Francisco S Domingues

Universität zu Lübeck, Lübeck Hansestadt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

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Publications (72)324.01 Total impact


  • No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Parkinsonism & Related Disorders
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    ABSTRACT: Availability: The FamAgg package is freely available at the Bioconductor repository, http://www.bioconductor.org/packages/FamAgg. Contact: Christian.Weichenberger@eurac.edu SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Bioinformatics
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    ABSTRACT: During the last decade, a great number of extremely valuable large-scale genomics and proteomics datasets have become available to the research community. In addition, dropping costs for conducting high-throughput sequencing experiments and the option to outsource them considerably contribute to an increasing number of researchers becoming active in this field. Even though various computational approaches have been developed to analyze these data, it is still a laborious task involving prudent integration of many heterogeneous and frequently updated data sources, creating a barrier for interested scientists to accomplish their own analysis. We have implemented Dintor, a data integration framework that provides a set of over 30 tools to assist researchers in the exploration of genomics and proteomics datasets. Each of the tools solves a particular task and several tools can be combined into data processing pipelines. Dintor covers a wide range of frequently required functionalities, from gene identifier conversions and orthology mappings to functional annotation of proteins and genetic variants up to candidate gene prioritization and Gene Ontology-based gene set enrichment analysis. Since the tools operate on constantly changing datasets, we provide a mechanism to unambiguously link tools with different versions of archived datasets, which guarantees reproducible results for future tool invocations. We demonstrate a selection of Dintor’s capabilities by analyzing datasets from four representative publications. The open source software can be downloaded and installed on a local Unix machine. For reasons of data privacy it can be configured to retrieve local data only. In addition, the Dintor tools are available on our public Galaxy web service at http://dintor.eurac.edu. Dintor is a computational annotation framework for the analysis of genomic and proteomic datasets, providing a rich set of tools that cover the most frequently encountered tasks. A major advantage is its capability to consistently handle multiple versions of tool-associated datasets, supporting the researcher in delivering reproducible results.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · BMC Genomics

