Human adenoviruses (HAdVs) shut down host cellular cap-dependent mRNA translation while initiating the translation of viral late mRNAs in a cap-independent manner. HAdV 5' untranslated regions (5'UTRs) are crucial for cap-independent initiation, and influence mRNA localization and stability. However, HAdV translational regulation remains relatively uncharacterized. The HAdV tripartite leader (TPL), composed of three introns (TPL 1-3), is critical to the translation of HAdV late mRNA. Herein, we annotated and analyzed 72 HAdV genotypes for the HAdV TPL and another previously described leader, the i-leader. Using HAdV species D, type 37 (HAdV-D37), we show by reverse transcription PCR and Sanger sequencing that mRNAs of the HAdV-D37 E3 transcription unit are spliced to the TPL. We also identified a polycistronic mRNA for RID-α and RID-β. Analysis of the i-leader revealed a potential open reading frame within the leader sequence and the termination of this potential protein in TPL3. A potential new leader embedded within the E3 region was also detected and tentatively named the j-leader. These results suggest an underappreciated complexity of post-transcriptional regulation, and the importance of HAdV 5'UTRs for precisely coordinated viral protein expression along the path from genotype to phenotype.
The use of viral vectors for inner ear gene therapy is receiving increased attention for treatment of genetic hearing disorders. Most animal studies to date have injected viral suspensions into neonatal ears, via the round window membrane. Achieving transduction of hair cells, or sensory neurons, throughout the cochlea has proven difficult, and no studies have been able to efficiently transduce sensory cells in adult ears while maintaining normal cochlear function. Here, we show, for the first time, successful transduction of all inner hair cells and the majority of outer hair cells in an adult cochlea via virus injection into the posterior semicircular canal. We used a "designer" AAV, AAV2/Anc80L65, in which the main capsid proteins approximate the ancestral sequence state of AAV1, 2, 8, and 9. Our injections also transduced ~10% of spiral ganglion cells and a much larger fraction of their satellite cells. In the vestibular sensory epithelia, the virus transduced large numbers of hair cells and virtually all the supporting cells, along with close to half of the vestibular ganglion cells. We conclude that this viral vector and this delivery route hold great promise for gene therapy applications in both cochlear and vestibular sense organs.
Transposons can be used to easily generate and label the location of mutations throughout bacterial and other genomes. Transposon insertion mutants may be screened for a phenotype as individual isolates, or by selection applied to a pool of thousands of mutants. Identifying the location of a transposon insertion is critical for connecting phenotype to the genetic lesion. In this unit, we present an easy and detailed approach for mapping transposon insertion sites using arbitrarily-primed PCR (AP-PCR). Two rounds of PCR are used to (1) amplify DNA spanning the transposon insertion junction, and (2) increase the specific yield of transposon insertion junction fragments for sequence analysis. The resulting sequence is mapped to a bacterial genome to identify the site of transposon insertion. In this protocol, AP-PCR as it is routinely used to map sites of transposon insertion within Staphylococcus aureus, is used to illustrate the principle. Guidelines are provided for adapting this protocol for mapping insertions in other bacterial genomes. Mapping transposon insertions using this method is typically achieved in 2 to 3 days if starting from a culture of the transposon insertion mutant. © 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors are promising clinical candidates for therapeutic gene transfer, and a number of AAV-based drugs may emerge on the market over the coming years. To insure the consistency in efficacy and safety of any drug vial that reaches the patient, regulatory agencies require extensive characterization of the final product. Identity is a key characteristic of a therapeutic product, as it ensures its proper labeling and batch-to-batch consistency. Currently, there is no facile, fast, and robust characterization assay enabling to probe the identity of AAV products at the protein level. Here, we investigated whether the thermostability of AAV particles could inform us on the composition of vector preparations. AAV-ID, an assay based on differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF), was evaluated in two AAV research laboratories for specificity, sensitivity, and reproducibility, for six different serotypes (AAV1, 2, 5, 6.2, 8, and 9), using 67 randomly selected AAV preparations. In addition to enabling discrimination of AAV serotypes based on their melting temperatures, the obtained fluorescent fingerprints also provided information on sample homogeneity, particle concentration, and buffer composition. Our data support the use of AAV-ID as a reproducible, fast, and low-cost method to ensure batch-to-batch consistency in manufacturing facilities and academic laboratories.
