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See detailIntegration of VDR genome wide binding and GWAS genetic variation data reveals co-occurrence of VDR and NF-κB binding that is linked to immune phenotypes
Singh, Prashant K.; van den Berg, Patrick R.; Long, Mark D. et al

in BMC Genomics (2017)

Background The nuclear hormone receptor superfamily acts as a genomic sensor of diverse signals. Their actions are often intertwined with other transcription factors. Nuclear hormone receptors are targets ... [more ▼]

Background The nuclear hormone receptor superfamily acts as a genomic sensor of diverse signals. Their actions are often intertwined with other transcription factors. Nuclear hormone receptors are targets for many therapeutic drugs, and include the vitamin D receptor (VDR). VDR signaling is pleotropic, being implicated in calcaemic function, antibacterial actions, growth control, immunomodulation and anti-cancer actions. Specifically, we hypothesized that the biologically significant relationships between the VDR transcriptome and phenotype-associated biology could be discovered by integrating the known VDR transcription factor binding sites and all published trait- and disease-associated SNPs. By integrating VDR genome-wide binding data (ChIP-seq) with the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) GWAS catalog of SNPs we would see where and which target gene interactions and pathways are impacted by inherited genetic variation in VDR binding sites, indicating which of VDR’s multiple functions are most biologically significant. Results To examine how genetic variation impacts VDR function we overlapped 23,409 VDR genomic binding peaks from six VDR ChIP-seq datasets with 191,482 SNPs, derived from GWAS-significant SNPs (Lead SNPs) and their correlated variants (r 2 > 0.8) from HapMap3 and the 1000 genomes project. In total, 574 SNPs (71 Lead and 503 SNPs in linkage disequilibrium with Lead SNPs) were present at VDR binding loci and associated with 211 phenotypes. For each phenotype a hypergeometric test was used to determine if SNPs were enriched at VDR binding sites. Bonferroni correction for multiple testing across the 211 phenotypes yielded 42 SNPs that were either disease- or phenotype-associated with seven predominately immune related including self-reported allergy; esophageal cancer was the only cancer phenotype. Motif analyses revealed that only two of these 42 SNPs reside within a canonical VDR binding site (DR3 motif), and that 1/3 of the 42 SNPs significantly impacted binding and gene regulation by other transcription factors, including NF-κB. This suggests a plausible link for the potential cross-talk between VDR and NF-κB. Conclusions These analyses showed that VDR peaks are enriched for SNPs associated with immune phenotypes suggesting that VDR immunomodulatory functions are amongst its most important actions. The enrichment of genetic variation in non-DR3 motifs suggests a significant role for the VDR to bind in multimeric complexes containing other transcription factors that are the primary DNA binding component. Our work provides a framework for the combination of ChIP-seq and GWAS findings to provide insight into the underlying phenotype-associated biology of a given transcription factor. [less ▲]

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See detailInfluenza H3N2 infection of the collaborative cross founder strains reveals highly divergent host responses and identifies a unique phenotype in CAST/EiJ mice.
Leist, Sarah R.; Pilzner, Carolin; van den Brand, Judith M. A. et al

in BMC genomics (2016), 17(1), 143

BACKGROUND: Influenza A virus is a zoonotic pathogen that poses a major threat to human and animal health. The severe course of influenza infection is not only influenced by viral virulence factors but ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Influenza A virus is a zoonotic pathogen that poses a major threat to human and animal health. The severe course of influenza infection is not only influenced by viral virulence factors but also by individual differences in the host response. To determine the extent to which the genetic background can modulate severity of an infection, we studied the host responses to influenza infections in the eight genetically highly diverse Collaborative Cross (CC) founder mouse strains. RESULTS: We observed highly divergent host responses between the CC founder strains with respect to survival, body weight loss, hematological parameters in the blood, relative lung weight and viral load. Mouse strain was the main factor with highest effect size on body weight loss after infection, demonstrating that this phenotype was highly heritable. Sex represented another significant main effect, although it was less strong. Analysis of survival rates and mean time to death suggested three groups of susceptibility phenotypes: highly susceptible (A/J, CAST/EiJ, WSB/EiJ), intermediate susceptible (C57BL/6J, 129S1/SvImJ, NOD/ShiLtJ) and highly resistant strains (NZO/HlLtJ, PWK/PhJ). These three susceptibility groups were significantly different with respect to death/survival counts. Viral load was significantly different between susceptible and resistant strains but not between intermediate and highly susceptible strains. CAST/EiJ mice showed a unique phenotype. Despite high viral loads in their lungs, CAST/EiJ mice exhibited low counts of infiltrating granulocytes and showed increased numbers of macrophages in the lung. Histological studies of infected lungs and transcriptome analyses of peripheral blood cells and lungs confirmed an abnormal response in the leukocyte recruitment in CAST/EiJ mice. CONCLUSIONS: The eight CC founder strains exhibited a large diversity in their response to influenza infections. Therefore, the CC will represent an ideal mouse genetic reference population to study the influence of genetic variation on the susceptibility and resistance to influenza infections which will be important to understand individual variations of disease severity in humans. The unique phenotype combination in the CAST/EiJ strain resembles human leukocyte adhesion deficiency and may thus represent a new mouse model to understand this and related abnormal immune responses to infections in humans. [less ▲]

