Most downloaded biology preprints, all time
in category molecular biology
3,576 results found. For more information, click each entry to expand.
6,100 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
Neil G. Rumachik, Stacy A. Malaker, Nicole Poweleit, Lucy H. Maynard, Christopher M. Adams, Ryan D. Leib, Giana Cirolia, Dennis Thomas, Susan Stamnes, Kathleen Holt, Patrick Sinn, Andrew P May, Nicole K. Paulk
Different approaches are used in the production of recombinant AAV. The two leading approaches are transiently transfected human HEK293 cells and live baculovirus infection of Sf9 insect cells. Unexplained differences in vector performance have been seen clinically and preclinically. Thus, we performed a controlled comparative production analysis varying only the host cell species but maintaining all other parameters. We characterized differences with multiple analytical approaches: proteomic profiling by mass spectrometry, isoelectric focusing, cryo-EM, denaturation assays, genomic and epigenomic sequencing of packaged genomes, human cytokine profiling, and functional transduction assessments in vitro and in vivo, including in humanized liver mice. Using these approaches we have made two major discoveries: 1) rAAV capsids have post-translational modifications including glycosylation, acetylation, phosphorylation, and methylation, and these differ between platforms. 2) rAAV genomes are methylated during production, and these are also differentially deposited between platforms. Our data find that host cell protein impurities differ between platforms and can have their own PTMs including potentially immunogenic N-linked glycans. Human-produced rAAVs are more potent than baculovirus-Sf9 vectors in various cell types in vitro (P < 0.05-0.0001), in various mouse tissues in vivo (P < 0.03-0.0001), and in human liver in vivo (P < 0.005). These differences may have clinical implications for rAAV receptor binding, trafficking, expression kinetics, expression durability, vector immunogenicity as well as cost considerations. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
5,846 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is the pathogen of Corona Virus Disease 2019. Nucleic acid detection of 2019-nCoV is one of the key indicators for clinical diagnosis. However, the positive rate is only 30-50%. Currently, fluorescent quantitative RT-PCR technology is mainly used to detect 2019-nCoV. According to "The Laboratory Technical Guidelines for Detection 2019-nCoV (Fourth Edition)" issued by National Health and Commission of China and "The Experts' Consensus on Nucleic Acid Detection of 2019-nCoV" released by Chinese Society of Laboratory Medicine, the human samples must be placed under 56°C or higher to inactivate the viruses in order to keep the inspectors from virus infection before the nucleic acids were isolated as the template of qRT-PCR. In this study, we demonstrated that the virus inactivation treatment disrupts its genome integrity seriously when using porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (vaccine), a kind of coronavirus, as a model. Our results showed that only 50.11% of the detectable viral templates left after the inactivation of 56°C for 30 minutes and only 3.36% left after the inactivation of 92°C for 5 minutes when the samples were preserved by Hank's solution, one of an isotonic salt solutions currently suggested. However, the detectable templates of viral nucleic acids can be unchanged after the samples were incubated at 56°C or higher if the samples were preserved with an optimized solution to protect the RNA from being disrupted. We therefore highly recommend to carry out systematic investigation on the impact of high temperature inactivation on the integrity of 2019-nCoV genome and develop a sample preservation solution to protect the detectable templates of 2019-nCoV nucleic acids from high temperature inactivation damage.
