Cognitive consequences at school age associated with prenatal methylmercury (MeHg) exposure may need to take into account nutritional and sociodemographic cofactors as well as relevant genetic polymorphisms.
Breastfeeding effects on cognition are attributed to long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs), but controversy persists. Genetic variation in fatty acid desaturase (FADS) and elongase (ELOVL) enzymes has been overlooked when studying the effects of LC-PUFAs supply on cognition. We aimed to: 1) to determine whether maternal genetic variants in the FADS cluster and ELOVL genes contribute to differences in LC-PUFA levels in colostrum; 2) to analyze whether these maternal variants are related to child cognition; and 3) to assess whether childrens variants modify breastfeeding effects on cognition.
NT-proBNP provides diagnostic and prognostic information in heart syndromes but its role in cancer has not yet been established. The prognostic value of NT-proBNP was prospectively studied in 104 non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) patients treated with chemotherapy. Echocardiography and NT-proBNP were determined prior to treatment. In multivariate analysis, NT-proBNP ? 900 pg/ml was the variable with higher risk of death (adjusted hazard ratio 11.1; 95% CI 3.8-32.9; P<0.001). The C statistic for NT-proBNP ? 900 pg/ml was significantly better than IPI score for prediction of survival. These findings suggest that NT-proBNP ? 900 pg/ml could be considered a useful marker for risk assessment in NHL patients treated with chemotherapy.
Because of their abundance and ease of isolation, multilineage differentiation, and paracrine and immunoregulatory capabilities, genetically engineered adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) might combine cell- and gene therapy-based strategies for efficacious tissue repair/regeneration. In this report, we aimed to analyze and influence the long-term dynamics of transgene expression in ASCs transduced with different gammaretroviral vector configurations incorporating the human ?-interferon scaffold attachment region (IFN-SAR) and/or chicken 5HS4 ?-globin insulator sequences. In our undifferentiated ASC culture model, naked retroviral vectors experienced EGFP transgene extinction correlating with increases in both H3 histone deacetylation and CpG dinucleotide methylation within the 5 long terminal repeat-primer-binding site proviral region. Retroviral configurations incorporating the referred boundary elements alone or combined were able to prevent the development of the above epigenetic events and to reduce transgene extinction to different degrees. Particularly, the IFN-SAR sustained the highest levels of H3 histone acetylation and transgene expression throughout the study. Analogously, ASCs differentiating to adipocytes or osteocytes experienced a gradual decline of EGFP expression using naked retroviral vectors. In contrast, only retroviral configurations including the IFN-SAR alone were able to overcome the epigenetic pressure, yielding high-level, uniform transgene expression throughout both lineage differentiation processes. Thus, embedding the IFN-SAR in retroviral vectors should have positive implications in gene repair strategies using ASCs.
A recent genome-wide association study conducted by the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetic Consortium (IMSGC) identified, among others, a number of putative multiple sclerosis (MS) susceptibility variants at position 1p22. Twenty-one SNPs positively associated with MS were located at the GFI-EVI5-RPL5-FAM69A locus. In this study, we performed an analysis and fine mapping of this locus, genotyping eight Tag-SNPs in 732 MS patients and 974 controls from Spain. We observed an association with MS in three of eight Tag-SNPs: rs11804321 (P=0.008, OR=1.29; 95% CI=1.08-1.54), rs11808092 (P=0.048, OR=1.19; 95% CI=1.03-1.39) and rs6680578 (P=0.0082, OR=1.23; 95% CI=1.07-1.41). After correcting for multiple comparisons and using logistic regression analysis to test the addition of each SNP to the most associated SNPs, we observed that rs11804321 alone was sufficient to model the association. This Tag-SNP captures two SNPs in complete linkage disequilibrium (r(2)=1), both located within the 17th intron of the EVI5 gene. Our findings agree with the corresponding data of the recent IMSGC study and present new genetic evidence that points to EVI5 as a factor of susceptibility to MS.
Ten common low-penetrant genetic variants have been consistently associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk; little is known about the correlation between these variants and CRC phenotype. Characterization of such a correlation would improve CRC management and prevention programs. We assessed the association between these genetic variants and CRC phenotype in patients and modeled pairwise combinations to detect epistasis.
Asthma and atopy are complex phenotypes with shared genetic component. In this study we attempt to identify genes related to these traits performing a two-stage DNA pooling genome-wide analysis in order to reduce costs. First, we assessed all markers in a subset of subjects using DNA pooling, and in a second stage we evaluated the most promising markers at an individual level.
Treatment options for pancreatic cancer have shown limited success mainly owing to poor selectivity for pancreatic tumor tissue and to a lack of activity in the tumor. In this study, we describe the ability of the urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) promoter to efficiently and selectively target pancreatic tumors and metastases, which enables the successful management of pancreatic cancer. We have generated a replication-defective reporter adenovirus, AduPARLuc, and a conditionally replicating adenovirus, AduPARE1A, and we have studied the selectivity and antitumoral efficacy in pancreatic tumors and metastases. Toxicity was studied on intravascular delivery. We demonstrate that the uPAR promoter is highly active in pancreatic tumors but very weak in normal tissues. Tumor specificity is evidenced by a 100-fold increase in the tumor-to-liver ratio and by selective targeting of liver metastases (P < .001). Importantly, the AduPARE1A maintains the oncolytic activity of the wild-type virus, with reduced toxicity, and exhibits significant antitumoral activity (25% tumor eradication) and prolonged survival in pancreatic xenograft models (P < .0001). Furthermore, upon intravascular delivery, we demonstrate complete eradication of liver metastasis in 33% of mice, improving median survival (P = 5.43 x 10(-5)). The antitumoral selective activity of AduPARE1A shows the potential of uPAR promoter-based therapies in pancreatic cancer treatment.
