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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Daily HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate-emtricitabine reduced Streptococcus and increased Erysipelotrichaceae in rectal microbiota.

Daily PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV-1 acquisition, but risks of long-term tenofovir disoproxil fumarate plus emtricitabine (TDF-FTC) include renal decline and bone mineral density decrease in addition to initial gastrointestinal side effects. We investigated the impact of TDF-FTC on the enteric microbiome using rectal swabs collected from healthy MSM before PrEP initiation and after 48 to 72 weeks of adherent PrEP use. The V4 region of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing showed that Streptococcus was significantly reduced from 12.0% to 1.2% (p?=?0.036) and Erysipelotrichaceae family was significantly increased from 0.79% to 3.3% (p?=?0.028) after 48-72 weeks of daily…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Genomic changes following the reversal of a Y chromosome to an autosome in Drosophila pseudoobscura

Robertsonian translocations resulting in fusions between sex chromosomes and autosomes shape karyotype evolution by creating new sex chromosomes from autosomes. These translocations can also reverse sex chromosomes back into autosomes, which is especially intriguing given the dramatic differences between autosomes and sex chromosomes. To study the genomic events following a Y chromosome reversal, we investigated an autosome-Y translocation in Drosophila pseudoobscura. The ancestral Y chromosome fused to a small autosome (the dot chromosome) approximately 10–15 Mya. We used single molecule real-time sequencing reads to assemble the D. pseudoobscura dot chromosome, including this Y-to-dot translocation. We find that the intervening sequence…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Single-molecule sequencing resolves the detailed structure of complex satellite DNA loci in Drosophila melanogaster.

Highly repetitive satellite DNA (satDNA) repeats are found in most eukaryotic genomes. SatDNAs are rapidly evolving and have roles in genome stability and chromosome segregation. Their repetitive nature poses a challenge for genome assembly and makes progress on the detailed study of satDNA structure difficult. Here, we use single-molecule sequencing long reads from Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) to determine the detailed structure of all major autosomal complex satDNA loci in Drosophila melanogaster, with a particular focus on the 260-bp and Responder satellites. We determine the optimal de novo assembly methods and parameter combinations required to produce a high-quality assembly of these…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Firefly genomes illuminate parallel origins of bioluminescence in beetles.

Fireflies and their luminous courtships have inspired centuries of scientific study. Today firefly luciferase is widely used in biotechnology, but the evolutionary origin of bioluminescence within beetles remains unclear. To shed light on this long-standing question, we sequenced the genomes of two firefly species that diverged over 100 million-years-ago: the North American Photinus pyralis and Japanese Aquatica lateralis. To compare bioluminescent origins, we also sequenced the genome of a related click beetle, the Caribbean Ignelater luminosus, with bioluminescent biochemistry near-identical to fireflies, but anatomically unique light organs, suggesting the intriguing hypothesis of parallel gains of bioluminescence. Our analyses support independent…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Lesions from patients with sporadic cerebral cavernous malformations harbor somatic mutations in the CCM genes: evidence for a common biochemical pathway for CCM pathogenesis.

Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are vascular lesions affecting the central nervous system. CCM occurs either sporadically or in an inherited, autosomal dominant manner. Constitutional (germline) mutations in any of three genes, KRIT1, CCM2 and PDCD10, can cause the inherited form. Analysis of CCM lesions from inherited cases revealed biallelic somatic mutations, indicating that CCM follows a Knudsonian two-hit mutation mechanism. It is still unknown, however, if the sporadic cases of CCM also follow this genetic mechanism. We extracted DNA from 11 surgically excised lesions from sporadic CCM patients, and sequenced the three CCM genes in each specimen using a next-generation…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

MAR-Mediated transgene integration into permissive chromatin and increased expression by recombination pathway engineering.

Untargeted plasmid integration into mammalian cell genomes remains a poorly understood and inefficient process. The formation of plasmid concatemers and their genomic integration has been ascribed either to non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) or homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair pathways. However, a direct involvement of these pathways has remained unclear. Here, we show that the silencing of many HR factors enhanced plasmid concatemer formation and stable expression of the gene of interest in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, while the inhibition of NHEJ had no effect. However, genomic integration was decreased by the silencing of specific HR components, such as Rad51, and…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

A spontaneous mutation in kdsD, a biosynthesis gene for 3 Deoxy-D-manno-Octulosonic Acid, occurred in a ciprofloxacin resistant strain of Francisella tularensis and caused a high level of attenuation in murine models of tularemia.

Francisella tularensis, a gram-negative facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen, is the causative agent of tularemia and able to infect many mammalian species, including humans. Because of its ability to cause a lethal infection, low infectious dose, and aerosolizable nature, F. tularensis subspecies tularensis is considered a potential biowarfare agent. Due to its in vitro efficacy, ciprofloxacin is one of the antibiotics recommended for post-exposure prophylaxis of tularemia. In order to identify therapeutics that will be efficacious against infections caused by drug resistant select-agents and to better understand the threat, we sought to characterize an existing ciprofloxacin resistant (CipR) mutant in the…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Whole genome sequence and phenotypic characterization of a Cbm+ serotype e strain of Streptococcus mutans.

We report the whole genome sequence of the serotype e Cbm+ strain LAR01 of Streptococcus mutans, a dental pathogen frequently associated with extra-oral infections. The LAR01 genome is a single circular chromosome of 2.1 Mb with a GC content of 36.96%. The genome contains 15 phosphotransferase system gene clusters, seven cell wall-anchored (LPxTG) proteins, all genes required for the development of natural competence and genes coding for mutacins VI and K8. Interestingly, the cbm gene is genetically linked to a putative type VII secretion system that has been found in Mycobacteria and few other Gram-positive bacteria. When compared with the UA159…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Moving forward: recent developments for the ferret biomedical research model.

Since the initial report in 1911, the domestic ferret has become an invaluable biomedical research model. While widely recognized for its utility in influenza virus research, ferrets are used for a variety of infectious and noninfectious disease models due to the anatomical, metabolic, and physiological features they share with humans and their susceptibility to many human pathogens. However, there are limitations to the model that must be overcome for maximal utility for the scientific community. Here, we describe important recent advances that will accelerate biomedical research with this animal model. Copyright © 2018 Albrecht et al.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Meeting report: mobile genetic elements and genome plasticity 2018

The Mobile Genetic Elements and Genome Plasticity conference was hosted by Keystone Symposia in Santa Fe, NM USA, February 11–15, 2018. The organizers were Marlene Belfort, Evan Eichler, Henry Levin and Lynn Maquat. The goal of this conference was to bring together scientists from around the world to discuss the function of transposable elements and their impact on host species. Central themes of the meeting included recent innovations in genome analysis and the role of mobile DNA in disease and evolution. The conference included 200 scientists who participated in poster presentations, short talks selected from abstracts, and invited talks. A…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Bridging gaps in transposable element research with single-molecule and single-cell technologies

More than half of the genomic landscape in humans and many other organisms is composed of repetitive DNA, which mostly derives from transposable elements (TEs) and viruses. Recent technological advances permit improved assessment of the repetitive content across genomes and newly developed molecular assays have revealed important roles of TEs and viruses in host genome evolution and organization. To update on our current understanding of TE biology and to promote new interdisciplinary strategies for the TE research community, leading experts gathered for the 2nd Uppsala Transposon Symposium on October 4–5, 2018 in Uppsala, Sweden. Using cutting-edge single-molecule and single-cell approaches,…

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