Abstract in English:MicroRNAs are key regulators of various fundamental biological processes and, although representing only a small portion of the genome, they regulate a much larger population of target genes. Mature microRNAs (miRNAs) are single-stranded RNA molecules of 20-23 nucleotide (nt) length that control gene expression in many cellular processes. These molecules typically reduce the stability of mRNAs, including those of genes that mediate processes in tumorigenesis, such as inflammation, cell cycle regulation, stress response, differentiation, apoptosis and invasion. MicroRNA targeting is mostly achieved through specific base-pairing interactions between the 5' end ('seed' region) of the miRNA and sites within coding and untranslated regions (UTRs) of mRNAs; target sites in the 3' UTR diminish mRNA stability. Since miRNAs frequently target hundreds of mRNAs, miRNA regulatory pathways are complex. Calin and Croce were the first to demonstrate a connection between microRNAs and increased risk of developing cancer, and meanwhile the role of microRNAs in carcinogenesis has definitively been evidenced. It needs to be considered that the complex mechanism of gene regulation by microRNAs is profoundly influenced by variation in gene sequence (polymorphisms) of the target sites. Thus, individual variability could cause patients to present differential risks regarding several diseases. Aiming to provide a critical overview of miRNA dysregulation in cancer, this article reviews the growing number of studies that have shown the importance of these small molecules and how these microRNAs can affect or be affected by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms.
Abstract in English:The aim of this study was to show how, in some particular circumstances, a physical marker can be used along with molecular markers in the research of an ancient people movement. A set of five Alu insertions was analysed in 42 subjects from a particular Tunisian group (El Hamma) that has, unlike most of the Tunisian population, a very dark skin, similar to that of sub-Saharans, and in 114 Tunisian subjects (Gabes sample) from the same governorate, but outside the group. Our results showed that the El Hamma group is genetically midway between sub-Saharan populations and North Africans, whereas the Gabes sample is clustered among North Africans. In addition, The A25 Alu insertion, considered characteristic to sub-Saharan Africans, was present in the El Hamma group at a relatively high frequency. This frequency was similar to that found in sub-Saharans from Nigeria, but significantly different from those found in the Gabes sample and in other North African populations. Our molecular results, consistent with the skin color status, suggest a sub-Saharan origin of this particular Tunisian group.
Abstract in English:The vitamin D receptor (VDR) is an essential protein related to bone metabolism. Some VDR alleles are differentially distributed among ethnic populations and display variable patterns of linkage disequilibrium (LD). In this study, 200 unrelated Brazilians were genotyped using 21 VDR single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 28 ancestry informative markers. The patterns of LD and haplotype distribution were compared among Brazilian and the HapMap populations of African (YRI), European (CEU) and Asian (JPT+CHB) origins. Conditional regression and haplotype-specific analysis were performed using estimates of individual genetic ancestry in Brazilians as a quantitative trait. Similar patterns of LD were observed in the 5' and 3' gene regions. However, the frequency distribution of haplotype blocks varied among populations. Conditional regression analysis identified haplotypes associated with European and Amerindian ancestry, but not with the proportion of African ancestry. Individual ancestry estimates were associated with VDR haplotypes. These findings reinforce the need to correct for population stratification when performing genetic association studies in admixed populations.
Abstract in English:The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that hepatic vitamin C (VC) levels in VC deficient mice rescued with high doses of VC supplements still do not reach the optimal levels present in wild-type mice. For this, we used a mouse scurvy model (sfx) in which the L-gulonolactone oxidase gene (Gulo) is deleted. Six age- (6 weeks old) and gender- (female) matched wild-type (WT) and sfx mice (rescued by administering 500 mg of VC/L) were used as the control (WT) and treatment (MT) groups (n = 3 for each group), respectively. Total hepatic RNA was used in triplicate microarray assays for each group. EDGE software was used to identify differentially expressed genes and transcriptomic analysis was used to assess the potential genetic regulation of Gulo gene expression. Hepatic VC concentrations in MT mice were significantly lower than in WT mice, even though there were no morphological differences between the two groups. In MT mice, 269 differentially expressed transcripts were detected (> twice the difference between MT and WT mice), including 107 up-regulated and 162 down-regulated genes. These differentially expressed genes included stress-related and exclusively/predominantly hepatocyte genes. Transcriptomic analysis identified a major locus on chromosome 18 that regulates Gulo expression. Since three relevant oxidative genes are located within the critical region of this locus we suspect that they are involved in the down-regulation of oxidative activity in sfx mice.
