PEGylated and non-PEGylated ORMOSIL nanoparticles prepared by microemulsion condensation of vinyltriethoxy-silane (VTES) were investigated in detail for their micro-structure and ability to deliver photoactive agents. With respect to pure silica nanoparticles, organic modification substantially changes the microstructure and the surface properties. This in turn leads to a modulation of both the photophysical properties of embedded photosensitizers and the interaction of the nanoparticles with biological entities such as serum proteins. The flexibility of the synthetic procedure allows the rapid preparation and screening of multifunctional nanosystems for photodynamic therapy (PDT). Selective targeting of model cancer cells was tested by using folate, an integrin specific RGD peptide and anti-EGFR antibodies. Data suggest the interference of the stealth-conferring layer (PEG) with small targeting agents, but not with bulky antibodies. Moreover, we showed that selective photokilling of tumour cells may be limited even in the case of efficient targeting because of intrinsic transport limitations of active cellular uptake mechanisms or suboptimum localization.
To catalog protein-altering mutations that may drive the development of prostate cancers and their progression to metastatic disease systematically, we performed whole-exome sequencing of 23 prostate cancers derived from 16 different lethal metastatic tumors and three high-grade primary carcinomas. All tumors were propagated in mice as xenografts, designated the LuCaP series, to model phenotypic variation, such as responses to cancer-directed therapeutics. Although corresponding normal tissue was not available for most tumors, we were able to take advantage of increasingly deep catalogs of human genetic variation to remove most germline variants. On average, each tumor genome contained ~200 novel nonsynonymous variants, of which the vast majority was specific to individual carcinomas. A subset of genes was recurrently altered across tumors derived from different individuals, including TP53, DLK2, GPC6, and SDF4. Unexpectedly, three prostate cancer genomes exhibited substantially higher mutation frequencies, with 2,000-4,000 novel coding variants per exome. A comparison of castration-resistant and castration-sensitive pairs of tumor lines derived from the same prostate cancer highlights mutations in the Wnt pathway as potentially contributing to the development of castration resistance. Collectively, our results indicate that point mutations arising in coding regions of advanced prostate cancers are common but, with notable exceptions, very few genes are mutated in a substantial fraction of tumors. We also report a previously undescribed subtype of prostate cancers exhibiting "hypermutated" genomes, with potential implications for resistance to cancer therapeutics. Our results also suggest that increasingly deep catalogs of human germline variation may challenge the necessity of sequencing matched tumor-normal pairs.
Comparison of protein-coding DNA sequences from diverse primates can provide insight into these species evolutionary history and uncover the molecular basis for their phenotypic differences. Currently, the number of available primate reference genomes limits these genome-wide comparisons. Here we use targeted capture methods designed for human to sequence the protein-coding regions, or exomes, of four non-human primate species (three Old World monkeys and one New World monkey). Despite average sequence divergence of up to 4% from the human sequence probes, we are able to capture ~96% of coding sequences. Using a combination of mapping and assembly techniques, we generated high-quality full-length coding sequences for each species. Both the number of nucleotide differences and the distribution of insertion and deletion (indel) lengths indicate that the quality of the assembled sequences is very high and exceeds that of most reference genomes. Using this expanded set of primate coding sequences, we performed a genome-wide scan for genes experiencing positive selection and identified a novel class of adaptively evolving genes involved in the conversion of epithelial cells in skin, hair, and nails to keratin. Interestingly, the genes we identify under positive selection also exhibit significantly increased allele frequency differences among human populations, suggesting that they play a role in both recent and long-term adaptation. We also identify several genes that have been lost on specific primate lineages, which illustrate the broad utility of this data set for other evolutionary analyses. These results demonstrate the power of second-generation sequencing in comparative genomics and greatly expand the repertoire of available primate coding sequences.
Evidence for the etiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) has consistently pointed to a strong genetic component complicated by substantial locus heterogeneity. We sequenced the exomes of 20 individuals with sporadic ASD (cases) and their parents, reasoning that these families would be enriched for de novo mutations of major effect. We identified 21 de novo mutations, 11 of which were protein altering. Protein-altering mutations were significantly enriched for changes at highly conserved residues. We identified potentially causative de novo events in 4 out of 20 probands, particularly among more severely affected individuals, in FOXP1, GRIN2B, SCN1A and LAMC3. In the FOXP1 mutation carrier, we also observed a rare inherited CNTNAP2 missense variant, and we provide functional support for a multi-hit model for disease risk. Our results show that trio-based exome sequencing is a powerful approach for identifying new candidate genes for ASDs and suggest that de novo mutations may contribute substantially to the genetic etiology of ASDs.
Hundreds of genes, including muscle creatine kinase (MCK), are differentially expressed in fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers, but the fiber type-specific regulatory mechanisms are not well understood.
Haplotype information is essential to the complete description and interpretation of genomes, genetic diversity and genetic ancestry. Although individual human genome sequencing is increasingly routine, nearly all such genomes are unresolved with respect to haplotype. Here we combine the throughput of massively parallel sequencing with the contiguity information provided by large-insert cloning to experimentally determine the haplotype-resolved genome of a South Asian individual. A single fosmid library was split into a modest number of pools, each providing ?3% physical coverage of the diploid genome. Sequencing of each pool yielded reads overwhelmingly derived from only one homologous chromosome at any given location. These data were combined with whole-genome shotgun sequence to directly phase 94% of ascertained heterozygous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) into long haplotype blocks (N50 of 386 kilobases (kbp)). This method also facilitates the analysis of structural variation, for example, to anchor novel insertions to specific locations and haplotypes.
We characterize and extend a highly efficient method for constructing shotgun fragment libraries in which transposase catalyzes in vitro DNA fragmentation and adaptor incorporation simultaneously. We apply this method to sequencing a human genome and find that coverage biases are comparable to those of conventional protocols. We also extend its capabilities by developing protocols for sub-nanogram library construction, exome capture from 50 ng of input DNA, PCR-free and colony PCR library construction, and 96-plex sample indexing.
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