Rxivist combines preprints from bioRxiv with data from Twitter to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 88,970 bioRxiv papers from 381,395 authors.
Most downloaded bioRxiv papers, all time
in category molecular biology
2,933 results found. For more information, click each entry to expand.
2,512 downloads molecular biology
Recent advances in genome editing have greatly improved knock-in (KI) efficiency. Searching for factors to further improve KI efficiency for therapeutic use and generation of non-human primate (NHP) models, we found that the strand exchange protein RAD51 can significantly increase homozygous KI using CRISPR/Cas9 in mouse embryos through an interhomolog repair (IHR) mechanism. IHR is well-described in the context of meiosis, but only occurs at low frequencies in mitotic cells and its existence in zygotes is controversial. Using a variety of approaches, we provide evidence for an endogenous IHR mechanism in zygotes that can be enhanced by RAD51. We show that this process can be harnessed for generating homozygous KI animals from wildtype zygotes based on exogenous donors and for converting heterozygous alleles into homozygous alleles without exogenous templates. Furthermore, we elucidate additional factors that contribute to zygotic IHR and identify a RAD51 mutant capable of insertion-deletion (indel)-free stimulation of IHR. Thus, our study provides conclusive evidence for the existence of zygotic IHR and demonstrates methods to enhance IHR for potential use in gene drives, gene therapy, and biotechnology.
2,480 downloads molecular biology
Cannabis sativa is listed as a Schedule I substance by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency and has been federally illegal in the United States since 1937. However, the majority of states in the United States, as well as several countries, now have various levels of legal Cannabis. Products are labeled with identifying strain names but there is no official mechanism to register Cannabis strains, therefore the potential exists for incorrect identification or labeling. This study uses genetic analyses to investigate strain reliability from the consumer point of view. Ten microsatellite regions were used to examine samples from strains obtained from dispensaries in three states. Samples were examined for genetic similarity within strains, and also a possible genetic distinction between Sativa, Indica, or Hybrid types. The analyses revealed genetic inconsistencies within strains. Additionally, although there was strong statistical support dividing the samples into two genetic groups, the groups did not correspond to commonly reported Sativa/Hybrid/Indica types. Genetic differences have the potential to lead to phenotypic differences and unexpected effects, which could be surprising for the recreational user, but have more serious implications for patients relying on strains that alleviate specific medical symptoms.
2,470 downloads molecular biology
Phil Oberacker, Peter Stepper, Donna M Bond, Sven Höhn, Jule Focken, Vivien Meyer, Luca Schelle, Victoria J Sugrue, Gert-Jan Jeunen, Tim Moser, Tim A. Hore, Ferdinand von Meyenn, Katharina Hipp, Timothy A Hore, Tomasz Piotr Jurkowski
Current molecular biology laboratories rely heavily on the purification and manipulation of nucleic acids. Yet, commonly used centrifuge- and column-based protocols require specialised equipment, often use toxic reagents and are not economically scalable or practical to use in a high-throughput manner. Although it has been known for some time that magnetic beads can provide an elegant answer to these issues, the development of open-source protocols based on beads has been limited. In this article, we provide step-by-step instructions for an easy synthesis of functionalised magnetic beads, and detailed protocols for their use in the high-throughput purification of plasmids, genomic DNA and total RNA from different sources, as well as environmental TNA and PCR amplicons. We also provide a bead-based protocol for bisulfite conversion, and size selection of DNA and RNA fragments. Comparison to other methods highlights the capability, versatility and extreme cost-effectiveness of using magnetic beads. These open source protocols and the associated webpage (https://bomb.bio) can serve as a platform for further protocol customisation and community engagement.
