Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Human milk contains a diverse population of bacteria that likely influences colonization of the infant gastrointestinal tract. Recent studies, however, have been limited to characterization of this microbial community by 16S rRNA analysis. In the present study, a metagenomic approach using Illumina sequencing of a pooled milk sample (ten donors) was employed to determine the genera of bacteria and the types of bacterial open reading frames in human milk that may influence bacterial establishment and stability in this primal food matrix. The human milk metagenome was also compared to that of breast-fed and formula-fed infants' feces (n = 5, each) and mothers' feces (n = 3) at the phylum level and at a functional level using open reading frame abundance. Additionally, immune-modulatory bacterial-DNA motifs were also searched for within human milk.<h4>Results</h4>The bacterial community in human milk contained over 360 prokaryotic genera, with sequences aligning predominantly to the phyla of Proteobacteria (65%) and Firmicutes (34%), and the genera of Pseudomonas (61.1%), Staphylococcus (33.4%) and Streptococcus (0.5%). From assembled human milk-derived contigs, 30,128 open reading frames were annotated and assigned to functional categories. When compared to the metagenome of infants' and mothers' feces, the human milk metagenome was less diverse at the phylum level, and contained more open reading frames associated with nitrogen metabolism, membrane transport and stress response (P < 0.05). The human milk metagenome also contained a similar occurrence of immune-modulatory DNA motifs to that of infants' and mothers' fecal metagenomes.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our results further expand the complexity of the human milk metagenome and enforce the benefits of human milk ingestion on the microbial colonization of the infant gut and immunity. Discovery of immune-modulatory motifs in the metagenome of human milk indicates more exhaustive analyses of the functionality of the human milk metagenome are warranted.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>The purpose of this study was to explore the interplay between the ocular surface microbiome and the tear proteome in humans in order to better understand the pathogenesis of ocular surface-associated diseases.<h4>Methods</h4>Twenty eyes from 20 participants were included in the study. The ocular surface microbiome was sequenced by whole-metagenome shotgun sequencing using lid and conjunctival swabs. Furthermore, the tear proteome was identified using chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. After compositional and functional profiling of the metagenome and functional characterization of the proteome by gene ontology, association studies between the ocular microbiome and tear proteome were assessed.<h4>Results</h4>Two hundred twenty-nine taxa were identified with Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria being the most abundant phyla with significantly more Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis in lid compared to conjunctival swabs. The lid metagenomes were enriched in genes of the glycolysis lll and adenosine nucleotides de novo and L-isoleucine biosynthesis. Correlations between the phylum Firmicutes and fatty acid metabolism, between the genus Agrobacterium as well as vitamin B1 synthesis and antimicrobial activity, and between biosynthesis of heme, L-arginine, as well as L-citrulline and human vision were detected.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The ocular surface microbiome was found to be associated with the tear proteome with a role in human immune defense. This study has a potential impact on the development of treatment strategies for ocular surface-associated diseases.
Project description:Accumulating evidence suggests that humans could be considered as holobionts in which the gut microbiota play essential functions. Initial metagenomic studies reported a pattern of shared genes in the gut microbiome of different individuals, leading to the definition of the minimal gut metagenome as the set of microbial genes necessary for homeostasis and present in all healthy individuals. This study analyses the minimal gut metagenome of the most comprehensive dataset available, including individuals from agriculturalist and industrialist societies, also embodying highly diverse ethnic and geographical backgrounds. The outcome, based on metagenomic predictions for community composition data, resulted in a minimal metagenome comprising 3412 genes, mapping to 1856 reactions and 128 metabolic pathways predicted to occur across all individuals. These results were substantiated by the analysis of two additional datasets describing the microbial community compositions of larger Western cohorts, as well as a substantial shotgun metagenomics dataset. Subsequent analyses showed the plausible metabolic complementarity provided by the minimal gut metagenome to the human genome.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>A major bottleneck in the use of metagenome sequencing for human gut microbiome studies has been the lack of a comprehensive genome collection to be used as a reference database. Several recent efforts have been made to re-construct genomes from human gut metagenome data, resulting in a huge increase in the number of relevant genomes. In this work, we aimed to create a collection of the most prevalent healthy human gut prokaryotic genomes, to be used as a reference database, including both MAGs from the human gut and ordinary RefSeq genomes.<h4>Results</h4>We screened > 5,700 healthy human gut metagenomes for the containment of > 490,000 publicly available prokaryotic genomes sourced from RefSeq and the recently announced UHGG collection. This resulted in a pool of > 381,000 genomes that were subsequently scored and ranked based on their prevalence in the healthy human metagenomes. The genomes were then clustered at a 97.5% sequence identity resolution, and cluster representatives (30,691 in total) were retained to comprise the HumGut collection. Using the Kraken2 software for classification, we find superior performance in the assignment of metagenomic reads, classifying on average 94.5% of the reads in a metagenome, as opposed to 86% with UHGG and 44% when using standard Kraken2 database. A coarser HumGut collection, consisting of genomes dereplicated at 95% sequence identity-similar to UHGG, classified 88.25% of the reads. HumGut, half the size of standard Kraken2 database and directly comparable to the UHGG size, outperforms them both.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The HumGut collection contains > 30,000 genomes clustered at a 97.5% sequence identity resolution and ranked by human gut prevalence. We demonstrate how metagenomes from IBD-patients map equally well to this collection, indicating this reference is relevant also for studies well outside the metagenome reference set used to obtain HumGut. All data and metadata, as well as helpful code, are available at http://arken.nmbu.no/~larssn/humgut/ . Video Abstract.
