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This Week in PNAS : Mar 20, 2012

In this week's PNAS Early Edition, investigators at the University of California, Irvine, and at Metabolon discuss their analysis of "a comprehensive dataset of over 500 metabolites identified by mass spectrometry," which, through computational modeling, helped them to uncover "evidence of synergistic nodes between the circadian transcriptome and specific metabolic pathways." The public-private team presents an integrated map that it says "illustrates the coherence within the circadian metabolome, transcriptome, and proteome and how these are connected through specific nodes that operate in concert to achieve metabolic homeostasis."

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and at the University of Cambridge this week show that, in the endosperm of Arabidopsis seeds, "p4-siRNA accumulation depends on the maternal genome dosage," and that "maternal p4-siRNAs target transposable elements and TE [transposable element]-associated genes in seeds." Overall, the researchers say that their study provides "unique genetic evidence for maternal siRNAs in response to parental genome imbalance and in control of transposons and gene expression during endosperm development."

Elsewhere in this week's Early Edition, an international team led by investigators at the University of California, Los Angeles, presents a "genome-wide analysis of histone H3.1 and H3.3 variants in Arabidopsis thaliana." The team says the results of its analysis are "broadly consistent with the hypothesis that H3.1 acts as the canonical histone that is incorporated during DNA replication, whereas H3.3 acts as the replacement histone that can be incorporated outside of S-phase during chromatin-disrupting processes like transcription."

Ohio State University's Carlo Croce and his colleagues discuss feedback circuitry among the microRNAs miR-25 and miR-32 and the TP53 tumor suppressor gene, and how that plays a role in glioblastoma multiforme. In their PNAS paper published online in advance this week, Croce et al. report results that "define miR-25 and -32 as positive regulators of p53, underscoring their role in tumorigenesis in glioblastoma."

The Scan

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.

Fragile X Syndrome Mutations Found With Comprehensive Testing Method

Researchers in Clinical Chemistry found fragile X syndrome expansions and other FMR1 mutations with ties to the intellectual disability condition using a long-range PCR and long-read sequencing approach.

Team Presents Strategy for Speedy Species Detection in Metagenomic Sequence Data

A computational approach presented in PLOS Computational Biology produced fewer false-positive species identifications in simulated and authentic metagenomic sequences.

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.