July 19, 2019  |  

Revealing complete complex KIR haplotypes phased by long-read sequencing technology

The killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) region of human chromosome 19 contains up to 16 genes for natural killer (NK) cell receptors that recognize human leukocyte antigen (HLA)/peptide complexes and other ligands. The KIR proteins fulfill functional roles in infections, pregnancy, autoimmune diseases and transplantation. However, their characterization remains a constant challenge. Not only are the genes highly homologous due to their recent evolution by tandem duplications, but the region is structurally dynamic due to frequent transposon-mediated recombination. A sequencing approach that precisely captures the complexity of KIR haplotypes for functional annotation is desirable. We present a unique approach to haplotype the KIR loci using single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing. Using this method, we have—for the first time—comprehensively sequenced and phased sixteen KIR haplotypes from eight individuals without imputation. The information revealed four novel haplotype structures, a novel gene-fusion allele, novel and confirmed insertion/deletion events, a homozygous individual, and overall diversity for the structural haplotypes and their alleles. These KIR haplotypes augment our existing knowledge by providing high-quality references, evolutionary informers, and source material for imputation. The haplotype sequences and gene annotations provide alternative loci for the KIR region in the human genome reference GrCh38.p8.


July 7, 2019  |  

High-coverage sequencing and annotated assemblies of the budgerigar genome.

Parrots belong to a group of behaviorally advanced vertebrates and have an advanced ability of vocal learning relative to other vocal-learning birds. They can imitate human speech, synchronize their body movements to a rhythmic beat, and understand complex concepts of referential meaning to sounds. However, little is known about the genetics of these traits. Elucidating the genetic bases would require whole genome sequencing and a robust assembly of a parrot genome.We present a genomic resource for the budgerigar, an Australian Parakeet (Melopsittacus undulatus) — the most widely studied parrot species in neuroscience and behavior. We present genomic sequence data that includes over 300× raw read coverage from multiple sequencing technologies and chromosome optical maps from a single male animal. The reads and optical maps were used to create three hybrid assemblies representing some of the largest genomic scaffolds to date for a bird; two of which were annotated based on similarities to reference sets of non-redundant human, zebra finch and chicken proteins, and budgerigar transcriptome sequence assemblies. The sequence reads for this project were in part generated and used for both the Assemblathon 2 competition and the first de novo assembly of a giga-scale vertebrate genome utilizing PacBio single-molecule sequencing.Across several quality metrics, these budgerigar assemblies are comparable to or better than the chicken and zebra finch genome assemblies built from traditional Sanger sequencing reads, and are sufficient to analyze regions that are difficult to sequence and assemble, including those not yet assembled in prior bird genomes, and promoter regions of genes differentially regulated in vocal learning brain regions. This work provides valuable data and material for genome technology development and for investigating the genomics of complex behavioral traits.


July 7, 2019  |  

Characterization of structural variants with single molecule and hybrid sequencing approaches.

Structural variation is common in human and cancer genomes. High-throughput DNA sequencing has enabled genome-scale surveys of structural variation. However, the short reads produced by these technologies limit the study of complex variants, particularly those involving repetitive regions. Recent ‘third-generation’ sequencing technologies provide single-molecule templates and longer sequencing reads, but at the cost of higher per-nucleotide error rates.We present MultiBreak-SV, an algorithm to detect structural variants (SVs) from single molecule sequencing data, paired read sequencing data, or a combination of sequencing data from different platforms. We demonstrate that combining low-coverage third-generation data from Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) with high-coverage paired read data is advantageous on simulated chromosomes. We apply MultiBreak-SV to PacBio data from four human fosmids and show that it detects known SVs with high sensitivity and specificity. Finally, we perform a whole-genome analysis on PacBio data from a complete hydatidiform mole cell line and predict 1002 high-probability SVs, over half of which are confirmed by an Illumina-based assembly. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.


July 7, 2019  |  

The haplotype-resolved genome and epigenome of the aneuploid HeLa cancer cell line.

The HeLa cell line was established in 1951 from cervical cancer cells taken from a patient, Henrietta Lacks. This was the first successful attempt to immortalize human-derived cells in vitro. The robust growth and unrestricted distribution of HeLa cells resulted in its broad adoption–both intentionally and through widespread cross-contamination–and for the past 60?years it has served a role analogous to that of a model organism. The cumulative impact of the HeLa cell line on research is demonstrated by its occurrence in more than 74,000 PubMed abstracts (approximately 0.3%). The genomic architecture of HeLa remains largely unexplored beyond its karyotype, partly because like many cancers, its extensive aneuploidy renders such analyses challenging. We carried out haplotype-resolved whole-genome sequencing of the HeLa CCL-2 strain, examined point- and indel-mutation variations, mapped copy-number variations and loss of heterozygosity regions, and phased variants across full chromosome arms. We also investigated variation and copy-number profiles for HeLa S3 and eight additional strains. We find that HeLa is relatively stable in terms of point variation, with few new mutations accumulating after early passaging. Haplotype resolution facilitated reconstruction of an amplified, highly rearranged region of chromosome 8q24.21 at which integration of the human papilloma virus type 18 (HPV-18) genome occurred and that is likely to be the event that initiated tumorigenesis. We combined these maps with RNA-seq and ENCODE Project data sets to phase the HeLa epigenome. This revealed strong, haplotype-specific activation of the proto-oncogene MYC by the integrated HPV-18 genome approximately 500?kilobases upstream, and enabled global analyses of the relationship between gene dosage and expression. These data provide an extensively phased, high-quality reference genome for past and future experiments relying on HeLa, and demonstrate the value of haplotype resolution for characterizing cancer genomes and epigenomes.


July 7, 2019  |  

A novel cold active esterase from a deep sea sponge Stelletta normani metagenomic library

Esterases catalyze the hydrolysis of ester bonds in fatty acid esters with short-chain acyl groups. Due to the widespread applications of lipolytic enzymes in various industrial applications, there continues to be an interest in novel esterases with unique properties. Marine ecosystems have long been acknowledged as a significant reservoir of microbial biodiversity and in particular of bacterial enzymes with desirable characteristics for industrial use, such as for example cold adaptation and activity in the alkaline pH range. We employed a functional metagenomic approach to exploit the enzymatic potential of one particular marine ecosystem, namely the microbiome of the deep sea sponge Stelletta normani. Screening of a metagenomics library from this sponge resulted in the identification of a number of lipolytic active clones. One of these encoded a highly, cold-active esterase 7N9, and the recombinant esterase was subsequently heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli. The esterase was classified as a type IV lipolytic enzyme, belonging to the GDSAG subfamily of hormone sensitive lipases. Furthermore, the recombinant 7N9 esterase was biochemically characterized and was found to be most active at alkaline pH (8.0) and displays salt tolerance over a wide range of concentrations. In silico docking studies confirmed the enzyme’s activity toward short-chain fatty acids while also highlighting the specificity toward certain inhibitors. Furthermore, structural differences to a closely related mesophilic E40 esterase isolated from a marine sediment metagenomics library are discussed.


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