'; ?> geneimprint : Hot off the Press http://www.geneimprint.com/site/hot-off-the-press Daily listing of the most recent articles in epigenetics and imprinting, collected from the PubMed database. en-us Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:31:32 PDT Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:31:32 PDT jirtle@radonc.duke.edu james001@jirtle.com Blocked transcription through KvDMR1 results in absence of methylation and gene silencing resembling Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. Singh VB, Sribenja S, Wilson KE, Attwood KM, Hillman JC, Pathak S, Higgins MJ
Development (Apr 2017)

The maternally methylated KvDMR1 ICR regulates imprinted expression of a cluster of maternally-expressed genes on human chromosome 11p15.5. Disruption of imprinting leads to Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS), an overgrowth and cancer predisposition condition. In the majority of BWS patients, maternal-specific methylation at KvDMR1 is absent and genes under its control are repressed. We analyzed a mouse model carrying a poly(A) truncation cassette inserted to prevent RNA transcripts from elongation through KvDMR1. Maternal inheritance of this mutation resulted in absence of DNA methylation at KvDMR1, which led to biallelic expression of Kcnq1ot1 and suppression of maternally expressed genes. This study provides further evidence that transcription is required for establishment of methylation at maternal gametic DMRs. More importantly, this mouse model recapitulates the molecular phenotypic characteristics of the most common form of BWS including loss of methylation at KvDMR1 and biallelic repression of Cdkn1c, suggesting deficiency of maternal transcription through KvDMR1 may be an underlying cause of some BWS cases.]]>
Fri, 21 Apr 2017 00:00:00 PDT
Comparison of different cell type correction methods for genome-scale epigenetics studies. Kaushal A, Zhang H, Karmaus WJJ, Ray M, Torres MA, Smith AK, Wang SL
BMC Bioinformatics (Apr 2017)

Whole blood is frequently utilized in genome-wide association studies of DNA methylation patterns in relation to environmental exposures or clinical outcomes. These associations can be confounded by cellular heterogeneity. Algorithms have been developed to measure or adjust for this heterogeneity, and some have been compared in the literature. However, with new methods available, it is unknown whether the findings will be consistent, if not which method(s) perform better.]]>
Sat, 15 Apr 2017 00:00:00 PDT
Multi-omics and male infertility: status, integration and future prospects. Sinha A, Singh V, Yadav S
Front Biosci (Schol Ed) (Jun 2017)

Within the cell, gene expression analysis is the key to gain information about  different cellular and physiological events. The multifaceted route of fertilization is a combination of different processes, which include production, maturation and ejaculation of the sperm, its travel through the female genital tract, followed by the ultimate fusion of the fertile sperm with the egg. Early embryogenesis and gametogenesis as well as gene expression at tissue level and global gene silencing are under different levels of stringent epigenetic checks. Moreover, transcriptome (expressed segment of the genome in form of RNA) and the proteome (expressed set of genomic proteins) contribute uniformly to the overall cellular gene expression. In both normal and pathophysiological environments, this gene expression is altered across various levels viz., genome variations, post-transcriptional modifications, protein expression and post translational modifications. Consequently, more informative conclusions can be drawn through a new 'omics' approach of system biology, which takes into account all the genomics, epigenomics, proteomics, and metabolomics findings under one roof, thus computing the alterations in all the entities (genes, proteins, metabolites) concurrently.]]>
Fri, 14 Apr 2017 00:00:00 PDT
Systemic analysis of osteoblast-specific DNA methylation marks reveals novel epigenetic basis of osteoblast differentiation. Yu F, Shen H, Deng HW
Bone Rep (Jun 2017)

