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Thursday, November 7, 2019

AGBT Virtual Poster: Single-molecule sequencing reveals the presence of distinct JC polyomavirus populations in patients with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy

At AGBT 2017, Lars Paulin from the University of Helsinki presented this poster on whole genome sequencing of the virus responsible for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a rare and dangerous brain infection. His team used long amplicon analysis to resolve the whole virus genome from three patient samples, pooled them for SMRT Sequencing, and identified variants and rearrangements. This work represents the first time the viral genome was sequenced from patients.

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Tutorial: Circular Consensus Sequence analysis application [SMRT Link v5.0.0]

This tutorial provides an overview of the Circular Consensus Sequence (CCS) analysis application. The CCS algorithm is used in applications that require distinguishing closely related DNA molecules in the same sample. Applications of CCS include profiling microbial communities, resolving viral populations and accurately identifying somatic variations within heterogeneous tumor cells. This tutorial covers features of SMRT Link v5.0.0.

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Tutorial: Minor variant analysis [SMRT Link v5.0.0]

This tutorial provides an overview of the Minor Variants Analysis application in SMRT Link and a live demo of how to launch an analysis in SMRT Link and interpret the results. This application identifies and phases minor single nucleotide variants in complex populations.

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

User Group Meeting: Sequencing chemistry & application updates

To start Day 1 of the PacBio User Group Meeting, Jonas Korlach, PacBio CSO, provides an update on the latest releases and performance metrics for the Sequel II System. The longest reads generated on this system with the SMRT Cell 8M now go beyond 175,000 bases, while maintaining extremely high accuracy. HiFi mode, for example, uses circular consensus sequencing to achieve accuracy of Q40 or even Q50.

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

User Group Meeting: New genotype to phenotype associations in viral metagenomes enabled by SMRT Sequencing

In this PacBio User Group Meeting lightning talk, Shawn Polson of the University of Delaware speaks about viral metagenomes, which are more challenging to distinguish than their bacterial counterparts because viruses have no 16S equivalent. By using SMRT Sequencing, his team generated higher-resolution data about viral genomes and aims to use this information as a guide to how these genomes function.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Altering tropism of rAAV by directed evolution.

Directed evolution represents an attractive approach to derive AAV capsid variants capable of selectively infect specific tissue or cell targets. It involves the generation of an initial library of high complexity followed by cycles of selection during which the library is progressively enriched for target-specific variants. Each selection cycle consists of the following: reconstitution of complete AAV genomes within plasmid molecules; production of virions for which each particular capsid variant is matched with the particular capsid gene encoding it; recovery of capsid gene sequences from target tissue after systemic administration. Prevalent variants are then analyzed and evaluated.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Mitovirus and Mitochondrial Coding Sequences from Basal Fungus Entomophthora muscae.

Fungi constituting the Entomophthora muscae species complex (members of subphylum Entomophthoromycotina, phylum Zoopagamycota) commonly kill their insect hosts and manipulate host behaviors in the process. In this study, we made use of public transcriptome data to identify and characterize eight new species of mitoviruses associated with several different E. muscae isolates. Mitoviruses are simple RNA viruses that replicate in host mitochondria and are frequently found in more phylogenetically apical fungi (members of subphylum Glomeromyoctina, phylum Mucoromycota, phylum Basidiomycota and phylum Ascomycota) as well as in plants. E. muscae is the first fungus from phylum Zoopagomycota, and thereby the most phylogenetically…

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

AAV-mediated delivery of zinc finger nucleases targeting hepatitis B virus inhibits active replication.

Despite an existing effective vaccine, hepatitis B virus (HBV) remains a major public health concern. There are effective suppressive therapies for HBV, but they remain expensive and inaccessible to many, and not all patients respond well. Furthermore, HBV can persist as genomic covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) that remains in hepatocytes even during otherwise effective therapy and facilitates rebound in patients after treatment has stopped. Therefore, the need for an effective treatment that targets active and persistent HBV infections remains. As a novel approach to treat HBV, we have targeted the HBV genome for disruption to prevent viral reactivation and…

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Vector design Tour de Force: integrating combinatorial and rational approaches to derive novel adeno-associated virus variants.

