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Genetics Research is a fully open access journal providing a key forum for original research on all aspects of human and animal genetics, reporting key findings on genomes, genes, mutations, developmental, evolutionary, and population genetics as well as ethical, legal and social aspects.
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HLA Gene Polymorphisms in Romanian Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Background and Objectives. Numerous genome-wide association studies have highlighted that chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a lymphoproliferative disorder with an important genetic component. An important number of genes have been implicated in CLL etiology, with some of the most important being human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes. The aim of this study was to analyze the association of CLL with certain HLA alleles in the Romanian population and to compare our results with previous findings. Materials and Methods. This study included 66 patients with CLL, diagnosed between 2020 and 2022, and 100 healthy controls. HLA class I and class II genes (HLA-A/B/C, HLA-DQA1/DQB1/DPA1/DPB1, and HLA-DRB1/3/4/5) were investigated using next-generation sequencing technology. Results. Several HLA alleles were strongly associated with CLL. The most important finding was that HLA-DRB104:02:01 (, OR = 1.05) and HLA-DRB302:01:01 (, OR = 1.03) have a predisposing role in CLL development. Moreover, we identified that HLA-A24:02:01 0.01 (, OR = 0.38), HLA-DQA105:05:01 (, OR = 0.56), HLA-DQB103:02:01 (, OR = 0.40), and HLA-DRB401:03:01 (, OR = 0.54 alleles have protective roles. Correlations between HLA expression and gender showed that women had a higher expression of protective HLA alleles when compared to men. Conclusions. Our data are the first to indicate that in Romanian patients with CLL, the HLA-A24:02:01 and HLA-DQA105:05:01 alleles have a protective role against CLL development, whereas HLA-DRB104:02:01 and HLA-DRB302:01:01alleles are positively associated with CLL.
Genome-Wide Comprehensive Identification and In Silico Characterization of Lectin Receptor-Like Kinase Gene Family in Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.)
Lectin receptor-like kinases (LecRLKs) are a significant subgroup of the receptor-like kinases (RLKs) protein family. They play crucial roles in plant growth, development, immune responses, signal transduction, and stress tolerance. However, the genome-wide identification and characterization of LecRLK genes and their regulatory elements have not been explored in a major cereal crop, barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Therefore, in this study, integrated bioinformatics tools were used to identify and characterize the LecRLK gene family in barley. Based on the phylogenetic tree and domain organization, a total of 113 LecRLK genes were identified in the barley genome (referred to as HvlecRLK) corresponding to the LecRLK genes of Arabidopsis thaliana. These putative HvlecRLK genes were classified into three groups: 62 G-type LecRLKs, 1 C-type LecRLK, and 50 L-type LecRLKs. They were unevenly distributed across eight chromosomes, including one unknown chromosome, and were predominantly located in the plasma membrane (G-type HvlecRLK (96.8%), C-type HvlecRLK (100%), and L-type HvlecRLK (98%)). An analysis of motif composition and exon-intron configuration revealed remarkable homogeneity with the members of AtlecRLK. Notably, most of the HvlecRLKs (27 G-type, 43 L-type) have no intron, suggesting their rapid functionality. The Ka/Ks and syntenic analysis demonstrated that HvlecRLK gene pairs evolved through purifying selection and gene duplication was the major factor for the expansion of the HvlecRLK gene family. Exploration of gene ontology (GO) enrichment indicated that the identified HvlecRLK genes are associated with various cellular processes, metabolic pathways, defense mechanisms, kinase activity, catalytic activity, ion binding, and other essential pathways. The regulatory network analysis identified 29 transcription factor families (TFFs), with seven major TFFs including bZIP, C2H2, ERF, MIKC_MADS, MYB, NAC, and WRKY participating in the regulation of HvlecRLK gene functions. Most notably, eight TFFs were found to be linked to the promoter region of both L-type HvleckRLK64 and HvleckRLK86. The promoter cis-acting regulatory element (CARE) analysis of barley identified a total of 75 CARE motifs responsive to light responsiveness (LR), tissue-specific (TS), hormone responsiveness (HR), and stress responsiveness (SR). The maximum number of CAREs was identified in HvleckRLK11 (25 for LR), HvleckRLK69 (17 for TS), and HvleckRLK80 (12 for HR). Additionally, HvleckRLK14, HvleckRLK16, HvleckRLK33, HvleckRLK50, HvleckRLK52, HvleckRLK56, and HvleckRLK110 were predicted to exhibit higher responses in stress conditions. In addition, 46 putative miRNAs were predicted to target 81 HvlecRLK genes and HvlecRLK13 was the most targeted gene by 8 different miRNAs. Protein-protein interaction analysis demonstrated higher functional similarities of 63 HvlecRLKs with 7 Arabidopsis STRING proteins. Our overall findings provide valuable information on the LecRLK gene family which might pave the way to advanced research on the functional mechanism of the candidate genes as well as to develop new barley cultivars in breeding programs.