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See detailIntegrated metabolic modelling reveals cell-type specific epigenetic control points of the macrophage metabolic network
Pacheco, Maria Irene UL; John, Elisabeth UL; Kaoma, Tony et al

in BMC Genomics (2015), 16(809),

Background: The reconstruction of context-specific metabolic models from easily and reliably measurable features such as transcriptomics data will be increasingly important in research and medicine ... [more ▼]

Background: The reconstruction of context-specific metabolic models from easily and reliably measurable features such as transcriptomics data will be increasingly important in research and medicine. Current reconstruction methods suffer from high computational effort and arbitrary threshold setting. Moreover, understanding the underlying epigenetic regulation might allow the identification of putative intervention points within metabolic networks. Genes under high regulatory load from multiple enhancers or super-enhancers are known key genes for disease and cell identity. However, their role in regulation of metabolism and their placement within the metabolic networks has not been studied. Methods: Here we present FASTCORMICS, a fast and robust workflow for the creation of high-quality metabolic models from transcriptomics data. FASTCORMICS is devoid of arbitrary parameter settings and due to its low computational demand allows cross-validation assays. Applying FASTCORMICS, we have generated models for 63 primary human cell types from microarray data, revealing significant differences in their metabolic networks. Results: To understand the cell type-specific regulation of the alternative metabolic pathways we built multiple models during differentiation of primary human monocytes to macrophages and performed ChIP-Seq experiments for histone H3 K27 acetylation (H3K27ac) to map the active enhancers in macrophages. Focusing on the metabolic genes under high regulatory load from multiple enhancers or super-enhancers, we found these genes to show the most cell type-restricted and abundant expression profiles within their respective pathways. Importantly, the high regulatory load genes are associated to reactions enriched for transport reactions and other pathway entry points, suggesting that they are critical regulatory control points for cell type-specific metabolism. Conclusions: By integrating metabolic modelling and epigenomic analysis we have identified high regulatory load as a common feature of metabolic genes at pathway entry points such as transporters within the macrophage metabolic network. Analysis of these control points through further integration of metabolic and gene regulatory networks in various contexts could be beneficial in multiple fields from identification of disease intervention strategies to cellular reprogramming. [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 detailConstruction and verification of the transcriptional regulatory response network of Streptococcus mutans upon treatment with the biofilm inhibitor carolacton
Sudhakar, Padhmanand; Reck, Michael; Wang, Wei et al

in BMC Genomics (2014), 15

Carolacton is a newly identified secondary metabolite causing altered cell morphology and death of Streptococcus mutans biofilm cells. To unravel key regulators mediating these effects, the ... [more ▼]

Carolacton is a newly identified secondary metabolite causing altered cell morphology and death of Streptococcus mutans biofilm cells. To unravel key regulators mediating these effects, the transcriptional regulatory response network of S. mutans biofilms upon carolacton treatment was constructed and analyzed. A systems biological approach integrating timeresolved transcriptomic data, reverse engineering, transcription factor binding sites, and experimental validation was carried out. The co-expression response network constructed from transcriptomic data using the reverse engineering algorithm called the Trend Correlation method consisted of 8284 gene-pairs. The regulatory response network inferred by superimposing transcription factor binding site information into the co-expression network comprised 329 putative transcriptional regulatory interactions and could be classified into 27 sub-networks each co-regulated by a transcription factor. These sub-networks were significantly enriched with genes sharing common functions. The regulatory response network displayed global hierarchy and network motifs as observed in model organisms. The sub-networks modulated by the pyrimidine biosynthesis regulator PyrR, the glutamine synthetase repressor GlnR, the cysteine metabolism regulator CysR, global regulators CcpA and CodY and the two component system response regulators VicR and MbrC among others could putatively be related to the physiological effect of carolacton. The predicted interactions from the regulatory network between MbrC, known to be involved in cell envelope stress response, and the murMN-SMU_718c genes encoding peptidoglycan biosynthetic enzymes were experimentally confirmed using Electro Mobility Shift Assays. Furthermore, gene deletion mutants of five predicted key regulators from the response networks were constructed and their sensitivities towards carolacton were investigated. Deletion of cysR, the node having the highest connectivity among the regulators chosen from the regulatory network, resulted in a mutant which was insensitive to carolacton thus demonstrating not only the essentiality of cysR for the response of S. mutans biofilms to carolacton but also the relevance of the predicted network. The network approach used in this study revealed important regulators and interactions as part of the response mechanisms of S. mutans biofilm cells to carolacton. It also opens a door for further studies into novel drug targets against streptococci. [less ▲]

