Biol Direct 2017 Sep 15;12(1):22. Epub 2017 Sep 15.
Faculty of Information Technology and Bionics, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Práter Street 50/A, Budapest, H-1085, Hungary.
Background: Bacterial species present in multispecies microbial communities often react to the same chemical signal but at vastly different concentrations. The existence of different response thresholds with respect to the same signal molecule has been well documented in quorum sensing which is one of the best studied inter-cellular signalling mechanisms in bacteria. The biological significance of this phenomenon is still poorly understood, and cannot be easily studied in nature or in laboratory models. Read More
Background: Oil palm is an important source of edible oil. The importance of the crop, as well as its long breeding cycle (10-12 years) has led to the sequencing of its genome in 2013 to pave the way for genomics-guided breeding. Nevertheless, the first set of gene predictions, although useful, had many fragmented genes. Read More
Biol Direct 2017 Aug 29;12(1):20. Epub 2017 Aug 29.
Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, North Carolina State University, 400 Dan Allen Drive, Schaub Hall, Campus box 7624, Raleigh, NC, 27695-7624, USA.
Background: Much effort is underway to build and upgrade databases and tools related to occurrence, diversity, and characterization of CRISPR-Cas systems. As microbial communities and their genome complements are unearthed, much emphasis has been placed on details of individual strains and model systems within the CRISPR-Cas classification, and that collection of information as a whole affords the opportunity to analyze CRISPR-Cas systems from a quantitative perspective to gain insight into distribution of CRISPR array sizes across the different classes, types and subtypes. CRISPR diversity, nomenclature, occurrence, and biological functions have generated a plethora of data that created a need to understand the size and distribution of these various systems to appreciate their features and complexity. Read More
Biol Direct 2017 Aug 14;12(1):19. Epub 2017 Aug 14.
Eötvös Loránd University, Department of Plant Systematics, Ecology and Theoretical Biology, Pázmány P. sétány 1/C, Budapest, 1117, Hungary.
The origin of mitochondria is a unique and hard evolutionary problem, embedded within the origin of eukaryotes. The puzzle is challenging due to the egalitarian nature of the transition where lower-level units took over energy metabolism. Contending theories widely disagree on ancestral partners, initial conditions and unfolding of events. Read More
Biol Direct 2017 Aug 11;12(1):18. Epub 2017 Aug 11.
Center for Information Services and High Performance Computing, Technische Universität Dresden, Nöthnitzer Str. 46, Dresden, 01062, Germany.
Background: Cancer cell invasion, dissemination, and metastasis have been linked to an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of individual tumour cells. During EMT, adhesion molecules like E-cadherin are downregulated and the decrease of cell-cell adhesion allows tumour cells to dissociate from the primary tumour mass. This complex process depends on intracellular cues that are subject to genetic and epigenetic variability, as well as extrinsic cues from the local environment resulting in a spatial heterogeneity in the adhesive phenotype of individual tumour cells. Read More
Background: Transcription factor binding affinities to DNA play a key role for the gene regulation. Learning the specificity of the mechanisms of binding TFs to DNA is important both to experimentalists and theoreticians. With the development of high-throughput methods such as, e. Read More
Background: During the generation and evolution of the eukaryotic cell, a proteobacterial endosymbiont was re-fashioned into the mitochondrion, an organelle that appears to have been present in the ancestor of all present-day eukaryotes. Mitochondria harbor proteomes derived from coding information located both inside and outside the organelle, and the rate-limiting step toward the formation of eukaryotic cells may have been development of an import apparatus allowing protein entry to mitochondria. Currently, a widely conserved translocon allows proteins to pass from the cytosol into mitochondria, but how proteins encoded outside of mitochondria were first directed to these organelles at the dawn of eukaryogenesis is not clear. Read More
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play a key role in normal tissue differentiation and cancer development through their tissue-specific expression in the human transcriptome. Recent investigations of macromolecular interactions have shown that tissue-specific lncRNAs form base-pairing interactions with various mRNAs associated with tissue-differentiation, suggesting that tissue specificity is an important factor controlling human lncRNA-mRNA interactions.Here, we report investigations of the tissue specificities of lncRNAs and mRNAs by using RNA-seq data across various human tissues as well as computational predictions of tissue-specific lncRNA-mRNA interactions inferred by integrating the tissue specificity of lncRNAs and mRNAs into our comprehensive prediction of human lncRNA-RNA interactions. Read More
