Abstract in English:The most common hemoglobinopathies, viz, hemoglobins S and C, and α-and β-thalassemias, were investigated through the molecular screening of 116 subjects from the community of Saracura, comprising fugitive African slaves from farms of the municipality of Santarém, in the west of Pará State, Brazilian Amazon. The observed frequency of the HBB*S gene (0.9%) was significantly lower than that encountered in other Afro-derived communities in the region. Concomitantly, the absence of the HBB*C allele has been reported for most of the Afro-Amazonian communities thus far studied. As remnant populations of quilombos are generally small, the heterogeneous distribution of HBB*S and HBB*C alleles among them is probably due to genetic drift and/or founder effect. The observed frequency of 3.7 kb deletion in Saracura (8.5%) was consistent with the African origin of the population, with a certain degree of local differentiation and admixture with individuals of Caucasian ancestry, placed in evidence by the occurrence of - -(MED) deletion (1.2%), a common mutation in Mediterranean regions. As regards f-thalassemia, among the seven different mutations found in Saracura, three βºand two β+ mutations were of Mediterranean origin, and two β+ of African. Thus, only 28% of the local β-thalassemia mutations found in Saracura were of African origin.
Abstract in English:In this study, we analyzed the phenotype, clinical characteristics and presence of mutations in the enamelin gene ENAM in five Colombian families with autosomal dominant amelogenesis imperfecta (ADAI). 22 individuals (15 affected and seven unaffected) belonging to five Colombian families with ADAI and eight individuals (three affected and five unaffected) belonging to three Colombian families with autosomal recessive amelogenesis imperfecta (ARAI) that served as controls for molecular alterations and inheritance patterns were studied. Clinical, radiographic and genetic evaluations were done in all individuals. Eight exons and three intron-exon boundaries were sequenced for mutation analysis. Two of the five families with ADAI had the hypoplasic phenotype, two had the hypocalcified phenotype and one had the hypomaturative phenotype. Anterior open bite and mandibular retrognathism were the most frequent skeletal abnormalities in the families with ADAI. No mutations were found. These findings suggest that ADAI in these Colombian families was unrelated to previously described mutations in the ENAM gene. These results also indicate that other regions not included in this investigation, such as the promoter region, introns and other genes should be considered as potential ADAI candidates.
Abstract in English:An important area of genetic research is the identification of functional mechanisms in polymorphisms associated with diseases. A highly relevant functional mechanism is the influence of polymorphisms on gene expression levels (differential allelic expression, DAE). The coding single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) CSF2rs25882 and IL13rs20541 have been associated with asthma. In this work, we investigated whether the mRNA expression levels of CSF2 or IL13 were correlated with these SNPs. Samples were analyzed by mass spectrometry-based quantification of gene expression. Both SNPs influenced gene expression levels (CSF2rs25882: p overall = 0.008 and pDAE samples = 0.00006; IL13rs20541: p overall = 0.059 and pDAE samples = 0.036). For CSF2, the expression level was increased by 27.4% (95% CI: 18.5%-35.4%) in samples with significant DAE in the presence of one copy of risk variant CSF2rs25882-T. The average expression level of IL13 was increased by 29.8% (95% CI: 3.1%-63.4%) in samples with significant DAE in the presence of one copy of risk variant IL13rs20541-A. Enhanced expression of CSF2 could stimulate macrophages and neutrophils during inflammation and may be related to the etiology of asthma. For IL-13, higher expression could enhance the functional activity of the asthma-associated isoform. Overall, the analysis of DAE provides an efficient approach for identifying possible functional mechanisms that link disease-associated variants with altered gene expression levels.
