Abstract in English:Abstract There are many clinical trials underway for the development of gene therapies, and some have resulted in gene therapy products being commercially approved already. Significant progress was made to develop safer and more effective strategies to deliver and regulate genetic products. An unsolved aspect is the immune system, which can affect the efficiency of gene therapy in different ways. Here we present an overview of approved gene therapy products and the immune response elicited by gene delivery systems. These include responses against the vector or its content after delivery and against the product of the corrected gene. Strategies to overcome the hurdles include hiding the vector or/and the transgene product from the immune system and hiding the immune system from the vector/transgene product. Combining different strategies, such as patient screening and intelligent vector design, gene therapy is set to make a difference in the life of patients with severe genetic diseases.
Abstract in English:Abstract It has generally been accepted that the current indigenous peoples of the Americas are derived from ancestors from northeastern Asia. The latter were believed to have spread into the American continent by the end of the Last Glacial Maximum. In this sense, a joint and in-depth study of the earliest settlement of East Asia and the Americas is required to elucidate these events accurately. The first Americans underwent an adaptation process to the Americas’ vast environmental diversity, mediated by biological and cultural evolution and niche construction, resulting in enormous cultural diversity, a wealth of domesticated species, and extensive landscape modifications. Afterward, in the Late Holocene, the advent of intensive agricultural food production systems, sedentism, and climate change significantly reshaped genetic and cultural diversity across the continent, particularly in the Andes and Amazonia. Furthermore, starting around the end of the 15th century, European colonization resulted in massive extermination of indigenous peoples and extensive admixture. Thus, the present review aims to create a comprehensive picture of the main events involved in the formation of contemporary South American indigenous populations and the dynamics responsible for shaping their genetic diversity by integrating current genetic data with evidence from archeology, linguistics and other disciplines.
Abstract in English:Abstract Canis familiaris papillomavirus (CPV) is a member of the Papillomaviridae family and is found in dogs. After infection, the host can remain asymtomatic or develop benign ephitelial neoplasms such as papillomas and pigmented viral plaques, which can progress to cancer, in the form of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). In humans, 227 types of human papillomavirus (HPV) have been described, with a well-established risk classification for cancer development. In addition, it is also known that variants of some high-risk HPV types may present different risks in respect of SCC development. In dogs, however, only a few types of CPV have been identified, despite the growing interest in this area, and knowledge on the genetic characterization of CPV variants is still scarce. Recent studies of CPV have shown that, as with HPV, benign neoplasia can develop into cancer, but it is believed that there are many more types and variants still to be described. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe the genetics and biology of CPV, with the focus on what is known about lesions, geographic localization, virus types and variants.
Abstract in English:Abstract PSEUDO-RESPONSE PROTEINS (PRRs) are a gene family vital for the generation of rhythms by the circadian clock. Plants have circadian clocks, or circadian oscillators, to adapt to a rhythmic environment. The circadian clock system can be divided into three parts: the core oscillator, the input pathways, and the output pathways. The PRRs have a role in all three parts. These nuclear proteins have an N-terminal pseudo receiver domain and a C-terminal CONSTANS, CONSTANS-LIKE, and TOC1 (CCT) domain. The PRRs can be identified from green algae to monocots, ranging from one to >5 genes per species. Arabidopsis thaliana, for example, has five genes: PRR9, PRR7, PRR5, PRR3 and TOC1/PRR1. The PRR genes can be divided into three clades using protein homology: TOC1/PRR1, PRR7/3, and PRR9/5 expanded independently in eudicots and monocots. The PRRs can make protein complexes and bind to DNA, and the wide variety of protein-protein interactions are essential for the multiple roles in the circadian clock. In this review, the history of PRR research is briefly recapitulated, and the diversity of PRR genes in green and recent works about their role in the circadian clock are discussed.
Abstract in English:Abstract Massively parallel sequencing, also referred to as next-generation sequencing, has positively changed DNA analysis, allowing further advances in genetics. Its capability of dealing with low quantity/damaged samples makes it an interesting instrument for forensics. The main advantage of MPS is the possibility of analyzing simultaneously thousands of genetic markers, generating high-resolution data. Its detailed sequence information allowed the discovery of variations in core forensic short tandem repeat loci, as well as the identification of previous unknown polymorphisms. Furthermore, different types of markers can be sequenced in a single run, enabling the emergence of DIP-STRs, SNP-STR haplotypes, and microhaplotypes, which can be very useful in mixture deconvolution cases. In addition, the multiplex analysis of different single nucleotide polymorphisms can provide valuable information about identity, biogeographic ancestry, paternity, or phenotype. DNA methylation patterns, mitochondrial DNA, mRNA, and microRNA profiling can also be analyzed for different purposes, such as age inference, maternal lineage analysis, body-fluid identification, and monozygotic twin discrimination. MPS technology also empowers the study of metagenomics, which analyzes genetic material from a microbial community to obtain information about individual identification, post-mortem interval estimation, geolocation inference, and substrate analysis. This review aims to discuss the main applications of MPS in forensic genetics.
