The systematic translation of cancer genomic data into knowledge of tumour biology and therapeutic possibilities remains challenging. Such efforts should be greatly aided by robust preclinical model systems that reflect the genomic diversity of human cancers and for which detailed genetic and pharmacological annotation is available. Here we describe the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE): a compilation of gene expression, chromosomal copy number and massively parallel sequencing data from 947 human cancer cell lines. When coupled with pharmacological profiles for 24 anticancer drugs across 479 of the cell lines, this collection allowed identification of genetic, lineage, and gene-expression-based predictors of drug sensitivity. In addition to known predictors, we found that plasma cell lineage correlated with sensitivity to IGF1 receptor inhibitors; AHR expression was associated with MEK inhibitor efficacy in NRAS-mutant lines; and SLFN11 expression predicted sensitivity to topoisomerase inhibitors. Together, our results indicate that large, annotated cell-line collections may help to enable preclinical stratification schemata for anticancer agents. The generation of genetic predictions of drug response in the preclinical setting and their incorporation into cancer clinical trial design could speed the emergence of 'personalized' therapeutic regimens.Read more
Chromatin profiling has emerged as a powerful means of genome annotation and detection of regulatory activity. The approach is especially well suited to the characterization of non-coding portions of the genome, which critically contribute to cellular phenotypes yet remain largely uncharted. Here we map nine chromatin marks across nine cell types to systematically characterize regulatory elements, their cell-type specificities and their functional interactions. Focusing on cell-type-specific patterns of promoters and enhancers, we define multicell activity profiles for chromatin state, gene expression, regulatory motif enrichment and regulator expression. We use correlations between these profiles to link enhancers to putative target genes, and predict the cell-type-specific activators and repressors that modulate them. The resulting annotations and regulatory predictions have implications for the interpretation of genome-wide association studies. Top-scoring disease single nucleotide polymorphisms are frequently positioned within enhancer elements specifically active in relevant cell types, and in some cases affect a motif instance for a predicted regulator, thus suggesting a mechanism for the association. Our study presents a general framework for deciphering cis-regulatory connections and their roles in disease.Read more
TALENs are important new tools for genome engineering. Fusions of transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors of plant pathogenic Xanthomonas spp. to the FokI nuclease, TALENs bind and cleave DNA in pairs. Binding specificity is determined by customizable arrays of polymorphic amino acid repeats in the TAL effectors. We present a method and reagents for efficiently assembling TALEN constructs with custom repeat arrays. We also describe design guidelines based on naturally occurring TAL effectors and their binding sites. Using software that applies these guidelines, in nine genes from plants, animals and protists, we found candidate cleavage sites on average every 35 bp. Each of 15 sites selected from this set was cleaved in a yeast-based assay with TALEN pairs constructed with our reagents. We used two of the TALEN pairs to mutate HPRT1 in human cells and ADH1 in Arabidopsis thaliana protoplasts. Our reagents include a plasmid construct for making custom TAL effectors and one for TAL effector fusions to additional proteins of interest. Using the former, we constructed de novo a functional analog of AvrHah1 of Xanthomonas gardneri. The complete plasmid set is available through the non-profit repository AddGene and a web-based version of our software is freely accessible online.Read more
We report the annotation and analysis of the draft genome sequence of Brassica rapa accession Chiifu-401-42, a Chinese cabbage. We modeled 41,174 protein coding genes in the B. rapa genome, which has undergone genome triplication. We used Arabidopsis thaliana as an outgroup for investigating the consequences of genome triplication, such as structural and functional evolution. The extent of gene loss (fractionation) among triplicated genome segments varies, with one of the three copies consistently retaining a disproportionately large fraction of the genes expected to have been present in its ancestor. Variation in the number of members of gene families present in the genome may contribute to the remarkable morphological plasticity of Brassica species. The B. rapa genome sequence provides an important resource for studying the evolution of polyploid genomes and underpins the genetic improvement of Brassica oil and vegetable crops.Read more
Alzheimer disease and other dementing disorders are major sources of morbidity and mortality in aging societies. Proven strategies to delay onset or reduce risk for dementing disorders would be greatly beneficial.