Abstract in English:The prevalence of metabolic disorders varies among ethnic populations and these disorders represent a critical health care issue for elderly women. This study investigated the correlation between genetic ancestry and body composition, metabolic traits and clinical status in a sample of elderly women. Clinical, nutritional and anthropometric data were collected from 176 volunteers. Genetic ancestry was estimated using 23 ancestry-informative markers. Pearsons correlation test was used to examine the relationship between continuous variables and an independent samples t-test was used to compare the means of continuous traits within categorical variables. Overall ancestry was a combination of European (57.49%), Native American (25.78%) and African (16.73%). Significant correlations were found for European ancestry with body mass index (r = 0.165; p = 0.037) and obesity (mean difference (MD) = 5.3%; p = 0.042). African ancestry showed a significant correlation with LDL (r = 0.159, p = 0.035), VLDL (r = -0.185; p = 0.014), hypertriglyceridemia (MD = 6.4%; p = 0.003) and hyperlipidemia (MD = 4.8%; p = 0.026). Amerindian ancestry showed a significant correlation with triglyceride levels (r = 0.150; p = 0.047) and hypertriglyceridemia (MD = 4.5%; p = 0.039). These findings suggest that genetic admixture may influence the etiology of lipid metabolism-related diseases and obesity in elderly women.
Abstract in English:Accurate estimates of the penetrance rate of autosomal dominant conditions are important, among other issues, for optimizing recurrence risks in genetic counseling. The present work on penetrance rate estimation from pedigree data considers the following situations: 1) estimation of the penetrance rate K (brief review of the method); 2) construction of exact credible intervals for K estimates; 3) specificity and heterogeneity issues; 4) penetrance rate estimates obtained through molecular testing of families; 5) lack of information about the phenotype of the pedigree generator; 6) genealogies containing grouped parent-offspring information; 7) ascertainment issues responsible for the inflation of K estimates.
Abstract in English:The serotonergic system has been hypothesized to contribute to the biological susceptibility to type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and body-mass index (BMI) categories. We investigate a possible association of 5-HTTLPR polymorphism (L and S alleles) in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) with the development of T2DM and/or higher BMI by analyzing a sample of 138 individuals diagnosed with T2DM and 172 unrelated controls from the Mexican general population. In the total sample genotypes were distributed according to Hardy- Weinberg equilibrium, and S allele frequency was 0.58. There was no statistical association between 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and the development of T2DM in this Mexican population sample (p = 0.12). Nevertheless, logistic regression analysis of the L allele and increased BMI disclosed an association, after adjusting for age, sex and T2DM (p = 0.02, OR 1.74, 95% CI: 1.079-2.808).
Abstract in English:α-Thalassemia, arising from a defect in a-globin chain synthesis, is often caused by deletions involving one or both of the a-genes on the same allele. With the aim of investigating the prevalence of α-thalassemia 3.7 kb deletion in the adult population of Rio Grande do Norte, 713 unrelated individuals, between 18 and 59 years-of-age, were analyzed. Red blood cell indices were electronically determined, and A2 and F hemoglobins evaluated by HPLC. PCR was applied to the molecular investigation of α-thalassemia 3.7 kb deletion. Eighty (11.2%) of the 713 individuals investigated presented α-thalassemia, of which 79 (11.1%) were heterozygous (-α3.7/αα) deletions and 1 (0.1%) homozy- gous (-α3.7/-α3.7). Ethnically, heterozygous deletions were higher (24.8%) in Afro-Brazilians. Comparison of hemato- logical parameters between individuals with normal genotype and those with heterozygous α+-thalassemia showed a statistically significant difference in the number of erythrocytes (p < 0.001), MCV (p < 0.001), MCH (p < 0.001) and Hb A2 (p = 0.007). This study is one of the first dedicated to investigating α-thalassemia 3.7 kb deletion in the population of the State Rio Grande do Norte state. Results obtained demonstrate the importance of investigating this condition in order to elucidate the causes of microcytosis and hypochromia.
