Functional Abstraction as a Method to Discover Knowledge in Gene Ontologies
- Computational analyses of functions of gene sets obtained in microarray analyses or by topical database searches are increasingly important in biology. To understand their functions, the sets are usually mapped to Gene Ontology knowledge bases by means of over-representation analysis (ORA). Its result represents the specific knowledge of the functionality of the gene set. However, the specific ontology typically consists of many terms and relationships, hindering the understanding of the ‘main story’. We developed a methodology to identify a comprehensibly small number of GO terms as “headlines” of the specific ontology allowing to understand all central aspects of the roles of the involved genes. The Functional Abstraction method finds a set of headlines that is specific enough to cover all details of a specific ontology and is abstract enough for human comprehension. This method exceeds the classical approaches at ORA abstraction and by focusing on information rather than decorrelation of GO terms, it directly targets human comprehension. Functional abstraction provides, with a maximum of certainty, information value, coverage and conciseness, a representation of the biological functions in a gene set plays a role. This is the necessary means to interpret complex Gene Ontology results thus strengthening the role of functional genomics in biomarker and drug discovery.
Protein signatures of oxidative stress response in a patient specific cell line model for autism
Andreas G. Chiocchetti
Christine M. Freitag
Johann W. Bauer
Sabine M. Klauck
- BACKGROUND: Known genetic variants can account for 10% to 20% of all cases with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Overlapping cellular pathomechanisms common to neurons of the central nervous system (CNS) and in tissues of peripheral organs, such as immune dysregulation, oxidative stress and dysfunctions in mitochondrial and protein synthesis metabolism, were suggested to support the wide spectrum of ASD on unifying disease phenotype. Here, we studied in patient-derived lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) how an ASD-specific mutation in ribosomal protein RPL10 (RPL10[H213Q]) generates a distinct protein signature. We compared the RPL10[H213Q] expression pattern to expression patterns derived from unrelated ASD patients without RPL10[H213Q] mutation. In addition, a yeast rpl10 deficiency model served in a proof-of-principle study to test for alterations in protein patterns in response to oxidative stress.
METHODS: Protein extracts of LCLs from patients, relatives and controls, as well as diploid yeast cells hemizygous for rpl10, were subjected to two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and differentially regulated spots were identified by mass spectrometry. Subsequently, Gene Ontology database (GO)-term enrichment and network analysis was performed to map the identified proteins into cellular pathways.
RESULTS: The protein signature generated by RPL10[H213Q] is a functionally related subset of the ASD-specific protein signature, sharing redox-sensitive elements in energy-, protein- and redox-metabolism. In yeast, rpl10 deficiency generates a specific protein signature, harboring components of pathways identified in both the RPL10[H213Q] subjects' and the ASD patients' set. Importantly, the rpl10 deficiency signature is a subset of the signature resulting from response of wild-type yeast to oxidative stress.
CONCLUSIONS: Redox-sensitive protein signatures mapping into cellular pathways with pathophysiology in ASD have been identified in both LCLs carrying the ASD-specific mutation RPL10[H213Q] and LCLs from ASD patients without this mutation. At pathway levels, this redox-sensitive protein signature has also been identified in a yeast rpl10 deficiency and an oxidative stress model. These observations point to a common molecular pathomechanism in ASD, characterized in our study by dysregulation of redox balance. Importantly, this can be triggered by the known ASD-RPL10[H213Q] mutation or by yet unknown mutations of the ASD cohort that act upstream of RPL10 in differential expression of redox-sensitive proteins.
Visual Processing of Biological Motion in Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: An Event Related Potential-Study
Christine M. Freitag
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is often accompanied by problems in social behaviour, which are sometimes similar to some symptoms of autism-spectrum disorders (ASD). However, neuronal mechanisms of ASD-like deficits in ADHD have rarely been studied. The processing of biological motion–recently discussed as a marker of social cognition–was found to be disrupted in ASD in several studies. Thus in the present study we tested if biological motion processing is disrupted in ADHD. We used 64-channel EEG and spatio-temporal source analysis to assess event-related potentials associated with human motion processing in 21 children and adolescents with ADHD and 21 matched typically developing controls. On the behavioural level, all subjects were able to differentiate between human and scrambled motion. But in response to both scrambled and biological motion, the N200 amplitude was decreased in subjects with ADHD. After a spatio-temporal dipole analysis, a human motion specific activation was observable in occipital-temporal regions with a reduced and more diffuse activation in ADHD subjects. These results point towards neuronal determined alterations in the processing of biological motion in ADHD.
