Publications by authors named "John E Collins"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Common and distinct transcriptional signatures of mammalian embryonic lethality.

Nat Commun 2019 06 26;10(1):2792. Epub 2019 Jun 26.

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

The Deciphering the Mechanisms of Developmental Disorders programme has analysed the morphological and molecular phenotypes of embryonic and perinatal lethal mouse mutant lines in order to investigate the causes of embryonic lethality. Here we show that individual whole-embryo RNA-seq of 73 mouse mutant lines (>1000 transcriptomes) identifies transcriptional events underlying embryonic lethality and associates previously uncharacterised genes with specific pathways and tissues. For example, our data suggest that Hmgxb3 is involved in DNA-damage repair and cell-cycle regulation. Further, we separate embryonic delay signatures from mutant line-specific transcriptional changes by developing a baseline mRNA expression catalogue of wild-type mice during early embryogenesis (4-36 somites). Analysis of transcription outside coding sequence identifies deregulation of repetitive elements in Morc2a mutants and a gene involved in gene-specific splicing. Collectively, this work provides a large scale resource to further our understanding of early embryonic developmental disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10642-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6594971PMC
June 2019

The gene regulatory basis of genetic compensation during neural crest induction.

PLoS Genet 2019 06 14;15(6):e1008213. Epub 2019 Jun 14.

Wellcome Sanger Institute, Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, United Kingdom.

The neural crest (NC) is a vertebrate-specific cell type that contributes to a wide range of different tissues across all three germ layers. The gene regulatory network (GRN) responsible for the formation of neural crest is conserved across vertebrates. Central to the induction of the NC GRN are AP-2 and SoxE transcription factors. NC induction robustness is ensured through the ability of some of these transcription factors to compensate loss of function of gene family members. However the gene regulatory events underlying compensation are poorly understood. We have used gene knockout and RNA sequencing strategies to dissect NC induction and compensation in zebrafish. We genetically ablate the NC using double mutants of tfap2a;tfap2c or remove specific subsets of the NC with sox10 and mitfa knockouts and characterise genome-wide gene expression levels across multiple time points. We find that compensation through a single wild-type allele of tfap2c is capable of maintaining early NC induction and differentiation in the absence of tfap2a function, but many target genes have abnormal expression levels and therefore show sensitivity to the reduced tfap2 dosage. This separation of morphological and molecular phenotypes identifies a core set of genes required for early NC development. We also identify the 15 somites stage as the peak of the molecular phenotype which strongly diminishes at 24 hpf even as the morphological phenotype becomes more apparent. Using gene knockouts, we associate previously uncharacterised genes with pigment cell development and establish a role for maternal Hippo signalling in melanocyte differentiation. This work extends and refines the NC GRN while also uncovering the transcriptional basis of genetic compensation via paralogues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008213DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6594659PMC
June 2019

The age of heterozygous mutant parents influences the adult phenotype of their offspring irrespective of genotype in zebrafish.

Wellcome Open Res 2017 4;2:77. Epub 2017 Sep 4.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, UK.

Background: Mutations in proteins involved in telomere maintenance lead to a range of human diseases, including dyskeratosis congenita, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and cancer. Telomerase functions to add telomeric repeats back onto the ends of chromosomes, however non-canonical roles of components of telomerase have recently been suggested.

Methods: Here we use a zebrafish telomerase mutant which harbours a nonsense mutation in to investigate the adult phenotypes of fish derived from heterozygous parents of different ages. Furthermore we use whole genome sequencing data to estimate average telomere lengths.

Results: We show that homozygous offspring from older heterozygotes exhibit signs of body wasting at a younger age than those of younger parents, and that offspring of older heterozygous parents weigh less irrespective of genotype. We also demonstrate that homozygous mutant fish have a male sex bias, and that clutches from older parents also have a male sex bias in the heterozygous and wild-type populations. Telomere length analysis reveals that the telomeres of younger heterozygous parents are shorter than those of older heterozygous parents.

