(57/12035) Male homosexuality: absence of linkage to microsatellite markers at Xq28.

Several lines of evidence have implicated genetic factors in homosexuality. The most compelling observation has been the report of genetic linkage of male homosexuality to microsatellite markers on the X chromosome. This observation warranted further study and confirmation. Sharing of alleles at position Xq28 was studied in 52 gay male sibling pairs from Canadian families. Four markers at Xq28 were analyzed (DXS1113, BGN, Factor 8, and DXS1108). Allele and haplotype sharing for these markers was not increased over expectation. These results do not support an X-linked gene underlying male homosexuality.  (+info)

(58/12035) Differential CD4/CD8 subset-specific expression of highly homologous rat Tcrb-V8 family members suggests a role of CDR2 and/or CDR4 (HV4) in MHC class-specific thymic selection.

Different rat Tcrb haplotypes express either TCR beta variable segment (Tcrb-V) 8.2l or 8.4a. Both V segments bind the mAb R78 but differ by one conservative substitution (L14V) and clusters of two and four substitutions in the complementarity-determining region (CDR) 2 and CDR4 [hypervariable loop 4 (HV4)]. Independently of MHC alleles numbers of R78+ CD4+ cells are lower in Tcrb-V8.2l-expressing than in Tcrb-V8.4a-expressing strains. Expression of R78+ TCR during T cell development, analysis of backcross populations and generation of a Tcrb congenic strain [LEW.TCRB(AS)] define two mechanisms how Tcrb haplotypes affect the frequency of R78+ cells, one acting prior to thymic selection leading to up to 2-fold higher frequency of Tcrb-V8.4a versus Tcrb-V8.2l in unselected thymocytes and another occurring between the TCRlow and the CD4/CD8 single-positive stage. The latter leads to a 50% reduction of frequency of Tcrb-V8.4a CD8+ cells but not CD4+ cells and does not affect either subset of Tcrb-V8.2l cells. A comparison of rat classical class I MHC (RT1.A) sequences and current models of TCR-MHC-peptide interaction suggests that this reduction in frequency of Tcrb-V8.4a CD8 cells may be a consequence of differential selection of Tcrb-V8.2l versus Tcrb-V8.4a TCR by differential binding of CDR2beta to highly conserved areas of C-terminal parts of the alpha helices of class I MHC molecules.  (+info)

(59/12035) Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in intron 2 of CYP21P: evidence for a higher rate of mutation at CpG dinucleotides in the functional steroid 21-hydroxylase gene and application to segregation analysis in congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

BACKGROUND: Intron 2 of CYP21, the functional steroid 21-hydroxylase gene contains several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We tested the hypothesis that intron 2 of the pseudogene, CYP21P, might also be polymorphic and provide markers for segregation analysis of this region of the genome, including observable markers for segregation analysis of CYP21 gene deletions. A comparison of SNPs in both genes might provide insights into the rates of mutation in these duplicated genes. METHODS: After amplification with PCR, we examined restriction site polymorphisms in intron 2 of CYP21P in 24 members of the parental generation of the Centre d'Etude du Polymorphisme Humain families and selected offspring. RESULTS: Intron 2 of CYP21P contains frequent SNPs around nucleotide 398 and nucleotide 509, which can be typed by PCR/restriction enzyme digestion with HaeIII. Of the 48 CYP21P alleles examined, 44 could be characterized unambiguously. Of these 44 alleles, 4 were deleted, and the frequencies of restriction at the polymorphic HaeIII sites were 20 of 40 at nucleotide 398 and 30 of 40 at nucleotide 509. Both polymorphisms result from C-->T transitions that occur at CpG dinucleotides. The frequencies of C at these nucleotides in CYP21P are significantly higher than at the corresponding nucleotides in CYP21 of the same individuals (P <0.01). CONCLUSION: These data suggest that these CpG dinucleotides are more frequently mutated in CYP21 than in CYP21P, and that several mutations at CpG dinucleotides in the coding regions of CYP21 might result from CpG instability rather than the more usually proposed mechanism of gene conversion. These frequent SNPs provide useful markers for studying both allelic segregation of CYP21, particularly for chromosomes with known CYP21 deletions, and for investigating the origin of these polymorphisms.  (+info)

(60/12035) Recombination and selection at Brassica self-incompatibility loci.

In Brassica species, self-incompatibility is controlled genetically by haplotypes involving two known genes, SLG and SRK, and possibly an as yet unknown gene controlling pollen incompatibility types. Alleles at the incompatibility loci are maintained by frequency-dependent selection, and diversity at SLG and SRK appears to be very ancient, with high diversity at silent and replacement sites, particularly in certain "hypervariable" portions of the genes. It is important to test whether recombination occurs in these genes before inferences about function of different parts of the genes can be made from patterns of diversity within their sequences. In addition, it has been suggested that, to maintain the relationship between alleles within a given S-haplotype, recombination is suppressed in the S-locus region. The high diversity makes many population genetic measures of recombination inapplicable. We have analyzed linkage disequilibrium within the SLG gene of two Brassica species, using published coding sequences. The results suggest that intragenic recombination has occurred in the evolutionary history of these alleles. This is supported by patterns of synonymous nucleotide diversity within both the SLG and SRK genes, and between domains of the SRK gene. Finally, clusters of linkage disequilibrium within the SLG gene suggest that hypervariable regions are under balancing selection, and are not merely regions of relaxed selective constraint.  (+info)

(61/12035) Cutting edge: functional characterization of the effect of the C3H/HeJ defect in mice that lack an Lpsn gene: in vivo evidence for a dominant negative mutation.

A point mutation in the Tlr4 gene, which encodes Toll-like receptor 4, has recently been proposed to underlie LPS hyporesponsiveness in C3H/HeJ mice (Lpsd). The data presented herein demonstrate that F1 progeny from crosses between mice that carry a approximately 9-cM deletion of chromosome 4 (including deletion of LpsTlr4) and C3H/HeJ mice (i.e., Lps0 x Lpsd F1 mice) exhibit a pattern of LPS sensitivity, measured by TNF activity, that is indistinguishable from that exhibited by Lpsn x Lpsd F1 progeny and whose average response is "intermediate" to parental responses. Thus, these data provide clear functional support for the hypothesis that the C3H/HeJ defect exerts a dominant negative effect on LPS sensitivity; however, expression of a normal Toll-like receptor 4 molecule is apparently not required.  (+info)

(62/12035) Evidence that microdeletions in the alpha globin gene protect against the development of sickle cell glomerulopathy in humans.

There is a large variability in the severity of the clinical manifestations of sickle cell anemia (SSA), including renal involvement. Haplotypes in the beta-globin gene cluster associated with the geographical origin of the sickle mutation, as well as microdeletions in the alpha-globin genes, could provide an epigenetic influence on the heterogeneous outcome in SSA. It has been determined that the cause of progressive renal insufficiency in SSA is a glomerulopathy, clinically detected by the presence of macroalbuminuria (albumin excretion rate >300 mg/g creatinine). To investigate the role of the alpha-globin gene microdeletion and beta-globin gene cluster haplotypes on the degree of glomerular involvement, 76 adult SSA patients (hemoglobin SS) were studied to determine the relationship between these genetic markers and the development of sickle cell glomerulopathy. Macroalbuminuria was present in 22 (29%) of 76 adult SSA patients. The coinheritance of microdeletions in one or two of the four alpha-globin genes (alpha-thalassemia) was associated with a lower prevalence of macroalbuminuria (13%) versus patients with intact alpha-globin genes (40%, P = 0.01). By contrast, there was no association between albuminuria and beta-globin gene haplotypes (Central African Republic [CAR] versus non-CAR haplotypes). Patients with alpha-globin gene microdeletions had lower mean corpuscular volumes and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration than patients with all four alpha genes (86+/-2 versus 99+/-3 fl, and 33.9+/-0.2 versus 34.9+/-0.2%, respectively, P<0.05). There were no such hematologic differences between CAR and non-CAR beta-globin haplotypes. There were no differences in duration of disease (age), hemoglobin levels, reticulocyte index, and lactate dehydrogenase levels between those with and without glomerulopathy, but the mean arterial pressure was higher (87+/-1 mm Hg) in patients with intact alpha gene locus versus those with microdeletions (80+/-2 mm Hg, P<0.05). It is concluded that the coinheritance of microdeletions in the alpha-globin gene locus in SSA patients confers "renoprotection" by mechanisms not related to the degree of anemia or the severity of hemolysis, but could be related to a reduced mean corpuscular volume or to a lower erythrocyte hemoglobin concentration.  (+info)

