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Kong F.,Bioleadorg Research Group | Zhu J.,Harbin Medical University | Wu J.,Bioleadorg Research Group | Peng J.,Bioleadorg Research Group | And 5 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research

Chromosomal rearrangement (CR) events result from abnormal breaking and rejoining of the DNA molecules, or from crossing-over between repetitive DNA sequences, and they are involved in many tumor and non-tumor diseases. Investigations of diseaseassociated CR events can not only lead to important discoveries about DNA breakage and repair mechanisms, but also offer important clues about the pathologic causes and the diagnostic/therapeutic targets of these diseases. We have developed a database of Chromosomal Rearrangements In Diseases (dbCRID, http://dbCRID.biolead.org), a comprehensive database of human CR events and their associated diseases. For each reported CR event, dbCRID documents the type of the event, the disease or symptoms associated, and-when possible-detailed information about the CR event including precise breakpoint positions, junction sequences, genes and gene regions disrupted and experimental techniques applied to discover/ analyze the CR event. With 2643 records ofdisease-associated CR events curated from 1172 original studies, dbCRID is a comprehensive and dynamic resource useful for studying DNA breakage and repair mechanisms, and for analyzing the genetic basis of human tumor and non-tumor diseases. © The Author(s) 2010. Source

Tkac I.,University of Minnesota | Henry P.-G.,University of Minnesota | Zacharoff L.,University of Minnesota | Wedel M.,University of Minnesota | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism

Impairment of energy metabolism is a key feature of Huntington disease (HD). Recently, we reported longitudinal neurochemical changes in R6/2 mice measured by in-vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS; Zacharoff et al, 2012). Here, we present similar 1H MRS measurements at an early stage in the milder Q111 mouse model. In addition, we measured the concentration of ATP and inorganic phosphate (P i), key energy metabolites not accessible with 1H MRS, using 31 P MRS both in Q111 and in R6/2 mice. Significant changes in striatal creatine and phosphocreatine were observed in Q111 mice at 6 weeks relative to control, and these changes were largely reversed at 13 weeks. No significant change was detected in ATP concentration, in either HD mouse, compared with control. Calculated values of ADP, phosphorylation potential, relative rate of ATP synthase (v/Vmax (ATP)), and relative rate of creatine kinase (v/Vmax (CK)) were calculated from the measured data. ADP concentration and v/Vmax (ATP) were increased in Q111 mice at 6 weeks, and returned close to normal at 13 weeks. In contrast, these parameters were normal in R6/2 mice. These results suggest that early changes in brain energy metabolism are followed by compensatory shifts to maintain energetic homeostasis from early ages through manifest disease. © 2012 ISCBFM All rights reserved. Source

Rasmussen T.L.,University of Minnesota | Kweon J.,University of Minnesota | Diekmann M.A.,University of Minnesota | Belema-Bedada F.,University of Minnesota | And 9 more authors.

Er71 mutant embryos are nonviable and lack hematopoietic and endothelial lineages. To further define the functional role for ER71 in cell lineage decisions, we generated genetically modified mouse models. We engineered an Er71-EYFP transgenic mouse model by fusing the 3.9 kb Er71 promoter to the EYFP reporter gene. Using FACS and transcriptional profiling, we examined the EYFP + population of cells in Er71 mutant and wild-type littermates. In the absence of ER71, we observed an increase in the number of EYFP-expressing cells, increased expression of the cardiac molecular program and decreased expression of the hematoendothelial program, as compared with wild-type littermate controls. We also generated a novel Er71-Cre transgenic mouse model using the same 3.9 kb Er71 promoter. Genetic fate-mapping studies revealed that the ER71-expressing cells give rise to the hematopoietic and endothelial lineages in the wild-type background. In the absence of ER71, these cell populations contributed to alternative mesodermal lineages, including the cardiac lineage. To extend these analyses, we used an inducible embryonic stem/embryoid body system and observed that ER71 overexpression repressed cardiogenesis. Together, these studies identify ER71 as a critical regulator of mesodermal fate decisions that acts to specify the hematopoietic and endothelial lineages at the expense of cardiac lineages. This enhances our understanding of the mechanisms that govern mesodermal fate decisions early during embryogenesis. © 2011. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. Source

Feng Y.,University of Minnesota | Zhang X.,University of Minnesota | Song Q.,Bioleadorg Research Group | Li T.,Bioleadorg Research Group | Zeng Y.,University of Minnesota
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms

microRNAs (miRNAs) are a large family of approximately 22-nucleotide-long RNAs that regulate gene expression. They are first transcribed as long, primary transcripts, which then undergo a series of processing steps to generate the single-stranded, mature miRNAs. Here, we showed that Drosha cleaved hundreds of human primary miRNA transcript substrates with different efficiencies in vitro. The differential Drosha susceptibility of the primary miRNA transcripts significantly correlated with the expression of the corresponding, mature miRNAs in vivo. Conserved miRNAs were more efficiently expressed in vivo, and their primary transcripts were also better Drosha substrates in vitro. Combining secondary structure prediction and statistical analyses, we identified features in human primary miRNA transcripts that predisposed miRNAs to efficient Drosha processing in vitro as well as to better expression in vivo. We propose that the selectivity of Drosha action contributes greatly to the specificity and efficiency of miRNA biogenesis. Moreover, this study serves as an example of substrate specificity of a biochemical reaction regulating gene expression at a global scale in vivo. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: MicroRNA's in viral gene regulation. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Zacharoff L.,University of Minnesota | Tkac I.,University of Minnesota | Song Q.,Bioleadorg Research Group | Tang C.,Bioleadorg Research Group | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism

To improve the ability to move from preclinical trials in mouse models of Huntington's disease (HD) to clinical trials in humans, biomarkers are needed that can track similar aspects of disease progression across species. Brain metabolites, detectable by magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), have been suggested as potential biomarkers in HD. In this study, the R6/2 transgenic mouse model of HD was used to investigate the relative sensitivity of the metabolite profiling and the brain volumetry to anticipate the disease progression. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and 1H MRS data were acquired at 9.4 T from the R6/2 mice and wild-type littermates at 4, 8, 12, and 15 weeks. Brain shrinkage was detectable in striatum, cortex, thalamus, and hypothalamus by 12 weeks. Metabolite changes in cortex paralleled and sometimes preceded those in striatum. The entire set of metabolite changes was compressed into principal components (PCs) using Partial Least Squares-Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA) to increase the sensitivity for monitoring disease progression. In comparing the efficacy of volume and metabolite measurements, the cortical PC1 emerged as the most sensitive single biomarker, distinguishing R6/2 mice from littermates at all time points. Thus, neurochemical changes precede volume shrinkage and become potential biomarkers for HD mouse models. © 2012 ISCBFM All rights reserved. Source

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