Abstract in English:Many conditions interfere with butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) activity, e.g., pregnancy or presence of the BCHE gene variant -116A can decrease activity whereas obesity and types I and II diabetes mellitus can increase activity. In this study, we examined BChE activity, -116A and 1615A BCHE gene variants, and anthropometric and biochemical variables associated with diabetes in patients with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and in healthy pregnant women. BChE activity was measured spectrophotometrically using propionylthiocholine as substrate and genotyping of the -116 and 1615 sites of the BCHE gene was done with a TaqMan SNP genotyping assay. Three groups were studied: 150 patients with GDM, 295 healthy pregnant women and 156 non-pregnant healthy women. Mean BChE activity was significantly lower in healthy pregnant women than in women from the general population and was further reduced in GDM patients. BChE activity was significantly reduced in carriers of -116A in GDM patients and healthy pregnant women. Although GDM patients had a significantly higher mean body mass index (BMI) and triglycerides than healthy pregnant women, they had lower mean BChE activity, suggesting that the lowering effect of GDM on BChE activity was stronger than the characteristic enhancing effect of increased BMI and triglycerides.
Abstract in English:Polymorphisms in the regulatory region of the CCR5 gene affect protein expression and modulate the progress of HIV-1 disease. Because of this prominent role, variations in this gene have been under differential pressure and their frequencies vary among human populations. The CCR2V64I mutation is tightly linked to certain polymorphisms in the CCR5 gene. The current Omani population is genetically diverse, a reflection of their history as traders who ruled extensive regions around the Indian Ocean. In this study, we examined the CCR2-CCR5 haplotypes in Omanis and compared the patterns of genetic diversity with those of other populations. Blood samples were collected from 115 Omani adults and genomic DNA was screened to identify the polymorphic sites in the CCR5 gene and the CCR2V64I mutation. Four minor alleles were common: CCR5-2554T and CCR5-2086G showed frequencies of 49% and 46%, respectively, whereas CCR5-2459A and CCR5-2135C both had a frequency of 36%. These alleles showed moderate levels of heterozygosity, indicating that they were under balancing selection. However, the well-known allele CCR5!32 was relatively rare. Eleven haplotypes were identified, four of which were common: HHC (46%), HHE (20%), HHA (14%) and HHF*2 (12%).
Abstract in English:The individual response to diet may be influenced by gene polymorphisms. This study hypothesized that ADRB2 (Gln27Glu, rs1042714 and Arg16Gly, rs1042713), ADRB3 (Trp64Arg, rs4994) and GHRL (Leu72Met, rs696217) polymorphisms moderate weight loss. The study was a seven weeks dietary weight loss intervention with Brazilian adult obese women (n = 109). The body mass index (BMI) was calculated and polymorphisms in these genes were assessed by real-time PCR assays. Two-way repeated-measures ANOVA (2 x 2) were used to analyze the intervention effect between polymorphisms and BMI over the period and after stratification for age and socioeconomic status (SES). The weight loss intervention resulted in decreased BMI over the seven-week period (p < 0.001), for high and low SES (p < 0.05) and mainly for participants with 30-49 y. The intervention did not result in a statistically significant difference in weight loss between polymorphism carriers and non-carriers, and although, the ADRB2, ADRB3 and GHRL polymorphisms did not moderate weight loss, the Gln27Glu polymorphism carriers showed a lower BMI compared to non-carriers in the low SES (p = 0.018) and the 30-39 y (p = 0.036) groups, suggesting a role for this polymorphism related to BMI control.
Abstract in English:Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I) is a rare lysosomal disorder caused by deficiency of alph-L-iduronidase. Few clinical trials have assessed the effect of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) for this condition. We conducted an exploratory, open-label, non-randomized, multicenter cohort study of patients with MPS I. Data were collected from questionnaires completed by attending physicians at the time of diagnosis (T1; n = 34) and at a median time of 2.5 years later (T2; n = 24/34). The 24 patients for whom data were available at T2 were allocated into groups: A, no ERT (9 patients; median age at T1 = 36 months; 6 with severe phenotype); B, on ERT (15 patients; median age at T1 = 33 months; 4 with severe phenotype). For all variables in which there was no between-group difference at baseline, a delta of ;±20% was considered clinically relevant. The following clinically relevant differences were identified in group B in T2: lower rates of mortality and reported hospitalization for respiratory infection; lower frequency of hepatosplenomegaly; increased reported rates of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and hearing loss; and stabilization of gibbus deformity. These changes could be due to the effect of ERT or of other therapies which have also been found more frequently in group B. Our findings suggest MPS I patients on ERT also receive a better overall care. ERT may have a positive effect on respiratory morbidity and overall mortality in patients with MPS I. Additional studies focusing on these outcomes and on other therapies should be performed.
