Deficiency of TYROBP, an adapter protein for TREM2 and CR3 receptors, is neuroprotective in a mouse model of early Alzheimer’s pathology.

Abstract Conventional genetic approaches and computational strategies have converged on immune-inflammatory pathways as key events in the pathogenesis of late onset sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD). Mutations and/or differential expression of microglial specific receptors such as TREM2, CD33, and CR3 have been associated with strong increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD). DAP12 (DNAX-activating protein 12)/TYROBP, a molecule localized to microglia, is a direct partner/adapter for TREM2, CD33, and CR3. We and others have previously shown that TYROBP expression is increased in AD patients and in mouse models. Moreover, missense mutations in the coding region of TYROBP have recently been identified in some AD patients. These lines of evidence, along with computational analysis of LOAD brain gene expression, point to DAP12/TYROBP as a potential hub or driver protein in the pathogenesis of AD. Using a comprehensive panel of biochemical, physiological, behavioral, and transcriptomic assays, we evaluated in a mouse model the role of TYROBP in early stage AD. We crossed an Alzheimer’s model mutant APP KM670/671NL /PSEN1 Δexon9 (APP/PSEN1) mouse model with Tyrobp -/- mice to generate AD model mice deficient or null for TYROBP (APP/PSEN1; Tyrobp +/- or APP/PSEN1; Tyrobp -/-). While we observed relatively minor effects of TYROBP deficiency on steady-state levels of amyloid-β peptides, there was an effect of Tyrobp deficiency on the morphology of amyloid deposits resembling that reported by others for Trem2 -/- mice. We identified modulatory effects of TYROBP deficiency on the level of phosphorylation of TAU that was accompanied by a reduction in the severity of neuritic dystrophy. TYROBP deficiency also altered the expression of several AD related genes, including Cd33. Electrophysiological abnormalities and learning behavior deficits associated with APP/PSEN1 transgenes were greatly attenuated on a Tyrobp-null background. Some modulatory effects of TYROBP on Alzheimer’s-related genes were only apparent on a background of mice with cerebral amyloidosis due to overexpression of mutant APP/PSEN1. These results suggest that reduction of TYROBP gene expression and/or protein levels could represent an immune-inflammatory therapeutic opportunity for modulating early stage LOAD, potentially leading to slowing or arresting the progression to full-blown clinical and pathological...

Read More

Deep learning for healthcare: review, opportunities and challenges.

Abstract Gaining knowledge and actionable insights from complex, high-dimensional and heterogeneous biomedical data remains a key challenge in transforming health care. Various types of data have been emerging in modern biomedical research, including electronic health records, imaging, -omics, sensor data and text, which are complex, heterogeneous, poorly annotated and generally unstructured. Traditional data mining and statistical learning approaches typically need to first perform feature engineering to obtain effective and more robust features from those data, and then build prediction or clustering models on top of them. There are lots of challenges on both steps in a scenario of complicated data and lacking of sufficient domain knowledge. The latest advances in deep learning technologies provide new effective paradigms to obtain end-to-end learning models from complex data. In this article, we review the recent literature on applying deep learning technologies to advance the health care domain. Based on the analyzed work, we suggest that deep learning approaches could be the vehicle for translating big biomedical data into improved human health. However, we also note limitations and needs for improved methods development and applications, especially in terms of ease-of-understanding for domain experts and citizen scientists. We discuss such challenges and suggest developing holistic and meaningful interpretable architectures to bridge deep learning models and human interpretability. Full PDF...

Read More

L1000CDS2: LINCS L1000 characteristic direction signatures search engine.