Evaluation of the Expression of Infection-Related Long Noncoding RNAs among COVID-19 Patients: A Case-Control Study
Background and Aims. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a worldwide pandemic, activates signaling cascades and leads to innate immune responses and secretion of multiple chemokines and cytokines. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have a crucial role in inflammatory pathways. Through our search on the PubMed database, we discovered that existing research has primarily focused on examining the regulatory impacts of five lncRNAs in the context of viral infections. However, their role in regulating other conditions, including SARS-CoV-2, has not been explored. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the expression pattern of lncRNAs in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and their potential roles in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Potentially significant competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) networks of these five lncRNAs were found using online in-silico techniques. Methods. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) blood samples of the control group consisted of 45 healthy people, and a total of 53 COVID-19-infected patients in case group, with a written informed consent, was collected. PBMCs were extracted, and then, the RNA extraction and complementary DNA (cDNA) synthesis was performed. The expression of five lncRNAs (lnc ISR, lnc ATV, lnc PAAN, lnc SG20, and lnc HEAL) was assessed by real-time PCR. In order to evaluate the biomarker roles of genes, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was drawn. Results. Twenty-four (53.3%) and 29 (54.7%) of healthy and COVID-19-infected participants were male, respectively. The most prevalent symptoms were as follows: cough, general weakness, contusion, headache, and sore throat. The results showed that three lncRNAs, including lnc ISR, lnc ATV, and lnc HEAL, were expressed dramatically higher in the case group compared to healthy controls. According to ROC curve analysis, lnc ATV has a higher AUC and is a better biomarker to differentiate COVID-19 patients from the healthy controls. Then, using bioinformatics methods, the ceRNA network of these lncRNAs enabled the identification of mRNAs and miRNAs with crucial functions in COVID-19. Conclusion. The considerable higher expression of ISR, ATV, and HEAL lncRNAs and the significant area under curve (AUC) in ROC curve demonstrate that these RNAs probably have a potential role in controlling the host innate immune responses and regulate the viral replication of SARS-CoV-2. However, these assumptions need further in vitro and in vivo investigations to be confirmed.
Mitochondrial DNA D-Loop Polymorphisms among the Galla Goats Reveals Multiple Maternal Origins with Implication on the Functional Diversity of the HSP70 Gene
Despite much attention given to the history of goat evolution in Kenya, information on the origin, demographic history, dispersal route, and genetic diversity of Galla goats remains unclear. Here, we examined the genetic background, diversity, demographic history, and population genetic variation of Galla goats using mtDNA D-loop and HSP70 single-nucleotide polymorphism markers. The results revealed 90 segregating sites and 68 haplotypes in a 600-bp mtDNA D-loop sequence. The overall mean mitochondrial haplotype diversity was 0.993. The haplotype diversities ranged between 0.8939 ± 0.0777 and 1.0000 ± 0.0221 in all populations supporting high genetic diversity. Mitochondrial phylogenetic analysis revealed three Galla goat haplogroups (A, G, and D), supporting multiple maternal ancestries, of which haplogroup A was the most predominant. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed considerable variation within populations at 94.39%, evidence of high genetic diversity. Bimodal mismatch distribution patterns were observed while most populations recorded negative results for Tajima and Fu’s Fs neutrality tests supporting population expansion. Genetic variation among populations was also confirmed using HSP70 gene fragment sequences, where six polymorphic sites which defined 21 haplotypes were discovered. Analysis of molecular variance revealed a significant FST index value of 0.134 and a high FIS index value of 0.746, an indication of inbreeding. This information will pave the way for conservation strategies and informed breeding to improve Galla or other goat breeds for climate-smart agriculture.
