Publications by authors named "Harminder Sehra"

6 Publications

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The zebrafish reference genome sequence and its relationship to the human genome.

Nature 2013 Apr 17;496(7446):498-503. Epub 2013 Apr 17.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SA, UK.

Zebrafish have become a popular organism for the study of vertebrate gene function. The virtually transparent embryos of this species, and the ability to accelerate genetic studies by gene knockdown or overexpression, have led to the widespread use of zebrafish in the detailed investigation of vertebrate gene function and increasingly, the study of human genetic disease. However, for effective modelling of human genetic disease it is important to understand the extent to which zebrafish genes and gene structures are related to orthologous human genes. To examine this, we generated a high-quality sequence assembly of the zebrafish genome, made up of an overlapping set of completely sequenced large-insert clones that were ordered and oriented using a high-resolution high-density meiotic map. Detailed automatic and manual annotation provides evidence of more than 26,000 protein-coding genes, the largest gene set of any vertebrate so far sequenced. Comparison to the human reference genome shows that approximately 70% of human genes have at least one obvious zebrafish orthologue. In addition, the high quality of this genome assembly provides a clearer understanding of key genomic features such as a unique repeat content, a scarcity of pseudogenes, an enrichment of zebrafish-specific genes on chromosome 4 and chromosomal regions that influence sex determination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature12111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3703927PMC
April 2013

The UniProt-GO Annotation database in 2011.

Nucleic Acids Res 2012 Jan 28;40(Database issue):D565-70. Epub 2011 Nov 28.

European Bioinformatics Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SD, UK.

The GO annotation dataset provided by the UniProt Consortium (GOA: http://www.ebi.ac.uk/GOA) is a comprehensive set of evidenced-based associations between terms from the Gene Ontology resource and UniProtKB proteins. Currently supplying over 100 million annotations to 11 million proteins in more than 360,000 taxa, this resource has increased 2-fold over the last 2 years and has benefited from a wealth of checks to improve annotation correctness and consistency as well as now supplying a greater information content enabled by GO Consortium annotation format developments. Detailed, manual GO annotations obtained from the curation of peer-reviewed papers are directly contributed by all UniProt curators and supplemented with manual and electronic annotations from 36 model organism and domain-focused scientific resources. The inclusion of high-quality, automatic annotation predictions ensures the UniProt GO annotation dataset supplies functional information to a wide range of proteins, including those from poorly characterized, non-model organism species. UniProt GO annotations are freely available in a range of formats accessible by both file downloads and web-based views. In addition, the introduction of a new, normalized file format in 2010 has made for easier handling of the complete UniProt-GOA data set.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkr1048DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3245010PMC
January 2012

A novel system of polymorphic and diverse NK cell receptors in primates.

PLoS Genet 2009 Oct 16;5(10):e1000688. Epub 2009 Oct 16.

Department of Primate Genetics, German Primate Centre, Göttingen, Germany.

There are two main classes of natural killer (NK) cell receptors in mammals, the killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) and the structurally unrelated killer cell lectin-like receptors (KLR). While KIR represent the most diverse group of NK receptors in all primates studied to date, including humans, apes, and Old and New World monkeys, KLR represent the functional equivalent in rodents. Here, we report a first digression from this rule in lemurs, where the KLR (CD94/NKG2) rather than KIR constitute the most diverse group of NK cell receptors. We demonstrate that natural selection contributed to such diversification in lemurs and particularly targeted KLR residues interacting with the peptide presented by MHC class I ligands. We further show that lemurs lack a strict ortholog or functional equivalent of MHC-E, the ligands of non-polymorphic KLR in "higher" primates. Our data support the existence of a hitherto unknown system of polymorphic and diverse NK cell receptors in primates and of combinatorial diversity as a novel mechanism to increase NK cell receptor repertoire.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1000688DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2757895PMC
October 2009

A high utility integrated map of the pig genome.

Genome Biol 2007 ;8(7):R139

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SA UK.