Abstract in English:Abstract The fundamental essence of life is based on process of interaction between nucleic acids and proteins. In a prebiotic world, amino acids, peptides, ions, and other metabolites acted in protobiotic routes at the same time on which RNAs performed catalysis and self-replication. Nevertheless, it was only when nucleic acids and peptides started to interact together in an organized process that life emerged. First, the ignition was sparked with the formation of a Peptidyl Transferase Center (PTC), possibly by concatenation of proto-tRNAs. This molecule that would become the catalytic site of ribosomes started a process of self-organization that gave origin to a protoorganism named FUCA, a ribonucleic ribosomal-like apparatus capable to polymerize amino acids. In that sense, we review hypotheses about the origin and early evolution of the genetic code. Next, populations of open biological systems named progenotes were capable of accumulating and exchanging genetic material, producing the first genomes. Progenotes then evolved in two paths: some presented their own ribosomes and others used available ribosomes in the medium to translate their encoded information. At some point, two different types of organisms emerged from populations of progenotes: the ribosome-encoding organisms (cells) and the capsid-encoding organisms (viruses).
Abstract in English:Abstract The use of combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) has resulted in a remarkable reduction in morbidity and mortality of people living with HIV worldwide. Nevertheless, interindividual variations in drug response often impose a challenge to cART effectiveness. Although personalized therapeutic regimens may help overcome incidence of adverse reactions and therapeutic failure attributed to host factors, pharmacogenetic studies are often restricted to a few populations. Latin American countries accounted for 2.1 million people living with HIV and 1.4 million undergoing cART in 2020-21. The present review describes the state of art of HIV pharmacogenetics in this region and highlights that such analyses remain to be given the required relevance. A broad analysis of pharmacogenetic markers in Latin America could not only provide a better understanding of genetic structure of these populations, but might also be crucial to develop more informative dosing algorithms, applicable to non-European populations.
Abstract in English:Abstract Adenovirus was first identified in the 1950s and since then this pathogenic group of viruses has been explored and transformed into a genetic transfer vehicle. Modification or deletion of few genes are necessary to transform it into a conditionally or non-replicative vector, creating a versatile tool capable of transducing different tissues and inducing high levels of transgene expression. In the early years of vector development, the application in monogenic diseases faced several hurdles, including short-term gene expression and even a fatality. On the other hand, an adenoviral delivery strategy for treatment of cancer was the first approved gene therapy product. There is an increasing interest in expressing transgenes with therapeutic potential targeting the cancer hallmarks, inhibiting metastasis, inducing cancer cell death or modulating the immune system to attack the tumor cells. Replicative adenovirus as vaccines may be even older and date to a few years of its discovery, application of non-replicative adenovirus for vaccination against different microorganisms has been investigated, but only recently, it demonstrated its full potential being one of the leading vaccination tools for COVID-19. This is not a new vector nor a new technology, but the result of decades of careful and intense work in this field.
Abstract in English:Abstract The term “SOS response” was first coined by Radman in 1974, in an intellectual effort to put together the data suggestive of a concerted gene expression program in cells undergoing DNA damage. A large amount of information about this cellular response has been collected over the following decades. In this review, we will focus on a few of the relevant aspects about the SOS response: its mechanism of control and the stressors which activate it, the diversity of regulated genes in different species, its role in mutagenesis and evolution including the development of antimicrobial resistance, and its relationship with mobile genetic elements.
