42 results found
Feleke R, Reynolds RH, Smith AM, et al., 2021, Cross-platform transcriptional profiling identifies common and distinct molecular pathologies in Lewy body diseases, Acta Neuropathologica, Vol: 142, Pages: 449-474, ISSN: 0001-6322
Parkinson's disease (PD), Parkinson's disease with dementia (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are three clinically, genetically and neuropathologically overlapping neurodegenerative diseases collectively known as the Lewy body diseases (LBDs). A variety of molecular mechanisms have been implicated in PD pathogenesis, but the mechanisms underlying PDD and DLB remain largely unknown, a knowledge gap that presents an impediment to the discovery of disease-modifying therapies. Transcriptomic profiling can contribute to addressing this gap, but remains limited in the LBDs. Here, we applied paired bulk-tissue and single-nucleus RNA-sequencing to anterior cingulate cortex samples derived from 28 individuals, including healthy controls, PD, PDD and DLB cases (n = 7 per group), to transcriptomically profile the LBDs. Using this approach, we (i) found transcriptional alterations in multiple cell types across the LBDs; (ii) discovered evidence for widespread dysregulation of RNA splicing, particularly in PDD and DLB; (iii) identified potential splicing factors, with links to other dementia-related neurodegenerative diseases, coordinating this dysregulation; and (iv) identified transcriptomic commonalities and distinctions between the LBDs that inform understanding of the relationships between these three clinical disorders. Together, these findings have important implications for the design of RNA-targeted therapies for these diseases and highlight a potential molecular "window" of therapeutic opportunity between the initial onset of PD and subsequent development of Lewy body dementia.
Wolking S, Moreau C, McCormack M, et al., 2021, Assessing the role of rare genetic variants in drug-resistant, non-lesional focal epilepsy, ANNALS OF CLINICAL AND TRANSLATIONAL NEUROLOGY, Vol: 8, Pages: 1376-1387, ISSN: 2328-9503
Robinson EL, Baker AH, Brittan M, et al., 2021, Dissecting the transcriptome in cardiovascular disease., Cardiovasc Res
The human transcriptome comprises a complex network of coding and non-coding RNAs implicated in a myriad of biological functions. Non-coding RNAs exhibit highly organised spatial and temporal expression patterns and are emerging as critical regulators of differentiation, homeostasis and pathological states, including in the cardiovascular system. This review defines the current knowledge gaps, unmet methodological needs and describes the challenges in dissecting and understanding the role and regulation of the non-coding transcriptome in cardiovascular disease. These challenges include poor annotation of the non-coding genome, determination of the cellular distribution of transcripts, assessment of the role of RNA processing and identification of cell-type specific changes in cardiovascular physiology and disease. We highlight similarities and differences in the hurdles associated with the analysis of the non-coding and protein-coding transcriptomes. In addition, we discuss how the lack of consensus and absence of standardised methods affect reproducibility of data. These shortcomings should be defeated in order to make significant scientific progress and foster the development of clinically applicable non-coding RNA-based therapeutic strategies to lessen the burden of cardiovascular disease.
Robinson EL, Gomes CPC, Potocnjak I, et al., 2020, A Year in the Life of the EU-CardioRNA COST Action: CA17129 Catalysing Transcriptomics Research in Cardiovascular Disease, NON-CODING RNA, Vol: 6
Jupp B, Pitzoi S, Petretto E, et al., 2020, Impulsivity is a heritable trait in rodents and associated with a novel quantitative trait locus on chromosome 1, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2045-2322
Wolking S, Moreau C, Nies AT, et al., 2020, Testing association of rare genetic variants with resistance to three common antiseizure medications, Epilepsia, Vol: 61, Pages: 657-666, ISSN: 0013-9580
OBJECTIVE: Drug resistance is a major concern in the treatment of individuals with epilepsy. No genetic markers for resistance to individual antiseizure medication (ASM) have yet been identified. We aimed to identify the role of rare genetic variants in drug resistance for three common ASMs: levetiracetam (LEV), lamotrigine (LTG), and valproic acid (VPA). METHODS: A cohort of 1622 individuals of European descent with epilepsy was deeply phenotyped and underwent whole exome sequencing (WES), comprising 575 taking LEV, 826 LTG, and 782 VPA. We performed gene- and gene set-based collapsing analyses comparing responders and nonresponders to the three drugs to determine the burden of different categories of rare genetic variants. RESULTS: We observed a marginally significant enrichment of rare missense, truncating, and splice region variants in individuals who were resistant to VPA compared to VPA responders for genes involved in VPA pharmacokinetics. We also found a borderline significant enrichment of truncating and splice region variants in the synaptic vesicle glycoprotein (SV2) gene family in nonresponders compared to responders to LEV. We did not see any significant enrichment using a gene-based approach. SIGNIFICANCE: In our pharmacogenetic study, we identified a slightly increased burden of damaging variants in gene groups related to drug kinetics or targeting in individuals presenting with drug resistance to VPA or LEV. Such variants could thus determine a genetic contribution to drug resistance.