Abstract in English:The fish species Synbranchus marmoratus is widely distributed throughout the Neotropical region and exhibits a significant karyotype differentiation. However, data concerning the organization and location of the repetitive DNA sequences in the genomes of these karyomorphs are still lacking. In this study we made a physical mapping of the H3 and H4 histone multigene family and the transposable elements Rex1 and Rex3 in the genome of three known S. marmoratus karyomorphs. The results indicated that both histone sequences seem to be linked with one another and are scattered all over the chromosomes of the complement, with a little compartmentalization in one acrocentric pair, which is different from observations in other fish groups. Likewise, the transposable elements Rex1 and Rex3 were also dispersed throughout the genome as small clusters. The data also showed that the histone sites are organized in a differentiated manner in the genomes of S. marmoratus, while the transposable elements Rex1 and Rex3 do not seem to be compartmentalized in this group.
Abstract in English:Prochilodus magdalenae is an endemic freshwater fish that occurs in the Magdalena, Sinú and Atrato hydrographic basins. It has an important economic role and is a food resource for the artisanal fishing communities. Its socioeconomic importance contrasts with the current status of its fisheries, where stocks are being depleted. Considering its importance and lack of information on its genetic structure, we used seven microsatellite markers to assess the genetic structure of wild populations of P. magdalenae. The genetic diversity was assessed and the population genetic structure was estimated through Fst, analysis of molecular variance and Bayesian analysis. A total of 290 alleles were found in all loci throughout all population. The high polymorphism contrasts with the levels of observed heterozygosity (Ho = 0.276), which are the lowest values recorded for the family. We found three populations of bocachico coexisting throughout the studied system, contradicting the hypothesis that freshwater migratory fish form panmictic populations. These results on the genetic structure of P. magdalenae constitute tools for a better understanding of the behavior and biology of this species, contributing to fish management and conservation programs.
Abstract in English:The Serrasalmidae family is composed of a number of commercially interesting species, mainly in the Amazon region where most of these fishes occur. In the present study, we investigated the genomic organization of the 18S and 5S rDNA and telomeric sequences in mitotic chromosomes of four species from the basal clade of the Serrasalmidae family: Colossoma macropomum, Mylossoma aureum, M. duriventre, and Piaractus mesopotamicus, in order to understand the chromosomal evolution in the family. All the species studied had diploid numbers 2n = 54 and exclusively biarmed chromosomes, but variations of the karyotypic formulas were observed. C-banding resulted in similar patterns among the analyzed species, with heterochromatic blocks mainly present in centromeric regions. The 18S rDNA mapping of C. macropomum and P. mesopotamicus revealed multiple sites of this gene; 5S rDNA sites were detected in two chromosome pairs in all species, although not all of them were homeologs. Hybridization with a telomeric probe revealed signals in the terminal portions of chromosomes in all the species and an interstitial signal was observed in one pair of C. macropomum.
Abstract in English:Brazilian goats are generally kept in small herds and extensive rearing systems, mainly in the northeastern region of the country. Despite production improvement in recent years, the lack of pedigree control has affected genetic progress. This study aimed to validate a panel of 16 microsatellites for parentage testing in locally adapted and commercial goats breeds raised in Brazil, as well as to compare its efficiency with the panel recommended by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supplies (MAPA) in 2004. The number of alleles and expected heterozygosity (He) per marker ranged from four to 18, and from 0.051 to 0.831, respectively. Using all markers, 100% of parentage cases of the validation dataset were resolved with a strict confidence level of 95%. The 16 microsatellites panel showed adequate exclusion power (99.99%) and identity accuracy (99.99%). Suggestions for improvement of the marker panel endorsed by MAPA are provided.
Abstract in English:The karyotype of the big-headed Amazon River turtle, Peltocephalus dumerilianus, is characterized based on a sample of seven juveniles from Reserva Biológica do Rio Trombetas, Pará State, Brazil (1°30' S, 56°34' W). Here we present the first results on GTG and CBG-banding patterns, Ag-NOR staining and FISH, with telomeric and 45S rDNA sequences as probes. A cytogenetic comparison with related Podocnemidae is also provided.
