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  1. Ong SY, Kho HP, Riedel SL, Kim SW, Gan CY, Taylor TD, et al.
    J. Biotechnol., 2018 Jan 10;265:31-39.
    PMID: 29101024 DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2017.10.017
    Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are produced in microbes as a source of carbon and energy storage. They are biodegradable and have properties similar to synthetic plastics, which make them an interesting alternative to petroleum-based plastics. In this study, a refined method of recovering PHA from Cupriavidus necator biomass was proposed by incorporating the use of the yellow mealworm (the larval phase of the mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor) as partial purification machinery, followed by washing of the fecal pellets with distilled water and sodium hydroxide. The PHA contents of the cells used in this study were 55wt% (produced from palm olein) and 60 wt% (produced from waste animal fats). The treatment of distilled water and NaOH further increased the purity of PHA to 94%. In parallel, analysis of the 16S rRNA metagenomic sequencing of the mealworm gut microbiome has revealed remarkable changes in the bacterial diversity, especially between the mealworms fed with cells produced from palm olein and waste animal fats. This biological recovery of PHA from cells is an attempt to move towards a green and sustainable process with the aim of reducing the use of harmful solvents and strong chemicals during polymer purification. The results obtained show that - purities of >90%, without a reduction in the molecular weight, can be obtained through this integrative biological recovery approach. In addition, this study has successfully shown that the cells, regardless of their origins, were readily consumed by the mealworms, and there is a correlation between the feed type and the mealworm gut microbiome.
  2. Dinesh B, Lau NS, Furusawa G, Kim SW, Taylor TD, Foong SY, et al.
    Mar Genomics, 2016 Feb;25:115-121.
    PMID: 26795059 DOI: 10.1016/j.margen.2015.12.006
    To date, the genus Mangrovimonas consists of only one species, Mangrovimonas yunxiaonensis strain LY01 that is known to have algicidal effects against harmful algal blooms (HABs) of Alexandrium tamarense. In this study, the whole genome sequence of three Mangrovimonas-like strains, TPBH4(T)(=LMG 28913(T),=JCM 30882(T)), ST2L12(T)(=LMG 28914(T),=JCM 30880(T)) and ST2L15(T)(=LMG 28915(T),=JCM 30881(T)) isolated from estuarine mangrove sediments in Perak, Malaysia were described. The sequenced genomes had a range of assembly size ranging from 3.56 Mb to 4.15 Mb which are significantly larger than that of M. yunxiaonensis LY01 (2.67 Mb). Xylan, xylose, L-arabinan and L-arabinose utilization genes were found in the genome sequences of the three Mangrovimonas-like strains described in this study. In contrast, these carbohydrate metabolism genes were not found in the genome sequence of LY01. In addition, TPBH4(T) and ST2L12(T) show capability to degrade xylan using qualitative plate assay method.
  3. Kwong A, Shin VY, Ho JC, Kang E, Nakamura S, Teo SH, et al.
    J. Med. Genet., 2016 Jan;53(1):15-23.
    PMID: 26187060 DOI: 10.1136/jmedgenet-2015-103132
    Approximately 5%-10% of breast cancers are due to genetic predisposition caused by germline mutations; the most commonly tested genes are BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Some mutations are unique to one family and others are recurrent; the spectrum of BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations varies depending on the geographical origins, populations or ethnic groups. In this review, we compiled data from 11 participating Asian countries (Bangladesh, Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), and from ethnic Asians residing in Canada and the USA. We have additionally conducted a literature review to include other Asian countries mainly in Central and Western Asia. We present the current pathogenic mutation spectrum of BRCA1/BRCA2 genes in patients with breast cancer in various Asian populations. Understanding BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations in Asians will help provide better risk assessment and clinical management of breast cancer.
  4. Kong TW, Ryu HS, Kim SC, Enomoto T, Li J, Kim KH, et al.
    J Gynecol Oncol, 2019 Mar;30(2):e39.
    PMID: 30740961 DOI: 10.3802/jgo.2019.30.e39
    The Asian Society of Gynecologic Oncology International Workshop 2018 on gynecologic oncology was held in the Ajou University Hospital, Suwon, Korea on the 24th to 25th August 2018. The workshop was an opportunity for Asian doctors to discuss the latest findings of gynecologic cancer, including cervical, ovarian, and endometrial cancers, as well as the future of fertility-sparing treatments, minimally invasive/radical/debulking surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. Clinical guidelines and position statement of Asian countries were presented by experts. Asian clinical trials for gynecologic cancers were reviewed and experts emphasized the point that original Asian study is beneficial for Asian patients. In Junior session, young gynecologic oncologists presented their latest research on gynecologic cancers.
  5. Ugai T, Milne RL, Ito H, Aronson KJ, Bolla MK, Chan T, et al.
    Mol Genet Genomic Med, 2019 Jun;7(6):e707.
    PMID: 31066241 DOI: 10.1002/mgg3.707
    BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies consistently indicate that alcohol consumption is an independent risk factor for female breast cancer (BC). Although the aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) polymorphism (rs671: Glu>Lys) has a strong effect on acetaldehyde metabolism, the association of rs671 with BC risk and its interaction with alcohol intake have not been fully elucidated. We conducted a pooled analysis of 14 case-control studies, with individual data on Asian ancestry women participating in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.