Schidlitzki A, Bascuñana P, Srivastava PK, et al., 2020, Proof-of-concept that network pharmacology is effective to modify development of acquired temporal lobe epilepsy, Neurobiology of Disease, Vol: 134, Pages: 1-16, ISSN: 0969-9961
Epilepsy is a complex network phenomenon that, as yet, cannot be prevented or cured. We recently proposed network-based approaches to prevent epileptogenesis. For proof of concept we combined two drugs (levetiracetam and topiramate) for which in silico analysis of drug-protein interaction networks indicated a synergistic effect on a large functional network of epilepsy-relevant proteins. Using the intrahippocampal kainate mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy, the drug combination was administered during the latent period before onset of spontaneous recurrent seizures (SRS). When SRS were periodically recorded by video-EEG monitoring after termination of treatment, a significant decrease in incidence and frequency of SRS was determined, indicating antiepileptogenic efficacy. Such efficacy was not observed following single drug treatment. Furthermore, a combination of levetiracetam and phenobarbital, for which in silico analysis of drug-protein interaction networks did not indicate any significant drug-drug interaction, was not effective to modify development of epilepsy. Surprisingly, the promising antiepileptogenic effect of the levetiracetam/topiramate combination was obtained in the absence of any significant neuroprotective or anti-inflammatory effects as indicated by multimodal brain imaging and histopathology. High throughput RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) of the ipsilateral hippocampus of mice treated with the levetiracetam/topiramate combination showed that several genes that have been linked previously to epileptogenesis, were significantly differentially expressed, providing interesting entry points for future mechanistic studies. Overall, we have discovered a novel combination treatment with promise for prevention of epilepsy.
Palmisano I, Danzi MC, Hutson TH, et al., 2019, Epigenomic signatures underpin the axonal regenerative ability of dorsal root ganglia sensory neurons, Nature Neuroscience, Vol: 22, Pages: 1913-1924, ISSN: 1097-6256
Axonal injury results in regenerative success or failure, depending on whether the axon lies in the peripheral or the CNS, respectively. The present study addresses whether epigenetic signatures in dorsal root ganglia discriminate between regenerative and non-regenerative axonal injury. Chromatin immunoprecipitation for the histone 3 (H3) post-translational modifications H3K9ac, H3K27ac and H3K27me3; an assay for transposase-accessible chromatin; and RNA sequencing were performed in dorsal root ganglia after sciatic nerve or dorsal column axotomy. Distinct histone acetylation and chromatin accessibility signatures correlated with gene expression after peripheral, but not central, axonal injury. DNA-footprinting analyses revealed new transcriptional regulators associated with regenerative ability. Machine-learning algorithms inferred the direction of most of the gene expression changes. Neuronal conditional deletion of the chromatin remodeler CCCTC-binding factor impaired nerve regeneration, implicating chromatin organization in the regenerative competence. Altogether, the present study offers the first epigenomic map providing insight into the transcriptional response to injury and the differential regenerative ability of sensory neurons.
Chen H, Moreno-Moral A, Pesce F, et al., 2019, Author Correction: WWP2 regulates pathological cardiac fibrosis by modulating SMAD2 signaling, Nature Communications, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2041-1723
Laaniste L, Srivastava P, Stylianou T, et al., 2019, Integrated systems-genetic analyses reveal a network target for delaying glioma progression, Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, Vol: 6, Pages: 1616-1638, ISSN: 2328-9503
ObjectiveTo identify a convergent, multitarget proliferation characteristic for astrocytoma transformation that could be targeted for therapy discovery.MethodsUsing an integrated functional genomics approach, we prioritized networks associated with astrocytoma progression using the following criteria: differential co‐expression between grade II and grade III IDH1‐mutated and 1p/19q euploid astrocytomas, preferential enrichment for genetic risk to cancer, association with patient survival and sample‐level genomic features. Drugs targeting the identified multitarget network characteristic for astrocytoma transformation were computationally predicted using drug transcriptional perturbation data and validated using primary human astrocytoma cells.ResultsA single network, M2, consisting of 177 genes, was associated with glioma progression on the basis of the above criteria. Functionally, M2 encoded physically interacting proteins regulating cell cycle processes and analysis of genome‐wide gene‐regulatory interactions using mutual information and DNA–protein interactions revealed the known regulators of cell cycle processes FoxM1, B‐Myb, and E2F2 as key regulators of M2. These results suggest functional disruption of M2 via gene mutation or altered expression as a convergent pathway regulating astrocytoma transformation. By considering M2 as a multitarget drug target regulating astrocytoma transformation, we identified several drugs that are predicted to restore M2 expression in anaplastic astrocytoma toward its low‐grade profile and of these, we validated the known antiproliferative drug resveratrol as down‐regulating multiple nodes of M2 including at nanomolar concentrations achievable in human cerebrospinal fluid by oral dosing.InterpretationOur results identify M2 as a multitarget network characteristic for astrocytoma progression and encourage M2‐based drug screening to identify new compounds for preventing glioma transformation.
