Publications by authors named "Molly Weaver"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Mapping and Dynamics of Regulatory DNA in Maturing Siliques.

Front Plant Sci 2019 14;10:1434. Epub 2019 Nov 14.

Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States.

The genome is reprogrammed during development to produce diverse cell types, largely through altered expression and activity of key transcription factors. The accessibility and critical functions of epidermal cells have made them a model for connecting transcriptional events to development in a range of model systems. In and many other plants, fertilization triggers differentiation of specialized epidermal seed coat cells that have a unique morphology caused by large extracellular deposits of polysaccharides. Here, we used DNase I-seq to generate regulatory landscapes of seeds at two critical time points in seed coat maturation (4 and 7 DPA), enriching for seed coat cells with the INTACT method. We found over 3,000 developmentally dynamic regulatory DNA elements and explored their relationship with nearby gene expression. The dynamic regulatory elements were enriched for motifs for several transcription factors families; most notably the TCP family at the earlier time point and the MYB family at the later one. To assess the extent to which the observed regulatory sites in seeds added to previously known regulatory sites in we compared our data to 11 other data sets generated with 7-day-old seedlings for diverse tissues and conditions. Surprisingly, over a quarter of the regulatory, i.e. accessible, bases observed in seeds were novel. Notably, plant regulatory landscapes from different tissues, cell types, or developmental stages were more dynamic than those generated from bulk tissue in response to environmental perturbations, highlighting the importance of extending studies of regulatory DNA to single tissues and cell types during development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2019.01434DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6868056PMC
November 2019

α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Signaling Modulates Ovine Fetal Brain Astrocytes Transcriptome in Response to Endotoxin.

Front Immunol 2019 9;10:1063. Epub 2019 May 9.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Department of Neurosciences, CHU Ste-Justine Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada.

Neuroinflammation may result in lifelong neurological disabilities. Astrocytes play a pivotal role in this process, but the mechanisms are poorly understood. No early postnatal treatment strategies exist to enhance neuroprotective potential of astrocytes. We hypothesized that agonism on α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) in fetal astrocytes will augment their neuroprotective transcriptome profile, while the inhibition of α7nAChR will achieve the opposite. Using an - model of developmental programming of neuroinflammation induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS), we validated this hypothesis in primary fetal sheep astrocytes cultures re-exposed to LPS in the presence of a selective α7nAChR agonist or antagonist. Our RNAseq findings show that a pro-inflammatory astrocyte transcriptome phenotype acquired by LPS stimulation is reversed with α7nAChR agonistic stimulation. Conversely, α7nAChR inhibition potentiates the pro-inflammatory astrocytic transcriptome phenotype. Furthermore, we conducted a secondary transcriptome analysis against the identical α7nAChR experiments in fetal sheep primary microglia cultures. Similar to findings in fetal microglia, in fetal astrocytes we observed a memory effect of exposure to inflammation, expressed in a perturbation of the iron homeostasis signaling pathway (hemoxygenase 1, HMOX1), which persisted under pre-treatment with α7nAChR antagonist but was reversed with α7nAChR agonist. For both glia cell types, common pathways activated due to LPS included neuroinflammation signaling and NF-κB signaling in some, but not all comparisons. However, overall, the overlap on the level of signaling pathways was rather minimal. Astrocytes, not microglia-the primary immune cells of the brain, were characterized by unique inhibition patterns of STAT3 pathway due to agonistic stimulation of α7nAChR prior to LPS exposure. Lastly, we discuss the implications of our findings for fetal and postnatal brain development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.01063DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520997PMC
September 2020

Association of MTOR Mutations With Developmental Brain Disorders, Including Megalencephaly, Focal Cortical Dysplasia, and Pigmentary Mosaicism.

JAMA Neurol 2016 07;73(7):836-845

Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.

Importance: Focal cortical dysplasia (FCD), hemimegalencephaly, and megalencephaly constitute a spectrum of malformations of cortical development with shared neuropathologic features. These disorders are associated with significant childhood morbidity and mortality.