The Nurses' Health Study (NHS), Nurses' Health Study II (NHSII), Health Professionals Follow Up Study (HPFS) and the Physicians Health Study (PHS) have collected detailed longitudinal data on multiple exposures and traits for approximately 310,000 study participants over the last 35 years. Over 160,000 study participants across the cohorts have donated a DNA sample and to date, 20,691 subjects have been genotyped as part of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of twelve primary outcomes. However, these studies utilized six different GWAS arrays making it difficult to conduct analyses of secondary phenotypes or share controls across studies. To allow for secondary analyses of these data, we have created three new datasets merged by platform family and performed imputation using a common reference panel, the 1,000 Genomes Phase I release. Here, we describe the methodology behind the data merging and imputation and present imputation quality statistics and association results from two GWAS of secondary phenotypes (body mass index (BMI) and venous thromboembolism (VTE)). We observed the strongest BMI association for the FTO SNP rs55872725 (β = 0.45, p = 3.48x10-22), and using a significance level of p = 0.05, we replicated 19 out of 32 known BMI SNPs. For VTE, we observed the strongest association for the rs2040445 SNP (OR = 2.17, 95% CI: 1.79-2.63, p = 2.70x10-15), located downstream of F5 and also observed significant associations for the known ABO and F11 regions. This pooled resource can be used to maximize power in GWAS of phenotypes collected across the cohorts and for studying gene-environment interactions as well as rare phenotypes and genotypes.
The genome sequence of a simian adenovirus from a cynomolgus macaque, denoted CynAdV-1, is presented here. Phylogenetic analysis supports CynAdV-1 in an independent clade, comprising a new simian adenovirus (SAdV) species. These genome data are critical for understanding the evolution and relationships of primate adenoviruses, including zoonosis and emergent human pathogens.
PURPOSE: Despite substantial progress in sequencing, current strategies can genetically solve only approximately 55-60% of inherited retinal degeneration (IRD) cases. This can be partially attributed to elusive mutations in the known IRD genes, which are not easily identified by the targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) or Sanger sequencing approaches. We hypothesized that copy-number variations (CNVs) are a major contributor to the elusive genetic causality of IRDs. METHODS: Twenty-eight cases previously unsolved with a targeted NGS were investigated with whole-genome single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) arrays. RESULTS: Deletions in the IRD genes were detected in 5 of 28 families, including a de novo deletion. We suggest that the de novo deletion occurred through nonallelic homologous recombination (NAHR) and we constructed a genomic map of NAHR-prone regions with overlapping IRD genes. In this article, we also report an unusual case of recessive retinitis pigmentosa due to compound heterozygous mutations in SNRNP200, a gene that is typically associated with the dominant form of this disease. CONCLUSIONS: CNV mapping substantially increased the genetic diagnostic rate of IRDs, detecting genetic causality in 18% of previously unsolved cases. Extending the search to other structural variations will probably demonstrate an even higher contribution to genetic causality of IRDs.Genet Med advance online publication 13 October 2016Genetics in Medicine (2016); doi:10.1038/gim.2016.158.
