Panduratin A extracted from Boesenbergia rotunda is a flavonoid reported to possess a range of medicinal indications which include anti-dengue, anti-HIV, anti-cancer, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Boesenbergia rotunda is a plant from the Zingiberaceae family commonly used as a food ingredient and traditional medicine in Southeast Asia and China. Reports on the health benefits of secondary metabolites extracted from Boesenbergia rotunda over the last few years has resulted in rising demands for panduratin A. However large scale extraction has been hindered by the naturally low abundance of the compound and limited knowledge of its biosynthetic pathway.
Eusocial insects have evolved the capacity to generate adults with distinct morphological, reproductive and behavioural phenotypes from the same genome. Recent studies suggest that RNA editing might enhance the diversity of gene products at the post-transcriptional level, particularly to induce functional changes in the nervous system. Using head samples from the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior, we compare RNA editomes across eusocial castes, identifying ca. 11,000 RNA editing sites in gynes, large workers and small workers. Those editing sites map to 800 genes functionally enriched for neurotransmission, circadian rhythm, temperature response, RNA splicing and carboxylic acid biosynthesis. Most A. echinatior editing sites are species specific, but 8-23% are conserved across ant subfamilies and likely to have been important for the evolution of eusociality in ants. The level of editing varies for the same site between castes, suggesting that RNA editing might be a general mechanism that shapes caste behaviour in ants.
Polyadenylated mature mRNAs are the focus of standard transcriptome analyses. However, the profiling of nascent transcripts, which often include nonpolyadenylated RNAs, can unveil novel insights into transcriptional regulation. Here, we separately sequenced total RNAs (Total RNAseq) and mRNAs (mRNAseq) from the same HIV-1-infected human CD4(+) T cells. We found that many nonpolyadenylated RNAs were differentially expressed upon HIV-1 infection, and we identified 8 times more differentially expressed genes at 12 h postinfection by Total RNAseq than by mRNAseq. These expression changes were also evident by concurrent changes in introns and were recapitulated by later mRNA changes, revealing an unexpectedly significant delay between transcriptional initiation and mature mRNA production early after HIV-1 infection. We computationally derived and validated the underlying regulatory programs, and we predicted drugs capable of reversing these HIV-1-induced expression changes followed by experimental confirmation. Our results show that combined total and mRNA transcriptome analysis is essential for fully capturing the early host response to virus infection and provide a framework for identifying candidate drugs for host-directed therapy against HIV/AIDS.
Understanding of the RNA editing process has been broadened considerably by the next generation sequencing technology; however, several issues regarding this regulatory step remain unresolved--the strategies to accurately delineate the editome, the mechanism by which its profile is maintained, and its evolutionary and functional relevance. Here we report an accurate and quantitative profile of the RNA editome for rhesus macaque, a close relative of human. By combining genome and transcriptome sequencing of multiple tissues from the same animal, we identified 31,250 editing sites, of which 99.8% are A-to-G transitions. We verified 96.6% of editing sites in coding regions and 97.5% of randomly selected sites in non-coding regions, as well as the corresponding levels of editing by multiple independent means, demonstrating the feasibility of our experimental paradigm. Several lines of evidence supported the notion that the adenosine deamination is associated with the macaque editome--A-to-G editing sites were flanked by sequences with the attributes of ADAR substrates, and both the sequence context and the expression profile of ADARs are relevant factors in determining the quantitative variance of RNA editing across different sites and tissue types. In support of the functional relevance of some of these editing sites, substitution valley of decreased divergence was detected around the editing site, suggesting the evolutionary constraint in maintaining some of these editing substrates with their double-stranded structure. These findings thus complement the "continuous probing" model that postulates tinkering-based origination of a small proportion of functional editing sites. In conclusion, the macaque editome reported here highlights RNA editing as a widespread functional regulation in primate evolution, and provides an informative framework for further understanding RNA editing in human.