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See detailPrionScan: an online database of predicted prion domains in complete proteomes.
Espinosa Angarica, Vladimir UL; Angulo, Alfonso; Giner, Arturo et al

in BMC genomics (2014), 15

BACKGROUND: Prions are a particular type of amyloids related to a large variety of important processes in cells, but also responsible for serious diseases in mammals and humans. The number of ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Prions are a particular type of amyloids related to a large variety of important processes in cells, but also responsible for serious diseases in mammals and humans. The number of experimentally characterized prions is still low and corresponds to a handful of examples in microorganisms and mammals. Prion aggregation is mediated by specific protein domains with a remarkable compositional bias towards glutamine/asparagine and against charged residues and prolines. These compositional features have been used to predict new prion proteins in the genomes of different organisms. Despite these efforts, there are only a few available data sources containing prion predictions at a genomic scale. DESCRIPTION: Here we present PrionScan, a new database of predicted prion-like domains in complete proteomes. We have previously developed a predictive methodology to identify and score prionogenic stretches in protein sequences. In the present work, we exploit this approach to scan all the protein sequences in public databases and compile a repository containing relevant information of proteins bearing prion-like domains. The database is updated regularly alongside UniprotKB and in its present version contains approximately 28000 predictions in proteins from different functional categories in more than 3200 organisms from all the taxonomic subdivisions. PrionScan can be used in two different ways: database query and analysis of protein sequences submitted by the users. In the first mode, simple queries allow to retrieve a detailed description of the properties of a defined protein. Queries can also be combined to generate more complex and specific searching patterns. In the second mode, users can submit and analyze their own sequences. CONCLUSIONS: It is expected that this database would provide relevant insights on prion functions and regulation from a genome-wide perspective, allowing researches performing cross-species prion biology studies. Our database might also be useful for guiding experimentalists in the identification of new candidates for further experimental characterization. [less ▲]

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See detailPOMO - Plotting Omics analysis results for Multiple Organisms
Lin, Jake UL; Kreisberg, Richard; Kallio, Aleksi et al

in BMC Genomics (2013), 14(918),

Background Systems biology experiments studying different topics and organisms produce thousands of data values across different types of genomic data. Further, data mining analyses are yielding ranked ... [more ▼]

Background Systems biology experiments studying different topics and organisms produce thousands of data values across different types of genomic data. Further, data mining analyses are yielding ranked and heterogeneous results and association networks distributed over the entire genome. The visualization of these results is often difficult and standalone web tools allowing for custom inputs and dynamic filtering are limited. Results We have developed POMO (http://pomo.cs.tut.fi), an interactive web-based application to visually explore omics data analysis results and associations in circular, network and grid views. The circular graph represents the chromosome lengths as perimeter segments, as a reference outer ring, such as cytoband for human. The inner arcs between nodes represent the uploaded network. Further, multiple annotation rings, for example depiction of gene copy number changes, can be uploaded as text files and represented as bar, histogram or heatmap rings. POMO has built-in references for human, mouse, nematode, fly,yeast, zebrafish, rice, tomato, Arabidopsis, and Escherichia coli. In addition, POMO provides custom options that allow integrated plotting of unsupported strains or closely related species associations, such as human and mouse orthologs or two yeast wild types, studied together within a single analysis. The web application also supports interactive label and weight filtering. Every iterative filtered result in POMO can be exported as image file and text file for sharing or direct future input. Conclusions The POMO web application is a unique tool for omics data analysis, which can be used to visualize and filter the genome-wide networks in the context of chromosomal locations as well as multiple network layouts. With the several illustration and filtering options the tool supports the analysis and visualization of any heterogeneous omics data analysis association results for many organisms. POMO is freely available and does not require any installation or registration. [less ▲]

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See detailA comprehensive metatranscriptome analysis pipeline and its validation using human small intestine microbiota datasets
Ramiro Garcia, Javier UL

in BMC genomics (2013), 14(1), 530

Background Next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies can be applied in complex microbial ecosystems for metatranscriptome analysis by employing direct cDNA sequencing, which is known as RNA sequencing ... [more ▼]