Chen H, Moreno-Moral A, Pesce F, et al., 2019, WWP2 regulates pathological cardiac fibrosis by modulating SMAD2 signaling, Nature Communications, Vol: 10, Pages: 1-19, ISSN: 2041-1723
Cardiac fibrosis is a final common pathology in inherited and acquired heart diseases that causes cardiac electrical and pump failure. Here, we use systems genetics to identify a pro-fibrotic gene network in the diseased heart and show that this network is regulated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase WWP2, specifically by the WWP2-N terminal isoform. Importantly, the WWP2-regulated pro-fibrotic gene network is conserved across different cardiac diseases characterized by fibrosis: human and murine dilated cardiomyopathy and repaired tetralogy of Fallot. Transgenic mice lacking the N-terminal region of the WWP2 protein show improved cardiac function and reduced myocardial fibrosis in response to pressure overload or myocardial infarction. In primary cardiac fibroblasts, WWP2 positively regulates the expression of pro-fibrotic markers and extracellular matrix genes. TGFβ1 stimulation promotes nuclear translocation of the WWP2 isoforms containing the N-terminal region and their interaction with SMAD2. WWP2 mediates the TGFβ1-induced nucleocytoplasmic shuttling and transcriptional activity of SMAD2.
Berghuis B, Stapleton C, Sonsma ACM, et al., 2019, A genome-wide association study of sodium levels and drug metabolism in an epilepsy cohort treated with carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine, Epilepsia Open, Vol: 4, Pages: 102-109, ISSN: 2470-9239
Epilepsia Open published by Wiley Periodicals Inc. on behalf of International League Against Epilepsy. Objective: To ascertain the clinical and genetic factors contributing to carbamazepine- and oxcarbazepine-induced hyponatremia (COIH), and to carbamazepine (CBZ) metabolism, in a retrospectively collected, cross-sectional cohort of people with epilepsy. Methods: We collected data on serum sodium levels and antiepileptic drug levels in people with epilepsy attending a tertiary epilepsy center while on treatment with CBZ or OXC. We defined hyponatremia as Na+ ≤134 mEq/L. We estimated the CBZ metabolic ratio defined as the log transformation of the ratio of metabolite CBZ-diol to unchanged drug precursor substrate as measured in serum. Results: Clinical and genetic data relating to carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine trials were collected in 1141 patients. We did not observe any genome-wide significant associations with sodium level in a linear trend or hyponatremia as a dichotomous trait. Age, sex, number of comedications, phenytoin use, phenobarbital use, and sodium valproate use were significant predictors of CBZ metabolic ratio. No genome-wide significant associations with CBZ metabolic ratio were found. Significance: Although we did not detect a genetic predictor of hyponatremia or CBZ metabolism in our cohort, our findings suggest that the determinants of CBZ metabolism are multifactorial.
Pandey P, Srivastava PK, Pandey SP, 2019, Prediction of Plant miRNA Targets., Methods Mol Biol, Vol: 1932, Pages: 99-107
microRNAs (miRNAs) are the central component of an important layer of regulation of gene expression at posttranscriptional level. In plants, miRNAs target the transcripts in a highly complementary sequence-dependent manner. Extensive research is being made to study genome-wide miRNA-mediated regulation of gene expression, which has resulted in the development of many tools for in silico prediction of miRNA targets. Although several tools have been developed for predicting miRNA targets in model plants, genome-wide analysis of miRNA targets is still a challenge for non-model species that lack dedicated tools. Here, we describe an in silico procedure for studying miRNA-mediated interactions in plants, which is based on the fact that canonical miRNA-target sites are highly complementary, the miRNAs negatively regulate the expression of their target genes, and miRNAs may form regulatory networks as one miRNA may target more than one transcript and vice versa to modulate and fine-tune expression of the genome.
