Institute of Genetics and Genomics of Geneva IGE3

Genève, Switzerland

Institute of Genetics and Genomics of Geneva IGE3

Genève, Switzerland
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Nikolaev S.I.,University of Geneva | Sotiriou S.K.,University of Geneva | Pateras I.S.,Molecular Carcinogenesis Group | Santoni F.,University of Geneva | And 11 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2012

Oncogene-induced DNA replication stress is thought to drive genomic instability in cancer. In particular, replication stress can explain the high prevalence of focal genomic deletions mapping within very large genes in human tumors. However, the origin of single-nucleotide substitutions (SNS) in nonfamilial cancers is strongly debated. Some argue that cancers have a mutator phenotype, whereas others argue that the normal DNA replication error rates are sufficient to explain the number of observed SNSs. Here, we sequenced the exomes of 24, mostly precancerous, colon polyps. Analysis of the sequences revealed mutations in the APC, CTNNB1, and BRAF genes as the presumptive cancer-initiating events and many passenger SNSs. We used the number of SNSs in the various lesions to calculate mutation rates for normal colon and adenomas and found that colon adenomas exhibit a mutator phenotype. Interestingly, the SNSs in the adenomas mapped more often than expected within very large genes, where focal deletions in response to DNA replication stress also map. We propose that single-stranded DNA generated in response to oncogene-induced replication stress compromises the repair of deaminated cytosines and other damaged bases, leading to the observed SNS mutator phenotype. ©2012 American Association for Cancer Research.

Borel C.,University of Geneva | Borel C.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Migliavacca E.,University of Geneva | Migliavacca E.,Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics | And 10 more authors.
Human Mutation | Year: 2012

Association studies have revealed expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) for a large number of genes. However, the causative variants that regulate gene expression levels are generally unknown. We hypothesized that copy-number variation of sequence repeats contribute to the expression variation of some genes. Our laboratory has previously identified that the rare expansion of a repeat c.-174CGGGGCGGGGCG in the promoter region of the CSTB gene causes a silencing of the gene, resulting in progressive myoclonus epilepsy. Here, we genotyped the repeat length and quantified CSTB expression by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction in 173 lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) and fibroblast samples from the GenCord collection. The majority of alleles contain either two or three copies of this repeat. Independent analysis revealed that the c.-174CGGGGCGGGGCG repeat length is strongly associated with CSTB expression (P = 3.14 × 10-11) in LCLs only. Examination of both genotyped and imputed single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within 2 Mb of CSTB revealed that the dodecamer repeat represents the strongest cis-eQTL for CSTB in LCLs. We conclude that the common two or three copy variation is likely the causative cis-eQTL for CSTB expression variation. More broadly, we propose that polymorphic tandem repeats may represent the causative variation of a fraction of cis-eQTLs in the genome. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Nica A.C.,University of Geneva | Nica A.C.,Institute of Genetics and Genomics of Geneva iGE3 | Nica A.C.,Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics | Dermitzakis E.T.,University of Geneva | And 2 more authors.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2013

The last few years have seen the development of large efforts for the analysis of genome function, especially in the context of genome variation. One of the most prominent directions has been the extensive set of studies on expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs), namely, the discovery of genetic variants that explain variation in gene expression levels. Such studies have offered promise not just for the characterization of functional sequence variation but also for the understanding of basic processes of gene regulation and interpretation of genome-wide association studies. In this review, we discuss some of the key directions of eQTL research and its implications. © 2013 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

Nica A.C.,University of Geneva | Nica A.C.,Institute of Genetics and Genomics of Geneva iGE3 | Nica A.C.,Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics | Ongen H.,University of Geneva | And 13 more authors.
Genome Research | Year: 2013

Elucidating the pathophysiology and molecular attributes of common disorders as well as developing targeted and effective treatments hinges on the study of the relevant cell type and tissues. Pancreatic beta cells within the islets of Langerhans are centrally involved in the pathogenesis of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Describing the differentiated state of the human beta cell has been hampered so far by technical (low resolution microarrays) and biological limitations (whole islet preparations rather than isolated beta cells). We circumvent these by deep RNA sequencing of purified beta cells from 11 individuals, presenting here the first characterization of the human beta cell transcriptome. We perform the first comparison of gene expression profiles between beta cells, whole islets, and beta cell depleted islet preparations, revealing thus beta-cell-specific expression and splicing signatures. Further, we demonstrate that genes with consistent increased expression in beta cells have neuronal-like properties, a signal previously hypothesized. Finally, we find evidence for extensive allelic imbalance in expression and uncover genetic regulatory variants (eQTLs) active in beta cells. This first molecular blueprint of the human beta cell offers biological insight into its differentiated function, including expression of key genes associated with both major types of diabetes. © 2013, Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

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