Abstract in English:Alu repeats or Line-1-ORF2 (ORF2) inhibit expression of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene when inserted downstream of this gene in the vector pEGFP-C1. In this work, we studied cis-acting elements that eliminated the repression of GFP gene expression induced by Alu and ORF2 and sequence characteristics of these elements. We found that sense and antisense PolyA of simian virus 40 (SV40PolyA, 240 bp) eliminated the repression of GFP gene expression when inserted between the GFP gene and the Alu (283 bp) repeats or ORF2 (3825 bp) in pAlu14 (14 tandem Alu repeats were inserted downstream of the GFP gene in the vector pEGFP-C1) or pORF2. Antisense SV40PolyA (PolyAas) induced stronger gene expression than its sense orientation (PolyA). Of four 60-bp segments of PolyAas (1F1R, 2F2R, 3F3R and 4F4R) inserted independently into pAlu14, only two (2F2R and 3F3R) eliminated the inhibition of GFP gene expression induced by Alu repeats. Deletion analysis revealed that a 17 nucleotide AT repeat (17ntAT; 5'-AAAAAAATGCTTTATTT-3') in 2F2R and the fragment 3F38d9 (5'-ATAAACAAGTTAACAACA ACAATTGCATT-3') in 3F3R were critical sequences for activating the GFP gene. Sequence and structural analyses showed that 17ntAT and 3F38d9 included imperfect palindromes and may form a variety of unstable stem-loops. We suggest that the presence of imperfect palindromes and unstable stem-loops in DNA enhancer elements plays an important role in GFP gene activation.
Abstract in English:Screening of mutations that cause β-thalassaemia in the Bangladeshi population led to the identification of a patient with a combination of two rare mutations, Hb Monroe and HBB: -92C>G.The β-thalassaemia major male individual was transfusion-dependent and had an atypical β-globin gene cluster haplotype. Of the two mutations, Hb Monroe has been characterized in detail. Clinical effects of the other mutation, HBB: -92C>G,are unknown so far. Bioinformatics analyses were carried out to predict the possible effect of this mutation. These analyses revealed the presence of a putative binding site for Egr1, a transcription factor, within the HBB:-92 region. Our literature survey suggests a close relationship between different phenotypic manifestations of β-thalassaemia and Egr1 expression.
Abstract in English:Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) are rare lysosomal disorders caused by the deficiency of specific lysosomal enzymes responsible for glycosaminoglycan (GAG) degradation. Enzyme Replacement Therapy (ERT) has been shown to reduce accumulation and urinary excretion of GAG, and to improve some of the patients' clinical signs. We studied biochemical and molecular characteristics of nine MPS patients (two MPS I, four MPS II and three MPS VI) undergoing ERT in northern Brazil. The responsiveness of ERT was evaluated through urinary GAG excretion measurements. Patients were screened for eight common MPS mutations, using PCR, restriction enzyme tests and direct sequencing. Two MPS I patients had the previously reported mutation p.P533R. In the MPS II patients, mutation analysis identified the mutation p.R468W, and in the MPS VI patients, polymorphisms p.V358M and p.V376M were also found. After 48 weeks of ERT, biochemical analysis showed a significantly decreased total urinary GAG excretion in patients with MPS I (p < 0.01) and MPS VI (p < 0.01). Our findings demonstrate the effect of ERT on urinary GAG excretion and suggest the adoption of a screening strategy for genotyping MPS patients living far from the main reference centers.