Genetic Components Derived Parameters and Heterosis in Okra under Saudi Arabia Conditions
Four parental genotypes of okra were crossed in complete diallel design to study the direction and extent of relative heterosis and heterobeltiosis for yield and its associated traits for utilization of existing genetic diversity to develop heterotic hybrids in okra. The additive genetic component (D) was significant in all studied traits except average pod weight. Nonadditive ( and ) components were found to be significant in all studied traits. However, the values of the dominant effect () were smaller than the D components for no. of nodes/plant, no. of pods/plant, weight of medium pods, weight of large pods, and total fresh pod yield. The maximum significant MP heterosis in the desirable direction (149.9%) was recorded for the weight of large pods/plot. The maximum significant heterobeltiosis in the desirable direction (120.1%) was recorded for the weight of small pods/plot followed by total fresh pod yield (107.4%), the weight of large pods/plot (104.9%), weight of medium pods/plot (92.1%), average pod weight (51.8%), number of pods/plant (38.4%), and plant height (34.3%). It could be concluded that plant height, average pod weight, and the number of branches could be considered for the development of elite hybrids (heterosis breeding) or inbred lines (pure line selection) in succeeding generations. Therefore, these parameters can be considered for selecting genotypes to improve the pod yield of okra. The superior crosses identified through heterosis analysis were Egyptian Balady × Line 4.1.18 (30.8 ton/ha), Line 4.1.18 × Egyptian Balady (29.8 ton/ha), Dwarf Green Long Pod × Line 4.1.18 (28.3 ton/ha), and Egyptian Balady × Dwarf Green Long Pod (27.6 ton/ha) as these crosses had high performance as well as significant and higher estimates of heterobeltiosis for fruit yield per plant and yield attributing other characters.
Clinical Significance and Functional Insights of Tesmin in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Background. Tesmin, a 60 kDa protein encoded by the metallothionein-like 5 (MTL5) gene, plays a vital role in spermatogenesis and oogenesis. Recent research has unveiled its potential involvement in malignancies, although its impact on HCC remains poorly understood. Methods. In this study, we sought to elucidate the clinical significance of tesmin in HCC patients. We investigated the relationship between tesmin expression and the prognosis of individuals with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), as well as its potential role in tumor proliferation and invasion. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was employed to assess the expression of tesmin in HCC tissues. Chi-square tests were conducted to analyze the correlation between tesmin expression and various clinicopathological features among HCC patients. For survival analysis, we employed the Kaplan–Meier method and conducted Cox regression analyses. To investigate the functional role of tesmin, we utilized shRNA constructs for transfection-mediated knockdown. Proliferation was assessed using the CCK-8 assay, and invasive capability was determined through Matrigel Transwell assays. Results. IHC results indicated that tesmin expression was prominently observed in cancerous tissue. Notably, we observed a significant association between tesmin expression and tumor stage and invasion in HCC patients from both our medical center and TCGA dataset. Survival analysis further revealed that tesmin expression emerged as an independent prognostic factor for overall survival among individuals with HCC. Furthermore, cellular experiments demonstrated that knockdown of tesmin led to decreased proliferation and invasion of HCC cells. Conclusions. Our findings suggest that tesmin may serve as a novel prognostic marker for HCC, highlighting its potential as a target for further research into HCC treatment. Additionally, the functional experiments support the notion that tesmin may participate in promoting the proliferation and invasion of HCC cells, warranting further investigations into its mechanistic involvement in HCC progression.