Conclusions: These data indicate that the phenotypes observed in offspring from older parents cannot be explained by telomere length. Instead we propose that Tert functions outside of telomere length maintenance in an age-dependent manner to influence the adult phenotypes of the next generation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.12530.2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5840683PMC
September 2017

A high-resolution mRNA expression time course of embryonic development in zebrafish.

Elife 2017 11 16;6. Epub 2017 Nov 16.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, United Kingdom.

We have produced an mRNA expression time course of zebrafish development across 18 time points from 1 cell to 5 days post-fertilisation sampling individual and pools of embryos. Using poly(A) pulldown stranded RNA-seq and a 3' end transcript counting method we characterise temporal expression profiles of 23,642 genes. We identify temporal and functional transcript co-variance that associates 5024 unnamed genes with distinct developmental time points. Specifically, a class of over 100 previously uncharacterised zinc finger domain containing genes, located on the long arm of chromosome 4, is expressed in a sharp peak during zygotic genome activation. In addition, the data reveal new genes and transcripts, differential use of exons and previously unidentified 3' ends across development, new primary microRNAs and temporal divergence of gene paralogues generated in the teleost genome duplication. To make this dataset a useful baseline reference, the data can be browsed and downloaded at Expression Atlas and Ensembl.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.30860DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5690287PMC
November 2017

Loss of the chromatin modifier Kdm2aa causes BrafV600E-independent spontaneous melanoma in zebrafish.

PLoS Genet 2017 Aug 14;13(8):e1006959. Epub 2017 Aug 14.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, United Kingdom.

KDM2A is a histone demethylase associated with transcriptional silencing, however very little is known about its in vivo role in development and disease. Here we demonstrate that loss of the orthologue kdm2aa in zebrafish causes widespread transcriptional disruption and leads to spontaneous melanomas at a high frequency. Fish homozygous for two independent premature stop codon alleles show reduced growth and survival, a strong male sex bias, and homozygous females exhibit a progressive oogenesis defect. kdm2aa mutant fish also develop melanomas from early adulthood onwards which are independent from mutations in braf and other common oncogenes and tumour suppressors as revealed by deep whole exome sequencing. In addition to effects on translation and DNA replication gene expression, high-replicate RNA-seq in morphologically normal individuals demonstrates a stable regulatory response of epigenetic modifiers and the specific de-repression of a group of zinc finger genes residing in constitutive heterochromatin. Together our data reveal a complex role for Kdm2aa in regulating normal mRNA levels and carcinogenesis. These findings establish kdm2aa mutants as the first single gene knockout model of melanoma biology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1006959DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5570503PMC
August 2017

High-throughput and quantitative genome-wide messenger RNA sequencing for molecular phenotyping.

BMC Genomics 2015 Aug 5;16:578. Epub 2015 Aug 5.

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

Background: We present a genome-wide messenger RNA (mRNA) sequencing technique that converts small amounts of RNA from many samples into molecular phenotypes. It encompasses all steps from sample preparation to sequence analysis and is applicable to baseline profiling or perturbation measurements.

Results: Multiplex sequencing of transcript 3' ends identifies differential transcript abundance independent of gene annotation. We show that increasing biological replicate number while maintaining the total amount of sequencing identifies more differentially abundant transcripts.

Conclusions: This method can be implemented on polyadenylated RNA from any organism with an annotated reference genome and in any laboratory with access to Illumina sequencing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-015-1788-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4524448PMC
August 2015

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

Incorporating RNA-seq data into the zebrafish Ensembl genebuild.

Genome Res 2012 Oct 12;22(10):2067-78. Epub 2012 Jul 12.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, CB10 1SA, United Kingdom.

