[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We introduce GO-Elite, a flexible and powerful pathway analysis tool for a wide array of species, identifiers (IDs), pathways, ontologies and gene sets. In addition to the Gene Ontology (GO), GO-Elite allows the user to perform over-representation analysis on any structured ontology annotations, pathway database or biological IDs (e.g. gene, protein or metabolite). GO-Elite exploits the structured nature of biological ontologies to report a minimal set of non-overlapping terms. The results can be visualized on WikiPathways or as networks. Built-in support is provided for over 60 species and 50 ID systems, covering gene, disease and phenotype ontologies, multiple pathway databases, biomarkers, and transcription factor and microRNA targets. GO-Elite is available as a web interface, GenMAPP-CS plugin and as a cross-platform application.
Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The olfactory epithelium is a sensory neuroepithelium that supports adult neurogenesis and tissue regeneration following injury, making it an excellent model for investigating neural stem cell regulation in vivo. Previous studies have identified the horizontal basal cell (HBC) as the neural stem cell of the postnatal olfactory epithelium. However, the molecules and pathways regulating HBC self-renewal and differentiation are unknown. In the present study, we demonstrate that the transcription factor p63, a member of the p53 tumor suppressor gene family known to regulate stem cell dynamics in other epithelia, is highly enriched in HBCs. We show that p63 is required cell autonomously for olfactory stem cell renewal and further demonstrate that p63 functions to repress HBC differentiation. These results provide critical insight into the genetic regulation of the olfactory stem cell in vivo and more generally provide an entrée toward understanding the coordination of stem cell self-renewal and differentiation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Murphy Roths Large (MRL) mouse, a strain capable of regenerating right ventricular myocardium, has a high postmyocardial infarction (post-MI) survival rate compared with C57BL/6J (C57) mice. The biological processes responsible for this survival advantage are unknown. To assess the effect of genetic background, the LG/J strain, which harbours 75% of the MRL composite genome, was included in the study. The MRL survival advantage versus C57 mice (92 versus 68%, P < 0.05) occurred primarily in the first 5 days; LG/J survival was intermediate (P = n.s.). Microarray data analysis revealed an attenuation of apoptotic (P < 0.05) and stress response transcripts in MRL hearts compared with C57 hearts post-MI. Supporting the microarray results, there were fewer TUNEL-positive cells 1 day post-MI in MRL infarcts compared with C57 infarcts (P = 0.001) and fewer CD45-positive cells in the MRL infarct border zone 2 days post-MI (P < 0.01); the LG/J results were intermediate (P = n.s.). The MRL hearts had smaller infarct scars and attenuated ventricular dilatation 30 days post-MI compared with C57 hearts (P < 0.05). We conclude that the early post-MI survival advantage of MRL mice over the C57 strain is mediated at least in part by reductions in apoptosis and inflammatory infiltration, and that these reductions may influence chronic remodelling. The intermediate survival, apoptosis and inflammation profile of LG/J mice suggests that this high tolerance for MI in the MRL mouse could be derived from its shared genetic background with the LG/J mouse.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2011 · Experimental physiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (Alk) is a gene expressed in the nervous system that encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase commonly known for its oncogenic function in various human cancers. We have determined that Alk is associated with altered behavioral responses to ethanol in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, in mice, and in humans. Mutant flies containing transposon insertions in dAlk demonstrate increased resistance to the sedating effect of ethanol. Database analyses revealed that Alk expression levels in the brains of recombinant inbred mice are negatively correlated with ethanol-induced ataxia and ethanol consumption. We therefore tested Alk gene knockout mice and found that they sedate longer in response to high doses of ethanol and consume more ethanol than wild-type mice. Finally, sequencing of human ALK led to the discovery of four polymorphisms associated with a low level of response to ethanol, an intermediate phenotype that is predictive of future alcohol use disorders (AUDs). These results suggest that Alk plays an evolutionary conserved role in ethanol-related behaviors. Moreover, ALK may be a novel candidate gene conferring risk for AUDs as well as a potential target for pharmacological intervention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The local progenitor population in the olfactory bulb (OB) gives rise to mitral and tufted projection neurons during embryonic development. In contrast, OB interneurons are derived from sources outside the bulb where neurogenesis continues throughout life. While many of the genes involved in OB interneuron development have been characterized, the genetic pathways driving local progenitor cell differentiation in this tissue are largely unknown. To better understand this process, we used transcriptional profiling to monitor gene expression of whole OB at daily intervals from embryonic day 11 through birth, generating a compendium of gene expression encompassing the major developmental events of this tissue. Through hierarchical clustering, bioinformatics analysis, and validation by RNA in situ hybridizations, we identified a large number of transcription factors, DNA binding proteins, and cell cycle-related genes expressed by the local neural progenitor cells (NPCs) of the embryonic OB. Further in silico analysis of transcription factor binding sites identified an enrichment of genes regulated by the E2F-Rb pathway among those expressed in the local NPC population. Together these results provide initial insights into the molecular identity of the OB local NPC population and the transcription factor networks that may regulate their function.