Srivastava P, van Eyll J, Godard P, et al., 2018, A systems-level framework for drug discovery identifies Csf1R as an anti-epileptic drug target, Nature Communications, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2041-1723
The identification of drug targets is highly challenging, particularly for diseases of the brain. To address this problem, we developed and experimentally validated a general computational framework for drug target discovery that combines gene regulatory information with causal reasoning (“Causal Reasoning Analytical Framework for Target discovery”—CRAFT). Using a systems genetics approach and starting from gene expression data from the target tissue, CRAFT provides a predictive framework for identifying cell membrane receptors with a direction-specified influence over disease-related gene expression profiles. As proof of concept, we applied CRAFT to epilepsy and predicted the tyrosine kinase receptor Csf1R as a potential therapeutic target. The predicted effect of Csf1R blockade in attenuating epilepsy seizures was validated in three pre-clinical models of epilepsy. These results highlight CRAFT as a systems-level framework for target discovery and suggest Csf1R blockade as a novel therapeutic strategy in epilepsy. CRAFT is applicable to disease settings other than epilepsy.
May P, Girard S, Harrer M, et al., 2018, Rare coding variants in genes encoding GABA(A) receptors in genetic generalised epilepsies: an exome-based case-control study, Lancet Neurology, Vol: 17, Pages: 699-708, ISSN: 1474-4422
BackgroundGenetic generalised epilepsy is the most common type of inherited epilepsy. Despite a high concordance rate of 80% in monozygotic twins, the genetic background is still poorly understood. We aimed to investigate the burden of rare genetic variants in genetic generalised epilepsy.MethodsFor this exome-based case-control study, we used three different genetic generalised epilepsy case cohorts and three independent control cohorts, all of European descent. Cases included in the study were clinically evaluated for genetic generalised epilepsy. Whole-exome sequencing was done for the discovery case cohort, a validation case cohort, and two independent control cohorts. The replication case cohort underwent targeted next-generation sequencing of the 19 known genes encoding subunits of GABAA receptors and was compared to the respective GABAA receptor variants of a third independent control cohort. Functional investigations were done with automated two-microelectrode voltage clamping in Xenopus laevis oocytes.FindingsStatistical comparison of 152 familial index cases with genetic generalised epilepsy in the discovery cohort to 549 ethnically matched controls suggested an enrichment of rare missense (Nonsyn) variants in the ensemble of 19 genes encoding GABAA receptors in cases (odds ratio [OR] 2·40 [95% CI 1·41–4·10]; pNonsyn=0·0014, adjusted pNonsyn=0·019). Enrichment for these genes was validated in a whole-exome sequencing cohort of 357 sporadic and familial genetic generalised epilepsy cases and 1485 independent controls (OR 1·46 [95% CI 1·05–2·03]; pNonsyn=0·0081, adjusted pNonsyn=0·016). Comparison of genes encoding GABAA receptors in the independent replication cohort of 583 familial and sporadic genetic generalised epilepsy index cases, based on candidate-gene panel sequencing, with a third independent control cohort of 635 controls confirmed the overall enrichment of rare mis
Adamowicz M, Morgan CC, Haubner BJ, et al., 2018, Functionally conserved noncoding regulators of cardiomyocyte proliferation and regeneration in mouse and human, Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, Vol: 11, ISSN: 1942-325X
Background: The adult mammalian heart has little regenerative capacity after myocardial infarction (MI), whereas neonatal mouse heart regenerates without scarring or dysfunction. However, the underlying pathways are poorly defined. We sought to derive insights into the pathways regulating neonatal development of the mouse heart and cardiac regeneration post-MI.Methods and Results: Total RNA-seq of mouse heart through the first 10 days of postnatal life (referred to as P3, P5, P10) revealed a previously unobserved transition in microRNA (miRNA) expression between P3 and P5 associated specifically with altered expression of protein-coding genes on the focal adhesion pathway and cessation of cardiomyocyte cell division. We found profound changes in the coding and noncoding transcriptome after neonatal MI, with evidence of essentially complete healing by P10. Over two-thirds of each of the messenger RNAs, long noncoding RNAs, and miRNAs that were differentially expressed in the post-MI heart were differentially expressed during normal postnatal development, suggesting a common regulatory pathway for normal cardiac development and post-MI cardiac regeneration. We selected exemplars of miRNAs implicated in our data set as regulators of cardiomyocyte proliferation. Several of these showed evidence of a functional influence on mouse cardiomyocyte cell division. In addition, a subset of these miRNAs, miR-144-3p, miR-195a-5p, miR-451a, and miR-6240 showed evidence of functional conservation in human cardiomyocytes.Conclusions: The sets of messenger RNAs, miRNAs, and long noncoding RNAs that we report here merit further investigation as gatekeepers of cell division in the postnatal heart and as targets for extension of the period of cardiac regeneration beyond the neonatal period.
