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Current Opinion in Genetics & Development

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28343090/developmental-systems-of-plasticity-and-trans-generational-epigenetic-inheritance-in-nematodes
#1
REVIEW
Vahan Serobyan, Ralf J Sommer
Several decades of research provided detailed insight into how genes control development and evolution, whereas recent studies have expanded this purely genetic perspective by presenting strong evidence for environmental and epigenetic influences. We summarize examples of phenotypic plasticity and trans-generational epigenetic inheritance in the nematode model organisms Pristionchus pacificus and Caenorhabditis elegans, which indicate that the response of developmental systems to environmental influences is hardwired into the organismś genome...
March 23, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28319737/relationship-between-c9orf72-repeat-size-and-clinical-phenotype
#2
REVIEW
Sara Van Mossevelde, Julie van der Zee, Marc Cruts, Christine Van Broeckhoven
Patient carriers of a C9orf72 repeat expansion exhibit remarkable heterogeneous clinical and pathological characteristics suggesting the presence of modifying factors. In accordance with other repeat expansion diseases, repeat length is the prime candidate as a genetic modifier. Observations of earlier onset ages in younger generations of large families suggested a mechanism of disease anticipation. Yet, studies of repeat size and onset age have led to conflicting results. Also, the correlation between repeat size and diagnosis is poorly understood...
March 17, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28314174/key-developmental-transitions-during-flower-morphogenesis-and-their-regulation
#3
REVIEW
Doris Wagner
The arrangement of flowers on flowering stems called inflorescences contributes to the beauty of the natural world and enhances seed yield, impacting species survival and human sustenance. During the reproductive phase, annual/monocarpic plants like Arabidopsis and most crops form two types of lateral structures: indeterminate lateral inflorescences and determinate flowers. Their stereotypical arrangement on the primary inflorescence stem determines the species-specific inflorescence architecture. This architecture can be modulated in response to environmental cues to enhance reproductive success...
March 14, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28319736/structural-variants-in-snca-gene-and-the-implication-to-synucleinopathies
#4
REVIEW
Ornit Chiba-Falek
Synucleinopathies are a group of neurodegenerative diseases that share a common pathological lesion of intracellular protein inclusions largely composed of aggregates of alpha-synuclein protein. Accumulating evidence, including genome-wide association studies, has implicated the alpha-synuclein (SNCA) gene in the etiology of synucleinopathies and it has been suggested that SNCA expression levels are critical for the development of these diseases. This review focuses on genetic variants from the class of structural variants (SVs), including multiplication of large genomic segments and short (<50bp) genomic variants such as simple sequence repeats (SSRs), within the SNCA locus...
March 2, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28262597/the-logic-of-plant-vascular-patterning-polarity-continuity-and-plasticity-in-the-formation-of-the-veins-and-of-their-networks
#5
REVIEW
Enrico Scarpella
The problem of long-distance transport is solved in many multicellular organisms by tissue networks such as the vascular networks of plants. Because tissue networks transport from one tissue area to another, they are polar and continuous; most of them, including plant vascular networks, are also plastic. Surprisingly, the formation of tissue networks is in most cases just as polar, continuous and plastic. Available evidence suggests that the polarity, continuity and plasticity of plant vascular networks and their formation could be accounted for by a patterning process that combines: (i) excess of developmental alternatives competing for a limiting cell-polarizing signal; (ii) positive feedback between cell polarization and continuous, cell-to-cell transport of the cell-polarizing signal; and (iii) gradual restriction of differentiation that increasingly removes the cell-polarizing signal...
March 2, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28260631/dna-methylation-homeostasis-in-human-and-mouse-development
#6
REVIEW
Mario Iurlaro, Ferdinand von Meyenn, Wolf Reik
The molecular pathways that regulate gain and loss of DNA methylation during mammalian development need to be tightly balanced to maintain a physiological equilibrium. Here we explore the relative contributions of the different pathways and enzymatic activities involved in methylation homeostasis in the context of genome-wide and locus-specific epigenetic reprogramming in mammals. An adaptable epigenetic machinery allows global epigenetic reprogramming to concur with local maintenance of critical epigenetic memory in the genome, and appears to regulate the tempo of global reprogramming in different cell lineages and species...