DNA methylation is an important epigenetic modification that contributes to the lineage commitment and specific functions of different cell types. In this study, we compared ENCODE-generated genome-wide DNA methylation profiles of human osteoblast with 21 other types of human cells in order to identify osteoblast-specific methylation events. For most of the cell strains, data from two isogenic replicates were included, resulting in a total of 51 DNA methylation datasets. We identified 852 significant osteoblast-specific differentially methylated CpGs (DMCs) and 295 significant differentially methylated regions (DMRs). Significant DMCs/DMRs were not enriched in CpG islands (CGIs) and promoters, but more strongly enriched in CGI shores/shelves and in gene body and intergenic regions. The genes associated with significant DMRs were highly enriched in biological processes related to transcriptional regulation and critical for regulating bone metabolism and skeletal development under physiologic and pathologic conditions. By integrating the DMR data with the extensive gene expression and chromatin epigenomics data, we observed complex, context-dependent relationships between DNA methylation, chromatin states, and gene expression, suggesting diverse DNA methylation-mediated regulatory mechanisms. Our results also highlighted a number of novel osteoblast-relevant genes. For example, the integrated evidences from DMR analysis, histone modification and RNA-seq data strongly support that there is a novel isoform of neurexin-2 (NRXN2) gene specifically expressed in osteoblast. NRXN2 was known to function as a cell adhesion molecule in the vertebrate nervous system, but its functional role in bone is completely unknown and thus worth further investigation. In summary, we reported a comprehensive analysis of osteoblast-specific DNA methylation profiles and revealed novel insights into the epigenetic basis of osteoblast differentiation and activity.]]>
Fri, 14 Apr 2017 00:00:00 PDT
Population-genetic models of sex-limited genomic imprinting. Kelly ST, Spencer HG
Theor Popul Biol (Apr 2017)

Genomic imprinting is a form of epigenetic modification involving parent-of-origin-dependent gene expression, usually the inactivation of one gene copy in some tissues, at least, for some part of the diploid life cycle. Occurring at a number of loci in mammals and flowering plants, this mode of non-Mendelian expression can be viewed more generally as parentally-specific differential gene expression. The effects of natural selection on genetic variation at imprinted loci have previously been examined in a several population-genetic models. Here we expand the existing one-locus, two-allele population-genetic models of viability selection with genomic imprinting to include sex-limited imprinting, i.e., imprinted expression occurring only in one sex, and differential viability between the sexes. We first consider models of complete inactivation of either parental allele and these models are subsequently generalized to incorporate differential expression. Stable polymorphic equilibrium was possible without heterozygote advantage as observed in some prior models of imprinting in both sexes. In contrast to these latter models, in the sex-limited case it was critical whether the paternally inherited or maternally inherited allele was inactivated. The parental origin of inactivated alleles had a different impact on how the population responded to the different selection pressures between the sexes. Under the same fitness parameters, imprinting in the other sex altered the number of possible equilibrium states and their stability. When the parental origin of imprinted alleles and the sex in which they are inactive differ, an allele cannot be inactivated in consecutive generations. The system dynamics became more complex with more equilibrium points emerging. Our results show that selection can interact with epigenetic factors to maintain genetic variation in previously unanticipated ways.]]>
Sun, 09 Apr 2017 00:00:00 PDT
Rethinking the Epigenetic Framework to Unravel the Molecular Pathology of Schizophrenia. Cariaga-Martinez A, Alelú-Paz R
Int J Mol Sci (04 2017)

Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder whose causes are still far from being known. Although researchers have focused on genetic or environmental contributions to the disease, we still lack a scientific framework that joins molecular and clinical findings. Epigenetic can explain how environmental variables may affect gene expression without modifying the DNA sequence. In fact, neuroepigenomics represents an effort to unify the research available on the molecular pathology of mental diseases, which has been carried out through several approaches ranging from interrogating single DNA methylation events and hydroxymethylation patterns, to epigenome-wide association studies, as well as studying post-translational modifications of histones, or nucleosomal positioning. The high dependence on tissues with epigenetic marks compels scientists to refine their sampling procedures, and in this review, we will focus on findings obtained from brain tissue. Despite our efforts, we still need to refine our hypothesis generation process to obtain real knowledge from a neuroepigenomic framework, to avoid the creation of more noise on this innovative point of view; this may help us to definitively unravel the molecular pathology of severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia.]]>
Fri, 07 Apr 2017 00:00:00 PDT
Clinical and genetic aspects of the 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 microdeletion disorder. Butler MG
J Intellect Disabil Res (Apr 2017)