To determine whether regular exercise is associated with a reduced risk for dementia and Alzheimer disease.
Prospective cohort study.
Group Health Cooperative, Seattle, Washington.
1740 persons older than age 65 years without cognitive impairment who scored above the 25th percentile on the Cognitive Ability Screening Instrument (CASI) in the Adult Changes in Thought study and who were followed biennially to identify incident dementia.
Baseline measurements, including exercise frequency, cognitive function, physical function, depression, health conditions, lifestyle characteristics, and other potential risk factors for dementia (for example, apolipoprotein E epsilon4); biennial assessment for dementia.
During a mean follow-up of 6.2 years (SD, 2.0), 158 participants developed dementia (107 developed Alzheimer disease). The incidence rate of dementia was 13.0 per 1000 person-years for participants who exercised 3 or more times per week compared with 19.7 per 1000 person-years for those who exercised fewer than 3 times per week. The age- and sex-adjusted hazard ratio of dementia was 0.62 (95% CI, 0.44 to 0.86; P = 0.004). The interaction between exercise and performance-based physical function was statistically significant (P = 0.013). The risk reduction associated with exercise was greater in those with lower performance levels. Similar results were observed in analyses restricted to participants with incident Alzheimer disease.
Exercise was measured by self-reported frequency. The study population had a relatively high proportion of regular exercisers at baseline.
These results suggest that regular exercise is associated with a delay in onset of dementia and Alzheimer disease, further supporting its value for elderly persons.Read more
The prevalence of chronic kidney disease is high in developing countries. However, no national survey of chronic kidney disease has been done incorporating both estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and albuminuria in a developing country with the economic diversity of China. We aimed to measure the prevalence of chronic kidney disease in China with such a survey.
We did a cross-sectional survey of a nationally representative sample of Chinese adults. Chronic kidney disease was defined as eGFR less than 60 mL/min per 1·73 m(2) or the presence of albuminuria. Participants completed a lifestyle and medical history questionnaire and had their blood pressure measured, and blood and urine samples taken. Serum creatinine was measured and used to estimate glomerular filtration rate. Urinary albumin and creatinine were tested to assess albuminuria. The crude and adjusted prevalence of indicators of kidney damage were calculated and factors associated with the presence of chronic kidney disease analysed by logistic regression.
50,550 people were invited to participate, of whom 47,204 agreed. The adjusted prevalence of eGFR less than 60 mL/min per 1·73 m(2) was 1·7% (95% CI 1·5-1·9) and of albuminuria was 9·4% (8·9-10·0). The overall prevalence of chronic kidney disease was 10·8% (10·2-11·3); therefore the number of patients with chronic kidney disease in China is estimated to be about 119·5 million (112·9-125·0 million). In rural areas, economic development was independently associated with the presence of albuminuria. The prevalence of chronic kidney disease was high in north (16·9% [15·1-18·7]) and southwest (18·3% [16·4-20·4]) regions compared with other regions. Other factors independently associated with kidney damage were age, sex, hypertension, diabetes, history of cardiovascular disease, hyperuricaemia, area of residence, and economic status.
Chronic kidney disease has become an important public health problem in China. Special attention should be paid to residents in economically improving rural areas and specific geographical regions in China.