Abstract in English:Bayesian clustering as implemented in STRUCTURE or GENELAND software is widely used to form genetic groups of populations or individuals. On the other hand, in order to satisfy the need for less computer-intensive approaches, multivariate analyses are specifically devoted to extracting information from large datasets. In this paper, we report the use of a dataset of AFLP markers belonging to 15 sampling sites of Acacia caven for studying the genetic structure and comparing the consistency of three methods: STRUCTURE, GENELAND and DAPC. Of these methods, DAPC was the fastest one and showed accuracy in inferring the K number of populations (K = 12 using the find.clusters option and K = 15 with a priori information of populations). GENELAND in turn, provides information on the area of membership probabilities for individuals or populations in the space, when coordinates are specified (K = 12). STRUCTURE also inferred the number of K populations and the membership probabilities of individuals based on ancestry, presenting the result K = 11 without prior information of populations and K = 15 using the LOCPRIOR option. Finally, in this work all three methods showed high consistency in estimating the population structure, inferring similar numbers of populations and the membership probabilities of individuals to each group, with a high correlation between each other.
Abstract in English:WRKY transcription factors have been extensively characterized in the past 20 years, but in wheat, studies onWRKY genes and their function are lagging behind many other species. To explore the function of wheat WRKY genes, we identified a TaWRKY68 gene from a common wheat cultivar. It encodes a protein comprising 313 amino acids which harbors 19 conserved motifs or active sites. Gene expression patterns were determined by analyzing microarray data of TaWRKY68 in wheat and of orthologous genes from maize, rice and barley using Genevestigator. TaWRKY68 orthologs were identified and clustered using DELTA-BLAST and COBALT programs available at NCBI. The results showed that these genes, which are expressed in all tissues tested, had relatively higher levels in the roots and were up-regulated in response to biotic stresses. Bioinformatics results were confirmed by RT-PCR experiments using wheat plants infected by Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Blumeria graminis, or treated with Deoxynivalenol, a Fusarium graminearum-induced mycotoxin in wheat or barley. In summary,TaWRKY68 functions differ during plant developmental stages and might be representing a hub gene function in wheat responses to various biotic stresses. It was also found that including data from major cereal genes in the bioinformatics analysis gave more accurate and comprehensive predictions of wheat gene functions.
Abstract in English:Seeds of a tropical tree species from Brazil, Astronium fraxinifolium, or zebrawood, were germinated, for the first time in microgravity, aboard the International Space Station for nine days. Following three days of subsequent growth under normal terrestrial gravitational conditions, greater root length and numbers of secondary roots was observed in the microgravity-treated seedlings compared to terrestrially germinated controls. Suppression subtractive hybridization of cDNA and EST analysis were used to detect differential gene expression in the microgravity-treated seedlings in comparison to those initially grown in normal gravity (forward subtraction). Despite their return to, and growth in normal gravity, the subtracted library derived from microgravity-treated seedlings was enriched in known microgravity stress-related ESTs, corresponding to large and small heat shock proteins, 14-3-3-like protein, polyubiquitin, and proteins involved in glutathione metabolism. In contrast, the reverse-subtracted library contained a comparatively greater variety of general metabolism-related ESTs, but was also enriched for peroxidase, possibly indicating the suppression of this protein in the microgravity-treated seedlings. Following continued growth for 30 days, higher concentrations of total chlorophyll were detected in the microgravity-exposed seedlings.
Abstract in English:The genotoxicity of bloom head (BHE) and leaf (LE) extracts from artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.), and their ability to modulate the mutagenicity and recombinogenicity of two alkylating agents (ethyl methanesulfonate - EMS and mitomycin C - MMC) and the intercalating agent bleomycin (BLM), were examined using the somatic mutation and recombination test (SMART) in Drosophila melanogaster. Neither the mutagenicity nor the recombinogenicity of BLM or MMC was modified by co- or post-treatment with BHE or LE. In contrast, co-treatment with BHE significantly enhanced the EMS-induced genotoxicity involving mutagenic and/or recombinant events. Co-treatment with LE did not alter the genotoxicity of EMS whereas post-treatment with the highest dose of LE significantly increased this genotoxicity. This enhancement included a synergistic increase restricted to somatic recombination. These results show that artichoke extracts promote homologous recombination in proliferative cells of D. melanogaster.
