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See detailThe P4 Health Spectrum - A Predictive, Preventive, Personalized and Participatory Continuum for Promoting Healthspan.
Sagner, Michael; McNeil, Amy; Puska, Pekka et al

in Progress in cardiovascular diseases (2017), 59(5), 506-521

Chronic diseases (i.e., noncommunicable diseases), mainly cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory diseases and type-2-diabetes, are now the leading cause of death, disability and diminished quality of ... [more ▼]

Chronic diseases (i.e., noncommunicable diseases), mainly cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory diseases and type-2-diabetes, are now the leading cause of death, disability and diminished quality of life on the planet. Moreover, these diseases are also a major financial burden worldwide, significantly impacting the economy of many countries. Healthcare systems and medicine have progressively improved upon the ability to address infectious diseases and react to adverse health events through both surgical interventions and pharmacology; we have become efficient in delivering reactive care (i.e., initiating interventions once an individual is on the verge of or has actually suffered a negative health event). However, with slowly progressing and often 'silent' chronic diseases now being the main cause of illness, healthcare and medicine must evolve into a proactive system, moving away from a merely reactive approach to care. Minimal interactions among the specialists and limited information to the general practitioner and to the individual receiving care lead to a fragmented health approach, non-concerted prescriptions, a scattered follow-up and a suboptimal cost-effectiveness ratio. A new approach in medicine that is predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory, which we label here as "P4" holds great promise to reduce the burden of chronic diseases by harnessing technology and an increasingly better understanding of environment-biology interactions, evidence-based interventions and the underlying mechanisms of chronic diseases. In this concept paper, we propose a 'P4 Health Continuum' model as a framework to promote and facilitate multi-stakeholder collaboration with an orchestrated common language and an integrated care model to increase the healthspan. [less ▲]

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See detailA novel Fanconi anemia subtype associated with a dominant-negative mutation in RAD51
Ameziane, Najim; May, Patrick UL; Van de Vrugt, Henri J. et al

in Nature Communications (2015), 6(8829),

Fanconi anemia (FA) is a hereditary disease featuring hypersensitivity to DNA cross-linker-induced chromosomal instability in association with developmental abnormalities, bone marrow failure and a strong ... [more ▼]

Fanconi anemia (FA) is a hereditary disease featuring hypersensitivity to DNA cross-linker-induced chromosomal instability in association with developmental abnormalities, bone marrow failure and a strong predisposition to cancer. 17 FA disease genes have been reported, all of which act in a recessive mode of inheritance. Here we report on a de novo g.41022153G>A; p.Ala293Thr (NM_002875) missense mutation in one allele of the homologous recombination DNA repair gene RAD51 in an FA-like patient. This heterozygous mutation causes a novel FA subtype, “FA-R”, which appears to be the first subtype of FA caused by a dominant-negative mutation. The patient, who features microcephaly and mental retardation, has reached adulthood without the typical bone marrow failure and pediatric cancers. Together with the recent reports on RAD51-associated congenital mirror movement disorders our results point to an important role for RAD51-mediated homologous recombination in neurodevelopment, in addition to DNA repair and cancer susceptibility. [less ▲]

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See detailSystems genomics evaluation of the SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell line as a model for Parkinson’s disease
Krishna, Abhimanyu UL; Biryukov, Maria UL; Trefois, Christophe UL et al

in BMC Genomics (2014), 15(1154),

Background: The human neuroblastoma cell line, SH-SY5Y, is a commonly used cell line in studies related to neurotoxicity, oxidative stress, and neurodegenerative diseases. Although this cell line is often ... [more ▼]

Background: The human neuroblastoma cell line, SH-SY5Y, is a commonly used cell line in studies related to neurotoxicity, oxidative stress, and neurodegenerative diseases. Although this cell line is often used as a cellular model for Parkinson’s disease, the relevance of this cellular model in the context of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other neurodegenerative diseases has not yet been systematically evaluated. Results: We have used a systems genomics approach to characterize the SH-SY5Y cell line using whole-genome sequencing to determine the genetic content of the cell line and used transcriptomics and proteomics data to determine molecular correlations. Further, we integrated genomic variants using a network analysis approach to evaluate the suitability of the SH-SY5Y cell line for perturbation experiments in the context of neurodegenerative diseases, including PD. Conclusions: The systems genomics approach showed consistency across different biological levels (DNA, RNA and protein concentrations). Most of the genes belonging to the major Parkinson’s disease pathways and modules were intact in the SH-SY5Y genome. Specifically, each analysed gene related to PD has at least one intact copy in SH-SY5Y. The disease-specific network analysis approach ranked the genetic integrity of SH-SY5Y as higher for PD than for Alzheimer’s disease but lower than for Huntington’s disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis for loss of function perturbation experiments. [less ▲]