Transgene expression shut-down, attenuation and/or variability from integrated retroviral vectors pose a major obstacle to gene therapy trials involving hematopoietic cells. We have undertaken a systematic assessment of the behavior of different configurations containing IFN-beta SAR and/or 5HS4 beta-globin insulator sequences within a gammaretroviral vector optimized for high-level expression, focusing on the long-term achievement of stable, homogeneous transgene expression in the successfully transduced cells. Introduction of these cis regulatory elements did not perturb virus production and stability. Conversely, the SAR/5HS4 insulator combination appeared to increase the homogeneity of EGFP expression in mass cultures. Furthermore, a clonal analysis of the dispersion of EGFP expression revealed that the IFN-SAR/5HS4 insulator dyad was particularly effective in reducing the variability of transgene expression when both sequences were placed in opposite orientations within the retroviral backbone. These results may prove useful for the design of more stable retroviral expression cassettes able to counteract chromosomal position effects.
Morphological variation of the Y chromosome has been observed in different populations. This variation is mostly related to the heteromorphic Yq12 band, which is composed of a variable block of constitutive heterochromatin. The Yqh+ heteromorphism has a worldwide frequency of 2.85% and is considered clinically innocuous. The aim of this study was to identify the ancestry of the Yqh+ heteromorphism present in individuals from western Mexico. For this purpose, 17 Y-chromosome single nucleotide polymorphisms were analysed by multiplex polymerase chain reaction and SNaPshot assays. In 28 Yqh+ males, only five haplogroups were observed; with a haplogroup diversity of 0.4841 ± 0.1094, which was less than that observed in a study of unselected Mexican mestizo population. Differences were specifically conferred by the high frequencies of haplogroups R1b1 and P*(xQ,R), and by the absence of the Amerindian haplogroup Q (Q*(xQ1a3a) plus Q1a3a) from the Yqh+ group. This study suggests a post-1492 incorporation for Yqh+ chromosomes into the Mexican northwestern population.
Individuals who are carriers of deletions of various sizes that cause haploinsufficiency in the contiguous WT1 and PAX6 genes, located on chromosome 11p13 approximately 4 Mb centromeric to the BDNF gene, are susceptible to Wilms tumor, aniridia, mental retardation, genitourinary anomalies and obesity (WAGRO syndrome). The molecular characterization of the wide deletion 11p15.1p12 arr (18676926-36576388) x1 dn in a child with 3 years and 4 months of age only affected by aniridia, predicts not only other serious associated diseases, but also allows us to hypothesize a specific phenotype of mental impairment, conduct alterations and childhood obesity, possibly added to the onset of metabolic alterations. The variable appearance and/or description of haploinsufficiency for obesity susceptibility in the WAGR syndrome mainly depends on the critical region located within 80 kb of exon 1 of BDNF. The relationship between genetic variation based on the genotype combinations of the 4 gene SNPs tagging the BDNF gene and the body mass index (BMI) was studied. The polymorphic variability was similarly distributed in 218 children suffering a severe and non-syndromic obesity from families at high risk for obesity, as compared with 198 controls. The corroborated role of the BDNF gene as highly susceptible to severe syndromic obesity has not already been evidenced in the molecular basis of overweight attributed to the common polygenic principles. Its potential role as risk modifier variant to provoke more severe phenotype has not yet been demonstrated. Some genetic variants of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) have resulted in important disorders of energy balance, but it is essential to know exactly their deleterious human capacity because they play a fundamental role in the development and plasticity of the central nervous system in regulating food intake. The existence of polymorphic amino acid changes of unknown functional significance in patients carrying the haploinsufficiency of the BDNF gene could constitute an adequate model to study in depth their effects.
The genetic loci that have been found by genome-wide association studies to modulate risk of coronary heart disease explain only a fraction of its total variance, and gene-gene interactions have been proposed as a potential source of the remaining heritability. Given the potentially large testing burden, we sought to enrich our search space with real interactions by analyzing variants that may be more likely to interact on the basis of two distinct hypotheses: a biological hypothesis, under which MI risk is modulated by interactions between variants that are known to be relevant for its risk factors; and a statistical hypothesis, under which interacting variants individually show weak marginal association with MI. In a discovery sample of 2,967 cases of early-onset myocardial infarction (MI) and 3,075 controls from the MIGen study, we performed pair-wise SNP interaction testing using a logistic regression framework. Despite having reasonable power to detect interaction effects of plausible magnitudes, we observed no statistically significant evidence of interaction under these hypotheses, and no clear consistency between the top results in our discovery sample and those in a large validation sample of 1,766 cases of coronary heart disease and 2,938 controls from the Wellcome Trust Case-Control Consortium. Our results do not support the existence of strong interaction effects as a common risk factor for MI. Within the scope of the hypotheses we have explored, this study places a modest upper limit on the magnitude that epistatic risk effects are likely to have at the population level (odds ratio for MI risk 1.3-2.0, depending on allele frequency and interaction model).
Transient receptor potential (TRP) vanilloid and ankyrin cation channels are activated by various noxious chemicals and may play an important role in the pathogenesis of cough. The aim was to study the influence of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in TRP genes and irritant exposures on cough.
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