than those reported by previous studies using the same data set.
Abstract in English:The web application D-Maps provides a user-friendly interface to researchers performing studies based on microarrays. The program was developed to manage and process one- or two-color microarray data obtained from several platforms (currently, GeneTAC, ScanArray, CodeLink, NimbleGen and Affymetrix). Despite the availability of many algorithms and many software programs designed to perform microarray analysis on the internet, these usually require sophisticated knowledge of mathematics, statistics and computation. D-maps was developed to overcome the requirement of high performance computers or programming experience. D-Maps performs raw data processing, normalization and statistical analysis, allowing access to the analyzed data in text or graphical format. An original feature presented by D-Maps is GEO (Gene Expression Omnibus) submission format service. The D-MaPs application was already used for analysis of oligonucleotide microarrays and PCR-spotted arrays (one- and two-color, laser and light scanner). In conclusion, D-Maps is a valuable tool for microarray research community, especially in the case of groups without a bioinformatic core.
Abstract in English:Groups of genes that produce exopolysaccharide with a N-acetyl-D-glucosamine monomer are in the genome of several pathogenic bacteria. Chromobacterium violaceum, an opportunistic pathogen, has the operon hmsHFR-CV2940, whose proteins can synthesize such polysaccharide. In this work, multiple alignments among proteins from bacteria that synthesize such polysaccharide were used to verify the existence of amino acids that might be critical for pathogen activity. Three-dimensional models were generated for spatial visualization of these amino acid residues. The analysis carried out showed that the protein HmsR preserves the amino acids D135, D228, Q264 and R267, considered critical for the formation of biofilms and, furthermore, that these amino acids are close to each other. The protein HmsF of C. violaceum preserves the residues D86, D87, H156 and W115. It was also shown that these residues are also close to each other in their spatial arrangement. For the proteins HmsH and CV2940 there is evidence of conservation of the residues R104 and W94, respectively. Conservation and favorable spatial location of those critical amino acids that constitute the proteins of the operon indicates that they preserve the same enzymatic function in biofilm synthesis. This is an indicator that the operon hmsHFR-CV2940 is a possible target in C. violaceum pathogenicity.
Abstract in English:In this article, we describe a novel methodology to extract semantic characteristics from protein structures using linear algebra in order to compose structural signature vectors which may be used efficiently to compare and classify protein structures into fold families. These signatures are built from the pattern of hydrophobic intrachain interactions using Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) and Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) techniques. Considering proteins as documents and contacts as terms, we have built a retrieval system which is able to find conserved contacts in samples of myoglobin fold family and to retrieve these proteins among proteins of varied folds with precision of up to 80%. The classifier is a web tool available at our laboratory website. Users can search for similar chains from a specific PDB, view and compare their contact maps and browse their structures using a JMol plug-in.
Abstract in English:Several motile processes are responsible for the movement of proteins into and within the flagellar membrane, but little is known about the process by which specific proteins (either actin-associated or not) are targeted to protozoan flagellar membranes. Actin is a major cytoskeleton protein, while polymerization and depolymerization of parasite actin and actin-interacting proteins (AIPs) during both processes of motility and host cell entry might be key events for successful infection. For a better understanding the eukaryotic flagellar dynamics, we have surveyed genomes, transcriptomes and proteomes of pathogenic Leishmania spp. to identify pertinent genes/proteins and to build in silico models to properly address their putative roles in trypanosomatid virulence. In a search for AIPs involved in flagellar activities, we applied computational biology and proteomic tools to infer from the biological meaning of coronins and Arp2/3, two important elements in phagosome formation after parasite phagocytosis by macrophages. Results presented here provide the first report of Leishmania coronin and Arp2/3 as flagellar proteins that also might be involved in phagosome formation through actin polymerization within the flagellar environment. This is an issue worthy of further in vitro examination that remains now as a direct, positive bioinformatics-derived inference to be presented.
Abstract in English:Genome sequencing efforts of the last decade have produced a large amount of data, which has enabled whole-genome comparative analyses in order to locate potentially functional elements and study the overall patterns of phylogenetic conservation. In this paper we present a statistically based method for the characterization of these patterns in mammalian DNA sequences. We have applied this approach to the study of exceptionally well conserved homeobox gene clusters (Hox), based on an alignment of six species, and we have constructed a map of Hox cataloguing the conserved fragments, along with their locations in relation to the genes and other landmarks, sometimes showing unexpected layouts.