Publications by authors named "Lilian E Hunt"

2 Publications

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Aberrant ribonucleotide incorporation and multiple deletions in mitochondrial DNA of the murine MPV17 disease model.

Nucleic Acids Res 2017 Dec;45(22):12808-12815

MRC Laboratory, Mill Hill, London NW7 1AA, UK.

All DNA polymerases misincorporate ribonucleotides despite their preference for deoxyribonucleotides, and analysis of cultured cells indicates that mammalian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) tolerates such replication errors. However, it is not clear to what extent misincorporation occurs in tissues, or whether this plays a role in human disease. Here, we show that mtDNA of solid tissues contains many more embedded ribonucleotides than that of cultured cells, consistent with the high ratio of ribonucleotide to deoxynucleotide triphosphates in tissues, and that riboadenosines account for three-quarters of them. The pattern of embedded ribonucleotides changes in a mouse model of Mpv17 deficiency, which displays a marked increase in rGMPs in mtDNA. However, while the mitochondrial dGTP is low in the Mpv17-/- liver, the brain shows no change in the overall dGTP pool, leading us to suggest that Mpv17 determines the local concentration or quality of dGTP. Embedded rGMPs are expected to distort the mtDNA and impede its replication, and elevated rGMP incorporation is associated with early-onset mtDNA depletion in liver and late-onset multiple deletions in brain of Mpv17-/- mice. These findings suggest aberrant ribonucleotide incorporation is a primary mtDNA abnormality that can result in pathology.
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December 2017

Complete re-sequencing of a 2Mb topological domain encompassing the FTO/IRXB genes identifies a novel obesity-associated region upstream of IRX5.

Genome Med 2015 Dec 7;7:126. Epub 2015 Dec 7.

The Francis Crick Institute, Mill Hill Laboratory, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London, NW7 1AA, UK.

Background: Association studies have identified a number of loci that contribute to an increased body mass index (BMI), the strongest of which is in the first intron of the FTO gene on human chromosome 16q12.2. However, this region is both non-coding and under strong linkage disequilibrium, making it recalcitrant to functional interpretation. Furthermore, the FTO gene is located within a complex cis-regulatory landscape defined by a topologically associated domain that includes the IRXB gene cluster, a trio of developmental regulators. Consequently, at least three genes in this interval have been implicated in the aetiology of obesity.

Methods: Here, we sequence a 2 Mb region encompassing the FTO, RPGRIP1L and IRXB cluster genes in 284 individuals from a well-characterised study group of Danish men containing extremely overweight young adults and controls. We further replicate our findings both in an expanded male cohort and an independent female study group. Finally, we compare our variant data with a previous study describing IRX3 and FTO interactions in this region.

Results: We obtain deep coverage across the entire region, allowing accurate and unequivocal determination of almost every single nucleotide polymorphism and short insertion/deletion. As well as confirming previous findings across the interval, we identify a further novel age-dependent association upstream of IRX5 that imposes a similar burden on BMI to the FTO locus.

Conclusions: Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that chromatin architectures play a role in regulating gene expression levels across topological domains while our targeted sequence approach represents a widely applicable methodology for high-resolution analysis of regional variation across candidate genomic loci.
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December 2015