    METHODS: We included 12,595 invasive BC cases and 12,884 controls for the analysis of rs671 and BC risk, and 2,849 invasive BC cases and 3,680 controls for the analysis of the gene-environment interaction between rs671 and alcohol intake for BC risk. The pooled odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) associated with rs671 and its interaction with alcohol intake for BC risk were estimated using logistic regression models.

    RESULTS: The Lys/Lys genotype of rs671 was associated with increased BC risk (OR = 1.16, 95% CI 1.03-1.30, p = 0.014). According to tumor characteristics, the Lys/Lys genotype was associated with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive BC (OR = 1.19, 95% CI 1.05-1.36, p = 0.008), progesterone receptor (PR)-positive BC (OR = 1.19, 95% CI 1.03-1.36, p = 0.015), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative BC (OR = 1.25, 95% CI 1.05-1.48, p = 0.012). No evidence of a gene-environment interaction was observed between rs671 and alcohol intake (p = 0.537).

    CONCLUSION: This study suggests that the Lys/Lys genotype confers susceptibility to BC risk among women of Asian ancestry, particularly for ER-positive, PR-positive, and HER2-negative tumor types.

  6. Qian F, Wang S, Mitchell J, McGuffog L, Barrowdale D, Leslie G, et al.
    J. Natl. Cancer Inst., 2019 Apr 01;111(4):350-364.
    PMID: 30312457 DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djy132
    BACKGROUND: BRCA1/2 mutations confer high lifetime risk of breast cancer, although other factors may modify this risk. Whether height or body mass index (BMI) modifies breast cancer risk in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers remains unclear.

    METHODS: We used Mendelian randomization approaches to evaluate the association of height and BMI on breast cancer risk, using data from the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 with 14 676 BRCA1 and 7912 BRCA2 mutation carriers, including 11 451 cases of breast cancer. We created a height genetic score using 586 height-associated variants and a BMI genetic score using 93 BMI-associated variants. We examined both observed and genetically determined height and BMI with breast cancer risk using weighted Cox models. All statistical tests were two-sided.

    RESULTS: Observed height was positively associated with breast cancer risk (HR = 1.09 per 10 cm increase, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.0 to 1.17; P = 1.17). Height genetic score was positively associated with breast cancer, although this was not statistically significant (per 10 cm increase in genetically predicted height, HR = 1.04, 95% CI = 0.93 to 1.17; P = .47). Observed BMI was inversely associated with breast cancer risk (per 5 kg/m2 increase, HR = 0.94, 95% CI = 0.90 to 0.98; P = .007). BMI genetic score was also inversely associated with breast cancer risk (per 5 kg/m2 increase in genetically predicted BMI, HR = 0.87, 95% CI = 0.76 to 0.98; P = .02). BMI was primarily associated with premenopausal breast cancer.

    CONCLUSION: Height is associated with overall breast cancer and BMI is associated with premenopausal breast cancer in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. Incorporating height and BMI, particularly genetic score, into risk assessment may improve cancer management.