Background: A basic tenet of protein science is that all information about the spatial structure of proteins is present in their sequences. Nonetheless, many proteins fail to attain native structure upon experimental denaturation and refolding in vitro, raising the question of the specific role of cellular machinery in protein folding in vivo. Recently, we hypothesized that energy-dependent twisting of the protein backbone is an unappreciated essential factor guiding the protein folding process in vivo. Read More
We report a comprehensive computational dissection of the domain architecture of the SAMD9 family proteins that are involved in antivirus and antitumor response in humans. We show that the SAMD9 protein family is represented in most animals and also, unexpectedly, in bacteria, in particular actinomycetes. From the N to C terminus, the core SAMD9 family architecture includes DNA/RNA-binding AlbA domain, a variant Sir2-like domain, a STAND-like P-loop NTPase, an array of TPR repeats and an OB-fold domain with predicted RNA-binding properties. Read More
The protein Gcn1 (General control non-derepressible 1) is found in virtually all eukaryotes, and is a key component of the general amino acid control signal transduction pathway. This pathway is best known for its importance for cells to sense and overcome amino acid starvation. Gcn1 directly binds to the RWD (RING finger-containing proteins, WD-repeat-containing proteins, and yeast DEAD (DEXD)-like helicases) domain of the protein kinase Gcn2, and this is essential for delivering the starvation signal to Gcn2. Read More
ᅟ: Symmetry is an eye-catching feature of animal body plans, yet its causes are not well enough understood. The evolution of animal form is mainly due to changes in gene regulatory networks (GRNs). Based on theoretical considerations regarding fundamental GRN properties, it has recently been proposed that the animal genome, on large time scales, should be regarded as a system which can construct both the main symmetries - radial and bilateral - simultaneously; and that the expression of any of these depends on functional constraints. Read More
Background: Rhododendron chrysanthum Pall., an endangered species with significant ornamental and medicinal value, is endemic to the Changbai Mountain of China and can also serve as a significant plant resource for investigating the stress tolerance in plants. Proteomics is an effective analytical tool that provides significant information about plant metabolism and gene expression. Read More
Background: TRIF is a key protein in antiviral innate immunity, operating downstream of TLRs. TRIF activation leads to the production of interferon-β and pro-inflammatory cytokines. There is evidence from experiments to suggest that the N-terminal domain of TRIF binds to its TIR domain to avoid constitutive activation. Read More
Background: The transition between epithelial and mesenchymal phenotypes (EMT) occurs in a variety of contexts. It is critical for mammalian development and it is also involved in tumor initiation and progression. Master transcription factor (TF) regulators of this process are conserved between mouse and human. Read More
Background: Wright's metaphor of the fitness landscape has shaped and conditioned our view of the adaptation of populations for almost a century. Since its inception, and including criticism raised by Wright himself, the concept has been surrounded by controversy. Among others, the debate stems from the intrinsic difficulty to capture important features of the space of genotypes, such as its high dimensionality or the existence of abundant ridges, in a visually appealing two-dimensional picture. Read More
Mutations in the gene encoding for the E3 ubiquitin ligase Parkin are associated to a rare form of familiar autosomal recessive Parkinsonism. Despite decades of research on the Parkin protein, whose structure has been recently solved, little is known about the specific signalling pathways that lead to Parkin activation. Parkin activity spans from mitochondria quality control to tumor suppression and stress protection; it is thus tempting to hypothesize that the broad impact of Parkin on cellular physiology might be the result of different post translational modifications that can be controlled by balanced opposing events. Read More
Complementarity between nucleic acid molecules is central to biological information transfer processes. Apart from the basal processes of replication, transcription and translation, complementarity is also employed by multiple defense and regulatory systems. All cellular life forms possess defense systems against viruses and mobile genetic elements, and in most of them some of the defense mechanisms involve small guide RNAs or DNAs that recognize parasite genomes and trigger their inactivation. Read More
Background: Recent developments of high throughput sequencing technologies allow the characterization of the microbial communities inhabiting our world. Various metagenomic studies have suggested using microbial taxa as potential biomarkers for certain diseases. In practice, the number of available samples varies from experiment to experiment. Read More
The past decade has seen dramatic progress in our understanding of membrane contact sites (MCS). Important examples of these are endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-mitochondria contact sites. ER-mitochondria contacts have originally been discovered in mammalian tissue, where they have been designated as mitochondria-associated membranes (MAMs). Read More
Istituto Dalle Molle di studi sull'Intelligenza Artificiale (IDSIA), Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana (SUPSI), Università della Svizzera italiana (USI), Centro Galleria 2, Manno, CH-6928, Switzerland.
