Publications by authors named "Bernward Klocke"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

RNA-sequencing reveals that STRN, ZNF484 and WNK1 add to the value of mitochondrial MT-COI and COX10 as markers of unstable coronary artery disease.

PLoS One 2019 10;14(12):e0225621. Epub 2019 Dec 10.

Department of Biology, CRIBI Biotechnology Centre, Padova, Italy.

Markers in monocytes, precursors of macrophages, which are related to CAD, are largely unknown. Therefore, we aimed to identify genes in monocytes predictive of a new ischemic event in patients with CAD and/or discriminate between stable CAD and acute coronary syndrome. We included 66 patients with stable CAD, of which 24 developed a new ischemic event, and 19 patients with ACS. Circulating CD14+ monocytes were isolated with magnetic beads. RNA sequencing analysis in monocytes of patients with (n = 13) versus without (n = 11) ischemic event at follow-up and in patients with ACS (n = 12) was validated with qPCR (n = 85). MT-COI, STRN and COX10 predicted new ischemic events in CAD patients (power for separation at 1% error rate of 0.97, 0.90 and 0.77 respectively). Low MT-COI and high STRN were also related to shorter time between blood sampling and event. COX10 and ZNF484 together with MT-COI, STRN and WNK1 separated ACS completely from stable CAD patients. RNA expressions in monocytes of MT-COI, COX10, STRN, WNK1 and ZNF484 were independent of cholesterol lowering and antiplatelet treatment. They were independent of troponin T, a marker of myocardial injury. But, COX10 and ZNF484 in human plaques correlated to plaque markers of M1 macrophage polarization, reflecting vascular injury. Expression of MT-COI, COX10, STRN and WNK1, but not that of ZNF484, PBMCs paired with that in monocytes. The prospective study of relation of MT-COI, COX10, STRN, WNK1 and ZNF484 with unstable CAD is warranted.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0225621PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6903720PMC
April 2020

5-Hydroxymethylcytosine Remodeling Precedes Lineage Specification during Differentiation of Human CD4(+) T Cells.

Cell Rep 2016 07 23;16(2):559-570. Epub 2016 Jun 23.

Centre for Personalized Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Linköping University, 581 85 Linköping, Sweden. Electronic address:

5-methylcytosine (5mC) is converted to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) by the TET family of enzymes as part of a recently discovered active DNA de-methylation pathway. 5hmC plays important roles in regulation of gene expression and differentiation and has been implicated in T cell malignancies and autoimmunity. Here, we report early and widespread 5mC/5hmC remodeling during human CD4(+) T cell differentiation ex vivo at genes and cell-specific enhancers with known T cell function. We observe similar DNA de-methylation in CD4(+) memory T cells in vivo, indicating that early remodeling events persist long term in differentiated cells. Underscoring their important function, 5hmC loci were highly enriched for genetic variants associated with T cell diseases and T-cell-specific chromosomal interactions. Extensive functional validation of 22 risk variants revealed potentially pathogenic mechanisms in diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Our results support 5hmC-mediated DNA de-methylation as a key component of CD4(+) T cell biology in humans, with important implications for gene regulation and lineage commitment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2016.05.091DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5868728PMC
July 2016

A novel genomic alteration of LSAMP associates with aggressive prostate cancer in African American men.

EBioMedicine 2015 Dec 31;2(12):1957-64. Epub 2015 Oct 31.

Genomatix Software GmbH, MünchenE D-80335, Germany; Internal Medicine, Nephrology Division and Center for Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.

Evaluation of cancer genomes in global context is of great interest in light of changing ethnic distribution of the world population. We focused our study on men of African ancestry because of their disproportionately higher rate of prostate cancer (CaP) incidence and mortality. We present a systematic whole genome analyses, revealing alterations that differentiate African American (AA) and Caucasian American (CA) CaP genomes. We discovered a recurrent deletion on chromosome 3q13.31 centering on the LSAMP locus that was prevalent in tumors from AA men (cumulative analyses of 435 patients: whole genome sequence, 14; FISH evaluations, 101; and SNP array, 320 patients). Notably, carriers of this deletion experienced more rapid disease progression. In contrast, PTEN and ERG common driver alterations in CaP were significantly lower in AA prostate tumors compared to prostate tumors from CA. Moreover, the frequency of inter-chromosomal rearrangements was significantly higher in AA than CA tumors. These findings reveal differentially distributed somatic mutations in CaP across ancestral groups, which have implications for precision medicine strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2015.10.028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4703707PMC
December 2015

An international effort towards developing standards for best practices in analysis, interpretation and reporting of clinical genome sequencing results in the CLARITY Challenge.

