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Briefings in Functional Genomics

Ryan Park, Mary Winnicki, Evan Liu, Wen-Ming Chu
Immune checkpoints have been the subject of a wave of new studies. Among these checkpoints are tytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4, checkpoints programmed death-1 and programmed death-ligand 1; their blockades have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for therapy of melanoma and other types of cancers. Immunogenomics, which combines the latest nucleic acid sequencing strategy with immunotherapy, provides precise information about genomic alterations (e.g. mutations) and enables a paradigm shift of immune checkpoint therapy from tumor types to molecular signatures...
August 17, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Debostuti Ghoshdastidar, Manju Bansal
DNA is a complex molecule with phenomenal inherent plasticity and the ability to form different hydrogen bonding patterns of varying stabilities. These properties enable DNA to attain a variety of structural and conformational polymorphic forms. Structurally, DNA can exist in single-stranded form or as higher-order structures, which include the canonical double helix as well as the noncanonical duplex, triplex and quadruplex species. Each of these structural forms in turn encompasses an ensemble of dynamically heterogeneous conformers depending on the sequence composition and environmental context...
August 8, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Kenji Kojima, Misato Baba, Motoki Tsukiashi, Takuto Nishimura, Kiyoshi Yasukawa
Ribonuclease H (RNase H) [EC] is an enzyme that specifically degrades RNA from RNA/DNA hybrids. Since its discovery in 1969, the enzyme has been extensively studied for its catalytic mechanism and physiological role. RNase H has been classified into two major families, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 enzymes are designated RNase HI in prokaryotes and RNase H1 in eukaryotes, while Type 2 enzymes are designated RNase HII in prokaryotes and RNase H2 in eukaryotes. Type 2 enzymes are able to cleave the 5'-phosphodiester bond of one ribonucleotide embedded in a DNA double strand...
July 12, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Sagnik Sen, Ujjwal Maulik
In the current era of epigenetics research, we have observed many examples of epigenetic modifications, like histone modification and DNA methylation, in various fatal diseases. These include solid tumors, hematological malignancies and viral infections with DNA or RNA viruses. The purpose of this review is to summarize the role of epigenetic modifications during the abovementioned viral infections, viral-associated and independent malignancies. In this article, the essential biological aspects of DNA methylation are discussed...
July 9, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Xiaobo Wang, Shaoyi Fan, Hehai Pan, Wenli Chen, Hua Wang
Cancer is a complex and refractory disease, which can disseminate from primary site to a different site even at an early stage. Cancer immunotherapy harnesses host immune system to battle against cancer, but only a minority of patients benefit from it. Genetic-based technologies have significantly promoted the development of cancer immunotherapy. Here we describe genetic-based cancer immunotherapies in three aspects: recombinant cancer vaccine, immune checkpoint blockade therapy and adoptive cell transfer. In the future, multi-disciplinary collaboration will greatly increase the scope and effectiveness of cancer immunotherpy...
July 9, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Kashyap Kumar Dubey, Garry A Luke, Caroline Knox, Punit Kumar, Brett I Pletschke, Puneet Kumar Singh, Pratyoosh Shukla
Plants as bioreactors have been widely used to express efficient vaccine antigens against viral, bacterial and protozoan infections. To date, many different plant-based expression systems have been analyzed, with a growing preference for transient expression systems. Antibody expression in diverse plant species for therapeutic applications is well known, and this review provides an overview of various aspects of plant-based biopharmaceutical production. Here, we highlight conventional and gene expression technologies in plants along with some illustrative examples...
July 5, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Vladimir N Uversky
Although for more than a century a protein function was intimately associated with the presence of unique structure in a protein molecule, recent years witnessed a skyrocket rise of the appreciation of protein intrinsic disorder concept that emphasizes the importance of the biologically active proteins without ordered structures. In different proteins, the depth and breadth of disorder penetrance are different, generating an amusing spatiotemporal heterogeneity of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) and intrinsically disordered protein region regions (IDPRs), which are typically described as highly dynamic ensembles of rapidly interconverting conformations (or a multitude of short lifetime structures)...
July 3, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Qinan Yin, Jiaxing Tang, Xuekai Zhu
Next-generation sequencing has produced a large quantity of DNA or RNA sequences related to the processes occurring within tumors and their microenvironment in a reasonable time and cost. These data have been used to guide the identification of neoantigens and to determine their specific T-cell receptors. Furthermore, adoptive T-cell therapy targeting neoantigens is under development for cancer treatment. In this review, we first provide an overview of sequencing technologies and the updated findings concerning neoantigens related to adoptive T-cell therapy and then summarize the methods and principles underlying the development of next-generation sequencing-based neoantigen-reactive T-cell therapy for cancer...
July 2, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Martin Hemberg
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
July 1, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Christoph Ziegenhain, Beate Vieth, Swati Parekh, Ines Hellmann, Wolfgang Enard
Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) is currently transforming our understanding of biology, as it is a powerful tool to resolve cellular heterogeneity and molecular networks. Over 50 protocols have been developed in recent years and also data processing and analyzes tools are evolving fast. Here, we review the basic principles underlying the different experimental protocols and how to benchmark them. We also review and compare the essential methods to process scRNA-seq data from mapping, filtering, normalization and batch corrections to basic differential expression analysis...