Background: Molecular phenomena driving pathological aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases are not completely understood yet. Peculiar is the case of Spinocerebellar Ataxia 3 (SCA3) where the conformational properties of the AT-3 N-terminal region, also called Josephin Domain (JD), play a key role in the first step of aggregation, having the JD an amyloidogenic propensity itself. For this reason, unraveling the intimate relationship between JD structural features and aggregation tendency may lead to a step forward in understanding the pathology and rationally design a cure. Read More
Background: Sites of positive selection are identified by comparing observed evolutionary patterns to those expected under a null model for evolution in the absence of such selection. For protein-coding genes, the most common null model is that nonsynonymous and synonymous mutations fix at equal rates; this unrealistic model has limited power to detect many interesting forms of selection.
Results: I describe a new approach that uses a null model based on experimental measurements of a gene's site-specific amino-acid preferences generated by deep mutational scanning in the lab. Read More
Background: Acanthamoebidae is a "family" level amoebozoan group composed of the genera Acanthamoeba, Protacanthamoeba, and very recently Luapeleamoeba. This clade of amoebozoans has received considerable attention from the broader scientific community as Acanthamoeba spp. represent both model organisms and human pathogens. Read More
Background: Kidney renal clear cell carcinoma (KIRC) is a type of cancer that is resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy and has limited treatment possibilities. Large-scale molecular profiling of KIRC tumors offers a great potential to uncover the genetic and epigenetic changes underlying this disease and to improve the clinical management of KIRC patients. However, in practice the clinicians and researchers typically focus on single-platform molecular data or on a small set of genes. Read More
Background: It is interesting to study the consistency of outcomes arising from two genomic platforms: Microarray and RNAseq, which are established on fundamentally different technologies. This topic has been frequently discussed from the prospect of comparing differentially expressed genes (DEGs). In this study, we explore the inter-platform concordance between microarray and RNASeq in their ability to classify samples based on genomic information. Read More
Background: The MAQC/SEQC consortium has recently compiled a key benchmark that can serve for testing the latest developments in analysis tools for microarray and RNA-seq expression profiling. Such objective benchmarks are required for basic and applied research, and can be critical for clinical and regulatory outcomes. Going beyond the first comparisons presented in the original SEQC study, we here present extended benchmarks including effect strengths typical of common experiments. Read More
Background: It is believed that all cancers occur due to the mutation or change in one or more genes. In order to investigate the significance of the biological pathways which are interrupted by these genetic mutations, we pursue an integrated analysis using multiple cancer datasets released by the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC). This dataset consists of expression profiles for genes/proteins of patients receiving treatment, for three types of cancer - Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSC), Lung Adenocarcinoma (LUAD) and Kidney Renal Clear Cell Carcinoma (KIRC). Read More
Background: The set of forces and sequence of events that govern the transition from an unfolded polypeptide chain to a functional protein with correct spatial structure remain incompletely known, despite the importance of the problem and decades of theory development, computer simulations, and laboratory experiments. Information about the correctly folded state of most proteins is likely to be present in their sequences, and yet many proteins fail to attain native structure after overexpression in a non-native environment or upon experimental denaturation and refolding.
