News & Comment

  • News and Views |

    Human-derived tumor models are becoming popular in the context of personalized medicine, but a new study shows that these models could be less representative of primary tumors than previously thought, particularly when using late passages.

    • Carlos Villacorta-Martin
    • , Amanda J Craig
    •  & Augusto Villanueva
  • Editorial |

    Citation of prior publications is essential both to claim that knowledge is needed in your area of research and to establish that you have indeed advanced understanding substantially in that area. The journal deplores and will decline to consider manuscripts that fail to identify the key findings of published articles and that—deliberately or inadvertently—omit the reason the prior work is cited.

  • Commentary |

    • Jennifer A Brody
    • , Alanna C Morrison
    • , Joshua C Bis
    • , Jeffrey R O'Connell
    • , Michael R Brown
    • , Jennifer E Huffman
    • , Darren C Ames
    • , Andrew Carroll
    • , Matthew P Conomos
    • , Stacey Gabriel
    • , Richard A Gibbs
    • , Stephanie M Gogarten
    • , Namrata Gupta
    • , Cashell E Jaquish
    • , Andrew D Johnson
    • , Joshua P Lewis
    • , Xiaoming Liu
    • , Alisa K Manning
    • , George J Papanicolaou
    • , Achilleas N Pitsillides
    • , Kenneth M Rice
    • , William Salerno
    • , Colleen M Sitlani
    • , Nicholas L Smith
    • , NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Consortium
    • , The Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium
    • , TOPMed Hematology and Hemostasis Working Group
    • , CHARGE Analysis and Bioinformatics Working Group
    • , Susan R Heckbert
    • , Cathy C Laurie
    • , Braxton D Mitchell
    • , Ramachandran S Vasan
    • , Stephen S Rich
    • , Jerome I Rotter
    • , James G Wilson
    • , Eric Boerwinkle
    • , Bruce M Psaty
    •  & L Adrienne Cupples
  • News and Views |

    High-resolution maps of enhancer–promoter interactions in rare primary human T cell subsets and coronary artery smooth muscle cells link variants associated with autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases to target genes. This represents an important step forward for mapping genes involved in complex diseases.

    • Gosia Trynka
  • Commentary |

    Genetic variants have been associated with myriad molecular phenotypes that provide new insight into the range of mechanisms underlying genetic traits and diseases. Identifying any particular genetic variant's cascade of effects, from molecule to individual, requires assaying multiple layers of molecular complexity. We introduce the Enhancing GTEx (eGTEx) project that extends the GTEx project to combine gene expression with additional intermediate molecular measurements on the same tissues to provide a resource for studying how genetic differences cascade through molecular phenotypes to impact human health.

    • eGTEx Project
    • , Barbara E Stranger
    • , Lori E Brigham
    • , Richard Hasz
    • , Marcus Hunter
    • , Christopher Johns
    • , Mark Johnson
    • , Gene Kopen
    • , William F Leinweber
    • , John T Lonsdale
    • , Alisa McDonald
    • , Bernadette Mestichelli
    • , Kevin Myer
    • , Brian Roe
    • , Michael Salvatore
    • , Saboor Shad
    • , Jeffrey A Thomas
    • , Gary Walters
    • , Michael Washington
    • , Joseph Wheeler
    • , Jason Bridge
    • , Barbara A Foster
    • , Bryan M Gillard
    • , Ellen Karasik
    • , Rachna Kumar
    • , Mark Miklos
    • , Michael T Moser
    • , Scott D Jewell
    • , Robert G Montroy
    • , Daniel C Rohrer
    • , Dana R Valley
    • , David A Davis
    • , Deborah C Mash
    • , Sarah E Gould
    • , Ping Guan
    • , Susan Koester
    • , A Roger Little
    • , Casey Martin
    • , Helen M Moore
    • , Abhi Rao
    • , Jeffery P Struewing
    • , Simona Volpi
    • , Kasper D Hansen
    • , Peter F Hickey
    • , Lindsay F Rizzardi
    • , Lei Hou
    • , Yaping Liu
    • , Benoit Molinie
    • , Yongjin Park
    • , Nicola Rinaldi
    • , Li Wang
    • , Nicholas Van Wittenberghe
    • , Melina Claussnitzer
    • , Ellen T Gelfand
    • , Qin Li
    • , Sandra Linder
    • , Rui Zhang
    • , Kevin S Smith
    • , Emily K Tsang
    • , Lin S Chen
    • , Kathryn Demanelis
    • , Jennifer A Doherty
    • , Farzana Jasmine
    • , Muhammad G Kibriya
    • , Lihua Jiang
    • , Shin Lin
    • , Meng Wang
    • , Ruiqi Jian
    • , Xiao Li
    • , Joanne Chan
    • , Daniel Bates
    • , Morgan Diegel
    • , Jessica Halow
    • , Eric Haugen
    • , Audra Johnson
    • , Rajinder Kaul
    • , Kristen Lee
    • , Matthew T Maurano
    • , Jemma Nelson
    • , Fidencio J Neri
    • , Richard Sandstrom
    • , Marian S Fernando
    • , Caroline Linke
    • , Meritxell Oliva
    • , Andrew Skol
    • , Fan Wu
    • , Joshua M Akey
    • , Andrew P Feinberg
    • , Jin Billy Li
    • , Brandon L Pierce
    • , John A Stamatoyannopoulos
    • , Hua Tang
    • , Kristin G Ardlie
    • , Manolis Kellis
    • , Michael P Snyder
    •  & Stephen B Montgomery
  • News and Views |

    Regulation of epigenetic factors through their recruitment to specific genomic regions is still poorly understood. A recent study demonstrates a global mechanism of tethering Polycomb group (PcG) proteins through sequence-specific DNA-binding factors.

