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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

An online bioinformatics tool predicts zinc finger and TALE nuclease off-target cleavage.

Although engineered nucleases can efficiently cleave intracellular DNA at desired target sites, major concerns remain on potential ‘off-target’ cleavage that may occur throughout the genome. We developed an online tool: predicted report of genome-wide nuclease off-target sites (PROGNOS) that effectively identifies off-target sites. The initial bioinformatics algorithms in PROGNOS were validated by predicting 44 of 65 previously confirmed off-target sites, and by uncovering a new off-target site for the extensively studied zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) targeting C-C chemokine receptor type 5. Using PROGNOS, we rapidly interrogated 128 potential off-target sites for newly designed transcription activator-like effector nucleases containing either Asn-Asn…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Somatic second hit mutation of RASA1 in vascular endothelial cells in capillary malformation-arteriovenous malformation.

Capillary malformation-arteriovenous malformation (CM-AVM) is an autosomal dominant vascular disorder that is associated with inherited inactivating mutations of the RASA1 gene in the majority of cases. Characteristically, patients exhibit one or more focal cutaneous CM that may occur alone or together with AVM, arteriovenous fistulas or lymphatic vessel abnormalities. The focal nature and varying presentation of lesions has led to the hypothesis that somatic “second hit” inactivating mutations of RASA1 are necessary for disease development. In this study, we examined CM from four different CM-AVM patients for the presence of somatically acquired RASA1 mutations. All four patients were shown to…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Extensive gene amplification as a mechanism for piperacillin-tazobactam resistance in Escherichia coli.

Although the TEM-1 ß-lactamase (BlaTEM-1) hydrolyzes penicillins and narrow-spectrum cephalosporins, organisms expressing this enzyme are typically susceptible to ß-lactam/ß-lactamase inhibitor combinations such as piperacillin-tazobactam (TZP). However, our previous work led to the discovery of 28 clinical isolates of Escherichia coli resistant to TZP that contained only blaTEM-1 One of these isolates, E. coli 907355, was investigated further in this study. E. coli 907355 exhibited significantly higher ß-lactamase activity and BlaTEM-1 protein levels when grown in the presence of subinhibitory concentrations of TZP. A corresponding TZP-dependent increase in blaTEM-1 copy number was also observed, with as many as 113 copies of the gene…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

An improved medium for colistin susceptibility testing.

The plasmid-located colistin resistance gene mcr-1 confers low-level resistance to colistin, a last-line antibiotic against multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. Current CLSI-EUCAST recommendations require the use of a broth microdilution (BMD) method with cation-adjusted Mueller-Hinton (CA-MH) medium for colistin susceptibility testing, but approximately 15% of all MCR-1 producers are classified as sensitive in that broth. Here we report on an improved calcium-enhanced Mueller-Hinton (CE-MH) medium that permits simple and reliable determination of mcr-1-containing Enterobacteriaceae Colistin susceptibility testing was performed for 50 mcr-1-containing Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates, 7 intrinsically polymyxin-resistant species, K. pneumoniae and E. coli isolates with acquired resistance to…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

De novo repeat interruptions are associated with reduced somatic instability and mild or absent clinical features in myotonic dystrophy type 1.

Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is a multisystem disorder, caused by expansion of a CTG trinucleotide repeat in the 3′-untranslated region of the DMPK gene. The repeat expansion is somatically unstable and tends to increase in length with time, contributing to disease progression. In some individuals, the repeat array is interrupted by variant repeats such as CCG and CGG, stabilising the expansion and often leading to milder symptoms. We have characterised three families, each including one person with variant repeats that had arisen de novo on paternal transmission of the repeat expansion. Two individuals were identified for screening due to…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Characterization of biological pathways associated with a 1.37 Mbp genomic region protective of hypertension in Dahl S rats.

The goal of the present study was to narrow a region of chromosome 13 to only several genes and then apply unbiased statistical approaches to identify molecular networks and biological pathways relevant to blood-pressure salt sensitivity in Dahl salt-sensitive (SS) rats. The analysis of 13 overlapping subcongenic strains identified a 1.37 Mbp region on chromosome 13 that influenced the mean arterial blood pressure by at least 25 mmHg in SS rats fed a high-salt diet. DNA sequencing and analysis filled genomic gaps and provided identification of five genes in this region, Rfwd2, Fam5b, Astn1, Pappa2, and Tnr. A cross-platform normalization…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

New Delhi metallo-ß-lactamase-1-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae, Florida, USA(1).

New Delhi metallo-ß-lactamase (NDM)–producing Enterobacteriaceae have swiftly spread worldwide since an initial report in 2008 from a patient who had been transferred from India back home to Sweden (1). Epidemiologically, the global diffusion of NDM-1 producers has been associated with the Indian subcontinent and the Balkan region, which are considered the primary and secondary reservoirs of these pathogens, respectively (1). However, recent reports suggest that countries in the Middle East may constitute another potential reservoir for NDM-1 producers (1). More than 100 NDM-producing isolates have been reported in the United States, most of which were associated with recent travel from…

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