5,430 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
Pinar Akcakaya, Maggie L. Bobbin, Jimmy A. Guo, Jose M Lopez, M. Kendell Clement, Sara P. Garcia, Mick D. Fellows, Michelle J. Porritt, Mike A. Firth, Alba Carreras, Tania Baccega, Frank Seeliger, Mikael Bjursell, Shengdar Q. Tsai, Nhu T. Nguyen, Roberto Nitsch, Lorenz M Mayr, Luca Pinello, Mohammad Bohlooly-Y, Martin J Aryee, Marcello Maresca, J. Keith Joung
CRISPR-Cas genome-editing nucleases hold substantial promise for human therapeutics but identifying unwanted off-target mutations remains an important requirement for clinical translation. For ex vivo therapeutic applications, previously published cell-based genome-wide methods provide potentially useful strategies to identify and quantify these off-target mutation sites. However, a well-validated method that can reliably identify off-targets in vivo has not been described to date, leaving the question of whether and how frequently these types of mutations occur. Here we describe Verification of In Vivo Off-targets (VIVO), a highly sensitive, unbiased, and generalizable strategy that we show can robustly identify genome-wide CRISPR-Cas nuclease off-target effects in vivo. To our knowledge, these studies provide the first demonstration that CRISPR-Cas nucleases can induce substantial off-target mutations in vivo, a result we obtained using a deliberately promiscuous guide RNA (gRNA). More importantly, we used VIVO to show that appropriately designed gRNAs can direct efficient in vivo editing without inducing detectable off-target mutations. Our findings provide strong support for and should encourage further development of in vivo genome editing therapeutic strategies.
5,301 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
The study of microbial communities has been revolutionised in recent years by the widespread adoption of culture independent analytical techniques such as 16S rRNA gene sequencing and metagenomics. One potential confounder of these sequence-based approaches is the presence of contamination in DNA extraction kits and other laboratory reagents. In this study we demonstrate that contaminating DNA is ubiquitous in commonly used DNA extraction kits, varies greatly in composition between different kits and kit batches, and that this contamination critically impacts results obtained from samples containing a low microbial biomass. Contamination impacts both PCR-based 16S rRNA gene surveys and shotgun metagenomics. These results suggest that caution should be advised when applying sequence-based techniques to the study of microbiota present in low biomass environments. We provide an extensive list of potential contaminating genera, and guidelines on how to mitigate the effects of contamination. Concurrent sequencing of negative control samples is strongly advised.
5,243 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
Background: Recent technical advances allowing quantification of RNA from single cells are revolutionizing biology and medicine. Currently, almost all single-cell transcriptomic protocols rely on conversion of RNA to cDNA by reverse transcription (RT). However, RT is recognized as highly limiting step due to its inherent variability and suboptimal sensitivity, especially at minute amounts of RNA. Primary factor influencing RT outcome is reverse transcriptase (RTase). Recently, several new RTases with potential to decrease the loss of information during RT have been developed, but the thorough assessment of their performance is missing. Methods: We have compared the performance of 11 RTases in RT-qPCR on single-cell and 100-cell bulk templates using two priming strategies: conventional mixture of random hexamers with oligo(dT)s and reduced concentration of oligo(dT)s mimicking common single-cell RNA-Seq library preparation protocols. Based on the performance, two RTases were further tested in high-throughput single-cell experiment. Results: All RTases tested reverse transcribed low-concentration templates with high accuracy (R2 > 0.9445) but variable reproducibility (median CVRT = 40.1 %). The most pronounced differences were found in the ability to capture rare transcripts (0 - 90% reaction positivity rate) as well as in the rate of RNA conversion to cDNA (7.3 - 124.5 % absolute yield). Finally, RTase performance and reproducibility across all tested parameters were compared using Z-scores and validity of obtained results was confirmed in a single-cell model experiment. The better performing RTase provided higher positive reaction rate and expression levels and improved resolution in clustering analysis. Conclusions: We performed a comprehensive comparison of 11 RTases in low RNA concentration range and identified two best-performing enzymes (Maxima H-; SuperScript IV). We found that using better-performing enzyme (Maxima H-) over commonly-used below-average performer (SuperScript II) increases the sensitivity of single-cell experiment. Our results provide a reference for the improvement of current single-cell quantification protocols.