Abstract in English:Certain mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are frequent in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. Several factors contribute to this increased frequency, including consanguineous marriages and an event known as a "bottleneck', which occurred in the past and caused a drastic reduction in the genetic variability of this population. Several studies were performed over the years in an attempt to elucidate the role of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in susceptibility to breast cancer. The aim of this study was to estimate the carrier frequency of certain common mutations in the BRCA1 (185delAG and 5382insC) and BRCA2 (6174delT) genes in an Ashkenazi Jewish population from Porto Alegre, Brazil. Molecular analyses were done by PCR followed by RFLP (ACRS). The carrier frequencies for BRCA1 185delAG and 5382insC were 0.78 and 0 respectively, and 0.4 for the BRCA2 6174deT mutation. These findings are similar to those of some prior studies but differ from others, possibly due to excluding individuals with a personal or family history of cancer. Our sample was drawn from the community group and included individuals with or without a family or personal history of cancer. Furthermore, increased dispersion among Ashkenazi subpopulations may be the result of strong genetic drift and/or admixture. It is therefore necessary to consider the effects of local admixture on the mismatch distributions of various Jewish populations.
Abstract in English:The genetic diversity of Bhutanese chickens needs to be understood in order to develop a suitable conservation strategy for these birds in Bhutan. In this, work, we used microsatellite markers to examine the genetic diversity of Bhutanese chickens. Four Bhutanese chicken varieties (Black plumage, Frizzle, Naked neck and Red Junglefowllike, corresponding to Yuebjha Narp, Phulom, Khuilay and Seim, respectively), two subspecies of Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus gallus and Gallus gallus spadecieus), two varieties of Thai native chickens (Pradhu Hang Dam and Chee; Gallus gallus domesticus) representing the Southeast Asian domestic chicken, and two commercial lines (Broiler and Single Comb White Leghorn) were genotyped with 18 microsatellites that included 16 loci recommended by the FAO/ISAG for investigations of genetic variability in chickens. All loci were polymorphic, with the number of alleles ranging from six (MCW0111) to 23 (MCW0183). Substantial genetic variation was observed in all populations, with the Bhutanese native chicken Yuebjha Narp (Black plumage chicken) showing the lowest genetic variability. Despite extensive intrapopulation variation, the genetic differentiation among 10 populations was moderate. A neighbor-joining tree revealed the genetic relationships involved while principal component analysis showed that Bhutanese native chickens should be given priority in conservation efforts because of their genetic distinctiveness. Chee chickens are especially valuable as a reservoir of predomestic diversity, as indicated by their greater genetic variation and their position in the phylogenetic tree.
Abstract in English:Diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1) is a microsomal enzyme that catalyzes the final step of triglyceride synthesis. The DGAT1 gene is a strong functional candidate for determining milk fat content in cattle. In this work, we used PCR-SSCP (polymerase chain reaction-single-strand conformation polymorphism) and DNA sequencing to examine polymorphism in the region spanning exon 7 to exon 9 of the DGAT1 gene in Murrah and Pandharpuri buffaloes. Three alleles (A, B and C) and four novel single-nucleotide polymorphisms were identified in the buffalo DGAT1 gene. The frequencies of the alleles differed between the two buffalo breeds, with allele C being present in Murrah but not in Pandharpuri buffalo. The allele variation detected in this work may influence DGAT1 expression and function. The results described here could be useful in examining the association between the DGAT1 gene and milk traits in buffalo.
Abstract in English:A study of genetic variation among 10 pairs of chromosomes extracted from 13 tropical sweet corn inbred lines, using 99 microsatellite markers, revealed a wide range of genetic diversity. Allelic richness and the number of effective alleles per chromosome ranged from 2.78 to 4.33 and 1.96 to 3.47, respectively, with respective mean values of 3.62 and 2.73. According to the Shannon's information index (I) and Nei's gene diversity coefficient (Nei), Chromosome 10 was the most informative chromosome (I = 1.311 and Nei = 0.703), while Chromosome 2 possessed the least (I = 0.762 and Nei = 0.456). Based on linkage disequilibrium (LD) measurements for loci less than 50 cM apart on the same chromosome, all loci on Chromosomes 1, 6 and 7 were in equilibrium. Even so, there was a high proportion of genetic variation in Chromosomes 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10, thereby revealing their appropriateness for use in the genetic diversity investigations among tropical sweet corn lines. Chromosome 4, with the highest number of loci in linkage disequilibrium, was considered the best for marker-phenotype association and QTL mapping, followed by Chromosomes 5, 8, 9 and 10.
