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Liège, Belgium

Almeida A.M.,University of Lisbon | Almeida A.M.,Ciisa Centro Interdisciplinar Of Investigacao Em Sanidade Animal | Almeida A.M.,ITQB Institute Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica da UNL | Almeida A.M.,IBET Institute Biologia Experimental e Tecnologica | And 18 more authors.

Animal production and health (APH) is an important sector in the world economy, representing a large proportion of the budget of all member states in the European Union and in other continents. APH is a highly competitive sector with a strong emphasis on innovation and, albeit with country to country variations, on scientific research. Proteomics (the study of all proteins present in a given tissue or fluid-i.e. The proteome) has an enormous potential when applied to APH. Nevertheless, for a variety of reasons and in contrast to disciplines such as plant sciences or human biomedicine, such potential is only now being tapped. To counter such limited usage, 6 years ago we created a consortium dedicated to the applications of Proteomics to APH, specifically in the form of a Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action, termed FA1002-Proteomics in Farm Animals: www.cost-faproteomics.org. In 4 years, the consortium quickly enlarged to a total of 31 countries in Europe, as well as Israel, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. This article has a triple purpose. First, we aim to provide clear examples on the applications and benefits of the use of proteomics in all aspects related to APH. Second, we provide insights and possibilities on the new trends and objectives for APH proteomics applications and technologies for the years to come. Finally, we provide an overview and balance of the major activities and accomplishments of the COST Action on Farm Animal Proteomics. These include activities such as the organization of seminars, workshops and major scientific conferences, organization of summer schools, financing Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) and the generation of scientific literature. Overall, the Action has attained all of the proposed objectives and has made considerable difference by putting proteomics on the global map for animal and veterinary researchers in general and by contributing significantly to reduce the East-West and North-South gaps existing in the European farm animal research. Future activities of significance in the field of scientific research, involving members of the action, as well as others, will likely be established in the future. © © The Animal Consortium 2014 This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Source

Quiroz Y.,University of Liege | Lopez M.,University of Liege | Lopez M.,Austral University of Chile | Mavropoulos A.,University of Liege | And 5 more authors.
Molecular Endocrinology

The pituitary is a complex gland comprising different cell types each secreting specific hormones. The extensive network of signaling molecules and transcription factors required for determination and terminal differentiation of specific cell types is still not fully understood. The SRY-like HMG-box (SOX) transcription factor Sox4 plays important roles in many developmental processes and has two homologs in zebrafish, Sox4a and Sox4b. We show that the sox4b gene is expressed in the pituitary anlagen starting at 24 h after fertilization (hpf) and later in the entire head region including the pituitary. At 48 hpf, sox4b mRNA colocalizes with that for TSH (tshβ), glycoprotein subunit α (gsuα), and the Zn finger transcription factor Gata2a. Loss of Sox4b function, using morpholino knockdown or expression of a dominant-negative Sox4 mutant, leads to a drastic decrease in tshβand gsuα expression and reduced levels of gh, whereas other anterior pituitary gland markers including prl, slβ, pomc, and lim3 are not affected. Sox4b is also required for expression of gata2a in the pituitary. Knockdown of gata2a leads to decreased tshβ and gsuα expression at 48 hpf, similar to sox4b morphants. Injection of gata2a mRNA into sox4b morphants rescued tshβ and gsuα expression in thyrotrope cells. Finally, sox4b or gata2a knockdown causes a significant decrease of gonadotropin expression (lhβ and fshβ) at 4 d after fertilization. In summary, our results indicate that Sox4b is expressed in zebrafish during pituitary development and plays a crucial role in the differentiation of thyrotrope and gonadotrope cells through induction of gata2a expression in the developing pituitary. © 2012 by The Endocrine Society. Source

Gularte-Merida R.,University of California at Davis | Gularte-Merida R.,GIGA Research | Farber C.R.,University of Virginia | Verdugo R.A.,University of California at Davis | And 5 more authors.
BMC Genomics

Background: Mouse chromosome 2 is linked to growth and body fat phenotypes in many mouse crosses. With the goal to identify the underlying genes regulating growth and body fat on mouse chromosome 2, we developed five overlapping subcongenic strains that contained CAST/EiJ donor regions in a C57BL/6Jhg/hg background (hg is a spontaneous deletion of 500 Kb on mouse chromosome 10). To fine map QTL on distal mouse chromosome 2 a total of 1,712 F2 mice from the five subcongenic strains, plus 278 F2 mice from the HG2D founder congenic strain were phenotyped and analyzed. Interval mapping (IM) and composite IM (CIM) were performed on body weight and body fat traits on a combination of SNP and microsatellite markers, which generated a high-density genotyping panel. Results: Phenotypic analysis and interval mapping of total fat mass identified two QTL on distal mouse chromosome 2. One QTL between 150 and 161 Mb, Fatq2a, and the second between 173.3 and 175.6 Mb, Fatq2b. The two QTL reside in different congenic strains with significant total fat differences between homozygous cast/cast and b6/b6 littermates. Both of these QTL were previously identified only as a single QTL affecting body fat, Fatq2. Furthermore, through a novel approach referred here as replicated CIM, Fatq2b was mapped to the Gnas imprinted locus. Conclusions: The integration of subcongenic strains, high-density genotyping, and CIM succesfully partitioned two previously linked QTL 20 Mb apart, and the strongest QTL, Fatq2b, was fine mapped to a ~2.3 Mb region interval encompassing the Gnas imprinted locus. © 2015 Gularte-Mérida et al. Source

Maree R.,GIGA Bioinformatics Core Facility | Maree R.,GIGA Research | Maree R.,Montefiore Institute | Rollus L.,GIGA Research | And 11 more authors.
2014 IEEE 11th International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging, ISBI 2014

We present a novel methodology combining web-based software development practices, machine learning, and spatial databases for computer-aided quantification of regions of interest (ROIs) in large-scale imaging data. We describe our main methodological choices, and then illustrate the benefits of the approach (workload reduction, improved precision, scalability, and traceability) on hundreds of whole-slide images of biological tissue slices in cancer research. © 2014 IEEE. Source

Longuespee R.,University of Liege | Fleron M.,GIGA Research | Pottier C.,Laboratory of Experimental Pathology | Quesada-Calvo F.,University of Liege | And 7 more authors.
OMICS A Journal of Integrative Biology

The concept of tissues appeared more than 200 years ago, since textures and attendant differences were described within the whole organism components. Instrumental developments in optics and biochemistry subsequently paved the way to transition from classical to molecular histology in order to decipher the molecular contexts associated with physiological or pathological development or function of a tissue. In 1941, Coons and colleagues performed the first systematic integrated examination of classical histology and biochemistry when his team localized pneumonia antigens in infected tissue sections. Most recently, in the early 21st century, mass spectrometry (MS) has progressively become one of the most valuable tools to analyze biomolecular compounds. Currently, sampling methods, biochemical procedures, and MS instrumentations allow scientists to perform "in depth" analysis of the protein content of any type of tissue of interest. This article reviews the salient issues in proteomics analysis of tissues. We first outline technical and analytical considerations for sampling and biochemical processing of tissues and subsequently the instrumental possibilities for proteomics analysis such as shotgun proteomics in an anatomical context. Specific attention concerns formalin fixed and paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissues that are potential "gold mines" for histopathological investigations. In all, the matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) MS imaging, which allows for differential mapping of hundreds of compounds on a tissue section, is currently the most striking evidence of linkage and transition between "classical" and "molecular" histology. Tissue proteomics represents a veritable field of research and investment activity for modern biomarker discovery and development for the next decade. © 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

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