Background: Gene expression variation is a phenotypic trait of particular interest as it represents the initial link between genotype and other phenotypes. Analyzing how such variation apportions among and within groups allows for the evaluation of how genetic and environmental factors influence such traits. It also provides opportunities to identify genes and pathways that may have been influenced by non-neutral processes. Here we use a population genetics framework and next generation sequencing to evaluate how gene expression variation is apportioned among four human groups in a natural biological tissue, the placenta. Results: We estimate that on average, 33.2%, 58.9% and 7.8% of the placental transcriptome is explained by variation within individuals, among individuals and among human groups, respectively. Additionally, when technical and biological traits are included in models of gene expression they account for roughly 2% of total gene expression variation. Notably, the variation that is significantly different among groups is enriched in biological pathways associated with immune response, cell signaling and metabolism. Many biological traits demonstrated correlated changes in expression in numerous pathways of potential interest to clinicians and evolutionary biologists. Finally, we estimate that the majority of the human placental transcriptome (65% of expressed genes) exhibits expression profiles consistent with neutrality; the remainder are consistent with stabilizing selection (26%), directional selection (4.9%), or diversifying selection (4.8%). Conclusion: We apportion placental gene expression variation into individual, population and biological trait factors and identify how each influence the transcriptome. Additionally, we advance methods to associate expression profiles with different forms of selection. Overall design: Placental mRNA was sequenced on an Illumina GAIIx. Samples were derived from 4 human groups, 10 individuals per group, 2 samples per individual
Evaluating intra- and inter-individual variation in the human placental transcriptome.
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Chronic non-healing venous leg ulcers (VLUs) are a widespread debilitating disease with high morbidity and associated costs, as approximately $15 billion annually are spent on the care of VLUs. Despite their socioeconomic burden, there is a paucity of novel treatments targeted towards healing VLUs, which can be attributed to both lack of pathophysiologic insight into VLU development as well as lack of knowledge regarding biologic actions of VLU-targeted therapies. Currently, the bioengineered bilayered living cellular construct (BLCC) skin substitute is the only FDA-approved biologic treatment for healing VLUs. To elucidate the mechanisms through which the BLCC promotes healing of chronic VLUs, we conducted a clinical trial (NCT01327937) in which patients with non-healing VLUs were treated with either standard care (compression therapy) or with BLCC together with standard care. Tissue was collected from the VLU edge before and 1 week after treatment, and samples underwent comprehensive microarray, mRNA and protein analyses. Ulcers treated with BLCC skin substitute displayed three distinct patterns suggesting the mechanisms by which BLCC shifted a non-healing into a healing tissue response: it modulated inflammatory and growth factor signaling; it activated keratinocytes; and it attenuated Wnt/-catenin signaling. In these ways, BLCC application orchestrated a shift of the chronic non-healing ulcer microenvironment into a distinctive healing milieu resembling that of an acute, healing wound. Our findings also provide first patient-derived in vivo evidence of specific biologic processes that can be targeted in the design of therapies to promote healing of chronic VLUs.
A bioengineered living cell construct activates an acute wound healing response in venous leg ulcers.
Specimen part, Disease stage, TimeView Samples
SPARC is a matricellular glycoprotein involved in regulation of the extracellular matrix, growth factors, adhesion, and migration. SPARC-null mice have altered basement membranes and develop posterior sub-capsular cataracts with cell swelling and equatorial vacuoles. Exchange of fluid, nutrients, and waste products in the avascular lens is driven by a unique circulating ion current. Here we demonstrate that SPARC-null mouse lenses exhibit abnormal circulation of fluid, ion, and small molecules which leads to altered fluorescein distribution in vivo, loss of resting membrane polarization, and altered distribution of small molecules. Microarray analysis of SPARC-null lenses showed changes in gene expression of ion channels and receptors, matrix and adhesion genes, cytoskeleton, immune response genes, and cell signaling molecules. Our results demonstrate that the regulation of SPARC on cell-capsular matrix interactions can influence the circulation of fluid and ions in the lens, and the phenotype in the SPARC-null mouse lens is the result of multiple intersecting pathways.
Absence of SPARC leads to impaired lens circulation.
