系统生物学


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现刊
往期刊物
0 Q&A 429 Views Oct 5, 2023

Many single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified by genome-wide association studies exert their effects on disease risk as expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) via allele-specific expression (ASE). While databases for probing eQTLs in tissues from normal individuals exist, one may wish to ascertain eQTLs or ASE in specific tissues or disease-states not characterized in these databases. Here, we present a protocol to assess ASE of two possible target genes (GPNMB and KLHL7) of a known genome-wide association study (GWAS) Parkinson’s disease (PD) risk locus in postmortem human brain tissue from PD and neurologically normal individuals. This was done using a sequence of RNA isolation, cDNA library generation, enrichment for transcripts of interest using customizable cDNA capture probes, paired-end RNA sequencing, and subsequent analysis. This method provides increased sensitivity relative to traditional bulk RNAseq-based and a blueprint that can be extended to the study of other genes, tissues, and disease states.


Key features

• Analysis of GPNMB allele-specific expression (ASE) in brain lysates from cognitively normal controls (NC) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) individuals.

• Builds on the ASE protocol of Mayba et al. (2014) and extends application from cells to human tissue.

• Increased sensitivity by enrichment for desired transcript via RNA CaptureSeq (Mercer et al., 2014).

• Optimized for human brain lysates from cingulate gyrus, caudate nucleus, and cerebellum.


Graphical overview


0 Q&A 3036 Views Sep 20, 2021

Genome-wide sequencing of RNA (RNA-seq) has become an inexpensive tool to gain key insights into cellular and disease mechanisms. Sample preparation and sequencing are streamlined and allow the acquisition of hundreds of gene expression profiles in a few days; however, in particular, data processing, curation, and analysis involve numerous steps that can be overwhelming to non-experts. Here, the sample preparation, sequencing, and data processing workflow for RNA-seq expression analysis in yeast is described. While this protocol covers only a small portion of the RNA-seq landscape, the principal workflow common to such experiments is described, allowing the reader to adapt the protocol where necessary.


Graphic abstract:



Basic workflow of RNA-seq expression analysis.


0 Q&A 4318 Views Nov 5, 2020
Association mapping is the process of linking phenotypes with genotypes. In genome wide association studies (GWAS), individuals are first genotyped using microarrays or by aligning sequenced reads to reference genomes. However, both these approaches rely on reference genomes which limits their application to organisms with no or incomplete reference genomes. To address this, reference free association mapping methods have been developed. Here we present the protocol of an alignment free method for association studies which is based on counting k-mers in sequenced reads, testing for associations between k-mers and the phenotype of interest, and local assembly of the k-mers of statistical significance. The method can map associations of categorical phenotypes to sequence and structural variations without requiring prior sequencing of reference genomes.
0 Q&A 5161 Views Sep 20, 2020
Gene transcription in bacteria often starts some nucleotides upstream of the start codon. Identifying the specific Transcriptional Start Site (TSS) is essential for genetic manipulation, as in many cases upstream of the start codon there are sequence elements that are involved in gene expression regulation. Taken into account the classical gene structure, we are able to identify two kinds of transcriptional start site: primary and secondary. A primary transcriptional start site is located some nucleotides upstream of the translational start site, while a secondary transcriptional start site is located within the gene encoding sequence.

Here, we present a step by step protocol for genome-wide transcriptional start sites determination by differential RNA-sequencing (dRNA-seq) using the enteric pathogen Shigella flexneri serotype 5a strain M90T as model. However, this method can be employed in any other bacterial species of choice. In the first steps, total RNA is purified from bacterial cultures using the hot phenol method. Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) is specifically depleted via hybridization probes using a commercial kit. A 5′-monophosphate-dependent exonuclease (TEX)-treated RNA library enriched in primary transcripts is then prepared for comparison with a library that has not undergone TEX-treatment, followed by ligation of an RNA linker adaptor of known sequence allowing the determination of TSS with single nucleotide precision. Finally, the RNA is processed for Illumina sequencing library preparation and sequenced as purchased service. TSS are identified by in-house bioinformatic analysis.