Presentation Of The Hypothesis: We hypothesize that correct protein folding in vivo is an active, energy-dependent process that most likely applies torque force co-translationally to all proteins and possibly also post-translationally to many proteins in every cell. Read More
Background: While the local-mode HMMER3 is notable for its massive speed improvement, the slower glocal-mode HMMER2 is more exact for domain annotation by enforcing full domain-to-sequence alignments. Since a unit of domain necessarily implies a unit of function, local-mode HMMER3 alone remains insufficient for precise function annotation tasks. In addition, the incomparable E-values for the same domain model by different HMMER builds create difficulty when checking for domain annotation consistency on a large-scale basis. Read More
Background: Most of the eukaryotic genome is transcribed, yielding a complex network of transcripts including thousands of lncRNAs that generally lack protein coding potential. However, only a small percentage of these molecules has been functionally characterised, and discoveries of specific functions demonstrate layers of complexity. A large percentage of lncRNAs is located in the cytoplasm, associated with ribosomes but the function of the majority of these transcripts is unclear. Read More
Background: Importins and exportins influence gene expression by enabling nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of transcription factors. A key transcription factor of innate immunity, NF-κB, is sequestered in the cytoplasm by its inhibitor, IκBα, which masks nuclear localization sequence of NF-κB. In response to TNFα or LPS, IκBα is degraded, which allows importins to bind NF-κB and shepherd it across nuclear pores. Read More
Background: Behavior, while complex and dynamic, is among the most diverse, derived, and rapidly evolving traits in animals. The highly labile nature of heritable behavioral change is observed in such evolutionary phenomena as the emergence of converged behaviors in domesticated animals, the rapid evolution of preferences, and the routine development of ethological isolation between diverging populations and species. In fact, it is believed that nervous system development and its potential to evolve a seemingly infinite array of behavioral innovations played a major role in the successful diversification of metazoans, including our own human lineage. Read More
Key Laboratory for Animal Genetics, Breeding, Reproduction and Molecular Design of Jiangsu Province, College of Animal Science and Technology, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, 225009, People's Republic of China.
Background: Escherichia coli F18 is mainly responsible for post-weaning diarrhea (PWD) in piglets. The molecular regulation of E. coli F18 resistance in Chinese domestic weaned piglets is still obscure. Read More
The presence of only small amounts of misfolded protein is an indication of a healthy proteome. Maintaining proteome health, or more specifically, "proteostasis," is the purview of the "proteostasis network." This network must respond to constant fluctuations in the amount of destabilized proteins caused by errors in protein synthesis and exposure to acute proteotoxic conditions. Read More
Motivation: Transcriptome data from the gene knockout experiment in mouse is widely used to investigate functions of genes and relationship to phenotypes. When a gene is knocked out, it is important to identify which genes are affected by the knockout gene. Existing methods, including differentially expressed gene (DEG) methods, can be used for the analysis. Read More
Biol Direct 2016 Oct 22;11(1):56. Epub 2016 Oct 22.
Departments of Oncology and of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, and Biomathematics, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA.
Background: Current cancer precision medicine strategies match therapies to static consensus molecular properties of an individual's cancer, thus determining the next therapeutic maneuver. These strategies typically maintain a constant treatment while the cancer is not worsening. However, cancers feature complicated sub-clonal structure and dynamic evolution. Read More
Background: Accurate estimation of the isoelectric point (pI) based on the amino acid sequence is useful for many analytical biochemistry and proteomics techniques such as 2-D polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, or capillary isoelectric focusing used in combination with high-throughput mass spectrometry. Additionally, pI estimation can be helpful during protein crystallization trials.
Results: Here, I present the Isoelectric Point Calculator (IPC), a web service and a standalone program for the accurate estimation of protein and peptide pI using different sets of dissociation constant (pKa) values, including two new computationally optimized pKa sets. Read More
Background: The Tim17 family of proteins plays a fundamental role in the biogenesis of mitochondria. Three Tim17 family proteins, Tim17, Tim22, and Tim23, are the central components of the widely conserved multi-subunit protein translocases, TIM23 and TIM22, which mediate protein transport across and into the inner mitochondrial membrane, respectively. In addition, several Tim17 family proteins occupy the inner and outer membranes of plastids. Read More
Background: Evolutionary game theory (EGT) has been widely used to simulate tumour processes. In almost all studies on EGT models analysis is limited to two or three phenotypes. Our model contains four main phenotypes. Read More
Background: Gene covariation networks are commonly used to study biological processes. The inference of gene covariation networks from observational data can be challenging, especially considering the large number of players involved and the small number of biological replicates available for analysis.