Background Next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies can be applied in complex microbial ecosystems for metatranscriptome analysis by employing direct cDNA sequencing, which is known as RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). RNA-seq generates large datasets of great complexity, the comprehensive interpretation of which requires a reliable bioinformatic pipeline. In this study, we focus on the development of such a metatranscriptome pipeline, which we validate using Illumina RNA-seq datasets derived from the small intestine microbiota of two individuals with an ileostomy. Results The metatranscriptome pipeline developed here enabled effective removal of rRNA derived sequences, followed by confident assignment of the predicted function and taxonomic origin of the mRNA reads. Phylogenetic analysis of the small intestine metatranscriptome datasets revealed a strong similarity with the community composition profiles obtained from 16S rDNA and rRNA pyrosequencing, indicating considerable congruency between community composition (rDNA), and the taxonomic distribution of overall (rRNA) and specific (mRNA) activity among its microbial members. Reproducibility of the metatranscriptome sequencing approach was established by independent duplicate experiments. In addition, comparison of metatranscriptome analysis employing single- or paired-end sequencing methods indicated that the latter approach does not provide improved functional or phylogenetic insights. Metatranscriptome functional-mapping allowed the analysis of global, and genus specific activity of the microbiota, and illustrated the potential of these approaches to unravel syntrophic interactions in microbial ecosystems. Conclusions A reliable pipeline for metatransciptome data analysis was developed and evaluated using RNA-seq datasets obtained for the human small intestine microbiota. The set-up of the pipeline is very generic and can be applied for (bacterial) metatranscriptome analysis in any chosen niche. [less ▲]

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See detailPolysaccharide utilization in Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron: comparative genomics reconstruction of metabolic and regulatory networks
Ravcheev, Dmitry UL; Godzik, Adam; Osterman, Andrei et al

in BMC Genomics (2013), 14(873), 1-17

Background: Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, a predominant member of the human gut microbiota, is characterized by its ability to utilize a wide variety of polysaccharides using the extensive saccharolytic ... [more ▼]

Background: Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, a predominant member of the human gut microbiota, is characterized by its ability to utilize a wide variety of polysaccharides using the extensive saccharolytic machinery that is controlled by an expanded repertoire of transcription factors (TFs). The availability of genomic sequences for multiple Bacteroides species opens an opportunity for their comparative analysis to enable characterization of their metabolic and regulatory networks. Results: A comparative genomics approach was applied for the reconstruction and functional annotation of the carbohydrate utilization regulatory networks in 11 Bacteroides genomes. Bioinformatics analysis of promoter regions revealed putative DNA-binding motifs and regulons for 31 orthologous TFs in the Bacteroides. Among the analyzed TFs there are 4 SusR-like regulators, 16 AraC-like hybrid two-component systems (HTCSs), and 11 regulators from other families. Novel DNA motifs of HTCSs and SusR-like regulators in the Bacteroides have the common structure of direct repeats with a long spacer between two conserved sites. Conclusions: The inferred regulatory network in B. thetaiotaomicron contains 308 genes encoding polysaccharide and sugar catabolic enzymes, carbohydrate-binding and transport systems, and TFs. The analyzed TFs control pathways for utilization of host and dietary glycans to monosaccharides and their further interconversions to intermediates of the central metabolism. The reconstructed regulatory network allowed us to suggest and refine specific functional assignments for sugar catabolic enzymes and transporters, providing a substantial improvement to the existing metabolic models for B. thetaiotaomicron. The obtained collection of reconstructed TF regulons is available in the RegPrecise database (http://regprecise.lbl.gov). [less ▲]

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See detailDiscovering putative prion sequences in complete proteomes using probabilistic representations of Q/N-rich domains.
Espinosa Angarica, Vladimir UL; Ventura, Salvador; Sancho, Javier

in BMC genomics (2013), 14

BACKGROUND: Prion proteins conform a special class among amyloids due to their ability to transmit aggregative folds. Prions are known to act as infectious agents in neurodegenerative diseases in animals ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Prion proteins conform a special class among amyloids due to their ability to transmit aggregative folds. Prions are known to act as infectious agents in neurodegenerative diseases in animals, or as key elements in transcription and translation processes in yeast. It has been suggested that prions contain specific sequential domains with distinctive amino acid composition and physicochemical properties that allow them to control the switch between soluble and beta-sheet aggregated states. Those prion-forming domains are low complexity segments enriched in glutamine/asparagine and depleted in charged residues and prolines. Different predictive methods have been developed to discover novel prions by either assessing the compositional bias of these stretches or estimating the propensity of protein sequences to form amyloid aggregates. However, the available algorithms hitherto lack a thorough statistical calibration against large sequence databases, which makes them unable to accurately predict prions without retrieving a large number of false positives. RESULTS: Here we present a computational strategy to predict putative prion-forming proteins in complete proteomes using probabilistic representations of prionogenic glutamine/asparagine rich regions. After benchmarking our predictive model against large sets of non-prionic sequences, we were able to filter out known prions with high precision and accuracy, generating prediction sets with few false positives. The algorithm was used to scan all the proteomes annotated in public databases for the presence of putative prion proteins. We analyzed the presence of putative prion proteins in all taxa, from viruses and archaea to plants and higher eukaryotes, and found that most organisms encode evolutionarily unrelated proteins with susceptibility to behave as prions. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first wide-ranging study aiming to predict prion domains in complete proteomes. Approaches of this kind could be of great importance to identify potential targets for further experimental testing and to try to reach a deeper understanding of prions' functional and regulatory mechanisms. [less ▲]