Objective: To identify the underlying molecular cause of FCD, hemimegalencephaly, and diffuse megalencephaly.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Patients with FCD, hemimegalencephaly, or megalencephaly (mean age, 11.7 years; range, 2-32 years) were recruited from Pediatric Hospital A. Meyer, the University of Hong Kong, and Seattle Children's Research Institute from June 2012 to June 2014. Whole-exome sequencing (WES) was performed on 8 children with FCD or hemimegalencephaly using standard-depth (50-60X) sequencing in peripheral samples (blood, saliva, or skin) from the affected child and their parents and deep (150-180X) sequencing in affected brain tissue. Targeted sequencing and WES were used to screen 93 children with molecularly unexplained diffuse or focal brain overgrowth. Histopathologic and functional assays of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-AKT (serine/threonine kinase)-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway activity in resected brain tissue and cultured neurons were performed to validate mutations.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Whole-exome sequencing and targeted sequencing identified variants associated with this spectrum of developmental brain disorders.

Results: Low-level mosaic mutations of MTOR were identified in brain tissue in 4 children with FCD type 2a with alternative allele fractions ranging from 0.012 to 0.086. Intermediate-level mosaic mutation of MTOR (p.Thr1977Ile) was also identified in 3 unrelated children with diffuse megalencephaly and pigmentary mosaicism in skin. Finally, a constitutional de novo mutation of MTOR (p.Glu1799Lys) was identified in 3 unrelated children with diffuse megalencephaly and intellectual disability. Molecular and functional analysis in 2 children with FCD2a from whom multiple affected brain tissue samples were available revealed a mutation gradient with an epicenter in the most epileptogenic area. When expressed in cultured neurons, all MTOR mutations identified here drive constitutive activation of mTOR complex 1 and enlarged neuronal size.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this study, mutations of MTOR were associated with a spectrum of brain overgrowth phenotypes extending from FCD type 2a to diffuse megalencephaly, distinguished by different mutations and levels of mosaicism. These mutations may be sufficient to cause cellular hypertrophy in cultured neurons and may provide a demonstration of the pattern of mosaicism in brain and substantiate the link between mosaic mutations of MTOR and pigmentary mosaicism in skin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.0363DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4979321PMC
July 2016

Mapping and dynamics of regulatory DNA and transcription factor networks in A. thaliana.

Cell Rep 2014 Sep 15;8(6):2015-2030. Epub 2014 Sep 15.

Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. Electronic address:

Our understanding of gene regulation in plants is constrained by our limited knowledge of plant cis-regulatory DNA and its dynamics. We mapped DNase I hypersensitive sites (DHSs) in A. thaliana seedlings and used genomic footprinting to delineate ∼ 700,000 sites of in vivo transcription factor (TF) occupancy at nucleotide resolution. We show that variation associated with 72 diverse quantitative phenotypes localizes within DHSs. TF footprints encode an extensive cis-regulatory lexicon subject to recent evolutionary pressures, and widespread TF binding within exons may have shaped codon usage patterns. The architecture of A. thaliana TF regulatory networks is strikingly similar to that of animals in spite of diverged regulatory repertoires. We analyzed regulatory landscape dynamics during heat shock and photomorphogenesis, disclosing thousands of environmentally sensitive elements and enabling mapping of key TF regulatory circuits underlying these fundamental responses. Our results provide an extensive resource for the study of A. thaliana gene regulation and functional biology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2014.08.019DOI Listing
September 2014

Genome-scale mapping of DNase I hypersensitivity.

Curr Protoc Mol Biol 2013 Jul;Chapter 27:Unit 21.27

Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

DNase I-seq is a global and high-resolution method that uses the nonspecific endonuclease DNase I to map chromatin accessibility. These accessible regions, designated as DNase I hypersensitive sites (DHSs), define the regulatory features, (e.g., promoters, enhancers, insulators, and locus control regions) of complex genomes. In this unit, methods are described for nuclei isolation, digestion of nuclei with limiting concentrations of DNase I, and the biochemical fractionation of DNase I hypersensitive sites in preparation for high-throughput sequencing. DNase I-seq is an unbiased and robust method that is not predicated on an a priori understanding of regulatory patterns or chromatin features.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/0471142727.mb2127s103DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4405172PMC
July 2013

Targeted resequencing in epileptic encephalopathies identifies de novo mutations in CHD2 and SYNGAP1.

Nat Genet 2013 Jul 26;45(7):825-30. Epub 2013 May 26.