Ensembl gene annotation provides a comprehensive catalog of transcripts aligned to the reference sequence. It relies on publicly available species-specific and orthologous transcripts plus their inferred protein sequence. The accuracy of gene models is improved by increasing the species-specific component that can be cost-effectively achieved using RNA-seq. Two zebrafish gene annotations are presented in Ensembl version 62 built on the Zv9 reference sequence. Firstly, RNA-seq data from five tissues and seven developmental stages were assembled into 25,748 gene models. A 3'-end capture and sequencing protocol was developed to predict the 3' ends of transcripts, and 46.1% of the original models were subsequently refined. Secondly, a standard Ensembl genebuild, incorporating carefully filtered elements from the RNA-seq-only build, followed by a merge with the manually curated VEGA database, produced a comprehensive annotation of 26,152 genes represented by 51,569 transcripts. The RNA-seq-only and the Ensembl/VEGA genebuilds contribute contrasting elements to the final genebuild. The RNA-seq genebuild was used to adjust intron/exon boundaries of orthologous defined models, confirm their expression, and improve 3' untranslated regions. Importantly, the inferred protein alignments within the Ensembl genebuild conferred proof of model contiguity for the RNA-seq models. The zebrafish gene annotation has been enhanced by the incorporation of RNA-seq data and the pipeline will be used for other organisms. Organisms with little species-specific cDNA data will generally benefit the most.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gr.137901.112DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3460200PMC
October 2012

Comparative transcriptome analyses indicate molecular homology of zebrafish swimbladder and mammalian lung.

PLoS One 2011 26;6(8):e24019. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.

The fish swimbladder is a unique organ in vertebrate evolution and it functions for regulating buoyancy in most teleost species. It has long been postulated as a homolog of the tetrapod lung, but the molecular evidence is scarce. In order to understand the molecular function of swimbladder as well as its relationship with lungs in tetrapods, transcriptomic analyses of zebrafish swimbladder were carried out by RNA-seq. Gene ontology classification showed that genes in cytoskeleton and endoplasmic reticulum were enriched in the swimbladder. Further analyses depicted gene sets and pathways closely related to cytoskeleton constitution and regulation, cell adhesion, and extracellular matrix. Several prominent transcription factor genes in the swimbladder including hoxc4a, hoxc6a, hoxc8a and foxf1 were identified and their expressions in developing swimbladder during embryogenesis were confirmed. By comparison of enriched transcripts in the swimbladder with those in human and mouse lungs, we established the resemblance of transcriptome of the zebrafish swimbladder and mammalian lungs. Based on the transcriptomic data of zebrafish swimbladder, the predominant functions of swimbladder are in its epithelial and muscular tissues. Our comparative analyses also provide molecular evidence of the relatedness of the fish swimbladder and mammalian lung.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0024019PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3162596PMC
February 2012

FRT-seq: amplification-free, strand-specific transcriptome sequencing.

Nat Methods 2010 Feb 17;7(2):130-2. Epub 2010 Jan 17.

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

We report an alternative approach to transcriptome sequencing for the Illumina Genome Analyzer, in which the reverse transcription reaction takes place on the flowcell. No amplification is performed during the library preparation, so PCR biases and duplicates are avoided, and because the template is poly(A)(+) RNA rather than cDNA, the resulting sequences are necessarily strand-specific. The method is compatible with paired- or single-end sequencing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.1417DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2861772PMC
February 2010

Convergent extension movements and ciliary function are mediated by ofd1, a zebrafish orthologue of the human oral-facial-digital type 1 syndrome gene.

Hum Mol Genet 2009 Jan 29;18(2):289-303. Epub 2008 Oct 29.

