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Radhakrishna U.,University of Geneva | Radhakrishna U.,University of Nebraska Medical Center | Radhakrishna U.,Green Cross | Nath S.K.,Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation | And 13 more authors.
Journal of Medical Genetics

Background Omphalocele is a congenital birth defect characterised by the presence of internal organs located outside of the ventral abdominal wall. The purpose of this study was to identify the underlying genetic mechanisms of a large autosomal dominant Caucasian family with omphalocele. Methods and findings A genetic linkage study was conducted in a large family with an autosomal dominant transmission of an omphalocele using a genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array. The analysis revealed significant evidence of linkage (non-parametric NPL = 6.93, p=0.0001; parametric logarithm of odds (LOD) = 2.70 under a fully penetrant dominant model) at chromosome band 1p31.3. Haplotype analysis narrowed the locus to a 2.74 Mb region between markers rs2886770 (63014807 bp) and rs1343981 (65757349 bp). Molecular characterisation of this interval using array comparative genomic hybridisation followed by quantitative microsphere hybridisation analysis revealed a 710 kb duplication located at 63.5e64.2 Mb. All affected individuals who had an omphalocele and shared the haplotype were positive for this duplicated region, while the duplication was absent from all normal individuals of this family. Multipoint linkage analysis using the duplication as a marker yielded a maximum LOD score of 3.2 at 1p31.3 under a dominant model. The 710 kb duplication at 1p31.3 band contains seven known genes including FOXD3, ALG6, ITGB3BP, KIAA1799, DLEU2L, PGM1, and the proximal portion of ROR1. Importantly, this duplication is absent from the database of genomic variants. Conclusions The present study suggests that development of an omphalocele in this family is controlled by overexpression of one or more genes in the duplicated region. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported association of an inherited omphalocele condition with a chromosomal rearrangement. Source

Tabung F.K.,University of South Carolina | Steck S.E.,University of South Carolina | Burch J.B.,University of South Carolina | Chen C.-F.,Center for Molecular Studies | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Primary Prevention

In a Columbia, South Carolina-based case–control study, we developed a healthy lifestyle index from five modifiable lifestyle factors (smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, diet, and body mass index), and examined the association between this lifestyle index and the risk of colorectal adenomatous polyps (adenoma). Participants were recruited from a local endoscopy center and completed questionnaires related to lifestyle behaviors prior to colonoscopy. We scored responses on each of five lifestyle factors as unhealthy (0 point) or healthy (1 point) based on current evidence and recommendations. We added the five scores to produce a combined lifestyle index for each participant ranging from 0 (least healthy) to 5 (healthiest), which was dichotomized into unhealthy (0–2) and healthy (3–5) lifestyle scores. We used logistic regression to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) for adenoma with adjustment for multiple covariates. We identified 47 adenoma cases and 91 controls. In the main analyses, there was a statistically nonsignificant inverse association between the dichotomous (OR 0.54; 95 % CI 0.22, 1.29) and continuous (OR 0.75; 95 % CI 0.51, 1.10) lifestyle index and adenoma. Odds of adenoma were significantly modified by the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (pinteraction = 0.04). For participants who reported no use of NSAIDs, those in the healthy lifestyle category had a 72 % lower odds of adenoma as compared to those in the unhealthy category (OR 0.28; 95 % CI 0.08, 0.98), whereas a one-unit increase in the index significantly reduced odds of adenoma by 53 % (OR 0.47; 95 % CI 0.26, 0.88). Although these findings should be interpreted cautiously given our small sample size, our results suggest that higher scores from this index are associated with reduced odds of adenomas, especially in non-users of NSAIDs. Lifestyle interventions are required to test this approach as a strategy to prevent colorectal adenomatous polyps. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

Xu Y.,Clemson University | Chen C.-F.,Center for Molecular Studies | Thomas T.P.,University of Georgia | Azadi P.,University of Georgia | And 7 more authors.
Plant Cell Reports