(63/12035) Three widespread founder mutations contribute to high incidence of X-linked juvenile retinoschisis in Finland.

X-linked juvenile retinoschisis (RS) is a recessively inherited disorder causing progressive vitreoretinal degeneration in males. The gene defective in retinoschisis, XLRS1, has recently been identified and characterised. This gene consists of six exons encoding a protein with a putative role in cell-cell adhesion and phospholipid binding. Juvenile retinoschisis has been actively studied in Finland over the past 30 years, with over 300 diagnosed RS patients. Based on genealogical studies, approximately 70% of the Finnish RS patients originate from Western Finland and 20% from Northern Finland. In this study, one third of the known Finnish RS patients were screened for mutations of the XLRS1 gene. Haplotype analysis, using nine microsatellite markers spanning 1 cM in Xp22.2, suggested the segregation of eight different mutations in these families. To identify mutations, the six exons were amplified by PCR and analysed by single strand conformation analysis, followed by direct sequencing of the PCR products. We identified seven distinct missense mutations, all in exons 4 and 6. The mutations in exon 4, 214G > A and 221G > T, are accountable for RS in Western Finland. A third mutation in exon 4, 325G > C, gives rise to RS in Northern Finland. These three founder mutations are the predominant cause of RS in Finland and their existence explains the high incidence of the disease. The identification of mutations common in genetically isolated populations, such as Finland, allows the diagnosis of patients with an atypical RS phenotype and enables nationwide carrier testing and improved genetic counselling.  (+info)

(64/12035) Evidence on the origin of cassava: phylogeography of Manihot esculenta.

Cassava (Manihot esculenta subsp. esculenta) is a staple crop with great economic importance worldwide, yet its evolutionary and geographical origins have remained unresolved and controversial. We have investigated this crop's domestication in a phylogeographic study based on the single-copy nuclear gene glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (G3pdh). The G3pdh locus provides high levels of noncoding sequence variation in cassava and its wild relatives, with 28 haplotypes identified among 212 individuals (424 alleles) examined. These data represent one of the first uses of a single-copy nuclear gene in a plant phylogeographic study and yield several important insights into cassava's evolutionary origin: (i) cassava was likely domesticated from wild M. esculenta populations along the southern border of the Amazon basin; (ii) the crop does not seem to be derived from several progenitor species, as previously proposed; and (iii) cassava does not share haplotypes with Manihot pruinosa, a closely related, potentially hybridizing species. These findings provide the clearest picture to date on cassava's origin. When considered in a genealogical context, relationships among the G3pdh haplotypes are incongruent with taxonomic boundaries, both within M. esculenta and at the interspecific level; this incongruence is probably a result of lineage sorting among these recently diverged taxa. Although phylogeographic studies in animals have provided many new evolutionary insights, application of phylogeography in plants has been hampered by difficulty in obtaining phylogenetically informative intraspecific variation. This study demonstrates that single-copy nuclear genes can provide a useful source of informative variation in plants.  (+info)