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Genetic Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Epileptic encephalopathies are a devastating group of epilepsies with poor prognosis, of which the majority are of unknown etiology. We perform targeted massively parallel resequencing of 19 known and 46 candidate genes for epileptic encephalopathy in 500 affected individuals (cases) to identify new genes involved and to investigate the phenotypic spectrum associated with mutations in known genes. Overall, we identified pathogenic mutations in 10% of our cohort. Six of the 46 candidate genes had 1 or more pathogenic variants, collectively accounting for 3% of our cohort. We show that de novo CHD2 and SYNGAP1 mutations are new causes of epileptic encephalopathies, accounting for 1.2% and 1% of cases, respectively. We also expand the phenotypic spectra explained by SCN1A, SCN2A and SCN8A mutations. To our knowledge, this is the largest cohort of cases with epileptic encephalopathies to undergo targeted resequencing. Implementation of this rapid and efficient method will change diagnosis and understanding of the molecular etiologies of these disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.2646DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704157PMC
July 2013

Widespread plasticity in CTCF occupancy linked to DNA methylation.

Genome Res 2012 Sep;22(9):1680-8

Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.

CTCF is a ubiquitously expressed regulator of fundamental genomic processes including transcription, intra- and interchromosomal interactions, and chromatin structure. Because of its critical role in genome function, CTCF binding patterns have long been assumed to be largely invariant across different cellular environments. Here we analyze genome-wide occupancy patterns of CTCF by ChIP-seq in 19 diverse human cell types, including normal primary cells and immortal lines. We observed highly reproducible yet surprisingly plastic genomic binding landscapes, indicative of strong cell-selective regulation of CTCF occupancy. Comparison with massively parallel bisulfite sequencing data indicates that 41% of variable CTCF binding is linked to differential DNA methylation, concentrated at two critical positions within the CTCF recognition sequence. Unexpectedly, CTCF binding patterns were markedly different in normal versus immortal cells, with the latter showing widespread disruption of CTCF binding associated with increased methylation. Strikingly, this disruption is accompanied by up-regulation of CTCF expression, with the result that both normal and immortal cells maintain the same average number of CTCF occupancy sites genome-wide. These results reveal a tight linkage between DNA methylation and the global occupancy patterns of a major sequence-specific regulatory factor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gr.136101.111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3431485PMC
September 2012

An expansive human regulatory lexicon encoded in transcription factor footprints.

Nature 2012 Sep;489(7414):83-90

Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.

Regulatory factor binding to genomic DNA protects the underlying sequence from cleavage by DNase I, leaving nucleotide-resolution footprints. Using genomic DNase I footprinting across 41 diverse cell and tissue types, we detected 45 million transcription factor occupancy events within regulatory regions, representing differential binding to 8.4 million distinct short sequence elements. Here we show that this small genomic sequence compartment, roughly twice the size of the exome, encodes an expansive repertoire of conserved recognition sequences for DNA-binding proteins that nearly doubles the size of the human cis-regulatory lexicon. We find that genetic variants affecting allelic chromatin states are concentrated in footprints, and that these elements are preferentially sheltered from DNA methylation. High-resolution DNase I cleavage patterns mirror nucleotide-level evolutionary conservation and track the crystallographic topography of protein-DNA interfaces, indicating that transcription factor structure has been evolutionarily imprinted on the human genome sequence. We identify a stereotyped 50-base-pair footprint that precisely defines the site of transcript origination within thousands of human promoters. Finally, we describe a large collection of novel regulatory factor recognition motifs that are highly conserved in both sequence and function, and exhibit cell-selective occupancy patterns that closely parallel major regulators of development, differentiation and pluripotency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11212DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736582PMC
September 2012

The accessible chromatin landscape of the human genome.

Nature 2012 Sep;489(7414):75-82

Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.

DNase I hypersensitive sites (DHSs) are markers of regulatory DNA and have underpinned the discovery of all classes of cis-regulatory elements including enhancers, promoters, insulators, silencers and locus control regions. Here we present the first extensive map of human DHSs identified through genome-wide profiling in 125 diverse cell and tissue types. We identify ∼2.9 million DHSs that encompass virtually all known experimentally validated cis-regulatory sequences and expose a vast trove of novel elements, most with highly cell-selective regulation. Annotating these elements using ENCODE data reveals novel relationships between chromatin accessibility, transcription, DNA methylation and regulatory factor occupancy patterns. We connect ∼580,000 distal DHSs with their target promoters, revealing systematic pairing of different classes of distal DHSs and specific promoter types. Patterning of chromatin accessibility at many regulatory regions is organized with dozens to hundreds of co-activated elements, and the transcellular DNase I sensitivity pattern at a given region can predict cell-type-specific functional behaviours. The DHS landscape shows signatures of recent functional evolutionary constraint. However, the DHS compartment in pluripotent and immortalized cells exhibits higher mutation rates than that in highly differentiated cells, exposing an unexpected link between chromatin accessibility, proliferative potential and patterns of human variation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11232DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3721348PMC
September 2012

Zebrafish globin switching occurs in two developmental stages and is controlled by the LCR.