Key message; Our study has identified pathways and gene candidates that may be associated with the greater flexibility and digestibility of the poplar cell walls. With the goal of facilitating lignin removal during the utilization of woody biomass as a biofuel feedstock, we previously transformed a hybrid poplar clone with a partial cDNA sequence encoding a tyrosine- and hydroxyproline-rich glycoprotein from parsley. A number of the transgenic lines released more polysaccharides following protease digestion and were more flexible than wild-type plants, but otherwise normal in phenotype. Here, we report that overexpression of the tyrosine-rich peptide encoding sequence in these transgenic poplar plants did not significantly alter total lignin quantity or quality (S/G lignin ratio), five- and six-carbon sugar contents, growth rate, or susceptibility to a major poplar fungal pathogen, Septoria musiva. Whole-genome microarray analysis revealed a total of 411 differentially expressed transcripts in transgenic lines, all with decreased transcript abundance relative to wild-type plants. Their corresponding genes were overrepresented in functional categories such as secondary metabolism, amino acid metabolism, and energy metabolism. Transcript abundance was decreased primarily for five types of genes encoding proteins involved in cell-wall organization and in lignin biosynthesis. The expression of a subset of 19 of the differentially regulated genes by qRT-PCR validated the microarray results. Our study has identified pathways and gene candidates that may be the underlying cause for the enhanced flexibility and digestibility of the stems of poplar plants expressing the TYR transgene. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Alexander M.,University of South Carolina | Burch J.B.,University of South Carolina | Steck S.E.,University of South Carolina | Chen C.-F.,Center for Molecular Studies | And 11 more authors.
Oncology Reports

Clock genes are expressed in a self-perpetuating, circadian pattern in virtually every tissue including the human gastrointestinal tract. They coordinate cellular processes critical for tumor development, including cell proliferation, DNA damage response and apoptosis. Circadian rhythm disturbances have been associated with an increased risk for colon cancer and other cancers. This mechanism has not been elucidated, yet may involve dysregulation of the 'period' (PER) clock genes, which have tumor suppressor properties. A variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) in the PERIOD3 (PER3) gene has been associated with sleep disorders, differences in diurnal hormone secretion, and increased premenopausal breast cancer risk. Susceptibility related to PER3 has not been examined in conjunction with adenomatous polyps. This exploratory case-control study was the first to test the hypothesis that the 5-repeat PER3 VNTR sequence is associated with increased odds of adenoma formation. Information on demographics, medical history, occupation and lifestyle was collected prior to colonoscopy. Cases (n=49) were individuals with at least one histopathologically confirmed adenoma. Controls (n=97) included patients with normal findings or hyperplastic polyps not requiring enhanced surveillance. Unconditional multiple logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs), after adjusting for potential confounding. Adenomas were detected in 34% of participants. Cases were more likely to possess the 5-repeat PER3 genotype relative to controls (4/5 OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 0.9-4.8; 5/5 OR, 5.1; 95% CI, 1.4-18.1; 4/5+5/5 OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.7-5.4). Examination of the Oncomine microarray database indicated lower PERIOD gene expression in adenomas relative to adjacent normal tissue. Results suggest a need for follow-up in a larger sample. Source

Zhou M.,Clemson University | Hu Q.,Clemson University | Li Z.,Clemson University | Li D.,Clemson University | And 3 more authors.

Background: Turfgrass species are agriculturally and economically important perennial crops. Turfgrass species are highly susceptible to a wide range of fungal pathogens. Dollar spot and brown patch, two important diseases caused by fungal pathogens Sclerotinia homoecarpa and Rhizoctonia solani, respectively, are among the most severe turfgrass diseases. Currently, turf fungal disease control mainly relies on fungicide treatments, which raises many concerns for human health and the environment. Antimicrobial peptides found in various organisms play an important role in innate immune response. Methodology/Principal Findings: The antimicrobial peptide - Penaeidin4-1 (Pen4-1) from the shrimp, Litopenaeus setiferus has been reported to possess in vitro antifungal and antibacterial activities against various economically important fungal and bacterial pathogens. In this study, we have studied the feasibility of using this novel peptide for engineering enhanced disease resistance into creeping bentgrass plants (Agrostis stolonifera L., cv. Penn A-4). Two DNA constructs were prepared containing either the coding sequence of a single peptide, Pen4-1 or the DNA sequence coding for the transit signal peptide of the secreted tobacco AP24 protein translationally fused to the Pen4-1 coding sequence. A maize ubiquitin promoter was used in both constructs to drive gene expression. Transgenic turfgrass plants containing different DNA constructs were generated by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation and analyzed for transgene insertion and expression. In replicated in vitro and in vivo experiments under controlled environments, transgenic plants exhibited significantly enhanced resistance to dollar spot and brown patch, the two major fungal diseases in turfgrass. The targeting of Pen4-1 to endoplasmic reticulum by the transit peptide of AP24 protein did not significantly impact disease resistance in transgenic plants. Conclusion/Significance: Our results demonstrate the effectiveness of Pen4-1 in a perennial species against fungal pathogens and suggest a potential strategy for engineering broad-spectrum fungal disease resistance in crop species. © 2011 Zhou et al. Source

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