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See detailGenomic reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks in lactic acid bacteria
Ravcheev, Dmitry UL; Best, Aaron A.; Sernova, Natalia V. et al

in BMC Genomics (2013), 14(94), 1-14

Background: Genome scale annotation of regulatory interactions and reconstruction of regulatory networks are the crucial problems in bacterial genomics. The Lactobacillales order of bacteria collates ... [more ▼]

Background: Genome scale annotation of regulatory interactions and reconstruction of regulatory networks are the crucial problems in bacterial genomics. The Lactobacillales order of bacteria collates various microorganisms having a large economic impact, including both human and animal pathogens and strains used in the food industry. Nonetheless, no systematic genome-wide analysis of transcriptional regulation has been previously made for this taxonomic group. Results: A comparative genomics approach was used for reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks in 30 selected genomes of lactic acid bacteria. The inferred networks comprise regulons for 102 orthologous transcription factors (TFs), including 47 novel regulons for previously uncharacterized TFs. Numerous differences between regulatory networks of the Streptococcaceae and Lactobacillaceae groups were described on several levels. The two groups are characterized by substantially different sets of TFs encoded in their genomes. Content of the inferred regulons and structure of their cognate TF binding motifs differ for many orthologous TFs between the two groups. Multiple cases of non-orthologous displacements of TFs that control specific metabolic pathways were reported. Conclusions: The reconstructed regulatory networks substantially expand the existing knowledge of transcriptional regulation in lactic acid bacteria. In each of 30 studied genomes the obtained regulatory network contains on average 36 TFs and 250 target genes that are mostly involved in carbohydrate metabolism, stress response, metal homeostasis and amino acids biosynthesis. The inferred networks can be used for genetic experiments, functional annotations of genes, metabolic reconstruction and evolutionary analysis. All reconstructed regulons are captured within the Streptococcaceae and Lactobacillaceae collections in the RegPrecise database (http://regprecise.lbl.gov). [less ▲]

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See detailRegPrecise 3.0 - a resource for genome-scale exploration of transcriptional regulation in Bacteria
Novichkov, Pavel S.; Kazakov, Alexey E.; Ravcheev, Dmitry UL et al

in BMC Genomics (2013), 14(745), 1-12

Background: Genome-scale prediction of gene regulation and reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks in prokaryotes is one of the critical tasks of modern genomics. Bacteria from different ... [more ▼]

Background: Genome-scale prediction of gene regulation and reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks in prokaryotes is one of the critical tasks of modern genomics. Bacteria from different taxonomic groups, whose lifestyles and natural environments are substantially different, possess highly diverged transcriptional regulatory networks. The comparative genomics approaches are useful for in silico reconstruction of bacterial regulons and networks operated by both transcription factors (TFs) and RNA regulatory elements (riboswitches). Description: RegPrecise (http://regprecise.lbl.gov) is a web resource for collection, visualization and analysis of transcriptional regulons reconstructed by comparative genomics. We significantly expanded a reference collection of manually curated regulons we introduced earlier. RegPrecise 3.0 provides access to inferred regulatory interactions organized by phylogenetic, structural and functional properties. Taxonomy-specific collections include 781 TF regulogs inferred in more than 160 genomes representing 14 taxonomic groups of Bacteria. TF-specific collections include regulogs for a selected subset of 40 TFs reconstructed across more than 30 taxonomic lineages. Novel collections of regulons operated by RNA regulatory elements (riboswitches) include near 400 regulogs inferred in 24 bacterial lineages. RegPrecise 3.0 provides four classifications of the reference regulons implemented as controlled vocabularies: 55 TF protein families; 43 RNA motif families; ~150 biological processes or metabolic pathways; and ~200 effectors or environmental signals. Genome-wide visualization of regulatory networks and metabolic pathways covered by the reference regulons are available for all studied genomes. A separate section of RegPrecise 3.0 contains draft regulatory networks in 640 genomes obtained by an conservative propagation of the reference regulons to closely related genomes. Conclusions: RegPrecise 3.0 gives access to the transcriptional regulons reconstructed in bacterial genomes. Analytical capabilities include exploration of: regulon content, structure and function; TF binding site motifs; conservation and variations in genome-wide regulatory networks across all taxonomic groups of Bacteria. RegPrecise 3.0 was selected as a core resource on transcriptional regulation of the Department of Energy Systems Biology Knowledgebase, an emerging software and data environment designed to enable researchers to collaboratively generate, test and share new hypotheses about gene and protein functions, perform large-scale analyses, and model interactions in microbes, plants, and their communities. [less ▲]

