Michael A Carpenter, Nuri A Temiz, Mahmoud A Ibrahim, Matthew C Jarvis, Margaret R Brown, Prokopios P Argyris, William L Brown, Gabriel J Starrett, Douglas Yee, Reuben S Harris
A prominent source of mutation in cancer is single-stranded DNA cytosine deamination by cellular APOBEC3 enzymes, which results in signature C-to-T and C-to-G mutations in TCA and TCT motifs. Although multiple enzymes have been implicated, reports conflict and it is unclear which protein(s) are responsible. Here we report the development of a selectable system to quantify genome mutation and demonstrate its utility by comparing the mutagenic activities of three leading candidates-APOBEC3A, APOBEC3B, and APOBEC3H...
November 30, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Jessica E Fellmeth, Janet K Jang, Manisha Persaud, Hannah Sturm, Neha Changela, Aashka Parikh, Kim S McKim
The centromere is an epigenetic mark that is a loading site for the kinetochore during meiosis and mitosis. This mark is characterized by the H3 variant CENP-A, known as CID in Drosophila. In Drosophila, CENP-C is critical for maintaining CID at the centromeres and directly recruits outer kinetochore proteins after nuclear envelope break down. These two functions, however, happen at different times in the cell cycle. Furthermore, in Drosophila and many other metazoan oocytes, centromere maintenance and kinetochore assembly are separated by an extended prophase...
November 29, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Nicolas M Ayala, Maximilian Genetti, Russell Corbett-Detig
Admixture, the exchange of genetic information between distinct source populations, is thought to be a major source of adaptive genetic variation. Unlike mutation events, which periodically generate single alleles, admixture can introduce many selected alleles simultaneously. As such, the effects of linkage between selected alleles may be especially pronounced in admixed populations. However, existing tools for identifying selected mutations within admixed populations only account for selection at a single site, overlooking phenomena such as linkage among proximal selected alleles...
November 28, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Jerome Goudet, Bruce S Weir
Being able to properly quantify genetic differentiation is key to understanding the evolutionary potential of a species. One central parameter in this context is FST, the mean coancestry within populations relative to the mean coancestry between populations. Researchers have been estimating FST globally or between pairs of populations for a long time. More recently, it has been proposed to estimate population-specific FST values, and population-pair mean relative coancestry. Here, we review the several definitions and estimation methods of FST, and stress that they provide values relative to a reference population...
November 27, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Xinge Jessie Jeng, Yifei Hu, Vaishnavi Venkat, Tzu-Pin Lu, Jung-Ying Tzeng
Polygenic risk score (PRS) is a quantity that aggregates the effects of variants across the genome and estimates an individual's genetic predisposition for a given trait. PRS analysis typically contains two input data sets: base data for effect size estimation and target data for individual-level prediction. Given the availability of large-scale base data, it becomes more common that the ancestral background of base and target data do not perfectly match. In this paper, we treat the GWAS summary information obtained in the base data as knowledge learned from a pre-trained model, and adopt a transfer learning framework to effectively leverage the knowledge learned from the base data that may or may not have similar ancestral background as the target samples to build prediction models for target individuals...
November 27, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Rachel Queen, Moira Crosier, Lorraine Eley, Janet Kerwin, Jasmin E Turner, Jianshi Yu, Ahlam Alqahtani, Tamilvendhan Dhanaseelan, Lynne Overman, Hannah Soetjoadi, Richard Baldock, Jonathan Coxhead, Veronika Boczonadi, Alex Laude, Simon J Cockell, Maureen A Kane, Steven Lisgo, Deborah J Henderson
Abnormalities of the arterial valves, including bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) are amongst the most common congenital defects and are a significant cause of morbidity as well as predisposition to disease in later life. Despite this, and compounded by their small size and relative inaccessibility, there is still much to understand about how the arterial valves form and remodel during embryogenesis, both at the morphological and genetic level. Here we set out to address this in human embryos, using Spatial Transcriptomics (ST)...
November 27, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Sílvia Chafino, Roser Salvia, Josefa Cruz, David Martín, Xavier Franch-Marro
Understanding the mechanisms governing body size attainment during animal development is of paramount importance in biology. In insects, a crucial phase in determining body size occurs at the larva-pupa transition, marking the end of the larval growth period. Central to this process is the attainment of the threshold size (TS), a critical developmental checkpoint that must be reached before the larva can undergo metamorphosis. However, the intricate molecular mechanisms by which the TS orchestrates this transition remain poor understood...