Abstract in English:There is considerable controversy with regard to the genotoxicity of glyphosate, with some reports stating that this compound is non-toxic for fish, birds and mammals. In this work, we used the comet assay to examine the genotoxicity of glyphosate isopropylamine (0.7, 7, 70 and 700 µM) in human lymphocytes, erythrocytes of Oreochromis niloticus and staminal nuclei of Tradescantia (4430) in vitro and in vivo. Cells, nuclei and fish that had and had not been exposed to 5 mM N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. Significant (p < 0.01) genetic damage was observed in vivo and in vitro in all cell types and organisms tested. Human lymphocytes and Tradescantia hairs showed lower genetic damage in vivo compared to in vitro, possibly because of efficient metabolization of the herbicide. In O. niloticus erythrocytes, significant (p < 0.001) genotoxicity was observed at > 7 µM, whereas in vitro, glyphosphate was genotoxic in human lymphocytes and Tradescantia hairs at > 0.7 µM. These results indicate that glyphosate is genotoxic in the cells and organisms studied at concentrations of 0.7-7 µM.
Abstract in English:β-glucan is a well-known polysaccharide for its chemopreventive effect. This study aimed to evaluate the chemopreventive ability of β-glucan in somatic and germ cells through the dominant lethal and micronucleus assays, and its influence on the reproductive performance of male mice exposed to cyclophosphamide. The results indicate that β-glucan is capable of preventing changes in DNA in both germ cells and somatic ones. Changes in germ cells were evaluated by the dominant lethal assay and showed damage reduction percentages of 46.46% and 43.79% for the doses of 100 and 150 mg/kg. For the somatic changes, evaluated by micronucleus assay in peripheral blood cells in the first week of treatment, damage reduction percentages from 80.63-116.32% were found. In the fifth and sixth weeks, the percentage ranged from 10.20-52.54% and -0.95-62.35%, respectively. Besides the chemopreventive efficiency it appears that the β-glucan, when combined with cyclophosphamide, is able to improve the reproductive performance of males verified by the significant reduction in rates of post-implantation losses and reabsorption in the mating of nulliparous females with males treated with cyclophosphamide.
Abstract in English:Engineered nucleases such as zinc finger nucleases (ZFN) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALEN) are one of the most promising tools for modifying genomes. These site-specific enzymes cause double- strand breaks that allow gene disruption or gene insertion, thereby facilitating genetic manipulation. The major problem associated with this approach is the labor-intensive procedures required to screen and confirm the cellular modification by nucleases. In this work, we produced a TALEN that targets the human CCR5 gene and developed a heteroduplex mobility assay for HEK 293T cells to select positive colonies for sequencing. This approach provides a useful tool for the quick detection and easy assessment of nuclease activity.
Abstract in English:In this work we describe the establishment of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and the role of bFGF in adipocyte differentiation. The totipotency of ESCs and MSCs was assessed by immunofluorescence staining and RT-PCR of totipotency factors. MSCs were successfully used to induce osteoblasts, chondrocytes and adipocytes. MSCs that differentiated into adipocytes were stimulated with and without bFGF. The OD/DNA (optical density/content of total DNA) and expression levels of the specific adipocyte genes PPARγ2 (peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ2) and C/EBPs were higher in bFGF cells. Embryonic bodies had a higher adipocyte level compared with cells cultured in plates. These findings indicate that bFGF promotes adipocyte differentiation. MSCs may be useful cells for seeding in tissue engineering and have enormous therapeutic potential for adipose tissue engineering.
Abstract in English:This article is a testimonial written by the first author regarding the research work performed with Drosophila between 1943 and 1959, at the Departamento de Biologia Geral of the Universidade de São Paulo (USP), which permitted the building of a nucleus of excellence. This research work, focused on the systematics and population genetics of the Neotropical species, began during the first of Dobzhansky's six visits to USP. Special attention was given to the multinational megaprojects conducted during his longer stays, from August 1948 to July 1949 and from June 1955 to July 1956. The role played by the Rockefeller Foundation is duly remembered, and so is the undeniable contribution brought by Dobzhansky, to the establishment of several laboratories dedicated to research in the field of natural population genetics and to the qualification of human resources. On the other hand, important "backstage" episodes are retrieved which were omitted in the official history and occurred from the planning to the execution of the project, carried out on the Angra dos Reis islands. Special attention was given to the relationship problems which resulted from Dobzhansky's, the leader's, difficult personality and contributed to the failure of the second and last multinational project.