October 23, 2019  |  

Efficient CRISPR/Cas9-mediated editing of trinucleotide repeat expansion in myotonic dystrophy patient-derived iPS and myogenic cells.

CRISPR/Cas9 is an attractive platform to potentially correct dominant genetic diseases by gene editing with unprecedented precision. In the current proof-of-principle study, we explored the use of CRISPR/Cas9 for gene-editing in myotonic dystrophy type-1 (DM1), an autosomal-dominant muscle disorder, by excising the CTG-repeat expansion in the 3′-untranslated-region (UTR) of the human myotonic dystrophy protein kinase (DMPK) gene in DM1 patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (DM1-iPSC), DM1-iPSC-derived myogenic cells and DM1 patient-specific myoblasts. To eliminate the pathogenic gain-of-function mutant DMPK transcript, we designed a dual guide RNA based strategy that excises the CTG-repeat expansion with high efficiency, as confirmed by Southern blot and single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing. Correction efficiencies up to 90% could be attained in DM1-iPSC as confirmed at the clonal level, following ribonucleoprotein (RNP) transfection of CRISPR/Cas9 components without the need for selective enrichment. Expanded CTG repeat excision resulted in the disappearance of ribonuclear foci, a quintessential cellular phenotype of DM1, in the corrected DM1-iPSC, DM1-iPSC-derived myogenic cells and DM1 myoblasts. Consequently, the normal intracellular localization of the muscleblind-like splicing regulator 1 (MBNL1) was restored, resulting in the normalization of splicing pattern of SERCA1. This study validates the use of CRISPR/Cas9 for gene editing of repeat expansions.


September 22, 2019  |  

Separation and parallel sequencing of the genomes and transcriptomes of single cells using G&T-seq.

Parallel sequencing of a single cell’s genome and transcriptome provides a powerful tool for dissecting genetic variation and its relationship with gene expression. Here we present a detailed protocol for G&T-seq, a method for separation and parallel sequencing of genomic DNA and full-length polyA(+) mRNA from single cells. We provide step-by-step instructions for the isolation and lysis of single cells; the physical separation of polyA(+) mRNA from genomic DNA using a modified oligo-dT bead capture and the respective whole-transcriptome and whole-genome amplifications; and library preparation and sequence analyses of these amplification products. The method allows the detection of thousands of transcripts in parallel with the genetic variants captured by the DNA-seq data from the same single cell. G&T-seq differs from other currently available methods for parallel DNA and RNA sequencing from single cells, as it involves physical separation of the DNA and RNA and does not require bespoke microfluidics platforms. The process can be implemented manually or through automation. When performed manually, paired genome and transcriptome sequencing libraries from eight single cells can be produced in ~3 d by researchers experienced in molecular laboratory work. For users with experience in the programming and operation of liquid-handling robots, paired DNA and RNA libraries from 96 single cells can be produced in the same time frame. Sequence analysis and integration of single-cell G&T-seq DNA and RNA data requires a high level of bioinformatics expertise and familiarity with a wide range of informatics tools.


September 22, 2019  |  

G&T-seq: parallel sequencing of single-cell genomes and transcriptomes.

The simultaneous sequencing of a single cell’s genome and transcriptome offers a powerful means to dissect genetic variation and its effect on gene expression. Here we describe G&T-seq, a method for separating and sequencing genomic DNA and full-length mRNA from single cells. By applying G&T-seq to over 220 single cells from mice and humans, we discovered cellular properties that could not be inferred from DNA or RNA sequencing alone.


September 22, 2019  |  

Transcriptional diversity during lineage commitment of human blood progenitors.