  7. Dörk T, Peterlongo P, Mannermaa A, Bolla MK, Wang Q, Dennis J, et al.
    Sci Rep, 2019 Aug 29;9(1):12524.
    PMID: 31467304 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-48804-y
    Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder with 22 disease-causing genes reported to date. In some FA genes, monoallelic mutations have been found to be associated with breast cancer risk, while the risk associations of others remain unknown. The gene for FA type C, FANCC, has been proposed as a breast cancer susceptibility gene based on epidemiological and sequencing studies. We used the Oncoarray project to genotype two truncating FANCC variants (p.R185X and p.R548X) in 64,760 breast cancer cases and 49,793 controls of European descent. FANCC mutations were observed in 25 cases (14 with p.R185X, 11 with p.R548X) and 26 controls (18 with p.R185X, 8 with p.R548X). There was no evidence of an association with the risk of breast cancer, neither overall (odds ratio 0.77, 95%CI 0.44-1.33, p = 0.4) nor by histology, hormone receptor status, age or family history. We conclude that the breast cancer risk association of these two FANCC variants, if any, is much smaller than for BRCA1, BRCA2 or PALB2 mutations. If this applies to all truncating variants in FANCC it would suggest there are differences between FA genes in their roles on breast cancer risk and demonstrates the merit of large consortia for clarifying risk associations of rare variants.
  8. Lecarpentier J, Silvestri V, Kuchenbaecker KB, Barrowdale D, Dennis J, McGuffog L, et al.
    J. Clin. Oncol., 2017 Jul 10;35(20):2240-2250.
    PMID: 28448241 DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2016.69.4935
    Purpose BRCA1/2 mutations increase the risk of breast and prostate cancer in men. Common genetic variants modify cancer risks for female carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations. We investigated-for the first time to our knowledge-associations of common genetic variants with breast and prostate cancer risks for male carriers of BRCA1/ 2 mutations and implications for cancer risk prediction. Materials and Methods We genotyped 1,802 male carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations from the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 by using the custom Illumina OncoArray. We investigated the combined effects of established breast and prostate cancer susceptibility variants on cancer risks for male carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations by constructing weighted polygenic risk scores (PRSs) using published effect estimates as weights. Results In male carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations, PRS that was based on 88 female breast cancer susceptibility variants was associated with breast cancer risk (odds ratio per standard deviation of PRS, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.19 to 1.56; P = 8.6 × 10-6). Similarly, PRS that was based on 103 prostate cancer susceptibility variants was associated with prostate cancer risk (odds ratio per SD of PRS, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.35 to 1.81; P = 3.2 × 10-9). Large differences in absolute cancer risks were observed at the extremes of the PRS distribution. For example, prostate cancer risk by age 80 years at the 5th and 95th percentiles of the PRS varies from 7% to 26% for carriers of BRCA1 mutations and from 19% to 61% for carriers of BRCA2 mutations, respectively. Conclusion PRSs may provide informative cancer risk stratification for male carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations that might enable these men and their physicians to make informed decisions on the type and timing of breast and prostate cancer risk management.
  9. Silvestri V, Barrowdale D, Mulligan AM, Neuhausen SL, Fox S, Karlan BY, et al.
    Breast Cancer Res., 2016 Feb 09;18(1):15.
    PMID: 26857456 DOI: 10.1186/s13058-016-0671-y
    BACKGROUND: BRCA1 and, more commonly, BRCA2 mutations are associated with increased risk of male breast cancer (MBC). However, only a paucity of data exists on the pathology of breast cancers (BCs) in men with BRCA1/2 mutations. Using the largest available dataset, we determined whether MBCs arising in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers display specific pathologic features and whether these features differ from those of BRCA1/2 female BCs (FBCs).

    METHODS: We characterised the pathologic features of 419 BRCA1/2 MBCs and, using logistic regression analysis, contrasted those with data from 9675 BRCA1/2 FBCs and with population-based data from 6351 MBCs in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database.

    RESULTS: Among BRCA2 MBCs, grade significantly decreased with increasing age at diagnosis (P = 0.005). Compared with BRCA2 FBCs, BRCA2 MBCs were of significantly higher stage (P for trend = 2 × 10(-5)) and higher grade (P for trend = 0.005) and were more likely to be oestrogen receptor-positive [odds ratio (OR) 10.59; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 5.15-21.80] and progesterone receptor-positive (OR 5.04; 95 % CI 3.17-8.04). With the exception of grade, similar patterns of associations emerged when we compared BRCA1 MBCs and FBCs. BRCA2 MBCs also presented with higher grade than MBCs from the SEER database (P for trend = 4 × 10(-12)).

    CONCLUSIONS: On the basis of the largest series analysed to date, our results show that BRCA1/2 MBCs display distinct pathologic characteristics compared with BRCA1/2 FBCs, and we identified a specific BRCA2-associated MBC phenotype characterised by a variable suggesting greater biological aggressiveness (i.e., high histologic grade). These findings could lead to the development of gender-specific risk prediction models and guide clinical strategies appropriate for MBC management.