5,217 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
Sanjay Srivatsan, Peter D. Han, Katrina van Raay, Caitlin R Wolf, Denise J. McCulloch, Ashley E Kim, Elisabeth Brandstetter, Beth Martin, Jase Gehring, Wei Chen, Seattle Flu Study Investigators, Sriram Kosuri, Eric Q. Konnick, Christina M. Lockwood, Mark J. Rieder, Deborah A Nickerson, Helen Y Chu, Jay Shendure, Lea M Starita
The urgent need for massively scaled clinical or surveillance testing for SARS-CoV-2 has necessitated a reconsideration of the methods by which respiratory samples are collected, transported, processed and tested. Conventional testing for SARS-CoV-2 involves collection of a clinical specimen with a nasopharyngeal swab, storage of the swab during transport in universal transport medium (UTM), extraction of RNA, and quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR). As testing has scaled across the world, supply chain challenges have emerged across this entire workflow. Here we sought to evaluate how eliminating the UTM storage and RNA extraction steps would impact the results of molecular testing. Using paired mid-turbinate swabs self-collected by 11 individuals with previously established SARS-CoV-2 positivity, we performed a comparison of conventional (swab → UTM → RNA extraction → RT-qPCR) vs. simplified (direct elution from dry swab → RT-qPCR) protocols. Our results suggest that dry swabs eluted directly into a simple buffered solution (TE) can support molecular detection of SARS-CoV-2 via endpoint RT-qPCR without substantially compromising sensitivity. Although further confirmation with a larger sample size and variation of other parameters is necessary, these results are encouraging for the possibility of a simplified workflow that could support massively scaled testing for COVID-19 control. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
5,211 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a diverse class of RNAs with increasingly appreciated functions in vertebrates, yet much of their biology remains poorly understood. In particular, it is unclear to what extent the current catalog of over 10,000 distinct annotated lncRNAs is indeed devoid of genes coding for proteins. Here we review the available computational and experimental schemes for distinguishing between recent genome-wide applications. We conclude that the model most consistent with available data is that a large number of mammalian lncRNAs undergo translation, but only a very small minority of such translation events result in stable and functional peptides. The outcome of the majority of the translation events and their potential biological purposes remain an intriguing topic for future investigation.
5,117 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
Matthias Thoms, Robert Buschauer, Michael Ameismeier, Lennart Koepke, Timo Denk, Maximilian Hirschenberger, Hanna Kratzat, Manuel Hayn, Timur Mackens-Kiani, Jingdong Cheng, Christina M. Stürzel, Thomas Fröhlich, Otto Berninghausen, Thomas Becker, Frank Kirchhoff, Konstantin MJ Sparrer, Roland Beckmann
SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of the current COVID-19 pandemic. A major virulence factor of SARS-CoVs is the nonstructural protein 1 (Nsp1) which suppresses host gene expression by ribosome association via an unknown mechanism. Here, we show that Nsp1 from SARS-CoV-2 binds to 40S and 80S ribosomes, resulting in shutdown of capped mRNA translation both in vitro and in cells. Structural analysis by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) of in vitro reconstituted Nsp1-40S and of native human Nsp1-ribosome complexes revealed that the Nsp1 C-terminus binds to and obstructs the mRNA entry tunnel. Thereby, Nsp1 effectively blocks RIG-Idependent innate immune responses that would otherwise facilitate clearance of the infection. Thus, the structural characterization of the inhibitory mechanism of Nsp1 may aid structure-based drug design against SARS-CoV-2. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
5,002 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
Tingting Li, Qingbing Zheng, Hai Yu, Dinghui Wu, Wenhui Xue, Yuyun Zhang, Xiaofen Huang, Lizhi Zhou, Zhigang Zhang, Zhenghui Zha, Tingting Chen, Zhiping Wang, Jie Chen, Hui Sun, Tingting Deng, Yingbin Wang, Yixin Chen, Qinjian Zhao, Jun Zhang, Ying Gu, Shaowei Li, Xia Ningshao
Pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), for which there are no efficacious vaccines or therapeutics that are urgently needed. We expressed three versions of spike (S) proteins—receptor binding domain (RBD), S1 subunit and S ectodomain—in insect cells. RBD appears monomer in solutions, whereas S1 and S associate into homotrimer with substantial glycosylation. The three proteins confer excellent antigenicity with six convalescent COVID-19 patient sera. Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) analyses indicate that the SARS-CoV-2 S trimer dominate in a unique conformation distinguished from the classic prefusion conformation of coronaviruses by the upper S1 region at lower position ~15 Å proximal to viral membrane. Such conformation is proposed as an early prefusion state for the SARS-CoV-2 spike that may broaden the knowledge of coronavirus and facilitate vaccine development.