Abstract in English:Statistical methods for mapping quantitative trait loci (QTLs) in full-sib forest trees, in which the number of alleles and linkage phase can vary from locus to locus, are still not well established. Previous studies assumed that the QTL segregation pattern was fixed throughout the genome in a full-sib family, despite the fact that this pattern can vary among regions of the genome. In this paper, we propose a method for selecting the appropriate model for QTL mapping based on the segregation of different types of markers and QTLs in a full-sib family. The QTL segregation patterns were classified into three types: test cross (1:1 segregation), F2 cross (1:2:1 segregation) and full cross (1:1:1:1 segregation). Akaike's information criterion (AIC), the Bayesian information criterion (BIC) and the Laplace-empirical criterion (LEC) were used to select the most likely QTL segregation pattern. Simulations were used to evaluate the power of these criteria and the precision of parameter estimates. A Windows-based software was developed to run the selected QTL mapping method. A real example is presented to illustrate QTL mapping in forest trees based on an integrated linkage map with various segregation markers. The implications of this method for accurate QTL mapping in outbred species are discussed.
Abstract in English:Transposable elements (TEs) account for a large portion of plant genomes, particularly in grasses, in which they correspond to 50%-80% of the genomic content. TEs have recently been shown to be a source of new genes and new regulatory networks. The most striking contribution of TEs is referred as “molecular domestication”, by which the element coding sequence loses its movement capacity and acquires cellular function. Recently, domesticated transposases known as mustang and derived from the Mutator element have been described in sugarcane. In order to improve our understanding of the function of these proteins, we identified mustang genes from Sorghum bicolor and Zea mays and performed a phenetic analysis to assess the diversity and evolutionary history of this gene family. This analysis identified orthologous groups and showed that mustang genes are highly conserved in grass genomes. We also explored the transcriptional activity of sugarcane mustang genes in heterologous and homologous systems. These genes were found to be ubiquitously transcribed, with shoot apical meristem having the highest expression levels, and were downregulated by phytohormones. Together, these findings suggest the possible involvement of mustang proteins in the maintenance of hormonal homeostasis.
Abstract in English:Transgene integration into plant genomes is a complex process accompanied by molecular rearrangements. Classic methods that are normally used to study transgenic population genetics are generally inadequate for assessing such integration. Two major characteristics of transgenic populations are that a transgenic genome may harbor many copies of the transgene and that molecular rearrangements can create an unstable transgenic locus. In this work, we examined the segregation of T1, T2 and T3 transgenic tobacco progenies. Since transfer DNA (T-DNA) contains the NptII selectable marker gene that confers resistance to kanamycin, we used this characteristic in developing a method to estimate the number of functional inserts integrated into the genome. This approach was based on calculation of the theoretical segregation ratios in successive generations. Mendelian ratios of 3:1, 15:1 and 63:1 were confirmed for five transformation events whereas six transformation events yielded non-segregating progenies, a finding that raised questions about causal factors. A second approach based on a maximum likelihood method was performed to estimate recombination frequencies between linked inserts. Recombination estimates varied among transformation events and over generations. Some transgenic loci were unstable and evolved continuously to segregate independently in the T3 generation. Recombination and amplification of the transgene and filler DNA yielded additional transformed genotypes.