Abstract in English:Abstract Nitric Oxide (NO) has important biological functions, and its production may be influenced by genetic polymorphisms. Since NO mediates the drug response, the same genetic polymorphism that alter NO levels may also impact drug therapy. The vast majority of studies in the literature that assess the genetic influence on NO-related drug response focus on NOS3 (which encodes endothelial nitric oxide synthase), however several other proteins are interconnected in the same pathway and may also impact NO availability and drug response. The aim of this study was to review the literature regarding genetic polymorphisms that influence NO in response to pharmacological agents located in genes other than NOS3. Articles were obtained from Pubmed and consisted of 17 manuscripts that assessed polymorphisms of the following targets: Arginases 1 and 2 (ARG1 and ARG2), dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolases 1 and 2 (DDAH1 and DDAH2), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Here we analyze the main results of these articles, which show promising evidences that may suggest that the NO-driven pharmacological response is affected by more than the eNOS gene. The search for genetic markers may result in better understanding of the variability of drug response and turn pharmacotherapy involving NO safer and more effective.
Abstract in English:Abstract In dogs, mammary cancer is the most common tumor type, especially in unspayed females. As in humans, this type of cancer has spontaneous development and is influenced by several risk factors, such as age and hormonal exposure in addition to genetic and epigenetic factors. Epigenetic mechanisms are responsible for gene expression modulation without alterations in the DNA sequence and include but are not limited to DNA methylation, histone modifications, and noncoding RNAs. Epigenetic patterns are known to influence a variety of biological mechanisms, such as cellular differentiation and development, and dysregulations of those patterns may result in several diseases, such as cancer. In this respect, this review summarizes the main findings concerning epigenetic alterations in canine mammary cancer, their relationship with the carcinogenic process, and their use as diagnostic and prognostic markers.
Abstract in English:Abstract Classical and progeroid congenital lipodystrophies are a collection of rare diseases displaying a large genetic heterogeneity. They occur due to pathogenic variants in genes associated with adipogenesis, DNA repair pathways, and genome stability. Subjects with lipodystrophy exhibit an impairment in the homeostasis of subcutaneous white adipose tissue (sWAT), resulting in low leptin and adiponectin levels, insulin resistance (IR), diabetes, dyslipidemia, ectopic fat deposition, inflammation, mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum commitments, among others. However, how pathogenic variants in adipogenesis-related genes modulate DNA repair in some classical congenital lipodystrophies has not been elucidated. In the same way, no data is clarifying how pathogenic variants in DNA repair genes result in sWAT loss in different types of progeroid lipodystrophies. This review will concentrate on the main molecular findings to understand the link between DNA damage/repair and adipogenesis in human and animal models of congenital lipodystrophies. We will focus on classical and progeroid congenital lipodystrophies directly or indirectly related to DNA repair pathways, highlighting the role of DNA repair-related proteins in maintaining sWAT homeostasis.
Abstract in English:Abstract Telomere has a central role in chromosomal stability events. Chromosome ends organized in telomere-loop prevent activation of DNA damage response (DDR) mechanisms, thus keeping the chromosome structure organized. On the other hand, free chromosome ends, dysfunctional telomeres, and interstitial telomeric sequences (ITS) can trigger chromosome rearrangements. Here, the telomere organization, function, and maintenance mechanisms, in addition to ITS types and their involvement in chromosome changes, were revisited. Despite a general (TTAGGG)n sequence being present in vertebrate telomeres, insects show more diversification of their telomere motif. The relation between ITS and chromosome rearrangements was observed in insects and vertebrates, demonstrating different types of genome organization and distribution. Some ITS cannot be considered relicts of chromosome rearrangements because probable they were inserted during a double-strand break repair mechanism. On the other hand, the involvement of telomere sequences participating or triggering chromosome rearrangements or organizing satellite DNA components in several species groups is evident. The genomic assembling advances and applying other methodologies over ITS, and their flanking regions, can help to understand the telomere participation in the chromosomal evolution in species groups with highly diversified karyotypes.
Abstract in English:Abstract Cancer is a genetic disease present in all complex multicellular lineages. Finding ways to eliminate it is a goal of a large part of the scientific community and nature itself. Early, scientists realized that the cancer incidence at the species level was not related to the number of cells or lifespan, a phenomenon called Peto's Paradox. The interest in resolving this paradox triggered a growing interest in investigating the natural strategies for cancer suppression hidden in the animal's genomes. Here, we gathered information on the main mechanisms that confer resistance to cancer, currently described for lineages that have representatives with extended longevity and large body sizes. Some mechanisms to reduce or evade cancer are common and shared between lineages, while others are species-specific. The diversity of paths that evolution followed to face the cancer challenge involving coding, regulatory, and structural aspects of genomes is astonishing and much yet lacks discovery. Multidisciplinary studies involving oncology, ecology, and evolutionary biology and focusing on nonmodel species can greatly expand the frontiers of knowledge about cancer resistance in animals and may guide new promising treatments and prevention that might apply to humans.