    • Eduardo March
    •  & Sara Farrona
  • Editorial |

    This issue highlights a range of genetic techniques and cell biological models required to begin to understand the levels of long-range regulation of gene expression as it occurs during cell differentiation. Explanations based on the specificity of covalent modifications and binding interactions intersect with evidence for conjectured mechanisms of topological loop creation and maintenance by transcription and motile protein activities.

  • News and Views |

    The functional role of repetitive elements in mammalian genomes is still largely unexplored. A new study provides evidence that LINE-1 retrotransposons regulate chromatin dynamics and are essential for normal embryonic development in mice.

    • Edward J Grow
  • News and Views |

    A new study uses a Hi-C technique to demonstrate that condensin has a major role in remodeling interphase chromatin into mitotic chromosomes. This study provides insight into the mechanism whereby a centimeters-long DNA molecule is folded into a micrometers-long rod-shaped chromosome.

    • Tatsuya Hirano
  • Editorial |

    A solution to screening for recessive heritable disorders and identifying genetic influences on common diseases is to be found in the history of one of the world's most populous regions. Large South Asian populations are a mosaic of smaller populations, many of which have founder effects as extreme as those in the European isolates that first inspired genetic medicine.

  • News and Views |

    Genetic and functional analyses of 120 mouse strains have identified a heart regeneration candidate gene that modulates the contractile sarcomeric apparatus. This gene, Tnni3k, controls the frequency of the mononuclear, diploid cardiomyocyte population, which affects cardiomyocyte proliferative potential after injury.

    • Ana Vujic
    • , Vinícius Bassaneze
    •  & Richard T Lee
  • News and Views |

    ERG overexpression in prostate cancers promotes the development of widespread changes in gene expression and chromatin landscapes, leading to redistribution of key transcription factors in prostate cancers positive for the TMPRSS2-ERG fusion gene. The overexpression of ERG is further assisted by the development of a super-enhancer in the ERG locus.

    • Deepak Babu
    •  & Melissa J Fullwood
  • News and Views |

    An innovative study analyzing genetic association across tree-structured routine healthcare data in the UK Biobank represents a new branch on a tree that is poised to grow rapidly and offer new kinds of insights on how genome variation relates to human health and disease. Indeed, this tree is likely to offer new kinds of insights into the very nature of human disease.

    • Nancy J Cox
  • Editorial |

    This month's research articles span the range of scales of gene-regulatory mechanisms, from a deceptively simple gene therapy vector, via synthetic gene expression circuits, to extremely intricate epigenetic switches. We encourage investigation of synthetic circuits exploring the functions of the 3D genome.

  • News and Views |

    DNA copy number represents an essential parameter in the dynamics of synthetic gene circuits but typically is not explicitly considered. A new study demonstrates how dynamic control of DNA copy number can serve as an effective strategy to program robust oscillations in gene expression circuits.

    • Feilun Wu
    •  & Lingchong You
  • News and Views |

    Severe allergic disease is common, and few monogenic causes of atopy have been described. A new study that convincingly links severe atopic dermatitis to heterozygous CARD11 mutations with dominant-interfering activity serves as a timely reminder that clinicians should consider the possibility of an underlying monogenic immune disorder when caring for patients suffering from severe allergic disease.

    • Catherine M Biggs
    • , Henry Y Lu
    •  & Stuart E Turvey
  • News and Views |

    A new study reports molecular characterization of the GDF5 locus, which is associated with osteoarthritis risk and adult height in humans. This study provides evidence of positive selection for short stature at GDF5 in modern humans, as well as in archaic Neandertals and Denisovans.

    • Guillaume Lettre
  • News and Views |

    Promoters and enhancers have long been regarded as distinct elements, a notion that has been challenged more recently. Two new studies now identify promoters that function as long-range enhancers in vivo to regulate the transcription of distal genes.

    • Rui R Catarino
    • , Christoph Neumayr
    •  & Alexander Stark
  • Editorial |

    This journal and Scientific Data are calling for submissions containing linked open data models that embody and extend the FAIR principles: that data should be findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable by both humans and machines. These principles are achievable with existing resources, languages and vocabularies to enable computers to combine and reanalyze data sets automatically and lead humans to new discoveries.

  • News and Views |

    A new study shows that aberrant DNA transposase activity promotes structural alterations that are clonally selected to drive tumor development. This discovery uncovers novel mechanisms of tumor-suppressor gene inactivation and highlights a new approach to cancer gene identification.

    • Stephen C Mack
    • , Hiromichi Suzuki
    •  & Michael D Taylor
  • News and Views |

    A study in this issue demonstrates that epigenome-modifying drugs used in cancer chemotherapy induce transcription from thousands of previously unannotated transcription start sites, most of which are derived from ancient endogenous retroviruses (ERVs). This work, coupled with previous related findings, suggests that induction of ERVs, rather than direct effects on specific genes, may have a central role in the cellular responses to such agents and, in turn, their therapeutic efficacy.

    • Dixie L Mager
    •  & Matthew C Lorincz
  • News and Views |

    Three studies highlight DUX proteins as key transcription factors regulating embryonic genome activation in early mammalian development.

    • Ane Iturbide
    •  & Maria-Elena Torres-Padilla