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See detailImproving the performance of true single molecule sequencing for ancient DNA.
Ginolhac, Aurélien UL; Vilstrup, Julia; Stenderup, Jesper et al

in BMC genomics (2012), 13

BACKGROUND: Second-generation sequencing technologies have revolutionized our ability to recover genetic information from the past, allowing the characterization of the first complete genomes from past ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Second-generation sequencing technologies have revolutionized our ability to recover genetic information from the past, allowing the characterization of the first complete genomes from past individuals and extinct species. Recently, third generation Helicos sequencing platforms, which perform true Single-Molecule DNA Sequencing (tSMS), have shown great potential for sequencing DNA molecules from Pleistocene fossils. Here, we aim at improving even further the performance of tSMS for ancient DNA by testing two novel tSMS template preparation methods for Pleistocene bone fossils, namely oligonucleotide spiking and treatment with DNA phosphatase. RESULTS: We found that a significantly larger fraction of the horse genome could be covered following oligonucleotide spiking however not reproducibly and at the cost of extra post-sequencing filtering procedures and skewed %GC content. In contrast, we showed that treating ancient DNA extracts with DNA phosphatase improved the amount of endogenous sequence information recovered per sequencing channel by up to 3.3-fold, while still providing molecular signatures of endogenous ancient DNA damage, including cytosine deamination and fragmentation by depurination. Additionally, we confirmed the existence of molecular preservation niches in large bone crystals from which DNA could be preferentially extracted. CONCLUSIONS: We propose DNA phosphatase treatment as a mechanism to increase sequence coverage of ancient genomes when using Helicos tSMS as a sequencing platform. Together with mild denaturation temperatures that favor access to endogenous ancient templates over modern DNA contaminants, this simple preparation procedure can improve overall Helicos tSMS performance when damaged DNA templates are targeted. [less ▲]

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See detailImproving ancient DNA read mapping against modern reference genomes.
Schubert, Mikkel; Ginolhac, Aurélien UL; Lindgreen, Stinus et al

in BMC genomics (2012), 13

BACKGROUND: Next-Generation Sequencing has revolutionized our approach to ancient DNA (aDNA) research, by providing complete genomic sequences of ancient individuals and extinct species. However, the ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Next-Generation Sequencing has revolutionized our approach to ancient DNA (aDNA) research, by providing complete genomic sequences of ancient individuals and extinct species. However, the recovery of genetic material from long-dead organisms is still complicated by a number of issues, including post-mortem DNA damage and high levels of environmental contamination. Together with error profiles specific to the type of sequencing platforms used, these specificities could limit our ability to map sequencing reads against modern reference genomes and therefore limit our ability to identify endogenous ancient reads, reducing the efficiency of shotgun sequencing aDNA. RESULTS: In this study, we compare different computational methods for improving the accuracy and sensitivity of aDNA sequence identification, based on shotgun sequencing reads recovered from Pleistocene horse extracts using Illumina GAIIx and Helicos Heliscope platforms. We show that the performance of the Burrows Wheeler Aligner (BWA), that has been developed for mapping of undamaged sequencing reads using platforms with low rates of indel-types of sequencing errors, can be employed at acceptable run-times by modifying default parameters in a platform-specific manner. We also examine if trimming likely damaged positions at read ends can increase the recovery of genuine aDNA fragments and if accurate identification of human contamination can be achieved using a strategy previously suggested based on best hit filtering. We show that combining our different mapping and filtering approaches can increase the number of high-quality endogenous hits recovered by up to 33%. CONCLUSIONS: We have shown that Illumina and Helicos sequences recovered from aDNA extracts could not be aligned to modern reference genomes with the same efficiency unless mapping parameters are optimized for the specific types of errors generated by these platforms and by post-mortem DNA damage. Our findings have important implications for future aDNA research, as we define mapping guidelines that improve our ability to identify genuine aDNA sequences, which in turn could improve the genotyping accuracy of ancient specimens. Our framework provides a significant improvement to the standard procedures used for characterizing ancient genomes, which is challenged by contamination and often low amounts of DNA material. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide landscape of liver X receptor chromatin binding and gene regulation in human macrophages
Pehkonen, Petri; Welter-Stahl, Lynn; Diwo, Janine UL et al

in BMC Genomics (2012), 13(50),

Background: The liver X receptors (LXRs) are oxysterol sensing nuclear receptors with multiple effects on metabolism and immune cells. However, the complete genome-wide cistrome of LXR in cells of human ... [more ▼]

Background: The liver X receptors (LXRs) are oxysterol sensing nuclear receptors with multiple effects on metabolism and immune cells. However, the complete genome-wide cistrome of LXR in cells of human origin has not yet been provided. Results: We performed ChIP-seq in phorbol myristate acetate-differentiated THP-1 cells (macrophage-type) after stimulation with the potent synthetic LXR ligand T0901317 (T09). Microarray gene expression analysis was performed in the same cellular model. We identified 1357 genome-wide LXR locations (FDR < 1%), of which 526 were observed after T09 treatment. De novo analysis of LXR binding sequences identified a DR4-type element as the major motif. On mRNA level T09 up-regulated 1258 genes and repressed 455 genes. Our results show that LXR actions are focused on 112 genomic regions that contain up to 11 T09 target genes per region under the control of highly stringent LXR binding sites with individual constellations for each region. We could confirm that LXR controls lipid metabolism and transport and observed a strong association with apoptosis-related functions. Conclusions: This first report on genome-wide binding of LXR in a human cell line provides new insights into the transcriptional network of LXR and its target genes with their link to physiological processes, such as apoptosis. The gene expression microarray and sequence data have been submitted collectively to the NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo under accession number GSE28319. [less ▲]