The 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 microdeletion (Burnside-Butler susceptibility locus) is an emerging condition with over 200 individuals reported in the literature. TUBGCP5, CFYIP1, NIPA1 and NIPA2 genes are located in this chromosome 15 region and when disturbed individually are known to cause neurological, cognitive or behavioural problems as well as playing a role in both Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes. These syndromes were the first examples in humans of genomic imprinting and typically caused by a deletion but involving the distal chromosome 15q11-q13 breakpoint BP3 and proximally placed breakpoints BP1 or BP2 of different parental origin. The typical 15q11-q13 deletion involves BP1 and BP3 and the typical type II deletion at BP2 and BP3. Several studies have shown that individuals with the larger type I deletion found in both Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes are reported with more severe neurodevelopmental symptoms compared to those individuals with the smaller type II deletion.]]>
Fri, 07 Apr 2017 00:00:00 PDT
Neurodevelopmental consequences in offspring of mothers with preeclampsia during pregnancy: underlying biological mechanism via imprinting genes. Nomura Y, John RM, Janssen AB, Davey C, Finik J, Buthmann J, Glover V, Lambertini L
Arch Gynecol Obstet (Apr 2017)

Preeclampsia is known to be a leading cause of mortality and morbidity among mothers and their infants. Approximately 3-8% of all pregnancies in the US are complicated by preeclampsia and another 5-7% by hypertensive symptoms. However, less is known about its long-term influence on infant neurobehavioral development. The current review attempts to demonstrate new evidence for imprinting gene dysregulation caused by hypertension, which may explain the link between maternal preeclampsia and neurocognitive dysregulation in offspring.]]>
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 00:00:00 PDT
Aberrant expression of MICO1 and MICO1OS in deceased somatic cell nuclear transfer calves. Wang GN, Yang WZ, Xu D, Li DJ, Zhang C, Chen WN, Li SJ
Mol Reprod Dev (Apr 2017)

Incomplete reprogramming of a donor nucleus following somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) results in aberrant expression of developmentally important genes, and is the primary source of the phenotypic abnormalities observed in cloned animals. Expression of non-coding RNAs in the murine Dlk1-Dio3 imprinted domain was previously shown to correlate with the pluripotency of mouse induced pluripotent stem cells. In this study, we examined the transcription of the bovine orthologs from this locus, MICO1 (Maternal intergenic circadian oscillating 1) and MICO1OS (MICO1 opposite strand), in tissues from artificially inseminated and SCNT calves that died during the perinatal period. A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), a T-to-C transition, was used to analyze the allelic transcription of MICO1. Our results indicate monoallelic expression of the MICO1C allele among the six analyzed tissues (heart, liver, spleen, lung, kidney, and brain) of artificially inseminated calves, indicating that this gene locus may be imprinted in bovine. Conversely, we observed variable allelic transcription of MICO1 in SCNT calves. We asked if DNA methylation regulated the monoallelic expression of MICO1 and MICO1OS by evaluating the methylation levels of six regions within or around this locus in tissues with normal or aberrant MICO1 transcription; all of the samples from either artificially inseminated or SCNT calves exhibited hypermethylation, implying that DNA methylation may not be involved in regulating its monoallelic expression. Furthermore, three imprinted genes (GTL2, MEG9, and DIO3) nearby MICO1 showed monoallelic expression in SCNT calves with aberrant MICO1 transcription, indicating that not all of the genes in the bovine DLK1-DIO3 domain are mis-regulated.]]>
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 00:00:00 PDT
Genome-wide association analysis for chronic venous disease identifies EFEMP1 and KCNH8 as susceptibility loci. Ellinghaus E, Ellinghaus D, Krusche P, Greiner A, Schreiber C, Nikolaus S, Gieger C, Strauch K, Lieb W, Rosenstiel P, Frings N, Fiebig A, Schreiber S, Franke A
Sci Rep (Apr 2017)