Srivastava PK, Roncon P, Lukasiuk K, et al., 2017, Meta-Analysis of MicroRNAs Dysregulated in the Hippocampal Dentate Gyrus of Animal Models of Epilepsy., eNeuro, Vol: 4, ISSN: 2373-2822
The identification of mechanisms transforming normal to seizure-generating tissue after brain injury is key to developing new antiepileptogenic treatments. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) may act as regulators and potential treatment targets for epileptogenesis. Here, we undertook a meta-analysis of changes in miRNA expression in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) following an epileptogenic insult in three epilepsy models. We identified 26 miRNAs significantly differentially expressed during epileptogenesis, and five differentially expressed in chronic epilepsy. Of these, 13 were not identified in any of the individual studies. To assess the role of these miRNAs, we predicted their mRNA targets and then filtered the list to include only target genes expressed in DG and negatively correlated with miRNA expression. Functional enrichment analysis of mRNA targets of miRNAs dysregulated during epileptogenesis suggested a role for molecular processes related to inflammation and synaptic function. Our results identify new miRNAs associated with epileptogenesis from existing data, highlighting the utility of meta-analysis in maximizing value from preclinical data.
van Vliet EA, Puhakka N, Mills JD, et al., 2017, Standardization procedure for plasma biomarker analysis in rat models of epileptogenesis: Focus on circulating microRNAs., Epilepsia, Vol: 58, Pages: 2013-2024, ISSN: 0013-9580
The World Health Organization estimates that globally 2.4 million people are diagnosed with epilepsy each year. In nearly 30% of these cases, epilepsy cannot be properly controlled by antiepileptic drugs. More importantly, treatments to prevent or modify epileptogenesis do not exist. Therefore, novel therapies are urgently needed. In this respect, it is important to identify which patients will develop epilepsy and which individually tailored treatment is needed. However, currently, we have no tools to identify the patients at risk, and diagnosis of epileptogenesis remains as a major unmet medical need, which relates to lack of diagnostic biomarkers for epileptogenesis. As the epileptogenic process in humans is typically slow, the use of animal models is justified to speed up biomarker discovery. We aim to summarize recommendations for molecular biomarker research and propose a standardized procedure for biomarker discovery in rat models of epileptogenesis. The potential of many phylogenetically conserved circulating noncoding small RNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs), as biomarkers has been explored in various brain diseases, including epilepsy. Recent studies show the feasibility of detecting miRNAs in blood in both experimental models and human epilepsy. However, the analysis of circulating miRNAs in rodent models is challenging, which relates both to the lack of standardized sampling protocols and to analysis of miRNAs. We will discuss the issues critical for preclinical plasma biomarker discovery, such as documentation, blood and brain tissue sampling and collection, plasma separation and storage, RNA extraction, quality control, and RNA detection. We propose a protocol for standardization of procedures for discovery of circulating miRNA biomarkers in rat models of epileptogenesis. Ultimately, we hope that the preclinical standardization will facilitate clinical biomarker discovery for epileptogenesis in man.
Papathanassiu AE, Ko JH, Imprialou M, et al., 2017, BCAT1 controls metabolic reprogramming in activated human macrophages and is associated with inflammatory diseases, Nature Communications, Vol: 8, ISSN: 2041-1723
Branched-chain aminotransferases (BCAT) are enzymes that initiate the catabolism of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), such as leucine, thereby providing macromolecule precursors; however, the function of BCATs in macrophages is unknown. Here we show that BCAT1 is the predominant BCAT isoform in human primary macrophages. We identify ERG240 as a leucine analogue that blocks BCAT1 activity. Selective inhibition of BCAT1 activity results in decreased oxygen consumption and glycolysis. This decrease is associated with reduced IRG1 levels and itaconate synthesis, suggesting involvement of BCAA catabolism through the IRG1/itaconate axis within the tricarboxylic acid cycle in activated macrophages. ERG240 suppresses production of IRG1 and itaconate in mice and contributes to a less proinflammatory transcriptome signature. Oral administration of ERG240 reduces the severity of collagen-induced arthritis in mice and crescentic glomerulonephritis in rats, in part by decreasing macrophage infiltration. These results establish a regulatory role for BCAT1 in macrophage function with therapeutic implications for inflammatory conditions.