RNA-Seq provides a powerful approach to carry out ab initio investigation of fusion transcripts representing critical translocation and post-transcriptional events that recode hereditary information. Most of the existing computational fusion detection tools are challenged by the issues of accuracy and how to handle multiple mappings.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most deadly cancers worldwide and has no effective treatment, yet the molecular basis of hepatocarcinogenesis remains largely unknown. Here we report findings from a whole-genome sequencing (WGS) study of 88 matched HCC tumor/normal pairs, 81 of which are Hepatitis B virus (HBV) positive, seeking to identify genetically altered genes and pathways implicated in HBV-associated HCC. We find beta-catenin to be the most frequently mutated oncogene (15.9%) and TP53 the most frequently mutated tumor suppressor (35.2%). The Wnt/beta-catenin and JAK/STAT pathways, altered in 62.5% and 45.5% of cases, respectively, are likely to act as two major oncogenic drivers in HCC. This study also identifies several prevalent and potentially actionable mutations, including activating mutations of Janus kinase 1 (JAK1), in 9.1% of patients and provides a path toward therapeutic intervention of the disease.
RNA sequencing can simultaneously identify exonic polymorphisms and quantitate gene expression. Here we report RNA sequencing of developing maize kernels from 368 inbred lines producing 25.8 billion reads and 3.6 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Both the MaizeSNP50 BeadChip and the Sequenom MassArray iPLEX platforms confirm a subset of high-quality SNPs. Of these SNPs, we have mapped 931,484 to gene regions with a mean density of 40.3 SNPs per gene. The genome-wide association study identifies 16,408 expression quantitative trait loci. A two-step approach defines 95.1% of the eQTLs to a 10-kb region, and 67.7% of them include a single gene. The establishment of relationships between eQTLs and their targets reveals a large-scale gene regulatory network, which include the regulation of 31 zein and 16 key kernel genes. These results contribute to our understanding of kernel development and to the improvement of maize yield and nutritional quality.
Genome-wide gene expression profile using deep sequencing technologies can drive the discovery of cancer biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Such efforts are often limited to profiling the expression signature of either mRNA or microRNA (miRNA) in a single type of cancer.
RNA-Seq, a method using next generation sequencing technologies to sequence the transcriptome, facilitates genome-wide analysis of splice junction sites. In this paper, we introduce SOAPsplice, a robust tool to detect splice junctions using RNA-Seq data without using any information of known splice junctions. SOAPsplice uses a novel two-step approach consisting of first identifying as many reasonable splice junction candidates as possible, and then, filtering the false positives with two effective filtering strategies. In both simulated and real datasets, SOAPsplice is able to detect many reliable splice junctions with low false positive rate. The improvement gained by SOAPsplice, when compared to other existing tools, becomes more obvious when the depth of sequencing is low. SOAPsplice is freely available at http://soap.genomics.org.cn/soapsplice.html.
Phytohormone studies enlightened our knowledge of plant responses to various changes. To provide a systematic and comprehensive view of genes participating in plant hormonal regulation, an online accessible database Arabidopsis Hormone Database (AHD) has been developed, which is a collection of hormone related genes of the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana (AHRGs). Recently we updated our database from AHD to a new version AHD2.0 by adding several pronounced features: (i) updating our collection of AHRGs based on most recent publications as well as constructing elaborate schematic diagrams of each hormone biosynthesis and signaling pathways; (ii) adding orthologs of sequenced plants listed in OrthoMCL-DB to each AHRG in the updated database; (iii) providing predicted miRNA splicing site(s) for each AHRG; (iv) integrating genes that genetically interact with each AHRG according to literatures mining; (v) providing links to a powerful online analysis platform WebLab for the convenience of in-time bioinformatics analysis and (vi) providing links to widely used protein databases and integrating more expression profiling information that would facilitate users for a more systematic and integrative analysis related to phytohormone research.
With the advent of second-generation sequencing, the expression of gene transcripts can be digitally measured with high accuracy. The purpose of this study was to systematically profile the expression of both mRNA and miRNA genes in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) using massively parallel sequencing technology.