November 27, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Jennifer Carlisle Michel, Margaret M B Grivette, Amber T Harshfield, Lisa Huynh, Ava P Komons, Bradley Loomis, Kaitlan McKinnis, Brennen T Miller, Ethan Q Nguyen, Tiffany W Huang, Sophia Lauf, Elias S Michel, Mia E Michel, Jane S Kissinger, Audrey J Marsh, William E Crow, Lila E Kaye, Abagael M Lasseigne, Rachel M Lukowicz-Bedford, Dylan R Farnsworth, E Anne Martin, Adam C Miller
Electrical synapses are neuronal gap junction (GJ) channels associated with a macromolecular complex called the electrical synapse density (ESD), which regulates development and dynamically modifies electrical transmission. However, the proteomic makeup and molecular mechanisms utilized by the ESD that direct electrical synapse formation are not well understood. Using the Mauthner cell of zebrafish as a model, we previously found that the intracellular scaffolding protein ZO1b is a member of the ESD, localizing postsynaptically, where it is required for GJ channel localization, electrical communication, neural network function, and behavior...
November 27, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Shih-Che Weng, Igor Antoshechkin, Eric Marois, Omar S Akbari
Only female mosquitoes consume blood giving them the opportunity to transmit deadly human pathogens. Therefore, it is critical to remove females before conducting releases for genetic biocontrol interventions. Here we describe a robust sex-sorting approach termed SEPARATOR (Sexing Element Produced by Alternative RNA-splicing of A Transgenic Observable Reporter) that exploits sex-specific alternative splicing of an innocuous reporter to ensure exclusive dominant male-specific expression. Using SEPARATOR, we demonstrate reliable sex selection from early larval and pupal stages in Aedes aegypti, and use a Complex Object Parametric Analyzer and Sorter (COPAS) to demonstrate scalable high-throughput sex-selection of first instar larvae...
November 27, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Joel Hallgren, Kira Koonce, Michele Felletti, Julien Mortier, Eloisa Turco, Kristina Jonas
Upon nutrient depletion, bacteria stop proliferating and undergo physiological and morphological changes to ensure their survival. Yet, how these processes are coordinated in response to distinct starvation conditions is poorly understood. Here we compare the cellular responses of Caulobacter crescentus to carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) starvation conditions. We find that DNA replication initiation and abundance of the replication initiator DnaA are, under all three starvation conditions, regulated by a common mechanism involving the inhibition of DnaA translation...
November 27, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Laura B Chipman, San Luc, Ian A Nicastro, Jesse J Hulahan, Delaney C Dann, Devavrat M Bodas, Amy E Pasquinelli
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression by base-pairing to target sequences in messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and recruiting factors that induce translational repression and mRNA decay. In animals, nucleotides 2-8 at the 5' end of the miRNA, called the seed region, are often necessary and sometimes sufficient for functional target interactions. MiRNAs that contain identical seed sequences are grouped into families where individual members have the potential to share targets and act redundantly. A rare exception seemed to be the miR-238/239ab family in Caenorhabditis elegans, as previous work indicated that loss of miR-238 reduced lifespan while deletion of the miR-239ab locus resulted in enhanced longevity and thermal stress resistance...
November 27, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Lianna R Walker, Hiep L Vu, Kristi L Montooth, Daniel C Ciobanu
Mammalian evolution has been influenced by viruses for millions of years, leaving signatures of adaptive evolution within genes encoding for viral interacting proteins. Synaptogyrin-2 (SYNGR2) is a transmembrane protein implicated in promoting bacterial and viral infections. A genome-wide association study of pigs experimentally infected with porcine circovirus type 2b (PCV2b) uncovered a missense mutation (SYNGR2 p.Arg63Cys) associated with viral load. In this study, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing of the porcine kidney 15 (PK15, wtSYNGR2+p...
November 27, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Morag A Lewis, Jennifer Schulte, Lois Matthews, Kenneth I Vaden, Claire J Steves, Frances M K Williams, Bradley A Schulte, Judy R Dubno, Karen P Steel
Adult-onset progressive hearing loss is a common, complex disease with a strong genetic component. Although to date over 150 genes have been identified as contributing to human hearing loss, many more remain to be discovered, as does most of the underlying genetic diversity. Many different variants have been found to underlie adult-onset hearing loss, but they tend to be rare variants with a high impact upon the gene product. It is likely that combinations of more common, lower impact variants also play a role in the prevalence of the disease...
November 27, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Jingye Fu, Wenzheng Pei, Linqian He, Ben Ma, Chen Tang, Li Zhu, Liping Wang, Yuanyuan Zhong, Gang Chen, Qi Wang, Qiang Wang
Rapid and uniform seed germination is required for modern cropping system. Thus, it is important to optimize germination performance through breeding strategies in maize, in which identification for key regulators is needed. Here, we characterized an AP2/ERF transcription factor, ZmEREB92, as a negative regulator of seed germination in maize. Enhanced germination in ereb92 mutants is contributed by elevated ethylene signaling and starch degradation. Consistently, an ethylene signaling gene ZmEIL7 and an α-amylase gene ZmAMYa2 are identified as direct targets repressed by ZmEREB92...