March 2, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28242493/c-elegans-as-a-model-system-to-accelerate-discovery-for-parkinson-disease
#7
REVIEW
Bryan A Martinez, Kim A Caldwell, Guy A Caldwell
The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans possesses a wealth of opportunities to explore mechanisms which regulate metazoan complexity, basic cellular biology, and neuronal system attributes. Together, these provide a basis for tenable understanding of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson disease (PD) through functional genomic analysis and pharmacological manipulation for the discovery of previously unknown genetic and environmental risk factors. The application of C. elegans has proven prescient in terms of the elucidation of functional effectors of cellular mechanisms underlying PD that translate to mammals...
February 24, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28242480/bifacial-stem-cell-niches-in-fish-and-plants
#8
REVIEW
Dongbo Shi, Tinatini Tavhelidse, Thomas Thumberger, Joachim Wittbrodt, Thomas Greb
Embryonic development is key for determining the architecture and shape of multicellular bodies. However, most cells are produced postembryonically in, at least partly, differentiated organs. In this regard, organismal growth faces common challenges in coordinating expansion and function of body structures. Here we compare two examples for postembryonic growth processes from two different kingdoms of life to reveal common regulatory principles: lateral growth of plants and the enlargement of the fish retina...
February 24, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28242479/distributing-signaling-proteins-in-space-and-time-the-province-of-cytonemes
#9
REVIEW
Thomas B Kornberg
During development, cells use specialized filopodia called cytonemes to deploy the signaling proteins that coordinate growth and direct morphogenesis. Cytonemes are dynamic structures that can extend long distances across tissues to either deliver or take up signaling proteins. Signaling proteins transfer between cells at the tips of cytonemes where specific contacts termed morphogenetic synapses form. This review summarizes our current understanding of the roles and functions of cytonemes, and it explores some of the conceptual issues relevant to the cytoneme mechanism of contact-dependent cell-cell signaling...
February 24, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28242478/gynoecium-formation-an-intimate-and-complicated-relationship
#10
REVIEW
Laila Moubayidin, Lars Østergaard
Multicellular organisms rely on the activity of organs that develop to a specific size and shape and are patterned into particular tissues. One of the most complicated plant structures is the female reproductive organ, the gynoecium, which must integrate a range of developmental cues to ensure efficient reproduction. Here we review recent discoveries on gene networks and hormonal activities that are required to (1) control cell division, (2) pattern the gynoecium along polarity axes and (3) specify organ shape and seed dispersal...
February 24, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28242477/nerve-associated-neural-crest-peripheral-glial-cells-generate-multiple-fates-in-the-body
#11
REVIEW
Julian Petersen, Igor Adameyko
Recent studies demonstrated that neural crest-derived Schwann cell precursors (SCPs) dwelling in the nerves are multipotent and can be recruited in the local tissue to provide building blocks of neural crest-derived nature. The variety of fates produced by SCPs is widening with every year and currently includes melanocytes/melanophores, parasympathetic and enteric neurons, endoneural fibroblast, mesenchymal stem cells and, of course, mature Schwann cells of different subtypes. However, it is still unclear if SCPs are, in fact, nerve-dwelling population of the neural crest or they are rather a different, more specialized, cell type...
February 24, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28232273/intrinsic-mechanisms-for-axon-regeneration-insights-from-injured-axons-in-drosophila
#12
REVIEW
Yan Hao, Catherine Collins
Axonal damage and loss are common and negative consequences of neuronal injuries, and also occur in some neurodegenerative diseases. For neurons to have a chance to repair their connections, they need to survive the damage, initiate new axonal growth, and ultimately establish new synaptic connections. This review discusses how recent work in Drosophila models have informed our understanding of the cellular pathways used by neurons to respond to axonal injuries. Similarly to mammalian neurons, Drosophila neurons appear to be more limited in their capacity regrow (regenerate) damaged axons in the central nervous system, but can undergo axonal regeneration to varying extents in the peripheral nervous system...
February 20, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28219014/stomatal-development-in-time-the-past-and-the-future
#13
REVIEW
Xian Qu, Kylee M Peterson, Keiko U Torii
Stomata have significantly diversified in nature since their first appearance around 400 million years ago. The diversification suggests the active reprogramming of molecular machineries of stomatal development during evolution. This review focuses on recent progress that sheds light on how this rewiring occurred in different organisms. Three specific aspects are discussed in this review: (i) the evolution of the transcriptional complex that governs stomatal state transitions; (ii) the evolution of receptor-ligand pairs that mediate extrinsic signaling; and (iii) the loss of stomatal development genes in an astomatous angiosperm...