Dev Biol 2012 Jun 19;366(2):185-94. Epub 2012 Apr 19.

Stem Cell Program and Division of Hematology/Oncology, Children's Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Harvard Medical School, 1 Blackfan Cir., Karp 7, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Globin gene switching is a complex, highly regulated process allowing expression of distinct globin genes at specific developmental stages. Here, for the first time, we have characterized all of the zebrafish globins based on the completed genomic sequence. Two distinct chromosomal loci, termed major (chromosome 3) and minor (chromosome 12), harbor the globin genes containing α/β pairs in a 5'-3' to 3'-5' orientation. Both these loci share synteny with the mammalian α-globin locus. Zebrafish globin expression was assayed during development and demonstrated two globin switches, similar to human development. A conserved regulatory element, the locus control region (LCR), was revealed by analyzing DNase I hypersensitive sites, H3K4 trimethylation marks and GATA1 binding sites. Surprisingly, the position of these sites with relation to the globin genes is evolutionarily conserved, despite a lack of overall sequence conservation. Motifs within the zebrafish LCR include CACCC, GATA, and NFE2 sites, suggesting functional interactions with known transcription factors but not the same LCR architecture. Functional homology to the mammalian α-LCR MCS-R2 region was confirmed by robust and specific reporter expression in erythrocytes of transgenic zebrafish. Our studies provide a comprehensive characterization of the zebrafish globin loci and clarify the regulation of globin switching.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2012.03.021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3378398PMC
June 2012

Sequencing newly replicated DNA reveals widespread plasticity in human replication timing.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2010 Jan 4;107(1):139-44. Epub 2009 Dec 4.

Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Genetics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

Faithful transmission of genetic material to daughter cells involves a characteristic temporal order of DNA replication, which may play a significant role in the inheritance of epigenetic states. We developed a genome-scale approach--Repli Seq--to map temporally ordered replicating DNA using massively parallel sequencing and applied it to study regional variation in human DNA replication time across multiple human cell types. The method requires as few as 8,000 cytometry-fractionated cells for a single analysis, and provides high-resolution DNA replication patterns with respect to both cell-cycle time and genomic position. We find that different cell types exhibit characteristic replication signatures that reveal striking plasticity in regional replication time patterns covering at least 50% of the human genome. We also identified autosomal regions with marked biphasic replication timing that include known regions of monoallelic expression as well as many previously uncharacterized domains. Comparison with high-resolution genome-wide profiles of DNaseI sensitivity revealed that DNA replication typically initiates within foci of accessible chromatin comprising clustered DNaseI hypersensitive sites, and that replication time is better correlated with chromatin accessibility than with gene expression. The data collectively provide a unique, genome-wide picture of the epigenetic compartmentalization of the human genome and suggest that cell-lineage specification involves extensive reprogramming of replication timing patterns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0912402107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2806781PMC
January 2010

Assaying the regulatory potential of mammalian conserved non-coding sequences in human cells.

Genome Biol 2008 2;9(12):R168. Epub 2008 Dec 2.

Department of Genetic Medicine and Development, University of Geneva Medical School, 1 rue Michel Servet, 1211, Geneva 4, Switzerland.

Background: Conserved non-coding sequences in the human genome are approximately tenfold more abundant than known genes, and have been hypothesized to mark the locations of cis-regulatory elements. However, the global contribution of conserved non-coding sequences to the transcriptional regulation of human genes is currently unknown. Deeply conserved elements shared between humans and teleost fish predominantly flank genes active during morphogenesis and are enriched for positive transcriptional regulatory elements. However, such deeply conserved elements account for <1% of the conserved non-coding sequences in the human genome, which are predominantly mammalian.

Results: We explored the regulatory potential of a large sample of these 'common' conserved non-coding sequences using a variety of classic assays, including chromatin remodeling, and enhancer/repressor and promoter activity. When tested across diverse human model cell types, we find that the fraction of experimentally active conserved non-coding sequences within any given cell type is low (approximately 5%), and that this proportion increases only modestly when considered collectively across cell types.

Conclusions: The results suggest that classic assays of cis-regulatory potential are unlikely to expose the functional potential of the substantial majority of mammalian conserved non-coding sequences in the human genome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/gb-2008-9-12-r168DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2646272PMC
March 2009

Dual origin of tissue-specific progenitor cells in Drosophila tracheal remodeling.