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enhanced understanding of differential gene expression and biological pathways associated with distinct phases of intramembranous bone regeneration following femoral marrow ablation surgery will improve future advancements regarding osseointegration of joint replacement implants, biomaterials design, and bone tissue engineering. A rat femoral marrow ablation model was performed and genome-wide microarray data were obtained from samples at 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 14, 28, and 56 days post-ablation, with intact bones serving as controls at Day 0. Bayesian model-based clustering produced eight distinct groups amongst 9,062 significant gene probe sets based on similar temporal expression profiles, which were further categorized into three major temporal classes of increased, variable, and decreased expression. Osteoblastic- and osteoclastic-associated genes were found to be significantly expressed within the increased expression groups. Chondrogenesis was not detected histologically. Adipogenic marker genes were found within variable/decreased expression groups, emphasizing that adipogenesis was inhibited during osteogenesis. Differential biological processes and pathways associated with each major temporal group were identified, and significantly expressed genes involved were visually represented by heat maps. It was determined that the increased expression group exclusively contains genes involved in pathways for matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), Wnt signaling, TGF-β signaling, and inflammatory pathways. Only the variable expression group contains genes associated with glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, the notch signaling pathway, natural killer cell mediated cytotoxicity, and the B cell receptor signaling pathway. The decreased group exclusively consists of genes involved in heme biosynthesis, the p53 signaling pathway, and the hematopoietic cell lineage. Significant biological pathways and transcription factors expressed at each time point post-ablation were also identified. These data present the first temporal gene expression profiling analysis of the rat genome during intramembranous bone regeneration induced by femoral marrow ablation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two major goals of regenerative medicine are to reproducibly transform adult somatic cells into a pluripotent state and to control their differentiation into specific cell fates. Progress toward these goals would be greatly helped by obtaining a complete picture of the RNA isoforms produced by these cells due to alternative splicing (AS) and alternative promoter selection (APS). To investigate the roles of AS and APS, reciprocal exon-exon junctions were interrogated on a genome-wide scale in differentiating mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells with a prototype Affymetrix microarray. Using a recently released open-source software package named AltAnalyze, we identified 144 genes for 170 putative isoform variants, the majority (67%) of which were predicted to alter protein sequence and domain composition. Verified alternative exons were largely associated with pathways of Wnt signaling and cell-cycle control, and most were conserved between mouse and human. To examine the functional impact of AS, we characterized isoforms for two genes. As predicted by AltAnalyze, we found that alternative isoforms of the gene Serca2 were targeted by distinct microRNAs (miRNA-200b, miRNA-214), suggesting a critical role for AS in cardiac development. Analysis of the Wnt transcription factor Tcf3, using selective knockdown of an ES cell-enriched and characterized isoform, revealed several distinct targets for transcriptional repression (Stmn2, Ccnd2, Atf3, Klf4, Nodal, and Jun) as well as distinct differentiation outcomes in ES cells. The findings herein illustrate a critical role for AS in the specification of ES cells with differentiation, and highlight the utility of global functional analyses of AS.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2010 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased ethanol intake, a major predictor for the development of alcohol use disorders, is facilitated by the development of tolerance to both the aversive and pleasurable effects of the drug. The molecular mechanisms underlying ethanol tolerance development are complex and are not yet well understood.
To identify genetic mechanisms that contribute to ethanol tolerance, we examined the time course of gene expression changes elicited by a single sedating dose of ethanol in Drosophila, and completed a behavioral survey of strains harboring mutations in ethanol-regulated genes.