Project description:Purpose:The epithelium lining the ocular surface, which includes corneal and conjunctival epithelia, expresses the prosecretory chloride channel cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) and the proabsorptive epithelial sodium channel (ENaC). Here, methodology was established to measure the millivolt (mV) potential differences at the ocular surface, called ocular surface potential difference (OSPD), in human subjects produced by ion transport. Methods:OSPD was measured in human subjects in which a fluid-filled measuring electrode contacted a fluid pool created by eversion of the lateral lower eyelid, with a reference electrode placed subcutaneously in the forearm. Through the use of a high-impedance voltmeter, OSPD was measured continuously over 10 to 15 minutes in response to a series of perfusate fluid exchanges. Results:Baseline OSPD (± SEM) in six normal human subjects was -21.3 ± 3.6 mV. OSPD depolarized by 1.7 ± 0.6 mV following the addition of the ENaC inhibitor amiloride, hyperpolarized by 6.8 ± 1.5 mV with a zero chloride solution, and further hyperpolarized by 15.9 ± 1.6 mV following CFTR activation by isoproterenol. The isoproterenol-induced hyperpolarization was absent in two cystic fibrosis subjects lacking functional CFTR. OSPD measurement produced minimal epithelial injury. Conclusions:Our results establish the feasibility and safety of OSPD measurement in humans and demonstrate robust CFTR activity, albeit minimal ENaC activity, at the ocular surface. OSPD measurement may be broadly applicable to investigate fluid transport mechanisms and test drug candidates to treat ocular surface disorders. Translational Relevance:To the best of our knowledge, this is the first measurement of the electrical potential generated by the ocular surface epithelium in human subjects, offering a new approach to study ocular surface function and health.
Project description:There are two major sequencing technologies for investigating the microbiome: the amplicon sequencing that generates the OTU (operational taxonomic unit) tables of marker genes (e.g., bacterial 16S-rRNA), and the metagenomic shotgun sequencing that generates metagenomic gene abundance (MGA) tables. The OTU table is the counterpart of species abundance tables in macrobial ecology of plants and animals, and has been the target of numerous ecological and network analyses in recent gold rush for microbiome research and in great efforts for establishing an inclusive theoretical ecology. Nevertheless, MGA analyses have been largely limited to bioinformatics pipelines and ad hoc statistical methods, and systematic approaches to MGAs guided by classic ecological theories are still few. Here, we argue that, the difference between "gene kinds" and "gene species" are nominal, and the metagenome that a microbiota carries is essentially a 'community' of metagenomic genes (MGs). Each row of a MGA table represents a metagenome of a microbiota, and the whole MGA table represents a 'meta-metagenome' (or an assemblage of metagenomes) of N microbiotas (microbiome samples). Consequently, the same ecological/network analyses used in OTU analyses should be equally applicable to MGA tables. Here we choose to analyze the heterogeneity of metagenome by introducing classic Taylor's power law (TPL) and its recent extensions in community ecology. Heterogeneity is a fundamental property of metagenome, particularly in the context of human microbiomes. Recent studies have shown that the heterogeneity of human metagenomes is far more significant than that of human genomes. Therefore, without deep understanding of the human metagenome heterogeneity, personalized medicine of the human microbiome-associated diseases is hardly feasible. The TPL extensions have been successfully applied to measure the heterogeneity of human microbiome based on amplicon-sequencing reads of marker genes (e.g., 16s-rRNA). In this article, we demonstrate the analysis of the metagenomic heterogeneity of human gut microbiome at whole metagenome scale (with type-I power law extension) and metagenomic gene scale (type-III), as well as the heterogeneity of gene clusters, respectively. We further examine the influences of obesity, IBD and diabetes on the heterogeneity, which is of important ramifications for the diagnosis and treatment of human microbiome-associated diseases.
