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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

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

Targeted gene addition in human CD34(+) hematopoietic cells for correction of X-linked chronic granulomatous disease.

Gene therapy with genetically modified human CD34(+) hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) may be safer using targeted integration (TI) of transgenes into a genomic ‘safe harbor’ site rather than random viral integration. We demonstrate that temporally optimized delivery of zinc finger nuclease mRNA via electroporation and adeno-associated virus (AAV) 6 delivery of donor constructs in human HSPCs approaches clinically relevant levels of TI into the AAVS1 safe harbor locus. Up to 58% Venus(+) HSPCs with 6-16% human cell marking were observed following engraftment into mice. In HSPCs from patients with X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (X-CGD), caused by mutations in…

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Cas9-mediated allelic exchange repairs compound heterozygous recessive mutations in mice.

We report a genome-editing strategy to correct compound heterozygous mutations, a common genotype in patients with recessive genetic disorders. Adeno-associated viral vector delivery of Cas9 and guide RNA induces allelic exchange and rescues the disease phenotype in mouse models of hereditary tyrosinemia type I and mucopolysaccharidosis type I. This approach recombines non-mutated genetic information present in two heterozygous alleles into one functional allele without using donor DNA templates.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sixteen diverse laboratory mouse reference genomes define strain-specific haplotypes and novel functional loci.

We report full-length draft de novo genome assemblies for 16 widely used inbred mouse strains and find extensive strain-specific haplotype variation. We identify and characterize 2,567 regions on the current mouse reference genome exhibiting the greatest sequence diversity. These regions are enriched for genes involved in pathogen defence and immunity and exhibit enrichment of transposable elements and signatures of recent retrotransposition events. Combinations of alleles and genes unique to an individual strain are commonly observed at these loci, reflecting distinct strain phenotypes. We used these genomes to improve the mouse reference genome, resulting in the completion of 10 new gene…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Meeting report: 31st International Mammalian Genome Conference, Mammalian Genetics and Genomics: From Molecular Mechanisms to Translational Applications.

High on the Heidelberg hills, inside the Advanced Training Centre of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) campus with its unique double-helix staircase, scientists gathered for the EMBL conference “Mammalian Genetics and Genomics: From Molecular Mechanisms to Translational Applications,” organized in cooperation with the International Mammalian Genome Society (IMGS) and the Mouse Molecular Genetics (MMG) group. The conference attracted 205 participants from 30 countries, representing 6 of the 7 continents-all except Antarctica. It was a richly diverse group of geneticists, clinicians, and bioinformaticians, with presentations by established and junior investigators, including many trainees. From the 24th-27th of October 2017, they…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Somatic APP gene recombination in Alzheimer’s disease and normal neurons.

The diversity and complexity of the human brain are widely assumed to be encoded within a constant genome. Somatic gene recombination, which changes germline DNA sequences to increase molecular diversity, could theoretically alter this code but has not been documented in the brain, to our knowledge. Here we describe recombination of the Alzheimer’s disease-related gene APP, which encodes amyloid precursor protein, in human neurons, occurring mosaically as thousands of variant ‘genomic cDNAs’ (gencDNAs). gencDNAs lacked introns and ranged from full-length cDNA copies of expressed, brain-specific RNA splice variants to myriad smaller forms that contained intra-exonic junctions, insertions, deletions, and/or single…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Fusion of TTYH1 with the C19MC microRNA cluster drives expression of a brain-specific DNMT3B isoform in the embryonal brain tumor ETMR.

Embryonal tumors with multilayered rosettes (ETMRs) are rare, deadly pediatric brain tumors characterized by high-level amplification of the microRNA cluster C19MC. We performed integrated genetic and epigenetic analyses of 12 ETMR samples and identified, in all cases, C19MC fusions to TTYH1 driving expression of the microRNAs. ETMR tumors, cell lines and xenografts showed a specific DNA methylation pattern distinct from those of other tumors and normal tissues. We detected extreme overexpression of a previously uncharacterized isoform of DNMT3B originating at an alternative promoter that is active only in the first weeks of neural tube development. Transcriptional and immunohistochemical analyses suggest…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Role of clinicogenomics in infectious disease diagnostics and public health microbiology.