Genome Biol 2014 Mar 25;15(3):R53. Epub 2014 Mar 25.

Background: There is tremendous potential for genome sequencing to improve clinical diagnosis and care once it becomes routinely accessible, but this will require formalizing research methods into clinical best practices in the areas of sequence data generation, analysis, interpretation and reporting. The CLARITY Challenge was designed to spur convergence in methods for diagnosing genetic disease starting from clinical case history and genome sequencing data. DNA samples were obtained from three families with heritable genetic disorders and genomic sequence data were donated by sequencing platform vendors. The challenge was to analyze and interpret these data with the goals of identifying disease-causing variants and reporting the findings in a clinically useful format. Participating contestant groups were solicited broadly, and an independent panel of judges evaluated their performance.

Results: A total of 30 international groups were engaged. The entries reveal a general convergence of practices on most elements of the analysis and interpretation process. However, even given this commonality of approach, only two groups identified the consensus candidate variants in all disease cases, demonstrating a need for consistent fine-tuning of the generally accepted methods. There was greater diversity of the final clinical report content and in the patient consenting process, demonstrating that these areas require additional exploration and standardization.

Conclusions: The CLARITY Challenge provides a comprehensive assessment of current practices for using genome sequencing to diagnose and report genetic diseases. There is remarkable convergence in bioinformatic techniques, but medical interpretation and reporting are areas that require further development by many groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/gb-2014-15-3-r53DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4073084PMC
March 2014

Leveraging cross-species transcription factor binding site patterns: from diabetes risk loci to disease mechanisms.

Cell 2014 Jan;156(1-2):343-58

Department of Medicine, University of Leipzig, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.

Genome-wide association studies have revealed numerous risk loci associated with diverse diseases. However, identification of disease-causing variants within association loci remains a major challenge. Divergence in gene expression due to cis-regulatory variants in noncoding regions is central to disease susceptibility. We show that integrative computational analysis of phylogenetic conservation with a complexity assessment of co-occurring transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) can identify cis-regulatory variants and elucidate their mechanistic role in disease. Analysis of established type 2 diabetes risk loci revealed a striking clustering of distinct homeobox TFBS. We identified the PRRX1 homeobox factor as a repressor of PPARG2 expression in adipose cells and demonstrate its adverse effect on lipid metabolism and systemic insulin sensitivity, dependent on the rs4684847 risk allele that triggers PRRX1 binding. Thus, cross-species conservation analysis at the level of co-occurring TFBS provides a valuable contribution to the translation of genetic association signals to disease-related molecular mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2013.10.058DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7116609PMC
January 2014

The transcription-splicing protein NonO/p54nrb and three NonO-interacting proteins bind to distal enhancer region and augment rhodopsin expression.

Hum Mol Genet 2014 Apr 2;23(8):2132-44. Epub 2013 Dec 2.

Neurobiology-Neurodegeneration and Repair Laboratory, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