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Vascular Pharmacology
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    ABSTRACT: The aims of the present study were to profile the expression of several candidate microRNAs (miRNAs) in blood from l-dopa-treated and drug-naive patients with Parkinson disease (PD) vs unaffected controls and to interpret the miRNA expression data in a biological context. We analyzed RNAs from peripheral blood of 36 l-dopa-treated, 10 drug-naive patients with PD and unaffected controls matched 1:1 by sex and age. We evaluated expression by reverse transcription-quantitative real-time PCR, and we analyzed data using a 2-tailed paired t test. To detect miRNA targets, several miRNA resources were combined to generate an overall score for each candidate gene using weighted rank aggregation. Significant overexpression of miR-103a-3p (p < 0.0001), miR-30b-5p (p = 0.002), and miR-29a-3p (p = 0.005) in treated patients with PD was observed, and promising candidate target genes for these were revealed by an integrated in silico analysis. We revealed 3 candidate biomarkers for PD. miRNAs 30b-5p and 29a-3p replicated a documented deregulation in PD albeit opposite to published data, while for miR-103a-3p, we demonstrated for the first time an overexpression in treated patients with PD. Expression studies in patients and/or in isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells before and after l-dopa administration are necessary to define the involvement of l-dopa treatment in the observed overexpression. Our in silico analysis to prioritize targets of deregulated miRNAs identified candidate target genes, including genes related to neurodegeneration and PD. Despite the preliminary character of our study, the results provide a rationale for further clarifying the role of the identified miRNAs in the pathogenesis of PD and for validating their diagnostic potential. © 2015 American Academy of Neurology.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Neurology
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of chronic liver disease affecting around 130 million people worldwide. While great progress has been made to define the principle steps of the viral life cycle, detailed knowledge how HCV interacts with its host cells is still limited. To overcome this limitation we conducted a comprehensive whole-virus RNA interference-based screen and identified 40 host dependency and 16 host restriction factors involved in HCV entry/replication or assembly/release. Of these factors, heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (HNRNPK) was found to suppress HCV particle production without affecting viral RNA replication. This suppression of virus production was specific to HCV, independent from assembly competence and genotype, and not found with the related Dengue virus. By using a knock-down rescue approach we identified the domains within HNRNPK required for suppression of HCV particle production. Importantly, HNRNPK was found to interact specifically with HCV RNA and this interaction was impaired by mutations that also reduced the ability to suppress HCV particle production. Finally, we found that in HCV-infected cells, subcellular distribution of HNRNPK was altered; the protein was recruited to sites in close proximity of lipid droplets and colocalized with core protein as well as HCV plus-strand RNA, which was not the case with HNRNPK variants unable to suppress HCV virion formation. These results suggest that HNRNPK might determine efficiency of HCV particle production by limiting the availability of viral RNA for incorporation into virions. This study adds a new function to HNRNPK that acts as central hub in the replication cycle of multiple other viruses.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · PLoS Pathogens
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    ABSTRACT: Background An important aspect of studying the relationship between protein sequence, structure and function is the molecular characterization of the effect of protein mutations. To understand the functional impact of amino acid changes, the multiple biological properties of protein residues have to be considered together. Results Here, we present a novel visual approach for analyzing residue mutations. It combines different biological visualizations and integrates them with molecular data derived from external resources. To show various aspects of the biological information on different scales, our approach includes one-dimensional sequence views, three-dimensional protein structure views and two-dimensional views of residue interaction networks as well as aggregated views. The views are linked tightly and synchronized to reduce the cognitive load of the user when switching between them. In particular, the protein mutations are mapped onto the views together with further functional and structural information. We also assess the impact of individual amino acid changes by the detailed analysis and visualization of the involved residue interactions. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach and the developed software on the data provided for the BioVis 2013 data contest. Conclusions Our visual approach and software greatly facilitate the integrative and interactive analysis of protein mutations based on complementary visualizations. The different data views offered to the user are enriched with information about molecular properties of amino acid residues and further biological knowledge.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · BMC proceedings
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    ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting approximately 1-2% of the general population over age 60. It is characterized by a rather selective loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and the presence of α-synuclein-enriched Lewy body inclusions. Mutations in the Parkin gene (PARK2) are the major cause of autosomal recessive early-onset parkinsonism. The Parkin protein is an E3 ubiquitin ligase with various cellular functions, including the induction of mitophagy upon mitochondrial depolarizaton, but the full repertoire of Parkin-binding proteins remains poorly defined. Here we employed tandem affinity purification interaction screens with subsequent mass spectrometry to profile binding partners of Parkin. Using this approach for two different cell types (HEK293T and SH-SY5Y neuronal cells), we identified a total of 203 candidate Parkin-binding proteins. For the candidate proteins and the proteins known to cause heritable forms of parkinsonism, protein-protein interaction data were derived from public databases, and the associated biological processes and pathways were analyzed and compared. Functional similarity between the candidates and the proteins involved in monogenic parkinsonism was investigated, and additional confirmatory evidence was obtained using published genetic interaction data from Drosophila melanogaster. Based on the results of the different analyses, a prioritization score was assigned to each candidate Parkin-binding protein. Two of the top ranking candidates were tested by co-immunoprecipitation, and interaction to Parkin was confirmed for one of them. New candidates for involvement in cell death processes, protein folding, the fission/fusion machinery, and the mitophagy pathway were identified, which provide a resource for further elucidating Parkin function.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    Dataset: Figure S14