Chronic venous disease (CVD) is a multifactorial condition representing one of the most common disorders among populations of Western countries. The heritability of about 17% suggests genetic risk factors in CVD etiology. However, so far the genetic causes are unknown. We undertook the hitherto first genome-wide association study (GWAS) for CVD, analyzing more than 1.93 M SNPs in 4,942 German individuals, followed by replication in two independent German data sets. The combined analysis of discovery and replication stages (2,269 cases and 7,765 controls) yielded robust associations within the two genes EFEMP1 and KCNH8 (rs17278665, rs727139 with P < 5 × 10(-8)), and suggestive association within gene SKAP2 (rs2030136 with P < 5 × 10(-7)). Association signals of rs17278665 and rs727139 reside in regions of low linkage disequilibrium containing no other genes. Data from the ENCODE and Roadmap Epigenomics projects show that tissue specific marks overlap with the variants. SNPs rs17278665 and rs2030136 are known eQTLs. Our study demonstrates that GWAS are a valuable tool to study the genetic component of CVD. With our approach, we identified two novel genome-wide significant susceptibility loci for this common disease. Particularly, the extracellular matrix glycoprotein EFEMP1 is promising for future functional studies due to its antagonistic role in vessel development and angiogenesis.]]>
Tue, 04 Apr 2017 00:00:00 PDT
A G-quadruplex structure at the 5' end of the H19 coding region regulates H19 transcription. Fukuhara M, Ma Y, Nagasawa K, Toyoshima F
Sci Rep (Apr 2017)

The H19 gene, one of the best known imprinted genes, encodes a long non-coding RNA that regulates cell proliferation and differentiation. H19 RNA is widely expressed in embryonic tissues, but its expression is restricted in only a few tissues after birth. However, regulation of H19 gene expression remains poorly understood outside the context of genomic imprinting. Here we identified evolutionarily conserved guanine (G)-rich repeated motifs at the 5' end of the H19 coding region that are consistent with theoretically deduced G-quadruplex sequences. Circular dichroism spectroscopy and electrophoretic mobility shift assays with G-quadruplex-specific ligands revealed that the G-rich motif, located immediately downstream of the transcription start site (TSS), forms a G-quadruplex structure in vitro. By using a series of mutant forms of H19 harboring deletion or G-to-A substitutions, we found that the H19-G-quadruplex regulates H19 gene expression. We further showed that transcription factors Sp1 and E2F1 were associated with the H19-G-quadruplex to either suppress or promote the H19 transcription, respectively. Moreover, H19 expression during differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells appears to be regulated by a genomic H19 G-quadruplex. These results demonstrate that the G-quadruplex structure immediately downstream of the TSS functions as a novel regulatory element for H19 gene expression.]]>
Mon, 03 Apr 2017 00:00:00 PDT
Interview with Amr H Sawalha: epigenetics and autoimmunity. Sawalha AH
Epigenomics (Apr 2017)

Amr H Sawalha is Professor of Internal Medicine and Marvin and Betty Danto Research Professor of Connective Tissue Research at the University of Michigan, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology. He also holds faculty appointments at the Center for Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics and the Graduate Program in Immunology at the University of Michigan. He was recently appointed as Guest Professor at Central South University in Changsha, China. He received his medical degree from Jordan University of Science and Technology and completed his residency training in internal medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and his fellowship in rheumatology at the University of Michigan. His research focus is the genetics and epigenetics of complex autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including lupus and systemic vasculitis. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters and review articles, and is on the editorial board of several journals in his field. He has been elected as a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and has received numerous awards, including the Edmund L Dubois, MD, Memorial Lectureship Award from the American College of Rheumatology in recognition for his work in lupus. He is Chair of the Lupus Foundation of America research subcommittee and is a member of the Vasculitis Foundation Medical and Scientific Advisory Board. He also provides clinical care and teaching in the rheumatology outpatient and inpatient services, and he is the director of the NIH-funded rheumatology training grant at the University of Michigan.]]>
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:00:00 PDT
DNA methylation imprinting errors in spermatogenic cells from maturation arrest azoospermic patients. Marques PI, Fernandes S, Carvalho F, Barros A, Sousa M, Marques CJ
Andrology (May 2017)