Results: We propose a new statistical method for estimating the number of erroneous edges in reconstructed networks that strongly enhances commonly used inference approaches. Read More
Background: Leukemias are malignant proliferative disorders of the blood forming system. Sequencing studies demonstrate that the leukemic cell population consists of multiple clones. The genetic relationship between the different clones, referred to as the clonal hierarchy, shows high interindividual variability. Read More
Background: It has been demonstrated that a pathway-based feature selection method that incorporates biological information within pathways during the process of feature selection usually outperforms a gene-based feature selection algorithm in terms of predictive accuracy and stability. Significance analysis of microarray-gene set reduction algorithm (SAMGSR), an extension to a gene set analysis method with further reduction of the selected pathways to their respective core subsets, can be regarded as a pathway-based feature selection method.
Methods: In SAMGSR, whether a gene is selected is mainly determined by its expression difference between the phenotypes, and partially by the number of pathways to which this gene belongs. Read More
Although biology has achieved great successes in recent years, we have not got a clear idea on "what is life?" Actually, as explained here, the main reason for this situation is that there are two completely distinct aspects for "life", which are usually talked about together. Indeed, in respect to these two aspects: Darwinian evolution and self-sustaining, we must split the concept of life correspondingly, for example, by defining "life form" and "living entity", separately. For life's implementation (related to the two aspects) in nature, three mechanisms are crucial: the replication of DNA/RNA-like polymers by residue-pairing, the sequence-dependent folding of RNA/protein-like polymers engendering special functions, and the assembly of phospholipid-like amphiphiles forming vesicles. Read More
Background: PDZ domains recognize short sequence stretches usually present in C-terminal of their interaction partners. Because of the involvement of PDZ domains in many important biological processes, several attempts have been made for developing bioinformatics tools for genome-wide identification of PDZ interaction networks. Currently available tools for prediction of interaction partners of PDZ domains utilize machine learning approach. Read More
Unlabelled: Recent analyses of next-generation sequencing datasets have shown that cell-specific regulatory elements in stem cells are marked with distinguishable patterns of transcription factor (TF) binding and epigenetic marks. For example, we recently demonstrated that promoters of cell-specific genes are covered with expanded trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me3) marks (i.e. Read More
Background: Cpf1 nucleases have recently been repurposed for site-specific genome modification. Two members of the Cpf1 family, the AsCpf1 from Acidaminococcus sp. and the LbCpf1 from Lachnospiraceae bacterium were shown to induce higher indel frequencies than SpCas9 when examining four randomly-selected target sequences for each type of nuclease. Read More
Unlabelled: Intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) of proteins fulfill important regulatory roles in most organisms. However, the proteins of certain endosymbiont and intracellular pathogenic bacteria with extremely reduced genomes contain disproportionately small amounts of IDRs, consisting almost entirely of folded domains. As their genomes co-evolving with their hosts have been reduced in unrelated lineages, the proteomes of these bacteria represent independently evolved minimal protein sets. Read More
Background: Species-rich adaptive radiations arising from rare plant and animal colonizers are common on remote volcanic archipelagoes. However, they present a paradox. The severe genetic bottleneck of founder events and effects of inbreeding depression, coupled with the inherently stressful volcanic environment, would seem to predict reduced evolutionary potential and increased risk of extinction, rather than rapid adaptive divergence and speciation. Read More
Background: A thorough understanding of the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that drive the phenotypic evolution of neoplastic cells is a timely and key challenge for the cancer research community. In this respect, mathematical modelling can complement experimental cancer research by offering alternative means of understanding the results of in vitro and in vivo experiments, and by allowing for a quick and easy exploration of a variety of biological scenarios through in silico studies.
Results: To elucidate the roles of phenotypic plasticity and selection pressures in tumour relapse, we present here a phenotype-structured model of evolutionary dynamics in a cancer cell population which is exposed to the action of a cytotoxic drug. Read More
Unlabelled: In this work we review past articles that have mathematically studied cancer heterogeneity and the impact of this heterogeneity on the structure of optimal therapy. We look at past works on modeling how heterogeneous tumors respond to radiotherapy, and take a particularly close look at how the optimal radiotherapy schedule is modified by the presence of heterogeneity. In addition, we review past works on the study of optimal chemotherapy when dealing with heterogeneous tumors. Read More