  10. Rebbeck TR, Friebel TM, Friedman E, Hamann U, Huo D, Kwong A, et al.
    Hum. Mutat., 2018 05;39(5):593-620.
    PMID: 29446198 DOI: 10.1002/humu.23406
    The prevalence and spectrum of germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 have been reported in single populations, with the majority of reports focused on White in Europe and North America. The Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA) has assembled data on 18,435 families with BRCA1 mutations and 11,351 families with BRCA2 mutations ascertained from 69 centers in 49 countries on six continents. This study comprehensively describes the characteristics of the 1,650 unique BRCA1 and 1,731 unique BRCA2 deleterious (disease-associated) mutations identified in the CIMBA database. We observed substantial variation in mutation type and frequency by geographical region and race/ethnicity. In addition to known founder mutations, mutations of relatively high frequency were identified in specific racial/ethnic or geographic groups that may reflect founder mutations and which could be used in targeted (panel) first pass genotyping for specific populations. Knowledge of the population-specific mutational spectrum in BRCA1 and BRCA2 could inform efficient strategies for genetic testing and may justify a more broad-based oncogenetic testing in some populations.
  11. Patel VL, Busch EL, Friebel TM, Cronin A, Leslie G, McGuffog L, et al.
    Cancer Res., 2019 Nov 13.
    PMID: 31723001 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-1840
    Pathogenic sequence variants (PSV) in BRCA1 or BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) are associated with increased risk and severity of prostate cancer (PCa). We evaluated whether PSVs in BRCA1/2 were associated with risk of overall PCa or high grade (Gleason 8+) PCa using an international sample of 65 BRCA1 and 171 BRCA2 male PSV carriers with PCa, and 3,388 BRCA1 and 2,880 BRCA2 male PSV carriers without PCa. PSVs in the 3' region of BRCA2 (c.7914+) were significantly associated with elevated risk of PCa compared with reference bin c.1001-c.7913 (HR=1.78, 95%CI: 1.25-2.52, p=0.001), as well as elevated risk of Gleason 8+ PCa (HR=3.11, 95%CI: 1.63-5.95, p=0.001). c.756-c.1000 was also associated with elevated PCa risk (HR=2.83, 95%CI: 1.71-4.68, p=0.00004) and elevated risk of Gleason 8+ PCa (HR=4.95, 95%CI: 2.12-11.54, p=0.0002). No genotype-phenotype associations were detected for PSVs in BRCA1. These results demonstrate that specific BRCA2 PSVs may be associated with elevated risk of developing aggressive PCa.
  12. Rebbeck TR, Mitra N, Wan F, Sinilnikova OM, Healey S, McGuffog L, et al.
    JAMA, 2015 Apr 07;313(13):1347-61.
    PMID: 25849179 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.5985
    IMPORTANCE: Limited information about the relationship between specific mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) and cancer risk exists.

    OBJECTIVE: To identify mutation-specific cancer risks for carriers of BRCA1/2.

    DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Observational study of women who were ascertained between 1937 and 2011 (median, 1999) and found to carry disease-associated BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. The international sample comprised 19,581 carriers of BRCA1 mutations and 11,900 carriers of BRCA2 mutations from 55 centers in 33 countries on 6 continents. We estimated hazard ratios for breast and ovarian cancer based on mutation type, function, and nucleotide position. We also estimated RHR, the ratio of breast vs ovarian cancer hazard ratios. A value of RHR greater than 1 indicated elevated breast cancer risk; a value of RHR less than 1 indicated elevated ovarian cancer risk.

    EXPOSURES: Mutations of BRCA1 or BRCA2.

    MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Breast and ovarian cancer risks.