Enrichment for genes in metabolism, nucleic acid binding, olfaction, regulation of signal transduction, and stress suggests that these biological processes are coordinately affected by ethanol exposure. We also detected a coordinate up-regulation of genes in the Toll and Imd innate immunity signal transduction pathways. A multi-study comparison revealed a small set of genes showing similar regulation, including increased expression of 3 genes for serine biosynthesis. A survey of Drosophila strains harboring mutations in ethanol-regulated genes for ethanol sensitivity and tolerance phenotypes revealed roles for serine biosynthesis, olfaction, transcriptional regulation, immunity, and metabolism. Flies harboring deletions of the genes encoding the olfactory co-receptor Or83b or the sirtuin Sir2 showed marked changes in the development of ethanol tolerance.
Our findings implicate novel roles for these genes in regulating ethanol behavioral responses.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2009 · Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of alternative splicing in self-renewal, pluripotency and tissue lineage specification of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) is largely unknown. To better define these regulatory cues, we modified the H9 hESC line to allow selection of pluripotent hESCs by neomycin resistance and cardiac progenitors by puromycin resistance. Exon-level microarray expression data from undifferentiated hESCs and cardiac and neural precursors were used to identify splice isoforms with cardiac-restricted or common cardiac/neural differentiation expression patterns. Splice events for these groups corresponded to the pathways of cytoskeletal remodeling, RNA splicing, muscle specification, and cell cycle checkpoint control as well as genes with serine/threonine kinase and helicase activity. Using a new program named AltAnalyze (http://www.AltAnalyze.org), we identified novel changes in protein domain and microRNA binding site architecture that were predicted to affect protein function and expression. These included an enrichment of splice isoforms that oppose cell-cycle arrest in hESCs and that promote calcium signaling and cardiac development in cardiac precursors. By combining genome-wide predictions of alternative splicing with new functional annotations, our data suggest potential mechanisms that may influence lineage commitment and hESC maintenance at the level of specific splice isoforms and microRNA regulation.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2009 · PLoS Computational Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During the evolution of the Diptera there is a dramatic modification of the embryonic ectoderm, whereby mosquitoes contain separate amnion and serosa lineages while higher flies such as Drosophila melanogaster contain a single amnioserosa. Whole-genome transcriptome assays were performed with isolated serosa from Anopheles gambiae embryos. These assays identified a large number of genes implicated in the production of the larval cuticle. In D. melanogaster, these genes are activated just once during embryogenesis, during late stages where they are used for the production of the larval cuticle. Evidence is presented that the serosal cells secrete a dedicated serosal cuticle, which protects A. gambiae embryos from desiccation. Detailed temporal microarray assays of mosquito gene expression profiles revealed that the cuticular genes display biphasic expression during A. gambiae embryogenesis, first in the serosa of early embryos and then again during late stages as seen in D. melanogaster. We discuss how evolutionary modifications in the well-defined dorsal-ventral patterning network led to the wholesale deployment of the cuticle biosynthesis pathway in early embryos of A. gambiae.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human cancer cells typically harbour multiple chromosomal aberrations, nucleotide substitutions and epigenetic modifications that drive malignant transformation. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) pilot project aims to assess the value of large-scale multi-dimensional analysis of these molecular characteristics in human cancer and to provide the data rapidly to the research community. Here we report the interim integrative analysis of DNA copy number, gene expression and DNA methylation aberrations in 206 glioblastomas-the most common type of adult brain cancer-and nucleotide sequence aberrations in 91 of the 206 glioblastomas. This analysis provides new insights into the roles of ERBB2, NF1 and TP53, uncovers frequent mutations of the phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase regulatory subunit gene PIK3R1, and provides a network view of the pathways altered in the development of glioblastoma. Furthermore, integration of mutation, DNA methylation and clinical treatment data reveals a link between MGMT promoter methylation and a hypermutator phenotype consequent to mismatch repair deficiency in treated glioblastomas, an observation with potential clinical implications. Together, these findings establish the feasibility and power of TCGA, demonstrating that it can rapidly expand knowledge of the molecular basis of cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gene regulatory networks direct the progressive determination of cell fate during embryogenesis, but how they control cell behavior during morphogenesis remains largely elusive. Cell sorting, microarrays, and targeted molecular manipulations were used to analyze cardiac cell migration in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. The heart network regulates genes involved in most cellular activities required for migration, including adhesion, cell polarity, and membrane protrusions. We demonstrated that fibroblast growth factor signaling and the forkhead transcription factor FoxF directly upregulate the small guanosine triphosphatase RhoDF, which synergizes with Cdc42 to contribute to the protrusive activity of migrating cells. Moreover, RhoDF induces membrane protrusions independently of other cellular activities required for migration. We propose that transcription regulation of specific effector genes determines the coordinated deployment of discrete cellular modules underlying migration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Curcumin (diferuloyl), from the Indian spice turmeric, reduces oxidative damage and induces apoptosis. Utilizing DNA microarrays, we have demonstrated that a low (5 microM) dose of curcumin added to a mixture of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes (C6 rat glioma cells) in culture for 24 and 48 h significantly modulates gene expression in four primary pathways: oxidative stress, cell cycle control, and DNA transcription and metabolism. Contribution of the pentose phosphate pathway to the pool of NADH upregulates glutathione and activates aldehyde oxidase. We have identified also several new genes, up- or downregulated by curcumin, namely, aldo-keto reductase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, and aldehyde oxidase that protect against oxidative stress. The identification of several new cell cycle control genes, including the apoptosis-related protein (pirin) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF), and of the neurofilament M protein involved in neurogenesis suggests that curcumin may have applicability in the treatment of a spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases.