Chen T, Rotival M, Behmoaras JV, et al., 2017, Identification of ceruloplasmin as a gene that affects susceptibility to glomerulonephritis through macrophage function, Genetics, Vol: 206, Pages: 1139-1151, ISSN: 1943-2631
Crescentic glomerulonephritis (Crgn) is a complex disorder where macrophage activity and infiltration are significant effector causes. In previous linkage studies using the uniquely susceptible Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rat strain, we have identified multiple crescentic glomerulonephritis QTL (Crgn) and positionally cloned genes underlying Crgn1 and Crgn2, which accounted for 40% of total variance in glomerular inflammation. Here, we have generated a backcross (BC) population (n = 166) where Crgn1 and Crgn2 were genetically fixed and found significant linkage to glomerular crescents on chromosome 2 (Crgn8, LOD = 3.8). Fine mapping analysis by integration with genome-wide expression QTLs (eQTLs) from the same BC population identified ceruloplasmin (Cp) as a positional eQTL in macrophages but not in serum. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry confirmed Cp as a protein QTL in rat macrophages. WKY macrophages overexpress Cp and its downregulation by RNA interference decreases markers of glomerular proinflammatory macrophage activation. Similarly, short incubation with Cp results in a strain-dependent macrophage polarization in the rat. These results suggest that genetically determined Cp levels can alter susceptibility to Crgn through macrophage function and propose a new role for Cp in early macrophage activation.
Srivastava PK, Bagnati M, Delahaye-Duriez A, et al., 2017, Genome-wide analysis of differential RNA editing in epilepsy, Genome Research, Vol: 27, Pages: 440-450, ISSN: 1549-5469
The recoding of genetic information through RNA editing contributes to proteomic diversity, but the extent and significance of RNA editing in disease is poorly understood. In particular, few studies have investigated the relationship between RNA editing and disease at a genome-wide level. Here, we developed a framework for the genome-wide detection of RNA sites that are differentially edited in disease. Using RNA-sequencing data from 100 hippocampi from mice with epilepsy (pilocarpine–temporal lobe epilepsy model) and 100 healthy control hippocampi, we identified 256 RNA sites (overlapping with 87 genes) that were significantly differentially edited between epileptic cases and controls. The degree of differential RNA editing in epileptic mice correlated with frequency of seizures, and the set of genes differentially RNA-edited between case and control mice were enriched for functional terms highly relevant to epilepsy, including “neuron projection” and “seizures.” Genes with differential RNA editing were preferentially enriched for genes with a genetic association to epilepsy. Indeed, we found that they are significantly enriched for genes that harbor nonsynonymous de novo mutations in patients with epileptic encephalopathy and for common susceptibility variants associated with generalized epilepsy. These analyses reveal a functional convergence between genes that are differentially RNA-edited in acquired symptomatic epilepsy and those that contribute risk for genetic epilepsy. Taken together, our results suggest a potential role for RNA editing in the epileptic hippocampus in the occurrence and severity of epileptic seizures.
Rackham OJL, Langley SR, Oates T, et al., 2017, A Bayesian Approach for Analysis of Whole-Genome Bisulfite Sequencing Data Identifies Disease-Associated Changes in DNA Methylation, GENETICS, Vol: 205, Pages: 1443-1458, ISSN: 0016-6731
DNA methylation is a key epigenetic modification involved in gene regulation whose contribution to disease susceptibility remains to be fully understood. Here, we present a novel Bayesian smoothing approach (called ABBA) to detect differentially methylated regions (DMRs) from whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS). We also show how this approach can be leveraged to identify disease-associated changes in DNA methylation, suggesting mechanisms through which these alterations might affect disease. From a data modeling perspective, ABBA has the distinctive feature of automatically adapting to different correlation structures in CpG methylation levels across the genome while taking into account the distance between CpG sites as a covariate. Our simulation study shows that ABBA has greater power to detect DMRs than existing methods, providing an accurate identification of DMRs in the large majority of simulated cases. To empirically demonstrate the method’s efficacy in generating biological hypotheses, we performed WGBS of primary macrophages derived from an experimental rat system of glomerulonephritis and used ABBA to identify >1000 disease-associated DMRs. Investigation of these DMRs revealed differential DNA methylation localized to a 600 bp region in the promoter of the Ifitm3 gene. This was confirmed by ChIP-seq and RNA-seq analyses, showing differential transcription factor binding at the Ifitm3 promoter by JunD (an established determinant of glomerulonephritis), and a consistent change in Ifitm3 expression. Our ABBA analysis allowed us to propose a new role for Ifitm3 in the pathogenesis of glomerulonephritis via a mechanism involving promoter hypermethylation that is associated with Ifitm3 repression in the rat strain susceptible to glomerulonephritis.
