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      Modular Proteoglycan Perlecan/ HSPG2: Mutations, Phenotypes, and Functions


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          Heparan sulfate proteoglycan 2 ( HSPG2) is an essential, highly conserved gene whose expression influences many developmental processes including the formation of the heart and brain. The gene is widely expressed throughout the musculoskeletal system including cartilage, bone marrow and skeletal muscle. The HSPG2 gene product, perlecan is a multifunctional proteoglycan that preserves the integrity of extracellular matrices, patrols tissue borders, and controls various signaling pathways affecting cellular phenotype. Given HSPG2’s expression pattern and its role in so many fundamental processes, it is not surprising that relatively few gene mutations have been identified in viable organisms. Mutations to the perlecan gene are rare, with effects ranging from a relatively mild condition to a more severe and perinatally lethal form. This review will summarize the important studies characterizing mutations and variants of HSPG2 and discuss how these genomic modifications affect expression, function and phenotype. Additionally, this review will describe the clinical findings of reported HSPG2 mutations and their observed phenotypes. Finally, the evolutionary aspects that link gene integrity to function are discussed, including key findings from both in vivo animal studies and in vitro systems. We also hope to facilitate discussion about perlecan/ HSPG2 and its role in normal physiology, to explain how mutation can lead to pathology, and to point out how this information can suggest pathways for future mechanistic studies.

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          Most cited references 92

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          Sea anemone genome reveals ancestral eumetazoan gene repertoire and genomic organization.

          Sea anemones are seemingly primitive animals that, along with corals, jellyfish, and hydras, constitute the oldest eumetazoan phylum, the Cnidaria. Here, we report a comparative analysis of the draft genome of an emerging cnidarian model, the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. The sea anemone genome is complex, with a gene repertoire, exon-intron structure, and large-scale gene linkage more similar to vertebrates than to flies or nematodes, implying that the genome of the eumetazoan ancestor was similarly complex. Nearly one-fifth of the inferred genes of the ancestor are eumetazoan novelties, which are enriched for animal functions like cell signaling, adhesion, and synaptic transmission. Analysis of diverse pathways suggests that these gene "inventions" along the lineage leading to animals were likely already well integrated with preexisting eukaryotic genes in the eumetazoan progenitor.
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            The genome of the choanoflagellate Monosiga brevicollis and the origin of metazoans.

            Choanoflagellates are the closest known relatives of metazoans. To discover potential molecular mechanisms underlying the evolution of metazoan multicellularity, we sequenced and analysed the genome of the unicellular choanoflagellate Monosiga brevicollis. The genome contains approximately 9,200 intron-rich genes, including a number that encode cell adhesion and signalling protein domains that are otherwise restricted to metazoans. Here we show that the physical linkages among protein domains often differ between M. brevicollis and metazoans, suggesting that abundant domain shuffling followed the separation of the choanoflagellate and metazoan lineages. The completion of the M. brevicollis genome allows us to reconstruct with increasing resolution the genomic changes that accompanied the origin of metazoans.
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              The Trichoplax genome and the nature of placozoans.

              As arguably the simplest free-living animals, placozoans may represent a primitive metazoan form, yet their biology is poorly understood. Here we report the sequencing and analysis of the approximately 98 million base pair nuclear genome of the placozoan Trichoplax adhaerens. Whole-genome phylogenetic analysis suggests that placozoans belong to a 'eumetazoan' clade that includes cnidarians and bilaterians, with sponges as the earliest diverging animals. The compact genome shows conserved gene content, gene structure and synteny in relation to the human and other complex eumetazoan genomes. Despite the apparent cellular and organismal simplicity of Trichoplax, its genome encodes a rich array of transcription factor and signalling pathway genes that are typically associated with diverse cell types and developmental processes in eumetazoans, motivating further searches for cryptic cellular complexity and/or as yet unobserved life history stages.

                Author and article information

                Genes (Basel)
                Genes (Basel)
                16 November 2018
                November 2018
                : 9
                : 11
                [1 ]Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA; jerahme@ 123456udel.edu
                [2 ]Department of Bioengineering, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA; asd3@ 123456rice.edu
                [3 ]Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Dentistry, Houston, TX 77054, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: mary.c.farachcarson@ 123456uth.tmc.edu ; Tel.: +1-713-486-4438
                © 2018 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).



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