Science 2008 Sep 31;321(5895):1496-9. Epub 2008 Jul 31.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Biochemistry, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5307, USA.

During Drosophila metamorphosis, most larval cells die. Pupal and adult tissues form from imaginal cells, tissue-specific progenitors allocated in embryogenesis that remain quiescent during embryonic and larval life. Clonal analysis and fate mapping of single, identified cells show that tracheal system remodeling at metamorphosis involves a classical imaginal cell population and a population of differentiated, functional larval tracheal cells that reenter the cell cycle and regain developmental potency. In late larvae, both populations are activated and proliferate, spread over and replace old branches, and diversify into various stalk and coiled tracheolar cells under control of fibroblast growth factor signaling. Thus, Drosophila pupal/adult tissue progenitors can arise both by early allocation of multipotent cells and late return of differentiated cells to a multipotent state, even within a single tissue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1158712DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3999966PMC
September 2008

Mapping and sequencing of structural variation from eight human genomes.

Nature 2008 May;453(7191):56-64

Department of Genome Sciences and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.

Genetic variation among individual humans occurs on many different scales, ranging from gross alterations in the human karyotype to single nucleotide changes. Here we explore variation on an intermediate scale--particularly insertions, deletions and inversions affecting from a few thousand to a few million base pairs. We employed a clone-based method to interrogate this intermediate structural variation in eight individuals of diverse geographic ancestry. Our analysis provides a comprehensive overview of the normal pattern of structural variation present in these genomes, refining the location of 1,695 structural variants. We find that 50% were seen in more than one individual and that nearly half lay outside regions of the genome previously described as structurally variant. We discover 525 new insertion sequences that are not present in the human reference genome and show that many of these are variable in copy number between individuals. Complete sequencing of 261 structural variants reveals considerable locus complexity and provides insights into the different mutational processes that have shaped the human genome. These data provide the first high-resolution sequence map of human structural variation--a standard for genotyping platforms and a prelude to future individual genome sequencing projects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature06862DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2424287PMC
May 2008

Identification and analysis of functional elements in 1% of the human genome by the ENCODE pilot project.

Nature 2007 Jun;447(7146):799-816

We report the generation and analysis of functional data from multiple, diverse experiments performed on a targeted 1% of the human genome as part of the pilot phase of the ENCODE Project. These data have been further integrated and augmented by a number of evolutionary and computational analyses. Together, our results advance the collective knowledge about human genome function in several major areas. First, our studies provide convincing evidence that the genome is pervasively transcribed, such that the majority of its bases can be found in primary transcripts, including non-protein-coding transcripts, and those that extensively overlap one another. Second, systematic examination of transcriptional regulation has yielded new understanding about transcription start sites, including their relationship to specific regulatory sequences and features of chromatin accessibility and histone modification. Third, a more sophisticated view of chromatin structure has emerged, including its inter-relationship with DNA replication and transcriptional regulation. Finally, integration of these new sources of information, in particular with respect to mammalian evolution based on inter- and intra-species sequence comparisons, has yielded new mechanistic and evolutionary insights concerning the functional landscape of the human genome. Together, these studies are defining a path for pursuit of a more comprehensive characterization of human genome function.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2212820PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature05874DOI Listing
June 2007

Genome-scale mapping of DNase I sensitivity in vivo using tiling DNA microarrays.

Nat Methods 2006 Jul;3(7):511-8

Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington, 1705 NE Pacific St., Box 357730, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.

Localized accessibility of critical DNA sequences to the regulatory machinery is a key requirement for regulation of human genes. Here we describe a high-resolution, genome-scale approach for quantifying chromatin accessibility by measuring DNase I sensitivity as a continuous function of genome position using tiling DNA microarrays (DNase-array). We demonstrate this approach across 1% ( approximately 30 Mb) of the human genome, wherein we localized 2,690 classical DNase I hypersensitive sites with high sensitivity and specificity, and also mapped larger-scale patterns of chromatin architecture. DNase I hypersensitive sites exhibit marked aggregation around transcriptional start sites (TSSs), though the majority mark nonpromoter functional elements. We also developed a computational approach for visualizing higher-order features of chromatin structure. This revealed that human chromatin organization is dominated by large (100-500 kb) 'superclusters' of DNase I hypersensitive sites, which encompass both gene-rich and gene-poor regions. DNase-array is a powerful and straightforward approach for systematic exposition of the cis-regulatory architecture of complex genomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nmeth890DOI Listing
July 2006

Interstitial uniparental isodisomy at clustered breakpoint intervals is a frequent mechanism of NF1 inactivation in myeloid malignancies.