2,414 downloads molecular biology
The Oxford Nanopore MinION Mk1B is a portable 90 g device that sequences DNA directly at 450 bases/second generating sequence reads in excess of 400 kb. Recent improvements in error rate and speed of library preparation mean that this device has considerable potential for rapid molecular bovine pathogen diagnostics. We tested the MinION for rapid untargeted detection of viral pathogens associated with bovine respiratory disease (BRD), an economically important disease often involving primary infection of the lung by one or more of a number of DNA and/or RNA viruses. We combined three foetal lung cell cultures which were infected with either Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus (BRSV), Bovine Herpes Virus 1 (BoHV1) or Bovine Parainfluenza Virus 3 (BPI-3). BoHV1 is a DNA virus and BPI-3 and BRSV are RNA viruses. The cell cultures were treated with DNase and RNase to deplete bovine nucleic acid prior to viral nucleic acid extraction and double-stranded cDNA synthesis. Sequencing libraries were generated by PCR-free tagmentation in under 10 minutes and loaded onto a MinION sequencer. Approximately 7,000 sequencing reads were generated and analysed using high-throughput local BLAST against the NCBI nr/nt database. The top BLAST hit for 2,937 of these reads was identified as a virus. Of these, 2,926 (99.6%) were correctly identified either as BoHV1, BRSV or BPI-3.
2,407 downloads molecular biology
Marella D. Canny, Leo C.K. Wan, Amélie Fradet-Turcotte, Alexandre Orthwein, Nathalie Moatti, Yu-Chi Juang, Wei Zhang, Sylvie M Noordermeer, Marcus D Wilson, Andrew Vorobyov, Meagan Munro, Andreas Ernst, Michal Zimmermann, Timothy F Ng, Sachdev S Sidhu, Frank Sicheri, Daniel Durocher
The expanding repertoire of programmable nucleases such as Cas9 brings new opportunities in genetic medicine. In many cases, these nucleases are engineered to induce a DNA double-strand break (DSB) to stimulate precise genome editing by homologous recombination (HR). However, HR efficiency is nearly always hindered by competing DSB repair pathways such as non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ). HR is also profoundly suppressed in non-replicating cells, thus precluding the use of homology-based genome engineering in a wide variety of cell types. Here, we report the development of a genetically encoded inhibitor of 53BP1 (known as TP53BP1), a regulator of DSB repair pathway choice. 53BP1 promotes NHEJ over HR by suppressing end resection, the formation of 3-prime single-stranded DNA tails, which is the rate-limiting step in HR initiation. 53BP1 also blocks the recruitment of the HR factor BRCA1 to DSB sites in G1 cells. The inhibitor of 53BP1 (or i53) was identified through the screening of a massive combinatorial library of engineered ubiquitin variants by phage display. i53 binds and occludes the ligand binding site of the 53BP1 Tudor domain with high affinity and selectivity, blocking its ability to accumulate at sites of DNA damage. i53 is a potent selective inhibitor of 53BP1 and enhances gene targeting and chromosomal gene conversion, two HR-dependent reactions. Finally, i53 can also activate HR in G1 cells when combined with the activation of end-resection and KEAP1 inhibition. We conclude that 53BP1 inhibition is a robust tool to enhance precise genome editing by canonical HR pathways.
2,390 downloads molecular biology
During DNA extraction the DNA molecule undergoes physical and chemical shearing, causing the DNA to fragment into shorter and shorter pieces. Under common laboratory conditions this fragmentation yields DNA fragments of 5-35 kilobases (kb) in length. This fragment length is more than sufficient for DNA sequencing using short-read technologies which generate reads 50-600 bp in length, but insufficient for long-read sequencing and linked reads where fragment lengths of more than 40 kb may be desirable. This study provides a theoretical framework for quality management to ensure access to high molecular weight DNA in samples. Shearing can be divided into physical and chemical shearing which generate different patterns of fragmentation. Exposure to physical shearing creates a characteristic fragment length where DNA fragments are cut in half by shear stress. This characteristic length can be measured using gel electrophoresis or instruments for DNA fragment analysis. Chemical shearing generates randomly distributed fragment lengths visible as a smear of DNA below the peak fragment length. By measuring the peak of DNA fragment length and the proportion of very short DNA fragments both sources of shearing can be measured using commonly used laboratory techniques, providing a suitable quantification of DNA integrity of DNA for sequencing with long-read technologies.
2,372 downloads molecular biology
Nuclease-directed genome editing is a powerful tool for investigating physiology and has great promise as a therapeutic approach that directly addresses the underlying genetic basis of disease. In its most precise form, genome editing can use cellular homology-directed repair (HDR) pathways to insert information from an exogenously supplied DNA repair template (donor) directly into a targeted genomic location. Unfortunately, particularly for long insertions, toxicity and delivery considerations associated with repair template DNA can limit the number of donor molecules available to the HDR machinery, thus limiting HDR efficacy. Here, we explore modifications to both double-stranded and single-stranded repair template DNAs and describe simple 5′ end modifications that consistently and dramatically increase donor potency and HDR efficacy across cell types and species.
2,357 downloads molecular biology
Mathias Uhlen, Hanna Tegel, Åsa Sivertsson, Chih-Chung Kuo, Jahir M. Gutierrez, Nathan E. Lewis, Björn Forsström, Melanie Dannemeyer, Linn Fagerberg, Magdalena Malm, Helian Vunk, Fredrik Edfors, Andreas Hober, Evelina Sjöstedt, David Kotol, Jan Mulder, Adil Mardinoglu, Jochen M. Schwenk, Peter Nilsson, Martin Zwahlen, Jenny Ottosson Takanen, Kalle von Feilitzen, Charlotte Stadler, Cecilia Lindskog, Fredrik Ponten, Jens Nielsen, Bernhard Palsson, Anna-Luisa Volk, Magnus Lundqvist, Anna Berling, Anne-Sophie Svensson, Sara Kanje, Henric Enstedt, Delaram Afshari, Siri Ekblad, Julia Scheffel, Borbala Katona, Jimmy Vuu, Emil Lindström, LanLan Xu, Roxana Mihai, Lucas Bremer, Malin Westin, Muna Muse, Lorenz M Mayr, Sinead Knight, Sven Göpel, Rick Davies, Paul Varley, Diane Hatton, Ray Fields, Bjørn G Voldborg, Johan Rockberg, Lovisa Holmberg Schiavone, Sophia Hober
The proteins secreted by human tissues (the secretome) are important for the basic understanding of human biology, but also for identification of potential targets for future diagnosis and therapy. Here, we present an annotated list of all predicted secreted proteins (n=2,623) with information about cellular origin and spatial distribution in the human body. A high-throughput mammalian cell factory was established to create a resource of recombinant full-length proteins. This resource was used for phenotypic assays involving β-cell dedifferentiation and for development of targeted proteomics assays. A comparison between host cells, including omics analysis, shows that many of the proteins that failed to be generated in CHO cells could be rescued in human HEK 293 cells. In conclusion, the human secretome has been mapped and characterized and a resource has been generated to facilitate further exploration of the human secretome.
2,354 downloads 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.
2,333 downloads molecular biology
The CRISPR/Cas9 targeted nuclease technology allows the insertion of genetic modifications with single base-pair precision. The preference of mammalian cells to repair Cas9-induced DNA double-strand breaks via non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) rather than via homology-directed repair (HDR) however leads to relatively low rates of correctly edited loci. Here we demonstrate that covalently linking the DNA repair template to Cas9 increases the ratio of HDR over NHEJ up to 23-fold, and therefore provides advantages for clinical applications where high-fidelity repair is needed.
2,319 downloads molecular biology
CRISPR-Cas Cpf1 nucleases have recently been described as an alternative genome-editing platform, yet their activities and genome-wide specificities remain largely undefined. Here we show that two Cpf1 nucleases function robustly in human cells with on-target efficiencies comparable to those of the widely used Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 (SpCas9). We also demonstrate that four to six bases at the 3' end of the short CRISPR RNA (crRNA) used to program Cpf1 are insensitive to single base mismatches but that many of the other bases within the crRNA targeting region are highly sensitive to single or double substitutions. Consistent with these results, GUIDE-seq and targeted deep sequencing analyses of two Cpf1 nucleases revealed no detectable off-target cleavage for over half of 20 different crRNAs we examined. Our results suggest that the two Cpf1 nucleases we characterized generally possess high specificities in human cells, a finding that should encourage broader use of these genome editing enzymes.
2,314 downloads molecular biology
Proteins and RNA functionally and physically intersect in multiple biological processes, however, currently no universal method is available to purify protein-RNA complexes. Here we introduce XRNAX, a method for the generic purification of protein-crosslinked RNA, and demonstrate its versatility to study the composition and dynamics of protein-RNA interactions by various transcriptomic and proteomic approaches. We show that XRNAX captures all RNA biotypes, and use this to characterize the sub-proteomes that interact with coding and non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), and to identify hundreds of protein-RNA interfaces. Exploiting the quantitative nature of XRNAX, we observe drastic remodeling of the RNA-bound proteome during arsenite-induced stress, distinct from autophagy-induced changes in the total proteome. In addition, we combine XRNAX with CLIP-seq to validate the interaction of ncRNA with Lamin B and EXOSC2. Thus, XRNAX is a resourceful approach to study structural and compositional aspects of protein-RNA interactions to address fundamental questions in RNA-biology.