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See detailPreimplantation development regulatory pathway construction through a text-mining approach.
Donnard, Elisa; Barbosa Da Silva, Adriano UL; Guedes, Rafael L. M. et al

in BMC genomics (2011), 12 Suppl 4

BACKGROUND: The integration of sequencing and gene interaction data and subsequent generation of pathways and networks contained in databases such as KEGG Pathway is essential for the comprehension of ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: The integration of sequencing and gene interaction data and subsequent generation of pathways and networks contained in databases such as KEGG Pathway is essential for the comprehension of complex biological processes. We noticed the absence of a chart or pathway describing the well-studied preimplantation development stages; furthermore, not all genes involved in the process have entries in KEGG Orthology, important information for knowledge application with relation to other organisms. RESULTS: In this work we sought to develop the regulatory pathway for the preimplantation development stage using text-mining tools such as Medline Ranker and PESCADOR to reveal biointeractions among the genes involved in this process. The genes present in the resulting pathway were also used as seeds for software developed by our group called SeedServer to create clusters of homologous genes. These homologues allowed the determination of the last common ancestor for each gene and revealed that the preimplantation development pathway consists of a conserved ancient core of genes with the addition of modern elements. CONCLUSIONS: The generation of regulatory pathways through text-mining tools allows the integration of data generated by several studies for a more complete visualization of complex biological processes. Using the genes in this pathway as "seeds" for the generation of clusters of homologues, the pathway can be visualized for other organisms. The clustering of homologous genes together with determination of the ancestry leads to a better understanding of the evolution of such process. [less ▲]

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See detailComparative genomic reconstruction of transcriptional networks controlling central metabolism in the Shewanella genus
Rodionov, Dmitry A.; Novichkov, Pavel S.; Stavrovskaya, Elena D. et al

in BMC Genomics (2011), 12 (Suppl 1)(S3), 1-17

BACKGROUND: Genome-scale prediction of gene regulation and reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks in bacteria is one of the critical tasks of modern genomics. The Shewanella genus is ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Genome-scale prediction of gene regulation and reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks in bacteria is one of the critical tasks of modern genomics. The Shewanella genus is comprised of metabolically versatile gamma-proteobacteria, whose lifestyles and natural environments are substantially different from Escherichia coli and other model bacterial species. The comparative genomics approaches and computational identification of regulatory sites are useful for the in silico reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks in bacteria. RESULTS: To explore conservation and variations in the Shewanella transcriptional networks we analyzed the repertoire of transcription factors and performed genomics-based reconstruction and comparative analysis of regulons in 16 Shewanella genomes. The inferred regulatory network includes 82 transcription factors and their DNA binding sites, 8 riboswitches and 6 translational attenuators. Forty five regulons were newly inferred from the genome context analysis, whereas others were propagated from previously characterized regulons in the Enterobacteria and Pseudomonas spp.. Multiple variations in regulatory strategies between the Shewanella spp. and E. coli include regulon contraction and expansion (as in the case of PdhR, HexR, FadR), numerous cases of recruiting non-orthologous regulators to control equivalent pathways (e.g. PsrA for fatty acid degradation) and, conversely, orthologous regulators to control distinct pathways (e.g. TyrR, ArgR, Crp). CONCLUSIONS: We tentatively defined the first reference collection of ~100 transcriptional regulons in 16 Shewanella genomes. The resulting regulatory network contains ~600 regulated genes per genome that are mostly involved in metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, metals, and stress responses. Several reconstructed regulons including NagR for N-acetylglucosamine catabolism were experimentally validated in S. oneidensis MR-1. Analysis of correlations in gene expression patterns helps to interpret the reconstructed regulatory network. The inferred regulatory interactions will provide an additional regulatory constrains for an integrated model of metabolism and regulation in S. oneidensis MR-1. [less ▲]