Blood 2006 Sep 11;108(5):1684-9. Epub 2006 May 11.

Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Medical Genetics 357720, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

To identify the mechanism of loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and potential modifier gene(s), we investigated the molecular basis of somatic NF1 inactivation in myeloid malignancies from 10 children with neurofibromatosis type 1. Loci across a minimal 50-Mb region of primarily the long arm of chromosome 17 showed LOH in 8 cases, whereas a less than 9-Mb region of loci flanking NF1 had LOH in the remaining 2 cases. Two complementary techniques, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), were used to determine whether the copy number at loci that showed LOH was 1 or 2 (ie, deleted or isodisomic). The 2 cases with LOH limited to less than 9 Mb were intrachromosomal deletions. Among the 8 leukemias with 50-Mb LOH segments, 4 had partial uniparental isodisomy and 4 had interstitial uniparental isodisomy. These isodisomic cases showed clustering of the centromeric and telomeric LOH breakpoints. This suggests that the cases with interstitial uniparental isodisomy arose in a leukemia-initiating cell by double-homologous recombination events at intervals of preferred mitotic recombination. Homozygous inactivation of NF1 favored outgrowth of the leukemia-initiating cell. Our studies demonstrate that LOH analyses of loci distributed along the chromosomal length along with copy-number analysis can reveal novel mechanisms of LOH that may potentially identify regions harboring "cryptic" tumor suppressor or modifier genes whose inactivation contributes to tumorigenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2005-11-011486DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1895516PMC
September 2006

Aspergillus fumigatus variant with decreased susceptibility to multiple antifungals.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2004 Apr;48(4):1197-203

Program in Infectious Diseases, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA.

Isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus that demonstrate resistance to itraconazole (ITZ) have been described previously; however, the prevalence and clinical significance of ITZ resistance are not completely understood. In this study we assessed the ITZ susceptibilities of 128 A. fumigatus isolates that caused invasive infection in 82 stem cell transplant patients before and after the use of ITZ in our institution (study period, 1991 to 2000). The MICs for 10 isolates obtained from seven patients were high, > or 1 microg/ml. The average ITZ MIC increased after institutional use of the drug began in 1995. The majority of the isolates for which MICs were high (6 of 10) and one isolate for which the MIC was low (0.06 microg/ml) demonstrated an unusual phenotype, appearing as predominantly white colonies. For all seven atypical isolates, voriconazole MICs were high (> or = 2 microg/ml), and minimal effective concentrations of caspofungin were high (> or 4 microg/ml). For two of the seven atypical isolates, amphotericin B MICs were high (> or 2 microg/ml). The isolates appeared white due to slow sporulation; however, after prolonged incubations, the isolates sporulated with no difference in conidial color or conidiophore morphology compared with typical isolates. Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA-PCR patterns of these isolates were distinct compared with those of other A. fumigatus isolates. Sequencing of 18S rRNA genes confirmed that all were A. fumigatus; however, the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences of all the atypical isolates were unique. These data suggest the potential presence of a genetically unique, poorly sporulating variant of A. fumigatus that demonstrates decreased susceptibilities to several antifungals.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC375298PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AAC.48.4.1197-1203.2004DOI Listing
April 2004

Tissue interactions pattern the mesenchyme of the embryonic mouse lung.

Dev Biol 2003 Jun;258(1):169-84

Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232-2175, USA.

The mechanisms that control proliferation and differentiation of embryonic lung mesenchyme are largely unknown. We describe an explant system in which exogenous recombinant N-Sonic Hedgehog (N-Shh) protein sustains the survival and proliferation of lung mesenchyme in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, Shh upregulates several mesenchymal cell markers, including its target gene Patched (Ptc), intercellular signaling genes Bone Morphogenetic Protein-4 (Bmp4) and Noggin (Nog), and smooth muscle actin and myosin. In explants exposed to N-Shh in the medium, these products are upregulated throughout the mesenchyme, but not in the periphery. This exclusion zone correlates with the presence of an overlying mesothelial layer, which, as in vivo, expresses Fibroblast Growth Factor 9 (Fgf9). Recombinant Fgf9 protein inhibits the differentiation response of the mesenchyme to N-Shh, but does not affect proliferation. We propose a model for how factors made by two epithelial cell populations, the inner endoderm and the outer jacket of mesothelium, coordinately regulate the proliferation and differentiation of the lung mesoderm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0012-1606(03)00117-9DOI Listing
June 2003
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