No preview · Article · Mar 2008 · Neurochemical Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The second messenger cAMP acts via protein kinase A (PKA) to induce apoptosis by mechanisms that are poorly understood. Here, we assessed a role for mitochondria and analyzed gene expression in cAMP/PKA-promoted apoptosis by comparing wild-type (WT) S49 lymphoma cells and the S49 variant, D(-) (cAMP-deathless), which lacks cAMP-promoted apoptosis but has wild-type levels of PKA activity and cAMP-promoted G(1) growth arrest. Treatment of WT, but not D(-), S49 cells with 8-CPT-cAMP (8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-adenosine-3':5'-cyclic monophosphate) for 24 h induced loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, mitochondrial release of cytochrome c and SMAC, and increase in caspase-3 activity. Gene expression analysis (using Affymetrix 430 2.0 arrays) revealed that WT and D(-) cells incubated with 8-CPT-cAMP have similar, but non-identical, extents of cAMP-regulated gene expression at 2 h (approximately 800 transcripts) and 6 h (approximately 1000 transcripts) (|Fold| > 2, p < 0.06); by contrast, at 24 h, approximately 2500 and approximately 1100 transcripts were changed in WT and D(-) cells, respectively. Using an approach that combined regression analysis, clustering, and functional annotation to identify transcripts that showed differential expression between WT and D(-) cells, we found differences in cAMP-mediated regulation of mRNAs involved in transcriptional repression, apoptosis, the cell cycle, RNA splicing, Golgi, and lysosomes. The two cell lines differed in cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation and expression of the transcriptional inhibitor ICER (inducible cAMP early repressor) and in cAMP-regulated expression of genes in the inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) and Bcl families. The findings indicate that cAMP/PKA-promoted apoptosis of lymphoid cells occurs via mitochondrial-mediated events and imply that such apoptosis involves gene networks in multiple biochemical pathways.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2008 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sudden cardiac death due to abnormal heart rhythm kills 400,000-460,000 Americans each year. To identify genes that regulate heart rhythm, we are developing a screen that uses mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) with gene disruptions that can be differentiated into cardiac cells for phenotyping. Here, we show that the heterozygous disruption of the Akap10 (D-AKAP2) gene that disrupts the final 51 aa increases the contractile response of cultured cardiac cells to cholinergic signals. In both heterozygous and homozygous mutant mice derived from these mESCs, the same Akap10 disruption increases the cardiac response to cholinergic signals, suggesting a dominant interfering effect of the Akap10 mutant allele. The mutant mice have cardiac arrhythmias and die prematurely. We also found that a common variant of AKAP10 in humans (646V, 40% of alleles) was associated with increased basal heart rate and decreased heart rate variability (markers of low cholinergic/vagus nerve sensitivity). These markers predict an increased risk of sudden cardiac death. Although the molecular mechanism remains unknown, our findings in mutant mESCs, mice, and a common human AKAP10 SNP all suggest a role for AKAP10 in heart rhythm control. Our stem cell-based screen may provide a means of identifying other genes that control heart rhythm.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2007 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability of a neuron to regenerate functional connections after injury is influenced by both its intrinsic state and also by extrinsic cues in its surroundings. Investigations of the transcriptional changes undergone by neurons during in vivo models of injury and regeneration have revealed many transcripts associated with these processes. Because of the complex milieu of interactions in vivo, these results include not only expression changes directly related to regenerative outgrowth and but also unrelated responses to surrounding cells and signals. In vitro models of neurite outgrowth provide a means to study the intrinsic transcriptional patterns of neurite outgrowth in the absence of extensive extrinsic cues from nearby cells and tissues.