    Katarzyna Bozek · Thomas Lengauer · Saleta Sierra · Rolf Kaiser · Francisco S. Domingues
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    ABSTRACT: Separation of amino acid indices into 12 clusters – the separation that showed the largest silhouette value. (TIFF)
    Preview · Dataset · Mar 2013
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    Katarzyna Bozek · Thomas Lengauer · Saleta Sierra · Rolf Kaiser · Francisco S Domingues
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    ABSTRACT: The relationship of HIV tropism with disease progression and the recent development of CCR5-blocking drugs underscore the importance of monitoring virus coreceptor usage. As an alternative to costly phenotypic assays, computational methods aim at predicting virus tropism based on the sequence and structure of the V3 loop of the virus gp120 protein. Here we present a numerical descriptor of the V3 loop encoding its physicochemical and structural properties. The descriptor allows for structure-based prediction of HIV tropism and identification of properties of the V3 loop that are crucial for coreceptor usage. Use of the proposed descriptor for prediction results in a statistically significant improvement over the prediction based solely on V3 sequence with 3 percentage points improvement in AUC and 7 percentage points in sensitivity at the specificity of the 11/25 rule (95%). We additionally assessed the predictive power of the new method on clinically derived 'bulk' sequence data and obtained a statistically significant improvement in AUC of 3 percentage points over sequence-based prediction. Furthermore, we demonstrated the capacity of our method to predict therapy outcome by applying it to 53 samples from patients undergoing Maraviroc therapy. The analysis of structural features of the loop informative of tropism indicates the importance of two loop regions and their physicochemical properties. The regions are located on opposite strands of the loop stem and the respective features are predominantly charge-, hydrophobicity- and structure-related. These regions are in close proximity in the bound conformation of the loop potentially forming a site determinant for the coreceptor binding. The method is available via server under http://structure.bioinf.mpi-inf.mpg.de/.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · PLoS Computational Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Biological plausibility and other prior information could help select genome-wide association (GWA) findings for further follow-up, but there is no consensus on which types of knowledge should be considered or how to weight them. We used experts' opinions and empirical evidence to estimate the relative importance of 15 types of information at the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and gene levels. Opinions were elicited from 10 experts using a two-round Delphi survey. Empirical evidence was obtained by comparing the frequency of each type of characteristic in SNPs established as being associated with seven disease traits through GWA meta-analysis and independent replication, with the corresponding frequency in a randomly selected set of SNPs. SNP and gene characteristics were retrieved using a specially developed bioinformatics tool. Both the expert and the empirical evidence rated previous association in a meta-analysis or more than one study as conferring the highest relative probability of true association, whereas previous association in a single study ranked much lower. High relative probabilities were also observed for location in a functional protein domain, although location in a region evolutionarily conserved in vertebrates was ranked high by the data but not by the experts. Our empirical evidence did not support the importance attributed by the experts to whether the gene encodes a protein in a pathway or shows interactions relevant to the trait. Our findings provide insight into the selection and weighting of different types of knowledge in SNP or gene prioritization, and point to areas requiring further research.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Genetic Epidemiology
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    Full-text · Dataset · Jan 2013
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    Full-text · Dataset · Jan 2013
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    ABSTRACT: Prioritization is the process whereby a set of possible candidate genes or SNPs is ranked so that the most promising can be taken forward into further studies. In a genome-wide association study, prioritization is usually based on the P-values alone, but researchers sometimes take account of external annotation information about the SNPs such as whether the SNP lies close to a good candidate gene. Using external information in this way is inherently subjective and is often not formalized, making the analysis difficult to reproduce. Building on previous work that has identified 14 important types of external information, we present an approximate Bayesian analysis that produces an estimate of the probability of association. The calculation combines four sources of information: the genome-wide data, SNP information derived from bioinformatics databases, empirical SNP weights, and the researchers' subjective prior opinions. The calculation is fast enough that it can be applied to millions of SNPS and although it does rely on subjective judgments, those judgments are made explicit so that the final SNP selection can be reproduced. We show that the resulting probability of association is intuitively more appealing than the P-value because it is easier to interpret and it makes allowance for the power of the study. We illustrate the use of the probability of association for SNP prioritization by applying it to a meta-analysis of kidney function genome-wide association studies and demonstrate that SNP selection performs better using the probability of association compared with P-values alone.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · Genetic Epidemiology
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    ABSTRACT: Anaemia is a chief determinant of global ill health, contributing to cognitive impairment, growth retardation and impaired physical capacity. To understand further the genetic factors influencing red blood cells, we carried out a genome-wide association study of haemoglobin concentration and related parameters in up to 135,367 individuals. Here we identify 75 independent genetic loci associated with one or more red blood cell phenotypes at P < 10(-8), which together explain 4-9% of the phenotypic variance per trait. Using expression quantitative trait loci and bioinformatic strategies, we identify 121 candidate genes enriched in functions relevant to red blood cell biology. The candidate genes are expressed preferentially in red blood cell precursors, and 43 have haematopoietic phenotypes in Mus musculus or Drosophila melanogaster. Through open-chromatin and coding-variant analyses we identify potential causal genetic variants at 41 loci. Our findings provide extensive new insights into genetic mechanisms and biological pathways controlling red blood cell formation and function.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · Nature
  • Thomas Lengauer · Mario Albrecht · Francisco S. Domingues