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See detailMutations in STX1B, encoding a presynaptic protein, cause fever-associated epilepsy syndromes
Schubert, Julian; Siekierska, Aleksandra; Langlois, Melanie UL et al

in Nature Genetics (2014), 46(12), 1327-32

Febrile seizures affect 2–4% of all children1 and have a strong genetic component2. Recurrent mutations in three main genes (SCN1A, SCN1B and GABRG2)3, 4, 5 have been identified that cause febrile ... [more ▼]

Febrile seizures affect 2–4% of all children1 and have a strong genetic component2. Recurrent mutations in three main genes (SCN1A, SCN1B and GABRG2)3, 4, 5 have been identified that cause febrile seizures with or without epilepsy. Here we report the identification of mutations in STX1B, encoding syntaxin-1B6, that are associated with both febrile seizures and epilepsy. Whole-exome sequencing in independent large pedigrees7, 8 identified cosegregating STX1B mutations predicted to cause an early truncation or an in-frame insertion or deletion. Three additional nonsense or missense mutations and a de novo microdeletion encompassing STX1B were then identified in 449 familial or sporadic cases. Video and local field potential analyses of zebrafish larvae with antisense knockdown of stx1b showed seizure-like behavior and epileptiform discharges that were highly sensitive to increased temperature. Wild-type human syntaxin-1B but not a mutated protein rescued the effects of stx1b knockdown in zebrafish. Our results thus implicate STX1B and the presynaptic release machinery in fever-associated epilepsy syndromes. [less ▲]

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See detailA unified test of linkage analysis and rare-variant association for analysis of pedigree sequence data.
Hu, Hao; Roach, Jared C.; Coon, Hilary et al

in Nature Biotechnology (2014), 32(7), 663-669

High-throughput sequencing of related individuals has become an important tool for studying human disease. However, owing to technical complexity and lack of available tools, most pedigree-based ... [more ▼]

High-throughput sequencing of related individuals has become an important tool for studying human disease. However, owing to technical complexity and lack of available tools, most pedigree-based sequencing studies rely on an ad hoc combination of suboptimal analyses. Here we present pedigree-VAAST (pVAAST), a disease-gene identification tool designed for high-throughput sequence data in pedigrees. pVAAST uses a sequence-based model to perform variant and gene-based linkage analysis. Linkage information is then combined with functional prediction and rare variant case-control association information in a unified statistical framework. pVAAST outperformed linkage and rare-variant association tests in simulations and identified disease-causing genes from whole-genome sequence data in three human pedigrees with dominant, recessive and de novo inheritance patterns. The approach is robust to incomplete penetrance and locus heterogeneity and is applicable to a wide variety of genetic traits. pVAAST maintains high power across studies of monogenic, high-penetrance phenotypes in a single pedigree to highly polygenic, common phenotypes involving hundreds of pedigrees. [less ▲]

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See detailOn different aspects of network analysis in systems biology
Chaiboonchoe, Amphun; Jurkowski, Wiktor UL; Pellet, Johann et al

in Systems Biology (2013), 1

Network analysis is an essential component of systems biology approaches toward understanding the molecular and cellular interactions underlying biological systems functionalities and their perturbations ... [more ▼]

Network analysis is an essential component of systems biology approaches toward understanding the molecular and cellular interactions underlying biological systems functionalities and their perturbations in disease. Regulatory and signalling pathways involve DNA, RNA, proteins and metabolites as key elements to coordinate most aspects of cellular functioning. Cellular processes depend on the structure and dynamics of gene regulatory networks and can be studied by employing a network representation of molecular interactions. This chapter describes several types of biological networks, how combination of different analytic approaches can be used to study diseases, and provides a list of selected tools for network visualization and analysis. It also introduces protein-protein interaction networks, gene regulatory networks, signalling networks and metabolic networks to illustrate concepts underlying network representation of cellular processes and molecular interactions. It finally discusses how the level of accuracy in inferring functional relationships influences the choice of methods applied for the analysis of a particular biological network type. © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013. All rights are reserved. [less ▲]

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