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Articles by K Dewar
Total Records ( 3 ) for K Dewar
  J Feng , A Lupien , H Gingras , J Wasserscheid , K Dewar , D Legare and M. Ouellette

Linezolid is a member of a novel class of antibiotics, with resistance already being reported. We used whole-genome sequencing on three independent Streptococcus pneumoniae strains made resistant to linezolid in vitro in a step-by-step fashion. Analysis of the genome assemblies revealed mutations in the 23S rRNA gene in all mutants including, notably, G2576T, a previously recognized resistance mutation. Mutations in an additional 31 genes were also found in at least one of the three sequenced genomes. We concentrated on three new mutations that were found in at least two independent mutants. All three mutations were experimentally confirmed to be involved in antibiotic resistance. Mutations upstream of the ABC transporter genes spr1021 and spr1887 were correlated with increased expression of these genes and neighboring genes of the same operon. Gene inactivation supported a role for these ABC transporters in resistance to linezolid and other antibiotics. The hypothetical protein spr0333 contains an RNA methyltransferase domain, and mutations within that domain were found in all S. pneumoniae linezolid-resistant strains. Primer extension experiments indicated that spr0333 methylates G2445 of the 23S rRNA and mutations in spr0333 abolished this methylation. Reintroduction of a nonmutated version of spr0333 in resistant bacteria reestablished G2445 methylation and led to cells being more sensitive to linezolid and other antibiotics. Interestingly, the spr0333 ortholog was also mutated in a linezolid-resistant clinical Staphylococcus aureus isolate. Whole-genome sequencing and comparative analyses of S. pneumoniae resistant isolates was useful for discovering novel resistance mutations.

  R Hoberman , J Dias , B Ge , E Harmsen , M Mayhew , D. J Verlaan , T Kwan , K Dewar , M Blanchette and T. Pastinen

New high-throughput sequencing technologies are generating large amounts of sequence data, allowing the development of targeted large-scale resequencing studies. For these studies, accurate identification of polymorphic sites is crucial. Heterozygous sites are particularly difficult to identify, especially in regions of low coverage. We present a new strategy for identifying heterozygous sites in a single individual by using a machine learning approach that generates a heterozygosity score for each chromosomal position. Our approach also facilitates the identification of regions with unequal representation of two alleles and other poorly sequenced regions. The availability of confidence scores allows for a principled combination of sequencing results from multiple samples. We evaluate our method on a gold standard data genotype set from HapMap. We are able to classify sites in this data set as heterozygous or homozygous with 98.5% accuracy. In de novo data our probabilistic heterozygote detection ("ProbHD") is able to identify 93% of heterozygous sites at a <5% false call rate (FCR) as estimated based on independent genotyping results. In direct comparison of ProbHD with high-coverage 1000 Genomes sequencing available for a subset of our data, we observe >99.9% overall agreement for genotype calls and close to 90% agreement for heterozygote calls. Overall, our data indicate that high-throughput resequencing of human genomic regions requires careful attention to systematic biases in sample preparation as well as sequence contexts, and that their impact can be alleviated by machine learning-based sequence analyses allowing more accurate extraction of true DNA variants.

  J Matsumoto , K Dewar , J Wasserscheid , G. B Wiley , S. L Macmil , B. A Roe , R. W Zeller , Y Satou and K. E. M. Hastings

Pre-mRNA 5' spliced-leader (SL) trans-splicing occurs in some metazoan groups but not in others. Genome-wide characterization of the trans-spliced mRNA subpopulation has not yet been reported for any metazoan. We carried out a high-throughput analysis of the SL trans-spliced mRNA population of the ascidian tunicate Ciona intestinalis by 454 Life Sciences (Roche) pyrosequencing of SL-PCR-amplified random-primed reverse transcripts of tailbud embryo RNA. We obtained ~250,000 high-quality reads corresponding to 8790 genes, ~58% of the Ciona total gene number. The great depth of this data revealed new aspects of trans-splicing, including the existence of a significant class of "infrequently trans-spliced" genes, accounting for ~28% of represented genes, that generate largely non-trans-spliced mRNAs, but also produce trans-spliced mRNAs, in part through alternative promoter use. Thus, the conventional qualitative dichotomy of trans-spliced versus non-trans-spliced genes should be supplanted by a more accurate quantitative view recognizing frequently and infrequently trans-spliced gene categories. Our data include reads representing ~80% of Ciona frequently trans-spliced genes. Our analysis also revealed significant use of closely spaced alternative trans-splice acceptor sites which further underscores the mechanistic similarity of cis- and trans-splicing and indicates that the prevalence of ±3-nt alternative splicing events at tandem acceptor sites, NAGNAG, is driven by spliceosomal mechanisms, and not nonsense-mediated decay, or selection at the protein level. The breadth of gene representation data enabled us to find new correlations between trans-splicing status and gene function, namely the overrepresentation in the frequently trans-spliced gene class of genes associated with plasma/endomembrane system, Ca2+ homeostasis, and actin cytoskeleton.

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