While genetic determinants strongly influence HDL cholesterol (HDLc) levels, most genetic causes underlying variation in HDLc remain unknown. We aimed to identify novel rare mutations with large effects in candidate genes contributing to extreme HDLc in humans, utilizing family-based Mendelian genetics. We performed next-generation sequencing of 456 candidate HDLc-regulating genes in 200 unrelated probands with extremely low (?10th percentile) or high (?90th percentile) HDLc. Probands were excluded if known mutations existed in the established HDLc-regulating genes ABCA1, APOA1, LCAT, cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP), endothelial lipase (LIPG), and UDP-N-acetyl-?-D-galactosamine:polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 2 (GALNT2). We identified 93 novel coding or splice-site variants in 72 candidate genes. Each variant was genotyped in the proband's family. Family-based association analyses were performed for variants with sufficient power to detect significance at P < 0.05 with a total of 627 family members being assessed. Mutations in the genes glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR), RNase L (RNASEL), leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor 3 (LILRA3), and dynein axonemal heavy chain 10 (DNAH10) segregated with elevated HDLc levels in families, while no mutations associated with low HDLc. Taken together, we have identified mutations in four novel genes that may play a role in regulating HDLc levels in humans.
Thrombin is a central enzyme in hemostasis and thrombosis, and a proven target for anticoagulant therapies. We compared four marketed and representative thrombin inhibitors, heparin, hirudin, bivalirudin, and dabigatran, in in-vitro spike-in assays that covered their therapeutic ranges. The assays employed were low tissue factor (1 pmol/l)-triggered thrombin generation assay (TGA) with plasma and 1:8000 Recombiplastin-triggered thromboelastography (TEG) with whole blood, with or without tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)-induced fibrinolysis. The three direct thrombin inhibitors (DTIs) prolonged TGA lag time and TEG clotting time (R) with a potency stack-ranking of hirudin>dabigatran approximately equal to bivalirudin. Heparin had the most steep concentration-response curve for both parameters. In TGA, 1-2 ?mol/l dabigatran or hirudin resulted in complete inhibition on peak, slope, and endogenous thrombin potential, whereas bivalirudin had no effect on these parameters up to 10 ?mol/l. All three DTIs, but not heparin, displayed a paradoxical increase in peak and slope in the low concentration range. In TEG, whereas all four agents reduced clot strength (maximal amplitude) in synergy with tPA, hirudin was the only DTI that reduced maximal amplitude appreciably without tPA. Dabigatran had the strongest potentiating effect on tPA-induced fibrinolytic activity (Ly30). With regard to the effects on coagulation and clot strength (lag time, R, and maximal amplitude) in the respective therapeutic range, dabigatran elicited the most modest changes. In summary, our observations highlight the distinct features of each agent in thrombin generation, coagulation, and fibrinolysis. The contrasts between the agents are consistent with their known properties and are informative on efforts to define the optimal profiles of new anticoagulants.
The liver is a crossroad for metabolism of lipid and carbohydrates, with acetyl-CoA serving as an important metabolic intermediate and a precursor for fatty acid and cholesterol biosynthesis pathways. A better understanding of the regulation of these pathways requires an experimental approach that provides both quantitative metabolic flux measurements and mechanistic insight. Under conditions of high carbohydrate availability, excess carbon is converted into free fatty acids and triglyceride for storage, but it is not clear how excessive carbohydrate availability affects cholesterol biosynthesis. To address this, C57BL/6J mice were fed either a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet or a high-fat, carbohydrate-free diet. At the end of the dietary intervention, the two groups received (2)H(2)O to trace de novo fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis, and livers were collected for gene expression analysis. Expression of lipid and glucose metabolism genes was determined using a custom-designed pathway focused PCR-based gene expression array. The expression analysis showed downregulation of cholesterol biosynthesis genes and upregulation of fatty acid synthesis genes in mice receiving the high-carbohydrate diet compared with the carbohydrate-free diet. In support of these findings, (2)H(2)O tracer data showed that fatty acid synthesis was increased 10-fold and cholesterol synthesis was reduced by 1.6-fold in mice fed the respective diets. In conclusion, by applying gene expression analysis and tracer methodology, we show that fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis are differentially regulated when the carbohydrate intake in mice is altered.