Abstract in English:Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) gene mutations. We ascertained five patients with a novel complex CFTR allele, with two mutations, H939R and H949L, inherited in cis in the same exon of CFTR gene, and one different mutation per patient inherited in trans in a wide population of 289 Caucasian CF subjects from South Italy. The genotype-phenotype relationship in patients bearing this complex allele was investigated. The two associated mutations were related to classical severe CF phenotypes.
Abstract in English:βS haplotypes were studied in 47 non-related patients with sickle-cell anemia from the state of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Molecular analysis was conducted by PCR/RFLP using restriction endonucleases XmnI, HindIII, HincII and HinfI to analyze six polymorphic sites from the beta cluster. Twenty-seven patients (57.5%) were identified with genotype CAR/CAR, 9 (19.1%) CAR/BEN, 6 (12.8%) CAR/CAM, 1 (2.1%) BEN/BEN, 2 (4.3%) CAR/Atp, 1 (2.1%) BEN/Atp and 1 (2.1%) with genotype Atp/Atp. The greater frequency of Cameroon haplotypes compared to other Brazilian states suggests the existence of a peculiarity of African origin in the state of Rio Grande do Norte.
Abstract in English:35 unrelated individuals were studied for characterization as either heterozygous or homozygous for beta-thalassemia. Molecular analysis was done by PCR/RFLP to detect the mutations most commonly associated with beta-thalassemia (β0IVS-I-1, β+IVS-I-6, and β039). In the patients who showed none of these mutations, the beta-globin genes were sequenced. Of the 31 heterozygous patients, 13 (41.9%) had the β+IVS-I-6 mutation, 15 (48.4%) the β0IVS-I-1 mutation, 2 (6.5%) the β+IVS-I-110 mutation and 1 (3.2%) the β+IVS-I-5 mutation. IVS-I-6 was detected in the four homozygotes. The mutation in codon 39, often found in previous studies in Brazil, was not detected in the present case. This is the first study aiming at identifying mutations that determine beta-thalassemia in the state of Rio Grande do Norte.
Abstract in English:The objective of this study was to estimate genetic and phenotypic correlations of body weight at 6 weeks of age (BW6), as well as final carcass yield, and moisture, protein, fat and ash contents, using data from 3,422 F2 chickens originated from reciprocal cross between a broiler and a layer line. Variance components were estimated by the REML method, using animal models for evaluating random additive genetic and fixed contemporary group (sex, hatch and genetic group) effects. The heritability estimates (h²) for BW6, carcass yield and percentage of carcass moisture were 0.31 ± 0.07, 0.20 ± 0.05 and 0.33 ± 0.07, respectively. The h² for the percentages of protein, fat and ash on a dry matter basis were 0.48 ± 0.09, 0.55 ± 0.10 and 0.36 ± 0.08, respectively. BW6 had a positive genetic correlation with fat percentage in the carcass, but a negative one with protein and ash contents. Carcass yield, thus, appears to have only low genetic association with carcass composition traits. The genetic correlations observed between traits, measured on a dry matter basis, indicated that selection for carcass protein content may favor higher ash content and a lower percentage of carcass fat.
Abstract in English:Records from 75,941 Nelore cattle were used to determine the importance of genotype by environment interaction (GEI) in five Brazilian states. (Co)variance components were estimated by single-trait analysis (with yearling weight, W450, considered to be the same trait in all states) and multiple-trait analysis (with the record from each state considered to be a different trait). The direct heritability estimates for yearling weight were 0.51, 0.39, 0.44, 0.37 and 0.41 in the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso, São Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul and Minas Gerais, respectively. The across-state genetic correlation estimates between Goiás and Mato Grosso, Goiás and Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Minas Gerais, and Mato Grosso do Sul and Minas Gerais ranged from 0.67 to 0.75. These estimates indicate that GEIs are biologically important. No interactions were observed between Goiás and São Paulo, Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso and São Paulo, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso and Minas Gerais, or São Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul (0.82 to 0.97). Comparison of single and multiple-trait analyses showed that selection based on the former was less efficient in the presence of GEI, with substantial losses (up to 10%) during selection.
