Publications by authors named "Azadeh Rahimi"

3 Publications

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Genetics and genomics of SARS-CoV-2: A review of the literature with the special focus on genetic diversity and SARS-CoV-2 genome detection.

Genomics 2021 01 30;113(1 Pt 2):1221-1232. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, United States. Electronic address:

The outbreak of 2019-novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2, started in late 2019; in a short time, it has spread rapidly all over the world. Although some possible antiviral and anti-inflammatory medications are available, thousands of people are dying daily. Well-understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 genome is not only essential for the development of new treatments/vaccines, but it also can be used for improving the sensitivity and specificity of current approaches for virus detection. Accordingly, we reviewed the most critical findings related to the genetics of the SARS-CoV-2, with a specific focus on genetic diversity and reported mutations, molecular-based diagnosis assays, using interfering RNA technology for the treatment of patients, and genetic-related vaccination strategies. Additionally, considering the unanswered questions or uncertainties in these regards, different topics were discussed.
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January 2021

Bioinformatics prediction and experimental validation of a novel microRNA: hsa-miR-B43 within human CDH4 gene with a potential metastasis-related function in breast cancer.

J Cell Biochem 2020 02 6;121(2):1307-1316. Epub 2019 Sep 6.

Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

As a class of short noncoding RNAs, microRNAs (miRNAs) play a key role in the modulation of gene expression. Although, the regulatory roles of currently identified miRNAs in various cancer types including breast cancer have been well documented, there are many as yet undiscovered miRNAs. The aim of the current study was to bioinformatically reanalyze a list of 189 potentially new miRNAs introduced in a previously published paper (PMID: 21346806) and experimentally explore the existence and function of a candidate one: hsa-miR-B43 in breast cancer cells. The sequences of 189 potential miRNAs were re-checked in the miRbase database. Genomic location and conservation of them were assessed with the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) genome browser. SSC profiler, RNAfold, miRNAFold, MiPred, and FOMmiR bioinformatics tools were furthermore utilized to explore potential hairpin structures and differentiate real miRNA precursors from pseudo ones. hsa-miR-B43 was finally selected as one of the best candidates for laboratory verification. The expression and function of hsa-miR-B43 were examined by real-time polymerase chain reaction, 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide, and wound-healing assays. DIANA-microT, RNAhybrid and Enrichr tools were used to predict the miRNA target genes and for further enrichment analysis. We could detect the exogenous and endogenous expression of hsa-miR-B43, as a real novel miRNA, in cancer cell lines. Gene Ontology enrichment, pathway analysis and wound-healing assay results furthermore confirmed that a metastasis-related function may be assigned to hsa-miR-B43. Our results introduced hsa-miR-B43, as a novel functional miRNA, which might play a role in the metastatic process. Further studies will be necessary to completely survey the existence and function of hsa-miR-B43 in other cancer types.
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February 2020

Homozygosity mapping and direct sequencing identify a novel pathogenic variant in the CISD2 gene in an Iranian Wolfram syndrome family.

Acta Diabetol 2020 Jan 15;57(1):81-87. Epub 2019 Jul 15.

Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, 81746-73461, Iran.

Aims: Wolfram syndrome (WS) is a rare recessive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by diabetes mellitus and optic atrophy. Mortality and morbidity rate of the disease is high in adulthood due to neurological and respiratory defects. So far, two WS genes, WFS1 (more than 90% of cases) and CISD2, have been identified. In the present study, we aimed to determine the role of WFS2 in a group of Iranian WS families.

Methods: We recruited 27 families with the clinical diagnosis of WS. Homozygosity mapping was implemented using short tandem repeat polymorphic markers and bi-directional sequencing of the CISD2 gene in families negative for WFS1 mutations. The candidate variant was checked among family members. In silico analysis and protein modeling were applied to assess the pathogenic effect of the variant. Tetra-primers ARMS PCR was set up for checking the variant in 50 ethnic-matched controls.

Results: One family showed homozygosity by descent at WFS2. A novel missense variant, c.310T > C (p.S104P), was found in exon 2 of the CISD2 gene. Computational predictions revealed its pathogenic effect on protein structure, function, and stability. Parents and his healthy brother were heterozygous for the variant. The variant was not observed in the control group.

Conclusions: This is the first study that elucidates the role of the CISD2 gene among Iranian WS families with a novel disease-causing missense variant. Next-generation sequencing could unravel disease-causing genes in remained families to expand genetic heterogeneity of WS.
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January 2020