Delahaye-Duriez A, Srivastava P, Shkura K, et al., 2016, Rare and common epilepsies converge on a shared gene regulatory network providing opportunities for novel antiepileptic drug discovery, Genome Biology, Vol: 17, ISSN: 1474-760X
BackgroundThe relationship between monogenic and polygenic forms of epilepsy is poorly understood, and the extent to which the genetic and acquired epilepsies share common pathways is unclear. Here, we use an integrated systems-level analysis of brain gene expression data to identify molecular networks disrupted in epilepsy.ResultsWe identify a co-expression network of 320 genes (M30), which is significantly enriched for non-synonymous de novo mutations ascertained from patients with monogenic epilepsy, and for common variants associated with polygenic epilepsy. The genes in M30 network are expressed widely in the human brain under tight developmental control, and encode physically interacting proteins involved in synaptic processes. The most highly connected proteins within M30 network are preferentially disrupted by deleterious de novo mutations for monogenic epilepsy, in line with the centrality-lethality hypothesis. Analysis of M30 expression revealed consistent down-regulation in the epileptic brain in heterogeneous forms of epilepsy including human temporal lobe epilepsy, a mouse model of acquired temporal lobe epilepsy, and a mouse model of monogenic Dravet (SCN1A) disease. These results suggest functional disruption of M30 via gene mutation or altered expression as a convergent mechanismregulating susceptibility to epilepsy broadly. Using the large collection of drug-induced gene expression data from Connectivity Map, several drugs were predicted to preferentially restore the down-regulation of M30 in epilepsy toward health, most notably valproic acid, whose effect on M30 expression was replicated in neurons.ConclusionsTaken together, our results suggest targeting the expression of M30 as a potential new therapeutic strategy in epilepsy.
Johnson MR, Shkura K, Langley SR, et al., 2016, Systems genetics identifies a convergent gene network for cognition and neurodevelopmental disease, Nature Neuroscience, Vol: 19, Pages: 223-232, ISSN: 1546-1726
Genetic determinants of cognition are poorly characterized, and their relationship to genes that confer risk for neurodevelopmental disease is unclear. Here we performed a systems-level analysis of genome-wide gene expression data to infer gene-regulatory networks conserved across species and brain regions. Two of these networks, M1 and M3, showed replicable enrichment for common genetic variants underlying healthy human cognitive abilities, including memory. Using exome sequence data from 6,871 trios, we found that M3 genes were also enriched for mutations ascertained from patients with neurodevelopmental disease generally, and intellectual disability and epileptic encephalopathy in particular. M3 consists of 150 genes whose expression is tightly developmentally regulated, but which are collectively poorly annotated for known functional pathways. These results illustrate how systems-level analyses can reveal previously unappreciated relationships between neurodevelopmental disease–associated genes in the developed human brain, and provide empirical support for a convergent gene-regulatory network influencing cognition and neurodevelopmental disease.
Behmoaras J, Diaz AG, Venda L, et al., 2015, Macrophage Epoxygenase Determines a Profibrotic Transcriptome Signature, Journal of Immunology, Vol: 194, Pages: 4705-4716, ISSN: 1550-6606
Epoxygenases belong to the cytochrome P450 family. They generate epoxyeicosatrienoic acids, which are known to have anti-inflammatory effects, but little is known about their role in macrophage function. By high-throughput sequencing of RNA in primary macrophages derived from rodents and humans, we establish the relative expression of epoxygenases in these cells. Zinc-finger nuclease-mediated targeted gene deletion of the major rat macrophage epoxygenase Cyp2j4 (ortholog of human CYP2J2) resulted in reduced epoxyeicosatrienoic acid synthesis. Cyp2j4−/− macrophages have relatively increased peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ levels and show a profibrotic transcriptome, displaying overexpression of a specific subset of genes (260 transcripts) primarily involved in extracellular matrix, with fibronectin being the most abundantly expressed transcript. Fibronectin expression is under the control of epoxygenase activity in human and rat primary macrophages. In keeping with the in vitro findings, Cyp2j4−/− rats show upregulation of type I collagen following unilateral ureter obstruction of the kidney, and quantitative proteomics analysis (liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry) showed increased renal type I collagen and fibronectin protein abundance resulting from experimentally induced crescentic glomerulonephritis in these rats. Taken together, these results identify the rat epoxygenase Cyp2j4 as a determinant of a profibrotic macrophage transcriptome that could have implications in various inflammatory conditions, depending on macrophage function.
Rotival M, Ko J-H, Srivastava PK, et al., 2015, Integrating phosphoproteome and transcriptome reveals new determinants of macrophage multinucleation, Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, Vol: 14, Pages: 484-498, ISSN: 1535-9476
Macrophage multinucleation (MM) is essential for various biological processes such as osteoclast-mediated bone resorption and multinucleated giant cell-associated inflammatory reactions. Here we study the molecular pathways underlying multinucleation in the rat through an integrative approach combining MS-based quantitative phosphoproteomics (LC-MS/MS) and transcriptome (high-throughput RNA-sequencing) to identify new regulators of MM. We show that a strong metabolic shift toward HIF1-mediated glycolysis occurs at transcriptomic level during MM, together with modifications in phosphorylation of over 50 proteins including several ARF GTPase activators and polyphosphate inositol phosphatases. We use shortest-path analysis to link differential phosphorylation with the transcriptomic reprogramming of macrophages and identify LRRFIP1, SMARCA4, and DNMT1 as novel regulators of MM. We experimentally validate these predictions by showing that knock-down of these latter reduce macrophage multinucleation. These results provide a new framework for the combined analysis of transcriptional and post-translational changes during macrophage multinucleation, prioritizing essential genes, and revealing the sequential events leading to the multinucleation of macrophages.
