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Melchior L.,Copenhagen University | Melchior L.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Lynnerup N.,Copenhagen University | Siegismund H.R.,Copenhagen University | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Using established criteria for work with fossil DNA we have analysed mitochondrial DNA from 92 individuals from 18 locations in Denmark ranging in time from the Mesolithic to the Medieval Age. Unequivocal assignment of mtDNA haplotypes was possible for 56 of the ancient individuals;however, the success rate varied substantially between sites;the highest rates were obtained with untouched, freshly excavated material, whereas heavy handling, archeological preservation and storage for many years influenced the ability to obtain authentic endogenic DNA. While the nucleotide diversity at two locations was similar to that among extant Danes, the diversity at four sites was considerably higher. This supports previous observations for ancient Britons. The overall occurrence of haplogroups did not deviate from extant Scandinavians, however, haplogroup I was significantly more frequent among the ancient Danes (average 13%) than among extant Danes and Scandinavians (~2.5%) as well as among other ancient population samples reported. Haplogroup I could therefore have been an ancient Southern Scandinavian type diluted by later immigration events. Interestingly, the two Neolithic samples (4,200 YBP, Bell Beaker culture) that were typed were haplogroup U4 and U5a, respectively, and the single Bronze Age sample (3,300-3,500 YBP) was haplogroup U4. These two haplogroups have been associated with the Mesolithic populations of Central and Northern Europe. Therefore, at least for Southern Scandinavia, our findings do not support a possible replacement of a haplogroup U dominated hunter-gatherer population by a more haplogroup diverse Neolithic Culture. © 2010 Melchior et al.

Gourdon P.,Center for Membrane Pumps in Cells and Disease | Sitsel O.,Center for Membrane Pumps in Cells and Disease | Karlsen J.L.,Center for Membrane Pumps in Cells and Disease | Moller L.B.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Nissen P.,Center for Membrane Pumps in Cells and Disease
Biological Chemistry | Year: 2012

The human copper exporters ATP7A and ATP7B contain domains common to all P-type ATPases as well as classspecific features such as six sequential heavy-metal binding domains (HMBD1 - HMBD6) and a type-specific constellation of transmembrane helices. Despite the medical signifi- cance of ATP7A and ATP7B related to Menkes and Wilson diseases, respectively, structural information has only been available for isolated, soluble domains. Here we present homology models based on the existing structures of soluble domains and the recently determined structure of the homologous LpCopA from the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. The models and sequence analyses show that the domains and residues involved in the catalytic phosphorylation events and copper transfer are highly conserved. In addition, there are only minor differences in the core structures of the two human proteins and the bacterial template, allowing proteinspecific properties to be addressed. Furthermore, the mapping of known disease-causing missense mutations indicates that among the heavy-metal binding domains, HMBD5 and HMBD6 are the most crucial for function, thus mimicking the single or dual HMBDs found in most copper-specific P-type ATPases. We propose a structural arrangement of the HMBDs and how they may interact with the core of the proteins to achieve autoinhibition. © 2012 by Walter de Gruyter · Berlin · Boston.

Lichota J.,University of Aalborg | Skjorringe T.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Thomsen L.B.,University of Aalborg | Moos T.,University of Aalborg
Journal of Neurochemistry | Year: 2010

The brain forms a vascular barrier system comprised of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the blood-CSF barriers. Together they prevent the passage of a number of drugs from the bloodstream into the brain parenchyma, because their molecules are either hydrophilic, too large or both. In many disorders affecting the CNS, these barriers are physically intact, which limits the entry of large molecules with potentially important therapeutic implications. The BBB is the most relevant barrier against drug delivery to the brain as the area of the BBB is about 1000 times larger than that of the blood-CSF barrier. Moreover, the transport through the choroid plexus is directed to the ventricular system, only allowing the transported molecules to access cells near the ventricular and subarachnoid surfaces. This review outlines possible routes for targeted entry of macromolecules like polypeptides, siRNA and cDNA. In the vascular compartment, targeting molecules should interact specifically with proteins expressed exclusively by these barrier cells, and therefore prevent uptake elsewhere in the body. Preferably, the targeting molecule should be conjugated to a drug carrier that allows uptake of a defined cargo. However, evidence for transport of such targetable drug-carrier complexes through the barriers, in particular the BBB, is contentious, and is discussed with emphasis on the different attempts that have evinced transport through the BBB not only from blood-to-endothelium, but also from endothelium-to-brain. © 2010 International Society for Neurochemistry.