Phototransduction machinery in vertebrate photoreceptors is contained within the membrane discs of outer segments. Daily renewal of 10% of photoreceptor outer segments requires stringent control of gene expression. Rhodopsin constitutes over 90% of the protein in rod discs, and its altered expression or transport is associated with photoreceptor dysfunction and/or death. Two cis-regulatory sequences have been identified upstream of the rhodopsin transcription start site. While the proximal promoter binds to specific transcription factors, including NRL and CRX, the rhodopsin enhancer region (RER) reportedly contributes to precise and high-level expression of rhodopsin in vivo. Here, we report the identification of RER-bound proteins by mass spectrometry. We validate the binding of NonO (p54(nrb)), a protein implicated in coupling transcription to splicing, and three NonO-interacting proteins-hnRNP M, Ywhaz and Ppp1ca. NonO and its interactors can activate rhodopsin promoter in HEK293 cells and function synergistically with NRL and CRX. DNA-binding domain of NonO is critical for rhodopsin promoter activation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing (ChIP-seq) analysis demonstrates high occupancy of NonO at rhodopsin and a subset of phototransduction genes. Furthermore, shRNA knockdown of NonO in mouse retina leads to loss of rhodopsin expression and rod cell death, which can be partially rescued by a C-terminal NonO construct. RNA-seq analysis of the NonO shRNA-treated retina revealed splicing defects and altered expression of genes, specifically those associated with phototransduction. Our studies identify an important contribution of NonO and its interacting modulator proteins in enhancing rod-specific gene expression and controlling rod homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddt609DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3959818PMC
April 2014

Detecting and visualizing gene fusions.

Methods 2013 Jan 2;59(1):S24-8. Epub 2012 Oct 2.

Genomatix Software GmbH, Bayerstr. 85a, 80335 München, Germany.

In recent years, gene fusions have gained significant recognition as biomarkers. They can assist treatment decisions, are seldom found in normal tissue and are detectable through Next-generation sequencing (NGS) of the transcriptome (RNA-seq). To transform the data provided by the sequencer into robust gene fusion detection several analysis steps are needed. Usually the first step is to map the sequenced transcript fragments (RNA-seq) to a reference genome. One standard application of this approach is to estimate expression and detect variants within known genes, e.g. SNPs and indels. In case of gene fusions, however, completely novel gene structures have to be detected. Here, we describe the detection of such gene fusion events based on our comprehensive transcript annotation (ElDorado). To demonstrate the utility of our approach, we extract gene fusion candidates from eight breast cancer cell lines, which we compare to experimentally verified gene fusions. We discuss several gene fusion events, like BCAS3-BCAS4 that was only detected in the breast cancer cell line MCF7. As supporting evidence we show that gene fusions occur more frequently in copy number enriched regions (CNV analysis). In addition, we present the Transcriptome Viewer (TViewer) a tool that allows to interactively visualize gene fusions. Finally, we support detected gene fusions through literature mining based annotations and network analyses. In conclusion, we present a platform that allows detecting gene fusions and supporting them through literature knowledge as well as rich visualization capabilities. This enables scientists to better understand molecular processes, biological functions and disease associations, which will ultimately lead to better biomedical knowledge for the development of biomarkers for diagnostics and therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymeth.2012.09.013DOI Listing
January 2013

Tryptamine serves as a proligand of the AhR transcriptional pathway whose activation is dependent of monoamine oxidases.

Mol Endocrinol 2012 Sep 3;26(9):1542-51. Epub 2012 Aug 3.

Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, SE-14183 Huddinge, Sweden.

The function of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in mediating the biological effect to environmental pollutants is well established. However, accumulated evidence indicates a wide range of physiological and pathological functions mediated by the AhR, suggesting the existence of endogenous AhR ligand(s). The nature of an AhR ligand remain elusive; however, it is known that the AhR is activated by several compounds, such as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin or the tryptophan photoproduct 6-formylindolo[3,2-b]carbazole. In this study, we show that physiological concentrations of tryptamine (TA) lead to induction of cytochrome P4501A1 transcription through an AhR-dependent mechanism. In addition, we show that activation of the AhR by TA requires a functional monoamino oxidase system, suggesting that TA acts as an AhR proligand possibly by converting to a high-affinity AhR ligand. Taken together, we show a possible mechanism, through which AhR signaling is activated by endogenous conversion of TA involving monoamine oxidases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/me.2011-1351DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5416975PMC
September 2012

Transcriptional regulation of rod photoreceptor homeostasis revealed by in vivo NRL targetome analysis.

PLoS Genet 2012 12;8(4):e1002649. Epub 2012 Apr 12.

Neurobiology-Neurodegeneration and Repair Laboratory, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.