The Ministry of Science and Technology (China); the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai; the National Natural Science Foundation of China; the Department of Health, Jiangsu Province; the Sichuan Science and Technology Department; the Ministry of Education (China); the International Society of Nephrology Research Committee; and the China Health and Medical Development Foundation.Read more
We explored the effects of bile acids on triglyceride (TG) homeostasis using a combination of molecular, cellular, and animal models. Cholic acid (CA) prevents hepatic TG accumulation, VLDL secretion, and elevated serum TG in mouse models of hypertriglyceridemia. At the molecular level, CA decreases hepatic expression of SREBP-1c and its lipogenic target genes. Through the use of mouse mutants for the short heterodimer partner (SHP) and liver X receptor (LXR) alpha and beta, we demonstrate the critical dependence of the reduction of SREBP-1c expression by either natural or synthetic farnesoid X receptor (FXR) agonists on both SHP and LXR alpha and LXR beta. These results suggest that strategies aimed at increasing FXR activity and the repressive effects of SHP should be explored to correct hypertriglyceridemia.Read more
We report the generation and comparative analysis of genome-wide chromatin state maps, PPARγ and CTCF localization maps, and gene expression profiles from murine and human models of adipogenesis. The data provide high-resolution views of chromatin remodeling during cellular differentiation and allow identification of thousands of putative preadipocyte- and adipocyte-specific cis-regulatory elements based on dynamic chromatin signatures. We find that the specific locations of most such elements differ between the two models, including at orthologous loci with similar expression patterns. Based on sequence analysis and reporter assays, we show that these differences are determined, in part, by evolutionary turnover of transcription factor motifs in the genome sequences and that this turnover may be facilitated by the presence of multiple distal regulatory elements at adipogenesis-dependent loci. We also utilize the close relationship between open chromatin marks and transcription factor motifs to identify and validate PLZF and SRF as regulators of adipogenesis.Read more
Numerous studies have shown that aberrant microRNA (miRNA) expression is associated with the development and progression of various types of human cancer and serum miRNAs are potential biomarkers. This study examined whether some commonly deregulated miRNAs in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are presented in serum of patients with HCC and can serve as diagnostic markers. Serum miRNAs (miR-21, miR-122, and miR-223) were quantified by real-time quantitative RT-PCR in 101 patients with HCC and 89 healthy controls. In addition, 48 patients with chronic type B hepatitis were also analyzed for comparison. We found that the median levels of miR-21, miR-122, and miR-223 were significantly higher in patients with HCC than those in healthy controls (P = 7.48 x 10⁻¹³, P = 6.93 x 10⁻⁹, and P = 3.90 x 10⁻¹², respectively). However, these elevated serum miRNAs were also detected in patients with chronic hepatitis (P = 2.05 x 10⁻¹², P = 4.52 x 10⁻¹⁶, and P = 1.65 x 10⁻¹¹, respectively). Moreover, serum miR-21 and miR-122 in patients with chronic hepatitis were higher than in patients with HCC (P = 3.99 x 10⁻⁴ and P = 4.97 x 10⁻⁸), although no such significant difference was found for miR-223. Receiver-operator characteristic (ROC) curve analyses suggest that these serum miRNAs may be useful markers for discriminating patients with HCC or chronic hepatitis from healthy controls, but not patients with HCC from patients with chronic hepatitis. Our results indicate that serum miR-21, miR-122 and miR-223 are elevated in patients with HCC or chronic hepatitis and these miRNAs have strong potential to serve as novel biomarkers for liver injury but not specifically for HCC.Read more
Characterized by ventricular dilatation, systolic dysfunction, and progressive heart failure, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the most common form of cardiomyopathy in patients. DCM is the most common diagnosis leading to heart transplantation and places a significant burden on healthcare worldwide. The advent of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) offers an exceptional opportunity for creating disease-specific cellular models, investigating underlying mechanisms, and optimizing therapy. Here, we generated cardiomyocytes from iPSCs derived from patients in a DCM family carrying a point mutation (R173W) in the gene encoding sarcomeric protein cardiac troponin T. Compared to control healthy individuals in the same family cohort, cardiomyocytes derived from iPSCs from DCM patients exhibited altered regulation of calcium ion (Ca(2+)), decreased contractility, and abnormal distribution of sarcomeric α-actinin. When stimulated with a β-adrenergic agonist, DCM iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes showed characteristics of cellular stress such as reduced beating rates, compromised contraction, and a greater number of cells with abnormal sarcomeric α-actinin distribution. Treatment with β-adrenergic blockers or overexpression of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) adenosine triphosphatase (Serca2a) improved the function of iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes from DCM patients. Thus, iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes from DCM patients recapitulate to some extent the morphological and functional phenotypes of DCM and may serve as a useful platform for exploring disease mechanisms and for drug screening.Read more