Safety Evaluation of a Bioglass–Polylactic Acid Composite Scaffold Seeded with Progenitor Cells in a Rat Skull Critical-Size Bone Defect
Abeer M. El-Kady
Mahmoud S. Arbid
Bothaina M. Abd El-Hady
- Treating large bone defects represents a major challenge in traumatic and orthopedic surgery. Bone tissue engineering provides a promising therapeutic option to improve the local bone healing response. In the present study tissue biocompatibility, systemic toxicity and tumorigenicity of a newly developed composite material consisting of polylactic acid (PLA) and 20% or 40% bioglass (BG20 and BG40), respectively, were analyzed. These materials were seeded with mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) and tested in a rat calvarial critical size defect model for 3 months and compared to a scaffold consisting only of PLA. Serum was analyzed for organ damage markers such as GOT and creatinine. Leukocyte count, temperature and free radical indicators were measured to determine the degree of systemic inflammation. Possible tumor occurrence was assessed macroscopically and histologically in slides of liver, kidney and spleen. Furthermore, the concentrations of serum malondialdehyde (MDA) and sodium oxide dismutase (SOD) were assessed as indicators of tumor progression. Qualitative tissue response towards the implants and new bone mass formation was histologically investigated. BG20 and BG40, with or without progenitor cells, did not cause organ damage, long-term systemic inflammatory reactions or tumor formation. BG20 and BG40 supported bone formation, which was further enhanced in the presence of EPCs and MSCs.
This investigation reflects good biocompatibility of the biomaterials BG20 and BG40 and provides evidence that additionally seeding EPCs and MSCs onto the scaffold does not induce tumor formation.
Prevention of Intestinal Allergy in Mice by rflaA:Ova Is Associated with Enforced Antigen Processing and TLR5-Dependent IL-10 Secretion by mDC
- Conjugated vaccines consisting of flagellin and antigen activate TLR5 and induce strong innate and adaptive immune responses. Objective of the present study was to gain further insight into the mechanisms by which flagellin fusion proteins mediate their immune modulating effects. In a mouse model of Ova-induced intestinal allergy a fusion protein of flagellin and Ova (rflaA:Ova) was used for intranasal and intraperitoneal vaccination. Aggregation status of flaA, Ova and flaA:Ova were compared by light scattering, uptake of fluorescence labeled proteins into mDC was analyzed, processing was investigated by microsomal digestion experiments. Mechanism of DC-activation was investigated using proteasome and inflammasome inhibitors. Immune responses of wildtype, IL-10−/−, TLR5−/− mDCs and Ova-transgenic T cells were investigated. Mucosal and i.p.-application of rflaA:Ova were able to prevent allergic sensitization, suppress disease-related symptoms, prevent body weight loss and reduction in food uptake. Intranasal vaccination resulted in strongest suppression of Ova-specific IgE production. These protective effects were associated with increased aggregation of rflaA:Ova and accompanied by tenfold higher uptake rates into mDC compared to the mixture of both proteins. Microsomal digestion showed that stimulation with rflaA:Ova resulted in faster degradation and the generation of different peptides compared to rOva. rflaA:Ova-mediated activation of mDC could be suppressed in a dose-dependent manner by the application of both inflammasome and proteasome inhibitors. Using TLR5−/− mDC the rflaA:Ova induced IL-10 secretion was shown to be TLR5 dependent. In co-cultures of IL-10−/− mDC with DO11.10 T cells the lack of rflaA:Ova-mediated IL-10 secretion resulted in enhanced levels of both TH2 (IL-4, IL-5) and TH1 (IL-2 and IFN-y) cytokines. In summary, mucosal vaccination with flaA:Ova showed strongest preventive effect. Stimulation with rflaA:Ova results in strong immune modulation mediated by enhanced uptake of the aggregated fusion protein, likely resulting in a different processing by DC as well as stronger TLR5 mediated cell activation.
miRNA let-7e targeting MMP9 is involved in adipose-derived stem cell differentiation toward epithelia
Jose Luis Viñas
- miRNA let-7e is involved in stem cell differentiation, and metalloproteinases are among its potential target genes. We hypothesized that the inhibitory action of let-7e on regulation of MMP9 expression could represent a crucial mechanism during differentiation of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs). ASCs were differentiated with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) to promote differentiation, and the effect of let-7 silencing during differentiation was tested. Results indicate that ASCs cultured with ATRA differentiated into cells of the epithelial lineage. We found that ASCs cultured with ATRA or transfected with miRNA let-7e expressed epithelial markers such as cytokeratin-18 and early renal organogenesis markers such as Pax2, Wt1, Wnt4 and megalin. Conversely, the specific knockdown of miRNA let-7e in ASCs significantly decreased the expression of these genes, indicating its vital role during the differentiation process. Using luciferase reporter assays, we also showed that MMP9 is a direct target of miRNA let-7e. Thus, our results suggest that miRNA let-7e acts as a matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9) inhibitor and differentiation inducer in ASCs.
Newsletter des Fachbereichs Rechtswissenschaft Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main : Ausgabe 1 November 2006
Newsletter des Fachbereichs Rechtswissenschaft Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main : Ausgabe 1 Mai 2006
JFR-Newsletter : Publikationsorgan des Jungen Forums Rechtsphilosophie (JFR) ; Nr. 3/2006
JFR-Newsletter : Publikationsorgan des Jungen Forums Rechtsphilosophie (JFR) ; Nr. 2/2006