Abstract The library of integrated network-based cellular signatures (LINCS) L1000 data set currently comprises of over a million gene expression profiles of chemically perturbed human cell lines. Through unique several intrinsic and extrinsic benchmarking schemes, we demonstrate that processing the L1000 data with the characteristic direction (CD) method significantly improves signal to noise compared with the MODZ method currently used to compute L1000 signatures. The CD processed L1000 signatures are served through a state-of-the-art web-based search engine application called L1000CDS2. The L1000CDS2 search engine provides prioritization of thousands of small-molecule signatures, and their pairwise combinations, predicted to either mimic or reverse an input gene expression signature using two methods. The L1000CDS2 search engine also predicts drug targets for all the small molecules profiled by the L1000 assay that we processed. Targets are predicted by computing the cosine similarity between the L1000 small-molecule signatures and a large collection of signatures extracted from the gene expression omnibus (GEO) for single-gene perturbations in mammalian cells. We applied L1000CDS2 to prioritize small molecules that are predicted to reverse expression in 670 disease signatures also extracted from GEO, and prioritized small molecules that can mimic expression of 22 endogenous ligand signatures profiled by the L1000 assay. As a case study, to further demonstrate the utility of L1000CDS2, we collected expression signatures from human cells infected with Ebola virus at 30, 60 and 120 min. Querying these signatures with L1000CDS2 we identified kenpaullone, a GSK3B/CDK2 inhibitor that we show, in subsequent experiments, has a dose-dependent efficacy in inhibiting Ebola infection in vitro without causing cellular toxicity in human cell lines. In summary, the L1000CDS2 tool can be applied in many biological and biomedical settings, while improving the extraction of knowledge from the LINCS L1000...

Read More

Open chromatin profiling of human postmortem brain infers functional roles for non-coding schizophrenia loci.

Abstract Open chromatin provides access to DNA binding proteins for the correct spatiotemporal regulation of gene expression. Mapping chromatin accessibility has been widely used to identify the location of cis regulatory elements (CREs) including promoters and enhancers. CREs show tissue- and cell-type specificity and disease-associated variants are often enriched for CREs in the tissues and cells that pertain to a given disease. To better understand the role of CREs in neuropsychiatric disorders we applied the Assay for Transposase Accessible Chromatin followed by sequencing (ATAC-seq) to neuronal and non-neuronal nuclei isolated from frozen postmortem human brain by fluorescence-activated nuclear sorting (FANS). Most of the identified open chromatin regions (OCRs) are differentially accessible between neurons and non-neurons, and show enrichment with known cell type markers, promoters and enhancers. Relative to those of non-neurons, neuronal OCRs are more evolutionarily conserved and are enriched in distal regulatory elements. Transcription factor (TF) footprinting analysis identifies differences in the regulome between neuronal and non-neuronal cells and ascribes putative functional roles to a number of non-coding schizophrenia (SCZ) risk variants. Among the identified variants is a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) proximal to the gene encoding SNX19. In vitro experiments reveal that this SNP leads to an increase in transcriptional activity. As elevated expression of SNX19 has been associated with SCZ, our data provides evidence that the identified SNP contributes to disease. These results represent the first analysis of OCRs and TF binding sites in distinct populations of postmortem human brain cells and further our understanding of the regulome and the impact of neuropsychiatric disease-associated genetic risk variants. Full PDF...

Read More

The Asthma Mobile Health Study, a large-scale clinical observational study using ResearchKit.

Abstract The feasibility of using mobile health applications to conduct observational clinical studies requires rigorous validation. Here, we report initial findings from the Asthma Mobile Health Study, a research study, including recruitment, consent, and enrollment, conducted entirely remotely by smartphone. We achieved secure bidirectional data flow between investigators and 7,593 participants from across the United States, including many with severe asthma. Our platform enabled prospective collection of longitudinal, multidimensional data (e.g., surveys, devices, geolocation, and air quality) in a subset of users over the 6-month study period. Consistent trending and correlation of interrelated variables support the quality of data obtained via this method. We detected increased reporting of asthma symptoms in regions affected by heat, pollen, and wildfires. Potential challenges with this technology include selection bias, low retention rates, reporting bias, and data security. These issues require attention to realize the full potential of mobile platforms in research and patient...

Read More