A stringent control of homeostasis is critical for functional maintenance and survival of neurons. In the mammalian retina, the basic motif leucine zipper transcription factor NRL determines rod versus cone photoreceptor cell fate and activates the expression of many rod-specific genes. Here, we report an integrated analysis of NRL-centered gene regulatory network by coupling chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-Seq) data from Illumina and ABI platforms with global expression profiling and in vivo knockdown studies. We identified approximately 300 direct NRL target genes. Of these, 22 NRL targets are associated with human retinal dystrophies, whereas 95 mapped to regions of as yet uncloned retinal disease loci. In silico analysis of NRL ChIP-Seq peak sequences revealed an enrichment of distinct sets of transcription factor binding sites. Specifically, we discovered that genes involved in photoreceptor function include binding sites for both NRL and homeodomain protein CRX. Evaluation of 26 ChIP-Seq regions validated their enhancer functions in reporter assays. In vivo knockdown of 16 NRL target genes resulted in death or abnormal morphology of rod photoreceptors, suggesting their importance in maintaining retinal function. We also identified histone demethylase Kdm5b as a novel secondary node in NRL transcriptional hierarchy. Exon array analysis of flow-sorted photoreceptors in which Kdm5b was knocked down by shRNA indicated its role in regulating rod-expressed genes. Our studies identify candidate genes for retinal dystrophies, define cis-regulatory module(s) for photoreceptor-expressed genes and provide a framework for decoding transcriptional regulatory networks that dictate rod homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1002649DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3325202PMC
September 2012

LitInspector: literature and signal transduction pathway mining in PubMed abstracts.

Nucleic Acids Res 2009 Jul 5;37(Web Server issue):W135-40. Epub 2009 May 5.

Genomatix Software, 80335 Munich, Germany.

LitInspector is a literature search tool providing gene and signal transduction pathway mining within NCBI's PubMed database. The automatic gene recognition and color coding increases the readability of abstracts and significantly speeds up literature research. A main challenge in gene recognition is the resolution of homonyms and rejection of identical abbreviations used in a 'non-gene' context. LitInspector uses automatically generated and manually refined filtering lists for this purpose. The quality of the LitInspector results was assessed with a published dataset of 181 PubMed sentences. LitInspector achieved a precision of 96.8%, a recall of 86.6% and an F-measure of 91.4%. To further demonstrate the homonym resolution qualities, LitInspector was compared to three other literature search tools using some challenging examples. The homonym MIZ-1 (gene IDs 7709 and 9063) was correctly resolved in 87% of the abstracts by LitInspector, whereas the other tools achieved recognition rates between 35% and 67%. The LitInspector signal transduction pathway mining is based on a manually curated database of pathway names (e.g. wingless type), pathway components (e.g. WNT1, FZD1), and general pathway keywords (e.g. signaling cascade). The performance was checked for 10 randomly selected genes. Eighty-two per cent of the 38 predicted pathway associations were correct. LitInspector is freely available at http://www.litinspector.org/.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkp303DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2703902PMC
July 2009

The disruption of hepatic cytochrome p450 reductase alters mouse lipid metabolism.

J Proteome Res 2007 Oct 28;6(10):3976-84. Epub 2007 Aug 28.

Nestlé Research Center, Vers-chez-les-Blanc, CH-1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland.

To elucidate the role of hepatic cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (POR) in lipid metabolism, we characterized perturbations in lipid homeostasis in a mouse model deficient in liver POR. Using an integrative approach in which transcriptomics, lipidomics, and various bioinformatic algorithms were employed, a disruption in liver lipid mobilization, oxidation, and electron transport functions were identified. Analyzing the promoters of genes in these biological processes identified common binding motifs for nuclear receptors sensitive to lipid status, while Srebp-1c binding sites were only identified in genes involved in lipid metabolism. POR-null mice had drastic increases in hepatic lipid content (diacylglycerols, triacylglycerols, phosphatidylcholine, and cholesterol esters) and a specific enrichment in n-7 and n-9 monounsaturated fatty acids (FAs). It was found that while transporters involved in peroxisomal FA oxidation were induced, mitochondrial oxidation appeared to be more tightly controlled, supporting the increase in monounsaturated FAs. Genes coding for hepatic transporters were differentially expressed, where lipid uptake was induced and efflux repressed, indicating that in the absence of hepatic POR the liver serves as a lipid reservoir. Furthermore, while significant changes in intestinal gene expression were found in POR-deficient mice, only minor changes to plasma and intestinal lipid content were observed. Thus, while liver POR plays an important role regulating gene expression and lipid metabolism locally, the hepatic deficiency of this enzyme reverberates throughout the biological system and produces a coordinated response to the low levels of circulating cholesterol and bile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/pr0700448DOI Listing
October 2007

Analysis of transcriptional regulation of the small leucine rich proteoglycans.