2,298 downloads molecular biology
Dionis Minev, Richard Guerra, Jocelyn Y. Kishi, Cory Smith, Elisha Krieg, Khaled Said, Amanda Hornick, Hiroshi M. Sasaki, Gabriel Filsinger, Brian J Beliveau, Peng Yin, George M. Church, William M Shih
We present a rapid, scalable, user-friendly method for in vitro production of high-purity single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) ranging from 89 to 3315 nucleotides in length. PCR with a forward primer bearing a methanol-responsive polymer generates a tagged amplicon that enables selective precipitation of the modified strand under denaturing conditions. We demonstrate that the recovered ssDNA can be used for CRISPR/Cas9 homology-directed repair in human cells, DNA-origami folding, and fluorescent in situ hybridization.
2,291 downloads molecular biology
Corrected version -This version can be cited. RNA granules are dynamic sub-cellular compartments that lack enveloping membranes. RNA granules have been proposed to form by liquid-liquid phase separation, a thermodynamic process that partitions molecules between dilute and condensed liquid phases. P granules are archetypal RNA granules in C. elegans that display liquid-like behaviors. Here we describe in vivo and ex vivo approaches to analyze the material properties of P granules. We find that the liquid phase of P granules is stabilized by a molecularly-distinct, enveloping shell that is intrinsically non-dynamic. Consistent with a gel phase, the shell is resistant to dilution, high salt, and aliphatic alcohols, and dissolves in SDS. Solidification of RNA granules has been linked to neuronal degeneration. Our findings suggest that gel-like polymers are essential components of RNA granules that help stabilize liquid phases in the cellular environment.
2,282 downloads molecular biology
The disease known as coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), potentially caused by an outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Wuhan, China, has hit the world hard, and has led to an unprecedent health and economic crisis. In order to develop treatment options able to stop or ameliorate SARS-CoV-2 effects, we need to understand the biology of the virus inside cells, but this kind of studies are still scarce. A recent study investigated translatome and proteome host cell changes induced in vitro by SARS-CoV-2. In the present study, we use the publicly available proteomics data from this study to re-analyze the mechanisms altered by the virus infection by impact pathways analysis and network analysis. Proteins linked to inflammatory response, but also proteins related to chromosome segregation during mitosis, were found to be regulated. The up-regulation of the inflammatory-related proteins observed could be linked to the propagation of inflammatory reaction and lung injury that is observed in advanced stages of COVID-19 patients.
2,268 downloads molecular biology
The function of the CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) in the organization of the genome has become an important area of investigation, but the mechanisms of how CTCF dynamically contributes to genome organization is not clear. We previously discovered that CTCF binds to large numbers of endogenous RNAs; promoting its oligomerization. Here we found that inhibition of transcription or interfering with CTCF ability to bind RNA through mutations of two of its 11 zinc fingers that are not involved with CTCF binding to its cognate site in vitro, zinc finger-1 (ZF1) or -10 (ZF10), disrupt CTCF association to chromatin. These mutations alter gene expression profiles as CTCF mutants lose their ability to promote local insulation. Our results highlight the importance of RNA as a structural component of the genome, in part by affecting the association of CTCF with chromatin and likely its interaction with other factors.
