In this study, evaluation of genome instability in individuals exposed to chemical compounds included detection of the genetic polymorphism of some xenobiotic metabolic enzymes (CYP1A1, CYP1E1, PON1, GSTM1, GSTT1), as well as measurement of oxidative state chemiluminescent variables and the level of cytogenetic damage. According to the study, the level of chromosomal aberrations in peripheral blood lymphocytes shows a strong correlation with PON54 left allele and GSTM1 null genotype, and can be described by the polynomial function of blood plasma luminol-dependent chemiluminescence. The frequencies of micronuclei in buccal epithelium displayed a weak association with GSTT1 null genotype.
In recent years, the increasing awareness that somatic mutations and other genetic aberrations drive human malignancies has led us within reach of personalized cancer medicine (PCM). The implementation of PCM is based on the following premises: genetic aberrations exist in human malignancies; a subset of these aberrations drive oncogenesis and tumor biology; these aberrations are actionable (defined as having the potential to affect management recommendations based on diagnostic, prognostic, and/or predictive implications); and there are highly specific anticancer agents available that effectively modulate these targets. This article highlights the technology underlying cancer genomics and examines the early results of genome sequencing and the challenges met in the discovery of new genetic aberrations. Finally, drawing from experiences gained in a feasibility study of somatic mutation genotyping and targeted exome sequencing led by Princess Margaret Hospital-University Health Network and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, the processes, challenges, and issues involved in the translation of cancer genomics to the clinic are discussed.
In the summer of 2013, distinguished global representatives of proteome science gathered to discuss the futuristic visions of the chromosome-centric human proteome project (C-HPP) (Cochairs: Y. K. Paik, G. Omenn; hosted by A. Archakov, Institute of Biomedical Chemistry, Russia) that was broadcast to the annual Federation of European Biochemical Societies Congress (St. Petersburg, Russia, July 10-11, 2013). Technology breakthroughs presented included a new ultra-sensitive Tribrid mass-spectrometer from Thermo and SOMAmers-Slow Off-rate Modified Aptamers (SOMAlogic, USA), a new type of protein capture reagents. Professor Archakov's group introduced the "rectangle" concept of proteome size as a product of proteome width and depth. The discussion on proteome width culminated with the introduction of digital biomarkers-low-copied aberrant proteins that differ from their typical forms by PTMs, alternative splicing, or single amino acid polymorphisms. The aberrant proteoforms, a complement to whole-genome proteomic surveys, were presented as an ultimate goal for the proteomic community.
Characterizing the extent of linkage disequilibrium (LD) in the genome is a pre-requisite for association mapping studies. Patterns of LD also contain information about the past demography of populations. In this study, we focus on the Icelandic population where LD was investigated in 12 regions of approximately 15 cM using regularly spaced microsatellite loci displaying high heterozygosity. A total of 1753 individuals were genotyped for 179 markers. LD was estimated using a composite disequilibrium measure based on unphased data. LD decreases with distance in all 12 regions and more LD than expected by chance can be detected over approximately 4 cM in our sample. Differences in the patterns of decrease of LD with distance among genomic regions were mostly due to two regions exhibiting, respectively, higher and lower proportions of pairs in LD than average within the first 4 cM. We pooled data from all regions, except these two and summarized patterns of LD by computing the proportion of pairs of loci exhibiting significant LD (at the 5% level) as a function of distance. We compared observed patterns of LD with simulated data sets obtained under scenarios with varying demography and intensity of recombination. We show that unphased data allow to make inferences on scaled recombination rates from patterns of LD. Patterns of LD in Iceland suggest a genome-wide scaled recombination rate of rho* = 200 (130-330) per cM (or an effective size of roughly 5000), in the low range of estimates recently reported in three populations from the HapMap project.
The goal of the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) was to reconstruct the history of human evolution and the historical and geographical distribution of populations with the help of scientific research. Through this kind of research, the entire spectrum of genetic diversity to be found in the human species was to be explored with the hope of generating a better understanding of the history of humankind. An important part of this genome diversity research consists in taking blood and tissue samples from indigenous populations. For various reasons, it has not been possible to execute this project in the planned scope and form to date. Nevertheless, genomic diversity research addresses complex issues which prove to be highly relevant from the perspective of research ethics, transcultural medical ethics, and cultural philosophy. In the article at hand, we discuss these ethical issues as illustrated by the HGDP. This investigation focuses on the confrontation of culturally diverse images of humans and their cosmologies within the framework of genome diversity research and the ethical questions it raises. We argue that in addition to complex questions pertaining to research ethics such as informed consent and autonomy of probands, genome diversity research also has a cultural-philosophical, meta-ethical, and phenomenological dimension which must be taken into account in ethical discourses. Acknowledging this fact, we attempt to show the limits of current guidelines used in international genome diversity studies, following this up by a formulation of theses designed to facilitate an appropriate inquiry and ethical evaluation of intercultural dimensions of genome research.