Cell-free extrachromosomal circular DNA (eccDNA) as a distinct topological form from linear DNA has recently gained increasing research interest, with possible clinical applications as a class of biomarkers. In this study, we aimed to explore the relationship between nucleases and eccDNA characteristics in plasma. By using knockout mouse models with deficiencies in deoxyribonuclease 1 (DNASE1) or deoxyribonuclease 1 like 3 (DNASE1L3), we found that cell-free eccDNA in Dnase1l3−/− mice exhibited larger size distributions than that in wild-type mice. Such size alterations were not found in tissue eccDNA of either Dnase1−/− or Dnase1l3−/− mice, suggesting that DNASE1L3 could digest eccDNA extracellularly but did not seem to affect intracellular eccDNA. Using a mouse pregnancy model, we observed that in Dnase1l3−/− mice pregnant with Dnase1l3+/− fetuses, the eccDNA in the maternal plasma was shorter compared with that of Dnase1l3−/− mice carrying Dnase1l3−/− fetuses, highlighting the systemic effects of circulating fetal DNASE1L3 degrading the maternal eccDNA extracellularly. Furthermore, plasma eccDNA in patients with DNASE1L3 mutations also exhibited longer size distributions than that in healthy controls. Taken together, this study provided a hitherto missing link between nuclease activity and the biological manifestations of eccDNA in plasma, paving the way for future biomarker development of this special form of DNA molecules.
Sarah T.K. Sin, Jiaen Deng, Lu Ji, Masashi Yukawa, Rebecca W.Y. Chan, Stefano Volpi, Augusto Vaglio, Paride Fenaroli, Paola Bocca, Suk Hang Cheng, Danny K.L. Wong, Kathy O. Lui, Peiyong Jiang, K.C. Allen Chan, Rossa W.K. Chiu, Y.M. Dennis Lo
UMOD is a major risk gene for monogenic and complex forms of kidney disease. The encoded kidney-specific protein uromodulin is highly abundant in urine and related to chronic kidney disease, hypertension, and pathogen defense. To gain insights into potential systemic roles, we performed genome-wide screens of circulating uromodulin using complementary antibody-based (N=13,985) and aptamer-based (N=18,070) assays. We detected 3 and 10 distinct significant (p<5e-8) loci, respectively. Integration of antibody-based results at the UMOD locus with functional genomics data (RNA-seq, ATAC-seq, Hi-C) of primary human kidney tissue highlights an upstream variant with differential accessibility and transcription in uromodulin-synthesizing kidney cells as underlying the observed cis effect. Shared association patterns with complex traits, including chronic kidney disease and blood pressure, place the PRKAG2 locus in the same pathway as UMOD. Experimental validation of the third antibody-based locus, B4GALNT2, shows that the p.Cys466Arg variant of the encoded N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase has a loss-of-function effect leading to higher serum uromodulin levels. Aptamer-based results point to enzymes writing glycan marks present on uromodulin and to their receptors in the circulation, suggesting that this assay permits investigating uromodulin’s complex glycosylation rather than its quantitative levels. Overall, our study provides new insights into circulating uromodulin and its emerging functions.