Feuerborn A, Mathow D, Srivastava PK, et al., 2015, Basonuclin-1 modulates epithelial plasticity and TGF-β1-induced loss of epithelial cell integrity, Oncogene, Vol: 34, Pages: 1185-1195, ISSN: 0950-9232
Johnson MR, Behmoaras J, Bottolo L, et al., 2015, Systems genetics identifies Sestrin 3 as a regulator of a proconvulsant gene network in human epileptic hippocampus, Nature Communications, Vol: 6, ISSN: 2041-1723
Gene-regulatory network analysis is a powerful approach to elucidate the molecular processes and pathways underlying complex disease. Here we employ systems genetics approaches to characterize the genetic regulation of pathophysiological pathways in human temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Using surgically acquired hippocampi from 129 TLE patients, we identify a gene-regulatory network genetically associated with epilepsy that contains a specialized, highly expressed transcriptional module encoding proconvulsive cytokines and Toll-like receptor signalling genes. RNA sequencing analysis in a mouse model of TLE using 100 epileptic and 100 control hippocampi shows the proconvulsive module is preserved across-species, specific to the epileptic hippocampus and upregulated in chronic epilepsy. In the TLE patients, we map the trans-acting genetic control of this proconvulsive module to Sestrin 3 (SESN3), and demonstrate that SESN3 positively regulates the module in macrophages, microglia and neurons. Morpholino-mediated Sesn3 knockdown in zebrafish confirms the regulation of the transcriptional module, and attenuates chemically induced behavioural seizures in vivo.
Lai P-C, Chiu L-Y, Srivastava P, et al., 2014, Unique Regulatory Properties of Mesangial Cells Are Genetically Determined in the Rat, PLOS One, Vol: 9, ISSN: 1932-6203
Mesangial cells are glomerular cells of stromal origin. During immune complex mediated crescentic glomerulonephritis (Crgn), infiltrating and proliferating pro-inflammatory macrophages lead to crescent formation. Here we have hypothesised that mesangial cells, given their mesenchymal stromal origin, show similar immunomodulatory properties as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), by regulating macrophage function associated with glomerular crescent formation. We show that rat mesangial cells suppress conA-stimulated splenocyte proliferation in vitro, as previously shown for MSCs. We then investigated mesangial cell-macrophage interaction by using mesangial cells isolated from nephrotoxic nephritis (NTN)-susceptible Wistar Kyoto (WKY) and NTN-resistant Lewis (LEW) rats. We first determined the mesangial cell transcriptome in WKY and LEW rats and showed that this is under marked genetic control. Supernatant transfer results show that WKY mesangial cells shift bone marrow derived macrophage (BMDM) phenotype to M1 or M2 according to the genetic background (WKY or LEW) of the BMDMs. Interestingly, these effects were different when compared to those of MSCs suggesting that mesangial cells can have unique immunomodulatory effects in the kidney. These results demonstrate the importance of the genetic background in the immunosuppressive effects of cells of stromal origin and specifically of mesangial cell-macrophage interactions in the pathophysiology of crescentic glomerulonephritis.
Kang H, Kerloc'h A, Rotival M, et al., 2014, Kcnn4 is a regulator of macrophage multinucleation in bone homeostasis and inflammatory disease, Cell Reports, Vol: 8, Pages: 1210-1224, ISSN: 2211-1247
Macrophages can fuse to form osteoclasts in boneor multinucleate giant cells (MGCs) as part of theimmune response. We use a systems geneticsapproach in rat macrophages to unravel their geneticdeterminants of multinucleation and investigate theirrole in both bone homeostasis and inflammatory disease.We identify a trans-regulated gene networkassociated with macrophage multinucleation andKcnn4 as being the most significantly trans-regulatedgene in the network and induced at the onsetof fusion. Kcnn4 is required for osteoclast andMGC formation in rodents and humans. Geneticdeletion of Kcnn4 reduces macrophage multinucleationthrough modulation of Ca2+ signaling, increasesbone mass, and improves clinical outcomein arthritis. Pharmacological blockade of Kcnn4reduces experimental glomerulonephritis. Our dataimplicate Kcnn4 in macrophage multinucleation,identifying it as a potential therapeutic target for inhibitionof bone resorption and chronic inflammation.
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