Methodologies to improve existing adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors for gene therapy include either rational approaches or directed evolution to derive capsid variants characterized by superior transduction efficiencies in targeted tissues. Here, we integrated both approaches in one unified design strategy of “virtual family shuffling” to derive a combinatorial capsid library whereby only variable regions on the surface of the capsid are modified. Individual sublibraries were first assembled in order to preselect compatible amino acid residues within restricted surface-exposed regions to minimize the generation of dead-end variants. Subsequently, the successful families were interbred to derive a combined library of ~8?×?10(5) complexity.…

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Sites of retroviral DNA integration: From basic research to clinical applications.

One of the most crucial steps in the life cycle of a retrovirus is the integration of the viral DNA (vDNA) copy of the RNA genome into the genome of an infected host cell. Integration provides for efficient viral gene expression as well as for the segregation of viral genomes to daughter cells upon cell division. Some integrated viruses are not well expressed, and cells latently infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) can resist the action of potent antiretroviral drugs and remain dormant for decades. Intensive research has been dedicated to understanding the catalytic mechanism of integration, as…

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Accurate identification and quantification of DNA species by next-generation sequencing in adeno-associated viral vectors produced in insect cells.

Recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors have proven excellent tools for the treatment of many genetic diseases and other complex diseases. However, the illegitimate encapsidation of DNA contaminants within viral particles constitutes a major safety concern for rAAV-based therapies. Moreover, the development of rAAV vectors for early-phase clinical trials has revealed the limited accuracy of the analytical tools used to characterize these new and complex drugs. Although most published data concerning residual DNA in rAAV preparations have been generated by quantitative PCR, we have developed a novel single-strand virus sequencing (SSV-Seq) method for quantification of DNA contaminants in AAV vectors produced…

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Short DNA hairpins compromise recombinant adeno-associated virus genome homogeneity.

Short hairpin (sh)RNAs delivered by recombinant adeno-associated viruses (rAAVs) are valuable tools to study gene function in vivo and a promising gene therapy platform. Our data show that incorporation of shRNA transgenes into rAAV constructs reduces vector yield and produces a population of truncated and defective genomes. We demonstrate that sequences with hairpins or hairpin-like structures drive the generation of truncated AAV genomes through a polymerase redirection mechanism during viral genome replication. Our findings reveal the importance of genomic secondary structure when optimizing viral vector designs. We also discovered that shDNAs could be adapted to act as surrogate mutant inverted terminal…

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Streamlined ex vivo and in vivo genome editing in mouse embryos using recombinant adeno-associated viruses.

Recent advances using CRISPR-Cas9 approaches have dramatically enhanced the ease for genetic manipulation in rodents. Notwithstanding, the methods to deliver nucleic acids into pre-implantation embryos have hardly changed since the original description of mouse transgenesis more than 30 years ago. Here we report a novel strategy to generate genetically modified mice by transduction of CRISPR-Cas9 components into pre-implantation mouse embryos via recombinant adeno-associated viruses (rAAVs). Using this approach, we efficiently generated a variety of targeted mutations in explanted embryos, including indel events produced by non-homologous end joining and tailored mutations using homology-directed repair. We also achieved gene modification in vivo…

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Transmission, evolution, and endogenization: Lessons learned from recent retroviral invasions.

Viruses of the subfamily Orthoretrovirinaeare defined by the ability to reverse transcribe an RNA genome into DNA that integrates into the host cell genome during the intracellular virus life cycle. Exogenous retroviruses (XRVs) are horizontally transmitted between host individuals, with disease outcome depending on interactions between the retrovirus and the host organism. When retroviruses infect germ line cells of the host, they may become endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), which are permanent elements in the host germ line that are subject to vertical transmission. These ERVs sometimes remain infectious and can themselves give rise to XRVs. This review integrates recent developments in…

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