4,989 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
The global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has placed an unprecedented burden on healthcare systems as the virus spread from the initial 27 reported cases in the city of Wuhan, China to a global pandemic in under three month. Resources essential to monitoring virus transmission have been challenged with a demand for expanded surveillance. The CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time Diagnostic Panel uses a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) consisting of two TaqMan probe and primer sets specific for the 2019-nCoV N gene, which codes for the nucleocapsid structural protein that encapsulates viral RNA, for the qualitative detection of 2019-nCoV viral RNA in respiratory samples. To isolate RNA from respiratory samples, the CDC lists RNA extraction kits from four manufacturers. In anticipation of a limited supply chain of RNA extraction kits and the need for test scalability, we sought to identify alternative RNA extraction methods. Here we show that direct lysis of respiratory samples can be used in place of RNA extraction kits to run the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time Diagnostic assay with the additional benefits of higher throughput, lower cost, faster turnaround and possibly higher sensitivity and improved safety. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
4,910 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
To circumvent time-consuming clinical trials, testing whether existing drugs are effective inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2, has led to the discovery of Remdesivir. We decided to follow this path and screened approved medications off-label against SARS-CoV-2. In these screenings, Fluoxetine inhibited SARS-CoV-2 at a concentration of 0.8μg/ml significantly, and the EC50 was determined with 387ng/ml. Fluoxetine is a racemate consisting of both stereoisomers, while the S-form is the dominant serotonin reuptake inhibitor. We found that both isomers show similar activity on the virus. Fluoxetine treatment resulted in a decrease in viral protein expression. Furthermore, Fluoxetine inhibited neither Rabies virus, human respiratory syncytial virus replication nor the Human Herpesvirus 8 or Herpes simplex virus type 1 gene expression, indicating that it acts virus-specific. We see the role of Fluoxetine in the early treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients of risk groups. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
4,906 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
The ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) originating from Wuhan, China, draws worldwide concerns due to its long incubation period and strong infectivity. Although RT-PCR-based molecular diagnosis techniques are being widely applied for clinical diagnosis currently, timely and accurate diagnosis are still limited due to labour intensive and time-consuming operations of these techniques. To address the issue, herein we report the synthesis of poly (amino ester) with carboxyl groups (PC)-coated magnetic nanoparticles (pcMNPs), and the development of pcMNPs-based viral RNA extraction method for the sensitive detection of COVID-19 causing virus, the SARS-CoV-2. This method combines the lysis and binding steps into one step, and the pcMNPs-RNA complexes can be directly introduced into subsequent RT-PCR reactions. The simplified process can purify viral RNA from multiple samples within 20 min using a simple manual method or an automated high-throughput approach. By identifying two different regions (ORFlab and N gene) of viral RNA, a 10-copy sensitivity and a strong linear correlation between 10 and 100,000 copies of SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus particles are achieved. Benefitting from the simplicity and excellent performances, this new extraction method can dramatically reduce the turn-around time and operational requirements in current molecular diagnosis of COVID-19, in particular for the early clinical diagnosis.