Mogensen M.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Skjorringe T.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Kodama H.,Teikyo University | Silver K.,University of Chicago | And 2 more authors.
Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases | Year: 2011

Background: Menkes disease (MD) is an X-linked, fatal neurodegenerative disorder of copper metabolism, caused by mutations in the ATP7A gene. Thirty-three Menkes patients in whom no mutation had been detected with standard diagnostic tools were screened for exon duplications in the ATP7A gene. Methods. The ATP7A gene was screened for exon duplications using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). The expression level of ATP7A was investigated by real-time PCR and detailed analysis of the ATP7A mRNA was performed by RT-PCR followed by sequencing. In order to investigate whether the identified duplicated fragments originated from a single or from two different X-chromosomes, polymorphic markers located in the duplicated fragments were analyzed. Results: Partial ATP7A gene duplication was identified in 20 unrelated patients including one patient with Occipital Horn Syndrome (OHS). Duplications in the ATP7A gene are estimated from our material to be the disease causing mutation in 4% of the Menkes disease patients. The duplicated regions consist of between 2 and 15 exons. In at least one of the cases, the duplication was due to an intra-chromosomal event. Characterization of the ATP7A mRNA transcripts in 11 patients revealed that the duplications were organized in tandem, in a head to tail direction. The reading frame was disrupted in all 11 cases. Small amounts of wild-type transcript were found in all patients as a result of exon-skipping events occurring in the duplicated regions. In the OHS patient with a duplication of exon 3 and 4, the duplicated out-of-frame transcript coexists with an almost equally represented wild-type transcript, presumably leading to the milder phenotype. Conclusions: In general, patients with duplication of only 2 exons exhibit a milder phenotype as compared to patients with duplication of more than 2 exons. This study provides insight into exon duplications in the ATP7A gene. © 2011 Mogensen et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Ravn K.,Center for Rett Syndrome | Ravn K.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Roende G.,Center for Rett Syndrome | Duno M.,Copenhagen University | And 5 more authors.
Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases | Year: 2011

Background: Rett syndrome (RTT) is an X-linked dominant neurodevelopmental disorder, which is usually caused by de novo mutations in the MECP2 gene. More than 70% of the disease causing MECP2 mutations are eight recurrent C to T transitions, which almost exclusively arise on the paternally derived X chromosome. About 10% of the RTT cases have a C-terminal frameshift deletion in MECP2. Only few RTT families with a segregating MECP2 mutation, which affects female carriers with a phenotype of mental retardation or RTT, have been reported in the literature. In this study we describe two new RTT families with three and four individuals, respectively, and review the literature comparing the type of mutations and phenotypes observed in RTT families with those observed in sporadic cases. Based on these observations we also investigated origin of mutation segregation to further improve genetic counselling. Methods. MECP2 mutations were identified by direct sequencing. XCI studies were performed using the X-linked androgen receptor (AR) locus. The parental origin of de novo MECP2 frameshift mutations was investigated using intronic SNPs. Results: In both families a C-terminal frameshift mutation segregates. Clinical features of the mutation carriers vary from classical RTT to mild mental retardation. XCI profiles of the female carriers correlate to their respective geno-/phenotypes. The majority of the de novo frameshift mutations occur on the paternally derived X chromosome (7/9 cases), without a paternal age effect. Conclusions: The present study suggests a correlation between the intrafamilial phenotypic differences observed in RTT families and their respective XCI pattern in blood, in contrast to sporadic RTT cases where a similar correlation has not been demonstrated. Furthermore, we found de novo MECP2 frameshift mutations frequently to be of paternal origin, although not with the same high paternal occurrence as in sporadic cases with C to T transitions. This suggests further investigations of more families. This study emphasizes the need for thorough genetic counselling of families with a newly diagnosed RTT patient. © 2011 Ravn et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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