Yong Li, Yurong Cheng, Francesco Consolato, Guglielmo Schiano, Michael R. Chong, Maik Pietzner, Ngoc Quynh H. Nguyen, Nora Scherer, Mary L. Biggs, Marcus E. Kleber, Stefan Haug, Burulça Göçmen, Marie Pigeyre, Peggy Sekula, Inga Steinbrenner, Pascal Schlosser, Christina B. Joseph, Jennifer A. Brody, Morgan E. Grams, Caroline Hayward, Ulla T. Schultheiss, Bernhard K. Krämer, Florian Kronenberg, Annette Peters, Jochen Seissler, Dominik Steubl, Cornelia Then, Matthias Wuttke, Winfried März, Kai-Uwe Eckardt, Christian Gieger, Eric Boerwinkle, Bruce M. Psaty, Josef Coresh, Peter J. Oefner, Guillaume Pare, Claudia Langenberg, Jürgen E. Scherberich, Bing Yu, Shreeram Akilesh, Olivier Devuyst, Luca Rampoldi, Anna Köttgen
Human induced pluripotent stem cell–derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) can model heritable arrhythmias to personalize therapies for individual patients. Although atrial fibrillation (AF) is a leading cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, current platforms to generate iPSC-atrial (a) CMs are inadequate for modeling AF. We applied a combinatorial engineering approach, which integrated multiple physiological cues, including metabolic conditioning and electrical stimulation, to generate mature iPSC-aCMs. Using the patient’s own atrial tissue as a gold standard benchmark, we assessed the electrophysiological, structural, metabolic, and molecular maturation of iPSC-aCMs. Unbiased transcriptomic analysis and inference from gene regulatory networks identified key gene expression pathways and transcription factors mediating atrial development and maturation. Only mature iPSC-aCMs generated from patients with heritable AF carrying the non-ion channel gene (NPPA) mutation showed enhanced expression and function of a cardiac potassium channel and revealed mitochondrial electron transport chain dysfunction. Collectively, we propose that ion channel remodeling in conjunction with metabolic defects created an electrophysiological substrate for AF. Overall, our electro-metabolic approach generated mature human iPSC-aCMs that unmasked the underlying mechanism of the first non-ion channel gene, NPPA, that causes AF. Our maturation approach will allow for the investigation of the molecular underpinnings of heritable AF and the development of personalized therapies.
Olivia T. Ly, Hanna Chen, Grace E. Brown, Liang Hong, Xinge Wang, Yong Duk Han, Mahmud Arif Pavel, Arvind Sridhar, Mark Maienschein-Cline, Brandon Chalazan, Sang-Ging Ong, Khaled Abdelhady, Malek Massad, Lona Ernst Rizkallah, Jalees Rehman, Salman R. Khetani, Dawood Darbar
Immunoproteasomes regulate the degradation of ubiquitin-coupled proteins and generate peptides that are preferentially presented by MHC class I. Mutations in immunoproteasome subunits lead to immunoproteasome dysfunction, which causes proteasome-associated autoinflammatory syndromes (PRAAS) characterized by nodular erythema and partial lipodystrophy. It remains unclear, however, how immunoproteasome dysfunction leads to inflammatory symptoms. Here, we established mice harboring a mutation in Psmb8 (Psmb8-KI mice) and addressed this question. Psmb8-KI mice showed higher susceptibility to imiquimod-induced skin inflammation (IMS). Blockade of IL-6 or TNF-α partially suppressed IMS in both control and Psmb8-KI mice, but there was still more residual inflammation in the Psmb8-KI mice than in the control mice. DNA microarray analysis showed that treatment of J774 cells with proteasome inhibitors increased the expression of the Cxcl9 and Cxcl10 genes. Deficiency in Cxcr3, the gene encoding the receptor of CXCL9 and CXCL10, in control mice did not change IMS susceptibility, while deficiency in Cxcr3 in Psmb8-KI mice ameliorated IMS. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that this mutation in Psmb8 leads to hyperactivation of the CXCR3 pathway, which is responsible for the increased susceptibility of Psmb8-KI mice to IMS. These data suggest the CXCR3/CXCL10 axis as a new molecular target for treating PRAAS.
Yuki Sasaki, Hideki Arimochi, Kunihiro Otsuka, Hiroyuki Kondo, Shin-ichi Tsukumo, Koji Yasutomo
The chloride channel dysfunction caused by deleterious cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) variants generally correlates with severity of cystic fibrosis (CF). However, 3 adults bearing the common severe variant p.Phe508del (legacy: F508del) and a deletion variant in an ivacaftor binding region of CFTR (p.Phe312del; legacy: F312del) manifested only elevated sweat chloride concentration (sw[Cl–]; 87–105 mEq/L). A database review of 25 individuals with F312del and a CF-causing variant revealed elevated sw[Cl–] (75–123 mEq/L) and variable CF features. F312del occurs at a higher-than-expected frequency in the general population, confirming that individuals with F312del and a CF-causing variant do not consistently develop overt CF features. In primary nasal cells, CFTR bearing F312del and F508del generated substantial chloride transport (66.0% ± 4.5% of WT-CFTR) but did not respond to ivacaftor. Single-channel analysis demonstrated that F312del did not affect current flow through CFTR, minimally altered gating, and ablated the ivacaftor response. When expressed stably in CF bronchial epithelial (CFBE41o–) cells, F312del-CFTR demonstrated residual function (50.9% ± 3.3% WT-CFTR) and a subtle decrease in forskolin response compared with WT-CFTR. F312del provides an exception to the established correlation between CFTR chloride transport and CF phenotype and informs our molecular understanding of ivacaftor response.