We have undertaken a genome-wide study of transcriptional activity in embryonic superior cervical ganglia (SCG) and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) during a time course of neurite outgrowth in vitro. Gene expression observed in these models likely includes both developmental gene expression patterns and regenerative responses to axotomy, which occurs as the result of tissue dissection. Comparison across both models revealed many genes with similar gene expression patterns during neurite outgrowth. These patterns were minimally affected by exposure to the potent inhibitory cue Semaphorin3A, indicating that this extrinsic cue does not exert major effects at the level of nuclear transcription. We also compared our data to several published studies of DRG and SCG gene expression in animal models of regeneration, and found the expression of a large number of genes in common between neurite outgrowth in vitro and regeneration in vivo.
Many gene expression changes undergone by SCG and DRG during in vitro outgrowth are shared between these two tissue types and in common with in vivo regeneration models. This suggests that the genes identified in this in vitro study may represent new candidates worthy of further study for potential roles in the therapeutic regrowth of neuronal connections.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microarray technologies have evolved rapidly, enabling biologists to quantify genome-wide levels of gene expression, alternative splicing, and sequence variations for a variety of species. Analyzing and displaying these data present a significant challenge. Pathway-based approaches for analyzing microarray data have proven useful for presenting data and for generating testable hypotheses.
To address the growing needs of the microarray community we have released version 2 of Gene Map Annotator and Pathway Profiler (GenMAPP), a new GenMAPP database schema, and integrated resources for pathway analysis. We have redesigned the GenMAPP database to support multiple gene annotations and species as well as custom species database creation for a potentially unlimited number of species. We have expanded our pathway resources by utilizing homology information to translate pathway content between species and extending existing pathways with data derived from conserved protein interactions and coexpression. We have implemented a new mode of data visualization to support analysis of complex data, including time-course, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), and splicing. GenMAPP version 2 also offers innovative ways to display and share data by incorporating HTML export of analyses for entire sets of pathways as organized web pages.
GenMAPP version 2 provides a means to rapidly interrogate complex experimental data for pathway-level changes in a diverse range of organisms.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2007 · BMC Bioinformatics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High-throughput mutagenesis of the mammalian genome is a powerful means to facilitate analysis of gene function. Gene trapping in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) is the most widely used form of insertional mutagenesis in mammals. However, the rules governing its efficiency are not fully understood, and the effects of vector design on the likelihood of gene-trapping events have not been tested on a genome-wide scale.
In this study, we used public gene-trap data to model gene-trap likelihood. Using the association of gene length and gene expression with gene-trap likelihood, we constructed spline-based regression models that characterize which genes are susceptible and which genes are resistant to gene-trapping techniques. We report results for three classes of gene-trap vectors, showing that both length and expression are significant determinants of trap likelihood for all vectors. Using our models, we also quantitatively identified hotspots of gene-trap activity, which represent loci where the high likelihood of vector insertion is controlled by factors other than length and expression. These formalized statistical models describe a high proportion of the variance in the likelihood of a gene being trapped by expression-dependent vectors and a lower, but still significant, proportion of the variance for vectors that are predicted to be independent of endogenous gene expression.
The findings of significant expression and length effects reported here further the understanding of the determinants of vector insertion. Results from this analysis can be applied to help identify other important determinants of this important biological phenomenon and could assist planning of large-scale mutagenesis efforts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although a substantial number of hormones and drugs increase cellular cAMP levels, the global impact of cAMP and its major effector mechanism, protein kinase A (PKA), on gene expression is not known. Here we show that treatment of murine wild-type S49 lymphoma cells for 24 h with 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-cAMP (8-CPT-cAMP), a PKA-selective cAMP analog, alters the expression of approximately 4,500 of approximately 13,600 unique genes. By contrast, gene expression was unaltered in Kin- S49 cells (that lack PKA) incubated with 8-CPT-cAMP. Changes in mRNA and protein expression of several cell-cycle regulators accompanied cAMP-induced G1-phase cell-cycle arrest of wild-type S49 cells. Within 2 h, 8-CPT-cAMP altered expression of 152 genes that contain evolutionarily conserved cAMP-response elements within 5 kb of transcriptional start sites, including the circadian clock gene Per1. Thus, cAMP through its activation of PKA produces extensive transcriptional regulation in eukaryotic cells. These transcriptional networks include a primary group of cAMP-response element-containing genes and secondary networks that include the circadian clock.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2005 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences