Detection of potential GDF6 regulatory elements by multispecies sequence comparisons and identification of a skeletal joint enhancer.
ABSTRACT The identification of noncoding functional elements within vertebrate genomes, such as those that regulate gene expression, is a major challenge. Comparisons of orthologous sequences from multiple species are effective at detecting highly conserved regions and can reveal potential regulatory sequences. The GDF6 gene controls developmental patterning of skeletal joints and is associated with numerous, distant cis-acting regulatory elements. Using sequence data from 14 vertebrate species, we performed novel multispecies comparative analyses to detect highly conserved sequences flanking GDF6. The complementary tools WebMCS and ExactPlus identified a series of multispecies conserved sequences (MCSs). Of particular interest are MCSs within noncoding regions previously shown to contain GDF6 regulatory elements. A previously reported conserved sequence at -64 kb was also detected by both WebMCS and ExactPlus. Analysis of LacZ-reporter transgenic mice revealed that a 440-bp segment from this region contains an enhancer for Gdf6 expression in developing proximal limb joints. Several other MCSs represent candidate GDF6 regulatory elements; many of these are not conserved in fish or frog, but are strongly conserved in mammals.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Arjun B Prasad, May 29, 2015
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ABSTRACT: Chiari Type I Malformation (CMI) is characterized by displacement of the cerebellar tonsils below the base of the skull, resulting in significant neurologic morbidity. Although multiple lines of evidence support a genetic contribution to disease, no genes have been identified. We therefore conducted the largest whole genome linkage screen to date using 367 individuals from 66 families with at least two individuals presenting with nonsyndromic CMI with or without syringomyelia. Initial findings across all 66 families showed minimal evidence for linkage due to suspected genetic heterogeneity. In order to improve power to localize susceptibility genes, stratified linkage analyses were performed using clinical criteria to differentiate families based on etiologic factors. Families were stratified on the presence or absence of clinical features associated with connective tissue disorders (CTDs) since CMI and CTDs frequently co-occur and it has been proposed that CMI patients with CTDs represent a distinct class of patients with a different underlying disease mechanism. Stratified linkage analyses resulted in a marked increase in evidence of linkage to multiple genomic regions consistent with reduced genetic heterogeneity. Of particular interest were two regions (Chr8, Max LOD = 3.04; Chr12, Max LOD = 2.09) identified within the subset of "CTD-negative" families, both of which harbor growth differentiation factors (GDF6, GDF3) implicated in the development of Klippel-Feil syndrome (KFS). Interestingly, roughly 3-5% of CMI patients are diagnosed with KFS. In order to investigate the possibility that CMI and KFS are allelic, GDF3 and GDF6 were sequenced leading to the identification of a previously known KFS missense mutation and potential regulatory variants in GDF6. This study has demonstrated the value of reducing genetic heterogeneity by clinical stratification implicating several convincing biological candidates and further supporting the hypothesis that multiple, distinct mechanisms are responsible for CMI.PLoS ONE 04/2013; 8(4):e61521. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0061521 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Skeletal formation is an essential and intricately regulated part of vertebrate development. Humans and mice deficient in growth and differentiation factor 6 (Gdf6) have numerous skeletal abnormalities, including joint fusions and cartilage reductions. The expression of Gdf6 is dynamic and in part regulated by distant evolutionarily conserved cis-regulatory elements. radar/gdf6a is a zebrafish ortholog of Gdf6 and has an essential role in embryonic patterning. Here, we show that radar is transcribed in the cells surrounding and between the developing cartilages of the ventral pharyngeal arches, similar to mouse Gdf6. A 312 bp evolutionarily conserved region (ECR5), 122 kilobases downstream, drives expression in a pharyngeal arch-specific manner similar to endogenous radar/gdf6a. Deletion analysis identified a 78 bp region within ECR5 that is essential for transgene activity. This work illustrates that radar is regulated in the pharyngeal arches by a distant conserved element and suggests radar has similar functions in skeletal development in fish and mammals.Developmental Dynamics 04/2010; 239(4):1047-60. DOI:10.1002/dvdy.22251 · 2.67 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This paper integrates in a unified and tractable framework some of the key insights of the field of international trade and economic growth. It examines a sequence of theoretical models that share a common description of technology and preferences but differ on their assumptions about trade frictions. By comparing the predictions of these models against each other, it is possible to identify a variety of channels through which trade affects the evolution of world income and its geographical distribution. By comparing the predictions of these models against the data, it is also possible to construct coherent explanations of income differences and long-run trends in economic growth.SSRN Electronic Journal 06/2005; DOI:10.1016/S1574-0684(05)01022-1