Abstract in English:In this study, Pseudomonas syringe pathovars isolated from olive, tomato and bean were identified by species-specific PCR and their genetic diversity was assessed by repetitive extragenic palindromic (REP)-PCR. Reverse universal primers for REP-PCR were designed by using the bases of A, T, G or C at the positions of 1, 4 and 11 to identify additional polymorphism in the banding patterns. Binding of the primers to different annealing sites in the genome revealed additional fingerprint patterns in eight isolates of P. savastanoi pv. savastanoi and two isolates of P. syringae pv. tomato. The use of four different bases in the primer sequences did not affect the PCR reproducibility and was very efficient in revealing intra-pathovar diversity, particularly in P. savastanoi pv. savastanoi. At the pathovar level, the primer BOX1AR yielded shared fragments, in addition to five bands that discriminated among the pathovars P. syringae pv. phaseolicola, P. savastanoi pv. savastanoi and P. syringae pv. tomato. REP-PCR with a modified primer containing C produced identical bands among the isolates in a pathovar but separated three pathovars more distinctly than four other primers. Although REP-and BOX-PCRs have been successfully used in the molecular identification of Pseudomonas isolates from Turkish flora, a PCR based on inter-enterobacterial repetitive intergenic concensus (ERIC) sequences failed to produce clear banding patterns in this study.
Abstract in English:Through a series of experiments, the genotoxic/mutagenic and carcinogenic potential of sewage sludge was assessed. Male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to four groups: Group 1 - negative control; Group 2 - liver carcinogenesis initiated by diethylnitrosamine (DEN; 200 mg/kg i.p.); Group 3 and G4- liver carcinogenesis initiated by DEN and fed 10,000 ppm or 50,000 ppm of sewage sludge. The animals were submitted to a 70% partial hepatectomy at the 3rd week. Livers were processed for routine histological analysis and immunohistochemistry, in order to detect glutathione S-transferase positive altered hepatocyte foci (GST-P+ AHF). Peripheral blood samples for the comet assay were obtained from the periorbital plexus immediately prior to sacrificing. Polychromatic erythrocytes (PCEs) were analyzed in femoral bone-marrow smears, and the frequencies of those micronucleated (MNPCEs) registered. There was no sewage-sludge-induced increase in frequency of either DNA damage in peripheral blood leucocytes, or MNPCEs in the femoral bone marrow. Also, there was no increase in the levels of DNA damage, in the frequency of MNPCEs, and in the development of GST-P AHF when compared with the respective control group.
Abstract in English:Copaiba oil-resin, extracted from the trunk of Copaifera, and traditionally used in folk medicine in the treatment of various disorders, has been shown to be an effective antiinflamatory, antitumor, antitetanus, antiseptic and antiblenorrhagea agent. As, there are few studies evaluating its genotoxicity, this aspect of the commercial oil-resin, and its volatile and resinous fractions, were evaluated in mice by comet assay and micronucleus (MN) test. A single dose of oil resin, volatile or resin fractions (500; 1,000 or 2,000 mg/kg b.w.) was administered by gavage. The chemical compositions of Copaiba oil resin and its fractions was analyzed by gas chromatography. According to comet assaying, treatment with either one did not increase DNA damage, and as to MN testing, there was no alteration in the incidence of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes. Chromatographic analysis of the oil-resin itself revealed sesquiterpenes, diterpenic carboxylic acid methyl esters and high levels of β-caryophyllene. Thus, it can be assumed that the oil resin and volatile and resinous fractions from the commercial product are not genotoxic or mutagenic.
Abstract in English:Several metrics have been developed for estimating phylogenetic signal in comparative data. These may be important both in guiding future studies on correlated evolution and for inferring broad-scale evolutionary and ecological processes (e.g., phylogenetic niche conservatism). Notwithstanding, the validity of some of these metrics is under debate, especially after the development of more sophisticated model-based approaches that estimate departure from particular evolutionary models (i.e., Brownian motion). Here, two of these model-based metrics (Blomberg's K-statistics and Pagel's λ) are compared with three statistical approaches [Moran's I autocorrelation coefficient, coefficients of determination from the autoregressive method (ARM), and phylogenetic eigenvector regression (PVR)]. Based on simulations of a trait evolving under Brownian motion for a phylogeny with 209 species, we showed that all metrics are strongly, although non-linearly, correlated to each other. Our analyses revealed that statistical approaches provide valid results and may be still particularly useful when detailed phylogenies are unavailable or when trait variation among species is difficult to describe by more standard Brownian or O-U evolutionary models.