Our protocol is cost-effective as it minimizes the use of commercial kits and employs freely available software.
0 Q&A 16101 Views Jun 20, 2018
Plant roots associate with a wide diversity of bacteria and archaea across the root-soil spectrum. The rhizosphere microbiota, the communities of microbes in the soil adjacent to the root, can contain up to 10 billion bacterial cells per gram of soil (Raynaud and Nunan, 2014) and can play important roles for the fitness of the host plant. Subsets of the rhizospheric microbiota can colonize the root surface (rhizoplane) and the root interior (endosphere), forming an intimate relationship with the host plant. Compositional analysis of these communities is important to develop tools in order to manipulate root-associated microbiota for increased crop productivity. Due to the reduced cost and increasing throughput of next-generation sequencing, major advances in deciphering these communities have recently been achieved, mainly through the use of amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Here we first present a protocol for dissecting the microbiota from various root compartments, developed using rice as a model. We next present a method for amplifying fragments of the 16S rRNA gene using a dual index approach. Finally, we present a simple workflow for analyzing the resulting sequencing data to make ecological inferences.
0 Q&A 9477 Views Dec 5, 2017
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) offers unparalleled resolution for untargeted organism detection and characterization. However, the majority of NGS analysis programs require users to be proficient in programming and command-line interfaces. EDGE bioinformatics was developed to offer scientists with little to no bioinformatics expertise a point-and-click platform for analyzing sequencing data in a rapid and reproducible manner. EDGE (Empowering the Development of Genomics Expertise) v1.0 released in January 2017, is an intuitive web-based bioinformatics platform engineered for the analysis of microbial and metagenomic NGS-based data (Li et al., 2017). The EDGE bioinformatics suite combines vetted publicly available tools, and tracks settings to ensure reliable and reproducible analysis workflows. To execute the EDGE workflow, only raw sequencing reads and a project ID are necessary. Users can access in-house data, or run analyses on samples deposited in Sequence Read Archive. Default settings offer a robust first-glance and are often sufficient for novice users. All analyses are modular; users can easily turn workflows on/off, and modify parameters to cater to project needs. Results are compiled and available for download in a PDF-formatted report containing publication quality figures. We caution that interpreting results still requires in-depth scientific understanding, however report visuals are often informative, even to novice users.
0 Q&A 9509 Views May 20, 2017
While the diversity of species represents a diversity of special biological abilities, many of the genes that encode those special abilities in a variety of species are untouched, leaving an untapped gold mine of genetic information; however, despite current advances in genome bioinformatics, annotation of that genetic information is incomplete in most species, except for well-established model organisms, such as human, mouse, or yeast. A guide RNA (gRNA) library using the clustered regularly interspersed palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 (CRISPR-associated protein 9) system can be used for the phenotypic screening of uncharacterized genes by forward genetics. The construction of a gRNA library usually requires an abundance of chemically synthesized oligos designed from annotated genes; if one wants to convert mRNA into gRNA without prior knowledge of the target DNA sequences, the major challenges are finding the sequences flanking the protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) and cutting out the 20-bp fragment. Recently, I developed a molecular biology-based technique to convert mRNA into a gRNA library (Arakawa, 2016) (Figure 1). Here I describe the detailed protocol of how to construct a gRNA library from mRNA.


Figure 1. A method to convert mRNA into a gRNA library construction (Sanjana et al., 2014). The scheme of the method is summarized. Each step of D-O is described in detail in the Procedure. Bg, BglII; Xb, XbaI; Bs, BsmBI; Aa, AatII. PCR, polymerase chain reaction; lentiCRISPR v2, lentiCRISPR version 2.
0 Q&A 9718 Views Mar 5, 2017
Herein we describe a detailed protocol for DNA virome analysis of low input human stool samples (Monaco et al., 2016). This protocol is divided into four main steps: 1) stool samples are pulverized to evenly distribute microbial matter; 2) stool is enriched for virus-like particles and DNA is extracted by phenol-chloroform; 3) purified DNA is multiple-strand displacement amplified (MDA) and fragmented; and 4) libraries are constructed and sequenced using Illumina Miseq. Subsequent sequence analysis for viral sequence identification should be sensitive but stringent.
0 Q&A 10431 Views Nov 5, 2016
Sequencing of virus genomes during disease outbreaks can provide valuable information for diagnostics, epidemiology, and evaluation of potential countermeasures. However, particularly in remote areas logistical and technical challenges can be significant. Nanopore sequencing provides an alternative to classical Sanger and next-generation sequencing methods, and was successfully used under outbreak conditions (Hoenen et al., 2016; Quick et al., 2016). Here we describe a protocol used for sequencing of Ebola virus under outbreak conditions using Nanopore technology, which we successfully implemented at the CDC/NIH diagnostic laboratory (de Wit et al., 2016) located at the ELWA-3 Ebola virus Treatment Unit in Monrovia, Liberia, during the recent Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.
0 Q&A 11534 Views Jul 5, 2016
Relative chromosome dosage, i.e., increases or decreases in the number of copies of specific chromosome regions in one sample versus another, can be determined using aligned read-counts from Illumina sequencing (Henry et al., 2010). The following protocol was used to identify the different classes of aneuploids that result from uniparental genome elimination in Arabidopsis thaliana, including chromosomes that have undergone chromothripsis (Tan et al., 2015). Uniparental genome elimination results in the production of haploid progeny from crosses to specific strains called “haploid inducers” (Ravi et al., 2014). On the other hand, chromothripsis, which was first discovered in cancer genomes, is a phenomenon that results in clustered, highly rearranged chromosomes. In plants, chromothripsis has been observed as a result of genome elimination (Tan et al., 2015). Detecting variation in chromosome dosage has multiple applications beside those linked to genome elimination. For example, a dosage variant population of poplar hybrids was created by gamma-irradiation of pollen grains. Hundreds of dosage lesions, insertions and deletions, were identified using this technique and provide a way to associate loci with the phenotypic consequences observed in this population (Henry et al., 2015).

This method has been successfully used to detect changes in chromosome dosage in many different species, including Arabidopsis thaliana (Tan et al., 2015), Arabidopsis suecica (Ravi et al., 2014), rice (Henry et al., 2010) and poplar (Henry et al., 2015). It is important to note that dosage plots always indicate dosage variation relative to the control sample used (Note 1). Therefore, this approach is not suitable to detect ploidy variants (diploid vs triploid, for example). Similarly, this technique does not allow the detection of balanced chromosomal rearrangements such as reciprocal translocations.