Sex, AgeView Samples
Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are the leading cause of lower leg amputations in diabetic population. To better understand molecular pathophysiology of DFUs we used patients specimens and genomic profiling. We identified 3900 genes specifically regulated in DFUs. Moreover, we compared DFU to human skin acute wound (AW) profiles and found DNA repair mechanisms and regulation of gene expression among the processes specifically suppressed in DFUs, whereas essential wound healing-related processes, inflammatory/immune response or cell migration, were not activated properly. To identify potential regulators of DFU-specific genes, we used upstream target analysis. We found miR-15/16 family enriched in DFUs, but not in AW, which was confirmed by qPCR. We found that infection with the most common DFU colonizer, Staphylococcus aureus, triggers induction of miR-15-5p, which in turn, targets multiple DFU-specific genes, including genes involved in DNA repair (WEE1, MSH2 and RAD50) and the regulator of inflammatory pathway, IKBKB. Induction of miR-15b-5p, either by miR-mimic transfection in vitro or by S. aureus infection of acute wounds ex vivo, suppressed both WEE1 and IKBKB. Consequently, we detected an increase in DNA double strand breaks in DFUs. In summary, our data indicate that S. aureus infection, via induction of miR-15b-5p, may lead to suppression of DNA repair mechanisms and a sub-optimal inflammatory response, contributing to pathophysiology of DFU patients
Staphylococcus aureus Triggers Induction of miR-15B-5P to Diminish DNA Repair and Deregulate Inflammatory Response in Diabetic Foot Ulcers.
Specimen part, Disease, Disease stageView Samples
Primary human hepatocytes (PHHs) are a liver-specific cell subtype, and we have shown that these cells respond in a unique manner to the introduction of hepatitis C viral RNA (HCV vRNA) derived from different genotypes of the virus.
Transmitted/founder hepatitis C viruses induce cell-type- and genotype-specific differences in innate signaling within the liver.
Specimen partView Samples
PURPOSE: Hyperoxia is toxic to photoreceptors, and this toxicity may be important in the progress of retinal dystrophies. This microarray study examines gene expression induced in the C57BL/6J mouse retina by hyperoxia over the 14-day period during which photoreceptors first resist, then succumb to, hyperoxia. METHODS: Young adult C57BL/6J mice were exposed to hyperoxia (75% oxygen) for up to 14 days. On day 0 (control), day 3, day 7, and day 14, retinal RNA was extracted and processed on Affymetrix GeneChip Mouse Genome 430 2.0 arrays. Microarray data were analyzed using GCOS Version 1.4 and GeneSpring Version 7.3.1. RESULTS: The overall numbers of hyperoxia-regulated genes increased monotonically with exposure. Within that increase, however, a distinctive temporal pattern was apparent. At 3 days exposure, there was prominent upregulation of genes associated with neuroprotection. By day 14, these early-responsive genes were downregulated, and genes related to cell death were strongly expressed. At day 7, the regulation of these genes was mixed, indicating a possible transition period from stability at day 3 to degeneration at day 14. CONCLUSIONS: Microarray analysis of the response of the retina to prolonged hyperoxia demonstrated a temporal pattern involving early neuroprotection and later cell death, and provided insight into the mechanisms involved in the two phases of response. As hyperoxia is a consistent feature of the late stages of photoreceptor degenerations, understanding the mechanisms of oxygen toxicity may be important therapeutically.
Gene regulation induced in the C57BL/6J mouse retina by hyperoxia: a temporal microarray study.
Specimen partView Samples
Purpose: In the C57BL/6J mouse retina, hyperoxia-induced degeneration of photoreceptors shows strong regional variation, beginning at a locus ~0.5mm inferior to the optic disc. To identify gene expression differences that might underlie this variability in vulnerability, we have used microarray techniques to describe regional (superior-inferior) variations in gene expression in the retina.
Differential gene expression in mouse retina related to regional differences in vulnerability to hyperoxia.
Specimen part, TreatmentView Samples
Role of bromodomain and extra-terminal motif (BET) proteins in GATA1-null erythrolbasts (G1E) and in differentiation induced by activation of conditional GATA1 tested by addition of BET inhibitor JQ1 (250nM)
Functions of BET proteins in erythroid gene expression.
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Immunosenescence, the age-related decline in immune system function, is a general hallmark of aging. While much is known about the cellular and physiological changes that accompany immunosenescence, we know very little about the genetic influences on this phenomenon.
Age-specific variation in immune response in Drosophila melanogaster has a genetic basis.
Sex, Age, Specimen partView Samples