Blood cells derive from hematopoietic stem cells through stepwise fating events. To characterize gene expression programs driving lineage choice, we sequenced RNA from eight primary human hematopoietic progenitor populations representing the major myeloid commitment stages and the main lymphoid stage. We identified extensive cell type-specific expression changes: 6711 genes and 10,724 transcripts, enriched in non-protein-coding elements at early stages of differentiation. In addition, we found 7881 novel splice junctions and 2301 differentially used alternative splicing events, enriched in genes involved in regulatory processes. We demonstrated experimentally cell-specific isoform usage, identifying nuclear factor I/B (NFIB) as a regulator of megakaryocyte maturation-the platelet precursor. Our data highlight the complexity of fating events in closely related progenitor populations, the understanding of which is essential for the advancement of transplantation and regenerative medicine. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.


September 22, 2019  |  

Single-cell multiomics: multiple measurements from single cells.

Single-cell sequencing provides information that is not confounded by genotypic or phenotypic heterogeneity of bulk samples. Sequencing of one molecular type (RNA, methylated DNA or open chromatin) in a single cell, furthermore, provides insights into the cell’s phenotype and links to its genotype. Nevertheless, only by taking measurements of these phenotypes and genotypes from the same single cells can such inferences be made unambiguously. In this review, we survey the first experimental approaches that assay, in parallel, multiple molecular types from the same single cell, before considering the challenges and opportunities afforded by these and future technologies. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


September 22, 2019  |  

Mutant JAK3 signaling is increased by loss of wild-type JAK3 or by acquisition of secondary JAK3 mutations in T-ALL.

The Janus kinase 3 (JAK3) tyrosine kinase is mutated in 10% to 16% of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) cases. JAK3 mutants induce constitutive JAK/STAT signaling and cause leukemia when expressed in the bone marrow cells of mice. Surprisingly, we observed that one third of JAK3-mutant T-ALL cases harbor 2 JAK3 mutations, some of which are monoallelic and others that are biallelic. Our data suggest that wild-type JAK3 competes with mutant JAK3 (M511I) for binding to the common ? chain and thereby suppresses its oncogenic potential. We demonstrate that JAK3 (M511I) can increase its limited oncogenic potential through the acquisition of an additional mutation in the mutant JAK3 allele. These double JAK3 mutants show increased STAT5 activation and increased potential to transform primary mouse pro-T cells to interleukin-7-independent growth and were not affected by wild-type JAK3 expression. These data extend our insight into the oncogenic properties of JAK3 mutations and provide an explanation of why progression of JAK3-mutant T-ALL cases can be associated with the accumulation of additional JAK3 mutations.© 2018 by The American Society of Hematology.


September 22, 2019  |  

Conventional and single-molecule targeted sequencing method for specific variant detection in IKBKG while bypassing the IKBKGP1 pseudogene.

In addition to Sanger sequencing, next-generation sequencing of gene panels and exomes has emerged as a standard diagnostic tool in many laboratories. However, these captures can miss regions, have poor efficiency, or capture pseudogenes, which hamper proper diagnoses. One such example is the primary immunodeficiency-associated gene IKBKG. Its pseudogene IKBKGP1 makes traditional capture methods aspecific. We therefore developed a long-range PCR method to efficiently target IKBKG, as well as two associated genes (IRAK4 and MYD88), while bypassing the IKBKGP1 pseudogene. Sequencing accuracy was evaluated using both conventional short-read technology and a newer long-read, single-molecule sequencer. Different mapping and variant calling options were evaluated in their capability to bypass the pseudogene using both sequencing platforms. Based on these evaluations, we determined a robust diagnostic application for unambiguous sequencing and variant calling in IKBKG, IRAK4, and MYD88. This method allows rapid identification of selected primary immunodeficiency diseases in patients suffering from life-threatening invasive pyogenic bacterial infections. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Investigative Pathology and the Association for Molecular Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Antibiotic resistance plasmids cointegrated into a megaplasmid harboring the blaOXA-427 carbapenemase gene.