February 17, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28232272/yeast-models-of-parkinson-s-disease-associated-molecular-pathologies
#14
REVIEW
Sandra Tenreiro, Vanessa Franssens, Joris Winderickx, Tiago Fleming Outeiro
The aging of the human population is resulting in an increase in the number of people afflicted by neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD), creating tremendous socio-economic challenges. This requires the urgent for the development of effective therapies, and of tools for early diagnosis of the disease. However, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying PD pathogenesis is still incomplete, hampering progress in those areas. In recent years, the progression made in genetics has considerably contributed to our knowledge, by identifying several novel PD genes...
February 16, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28213161/a-genomic-view-of-short-tandem-repeats
#15
REVIEW
Melissa Gymrek
Short tandem repeats (STRs) are some of the fastest mutating loci in the genome. Tools for accurately profiling STRs from high-throughput sequencing data have enabled genome-wide interrogation of more than a million STRs across hundreds of individuals. These catalogs have revealed that STRs are highly multiallelic and may contribute more de novo mutations than any other variant class. Recent studies have leveraged these catalogs to show that STRs play a widespread role in regulating gene expression and other molecular phenotypes...
February 14, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28213160/molecular-pathogenesis-of-peripheral-neuropathies-insights-from-drosophila-models
#16
REVIEW
Julia Bussmann, Erik Storkebaum
Peripheral neuropathies are characterized by degeneration of peripheral motor, sensory and/or autonomic axons, leading to progressive distal muscle weakness, sensory deficits and/or autonomic dysfunction. Acquired peripheral neuropathies, e.g., as a side effect of chemotherapy, are distinguished from inherited peripheral neuropathies (IPNs). Drosophila models for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and several IPNs have provided novel insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying axonal degeneration...
February 14, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28213159/signal-transduction-cascades-in-axon-regeneration-insights-from-c-elegans
#17
REVIEW
Naoki Hisamoto, Kunihiro Matsumoto
Axon regeneration after nerve injury is a conserved biological process in many animals, including humans. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) has recently emerged as a genetically tractable model for studying regenerative responses in neurons. Extensive studies over several years using this organism have revealed a number of intrinsic and extrinsic signal transduction cascades that regulate axon regeneration, and these are found to be conserved from worms to humans. Further studies have demonstrated that these cascades consist of several signaling networks that ultimately merge into the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) cascade...
February 14, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28213158/pink1-parkin-mitophagy-and-neurodegeneration-what-do-we-really-know-in-vivo
#18
REVIEW
Alexander J Whitworth, Leo J Pallanck
Mitochondria are essential organelles that provide cellular energy and buffer cytoplasmic calcium. At the same time they produce damaging reactive oxygen species and sequester pro-apoptotic factors. Hence, eukaryotes have evolved exquisite homeostatic processes that maintain mitochondrial integrity, or ultimately remove damaged organelles. This subject has garnered intense interest recently following the discovery that two Parkinson's disease genes, PINK1 and parkin, regulate mitochondrial degradation (mitophagy)...
February 14, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28213157/presynaptic-protein-homeostasis-and-neuronal-function
#19
REVIEW
Yu-Chun Wang, Elsa Lauwers, Patrik Verstreken
Proteome integrity is maintained by a coordinated network of molecular chaperones, by protein degradation machineries and by their regulators. Numerous human pathologies are considered as diseases of compromised protein homeostasis (proteostasis), including neurodegeneration. These are characterized by the accumulation of neuronal protein aggregates and by synaptic defects followed by loss of connectivity and cell death. While this suggests that synaptic terminals are particularly sensitive to proteostasis imbalance, our understanding of protein turnover mechanisms and regulation at the synapse remains limited...
February 14, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28213156/myotonic-dystrophy-disease-repeat-range-penetrance-age-of-onset-and-relationship-between-repeat-size-and-phenotypes
#20
REVIEW
Kevin Yum, Eric T Wang, Auinash Kalsotra
Myotonic dystrophy (DM) is an autosomal dominant neuromuscular disease primarily characterized by myotonia and progressive muscle weakness. The pathogenesis of DM involves microsatellite expansions in noncoding regions of transcripts that result in toxic RNA gain-of-function. Each successive generation of DM families carries larger repeat expansions, leading to an earlier age of onset with increasing disease severity. At present, diagnosis of DM is challenging and requires special genetic testing to account for somatic mosaicism and meiotic instability...
February 14, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
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