Imprinting errors have been described in spermatozoa from infertile patients with oligozoospermia and azoospermia. However, little is known about methylation of imprinted genes in other spermatogenic cells from azoospermic patients. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the methylation status of single CpGs located in the differentially methylated regions (DMRs) of two imprinted genes, one paternally (H19) and one maternally (MEST) methylated, in primary spermatocytes of azoospermic patients presenting complete (MAc, n = 7) and incomplete (MAi, n = 8) maturation arrest, as well as in other spermatogenic cells from MAi patients that presented focus of complete spermatogenesis in some seminiferous tubules. We observed H19 imprinting errors in primary spermatocytes from one MAi patient and MEST imprinting errors in one MAi and two MAc patients. Additionally, H19 imprinting errors were observed in elongated spermatids/spermatozoa from one MAi patient. Nevertheless, no statistical differences were found for H19 and MEST global methylation levels (percentage of methylated and unmethylated CpGs, respectively) between patients with complete and incomplete MA and also between MA groups and a control group. These results provide further evidence that imprinting errors occur in spermatogenic cells from patients presenting impaired spermatogenesis, as we and others have previously described in ejaculated and testicular spermatozoa. As paternal imprinting errors can be transmitted to the embryo by the sperm cell, they can provide a possible explanation for poor embryo development and/or low pregnancy rates as correct expression of imprinted genes is crucial for embryo and placental development and function. Therefore, in cases with male factor infertility where unsuccessful in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments are recurrent, analysis of imprinting marks in spermatozoa might be a useful diagnostic tool.]]>
Wed, 15 Mar 2017 00:00:00 PDT
Environmental epigenomics: Current approaches to assess epigenetic effects of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDC's) on human health. Tapia-Orozco N, Santiago-Toledo G, Barrón V, Espinosa-García AM, García-García JA, García-Arrazola R
Environ Toxicol Pharmacol (Apr 2017)

Environmental Epigenomics is a developing field to study the epigenetic effect on human health from exposure to environmental factors. Endocrine disrupting chemicals have been detected primarily in pharmaceutical drugs, personal care products, food additives, and food containers. Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has been associated with a high incidence and prevalence of many endocrine-related disorders in humans. Nevertheless, further evidence is needed to establish a correlation between exposure to EDC and human disorders. Conventional detection of EDCs is based on chemical structure and concentration sample analysis. However, substantial evidence has emerged, suggesting that cell exposure to EDCs leads to epigenetic changes, independently of its chemical structure with non-monotonic low-dose responses. Consequently, a paradigm shift in toxicology assessment of EDCs is proposed based on a comprehensive review of analytical techniques used to evaluate the epigenetic effects. Fundamental insights reported elsewhere are compared in order to establish DNA methylation analysis as a viable method for assessing endocrine disruptors beyond the conventional study approach of chemical structure and concentration analysis.]]>
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:00:00 PST
Profiling of human epigenetic regulators using a semi-automated real-time qPCR platform validated by next generation sequencing. Dudakovic A, Gluscevic M, Paradise CR, Dudakovic H, Khani F, Thaler R, Ahmed FS, Li X, Dietz AB, Stein GS, Montecino MA, Deyle DR, Westendorf JJ, van Wijnen AJ
Gene (Apr 2017)

Epigenetic mechanisms control phenotypic commitment of mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) into osteogenic, chondrogenic or adipogenic lineages. To investigate enzymes and chromatin binding proteins controlling the epigenome, we developed a hybrid expression screening strategy that combines semi-automated real-time qPCR (RT-qPCR), next generation RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), and a novel data management application (FileMerge). This strategy was used to interrogate expression of a large cohort (n>300) of human epigenetic regulators (EpiRegs) that generate, interpret and/or edit the histone code. We find that EpiRegs with similar enzymatic functions are variably expressed and specific isoforms dominate over others in human MSCs. This principle is exemplified by analysis of key histone acetyl transferases (HATs) and deacetylases (HDACs), H3 lysine methyltransferases (e.g., EHMTs) and demethylases (KDMs), as well as bromodomain (BRDs) and chromobox (CBX) proteins. Our results show gender-specific expression of H3 lysine 9 [H3K9] demethylases (e.g., KDM5D and UTY) as expected and upregulation of distinct EpiRegs (n>30) during osteogenic differentiation of MSCs (e.g., HDAC5 and HDAC7). The functional significance of HDACs in osteogenic lineage commitment of MSCs was functionally validated using panobinostat (LBH-589). This pan-deacetylase inhibitor suppresses osteoblastic differentiation as evidenced by reductions in bone-specific mRNA markers (e.g., ALPL), alkaline phosphatase activity and calcium deposition (i.e., Alizarin Red staining). Thus, our RT-qPCR platform identifies candidate EpiRegs by expression screening, predicts biological outcomes of their corresponding inhibitors, and enables manipulation of the human epigenome using molecular or pharmacological approaches to control stem cell differentiation.]]>
Mon, 30 Jan 2017 00:00:00 PST
Chromatin dynamics regulate mesenchymal stem cell lineage specification and differentiation to osteogenesis. Wu H, Gordon JA, Whitfield TW, Tai PW, van Wijnen AJ, Stein JL, Stein GS, Lian JB
Biochim Biophys Acta (Apr 2017)

Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are critical for regeneration of multiple tissues. Epigenetic mechanisms are fundamental regulators of lineage specification and cell fate, and as such, we addressed the question of which epigenetic modifications characterize the transition of nascent MSCs to a tissue specific MSC-derived phenotype. By profiling the temporal changes of seven histone marks correlated to gene expression during proliferation, early commitment, matrix deposition, and mineralization stages, we identified distinct epigenetic mechanisms that regulate transcriptional programs necessary for tissue-specific phenotype development. Patterns of stage-specific enrichment of histone modifications revealed distinct modes of repression and activation of gene expression that would not be detected using single endpoint analysis. We discovered that at commitment, H3K27me3 is removed from genes that are upregulated and is not acquired on downregulated genes. Additionally, we found that the absence of H3K4me3 modification at promoters defined a subset of osteoblast-specific upregulated genes, indicating that acquisition of acetyl modifications drive activation of these genes. Significantly, loss or gain of H3K36me3 was the primary predictor of dynamic changes in temporal gene expression. Using unsupervised pattern discovery analysis the signature of osteogenic-related histone modifications identified novel functional cis regulatory modules associated with enhancer regions that control tissue-specific genes. Our work provides a cornerstone to understand the epigenetic regulation of transcriptional programs that are important for MSC lineage commitment and lineage, as well as insights to facilitate MSC-based therapeutic interventions.]]>
Thu, 12 Jan 2017 00:00:00 PST
A systemic identification approach for primary transcription start site of Arabidopsis miRNAs from multidimensional omics data. You Q, Yan H, Liu Y, Yi X, Zhang K, Xu W, Su Z
Funct Integr Genomics (May 2017)

The 22-nucleotide non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs) are mostly transcribed by RNA polymerase II and are similar to protein-coding genes. Unlike the clear process from stem-loop precursors to mature miRNAs, the primary transcriptional regulation of miRNA, especially in plants, still needs to be further clarified, including the original transcription start site, functional cis-elements and primary transcript structures. Due to several well-characterized transcription signals in the promoter region, we proposed a systemic approach integrating multidimensional "omics" (including genomics, transcriptomics, and epigenomics) data to improve the genome-wide identification of primary miRNA transcripts. Here, we used the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana to improve the ability to identify candidate promoter locations in intergenic miRNAs and to determine rules for identifying primary transcription start sites of miRNAs by integrating high-throughput omics data, such as the DNase I hypersensitive sites, chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing of polymerase II and H3K4me3, as well as high throughput transcriptomic data. As a result, 93% of refined primary transcripts could be confirmed by the primer pairs from a previous study. Cis-element and secondary structure analyses also supported the feasibility of our results. This work will contribute to the primary transcriptional regulatory analysis of miRNAs, and the conserved regulatory pattern may be a suitable miRNA characteristic in other plant species.]]>
Thu, 29 Dec 2016 00:00:00 PST
Three intronic lncRNAs with monoallelic expression derived from the MEG8 gene in cattle. Yang W, Li D, Wang G, Zhang C, Zhang M, Zhang W, Li S
Anim Genet (Jun 2017)