OXA-427 is a new class D carbapenemase encountered in different species of Enterobacteriaceae in a Belgian hospital. To study the dispersal of this gene, we performed a comparative analysis of two plasmids containing the blaOXA-427 gene, isolated from a Klebsiella pneumoniae strain and an Enterobacter cloacae complex strain. The two IncA/C2 plasmids containing blaOXA-427 share the same backbone; in the K. pneumoniae strain, however, this plasmid is cointegrated into an IncFIb plasmid, forming a 321-kb megaplasmid with multiple multiresistance regions. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.


September 21, 2019  |  

Detecting AGG interruptions in females with a FMR1 premutation by long-read Single-Molecule Sequencing: A 1 year clinical experience.

The fragile X syndrome arises from the FMR1 CGG expansion of a premutation (55-200 repeats) to a full mutation allele (>200 repeats) and is the most frequent cause of inherited X-linked intellectual disability. The risk for a premutation to expand to a full mutation allele depends on the repeat length and AGG triplets interrupting this repeat. In genetic counseling it is important to have information on both these parameters to provide an accurate risk estimate to women carrying a premutation allele and weighing up having children. For example, in case of a small risk a woman might opt for a natural pregnancy followed up by prenatal diagnosis while she might choose for preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) if the risk is high. Unfortunately, the detection of AGG interruptions was previously hampered by technical difficulties complicating their use in diagnostics. Therefore we recently developed, validated and implemented a new methodology which uses long-read single-molecule sequencing to identify AGG interruptions in females with a FMR1 premutation. Here we report on the assets of AGG interruption detection by sequencing and the impact of implementing the assay on genetic counseling.


July 19, 2019  |  

A distinct class of chromoanagenesis events characterized by focal copy number gains.

Chromoanagenesis is the process by which a single catastrophic event creates complex rearrangements confined to a single or a few chromosomes. It is usually characterized by the presence of multiple deletions and/or duplications, as well as by copy neutral rearrangements. In contrast, an array CGH screen of patients with developmental anomalies revealed three patients in which a single chromosome carries from 8 to 11 large copy number gains confined to a single chromosome or chromosomal arm, but the absence of deletions. Subsequent fluorescence in situ hybiridization and massive parallel sequencing revealed the duplicons to be clustered together in distinct locations across the altered chromosomes. Breakpoint junction sequences showed both microhomology and non-templated insertions of up to 40 bp. Hence, these patients each demonstrate a single altered chromosome of clustered insertional duplications, no deletions, and breakpoint junction sequences showing microhomology and/or non-templated insertions. These observations are difficult to reconcile with current mechanistic descriptions of chromothripsis and chromoanasynthesis. Therefore, we hypothesize those rearrangements to be of a mechanistically different origin. In addition, we suggest that large untemplated insertional sequences observed at breakpoints are driven by a non-canonical non-homologous end joining mechanism.© 2016 WILEY PERIODICALS, INC.


July 19, 2019  |  

Detecting AGG interruptions in male and female FMR1 premutation carriers by single-molecule sequencing.

The FMR1 gene contains an unstable CGG repeat in its 5′ untranslated region. Premutation alleles range between 55 and 200 repeat units and confer a risk for developing fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome or fragile X-associated primary ovarian insufficiency. Furthermore, the premutation allele often expands to a full mutation during female germline transmission giving rise to the fragile X syndrome. The risk for a premutation to expand depends mainly on the number of CGG units and the presence of AGG interruptions in the CGG repeat. Unfortunately, the detection of AGG interruptions is hampered by technical difficulties. Here, we demonstrate that single-molecule sequencing enables the determination of not only the repeat size, but also the complete repeat sequence including AGG interruptions in male and female alleles with repeats ranging from 45 to 100 CGG units. We envision this method will facilitate research and diagnostic analysis of the FMR1 repeat expansion. © 2016 WILEY PERIODICALS, INC.


July 19, 2019  |  

Mapping the landscape of tandem repeat variability by targeted long read single molecule sequencing in familial X-linked intellectual disability.