Karen S. Raraigh, Kathleen C. Paul, Jennifer L. Goralski, Erin N. Worthington, Anna V. Faino, Stanley Sciortino, Yiting Wang, Melis A. Aksit, Hua Ling, Derek L. Osorio, Frankline M. Onchiri, Shivani U. Patel, Christian A. Merlo, Kristina Montemayor, Ronald L. Gibson, Natalie E. West, Amita Thakerar, Robert J. Bridges, David N. Sheppard, Neeraj Sharma, Garry R. Cutting
Severe viral infections of the skin can occur in patients with inborn errors of immunity (IEI). We report an all-in-one whole-transcriptome sequencing-based method by RNA-Seq on a single skin biopsy for concomitant identification of the cutaneous virome and underlying IEI. Skin biopsies were obtained from normal and lesional skin from patients with cutaneous infections suspected to be of viral origin. RNA-Seq was utilized as the first-tier strategy for unbiased human genome-wide rare variant detection. Reads unaligned to the human genome were utilized for the exploration of 926 different viruses in a viral genome catalog. In nine families studied, the patients carried pathogenic variants in six human IEI genes, including IL2RG, WAS, CIB1, STK4, GATA2, and DOCK8. Gene expression profiling also confirmed pathogenicity of the human variants and permitted genome-wide homozygosity mapping which assisted in identification of candidate genes in consanguineous families. This automated, all-in-one computational pipeline, called VirPy, enables simultaneous detection of the viral triggers and the human genetic variants underlying skin lesions in patients with suspicion of IEI and viral dermatosis.
Amir Hossein Saeidian, Leila Youssefian, Charles Y. Huang, Fahimeh Palizban, Mahtab Naji, Zahra Saffarian, Hamidreza Mahmoudi, Azadeh Goodarzi, Soheila Sotoudeh, Fatemeh Vahidnezhad, Maliheh Amani, Narjes Tavakoli, Ali Ajami, Samaneh Mozafarpoor, Mehrdad Teimoorian, Saeed Dorgaleleh, Sima Shokri, Mohammad Shenagari, Nima Abedi, Sirous Zeinali, Paolo Fortina, Vivien Béziat, Emmanuelle Jouanguy, Jean-Laurent Casanova, Jouni Uitto, Hassan Vahidnezhad
Spinocerebellar ataxia type1 (SCA1) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder. As disease progresses motor neurons are affected, and their dysfunction contributes towards the inability to maintain proper respiratory function, a major driving force for premature death in SCA1. To investigate the isolated role of motor neurons in SCA1 we created a novel conditional SCA1 (cSCA1) mouse model. This model suppresses expression of the pathogenic SCA1 allele with a floxed stop cassette. cSCA1 mice crossed to a ubiquitous Cre line recapitulate all the major features of the original SCA1 mouse model, except they took twice as long to develop. We found that the cSCA1 mice produce less than half of the pathogenic protein compared to the unmodified SCA1 mice at 3 weeks of age. In contrast, restricted expression of the pathogenic SCA1 allele in motor neurons only leads to a decreased distance traveled of mice in the open field assay and did not affect body weight or survival. We conclude that a fifty percent or greater reduction of the mutant protein has a dramatic effect on disease onset and progression, and that expression of polyglutamine expanded ATXN1 at this level specifically in motor neurons is not sufficient to cause premature lethality.