Abstract in English:Milk yield records (305d, 2X, actual milk yield) of 123,639 registered first lactation Holstein cows were used to compare linear regression (y = β0 + β1X + e) ,quadratic regression, (y = β0 + β1X + β2X2 + e) cubic regression (y = β0 + β1X + β2X2 + β3X3 + e) and fixed factor models, with cubic-spline interpolation models, for estimating the effects of inbreeding on milk yield. Ten animal models, all with herd-year-season of calving as fixed effect, were compared using the Akaike corrected-Information Criterion (AICc). The cubic-spline interpolation model with seven knots had the lowest AICc, whereas for all those labeled as "traditional", AICc was higher than the best model. Results from fitting inbreeding using a cubic-spline with seven knots were compared to results from fitting inbreeding as a linear covariate or as a fixed factor with seven levels. Estimates of inbreeding effects were not significantly different between the cubic-spline model and the fixed factor model, but were significantly different from the linear regression model. Milk yield decreased significantly at inbreeding levels greater than 9%. Variance component estimates were similar for the three models. Ranking of the top 100 sires with daughter records remained unaffected by the model used.
Abstract in English:The association between carcass and ham traits in a pig population used to produce dry-cured ham was studied using canonical correlation analysis. The carcass traits examined were hot carcass weight (HCW), backfat thickness (BT) and loin depth (LD), and the ham traits studied were gross ham weight (GHW), trimmed ham weight (THW), ham inner layer fat thickness (HIFT), ham outer layer fat thickness (HOFT), pH (pH) and the Göfo value. Carcass and ham traits are not independent. The canonical correlations (r) between the carcass and ham traits at 130 kg were 0.77, 0.24 and 0.20 for the first, second and third canonical pair, respectively, and were all significant (p < 0.01) by the Wilks test. The corresponding canonical correlations between the three canonical variate pairs for the carcass and ham traits at 160 kg were 0.88, 0.42 and 0.14, respectively (p < 0.05 for all, except the third). The correlations between the traits and their canonical variate showed an association among HCW, GHW and THW, and between BT and HOFT. These results indicate that carcass traits should be used to cull pigs that are not suitable for dry-cured ham production.
Abstract in English:The aim was to detect the presence of polymorphisms at exons 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Spi2 gene, and evaluate a possible association between them and recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) or inflammatory airway disease (IAD) in thoroughbred horses, through single-strand conformational-polymorphism (SSCP) screening. Although polymorphism was not detected in exons 1, 2 and 3, three alleles and six genotypes were identified in exon 4. The frequencies of allele A (0.6388) and genotype AA (0.3888) were higher in horses affected by RAO, although no association was found between polymorphism and horses with either RAO or IAD.
Abstract in English:Characterization of all chromosomes of the Andean G19833 bean genotype was carried out by fluorescent in situ hybridization. Eleven single-copy genomic sequences, one for each chromosome, two BACs containing subtelomeric and pericentromeric repeats and the 5S and 45S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) were used as probes. Comparison to the Mesoamerican accession BAT93 showed little divergence, except for additional 45S rDNA sites in four chromosome pairs. Altogether, the results indicated a relative karyotypic stability during the evolution of the Andean and Mesoamerican gene pools of P. vulgaris.
Abstract in English:The Pichia pastoris expression system was used to produce recombinant human erythropoietin, a protein synthesized by the adult kidney and responsible for the regulation of red blood cell production. The entire recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) gene was constructed using the Splicing by Overlap Extension by PCR (SOE-PCR) technique, cloned and expressed through the secretory pathway of the Pichia expression system. Recombinant erythropoietin was successfully expressed in P. pastoris. The estimated molecular mass of the expressed protein ranged from 32 kDa to 75 kDa, with the variation in size being attributed to the presence of rhEPO glycosylation analogs. A crude functional analysis of the soluble proteins showed that all of the forms were active in vivo.
