SummaryWe present the largest exome sequencing study of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to date (n=35,584 total samples, 11,986 with ASD). Using an enhanced Bayesian framework to integrate de novo and case-control rare variation, we identify 102 risk genes at a false discovery rate ≤ 0.1. Of these genes, 49 show higher frequencies of disruptive de novo variants in individuals ascertained for severe neurodevelopmental delay, while 53 show higher frequencies in individuals ascertained for ASD; comparing ASD cases with mutations in these groups reveals phenotypic differences. Expressed early in brain development, most of the risk genes have roles in regulation of gene expression or neuronal communication (i.e., mutations effect neurodevelopmental and neurophysiological changes), and 13 fall within loci recurrently hit by copy number variants. In human cortex single-cell gene expression data, expression of risk genes is enriched in both excitatory and inhibitory neuronal lineages, consistent with multiple paths to an excitatory/inhibitory imbalance underlying ASD.
Recent studies emphasize the role played by adiponectin in the homeostasis of adipose tissue and in the pathogenesis of the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and atherosclerosis. These pleiotropic effects make it an attractive therapeutic target for obesity-related conditions.
Sotos syndrome (SS) represents an important human model system for the study of epigenetic regulation; it is an overgrowth/intellectual disability syndrome caused by mutations in a histone methyltransferase, NSD1. As layered epigenetic modifications are often interdependent, we propose that pathogenic NSD1 mutations have a genome-wide impact on the most stable epigenetic mark, DNA methylation (DNAm). By interrogating DNAm in SS patients, we identify a genome-wide, highly significant NSD1+/−-specific signature that differentiates pathogenic NSD1 mutations from controls, benign NSD1 variants and the clinically overlapping Weaver syndrome. Validation studies of independent cohorts of SS and controls assigned 100% of these samples correctly. This highly specific and sensitive NSD1+/− signature encompasses genes that function in cellular morphogenesis and neuronal differentiation, reflecting cardinal features of the SS phenotype. The identification of SS-specific genome-wide DNAm alterations will facilitate both the elucidation of the molecular pathophysiology of SS and the development of improved diagnostic testing.
The branching ratio of core-valence transitions in electron energy-loss spectroscopy and x-ray absorption spectroscopy is linearly related to the expectation value of the spin-orbit operator of the valence states. Here, we analyze the branching ratio of the N(4,5) edges in the actinides and find that the spin-orbit sum rule gives an accurate result without the need to include the core-valence interactions. The branching ratio is not only useful to study the variations in the 5f spin-orbit interaction, it also allows us to constrain the 5f count for given angular-momentum coupling conditions.
Complexes formed between apolipoprotein A-I (apo A-I) and dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) or egg phosphatidylcholine have been studied by high-field 1H NMR, nondenaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, electron microscopy, and gel filtration chromatography. Emphasis has been placed on an analysis of the particle size distribution within the micellar complexes produced at lipid/protein molar ratios of 40-700. As determined by electron microscopy and gel filtration of DMPC/apo A-I complexes, the size of the discoidal micelles produced appears to increase uniformly with an increasing lipid/protein ratio. By electron microscopy, the diameters of isolated DMPC/apo A-I discoidal micelles range from approximately 89 A at a 40 molar ratio to 205 A at a 700 molar ratio. Analysis of the micellar complexes by 1H NMR shows that concomitant with the increase in size is the progressive downfield shift of the choline N-methyl proton resonance of the complex which is observed from 3.245 to 3.267 ppm over the above molar ratio range. The relationship between chemical shift and micelle size is most simply interpreted as arising from a weighted averaging of two lipid environments--lipid-lipid and lipid-protein. In contrast to the above interpretation of the gel filtration experiments on DMPC/apo A-I complexes, nondenaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis of particle size distribution leads to an unexpected observation: as the DMPC/apo A-I ratio increases, discrete complexes of increasing size are formed in an apparently quantized manner.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Adiponectin is one of several, important metabolically active cytokines secreted from adipocytes. Low circulating levels of this adipokine have been associated epidemiologically with obesity, insulin resistance, type II diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. To determine if adiponectin can modulate lipid metabolism in macrophages, we expressed the adiponectin gene in human THP-1 macrophage foam cells using a lentiviral vector expression system and demonstrated that macrophages transduced with the adiponectin gene had decreased lipid accumulation compared with control macrophages transduced with the LacZ gene. Macrophages transduced with the adiponectin gene also exhibited decreased oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) uptake and increased HDL-mediated cholesterol efflux. Additional studies suggest two potential mechanisms for the reduced lipid accumulation in these adiponectin-transduced macrophage foam cells. The first mechanism involves the PPARgamma and LXR signaling pathways which up-regulate the expression of ABCA1 and promote lipid efflux from these cells. The second mechanism involves decreased lipid uptake and increased lipid hydrolysis which may result from decreased SR-AI and increased SR-BI and HSL gene activities in the transformed macrophage foam cells. We also demonstrated that the expression of two proatherogenic cytokines, MCP-1 and TNFalpha, were decreased in the adiponectin-transduced macrophage foam cells. These results suggest that adiponectin may modulate multiple pathways of lipid metabolism in macrophages. Our studies provide new insights into potential mechanisms of adiponectin-mediated alterations in lipid metabolism and macrophage foam cell formation which may impact the development of atherosclerosis.
OBJECTIVEAdiponectin is one of several important metabolically active cytokines secreted from adipose tissue. Epidemiologic studies have associated low-circulating levels of this adipokine with multiple metabolic disorders including obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. To investigate adiponectin-mediated changes in metabolism in vivo, we generated transgenic mice that specifically express the gene coding for human adiponectin in mouse macrophages using the human scavenger receptor A-I gene enhancer/promoter.METHODS AND RESULTSUsing this transgenic mouse model, we found that adiponectin expression was associated with reduced whole-animal body and fat-pad weight and an improved lipid accumulation in macrophages when these transgenic mice were fed with a high-fat diet. Moreover, these macrophage Ad-TG mice exhibit enhanced whole-body glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity with reduced proinflammatory cytokines, MCP-1 and TNF-a (both in the serum and in the metabolic active macrophage), adipose tissue, and skeletal muscle under the high-fat diet condition. Additional studies demonstrated that these macrophage adiponectin transgenic animals exhibit reduced macrophage foam cell formation in the arterial wall when these transgenic mice were crossed with an LDL receptor–deficient mouse model and were fed a high-fat diet.CONCLUSIONSThese results suggest that adiponectin expressed in macrophages can physiologically modulate metabolic activities in vivo by improving metabolism in distal tissues. The use of macrophages as carriers for adiponectin, a molecule with antidiabetes, anti-inflammatory, and antiatherogenic properties, provides a novel and unique strategy for studying the mechanisms of adiponectin-mediated alterations in body metabolism in vivo.
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