2,256 downloads molecular biology
Haixia Su, Sheng Yao, Wenfeng Zhao, Minjun Li, Jia Liu, WeiJuan Shang, Hang Xie, Changqiang Ke, Meina Gao, Kunqian Yu, Hong Liu, Jingshan Shen, Wei Tang, Leike Zhang, Jianping Zuo, Hualiang Jiang, Fang Bai, Yan Wu, Yang Ye, Yechun Xu
Human infections with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) cause coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) and there is currently no cure. The 3C-like protease (3CLpro), a highly conserved protease indispensable for replication of coronaviruses, is a promising target for development of broad-spectrum antiviral drugs. To advance the speed of drug discovery and development, we investigated the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro by natural products derived from Chinese traditional medicines. Baicalin and baicalein were identified as the first non-covalent, non-peptidomimetic inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro and exhibited potent antiviral activities in a cell-based system. Remarkably, the binding mode of baicalein with SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro determined by X-ray protein crystallography is distinctly different from those of known inhibitors. Baicalein is perfectly ensconced in the core of the substrate-binding pocket by interacting with two catalytic residues, the crucial S1/S2 subsites and the oxyanion loop, acting as a 'shield' in front of the catalytic dyad to prevent the peptide substrate approaching the active site. The simple chemical structure, unique mode of action, and potent antiviral activities in vitro, coupled with the favorable safety data from clinical trials, emphasize that baicalein provides a great opportunity for the development of critically needed anti-coronaviral drugs. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
2,217 downloads molecular biology
Mapping proteomic composition at distinct genomic loci and subnuclear landmarks in living cells has been a long-standing challenge. Here we report that dCas9-APEX2 Biotinylation at genomic Elements by Restricted Spatial Tagging (C-BERST) allows the unbiased mapping of proteomes near defined genomic loci, as demonstrated for telomeres. C-BERST enables the high-throughput identification of proteins associated with specific sequences, facilitating annotation of these factors and their roles in nuclear and chromosome biology. Mapping proteomic composition at distinct genomic loci and subnuclear landmarks in living cells has been a long-standing challenge. Here we report that dCas9-APEX2 Biotinylation at genomic Elements by Restricted Spatial Tagging (C-BERST) allows the rapid, unbiased mapping of proteomes near defined genomic loci, as demonstrated for telomeres and centromeres. By combining the spatially restricted enzymatic tagging enabled by APEX2 with programmable DNA targeting by dCas9, C-BERST has successfully identified nearly 50% of known telomere-associated factors and many known centromere-associated factors. We also identified and validated SLX4IP and RPA3 as telomeric factors, confirming C-BERST's utility as a discovery platform. C-BERST enables the rapid, high-throughput identification of proteins associated with specific sequences, facilitating annotation of these factors and their roles in nuclear and chromosome biology.
2,194 downloads molecular biology
Post-transcriptional cleavage and polyadenylation of messenger and long noncoding RNAs is coordinated by a supercomplex of ~20 individual proteins within the eukaryotic nucleus. Polyadenylation plays an essential role in controlling RNA transcript stability, nuclear export, and translation efficiency. More than half of all human RNA transcripts contain multiple polyadenylation signal sequences that can undergo alternative cleavage and polyadenylation during development and cellular differentiation. Alternative cleavage and polyadenylation is an important mechanism for the control of gene expression and defects in 3-prime end processing can give rise to myriad human diseases. Here we show that fusion of catalytically dead Cas13 to a single mammalian polyadenylation factor, Nudix hydrolase 21 (NUDT21), allows for site-specific CRISPR-Cas13-guided cleavage and polyadenylation of RNA in mammalian cells. This approach, which we named Postscriptr, can be utilized for the non-genomic manipulation of gene expression and may have potential future therapeutic applications for treating human RNA processing diseases.
2,189 downloads molecular biology
Many of the proteins produced by SARS-CoV-2 have related counterparts across the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) family. One such protein is non-structural protein 9 (Nsp9), which is thought to mediate both viral replication and virulence. Current understanding suggests that Nsp9 is involved in viral genomic RNA reproduction. Nsp9 is thought to bind RNA via a fold that is unique to this class of betacoronoaviruses although the molecular basis for this remains ill-defined. We sought to better characterise the SARS-CoV-2 Nsp9 protein and subsequently solved its X-ray crystal structure, in an apo-form and, unexpectedly, in a peptide-bound form with a sequence originating from a rhinoviral 3C protease sequence (LEVL). The structure of the SARS-CoV-2 Nsp9 revealed the high level of structural conservation within the Nsp9 family. The exogenous peptide binding site is close to the dimer interface and impacted on the relative juxtaposition of the monomers within the homodimer. Together we have established a protocol for the production of SARS-CoV-2 Nsp9, determined its structure and identified a peptide-binding site that may warrant further study from the perspective of understanding Nsp9 function.
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