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Elizabeth A LaMarca, Samuel K Powell, Schahram Akbarian, Kristen J Brennand
Human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have revolutionized our ability to model neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, and recent progress in the field is paving the way for improved therapeutics. In this review, we discuss major advances in generating hiPSC-derived neural cells and cutting-edge techniques that are transforming hiPSC technology, such as three-dimensional "mini-brains" and clustered, regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas systems. We examine specific examples of how hiPSC-derived neural cells are being used to uncover the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease, and consider the future of this groundbreaking research...
2018: Frontiers in Pediatrics
Lauren A Cooper, Anne M Stringer, Joseph T Wade
In clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-Cas (CRISPR-associated) immunity systems, short CRISPR RNAs (crRNAs) are bound by Cas proteins, and these complexes target invading nucleic acid molecules for degradation in a process known as interference. In type I CRISPR-Cas systems, the Cas protein complex that binds DNA is known as Cascade. Association of Cascade with target DNA can also lead to acquisition of new immunity elements in a process known as primed adaptation. Here, we assess the specificity determinants for Cascade-DNA interaction, interference, and primed adaptation in vivo , for the type I-E system of Escherichia coli Remarkably, as few as 5 bp of crRNA-DNA are sufficient for association of Cascade with a DNA target...
April 17, 2018: MBio
Ziv Lifshitz, Na'ama Sturlesi, Miriam Parizade, Shlomo E Blum, Michal Gordon, Diana Taran, Amos Adler
The goal of this study was to compare the molecular features of bovine- and human community-acquired extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli in Israel. Bovine ESBL-producing E. coli were isolated during a point-prevalence study from the main farming locations throughout Israel. Human ESBL-producing E. coli isolates were collected from community-acquired urinary tract infection cases. Molecular typing was done initially by repetitive extragenic palindromic-PCR. Representative isolates were subjected to next-generation sequencing (NGS) and analyzed for multilocus sequence typing (MLST), core genome MLST (cgMLST), blaCTX-M gene allele, and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) surrounding it...
April 17, 2018: Microbial Drug Resistance: MDR: Mechanisms, Epidemiology, and Disease
Zhang Cui, Quan Renfu, Wang Jinfu
Genomic editing to correct disease-causing mutations is a promising approach for the treatment of human diseases. As a simple and programmable nuclease-based genomic editing tool, the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) system has substantially improved the ability to make precise changes in the human genome. Rapid development of CRISPR-based technologies in recent years has expanded its application scope and promoted CRISPR-based therapies in preclinical trails...
April 6, 2018: Human Molecular Genetics
Cauã Antunes Westmann, María-Eugenia Guazzaroni, Rafael Silva-Rocha
Engineering microbial systems allows the generation of new technologies having significant impact in the biotechnological industry and on human health. In the past few years, several synthetic biology approaches have been implemented in bacteria to allow precise engineering of novel regulatory circuits for several applications. The advent of high-throughput technologies and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/Cas9-based DNA editing techniques have been pivotal in this process. Yet, despite the tremendous advances experienced recently, there are still a number of bottlenecks that need to be overcome in order to generate high-performance redesigned living machines, and the use of novel computer-aided approaches would be essential for this task...
March 2018: MSystems
Takehito Kaneko
Many types of mutant and genetically engineered strains have been produced in various animal species. Their numbers have dramatically increased in recent years, with new strains being rapidly produced using genome editing techniques. In the rat, it has been difficult to produce knockout and knock-in strains because the establishment of stem cells has been insufficient. However, a large number of knockout and knock-in strains can currently be produced using genome editing techniques, including zinc-finger nuclease (ZFN), transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN), and the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) system...
April 14, 2018: Journal of Reproduction and Development
Kenya Imaimatsu, Wataru Fujii, Ryuji Hiramatsu, Kento Miura, Masamichi Kurohmaru, Yoshiakira Kanai
Mammalian zygote-mediated genome editing via the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated endonuclease 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) system is widely used to generate genome-modified animals. This system allows for the production of loss-of-function mutations in various Y chromosome genes, including Sry, in mice. Here, we report the establishment of a CRISPR-Cas9-mediated knock-in line of Flag-tag sequences into the Sry locus at the C-terminal coding end of the Y chromosome (YSry-flag )...
April 14, 2018: Journal of Reproduction and Development
Andrew J P Smith, Panos Deloukas, Patricia B Munroe
Over the last decade, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have propelled the discovery of thousands of loci associated with complex diseases. The focus is now turning towards the function of these association signals, determining the causal variant(s) amongst those in strong linkage disequilibrium, and identifying their underlying mechanisms, such as long-range gene regulation. Genome-editing techniques utilising zinc-finger nucleases (ZFN), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) and clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats with Cas9 nuclease (CRISPR-Cas9), are becoming the tools of choice to establish functionality for these variants, due to the ability to assess effects of single variants in vivo...
April 13, 2018: Physiological Genomics
Yumiko Nambu-Nishida, Keiji Nishida, Tomohisa Hasunuma, Akihiko Kondo
Kluyveromyces marxianus is a thermotolerant, crabtree-negative yeast, which preferentially directs metabolism (e.g., from the tricarboxylic acid cycle) to aerobic alcoholic fermentation. Thus K. marxianus has great potential for engineering to produce various materials under aerobic cultivation conditions. In this study, we engineered K. marxianus to produce and secrete a single-chain antibody (scFv), a product that is highly valuable but has historically proven difficult to generate at large scale. scFv production was obtained with strains carrying either plasmid-borne or genomically integrated constructs using various combinations of promoters (P MDH1 or P ACO1 ) and secretion signal peptides (KmINUss or Scα-MFss)...
April 12, 2018: AMB Express
Matthew C Canver, Maximilian Haeussler, Daniel E Bauer, Stuart H Orkin, Neville E Sanjana, Ophir Shalem, Guo-Cheng Yuan, Feng Zhang, Jean-Paul Concordet, Luca Pinello
CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) genome-editing experiments offer enormous potential for the evaluation of genomic loci using arrayed single guide RNAs (sgRNAs) or pooled sgRNA libraries. Numerous computational tools are available to help design sgRNAs with optimal on-target efficiency and minimal off-target potential. In addition, computational tools have been developed to analyze deep-sequencing data resulting from genome-editing experiments. However, these tools are typically developed in isolation and oftentimes are not readily translatable into laboratory-based experiments...
May 2018: Nature Protocols
Yanjie Luo, Yang Qiu, Ren Na, Farida Meerja, Qing Shi Lu, Chunyan Yang, Lining Tian
A major research topic nowadays is to study and understand the functions of the increasing number of predicted genes that have been discovered through the complete genome sequencing of many plant species. With the aim of developing tools for rapid and convenient gene function analysis, we have developed a set of "pGate" vectors based on the principle of Golden gate and Gateway cloning approaches. These vectors combine the positive aspects of both Golden gate and Gateway cloning strategies. pGate vectors can not only be used as Golden gate recipient vectors to assemble multiple DNA fragments in a pre-defined order, but they can also work as an entry vector to transfer the assembled DNA fragment(s) to a large number of already-existing, functionally diverse, Gateway compatible destination vectors without adding additional nucleotides during cloning...
June 2018: Plant Science: An International Journal of Experimental Plant Biology
Kristie Bloom, Mohube Betty Maepa, Abdullah Ely, Patrick Arbuthnot
Chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a global health concern and accounts for approximately 1 million deaths annually. Amongst other limitations of current anti-HBV treatment, failure to eliminate the viral covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) and emergence of resistance remain the most worrisome. Viral rebound from latent episomal cccDNA reservoirs occurs following cessation of therapy, patient non-compliance, or the development of escape mutants. Simultaneous viral co-infections, such as by HIV-1, further complicate therapeutic interventions...
April 12, 2018: Genes
Jiajun Wang, Shuli Chou, Zhanyi Yang, Yang Yang, Zhihua Wang, Jing Song, Xiujing Dou, Anshan Shan
Antimicrobial peptides are an important weapon against invading pathogens and are potential candidates as novel antibacterial agents, but their antifungal activities are not fully developed. In this study, a set of imperfectly amphipathic peptides was developed based on the imperfectly amphipathic palindromic structure Rn(XRXXXRX)Rn (n = 1,2; X represents L, I, F, or W), and the engineered peptides exhibited high antimicrobial activities against all fungi and bacteria tested (including fluconazole-resistant Candida albicans), with geometric mean (GM) MICs ranging from 2...
April 12, 2018: Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Adam Kawalek, Aneta A Bartosik, Krzysztof Glabski, Grazyna Jagura-Burdzy
ParA and ParB homologs are involved in accurate chromosome segregation in bacteria. ParBs participate in the separation of ori domains by binding to parS palindromes, mainly localized close to oriC. In Pseudomonas aeruginosa neither ParB deficiency nor modification of all 10 parSs is lethal. However, such mutants show not only defects in chromosome segregation but also growth retardation and motility dysfunctions. Moreover, a lack of parB alters expression of over 1000 genes, suggesting that ParB could interact with the chromosome outside its canonical parS targets...
April 10, 2018: Nucleic Acids Research
Yingbo Cui, Jiaming Xu, Minxia Cheng, Xiangke Liao, Shaoliang Peng
The adaptive immunity system in bacteria and archaea, Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, CRISPR-associate (CRISPR/Cas), has been adapted as a powerful gene editing tool and got a broad application in genome research field due to its ease of use and cost-effectiveness. The performance of CRISPR/Cas relies on well-designed single-guide RNA (sgRNA), so a lot of bioinformatic tools have been developed to assist the design of highly active and specific sgRNA. These tools vary in design specifications, parameters, genomes and so on...
April 11, 2018: Interdisciplinary Sciences, Computational Life Sciences
Shaun Wachter, Rahul Raghavan, Jenny Wachter, Michael F Minnick
BACKGROUND: Coxiella burnetii is a Gram-negative gammaproteobacterium and zoonotic agent of Q fever. C. burnetii's genome contains an abundance of pseudogenes and numerous selfish genetic elements. MITEs (miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements) are non-autonomous transposons that occur in all domains of life and are thought to be insertion sequences (ISs) that have lost their transposase function. Like most transposable elements (TEs), MITEs are thought to play an active role in evolution by altering gene function and expression through insertion and deletion activities...
April 11, 2018: BMC Genomics
Adrian Duba, Klaudia Goriewa-Duba, Urszula Wachowska
Zymoseptoria tritici is a hemibiotrophic pathogen which causes Septoria leaf blotch in wheat. The pathogenesis of the disease consists of a biotrophic phase and a necrotrophic phase. The pathogen infects the host plant by suppressing its immune response in the first stage of infection. Hemibiotrophic pathogens of the genus Fusarium cause Fusarium head blight, and the necrotrophic Parastagonospora nodorum is responsible for Septoria nodorum blotch in wheat. Cell wall-degrading enzymes in plants promote infections by necrotrophic and hemibiotrophic pathogens, and trichothecenes, secondary fungal metabolites, facilitate infections caused by fungi of the genus Fusarium ...
April 10, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Cuihua Gu, Bin Dong, Liang Xu, Luke R Tembrock, Shaoyu Zheng, Zhiqiang Wu
Heimia myrtifolia is an important medicinal plant with several pharmacologically active alkaloids and is also used as an ornamental landscape plant. The purpose of this study is to complete and characterize the chloroplast (cp) genome of H. myrtifolia and compare genomic features to other Myrtales species' cp genomes. The analysis showed that H. myrtifolia has a total length of 159,219 bp with a typical quadripartite structure containing two identical inverted repeats (IRs) of 25,643 bp isolated by one large single copy (LSC) of 88,571 bp and one small single copy (SSC) of 18,822 bp...
April 8, 2018: Molecules: a Journal of Synthetic Chemistry and Natural Product Chemistry
Mostafa Abdelrahman, Abdullah M Al-Sadi, Alireza Pour-Aboughadareh, David J Burritt, Lam-Son Phan Tran
Developing more crops able to sustainably produce high yields when grown under biotic/abiotic stresses is an important goal, if crop production and food security are to be guaranteed in the face of ever-increasing human population and unpredictable global climatic conditions. However, conventional crop improvement, through random mutagenesis or genetic recombination, is time-consuming and cannot keep pace with increasing food demands. Targeted genome editing (GE) technologies, especially clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/(CRISPR)-associated protein 9 (Cas9), have great potential to aid in the breeding of crops that are able to produce high yields under conditions of biotic/abiotic stress...
March 12, 2018: Plant Physiology and Biochemistry: PPB
Mami Miyado, Koji Muroya, Momori Katsumi, Kazuki Saito, Masafumi Kon, Maki Fukami
Isodicentric Y chromosome [idic(Y)] represents a relatively common subtype of Y chromosomal rearrangements in the germline; however, limited evidence supports the postzygotic occurrence of idic(Y). Here, we report a boy with hypospadias and somatically acquired idic(Y). The 3.5-year-old boy has been identified in our previous study for patients with hypospadias. In the present study, cytogenetic analysis including FISH revealed a 45,X[5]/46,X,idic(Y)[7]/46,XY[8] karyotype. MLPA showed a mosaic deletion involving PPP1R12BP1 and RBMY2DP...
April 7, 2018: Cytogenetic and Genome Research
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