November 17, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Maeve McLaughlin, Aretha Fiebig, Sean Crosson
The xenobiotic response element (XRE) family of transcription factors (TFs), which are commonly encoded by bacteria and bacteriophage, regulate diverse features of bacterial cell physiology and impact phage infection dynamics. Through a pangenome analysis of Caulobacter species isolated from soil and aquatic ecosystems, we uncovered an apparent radiation of a paralogous XRE TF gene cluster, several of which have established functions in the regulation of holdfast adhesin development and biofilm formation in C...
November 16, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Yuzhong Cheng, Fountane Chan, Judith A Kassis
engrailed (en) encodes a homeodomain transcription factor crucial for the proper development of Drosophila embryos and adults. Like many developmental transcription factors, en expression is regulated by many enhancers, some of overlapping function, that drive expression in spatially and temporally restricted patterns. The en embryonic enhancers are located in discrete DNA fragments that can function correctly in small reporter transgenes. In contrast, the en imaginal disc enhancers (IDEs) do not function correctly in small reporter transgenes...
November 15, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Xiaotong Wang, Valentin Hivert, Shiane Groot, Ying Wang, Loic Yengo, John J McGrath, Kathryn E Kemper, Peter M Visscher, Naomi R Wray, Joana A Revez
Vitamin D status-a complex trait influenced by environmental and genetic factors-is tightly associated with skin colour and ancestry. Yet very few studies have investigated the genetic underpinnings of vitamin D levels across diverse ancestries, and the ones that have, relied on small sample sizes, resulting in inconclusive results. Here, we conduct genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD)-the main circulating form of vitamin D-in 442,435 individuals from four broad genetically-determined ancestry groups represented in the UK Biobank: European (N = 421,867), South Asian (N = 9,983), African (N = 8,306) and East Asian (N = 2,279)...
November 14, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Nga H Nguyen, Srikant Sarangi, Erin M McChesney, Shaohu Sheng, Jacob D Durrant, Aidan W Porter, Thomas R Kleyman, Zachary W Pitluk, Jeffrey L Brodsky
Bartter syndrome is a group of rare genetic disorders that compromise kidney function by impairing electrolyte reabsorption. Left untreated, the resulting hyponatremia, hypokalemia, and dehydration can be fatal, and there is currently no cure. Bartter syndrome type II specifically arises from mutations in KCNJ1, which encodes the renal outer medullary potassium channel, ROMK. Over 40 Bartter syndrome-associated mutations in KCNJ1 have been identified, yet their molecular defects are mostly uncharacterized. Nevertheless, a subset of disease-linked mutations compromise ROMK folding in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which in turn results in premature degradation via the ER associated degradation (ERAD) pathway...
November 13, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Vamsi Krishna Gali, Chandre Monerawela, Yassine Laksir, Shin-Ichiro Hiraga, Anne D Donaldson
In budding yeast the Rif1 protein is important for protecting nascent DNA at blocked replication forks, but the mechanism has been unclear. Here we show that budding yeast Rif1 must interact with Protein Phosphatase 1 to protect nascent DNA. In the absence of Rif1, removal of either Dna2 or Sgs1 prevents nascent DNA degradation, implying that Rif1 protects nascent DNA by targeting Protein Phosphatase 1 to oppose degradation by the Sgs1-Dna2 nuclease-helicase complex. This functional role for Rif1 is conserved from yeast to human cells...
November 13, 2023: PLoS Genetics
Chao Wei, Jiongjie Jing, Xiaoyuan Yan, Jeffrey M Mann, Ruirong Geng, Huirong Xie, Elena Y Demireva, Rex A Hess, Deqiang Ding, Chen Chen
PIWI proteins and their associated piRNAs act to silence transposons and promote gametogenesis. Murine PIWI proteins MIWI, MILI, and MIWI2 have multiple arginine and glycine (RG)-rich motifs at their N-terminal domains. Despite being known as docking sites for the TDRD family proteins, the in vivo regulatory roles for these RG motifs in directing PIWI in piRNA biogenesis and spermatogenesis remain elusive. To investigate the functional significance of RG motifs in mammalian PIWI proteins in vivo, we genetically engineered an arginine to lysine (RK) point mutation of a conserved N-terminal RG motif in MIWI in mice...
November 13, 2023: PLoS Genetics
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