James P. Orengo, Larissa Nitschke, Meike E. van der Heijden, Nicholas A. Ciaburri, Harry T. Orr, Huda Y. Zoghbi
Mosaic loss of chromosome Y (mLOY) in blood cells is one of the most frequent chromosome alterations in adult males. It is strongly associated with clonal hematopoiesis, hematopoietic malignancies, and other hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic diseases. However, whether there is a causal relationship between mLOY and human diseases is unknown. Here, we generated mLOY in murine hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) with CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing. We found that mLOY led to dramatically increased DNA damage in HSPCs. Interestingly, HSPCs with mLOY displayed significantly enhanced reconstitution capacity and gave rise to clonal hematopoiesis in vivo. mLOY, which is associated with AML1-ETO translocation and p53 defects in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), promoted AML in mice. Mechanistically, loss of KDM5D, a chromosome Y–specific histone 3 lysine 4 demethylase in both humans and mice, partially recapitulated mLOY in DNA damage and leukemogenesis. Thus, our study validates mLOY as a functional driver for clonal hematopoiesis and leukemogenesis.
Qi Zhang, Lei Zhao, Yi Yang, Shujun Li, Yu Liu, Chong Chen
The fibrous annulus of the mitral valve plays an important role in valvular function and cardiac physiology, while normal variation in the size of cardiovascular anatomy may share a genetic link with common and rare disease. We derived automated estimates of mitral valve annular diameter in the 4-chamber view from 32,220 MRI images from the UK Biobank at ventricular systole and diastole as the basis for GWAS. Mitral annular dimensions corresponded to previously described anatomical norms, and GWAS inclusive of 4 population strata identified 10 loci, including possibly novel loci (GOSR2, ERBB4, MCTP2, MCPH1) and genes related to cardiac contractility (BAG3, TTN, RBFOX1). ATAC-Seq of primary mitral valve tissue localized multiple variants to regions of open chromatin in biologically relevant cell types and rs17608766 to an algorithmically predicted enhancer element in GOSR2. We observed strong genetic correlation with measures of contractility and mitral valve disease and clinical correlations with heart failure, cerebrovascular disease, and ventricular arrhythmias. Polygenic scoring of mitral valve annular diameter in systole was predictive of risk mitral valve prolapse across 4 cohorts. In summary, genetic and clinical studies of mitral valve annular diameter revealed genetic determinants of mitral valve biology, while highlighting clinical associations. Polygenic determinants of mitral valve annular diameter may represent an independent risk factor for mitral prolapse. Overall, computationally estimated phenotypes derived at scale from medical imaging represent an important substrate for genetic discovery and clinical risk prediction.
Mengyao Yu, Catherine Tcheandjieu, Adrien Georges, Ke Xiao, Helio Tejeda, Christian Dina, Thierry Le Tourneau, Madalina Fiterau, Renae Judy, Noah L. Tsao, Dulguun Amgalan, Chad J. Munger, Jesse M. Engreitz, Scott M. Damrauer, Nabila Bouatia-Naji, James R. Priest
Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) affects 1% of women and carries significant medical and psychosocial sequelae. Approximately 10% of POI has a defined genetic cause, with most implicated genes relating to biological processes involved in early fetal ovary development and function. Recently, Ythdc2, an RNA helicase and N6-methyladenosine (m6a) reader, has emerged as a novel regulator of meiosis in mice. Here, we describe homozygous pathogenic variants in YTHDC2 in three women with early-onset POI from two families: c. 2567C>G, p.P856R in the helicase-associated (HA2) domain; and c.1129G>T, p.E377*. We demonstrate that YTHDC2 is expressed in the developing human fetal ovary and is upregulated in meiotic germ cells, together with related meiosis-associated factors. The p.P856R variant results in a less flexible protein that likely disrupts downstream conformational kinetics of the HA2 domain, whereas the p.E377* variant truncates the helicase core. Taken together, our results reveal that YTHDC2 is a key new regulator of meiosis in humans and pathogenic variants within this gene are associated with POI.
Sinead M. McGlacken-Byrne, Ignacio del Valle, Polona Le Quesne Stabej, Laura Bellutti, Luz Garcia-Alonso, Louise A. Ocaka, Miho Ishida, Jenifer P. Suntharalingham, Andrey Gagunashvili, Olumide K. Ogunbiyi, Talisa Mistry, Federica Buonocore, GOSgene, Berta Crespo, Nadjeda Moreno, Paola Niola, Tony Brooks, Caroline E. Brain, Mehul T. Dattani, Daniel Kelberman, Roser Vento-Tormo, Carlos F. Lagos, Gabriel Livera, Gerard S. Conway, John C. Achermann
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