    No preview · Chapter · May 2012
  • Nadezhda T Doncheva · Yassen Assenov · Francisco S Domingues · Mario Albrecht
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    ABSTRACT: Computational analysis and interactive visualization of biological networks and protein structures are common tasks for gaining insight into biological processes. This protocol describes three workflows based on the NetworkAnalyzer and RINalyzer plug-ins for Cytoscape, a popular software platform for networks. NetworkAnalyzer has become a standard Cytoscape tool for comprehensive network topology analysis. In addition, RINalyzer provides methods for exploring residue interaction networks derived from protein structures. The first workflow uses NetworkAnalyzer to perform a topological analysis of biological networks. The second workflow applies RINalyzer to study protein structure and function and to compute network centrality measures. The third workflow combines NetworkAnalyzer and RINalyzer to compare residue networks. The full protocol can be completed in ∼2 h.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Nature Protocol
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    ABSTRACT: Phospho- and sphingolipids are crucial cellular and intracellular compounds. These lipids are required for active transport, a number of enzymatic processes, membrane formation, and cell signalling. Disruption of their metabolism leads to several diseases, with diverse neurological, psychiatric, and metabolic consequences. A large number of phospholipid and sphingolipid species can be detected and measured in human plasma. We conducted a meta-analysis of five European family-based genome-wide association studies (N = 4034) on plasma levels of 24 sphingomyelins (SPM), 9 ceramides (CER), 57 phosphatidylcholines (PC), 20 lysophosphatidylcholines (LPC), 27 phosphatidylethanolamines (PE), and 16 PE-based plasmalogens (PLPE), as well as their proportions in each major class. This effort yielded 25 genome-wide significant loci for phospholipids (smallest P-value = 9.88×10−204) and 10 loci for sphingolipids (smallest P-value = 3.10×10−57). After a correction for multiple comparisons (P-value
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · PLoS Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Drug-resistant viral variants are a major issue in the use of direct-acting antiviral agents in chronic hepatitis C. Ketoamides are potent inhibitors of the NS3 protease, with V55A identified as mutation associated with resistance to boceprevir. Underlying molecular mechanisms are only partially understood. We applied a comprehensive sequence analysis to characterize the natural variability at Val55 within dominant worldwide patient strains. A residue-interaction network and molecular dynamics simulation were applied to identify mechanisms for ketoamide resistance and viral fitness in Val55 variants. An infectious H77S.3 cell culture system was used for variant phenotype characterization. We measured antiviral 50% effective concentration (EC₅₀) and fold changes, as well as RNA replication and infectious virus yields from viral RNAs containing variants. Val55 was found highly conserved throughout all hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes. The conservative V55A and V55I variants were identified from HCV genotype 1a strains with no variants in genotype 1b. Topology measures from a residue-interaction network of the protease structure suggest a potential Val55 key role for modulation of molecular changes in the protease ligand-binding site. Molecular dynamics showed variants with constricted binding pockets and a loss of H-bonded interactions upon boceprevir binding to the variant proteases. These effects might explain low-level boceprevir resistance in the V55A variant, as well as the Val55 variant, reduced RNA replication capacity. Higher structural flexibility was found in the wild-type protease, whereas variants showed lower flexibility. Reduced structural flexibility could impact the Val55 variant's ability to adapt for NS3 domain-domain interaction and might explain the virus yield drop observed in variant strains.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
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    ABSTRACT: It is a challenge to develop direct-acting antiviral agents that target the nonstructural protein 3/4A protease of hepatitis C virus because resistant variants develop. Ketoamide compounds, designed to mimic the natural protease substrate, have been developed as inhibitors. However, clinical trials have revealed rapid selection of resistant mutants, most of which are considered to be pre-existing variants. We identified residues near the ketoamide-binding site in x-ray structures of the genotype 1a protease, co-crystallized with boceprevir or a telaprevir-like ligand, and then identified variants at these positions in 219 genotype-1 sequences from a public database. We used side-chain modeling to assess the potential effects of these variants on the interaction between ketoamide and the protease, and compared these results with the phenotypic effects on ketoamide resistance, RNA replication capacity, and infectious virus yields in a cell culture model of infection. Thirteen natural binding-site variants with potential for ketoamide resistance were identified at 10 residues in the protease, near the ketoamide binding site. Rotamer analysis of amino acid side-chain conformations indicated that 2 variants (R155K and D168G) could affect binding of telaprevir more than boceprevir. Measurements of antiviral susceptibility in cell-culture studies were consistent with this observation. Four variants (ie, Q41H, I132V, R155K, and D168G) caused low-to-moderate levels of ketoamide resistance; 3 of these were highly fit (Q41H, I132V, and R155K). Using a comprehensive sequence and structure-based analysis, we showed how natural variation in the hepatitis C virus protease nonstructural protein 3/4A sequences might affect susceptibility to first-generation direct-acting antiviral agents. These findings increase our understanding of the molecular basis of ketoamide resistance among naturally existing viral variants.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · Gastroenterology

Publication Stats

3k Citations
324.01 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013-2016
    • Universität zu Lübeck
      Lübeck Hansestadt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
  • 2003-2011
    • Max Planck Institute for Informatics
      • Department 3: Computational Biology and Applied Algorithmics
      Saarbrücken, Saarland, Germany
  • 2007
    • Universität des Saarlandes
      Saarbrücken, Saarland, Germany
  • 1997-2002
    • University of Salzburg
      • Center for Applied Molecular Engineering
      Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria