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Concept: Restriction enzyme


In mammals, caloric restriction consistently results in extended lifespan. Epigenetic information encoded by DNA methylation is tightly regulated, but shows a striking drift associated with age that includes both gains and losses of DNA methylation at various sites. Here, we report that epigenetic drift is conserved across species and the rate of drift correlates with lifespan when comparing mice, rhesus monkeys, and humans. Twenty-two to 30-year-old rhesus monkeys exposed to 30% caloric restriction since 7-14 years of age showed attenuation of age-related methylation drift compared to ad libitum-fed controls such that their blood methylation age appeared 7 years younger than their chronologic age. Even more pronounced effects were seen in 2.7-3.2-year-old mice exposed to 40% caloric restriction starting at 0.3 years of age. The effects of caloric restriction on DNA methylation were detectable across different tissues and correlated with gene expression. We propose that epigenetic drift is a determinant of lifespan in mammals.Caloric restriction has been shown to increase lifespan in mammals. Here, the authors provide evidence that age-related methylation drift correlates with lifespan and that caloric restriction in mice and rhesus monkeys results in attenuation of age-related methylation drift.

Concepts: Methylation, Restriction enzyme, Primate, Epigenetics, Gene, Gene expression, DNA methylation, DNA


We propose a probabilistic method, CancerLocator, which exploits the diagnostic potential of cell-free DNA by determining not only the presence but also the location of tumors. CancerLocator simultaneously infers the proportions and the tissue-of-origin of tumor-derived cell-free DNA in a blood sample using genome-wide DNA methylation data. CancerLocator outperforms two established multi-class classification methods on simulations and real data, even with the low proportion of tumor-derived DNA in the cell-free DNA scenarios. CancerLocator also achieves promising results on patient plasma samples with low DNA methylation sequencing coverage.

Concepts: Probabilistic method, Hematology, Sample, Diagnosis, Medical terms, Restriction enzyme, DNA methylation, DNA


It is not yet known whether DNA methylation levels can be used to accurately predict age across a broad spectrum of human tissues and cell types, nor whether the resulting age prediction is a biologically meaningful measure.

Concepts: Restriction enzyme, Organism, Scientific method, Gene, Histone, Cell, DNA methylation, DNA


Visualizing nucleic acids by gel electrophoresis is one of the most common techniques in molecular biology, and reference molecular weight markers or ladders are commonly used for size estimation. We have created the pPSU1 & pPSU2 pair of molecular weight marker plasmids which produce both 100 bp and 1 kb DNA ladders when digested with two common restriction enzymes. The 100 bp ladder fragments have been optimized to migrate appropriately on both agarose and native polyacrylamide, unlike many currently available DNA ladders. Sufficient plasmid DNA can be isolated from 100 ml E. coli cultures for the two plasmids to produce 100 bp or 1 kb ladders for 1000 gels. As such, the pPSU1 and pPSU2 plasmids provide reference fragments from 50 to 10000 bp at a fraction of the cost of commercial DNA ladders. The pPSU1 and pPSU2 plasmids are available without licensing restrictions to nonprofit academic users, affording freely available high-quality, low-cost molecular weight standards for molecular biology applications.

Concepts: Genetics, Protein, Restriction enzyme, Plasmid, Molecular weight size marker, Escherichia coli, DNA, Molecular biology


We report a biomarker-based non-endoscopic method for detecting Barrett’s esophagus (BE) based on detecting methylated DNAs retrieved via a swallowable balloon-based esophageal sampling device. BE is the precursor of, and a major recognized risk factor for, developing esophageal adenocarcinoma. Endoscopy, the current standard for BE detection, is not cost-effective for population screening. We performed genome-wide screening to ascertain regions targeted for recurrent aberrant cytosine methylation in BE, identifying high-frequency methylation within the CCNA1 locus. We tested CCNA1 DNA methylation as a BE biomarker in cytology brushings of the distal esophagus from 173 individuals with or without BE. CCNA1 DNA methylation demonstrated an area under the curve of 0.95 for discriminating BE-related metaplasia and neoplasia cases versus normal individuals, performing identically to methylation of VIM DNA, an established BE biomarker. When combined, the resulting two biomarker panel was 95% sensitive and 91% specific. These results were replicated in an independent validation cohort of 149 individuals who were assayed using the same cutoff values for test positivity established in the training population. To progress toward non-endoscopic esophageal screening, we engineered a well-tolerated, swallowable, encapsulated balloon device able to selectively sample the distal esophagus within 5 min. In balloon samples from 86 individuals, tests of CCNA1 plus VIM DNA methylation detected BE metaplasia with 90.3% sensitivity and 91.7% specificity. Combining the balloon sampling device with molecular assays of CCNA1 plus VIM DNA methylation enables an efficient, well-tolerated, sensitive, and specific method of screening at-risk populations for BE.

Concepts: DNA methyltransferase, Restriction enzyme, Methylation, Type I and type II errors, DNA methylation, DNA, Barrett's esophagus, Esophageal cancer


Fetal growth is a complex process. Its restriction is associated with morbidity and long term metabolic consequences. Imprinted genes have a critical role in mammalian fetal growth. The human chromosome 11p15 encompasses two imprinted domains regulated by their own differentially methylated region (DMR), also called Imprinted Control Region (ICR1 at the H19/IGF-2 domain, paternally methylated), and ICR2 at the KCNQ1/CDKN1C domain (maternally methylated). Loss of imprinting at these two domains is implicated in two growth disorders clinically opposite. A loss of DNA methylation (LOM) at ICR1 is identified in over 50% of patients with Russell-Silver syndrome (RSS), characterized by intrauterine and postnatal growth retardation, spared cranial growth, frequent body asymmetry and severe feeding difficulties. Inversely, a gain of methylation at ICR1 is found in 10% of patients with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS), an overgrowth syndrome with an enhanced childhood tumor risk. We have identified over 150 RSS patients with 11p15 LOM allowing long-term follow-up studies and proposal of clinical guidelines. We also found that ∼10% of RSS patients and ∼25% of BWS patients have multilocus LOM at imprinted regions other than ICR1 or ICR2 11p15, respectively. Recent studies have identified cis-acting regulatory elements and trans-acting factors involved in the regulation of 11p15 imprinting, establishing new potential mechanisms of RSS and BWS.

Concepts: Term, Gene expression, Regulation, Restriction enzyme, H19, Epigenetics, DNA methylation, DNA


BACKGROUND: Carboxylesterase overproduction is a frequently observed resistance mechanism of insects to organophosphate insecticides. As a major transmitter of human diseases, mosquitoes in the Culex pipiens complex have evolved 13 carboxylesterase alleles (Ester) that confer organophosphate resistance. Six alleles, EsterB1, Ester2, Ester8, Ester9, EsterB10, and Ester11, have been observed in field populations in China, sometimes co-existing in one population. To differentiate the carboxylesterase alleles found in these field populations, PCR-RFLP was designed for use in resistance monitoring. METHODS: ResultsBased on the DNA sequences of resistant and nonresistant carboxylesterase alleles, Ester B alleles were first amplified with PCR-specific primers and then digested with the restriction enzyme DraI. In this step, Ester2 and Ester11 were differentiated from the other Ester alleles. When the other Ester B alleles were digested with the restriction enzyme XbaI, EsterB1 and the susceptible C. p. pallens Ester were screened out. Ester8 and Ester9 were differentiated from EsterB10 and the susceptible C. p. quinquefasciatus esterase allele, respectively, by amplifying and digesting the Ester A alleles with the restriction enzyme ApaLI. The effectiveness of the custom-designed PCR-RFLP was verified in two field mosquito populations. CONCLUSIONS: A PCR-RFLP based approach was developed to differentiate carboxylesterase alleles in Culex pipiens complex mosquitoes. These processes may be useful in monitoring the evolutionary dynamics of known carboxylesterase alleles as well as in the identification of new alleles in field populations.

Concepts: Gene, Enzyme, Nonanal, Restriction enzyme, Molecular biology, Insect, Evolution, DNA


The 16 somatic serotype type strains and 60 field isolates of Pasteurella multocida, representing various avian species and geographic regions in Hungary, were characterised by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis of the ompH gene with DraI restriction endonuclease. The type strains yielded eight different (I-VIII) profiles. Strains whose PCR fragment was uncut by DraI (profile IV) could be differentiated with HindIII and PvuII restriction endonucleases. Five of the eight PCR-RFLP profiles (I, III, V, VI and VII) were detected among the field strains. Only a correlation of limited strength was found between the classical somatic serotypes and the PCR-RFLP profiles. However, the results confirmed that molecular methods could confidently distinguish serotype A:1 strains from the other serotypes. Moreover, the specific relationship between somatic serotypes and PCR-RFLP types among isolates from turkey raises the possibility of the existence of host-specific clones within the P. multocida population.

Concepts: Restriction enzymes, Pasteurella multocida, Enzyme, HindIII, Endonuclease, DNA, Restriction enzyme, Molecular biology


To evaluate whether male fertility status and/or embryo quality during in vitro fertilization (IVF) therapy can be predicted based on genomewide sperm deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation patterns.

Concepts: Cell, Methylation, Fertility, Spermatozoon, Histone, Restriction enzyme, DNA methylation, DNA


In recent years, various studies in the field of industrial enzymes of biotechnology have gained importance due to increasing development in enzyme technology. The variety of areas were enzymes are used and economic value of biotechnological products further increase their importance. There are hundreds of different types of cheese but each is made by coagulating milk using rennet to give curds. Today, researchers have begun to develop alternative systems in the cheese industry as related to milk clotting enzymes. In this study the nucleic acid sequence encoding the optimized chymosin enzyme was used and cloned by Not I and Mlu I restriction enzymes into pTOLT vector system. Then using this construct the enzyme as a fusion with Tol-A-III protein was produced in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) cells. After disrupting the E. coli cell and separating from the constituents by high speed centrifugation the enzyme was purified by affinity chromatography and fractions were analysed by SDS-PAGE. Purified enzyme has shown activity. Optimum temperature and pH of CHY-Tol-A-III protein were 40 °C and 6.5, respectively.

Concepts: Biotechnology, Cheese, Bacteria, Restriction enzyme, Protein, Molecular biology, Enzyme, Escherichia coli