Sequence variants in CRB2 cause a syndrome with greatly elevated maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein and amniotic fluid alpha-fetoprotein levels, cerebral ventriculomegaly and renal findings similar to Finnish congenital nephrosis. All reported patients have been homozygotes or compound heterozygotes for sequence variants in the Crumbs, Drosophila, Homolog of, 2 (CRB2) genes. Variants affecting CRB2 function have also been identified in four families with steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome, but without any other known systemic findings. We ascertained five, previously unreported individuals with biallelic variants in CRB2 that were predicted to affect function. We compiled the clinical features of reported cases and reviewed available literature for cases with features suggestive of CRB2-related syndrome in order to better understand the phenotypic and genotypic manifestations. Phenotypic analyses showed that ventriculomegaly was a common clinical manifestation (9/11 confirmed cases), in contrast to the original reports, in which patients were ascertained due to renal disease. Two children had minor eye findings and one was diagnosed with a B-cell lymphoma. Further genetic analysis identified one family with two affected siblings who were both heterozygous for a variant in NPHS2 predicted to affect function and separate families with sequence variants in NPHS4 and BBS7 in addition to the CRB2 variants. Our report expands the clinical phenotype of CRB2-related syndrome and establishes ventriculomegaly and hydrocephalus as frequent manifestations. We found additional sequence variants in genes involved in kidney development and ciliopathies in patients with CRB2-related syndrome, suggesting that these variants may modify the phenotype.
The cornea is the outermost layer of the eye and is a vital component of focusing incoming light on the retina. Central corneal thickness (CCT) is now recognized to have a significant role in ocular health and is a risk factor for various ocular diseases, such as keratoconus and primary open angle glaucoma. Most previous genetic studies utilized European and Asian subjects to identify genetic loci associated with CCT. Minority populations, such as Latinos, may aid in identifying additional loci and improve our understanding of the genetic architecture of CCT. In this study, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in Latinos, a traditionally understudied population in genetic research, to further identify loci contributing to CCT. Study participants were genotyped using either the Illumina OmniExpress BeadChip (∼730K markers) or the Illumina Hispanic/SOL BeadChip (∼2.5 million markers). All study participants were 40 years of age and older. We assessed the association between individual single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and CCT using linear regression, adjusting for age, gender, and principal components of genetic ancestry. To expand genomic coverage and to interrogate additional SNPs, we imputed SNPs from the 1000 Genomes Project reference panels. We identified a novel SNP, rs10453441 (P = 6.01E-09), in an intron of WNT7B that is associated with CCT. Furthermore, WNT7B is expressed in the human cornea. We also replicated 11 previously reported loci, including IBTK, RXRA-COL5A1, COL5A1, FOXO1, LRRK1, and ZNF469 (P < 1.25E-3). These findings provide further insight into the genetic architecture of CCT and illustrate that the use of minority groups in GWAS will help identify additional loci.
PURPOSE: Mutation of RGR, encoding retinal G-protein coupled receptor was originally reported in association with retinal dystrophy in 1999. A single convincing recessive variant segregated perfectly in one family of five affected and two unaffected siblings. At least one further individual, homozygous for the same variant has since been reported. The aim of this report was to reevaluate the findings in consideration of data from a whole genome sequencing (WGS) study of a large cohort of retinal dystrophy families. METHODS: Whole genome sequencing was performed on 599 unrelated probands with inherited retinal disease. Detailed phenotyping was performed, including clinical evaluation, electroretinography, fundus photography, fundus autofluorescence imaging (FAF) and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT). RESULTS: Overall we confirmed that affected individuals from six unrelated families were homozygous for both the reported RGR p.Ser66Arg variant and a nearby frameshifting deletion in CDHR1 (p.Ile841Serfs119*). All had generalized rod and cone dysfunction with severe macular involvement. An additional proband was heterozygous for the same CDHR1/RGR haplotype but also carried a second null CDHR1 mutation on a different haplotype. A comparison of the clinical presentation of the probands reported here with other CDHR1-related retinopathy patients shows the phenotypes to be similar in presentation, severity, and rod/cone involvement. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that the recessive retinal disorder previously reported to be due to homozygous mutation in RGR is, at least in part, due to variants in CDHR1 and that the true consequences of RGR knock-out on human retinal structure and function are yet to be determined.