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

In humans, OFD1 is mutated in oral-facial-digital type I syndrome leading to prenatal death in hemizygous males and dysmorphic faces and brain malformations, with polycystic kidneys presenting later in life in heterozygous females. To elucidate the function of Ofd1, we have studied its function during zebrafish embryonic development. In wild-type embryos, ofd1 mRNA is widely expressed and Ofd1-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion localizes to the centrosome/basal body. Disrupting Ofd1 using antisense morpholinos (MOs) led to bent body axes, hydrocephalus and oedema. Laterality was randomized in the brain, heart and viscera, likely a consequence of shorter cilia with disrupted axonemes and perturbed intravesicular fluid flow in Kupffer's vesicle. Embryos injected with ofd1 MOs also displayed convergent extension (CE) defects, which were enhanced by loss of Slb/Wnt11 or Tri/Vangl2, two proteins functioning in a non-canonical Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) pathway. Pronephric glomerular midline fusion was compromised in vangl2 and ofd1 loss of function embryos and we suggest this anomaly may be a novel CE defect. Thus, Ofd1 is required for ciliary motility and function in zebrafish, supporting data showing that Ofd1 is essential for primary cilia function in mice. In addition, our data show that Ofd1 is important for CE during gastrulation, consistent with data linking primary cilia and non-canonical Wnt/PCP signalling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddn356DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2638777PMC
January 2009

The characteristics of human genes: analysis of human chromosome 22.

Comp Funct Genomics 2003 ;4(6):635-46

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cfg.335DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2447302PMC
June 2010

Finishing the finished human chromosome 22 sequence.

Genome Biol 2008 13;9(5):R78. Epub 2008 May 13.

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

Background: Although the human genome sequence was declared complete in 2004, the sequence was interrupted by 341 gaps of which 308 lay in an estimated approximately 28 Mb of euchromatin. While these gaps constitute only approximately 1% of the sequence, knowledge of the full complement of human genes and regulatory elements is incomplete without their sequences.

Results: We have used a combination of conventional chromosome walking (aided by the availability of end sequences) in fosmid and bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries, whole chromosome shotgun sequencing, comparative genome analysis and long PCR to finish 8 of the 11 gaps in the initial chromosome 22 sequence. In addition, we have patched four regions of the initial sequence where the original clones were found to be deleted, or contained a deletion allele of a known gene, with a further 126 kb of new sequence. Over 1.018 Mb of new sequence has been generated to extend into and close the gaps, and we have annotated 16 new or extended gene structures and one pseudogene.

Conclusion: Thus, we have made significant progress to completing the sequence of the euchromatic regions of human chromosome 22 using a combination of detailed approaches. Our experience suggests that substantial work remains to close the outstanding gaps in the human genome sequence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/gb-2008-9-5-r78DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2441464PMC
July 2008

Subcellular localization of intracellular human proteins by construction of tagged fusion proteins and transient expression in COS-7 Cells.

Authors:
John E Collins

Methods Mol Biol 2008 ;439:353-67

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK.

Identifying the subcellular compartment of a protein is an important step toward assigning protein function. Starting with a clone containing the open reading frame (ORF) of interest, it is possible to attach a variety of short amino acid tags or fluorescent proteins and detect the location of the protein, after transfection into a cell line, using fluorescent microscopy. By collecting data from various expression clone constructs, using a range of cell lines and double labeling with cellular compartment markers, a picture of the localization of a gene can be built up. This chapter describes how to obtain the ORF clone for your gene of interest, clone it into your choice of mammalian expression vector or vectors, transiently transfect for visualization, and where to get started when interpreting the results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-59745-188-8_24DOI Listing
June 2008

A genome annotation-driven approach to cloning the human ORFeome.

Genome Biol 2004 30;5(10):R84. Epub 2004 Sep 30.

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

We have developed a systematic approach to generating cDNA clones containing full-length open reading frames (ORFs), exploiting knowledge of gene structure from genomic sequence. Each ORF was amplified by PCR from a pool of primary cDNAs, cloned and confirmed by sequencing. We obtained clones representing 70% of genes on human chromosome 22, whereas searching available cDNA clone collections found at best 48% from a single collection and 60% for all collections combined.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/gb-2004-5-10-r84DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC545604PMC
July 2005

Replication timing of the human genome.

Hum Mol Genet 2004 Jan 25;13(2):191-202. Epub 2003 Nov 25.

The Welcome Trust Sanger Institute, Welcome Genome Campus, Cambridge, UK.