Abstract in English:β-lactoglobulin (BLG), a dominant allergen in goat milk, is difficult to remove by traditional biochemical methods. Its elimination from goat milk by genetic modification therefore poses a major challenge for modern goat breeders. A shRNA targeting BLG mRNA with high interference efficiency was identified, with which lentiviral vectors were used for mediating stable shRNA interference in goat-fetal fibroblast cells. Apart from high efficiency in the knockdown of BLG expression in these cells, lentivector-mediated RNAi manifested stable integration into the goat genome itself. Consequently, an in vitro model for goat BLG-content control was compiled, and a goat-cell line for accompanying transgenetic goat production created.
Abstract in English:The purpose of this study was to investigate whether treatment with electroacupuncture (EA) inhibited mitochondria-dependent apoptosis in annulus fibrosis (AF) cells in a rat model of cervical intervertebral disc degradation induced by unbalanced dynamic and static forces. Forty Sprague-Dawley rats were used in this study, of which 30 underwent surgery to induce cervical intervertebral disc degradation, 10 rats received EA at acupoints Dazhui (DU 14) and Shousanli (LI 10). TUNEL staining was measured to assess apoptosis in AF cells, immunohistochemistry was used to examine Bcl-2 and Bax expression, colorimetric assays were used to determine caspase 9 and caspase 3 activities and RT-PCR and western blotting were used to assess the mRNA and protein expression of Crk and ERK2. Treatment with EA reduced the number of AF-positive cells in TUNEL staining, increased Bcl-2-positive cells and decreased Bax-positive cells in immunohistochemical staining, significantly inhibited the activation of caspases-9 and -3, and enhanced the mRNA and protein expression of Crk and ERK2. Our data show that EA inhibits AF cell apoptosis via the mitochondria-dependent pathway and up-regulates Crk and ERK2 expression. These results suggest that treatment with may be a good alternative therapy for preventing cervical spondylosis.
Abstract in English:Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) obtained by the ectopic expression of defined transcription factors have tremendous promise and therapeutic potential for regenerative medicine. Many studies have highlighted important differences between iPSCs and embryonic stem cells (ESCs). In this work, we used meta-analysis to compare the global transcriptional profiles of human iPSCs from various cellular origins and induced by different methods. The induction strategy affected the quality of iPSCs in terms of transcriptional signatures. The iPSCs generated by non-integrating methods were closer to ESCs in terms of transcriptional distance than iPSCs generated by integrating methods. Several pathways that could be potentially useful for studying the molecular mechanisms underlying transcription factor-mediated reprogramming leading to pluripotency were also identified. These pathways were mostly associated with the maintenance of ESC pluripotency and cancer regulation. Numerous genes that are up-regulated during the induction of reprogramming also have an important role in the success of human preimplantation embryonic development. Our results indicate that hiPSCs maintain their pluripotency through mechanisms similar to those of hESCs.
Abstract in English:Gastric cancer is one of the most common and lethal cancers worldwide. However, despite its clinical importance, the regulatory mechanisms involved in the aggressiveness of this cancer are still poorly understood. A better understanding of the biology, genetics and molecular mechanisms of gastric cancer would be useful in developing novel targeted approaches for treating this disease. In this study we used protein-protein interaction networks and cluster analysis to comprehensively investigate the cellular pathways involved in gastric cancer. A primary immunodeficiency pathway, focal adhesion, ECM-receptor interactions and the metabolism of xenobiotics by cytochrome P450 were identified as four important pathways associated with the progression of gastric cancer. The genes in these pathways, e.g., ZAP70, IGLL1, CD79A, COL6A3, COL3A1, COL1A1, CYP2C18 and CYP2C9, may be considered as potential therapeutic targets for gastric cancer.