Trends in Genetics

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  1. Dissection of Transporter Function: From Genetics to Structure.

    Trends in Genetics 32(9):576 (2016) PMID 27430403

    Transporters are transmembrane proteins mediating the selective uptake or efflux of solutes, metabolites, drugs, or ions across cellular membranes. Despite their immense biological importance in cell nutrition, communication, signaling, and homeostasis, their study remains technically difficult ...
  2. CRISPR Screens to Discover Functional Noncoding Elements.

    Trends in Genetics 32(9):526 (2016) PMID 27423542

    A major challenge in genomics is to identify functional elements in the noncoding genome. Recently, pooled clustered regularly interspersed palindromic repeat (CRISPR) mutagenesis screens of noncoding regions have emerged as a novel method for finding elements that impact gene expression and phe...
  3. Nothobranchius furzeri: A Model for Aging Research and More.

    Trends in Genetics 32(9):543 (2016) PMID 27427533

    The short-lived killifish Nothobranchius furzeri inhabits ephemeral ponds in southeastern Africa and is characterized by rapid growth and early sexual maturation. With respect to the molecular, cellular, and integrative traits of aging, N. furzeri shows significant similarities to mammals, inclu...
  4. Genes in Hiding.

    Trends in Genetics 32(9):553 (2016) PMID 27460648

    Unrecognizable genes are an unsettling problem in genomics. Here, we survey the various types of cryptic genes and the corresponding deciphering strategies employed by cells. Encryption that renders genes substantially different from homologs in other species includes sequence substitution, inse...
  5. Sequencing Structural Variants in Cancer for Precision Therapeutics.

    Trends in Genetics 32(9):530 (2016) PMID 27478068

    The identification of mutations that guide therapy selection for patients with cancer is now routine in many clinical centres. The majority of assays used for solid tumour profiling use DNA sequencing to interrogate somatic point mutations because they are relatively easy to identify and interpr...
  6. Regulation of Single-Strand Annealing and its Role in Genome Maintenance.

    Trends in Genetics 32(9):566 (2016) PMID 27450436

    Single-strand annealing (SSA) is a DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair pathway that uses homologous repeats to bridge DSB ends. SSA involving repeats that flank a single DSB causes a deletion rearrangement between the repeats, and hence is relatively mutagenic. Nevertheless, this pathway is con...
  7. Outgroups and Positive Selection: The Nothobranchius furzeri Case.

    Trends in Genetics 32(9):523 (2016) PMID 27423541

    Applications of positive selection analysis increase with the number of species for which genome/transcriptome sequences become available. Using the recently sequenced turquoise killifish (Nothobranchius furzeri) genome as an example, we compare two different approaches based on different outgro...
  8. Timing the Drosophila Mid-Blastula Transition: A Cell Cycle-Centered View.

    Trends in Genetics 32(8):496 (2016) PMID 27339317 PMCID PMC4958567

    At the mid-blastula transition (MBT), externally developing embryos refocus from increasing cell number to elaboration of the body plan. Studies in Drosophila reveal a sequence of changes in regulators of Cyclin:Cdk1 that increasingly restricts the activity of this cell cycle kinase to slow cell...
  9. Embracing Complex Associations in Common Traits: Critical Considerations for Precision Medicine.

    Trends in Genetics 32(8):470 (2016) PMID 27392675

    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified numerous loci associated with human phenotypes. This approach, however, does not consider the richly diverse and complex environment with which humans interact throughout the life course, nor does it allow for interrelationships between gene...
  10. On TADs and LADs: Spatial Control Over Gene Expression.

    Trends in Genetics 32(8):485 (2016) PMID 27312344

    The combinatorial action of transcription factors drives cell-type-specific gene expression patterns. However, transcription factor binding and gene regulation occur in the context of chromatin, which modulates DNA accessibility. High-resolution chromatin interaction maps have defined units of c...
  11. Investigations at the 'Four-Front' of Mammalian Development.

    Trends in Genetics 32(8):457 (2016) PMID 27256906 PMCID PMC4958497

    Understanding how and when cells become different during embryogenesis is a goal that is at the forefront of investigations in mammalian development. Two recent studies from the laboratories of Nicholas Plachta and Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz present evidence that cellular heterogeneities detected ...
  12. Transcription Termination: Variations on Common Themes.

    Trends in Genetics 32(8):508 (2016) PMID 27371117

    Transcription initiates pervasively in all organisms, which challenges the notion that the information to be expressed is selected mainly based on mechanisms defining where and when transcription is started. Together with post-transcriptional events, termination of transcription is essential for...
  13. Broadening Our Portfolio in the Genetic Improvement of Maize Chemical Composition.

    Trends in Genetics 32(8):459 (2016) PMID 27235112

    The adoption of recombinant inbred line and introgression line populations, as well as the study of association mapping panels, has greatly accelerated our ability to identify the genes underlying plant phenotypic variance. In tandem, the development of metabolomics approaches has greatly enhanc...
  14. Causes and Consequences of Multi-Locus Imprinting Disturbances in Humans.

    Trends in Genetics 32(7):444 (2016) PMID 27235113

    Eight syndromes are associated with the loss of methylation at specific imprinted loci. There has been increasing evidence that these methylation defects in patients are not isolated events occurring at a given disease-associated locus but that some of these patients may have multi-locus imprint...
  15. Stepwise Progression of Embryonic Patterning.

    Trends in Genetics 32(7):432 (2016) PMID 27230753

    It is long established that the graded distribution of Dorsal transcription factor influences spatial domains of gene expression along the dorsoventral (DV) axis of Drosophila melanogaster embryos. However, the more recent realization that Dorsal levels also change with time raises the question ...
  16. Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques: Divergence in Global Policy.

    Trends in Genetics 32(7):385 (2016) PMID 27206380

    In 2015, the UK became the first country permitting the clinical application of mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRT). Here, we explore how MRT have led to diverging international policy. In response, we recommend focused regulatory efforts coupled with United Nations (UN) leadership to bui...
  17. Can Population Genetics Adapt to Rapid Evolution?

    Trends in Genetics 32(7):408 (2016) PMID 27185237

    Population genetics largely rests on a 'standard model' in which random genetic drift is the dominant force, selective sweeps occur infrequently, and deleterious mutations are purged from the population by purifying selection. Studies of phenotypic evolution in nature reveal a very different pic...
  18. Dynamic Encounters of Genes and Transcripts with the Nuclear Pore.

    Trends in Genetics 32(7):419 (2016) PMID 27185238

    Transcribed mRNA molecules must reach the cytoplasm to undergo translation. Technological developments in imaging have placed mRNAs under the spotlight, allowing the quantitative study of the spatial and temporal dynamics of the nucleocytoplasmic mRNA export process. Here, we discuss studies tha...
  19. NORAD: Defender of the Genome.

    Trends in Genetics 32(7):390 (2016) PMID 27157388

    Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a fascinating, but still largely uncharacterized, class of genes. A recent paper by the Mendell group identifies NORAD, a novel lncRNA that is regulated in response to DNA damage and plays a key role in maintaining genome integrity by modulating the activity th...
  20. The Meaning of NMD: Translate or Perish.

    Trends in Genetics 32(7):395 (2016) PMID 27185236

    Premature translation termination leads to a reduced mRNA level in all types of organisms. In eukaryotes, the phenomenon is known as nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). This is commonly regarded as the output of a specific surveillance and destruction mechanism that is activated by the presence ...