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See detailChlamyCyc: an integrative systems biology database and web-portal for Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.
May, Patrick UL; Christian, Jan-Ole; Kempa, Stefan et al

in BMC Genomics (2009), 10

BACKGROUND: The unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is an important eukaryotic model organism for the study of photosynthesis and plant growth. In the era of modern high-throughput ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: The unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is an important eukaryotic model organism for the study of photosynthesis and plant growth. In the era of modern high-throughput technologies there is an imperative need to integrate large-scale data sets from high-throughput experimental techniques using computational methods and database resources to provide comprehensive information about the molecular and cellular organization of a single organism. RESULTS: In the framework of the German Systems Biology initiative GoFORSYS, a pathway database and web-portal for Chlamydomonas (ChlamyCyc) was established, which currently features about 250 metabolic pathways with associated genes, enzymes, and compound information. ChlamyCyc was assembled using an integrative approach combining the recently published genome sequence, bioinformatics methods, and experimental data from metabolomics and proteomics experiments. We analyzed and integrated a combination of primary and secondary database resources, such as existing genome annotations from JGI, EST collections, orthology information, and MapMan classification. CONCLUSION: ChlamyCyc provides a curated and integrated systems biology repository that will enable and assist in systematic studies of fundamental cellular processes in Chlamydomonas. The ChlamyCyc database and web-portal is freely available under http://chlamycyc.mpimp-golm.mpg.de. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact of Transcription Units rearrangement on the evolution of the regulatory network of gamma-proteobacteria.
Gonzalez Perez, Abel D.; Gonzalez Gonzalez, Evelyn; Espinosa Angarica, Vladimir UL et al

in BMC genomics (2008), 9

BACKGROUND: In the past years, several studies begun to unravel the structure, dynamical properties, and evolution of transcriptional regulatory networks. However, even those comparative studies that ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: In the past years, several studies begun to unravel the structure, dynamical properties, and evolution of transcriptional regulatory networks. However, even those comparative studies that focus on a group of closely related organisms are limited by the rather scarce knowledge on regulatory interactions outside a few model organisms, such as E. coli among the prokaryotes. RESULTS: In this paper we used the information annotated in Tractor_DB (a database of regulatory networks in gamma-proteobacteria) to calculate a normalized Site Orthology Score (SOS) that quantifies the conservation of a regulatory link across thirty genomes of this subclass. Then we used this SOS to assess how regulatory connections have evolved in this group, and how the variation of basic regulatory connection is reflected on the structure of the chromosome. We found that individual regulatory interactions shift between different organisms, a process that may be described as rewiring the network. At this evolutionary scale (the gamma-proteobacteria subclass) this rewiring process may be an important source of variation of regulatory incoming interactions for individual networks. We also noticed that the regulatory links that form feed forward motifs are conserved in a better correlated manner than triads of random regulatory interactions or pairs of co-regulated genes. Furthermore, the rewiring process that takes place at the most basic level of the regulatory network may be linked to rearrangements of genetic material within bacterial chromosomes, which change the structure of Transcription Units and therefore the regulatory connections between Transcription Factors and structural genes. CONCLUSION: The rearrangements that occur in bacterial chromosomes-mostly inversion or horizontal gene transfer events - are important sources of variation of gene regulation at this evolutionary scale. [less ▲]

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See detailComparative genomic analysis of regulation of anaerobic respiration in ten genomes from three families of gamma-proteobacteria (Enterobacteriaceae, Pasteurellaceae, Vibrionaceae)
Ravcheev, Dmitry UL; Gerasimova, Anna V.; Mironov, Andrey A. et al

in BMC Genomics (2007), 8(54), 1-17

BACKGROUND: Gamma-proteobacteria, such as Escherichia coli, can use a variety of respiratory substrates employing numerous aerobic and anaerobic respiratory systems controlled by multiple transcription ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Gamma-proteobacteria, such as Escherichia coli, can use a variety of respiratory substrates employing numerous aerobic and anaerobic respiratory systems controlled by multiple transcription regulators. Thus, in E. coli, global control of respiration is mediated by four transcription factors, Fnr, ArcA, NarL and NarP. However, in other Gamma-proteobacteria the composition of global respiration regulators may be different. RESULTS: In this study we applied a comparative genomic approach to the analysis of three global regulatory systems, Fnr, ArcA and NarP. These systems were studied in available genomes containing these three regulators, but lacking NarL. So, we considered several representatives of Pasteurellaceae, Vibrionaceae and Yersinia spp. As a result, we identified new regulon members, functioning in respiration, central metabolism (glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, pentose phosphate pathway, citrate cicle, metabolism of pyruvate and lactate), metabolism of carbohydrates and fatty acids, transcriptional regulation and transport, in particular: the ATP synthase operon atpIBEFHAGCD, Na+-exporting NADH dehydrogenase operon nqrABCDEF, the D-amino acids dehydrogenase operon dadAX. Using an extension of the comparative technique, we demonstrated taxon-specific changes in regulatory interactions and predicted taxon-specific regulatory cascades. CONCLUSION: A comparative genomic technique was applied to the analysis of global regulation of respiration in ten gamma-proteobacterial genomes. Three structurally different but functionally related regulatory systems were described. A correlation between the regulon size and the position of a transcription factor in regulatory cascades was observed: regulators with larger regulons tend to occupy top positions in the cascades. On the other hand, there is no obvious link to differences in the species' lifestyles and metabolic capabilities. [less ▲]

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