Mol Vis 2004 Oct 7;10:758-72. Epub 2004 Oct 7.

Kansas State University, Division of Biology, Manhattan, KS 66506-4901, USA.

Purpose: Small leucine rich proteoglycans (SLRPs) constitute a family of secreted proteoglycans that are important for collagen fibrillogenesis, cellular growth, differentiation, and migration. Ten of the 13 known members of the SLRP gene family are arranged in tandem clusters on human chromosomes 1, 9, and 12. Their syntenic equivalents are on mouse chromosomes 1, 13, and 10, and rat chromosomes 13, 17, and 7. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is evidence for control elements, which could regulate the expression of these clusters coordinately.

Methods: Promoters were identified using a comparative genomics approach and Genomatix software tools. For each gene a set of human, mouse, and rat orthologous promoters was extracted from genomic sequences. Transcription factor (TF) binding site analysis combined with a literature search was performed using MatInspector and Genomatix' BiblioSphere. Inspection for the presence of interspecies conserved scaffold/matrix attachment regions (S/MARs) was performed using ElDorado annotation lists. DNAseI hypersensitivity assay, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), and transient transfection experiments were used to validate the results from bioinformatics analysis.

Results: Transcription factor binding site analysis combined with a literature search revealed co-citations between several SLRPs and TFs Runx2 and IRF1, indicating that these TFs have potential roles in transcriptional regulation of the SLRP family members. We therefore inspected all of the SLRP promoter sets for matches to IRF factors and Runx factors. Positionally conserved binding sites for the Runt domain TFs were detected in the proximal promoters of chondroadherin (CHAD) and osteomodulin (OMD) genes. Two significant models (two or more transcription factor binding sites arranged in a defined order and orientation within a defined distance range) were derived from these initial promoter sets, the HOX-Runx (homeodomain-Runt domain), and the ETS-FKHD-STAT (erythroblast transformation specific-forkhead-signal transducers and activators of transcription) models. These models were used to scan the genomic sequences of all 13 SLRP genes. The HOX-Runx model was found within the proximal promoter, exon 1, or intron 1 sequences of 11 of the 13 SLRP genes. The ETS-FKHD-STAT model was found in only 5 of these genes. Transient transfections of MG-63 cells and bovine corneal keratocytes with Runx2 isoforms confirmed the relevance of these TFs to expression of several SLRP genes. Distribution of the HOX-Runx and ETS-FKHD-STAT models within 200 kb of genomic sequence on human chromosome 9 and 500 kb sequence on chromosome 12 also were analyzed. Two regions with 3 HOX-Runx matches within a 1,000 bp window were identified on human chromosome 9; one located between OMD and osteoglycin (OGN)/mimecan genes, and the second located upstream of the putative extracellular matrix protein 2 (ECM2) promoter. The intergenic region between OMD and mimecan was shown to coincide with different patterns of DNAse I hypersensitivity sites in MG-63 and U937 cells. ChiP analysis revealed that this region binds Runx2 in U937 cells (mimecan transcript note detectable), but binds Pitx3 in MG-63 cells (expressing high level of mimecan), thereby demonstrating its functional association with mimecan expression. Upon comparing the predictions of S/MARs on the relevant chromosomal context of human chromosomes 9 and 12 and their rodent equivalents, no convincing evidence was found that the tandemly arranged genes build a chromosomal loop.

Conclusions: Twelve of 13 known SLRP genes have at least one HOX-Runx module match in their promoter, exon 1, intron 1, or intergenic region. Although these genes are located in different clusters on different chromosomes, the common HOX-Runx module could be the basis for co-regulated expression.
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October 2004