4,695 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
Omar O Abudayyeh, Jonathan S Gootenberg, Silvana Konermann, Julia Joung, Ian M Slaymaker, David B.T. Cox, Sergey Shmakov, Kira S Makarova, Ekaterina Semenova, Leonid Minakhin, Konstantin Severinov, Aviv Regev, Eric S Lander, Eugene V. Koonin, Feng Zhang
The CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune system defends microbes against foreign genetic elements via DNA or RNA-DNA interference. We characterize the Class 2 type VI-A CRISPR-Cas effector C2c2 and demonstrate its RNA-guided RNase function. C2c2 from the bacterium Leptotrichia shahii provides interference against RNA phage. In vitro biochemical analysis show that C2c2 is guided by a single crRNA and can be programmed to cleave ssRNA targets carrying complementary protospacers. In bacteria, C2c2 can be programmed to knock down specific mRNAs. Cleavage is mediated by catalytic residues in the two conserved HEPN domains, mutations in which generate catalytically inactive RNA-binding proteins. These results broaden our understanding of CRISPR-Cas systems and suggest that C2c2 can be used to develop new RNA-targeting tools.
4,670 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
Bernd Zetsche, Matthias Heidenreich, Prarthana Mohanraju, Iana Fedorova, Jeroen Kneppers, Ellen M DeGennaro, Nerges Winblad, Sourav R Choudhury, Omar O Abudayyeh, Jonathan S Gootenberg, Wen Y Wu, David A Scott, Konstantin Severinov, John van der Oost, Feng Zhang
Microbial CRISPR-Cas defense systems have been adapted as a platform for genome editing applications built around the RNA-guided effector nucleases, such as Cas9. We recently reported the characterization of Cpf1, the effector nuclease of a novel type V-A CRISPR system, and demonstrated that it can be adapted for genome editing in mammalian cells. Unlike Cas9, which utilizes a trans-activating crRNA (tracrRNA) as well as the endogenous RNaseIII for maturation of its dual crRNA:tracrRNA guides, guide processing of the Cpf1 system proceeds in the absence of tracrRNA or other Cas (CRISPR associated) genes, suggesting that Cpf1 is sufficient for pre-crRNA maturation. This has important implications for genome editing, as it would provide a simple route to multiplex targeting. Here, we show for two Cpf1 orthologs that no other factors are required for array processing and demonstrate multiplex gene editing in mammalian cells as well as in the mouse brain by using a designed single CRISPR array.
4,551 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
Gene tagging with fluorescent proteins (FPs) is essential to investigate the dynamic properties of cellular proteins. Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/Cas9 technology (CRISPR/Cas9) technology is a powerful tool for inserting fluorescent markers into all alleles of the gene of interest and permits functionality and physiological expression of the fusion protein. It is essential to evaluate such genome-edited cell lines carefully in order to preclude off-target effects caused by either (i) incorrect insertion of the FP, (ii) perturbation of the fusion protein by the FP or (iii) non-specific genomic DNA damage by CRISPR/Cas9. In this protocol, we provide a step-by-step description of our systematic pipeline to generate and validate homozygous fluorescent knock-in cell lines. We have used the paired Cas9D10A nickase approach to efficiently insert tags into specific genomic loci via homology-directed repair (HDR) with minimal off-target effects. It is not only time- and cost-effective to perform whole genome sequencing of each cell clone, but also there are spontaneous genetic variations occurring in mammalian cell lines. Therefore we have developed an efficient validation pipeline of the generated cell lines consisting of junction PCR, Southern Blot analysis, Sanger sequencing, microscopy, Western blot analysis and live cell imaging for cell cycle dynamics which takes between 6-9 weeks. Using this pipeline, 70% of the targeted genes could be tagged homozygously with FPs and resulted in physiological levels and phenotypically functional expression of the fusion proteins. In contrast to a study that systematically tagged genes using CRISPR/Cas9 in human stem cells1, our approach resulted in homozygously tagged proteins of interests.