The etiology of more than half of all patients with X-linked intellectual disability remains elusive, despite array-based comparative genomic hybridization, whole exome or genome sequencing. Since short read massive parallel sequencing approaches do not allow the detection of larger tandem repeat expansions, we hypothesized that such expansions could be a hidden cause of X-linked intellectual disability.We selectively captured over 1800 tandem repeats on the X chromosome and characterized them by long read single molecule sequencing in 3 families with idiopathic X-linked intellectual disability. In male DNA samples, full tandem repeat length sequences were obtained for 88-93% of the targets and up to 99.6% of the repeats with a moderate guanine-cytosine content. Read length and analysis pipeline allow to detect cases of >?900?bp tandem repeat expansion. In one family, one repeat expansion co-occurs with down-regulation of the neighboring MIR222 gene. This gene has previously been implicated in intellectual disability and is apparently linked to FMR1 and NEFH overexpression associated with neurological disorders.This study demonstrates the power of single molecule sequencing to measure tandem repeat lengths and detect expansions, and suggests that tandem repeat mutations may be a hidden cause of X-linked intellectual disability.


July 7, 2019  |  

Phylogeographical analysis of the dominant multidrug-resistant H58 clade of Salmonella Typhi identifies inter- and intracontinental transmission events.

The emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) typhoid is a major global health threat affecting many countries where the disease is endemic. Here whole-genome sequence analysis of 1,832 Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) identifies a single dominant MDR lineage, H58, that has emerged and spread throughout Asia and Africa over the last 30 years. Our analysis identifies numerous transmissions of H58, including multiple transfers from Asia to Africa and an ongoing, unrecognized MDR epidemic within Africa itself. Notably, our analysis indicates that H58 lineages are displacing antibiotic-sensitive isolates, transforming the global population structure of this pathogen. H58 isolates can harbor a complex MDR element residing either on transmissible IncHI1 plasmids or within multiple chromosomal integration sites. We also identify new mutations that define the H58 lineage. This phylogeographical analysis provides a framework to facilitate global management of MDR typhoid and is applicable to similar MDR lineages emerging in other bacterial species.


July 7, 2019  |  

Multiplex enhancer-reporter assays uncover unsophisticated TP53 enhancer logic.

Transcription factors regulate their target genes by binding to regulatory regions in the genome. Although the binding preferences of TP53 are known, it remains unclear what distinguishes functional enhancers from nonfunctional binding. In addition, the genome is scattered with recognition sequences that remain unoccupied. Using two complementary techniques of multiplex enhancer-reporter assays, we discovered that functional enhancers could be discriminated from nonfunctional binding events by the occurrence of a single TP53 canonical motif. By combining machine learning with a meta-analysis of TP53 ChIP-seq data sets, we identified a core set of more than 1000 responsive enhancers in the human genome. This TP53 cistrome is invariably used between cell types and experimental conditions, whereas differences among experiments can be attributed to indirect nonfunctional binding events. Our data suggest that TP53 enhancers represent a class of unsophisticated cell-autonomous enhancers containing a single TP53 binding site, distinct from complex developmental enhancers that integrate signals from multiple transcription factors. © 2016 Verfaillie et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


July 7, 2019  |  

Distinct Salmonella enteritidis lineages associated with enterocolitis in high-income settings and invasive disease in low-income settings.

An epidemiological paradox surrounds Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis. In high-income settings, it has been responsible for an epidemic of poultry-associated, self-limiting enterocolitis, whereas in sub-Saharan Africa it is a major cause of invasive nontyphoidal Salmonella disease, associated with high case fatality. By whole-genome sequence analysis of 675 isolates of S. Enteritidis from 45 countries, we show the existence of a global epidemic clade and two new clades of S. Enteritidis that are geographically restricted to distinct regions of Africa. The African isolates display genomic degradation, a novel prophage repertoire, and an expanded multidrug resistance plasmid. S. Enteritidis is a further example of a Salmonella serotype that displays niche plasticity, with distinct clades that enable it to become a prominent cause of gastroenteritis in association with the industrial production of eggs and of multidrug-resistant, bloodstream-invasive infection in Africa.


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