Clinicogenomics is the exploitation of genome sequence data for diagnostic, therapeutic, and public health purposes. Central to this field is the high-throughput DNA sequencing of genomes and metagenomes. The role of clinicogenomics in infectious disease diagnostics and public health microbiology was the topic of discussion during a recent symposium (session 161) presented at the 115th general meeting of the American Society for Microbiology that was held in New Orleans, LA. What follows is a collection of the most salient and promising aspects from each presentation at the symposium. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Crosstalk between gut microbiota and Sirtuin-3 in colonic inflammation and tumorigenesis.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a disease involving a variety of genetic and environmental factors. Sirtuin-3 (Sirt3) is expressed at a low level in cancer tissues of CRC, but it is unclear how Sirt3 modulates colonic tumorigenesis. In this study, we found that gut microbiota play a central role in the resistance to CRC tumor formation in wild-type (WT) mice through APC (Adenomatous Polyposis Coli)-mutant mouse microbiota transfer via Wnt signaling. We also found that Sirt3-deficient mice were hypersusceptible to colonic inflammation and tumor development through altered intestinal integrity and p38 signaling, respectively. Furthermore, susceptibility to colorectal tumorigenesis was aggravated by…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genomic microdiversity of Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum underlying differential strain-level responses to dietary carbohydrate intervention.

The genomic basis of the response to dietary intervention of human gut beneficial bacteria remains elusive, which hinders precise manipulation of the microbiota for human health. After receiving a dietary intervention enriched with nondigestible carbohydrates for 105 days, a genetically obese child with Prader-Willi syndrome lost 18.4% of his body weight and showed significant improvement in his bioclinical parameters. We obtained five isolates (C1, C15, C55, C62, and C95) of one of the most abundantly promoted beneficial species, Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum, from a postintervention fecal sample. Intriguingly, these five B. pseudocatenulatum strains showed differential responses during the dietary intervention. Two strains were largely…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Resolving the complexity of human skin metagenomes using single-molecule sequencing.

Deep metagenomic shotgun sequencing has emerged as a powerful tool to interrogate composition and function of complex microbial communities. Computational approaches to assemble genome fragments have been demonstrated to be an effective tool for de novo reconstruction of genomes from these communities. However, the resultant “genomes” are typically fragmented and incomplete due to the limited ability of short-read sequence data to assemble complex or low-coverage regions. Here, we use single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing to reconstruct a high-quality, closed genome of a previously uncharacterized Corynebacterium simulans and its companion bacteriophage from a skin metagenomic sample. Considerable improvement in assembly quality occurs…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Autologous cell therapy approach for Duchenne muscular dystrophy using PiggyBac transposons and mesoangioblasts.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal muscle-wasting disease currently without cure. We investigated the use of the PiggyBac transposon for full-length dystrophin expression in murine mesoangioblast (MABs) progenitor cells. DMD murine MABs were transfected with transposable expression vectors for full-length dystrophin and transplanted intramuscularly or intra-arterially into mdx/SCID mice. Intra-arterial delivery indicated that the MABs could migrate to regenerating muscles to mediate dystrophin expression. Intramuscular transplantation yielded dystrophin expression in 11%-44% of myofibers in murine muscles, which remained stable for the assessed period of 5 months. The satellite cells isolated from transplanted muscles comprised a fraction of MAB-derived cells, indicating…

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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

T-independent IFN? and B cells cooperate to prevent mortality associated with disseminated Chlamydia muridarum genital tract infection.

CD4 T cells and antibody are required for optimal acquired immunity to C. muridarum genital tract infection, and T cell-mediated IFN? production is necessary to clear infection in the absence of humoral immunity. However, the role of T cell-independent immune responses during primary infection remains unclear. We investigated this question by inoculating wild-type and immune-deficient mice with C. muridarum CM001, a clonal isolate capable of enhanced extragenital replication. Genital inoculation of wild-type mice resulted in transient dissemination to the lungs and spleen that then was rapidly cleared from these organs. However, CM001 genital infection proved lethal for STAT1-/- and IFNG-/-…

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