Background: The domestic pig is being increasingly exploited as a system for modeling human disease. It also has substantial economic importance for meat-based protein production. Physical clone maps have underpinned large-scale genomic sequencing and enabled focused cloning efforts for many genomes. Comparative genetic maps indicate that there is more structural similarity between pig and human than, for example, mouse and human, and we have used this close relationship between human and pig as a way of facilitating map construction.

Results: Here we report the construction of the most highly continuous bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) map of any mammalian genome, for the pig (Sus scrofa domestica) genome. The map provides a template for the generation and assembly of high-quality anchored sequence across the genome. The physical map integrates previous landmark maps with restriction fingerprints and BAC end sequences from over 260,000 BACs derived from 4 BAC libraries and takes advantage of alignments to the human genome to improve the continuity and local ordering of the clone contigs. We estimate that over 98% of the euchromatin of the 18 pig autosomes and the X chromosome along with localized coverage on Y is represented in 172 contigs, with chromosome 13 (218 Mb) represented by a single contig. The map is accessible through pre-Ensembl, where links to marker and sequence data can be found.

Conclusion: The map will enable immediate electronic positional cloning of genes, benefiting the pig research community and further facilitating use of the pig as an alternative animal model for human disease. The clone map and BAC end sequence data can also help to support the assembly of maps and genome sequences of other artiodactyls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/gb-2007-8-7-r139DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2323232PMC
February 2008

Identification of a single killer immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) gene in the porcine leukocyte receptor complex on chromosome 6q.

Immunogenetics 2006 Jun 29;58(5-6):481-6. Epub 2006 Apr 29.

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, CB10 1SA, England, UK.

Human killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) are expressed on natural killer (NK) cells and are involved in their immunoreactivity. While KIR with a long cytoplasmic tail deliver an inhibitory signal when bound to their respective major histocompatibility complex class I ligands, KIR with a short cytoplasmic tail can activate NK responses. The expansion of the KIR gene family originally appeared to be a phenomenon restricted to primates (human, apes, and monkeys) in comparison to rodents, which via convergent evolution have numerous C-type lectin-like Ly49 molecules that function analogously. Further studies have shown that multiple KIR are also present in cow and horse. In this study, we have identified by comparative genomics the first and possibly only KIR gene, named KIR2DL1, in the domesticated pig (Sus scrofa) allowing further evolutionary comparisons to be made. It encodes a protein with two extracellular immunoglobulin domains (D0 + D2), and a long cytoplasmic tail containing two inhibitory motifs. We have mapped the pig KIR2DL1 gene to chromosome 6q. Flanked by LILRa, LILRb, and LILRc, members of the leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor (LILR) family, on the centromeric end, and FCAR, NCR1, NALP7, NALP2, and GP6 on the telomeric end, pig demonstrates conservation of synteny with the human leukocyte receptor complex (LRC). Both the porcine KIR and LILR genes have diverged sufficiently to no longer be clearly orthologous with known human LRC family members.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00251-006-0110-9DOI Listing
June 2006

The DNA sequence of the human X chromosome.

Nature 2005 Mar;434(7031):325-37

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SA, UK.

The human X chromosome has a unique biology that was shaped by its evolution as the sex chromosome shared by males and females. We have determined 99.3% of the euchromatic sequence of the X chromosome. Our analysis illustrates the autosomal origin of the mammalian sex chromosomes, the stepwise process that led to the progressive loss of recombination between X and Y, and the extent of subsequent degradation of the Y chromosome. LINE1 repeat elements cover one-third of the X chromosome, with a distribution that is consistent with their proposed role as way stations in the process of X-chromosome inactivation. We found 1,098 genes in the sequence, of which 99 encode proteins expressed in testis and in various tumour types. A disproportionately high number of mendelian diseases are documented for the X chromosome. Of this number, 168 have been explained by mutations in 113 X-linked genes, which in many cases were characterized with the aid of the DNA sequence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature03440DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2665286PMC
March 2005