Project description:Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H7 virus infection in humans frequently results in conjunctivitis as a major symptom. However, our understanding of what properties govern virus subtype-specific tropism, and of the host responses responsible for eliciting ocular inflammation and pathogenicity following influenza virus infection, are not well understood. To study virus-host interactions in ocular tissue, we infected primary human corneal and conjunctival epithelial cells with H7, H5, and H1 subtype viruses. We found that numerous virus subtypes were capable of infecting and replicating in multiple human ocular cell types, with the highest titers observed with highly pathogenic H7N7 and H5N1 viruses. Similar patterns of proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine production following influenza virus infection were observed in ocular and respiratory cells. However, primary ocular cells infected with HPAI H7N7 viruses were found to have elevated levels of interleukin-1? (IL-1?), a cytokine previously implicated in ocular disease pathology. Furthermore, H7N7 virus infection of corneal epithelial cells resulted in enhanced and significant increases in the expression of genes related to NF-?B signal transduction compared with that after H5N1 or H1N1 virus infection. The differential induction of cytokines and signaling pathways in human ocular cells following H7 virus infection marks the first association of H7 subtype-specific host responses with ocular tropism and pathogenicity. In particular, heightened expression of genes related to NF-?B-mediated signaling transduction following HPAI H7N7 virus infection in primary corneal epithelial cells, but not respiratory cells, identifies activation of a signaling pathway that correlates with the ocular tropism of influenza viruses within this subtype.
Project description:Mutations in myocilin result in ocular hypertension, likely due to decreased drainage of aqueous humor through the trabecular meshwork. Since less myocilin is found in the aqueous humor of those with disease-causing mutations, understanding myocilin's role in the aqueous humor is of clinical importance. Recently, myocilin was shown to exit cultured trabecular meshwork cells in association with shed vesicles called exosomes. To examine relevance of this finding in a physiological setting, the present study examined three different types of ocular samples for the presence of myocilin-associated exosomes. Using differential centrifugation steps, we found myocilin associated with exosomes isolated from effluent collected from human anterior segments in organ culture and aqueous humor obtained from human cadaveric eyes or from patients undergoing excisional surgery. Similar to results with cultured cells, myocilin associated predominately with exosomes in fresh samples, appeared mostly soluble at later times, and had biochemical properties (density of 1.13-1.19 g/ml in linear sucrose gradient) similar to those characteristics of exosomes. These data indicate that exosomes are present and may facilitate the transport of myocilin into the extracellular space of human ocular cells.
Project description:To better understand ocular hypertension-induced early molecular alterations that may determine the initiation of neurodegeneration in human glaucoma, this study analyzed retinal proteomic alterations in the ocular hypertensive human retina.Retina samples were obtained from six human donors with ocular hypertension (without glaucomatous injury) and six age- and sex-matched normotensive controls. Retinal proteins were analyzed by two-dimensional LC-MS/MS (liquid chromatography and linear ion trap mass spectrometry) using oxygen isotope labeling for relative quantification of protein expression. Proteomics data were validated by Western blot and immunohistochemical analyses of selected proteins.Out of over 2000 retinal proteins quantified, hundreds exhibited over 2-fold increased or decreased expression in ocular hypertensive samples relative to normotensive controls. Bioinformatics linked the proteomics datasets to various pathways important for maintenance of cellular homeostasis in the ocular hypertensive retina. Upregulated proteins included various heat shock proteins, ubiquitin proteasome pathway components, antioxidants, and DNA repair enzymes, while many proteins involved in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation exhibited downregulation in the ocular hypertensive retina. Despite the altered protein expression reflecting intrinsic adaptive/protective responses against mitochondrial energy failure, oxidative stress, and unfolded proteins, no alterations suggestive of an ongoing cell death process or neuroinflammation were detectable.This study provides information about ocular hypertension-related molecular risk factors for glaucoma development. Molecular alterations detected in the ocular hypertensive human retina as opposed to previously detected alterations in human donor retinas with clinically manifest glaucoma suggest that proteome alterations determine the individual threshold to tolerate the ocular hypertension-induced tissue stress or convert to glaucomatous neurodegeneration when intrinsic adaptive/protective responses are overwhelmed.
Project description:The explosive growth in taxonomic metagenome profiling methods over the past years has created a need for systematic comparisons using relevant performance criteria. The Open-community Profiling Assessment tooL (OPAL) implements commonly used performance metrics, including those of the first challenge of the initiative for the Critical Assessment of Metagenome Interpretation (CAMI), together with convenient visualizations. In addition, we perform in-depth performance comparisons with seven profilers on datasets of CAMI and the Human Microbiome Project. OPAL is freely available at https://github.com/CAMI-challenge/OPAL .