4,510 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
Recent methodological advances allowed the identification of an increasing number of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and their RNA-binding sites. Most of those methods rely, however, on capturing proteins associated to polyadenylated RNAs which neglects RBPs bound to non-adenylate RNA classes (tRNA, rRNA, pre-mRNA) as well as the vast majority of species that lack poly-A tails in their mRNAs (including all archea and bacteria). To overcome these limitations, we have developed a novel protocol, Phenol Toluol extraction (PTex), that does not rely on a specific RNA sequence or motif for isolation of cross-linked ribonucleoproteins (RNPs), but rather purifies them based entirely on their physicochemical properties. PTex captures RBPs that bind to RNA as short as 30 nt, RNPs directly from animal tissue and can be used to simplify complex workflows such as PAR-CLIP. Finally, we provide a first global RNA-bound proteome of human HEK293 cells and Salmonella Typhimurium as a bacterial species.
4,348 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
The field of epitranscriptomics has undergone an enormous expansion in the last few years; however, a major limitation is the lack of generic methods to map RNA modifications transcriptome-wide. Here we show that using Oxford Nanopore Technologies, N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA modifications can be detected with high accuracy, in the form of systematic errors and decreased base-calling qualities. Our results open new avenues to investigate the universe of RNA modifications with single nucleotide resolution, in individual RNA molecules.
4,324 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a respiratory tract infection. The standard molecular diagnostic test is a multistep process involving viral RNA extraction and real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR). Laboratories across the globe face constraints on equipment and reagents during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have developed a simplified qRT-PCR assay that removes the need for an RNA extraction process and can be run on a real-time thermal cycler. The assay uses custom primers and probes, and maintains diagnostic sensitivity within 98.0% compared to the assay run on a high-throughput, random-access automated platform, the Panther Fusion (Hologic). This assay can be used to increase capacity for COVID-19 testing for national programmes worldwide. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
4,259 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
As new sequencing technologies become cheaper and older ones disappear, laboratories switch vendors and platforms. Validating the new setups is a crucial part of conducting rigorous scientific research. Here we report on the reliability and biases of performing bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplicon paired-end sequencing on the MiSeq Illumina platform. We designed a protocol using 50 barcode pairs to run samples in parallel and coded a pipeline to process the data. Sequencing the same sediment sample in 248 replicates as well as 70 samples from alkaline soda lakes, we evaluated the performance of the method with regards to estimates of alpha and beta diversity. Using different purification and DNA quantification procedures we always found up to 5-fold differences in the yield of sequences between individually barcodes samples. Using either a one-step or a two-step PCR preparation resulted in significantly different estimates in both alpha and beta diversity. Comparing with a previous method based on 454 pyrosequencing, we found that our Illumina protocol performed in a similar manner -- with the exception for evenness estimates where correspondence between the methods was low. We further quantified the data loss at every processing step eventually accumulating to 50\% of the raw reads. When evaluating different OTU clustering methods, we observed a stark contrast between the results of QIIME with default settings and the more recent UPARSE algorithm when it comes to the number of OTUs generated. Still, overall trends in alpha and beta diversity corresponded highly using both clustering methods. Our procedure performed well considering the precisions of alpha and beta diversity estimates, with insignificant effects of individual barcodes. Comparative analyses suggest that 454 and Illumina sequence data can be combined if the same PCR protocol and bioinformatic workflows are used for describing patterns in richness, beta-diversity and taxonomic composition. (version 1.1 resubmitted to PLOS one 2014-Sept-08)
4,245 downloads bioRxiv molecular biology
Gibson Isothermal Assembly has become a widespread cloning method, with a multitude of advantages over traditional cut-and-paste cloning. It allows for scarless assembly of multiple fragments simultaneously and has become widely used for molecular cloning. We have found that a simple change to the formulation of the reaction mix, the addition of a single-stranded DNA binding protein, can substantially improve both the accuracy and efficiency of assembly, especially as the number of fragments being assembled increases. In addition, when creating this Enhanced Gibson Isothermal Assembly reaction mix in-house with homemade DNA ligase, the cost of the reaction can be reduced to less than $10 per milliliter. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
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