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  1. Chow YP, Abdul Murad NA, Mohd Rani Z, Khoo JS, Chong PS, Wu LL, et al.
    Orphanet J Rare Dis, 2017 Feb 21;12(1):40.
    PMID: 28222800 DOI: 10.1186/s13023-017-0575-7
    BACKGROUND: Pendred syndrome (PDS, MIM #274600) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by congenital sensorineural hearing loss and goiter. In this study, we describing the possible PDS causal mutations in a Malaysian family with 2 daughters diagnosed with bilateral hearing loss and hypothyroidism.

    METHODS AND RESULTS: Whole exome sequencing was performed on 2 sisters with PDS and their unaffected parents. Our results showed that both sisters inherited monoallelic mutations in the 2 known PDS genes, SLC26A4 (ENST00000265715:c.1343C > T, p.Ser448Leu) and GJB2 (ENST00000382844:c.368C > A, p.Thr123Asn) from their father, as well as another deafness-related gene, SCARB2 (ENST00000264896:c.914C > T, p.Thr305Met) from their mother. We postulated that these three heterozygous mutations in combination may be causative to deafness, and warrants further investigation. Furthermore, we also identified a compound heterozygosity involving the DUOX2 gene (ENST00000603300:c.1588A > T:p.Lys530* and c.3329G > A:p.Arg1110Gln) in both sisters which are inherited from both parents and may be correlated with early onset of goiter. All the candidate mutations were predicted deleterious by in silico tools.

    CONCLUSIONS: In summary, we proposed that PDS in this family could be a polygenic disorder which possibly arises from a combination of heterozygous mutations in SLC26A4, GJB2 and SCARB2 which associated with deafness, as well as compound heterozygous DUOX2 mutations which associated with thyroid dysfunction.

  2. Kuan CS, Cham CY, Singh G, Yew SM, Tan YC, Chong PS, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(8):e0161008.
    PMID: 27570972 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161008
    Cladophialophora bantiana is a dematiaceous fungus with a predilection for causing central nervous system (CNS) infection manifesting as brain abscess in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients. In this paper, we report comprehensive genomic analyses of C. bantiana isolated from the brain abscess of an immunocompetent man, the first reported case in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. The identity of the fungus was determined using combined morphological analysis and multilocus phylogeny. The draft genome sequence of a neurotrophic fungus, C. bantiana UM 956 was generated using Illumina sequencing technology to dissect its genetic fundamental and basic biology. The assembled 37.1 Mb genome encodes 12,155 putative coding genes, of which, 1.01% are predicted transposable elements. Its genomic features support its saprophytic lifestyle, renowned for its versatility in decomposing hemicellulose and pectin components. The C. bantiana UM 956 was also found to carry some important putative genes that engaged in pathogenicity, iron uptake and homeostasis as well as adaptation to various stresses to enable the organism to survive in hostile microenvironment. This wealth of resource will further catalyse more downstream functional studies to provide better understanding on how this fungus can be a successful and persistent pathogen in human.
  3. Looi HK, Toh YF, Yew SM, Na SL, Tan YC, Chong PS, et al.
    PeerJ, 2017;5:e2841.
    PMID: 28149676 DOI: 10.7717/peerj.2841
    Corynespora cassiicola is a common plant pathogen that causes leaf spot disease in a broad range of crop, and it heavily affect rubber trees in Malaysia (Hsueh, 2011; Nghia et al., 2008). The isolation of UM 591 from a patient's contact lens indicates the pathogenic potential of this dematiaceous fungus in human. However, the underlying factors that contribute to the opportunistic cross-infection have not been fully studied. We employed genome sequencing and gene homology annotations in attempt to identify these factors in UM 591 using data obtained from publicly available bioinformatics databases. The assembly size of UM 591 genome is 41.8 Mbp, and a total of 13,531 (≥99 bp) genes have been predicted. UM 591 is enriched with genes that encode for glycoside hydrolases, carbohydrate esterases, auxiliary activity enzymes and cell wall degrading enzymes. Virulent genes comprising of CAZymes, peptidases, and hypervirulence-associated cutinases were found to be present in the fungal genome. Comparative analysis result shows that UM 591 possesses higher number of carbohydrate esterases family 10 (CE10) CAZymes compared to other species of fungi in this study, and these enzymes hydrolyses wide range of carbohydrate and non-carbohydrate substrates. Putative melanin, siderophore, ent-kaurene, and lycopene biosynthesis gene clusters are predicted, and these gene clusters denote that UM 591 are capable of protecting itself from the UV and chemical stresses, allowing it to adapt to different environment. Putative sterigmatocystin, HC-toxin, cercosporin, and gliotoxin biosynthesis gene cluster are predicted. This finding have highlighted the necrotrophic and invasive nature of UM 591.
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