The field of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) research has been rapidly advancing in recent years. Antisense lncRNAs, intergenetic lncRNAs and enhancer lncRNAs can regulate genomic imprinting, which leads to parent-origin-specific monoalletic expression of genes. However, the function of intronic ncRNAs in genomic imprinting remains unclear. Previously, we obtained the cDNA sequence of cattle MEG8 gene, which is located in the DLK1-DIO3 imprinted clusters of cattle chromosome 21. In this study, we undertook a systematic search for transcripts mapping to the MEG8 intronic region and identified three novel lncRNAs, named MEG8 intronic RNA 1 (MEG8-IT1), MEG8 intronic RNA 2 (MEG8-IT2) and MEG8 intronic RNA 3 (MEG8-IT3) according to the GENCODE annotated bibliography. We characterized the expression pattern of these lncRNAs using RT-PCR in adult cattle tissues, and they were expressed in all tested eight tissues, similar to the expression pattern of MEG8. The allele-specific expression of three novel lncRNAs was assessed using a polymorphism-based sequencing approach. Three single nucleotide polymorphism sites were identified in these three lncRNAs. We found that the three lncRNAs showed monoallelic expression in the analyzed tissues, suggesting that they may be imprinted in cattle. These results expand the number of known monoallelically expressed lncRNAs from the DLK1-DIO3 domain and contribute to further investigation of lncRNA regulatory mechanisms and function.]]>
Wed, 07 Dec 2016 00:00:00 PST
The yin and yang of α-synuclein-associated epigenetics in Parkinson's disease. Pavlou MAS, Pinho R, Paiva I, Outeiro TF
Brain (Apr 2017)

Parkinson's disease is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder. The main neuropathological hallmarks of the disease are the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta and the accumulation of protein inclusions known as Lewy bodies. Recently, great attention has been given to the study of genes associated with both familial and sporadic forms of Parkinson's disease. Among them, the α-synuclein gene is believed to play a central role in the disease and is, therefore, one of the most studied genes. Parkinson's disease is a complex disorder and, as such, derives from the interaction between genetic and environmental factors. Here, we offer an update on the landscape of epigenetic-mediated regulation of gene expression that has been linked with α-synuclein and associated with Parkinson's disease. We also provide an overview of how epigenetic modifications can influence the transcription and/or translation of the α-synuclein gene and, on the other hand, how α-synuclein function/dysfunction can, per se, affect the epigenetic landscape. Finally, we discuss how a deeper understanding of the epigenetic profile of α-synuclein may enable the development of novel therapeutic approaches for Parkinson's disease and other synucleinopathies.]]>
Fri, 02 Sep 2016 00:00:00 PDT
The Role of STAT Signaling Pathways in the Pathogenesis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. GoropevÅ¡ek A, Holcar M, Avčin T
Clin Rev Allergy Immunol (Apr 2017)

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multisystem autoimmune disorder with a broad spectrum of clinical presentations and association with multiple immunological abnormalities. Recent research of the Janus kinase (JAK)-signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signaling pathway-revealed aberrant STAT signaling in inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases including SLE. STAT proteins are major components in interferon (IFN)-dependent gene expression and are responsible for signal transduction of over 50 cytokines, hormones, and growth factors regulating key cellular processes such as survival, proliferation, and differentiation. This review summarizes the present evidence from experimental animal models and patients with SLE for the involvement of STAT pathways in the pathogenesis of SLE underlining the role of different members of the STAT family. Genome-wide association studies provided evidence that variations in STAT4 gene are linked to the development of SLE in humans. First integration with genome-wide epigenomics data suggests that control of CD4+ T cell differentiation in which STATs play a major role may be an important component of the genetic contribution to disease susceptibility. Increased transcript and total protein STAT1 levels were described both in SLE T and B cells suggestive of the priming mechanisms that augment STAT1 signaling responses to IFN. STAT3 has a crucial role in Th17 differentiation, T follicular helper, and B cells, and STAT3 inhibition could represent a possible future therapeutic target in SLE. STAT5B appears to act as a critical modulator of human Treg development and function. While the imbalance between phosphorylated STAT5 and STAT3 in human SLE T cells was implicated in dysregulated IL-10 expression, Treg-specific deletion of STAT3 in mouse model even enhanced Th17-mediated inflammation. Finally, we present also a comprehensive analysis of studies investigating STAT signaling responses in conventional and regulatory subsets of SLE T and B cells and possible implications of STAT inhibition for clinical therapy.]]>
Tue, 24 May 2016 00:00:00 PDT