The objective was to assess whether pharmacological activation of lecithin cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) could exert beneficial effects on lipoprotein metabolism. A putative small molecule activator (compound A) was used as a tool compound in in vitro and in vivo studies. Compound A increased LCAT activity in vitro in plasma from mouse, hamster, rhesus monkey, and human. To assess the acute pharmacodynamic effects of compound A, C57Bl/6 mice and hamsters received a single dose (20 mg/kg) of compound A. Both species displayed a significant increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLc) and a significant decrease in non-HDLc and triglycerides acutely after dosing; these changes tracked with ex vivo plasma LCAT activity. To examine compound As chronic effect on lipoprotein metabolism, hamsters received a daily dosing of vehicle or of 20 or 60 mg/kg of compound A for 2 weeks. At study termination, compound treatment resulted in a significant increase in HDLc, HDL particle size, plasma apolipoprotein A-I level, and plasma cholesteryl ester (CE) to free cholesterol ratio, and a significant reduction in very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The increase in plasma CE mirrored the increase in HDL CE. Triglycerides trended toward a dose-dependent decrease in very low-density lipoprotein and HDL, with multiple triglyceride species reaching statistical significance. Gallbladder bile acids content displayed a significant and more than 2-fold increase with the 60 mg/kg treatment. We characterized pharmacological activation of LCAT by a small molecule extensively for the first time, and our findings support the potential of this approach in treating dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis; our analyses also provide mechanistic insight on LCATs role in lipoprotein metabolism.
The widespread emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and a lack of new pharmaceutical development have catalyzed a need for new and innovative approaches for antibiotic drug discovery. One bottleneck in antibiotic discovery is the lack of a rapid and comprehensive method to identify compound mode of action (MOA). Since a hallmark of antibiotic action is as an inhibitor of essential cellular targets and processes, we identify a set of 308 essential genes in the clinically important pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. A total of 446 strains differentially expressing these genes were constructed in a comprehensive platform of sensitized and resistant strains. A subset of strains allows either target underexpression or target overexpression by heterologous promoter replacements with a suite of tetracycline-regulatable promoters. A further subset of 236 antisense RNA-expressing clones allows knockdown expression of cognate targets. Knockdown expression confers selective antibiotic hypersensitivity, while target overexpression confers resistance. The antisense strains were configured into a TargetArray in which pools of sensitized strains were challenged in fitness tests. A rapid detection method measures strain responses toward antibiotics. The TargetArray antibiotic fitness test results show mechanistically informative biological fingerprints that allow MOA elucidation.
The emergence of drug-resistant bacteria coupled with the limited discovery of novel chemical scaffolds and druggable targets inspires new approaches to antibiotic development. Here we describe a chemical genomics strategy based on 245 Staphylococcus aureus antisense RNA strains, each engineered for reduced expression of target genes essential for S. aureus growth. Attenuation of gene expression can sensitize cells to compounds that inhibit the activity of a gene product or associated process. Pools of strains grown competitively in the presence of bioactive compounds generate characteristic profiles of strain sensitivities reflecting compound mechanism of action. Here, we validate this approach with a structurally and mechanistically diverse set of reference antibiotics and, in the accompanying paper in this issue of Chemistry & Biology (Huber et al., 2009), demonstrate its use in the discovery of new cell wall inhibitors.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are useful in studying the complex pathways underlying diseases such as atherosclerosis; however, additional testing is often necessary to identify the disease causal genes linked to GWAS loci. We used siRNA-mediated gene knockdown in primary human hepatocytes (PHuH) to identify potential GWAS causal genes affecting the hepatic secretion of apolipoprotein B (ApoB), ApoA1, and proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.