    RESULTS: Among BRCA1 mutation carriers, 9052 women (46%) were diagnosed with breast cancer, 2317 (12%) with ovarian cancer, 1041 (5%) with breast and ovarian cancer, and 7171 (37%) without cancer. Among BRCA2 mutation carriers, 6180 women (52%) were diagnosed with breast cancer, 682 (6%) with ovarian cancer, 272 (2%) with breast and ovarian cancer, and 4766 (40%) without cancer. In BRCA1, we identified 3 breast cancer cluster regions (BCCRs) located at c.179 to c.505 (BCCR1; RHR = 1.46; 95% CI, 1.22-1.74; P = 2 × 10(-6)), c.4328 to c.4945 (BCCR2; RHR = 1.34; 95% CI, 1.01-1.78; P = .04), and c. 5261 to c.5563 (BCCR2', RHR = 1.38; 95% CI, 1.22-1.55; P = 6 × 10(-9)). We also identified an ovarian cancer cluster region (OCCR) from c.1380 to c.4062 (approximately exon 11) with RHR = 0.62 (95% CI, 0.56-0.70; P = 9 × 10(-17)). In BRCA2, we observed multiple BCCRs spanning c.1 to c.596 (BCCR1; RHR = 1.71; 95% CI, 1.06-2.78; P = .03), c.772 to c.1806 (BCCR1'; RHR = 1.63; 95% CI, 1.10-2.40; P = .01), and c.7394 to c.8904 (BCCR2; RHR = 2.31; 95% CI, 1.69-3.16; P = .00002). We also identified 3 OCCRs: the first (OCCR1) spanned c.3249 to c.5681 that was adjacent to c.5946delT (6174delT; RHR = 0.51; 95% CI, 0.44-0.60; P = 6 × 10(-17)). The second OCCR spanned c.6645 to c.7471 (OCCR2; RHR = 0.57; 95% CI, 0.41-0.80; P = .001). Mutations conferring nonsense-mediated decay were associated with differential breast or ovarian cancer risks and an earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis for both BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.

    CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Breast and ovarian cancer risks varied by type and location of BRCA1/2 mutations. With appropriate validation, these data may have implications for risk assessment and cancer prevention decision making for carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.

  13. Milne RL, Kuchenbaecker KB, Michailidou K, Beesley J, Kar S, Lindström S, et al.
    Nat. Genet., 2017 Dec;49(12):1767-1778.
    PMID: 29058716 DOI: 10.1038/ng.3785
    Most common breast cancer susceptibility variants have been identified through genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of predominantly estrogen receptor (ER)-positive disease. We conducted a GWAS using 21,468 ER-negative cases and 100,594 controls combined with 18,908 BRCA1 mutation carriers (9,414 with breast cancer), all of European origin. We identified independent associations at P < 5 × 10-8 with ten variants at nine new loci. At P < 0.05, we replicated associations with 10 of 11 variants previously reported in ER-negative disease or BRCA1 mutation carrier GWAS and observed consistent associations with ER-negative disease for 105 susceptibility variants identified by other studies. These 125 variants explain approximately 16% of the familial risk of this breast cancer subtype. There was high genetic correlation (0.72) between risk of ER-negative breast cancer and breast cancer risk for BRCA1 mutation carriers. These findings may lead to improved risk prediction and inform further fine-mapping and functional work to better understand the biological basis of ER-negative breast cancer.
  14. Michailidou K, Lindström S, Dennis J, Beesley J, Hui S, Kar S, et al.
    Nature, 2017 11 02;551(7678):92-94.
    PMID: 29059683 DOI: 10.1038/nature24284
    Breast cancer risk is influenced by rare coding variants in susceptibility genes, such as BRCA1, and many common, mostly non-coding variants. However, much of the genetic contribution to breast cancer risk remains unknown. Here we report the results of a genome-wide association study of breast cancer in 122,977 cases and 105,974 controls of European ancestry and 14,068 cases and 13,104 controls of East Asian ancestry. We identified 65 new loci that are associated with overall breast cancer risk at P 
  15. Phelan CM, Kuchenbaecker KB, Tyrer JP, Kar SP, Lawrenson K, Winham SJ, et al.
    Nat. Genet., 2017 May;49(5):680-691.
    PMID: 28346442 DOI: 10.1038/ng.3826
    To identify common alleles associated with different histotypes of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), we pooled data from multiple genome-wide genotyping projects totaling 25,509 EOC cases and 40,941 controls. We identified nine new susceptibility loci for different EOC histotypes: six for serous EOC histotypes (3q28, 4q32.3, 8q21.11, 10q24.33, 18q11.2 and 22q12.1), two for mucinous EOC (3q22.3 and 9q31.1) and one for endometrioid EOC (5q12.3). We then performed meta-analysis on the results for high-grade serous ovarian cancer with the results from analysis of 31,448 BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers, including 3,887 mutation carriers with EOC. This identified three additional susceptibility loci at 2q13, 8q24.1 and 12q24.31. Integrated analyses of genes and regulatory biofeatures at each locus predicted candidate susceptibility genes, including OBFC1, a new candidate susceptibility gene for low-grade and borderline serous EOC.
  16. Klionsky DJ, Abdelmohsen K, Abe A, Abedin MJ, Abeliovich H, Acevedo Arozena A, et al.
    Autophagy, 2016;12(1):1-222.
    PMID: 26799652 DOI: 10.1080/15548627.2015.1100356
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