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Journal Article Archive

Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: More questions than answers

Journal: Genome Research | Year: 2010

Abstract:

Epigenetic modifications are widely accepted as playing a critical role in the regulation of gene expression and thereby contributing to the determination of the phenotype of multicellular organisms. In general, these marks are cleared and re-established each generation, but there have been reports in a number of model organisms that at some loci in the genome this clearing is incomplete. This phenomenon is referred to as transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. Moreover, recent evidence shows that the environment can stably influence the establishment of the epigenome. Together, these findings suggest that an environmental event in one generation could affect the phenotype in subsequent generations, and these somewhat Lamarckian ideas are stimulating interest from a broad spectrum of biologists, from ecologists to health workers.

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Transmission of mitochondrial DNA heteroplasmy in normal pedigrees

Journal: Human Genetics | Year: 1998

Abstract:

The presence of multiple mitochondrial genotypes (heteroplasmy) has been studied in normal individuals. Six multigenerational normal families were screened for heteroplasmy by PCR of the mitochondrial control region and the cytochrome c oxidase intergenic regions. Two individuals from different families exhibited multiple length polymorphisms in a homopolymeric tract at positions 16184-16193 and a grandmother in a third family was heteroplasmic for both cytosine and thymidine at position 15945. Although the 15945 T variant comprised 28% of the grandmother's mitochondrial DNA, this sequence was not present in any of her descendants. Heteroplasmy was detected in 2.5% of the 96 mother-offspring pairs, consistent with the possibility that it may not be rare.

Peoples: - | Places: - | Topics: - | DNA Type: mtDNA

Transmitochondrial Mice as Models for Mitochondrial DNA-Based Diseases

Journal: Experimental Animals | Year: 2011

Abstract:

Mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) mutations and the resultant mitochondrial respiratory abnormalities are associated with a wide variety of disorders, such as mitochondrial diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, and cancer, as well as aging. Generation of model animals carrying mutant mtDNAs is important for understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms of the mtDNA-based diseases. We have succeeded in generating three kinds of mice with pathogenic mutant mtDNAs, named “mito-mice,” by the introduction of mitochondria carrying pathogenic mutant mtDNAs into mouse zygotes and mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. In the case of mito-mice possessing the heteroplasmic state of wild-type mtDNA and pathogenic mtDNA with a large-scale deletion (?mtDNA, mito-mice?), a high load of ?mtDNA induced mitochondrial respiration defects in various tissues, resulting in mitochondrial disease phenotypes, such as low body weight, lactic acidosis, ischemia, myopathy, heart block, deafness, male infertility, long-term memory defects, and renal failure. In this review, we summarize generation and clinical phenotypes of three types of mito-mice and we introduce several treatment trials for mitochondrial diseases using mito-mice?.

Peoples: - | Places: - | Topics: - | DNA Type: mtDNA

Tuo and Li 2006

Journal: GenBank Only | Year: 2006

Abstract:

Peoples: | Places: | Topics: | DNA Type: mtDNA

Twinning in New England in the 17th-19th centuries

Journal: Acta geneticae medicae et gemellologiae: twin research | Year: 1987

Abstract:

Vital records of Saybrook and Plymouth in New England from the 17th century were investigated. Among 8,562 maternities 81 twin maternities were found, the twinning rate being 0.95%. Twinning rate was low at the 1st and 2nd births as compared with the 3rd or later births, and was highest at the 7th and 8th births (1.6%). Twin maternity seemed to be a strong risk factor to terminate reproduction, particularly after 6 or more children had been delivered. The rate of mothers who had any other child (“fertile” mothers) at the 7th or later birth order was significantly lower for twin (13%) than for singleton maternities (63%). Twinning rate also varied by the size of offspring of a mother, and those mothers who had 5 or 6 children showed the highest twinning rate (1.3%). Those fertile mothers who had 7 or more children showed the lowest twinning rate (0.74%), although an exceptionally higher twinning rate was seen at their last births. Elongation of the last birth interval was observed for each group of every family size, and higher twinning rates were generally observed at their last births. Reduction in fecundity and rise in twinning rate seem to have occurred simultaneously at the last stage of the reproductive period of mothers, regardless of their family size.

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Two Sources of the Russian Patrilineal Heritage in Their Eurasian Context

Journal: American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2008

Abstract:

Progress in the mapping of population genetic substructure provides a core source of data for the reconstruction of the demographic history of our species and for the discovery of common signals relevant to disease research: These two aspects of enquiry overlap in their empirical data content and are especially informative at continental and subcontinental levels. In the present study of the variation of the Y chromosome pool of ethnic Russians, we show that the patrilineages within the pre-Ivan the Terrible historic borders of Russia have two main distinct sources. One of these antedates the linguistic split between West and East Slavonic-speaking people and is common for the two groups; the other is genetically highlighted by the pre-eminence of haplogroup (hg) N3 and is most parsimoniously explained by extensive assimilation of (or language change in) northeastern indigenous Finno-Ugric tribes. Although hg N3 is common for both East European and Siberian Y chromosomes, other typically Siberian or Mongolian hgs (Q and C) have negligible influence within the studied Russian Y chromosome pool. The distribution of all frequent Y chromosome haplogroups (which account for 95% of the Y chromosomal spectrum in Russians) follows a similar north-south clinal pattern among autosomal markers, apparent from synthetic maps. Multidimensional scaling (MDS) plots comparing intra ethnic and interethnic variation of Y chromosome in Europe show that although well detectable, intraethnic variation signals do not cross interethnic borders, except between Poles, Ukrainians, and central-southern Russians, thereby revealing their overwhelmingly shared patrilineal ancestry.

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Uncovering the Profile of Somatic mtDNA Mutations in Chinese Colorectal Cancer Patients

Journal: PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Abstract:

In the past decade, a high incidence of somatic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations has been observed, mostly based on a fraction of the molecule, in various cancerous tissues; nevertheless, some of them were queried due to problems in data quality. Obviously, without a comprehensive understanding of mtDNA mutational profile in the cancerous tissue of a specific patient, it is unlikely to disclose the genuine relationship between somatic mtDNA mutations and tumorigenesis. To achieve this objective, the most straightforward way is to directly compare the whole mtDNA genome variation among three tissues (namely, cancerous tissue, para-cancerous tissue, and distant normal tissue) from the same patient. Considering the fact that most of the previous studies on the role of mtDNA in colorectal tumor focused merely on the D-loop or partial segment of the molecule, in the current study we have collected three tissues (cancerous, para-cancerous and normal tissues) respectively recruited from 20 patients with colorectal tumor and completely sequenced the mitochondrial genome of each tissue. Our results reveal a relatively lower incidence of somatic mutations in these patients; intriguingly, all somatic mutations are in heteroplasmic status. Surprisingly, the observed somatic mutations are not restricted to cancer tissues, for the para-cancer tissues and distant normal tissues also harbor somatic mtDNA mutations with a lower frequency than cancerous tissues but higher than that observed in the general population. Our results suggest that somatic mtDNA mutations in cancerous tissues could not be simply explained as a consequence of tumorigenesis; meanwhile, the somatic mtDNA mutations in normal tissues might reflect an altered physiological environment in cancer patients.

Peoples: - | Places: China | Topics: Cancer, colorectal tumor, and somatic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations | DNA Type: mtDNA

Understanding the Y chromosome variation in Korea—relevance of combined haplogroup and haplotype analyses

Journal: International journal of legal medicine | Year: 2012

Abstract:

We performed a molecular characterization of Korean Y-chromosomal haplogroups using a combination of Y-chromosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms (Y-SNPs) and Y-chromosomal short tandem repeats (Y-STRs). In a test using DNA samples from 706 Korean males, a total of 19 different haplogroups were identified by 26 Y-SNPs including the newly redefined markers (PK4, KL2, and P164) in haplogroup O. When genotyping the SNPs, phylogenetic nonequivalence was found between SNPs M117 and M133, which define haplogroup O3a3c1 (O3a2c1a according to the updated tree of haplogroup O by Yan et al., (European Journal of Human Genetics 19:1013–1015, 2011)), suggesting that the position of the M133 marker should be corrected. We have shown that the haplotypes consisted of DYS392, DYS393, DYS437, DYS438, DYS448, and DYS388 loci, which exhibit a relatively lower mutation rate, can preserve phylogenetic information and hence can be used to roughly distinguish Y-chromosome haplogroups, whereas more rapidly mutating Y-STRs such as DYS449 and DYS458 are useful for differentiating male lineages. However, at the relatively rapidly mutating DYS447, DYS449, DYS458, and DYS464 loci, unusually short alleles and intermediate alleles with common sequence structures are informative for elucidating the substructure within the context of a particular haplogroup. In addition, some deletion mutations in the DYS385 flanking region and the null allele at DYS448 were associated with a single haplogroup background. These high-resolution haplogroup and haplotype data will improve our understanding of regional Y-chromosome variation or recent migration routes and will also help to infer haplogroup background or common ancestry.

Peoples: - | Places: - | Topics: - | DNA Type: Y-DNA

Unexpected genetic heterogeneity in a large consanguineous Brazilian pedigree presenting deafness

Journal: European Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2007

Abstract:

Nonsyndromic autosomal recessive deafness accounts for 80% of hereditary deafness. To date, 52 loci responsible for autosomal recessive deafness have been mapped and 24 genes identified. Here, we report a large inbred Brazilian pedigree with 26 subjects affected by prelingual deafness. Given the extensive consanguinity found in this pedigree, the most probable pattern of inheritance is autosomal recessive. However, our linkage and mutational analysis revealed, instead of an expected homozygous mutation in a single gene, two different mutant alleles and a possible third undetected mutant allele in the MYO15A gene (DFNB3 locus), as well as evidence for other causes for deafness in the same pedigree. Among the 26 affected subjects, 15 were homozygous for the novel c.10573delA mutation in the MYO15A gene, 5 were compound heterozygous for the mutation c.10573delA and the novel deletion c.9957_9960delTGAC and one inherited only a single c.10573delA mutant allele, while the other one could not be identified. Given the extensive consanguinity of the pedigree, there might be at least one more deafness locus segregating to explain the condition in some of the subjects whose deafness is not clearly associated with MYO15A mutations, although overlooked environmental causes could not be ruled out. Our findings illustrate a high level of etiological heterogeneity for deafness in the family and highlight some of the pitfalls of genetic analysis of large genes in extended pedigrees, when homozygosity for a single mutant allele is expected.

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Unexpected NRY Chromosome Variation in Northern Island Melanesia

Journal: Molecular Biology and Evolution | Year: 2006

Abstract:

To investigate the paternal population history of populations in Northern Island Melanesia, 685 paternally unrelated males from 36 populations in this region and New Guinea were analyzed at 14 regionally informative binary markers and 7 short tandem repeat (STR) loci from the nonrecombining portion of the Y chromosome. Three newly defined binary markers (K6-P79, K7-P117, and M2-P87) aided in identifying considerable heterozygosity that would have otherwise gone undetected. Judging from their geographic distributions and network analyses of their associated STR profiles, 4 lineages appear to have developed in this region and to be of considerable age: K6-P79, K7-P117, M2-P87, and M2a-P22. The origins of K5-M230 and M-M4 are also confirmed as being located further west, probably in New Guinea. In the 25 adequately sampled populations, the number of different haplogroups ranged from 2 in the single most isolated group (the Aita of Bougainville), to 9, and measures of molecular diversity were generally not particularly low. The resulting pattern contradicts earlier findings that suggested far lower male-mediated diversity and gene exchange rates in the region. However, these earlier studies had not included the newly defined haplogroups. We could only identify a very weak signal of recent male Southeast Asian genetic influence (<10%), which was almost entirely restricted to Austronesian (Oceanic)-speaking groups. This contradicts earlier assumptions on the ancestral composition of these groups and requires a revision of hypotheses concerning the settlement of the islands of the central Pacific, which commenced from this region.

Peoples: - | Places: - | Topics: - | DNA Type: Y-DNA

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