Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Short Sequences of Proximally Disordered DNA

Oxford Nanopore Device Reducing Sequencing Cost

Relationships exist between short sequences of proximal DNA (SSPD) of a gene that when transcribed into RNA present stronger or weaker binding attractions to RNA binding proteins (RBP'S) that settle, edit, splice and resolve messenger RNA (mRNA). Responsive to epigenetic stimuli on Histones and DNA, mRNA are constantly transcribed in different quantity, at different times such that different mRNA strands are transported from the nucleus to cytoplasm where they are translated into and produce any of more than 30,000 different proteins.

Single nucleotide polymorphisms and DNA mutations can alter SSPD combinations in different diseased cells thus altering sequence proximity, ordering that affects transcribed RNA's attraction and optimal binding of RBP's. This may result in modified splicing of RNA, assembly of mRNA and slight or major variations in some or all translated protein derived from that gene. 

The specific effects of these DNA variations, on the multitude of proteins produced are generally unknown. However, it remains important to understand their effects in disease, diagnosis and therapy. Typically these have historically been researched by large scale analysis of RBP on RNA as opposed to the more fundamental, yet underrepresented massive array of diseased variant DNA to mRNA transitions.

Most pharmaceutical research is directed to a molecular interference targeting an aberrant protein to cure widely represented or highly impactful disease conditions of society. Economic assessments generally influence government decisions to support research based on loss of GDP contribution by a specific disease in a  patient cohort. However, in the modern multi-omics era top down research into protein-RNA activity is descending deeper into the cell to include RNA-mRNA and mRNA-DNA customizable therapies that will eventually resolve individually assessed diseases at a price that addresses much larger array of patient needs.  

SNP's and other mutations can vary considerably in cells. These variations can cause instability during division and lead to translated differences that can ultimately drive cancerous cell growth to escape patient immunity. Like a 'whack-a-mole' game, pattern variation and mechanistic persistence eventually beat the player. Without effective immune clearance these cells can replicate into tumors and contribute to microenvironments that support their existence.

Link to video on tumor microenvironment https://youtu.be/Z9H2utcnBic

We thought to analyze DNA and mRNA transcripts from cells in tumors and their microenvironments to see if we could expose the SSPD disordered combinations that may have promoted sub-optimal RBP attractions and led to sustained immune escape. Given the complexity of DNA to mRNA transcription, for any given gene many distortions in gene data sets have to be filtered. To do that we focused on p53, the most mutated gene in cancer. We designed a method to compare sequences arrays of DNA and mRNA Ensembl transcripts, from the consensus of healthy patients to multiple cell samples extracted from different sections of a patients tumor and tumor microenvironment.     

We previously identified and measured different levels of Natural Killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity, produced from cocultures with the extracted samples of each of the multiple sites of a biopsy. We will measure the different p53 transcript SSPD combinations associated with each sample and determine whether disordered SSPD's corelate with NK cytotoxicity from each coculture. We expect to identify whether biopsied tumor cells, ranked by SSPD's predict the cytotoxicity resulting from NK cell cocultures. We will narrow our research to identify the varied expressions of receptor combinations associated with degrees of cytotoxicity. We will test immune efficacy to lyse and destroy tumor cells. Finally we will test for adaptive immune response. 

Our vision is for per-patient, predictable cell co-culture pairings, for innate immune cell education based on ranking DNA-mRNA combinations to lead to multiple effective therapies. The falling cost of sequencing and sophistication of GMP laboratories presently servicing oncologists may support a successful use of this analytical approach to laboratory assisted disease management.



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