We have developed a directly quantitative method utilizing genomic clone DNA microarrays to assess the replication timing of sequences during the S phase of the cell cycle. The genomic resolution of the replication timing measurements is limited only by the genomic clone size and density. We demonstrate the power of this approach by constructing a genome-wide map of replication timing in human lymphoblastoid cells using an array with clones spaced at 1 Mb intervals and a high-resolution replication timing map of 22q with an array utilizing overlapping sequencing tile path clones. We show a positive correlation, both genome-wide and at a high resolution, between replication timing and a range of genome parameters including GC content, gene density and transcriptional activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddh016DOI Listing
January 2004

Gene annotation: prediction and testing.

Annu Rev Genomics Hum Genet 2003 ;4:69-88

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

Fifty years after the publication of DNA structure, the whole human genome sequence will be officially finished. This achievement marks the beginning of the task to catalogue every human gene and identify each of their function expression patterns. Currently, researchers estimate that there are about 30,000 human genes and approximately 70% of these can be automatically predicted using a combination of ab initio and similarity-based programs. However, to experimentally investigate every gene's function, the research community requires a high-quality annotation of alternative splicing, pseudogenes, and promoter regions that can only be provided by manual intervention. Manual curation of the human genome will be a long-term project as experimental data are continually produced to confirm or refine the predictions, and new features such as noncoding RNAs and enhancers have not been fully identified. Such a highly curated human gene-set made publicly available will be a great asset for the experimental community and for future comparative genome projects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.genom.4.070802.110300DOI Listing
December 2003

Reevaluating human gene annotation: a second-generation analysis of chromosome 22.

Genome Res 2003 Jan;13(1):27-36

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

We report a second-generation gene annotation of human chromosome 22. Using expressed sequence databases, comparative sequence analysis, and experimental verification, we have extended genes, fused previously fragmented structures, and identified new genes. The total length in exons of annotation was increased by 74% over our previously published annotation and includes 546 protein-coding genes and 234 pseudogenes. Thirty-two potential protein-coding annotations are partial copies of other genes, and may represent duplications on an evolutionary path to change or loss of function. We also identified 31 non-protein-coding transcripts, including 16 possible antisense RNAs. By extrapolation, we estimate the human genome contains 29,000-36,000 protein-coding genes, 21,300 pseudogenes, and 1500 antisense RNAs. We suggest that our revised annotation criteria provide a paradigm for future annotation of the human genome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gr.695703DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC430954PMC
January 2003

A full-coverage, high-resolution human chromosome 22 genomic microarray for clinical and research applications.

Hum Mol Genet 2002 Dec;11(25):3221-9

Department of Genetics and Pathology, Rudbeck laboratory, Uppsala University, 751 85 Uppsala, Sweden

We have constructed the first comprehensive microarray representing a human chromosome for analysis of DNA copy number variation. This chromosome 22 array covers 34.7 Mb, representing 1.1% of the genome, with an average resolution of 75 kb. To demonstrate the utility of the array, we have applied it to profile acral melanoma, dermatofibrosarcoma, DiGeorge syndrome and neurofibromatosis 2. We accurately diagnosed homozygous/heterozygous deletions, amplifications/gains, IGLV/IGLC locus instability, and breakpoints of an imbalanced translocation. We further identified the 14-3-3 eta isoform as a candidate tumor suppressor in glioblastoma. Two significant methodological advances in array construction were also developed and validated. These include a strictly sequence defined, repeat-free, and non-redundant strategy for array preparation. This approach allows an increase in array resolution and analysis of any locus; disregarding common repeats, genomic clone availability and sequence redundancy. In addition, we report that the application of phi29 DNA polymerase is advantageous in microarray preparation. A broad spectrum of issues in medical research and diagnostics can be approached using the array. This well annotated and gene-rich autosome contains numerous uncharacterized disease genes. It is therefore crucial to associate these genes to specific 22q-related conditions and this array will be instrumental towards this goal. Furthermore, comprehensive epigenetic profiling of 22q-located genes and high-resolution analysis of replication timing across the entire chromosome can be studied using our array.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/11.25.3221DOI Listing
December 2002
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