Map-based cloning has been widely used to identify genes responsible for mutant phenotypes in Arabidopsis, especially those mutants generated by EMS or fast neutron mutagenesis. The success of map-based cloning relies on the availability of molecular markers that distinguish the polymorphisms between two Arabidopsis ecotypes. So far, most molecular markers in Arabidopsis have been generated by individual laboratories or the Arabidopsis Information Resource (TAIR). However, the TAIR markers, which are distributed unevenly on the five Arabidopsis chromosomes, only cover approximately 25% of the Arabidopsis BACs. Designing and testing molecular markers is still a time-consuming endeavor. Here we report the construction of a high-resolution BAC-based Arabidopsis mapping platform (AMP), using Col-0 and Ler as model ecotypes. The AMP comprises 1346 markers (1073 INDEL and 273 CAPS/dCAPS markers), of which 971 were newly designed and experimentally confirmed, 179 were from published papers and 196 were TAIR markers. These AMP markers cover 1186 BACs, 1121 of which are in non-centromere regions, representing approximately 75% of the Arabidopsis BACs in non-centromere regions. All the marker information is included on the AMP website (http://amp.genomics.org.cn/) for easy access and download, and sets of standard markers for initial chromosomal localization of a particular gene are recommended. The feasibility of using the AMP to map mutated genes is also discussed.
Maize (Zea mays) has an exceptionally complex genome with a rich history in both epigenetics and evolution. We report genomic landscapes of representative epigenetic modifications and their relationships to mRNA and small RNA (smRNA) transcriptomes in maize shoots and roots. The epigenetic patterns differed dramatically between genes and transposable elements, and two repressive marks (H3K27me3 and DNA methylation) were usually mutually exclusive. We found an organ-specific distribution of canonical microRNAs (miRNAs) and endogenous small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), indicative of their tissue-specific biogenesis. Furthermore, we observed that a decreasing level of mop1 led to a concomitant decrease of 24-nucleotide siRNAs relative to 21-nucleotide miRNAs in a tissue-specific manner. A group of 22-nucleotide siRNAs may originate from long-hairpin double-stranded RNAs and preferentially target gene-coding regions. Additionally, a class of miRNA-like smRNAs, whose putative precursors can form short hairpins, potentially targets genes in trans. In summary, our data provide a critical analysis of the maize epigenome and its relationships to mRNA and smRNA transcriptomes.
Maize kernel oil is a valuable source of nutrition. Here we extensively examine the genetic architecture of maize oil biosynthesis in a genome-wide association study using 1.03 million SNPs characterized in 368 maize inbred lines, including high-oil lines. We identified 74 loci significantly associated with kernel oil concentration and fatty acid composition (P < 1.8 × 10(-6)), which we subsequently examined using expression quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping, linkage mapping and coexpression analysis. More than half of the identified loci localized in mapped QTL intervals, and one-third of the candidate genes were annotated as enzymes in the oil metabolic pathway. The 26 loci associated with oil concentration could explain up to 83% of the phenotypic variation using a simple additive model. Our results provide insights into the genetic basis of oil biosynthesis in maize kernels and may facilitate marker-based breeding for oil quantity and quality.
Ferrets have become an indispensable tool in the understanding of influenza virus virulence and pathogenesis. Furthermore, ferrets are the preferred preclinical model for influenza vaccine and therapeutic testing. Here we characterized the influenza infectome during the different stages of the infectious process in ferrets with and without prior specific immunity to influenza. RNA from lung tissue and lymph nodes from infected and naïve animals was subjected to next-generation sequencing, followed by de novo data assembly and annotation of the resulting sequences; this process generated a library comprising 13,202 ferret mRNAs. Gene expression profiles during pandemic H1N1 (pdmH1N1) influenza virus infection were analyzed by digital gene expression and solid support microarrays. As expected during primary infection, innate immune responses were triggered in the lung tissue; meanwhile, in the lymphoid tissue, genes encoding antigen presentation and maturation of effector cells of adaptive immunity increased dramatically. After 5 days postinfection, the innate immune gene expression was replaced by the adaptive immune response, which correlates with viral clearance. Reinfection with homologous pandemic influenza virus resulted in a diminished innate immune response, early adaptive immune gene regulation, and a reduction in clinical severity. The fully annotated ferret infectome will be a critical aid to the understanding of the molecular events that regulate disease severity and host-influenza virus interactions among seasonal, pandemic, and highly pathogenic avian influenzas.
The Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas belongs to one of the most species-rich but genomically poorly explored phyla, the Mollusca. Here we report the sequencing and assembly of the oyster genome using short reads and a fosmid-pooling strategy, along with transcriptomes of development and stress response and the proteome of the shell. The oyster genome is highly polymorphic and rich in repetitive sequences, with some transposable elements still actively shaping variation. Transcriptome studies reveal an extensive set of genes responding to environmental stress. The expansion of genes coding for heat shock protein 70 and inhibitors of apoptosis is probably central to the oysters adaptation to sessile life in the highly stressful intertidal zone. Our analyses also show that shell formation in molluscs is more complex than currently understood and involves extensive participation of cells and their exosomes. The oyster genome sequence fills a void in our understanding of the Lophotrochozoa.
Heterosis is a fundamental biological phenomenon characterized by the superior performance of a hybrid over its parents in many traits, but the underlying molecular basis remains elusive. To investigate whether DNA methylation plays a role in heterosis, we compared at single-base-pair resolution the DNA methylomes of Arabidopsis thaliana Landsberg erecta and C24 parental lines and their reciprocal F1 hybrids that exhibited heterosis. Both hybrids displayed increased DNA methylation across their entire genomes, especially in transposable elements. Interestingly, increased methylation of the hybrid genomes predominantly occurred in regions that were differentially methylated in the two parents and covered by small RNAs, implying that the RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) pathway may direct DNA methylation in hybrids. In addition, we found that 77 genes sensitive to methylome remodeling were transcriptionally repressed in both reciprocal hybrids, including genes involved in flavonoid biosynthesis and two circadian oscillator genes circadian clock associated1 and late elongated hypocotyl. Moreover, growth vigor of F1 hybrids was compromised by treatment with an agent that demethylates DNA and by abolishing production of functional small RNAs due to mutations in Arabidopsis RNA methyltransferase HUA enhancer1. Together, our data suggest that genome-wide remodeling of DNA methylation directed by the RdDM pathway may play a role in heterosis.
There are remarkable disparities among patients of different races with prostate cancer; however, the mechanism underlying this difference remains unclear. Here, we present a comprehensive landscape of the transcriptome profiles of 14 primary prostate cancers and their paired normal counterparts from the Chinese population using RNA-seq, revealing tremendous diversity across prostate cancer transcriptomes with respect to gene fusions, long noncoding RNAs (long ncRNA), alternative splicing and somatic mutations. Three of the 14 tumors (21.4%) harbored a TMPRSS2-ERG fusion, and the low prevalence of this fusion in Chinese patients was further confirmed in an additional tumor set (10/54=18.5%). Notably, two novel gene fusions, CTAGE5-KHDRBS3 (20/54=37%) and USP9Y-TTTY15 (19/54=35.2%), occurred frequently in our patient cohort. Further systematic transcriptional profiling identified numerous long ncRNAs that were differentially expressed in the tumors. An analysis of the correlation between expression of long ncRNA and genes suggested that long ncRNAs may have functions beyond transcriptional regulation. This study yielded new insights into the pathogenesis of prostate cancer in the Chinese population.
RNA editing is a post-transcriptional event that recodes hereditary information. Here we describe a comprehensive profile of the RNA editome of a male Han Chinese individual based on analysis of ?767 million sequencing reads from poly(A)(+), poly(A)(-) and small RNA samples. We developed a computational pipeline that carefully controls for false positives while calling RNA editing events from genome and whole-transcriptome data of the same individual. We identified 22,688 RNA editing events in noncoding genes and introns, untranslated regions and coding sequences of protein-coding genes. Most changes (?93%) converted A to I(G), consistent with known editing mechanisms based on adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR). We also found evidence of other types of nucleotide changes; however, these were validated at lower rates. We found 44 editing sites in microRNAs (miRNAs), suggesting a potential link between RNA editing and miRNA-mediated regulation. Our approach facilitates large-scale studies to profile and compare editomes across a wide range of samples.
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