Abstract in English:Two novel endophytic yeast strains, WP1 and PTD3, isolated from within the stems of poplar (Populus) trees, were genetically characterized with respect to their xylose metabolism genes. These two strains, belonging to the species Rhodotorula graminis and R. mucilaginosa, respectively, utilize both hexose and pentose sugars, including the common plant pentose sugar, D-xylose. The xylose reductase (XYL1) and xylitol dehydrogenase (XYL2) genes were cloned and characterized. The derived amino acid sequences of xylose reductase (XR) and xylose dehydrogenase (XDH) were 32%~41% homologous to those of Pichia stipitis and Candida. spp., two species known to utilize xylose. The derived XR and XDH sequences of WP1 and PTD3 had higher homology (73% and 69% identity) with each other. WP1 and PTD3 were grown in single sugar and mixed sugar media to analyze the XYL1 and XYL2 gene regulation mechanisms. Our results revealed that for both strains, the gene expression is induced by D-xylose, and that in PTD3 the expression was not repressed by glucose in the presence of xylose.
Abstract in English:The present work evaluated the chemical composition and the DNA protective effect of the essential oils (EOs) from Lippia alba against bleomycin-induced genotoxicity. EO constituents were determined by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometric (GC-MS) analysis. The major compounds encountered being citral (33% geranial and 25% neral), geraniol (7%) and trans-β-caryophyllene (7%) for L. alba specimen COL512077, and carvone (38%), limonene (33%) and bicyclosesquiphellandrene (8%) for the other, COL512078. The genotoxicity and antigenotoxicity of EO and the compounds citral, carvone and limonene, were assayed using the SOS Chromotest in Escherichia coli. The EOs were not genotoxic in the SOS chromotest, but one of the major compound (limonene) showed genotoxicity at doses between 97 and 1549 mM. Both EOs protected bacterial cells against bleomycin-induced genotoxicity. Antigenotoxicity in the two L. alba chemotypes was related to the major compounds, citral and carvone, respectively. The results were discussed in relation to the chemopreventive potential of L. alba EOs and its major compounds.
Abstract in English:In this study, chromosomal inversion polymorphism data for a natural population of Drosophila subobscura from a swampy region near the town of Apatin (Serbia) were compared with data for the same population collected approximately 15 years earlier. The pattern of chromosomal inversion polymorphism changed over time. There were significant increases in the frequency of characteristic southern latitude ("warm" adapted) chromosomal arrangements and significant decreases in the frequency of characteristic northern latitude ("cold" adapted) chromosomal arrangements in the O and U chromosomes. The chromosomal arrangements O3+4 and O3+4+22 (derived from the O3+4 arrangement) showed significant increases in 2008 and 2009 with regard to the 1994 sample. There was also a significant increase (~50%) in the U1+2 arrangement, while U1+8+2 (a typical southern arrangement) was detected for the first time. Since the Apatin swampy population of D. subobscura has existed for a long time in a stable habitat with high humidity that has not been changed by man our results indicate that natural selection has produced chromosomal changes in response to the increase in temperature that has occurred in the Balkan Peninsula of central southeastern European.
Abstract in English:Allozyme electrophoresis was used to examine 12 enzymatic systems in two populations of the genus Neoplecostomus from the Paraná River basin. Samples of Neoplecostomus sp. 1 were collected in Paraitinguinha stream of the Tietê River basin, in the municipality of Salesópolis, São Paulo State, and those of Neoplecostomus sp. 2 from São Domingos stream of the Rio Grande River basin, in the municipality of Muzambinho, Minas Gerais State. The genetic variability of the two populations was estimated by Nei's expected heterozygosity and was considered lower than average for populations of freshwater fish. The proportion of polymorphic loci was low (only 5.26% for the locus Idh). The low frequency of heterozygosity for both populations revealed a high fixation of alleles for each locus. Homozygote excess was observed in both populations. The values of Nei's genetic identity and the presence of loci with different allele frequencies in both populations may imply that the two populations belong to different species. The genetic variability between populations was compared to other data for loricariids.
