October 23, 2019  |  

Simultaneous non-contiguous deletions using large synthetic DNA and site-specific recombinases.

Toward achieving rapid and large scale genome modification directly in a target organism, we have developed a new genome engineering strategy that uses a combination of bioinformatics aided design, large synthetic DNA and site-specific recombinases. Using Cre recombinase we swapped a target 126-kb segment of the Escherichia coli genome with a 72-kb synthetic DNA cassette, thereby effectively eliminating over 54 kb of genomic DNA from three non-contiguous regions in a single recombination event. We observed complete replacement of the native sequence with the modified synthetic sequence through the action of the Cre recombinase and no competition from homologous recombination. Because of the versatility and high-efficiency of the Cre-lox system, this method can be used in any organism where this system is functional as well as adapted to use with other highly precise genome engineering systems. Compared to present-day iterative approaches in genome engineering, we anticipate this method will greatly speed up the creation of reduced, modularized and optimized genomes through the integration of deletion analyses data, transcriptomics, synthetic biology and site-specific recombination. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.


September 22, 2019  |  

Interactive analysis of Long-read RNA isoforms with Iso-Seq Browser

Background: Long-read RNA sequencing, such as Pacific Biosciences Iso-Seq method, enables generation of sequencing reads that are 10 kilobases or even longer. These reads are ideal for discovering splice junctions and resolving full-length gene transcripts without time-consuming and error-prone techniques such as transcript assembly and junction inference. Results: Iso-Seq Browser is a Web-based visual analytics tool for long-read RNA sequencing data produced by Pacific Biosciences isoform sequencing (Iso-Seq) techniques. Key features of the Iso-Seq Browser are: 1) an exon-only web-based interface with zooming and exon highlighting for exploring reference gene transcripts and novel gene isoforms, 2) automated grouping of transcripts and isoforms by similarity, 3) many customization features for data exploration and creating publication ready figures, and 4) exporting selected isoforms into fasta files for further analysis. Iso-Seq Browser is written in Python using several scientific libraries. The application and analyses described in this paper are freely available to both academic and commercial users at https://github.com/goeckslab/isoseq-browser Conclusions: Iso-Seq Browser enables interactive genome-wide visual analysis of long RNA sequence reads. Through visualization, highlighting, clustering, and filtering of gene isoforms, ISB makes it simple to identify novel isoforms and novel isoform features such as exons, introns and untranslated regions.


September 22, 2019  |  

Bayesian nonparametric discovery of isoforms and individual specific quantification.

Most human protein-coding genes can be transcribed into multiple distinct mRNA isoforms. These alternative splicing patterns encourage molecular diversity, and dysregulation of isoform expression plays an important role in disease etiology. However, isoforms are difficult to characterize from short-read RNA-seq data because they share identical subsequences and occur in different frequencies across tissues and samples. Here, we develop BIISQ, a Bayesian nonparametric model for isoform discovery and individual specific quantification from short-read RNA-seq data. BIISQ does not require isoform reference sequences but instead estimates an isoform catalog shared across samples. We use stochastic variational inference for efficient posterior estimates and demonstrate superior precision and recall for simulations compared to state-of-the-art isoform reconstruction methods. BIISQ shows the most gains for low abundance isoforms, with 36% more isoforms correctly inferred at low coverage versus a multi-sample method and 170% more versus single-sample methods. We estimate isoforms in the GEUVADIS RNA-seq data and validate inferred isoforms by associating genetic variants with isoform ratios.


September 22, 2019  |  

Single-Molecule Long-Read Sequencing of Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim. Transcriptome: Identification of Aroma-Related Genes

Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim. is an economically important tree species that is resistant to drought and infertility, and has potential medicinal and edible value. However, comprehensive genomic data are not yet available for this species, limiting its potential utility for medicinal use, breeding programs, and cultivation. Transcriptome sequencing provides an effective approach to remedying this shortcoming. Herein, single-molecule long-read sequencing and next-generation sequencingapproacheswereusedinparalleltoobtaintranscriptisoformstructureandgenefunctional informationinZ.bungeanum. Intotal, 282,101readsofinserts(ROIs)wereidentified, including134,074 full-length non-chimeric reads, among which 65,711 open reading frames (ORFs), 50,135 simple sequence repeats (SSRs), and 1492 long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) were detected. Functional annotation revealed metabolic pathways related to aroma components and color characteristics in Z. bungeanum. Unexpectedly, 30 transcripts were annotated as genes involved in regulating the pathogenesis of breast and colorectal cancers. This work provides a comprehensive transcriptome resource for Z. bungeanum, and lays a foundation for the further investigation and utilization of Zanthoxylum resources.


September 22, 2019  |  

Extensive alternative splicing of KIR transcripts.

The killer-cell Ig-like receptors (KIR) form a multigene entity involved in modulating immune responses through interactions with MHC class I molecules. The complexity of the KIR cluster is reflected by, for instance, abundant levels of allelic polymorphism, gene copy number variation, and stochastic expression profiles. The current transcriptome study involving human and macaque families demonstrates that KIR family members are also subjected to differential levels of alternative splicing, and this seems to be gene dependent. Alternative splicing may result in the partial or complete skipping of exons, or the partial inclusion of introns, as documented at the transcription level. This post-transcriptional process can generate multiple isoforms from a single KIR gene, which diversifies the characteristics of the encoded proteins. For example, alternative splicing could modify ligand interactions, cellular localization, signaling properties, and the number of extracellular domains of the receptor. In humans, we observed abundant splicing for KIR2DL4, and to a lesser extent in the lineage III KIR genes. All experimentally documented splice events are substantiated by in silico splicing strength predictions. To a similar extent, alternative splicing is observed in rhesus macaques, a species that shares a close evolutionary relationship with humans. Splicing profiles of Mamu-KIR1D and Mamu-KIR2DL04 displayed a great diversity, whereas Mamu-KIR3DL20 (lineage V) is consistently spliced to generate a homolog of human KIR2DL5 (lineage I). The latter case represents an example of convergent evolution. Although just a single KIR splice event is shared between humans and macaques, the splicing mechanisms are similar, and the predicted consequences are comparable. In conclusion, alternative splicing adds an additional layer of complexity to the KIR gene system in primates, and results in a wide structural and functional variety of KIR receptors and its isoforms, which may play a role in health and disease.


September 22, 2019  |  

A multiplex homology-directed DNA repair assay reveals the impact of more than 1,000 BRCA1 missense substitution variants on protein function.

Loss-of-function pathogenic variants in BRCA1 confer a predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer. Genetic testing for sequence changes in BRCA1 frequently reveals a missense variant for which the impact on cancer risk and on the molecular function of BRCA1 is unknown. Functional BRCA1 is required for the homology-directed repair (HDR) of double-strand DNA breaks, a critical activity for maintaining genome integrity and tumor suppression. Here, we describe a multiplex HDR reporter assay for concurrently measuring the effects of hundreds of variants of BRCA1 for their role in DNA repair. Using this assay, we characterized the effects of 1,056 amino acid substitutions in the first 192 residues of BRCA1. Benchmarking these results against variants with known effects on DNA repair function or on cancer predisposition, we demonstrate accurate discrimination of loss-of-function versus benign missense variants. We anticipate that this assay can be used to functionally characterize BRCA1 missense variants at scale, even before the variants are observed in results from genetic testing. Copyright © 2018 American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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