July 1, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Peter Vegh, Muzlifah Haniffa
Application of single-cell genomics technologies has revolutionized our approach to study the immune system. Unravelling the functional diversity of immune cells and their coordinated response is key to understanding immunity. Single-cell transcriptomics technologies provide high-dimensional assessment of the transcriptional states of immune cells and have been successfully applied to discover new immune cell types, reveal haematopoietic lineages, identify gene modules dictating immune responses and investigate lymphocyte antigen receptor diversity...
July 1, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Mark W E J Fiers, Liesbeth Minnoye, Sara Aibar, Carmen Bravo González-Blas, Zeynep Kalender Atak, Stein Aerts
Single-cell techniques are advancing rapidly and are yielding unprecedented insight into cellular heterogeneity. Mapping the gene regulatory networks (GRNs) underlying cell states provides attractive opportunities to mechanistically understand this heterogeneity. In this review, we discuss recently emerging methods to map GRNs from single-cell transcriptomics data, tackling the challenge of increased noise levels and data sparsity compared with bulk data, alongside increasing data volumes. Next, we discuss how new techniques for single-cell epigenomics, such as single-cell ATAC-seq and single-cell DNA methylation profiling, can be used to decipher gene regulatory programmes...
July 1, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Vilas Menon
Advances in single-cell RNA-sequencing technology have resulted in a wealth of studies aiming to identify transcriptomic cell types in various biological systems. There are multiple experimental approaches to isolate and profile single cells, which provide different levels of cellular and tissue coverage. In addition, multiple computational strategies have been proposed to identify putative cell types from single-cell data. From a data generation perspective, recent single-cell studies can be classified into two groups: those that distribute reads shallowly over large numbers of cells and those that distribute reads more deeply over a smaller cell population...
July 1, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Jeanette Baran-Gale, Tamir Chandra, Kristina Kirschner
Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) has opened new avenues for the characterization of heterogeneity in a large variety of cellular systems. As this is a relatively new technique, the field is fast evolving. Here, we discuss general considerations in experimental design and the two most popular approaches, plate-based Smart-Seq2 and microdroplet-based scRNA-seq at the example of 10x Chromium. We discuss advantages and disadvantages of both methods and point out major factors to consider in designing successful experiments...
July 1, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Mattias Rantalainen
Precision medicine is emerging as a cornerstone of future cancer care with the objective of providing targeted therapies based on the molecular phenotype of each individual patient. Traditional bulk-level molecular phenotyping of tumours leads to significant information loss, as the molecular profile represents an average phenotype over large numbers of cells, while cancer is a disease with inherent intra-tumour heterogeneity at the cellular level caused by several factors, including clonal evolution, tissue hierarchies, rare cells and dynamic cell states...
July 1, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Chung-Chau Hon, Jay W Shin, Piero Carninci, Michael J T Stubbington
The Human Cell Atlas is a large, international consortium that aims to identify and describe every cell type in the human body. The comprehensive cellular maps that arise from this ambitious effort have the potential to transform many aspects of fundamental biology and clinical practice. Here, we discuss the technical approaches that could be used today to generate such a resource and also the technical challenges that will be encountered.
July 1, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Anders Ståhlberg, Amin El-Heliebi, Peter Sedlmayr, Thomas Kroneis
The presence of microchimeric cells is known for >100 years and well documented since decades. Earlier, microchimeric cells were mainly used for cell-based non-invasive prenatal diagnostics during early pregnancy. Microchimeric cells are also present beyond delivery and are associated to various autoimmune diseases, tissue repair, cancer and immune tolerance. All these findings were based on low complexity studies and occasionally accompanied by artefacts not allowing the biological functions of microchimerism to be determined...
July 1, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Aleksandra A Kolodziejczyk, Tapio Lönnberg
Analysing transcriptomes of cell populations is a standard molecular biology approach to understand how cells function. Recent methodological development has allowed performing similar experiments on single cells. This has opened up the possibility to examine samples with limited cell number, such as cells of the early embryo, and to obtain an understanding of heterogeneity within populations such as blood cell types or neurons. There are two major approaches for single-cell transcriptome analysis: quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) on a limited number of genes of interest, or more global approaches targeting entire transcriptomes using RNA sequencing...
July 1, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Reham Ajina, Danielle Zamalin, Louis M Weiner
Immunotherapies have revolutionized cancer treatment. Immunotherapy is effective for the treatment of a wide range of cancer types and can mediate complete and durable tumor regression. Nonetheless, the field still faces many significant challenges, such as the need for personalized therapeutic strategies and better biomarkers, the difficulty of selecting the right combination therapy, and resistance to currently available immunotherapies. Both cancer and host immunity comprise significantly diverse and complex ecosystems, making immunogenomics an ideal field for functional genomics analysis...
May 11, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
Julie A Osgood, Julian C Knight
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a highly heritable chronic inflammatory arthritis characterized by osteoproliferation, fusion of affected joints and systemic manifestations. Many disease associations for AS have been reported through genome-wide association studies; however, identifying modulated genes and functional mechanism remains challenging. This review summarizes current genetic associations involving AS and describes strategic approaches for functional follow-up of disease-associated variants. Fine mapping using methods leveraging Bayesian approaches are outlined...
May 5, 2018: Briefings in Functional Genomics
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