• Apoptotic engulfment pathway and schizophrenia.

      Chen, Xiangning; Sun, Cuie; Chen, Qi; O'Neill, F Anthony; Walsh, Dermot; Fanous, Ayman H; Chowdari, Kodavali V; Nimgaonkar, Vishwajit L; Scott, Adrian; Schwab, Sibylle G; et al. (2009)
      BACKGROUND: Apoptosis has been speculated to be involved in schizophrenia. In a previously study, we reported the association of the MEGF10 gene with the disease. In this study, we followed the apoptotic engulfment pathway involving the MEGF10, GULP1, ABCA1 and ABCA7 genes and tested their association with the disease. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Ten, eleven and five SNPs were genotyped in the GULP1, ABCA1 and ABCA7 genes respectively for the ISHDSF and ICCSS samples. In all 3 genes, we observed nominally significant associations. Rs2004888 at GULP1 was significant in both ISHDSF and ICCSS samples (p = 0.0083 and 0.0437 respectively). We sought replication in independent samples for this marker and found highly significant association (p = 0.0003) in 3 Caucasian replication samples. But it was not significant in the 2 Chinese replication samples. In addition, we found a significant 2-marker (rs2242436 * rs3858075) interaction between the ABCA1 and ABCA7 genes in the ISHDSF sample (p = 0.0022) and a 3-marker interaction (rs246896 * rs4522565 * rs3858075) amongst the MEGF10, GULP1 and ABCA1 genes in the ICCSS sample (p = 0.0120). Rs3858075 in the ABCA1 gene was involved in both 2- and 3-marker interactions in the two samples. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: From these data, we concluded that the GULP1 gene and the apoptotic engulfment pathway are involved in schizophrenia in subjects of European ancestry and multiple genes in the pathway may interactively increase the risks to the disease.
    • Characterization of the equine skeletal muscle transcriptome identifies novel functional responses to exercise training.

      McGivney, Beatrice A; McGettigan, Paul A; Browne, John A; Evans, Alexander C O; Fonseca, Rita G; Loftus, Brendan J; Lohan, Amanda; MacHugh, David E; Murphy, Barbara A; Katz, Lisa M; et al. (2010)
      BACKGROUND: Digital gene expression profiling was used to characterize the assembly of genes expressed in equine skeletal muscle and to identify the subset of genes that were differentially expressed following a ten-month period of exercise training. The study cohort comprised seven Thoroughbred racehorses from a single training yard. Skeletal muscle biopsies were collected at rest from the gluteus medius at two time points: T(1) - untrained, (9 +/- 0.5 months old) and T(2) - trained (20 +/- 0.7 months old). RESULTS: The most abundant mRNA transcripts in the muscle transcriptome were those involved in muscle contraction, aerobic respiration and mitochondrial function. A previously unreported over-representation of genes related to RNA processing, the stress response and proteolysis was observed. Following training 92 tags were differentially expressed of which 74 were annotated. Sixteen genes showed increased expression, including the mitochondrial genes ACADVL, MRPS21 and SLC25A29 encoded by the nuclear genome. Among the 58 genes with decreased expression, MSTN, a negative regulator of muscle growth, had the greatest decrease.Functional analysis of all expressed genes using FatiScan revealed an asymmetric distribution of 482 Gene Ontology (GO) groups and 18 KEGG pathways. Functional groups displaying highly significant (P < 0.0001) increased expression included mitochondrion, oxidative phosphorylation and fatty acid metabolism while functional groups with decreased expression were mainly associated with structural genes and included the sarcoplasm, laminin complex and cytoskeleton. CONCLUSION: Exercise training in Thoroughbred racehorses results in coordinate changes in the gene expression of functional groups of genes related to metabolism, oxidative phosphorylation and muscle structure.
    • MicroRNA expression profiling to identify and validate reference genes for relative quantification in colorectal cancer.

      Chang, Kah Hoong; Mestdagh, Pieter; Vandesompele, Jo; Kerin, Michael J; Miller, Nicola; Department of Surgery, National University of Ireland, Galway, Republic of Ireland. (2010)
      BACKGROUND: Advances in high-throughput technologies and bioinformatics have transformed gene expression profiling methodologies. The results of microarray experiments are often validated using reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), which is the most sensitive and reproducible method to quantify gene expression. Appropriate normalisation of RT-qPCR data using stably expressed reference genes is critical to ensure accurate and reliable results. Mi(cro)RNA expression profiles have been shown to be more accurate in disease classification than mRNA expression profiles. However, few reports detailed a robust identification and validation strategy for suitable reference genes for normalisation in miRNA RT-qPCR studies. METHODS: We adopt and report a systematic approach to identify the most stable reference genes for miRNA expression studies by RT-qPCR in colorectal cancer (CRC). High-throughput miRNA profiling was performed on ten pairs of CRC and normal tissues. By using the mean expression value of all expressed miRNAs, we identified the most stable candidate reference genes for subsequent validation. As such the stability of a panel of miRNAs was examined on 35 tumour and 39 normal tissues. The effects of normalisers on the relative quantity of established oncogenic (miR-21 and miR-31) and tumour suppressor (miR-143 and miR-145) target miRNAs were assessed. RESULTS: In the array experiment, miR-26a, miR-345, miR-425 and miR-454 were identified as having expression profiles closest to the global mean. From a panel of six miRNAs (let-7a, miR-16, miR-26a, miR-345, miR-425 and miR-454) and two small nucleolar RNA genes (RNU48 and Z30), miR-16 and miR-345 were identified as the most stably expressed reference genes. The combined use of miR-16 and miR-345 to normalise expression data enabled detection of a significant dysregulation of all four target miRNAs between tumour and normal colorectal tissue. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates that the top six most stably expressed miRNAs (let-7a, miR-16, miR-26a, miR-345, miR-425 and miR-454) described herein should be validated as suitable reference genes in both high-throughput and lower throughput RT-qPCR colorectal miRNA studies.
    • Sequencing illustrates the transcriptional response of Legionella pneumophila during infection and identifies seventy novel small non-coding RNAs.

      Weissenmayer, Barbara A; Prendergast, James G D; Lohan, Amanda J; Loftus, Brendan J; UCD Conway Institute for Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, Dublin, Ireland. (2011)
      Second generation sequencing has prompted a number of groups to re-interrogate the transcriptomes of several bacterial and archaeal species. One of the central findings has been the identification of complex networks of small non-coding RNAs that play central roles in transcriptional regulation in all growth conditions and for the pathogen's interaction with and survival within host cells. Legionella pneumophila is a gram-negative facultative intracellular human pathogen with a distinct biphasic lifestyle. One of its primary environmental hosts in the free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii and its infection by L. pneumophila mimics that seen in human macrophages. Here we present analysis of strand specific sequencing of the transcriptional response of L. pneumophila during exponential and post-exponential broth growth and during the replicative and transmissive phase of infection inside A. castellanii. We extend previous microarray based studies as well as uncovering evidence of a complex regulatory architecture underpinned by numerous non-coding RNAs. Over seventy new non-coding RNAs could be identified; many of them appear to be strain specific and in configurations not previously reported. We discover a family of non-coding RNAs preferentially expressed during infection conditions and identify a second copy of 6S RNA in L. pneumophila. We show that the newly discovered putative 6S RNA as well as a number of other non-coding RNAs show evidence for antisense transcription. The nature and extent of the non-coding RNAs and their expression patterns suggests that these may well play central roles in the regulation of Legionella spp. specific traits and offer clues as to how L. pneumophila adapts to its intracellular niche. The expression profiles outlined in the study have been deposited into Genbank's Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database under the series accession GSE27232.