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Trends in Genetics: TIG

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March 11, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
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March 7, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
María Angélica Bravo Núñez, Nicole L Nuckolls, Sarah E Zanders
Unbiased allele transmission into progeny is a fundamental genetic concept canonized as Mendel's Law of Segregation. Not all alleles, however, abide by the law. Killer meiotic drivers are ultra-selfish DNA sequences that are transmitted into more than half (sometimes all) of the meiotic products generated by a heterozygote. As their name implies, these loci gain a transmission advantage in heterozygotes by destroying otherwise viable meiotic products that do not inherit the driver. We review and classify killer meiotic drive genes across a wide spectrum of eukaryotes...
February 27, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
Zuzana Storchová
Aneuploidy, or unbalanced chromosome number, is a hallmark of cancer. Recently established model systems revealed that aneuploidy affects many aspects of cellular physiology, among them sphingolipid metabolism. The new finding that the proliferation of aneuploid cells depends on sphingolipid homeostasis offers an appealing opportunity for cancer treatment.
February 21, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
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February 9, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 9, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
Tom J Carney, Christian Mosimann
Transgenic approaches are instrumental for labeling and manipulating cells and cellular machineries in vivo. Transgenes have traditionally been static entities that remained unaltered following genome integration, limiting their versatility. The development of DNA recombinase-based methods to modify, excise, or rearrange transgene cassettes has introduced versatile control of transgene activity and function. In particular, recombinase-controlled transgenes enable regulation of exogenous gene expression, conditional mutagenesis, and genetic lineage tracing...
February 8, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
Alexey S Kondrashov
Theoretically, a variety of mechanisms can make amphimixis advantageous due to reshuffling of offspring genotypes. Recently, it has been shown experimentally that some of these mechanisms can indeed work in artificial populations. However, we still do not know which of them, if any, are relevant in nature, and the available indirect estimates seem to suggest that neither negative nor positive selection in natural populations is strong enough to provide evolutionary protection for obligate amphimixis. Thus, progress in understanding the evolution of amphimixis will depend on direct measurements of the strength of natural selection...
February 3, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
Caroline C Escoubas, Carlos G Silva-García, William B Mair
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 1, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
Jun Wei Pek
Stable intronic sequence RNAs (sisRNAs) are conserved in various organisms. Recent observations in Drosophila suggest that sisRNAs often engage in regulatory feedback loops to control the expression of their parental genes. The use of sisRNAs as mediators for local feedback control may be a general phenomenon.
January 31, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
Hillel T Schwartz, Paul W Sternberg
Dejima and colleagues report using CRISPR/Cas9 to generate a new collection of greatly improved balancer chromosomes in the standard laboratory nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, using methods previously reported by the same laboratory, expanding the set of C. elegans balancers to cover nearly 90% of coding genes.
January 30, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
Lina Zelinger, Anand Swaroop
For decades, RNA has served in a supporting role between the genetic carrier (DNA) and the functional molecules (proteins). It is finally time for RNA to take center stage in all aspects of biology. The retina provides a unique opportunity to dissect the molecular underpinnings of neuronal diversity and disease. Transcriptome profiles of the retina and its resident cell types have unraveled unique features of the RNA landscape. The discovery of distinct RNA molecules and the recognition that RNA processing is a major cause of retinal neurodegeneration have prompted the design of biomarkers and novel therapeutic paradigms...
January 30, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
Ian D Blum, Benjamin Bell, Mark N Wu
Sleep is an evolutionarily conserved behavior that is increasingly recognized as important for human health. While its precise function remains controversial, sleep has been suggested to play a key role in a variety of biological phenomena ranging from synaptic plasticity to metabolic clearance. Although it is clear that sleep is regulated by the circadian clock, how this occurs remains enigmatic. Here we examine the genetic mechanisms by which the circadian clock regulates sleep, drawing on recent work in fruit flies, zebrafish, mice, and humans...
January 24, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
Kenneth Paigen, Petko M Petkov
PRDM9 is a zinc finger protein that binds DNA at specific locations in the genome where it trimethylates histone H3 at lysines 4 and 36 at surrounding nucleosomes. During meiosis in many species, including humans and mice where PRDM9 has been most intensely studied, these actions determine the location of recombination hotspots, where genetic recombination occurs. In addition, PRDM9 facilitates the association of hotspots with the chromosome axis, the site of the programmed DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) that give rise to genetic exchange between chromosomes...
January 20, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
Patricia Sieber, Matthias Platzer, Stefan Schuster
The term open reading frame (ORF) is of central importance to gene finding. Surprisingly, at least three definitions are in use. We discuss several molecular biological and bioinformatics aspects, and we recommend using the definition in which an ORF is bounded by stop codons.
January 20, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
Caroline K Vilas, Lara E Emery, Eros Lazzerini Denchi, Kyle M Miller
Zinc finger (ZnF) domains are present in at least 5% of human proteins. First characterized as binding to DNA, ZnFs display extraordinary binding plasticity and can bind to RNA, lipids, proteins, and protein post-translational modifications (PTMs). The diverse binding properties of ZnFs have made their functional characterization challenging. While once confined to large and poorly characterized protein families, proteomic, cellular, and molecular studies have begun to shed light on their involvement as protectors of the genome...
January 19, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
Marc K Halushka, Bastian Fromm, Kevin J Peterson, Matthew N McCall
A lack of knowledge of the cellular origin of miRNAs has greatly confounded functional and biomarkers studies. Recently, three studies characterized miRNA expression patterns across >78 human cell types. These combined data expand our knowledge of miRNA expression localization and confirm that many miRNAs show cell type-specific expression patterns.
January 17, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
Mridu Kapur, Susan L Ackerman
Errors during mRNA translation can lead to a reduction in the levels of functional proteins and an increase in deleterious molecules. Advances in next-generation sequencing have led to the discovery of rare genetic disorders, many caused by mutations in genes encoding the mRNA translation machinery, as well as to a better understanding of translational dynamics through ribosome profiling. We discuss here multiple neurological disorders that are linked to errors in tRNA aminoacylation and ribosome decoding. We draw on studies from genetic models, including yeast and mice, to enhance our understanding of the translational defects observed in these diseases...
January 15, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
Yuan Gao, Fangqing Zhao
Recent studies have demonstrated that circular RNAs (circRNAs) are ubiquitous and have diverse functions and mechanisms of biogenesis. In these studies, computational profiling of circRNAs has been prevalently used as an indispensable method to provide high-throughput approaches to detect and analyze circRNAs. However, without an overall understanding of the underlying strategies, these computational methods may not be appropriately selected or used for a specific research purpose, and some misconceptions may result in biases in the analyses...
January 12, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
Sören Boller, Rui Li, Rudolf Grosschedl
Hematopoiesis is regulated by signals from the microenvironment, transcription factor networks, and changes of the epigenetic landscape. Transcription factors interact with and shape chromatin to allow for lineage- and cell type-specific changes in gene expression. During B lymphopoiesis, epigenetic regulation is observed in multilineage progenitors in which a specific chromatin context is established, at the onset of the B cell differentiation when early B cell factor 1 (EBF1) induces lineage-specific changes in chromatin, during V(D)J recombination and after antigen-driven activation of B cells and terminal differentiation...
January 11, 2018: Trends in Genetics: TIG
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