Abstract in English:Deforestation and exploitation has led to the fragmentation of habitats and scattering of populations of the economically important eri silkworm, Samia cynthia ricini, in north-east India. Genetic analysis of 15 eri populations, using ISSR markers, showed 98% inter-population, and 23% to 58% intra-population polymorphism. Nei's genetic distance between populations increased significantly with altitude (R² = 0.71) and geographic distance (R² = 0.78). On the dendrogram, the lower and upper Assam populations were clustered separately, with intermediate grouping of those from Barpathar and Chuchuyimlang, consistent with geographical distribution. The Nei's gene diversity index was 0.350 in total populations and 0.121 in subpopulations. The genetic differentiation estimate (Gst) was 0.276 among scattered populations. Neutrality tests showed deviation of 118 loci from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The number of loci that deviated from neutrality increased with altitude (R² = 0.63). Test of linkage disequilibrium showed greater contribution of variance among eri subpopulations to total variance. D'2IS exceeded D'2ST, showed significant contribution of random genetic drift to the increase in variance of disequilibrium in subpopulations. In the Lakhimpur population, the peripheral part was separated from the core by a genetic distance of 0.260. Patchy habitats promoted low genetic variability, high linkage disequilibrium and colonization by new subpopulations. Increased gene flow and habitat-area expansion are required to maintain higher genetic variability and conservation of the original S. c. ricini gene pool.
Abstract in English:The lac insects (Homoptera: Tachardiidae), belonging to the genus Kerria, are commercially exploited for the production of lac. Kerria lacca is the most commonly used species in India. RAPD markers were used for assessing genetic variation in forty-eight lines of Kerria, especially among geographic races, infrasubspecific forms, cultivated lines, inbred lines, etc., of K. lacca. In the 48 lines studied, the 26 RAPD primers generated 173 loci, showing 97.7% polymorphism. By using neighbor-joining, the dendrogram generated from the similarity matrix resolved the lines into basically two clusters and outgroups. The major cluster, comprising 32 lines, included mainly cultivated lines of the rangeeni form, geographic races and inbred lines of K. lacca. The second cluster consisted of eight lines of K. lacca, seven of the kusmi form and one of the rangeeni from the southern state of Karnataka. The remaining eight lines formed a series of outgroups, this including a group of three yellow mutant lines of K. lacca and other species of the Kerria studied, among others. Color mutants always showed distinctive banding patterns compared to their wild-type counterparts from the same population. This study also adds support to the current status of kusmi and rangeeni, as infraspecific forms of K. lacca.
Abstract in English:Channa striata, locally known as "haruan", is economically important in fisheries and aquaculture industries in several Asian countries. DNA sequencing, based on a partial segment of the Cytochrome oxidase c subunit 1 (CO1) gene, was used to determine genetic variation in C. striata samples from four different populations on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The highest nucleotide and haplotype diversities were observed in the Linggi population (π = 0.0067, h = 0.835), and the lowest in the Timah Tasoh population (π = 0.0008, h = 0.286). Apart from Kajang-Linggi, which was insignificant, F ST values were significant (p < 0.05) in all pairwise-population comparisons. Consequently, it is inferred that genetic structuring C. striata populations in this region was largely shaped by a common origin, with secondary influences from geographical factors and isolation.
Abstract in English:A new microsatellite locus (SAS1) for Squalius alburnoides was obtained through cloning by serendipity. The possible usefulness of this new species-specific microsatellite in genetic studies of this hybrid-species complex, was explored. The polymorphism exhibited by SAS1 microsatellite is an important addition to the set of microsatellites previously used in genetic studies in S. alburnoides complex, that mostly relied in markers described for other species. Moreover, the SAS1 microsatellite could be used to identify the parental genomes of the complex, complementing other methods recently described for the same purpose.
Abstract in English:The decapod Grapsus grapsus is commonly found on oceanic islands of the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of the Americas. In this study, a simple, quick and reliable method for detecting its larvae in plankton samples is described, which makes it ideal for large-scale studies of larval dispersal patterns in the species.